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OMVNA Newsletter

October 2003
Volume 15, Number 7

From the Chair: 2003 in Review

Steering Committee Nominees

Update on Mountain View School Funding

OMVNA Fall General Meeting

Mercy-Bush Park Wins City Award

MVEF Presents Monte Carlo Night

The Downtown Beat


From the Chair: 2003 in Review
By Ronit Bryant

It’s that time of year again: an old OMVNA Board is leaving and a new one will be elected at our upcoming general meeting. As I look back at this year, the state of our association seems good. We are recognized, both in Mountain View and in the wider community, as a committed and established neighborhood association. New neighbors are becoming involved in our association. Veteran members continue to contribute. Our financial situation is satisfactory.

Here are some noteworthy achievements during 2002-2003:

  • The number of CERT local coordinators has grown from 14 in January to 22 today.
  • We are set to file articles of incorporation with the California Secretary of State — the first step towards achieving 501(c)4 non-profit status.
  • Membership in OMVNAtalk, our email list, has grown from 72 members at the end of 2002 to the current 98.
  • The OMVNA website now includes a Heritage Homes page with resources for maintaining, restoring, and caring for older houses.
  • New writers are contributing to the OMVNA Newsletter. At many Steering Committee meetings we have had neighbors drop in to discuss issues, get information, or become acquainted.
  • We held two very successful general meetings, one with the City Manager and one with author Jane Powell leading a walking tour of early 20th Century cottages.
  • We have represented the neighborhood in City forums and advocated for individual neighbors dealing with the City and with downtown businesses.

A successful association like ours is successful only because so many contribute their time and energy to it. I want to thank the 2002-2003 Steering Committee, our dedicated newsletter delivery persons, and committed neighbors like Julie Lovins (who coordinates the newsletter delivery system), Bruce Karney (who chaired the Nominating Committee), and Maarten Korringa (who served as our webmaster for so long). The continued well-being and relevance of OMVNA is the direct result of your dedication and involvement.

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Steering Committee Nominees
By Bruce Karney

The OMVNA Nominating Committee will put forth the following slate of names for election at our October General Meeting:

  • Chair: Ronit Bryant
  • Vice-chair: Monica Smith
  • Treasurer: Aaron Grossman
  • Secretary: Claire Silver
  • Newsletter Editor: Velva Rowell
  • Community Liaison: David Andrzejek
  • At Large: Ken Rosenberg
  • At Large: Erin Sanders

Five of the nominees currently serve on the Steering Committee. The three new faces are Monica Smith, Ken Rosenberg, and Erin Sanders.

Monica and her husband are long-time residents of Church Street near Anza. Ken and his wife recently returned to the neighborhood and live on Mercy Street near Anza in the house formerly owned by Ed Flowers and Gloria Hernandez Alvarado. Erin and her husband have lived in Mountain View for three years and purchased their home in the 500 block of Oak Street last autumn.

OMVNA would like to thank — profusely — the three departing members of our Steering Committee: Vice-chair Alison Hicks and At-Large members Larry Rosenberg and Julie Wrobel. They have all given unstintingly of their time and energy to make our neighborhood a wonderful place to live.

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Update on Mountain View School Funding
By Lauren Zuravleff and Julie Lovins

You have probably heard about the affects of the state budget cuts on Mountain View's nine elementary and middle schools. Since the parcel tax proposed in Measure E barely failed, in June, it falls on the community to keep our schools in good shape until we can try again to get a more permanent funding mechanism in place. (A separate coalition is hard at work putting together a winning plan).

We can do this! The math is simple: Everyone who can afford to needs to chip in. There have been some promising donations from businesses and there should be more. Educating 4400 future adult citizens is something we can't put aside. With help from fellow Mountain View citizens should be able to raise the $200 per student that's needed to restore all the essential programs that were cut for this year. The eight cut programs include school libraries, art and music by CSMA, counseling services, science kits, after-school sports, office support, physical education, and custodial maintenance. Synopsis Inc. has generously funded the science kits, leaving eight programs that need funding.

The Mountain View Educational Foundation (see www.mvef.org), a non-profit organization raising funds for important but non-core programs for the schools, has stepped up to the plate and is coordinating a campaign to raise an unprecedented amount of money in a short period of time. MVEF is a neighborhood volunteer organization with no overhead. You may get a tax deduction for your contribution, as well as helping fund the schools. So far, $307,360 has come in as of September 24th, much of it from you. $555,640 more is needed.

Based on the results so far, the school board has reinstated five of the above eight school programs: school libraries, art, music, counseling services, and after-school sports. We have raised enough money to continue these programs through December, but not until June. We have yet to fund the office support, PE program, and custodial services that were cut. The sooner the money comes in, the sooner we can restore and sustain these programs.

If you have not yet contributed to this community effort, please remember that good schools are critical for our students, our community, and our property values. Please send your tax-deductible donation to: MVEF, 750-A San Pierre Way, Mountain View, CA 94043. Thank you for your support!

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OMVNA Fall General Meeting
Sunday, October 19, 2003

12 to 2 pm, Landels School MUR

12:00 pm - 12:40 pm Lunch

OMVNA will provide a light lunch and cold drinks.
Please bring a favorite dessert to share.

12:40 pm - 1:00 pm OMVNA Board Election

We will hold a brief business meeting and elect the OMVNA Board for 2003-2004.

1:00 pm - 1:15 pm Downtown Precise Plan Update

Al Savay of the City’s Community Development Department will give a presentation and answer questions.

1:15 pm - 1:35 pm Storytelling for Kids and Adults Alike

Storyteller Bonnie Malouf will tell stories about Old Mountain View./p>

1:35 pm - 2:00 pm More Socializing

Another chance to meet friends old and new and dig into the desserts.

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Mercy-Bush Park Wins City Award
By Velva Rowell

Recently, we received word that Mercy-Bush Park will receive a Mayor’s Award in the category of Landscape and Site Plan Design. A ceremony honoring all of the award winners will be held on October 29th at 4 p.m. at City Hall. This event is by invitation only, so if you would like to attend please contact Bruce Karney at (650) 964-3567.

As Julie Lovins aptly states in the award application, "Mercy-Bush Park is the Old Mountain View Neighborhood’s geographical and social center. As we envisioned when many of us worked for ten years to create it, it’s where we can meet, talk, play, exercise, and contemplate. During those ten years, the small children got big enough to help in the planning of the park, and the neighborhood acquired a new ‘sandbox set.’ The park is for all generations. It is not often that a community sees its collective vision realized in a special place like this."

Many thanks go to Bruce, who applied for this award on behalf of the neighborhood.

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MVEF Presents Monte Carlo Night
By Lauren Zuravleff

On Saturday, October 25th, from 7 to 11 pm, Mountain View Educational Foundation (MVEF) will host their 4th annual benefit gala, Monte Carlo Night at the Microsoft La Avenida Campus off Shoreline Blvd. There will be something fun for everyone, including the famous "Casino", silent auction items and delicious indulgences. An exciting note, this year will include live musical performances by local celebrities! This promises to be a fun evening you won't want to miss! Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at the door, by going to www.mvef.org or by calling Cindy Hofen at 964-2770.

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The Downtown Beat
By Julie Lovins

The planned second downtown parking structure, at California and Bryant, is again a hot issue.

You will recall that a need for such a structure has been determined in terms of both past and future parking demand downtown, and some days people think we need it NOW.

About 20% of the project has already been paid for by downtown businesses, through "parking in lieu" fees. New development has paid cash for some of the parking required by their businesses rather than building parking, or businesses have paid into the Parking Maintenance District. The fees have not yet produced the parking spaces. Close to 60% will be paid for through Downtown Revitalization District bonds, which have now been issued just shy of a 12/31/03 deadline. The remainder will also come, directly, from the Revitalization District, which receives a small portion of the property taxes assessed on the immediate downtown area. In sum, this project is funded completely by local means.

With the funding pinned down, expert preliminary design work has now revealed that it will not be possible to satisfy all of the guidelines provided by the City Council. On their list: 400-500 parking spaces; 20,000 square feet of retail space on ground level; design and massing compatible with neighboring buildings.

At a Study Session on September 23rd, the Council was presented with four massing options and two differently-sized configurations for the retail component. Strong preferences leaned toward two "middle ground" massing options The first option is a stepback along Bryant St. (partly opposite new townhouses) and possibly also one along California St., that would reduce the number of parking spaces. Putting in the specified retail space would take this number down to about 375 spaces.

The second retail option, with 14,000 square feet gross space rather than 20,000, would allow about 415 parking spaces, but the reduced size would further lessen the chances that a grocery store would be interested in locating there. A pharmacy would still be a viable possibility. (Staff commented that even 20,000 square feet would be unlikely to attract an "upscale gourmet/specialty market", as opposed to a "small independent grocery store". I gather that one implication is that the latter is harder to find.)

However, since recruitment of either of these cannot ever be guaranteed, some Councilmembers became less supportive of the retail-space concept, period. Others still strongly support going all out to get a grocery or drugstore in this building. Some think that Downtown will be able to acquire this amenity in some other building, existing or as yet unplanned. The question as to whether such a store should be located on City property also came up.

The one thing that the Council was able to reach consensus on, at this point, was that they need more information on whether potential retailers are likely to be interested in locating in a building like the one proposed (probably in the smaller space). City staff will be obtaining this information as quickly as possible, leading to a follow-up discussion on design.

Turning to another hot issue that's been on the back burner in recent weeks, please see this space in the August/September newsletter regarding the Downtown Precise Plan revision. Remember to attend the Public Hearing coming up on November 4th, where neighborhood input will be very important.

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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: 10/14/03