Thursday, February 04, 2010


On January 19, 2010, KNBR 680/1050 AM Radio and O.C. Jones & Sons, Inc. announced the winner of the TLC for Kids Ballparks Contest as the Eastridge Little League Field in San Jose.Berkeley, California, February 2, 2010 ? San Jose children will have a brand new ballfield this season, thanks to a local construction company with a long history and a big heart. O.C. Jones & Sons, Inc., a Berkeley-based construction firm, partnered with KNBR 680/1050 Am Radio to select a local ballfield to be renovated, and the lucky winner is the Eastridge Little League Field in San Jose.Jerry N. Soriano, Eastridge Little League President for the 2010 Season, is amazed that Eastridge was selected as the winner. He feels ??a sense of real pride and appreciation underscored by a sense of disbelief and surprise.?O.C. Jones will renovate a currently substandard field that will allow Eastridge to field softball teams and younger boys? teams. The work will consist of complete removal and reconstruction of the existing field, new irrigation, sod, infield, and associated work. O.C. Jones will also address the needs of the dugouts, fences, bleachers, backstop, etc. and regrade an adjacent unused lot to create a warm-up and practice area.This effort began in October, when it was announced that O.C. Jones would sponsor the TLC for Kids Ballparks contest through KNBR as a demonstration of its commitment to local neighborhoods and an interest in improving the area where its employees work and live.Entrants submitted an essay and photos to nominate their community ballpark or field. Each month, finalists were selected and announced. On January 19, 2010, KNBR and O.C. Jones announced the winner of the TLC for Kids Ballparks Contest as the Eastridge Little League Field in San Jose.Kelly Kolander, President and CEO of O.C. Jones, is eager for the work to begin. ?Sponsoring the TLC for Kids Ballparks has been a way for all of us at O.C. Jones to give back. Our employees are also getting involved with the project, recognizing that there is always a way to help others in our local community.?Eastridge Little League is comprised of both girls softball and boys baseball, from T-Ball through Majors. Participants, which range in age from 4 to 18, are primarily from working class Hispanic-American families. More than 240 children are expected to play in Eastridge Little League this year.Eastridge is self sufficient for its seasonal needs and raises funds through registration fees, concessions, fund raisers, sponsorships, donations, and grants. Their projected revenue and expense for this year is over $30,000, but field access and maintenance is always a challenge. Eastridge must apply to reserve use of city parks and elementary and high school fields for baseball practice, as well as secure local fields for scheduled games during the season.T-Ball and little league girls softball players will benefit the most because they get exclusive use of the field, before other league participants. The children will be playing on a safer infield, reducing the potential for injury. The children will also have a renewed sense of pride playing on their new field, knowing that someone took the time to give them something and see them succeed. Also, the league will have its own softball field, reducing the need to rent city parks and elementary and high school fields.Frank Navarro, Eastridge Little League Secretary/Information Officer, shares his reaction, "To see the league get such a great opportunity is something that really strikes close to home. My family has been involved in Eastridge Little League for over 30 years. My stepfather and his two brothers played here. My brother and all of my cousins have played here. My stepfather, his father, one of his brothers, a cousin of mine and I either are coaching or have coached in the league. Eastridge Little League has many families that have been with our league for decades. Ninety percent of our board has been with Eastridge for at least 20 years."Weather permitting, O.C. Jones will begin work within the next couple of weeks, and plan to be finished by mid-March so Eastridge will be able to use the field for Opening Day. More details will be forthcoming regarding the Opening Day Celebration.To see the announcement and photos of the field, visit the radio station's website,, then scroll down and click on the TLC for Ballparks tab. To hear recordings of the actual radio spots, go to and click on ?Contest Winner Eastridge Little League Field?.ABOUT O.C. Jones & Sons, Inc. - O. C. Jones & Sons, Inc. traces its start to 1924, when Olin Clement Jones founded a small concrete placing firm in Berkeley, California. Olin specialized in transporting and placing a new product, later to be known as ready-mixed concrete. Following WW II, Olin was joined by his sons, Harold and Robert, and the company expanded into new work disciplines and increased its geographical reach. Today, O.C. Jones specializes in public and private heavy civil work, focusing on paving, grading, and underground. Satellite offices encircle the greater Bay Area in Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Vallejo, and Oakland, enabling us to build major highways, airport runways, athletic fields, and large-scale site developments.O.C. Jones has successfully completed numerous athletic field projects, including San Jose State University Spartan Stadium, Santa Rosa Junior College, Foothill College, DeAnza College, Crocker Amazon Fields (San Francisco), Stanford University, Tak Fudenna Memorial Stadium, Palo Alto and Gunn High Schools, and many other high schools and middle schools.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Sometimes we take things for granted with our technology gadgets, especially after they've given us years of reliable service. Such was the case with my nearly 3 year old T-Mobile Wing, which I bought in May of 2007. The phone has been flat out fantastic with contacts, maps, and even as a backup live TV monitor with my Slingbox. It has been reliable and durable, but I forgot how good it was until I almost lost it recently.
I am a TV News Reporter for CBS 5 covering San Jose/Silicon Valley and for the last week, we've been covering the powerful storms that have been hitting our area. Thursday night, I was about to do a live shot in a rainy downtown San Jose for the 6pm news. A few minutes before air (I was the lead story) my cameraman, Bob, noticed that my phone was causing interference with my wireless mic. I unhooked it from my belt and and placed it on the hood of our live van near the windshield to do my report. It was still in its holster (which does not cover the device completely since it's built with several large openings for the USB and whatever). You know of course where this is heading. As soon as my liveshot was over, I went home, tired and happy to be finished for the night, but leaving my device on the hood of the news van.
The next morning, Bob called. "You missing something?" were the first words he said and I instantly knew that my phone was gone. Bob explained that when he went out for work that morning, the phone was still on his hood. It had somehow stayed in place during the ride from downtown San Jose to Bob's home in Fremont. "I'll give it an A for grippiness." It was the only thing I could say, feeling stupid and irresponsible. While I was amazed the phone had stayed in place, I just knew it had to be dead. If swerving, curving 65 mile-per-hour speeds didn't kill it, raindrops, freeway muck, and a freezing night of drizzle surely would. Bob said it was soaked and the screen was black. It seemed to confirm my worst fears and I began to think of which new device I would be getting to replace it: Touch Pro 2 or wait for the HD2 with Windows Mobile 7? I admit I was a little thrilled at the thought of getting something new, but I was also sad that I let my reliable workhorse die a undignified, senseless death.
True story about what can happen when we put a phone down on the hood of a vehicle. We've all done it, but this phone came back from a near certain death to snap it's own survival photo.

Bob said he would hand the phone off to another cameraman, Don, who was headed to the South Bay that day and could drop it off. At about 6pm on Friday, my phone arrived, still feeling damp to the touch. Another cameraman Vince and I were working on a story about Tesla in Menlo Park. There in the parking lot of a company that builds cars that are powered by lithium ion batteries, I cautiously turned my Wing on, hoping its own power system would some how work a miracle.
And it did!
The phone fired up immediately, and still had 28% of it's battery left. First the T-Mobile screen, then Windows Mobile booted. I smiled and showed it around to Don and Vince, who were also amazed, asking again "You left this on the hood?" "Yeah, and it spent the night in the rain" I added, still unsure of how it all happened. I quickly opened the camera app and snapped a re-enactment photo of where I left the camera and case the previous night. Everything on the phone worked perfectly. Vince said "I don't think an iPhone would have made it" and he's probably right. The Wing has a rubberized coating that I'm sure helped keep the water out. Even though the outside of the phone was wet, the battery compartment was completely dry.
I've recently updated the phone with the SPB Mobile Shell interface so this phone feels and acts like a cool, modern device. But not wimpy cool. This phone has proven to be very tough and it seems to have a will to survive whatever its sometimes absent-minded owner throws at it.