Are the deer trapped?

It appears as if at least three deer, two mature does and one immature deer are living on the Kimber Park open space, now behind a 6 foot high cyclone fence. These look to be the same deer that regularly came out at twilight when the club was open. It is also very probable that the immature deer is the one photographed earlier this year in July being nursed by its mother.

Here’s the fawn and it’s mother from July 20th of 2011.

Kimber Park native

Fawn feeds from its mother on the Kimber Park Open Space









Here’s some video of the deer taken the night a stroller first spotted them:

The question was, were they somehow coming and going from the property or were they staying behind the fence? I’ve been looking for deer tracks at likely places in the soil outside of the fence but never found any. Working off a hunch, I went over very early in the morning of November 28th, 2011. Here’s what I saw:

Brush pile

Brush pile on the Kimber Park Open Space








OK, I couldn’t resist, but you have to look very closely. Here’s a closeup of the same picture:


Hidden Deer

A deer is hidden in the brush pile








If you look closely you can see the deer creeping out of the heavy brush pile behind the trees on the old pond bed. They then came up the slope and were wary enough to focus on the click of my camera’s shutter, as shown here.


Mule deer react to the sound of the camera shutter

Three wild mule deer on the Kimber Park Open Space









The blur in the foreground is the top of the cyclone fence. This is the same fence that is shown in the Turkey post.

Apparently wildlife control says everything is fine. They report that the deer can escape. I am personally very concerned. While the adults may survive a jump over the fence, I hope they choose wisely and don’t injure themselves on the many hazards possible from such an attempt. I am also doubtful that the juvenile can jump the fence while still immature. Wildlife control says it could find one of the gaps and be able to crawl underneath the fence if the adults flee.

For the time being we can enjoy them at our leisure, as they seem to be staying. Hopefully the winter rains and plentiful morning dew will give them enough water.

Help us keep an eye on the deer and make sure that they are doing well.

Who remembers…

Who remembers when:

  1. There was a baby pool by court 7
  2. Court 7 was a sand court
  3. There was a lake back where the outer courts are
  4. There was a fireplace in where the exercise machines now stand
  5. The kitchen had an oven
  6. We had club pros such as Barry Gilbert, Kevin Pope, and Ken DeHart
  7. We had social team tennis in the spring AND in the fall with Kimber Park sweatshirts
  8. Jackie Dias cooked for the ladies luncheon every December after the tennis round robin
  9. The land was a chicken farm
  10. The Betsy Gravett tournament was a huge fundraising success

If you can remember most of the above…then you’ve been around a long, long time!  Back then, there was so much going on and the club was thriving.  Young couples could play tennis because there was a babysitter on the premises.  The club pros taught groups of newbies so the number of USTA teams grew every year.  People were encouraged to “try out” the club facilities so hopefully they would join the club.  We had social events and tennis tournaments.  Friendships were established.

Now, who can remember when:

  1. The tennis courts weren’t cracked
  2. The hot tub worked
  3. There WAS a babysitter
  4. The exercise equipment all worked
  5. The roof didn’t leak
  6. You received an invoice and a newsletter in the mail
  7. The deck had boards that were even
  8. The club provided cups on the courts for water
  9. The club sold t-shirts and sweatshirts with the club logo
  10. It was hard to find parking on a Tuesday night

If you can remember even some of the items from this list, then you really have noticed the deterioration of the club in the last several years.   The club CAN be restored and made to thrive once again, but it will take time and a unified effort.  If you aren’t already a member of the Save Kimber Park group, it’s not too late to join.

Plan to attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:00 at 3300 Capitol Ave. Building A.   Help us save the open space of Kimber Park from developers.


Turkeys locked out for Thanksgiving


Wild Turkeys strut their stuff the day before Thanksgiving

On Wednesday morning, November 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving, the local wild turkeys were strutting their stuff across Canyon Heights Blvd from the club.

Apparently confounded by the cyclone fence now surrounding the Kimber Park Open Space, they put on a display in the limited space in front of Art Kimber’s property.

Here they are in action:

Shown below is a view of the Open Space that is normally available to the turkeys. The rolling meadow is the perfect habitat for the turkeys to use as they perform their displays and interact socially.

The fence, which the City had requested be modified or removed immediately in their letter to the owner dated November 10th, 2011, remains up. The impact on the future of the resident deer and turkeys remains to be seen.

In any case the turkeys were not brave enough to show up on Thanksgiving day itself, but can you blame them?

The actual Mission Hills Tennis Club business deal is not what the owner is claiming

In 1976, an agreement was made between the City of Fremont, Shapell Homes, Kimber Park Associates and the homeowners in Kimber Park. This agreement zoned the land where Mission Hills Tennis Club resides, as Private Open Space, with the exception of a recreational facility and/or restaurant.

The result was a wonderful tennis and recreational facility that has benefited not only the Kimber Park residents, but all of Fremont and surrounding communities.

The current owner Sheena Chang and a developer, Steve Saray of Civitaf Corp. seek to overturn the 1976 zoning. We hope that the City Council of Fremont will uphold the 1976 zoning of the land, and not give into these greedy land developers.

From the Kimber Park Sales Brochure:
“Additionally, exceptional planning extends beyond your front door into the total community environment. Kimber Park homes are centered about a 12.7 acre park with a beautiful tree-lined lake next to which a private racquet/swim club is being developed”

Here’s a scan of the development, from the original brochure:

Redwoods, not houses

Original Kimber Park Sales Brochure

This is what the community bought; Sheena Chang purchased Private Open Space.

This is an important moment for the City Council, whether they uphold the agreements made when this development was built or override them for the profit of new developers. It is clear; this property was intended as private open space. The outcome of this decision is a wakeup call for all of us with regard to city politics. Will the City Council members honor agreements, preserve community integrity, or give in to greedy developers?

Attend the Dec. 6th City council Meeting, let the city see your support for preserving this open space.

Laura Fleming

Kevin the maintenance worker

Submitted by Kevin, the college student and maintenance worker (and excellent tennis player!), who like all of the club staff was recently laid off by the club owners on short notice. Kevin sent in this this testimonial from his parent’s house, where he now lives:

1) the club is a place where putting a smile on a members face is an important part of the day. i love coming to the club and opening in the morning, knowing that i can make a difference to someone’s day. while working i enjoy seeing the members coming to play tennis and it always brings a smile to my face when they play.

2) the loss feels like a small community has been taken from me. It has always been a fun place and i enjoyed being there. when mission hills was closed, a part of me was taken away. the club has always been a family place where the members can spend quality time together and have a good quality workout.

3) in terms of the condition of the club, i describe the place as being poorly maintained. even though there are cracks on the ceiling and deteriorating ceiling covers, there was no one coming in to fix it. it could have been a big problem if there was more rain because it could have collapsed. i did my best by sweeping the water off the ceiling so that the ceiling would not soak up the water. also there could be new paint applied to the building because the color is getting dull. the wood on the deck is getting rotten and has not been fixed.

4) i would like to see the club being remodeled by painting the building, putting in new carpet, and fixing the decks. It doesn’t have to be torn down —  but keep the building and actually remodel the building. also the club should continue to be part of the community because mission hills club is not just recreation but a second home to a lot of the members.

Kevin C.