March 2018 Newsletter
Newsletter intern: Arushi Saxena

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A Note From Rishi:

Recent happening with Cupertino Vallco Mall

Water Decision

City Happenings, Info, & News

Upcoming Events

Q&A with Councilmember Rishi Kumar 

A Note From Rishi
Water, Safety and Cupertino’s Vallco Mall

Dear friends,

Here is an update with the water situation, safety of Saratoga and the latest Vallco Mall project that is important for Saratoga to keep an eye on.

WATER DECISION- SJWC 45 basis point reduction
Thanks all who sent in their emails to CPUC earlier this month.
The CPUC Commission’s decision on A.17-04-001 adopted a cost of capital for SJWC (years 2018, 2019, and 2020). The adopted decision provides a rate of return of 7.64%, which is a 45 basis point reduction from SJWC’s previous authorized rate of return of 8.09% adopted in Decision (D.) 12-07-009. The rate of return on equity dropped from 9.43% (approved in 2012) to 8.9% (for adoption in 2018 by CPUC) while San Jose Water Company had proposed 10.75%. Administrative Law Judge Bemesderfer’s ruling of February 21, 2018, had proposed returns of 8.3% instead of SJWC’s request for 10.75%. SJWC lawyers pushed back on Judge Bemesderfer’s ruling. CPUC today made a decision on this

As a result of the ruling, SJWC has to now reduce their revenue collection by $5.843M* submitting AL 518 (visit and search for AL518 to see details)

Please, please stay engaged with water. By sending our concerns and letters to CPUC and the SCVWD Board, we have helped with rejection of 3 San Jose Water Advice Letter (AL501,510,512), removed the surcharge in Feb 2017 - letters were directed to the SCVWD Board, CPUC is considering data for an investigation and audit of SJWC - and now this.

Together, we can make a difference and push back these rampant rate increases.

SARATOGA SAFETY: Two weeks that were not good

Saratoga has recently 4 residential burglaries the week of 3/12 recently and 7 residential burglaries the week of 2/12
Please exercise caution, turn on your alarm systems and pick up some safety tips from The Top 25 Safety Tips at and create an extra layer of safety deterrent to better protect their home.
Also, for the latest information on crime join Saratoga's Citizen Safety Forum 
Also, launch a neighborhood Safety Watch initiative for your neighborhood/ a block party this spring ( to better connect your neighbors and make the neighborhood safer.

Here is a recent Mercury News page headline

Developer tries to fast-track housing at Vallco Mall under new state law

Here is the link

The project submitted by Sand Hill Property Company - Peter Pau’s company -  will be 2,402 residential units (50% affordable housing units and approximately 1200 residential units that will be up for grabs at market price) — a huge jump from the 389 units in Cupertino’s plan The Better Cupertino political action group has fought against turning Vallco into a major office and housing project. "City officials have 180 days to approve Sand Hill’s proposal under SB 35, assuming it meets the city’s big-picture zoning and planning requirements."

The new state law referenced here is SB-35

This is housing legislation from the office of Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and has Senator Allen (D-Santa Monica) and Senator Atkins (D-San Diego) as co-sponsors. Here is the League of California Cities explanation of this and has some details here and here 2018 Housing Law Update - by Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if I can be of assistance

City Happenings, Info, & News

Senator Beall recognizes Laurel Perusa

SARATOGAN GETS RECOGNIZED: Every year, Senator Jim Beall holds a Women of the Year Celebration to recognize dedicated women who have made the Silicon Valley a better place. Six women will be honored for their work and civic involvement on Friday, March 9 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at 2105 S. Bascom Avenue in Campbell. Laurel Perusa has been selected as the community service honoree. She is being recognized for her work to increase awareness about human trafficking in Santa Clara County. She is also active in several local organizations, including the Village Gardeners

New 4-Way Stop Sign Installed
The 4-Way Stop at Big Basin Way and 4th Street was installed by Public Works Streets Crew the morning of Wednesday, March 28. The message board to alert drivers of the new stop are up and will be in place until April Additionally, Deputies were present the morning of March 28 to issue warnings to drivers that failed to stop at Big Basin Way and 4th Street. Deputies will continue to issue warnings for the remainder of this week and will begin issuing citations the week of April 2. The City’s Traffic Engineer conducted field observations during the evening commute on March 28 and the morning commute on March 29. The City will continue to collect vehicle behavior data over the next few weeks. The Traffic Safety Commission will review traffic data at a meeting on June 7, 2018. Community members are welcome to attend the meeting.

Saratoga residents have brought their concerns for pedestrian safety to the Traffic Safety Commission a number of times over the years due to the speed of vehicles traveling down Highway 9 and entering the Village. After the Commission’s recommendation, the installation was approved by Caltrans and the City Council. The impact of the 4-way stop will continue to be observed and analyzed after installation.

On installation day, staff will also place signage at Village entrance points to alert motorists that the signs have been installed. These additional signs will be placed at 6th Street before entering and at the Gas Station on Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road.

Sanborn Park is open

Sanborn Park in Saratoga re-opened last week and reservations are now being accepted for campgrounds, weddings and picnics.

The park has only been open on Sundays for the last few months because Sanborn Road was being repaired. It was damaged by mudslides during last winter’s rains, Park Ranger Edward Ancheta said. Sanborn has more than 22 miles of hiking trails and is open from 8 a.m. to sunset. It’s located at 16055 Sanborn Road, about two miles west of downtown Saratoga.

Saratoga Prepares for Emergency Management

Through a FEMA grant, the City was able to purchase a brand new Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) supply trailer. This trailer will act as the City’s third emergency response supply cache (to join the Corp Yard and the Prospect Center base caches), and will include a small emergency generator, search and rescue supplies, first aid supplies, tools, and a full supply of emergency equipment. The same grant also allowed the IT Department to purchase 24 new computers and devices for the Emergency Operations Center. Thank you to the California and Santa Clara County Offices of Emergency Services and FEMA!

New Housing Projects Proposed at Vallco Mall and Quito Village

Cupertino and area residents ... the latest on Vallco mall. The project submitted by Sand Hill Property Company will be 2,402 residential units (50% affordable housing units and approximately 1200 residential units that will be up for grabs at market price) — a huge jump from the 389 units in Cupertino’s plan The Better Cupertino political action group has fought against turning Vallco into a major office and housing project. "City officials have 180 days to approve Sand Hill’s proposal under SB 35, assuming it meets the city’s big-picture zoning and planning requirements."

Mudslide on Big Basin Way on March 24th

A Mudslide occured on Big Basin Way on March 24th - Highway 9 - in Saratoga near Sanborn Park and Saratoga Open gap preserve. Residents were advised to use caution.

Community Grants approved by City Council

One of the delightful things about living in Saratoga is all the wonderful community events that occur on a fairly regularly basis, adding to the community spirit and bringing all of us together to enjoy some special Saratoga moments.

NOTE: If you are running events in Saratoga, you can request for grant funding. (

During the city council meeting on March 21st, our city council approved the following community grants totaling $40,000 (FY 2018/19) for the following Saratoga events:

Blossom Festival (Secured Funding), Chamber of Commerce events (Secured Funding), Fourth of July celebration (Secured Funding), Memorial Day celebration (Secured Funding), Saratoga Community Band event (Secured Funding), SVDC events (Secured Funding), Girls Scout Crafts at Blossom Festival by Girls Scout SU618, Hakone Garden's Matsuri, Mosaic Saratoga by Sangam Arts, Opera in the Park by the Bay Shore Lyrics Opera, Rock the Garden by Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga Senior Center Health Fair, Sushan Playland by Congregation Beth David, and the CA Holocaust Action and Awareness Interactive Museum by CHAIM.

The following items were also on the agenda for our city council meeting

4:45pm - Closed session with City Attorney, 5pm - Annual meeting with Saratoga Ministerial association, 6pm - Annual meeting with Planning Commission.

7pm - Consent Calendar (Meeting minutes, Accounts Payable Check Registers, Completion of Senior Center ADA Restrooms, Guava Court Capital Budget, Disposal of City Vehicles and Quarterly Community Report was pulled out for a longer dialogue, OBAG2 Prospect Road funding, Replacement of Quito Road Bridges - Approval of Acquisition and Acceptance of Interests in Real Property). Weed/ Brush Abatement Program and Assessment Hearing, Resolution on Communitywide Firearm Safety, Community Grants Application for FY 2018/19.

Saratoga’s Mid-Year Budget Review Is Here

For more information:

Proposed Budget Adjustments:                                                                    

ISF: Facility Replacement Fund

CIP: Village to Quarry Park Pathway - Phase 1

CIP: Prospect Road Improvements


Big Basin Turnaround

Big Basin Way turnaround (at the end of our village) is now almost funded city council project for the FY 2018/19. This will allow folks who have driven past our village, being short as it is, to turn back.

Fruitvale Allendale Avenue Intersection Improvement

Fruitvale Allendale Avenue Intersection improvement is now almost funded city council project for the FY 2018/19. This should alleviate traffic issues.

Girl Scouts Silver Award Project

In 2017, two local girl scouts contacted Public Works staff and requested City assistance to help them complete their Silver Award Project. They proposed setting up crosswalk flags at existing Saratoga crosswalks. Staff suggested they consider setting up the crosswalk flags at the Saratoga Avenue & Crestbrook Drive crosswalk, and also at the Quito Road & McCoy Avenue crosswalk, due to high foot traffic at these specific locations. The girl scouts purchased the materials for their project, and Public Works Staff has installed the unit at Saratoga Avenue & Crestbrook Drive. The second unit will be installed next week, weather permitting.

Change of Ownership for Fatima Villa

Saratoga, CA - 3/16/2018 -- Times are changing at Our Lady of Fatima Villa. The 5-Star* assisted living and skilled nursing facility has signed an agreement to begin the process required for change of ownership. As part of the transaction an operational agreement has been signed with Kalesta Health Care Group LLC., a locally-owned health care provider of assisted living, and skilled nursing services.

Chocolates, Oscars and Sensations

Have you been to Plumed Horse Chocolaterie in Saratoga?

The luxurious Plumed Horse Chocolaterie has been selling out of its gem-like truffles and other creations since it opened its doors in December, just across the street from its Michelin-starred parent restaurant, The Plumed Horse. Angelica Duarte is the classically trained chocolatier behind the operation, conceiving and hand-making the colorfully stunning chocolates, from the pyramid-like Vanilla-Infused Dark Chocolate to the red swirls of the Fresh Jalapeno. Her chocolates also support The Plumed Horse’s dessert program. That’s right — they’re Michelin quality, too.

Details: Open from noon Wednesday-Saturday at 14572 Big Basin Way, Saratoga;

Upcoming and Past Events

Neighborhood Watch/CERT Gathering on April 21

The Public Safety Task Force will be holding a dinner on Saturday, April 21 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Saratoga Prospect Center in Friendship Hall to bring Saratoga’s Neighborhood Watch leadership and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members together to meet each other and discuss how the two programs can be more collaborative and identify strategies for the programs to support each other. During the dinner, participants will be split up into small groups, based on CERT Divisions within the City so that residents living in the same area can meet each other. Following discussions, each group will be asked to report out their key findings.

Grief Recovery Workshop - April 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th, and May 6th; 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
The workshops will be held at Saratoga Federated Church - Douglass Hall, 20390 Park Place, Saratoga. The Grief Ministry is providing a workshop on self-care for those who are grieving, and those caring for others who are suffering a loss. Come for your own sake of for the benefit of one another. Care recipients and care providers will grow together. Consider attending with a friend. Sessions will include practical tools, stories shared by those further along the same road, spiritual guidance, recommended resources, and fellowship with others living a similar experience. While our focus will be on bereavement, the workshop will be helpful for those recovering from other forms of grief, such as the loss of marriage, employment, or health. You may register for this class by calling Peggy Beck, Grief Ministry Coordinator, at (408)-867-1000 or by email:

‘Stay Safe, Stay Secure!’ Classes

FREE Safety Class Series at Saratoga Senior Center. Santa Clara County Fire Department, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, and the City of Saratoga are hosting a series of adult and senior safety classes to keep you prepared, safe and secure. Four class sessions will be held, beginning March 21, and will present the following topics:

All classes will be offered at the Saratoga Senior Center. Call 408-868-1257 to register.

Hanami at Hakone - Spring 2018, Monday to Friday 5:30 to 9:30

The cherry blossoms are currently in bloom, and this event is a nighttime viewing of the beautiful flowers. Viewing cherry blossom in the night is a popular event in Japan. Admission: Adult (18-64) $12, Seniors & Students (5-17) $10, 4 years old & under and Hakone members free.

Hakone Matsuri - Hakone Gardens; Sunday, May 20th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Hakone Matsuri is a Japanese Festival, featuring a kimono show and sale. Admission is $5, and children 4 years and younger will be admitted for free. There will be no available parking at Hakone Gardens, but there will be shuttles from the West Valley College Parking Lot 5. The event will feature Shamisen, Chorus, Martial Arts, a Tea Ceremony, a Children’s Booth, Japanese Food and Beer, and Vendors. The event will be supported by the Consulate General of Japan, and for more information, you can call: (408)-741-4994, or visit

 FREE Smart Cycling Training this Spring!

VTA & Santa Clara County Public Health Department is offering Smart Cycling bicycle safety courses for FREE this spring. This is a 2-day course with one classroom session & one bicycle riding session. If you feel uncomfortable bicycling on busy streets, this is a great way to gain skill & confidence. There are several different sessions at locations around the county.

National River Cleanup Day on May 19th

Do you regularly notice a creek, river, or lake that is plagued by litter in Santa Clara County? If so, we encourage you to be a site coordinator for the annual National River Cleanup Day on Saturday, May 19, 2018, from 9 a.m. to noon. Register by March 2:

Color Dash on April 8th

State of the City on April 28th

Safety Fair on May 20th

Aram Sei Spark 2018 competition on May 12th

Compete in the following segments:

Signature Gathering event - Prevent Cruelty

Did you Know?

Saratoga website stats: 68% of users are on desktops, 25% smartphones and 7% tablets

Q&A with Councilmember Kumar

Visit for the complete list.

Question: I am new to Saratoga. Are there Saratoga specific Interest Groups I can subscribe / join?

Answer: Here are a few groups

Discussion group for Saratoga Residents

Saratoga’s STEM programs for middle and high school kids

Email group for Saratoga Union School District

Email group for Saratoga’s High School District

Email group for Saratoga Safety and

Saratoga Neighborhood Watch Captain’s group

Email group for Saratoga Water

Saratoga Chamber of Commerce events

Saratoga’s Open Mic / Entertainment events Email group: 

Revitalize Saratoga group:
Incredible Saratoga

Question: Are dogs allowed off their leashes in Saratoga?

A: No, dogs are not allowed off-leash when outside of their yards. When in public and at City parks, dogs must be kept on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet. Leash laws exist to keep your dog, and the people and other dogs you encounter, safe and able to comfortably enjoy the City's beautiful amenities. The City of Saratoga contracts with San Jose Animal Care and Services.

To report a dog off-leash, contact them at 408.794.PAWS (7297), or call 911 if you find yourself in a dangerous situation where you feel threatened. San Jose Animal Care and Services also provide a variety of other animal services. You can contact them for pet licensing or if you have lost or found a pet. For more information, visit

Owners must also immediately clean up after their dogs in parks and public areas, including schools. If you forget dog waste bags, the City has provided dog waste stations at City parks, throughout downtown, and at several trailheads. Please take only one bag as needed, and dispose of them in nearby bins. Saratoga has always been a dog-friendly community, and abiding by leash laws and picking up dog waste will help it stay that way.

Captain Jay Terrado manages the Field Services Unit for San Jose Animal Care and Services. The Field Services Unit responds to calls for animal law enforcement, stray animals, bite investigations, emergency calls, and other animal-rela

Question: Can I have pet pigs in Saratoga?

ANSWER: The City Code is not specific on pet pigs.  Section 15-12.020 (Permitted uses in single family residential zones) states. It comes down to pet owners being responsible and not impacting their neighbors.

Question: I am interested in bee keeping in my backyard and would like to find out what are the regulations for that?

Glimpses - A Pictorial View

Councilmember Kumar at a Neighborhood Watch meeting at Larchmont

Councilmember Kumar with Senate District 15’s 2018 Women of the Year Community Service Award Winner, Laurel Perusa

Senate’s 15th District 2018 Women of the Year.

Councilmember Kumar at his weekly Saturday Office Hours at Big Basin Cafe.

Councilmember Kumar with Saratogans at a Neighborhood Meeting in Saratoga Woods.

Councilmember Kumar with Governor Jerry Brown after a dialogue about University of California schools.

Excellent dialogue today with Governor Brown on our University of California current state/challenges, future direction and the ideal/desired profile of a UC Regent. Participating in this informal discussion were California Speaker Anthony Rendon, UC Regents Chair George Keiffer, a few UC Regents and members of the UC Regents selection committee. Candid dialogue and Governor Brown was a keen listener”

Councilmember Kumar at the State Capitol, part of a panel defining a Computer Science curriculum for K-12 California schools.

PUBLIC COMMENTS can be emailed to

Computer Science curriculum K-12. THere will be plenty of opportunities to provide feedback as the curriculum gets crystallized. In the meantime, love to get any feedback as I sit in these sessions.

“I am honored to represent our Silicon Valley hi-tech community and being appointed to the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan Panel (CSSIPP) by the California Senate Rules Committee” - Rishi Kumar

Rishi Kumar, Emily Lo and Howard Miller at  Saratoga baseball Opening Day

Councilmember Kumar with the California Education Department and the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan Panel in the California State Capitol.

Board member Betty Yee of California's State Board of Equalization and Former mayor of Milpitas Jose Esteves

With Anna Valenzuela, Consul General of El Salvador and County Supervisor David Cannepa from San Mateo County

Pain the City Kick-off at City Hall


Assemblymember Evan Low’s Lunar New Year celebration

Saratoga Springs is a treasure

Loved the tour of Saratoga Springs today. It is a lovely location just 2 miles from Saratoga downtown where you can host your corporate parties, birthday parties, anniversary parties - even weddings. I was meeting with the property owners - a family that has owned this paradise for generations - to discuss the 100+ year old bridge that currently being considered for replacement by Caltrans

At a fundraiser in Atherton

Congratulations Rohan Mehrotra - a tremendously talented student of Saratoga - for getting a special commendation today from our Saratoga city council.

Rohan was 1st place at the Synopsys Science Fair Championship, 1st place for Chemistry at the California State Science fair, entered the Intel Sciemce fair for his project “A novel Nanoscale approach to combat disease: electrically stimulated drug release from biodegradable PVL Nanoparticles”. Amazing achievement! Congratulations to proud mom (in the picture) and dad

At a tech conference in Vegas - after business assembling bikes for kids of Vegas

Dance-a-Thon Season 2

Dance-a-Thon Season 2: Honoring Dharmesh Sir

From Dance-a-Thon Season 1

USA Women's Team Cricketer Sugetha Kalyanaraman Chandrasekar felicitated by Saratoga Council Member Rishi Kumar at a Cricket Zeal Academy (CZA) event

Oscar Party

At the 10th Lunary New Year celebration at Hakone Garden

Cupertino Education Foundation Black and White Ball

Saratoga Community Center saw the

4th annual Silicon Valley’s got Bollywood