New Neighborhood Voice

Newsletter - Edition 2

January 6, 2003

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Click Here to See Alum Rock Park Photos          Click Here to See Miguelito Bridge Photos        

 Click Here to See Keith Bush Sculpture Photos

Newsletter Headlines

More Mail Misery!

Mail Theft Response from Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith

Miguelito Bridge Project Update by Meaghan Clawsie

More News of the New Library Branch - Who Knew?

Letters to the Editor Are Welcome

New Neighborhood Voice Founding Sponsors

Alum Rock Park Update by San Jose City Councilmember Chuck Reed

Notable Neighbors: Keith Bush, Artist in Residence by Robert Sletten

State Budget Crisis and Local Healthcare Issues by State Assemblymember Manny Diaz

FYI: Fleming Hubbub and Alum Rock Stables

New NNV Web Site and Community Bulletin Board - Let Us Publicize Your Events!

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New Neighborhood Voice sends you heartfelt greetings for 2003. It seems we are living in those "interesting times" visited upon us by that old Chinese curse. Well, "interesting" they are, as well as harrowing and daunting for many. It portends to be another "hang in there" year as we feel swept along by fearsome tides with only the dimmest glimmer of better times ahead. NNV will be hanging in there, too, to keep the neighbors up to date on the basic quality-of-life issues which are the common thread among us.

The NNV Rx for gloominess is a leisurely walk in Alum Rock Park, where we can "find the gods of rest and peace" which "dwell in this matchless canyon." Penitencia Creek is full and frothing over its rocky bed - roaring for all it's worth. Native ferns and tender miners lettuce are greening up the shaded trailsides. Red toyon berries brighten the hills; naked buckeye trees are showing off their sturdy silver underpinnings. The winter air gently stings the cheeks and invigorates the soul.

Click here for the full text of Judge John E. Richards' early 1900's poem "Alum Rock Park."  An update on the work being done in Alum Rock Park written by City Councilmember Chuck Reed is below.

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More Mail Misery!

The mail thieves haven't quit! As recently as December 20th, a batch of mail was stolen from a car in an open garage on Celeo Lane. This came to light when Ed Allegretti found a bunch of opened envelopes tossed in the shrubbery across from his home on Edgemont Drive. Doing a little tidying, he picked up the debris only to discover that it was important stuff carelessly thrown onto the street. He was able to contact the owners because their phone number was revealed in the abandoned papers - what else might have been revealed to a thief perusing the stolen papers?

After the first edition of NNV came out in early December, many readers responded with more stories of thefts from their mailboxes. Liesl and Luke Violante, the young owners of Rafikis Coffee Hut, were themselves hit by thieves. Once a check Liesl put out for the mailman was altered and cashed for $2000! The thief was never caught. Another neighbor who subscribes to a DVD service had DVDs stolen repeatedly from his mailbox and has since changed his mail habits. He now has all important or valuable items delivered to him at his business address.

One neighbor saw a man looking intently into a mailbox on the Alum Rock Avenue service road near the park. He had the gumption to ask the stranger a few questions and wasn't really satisfied with the answers. All he felt he could do, however, was watch the transient-looking man carefully as he made his way out of the neighborhood. Just being closely watched may have been a deterrent to this possible thief, but our neighbor wishes now that he had called the Sheriff!

NNV Requested Input from the Sheriff's Department

NNV requested input from the Sheriff's Department for this article. We wanted to know more about the thefts and thieves in our neighborhood so we could report something comprehensive to our readers. We wanted to know just how many thieves are preying on us and how many thefts have been reported. We wanted to know whether "our" thieves were being caught and whether they were jailed. We would have liked to ask what M.O. the thieves use. Do they drive cars through our neighborhood - or do they walk? Do they open every mailbox until they come to something valuable? (How else could they know there was anything sitting in mailboxes which didn't have the red flag up?) It is inconceivable that thieves can be so brazen as to steal from us in broad daylight in a neighborhood which has regular walkers. We wanted to know if the Sheriff's Department was doing anything to combat the mail theft problem.

Unfortunately, their first response was a sort of a "form" E-mail describing mail thefts totally unrelated to our neighborhood. We persisted and learned that they do consider mail theft to be important because "mail theft is the root cause of identity theft." They now have an "information kit" they give to victims of mail theft to help them deal with the consequences and check and clear up their credit records. They are also trying to organize presentations on how to prevent mail theft and will make a presentation in this area if anyone will help organize it. Just call Sgt. Dalia Rodriguez at (408) 808-4539.

Don't Hesitate to Call 911

The Sheriff's Department says don't hesitate to use 911 to report non-emergency crimes like mail theft. Just state that this is not an emergency at the beginning of the call. (City residents can use 311 for non-emergency calls to the Police Department but that doesn't work for County residents.)

But what are they doing to prevent mail theft? Not much, even they will admit, since they depend on us to report thefts and suspicious characters in our neighborhoods. You'd think the Neighborhood Watch program would be a key part of their plan. Nope, it's in limbo and will be "reorganized" early this year. There's not even a Neighborhood Watch Officer now or any useful information about Neighborhood Watch or mail theft on their Web site (http://www.sccsheriff.org)! Finally, just before press time, they committed that new mail theft and Neighborhood Watch information will be on their Web site by January 16, 2003 (under Investigative Services).

The Sheriff's Department is the only law enforcement entity we can turn to. We hope you will join us in requesting more accountability and perhaps organizing Neighborhood Watch programs. What else can you do? We suggest you contact the Sheriff's Department (see contact information in the next article) or e-mail our County Supervisor, Pete McHugh, at Peter.McHugh@bos.CO.Santa-Clara.CA.US (or phone his office at 408-299-2443).

Abaan Abu-Shumays, a Country Clubs Heights neighbor, offers a few thoughts on protecting our valuable mail. She suggests that for people who have a computer, "it would help to set up automatic bill payments through their banks to avoid having their outgoing checks stolen from the mail boxes." She also mentions setting up direct deposit accounts with the bank so there are fewer checks being delivered to our mailboxes. Good ideas for those who can make them work.

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Mail Theft Response from Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith

I commend your efforts as a community for looking out for one another. Community Policing is not a success without a partnership. It is refreshing to see you folks starting your own neighborhood forum on events important to you and your community. By living in an unincorporated area of the County, it is important that we forge a tight bond by relaying information to one another in a timely fashion so we can all serve each other. Thank you Judy for starting such a vital publication. I look forward to working with you on your Community Policing efforts and addressing your community concerns. Congratulations on your "New Neighborhood Voice"! I promise it will not go unheard. Have a safe and Happy New Year.

Response to Mail Theft 

Mail Theft is a crime that is hard to detect and it is a precursor to identity theft and fraud. It is a low risk crime of opportunity and is most often committed by organized gangs and individuals who are into the drug scene. These groups or individuals try to blend into the area to look as if they belong. The market for stolen personal information is in high demand. The main problem with detecting it though, is that most of the time a person rarely knows they are a victim until they apply for new credit or bills for accounts they never opened are received.

The best solution for combating mail theft is prevention. Residents must secure their mailbox and mail, both outgoing and incoming, like they secure their homes and vehicles. These are the only safeguards we have at this time to combat this felonious crime. Identity theft is a global problem and law enforcement needs everyone's help to remedy the problem. When neighborhood meetings come about, please consider including a representative from the Sheriff's Office. We will gladly attend.

Tips for our neighbors: 

    - if you see a suspicious person lurking around the neighborhood; call 911 

    - if someone besides a mailman is opening up mailboxes; call 911 

    - if an unknown vehicle is parked in the area for any length of time; call 911 

    - NEVER jeopardize your safety by confronting suspected crooks; call 911 

    - the Sheriff's Office cannot help you if they do not know a problem exists 

    - utilize a heavy duty locking Community Mailbox or individual one 
      (your post office can refer you to a vendor)

Feel free to contact the Office of the Sheriff via e-mail: so.website@sho.co.scl.ca.us or call 808.4400 with any questions, concerns, or ideas. You may also visit our website: www.sccsheriff.org.

For emergencies please call 911 and for non-emergencies you may call 299.2311.

Laurie Smith, Sheriff

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Lest anyone suggest that NNV has no sense of humor, behold this timely gem from the October, 1957, Ohio State University humor magazine, the Sundial, where your precocious editor cut her editorial teeth. 

A unit of the American Eighth Air Force had flown from England to drop propaganda leaflets over Berlin [think Iraq]. All the planes came back - all, that is, except one. After the pilot hadn't returned in four days he was written off as a casualty. 

On the fifth day, in he flew and landed. A jeep from the control tower picked him up and whisked him to the commander's office. "Gee," he was told, "we're mighty glad to see you, boy! But, where in the heck have you been? The rest of the boys went over five days ago and dropped their leaflets …"

"Dropped them? I've been sticking them under the doors!"

-------OR------- 

Jan: I finally went to the doctor about the craving I get for kisses every time I have a couple of drinks.

Joyce: What did he give you? 

Jan: A couple of drinks.

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Miguelito Bridge Project Update

By Meaghan Clawsie (MC@NNVESJ.org)

Tired of waiting at the new stoplight by the country club as you make your way up and down Alum Rock Avenue? Relax, the end is in sight.

Despite ongoing winter weather and a two-week delay caused by PG&E's failure to power up the traffic lights on schedule, the Miguelito Bridge improvement project is proceeding according to plan and should be completed by the end of January, according to Santa Clara County senior civil engineer Ron Jackson.

Improvements to the Miguelito Bridge include construction of a new pedestrian walkway on the northern side of the existing bridge, as well as replacement of the bridge's original orange railings, which do not meet current CalTrans safety standards. Retrofitting the bridge with improved railings will add about 18 inches of shoulder width to each side, due to the new railings' placement (the safer railings will be attached to the outsides of the bridge, whereas the older railings sat on top of the bridge).

The new pedestrian walkway, which is now open to foot traffic and cyclists, is 95% complete, according to Jackson. It will be finished as soon as several of the main bridge's historic orange railings are removed and added to the walkway's western end. 

The timeline for replacing the railings on the main bridge is approximately three weeks per side, weather permitting. During that time, the temporary stoplights will remain functional, and vehicular traffic will continue to be reduced to one lane in the affected region.

For those of you who are wondering how the new stoplights operate, they are on a timed loop system, meaning that individual light times and durations are based upon the flow and position of cars at the intersection. For instance, when cars line up to exit the country club, the stoplight is alerted to their presence and gives them a green light, but if there are no cars waiting at that location, the light will not hold up other lanes to give that section a green.

Jackson says that he is aware that local drivers are not accustomed to navigating construction in this area, and his team of engineers remains sensitive to their concerns. Already, they have made ongoing adjustments to the construction site, such as adding an additional loop to the traffic light to improve response times and changing the location of their concrete barriers to improve traffic safety.

Jackson also thinks that once bridge construction is complete on the north side, and renovations switch to the south side of Alum Rock, the disruptions to normal traffic patterns will be more intuitive and easier to navigate. For example, cars going briskly down Alum Rock will be able to maneuver the curve more easily when the south lane is closed because the turn will not be as sharp. Additionally, the transition from two lanes to one will be less scary on the west side of the bridge because ongoing traffic will no longer be coming directly at cars as they head up the hill.

Click here for construction photos of the bridge.  Next month: Some recent history of the bridge project. 

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Ready for another one? Or two? 

Dear Dad: Everything is fine at school. I'm getting lots of sleep and study hard. I'm enclosing my fraternity bill. Your son, Pudge. 

Dear Pudge: Don't buy any more fraternities. Your Pop 

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The mama broom and the papa broom had a little whisk broom and they could not understand it because they had never swept together.

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More News of the New Library Branch

Who Knew?

News of a bigger, better, modern Alum Rock library has been met with great enthusiasm by our community. All the accouterments of a 21st Century library plus a meeting room large enough to seat a hundred people - what a welcome concept!

Some questions have arisen, however, and NNV will attempt to answer them here. Those who had ever heard of the plans for a new library thought that "City-County" would be part of its name and that it might even involve a partnership with James Lick High School. Well, the new library will strictly be a branch of the City of San Jose Public Library system and will be paid for using money from the City's Branch Library Bond Measure funds. Santa Clara County (whose small Alum Rock branch will be supplanted by the new library) will play a role to the extent that County residents use the new library. The more County residents use the branch, the more operating expenses will be paid by the County. Why not have a joint venture? It was decided that it would be easier if both entities didn't have to negotiate every little detail which would have been the case if both were involved.

The Lick High School connection came and went when the school parking lot was considered as a possible site for the new library. The school district was not willing to commit such a large piece of its property to the library project. Instead, the City Redevelopment Agency decided to raze the old buildings at the southwest corner of the Alum Rock Avenue/White Road intersection to make room for the new complex.

Who Knew? 

Who has been invited to give their input on the planning for this new cultural center in our neighborhood? Apparently not enough of us! Much of the "word was spread" via flyers on the check-out desk of the old library. Meaghan and Brad Clawsie, NNV writers, became aware of the November 21st meeting when Brad heard his barber casually mention it!

The first planning meeting for the City-only branch was held early in the fall of 2002 and drew a crowd of perhaps one hundred people. The ensuing meetings have drawn just small groups of people ranging from as few as seven to as many as twenty. Conspicuously absent from any of the meetings were the members of the Save the Alum Rock Library Committee without whom there wouldn't be any library at all. They went to bat for the little old branch when the County wanted to close it about five years ago. Why this group of citizens wasn't on the "obviously-interested- in-the-library" list (and invited to take part) is a mystery.

It's not just the seeming sleight of hand or the morphing of the County Library into a City Library, but also the loss of continuity, that matter so much to people. Before the reins were passed, the County promised to keep residents informed of the opportunities to provide input to the new library planning process. When the City took over, however, they seemed to start at square one with little regard for the commitments that had been made.

It's been asked why, at one meeting, just a tiny group of seven citizens (including only one from our neighborhood) was deemed sufficient to vote on art work for the building. At the later November 21st meeting, about twenty people including more representatives from our area voted on the most recent phase of the commissioning of about $170,000 worth of culture. Of course it could be said that a small, focused, group wouldn't be as "unwieldy" as a large diverse collection of people more representative of the neighborhood. But, NNV would never wade into such a sticky thicket.

$170,000 for Art Work? 

What sort of art work is going to cost $170,000? This hasn't been decided exactly, but we do know that it will be of an "integral nature" with the building - that is, it will not be a painting or anything else hung on a wall or anything inherently "attention-getting."

Who are the artists being considered? Any local ones? Well, no, and let's just say they're not anyone we know! The City's Arts and Entertainment Department chooses from a list of pre-qualified, nationally recognized artists whom they invite to submit designs. Then, residents narrow down the list and eventually make the final selection. A local professional artist told NNV that if you are a Bay Area artist who would like to be invited to submit designs for projects such as the Alum Rock library branch, it's up to you to get yourself on that "pre-qualified" list.

Clearly, there are many issues involved in designing a community library and the plans so far sound really ambitious and wonderful. Our new library will be state-of-the-art and the well-designed building will be an exciting architectural addition to the Alum Rock/White Road crossroads. The leaders of the project and the handful of involved citizens have done yeoman's work guiding the planning as far as it has come.

NNV wants everyone in the area to know about future planning meetings and wants to reiterate that everyone is invited and everyone's input is valued. Even if we can't all attend meetings, it is still important for all of us to know that they are being held - as well as when and where! The next meeting date had not been set as of the publication deadline of this edition, but NNV will try to work with the City to get the word out.

You can visit the San Jose Public Library Web site at http://www.newsanjoselibraries.com/ or phone the library development team at (408) 794-1400.

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Letters to the Editor Are Welcome

We welcome Letters to the Editor on any subject that concerns you - or even on good things that are happening! Your input will enrich us all. To send us a letter on these or other topics, please put "Letter to the Editor" in the Subject line and e-mail us at JudyET@NNVESJ.org or fax to (408) 272-4040 or snail-mail us at 16174 Highland Drive, San Jose 95127.

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. Letters may be edited for content and space requirements and used in either the newsletter or on our Web site.

We received many encouraging comments and e-mails on the first edition of New Neighborhood Voice. See Letters to the Editor for some of the comments. Thank you!

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New Neighborhood Voice Founding Sponsors

New Neighborhood Voice is pleased to introduce our Founding Sponsors. We appreciate their donations and support. NNV will accept a few more Founding Sponsors, as well as advertisements for each issue. Please e-mail JudyET@NNVESJ.org or call (408) 272-7008 if you are interested. We hope you will support our advertisers and help keep e-mail and fax subscriptions free.

---------------- New Neighborhood Voice Founding Sponsors ---------------------------- 

Lifestyle Properties, Call Ellen Rauh at (408) 929-1925, www.lifestyleprop.com 

Caskey Country Club Properties, Call Larry and Barbara Caskey at (408) 926-5400 

E.M.S. LLC, Environmental Management Services, (408) 501-4200

A full service construction & demolition cleanup, hauling and recycling company

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Alum Rock Park Update

Landslide Mitigation/Crothers Road/More

By San Jose City Councilmember Chuck Reed

Alum Rock Park is the oldest city park in the state and it certainly is one of the best. However, it needs a lot of care and improvement just to recover from the damages suffered in the floods of 1998. Those damages include the landslide that forced the closure of Crothers Road and Alum Rock Avenue. I have been working on the Alum Rock Park slide and road closure problems since before I was elected and these issues remain high on my To Do list. Part of my job is to make sure that we follow through on the commitments made by the city to improve Alum Rock Park. Here is the status of some of those efforts.

Stabilizing the Slide 

When the creek turns into a raging river every few years it chews on the toe of the slide and tickles the slide into moving down the hill. By protecting the toe from the creek, we should be able to remove one of the factors causing the slide to move. We cannot do much about the other main factor, the underground water level, but if we can protect the toe, maybe the slide will stabilize enough to allow us to reopen the roads.

We hope to protect the toe of the slide through bioengineering the area around the toe. My non-technical explanation is that we will install appropriate native plants on the toe of the slide and move the streambed away from the toe of the slide by allowing it to erode the other side of the bank. The contract for the consultant to look at this solution has been approved, and we expect the study to be completed within six months.

Quail Hollow Bridge Replacement 

This project is on schedule to be awarded in May 2003 with construction during the summer of 2003.

Improving the Creek Trail inside the Park 

This project is to improve the trail from the parking lot and includes replacing the stairs with a more gradual ramp. Some erosion control and landscaping/irrigation is also included

Connecting the Trail into the Park 

The Board of Directors of the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority has approved our request to spend $400,000 of OSA funds for the acquisition of land to allow San Jose to build a trail from Dorel Drive into Alum Rock Park.

This section of the Penitencia Creek Trail is the only section between King Road and Alum Rock Park that is not in public ownership. The proposed trail will run generally along the north edge of Penitencia Creek Road. It will add a much needed and safer pedestrian access into Alum Rock Park and will allow us to link the Penitencia Creek Trail with the Bay Area Ridge Trail. Environmental impact assessment and design work remain to be done, and we have to find funding for the construction of the trail. 

----- 

Chuck Reed is the San Jose City Councilmember for District 4. His district is generally north and west of our area and includes Berryessa, part of Alum Rock Park and Alviso. Visit the District 4 Web site at http://www.ci.san-jose.ca.us/council/dist4/ to learn more about Chuck and what he is doing. You can use the NNV Contacts Page to identify and contact your local and state elected representatives. Click here for an illustration of the landslide.  Click here for more about the history of Alum Rock Park. NNV

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Notable Neighbors

Keith Bush, Artist in Residence

By Robert Sletten

As you walk or drive around our neighborhood you may have seen some rather large metal sculptures. These were designed and built by Keith Bush, our artist in residence on Highland Drive. Keith and his wife LaJune moved to their home on the hill on December 31, 1968. LaJune has often stated that, "Keith has his first car (a classic `32 Ford), his first house (Highland Drive) and his first wife (LaJune)."

After graduating from Fresno State University, Keith began his teaching career at Mt. Pleasant High School. After a successful career in the classroom as an Industrial Education teacher, Keith completed his educational experience as an Administrative Director in the district. All of this time, Keith has been involved with his love of art and sculpture. After retiring, Keith has very actively been working on his art. If one walks on Highland Drive, Alta Vista and East Alta Vista, there are five of Keith's sculptures that are viewable. They have enhanced the homes of Howard Campen, John and Shari Levitt, Bob and Adrienne Sletten, Mike and Laurie Orlando and the Bushes' home as well.

Keith is a professional member of the International Sculpture Center. His art exemplifies his logo that "Big Art is Cool." An example of big would be his work "Portal" in Willow Glen Park. Portal is several thousand pounds of creative excellence. Keith was chosen by the Willow Glen Art Beautification Committee for this project.

On a smaller scale Keith has been painting in what he may call "Capricious Art" which is more of a form of abstract artwork. Keith has exhibited his art in many exhibitions in the last few years, and if you are doing a walk down Highland Drive and see him working in his studio, he is always willing to show you his latest creation.

In addition to his art, Keith has many varied interests including swimming (LaJune proudly notes that "he was Valley champion at Fresno High School"), biking, triathlons, marathons and a love of classic cars. Not bad for a guy that went to Fresno State. (Just kidding; the author is a graduate of San Jose State!!!!!!!)

Keith, thanks for making our neighborhood a special place to live with your beautiful sculptures. If you would like to view Keith's work it is at http://www.sculpture.org.

Robert Sletten (go Spartans) 

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To see Keith's sculptures, click on the Web address above or paste it to your Web browser. This is one of those Web sites where the URL is the same for all the pages. To find Keith's sculptures, click on the Home Page to enter the site, click on Portfolio, click on List of Sculptors and then click on Keith Bush's name near the bottom of the second block of names. Click here for more photos of Keith and his sculptures.

NNV plans to feature a "Notable Neighbor" on a regular basis. If you would like to recommend (or write about) an outstanding neighbor, please let us know.

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State Budget Crisis 

Local Healthcare Issues and Call to Action 

By State Assemblymember Manny Diaz, 23rd Assembly District

Congratulations to Judy Thompson for bringing us the New Neighborhood Voice newsletter. Communication with our community is one of my most important objectives.

I hope you have enjoyed the holiday season! It is difficult to believe that I am beginning my second term as your State Assemblymember for the 23rd District. I wish to thank you for your continued support. As the state legislature begins its new session, we are faced with national and state news that is bleak, especially with regard to the economy and budget issues. However, we still have much to be thankful for. We need to remind ourselves to be thankful for family and friends and for being able to enjoy our wonderful communities in a land that is free.

State Budget Crisis 

Governor Gray Davis called a special session of the Legislature on Monday, December 9 to begin to tackle a $10.2 billion spending reduction package that will impact schools, health care, traffic relief, poor working families, and hundreds of state workers.

There is no way one can discuss the state budget crisis without saying that it is indeed a terrible crisis and the only way we are going to solve this problem is with a balanced approach that includes both budget cuts and additional revenues. During last year's budget deficit, the legislature responded by making more than $7 billion in cuts to state programs. Today we face a deficit approaching $34.8 billion! As your state representative, I will work hard to minimize the impacts through whatever methods we can. There is no easy answer, but please know that I will be working for a balanced solution that keeps the doors open at our schools, keeps police and firefighters on our streets and protects the most vulnerable Californians.

Local Healthcare Issues 

Like many other counties throughout California, Santa Clara County is facing a difficult challenge in preserving a quality and viable health care delivery system. For these reasons, I convened a public hearing on December 4, 2002, in collaboration with key stakeholders who included the South Bay Labor Council, the Save the San Jose Hospital Coalition, educators and key community leaders, to research and seek solutions to the issues that have put our community at the brink of a health care crisis. Over 300 people attended and heard experts from both the state legislature and from Santa Clara County health care providers. We heard testimony on the plans for the potential closure of our downtown hospital and expansion of the Regional Medical Center (formerly Alexian Brothers Hospital).

Call to Action 

The hearing outcome resulted in a call to action as follows:

To support the establishment of a County Health Care Commission that will evaluate staffing standards in local hospitals and inform the community regarding the adequacy of staffing levels.
To call for the completion of needs assessments for potentially underserved parts of the region: one needs assessment on the East side and one in downtown San Jose, to ensure that HCA actions at Regional Medical Center and San Jose Medical Center provide essential health services to the community.
To create a working group that will evaluate promising options to ensure that medical services provided at San Jose Medical Center are not lost to the community.
To support efforts to assist low-wage workers, including janitors, childcare workers and temporary workers, to secure access to affordable health insurance.
To support efforts and coalition building in developing means to quality health care that is more accessible and affordable to all Santa Clara County residents.

Silicon Valley's current economic situation has forced many employers to drop health plans, leaving many working families without health insurance. In addition, the growing shortage of health care workers in Santa Clara County has already begun to affect access to health care. Everyone is concerned about the plummeting access to quality health care. This is why it is important that state and local elected officials and community leaders understand and support ways in which we can work to resolve health care needs. The hearing on December 4th was what I propose to be the first in a series and I will continue to invite you to attend future hearings or contact me if you have any ideas or recommendations.

Please feel free to contact my district office at (408) 269-6500, 100 Paseo De San Antonio, Suite 319, San Jose, CA 95113 or email me at assemblymember.diaz@assembly.ca.gov. You can also access state information on http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a23/.  

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Manny Diaz is the California State Assemblymember for Assembly District 23. His district generally covers the area south and west of Crothers Road and north of Mount Hamilton Road and then south and west of Fleming Avenue. There are two other state Assemblymembers who represent other portions of Zip Code 95127. Click here to use the NNV Contacts Page to identify and contact your local and state elected representatives. NNV

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FYI: Fleming Hubbub and Alum Rock Stables

The hubbub going on along the western edge of Fleming Avenue will be with us for a while. The County is installing sidewalks from Alum Rock Avenue to Mahoney Drive and around the corner to Joseph George Middle School. According to Tanya Freudenberger, a neighbor on Piazza Way, the work gums up traffic and creates extra hazards for the kids walking to school so she asks us to avoid using Fleming as a cut-through between Alum Rock Avenue and Story Road, if we can. If we can't avoid it, she asks us to please drive carefully and help keep the children safe. The sidewalk project has been a long time coming and is being realized through the efforts of a neighborhood coalition and PACT, People Acting in Community Together, a group most active in our neighborhood. The cooperation and accountability of our Santa Clara County Supervisor, Pete McHugh, also deserve note. Next month: More about PACT.

There's a chance that the beleaguered Alum Rock Stables will enjoy another reincarnation if the non-profit Bay Area Barns and Trails group can organize it. The San Jose Mercury News (12/27/02, Page 1B) reported that this group, which saves historic barns and open space from oblivion, may rescue the moribund property and perhaps make the pleasant sound of horses' hooves part of the fabric of our neighborhood again. Stay tuned!

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New NNV Web Site and Community Bulletin Board

Let Us Publicize Your Events!

Yes, New Neighborhood Voice has a new, speedy Web site at http://www.NNVESJ.org. Please update your bookmarks or favorites. You can click on these Web addresses or copy them to your browser or AOL. Be careful to avoid copying a period at the end of the Web address. Also, please note that I have a new e-mail address, JudyET@NNVESJ.org. My old e-mail, JudyET@AOL.com will still work for those who prefer AOL.

The latest addition to the NNV Web site is a Community Bulletin Board to list events of interest to our area. Current listings include free Tai Chi classes, the winter hours for the YSI Nature Center in Alum Rock Park, plans for the East Foothills Home Tour next June and Sonja's exercise invitation. You can publicize your events by sending the information to JudyET@NNVESJ.org. Please include your name and phone number in case we have questions.

Our Web site also has the current edition of the newsletter with a few photos illustrating the stories, related stories, archives of our previous issues and letters to the editor. We welcome any comments on our Web site.

Special thanks to the writers, photographers and others who contributed stories, photos, letters and help with the Web site for this edition of NNV - and for the donations to help fund our Web site and other expenses. We appreciate your support. We plan to introduce the work of at least two new writers in the next edition. If you would like to write articles or essays, please let us know!

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