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!

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