Friday, April 24, 2015

Native Plant Sale This Saturday

California Buckwheat
With water conservation on everyone's mind these days, native plants have become a hot topic. There are numerous landscapes around the neighborhood featuring California native plants. Unfortunately the supply of them is not easily found at the big box stores so you may have to look a bit harder to find them for sale. Fortunately the California Native Plant Society has two sales a year and their spring sale is coming soon.

Speak with experts about unthirsty alternatives to a lawn, including native perennials, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses. Browse books, posters, and note cards featuring native plants. This year landscape designer Carrie Jensen, habitat designer Linda Ruthruff, and landscape architect Sherri Osaka will be at the plant sale all day to help you custom design your native parking strip garden. For the first time, there will also be a wildflower show.

NWGNA is planning on picking up a California Buckwheat to test out and see if it is fit for the Bird Avenue median. All signs point to 'yes' so we are excited to get one going in Fuller Park before making the leap to the median.

Check out the CNPS website for more information including a plant list. You can also watch Carrie Jensen's presentation on parking strips, why they're important and what we can do with them, here.

California Native Plant Society
Annual Spring Plant Sale
Saturday, April 25, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Hidden Villa Ranch, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Generosity isn't just for year-end...

We all know that generosity isn't just for year-end, but Sereno Group Real Estate - The Benford Team is putting this into practice by making a generous donation to help refresh North Willow Glen's holiday decorations that are placed each December around our neighborhood. These decorations have been showing wear and tear after being used for a few years, and this fabulous real estate team is helping NWGNA purchase new decorations to renew our supply. We thank them now and we will continue to send gratitude at year-end when the wreaths and garland are placed again in North Willow Glen.

To extend your gratitude to Sereno Group Real Estate - The Benford Team, comment here and check out their web site for your real estate needs. Many thanks to the Benford Team!

Friday, January 09, 2015

Holiday Decoration Contest Winners

546 Atlanta - Best Lights Award
There were a lot of great lights out this season. Thank you very much to all who participated. Thank you also to our generous sponsors, Blue Water Seafood and Crab and continuing for their fourth year in a row, Aqui Cal-Mex! Without further ado, here are this year's winners along with their prizes.

  • Most Creative: 1015 Willis - Aqui gift certificate for one entree and an NWGNA tee-shirt
  • Most Unique: 550 Snyder - Aqui gift certificate for one entree and an NWGNA tee-shirt
  • Best Lights: 546 Atlanta - Aqui gift certificates for two entrees
  • Best Overall: 477 Marshall - Blue Water gift certificate for $50

Winners please contact us at to arrange your prize delivery.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Garbage and recyling billing changes

From the City of San Jose:

Starting July 1, 2015, charges for garbage and recycling for single-family households with cart services will be on the Santa Clara County Secured Property Tax Bill, instead of the current six bills sent by the City each year.
The City will continue to bill some condominiums and townhomes, and all mobile homes, on a monthly basis.

For more information:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


There are several reports around San Jose of wires arcing and sparking due to the high winds. Please use caution.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Neighborhood Readiness is an NWGNA Priority

Have you decided on your New Year's resolutions yet? Did you include improving your preparedness for a serious disaster? You should! Emergency responders are usually overwhelmed when disasters happen, so it will be up to us neighbors to help each other. 

NWGNA Friends & Neighbors Meeting
February 24, 2015
6:30 pm – 7:55 pm
Word of Faith Church on Fuller & Delmas

There is an excellent disaster preparedness program already used in 42 states around the U.S. called the “Ready Neighborhood” program. It can help you and your immediate neighbors respond to the emergencies caused by a disaster—and help kids or elderly or disabled neighbors who are home alone.

The first step is a “Map Your Neighborhood” meeting with 15-20 of your closest neighbors. At our February 24th Friends & Neighbors Meeting, we will watch the “Map Your Neighborhood” DVD and complete a meeting handout to see how it will work. We will all walk away with a 9-Step Neighborhood Response Plan and a better idea of how we can help our immediate neighbors be more prepared.

Do you want to learn more?
If so, send an e-mail to with questions or to sign up to attend the NWGNA Friends & Neighbors meeting on Feb. 24th at Word of Faith Church on Fuller and Delmas at 6:30 pm. Although signing up isn’t required for attendance, please do drop us a note with with your name, address, and phone number if you plan to attend. It gives us a starting point for the map! 

We hope to see you on February 24th!

Dev Davis, Bill Rankin, Dave Magram, John Francis Maggio, Cathy Loughman, Tom Keegan 
NWGNA Disaster Prep Committee

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Recycle your holiday tree

From the City of San Jose:
Curbside collection of holiday trees will be on your regular collection day between December 26, 2014 and January 30, 2015. Remove stands, tinsel, and decorations. Cut into 5-foot pieces. Set out by 6:00 a.m.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Last day for holiday lights voting!

Tomorrow is the last day for voting in the holiday lighting contest. You can drop your ballots at 562 Fisk by 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rain, flooding, accidents, oh my

Last night, the rain caused flooding on Highway 280 that led to a multi-vehicle accident. Pumps were not able to keep up with the pooling water, so exercise abundant caution, especially when driving in the dark.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NWGNA Tee for #600 on Facebook

Just over five years ago we decided that Facebook might be a good way to help us interact with our neighbors. We thought if it went well we could have maybe 200 or even 300 people following us some day. Fast forward to today where we are creeping up on 600. That's nearly one follower per household in our fantastic little neighborhood. To celebrate our approaching milestone, we will be giving away a tee shirt to our six-hundredth Facebook follower. It is the latest batch with the new logo on the chest and the phrase "I don't work for the city. I'm your neighbor!" on the back.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

NWGNA party tonight!

Come enjoy the freshly baked bread by neighbor Mark Lloyd, visit with neighbors, and begin voting in the holiday decorating contest. 562 Fisk, 5:30 to 8:00.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Gun Buy Back Program, Dec 13

The San Jose Police Department will hold its annual gun buyback event on December 13. From the Mercury News:

The gun exchanges will be no-questions-asked, and gift cards of $100 will be given for handguns, rifles and shotguns, and $200 will be given for assault weapons. Unloaded weapons must be functional and transported in the trunk of a vehicle and will be retrieved by police. For safety reasons, no walk-up donations are allowed.
The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 13 at PAL Stadium, 680 South 34th St. in San Jose. It is a partnership between the City of San José Council Office District 5, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, and the San Jose Police Department.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Neighborhood holiday party on Sunday

Join us Sunday night starting at 5:30 pm for our annual holiday gathering. It's the start of voting for the holiday lighting contest, too. Come by and share time with neighbors before heading out to check out the lights.

Holiday Party
Lila Kakuk's house
562 Fisk Ave.
Sunday, December 7
5:30-8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

VTA's BART/SV Meeting 12/2/2014

A representative from NWGNA attended last night's BART/SV Phase II public outreach meeting held at the VTA offices in downtown San Jose. The slides shown at the meeting are available here.

Of particular note, Measure A tax revenues would  be used to fund Phase I (Milpitas and Berryessa) and other VTA projects. Phase II would require additional funding to be procured both locally and federally. The local projected shortfall is $2.43B. There was some non-specific mention of public/private partnerships to generate additional funds.

The environmental review process will continue to include all four planned stations in San Jose: 28th St/Alum Rock, Downtown San Jose, Diridon, and Santa Clara. The process of the Environmental Impact Statement/Report will continue in draft form through the first quarter of 2016. At this time the federal New Starts funding application is scheduled and the finalization of the EIS/R occurs.

Further meetings are planned for the spring of 2015 which include more specific topics including: Economic and Community Benefits, Funding, Station Planning, Transportation Connectivity, and Construction Methods.

Attendees were permitted to ask questions and make comments such as:
- ensuring the Alum Rock at 28th Street station was included moving forward
- solicit greater community involvement and buy in to help ensure additional tax measures would pass
- ideas to save money by eliminating the Santa Clara station and any tunnels or facilities beyond Diridon Station
- idea to use BART service but non-BART equipment (BART-branded cars running on ACE lines) to service SJC and Great America at an estimated 10% of the cost of running BART-specific equipment
- distrust based on VTA's failure to bring BART to San Jose after multiple tax measures levied to do just that

After the meeting, we spoke with VTA employees one-on-one particularly regarding the coordination - if any - of VTA/BART and the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) about construction north and west of the proposed Diridon Station stop. The short answer is that there is no communication happening between these agencies. It should be noted that in CHSRA meetings last year, the underground options for an underground HSR station at Diridon was not plausible due to plans for the underground BART tunnel in that area. At this time it is not known if BART will continue underground beyond its station near Diridon. If it does continue, either for service to Santa Clara or the proposed maintenance yard at Newhall, it is highly likely that the only economically viable HSR option would be elevated tracks. The VTA official we spoke with specifically noted that the VTA's work on BART had begun long before the HSR project.