President’s article, January, 2018

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We had a near miss last month at the driveway of one of our parking lots.

Here is what a community member wrote in an email about it:

I was almost hit by a driver exiting the Lotus Preschool parking lot yesterday morning at 9:30am.  The driver did not slow down or stop at the designated neon sign; she crossed the sidewalk and stopped at the end of the driveway apron. She would’ve hit me if I hadn’t stopped and waited for her.”

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time this has happened. Last year we installed a sign asking drivers exiting the lot to be careful.

The neon sign has helped significantly,” the community member said, “but I’ve been almost hit three times in less than a year at that exact spot.”

As some of you may recall a year ago a Sangha member was hit by a car just a few feet away from the near miss while crossing the street from that same parking lot headed to the office. Luckily she was not seriously hurt and has recovered.

In light of the accident and now the near miss, we should all be careful while driving on North 5th Street , and driving in and out of the temples two parking lots, especially on the Education Building (Lotus Preschool) side, where it’s difficult for drivers to see pedestrians when leaving the lot.

Be sure to stop before driving across the sidewalk as you get set to turn onto North 5th Street. Look both ways to see if a pedestrian is approaching and ease out of the lot. If someone is approaching, wait until that person walks past you. How long does that take? A few seconds?

Let’s all spend those few seconds.

 

Adobe Mochitsuki

For the second year, temple members brought a mochitsuki to the twin-towered Adobe headquarters in downtown San Jose for a Japanese cultural event for the company employees.

There were some logistical challenges. The Adobe kitchen doesn’t have a burner large enough to produce the heat needed to cook the rice, so we did that at church and transported the 20 pounds of cooked rice in a warmed-up cooler.

We set up the wooden stand and usu indoors at Adobe, with plastic covering the floor, and proceeded to pound the rice. Several dozen Adobe employees tried their hand at pounding.

Some BWA members showed Adobe employees how to form the rice into mochi, filled with an (red bean paste), and also made more for others who just wanted to sample. We served more than 300 people, many gave us thumbs up and declared the mochi was delicious.

We also enjoyed hearing San Jose Taiko, which performed during the 90-minute event, and afterward wewere treated to lunch in the company restaurant.

Our contact for the event was Gail Tanaka, whose parents are members of the Midwest Buddhist Temple.

Thank you to the temple volunteers who made the mochitsuki possible: Karen Akimoto, Steve Akimoto, Janice Doi, Phyllis Sugimoto, Al Hironaga, Steve Sorakubo, Stan Kawamata, and Warren Iwamura.

 

Annex

You may have heard that the heating system in the Annex Building wasn’t working for about a month. Because of the holidays, it took additional time to get the part needed to repair the system. That meant it was chilly for events such as the New Year’s Service and New Year’s Luncheon. By the time you read this, the system should be working again.

We hope to make complete the last piece of the Generations Phase 1 project, with the addition of a new audio system for the Annex. A series of six speakers will be attached to the ceiling to provide more uniform sound throughout the gym. The installation is expected to occur during a two-week period within the next two or three months.

At the same time, we’re also installing a new high definition camera in the Hondo. This will mean much better picture quality for taping sermons and projecting activities such as funeral services from the Hondo to the big screen in the gym.

 

Pine Tree

Lately the big pine tree in front of the gym has been dropping a lot of needles and has been looking yellow. An arborist examined the tree and determined it’s dying and can’t be saved. We just learned this the day I’m writing this article.

Update: We’re going to get a second opinion from another arborist. We’ll spread the word on that evaluation and our decision.

 

In Gassho.

Dennis Akizuki