January 2019 Newsletter

Newsletter Intern: Arushi Saxena

On Mobile/Tablet, View in Landscape Mode


1.  A Note from Rishi: Please send your protest letters to CPUC against the merger.

2. Saratoga Happenings, Info and News:

3. Upcoming and Past Events

4. Q&A with Councilmember Kumar

5. A Glimpse into January - a pictorial view

  1.     A Note From Rishi - please send your protest letters to CPUC against the merger

Dear neighbors,

Call to action reference our water predicament - please email and also try to attend the meeting


OPTION A: You can download the app

Download the app on your Apple iOS phone

Download the app for Android phones

OPTION B:  Use the Google Doc link

Don’t want to download the app - but still want to send the email?

Click here to find the Google Doc  with the protest email details

or find it here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vPdvH2dQYoayrS0xgfxToIBsBS0cTAUAp-Hj1M2TMAw/edit?usp=sharin

Please send the protest email and also join the public hearing

Your involvement in this effort will make a big difference



  1. Saratoga Happenings, Info and News

Love Notes in the Village

The Saratoga Village Development Council invites you to create an original love note to honor those you hold close to your heart. Drop your note off at any business on Big Basin Way after January 31, and they will be displayed in windows until February 15. Love notes should be flat and no larger than 8.5 by 11 inches.

$6.8 billion transportation tax for Santa Clara County declared legal

Following a lawsuit which challenged its legality, Santa Clara County’s ½ cent tax has been declared legal, allowing for $6.3 billion to be collected to repair roadways, upgrade and extend public transportation, fill potholes, and rebuild old interchanges.

There are still a few technical changes waiting to be solved, but even before the ruling was made by the 6th District Court of Appeals in October, VTA began collecting the tax in 2017 and had since raised $240 million.

Community Grants Available Now!

The City of Saratoga invites residents in the community to apply for community grants to host a public event. We recognize the value of these events in bringing the residents together, building community, and establishing an identity for the City. Thus, with the Community Event Grant Program, we give local community organizers funds to host their events, should it be opened to the public and held in the City of Saratoga. Applicants must demonstrate their ability to hold a safe and clean event, attract attendees, manage funds, obtain permits and insurances, as well as authorizations.

Grant funding can be used for: supplies, contract services, city-related fees, and permits.

Application Process

“The City is currently accepting applications for events that will take place between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. The application period opens on Wednesday, January 17, and applications are due to City Hall by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27. Applications may be dropped off in person, faxed, mailed, or emailed. Applications will be brought to the Council for decision at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, March 20. Applicants are encouraged to attend this meeting to answer any questions about their events.”

Insurance Coverage

All event organizers who receive funding through the Community Event Grant Program and Street Closure Grant Program must obtain event liability insurance coverage in the amount of at least $1 million. The insurance coverage will name the City of Saratoga, its officers, officials, employees, agents and volunteers as additional insured. Event organizers must provide a "Certificate of Insurance" with "Additional Insured Endorsement" to the City prior to holding the event.”

Street Closure Grant

“The Saratoga City Council also sets aside funding to help a local organization pay for the cost of closing down Big Basin Way for a community event. This Street Closure Grant is separate from the Community Event Grant and is awarded to only one organization. This year, the City Council has reserved the Street Closure Grant for the Chamber of Commerce.”

The application is available here: https://www.saratoga.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/820/Community-Event-Grant-Application-PDF

The event reimbursement form is available here: https://www.saratoga.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/821/Community-Event-Grant-Reimbursement-Request-Form-PDF

Staying safe in frost season

A tip from the UCCE Master Gardener Program of Santa Clara County:

We are in the middle of our frost season which historically runs approximately November 15–March 15. If the temperature is cold during the day and the sky is clear, there will be a risk of frost overnight. If your frost-sensitive plants are in containers, you can move them under the eaves or into the garage overnight. Otherwise, you can cover them with old sheets or similar cloth material, taking care to avoid direct contact with the foliage. Except for succulents, keep plants well-watered and keep their soil moist to help them survive frost. Uncover plants during the day to allow for sun and air circulation. If you do find frost damage, wait until the spring to prune it out. This helps protect remaining foliage against further damage. It also allows you to see what is truly dead as opposed to what will recover with new spring growth.”

Storm sends water rushing into Saratoga woman’s backyard

This past month featured several rainstorms which had several implications for people living in our community.

Here is the link to the article: https://abc7news.com/weather/storm-sends-water-rushing-into-saratoga-womans-backyard/5092079/.

The storm also led to several power outages which were quickly fixed by PG&E. Additionally, the National Weather Service issued a “Flash Flood and High Wind Advisory” for 12 hours from 1/16 - 1/17. People were advised to be aware of risks and take safety precautions as per Santa Clara County @sccounty Office of Emergency Services.

Work on the Saratoga Community Center Multi-Purpose Room Begins!

Work on the Community Center Multi-Purpose Room stage finished. The new stage was made ADA accessible, the storage areas on either side of the stage were completely rebuilt, and new flooring was installed. A partial wall was built to allow for the compliant ramp and stair access from behind the stage.

The effects of the storms in numbers

The storms produced over three inches of rain in Saratoga, and City crews cleared up clogged storm drains and fallen tree limbs around town. During the work week, three large trees at different locations also blew over and were cleared City crews. City crews remained ready to handle any calls that come in.

Saratoga CERT!


The first meeting of 2019 took place on Thursday, January 24th - 5:30-7pm at the Saratoga Recreation Portable @ Joan Pisani Community Center (see agenda below).

Craig will host another CERT FRS Radio Distribution opportunity in January at the Saratoga Prospect Center CERT container. Attendees were advised to bring their current DSW card to pick up their radio and to get other materials to update your backpack.

Saratoga CERT Website - saratogacert.org. We have updated the Resources page http://saratogacert.org/documents/ with fresh 2019 links.

Please check out the new link to the new Santa Clara County Emergency Preparedness Calendar https://www.sccgov.org/…/twelve-month-emergency-preparednes…

Tentative Agenda for the January 24th meeting

• Welcome, Introductions, & Volunteer Opportunities [Brent & Michael]

• Update on City Emergency Plan [Michael]

• CERT/RACES plan [Don]

• Cox Division plan [Chuck]

• Re-Distribution of Cache Supplies [Craig]

• Distribution of FRS Radios and Backpack supplies [Craig]

• Drills/Practices/Training [Brent]

• City Events [Jessica]

• Division Reports/Plans [Division Leads]

Safety near power lines

What should I do if I see a down power line? (Thanks to Janice Down and the City of Mill Valley for this one)

  1. DON'T TOUCH IT- by touching the power line, you could complete the circuit between the power grid and the ground and result in catastrophe. This includes touching it with a stick, broom or any other long object.
  2. STAY BACK- an energized power line can "dance" and move. Keep your distance to avoid being touched by the power line.
  3. CALL 911- Don't be afraid to call 911. Downed power lines is a serious emergency. The Fire Department can keep the area safe while PG&E is responding.
  4. TELL OTHERS TO STAY BACK- Power lines can sometimes be hard to see. Be a part of our safer community and t! ell others to keep back!

Can I drive over the power line?

NO- Never drive over downed power lines. It is always safer to take the long way around. It isn't worth catastrophe.

What do I do if the power line is on my car or house?

STAY PUT- Stay where you are and call 911. By exiting the car or house you could put your feet in contact with the energized area of ground surrounding downed power lines. This energized ground is just as dangerous as the wire itself.

If your car or house is no longer safe to stay in, jump out and land with both feet together. Then shuffle to a safe location without lifting your feet off the ground.

Check out the information provided by PG&E

US issues warning over China travel

Here is the link to the article: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/03/us-issues-new-warning-over-china-travel-urging-increased-caution-.html.

Santa Clara County opens up more shelter for homeless in cold weather

The homeless were offered extra shelter for a few days from Friday, December 28 - Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Here is the announcement made last month:

“Dear Neighbors,

Due to unusually cold weather, an expanded number of beds and extended hours are available at shelters throughout Santa Clara County starting tonight, Friday, December 28, 2018 to Wednesday morning January 2, 2019. Please consider checking on neighbors and friends who might need extra help.

Here are available services for your reference:

Listing of shelters with expanded services click here: http://bit.ly/warm-centersSCC

Call 2-1-1: for health and human services in Santa Clara County

Homeless Helpline: Call the County Office of Supportive Housing at (408) 793-0550 to ask for assistance or report a homeless person in need in Santa Clara County (excluding San Jose)

HomeFirst Homeless Helpline: Call (408) 510-7600 or e-mail Outreach@homefirstscc.org (HomeFirst’s Outreach team provides access to emergency shelter, showers, laundry, meals, medical services, case management, employment training, and more.)

Thank you for helping to keep our communities safe during this cold winter weather.


Office of Emergency Services”

Twelve month emergency preparedness calendar

Please check out this calendar offered by Santa Clara County’s Emergency Services: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/oes/residents/Pages/twelve-month-emergency-preparedness-calendar.aspx

From County Emergency Preparedness:

Dear Neighbors and Friends, In the coming year, you can help keep yourself and your family safer from risks by preparing in advance for emergencies that may arise.

In the coming year, you can help keep yourself and your family safer from risks by preparing in advance for emergencies that may arise.

Median landscaping updates - Kevin Meek

There are many landscape planting upgrades currently under way throughout Saratoga, including the renovation of the median on Fruitvale Avenue between City Hall and Saratoga Avenue. The existing Manzanita shrubs had been deteriorating due to fire blight, so it was time to start fresh. Due to budget considerations, we will be replanting the southern half of the median at this time. Public Works will reevaluate the median budget after this fall planting session, and if the budget allows, the whole median can be completed in early spring. This work may tie in to a replanting project that will be done in the first median on Saratoga Avenue after turning right off Fruitvale Avenue. In this median, three failing Liquid Amber trees were recently removed and will be replaced with six different trees.

3. Upcoming and Past Events

Bruce Munro at Montalvo: Stories in Light

October 28, 2018 – March 17, 2019

Tickets on sale now!

Tickets are now on sale for this astonishing new exhibition by artist Bruce Munro. Featuring 10 light-based works ranging in scale from immersive to intimate, Bruce Munro at Montalvo: Stories in Light will utilize multi-hued waves, clusters, cascades, flocks, and seas of illumination, transforming Montalvo’s historic Villa and grounds into a breathtaking spectacle of light. This is the first time Munro's work will be publicly on display on the West Coast, and will be the largest number of his works ever on view at a single venue. To information on the exhibit, dates, and to buy tickets, please visit https://www.munromontalvo.org/

The exhibition is open to the public on select days from October 28, 2018 - March 17, 2019. Standard tickets are $25 with timed entry between 6:00pm – 8:20pm. Please note that no cars will be allowed on site, and all patrons must park at West Valley College and board a free shuttle to Montalvo.

February 14th: Famous couples of San Francisco with Gary Holloway

February 14, 2019, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

The bus departs from the Joan Pisani Community Center, 19655 Allendale Avenue. All trips will be escorted by a City of Saratoga staff member. Please arrive 15 minutes before departure.

Address:Saratoga, CA 95070

Contact: 408.868.1249

Email: Email Recreation Department

Cost: $135

Link: Register Here

Event summary:

The City of Saratoga Recreation Department Great Getaways Program offers trips for all ages, except where noted. On this special Valentine's Day, Gary Holloway will lead a new tour of romantic sites in San Francisco. Long-described as a romantic city, San Francisco has many stories to tell of the famous couples that have given the city this reputation. We will visit famous trysting spots and "lover's leaps," and Gary will share tales of famous romantic entanglements. A highlight of the day will be lunch at America's oldest Italian restaurant, the fabled Fior d'Italia in North Beach, long-associated with one of our most famous romantic couples, Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe. Come with us to find "love is in the air" in San Francisco.

February 20th Montalvo Arts Center: Stories in Light

Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 7 p.m.

TICKET PRICES : $10 (with ticket to Bruce Munro: Stories in Light)

VENUE: Historic Villa

Event Summary:

As Bruce Munro at Montalvo: Stories in Light nears its close, join Barbara Goldstein, a leading voice in public art planning and place-making, and Bay Area-based Jim Campbell, creator of the recent Salesforce tower illumination, who will discuss light as a medium for engaging community. Campbell will share his work, his practice, and his interest in light as a medium. Significant large-scale, light-based installations will be shared and discussed, along with the key role public art plays in sustaining shared spaces that promote healthy, flourishing, and equitable communities.

NOTE: This lecture is offered as an additional program for those visiting the Bruce Munro at Montalvo: Stories in Light exhibit on February 20. Separate tickets are required; to purchase your exhibition ticket, click here.

February 26th: Living Room Conversations

February 26th, 2019 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Event Summary: Join your neighbors for Living Room Conversations on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Joan Pisani Community Center, 19655 Allendale Avenue. The Saratoga Ministerial Association and the City of Saratoga host this monthly series for the community to come together and engage in respectful dialogue about important topics. To reserve your seat, call 408.868.1216 or email jerdman@saratoga.ca.us.

Contact: 408.868.1216

Email: RSVP

4. Q&A with Councilmember Kumar

Visit www.RishiKumar.com/faq for the complete list.

Question: How do I get power restoration status from PG&E?

Answer: Power outage? Here is the PG&E outage page to get status https://m.pge.com/#outages

Question: Saratoga is pretty safe right? I hear of break-ins on NextDoor. How worried should I be?

ANSWER: Yes, Saratoga is very safe, but there are residential burglaries that do occur. Saratoga experienced a huge drop in burglaries from 2016 to 2017 - 47% drop, the biggest drop in burglaraies compared to any other Santa Clara County city (except Los Altos Hills). You can visit the city of Saratoga safety page for the latest crime stats. http://saratoga.ca.us/stayingsafe or contact Councilmember Rishi Kumar to schedule a safety briefing for you and your neighbors

How can you track mail that was delivered by USPS, but did not receive? Stolen?

Enroll in USPS Informed Delivery. Free service. Go to https://www.usps.com/manage/welcome.htm

Now you can preview images* of your mail and manage your incoming packages on one dashboard without entering tracking numbers. From the Informed Delivery® dashboard you can also sign up for text or email notifications, schedule delivery alerts, request redelivery, enter USPS Delivery Instructions™, and more.

*NOTE: Black and white (grayscale) images show the outside, front of letter-sized envelopes and mailpieces that are processed through USPS® automated equipment

How can you track mail that was delivered by USPS, but did not receive? Stolen?

Enroll in USPS Informed Delivery. Free service. Go to https://www.usps.com/manage/welcome.htm

Now you can preview images* of your mail and manage your incoming packages on one dashboard without entering tracking numbers. From the Informed Delivery® dashboard you can also sign up for text or email notifications, schedule delivery alerts, request redelivery, enter USPS Delivery Instructions™, and more.

*NOTE: Black and white (grayscale) images show the outside, front of letter-sized envelopes and mailpieces that are processed through USPS® automated equipment

Here are a few ways you can prevent mail theft:

·       Pick up mail promptly after delivery and never leave mail in the box overnight

·       Do not place an envelope with a check and raise the mailbox flag. It may be picked up someone else not the post master.

·       Drop outgoing mail directly at the post office when possible

·       Install security cameras monitoring your mailbox if you can

·       If you're expecting checks, credit cards or other valuable parcels, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail if you can't be home

·       If you don't receive an expected check, credit card or other valuable parcel, contact the issuing agency immediately

·       When going on vacation, tell the Post Office so they can hold mail until you return

·       If you change your address, immediately notify the post office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.

Question: We are going to be traveling on vacation? What are some precautions I should consider taking to ensure that I don’t experience a break-in?

ANSWER: Are you planning a vacation? You will find some interesting tips and measures to take before you leave here. Please read the safety tips; tips such as setting up vacation patrol when you are gone. Please take steps to place deterrents in and around your home. You can review safety tips atwww.RishiKumar.com/tips . Please take action now, adopt some protective measures to protect your home.. here is the deck that was presented by Captain Urena at a recent Neighborhood Safety Watch certification meeting.

Most importantly, let your immediate neighbors know that you are gone, and for how long, and leave your contact information with them. If you don’t have the contact info for your immediate neighbors, then let your zone Block Captain know (if you have a Neighborhood Watch program established in your neighborhood). Your block captain already has communication setup with your zone neighbors and will let them know. To find your block captains, contact your Neighborhood Safety Captain. If you don’t have the contact of your Neighborhood Safety Captain, contact Councilmember Rishi Kumar, He may be able to help.

5. Glimpse Into January - A Pictorial View

Neighborhood Safety Watch Meeting in progress

Celebration of India’s Independence Day

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Unique Ideas

Congressman Khanna’s town hall meeting

With Supervisor David Cortese discussing County and Saratoga matters

At the Women’s March in San Jose

At the Women’s March in San Jose