May 31: Learn About Electric Heat Pumps

The City of Sunnyvale and Sunnyvale Sustainability Commission are hosting their first speaker of 2017 on May 31, at 7 pm, in the City Council Chambers.

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Heat Pump Diagram, via Salt River Project

Pierre Delforge of the Natural Resources Defense Council will share why and how to convert to electric heat pumps for water and space heating in homes and businesses. With carbon-free electricity coming to Sunnyvale, switching to electricity instead of natural gas–a fossil fuel–for major heating appliances can save money and protect the climate.

Refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. Event commences at 7:00 p.m. Register for free at Eventbrite.

Pierre Delforge is the Director of Energy Efficiency in the High Tech Sector at the Natural Resources Defense Council. At NRDC, he focuses mainly on reducing the consumption of electricity by the rapidly growing I.T. and consumer electronics sectors. Previously, Delforge was lead energy and climate strategist for Hewlett-Packard’s sustainability group. He began his career in the United Kingdom and France before moving to Silicon Valley in 2004. He holds degrees in computer science from Cambridge University and L’Ecole Centrale Paris. He is based in San Francisco.

This Saturday, May 20: Children’s Arts Festival

HOTA2012-118Hands on the Arts is an all-day children’s art festival, held annually the third Saturday in May. The event features more than 30 workshop booths where children can try their hands at different art forms. Professional artists lead workshops using a wide variety of arts and craft materials and techniques, as well as music and dance. Many of the workshops introduce children to unique art forms from different cultures, such as Indian rangoli, Chinese silk knotting, Japanese brush painting and Mexican folklorico dancing. All supplies are included in the $10 per child admission fee. (Adults and non-participating children are welcome at no charge.)

Who: Recommended for children 2 years and older

What:

  • Access to explore 30+ music, dance and art workshops
  • All arts supplies and artist instruction
  • A Hands on the Arts Festival souvenir bag

When: May 20, 2017 (rain or shine) 10am to 4pm

Where: Sunnyvale Community Center
550 East Remington Dr.
Sunnyvale CA 94087

The 2017 Hands on the Arts Festival, which will be the 32nd annual, will focus on supporting the City’s “STEM to STEAM” initiative. Some of the workshops at the festival will integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics with art, as maker projects.

Wednesday, April 26: The Future of El Camino Real

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ECR Plan Map, City of Sunnyvale

This Wednesday, April 26, the Sunnyvale Sustainable and Affordable Living Coalition, Greenbelt Alliance, Sunnyvale Cool, Sunnyvale Democratic Club, and Friends of Caltrain are hosting a panel discussion, moderated by Tara Martin-Milius, regarding the future of El Camino Real in Sunnyvale.

Questions that will be explored:

  • How can we create great neighborhoods that we can all afford?
  • What can be done to make safer places for walking and biking with smart transportation choices?
  • How will the future of the corridor affect our economy, our environment, and our quality of life?

Panelists include:

Larry Klein, Sunnyvale City Council Member, former Planning Commissioner, a long-time advocate for affordable housing, open space, and walkability. Larry was involved when the Downtown Specific Plan was kicked off more than 15 years ago. He was previously on the Sunnyvale Planning Commission for 9+ years.

Adina Levin, a passionate transit advocate, co-founded Friends of Caltrain and currently serves on the Menlo Park Transportation Commission, the San Mateo County Congestion Management and Environmental Quality Committee, and the Silicon Valley @ Home policy advisory committee.

Kirk Vartan, owner of New York Pizza in Sunnyvale. Kirk is a strong advocate for smart urban design, including transit, housing, and agrihood. He is Co-chair of the Stevens Creek Advisory Group in San Jose, which addresses issues and opportunities that will come with the development of that region’s urban villages.

Marie Bernard, Executive Director of Sunnyvale Community Services since 2010. The mission of Sunnyvale Community Services is to prevent homelessness and hunger in the local community, helping 8,000 people each year with financial aid, food assistance, case management, and bringing together 2,000+ volunteers from public, private, and faith communities.

Jaime Fearer, AICP, Deputy Director in San José, is passionate about where we live and is interested in the critical intersection of equity, public health, and active transportation planning and advocacy. She focuses on California Walks’ partnerships across the state, to positively influence policy that will improve pedestrian safety and walkability. She represents San Jose on the VTA’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Details:

Wednesday, April 26
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Ballroom, Sunnyvale Community Center
550 E. Remington Dr. Sunnyvale, CA 94087

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-future-of-sunnyvales-el-camino-real-a-panel-discussion-tickets-33120918559

Sunnyvale ECR Corridor Specific Plan: http://plansunnyvaleecr.m-group.us/

Questions: contact Sue Serrone at sueserrone@comcast.net

High Speed Rail community meetings

The California High Speed Rail Authority is hosting Community Open House meetings on the range of alternatives being considered for the segments from San Francisco to San Jose. San Francisco to San Jose section is part of the first phase of California HSR, connecting communities from San Francisco and Silicon Valley to the rest of the state. The meetings will be identical in format and content. Some of the issues for review include:

  • Vertical alignment for the approach to Diridon
  • Passing track options, including how they will affect service quality for Caltrain
  • A train storage and maintenance yard proposed for Brisbane

The meetings will be held from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. with a formal presentation starting at 6:00 p.m.

  • Mountain View – Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – Success Center – 875 West Maude Avenue, Unit 5, Mountain View
  • San Mateo – Thursday, April 13, 2017 – Silicon Valley Community Foundation – 1300 South El Camino Real, Suite 100, San Mateo

If you have questions, the High Speed Rail staff to contact are:

Ben Tripousis, ben.tripousis@hsr.ca.gov
Morgan Galli, morgan.galli@hsr.ca.gov

Via: greencaltrain.com

Sunnyvale City Council to consider General Plan revision: more jobs, more transit, less housing

On April 11, City Council is expected to review a revised draft of the Land Use and Transportation Element (LUTE) which is a chapter of the city’s General Plan. The objective is to move Sunnyvale towards being a “Complete Community” that is less dependent on automobiles. Major strategies include:

Village Centers: modify existing shopping districts to include housing. This will increase the housing supply at village centers and expand commercial opportunities for businesses there. Village center will be located near transit lines, improving the odds that residents can commute without driving.

Jobs/Housing Balance: Sunnyvale will add proportionately more jobs than housing. Under present conditions, Sunnyvale has 1.44 jobs per housing unit. By 2035, Sunnyvale will have 1.73 jobs per housing unit. This will make jobs more plentiful, and make it more difficult for residents to secure housing within Sunnyvale.

Multimodal Transit System: city policies will emphasize complete streets, carpooling, mass transit and bicycle infrastructure. As we approach and exceed Sunnyvale’s capacity to transport residents via private automobiles, residents will need better access to more efficient transportation.

LUTE-2035

Development will focus on transit corridors and village centers. Proportionately more jobs will be added. Most existing residential neighborhoods will remain low density.

What do you think? Let City Council know!

Contact City Council to share your thoughts on the LUTE.

City Council is expected to review the changes next Tuesday, April 11, at 7 pm in the City Council Chambers, 456 W. Olive Ave. Members of the public are welcome to speak at the meeting for up to three minutes each.

UPDATE: the City Council agenda for April 11 has been published. Council will review the Land Use and Transportation Element as agenda item #4.

Palo Alto to Introduce Eichler Neighborhood Design Guidelines

Eichler homes, the first of which were built in Sunnyvale in 1949, are an architectural signature of the peninsula. In 2009, the City of Sunnyvale adopted its Eichler Design Guidelines, which are available via the Heritage Commission. Sunnyvale’s Eichler Design Guidelines detail a list of Sunnyvale’s Eichler neighborhoods and design guidance to ensure the basic preservation of these distinctive homes. Sunnyvale’s Guidelines suggest that additional protection should be afforded by the creation of Heritage Preservation Districts.

On April 11, the City of Palo Alto is hosting a community meeting to introduce their own Eichler Neighborhood Design Guidelines project:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Mitchell Park Community Center, Midtown Room
3700 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Attendees are requested to RSVP to Eichler@CityofPaloAlto.org

Additional information is contained in this flyer.

Thanks to local realtor John Fyten for the tip.

Congressman Ro Khanna: Cupertino Town Hall March 25

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Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17)

Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) will discuss recent developments and current legislative activities in Congress and take questions from constituents in attendance

Saturday, March 25, 2017, 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Homestead High School Gymnasium
21370 Homestead Rd.
Cupertino, CA 95014

If you are interested in attending, please fill out the form at the bottom of: https://khanna.house.gov/about/events/march-25-2017-town-hall-meeting

The last Town Hall at Fremont was packed and not everyone who came could attend. The Homestead High School gymnasium seats approximately 1,000 people, and attendees will be accommodated on a “first come, first served” basis. Expressing interest through the RSVP form does not guarantee entry.

Thursday: DIY Native Garden

(Via John Cordes on NextDoor)

“Install-It-Yourself” Native Garden

This is the second, yet stand-alone, class following the “Design-It-Yourself” talk in January. The speaker will cover the nuts and bolts of lawn removal, sheet mulching, soil percolation testing, transitioning to drip irrigation, plant acquisition, and planting techniques. This lecture provides a lot of material in a short time and is designed for a layperson who wants some tips on how to install a small native garden.

Thursday, March 16
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Library Community Room
Mountain View Public Library
585 Franklin St Mountain View, CA

Deva Luna is a sustainable and Bay Friendly-certified landscape designer who has been teaching and speaking about horticulture for over 20 years. She has a degree in “Plants and Art” from U.C. Davis and works for EarthCare Landscaping in Cupertino.

Gardening with Natives (GWN) is a special interest group within the Santa Clara Valley chapter of the California Native Plant Society that includes beginning and seasoned native plant gardeners, along with landscape architects and designers. It offers over 30 talks throughout the year at public libraries which are free and open to all. Visit http://www.cnps-scv.org to see videos of past programs, find out about more events, and learn how you can join the chapter.