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Old Mountain View Neighborhood: A Hub of Sustainable Design

by Forest Linebarger

From my office window on Castro Street, I look out on beautiful Old Mountain View. In the past, I rarely had the opportunity to work in my backyard, instead our sustainable projects were found in the surrounding hillside cities. In the last five years, this has completely turned around. The most innovative and sustainable houses I design are right here in Old Mountain View. Part of the reason is surely that costs of green building now rival traditional construction. Another reason is surely Old Mountain View’s desirable location right near downtown attracts an innovative, socially conscious resident. That makes me very proud.

Many projects we do here are focused on restoring bungalows to their original splendor on the outside while updating interiors and quietly adding water and energy saving features. Other projects are new homes and renovations, many modeled on our historic gems in the Arts and Crafts, Mission and Modern architectural styles. An Arts and Crafts home we designed on Eldora Drive won an award for its innovative water use from the County of Santa Clara. An underground cistern collects the rainwater from its roof in winter, using it in summer to meet all its irrigation needs. This project received the highest GreenPoint rating of any house in Mountain View, attained though a careful whole house approach to sustainability.

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A New Way to Save Energy in Mountain View

by Elizabeth Sarmiento

Mountain View has city-wide Wi-Fi, OMVNA summer parties, Summer Night Movies, and Thursday Night Live, but that’s not all–starting this summer, a new home energy savings program is available to all Mountain View residents, and it’s free! Energy Upgrade Mountain View (EUMV) is a City-sponsored initiative offering free home energy [...]

Mountain View Reads Together: Eaarth by Bill McKibben

by Bruce Karney

For 6 years the Mountain View Library has organized a November “MV Reads Together” program–many individuals reading the same book at the same time and participating in related public events building on the book’s themes–a wonderful idea from OMV resident Sharlene Gee.

This year’s book is Eaarth by Bill McKibben. Why [...]

“Reinventing our Cities” Looks to the Future

by Julie Lovins

Spontaneous friendships at a bike-sharing station, unsubsidized fast bus transit (in addition to convenient car/bike/pedestrian travel), creative ways to recycle and to provide affordable housing, a thriving commercial street jammed with pedestrians (cars on other streets), how-tos for bike/pedestrian safety–these are some of the images from around the world that [...]

Grass-Fed Lamb

by Barbara Ruzgerian

Recently our neighbors had us over for the most divine leg of lamb that I have had in my life. (And believe me, being of Armenian ancestry on both parents sides, I know the taste of a succulent piece of lamb!) I wanted our neighbors to try some before [...]

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

by Anthony Chang

I love our Farmers’ Market.  Local, organic produce is abundant.  For me, there is a real sense of community — I know vendors by name and I run into neighbors at the market every Sunday.  We are very lucky to have such a breadth of vendors — I can do almost [...]

Throwing Hot Water on the Prometheus Development

by Eugene Cordero

As I watched the Internet recording of the Environmental Planning Commission meeting of Feb 10th, one of the statements Mr. John Moss (of the Prometheus Real Estate Group) made about their ‘green practices’ made me pause.  Mr. Moss stated that the biggest sustainability-related feature associated with the development is the proximity [...]

Critter Column: Big Bird

by Jack Perkins

The Great Blue Heron (or in birdwatcher fieldspeak, GBH), frequents our neighborhood.  This bird stands perfectly still and is nearly five feet tall with a wingspan of six feet.

To their prey Great Blue Herons are the embodiment of stealth.  They stand motionless until wham! Their long, slender pointy beaks grab [...]

Solar Buyers Group is Back

Last year Bruce Karney organized a city-wide Solar Buyers Group that led to 119 families deciding to invest in rooftop solar photovoltaic systems. This level of activity made Mountain View the #3 city statewide for adopting residential solar in 2007, behind only San Jose and San Diego.

This year former Mayor Mike Kasperzak is [...]

Critter Column: Two Bees

by Jack Perkins

In early spring the predominant bee in my garden is the bumble bee queen, newly emerged from her winter sleep. Mostly black with a fuzzy abdomen and two yellow circles, she is pretty to watch.  Starting a new nest (a hole in the ground or under a flat board or stone) [...]