Friends of Santa Teresa Park Meeting, 11/7/13


  • Attendees: Mike Boulland, Kitty Monahan, Sam Drake, Ed Jackson, Roxanne & Greg Koopman, Ron Horii, and Barry Hoffman (new).
  • Treasurer's report from Greg Koopman: Our bank balance $974.95. We got money from the CAP Grant.
  • Roxanne and Greg talked about cross-country racing. There were 2 races at Santa Teresa on 9/19 and 10/3. The one on 9/19 was an Oak Grove School District run, including 3 middle schools in the district. The race on 10/3 was an invitational, including Bernal, Herman, and South Valley from Gilroy.
  • There were 2 volunteer work days in exchange for waiving the parking fees at Santa Teresa. One was at Santa Teresa, and one was at Anderson. If the races get bigger, they will need to rent port-a-potties, which cost $250. Mike suggested asking for a CAP Grant to help pay for them.
  • The Oak Grove School District has a SLUG run. SLUG stands for "Science Learning Unleashes Goals." The run is a fundraiser to help send 6th graders to science camp. It starts at Sakamoto School and runs for 5 km on neighborhood streets. The race is getting bigger, and they may need a new venue. It needs to be flat, so the cross-country route at Santa Teresa may not work. Maybe they can run around the Pueblo Area, but the route may be too short. Martial Cottle is a possibility. They are building the perimeter trail there. (Eric Goodrich is the new manager at Martial Cottle.)
  • Mike reported on County Park staff news. Aniko Millan, who was the senior ranger at Hellyer/Santa Teresa, got promoted to supervising ranger. There are 3 supervising rangers, who handle the 29 parks. The parks are divided up into 3 regions. Each ranger is in charge of a region. [Eric Goodrich was a supervising ranger. Matt Anderson is in charge of all the rangers. Aniko is in charge of Region 2, which includes Hellyer, Santa Teresa, Ed Levin, Grant, Alviso, and Field Sports.]
  • Kitty talked about the Volunteer Recognition BBQ. Because of spending restrictions in the wake of the George Shirakawa scandal, the Parks Dept. had to get a special exemption to pay for the food for the event. It was catered. It was held at the Pueblo Area in Santa Teresa. A couple hundred people were there, including lots of staff. The spring recognition banquet was canceled this year and will not be held next year. There will be another volunteer BBQ next year, possibly in August.
  • Free park parking passes are awarded for 50 volunteer hours.
  • Kitty talked about the Parks Commission meeting. They talked about the STAR reports. This was an initiative from County Executive Jeff Smith to revamp and improve the county departments.
  • Also at the Parks Commission meeting, they talked about ADA improvements in the parks. They include changes to restrooms and trails. There are new requirements from the federal government, which came out in 2011. The Parks must be in compliance by 2016.
  • Mike talked to Ron Bricman, the Grant Ranch docent who is a stargazer. He noticed some of the trees at the Pueblo Area lined up with certain constellations. The rock outcropping by the restroom could have been an ancient dance ceremony site. Mike is going out to the Pueblo Area tomorrow with Rich Robertson to check it out.
  • Sam's geocaching class was at Almaden Quicksilver on 11/2. It was full. There's another class in February.
  • On Dec. 15, Basim Jaber will be giving a talk on the Almaden Air Force Station on Mt. Umunhum at the Casa Grande. It will be his 50th talk. They'll have a little celebration then.
  • Greg talked about getting rocks onto the parts of the Stile Ranch Trail that get muddy. The problem is that there is no gate to bring in a truck. It would have to brought in by hand or with the little motorized wheelbarrow.
  • Ed says there has been lots of activity at Santa Teresa Spring after hours. The sheriffs have been responding quickly when called. To report problems at the spring, tell the dispatcher at County Communications it's at 400 Manila Drive. There has been graffiti on the upper deck of the pond.
  • Ron showed pictures of his photo class at the Bernal Ranch, Pioneer Day at the Casa Grande, Day on the Bay at Alviso, Bernal Hill trails, and Sam's geocaching class at Almaden Quicksilver.
  • Ron went to the meeting of the Santa Teresa Foothills Neighborhood Association yesterday. Ash Kalra, Johnny Khamis, and Assemblyman Mark Stone were there and gave updates. Johnny Khamis said that wild pigs have been invading neighborhoods in the Almaden Valley. The city authorized a special exemption to allow trappers to shoot trapped pigs, but to not hunt them. Supervisor Dave Cortese, and Alex Kennett and Virginia Holtz from the Open Space Authority were also there. The Open Space Authority is now called the Open Space Authority of Santa Clara Valley. They are still interested in preserving the Santa Teresa Hills, which was one of their original mandates. John Hesler of STFNA reported that Summerhill Homes is looking at a deal where they would be allowed to build homes at the base of the Santa Teresa Hills below the Coyote Alamitos Canal in exchange for buying land to build trails higher up on the hills. They originally proposed trading 7 acres of land in Almaden Quicksilver County Park for development in exchange for 365 acres of land in the Santa Teresa Hills. They met to discuss this with many agencies, including the County Parks and Open Space Authority, but the plan fell through.
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    Created 11/11/13  by Ronald Horii, secretary of the Friends of Santa Teresa Park