Return to the Friends of Santa Teresa Park
Mike Boulland, Kitty Monahan,
Greg & Roxanne Koopman, Ron Horii, Kim Gardner, Woody Collins, Larry Serda
spent a lot of time discussing the situation at the Muriel Wright
Center, which is being converted into a treatment center for
non-violent individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse
disorders. Ron & Mike have been reviewing a Q&A about it that
Mike Wasserman's Chief of Staff John Gibbs has been drafting. This is the latest version,
which Mike Wasserman has been sending out to people who inquire about
the MWC. We looked at that in detail. Community member Issa Ajlouny,
who first brought up the issue about the
MWC on Next Door, has also been reviewing the Q&A and had comments
and questions about. He wanted to know if we agreed with his comments.
We reviewed his concerns as well. Here are issues we discussed:
- The sheriff's station at the MWC is not a ranger station. The rangers don't use it as such. Can it become a ranger station?
think it's very important to maintain the sheriff's station at the MWC,
but what happens when they are all out on patrol? We suggest that there
always be a staff member from the sheriff's department there, if not a
deputy, then someone similar to San Jose's Community Service Officers.
We need to see more clarification about the role of the sheriff's
station. Mike Wasserman has talked to the County Executive and
County Sheriff about wanting to keep the MWC sheriff's station, since
they are the ones who would make that decision.
- Issa asked
about what to do if residents of the center escape. (They are not
prisoners. They have served their sentences, but must complete
treatment as a condition of their release.) It's not a locked facility.
State law prohibits locking it, probably for fire safety reasons. Does
that means just the buildings are unlocked? What about the fencing
around it? What kind of fencing will it be?Will the gates be locked?
Will the neighbors be able to tell if residents escape prematurely?
Will they be wearing uniforms? Will they have ankle barcelet monitors
- All the residents will be non-violent offenders. Will that include sex offenders, and what kind of offenses would that include?
- What happens to the residents after they are released? What if they are homeless or have nowhere to go?
recommended that the Q&A become an official document, approved by
the BOS, and any changes to it would need to be reviewed by the
community and approved by the BOS. We didn't know if that would be
practical or how the BOS would react to that, but we agreed with the
intent of keeping the community informed and not have unpleasant
surprises. The Q&A does address the feedback process.
report: the current balance is $1518.15. There are $1342.07 in
outstanding checks, leaving a net of $176.08. Reimbursements were
delayed to maintain a minimum cash balance in the bank ($200 required).
We will be getting $2380 for the Beautify San Jose (formerly CAP)
Grant. We signed the MOU for the grant and will be getting a check from
the city. Mike is donating $100 for insurance (see next):
bought UNSCC insurance in FOSTP's name for walks he is leading in Santa
Teresa Park and New Almaden. He paid for it himself. It's separate from
our event insurance, which is paid for by the CAP Grant. Mike used it
for a ghost tour in New Almaden last week and got $75 in contributions
from the participants, which helped pay for it. He can use it for
future walks in Santa Teresa.
- Curie Drive widening: John Gibbs
said that the County is working on putting in an unpaved trail along
Curie Drive and moving the fence, so that the road by the Pyzak and
Bonetti Ranch will be similar to the stretch along the Bear Tree Lot,
which means a wide dirt shoulder. They have $300K for the project. The
County can't pave the road and dedicate it to the city due to state
laws preventing that. The city would have to do a land swap. If they
leave a large unpaved shoulder, what if people park along it? That will
narrow the road too. They need to make that a no-parking zone. We need
to see the plans.
- Early in October, the Santa Teresa Spring
pond started to drop. While the spring was still flowing, the concrete
cistern below it was very low and no longer overflowing into the pond,
causing the level of the pond to drop. The cistern collects water from
the spring. The water is piped to the Pyzak Ranch and was previously
used for irrigation there, but is no longer used for that purpose. Park
Maintenance found there was a leak at the Pyzak Ranch. They stopped the
leak, and the cistern began filling up again and resumed overflowing
into the pond. The pond began to fill up again, and is now overflowing
into the storm drain, as usual.
- Ron showed pictures:
construction at the Muriel Wright Center, graffiti'd signs at the
Bernal Ranch (some were cleaned up), conditions of the Norred Trail,
the Johnson House at the Norred Ranch (including the monkey puzzle tree
next to it), Curie Drive by the Pyzak Ranch, Micro Monster Night,
graffiti on fence posts along the Hidden Springs Trail, a long pipeline
leading to a cattle trough below Coyote Peak, cattle grazing, a
makeshift shrine with a statue of Mary on Coyote Peak, our Coyote Peak
sign (still clean), a broken fence behind the sign, and Santa Teresa
- Woody has been ripping out invasive plants around the park. He's been pulling stinkwort (dittrichia graveolens), which is an invasive non-native weed. He's been cutting down harding grass (phalaris aquatica) from the Pueblo Area. It's been coming out of the wetland.
said the trash cans on Coyote Peak need lids. The trash keeps blowing
out of them. The lids need to be secured to the cans so they don't blow
away or get used as frisbees. Greg picked up trash around the peak,
including picking a traffic cone that was thrown down the hill. It
originally covered a sharp broken fence pole.
- Greg also
cleaned up trash around the old microwave relay station at the start of
the Rocky Ridge Trail. The station was abandoned and removed a few
years ago, but the removal was not authorized by the station's owners.
(It may have been done by the County because it was becoming a public
nuisance.) There's nothing left but a concrete pad. Greg was wondering
about the power poles that were still there along the road leading to
the station and if they could be removed.
- John Dorrance
said that Sunset 4H will be helping to maintain the garden boxes at the
Bernal Ranch, but they could use help with 2 of the boxes. Greg and
Roxanne called John and offered to help. John will be calling them
back. Kim said she could also help.
- Our December 7 meeting will be a potluck dinner at Mike Boulland's house, starting at 6:00.