Sarah Winchester’s Legacy of Shopping Centers and Cinemas

The ghosts could just as easily be hiding out at Louis Vuitton at Valley Fair or Gucci at Santana Row.

Mobile App Aims to End Hunger, Food Waste in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley has joined a nationwide push to feed the hungry with uneaten food that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Oakland A’s-San Jose Lease Deal Goes before City Council

Five years since signing a lease agreement with the hope of relocating the Oakland A’s to a new ballpark in downtown San Jose, the City Council is poised to renew the land-holding deal for another seven years. Still, prospects of the team moving 40 miles south remain uncertain.

Team San Jose Doubles Revenue Goals

Team San Jose, the city’s tourism and facilities management agency, vastly exceeded gross revenue goals last year. In 2012-13, the decade-old nonprofit generated $23.8 million—more than twice the projected target, according to an annual audit up for review at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Also on the agenda are plans to bring a music stage to St. James Park, a citywide financial audit and a discussion about changing building height requirements around the San Jose airport.

The Redemption of Cindy Chavez

In what may turn out to be one of the most expensive races ever for a local county office, Cindy Chavez has captured the District 2 Supervisor seat held by her disgraced former ally, George Shirakawa, Jr. The victory places the largest county government in the global home of leading edge technology—from Teslas to Google Glass—firmly in the hands of an old-fashioned political machine; a classic one that delivers votes, wins elections, rewards its followers and dispenses benefits. Over the next two years, the board will vote on billions of dollars in employee compensation contracts—the county spends $3 billion a year on salaries, benefits and pensions—for the members of the unions who returned the former San Jose city official to public office.

Council Set to Raise Pot Club Taxes

The City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to pursue a tax hike on medical marijuana collectives, bumping up fees to the maximum amount allowed under the voter-approved pot club tax Measure U. Also on the council agenda for Tuesday: an update on measure B litigation and a new incentives agreement for Team San Jose.

Mayor’s 2013-14 Budget Targets Public Safety Wages, Restoring City Services

Mayor Chuck Reed’s top priorities in a cautiously optimistic 2013-14 budget proposal, released Friday, include restoring public safety salaries and city services. How does he plan to do it? Good question.

Council to Discuss Budget Survey, Team San Jose, Prop 8 Brief

A phone survey found that San Jose residents wouldn’t mind paying more taxes if it improved public safety and city services that have been cut in recent years. City leaders will hear a report of those findings at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Also on Tuesday, the council will discuss a disputed $350,000 bonus for Team San Jose and whether or not to join San Francisco’s Prop 8 amicus brief that is going before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Council to Discuss Card Room Crime

San Jose’s casinos increasingly require more police attention, according to an annual audit of the two permitted card rooms going before the City Council. Other items on the agenda include an update on Measure B litigation and an audit of Team San Jose.

Fire Chief to Report on Response Times; Survey Questions Racial Biases of Police

San Jose’s fire chief, William McDonald, will present a verbal report along with a 46-page written report about the department’s response times—and failure to accurately report them—at Thursday’s Public Safety, Finance and Strategic Support Committee meeting. Also on the agenda is a survey that finds San Jose police officers are about as racist as the rest of local citizens—which isn’t a good thing—and a report on crime around the city’s two casinos.