Delivery Robot Pilot Program – Following a presentation by Starship Technologies, the City Council expressed support during their regular meeting on Nov. 15, 2016 for a pilot program to allow use of autonomous delivery robots in Sunnyvale. The City is currently developing a licensing agreement with Starship Technologies for a one-year pilot program. The electrically-powered robots (about the size of an ice chest) will travel along sidewalks at four miles per hour. They will deliver food and groceries within a three-mile radius of downtown Sunnyvale. For the first six months, each robot will be accompanied by a human handler. The City is encouraging Starship Technologies to work with the Sunnyvale Downtown Association to promote and highlight the pilot program. Similar programs are currently operating in Redwood City; Washington D.C.; Fayetteville, Arkansas; London, England; Hamburg, Germany; and Bern, Switzerland. For more information contact Ria Hutabarat Lo, 408-730-7502.
Street Sweeping Service Reminder Introduced – The City recently launched a street sweeping reminder service. Residents are able to enter an address and obtain a calendar of what days the street sweeper will serve that block. In addition to the calendar, a resident may request a regular reminder the day before sweeping is scheduled. Reminder notices can be delivered via email, phone call, twitter, or text message; whichever is preferred. The familiar map and schedule table is still available for download. Visit StreetSweeping.InSunnyvale.com. For more information, contact the Department of Public Works, 408-730-7415.
Demolition Begins at Benner Plaza Affordable Housing Site – On March 17, MidPen Housing began site work on a new 66-unit affordable housing project at 460 Persian Drive in Sunnyvale, with demolition of the existing warehouse structure on the site. They expect to complete demolition within two weeks, begin grading and construction in mid-April, and completion of the project within 15 months. The City of Sunnyvale provided a loan of $7.43 million in local Housing funds and $600,000 in federal HOME funds to assist in the development of this project. Other project lenders include the County of Santa Clara, Bank of America, and the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley. The project is named Edwina Benner Plaza in honor of Sunnyvale's first female mayor, who was also the first female mayor in California. For more information contact the Housing Division at 408-730-7250.
Housing and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Hearing, 2017 Draft Action Plan on April 19 – Every year, the City prepares a draft Action Plan to receive two federal grants: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program grant. In recent years, these grants have provided approximately $1.3 million annually for affordable housing and community development activities in Sunnyvale. The federal funding available to Sunnyvale for these programs will come from the current federal fiscal year budget (Federal FY 16/17). The Action Plan provides a list of projects and programs the City plans to fund in FY 2017-18 using the CDBG and HOME funds that the City estimates may be available during that year. At 7:00 p.m. on April 19, the HHSC will hold a public hearing on the draft 2017 Action Plan and make recommendations to the City Council regarding its contents. Council will consider the Plan following a public hearing on May 9. Public comments on the Draft Action Plan will be accepted between April 7 and May 9, 2017 via email to Katrina Ardina, or at either of the public hearings. The draft Action Plan will be available for public review at: Sunnyvale City Hall, 456 W. Olive Avenue; the Sunnyvale Public Library, 665 W. Olive Avenue; and online at HUD Programs beginning April 7. For more information or additional options for submitting written comments, contact Katrina Ardina, Housing Analyst, at 408-730-7250.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Cost Recovery Efforts – The recent large storms in January and February caused considerable damage within the Santa Clara County Operational Area. To date, there has only been a Presidential Declaration for the January storms, and FEMA has begun applicant briefings for the public assistance recovery process. Governor Brown initiated a request on behalf of Santa Clara County for a Presidential Declaration in regards to the February storms, but there is no timeline or guarantee that one will be made. The City submitted damage assessment and cost recovery documentation to the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services (OES) for damages to City property resulting from the February storms which includes costs to: remediate flooding in two city buildings; repair traffic signals at five intersections throughout the city; clean-up debris and remove or replace trees in six city parks; and repair damage to technical equipment at Public Safety headquarters due to loss of power. The initial cost estimate is $75,705, but this number could change as the City continues to evaluate and assess storm damage. If a Presidential Declaration is announced, Santa Clara County OES will communicate with operational area jurisdictions what the timeline will be for applicant briefings regarding public assistance recovery. For more information contact Captain Vinicio Mata, 408-730-7188.
Old Mountain View-Alviso Road Bridge Replacement Project – The City is currently advertising for the construction of the Old Mountain View Alviso Road Bridge Replacement project. This project includes construction of a replacement bridge over Calabazas Creek to correct existing structural and roadway deficiencies, with construction anticipated to occur this summer. Old Mountain View-Alviso Road will be temporarily closed to vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between Reamwood Avenue on the west and Patrick Henry Drive on the east. Traffic will be temporarily detoured to Tasman Drive via Reamwood Avenue and Patrick Henry Drive. The Calabazas Creek Trail will be temporarily closed between Tasman Drive to the south and SR 237 to the north. Trail users will be detoured along the surrounding surface streets during construction. It is anticipated that the road closure will extend for approximately three months, and trail closure will extend for approximately four months, while the new bridge is being constructed. For more information, contact the Public Works Engineering Division, 408-730-7605.
City of Sunnyvale Office of Emergency Services (OES) Planning Efforts – The City has completed two significant OES planning projects. In conjunction with the Santa Clara County Operational Area, the City's OES participated in the current countywide revision of the 2010 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. By participating in the planning process, each special district and local jurisdiction can continue to be eligible to apply for and receive grant funding from FEMA. The planning process included conducting a thorough hazard vulnerability analysis, creating community disaster mitigation priorities, and creating subsequent mitigation strategies and projects. This effort was paid for by a countywide grant and driven by Santa Clara County OES. Additionally, staff revised our City Emergency Operations Plan, which had not been updated since 2005. The City will present this via a Report to Council later this spring. For more information, contact Captain Vinicio Mata, 408-730-7188.
Proposed Projects at 900 and 954 Henderson Ave. (Thunderbird and Ranchero Mobile home Parks) – The City received two Tentative Map applications to consider conversion of the Thunderbird and Ranchero mobile home parks to resident-owned mobile home park (condominium form of ownership) (Files 2015-7707 and 2015-7706, respectively). There are 166 units in the Thunderbird park located at 954 Henderson and 112 units in the Ranchero park located at 900 Henderson. If the tentative maps are approved, the parks would convert to resident-ownership and the current owner of the parks, under state law, could offer individual plots for sale. The mobile homes in the parks are currently 100 percent owned by the land owner. According to park owners, only minor improvements to the parks are planned at this time. The sites would continue to operate as rental mobile home parks unless the owners decide to sell lots at a future date. The Planning Commission hearing is tentatively scheduled for April 24, 2017 and the City Council hearing would follow in May (date TBD). For more information, contact Principal Planner Gerri Caruso, 408-730-7591.
LinkedIn Hosts NOVA Youth Event — On Feb. 24, LinkedIn hosted a special youth event at its corporate campus in Sunnyvale with fifty students, ages 16 to 25, participating from Homestead High School and De Anza and Mission colleges. During the event, participants broke in two groups tailored to the students' level of experience. One of the groups participated in a Shark Tank experience where small groups of students, together with LinkedIn volunteers, proposed ideas to help a struggling company and pitched them to Shark Tank judges, which included LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. This event is one of many that LinkedIn has hosted for the NOVA youth program and is part of a multi-year partnership.
NOVA Co-Sponsors Job Fair – On March 14, NOVA co-sponsored the Nonprofit & Public Service Job & Internship Fair in collaboration with the San Jose State University (SJSU) Career Center, and held at the SJSU Student Union. With the goal to support careers in the nonprofit and government sectors, thirty employers representing a broad cross section, offered volunteer, internship, full-time and part-time opportunities to more than 200 NOVA job seekers and SJSU students and alumni who were in attendance.
2017 Tip a Cop Campaign Starts – The City hosts four Tip a Cop events where Public Safety staff serve food and drinks and clear tables at local restaurants to raise funds for the Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games. The first event on March 15 at Black Angus restaurant was a huge success. Once again, the Sunnyvale community came forward to support a great cause and the event collected $3,566 in donations. This was nearly double the amount collected last year, not including an unknown amount Black Angus will donate. The next Tip a Cop event takes place Tuesday, April 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at Country Gourmet. For more information, contact Captain Shawn Ahearn, 408-730-7158.
Did You Remember to Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery? – Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan and while the safety message change your clock – change your battery is no longer nationally promoted, it is still a potentially lifesaving habit. New smoke alarms are equipped with a battery having a 10-year life that does not require changing. But if you live in a home or rental unit with older battery-operated smoke alarms, now is the time to change your battery! Also, don't forget to test each alarm monthly and replace any alarms that are 10 years old. For more information contact Fire Marshal Lynne Kilpatrick, 408-730-7219.
National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week – Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as Public Safety Telecommunicators throughout the United States; this year the dates are April 9 to 15. During the regional awards banquet on April 7 in San Jose, the entire City of Sunnyvale Communications Unit will be receiving the Countywide Special Achievement Award for their hard work with the nonprofit organization Crisis Text Line. During that extraordinary project, Sunnyvale Dispatchers played a role in helping local agencies all over the country contact people at imminent risk of suicide, self-harm, or homicide. This unprecedented effort exhibited innovation, adaptability, and excellence in service to the public not only in Sunnyvale, but across the country, with their work making a significant impact on hundreds of lives. For more information, contact Public Safety Communications Manager Michael Spath, 408-730-7165.
Awards of Excellence – During the month of February, the City received several awards that reflect our continued commitment to excellence, innovation and the use of technology. Four came from the California Parks and Recreation Society:
- California Award of Excellence (Marketing and Communications) for a successful "Super Heroes" social media campaign celebrating Parks and Recreation Month (July 2016);
- Local District 4 Award of Excellence for the State of the City community event (July 2016);
- Local District 4 Award of Excellence for the response and support provided to the victims of the Twin Pines apartment complex fire (April 2016); and
- Local District 4 Volunteer Award to long-time volunteer, Kathleen Bohle, for her hard work and dedication to the monthly Family Harvest Program serving groceries to residents of the Columbia Neighborhood Center area.
In addition, the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce presented the City with their award for Technology and Innovation in Library Services. These awards are reminders of the successful partnerships built between City departments, as well as with outside organizations such as Sunnyvale Community Services.
Award for Make-HER Programs – The mission of the Krause Center for Innovation (KCI), based at Foothill College, is to design and implement innovative professional development education and training, with an emphasis on technology integration and STEM curriculum, to support the diverse workforce needed to compete in the knowledge economy. The Microsoft/KCI Innovation Award honors three exemplary, innovative teacher-student collaborative projects that fully integrate technology and benefit the Silicon Valley educational community. This year, the Library's Make-HER program series received the second-place award of $3,000, with the City using those funds continue offering the programs at the Library and Columbia Middle School. The Make-HER program series, led by librarian Nancy Andrus, provides opportunities for mothers and daughters ages 8 to 12 to explore project-based, hands-on STEM learning. The Make-HER series was also featured in a recent publication: Making Science: Reimagining STEM Education in Middle School and Beyond by Christa Flores. An award recognition event will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2017.
Budget Publication Award – The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the City of Sunnyvale Fiscal Year 2016/17 Budget. It is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting, and reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meet both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting, and the GFOA's best practices on budgeting. For this award, GFOA judged that the City published a budget document that meets program criteria as a policy document, as an operations guide, as a financial plan, and as a communications device. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America. This is the 30th year the City has received this prestigious award. For more information, contact Jensen Barna, Budget Analyst I.
Three Years of Back PEG Fees Recovered From AT&T's U-Verse Service – As authorized by the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (DIVCA), the City has an ordinance imposing a fee for capital support of public, educational, and government (PEG) channels. Any state video franchise holder operating within the boundaries of the City shall pay the City a fee equal to one percent of the gross revenue of that state video franchise holder for use by the City for any PEG purposes consistent with state and federal law. The City recently completed a review of AT&T's U-Verse service and found they were not in compliance of the City's regulations. AT&T agreed to remit to the City $183,466.81 in full with respect to PEG fees under DIVCA for the maximum allowed three-year audit recovery period of Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2016. For more information please contact Senior Management Analyst Brice McQueen.
Grant Applications for Transportation Projects – The City submitted seven applications for $1.2 million in Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA) grant funds. The purpose of the TFCA program is to improve transportation options by promoting walking and biking, and to reduce traffic congestion and pollutant air emissions. The grant, if awarded, will fund retiming and synchronization of traffic signals on Arques Avenue, Caribbean Drive, Evelyn Avenue, Fair Oaks Avenue, Reed Avenue, Sunnyvale Avenue, and will also fund construction of Safe Route to School elements at various locations throughout the City. The grant applications are considered on a competitive basis and require 15 percent in local match.
Recent Power Outages and Generator Malfunctions – The City has recently experienced multiple issues with power outages and generator malfunctions. The memo below summarizes the recent events, and provides updates for plans to prevent in the future.
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS
Super Safari Preschool – Library and Community Services offers school year preschool classes for children 3 to 5 years of age. Families are encouraged to register as soon as possible to secure their space in the 2017-18 school year. For more information including dates and fees, visit Preschool.inSunnyvale.com.
Friends of the Library Book Sale – Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, March 26, noon to 3 p.m. at Sunnyvale Public Library, 665 W. Olive Ave. Get great deals on thousands of books, movies and music at the Friends of the Sunnyvale Public Library Book Sale. Proceeds support Library programs and services.
Hindi Holi Festival Storytime – Saturday, April 1, 11:30 a.m. to noon at the Sunnyvale Public Library, 665 W. Olive Ave. Stories and crafts for children relating to the Hindi festival event for Holi.
Evenings of Cultural Arts – Saturday, April 1, 8 p.m. at the Sunnyvale Theatre, 550 E. Remington Drive. The Evenings of Cultural Arts concludes its season with James Garner's Tribute to Johnny Cash. James Garner faithfully performs Cash's greatest hits, sprinkled with historical accounts and anecdotes. For more information on the artist or to purchase tickets visit Arts.inSunnyvale.com or call the Box Office at 408-733-6611.
Digital Preschool: Screen Time and the Young Child – Thursday, April 6, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sunnyvale Community Center, Neighborhood Room, 550 E. Remington Drive. Presented by Parent's Place, this free workshop will help parents and caregivers learn about the impact of screen time on young children. Participants will receive guidelines for establishing a healthy media diet and determine how educational programs can enhance your child's learning. RSVPs are appreciated but not required. For more information or to RSVP, contact Youth and Family Resources, 408-730-7800.
Family Movie Night – The Department of Library and Community Services, through its Teen Advisory Committee (TAC), is partnering with the Environmental Services Department and Monterey Bay Aquarium to offer a Family Movie Night on Friday, April 7 at Serra Park. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and the movie will begin after sunset. Pre-movie activities will include large lawn games and interactive booths for families to learn about energy and environmental health. For more information, please e-mail TAC or call 408-730-7350.
The Drowsy Chaperone – In partnership with the Department of Library and Community Services, the Sunnyvale Community Players proudly present their final production of the season, The Drowsy Chaperone. Performances run April 8 to 30 at the Sunnyvale Theatre, 550 E. Remington Drive. Winner of 5 Tony Awards (including Best Book and Best Original Score), The Drowsy Chaperone is a loving send-up of the Jazz age musical featuring one show-stopping song and dance number after another. For more information or to purchase tickets visit sunnyvaleplayers.org or call 408-733-6611.
Sunnyvale Theatre Presents The Bremen Town Musicians – In conjunction with the Department of Library and Community Services, the California Theater Center features upcoming performances of The Bremen Town Musicians. Delight in the Grimm Brothers story set during the California Gold Rush with songs from the era. This moral tale about teamwork and making life changes resonates with audiences of all ages. All shows take place at the Sunnyvale Theatre, 550 E. Remington Drive. Family shows (suggested for Grades K through 5th) run Saturdays, April 8 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and April 15 at 11 a.m. For more show information or to purchase tickets visit ctcinc.org.
Spring Break Gymnastics Camp – Back by popular demand, California Sports Center's Gymnastics Camp will be offered during spring break, April 10 to 14, 2017. Boys and girls ages 3 to 15 can participate in half day or full day sessions featuring Olympic events, stretching, trampoline, cooperative activities and crafts. The camp has been experiencing continued growth during recent years increasing to 1,020 participant hours in 2016. For more information or to register visit Recreation.inSunnyvale.com or call 408-730-7334.
eBook Publication Celebration – Sunnyvale Public Library recently offered 18 writers an opportunity to be published by the Bay Area Library ePublishers (BALE) in its second community anthology, Cooking Up Stories. With funding from the California State Library during its pilot year, BALE is now in its second digital publication cycle. The public is encouraged to "save the date" for the Cooking Up Stories eBook Launch Party on Saturday, April 8, 2017 in the Sunnyvale Public Library Program Room from 3 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event's Keynote Speaker, Carolyn Jung, is an award-winning food and wine writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area and she will be selecting passages from the eBook to be read aloud during the event. Light refreshments will be served. For more information contact Liz Hickok Liz Hickok.