News

Mountain View extends Castro Street closure as more downtown businesses move outdoors

Customers dine at picnic tables placed on the street in downtown Mountain View on July 2, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Mountain View's experimental closure of Castro Street to make room for outdoor dining has been extended through the end of the coronavirus pandemic, along with new rules that clear the way for other businesses to migrate onto the street.

Traffic has been closed on the first four blocks of Castro Street since June in an effort to revitalize restaurant activity after county health officials banned indoor dining in March. The roadway has since been converted into a bustling open-air food court, bringing back at least some of the customers who used to frequent downtown Mountain View.

City officials say the improvements have benefited businesses struggling to survive during COVID-19, and suggested that the traffic closure stay in effect through Dec. 31. The Mountain View City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, Sept. 8, to approve the extension through the end of the city's emergency declaration, which is expected to go beyond 2020.

Since the street closure began, participating restaurants have reported from slight to significant improvements in revenue -- albeit still lower than pre-pandemic levels -- and largely support keeping the program going at least through Dec. 31, according to a city staff report. A survey of downtown visitors found that a vast majority felt "positively" about the program and wanted to see more like it in Mountain View.

The main criticism from patrons was the perceived lack of restroom access, despite an explicit city requirement that restaurants make bathrooms available.

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The extension of the pilot program comes with new rules that will allow businesses unrelated to food services to take advantage of the roadway real estate as well. While county health orders still prohibit many indoor activities, fitness centers, gyms, hair salons and barber shops are all now permitted to operate outdoors. At least one business on Castro Street has already requested to hold fitness classes outside during the morning and early evening hours.

In the lead-up to the Tuesday council meeting, Peter Katz, CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, said he encouraged the city to extend the street closure beyond Dec. 31. While it would be great if the pandemic would peter out before then, he said the city should be prepared for COVID-19 restrictions and the loss of business to linger through the beginning of 2021.

"Our businesses are not going to be at full capacity for the foreseeable future, let alone the end of the year," Katz said. "The chances of doing indoor dining are anybody's guess right now."

One major concern on the horizon is the weather. While outdoor dining, hair cuts and shopping might work during the dry, balmy days of summer, cold weather and rain could quickly push customers away. At the Sept. 8 council meeting, Councilwoman Alison Hicks suggested that the city could do more to create commercial centers, complete with tented areas, heating, lighting and decorations, that would make outdoor dining and shopping more appealing through the winter season.

Expanding beyond Castro Street

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With the apparent success of outdoor businesses along Castro Street, city officials are now seeking ways to replicate the downtown program elsewhere in the city without having to shut down roadways.

In a second vote Tuesday, the City Council approved a new framework that would allow businesses citywide to operate outside on private or public property, paving the way for restaurants, retail stores and other businesses to set up shop in parking lots and outdoor spaces. No permits will be needed to move outdoors, and businesses will only need a no-fee license agreement with the city to use public property.

Under the set of rules, which are expected to change over time, businesses will be allowed to set up a maximum of 100 square feet of tents or canopy structures, and can use up to 25% of their parking lot. Plazas and other multi-tenant sites will have to share apportioned parking lot space, city staff said. Businesses will be allowed to operate outdoors until 9 p.m. during the week and 10 p.m. on the weekend. Outdoor speakers for group gatherings can only be used between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Across the board, council members said they were largely prepared to relax pretty much every rule, particularly the constraints on parking lot usage, covered areas, music and amplified sound. Councilman Lucas Ramirez said he wants the city to be flexible when possible, and that it could make sense for businesses to use in excess of 35% of their parking lot.

"We don't want our regulations to restrict outdoor business activity if there's no negative impact, because every table you can put out there is an opportunity for a business to generate revenue," Ramirez said.

Rather than tinker with the language of the program, council members voted to empower City Manager Kimbra McCarthy to make substantial changes to the outdoor business rules without having to seek council approval.

In an effort to spur support for small businesses, downtown Mountain View will be hosting an event this weekend called "Passport Weekend," during which numerous businesses will be offering steep discounts and other promotional deals. The Mountain View Chamber of Commerce is also hosting a sweepstakes promoting the city's "universal gift card," which can be used at more than a dozen different locations in the city.

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Mountain View extends Castro Street closure as more downtown businesses move outdoors

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 1:34 pm

Mountain View's experimental closure of Castro Street to make room for outdoor dining has been extended through the end of the coronavirus pandemic, along with new rules that clear the way for other businesses to migrate onto the street.

Traffic has been closed on the first four blocks of Castro Street since June in an effort to revitalize restaurant activity after county health officials banned indoor dining in March. The roadway has since been converted into a bustling open-air food court, bringing back at least some of the customers who used to frequent downtown Mountain View.

City officials say the improvements have benefited businesses struggling to survive during COVID-19, and suggested that the traffic closure stay in effect through Dec. 31. The Mountain View City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, Sept. 8, to approve the extension through the end of the city's emergency declaration, which is expected to go beyond 2020.

Since the street closure began, participating restaurants have reported from slight to significant improvements in revenue -- albeit still lower than pre-pandemic levels -- and largely support keeping the program going at least through Dec. 31, according to a city staff report. A survey of downtown visitors found that a vast majority felt "positively" about the program and wanted to see more like it in Mountain View.

The main criticism from patrons was the perceived lack of restroom access, despite an explicit city requirement that restaurants make bathrooms available.

The extension of the pilot program comes with new rules that will allow businesses unrelated to food services to take advantage of the roadway real estate as well. While county health orders still prohibit many indoor activities, fitness centers, gyms, hair salons and barber shops are all now permitted to operate outdoors. At least one business on Castro Street has already requested to hold fitness classes outside during the morning and early evening hours.

In the lead-up to the Tuesday council meeting, Peter Katz, CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, said he encouraged the city to extend the street closure beyond Dec. 31. While it would be great if the pandemic would peter out before then, he said the city should be prepared for COVID-19 restrictions and the loss of business to linger through the beginning of 2021.

"Our businesses are not going to be at full capacity for the foreseeable future, let alone the end of the year," Katz said. "The chances of doing indoor dining are anybody's guess right now."

One major concern on the horizon is the weather. While outdoor dining, hair cuts and shopping might work during the dry, balmy days of summer, cold weather and rain could quickly push customers away. At the Sept. 8 council meeting, Councilwoman Alison Hicks suggested that the city could do more to create commercial centers, complete with tented areas, heating, lighting and decorations, that would make outdoor dining and shopping more appealing through the winter season.

Expanding beyond Castro Street

With the apparent success of outdoor businesses along Castro Street, city officials are now seeking ways to replicate the downtown program elsewhere in the city without having to shut down roadways.

In a second vote Tuesday, the City Council approved a new framework that would allow businesses citywide to operate outside on private or public property, paving the way for restaurants, retail stores and other businesses to set up shop in parking lots and outdoor spaces. No permits will be needed to move outdoors, and businesses will only need a no-fee license agreement with the city to use public property.

Under the set of rules, which are expected to change over time, businesses will be allowed to set up a maximum of 100 square feet of tents or canopy structures, and can use up to 25% of their parking lot. Plazas and other multi-tenant sites will have to share apportioned parking lot space, city staff said. Businesses will be allowed to operate outdoors until 9 p.m. during the week and 10 p.m. on the weekend. Outdoor speakers for group gatherings can only be used between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Across the board, council members said they were largely prepared to relax pretty much every rule, particularly the constraints on parking lot usage, covered areas, music and amplified sound. Councilman Lucas Ramirez said he wants the city to be flexible when possible, and that it could make sense for businesses to use in excess of 35% of their parking lot.

"We don't want our regulations to restrict outdoor business activity if there's no negative impact, because every table you can put out there is an opportunity for a business to generate revenue," Ramirez said.

Rather than tinker with the language of the program, council members voted to empower City Manager Kimbra McCarthy to make substantial changes to the outdoor business rules without having to seek council approval.

In an effort to spur support for small businesses, downtown Mountain View will be hosting an event this weekend called "Passport Weekend," during which numerous businesses will be offering steep discounts and other promotional deals. The Mountain View Chamber of Commerce is also hosting a sweepstakes promoting the city's "universal gift card," which can be used at more than a dozen different locations in the city.

Comments

Alex M
Registered user
Willowgate
on Sep 9, 2020 at 3:55 pm
Alex M, Willowgate
Registered user
on Sep 9, 2020 at 3:55 pm
25 people like this

Why just until the end of the pandemic? Why not make it permanent? Since I moved here in 2001, I've heard talk about making Castro a pedestrian street, but it was just talk. It took COVID-19 to make it happen. We should NOT go back.

Even if business are able to move their operations back indoors someday, we should keep Castro pedestrian-only. If there's a downside, I haven't seen it yet.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2020 at 9:26 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 9, 2020 at 9:26 pm
2 people like this

I have no argument if the businesses are following the DPH requirements.

But the current issues with air quality is not helping.

I actually do hope we don't wind up with a wet winter, but I think when we had the last fires, there was a significant increase in rain.

I wonder if the smoke we are seeing is actually covering the entire northern hemisphere by now, like when a volcano erupts. This happened in the southern hemisphere recently in thie news (Web Link). The Australia fires covered the southern hemisphere.

I also wonder what the impact of people relocating is going to have on the long term in this area.


Jeremy Hoffman
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Sep 10, 2020 at 7:01 pm
Jeremy Hoffman, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Sep 10, 2020 at 7:01 pm
7 people like this

I'm glad the experiment was going well (until the smoke descended).

We should definitely be relaxing the parking requirements. California cities have had excessive parking minimums for decades. They're a really inefficient, expensive use of land. Requiring parking spaces make businesses and homes more expensive, and they make our city spaces less pleasant to walk, bike, or sit in. (Have you ever tried walking through San Antonio Shopping Center past the Walmart and Trader Joe's?)


What is "YIMBY"?
Registered user
Slater
on Sep 11, 2020 at 8:27 am
What is "YIMBY"?, Slater
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2020 at 8:27 am
7 people like this

A letter online to the new city manager of Mountain View is from a half dozen members of South Bay "YIMBY" which is the group established by high tech corporations to push for higher-density housing without much or any on-site parking YES IN (Your) BACK YARD. Jeremy Hoffman is one of the signers.


What is "YIMBY"?
Registered user
Slater
on Sep 11, 2020 at 9:33 am
What is "YIMBY"?, Slater
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2020 at 9:33 am
5 people like this

Online Jeremy Hoffman lists himself as an "affordable housing development and strategy consultant." That evidently is how he makes MONEY. Just so we know.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm
Like this comment

It really makes me wonder how long this smoke problem is going to last?

Today it is really bad again.

The "Window" of outdoor dining feasibility is starting to close.

And Dr. Fauci is now talking about the end of 2021 when things might get back to normal?

Everyone in politics and business is just whistling thinking if they ignore the real problem it will go away, EVENTUALLY.

The price of this has been enormous and is still growing.


Ron Wolf
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2020 at 3:38 pm
Ron Wolf, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2020 at 3:38 pm
10 people like this

Opening Castro to outdoor dining & other uses has been a wonderful civic transformation. It's so much quieter, children are playing, one can cross the street without fear. Let's keep the cars out & keep this space open for people to enjoy.


CFrink
Registered user
Willowgate
on Sep 12, 2020 at 4:25 pm
CFrink, Willowgate
Registered user
on Sep 12, 2020 at 4:25 pm
4 people like this

I have really, really enjoyed the social aspect of the outdoor atmosphere we have on Castro. I really think it should be permanent and I look forward to other businesses figuring out ways to get their businesses outside as well. This will, of course, affect our art festivals and other festivals we have downtown but I'm confident that our city staff can figure out a way around this to make those events, when they return, another success builder for Castro businesses. This whole experiment makes me very proud of our city staff and government.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 12, 2020 at 9:30 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 12, 2020 at 9:30 pm
Like this comment

Given now that Dr. Fauci has just said it could be winter 2021 before we can "get back to normal" the long term plans need to be developed NOW!

I just read that we are due for a very wet winter due to la nina.

The outdoor tables are all going to need umbrellas enough to protect food and customers from the rain.

But if the fed and state can't provide the economic life support to cover us til normalcy, these businesses are going to lose their customers because no one can afford to use them.

I have been saying this since January of 2020, NO ONE is making the long term planning necessary to cover the situation. Everyone hopes it will be solved in say 2 or 3 months of any actions currently decided


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 12, 2020 at 9:51 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 12, 2020 at 9:51 pm
1 person likes this

Please also understand that it appears your twice as likely to contract COVID when going to eat even outdoors. THe report is found here (Web Link)

The CDC is in effect saying it doesn't matter whether you eat indoors or outdoors regarding this report.

In fact this study used California as a data source.

It specifically stated:

"Asked about the CDC report, Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said, “It is not surprising that dining at a restaurant was found to be associated with a positive test. This is likely due to the fact that eating and drinking, two activities intrinsic to visiting a restaurant, require removal of face covering."

This is REAL science, we need to consider this information at least?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 14, 2020 at 12:11 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 14, 2020 at 12:11 am
Like this comment

To clarify my comment some more

From what I understand, the following states in the study prohibited indoor dining:

California has had no indoor dining. Colorado appears to have no indoor dining. Massachusetts appears has no indoor dining. Minnesota appears to have no indoor dining. These states had no indoor dining

Maryland has indoor dining with restrictions. North Carolina has indoor dining with restrictions. Tennessee has restricted indoor dining.

Ohio only recently opened indoor dining with restrictions. Utah only recently opened indoor dining. Washington only recently allowed indoor dining with restrictions. During the study they were closed

So out of the 10 states at least 7 had no indoor dining at all during the study, and 3 did with restrictions.

To me that seems pretty clear, the findings are mostly counting infections from outdoor dining as a source. I know I didn’t point this out a clearly as I should. But it really appears that outdoor dining is just not safe given that it increases your infection probability by 100%.

Maybe this makes it more clear to the readers too.

By the way, even though we have seen a reduction in infections in Santa Clara County, it is due to the fact that the air quality is so bad that people are not going to eat outdoors for the last 3 or more weeks. So do not assume that the improved numbers we have now are a good sample or predictors. The reality is that once we allowed outdoor dining as an option our infections increased significantly if you look at the history.



Karen G
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2020 at 2:12 pm
Karen G, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 14, 2020 at 2:12 pm
3 people like this

I can't thank the City enough for creating this pedestrian/dining space downtown. It's been a lifesaver for my mental health, seeing people in 3D, and not only online. The sense of "normal" has been so beneficial for me. And I know for the local businesses as well. My husband manages East West Bookshop, and so many people have come in, almost in tears, thanking the store for being open. Simple shopping - getting a coffee - eating a wonderful meal with friends. Grateful for these things beyond anything we might have felt before. Gives you a new appreciation for things that have value to us. So thanks, again! I come down once a week for an experience of real life.


Cat C
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Sep 15, 2020 at 1:29 am
Cat C, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 1:29 am
3 people like this

Re: “What is YIMBY?” - YIMBYs are just folks who want more housing, and more housing density, to help fix the Bay Area housing crunch. We’re not paid professional “housing consultants”; we’re Bay Area natives and longtime locals (tenants, landlords, homeowners) who care about housing policy and are worried by the trends we’re seeing.

With record homelessness, homes being built further and further into wildfire danger zones, megacommutes, rent hikes followed by rent control, working families living in RVs, and everyone from teachers to techies being forced out of the Bay Area by the housing market, we can’t keep going like this. (I’ve heard of a “room” near Stanford being rented out for $850/mo that was just half of a living room, partly walled off with giant LEGO bricks!!)

If we have to lose parking spaces, whether for outdoor business use during COVID-19 or to increase housing density, well, we need to reduce our dependence on cars anyway. That’s part of fighting climate change, to prevent every fall from turning into the inferno we’re living through now.


Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Sep 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm
2 people like this

@ Steve Goldstein - the real science is the CDC report, not the reporter's interview question (that answer was NOT from the CDC). The CDC report "Implementing safe practices to reduce exposures to SARS-CoV-2 during on-site eating and drinking should be considered to protect customers, employees, and communities and slow the spread of COVID-19."
The study did not differentiate between indoor and outdoor dining. [admit - did not read the CDC report!]

Web Link

Duh. If the survey had asked the INDOOR, OUTDOOR question, or on bars/coffee shops, the INDOOR SIT-DOWN SERVICE or outdoor-indoor pickup-only questions / it would have provided a much better data set. COMMINGLED and CONVOLUTED data sets are a bane to good scientific or engineering modeling.

Gee - going to indoor bars, with no masks or to indoor restaurants with no masks, makes things worse?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2020 at 12:31 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 12:31 pm
Like this comment

Steve Nelson,

I appreciate your information. BUT the term "on-site" dining is really all inclusive.

If your eating indoors or outdoors, that is by definition "on-site". Instead of "take-out" or "curbside pickup" or "delivery". Does this make sense to you?

People are trying to split the two ideas up in a rather unscientific and impractical way.

The facts are when outdoor dining was allowed we had a systemic increase in cases in Santa Clara County. Some will argue that protests did, but those were one-time events and if you looked most were wearing masks. The restaurants on the other hand were operating every day, and mixing up an even more diverse population. And also not doing any testing regarding their patrons regarding the disease, so those carrying it likely visited more than once.

Only the current 30 days of unhealthy air has put a stop to the increase. The fire smoke in effect forced people to stay home as much as possible. after 30 days of this situation, it was inevitable to see an improvement of COVID 19 cases.

The science is there if those who want to listen to it. The only way to cut cases is to prevent social interactions. And "on-site" dining is NOT preventing social interactions, whether indoors or outdoors.

The reality is that people took a risk and said, "oh we are clever, we will simply serve our food on the street and it will be safe". Without ANY scientific proof that it was. And now it is proving to be a false hypothesis.

If it is not as safe as "take-out", "curbside pickup" or "delivery" it is not going to be effective to getting us back to "normal".

Why can't the people understand this?


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2020 at 2:52 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 2:52 pm
4 people like this

Thank you, Steve Nelson . You seem to understand the importance of differentiating the indoor/outdoor issue.

Some people are against outdoor dining ( and by extension are against businesses saving themselves). Some people make wild claims about what happened when outdoor dining was reopened, yet they do not have the data to,prove their wild claims.
Some people will not be satisfied until the restraint industry in MV is crippled


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2020 at 3:11 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 3:11 pm
Like this comment

In response to Victor Bishop you said:

“Some people are against outdoor dining ( and by extension are against businesses saving themselves).”

I am not against business, far from it, but where there is now quanitiable proof of danger, it must be accounted before moving forward. I have always said the businesses should be lobbying for financial assistance in order to weather the current disasters. I never said they should be out of business. You are clearly trying to simply anger people on the forum. You said:

“Some people make wild claims about what happened when outdoor dining was reopened, yet they do not have the data to,prove their wild claims.”

Actually, you will argue against science when it doesn’t agree with you but the recent CDC MMWR report is not a “wild claim”, it is based on disinterested public health research. You can attack it all you want, but the 4 paragraph discussion concludes with the following statement:

“This investigation highlights differences in community and close contact exposures between adults who received a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result and those who received a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result. Continued assessment of various types of activities and exposures as communities, schools, and workplaces reopen is important. Exposures and activities where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain, including going to locations that offer on-site eating and drinking, might be important risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPLEMENTING SAFE PRACTICES TO REDUCE EXPOSURES TO SARS-COV-2 DURING ON-SITE EATING AND DRINKING SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TO PROTECT CUSTOMERS, EMPLOYEES, AND COMMUNITIES¶¶ AND SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.”

These are not my “wild cl;aim” it is what the CDC published so when you also said:

“Some people will not be satisfied until the restraint industry in MV is crippled”

There are other methods that can be used to provide life support short of adding more public dangers to the city. These people simply do not know how to achieve it. Or worse it will require public disclosure of their business practices which may shed light of bad actions in order to get those funds. These people will never allow transparency, thus they do not even lobby for this kind of support.

There are safer alternatives then simply giving the people a false impression that it is equally safe to eat “on-site” then it is to do “take out” , “curbside takeout” or “delivery”. You have NO proof it is.

You are “killing the messenger” again.


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2020 at 3:15 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 3:15 pm
6 people like this

Steven- why do you think I am talking about you . You seem to think that everything is about you. Not the case here or really ever.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2020 at 3:44 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 3:44 pm
Like this comment

Victor,

PLEASE?

You know exactly who you were addressing that statement. I can go to many articles where you have made that claim directed to me over and over again. If you want I will reproduce them.

You aren't addressing my point, that there are multiple ways of dealing with this situation and many are MUCH more safer than the ones being used now.


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2020 at 3:54 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 3:54 pm
6 people like this

Steven seems to have an ego as big as the great outdoors. It’s all about him, all the time.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2020 at 4:02 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 4:02 pm
Like this comment

Victor,

YOU ARE RIGHT!

It is about the PUBLIC SAFETY.

And your promoting PUBLIC RISK, and you know it.

I hope the public understands and chooses to stop putting themselves at risk.


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2020 at 4:21 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 4:21 pm
6 people like this

Steven putting words into my my mouth again. What an ego.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2020 at 4:33 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 4:33 pm
Like this comment

Victor,

Do you want to continue on-site dining or not?

If you do, the MMWR from the CDC says that on-site dining doubles your chance of getting COVID 19.

Thus you are promoting a PUBLIC RISK.

Are you saying the CDC is wrong?

Didn't you just say this?

No word put in, you spilled them yourself.

Mountain View readers, make up your own mind, please be safe and don't take unneccesary risks?


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2020 at 5:22 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 5:22 pm
4 people like this

Steven spinning some more.


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2020 at 5:27 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 5:27 pm
6 people like this

Web Link

“ We urge the public to support our restaurants by using restaurant takeout, delivery options, and outdoor dining.  Pursuant to the Risk Reduction Health Order, we urge our residents to continue to avoid indoor activities whenever possible to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. ”

Above from the SCC health department. Note that they urge the public to support outdoor dining.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2020 at 6:07 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 15, 2020 at 6:07 pm
Like this comment

Victor,

Yes, they do. BUT if the COVID 19 cases rise again after the air clears, which is why the COVID 19 cases have gone down, they are going to have to reverse that opinion.

I am actually surprised that they are promoting something that the CDC has determined to be unsafe. But again, you have the politics forcing the County to promote this because the County is THREATENED by the businesses that they will close shop if they don't.

I simply say this, the county is in such bad shape, the loss of 30% of rental values under Zumper, the bankruptcies of developers building new housing, the closing of businesses at such a record level, and the population decrease that is occurring due to business relocation via COVID 19 and AB5 has forced them to take these actions.

I think that as time goes, the SCC DPH may very soon change that opinion.

You again are not trying to use a safer approach, simply because it is too hard to figure out. The same goes with Santa Clara County, they do not have funds to put these businesses on life support. So they really have no choice.

As a reader, I see this situation, and I hope the other readers do to. THEY MUST MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS. I hope they choose the safest actions for themselves. You still haven't proven it is just as safe to do "on-site" dining versus "take out" , "curbside pickup," or "delivery". Until it is PROVEN to be as safe, I just suggest the public to take safer actions.


7x7native
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Sep 16, 2020 at 7:24 pm
7x7native, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2020 at 7:24 pm
Like this comment

Steve Goldstein: FYI: According to many weather forecasts, CA is facing another season of drought or La Niña. El Niño brings warmer waters to the Pacific creating heavier rainfall. This pattern has nothing to do with our wild fires.


7x7native
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Sep 16, 2020 at 7:32 pm
7x7native, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2020 at 7:32 pm
Like this comment

Steven Goldstein: FYI: According to many weather forecasts, CA is facing another season of drought or La Niña. El Niño brings warmer waters to the Pacific creating heavier rainfall. This pattern has nothing to do with our wild fires.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2020 at 7:44 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2020 at 7:44 pm
Like this comment

7x7,

I do understand you are right about La Nina.

BUT, increased particles in the air also allows for H2O molecules to attach themselves easier. H2O is not very "adhesive" to itself in Vapor form because hydrogen bonds are very unstable unless in a liquid or solid state.

BUT in a vapor form if there are Carbon molecules or compounds in the air, I.E smoke, the water molecules in vapor want to attach them to those carbon particles, and many H2O molecules will attach to the same Carbon particle.

So it can be said that the coupling of the two will in effect synergisticly amplify La Nina.

As long as those Carbon particles are in the upper atmosphere it will make the rains more intense.

My Father was a Doctor in Chemistry, and I was drowned in Chemistry while I was growing up.

A pure clean vessel of only distilled H2O vapor will take a lot of cold and water vapor to encourage mist or fog or condensation. But put just a little dust in it and you will see it form very quickly and at a warmer temperature and much less water vapor to observe condensation.

Just FYI


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2020 at 8:06 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
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on Sep 16, 2020 at 8:06 pm
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Someone who refuses to realize there is a difference between indoor and outdoor dining ( a question not askEd in the MMWR Report , which the authors readily admit is a limitation to the study results) said:

“ You still haven't proven it is just as safe to do "on-site" dining versus "take out" , "curbside pickup," or "delivery". Until it is PROVEN to be as safe, I just suggest the public to take safer actions.”


This same person previously said:
“I have no argument if the businesses are following the DPH requirements.“

Said person is waiting for a scientific study to be produced that is not doable ( I.e. can anyone conduct a study , at any time not just during a pandemic, that an activity is perfectly safe???”)

LOL. SSA.


Steven Goldstein
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Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2020 at 8:31 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
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on Sep 16, 2020 at 8:31 pm
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Victor,

I would not "assume" it was unsafe without "any" proof. So my agreement was contingent that "any" science would support the "assumed" safety.

Now that SCIENCE is proving it wrong, I of course have the right to change my mind.

I also never said it has to be PERFECTLY safe, I said I want proof that outdoor dining is AS safe as "Take Out" , "Curbside Pickup" or "Delivery"

Her you go putting words in my mouth. Even though you did repeat my quote accurately you made the wrong understanding. And trying to change your argument so many ways it is really getting crazy.

Nice try.

Provide PROOF it is AS safe, and I will be happy to change my mind again to agree with you


Victor Bishop
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Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2020 at 8:49 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
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on Sep 16, 2020 at 8:49 pm
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A report produced from interviewing people is not really “science” per se.
The authors themselves discuss the limitations to their study. In addition the report does not provide evidence where the people contracted COVID-19 . While the report does discuss that people contracted COVID-19 after dining at a restaurant , thee is no evidence provided that said infection was contracted at the restaurant.
I do not need to provide proof of anything- our county health officer is encouraging us to eat at outdoor restaurants. And more importantly I do not care if you do or do not change your mind.
Spin on, Steven. SSA


Steven Goldstein
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Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2020 at 9:03 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
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on Sep 16, 2020 at 9:03 pm
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Victor,

The facts are that I am simply waiting for if the SCC DPH revises its advisory "guidelines".

What I find amazing is that all Public Health systems are bending over backwards to avoid making simple "requirements". Why? Because all the businesses say is if you do what is medically necessary and lock us down again we are out of business.

You have not provided any "RESEARCH" to disprove the CDC MMWR and every attempt to only provide the only the 3rd paragraph out of 4 of the discussion in the report, 25% of the content, was used to intentionally misinform the people here.

You can complain all you want, but the people here deserve more than what has been assumed that is safe. If you cannot provide any RESEARCH to disprove the CDC, like maybe the WHO, you are simply making a smoke screen.


Victor Bishop
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Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2020 at 7:12 am
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
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on Sep 17, 2020 at 7:12 am
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Spin Steven, spin


Steven Goldstein
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Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2020 at 1:56 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
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on Sep 17, 2020 at 1:56 pm
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Victor,

What I really love is that say you need at least 65% of the people in the U.S> to be infected to achieve "herd mentality" as Donald Trump said.

And say that the current rate of 3% is the fatality part.

And say that there are 330,000,000 people in the U.S. Then if we do as you suggest then 330,000,000 times .65 is 214,500,000 people need to be infected, and 6,435,000 people have to die to get back to normal.

But that is contingent in the faith that once infected you are "permanently immune" for the future.

But this virus has proven that in 6 months it mutates, so let’s do the numbers again with the adjustments

Say there are (330,000,000-6,435,000)= 323,565,000. Then if we do as you suggest then 323,565,000 times .65 is 210,317,250 people need to be infected, and 6,309,518 people have to die to get back to normal for this generation of new COVID 19.

But that is contingent in the faith that once infected you are "permanently immune" for the future.

But this virus has proven that in 6 months it mutates, so lets do the numbers again with the adjustments

Say there are (323,565,000-6,309,518)= 317,255,483. Then if we do as you suggest then 317,255,483 times .65 is 206,216,064 people need to be infected, and 6,186,482 people have to die to get back to normal for this generation of new COVID 19.

The resulting population will be 311,069,001

Just in 3 generations the population of the U.S. will shrink from 330,000,000 to 311,069,001 a difference of 6%. What do you think the economy will be like after this?


Steven Goldstein
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Old Mountain View
on Sep 20, 2020 at 11:07 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
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on Sep 20, 2020 at 11:07 am
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WOW, the Mercury News just let the cat out of the bag. The Castro Street outdoor dining plan is not working. Also if you noticed the picture shows people not wearing their masks

The report says:

"The temporary closure of Castro Street, an experiment many other cities are replicating to provide more space for outdoor dining, is providing a lifeline for restaurants but is far from a cure for their COVID-19 ills. On a recent Monday at lunchtime, a few people were scattered among the restaurant tables arranged on the roadway. Last year, restaurants would have been packed.

But the chamber’s Katz worries that many of the tech workers who patronized local businesses will be gone for some time. Google is taking what its CEO called a “slow, deliberate, and incremental” approach and says its employees can work from home through at least next June.

“I’m more worried now than I was before because it’s been lasting so much longer than I think many people anticipated,” Katz said. “And I don’t see a strong path ahead.”

Abe-Koga said she’s troubled by growing numbers of empty storefronts and “for lease” signs on commercial offices, including an entire 10-story building on El Camino Real. “I haven’t seen something like that since the last recession,” she said."

I feel so frustrated, in Jan 2020 I went to the City Council in effect saying this was happening and the City needed a LONG TERM plan.

In many ways this experiment is failing. Others wrote that the downtown was very busy in the past. But this report seriously casts doubt on that.

It looks like in order to prevent the businesses from simply closing, the City made false promises and downplayed the problem too much, and now the City is going to wind up with more pain. Everyone hoped it would resolve itself in say 3 to 6 months at the longest, and now we know it won't.


Victor Bishop
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Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2020 at 11:27 am
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
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on Sep 20, 2020 at 11:27 am
3 people like this

“ WOW, the Mercury News just let the cat out of the bag. The Castro Street outdoor dining plan is not working. Also if you noticed the picture shows people not wearing their masks”

Actually that is not what the article says, but knowing how much you want the restaurants on Castro street to fail, I am not surprised by your bogus spin on the story. Typical Goldstein. I am sure you would be overjoyed if all of the business on Castro street would shut down, sad, really.
The Castro street dining is working, the people not wearing masks are eating, and remember a photo is a moment frozen in time.

Spin, Goldstein, spin.


Steven Goldstein
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Old Mountain View
on Sep 20, 2020 at 11:53 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
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on Sep 20, 2020 at 11:53 am
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In response to Victor you said:

“Actually that is not what the article says, but knowing how much you want the restaurants on Castro street to fail, I am not surprised by your bogus spin on the story.”

There you go again trying to make it personal and trying to make me look like I am trying to harm anyone. I am not in the position to harm anyone. The GRIM reality is that Mountain View surfed the wave off of Google, Microsoft, Symantec and other tech companies. But the wave has reached the shore and Mountain View is stuck on the beach. You cannot blame me for that. You said:

“Typical Goldstein. I am sure you would be overjoyed if all of the business on Castro street would shut down, sad, really.”

Again, NO WAY, I live here and I was a customer for these restaurants since 2007. You again try to make it personal. What nonsense. You said:

“The Castro street dining is working, the people not wearing masks are eating, and remember a photo is a moment frozen in time.”

Then WHY did the Article found here describe that things are looking VERY bad? (Web Link).

I didn’t write the article it was written by Ethan Baron. I had nothing to do with the article. It also said:

“The temporary closure of Castro Street, an experiment many other cities are replicating to provide more space for outdoor dining, is providing a lifeline for restaurants but is far from a cure for their COVID-19 ills. On a recent Monday at lunchtime, a few people were scattered among the restaurant tables arranged on the roadway. Last year, restaurants would have been packed.

“WE BARELY GET CUSTOMERS,” says Rabi Sharma, a supervisor and server at Quality Bourbons and Barbecue, which has slashed drink prices by a third and food prices 10%. “I HAVE TWO TABLES AND I JUST WANDER AROUND.”

Up the street at novelties shop Therapy Stores, foot traffic has plunged during the street closure, which the city may extend till the end of the year. Though online sales are up, this store is the biggest income generator in the family-owned Bay Area chain, and relied heavily on the city’s biggest industry, said assistant manager Morgan Guidry.

“WE WOULD GET SO MUCH GOOGLE TRAFFIC, SO MUCH TECH TRAFFIC,” Guidry said. “EVEN THE SMALLER TECH COMPANIES, WE WOULD GET TRAFFIC FROM THEM.”

All I ask is that the readers here read that article, it is in the Sunday Paper. The online edition has 10 pictures posted.


Victor Bishop
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Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2020 at 12:27 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
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on Sep 20, 2020 at 12:27 pm
3 people like this

But you are trying to harm the businesses on Castro street- first with the issues of alcohol sales, then sneaking around taking pervy pictures of diners, then claiming every diner needed to fill out an affidavit before they could dime ( a blatant lie).
You have campaigning for moths to cripple the restaurants on Castro street
It’s not about you, it never has been.

But spin on steven


Steven Goldstein
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Old Mountain View
on Sep 20, 2020 at 12:48 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
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on Sep 20, 2020 at 12:48 pm
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In response to Victor:

“But you are trying to harm the businesses on Castro street- first with the issues of alcohol sales, then sneaking around taking pervy pictures of diners, then claiming every diner needed to fill out an affidavit before they could dime ( a blatant lie).”

WOW, Alcohol regulations are to be followed, that’s all. It is not personal or a targeted attack, all businesses have to follow the rules. As far as being “PERVY”, I am just like any other tourist, the public areas are not PRIVATE, thus what “PERVERSION” is happening? Are people having public sex? As far as the last part, the CDC report discussing Onsite dining clearly demonstrates that the activity is a public risk. You said:

“You have campaigning for moths to cripple the restaurants on Castro street”

WRONG, only requiring RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY. If any business claims that RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY is a threat to their business, then I think you get the point. I would not want to do any business if it was not responsible or accountable for its actions, would you? Would you buy a Ford Pinto or Explorer without any fixes to their defective design?

I agree:

“It’s not about you, it never has been.”

It is about poor planning and actions by the City of Mountain View and the business practices that the city ECONOMY has depended on (surfing the TECH wave) and NOT diversified to prevent this kind of problem.


Victor Bishop
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2020 at 2:04 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
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on Sep 20, 2020 at 2:04 pm
3 people like this

Can you imagine if Castro street had not been closed for outdoor dining. It would be much much worse. Of course things are not the way they were in February, but it could be worse. So claiming the mercury let the cat out of the bag is laugahable unless you thought that business was back to norMal.
And worse is what Goldstein wants.
Sounds like he is trying to get a job for the unelected dictator that is maintains a strangle hold on our lives


Steven Goldstein
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Old Mountain View
on Sep 20, 2020 at 3:28 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
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on Sep 20, 2020 at 3:28 pm
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In response to Victor you said:

“Can you imagine if Castro street had not been closed for outdoor dining. It would be much much worse. Of course things are not the way they were in February, but it could be worse. So claiming the mercury let the cat out of the bag is laugahable unless you thought that business was back to norMal.”

WORSE?, look at the facts, the response to COVID was horrendous. Dr. Fauci and others described that we lost more lives and created more long term disability because we responded BADLY. Talking about revisionist history. You said:

“And worse is what Goldstein wants.”

Believe me, I never wanted worse. The REALITY is that we still aren’t in control of COVID, nor will we if we never take it seriously. As far as:

“Sounds like he is trying to get a job for the unelected dictator that is maintains a strangle hold on our lives”

WOW you are really delusional with regards to that. I have NO POWER over anyone. I am not even trying to enforce my will on anyone. BUT, it looks like your trying to use transference to project your attempts to dictate us. In effect your trying to manipulate reality to suit your purposes. Lets bring a good example of how this fails THERANOS.

Elizabeth Holmes and Silicon Valleys motto: “fake it until you make it” didn’t work on the medical devices they faked. It also doesn’t work with a virus like COVID that is out of control. This mindset is simply dangerous and the readers here know it.

ALL I ask is that people read the news, and make up their own minds. You still haven’t addressed responsibility or accountability or safety. You keep on trying to make it personal too.


Victor Bishop
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Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2020 at 4:10 pm
Victor Bishop, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
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on Sep 20, 2020 at 4:10 pm
3 people like this

Whine and spin, steven


Steven Goldstein
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Old Mountain View
on Sep 20, 2020 at 4:23 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
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on Sep 20, 2020 at 4:23 pm
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Victor,

The readers deserve better


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