If you want a different perspective of downtown San Jose, it’s enough to soar below in a kayak in the Guadalupe River. I went on the waterway on Wednesday morning at the invitation of Carl Salaswho has been taking his boat since last year and occasionally trains on the river.
There was so much to see, including carp swimming in the surprisingly clear water, ducks swimming on the surface and the occasional birds soaring through the trees and the growth of the river bank. It was amazingly quiet and easy to forget that you were in the middle of downtown – until our boats came off Santa Clara Street and towered over the downtown office buildings.
There was also a lot of rubbish, from plastic bottles and aluminum cans to clothing, tarps, and other debris from homeless camps on the riverside. As we paddled south from Arena Green toward Adobe Systems, our boats dodged submerged shopping carts, and I got stuck on a car tire that was just below the waterline.
Fortunately we weren’t there alone.
The visit coincided with a weekday cleanup by the South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition, which has transported more than 152 tons of trash from Los Gatos Creek and the Guadalupe River since 2013. (For more information on their work, please visit www.sbcleancreeks.com.) Two members of this volunteer group also went out in a canoe to collect some of the trash that was inaccessible from the bank.
In the end, I enjoyed the opportunity to see the river in a new way and to know that there are volunteers trying to keep it beautiful. And I’m glad I didn’t end up in the drink myself and had to be taken out with the garbage.
CHANGES IN THE AIR: CEO of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley Jyl Jurman He retired on June 30th after having been with the Los Gatos-based organization since 1988.
“We will all miss Jyl’s hard work, leadership and unmatched dedication to our community as Federation CEO for most of two generations, and we wish her all the best in her retirement,” she said Lael Gray, CEO of the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center. Gray will serve as the Federation’s interim CEO and will continue to serve at APJCC, which is also based on Gloria and Ken Levy’s family campus on Oka Road.
The two organizations are in talks about a possible merger this year with the aim of providing donors and members of the community with a clear access point to participate and support Jewish life in the valley.
RUN !: Well, the self-guided tours of the Winchester Mystery House only lasted a day, another victim of the rollback to reopening announced by Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday. However, an announcement from the San Jose attraction indicated that the Sarah Winchester Garden Tour will still be available all week and Wednesday through Sunday starting next week. More information is available at www.winchestermysteryhouse.com.
Thirst for education: San Jose Water on Thursday announced a $ 50,000 donation to San Jose Aspires, a program run by the Mayor of San Jose Sam LiccardoOffice to get students on their way to college. The program offers a free online tool for learning, mentoring and counseling, and a micro-scholarship program.
Think of this as an electronic version of the student counselors that too many schools are short of. The program is operated by the San Jose Public Library and is expanding over the next year through partnerships with Overfelt High, San Jose High, and Opportunity Youth Academy. And while the San Jose Water donation certainly helps, it’s just a drop in the ocean when compared to needs.