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OMVNA Newsletter

April, 2000
Volume 12, Number 3

Mercy-Bush Park Plan Moves Ahead

History Corner: The Doors Lead Singer Jim Morrison Lived in Old Mountain View

Leadership Mountain View Seeks Community-Minded Residents

Tour Our Neighborhood With a Professional Landscape Designer

Pioneer Park's Summer Makeover

New 6 Story Building on Castro St.

The Downtown Beat: Expanding Parking and Renovating the Post Office

Recycling Q&A

Club 228 at The Lime Light

OMVNA Meeting Focused on Quakes

Emergency Preparedness Survey

Mercy-Bush Park Plan Moves Ahead

On April 9 the Parks and Recreation Commission approved Concept Plan A for Mercy-Bush Park. This plan was developed from a drawing by 14 year old neighborhood resident Amy Davis. After the park planning meeting on January 22 Amy gave her sketch to John Roberts, the park architect hired by the City "to help him remember what people said."

John took Amy's sketch and refined it to create Concept Plan A, which was the unanimous choice of neighbors who attended a second meeting last month.
The new park is designed primarily for children ages 5-12. It will include a lawn area about 100' in length and a 60' diameter play facility with a large play structure as well as some smaller free-standing activities.

The construction budget of $400,000 is already funded from recreation in-lieu fees paid by new housing built in the neighborhood in the past few years. The next milestone will be on April 25, when the City Council will, we hope, approve the design and authorize the preparation of bid documents. It is likely that the contract to build the park will be awarded in September. Construction will begin in early Fall, with completion expected by early January.

Rey Rodriguez, the Project Manager, says that the City is soliciting neighborhood input on a name for the park. Rey notes that City policy is to NOT name parks after people. He requests that suggestions be sent via letter or e-mail:

History Corner: The Doors Lead Singer Jim Morrison Lived in Old Mountain View
By Lisa Windes and Bruce Karney

Former Old Mountain View resident Jim Morrison of The Doors
(photos courtesy Patricia Kennealy-Morrison)

Thirty years ago, Jim Morrison was one of the most famous (or notorious) rock and rollers in the world. But fifty years ago, he was just a little boy living in a rented house in our neighborhood. He was just "one of the gang" of boys and girls living here between WWII and the Korean war in what then was a town full of orchards.

Jimmy Morrison at about age 6 and at age 8

Jim's father Steve was a naval officer stationed at Moffett Field during the late 40's and early 50's. Steve and Clara, Jim's parents, moved their young family to Old Mountain View and rented a house at 476 Yosemite Avenue. Jim lived here from approximately age 5 to 7.

During the post-war years, the neighborhood housed many Navy personnel and their families. It seemed as if every house had two or three kids. Longtime Mountain View resident Tom Chambliss lived a couple of doors away from the Morrisons and was a playmate of Jim's.

Tom describes Jim as "a regular kid" who participated in a wide spectrum of neighborhood activities. The big things in the neighborhood then were building tree houses, running lemonade stands, and playing baseball in the vacant lot at Bush and Yosemite (which remains one of the last vacant lots in the neighborhood). Tom says that "Jim was a lemonade stand guy."

Jim attended elementary school at the old Highway School located at the corner of Calderon and El Camino Real, now the site of Two Worlds. The Morrison family moved to Los Altos in the early 50's but after only six months, Steve was transferred out of the area to another naval base. Steve advanced rapidly through the grades in the Navy and in 1967, at age 47, was promoted to Rear Admiral -- the same year his son's group released their first album and the song "Light My Fire" went to the top of the charts.

The Doors retain an almost mythological status among its many admirers even thirty years later. Their unique sound centered around the Jim's dark, surreal poetry and vocals, the baseline organ of classically-trained keyboardist Ray Manzarek, and the improvisational jazz styles of Robbie Krieger on guitar and John Densmore on drums. In concert, Jim gave powerful theatrical performances that drew ever-larger audiences, but also caused considerable controversy over the moral content of the act.

Jim recorded six studio albums and one live album with The Doors before moving to Paris in 1971 to work on his poetry. He died on July 3, 1971 and is buried in the Poet's Corner of the Père Lachaise Cemetery. The Doors entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the 50th anniversary of Jim's birth.

Leadership Mountain View Seeks Community-Minded Residents

Leadership Mountain View (LMV) is a community leadership education program that prepares individuals to lead change in Mountain View. Many neighborhood residents are graduates, including Mayor Rosemary Stasek, Sally Lieber, Jeff Farmer, Bruce and Twana Karney, Ronit Bryant, Anita Grossman and Karen Fox.

LMV is seeking participants for its next class, which runs from October, 2000 to June, 2001. Students spend one Friday each month in class learning about leadership and about Mountain View. Training takes place both in classrooms and on field trips; the instructors are local leaders and experts from the public and private sectors.

Informational meetings for prospective applicants will be held at the Chamber of Commerce on May 9 from 5:30-7:00 PM and May 17 from 7:00-8:30 PM.

The best source for detailed information is the LMV web site: You can also phone program director Twana Karney at 968-8378.

Anita Grossman, who graduated from the program last year, says: "LMV was a great experience. I learned first-hand what it takes to be an effective manager, leader, and team-player. It was humbling to be in a class with so much talent and with people who were so open to learning from each other."

Tour Our Neighborhood With A Professional Landscape Designer

One of the best things about our neighborhood is the charming yards that line our streets, each with its own individual character. Many of us take pleasure in regularly walking through the neighborhood and admiring these subtle treasures.

If you've ever wanted to see these yards and gardens through the eyes of a professional landscape designer, please join our Neighborhood Walk at 9 AM on Saturday, May 6. We'll meet at the corner of Mercy and Bush and then set off for a narrated two-hour walk with plenty of Q&A time.

Pioneer Park's Summer Makeover

Pioneer Park will be undergoing reconstruction from June through October. The Park's irrigation system, drainage, lighting, walkways, turf and planting areas will be improved. New walkways, park accessories, and lampposts will match what has been constructed at the library. No heritage trees will be affected by this project. The construction is scheduled for the summer so that the new turf can be installed during warm weather when it can most effectively establish a healthy root system. The project managers are Gail Seeds and Roger Soohoo of the Mountain View Public Works Dept. (903-6311).

New 6 Story Building on Castro St.

The Sunny Produce building at California and Castro will soon be leveled. This is the first of two phases that will bring a 6-story retail and office building to that corner, which will be physically connected to the Mountain Bay Plaza tower at 444 Castro Street.

In Phase 1, the Sunny Produce site will be used as a surface parking lot for tenants of 444 Castro. In Phase 2, which will begin this summer, a new building will rise on the site.

TishmanSpeyer Properties, the developer, hopes to finalize the building's design shortly. They have already shown conceptual drawings and "massing studies" to the City Council in a study session. Current plans call for ground-floor retail along Castro and the half-block of California nearest Castro. The building will also have four levels of underground parking.

At a presentation to the OMVNA Steering Committee on March 14, Mr. Carl Shannon of TishmanSpeyer said that he expected that many of the retail tenants would be "food-related," with a desire for upscale dining on the level of the new Vivaca restaurant.

The next steps are to present the project formally to the Design Review Committee in May, to the Zoning Administrator in June and to the City Council in July.

If these events occur on schedule, TishmanSpeyer hopes to begin construction in August or September and finish the building in the fourth quarter of 2001.

If you would like more information, please contact Alison Kendall with the City of Mountain View or Carl Shannon at TishmanSpeyer (969-3871).

The Downtown Beat: Expanding Parking & Renovating the Post Office
By Julie Lovins (964-0368,

With the first round of Downtown Precise Plan revisions behind us, the Downtown Committee is gearing up for the next, and working hard on some smaller projects.

One of these, of course, is Parking. The Parking Subcommittee has been discussing both short-term and long-term solutions, and it looks like even some of the low-key short-term proposals might make a noticeable difference, by making a dent in the lunchtime peak demand. (Please send creative ideas this way; we have some, need more!)

For the longer term, we will soon be making another recommendation to the City Council on the site for a second parking structure. It might or might not be the same as the first recommendation (at which point we were asked to reexamine the subject), the northeast corner of California and Bryant, currently a City parking lot.

The downtown business district is continuing to evolve, of course. One of the more interesting changes will be the conversion of the former tire store to a bigger and better Global Beads. Don Giovanni will be expanding into the current Global Beads, next door to this restaurant.

A major landmark, the main post office at Villa and Hope, will soon start its long-promised destruction-and-reconstruction process. The last of the functions that have been centered there has finally found temporary quarters elsewhere. The new building will still be one story, but considerably bigger, with more space for retail operations.

Recycling Q&A

Here are the answers to some frequently asked recycling questions, courtesy of the City of Mtn. View.

  • Q. What kind of plastic are "six pack rings" made of? Are they recyclable?
    A. The plastic is a composite material, made up of multiple polymers. It is Type 7 plastic. Type 7 is not currently recyclable. The best way to discard them is to cut the rings and put them in the garbage. This way when the material goes to the landfill, seagulls and other birds won't choke and die.

  • Q. What's the best way to dispose of batteries?
    A. The garbage is okay for AAA through D batteries, but no more than 2 per household per day. However, NiCad, Lithium, and car batteries are all considered hazardous waste. We do not want that sort of poison leaching into the groundwater, therefore residents should call the Household Hazardous Waste Hotline at 408-299-7300 to schedule an appointment to dispose of them safely.

Club 228 at The Lime Light

Silicon Valley high school students have a new place to party: Club 228 at The Lime Light. The local night spot at 228 Castro had its first teens-only dance last Sunday (April 16). Several more dances will be held this spring, and plans call for dances every Sunday night during the summer. The Lime Light will continue to serve adult customers the rest of the week.

The club owners' top priority is to make "Club 228" a safe, alcohol-free and drug-free environment where teens can have a night out and enjoy themselves.
The club enforces a dress code and the Sunday dances are open only to 9th through 12th graders with school-issued student ID cards. Admission is $10-15, and food and non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. For details, see

OMVNA Meeting Focused on Quakes

More than 20 neighbors attended the General Meeting last month. J. R. and Brigitte Stafford explained how to prepare for "the big one" and offered many tips for coping during the first 72 hours after a disaster. J. R. recommended strapping water heaters to the wall and securing tall, heavy furniture like bookcases with straps as well. He also said that phones may work after a big quake, but it could take 45 seconds to get a dial tone.

Emergency Preparedness Survey

The survey that accompanies this newsletter is designed to do two things: (1) identify the skills and resources that could be called on to help in times of disaster and (2) identify those with special needs.

Thanks to a $1500 grant, OMVNA will soon obtain first aid supplies and equipment. The results of the survey will help us know what to get and how to deploy the resources. If you have any questions or suggestions, please call Tim Johnson at 962-8609.

The Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association Newsletter
is published by a volunteer editorial committee & distributed to some 2400 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: 4/19/00