Ernie’s trains ran again

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.”

Articles about the trains display also appeared in 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.

2018 Holiday Progressive Dinner a success

The eleventh annual holiday potluck progressive dinner was held on Saturday, December 1, 2018, and was again a great success. The 14 attendees enjoyed each other’s company and good food, and raised $375 for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

The attendees expressed interest in holding a progressive dinner in the summer, when we can walk from home to home in daylight, and eat outdoors.

Photos of the 2018 dinner are here.

Photos of the 2016 dinner and other MLNA events are here.

The progressive dinner and other MLNA events are listed under Events.


2018 Ice Cream Social – a great success

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. Photos of the event were taken by Jim Cochran.

The Mobile Library staff welcomed 110 new and long-time patrons, who checked out 87 items. A crew from the Fire Department encouraged visitors to step inside their vehicle, and a representative of the Recreation Department offered literature on upcoming classes and events.

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.

Mountain View Trees members answered questions about tree problems. Wouter Suverkropp offered rides in a carriage pulled by a walking robot.

Attractions for the children included Gizmo Gary’s balloon creations, face painting and games, and Gloria’s cotton-candy machine. New this year was a group of chairs to enable attendees to sit for a while.

Thirty-three Monta Loma tee shirts were sold but there are still some available for purchase.

Vice Mayor Lisa Matichak, several members of our two school boards, and Sgt. Magee of the MVPD attended. They appreciated the opportunity to meet Monta Loma residents, and their appreciation was echoed by the neighbors.


Annual meeting and board election report

Approximately 75 residents attended the meeting on May 30 in the community room at 250 Mayfield. MLNA President Linda Harvey briefly reviewed the past year’s activities and the number of attendees: 11 block parties (200), Ice Cream Social (300), Spring Fling (150), and progressive dinners (36). After introducing the board candidates and our new traffic/parking liaison, John Canata, Linda turned the podium over to Mayor Lenny Siegel.

Mayor Siegel discussed the need for more housing near jobs and better transit options such as increased Caltrain service, including at San Antonio, and offering discounted Lyft or Uber rides to downtown rather than building more parking.

Speakers from Google X explained some of the projects at the “Moonshot Factory” on our border and the progress made in addressing neighbors’ concerns about light, noise, and parking problems. Our Google X contact will continue to work with John Canata and the City to address the parking problems, some of which are caused by Caltrain commuters. Audience questions included delivery vans and Uber drivers blocking the bike lanes on Mayfield.

John and Natalie Canata comprised the election committee and collected the ballots. The board members are listed on the Neighborhood Association page under MLNA.

Disaster-preparedness information distributed by CERT

During a city-wide drill on Saturday, April 21, 2018, Monta Loma CERT members delivered disaster-preparedness information door-to-door. If your home was missed, or you’d like extra copies of the handouts, you can find them here:

Disaster Preparedness Checklist (2 pages; scroll down)
Flyer explaining the OK-HELP window sign (1 page)
OK-HELP window sign (OK page)
OK-HELP window sign (HELP page)

Learn more about CERT and our neighborhood team here, and about the city’s free training courses here.

Monta Loma History articles

I’ve long promised Cheryl Smith, one of our local historians, that I would add more of her articles to the History page, and I finally did. I re-discovered that Pat Jordan had added some history articles from the newsletter to the wiki under Monta Loma History. I had not thought to look in the wiki for MLN history and others may not either, so I’ve copied those to the bottom of the History page.

On the History page, scroll down for the new additions:
– The Lost Town of Mayfield
– Our Neighborhood’s First Inhabitants
– 2005 Archeological Dig at Mayfield
– Monta Loma’s Airport in 1948


2017 Ice Cream Social — better than ever

Thanks to everyone, the many volunteers as well as the 300+ attendees, who helped make this year’s event such a huge success. Photos were taken by Jim Cochran.

New this year was a two-hour visit by the bookmobile.

The MVFD brought a fire engine for the second hour, and let kids practice using the smaller hose. Just before the engine crew left at 5:00, they shot off a huge jet of water that created a spectacular rainbow.

The Monta Loma History and Neighborhood Watch displays were popular once more, as was the CERT members’ presentation of their emergency equipment.

Attendees could learn about the new food-scraps recycling program, the Mountain View Educational Foundation, and the PTA.  Animal Beacons of Light received many donations of stuffed animals, and 30 Monta Loma tee shirts were bought.

Mountain View Trees members answered questions about tree problems. Wouter Suverkropp and Grant Grundler offered rides in the walking robots’ chariot and carriage.

Attractions for the children included Gizmo Gary’s balloon creations, an obstacle course, face painting and a crafts table, and Gloria’s cotton-candy machine.

MVPD Chief Max Bosel, City Council Member Lisa Matichak, and MVWSD Trustee Ellen Wheeler attended. They all appreciated the opportunity to meet Monta Loma residents, and their appreciation was echoed by the neighbors.

Thanks again to all contributed.


Eclipse viewing in Thaddeus Park

More than 70 neighbors responded to Dotty Calabrese’s invitation to view the Great American Eclipse in Thaddeus Park. Dotty set up her telescope with a sun filter on August 21, 2017, so we could look directly at the sun. Tim Slattery and Ken Wallace also brought telescopes. Dotty had bought 75 pairs of eclipse glasses well in advance. These proved to be not quite enough for all, but everyone was willing to share during what turned out to be a very festive neighborhood event.

Helene Gsell and Ken Wallace shared their photos.