Archive for the ‘PG&E’ Category

One dying Oak tree removed & others trimmed

Here are photos of the dying Blue Oak near the dog park being removed and others being trimmed (see previous posting)

The Blue Oak was likely impacted by the drought and had succumbed to a bark beetle infestation.

Martin-Fontana Parks Association’s Negotiating Team Saves Our Trees – Again!

Your Martin-Fontana Parks Association has completed the annual negotiations with PG&E to protect our trees. We have successfully protected a large shade tree PG&E had planned to remove.

Tree #11 at the corner of Golden Oak Way and Knoll Park Ct. in Jeffrey Fontana Park

Dick Stevens, Greg Caillet, Mike Kalashian, Vince Piazzisi, Sunny Wagstaff and Rich Zahner comprised the MFPA Negotiating Team (NT) that negotiated the 2017 vegetation management plan with PG&E. Scott Carlton of PG&E met with the NT to present PG&E’s 2017 tree removal and trimming plan in late May.

The PG&E plan was not dramatic in scope. The plan was to clear small vegetation around the transmission towers, removal of small volunteers that would eventually interfere with the power lines, trim Tree #13 (photo below)

Tree 13 at Golden Oak Way & Castello Dr. in Jeffrey Fontana Park

and removal of a healthy tree (Tree #11) under the lines in Jeffery Fontana Park at the corner of Golden Oak Way and Knoll Park Ct. Scott walked the park with us as we inspected each area, tree and bush that he recommended be trimmed or removed. He provided some data on wire and tree heights to support his recommendations.

The Team reviewed his plan and did some measurements and reviewed history of each tree to verify the accuracy of the PG&E plan. Vince repeated the wire and tree height measurements to verify the clearances claimed by PG&E and Sunny provided pictures of Tree #13 and #11 from previous negotiation sessions. Our conclusions were that the clearing of small brush and volunteers is appropriate, the trimming of Tree #13 is needed, but the removal of Tree #11 was not justified.

The dead Blue Oak tree just to the west of the Dog Park

In addition Mike suggested we add to the PG&E work plan the removal of an apparently dead large Blue Oak tree just to the west of the Dog Park and adjacent to the walking path. MFPA had an arborist from Bartlett Tree Experts inspect the tree and he confirmed that it will not survive and will become a hazard.

On June 6th Dick Stevens submitted a counter proposal to PG&E agreeing to the four actions on removal of volunteers and trimming of Tree #13 but requesting trimming of Tree #11 instead of removal. He also included the request that PG&E remove the Blue Oak.  On June 20th Scott accepted our plan as presented and notified us that PG&E’s contractor will do the work around July 10th. All the work will be paid for by PG&E.

Our next step is to have the members of the NT witness the work and confirm it is done in accordance with the approved plan as submitted by MFPA.

The Board of Directors thanks Dick Stevens for taking the initiative on this year negotiations and the association members who contributed to the effort.

Thanks to them, they achieved our mission of protecting trees in

TJ Martin & Jeffrey Fontana Parks.

February 2017 Newsletter

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Just click on the photo to download the Newsletter or click here

PG&E Gas Pipeline Safety & Our Trees

Martin-Fontana Park Association Board Members Linda Wilson, Rod Carpenter and Rich Zahner met with Don Hall and two other PG&E representatives recently to discuss two issues.

The MFPA agenda was our request that PG&E fund the proposed Sustainable Parks Initiative (SPI). We requested $20,000 from PG&E in 2017 to be matched by MFPA to plant trees and bushes, complement the PRNS Staff, and improve the appearance and utility of the Parks.

The PG&E agenda was to explain the Gas Transmission Pipeline safety program being conducted by PG&E. See the PG&E memo below for details. In summary they will remove about 150 trees along Almaden Expressway located over the gas pipeline that supplies all of the valley. The trees are on both City and County property (no private property as far we know) between McAbee Road and Rajkovich Way. PG&E is committed to replacing the trees. The question is where and they suggested planting a number of trees in both TJ Martin Park and Jeffrey Fontana Park. We did not object to the idea and talked generally about numbers, types and location.

PG&E held an Information Table at the Fontana Dog Park entrance on Saturday the 11th of February from 8AM to 11AM. The work to remove trees is likely to begin in late spring. We might get them to spread the wood chips as mulch for the Parks bare spaces.

PG&E’s memo on the program:

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Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is working with the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County to help ensure safety crews have immediate access to natural gas transmission pipelines in case of an emergency or for important maintenance work. This gas safety work involves removing and replacing trees and structures that are located too close to the gas pipeline and could delay access for first responders or damage the pipeline. Work is expected to begin this spring on Almaden Expressway between McAbee Road and Rajkovich Way. Please note there is no work taking place at TJ Martin Park or Jeffrey Fontana Park. PG&E understands how important trees are to the local community, and will work closely with residents in close proximity to the work to offer replacement trees to be planted at a safe distance from the pipeline.

For more information about the planned safety work, please contact PG&E customer outreach specialist Emily Sloan at 1-650-737-2001 or emily.sloan@pge.com. You can also learn more about all of PG&E’s ongoing gas safety efforts at pge.com/GasSafety.

Emily Sloan      Customer Outreach Specialist, Senior

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Office: (650) 598-7278

Cell: (650) 737-2001

Email: emily.sloan@pge.com

Learn more about PG&E’s gas safety efforts at pge.com/GasSafety

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What was PG&E doing at the corner of McAbee & Golden Oak Way?

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According to our reporter in the field, Project Manager Pat Pizzo, PG&E came out on Dec 28th.  in response to a report of gas leaks in the area. After investigating, they decided to check the main gas pipe line that feeds the area on the NE Corner of Golden Oaks Way and McAbee Road. This area was where Andrew Oberhelman completed his Eagle Scout Project on Nov 10th, 2012.
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In the process of looking for the leak, the native plants growing in an approximate 25 foot square area near the corner were wiped-out.
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PG&E said that they will hire a contract landscaper to re-plant the area. However, because CA native plants are involved and commercial landscapers are not always knowledgeable about CA native plants and their needs, this may be problematic.  So far there is no estimated date for completion of the landscape replanting.

Please note:  PG&E did come back and replace the plants that were torn out.

Have you been wondering what’s going on with the PG&E towers in our Park?

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Well, after talking to the tower crew, our MFPA members, Pat Pizzo, Vince Piazzisi, and Larry Sasscer, have the following explanations:

They are in the process of applying tension to the lines in order to raise them. In order to do this, they have to beef-up the tower structure with load-bearing struts and then replace the existing ceramic  insulators with more heavy-duty ones than the ones that were already there.

Larry and member Pier Maggiani both talked to the Contractor and were told that after they have the new equipment installed and the lines tightened up, they may gain an additional 5 ft to 10 ft of clearance from the ground.  Always a good thing when it comes to saving our park trees under the power lines.

Vince talked to one of the crew members about the work on the tower just across the street from his house. He had noticed them installing wheels on the lines.  After asking about the wheels he was told this was to facilitate the tightening of the power line to take out slack.

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How would you like being over 70 feet in the air next to 115,000 volts of electricity?!

MFPA-PG&E Annual Park Review Completed

 

The annual vegetation review with PG&E was completed last month.  The good news was we had only two small Oak trees in PG&E’s right of way removed.  A Australian Tea Leaf tree and a Toyon tree were planted as replacements.

Ten small volunteer trees (trees that nature planted) were removed.  Five were encroaching into some of the PG&E towers, two were dead, and three were in PG&E’s right of way.  PG&E requires the tower concrete supports be free of vegetation so they can be periodically inspected.

As a good will gesture, PG&E provided these 3 additional trees and included the cost of watering them for 3 years.

These were planted in the western end of TJ Martin Park.

Here are maps showing the tree locations:

TJ Martin map with photos

Fontana West map with photos

Our thanks to the Martin-Fontana Parks Association’s Negotiation Team of Dick Stevens, Mike Kalashian, Vince Piazzisi, Sunny Wagstaff, and Rich Zahner.