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OMVNA Newsletter

March, 1998
Volume 10, Number 2

Coming soon: The OMVNA Spaghetti Dinner

Some Top Priorities for OMVNA

Under Construction

A Good Way to Become More Involved

Sustainable Living: Getting & Spending

Open Space Plan

Hi Neighbor!!!

Weasel TV

Neighborhood Design Guidelines

We Deliver! Will You Help?

History Corner: Our Public Library

The Old Mountain View Neighborhood is bordered by El Camino Real, Shoreline Boulevard, Evelyn Avenue, and Highway 85. The Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association consists of residents interested in preserving the quality of life in our neighborhood. Together we can make a difference—join us!


Coming soon: The OMVNA Spaghetti Dinner

Honoring our gallant, indispensable, indefatigable newsletter delivery crew! Thanks to all of you! Date, time, and location will be announced in our next newsletter.

Some Top Priorities for OMVNA

The following are among the top priorities identified by the OMVNA Steering Committee for this year:

  • Increasing awareness of the Neighborhood Preservation and Improvement Plan to ensure that its guidelines are followed in the design and renovation of homes.
  • Continuing to work towards development of the Mercy-Bush Park
  • Welcoming new residents to the neighborhood and encouraging them to be active participants in OMVNA
  • Working with other Mountain View neighborhood associations
  • Developing an electronic list server to distribute timely information throughout the neighborhood

Under Construction

We have a new Internet service provider (meer.net) and are working on our new Web site. We will gradually be adding features and links. Find us at http://www.omvna.org/

A Good Way to Become More Involved

Here's a good way to become more involved in our community: one of the At-large positions on the OMVNA Steering Committee is vacant. We are looking for a good person to fill this position and become more involved both in our community and in our association.

"Serving on the Steering Committee is a great way to get involved in the issues affecting our community," says OMVNA Chair Maarten Korringa. "Our neighborhood is a very special area, with people who really care about making this a great place to live. You get to meet a lot of these people by serving on the Steering Committee."

For more information, please call Maarten Korringa, OMVNA Chair, at 969-7678. And we are always looking for folks to join our newsletter editorial committee. If you'd like to contribute to the writing or have graphics skills to share with us, contact the editors, Anita or Ronit.

Sustainable Living: Getting & Spending
by Sally Lieber

Raspberries from Chile, tomatoes from Mexico, soup from England...Wait a minute! Soup from England? Look in your shopping cart and you may discover that your food's got quite a few more miles on it than you'd like. When I discovered that the "fresh" soup in our refrigerator was travelling over 5000 miles, I called a halt to long-haul groceries.

It's pretty easy to rack up the miles on a peach or a new dress without really thinking about it. Ordering by phone means not having to go to the store, and an added bonus is that for a few dollars more you can have your new stuff tomorrow. But all this rearranging of seasons and super-charged gratification means more machinery between you and where your goodies come from.

Air traffic overhead, quick delivery vans careening through the streets, and mounds of packaging trash are all the result of our "get me the impossible and get it to me yesterday" lifestyle. They're also the things that damage our quality of life and our sense of community. With a little extra planning and patience, it is possible to get what you need and still help to build a sustainable future.

One suggestion from the editors: Check out our very successful Farmer's Market for seasonal fruit and vegetables and fresh breads and baked goods. In the next newsletter, Sally will discuss "Ending Junk Mail as We Know It."

Open Space Plan

The Parks & Recreation Commission recently approved and sent on to Council the City's 1997-1998 Open Space Plan. The Plan lists open space needs and priorities for Mountain View. For years, development of the Mercy-Bush Park was listed in this plan as a low or moderate priority for our neighborhood—but it never made it to the critical list of City-wide priorities. In the current version of the Plan, development of Mercy-Bush Park is listed as a high priority for the neighborhood. And it has made it to Tier Two on the City-wide priority list. The Plan now goes to City Council for further discussion.

Hi Neighbor!!!

In this column, we herald the achievements and celebrations of people in our neighborhood. If you have something you would like to share with your community, please call Anita at 969-4031 or e-mail her at anilou@aol.com.

Weasel TV

If you have seen Weasel TV Improv on Fridays at 8:30 pm on KMTV Channel 6, you already know that we have a self-described "inspired lunatic" in the neighborhood. Wendy Fleet has lived in Mountain View for 24 years, the last 14 in Old Mountain View.

An advocate of "unquenchable enthusiasm," Fleet has taught Adult Education classes in Stained Glass, worked on three Giants' stadium campaigns, written two small books of fables under the rubric The Rhapsodic Life, and, in the fall of 1996, discovered the fascinations of local public access TV.

"Weasel TV Improv is a dream," says Fleet. "We can be as simply silly or profound as we want. The chance to be purely creative is a feeling like seeing the first glory of pink blossoms in the spring. The thrill of public access is that they teach you to get your passion on the screen. I went from knowing zero about TV to having produced and directed 17 shows. You can accumulate volunteer hours to pay for your productions. The staff is unvaryingly patient and supportive."

"Weasel TV is the first galactic network," says Wendy. You can watch Wedding Special interviews and listen to princes turned Frogs and princesses turned Frogettes. You can meet the zookeepers on the planet Nedrag, tending the "Human Habitat." You can learn to count time ABB (After the Big Bang).

Wendy welcomes any questions about public access TV or The Rhapsodic Life at weaseltv@aol.com

Neighborhood Design Guidelines

by Ronit Bryant

Did you know that the Community Development Department of the City of Mountain View has prepared a booklet entitled Design Guidelines for Single Family Homes? The booklet covers Guidelines for Good Design, Floor Area Ratio Bonus, Guidelines for the Downtown Neighborhood, and Guidelines for Small Lots.

The section referring to our neighborhood "is intended to be used by those planning additions or alterations to homes in the Downtown neighborhood." The section presents the following guidelines:

  • Maximize front yard landscaping and minimize pavement.
  • Locate the garage behind the house.
  • Orient the house to the street.
  • Maintain planter strips and street trees.
  • Contribute to the quality of architectural trim and detailing.

Copies of this booklet are available from the Community Development Department. Jim Lynch, the City's Neighborhoods Coordinator, has assured the OMVNA Steering Committee that Department staff will bring these guidelines to the attention of neighbors planning changes or additions to their homes.

We Deliver! Will You Help?

by Julie Lovins

OMVNA still needs a few more good people to help deliver the newsletter. It's good exercise and good company (your neighbors) for about an hour, up to eight times a year. You can be a "regular" route person, or sub on a regular or irregular basis, if you like. The routes are all laid out, with maps provided. You set your hours. This is a great deal! I'm also looking for someone to be a backup for the newsletter distribution coordinator (me) in case of emergency. A full description of this interesting and challenging position is available on request.

Please call me at 964-0368 if you might be interested in helping in either of the above ways, or send e-mail with your phone number to lovins@svpal.org

History Corner: Our Public Library

by Lisa Windes, with the resources of the Pioneer Room

In April 1904, eight Mountain View ladies met to organize a women's club. Their first project was to establish a free public library in town. That summer, the club held weekly ice cream sales and clam chowder suppers. $100 was collected to fund the first library, which opened in April 1905. It consisted of a reading room above a general store on Castro Street and 42 donated books. On June 7, 1905, the Mountain View Women's Club presented the library to the City Council, which declared it the City's library.

The great 1906 earthquake destroyed the general store. Librarians and volunteers sifted through the rubble to recover all the books. From 1906 until 1910, the library occupied a succession of locations: a room in a house on Hope Street, a small house on Castro, and an upstairs room in the Swall Building, also on Castro.

In April 1910, the library moved its 782 books to the new City Hall at the corner of California and Castro. It joined the county library system in 1920, greatly expanding the number of books available to it.

Mountain View residents supported the library in a variety of ways. For some time, the Women's Club donated $100 each year for the purchase of magazines. In 1912, a baseball team gave $19.35 for chairs and tables in the children's room and $5.90 for book purchases.

By 1952, expansion of City Hall offices required moving the library, with its 17,000-volume collection, to a converted store building at 939 Dana Street. In October 1958, the library moved into its own building on Franklin Street.


The Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association Newsletter
is published by a volunteer editorial committee & distributed to some 1900 homes and businesses by volunteers.

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The opinions printed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the OMVNA Steering Committee.