Sunnyvale Notified of Selection to Receive $90,000 Energy Innovation Grant – A grant application requesting $90,000 for a one-year project was submitted to the Silicon Valley Energy Watch (SVEW) Program's Energy Innovation Grant on March 10. The proposed project would implement an action included in the current Climate Action Plan: Smart grid data for energy efficiency and bring Acterra's successful and effective Green@Home program to Sunnyvale homeowners and renters. In partnership with the City, Acterra would engage in community outreach and enroll residents in a software program that creates an online diagnosis of Smart Meter data and send customized recommendations to the resident for ways to cut energy use. Late last week, the City received word from the SVEW staff that Sunnyvale's application was selected to receive the full $90,000 that was requested. This grant will directly offset funding that was budgeted to implement this CAP action. The City will be working with SVEW to review the grant contract and terms in the upcoming weeks.
My Green Earth Poster and Video Contests – Topics for 2017 include: Zero Waste; Ending Litter; Water Savers; Energy Champions; and Walk & Roll. Contest winners will be announced April 28, and honored by the Mayor and City Council on May 23.
- My Green Earth Poster Contest: Open to elementary school students attending schools in Sunnyvale. Students may choose one or more of the above topics for their poster. Register your school or student at My Green Earth Poster Contest. For more information, contact My Green Earth, 408-730-7717.
- My Green Earth Video Contest: Open to elementary, middle and high school students attending schools located in Sunnyvale or students living in Sunnyvale. Winning videos will also be highlighted at the Living Green Fair hosted at the Sunnyvale Public Library on Sunday, April 30, at noon. Register online at: My Green Earth Video Contest. For more information, contact Lisa Coelho, 408-730-7782.
DPS Providing Youth Leadership Academy this Summer – As a follow up to the Feb. 13 City Manager's Blog, Public Safety allocated $12,000 of their Board of State and Community Corrections grant to support a Youth Leadership Academy. The Youth Leadership Academy will focus on youth entering grades 7, 8 or 9, and living or attending school in Sunnyvale. The Youth Leadership Academy will take place at Columbia Middle School on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, June 13 to July 11, (no class July 4). Academy sessions will be taught by a mix of Public Safety staff and community partners and cover the following topics: introduction to leadership; team building; character building and ethics; communication and conflict resolution; decision making; substance abuse awareness; stress management; lifetime fitness and nutrition; healthy teen relationships; social media; and goal setting. Applications have been distributed to Sunnyvale middle schools and Sunnyvale Challenge Team agencies. The deadline to apply is April 28 at 5 p.m. For more information, contact Nancy Thome, Sr. Management Analyst, 408-730-7162
Identity Theft Awareness and Prevention – Public Safety would like to inform residents that identity theft continues to be a problem throughout the state. Community members can help lower their risk of being a victim of identity theft by following these tips from the California Department of Justice: Always protect your Social Security Number; never give out your personal information to callers unless you initiated the request; change your online passwords regularly and use strong passwords with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols; do not over share on social networks, keep your privacy intact; protect your computer and smart phones from viruses and spyware by using protection and do not click on popups or links in spam email; only enter personal information in secure websites that have an https or padlock symbol in the browser; be vigilant about your credit. Check your credit statements; request your annual free credit report and stop pre-approved credit offers; finally, ask questions when a business or agency requests personal information. Additional information, resources and tips are available at California Dept. of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. For more information, contact Records Manager Pamela Healy at 408-730-7163.
Sunnyvale Animal Control Partners with PetData for Pet Licensing Made Easy – On June 20, 2016, Sunnyvale Animal Control transitioned their animal licensing program to PetData animal licensing services. With PetData, pet owners are now able to license or renew their pet's registration online. For those residents without online access or who would prefer to license by mail or fax, those options are still available. PetData also provides a customer support email address and a dedicated toll free number to assist Sunnyvale pet owners with any licensing questions. Sunnyvale Animal Control Officers and other designated Public Safety employees have 24/7 online access to PetData to check the status of an animal license or vaccination, or to obtain information to help reunite lost pets with their owners. Since the transition, Animal Control has received positive feedback from the public about PetData, especially the ability to license online. For more information, contact Michelle Morgan, 408-730-7172, or visit PetData.
Notice for Utility Rate Hearing to be Mailed at the End of April – In compliance with State Law (Proposition 218), the City is required to notify customers of changes to utility rates 45 days in advance of the public hearing. At the end of April, the City will be sending out notices to approximately 35,000 utility customers for the public hearing on the FY 2017/18 rates, scheduled for June 20. The notice will include a description of the increases, the impact on the average monthly residential bill and a detailed rate table. For more information contact Janice Broussard, Utility Billing Manager.
City's Annual Slurry Seal Project Kicks Off Monday April 10 – Approximately 136 street segments, or 7.5 percent of Sunnyvale streets, will be resurfaced over the next four to five weeks. Residents on streets to be treated will be notified in advance and "no parking" notices will be posted. For details, view the street slurry schedule. Questions can be directed to the Department of Public Works at 408-730-7415.
Grant Award for Traffic Projects – The City has recently been awarded Systemic Safety Analysis Report Program (SSARP) grant funding totaling $275,000. The SSARP will assist the City in performing a detailed collision analysis, identifying safety issues on its roadway networks, and developing a list of systemic low-cost countermeasures that can be used in requesting grant funds for future Highway Safety Improvement Program. The analysis once completed will be highly beneficial towards achieving the City's Vision Zero goals. The City's application was selected through a statewide competitive process, and is the first time the City received SSARP grant funds. The grant will require a local match of 10 percent.
Parks Spring Integrated Pest Management Training – The Public Works Parks Division recently completed their in-house spring Integrated Pest Management (IPM) training. Highlights of the state mandated training included, reviewing the Cities IPM Policy, stormwater permit requirements, worker protection, product review, current updates, implementation plans, as wells as impacts to the City from the Healthy Schools Act. As part of training on the Healthy Schools Act requirement, the City introduced a pilot program to remove weeds by using a flame weeding technique (mechanical method) in non-landscape areas. This method will eliminate the need to use any pesticide or herbicide in or around schools to help eradicate weeds in a safe and efficient manner. For more information, contact Parks staff at 408-730-7506.
Golf Operations Manager to Play at May Senior PGA Championship – Rodney Wilson, Golf Operations Manager, has qualified to play at the 2017 Senior PGA Championship. The championship is scheduled for May 25 to 28 at Trump National Golf Club, Washington D.C. Golf Channel will broadcast the first two rounds, while NBC will carry the two weekend rounds. This is a self-funded event at no cost to the City.
Celebrate National Library Week, April 9 to 15 – The theme this year is Libraries Transform and like many libraries across the country, the Sunnyvale Public Library is transforming to meet the changing needs of a diverse and growing high-tech community. No longer just a place for books, the Library has become a place to learn, explore and do. New this year is the We Support the Sunnyvale Public Library discount program. More than a dozen local businesses will support National Library Week by providing discounts to customers who show their library card. For a list of participating businesses as well as details on all the National Library Week activities, visit Library's National Library Week.
Library Installs New Self-Check Machines – On Feb. 27, the Sunnyvale Public Library installed six Bibliotheca Smart Serve 1000 machines on the Library floor for public use. The new machines allow patrons to borrow materials, pay fines using a credit card or contactless payment method such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet, borrow CloudLibrary eBooks, and browse reading recommendations based on materials being borrowed. The new machines feature better security by being PCI compliant, and will provide a Chip and PIN option by summer. They also accept a digital barcode from apps like Keyring, which patrons use to store their library card number virtually instead of carrying their physical card, adding to both the functionality and convenience provided to Library users. For more information, contact Liz Hickok.
Changes to Library's Hoopla Offering – Since October 2014, Hoopla has been one of the digital resources provided by the Library. Hoopla, a service of Midwest Tapes, allows patrons to instantly download eBooks and graphic novels, watch free, popular, streaming movies and television, and listen to music and audiobooks. Hoopla is unique among the Library's digital resources in that it uses a pay-per-checkout model. Usage has nearly doubled in the past two years, resulting in higher costs each month to the point that Hoopla by itself will consume more than 10 percent of the Library's entire collection budget if left unchecked. Recognizing that Hoopla is popular, and balancing that popularity with the need to provide materials in other collection areas, the Library recently lowered the number of items that could be borrowed per month from five to three items. Library staff will closely monitor these changes to ensure costs are contained and determine if further changes are necessary.
Sunnyvale Library Make-HER Programs Featured in New Harvard Publication – With funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Harvard Family Research Project partnered with the Public Library Association on a project to explore family engagement in children's learning through libraries. One of the activities of the project was to develop an Ideabook. This publication presents a research-based framework on library leadership, engagement and support services and reflects the work that is being done throughout the country to engage families in children's learning beginning when children are very young through young adulthood. The Sunnyvale Public Library's Make-HER program was one of six programs highlighted nationally under the category of "Family Engagement and STEM programs". Download the Ideabook. For more information, please contact Nancy Andrus.
Digital Advertising Program Graduation — Last summer, NOVA partnered with the Interactive Advertising Bureau Education Foundation (IAB) and College of San Mateo to launch the first-of-its-kind pilot program that offers an entry-level certificate training program to grow a diverse workforce in the digital advertising field and provide connections to IAB member employers that will lead to jobs following graduation. The first class was completed in December 2016 and a video was produced highlighting the program's success, specifically, that 94 percent of the students who took the class passed the exam and graduated and that several students have already secured employment. The California Workforce Development Board recently distributed the video statewide.
Silicon Valley SlingShot Compact Approved — NOVA is taking the lead, on behalf of three local workforce boards in the region, on the development of a local SlingShot initiative that is part of a statewide initiative to increase regional economic prosperity and improve income mobility. Locally, the Silicon Valley SlingShot initiative has convened industry leaders in the region to form a compact (plan) to engage other industry partners and key stakeholders in addressing talent acquisition and retention challenges for occupations requiring technology skills. On March 28, the State approved NOVA's SlingShot compact and will be awarding NOVA a $900,000 grant to launch two pilot projects: an advanced digital advertising training program for incumbent workers and a DevOps training program targeting the in-demand career synthesis of software development, quality assurance and IT operations.
NOVA Director Attends National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Conference – On March 27 to 28, NOVA Director Kris Stadelman attended the annual NAWB conference in Washington, D.C. On Monday, the Director was invited to participate on a solar industry focus group, with representatives offering a wide range of perspectives from industry, local workforce development boards and government. As part of the visit to Washington, D.C., the Director also met with several legislators that included Representatives Ro Khanna and Zoe Lofgren and staff from Representative Anna Eshoo's office to discuss the President's proposed 21 percent cut to the Labor Department and its impact to NOVA.
NOVA Workforce Review — On a monthly basis, NOVA produces the Workforce Review report that aggregates data from the State jobs report for the NOVA consortium. The March edition includes an article about the rise in high school graduation rates that is cause for both celebration and concern, as a high school diploma alone does not adequately prepare students for careers in today's job market. The unemployment rate for the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area was 3.6 percent in February, down from a revised 3.7 percent in January; the state unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in February, down from 5.5 percent the previous month; and Sunnyvale's unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in February, down from 3.3 percent in January.
Housing Related Parks (HRP) Program – During the hearing of the Annual Progress Report on the Implementation of the General Plan (Item 5 on the March 28 meeting agenda), a councilmember inquired about the State Housing-Related Parks (HRP) Program. This program, established by State legislation in 2008, provides grant funding to cities and counties that issue building permits for new lower-income housing units. The units must be either rental units that are restricted to specified rent levels for a 55-year term, or homes for sale that have been documented to be purchased by a lower-income home buyer for an affordable price, or are restricted to be affordable to lower-income households by a local deed restriction. There are some additional possibilities for qualifying, such as substantial rehabilitation or preservation of at-risk units.For more info, view HRP Program Requirements and Grant Criteria.
To qualify for an HRP grant, the applicant must have issued enough permits to satisfy the requirements for a grant of at least $75,000. With a base value of $500 per lower-income bedroom or $750 per very-low income bedroom, a city might qualify by permitting 50 low-income, 3-bedroom units, or 100 very low-income 1-bedroom units, for example, in the applicable year or up to a three-year period, provided those units meet the other eligibility criteria and the City has met the reporting requirements described in the program's HRP Guidelines.
Sunnyvale qualified for HRP grants of slightly over $1 million each in 2013 and 2014. In 2015 and 2016, the City did not have enough lower-income units to qualify for a grant. Although the City had issued permits in 2015 for 43 very-low income units restricted through the State density bonus program, those units were restricted only for a term of 30 years, which was consistent with State density bonus law at that time, however the HRP program required a term of 55 years to qualify for the grant. Since that time, the City has increased its required term for such units to 55 years; however, construction of those units had not yet begun in 2015 or 2016.
The HRP website indicates that currently there is no funding available for the program. Given the present State budget situation, it is unclear when new funding may be made available for the HRP program. However, in the past, funding has sometimes been made available by the legislature, but only for applicants that had met reporting requirements in prior years. The City feels it is still worth submitting the APRs to the State each year in case funding becomes available in future years. The City expects to meet the minimum funding threshold for 2017 with the building permit issuance for the 66-unit Benner Plaza affordable housing project as well as other lower-income units in mixed-income projects.
Sidewalk Replacement Program – On April 7, 2015, the Council held a study session to discuss the status of the City sidewalk repair program. The study session included the City's approach to sidewalk replacement, use of interim repairs, the current backlog, the up to five-year waiting period, and the funding shortfall ($5 million) to complete the sidewalk backlog and the shortfall ($1.25 million) to "keep up" with yearly requests. In addition, the Municipal Code also allows the City to require the property owners to pay or perform sidewalk repairs, and the City presented a couple of options that could be pursued in this direction. In general, the City performs sidewalk repairs in the order in which they are reported. The current backlog includes over 3,000 locations across the City, and with available funding it takes about five years to get to any particular location. However, sidewalks are not always replaced on a "first-come first-served" basis. For example, if a condition is considered severe (such as a sidewalk lifted more than an inch-and-a-half), it will be replaced sooner. If there are multiple locations on the same block, they would be replaced as part of the same contract even if they were reported at different times.
Over the last few years the City has added one-time funds to the sidewalk program to help maintain the backlog in the 3,000 range. However, the current approved budget does not provide for these funds in the future, and the backlog and waiting period will continue to increase. As part of the FY 17/18 budget, the City will propose adding Measure B funds to the sidewalk program, which would help maintain the existing backlog and waiting period. The Council could also explore having residents fund sidewalk repair, similar to other jurisdictions in the County.
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officer of the Year – On April 10, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Clara County Mental Health Department will recognize CIT officers from law enforcement agencies throughout the County for their work in 2016 with mental health consumers. Sunnyvale Public Safety Officer (PSO) Jesse Ashe will receive recognition for his work as CIT Officer of the Year for the Department of Public Safety. In 2016, PSO Ashe was assigned eight CIT cases, while still handling his regular patrol duties and working as Patrol Training Officer. PSO Ashe worked several significant CIT cases the past year. One case involved an individual who had doused himself with gasoline. Another case involved an individual who had two previous violent confrontations with officers. In both cases, PSO Ashe worked with mental health resources to ensure both individuals received the necessary mental health treatment. There have been no repeat calls with either person. The mother of one of the individuals wrote a thank you letter to PSO Ashe referring to him as her son's "angel." These are just two examples of the work PSO Ashe and other Department CIT officers do daily. Congratulations! For more information contact Captain Shawn Ahearn, 408-730-7158
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS
Community Meeting for Tasman Corridor Complete Streets Study – Wednesday, April 12, 6 p.m. at Lakewood Park, 834 Lakechime Dr. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), in partnership with the cities of Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose and Milpitas is preparing the Tasman Corridor Complete Streets Study. This study evaluates seven miles of Tasman Drive and Great Mall Parkway from Morse Avenue in Sunnyvale to Montague Expressway in Milpitas. The purpose of this multi-jurisdictional planning study is to identify opportunities along Tasman Drive and Great Mall Parkway to demonstrate and advance Complete Streets improvements. This meeting will seek feedback from the community as to how they use the corridor and what improvements they would like to see to make the corridor safer and easier to use for all modes of transportation. For more information, contact Carol Shariat, Principal Transportation Engineer/Planner at 408-730-2713.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory (BPAC) Committee Public Hearing on the Fair Oaks Avenue Bikeways and Streetscape Project – Thursday, April 20, 6:30 p.m. in the West Conference Room, City Hall, 456 W. Olive Ave. The City will present to the BPAC proposed design alternatives to provide a bike facility along Fair Oaks Avenue from Old San Francisco Road to Ahwanee Avenue. The meeting is open to the public and provides opportunity for public input on the proposed designs. A subsequent report to the City Council for project design approval is tentatively scheduled for May 9. For more information, contact Public Works Engineering Division, 408-730-7605.
Special Events for Fair Housing Month – To celebrate National Fair Housing Month, the City's Housing Division has organized several events to increase awareness of Fair Housing issues and local resources for help with fair housing concerns:
Evening of Poetry – Poets' Night on Monday, April 17, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sunnyvale Public Library Program Room, 665 W. Olive Ave. Join the Poetry Center San Jose for an evening of poetry with featured readers Charlotte Muse, Riley O'Connell, and Kim Johnson, followed by an open mic hosted by Bill Cozzini that welcomes all voices. Learn more and register for open mic at Register for Poets' Night.
Pathways to College – Free parent education on Wednesday evenings, April 19 and 26, May 3 and 10, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Columbia Neighborhood Center, 785 Morse Ave. The Family Engagement Institute is equipping parents of middle and high school students with the tools needed to prepare their children for college. This program is offered in English and Spanish and geared toward families with no prior exposure to colleges. Dinner is included, all classes are mandatory, and registration is required. The program will end with a College Day at Foothill College on Saturday, May 13, with a free lunch and transportation. The entire program is free thanks to a generous grant from Advanced Micro Devices. For more information or to register, email CNC or call 408-730-7800.
2017 Fit & Fun Fair – Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Columbia Neighborhood Center, 785 Morse Ave. This free, fun-filled annual event promotes health, wellness and safety with over 50 exhibitors providing free health screenings, children's activities, fitness demonstrations and a bike rodeo. Everyone is welcome. For more information, visit FitandFunFair.inSunnyvale.com or call 408-730-7800.
Evenings of Cultural Arts 2017/18 – The Department of Library and Community Services is excited to announce the lineup for the 2017/18 Evenings of Cultural Arts season featuring: The Hot Club of San Francisco; Street Corner Renaissance; Canote Brothers; Mary Flower; Aki Kumar; Buyepongo; Patrick Ball; and The Wee Trio. Season subscribers will be able to have the same reserved seat for every show. Subscribe now for the best seat selection. For more information on the artists or to purchase your subscription online, visit Arts.inSunnyvale.com or call the box office at 408-733-6611.