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OMVNA Newsletter

March, 2000
Volume 12, Number 2

Emergency Preparednesss Meeting on March 18

Second Mercy-Bush Park Meeting Scheduled for Thursday, March 9

Upcoming Events of Special Interest to OMVN Residents

The Downtown Beat

History Corner: Dana Street School


MVCT Seeking Board Members

Help With the Newsletter

In Memoriam

Emergency Preparedness Meeting March 18
By Tim Johnson

Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 18, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. for one of the most important neighborhood events of the year, our neighborhood emergency preparedness meeting.

The fact is that within your lifetime, possibly in the near future, you and your loved ones may experience a severe earthquake - a force with the potential to cause serious injury and damage or destroy homes. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) predicts very strong to violent shaking within our neighborhood from a 7.9 magnitude earthquake, which is equivalent to the one that hit San Francisco in 1906. Given our proximity to the San Andreas fault and the instability of the geologic material beneath our homes, it could hit our neighborhood especially hard.

When the Big One does occur, the fire and police departments will be spread too thin to provide much assistance to our neighborhood. The most critical time will be the first 72 hours following the initial earthquake. During this period of time, the American Red Cross recommends that neighborhoods be prepared to support themselves. To this end, members of our neighborhood have recently formed a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to help provide this support. However, in order to be truly effective in reducing injuries and property damage and even save lives, your involvement is critical. We need at least two people from every block in our neighborhood to take an active role in this process.

At the March 18 meeting, you will learn how you can protect your loved ones, your valuable property and yourself from the effects of the next BIG ONE. Please don't miss this important neighborhood event. Make sure to attend and to invite your neighbors.

Where: Landels School, on Dana Street near Calderon (Multi-Use Room).
When: Saturday, March 18, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Who: Speakers include Chief J. R. Stafford, Mountain View Office of Emergency Services.
What: Workshop on household and neighborhood emergency preparedness.
Why: This may be your last chance to get ready for the BIG ONE.

Second Mercy-Bush Park Meeting Scheduled for Thursday, March 9

The City will hold a public meeting on the Mercy-Bush Street Park project at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, March 9. The location for the meeting is the Plaza Conference Room on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

The City's Park Planning team wants to meet with the residents and obtain feedback regarding two concept plans for the park. The elements of the plans include: play areas, walkway locations, park entrance locations, plaza areas, landscaping and other amenities.

Your comments are an important part of the planning process. Neighborhood input will be used to help develop the best possible park plan within the available budget. Later in the Spring the plans will be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Commission and then the City Council.

For more information, call Project Manager Rey Rodriguez at 903-6527, e-mail him at or mail your comments to: Mercy-Bush Park, Dept. of Public Works, PO Box 7540, Mountain View, CA 94039.

Upcoming Events of Special Interest to OMVN Residents

* Monday, March 13, 7:30 p.m., at Trinity Methodist Church - Our regular monthly meeting of the OMVNA will feature this agenda item: A presentation and Q&A on the 400 Castro development proposal (retail/office complex at the southwest corner of California and Castro). The developer, who is well aware of neighborhood concerns connected with this project, has specifically requested a meeting with people who live in the OMVN, and we hope many of you will take advantage of this opportunity for informal communication.

* Friday, April 4, 5:00 p.m. - The Mountain View Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the Annual Celebration of Leaders. Recent past OMVN recipients include Sally Lieber and Ann Lewis. For more information, please call Lynnette Hurnbald at 650/986-8378 or e-mail her at

The Downtown Beat
By Julie Lovins (964-0368,

As I write this, the February 29 City Council meeting, which promises to have something for everyone, is still to come. With luck, the improvements found in the Downtown Precise Plan revisions discussed at that meeting soon will be the law of the land.

In mid-January, some of us in the neighborhood attended a Zoning Administrator's hearing to find out more about why four heritage trees (three redwoods, one cedar) near the southwest corner of California and Castro were being targeted for removal. The upshot was that one of the redwoods was left standing. It will be incorporated into the design of the parking lot that will soon grace that corner. (This new parking lot, which will both compensate for the long-standing parking deficit at 444 Castro and help with an even greater deficit that is in the works because of a needed seismic retrofit, is expected to be replaced, eventually, by the retail/office complex that TishmanSpeyer is proposing to build there. More on that below.) The other three trees, the larger two of which were in bad health, are now gone. I thought the most interesting question was why these magnificent trees were in such a sad state. It appears that the current parking lot may have been built much too close to them. We all need to keep an eye on the impressive collection of very tall trees, or potentially very tall trees, that are still standing along Castro (and elsewhere in the city), which must be protected from further damage by new buildings and pavement.

We also need to come up with every possible way to help get rid of the concept of "parking deficit" by making it as easy, convenient, and attractive as possible for people not to bring their cars into the downtown area. There are a lot of ideas being batted around, including on the Parking Subcommittee that I serve on. Please join in the discussion!

Please also try to come to the OMVNA Steering Committee meeting at 7:30 p.m. on March 13, and take advantage of an unprecedented opportunity for the neighborhood to have an informal discussion with a downtown developer, as he works on the design of 400 Castro. This building will be a major change in the downtown landscape, in accord with the new Precise Plan guidelines. The developer recognizes the importance of talking with his neighbors; please show that you recognize the importance of talking with him.

History Corner: Dana Street School
by Lisa Windes

Dana Street School, the precursor of Edith Landels School, was located on the site of our fire station on Dana Street between Oak Street and Shoreline Boulevard. In 1913, school trustees eased overcrowding at the grammar school at El Camino and Calderon by opening a branch classroom in a house at the southwest corner of Castro and California Streets. Miss Victorine Klein, the first grade teacher, was joined in 1916 by Miss Edith Landels, who taught kindergarten classes in a store front at 275 Castro Street for a "pretty good" salary of $600 a year.

In August of 1916, a bond measure passed that allocated $9,000 for the construction and equipping of Dana Street School, the second elementary school in Mountain View. On May 1, 1917, the Parent-Teachers Association held a special reception and housewarming for the new school with songs, recitations and May pole dancing by the children. The single story stucco school opened in June of 1917, its five rooms for kindergarten, first and second grades, office and teacher's room considered the most modern of school plants. The school was enlarged in 1921 to include third grade.

Both Miss Klein and Miss Landels transferred to Dana Street School when it opened. Miss Klein retired in 1934. One week before her death in 1958, the school district voted to name the new school being constructed at the corner of Ortega and California Streets after her. Although the Victorine Klein School was torn down in 1987, the park that occupies part of the site bears her name. Miss Landels taught kindergarten in classroom number 2 at the Dana Street School all the years that it existed.

In 1955, Dana Street School was condemned because of structural faults. The school continued to be used until 1959, however; there was no place else for the students to go. In 1957, the school trustees decided to name a modern, sleek 18-room replacement school after Miss Landels. Landels Elementary School was completed in 1959 at a cost of $687,000. Miss Landels taught her final kindergarten class at the new Landels School and then retired after 43 years of teaching in Mountain View.


OmvnaTALK is a neighborhood e-mail list about issues of interest to Old Mountain View residents. For more information, see

MVCT Seeking Board Members

Mountain View Community Television's (MVCT) Board of Directors, the nonprofit board which oversees KMVT Channel 6, is looking for a few good board members to join the exciting world of access television in this time of change and technological advances.

Meetings are held on the third Tuesday evening of the month, as well as occasional sub-committee meetings, which are scheduled as needed. Qualifications for Board membership include interest in the Mountain View community, and experience and/or interest in any of the following: fundraising, community outreach, marketing, finance, and/or law.

For additional information and an application, please contact Gay Katilius at or 650/210-8242. For more information on Mountain View Community Television, please visit the website at

Help With The Newsletter

Getting this newsletter written, printed and delivered 8 times a year is a big job, one that takes many volunteers to accomplish. We currently are looking for individuals to help write articles of interest to the OMVN community, as well as a few people who can fill in as delivery substitutes a couple of times a year. For more information, please call Anita Louis Grossman at 650/969-4031.

In Memoriam

We are very sad to report the recent passing of Maura (Maloney) Holtz as a result of the cancer she had been battling since 1987. Maura and her husband, Hal, were treasured residents of our neighborhood prior to their move to the Grass Valley area several years ago. Hal has asked that any memorials be made in the form of donations to the American Cancer Society, 1/800/227-2345, in memory of Maura Elizabeth Holtz, and for the purpose of lung cancer research.

The Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association Newsletter
is published by a volunteer editorial committee & distributed to some 2000 homes and businesses by volunteers.

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

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Last updated: 3/4/00