May 06, 2013, by Peter Allen Politics, Business, Culture Comments (3)
Investor owned utilities often receive criticism for putting profits above public safety and sustainability.
In my last column I noted that prominent Southern California physicians and solar energy companies have teamed up to fight Assemblyman Steve Bradford and powerful utility interests seeking to kill net metering—and cripple the solar market. This is a major step for the renewable energy movement, as an upstart industry challenges entrenched interests by saying what many have been afraid to say in the past: Investor owned utilities are bad for your health.
Apr 19, 2013, by Peter Allen Politics, Business, Culture Comments (46)
California utility companies are fighting the increase of solar installations rather than jumping on board.
Unlike a lot of activists, I’m not what you’d call a single-issue voter. Education, health care, immigration, land use, transportation—I’m passionate about all of them. But if there’s one overarching issue for me, it’s our environment and how we as a civilization deal with the now undeniable impacts of climate change. Whether or not you believe human industry is responsible for melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, superstorms, draught, and famine, you have to admit that the future looks bleak for our species if we don’t do something to stop the regression.
Mar 01, 2013, by Peter Allen Politics, Business, Culture Comments (4)
The Illuminating Downtown Project was one of many reasons San Jose was recently named one of America’s Top Artplaces for 2013.
I often hear it said that San Jose lacks culture. I’d like to say that the speaker is invariably not from around these parts. But more often than not, I hear it from San Joseans. It’s reached the point where I’m not surprised anymore. In fact, I have a speech polished and ready to go for these very occasions. When you’re wearing an Arts Commissioner badge, it never hurts to be prepared. Thankfully, some news arrived at last week’s monthly commission meeting that will add some heft to my argument.
Feb 22, 2013, by Peter Allen Politics, Business, Culture Comments (30)
The Bascom Library will hold its ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, despite completing construction a few years ago. (Photo by San José LIbrary, via Flickr)
Tomorrow is a big day for District 6. After 13 years of waiting—the past three of which were spent staring down a fully-functional yet sadly dormant shell—we finally get to see the Bascom Library and Community Center open all of its doors to the public. For residents of Blackford, Buena Vista, Burbank, Del Monte, Shasta/Hanchett Park, Sherman Oaks, and Winchester, the 2pm ribbon cutting at 1000 South Bascom Ave. will be the culmination of a protracted struggle with City Hall, and the district’s own councilmember.
Feb 11, 2013, by Peter Allen Politics, Business, Culture Comments (8)
Chuck Reed has called himself a Democrat during his political career, but some of his recent policy stances align him with the far right.
Mayor Reed should come out of the closet. No, not that closet. I’m talking about the closet inhabited by local politicos who call themselves Democrats, because it suits their electoral ambitions despite plainly conservative fiscal—and social—values.
Feb 01, 2013, by Peter Allen Politics, Culture Comments (1)
A curious coupling of councilmembers issued a 4:59pm memo last Friday recommending the City Council adopt what sounds at first like a reasonable idea. Unfortunately, the path to bad policy is often paved with reasonable ideas.
Jan 18, 2013, by Peter Allen Politics, Culture Comments (10)
Jim Beall won a seat in the state Senate in last November’s election, but the political gamesmanship continues. (Photo by sammydee, via flickr)
The state Senate race last year between Jim Beall and Joe Coto split local Democrats’ allegiances. In the end, Beall won easily. But last week, as Democrats held caucuses across the state to elect delegates, Beall faced off with up-and-comer Evan Low.
Jan 11, 2013, by Peter Allen Politics, Culture Comments (27)
This week’s inauguration of Republican Johnny Khamis to the San Jose City Council is a bittersweet moment for yours truly. On one hand, I’m disappointed to have worked on the losing end of the District 10 campaign last fall, and as a lifelong Democrat, I’m frustrated that my hometown’s leadership has shifted further to the right. On the other hand, we were already there, and at least this gives me something to write about.
Jan 04, 2013, by Peter Allen Politics, Culture Comments (7)
Six years ago, I found some friends and formed a band. Two years ago, I joined the board of a local theater company. And last year, I took the opportunity to fuse my passions by applying for and being appointed to the city of San Jose arts commission. The common reaction when I tell people about my moonlighting gig goes something like: “What does an arts commission do in a city with no culture?”
Dec 12, 2012, by Peter Allen Politics, Culture Comments (1)
California voter turnout was lower this year than it has been in the past two presidential elections.
In a state of more than 18 million registered voters and a city of nearly one million people, it’s easy for any one person to feel insignificant. That’s why it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together; that our collective opinions add up to something greater than ourselves; that this grand experiment called “democracy” works best when we all stand up to be counted.
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