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District 9
200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Ph. (408) 535-4909
Fax (408) 292-6471

District 9 March 2014 Newsletter


  District 9 News  


Click on the Link below to sign up for city-wide classes

Community Activities and Registration 


Healthy Eating on a Budget

Eat Healthy

MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image - a place setting for a meal. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. To learn more about building a healthy place, visit

Visit Camden Community Center's Senior Nutrition Website

Camden Community Center's Kirk Cafe

for lunch menus and nutrition and wellness information.


Clean-Up Map


The City of San José provides dumpster service on neighborhood cleanup days once every three years for neighborhoods across the City. Click on the map above to view your next clean-up day. Please contact our office for locations.

(408) 535-4909


Visit the SJPD website for Crime Prevention Tips

 To arrange for a crime prevention specialist to conduct a neighborhood association or group meeting, contact the

 San Jose Police Crime Prevention Unit at:

(408) 277-4133


City of San José
Important Phone Numbers

Abandoned Vehicles
(408) 277-5305

(408) 277-8900

Anti-Graffiti 24 Hotline 

(866) 249-0543

Animal Care & Services
(408) 794-7297

City Hall Customer Service
(408) 535-3500

Code Enforcement
(408) 535-7770

Gang Hotline
(408) 293-4264

Police Emergency
(408) 277-8911

Police Non-Emergency
(408) 277-8900

(408) 794-1903

Sewer and Signal Lights

(408) 794-1900

Park Concerns
(408) 793-5510
(voicemail only) 

Parks Volunteer Unit
(408) 535-3588


Donald Rocha

San José City Hall District 9 200 E Santa Clara Street, Floor 18
San José, CA 95113

P: (408) 535-4909
F: (408) 292-6471

District 9 Website


District 9 Staff

Shirley Goings
Executive Assistant

Peter Hamilton
Senior Policy Aide

Ann Grabowski
Policy Aide

Scott Hughes
Policy Aide

Vanessa Compean
Policy Aide





March 2014



Dear Neighbor,

Hello, I would like to give you an update on two issues that I have taken positions on recently: the first has to do with San Jose’s sign regulations and the second concerns the sale of Cambrian Plaza.

Let’s start with signs. The City’s Municipal Code regulates the size and number of signs that can be put up by businesses and other establishments. These regulations are intended to allow ample signage, but also establish reasonable limits to prevent signs from becoming too obtrusive or blighted. Just last week, City staff brought forward a proposal to the City Council to amend our sign regulations. They recommended a number of changes that I believe were reasonable, but there was one that I disagreed with: they proposed to allow illuminated signs in residential zoning districts.

Specifically, the proposal was to allow lighted signs on residential complexes with 100 units or more as well as on non-residential uses located in residential zoning districts. The part about non-residential uses may seem confusing at first, but if you see a church, daycare or school in your neighborhood, odds are that it’s located on residentially zoned land. Staff proposed that all of those uses be allowed to have lighted signs. In many cases lighted signs wouldn’t be a problem, but we can all probably think of a church or daycare located on a small residential street, right across from people’s houses. My concern with staff’s proposal was that it didn’t include protections that would prevent bright signs from becoming obtrusive on small residential streets.

I voiced these concerns at the council meeting, but unfortunately was not successful in changing the proposal, which passed 10-1 (I was the only no vote.) I don’t expect that we’ll see a huge change—lighted signs aren’t suddenly going to pop up everywhere—but I do want to alert you to this issue. If you see a new lighted sign in your neighborhood that you believe is in an inappropriate location, please let me know about it. If we start to see problems, I think the City Council should be aware of the issue.

Second, I’d like to provide an update on Cambrian Plaza. Cambrian Plaza is the shopping center on the southeast corner of the Camden and Union intersection, most well-known for its distinctive merry-go-round sign. Reports have surfaced in the press over the last few months that the property is up for sale. I’ve heard many questions from residents about what would be allowed to be built there if a new owner wants to redevelop the property. At this point we don’t know who it will be sold to or whether the new owner will want to redevelop, but given the size of the Cambrian Plaza property and its importance to our community, my feeling is that the City should be proactive in answering the community’s questions as soon as possible, even before the property is sold. To that end, I submitted a memo asking City staff to answer questions about how the site could redevelop. Here’s a link to the full memo:

I expect to have answers from City staff in a few weeks. I will keep you updated as we learn more. I know this is a topic of great interest to our community and will aim to keep you as well informed as possible.

Thank you all for your continued support and periodic input on numerous issues, it is appreciated.

If you have thoughts on this or any other topic, feel free to contact my office at or by phone at 535-4909.


CM sig

Donald Rocha


Senior Walk, WOWW!

On Friday, February 28th I was happy to co-host the Westfield Oakridge Winter Walk & Resource Fair for Seniors, commonly known as WOWW! Approximately 300 very lively seniors joined us for breakfast and a stroll around Oakridge Mall. We were very thankful to have 50 local agencies and resources available to meet with our seniors and were happy to hand out 25 raffle prizes to those who joined us. I’m very thankful for the support of my other co-hosts, Councilmembers Kalra and Khamis, and the event sponsorship of Kaiser Permanente and Westfield Oakridge Mall.

seniors warming up

Seniors warming up for their walk with the help of our San Jose Parks and Recreation staff.

 Seniors get ready

Elected Officials getting ready to Walk!

 senior walk event


San José Considered for Google Fiber

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, Google announced San José is among the 34 cities in nine metro areas that Google is considering for its fiber-optic network expansion. According to Google, Google Fiber provides "Internet that’s up to 100 times faster than basic broadband." Right now, San José is in the data gathering phase and working with Google on a checklist that can help make our city ready for fiber expansion. Projects are underway in Austin, Texas; Kansas City; and Provo, Utah.

For more information about Google Fiber, visit

Water Conservation in San José

Water conservation is the most cost-effective way to ensure that there is enough water for future generations. By conserving water or using it more wisely, you can help with the City's long-term strategy to manage our water resources and protect the environment, and the City is committed to providing you the tools, programs, and resources necessary to do this. Visit the City website for more information.

Visit the Santa Clara Valley Water District website for water conservation rebates and resources Save 20 gallons and a statement form Board Chairman and CEO at


Community mtg.

 San José Unified School District Seeks Public Input on District Funding

San José Unified School District has launched a public survey and scheduled six community meetings as part of its ongoing commitment to work with its stakeholders.

The brief survey asks the community to prioritize how the District should invest funds as part of the change to the state’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and how to best use funds from the November 2012 voter-approved Measure H school bond.

The public can access the survey in English at and in Spanish at

Print copies of the survey, in both English and Spanish, are also available at each of the District’s school sites.

“We recognize that an engaged community is essential to fulfilling our mission and realizing our vision of eliminating the opportunity gap and providing every student with the finest 21st century education,” said Superintendent Vincent Matthews. “We worked with our community to build our strategic plan, OPPORTUNITY21. We want continued community feedback as we move forward.”

The District will use the survey results as a starting point for community discussions on the LCFF and Measure H. All community members are invited to attend these community discussions:

March  4, 2014 at 6:30pm—Gunderson High School Theater

March 11, 2014 at 6:30pm—San José High School Cafeteria

March 12, 2014 at 6:30pm—Leland High School Cafeteria

March 13, 2014 at 7:00pm—Pioneer High School Media Center

A video introducing the public input survey was produced by students at Gunderson High School under the direction of teacher Ben Herlth. Mr. Herlth, who oversees Gunderson’s video production program, said, “The video was a nice project for our students and it showcases the type of 21st century skills students are learning and applying daily.”

Additional information about the public input survey and the community discussions can be found at 

The City Clerk’s Office is Recruiting for Boards and Commissions

Applications will be accepted through 5:00pm, on FRIDAY, March 28, 2014. You may apply online. Please visit the City Clerk's Office website.

For questions or to request a paper application, please call the Office of the City Clerk at (408) 535-1260 or via e-mail at

Board and Commission Spring Recruitment:

Historic Landmarks Commission Recruitment Extended:

Planning Commission Recruitment:

Youth Commission Recruitment:

 The San José Police Department is pleased to announce the Community Liaison Officer position

Establishing strong and trusting relationships throughout our community is a part of our Department's RCITI core principles. As an organization we have worked hard this past year to enhance our community partnerships. We have made great strides in these partnerships but there is still work to be done within our diverse communities. There are various communities that have language and cultural barriers that must be bridged in order to strengthen our customer service. Our City's diverse population continues to change, evolve and grow. The San Jose Police Department and our many communities would benefit from the formation of a proactive culturally sensitive outreach component within our Department, aimed at providing media updates and information to our diverse communities.

We are instituting a new collateral officer position called the Community Liaison Officer (CLO). This will be a pilot program and the assigned officer will work closely with our Press Information Officer staff. The CLO will assist them with media interviews and Public Service Announcements. The CLO will coordinate with the School Liaison Unit in order to strengthen community relations.

This pilot program will collaborate with the Latino community and be closely monitored, and evaluated before the September, 2014 Shift Change. If successful, the Department may continue the program and open up this collateral assignment so other officers can serve other minority groups within our community.

Questions about our Community Liaison Officer can be directed to Sergeant Heather Randol or Officer Albert Morales of the San Jose Police Department's Press Information Office at (408) 277-5339.

Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara 2014 -2015 Civil Grand Jury Recruitment

The Civil Grand Jury, as part of the Judicial Branch of government, is an arm of the Superior Court. It serves as the county’s investigatory body, and has the authority to examine all aspects of county and city government, school districts, and special districts. The Grand Jury also has the statutory authority to inspect the adult and juvenile detention facilities.

The Court is seeking volunteers from diverse backgrounds. We need a deep bench of knowledge – everything from construction to finance – and are looking for a mixed set of skills and abilities.

The recruitment deadline is Friday, March 14, 2014. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, United States citizens, and residents of Santa Clara County for at least one year prior to being selected. The one-year term will begin on June 19, 2014. The time commitment is determined by the Civil Grand Jury itself, frequently exceeding more than 20 hours per week.You can learn more about the Civil Grand Jury by visiting the webpage, or by reviewing the brochure. The application is online, and can be completed electronically.

Questions should be directed to or by contacting Tamara Davis in the Office of the Civil Grand Jury (408-882-2721).


The PRNS community centers are bursting with programs, activities and special events for everyone. There is a variety of classes for all ages, sports programs, fitness classes, and special events like holiday happenings. View the listing of community centers below.

Download and Print: The current registration form - Fill out and take this form to your desired community center. Click here to view a complete listing of all community centers.

For registration assistance call 408-793-5565 or email

Community Center Volunteer Opportunities
Follow the link to learn more about volunteering opportunities at San Jose community centers

Community Group Spotlight: Needlework Angels at Camden Community Center

Needlework Angels

“The Needlework Angels as they are passionately known at Camden Community Center are a group of ladies that get together each week to knit and crochet and enjoy each other’s company. The group started at the Kirk Senior Center where the original members participated in a sewing, knitting, and crocheting class. They enjoyed the class and each other’s company and wanted to continue meeting. 18 years and a location change later they continue to knit, crochet, and needlepoint. Members of the original group have come and go but they maintain the group by recruiting new members. One member joined after learning of the group when at the hair dresser, while another joined upon seeing the group at the summer Celebrate Cambrian event.

“These ladies work all year long on different items and donate not only their time, material, and resources but also the fruits of their labor each December around the holidays. Items such as lap robes for disabled veterans, chemo hats for cancer patients, blankets for the homeless shelter, and beanies for newborns are regularly made and donated. Over the years, items have been donated to Family Supportive Housing, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and Veterans of Foreign War to name a few. The group invites anyone of any skill level to join. The eldest member at 98 years old is full of knowledge and always willing to help.”

Family Camp at Yosemite: Online Registration for 2014 Summer Season

Returning for another year of family memories, Family Camp at Yosemite is proud to announce the launch of a new online registration system for the 2014 summer season. Get a jumpstart with the online reservation system by creating your Camper Profile today. Visit, create your Camper Profile, and get your family and friends ready for Online Reservations opening on Saturday, December 14 at 10:00 a.m. Setting up your profile only takes a few minutes, so get started today! Please contact the Family Camp Office at (408) 794-6208 if you have questions or need additional information. 





Street Closure Notification for Sunday, March 9

Several residential streets will be temporarily closed in the vicinity of Branham Lane and Pearl Avenue on Sunday, March 9 for the Mardi Gras Madness 5k run.

Normington Way – Closed between Pearl Avenue and Kenton Lane from 5:00am to 11:00am

Kenton Lane – Closed between Normington Way and Edenbury Lane from 8:30am to 11:00am

Edenbury Lane – Closed between Kenton Lane and Lynx Drive from 8:30am to 11:00am

Lynx Drive – Closed between Edenbury Lane and Thousand Oaks Drive from 8:30am to 11:00am

Thousand Oaks Drive – Closed between Lynx Drive and Branham Lane from 8:30am to 11:00am

Wellington Square – Closed from 8:30am to 11:00am

Downswick Drive – Closed from 8:30am to 11:00am

For more information about The Mardi Gras 5k please visit

Open Space Authority Activities

Audobon Birding Excursion

Date: Saturday, March 8

Time: 8:30am - 12:00 noon

Location: Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve

Enjoy a half-day birding excursion led by an Open Space Docent and birding experts from the Audobon Society in search of recent spring migrants, soaring hawks and eagles. From 101, take Bailey Ave west, turn left on Hale Ave (Santa Teresa) and right on Palm Ave. Ages 12 and up only. Please note: No restroom facilities. Cattle graze in the preserve, so the trail can be rough. 

Welcome Back Wildflowers

Date: Sunday, March 9

Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm

Location: Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve
Welcome the first wildflowers of the season with Docent Paul on a 4.5 mile hike along the scenic Mayfair Trail. Enjoy the tranquility of oak savannas, oak woodlands and creek-side areas.

Blair Ranch Back-Country Hike

Date: Saturday, March 15

Time: 9:30am - 4:00pm

Location: Blair Ranch Area of Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve
This fast-paced, high-intensity hike is perfect for experienced hikers and those looking for a challenge. Docents Alice and Katherine will guide you along 8-10 miles of back-country roads and trails. This is an undeveloped area, so bring water and hiking poles. Heavy rain cancels. Call (408) 224-7476 to make a reservation.

4th Annual Branham High School Fundraiser for Sports and Music

BHS Casino Night


 Great American Litter Pick-Up

Date: Saturday, April 26

In celebration of Earth Day, the City of San José will be hosting the Great American Litter Pick-Up on Saturday, April 26th.

Councilmember Rocha and staff are hoping to be able to provide a clean-up in multiple areas within District 9.

If you are interested in volunteering, or would like to nominate an area that is in need of some sprucing up, please e-mail Scott Hughes

More details to follow soon! 

Relay For Life of Cambrian

Overnight community fundraising walk benefiting the American Cancer Society. Family-friendly environment with food, games and activities. To register and for more information, please visit the Relay for Life of Cambrian website or contact: Jennifer Highland, at

Date: Friday, April 25 -Saturday, April 26

Time: 6:00pm (opening ceremony)

Location: Ida Price Middle School 2650 New Jersey Ave. San Jose

12th Annual Sacramento Bus Trip for Education

Sponsored by Supervisor Dave Cortese

If you are concerned about the future of our education system, Supervisor Dave Cortese invites you to join in this fight for better education funding by attending the annual FREE bus trip to Sacramento on April 30, 2014 from 6:00am to 6:00pm. Departing and return to Eastridge Shopping Center. We will travel to Sacramento to visit with our elected representatives and urge them to preserve vital funding so that our children can receive a quality education. This trip is FREE and lunch will be provided. This year’s trip will be cosponsored once again by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Please fill out the form to register for a FREE seat on the bus to Sacramento.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Lara McCabe at 408-299-5030 or






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