Willow

17 Jun 19
Whittier Daily News
Four years after Montebello voters rejected the idea of selling the public water system, city officials want to take a second stab at it, but this time they don’t need the electorate’s approval. The city stands to get between $15.8 million and $22.6 million from San Gabriel Valley Water Co. The difference is based on whether Montebello leases or sells its water rights. Unlike in 2015, when a potential sale was turned into a bidding war, there was only one round of bids this time around. Three bids were received, but Golden State Water Co’s was disallowed because it is not adjacent to the city and thus not eligible under state legislation approved last year. California Water Service Co. is the third bidder. Legislators passed a law last year that allows the cities of Montebello, El Monte and Willows, a small city in Northern California, to sell their systems without a vote. Montebello’s system serves 1,647 properties, or 8% of the of the community. Interim City Manager Paul Talbot said if the council agrees to sell the system, he would recommend using the money to fix infrastructure, such as parks and streets. “We should take that money and put it into making Montebello the best city it can be,” Talbot said. “This is an asset, and I don’t want to take a one-time sale to balance the budget.” The decision, however is the council’s. The issue was on Wednesday’s agenda, but Councilman David Torres asked to postpone the item until July 10. “We haven’t had much discussion on it,” Torres said after the meeting. “We’re talking about $15 million to $22 million,” he said. “It deserves a conversation. I want to do my due diligence and make sure there are no questions.” Torres said he also wanted to determine if the system needs to be sold. While city records show that throughout the last 10 years, the city’s general fund has shelled out $800,000 to subsidize the water system, surpluses are projected for this year and the next, according to the city budget. Some of the critics of the 2015 sale say they’re not necessarily opposed to selling the system now. Environmental activist Linda Strong said she is OK with it as long the city’s water rights are kept because it “represents a future source of ongoing revenue for the city.” [cq comment=”The following content will display as an info box.”] Related links Bill would let Montebello sell water system even after voters rejected $14.4 million bid Montebello raising water rates to try and keep utility from losing money Why did Montebello voters reject sale of water system? Bidding war over sale of Montebello water system to be resolved today Montebello City Council to consider water rate increase More Montebello news [cq comment=”This is the end of the info box.”] Former councilman Bill Molinari, who opposed the sale in 2015, said he just wants to make sure a sale the best option. What he wanted previously and still wants to see is an assessment of how much the water system is worth. Talbot said the bidding provides the best way to determine how much your asset is worth. “You can think your home is worth $2 million, but if someone will only offer $500,000, that’s the value.”
17 Jun 19
Pasadena Star News
Four years after Montebello voters rejected the idea of selling the public water system, city officials want to take a second stab at it, but this time they don’t need the electorate’s approval. The city stands to get between $15.8 million and $22.6 million from San Gabriel Valley Water Co. The difference is based on whether Montebello leases or sells its water rights. Unlike in 2015, when a potential sale was turned into a bidding war, there was only one round of bids this time around. Three bids were received, but Golden State Water Co’s was disallowed because it is not adjacent to the city and thus not eligible under state legislation approved last year. California Water Service Co. is the third bidder. Legislators passed a law last year that allows the cities of Montebello, El Monte and Willows, a small city in Northern California, to sell their systems without a vote. Montebello’s system serves 1,647 properties, or 8% of the of the community. Interim City Manager Paul Talbot said if the council agrees to sell the system, he would recommend using the money to fix infrastructure, such as parks and streets. “We should take that money and put it into making Montebello the best city it can be,” Talbot said. “This is an asset, and I don’t want to take a one-time sale to balance the budget.” The decision, however is the council’s. The issue was on Wednesday’s agenda, but Councilman David Torres asked to postpone the item until July 10. “We haven’t had much discussion on it,” Torres said after the meeting. “We’re talking about $15 million to $22 million,” he said. “It deserves a conversation. I want to do my due diligence and make sure there are no questions.” Torres said he also wanted to determine if the system needs to be sold. While city records show that throughout the last 10 years, the city’s general fund has shelled out $800,000 to subsidize the water system, surpluses are projected for this year and the next, according to the city budget. Some of the critics of the 2015 sale say they’re not necessarily opposed to selling the system now. Environmental activist Linda Strong said she is OK with it as long the city’s water rights are kept because it “represents a future source of ongoing revenue for the city.” [cq comment=”The following content will display as an info box.”] Related links Bill would let Montebello sell water system even after voters rejected $14.4 million bid Montebello raising water rates to try and keep utility from losing money Why did Montebello voters reject sale of water system? Bidding war over sale of Montebello water system to be resolved today Montebello City Council to consider water rate increase More Montebello news [cq comment=”This is the end of the info box.”] Former councilman Bill Molinari, who opposed the sale in 2015, said he just wants to make sure a sale the best option. What he wanted previously and still wants to see is an assessment of how much the water system is worth. Talbot said the bidding provides the best way to determine how much your asset is worth. “You can think your home is worth $2 million, but if someone will only offer $500,000, that’s the value.”
17 Jun 19
The Antisocial Eater

While returning home from a recent conference in Boston, I stopped by the Maxim’s Bakery on Fraser Street to grab some food. The latter is a Chinese/Asian bakery with several locations throughout Greater Vancouver. I’ve previously visited their location on Victoria Drive. While I was tempted by their sliced cakes, I was still carrying my […]

17 Jun 19
Goodfellas Enterprises, LLC

Bagworms are moth-like insects that love junipers, spruces, and evergreens just as much as we do. However, they don’t get satisfaction by looking at them–because they don’t have eyes– their satisfaction comes from eating them by attaching their bag to a branch. In this post, we’ll go over exactly what these little creatures are, and […]

17 Jun 19
East Bay Times
SAN JOSE — Residents of Willow Glen and a few other neighborhoods across the city could see new fire stations in the coming years. If the City Council approves a recommendation from San Jose Fire Department Chief Robert Sapien Jr. on Tuesday, staffers can move forward with identifying and buying property for at least five stations using money from Measure T, a $650 million bond measure voters passed in 2018 aimed in part at improving emergency and disaster response. Several of the stations would be new, but a couple of existing stations would also be relocated using the funds. In the last decade, the department has fielded more calls and battled more traffic, which has stretched resources and lengthened response times. In a new memo, Sapien said current overall response times meet the city’s standard — arrival within eight minutes 80 percent of the time for emergencies that require lights and sirens. But while the department meets its two-minute targets for call processing and mobilizing to depart, it only meets the four-minute driving target less than half the time, with late responses concentrated in the center of the city. “These fire station placements will reinforce the existing emergency response system, improve travel time to areas currently beyond 4-minute travel time reach, and in preparation of anticipated growth and development,” Sapien wrote in his memo. Among the stations set to be built is the long-sought Station 37 at the corner of Lincoln and Curtner avenues in Willow Glen. Nearly two decades ago, voters passed Measure O and the station was slated to be constructed with bond funds. But there wasn’t enough money to complete the project until voters passed Measure T. “The residents of District 6 have been waiting many years for Station 37 to be built,” said Councilwoman Dev Davis, who represents the area. “This station will improve response times for fires and medical emergencies for all of Willow Glen and keep us all safer.” Also on Sapien’s list are new stations in Santee near McLaughlin Avenue and Story Road and in the Ramblewood neighborhood, near Capitol Expressway and McLaughlin Avenue. The city won’t know the exact locations until staffers negotiate for property. The department is recommending relocating two stations — Station 8 at E. Santa Clara Street and N. 17th Street just east of downtown, and Station 23 at the intersection of Via Cinco De Mayo and N. Capitol Ave. near Berryessa. Station 8 sits on the banks of Coyote Creek. According to the memo, it needs to be moved because of the risk of land erosion, but the location is otherwise good, so the department would like the station to remain in the area. The department wants to move Station 23 toward Lundy Avenue. and McKay Drive. Currently, a four-minute drive north puts firefighters well into Milpitas, and shifting the station could provide better coverage in San Jose. The idea has been discussed in the past, but now the funding is available. “Finally the stars have aligned,” said Councilman Lan Diep, who represents North San Jose, “and we’ll finally be able to do it.” The existing station, Diep pointed out, is in a renovated single-family home, which is “not ideal.” (City of San Jose)While Measure T is only expected to fund these five relocations and new stations, Sapien suggested moving another station in Cambrian to the west and other new station locations in the future, for a total of 11 recommendations. One spot is the Diridon Station area, set to be home to a major Google campus in the coming years and other new developments. When it developed the list, the department factored in where anticipated developments could increase demand for emergency assistance. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]And while the recommendations are based on current data, Sapien warned that the analysis is a “point-in-time assessment” that should be performed regularly. Measure T should help get the first five stations up and running if the City Council votes to move forward on Tuesday, but the city will have to work operating and maintenance costs into future budgets. In a separate memo, Mayor Sam Liccardo and council members Raul Peralez and Magdalena Carrasco said the city should also consider adding to Measure T funding to expand some stations in anticipation of needing more coverage in some areas. The trio cited Station 20 at the city’s airport as an example. “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is funding a new station build on the Coleman Avenue side. Adding marginal funding for more dormitory space and exploring a second bay concept can expand bandwidth at the station to provide off airfield service,” they said. Liccardo, Peralez and Carrasco also called on the city to look into ways to fund energy storage, generation and micro-grid infrastructure at stations. “The recent announcement by PG&E to de-energize during weather-related high-risk events makes this direction all the more imperative,” they said. “While funding may not be available while staff works on the design of these stations, staff should consider including energy storage (and solar) as “add-alternates” on the Measure T projects, and actively pursue state and federal funding opportunities to ensure we have resilient critical facilities that can operate off the grid if need be.”
17 Jun 19
The Mercury News
SAN JOSE — Residents of Willow Glen and a few other neighborhoods across the city could see new fire stations in the coming years. If the City Council approves a recommendation from San Jose Fire Department Chief Robert Sapien Jr. on Tuesday, staffers can move forward with identifying and buying property for at least five stations using money from Measure T, a $650 million bond measure voters passed in 2018 aimed in part at improving emergency and disaster response. Several of the stations would be new, but a couple of existing stations would also be relocated using the funds. In the last decade, the department has fielded more calls and battled more traffic, which has stretched resources and lengthened response times. In a new memo, Sapien said current overall response times meet the city’s standard — arrival within eight minutes 80 percent of the time for emergencies that require lights and sirens. But while the department meets its two-minute targets for call processing and mobilizing to depart, it only meets the four-minute driving target less than half the time, with late responses concentrated in the center of the city. “These fire station placements will reinforce the existing emergency response system, improve travel time to areas currently beyond 4-minute travel time reach, and in preparation of anticipated growth and development,” Sapien wrote in his memo. Among the stations set to be built is the long-sought Station 37 at the corner of Lincoln and Curtner avenues in Willow Glen. Nearly two decades ago, voters passed Measure O and the station was slated to be constructed with bond funds. But there wasn’t enough money to complete the project until voters passed Measure T. “The residents of District 6 have been waiting many years for Station 37 to be built,” said Councilwoman Dev Davis, who represents the area. “This station will improve response times for fires and medical emergencies for all of Willow Glen and keep us all safer.” Also on Sapien’s list are new stations in Santee near McLaughlin Avenue and Story Road and in the Ramblewood neighborhood, near Capitol Expressway and McLaughlin Avenue. The city won’t know the exact locations until staffers negotiate for property. The department is recommending relocating two stations — Station 8 at E. Santa Clara Street and N. 17th Street just east of downtown, and Station 23 at the intersection of Via Cinco De Mayo and N. Capitol Ave. near Berryessa. Station 8 sits on the banks of Coyote Creek. According to the memo, it needs to be moved because of the risk of land erosion, but the location is otherwise good, so the department would like the station to remain in the area. The department wants to move Station 23 toward Lundy Avenue. and McKay Drive. Currently, a four-minute drive north puts firefighters well into Milpitas, and shifting the station could provide better coverage in San Jose. The idea has been discussed in the past, but now the funding is available. “Finally the stars have aligned,” said Councilman Lan Diep, who represents North San Jose, “and we’ll finally be able to do it.” The existing station, Diep pointed out, is in a renovated single-family home, which is “not ideal.” (City of San Jose)While Measure T is only expected to fund these five relocations and new stations, Sapien suggested moving another station in Cambrian to the west and other new station locations in the future, for a total of 11 recommendations. One spot is the Diridon Station area, set to be home to a major Google campus in the coming years and other new developments. When it developed the list, the department factored in where anticipated developments could increase demand for emergency assistance. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”]And while the recommendations are based on current data, Sapien warned that the analysis is a “point-in-time assessment” that should be performed regularly. Measure T should help get the first five stations up and running if the City Council votes to move forward on Tuesday, but the city will have to work operating and maintenance costs into future budgets. In a separate memo, Mayor Sam Liccardo and council members Raul Peralez and Magdalena Carrasco said the city should also consider adding to Measure T funding to expand some stations in anticipation of needing more coverage in some areas. The trio cited Station 20 at the city’s airport as an example. “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is funding a new station build on the Coleman Avenue side. Adding marginal funding for more dormitory space and exploring a second bay concept can expand bandwidth at the station to provide off airfield service,” they said. Liccardo, Peralez and Carrasco also called on the city to look into ways to fund energy storage, generation and micro-grid infrastructure at stations. “The recent announcement by PG&E to de-energize during weather-related high-risk events makes this direction all the more imperative,” they said. “While funding may not be available while staff works on the design of these stations, staff should consider including energy storage (and solar) as “add-alternates” on the Measure T projects, and actively pursue state and federal funding opportunities to ensure we have resilient critical facilities that can operate off the grid if need be.”
17 Jun 19
East Bay Times
SUNNYVALE — Uber has struck a deal for a major Silicon Valley expansion with a big lease in downtown Sunnyvale that gives the tech company enough office space for up to 1,900 workers near a Caltrain station. The ride-hailing company has agreed to lease two big office buildings in downtown Sunnyvale that together total roughly 291,000 square feet, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the transaction. The office buildings are located within five blocks of the Sunnyvale Caltrain station and in a downtown area that is poised to undergo a major revitalization that will add a movie complex and a Whole Foods market to the mix. Uber could potentially employ 1,400 to 1,900 workers, or even more, in the offices. Commercial real estate brokers Steve Horton and Kelly Yoder of Cushman & Wakefield; Jeff Houston and Vincent Scott of CBRE; and David Churton, Rich Branning, and Steve Clark of JLL arranged the transaction. San Francisco-based Uber didn’t comment about the situation. The brokers involved in the transaction declined to discuss the matter. One of the office buildings Uber leased is at 200 S. Mathilda Ave. and totals 157,000 square feet, while the other building, totaling 134,000 square feet, is located at 190 Mathilda Place. Both buildings are adjacent to Washington Avenue. Uber is thought to be seeking extra locales beyond San Francisco for hubs where the company can employ talented tech engineers and experts. “San Francisco is constrained when it comes to opportunities for a substantial footprint,” said Armand Tiano, executive managing director with Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial real estate firm. “It’s harder for tech companies to recruit employees in San Francisco.” At one point in recent years, Uber tapped downtown Oakland for a major employment center outside of San Francisco. Eventually, however, Uber scuttled its East Bay expansion plans. Downtown Sunnyvale has now emerged as a fresh Bay Area beachhead for Uber. “The office buildings are right by the Caltrain station, and within easy walking distance,” said David Vanoncini, an executive vice president and managing director with Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate firm. “It’s a transit play for Uber.” Increasingly, larger tech companies based in San Francisco must also find ways to establish offices that are situated near the Bay Area’s primary centers for tech talent, which are in Silicon Valley. “Silicon Valley is full of seasoned engineers,” Vanoncini said. A growing number of tech companies have begun to eye multiple employment hubs in cities other than where their headquarters locations. “When tech companies can triangulate in the Bay Area, find additional locations, they can tap into new labor pools,” Tiano said. Google, besides finding ways to expand in its home base of Mountain View, has also created expansion sites in Palo Alto, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, and in multiple areas of San Jose, including that city’s downtown district. Cupertino-based Apple has done more than establish a vast new campus at the doughnut-shaped Apple Park in its home town. Apple also has undertaken big leases in Sunnyvale and has assembled 85 acres in north San Jose for a potential future campus. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] Menlo Park-based Facebook has added huge office buildings near its principal headquarters on Hacker Way, as well as crafted plans for a new Willow Campus in its home town. The social network has also created million-square-foot campuses in Sunnyvale and in Fremont. Ultimately though, future expansion efforts such as the Uber leasing deal in Sunnyvale seem likely to gravitate towards transit hubs. “All of these tech companies are looking for transit access,” Tiano said. “That’s what drew Uber to Sunnyvale, and that is what is drawing Google to downtown San Jose.”
17 Jun 19
The Mercury News
SUNNYVALE — Uber has struck a deal for a major Silicon Valley expansion with a big lease in downtown Sunnyvale that gives the tech company enough office space for up to 1,900 workers near a Caltrain station. The ride-hailing company has agreed to lease two big office buildings in downtown Sunnyvale that together total roughly 291,000 square feet, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the transaction. The office buildings are located within five blocks of the Sunnyvale Caltrain station and in a downtown area that is poised to undergo a major revitalization that will add a movie complex and a Whole Foods market to the mix. Uber could potentially employ 1,400 to 1,900 workers, or even more, in the offices. Commercial real estate brokers Steve Horton and Kelly Yoder of Cushman & Wakefield; Jeff Houston and Vincent Scott of CBRE; and David Churton, Rich Branning, and Steve Clark of JLL arranged the transaction. San Francisco-based Uber didn’t comment about the situation. The brokers involved in the transaction declined to discuss the matter. One of the office buildings Uber leased is at 200 S. Mathilda Ave. and totals 157,000 square feet, while the other building, totaling 134,000 square feet, is located at 190 Mathilda Place. Both buildings are adjacent to Washington Avenue. Uber is thought to be seeking extra locales beyond San Francisco for hubs where the company can employ talented tech engineers and experts. “San Francisco is constrained when it comes to opportunities for a substantial footprint,” said Armand Tiano, executive managing director with Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial real estate firm. “It’s harder for tech companies to recruit employees in San Francisco.” At one point in recent years, Uber tapped downtown Oakland for a major employment center outside of San Francisco. Eventually, however, Uber scuttled its East Bay expansion plans. Downtown Sunnyvale has now emerged as a fresh Bay Area beachhead for Uber. “The office buildings are right by the Caltrain station, and within easy walking distance,” said David Vanoncini, an executive vice president and managing director with Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate firm. “It’s a transit play for Uber.” Increasingly, larger tech companies based in San Francisco must also find ways to establish offices that are situated near the Bay Area’s primary centers for tech talent, which are in Silicon Valley. “Silicon Valley is full of seasoned engineers,” Vanoncini said. A growing number of tech companies have begun to eye multiple employment hubs in cities other than where their headquarters locations. “When tech companies can triangulate in the Bay Area, find additional locations, they can tap into new labor pools,” Tiano said. Google, besides finding ways to expand in its home base of Mountain View, has also created expansion sites in Palo Alto, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, and in multiple areas of San Jose, including that city’s downtown district. Cupertino-based Apple has done more than establish a vast new campus at the doughnut-shaped Apple Park in its home town. Apple also has undertaken big leases in Sunnyvale and has assembled 85 acres in north San Jose for a potential future campus. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] Menlo Park-based Facebook has added huge office buildings near its principal headquarters on Hacker Way, as well as crafted plans for a new Willow Campus in its home town. The social network has also created million-square-foot campuses in Sunnyvale and in Fremont. Ultimately though, future expansion efforts such as the Uber leasing deal in Sunnyvale seem likely to gravitate towards transit hubs. “All of these tech companies are looking for transit access,” Tiano said. “That’s what drew Uber to Sunnyvale, and that is what is drawing Google to downtown San Jose.”
17 Jun 19
The Dusty Jacket

Return to the Willows      Jacqueline Kelly (Juvenile Fiction) The Mole and Water Rat drifted along the River in a tiny blue-and-white rowboat.  The current gurgled and chuckled, delighted with its comrades for the day.  The sun smiled down upon our heroes and gladdened their hearts; the lightest of zephyrs ruffled their fur.  There was […]

17 Jun 19
Kava Tales

                The year was no longer new. I had dumped my ex, yet I was the lonely one. She was out there with my former friend somewhere, making sweet love, and here I was drunk and alone, sacrificing my already compromised liver, hoping to stumble upon a new companion. I hoped they would legalize recreational […]

17 Jun 19
Willow Tree Pottery

On Color by David Scott Kastan with Stephen Farthing is a discursive look at color through the lens of art, literature and material culture. It began as a series of discussions between Kastan, a professor of English at Yale and Farthing, an artist and Emeritus Fellow at St. Edmund Hall, the University of Oxford. Happily, they […]

17 Jun 19
Willow Farm LLC

Full Strawberry Moon If you’re trying to incorporate eating fresh, local and seasonal into your life now is the time for strawberry picking.  We went Friday to our local U-Pick farm and in an hour picked enough fresh, juicy berries to last us all winter; if we’re careful how often we go to the freezer […]

17 Jun 19
Isle of Dogs Life

Get away from the urban jungle and get a taste of the countryside with the Mudchute Agricultural Show 2019. The show takes place over two days and allows city dwellers to enjoy some of the delights of country life. Mudchute will welcome rare breed sheep from London’s City Farms and beyond for two days of […]