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OMVNA Newsletter

April 2006
Volume 18, Number 3


Showcase Old Mountain View

Getting Groceries in Downtown Mountain View

From the Chair

Time to Enroll in Leadership Mountain View

How Will You Celebrate Earth Day?

CERT Update: Preparing to Face an Emergency II

Showcase Old Mountain View
Your opportunity to tell your neighbors what you do!

When: April 30, 2-4 p.m.

Where: Landels School Multipurpose Room

The goal is to create new business opportunities for you and to network with your neighbors. If you are a teenager and would like to mow lawns, wash windows, baby-sit, or walk dogs, come introduce yourself! If you are an adult and make jewelry, teach piano, tutor math, this is your chance to let us know! If you are a realtor, an Elvis impersonator for hire, an accountant, perhaps future clients of yours live right here. This promises to be an exciting event. Nearly any occupation is eligible to participate.

For more information, contact Margaret Abe-Koga at (650) 291-0167.

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Getting Groceries in Downtown Mountain View
By Julie Lovins

Things are looking up! The largest existing market is seeking community input as it reinvents itself, trying to attract more local customers. The new owners of the New Mountain View Market, 340 Castro Street, now have a promising selection of basic "American" groceries, and want to know how to continue to broaden their offerings. What they do will be based on our input. Dennis and Jenny Cheng have extensive retail-grocery experience and get their wares from a multicultural array of reliable wholesalers. Their hard work to improve the store is clearly visible. Check it out!

Itís now our turn to give them a better idea of the priorities of local shoppers. Iím asking everyone who lives or works in downtown Mountain View to fill out a short "top ten" survey, the results of which will go to the market in consolidated form. (Read on for how to participate.) In addition, when you stop by to welcome them, you can and should express your specific wants.

The New Mountain View Market can fill some of the communityís grocery needs very well, even without being the full-service store (e.g., with a deli) that we continue to wish were available within walking distance. Several needs stand out:

  • Items most frequently needed, quickly and nearby, between major shopping trips to a larger store. For example, in our family, that includes bananas and skim milk. Perhaps orange juice, spaghetti, cheese, or ice cream frequently figure in your "top ten" grocery emergencies.
  • Basic staples at an affordable price, particularly critical for neighbors who donít drive. The survey asks for optional information on whatís "affordable."

To get a copy of the survey, you can

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From the Chair
by Ken Rosenberg

I have a confession to make. Iíve lived in Old Mountain View for over nine years and Iíve never used the Stevens Creek Trail from where we live all the way to Shoreline Park. That is, until recently. You see, I take my son (who is four and a half years old) to Landels Elementary and have him practice his bike riding on the playgroundís blacktop. Itís an ideal setting because a) there are no automobiles to contend with, b) itís a very flat surface, and c) if he gets tired, we just take a break by climbing on the playground equipment. One time, I took him along the Stevens Creek Trail all the way to the pedestrian bridge that goes over Central Expressway. He was so excited because we stopped at the top of the bridge and waited for the train to go right under us. He was doubly excited when the conductor waved back to him as he passed by. But we never went down the other side.

On April second, he was asking (nay, begging) to go on the other side of the bridge. Given a break from all the rain, I said, "Sure." You have to understand that I donít own a bicycle. I have a scooter which just isnít as satisfying as a bike, especially on a bike trail! We don our helmets, Bennett jumps on his tiny bike with training wheels, and off we go. We start at Landels like always and go to the top of the pedestrian bridge. I ask him how far he thinks he can go. He says "A thousand miles." Hmmm.

Because of all the rain, Stevens Creek is more like a river. With rapids! We go all the way to Moffett Blvd. (as far as Iíve ever gone before) and then stop. I say to my son, "We can turn back or we can go all the way to the bay. Which do you want to do?" Naturally, he opts to see the bay. We set off across the street into a part of Mountain View weíve never seen before. We saw parks I didnít know existed. We saw the HUGE Ames Research facility. We saw wild hares. And eventually we saw the bay. He was SO excited to get there. But just as we did, it started to rain. Actually, it started to pour. Luckily my wife was at home so I called her and she rescued us by driving to the kite-flying area at Shoreline Park. My little son, who must have traveled about four or more miles, never complained once, except to tell me that his bike was tired. He said this through obvious panting breath. I asked how he was doing and he just said "Great!"

What a jewel of a recreational tool we have in our own backyard. If youíve never walked, jogged, biked, scootered, rollerbladed, etc., the Stevens Creek Trail, youíre really missing out.

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Time to Enroll in Leadership Mountain View
By Twana Karney

Leadership Mountain View (LMV), a training program for emerging community leaders, is seeking applicants for its Class of 2007. LMV consists of nine day-long sessions on the second Friday of each month from September or October, 2006, to May or June, 2007. Some of Old Mountain Viewís most active volunteers and leaders are graduates of LMV, including Assemblywoman Sally Lieber and OMVNA current and former Steering Committee members Rosenberg, Bryant, Grossman, Abe-Koga, and Shaikh.

LMV class members explore leadership and community issues through discussions, expert speakers, workshops, and field trips. They learn about regional economic, environmental, human services, and educational issues, and how they can get more involved in improving our community and region.

If this sounds intriguing, come to one of the three informational meetings at the Chamber of Commerce at 580 Castro Street (May 18 at 5:30 pm, May 23 at 7:00 pm, and June 9 at 7:30 am).

The application deadline is June 20. Tuition is $1,750, and some scholarships are available. LMV is committed to seeking participants to reflect the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of Mountain View residents.

To reserve a spot at one of the information meetings or learn more, contact Executive Director Twana Karney at (650) 968-8378 or visit

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How Will You Celebrate Earth Day?
By Bruce Karney

How will you celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2006? Here are a few ideas:

First, talk to your children. Tell them about the steps you are taking to make sure that their generation will have the same natural resources that you have enjoyed. Encourage them to follow in your footsteps, and praise them when they do.

Do you have half-empty containers of environmentally hazardous products that you want to get out of your home? The County will take your materials and dispose of them properly. To schedule a drop-off, call the County Household Hazardous Waste appointment line at (408) 299-7300, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

If the weather is beautiful, get out and take a walk in one of our nearby parks or open space preserves. If youíre in good physical shape, walk or bike to your destination instead of driving.

Speaking of driving, take five minutes to check and adjust your carís tire pressure each month. Underinflated tires waste 3% of all gasoline used in cars and trucks in the United States. A typical family with two vehicles will save about 30 gallons and $85 per year by keeping the tires properly inflated.

One final way to honor the Earth: write a check to an environmental charity. The last time I checked eBay, there were no other planets available for purchase, so we should all invest more time and money into taking care of this one!

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CERT Update: Preparing to Face an Emergency II
By Ronit Bryant

This article summarizes information shared at our November CERT workshop. Part I is at

Your car as an energy supply and other cool stuff:

  • Use your car as a generator—some small refrigerators will run off your carís battery.
  • Buy long-lasting large (8 amps) rechargeable batteries.
  • Get LED lights; they last longer than incandescent lights.

Emergency preparedness for pets:

  • The Red Cross recommends having a plan for boarding your pets during times of emergency. Options include friends/family outside the affected area, or pet shelters. has search capabilities to find pet shelters within a short distance of any zip code.
  • Have an emergency supply kit for pets. Check out
  • Have adequate carriers for transporting all your pets.
  • Post information about your pet in a window near the entrance so emergency workers will know there are pets in the house.

Emergency preparedness for people with special medical needs:

  • Make a list of your prescriptions (including name and number of prescription and dosage) and keep it with your important documents.
  • If you have emergency medical supplies, remember to periodically check expiration dates and renew your supplies.
  • Talk to your health insurance about the possibility of having some stock of emergency supplies.

Emergency preparedness for people living alone:

  • Get to know your neighbors and make sure they know you. Set up a phone list so that everyone can be contacted in an emergency.
  • Do a walk-around with your neighbors. You can check that bookshelves are anchored to the wall, the water heater has been properly secured, the foundation is anchored, and other safety issues—perhaps you can help each other to deal with these issues.
  • After an earthquake, do a walk-around to see if there are any problems (gas odors, breakage, possible structural damage). It helps to have more than one pair of eyes!

Emergency preparedness for people with young children:

  • Donít count on the school to have supplies for your children; make your own preparations.
  • In case of an emergency, pick up your children as quickly as possible—teachers cannot leave the school until all their students are picked up.
  • Get to know other families in the neighborhood, and have them get to know you.
  • Set up a contact list now—not during the emergency.

Receiving training:

  • The City of Mountain View Office of Emergency Services offers FREE CERT training: a 7-week program (Wednesdays from 7-9:30 pm) or an Accelerated Program (two 8-hour days). Call (650) 903-6378 for more information.

Time commitment for OMVNA CERT program:

  • 8:00 to 8:10 pm on the first Wednesday of the month for a radio check.
  • One or two meetings a year for additional training.

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    Last updated: 4/23/06