[Metroactive News&Issues]

[ Silicon Valley | Metroactive Home | Archives ]

[whitespace] Candi Wozniak
Tree's Company: Candi Wozniak among the redwoods

Public Eye

Candi Land

When a photograph of CANDI WOZNIAK hugging a tree showed up in a newspaper last summer, staffers at the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District cringed. Back then, Wozniak (who is Apple co-founder STEVE WOZNIAK's ex-wife) was fighting to block logging in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And at the same time, Midpen was fighting with Wozniak over her alleged illegal llama grazing and motorcycle jumping on district land adjacent to her property. On Monday, after a year of skirmishes, things escalated when Midpen sued Wozniak--and Wozniak shot back Tuesday by accusing district staff of "terrorism." ... Wozniak's Skyline Road property borders the 1,071-acre Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve above Lexington Reservoir, which the district acquired after tense negotiations with an Oregon developer in 1999 (See "The Lex Files," Metro, July 16, 1998). Midpen's suit alleges Wozniak kept a herd of llamas grazing on district land after she was asked to move them and that her teenage son used a stolen bobcat-type bulldozer to build 6-foot-tall motorcycle jumps nearby--both of which damaged the habitat, terrain and vegetation. The suit seeks to ban Wozniak from entering the preserve, which is not yet open to the public, and make her pay for remediation. ... Wozniak, however, tells Eye that she has an unofficial "squatters easement" on the llama lland because she's been using it for decades and that she and her son aren't responsible for the motocross jumps. "There were some kids at spring break and they built some motorcycle jumps out there with a stolen bulldozer," she says. (The district attorney's office confirms that it is reviewing the theft case, but won't release details because charges have not been filed.) Midpeninsula, she adds, is only hassling her because it wants an access easement across part of her 25-acre spread--which she's not giving up. The way Wozniak tells it, she asked the district to sell or lease the land to her or swap it for another part of her property, but she never got a response. Worse, Wozniak says, a district land protection specialist let the llamas out of their fenced-in meadow, which led to her dog taking a bite out of the llama's lleg. "It was an act of terrorism," Wozniak charges. "They're harassing me because they want something they can't have." ... Midpen spokesperson STEPHANIE JENSEN denies any harassment, and says the district has been getting complaints from neighbors who say Wozniak's llamas are constantly getting loose. The only time district staff opened the gate, Jensen says, was to give access to animal control officers who had been called by neighbors because of the lloose llamas. Jensen adds that the district "will vigorously dispute" Wozniak's squatter claims. "The district bought the land, the district owns the land, it's public property and there is no easement." Wozniak says she's not giving up on getting her easement and blocking the district's, and that she plans to fight Midpen in court: "I have to defend myself."

Larry Todd
Larry Todd

Chief Concern

Subscribers and careful readers of Penthouse must have been surprised to see Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Chief LARRY TODD pop up on page 56 of the May issue. Let's get this straight: his likeness, nude or otherwise, was absent. The no-nonsense lawman appeared in an article Eye was reading, quoted by Harvard Law School professor ALAN DERSHOWITZ, who pens a regular column called "Justice." Dershowitz takes shots at well-known gun nut Attorney General John Ashcroft for refusing to release Justice Department gun records about detained terrorism suspects, and pulled Todd's quote calling the decision "absurd and unconscionable" from a December New York Times article. The top cop, who retires next month, didn't know that his wisdom had been quoted in the skin mag until Eye called. "You gotta be kidding me," Todd groaned. Lucky for Todd, there's a 7-Eleven a block from the police station, if he doesn't believe Eye.

Eyes Crossed

Alt-rocker PAUL WESTERBERG, beloved by fans for the whiskey-soaked genius of his work fronting the Replacements, went dry about 10 years ago and emerged to release a bouncy hit love song called Dyslexic Heart. Now, there's a dyslexic Eye--and it must apologize for transposing district numbers in last week's column. Reapportionment shifted Assemblyman FRED KEELEY's home from the old 15th Senate District to the new 11th Senate District, not the other way around.

Sharing The Joy

Movie dot-geeks at Netflix, the Los Gatos-based online DVD-slinging giant, are thrilled about the company's recent IPO, retro sounding as it is. Company strategists hope to bring in about $70 million by selling 5.5 million shares of stock at $14 each. Company brass are so excited, in fact, that they're throwing a big bash on a yacht next month. But even though the company is confident about its future, it hasn't forgotten all the little people who helped it along the way--even the employees Netflix laid off to boost profits last spring. Those previously tossed overboard are also invited to the boat party. "We have great relations with a lot of the former employees," says Netflix senior public relations manager RICK SNEED, adding, "They all have stock in the company."

Compromising Compensation

Unlike other public sector employees, Assemblywoman REBECCA COHN thinks her paycheck is fat enough--and she wants visitors to her webpage to know. Like all legislators, the assemblywoman takes home a flat $99,000 salary that's bumped up by per diem pay to about $125,000. Posted prominently on the opening page of Cohn's Assembly website is a link to a letter she proudly penned to the independent commission that sets lawmakers' salaries, pleading that they not get one more dime. "Whereas the work of representing the people of California is certainly challenging," Cohn wrote, "I do not believe an increase in compensation, for me, would be appropriate, especially given the state's financial condition. Consequently, I request that the California Citizens Compensation Commission not increase our salaries." Cohn, however, needn't let the issue keep her up at night pacing the halls of her million-dollar Saratoga digs: the commission recommended no increase and won't take up the issue again until next March

Don't forget to tip: Leave messages by calling 408.200.1346. Or .

Send a letter to the editor about this story .

[ Silicon Valley | Metroactive Home | Archives ]

From the May 16-22, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

Foreclosures - Real Estate Investing
San Jose.com Real Estate