Friday, February 10, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Hill Mudslide Shut Down East Dunne Avenue

The only roadway from Morgan Hill to Henry W. Coe State Park may have been a surprise to many residents east of Anderson Reservoir. Drivers encountered that surprise when they tried to leave for work, school, or play. A mudslide that carried a tree toppled onto East Dunne Avenue leaving many drivers inconvenienced. One driver who got out of his truck said that he was trying to get back to his residence east of Anderson Reservoir. A California State Park ranger who happened to be in the area brought out his shovels and called the the Santa Clara County Roads and Airport Department, who arrived after 9AM to partially clear the roadway. Two more trucks arrived at the scene to assist. Crews are still trying to figure out how the tree got onto East Dunne Avenue. One driver even volunteered to drive the student to Britton Middle School.

Fresco News was the first to uncover the early morning mudslide as the investigation into Anderson Reservoir's water revealed in a social media post that the capacity level well exceeded the 68% threshold. The Santa Clara Valley Water District issued a message to Morgan Hill residents about seismic concerns about the possibility of a large earthquake that is long overdue. The project, obtained by this blogger on Thursday night, revealed that an earthquake that has a magnitude of 7.25 or greater is a deep concern. Officials with the water district are anticipating to start the fortification of the Anderson Dam in 2020 and complete it by 2024.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Chak's Take: Dres Delanghe, Belgium Native who Redefined the Bay Area Cafe Scene

In Santa Clara County, bakery shops are a very familiar scene to me. From Gilroy to downtown Mountain View, I've seen plenty of bread offerings, regardless of the type. Asian bakery shops are very common in Silicon Valley, although European bakery shops are nothing new to me. Anytime I'm at a random place in Silicon Valley, this often reminds me of many elements.

It's true to the fact that Santa Clara County is home to many bakery shops - many of which are in San Jose. Asian bakery shops tend to offer a lot of Chinese tarts, and many would buy a lot of the Chinese bread offerings. I often see those Chinese breads at major oriental supermarkets, including an occasional baguette. Locally made bread was sometimes sourced from various San Jose-based bakeries, including one made in-house at each Lee's Sandwiches locations throughout Santa Clara County.

But Alexander's Patisserie in downtown Mountain View is different. Everything is made in-house for customers like me to see. I see that the difference between Alexander's Patisserie and the bakeries that is based throughout Santa Clara County is that in a typical bakery shop, there is only a selection of bakeries, very few cafe choices, and/or a separate restaurant run by another vendor. I see those more commonly at big oriental chains like 99 Ranch Market. Instead of a concept where it's only a come-and-go type of bakery, Alexander's Patisserie has a better approach - it's an environment that resembles a modern-day coffee shop, a quick bite that can be consumed inside or on-the-go, and a bakery shop that everything is locally sourced.

When I read articles such as the San Francisco Chronicle and Mountain View Voice, Dries Delanghe believed that as an executive chef at Alexander's Patisserie, he feels like Mountain View is just like his hometown in Belgium when Alexander's Patisserie opened in 2014. I think that Alexander's Patisserie, part of the Alexander's Steakhouse group that operates restaurants in Cupertino and San Francisco as well as in Pasadena, has done a great job of introducing a concept that no other bakery shops in Silicon Valley has ever done. While I may not be visiting the Alexander's Steakhouse anytime soon to try out the expensive wagyu steak or burger, I think that Alexander's Patisserie has great potential.

I tried the sandwiches in my first visits to the Alexander's Patisserie, and their sandwiches has more than satisfied my expectations of my visit. I generally paired my sandwiches with a drink to appreciate the atmosphere each time I come in for a visit to their shop and sit down with food to eat and something to drink. My favorite sandwich so far is the Caprese when I first came to the place during the early evening hours, but I also like trying all sandwiches in my future visits to Alexander's Patisserie. The sandwich bread was crisp when it came out of the oven, and the food was very fresh! Tasty!

I wish that I could see Dries Delanghe in person. However, because Dries Delanghe is very busy focusing on bread, he might not be taking a break to read this blog about how much I love to come to the Mountain View location. Although this is not my first time in Mountain View partially due to the Morocco's Restaurant on the other end of Castro Street as one of my friends has an interest in that restaurant, I will come down to Alexander's Patisserie from time to time to have a small bite or buy some bread. I believe that homemade bread in Silicon Valley such as the one made at Alexander's Patisserie would still remind me of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and San Martin - and Dries Delanghe is very proud of his great accomplishments. I'll be surprised if Dries Delanghe finds me and sees my face when he has a break, but I'll have to keep in mind that he's very busy with baking and producing goods for all of us to enjoy.

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter/Instagram: @KyleSChak
BONUS: With the exception of the last photo, the following photos below were taken by me, showing how much I appreciate the great support for the place...

The sandwich and drink pairing - in this case, the French Fizz.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Chak's Take: Chak's Eight-Week Reflection of Listening to Adam McGurk on KRTY Ahead of the Garlic Festival

With the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival approaching, you think that listening to KSBW Action News 8 would be just the station for the Gilroy Garlic Festival coverage. Even with the unveiling of their new set a couple of weeks ahead of the Garlic Festival, it's true that KSBW and Central Coast ABC, supported by their parent company, Hearst Television, are the official television hosts of the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. I often have seen KSBW anchor Dan Green in person, along with former KSBW anchor and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital personality Kate Callinghan, and celebrates from the ABC show "The Chew" would entertain viewers. Although I was not sure about whether Dennis Lehnen does like garlic, that is unknown as Lehnen is retiring from the station. However, this blog is not mainly about the television station or any of it's personalities, and that is only one-half of my entertainment portion.

The other half of my entertainment portion is listening to Adam McGurk on KRTY (the focus of this blog), as the time for me to reflect on how often I listen to McGurk from my own point of view. In addition, I also try to figure out for myself if the Gilroy Garlic Festival is McGurk's favorite festival in Santa Clara County.

Back in June, I first told viewers about my review on McGurk and from my own accounts, attempted to reveal who he is. In that blog, McGurk does have a love for San Jose and much of Santa Clara County, as he has the perfect country voice for listeners like me to enjoy his unique Silicon Valley style. I'm 100 percent confident that I will enjoy his voice on air. In addition, I'm not a fake listener, as I have tried every available effort to tune my radio to KRTY from 6 to 10AM every Saturday morning or at any time he fills in.

However, in spite of me trying to get my fans to listening to McGurk, there are some sad things about my efforts to convince my followers to listen to McGurk. First, my effort focused on trying to let my followers know who McGurk is and even convince anyone who read my blog on McGurk to tune to him and hear his smooth voice of country music in Silicon Valley. But there is no such statistic about how many listeners actually tuned in the past 8 weeks since KLIV's news operation went offline and changed to classic country music. I have not heard any comments from people so far about who actually is a big fan of McGurk like me.

I have also tried all of my efforts on my social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and my blog to do the convincing, but apparently, it's a tough thing to do, even when social media comes into the action. Social media, especially my Facebook - and less extensively, my Twitter and Instagram, are very tough to come by as more people are a bit busy. McGurk is so busy at the radio station and at his events that he may not have noticed my blogs about him, rendering me unable to ask him a few questions relating to how he followed the footsteps of his family's personalities.

Whenever radio is not near me at my San Martin nest, I have tried every available effort to tune in to McGurk via the KRTY's website using my home router and streaming as such on my laptop or iPhone, but my home router seems to have problems. It consistently shuts me off, causing some router issues and having me to diagnose the problem - and I had to do so every 20 minutes on average. Although the sound of music and McGurk would reappear whenever I fixed the problem, I often had to do it again for the same problem. When I can't use my router or radio, I was forced to use my iPhone to tune in (and using my data plan), which I think is a considerable waste of my data plan's resource, despite that I recently got an attachment known as the SLXtreme (the most recent version is the 6, named after the design to be compatible with the iPhone 6).

And my whole weekend is when I must switch my trips between Gilroy and San Jose State University from my San Martin nest. On that Saturday, I will enjoy listening to Adam McGurk on KRTY, but directly rushing to SJSU instead of Gilroy to do some math corrections from students (that is, those in grade school). There won't be any Garlic fun for me on that day, but Pokemon fun will take that place for that time being.

Will my Friday or Sunday be any fun at all for McGurk at the Garlic Festival, as well as his favorite festival to visit? No one will say for sure, but I'm very sure that garlic may be part of what McGurk would love on the menu, along with hearing from local artists near the KRTY music stage and from the booth. But if I do see McGurk in person, what will he say to me should he spot me during the festival? There is a lot to wonder when I think about McGurk. I have never used offensive language in any of my social media or blog posts.

For now, expect me to do a slew of walking for at least the next few days over the intense heat and the smoke from the Soberanes fire that could make me cough in Santa Clara County. But I should keep in mind that although my first review on Adam McGurk is great, I'm currently unable to chat with McGurk about my review of his unique voice - that is due to his very hefty schedule. And this weekend, expect me to have updates on my social media pages (you can search me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). I hope this will give my followers some insight on how I'm doing, from hearing some of KSBW's personalities to some country music from KRTY. Still, I'm trying my best to describe how I tried every effort possible to tune in to McGurk whenever he's on the air - which McGurk might praise for that...

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter/Instagram: @KyleSChak
NOTE: Edits to this blog has been made since the initial post.

Chak's Take: KSBW's New Set and Dennis Lehnen's Retirement - A Major Departure from the Old Set in the Last 30+ Years?!

For over 30 years, KSBW was the first choice for viewers that saw the anchors at Studio B. This was a few years before I was born in the late-1980s. I was unsure the exact date when KSBW started to broadcast from Studio B back then. But a major milestone marked a huge change at KSBW ever since the station started broadcasting from Studio B. This came as the fact that KSBW was introduced on September 11, 1953 - exactly 48 years before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York City.

At the time of this blog write-up, KSBW was 63 years old. But more than 30 years of those came when the news broadcasts originated from Studio B, located at the intersection of John and Abbott Streets in downtown Salinas. That is only 1/2 mile directly from U.S. 101 via the John Street exit, where KSBW's location still stands as of now. I reviewed several YouTube clips that featured people like Seattle-native and anchor Margo Myers, anchor Dave Gonzales, and local favorites like Jim Vanderswaan and Dennis Lehnen. There were classic clips from the 1980's and 1990's when the latter two, who were longtime personalities at KSBW, made promotions that had a fun way of education for the youth.

But as KSBW has a new set, there is one unfortunate consequence. KSBW is saying farewell to Dennis Lehnen just as the opening ceremonies of the Rio de Janiero Olympics get underway. He is the Quincy native (in northern California) who came to KSBW on December 2, 1981 - the same exact date Lehnen mentioned when Britney Spears was born. KSBW announced that the torch (common term in the Olympics) will be passed to Drea Blackwell, a Monterey native, as the new sports anchor, as well as the next sports director at the station. This also marks the end of Share Your Holiday for Lehnen, who has served his community near Monterey helping out in taking donations each December. It's likely that Blackwell will be taking his place afterwords.

In the past several years I've been watching KSBW, the previous set (before the current set) was very familiar to many viewers throughout Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and southern Santa Clara County, as Jim Vanderswaan would refer to "the four counties that KSBW serves." KSBW does know the fact that southern Santa Clara County is technically not part of the Monterey DMA, but the transmitter in Fremont Peak dues broaden their reach to include areas as far north as south San Jose. Previously, the transmitter serving those areas allow viewers like me to see their usual news studio virtually, which is Studio B, including on social media. However, no public tours are allowed or offered for KSBW viewers.

In a KSBW editorial, KSBW President and General Manager Joseph W. Heston showed off that new studio, backing of what Action News Sunrise anchor and daytime reporter Brittney Nielsen said in a live Facebook chat about how long did KSBW broadcast from Studio B, but failed to mention as such in his comments. I tried to figure out what exact year did KSBW started their news broadcast from Studio B, but to no luck. No videos from KSBW's YouTube page offered any historic moments that KSBW started news broadcasts from Studio B.

KSBW has yet to replay the video from the time that Dennis Lehnen held his 20th year at KSBW and upload that part on YouTube, which was my favorite moment about Dennis Lehnen. Let's hope that I would one day see one of those memories, including a station identification from the early 1980's...

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter: @KyleSChak
NOTE: Some corrections have been made due to minor errors.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Chak's Review: The Review of Gary and Julie in the Morning

Adam McGurk told me that he's one of the family members that is following his mother's footsteps, who he is referring to the station is known for putting country music in Santa Clara County. McGurk was almost unaware about my blog review on him, of which I gave that a very positive review. After McGurk read my blog on my review about why I listened to him on Saturday mornings, he was stoked that I enjoyed him very much. The mother that McGurk is referring to me is Julie Stevens, who I met her during my lunch time at Kyoto Palace Restaurant in Campbell as I was attempting to do a live Facebook chat with my followers. In my blog, I reviewed my favorite thing about Gary and Julie in the mornings over on KRTY radio, just after KLIV started their simulcast of KRTY. However, I also explain in my blog of why not everyone pronounces some locations correctly, particularly the one location of which many other people that I all-too-often don't pronounce correctly.

Julie is part of the duo known as "Gary and Julie in the Morning," the program that gets many of their country music fans up and to where ever people needs to be in Silicon Valley. The "Gary" part is Alabama-native Gary Scott Thomas, who for nearly two decades in Silicon Valley have helped Julie laugh a lot in the mornings, which I also enjoyed as much as I have listened to McGurk. Although not everyday that I do listen to Gary and Julie in the morning, I do my very best to tune in online via the website on both KRTY and KLIV at 5AM as much as possible to hear their laughs, similar to the fact that I do tune in to Adam McGurk when I hear is voice at anytime (not including his normal Saturday gigs) or when McGurk is on from 6-10AM on Saturdays. When the Gary and Julie show is over at 9AM, I do enjoy hearing John McLeod and Randy Jones as well, both of which have great voices much like Gary and Julie.

The fun fact that Gary and Julie probably never knew is that I have met the president of the San Jose Earthquakes, Dave Kaval, on multiple occasions in the last couple of years; two of which was not far from San Jose State University. And yes, the Earthquakes soccer is unaffected by the change to classic country music back in June known as "country gold," which both Gary and Julie mentions from time to time.

Although I still do listen to other formats like rap, rock, techno, electronic dance music (EDM), and many others, country music when listening to Gary and Julie in the mornings and McGurk on Saturday mornings often reminds me of something, especially the history and the best things about their voice. The best thing about Gary and Julie is that the duo are very much known for their laughs and country-styled humor with a Silicon Valley focus, which was not surprising to the other people at other radio stations. This was particularly true for Lissa Kreisler and Sam VanZandt at KBAY, who both Lisa and Sam knew that Gary and Julie were on the radio longer than the two in a video. Listening to country music overall is nothing new to me, especially when it comes to hearing Blake Shelton on NBC's The Voice and attending events hearing classic country music hits from the early days. Country music also reminded me of watching the 1977 mini-series known as The Roots. Country music also reminds me of garlic country, referring to the what I hope for me to be at the Gilroy Garlic Festival again during the last weekend of July, but with a smaller chance on that Saturday due to a surprise call by one of my brother's friends asking me and my brother to come over to San Jose State University's MacQuarrie Hall in an email sent to me.

For people like me that loves enjoying Gary and Julie in the mornings, not everyone who knows Santa Clara County knows how to pronounce some names that often gets mispronounced, particularly the town of San Martin - with the focus on the last part of the name. I often get a lot of calls from people who called the last part of the name known as "Martin," as in the music artist Ricky Martin. Most recently, NBC Bay Area producer named Nitin (pronounced Ni-TEEN) during a Facebook live video mispronounced the town of where I reside, although anchor Laura Garcia-Cannon corrected him.

Overall, much like how I gave Adam McGurk a happy positive review, I also gave Gary and Julie a positive review as well due to the way that the two entertained me. I will be surprised how Gary and Julie, as well as Adam McGurk, reacted to this blog on my social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram only; the latter two have the same handle)... I will promise to the duo that I will enjoy their laughs each time I listen to KRTY in the mornings, but I just hope that I won't get a scream or two in my ears...

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter: @KyleSChak