by Velva Rowell
I first met Paul when he and his wife moved back to Mountain View in 2004. I watched them remodel the house on Mercy Street that they have owned since 1972. When I re-joined the Steering Committee, I noticed that Paul was a regular attendee at the monthly meetings. We sat down last week to have a chat about the different endeavors that he is part of here in Mountain View.
Paul first moved to Mountain View in 1968 to teach in the Whisman School District. He was an elementary school teacher, primarily of kindergar-ten, for 20 years before moving to Bakersfield to become a prin-cipal. He says he wasn’t as ac-tive in the community back then because his job took most of his free time.
When Paula and his wife re-modeled their house, they de-cided to create landscaping that would draw birds and butterflies and save on water. They went on the California Native Plant tour and found a designer who helped them to create a landscaping plan. “The majority of the property is native California plants, part of the plant community that belongs in this area.” Their yard has been part of the California native Plant tour which includes over 100 yards in the Santa Clara County tour.
After his retirement and return from Bakersfield, he joined the Mountain View Kiwanis. This group has a foundation that gives annual grants. “We gave out 200 thousand dollars to other non-profit, local organizations primarily focused on children and the elderly.”
As part of his work with Kiwanis, Paul also got involved as a member of the Community Roundtable. This group meets quarterly and is comprised of representatives of the local Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary and Quota chapters as well as the Los Altos Community Foundation. The primary purpose of this group is to provide a way for these different service groups to keep form competing and to focus on elements of the community that need help. The focus of the group is primarily on the needs of the Mountain View-Los Altos area.
The groups that participate in the Community Roundtable regularly perform a community-wide needs assessment which Paul describes as “a little bit like visioning except its more current.” They also use one unified scholarship application to ensure that the needs of as many scholarship applicants as possible are met.
Paul got involved with CERT via the city and then joined OMVNA CERT. He then started to attend Steering Committee meetings as an interested ob-server. He now serves as a sort of unofficial liaison between OMVNA and the local service clubs.
Last year Paul was involved in the Soap Box Derby when the Mountain View Kiwanis provided four cars for special needs drivers. Paul is also an environmental docent at Shoreline Park and a member of the Palo Alto Mountain View Pensulaires Men’s Barbershop Chorus.
Paul says that playing tennis, walking and community activi-ties keep him busy. He enjoys living in Old Mountain View because “it’s a very friendly community. There’s a sense of community and things are al-ways changing.” He also likes that it is a walkable community which is central to everything via CalTrain and the VTA.
If you are interested in any of the groups that Paul is a part of, you can find them via the Internet.