New Neighborhood Voice

Newsletter - Edition 28 - Section 1

August 7, 2005

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Click on a thumbnail to view larger photos - More photos are in Section 2

Nora Conte

Library User


What's under
this cover?

And what's

Where are we?


New Alum Rock
Library Art

"Lick Observatory"

Rally at City Hall


Life Flight Helicopter at RMC


SJEE Rotary
Club Meeting


Early California Settlers
reburied at Calvary


Honor Night



Alum Rock County Library 1942-2005

Darla, the


Nancy B. Gutierrez


Nancy Gutierrez ...

And Cynthia Perez at the ...

First Annual Urban
Arts Festival


Linda Vista
Dance Festival


Linda Vista

Newsletter Headlines

bulletOn Time AND Under Budget!! Grand Opening of Our New Library from Lorraine Oback, SJPL
bulletNNV Gets a Sneak Peek Before Grand Opening of the Library
bullet“Alum Rock Garden” Public Art Sings at New Library
bulletWater Tender Saved at Station 2 – For Now
bulletMore than 100 Patients Seen at RMC Trauma Center Since June Opening
bulletNeighbors Coalesce to Fight Auto Repair Shop at McKee/Vista by Elaine Travers
bulletApply for a Library Card, Pay Fines from Home, Work or School! from Lorraine Oback, SJPL
bulletBoards and Commissions Vacancies in District Three from County Supervisor Pete McHugh
bulletFinal Results of Santa Clara County Library May 3 Special Election by Melinda Cervantes
bulletSan Jose East/Evergreen Rotarians Hear Santa Clara County FireSafe Council Message
bullet“Calvary Cemetery – 1882 to the 21st Century” Part II - Eternal rest in East San Jose
bulletNNV Briefs
bulletGrieving Parr Eves Follows Pastor Wife Mary Parker-Eves in Death by Donna Furuta
bulletLick 2005 Award Night JLHS - “Best and Brightest” light up the night
bulletLittle Old County Alum Rock Library Branch Fades Away
bulletRenaissance Academy Co-Founder, Nancy B. Gutierrez, Honored
bulletFirst Annual (?) Urban Arts Festival - Renaissance Academy/JLHS collaboration
bulletHigh-Energy Dance Festival at Linda Vista was a Community Event by Sandra Dixon
bulletFifth-Graders' Rite of Passage at Linda Vista by Sandra Dixon
bulletLyndale Elementary - New California Distinguished School! This schoolhouse rocked!
bulletRichard Brown’s Alum Rock Park Photo of the Month - “Downy Puff Muffin”
bulletOn the Avenue – Alum Rock Avenue: Big, new Wonderful Library
bulletOn the Road – McKee Road: Boon or Bone of contention?
bulletSplendiferous New Mural at Hubbard Elementary School
bulletThe Voice of the ‘Dozer is Heard Throughout the East Side
bulletBits of 1915 Natatorium Revealed in Alum Rock Park
bulletBeloved Thirty-Five Year YSI Resident Owl Passes Away by Dorothy "D.J." Johnson
bulletWine, Cheese and Dessert a la Theresa and Brian Bumb - For library supporters
bulletSan Jose Country Club - A New Face; Charming Brit at SJCC by Eileen Parks
bulletThe Butterflies of Alum Rock Park - Intriguing courtship habits revealed by "D.J." Johnson
bulletAlum Rock Park - July, 2005 - Haiku by Park Ranger Roger Abe
bulletYou Dig It?
bulletAugust Hot Topics by UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Bracey Tiede
bulletFAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
bulletDid the architects of our new library intentionally construct “pigeon perches”?
bulletCan we expect a better collection of books and materials in our new library than the old one?
bulletWhat kind of little trees have been installed along the sidewalks of the new library?
bulletWill the Mervyn’s store on Story Road become a Home Depot?
bulletThey’ve finally begun grading the big empty Bill’s Pony Ranch lot. What happens next?
bulletWhat in the world is happening at the James Lick High School sports fields?
bulletWhy did they cut down the big eucalyptus trees which used to be on the Lick athletic fields?
bulletHow’s come there are funds to build new athletic fields in ESUHSD now?
bulletWhy don’t “they” fix the front entrance to Lick High?
bulletIs it true that James Lick High School has a full time policeman on the campus?

Other Sections:  Letters to the Editor  Deer Resistant Plants  Community Bulletin Board  NNV Archives

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On Time AND Under Budget!!

Grand Opening of the Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Community Branch Library

Marks New City/County Collaboration in Library Service Delivery

From Lorraine Oback, Marketing Communications Director, San José Public Library

New Library Facts:

• Size: 26,000 sq. ft.

• Collections: 137,000 items

• Seats: 145

• Public Computers: 50

• Group Study areas: Space for 25 persons

• Storytelling Area: Space for 38 persons

• Community Room: Space for 100 persons

Alum Rock neighborhood residents gathered Saturday, July 9, to celebrate the opening of a new and significantly larger library, replacing the county-operated 6,890 sq. ft. library that has served the area since mid-1978. The opening of the Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Community Branch Library adds a branch to the San Jose Public Library system and reflects an agreement by the City of San Jose to assume primary responsibility for providing library services to the Alum Rock neighborhood with continued financial support from the County of Santa Clara. The 26,000 sq. ft. facility designed by Franco Associates Architects, AIA and The Colyer Freeman Group, LLP and constructed by West Bay Builders, Inc. has an estimated 137,000 items in its collection, excluding periodicals. The international languages component includes a large selection of Spanish-language materials.

"This beautiful new library is the result of San Jose residents voting to increase our community's investment in learning in all our neighborhoods," said Mayor Ron Gonzales. "The Alum Rock branch will be a wonderful tribute to Dr. Roberto Cruz and a welcome addition to this part of San Jose."

The Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Community Branch Library is the fourth library to be completed under the $212 million library branch bond program approved by voters in November 2000. The library worked with community representatives and the design team to achieve its vision for dynamic spaces and experiences that addressed the needs and preferences of the local community.

"The Alum Rock Village is well known for the character and charm of its shops, restaurants, and community," said Councilmember Nora Campos. "The Dr. Roberto Cruz Library will add a marketplace of knowledge that will become part of an already vibrant business district."

Highlights of the new branch include an Internet Café, a Community Living Room with a fireplace, a Technology Lab, a Family Learning Center, Group and Quiet Study Areas, and a Community Room, as well as significantly more space for seating, collections and computers. The Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Community Branch Library is the second of four libraries designated to operate a Family Learning Center, each offering educational activities tailored to the needs of the local community, but all intended to provide children with the skills and confidence that they need to achieve their full potential and to enable parents to provide a supportive learning environment. As an example, the Alum Rock library will offer English-as-a-Second Language classes through a partnership with East Side Union High School District.

Public art at the new library features four large terrazzo discs inset in the floors, each with a complementary skylight well, that reflect historic, cultural, nature and community themes of the Alum Rock neighborhood and San José. The art was conceived and executed by artists Jim Hirshfield and Sonya Ishii of Chapel Hill, NC, whose other public art commissions have included the Broward Boulevard Streetscape (Broward County, FL) and the Historic Electric Streetcar Project (Tampa, FL). The library project incorporated “green” design principles and was completed with a total project cost of $16.6 million more than $200,000 under budget, with the San Jose Redevelopment Agency funding $3.1 million (total cost includes $5.6 million in land acquisition).

The Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Community Branch Library is adjacent to the old library at 75 South White Road, which closed on May 28 to make way for a new parking lot.

Following a dedication ceremony that included remarks from City and Library officials, Library and Youth Commissioners, and KPIX South Bay Bureau Chief Len Ramirez, residents were free to explore the library; partake of refreshments, tours and a book giveaway; and enjoy a broad range of free entertainment. Face painting, costumed storybook characters, storytelling by community representatives including Councilmember Campos, NBC 11 News Reporter Damian Trujillo and Roberto Cruz II, poetry readings by local poet Roberto Duran and Mt. Pleasant High School Students, and musical performances by Mariachi Tapatio and the student choirs of Ryan Elementary and St. John Vianney all helped to make the occasion a memorable one.

The library acknowledges and appreciates the generosity of numerous individuals and organizations that have supported the opening of the Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Community Branch Library with their contributions, including the following Major Founding Donors:

The Milligan Family Foundation - Children's Storytime Area
Theresa and Brian Bumb - Check Out Area
Stella B. Gross Charitable Trust - Partial funding for the Opening Day Collection
The Skoll Foundation - Teen Area Group Study Room
Hugh Stuart Center Trust - Partial funding for the Opening Day Collection
Councilmember Nora Campos, District 5, City of San José - Friends' Book Alcove
The Hillcresters - Partial funding for the Family Learning Center

Other Founding Donors are: Adam and Alexa Arreola, Ayupan and Rembulat Families, In Memory of William E. Bates, In Memory of Mary Garcia Bernal, In Memory of Michael Albert Caravayo, Tanya and Rick Freudenberger, Paul, Patti, and Kayla Henneke, Ned and Sheila Himmel, Charles B. Kuhn Memorial Fund, A.J. and Charlene Laymon Family, Chung V. Le Family, Jane Light, Pia Moriarty and Bob Hurd, James L. and Eileen Murphy, Mrs. Patricia Ross, Rotary Club of San José East/Evergreen, Wayne and Sandra Savage, Judy and Allan Thompson. Thirty-seven Community Donors also contributed to the branch.

The Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Community Branch Library is located at 3090 Alum Rock Avenue in San José. Current hours of operation are: Monday 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Tuesday - Wednesday 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM and Thursday - Saturday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. For general information, call (408) 808-3090.

Click here for photos of our new library. Keep reading for more stories on our new library and a farewell to the old County library.

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NNV Gets a Sneak Peek Before Grand Opening of the Library

Avoiding the crowds, your editor was able to take some “before” photos for you

And … Thank YOU for voting for new libraries!

Rich Desmond, Director of Branch Library Development for the City of San Jose, made us an offer we certainly couldn’t refuse. Just two days before the grand opening of the new library branch, he invited us for a “sneak peek” at the library and an opportunity to take some photos before the opening day masses descended. And it’s a really good thing that he did! There were more than 4,300 guests on hand on opening day, July 9th. It was a pleasure to have a personalized tour guided by Rich and to take some photos without bumping elbows with 4,299 other people!

Workmen were everywhere painting walls, stringing wires and hanging signs. The furniture had just been delivered that day (!) and was sitting in stiff rows waiting to be disbursed throughout the building. Books were being arranged on shelves, the carpeting was covered with fritter and in need of a good vacuuming. The terrazzo mandalas on the floor were covered with taped-down brown paper. Rich pulled up the loosened corner of one for a photo. As the branch library development guru, Rich was able to point out the facility’s unique features and, of course, he had all the data on the tip of his tongue. He even showed off the staff lockers (even they’re unique) and the library’s complicated wiring center. The large tubs which receive materials via the outdoor drop slots have mechanisms which allow them to accept books and other materials while gradually, gently, getting deeper and deeper as more and more weight is received. Rich said these tubs (or at least the refinements they include) are an invention of an employee in his department.

The history of the courtyard’s large palm tree finally came to light. Rich explained that when the architect saw the original old buildings which were to be demolished to make way for the new library, he pointed to the old palm at the side of the lot (it would have been growing close to the wall between Esperanza Market and the library lot) and said it was the only thing worth saving. It became a motif for the new library and was pruned, tidied and moved to a central location outside the main entrance in May. The library’s public artists used a stylized palm theme for one of the mandala designs.

Our new library is just about exactly the same size as the new Berryessa branch on Noble Drive, but it looks much larger - perhaps because it fills its corner location so tightly. The lighthearted but imposing architecture defines the corner of Alum Rock Avenue and White Road. NNV thinks that nothing could have been a better new asset for our community than this center of enlightenment. So, thank you, Mr., Mrs. and Ms. San Jose Voter. You gave this gift to yourselves!

Click here for photos from the sneak preview.

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“Alum Rock Garden” Public Art Sings at New Library

Dazzling designs in terrazzo symbolize Alum Rock area

Our new library’s unique public art is decidedly an integral part of the building just as was called out in the specifications. The four 8 foot terrazzo “mandalas” (circular designs symbolic of the universe) interrupt the sea of carpeting in four strategic locations in the building. Library-goers can walk directly upon the bright, shiny “Alum Rock Garden” motifs. On opening day, little kids unselfconsciously stopped and reached down to touch the metal-outlined designs.

Patrons experience the first mandala as they enter the main entrance of the library. The motif here is composed of subtly colored vases which symbolize the historic natural springs of Alum Rock Park. The corresponding skylight well above the terrazzo is created in a plummy shade of color-imbued plaster washed with gold.

At the entrance to the children’s area, the mandala is brightly colored with a stylized palm tree which reflects the large palm at the building’s main (south) entrance. Small handprints complement the design both on the floor and in the skylight well above.

The “Marketplace” mandala marks the entrance to the adult and family area of the library. Its theme reflects the orchards of our area’s past with a twining tree, leaves and fruit. Its corresponding light well has metal-imbued leaf shapes applied randomly to the plaster.

At the entryway to the Internet Café, the mandala’s design was inspired by the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton. Its starry motif is rendered on a field of inky blue terrazzo. Starlike elements enhance the light well above. After installation, a vendor working in the building accidentally scratched this particular mandala leaving a mark which looked, for all the world, like a shooting star in the navy blue firmament. It will be buffed out, say the library folks.

The original design by husband and wife partners, Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii of North Carolina, included complementary motifs embedded in plastic skylights at the top of the light well above each mandala. However, design changes during construction necessitated ordinary skylights so the artists altered their plan and chose rich colored plaster in the light wells and applied small gold, copper and silver-leafed motifs.

The 4,300 opening day guests seemed of like mind – they loved the bright, colorful, uncomplicated designs. No notes of explanation were necessary for this straightforward public art. Cool!

Click here for library art photos.

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Water Tender Saved at Station 2 – For Now

San Jose Fire Department and Water Tender 2 Update

“San Jose awaits other shoe falling in talks with police, fire unions”

This San Jose Fire Department budget stuff sure is interesting – and hard to keep up with.

You may recall that in the June/July edition of NNV, we started this subject with Station 2 Firefighter to be Eliminated and Water Tender Moved by a local, anonymous firefighter and resident. We don’t usually publish any anonymous articles but we suspected this one was accurate and checked it out quickly with our fire department contacts. We decided this was an important enough story to use an anonymous source and we asked Councilmember Nora Campos for her comments.

She sent us City Councilmember Campos Promises Her Support for Water Tender, which included, “As part of the budget process, I have submitted a budget document to the Mayor with a plan to retain the water tender at Station 2.”

Then we asked for comments from SJFD Fire Chief Jeff Clet, which resulted in a response that pointed out that, “There's a $59 million City budget shortfall” and “We have to reduce the Fire Department Budget by $10 million.” His response went on to insist that, “Moving the Water Tender to Station 16 is better than eliminating it” and referred to the “Fire Chief's over-riding responsibility of mitigating impacts to core emergency services Citywide.”

Your editor did not appreciate the response from the fire chief and wrote an editorial, The East Side takes it on the chin again, which included, “Water Tender 2 belongs at Station 2. That’s why it’s there. We can’t wait for this truck, with its eight tons of water, to lumber up from South King Road when there is a fire in the East Hills – or in Alum Rock Park or Berryessa.”

We thought four stories on this subject should be plenty and we put the June/July edition of NNV on our Web site on Friday, June 3, for the final check by our writers. But late Friday night, we received an e-mail from another anonymous firefighter that told how the firefighters on Water Tender 2 saved a home during the big fire in the Penitencia Creek area in October, 2000. We moved very quickly Saturday morning to get this story on our Letter to the Editor page before we sent out the e-mails to let you know that the June/July edition was ready. (We felt like we were trying to run a daily newspaper, which we definitely don’t want to do!)

Wrong Again!
At that point, we thought for sure we had done enough on this subject. Wrong again!

On June 6, the San Jose Mercury News printed an editorial on Fire Department cutbacks that said Councilmembers “Yeager, Campos (are) failing to keep (the) entire City’s needs in mind” so we had to write a “letter” to NNV ourselves and put it on our Letters page to point out that, “This editorial trivializes East Side concerns.”

And on June 8, faithful NNV reader/writer Bracey Tiede snapped some photos of Water Tender 2 at one of the first wildfires of the season near Clayton Road - so we put that on our Letters page.

And on June 13, Councilmember Campos, in an excellent and enlightening article in the Mercury News opinion section, made the case for strong San Jose council districts and effectively replied to the Mercury News editorial on Fire Department cutbacks so we had to publish and reinforce her article.

Big Rally at City Hall That Night
Next the firefighters held a big rally at City Hall before the Budget Hearing that same evening. There were lots of firefighters and their families there – they filled all the empty seats at the Budget Hearing and lined the entire back wall. Click here for some photos of the rally.

This rally was, of course, much more effective than anything we residents (especially those of us who can’t vote in City elections) could ever do and the City Council voted to support Councilmember Campos’ memo to the mayor. As Councilmember Campos put it in her June 16 Newsletter:

“Public safety remains the top priority for communities citywide. In the weeks preceding the budget vote I, along with my colleague, Councilmember Ken Yeager, had outlined the need for equipment and personnel to continue (to) be strategically located at Fire Stations 2 and 6. With the strong support of Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez, the City Council voted to amend the FY 2005-2006 Budget to maintain Fire Department Emergency Response at its current levels. The budget amendment retains staffing and apparatus at Fire Stations 2 and 6.”

So, you might assume that we’re OK for another year and that the firefighter in question and the Water Tender will be at Station 2 when we need them.

Don’t count on it yet!

Other shoe waiting to fall
As the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal of July 15 pointed out in its Page 2 article, San Jose awaits other shoe falling in talks with police, fire unions:

“Nearly a year and a half after San Jose's contracts with its police officers and firefighters expired, the city is still negotiating and still dreading the inevitable budget impact that will come with a new contract. And as each month goes by, the potential cost of any retroactive pay raise or increase in pension costs, rises.

‘We are operating on borrowed time,’ says City Councilman and mayoral candidate Chuck Reed. ‘It could get pretty big.’ …

And that could spell trouble for a city that just cut $58 million from spending plans to close a budget shortfall for the fiscal year that began July 1. Built into that budget is a 1.5 percent pay increase for police officers and firefighters, the same amount that other city unions have agreed to for the new fiscal year. Those unions accepted a three-year pay plan with no increase last year.

The budget assumes that police and firefighters will do the same.

Every additional percentage point increase above that will cost $2.49 million a year, says City Budget Director Larry Lisenbee.”

‘That’s money that isn’t in the budget,’ he says. ‘We’d have to reopen the budget.’”

Stay tuned to see what happens next. And remember to check our Letters page which, along with our Community Bulletin Board, is updated as needed between editions of NNV.

Click here for photos from the big rally.

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New Neighborhood Voice Founding Sponsors


Lifestyle Properties, Call Ellen Rauh at (408) 929-1925,
The REALTOR© You Choose Does Make a Difference, E-mail 


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


E.M.S. LLC, Environmental Management Systems, (408) 501-4200
A full service construction & demolition cleanup, hauling and recycling company


Eileen Parks, Windermere Silicon Valley Properties, (408) 251-5860
"When the follow through counts, call Eileen" - or e-mail 


Keith Bush, Artist/Sculptor, (408) 923-6666, 


MBA ARCHITECTS, Marvin Bamburg AIA, (408) 297-0288, 
Residential, commercial, industrial, historic preservation & mixed use projects; 


Call or click today or e-mail 


The financial planning firm PW Johnson, Jason Papier, (408) 747-1222
"Our best product is peace of mind."

And We'd Like to Welcome Our New 2005 Sponsors


RAM REALTORS - "Serving you since 1965" in Alum Rock Village
Call us at (408) 259-4920 or E-mail Frank B. Morales or Cecilia Echavarria


The Coffee Cup, Finest French Pastries, Country Club Plaza
Sun-Mon 6AM–2PM, Tue-Sat 6AM – 4PM, 3477 McKee Road, (408) 254-0755


Robin Edwards, Inc., Engineering Contractor, (408) 244-4791
CA Lic. 762792 A&B, "Basements, retaining walls, and complex foundations"


Regional Medical Center of San Jose, 
225 North Jackson Avenue, San Jose, CA 95116-1691, 1-888-RMC-8881, Dedicated To Your Well Being.

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More than 100 Patients Seen at Trauma Center Since June Opening

Eight board-certified Trauma Surgeons provide 24/7 care

Regional Medical Center Update

“Code 4 Trauma – 3 Minutes.” That message is now heard often over the loudspeakers at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. The announcement alerts hospital staff to prepare for the arrival of a patient with serious, life-threatening injury. The trauma surgeons, nurses, respiratory therapists, laboratory technologists, radiology techs and other support staff quickly move into position like a well-oiled machine. Each knows exactly what to do to save another life.

“It creates a sense of energy,” says Linda Raby, RN, director of Trauma Services at Regional Medical Center. “The staff comes together like a well-choreographed dance. They are trained professionals who know exactly what to do.”

Since the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors designated Regional Medical Center a trauma center, the hospital has treated more than 100 seriously injured patients. On June 22, the new trauma center was integrated into the County’s Emergency Medical System and began accepting patients via ambulance. Helicopter transport capability will soon follow.

“Our new helipad was completed July 21 and has been approved by the FAA and CalTrans,” says Raby. “Once the County gives the green light, helicopter transport for seriously injured patients in our area will be available, thereby expanding access to trauma services for the entire region.”

Regional Medical Center’s trauma center has eight board-certified trauma surgeons, in addition to numerous physicians specializing in neurosurgery, orthopedics, plastic surgery, anesthesiology and general surgery. While a few trauma patients are “walk-in’s,” Raby says that most trauma patients are brought in via ambulance or helicopter. “The safest way to get to the right hospital is to access the 911 system.” After arrival, trauma patients enter the emergency department where they are resuscitated and sent on to the operating room or intensive care unit, then to a medical-surgical floor and rehabilitation.

“The cool thing about trauma is you can follow your patients through that whole continuum of care,” says Raby, a trauma nurse for 15 years.

Raby, who began her career as an intensive care nurse, says she was drawn to trauma care nursing because of the complexities and the challenge of trauma cases.

“Hospitals with trauma centers are different,” explains Raby. “They’re required to have more resources, more physicians, and a higher level of training and expertise in their field. All those resources can make a difference between life and death. At a trauma center, those resources are available 24/7.”

Emergency Department and UrgentCare Clinic work in tandem
Patients who need emergency care can continue to access Regional Medical Center’s Basic Emergency Services. The largest private emergency service in Santa Clara County with 34 beds, Regional recently built nine additional beds to serve emergency patients and renovated its main nursing station, according to Victor Benlice, RN, director of Emergency Services.

A third level of care offered at the hospital is the Regional UrgentCare Clinic. Expected to treat more than 10,000 patients in its first year, the UrgentCare Clinic has been busy, says Physician Assistant Cyndy Flores.

"The community's response to our UrgentCare Clinic has been fantastic," she says. "We're receiving patients who have been referred to UrgentCare from their primary care physician, insurance carrier, friends and family. On average, we're helping close to 30 patients per day."

Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week and 365 days per year, Regional's UrgentCare Clinic treats patients ages eight weeks on up that suffer from minor ailments such as measles, flu, broken bones, skin lacerations, or other minor illness or injury. The facility features six private treatment rooms and a family-friendly waiting room with separate children's area.

"At Regional Medical Center, patients benefit from the UrgentCare Clinic and our Emergency Department working in tandem," says Benlice, who oversees both services. "If we're experiencing a heavier flow at UrgentCare, we will rapidly adjust our staff to handle the increased traffic. This allows us to continually provide the utmost in care and convenience when treating our patients at UrgentCare."

Located at 225 N. Jackson Avenue, Regional Medical Center’s trauma and emergency services are located at the south entrance to the hospital. The hospital’s UrgentCare Clinic is located at 219 N. Jackson Avenue, Suite A, on Regional Medical Center's campus, adjacent to the emergency department. From Highway 680 south, exit McKee Road west, head left onto Jackson Avenue, and the hospital is on the right. From Highway 680 north, exit left onto Jackson Avenue and the hospital is several blocks down on the left. The UrgentCare Clinic is located on the hospital’s south campus adjacent to the emergency department. For more information about services or programs at Regional Medical Center, please contact 1 (888) RMC-8881.

Click here for photos of the Life Flight helicopter and the new helipad at RMC.

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Neighbors Coalesce to Fight Auto Repair Shop at McKee/Vista

City invites wrong neighborhood to hearing!

Resident tells what’s happening

By Elaine Travers

A little history of the corner: Previous to our move to Vista Avenue, the business at the corner of McKee and Vista had been a gas station. In 1979 when we moved in, there was a florist shop. Since we never saw any customers there, some neighbors thought it was a “front” for some “shady” business. It was vacant for a while and then two civic-minded individuals named Abdul and Matthew opened a produce stand. It was a welcome addition to our neighborhood. It flourished for several years until Save Mart opened its new and improved store with a fine produce section. Our corner shop closed and moved to the San Martin/Gilroy area. Soon thereafter renovation of the corner commenced. An enormous signpost went up. Additional signs went up: “Oil Change,” “Tires,” “Service,” etc. Neighbors complained. The huge sign, which was against code, came down.

Two years ago neighbors on Vista and Summit sent in a petition signed by 38 of us opposing an auto repair shop. There is no need for one since there is an auto repair shop directly across the street, as well as at McKee and White and on Alum Rock near White. Our neighborhood doesn’t want noise from the shop or from test-driving. Also, most importantly, test-driving would be unsafe because we have no sidewalks; children walk to and from Linda Vista School down our street with no place to walk but in the street. We also have a lot of senior citizens walking in the street to go shopping or for exercise.

The City told us that the auto repair was not allowed under current zoning, and that it would probably not be allowed. After a few years of waiting while the corner remained lifeless, we heard by chance that there had been a hearing this past February and a conditional use permit had been issued! No one on Vista had been notified of the meeting. At the hearing, permission had been granted with four ayes, two noes and one member absent. We let the City know that the law says nearby residents must be notified of a public hearing. Carol Hamilton, a senior planner for the city, told us that they accidentally mailed letters to residents of Ridge Vista.

We went into action, making phone calls, meeting with officials, writing letters and getting signatures once again. The neighbors and businesses near this corner deserve a hearing. We need to show the planning commission our concerns.

If you live, shop, or go to school around here and also oppose such a business at this location, give me a call at (408) 258-4255 and please call the Chief of Staff for Councilmember Nora Campos, Christine Silva Burnett, at (408) 535-4944 or e-mail

Click here for a photo of the building waiting for someone to determine its future.

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Apply for a Library Card, Pay Fines from Home, Work or School!

Download audio books and check the multi-lingual library catalog, too

San Jose Libraries Now Accepting Library Card Applications and Fine Payments Online

From Lorraine Oback, San José Public Library

Months of preparations came to fruition late last month when San Jose library officials tripped the switch that allowed potential library users to initiate the process of applying for a library card online.

Web visitors log on to, then:

  1. click on "Library Catalog,"
  2. click on "Apply for a Library Card Online,"
  3. select the appropriate form (Adult, Youth under 18, SJSU Faculty or Staff),
  4. complete the electronic form,
  5. read the Borrower's Agreement, click on the check box to accept, print if desired, then
  6. click on Submit.

New card applicants must bring required identification to the Accounts Desk at any San Jose Library within 30 days to pick up their library card. Youth under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

San Jose libraries also began accepting fine payments online three weeks prior. By keeping the introduction low-key, administrators were able to monitor the software to ensure smooth transactions.

To use this service from home or office, log on to, then:

  1. click on "My Library Account,"
  2. enter your name, SJPL barcode or SJSU ID and your PIN, and click on "Submit,"
  3. click on "Unpaid Fines and Bills" to view amounts owed,
  4. click on "Pay Online,"
  5. to pay for selected items, click on "Clear All," then place a check next to desired items and click on "Recalculate Total,"
  6. complete the credit/debit card information form, click "Submit,"
  7. review your transaction carefully, then click on "Submit."
  8. OPTIONAL: Automated receipts will be sent to the email address provided, but users may elect to click on the "Print" button to obtain a receipt right away.

IMPORTANT: Users must pay the entire fee for any individual item and there are no refunds. The system accepts all credit cards and debit cards that bear the VISA or Master Card symbols.

"The ability to pay fines with credit or debit cards has been a frequent request of library users," says Trish Umali, Acting Access Services Manager for San Jose Public Library. "Given the high level of interest, we anticipated that our patrons would have little difficulty finding and using the service." That has already been the case. Even with little fanfare, the new service collected over $19,000 in the first three weeks of operation.

Users lacking remote access from home or office may still utilize these functions using dedicated e-COMM stations located at all branches of the San Jose Public Library, including the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.

Online library card applications and fine payment are the latest in technological service enhancements that the library has introduced over the past year. Enhancements have included downloadable digital audio books, the introduction of MP3 audio book CDs, creation of a multi-lingual library catalog interface, and translation of key information on the library website.


San Jose Public Library programs, materials and services are funded in part by the Library Parcel Tax.

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Santa Clara County Boards and Commissions Vacancies in District Three

Volunteers needed to advise County Board of Supervisors

From Santa Clara County Supervisor Pete McHugh, District 3

The Board of Supervisors has established approximately fifty-two Boards and Commissions. These Boards and Commissions advise the Board on many County issues. Boards and Commissions members review and discuss matters related to their policy areas and forward recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for consideration. Commissioners must reside in Santa Clara County and are appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Most meetings are held monthly at the County Government Center located at 70 West Hedding Street in San Jose.

My office currently has eleven vacancies on nine different Commissions. Although appointees may reside in any of the five Supervisorial Districts, I prefer to appoint candidates who live in my District. If you wish to apply, have any questions or want to request an application, please contact Irene Whiteside from my Office at (408) 299-5036. You may also download an application at: 

Below is a list of some District Three vacancies.

Advisory Commission for Persons with Disabilities
This Commission reviews and evaluates the needs, services, facilities and special problems of persons with disabilities in Santa Clara County. Commission members must be either disabled, a relative of a disabled person, a representative of a disabled community provider organization, or a representative of different disability groups as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Commission meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. This Commission will submit nominees for appointment to my Office for consideration. I currently have two vacancies. If you wish to be included in this list, please contact the Clerk of the Board at: (408) 299-5080.

Commission on the Status of Women
This Commission promotes the Board of Supervisor’s policy to take action to eliminate the practice of discrimination and prejudice on the account of gender in the areas of housing, employment, education, and related fields. This Commission meets the second Monday of every month at 6 p.m. Any resident with an interest in women’s issues may apply.

Correctional Industries Advisory Board
This Board makes recommendations on ways to help County jail inmates develop skills and work experience. A focus of the Commission is to enhance an inmate’s ability to find employment after release. Any resident with an interest in the County jail system may apply. This Board meets the first Monday of every quarter at 4 p.m. at 701 South Abel in Milpitas.

Domestic Violence Council
The purpose of the Council is to encourage coordination between agencies dealing with domestic violence. The Council also seeks to reduce incidents of domestic violence and abuse by promoting effective prevention, intervention and treatment techniques. Any resident with an interest in domestic violence issues that is also a representative of any faith community may apply. Members serve three-year terms and meet on the first Friday of each month at 7:30 a.m.

Health Advisory Commission
The Commission advises the Board of Supervisors on issues that impact the health of the public. Recommendations may include policy and system changes, service enhancements, and resource allocations. This Commission also monitors and evaluates County actions regarding public health. My appointee must be a representative of the nursing field. This Commission meets at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month.

In Home Support Services Public Authority Advisory Board
In 1992 California passed a bill that allowed counties to create Public Authorities for In Home Support Service (IHSS). The County Board of Supervisors adopted an enabling ordinance in December 1996 that requires the appointment of an advisory board of not more than 11 individuals. Members shall not serve for more than one consecutive four-year term. Any resident with an interest in In-Home Support Services may apply.

Historical Heritage Commission
The Historical Heritage Commission’s purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote the historical and cultural heritage of this county. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM at the County Government Center. I have two vacancies and any resident with an interest in Santa Clara County’s history is eligible to apply.

Pete McHugh
Supervisor, District Three
Santa Clara County 

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Click here for Section 2 of the August 2005 Newsletter

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