Governmental authorities

Please be reminded that this country is governed based on federalism and separation of powers between federal, state, local government and its respective executive, judicial and legislative branches. They can’t step over one another. Jurisdiction and constituency are not one and the same thing.
Congressman Honda is our federal-legislative representative, while Newby Island Landfill expansion is wholly under the decision making power of San Jose City Council (i.e. local-representative). SJ City Council unanimously approved Newby Island expansion project in 2012 (Environmental Impact Report and Rezoning). If you insists on finding an elected official to blame – try Kansen Chu as he was the SJ Councilman who motioned and voted for Newby Expansion (Ref: meeting minutes We should be putting more pressure on Kansen to get us out of this predicament he had put us into. FYI – Kansen is running for CA assembly re-election in November, so no reason for him to stay under the radar if he’s looking for votes.
Our state and federal legislative representatives do not have the jurisdiction to overturn San Jose City Council’s decision or change its municipal code. This is why Milpitas City spent our tax $$$$ to challenge City of SJ’s decision through local judicial system, but repeatedly lost the case. Even if we can get President Obama’s support, he does not have the jurisdiction to overturn SJ or the court decision. So, save your anguish. Understand the division of powers and what tangible actions can be taken by your elected representatives. There’s no use in asking Milpitas City Council or Congressman Honda to shutdown the landfill or stop the expansion when neither one has that jurisdiction.
The one thing holding back Newby Island expansion now is San Jose PD permit issuance. Collectively, we succeeded in stalling the permit by proving that Newby Island is a public nuisance and cannot be permitted under City of San Jose Municipal Code. When a few of us met with Congressman Honda’s staff several months back, his staff noted the following actions are within Honda’s means:
1. Follow up on US Fish and Wildlife participation in SBOSG
2. Escalate our concerns to BAAQMD, CalRecycle, CalEPA, US EPA  ===> AUGUST 5th 2016 meeting
3. Escalate our concerns to SJ Major Liccardo and CA Governor Brown
4. Federal legislative support – look into tightening regulations for odor nuisance and landfill operations
5. Federal funding for environmental protection
Regardless of your political preferences, I hope you recognizes the golden opportunity to get our concerns heard by CalRecycle and EPA this August 5th 2016. Make sure we show up in volume to ensure our governmental agencies take necessary actions to protect our environment, public health and safety.

Invitation to Meeting with the EPA, BAAQMD, and CA Dept. of Resources Recycling and Recovery

Date: Friday, August 5, 2016
Time: 5:30-7:30pm (Presentations start at 5:45pm)
Location: Milpitas Community Center, 457 E. Calaeras Blvd., Milpitas CA

On August 5, 2016, Congressman (Mike Honda) will convene a panel of experts from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to speak on improving waste management throughout the South Bay – why we need to do it, how to do it, and what state and federal resources are available to help cities, communities, and municipalities reach their goals.

What to expect at this free event

  • Hear about the federal and state resources that can help our cities and communities improve recycling and better manage our waste streams.
  • Share your questions, comments, and suggestions with Congressman Honda and participating agencies.

As community leaders on the local Newby Island odor issue the congressman thought this event would be of interest to you and values your input.  Please share this notice with your group and neighbors.

If you have questions, feel free to email me.

Cathryn Ming Hyde
Constituent Services Director
Congressman Mike Honda (CA17-Silicon Valley)

More details here: Mike Honda Aug5th Meeting Notice

Best of Milpitas 2016 Survey

Please take note – Milpitas Post Newspaper 2016 “Best of Milpitas” voting has begun and ends on July 29.

As you are aware, Republic Services were voted the “Most Community-Minded Company” every year by Milpitas Post readers since 2012, even when its Newby Island operations have been repeatedly cited by regulatory agencies for recurring violations, including public nuisance. This award is being heavily used in Republic Services PR campaigns to solicit new businesses as well as garner support from decision makers.

Please consider taking 5 minutes of your time to vote for better deserving companies at

#110. Most Community Minded Company (Large Corporation)
#112. Most Eco-Minded Company
#202. Worst Happening of the Past Year

Cisco Systems may be a good option for #110 and #112 as they’re the #1 largest employer in Milpitas City and ranked as top 50 “Green” companies in the US. It received 2016 Climate Leadership Award from US EPA. Its 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility report shows that it spends $286 million for community programs globally and only 0.27% of returned products are ever sent to landfill, while its San Jose-Milpitas operations exceed >80% recycling rate. Cisco is a corporate sponsor for Milpitas local public schools.