Sunday, May 29, 2011

The share is on!

The weather is beautiful and we already have some great goodies for the share. Plants include lemon cucumbers, rhubarb, tomatoes, and a curly willow tree. We've got lemons with more expected.

Come join in the fun at the corner of Bird and Willow until 3:00!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

NWGNA Produce Share

Although we humans realize this is a holiday weekend, we can't seem to convince mother nature. She just won't take a break. And because we always listen to our mothers, the NWGNA Produce Share is still on for Sunday at Hummingbird Park from 1-3pm as usual. It seems that plenty of us are sticking around, so come visit and feel free to share. How about plenty of lemons for some home made lemonade on Memorial Day?

Minimal redistricting for District 6 and Willow Glen has a summary of the decision made this week on redistricting including links to the specific changes. The unanimous vote resulted in very few changes for Willow Glen and District 6. See for links to all the info.

High-speed rail bridge art concepts

Thanks to Jean Dresden:

On May 14, High-Speed Rail had a workshop to develop visual design guidelines. The committee looked at lots of sample art.

Here are some possible concepts for the bridge that would cross I-280 near Bird which is on the left side of this picture.

Check out what a plain viaduct would look like from the Bird Avenue on-ramp to I-280 southbound.

The bottom of the viaduct is 65 feet above Bird Avenue. The electric wires extend 27 feet above the deck.

You can look at other art work in the High-Speed Rail library.

Scroll down to "San Jose Visual Design Guidelines Community Working Group (CWG) Materials.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Inspect, repair drip irrigation before summer heat

Check out the good information in the Mercury News about repairing your drip irrigation now before the weather turns really warm.

From the note at the bottom of the article: "Have a question for Rebecca Jepsen or the other Santa Clara County Master Gardeners? Call the hotline, 408-282-3105, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. weekdays. Details:"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NWGNA Friends and Neighbors Meeting: The Recap

Thanks to all who attended last night's meeting. We had a great turn out, but there are still plenty of 'seating opportunities' so if you missed this one, be sure to attend the next one. We'll keep you posted as it approaches.

We started off with a briefing from SJPD Watch Commander Jeff Marozick, who did a great job of letting us know what's happening with the police force and answered all of our many questions. When asked about neighborhood traffic enforcement, he said that the assignment of officers has changed recently to have fewer officers in communities and more in the areas where most serious accidents occur. Due to staff reductions, petty crimes will not receive officer visits, again because they've been reassigned to higher crime zone areas. He did stress that should you have a concern, the best method to alert them is via their website, Notify them to your concerns and they will pay more attention. His general recommendations were to follow common sense procedures, to make sure your valuables are locked, your area is well lit, and that you do not warm up your car while you're away from it - and that if you do, have a second key so you can lock it while it's idling. Also, he encouraged people to get to know their neighbors and to report any suspicious activities as soon as you see them so we can better prevent criminal acts.

Homicides are up as we've probably read about. We're now at about 20 for the year and 16 of them have been gang or gang-related killings. SJPD has launched Facebook and Twitter accounts as a way to reach out to the community, however at this time they appear to be mainly press release type messages. However, if you do not read the paper - fewer and fewer of us do - you can keep up with them on those sites. Navi, our local beat officer spoke about the need for him to get to know more of the youth of our community to establish a personal relationship. So if you see him out and about, please introduce yourself. We also invited him to the NWGNA Produce Share, Sundays 1-3pm, so that may be another opportunity for us to meet him. Cross promotion, y'all! I know my kids will give him a big hug, but he'd be wise to come prepared with those silver deputy stickers.

On the topic of High Speed Rail (HSR), we have some good news. As you may know, the City of San Jose has been soliciting suggestions for two HSR options; one aerial and one underground to be included in the Environmental Impact Report. For the underground option, there was once again a movement afoot to allocate the UPRR train tracks through our neighborhood for HSR bypass use, but NWGNA officers expressed their dissatisfaction and San Jose's Department of Transportation listened. That option is no longer under consideration. The letter from DOT to the California High Speed Rail Administration included possible mid-depth tunnel options of two or three smaller bores with no at-grade bypasses.

Last weekend, several NWGNA board members took part in a recent HSR Aerial Visual Design Guidelines meeting to express our concerns about the look of aerial structures in our city. These comments were heard and incorporated into presentations by HSR staff at their meeting on Monday. The concerns mainly centered around graffiti abatement, ensuring the structures have a minimal disruption to sight lines, and that they are attractive from the pedestrian's point of view.

Continuing on with trains, Pat Gormley expressed her concerns about the increase of Caltrain engines idling along Fuller, between Delmas and Prevost for ten minutes at a time, pumping excessive amounts of diesel fumes into our neighborhood as a result. It was agreed the board would send a letter objecting to this practice by Caltrain.

The topic of local graffiti abatement was discussed. Additional volunteers stepped forward to "Fight the Blight". We've now got a team of about twelve or so and more are definitely welcome to join, so let us know if you want in. We'll soon schedule a meeting that works for the team to address how best to organize and to provide necessary materials for the cause.

There was some interest in setting up a Neighborhood Watch program. Fortunately, there will be a meeting at the Willow Glen Branch library on Minnesota tomorrow at 6:30-8:30 for all of Willow Glen. Please RSVP with Holly Barr at to attend.

Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio attended the second half of our meeting. He fielded questions about libraries, park maintenance, and fire departments. What we learned is that libraries will be cutting their hours and will soon be open only three days per week. They are however coordinating their schedules. Adjacent libraries will be paired to cover as many days as possible for each area.

The city has reached an agreement with the parks department to outsource the maintenance of all parks under two acres. That means all the parks within North Willow Glen. Please keep an eye on the upkeep of our local parks and let his office know what kind of job they're doing.

Mr. Oliverio was asked about the roles of ambulance response and fire response to health emergencies. In a nut shell, ambulance contracts by law are handled by the counties so the city has little influence on that service. Some fire stations will be closing, partially as a result of the council's decision to maintain staffing of four fire fighters per engine rather than three as is the case in many surrounding cities.

If you think this was a lot of information, you're right. We've been committed to keeping our meetings entertaining and informative with a minimum of board business in hopes of bringing together more of our neighborhood. What's more, they're participatory - everyone has a chance to speak out or ask questions of board members or speakers. But the real goal of NWGNA is to build a greater sense of community. So whether or not you attend the various Friends and Neighbors Meetings, Produce Shares, Garage Sales or other upcoming events be sure get out there and introduce yourself to a passing neighbor. It will boost your safety, your network of friends, and who knows, maybe even your vegetable intake!

Chris Davis

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friends and Neighbors Meeting: Tonight!

Don't forget our Friends and Neighbors meeting is tonight at 6:30. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 24
Word of Faith Church, 873 Delmas Avenue (corner of Fuller)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

This week at Willow Glen Farmer's Market

For those who missed it, the Willow Glen Farmer's Market returned last week for the season. They are expecting some great additions this week:
  • The return of K& K Farms, a fruit grower from the central valley who has been very popular with customers
  • A local Willow Glen dog dish/bed maker (a husband and wife team)
  • Elegant Brie
  • CMC, another central valley farm that usually has grapes and stone fruits, including apricots
Enjoy the market!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Extra fruit or flowers?

Organizers for Gardner Academy's Teacher Appreciation Luncheon this Wednesday (May 11) are requesting donations of any extra fruit or flowers for this event. Send email to to schedule pickup. Spread the love to our local teachers!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Valley's photographic history now for sale

History San Jose has begun putting its expansive collection of old Valley photos online and selling reproductions.

Read more about this opportunity in the Mercury News.

San Jose to consider car-sharing program

The City of San Jose is considering a car-sharing program to ease parking and traffic concerns.

From the Mercury News article: "Taking a page from the popular Zipcar model, San Jose is considering going into the car-rental business, sharing its fleet of city vehicles with the public for a fee. This month, the city will begin the process of accepting bids for a program that would replace some of its older fleet vehicles with newer ones and rent them out for short periods when they would otherwise be sitting idle in parking lots."

Friday, May 06, 2011

Aging beauty on Lincoln Avenue will get facelift

Read about planned changes to the Bergmann's building on Lincoln Avenue near Minnesota.

Farmers Market opens May 7

Read all about how the Willow Glen farmer's market is returning, starting tomorrow, May 7. Lots of great vendors and fun entertainment!

It returns to its traditional spot, behind the Garden Theater, 1165 Lincoln Ave., from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays through October.

Vendors include Bake Love, which specializes in desserts; Fiesta Salsa, featuring homemade salsa and chips; Dave's Tuna, which sells fresh fish and canned Albacore; Golden Brown Breads, with unusual flavors such as chocolate and jalapeno mango; and Sandrini, which specializes in gluten-free products. Also, there will be a new organic flower grower and a new pistachio vendor.