Archive for April, 2009

You’re One in a Million…

…if you live in San Jose, that is. As reported by various local news agencies, the state Department of Finance just released a new official estimate (PDF) placing the population of San Jose at 1,006,892, as of January 1.

Silicon Valley Open Studios 2009

artist-paletteThe 23rd annual Silicon Valley Open Studios event where visitors are welcomed into artist’s workspaces and have the opportunity to converse with the artists and purchase artworks directly begins this weekend.

During this free event, you will view diverse one-of-a-kind works of art, including painting, mixed media, photography, sculpture, jewelry, calligraphy, ceramics, fiber arts, pottery, mosaics, metal work, glass, drawing, printmaking, watercolor, woodworking and more.

Silicon Valley artists open their studios to the public on select weekends in May by location. Please visit the artists/locations only on the appropriate weekend between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Weekend One, May 2 – 3

East Palo Alto, Ladera, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Loyola, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara Sunnyvale

Weekend Two, May 9 – 10

Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Saratoga

Weekend Three, May 16 – 17

Atherton, Belmont, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, Woodside

The free Artist Directory and Map Guide have fabulous pullout maps that you can take with you. Locations to pick up a free copy here.

Silicon Valley Open Studios
Saturday and Sunday, the first three weekends in May
Please visit the artists/locations only on the appropriate weekend listed above.
11:00 am – 5:00 pm

A list of all artists with icons depicting their specialty here.

A crude search of artist and locations here.

County Health Department Addresses Swine Flu

According to a notice on the Santa Clara County government web site, the site was simplified to enable increased web traffic in response to the national swine flu outbreak and the upcoming elections. A special swine flu update page has the latest information about swine flu incidents in the county.

There have been four cases of suspected swine flu in the county, but none have been confirmed as swine flu by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The first of these cases was a Branham High School student, prompting the county to close the school until Wednesday, May 6.

There have been 14 confirmed cases of swine flu in California, and 91 total confirmed cases around the U.S. as of mid-day today.

Spanish and Vietnamese-language information, slightly outdated, is also linked from the bottom of the county update page.

Kids Free Fishing Days in Campbell 2009

FishingThe 18th Annual Kids Free Fishing Days is this weekend at the Campbell Percolation Ponds, Los Gatos Creek Park.

Kids 17-years-old and younger fish free and adults are welcome to attend. Bring your own rod, reel, and bait. The ponds will be stocked with 30,000 pounds of trout donated by the California Department of Fish and Game.

Kids who catch specially marked fish will be awarded prizes, including rods, bait and tackle boxes. For very young kids there will be opportunities for prizes at a rubber duck wading pool.

Even though the fishing is for the kids, the whole family can enjoy the event, which also features prizes, games and music. Bring a picnic lunch; there will be hot dogs/sodas available to purchase.

Los Gatos Creek County Park
1250 Dell Ave, Campbell

Saturday and Sunday, May 2 – 3
Begins at sun up and ends at sundown

Los Gatos Creek Park Parking (Vehicle Entry Fee): $6.00

31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin-Robbins

baskin-robbins-31centThis Wednesday April 29 is the third annual 31 Cent Scoop Night celebration at Baskin-Robbins from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

During the event, Baskin-Robbins will thank its loyal customers by reducing the price of all 2.5 oz. scoops (or 3 oz. Soft Serve cones) to just 31 cents plus tax where applicable. Limit 3 scoops person.

As part of 31 Cent Scoop Night, Baskin-Robbins will donate $100,000 to the National Volunteer Fire Council’s National Junior Firefighter Program. At select local stores, you may also have an opportunity to donate to your local fire station.

Store Locations

April 29, 2009
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

San Jose’s own Jarron Gilbert picked up by da Bears

Famous for jumping straight out of a pool in a crazy YouTube stunt, San Jose State’s Jarron Gilbert has just been drafted by the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN. Watch his interview here.

Not only can the man leap like a frog on steroids, but can squat 635 pounds and can dead lift 655 pounds. It took three of his teammates together to do the same. says Jarron should be thanking his father, former New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Daren Gilbert, for his athletic genes. Maybe, among other things, he should be thanking YouTube.

21st Annual Children’s Faire

The San Jose Children’s Faire this Saturday, April 25 is a free outdoor festival designed to link parents and caregivers of young children (ages 2 to 12) with community organizations that serve their needs.

Also, San Jose Library staff will introduce Books and More!, a new library service for parents of young children that consists of a clear plastic backpack available for three-week checkout that contains a selection of age-appropriate bilingual books, a parenting DVD, a music CD and a thematically related toy.

The festival includes family-oriented stage entertainment (throughout the day), activity booths offering hands-on activities for children, in addition to information about education, childcare, health and safety resources, creative arts and recreational programs. Some of the special attractions include Leland Robotics Club, San Jose Police Department Stealth Car (Yikes!), Tooth Mobile, plus 30 activity booths.

Books and More! is for all children, primarily beginning readers, though older children can get some enjoyment from it too. It particularly benefits parents who may not realize the relationship between activities they can do in the home to facilitate their child’s preparation for formal learning and need some help in how to get started. The inclusion of bilingual books makes the packs multi-purpose, able to benefit those who want to read in both languages as well as those families in which the parent may speak Spanish or Vietnamese, but the child already speaks (or needs to learn) English. Both parent and child can learn together through use of these materials.

Books and More! backpacks will be available for checkout through all branches of the San Jose Public Library system.

San Jose Children’s Faire
Discovery Meadow
West San Carlos Street and Woz Way

Saturday, April 25
11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Parking near the Children’s Discovery Museum

Use of public transit is strongly encouraged.

Team Bike Challenge

Photo: Len Gilbert

Photo: Len Gilbert

Bike to Work Day isn’t until May 14, but you can start early and make it last all month by joining Team Bike Challenge. Form a team with up to 4 friends, and sign up on the website. Then each day in May when you use your bike to get to work or run errands, go back to the website to log your ride and score points.

The idea is to create new bike commuters, so your team must have at least one “novice” rider, and novices, “weekend warriors” (recreational riders), and “big wheels” (executives and civic leaders) score extra points for each ride. At the end of the month, the teams with the most points win some small prizes; but the real prize is getting some cars off the road, and getting some new riders onto their bikes.

Earth Day at SJSU


Captain Planet at SJSU (TwitPic credit: @tnisatard)

Captain Planet at SJSU (TwitPic credit: @tnisatard)

Confession: I’ve actually been too tied up with homework today to participate in SJSU’s Earth Day celebration, but I did want to procrastinate for a bit and point out a few notable things about today’s occasion on campus:


  1. According to, the founder of Earth Day is an SJSU alumnus. Gaylord Nelson graduated in 1939 and began Earth Day in 1970 while serving as a U.S. senator. There’s a book on his life here, which has a quote from Al Gore saying that Nelson is “widely regarded as one of the leading environmentalists in American history.” That’s saying something.
  2. Did you know you can recycle a dead cow? For those of you who live in Santa Clara County, the Recycle Stuff Web site will tell you exactly what you can and can’t recycle. (The Center for the Development of Recycling, which maintains the site, is an SJSU-based project.)
  3. To see what the SJSU campus itself is doing nowadays for the Earth, and not just for Earth Day, check out the Environmental Resource Center at SJSU and the Environmental Club (outdated Web site but from what I understand an active club). Also check out the Environmental Studies department.
  4. I also dug up this document published in 2008 that outlines the campus strategy to be more environmentally sustainable. Highlights: Looking into installing solar panels for select buildings, increasing use of recycled water in the MLK Library, using recyclable and compostable packaging in food and dining areas, and using locally grown produce. (Document from here.) How much of it is feasible? How much is already implemented in the year since this document is released? What’s been tabled? I’ll have to do some more digging and calling. But instead, since I really do have to get back to my schoolwork …
  5. Captain Planet was on campus. That is all.

The Kite Runner at SJ Rep – extended run and discounted tickets!


Were you able to see The Kite Runner at the San Jose Repertory Theatre yet?  What’s that? You were too busy filing your taxes?  Well now you have a second chance.  The SJ Rep has extended the run until April 26 and is even giving you a deal on tickets to celebrate.   Buy TWO tickets get ONE FREE for the rest of the run!  To take advantage of the special offer, call the Box Office at 408-267-7255.


Why not celebrate Earth Day by shutting off your lights at home and taking the Light Rail downtown to see the show?


Hitachi Data Systems Presents
The Kite Runner
March 21st – April 26th
adapted by Matthew Spangler
novel by
Khaled Hosseini
directed by
David Ira Goldstein


Adapted from the international best-seller, The Kite Runner is a haunting story of friendship and redemption in modern Afghanistan. This eloquent tale is told through the lives of two boys growing up in Kabul in the same household, but in two starkly different worlds.


Due to popularity and rave reviews, The Kite Runner has been extended through April 26th. Don’t miss what everyone has been raving about!

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