Friday, Mar 05, 2021 - 17:34:13
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San Jose leaders:

    A group of community arts leaders, under the banner San Jose Arts Advocates, have presented an open letter to Mayor Sam Liccardo questioning the early removal of an artwork that was part of an exhibition at Mineta San Jose International Airport. The piece didn’t get close to the same leeway or public process that the controversial Fallon Statue is being accorded, the group says. Some quick background: “Americana,” created by Eric Bui, depicts a person atop a vehicle that looks like a police car, holding an upside down, tattered U.S. flag, and there are red splotches on the side windows of the car. It was one of 16 pieces installed in the first part of “Holding the Moment,” a monthly, rotating exhibition of 96 artworks at the airport meant to showcase artistic interpretations of life during COVID-19, Black Lives Matter protests, the Presidential election and other challenging topics of the...
    The community has spoken — and it appears they have swayed San Jose leaders. Faced with overwhelming opposition from residents across the city, San Jose leaders are quickly pumping the breaks on a plan that called for allowing about 75 new digital billboards on private properties along the freeways, as well as some smaller signs on private downtown buildings and public land. Councilmember Raul Peralez, who for years has been the most vocal proponent of the plan, on Tuesday called for the city to “completely halt” the proposal and remove it from the city’s list of priorities — a distinction it had been given for the past four years in a row. In a memo released Tuesday afternoon, Peralez said that his original intent behind the proposal was to “generate new revenues and improve the quality of life for some of our poorest neighborhoods who live with the status quo...
    COVID vaccines Santa Clara County residents ages 75 and older are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Kaiser Permanente, Stanford Healthcare and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation are offering vaccine appointments to patients, and the Santa Clara Valley Medical center will vaccinate residents who are not patients. County officials say this is just the beginning of widespread vaccine rollout, and more county facilities will open as vaccine stocks increase. The county has created a new online tool where residents can view the ongoing efforts to immunize the county. Find the tool online at tinyurl.com/SCVaccineDashboard. Safe Summer grants Local nonprofits, government groups and faith communities that provide summertime activities for San Jose’s youth are eligible to apply for the Safe Summer Initiative Grant. San Jose’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department offers this grant each year to bolster local kids’ and teens’ options for safe, legal summer activities. The grant...
    SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Church leaders in Santa Clara County on Friday passed a message along to South Bay congregations, asking them to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe Day at home. The coronavirus is hitting the Latinx community hard in the region. According to figures from health officials, 56 percent of positive cases identify as Latinx. Health officials in Santa Clara County are urging residents to stay committed to health orders as ICU capacity at South Bay hospitals continues to shrink.. The warning comes ahead of a religious holiday that typically attracts thousands to local Catholic churches. Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church on East San Antonio Street in San Jose normally sees 10,000 visitors over the course of the two days of observance. This year, church officials have canceled all events and are urging everyone to stay home. Feast Day 2020 in the South Bay is shaping to be...
    With a strong mandate from voters, San Jose leaders are forging ahead with proposed police reforms that involve wider scrutiny on police misconduct. But their success hinges largely on support from a police union that calls the reforms “a solution in search of a problem.” A city council committee on Wednesday approved a proposal from Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco to begin negotiating changes in the police department, chief among them making investigations of police misconduct independent of the San Jose Police Department and modifying the city’s arbitration process — a quicker and cheaper alternative to lawsuits that allow officers to dispute disciplinary actions. The move to transform the framework in which police misconduct is scrutinized comes just two weeks after more than 77% of San Jose voters passed Measure G. The city measure expands the footprint of the city’s Office of the Independent Police Auditor to include internal police complaints...
    EAST SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The potential that COVID-19 vaccines could be ready in a matter of months leads to the question, who will get them first?Advocates in a San Jose neighborhood with high infection rates are already working on a priority plan. Health is an important part of ABC7's Building A Better Bay Area initiative.RELATED: The safest and most dangerous things to do this holiday seasonEast San Jose neighborhoods rank among the highest in the county for COVID-19 cases.Community groups that represent its many Latino and Vietnamese residents hope that will be factored into planning for distribution of vaccines."We want to have a seat at the table, just so that whatever plan that they are putting out reflects the cultural background of our residents," said Long Vu, executive director of the Mekong Community Center.RELATED: Who gets COVID-19 vaccine first?LUNA, or Latinos United for a New America, is one...
    You could argue that the city of San Jose installing streetlight banners around City Hall emblazoned with the Black Lives Matter slogan amounts to establishing co-opting cries of protest, neutralizing the message by making it mainstream. But that was certainly not what anyone was saying at a City Hall unveiling Thursday morning, where leaders including Mayor Sam Liccardo and Vice Mayor Chappie Jones promised the banners were the start of a call to action — not the conclusion. “Unveiling of the Black Lives Matter banners at City Hall is an important step in acknowledging that we cannot begin the conversation about ‘all lives matter’ until we recognize and acknowledge that Black lives matter,” Jones said. “Symbols and statements have meaning, and they express to the world what our values are as a city.” Jones called on the public and private sectors, as well as nonprofits and community organizations, to work...
    The idea sounded like something out of a storybook: Trained professionals using bows and arrows to kill pesky wild pigs wreaking havoc on San Jose neighborhoods. And for businesses like the Coyote Creek Golf Course in South San Jose that has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars this year trying to mend the damage that the animals have caused, it was a tool they were willing to try. “It’s not Wilbur here from Charlottes Web,” Councilmember Johnny Khamis said during a meeting Tuesday night. “We’re talking 500-pound creatures that can do damage to pets, houses, lawns … they’re dangerous animals.” But citing safety concerns over errant arrows and state law restrictions, San Jose leaders this week quashed a proposal that called for giving licensed trappers approval to use archery equipment to kill feral pigs that have been destroying lawns and tearing up golf courses across the city. Under current San...
    SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – A rat-infested downtown San Jose neighborhood is getting attention from city and state leaders. Neighbors organized a tour of the area next to Almaden and Vine streets beneath an overpass on Interstate 280 that was a literal dumping ground of debris, homeless encampments and rodents. “We’re all excited over no gas cars in 2035, but we can’t clean the city of San Jose?” business owner Steven Pera said, referring to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order. Pera was speaking to a group including San Jose Assemblymember Ash Kalra, who got an earful from neighbors and business owners fed up over rats and trash. To his credit, Kalra was the only politician who showed up to tour the area, which has become a sore spot with neighbors. “Frankly as a resident, I am sick of it.  People shouldn’t live here with rats running wild,” said Julie Riera...
    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...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Residents in the South Bay living near a massive illegal dump site in south San Jose told ABC7 News, they are tired of excuses and inaction from city leaders.They are demanding the City of San Jose do something about the growing mounds of trash, citing public health and safety concerns.Along busy Monterey Road near Bailey Avenue, the illegal dump site runs about the length of a football field."I think there's like 15 cars out there now that are just completely disassembled," resident David Nettemeyer told ABC7 News. "And there's just mounds and mounds of trash."Nettemeyer is behind an online petition, demanding Mayor Sam Liccardo, Councilman Sergio Jimenez and Union Pacific Railroad provide a timeline for trash removal.RELATED: Crackdown on illegal dumping coming to the East BayHe and other residents first noticed the issue late last year, but said those mounds have grown more massive in...
    SAN JOSE (KPIX) — School starts Wednesday for the San Jose Unified School District when hundreds of teachers will be ordered back to their classrooms but KPIX is learning that some teachers will stand their ground and teach from home. The district told teachers they could apply to teach from home if they had a valid reason, such as a medical issue. District leaders also said they would accommodate teachers who needed child care. However, high school teacher Kelly Walker said that has not been the case. Walker applied to stay at home because she was scrambling to find daycare for her 3-month-old son after district leaders decided teachers would be required to report to their classrooms. She found out a week and a half ago that the district had rejected her request. “It was gut wrenching,” Walker said. “It was one of my last options.” Walker said the district...
    Click here if you are having trouble viewing the slideshow on a mobile device. About three dozen people gathered in downtown San Jose on Friday evening to remember the lives of Rep. John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian, two civil rights icons who died within hours of one another on July 17 — spawning an outpouring of grief across the U.S. and the Bay Area. The vigil united a mix of students, faith leaders and local civil rights activists who first met up at San Jose City Hall before marching to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library and the Olympic Black Power Statue at San Jose State University. John Lewis, the longtime representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, has been hailed as a hero starting in the 1960s, when he was one of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders and a keynote speaker at the historic 1963 March on...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. Lewis long ago showed that Black lives matter Fifty years ago, John Lewis demonstrated that Black lives matter. His courage to stand up to the government-sanctioned bigots and bullies in Selma inspired the 1965 Voting Rights Act. It changed America … not just for the millions of Blacks who then could finally register and vote but for so many others. It was the renewal of the act five years later that lowered the voting age to 18 for federal elections. When I was laboring to lower the voting age back then, John Lewis was our hero. He was a student when he organized sit-ins and promoted voter registrations and voting. He was only 23 when he led 600 nonviolent protestors over Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge and into history. Students, young people, had significant roles in...
    EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Since the COVID-19 pandemic has canceled a number of firework events across the Bay Area, the usual booms and bright lights are exploding closer to home.The danger and disturbance forced some mid-Peninsula cities to meet on Monday to discuss the issue. Illegal firework use fueled Monday's joint Zoom meeting between East Palo Alto and Menlo Park city leaders and law enforcement. Several Palo Alto city officials were also present.RELATED: Fireworks on Bay Area streets 'bigger,stronger, louder' than years pastThe hours-long discussion surrounded illegal explosives, and how to stop the behavior before any real destruction."Ultimately, it's a community problem," East Palo Alto Councilman Ruben Abrica told ABC7 News. "And we're the ones who really have to engage our own networks, organizations and talk to people if we know who they are. If they're our neighbors, we need to go up to our neighbors."In neighboring Santa...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- As organizers of the San Jose youth group Brave Space looked out into a sea of people at San Jose State University, they could hardly believe that the march they organized, just over a week ago, would have such a huge turnout."It really was just an idea that we put forward and 37 kids showed up in my living room," said Shay Franco-Clausen, who created the group Brave Space."The students took that call and ran with it. I mean we're crying on stage because I'm just overwhelmed with happiness," she said.TAKE ACTION: Find resources to help with equality, justice and race issuesClausen is an elected director at Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority and a Black LGBTQA leader. She says she knows how it feels not to have a voice. She was determined to give young people in her community the space to speak out...
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