Budget

Parks and Trails Stewardship in the 21st Century: Part II

We previously talked about the need for an active, empowered role for citizens in the stewardship of San Jose’s parks and trails. The significant cutbacks in budget and personnel have left city staff to do more work with less people and less money. The solution is to create multi-partnerships with citizens, neighborhood associations, businesses and community groups to provide a collective stewardship for the future.

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Councilman Ash Kalra Wants to Ban Soda, Other Sugary Drinks at City Spaces, Events

In a move New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg might appreciate, Councilman Ash Kalra wants to ban sugary drinks from all city-owned buildings and city-sponsored events. Other items on the Rules and Open Government Committee agenda include a potential raise in the airport’s noise curfew fines and David Wall alleging that the Environmental Innovation Center fiasco was a ponzi scheme.

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Future of Environmental Innovation Center Uncertain as Contractor Files for Bankruptcy

Contractors working on San Jose’s $11 million Environmental Innovation Center (EIC) walked off the job last month a half-year behind schedule and $1.6 million over budget. A couple weeks later, the company, Modesto-based Applegate Johnston, Inc., filed for bankruptcy. Modesto-based Applegate Johnston, Inc. was awarded a contract for San Jose’s EIC in 2011, despite having previously finished two fire stations several months late.

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Grand Jury Reports Dominate Board of Supervisors’ Next Meeting

The people in charge of providing financial and protective services for Santa Clara County residents run a department lacking structure and accountability, according to a just-released Civil Grand Jury audit that goes before the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Other items on the board agenda include grand jury reviews for health inspections of food trucks and farmers markets, and a review of Juvenile Hall.

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Parks and Trails Stewardship in the 21st Century: Part I

The concept of stewardship is one that has become much more prominent in our environmental discussions in recent years, especially as it pertains to our parks, trails and urban open spaces. Webster defines stewardship as: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.

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Learning from Orange County’s Great Park

My journey through the new paradigm of San Jose’s parks and trails received another boost in the last month. Part of it came from a vacation to Montana, which always opens my eyes a bit and makes me reflect. But the biggest boost I received was from a tour of Los Angeles and Orange County parks.

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Council to Discuss Developer Incentives at First Meeting of New Fiscal Year

Since slashing construction fees for high-rise development in downtown, two towers have broken ground, including the $135 million 23-story project at One South Market. Hoping to spur more nearby development, the City Council on Tuesday will consider whether to vote in a similar half-off discount for buildings of any size as long as they create jobs. Other items on the agenda for the first council meeting of the 2013-114 fiscal year include another look at building restriction height around the airport, a potential study of the city’s sewer system and an update on the city’s graffiti abatement contract.

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