Posts Tagged ‘PG&E’

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.

What is the Martin-Fontana Parks Association about?

The Martin-Fontana Parks Association has been established to raise and provide funds to preserve and enhance the beauty of TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana parks with the City of San Jose.  We do so in a manner that’s compatible with the delivery of safe and reliable power under the transmission lines in the parks. We are dedicated to the preservation and enhancement these two parks. These parks, with their beautiful native Oak trees, are in Almaden Valley, San Jose, California. Any funds generated are specifically used for pruning and enhancing the vegetation in them.  Won’t you please join us in achieving these goals by becoming a member?

Please watch the video below to see what our beautiful parks look like.

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

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?!

San Jose Mercury News interviews MFPA President Linda Wilson concerning park conditions

Martin, Fontana parks get a boost

By Julia Baum

jbaum@bayareanewsgroup.com

SAN JOSE — Preserving some of the city’s most prized natural treasures has been an ongoing challenge for the Martin-Fontana Parks Association, which hosts its seventh annual “Heart of the Park” fundraiser and membership drive on Saturday.

This year, the volunteer group is spotlighting its struggle to maintain or upgrade TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana parks with dwindling resources.

The group and San Jose’s parks and recreation department want to see new irrigation systems and turf installed in three areas, including the soccer fields. Native plants and mature oak trees thrive in the 33 acres that make up both parks, but non-native assets such as a grove of redwoods have been struggling to survive this past year due to budget cuts, drought and even gophers and squirrels.

Click here to read the rest of the article.