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  • BVNA

Blighted Alley Becomes a Place of Fun and Games

With his shaggy white Jack Russell terrier trailing close behind, Warren Doleshel stopped his afternoon walk to peer into what looked like a giant block party inside a troubled alleyway known for gang activity.

“What is going on in there?” Doleshel asked Saturday. “Is this open to the public?”

The surprise reaction is expected. The Business Circle back alley, across from the Pink Poodle strip club, isn’t exactly a family-friendly site. But on Saturday, the alley was the site of a community event with music, games, food and art.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, along with county Supervisor Ken Yeager, sponsored the event and paid for a $3,000 mural to be unveiled there. The three-hour block party in the Burbank district of San Jose attracted families and curious onlookers like Doleshel.

The idea, according to deputy district attorney Alisha Schoen, is for the community to “take back” the space at West San Carlos Street and South Bascom Avenue, which has been a magnet for illegal activity in recent years.

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