Archive for the ‘Santa Clara County’ Category

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!


Take the $4.50 challenge for Hunger Action Week

$4.50 is the daily food budget of the average food stamps recipient.

September 20 through 25 is Hunger Action Week, and United Way of Silicon Valley is challenging you to eat on a food stamps budget. The average Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”) recipient, which includes nearly 40 million Americans, is budgeted $4.50 per day for food. The $4.50 per day challenge is meant to raise awareness of the difficulty of subsisting on such a small budget, and encourage us to donate or volunteer with programs that provide food for the needy. In addition to the $4.50 Challenge, United Way is suggesting 4 more ways to take action against hunger, to make 5 ways in 5 days.

Even if you’re reading this on Monday, it’s not too late to take the challenge. You can sign up for anywhere between 1 and 5 days. Visit the registration page to sign up. You can also get some suggestions for how to keep on budget from the getting started guide. I’m taking the challenge, and I’ll let you know how it goes here on San Jose Metblogs.

How to Lose 20,000 Pounds in Eight Hours

On Saturday, August 7, the folks at 4others would like us to join them for a one-day food drive benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Their goal is to collect 20,000 pounds of food benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank.

To view a list of participating grocery stores (Santa Clara County) click here, and then get that extra weight out of your kitchen.

Saturday, August 7, 2010
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

4others on facebook

Food 4others Drive

The second Food 4others Drive benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank will take place on Saturday, August 7th.

The food bank serves 236,500 people every month. One in four people in our own county are at risk for hunger. The Food 4others Drive will conduct a one-day city-wide food drive. The goal is to collect 20,000 pounds of food in just eight hours.

Can you help? Volunteers are needed to pass out fliers to interested incoming customers and help receive donations at participating grocery stores. Donations can be dropped into the barrels located on site. All of the resources – fliers, poster, name tags, barrels, etc. will be provided for volunteers.

This event will take place from 9 AM to 5 PM on 8/7/2010

Together we can make a difference in our community!

Please let April know if you can volunteer during this time. She will give you all the details.

April Hunt

(408) 717-1488

Food 4others

facebook ~ Food 4others

Badwater for Good Water Walk

Check back with San Jose Metblogs for a list of participating grocery stores taking donations on Aug. 7th.

DooF at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted (3 to 2) to ban the toys which are included in fast-food kid meals. I doubt that the measure, presented by Supervisor Ken Yeager, will keep children from becoming obese. There are many other reasons why a child might become overweight. Turning off a child’s want of fast food by denial will not solve the problem. Education is the solution for learning good eating habits, and that is where DooF can help.

DooF (F-o-o-d spelled backwards) is a program designed to help kids make healthful food choices. Kids learn by preparing some of their own meals and snacks while having fun. Parents take the responsibility for setting the food budget, buying ingredients, and supervising the younger chefs.

I attended two DooF-a-Palooza events held at Google in 2007 and 2008. Cooking stations were set up where kids could experience hands on food preparation. Oh, the joy on their faces – and without a toy!

DooF-on-Wheels will be at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market – Look for a Creme Brulee – colored bio-diesel Mercedes with DooF on the side. There will be kids and a film crew near by. A citrus grower, Didar Sing, will ask questions like, “Do citrus fruits really have superpowers?”

Berkeley Farmers’ Market
Center Street @ M. L. King, Jr. Way
(510) 548-3333
Saturday, May 1
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
DooF-on-Wheels there Noon to 3:00 PM

DooF will be visiting other locations throughout the Bay Area.

DooF the Blog
DooF on facebook
FoodBackwards on twitter

Tsunami May Reach the Santa Cruz Harbor

The weather service is warning that a Tsunami, caused by the 8.8 earthquake in Chile, may reach the California coast

Special Weather Statement

The Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol has put up notices advising boat owners of the high tide.

People are asked to stay away from beaches and shorelines.

Surfing is not advised.

The advisory includes the Bay Area counties:

San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Marin, Monterey, Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Clara, and Alameda.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Santa Cruz National Weather Service

Tornado Warning for Santa Clara County

The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Santa Clara County. This included the city of Morgan Hill and Santa Cruz County.

* at 202 PM PST… National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated
a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado moving
northeast at 35 mph. – * until 230 PM PST – This storm may produce quarter size hail.

The first that I heard about a possible tornado was on twitter. abc7newsBayArea. I was not notified by ALERTSCC. So obviously Santa Clara County does not consider a looming tornado enough of a life altering threat to send out the town crier.

I would like to ask San José Mayor Chuck Reed if we will only be alerted after the roof blows off?

Precautionary/preparedness actions:

The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement. (not many in San José) Get under a
workbench or other piece of sturdy furniture. If no basement is
available… seek shelter on the lowest floor of the building in an
interior hallway or room such as a closet. Use blankets or pillows to
cover your body and always stay away from windows.

If in Mobile homes or vehicles… evacuate them and get inside a
substantial shelter. If no shelter is available… lie flat in the
nearest ditch or other low spot and cover your head with your hands.

San Jose – Sign Up for Emergency Alerts

Emergency Notice PDA.JPG
To quote John Fogerty, “I see earth quakes and lightnin’ – I hear hurricanes a-blowing – I fear rivers over flowing – look’s like we’re in for nasty weather …”

OK, so there won’t be a hurricane here in San Jose, but the big one (earthquake) could hit at anytime. There are many reasons to need emergency information. Though it is not high on the likelihood list, the threat of a terrorist attack is possible.

I registered with the notification system called ALERTSCC (Santa Clara County Emergency Alert System). In the event of a catastrophe I will be notified by way of: text message, e-mail, and/or phone.

Rebates for water-wise gardening

Fall is a great time to replant a garden, and, if you’re willing to plant a low-water garden, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is willing to help out with rebates for water-wise landscaping improvements. The rebates are available if you replace at least 100 square feet of high-water landscaping with approved new plants, or replace wasteful irrigations systems with high-efficiency irrigation like drip tube. Low-water landscaping is a great opportunity to plant Californa native plants, which look beautiful, save water, and provide food and habitat for our native critters. Although its not as pretty, the landscaping rebate is also available if you landscape (or maybe replace pavement) with “permeable hardscape”, meaning porous solid surfaces that allow water to drain through into the soil.

There’s quite a few restrictions on the rebate program, and you have to contact SCVWD before starting your project, so check out the details on the website for landscape replacement rebates or irrigation equipment rebates.

(Hat tip to Bonnie on NNASJ for this story)

Second Chance Day Donation Drive 2009

Second Chance DaySecond Chance Day is a donation drive hosted by the Town of Los Gatos this Saturday October 10 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Your donations (clean and in good condition) will be given to Saint Luke’s Church Pantry Program, Emergency Housing Consortium Lifebuilders, InnVision, Career Closet, Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence and the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. These are local agencies within Santa Clara County.

Accepted donations in men, women and children sizes include: sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets, coats, raincoats, wind breakers, jeans, and sweatpants.

The donations of towels and blankets go to help animals housed in the Humane Society of Silicon Valley in Milpitas.

Donated eyeglasses will go to the Los Gatos Lions Club’s “Lions in Sight” program, which donates refurbished glasses to people in third world countries. Prescription eyeglasses and UV protected sunglasses, non-prescription UV-protected sunglasses, along with non-prescription reading glasses are accepted.

Los Gatos Neighborhood Center
208 East Main Street, Los Gatos

Saturday October 10, 2009
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.