CAAP mourns the loss of Janet Gray Hayes, our Political Advisor

Janet Gray Hayes
July 12, 1926 - April 21, 2014

San Jose's pioneering and inspiring first woman mayor, passed away on April 21, 2014, after suffering a stroke. She was 87. Mayor Hayes was a dedicated public servant, long-standing community activist, caring wife and mother, and one of Santa Clara County's most beloved and respected public figures.

Ms. Hayes was born to John Paul Frazee, Jr., and Lucile Charman Gray Frazee in Rushville, Indiana, a farming community located southeast of Indianapolis. Her childhood home was a block from the railroad tracks and, throughout the Depression, daily itinerant or homeless visitors to the Frazee home seemed to know that her mother would give them a sandwich, if asked. Ms. Hayes was an accomplished cellist and her high school class valedictorian. Her parents were staunch Republicans who agreed to host Wendell Wilkie's election night victory party at their home in 1940, when Mr. Wilkie ran for president against Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940. Ms. Hayes inherited her parents' warmth, but not their politics. Her formative years in Rushville instilled in her a compassion for the needy, an appreciation for music, and a lifelong interest in social change.

Ms. Hayes graduated with honors from Indiana University and received a Master's degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. While attending graduate school, she met Kenneth Hayes, a University of Chicago medical student from Berkeley, California. Even though she was 'sort of' engaged to someone else at the time, she frequently recalled that she knew immediately that Kenneth was the one. They were married in 1950 and enjoyed a remarkable 63-year partnership, enduring love and a shared belief in working to improve the lives of others.

Kenneth and Janet Gray moved to San Jose's Rose Garden neighborhood in 1958. Ms. Hayes's introduction to civic affairs came in 1959, when she appeared before the then all-male city council to request the installation of a traffic light at the corner of Naglee and Dana Streets, a dangerous intersection near the elementary school attended by her two oldest children. The council promised action, but no traffic light was installed. Ms. Hayes felt her concerns had not been taken seriously because she was a pregnant housewife. It was then that she began her life as a community activist while raising four children. She was elected President of the League of Women Voters of the San Francisco Bay Area and of Central Santa Clara Valley and was the first woman President of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, before being elected to the San Jose City Council in 1971.

In 1974, Ms. Hayes, then San Jose's vice-mayor, campaigned against retired Chief of Detectives Bart Collins, fellow city councilmember Al Garza, and five other candidates to be San Jose's mayor. The Mercury News endorsed Mr. Collins and Ms. Hayes received little support from the male political establishment. She campaigned on the promise to "make San Jose better before making it bigger," a reference to the sprawl that she was ultimately only partially successful in controlling. After a bruising campaign, she beat Mr. Collins in the general election by a razor thin 1625 votes. When she took office in 1975, San Jose was America's largest city with a woman mayor, with a population of over 500,000. Voters had just lived through the Watergate scandal and were ready for a fresh, honest face. They got it in Mayor Hayes, who committed her administration to promoting and mentoring qualified women and improving San Jose's environment and quality of life.

Mayor Hayes served the City of San Jose with distinction, flair and a good sense of humor. She was admired for being hard working, unpretentious and accessible. In 1977, the city finally installed the traffic light at the corner of Naglee and Dana Streets that she had requested in 1959, well after all of her children had left home. Not one to rest on her laurels, Mayor Hayes campaigned for and won re-election for a second term in 1978, this time by a 71 percent landslide, reflecting the popularity she had earned during her first term as mayor.

After retiring from public office, Mayor Hayes stayed actively involved in civic affairs, supporting numerous political, cultural and environmental causes and lending her considerable administrative skills to projects intended to improve San Jose's livability. In 1983, she became President of the Board of Directors for the San Jose Museum of Art, just when the museum was on the verge of bankruptcy. With help from the museum's staff and other Board members, Mayor Hayes brought the Anne Frank exhibit to the museum, which broke all attendance and revenue records and was instrumental in rescuing the museum. Today, the museum boasts an impressive art collection and a talented, professional staff. Last year, the museum's portico was dedicated to Janet Gray and Kenneth Hayes for their long-standing commitment to supporting the museum and the arts in San Jose. 

Mayor Hayes always had the gift of touching people with her warmth, wit and sincerity, believing that every individual had a life story worth knowing. In conversations with friends and strangers alike, she never failed to find things in common to discuss. She and Kenneth enjoyed jazz and classical music, loved to dance together and vacation at their Lake Tahoe cabin, and for years during their "retirement," traveled to numerous venues where Kenneth competed in national USTA sanctioned tennis tournaments. She and Kenneth generously opened their home for numerous political and charitable fundraising efforts, and for years their home served as the organizational hub for Citizens Against Airport Pollution (CAAP). 

Mayor Hayes was predeceased by her wonderful husband, Kenneth Hayes, her parents, and her sister, Charman Frazee Palmer.

She is survived by her daughter, Lindy of San Jose, her son John (Rachel) of Arlington, MA, her daughter Katherine Hayes Rodriguez (Neil Rodriguez) of Truckee, CA, and her daughter, Megan (Reed Zars) of Laramie, WY. She had nine grandchildren, Patsy and Mei Mei Hayes, Spencer Hayes, Zeke and Taber Rodriguez, and Levin, Cordelia and Tilden Zars.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made on behalf of Janet Gray Hayes to the League to Save Lake Tahoe, the San Jose Museum of Art, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, or San Jose State University, whose ML King Library houses the Mayor Hayes archive.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held on June 2, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., at the San Jose Museum of Art 

5000 More Night-Time Flights

San Jose City Council is going to approve an increase in night-time flights unless it hears a resounding NO from citizens.
April 11, 2013
Dear CAAP Supporters:

I imagine that by now, you've all seen that the City Council delayed until next week, a vote on an $82 million proposed facility for corporate jets at the Airport.

Just yesterday, before the meeting, and before anyone had seen the last minute memo from the city, Councilman Liccardo stated, "The contract you see before the Council is exactly what we contemplated a year ago with the RFP-- a fixed-base operator (FBO) of corporate jets who would both address the demand for this form of air travel and substantially boost revenues ($3.3 million per year) and hundreds of jobs at the airport."

This is certainly an incomplete description... none of us anticipated enforcement of the curfew to be reduced by a change of language in lease and operating agreements. I never anticipated that agreements would be crafted to benefit one entity or business over the good of the residents of San Jose.

If you care about your quiet hours you must to plan to attend the Council meeting next Tuesday evening to tell the City Council to find another way to generate $3 million or accept that your night-time hours will never be the same.

Again, here is a link to the Council Members. I'm sure they want to hear what you think of their plan.



What everyone needs to know about this project is this...

This project is going to put a lot more night-time in neighborhoods surrounding the airport.

Airport has other options to generate the same amount of revenue, without causing a degradation to our environment and negatively impacting our property values.

According the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the project will create 36 permanent jobs at the airport. The rest of the jobs are estimated or indirect, again by an entity  whose projections are usually wrong.

This is less about the curfew and 1.5 curfew penetrations per night.

This is more about the project and an estimated 14 more flights every night. Airport is guessing about 5000 more night-time flights during curfew hours. They've been notoriously wrong in their projections. What if they're wrong again?

Airport has been quieter the past 5 years because of a depressed economy. When things pick up again, so too, will flights. Then, the modest $2500 fine for curfew violations will do nothing to deter night-time flights.

A 50 year lease locks the City to an unknown entity. Just as no one could have envisioned an Oracle, Google or Yahoo, 50 years ago, no one can envision changes to come in 20, 30 or 40 years from now. Do we really want to be locked into a annual 3 million deal when other far more lucrative opportunities may arise?

Do we really want to be locked to a 50 year lease, before we know if Signature Support is going to be a good neighbor? In the big picture, it's a small amount of revenue for a huge amount of noise and negative impacts to the environment and surrounding neighborhoods.

The City Council plans to approve a 50 year lease to Signature Flight. This company wants to build facilities for a fleet of corporate jets that will be allowed to fly round-the-clock, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Experts at San Jose Airport predict 5000 additional flights during curfew hours per year.

These jets will be allowed to fly during curfew hours because they meet the “Larry Ellison Rule” by emitting less than 90 decibels of noise. While legal, these extra flights will significantly disrupt the sleep of thousands of residents who live near the airport. Imagine jet take-offs being tripled during the quiet sleeping hours of 11:30 pm to 6:30 am.

For 25 years, Citizens Against Airport Pollution, CAAP, has fought, politicked, pleaded, and informed, on your behalf. Our group of volunteers currently has an active lawsuit addressing this planned development.

We feel that Airport and City are Ready to Strike a Deal with the Devil.

If You Treasure Your Quiet time, Attend This Meeting. Let Your Voice Be Heard.

CAAP's letter to Mayor and City Council Memebers Apr 8, 2013

Last year, Citizens Against Airport Pollution (CAAP) filed an appeal of a mandamus action in the Sixth District Court of Appeal challenging the City of San Jose’s failure to comply with CEQA in approving a major amendment to the San Jose International Airport Master Plan. This major amendment changes the use of  part of the airfield, from air cargo to corporate jets, opening the door for a substantial increase in night-time noise during curfew hours. The City of San Jose proposes to relocate and greatly expand facilities for private corporate jets and to extend two aircraft taxiways into protected burrowing owl habitat. CAAP contends that these unstudied changes to airport configuration and development pose significant environmental risk. The group asks the Court to require adequate environmental review that will analyze and mitigate the impacts. CAAP is waiting for a court date for this appeal and will post the date on this website.

Heart attacks more likely where traffic is louder

The louder the traffic near people's homes, the greater their risk of heart attack, a new study from Denmark says.

The researchers tracked more than 50,000 study participants for nearly 10 years and found that for every 10 decibels of added roadway traffic noise, the risk of heart attack increased 12 percent.

Read more about the study here:

24/7 corporate jet takeoffs are coming!

Why Surrounding Neighborhoods Need to Fear Airport Development Plans - May 10, 2010

Letter to Mayor and City Council - Mar 19, 2012

The City has a big surprise for you! - READ THE FLYER HERE

March 30, 2012

Dear Airport Neighbors:

Most of you know that Citizens Against Airport Pollution, the airport watchdog group known as CAAP, filed a lawsuit against the City of San Jose because the City had approved a Major Amendment to the 1997 Airport Master Plan without an Environmental Impact Report. This suit is still pending and should be heard in summer of 2012.

This Major Amendment seeks to develop acreage on the West side of the airport exclusively for corporate jet facilities. A fleet of these jets will be leased, rented or time shared with Silicon Valley companies by a new developer yet to be selected by the city. These corporate jets will fly CEOs in and out of San Jose 24/7. Because these corporate jets are quieter than most commercial jets (yet still incredibly loud) they are specifically exempt from our curfew. The city is quick to point out that this plan will not modify nor end our curfew. While this is true, it will promote unlimited nighttime flights which will erode our quality of life.

The City is now ready to take the first step toward making this development happen. This first step is on the City Council agenda on the afternoon of April 3. It is agenda item 6.2, ”Approval of Minimum Standards for Development of Lands on the West Side of the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and Accept Key RFP Terms and Conditions for a New Fixed Base Operator.

Some council members seek to pacify the community by declaring that the curfew is safe and no one is seeking to revoke it. However this misses the point. Other council members claim there is no plan, just simply a request for proposals. This comment is overtly disingenuous. We need council members who have the courage to stand with the neighborhoods. CAAP's Steering Committee is asking all Neighborhood Associations in the vicinity of the San Jose International Airport to send a representative to the April 3, council meeting at City Hall, to request the San Jose City Council to:

a. Defer the RFP until the Federal Aviation Administration has made a determination regarding the future of Runway 11-29.

b. Broaden the RFP and identify alternative airport development that is profitable and more environmentally sensitive.

c. Seek future development that does not promote additional nighttime flights
during curfew hours.

Citizens Against Airport Pollution Steering Committee

July 20, 2010

Citizens Against Airport Pollution [CAAP] has filed a lawsuit against the City of San Jose because the City recently approved a major amendment to the Airport Master Plan without an Environmental Impact Report describing what adverse affect these amendments will have on the environment.

The suit alleges that the City failed to conduct the proper environmental investigation necessary prior to the approval of a major amendment to the Airport Master Plan, as required by CEQA. Air pollution impacts, noise pollution impacts and impacts on wildlife are unknown. In an effort to avoid litigation, CAAP previously requested the City to defer action approving the major amendment so that these issues could be evaluated and discussed without litigation. The City chose to ignore these concerns and approved the major amendment to the Airport Master Plan without a clear understanding of its impact on the environment.

For over 20 years, Citizens Against Airport Pollution has been the only watchdog organization committed to protecting the environment from pollution caused by Mineta San Jose International Airport. CAAP has always supported a first class airport to serve the needs of the Southbay. Protecting the quality of life for San Jose residents and maintaining a first class airport is doable. However, it requires thoughtful planning and a keen sensitivity to environmental protections. If Silicon Valley is to become the center of “green” technology, the City of San Jose must make every effort to make its airport environmentally sensitive and a good neighbor. CAAP believes that the protection of the quality of life in the neighborhoods should be the highest priority to the City of San Jose.

For more details see the Press Release


CAAP Efforts Pay Off in a Big Way

After years of wrangling with the airport over the issue of measuring air pollution , an agreement has been reached. About year ago, the city, the airport, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and CAAP met at City Hall . The groundwork was laid for a study of the data that is recorded at the 4th and Jackson BAAQMD air monitor station. This station is the closest to the airport, and under the right kind of analysis, the data will tell us if the airport is a major or minor source of air pollution. It took 15 months of negotiating a contract, and finally last month an agreement was signed. Joanne Sanfilippo, the airport’s community relations manager prepared this notice giving a summary of the agreement.

Airport Noise Report Line 

The Airport no longer accepts noice reports over the telephone.  Please go,

and select Environment - then select Noise Abatement or use this link:

San Jose Airport Noise Center