Archive for the ‘Parks’ Category

Free Outdoor Movie Night in St. James Park

This Wednesday August 31 – Jurassic Park.
In September (21), the movie will be Beetlejuice.

Pre-movie games for kids start at 6 p.m.
Movies are free and begin at dusk.

Movies are free; however, parking: $5 parking after 6 p.m. is available in city-owned garages, including those at Third Street near Santa Clara Street, Market and San Pedro streets, San Carlos and Second or Third streets and Fourth and San Fernando streets.  Public lots near St. James Park also offer plentiful parking. More info here.

St. James Park, San Jose
Second and St. James streets

The Realities of California’s Drought In Santa Clara County

calero creek fish loss

We’ve all heard the stories and seen the photos on the news about just how bad the drought is in California and other states. But today, as I left my neighborhood of green lawns and gardens and drove out into the country I noticed new evidence that took my breath away. Along one of my favorite riding trails runs Calero creek, an area full of wildlife. Fish, crayfish, birds and of course raccoons, skunks, opossum and the occasional bobcat rely on the daily releases from the reservoir to keep the creek flowing. So do the farmers and homes who use wells and creeks for watering their livestock.

As of yesterday the creek is no longer flowing. The banks are dry, and although there are some areas that still hold a small amount of water, those will dry up soon too.

In a 100 yard section of creek bed I saw scores of fish dead or dying. The remaining pools of water are getting smaller and the wildlife trapped in them will die as well.

Unless we get significant rain, there will be few or no releases of water from the reservoir in the near future and the death toll in the creek is heartbreaking.

According to a resource at the Santa Clara Water District offices, all of the reservoirs that use imported water (pumped in from the California Aquaduct for example) are significantly reducing or completely stopping outflow to the creeks. This includes Calero, and Almaden reservoirs.

According to the water district staff person I spoke with, the California department of fish and wildlife (CDFW) is working with the Water District and tough calls have to be made.

The CDFW has closed several streams to fishing until they determine water flows are adequate. You can find a partial list here. Other streams deemed not as important because there aren’t steelhead present, are simply being “turned off”.

What can you do?
It’s time to take our heads out of the sand folks. Take a look at this photo of what is left of the wildlife in Calero creek and ask yourself if you really need to keep your grass green or take a 15 minute shower. Start thinking about how you can conserve.

The  Santa Clara Valley Water District is asking for a 10% reduction in water use. To meet the reduction goal, the water district will double rebates paid to people who conserve water, promote water conservation laws in cities and use technology to convert the county’s wastewater into drinkable water within five years. But that’s in 5 years. We must conserve now.

Learn more about the California Water Action Plan, which will guide state efforts to enhance water supply reliability, restore damaged and destroyed ecosystems and improve the resilience of our infrastructure.

And while you’re at it. Pray for rain!

 

Lake Cunningham Skatepark – Top 10 Skateparks in the World!

Wanna know something cool? San Jose is home to one of the largest skateparks in the United States.

Wanna know something else that’s cool? A Red Bull UK blog post identified the Lake Cunningham Regional Skatepark as one of the 10 best in the world.

You should check out the competition. San Jose is in good company.

You can read all about it in a blog entry called  Girls, Girls, Girls: Juliet’s Top 10 Skateparks in the World on the Red Bull UK blog.

For more information about Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park, visit the official website.

Visit the official community activist website supporting the skate park at SJActionSports.com.

Lake Cunningham Regional Skatepark
2305 S. White Road
San Jose, CA 95148

(408) 794-SKATe (7528)

A Busy Summer for 2012: Ready, Set, CALENDAR!

Thought you’d have the summer off from theater, music and performance this year? HAH! This summer is shaping up to be the most busy and FUN summer in recent history.  Here are just a few items which you can plan for.  Metblogs should be at all these events, so if you can’t make it we’ll tell you about the fun you missed!  Don’t let it come to that… Put these events on your calendars now!

 

Roxanne (Jessica Wortham) and Jake (Craig Marker) inspect Harry's (Gabriel Marin) equity card in The Understudy. Photo: Kevin Berne

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The Understudy
Now through June 3
San Jose Repertory

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SOMETIMES A VENEER OF PROFESSIONALISM IS THE ONLY THING MASKING ALL-OUT PANIC
Time is running out to see this show that Kathleen Normington, Professor of Theatre at SJSU, called “brilliant and achingly touching”.  Metblogs sadly had to miss this show, but all the reviews have been raving.

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Opera SJ

Summer Concert Series
Opera San Jose
Ongoing

One need never live without opera in San Jose.  OSJ has posted their Summer Concert Series schedule on their Facebook page, and if you haven’t clicked LIKE yet, you’re missing a lot of great deals.

 

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Bill W. and Dr. Bob

Bill W. and Dr. Bob
San Jose Repertory
June 21 through July 15

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A GREAT AMERICAN STORY ABOUT HEALING AND CONNECTION
This quick-witted and honest docu-drama follows two dynamic and dedicated men who, in the midst of their battle with acute and debilitating alcoholism, formed a formidable and historic alliance to help others combat the same addiction. Bill Wilson, a stockbroker who crashed with the stock market, finds himself in a bar. He could have pursued any number of distractions–a game of solitaire, reading a book–instead he chose to make a phone call. Through an astonishing series of events and bitter humor comes the inspiring, true story of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and their wives.

The Odyssey

The Odyssey on Angel Island State Park
We Players
Now through July 1

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A couple years ago the We Players put on an amazing live Hamlet at Alcatraz. This summer it’s a live action The Odyssey on Angel Island.  Metblogs will be there June 16 and this is one of the shows we’re most excited about.  Missing the Alcatraz Hamlet show is something I’ll regret forever, I’ll not make the same mistake twice!  We’re so excited we’re going to read The Odyssey one more time before we go!

 

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Cavalia

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Cavalia
July 11 – July 22

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It’s like Cirque du Soleil with horses!  Go to the website and check out the videos.  I can’t imagine a more beautiful show.  We’ve checked out the word on animal treatment and they appear to get the highest marks possible, so you can have a guilt free enjoyment of some of the most beautiful horses in the world.  Some packages even allow for a tour of the stables after the show!  Tickets go on sale June 3.

 

"One ring to bind them!" Charles Ross in One-Man Lord of the Rings™

 

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One-Man Lord of the Rings™
July 24 through July 29
San Jose Repertory

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Last summer at San Jose Rep, Ross kept audiences laughing with his solo take on the Star Wars trilogy. This time in One-Man Lord of the Rings™, Ross shoehorns 11 hours and 23 minutes of Peter Jackson’s epic films into a 70-minute show packed with 42 characters, theme music, and sound effects. 

Metblogs was there last summer and it was the most frenetic 90 minutes we’d ever lived through.  We wouldn’t miss this show for the world and you shouldn’t either.

Watson Park officially re-opened

After being closed for 7 years to clean up and contain contamination due to the site’s former use as a trash dump, Watson Park in San Jose’s Northside neighborhood was officially re-opened today. The Northside Neighborhood Association put on a fantastic opening ceremony to commemorate the event.

City Manager Debra Figone talked about her history growing up in the Northside, and her first job with the city, supervising kids in Parks & Rec programs at Watson Park. Other speakers included Councilman Sam Liccardo, City Public Works Manager Dave Sykes, and San Jose Parks Foundation Executive Director James Reber.

District 3 City Councilman Sam Liccardo presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Finally, the San Jose High Mariachi and Folklorico provided some tuneful and colorful entertainment.

And, even before the ceremony was over, the local kids were there to make sure the facilities were up to spec.

With new facilities including a pelletized-rubber artificial turf soccer field, dog park, basketball courts, and kids play areas, Watson is now one of the city’s premier parks. Future plans include bringing back garden plots to the park, and a link to the Coyote Creek bicycle trail.

I’m glad to see this neighborhood resource finally available again after a long effort to clean it up.

Spring in Guadalupe Gardens

The Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, the City, and a variety of sponsors interested in environmental issues put on a nice event today: Spring in Guadalupe Gardens. This was a great chance to enjoy spring weather, maybe pick up a few new plants for the garden, and see how the park is developing. For people with kids there were a bunch of booths with educational presentations on recycling, water conservation, and other environmental topics. On top of that, there was live music and other fun activities.

Shed House Bluegrass Band

More Meatballs

In case you missed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs a couple of weeks ago at Muni Stadium, there’s another chance to see it free under the stars tomorrow night. The 13th Street Neighborhood Advisory Committee will show the film Tuesday, August 3rd, at Backesto Park, near the corner of 15th and Jackson Streets in San Jose. The event starts at 6 p.m., with free hot dogs, chips, and soda for the first 500 people. Film time will be around 8:30.

The show is part of National Night Out, an annual event meant to bring out communities to meet their local police departments and participate in public safety. Other neighborhoods around town will be having a variety of National Night Out events, so keep your eyes open, and consider dropping by.

New (old) building grand opening at History Park

The Andrew P. Hill House

The Andrew P. Hill House (photo: VPA)

History San Jose and the Victorian Preservation Association of Santa Clara Valley (VPA) are holding a grand opening this Sunday for the Andrew P. Hill House at History Park.

The house was the home of Andrew P. Hill, a San Jose resident and co-founder of the Sempervirens Club, which was responsible for the creation of California’s first state park at Big Basin in 1902. The house was moved from its location on Sherman Ave in 1997, and underwent restoration led by the VPA over the following 12 years. VPA also collected period artifacts and items from the Hill family to exhibit in the house. The house was opened to visitors in April, 2009.

The grand opening event will feature a ribbon-cutting, antique cars, tours of the house, and costumed actors. It runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 25. History Park is at the south end of Kelly Park, on Senter Road, near Alma Ave.

The Odd Numbers at Music in the Park

I just got back from tonight’s Music in the Park. I didn’t go for The English Beat, what I wanted to see was the local punk band, The Odd Numbers. They gave a great show, and they got a great response from the crowd. Their show was mostly original numbers, but they did include covers of songs by the Kinks, Elvis Costello, and The Who, which give a an idea of the band’s style.

The Odd Numbers at Music in the Park

Northside neighborhood celebrates restored bocce courts

Bocce court

Two of three bocce courts at Backesto Park have been restored.

The Northside Neighborhood Association celebrated recent improvements to the bocce courts at Backesto Park with a bocce lunch party yesterday. Unfortunately the event was scheduled before the US made it in to the World Cup round of 16, playing at exactly the same time, which might partly explain the modest attendance.

The Luna Park Business District, composed of businesses located along North Thirteenth Street in the Northside, held a mixer event at the bocce courts on Friday. The Luna Park businesses, especially Chiaramonte’s Deli, have made significant contributions to recent work on the courts, and have volunteered to help with future maintenance. Chiaramonte’s also provided lunch for the NNA event yesterday.

After the courts were threatened with removal due to underuse, as we reported in April, a group of volunteers from the Northside got together to restore the courts and make them playable again. Two of the court surfaces were cleaned up with a new layer of crushed oyster shells, and sun shades were erected over the two ends of one of the three courts. All in all, NNA president Chuck Hagenmeier estimates over 100 volunteer hours went into the project.

The results are impressive. Courts that had been weedy, cracked, and flaking are now as smooth as a slate pool table, and eye-searingly white and clean. New users such as a Special Olympics group are coming forward, and the improved court surface should make the courts more appealing to casual pick-up players. The courts are available for use by the public at no charge. The keys to the courts and a set of balls can be borrowed from the nearby Bronco’s Mexican Restaurant or Chiaramonte’s Deli, with the deposit of a drivers license or credit card, during regular business hours.

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