Thursday, May 31, 2007


After the Suncrest Avenue Fire near Alum Rock Park, September 24, 2006. Defensible Space helped save the homes near the top of this hill. (Photo by Richard Brown)

By Allan Thompson

The Santa Clara County FireSafe Council (SCFSC), a local non-profit group dedicated to preventing wildfires in Santa Clara County, has launched Defensible Space Chipping Programs to reduce hazardous fuels in selected areas of the county. These programs are funded by $90,442 in federal grants from the USDI Bureau of Land Management.
With the start of the 2007 Wildfire Season upon us, SCFSC is launching its pilot Chipping Programs in several areas including east and south San Jose and the East Foothills near Alum Rock Park, where last year’s “Suncrest Avenue Fire” burned a swath of grassland near some hillside homes.
These federal grants, and local matching funding from area individuals, companies and organizations like Pacific Gas and Electric Company and San Jose Water Company, enable SCFSC to provide these services free-of-charge. SCFSC is also offering more extensive assistance to qualified seniors and disabled residents through its Special Needs Assistance Program or SNAP.
To learn more about these free Chipping Programs, visit the SCFSC Website at and click on “Defensible Space Chipping Programs.” If you have questions, e-mail or call (408) 975-9591.
SCFSC also has a 20-page, guide for homeowners and residents available on-line or by mail. The guide, Living With Fire in Santa Clara County, is at and is appropriate for the Wildland Urban Interface areas. It illustrates how to create Defensible Space and use fire resistant plants and roofing materials.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Fire Station 2, on Alum Rock Avenue, is the oldest and busiest fire station in San Jose.

By Monica Limas
Office of Councilmember Nora Campos

This is a critical time and we need your support to restore full funding for the rebuild of Fire Station 2. We need to work together to ensure that the concerns of our community members are heard. Help give the Mayor and City Council the message that we are willing to fight for the much-needed resources in our community.

As requested by many of you, we have attached a sample letter. As well, we have included the city’s response to our request for full funding of the rebuild. Below are important dates and contact information.

Please confirm your participation so that I may be available to assist.

Important Dates:
* June 1st – Mayor’s Budget Message (Budget & Update)
* June 5th – Afternoon council session and public forum at 1:30 pm. Evening session at 7:00 pm.
* June 11th – Public hearing on Proposed Operating and Capital Budgets at 7:00 pm.
* June 12th – City Council vote to approve 2007 – 08 budget.

Contact Information:
* Mayor and City Council
200 E. Santa Clara St. 18th Floor
San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: 408.535.4800

D5 Staff will be available with more information at the Mayfair Community Groundbreaking at 2039 Kammerer Ave. on Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 6:00 pm. See you there!

In Unity,

Monica Limas
Community Relations Coordinator
Office of Councilmember Nora Campos, District 5
408.535.4948 Direct
408.292.6262 FAX

City of San Jose
200 E. Santa Clara Street, 18th Floor
San Jose, CA 95113

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Tree cutters arrive to chop down this 40 foot oak on Fleming Avenue at Fleming Ct. But due to last minute protests over a lack of neighborhood notification, the tree was saved, but maybe not for long. Removal was approved by the San Jose City Council as part of a street widening project in conjunction with the new housing development by Braddock and Logan.

Letter to City Council from Doris Livezey of Our City Forest regarding the tree:

Apparently neighbors were successful in putting a temporary stop to the removal of a native oak next door to 145 Fleming. Neighbors were told by the contractor there was a permit for its removal but they had never seen it posted. Neighbors have stepped forward saying they want the tree saved. When I called the San Jose City Arborist's office I was told that a permit was never issued because the removal had been approved by the City Council members for street widening and future construction. I'm assuming I was given the correct information. What is wrong with this picture? City Council can order a tree removed but the average property owner has to go through the removal process? The City of Mountain View has roads going around trees as does Los Altos. I just returned from a town in Southern California where the street curves out to accommodate an ancient tree. We've all seen it. Is the City of San Jose that interested in future construction that it has to destroy an old oak tree? I would assume time is of the essence. I'm appealing to all of you who received this email to save the tree!

Doris Livezey
San Jose taxpayer and member of Our City Forest

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Please plan to attend and speak out at the final public hearing on Proposed Operating and Capital Budgets June 11 at 7:00 pm - City Council Chambers!

Message sent on behalf of Councilmember Nora Campos:

Dear Friends,

As your representative and an active community member who recognizes the importance of public safety, I am advocating for the complete rebuild of Fire Station 2 in our community. The City's 2007-2008 proposed budget reduced funding and downgraded this project to a remodeling despite that it was fully funded last year as a comprehensive rebuild. A remodeling would not sufficiently address the deficiencies of the existing station, which is one of the oldest in the city. We have worked together to advocate for quality facilities and services in our community, and I ask that you continue to work with me to achieve these objectives by joining me in advocating for this project.

Located at Alum Rock Avenue between Capitol and White, Fire Station 2 was built in 1947 and has the highest volume of service calls at any single fire station in San José and the entire County. In Fiscal Year 2004-2005, Fire Station 2 saw 4,007 calls for service. A remodel is not a long-term solution for the improvements needed to allow firefighters to respond adequately to the amount of activity day in and day out at Fire Station 2. As the facility continues to age, it is important that we achieve the necessary quality of a new state-of-the-art fire station that can meet the great need in our community.

With new facilities such as the Dr. Roberto Cruz-Alum Rock Library and the Alum Rock Youth Center, storied buildings in the Alum Rock Village, and the vulnerability of the East Foothills, a fully rebuilt station that will result in improved services, increased public safety, and continued community revitalization in District 5 is critical. Please make your voice heard throughout the budget process and support with me the full funding and complete rebuild for Fire Station 2.


Nora Campos

Important Dates:
June 11 at 7:00 pm - Final Public Hearing on Proposed Operating and Capital Budgets, City Council Chambers

Office of the Mayor
San José City Hall
200 E. Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Tel. (408) 535-4800
Fax (408) 292-6422

Saturday, May 12, 2007


By David Sanchez
ARNC President

That's right, it's that time again ..... The ARNC Monthly Meeting will be held on May 17, 7:00 p.m. at the Joseph George Community/Recreation Center at 277 Mahoney Drive.

Some great information and ideas came out of last month's meeting:

Andrea Flores-Shelton has been researching the abandoned shopping cart issue on ARNNE (Alum Rock Neighborhood Network Email), thanks Andrea!. She supplied us with contact numbers on who to call to pick them up.

Steve Pollock has been working on having a guest speaker from Our City Forest share with us how OCF can help with Alum Rock beautification. Thanks for setting this up Steve!

Elizabeth Driedger is getting us information on San Jose's new Anti Graffiti Program and how Alum Rock can tap into this new resource. We can't wait to hear what you've found out about this Elizabeth!
San Jose Job Corps was contacted about litter issues that affect their Dale Drive neighbors, they are more than willing to work with the community at being a good neighbor but we need to hear back from our Dale Drive representatives.

Darcie Green and Elizabeth are working on setting up an ARNC Cleanup Day for the Alum Rock Village.
Darcie's been in contact with the folks responsible for running the James Lick Flea Market and is keeping us up to date as she finds out more information. Thanks Darcie, I know our neighbors are looking forward to this Flea Market starting up again.

With all of the talk about the Berryessa Art & Wine Festival, from yours truly, an idea came up as to whether something like this could work in our Alum Rock community to support our schools music program. There was some discussion but we'll have updates and more discussion this month.

With James Lick getting a new principal next year, Mr. Glenn Vanderzee, ARNC thought it would be a good idea to welcome him into the neighborhood with a small get together. Details are being worked out and Darcie is getting this on his calendar. We'll update you at the meeting on the date, time and location.

Last, but not least, your ARNC board members attended a meeting last month of the Neighborhoods Commission Work Group on the discussion of a proposed caucus election process. There was some very important information presented on the process that San Jose will be using to ensure relationships between the City of San Jose and the Community. Darcie and Elizabeth are working on getting the word out to all Neighborhood Group leadership in our area. We can update everyone at the meeting on our findings and answer any questions you may have.

I'll be sending out an agenda early next week. Oh ...... did I forget to mention the fantabulous door prizes again? lol

Monday, May 07, 2007


Neighbors looked at several photos of existing parks in San Jose to help them decide which elements to include in the Fleming Avenue park.

By Len Ramirez

Horseshoe pits and barbecue pits are out. Open space, a play area, fitness equipment and a covered sitting area are in.

Those are some of the ideas generated by neighbors when they sat down with San Jose parks officials Monday night to plan a half-acre park on Fleming Ave.
The neighborhood could be enjoying its very own park in about a year, according to officials. About 15 people, including 9 neighbors, sacrificed watching both the Sharks and the Warriors in televised playoff games to attend the park's first planning meeting at the Berryessa Community Center.

Also attending were City Councilwoman Nora Campos and Jim Sullivan of Braddock and Logan, the developer. Park planners showed neighbors a series of photos of other half acre parks in San Jose, so they could get a feel for what can be done in that amount of space. Amenities will include landscaping, fencing, gates, a water fountain, lighting, in-ground irrigation and seating. Campos stated that the park's maintenance is secured through District 5 funds for the first two years.
The park is being built in conjunction with a 14 home development near Fleming Court. Construction has already begun with the homes due to be completed by the end of summer, 2007. Construction of the park will take longer, but should be completed by spring, 2008.
Another park planning meeting is tentatively scheduled for sometime in July, when neighbors will get to see three park design plans that incorporate the elements discussed tonight.

Neighbor attached dots next to their preferences. Blue indicates what they want; red indicates what they don't want.


What does a small city park look like? This is O'Donnell's Garden Park on William Street in downtown San Jose.

Just a reminder to all concerned, there will be a meeting to plan the new half-acre Fleming Avenue neighborhood park tonight. Please plan to attend and bring your ideas!

WHEN: May 7th, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
WHERE: Berryessa Community Center, 3050 Berryessa Road