SouthSanJose.com Home-Based Business Public Service Announcement
Advertise with SouthSanJose.com. Packages start at $79 per year.
SouthSanJose.com: The Community Web Site Serving Santa Teresa, Almaden Valley, Blossom Valley, Coyote Valley and Evergreen
Community News, Events, Announcements, Sports and Crime Businesses, Neighbors, Organizations / Groups, Government, Schools, Parks, Places of Worship, Services, Utilities and Carpooling Feedback, Chat / Messages, Lost and Found, Home Improvements, Home and Family and Survey Real Estate, Classified Ads, Free / Nearly Free and Meet Our Sponsors About Us - Find out about the creators of this community web site.

Community News

Community Update for January, 2002

Reported and written by Elizabeth Cord
President, Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group

Dear Friends,

A Happy New Year to all, and I hope your holidays were wonderful.

Some neighborhood updates I wanted to share:

Plaza de Santa Teresa

After three long years without an anchor tenant, Plaza de Santa Teresa (corner Cottle and Santa Teresa) will host a groundbreaking for the new 24-Hour Fitness Center, along with a complete facade renovation and landscaping upgrade of the Plaza, on Saturday, February 2, 2002. A gala neighborhood Grand Opening will be held upon completion, targeted for Fall 2002.

Neighbors were successful in 1999, through phone calls and emails to Lucky's and the Plaza's management company, Duckett-Wilson Development, in getting the center cleaned up and the resident homeless relocated to safer and warmer quarters.

Although a grocery store is needed and wanted at this location, the departing Lucky's chain (now Albertson's) left a permanent restriction (covenant) on the property that no groceries can ever be sold there. We won a partial release of the covenant in order to try to get Trader Joe's interested; despite over 600 neighborhood letters to TJ's, they declined to locate a store here.

The new 24-Hour Fitness Center will be a super center, complete with swimming pool and basketball courts. The Dollar Tree will be moving out, and, in an unrelated development, the Teddy Bear laundromat has moved out. No word on the rumor that McDonald's might come back.

Despite the vacancies, Plaza de Santa Teresa has remained a thriving neighborhood center, with Tina's Hallmark, Roundtable Pizza, Daily Doughnuts, Brunetto's Flowers, Japanese restaurant, Rite-Aid, Jack in the Box, dry cleaner, Santa Teresa video, and the nail and hair salon.

Senior Access

When the Lucky's closed in 1999, you may recall that residents of the Senior citizen apartments at 6250 Santa Teresa were stranded without access to groceries. At that time, the Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group began the volunteer Senior Access program to provide free Saturday afternoon rides to the Albertson's on Bernal. We have to date provided nearly 800 Senior grocery trips.

We plan to continue this service and welcome new volunteers. Anyone who would like to invest an hour in this very worthy effort, please reply and we will schedule you at your convenience.

Recycling

Beginning this summer, you will be receiving new, wheeled recycling carts into which you can place all your recyclables, without sorting. A community meeting to outline the changes will be hosted by Clean 'n Green on Friday, February 8, 2002, at Southside Community Center, 5585 Cottle Road. Also, watch your recycling bill for inserts, or get more info at www.sjrecycles.org or 277-2700.

Elections

In addition to the upcoming Mayoral election, in which incumbent Ron Gonzales faces several challengers, the other race affecting local areas in the March 2002 election is for the District 1 County Supervisor seat. The two candidates running are Morgan Hill Mayor Dennis Kennedy (Democrat), and the current County Supervisor Don Gage (Republican). Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group will try to coordinate a Candidate's Forum so you can hear the goals and opinions of each candidate. Details will follow in another email.

Power Plant & Recycled Water Pipeline

A coalition of local and state community and environmental organizations has filed several appeals to legally challenge the licensing and associated air permitting for the proposed Metcalf Energy Center (MEC). You can read the California Supreme Court and Superior Court petitions on our website:

http://www.santateresacitizen.org/docs/supreme.pdf

In the period just before MEC was approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and then subsequently, Calpine has made numerous changes to the project, including:

  • MEC's emissions (greater than originally approved)
  • Visual Plume (more hours when plume can be visible)
  • Plant design (has changed several times, we still do not know what the design will be)
  • Water source (they will now use an existing groundwater well for construction water)
  • Footprint (recently approved to add 14 acres)

    All of these changes have been approved by the CEC without proper environmental impact reports, public comments, or meaningful notice to City of San Jose or concerned neighbors. In fact, the CEC has approved all requests by Calpine to change the project post-approval.

    Also, there is some uncertainty within the City of San Jose as to whether it is appropriate for $26 million taxpayer dollars to be spent on a recycled water pipeline to serve the Metcalf Energy Center. The current pipeline deal calls for the City to pay $26M up front, with Calpine to pay back 1/3 of the total, or about $8M, over a 30-year period.

    Calpine's recent stock fall, from $58/share last March, to a low of $11/share in December, and their recent downgrade to junk bond status, have called into question Calpine's ability to repay this debt. KLIV radio reported on 1/7/02 that City of San Jose will not continue planning work on the pipeline unless they receive assurance from Calpine as to the planned Metcalf Energy Center's viability.

    Additionally, Great Oaks Water Company and STCAG have filed a lawsuit against the construction of the recycled water pipeline to serve the power plant, questioning the public health impact of the recycled water on local residents. The Metcalf Energy Center, if built, proposes to use over 3 million gallons per day of recycled water from its cooling towers; some of which will enter the adjacent Metcalf percolation ponds, which supply the drinking water aquifer relied on by Great Oaks' 80,000 customers.

    Although we have received assurances that the recycled water is clean and safe, in fact it is not approved for drinking water. Independent testing of the recycled water has revealed unhealthy concentrations of a contaminant of concern.

    A letter from the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, which was founded to address groundwater contamination from the former Fairchild property on Bernal Road, outlines some of the concerns with endocrine disrupters and pharmaceuticals that could be present in recycled water, and the potential to effect human health.

    Great Oaks Water has had its drinking water wells contaminated in the past by local industry (the tragic Fairchild contamination and the MTBE plume under the gas station at Cottle and Santa Teresa, to name a few), and takes its mandate to protect their wells and provide clean, safe drinking water to their customers seriously.

    You can read the text of the recycled water pipeline lawsuit on our website at:

    http://www.santateresacitizen.org/docs/water.pdf

    and the associated 12/13/01 Mercury News article at:

    http://www0.mercurycenter.com/front/docs1/020684.htm

    CommunityFest

    Mark your new calendar now and plan to attend our Third Annual neighborhood CommunityFest, scheduled for 9/21/02. We are looking for enthusiastic people to help us organize this great event, please reply if you are interested in serving your community in this way.

    We have openings in publicity, donor recruitment, kids games committee, vendors and exhibitors coordination, entertainment coordinator, volunteer recruitment, and more. Although most of our Festival Committee from last year will be returning, our event has grown in attendance (from 2,500 in 2000 to 10,000 in 2001) and we will need more people on each committee. Warning: You will have lots of fun if you help out with CommunityFest!

    Winter Outings

    Take some time to enjoy our beautiful hillsides, now in winter green, soon to be washed in the bright yellow of wild mustards' late winter bloom. We really live in a very special place.

    The Greenbelt Alliance has organized the following winter outings for our area:

    Sunday, January 27 Quicksilver Quest

    Hike over beautiful oak-studded hills to old mining sites, hunt for Cinnabar (red ore of mercury), and visit the museum to excavate the South Bay's fascinating mercury mining past at Almaden Quicksilver park near San Jose. 10 AM to 4 PM. (Moderate difficulty level, 7 miles, little elevation change.)

    Sunday, March 10 Ultra Uvas Canyon Falls

    Follow creeks through second growth redwoods to three fantastic waterfalls on the east side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. These wonders of nature are tucked away in a seldom-visited park near Morgan Hill. 10 AM to 3 PM. (Easy/Moderate, 4 miles, little elevation gain.) RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

    For more information on Winter Outings 2002, to place a reservation, or to learn about other outings throughout the Bay Area, go to www.greenbelt.org.

    Coyote and Canoas Creeks

    Much of South San Jose is in a flood plain. We are entering the rainiest time of the year, and local residents should watch local creeks for rising water levels. Flooding in Santa Clara Valley can occur with little warning. Filled sandbags, if you should need them, are available 24/7 (free) at:

  • Water District Winfield Warehouse, 5905 Winfield Blvd
  • Water District administration building, 5750 Almaden Expwy

    For more information, go to www.heynoah.com or 1-888-HEY-NOAH

    Finally, the Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group has the role, coordinating with the Santa Clara Valley Water District, of maintaining and monitoring segments of Coyote and Canoas Creeks. We are planning a Creek Day, date to be scheduled, for early Spring. If you are interested in restoring and maintaining the riparian habitat, helping our creeks be flood-safe and welcoming to wildlife, please reply and we will notify of the date.

    Committee Positions Open

    The Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group is seeking dedicated individuals who would like to serve their community. Sadly, a computer crash has resulted in a loss of records; if you have contacted us before, please forgive our lack of reply, and respond again. We have openings in the following areas:

  • Newsletter Editor (arrange articles for printed newsletter)
  • Correspondence Secretary (replies and thank yous)
  • Creek Coordinator (help coordinate creek clean up day at Coyote Creek)
  • Community Meeting (volunteers to pass out flyers, set up chairs, etc.)
  • Festival Committee Chairs (in various areas, for 2002 CommunityFest)
  • Thanks for caring about your community, looking forward to a great 2002 for South San Jose.

    Elizabeth Cord
    Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group

    Back to Community News

    Home | What's New | Community News | Neighbors | Events | Announcements
    Organizations / Groups | Businesses | Government | Schools | Parks | Places of Worship | Real Estate | Services
    Utilities | Crime | Classifieds | Ridesharing | Sports | Lost and Found | Free/Nearly Free | Chat/Messages
    Feedback | Home Improvements | Survey | Search | About Us | Meet Our Sponsors


    Copyright © 1998-2017, Scott and Donna Scholz (SouthSanJose.com)
    All Rights Reserved
    Contact Webmaster
    Number of visits to this page since 01/15/2002
    3848