Jan-Feb 2017 NEWSLETTER
ON MOBILE PHONE/TABLE, VIEW IN LANDSCAPE MODE
NEWSLETTER EDITOR: YOUTH INTERN SHAUNAK VAIDYA
NOTE FROM RISHI
CITY COUNCIL HAPPENINGS
NEWS OF SARATOGA
Q&A with Councilmember Kumar
GLIMPSES - A PICTORIAL VIEW
NOTE FROM RISHI: THREE HOT TOPICS FOR SARATOGA
The top two issues of 2016 were 1. Super high water bills with the surcharge and 2. Safety
I continue working on these 2 issues, with the utmost attention and urgency they deserve. Scroll down to read the 3rd hot topic :-)
#1 Deadline March 10th - Protest the water rate increase
Lodge your protest against San Jose Water Company rate increase request Advice Letter 501 and 506
Water is still a hot topic in Saratoga with a potential rate increase request by SJWC submitted to CPUC (after the huge surcharge hit that many Saratogans experienced with their bill last year)
Note: The surcharge was taken off starting Feb 1st, but there are rate increases coming based upon filings to CPUC by San Jose Water company
SJWC has requested another rate increase with Advice Letter 506 on February 17, 2017. This is a different rate increase request from Advice Letter 501. You should protest this new increase - the Deadline is 3/10/17.
This rate increase if approved by CPUC will go into effect March 20, 2017. Link to Advice Letter No. 506 Rate Increase: https://sjwater.s3.amazonaws.com/files/documents/ADV%20506%20Web.pdf
Please file your protest now
CALL TO ACTION: We recommend your action by emailing the protest letter to CPUC at www.RishiKumar.com/water that has the gory details. Hundreds, if not thousands, of letters have been sent from Saratoga alone, and as a result the rate increase request has been suspended. Yes, your voice is being heard...it works!!!
The already drafted letter has our reasoning why CPUC should NOT support the rate increase. Copy, paste into your email, add your own story in reference to your own water bill e.g how you conserved, and how your water bill perhaps went up year to year etc etc and hit "Send". That simple!
#2 Safety and crime in Saratoga
If you see the latest crime reports of 2017 here, the break-ins have been down to ~1 per week compared to 3 per week last year. You may know that last year, we launched 40+ new Neighborhood Safety Watch initiatives in Saratoga. If you are interested in launching one for your neighborhood, please send an email to email@example.com
Please review the safety tips at www.RishiKumar.com/tips and adopt a few best practices for your home. With your help, we can reduce crime in Saratoga.
#3 Saratoga will switch to “green energy” this year
As you may know, our city is starting to offer an alternate to PG&E with Silicon Valley Clean energy SVCE, a county run program. We will all be eventually opted into the program and if we want PG&E, we will need to opt out. You will receive many notices as we switch to a more environmentally friendly source of energy that will be supplied over the PG^E infrastructure; bills will continue to be paid via PG&E.
For details visit this informational doc and/or the website svcleanenergy.org
Read the SJM coverage here
Phased rollout in Saratoga starts April, but we can all switch today via the website cleanenergy.org to 100% renewable energy option Green Prime (100% renewable, 100% GHG free)
Many have already switched to Green Prime. Solar customers, customers with electric car charging 2 meters - almost every scenario is taken into account as you switch to SVCE. A seminar was conducted on March 6th to provide Saratogans an opportunity to ask questions.
CITY COUNCIL HAPPENINGS
1 Request submitted to VTA: Check out the message that Saratoga’s City Council sent to VTA
2 FAST CHARGE AT SARATOGA LIBRARY
This was project proposed by Howard Miller and myself - why not charge your cars while you are inside the library - the perfect venue for fast charge.
After almost 10 months, we have finally received the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) grant contract for signature. This grant will
reimburse the City for $35,000 of the cost associated with the installation of a Fast Charge Electric Vehicle (EV) Station in the Library parking lot, adjacent to the two existing Tier I EV stations. Council has already authorized the City Manager to sign this grant, so the City will be able to begin work after processing and final execution by BAAQMD. The anticipated open date for the Fast Charge station is September 1
3. Highway Roadway Work to take place near Fruitvale and Greenwood.
City staff held a preconstruction meeting for the Highway 9 Phase IV pedestrian improvements. The contractor is ready to start right after President’s Day, but he may delay the work by a week or two depending on the weather. This phase includes a new walkway from Fruitvale to Via Colina and a section in Monte Sereno from Daves to Greenwood. All the work in Saratoga is within the shoulders, so no lane closures are anticipated. The total construction time is about four months.
4. Saratoga receives A grade for smoking cessation
Great news! Saratoga receives A grade for smoking cessation efforts; State of Tobacco Control 2017 - California Local Grades," gives grades to communities based on their tobacco control policies, which aim to reduce tobacco use.... a huge improvement from 2 years ago, we are no longer a D or F grade. Yeah!! The City of Saratoga and Santa Clara County were among seven Bay Area jurisdictions with an A grade; the others are El Cerrito, Daly City, Berkeley, Dublin and Union City. Read the SJM news article here
5. January 13th Late Councilmember Susie Nagpal’s birthday declared as Saratoga Lung Cancer Awareness Day
Saratoga City Council proclaimed January 13th, late Councilmember Susie Nagpal's birthday as Saratoga Lung Cancer Awareness Day; a day we will remember Susie's phenomenal contribution to our community, her fight, along with others, against lung cancer, and also recognizing those who are currently battling, and the need to cure lung cancer
1 St Paddy’s day on March 11th 2pm to 4pm
We are all set for our 10th annual St. Paddy's Party next Saturday . Bagpipe guy is hired and the cotton candy machine is ready to go and the Youth Commission will be there to face paint etc.. There will be the old standbys: green hidden rocks for prizes, pennies on the sidewalks and painted rocks for the children to decorate.
Questions? Just email SVDC/Jill Hunter
2.The Blossom festival returns! The Saratoga Historical Museum is once again holding the Blossom Festival. Come and check out the fun!
3. Free College Seminar in April
## FREE College Admissions Seminar in April
WHEN: April 23rd 2:30pm to 4:30pm
WHERE: Saratoga Community Center (19655 Allendale Ave. Saratoga CA)
Topic: What does it take to get into a Top Ranked US College
1. How does an admissions officer think: Q&A with Tim Ravey, Admissions Specialist at UC Berkeley
2. Think beyond just grades: David Campos, Stanford Graduate and College Admissions
4. Let’s Work day - Quarry park
Every month, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ping Li hosts volunteers for the Let’s Work! day to help clear trails and keep Quarry Park clean. Last month, two volunteers helped lift the tool shack above the flooding mud. The necessary materials came from the Pine Cone Lumber in Sunnyvale. Thank you to all of the volunteers! The next event will be on Saturday, March 11.
5. Audition for Silicon Valley’s got Bollywood
You're invited to audition for the 3rd annual Silicon Valley’s got Bollywood competition as part of our Annual Saratoga Hindu New Year celebration - celebrating the arrival of spring
Winners will be invited to perform on the big stage and take home the prize money
Competition Venue : Saratoga Community Center
Date : Saturday, March 25th, 2017
Time : 6pm to 11pm
The 4th annual Saratoga Hindu New Year celebration is set for Sat, March 25th from 6:30pm to 11pm - celebrating the arrival of spring in March.
Silicon Valley’s got Bollywood Annual competition, community fashion show (everyone walks the ramp), rangoli, painting competition, dance - absolute celebration
Event details and Ticket sales at - http://events.sulekha.com/saratoga-hindu-new-year-2017_event-in_saratoga-ca_311990
Audition to perform: Details above
6. Saratoga Library Monthly Bollywood Fitness + Yoga Combo class on 4th Monday of every month
Do not miss this one…at a very convenient Saratoga Library location
Join us on the 4th Monday of every month - bollywood fitness plus yoga combo class at the Saratoga Library (13650 Saratoga Ave, Saratoga) from 7pm to 8pm. Next class is on Mon, Feb 27th.
This one hour class presents a unique fusion of fitness and yoga. Get your aerobic workout, build strength, flexibility, and movement through an ancient practice that connects the mind, body, and spirit through body poses, controlled breathing, and meditation. Achieve your fitness and flexibility! More info about the class on the Santa Clara County Library website - http://tinyurl.com/SaratogaLibraryBollywood
7. Free U.S. Citizenship Classes at the several Santa Clara County Libraries, including Saratoga Library
Naturalization Information Session for Legal Permanent Residents and Interested Naturalization Applicants offered at the Santa Clara County Libraries. At the Saratoga Library, these sessions are every Friday afternoon from 1 to 2:30pm from Feb 5th thru March 25th.
For Legal Permanent Residents and Interested Naturalization Applicants
Topics covered at this FREE session will include:
The Naturalization Process
• The Naturalization Test
• Rights and Responsibilities of U.S. Citizenship
Step-by-step description of the naturalization process
Mock naturalization interview featuring USCIS officers
FREE DVD with all the current naturalization test preparation materials
More info at - https://www.sccl.org/About/Library-News/Press-Releases/2015/Free-U-S-Citizenship-Classes
8 Santa Clara County hiking challenge
The #PixInParks Challenge Begins! Hike the Magnificent Seven. With 28 regional parks encompassing 52,000 acres, Santa Clara County Parks is full of hidden hiking gems. The #PixInParks challenge features seven magnificent handpicked hiking adventures, all nearby, to get you outside and experience new terrain and spectacular vistas. To entice you to hike the magnificent seven, a commemorative T-shirt awaits those who complete the #PixInParks challenge! View the #PixInParks webpage for instructions on how to complete the challenge and to view the trail maps of the magnificent seven hikes. Follow @santaclaracountyparks on Instagram to view #PixInParks gallery and more! This fun challenge ends December 1, 2017 More information: Parkhere.org
NEWS OF SARATOGA
1 Vigilant Neighbors help catch criminals by calling the sheriff
Vigilant neighbors can be a huge help when it comes to reducing crime.
The below incident occurred on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 12:57 PM in the area of Beaumont Ave and Saratoga Vista Ct in Saratoga:
A vigilant resident noticed four suspicious male subjects sitting in a car near her house, taking photographs of the houses in the area. When confronted, they said they were waiting for a friend. When the resident took note of the license plate number and called the Sheriff’s Office, the subjects sped away in the vehicle. That vehicle was determined to have been previously stolen out of the City of Los Altos. It was also determined that vehicle had been used as part of a robbery in the City of San Jose the previous day. The three captured subjects were arrested for the burglary, robbery, and stolen vehicle charges, while the fourth subject was located and arrested the next day.
2 Saratoga #7 in California
Read about Saratoga’s place ib the ten best place to live in California http://www.smarttravel.tips/10-best-places-to-live-in-california/7/
3. Second annual Unity in Comunity Day was held in Saratoga MLK weekend
The event was a success. Tolerance, Religion, immigration, and most of all unity. You can read about it here
4. Saratoga kids were into tech back in 1958
Saratoga had Tech Class back in 1958 - Amazing!
We continue the tradition, but with so many girls involved and enrolled now
The last Silicon Valley Tech day by the Silicon Valley Youth Coders group had an all girls team win the top prize with their robot prototype + seed funds for their startup idea
In the Community Center, we have a number of “vintage” photographs. The picture here is of a group of boys, circa 1958, participating in a Recreation Department “Tech Class.” We would like to restage this photo if possible, but we need help identifying these individuals. If you have any ideas, please let one of our staff know so we can reach out to try and contact them.
5. Library patrons have access to NYT
Saw this on Next-door Just thought some of my neighbors would be interested to know that Santa Clara County Library now subscribes to The New York Times, so all patrons of the library (which includes patrons of Saratoga, Campbell and Cupertino libraries), can access the newspaper in full by logging in through the library:
It's really easy and once logged in the access lasts for three days - and because you then have access to a number of articles before the paywall comes down, I find that I end up with about 5 days of access before needing to reset - which takes just a minute to pop back to the library website so as to login again.
Q& A WITH COUNCILMEMBER KUMAR
1. Where can I find sand bags for my home?
We are experiencing a pretty wet season! Good thing given the drought, but stay safe, avoid flooded zones, report fallen trees and power lines, and use sand bags around your home if needed. Saratogans report local street flooding by calling (408) 868-1245 and if after hours (408) 299-2507. If flooding, contact the local flood plain manager by calling (408) 868-1274. Are you looking for sand bags? Saratogans can go by Redwood Middle School city yard parking lot and pick up free sand bags. Here are the other county locations http://www.valleywater.org/sandbags/
Here are 2 good links
http://www.saratoga.ca.us/whatsnew/winterstorms.asp and this SCVWD page http://www.valleywater.org/Services/FloodProtectionResources.aspx
2. How can I launch a Neighborhood Safety Watch? What exactly is this program?
Saratoga’s decades long Neighborhood Watch Program is considered one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear in our neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch Programs forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get one started in your Saratoga neighborhood
Details of this program at www.RishiKumar.com/NSW
3 Can we install surveillance cameras in my neighborhood?
Thinking of surveillance cameras for your neighborhood? You can join the pilot being run. Review the deck at www.RishiKumar.com/pilot
City is now accepting requests from homeowners Associations (HOAs) for encroachment permits to install security cameras in the public right of way. The first step of the process will require applicants to submit documentation to verify that they meet criteria for an HOA per the City’s standards for encroachment permits for private security cameras in the right of way. Information and the application for an encroachment permit for private security cameras is available on the City’s website at www.saratoga.ca.us/ep
You can read the SJM article here
4 How do I report hate crime?
Report any hate crime here http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/hate-violence/
5 : Immigration checks in Saratoga? In light of the recent developments and actions by the President specifically around immigration, can I expect that the Sheriff's Department West Valley Division to indiscriminately stop, and question citizenship?
Answer: We follow the General Order Policy. We will not initiate police action to discover the status of a citizen. Leave that to federal authorities. We will only check for drivers license"
6 : How can I get critical alerts from the city of Saratoga?
Our city uses the county service. You can sign up at www.Tinyurl.com/AlertSCC which will take you to the county site
GLIMPSES - PICTORIAL VIEW
Councilmember Kumar elected Vice-Chair of the Santa Clara Valley Water
District Commission (with chair Yoriko Kishimoto)
Councilmember Kumar handing out a special appreciation to
Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit as part of the Indian Academy awards promotion
Baseball season kickoff in Saratoga. Rocking T-Ball players
Daphné Biron and Isaac Biron
(Thanks to their parents for permission to publish this picture)
At the League of California Cities Community Services Commitee meeting
Enrollment phase of Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Discussing Smoking ordinance and other ideas with Breathe California
Rishi was appointed to the California Computer Science
Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel
Submit a computer strategic implementation plan to the Department of Education, the State Board of Education and the Legislature
Discussing STEM initiatives with SEF\s Saskia Adams and Shaughna Green
2nd annual Unity in Community Day
Neighborhood safety meeting at Glen Brae on March 4th
Neighborhood safety meeting at Saratoga Oaks January 25th
Safety Saratoga Citizen’s Committee: Discussing Surveillance Cameras