Cupertino Matters

What a difference a week makes! Effective today, residents of Santa Clara County and five other Bay Area counties are under an order to shelter-in-place at their place of residence until April 7, unless extended. Non-essential public facing businesses are closed, and residents are to stay home unless required by necessity elsewhere. All city facilities are closed. Earlier, our city had responded by canceling city-sponsored events and issuing guidelines that were updated daily.  Apple, as well as other major employers, told employees to work from home, which noticeably reduced traffic. Wednesday evening President Trump announced travel restrictions which threw the airline, hospitality and cruise line industries into turmoil. By Thursday, the stock market was in a free fall, and all major league sports seasons were suspended. College and high school sports followed. Conferences, as well as most business travel, were canceled. Colleges switched to online instruction for their next terms. Theater and arts performances were canceled as stronger guidelines for public gatherings were announced. By Friday evening, all public schools in Santa Clara County were closed, as well as libraries, senior centers and churches, with new stricter guidelines. On Sunday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates, but the stock market fell another nearly 3,000 points. Companies are projecting lower earnings due to the economic impact of the COVID-10 pandemic. The situation certainly fits the saying about “living in interesting times.”

Per CDC and County Health guidelines, social distancing—staying home in general, avoiding large numbers of other people, and staying at least six feet from other individuals—is crucial to slowing down the rate of infection, and the impact on our healthcare system. Testing kits are in limited supply, and there is no vaccine, but “flattening the curve” to keep the rate of infection manageable may prevent breakdown of our health care. (Italy’s healthcare is in crisis mode leading to overwhelmed hospitals and wartime triage efforts.) Locally, restaurants can only offer takeout food, which reduces their business.  Other businesses have simply closed their doors. Canceled events have a large impact on low-income service workers with reduced hours, partial or no unemployment compensation and no sick leave. There will be significant short term impacts in our community, with unknown long-term impacts on our lives.

Your voice is important. Information on expressing your opinion via emails and oral communications with the city can be found at

UPCOMING  CITY COUNCIL MEETING – Tues., Mar. 17, 2020, 6:30 Special Televised Meeting – Community Hall, 10350 Torre Avenue

The original agenda for the Regular Meeting has been postponed until April 7. The agenda is to consider two actions related to the COVID-19 emergency. No routine matters will be considered.

Item #1: Ratification of a proclamation of local emergency related
to COVID-19
. This is the formal council approval authorizing the actions City Manager Deb Feng took in her role as Director of Emergency Services. This means that the city can seek assistance from other government agencies, include state and federal government agencies. Extensive documentation is included in the attachments.

Item #2: Actions Related to Income Loss and Evictions Due to Novel Coronavirus. The second agenda item is specific to the City of Cupertino requesting an emergency ordinance directed at residents unable to pay rent as a result of the Coronavirus COVID-19. On Monday, the state allowed local jurisdictions to take this action via Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-28-20; however, the city needs its own ordinance to enact this protection. At this time of economic uncertainty, this is an important measure to prevent an increase in homelessness due to sudden loss of income.

 RECAP  PLANNING COMMISSION – Tues., Mar. 10, 2020, Regular Meeting 
YouTube: 2 hr. 51 min.

The Planning Commission, with commissioner Alan Takahashi absent, plus council members Liang Chao and Jon Willey present spent almost 3 hours in a study session regarding the basics of terms and documents that are part of the CEQA process. Seph Petta and Carmen Borg from the City Attorney’s Office made the presentation, which was supposed last an hour.

 CUPERTINO COURIER  March 13, 2020

The cover photo and feature story on page 5 is Inspiration in different languages: Cupertino’s new poet laureate Jing Jing Yang embraces bilingualism, written by Anne Gelhaus. The sold Community Brief is Student earns national volunteer honors, about Ajay Mallya, a  junior at Bellarmine College Preparatory from Cupertino. Legal notices on page 20 include (1) an application to convert two retail buildings located at 10041 Blaney and 20015 Stevens Creek Blvd. to a preschool and afterschool program with playground modifications to be presented at the March 24 Planning Commission meeting, and (2) the second reading of the ADU ordinance passed on March 3, 2020.

Have a safe week, and use the time you would have spent in meetings catching up on projects, reading, videos, and paperwork.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor