The Barron Park Association

Nov 272015

There will be a senior lunch on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at Cibo’s restaurant, 3398 El Camino Real,  at 1:00 PM.

The cost is $21 and includes tax, tip and a drink.  Menu choices have to be pre ordered, so anyone interested in getting the details, please contact Julie Spengler at 493-9151 or email at juliespengler at

Reservations have to be in by Friday, Dec. 4th, so let us know your plans as soon as possible.

As usual, we will be in the private room at Cibo’s and our neighborhood couple, Gary and Jena, will entertain us with accordion music and lead us in a Christmas sing along.  We always look forward to this event to get into the Holiday spirit.

Hope to see many of you there.

Oct 022015

The next Senior Lunch will be on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 1:00 PM at the Corner Bakery. It is located at 3375 El Camino Real at the corner of Fernando where the Boston Market used to be, with plenty of parking either in front or behind the restaurant.

The Corner Bakery is cafeteria style so you will each pay for your own selection at the counter, and they will deliver your order to the table when it is ready. The prices are modest and there are no tips involved. You can look at the menu in advance by going to

If you are interested in joining us, please call Rosemary Jacobsen at 493-9152 by Friday, Oct 9th. so we can make a name tag for you. Changes in plans can be made up until 10:00 AM Tuesday be calling her.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there.

Sep 142015

(This is an updated version of my Summer 2015 BPA Newsletter column.)

In the right context, good ideas beget more good ideas. In the BPA, we are seeing the evidence this year with the emergence of a number of new events and volunteers for the BPA. Two years ago, former board member Lydia Kou started cultural diversity events with the first (Chinese) Lunar New Year celebration. She organized another successful Lunar New Year event earlier this year, which inspired BPA member Jaya Pandey to propose an (Indian) Deepawali celebration event. With the help of board member Gwen Luce and a small army of new volunteers Gwen helped recruit, we can now look forward to this event in November. For another example, late last year membership chair Lisa Landers suggested an informal member event to enhance interaction between BPA members and the board. We held the first BPA Community Happy Hour in January, and it is promising to become a regular and popular event (attended by 10-15 residents each month). In turn, it was the first Happy Hour where BPA member Catherine Hendricks proposed a new kind of event where residents and friends of Barron Park present and teach their expertise in small groups. This became the BPA Meet and Learn, and we have had four so far.

All of these events came out of suggestions from BPA members, and the board has been happy to support them. Past efforts also included support for a booth at the Palo Alto Chili Cook-Off, for the Juana Briones Run, and for several bicycle events. In the meantime, Lydia Kou turned her energy to organizing another Movie in the Park event, and BPA member Jeannie Lythcott, who volunteered for the BPA in the past, stepped forward with several new ideas for community events. (See the event calendar in the upcoming BPA newsletter.) And of course there was our very interesting annual meeting in March, and board member John King, former resident Sarah Van Zanten, and an army of volunteers put together another fantastic May Fete.

It is wonderful to see all of these activities from volunteers contributing to the community. They are not limited to community events, but those currently see the most popularity. Other recent BPA-sponsored activities included the bike path committee and a group that invested substantial time to investigate the proposal for a hydrogen refueling station on El Camino Real. Also, Maurice “Maury” Green recently joined the BPA board to take on Neighborhood Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and we’re very grateful to have such an experienced member support this important area. Look for articles on these activities in the upcoming BPA newsletter.

Where else could we use help? Two committee chairs that are currently vacant are Zoning and Land Use, and Traffic and Streets. We know that BPA members care about these. In fact, those were core topics at the recent Palo Alto 2030 Summit, and Barron Park was well represented among the large number of attendants. Or perhaps you’re interested in our surrounding businesses and/or schools; we would benefit from liaisons to these organizations. If you have another favorite topic that you believe the BPA should support, please do not hesitate to bring it to the board. In fact, join us at an upcoming Happy Hour and tell us all about your interests. The board and your neighbors will be very happy to hear your ideas and benefit from your contributions!

Aug 252015

Barron Park Association’s  3rd Annual Neighborhood Movie Night at Bol Park


Events starting at 6:30PM

It’s Friday night, why cook…

Oaxacan Kitchen Food Truck – buy your food and have a picnic dinner with old or new friends.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraising

CREAM sandwiches for dessert $5
YUM * chocolate chip with vanilla
YUMM * double chocolate chip with mint chocolate chip
YUMMY * snickerdoodle with salted caramel
YUMMIEST * butter sugar with strawberry

Donkey Fund fundraising – Popcorn 50 cents

Visit with Donkeys – Niner and Perry

Movie starts are Dusk. Admission is free.

BYO…chair and blankets, your preferred refreshments

Weather Forecast

Aug 162015


The Fourth annual Silicon Valley Tour de Coop,  a free, self-guided bicycle tours of chicken coops, gardens, bee hives, hoop houses, and coolest Silicon Valley urban homesteads,  is scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 9AM to 4 PM.

From last year: It’s time for the Tour de Coop – Palo Alto Online

REGISTER NOW for the tour -Click HERE!

Want to show your coop on this tour, volunteer or help out?  Sign up now!

Aug 062015

Please save the evening, Friday, 8/28/2015 for our 3rd Annual Movie Night at Bol Park.

More information to follow soon, meanwhile, we need your help choosing a movie. Please review the movies available in the links provided and let us know your preference by 8/15/2015. We’ll show the movie with the most picks. Take the poll at the end of this post. 

Mama Mia 


Cats and Dogs

Back to the Future 

Despicable Me 2

Monster University

Annie (1982)

Annie (2014)

Grown Ups


Kind regards,

Lydia Kou – BPA Movie Night Organizer 

Mobile 650.996.0028 | Email



Aug 032015

TUESDAY, AUG 11, 2015

Our next lunch will again be a picnic in Bol Park at 1:00 pm with Driftwood Deli delivering box lunches consisting of a sandwich, chips, fruit, cookies and a drink, all for the low price of $10. We are able to order ahead of time to pick our choice of the sandwich and the drink.

We bring our own chairs and sit on level ground in a shady area … a great way to chat with each other and listen to the birds.

If you are interested in joining us, please email Julie Spengler at or phone 493-9151 by Friday August 7th so we can make a name tag for you and place your order.
Any responses after Aug 7th should be directed to Rosemary Jacobsen at 493-9151.

Hope to see many of you there.

Jun 112015

Please join us for the

BPA Community Happy Hour

Every month

on the third Tuesday, 5-6pm

at Cibo (bar area)


The BPA Community Happy Hour is an informal gathering for Barron Park residents
to meet neighbors, discuss current affairs and new ideas, and meet BPA Board members.

All that in an informal setting –
and the BPA will buy your first drink.

There is no need to RSVP, but do put it on your calendar:
every third Tuesday of the month!

The Board of the Barron Park Association


PS: We would like to thank Cibo for accommodating us for this monthly event. Very rarely, we may have to move or cancel the event due to a conflict at Cibo. We will send out a notice to the BPA-News mailing list if that is the case.

Jun 022015

(This is an updated version of my Spring 2015 BPA Newsletter column.)

In February, Palo Alto Online published an article about the College Terrace neighborhood association that rang familiar: an organization that has been around for about four decades and which played an important role for many residents over the years has difficulty attracting new blood to its board and may be at risk of folding. As BPA newsletter readers know, the lack of new volunteers is something the BPA board has been grappling with as well over recent years.

Why is it so difficult to find more volunteers to organize events, watch out for neighborhood safety, interact with the city and developers, or publish the BPA newsletter? As our survey last year showed, it is not that residents don’t care about these issues. Quite the opposite is true: throngs of people come together for the May Fete and Movie in the Park, concerned residents attend city council meetings, and the newsletter consistently gets very high marks. The Barron Park community clearly values what the BPA has to offer. More than that, and more broadly, community gatherings, activism, and communication demonstrably lead to a more enjoyable, livable, and resilient community.

So why aren’t more folks stepping up to contribute? In the past, people joined the BPA board mainly for one of two reasons: either to simply contribute to the community they live in, or to get the BPA behind a specific cause they cared about (e.g., CPI). One obvious answer why there are fewer of the former is that people have less time to volunteer, both because more people work (and work longer hours) and because there are many more competing activities to choose from than decades ago. The latter — activists — still exist, but it’s easier than ever to voice your opinion or rally people using online tools and social media. While the BPA may provide more weight to an opinion, it also takes longer to act and has to be more considerate by its very nature (serving a large and diverse membership).

You may think of other reasons why fewer people make themselves available to the community. The effect is the same, though: most current board members have been in their roles for a long time, and new members are hard to recruit. As a result, several important committee chairs are vacant. Rather than just lament this situation, though, the board has been active to work out a “Plan B”: considering the outsourcing of some of its activities. For example, the fact that events bring neighbors together and thus lead to a vibrant and resilient community is not necessarily diminished by having events organized by professional event planners. While most of us would prefer to have volunteers from the neighborhood organize our events, it is more important to continue those events than to insist on free labor. This has in fact happened to the May Fete: our marquee event has become just too much for a volunteer group to organize, but by all accounts paying a professional to plan and run it for the last few years has done nothing to decrease its popularity. So that is what we are considering for other offerings from the BPA. We have some creative ideas, and I think some may change the BPA for the better. We’ll do it carefully, and certainly not for everything. We’ll also have to look at the financial impact, and perhaps we’ll have to raise membership dues (which haven’t changed in many years). None of this is decided yet, but this is the time to think about it. We are fortunate to have a solid organization with a strong history, which provides a good foundation for its next phase. (Since I first wrote this, a few people have stepped forward to volunteer and even join the BPA board. We still need more help in some of the departments. Check board meeting announcements for vacant chairs, or contact us with your interests. Even better: join us at a BPA Community Happy Hour!)

We’d like to hear your opinion on this issue. Send me an email to president at BPA palo alto dot org or post a comment here. We know that the BPA is a valued institution for many, but we can’t stand still if we want to remain relevant.