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

No comments:

Post a Comment