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Ford GoBike Launches New Dockless Bikes in San Jose

dockless bikesFord has launched a new line of dockless bikes called Ford GoBike in the city of San Jose.


This week, the city is filled with 200 new dockless bikes everywhere. The bikes that were launched in the past are not dockless. People would have to pick up and drop off the bikes at docking stations in the city.


Now, people can leave their bikes anywhere they go. However, the bikes can only be in the service area which starts from the Guadalupe River and goes all the way to Coyote Creek, as well as the South Bay Freeway all the way to Trimble Road.


The goal of this project is to make bike sharing more efficient and easier so more people start using them throughout the city.


You can find these dockless bikes by using the Ford GoBike app on your phone. The costs are the same as the docked bikes.


The cost of these bikes ranges from $2 to $150 depending on the time limit. A 30-minute ride would cost $2 and an annual membership costs $150, which allows bikers to use the bikes for 45 minutes as many times as they want in a day. For low-income bikers, an annual membership would cost $5.


Ford GoBike partnered up with the city of San Jose and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to launch this project.


The main advantage that Ford GoBike has over its competition, Bird and Limebike, is the support from the city.


San Jose is slowly developing more bike lanes throughout the city. The project is called Better Bikeways.


Locals are responding positively about the new car-free options for the city. With Ford GoBike’s new launch of the dockless bikes, residents of San Jose can get around easier and fast than before without the need of a car.

The Site Near the Google Downtown Village Bought by a Veteran Developer

google san joseA veteran developer has bought a building perched on a downtown San Jose site. That is the existing property for development near a transit village that Google has proposed.


Dinapoli Family LP has bought a parcel at the corner of South Almaden Boulevard and Park Avenue, which is near the Google village, Adobe’s office campus, hotels, restaurants, the Center for the Performing Arts and the Tech Museum.


According to Santa Clara County property records, the buyer has paid over $11.5 million for the site at 200 Park Ave., on May 31.


The new owner is an affiliate of JP DiNapoli, whose president is veteran Bay Area developer John DiNapoli. The seller was 200 Park Avenue, a group controlled by developer Terrence Rose.


At present, the building is damaged by the graffiti and window frames covered with plywood.


Nevertheless, the property’s corner location, along with the prospect of being next to a Museum Place proposed the development of offices, hotel rooms, and residences, meaning that it certainly is ripe for redevelopment.


“Is it a hotel site? Is it a residential site? It could be either,” Ritchie, president of San Jose-based Ritchie Commercial, a realty firm, said. “It’s a little too small for an office building. But this is a great place to build.”


Ritchie is familiar with the parcel because, in 1997, Ritchie arranged the sale of the site to Rose. According to Ritchie, Rose had grand plans for the property.


“Terry Rose wanted to build a luxury hotel in downtown San Jose, he tried for years to get it off the ground,” Ritchie said. “He wanted it to be a Nob Hill type hotel, and we even looked at San Francisco buildings to see how a hotel could be built there.”


Whatever might be built there, observers believe the location is among the best in downtown San Jose.


“It’s a prime corner, it’s an important development site, a great location,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive of San Jose-based Silicon Valley Synergy, a land uses a planning consultancy.


“The scale of that intersection is Parisian, it’s an extraordinary site,” Ritchie said.


Nearby, some key developments are scheduled to emerge in the coming years.


Mountain View-based Google plans a transit-oriented community of offices, homes, retail, and restaurants, a development of 6 million to 8 million square feet where 15,000 to 20,000 of the search giant’s employees could eventually work in downtown San Jose near the Diridon train station and the SAP Center, an entertainment and sports complex.


Adobe Systems intends to expand its 3-building downtown San Jose headquarters campus by adding a 4th office tower on a lot adjacent to the tech company’s existing complex.


“This is the beauty of where downtown San Jose is, with the Google bounce,” Staedler said.


Silicon Valley-Based Self-Driving Vehicle is a Game Changer

The 17-month-old Silicon Valley-based startup first tested its self-driving vehicles on public roads in September 2017. By year’s end, two of the world’s largest automakers — VW and Hyundai — had seen enough to select Aurora to provide their self-driving car software.


In February of this year, it signed a similar partnership with Chinese electric vehicle maker Byton. (No financial deals have been revealed so far from Aurora).


Sensors’ data is being used on Aurora’s self-driving software, such as cameras and radars, to perceive the world around it, and then plan a safe path forward.


The company’s ascent hasn’t just been fast, it’s bucked the trend of automakers holding Silicon Valley at arm’s length.


california self driving carsWaymo, the self-driving arm of Google (GOOG)’s parent company, had already driven its self-driving cars 3 million miles on roads before Aurora did a lap around a block. But Waymo has moved slower to strike deals with carmakers.


Automakers know self-driving software is vital to their future. But Ford and General Motors have brought self-driving startups in-house rather than partnering with a tech company. (GM acquired Cruise, and Ford bought a majority stake of ArgoAI.)


A startup can’t disrupt a company if it owns all or most of it.


Yet it appears automakers trust Aurora, convinced it’s a friend, not a threat, so it remains independent. Automakers have pointed to long-running relationships with Aurora’s founders and a shared mission and culture.


Exact details on profit sharing aren’t resolved, but neither side has seen that as a problem, co-founder Sterling Anderson previously told. Their confident things will be worked out.


“Great partnerships are built on trust. Aurora is a very trustworthy team,” Volkswagen Chief Digital Officer Johann Jungwirth told earlier this year.


One secret to Aurora’s success is the star power of its founding team: CEO Chris Urmson, Chief Product Officer Anderson, and Chief Technical Officer Drew Bagnell. Urmson previously led Google’s pioneering self-driving car program. Anderson ran Tesla’s Autopilot team and Bagnell lead perception at Uber’s autonomous vehicle program.


In 2007, Urmson played a leading role on the winning team in the DARPA Urban Challenge, a government-sponsored self-driving vehicle competition that helped spur the technology’s development.


The self-driving industry is forecast to be worth trillions of dollars. Potential riches have triggered an explosion of startups and have drawn new talent into the field.


Amid the gold rush, Aurora has focused on personal character. Its values include “no jerks” and “operate with integrity.” Aurora says it’s motivated by the chance to save millions of lives.


When a notable hire from SpaceX was recently brought on, Anderson tweeted about his “impeccable character.”


In its hiring process, Aurora is deliberate about looking for red flags, such as a person who is overly concerned with themselves or may do things that aggrandize themselves but may not benefit the company.


“It’s not exclusively that this person is incredibly bright, or this person was able to solve this or that problem,” Anderson said. “We’re serious about working alongside people whose values and motivations you can trust.”


Californians Have Lost $10 Million to IRS Impersonation Scams: How to Avoid Scams

california tax deadlineAs millions of Americans file their taxes, sophisticated crooks are aiming to steal from hard-working taxpayers.


You’ve likely heard of the IRS phone scam. You may have even been a target yourself: a mysterious caller claiming to be an IRS agent tries to convince you that you’re in big trouble with the U.S. government.


“These scammers rely on intimidation”, California-based IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino said. “They’re threatening arrest; they’re threatening a lawsuit; they’re threatening other things,” Tulino said.


The only way to avoid arrest or a lawsuit, the scammer will tell you, is to pay them immediately – often with gift cards, a wire transfer or other dubious means.


Unfortunately, it often works. Californians have been conned out of at least $10 million to IRS agent impersonators, more than any other state, according to the Treasury Department.


Taxpayers should ignore any calls or emails claiming to be from the agency, Tulino said. “The IRS does not send uninitiated emails,” he said. “We do not make random, threatening phone calls out of the blue. First correspondence with the IRS is normally a letter in the mail.”


  • The IRS will never demand you pay by wire transfer, gift cards or prepaid debit cards.
  • They won’t ask for credit card information over the phone.
  • If you get a call or email you suspect is coming from a fraudster, you can report it to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General.


Another scheme on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” tax scam list for 2018: fax tax preparers. Taxpayers should be especially cautious when hiring someone to take care of their taxes.


Ruth Godfrey with the National Society of Accountants offered some practical advice: “You wouldn’t go to a hot dog vendor for medical advice, hopefully,” she said. “You shouldn’t be taking tax advice from a non-tax professional.”


Californians are protected by a state law that licenses tax preparers, according to Godfrey. “In California, if you’re going to charge a fee for doing a tax return, you have to have a valid credential,” she said.


You can check the credentials of any tax preparer yourself at the California Tax Education Council website.


If you’re doing your own taxes, make sure the software you’re using is IRS approved. If your household income is under $66,000, you can use “Free File” software at For households with income over $66,000, there’s an option to file for free, but you’ll need to fill out the forms yourself.


You’ll also need to make sure your internet connection is secure, with up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer.


The deadline to file your taxes this year is April 17.  April 15 falls on a Sunday this year, and April 16 is a holiday for federal employees in Washington. And if you can’t pay what you owe the IRS by Tax Day.


Over 400 Immigrants Facing Deportation in Southern California

California ImmigrationLOS ANGELES, California — More than 100 people have been arrested by federal immigration agents over the last few days across seven Southern California counties. It is the start of a promised focus on immigration enforcement in the state.

Dozens of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are searching for roughly 400 immigrants in the region who could face deportation, as part of a week-long ongoing operation, the agency said.

ICE said most of those being sought have serious criminal records, while others are suspected of crimes or have previously been ordered to the leave the U.S.

Thomas Homan, ICE’s deputy director, promised to intensify immigration enforcement efforts in California after Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed a law limiting California law-enforcement officials’ cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

“California better hold on tight—they’re about to see a lot more deportation officers,” Mr. Homan said in a January interview. “If politicians don’t protect their communities then ICE will.”

David Marin, ICE’s top deportation official in its Los Angeles office, said his officers are targeting serious criminals who pose a potential threat to public safety.

Teams of about eight agents have been knocking on apartment and house doors around the region since before dawn Sunday.

Critics of ICE’s increased enforcement efforts in the interior of the country have said the agency is casting too wide a net and routinely arresting immigrants whose only offense is being in the country illegally. Under the Obama administration, ICE agents and officers were told to arrest only the most serious offenders.

In some cases, immigrants in the country illegally who weren’t being targeted were also arrested, after immigration agents encountered them while searching out others.

Mr. Marin said priorities for arrests still exist, but his agents can’t ignore someone they encounter who don’t have the government’s permission to be in the U.S.

“Right now we are enforcing the law and we will continue to do that until there are changes in the law,” Mr. Marin said.

He said officers from ICE’s fugitive-operations teams make such visits on a near-daily basis, but this week’s effort was larger than normal.

“Tom Homan has called out California and promised more enforcement,” Mr. Marin said. “We have more enforcement teams out than usual.”


Why are California’s Wildfires so Dangerous?

The Southern California blazes spreading through Ventura and Los Angeles areas are among the out-of-control wildfires residential communities have seen in the decades.

California’s fires are unusual in several ways. Comparatively, they come late in the year when the weather conditions do not have a potential to fires, and some have grown up in the middle of dense urban areas typically far from fire zones. California’s unusual wildfire activity comes largely due to dry conditions in the region and the state’s Santa Ana winds.

Between October and March, the Santa Ana winds are a common occurrence in Southern California as warm air blows in from the desert leading to blustery days in the region. At their most powerful, the winds can wreck destruction throughout the region, knocking down trees and power lines. The wind’s heat also helps dry vegetation, making it easier to burn. And when there is a fire, the winds can also transport flames quickly spreading the fire from place to place.

California WildfireThat is what scientists say happened in Southern California in recent days as at least four serious fires spread in scattered locations across Ventura and Los Angeles counties, prompting thousands to evacuate and freeways like the 405 to partially close. The Santa Ana wildfire threat index, which measures the potential for the winds to spread fire, ranked the threat level at high or extreme on Thursday from just south of Santa Barbara to the Mexican border.

The hot and dry weather in the region has also contributed to the rapid spread of California’s fires. This year was the second hottest on record when measured halfway through the year. And downtown Los Angeles has received just 0.11 inches of rainfall since the beginning of October.

Lingering over recent California fires is the question of long-term climate change. Hotter temperatures dry out vegetation, making them easier to burn, and scientists say vulnerable regions like California should expect a spike in wildfires in the coming decades as temperatures continue to rise. The effect of climate change on the Santa Ana winds remains uncertain, though a 2006 study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters suggested that warming could move the blazes’ season leading to bigger areas burned by flames.

Still, even as humans continue to stem climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions at a pace scientists say is too slow to adequately address climate change, a bunch of policy changes can reduce the impact of wildfires like those affecting Southern California from changes in land use patterns to making better use of controlled burns.

But Southern California’s fires should be a wakeup call.

Gun Control: The New Measure Could Require Locking Up Guns at Home

SAN JOSE — The Bay Area’s largest city could pass a law requiring gun owners to lock up their firearms when they leave the house — a new gun control measure for stricter than state legislation, two weeks after a man gunned down 59 people at an outdoor Las Vegas concert.


The idea is under consideration Tuesday by San Jose city councilmen Ash Kalra — now a state assemblyman — and Raul Peralez. In addition to requiring gun owners to lock up their weapons when they are not home, they would need to place them in a lock box in unattended cars, report theft within 48 hours and ammunition vendors would need to keep records of sales.


But new state legislation last year covered many of those gun control policies, except locking up firearms when an owner is not home. The San Jose City Council on Tuesday will debate that policy, which some experts say could be difficult to accomplish. And now Perlez — joined by Councilman Chappie Jones — wants to go further. They want gun owners to secure firearms inside the house even when they’re home.


San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley have the same safe storage gun laws.


The lawmakers said in a joint memo that nearly 1,300 children die and 5,800 are injured in gun-related incidents every year. They said a gun is stolen every two minutes in the United States and 38 percent of suicides by gunfire are committed by kids under age 17. Nearly half of the country’s fatal suicides are done with guns.


Peralez, a former San Jose police officer who just rejoined the force as a reserve, owns a gun and has a covered weapons permit. He said he respects the Second Amendment and people’s right to bear arms, but the country’s founding fathers never predicted: “a civilian possessing 47 guns, which would include over a dozen high-powered rifles” used to carry out the country’s deadliest mass shooting in Las Vegas.


“With such high numbers of gun-related deaths, homicides and suicides, gun safety measures and precautions are more important than ever,” they wrote.


Irena Olender, a member of the Safe Cities Coalition, a group formed in 2016 to draft the policy, said guns should be a treat for “public health issue.”


“We want people to realize that guns in the house are dangerous and they need to be secured so they’re not accessed by kids,” Olender said. “People can secure them with something as simple as a trigger box — not even a lock box.”


But Tony Napolitano, a Republican attorney, said safe storage laws have the opposite effect: They often increase violent crime, he said, because criminals are emboldened knowing the victim doesn’t have easy access to their weapon to defend themselves.


“It allows criminals to become more brazen because they know the guns will be locked up,” he said. He added that the policy also allows them to be victimized twice — police become aware that a gun owner’s firearm was unsecured when they respond to a burglary or other property crime. Then the gun owner could be cited for an unlocked weapon. “It puts them in the position of being punished for being the victim.”


Other gun advocates have said it takes too long for a gun owner to unlock a trigger lock if they are attacked. Olender does not buy that argument.


California Lawmakers Want To Move Forward With Adding A Third Gender Option On Drivers’ Licenses

California law makers want to add a third gender option on drivers’ licenses. The purpose of this is to accelerate the process that people go through in order to change their sex on their birth certificate without going through an actual sex change.

California State Senators support and sponsor the “Gender Recognition Act”. This act is in support of adding a “non-binary” to the list of male and female genders on documents used for state identification.

Toni Atkins, who is the State Senator of San Diego, stated “Our society is becoming more enlightened every day about gender identity”. “It’s time for our state to make it easier for transgender Californians and those who don’t conform to traditional notions of gender to have state-issued identification documents that reflect who they truly are.” She also added: “This bill will help them avoid the discrimination and harassment that too many of these residents face in their daily lives.”

Under California law, it is required that an individual who is seeking to change their birth certificate must show proof of appropriate clinical treatment regarding gender transition coming from a doctor.

This new legislation would allow people to change their gender without a hearing and would remove the requirement mentioned above as long as no objection is filed.

San Jose To Address The Homeless Problem

The council of San Jose is seeking for the solution to the homeless problem. They are considering various controversial solutions to get homeless people off the streets. The scheduled public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 5, when the council will debate various measures.

homeless problemLast year a large homeless encampment, so-called “The Jungle”, was dismantled, leaving 5,000 homeless people scattered around the city. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo says that it is a serious issue that requires a lot of tools to be solved.

A number of measures have been proposed to solve the problem. One of them is providing homeless people with temporary housing in manufactured homes on Evans Lane. Another proposed solution is permanent housing at an apartment complex on Senter Road with 162 available units.

The complex was approved by the planning commission but was appealed by the area residents. While Mayor Ricardo understands the concerns, he is positive permanent housing is a safer solution to the homeless problem. Homeless people are already living in the area on the streets and it will be a better solution to get them housed.

Another proposed option is to build an encampment sanctioned by the city following Portland’s example.

The less controversial option is to offer $5 million to landlords for capital improvements to house homeless veterans.

San Jose Downtown Gets New Hospital

San Jose Downtown has been waiting for a new hospital to replace the closed one for 12 years, and finally thousands of patients got a new country-run hospital. The old hospital was shut down due to rising costs in 2004. Fortunately, the residents of the area will soon be provided with services that have long been missed.


On Monday, June 13, the Valley Health Center Downtown will open its doors with an urgent care center where patients with non-life-threatening will be provided with all the required care. The facility will be open every day 8 am to 10 pm.

More services are to be added, such as pediatrics, gynecology, primary care, radiology, as well as a lab and pharmacy. The three-floor building is located at East Santa Clara and North 17th streets. 200 employees will be helping the patients, including 37 doctors and nurses. The estimated annual number of patients is 30,000 with approximately 90,000 visits every year.

A community even to raise awareness among the area residents about the new available services is scheduled for Saturday, June 11, and will start at 9 am.