Saturday, March 26, 2011

Notes from March 22 Friends and Neighbors event

From Chris Davis, NWGNA Board:

Friends and Neighbors,

North Willow Glen Neighborhood Association (NWGNA) had a great community meeting last night as those in attendance will attest. Sacred Heart's Raul Lozano explained their fantastic La Mesa Verde program aimed at getting low-income families educated about healthy foods and providing them with the materials and tips they need to get their vegetable gardens going strong and staying strong. See for more info. To raise money for their project, Sacred Heart is selling the same 4x8 raised planting beds as sub-assembled kits, ready to be hauled out and set up. Cost is not yet determined, but Raul said it would be $300-400: about the same as at a home store for the raw materials alone. If you're interested, call Raul at (408) 674-4135. There are volunteer opportunities on April 30 for planting. Go to or call (408) 278-2171.

Roy Nordblum is positively ecstatic about the return of The Share that was so successful last year, so keep an eye out for more information about the starting date for that. We will continue our tradition of sharing our backyard bounties and baked goods with one another, however the location will move to Hummingbird Park on Fisk and Bird. We will have a banner out there in the coming weeks. We will also have themes for each week for supplemental sharing opportunities: think toys, clothes, jewelry, etc. Got any theme ideas you think would be great? Let us know!

NWGNA president Bill Rankin discussed that The City of San Jose's has been soliciting a group of neighborhood leaders to propose a High Speed Rail (HSR) tunnel option to include in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the hot idea at their last meeting was a two-bore tunnel under downtown and an upgrade of the UPRR tracks through North Willow Glen as an emergency bypass route. Last night's NWGNA meeting attendees were staunchly opposed to any HSR presence in the neighborhood and felt that this proposal (if included in the EIR) may open the door to letting any and all HSR trains cut through our area. Stay tuned for updates as developments progress.

Harvey Darnell gave us an update on the Redevelopment Agency (RDA). They have reassessed the city's neighborhoods in crisis and determined that North Willow Glen now ranks #15. The RDA has decided to help only the top 13 neighborhoods, however they have no money in their budget to do so at this time.

Dan Erceg updated us on some of our city's graffiti issues, specifically the railroad bridge over I-280. There was a period of time in which responsibility of the bridge's appearance shifted from San Jose to UPRR. San Jose has since persuaded UPRR to allow the city to again control graffiti and is currently working on getting it taken care of.

If there are issues you would like to discuss at our Friends and Neighbors Meetings, please attend and let us know what's on your mind. The next one is May 24th at the Word of Faith Church on the corner of Delmas and Fuller. Mark your calendars; we look forward to seeing you there!

Supervisor Ken Yeager's March 25 newsletter

Topics for this newsletter include:
  • Yeager calls for audit of county cell phone use
  • Improved oversight of PG&E needed
  • Yeager teaches class on regional government
  • County and cities sign pledge to address childhood obesity
  • County connects residents to energy rebates
  • Calendar of Events

Monday, March 21, 2011

NWGNA Friends and Neighbors Meeting: Tuesday

Our special guest speaker will be Raul Lazano, of Sacred Heart's La Mesa Verde Project. Raul will speak about teaching organic gardening to low income families.

We will have updates on upcoming events such as the North Willow Glen Garage Sale on May 21, Produce Share, Tree Plantings, and of course, Neighborhood News.

Date: Tuesday, March 22
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Word of Faith Church, 873 Delmas Ave (corner of Delmas and Fuller)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Greenbelt Alliance: open space hikes and tours

Enjoy the beauty of the spring on a Greenbelt Alliance Outing. The Greenbelt Alliance, advocates for Bay Area open space, are hosting a series of hikes and tours in celebration of the Bay Area's greenbelt. These outings happen all over the Bay Area and the difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous; see their event listing to learn more about a hike's degree of difficulty.

Hikes include:
  • Coastal Wildflowers
  • Wildflowers of the Greenbelt
  • Tomales Bluff Hike
  • Rockin' Wildflowers
  • Back Canyon in Bloom
  • Las Trampas Perimeter Hike
  • Petals and Feathers
  • Redwoods and Berries
  • Yoga in the Greenbelt
  • Birding the Greenbelt
  • Ring Around the Mountain
  • Beautiful Monte Bello

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Even one more thank you...

And, definitely not last on the list to volunteer, Pat Gormley. She helps us with fliers and so much more as a member of the NWGNA board. Thanks to Pat!

One more big thank you!

One more big thank to Hubert Jansen for his regular help with delivering fliers. Thanks so much, Hubert!

Many thanks to our flier delivery team

A very big thank you to our weekend flier delivery team for their dedication over a rainy weekend: Lila Kakuk, Chris Davis, Carey Burris, Karen Taylor, Barbara and Tom Keegan, Karen Mason, and Lorraine Round. You guys step up regularly and we thank you very much.

Flier Delivery: More Help Needed

We still need assistance in delivering fliers to these streets:
  • Fuller (86 homes)
  • Bird (64 homes)
  • Warren, Shepherd, Snyder (61 homes)

Let us know if you can help by calling Bill at (408) 893-6684.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Do you know this dog?

This dog was found on Lincoln Avenue this week. He does not have a microchip and is un-neutered. He is being housed by a local family who has registered him at the Monterey Road animal shelter.

If you know who he belongs to, respond to the Craig's List posting so he can be re-united with his people.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Help needed: flier delivery this weekend

We will have fliers later today for next week's NWGNA general meeting and are looking for flier delivery help around the neighborhood for this weekend.

Please call Bill at 408-893-6684 or email to if you can help.

Monday, March 14, 2011

How to help earthquake victims in Japan, Pacific

From the San Jose Mercury News:

American Red Cross -- U.S. mobile-phone users can text REDCROSS to 90999 to add $10 automatically to their phone bill. Or go to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

International Medical Corps -- Sending relief teams and supplies to the area. Call 800-481-4462, or visit

Save the Children -- The relief effort providing food, medical care and education to children is accepting donations through mobile phones by texting JAPAN to 20222 to donate $10. People can also call 800-728-3843 during business hours or go to to donate online.

Global Giving -- The nonprofit that works through grass-roots efforts says Americans can text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10 through their phone bill. Or go to

Interaction -- The group is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations and lists many ways to help on its site,

Network for Good -- The aggregator of charities has a list of programs and ways to donate to relief efforts. Go to

Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation - Donations can be made online at or by calling 408-457-6964 or 888-989-8244; Checks can be mailed to Tzu Chi Foundation locally at 2355 Oakland Road, San Jose, CA 95131

Power outage hits downtown, Willow Glen

Willow Glen and downtown San Jose are currently experiencing a power outage. If you are able to see this via cell phone or other battery-powered device, please take note of these safety items.

  • Call PG&E at 800-743-5000 to report the outage. Please call only once so other customers can get through.
  • Turn off all electrical equipment, including your computers, water heater, electric furnace or heaters, stove, washer and dryer, stereo and TV, to help prevent overloading the system when power is restored. (Major appliances can be turned off at the breaker box.) Do however, turn on a porch light and one inside light so you and PG&E’s crews will know when service is restored.
  • Check on neighbors who may be using medical equipment that is powered by electricity to be sure that they are safe.
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio for outage updates. You can also call PG&E for updated information.
  • If your neighbor’s power comes back on but yours does not, call PG&E again.
  • If your lights are very dim or bright once power is restored, turn off the power at the breaker or fuse box and call PG&E.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Master Gardeners' 17th Annual Spring Garden Market

Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County are presenting their very popular annual garden market. Join the fun at beautiful History San Jose for our premier plant sale, Sustainable Gardening Showcase and Vendor Fair.

Over 300 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers will be on sale. Itching to start selecting plants for 2011 and start planning the garden? The descriptions of plants are tantalizing! Check out the plant lists on their web site.

* 80+ varieties of tomatoes
* 100+ varieties of peppers
* Bean, cucumber, lettuce, eggplant , squash and other vegetables
* Herbs
* Flowers

Wednesday: "Best Fruits for Growing in Willow Glen"

Willow Glen Neighborhood Association is presenting Nancy Garrison talking about "Best Fruits for Growing in Willow Glen" this Wednesday, March 16, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Willow Glen High/Middle School Library at 2001 Cottle Avenue.

Nancy has been a guest garden speaker at KKUP radio (95.1), SF Flower and Landscape Show, Gardening on channel 36, also with Brian Sussman as a part of the weather report, Channel 54, the Food Network with Bobby Flay, Sunset Gardens, and at many other venues over the years. She also wrote a gardening column for the SJ Mercury News for several years.

The talk will be for 1-1 ½ hours as an intro to what fruit growing classes could be offered locally to Willow Glenites in the future. She will entertain questions after her talk and will bring a sampling of her citrus and avocados for tasting.

March 16, 2011 from 7- 9 pm
Willow Glen High/Middle School Library
2001 Cottle Ave.

Daylight Saving Time Starts: Change Your Clocks

Daylight Saving Time officially begins Sunday, March 13 at 2 a.m. Spring is right around corner!

It's a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, too. Fire Departments encourage it since Daylight Saving Time provides a convenient reminder. With at least three fires in North Willow Glen in the past year, it's an important step to help everyone remain safe.

Willow Glen Lou's Village in the news

From the San Jose Mercury News:

The owners of the new Lou's Village under construction at the Town Square development at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Willow Street will be allowed to stay open until 1:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays as well as on New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day.

The decision came at the March 9 planning director's hearing with fewer than a dozen people there to speak or listen to the discussion.

This was a marked contrast to the more than 150 people who showed up at the Jan. 31 community meeting to discuss the restaurant owners' request for a permit to stay open until 2 a.m.

In the interim between the community meeting and the planning hearing, planning staff worked with restaurant owners Tim and Tom Muller and community representatives on a compromise to limit late closures to three nights a week and certain holidays. They also moved the closing time forward from the requested 2 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Joseph Horwedel, San Jose planning director, signed the permit on March 11.

His decision can be appealed if filed within 10 days by a resident living within 1,000 feet of the development.

Lou's Village is expected to open in 2012.

Supervisor Ken Yeager's March 11 newsletter

Topics for this newsletter include:
  • Get Up-to-the-minute Emergency Information through AlertSCC
  • VTA Steps Up to Save Caltrain
  • County to Get New 669 Area Code
  • County Poised to Bring Renewable Energy Projects Online
  • Public Guardian Urges Residents To Plan Ahead
  • Calendar of Events

Monday, March 07, 2011

Save Our Trails: General Meeting March 14

Join Save Our Trails for their general meeting, 7:00 pm, Monday, March 14 at the Willow Glen Baptist Church at Hicks and Minnesota. While elections for board members will be held, the event will be a celebration of the old Willow Glen spur line to create the Three Creeks Trail. This multi-use trail will eventually connect Los Gatos Creek Trail to the Guadalupe River Park trail system and on to The Coyote Creek Trail at Kelly Park. Future connections to plan will be to the Five Wounds Trail to the northeast and to Diridon Station downtown.

Snacks, beverages, music and membership opportunities will be available.

Leslee Hamilton, Executive Director of the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, will be giving a talk about The Guadalupe River Park and the San Jose Trail System.
Larry Ames will be speaking of accomplishments of Save Our Trails to this point.
Yves Zsutty, San Jose City Trail Coordinator, will talk about San Jose ’s trail development efforts.
Bruce Tichinin, Attorney for Save Our Trails, will be on hand to discuss trail acquisition and clean-up.

A question and answer period will follow.

Monday, March 14
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Willow Glen Baptist Church
Hicks and Minnesota

Santa Clara County's 408 will spin off a new area code: 669

The California Public Utilities Commission is planning to add another telephone area code to Santa Clara County and is holding public comment meetings to discuss the split.

The 408 area code, covering primarily Santa Clara County, is forecasted to require a new area code by the fourth quarter 2012. The new area code, 669, is necessary because all of the available three digit numbers combined with 408 are expected to be assigned by that date.

You can read more about it in the Mercury News or the CPUC web site.

Public Participation Meeting
Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 7:00 P.M.
San Jose City Hall, Council Chambers
200 East Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Keep your eyes out... Part 2

There have been multiple reports in the area of young men ringing doorbells to talk to neighbors about various local fundraising efforts or other presentations. Some of the men have exhibited suspicious behavior and some neighbors believe that the visitors are looking for vulnerable homes from which to steal. So, keep yourselves and your neighbors safe by keeping an eye out and call 911 if you see suspicious behavior.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Fresh & Easy opens Wednesday morning

The San Jose Mercury News published an article today about the opening of Fresh & Easy tomorrow at Bird and Minnesota (plus their Danville store).

The opening is 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.