Friends of Santa Teresa Park Meeting, 9/7/17


    • Attendees: Mike Boulland, Kitty Monahan, Jorge & Debbie Porras, Greg & Roxanne Koopman, Ron Horii, Sam Drake, Lisa Amato, Lisa Dearborn.
    • Mike talked about volunteer hours. He figured out we have put in 1106 hours of volunteer time for our organization (outside of other County Parks volunteer hours). In order for your volunteer hours to count, you need to be registered as a volunteer with the County Parks. There's an existing online system for reporting volunteer hours. There will be a new reporting system, but it's not ready for us to use yet. We need to modify our sign-in form for our volunteer hours to indicate if you post your hours online so we don't double-count them.
    • Jorge made 24 glasses etched with the FOSTP logo. We used about 10. Some were given away at National Night Out as raffle prizes.
    • Ron showed pictures of National Night Out, Fandango, and our field trip to the John Muir Historic Site and the Martinez Adobe. He also showed pictures of the Archery Range class, the broken statue and fence on Coyote Peak, wildlife and summer flowers on the Stile Ranch Trail, Micro-Monster Night posters at the Bernal Ranch,  amaryllis at the Bernal Ranch, oak leaf galls, eclipse viewing at the Bernal Ranch, conditions on the Norred Trail, views from the Joice, Bernal Hill, and Vista Loop Trails, and grafitti on the Pyzak Ranch buildings.
    • Treasurer's report (Greg): our bank balance is $1397.15. We got $107 in deposits, mostly from donations during National Night Out.
    • CAP Grant Cycle 30 closed 8/31. The final report is due 9/30. We were awarded $1150. We spent about $1158. The amount over-spent is considered a match. We will reimburse people for expenses.
    • The CAP Grant program has been merged with the San Jose Beautify program. $300K in grant money is available. The grant application is due on 9/21/17. The award will be announced on 10/13/17. The grant period is 10/14/17 to 9/30/18. On 8/24, Ron and Mike attended a class about the grant, held at the Hank Lopez Community Center. We will apply for the grant again, based on our current grant. We need to ask for more money for community event publications, meeting/event refreshments, cleanup materials, and National Night Out supplies. Should we request funding for more events? We may want to do a spring cleanup event, but we'll have to plan it.
    • We had our first National Night Out on 8/1 at the Bernal Ranch. Over 100 people stopped by, but many didn't know about our event until they got there. We were not allowed to post flyers on fence posts and trees. One of the neighbors complained about a poster on a tree. Flyers and signs were posted on the mapboard, the side of the restroom at the Bernal Ranch, and the fence at the Pyzak Ranch. Passing out flyers in the neighborhood helped. The event was posted on Next Door, where a lot of people found out about it. We had a good attendance of families. The kids liked the crafts. Debbie and Jorge ran the crafts table, where kids colored in journals and got patches. We had a sponge and a beanbag toss game for kids. Ron had displays on his park photography. Steve Crockett helped with parking. The sheriff's deputies talked to people and let kids sit in the patrol car. A fire truck showed up later in the event. A big crowd went to see it. Councilmember Sergio Jimenez, who had been going to many NNO that night, stopped by to talk to people. He even helped give away the raffle's grand prize, which was a County Parks' backback. It was hot that afternoon. Marilyn August ran our popsicle and ice cream booth and passed them out to visitors. We bought them at Costco and put them on dry ice in coolers. The popsicles ran out first. We had left over ice cream bars. We could only give away packaged and wrapped items. Per Health Department regulations, we had to have a canopy, tarp, and hand wash station at our ice cream booth. Only Marilyn could work there. She had to wear gloves. We passed out newsletter and collected donations at our table, which Kim staffed. Ranger Justin Everts had a table for the parks. He passed out flying rings and whistles to kids and answered questions about the parks. Mike thanked all the people and organizations that helped out. Next Year, Fandango may be merged with National Night Out. 
    • Family Fandango was held on 8/5 at the Bernal Ranch. The banner advertising it was posted on the restroom, not on the corner. John Dorrance organized it, with help from Bridgett Orcutt. We had our table there, staffed by Roxanne and Sam, and passed out our newsletter. Our model of Rancho Santa Teresa attracted attention and questions. Mike helped with a top-spinning game. Dorene helped with a butter-making activity. Kitty helped with Janice Frazier's horse. Jenel organized Sunset 4H's displays. Ron had his pictures on display.
    • We should look into getting contributions from sponsors. We could put ads on our website.
    • Curie Drive/Santa Teresa Historic Site
      • For several years, we have been trying to solve the problem of the narrowing of Curie Drive between San Ignacio and the Bear Tree Lot. It's a hazard, especially for bicyclists and for kids going to Bernal School along Curie. The Santa Teresa Historic Site Plan calls for widening the road, but the plan is on hold due to lack of funds to implement the whole project. We have been looking to see if the County Parks can just widen the road and implement the rest of the project later. Here's a history of our recent meetings on the subject:
      • On 5/30/17, Mike and Ron met with Bernal School Principal Jamal Splain. He was concerned about the safety of kids coming to school and would like to see the road improved. He also said there is an Hispanic Club at the school that has been visiting the Bernal Ranch to learn about their heritage. He asked if we could make a presentation to them.
      • On 6/2/17, Ron, Mike, and Greg met with Councilmember Sergio Jimenez and his legislative advisor Helen Chapman. We took them on a tour of the Santa Teresa Historic Site and showed them our concerns about safety issues on Curie Drive. We also talked to Jamal Splain.
      • On 6/15/17, Ron and Mike went to County Parks headquarters and met with Director Robb Courtney, Construction Services Manager Mark Frederick, Deputy Director Don Rocha, and Principal Planner Anne Thomson. We talked about widening Curie Drive, but the issue is a state law restricting the county's ability to turn park land over to the city.
      • On 8/2/17, Mike, Kitty, and Ron met with Councilmember Sergio Jimenez at City Hall, along with Helen Chapman and Robb Courtney. The Deputy Director of San Jose's Department of Transportation and Terry Medina from Real Estate Services were also there. We talked about the city-county issues and options.
      • We discussed the options in our meeting. The majority of our members want to see the road widened, rather than just having an internal trail built. 
    • A large home has been proposed for a 17-acre property above Manresa Court, next to the Santa Teresa Park's Archery Range and above the Coyote Valley. On 6/22/17, there was a community meeting about it at the Los Paseos Community Center, which Ron attended. Attendees were concerned about the visual impact to the community and the impact to the environment. The decision on the development is in the hands of the planning commission and can be appealed to the city council.
    • Another large residence has been proposed for Scenic Vista Court, which overlooks the Santa Teresa area above Lean Ave. There was a meeting about the house on 6/29/17 at the Blossom Valley Bible Church. Ron attended the meeting. It's in an existing subdivision that was approved in 1989. It is part of the 160-acre Gustavson Property. As part of the deal to develop part of the property, 153 acres were set aside as private open space and cannot be developed. There is one more lot that can still be developed. East of the subdivision is open space. This is in the County, so the County Planning Department has jurisdiction over it. The Santa Teresa Foothills Neighborhood Association is working on this issue.
    • The Muriel Wright Center was built to be a correctional facility for girls. It's owned by the County. About a decade ago, the facility was closed, and the residents were moved to the James Ranch. In 2013, the County Parks Volunteers Office moved in. Early last year, they were told they have to move out to make room for the County's Mental Health Program. It will be used to treat non-violent offenders who have drug, alcohol, or mental health issues. This will not be a locked facility. There is a petition in the neighborhood to stop this from happening. Neighbors are afraid of the type of people this will bring into the community and will be free to wander about, including into Santa Teresa Park. We can sponsor a community meeting and invite the County Mental Health Department to answer questions. We can also ask John Gibbs to represent Supervisor Mike Wasserman. He is also on the County Parks Commission, so he can represent the parks. We can't do it at our October meeting. It will be November at the earliest. We need to look for a venue if our meeting room isn't big enough.
    • Jorge talked about having a Halloween party for kids next year.
    • Ron will be teaching a photography class at the Bernal Ranch on Saturday 9/30/17 at 11 am. He will also be giving a nature photography presentation at the Open Space Authority headquarters on 33 Las Colinas Ave. on Friday 9/22/17 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.
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       Created 9/19/17  by Ronald Horii, secretary of the Friends of Santa Teresa Park