Archive for August, 2010

Tour of Proposed Ballpark Site Sparks High Hopes

Okay, I can only speak for myself but as I stood on the corner of San Fernando and Autumn and looked at the proposed site of the San Jose Athletics ballpark I couldn’t help picturing myself walking through the main entrance of the ballpark on game day and I got pretty excited.

Corner of San Fernando and Autumn

Last night Dennis Korabiak of the San Jose Redevelopment committee took a small group of fans(?) on a tour of the area between Diridon Train Station (Rod Diridon just happened to show up)
and the corner (and hallowed ground if hallowed ground can be secular?) that I hope will one day be the home of a major league ball club. The planners envision extended mass transit such as high speed rail, public art, trails, retail shops, restaurants and clubs. The beautiful artist’s renderings of the proposed ballpark made it easy to imagine this vision coming true. You can go to Pro Baseball San Jose for more details and links to the ballpark plans.

Participate in the Nutcracker ballet, no dance experience required!

Ballet San Jose is looking for men ages 21 and up to be Supernumeraries (non-dancing positions) in this season’s winter story ballet, The Nutcracker.  No previous dance experience required.  If you can count music, are able to run to a beat and jump on cue, then you would be perfect for the ranks of the Super Men.

Ballet San Jose

Interested men should meet the following physical requirements:

Chest Size: no larger than 44″
Height: no taller than 6’3″
Shoe Size: no larger than size 13
Must be physically able to run and jump

Audition Information
Date: Saturday, October 2, 2010
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Location: Ballet San Jose Studios
40 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95113
What to Wear: Sneakers or Running Shoes, Clothing that is comfortable to move in

Questions: Contact Les Reinhardt (408) 288-2820 ext 235 or email
Please RSVP to Les Reinhardt no later than Friday, October 1st at 5pm if you plan to attend.

You will be taught the movement for Red Russian Guards, White Russian Guards and Spanish Guards. You will be notified no later than Tuesday, October 5, if you have been chosen as a Supernumerary for The Nutcracker. The first rehearsal will be Saturday, October 9, 2010 from 2pm to 4pm at the Ballet SJ studios.

Everyone who auditions will have an opportunity to participate in the production. If you are not chosen to perform a Guard Role, you can be a part of the “Banner” during the performance.  Also you may have other opportunities to be a part of the “Nutcracker Experience” at the San Jose CPA.  Provided you fit the costume requirements, you can be Nutty the Nutcracker, the Mouse King, or a character wrangler before performances.

There are also openings for special appearances in the San Jose Holiday Parade which will be carried by NBC Channel 11 TV.

Ladies can also play a part in the “Nutcracker Experience” by dressing up as Mama Tannenbaum (who gives free toys to children) or as a character wrangler. Also, anyone can help decorate the San Jose CPA lobby for the holiday season during our technical rehearsal period.

If you are only interested in being part of the “Nutcracker Experience,” please contact Les Reinhardt at
Don’t miss out on this super fun holiday experience!!!

Pato Banton at 2010’s final Music in the Park

Pato Banton

Pato Banton closed the 2010 season at Music in the Park tonight with a hopping reggae show.

Whiskey Avengers

Local “dirty ska” band Whiskey Avengers was the opener.

Julian Street opens to two-way traffic

Julian Street near downtown San Jose has been converted to two-way traffic after decades as a high-speed one-way thoroughfare. Neighbors who’ve been working to make this change happen hope that calmer traffic on the street will contribute to a safer and more pleasant experience for people living on the street, and even encourage homeowners to live in their Julian Street houses rather than rent them out.

Neighborhood activists had been trying to make this happen for a long time, but what catalyzed it was the San Jose Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI), begun 8 or 10 years ago to revitalize the city’s most neglected neighborhoods. When the Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) for the 13th Street SNI area first met, they established a top-10 list of improvements that would bootstrap the neighborhood out of its cycle of neglect. Number one was to convert high-speed one-way streets to pedestrian-friendly two-way streets. Portions of Third and Fourth Streets have already been converted, and today’s opening marks more or less the half-way point in converting the Julian / Saint James “couplet” to neighborhood-friendly streets. After Saint James, only Tenth and Eleventh Streets remain to be converted.

The SNI and the 13th Street NAC are currently implementing deep cuts due to the financial crisis at City Hall. I’m hopeful that despite that, we will see a few more successes like this conversion on Julian Street over the next couple of years.

Anyone you know?

My neighbor caught these night strollers on video when they stopped to leave a calling card on an electric pole in front of his house. There’s a couple walking their small, light-colored dog. She’s in shorts and carrying a large purse. He’s wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up, dark pants, and white sneakers. The location is near 17th and Saint John Streets. The full video is on Flickr.

I won’t post the actual tag here, but you can see it in my neighbor’s Flickr stream.

What can we do about graffiti? As far as I know, the city is still operating its anti-graffiti program. They’ll provide clean-up materials and official city-beige paint to cover over graffiti. Their webpage also advertises a graffiti reporting hotline at 408-277-2758. Graffiti reported to that hotline should be cleaned up quickly if its on city property (though that “quickly” may be more of a goal than an actuality, given the city’s financial condition) or result in a notification to the property owner for graffiti on private property.

The SJPD also has a graffiti reporting webpage. Reports there won’t lead to a clean up, but they do help pile up evidence against individual taggers so that if they’re caught they can held responsible for more of the damage they’ve done.

I’ve noticed in general there has been less graffiti around the neighborhood than in past summers. I have a theory that with the mild weather kids have been staying indoors playing video games instead of looking for something to do outside. Hopefully these couple days of hot weather won’t reverse the trend.

Candle Lit Vigil For Victims of Violent Crime

Please do not bring candles - use glow sticks.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley is among the sponsors of tonights 2nd Annual Candle Lit Vigil For Victims of Violent Crime.

This event is being held in loving memory of Vahid Hosseini and Officer Jeffrey Fontana. The event will honor those who have lost their lives due to violence.

Speakers include Kathleen Flynn -Vice Mayor of Milpitas.
Key Note Speakers: DA Carr, Jose Salcido on behalf of Mayor Reed, Bobby Lopez, Forrest Williams, Casandra Hosseini, Sandy Fontana- Fallen Officer Jeffery Fontana’s Mother, and Esther Peralez-Dieckmann -Director, SCC Office of Women’s Policy.

San Jose City Hall – 200 East Santa Clara Street San Jose, Ca. 95113

Today · 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Guests are encouraged to sign up at the event to share their personal stories.

Score 1 against Team San Jose

Team San Jose logo

My comments on a recent post of Joann’s might lead you to believe that the marketing of Team San Jose’s recent website re-launch really set off my BS detector. And you’d be right. The main reason was, they sent me two or three emails to invite me to the gala grand launch party, without ever saying what they were launching. It sure looked like someone spending a big pile of money to hype the launch of something they themselves weren’t really sure was worth the excitement.

Now it looks like the smoke and mirrors at Team San Jose might not be confined to their website launch party. The Mercury News and the Silicon Valley Business Journal are both reporting that Team San Jose is in some financial hot water with the city. The organization appears to have gone over its budget by $750,000. They couldn’t have picked a worse year for it, with the city trying to scrape together every nickel it can find, and making cuts left and right.

A week ago, the city sent Team San Jose a sternly worded letter (linked from the Business Journal’s article), formally notifying them they’re in default of their contract with the city. Team San Jose’s books will be audited, and until the audit is completed, they’ll have to take extra steps to obtain payments from the city for their expenses. This week, downtown city councilman Sam Liccardo called for the audit to be expanded not only into the most recent $750,000 shortfall, but also losses between 2005 and 2009 amounting more than double the $9.8 million the city had agreed to subsidise, and liabilities the group may have taken on to promote certain other recent events like the Tech’s Genghis Khan exhibit.

Scott Herhold in the Mercury called the audit a “nuclear option”, in comparison to the slap on the wrist the organization might have gotten if city finances were stronger. For myself, I think it’s about the least that could have been done. The city is making too many cuts to vital services and staff pay and benefits to let anyone spend three quarters of a million dollars of its money without accountability.

Zombie-O-Rama II Infects San Jose

Feeling sluggish from this incredible heat? Maybe school just started or the work week is killing you. Have friends been saying you just don’t look like yourself lately? Come join the rest of us tomorrow night in downtown San Jose for an all-out Zombie-fest.

Zombie walks have been occurring for at least a decade in cities across the world, but come join San Jose in it’s second annual Zombie-O-Rama this Wednesday, August 25th. Bring the whole family out to SLG Art Boutiki in the SoFA district of downtown as early as noon and get decked out in almost-too-creepy-that-kinda-looks-real makeup (artists charging $5 with prices increasing with oozy-gooziness) or get your pre-Halloween juices flowing and arrive already infected from head to toe. I hear you will also be able to purchase awesome Zombie-O-Rama ’10 tshirts at SLG, so make sure you check the place out regardless!

The crawl will make it’s way across the street to Gore Park and officially begins at 5pm. This is when the fun really starts. Hundreds (to thousands – the Facebook event currently has 785 attending with tons more unanswered, and apparently some zombies still don’t use Facebook) of ‘zombies’ will hit the streets. The undead will make a giant loop around downtown (see the super informative map), which to unsuspecting, will be some sight to see. There is also said to be various events set up around the route designed just for the most zealous zombie.

I know a lot of people are excited about this night as a Zombie-Bar-Crawl. Many local bars and businesses will be offering deals such as happy hour prices or special creepy drinks to Zombies; and it’s a lot of fun to see/be a zombie moan and groan into a bar, make it onto their seat and throw back a drink before returning to the masses.

The terrible tour of downtown will meet up again at Gore Park at First/William for a frightful fashion show and then a free outdoor showing of Zombieland thanks to Starlight Cinemas. The film is rated R so parents should use discretion with the kiddies, but it is a creepy-comedy that shouldn’t be missed for the adults.

But wait, there’s more! Zombie-O-Rama has once again teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank to promote the undead donating their canned foods to the living. Last year nearly 2,000 pounds of food was donated so let’s try to out-donate and out-zombie the past making San Jose’s Zombie Crawl a positive sign of the times. Cans will be accepted at both Gore Park and SLG, which by the way is located at 577 S. Market Street.

I recommend getting together; carpooling, making a little ‘bike party’ of your own into town, or crawl onto VTA and zombify the rest of San Jose!

Produce Doesn’t Get Much More Local than This

Veggielution Community Farm is now selling at the Downtown Farmers Market every Friday from 10-2 until December 14 (closed the day after Thanksgiving). This means we now have access to the most local and sustainable produce in San Jose. For two dollars you can buy a beautiful bunch of basil that was picked just two hours before you bought it.

In addition to heirloom tomatoes, Veggielution has a variety of unusual and heritage vegetables which means you may find something you’ve never seen or tried before.

The proceeds from Veggielution’s farmers market stand go to support programs such as Veggie Youth and Family Day. So look for their colorful display of approximately 100 pounds of freshly picked produce that has travelled a total of 3.5 miles to the market.

These satisfied customers are walking away with a Sugar Baby watermelon.

Talented Local Chef Cooks for a Cause

Out at Veggielution Community Farm yesterday, classically trained (New York Culinary Institute of America) Chef Joseph Gaudet prepared a delicious and satisfying lunch to promote the Bounty of Hearts Delight Banquet, Veggielution’s annual fundraising dinner. Veggielution Community Farm began when two San Jose State students offered to establish organic vegetable gardens in local backyards in exchange for a place to grow vegetables. The project grew to what is now a large farm that produces around 800 pounds of produce a week (much of which is donated to local charities) and has as many as 80 volunteers come out to help on community workdays. Veggielution has always been about teaching (and learning from) the community and they now sponsor workshops, youth programs, internships, family days and cooking/nutrition classes for moms. Chef Gaudet gave us a sneak peak of the kinds of dishes that will be part of the banquet. We had his version of the BLT which was crispy, golden strips of pork belly and tempura green tomatoes wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves.

He also served a rich, creamy gumbo with influences from many cultures.

For dessert we enjoyed fresh picked Sugar Baby and Stars and Stripes watermelons.

Mark with watermelons right out of the field

The Bounty of Hearts Delight banquet will begin with appetizers (and a tour) at the farm and proceed to beautiful Eulipia Restaurant in downtown San Jose. To see the menu for the banquet you can go here.

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