Palo Alto Holds New Mitchell Library Tour

Last month, the City of Palo Alto hosted a guided tour of its newly rebuilt Mitchell Library.  Residents had the opportunity to check out the new facilities and amenities.  As part of the tour, the City created a Come Together Video, showing off the new facilities.

This is interesting to Sunnyvale because the video show off the best aspects of the new Mitchell Library.  And in doing so, it clearly outlines the serious flaws that our own Sunnyvale Public Library has to deal with.  The Mitchell Library features community rooms and large quantities of open space.  There are physically separated areas for teens and pre-teens, which is important so that “kids can be kids” while studying.  And the teen rooms have additional amenities to attract and retain kids, and to cater to kid-oriented events and programs.  Sunnyvale’s library lacks all of these.

Congrats to Palo Alto for showing us what’s possible, and what we should be aiming for.

Habitat for Humanity Dedicates New Sunnyvale Home

I had the pleasure of attending the dedication ceremony for Habitat for Humanity’s new home in Sunnyvale, the very first Sunnyvale Habitat project.  The home is going to the Proulx family.  Justin Proulx is a math teacher at King’s Academy, and they are understandably thrilled not only to finally have their own home, but to have one just a mile from where Justin works.

  _MG_4616(Photo courtesy of Misuk Park).

I got to help with this home, starting with preparing the front yard, and later helping put up one of the interior walls.  It was great to see the finished property.  Habitat is close to dedicating the second home, and I look forward to seeing that one dedicated and occupied very soon.

It was also very cool to see all of the Habitat volunteers wearing Habitat hats, each of which represents 500 hours of service.  Some were also wearing multiple service pins, each of which also represents 500 hours.  I saw one gentleman wearing a hat that easily had ten or more pins on it.  That level of dedication is truly inspiring, and it’s what makes the difference between living in a city and living in a community.  Thank you to all who made this possible.

10/14/2014 Council Preview – Landbank and Minimum Wage

This is going to be a long night.

We start the evening with a closed session regarding ongoing labor negotiations with the Sunnyvale Managers Association, followed by a second closed session involving litigation between our RDA successor agency and the County Office of Education.

The general session starts with three separate special orders.  The first recognizes Rotary’s World Polio Day.  The second recognizes National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  And the third is our annual Fire Safety Poster Contest awards.

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09/30/2014 Council Preview

Long night, at least for some of us.  We start the evening with our semi-annual performance review for the City Attorney.  This is followed by what should be interesting – a study session on our criteria for accepting park land dedication.  Brief explanation here.  When new housing is constructed, the applicant is required to give us a certain amount of their land, or the cash equivalent.  From memory, the current standard is that for every 1000 new people expected to be housed, an applicant must give us five acres of land, or the cash equivalent at $69/square foot.  And the city has the option to require a land dedication or to accept cash, which is then used to either buy land or perform capital improvements on our existing parks.  But there are times when it’s a bad thing for us to accept land.  For instance, if there are known toxins in the soil, it may create too much liability for the city to accept land.  This study session will go over the existing standards.

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