Good news from the San Jose City Hall falcon nest

For a city in need of good news, Grace and H2 – the peregrine falcons that nest in San Jose City Hall – may provide. The hawks have had a turbulent breeding season so far, but the first of three eggs hatched early Tuesday morning, and the little bundle of fluff wowed the hawk fans when they woke up.

Members of the online discussion group have been keeping a keen eye out for more eyes this week – those are the names of falcon chicks. In the meantime, Mother Grace continues to incubate the eggs and keep the newcomer warm. Papa H2 arrives with food for the boy, which could be one reason for the fact that fewer pigeons are to be found in Fourth and Santa Clara streets in the next few weeks.

Grace and H2 initially produced a series of eggs that were laid outside the nesting box this season and kept their fingers crossed for this second trio of eggs. At www.sanjoseca.gov/news-stories/city-hall-falcons you can keep an eye on the middle-class family and get links to the discussion group and a Facebook page.

TJ Rodgers, founder of Clos de la Tech, speaks to club members in the Woodside Winery “Wine Cave”. (Photo by Sherry Tesler / LightFX Photography)

Good time for wine: After a year of feeling stuck in our own caves, members of the Clos de la Tech wine club had the chance to visit the cave at the winery this month. TJ Rodgers and Valeta Rodgers hosted the winery ‘s first ever members’ party, which featured a visit to the cool and cavernous venue in Woodside.

Rodgers, the former CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, gave tours of the caves to talk about how the winery works to produce one of the best pinot noirs in the world and challenge the best burgundies. And with the wine, Donato Scotti – owner and head chef of Donatos Enoteca in Redwood City – made pizza on site and baked it in the wood-burning oven built into the winery.

PERFECT TIMING: Award-winning writer and former Saratoga resident Bill Pack’s new children’s book, “Never Kiss a Chicken!” The title turned out to be very topical after the CDC recently warned of salmonella outbreaks involving chickens and other backyard poultry.

The rhyme book, published May 15 of 121 publications and illustrated by Lilly Liu, is intended to teach children the importance of hygiene in farm animals and the pros and cons of handling chickens (I personally only treat chickens that come in a bucket .)

Pack also has a lot of experience in the field. His wife brought home seven kittens while he lived in Saratoga, and after moving to Montana – where Pack was born and raised – an elementary school adopted the chickens. The students played with them, hugged them and kissed them – to Pack’s surprise – spontaneously.

With the germ of an idea in mind, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an emphasis on hand washing and other hygienic habits, Pack knew the time had come to publish the book. You can find it at Amazon.com and other booksellers.

HEART RUSH: Wednesday morning was supposed to be a moment of celebration for San Jose after the city council voted late Tuesday night to approve Google’s groundbreaking Downtown West project. But a shooter made any celebration impossible when he senselessly killed eight people at the VTA train station. San Jose was the youngest ward to make national headlines for the worst of reasons.

And while we are grieving, consider ourselves as a community – not just for comfort, but for solutions to a national problem. The people whose lives were taken on Wednesday morning deserve nothing less.

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