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    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Google's expansive Downtown West project in San Jose is one step closer to reality.Late Tuesday, city leaders voted unanimously to approve plans for what's being considered a transit-oriented "village" of sorts.This move will forever change the gateway to the downtown core. It also makes the massive 80-acre mega campus the largest single development deal in city history.RELATED: 100-year-old foundry closes to make way for Google transit village"It's also one of the most significant and transformative large-scale, transit-oriented developments happening in the entire world," Councilmember Dev Davis shared.However, the years-long journey didn't come without challenges. The plan received pushback from the start.Two years ago, anti-Google protesters were caught on video, chaining themselves to chairs inside San Jose City Council Chambers.During Tuesday's public comment period, council heard from dozens. A majority of people thanked Google for their community engagement and attention to requests from residents. Only a couple spoke out in opposition, amplifying their concerns."This is not okay. Last year, Google made $40-billion in profit," San Jose resident, Sandy Perry said, publicly. "They've had tens-of-billions of dollars...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. BART tunnel plan is not out of the ordinary The “public transit advocates” who criticize the proposed depth of BART stations in San Jose (“Gripes surface on BART’s S.J. tunnel plan,” Page A1, May 24) are sorely lacking in sophistication. One does not need to have traveled the subways of Paris, London, Madrid, New York or the District of Columbia to know they all operate at more than 100 feet below ground. How anyone could claim to be an advocate for public transportation and not have conducted a Google search before sounding off gives new meaning to “nattering nabobs of negativity.” Richard Alexander Los Gatos S.J. pick for police chief could spark crisis A policing crisis in San Jose is imminent. In March, the city of San Jose hired Anthony Mata as its new police chief. Mata has a history pertaining to police brutality: 3 years after joining the force, he fatally shot Odest Mitchell, confusing a pair of sunglasses for a firearm. The City...
    National Fruit Cocktail Day was Thursday, which provided a good a reason as any to dive into the history of the staple of school lunches everywhere, which was invented in San Jose during the heyday of the Valley of Heart’s Delight. • The Ainsley cannery in Campbell sold a “fruit salad” under the Golden Morn brand starting in 1893, but the 1930 creation of fruit cocktail is credited to Herbert Gray of Barron-Gray Packing Co., which was on South Fifth and Martha streets in San Jose. California Packing Corp. — aka Calpak — first marketed fruit cocktail under its Del Monte brand in 1938, and Del Monte Plant No. 3 on Auzerais Avenue produced fruit cocktail from the 1940s until it was shuttered in 1999. The Libby’s water tank in Sunnyvale. (Photograph courtesy of Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum)  But there’s a wrinkle: Some sources say the combination of diced pears, peaches and pineapple, along with grapes and cherries was created by UC Berkeley food scientist William V. Cruess. So I turned to the best fruit cocktail expert I know: Jim...
    For decades, Hakone Estate and Gardens has been one of Santa Clara County’s treasures, a traditional Japanese garden nestled away in the hills of Saratoga. Countless people visit every year to see the cherry blossoms in bloom or to just bask in the quiet beauty. It’s one of those places where people say they can’t believe it exists just miles away from jammed freeways and bustling downtowns. But it’s a safe bet that most people don’t know much about its fascinating history. That’s changing as its story is being told through hundreds of photographs, along with text, in “Hakone Estates and Gardens,” a new volume in the Images of America series published last week. It’s written by two women who know Hakone better than just about anyone: Ann Waltonsmith, chairwoman of the Hakone Foundation and a former Saratoga mayor, and Connie Young Yu, a historian and Hakone Foundation trustee whose family was a part owner of the property in the 1960s. It begins with Isabel Longdon Stine, whose impressions of the Japan pavilion at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition inspired...
    Around the world, May 1 is celebrated as an international day for workers. And here in the Santa Clara Valley, an online discussion that afternoon will put the spotlight on Latina activists, a group that played a big part in the struggle for social change but has sometimes been overlooked. The 1 p.m. presentation, will feature former Santa Clara County Supervisor Blanca Alvarado, who before her groundbreaking political career helped Cesar Chavez establish the Community Service Organization; Rose Amador LeBeau, CEO of Conxion to Community, a Latino-led social service agency; Josie Mendez-Negrete, an associate professor of Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas-San Antonio; Zelica Rodriguez-Deams, director of Santa Clara County’s Office of Immigrant Rights; and Center for Employment Training CEO Hermelinda Sapien. The conversation will share a lot of untold stories about the women who helped organize farmworkers in the early days of that labor movement, and I hope it includes many of the women who fought for civil rights in the South Bay like Sofia Mendoza, the mother who led a school walkout to improve conditions for...
    Get WIREd in WIRE for Women, a nonpartisan organization that aims to put more women in office in the South Bay, is seeking candidates for its board of directors. In particular, the nonprofit is looking for people with social media experience and for local school board members. For more information, email WIRE Nominating Committee Chairwoman Carol Mayer Marshall at carol@wireforwomen.com. Adopt a flower History San Jose, a nonprofit that helps preserve the region’s historical sites and information, is looking to brighten up History Park this month. At the park’s entrance along Phelan Road, History San Jose staff will be planting sunflowers, which visitors can “adopt” for a small donation fee. For more information, visit https://www.historysanjose.org. Neighborhood Notes ALMADEN VALLEY>> After a yearlong suspension of parking fees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors to local parks will once again pay for parking beginning this month. The $6 daily fee will apply to all parks that required payment prior to the pandemic, including Almaden Lake Park. San Jose’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department is focusing its attention on Almaden Valley’s...
    For nearly two years, San Jose Sharks fans have gladly had their hearts stolen by Finn, the adorable Yellow Labrador the NHL team sponsored for training with Canine Companions for Independence. Now, Team Teal will likely have their hearts broken by his departure. First, we lose Pavelski and Jumbo, and now Finn? It’s a sad day at SAP Center for sure. The pup is leaving San Jose for his next level of training this year at Canine Companions’ Northwest Training Center in Santa Rosa, where he’ll learn to pick up items, open and close doors and develop other skills needed to be a service dog. No doubt his noble calling will make his leaving easier to take. It’s not like he just opted for a better contract with the Anaheim Ducks or something. Still, it’s gonna take some getting over. Pre-pandemic, Finn made appearances at Sharks games and events like Sharks FanFest. Videos and photos were posted of him hanging out in the locker room, playing with his buddy Marc-Edouard Vlasic, meeting fans or strutting his stuff around...
    San Jose’s HMH Engineers was founded in 1976, but now the firm is going to be the steward of legacies that stretch back decades further. Gerry de Young and Michael Sheehy, the principals at Ruth & Going, had been in discussions for the past year with HMH about its employees and clients coming over to them. The Santa Clara engineering company opened in 1949 and in recent decades worked on numerous residential subdivisions and retail centers including Almaden Ranch and Coleman Landings, as well as being the civil engineering firm responsible for transforming the former IBM location on Cottle Road from a 1950s campus to Western Digital’s world headquarters today. And just as an agreement was being hammered out, Charles W. Davidson Co. Vice President Peter Smith told the HMH crew — led by David Wilson and six partners — that his company’s legendary founder had decided to close the doors of the firm, which was founded in 1960 and had recently provided work for some of the high-rises sprouting in San Jose including One South Market. Smith, who has...
    In an unprecedented and challenging year, more than a dozen young women from Silicon Valley will be among hundreds across the nation achieving something equally unprecedented: On Monday, they’ll be part of the Boy Scouts of America’s inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts. “Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes an incredible amount of hard work and grit, and we are very pleased to recognize these teens and young women for this significant achievement,” said Jason Stein, CEO of the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council of Boy Scouts of America. Of course, for the 14 young women being honored Monday — a group that includes a member of the National Guard, a homeschooler and two 13-year-olds — the historic moment is also a very personal one. “It’s really surreal,” said Lucy Holt, a 15-year-old Saratoga High School student and member of Troop 582. Her dad and Scoutmaster, Dave Holt, is an Eagle Scout, as is her older brother, and her older sister achieved the Gold Award, the most prestigious rank in Girl Scouts. “I’ve always looked up to them as...
    You could describe Dorothy Kottinger Wuss, who turned 100 on Monday, as a living time capsule. She celebrated the centennial with a few family members at Rose Garden Court near The Alameda and Interstate 880, which is close to where she grew up. She was feted with chocolate cake and Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider. “It was a great family celebration outdoors with masks,” said nephew Mark Chiolis. “Not the usual celebration with lots more family in attendance.” The larger family made their presence felt through a video with her daughters, grandkids, nieces and nephews singing “Happy Birthday.” The San Jose resident has lived a life that may sound familiar for someone of her time. She grew up on Elm Street off The Alameda and graduated from Santa Clara High in 1939. During her senior year, she worked at the Woolworth store in downtown San Jose until 1942 after she had received a two-year secretarial degree from San Jose State. She met her husband, Peter Wuss, in February 1943 at a sorority dance and married him later that year. After World...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- For the third time in as many decades, San Jose is weighing whether to remove a controversial statue of former mayor Thomas Fallon, which sits at the Western entrance to downtown and was commissioned by the former San Jose Redevelopment Agency in the late 1980s, before the city's current public art review process was put in place.The statue commemorates Fallon planting an American flag into the city's soil in 1846, to claim the land from Mexico during the Mexican-American War.Stanford history professor Albert Camarillo says the statue "reflects a history of oppression, of conflict, of the worst aspects of Manifest Destiny, of genocide against Native American people."San Jose's mayor Sam Liccardo supports removing the statue, explaining the lack of context for such a prominent structure."Statues in museums teach history," Liccardo said."Statues in prominent outdoor spaces glorify history, often without reflection. We should reconsider what we glorify."
    San Jose City College has started a yearlong celebration of its 100th anniversary, working to engage its legions of alumni in the historic milestone. The San Jose-Evergreen Community College Board of Trustees officially started things off this week by approving a resolution, but SJCC already has been using its social media channels to highlight moments in its history. Centennial-related posts are being pushed every two weeks with the hashtag #SJCC100, with some of the institution’s memories including appearances by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1962 and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1961 and sports victories by track stars Millard Hampton and Ato Bolden, basketball coach Percy Carr and football teams coached by Jim Wheelehan. There’s also a growing collection of more than 800 photos on its Flickr site, with images going back decades that depict commencement ceremonies, plays and other arts events, cultural gatherings, classes and building construction. It’s a fair bet that most people don’t realize just how long SJCC has been around. While there’s no official founding date known, San Jose Junior College began in 1921...
    In a recent column about the history of the fire-damaged Lawrence Hotel in downtown San Jose, I remarked that the building was once home to San Jose’s first comic book shop. After the article published, though, I heard from Jim Buser, who told me that Bob Sidebottom‘s Comic Collector Shop wasn’t the first. It actually was a store down the block on San Fernando Street called Seven Sons — and Buser would know because he was one of the guys who started it. This was a stunning piece of news. Not because I was wrong — just ask my wife how often that happens — but because it had been well-established San Jose lore that Sidebottom’s store was the first in town when it opened in the late 1960s and one of the first in the country. It’s like finding out Sarah Winchester really lived in an apartment on North Third Street instead of her sprawling mansion. (In fact, she spent most of her later life at her home in Los Altos, not the Mystery House.) I asked Buser to...
    Two unrelated fires broke out in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood Saturday morning, destroying one apartment unit and displacing 16 people total between the incidents. At about 6:20 a.m., San Jose Fire Department officers were called to a report of a house fire on the 1400 block of Gerhardt Avenue, said Capt. Brad Cloutier. The two-story home’s four residents had already evacuated after flames broke out in the attic. Firefighters contained the blaze within the next half-hour. Then at about 11:20 a.m., crews were dispatched to an apartment complex on the 2100 block of Canoas Garden Avenue just two miles away. A unit on the second floor of the building was “fully engulfed” with flames shooting out the windows, Cloutier said. Crews knocked down the fire, but the apartment was completely destroyed, while the unit on the floor below sustained water damage. Twelve people were displaced from the units; the cause of the fire is still under investigation. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters in either incident, Cloutier said. The Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents. Related...
    DALY CITY – A person was found dead at the scene of an apartment fire in Daly City on Friday, authorities said. The fire was reported about 8:10 a.m. at 85 Kent Court, near the intersection of Serramonte and St. Francis boulevards, the North County Fire Authority said in a news release. Firefighters arrived to find smoke billowing from the second floor of a three-story apartment building. The fire was contained to one unit on the second floor, the fire authority said. Once the fire was extinguished, one person was found dead inside the unit, the fire authority said. The Daly City Police Department and the fire authority are conducting a joint investigation to determine the cause of the fire and whether any foul play was involved, the police department said in a news release. Related Articles Letters: Save S.J. history | Inform, don’t enrage | Seek accountability | Money and politics | Subverting Constitution Ghost Ship defendant Derick Almena expected to admit guilt in plea deal over deadly fire Russia: 7 die in fire...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Save fire-damaged building and its history It is extremely unfortunate that the Lawrence Hotel Building caught fire and sustained moderate damage, and the typical knee-jerk reaction is that it’s completely unsafe, dangerous, a teardown (“City history went up in flames with Lawrence building,” Page B1, Jan. 10). Having been involved in similar projects over time such as the Rispin Mansion and Jose Theatre I have been fortunate to gain unique knowledge and perspective and can assure you that there isn’t a good reason to tear the building down. An in-depth investigation by consultants that have experience saving damaged historic buildings and who make judgments by strength of knowledge, not of fear, should be engaged. San Jose has lost so many historic structures and cannot afford to lose this one. I urge our leaders to take a pragmatic look at saving the Lawrence, an important piece of our history and fabric. James A. Salata Garden City Construction San Jose Reporting on VTA spending only enrages Last...
    The devastating four-alarm fire that tore through a 19th-century building on San Fernando Street in San Jose on Thursday didn’t just destroy a set of storefronts that were thankfully unoccupied. It also threatened to incinerate decades of the city’s history. The Lawrence Hotel building never has been deemed significant enough to warrant city landmark status, and unlike other storied downtown structures, few photographs exist from most of its 125-year history. But it has been a structure around which generations of San Joseans have created memories. Cinebar, probably San Jose’s oldest watering hole, has hosted countless graduating San Jose State Spartans on the morning of their commencement and once boasted of having downtown’s only pool table. (It had a life before that, too, referred to as a “soft drink parlor” in a mid-1940s Spartan Daily article; and ads in the 1950s featured a gent in a sport coat, making it look like a sophisticated nightspot.) It’s been a long time since I was a regular, but count me among those who expressed anguish over the damage to the beloved dive bar,...
    In Arizona, a shortage of public health staffers is slowing the vaccine rollout David Sirota: Democrats gave away leverage in forcing vote on $2,000 checks Ball State gets first bowl win in school history with 34-13 Arizona Bowl victory over San Jose State Ball State’s run as the most futile bowl team in college football is over. The Mid-American Conference champion Cardinals (7-1) won the first bowl game in school history on Thursday with a 34-13 win over San Jose State (7-1) in the Arizona Bowl. The victory came in Ball State’s eighth postseason appearance and in its first since 2013. The win was evident from the moment the game started. Ball State scored 27 points in the first quarter thanks to a pick six and a blocked punt. Shorthanded San Jose State was unable to attempt any sort of comeback, and Ball State didn’t have to sweat over the final three quarters. Ball State wider receiver Yo’Heinz Tyler had four catches for 103 yards and a TD, while Will Jones, Tye Evans and Drew Plitt all rushed for...
    A story in Monday’s A section about the San Jose State football team incorrectly reported an element of coach Brent Brennan’s long history with the university. Brennan’s father, Steve, played for SJSU in the late 1960s.
    CLICK HERE to view the live stream on the Mercury News’ Facebook page Moving to the 14-acre History Park on Senter Road means San Jose’s holiday tradition can become a safe, drive-thru experience. Visitors will still see favorite displays including Santa. The show, engineered by local illumination engineer J.R. Mattos, will incorporate spectacular new light-and-sound effects, including a “snow tunnel.” Reservations and tickets are required in advance. “This is a new type of show that no one has ever seen before,” said J.R. Mattos, who was hired this year as Christmas in the Park’s exhibit engineer. “The drive-thru was created as a way to help deal with the COVID-19 situation, while still bringing Christmas in the Park cheer, but it will be much more than that.” “The synchronized pixel light show will be the biggest expansion to Christmas in the Park in 40 years,” Mattos says. “We’re basically doubling the size of Christmas in the Park.” When and where: Tickets are currently sold out through December 31st, 4 to 10 p.m. daily from Nov. 27 through Jan. 3 at History...
    Jamie Baker announced Wednesday that he is stepping away from the San Jose Sharks broadcast team. “2020, the year of uncertainty, seemed like the right time for me to move on from the Sharks broadcast team,” Baker said in a statement released on the Sharks’ Twitter account. “It’s been a privilege working with some of the broadcasters and TV crew in the business, they made my job a lot easier because they are so talented.” Baker had been in the Sharks’ broadcast booth as an analyst for 15 seasons. In recent years, he had been splitting time between doing the radio broadcasts with Dan Rusanowsky and the NBC Sports California television broadcasts with play-by-play man Randy Hahn and occasionally fellow analyst Bret Hedican. Baker, 54, played 186 games for the Sharks, mostly from 1992-1996, and played one last game for San Jose on Oct. 10, 1999 before his retirement. Baker scored one of the biggest goals in Sharks franchise history, netting the game-winner in Game 7 of San Jose’s upset of the Detroit Red Wings in...
    The classic Orchard Supply Hardware “arrow” sign, which pointed the way to the San Jose store for nearly seven decades, has been restored to its original glory at History Park. It’s a satisfying final chapter to the sign’s history, which included being stolen from its roost in 2018 and recovered by police months later. “It brings back another piece of San Jose history that will be showcased at History Park,” said History San Jose CEO Bill Schroh Jr., who was overseeing the installation by Arrow Sign Company of Alameda on Friday morning. Arrow spent months restoring the sign’s faded appearance and replaced the neon tubing, spelling out the store’s name and declaring the slogan, “If it’s hardware, we have it.” The sign was installed on the same pole that held it aloft roadside off West San Carlos Street, where the arrow had pointed the way to everyone from farmers to home-repair DIYers since the early 1950s. Orchard Supply Hardware was founded in San Jose as a farmers’ collective in 1931 and grew to a statewide chain known for its knowledgeable...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- There are new details in the fatal stabbing that happened Sunday night at a church and homeless shelter in San Jose.Police are now revealing that the suspect has a long criminal history and was deported three times.RELATED: San Jose pastor 'stunned' after stabbing spree at church sanctuary kills 2, wounds 3"The suspect is Fernando Jesus Lopez, he is homeless and has been a frequent guest at Grace and has taken shelter there in the past," San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said..The 32-year-old suspect is accused of stabbing five people at Grace Baptist Church. Two were killed, and three remain in the hospital in serious but stable condition.Chief Eddie Garcia and Mayor Sam Liccardo held a joint press conference on Wednesday to voice their extreme disappointment that Lopez was out on the streets in the first place."On three prior occasions, Lopez had been deported and ultimately returned to the United States," said Chief Garcia."I cannot understand why a defendant with multiple prior convictions for domestic violence was released, without bail, on a new domestic violence...
    In a year that’s seen more than its share of tragedy and disaster, at least Christmas in the Park found a way to hold on to its magic. Now, the beloved San Jose holiday tradition, which opens Friday at 4 p.m. and runs through Jan. 3, has undergone a lot of change this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To begin with, it’s a drive-thru event at History Park on Senter Road. You’ll need to make reservations in advance, you can’t visit in person with Santa, and there’s an admission charge for the first time. But the ride through the park, which takes about 30 minutes, is an experience like Christmas in the Park has never seen. SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 24: A car drives through a light tunnel display during a preview for "Christmas in the Park - A Drive-Thru Holiday" at History Park in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 24: A car drives through a light display...
    SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Police in San Jose on Wednesday identified the suspect arrested by San Jose police in the fatal weekend stabbing at Grace Baptist Church as a man with a long and violent criminal history. San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia also described the bloody scene officers found and the quick apprehension of the man responsible for the violent assault. Garcia said that officers responded to multiple reports of a stabbing at Grace Baptist Church on the 400 block of East San Fernando Street shortly before p.m. Sunday night. At least one caller told dispatchers there was “blood everywhere.” When they arrived, officers located five victims both inside and outside the church suffering from at least one stab wound each. One adult male victim was declared dead at the scene. A second adult victim, a female, was transported to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Garcia said that the suspect had fled the scene by the time police arrived, but an alert officer found a male subject who matched the description of the attacker...
    The San Jose Sharks joined the rest of the National Hockey League in unveiling a new alternate jersey Monday that will be worn next season. The Sharks’ new “adidas Reverse Retro ADIZERO Authentic jersey” are part of the NHL’s first league-wide alternate jersey program, which was created so teams could celebrate unique moments in their club history. ???? #ReverseRetro pic.twitter.com/NCxGRotupy — San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) November 16, 2020 The new jerseys are gray and feature the Sharks’ classic logo on the front with teal, black and white accents on the sleeves. The franchise says the jersey was designed to “bring back classic vibes from the team’s 1998 season,” when San Jose made the playoffs for the fourth time in club history. The Sharks went 31-33-18 in 1998, which was the first season in franchise history when the team scored more goals (196) than it allowed (191). Related Articles Sharks warn of San Jose exit due to downtown development Joe Biden will soon fly on Air Force One; last month,...
    SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – One of the Bay Area’s most popular holiday traditions will go on despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year’s Christmas in the Park in San Jose will be a very different experience. “I think it’s going to blow people away, once they get there,” said Christmas in the Park Director Jason Minsky. The event has moved from Downtown San Jose, to History Park on Senter Road. It will also be a COVID-safe drive-through event. “They’re probably expecting just a drive-through version of our animated displays and our Christmas trees. It’s just so much more than that,” Minsky told KPIX 5. The animated displays, and the giant tree of lights will be back. But History Park’s 30 old-fashioned buildings will be lit up and festooned for the holidays, decorated trees will line the driving circuit, plus there will be light displays, tunnels and visitors will drive under the park’s 125 foot light tower for a quaint Christmas village vibe. Christmas in the Park 2020 at San Jose History Park. (CBS) History Park is a replica of...
    After a great deal of public outcry, San Jose sent a statue of Christopher Columbus packing from its place in city hall. This year, the San Jose City Council is further distancing itself from the problematic Italian explorer by essentially giving the boot to the holiday that bears his name. On Tuesday, Mayor Sam Liccardo and the council issued a proclamation recognizing next Monday, Oct. 12, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in San Jose. The Columbus Day holiday officially is still on the books and city workers still get the day off, but San Jose isn’t recognizing it by name, which actually has been the case for the past few years. “We should reserve city holidays for those whose lives represent the values we can collectively embrace,” read a memorandum co-authored by Liccardo and Vice Mayor Chappie Jones. “Let’s leave the rest for the history books.” Liccardo, whose ancestry is part Italian, said he hopes to find a thoughtful way to honor both the indigenous population of the Santa Clara Valley and Italian Americans heritage on separate days. Zulma Maciel, director...
    BAYMEC Foundation Executive Director Ken Yeager knows a thing or two about Santa Clara County’s LGBTQ history. After all, the former Santa Clara County Supervisor, who was the first openly gay elected official in the county, was front and center for much of it. This week at the start of LGBT History Month, the BAYMEC Foundation unveiled Queer Silicon Valley, a website that chronicles the history of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community in the county going back 50 years and draws on the experiences of Yeager and dozens of others in the valley. Yeager says he was motivated by two big factors: Many of the people who lived through the movement’s early days are still around, but we’re starting to lose them; and Silicon Valley’s younger generation is less aware of that history. Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager speaks at the Equality March for Unity and Pride San Jose rally at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose, California., on Sunday, June 11, 2017. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)  “I think if you ask a lot of...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In downtown San Jose Thursday, crews cleaned up a statue of former mayor Thomas Fallon after some protesters from Wednesday's Breonna Taylor rally covered it with graffiti and set it on fire.The statue depicts Fallon in 1846, raising the U.S. flag in San Jose.California was still a part of Mexico at the time, and opponents of the statue, unaffiliated with the vandalism, want it removed. Organizers, like Rebeca Armendariz of the CARAS Advisory Board, say it's a symbol of oppression.RELATED: Mayor Breed calls for review of public art after crowds topple 3 historic statues in San Francisco"When I pass by the Fallon statue it feels like a slap in the face to all the progress that we've made," Armendariz explained. "To the struggles that we've had."San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo says it's now time for residents and leaders to come up with a plan.He says he's already started talking to historians.WATCH: Several hundred people topple Francis Scott Key statue in SFEMBED More News Videos Francis Scott Key statue comes down at San Francisco's Golden Gate...
    SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- "This is history, this is the first time that Juneteenth has been declared a paid holiday in the state of California," said Supervisor David Cortese, who spearheaded the proposal.Approving the holiday comes just months after Santa Clara County declared racism, a public health crisis. That resolution was led by Cortese and Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who both heard from community leaders that declaring Juneteenth a holiday should be the first step in honoring their commitment to equity and social justice.VIDEO: Juneteenth in the Bay Area: We asked people why they marched in Oakland, San FranciscoEMBED More News Videos "This moment and this time says to the children, to our grandparents, to all people, now is the time to really learn," said Milan Balinton, Executive Director at African American Community Service Agency, one of the many community leaders who worked with the county to get the holiday declared."It's kind of San Jose's best-kept secret," said Helen Kassa, a program coordinator at AACSA, speaking about San Jose's 39 years of celebrating Juneteenth. "It's exciting to see the...
    Former Los Altos Mayor Jane Reed has had a tremendous impact on the city’s history museum, and she’ll continue to do so even though she and her husband, John, are moving to Southern California next month after 52 years in Los Altos. The Los Altos History Museum is holding a special fundraiser in honor of Reed, who served two terms on the museum’s board and helped organize the annual crab feed, co-chaired the recent Winchester/Merriman Gala and led the Changing Exhibits Program for 15 years. All donations made for the fundraiser will go toward that program. Reed has been a fixture in the Los Altos community for decades, getting involved in the Rotary Club and Los Altos Women’s Caucus as well as traveling to the Yucatan in support of a Palo Alto group’s mission to support childhood literacy and environmental education. However, it was Nan Geschke who sparked Reed’s passion for the history museum when she invited Geschke to her help plan a permanent exhibit for the 8,000 square-foot museum in 2001. Reed went on to chair the museum’s exhibits...
    If you thought the plan to create a Silicon Valley landmark would have limited appeal outside the Bay Area, think again. Urban Confluence Silicon Valley’s global “ideas competition” for a new, regional attraction in downtown San Jose — akin to the “bean” in Chicago or the Gateway Arch in St. Louis — received 960 entries from 72 countries. “We are elated over the massive amount of interest in our design competition,” said Jon Ball, a retired construction executive who helped launch the idea and chairs the Urban Confluence’s board. “With the state of the world today, what could be more relevant than connecting people? Today, we are one step closer to creating an outdoor space that brings our community together in this critical natural setting.” That setting, by the way, is the Arena Green area of the Guadalupe River Park, at the confluence of the Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek, just steps away from SAP Center and not far from where Google plans its mega campus. A panel of community members is meeting this weekend to pare down the submissions...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Willow Glen trestle loss reminds of lost histories While the court decision to allow San Jose to tear down the old Western Pacific trestle is a loss (Court says San Jose can demolish the Willow Glen trestle), there are far bigger issues of historical amnesia taking place locally, when it comes to railroads. There is no commemoration whatsoever to the historic bridge location in Los Gatos Canyon where Chinese laborers who had helped build the Transcontinental Railroad struggled to dig a grade in 1877 through incredibly difficult topography, hanging from baskets. Nor is there any commemoration at Wrights Station, at the entrance to the Summit Tunnel whose construction took the lives of over 30 Chinese tunnel workers in a terrific explosion in November 1879, one of the worst construction disasters in California history. Even the location of the nearby graveyard where the Chinese workers were laid to rest has been lost to posterity. Douglas Hawes San Jose Ending ACA in pandemic a sign president is...
    SAN JOSE — As the San Jose Police Department reels in scandal after the emergence of officers’ bigoted and anti-Muslim social-media comments, it has the evoked the memory of a notorious incident when another San Jose officer was fired for making violent and threatening remarks directed at Black Lives Matter supporters. In that case, the officer got his job back in arbitration and he remains with the department, albeit in administrative duty. But in the new scandal — which has resulted in four active SJPD officers getting benched, and the FBI being summoned in to help investigate — there is a groundswell from civil-rights advocates and public officials demanding that the outcome be different this time around. “The difference with these posts surfacing now, is that that there’s a larger context that has shifted the way people understand these issues,” said Raj Jayadev, director of Silicon Valley De-Bug, referring to the national police-reform movement stemming from the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. “The movement more intense, and burning at a level that will give it staying power. I have...
    Shame on the city of San Jose and District 6 representatives for taking down part of Willow Glen history. To say that creosote is toxic, yes, but how many things are toxic out there that the city turns a blind eye.Related Articles Letter: Is Tulsa rally prank a form of ‘election’ tampering? Letter: Pulling down statues, looting signs of insanity Letter: Americans don’t deserve freedom and liberty Letter: Toppling statues misses point about tragic history Letter: Removing statues, flags starts rewriting history These decisions are made by people that came here yesterday and don’t value history or even care to know it. Ilko Vuica San Jose Submit your letter to the editor via this form Read more Letters to the Editor
    It appears one of my favorite San Jose landmarks will live to chomp another day. I’m talking about the 30-foot statue of Chuck E. Cheese that sits in one of three glass-walled alcoves at the pizza chain’s location off Tully Road. Created in the early 1980s by sculptor Jeff Tritel, the foam and fiberglass rodent can be seen by drivers on Highway 101, as big a monument to pizza and commerce as you’ll find anywhere west of Chicago. I was a little worried about its fate this week when the Texas-based parent company of Chuck E. Cheese announced it was filing for bankruptcy because of losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. But CEC Entertainment says its reorganization shouldn’t mean the closing — or continued closure — of its hundreds of restaurants around the country, including several in the Bay Area. Don’t get me wrong. My fondness for Chuck E. Cheese has little to do with its pizza or the noisy games that keep kids pushing buttons like slot-machine fiends in Vegas. It’s not even the animatronic and anthropomorphic animals, including Mr....
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