Councilman Kansen Chu Charges Expensive Yosemite Retreat to the City

San Jose Councilman Kansen Chu attended a weekend conference in Yosemite with his wife to learn about sustainable communities. Or something like that.

All work and no play makes Kansen Chu a dull councilmember. Back in March, the representative for San Jose’s Berryessa district (and 2014 State Assembly candidate) took a trip with his wife—on the city’s dime—to Yosemite National Park to attend the 22nd Annual Ahwahnee Conference for Local Elected Officials. What initially caught Fly’s attention was the conference, titled “Building Livable Communities: New Strategies for a New Age,” was sponsored by a who’s who of who-cares-about-the-environment: PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison Company and the Southern California Gas Company. But a closer look at Councilman Chu’s expense report shows he barely attended the event, despite shelling out $809.54 of taxpayer dollars.


Rentseekers and The Free Market: Part II

In a recent example of “rentseekers” trying to eliminate competition, established taxi companies are targeting innovative companies like Uber. (Photo by Luke Roberts, via Flickr)

I watched a piece on CNN the other day that really tied the room together, in terms of the battle over America’s energy future. Recently in this space, I’ve ranted about rentseekers—established industries backed by favorable regulations that stifle innovation and thrive by maintaining the status quo. This story rides a thru-line from social innovators, like Uber and Airbnb, to the heart of the solar energy revolution, and it exposes a dilemma at the core of our economy: The free market doesn’t really exist.

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Key Voting Bloc Trending Toward Solar

A new report has found that a majority of Latinos support politicians who are dedicated to solar and green energy projects.

A new survey recently commissioned by the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) and supported by Californians Against Utilities Stopping Solar Energy (CAUSE) reveals some striking trends in key voting demographics in California and nationwide.

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San Jose’s Local Park Heroes

When community members in Almaden wanted to plant roses at Almaden Winery Park, they went to San Jose Parks Foundation for help. (Photo by James P. Reber)

I received a phone call last year from a resident who lived near Almaden Winery Park. She told me that she wanted to plant some rose trees in the park, and that she had been referred to San Jose Parks Foundation for help.

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