Sunday, March 27, 2016

Chak's Review - "Kris Rowberry, the KLIV Radio Guy"

You might think that the blog title for this entry is a Pokémon-styled title, much like how I saw in a typical Pokémon episode. Although my major is English, and the title to me represents what I like to say exactly, this blog is nothing related to Pokémon - instead, it's my short review on a KLIV radio guy that surprisingly made the top reason for me listening to that radio station. That "radio guy" that I'm referring to is Kris Rowberry. I've been listening to KLIV for about a month - and this is my test of my thoughts.

During this review, while my review primarily focuses on Rowberry, there are other personalities that I'm also a fan of at any time I ring them up to report major traffic accidents anywhere within Silicon Valley - those are also mentioned in this blog.

To give my readers who he is, I took some time to do a bit of knowing about him. According to a source, Rowberry is a San Jose native - specifically the Evergreen district, although he is a Redwood City resident. Theme parks and the history of the Silicon Valley is his great emphasis, as he tends to let listeners of KLIV radio know what Silicon Valley was in the past. Rowberry is a radio personality at KLIV - he is on the air weekdays from 1 to 3PM, sandwiched between Kim Vestal and John Kelly.

So here are some short things below that defines my take...


Rowberry does have a unique voice that I think is unmatched, particularly his voice on the history of Silicon Valley's specific landmarks. I would dub him as "The Voice of History in the Silicon Valley."

Here's why: One specific example is the history of the SAP Center in downtown San Jose that Rowberry was referring to - also known as the San Jose Arena, or locally as the "Shark Tank." He was right to the point of which the arena was constructed in the 1980s, as well as the only arena to have "rain out" whenever severe weather took San Jose in 1995.


I'm personally a big fan of Rowberry's voice during the time he is on the air. When Rowberry is on the radio from 1 to 3PM in the afternoon, I have made every effort to tune in, listening to his unique voice while on the road or online. To my take, Rowberry's signature voice is medium to medium-slow in pace except during stock updates, traffic, and weather - his signature voice is what I don't find on other stations. I like the way that he announces community events in that signature voice because he also gives radio listeners like me a peek of what is happening in Santa Clara County.


There are simply too many things that are considered my favorite part about listening to Rowberry on the radio! After a month of listening to Rowberry on the radio, my topmost favorite part was a hard decision, but it's his tagline - "We appreciate the calls from our KLIV traffic spotters." So why that simple tagline? His signature voice, along with the tagline, is perhaps surprising to some listeners, but familiar to most listeners who tune in to Rowberry on KLIV.

The tagline is similar to those of what Derrick Villa always said at the end of his traffic reports - "If you got any traffic tips, call us on the KLIV listener line."

That is the catchphrase I usually hear each day I go between my San Martin nest and San Jose State University via Ohlone-Chynoweth light rail stations, except weekends. I usually do call in any time I spot traffic troubles, which the help of an app that spots any slow traffic or accidents along a particular route (e.g. Waze), as is my eyes on the road.

The bottom line is that I do like his catchphrase so much that I do enjoy listening to Kris Rowberry. So if he happens to spot this blog, who knows when he'll read it...

My message to Rowberry? "Thank you for letting me listen to KLIV radio, allowing me to report traffic hot spots, and listening to you, Josh Daugherty, John McLeod, George Sampson, and Derrick Villa, among others."

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter: @KyleSChak

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Short Take - Chak to BART: A Failure to Publish a Separate Fare Table for Seniors/Disabled

Several years later after many blog posts about accurate fare information, I am still unhappy about the booklets that Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has produced, particularly why the transit agency has failed to publish a fare table via paper for seniors and disabled.

The only time that I am excited is just riding, enjoying the view, thanking operators and station agents, and getting new trains - that part deserves an "A" grade. But the problem is centered on BART itself, especially on the fare table for seniors and disabled using both a series of paper booklets.

I decided to conduct a comprehensive test. The test consisted of every available guide booklet, the online resource, and in particular, the ability to calculate fares for both senior/disabled. Specifically, fare information that is on the desktop MUST be available on the mobile site, as well as reflected in a separate fare table - much like how other Bay Area transit agencies are structured.

THE SPECIFICS ARE EXPLICIT. Fare information in any of BART's booklets MUST also have a separate fare table for seniors/disabled. In both paper AND online, the information that I am specifically looking for is ONLY the fare table for seniors/disabled, not information about Clipper card use AND BART red/green tickets. While BART's 62.5% discount is great information for seniors/disabled, that discount MUST be reflected in ALL platforms - online, on the go, AND on paper booklets that ACTUALLY shows PROOF of a fare table.


Online, I found out that BART only showed a discounted fare on just the desktop/laptop - not on mobile.

And among the booklets that I reviewed, none of the books had shown a separate fare table for seniors/disabled, just showing information about the Senior/RTC Clipper card, a $9 purchase for a single $24 ticket (red or green) that is obtainable at certain stations for seniors/disabled, which is NOT the thing that I was looking for despite that the information is as close as I can get.

Therefore, for the two portions mentioned in this blog, BART receives an "F" grade. And until these specifics are corrected, I will continue to write up blogs on BART, as well as make any inquiries both in person and via e-mail until then.

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter: @KyleSChak

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Chak's Short Take: Morgan Hill's Expansion Plan Denied by Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)

If you think that Gilroy is the only city in Santa Clara County looking to expand land, think this over - the city of Morgan Hill is also trying to get in the action as well. One of my previous blogs addressed the controversy surrounding the city of Gilroy's annexation plans - including the possible impacts on traffic in Morgan Hill and San Martin.

The city of Morgan Hill is looking to expand their boundaries on the southeast side of the city, bordering near the intersection of Tennant and Murphy Avenue. The number of acres that Morgan Hill is looking to annex is only 229 as opposed to 721 in Gilroy's plan, but that is very similar to the one that Gilroy was trying to annex.

But the result: Denied. Much like the city of Gilroy, there were a slew of opposition, according to an article that I read that included "environmental groups and growth watchdogs."

I've been watching all the development between both Gilroy and Morgan Hill from the time that I was notified about the proposed annexation through various articles and social media. But unlike the Gilroy proposal, the city of Morgan Hill did allow time for members of the public to address their concern related to the annexation. Gilroy, on the other hand, never allowed the members of the public to address their concerns, which sparked outrage over a wide area. Out of the eight members who were watching Morgan Hill's development, six of them, including Ken Yeager, opposed the plan for possible environmental reasons.

Come to think of it, this is not far from where I reside, as Murphy Avenue is part of the city of Morgan Hill's expansion plan north of Middle Avenue - the avenue separating the two sides of Murphy Avenue due to 101 bypassing under Middle Avenue between San Martin and Tennant Avenue exits. But for Morgan Hill's proposed annexation of land, this is nothing new to me.

In fact, I repeatedly found land that the city of Morgan Hill could use, particularly in the business district along Butterfield Blvd near Sutter, and along Cochrane Road east of a shopping center that also houses Target. The city of Morgan Hill could use those empty lands to transform them for retail and housing use, although the city has not yet decided if they want to do so.

I previously inquired with the city of Morgan Hill and Gilroy regarding their annexation plans, with no response.

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter: @KyleSChak

Friday, March 4, 2016

Right Now In Chak's Blog... Vehicle Virgins and San Jose Earthquakes


Vehicle Virgins - who is the founder? In my blog, I explain who is the best video to watch from my perspective.

San Jose Earthquakes and Dave Kaval - In this blog, I explain my take on the San Jose Earthquakes and it's president, Dave Kaval, who's great perspective changed the way that I viewed soccer in Silicon Valley.

Chak's Take: The Short Take on the San Jose Earthquakes and Dave Kaval

I could try to name all the stations in the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail system... Santa Teresa, Cottle, Snell, Blossom Hill, Ohlone-Chynoweth, Tamien, and Penetencia Creek... But let's talk about my view on the San Jose Earthquakes and it's president, Dave Kaval. Although the actual roots dates back to 1974, my emphasis is on the current states of the San Jose Earthquakes. Keep in mind that this is not my complete take of Earthquakes from my perspective.

For the past few years, I've learned that the San Jose Earthquakes (including it's days as the Clash) played the first games at San Jose State University's Spartan Stadium. The year was in 1996, when the San Jose Clash (as it was called back then) made it's debut. I was little at that time with little knowledge of the Quakes.

Founding for the new Avaya Stadium just west of the Mineta San Jose International Airport was not easy. It was the current president, Dave Kaval, who led the way in convincing the San Jose City Council in 2008 to build a new stadium.  Kaval is from Cleveland, Ohio, but he has been a Bay Area resident for many years.

I met Kaval twice - one was at a San Jose City Council a few years ago, and the second was at San Pedro Square Market. Kaval's deep knowledge has him realize that San Jose Earthquakes has it's deep roots in Silicon Valley, playing at both Spartan Stadium and Santa Clara University's Buck Shaw Stadium before the current Avaya Stadium.

Dave Kaval's words to me in person has encouraged me to attend a few games through many events, even though he may not be there for many of the smaller events during San Jose State Spartans' games. But he is not the only person that has led me to attend a few games. There is a special person in Major League Soccer (MLS) who has great knowledge of soccer, and that part will be in a future blog, along with a complete take of Dave Kaval and the San Jose Earthquakes.

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter: @KyleSChak

Chak's Take: The Short Review of Vehicle Virgins

Exotic cars and the roar of the engines - from a V8 to a V10... The wonders of the vehicles and designs... It's time for me to review and look at Vehicle Virgins, particularly the founder named Parker Nirenstein - if I said this right. So what came through my mind over the past several months of looking at many videos on YouTube reflecting the founder and his two partners? In this short blog, I took a look at Vehicle Virgins from my own perspective in short, giving my brief take and who I thought was the best video that I've viewed.

Many videos on the Vehicle Virgins YouTube page puts a lot of humor - but the video on the Land Rover Range Rover had more than enough humor; so big that even I could not stop laughing. The Range Rover that they drove had plenty of crosstalk apart from engine revs and V8 sounds - but not the engine startup.

Expect my extended review of Parker Narenstein's Vehicle Virgins soon. This is only a short review from my perspective - the rest of the reviews are in a future blog, which is much longer than what I'm writing here. The question is, what other Vehicle Virgins' YouTube videos also provided one of my most laughing moments? In my extended review, there are many "happy" things, but also a few "sad" things about Vehicle Virgins.

But if Parker Narenstein and his Vehicle Virgins' team manages to spot my blog, I'll be surprised if they do also spot my social media posts...

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter: @KyleSChak
REMARK: No pictures are posted on this blog due to permission concerns and the length of this blog. While all comments are welcome, please remember that as in all of my blogs, offensive language use of any kind in this blog is STRICTLY prohibited.