Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oct./Nov Newsletter

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A big “Thank You” goes out to everyone who has signed up until now!  The sheer number of supporters helps us greatly when we speak before the council.

Another big “Thank You” to those who emailed the City Council at and/or the Sunnyvale Sun at .  The Sun has published several letters now.  Our letter can be seen at:

The letters you sent have definitely had an effect.  At the City Council meeting of October 16th,Deborah Marks read (anonymously) some of the impassioned emails we have received asking for a public vote on this issue.  Council members Jim Davis, Tony Spitaleri, and City Manager Gary Luebbers accused us (falsely, in our opinion) of spreading incorrect information.  All our information is from the City staff and Council members.  The City Council and City Manager saw our flier before we distributed it to anyone else and said nothing at the time.  We feel this is an attempt on their part to discredit what we are doing and slow our efforts to reach the public.  We have offered to meet with the City Council Members and the City manager to establish a productive relationship and discover what they feel are inaccuracies.  We hope they will accept our invitation so we can begin a productive dialogue.

At the last presentation by City Staff on the sale/lease of the Civic Center city staff said it would entail a non-competitive relationship with a builder/buyer.  They call this a “public-private partnership”.  City staff has indicated it will be decided by City Council without a public vote.  Avoiding both a public vote and competitive bidding may leave the City open to lawsuits.  The proposed new library alone will cost around $70M.  If the new City Hall and Public Safety building cost similar amounts the total will be around $200M compared to the annual general fund budget of $150M.  On the national level this would be like a $4 Trillion enterprise financed by selling Yellowstone, Yosemite, and other national treasures.

A public vote of all voters on the potential sale/lease of the Civic Center will enable the City Council to air their views and answer questions.  Currently there is no explanation as to why the only guidance given to the city staff was to explore the sale of the Civic Center.  If the buildings need renovation or more office space is needed, those avenues should be evaluated for cost and practicality.  They are not. Why is there not consideration of a public vote asking to fund additions and upgrades to existing buildings?

We are busily distributing fliers throughout Sunnyvale.  If anyone wants to help, please let us know.  We are at the Farmers’ Market most Saturdays and on Sundays in front of the library on Olive Ave.  They can also be distributed in your neighborhood on your daily walk. 

In talking to people we come away knowing that 9 out of 10 people do not support the sale/lease of the 14 acres at the Civic Center.  Perhaps 1 of those 10 sends an e-mail to us or the City Council.  Please let your neighbors/friends and -relatives know that it’s very important to e-mail their support so that we have the ability to apply even more pressure on the council and city government.

For up-to-date information please go to our blog at  You will find links to the city’s information on the topic, e.g. the slides of their presentation at the library on July 31st of this year.  We have also posted a photo tour of the beautiful trees at the Civic Center. 

Thanks again to everyone for their wonderful support and we’ll keep you posted!

Deborah Marks and Michael Goldman
Citizens for Sunnyvale’s Parks and Green Spaces (CSPGS)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sunnyvale - Tree City, USA II

Continuing on a walk from the corner of Mathilda Ave. and El Camino, one goes down Mathilda toward the City Hall.  On the left one can see a grouping of 15 very tall pine trees just past All America Way.  

There’s a sidewalk to the left and then again another grove of 7 trees and at the corner of Mathilda Ave. and Olive Ave. another grove consisting of 14 trees. 

Behind the city hall next to the annex is a half-century old cork tree…not something you find everyday!

Cork Tree

These trees provide shade, cool the area around them and help clean the air by taking in the carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen.  We are told many times of the need to preserve our trees because of their value to our communities and to the quality of the air we breathe.


Enjoy a walk through the pines and redwoods in this small park one morning, afternoon or early evening.  Stand under these tall majestic trees and look up at the sky.  Think about how long it would take to replace such a tree.  Ask yourself if they are not worth saving for our own and for future generations. 

About three years ago when the trees along California Ave. in Palo Alto were suddenly removed all on one day, many people in the city were shocked and dismayed.  The city government met with the residents and listened to their concerns.  Plans were drawn up to immediately replace the trees.  At that time one city official was heard remarking:  “Well, we certainly don’t want to look like Sunnyvale!”

Our city does have less urban forestry in comparison to many cities to the north of us.  Let’s not give them a reason to make such statements about our city in the future!

Let’s stand up for these city green spaces and the beautiful mature trees which have stood their ground for 50 years and more!