The Barron Park Association

Sep 262013
 

The Fall 2013 issue of the Barron Park Newsletter is out and should have reached the mailboxes of all BPA members. If you have not received your issue, send us an email. This issue features the following articles:

President’s Message by Art Liberman – on the surge in development all along El Camino and the need for City planning staff and policy makers to have an overview of all this activity and to consider the consequences of all the additional traffic before gridlock arrives on the main arteries and the residential roads are besieged with cut through traffic.

A New Pocket Park: The Matadero Well Site by Doug Graham – on the newly  landscaped area with two benches (one donated by the Henshel family) alongside the Matadero Well Site, the history the Matadero Well itself as source of water exploited by private water companies until 1953, and efforts in the last few years by several determined Barron Park residents to create this new pocket park.

Art in the Park – featured artist: Nancy Lewis of Kendall Ave

Immersion Spa: Korean Spa culture in the Bay Area by Markus Fromherz (Business Liaison) – a new business in the former Blockbuster store: a Korean-style spa with American influences. They are offering first-time Barron Park residents 25% off through end of October.

Business Beat by Bob Moss – an update on businesses and business vacancies along the Barron Park section of El Camino

BPA Newsletter Survey Results by Nancy Hamilton – on the results of the survey in last issue of the BPA Newsletter, asking members their thoughts about the importance and the content of the Newsletter and for their input on ideas or willingness to participate in the Newsletter staff.

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.