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Monthly Steering Committee Minutes for 2006


OMVNA Steering Committee Meeting
February 13, 2006

Officers Attending

Aaron Grossman
Ken Rosenberg
Meridith Segall
Margaret Abe-Koga

Officers Not Attending

Nikol Jackson
Megan Pecson
Jamil Shaikh
Kim Copher

6:45 pm meeting was called to order


  • No minutes were approved because there was not a quorum. Those present recommended approval after changes.
  • One week before meeting:
    • Meridith will call out for agenda items to OMVNA talk group by posting on OMVNA talk
    • Sunday before Steering Committee meeting agenda will be posted on OMVNA talk

Treasurers Report

  • Total=$8,211.00, OMVNA=$8,098.27 , CERT=$112.73
  • The members present recommended approval of the budget.

CERT Report:

  • On Sunday, February 5th, there was a great radio drill held by the CERT volunteers at their regularly scheduled training. The group broke into teams with one base commander per team and spread out into the surrounding area out of sight of one another to conduct the drill. There were many issues in the beginning such as interruptions and some confusion about the "emergencies" taking place in the neighborhood that was a great simulation to real life. By the second round, the base commanders were starting to take on leadership and were managing the communication of their groups quite well. Lynn Brown from the city was there and a shop owner from Mountain View who has an emergency supply store brought some CERT items to the training. A new CERT member joined bringing the membership total to 38.
  • The CERT team purchased a new PA that was approved in advance by the Board and it works quite well.
  • No monetary requests for cert were made at this meeting.

New Business

  • The General Meeting scheduled for April 30th from 2-4pm was discussed.
  • Suggestions for the theme of the event were discussed:
    1. A Garden Tour- PRO: the weather would be great for that. CON: The distance between each garden would be logistically difficult to keep any kind of structure to the meeting.
    2. A Home Show- PRO: everyone meets at one location to discuss or Show and Tell about his/her most recent home improvement project. CON: Stimulated a bigger idea that seemed to pick up steam and interest among the members present.
    3. A Neighborhood Showcase- PRO: one gathering place and many more topics to be discussed. Anyone in the neighborhood could come to talk about hobbies, skills, business, home projects etc.There would be tables and booths set-up and we could invite various city officials to come talk about things like how to get a building permit for your home, Parks/Recs, Commission Chairs, the Police Department etc.CON: a good deal of planning involved which led to the appointment of Vice Chair Margaret Abe-Koga as the planning committee chair.

OMVNATalk Report

  • 193 members to date. Margaret Abe-Koga suggests putting an item in the newsletter about joining OMVNA talk.

Special Guest Speakers Report

Two guest speakers came to talk about the Google Wi-Fi roll out and Podell Ventures the developers for the new development being planned at Dana and View Streets in downtown Mountain View.

At 7:30pm:The first speakers were Minnie Engersoll, Product Manager for Google and Tom Pickren, Senior Project Manager for Tropos (the company installing the radio receivers)

  • 300 radios will be installed on lampposts throughout Mountain View. Only three of those radios will transmit to Google and then to the Internet. The rest transmit to one another providing coverage to the area in case one radio goes down.1/7 of the radios will be the gateway.
  • Why is Google doing this for us? Google wants to make information accessible by giving choice and access to consumers. Gives them a competitive edge over Yahoo and since Mountain View is the test site, it gives Google an opportunity to work out the kinks in a wireless community service.
  • How do I use it? Google will train. Aiming for April end or June. Will need a Wi Fi Card, customer premise equipment- meaning you buy your own, will need a router/antennae.
  • How secure is it? There is one wall of penetration. Google will not know who your are interacting with, your content will not be stored only the number of times you log on and all logs cleared after 30 days. Customer will be able use a VPN- Google will provide.
  • How do I sign up? Must have a Google account- gmail, blogger, group member etc.
  • You will get a log-in screen and landing page that you can personalize.
  • Interested? There is a Google wi fi discussion group and a wi fi support group:
  • How is the signal- 4 watts of power. Community member expressed concern over it being too much. Response from Minnie was that the tower is 30 feet up in the air and standing 10 feet away on the ground is 100 times less power than a cell phone.
  • Google will write down and publish privacy policy
  • 5 year contract from Google to support network
  • How many channels? There are 3 channels per zone and the FCC is planning the expand the channels available.
  • How many hops? 2 ˝ rabbit ears to aggregation point/gateway then fiber or point to point to Google.
  • Contact person is
  • Citizen concern about radio waves in the neighborhood and having to disclose that in a home sale. Google response: Radio waves are unavoidable.
  • Google’s position is not to encourage everyone to go and buy accessories for the wifi yet.
  • How sturdy in bad weather? Had Tropos radios in New Orleans at the time of Katrina and if the post on which it was mounted was still standing then the radios were still attached.

At 8:10pm Second Guest Speakers: Podell Ventures spoke about development plans. Those present were Julie Hawkins, Associate Planner City of MV, Jonathan Ennis, AIA, Nick Podell, Podell Company.

  • Podell plans to break ground early summer
  • 22 unit, 2-3 story condominiums with 2.31 parking spaces per unit
  • He expects to sell units for $750,000-$850,000 each
  • 2 BR, 1,450 Square Foot units
  • No fireplaces, but will have gas fireplace like units. The chimneys shown in plans are for decoration.
  • Most trees in city lot are staying
  • Wants to put London Plains Sycamores (resistant to fungus common in MV)
  • Courtyard housing which will be accessible from inside a gated entrance: 40x120 foot viewing space in middle of complex
  • Back of the building has a 20 foot set-back.
  • Citizen concern for gradual rather than imposing structure from sidewalk. Podell says yes layers of landscape before structure begins.
  • Concern for pitch of driveway which will be as steep as the law allows, but will level a car almost completely before exiting garage (2% grade by exit point)
  • Concern for balconies and what will be allowed stored on and hung from railings. Podell says there will be restrictions.
  • Intricate tile work throughout the property and beautiful architecture were the points of pride for Podell as he gave his presentation to MV members present.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm.

Meridith Segall

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Last updated: 4/22/06