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OMVNA Newsletter

December 2006
Volume 18, Number 8

[view as PDF]

IN THIS ISSUE:
New OMVNA Officers
How Prepared Are You For Pandemic Bird Flu?
Neighbors Finish First and Second in Council Race
Being Neighborly
New Trees for a New Year!
News Notification Service
Everyone Is Welcome at OMVNA Meetings
Try LED Christmas Lights
Renovation at 1090 Mercy Wins 2006 Mayor's Award
Our Finances Are Healthy
Our Newsletter Sponsors


New OMVNA Officers

Our October 25 meeting combined OMVNA's election with a Forum for Council candidates, and was attended by 50 adults and several children, one of whom videotaped interviews with some of the candidates for a school project. We hope he got an A+!

The following individuals were elected unanimously to OMVNA's Steering Committee, and will serve during 2007:

  • Chair: Ken Rosenberg
  • Vice-Chair: Noam Livnat
  • Treasurer: Aaron Grossman
  • Secretary: Kristen McGuire-Husky
  • Newsletter Editor: Bruce Karney
  • Community Liaison: Kim Copher
  • At Large: Margaret Abe-Koga
  • At Large: Jamil Shaikh

The membership also elected Aaron Grossman and Tim Johnson to continue as co-chairs of the CERT Committee and Shelly King as Webmistress. Julie Lovins will continue to lead the newsletter distribution team.

We'd like to thank those who are moving on for their service to OMVNA: Meridith Segall (Secretary), Megan Pecson (Editor), Nikol Jackson (At Large) and Ronit Bryant (Webmistress).

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How Prepared Are You For Pandemic Bird Flu?
By Aaron Grossman

OMVNA is distributing the "Preparing for Pandemic Flu" pamphlet from the county Health Department with this newsletter as a public service. If the H5N1 bird flu mutates into a form easily spread from one human to another, it will spread rapidly worldwide, including here. Only effective public action will stop its spread. The pamphlet describes how to limit the pandemic.

Please especially read the sections on isolation and quarantine, disinfection, and home supplies. More information is on the county web site: www.sccphd.org.

Another site I recommend with information and related products is www.birdflusmart.com.

As a sobering reference, the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919 killed half a million Americans and many millions more around the world. A similarly virulent bird flu would overwhelm local health care facilities. Just as in an earthquake, public services would be of little help. It would be up to each family to take care of their own, and therefore advance preparation is essential. Read the pamphlet and keep it in a safe place. You may never need to use it, but just in case, don't lose it!

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Neighbors Finish First and Second in Council Race

Congratulations are due to two Old Mountain View residents for winning election to Mountain View City Council!

Current OMVNA Vice-Chair Margaret Abe-Koga and former Chair Ronit Bryant finished first and second in the race for three seats, with Jac Siegel winning the other seat.

Running on platforms of "smart growth" (or "slower growth") Margaret and Ronit ran well-orchestrated campaigns. It will be nice for Old Mountain View to have two more council members who can advocate for the downtown residents more forcibly and credibly than the people whom they are replacing.

By the way, Mayor Nick Galiotto is also an OMV resident, and has 2 more years left in his term of office.

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Being Neighborly
By Ken Rosenberg, Chair

I have borne witness in the past few weeks to neighborly acts of kindness and of inconsideration. We live in what many would consider, tight quarters. The downtown area has over 2,500 households including apartments and condos. So it is only natural that, on occasion, frustrations might boil over about something that superficially may seem absurd.

As far as I know, there are no laws mandating that our behavior towards one another be nice or even pleasant. That said, we do need to get along. After all, one of the worst feelings is coming home every day and getting a pain in the pit in your stomach as you approach your home because of some nuisance that you now have to deal with. Your home should be your sanctuary, right? I will list a few common grievances, and you nod your head affirmatively if any of these have happened to you: your neighbor's dog won't stop barking (or barks throughout the night), your neighbor's trees drop leaves or other sundry things onto your yard, forcing you to clean up "their" mess; your neighbor routinely parks his car in front of your house; your neighbor hasn't done yard work or external home maintenance since World War II; etc.

There are far more egregious problems that we have to contend with as well. For example, your neighbors might be building a second story onto their house so that now you have privacy issues. Or your neighbor's new fence is on your property line. Perhaps that beautiful redwood tree on your neighbor's lot that you stare at through your living room window is to be cut down. This list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it meant to be representative of any personal pet peeves of the author, but you get the point. And here's something to think about: in any of these situations, could you be that neighbor? We all like to think that other people have the issues, but sometimes it's us causing the problem. My question to you (regardless of which side of the fence, forgive the pun, you reside on) is, "How do you resolve it?" Some people just sit and silently fume or complain behind their neighbor's back. Others take to knocking on their neighbor's door and demand that they do something about the problem. Some call the City, the Police, or even a mediation service to intervene. And some work together to mutually come to agreement.

No matter how you decide to resolve disputes, recognize that we all do need to get along well enough so that we can live peace-fully as neighbors. This article is not about how to resolve issues, but to point out that the utopia we call home may not be as ideal as we deserve. But we can make it that way, if we work together! It starts by recognizing that it's not always someone else's fault. This is our home. This is our neighborhood.

To engage in a conversation about this and other topics of concern to our neighborhood, please join us at the Yahoo Group, "OMVNATalk." If you are not already an OMVNATalk subscriber, then send an email to chair@omvna.org with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line. I will personally (electronically) send you an invitation with instructions on how to join.

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New Trees for a New Year!
By Ronit Bryant

Looking for a great way to kick off the new year? Mountain View Trees, an organization whose goal is to sustain and enhance Mountain View's urban forest through community stewardship, education, and advocacy, will celebrate its first anniversary with a neighborhood tree planting and community party on Saturday, January 27, 2007.

A dozen or so volunteers are needed to help plant trees on Bryant Street between Mercy and California from 10 am to 12:30 pm. Tools will be provided and no experience is necessary. At 12:30 pm, following the planting, all community members are invited to join the party at 491 West Dana St. to learn more about Mountain View Trees, celebrate this year's successes, and help launch new projects for 2007. Food and drinks will be provided.

If you are interested in volunteering for the planting or attend-ing the party, or would like more information, please contact Wendee Crofoot at info@mountainviewtrees.org.

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News Notification Service

You can now sign up to be notified by email when the latest issue of this publication has been added to the online OMVNA newsletter collection.

Just send an email request to delivery@omvna.org, giving the following information: your name, email address you want to be notified at, and physical address. Please note, it will be your responsibility to let us know if any of these change.

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Everyone Is Welcome at OMVNA Meetings

The OMVNA Steering Committee meets the second Monday of each month from 7:30-9:00 pm at the Chamber of Commerce Board Room (580 Castro).

Neighbors are welcome to observe or participate. If you would like to place an item on the agenda, please contact Ken Rosenberg a few days before the meeting. Ken can be reached at chair@omvna.org or at 969-6882.

The next few meetings will be held December 11, January 8 and February 12.

Even if you can't attend, you can always read the minutes on the omvna.org web site. Minutes are posted after they have been reviewed and approved, a process that can take up to 3 months.

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Try LED Christmas Lights by Bruce Karney

Decorating our tree and the outside of our home with lights is an old and enjoyable tradition.

When I was young we used egg-sized C9 bulbs on the tree and our front porch. We switched long ago to smaller lights for the tree, but until last year I was still using 6 strings of C7 (5-watt) bulbs outdoors. Powering those lights cost about $18 each holiday season, even though I used a timer to turn them on and off.

This Christmas I'll be using environmentally friendly LED lights that I bought for only $11 per hundred-light string. They use only 2 watts per string and will last 20 years or more.

LED lights are available at OSH, Costco and other retailers.

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Renovation at 1090 Mercy Wins Mayor's Award

Michael and Ann Galli were recently honored for "Outstanding Remodeling Project" in a ceremony at City Hall presided over by Mayor Nick Galiotto. They extensively renovated their bungalow at 1090 Mercy Street, and have turned it into a showplace that combines the best of early 20th century design with many 21st century conveniences.

Ann and Michael took pains to use sustainably harvested forest products in their remodel, and they designed their landscaping to require minimal irrigation.

The entire neighborhood benefits when families invest in conserving and restoring their homes as beautifully as the Gallis have. Thank you, Michael and Ann!

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Our Finances Are Healthy

If you have enjoyed free ice cream or cookies at OMVNA events, or noticed the impressive amount of equipment used during CERT drills, you may wonder how OMVNA is funded.

Since the mid-1990s we have been primarily funded by adver-tisements in the newsletter, along with grants we receive from time to time from the City or non-profit agencies.

In the first 10 months of 2006 we received $7,540 in ad revenue and one grant for $485. We spent a total of $6,794, of which $3,148 has been for newsletters, $1,848 for food, entertainment and rent, and the remaining $1,798 for other purposes.

Our bank balance on Oct. 27 was $7,412.

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Our Newsletter Sponsors

Stephanie Perrigo - Notary Public
$10.00 per signature (831) 869-0372

The OMVNA Newsletter
is published by a volunteer editorial committee & distributed to some 2200 homes and businesses by volunteers.

To get in touch with us:

The opinions printed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the OMVNA Steering Committee.


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