Saturday, December 31, 2011

The year in review

2011 has been a positive one in so many ways for North Willow Glen. Many dedicated volunteers have worked on their favorite events and issues to help make our neighborhood a better place. Here are just a few highlights from the last year:

Street tree planting
Neighborhood garage sale

Fruit/Veggie Share in Hummingbird Park
Party In The Park

Holiday decorating contest and party
Neighborhood street decorating
Holiday yard trees

Throughout the year
High-Speed Rail meetings and planning
Neighborhood beautification and maintenance
Anti-Graffitti Task Force

Our first meeting of the year will be January 24 -- come join us to lend a hand to your favorite project in 2012. We will be meeting at the Word of Faith Church at the corner of Fuller and Delmas at 6:30.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Supreme Court says state can raid redevelopment

From today's Mercury News:
The California Supreme Court on Thursday found that state lawmakers had a legal right to seize $1.7 billion in redevelopment money to help solve the state's budget woes, at the same time reaching a result that may put the state's nearly 400 local redevelopment agencies out of business forever.

California's high court concluded the Legislature had the authority to raid redevelopment funding earlier this year, rejecting arguments from redevelopment advocates that the budget gambit violated voter-approved Proposition 22, a 2010 measure designed to bar the state from seizing local funding to pay its bills.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

City no longer supplying dog waste bags

The city is no longer providing dog waste bags for city parks. The San Jose Parks Foundation is taking over the City’s program of providing Dog Waste Bags in parks throughout the park and trail system. This sign is going up shortly in North Willow Glen parks.

If you would like to donate any amount towards purchasing additional bags, you can either contact Bill at 408-893-6684 to target your donation to North Willow Glen parks or make an online donation towards bags city-wide at the SJPF web site.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

SJPD changing how they respond to alarms

San Jose Police are planning on changing how they respond to reports of audible alarms. From the SJPD web site:
In 2008, The San Jose Police Department conducted a study of false alarms in the City and found that over 98% of all alarm calls were indeed false alarms. The cost of these false alarms to the Department was $662,000. In 2010, the Department responded to 12,450 alarm calls throughout the City. While this represented approximately 6% of all calls for service, it was the second largest percentile category of all call types. Only two arrests resulted from these alarm calls and only 113 resulted in police reports being generated. It is clear that false alarm responses place a significant demand on police resources.
Consequently, the San Jose Police Department will no longer respond to alarms solely on the request of alarm monitoring companies.
There has been a request sent today to the mayor asking to delay this policy until it can be better understood. You will want to follow this issue especially if your home or business uses an alarm system.

New law Jan 1 for children riding in cars

A new California law goes into effect on Jan. 1 requiring children under age 8 to be buckled into a car seat or booster seat and they must ride in the back seat. After age 8 or a height of 4 feet 9 inches, kids can ride in the back seat with a lap or shoulder belt.

Read a summary of the new laws for California and San Jose in the Mercury News.

Monday, December 26, 2011

City's single-use bag ordinance effective Jan 1

From the City's web site:
San José customers will soon be shopping greener than ever. All grocery and retail stores in San José can no longer provide single-use carryout bags at checkout beginning January 1, 2012. Consumers will have the option to bring or purchase their own reusable bags or purchase recycled content paper bags at checkout. Consider the following to prepare for the ordinance:
For additional resources and updates, including a list of reusable and recycled paper bag suppliers, visit If you have questions, please e-mail or call (408) 534-BYOB (2962).
You can also read more about this new law in the Mercury News.

Friday, December 23, 2011

PETCO's Unleashed boutique coming to Willow Glen

PetCo's Unleashed boutique pet store will be opening in the old Blockbuster location on Lincoln Avenue. Read more about it in the SJ Mercury News. You can see more about the Unleashed store, too.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Replace retiring library workers with volunteers?

Read about Councilmember Oliverio's proposal to replace retiring library workers with volunteers. From the Mercury News:
In an effort to preserve the cash-strapped city's budget, a San Jose councilman wants to replace retiring city library workers with community volunteers or face the more serious alternative of outsourcing the libraries altogether.

"We have beautiful libraries, and if we allow volunteers to augment current city staff, our libraries would be open more days per week," said Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio, who has consistently sought to outsource the city's union employees with less expensive contractors.

The full article is here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Supervisor Ken Yeager's Dec. 13 newsletter

Topics for this newsletter include:
  • Yeager Appointed VTA Chair as Bart to San José Gets Underway
  • Caltrain Station Improvements at Diridon and Santa Clara
  • Lynbrook High School Named Intel School of Distinction
  • Air District Board Meetings Now Streaming Online
  • VTA Connects Residents to Holiday Adventures
  • Calendar of Events

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Swiss approach to high-speed rail

Swiss Approach Map
Would you prefer that high-speed rail cost significantly less than current estimates and didn't divide our city? There's a plan specifically for California high-speed rail from Switzerland for an optimized, interconnected, and flexible system at a reduced cost. This was released six months ago and brought to the attention of rail decision makers at last night's high speed rail town hall meeting. Click this link to download the three page executive summary Acrobat file. What do you think? We'd love to hear from you. Comment here publicly or via e-mail:

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Thanks to the Shukait family!

If the holidays are here, the Shukait family on Bird Avenue must be helping to make the neighborhood festive. Again this year, they organized the ordering of yard trees and wreaths for everyone. It's a family affair, with Pam's son helping to keep things organized as orders were picked up.

More photos are available on Facebook. You do not have to be a member of Facebook to view the photos.

Big thanks to the Shukaits!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Please note: tree delivery after 10:30

Holiday trees are expected tomorrow after 10:30 due to truck trouble.

Sunday: Holiday Yard Trees/Wreaths Arrive

The Holiday Yard Trees and wreaths will be here tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 4 starting at 9:00 am! Please come by and pick yours up at 1023 Bird Ave.

Ho, Ho, Ho!
Pam and Keith Shukait

Friday, December 02, 2011

Have you ever cried over spilled milk?

Read about North Willow Glen neighbor Taffy Dugan and her dilemma over a burst gallon of milk. It has a happy ending and communicates a lot about a nearby grocery store.

Here's the article.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday tamales: fundraiser for WG Elementary PTA

If you are craving tamales, you're in luck. Willow Glen Elementary's Bilingual Immersion families are hosting a fundraiser for Willow Glen Elementary PTA by taking orders for holiday tamales.

Just complete the form and return it to the Willow Glen Elementary office at 1425 Lincoln by Wednesday, Dec. 7. Pick-up is Friday, December 9, 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Flavors are:

Jalapeno & Cheese Tamale
Pineapple & Raisin (Sweet) Tamale
Salsa Verde (Spicy) Chicken Tamale
Salsa Roja (Mild) Chicken Tamale

Prices are $2.00 each, 6 for $10.00, 12 for $20.00.

WG Tree Lighting Ceremony: Thursday

Willow Glen’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at Willow Glen Elementary School on Thursday, December 1, 2011.

5:30pm Holiday Festival Open & Pictures with Santa
6:00pm Book Fair & Music Program
7:00pm Lighting of The Willow Glen Tree

The Holiday Festival will include pictures with Santa, kids holiday crafts booth, book fair, festive treats (including homemade tamales, churros, popcorn and hot chocolate). Holiday performances by:
  • Willow Glen Elementary Band
  • Willow Glen Elementary opera
  • Willow Glen Elementary Choir
  • Willow Glen Elementary Folkloric Group
  • Willow Glen Middle School Choir
  • River Glen's Band "Estudiantina"
The tree this year will feature 2,422 feet of energy-efficient LED lights, equaling 4,700 commercial grade LED lights. Even with all those lights, it is the equivalent of only four 100 watt bulbs.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Marine Corps will be collecting toys at Powell's

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps will be collecting new toys for their annual Toys for Tots campaign on Dec. 4 in front of Powell's Sweet Shoppe, 1140 Lincoln Ave. from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Donated toys should be new and unwrapped.

Neil Kott, owner of Powell's in Willow Glen, says because of the limited parking situation on Lincoln, there will be people on hand during the donation period to accept toys from drivers.

The Toys for Tots program started in 1947 and since then has collected more than 400 million toys for needy children.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Councilmember Oliverio's Fall Newsletter

Councilmember Oliverio's latest newsletter for District 6 includes articles, updates and events.

NWGNA Holiday Decorating Contest

The North Willow Glen Holiday Decorating Contest is on!

Here’s how to participate:
  1. Decorate your house by Sunday, December 11.
  2. Celebrate the holidays with your neighbors! You and your family are invited to an open house with holiday refreshments and cheer at Lila's house at 562 Fisk Ave. on December 11 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  3. Fill out your ballot and drop it off at 562 Fisk Ave by 8:00 p.m., Friday, December 16.

Announcing the new NWGNA board

At our last Friends & Neighbors meeting, a new board was elected. If you would like to reach the board, drop a line to

Chris Davis - President
Harvey Darnell - Vice President
Lila Kakuk - Treasurer
Barbara Keegan - Secretary
Bill Rankin - Past President
Alison England, Dan Erceg, Mary Pizzo, Open - Board

Welcome to the new NWGNA board!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Big thanks to this morning's volunteers!

A BIG thanks to our volunteers this morning who helped hang festive holiday decorations around the neighborhood. Thanks to Pat, Bernadette, Lorraine, Karen, Mike, Mark, Steve, Alison, Chris, and Bill. And Pepper the Dog.

You can see photos on the NWGNA Facebook page.

Friday, November 25, 2011

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 am on Nov. 26 in the smokehouse parking lot, 885 Delmas.

We will have coffee, bagels, and fun!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Supervisor Ken Yeager's Nov.15 newsletter

Topics for this newsletter include:
  • Communities across the county honor local veterans
  • County moves to ban Styrofoam
  • County hires new Parks director
  • Air Resources Board finalizes cap and trade program
  • Check before you burn
  • Calendar of events

NWGNA is growing more on Facebook

After using Facebook for two years to spread neighborhood news, we are happy to report that we have 241 interested friends, which is a 120% increase over last year at this time.

You can help spread the word by asking your neighbors if they are getting enough neighborhood news. If not, tell 'em about how to reach us.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Help needed: flier delivery

We are looking for help in delivering holiday event fliers to the neighborhood sometime in the next week. If you are available to help out, please call Bill at 408-893-6684.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Is this your kitty?

This cat was found this afternoon and looks like it has recently been in a fight with bite marks in a few spots.

If s/he is yours, leave a comment here and we will connect you to the person who took in the cat.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Daylight savings time ends this Sunday

Daylight Savings Time officially ends this Sunday, November 6 at 2 a.m. Fall is here!

It's a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, too. Fire Departments encourage it since the time change provides a convenient reminder. Stay safe over the winter with all the candles and space heaters that are in use by using fresh batteries.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Last Farmer's Market of the year

Saturday, October 29 is your last opportunity to visit the Willow Glen Farmer's Market this year. It's been a great year with wonderful fruits, vegetables, specialty foods, plants, crafts, and more. Come support local vendors at the market, behind the Garden Theatre at 1165 Lincoln Avenue, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Local events calendar has many festive activities has a local events calendar with lots of info:

  • Live music, children's events, book clubs, author readings, classes in art, cooking, and exercise, and more.
  • The season's last Farmer's Market is this Saturday, Oct. 29
  • Kids' trick or treating downtown 10/31, 2-4 pm
  • Dog costume parade, 10/30, 5-6:30 pm
The calendar is at

Friday, October 21, 2011

Free documentary film: "Radiant City"

On Monday, Nov 7 at 6:30 p.m., Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio is hosting a showing of the documentary film Radiant City, an examination of the nature of modern suburbia. Seating is limited so please email if you would like to attend. The film's trailer is also available online.

After the film there will be a group discussion on the General Plan 2040 with the Directors of both our Planning and Economic Development departments.

Supervisor Ken Yeager's Oct. 20 newsletter

Topics for this newsletter include:

  • CalTrain avoids fiscal emergency through smart budgeting
  • Yeager hosts community forums on senior issues
  • Three Creeks Trail reaches another milestone
  • County works toward 100% renewable energy use
  • Yeager speaks at national childhood obesity conference
  • Volunteers and donations needed for local Halloween events
    Calendar of events

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, October 31, 2011.
  • Rebar available if requested. This is used for anchoring the tree in your yard.
  • We are expecting delivery of the trees to the neighborhood Sunday, December 4th.
  • 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.
  • Trees will be available for pick up at the Shukait’s house (1023 Bird Ave) on Sun., Dec. 4. We will email you the pick up time as we get closer to the date.
  • Trees are $16 each and four-foot pieces of rebar are $2.50.
* * * This year, we are also offering 22” Noble fir and Cedar wreaths decorated with pine cones. The wreaths will be $15 each. * * *

Fliers are being delivered to your door, but you can also complete the online order form with a check made payable to: Pam Shukait or PayPal (Trees will be from Enchanted Forest Christmas Trees.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Booster seat law is changing Jan. 1

Starting January 1, the California state law for children's booster seats is changing. If your kids are under eight years old or a height of 4'9", you will want to know about this upcoming change. The Mercury News article has more details. Mr. Roadshow has a few more details.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Signs on Posts and Trees

Throughout the neighborhood we often have some great garage or yard sales cropping up here and there and sometimes we have the unfortunate lost pet. In either circumstance, we often see signs affixed to poles or trees. Sometimes this is done properly and sometimes not so much. So if you're planning to have an event and would like to post signs to our neighborhood poles, please follow our tips, because the city does not maintain the look of our poles for us; our friendly neighborhood volunteers do that. So let's make it a bit easier on them and keep our neighborhood looking great. The number one rule is to take your sign down after your event is over. We know that after a long day, this can be the last thing anyone wants to do, but old expired signs can pile up and contribute greatly to blight. When you post your signs, please use zip ties, wire ties, or painters tape to attach signs to poles or trees. These methods are secure enough to do the job and they do not leave behind a sticky residue or remove paint from the poles. The same can not be said of duct tape or packing tape which are much too aggressive for this purpose. By all means, let's not use nails to attach signs to trees as this can be very damaging. We appreciate your help keeping North Willow Glen looking great and we wish you great success with your garage sale or the recovery of a pet.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Supervisor Ken Yeager's Oct. 5 newsletter

Topics for this newsletter include:
  • County moves forward on plan to protect endangered species
  • Yeager featured in Eucalyptus Magazine
  • Smoking policies reduce the number lung of cancer cases
  • Almaden Expressway improvement project underway
  • Youth task force now accepting applications
  • County offers rebates on home energy assessments
  • Calendar of events

Your voice is needed!

The City of San Jose Department of Transportation is planning to remove shrubs within the Bird Avenue median due to budget cuts for maintenance. If you disagree with this plan, please speak up ASAP to Mike Zapein, Landscape Supervisor, 408-975-7165.

Here is the text of the notice currently posted along Bird Avenue:
Notice of City of San Jose Landscape Removal Project
"No Established Tree (s) Will Be Removed"

This is to inform you that the City of San Jose Department of Transportation will be removing shrubs and/or ivy with the Median Island landscape. This work is scheduled to begin on or about 10/14/11. This work is being done in response to the current budget situation and significant reductions ion personnel to the Landscape Management Program. Removal of shrubs enables the landscape staff to more efficiently maintain all landscape parcel Citywide to an acceptable condition. If you have any questions about the work proposed at this property, please contact Mike Zapein, Landscape Supervisor at 408-975-7165.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

High-speed rail visual designs: last chance for input

Wednesday night is your last chance to weight in on what you want high-speed rail to look like. The final meeting of the Community Working Group on Visual Design Guidelines for the High Speed Rail project is Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the MLK Library downtown.

The latest draft of the visual guidelines is available online as well as more visual simulations.

Public comments are welcome, either at the meeting or to Ben Tripousis via email.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

High Speed Rail Visual Simulations Released

The California High Speed Rail Authority has released visual simulations to be included in the San Jose High Speed Rail Visual Design Guidelines for the aerial alignment. The guidelines dictate how the structures of an aerial alignment would look. This document does not indicate any preference on the city's part for an aerial alignment over a tunnel. But if the aerial alignment is chosen, the Visual Design Guidelines ensure that the structures will be in accordance with the city's ideals.
Photo simulations have been produced and incorporated into the document to better illustrate what all the text in the document supports. We have chosen those closest to our neighborhood for you to preview. Please have a look to see if you agree with the direction this is headed. Representatives of the project will be on hand to present these and more at our Friends & Neighbors Meeting this Tuesday, September 27th and they would like to hear from the community. So let's hear it. What do you think? Is this what High Speed Rail should look like?

Bird Ave looking east
Bird Ave looking north
Bird Ave looking northwest to Diridon Station
Gardner Academy looking east - hoop bridge
Gardner Academy looking east - basic bridge

NWGNA Friends & Neighbors Gathering: Tuesday

Come join us on Tuesday evening at the NWGNA Friends & Neighbors gathering, 6:30 p.m. at the Word of Faith Church, 873 Delmas (cross street is Fuller Ave.). The agenda for Tuesday is:

  • Introductions
  • Parks maintenance and fighting graffiti: Mike Will, Parks Department Director, will talk about park maintenance efforts and show us how to fight graffiti. A limited supply of graffiti-fighting supplies will be available.
  • Nominations and voting for NWGNA board positions: Available roles are Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Board Member. You may nominate yourself or someone else for a position.
  • High-speed rail photo simulations: Come see what high-speed rail in San Jose might look like.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Community service projects available

Does your student need to do community service work for school? If so, there are opportunities for your child to help with neighborhood maintenance projects, upcoming events, and more. To find out more, contact us at

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dog and cat licensing amnesty program until Oct. 31

The City of San Jose Animal Care Center currently has an amnesty program for licensing cats and dogs. Until October 31, 2011, you can register your animals with no citations, late fees or penalties. After this period, owners of unlicensed pets are subject to late fess and/or citations.

Please note: All dogs and cats are required to have current rabies vaccinations before being licensed. The San Jose Animal Care Center will o ffer the rabies vaccine for only $5.00 on selected dates. Visit for details.

Also: All San Jose residents who purchase a new license, renew a license or adopt a San Jose shelter dog or cat during September and October will be automatically entered into a lottery for a chance to win either a $1000 grand prize or one of four $500 prizes. Tickets will also be made available without charge to all other participants upon request at the City of San Jose Animal Care Center. Prizes sonsored by Pet Awareness and Welfare Society for San Jose Animal Care Center,

Cherry tomatoes galore

We've got a pile of cherry tomatoes to offer at the Produce Share from 1:00 to 3:00. Yes, there's a football game on, but at least the tomatoes are in the 49er colors, right?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Produce share on Sunday

Don't forget the produce share on Sunday, in Hummingbird Park, corner of Fisk and Bird, from 1:00 to 3:00. If you have something to share (plants, veggies, fruits, goodies made from your garden, etc.), come on by and drop it off. You don't need to offer anything to receive something great -- the goal is to keep great food from going to waste. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Galarza classroom looking for donations

Our local school, Galarza Elementary, is looking for donations for a trampoline via the site Donors Choose. Check out the details to learn more.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Produce share on Sunday

Don't forget the produce share on Sunday, in Hummingbird Park, corner of Fisk and Bird, from 1:00 to 3:00. If you have something to share (plants, veggies, fruits, goodies made from your garden, etc.), come on by and drop it off. You don't need to offer anything to receive something great -- the goal is to keep great food from going to waste.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Lost cat - help find Penny

A beautiful cat named Penny is missing from Ramona & Coe. Their backyard faces the construction at the old railroad tracks so she may have been scared away from the immediate neighborhood. Attached are a couple of pictures. Penny is very friendly. Call (510) 408-6329 or email any time if you see her. The family is offering a reward.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Produce share on Sunday

Don't forget the produce share on Sunday, in Hummingbird Park, corner of Fisk and Bird, from 1:00 to 3:00. If you have something to share (plants, veggies, fruits, goodies made from your garden, etc.), come on by and drop it off. You don't need to offer anything to receive something great -- the goal is to keep great food from going to waste.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This week's Produce Share: Lots of goodies

At this week's Produce Share in Hummingbird Park, we will be giving away free tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, potatoes and a variety of greens. Plus whatever you bring over to share with your neighbors! We always have more than we can give away, so please don't be shy -- there's lots of goodies for everyone.

Also: From 1:00-2:00, Roy Nordblum will be giving a free demonstration and class on greywater, how you can simply and inexpensively use your washing machine water in your yard. No need for a building permit or any changes to your plumbing. He will tell you how you can even do it yourself.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Produce share on Sunday

Don't forget the produce share on Sunday, in Hummingbird Park, corner of Fisk and Bird, from 1:00 to 3:00. If you have something to share (plants, veggies, fruits, goodies made from your garden, etc.), come on by and drop it off. You don't need to offer anything to receive something great -- the goal is to keep great food from going to waste.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00.