New Neighborhood Voice

Newsletter - Edition 11 - Section 1

November 2, 2003

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Click on a thumbnail to view larger photos
Lots more
photos
are in
Section 2

SJFD Shark Engine in
Alum Rock Park for
the YSI Wildlife Festival

Project Earth
Student tries on
a different hat

There are Indians
in Alum Rock Park

There are also
NNV Writers in
Alum Rock Park

What's behind the covered bridge on Penitencia Creek Road? Boesch Hall
A neighborhood treasure

Did Walt waltz
on his birthday?

There must have
been some pretty
wild parties!
The old
Juke Box 
Kathleen
Boesch Tirri

Newsletter Headlines

New Plan for NNV - We're Ready for our Second Year
What You Can Do About Pombo's Road
Preservation vs. Property Rights in Santa Clara County - Update
PACT Meeting With Councilmember Nora Campos by Tanya Freudenberger
Santa Clara County FireSafe Council - Not just for professional firefighters!
NNV Newsmakers: Higher SAT Scores for James Lick High School Students
A Tale of Two Mikes: Mike McClintock - The New Supervisor of Alum Rock Park
A Wild Time at the YSI Wildlife Festival - Animals "basked, wriggled and lolled"
Recollections of Alum Rock Park - Part 2 by Ed Allegretti
James Lick Death Valley Field Studies Program by Nella Henninger
NNV Briefs
Prusch Park Harvest Festival by Joyce Baker
Volunteers Needed for Boccardo Trail Patrol by Lori Raymaker
Alum Rock Youth Center Ribbon-Cutting
City of San Jose "Friends of the Library" Groups Meet to "Regroup" by Joyce Baker
What's Behind the Covered Bridge on Penitencia Creek Road?
You Dig It?
November Hot Topics by UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Bracey Tiede
Comments on Gardening Article by Arvind Kumar, California Native Plant Society
Official Visit to East Foothills by President of Province of Florence, Italy by Ed Allegretti
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What ARE those black spots on the sidewalks in the Alum Rock "Village" area?
What happened to all that new graffiti under the Miguelito Creek Bridge?
Where are the Alum Rock Falls?  Why can't we go there? By Ed Allegretti
How can we get an "animal crossing" sign on Alum Rock Avenue?
Are the Cub Scouts still collecting old, used printer cartridges as a fundraiser?
Why can't I find NNV at the Alum Rock County Library?
Whose idea was the new traffic light at the corner of McKee and Toyon?
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New Plan for NNV

We're ready for our second year and, like Public TV, we'd appreciate your support

But we promise there won't be any pledge breaks!

Whoa! Can you believe that New Neighborhood Voice has been your neighborhood voice for a whole year by now? Next month's (December) edition will be the first one of our second year! It has been such a terrific "growth experience" (heh) that we are gearing up for another year of news grubbing, researching, meeting attending, writing, editing, picture taking, web site building and neighborhood cheerleading. We hope you have enjoyed watching the newsletter grow from a few pages to sometimes as many as thirty!

As you probably know, we have had the support of six area businesspeople who generously took on the role of "founding sponsors." We hope they will all want to re-up and continue helping to sustain NNV. We feel it is time to ask for a little help from our on-line subscribers as well. We think of New Neighborhood Voice as being rather like public television or radio. Like those entities, NNV needs donations to survive. We create the newsletter as a community service, our wonderful (and much appreciated) writers and photographers all are unpaid volunteers - as are we. What we propose to do is ask for an annual donation (even as little as $10 or $15 will help) and we're going to try to make donating to NNV as painless as possible. No pledge breaks or drives!

E-mail subscriptions to NNV will continue to be free, of course, just as public TV and radio are, so donations will be completely voluntary. We will continue to ask for a $10 per year donation from our subscribers who need a mailed, paper copy every month.

Our plan is to make just one annual appeal so we won't be asking again until this time next year - if we decide at that time, to continue with the newsletter. It is easy to make a donation. NNV now has a bank account in its name so you can just make a check out to "New Neighborhood Voice" and mail it to us at 16174 Highland Drive, San Jose, CA 95127.

If you prefer to donate on-line using your credit card or PayPal account, you can click on the button below and the transaction will be handled by a secure server. If you want to read more before you donate, click here for our new Donations Information page.

Here are some statistics for our first year. NNV had:

11 editions (we actually plan to do ten editions in this next year) - all archived on our Web site
7 "Special Alerts" to let readers know about important events between editions
Almost 40 volunteer writers who contributed about 75 stories - not counting the ones we wrote
About 400 photos on our web site, thanks to many volunteer photographers

Your comments, suggestions, letters-to-the-editor and events for our Community Bulletin Board are all welcome at any time. Just e-mail JudyET@NNVESJ.org. Please put "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line if we can publish your message on our Letters page.

Thank you for your support.

Judy and Allan Thompson

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What You Can Do About Pombo's Road

You need to make sure they understand 

NNV readers have asked how they can let our elected officials know just how much we don't want "Pombo's Road" to obliterate our Mt. Hamilton Road/Alum Rock Corridor neighborhood.

After speaking with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's Congressional Assistant, Neil Kozuma, we think that personal letter-writing and e-mailing are probably the most effective ways to communicate our outrage at the cavalier attitude Pombo and Company have for us. Neil said that phone calls and faxes are not as effective. NNV's experiences with petitions have not been very positive. However, don't hesitate to choose whatever means you like best to communicate.

Representative Pombo's over-the-mountains road proposal is called HR 619, so you should probably use that designation. Already in July, the proposal was sent to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. It calls for directing Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta to conduct a feasibility study for the new freeway.

So, who should be on the receiving end of your messages? How about starting with Norm Mineta? Click here for his DOT Web site and then on Contact Us. Or just send an e-mail to Secretary Mineta at dot.comments@ost.dot.gov

Next might be our California Congresspeople in Washington DC who serve on the "Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure." Click here for their Web page. U.S. Representatives Mike Honda (D), Ellen Tauscher (D) and Mike Thompson (D) are on that committee and need to know how you feel. If you want to go straight to the top, you could contact the chairman of the committee, Don Young (R) Alaska, who just might be an ally of Richard Pombo (R) Tracy, CA. He probably doesn't know we exist. Tell him where you live and why you object to having a six-lane highway mow down your neighborhood.

More citizens contacting Zoe Lofgren certainly won't hurt. Neil also said that we shouldn't hesitate to contact our Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Our state Senators and Assembly Members need to know how we feel, too. The more of us who remind our elected officials of our objection to the highway, the more likely that Mr. Pombo will rethink his plans. It seems his foothold grows every day!

Not sure who your state legislators are? Click here to enter your 9-digit Zip code and find out. Click here for our Government Contacts page for more information on how to send messages to our public servants.

Click here to read the Letter to the Editor that prompted this article.  Click here and here to read our stories on Pombo's Radical Road. Click here to see an illustration of Pombo's Radical Road. Click here to see what it would replace. 

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Preservation vs. Property Rights in Santa Clara County

Report on the October 23 Neighborhood Meeting

Do we need this now?  Supervisors have just slashed another $46 million from County Budget.

NNV went to the neighborhood meeting on the Santa Clara County Draft Historic Preservation Ordinance at Alum Rock United Methodist Church last week. The proposed ordinance concerns the treatment of historic resources located in the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. The meeting was jointly organized by Ed Allegretti, Historical Heritage Commissioner, and Dana Peak, Historical Heritage Coordinator for Santa Clara County, as part of the community outreach effort preceding adoption of the ordinance.

This proposed ordinance affects historic properties and trees in the unincorporated areas of the county. That's about all we really understood about the proposed ordinance before the meeting even though we had read Ed Allegretti's article on this topic in our October edition. Click here to read his article. Even though we know Ed is a historian, he admitted his article might present a biased view. We thought that there should be some benefits for us; otherwise the County wouldn't be working on this ordinance, especially during these tough economic times.

We can't say that we understand a lot more about the ordinance after the meeting, but we did get a lot of important material and the meeting was interesting. Here's why it was interesting.

Santa Clara County Heritage Resource Inventory

First, Dana gave us all a copy of the Santa Clara County Heritage Resource Inventory. This 230+ page book includes descriptions and photos of historic properties in unincorporated Santa Clara County (it does not include the ones that are within cities like San Jose). Some interesting properties in our area that are in the book include the Miguelita Creek Bridge (the photos were taken before the recent work on the bridge), the Belknap House with the "rolled shingle" roof at 5325 Alum Rock Avenue, the Hillside Orchard on Porter Lane and, of course, Grant Ranch and the Lick Observatory. There is also what they call the Novello/D'Amico House on Mt. Hamilton Road. Ed wrote about this house in his Old Houses story. It's now the Lazy 3 Ranch. Click here for the story and here for the photo of the house. Rancho Canada de Pala is also in the book. Ed told us about that, too! Click here for the story and here for the photos.  You can e-mail Dana Peak, the Santa Clara County Historical Heritage Coordinator, or call (408) 299-5798 to request a copy of the Heritage Resource Inventory.

Back to the meeting. After some more explanations and handouts, we tried to look at the proposed ordinance itself. There doesn't seem to be any way to understand the ordinance or even get a good start on it, partly because it relates to other ordinances which would be amended at the same time.

We did learn that the current County regulations in this area include a Demolition ordinance and a Tree ordinance - and that there is something called the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that relates to all of this. The County's intent seems to be to replace the Demolition ordinance with their proposed ordinance and preserve the existing Tree ordinance while implementing the provisions of CEQA related to the preservation of historic resources. Basically, CEQA spells out what county Boards of Supervisors should be doing to review and preserve historic resources. Who knew that something like this was in an "environmental quality" act?

Ed seems to be concerned about how this will affect homeowners and how it will be implemented by the County administration. Others expressed concerns about needing more permits and increased costs for homeowners. We also discussed potential situations where the proposed ordinance might help property owners - for example, by supporting a property owner's request to avoid upgrades to meet the current codes during renovation of a historic property.

Fortunately, Dana had prepared a comparison of the proposed ordinance with the current County regulations as we had requested. This comparison also includes information for several cities including San Jose. There's a lot of good information here. However, our first impression is not good - the Current Regulations page is almost blank except for the CEQA part on the state regulations. The Proposed Ordinance page has lots of words and the Penalties and Enforcement column is the longest column (on the Current Regulations page, this column just says "No provisions" and identifies other regulations that may be applicable). Now we need to read the words and try to decide if we think Ed's article was fair and whether we need an ordinance like this. This will be the subject of future NNV stories and articles.

Conclusions

Our preliminary conclusions after the meeting were:

  1. The County should be able to explain to us why we need an ordinance like this and how it will affect us (the residents, taxpayers and voters). They shouldn't expect us to support it until they can do this.  After the meeting, we asked Dana Peak to explain the benefits to us and her response is below.

  2. We need to understand how this proposed ordinance fits into the current County budget crisis. Is this how the County should be spending our money now? They should be able to explain what it will cost and its priority related to other expenses.

Public meetings on this proposed ordinance are OK but we suggest that public hearings and action should be deferred until the County answers these questions.  The day before our meeting, the County Board of Supervisors announced that they have "slashed another $46 million from the budget" and "More reductions are expected ... if the State eliminates the Vehicle License Fee (VLF), there could be an additional $85 to $115 million hit to the County."  Click here to read their press release (PDF file).

A Historical Heritage Commission Review of this ordinance is scheduled for Thursday, November 20, 2003, 7:00 PM in the Board of Supervisors' Chambers in County Building on Hedding Street. A Public Hearing is scheduled for January 15, 2004. Watch our Community Bulletin Board for more information on these and other events.

Click here for the Santa Clara County Planning Office Web site for the proposed ordinance.  Click here for Dana Peak's comparison of the proposed ordinance with the current County regulations.  Click here for more on CEQA.  Click here for Ed Allegretti's article on the proposed ordinance. Comments or questions can be e-mailed to Ed Allegretti at EAllegretti@rosendin.com or to the Historical Heritage Coordinator, Dana Peak, at Dana.peak@pln.co.santa-clara.ca.us. Click here for a photo from our meeting.

Dana Peak sent us the following after the meeting to explain the benefits of the proposed ordinance to us (rather than the benefits to the County Administration which are on the Web site):

You asked what is the benefit to the public vs. to the County administration. Santa Clara County community members value their historic and cultural heritage and want to preserve important historic resources in their community as has been confirmed by the adoption of the County's General Plan. The Santa Clara County General Plan recognizes that heritage resources are important for a variety of reasons, including cultural and historical value, and are irreplaceable. 

The General Plan states that the prevention of unnecessary losses to heritage resources should be ensured as much as possible through adequate ordinances, regulations and standard review procedures. The draft historic preservation ordinance is a tool for community members to achieve their interests in preserving important historic resources (ensuring that they are not damaged or lost), and is a standard strategy that has been successfully used by communities across the nation for many years. Only a small percentage of structures in unincorporated county will "rise to the level," if you will, of significance required for landmark designation or even potential historic significance when referred if 50 years or older. 

At this point in time there is no codified criteria or process for designation. Current circumstances provide the broadest potential for designation, and designation without community involvement. Codifying designation procedures establishes a consistent and predictable process for the community.

With regard to the County's "objective in holding these community outreach meetings," the goal is to provide information to the public with regard to this initiative. The ordinance has been out for public review since May and has been posted on the County's web site. There have been many public hearings, review sessions and workshops. All owners of property listed in the Heritage Resource Inventory were individually noticed for each meeting. The Historical Heritage Commission, as the expert advisory body in the area of historic resources, has been instrumental in developing this ordinance over the years, upon request by the Board of Supervisors. The Historical Heritage Commission reviewed a draft in May and June (public meeting and public hearing.) At the June hearing the Historical Heritage Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the Board of Supervisors the adoption of the ordinance. The Planning Commission discussed the ordinance in July at a public hearing and subsequently hosted a joint workshop with the Historical Heritage Commission to discuss areas of interest. Subsequently revisions were made to the ordinance and several drafts have been prepared. The Historical Heritage Commission reviewed the revised document at a public meeting in September, and will do the same in November.

The meeting last night was offered as a special opportunity to answer any questions members of your neighborhood association might have (rather than submit information in writing as initially suggested.) I am open to scheduling an additional meeting(s) if there are other members of the community who would like to learn more about the ordinance, but were unable to attend last night.  Dana A. Peak Historical Heritage Coordinator, Santa Clara County Planning Office

Ed Allegretti sent us the following after the meeting to summarize his thoughts on the ordinance:

I value and want historical preservation. It disgusts me to think of many fine buildings of my youth, and earlier ones that my family have told me about, that are gone. Yet, I know when local folks and private property owners lose rights and control to bureaucrats, and especially non-local officials, the results are often not in the best interest of the people. Thus I think private property rights slightly outweigh preservation.

Some of the disadvantages are less local control. Less local control in so much as we are adopting and following a national model. I can expound and give more particulars but this ordinance gives much more strength to county officials/employees. It consolidates the process and intent and clearly states the desired ends. This, along with the regulations, permits, expert reviews, penalties, misdemeanors, requirements to maintain to certain standards, tree pruning and removal, etc., all means less control an owner has over his property, more fees and expenses, more paperwork and permit processes, more decision making and control over property by county officials/staff. I don't see how such an ordinance can benefit a property owner unless he chooses, and by corollary can deny, to have his property designated an historical landmark, heritage property, or heritage tree. I'd agree with the ordinance if one clause could be added: "The property owner has the right to deny his property or tree from being designated an historic landmark, heritage property or heritage tree." This way nobody can enforce the loss of his property rights. If he did allow such a designation then a future buyer should know this and if he chooses to still buy the property he at least knows what he is getting.  Ed Allegretti

Click here to read our Letters related to this article.

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PACT Meeting With Councilmember Nora Campos

A lesson in working with your San Jose City Councilperson

"Lost in the deep, dark tunnel of promises to the East Side"

By Tanya Freudenberger

Note: NNV attended PACT's quarterly meeting with Councilmember Nora Campos and her Chief of Staff, Christine Silva-Burnett at Joseph George Community Center on October 16th. Fifteen people were there for the 8:30 AM meeting, including the Joseph George Middle School principal, two St. John Vianney PACT LOC leaders, two other City of San Jose representatives and various citizens who brought up neighborhood concerns and asked for Councilmember Campos' response. Click here for a photo of Councilmember Campos and Ms. Silva-Burnett taken at the meeting.

We're publishing Tanya Freudenberger's follow-up e-mail to Christine Silva-Burnett to give the community an idea of what goes on in their behalf organized by a group of dedicated volunteers whose mission is to make our Eastside neighborhood a better, safer place for all who live here. NNV has highlighted the topics discussed to emphasize the scope of these meetings. Ms. Silva-Burnett's reply follows this e-mail.

Christine,

Hello! I hope that you and Ms. Campos felt the meeting yesterday was productive ... we sure did. Our group is really encouraged by the work-in-progress Councilwoman Campos has made with our concerns and issues. These notes are intended as reminders to both of us for follow through action:

  1. Lourdes Casanova will organize a parent meeting with Craig Murphy in preparation for a meeting with Dr. Anaya concerning the $15,000 grant for the Jerilyn pathway. This will be done in the next few weeks; we are eager not to lose that funding.

  2. As requested, this is a reminder about the time line on the build out at the corner of Gordon & Kirk in front of Linda Vista Elementary. You may not know it, but some months ago one of the corners (the southeast corner in front of the house) was finished, but the one at the corner of the school property is still temporary and looking pretty raggedy.

  3. Regarding the request to make the entire focus at our next quarterly meeting on traffic safety, it is the consensus of the group to (a) hold a special traffic safety meeting with her and her staff before the next quarterly meeting; and (b) continue our quarterly meetings as usual (follow up and new issues with traffic safety as a report item only instead of a discussion item). Please let us know Ms. Campos' availability for such a meeting (which can be late afternoon/early evening to include more residents who work during the day) before the January quarterly meeting. We appreciate being informed of the discoveries from the audit of the crossing guard department, and better understand the process to review and revise the 1979 policy.

  4. The parent group will address our support of the "pilot" program being proposed for volunteer crossing guards during the meeting with Dr. Anaya on the Jerilyn pathway. District 5's willingness to supply training and supplies is very exciting, but as stated, getting the volunteers is going to be the big job.

  5. We will keep your office informed of any neighborhood events for the community association.

  6. In addition, the parent group will address our support of any movement toward a partnership between the City and the school district to utilize school campus open space as "public park" space. Now that Ms. Campos is finally able to establish the facts on paper to present before her colleagues - that our East Side area does not meet the required per person green space standards - we are fully confident that our families will be enjoying their leisure time in park land in their own neighborhood in the near future.

  7. The contacts for the new small school movement in Alum Rock are: Celia Gonzales and Maria Viscarra; you could contact Marc Jacobson, our PACT organizer (cell phone 757-2280, office 998-8001).

  8. Because you are the contact for the "business area," (Alum Rock Village - NNV) I have attached my letter to the October issue of the New Neighborhood Voice. We had responses supportive of some joint effort to get the area cleaned up regularly - as well as one from a business owner who thinks it is each business owner's responsibility and one from a Lick student who doesn't want the high school students blamed for everything, especially since they have a small group organizing clean ups already (we all agree that the black spots are gum mostly from the kids, though). Can you get the business owners and a representative from the business association, Lick HS, library, state highways, law enforcement, etc. to the same table to brainstorm solutions (like the grant for a contractor, for instance)? I would like to write a follow-up letter to our e-newsletter but would like to wait until I hear back from you.

  9. Exactly how could PACT, the parent group, and the East Hills Community Association support the Councilwoman's fight for the light rail extension from Capitol down Alum Rock/Santa Clara. From what she said, the request has been on the list for 30(?) years, but I do not believe our LOC has heard any rumblings about it from our community unless people feel it's just another item that has been lost in the deep, dark tunnel of promises to the East Side.

  10. Should there be a change of plans for Crothers Road, please advise us through Judy and Allan Thompson.

  11. We will discuss the proposed 6-lane highway over Mt. Hamilton at our LOC meetings and in our one-to-ones with community members to get feedback from the residents. Letter writing will be advised.

Please let us know if the January 15 proposed meeting date is on the Councilwoman's schedule.

Again, on behalf of all of our members, we appreciate the efforts that Councilperson Campos and her competent staff have made on our behalf. We are looking forward to seeing all of you soon at the November 17 ribbon cutting of the Youth Center.

Tanya Freudenberger
PACT, St. John Vianney LOC

Tanya, thank you for the follow up notes and the kind words. I have used your format to make my comments below:

  1. I have cc'd Craig on this email so that he will know to expect a call from Lourdes.

  2. The D-5 office will pursue this issue and get an answer about a timeline.

  3. I will ask Kathy to discuss calendar availability with you regarding a traffic safety meeting, when we have a date we will invite appropriate City staff. Kathy will also be contacting you regarding the January 15th regular meeting.

  4. We will await the results of your discussion.

  5. Thank you, email is always good and if you do not have my direct line it is 277-2446, voice mail 24/7.

  6. We will put some numbers together so that you can speak to the issue.

  7. Thanks, and I will make sure that they also have my direct line.

  8. I read the New Neighborhood Voice, Judy does a great job. I had read your piece prior to your sending it to the office. Nora has already brought this issue up with RDA to look for interim measures, we may not be able to get the type of meeting you are talking about together until January, we are more than halfway through October and Nora has extremely limited availability during November and December, however, if we want to get some brainstorming done without Nora having to be in the room, I would be happy to work on that before January.

  9. At issue right now is the competition for funding. At this time we do not have a "project" to ask of the community, Nora did want to just give a head's up for future support, perhaps attending a VTA Board meeting or writing letters/email. When we get firmer numbers about how much of a shortfall VTA is facing, we will be in a better position to have an educational meeting for the community on the issue and then we can offer some information to include in the New Neighborhood Voice.

  10. Should there be any change we will absolutely notify Judy and Allan.

  11. We will also renew our efforts to assure that this "project" is monitored.

See you all on November 17th...
Christine Silva Burnett, Chief of Staff, District Five
Councilmember Nora Campos
City Hall, Room 600, 801 N. First St., San Jose, 95110
408-277-2446, 408-995-0827 (fax)

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Santa Clara County FireSafe Council

Not just for professional firefighters!

What is it? What does it do? Is it for you?

NNV has mentioned the Santa Clara FireSafe Council in several articles now. You may be wondering what it is and what it does and why we can't decide whether to put "County" in the name or not. This group might interest you if the potential for wildfires in our neighborhood worries you and you'd like to lend your efforts to making the foothills safer from fire.

The Santa Clara FireSafe Council is a County-wide, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve California's natural and man-made resources by mobilizing the people of Santa Clara County to make their homes, neighborhoods and communities "Fire Safe." The council is focused on fire prevention in Wildland Interface Areas (like our neighborhoods) and does not get involved in promoting smoke detectors and other local fire department issues. Since the council is a non-profit organization, it is eligible for grants that would not be available to either its member organizations or to individuals.

The council's members include fire fighting and protection organizations like the CDF (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection), the Santa Clara County Fire Department and the San Jose Fire Department and several other city and volunteer fire departments in the County. Other organizations that are members of the council include the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the Santa Clara Santa Clara County Open Space Authority and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (yes, we have two "open space" organizations covering different parts of Santa Clara County). Other local government departments are also involved, such as Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation and San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services. Large companies like PG&E are also members.

The council is not just for professionals - several homeowners associations and individual homeowners are members or officers (including your editor and her husband). Homeowners, residents and representatives of all interested organizations are welcome to attend the meetings, which are held at 10:00 AM on the second Wednesday of each month.

The council received two grants from the Bureau of Land Management this year. One is for a Hazardous Fuel Assessment and Strategy project which should lead to a plan for a County-wide assessment and strategy for hazardous fire areas and conditions. Maybe you're surprised that there isn't a County-wide plan now? Remember that there are more than ten fire departments and associations that are in or serve Santa Clara County. San Jose Fire Department is the largest with 31 stations - and it is responsible for large areas outside the City limits (like our neighborhoods, where the County contracts with the City for fire protection). And you may be surprised to hear that there are large, fire-prone areas of the County that do not have any assigned fire-protection organization unless they form their own volunteer fire department. The CDF does cover the whole County but their focus is on forest, range, and watershed areas - not individual homes - and the Santa Clara CDF unit has to cover five counties! All of these government agencies have serious funding limitations and the FireSafe Council is the place where they can get together to coordinate County-wide projects.

The second grant the council received this year is for Community Outreach and Education. This is how the council and its member organizations fulfill their mission to "mobilize the people of Santa Clara County to make their homes, neighborhoods and communities 'Fire Safe.'" If you were at the YSI Wildlife Festival in Alum Rock Park on October 12, you saw the CDF, San Jose Fire Department, PG&E and other council members in action - maybe your kid climbed on the SJFD Shark Engine? If not, you missed a wild time, but you can read about it here.

The council also helps organize real fuel reduction projects and plans to do more of this in the future. One example was the Loma Chiquita Fuel Reduction project earlier this year - near where the big Croy/Uvas fire was just over a year ago. The council and its member organizations are also helping the new Uvas Volunteer Fire Department to get started in this area.

The next meeting of the Santa Clara FireSafe Council will be on Wednesday, November 12 at 10:00 AM at the Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Field Sports Park, 9580 Malech Road, San Jose, CA 95013. You're welcome to attend! Click here for directions and a map. Before you say that this organization isn't for you, please remember that we live in a Wildland Interface Area - and think about the fires last week in Southern California and remember that October 20, 2003 was the twelfth anniversary of the Oakland Hills fire, "the worst fire involving loss of life and property since the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906." Read a little bit about what went wrong and the lessons learned here (25 deaths, 150 injuries, over 3,000 homes or apartments destroyed, 1,520 acres, $1.5 Billion). Then come to our FireSafe Council meetings to help prevent something like that from happening here.

If you'd like more information, the Santa Clara FireSafe Council Web site is at www.SCCFireSafe.org

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NNV Newsmakers: James Lick High School Students

Mercury News reports higher SAT scores!

Congratulations to students at James Lick High School who took the 2002-03 SAT college entrance exams. With their math and verbal scores combined, they made a 56 point improvement over the previous year! Terrific!

NNV would like to recommend a Mercury News editorial to our readers. In its "No school left unpunished" piece on Monday, October 20, 2003, the editors explain just how the Federal "No Child Left Behind Act" places higher and higher hurdles in front of low-performing schools all but guaranteeing their failure. It's worth a read. Click here.

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Click here for Section 2 of the November 2, 2003 Newsletter

(This newsletter is in two sections to reduce the download time for this page)

--------------------------- Contact and Subscription Information ---------------------------------
Copyrightę 2003 by Judy Thompson, 16174 Highland Drive, San Jose, CA 95127 
Phone: (408) 272-7008, E-mail: JudyET@NNVESJ.org Fax: (408) 272-4040 
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Opinions expressed by other writers and contributors are not necessarily shared by NNV.
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Copyrightę 2003 by Judy Thompson.  All rights reserved.  Updated 11/1/03.

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