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San Jose’s History:

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    San Jose’s Pat Hughes, the radio voice of the Chicago Cubs since 1996, has gone from the San Jose Missions to the MLB Hall of Fame. Hughes, 67, graduated from San Jose’s Branham High and San Jose State University, on Wednesday morning was named the 2023 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Hughes, who got his broadcasting start with the Missions in 1978 after graduating from SJSU, will be honored during the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation as part of Hall of Fame Weekend, July 21-24 in Cooperstown, New York. Longtime Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper was a finalist as the 15-member committee considered candidates from the Wild Card Era, along with Dave Campbell, Joe Castiglione, Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Tom Hamilton, Jerry Howarth, Ernie Johnson Sr., and Steve Stone. Kuiper, who will enter his 37th season behind the microphone in San Francisco this spring, was also a finalist in 2014. Mike Krukow, his former teammate and longtime partner in the booth, was a finalist in...
    The iconic Dancing Pig sign was unveiled with significant fanfare last Saturday at San Jose’s History Park — the temporary vacation home for the restored neon beauty while Google begins construction on its Downtown West project. The hastily organized festivities were a true celebration of all things signs, with artists Tom Colla, Eddie Ramirez, Jorge “J Duh” Camacho, Ben Henderson and Suhita Shirodkar showing off their work. Heather David, co-founder of the San Jose Signs Project, was there with the new, fifth anniversary edition of the project’s guidebook. There was even a stand selling old-fashioned hot dogs made with Stephen’s Meat franks. The Stephen’s Meat Products “Dancing Pig” neon sign was re-lit during a celebration at History Park in San Jose on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)  San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo stopped by, and the guests included Linda Morrison, whose dad was Stephen’s Meat owner Stephen Pizzo. The 82-year-old Almaden resident was surrounded by her children and grandchildren as they watched the sign be re-lit after sundown. And throughout the evening — which concluded with...
    The Spartans have been through an emotional gauntlet. Just two weeks ago they lost a teammate in tragedy, celebrated his life and stepped back into their season in his honor. Now this talented team is making history. Coach Brent Brennan wore the t-shirt showing Camdan McWright pointing to the skies on the sideline during SJSU’s 28-16 win over Colorado State on Saturday at CEFCU Stadium. The win makes the Spartans bowl eligible for the second time in three years. Not since the back-to-back 1986 and ‘87 California Bowl appearances has San Jose State gone to a bowl game twice over a three year span. Should they get an invite, Brennan would be the first head coach since Claude Gilbert to take the Spartans to more than one bowl game. Now at 6-2 (4-1) with four games to go (including a postponed game against New Mexico State), SJSU could earn themselves a spot in the Mountain West Conference championship game and further their case for a bowl game nod. Though the Spartans will hit the road for their next two games,...
    Halloween at History Park History San Jose has three events happening at History Park this Halloween season. The Halloween Haunt Light Show opened last weekend and continues October 28-30, 5:30-8 p.m. The show is projected on the front of the Pacific Hotel, and guests can also visit Dashaway Stables for a spooky surprise show. Adults can turn up to History Park Oct. 28, 7:30-9:30 p.m., for a Halloween Haunt Slash and Sip, where they can carve and decorate pumpkins while enjoying snacks, a Halloween-themed cocktail, wine, and beer. Admission includes entry to the last light show, as well as a pumpkin, carving materials and refreshments. A Children’s Halloween Haunt is set for Oct. 30, 2:30-5:30 p.m., when families can enjoy crafts, activities and lawn games. Costumes are encouraged, as there will be trick-or-treating throughout the park. For tickets, visit https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/historysanjose/items. United Way town hall Leaders with United Way Bay Area are hosting a Nov. 3 community town hall in San Jose to get public input on dismantling the root causes of poverty in the region. Participants will help to identify more effective...
    Lorry I. Lokey cared about education above all else. So it’s not a surprise that the Atherton businessman and philanthropist, who died Oct. 1 at age 95, poured hundreds of millions of dollars into schools and universities, including several in the Bay Area. Lokey founded the Business Wire news agency in 1961 and sold it to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway in 2006 for about $500 million. He later signed onto Buffet’s “Giving Pledge,” committing to donate at least half his wealth. He did a lot more than that, reportedly giving upwards of $800 million to various institutions over the last two decades, including the University of Oregon, Mills College and the University of Haifa in Israel. “There’s an old saying about farmers putting back in to the ground via fertilizer what they take out. So it is with money. The larger the estate, the more important it is to revitalize the soil,” Lokey wrote when he joined the effort. Also among them were Santa Clara University, where he donated $20 million in 2001 for a new library, and Stanford University,...
    Rod Diridon Sr. has worn plenty of hats in his 83 years: he served two combat tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy, worked as a junior executive with Lockheed, started his own research polling firm and spent 20 years on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors before his retirement in 1994. But the hat he’s probably most associated with is a train engineer’s cap, as he’s known as both the “father of modern transit” in Silicon Valley and a huge historic railroad buff. For both these reasons — as well as the rest — History San Jose is honoring Diridon at its Valley of Heart’s Delight: Down by the Station fundraiser on Oct. 6 at History Park. History San Jose CEO Bill Schroh Jr. says that trains and trolleys are an important part of the valley’s story and Diridon has helped History Park showcase these rolling memories. The event’s “fund a need” donation campaign will help restore the park’s newest historic building acquisition, the 1869 Coyote Train Depot — one of the oldest in the Santa Clara Valley....
    The Chinese Historical and Cultural Project got its start when San Jose city officials contacted leaders in the Chinese community when artifacts from a 19th century Chinatown were found during construction of the Fairmont Hotel in 1986. Last Saturday, the group was back in downtown San Jose to celebrate its 35th anniversary with a crowd of 650 people at the Marriott hotel. Gerrye Wong, co-founder and a trustee of the group, introduced the event’s honorees: Buck Gee, brothers Arthur and Daniel Jue, Patrick Kwok, Michael Chan, Chenming and Margaret Hu and the Bay Area Chrysanthemum Growers Association. “This was the first opportunity for the Chinese community to join together during COVID times to support the 35 years of service the CHCP has done to spread Chinese American history to the valley,” said Wong, joined by co-chair Debbie Gong-Guy. Assemblyman Evan Low brought a state proclamation and Dr. Paul Gee presented the event chairs with bottles from his private collection of Bouchaine wine from his 100-year old Napa Valley vineyard. The event was highlighted by a showcase of Chinese fashions, including...
    If you’ve ever gone through boxes in your garage, you’ve probably found some pretty odd and interesting items — old concert T-shirts, a Girl Scout uniform, maybe a “monkey wearing a fez hat” candle that you don’t even remember stealing from a New York bar. It’s all stuff you’d never part with but wouldn’t exactly put out for company. History San Jose’s collection center is like a massive version of that garage, and instead of continuing to hide away those strange artifacts, they’re being displayed with pride at “Valley Memories: Curiosities & Treasures from History San Jose’s Collection,” a new exhibit that opened at History Park on Thursday. A collection of colorful telephone insulators are among the items on display at History San Jose’s new exhibition, “Valley Memories,” which opened at History Park on Aug. 11, 2022. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)  It is a truly eclectic show, with early 20th century motorcycles, miniature steam engines, beaded gowns from the 1940s, a collection of matchbooks from San Jose businesses long since lost to history and a movie projector from the...
    SAN JOSE – Mike Grier said on the day he was hired as the Sharks’ general manager three weeks ago that he believed in a certain hard-nosed brand of hockey, one that’s conducive to enjoying playoff success. Not surprisingly, Grier hired a coach in David Quinn who sees the game in much the same way. “He has a good sense of what wins is in this league and how you have to play,” Grier said of Quinn. “So definitely, our visions kind of lined up together.” Quinn, 55, was officially introduced as the 10th full-time coach in Sharks history Tuesday at SAP Center, and inherits a team that went 32-37-13 last season to finish out the playoff picture for a third straght year. Grier said he spoke to nine candidates in his coaching search and whittled the list down to three finalists before he selected Quinn, who went 96-87-25 in three seasons with the New York Rangers before he was let go in May 2021. Quinn’s contract is believed to be three years. When Grier was hired earlier this month,...
    A new, must-see exhibition at the downtown San Jose main library has been years in the making — and it helps fill in decades of forgotten history about the city. “East Side Dreams: The Untold Story of East San Jose,” which opened July 1 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Main Library, grew from a seed planted when the library hosted a popular exhibition about lowriders and San Jose’s car culture in 2018. Visitors to the library’s California Room asked if materials were available about other aspects of East San Jose history but the library had little to offer, said Estella Inda, a clerk in the California Room who was the driving force behind “East Side Dreams.” Former Santa Clara County Supervisor Blanca Alvarado, left, and Rita Duarte Herrera look at one of the displays during the opening reception for “East Side Dreams: The Untold Story of East San Jose” at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Main Library on Saturday, July 9, 2022. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)  Once the library — working with San Jose State’s Africana,...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. -- There's a new big fish in the Shark Tank and it's a face fans here in San Jose should be very familiar with.Tuesday, the San Jose Sharks introduced their newest General Manager, former Sharks star Mike Grier.It's a historic hire for the team and the league as Grier becomes the first Black General Manager in the National Hockey League."The San Jose Sharks are a franchise with a history of success and I'm looking forward to the challenge of getting this franchise back to its winning ways," Grier said when he was formally introduced Tuesday.Grier returns to San Jose after playing with the team from 2006 to 2009, many of his legendary Sharks teammates were in the crowd as he was introduced.The NHL's all-time games played leader Patrick Marleau says he and Grier's former team is in good hands."I was always impressed with Mike's work ethic that he put in, his persistence to get things done," Marleau said. "He's a great human being and that's somebody you want with the reigns."And even on the first day on...
    (CNN)Mike Grier has been named the San Jose Sharks new general manager. Grier's hire is historic as he becomes the National Hockey League's (NHL) first Black general manager, according to the team.The Sharks say Grier, who has spent nearly a lifetime around the game as a player and later as coach, scout and executive, will have "overall authority regarding all aspects of the Sharks hockey-related operations."During his 14-season NHL career as a player, skating in more than 1,000 games, Grier played for the Sharks for three years. He served as the team's alternate captain while scoring 78 points (35 goals, 43 assists) during his time with the franchise."I am extremely proud and grateful to be given the opportunity to be the general manager of the San Jose Sharks," stated Grier in a press release."Along with my staff, I look forward to the challenge of building a fast, competitive, and hardworking team that Sharks fans will enjoy watching and be proud of. One of the things I remember most about playing in San Jose is the home ice advantage that our...
    SAN JOSE — Famed civil rights activist and labor leader Cesar Chavez’s family home, where he lived from 1951 to 1953, is on the market, and a local nonprofit is looking to purchase it. Located in East San Jose at 53 Scharff Ave. in a neighborhood originally known as “Sal Si Puedes” — meaning get out if you can — the property was designated a historical landmark by the San Jose City Council in August 1993. Chavez, who in 1962 co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta, lived in the San Jose home with his family for several years while working in nearby apricot orchards. SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – June 23: A plaque designating Cesar Chavez’s family home, where he lived from 1951 to 1953, as a San Jose historic landmark is seen on June 23, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)  Listed for $1.19 million, nonprofit Amigos de Guadalupe has plans to purchase the property, along with help from the city of San Jose. Earlier this month, the council approved $500,000 to assist...
    It was the party of the year — maybe even the decade. With champagne bottles popping, downtown San Jose’s largest hotel, a Fairmont since 1987, was christened last month by Hilton San Jose as a Signia hotel — Hilton’s most upscale business brand, focused on meetings and corporate events. The town’s glitterati celebrated the grand opening in style, in the magnificently-renovated lobby with its cathedral-inspired arches and glistening bar surrounded by comfy couches and chairs. The event launched what many are calling a “resurrection” of a city that — like many — suffered significantly during the pandemic. Santa Clara on Feb. 3, 2020, was the state’s first county to declare a COVID-19 health emergency. Nonessential businesses closed, and San Jose State University shuttered its campus just a few weeks later, making the downtown core seem like a ghost town. The final blow was when the venerable Fairmont itself closed on March 5, 2021, and filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. Yet the resurrection has begun. Plans for a massive Google campus called Downtown West plus the addition of the Signia hotel...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Liccardo’s positions gives Putin strength Re. “Zelenskyy calls out San Jose for keeping ties with Russian city,” Page A1, June 7: Mayor Sam Liccardo might not work for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, but he does work for the people of San Jose. Before making bombastic statements that callously dismiss the suffering of Ukrainians, Liccardo needs to show the evidence that San Jose’s decision to maintain ties with Ekaterinburg has actually done anything besides allow the citizens of Ekaterinburg to continue on as they have before the war. To dismiss Zelenskyy’s concerns is to dismiss someone who is significantly more knowledgeable about the history and cultural factors behind this war than Liccardo could ever be.  Liccardo centers his concerns on the discomfort of the Russian people instead of the Ukrainians that are being killed and displaced by those very Russians. Any student of history knows that appeasement does not work, and only enables fascism to grow. Sara Sizemore San Jose Stopping state’s wildfires means stopping ignition...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. It’s time to act on gun control Re. “18 kids killed in school shooting,” Page A1, May 25: Ever notice that those of us who believe in gun control (or eradication) are not the ones shooting anyone? It’s time to stop praying and do something about guns because it’s a lot harder to kill without them. Andria Ventura San Jose History of being bullied is at root of shooting There is one unmistakable, common thread running through all the teen gunmen: They were all outsiders, loners who were bullied in school. They return to a school with bitter anger, walking timebombs seeking revenge for the hateful experience they had in school, and in the two instances of Sandy Hook and Uvalde, even after shooting a family member. To those who don’t think bullying in school isn’t a factor and that it isn’t a cause of mental illness, fury and anger, think again. Lynda Martinez San Jose Who is complicit in creating a monster? See the...
    SubZERO Festival The 13th annual SubZERO Festival is set for June 3-4, 5-11 p.m. both nights, in the SoFA District of downtown San Jose along South First Street. Presented by Artwalk SJ, the festival is “where street meets geek.” On Friday, June 3, the festival will be held in conjunction with the South First Fridays Artwalk, when galleries and museums in the SoFA District are open and admission-free. “Coming Out” farewell “Coming Out,” an exhibit documenting the history of Santa Clara County’s LGBTQ community, is set to leave at San José History Park’s Arbuckle Gallery on June 26 to travel the region. Before it does, exhibit partners History San José and the BAYMEC Community Foundation are celebrating the county’s queer community June 5 with a day of food, performances and community activities outside the park’s Pacific Hotel. The free event is set for noon-3:30 p.m. No registration is necessary. For a full program schedule, visit https://historysanjose.org/programs-events. Neighborhood Notes ALMADEN>>Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian will hold Sidewalk Office Hours Sunday, June 5, noon-1 p.m., at the Farmers’ Market at...
    Every now and then, History San Jose has to thin out its collection — it’s called deaccession — and usually it’s a bit like an interesting estate sale with a lot of little donated items that aren’t necessarily historical in nature. But this Saturday, History San Jose is having a deaccession auction that’s much different because these are larger artifacts, including some rare and unusual items. We’re talking about the ornate sides of aisle seats and Art Deco water fountains from the Jose Theatre, vintage radios, wagon wheels, an organ and speaker that was once at the California Theatre, a Wurlitzer player piano, a Chevron/76 gas pump and some horse-drawn carriages (horses not included, unfortunately). It’s all taking place at 566 Cinnabar St., near SAP Center. The preview begins at 8:30 a.m. and the auction at 10:30 a.m. You can get more information at www.historysanjose.org. Click here for the rest of this Sal Pizarro column, including an item about a restored San Jose neon sign and its connection to an unusual historical footnote. Related Articles Local News | Restored...
    People often think of historic preservation as being about saving buildings or other structures, but saving some artifact can also keep alive a story connected to it. That happened when Jim Salata of Garden City Construction unveiled a restored neon sign last week that once hung in front at Castro Shoe Repair in San Jose. The newest addition to his “Neon Alley” in the outdoor courtyard of Camino Brewing on South First Street was lovingly restored by sign painter Tom Colla and glass artist Kevin Chong. And the crowd that turned out to see the blinking sign switched on for the first time included Carol Vejvoda Castro, whose late husband’s father had owned the shoe repair shop. She married into the family later in life, however, and had never seen the sign in its original use. Sign painter Tom Colla, Carol Castro, Jim Salata and neon artist Kevin Chong at the unveiling of the Castro’s Shoe Repairing sign at the “Neon Alley” at Camino Brewing in San Jose on April 21, 2022. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)  But she had...
    SAN JOSE — The city’s San Jose’s Chicano and Hispanic community received a big gift Saturday with the official unveiling of a mural honoring seven of the city’s “Leyendas de San José” — legends of San Jose — from the first Mexican DJ, to the founders of Lowrider Magazine. The mural, created by three artists who formed the Timeless Art Collective, is a salute to the Mexican and Spanish roots of the Roosevelt Park neighborhood, as well as a history lesson for the whole city. “We wanted to bring people together and uplift the low-rider community,” says Steven Martinez, who along with Eduardo Hererra and Ariana Hansen spent about a year researching the history, gathering suggestions from the neighborhood, acquiring funding and lastly, painting the mural that covers the side of one building on Santa Clara Avenue and 19th Street. “It’s been very impactful. We are muralists trying to create art, but we also created some history.” Saturday’s ceremony included speeches from the families of those honored on the mural, and Aztec dancers who blessed the mural and the crowd...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Let market forces solve water supply issue “Newsom fails (again) to lead during drought” (Page A6, March 30) misses a workable solution. Do we care if our neighbors leave their heat on all the time or keep their homes in winter at a cozy 74°F? People understand that those neighbors have chosen to spend their money on electricity and gas, instead of something else. It would appear that a fair and efficient way to match the demand for water to its supply would be to increase the number of rate tiers and increase the rates for all but the lowest tier. Then, if a homeowner decides to water his one-acre lawn every day and pay $15,000 a month for the privilege, no one would complain. A golf course or any other enterprise should not have any special rules or exceptions; it just will have to charge its customers more or close its doors. After all, we live in a market economy. Dinesh Desai Los Altos...
    New data putting the history of democratically elected women leaders in motion demonstrates one thing: That history is woefully brief. The south Asian island nation Sri Lanka — known at the time as Ceylon — started the trend in 1960 when its Freedom Party elected Sirimavo Bandaranaike as the first female prime minister. Sirimavo Bandaranaike  The party nominated Bandaranaike after her husband, who also served as prime minister, was assassinated one year earlier. She championed her late husband’s socialist economic policies, neutrality in international relations, and the active encouragement of the Buddhist religion and of the Sinhalese language and culture. Bandaranaike also opposed American nuclear testing as well as its rubber policies, which lowered global prices through the release of U.S. stockpiles. She convinced President John F. Kennedy to take Ceylon’s economy into consideration and modify the policy. Related Articles Experimental ‘soundscapes’ tackle social issues in San Jose Well-preserved shipwreck discovered in Lake Superior, 131 years later Black female WWII unit recognized with congressional honor Clint Eastwood’s memories of being a lifeguard...
    Couples getting married at Blanco — a new event space in downtown San Jose — may like it because of its three levels, featuring indoor and outdoor spaces, or the blank, white walls that allow for colorful projections or decor. But they may not realize they’re getting hitched at a site that once housed a blacksmith’s shop and a carriage works. That’s because while Blanco is a recent addition to San Pedro Square, the building has a history that goes back about 160 years. Owner Mike Messinger and his wife, Danielle, who oversaw the renovation of the long-vacant building tried to respect the building’s past while also creating a sense of place for the 21st century. “While we were trying to build this back, we kept a lot of the heritage in mind,” Mike Messinger said, pointing to a wall that he said was “1860 brick.” “It’s not all original, but we tried to stay true to the history.” A clock at Blanco in downtown San Jose always shows 9:20, which was the date of the first event held there....
    The race for San Jose’s next mayor is shaping up to become the most expensive political contest in city history. San Jose rookie councilmember Matt Mahan, a former tech entrepreneur, announced Tuesday that he had already amassed a staggering $504,000 from nearly 1,000 donors, including a personal contribution of about $10,000, during the first 23 days of the city’s fundraising period, making him the early fundraising frontrunner. Meanwhile, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, a tenured South Bay politician and longtime labor leader, has reportedly brought in $474,000 from nearly 1,000 donors, including a $10,000 personal contribution, during that same time period, according to Chavez’s campaign. Councilmember Raul Peralez, who will be battling Chavez for endorsements and funding from the region’s labor organizations, said Tuesday that he had raised about $264,000 from approximately 500 donors. Councilmember Dev Davis, who will have to fend off Mahan for support from the city’s business factions, declined through her campaign advisor on Tuesday to disclose her initial fundraising total, saying that her team was still finalizing the figure. “These are astounding numbers for such...
    Editor’s note: This opinion piece is part Mosaic Vision, an extension of the annual Mosaic Journalism Workshop for Bay Area high school students. During the two-week intensive course in journalism, students in the program report and photograph real stories under the guidance of professional journalists. With their bouncy hydraulics, shiny mechanics and eye-catching paint jobs, lowriders wove their way into the cultural expression of the Mexican-American identity by cruising the boulevards of San Jose, Los Angeles and other California cities. What was instigated by zoot-suit-wearing Chicano teens in the 1940s would later become an established part of Chicano culture by the 1960s. Then in 1992, Los Angeles, San Jose and other cities began banning cruising. They turned what Chicanos viewed as an art form into a crime. It’s time to legalize it again and bring an end to a stigma that has dulled the voices of the Chicano community. Cruising does not pose any threat. The purpose of cruising is to highlight Chicano culture and heritage. Unlike sideshows, cruising doesn’t focus on speeding or performing dangerous stunts; rather, it focuses...
    MOUNTAIN VIEW — Google’s vision to transform a suburban office park on the city’s north side into a walkable urban village is set to take a significant step Tuesday as the city council weighs the search giants’ latest detailed plans amid concerns about the 30-year construction timeline. The ambitious proposals — filed by Google in February — for two new neighborhoods on 127 acres of office parks in the North Bayshore neighborhood would boast as many as 7,000 residential units and about 3.1 million square feet of office space, and room for shops, restaurants, open space and a potential school site. The project would be the largest residential project in Mountain View’s history and second-largest in the Bay Area, all part of the tech titan’s massive investment in the South Bay which includes the long-awaited Downtown West project in San Jose, according to Google development director Michael Tymoff. Mountain View-based Google, whose headquarters are located a short distance from the proposed neighborhoods, hopes to obtain a final environmental review and city approval in the first quarter of 2022. Once approved, construction could...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. San Jose should heed call for accurate Fallon history I commend Tom McEnery, past mayor of San Jose, in his oped dealing with the truth about the Fallon Statue (“San Jose needs to tell the truth about Fallon Statue,” Page A18, Nov. 7). McEnery does not argue for keeping the statue, “but I do argue for telling the truth about what happened then and in the subsequent American period and all periods”. We have seen what careless rhetoric and unsupported facts can cause nationally. There truly is an absence of truth, a threat to all our citizens. Our mayor and City Council need to tell the historical facts correctly and make them a beacon for the future, not the censuring or distorting of our history. The voices that distort our history locally and nationally, and sadly some are in government positions, are tearing apart our country. Ernie Lipari San Jose S.J. climate plan should include Coyote Valley As a high school student, I...
    Mike Katz and Crispin Kott want to take you on a trip through Bay Area music history. If you’re game, all you have to do is pick up a copy of “Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area,” their cool new book detailing where Jerry Garcia, Grace Slick, Tupac Shakur and other music stars lived, walked and worked in the region. It also covers a number of notable nonlocals, from Bob Dylan to Sid Vicious, who spent time in the area. The tome follows “Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City.” We recently had the opportunity to chat with the two authors, who have both relocated to Northern California from the East Coast — and browse through 10 iconic Bay Area music destinations. Katz now calls Monterey home, while Kott lives in Oakland. Q: How did the idea for the Explorer books come about? Mike Katz (MK): I’ve always been fascinated by the history of cities, particularly what makes them culturally unique. I also spent several formative years in New Orleans, where you can...
    For nearly two decades, a 16-foot-tall bronze statue of a former San Jose mayor and captain in the Mexican-American War riding horseback while carrying the American flag has greeted residents and visitors as they entered downtown by way of St. James Street. But by August 2022, the concrete slab that the 12,000-pound statue currently sits atop will be wiped clean, absent any remnants of the controversial memorial that once stood there. The San Jose City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to formally begin the process of removing the Thomas Fallon statue and placing it in storage, marking the culmination of 30 years of “This is the culmination of three decades of many members of our community, in particular our Latino and indigenous communities, voicing the pain that this statute has caused, and I’m glad that we’re finally at a point where we’re listening to those voices and taking a look at whose history we’re celebrating and how,” said councilwoman Maya Esparza, who called the statue an “example of what systematic racism is.” Matt Cano, director of public works, said...
    In the middle of a once in a century pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands of our citizens and crushed our small businesses, it was difficult to think about a statue. Yet 30 years ago I was involved with this very statue. At that time, a plan to reinforce our pride in San Jose was in motion. We planned to recognize all our history with a Mexican Heritage Plaza, while the brave colonists under the Spanish flag and soon under the Mexican were remembered in the restoration of the Peralta Adobe, which I led years before as a citizen. Also, we wanted to remember the raising of the American Flag here in a bloodless event beginning the American period. We had dozens of History Walk markers placed commemorating special events, and a school lesson plan was readied telling of the contributions of Indigenous People, as well as the Spanish, Mexican and American periods. A formal Plan for the Past was developed by a representation group of citizens and adopted by the council in October, 1989. All of this came to...
    Most eyes in the Bay Area were fixed on a certain baseball game Thursday night, so I was really glad to see more than 260 people come out to History Park in San Jose for the Valley of Heart’s Delight dinner, where I was the guest of honor. I was thankful and humbled by seeing so many friends there and listening to their words of appreciation for my work writing about this community for the past 16 years. It was fun to get “dueling commendations” from Mayor Sam Liccardo and the rest of the San Jose City Council — and I couldn’t believe it when former Fairmont public relations queen Lina Broydo arrived in a shirt decorated with my columns. But it’s also fair to say that while Thursday night’s History San Jose fundraiser was celebrating me, it was really all about you — the “doers” in San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley who keep the culture here thriving and creating a place we want to live in. After all, we’re not about “fake news” over here. I don’t...
    SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – A San Jose City Council Resolution Ceremony drew hundreds to the site of a 134-year atrocity on Wednesday, to hear city leaders formally apologize to the Chinese immigrant community and their descendants. The gathering comes the day after the City Council unanimously passed a resolution (.pdf) detailing acts of racism and violence at the hands of San Jose’s mayor and city council dating back to the 1800s. READ MORE: Warden Of Dublin Women's Federal Prison Charged With Sexually Abusing InmateTitled “A Resolution Of The Council of the City of San Jose Apologizing to Chinese Immigrants and Their Descendants for Acts of Fundamental Injustice and Discrimination, Seeking Forgiveness and Committing to the Rectification of Past Policies and Misdeeds.” the five-page document is a full accounting of the hateful and exclusionary acts committed against Chinese immigrants who arrived in the Santa Clara Valley to work on the railroads and in the fruit fields beginning in 1849. Perhaps the most infamous of the violent incidents occurred shortly after then-mayor C. W. Breyfogle and the City Council voted to...
    A small piece of San Jose’s rock music history will be preserved for years to come, as the San Jose City Council has designated the home where The Doobie Brothers made their name as a historic landmark. “When we preserve something and it’s not a part of today’s culture, that’s preserving history and I appreciate the work that’s gone into this,” said councilmember Raul Peralez. Located at 285 S. 12th Street, the Craftsman-style home in the city’s Naglee Park neighborhood is a three-bedroom, two-bath house worth more than $1 million. But long before the region’s soaring housing market and the home went through some upgrades, Tom Johnson, singer and songwriter for the Doobie Brothers, rented it from 1969 to 1973 while attending San Jose State University, where he studied graphic design. It was in that same house, that Johnson founded the Doobie Brothers in 1970 with guitarist Patrick Simmons, drummer John Hartman and bass player Dave Shogren. The classic rock group held their band practices in the house and wrote some of their biggest hits, including “Listen to the Music.”...
    A small piece of San Jose’s rock music history will be preserved for years to come, as the San Jose City Council has designated the home where The Doobie Brothers made their name as a historic landmark. “When we preserve something and it’s not a part of today’s culture, that’s preserving history and I appreciate the work that’s gone into this,” said councilmember Raul Peralez. Located at 285 S. 12th Street, the Craftsman-style home in the city’s Naglee Park neighborhood is a three-bedroom, two-bath house worth more than $1 million. But long before the region’s soaring housing market and the home went through some upgrades, Tom Johnson, singer and songwriter for the Doobie Brothers, rented it from 1969 to 1973 while attending San Jose State University, where he studied graphic design. It was in that same house, that Johnson founded the Doobie Brother in 1970 with guitarist Patrick Simmons, drummer John Hartman and bass player Dave Shogren. The classic rock group held their band practices in the house and wrote some of their biggest hits, including “Listen to the Music.”...
    A San Jose native made history for the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday night, doing something that hasn’t been done for the franchise in more than 60 years. Mitch White, a 26-year-old pitcher who attended Bellarmine College Prep and then Santa Clara University, became the first Dodgers reliever to go 7 1/3 scoreless innings since Ed Roebuck did it in 1960, helping the San Francisco Giants’ division rival earn a 9-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday night. This is a pretty remarkable turn for a player who, while pitching at San Jose’s Bellarmine College Prep, received only a smattering of college offers after an elbow injury sidelined him for all but a handful of innings as a senior. “It was mostly WCC schools, some WAC schools,” said Mike Rodriguez, White’s high school coach who retired from the program in 2020. “He fell in love with Santa Clara, obviously being a local guy. “So, luckily for him, he didn’t need to be healthy to get that opportunity. They believed in him.” At Santa Clara, White underwent...
    They say the best things in life are free, and this Labor Day weekend, that will include some great music in downtown San Jose. Symphony Silicon Valley and Opera San Jose are teaming up for “Strike Up the Band,” a two-day series on Sept. 4-5 with a program of light classical music featuring works by  Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Brahms, Bizet and others. Opera San Jose singers will add their voices to the orchestra, conducted by Peter Jaffe, and San Jose’s own Jon Nakamatsu will play the piano on Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” each day. Much like the Target Summer Pops concerts of several years ago, the concerts will be held outdoors at San Jose State’s Tower Lawn. There will be some chairs provided, but you can also just bring your own lawn chair or blanket, as well as a picnic dinner, if you like. The Sept. 4 concert begins at 7 p.m., and the Sept. 5 show is at 5:30 p.m. “We want people to know that it’s safe to come out and have a good time and listen to...
    Spirit of ’45 San Jose History Park is keeping the Spirit of ’45 alive with a two-day event celebrating the end of World War II. On Aug. 13 History Park will host a big band concert and swing dance, 7-10 p.m. Admission is $20. Aug. 14 is Living History Day, when the park will be transported to the 1940s with live big band music, fashion, a vintage car show, a WWII tent city, a victory parade, food trucks and family activities. Admission is $10. The event is set for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Parking at History Park, 635 Phelan Ave., is $10. Period attire encouraged on both days. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/BayAreaSpiritof45. Volunteer in open spaces The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority will host a virtual volunteer intake and training Aug. 7. The Zoom meeting, set for 9 a.m.-noon, will cover the authority’s history, mission, and accomplishments; detail volunteer roles and opportunities; and provide instruction on how to use the Open Space Authority volunteer portal to log hours committed. Due to both the constraints of youth volunteering and...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. S.J. exhibit shows value of interdependence Joe Mathews laments our loss of independence in favor of interdependence. However, it is a great paradox that both independence and interdependence are needed for survival and happiness. At the wonderful new exhibit at San Jose’s History Park, “Coming Out,” expertly curated by Ken Yeager, you see that in the face of an anti-gay California ballot initiative in the late 1970s and the devastating AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, the queer community banded together with advocacy groups, the medical community, and allies to not only fight against the disease but also to counter vicious attacks from people who would try to deny us our rights and freedoms. Later, the LGBTQ+ community developed its own political, social, and religious groups to assert its independence from mainstream America and live our lives in our own unique ways, as do all Americans. Timothy Hipsley Santa Clara City falls far short in fireworks enforcement I live three blocks away from Pioneer High School....
    The BAYMEC Community Foundation led by its executive director Ken Yeager, a former Santa Clara County supervisor and first openly gay county official, oversaw the creation of an exhibit called “Coming Out: 50 years of Queer Resistance and Resilience in Silicon Valley.” According to its website, the foundation wanted to create an “expansive and representative showcase of our rich cultural and political history,” of the LGBTQ+ movement in Silicon Valley. The gallery opens Saturday and is located in the Pacific Hotel at History Park. Gallery hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Space is limited, and visitors will need to reserve tickets at https://www.historysanjose.org/wp/exhibits-activities/hotel-gallery. Please see full story by columnist Sal Pizarro here. Photographs by Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group. SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 24: Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, center, jokes around with Ken Yeager, far right, executive director of BAYMEC Community Foundation, as they are photographed by Andrew Urata, far left, with Luis Pedro Castillo Pictures, during a reception for the exhibit “Coming Out: 50 years of Queer Resistance and Resilience in...
    Anyone who loves local history can’t help but cheer the opening of a new exhibition exploring the challenges and triumphs of Santa Clara Valley’s LGBTQ community. “Coming Out: 50 Years of Queer Resistance and Resilience in Silicon Valley,” which opened to the public at History Park in San Jose on Saturday, tells stories most San Joseans have probably never heard — stories that deserve to be told. SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 24: Ken Yeager, executive director of BAYMEC Community Foundation, speaks during a reception for the exhibit “Coming Out: 50 years of Queer Resistance and Resilience in Silicon Valley” outside of the Pacific Hotel in History Park in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 24, 2021. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)  You may never have heard of Casa de San Jose, the first Imperial Court in the South Bay, which crowned an emperor and empress for more than 40 years starting in 1976. You might not know a thing about nearly a dozen newspapers that once made up the thriving “Gay Press” (or that the Mercury News didn’t...
    Historians often turn to cultural centers such as the Castro and Greenwich Village to tell the story of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. That may explain why the progression of the queer community in Silicon Valley from political outcasts to integral members of society has never been widely chronicled. This will change with the Saturday opening of “Coming Out: 50 Years of Queer Resistance to Resilience in Silicon Valley” at History San Jose. For people of a certain generation, the exhibit will bring back memories long forgotten. You will see such names as Whiskey Gulch, Sisterspirit, ARIS, Measures A and B, ProLatino, Ms. Atlas Press and High Tech Gays, among others. All except three bars are gone, as are the newspapers, the bookstores, the baths and the leather stores Memories of friends long dead from AIDS are fading. Where can people, especially suburban gay men, go to reflect on the loss we all feel? Or to feel the outrage over the deaths of Gwen Araujo, a murdered, transgender women, or Melvin Truss, a young gay black man shot by a...
    A virtual exhibition that documents the history of the South Bay’s LGBTQ community, some of it largely unseen by the mainstream, is moving to a physical space. “Coming Out: 50 Years of Queer Resistance and Resilience in Silicon Valley” is set to open at the Pacific Hotel in San Jose History Park on June 26. On that day in 2013, the state of California upheld marriage equality; the nation followed suit two years later on the same date. The exhibition, funded by a $60,000 grant from the county, went online last October as “Queer Silicon Valley.” Spearheaded by the BAYMEC Community Foundation and its executive director Ken Yeager—a former Santa Clara County Supervisor and first openly gay county official—the virtual exhibit is a collection of archival documents, personal stories, photographs and videos focused on the art, politics and culture of the local LGBTQ community. Yeager argues that this focus “provides a legacy far larger than the sum of its parts.” “San Jose’s rich history informs the greater LGBTQ movement in the United States by taking the narrative out of already...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Crews raced Wednesday to put out a series of brush fires burning along Interstate 280 in San Jose.The fires were extinguished, but it was a scary scene for drivers as flames burned for two hours between Meridian Avenue and Race Street.No structures were threatened, but a car was destroyed.RELATED: Summer 2021: Tips to stay safe during the hot summer monthsThe Race Street off-ramp from northbound 280 is currently closed.Traffic is impacted in the area.The cause is under investigation, and the fire department is looking into how all these spot fires may be related.RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS: How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation How to prepare your pets in case of disaster How to make a pet carrier in case of emergency Most destructive California wildfires in history The deadliest wildfires in California history Live: Track Bay Area air quality levels How are wildfires started? A look at the causes of some of the worst in California history The difference between containing and controlling a wildfire What's in wildfire smoke? How it can...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- CAL FIRE says that forward progress has been stopped on a 30-acre vegetation fire that is burning in San Jose.The wind-driven fire is burning in the area of Silicon Valley Road and Basking Ridge.At least one structure was being threatened.CAL FIRE tweeted Monday afternoon that crews are making good progress on the fire, aggressively battling it from the ground and air.There are no reports of injuries.Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.Follow developments with California fires with our exclusive Wildfire Tracker that's updated with the latest information from CAL FIRE every hour. Check in to see where fires are spreading, the acres burned, and see containment information in real-time.App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new windowGet the latest updates and videos on wildfires burning across the Bay Area and California here.RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS: How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation How to prepare your pets in case of disaster How to make a pet carrier in case of...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters are battling a two-alarm vegetation fire that has burned about 30 acres in San Jose.The wind-driven fire is burning in the area of Silicon Valley Road and Basking Ridge.At least one structure is threatened.CAL FIRE tweeted Monday afternoon that crews are making good progress on the fire, aggressively battling it from the ground and air.There are no reports of injuries.Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.Follow developments with California fires with our exclusive Wildfire Tracker that's updated with the latest information from CAL FIRE every hour. Check in to see where fires are spreading, the acres burned, and see containment information in real-time.App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new windowGet the latest updates and videos on wildfires burning across the Bay Area and California here.RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS: How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation How to prepare your pets in case of disaster How to make a pet carrier in case of emergency Most destructive California wildfires...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters are battling a two-alarm vegetation fire that has burned at least 20 acres in San Jose.The wind-driven fire is burning in the area of Silicon Valley Road and Basking Ridge.At least one structure is threatened.There are no reports of injuries.Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.Follow developments with California fires with our exclusive Wildfire Tracker that's updated with the latest information from CAL FIRE every hour. Check in to see where fires are spreading, the acres burned, and see containment information in real-time.App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new windowGet the latest updates and videos on wildfires burning across the Bay Area and California here.RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS: How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation How to prepare your pets in case of disaster How to make a pet carrier in case of emergency Most destructive California wildfires in history The deadliest wildfires in California history Live: Track Bay Area air quality levels How are wildfires started? A...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters are battling a two-alarm vegetation fire that has burned at least 20 acres in San Jose.The wind-driven fire is burning in the area of Silicon Valley Road and Basking Ridge.At least one structure is threatened.There are no reports of injuries.Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.Follow developments with California fires with our exclusive Wildfire Tracker that's updated with the latest information from CAL FIRE every hour. Check in to see where fires are spreading, the acres burned, and see containment information in real-time.App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new windowGet the latest updates and videos on wildfires burning across the Bay Area and California here.RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS: How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation How to prepare your pets in case of disaster How to make a pet carrier in case of emergency Most destructive California wildfires in history The deadliest wildfires in California history Live: Track Bay Area air quality levels How are wildfires started? A...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The VTA released documents Thursday showing a history of insubordination and conflict at work for the man who opened fire on his colleagues, killing nine of them.The first batch of documents released show there were four incidents involving Sam Cassidy that were "elevated to management," some of which resulted in disciplinary action.The first occurred on July 16, 2019, said VTA, when Cassidy was sent home without pay for two days for insubordination. The agency says he refused to "follow company policy in signing out a two-way radio that was necessary to perform his job."In January 2020, Cassidy had a "verbal altercation" with a coworker that was reported to a supervisor. After the conflict, one of Cassidy's coworkers reportedly said, "He scares me. If someone was to go postal, it'd be him."VTA documents describe another incident in October 2020, when Cassidy refused to take a mandatory CPR certification, citing COVID-19 as a concern. "A number of reasonable accommodations were provided to the employee with no ultimate resolution," said VTA in a statement.Finally, in November of last...
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