OMVNA Newsletter, June 2003

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OMVNA Newsletter

June 2003
Volume 15, Number 4

From the Chair: Amendments to OMVNA By-laws

A New Secretary for OMVNA

OMVNA Summer General Meeting

New Business Downtown

How to Knock on 84 Doors All at the Same Time

LimeLight Update

Opinion: Homes for the Future Don’t Have to be “Futuristic”

California Home Performance Program


From the Chair: Amendments to OMVNA By-laws
By Ronit Bryant

OMVNA is preparing to apply for non-profit status as a 501(c)4. Such an organization is a non-profit, but donations to it are not tax-deductible. At this time, the Steering Committee is proposing to make some changes to the OMVNA by-laws:

  • An addition to Article IV. Steering Committee: “Members of the Steering Committee shall serve without compensation.”
  • A change to Article VII. Election of Officers: “All individuals shall be elected for a term of twelve months, from January 1 to December 31” (rather than from November 1 to October 31).
  • An addition to Article VIII. Financial Affairs: “The fiscal year of OMVNA shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day of December in each year.”

OMVNA by-laws can be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a general or special meeting, provided that the proposed amendments:

  • Were submitted in writing and proposed and seconded at a previous general membership meeting – this will be done at the upcoming OMVNA General Meeting on July 19.
  • Are distributed to all members in writing not less than seven and not more than 50 days prior to the date of the meeting – the proposed amendments are being publicized in the current newsletter and will be published again before our fall general meeting when the membership will vote on them. (See Article X. of Amendment By-laws.)

You can find the by-laws online.

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A New Secretary for OMVNA
By Ronit Bryant

I am happy to announce that Claire Silver has agreed to take on the position of OMVNA Secretary (Tom Macagno, who was elected to that position in fall, has left the area). Claire is a fifth-generation Californian who moved to Mountain View with her family in 1989 after the earthquake in Santa Cruz damaged their home. Claire says her family liked the downtown neighborhood because it reminded them of the close-knit community they had left behind in Santa Cruz.

Career-wise Claire has done many things, including being a pastry baker, a graphic designer, and a manager for Apple Computer. Claire even worked for musician Carlos Santana and his wife Debbie as a personal assistant for several years in the early 80s. Today, Claire is blissfully happy in her current position as a stay-at-home mom, quilter, and gardener.

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OMVNA Summer General Meeting
Saturday, July 19, 2003

Appreciating Your Early 20th Century Neighborhood

11:30 am: Meet at Mercy-Bush Park for a walking tour of our neighborhood, led by Jane Powell, former Old Mountain View resident and well-known author of a series of books on bungalows. (Jane’s books will be available at the meeting.)

1 pm: Back to Mercy-Bush Park. Light lunch provided by OMVNA; introduction of OMVNA’s new "old house" web pages, designed to help restore heritage homes and landscaping; brief business meeting.

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New Business Downtown
By David Andrzejek

You will be seeing some new restaurants and shops in the downtown over the coming weeks and months. Here’s a list of some of the imminent changes:

First, you may have already noticed that Pasta? has moved into the old Amarin Thai restaurant in the Mountain View Hotel, and Amarin Thai has moved to the former site of the Bar and Grill at 194 Castro Street.

Blimpy's Sandwich Shop is moving into the old bookstore at 341A Castro.

The Eagles Club at 181 Castro is working on the interior after a fire destroyed it. The exterior will be remodeled with a historical storefront, with the façade similar in design to the building at 191 Castro (which houses Kapps).

Fenwick and West have moved into the offices at 400 Castro. They are using the address 801 California Street.

A home furnishing store, Napoleon at Home, has moved into the first floor of 400 Castro. Next to it will be Scott's Seafood and another restaurant called CASCAL specializing in Latin/Spanish ‘tapas’ cuisine. The former operator who opened Birk’s in Santa Clara developed the concept for CASCAL.

Across the street, Miyaki's Sushi Restaurant is moving into the ground floor of 401 Castro. Most of the second and third floors of 401 Castro have been leased for administrative offices for a medical health care group.

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How to Knock on 84 Doors All at the Same Time
By Ronit Bryant

You’re looking for an architect who knows about bungalows, or someone to refinish your floors, or maybe a caterer for a major family event. You ask your friends. No help. You open the Yellow Pages. Too many names, and you really want recommendations. You knock on your next-door neighbor’s house (who, in our neighborhood, is probably a friend anyway). No help. So how many doors can you knock on? Some of us can knock on 84 doors all at once. What’s the trick? Join OMVNATalk, our neighborhood email list , which currently has 84 subscribers.

OMVNATalk is a moderated list, which means you will find only neighborhood-related information on it: garage sales, City issues which directly affect our neighborhood, announcements about neighborhood-centered events; no personal attacks, no lengthy discussions of national or state issues. The webmaster will not divulge your name and e-mail address to anyone.

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LimeLight Update
By Ronit Bryant

At its May 27 meeting, City Council accepted the Zoning Administrator’s conditions for operation of the LimeLight as a restaurant and dance club. In brief, the restaurant will be open every day till 11 pm; the dance club will be open three nights a week till 1 am for persons 21 and older. OMVNA supported this position and asked for full police enforcement. In addition, Council decided that events for 14-17 year-olds could take place on Sundays that are followed by a no-school Monday. The owners have maintained that they need the 18-21 year-old clientele to run a successful business. We’ll see what happens next.

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Opinion: Homes for the Future Don’t Have to be “Futuristic”
By Julie Brown, Fairmont Street resident

When Tuesday morning rolls around in our Old Mountain View neighborhood, all the recycling bins indicate that we’re extremely conscientious about our environment. We make an effort every day not to throw away recyclable materials. Then, every other week, we take the bins with contents ready to be re-purposed, out to the sidewalk.

Twenty years ago, families that were concerned with pollution and landfill waste had to take steps to collect and organize all their materials and drive them to a municipal recycle center. Now the City comes to us!

The same thought process could be applied to the physical structure and contents of your home, not just to the milk cartons and newspapers that pass through it.

Construction waste makes up 30% of all U.S. landfill debris. Much of that waste can be re-used, sold or recycled in some way. Deforestation, off gassing from synthetic finishing materials and Sick-Building Syndrome are all problems you’ve probably heard or read about.

The solution is not to be overwhelmed by statistics, reports and media. Instead, begin at home, one step at a time.

With interest rates still low, you might be considering remodeling, building or even redecorating your home. Consider making just one substitution from a traditional building material or finish to an environmentally friendly one.

Hardwood flooring that comes from oak and maple trees is a good example. There are many substitutions that are equal in beauty, longevity and price. Sustainable materials like bamboo, palm and jarra (Brazilian cherry wood) are already making their way into retail shops, offices and homes worldwide. There are also companies that sell reclaimed wood flooring. While more expensive, the end product is identical to new and a great way to re-use lumbered wood.

Green substitutions for traditional materials are available now for insulation, lighting, upholstery, carpet, electricity and irrigation are available now. The point is to start somewhere and not feel like you have to create the “eco-home of the future”.

Just one choice, one substitution, will help relieve our environment.

You may not be comfortable with using alternative materials for construction. Instead of dumping, ask your contractor to provide you with recycle and salvage-yard receipts for a percentage of the job’s waste. Eliminating landfill space is key, no matter how it’s happens.

The City isn’t going to come pick up the cement flooring you tore out just yet. But deciding where that waste goes, and what will replace it, is a step in the right direction.

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California Home Performance Program
By Kevin Bayley, California Public Utilities Commission

You’ve put a lot of time, money and even love into the home you own. But taking care of your home involves more than just a new paint job. Here in the Old Mountain View area, many of our homes were built before energy efficiency standards were created. That means the roofs, windows and unseen seams in our homes may leak energy, resulting in higher gas and electric bills. And our older homes are also more likely to harbor harmful build-up of carbon monoxide which can be life-threatening.

New high-tech equipment and a modern diagnostic approach can help homeowners identify and fix these problems. The new California Home Performance Program allows trained diagnosticians to explore every nook and cranny in your home. By conducting an audit of your home, the diagnostician can provide you with a detailed report pinpointing the exact causes of the problems in your home, how to fix them, and make the needed retrofit. To schedule an audit, call 1-888-352-2722. The program will show you how to achieve direct utility bill savings, long-term home value protection and the peace of mind knowing that you and your family live in healthy, comfortable, energy efficient home.

The California Home Performance Program is the only approved Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program in California.

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The OMVNA 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: 6/12/03