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January 18, 2021

Barack Obama Boulevard is a Newly Named Street

Barack Obama Boulevard is the new addition to San Jose’s Streets. The announcement recently made by Mayor Liccardo who was joined by Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, members of the Barack Obama Boulevard Committee. 

Barack Obama Boulevard Proposal

The Barack Obama Boulevard Committee and aided by Mayor Liccardo and Vice Mayor Jones originated a proposal to rename portions of Bird Avenue, South Montgomery Street, South Autumn Street, and North Autumn Street to Barack Obama Boulevard. It was unanimously approving at a recent council meeting. In fact, renaming this prominent portion of San Jose’s street will honor the service, leadership, and legacy of the 44th President.

Former President’s Legacy

In fact, different messages to each of us are what the legacy of President Barack Obama to the millions of children, a promise of America’s limitless possibility, to those with greying hair, a symbol of progress along the big arc from the nation’s history of racial injustice, said Mayor Liccardo.

Moreover, Barack Obama represented a model of leadership that rose above the petty politics of the moment. This is from my own first meeting with the then-Senator. He lifted the gaze of an entire nation in its most bleak moments. In fact, we hope that his legacy will inspire future generation as he has inspired our own. The many community members have urged that we name this street.

A Pioneer and Great Leader

Former President Obama’s accomplishments are well renowned. So the renaming celebrates these valuable assets he gave to grateful Americans during his tenure in the White House. It included universal health, climate action, marriage equality, and economic inclusion. Did this all through leading by example, President Obama, through his measured, principled, and inspiring leadership. Serving a reminder to residents that there is hope in these trying times is the symbol of San Jose’s new boulevard.

Former President Barack Obama’s Leadership and Service to All

The leader of our city, today, in San Jose, does join with the community. With one voice, to recognize President Barack Obama for his amazing leadership and beyond capable service to all. Therefore, working together for the betterment of all is important, said Hellen Sims, Barack Obama Blvd Committee Chairperson. I’m also today thinking of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he said ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.’

December 28, 2020

KBS Sells its Massive, Expansive Building for $50.5 Million

KBS on Monday has sold a 96,502-square-foot building at District 237. This is an eight-building, 415,492-square-foot, Class A office/R&D complex in San Jose, California. It is owned by KBS Real Estate Investment Trust II is at 350 Holger Way. It was sold to Thor Equities for $50.5 million. KBS is one of the largest investors in the premier commercial real estate in the nation.

KBS Building is Located on the North San Jose Submarket of the Silicon Valley

Formerly known as Corporate Technology Centre, District 237, is North San Jose submarket of the Silicon Valley. This area in Northern California is thought to be highly popular among office users. So says Giovanni (Gio) Cordoves, Western regional president for KBS.

KBS Property is in a Key Growth Market of the United States

Cordoves says North San Jose is one of the key growth markets in the U.S. He explained it was because part of those markets because it is adjacent to several Silicon Valley cities. They have tight vacancies such as Palo Alto and Mountain View. In fact, tech tenants like North San Jose. This is for good value in comparison to more higher-priced markets. Therefore, it’s easy to see how investors prize District 237 so much, even the fact, we are in the midst of a pandemic, Cordoves further explained.

Three-Story, Steel-Frame Building got a Remodel

A three-story, steel-frame building. It was overhauled in 2019. It is leasing through 2027. This building showcases broad glass lines and efficient floor plates. It has an outdoor amenity area. In addition, it has upgraded exteriors, landscaping and parking lot.

350 Holger Way has Superior Construction and Welcome Amenities

The 350 Holger Way includes best-in-class construction and attractive amenities. This is due to KBS’ important, current capital investment in the property. In fact, it is gearing for a positive risk-adjusted return in this submarket, said Brett Carroll. Carroll is an asset manager for District 237. He is also the senior vice president of KBS. Silicon Valley Class A office market is where the asset is. It is the best-performing markets in the country. In fact, it foretells well for the ongoing health of this property.

December 1, 2020 housing

Housing for Middle-Income Workers is the City’s Goal to Increase

Housing for Middle-Income Workers Needs to be Addressed by the City

Housing for middle-income wage earners, such as firefighters and teachers have often left out San Jose’s home equation. This is the focus of a new effort discussing at City Hall.

Homes for Middle-Income Workers Financed Through Bonds

Moreover, government purpose bonds to finance affordable homes could be the solution for middle-income earners. This is according to Councilmember Johnny Khamis said the city that becoming a member of the California Community Housing Agency (CalCHA).

It’s a Win for the People and the City Itself

“It’s a win for the people who are looking for affordable homes and a win for the city,” Khamis said. “It is because the city hasn’t built a single new low-income housing unit for a couple of years. Not a single one.”

The City has Fallen Short of Producing Workforce Housing

Although the city has approved housing for people in very-low income brackets, such as seniors and the homeless, Khamis said the city has fallen short in producing workforce housing for people earning 80% to 120% of the area median income (AMI).

“This program is exactly what we need and in the right time,” Khamis told San José Spotlight. “We see a lot of homelessness and everybody wants to solve that issue. Teachers, mechanics and restaurant workers are getting sidelined because they’re making a gainful living. They have being neglected.”

Therefore, CalCHA helps those who earn too much to qualify for traditional affordable homes yet not enough to live comfortably in the communities they work, said Scott Carper, program administrator for CalCHA.

Vince Rocha said CalCHA offers another tool in the toolshed of affordable homes. San Jose isn’t meeting housing demands. Rocha is a senior director of housing and community development of Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

“Otherwise, we’re leaving a whole segment of our workforce and residents out of the equation when we’re talking about affordability,” Rocha said.

CalCHA finances projects that provide, preserve and support affordable housing. Issuing governmental purpose bonds is key. Private investors buy California tax-free municipal bonds at favorable rates.

November 24, 2020 Christmas

Christmas Holiday Season To Be Met With A Likely Corona Vaccine

North America is fighting the terror that is the COVID-19 horror of 2020. In hindsight, we probably saw this coming a year ago this month. And did nothing to stop it. For shame… Luckily, the holiday season is approaching, and if there’s anything good to come from it, it’s a likely cure! (Or at least a limited edition vinyl press of The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.) This could be a great Christmas!

This is supposedly a merry and bright way of yuletide cheer. However, it could be helpful and it could be hurtful. This has the potential to make way for disaster in the food chain of supply chains. Don’t you wish Christmas truckers only had popcorn chains to be afraid of?

That’s the chilling message given by Paul Kroes. He’s the market insights leader for North America’s Thermos King. For years, they’ve condensed transportation industry data from several sources to indicate a challenging fourth quarter for a bothersome 2020.

The leading causes are 80,000 fewer drivers than last year and holiday hoarding, which means less stock on the shelf due to a combination of holiday demand and factories still recovering from shutdowns could cause consumer panic. Furthermore, holiday gatherings could spread the infection and create the need for more shutdowns.

Usually, when push comes to blow and there’s no bust but only snow, most carriers can only have a little distance to really go. And it’s not the extra capacity to handle the holiday crunch that’s got the industry fatigued. Yet, you know trouble is about to go down when months of waging war on COVID-19 becomes something like a “severe imbalance,” which spot rate data still staggeringly supports. Just look at what happened before! The last time spot rates were overtaken by contractual or fixed prices, trucking was experienced a never before known “Trump bump” in 2018, once the administration overtook the tax cuts that simply swept the nation.

November 10, 2020 residential sites

Residential Project Sites Could Turn into 200 Units of Affordable Housing

Residential project sites could produce more than 200 units of affordable housing. In fact, the affordable housing would be east of downtown San Jose near a future BART stop in what is the Bay Area’s largest city.

Residential Project Sites Are a Step Toward the Completion of the Affordable Homes

With the purchase of one of the two sites by a residential developer, this is a major step forward for the completion of the affordable homes. This is according to Santa Clara County property documents filed on November 6th.

They are located near the corner of East Santa Clara Street and North 21st Street. This is according to public records and the webpage of First Community Housing.

Affordable Housing is Near Mass Transit and Foot Traffic

According to Geoffrey Morgan, this is a great area for affordable housing. Morgan is the president of the San Jose First Community Housing. This organization’s principal mission is the development of affordable residences. Morgan says the residences have services, are transit, and pedestrian-friendly.

Purchased Properties for Affordable Housing

First Community Housing, acting through an affiliate called Stone North, has purchased the property at 995 E. Santa Clara St., county documents have shown. Moreover, the firm paid $5.5 million for the parcel, according to property records. Housing Trust Silicon Valley gave the financing for the purchase.

In addition, South Bay Sports Training & Batting Cages now operates on the site, which is approximately 0.4 acres.

Moreover, First Community Housing which already owns an adjoining parcel at 21 N 21st St. That lot, which is about 0.5 acres, is vacant.

Expanding the Supply of Housing Which is a Pressing Need for the Communities

“We want to increase our housing supply where it’s pertinent,” Morgan said.

Therefore, the two adjacent housing sites that First Community currently owns are east of downtown. Moreover, they are within a short distance from a BART station targeting to rise near Five Wounds Church.

Residential Sites Turned Into Affordable Residences

“We are getting good feedback about these projects,” Morgan said. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to continue to serve the Roosevelt Park neighborhood.”

Together, the two projects would develop into 205 affordable residences once done:

— At 995 E. Santa Clara St., First Community Housing intends to develop 125 affordable residences, Morgan said.

— The 21 N. 21st project would consist of 80 affordable residences, according to Morgan. The potential name is Roosevelt Park Apartments.

“Everyone understands how severe the housing crisis is right now,” Morgan said. “People are being generally supportive of our projects.”

October 22, 2020 outdoor dining

Outdoor Dining Downtown Crackdown

Outdoor dining service early Saturday night, October 3rd, was shut down. It was done by the police. This upset Downtown San Jose restaurants and businesses with San Jose officials over this move.

San Jose is now tweaking its Al Fresco program. They want to allow restaurants to use public outdoor spaces to stay open later. That would be in time for this weekend’s dining.

Outdoor Dining Services Faces Restrictions yet Again

The San Jose Police Department’s new downtown patrol team paid a “surprise” visit to restaurants on San Pedro Street in Downtown. They informed the restaurants to revert back to a previous policy with restrictions. The city’s Al Fresco program requires they wrap service to customers in public outdoor spaces by 10 p.m.

Earlier this summer, the street closed to vehicular traffic. It was under the city’s Al Fresco program. In fact, the street is one of the downtown area’s most popular nightlife centers. In turn, this program allows restaurants there to open up more tables for outdoor dining. The San Jose’s Al Fresco program states businesses could only serve customers in the newly-transformed outdoor spaces until 10 p.m. Yet the rule wasn’t enforced.

Restaurants are Trying to get as Many Sales as They can

Rachel Kaiser said they have never had cops come in. In turn, try to shut that down yet. Kaiser is the general manager of the District. This is a restaurant on San Pedro Street. Kaiser added they want to try to get as many sales as they can. Plus, she said additionally, closing something down on a busy street like ours is not something we’re going to do until we have to.

Urgent Letter to San Jose City Manager David Sykes

The Silicon Valley Organization and the San Jose Downtown Association said restaurants felt surprised at seeing law enforcement officials. As a result, they shut down their outdoor dining operations early. This was especially ironic after the county was moving to the state’s less-restrictive Orange Tier for reopening. This was in a letter to San Jose City Manager David Sykes on Monday. Therefore, the two business advocates urged the city to take “immediate action to allow local restaurants to serve customers now.” Because soon the winter season will soon come. In turn, they will lose this opportunity to save their local, small businesses.

October 5, 2020 tax break

Tax Break Extends On Small Business Licenses

SAN JOSE, CA – The pandemic has hit small businesses hard. Out of any strand of commerce, mom-and-pop shops are under siege the most. With fewer customers entering from an already competitive market, there’s big losses ahead for these local spots. Therefore, in recognition of this traumatic time in American history, the San Jose city council wholly agrees to expand a tax break throughout the town. However, with the understanding that the tax break will expand. This is an offer that all small businesses will enjoy heavily.

The tax, that business owners pay annually to receive licenses ranges from $203 to $163,745, which is dependent on the quantity of workers employed by the business.

And it’s not like things have been any easier as of recent. Recently, 6,000 businesses in San Jose would become eligible for the exemption.

There’s certain hoops to jump through however. For starters, to qualify, the business must meet one of two income requirements. So long as the owner makes nothing more than $51,040 in annual income. On top of that, the city will extend the schedule for business taxes from 3 months long to 12 months long.

The result of change would show about $1 million less in taxes being up-for-grabs. That’s, by the way, a rough four percent of the city’s adoptive budget from 2020 to 2021.

It’s times like these that make me wonder how my own family could survive in such economic turmoil. Oh the inhumanity! But, at least the money is finally going back to to their rightful business owner.

This reminds me how my uncle was all about his burger shop called “Super Burger.” It was supposed to compete with the big regional chain, Colombian Burger, but alas. That wasn’t what exactly was going to happen but it did feel cool to have somewhere to hang out. In any case

September 15, 2020 homeless

Homeless Swept Under the Rug in CA

Once again, the homeless are encountering sweeps. This is even despite of the COVID-19 moratorium.

One minute the homeless are invisible to the mass majority. Without shelter, they are condemned to paper-thin tents as if it were a night of a camping for some folk. This isn’t the case.

The next minute, the city is kicking them out?

Without shelter, the homeless lack basic human needs. They thought their encampments were going to be untouched during this time. This gave them somewhat of a peace of mind.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that the cities leave homeless tents untouched. This would hopefully prevent the spread of the disease.

This was until city officials made a decision to deem such encampments as dangerous. These decisions were made after officials made promises to not touch the homeless. These officials are from the Bay areas including San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco.

But instead, officials choose to focus on dispersing the homeless rather than providing basic needs. They claim that they will offer further services for them, but will it be enough? Will it be the bare minimum?

Shaunn Cartwright, an advocate and volunteer outreach worker based in Santa Clara County says:

“Sweeping people at all during the pandemic shows a complete lack of humanity toward the people, and a complete ignorance of the CDC recommendations regarding unhoused people and the virus.”

A City Manager, Deborah Feng, says:

“I just hope that people know that what I’m trying to do is difficult and that we’re trying to do it with as much compassion for everybody as possible. We’re doing our best in these trying times.”

How is it difficult to invest in housing for human-beings, our neighbors?

August 19, 2020 pg&e

PG&E Leaves Thousands Without Power

San Jose, CA – PG&E – the area’s largest energy company is currently experiencing a blackout. This is leaving thousands without power or electricity through the hard summer months.

The area is currently experiencing some of the hottest days of the year. With many children starting to return to school after COVID-19, many are wondering if it is still a good idea.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic and we cannot even stay at home comfortably,” said Luis Ortiz, a downtown San Jose resident. “The heat is unbearable and losing electricity during this critical time is not acceptable.”

As for insight as to what may have caused the blackout, that question still remains. While thousands are still currently without power, PG&E released a statement.

“We don’t have a confirmed cause at this time so unfortunately there’s no estimate for restoration,” Guidi said. “But again, our crews are currently investigating.”

PG&E offers Power For Many Staying At Home During COVID-19

One of the biggest and most common reasons for power outages in the area is due to heat. It is a hard cycle. For one, most people are heavily using their air conditioners and staying inside to stay cool. While many are still under stay-at-home procedures, they are finding that their home is presenting its own dangers.

The company has released information to help families while they figure out a solution and get power back on time.

  • Plan ahead: Check the weather forecast to prepare for hot days.
  • Keep an emergency contact list: Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Have a buddy system: Check-in on the elderly or people with access and function needs.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty.
  • Stay cool: Take a cool shower or bath and wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing.
  • Be safe: Stay out of direct sunlight and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
July 15, 2020 california schools

California Schools Question Reopening in COVID-19

The state superintendent has warned California schools to reconsider reopening. Many schools resume their academic year as soon as August. This gives districts as little as four weeks to come up with a functional plan for Fall. And though many miss in-person instruction, experts warn against reopening too quickly.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond suggests that fully remote learning is the safest choice. “I think that if school opened tomorrow, most of our districts would open in distance learning. And that is a decision that I think is a good decision if conditions don’t change right now.”

Conditions have, unfortunately, already changed.

California Schools in Changing Times

A month ago, the California Department of Education released guidelines for a safe reopening. They wrote 62 pages of suggested regulations. But that was then and this is now. “Since we’ve issued our guidance, conditions have changed dramatically,” said Thurmond. “We know that in many communities throughout our state we’re seeing high rates of infection in the community.”

Both Los Angeles and San Diego recently announced that they will be doing distance learning in the Fall. Districts in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, have followed suit. Thurmond appears to support this. “As we’ve always said, safety is paramount. If it’s not safe to do so, schools shouldn’t reopen in a way that would put students or staff in harm’s way.”

Given that many teachers fall into the at-risk age groups, unions are considering the safety of their workers when they weigh in. Additionally, many students live with older parents or grandparents. And if one student or staff member tests positive, it could prove difficult to quarantine all that came in contact with them.

The current hope is to begin with remote learning and move to in-person classes as soon as it is safe to do so.

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