Judge Paul Teilh
Officer Juan Diaz
Stained glass replica
Mayor Gonzales and
Special Eggs at the
Santa's chair ready
|Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Donations appreciated as NNV begins third year|
|Regional Prepares for Possible December Trauma Center Review by Bill Gilbert, CEO|
|Congressman Pombo Pushing For Road Over Mt. Hamilton by Scott Restivo|
|NNV Notable Neighbor: “Major-General The Hon. Paul R. Teilh” by Ed Allegretti|
|Death Valley: A Community Experience by Bill Rice, JLHS Director|
|Cuban-American Assumes Wildland Officer Position for SJFD: Captain Juan Diaz|
|Crothers Road Zoroastrian Temple – A Picture Story|
|Latter-Day “Jesus” Visits Future Vineyard by Ed Allegretti|
|A Prayer for Christmas Eve, A time to remember from Carol Schultz|
|Dorothy “D.J.” Johnson - A “Profile in Birdage”|
|You Dig It?|
|Pigeon Poop Problem - Dirty Birds will keep Birds-Eye view until 2006!|
|FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)|
A million thanks to our wonderful NNV readers who made a donation toward helping to sustain the newsletter. Last month, in the November edition, we asked for some support from NNV’s on-line subscribers. Our subscribers who receive the paper edition already make an annual donation (usually $10 - $15 per year) to help pay for paper, ink and postage. We are happy to know that our on-line subscribers also value their New Neighborhood Voice enough to respond to our appeal with donation checks or credit card contributions. Thank you so much!
Many readers sent notes of appreciation with their checks making us feel very good about our efforts to keep communications flourishing in our little area east of San Jose. In case you’re wondering, New Neighborhood Voice is not a money-making project for anyone. We always seem to be reduced to operating slightly in the red so your donations are very important.
If there are readers who would still like to make a donation, your support truly will be appreciated. You can make out a check to “New Neighborhood Voice” and mail it to us at 16174 Highland Drive, San Jose, CA 95127.
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We seem to be covering a wider and wider area as time goes by. We started out with the notion of covering just the neighborhoods east from Alum Rock Village because that’s the area we know best. However, it soon became obvious that our little community doesn’t operate in a vacuum and we are inextricably part of a larger whole. It is thrilling to us to see the new connections forged by the newsletter and our constantly growing readership. We appreciate your recommending NNV to your friends and neighbors. The more readers we serve, the more worthwhile our effort.
As we did last year, we will take the month of December off so we can have a breather and a normal holiday season. So, we will wish you Wonderful Holidays and Happy New Year now and remind you to look for the next new edition of NNV early in February, 2005.
Judy and Allan Thompson
Regional Medical Center of San Jose continues to gear up aggressively in its efforts to gain trauma center designation from the County of Santa Clara. RMCSJ has retained the same trauma physician group that created the San Jose Medical Center trauma center almost 20 years ago. RMCSJ is expanding its Intensive Care Unit capacity and bringing over experienced trauma nurses, OR teams, respiratory therapists and other professionals as trauma services phase out at SJMC. Although the County has not yet committed to a date, the hospital is prepared for on-site review as early as mid-December.
RMCSJ is also expanding non-trauma emergency and urgent care capacity. A new Urgent Care Center will open at the hospital sometime mid-December and will be open 12 hours a day (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.). The new center will have an initial capacity of 1,000 to 1,500 visits per month, and can expand capacity if demand for the service is above that level. RMCSJ has added nine beds to the Emergency Department and is doubling ED physician/physician assistant staffing, as well as increasing nurse staffing.
o Trauma services deal with blunt or penetrating injuries, i.e. those arising from traffic accidents, falls, construction accidents, shootings or stabbing.
o Emergency services address injuries and illnesses, from sprained ankles and flu symptoms to strokes and heart attacks.
Other quality programs from SJMC are making their migration to the RMCSJ campus. Staff and equipment from SJMC’s out-patient surgery center are both already in place. RMCSJ’s brand new cardiac Cath lab will open in early December, combining state of the art technology with the experienced Cath lab team from SJMC. The Wound Care Center, treating patients with persistent wounds that will not heal, opened December 1.
In terms of expansion, a key date for East Side residents is the general plan hearing at the City Council on Tuesday, December 14th. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the EIR, master plan and zoning to the Council. Approval by the City Council will bring us closer to ground-breaking for the new medical office building and expanded and enhanced acute care facilities.
Medical specialists who have wanted to locate in east San Jose have been unable to do so for years because of a shortage of medical office space. The new MOB will house outpatient services, including the Cancer Care Institute and Radiation Therapy, as well as space for specialists who have wanted to serve the people of east San Jose but who simply have not been able to open offices there. The expansion will mean people who live in east San Jose will have neighborhood access to a higher level of healthcare service they now drive miles to receive. Expanded ICU and Emergency Department capacity, enhanced surgery suites, a top level neo-natal intensive care unit — all of these enhancements mean improved access to quality healthcare.
William L. Gilbert, CEO
Regional Medical Center of San Jose
225 North Jackson Avenue
San Jose, California 95116-1691
NNV Note: The letter above was updated on 12/6/04. Click here to read our last article on the Regional Medical Center expansion.
Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Tracy) has been pushing for a six-lane highway over the Mt. Diablo Range from I-680 near Alum Rock to I-5 near Patterson in the Central Valley for several years. In September 2004, he announced that funding for a federal feasibility study would be included in the House Transportation Bill that is likely to pass this legislative session.
This will bring this road one step closer, but certain basic questions about it have not been adequately addressed by Pombo or other road supporters. Is the road actually a solution, or will it end up congested soon after completion? Are there better uses for the money that would be spent on it? What about the adverse impact on the lands and wildlife of the remote region it would pass through? Are there alternative solutions that would prove wiser to pursue?
Understandably, people stuck in traffic over the Altamont Pass want relief from the congestion. But is this new road the answer? Here are some questions this proposed highway raises:
1. Will this actually solve any traffic congestion problems? It is likely
that if the highway is built, many housing developments will go up at the
eastern end of the road in Patterson and surrounding areas. Houses in this
region will initially be less expensive than the ones in San Jose. The new
highway will seem like an easy commute at first due to relatively few cars using
it. People would tend to move out to the Patterson area to get more house for
their money. However, these people will have to drive over the new highway to
get to Silicon Valley jobs. In all likelihood, the road will soon be crowded,
and then more crowded, and in a very short time, we could easily have Altamont
By building this highway, we are just furthering suburban sprawl. More highways don't solve most commuting problems, since they just spread the developments out further. Sprawl increases air pollution, lengthens commute times, and consumes land and resources.
2. Pombo’s proposal does not consider other ways to solve the commuting problem. Regional solutions that address housing, jobs and transportation are needed. Some cities are working on "in-fill", that is, programs to build and enhance housing inside the cities. The proper incentives can attract both businesses and housing to stay local, such as live/work clusters at transportation hubs and mortgage assistance. BART can be extended to San Jose. Also, there can be better programs to help people buy local housing, even if it is more costly.
In the Central Valley, an economic stimulus plan could provide good jobs near
where people are living. Pombo’s opponent in the 2004 election, Jerry McNerney,
proposed a tax incentive and stimulus package that would jump start a renewable
energy industry in the Tracy/Stockton region. Creative and thoughtful solutions
like this are needed. Commuters at forums in the Tracy region have said
repeatedly that instead of having to choose which long highway to take to
Silicon Valley, they would rather work closer to home and have short, local
commutes. This means job creation in the Central Valley.
It seems Pombo is taking the simple, but often mistaken, path of "build more roads". This won't solve the problem, though it is a politically expedient fix.
3. The area that the road would traverse is remote and very rural. It is a
great area for wildlife, and a home to endangered and threatened species. It is
remote enough that it has been considered a site for endangered California
Condors to be released. The area is not pristine wilderness, but it is one of
the few really big habitat stretches left near the Bay area. A highway through
it will slice it up. Current routes through the area, Route 130, Mines Road, and
Del Puerto Canyon Road, are winding, two-lane roads that don’t see much traffic.
4. Lick Observatory will be adversely affected because of the light from cars and whatever other development goes out there along with the highway.
5. Neighborhoods on both sides of the road will be impacted, especially the
East San Jose/Alum Rock area. People have mentioned other places to join 680,
but it looks like the highway will have to plow through some portion of the Alum
Rock area. On the other side, residents have said they do not want a highway up
Del Puerto Canyon out of Patterson.
6. Apparently, no other Bay Area representative is coming out in support of this highway. If the road was a good idea, other politicians and community leaders would be supporting it.
7. Pombo wants the road constructed to handle passenger cars and not trucks
or buses. This may lower construction costs, but it also excludes mass transit
from using this highway.
In conclusion, we have to counterbalance Pombo’s push for this road with other sensible alternatives. He is aiming for a fix that appeals to frustrated commuters, but that may not actually solve the problem. Other solutions could bolster and improve our communities by keeping jobs and workers local, by cutting pollution and traffic, and by saving us from extended suburban sprawl.
We have to closely consider the impact this road would have on communities on both ends of it and on the habitat in between. By seeking funding for a Federal feasibility study, Pombo is taking the first concrete steps to seeing this road built. Especially for people and neighborhoods that will be harmed by its construction, it is time to keep a close eye on what the representative from the 11th Congressional District is up to and how it will affect your homes and communities.
NNV Note: Scott Restivo is a computer programmer who lives in San Ramon, part of the 11th Congressional District. He helps run the www.VotePomboOut.org website, which seeks to inform citizens about Rep. Pombo's on-going crusade against many of our most important environmental laws and regulations.
Click here for NNV's last article on Pombo's Road or click here for the Greenbelt Alliance Alert on Pombo's Road.
Caskey Country Club Properties, Call Larry and Barbara Caskey at (408) 926-5400
E.M.S. LLC, Environmental
Management Systems, (408) 501-4200
Windermere Silicon Valley
Properties, (408) 251-5860
Keith Bush, Artist/Sculptor, (408) 923-6666, www.keithbush.org
The financial planning firm PW
Papier, (408) 747-1222
Yes, the title of this article probably causes most readers to think they are reading about a character out of a Jane Austen novel or some aristocratic squire from days gone by in Old England. Yet I think this introduction of our notable neighbor, with his titles proudly mentioned, is appropriate - just as it is accurate - in comparing him to an Old English squire. Those who recall their history well know that the squires in times past were the conservative, long serving leaders and landowners in their districts. They were the men who helped to run the local parish, who served as the area magistrate, often they were the head of the territorial army, and they were always prominent landowners. I think in many ways Judge Teilh represents the squires of old who served their communities long and well in these various positions of leadership.
So, is it true the Judge Teilh is a local landowner, parish leader, magistrate, and military leader? The interesting answer to these questions is yes! He first appeared in our area in 1916 when he was born in San Francisco to two early citizens of that city who originally came from France. It was his good fortune to be sent by these parents to Catholic schools in San Francisco where he graduated from Sacred Heart High School. Upon his graduation, he then matriculated to the University of California at Berkeley. Unlike most judges, he received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry.
Due to the poor job market of that time, he was not able to find employment using his chemistry degree. He did obtain a job working for the City of San Francisco as first office assistant to the Director of Public Works. This position and the contacts he made through it helped him in his career where, after his service in World War II, he attained the position of secretary to the San Francisco County Clerk. His hard work and diligence led to further advancement in that office up to the job of Chief Criminal Deputy.
What was good for Judge Teilh’s career was also good for the people of Santa Clara County. He successfully completed the County Clerk exam and was the first appointed Clerk of the County. Additionally, in 1957, he passed the California bar. During his 11 years of service, his position as Clerk was combined with that of County Recorder. He left this important post in 1966 when he was elected a Municipal Judge; he held this position continuously until 1980 when he was elected to the Superior Court of Santa Clara County.
In 1986 Judge Teilh officially retired. However, at the time of his official retirement he was in the middle of an important criminal case. In order to finish this trial, the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court appointed him to an “Assignment,” which allowed him to serve two additional months as a Superior Court Judge. Judge Teilh accepted this arrangement and has continuously accepted an Assignment every two months for 18 years!! He didn’t mention to this writer when these bi-monthly Assignments might end; maybe they shall not for many more years to come!
What kind of judge is The Hon. Paul Teilh? He is a man of few but carefully chosen words and when asked this question he replied, “conservative.” When asked to comment on this further he did mention he is against the “Three Strikes” law and is considered more lenient than some of his fellow judges, whom he suggested might tell us more about him. That he has an autographed photograph of President and Mrs. Bush displayed in his office as well as a “Survivor of the 1st Annual LA Riot” t-shirt may give more clues about his opinions.
So now the reader knows Judge Teilh holds the title, “Honorable” due to his position as a local magistrate; actually he is the longest serving Superior Court Judge in Santa Clara County. Where, though, might you ask, does the title, “Maj.-Gen.” come from? The beginning of the answer to this question was in 1934 when he joined the California National Guard. He served in the National Guard continually for forty years until his retirement in 1973. During those years he saw, without complaint as he proudly and appropriately shared, five years of active duty service in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre during World War II. Aside from other decorations, he was awarded a combat campaign ribbon with bronze star. Also, in addition to his World War II service, he was Field Commander of the National Guard during the Watts Riots in Los Angeles where he felt this assignment not too unusual because of the many riots that occurred there. Due to his long and good service, he received promotions and at the time of his retirement held the rank of Major General.
As has been mentioned, most squires of old were not only magistrates and leaders of the local military, but they were also leaders in the local parish and were landowners. Does Judge Teilh qualify for these additional distinctions? I think that he certainly does for he is a long time member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church and was the first president of the Parish Council where he helped to oversee finances, church maintenance, revenue generation, and other parish matters. I certainly think that being a resident of our East Foothills since 1961 qualifies him as a local landowner, but for those insisting that a squire most own land in a bigger way, his proprietorship of a cattle ranch in Tehama County should satisfy these picky readers. It should be further noted that he has served the community in other capacities, such as a Director of the Board of the Civic Light Opera, but that as a judge he is not allowed to raise funds for any organizations. In addition to his community activities he does enjoy playing bridge and is a member of the San Jose Country Club. No doubt he is an excellent bridge player. One can know this because he admits to not playing golf because he, with his competitive nature, didn’t do sufficiently well at it!
Judge Teilh has LaRue Teilh as his friendly and socially active wife. They’ve been married for 45 years. He has two step-daughters. His first wife is deceased and sadly so is his only son. His daughter from his first marriage, though, follows her father’s ambitious example by having been a nun, assistant district attorney, lawyer and nurse! We in the East Foothills are indeed fortunate to have our own “squire” who has served our community long and well in the best tradition of service. Maybe you’ll see him one day riding the Light Rail which he takes downtown every work day!
Click here for photos of Judge Teilh.
Because she retired from teaching last year, for the first time in the last seventeen years, Crothers Road denizen and long time James Lick High School science teacher, Nella Henninger, did not accompany thirty or more students to Death Valley National Park. Click here to read what she wrote about the trip last year and what the students learn during this week-long trek to Death Valley and here for the photos.
Throughout the East Side Union High School District, this annual field studies trip has been a highly regarded educational experience afforded students at James Lick. What is not known, however, is the role that so many East Side residents play in making this event possible. Let’s begin with the “Hillcresters.” This benevolent organization gives scholarship money to local high schools. At James Lick this year they also added a fund for students who cannot afford certain educational experiences like SAT test fees or books. In order to attend the Death Valley trip, students must pay a fee of $250.00. Most students do fund raisers like selling candy or cookie dough to raise these funds. This year, two of the students fell short of their goal but were able to attend the trip because we used the “Hillcresters” fund to augment their money. The real story, though, are the many individual volunteers who give a week out of their work and family life to make Death Valley possible for the high schoolers.
A major part of this trip is the food. How do you manage a week’s worth of food for thirty ravenous teenagers and fifteen adults on a camping trip? Not to worry, Nancy Valby of Fairway Dr. is on the job. An alumna of James Lick (class of ’69), Nancy became introduced to the Death Valley trip through her two sons (David ’93 and Russell ’94). This was her twelfth Death Valley trip. Nancy ran the food tent like an army mess sergeant. Each morning at 7:00, six tubs of food were laid out, one for each of the six student food groups. Students were responsible for preparing their own breakfasts and doing cleanup. While students ate breakfast, Nancy and her support team methodically filled forty-five lunch bags, trying as much as possible to meet the individual requests of each person. Lunch meat, peanut butter or tuna? Carrots or fruit or both? Cookie? Snack? Drink? Then at the end of the day under lights of lanterns, another six tubs of food are set out for dinner. Over the years Nancy has learned a lot about Death Valley, so when she is not organizing food, she shares her knowledge of the park with students during their daily excursions.
Perhaps the most popular person on the trip was Alan Azzarello of Rennie Street. Alan is a local contractor who shuts his business down each year for a week so he can participate in the Death Valley trip. This began in 1995 when his son Michael attended as a student at Lick. Each year Alan shows up at 3:00 in the morning on the designated Saturday to chauffer nine students in one of the rented vans. He leads the ten-hour caravan from San Jose to Death Valley, but it is when they arrive at their camp site that Alan gains his popularity. He is the main cook for the adult volunteers. He does an excellent job barbecuing, boiling, and frying breakfast and dinner. His specialty seems to be bacon. Alan drives all week and leads most of the hikes as he dances from rock to rock like some sort of two-legged goat. He also kept the whole group laughing with his pesky antics. Luis Cordeiro was the victim of many of Alan’s antics. This good natured HP employee lives off Flint Ave. and was attending his sixth trip. If ever you were to be lost in the wilderness with someone, it should be Luis. He owns every hiking and camping gimmick available in the REI catalog.
Easily the most interesting character on the trip was Lonnie Mateo, who was on his fourteenth trip. He began in 1990 when his oldest son, Joshua, was at Lick. Lonnie, who lives off Miguelito on Soelro, knows just about anything you would want to know about Death Valley, hiking, camping, and life. His unassuming personality makes him approachable for the kids, and he happily shares his time and expertise. Floyd Elliot, retired FMC engineer, was on his eleventh trip. He transports much of the equipment in his personal truck. Floyd lives on Warner Heights with his much more famous wife, the beloved Mrs. Elliot, who taught kindergarten at Linda Vista Elementary School for over thirty years. This year’s lone parent volunteer was Ricardo Pelayo, whose son Marco is a senior at Lick. Of course my favorite volunteer was Alan Craig, also a resident of Soelro Drive. Alan is an amateur pilot, so he and I climbed in his twin engine Cardinal on Saturday, October 23, and two and one half hours later we were touching down at Stove Pipe Wells on the floor of Death Valley to join for lunch the caravan that had departed San Jose ten hours earlier. Alan had me home by Monday late afternoon.
This trip is more than a phenomenal educational experience for the lucky high school students. It is a James Lick tradition made possible only by the dedication and commitment of East Side residents. It was easy for me to understand the commitment and sacrifice the adults made. They love working with the kids, they thrill year after year at the wonders of Death Valley, and they truly enjoy each other’s company. Who wouldn’t enjoy spending a week in the company of this engaging group of people? I know that my two and one half days was not enough.
Bill Rice, James Lick Director
Click here for some photos from this year's Death Valley Trip.
With the tiniest hint of a Cuban lilt in his speech, Fire Captain Juan Diaz told NNV about himself and his latest assignment with the San Jose Fire Department. For most of this year, there had been a gap in the department’s special coverage of “Wildland Urban Interface” (WUI) areas such as ours here along the edge of the East foothills. Late in October, Juan was named to the Wildland Officer position. “I volunteered,” he said, “because I wanted a new challenge!”
It’s not as though he will be able to spend all his time working to make hazardous areas safer because he has a bunch of other duties to perform. He is the Field Operations Officer who handles day to day operations and he also acts as a liaison among all the A Shift battalion chiefs. He thinks we will have his attention on wildfire hazards about 20% of his working hours. Among other duties related to the Wildland Officer position, Juan will be the primary SJFD representative to the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council where he will work with the other fire departments in the County and help coordinate their County-wide wildfire prevention and education activities.
Juan lives in San Jose’s New Almaden area which itself has many high fire danger zones, including areas where housing backs up to Almaden Quicksilver County Park, so he’s quite familiar with the problems inherent in people building homes in places that have historically burned periodically. He is enthusiastic about sharing the message of making homes as “fire safe” as possible in his own community as well as ours. He and his wife (who incidentally is an SJPD officer) have three young children so they obviously have a vested interest in improved fire safety.
Juan came to the U.S. when he was fifteen years old. He and his parents and two sisters came to this country on a shrimp boat in May of 1980 during what became known as the Mariel Boatlift. They were looking for freedom and prosperity, he says. After living with many other Cuban refugees in Miami for six months, his family relocated to San Jose where an uncle lived. Juan says that his uncle “highly recommended San Jose as a good place to raise a family.” Good call, Tio!
“I decided to become a firefighter when I witnessed a fire in San Jose at the Coastal Oil Company on Alum Rock Avenue. I then visited the firehouse at 3rd Street and Martha and just fell in love with the camaraderie of firefighters and their dedication to the profession. I have never met a firefighter that did not like their job, and thus I thought maybe that is something I can do (help others, fight fires) and enjoy it as they did,” he explained.
Juan has an associate degree in Fire Science from Mission College and is a Certified Fire Inspector and Fire Officer. He has been a member of the SJFD for sixteen years – eight of them as a captain. He has a keen interest in antiques and history and is involved in the “fire museum” which is home to interesting old fire equipment which he likes to burnish and restore. He also has a 1956 Cadillac which he restored. He says he loves being outdoors here because it reminds him of Cuba. Obviously, he doesn’t let any grass grow under his feet!
Battalion Chief Jose Luna whose battalion includes Station 2 on Alum Rock Avenue, points out that Captain Diaz is a very modest man. Chief Luna says “Juan is an extremely competent fire officer and has shown tremendous leadership abilities.” Sounds to NNV like an excellent person to inspire us and our communities to address the need for optimal fire hazard awareness.
Click here for a photo of Captain Diaz. Captain Ralph Ortega previously held the SJFD Wildland Officer position. Click here to read what he wrote, including his great list of all the things we should be doing this winter to get our homes ready for fire season next year. Juan says he’d like to see more people work on the items on this list. Click here for the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council’s 20-page Guide for Homeowners, Living With Fire in Santa Clara County, if you’d like more information.
Click here for the SJFD Web site. Click here for the San Jose Fire Museum Web site. Click here to learn more about the Mariel Boatlift.
(This newsletter is in two sections to reduce the download time for this page)
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Copyright© 2004 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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Copyright© 2004-2005 by Judy Thompson. All rights reserved. Updated 4/1/05.