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Community briefs: Tree lighting, Castro Street traffic signal update and mental health care for the 'missing middle'

Saki Himeno and her children, Sota, 2, and Yui, 8, take a photo with Santa Claus at the tree lighting celebration in the city civic center plaza in Mountain View last year. This year's tree lighting is slated for Dec. 5, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Mountain View to welcome the winter season with annual tree lighting celebration

The city of Mountain View will continue its beloved, annual Community Tree Lighting Celebration on Monday, Dec. 5 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in downtown.

“The celebration will feature local performances, tributes to multicultural and diverse traditions, free refreshments, a train ride, games and crafts, the lighting of the community tree and an appearance from Santa,” according to the event page on the city's website.

The tree lighting will take place in the city’s Civic Center Plaza, and the event is sponsored by LinkedIn and Peninsula Youth Theatre. Performances include local school and Bay Area choirs and Bayer Ballet. Check out the full lineup on the city’s website.

City turns another traffic light back to normal operations on Castro Street

The latest traffic signal change on Castro Street in Mountain View took effect on Wednesday, Nov. 30, as part of a city pilot program to adjust traffic flows through the downtown corridor.

“The traffic signal on Castro Street at California Street will be turned on to standard operation for vehicles and pedestrians on the three approaches of the intersection,” the city said in a statement. “The 300 block of Castro Street will remain closed to vehicle traffic.”

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The city is reminding motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to follow the signal indications to cross, and to use caution when entering the intersection.

“This latest traffic signal change is part of the Castro Street Crossings Traffic Signal Reactivation Pilot Project,” the city said. “All of the pilot project locations will be evaluated for the appropriate long-term traffic control concerning the Castro Street Pedestrian Mall project.”

Pilot program expands access to mental health care in Santa Clara County

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a pilot program to expand mental health treatment for those in the so-called missing middle – residents who "earn a bit too much to qualify for government-funded health care like Medi-Cal, but cannot afford to pay for care out of pocket or the high-quality insurance that would cover such services,” said Supervisor Joe Simitian in a statement.

“The mental health needs of the missing middle in our health care system have been overlooked for far too long,” Simitian, who proposed the program in May 2022, said in the statement. “We have too many people who slip through the cracks. This new effort is designed for folks who need help accessing affordable mental health services. It’s good for patients, good for families, and good for our community.”

The new pilot program adds mental health services to the County’s existing Primary Care Access Program, the statement says, and expands eligibility to include residents making up to 650% of the federal poverty level. More information on the pilot and expanded eligibility is is available on Simitian’s website.

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Malea Martin
Malea Martin covers the city hall beat in Mountain View. Before joining the Mountain View Voice in 2022, she covered local politics and education for New Times San Luis Obispo, a weekly newspaper on the Central Coast of California. Read more >>

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Community briefs: Tree lighting, Castro Street traffic signal update and mental health care for the 'missing middle'

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Dec 1, 2022, 12:31 pm

Mountain View to welcome the winter season with annual tree lighting celebration

The city of Mountain View will continue its beloved, annual Community Tree Lighting Celebration on Monday, Dec. 5 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in downtown.

“The celebration will feature local performances, tributes to multicultural and diverse traditions, free refreshments, a train ride, games and crafts, the lighting of the community tree and an appearance from Santa,” according to the event page on the city's website.

The tree lighting will take place in the city’s Civic Center Plaza, and the event is sponsored by LinkedIn and Peninsula Youth Theatre. Performances include local school and Bay Area choirs and Bayer Ballet. Check out the full lineup on the city’s website.

City turns another traffic light back to normal operations on Castro Street

The latest traffic signal change on Castro Street in Mountain View took effect on Wednesday, Nov. 30, as part of a city pilot program to adjust traffic flows through the downtown corridor.

“The traffic signal on Castro Street at California Street will be turned on to standard operation for vehicles and pedestrians on the three approaches of the intersection,” the city said in a statement. “The 300 block of Castro Street will remain closed to vehicle traffic.”

The city is reminding motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to follow the signal indications to cross, and to use caution when entering the intersection.

“This latest traffic signal change is part of the Castro Street Crossings Traffic Signal Reactivation Pilot Project,” the city said. “All of the pilot project locations will be evaluated for the appropriate long-term traffic control concerning the Castro Street Pedestrian Mall project.”

Pilot program expands access to mental health care in Santa Clara County

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a pilot program to expand mental health treatment for those in the so-called missing middle – residents who "earn a bit too much to qualify for government-funded health care like Medi-Cal, but cannot afford to pay for care out of pocket or the high-quality insurance that would cover such services,” said Supervisor Joe Simitian in a statement.

“The mental health needs of the missing middle in our health care system have been overlooked for far too long,” Simitian, who proposed the program in May 2022, said in the statement. “We have too many people who slip through the cracks. This new effort is designed for folks who need help accessing affordable mental health services. It’s good for patients, good for families, and good for our community.”

The new pilot program adds mental health services to the County’s existing Primary Care Access Program, the statement says, and expands eligibility to include residents making up to 650% of the federal poverty level. More information on the pilot and expanded eligibility is is available on Simitian’s website.

Comments

A Talking Cat
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Dec 1, 2022 at 1:53 pm
A Talking Cat, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 1, 2022 at 1:53 pm

So many confused drivers come so close to hitting pedestrians as a result of this change. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen! Why the heck did the city decide to reactivate these traffic lights across Castro Street? Turn them back into stop signs! That would be much safer and easier for EVERYONE.


SalsaMusic
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Dec 2, 2022 at 12:32 am
SalsaMusic, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 12:32 am

Because red lights make it clear who has the right of way.


ewedel
Registered user
Blossom Valley
on Dec 2, 2022 at 5:53 pm
ewedel, Blossom Valley
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2022 at 5:53 pm

Have to agree with Talking Cat here: a blinking red is plenty clear, and slows everybody down without forcing extra delays. But in a so-called "pedestrian mall", how many pedestrians are going to wait at a solid red light?


CA Native
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Dec 8, 2022 at 2:37 pm
CA Native, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Dec 8, 2022 at 2:37 pm

So the "pedestrian mall" begins at California Street, but pedestrians cross as if the pedestrian mall starts at El Camino. The lights allow traffic on California to flow. I have seen California Street back up to Shoreline some nights because the pedestrians never stop walking in front of cars.

Bring back the lights and ticket anyone, cars and pedestrians, that cross against the lights!


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