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.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

County inspection reports available online

Santa Clara County has Food Facility Inspection Reports online for local restaurants, coffee spots, and bakeries, and more. Also, the county is putting in place a placarding system for food service, so that can be helpful to understand. Not all businesses have been given a colored placard or numeric score in the inspection reports, but you can always read back to prior inspection reports.

Rainy Saturday, be prepared

To report street flooding in our area, call 408-794-1900.

For sandbag locations and to find out how to use them, visit or call 408-265-2600

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NWGNA holiday decorating contest

To participate in this year's holiday decorating contest, decorate your house by Sunday, December 7. Voting begins that day and ends 8:00 pm, Sunday, December 21.

Holiday neighborhood decorating: 2 pm Sunday

We will be decorating the neighborhood again this Sunday and we would love to have your help. It doesn't take very long and it's a fun way to kick off the holiday season by brightening the neighborhood for everyone. Join us at 2:00 pm on Nov. 30 at the corner of Delmas and Fuller!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

SJWC Gingerbread House Decorating Party

From the San Jose Woman's Club:
Gingerbread House Decorating Party
Sunday, Nov 30 - 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Kick off the holiday at SJWC's Gingerbread House Decorating Party. This event is a fundraiser for the SJWC Charitable Giving Program and features a fun afternoon of gingerbread house decorating for children and adults, including children who would not be able to attend without a financial sponsor.
Buy a ticket that includes a Gingerbread House Kit for $20, or bring your own house to decorate for $10. We provide decorations, light refreshments, music, and a fun way to create a holiday centerpiece without messing up your own kitchen! You can also sponsor a child that wouldn't be able to attend for $20.  
Decorating stations will be set up in the SJWC Landmark Ballroom. We provide decorations, light refreshments, live music and sing alongs by the Sail Away Ladies, and a fun way to create a holiday centerpiece without messing up your own kitchen! If you'd like, participate in our Gingerbread House Decorating Contest at 4:30 p.m. Prizes for the best house.
We hope to sponsor 25 children and raise $2,000 for local charities including the Next Door Solutions, Opera San Jose, San Jose Day Nursery and Women's Gathering Place. Sponsorships are still available. Download the sponsor form.

$20 Gingerbread House Kit and Party or
$10 Bring Your Own House to decorate
Tickets and details

Friday, November 21, 2014

Supervisor Ken Yeager's Nov. 20 newsletter

Topics for this newsletter include:

  • Winter a challenge for some residents
  • Holiday train brings joys and toys
  • County receives grant to prevent chronic disease
  • County adopts new graffiti guidelines
  • Expressway plan needs input from residents
  • Calendar of events
If you would like to receive this newsletter by email, send an e-mail to with the subject: “Add.”

Holidays in Willow Glen

Downtown Willow Glen has quite a few holiday events planned, including Small Business Saturday, Ladies' Night Out, the tree lighting ceremony, story time with Santa, caroling, outdoor movie nights, cable car rides, and of course, photos with Santa. For more information, check out their web site.

Alum Rock BART Station in jeopardy

From StreetsBlogSF:
"Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) officials announced on October 6 that they would not seek federal funds in 2015 to construct Alum Rock and Santa Clara BART stations planned as part of the transit system’s extension through downtown San Jose. The move sparked an outcry from neighborhood leaders and elected officials, who have worked in community planning efforts for over a decade to anchor new compact, walkable urban centers with the transit stations."
If you would like your voice heard on this matter, Friends of the Five Wounds Trail has prepared an online petition to save the Alum Rock BART station.