Archive for the ‘Johnny Khamis’ Category

District 10 Park Heroes

From left to right are Dave Poeschel, District 10 Councilmember Johnny Khamis, Patrick Pizzo, and Lee Pauser

On Feb. 8th 2018, Dave, Patrick, and Lee were awarded the status of “Park Heroes” at the State of the City address.  An award that was surely well deserved.  Congratulations, guys; for all you do for our parks.  When you see these guys, make sure to give them a pat on the back and say “Thank You” for all their hard work.

Dave hard at work

Pat Pizzo

Lee Pauser with one of his many bird friends

55 trees planted in Jeffrey Fontana & TJ Martin parks

On December 16th & January 6th., Our City Forest (OCF) held “Planting Parties” and a total of 55 new trees were planted in our Jeffrey Fontana & TJ Martin parks. The new trees were planted in select locations and in areas where dead or dying trees needed to be replaced. The professional staff of Our City Forest managed the program and provided direction and tools.

From left to right are MFPA Vice-President Richard Zahner, MFPA President Rod Carpenter, District 10 Councilmember Johnny Khamis, and OCF Planting Manager Rob Castaneda

These plantings were a major “once in a decade” opportunity and the Martin Fontana Parks Association Board of Directors wants to give a big “Thank You” to the OCF staff, MFPA members, and all the other volunteers who came out and helped make it a success.

This program was initiated by PG&E early in 2017 when they asked the MFPA Board to partner with them to find locations for new trees to replace the ones they were required to remove along Almaden Expressway.  A team of MFPA members created a ‘Planting Plan’ for consideration of the City Park Staff and PG&E.  The PG&E planting guidelines that limit the mature tree height for any trees under the lines were taken in to account during the negotiations. This avoids any possible contact with the lines and costly annual tree trimming.

Our plan was adopted in principle by PG&E and used in negotiations with the City and County. PG&E finished the removal of over 150 trees along Alamaden Expressway in late summer and then provided funding to OCF to plant replacements in our parks.  MFPA finalized the Planting Plan locations and the OCF Arborist coordinated tree selection with the City and PG&E.

From left to right are District 10 Councilmember Johnny Khamis, MFPA Project Manager Dave Poeschel, OCF rep, Brian O’Neill, and two others.

The trees were of the 15-gallon size from the OCF nursery. The City will provide water for a three-year program to assure survival of these young trees and OCF will manage the watering. Our continuing responsibility will be to support the OCF watering and report problems, if and when they occur.

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We hope you, your children, and future neighbors, will enjoy all the new trees and a have an attractive parks for decades.

 

 

 

District 10 sets aside $250,000 for Guadalupe Oak Grove Park woodland management

On December 4, 2017, Mollie Tobias of the City’s Adopt-a-Park program and her crew, including our Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services maintenance team, supported the Swath Project in the Guadalupe Oak Grove Park.  You may recall that the Swath is a section of our park, between the east and central trails, 30 foot wide and about 420 foot long, in which 1-year Blue and Valley Oak seedlings were flagged.

These small ‘starts’ have been out competed by Coast Live Oak saplings for years.  They are encroaching from two main areas: the dog-park entry area, near the Villas of Almaden and the main GOGP entry off of Thorntree.  As a result, our open Blue and Valley oak woodland on the Valley floor has been transitioning to a closed Oak woodland.  It was initially thought that the Blue and Valley oaks were not regenerating.  However, Lee Pauser, Dave Poeschel and I found that these starts were there and were just being out-competed by Coast Live Oak saplings and the unmanaged European grasses.

The idea of the Swath is to demonstrate this regeneration by removing the Coast Live Oak saplings, then caging the Blue and Valley Oak starts to protect them from wildlife, providing occasional summer water, and promoting their establishment through the removal of weeds and grasses adjacent to these starts. Preserving the unique GOGP (one of the last two remaining Valley and Oak woodlands in the Santa Clara Valley) requires woodland management and Monday’s effort is a first step!   Thanks to the commitment of District 10 and our Councilman Johnny Khamis, funding at a level of $250K has been set-aside to involve H.T. Harvey and Associates, environmental consultants, in the woodland management of this park!

We ant to thank the dozen volunteers from the Signifyd Company for their help in coordination with project leads Lee Pauser and I.  Ninety-five percent of the scheduled work was performed between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. on the workday!  I’m sure there will be a lot of sore muscles and a few bruises at Signifyd come Tuesday!

Park users should see a notable difference in the condition of the park in the area of the Swath.  This is illustrated in the photo comparison below.

Thanks again to all involved.

Patrick Pizzo

 

Please don’t pick the flowers. Oops! I meant to say FLAGS….

 

 

You may have seen green/blue and red irrigation flags in one area of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park between two of the main walking trails.  These flags represent a project being done in cooperation with District 10.  They mark a 30 foot-wide swath from trail to trail, and all the one-year old, baby Valley and Blue Oak shoots that are growing within.  These shoots are to be ‘caged’ in chicken wire cages to protect them, watered and encouraged to live as they are to be the replacement trees for the Blue and Valley Oak trees we are losing to the extended drought and other issues.  The flags are there because after the deciduous native oak trees drop their leaves they will be ‘invisible’ but for the subsequent caging.  Blue and Valley Oaks will not regenerate due to the high-weed and grass load in the park and the out-competing Coast Live Oaks which are overtaking the open Savannah.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

 

 

 

Pat Pizzo

Everybody had a great time at the Volunteer Appreciation Celebration

MARTIN-FONTANA PARKS ASSOCIATION’S

Held at The Villas Clubhouse, light hors d’oeuvres were served along with wine and other beverages .

 

Awards were presented along with MFPA pins to the 55 volunteers attending  

 

The MFPA Board of Directors all received Elephants from MFPA President Rod Carpenter.  In case you were wondering, Rod’s favorite saying is “You can eat an elephant if you take a bite at a time“.

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*Thanks to our wonderful photographer, Susan Mosher, for such great photos!

San Jose staff whips Almaden area parks into shape

TJ Martin Park Soccer Fields

Here’s an article by Julia Baum | jbaum@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group dated September 20, 2017:

Several parks in the Almaden Valley area should be in top shape after San Jose public works crews checked off a long list of improvements throughout the summer that have all finally been finished.

The upgrades range from simple replacements such as new solar LEDs at Chris Hotts Park to redoing the playground surface at Vista Park to rehabilitating the soccer fields at TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana parks.

For the rest of the story go to:  http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/20/san-jose-staff-whips-almaden-area-parks-into-shape/

TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Park Maintenance

TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks are part of Maintenance District One, divided into three areas, or routes.  Our parks are two of twelve facilities including the Almaden library and community center and four other parks.  The staff caring for all 12 facilities consists of one Gardener and two Grounds workers.  We currently have an unfilled position of Maintenance Assistant that needs to be filled.  Two mowers are assigned to mow the 82.2 acres of turf in the district, so we are assigned every other Friday for our mowing days. On June 13 the soccer field renovation was mowed for the first time.

Irrigation, weeds, and rodents continue to be our worst nightmares.  Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services  are discussing the possibility of creating an irrigation strike team for the city to help with our never ending problems with our ancient irrigation system.

Remember, if you see an irrigation break, or something in the park that needs to be taken care of, send an email, with picture, if possible, to rzahner1@mac.com.

MFPA Vice President, Richard Zahner

 

Tell the San Jose City Council to improve the maintenance of our Parks

 

The San Jose City Council approved some token additions to the 2017/2018 budget for parks maintenance.  We are not likely to see any improvements, as the additions will go to parks that are rated much lower than ours.   There are still NO plans to fund the rehabilitation of neighborhood parks.  If the city council would take a realistic approach to maintaining our parks, we would definitely see some improvements.  Otherwise it will be business as usual in our parks and they will continue to deteriorate.

So how do we get the council to take action that will benefit Jeffrey Fontana and T. J. Martin parks?  The answer lies in LETTING THE COUNCIL MEMBERS KNOW THAT WE WANT TO SEE CHANGE AND THAT WE VOTE.  Here is an example of something that happened during the council’s last budget planning session.  There were a token number of attendees from MFPA and other San Jose park advocates.  However, one group that wanted a budget addition of $183,000 for their cause showed up in force.  They had Tee Shirts that identified them and they took the opportunity to make their two-minute pitches to the council.   The end result was that they got their $183,000 addition.  And by the way, their addition came out of the Park’s budget.

That action was effective but it’s only one way to get the council member’s attention.  Here are some suggestions that all of us could take to make our concerns known:

  • Send hard copy letters to our council member and to the other city council members expressing your concerns.  The letters are even more effective if they are signed by multiple residents.  If there is a pending discussion of parks or park budgets send the letters to the City Clerk as well.
  • Hard copy letters are the most effective but e-mails will also work.
  • Attend the neighborhood budget planning sessions.
  • Attend the pertinent council sessions and be vocal.  All attendees are allowed two minutes to make their points to the council.  You can include PowerPoint presentations if you like.  The atmosphere is not overwhelming and the Mayor and Council members will listen to what you have to say.  The more attendees who speak on the same subject the more effective the message will be.
  • Continue to support MFPA as membership numbers count.
  • Pay attention to MFPA requests for support when they are posted on the web site and/or sent via e-mail.   We will alert you to the important issues.
  • And please consider joining San Jose Park Advocates.  There is no membership fee but you will get timely and insightful information about overall San Jose park issues.  The website is: www.sjparksadvocates.org   Click on “Contact” to add your information.

Remember there is strength in numbers!

Richard Grialou, MFPA Political/Agency Liaison Chair