Apr 24, 2008 by Jack Van Zandt Comments (23)
When I read that nonprofit developer Neighborhood Housing Services was having trouble selling the 17 condos of their new development just south of downtown, I can’t say I was surprised, given the worsening national mortgage crisis. The main selling point is that these units are considered “affordable housing” for buyers that have a low enough income to qualify for borrower assistance (less than $84,900 for a family of four). Originally offered at $535,000, the two-bedroom condos are now priced at $450,000 and still aren’t selling. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see how anyone could consider $535,000 or $450,000 homes to be affordable on an average family income, even with the incentives.
Apr 23, 2008 by The Fly Comments (21)
Maybe what San Jose needs is a feel-good theme song to help put the city on the map. That’s what San Jose City Councilman Forrest Williams thinks, anyway. At last week’s council discussion, where the group was considering ways to promote the city’s best features to help draw business and visitors, Williams suggested the city write a song that will make San Jose well known across the globe, and even said he would consider taking it to the arts commission as a proposal.
Apr 23, 2008 by Tom McEnery Comments (17)
When you think of San Jose and its financial ability, its real strength, I wonder what comes to mind: downtown, and places like the TECH Museum, the beautiful Fairmont Hotel, or perhaps the Arena? I imagine it might be any of those. It might also be another place, that is, more a state of mind than a physical location, namely, Silicon Valley. But if those or similar sites leap to mind, I have one other location to conjure: North San Jose. Sometimes known as the “Golden Triangle,” it is one of the largest and richest pieces of real estate in the world. There are big plans for it still. These plans call for adding 83,000 jobs and 32,000 homes in the area north and west of Interstate 880 and south of Highway 237. About 8,000 residences are currently planned for this very special area.
Apr 22, 2008 by Raj Jayadev Comments (3)
Are Foundations In Tune with Democratic Process?
Last week I saw a glimpse into the future of California philanthropy: big money and big commitments, the kind of which could literally change the course of how some California communities develop over the next decade.
Apr 22, 2008 by Single Gal Comments (6)
This weekend I had a garage sale, which was an enlightening experience for me in more ways than one. Well, maybe enlightening isn’t the best use of words, but it was interesting to say the least. The whole concept of the garage sale is really a strange one when you take the time to think about it. OK, so let me see: I will take all my unwanted junk, used clothes and useless things and lay it all out on my grass so that others can come, rummage through it, and buy items for a fraction of their original cost.
Apr 21, 2008 by Pete Campbell Comments (34)
Last week, the Mercury News reported that San Jose city officials and a team of developers had come to an agreement on a $132 million deal that “sets the stage for a major league soccer stadium near the airport as early as 2010.” The Mercury News article failed to address a number of important questions surrounding the project.
Apr 21, 2008 by Pierluigi Oliverio Comments (13)
City Hall Diary
Recently, I attended the San Jose Elections Commission where Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) was on the agenda. (By the way, there are two unfilled seats waiting for SJ residents on this commission.) IRV was discussed, but the commission deferred the item for one year. The main reason for deferral was that to implement IRV would require a vote of the people to change the city charter. This in itself was not a worry; however, the cost for the city to put it on the ballot was viewed as bad timing, considering our current budget deficit.
Apr 18, 2008 by John McEnery IV Comments (4)
Without Public Scrutiny or Accountability, Lavish Spending Insured
In 1944, Sig Sanchez was appointed to the Santa Clara Valley Water Board. Months later he was dismissed, but only after he had disappeared into the jungles of the Philippines, perhaps forgotten by all except Assemblyman Ira Ruskin. For almost 25 years, Mr. Sanchez, believing himself to be a member in good standing, has been voting remotely and regularly, casting his rogue votes without public scrutiny or accountability.
Apr 17, 2008 by Gary Singh Comments (8)
Your birth is a mistake you’ll spend your whole life trying to correct.
PART OF being a respectable columnist is to exhibit a strong degree of self-confidence and integrity when admitting one’s mistakes. Since I have committed more than my share of embarrassing howlers over the years, I feel the time is right to do just that. So here are a few to get us started.
Apr 17, 2008 by Jack Van Zandt Comments (16)
Mayor Reed’s proposal for green building mandates would make San Jose’s policy the most advanced in California, according to the article by Erin Sherbert in this week’s Metro. The mandates would apply to commercial as well as residential developments. Reed wants to create a renewable-energy-powered San Jose that will reduce consumption in the city by half within the next two decades. Since the average green building saves 50 percent in energy usage, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent and solid waste by 70 percent, it is an attainable goal.
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