OMVNA Newsletter, April/May 2003

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OMVNA Newsletter

March 2003
Volume 15, Number 3

From the Chair: News at the LimeLight

Leadership Mountain View Seeks Individuals for Class of 2004

OMVNA Summer General Meeting

Second Most Famous?

The Downtown Shopper: Gifts from Downtown

Measure E Proposal Explained

The Downtown Shopper: Mountain View Market


From the Chair: News at the LimeLight
By Ronit Bryant

On April 9, Whitney McNair, Zoning Administrator (ZA) for the City, held a hearing regarding a new application for the LimeLight. The new applicant wants to operate the LimeLight as a nightclub seven nights a week for 18+ crowds, with occasional Sundays for younger teens. Both lunch and dinner would be served. The applicant owns several nightclubs in non-residential areas of Sunnyvale and San Jose; armed guards patrol these.

At the ZA meeting, business owners spoke against the rowdiness and drunk behavior generated by the LimeLight. As Chair of OMVNA, I expressed our support for a vibrant, family-friendly downtown. I expressed our concern about mixing young teens with an older crowd whose behavior seems to require armed guards. Downtown Mountain View is not an appropriate location for a venue that requires armed guards.

The following points summarize the conditions that the ZA generated for this project at the end of the meeting:

  1. The restaurant can be open to all ages for lunch and dinner seven nights a week with the hours not to exceed 11:00 pm. This does not include any entertainment, and there would be no cover charge at the door.
  2. The Council previously authorized a "music club" to be open only Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. This would continue under this proposed permit.
  3. The closing hour for the facility on these nights would be 1:00 am.
  4. The music club would only be open to persons 21 and over.
  5. A noise report is required analyzing the club's noise level during operation.
  6. Identifiable security guards would be required in the parking lot as well as a detailed security plan (note: no armed guards, because the MVPD objects to that).
  7. No "teen nights" would be allowed.
  8. If there were capacity in the club, there would be no stacking of patrons allowed outside (in other words, no long lines outside on Castro).
  9. Live entertainment would be restricted to the three nights a week, and a live entertainment permit would be required from the Police Department.

Other conditions that were mentioned at the ZA meeting include requiring ongoing and continued contact between the club owner and neighborhood and staff, sound mitigation (special speakers, insulation of back doors), no in and out privileges, and access from Castro only.

This issue is currently scheduled to come before City Council on Tuesday, May 27. As Chair of OMVNA, I propose to express our concern about the compatibility between a business that requires armed guards and a family-friendly downtown like ours. I encourage all of you who share the same concern to come to the meeting and express that concern. For further updates about the Council meeting, visit the Coming Events page on the omvna.org website.

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Leadership Mountain View Seeks Individuals for Class of 2004
By Twana Karney

Leadership Mountain View, a nine-month training program for emerging community leaders, seeks applicants for its class of 2004. The program, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce Mountain View, consists of daylong sessions on the second Friday of each month, starting in October 2003 and running through June 2004.

Class members explore leadership and community issues through discussions, expert speakers, workshops and field trips. Topics will include how city government works and issues facing the regional economic, environmental, human services and educational systems.

People wishing to participate are invited to attend information meetings at the Mountain View Library Community Room, 585 Franklin Street, from 5:30 to 7 pm Wednesday, May 7 or from 7 to 8:30 pm on Tuesday, May 20.

June 20, 2003 is the application deadline. The cost is $1,500, and some scholarships are available. The class is limited to 30 participants, and Leadership Mountain View is committed to seeking participants to reflect the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of Mountain View residents.

To make a reservation to attend the information meeting or to obtain an application, contact Twana Karney, Program Director, at (650) 968-8378 or email Twana Karney. For more information or to apply online, go to www.chambermv.org/leadership.

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OMVNA Summer General Meeting
Saturday, July 19, 2003

Mark the date!

Featuring a walking tour of Old Mountain View conducted by Jane Powell former OMV resident and author of Bungalow Kitchens and Bungalow Bathrooms. (See "Second Most Famous?" article in this newsletter for further information.)

Further details on time and starting location to come.

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Second Most Famous?
By Alison Hicks

Who is the second most famous person ever to have lived in Mountain View? My guess would be Jane Powell, author of some of the best books published on Bungalow architecture. Jane lived on Hope Street in Old Mountain View and attended the old Mountain View High School.

Today she is the author of a series of books on Bungalows like those in Old Mountain View. You can buy her books in most good book outlets. I’ve seen them at Books Inc. Or you can support her directly by buying them through her website.

Jane will give a walking tour of Old Mountain View at our July 19 General Meeting. Her topic will be “Appreciating Your Early 20th Century Neighborhood” and will include things to notice about Old Mountain View homes, landscaping, development patterns and anything she might know from living here several decades ago. Hopefully those taking the tour will be able to "read" the neighborhood better when out for a walk, pick up a tip or two about early 20th Century landscaping and learn about Bungalow exteriors in our neighborhood. OMVNA’s new “old house” web pages will also be unveiled at July’s General Meeting. Look for more information on the upcoming General Meeting in the June issue of the newsletter and on the OMVNA website.

And who is the most famous person ever to have lived in Old Mountain View? My guess is the Doors lead singer, Jim Morrison.

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The Downtown Shopper: Gifts from Downtown
By Julie Lovins

There comes a time when each of us wants to buy a gift for someone special, or even for oneself. Whether you seek funny, practical, or sophisticated, it's within walking distance in our neighborhood.

My personal first stop is always the Lobby Shop, operated by Friends of Mountain View Library. The name tells you where it is and where all proceeds go. You can call 526-7049 to confirm they're open, which they are a good part of five days a week. Once there, if you somehow get past the enchanting Folkmanis puppets, which charm all ages, check out the like-new books selling for a song, and unusual games, toys, jewelry, cards, etc. They also stock publications of the Mountain View Historical Association.

Back on Castro Street, you can enjoy more browsing and meet friendly, knowledgeable shopkeepers eager to help you. Each store is unique.

Here's a sampling:

Cosmos and Candles, 278 Castro, of course has an unbelievable selection of candles and candleholders. Be sure to visit the gargoyle candles. There are also wind chimes, mobiles, crystal dangling dragonflies, tiny pewter dragons and other magical Rawcliffe collectibles, statuary, Tiffany lamps, treasure chests, and artistic greeting cards.

Global Beads, 345 Castro, is well-known for much besides what must be the area's best collection of beads: most notably an international array of decorative objects, clothing and accessories.

East West Bookshop, 324 Castro, also takes you off to other lands and mindscapes, with their exotic decorative objects, clothing, and aids to peaceful meditation. I particularly like their beautiful and thought-provoking greeting cards.

You can go further eastward at Crystal House, the tiny, artfully arranged boutique at 180 Castro, offering a seemingly unlimited selection of Chinese treasures for everyone.

If your taste runs to fine chocolates, head for Floratique (subtitled "flowers and chocolates"), at 745 Evelyn, around the corner from Double Rainbow. Besides being a chocolate shop and full-service florist, they specialize in creating custom-themed gift baskets. Into or out of a basket, they have balloons, stuffed animals, cards, Barbie dolls, and, you guessed it, a gargoyle! This one is the "outdoor" type. Floratique is only the newest of three florists downtown: Robert Moore Flowers, 279 Castro, and Fleur de Lis, at 811, are also great places to visit. Robert Moore Flowers has a rainbow coalition of teddy bears. I particularly like the special-occasion little glass balloons, floating your thoughts permanently above a potted plant or other medium.

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Measure E Proposal Explained
By Eric Windes

The children living in the Old Mountain View (OMV) Neighborhood typically attend one of the schools of the Mountain View-Whisman School District. This is a modern California district in which the 4,400 students may speak one of 27 languages and 34% of the kids come from economically disadvantaged homes. The Old Neighborhood students are within walking distance of Landels Elementary School and Graham Middle School.

On June 3rd, Measure E or the Parcel Tax appears on the ballot to raise money for the Mountain View-Whisman School District. If passed, the Parcel Tax will generate $2.3M annually to offset funding no longer available from the cash strapped State of California. The tax is 5 cents per square foot of property improvements. For example the average home in Mountain View is 1,400 square feet and will be taxed $70 per year. The tax lasts 5 years and senior citizens can apply for an exemption from paying the tax.

If the Parcel Tax fails to pass, the district must eliminate many teachers and core programs to remain within budget. Programs that would be eliminated include music and art provided by the Community School of Music and Art, elementary school physical education, Community Health Awareness Council counseling, literacy coaches, teachers' aides, computer labs and library secretaries. The middle schools will also lose after school sports, jazz band and chorus. In total, 40 teachers and 20 classified staff face the risk of losing their jobs. The passage of Measure E will save these teaching positions and core programs.

Residents of OMV are invited to learn about the status of the school district's finances followed by a question and answer session. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20th, 7 p.m. at Landels Elementary School. This discussion coincides with a year-ending PTA meeting, so please feel free to bring the kids.

Eric Windes is a member of the school district's Budget Task Force and President of the Mountain View Educational Foundation.

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The Downtown Shopper: Mountain View Market
By Tom Macagno

My family and I love to go to the Mountain View Market on 340 Castro Street. They offer a good selection of produce and Asian foods at very reasonable prices. The staff and owners are friendly. By talking to the owner we have also been able to have them carry items that we regularly buy.

When we shop in the Mountain View market the staff and owners will usually greet us as friends. Frequently my son is given a treat to take home. It is this type of atmosphere which helps to make one feel part of a community. I am reminded of images of the corner store from time’s past. Sure, not every single employee goes out of his or her way to smile and say hello. However, the ones that do it, do it genuinely and not because it is a rehearsed corporate policy. In my book that means something.

One time we were looking for zucchinis. At that time the market did not carry this vegetable. We saw the owner and approached him. At this point in time we already had a very friendly relationship with him. So we asked him something to the effect “if he planned to carry zucchinis”. He said “no”. We were a bit surprised at his abrupt response. Then a few days later (and ever since) we saw zucchinis. We realized that since English is not his first language we needed to communicate and listen with greater care. Since then we have had few misunderstandings. If the market does not carry something that you regularly buy, I suggest talk with the owner. If enough people do this, the Mountain View market will better understand its customers.

The degree to which you will enjoy the Mountain View market depends upon your shopping habits. If you like fresh produce, fish and meats, and Asian specialties then it is the place for you. For example, we love to get the frozen Chinese dumplings and real Taiwanese condiments. Similarly, we prefer to get our vegetables at the Mountain View market. However, if you are only looking for a lot of pre-made western foods, then this is probably not the market for you. Just to be certain you should talk to the owner.

It is places like the Mountain View market that make the Bay Area so unique and special. We love the blend of cultures and the fact we can just walk across the street to experience it.

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Last updated: 5/08/03