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OMVNA Newsletter

June 2005
Volume 17, Number 5

 

OMVNA Calendar

OMVNA General Meeting

Downtown Beat: Let's Get the Grocery Store!

From the City: Resolve Conflicts Through Free Mediation

OMVNA Nominating Committee Seeks Volunteers

Family Focus: Coming Soon — the Avenidas Rose Kleiner Senior Day Health Center

From the Chair: An Abundance of Opportunities


OMVNA Calendar

  • Join Us August 8: Monthly meetings are the second Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Chamber of Commerce Board Room, 580 Castro St., and are open to neighborhood residents.
  • August 14: OMVNA General Meeting
  • August 14: OMVNA Steering Committee Nominations Due

OMVNA General Meeting

Sunday, August 14 from 1-3 p.m.
Pioneer Park
"Family Fun Day" and ice cream social

You bring the (store bought) toppings to share, we’ll bring the ice cream.

The event will begin with a short business meeting featuring Julie Lovins of the Downtown Grocery Coalition.

Downtown Beat: Let's Get the Grocery Store!
By Julie Lovins

For at least the last few decades, it has been the official City vision, as well as on the most wanted list of a lot of Mountain View residents and employees, to get a small but well-stocked community grocery store downtown. A grocery store that OMVN residents and downtown workers can walk to, and that other City residents — and non-residents! — will also want to visit. A grocery store that will complement the ethnic markets that we are fortunate to have in or near downtown. Many residents would like not to have to drive, or be driven, some distance for a good selection, in one place, of organic produce, wholesome bread, genuinely fresh milk, real cheese, a variety of pasta, and the many other things that are not currently available downtown. Many downtown businesspeople would love to have a good deli nearby at lunchtime and to pick up deli items and groceries on their way home. And the owners of downtown businesses are well aware of what having such a store nearby would do to help their own bottom lines.

For a while, we thought we might be getting close to the end of this quest. Then on July 5 the City Council decided to lease the largest available (planned) enclosed space downtown, in the new parking structure to be built next year at California and Bryant, to Longs Drugs. So we're back to square one-plus. Not quite "one" because it will be nice to have a drugstore downtown again, and because the City did a lot of scout work, some of which we can make use of.

"We" is everyone in Mountain View who wants to work on getting the job done. Right after the Council made their decision last week, I decided to take advantage of the outpouring of support for this priority to form a city-wide volunteer task force, the Grocery Store Project. The first people on board have already started to work on the following major things, and others: (1) do a credible current needs /wants survey among local residents/ workers, (2) find a good place for a small community-oriented grocery store downtown, (3) find the store — and put it all together, including financing considerations. We have a more detailed list of tasks, and a long list of the knowledge and skills needed to do them. I will provide an update at OMVNA's August general meeting. In the meantime, if you would like to join this exciting effort, please get in touch with dtgrocery@yahoo.com as soon as possible. People-power is the key.

Important! We are also seeking immediate input on WHERE SHOULD THIS STORE BE? Please send your thoughts on both general location and specific possible properties to dtgrocery@yahoo.com.

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From the City: Resolve Conflicts Through Free Mediation
By Sharlene Gee

Is there something bothering you in the neighborhood or community? Trees? Pets? Construction projects? Are you reluctant to begin a dialogue about a problem with the other person(s) involved for fear of "rocking the boat" or lack of faith that it will accomplish anything? Or have you tried direct communication, and it deteriorated to yelling or was abruptly halted by a door slammed in your face or the phone being hung up? Does it feel like a hopeless issue that you have to learn to live with? Many Mountain View citizens aren’t aware that there’s a free, confidential mediation service that can help you deal with neighborhood, landlord-tenant, and other issues. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the City of Mountain View’s Mediation Services. Currently, Project Sentinel administers the program under the auspices of the City, and trained volunteers from the community perform the mediation activities.

Mediation allows disputing parties to explore all of the possibilities, after fully hearing each other's views, and to choose a mutually acceptable outcome for themselves. Mediators guide the non-adversarial process but do not give legal advice, voice opinions, or decide who is right or wrong. Mediations take place in a neutral location, usually one of the City’s buildings here in Old Mountain View, like City Hall or the Library. When people voluntarily meet in good faith to resolve the issue, a satisfactory resolution has been reached over 86 percent of the time.

Although the majority of the cases handled by Mountain View Mediation Services involve issues between two parties, the program has the flexibility and expertise to handle cases involving multiple parties, even an entire neighborhood. For example, mediators have been involved in publicized disputes in various Mountain View neighborhoods, like the use of the IFES Portuguese Hall, use of the Little League field, and control and management of the Day Worker Center. Facilitation support can also be provided. Mediators have been used as facilitators to collect residents’ feedback in community meetings; examples include mobile home park issues, the site for the Efficiency Studios, and what to do with the Mayfield Mall/Hewlett Packard property.

The next time there’s something bothering you or several people in the community, or maybe someone you know complains about an issue, consider mediation. Mediation is free for people who live, work, or own property in Mountain View. For more information, call (650) 960-0495.

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OMVNA Nominating Committee Seeks Volunteers

The OMVNA Steering Committee is a group of eight neighbors who are elected at the Fall General Meeting. Each year a Nominating Committee is formed to recommend a slate of officers for the coming year. The Nominating Committee strives to create a Steering Committee that reflects a balance between experience and fresh faces, owners and renters, and the different parts of our neighborhood.

If you think you'd enjoy any of these roles, or you are interested in being part of the Nominating Committee, please contact Nominating Committee Chair Bruce Karney (964-3567) or committee member Velva Rowell (chair@omvna.org) by August 14.

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Family Focus: Coming Soon — the Avenidas Rose Kleiner Senior Day Health Center
by Lisa Hendrickson, President & CEO, Avenidas Rose Kleiner Day Health Center

Avenidas, a major provider of senior services on the Mid-peninsula, has operated a day health center for the frail elderly in the community for nearly 30 years. This October, Avenidas will relocate the center from its current location in Palo Alto to a new, state-of-the-art, 9,400 square-foot facility next door to the Senior Center on Escuela Avenue in Mountain View. The Avenidas Rose Kleiner Senior Day Health Center will continue to offer a daytime program of health, therapeutic, recreational, and supportive services that meet the special needs of the less-independent elderly in a safe, homelike setting, while providing family members peace of mind and respite from the extraordinarily exhausting job of caregiving.

As never before, great numbers of retirement-age people on the Midpeninsula are enjoying active and independent lives. At the same time, however, more and more elderly people in our region are experiencing the misfortune of serious strokes, heart disease, dementias, or other major health threats that make it necessary for them to be cared for around the clock. As a result, some of these elderly may move into nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. Others who elect to remain in their own homes or who move into the homes of family members will become more dependent on their spouses or family to provide full-time care. It is for this group of home-staying elderly and their caregivers that the Center is designed to help.

The Center is licensed by the California Department of Health Services and is available to participants five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is flexible scheduling which enables enrollment for as few as two, to as many as five, days per week.

The Center is designed for the optimal care of elderly clients with chronic conditions. The new center is designed around a circular hallway that leads clients back to their starting position. Other features include a "quiet dining room" for those who need reduced stimulation, therapy rooms, and safely enclosed and attractive outdoor spaces to stimulate memory and maximize physical ability of the participants.

At the Center, a team including a social worker, nurse, activity program specialist, and physical, speech, and occupational therapists consults with physicians to develop and carry out an individualized care plan and prescriptive order for each participant. On a typical day, the elderly will participate in various therapy sessions, group exercise, arts and crafts, music, discussion groups, community outings, and gardening. Another frequent activity is the "Hope Circle" where each attendee talks about one thing for which they are grateful or happy. A hot lunch is part of the daily schedule and special diets are available to those who need them. Free transportation is provided within the service area of Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. Counseling for families and monthly family support group meetings are included in the services offered by the Center staff. Participants pay for service on a sliding scale depending on their financial resources. The Center accepts Medi-Cal reimbursement as payment for those participants who qualify. No one is denied services at the Center because of his or her inability to pay.

Meeting the needs of the frail elderly and caregivers is a top priority at the Avenidas Rose Kleiner Senior Day Health Center. The best way to discover what the Avenidas day health program offers is to take a tour and see for yourself. Contact the center at (650) 494-8018 for a visit of the current facility. We welcome you to share in the warmth, cheerfulness, people, and services offered at the Palo Alto facility — the same environment that we will bring to the new Rose Kleiner Senior Day Health Center when it opens in Mountain View in a few months.

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From the Chair: An Abundance of Opportunities
By Velva Rowell

On Tuesday, July 5, I attended the meeting of the Mountain View City Council at which they voted to award the contract for the retail space in the new parking garage to Longs Drugs. Was I disappointed in the outcome of the vote? Yes, I was. But my disappointment was tempered by my pride in our neighborhood.

You see, 19 people who live and work in Old Mountain View decided to stand up and speak out about what they wanted to see in that space. On OMVNATalk, there were 68 emails about this topic prior to the City Council meeting on July 5. The membership of this list has jumped to 162 members in the past month, up from about 128 three months ago. This is amazing when you consider that we have gone whole weeks with no traffic whatsoever on this list in the past.

In related news, Julie Lovins, local neighborhood activist, has started a citywide coalition with the intention of bringing a grocery store to downtown Mountain View. Read her article in this issue for further information about this group and its goals.

Julie will also be speaking at our General Meeting held on Sunday, August 14 at Pioneer Park from 1-3 p.m. We’re having a very brief business meeting where we’ll talk about upcoming OMVNA activities and hear from Julie, followed by an ice cream social and "family fun day." There will be games for kids and adults of all ages, and it should be a fun time. Bring your favorite store-bought topping (sealed containers only, please) or cookies and we’ll provide the ice cream and drinks.

I would be remiss if I forgot to mention CERT. Go to our website at www.omvna.org to see a map of the parts of our neighborhood that currently have CERT volunteers. Is your block represented? Are you interested in this sort of challenge? Contact Aaron Grossman for further details.

Finally, it’s time once again to choose new officers for OMVNA. A few members of our Steering Committee will be leaving their positions at the end of this year. We have a nominating committee in place, and they will be hard at work over the next month or so choosing candidates for you to vote on. If you’re interested in joining either the Steering Committee or the Nominating Committee, please send me email at chair@omvna.org or call me at (650) 938- 0389 and leave a message in mailbox 2, and I’ll pass your information on to the rest of our committee.

What an abundance of opportunity! Come on out and share it with your neighbors!

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Last updated: 7/30/05