Parque de los Pobladores

San Jose is the (Arts)Place to Be

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.

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City Concealed Street Closure Docs

Despite the city’s stated commitment to sunshine and open government, city officials and proponents of a proposal to permanently close a block of South First Street concealed critical documents from affected parties for a year—until the eve of a council vote. Promoters of the “pavement to plaza” conversion say a $500,000 grant from ArtPlace requires the street’s full closure. San Jose will contribute $98,000 in park and economic development funds, under the plan, which goes to the City Council at today’s 1:30pm meeting.


Mayor, Liccardo Push for High-Rise Towers

Mayor Chuck Reed and Councilmember Sam Liccardo authored a memo last week that would give high-rise builders in downtown San Jose new incentives to start constructing towers before the end of next year. At its meeting Tuesday, the City Council will discuss the incentives as well as last week’s budget hearings, restricting payday lending offices, targeting parents who let their teenagers throw parties with alcohol, and a potential park expansion that could alter the view from San Jose Inside’s office.