Thanksgiving 2017 Newsletter

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Newsletter Writer: Intern Priscilla Widjaja


A Note From Rishi:
Consider signing the water Petition

City Happenings, Info, & News

Upcoming Events

Q&A with Councilmember Rishi Kumar 
Visit for the complete list

A Note From Rishi
Consider Signing the Water Petition

Dear neighbors,

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving week.

Water is going to be our biggest challenge over the next few decades - based on the challenges that were imposed upon us during the recent California drought and super high water bills. It is time we took control of! We do NOT want to be at the mercy of an investor-owned utility company for our water when the next drought comes along. How about a NEW DIRECTION! Or should we continue reactive protests in an endless loop?

I am in support of a new municipal water utility company servicing the cities that are currently covered by San Jose Water Company. Please consider signing the Water Oversight Group petition. Over 1400 have signed this petition
Not going to be easy, but here is what it will take:

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#A1 We are building a broad coalition engaging councilmembers from cities to converge behind this push back against rampant rate increases and more. Currently a council member each from Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Milpitas and Sunnyvale have joined as Board members of the Water Oversight Group, a group founded by Councilmember Rishi Kumar

#A2 Worldwide, 235 cities in 37 countries— including Paris, Budapest and Buenos Aires —  have taken stronger or total control of their water systems in the last five years.  In the U.S., 58 cities have taken or retaken control of private systems in the period, with the pace accelerating. Read this LA Times article

#A3 California municipalities have been particularly active in reclaiming water systems. Click on this article below that describes how eminent domain action led to California based Casitas Municipal Water District taking over operating assets of Golden State Water Company’s Ojai water system by eminent domain for approximately $34.5 million. Yes it can be done!  Click on this LA Times article

#A4 Santa Clara and Palo Alto already have city owned and operated municipal utility company which is working very well for their residents i.e reasonable water rates, and NEVER surcharges. Twelve communities in Santa Clara County formed Silicon Valley Clean Energy, creating a community-owned agency   that has created an alternative to PG&E. Why not a Silicon Valley Municipal Water - community owned water?  All options should be considered - perhaps expand the existing San Jose Municipal Utility or Cupertino Municipal Utility?

#A5  With 229,000* metered connections, we anticipate a price tag of $700M. An investment of $3,000 to $5,000 / family would be needed - financed upfront, spreading the payment over 10 years. Given that SJWC profited $222M in 7 years, we would have saved at least $350M in the next 10 years that could accelerate payments or credited back to the customers, or rates lowered to ensure a break-even operation (remember - the new municipal utility is NOT driven by profits)

See press coverage of my November 6th plea to CPUC  here

The video of my pitch to CPUC is here asking CPUC to give us money back and reduce our water rates.

Excited about this idea? Subscribe to the Water Oversight Group.

Visit for more information on our push back against water rate increases.

Please consider signing the petition here that 1400+ have signed already



I loved this post seen on Linkedin

City Happenings, Info, & News

Count Your Blessings

Unveiling of the Willys and Betty Peck Count Your Blessing founding members of Saratoga in 1956. Willys is no more and missed every day. Betty Peck, 92 years old joined us via video conference. What a fabulous day, a momentous day in Saratoga. The community rallied behind this bronze "Count your Blessings" bench which will invite every Saratoga and Silicon Valley resident to thank everything we have in our lives.

Appointed and Ready to Serve!

Councilmember Rishi Kumar, from the city of Saratoga has been appointed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to serve on the Comprehensive County Expressway Planning Study Policy Advisory Board for a term expiring on June 30, 2019.

Quieter Saratoga in 2019

In response to the increased use of leaf blowers, the Saratoga City Council recently passed an ordinance that will help decrease noise pollution in the city. The new ordinance will go into effect on October 1, 2019.

It will require that all leaf blowers used in Saratoga are certified by the manufacturer to produce no more than 65 A-weighted decibels (dBA) or less at a distance of 50 feet. There are a number of commercially available leaf blowers with relatively low noise levels. Leaf blowers that meet this criteria are labeled with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B175.2 sticker. This manufacturer’s label will be used to verify compliance.

Keep an eye out for continued outreach and reminders over the next two years before the change is implemented in October 2019. For more information, contact City of Saratoga Code Compliance at 408-868-1214 or

Arrest in Saratoga

West Valley Detectives arrested Isiah Caravez (19), Luis Meza (19), and Kunj Pathak (20) for the 11/9/17 Robbery of the Exxon Mobil Gas Station at 12600 Saratoga Avenue in Saratoga, CA. Isiah Caravez (see photo), 19, of Saratoga brandished a firearm and demanded money from the gas station clerk. He is currently being held without bail at our Elmwood Facility.


Upcoming Events

Celebration of Light - December 16

Join the City of Saratoga and the Ministerial for the Celebration of Light on Saturday, December 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Blaney Plaza. The event is intended to build community and celebrate the diversity of Saratoga through the symbolism of light, which represents hope, joy, and faith across culture

Brookside Club study session

Brookside Club (19127 Cox Avenue) On December 12, 2017, the Planning Commission will hold a Study Session to review proposed changes to the Brookside Club conditional use permit. The Brookside Club is a private, member- owned swim and tennis club. Membership is limited to 250 families. Brookside’s existing use permit includes operating hours for weekdays and weekends, with closing hours based on the time of the sunset. The Club is proposing new operating hours for both tennis and swim activities which includes standardized closing hours.

State Route (SR) 85 Transit Guideway Study - Take the Online Survey

The State Route (SR) 85 Transit Guideway Study evaluates transportation alternatives of the 23.7-mile corridor that connects the cities of Mountain View and San Jose, from the SR 85/US 101 interchange in Mountain View to the SR 85/US 101 interchange in South San Jose. Study alternatives will include Bus Rapid Transit service and infrastructure, Light Rail Transit, and possible future transportation technologies or other options.

The SR 85 Transit Guideway Study will be conducted by VTA staff under the direction of the SR 85 Policy Advisory Board (PAB). The advisory board will be instrumental in identifying the alternatives that will be analyzed and ultimately making a recommendation to VTA’s Board of Directors about how to proceed with a transit improvement plan along the SR 85 corridor.

VTA values input from the community and we believe that more voices help us produce better outcomes. Please take a short survey about how you currently travel and would be willing to travel on State Route 85. Help set the criteria used to guide the study for transit improvements and alternatives.

contact VTA Community Outreach at (408) 321-7575 TTY (408) 231-2330

For More Information and to take the survey!:

Silicon Valley Shark Tank on December 17th

Silicon Valley Coders Shark Tank on December 17th

WHEN: Sunday December 17th 2pm -4pm

WHERE: Joan Pisani Community Center,

Unity in Community Speech Competition on January 14th

---An opportunity for students to debate at “3rd annual Unity in Community Day on January 14th 2018 Mark your calendar. Prepare your Unity speeches RSVP at

Audition for Silicon Valley’s got Bollywood

Calling performers to audition and win big at Silicon Valley’s got Bollywood 2018 on March 24th 2018

Not just Bollywood - performances can be absolutely anything - songs, dances, comedy, magic, just show case your amazing talent.

Submit your audition videos at or

Q&A with Councilman Kumar

Visit for the complete list.

Question: I need your advice on how to proceed or what is the correct procedure on an ongoing annoyance.

We have a religious place of worship very near to my house (almost next door). I find  someone or other partially blocks our driveway. I do not want to call the police every time I see a car blocking our driveway. Can you please advise on any alternatives? Where do I raise my concern so that some action is taken for a better solution?

ANSWER: City staff will contact the religious place of worship to present the predicament and request help

Question: I am going to be on vacation in December. What deterrents should I place around my home?.

 Are you planning a summer vacation? You will find some interesting tips and measures to take before you leave here Please take steps to place deterrents in and around your home. You can review safety tips at . Please take action now, adopt some protective measures to protect your home

Here are the the crime stats from 2016. Also, here is the deck that was presented by Captain Urena at a recent Neighborhood Safety Watch certification meeting

Glimpses - A Pictorial View

(November 2017)

Thanksgiving week time

Rose Bowl Stadium - UCLA vs CAL

At the CPUC hearing on November 6th, San Jose City Hall

Assemblymember Evan Low meets with Saratoga City Council

Chatting about water with Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran

With Jonathan Reichental, the CIO of the city of Palo Alto discussing Block Chain and Crypto Currency. Cupertino School Board Member Liang-Fang Chao was attending this seminar too

At a political event, Westin San Francisco airport

With Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Assemblymember Ash Kalra

With Congressman Ro Khanna and Mayor Lily Mei (Fremont)

With Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy
and Saratoga residents Talat and Kamil Hassan

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standingImage may contain: 3 people, people smiling, closeupImage may contain: 6 people, people on stage and indoorImage may contain: 4 people, people sitting, table and indoor

Saratoga Diwali 2017 was quite a party