Saturday, March 31, 2012

Produce Share Kickoff!

It's getting to be about that time again. Time to bring those excess fruits and vegetables to the North Willow Glen Produce Share. We're starting back up tomorrow at Hummingbird Park from 1-3p. Stop by if you get the chance!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March Friends & Neighbors Meeting Recap

Last night's meeting featured a great guest speaker and a solid turnout in spite of the weather. Master Gardener Nancy Garrison dropped a lot of edible garden knowledge on the crowd of 30 or so North Willow Glenners. She thoughtfully presented us with a sheet of her favorite types of food varieties that grow so well in our fertile Willow Glen soil and Mediterranean climate. The focus on the presentation however was the huge variety of tomatoes that we could grow. The sheer diversity was amazing. There were lots of questions and lots of answers as well. Attendees ended up with a better idea of what to do with their gardens this year and that fit well with Nancy's goal of getting everyone to become successful fruit growers.

And while I'm on the topic of growing edibles, our Produce Share will kick off this weekend. I'm sure the focus will be on citrus at first, but as history suggests, this will rapidly expand to all sorts of fruits and vegetables. I'd encourage anyone to pay a visit to the Produce Share. We will be there in Hummingbird Park on Sundays, 1-3p, weather permitting. You will know it is going on by the presence of our banner on the fence at Hummingbird Park. We'll have a rotating crew of volunteers to set up the tables and host the event. If you find yourself with an overabundance of produce, just bring the excess to the park during the Share. You may find something you'd like that another neighbor has brought. You share your produce and that's the deal. But don't feel as though you can't come just because you don't have any to share on that particular week. There's always plenty and we don't want any left over, so just stop by, have a chat and take what you'd like.

In neighborhood news, Bill Rankin who is leading the May 5th Neighborhood Garage Sale, gave us an update on the progress. This year we will be listing all the participants on a map and sharing that online so shoppers have a good idea where to go when they get here. We'll have large signs with balloons posted at all neighborhood gateways and advertisements in the local papers and on Craigslist. We're strongly encouraging participants to post their ads on Craigslist as well - and please include pictures of some of your goods. If you want on the map, contact Bill at and give him your address. This year we seem to have won our battle for our city grant to keep NWGNA going strong but the details are still out on the whens and the how muches, so we are going to use the Neighborhood Garage Sale as the first fundraiser for NWGNA to build ourselves a rainy day fund for any future funding contingencies. Starting two weeks before the event anyone who would like to donate items to be sold at the garage sale may bring them to my house. All proceeds from these items will go to the NWGNA. You get to free up some space in your house and the neighborhood gets a few extra dollars for putting on some great events. It's a win-win.

Speaking of rainy days, the weather forecasters pulled a pretty good trick on us Sunday when certain rain turned into blue skies and sun for the best weather all week. But we're a determined lot, so we've rescheduled the Park Clean-up Day to Sunday, April 22nd. By no small coincidence, this is Earth Day. What better way to celebrate it than to show it who's boss? We'll plan to convene at the horse shoe pit at Fuller Park between Delmas and Prevost. This really won't be the glum affair you may be thinking of. It's actually a fair bit of fun to get outdoors with your neighbors and find out what they're up to. Many hands make light work, so let's get as many as we can to make it as light as we can.

Water District candidate and NWGNA Secretary Barbara Keegan led a discussion about our efforts to get flood protection on the Upper Guadalupe River in the upcoming ballot measure for the Water District. The measure previously had no mention of flood control which meant that there was no way to make it happen for quite a long time. We felt this would be an injustice to North Willow Glen. We roughly calculate that our small neighborhood of only 660 homes pays a cumulative total of nearly $500,000 per year. Through our letters and Barbara's presence at Water District meetings we were able get $18.3M written into the measure for flood control directly affecting our neighborhood and the entirety of Willow Glen. This will not fully fund the project, but it is a significant sum that at least makes it possible for our future flood insurance relief.

We also discussed the proposed expansion of the San Jose airport and the possibility of the flight curfew being rescinded for private flights. There is some concern that the curfew could be negotiated away for a more lucrative lease to a private carrier. The Shasta/Hanchet Park Neighborhood Association wrote a letter to City Council and the Mayor expressing neighborhood concern over this possibility. They have asked other neighborhood associations to sign on. Councilmember Oliverio's office is supportive of the curfew and has been clear that the curfew is not up for debate. They have invited the public to attend a special meeting at City Hall in council chambers on Monday, April 2 at 6:25PM. There will be a 30 minute presentation followed by Q & A with the meeting ending at 7:45. In the end the NWGNA board agreed to sign on to the letter to voice our support for the airport curfew.

And lastly, we discussed graffiti abatement. Board member Dan Erceg attended an anti-graffiti meeting with city employees and the contractor responsible for graffiti clean up. The contractor was very supportive of our desire to repaint the railroad bridges a uniform color and that any repainting to cover graffiti would accurately match our base coat. While it is not possible for political reasons for the contractor to paint the bridges, it is possible for citizens to do so. To that end, the contractor has agreed to donate 30 gallons of paint to NWGNA. We will be letting you know when we receive it and we look forward to scheduling a good, old fashioned, bridge painting ho down in the near future.

So that's it. Congratulations in sticking with me all the way through the end of this message. If you did that, you have all the tenacity and endurance required to be an NWGNA board member. We have one open seat left and we'd love someone to fill that vacancy. All it requires is the ability to attend monthly board meetings each first Thursday from 6:30-8p and the desire to improve our fair neighborhood. If you'd like to help our in this capacity or if you have any suggestions, please contact us at

Good day,
Chris Davis

The garage sale map is building!

The map of houses hosting garage sales at the upcoming North Willow Glen Garage Sale Day on May 5 is building, with six houses signed up already. If you would like your house to be featured on the map, let us know by sending a note to We can also help feature your sale items with a short description on our blog. Check out the current map at the top of

City Council signs off on road repairs, improvements

From today's Mercury News:
Facing a $293 million backlog of street maintenance and little money, the San Jose City Council on Tuesday took a stab at designating at least 400 miles of San Jose streets it believes should receive limited funding for improvements starting next fiscal year.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Have your say in the city's budgeting process

The Mayor, Council, and City Manager are developing the City budget for the next year. To encourage public participation, they are holding public meetings in each council district. You are invited to attend any and all meetings. The District 6/Willow Glen area meeting is on May 24, but there are others earlier that are nearby. This is your opportunity to tell the city how you want the budget prioritized.

2012-2013 City of San Jose Community Budget Meeting Schedule
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
District 9 Community Budget Meeting
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Cambrian Branch Library
Community Room
1780 Hillsdale Avenue

Monday, April 23, 2012
District 3 Community Budget Meeting
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Roosevelt Community Center
901 E. Santa Clara Street

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
District 7 Community Budget Meeting
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Tully Community Branch Library
880 Tully Road

Thursday, May 24, 2012
District 6 Community Budget Meeting
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Willow Glen Community Center
2175 Lincoln Avenue

For more information about the meetings and the City’s budget process, please call Ernest Azevedo at (408) 535-8119 or visit the City’s website at

San Jose Parks Foundation needs your help

The city has ended funding for dog waste bags in local parks, and the San Jose Parks Foundation is continuing the effort to supply these bags to the public in as many parks as possible. Properly disposing of dog waste is a serious public health issue, so this is an important feature in our parks where children play and people enjoy recreational activities.

Currently, bags are being provided through of donors and volunteers. If you would like to donate to this cause, you can read more about it online. If you are interested in volunteering to stock the bags in neighborhood parks, contact the San Jose Parks Foundation.

Friday, March 23, 2012

New format to this year's Dancin' On The Avenue

This year's Dancin' On The Avenue is being modified to address concerns about a need for a more family-friendly environment. Read about the changes in the Mercury News.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

NWGNA Friends & Neighbors Meeting March 27

If you've got stuff to grow or stuff you want to get rid of, our next meeting is for you, and it's not far off.

We are excited that Master Gardener Nancy Garrison will be our featured presenter. Nancy will have a presentation for us about what we should be doing with our gardens this time of year. Afterwards we will have a Q&A period, so if you've got some burning questions and need some expert advice you won't want to miss this. You'll also want to know about our plans to kick off the 2012 Produce Share which we'll also discuss.

Next on the agenda will be info about the North Willow Glen Neighborhood Garage Sale. We are holding it on May 5 this year and we're planning on doing it up big. If you've got any suggestions or simply want to learn about our plans, this is your chance. This will be our last general meeting before the event is held and we'd like your input.

Expert gardening advice, free produce, less clutter and a little extra coin in your pocket: brought to you by NWGNA.

Friday, March 16, 2012

AAA offering free tows for St. Patricks

From the Mercury News:
To help curb drunken driving following St. Patrick's Day celebrations, AAA Northern California is offering free tows to AAA members and non-members alike.

"Many people enjoy getting in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, which tends to involve plenty of celebrating," AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said.

Those who have had too much to drink can call AAA for a free ride home through the organization's "Tipsy Tow" program between 6 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday.

Supervisor Ken Yeager's Mar. 15 newsletter

Topics for this newsletter include:
  • VTA secures funding for BART to Santa Clara County
  • CalTrain dedicates local station improvements
  • Volunteer to serve on a county commission
  • County offers free composting classes
  • Calendar of Events
The newsletter should be online soon.

If you would like to receive this newsletter by email, write to with the subject line "add me to your list."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

18th Annual Spring Garden Market

From The Santa Clara County Master Gardeners:

The Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County invite you to the 18th Annual Spring Garden Market, Saturday, March 31, 9 am-2 pm, at beautiful History San Jose, 1650 Senter Rd., San Jose.

Summer veggies on sale! Loyal fans have been coming for years for the 75+ varieties of tomatoes and 100+ varieties of peppers, but now you can pick up beans, eggplant, collards, Chinese broccoli, amaranthus and kohlrabi - and strawberries. We've also expanded our offerings to include herbs and flowers.

Also for sale: Gently pre-used gardening items at the Green Elephant Sale ("From our garden shed to yours!"), and our favorite tools and books. Also: Gardening items of every sort are on sale in the Vendor Fair, with 40+ booths of plants, tools, clothing, garden structures, t-shirts and jewelry, bee-keeping equipment, soil amendments and fertilizer, raised beds ...

LEARN ABOUT GARDENING We will be offering 50+ talks, Sustainable Gardening Tables, Plant Clinic, Hotline Table, and staffing other booths. Dozens of Master Gardeners will be on hand and happy to talk with you about any gardening questions - or to help you choose which tomato or pepper would work best for you. Look for us in our blue aprons!

See http://mastergarden for plant lists, descriptions of talks, and list of vendors -- and full details on this gala event.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hold the date for our North Willow Glen Garage Sale

When: Saturday, May 5th (9:00-2:00, but times will vary)
Where: Area between Bird Ave & Prevost and Fuller & Willow
Attention North Willow Glen neighbors! If you want to participate in the neighborhood garage sale, all you need to do is set up shop in your front yard or driveway on Saturday, May 5th. Neighborhood volunteers will place ads in news media, Craig’s List and other publications or social media. Garage sale signs and balloons will be placed at each of the neighborhood’s entry points in the early morning the day of the sale. We will also be preparing an online garage sale location map.  If you want to have your home included on the map or have any other questions, please send Bill an email at

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Spring Maintenance Day II

Last month the good neighbors of North Willow Glen struck down upon west Fuller Park's weeds with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to crowd and shade our flowers.

Now it's time for the weeds of west Fuller Park to receive that wrath. We will meet at the horse shoe pit on Fuller between Delmas and Prevost on Sunday, March 25 at 9:30am for some weed pulling, fence painting, and pole painting which would otherwise go undone. Please join our friendly atmosphere for some light toil in the park.

And the weeds will know our name is the NWGNA when we lay our vengeance upon thee.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Councilmember Oliverio's Spring Newsletter

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

Supervisor Ken Yeager's Feb. 23 newsletter

Topics for this newsletter include:
  • VTA explores use of the bus rapid transit
  • CalTrain station improvements completed
  • Yeager visits hydrogen fuel station
  • Campbell library to open six days a week
  • MTC offers paid summer internships for high school students
  • Supplies to Succeed
  • Calendar of Events
The newsletter should be online soon.

Learn about transportation initiatives

Learn more about Bus Rapid Transit and the Grand Boulevard Initiative in a video featuring Supervisor Yeager and other local transit leaders:

Friday, March 02, 2012

Operation Prom Dress

Dresses can be donated at various San José Community Centers and Libraries, as well as Comerica Banking Centers. The 2012 Dress Distribution date is scheduled for Sunday, April 15, at the Seven Trees Community Center, 3590 Cas Drive, San José, CA 95111, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For more information, please see attached flyer or contact Noelle Vergara at or 535-4961.

PRNS Honored with Three Awards of Excellence

The Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services was recognized with three awards of excellence by the California Parks and Recreation Society for three recent projects: Coyote Creek Trail Master Plan, Guadalupe River Trail Reach 6, and San José Family Camp. CPRS supports career development in the field of recreation and is an advocate for California’s park and recreation professionals. The Coyote Creek Trail Master Plan defines 4.1 miles of new development between Montague Expressway and Watson Park. The Guadalupe River Trail Reach 6 project was completed in April 2011, and extends the popular trail system by 0.5 mile to link the Washington and Greater Gardner Neighborhoods to the 250-acre Guadalupe River Park. San José Family Camp was recognized for their outstanding contribution to the community by providing health and wellness programming, while establishing Camp as a place for parents to educate their children in a natural environment, away from the urban life of cell phones, computers and televisions. Family Camp supports the “No-Kid Left Indoors Program” by providing an outdoor experience near the northern entrance to Yosemite National Park. More information on the trail awards can be found at: For questions, please contact Matt Cano, Deputy Director, Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, at 535-3580.

Family Camp at Yosemite to Open for 2012 Season

From the City of San Jose:
Celebrating 44 years of family-orientated camping, the popular Family Camp at Yosemite is gearing up for another season of connecting family and friends with nature’s gems. Formerly known as San José Family Camp, you’re promised the same, if not better, camping experience the whole family will enjoy. Family Camp at Yosemite will offer Summer Season and Pre/Post-Season camping for 2012. Family Camp will hold its Early Walk-in Registration for the 2012 Summer Season on Saturday, March 17, with the summer season opening on June 15. Camp extends through September 23, with its Post-Season programming. Campers will see a new rate structure to ensure operational expenses and capital infrastructure allocations are cost-recovery. The popular Fish Camp returns this season, taking place the weekend of April 27 – 29, 2012. For more information regarding this season’s registration procedure and information, please contact (408) 794-6208 or visit For questions, please contact Steve Hammack, Deputy Director, Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, at 793-5579.