I only saw this because I drove by as the event was winding down. But according to the Merc’s report, these marchers are requesting the county to open a grand jury investigation into the police shooting of Daniel Pham this past May.
A couple of photos from the National Night Out event in the Northside.
Tuesday August 4 is the 26th Annual National Night Out.
So, what the heck is National Night Out?
It is America’s night out against crime, a way to strengthen community partnerships with local police and to create a united front to combat crime and drugs.
It is designed to:
Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Scheduled participants include Mayor Chuck Reed, Vice Mayor Judy Chirco, San Jose Councilmembers Pete Constant, Ash Kalra, Sam Liccardo, Kansen Chu, Nora Campos, Pierluigi Oliverio, Madison Nguyen, Rose Herrera, and Nancy Pyle, Police Chief Rob Davis, along with community members throughout San Jose.
National Night Out
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
4:00 pm to 10:30 pm (times vary by location)
Starting tomorrow, the San Jose Police Department will be providing a new tool to allow residents to help fight graffiti. A new web page will allow us to report graffiti, including uploading pictures.
SJPD will use the reports to identify taggers for further investigation. The photos will be kept in a database to ensure that when caught, taggers can be held accountable for more of their actual offenses.
I sure hope this works. There’s too much graffiti out there. For the city, it means parks and library workers are busy repainting things when they could be doing other important maintenance in their facilities. Small business owners are forced to pay for clean-up at their businesses. And for the rest of us, graffiti makes us feel like we live in a city run by gangs instead of citizens.
A group of 100 or so citizens and civic leaders convened this afternoon at City Hall Plaza for a vigil to honor San Jose police, fire fighters, and crime victims. Speakers included Chuck Reed, Councilmembers Ash Kalra and Nora Campos, District Attorney Delores Carr, Police Union President Bobby Lopez, and Fire Fighters union president Randy Sekany. All of the speakers expressed thanks to the city’s police and fire fighters for their dedication to the city and the risks they take on our behalf. They also showed support for the families of crime victims, with particular attention to the family of Vahid Hosseini, a shopkeeper who was robbed and murdered almost exactly one year ago while making a deposit at a near-downtown Bank of the West branch.
It’s a shame that at the same moment, rhetorically speaking, as they joined together to honor and respect those deserving public servants and crime victims, so many of these same people are engaged in a game of “who can get their foot deeper in their mouth?” First, community organizer Raj Jayadev made a speech at the City Council that seemed to threaten a radical “street response” to perceived police bias against certain groups. Then, Police Officers Association president Lopez posted a video of the speech on the POA’s new blog in which he added titles that might be called snide (or maybe just childish) commentary on Jayadev’s speech. Somebody returned fire anonymously with an equally snide (and childish) response video.
Finally, councilmembers Kalra and Sam Liccardo got into the game by issuing a letter that seems to be meant to return this debate to a civil basis. Unfortunately Kalra and Liccardo’s letter has been interpreted as (and reported as) scolding the POA for the video, and infringing their first amendment right to keep their foot solidly in their mouth. In the end everybody seems to come out a loser in this debacle.
A friend of a friend of a friend has not been seen since late last week. Muni Bart Perzov was last seen on Thursday, April 30, at the Shell gas station on the corner of Hamilton and Meridian, with his navy blue ’98 Audi A4, California license number 3VVN796. Later that day, he SMS’ed his girlfriend, telling her he was heading up toward Mount Hamilton for some stargazing, something he does often. He has not been seen or heard from since then.
Friends of Muni have released a poster with more details. If you have any information about Muni’s whereabouts, please contact the SJPD at (408)277-8900 and refer to missing persons case #091219524.
But for those of you who do, try this: Type in your zip code, your address, the name of your neighborhood, whatever, into EveryBlock in San Jose. It will tell you all the crime reported in your area, the real estate for sale, the news items posted recently about your neighborhood, restaurant inspections, recent Yelp! reviews… and it’ll even have detailed maps to spell it all out for you. Sheesh. That’s a lot of information. Scary, scary information.
But… oddly… helpful.
You can decide whether you want to be creeped out by the number of burglaries by your house by signing up for email or RSS notifications, constantly reminding you what life would have been like if you were only richer.
The best way to use the site is just to enter where you live, but you can still see some city-wide statistics, categorized into zip code or neighborhood. Some of the highlights of what you can dig up:
- The charts for police calls for service pit neighborhoods against each other. As of today, downtown has the most, but Willow Glen comes fourth. Go figure.
- Check out the city council agendas and see if there’s any items hidden in them with an address near you.
- Get all your building and housing information here. What property is for sale? Any foreclosures? What about building permits nearby?
- Have a lot of restaurants around your block? See if anyone’s been messing with the food inspectors here or are planning to change their liquor licenses here. Or just check out what your neighbors are saying about them here.
- Seeing your zip code repeatedly in the Merc is never good. So find out what the news is saying about where you live here. (Plug: if San Jose Metblogs posts about an address in your area, it’ll show up there too. Don’t make us mad.)
- Sometimes geotagged photos pulled from Flickr and Panoramio may be more telling than any visit for prospective homebuyers.
- Zip codes may not accurately break down your neighborhood, so browse through this list and see if that works any better. Or if you’re more daring, browse by street.
Tuesday, August 5, is National Night Out. You can participate by locking your doors, turning on outside lights, and spending an evening outside with neighbors and police.
National Night Out (NNO) is a nationwide program that organizes individual communities against local crime. Last year, over 11,000 communities across the country, and about 60 neighborhoods in San Jose, participated in National Night Out. Conceived in the early ’80s to increase participation in town watch programs, NNO in San Jose today has shifted emphasis toward improving contact between neighborhoods and the Police Department.
The goals of National Night Out are to
- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
- Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
- Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Around San Jose, the bay area, and the whole country, volunteers will participate by showing support for their police officers and arranging activities to bring out the community to meet their police, usually in local parks.
In my neighborhood, San Jose’s Northside, National Night Out will be celebrated with an outdoor showing of the movie The Water Horse in Backesto Park, a picnic dinner for 500 people, and DJ music by Northsider Victor Tapia. The picnic dinner begins at 6 PM, and the movie will be shown at dusk.
If your neighborhood has a National Night Out event planned, please leave us a comment and let us know.
Unless you have been asleep at the wheel, you should know that the new wireless hands free while driving law has begun.
Actually, there are two new laws taking effect today, July 1, the first prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless phone while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers 18 and over may use a hands-free device. The second law is that drivers under the age of 18 may not use a wireless phone or hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle.
Drivers 18 and over will be allowed to use a hands-free device to talk on their wireless phone while driving using a Bluetooth earpiece, corded headset, or the wireless phone’s speakerphone.
The base fine for the first offense is $20 and $50 for subsequent convictions. With the addition of penalty assessments, the fines can be more than triple the base fine amount.
Bay Area Crime Stoppers (BACS) is a way for the community to inform law enforcement of tips regarding crime.
The toll-free number 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) covers all nine Bay Area counties and your call is completely anonymous. The 24/7 call center has multilingual operators.
“Callers are never asked to identify themselves and there is no equipment in the call center that records voices or traces telephone numbers. Anonymity is guaranteed. Those who call Crime Stoppers receive a code number that allows them to claim a reward once an arrest and indictment has been made.”
Tip: program the number into your phones.
More information here.