Here we are again, though summer has passed, we just had the Harvest Moon, fall (though it feels like summer) is upon us and pumpkins are sprouting up all around town like political campaign signs.
It has been a busy two weeks, which is making it pretty hard to do all the campaign related work that needs to be done. Regardless, the week started off with some meetings about one of my favorite subjects - SkyTran, to introduce a worldwide corporation to the concept and the need that exists in Mountain View. As a result, we will be visiting the company later this week, and I will be meeting with the Department of Transportation later in the month. I also met with some folks from Hacker Dojo to talk about the idea of a locally sponsored Hack-a-thon. Stayed tuned for more on this!
One of the honors of being Mayor is the opportunity to engage with foreign dignitaries. The past two weeks offered 2 such opportunities: attending a meeting with the Mayor of Wuhan, China which is becoming the Optics Valley of China. Later in the week, I attended the 63rd Anniversary of the People's Republic of China with several local Mayors and the Counsel General of the PRC, Mr. Gao. There were over 750 people at the event, which only goes to show how significant a player China has become in American society.
It was also a big week for NASA, including our quarterly meeting with the Center Director and his staff. As has been the case of late, we had a robust discussion about the Moffett Airfield and the future of Hanger One. There is very strong local support to maintain the airfield as an Ames asset, but the Administrator has not been so supportive. Nevertheless, we, along with Anna Eshoo and Sunnyvale continue to press for a resolution that meets the needs of our communities. We also learned of the last flight of Space Shuttle Endeavor. While I was out of town for the big event, I watched it on NASA TV, although the cameraman was surprised and missed most of the shot. I think it was supposed to fly down the runway, not behind Hanger One. Still, some of the pictures of the flight over Sacramento and the Bay Area are inspiring.
During the most recent Council meeting, the City accepted a donation of two segments of the Berlin Wall that have been displayed the the north bayshore for years. We are now looking into where to move them. It is hard to believe how long it's been since the Wall fell.
One of the surprising things that seems to be happening in Mountain View is the proliferation of educational based startups. I've written about Khan Academy, but this past week we had the opportunity to visit Shmoop and Academix Direct. Shmoop is involved in online educational homework help and testing and Academix provides advanced college search technology. It will be interesting to engage both of these companies with our local schools, much as Khan Academy is now doing. And, speaking of education, Synopsys, one of our stellar local companies celebrated it's STEM education program outreach to over 1 million students and teachers. Synopsys sponsors the annual science competition we heard about several months ago.
These past few weeks also saw lots of community activity, including the Springer Ice Cream Social and the Commissioner Annual Reception. Many are not aware of the significant volunteer commitment of many of our residents to City Boards, Commissions and committees. We recognize the time and effort of these volunteers annually. Without their effort, we would not be nearly the City we are today, and we owe them a huge Thank You!
This past weekend included participating in the 50th Anniversary of the Mountain View Buddhist Temple on Shoreline Boulevard. The Buddhist Community has made such an impact in Mountain View over the years, and anyone that has attend the Obon Festival or the Rotary Crab feed will know exactly what I am talking about. Congratulations!
I was also able to swing by the start of the 18th Trailblazer Race which continues to support the expansion of Stevens Creek Trail. While I couldn't participate this year, it was a great crowd and a great cause. It's hard to imagine what our town would be like without Stevens Creek Trail, but it hasn't been around all that long. The Trailblazer Race has help create awareness and financial support for the trail which now extends over 4 miles through Mountain View.
The weekend wound up at the annual Acterra Brunch. Acterra is the organization that is responsible for Energy Upgrade Mountain View, which I learned is a wildly successful program that is generating energy savings of almost 10%. There is still time to sign up for a free audit, but the program ends at the end of the year.
That about wraps it up for September. October will no doubt be consumed with the Nov. 6 Election. There are a number of local events to learn more about the candidates running for the Mountain View City Council, including several neighborhood meetings, and events sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Vote by Mail ballots get mailed next Monday so get ready to study up on the candidates and propositions and be sure to vote!