New Neighborhood Voice

Newsletter - Edition 5 - Section 2

April 6, 2003

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Click on a thumbnail to view larger photos
Mark's Hot Dogs - On the Move East Highlands Triangle Old Miguelita
Creek Bridge
New Orange Barriers!
The last of the 365 curves
on the road to the
Lick Observatory
Excavating on 
Mt. Hamilton Road
At the Hall's
Valley Sign
Mr. and Mrs. Viscelio
Felix Gonzales y Soto
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Mark's Hot Dogs

East side landmark makes new home

By Bonnie Bamburg

At long last the San Jose City landmark, Mark’s Hot Dogs, was moved from the site on Alum Rock Avenue where it had been since 1947 to its new location at 48 S. Capitol Ave. The move was uneventful (thank goodness) with Councilwoman Nora Campos there at 8:00 AM on a day early in March to send it on its way. 

The actual move took less than 10 minutes for the trip down Alum Rock into the new site where it will be resting in the rear of the property until the new foundation is completed. At that time it will be moved to the front of the property and the famous Mark’s Hot Dogs pole sign will again be prominent. South Bay Construction is preparing the new site and overseeing the construction. Expect a late April reopening with lots of fanfare and fun. 

When it reopens, Demos Pantelides, the owner, promises the same menu (the menu board is stored for reuse) and the same style “drive in, flash your car lights and get service to your car.” Even the employees will be the same ones that served the last night on Alum Rock. Mark’s is our own, it was never part of that chain along the highway, never served any orange juice, and why it has always been painted orange is a mystery.

It would be fun to have folks send in their stories about experiences at Marks.

Click here to see photos of Mark's Hot Dogs - before, on the move, and now.

Note: If you have a story about your experiences, long ago or not so long ago, at Mark's Hot Dogs, please e-mail it to us at  Your reminiscences may be included in Mark's reopening brochure.  NNV

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NNV Briefs

(We thought of calling this BVD Briefs but it seems that name has already been taken)

New paint job for East Highlands triangle!

This summer, the Alum Rock Neighborhood Coalition plans to repaint the East Highlands triangle. We always need volunteers and we could certainly use donations for paint. If you can't donate your time, monetary contributions are greatly appreciated. To make a contribution call ARNC at (408) 926-8125.

ARNC is a group of neighborhood volunteers dedicated to improving the quality of our neighborhood. We have a regular monthly project the first Saturday of each month (9AM to Noon). We often work with "Project Earth" from James Lick High School. Call ARNC at the number above for more details.

From Steve Pollock, ARNC  

Click here to see the East Highlands Triangle.

Pala Youth Center on schedule

Construction for the Pala Youth Center officially broke ground on Saturday June 8, 2002. We are happy to report that this highly anticipated project is making excellent progress. Please let the readers of the New Neighborhood Voice know that we expect the center to be completed by September of 2003.

From Francis N. Zamora, Public Communications, District 5, 
Office of City of San Jose Councilmember Nora Campos
(408) 277-2779, Fax (408) 995-0827, E-mail 

Library Branch site preparation has begun

The Dos Amigos market and small flower shop at the new library corner of Alum Rock Avenue and White Road have moved. Their windows were boarded up during the last week of March - the first steps toward demolition of the old buildings to make way for our future Alum Rock Branch of the San Jose Library system.

Ribbon cutting ceremony for new James Lick High School parking lot project

The marvelous improvements to the northwest corner of Alum Rock Avenue and White Road will be completed and commemorated at a ceremony on the site, scheduled for sometime in May.  The public will be invited to the dedication of this much appreciated project of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, Alum Rock Business Association and others.  Area businesses will take part in the fun, providing giveaways and coupons.  Watch the NNV Community Bulletin Board for date and time.

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Hedy Lamarr - WWII Movie Star and Inventor

Women's History Month: "Women Pioneering the Future"

Lamarr and composer receive patent for "Secret Communication System"

Last month we reported that neither movie star Mae West nor Al Gore invented the Internet. We doubt if any readers were surprised by these revelations, even though Al Gore's technical credentials rose very recently as he was elected to the Apple Computer board of directors.

However, there was a WWII era movie star who did invent some of the technology many of us use every day when we make calls from our cordless and cell phones or use other wireless networking technology like WiFi and Bluetooth. She did it to help win a war and to help her people. March was Women's History Month and, as we enter the first major war of this century, it seems all too appropriate to mention her wide-ranging contributions.

Hedy Lamarr was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1913 or 1914 and starred in the 1933 Czech film, Extase (Ecstasy). Her early fame came from this scandalous film, banned in the U.S. and many other countries for perhaps the first nude cinematic scene.

Lamarr married fellow Austrian Fritz Mandl in 1933. Mandl was one of the leading European arms manufacturers and noted for products such as shells, grenades and military aircraft. He sold armaments to Germany and was also involved in research on military control systems. Sources for this story conclude that Lamarr learned a lot during many dinners and meetings with arms developers, builders and buyers. The marriage ended in 1937 and Lamarr, described as anti-Nazi and of Jewish descent, "escaped to London." She soon moved to Hollywood and later starred in movies like the 1949 MGM film, Samson and Delilah, produced by Cecil B. DeMille.

In the U.S., Lamarr joined up with George Antheil, an avant-garde composer. Antheil wrote and played pieces like Airplane Sonata and Ballet Mecanique. Lamarr and Antheil soon applied for, and in 1942 were granted, a patent on a Secret Communication System. Their patent was for a device to "reduce the danger of detection or jamming for radio-controlled torpedoes." It involved the concept of "frequency hopping," a form of what we now call spread spectrum or CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access).

The patent may remind you of a player piano, which is indeed an example of acoustic "frequency hopping" since holes in the player piano rolls select different keys (sound frequencies). Now if you'd like to have two player pianos play a duet, you will need to synchronize them. The synchronization of wireless communications systems is part of their patent. Antheil's musical compositions involved up to 14 player pianos playing simultaneously. CDMA is used for various military communications systems as well as for many cell phone systems - check to see if your cell phone indicates it is a Sprint (or other CDMA) cell phone.

Hedy Lamarr's various names are just as confusing as our engineering terms. She was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler and married six times. On the patent, her name is Hedy Kiesler Markey from her marriage to author Gene Markey. Lamarr is her U.S. screen name, meaning "the sea" (La Mar), perhaps because she came to the U.S. and MGM from across the Atlantic.

What's this got to do with Alum Rock Park? Perhaps you've noticed the ugly antennas near Eagle Rock in the Park. They've been there for a long time and are a good example of obtrusive and poorly placed communications antennas. The technology exists now to conceal or disguise communications systems and antennas. Isn't it time to move them out of our view of Eagle Rock? This is part of the City of San Jose communications systems and you'll be glad to hear that they are sensitive to these issues and hope to improve this situation as they upgrade their older communications facilities over the next several years.

For more information, click here for The Hedy Lamarr Foundation, "dedicated to delivering educational and inspirational information that promotes self-discovery and social accountability" or here for our favorite picture of Hedy.

Sources for this history include the March, 2003 IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) News & Views, which credited Lamarr for her "contributions to engineering" during Women's History Month and blandly noted that she "achieved greater fame outside technology."

Would you like more stories about the history and effects of technology? Or other technology stories? Or NO technology stories? Please let us know. E-mail

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Mt. Hamilton Reminiscences

James Lick, Rev. Laurentine Hamilton, Adam Grant, Viscelio Felix Gonzales y Soto 

By Ed Allegretti

Note: Some links in the story below will take you away from the NNV Web site or to other articles and photos on our Web site. You should be able to use the Back button on your browser to return to this story. NNV

It's strange when I think that Mt. Hamilton once had a higher elevation. Yet, I suppose it was more "environmentally correct" in those days to blast away part of this mountain in order to level it for the main Lick Observatory that was starting to be built there in 1880. James Lick was a miller from Pennsylvania who made much money in San Francisco real estate during the gold rush; he funded this observatory as a monument to himself.

Older than Lick Observatory, of course, is Mt. Hamilton Road. This road was first built in 1876. As anybody who has driven up the road knows, they have to drive along far too many curves. Maybe, though, not everyone realizes that these were done in order to maintain the relatively mild slope of the entire street; a requirement of the days when heavy wagons pulled by horses had to take building materials up the hill.

My first remembrance of driving to Lick Observatory was in the winter of 1969. My sister, her boyfriend, my brother, his girlfriend, and a couple of my friends decided to play in the snow that fell along the slopes of the domes. Although I was cold and my knitted mittens became very wet, I still had great fun during my first time in the snow. After a couple of hours of sledding, making snowmen, and throwing snowballs at one another, we started to become bored. One of our party thought it would be much more amusing to throw snowballs at passing cars below while hiding behind bushes.

After a few of our targets were well hit, one of our party didn't notice that the passenger window was rolled down on the next car. Unfortunately for this person, who had excellent aim, he didn't hit the car but rather the face of the passenger! This passenger's husband chivalrously came to her defense and after much berating, we left our day in the snow. Our one consolation, though, was that the truck of our expedition was filled with snow. Upon arriving home on Alta Vista Way this was shoveled out onto the side of the road where all the neighbor children enjoyed a snowball fight, which was much less dangerous than our usual dirt clod fights!

Another boyhood recollection of driving up Mt. Hamilton Road occurred when I was 15. My best friend at that time, Greg, was 16 and was just given an older MG coupe by his parents. After driving it up and down Poppy Lane (where we lived after leaving Alta Vista Way) and irritating the neighbors, we decided it would be great fun to take this fast car up Mt. Hamilton Road (which was, by the way, originally named Lick Avenue).

Our drive up was relatively slow and cautious and went as far as the Grant Ranch. During our drive down the hill my friend noticed the marker that stated, "130." He asked what this meant. I replied that it meant this road was highway 130. He said, "highway, that means we can drive up to 65 MPH!" Quickly, we were speeding much faster than our previous 25 to 35 MPH. Being 15 and naïve, I thought this great fun; especially with an open convertible top and no roll bar to get in the way. As we sped along we came to a very sharp turn which, despite my friend's "mature" skills, he couldn't maneuver. Over the edge we went sliding many yards down a hillside over small bushes until we crashed to a halt in a large clump of brush.

It seems God was watching over us because we both climbed up the hill to the top of the road without a scratch. Our first reaction was to laugh about how much fun we had; our second reaction was how would we explain to Greg's father about his car that now was completely a wreck? While sitting on the hillside contemplating what to do, we began to hear many sirens. In amazement we watched as several fire trucks and sheriff cars passed us. We wondered what has happened to cause this commotion? As we wondered, another sheriff saw us and stopped to ask about a car going over the side. We responded, oh, that must be us?

It seems another driver saw us go over and telephoned for help at Rancho Grandview Restaurant. Many hours later a tow truck was able to finally pull up Greg's totaled MG. The sheriffs pointed to several wrecked cars far below where ours halted and explained how some of those cars rolled and the passengers were killed. At that point we definitely were no longer laughing and that curve today has a very large barrier.

Not all my experiences along Mt. Hamilton Road were so dire. Yet, it was embarrassing one evening, while watching the lights below with my high school girlfriend, when a sheriff's car pulled up and asked if she were there against her will! It was also somewhat frightening, when once driving a date to Rancho Grandview Restaurant, to see a boar that must have weighed close to 300 pounds running along the side of a curve next to us!

Mt. Hamilton was named after the Rev. Laurentine Hamilton, who first set foot on the summit during a geological expedition led by William Brewer in 1861, which I learned from his granddaughter during a lunch at the Bohemian Club. Although the observatory on Mt. Hamilton was completed in 1881 and the road started in 1876, Mt. Hamilton Road was actually re-graded and paved some time in the 1940's. I know this from the photographs I have of my Grandfather Bernal, proprietor of "Eddie Bernal General Excavating," working on Mt. Hamilton Road. According to my grandmother, he and the other men would camp up there all week and just come home on the weekends.

My grandfather, Eddie Bernal, was a descendant of Jose de Jesus Bernal who was granted the 16,000 acre Rancho Canada de Pala in 1839. This rancho covered the area around Hall's Valley and most of present day Mt. Hamilton Road goes through this old rancho. Unfortunately for me, my grandfather died before I was born and the small remainder of this rancho that he owned was sold. Yet, I was able to learn something about ranching from my kinsman, Vince Cortese, Sr., who had 900 acres on Smith Creek.

As was my custom before Vince Cortese's death, I often stopped by his house next to the Country Club shopping center at Toyon and McKee for a chat. During one such visit over ten years ago he was particularly pleased to see me. He had just completely loaded his pickup with old bread obtained from a local bakery and wanted me to join him on a trip to his ranch at Smith Creek in order to feed the cattle. Fortunately I had the time and definitely the desire to join him. Despite his age and despite having no glasses, he insisted on driving up and down the hill, which he did very well. After initially entering the ranch we drove for some distance along a dirt road. As we drove along he explained about raising cattle and how much property was required for each cow.

It was interesting to learn that the grass grows shorter as the slope of the hill increases; thus the reason that flatter ground can support more cattle per acre. It was curious, though, to hear so much about cattle but not to see any. Suddenly he stopped and said it was time to feed the cows. I asked, "But where are the cows?" He started to honk the truck horn repeatedly. Interestingly, cows started appearing on every ridge surrounding the very small valley we were in. They definitely knew this sound and definitely knew food was available for them because they were running towards us as quickly as possible!

As I mentioned previously, my grandfather's family were ranchers for many years in Hall's Valley. Although their adobe is no longer there, some interesting buildings from the era of the Grant Family still exist. Adam Grant started buying land from local families, including the Bernals, in 1880. His son, Joseph Grant, inherited the land which eventually became the property of Joseph's daughter, Josephine Grant McCreery, who lived there until 1972. At the Grant Ranch, which is now a county park, the family's main house, servants quarters, and the "wedding" or guest cottage can still be seen. On the property are also the large and interesting Snell Barn and a small line cottage. There once was a small café near the main house; actually where Quimby Road now intersects with Mt. Hamilton Road. This now is gone as is the old Rancho Grandview Bar (the roof line of which can still be seen roughly across the street from the Rancho Grandview Restaurant).

There was also a store and hotel at Smith Creek, about where the ranger station now is situated, that served those brave souls who rode up to Lick Observatory in the horse and buggy days. These buildings are also gone. Thankfully, though, I have old photographs of these places from my Grandmother Bernal and her mother. Both were asked by their husbands at one time to live on Mt. Hamilton Road. My Grandfather Bernal wished to live at his house in Hall's Valley. My grandmother only visited it once when she decided, in the late 1920's, that she would not live so far from town. My great-grandfather, Viscelio Felix Gonzales y Soto, wanted to ranch, also, like most old Californios. My great-grandmother (whose maiden name was Brewer and who was a distant cousin of the above mentioned William Brewer) took one trip up the road and could never be convinced to go up it again!

Truly I think that hiking at the Grant Ranch is wonderful. There are over forty miles of trails and, if one is quiet, much wildlife to see. During parts of the year, local ranchers graze their cattle on parts of the property. These animals generally are in areas separated from the main hiking trails by fences. On a recent trip my wife, my brother, and my friend Dr. Darek Przygoda (who is writing an official history of Hall's Valley which eventually will be for sale at Grant Ranch Park), and I found a calf on our side of the fence. This poor animal desperately ran along the fence in front of us for about a mile before finding a way back to his anxiously mooing mama!

Despite hiking in the hot sun and in the rain, this is much more preferred by me than attempting a cycle ride to the top. However, it was my pleasure to once date a woman who was a professional cyclist. No doubt if she prevailed in her attempts to convince me to join her on her rides up to the observatory, this story would not exist.

Click here to see the view, updated every few minutes, from Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton. Click here to read more about hiking and running in Grant Ranch County Park.

Note:  You may recognize a few photos used for this story that we also used last month for Ed's San Antonio Valley story.  We now have a whole new set of very interesting photos for that story!  Click here to see the new photos for that story and here to read the story itself.  Here are the thumbnails for that story!

Cecilia Gonzales
Nelson at Johnny
Roger's Ranch in
San Antonio Valley

Marty and
Margie at
Marty's Ranch
in SAV

Ed and Friends at
The Junction in
San Antonio Valley

Gary Rauh and 
Ed at the San
Antonio Valley
Fire House

Gary and Ellen
Rauh at the
Ranger Station

And you may have noticed that Ed had one of his other stories published in the San Jose Mercury News during March.  That's what can happen when you start to write for NNV!  Don't worry - Ed has several more stories just waiting for us to publish.  In future issues, you'll be able to read about some of the old houses in this area and the people who lived in them and about some of the businesses as well.  NNV encourages you to write about your poignant or amusing recollections of life in our neighborhood and to share old photos with our readers.  NNV

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Graffiti Old and New

New pedestrian bridge tagged!

A rare scribble of graffiti found itself on the directional arrow sign at the junction of Alta Vista Way and Highland Drive recently. As he painted the gold squiggle, the teenage vandal found himself under scrutiny by a neighbor. She reported to NNV that the boy was carrying a skateboard and was extremely nonchalant even after he realized he and his endeavor had been observed. The neighbor tried calling both the County Sheriff and the San Jose Police to report the vandalism, but was not able to reach a live person. "God help us if we ever need help up here," was her conclusion.

If readers see vandalism in progress, call 911. The Sheriff's Department encourages us to call that number (rather than the non-emergency numbers) even if the crime being committed isn't major. We need to get ourselves on their "radar screen." We are so quiet and docile up here that we hardly warrant their concern. So, CALL 911; the more calls that are logged, the more attention they will pay to us.


Construction of the new Miguelito pedestrian bridge revealed some ancient graffiti on the supports of the old vehicular bridge. Until walkers on the new little bridge could see under the old bridge, that graffiti was observed only by lots of deer and possibly an occasional homeless person camping among the pillars.

On the day of the bridge opening ceremony, the crowd of County officials and neighborhood well-wishers had their eyes drawn instinctively to the large ugly characters painted under the bridge. Everyone tsk-tsked with concern, and a San Jose Water Company guy gallantly promised to have it removed. However, within a day, NNV got a call from the water guys who pointed out that technically Miguelito Creek is not their creek so they couldn't really DO anything about the mess.

NNV found itself sort of a pivot point regarding this old graffiti even though it wasn't NNV who raised a ruckus. Within a day or two of the ribbon-cutting for the bridge, the County's Hosalli Gangadhara was on the phone saying that the County would take care of it, but he couldn't say just when. It was a welcome surprise to see that County workers came out within days and carefully and unobtrusively painted out all the old crummy stuff leaving the underside of the bridge looking very tidy and clean. Thank you Hosalli and Santa Clara County!

Click here to see before and after pictures of the graffiti under the bridge.


Some time during the week of March 24th, vandals tagged all four concrete columns of our neighborhood's greatest new pride and joy, the trestle-like pedestrian bridge.  It wasn't clear to NNV when the graffiti was done, but on Thursday the 27th, there were "Wet paint" signs on the columns indicating that all four had to be repainted to cover the scribbles.

These two recent graffiti episodes here in the neighborhood unfortunately were the harbinger of the resurgence of this particularly odious in-your-face disrespect.  Monday morning March 31st, found the supports of the old Miguelita Creek vehicular bridge newly awash in multiple, multicolor, vandal defacement.  These "tags" must be painted over ASAP and taggers harshly prosecuted to put an end to this!

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Chavez Breakfast

NNV attends moving event at Mexican Heritage Center

A near-capacity crowd filled the pavilion at the Mexican Heritage Plaza on Monday, March 31st to celebrate the California State Cesar Chavez holiday. A commemorative breakfast was held to honor the Life and Work of Chavez, the tireless champion of the human rights of farm workers everywhere. San Jose Councilmembers Nora Campos (District 5, which includes East San Jose) and Cindy Chavez organized the event which included readings of Cesar Chavez's challenges to the downtrodden and his Prayer of the Farm Workers' Struggle - the latter read in unison by the attendees.

The event held special meaning for San Joseans since Cesar Chavez lived in an East San Jose barrio and worked with many of the people in attendance. Supervisor Blanca Alvarado, the Chair of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, spoke movingly of Chavez as being one of the Twentieth Century's four great non-violent activists, equating his stature to that of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. Supervisor Alvarado pointed out the irony of these four great men of peace all being "people of color." There was particular poignancy to this celebration of Chavez's philosophy of nonviolence in light of the current war in Iraq.

We'll tell you more about the wonderful Mexican Heritage Plaza, a little-known jewel in our East San Jose community, in a future article. It would be another good place to stop on your bus ride!

Click here to see what NNV brought back from the commemorative breakfast and click here to learn more about Cesar Chavez, including when he lived on our side of San Jose in a barrio called Sal Si Puedes ("Get Out If You Can"). 

Note: The Cesar E. Chavez Commemorative Stamp will be issued by the U.S. Postal Service on April 24, 2003 at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.  See our Community Bulletin Board for more details.  NNV

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

More Façade Improvement Grants for Alum Rock Village?
Where were those nearby earthquakes we felt in late March?
What was the police helicopter doing in Alum Rock Park recently?
New orange barriers near Miguelita Creek Bridge?
Dog fighting on Alum Rock Avenue?????
Does NNV know of an easy way to recycle empty printer cartridges?
Dirty Supermarkets at Capitol and McKee?
How can subscribers correct or augment NNV stories?
Is there a way that readers can help New Neighborhood Voice?

Q. Are any more Façade Improvements in the works for the little shops in Alum Rock Village?

A. Well, details are still a bit amorphous, but some folks at the Redevelopment Agency have shared a few tidbits with NNV.

The RDA FIG program (Façade Improvement Grants) is on hold at least until October when the agency's financial picture should be in better focus. If any more business owners wish to participate in the FIG program, they will have to wait until there are funds available again. So, we should understand if no more façade work is done this spring and summer - although business owners can always opt to arrange (and pay for) improvements without the RDA subsidy.

Q. Where were the earthquakes we felt in late March? It felt like they were really close!

A. They were close! The USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) reported two earthquakes in the southeast part of Alum Rock Park - just over a mile east of the Country Club Heights townhomes on Crothers Road. Fortunately, they were "microearthquakes" with magnitudes of 2.5-3.0 at a depth of about 2 miles so they probably didn't cause any damage. The houses close by seemed to receive just a single BIG jolt each time. Lower on the hills there was also a bit of rattling and chandelier swaying.

You can use the USGS map of this area  to check on any nearby earthquakes. Just click on a red or blue box indicating the most recent earthquakes. The box shows up within minutes of an earthquake and links to detailed information on the quake and maps of the quake area. 

Q. What was the police helicopter doing in Alum Rock Park recently?

A. It was on a training flight for the San Jose Police Department's new helicopter to practice getting into and out of the park and to train the park rangers on what they need to do on the ground where the helicopter is going to land. Mike Will (the park supervisor) says this new helicopter is much quieter than the old one.

Q. Did the Editor of New Neighborhood Voice order the orange tree-protecting material which County workers put around the itty-bitty plantlets near the Miguelito Bridge?

A. No, your color-loving editor - even though she was distressed about the glorious orange-painted historic railings being repainted brown - did not ask to have a say in the choice of hue of the vinyl fence-stuff which the County used to mark the sites of the vulnerable baby trees and shrublets. However, your editor did a veritable double take the day the new orange stuff was installed - approaching the bridge in the car, she glimpsed it just from the corner of her eye and it looked for all the world as though someone had come out and restored the shiny, gleaming Mandarin gumdrop orange which had graced the pedestrian bridge railings so briefly, but so well. But, obviously this was not meant to be. C'est la vie.  Click here to see the new orange plant barriers.

Q. Recently a small Mercury News item mentioned that convictions had been obtained in a dog-fighting case which involved a barn on Alum Rock Avenue.  What barn are they writing about, pray tell?

A. NNV believes that the barn in question is the barn at the Alum Rock Stables.  It seems that the cruel "sport" of dog-baiting was going on under our noses before the perpetrators were caught.  This is all the more reason to put the stables property in the hands of good people with noble purposes such as the Bay Area Barns and Trails Trust.

Q. Does NNV know of an easy way to recycle empty printer cartridges?

A. Indeed we do! Pack 113 of Mt. Hamilton District Cub Scouts, which meets at Foothill Presbyterian Church, is starting their Cartridges for Cubs collection. As a fundraiser, they are collecting empty printer cartridges and turning them in for a small fee. The empty printer cartridges will be refilled and sold. The cubs will benefit from this fundraiser to help with camping and outing fees.

Empty cartridges can be dropped off at the Foothill Presbyterian Church office at 5301 McKee Road. You will find a small cardboard box marked Cartridges for Cubs inside the front door. Church Office hours are Mon.-Thurs. 9-4, closed 12-1 for lunch, and Fri. 9-12.

Q. Why must the Albertsons and Pak 'n Save (Safeway) stores at Capitol and McKee be of a lower standard in regard to cleanliness than stores in other communities? Complaints have been made to them directly to no avail. How do other residents feel about their food shopping choices (in this area)? 

A. Several readers responded to this question from the February edition and most voiced similar concerns. One reader replied that such matters should not be a proper topic for NNV - that such things should be left to health authorities. Do you agree?  NNV plans further research in the future and hopes to help institute some constructive changes.  Unclean supermarkets and an attitude of indifference to shoppers' concerns are definitely quality-of-life issues in our neighborhood.

Q. How can subscribers correct or augment NNV stories?

A. Please give NNV a call at (408) 272-7008 or E-mail  

Last week, a keen-eyed reader who has lived in the neighborhood since 1940 pointed out that the ex-produce store at "Toyon and McKee" is actually at Vista and McKee.  Toyon dead ends at McKee.  She also pointed out that what NNV calls "Alum Rock Village" has always been called simply "The Village" but NNV will probably stick with the new designation for the sake of clarity.

Q. Is there a way that readers can help New Neighborhood Voice?  What if I'm not a writer or photographer?

A. In addition to writers and photographers, NNV can use help with our Web site. You can start at any level - from checking the Web site with your Web browser to updating Web pages. This is a good opportunity to learn how to build Web sites and all you need to get started is a computer and some basic computer skills. NNV is produced by volunteers so we can't offer any money but you can learn a new skill and enhance your resume while you are helping your community - and you get to read the newsletter before everyone else! If you are interested, E-mail or call (408) 272-7008.

Click here for the new FAQ Archives of FAQs from previous editions of NNV.

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Update on the NNV Web Site - New capabilities added

Starting this month, the complete newsletter on our Web site is in two sections to reduce the download time for the first section. There are also many more photos and other material linked to the newsletter now. We hope you enjoy them!

You'll also find a new search capability on our Home page and on the Archives page.  Just enter one or more keywords or the name of an author to find the relevant articles and photos.  On the Archives page, there's also the beginning of a new Subject section where you can access the FAQ and Letters to the Editor archives.

The Letters to the Editor and the Community Bulletin Board (see below) are updated every week or two during the month as new material comes in so you won’t have to wait a whole month to read the new letters and announcements.

As always, we’d appreciate your comments on our Web site – just send an e-mail to

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You can send comments or letters to the editor (Click Here to see the Letters)

E-mail us at or fax to (408) 272-4040. Please limit letters to a few hundred words (shorter items are more likely to be used in the newsletter and read) and include your name and phone number in case we have questions.  Contributions may be edited for content and space requirements.  Want to write articles or essays?  Please let us know!

Community Bulletin Board (Click Here)

E-mail to let us know about your events of interest to our readers.

--------------------------- Contact and Subscription Information ---------------------------------
Copyright© 2003 by Judy Thompson, 16174 Highland Drive, San Jose, CA 95127 
Phone: (408) 272-7008, E-mail: Fax: (408) 272-4040 
E-mail and fax subscriptions are free. Your ideas and comments are always welcome. 
To Subscribe: E-mail with "Subscribe" in the Subject Line. 
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Opinions expressed by other writers and contributors are not necessarily shared by NNV.

Copyright© 2003 by Judy Thompson.  All rights reserved.

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