The Barron Park Association

Jul 292013
 
 The BPA Board is considering adopting new guidelines for our neighborhood email lists.   The Board would like the members to look at this proposal, which is still a draft, and to receive your feedback.

The proposal includes a brief List Description, describing the use of each of the three BPA lists. Guidelines for Mailing Use Subscribers provides guidance for proper use of the email lists, Mistakes and Abuses informs subscribers what happens if they make mistakes or violate the guidelines, and Rules for the List Manager specify what the List Manager does in those cases.

Use the Contact Us link on the navigation tab (above). Tell us what you think about this proposal and give us some suggestions for further improvements.

Art Liberman, BPA President


 —Draft—

BPA Mailing Lists

The mailing lists made available by the Barron Park Association are intended to help Barron Park residents exchange information relevant to our community. They are maintained by the BPA as a service to the Barron Park residents, overseen by a committee, and managed by a member of the community on a voluntary basis (the list manager).

List Description

The BPA maintains three principal mailing lists: BPA-news, BPA-misc, and BPA-issues. The lists are separate from each other, and you must be a member of the respective list in order to receive messages or post to it.
The purpose of each mailing list is as follows:
  • BPA-news: This list is meant for announcements of public events, city meetings, community meetings and announcements, alerts about vandalism and other crimes, alerts for lost/found pets, and alerts on other problems of general interest. This list is not for discussion of issues or expressions of personal viewpoints, although additional information in the form of meaningful links and short comments may be attached to the announcements (to provide context, but with special sensitivity given to exclude personal opinions or bias). Unlike the other email lists, BPA-news is moderated, i.e., the list manager must approve email postings (with the exception of messages from BPA board members).
  • BPA-misc: This list handles a variety of messages by Barron Park residents likely to be of interest to other residents. Examples: requests for house-sitters and nannies, house repair advice, yard sales, repair service recommendations, and houses or apartments for rent or sale by owner (but not for houses or apartments for rent or sale by a realtor) in Barron Park. This list is not for discussion of issues.
  • BPA-issues: This list is for discussions of Barron Park and Barron Park Association related issues. You may start a discussion on a topic and conversations may continue (threads) with a number of other people participating.
In summary, BPA-news is more for announcements and alerts of broad relevance or an urgent nature, BPA-misc is more for personal requests, and BPA-issues is for discussions.
BPA-misc and BPA-issues are not moderated, i.e., any subscriber can post messages without prior approval, but subscribers are asked to follow the guidelines described in the next section. How we treat mistakes and abuse is explained in the subsequent section.
The BPA lists are “Google Groups”, so sending a message requires you to place “@googlegroups.com” at the end of the name of the list (e.g., email to bpa-misc@googlegroups.com).  To subscribe, send an email message to ListName+subscribe@googlegroups.com (e.g., to bpa-misc+subscribe@googlegroups.com). Note that you have a number of options when using Google Groups; for example, you can choose whether to receive messages individually or combined in a daily digest. You can find more information about “Google Groups” on the internet (e.g., start here).

Guidelines for Mailing List Subscribers

The BPA mailing lists provide tremendous value to BP residents. In order to keep them useful and practical for all subscribers, senders are asked to follow generally accepted etiquette. Specifically:

  1. Post to the appropriate list as defined in the Description section. Keep topics specific enough to fit the list definition.
  2. Use the subject field to indicate the topic. Do not use a blank subject.
  3. Stay on topic, as specified in the subject line.
  4. Refrain from personal attacks. Keep the discussion focused on the topic rather than the person.
  5. Refrain from obscenities or name calling.
  6. Do not send anonymous messages. Include your first and last name.
  7. Do not forward chain letters, jokes, hoaxes, spam, or junk mail.
  8. When announcing an event, send only one reminder.

Use of the BPA mailing lists is a privilege. If you use a list, you opt in to following these guidelines. Mistakes will be pointed out in private reminder messages. Repeated abuse has consequences up to removal from the list, as explained in the next section.

Please use current antivirus software on your computer and keep it up-to-date.
For more information on email etiquette see here. There are many other websites and books on this topic (e.g., search for “netiquette”).

Mistakes and Abuse

The list manager will respond to both mistakes and abuse found in emails sent to the mailing lists. Mistakes and abuse relative to the above guidelines will be determined by the list manager and will lead to reminder messages. Repeated abuse can lead to the eventual removal of the offending subscriber from the mailing list. Specifically:
  • Reminder and warning messages on mistakes and abuse:
    • 1st occurrence: a message will be sent privately by the list manager to the subscriber.
    • 2nd occurrence within 30 days: another private message will be sent.
    • 3rd occurrence within 30 days: a final private message will be sent, and the subscriber’s email address will be marked for removal from the mailing list. The subscriber can appeal to the BPA mailing list committee (via the list manager) to have this action be reconsidered.
  • No public messages to the mailing list will be sent on violations. When removed, the offender can rejoin after 30 days.
  • The list manager will occasionally send out a public reminder message about the guidelines to the mailing lists (once a year or when a need is perceived). This message will not refer to any particular violations or subscribers.
  • Egregious violations or emails of a highly offensive nature may result in immediate and/or permanent removal from all lists.
The Mailing List Oversight Committee will review (grey-area) decisions, provide violating subscribers with an avenue of appeal to decisions by the list manager, and make changes and adjustments to the guidelines as necessary from time to time.

Rules for Mailing List Manager

For the private and public reminder messages described in the Mistakes and Abuse section, the list manager will use the message templates approved by the BPA mailing list committee. The list manager will not engage in any discussion of the message with the subscriber and will not send a public message regarding a violation to any mailing list. The approved templates are as follows.


Template for private reminder message
Dear <name>, please review the BPA mailing list guidelines at <link>. Your message, “<subject>”, is in conflict with rule(s) <numbers> of the guidelines for list <name>. The guidelines are enforced in order to keep the mailing lists useful and productive for all subscribers. <This is your second/third reminder within 30 days.>
Sincerely,
BPA List Manager


Template for public rules reminder message
As a reminder, the guidelines and policies for the BPA mailing lists are posted here: <link>. The guidelines will be enforced in order to keep the mailing lists useful and productive for all subscribers.
Sincerely,
BPA List Manager
Jul 032013
 

Fellow members of the BPA – The survey of the membership is now over and here are the results.

The subject was whether to approve an expenditure of up to $1000 by the BPA to support the effort to prepare a referendum asking for a city wide vote on the rezoning of the Maybell-Clemo property. A second advisory question asked members whether they supported or opposed holding a referendum.The survey period (5 days) began on June 28th and ended at the end of the day on July 2nd.

 

The views of the membership are very clear. By more than a 2:1 margin, the membership voted to support  the BPA contributing to the referendum preparation effort, and by a 3:1 margin, the membership supports the holding of a referendum.

 
Q1. It has been proposed that the BPA contribute up to $1000 towards the effort to qualify the referendum for the ballot.

BPA should contribute:                              117         (66 % of those who voted)
BPA should not contribute :                         50
Abstain (Undecided/No Opinion):                10
 
Q2. I support/oppose/… having a referendum on this issue, that is, allowing Palo Altans the chance to vote on the rezoning of the Maybell/Clemo property. Note: This is not a question of how you would vote on such a referendum were it to be on the ballot. Nor is this a substitute for signing the petition to have a referendum.
 
I support having a referendum:                    128         (73% of those who voted)
I do not support having a referendum:          14
I oppose having a referendum :                     26
Undecided/No Opinion :                                   8

The results and a bar chart can be downloaded here

The excellent response from our members is proof of the high level of interest in this issue. We received 150 electronic responses, which was from 43% of those to whom we sent an electronic invitation for the Survey Monkey vote. We received 29 paper ballots, from 54% of those who were given a paper ballot (no email address in our database). One paper ballot was dropped off at 11:45 PM. An eighty-nine year lady hopped on her bicycle and rode it down to my house to deliver it in person. The paper ballots were validated and counted by a two person committee:  Lisa (Membership Chair) and me.
 

I again want to publicly thank  those individuals on the Board who worked over the weekend to ensure the voting progressed smoothly and who made extra efforts to contact all members: Membership Chair Lisa Landers for handling the database, Doug Moran for supervising the Survey Monkey process, and both Lisa and Doug for handling the last minute additions and changes to the invitation emails. Gwen Luce deserves special credit for personally taking charge of preparing and delivering the paper ballots to members we could not reach by email.

 
And I want to congratulate you, our membership, for taking this issue seriously and participating in this vote and letting the Board know your views.  It is appropriate that this exercise in local democracy happened at the same time as our national holiday. A number of memberships to the BPA were received during the survey period and we believe it is because they wanted to be part of the process. We welcome them to the BPA and hope that this will motivate others to join the BPA. I also want to thank those of you who have sent me emails with your comments, both about the issue and about the process we followed. If you have some more thoughts to share in the upcoming days, please send them to me. I’d like to hear from you.

Art Liberman, BPA President

Apr 292013
 

Art Liberman

Some time back, the BPA Board created a new email list, BPA-jobpostings. The objective was to create an online version of our kiosk on which folks post notes about some need or special capability they have to offer – whether it be a job they need help for, or some expertise they have for those who might be interested. In a similar way, folks who subscribe to the BPA-jobpostings list can send and receive emails from other group members if they have a job and need someone to do the work for them or let others know they are available to do some work themselves.

We placed a box on the back of our current membership sheet that you can check if you are interested – if so, I’ll send you an invitation to join.  Or you can click on the ‘Subscribe to the BPA-jobpostings email list ” and  subscribe yourself  [This is now one of the options on the “For Members Only’ page that is under the ‘Pages’ tab].  To actually access the page with the email subscribe box, you’ll need a password, which is the same password used for downloading the BPA Babysitting List. If you joined online, the password was emailed back to you; if you don’t have it, send us a request via the ‘Contact Us’ tab.

The BPA-jobpostings email list is a Google Group, just like the other BPA email lists. This means that when you subscribe to the email list, you join the group.

Examples of the types of work suitable for this list are:

BPA-jobpostings: an online version of our kiosk

  • yard cleanup
  • house maintenance
  • picking up groceries and errands
  • pet walking
  • office support and filing
  • mothers’ helpers
  • and tutoring

Some of these jobs would be ideal  for teenage or college age children or grandchildren of BPA members who are keen to pick up some extra money while helping out a Barron Park neighbor or a senior with some chore. If there are teenagers or college age children in your home who fit this picture, ask them to sign up or follow the list for them.

We have instituted several privacy protection measures for group members. The group is only open to current Barron Park Association members and members of their family. An email message sent to BPA-jobpostings goes to all members of the group; but if you receive an email describing a job you would like to do, just reply to the individual who sent the email. This way, if you are looking for work, you can keep your email address private.

This email list is not intended to include babysitting: the separate BPA Babysitting list continues as it has the past. The first compilation of BPA Babysitters for 2013-14 was just posted here
on our website.

Apr 052013
 

A change to the section of our bylaws that relates to the election and term of office of the President and Vice President of the Association was approved by the BPA Board at its meeting on March 19, 2013.

The essence of the change is that the President and Vice President shall be elected in November of each year for a term of one year, beginning January 1 of the following year.  The new bylaws provide a clear succession plan. When the President steps down, the Vice President automatically becomes President for the following term and a new person is elected as Vice President.

This change was made, in part, as an inducement for current Board members to accept a leadership role of the BPA, knowing their term of service as President would be limited.  Also, the Vice President and President would work together, familiarizing the Vice President with work of the President on current issues and comfortably allowing him/her to step into the role of President at the end of the year.

A link to the full text of our bylaws is at the bottom of the About the BPA page.  You can also find at the bottom of this page links to other BPA policies.

Feb 112013
 

The Board of the Barron Park Association had already planned a review in the Spring 2013 of its role as a chartering organization of a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) troop when, unexpectedly, we received word on February 1 that the BSA National Executive Board was considering a major change to its policies at a meeting a few days hence.  This came through an email from Ken Poulton, Troop 52 Scoutmaster, to BPA Board Member Doug Moran, the chartered organization representative.

For most of its history the BSA allowed individual troops to define their own moral rules on participants and leaders, but this had changed in recent decades. Today, the BSA restricts membership to certain class of individuals depending on their sexual orientation and also places requirements on their religious beliefs.  Ken said that the BSA might decide to drop its blanket discriminatory regulations at this upcoming meeting and return to its earlier policy of allowing each troop to define its own rules, and that those with opinions on the subject who want to influence the decision should act quickly and send in an email to the BSA National Executive Board.

To clarify the terminology, a group that sponsors of a Boy Scout troop is a “chartered organization.” The Annual Charter Agreement with the BSA states that we, the BPA, must “Conduct the Scouting program according to its own policies and guidelines as well as those of the Boy Scouts of America.” In effect, this says that in conducting or supervising the scout program, we are bound to the policies of the BSA, including the discriminatory policies, whether we personally approve them or not.

The Board of the BPA worked very quickly and issued the following statement, along with a letter sent to the national BSA leadership group, urging a change in their policies:

BSA Membership Standards: End Discrimination Based on Sexual Preference

At a meeting on Wednesday, February 6, the Boy Scouts of America will be considering whether to end their national policy of excluding members based on sexual orientation. The Barron Park Association is the chartered organization for a local Boy Scout troop and in that role the Board of the BPA has sent the following email to the national Boy Scout leadership. We believe it accurately reflects neighborhood views as expressed in the many messages that were posted on the Barron Park email lists last fall, almost all of which opposed the national Boy Scout policy.”


The Barron Park Association has been the chartering organization for Boy Scout Troop 52 in Palo Alto, California, for 30 years.

We strongly support removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation. The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.

We believe that discrimination in Boy Scouts of America hurts communities, both in excluding boys and in proclaiming that such exclusion is justified. We reject both, as do a great many parents in our community. In fact, the continued sponsorship of the local troop has been called into question by an increasing number of community members. We urge you to change the BSA’s discriminatory policies.

Lynnie Melena, President of the Barron Park Association, the Chartered Organization for Troop 52

Douglas B. Moran, Chartered Organization Representative and an Eagle Scout (1960s)


However, it turned out that the BSA decided not to change its rules at the February meeting after all, instead postponing a decision on this issue until May. As a result, the BPA Board will postpone its review and wait until the BSA clarifies its position before deciding on whether to continue in its role as a chartered organization.

This issue of BSA discriminatory policies created quite a storm of discussion on the email lists in October. Many of those emails questioned whether the BPA should be sponsoring a BSA troop. There were a number emails on the other side as well, describing the merits and benefits to participants of the BSA program.

So we know this is an issue of great interest to many in our community. We want to use the next few months to hear from those in Barron Park community with opinions on all sides.  The question is not about the Boy Scouts but about whether the Barron Park Association should charter a Boy Scout troop. You can send in your thoughts in an email using the Contact Us form on this website, or contact any one of the Board members by clicking on the email link next to their pictures on the BPA Board page.

Nov 192012
 

Agenda:  BPA Board Meeting:  Tuesday, 11/20/12, 7:15  p.m.

Location:  Barron Park School Room 2 (former kindergarten room)

1.            Agenda Changes (3 minutes)

2.            Approval of Minutes (2 minutes)

3.            Buena Vista Mobile Home Park Redevelopment (15 minutes) (Lynnie Melena and Art Liberman)  As a follow-up to the Board’s decision last month to host a community meeting on potential redevelopment of Buena Vista, Lynnie and Art have met with the developer (see previous post on this web site for complete summary and update on impacts on tenants).  Based on timing of other activities, this meeting should be scheduled for January. Discuss date, format and Board participation.

4.            Annual Meeting Date and Topic (10 minutes).  (Lynnie Melena) Set meeting date (Superbowl is February 3) and possible topics for annual meeting. Discuss Board participation.

5.            New Board Members and Officers (20 minutes) (Lynnie Melena) This was continued from the last meeting, as Lynnie and Linda wish to resign from their offices.

6.            Email Lists (15 minutes) (Lynnie Melena) This is to clarify policy on use of our email lists, stemming from a request for Board feedback in September on whether it is appropriate to use BPA-news for disseminating opinions. Or should “purpose” be changed?

7.            Agenda Setting (5 minutes) (Christian Kalar) This is a request to discuss how the agenda is set for each meeting.  Practice is for the president to send out a draft to the Board on Friday or Saturday and request additions and corrections by Sunday evening.

8.            Newsletter Articles (5 minutes) (Nancy Hamilton) Deadline is December 1.

9.            Status reports and updates on these items are being handled primarily through e-mail.  Opportunity for direction and interactions. (5 minutes)

  •        Zoning and Land Use, Traffic, Civic Affairs, Environmental, Native Planting
  •        Green Team:  Doug Graham gave a talk on Barron Park creeks on November 8 with about 50 people in attendance.  And the Green Team planted more  native plants at Bol Park  on November 10.

10.        Introduction of items for future agendas (5 minutes)

11.        Adjourn:  NEXT MEETING January 15, 2013.

12.        Total scheduled time:  85 minutes

Guests are welcome, but are requested to notify the BPA President so that arrangements can be made to accommodate you (seating and possibly reordering of the agenda).

Questions and comments about agenda items should be directed to the person/people whose name is next to that entry: email addresses are here:   BPA Board Members
.

Nov 032012
 

Lynnie Melena and Art Liberman

At the October meeting of the Barron Park Association Board, the Board voted to host a community meeting on the proposed redevelopment of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park (on Los Robles near El Camino). The purpose of the community meeting would be to have the developer present his proposal and for the City to provide information on the zoning regulations and review process. The meeting would also address issues related to closing the mobile home park—which would be necessary for the redevelopment to go forward.

On Monday, October 29, we met with the two representatives from Prometheus Development, Jon Moss and Nathan Tuttle, to discuss the idea of a community meeting in Barron Park—which Prometheus is generally open to. However, the mobile home closure process, which they are not directly participating in, comes first.

According to Jon Moss, and as confirmed by Planning Director Curtis Williams, Mr. Jisser, who owns the property, has just recently filed an application with the City to start the mobile home closure process per the City ordinance. Williams said that the City will be sending a (bilingual) letter to the residents informing them of the application and the next steps, and that the applicant intends to schedule a few meetings with the residents to respond to questions (reportedly “in the next month”). The meetings are not required by the ordinance, but City staff will attend the meetings.

Since the meetings with tenants are likely to be held in November, and could answer many questions about the mobile home ordinance closure process, the BPA-sponsored community meeting will not be held until after the first of the year. We are hoping that the City will not schedule its planned study session until after the community meeting.

Continue reading »

Sep 192012
 

Neighbors –  We have updated our web presence with a new website. Come visit us and check us out.

Our home page has news items of current interest to Barron Park residents, posted from time to time by Barron Park Board members.

We also have …..

  • a calender with upcoming events
  • a link to our popular BPA- email list signup page
  • a new online membership form
  • a few pages about us:  About the BPA, the BPA Board members,  current Committees and activities,  BPA history

If you register on the site, you can choose to receive email updates whenever something new is posted; and you can submit comments to the articles.

We also have a “Contact Us” form. Send us a note – we’d like to hear what you think.

Art Liberman and Nancy Hamilton, Co- Webmasters