Welcome to NeighborwebSJ

NeighborWebSJ is a local online news site that grew out of a need for San Jose’s residents to connect with each other and City Hall in order to promote civic engagement. NWSJ covers local and community news with a focus on the diversity of its residents and their efforts to make their neighborhoods cleaner, safer and engaged. NWSJ is edited and published by Janice Rombeck, a former San Jose Mercury News editor and reporter, and supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation.

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Proposed Regulations Would Move Marijuana Collectives to Industrial Areas

View Map of Marijuana Collective Locations in December 2013

View Maps of Possible Locations Under Proposed Regulations

A four-year effort to regulate the estimated 100 medical marijuana dispensaries in San Jose will come to a conclusion on Tuesday, May 20, as the San Jose City Council votes on a proposal that aims to provide safe access to medicine for ill people while keeping drugs and crime away from neighborhoods and businesses.

After three hours of presentations, public testimony and posing questions to staff members and Santa Clara County officials invited to the Tuesday, May 13, meeting the council voted unanimously to postpone the vote on pot club regulations to give them time to sort through the many changes proposed by advisory commissions and each other.

“Please don’t pass this tonight,” resident Susan Landry told the council. “It’s not ready. There are too many supplemental memos that conflict with each other. It’s hard to sort out, as a community member, what we’re voting on. “

The council now will vote on regulations that control where pot clubs can be located and how they will operate at the May 20 afternoon meeting that begins at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, 200 East Santa Clara Street. The meeting can also be viewed on the Internet or Cable Channel 26. There will be no more public testimony at that meeting. Continue reading

SJ Proposed Budget Keeps Its Belt Tightened; Community Meetings Underway

San Jose City Manager Ed Shikada describes the proposed 2014-2015 operating budget as stable but fragile, with a forecast of “flat” over the next five years.

Mayor Chuck Reed  at a 2013 budget meeting.

Mayor Chuck Reed at a 2013 budget meeting.

In other words, San Jose will need to keep its belt tightened through a series of shortfalls or thin surpluses, and would need a new source of revenue, such as a sales tax, to increase spending for public safety, roads, economic development and neighborhood services.

Branch libraries will continue to be open only four days a week, neighborhood streets will continue to deteriorate and community centers will continue to offer limited activities and programs, with 42 centers still operated by outside agencies in a re-use program.

But there are also some gains in the proposed $1 Billion General Fund Budget and the nearly $2 Billion operating budget. The addition of seven Community Service Officers will bring the total to 28 positions, and four park rangers and three code enforcement officers will be added. The budget also adds $3.5 million for homeless services. The South San Jose Police Substation will finally open as a home for community service officers and as a site for training and recruiting.

All this and more will be presented and discussed at a series of community budget meetings that began last week in San Jose City Council District 3. There are nine more scheduled throughout the city.

The budget, which was released on May 1, 2014, follows the direction of Mayor Chuck Reed in his March Budget Message, and proposals by council members. The council will also start work on this budget this week in a series of budget workshops scheduled for May 7 to May 15.

You can watch these meetings live streamed through your computer or on Cable TV Channel 26.

City Connect San Jose Links Residents to Crime Data on Smart Phones

Need to report suspicious activity in your neighborhood? There’s an App for that.

City Connect San Jose, which is a free App available for Apple and Android phones, allows you to access crime maps, submit an anonymous tips, receive crime alerts in real time and link instantly to San Jose Police Department social media.

CityConnectLogoYou can type in your address and view a map of recent crimes in your area by type of crime, from homicide to disorderly conduct. You can view all the crimes or select one type of crime. You can also read a blog from your Division Captain.

You can’t, however, file a crime report. You still have to do that from a computer screen, on the phone or in person. Also, an emergency call – threat to life or crime in progress — on a smart phone uses 408-277-8911, not 911.

City Connect San Jose was one of the crime-fighting tools identified by the SJPD at a well-attended session on police strategies to keep communities safe at the recent Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force Summit at Mt. Pleasant High School.

While praising the progress of San Jose’s national recognized Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force in welcoming comments to the attendees of the February 8, 2013 event, Mayor Chuck Reed added, “ The gangs don’t stop. We need to get better every year. You can help us do that.” Continue reading