Archive for November, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday, Metroblogging

Metblogs is five years old today. The Metroblogging network that is; not San José Metblogs, we are not even two years old yet.

Metroblogging started five years ago in Los Angeles as and has since grown with over 55 cities worldwide.

Happy Birthday, Metroblogging!

Happy Birthday, El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe

El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe was founded on November 29, 1777 as the first town in the Spanish colony of Nueva California, which later became Alta California. San Jose was established as a farming community to support Spanish military installations at San Francisco and Monterey. When California gained statehood in 1850, San José served as its first capital. The city was incorporated March 27, 1850. The official name of the city is City of San Jose with no diacritical mark.

The True Meaning of the Season

I know many of you are probably getting into the holiday season. San Jose (and I’m sure other cities) have had holiday decorations up around town for a couple of weeks now. In downtown San Jose, you can already go ice skating, and the tree lighting ceremony will be Nov. 28 at Christmas in the Park. (More info on that here). And I’m sure holiday festivities are starting around the South Bay each day.

But I have to admit, I’m becoming somewhat of a humbug. It started two years ago, actually. All the stress of buying gifts for people seemed futile. The people I was buying for didn’t need anything. I didn’t want anything from them, except maybe some time to spend together over dinner or drinks. So last year I decided – no gifts. Instead, I would be giving my precious (and few) hard-earned dollars to those who needed it. Did my friends and family miss the presents? Not one bit. Especially when I told my mom, who works for the Girl Scouts, that I was donating money to her organization. And I told my pet-loving friend I’d be donating to the local SPCA. They didn’t mind one bit.

Call me Charlie Brown, but the holidays have become so focused on presents, that I’m afraid people are forgetting about those who will be the coldest, the hungriest this season.

Now more than ever we need to keep those less fortunate in mind. We’re facing an economic “recession” (a euphemism, I’m convinced), and the local foodbanks will be seeing more hungry, hopeful faces this holiday season than they’ve seen in a few decades.

As a board member of a local nonprofit, I can tell you firsthand that charities are hurting. They’ve been hurting for the last couple of winters, but this year is bad. People are scared, and are grabbing that wallet tight – for good reason. But we can’t forget that our neighbors need our help. Even if it’s $20, or 10 cans of food.

To raise awareness that charities need your help, the Silicon Valley Open Arms Coalition was created by local funders and nonprofits. The website gives several ways for people to contribute this holiday season, depending on which organization they’d like to support. Some of the nonprofits involved are First 5, Second Harvest Food Bank, Sobrato Family Foundation, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and The Health Trust.


BART coming to San Jose after all

The Mercury News is reporting today that though the ballots continue to be counted, measure B is now sure to pass. The measure authorizes a 1/8 per cent sales tax to fund bringing BART to San Jose.

I voted against B, agreeing with the argument that work on BART, even with additional revenue, would divert funds from other projects that could more efficiently connect us to the rest of the Bay Area. Hopefully I was wrong, BART will bring all of the benefits promised, and VTA will also be able to continue providing bus and light rail service around the valley. At the very least, it’ll give me a nice way to get up to Berkeley for an occasional football game (Go Bears!).

FC Gold Pride

FC Gold Pride players Barnhart, Buehler and Hamm

FC Gold Pride players Barnhart, Buehler and Hamm

Women’s professional soccer returns to the Bay Area this spring. A return of women’s soccer since the San Jose CyberRays of the defunct Women’s United Soccer Association.

Los Altos residents Brian and Nancy NeSmith are the owners of the Bay Area’s team in the new Women’s Professional Soccer league.

Suzanne’s post covers the introduction of the team’s name, FC Gold Pride. Some think Golden Pride would be a more appropriate name.

The NeSmith’s believe a fun, family friendly league will be more successful than the WUSA. the league will stress keeping costs down.

Los Altos native Albertin Montoya will be the Pride’s coach and some of the Pride’s players attended Stanford, Santa Clara University, and UC Berkeley.

Montoya, an assistant coach for the Stanford University women’s team and previously an assistant coach at Santa Clara University, began his collegiate playing career (a midfielder) at North Carolina State and was an Atlantic Coast Conference First Team selection in 1994. He later transferred to Santa Clara and received player of the year awards with the Broncos.

Players from local universities include Nicole “Barnie” Barnhart (goalkeeper), Rachel Buehler (defender), Tracy Hamm (defender), and Leslie “Ozzy” Osborne (midfielder). Ms. Barnhart and Ms. Buehler are 2008 Olympic gold medalist.

The Pride will play their home games beginning April 2009 at 10,300-seat Buck Shaw Stadium. The other teams in the league’s inaugural season are Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, Chicago, Boston, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. With Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia scheduled to join the league in 2010.

Bay Area, meet your new women’s pro soccer team!

The name, the colors and the logo of the new Bay Area Women’s Professional Soccer team has been unleashed this afternoon. And once again, neither the Merc‘s nor the Chron‘s coverage was as good as Center Line Soccer‘s (or as funny as Melissa at The Offsides).

Quick rundown: The name FC Gold Pride comes from a swirl of influences. FC (short for Football Club) is common throughout Europe, Gold is a reference to California’s Golden State and the gold at the Olympics, and Pride is both a group of lions and that odd feeling in your heart that swells when you win something. The team’s owners are hoping more for the latter to be present at the games.

The team won’t play until the beginning of April, but they will for sure be sharing Buck Shaw Stadium at Santa Clara University.

And a truckload of audio interviews from people like Brandi Chastain, head coach Albertin Montoya, the owners and players like Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buehler, and Tracy Hamm, are all here.

Light Up the Row at Santana Row

This Tuesday is Santana Row’s 7th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony beginning at 6:30 pm.

Festivities include live music, choirs, carolers, stilt walkers, hot chocolate sampling and activities for children.

The annual (40-foot) Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at approximately 6:30 pm in Park Valencia; also, the lighting of more than 500,000 twinkling lights throughout Santana Row.

Scheduled on the Celebration Stage on Olin Avenue: San Jose native Katee Shean (So You Think You Can Dance), The Nutcracker performed by The Joy of Dancing, also a sneak peek of San Jose Repertory Theatre’s holiday production Around the World in 80 Days.

Santana Row
368 Santana Row, San Jose

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Free event

Nov. 14, World Diabetes Day


A Healthy Day

A Healthy Day

In a store the other day, a nice man asked me about my medical bracelet. He wondered why some people wore them.  When I told him, he quickly understood, and told me about his Grandmother who had her legs amputated due to her Diabetes condition. 

I’ll bet that you know someone affected with Diabetes. If you don’t, well here I am, you know me. I have Type 1 Diabetes,  I was diagnosed in 2004 at the age of 36.   I fought some kind of weird illness in 2003, later the doctors told me it was a virus, that ultimately shut down my pancreas.  Apparently I had the inactive gene all my life, and this funky virus activated it. So there you go, long and troubled story short, I am Diabetic now, and will be forever.  I have made the best of it, and in the long run it has taught me to live healthy, happier and be more aware of life around me. 

Tomorrow, Nov. 14, is World Diabetes Day.  It is a day to reflect and understand what this disease is all about.  To help the person you know, or even don’t know, feel that they are not alone,  just don’t offer us a sugar laden dessert or beverage.   Awareness, understanding and a little knowledge is all that we can ask.  In honor of the day, the simplest thing you can do is wear your favorite Blue shirt.  

    To commemorate American Diabetes Month, cities around the world will light buildings blue on November 14, 2008 for World Diabetes Day. This year’s festivities to light San Jose City Hall blue was spearheaded by the American Diabetes Association in collaboration with Healthy Silicon Valley, and Youth Health Advocates of Gilroy.

Join Us for World Diabetes Day at City Hall in downtown San Jose!  On Friday, November 14, the world will light up the skyline with blue light for diabetes awareness in honor of World Diabetes Day!    

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases to affect children. Every day more than 200 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Many children in developing countries die shortly after being diagnosed with diabetes simply because they either do not have access or cannot afford insulin, the life saving drug discovered over 87 years ago.  A child’s access to appropriate medication and care should be a right not a privilege.

Join the 100 Youth Health Advocates and local dignitaries for a proclamation, presentations and for the lighting of the City Hall Rotunda in blue at dusk.  Here are the details:

San Jose City Hall

200 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

Friday, November 14, 2008

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm


Nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, including 500,000 in the Bay Area. Moreover, diabetes can cause severe complications that lead to kidney failure, blindness, amputations, and heart disease. In contrast to declining death rates due to heart disease, stroke, or cancer, the death rate due to diabetes has increased by 45% since 1987. 

Along with San Francisco City Hall and San Jose City Hall, 740 buildings will be lit in blue globally, including the London Eye, the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Empire State Building in New York, the Tokyo Tower in Japan, the CN Tower in Toronto, Niagara Falls, the Sydney Opera House, the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. 

For more information about World Diabetes Day please contact Richard Alejandro, Executive Director, San Jose, American Diabetes Association.  In addition, if you would like to find out more information about American Diabetes Month, please call 1-888-DIABETES (1-888-342-2383) Information is available in English and Spanish.

American Diabetes Association – There is no cure, only help. Thank you.

Quakes season wrap-up

The soccer season has been over for a few weeks now, and I’ve been meaning to hammer out a long post for even longer. But there’s a couple of headlines that have popped up recently in the off-season news roundups at the Merc, at the Quakes’ official site, and also over with our friends at Center Line Soccer. So I’ll give the Readers’ Digest version:

  • Our fabulous new friend Darren Huckerby has been named Major League Soccer’s Newcomer of the Year. That’s because he is awesome.
  • The Tottenham Hotspurs, an English Premiership League team, recently announced a partnership with the Quakes in which the Spurs get to help develop the untapped and massive youth soccer talent pool here in NorCal, and the Quakes get to stare slack-jawed at the mighty EPL team and learn via osmosis. There’s a bit of confusion, however, because many of the Hotspurs top-tier dealmakers have been sacked. No real word on exactly how that affects the agreement.
  • MLS Cup playoffs kick off tomorrow night as the Chicago Fire faces the Columbus Crew, and Real Salt Lake squares off against the New York Red Bulls. It all starts 7:30 pm Eastern on ESPN2. I anticipate my payola from ESPN2 any day now.
  • Ian over at The Offsides recapped the top 5 Quakes games this season. I missed one of those games, but thank God I didn’t miss the game listed as No. 1. It was truly spectacular.
  • I attended a charity dinner the night before our 2-0 trouncing of Toronto FC in our season finale. I got to meet several players. I have pictures. I am waiting for some lazy bums to send me theirs. Then I will post like a mad fangirl.

Downtown Ice rink opens Friday

Found this in my inbox, from the San Jose Downtowner newsletter:

Downtown Ice is set to open at 5 p.m. Friday.  Come early and have a chance to show your skating prowess to the Bay Area.  Weather permitting, NBC’ Bay Area’s John Farley will be at the rink doing live weather reports during the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts.

On Sunday and again Nov. 23, you can skate with the hardest working fish in the NHL – Sharkie!  He will skate with the kids, help inexperienced skaters, and play around with the others. He will also have photo cards to sign. He’ll be there both Sundays about 3:30 p.m. for an hour.

Next Monday-Thursday, and again Nov. 24-27, families can take advantage of the early bird promotion.  That is, one free child admission (12-under, a $13 value) with one paid adult admission ($15).  Download the coupon here. Limit: two free kids with two paid adults per coupon.

Downtown Ice is open 5 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-midnight Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday and 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Admission, $15 for adults and $13 for 12-under, includes skate rental.
Rink information is available here.

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