Archive for January, 2011

MFPA’s New Board

From left to right are:  the T J Martin Representative, Larry Sasscer, Vice President Mike Kalashian, Secretary Pat Wagstaff, President Linda Wilson;  Jeffrey Fontana Representative, Dick Stevens; Treasurer Bob Heldt, and Leslie Dornell,  At Large Representative.

At the General Membership Meeting of 22 Jan, Co-President, Dick Stevens presented a history of  how the Association was formed, beginning with the first trees cut by PG&E in TJ Martin Park on August 9, 2010. This was followed by the meetings, hosted by Councilmember Nancy Pyle, with PG&E and community in February and March. By May 18, a group in the community had organized and began efforts to call attention to PG&E’s planned removal of 140 trees.  In June, PG&E representatives met with Pier and Dick to begin discussions. On July 1, 13 trees were cut, temporarily sparing Tree #13.

By August 12, 2010, the Martin-Fontana Parks Association was formed with a pro-tem Board of Directors. The objective of the Association is to preserve and enhance the beauty of TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks working with the City of San Jose and PG&E, in a manner compatible with the delivery of safe and reliable power.

Dick presented the Goals of the Organization for 2011 as follows:

  • Negotiations will continue with PG&E, with the goal of reaching a mutual agreement about PG&E actions in the parks for the next three to five year period.
  • Park vegetation enhancements will continue, including grant proposals for future plantings in all four park areas.
  • Work will continue with the City to have a grove of multi-trunked oak trees in Fontana West declared a Heritage Grove, thus providing some extra protection.
  • Strength in numbers is important when working with the City and PG&E. Membership drives  and fund raising efforts will expand the Association’s ability to be the community’s spokesman and achieve its objectives.

The new Board of Directors for 2011 are:

  • President Linda Wilson and Vice President Mike Kalashian, who replace Co-Presidents Dick Stevens & Pier Maggiani.
  • Treasurer Bob Heldt, replacing Valli Sharpe-Geisler who will now produce the newsletter.
  • Pat Wagstaff becomes the Secretary, replacing Linda Wilson.
  • Dick Stevens becomes the Villas/Fontana Rep, replacing Larry Hinman.
  • TJ Martin Rep, Tom Morse is replaced by Larry Sasscer.
  • The At-Large Rep position will be filled by Leslie Dornell, replacing Pat Wagstaff

Standing Committee Chairs are:

  • Public Relations/Community Liaison, Jean Lamarca.
  • AV/Website, Sunny Wagstaff
  • Membership, Edesa Bitbadal
  • Park Monitoring, Vince Piazzisi
  • Park Management, Pat Pizzo
  • Fundraising, the entire Board

Congratulations to all for a job well done and a special thanks to all the former board members for all their hard work this past year.

Out going former Co-Presidents, Dick Stevens & Pier Maggiani


We get a bigger piece of the pie

Displayed in the January 2011 Newsletter of  Councilmember Nancy Pyle is this pie chart:

Constituent Concern Chart - Jan 2010

As you can see, Tree Removals in TJ and Fontana Park got 449 comments and requests.  Far exceeding all the others.  In May of last year we had 350 comments and requests.  Let’s all keep up the good work and express our concerns over the potential loss of the trees in both parks this new year ahead.  Councilmember Nancy Pyle can be contacted at (408) 535-4910 or emailed at E-

You can also sign up for her Monthly Newsletter at