San Jose’s Moment: Google and Downtown’s ‘West Side Story’

Is this finally San Jose’s moment for downtown to realize its potential as a vital and beautiful urban community?

CEQA Racket Extracts 11th Hour Payoffs Amidst Housing Crisis

A landmark law designed to protect California’s environment has enabled profiteers to hold up critical projects.

Schurra’s Announces Closing of Century-Old Chocolate Shop

San Jose will lose a bit of its soul when a 106-year-old business closes shop on The Alameda and moves operations to Santa Clara.

City Wants to Help Zipcar Expand Service in San Jose

To help car-sharing take off in San Jose, the city plans to donate free parking to Zipcar for a year-and-a-half. The City Council will discuss the plan when it meets this week, along with a proposal to expand wireless Internet service in downtown.

Mayor Reed Takes Meeting on Splitting California into Six States

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed eats, sleeps and positively spits pension reform. He slammed through PR in San Jose with the help of voters in 2012, and while Measure B hasn’t accomplished everything he wanted, Reed’s doubled down with a proposed statewide measure (also being challenged in court). Getting the money to put a PR initiative on the state ballot takes beaucoup bucks, which is part of the reason Reed’s been speaking at conferences across the country the last year while rallying support from hedge-fund billionaires like Paul Singer and venture capitalist Michael Moritz. But the topic of one meeting the mayor took last month would dramatically alter his state pension plan.

City Looks to Spend $2 Million to House the Homeless

The City Council on Tuesday will consider a one-year, $650,000 contract with the San Jose Streets Team, an organization that finds work and housing for homeless people who can and want to work.

Rules Considers Ban on Pot Clubs from Contributing to City Elections

Councilmember Rose Herrera’s plan to ban pot clubs from making political contributions to campaigns comes back to the Rules and Open Government Committee today. Plus, Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio wants to make it illegal to declaw cats. And city commentator David Wall says he’s figured out the real story behind the city’s wild pig-shooting ordinance.

Councilmembers Say City Shouldn’t Charge More for ‘Smart Meter’ Parking

Parking prices may double in downtown pretty soon. But a couple city leaders insist there must be a better way to offset the cost of upgraded meters, rather than passing the price-spike down to drivers. Also on the agenda: wild pigs, a construction tax hiatus and a discussion about where to place that long-delayed bond-funded softball complex.

Liccardo Camp Challenges Dem Central Committee on Endorsement, Spending

The Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee is on the fast track to endorse its preferred mayoral hopeful, Dave Cortese. But there are growing concerns that the group’s backing will give that candidate the unfair advantage of bypassing campaign finance laws that apply to individual candidates. Campaign staff of Councilman Sam Liccardo, the fundraising frontrunner in the mayor’s race, challenged the DCC in emails to abide by the same rules governing candidates that prevent unlimited spending in an election.

South Bay Business Owners Targeted by Serial ADA Lawsuits

A serial plaintiff named John Ho has sued scores of South Bay businesses, alleging that they violate the Americans with Disability Act. Ho and another local plaintiff, Cecil Shaw, appear to be using the well-intended ADA laws as a way to make hundreds of thousands of dollars from legal settlements.