Heh, We’re Number 10!

As much as I try to stay in a good mood, nothing, other than a Shark loss to Edmonton, gets me as riled as looking at the current seal of the City of San Jose.  The basic logo, with the rising sun symbol, was chosen when I was mayor, and I still like it—but the recent addition of the caption, “10th Largest U.S. City,” was a defensive, clueless decision that just shrieks “bush league.”  The old caption, “Capital of Silicon Valley,” although a reach, said so much and associated us with the most dynamic entrepreneurial spot in the history of mankind.  Apparently, it isn’t reach enough.

Surely, no one in Berryessa, Evergreen or Willow Glen gives a hoot about being number ten in population, and I can just imagine the mayors of those cities above us just quaking in their shoes about our rising stature.  Look out, San Diego, here we come! Yet, such out-of-order boosterism and unwise decision-making is certainly known quite well at our City Hall; in fact, this type of inferiority complex-driven error is the calling card of the “gang that can’t vote straight.”  Let’s take baseball for example.  Neither common sense, nor good financial judgment, nor political instincts, have prevented the City Hall gang from rushing headlong into land purchases, EIRs, numerous publicity miscues, and an aura of contempt toward the citizens

For more verification on this opinion, see the recent poll on the proposed baseball stadium. For some time, I have been very vocal to the well-meaning folks in Baseball San Jose, and have told them in simple terms that, with no team, no owner, and no financing plan, it was insane to push forward. The people of San Jose will bear much and forgive a lot, but open disrespect of the law in our charter—giving them the right to vote on sports facilities—would be too much even for their forbearance. 

I know a bit about this, having faced a citizen initiative on the Arena effort in the late eighties.  We did not even count the signatures, but accepted the obvious and moved to the election; we made the case in an honest manner and prevailed.  The rest, as is often said, is history, and it was a gigantic win for the families of San Jose.  As a wise man once said, “Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it.”

52 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more. San Jose continues to look desperate for attention. Very simply, it is the old “mine is bigger than yours” approach. It doesn’t matter how big our population is if you have to keep jumping up and down telling people how big it is. Population alone does not make a big city. The reasons we are not a true, big city are articulated here on a daily basis.
    Until our leaders, elected and non-elected, get a clue about what truly makes a big city, we will remain a city with a large population and nothing more.

  2. Tom,
    Breaking the law.
    Which one?

    Who is familiar with the Clean Water Act?

    This city is in daily non compliance with not only its HMBP’s for it’s yards spill control but of the daily weekly monitoring of its storm water pollution prevention plans.

    This administration acts as if these environmental issues are a hinderance to economic gain.
    These Laws protect the quality of LIFE and health of the citizens.

    I would encourage every person to watch:
    Comcast SanJose/ Campbell, channnel 15 at 9:30pm thursday evening.

  3. For the record, public financing of new sports venues (“corporate welfare”) is viewed negatively across our entire country…even in cities that have teams/new stadiums.  The recent poll results aren’t unique to San Jose.  It should also be noted that the poll doesn’t conclude that San Jose citizens DON’T WANT MLB Downtown, it just states that the majority aren’t interested in spending tax dollars for said stadia.  In closing, I hope you haven’t jumped ship on San Jose’s baseball efforts Mr. McEnery…this isn’t just the dream of Gonzo and the City Hall “gang.”

  4. So does that mean if we continue moving up or down on the list, will we continue to change the caption?

    I feel that the “Valley of Heart’s Delight” describes more than the city’s agricultural past and continues to be more appropriate for a real San Josean’s view of the city, not some Sunnyvale transplant.

  5. Tom,
    Why did we change the logo to the rising sun in the first place?  I liked the old one with the wheat.  As for we are number 10, I agree with you,  bigger is not always better .  It might work if we were number one. We were only the self proclaimed “Capital of Silicon” Valley.  Why not San Jose “The City of Firsts”.  That would say something about our past as well as our future.  For some odd reason we don’t build on our rich history.  It is clear that San Jose has long suffered an identity crisis.  Perhaps this would be an important issue for the next administration.  We need to define who we were, are and want to be. Then go after it and market it.  You started to do this in your administration but the ball got dropped along the way.
    As for the Ball Park, I do not like the process.  Same old Gonzo administration tactics. Where is the private funding?  If it is built I hope they make it uniquely San Jose.  Incorperate the old facade of the old Art-Deco bakery, put the Stephens Meat sign in front of the hotdog stand and keep the old Bar where it is or move it to a close location.

  6. Tony d
      Jump ship on baseball, hell no! I am opposed to amateurs and fools trying to do a job that takes sense and judgment. Getting a stadium might well be a dream to pursue, but not with the current imcompetence level.  If you want to know how to do it, look at HP Pavilon – that took planning and honesty and a bit of luck. Trust the people of San Jose, too.  TMcE

  7. To refresh memories about the unlawful approach taken by the city toward the proposed ballpark, check out this web site:

    http://www.ballparktaxwatchdogs.org

    Our goal was to identify all documents published and all official actions taken in 2005 and prior to a vote by the electorate as is required by city ordinance, just in case a new Al Ruffo would rise up to challenge the illegality of the expenditures on a ballpark prior to a vote.

    You will find a copy of the ordinance there, as well as a copy of the city attorney’s memo advising city council members how to circumvent the ordinance. Makes some fascinating reading.

  8. No, Valley of Heart’s Delight is meaningless to those under 70 and really, when you look at it doesn’t mean a thing. Tom is right when he writes “The old caption, “Capital of Silicon Valley,” although a reach, said so much and associated us with the most dynamic entrepreneurial spot in the history of mankind.” Perhaps there’s a better slogan out there, but this 10th largest city thing isn’t it.

  9. Tom, thanks for speaking out on the ridiculous 10th Largest tag on the city logo. 

    Nothing like putting it out there in big bold lettering that this town has the 1st largest inferiority complex.  Just another reason to vote out the bush leaguers on the Council and not to elect or re-elect any incumbent to anything.

  10. Hey Tom—Well said. Also consider that only in San Jose is the airport MINETA San Jose. If you get on in Chicago, it isn’t Mineta San Jose.
    Not only jumping up and down for attention, but acting like local notoriety, SJ insider info, is known world wide, is just another symptom of Bush League. As Gertrude Stein noted about Oakland, “There’s no there there”, SJ suffers from the same real problem, totally overlooked by Terry Christiansen’s “City Council”: there’s not much, if any, downtown, and which San Jose are we talking about? The one near Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Campbell? Can we get it together. San Jose is still a blank slate. Could be more.
    Off to Rome. Back after the election. George Green

  11. Tom, to me what you’re describing is a history of SJ since you left office.  Seems like virtually every city project is half-assed, not well thought out and almost never completed.  Our city logo should say ‘California’s Largest Metropolitan Bedroom with Outstanding Downtown Bars and Gang Activities’.

    Without a true ‘downtown’, which you tried to reconstruct, and David Pandori would like to resume, SJ will continue to be ‘ground zero’ for ‘festival’ orgies and violence.

    When Gonzo was elected he proclaimed downtown was complete.  We need now to concentrate on the neighborhoods.  Can we see a show of hands from those that believe downtown is complete?  Or even neighborhoods?

    So, yeah let’s spend millions on a baseball park that will be half-assed and never completed while pot holes get larger and the cops are patrolling North SJ and Coyote Valley taking a break once in a while to arrest festival participants.

    How many people traveling around the country have visited cities and were left with the impression this is a ‘can do’ place?  Would you ever think that of SJ?  We build a city hall that was too small before ground was broken with a dumb, uh I mean dome that has no function other than to employ window washers.  It requires water vapor blown by the wind to provide cooling.  (Which I think exemplifies our city leaders very well.  The cooling is dependent on which way the wind blows…)

  12. Talking about the arena reminds me that when it came time to name the arena, one of the most popular suggestions was the “Inferiority Complex.” Not much has changed in this town since then.

  13. How about that swift organization, the Chamber of Commerce? They support the Grand Prix then put out the hit on Cindy for supporting it. While I think she deserves the hit, could it come from any less credible organization than the CofC of the 10th largest city?
    Until we all grow up, demand accountability from elected officials, take pride in what we have while wanting to improve, and bring some sanity to our sprawl, it won’t matter how large our population is—we’ll still be a wannabe big city.

  14. #18 I see no problem with the Chamber of Commerce supporting the race and then laying it on Cindy for the backroom dealings leading up to the subsidy. It sounds very logical to me and hopefully a lot more people who want to rid this city of poor management.

  15. Dale,

    Why do you not go over to courthouse since you are a lawyer, have the facts and file the lawsuit for the community rather than complain again about how illegal was purchase of land for baseball stadium   Rick Doyle can get the record for most loses as City Attorney

  16. The backroom deals were well known at the time of the but that didn’t stop the Chamber from speaking in support. They want it both ways but there is only one way to good government and that was voting no on the money and the process.

  17. How can we be #10 if we have downtown the worst in the U.S.?  Downtown is worst off than in the 70’s due to higher vacancies-office and retail.  Look at all those storefronts vacancies along First and Second Streets that were mostly occupied during the pre-80’s redevelopment years. The same goes for Santa Clara and San Fernando Streets.  Hence, they say it’s more developed, but I say “it’s not because when they develop a building, they would clear another lot for future development that would never materialize, thereby leaving a lot of holes in the core.”  You should take a look at Second/third by San Fernando st., also take a look at the corner of First and San Carlos.  They gutted the buildings that were there and created blank surface lots.  It’s the ying and the yang thing-  build a building and tearing down another for false prospect.  The downtown is more blighted today with fewer street level businesses than in the late 70’s.  What a pile waste of money on redevelopment that doesn’t work!  There’s no center , but suburbs thoughout the boundary of the city.  They should just shrink the city down to size and population of 100,000.  It’s less signicifant than Fresno and even Salinas.  Let’s shrink this city to save us from embarrassment!  San Jose is a lost cause.  By the way, nobody includes San Jose comparison to other cities when their city is discussed.  You only need to look at brookings institution list of cities and their downtowns.  San Jose is not on it, and sometimes, if you read other city’s newspaper on their progress, San Jose is never used.  San Jose gets absolutely no respect, worst than Rodney Dangerfield.

  18. For the city seal I suggest a portrayal of our new city hall, but with a prominent red light burning over its main entrance; accompanied by this motto:

    San Jose – The City Where Everything is Negotiable

  19. Personally, I’d like our slogan to be:  San Jose—Home of the Stanley Cup Champions 2006.

    A week ago Vesa Toskala would have won the Mayor’s race in a landslide.  But then we would have put up with the inevitable diatribe by Mal Content or Finfan on how immigrants are taking all the good jobs.

    Now we get to investigate the Chamber of Commerce because their hit piece doesn’t conform to local law.

    Forget that the law itself is unconstitutional; simply the effect of violating one of these sacred, poorly written,“ethics” laws is enough to discredit the substance of the material and the authors.

    Throw in the hypocrisy of hitting Cindy on an issue the Chamber agrees with. . .and you have a fully embarrassed Pat Dando trying to explain the nuances of the ethics laws and Chamber policy.

    What great theater! 

    Who will be the first to ask Pat Dando to resign or to be indicted?  If she violated the law, she must go—that’s the standard.

    Come on guys, get out the pitch forks—this one, like the District Attorney’s Office is right up your ally.

    Or are we to put up once again with the white silence. 

    Had this been the labor Council or Phaedra Ellis Lamkins.  Who would not have already opined on the need for them to resign or be indicted?

    Come on all you do-gooders, you refomists—speak out now.  Or is your agenda simply political?

  20. Ah, leave it to Rich to once again launch a broad-based attack on everything he doesn’t agree with. Dando’s foolishness was pointed out several weeks ago on this board when she was shocked by the real costs of the new City Hall. Even though she supported the project while on the Council. It was pointed out earlier on this Board how, once again, she and the Chamber look like fools on the Grand Prix/Cindy scam. They were right this time but lack credibility because of their previous support. Your racial implications simply stink and also lack credibility. If my candidate were doing poorly and I was a professional spinner, I would probably dig deep to find a way to try and deflect her poor performance. It still stinks.
    Cindy will not make a good mayor, not because she is a Latina, not because she is a woman, not even because she is affiliated with Rich—it is because she has been linked to every scandal in this City and has supported the wrong side of the issue and because she has learned well from Gonzales and the last thing we need is another 4 years of the Gonzales-type administration.
    Please, Rich, try to do better than the race card.

  21. Silence speaks louder than word about the hypocrisy of many on San Jose Inside Richard is right get out the pitch forks, call for Dando’s resignation and a Grand Jury investigation. Where is the Ethics Commission?  Speak out you reformers.  Why are you silent or only want labor candidate reforms, not business candidates and Chamber.

    So election is not about open clean city government but getting your Chamber people back into power so you can get more Dando’s Grand Prix tax subsidies while our community centers close, code enforcement understaffed,  developers for 4th year do not pay fair share of fees and park impacts Shows Chamber’s political hypocrisy  

    Chuck – where are you on Dando’s unethical hit piece?

  22. Puhleeez:  San Ohaze is not now and never has been the Capital Of Silicon Valley.

    San Ohaze is not now and never was a city.  It’s a largely populated suburbia, with a small town mind.

    At least 80% of the residents of San Ohaze could not care less about downtown.  They want neighborhood services, roads worthy of the fifth or sixth largest (State of California) economy in the entire world, and reliable police protection city-wide, instead of that protection being diluted by the force necessary to keep the hip-hop/Bato hordes quelled in downtown on weekends.

    I believe that when we get the basics handled, then and only then can we concentrate on the frills.  Basics to me are police, fire protection, and physical infrastructure (e.g. roads without potholes; a sewer/sanitation system that works; street lights that function properly; libraries/senior centers/after school centers that are open and well-staffed.

    I want a concerned government that is not staff-laden with folks who spin and seek to get the boss re-elected, when they should be serving the community.

    I want teachers more concerned with teaching—as they were when I grew up—than with the latest labor contract perks.  If Johnny can’t read, I do not want him promoted.  If a teacher can’t teach Johnny to read by third grade (the current standard, although when I went to grammar school, we could all read, write, add, and subtract by the end of first grade), then that teacher needs to seek other employment.

    I don’t want parents who have no clue about how to parent to keep becoming parents over and over again and expect the rest of the world to support their ill-conceived offspring; and expect their childrens’ kidergarten teachers to deal with their behavioral problems brought on by their parents’ complete lack of parenting skills.  That is something government can do nothing about absent Draconian measures…but I’m getting more and more willing to tolerate such measures. 

    Bill Cosby is right, and people need to listen to what he says without being politically correct; ‘cuz he grew up poor and black and he does know what’s wrong with the gangtsa-rapper/hip-hop/bato loco part of our current society.

    We have recently had “immigrant marchers” who say they are American, while waving foreign flags.  The difference between prior immigrant infusions into this country and the current immigrant infusion is that in prior immigrant infusions most of the immigrants actively sought to become a part of THIS country and what it stands for—opportunity for a better life.  They actively sought to become part of OUR society and its values.

    My family and my in-law families came here and adopted our culture and maintained their own at the same time.  They did that by learning English while maintaining their native language at home, and their religious (in my in-laws’ case, Russian Orthodox) and cultural traditions AT HOME.

    Currently, much of our immigrant population comes here to work, send money HOME (laudable), but never even consider becoming Americans.  They want to be here long enough to make enough money to live well back home—for the most part—in Mexico.

    Do we need their labor?  Absolutely, since despite what the Minutemen and others say, no local white folks will work as hard as the illiegal imigrants do for the wages they accept. 

    The pols in D.C. talk about carving out a system that allows the illegal immigrants to become US citizens.  What they don’t understand is that the VAST majority of immigrants from El Sud have not the slightest interest in becoming US citizens.  They want to work here becasue they can make more money in a day in El Norte than they can make in two weeks back home.  So, they work hard, provide service that most US citizens won’t perform, and still manage to send money home to Mamacita and los ninos.  But at the end of the day, I’d bet the farm that at least nine million of the twelve million just want to go back HOME when they have made enough money in El Norte to do so.

    The rich mostly-white folks in Congress and the Senate have nary a clue about what drives 12 million people to come to El Norte to work their asses off for minimum wage ; nor do they understand that most of them have no desire to become US citizens unless that is an absolute prerequisite for them to be able to work and send money HOME.  They just want to be able to work, and there is no reason for us not to allow them to do so, as long as they are “on the books”.

    Those that want to make the USA their permanent home mostly come in legally.  Their patience and effort should not be cast aside.  They need to be given a priority position.

    The fact that San Ohaze may be number 10 in US city population is as irrelevant as the immigration reforms before Congress today.  We need to get back to basics and live within our means.  Then we can talk about frills, and pump our chests out about being #10.

  23. First: The Chamber screwed up—bad strategy, bad implementation, bad all around.  Hitting Cindy for the Grand Prix is silly. 

    Second: We can have this debate tomorrow because I hear more mailers are on there way…perhaps about eminent domain, perhaps about something else.

    Third:  Let me lay out a scenario—say Rich were a consultant for the Labor Council AND a consultant for a candidate.  Rich would not be allowed (ethically/legally) to do independent expenditures for Labor promoting said candidate…BUT…that is how Darren Seaton has made a living. 

    Please respond Mr. Robinson.

  24. Mark T #11:  Yeah, I’m rapidly moving to a “NO INCUMBENTS” ticket.  It’s hard to believe even a tyro could not do better; ‘cept there’s still that pesky bureaucracy to contend with.  How do we get rid of that union-work-rule, no accountability-‘cuz-we got-a-contract; couldn’t care less/it’s time for my break attitude of the majority of government employees?

  25. Single Gal Rules!  She generates far more commentary that the rest of us.  And I enjoy reading it all, especially those with which I disagree, since it forces me to think; even though I sometimes respond before I’ve really thought it through.

  26. The Eminent Domain mailer started hitting the streets today. Another blast at Cindy (and well deserved.)
    Hold on folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  27. “Do we need their labor?  Absolutely, since despite what the Minutemen and others say, no local white folks will work as hard as the illiegal imigrants do for the wages they accept. “

    Big Lie #1

    Innovation dies in the face of an endless supply of cheap labor. 

    Price of avocados too high because there’s no cheap laborers around to be exploited?

    You can bet your sweet American citizen ass that someone will come up with a process or invention to solve the problem. 

    Or we’ll pay more for hotels.  Or we’ll pay more for Cesar Salads.

    Nobody wants to cook hamburgers? 
    McDonalds is going to go out of business?
    Give me a break. 

    Businesses who exist solely off the backs of exploited illegal immigrants should go out of business.  So what?  Life goes on.

    “But at the end of the day, I’d bet the farm that at least nine million of the twelve million just want to go back HOME when they have made enough money in El Norte to do so.”

    No kidding. 

    Mexico certainly has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources and a hard working population. 

    So what’s wrong with this picture?

    Why the hell does the US continue to subsidize the Mexican oligarchy and corruption at all levels of Mexico’s gov’t by allowing this illegal immigration/border travesty to go on?

    Secure the border and force the Mexican people to rise up and fix THEIR problems in THEIR country.

  28. I’m willing to bet hard earned money that would otherwise be spent on my growing weekly gas bill that when the post-election analysis is over, a major factor for the defeat of Cindy Chavez and Measure A will be their connection to one, Ron Gonzales, the most un-popular mayor of any sized US City.  I believe this election will be recorded in simple terms as a referendum on Ron Gonzales.

    It has been my experience talking to people I routinely encounter within the past few months that Ms. Chavez is viewed by the majority (correctly or not) as simply an “unindicted co-conspirator” of Ron Gonzales and the scandals rippling around him.

    Additionally, because Duh Mayor has championed BART to Santa Clara (via Downtown San Jose) above all other City priorties as his “legacy” project, Measure A is viewed by many county voters, not as a means to provide badly needed funds to keep the County services afloat, but as a badly conceived   Ron Gonzales BART tax.

  29. I feel bad for Cindy Chavez. 

    On one level I’m very glad that she is unlikely to be our next Mayor.  But I also think she’s a decent person who has been influenced by the wrong people (Gonzales, Amy Dean, Phaedra) and a once promising politician is going to crash and burn.

    This must be a very difficult time for her and I don’t take any pleasure in seeing a genuinely nice person (albeit misguided) going through such difficulties.

  30. JMO #29 you’ve asked the $64K question in how to resolve the indifferent/not my job/time-for-my-break, next window please attitude of organized civil servants.  A significant number of these so called “workers” are of course absolutely legal and at a minimum at least 2nd generation but they couldn’t be further away from the illegals in their work ethic.  People interface with these types all day long all over the state, trying to take care of business with government agencies but must deal with clock watchers who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about customer service but are protected by their union.  Their ranks are so steeped in this type of behavior that only an attitude change by the union leaders and many, many years of attrition could provide hope for improvement.  Don’t expect the former in our lifetimes, JMO.

    I know someone who was born and raised in Mexico, came here and became a citizen, now works for the County, and is very productive and responsible.  She received nothing but resentment from co-workers of the same ethnic background and was made miserable by them because she was simply doing her job as it was meant to be done, and accomplishing more in one day than they did in a week.  She survived their attempts to ride her out on a rail and has received a couple of promotions since.  This is the difference between approaching your job with a sense of responsibility rather than a sense of entitlement. 

    This pathetically uneducated group still thinks with their skewed logic that because California was once a part of Mexico, we must honor them and simply accept their unproductive behaviors, at work or while choking downtown streets at night.  They demand our respect and yet they don’t seem to know the meaning of the word when other people, our downtown businesses, or their own front lawns ask for a little of the same from them.

  31. I forgot to mention Nathan Dohrmann, Woolworth, Goldeens, the Medical Dental Building and most importantly……San Jose Hospital, the birthplace of so many of us, our siblings and our children.  We even had an electric street car line.  Nobody knows where Meridian Corners is anymore.  How about the medical offices in the St. Claire Building.

  32. CRASH AND BURN IS FAR TO LITTLE FOR HER OWN STUPIDITY ,YOU ACT AS IF SOMEONE HELD HER AT GUNPOINT AND MADE HER DO THE STUPID THINGS SHE’S DONE ,AND GIVEN ENOUGH ROPE SHE WILL HANG HERSELF , SHE’S A SNAKE…………..

  33. Has anyone ever mentioned the amusing coincidence that the June mayoral election is on 06/06/06—“The Sign of the Beast” and that a remake of the Omen movies is also coming out the same day?

    Which candidate do you think will continue speaking in tongues? Which one will be puking out more filth about their competition?  And which one will have their head spining all the way around?

  34. Dan,

    I’m one of those products of SJ Hospital.  My older sister came out of old O’Connor/Sears/Safeway.

    Only BAD experiences in the Medico-Dental building, like booster shots, etc.

    I’ve never purchased a GM car and don’t plan to.  That company played the lead role in ripping out trolley lines all over the country and implementing “National City Lines” using GM buses instead.  If we still had those trolley lines today, those cars would be packed with people, unlike the largely unpopulated lite rail cars that serve so few and do so in a completely inefficient manner.  Another BAD decision by the Council, maybe even under T McE’s watch, to insist that no lite rail bypass around downtown be built so that people who work beyond it in either direction could be spared the 10mph crawl and multiple stops that bog down each and every commute.  Once again we have to ask, WHAT were they thinking?

    Had forgotten all about Spring’s.  Don’t even recall a Grant’s but do remember Wards was right there near Kress, and how my parents hated that dilapidated store and often had to drive to San Leandro or Oakland to do any shopping at a real Wards.  As a former Sears employee, I guess my mom couldn’t stomach dropping money at Meridian & San Carlos.

    As a kid without much money to spend, I used to enjoy the 88 Cent Store and Payless, which is now the parking lot between the old Camera One and the old Hale’s building.  It’s a sad commentary that the downtown was much more big-time when this town had a population of 100K and that with a population of nearly 10 times that, the downtown isn’t even a ghost of its former self, as so much of it has been erased forever, and is in comparison devoid of any retail activity.

    Dan, it’s sad but I don’t think you or I will ever see the hustle and bustle of the 50’s and early 60’s downtown again in our lifetimes.

  35. It’s all in the name bad planning that’s repeated time and time again, especially with McEnery with the completion of Valley Fair.  That’s what caused the final demise of downtown San Jose!

  36. City taglines were fashionable in the 19th and early 20th century as cities were growing up and seeking tourism dollars. Their only value now is in their retro quaintness.  The idea that they actually have messaging meaning only makes sense for people who think good marketing is a tv jingle. Dump the tagline altogether.

  37. #22 David…..I am old enough to remember when we had to go “downtown” to go shopping, to bank, to pay the bills, to go to church, to go to the “Y” etc.  We parked on the street with no meters. Then on the heels of the Korean conflict, Valley Fair and Highway 17 were constructed and downtown started parking meters.  The metropolitan area was expanding.  Our church expanded out into the country on Meridian Ave.  It was easy to park at Valley Fair and free.  It had good access with Highway 17.  The area continued to grow.  Dutch Hamann was hired as City Manager to increase the size of the city.  More shopping centers were built.  Eastridge, Oakridge, and finally Santana Row.
    No matter how you try to beautify downtown it will never again be the shopping magnet it was.  Hales, Harts, Springs, Roos Bros, Farmers’ Union, Newberrys, Grants, Kresses, all gone, never to return.

  38. First its this guys fault then that guy and now its Mchenry.s fault keep pointing fingers ,But dont ever look in the mirror and point a finger ,your getting chicken shit now, dont you have work to do ? or is it more important to bicker over something that cant change.

  39. Rich #24,

    I’m beginning to think the only reason you open your mouth is to change feet.

    When have you ever read anything from me slamming immigrants? Jackass political consultants perhaps, but not immigrants. (That’s 2 minutes in the penalty box for making up stories!)

    Regarding the Chamber’s mailer: what were they thinking? Of all the issues on which they could criticize Chavez why would they focus on one where they agreed? The Chamber mailer, the Campos/Pyle sideshow and Cindy’s decision to duck debates and avoid the media makes me think the quality of political consulting in this town is pretty poor.

    Meanwhile now it seems we will be treated to the Sound and Fury of calls for an “investigation” of the Chamber of Commerce from RR, Phaedra and the other pall bearers of a dying campaign. But let’s take a deep breath and ask the logical question: What are the chances the Chamber put out it’s mailer without first researching its legal position?

    Good luck with your big investigation Rich!

  40. The ballpark is just another disguised back door way for the RDA to gobble up more space for its rutheless single-minded housing concept. As soon as the deal fizzles, they will have found another way to put old businesses and neighborhoods out of business and replace them with massive upcale human warehouses. Its a win-win for the Mayor and developers. A loose-loose for the citizens. Previous example, tear down more homes than needed in the Balbach neighberhood for the Convention Center tent, and sell off the excess to private developers.

  41. Here’s a few more stores for memory lane:  Blums, Jung’s Jewelry, McFarland’s Candy, Harold’s Shoes, Jay McCabe’s Hat Store.  In my opinion the final death blow to downtown was the development of Santana Row.  Can any of you name family owned retail that is prospering today; my take is that Federated owns most of it.
    MBLennon

  42. I feel that if we elect a mayor with a vision and a plan we can make the downtown better than it ever was.  Inspite of the poor choices past leaders made.  Santana Row is a fine example of people wanting an old world environment, even if it is faux.  Our downtown is the real thing, with some great new buildings mixed in.  Sure we lost many of our great historic buildings but it is not too late.  We need to take full advantage of all the historic resources we have left.  We have a great start ,the Saint Clair, De Anza and Montgomery along side the Fairmont.  The Fallon-Peralta and Art Museum next to the Tec.  The California and Jose theaters next to the Cameras.  The Civic Auditorium next to the Arena.  The Carnege next to the Joint Library.  O.Js’, Henrys Hi Life next to PF Changs.  These are just a few examples.  There are more and better restaurants, night clubs, and art venues in the down town than there were in the 50’s and 60’s.  What is missing is retail as you all have stated We also need to market S.J.better. We don’t even have a high profile visitors center.  Gilroy even has one.  Where do we identify and promote San Jose’s traditions and culture?  Pandori is the only candidate that sees the big picture. The downtown with the help from a great mayor and council could be there in five years.  Hastily developing Coyote Valley, Evergreen and North San Jose before we make greater strides would be the death of any chance for the downtown.