John Bianco, Ernie’s son, will continue the tradition of running his model trains from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day. Weather permitting, trains will run every evening except Mondays and Tuesdays on Adele Ave. from 6:30 to about 9:00.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, trains will run on the upper tracks only, in and out of the windows. There will be no tracks or trains on the lawn.
The engines and cars change daily. As many as 100 visitors a night (up to 300 on Christmas eve) came in past years, including children brought by parents who themselves watched the trains when they were young.
Ernie also began the Christmas Eve tradition of curbside luminaria (candles in paper bags). Over the years, neighbors added their own, so a row of the softly glowing lights lines Adele.
Articles about Ernie’s trains appeared in the Mountain View Voice in 2010; 2012 (pages 1 and 9); 2016; and 2018 (pages 1 and 17).
A 2015 article in the San Francisco Chronicle features photos by James Tensuan, son of neighbor Donna Tensuan.
From Tom Purcell, Monta Loma Neighborhood Watch Captain:
I encourage everyone to register a bike of any value, but many police departments no longer offer this service. Instead, they direct people to https://bikeindex.org/, a non-profit online bike registry.
The bikeindex site offers easy, step-by-step instructions for registration and provides a QR sticker to place on the bike. If the bike is found, anyone with a smart phone can quickly determine whether it has been reported as stolen, and reunite the bike with its owner.
But if you prefer not to create an account yourself, I have created a Monta Loma group account to register bikes. The MLNA has generously purchased a supply of the QR stickers, and I am offering them free to any residents who would like to place one on their bike(s).
I’ll also give stickers to those who can register bikes themselves, or who have already registered their bikes with bikeindex. Just log onto your bikeindex account on your smart phone, scan the QR code, send me your address, and I’ll leave you a sticker. At the URL encoded by the sticker, you can then click a link to register the sticker to your specific bike.
If you would like some help, or join our Monta Loma bikeindex account, contact me at MontaLomaNBC@gmail.com and I will help you through the process.
Show your pride in our neighborhood by wearing a Monta Loma tee shirt. Some red shirts and gray shirts ordered for sale at the Ice Cream Social are still available. Three adult styles are available, but only in Light Steel or Deep Red. Click on each style for a photo.
Ernie Bianco’s son, John, and the rest of the Bianco family continued the tradition of running his model trains evenings on Adele Ave. between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
On Christmas Eve Kate Shih played her trumpet and Elna’s daughter-in-law, Kelly McCoy-Prael, sang Christmas carols.
Articles about the trains display have appeared in the December 21, 2018, issue of the Mountain View Voice (on pages 1 and 17), the December 12, 2016, issue of the Mountain View Voice, in the December 21, 2010, issue, and on pages 1 and 9 of the November 30, 2012, issue. A 2015 article in the San Francisco Chronicle features photos by James Tensuan, son of neighbor Donna Tensuan.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s event such a huge success. The four volunteers at the two welcome tables signed in over 300 attendees who enjoyed the free ice cream and toppings while meeting their neighbors.
The Monta Loma History display showed early photos of the neighborhood and a binder of the MLNA’s early history. Neighborhood Watch information was also on the history table, and the CERT display offered information about keeping us safe during a disaster. Laureen Lam taught us about allergy-fighting plants for our yards.
Familiar faces from Mountain View Trees (which has merged with Canopy) answered questions about tree problems.
Attractions for the children included Gizmo Gary’s balloon creations, face painting and games, and Gloria’s cotton-candy machine.
Mayor Lisa Matichak, Police Chief Max Bosel, and two members of the MVLAHSD Board attended, but Police Sgt. Wally Magee may have been the most popular guest because he brought a very friendly police dog. They all appreciated the opportunity to meet Monta Loma residents, and their appreciation was echoed by the neighbors.
Tricia then introduced the board candidates. Because the election was uncontested, the slate was ratified by voice vote. The 2019-2020 board members are listed here.
Guest speakers Community Services Officer Jodie Pierce and Sgt. Wahed (Wally) Magee from the MVPD spoke about safety. They mentioned the importance of block parties, which encourage neighbors to know and to watch out for each other. Officer Pierce said that 40% of the block parties held in Mountain View are in Monta Loma. Sgt. Magee stressed the importance of reducing theft from vehicles. If a laptop, iPad, or mobile device is not completely shut down, it constantly looks for WiFi, and burglars use devices that can detect them. Rental cars and Teslas are prime targets for auto burglaries. Parking lots are prime car-burglary spots, so your items should be put in the trunk before reaching your destination.
Questions from audience members included these:
What crimes are increasing? Car burglaries, mail theft, and drugs, partly due to lower penalties.
How to prevent package theft? Security cameras that are less noticeable, neighbors who will collect your packages, and Amazon drop-off boxes.
One Monta Loman’s trash was another’s treasure at our neighborhood garage sale on Saturday, May 4. In addition to the 21 families who registered their sales to be publicized on the neighborhood email list, our website, NextDoor, and the Voice’s online Community Calendar, others also set out their no-longer-needed items to pass along, and many people visited the sales.
The event was recycling at its best, plus an opportunity to meet more of our neighbors.
The neighborhood email list, MLN, has long been a wonderful neighborhood resource, allowing us to share requests, information, no-longer-needed items, and much more.
Problems with Yahoo Groups prompted moving the list to a new host. Those already on the Yahoo list were emailed an invitation to join the new list. The new list was activated in April 2019, and the old list retired.
Monta Loma residents and property owners who would like to join this list should send a request including your name and address to Peggy Manor <firstname.lastname@example.org>. You may be asked a question to verify that you live in Monta Loma.
Ernie Bianco’s son, John, and the rest of the Bianco family continued the tradition of running his model trains evenings on Adele Ave. between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The display was featured in the December 21, 2018, issue of the Mountain View Voice (on pages 1 and 17), and drew more than a hundred people on some nights. Sandra H. commented, “We walk over every evening when it’s clear. It’s a great way to get the kids outside, even though it’s dark. It’s the highlight of our year. John is a neighborhood hero!”
Neighbor Elna Tymes reported, “The trains were a huge success during the evenings leading up to Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Lots of happy, appreciative people, ‘kids with their faces all aglow’ and adults fascinated, too. Unfortunately, it rained and was windy in the late afternoon and early evening of Christmas Eve, so my daughter-in-law didn’t sing this year, but John was out by the garage as usual.”