Sunday, November 22, 2015

Holiday neighborhood decorating: 9 am Saturday

We will be decorating the neighborhood again this Saturday 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 9:00 am on Nov. 28 at the corner of Delmas and Fuller!

Monday, November 02, 2015

Community meeting about Tamien parking changes

From neighbor Jean Dresden:
For those of you who use Caltrain at Tamien, plan to attend a meeting Monday night on the Willow Glen side..a short walk from the station.

The housing proposal is to completely eliminate Caltrain parking at Tamien and to replace it with a VTA parking structure on the west (Willow Glen) side but there is currently no funding for the parking structure.

Date: November 2, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Elks Lodge 522, Willow Room
444 West Alma Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110


Holiday tree orders are due TODAY

Yes, today! Is your order in? If not, download the form and get it over to Pam Shukait at 1023 Bird today (or send via PayPal Call 408-297-4388 with any questions.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Demonstration & Planting with Native & Drought Tolerant Plants Presented by BAWSCA

Have you been thinking you would like to replace your lawn but find yourself with more questions about plants than answers? Here is a chance to learn. Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) is hosting a free class to learn more about replacing lawns with drought tolerant plants. Join them on Saturday, November 7, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Guadalupe River Park and Garden. Make sure you get your free ticket by following this link to Eventbrite. Here's what BAWSCA has to say about their event: 
Come and join Dee Wong to learn and gain practical experience on the secrets of how to successfully select and install native and low water use plants in our demonstration garden in San Jose. Horticulturist and speaker Dee Wong draws from her work field experiences from failing plants, and why they fail due to poor plant selection, poor planting and horticultural practices.

TOMORROW: Holiday tree orders due

Did you get your order in? If not, download the form and get it over to Pam Shukait at 1023 Bird by tomorrow (or send via PayPal to

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Holiday tree orders due in two days

Did you get your order in? If not, download the form and get it over to Pam Shukait at 1023 Bird by Monday, November 3 (or send via PayPal to Call 408-297-4388 with any questions.

Friday, October 23, 2015

North Willow Glen Holiday Tree Lane

For many years, in early December, the streets of Willow Glen begin to light up with the sparkle of miniature evergreens. We would like to invite you to join in this tradition. We have set up a way for you to order a tree for your yard.

If you are interested in having a tree in your yard, and do not already have one for this purpose, please read below for more details.
  • Orders need to be received by Monday, November 2, 2015. 
  • Rebar is available if requested. This is used for anchoring the tree in your yard.
  • We are expecting delivery of the trees to the neighborhood Saturday, Dec. 5 or Sunday, Dec. 6.
  • You will have to set up the tree on your own.
  • You are responsible for putting on your own lights. A very old tradition is to use the large colored lights and to put one white light at the top of the tree.
  • We will email and post on the e-list when trees will be available for pickup. 
* * * This year, again, we are also offering 22” Noble fir and Cedar wreaths decorated with pinecones. The wreaths will be $16.50 each. * * *
Fliers are being delivered to your door, but you can also download the order form and deliver it with a check made payable to: Pam Shukait or send via PayPal to (Trees will be from Enchanted Forest Christmas Trees.)

Call Pam with any questions: 408-297-4388.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Staying alive, staying alive...

At its Friends and Neighbors Meeting tonight, North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association was very happy to host Anne Wilde for a demonstration of CPR techniques including the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). We all learned a lot and thank Anne very much!

One hundred compressions are needed every minute, so if you sing the Bee Gees song, "Staying Alive," you will produce the right frequency of chest compressions.

To schedule a class to become certified by Anne, her web site is

Anne explains the easy-to-use AEDs

Dan tries out chest compressions with a practice dummy
Bill practices with the AED as it narrates what to do step by step

Alan practices the deep compressions that are necessary to get blood moving and breathing restarted

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Recipe for a block party

Neighbors on Spencer Avenue (between Willow and Atlanta) host an annual block party to draw neighbors closer together, and gathered last weekend for our latest event. It is easy to pull together, so here's a summary if you would like to host your own regular event.

Find someone who can host in their front yard or long driveway. This helps make the event less intimidating for shyer neighbors and ensures that folks driving by are reminded of the event while it is happening. Other benefits of the driveway/yard location are the lighter demands on the host. Nobody has to clean their house or backyard to host the occasion. Plus, neighbors seem to feel more free to stop by just for a few minutes if they have a jam-packed day.

Create a simple flier. Our text said:
Gather with your neighbors
Join us DATE / TIME
It will be an opportunity to meet other Spencer Avenue neighbors and enjoy the fall season!

We will provide the main dish. Feel free to bring a potluck contribution or just come and hang out.
All residents welcome!
We included “all residents welcome” to ensure that renters felt included.

Make a food plan. For Spencer Ave, the two host houses supplied meat and vegetarian burgers and hot dogs, but you can set up a barbecue to have people bring their own grillables to distribute the costs.

Spread the word. After printing the fliers, we dropped them off at each home. As the date grew near, we would mention it to neighbors we encountered and ask them to spread the word. If you have email addresses for neighbors, send them a quick note.

Do some light prep. Have nametags and markers handy. We wrote first names and house number to give some context to where people live.

An optional step: create a sign-in sheet to collect e-mail addresses. After the party, send a follow-up note (our text is below as a start). This will help neighbors remain connected to each other by knowing about and using the communication channels that have been developed.

Gather and have fun!

Draft text for follow-up email

Thanks so much for joining us at yesterday’s block party! We gather each year to meet each other and have fun, so we appreciate seeing you there.

I have listed below a few ways to keep in touch with what’s happening in our neighborhood. Feel free to choose the method that best suits you.

The North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association meets quarterly, and the next meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the Word of Faith Church at Delmas and Fuller, with a CPR demonstration. The church has donated their sanctuary to NWGNA as meeting space for many years, and we appreciate their generosity very much.

And, since a few folks have asked over the years, NWGNA is not an HOA-style association. There are no dues and no rules that are established, just an awesome group of people dedicated to making and keeping our neighborhood great. NWGNA hosts several fun events throughout the year, including a holiday party with decorating contest, Party in the Park every August in Hummingbird Park, occasional neighborhood-wide garage sales, and intermittent clean-up days.

Ways to stay in touch:North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association list: an email list since 2001 to communicate within North Willow Glen, bounded by Bird, Fuller, Willow, and Highway 87.
Subscribe by sending an email to

NWGNA Blog: occasional information about the area, plus an events calendar.
Subscribe by entering your email address where it says “Follow by Email” on the right column of the blog. Blog entries are also automatically posted to the Facebook page.

NWGNA Facebook page: a private social site for local neighborhoods. After verifying your house location, you can communicate online with North Willow Glen neighbors.

Feel free to send any questions.

Your name

"Coffee with a Cop" event was a success!

Today, San Jose Police hosted "Coffee with a Cop" at Roy's Station, a coffee and tea shop with a long history in Japantown.

There was a big turnout, with many officers from SJPD and CHP speaking with lots of residents.

When asked what neighbors could do to support a safer environment in San Jose, here's what the officers said:

Know your neighbors. Introduce yourself. Stop to chat occasionally. Watch out for each other.
  • Commonly, when something like a property crime happens, police discover that neighbors do not know each other and don't know when something is amiss. If you know what belongs, you can learn what doesn't belong.
  • Actively participate in online communities to discuss safety issues with neighbors. For North Willow Glen, this includes our Facebook page, NWGNA blog, Yahoo! Groups email list, and info. We try to cross-post across these forums so that you can choose the one(s) that you like, but not always.
  • Call 311 for anything that is suspicious. Call, call, call. And, if you are calling from a cell phone, use 408-277-8900. By calling, you add your voice to others to help police allocate limited resources. If you don't call, they don't know about it and cannot help.

Let road rage go; don't engage other drivers.
  • A CHP officer talked about the amount of time he spends diffusing heated arguments between two drivers that could be avoided if they were to forgive and forget. Let those precious resources focus on bigger issues by declining to participate in yelling, gesturing, or driving aggressively when you are upset by other drivers.
Among the common misconceptions about law enforcement:
  • We are always taking a break.
    • Officers spoke about the pace of their work and how infrequently they actually take breaks. Those wisecracks about coffee and donuts seem to wear thin.
  • We don't care.
    • They do. A lot.
  • We like writing tickets. 
    • Several officers talked about not wanting to ruin someone's day or cost them money. Sometimes it can't be avoided, though.
  • Situations are black and white.
    • One officer spoke about how much they operate in gray areas and have to make judgement calls while handling calls.
This event will be held again. Go!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Attention, movie lovers!

Orchard Supply Hardware on San Carlos Street is hosting a series of free 1930s movie nights in October. For more information and register for free tickets, see their EventBrite info.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

San Jose Unified to underwrite cost of SATs

From the Mercury News:
Taking a stab at the "opportunity gap" that blocks some students from college, the San Jose Unified School District will underwrite nearly the entire cost of SAT exams for juniors, and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams for all its high school students.
The district, with 32,000 students the largest in Santa Clara County, could become the first in the state to finance the Scholastic Aptitude Test -- widely required for admission to by colleges -- and the AP and IB exams, which test mastery of college-level classes that are expected of those applying to four-year postsecondary institutions.
All students, regardless of family income level, would be eligible for the subsidy. Students would pay $5 per exam.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Technology + sweet tooth = Halloween Treat Map!

Nextdoor is a private, free social network for your neighbors and your community. You can use Nextdoor for buying and selling via classifieds, sharing crime and safety news, and more.

This year, they are enabling a map of houses that are giving out treats for Halloween. You can add yourself and/or tell others that you will be sharing some treats (candy corn icon). But, wait, there's more! You can also designate your house as a hosting a haunted house (purple house icon). The map is just beginning to build, but check it out!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Habit for Humanity breaks ground on Delmas

A new single family home will be built at 868 Delmas after a groundbreaking last week. Read all about it in the Mercury News.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What belongs in SJ recycling bins?

From the Mercury News:
"Nearly 40 percent of the stuff single-family homeowners dump into their recycling bins in much of the city is non-recyclable food waste and other junk, according to California Waste Solutions, the city's primary hauler. That's more than six times Oakland's 6-percent contamination rate, the company said."
So, what can't you put in the gray recycling container?
  • Padded envelopes, bubble wrap
  • Soiled paper or tissues
  • Disposable diapers
  • Packing peanuts, foam takeout containers and other polystyrene
  • Pillows, stuffed animals, carpet
  • Plastic bags (If they're clean, turn them in at a store recycling drop.) 
  • Shoes
  • Compact discs
  • Metallic gift wrap
  • Photographs