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January 9, 2020 measure e

Measure E May Include Nonprofit Exemption

San Jose lawmakers met Wednesday at a council committee meeting discussing possible nonprofit exemptions to Measure E. Mayor Sam Liccardo proposed exemptions, but their nature requires further discussion.

Measure E, an initiative set for the March ballot, imposes a real property transfer tax on properties worth $2 million or more. Initially, the measure’s inclusion ignited considerable debate among councilors. Ultimately, their vote confirmed its inclusion on the upcoming ballot with an 8 – 3 vote. Councilmembers Johnny Khamis, Dev Davis, and Sergio Jimenez made the three no votes.

Their concerns focused on the elderly. They argued many retired residents wrap their retirement up in the equity of their home. Therefore, imposing a tax on its sale eats into their retirement funds. However, 98% percent of homeowners don’t meet the primary criteria for the tax. Additionally, the tax burden splits between homebuyer and seller, ensuring those with considerable equity won’t lose it.

Their second primary issue concerns the placement of the tax funds. Because the funds go directly into the general fund, they argue there’s little accountability they’ll be used for their intended purpose: housing initiatives.

To combat this, the proposal includes accountability measures dictating a 60-day window and 2 public hearings prior to a rerouting of funds.

Polling suggests a favorable public reaction to the measure.

Possible Nonprofit Exemptions to Measure E

The exemptions for 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations proposed by Mayor Liccardo include philanthropic intentions. He calls for exemptions on all property transfers made for affordable housing.

Nonprofit organizations already have exemptions for donated properties. The remaining question is what carve-outs to apply when nonprofits purchase property valued at or in excess of the $2 million dollar threshold.

Potential solutions include exempting nonprofits so long as the intended use benefits affordable housing or improving economic equity, and exempting nonprofits altogether.

Further deliberation will determine the final language of Measure E.

December 16, 2019 amber alert

Amber Alert Resolved, 2 year-old Rescued

An amber alert that went out at 2:17 AM Monday morning has been resolved, Mercury News reports. Thanks to public response to the amber alert, police were able to retrieve the child safely.

The ordeal began late Sunday night when police responded to calls of a woman screaming. They arrived at the 500 block of South 11th St where the suspect, 24 year-old Victor Magana, had assaulted the girl’s mother. After stabbing the woman, critically injuring her, Magana fled with their 2 year-old daughter, Bethanie Carraza.

Police arrived after Magana fled, discovering the injured mother. Without known whereabouts, California Highway Patrol issued the amber alert to enlist the help of the public in finding the 2-year-old child.

Citizens Engaged by Amber Alert

After pulling into a gas station in Cambria, 200 miles away from the initial crime scene, civilians recognized Magana’s 2007 Hyundai Sante Fe from the amber alert. After observing the toddler within the vehicle, they decided to take action.

Despite warnings of an armed suspect, the individuals engaged with the suspect’s car. In an effort to detain him, they pulled their cars around his to prohibit his escape. Then they called the police. Authorities arrived to detain Magana and rescue Bethanie.

“The child is safe. That was our primary concern,” Sgt. Enrique Garcia of the San Jose police force said after the search was over. Garcia gave the initial press conference when the amber alert was issued, appealing to Magana to return the child to safety. “He can’t change what happened, but he has the ability to at least not harm the child, and do what’s right and release her,” Garcia said.

The alert, pushed to 15 counties, accompanied signs along Bay Area freeways. The decision to issue the alert proved vital in returning 2 year-old Bethanie Carraza to safety.

The mother remains in critical condition from at least one stab wound.

November 18, 2019 toddler killed by vehicle

Toddler Killed by a Turning Vehicle

SAN JOSE, CA – On Sunday afternoon, a 2-year-old boy ran into the street, and as a result, the toddler was killed by a turning vehicle.  

According to police reports, the incident occurred around 2:39 p.m. The toddler was killed on Banff Street and Danube Way, near the intersection of Interstate 680 and Highway 101.

Moreover, as stated by public information office Enrique Garcia, the little boy was standing in between two parked cars as his family was packing up their car. Shortly after, the 2-year-old darted into the street. At the same time, a 2018 Dodge pickup truck traveling westbound turned the corner onto Banff Street and struck the child.

Consequently, the boy was rushed to a hospital nearby. However, the toddler was pronounced dead shortly after. As of yet, his name has not been released. Though, it will be announced once the Santa Clara County coroner’s office confirms the 2-year-old boy’s identity.

Also, it should be noted that alcohol, drugs, and speed were not causes for the crash, stated Garcia. In fact, the driver behind the wheel of the Dodge stayed at the scene until cops arrived. The driver is also cooperating with investigators.

Apart from this, the toddler marks the 45th collision in San Jose that has resulted in death this year. In addition, it is also the 20th pedestrian vs. vehicle casualty so far in 2019.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Detective Michael O’Brien of the San Jose Police Department’s Traffic Investigations Unit at (408) 277-4654.

October 15, 2019

San Jose Police Investigating Hit-and-Run

SAN JOSE, CA – A felony hit-and-run which occurred in downtown San Jose has resulted in a police investigation. The hit-and-run which ensued early Sunday morning at 12:30 a.m. was captured on a cell phone.

According to San Jose State student Jamal Turiali, he was on his way to a nightclub when he witnessed two groups of people arguing at the crossroads of South First Street and West San Salvador. Shortly after, he saw a car speed out of nowhere, hit a man, and take off.

Turiali also tweeted the video from his Twitter account. The video captured the pedestrian being slammed into the ground and sliding underneath a parked truck.

However, the BMW SUV did not stop the pedestrian from sustaining wounds. As a result, he was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. 

Moreover, Turiali expressed how shocked he was to witness a hit-and-run right before his eyes.

According to onlookers, the driver was traveling northbound on South First Street before making a left turn onto West San Salvador.

Turiali believes the driver wanted to hit the person given the amount of speed and acceleration of the vehicle.

Also believing this to be true is Quest Hills of Tac-oh! San Jose, where the incident took place. Their assumption is that one of the friends may have been trying to stop the fight, however, it was not the appropriate way to do so.

Police are now reviewing surveillance video from the restaurant. 

Additional onlookers reported the man was hit from behind hard and didn’t see it coming.

Furthermore, the case has been classified as a felony hit-and-run. There is still no description of the driver. However, the suspect was driving a newer BMW SUV with tinted windows at the time. Authorities have not provided a license plate number.  

September 13, 2019 San Jose Museum

Man Steals ATM From San Jose Museum

SAN JOSE, CA – An ATM belonging to a San Jose museum recently tuned up on the side of a highway. The automated teller machine which was stolen from the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum was discovered in Monterey County on Highway 101. According to authorities, the ATM was taken from the San Jose museum over a month ago by a man claiming to be a technician.

Furthermore, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office informed the museum that they had retrieved the stolen ATM. As a result, the museum contacted the San Jose Police Department to report the burglary.

Moreover, officials from the museum informed police that on August 7 a man carrying a clipboard walked into the museum pushing a dolly. Further adding that the man said he was a technician and was sent over to service the ATM.

According to Officer Gina Tepoorten, the man posing as a technician put the ATM on a dolly and wheeled it out of the museum. Not only did the man walk out with ease, but the museum was oblivious to the fact that a theft had even occurred until they were made aware by the sheriff’s office.

Additionally, police have yet to make an arrest as no suspects have been identified at the moment.  

However, anyone with information about the stolen ATM should contact the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP (7867). In addition, they can be reached at svcrimestoppers.org as well. Moreover, those who leave tips may be met with a cash reward.

August 8, 2019 fire car crash

Deadly Multi-Vehicle Crash in San Jose

SAN JOSE, CA – A fiery car crash in San Jose has resulted in one death and two people injured. Firefighters were quickly called to the scene of the collision.

The crash, which involved a total of four vehicles occurred on Highway 101, in the northbound lane.

Moreover, the two survivors in the crash were transported to the hospital for treatment. However, details pertaining to their injuries have yet to be released.

However, according to the San Jose Fire Department’s Fire Captain Brad Cloutier, all four vehicles were destroyed in the fire.

The crash report came in around 3:29 a.m. Firefighters were quickly notified of the crash that occurred south of Highway 85, just north of Bailey Avenue. However, all four vehicles had already caught fire and were destroyed.

Moreover, Cloutier further expressed how unique this car crash was. He stated that vehicles don’t typically catch on fire when they’re in a collision. He also added that for this to have happened is rare, but for it to have happened to all four vehicles is unique.

Furthermore, five of the six highway lanes were shut down for most of the early part of the morning. However, after 8 a.m., all lanes were reopened. Still, major traffic delays remain.

Therefore, authorities are urging motorists to take alternate routes to avoid delays. Monterey Road and Santa Teresa have been cleared as an option for commuters. Additionally, Caltrain is also another good method of travel.

July 8, 2019 San Jose Crash

San Jose Teen Wounded in Possible Drive-By

A San Jose teenager was rushed to the hospital after surviving a gunshot wound possibly stemming from a drive-by near Old Kings Road South on Sunday afternoon. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the teen victim Manrique Lopez-Salas was found in front of an apartment complex near several shell casings.   

Additionally, two apartment units were hit during the shooting. One belonging to Lopez-Salas and his family. Fortunately, no one was home at the time of the incident. Due to a language barrier, the family’s neighbor spoke with police to translate their concerns.

“They went shopping, to buy groceries when this happened. But when they came back, they left because they were scared,” he said. Lopez-Salas’ works most of the day while his family is left alone at home.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to the shooting in the 7100 block of Old Kings Road South at 1:15 p.m. Once authorities arrived, they discovered a male in his late teens who was visibly suffering from a gunshot wound.

As a result, the victim was taken to a local San Jose hospital where he was treated for his injuries, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Even though Lopez-Salas is expected to make a full recovery, the aftermath of the shooting has plagued both him and residents at the apartment complex with heightened concerns about the safety of their neighborhood.

Consequently, he is now afraid to leave his wife and children at home, due to the uncertainty that a tragic incident like this won’t happen again. While Lopez-Salas is thankful for today, he’s fearful of tomorrow.

A motive and suspect(s) are still unclear; however, authorities believe it was a drive-by. Contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 if you have any information regarding this shooting.

June 4, 2019

Apple Developer’s Conference a Financial Windfall

SAN JOSE, CA – Apple’s World Developer’s Conference is invading downtown San Jose. In fact, this is the 3rd consecutive year the city has been host to the event.

According to San Jose’s Office of Economic Development, the event injected $9 million into the city in 2018.

“During the conference time around lunch time it’s ridiculously busy. Coffee back-to-back. Food flying out the door,” said Kevin Pham, who works at Caffe Frascati on South First Street which is located near the convention center.

At this year’s conference Apple announced a new Mac Pro as well as other software upgrades. In attendance were upwards of 8000 engineers, coders and support staff from all around the globe. They all descended on downtown San Jose for this yearly event.

This event is Apple’s largest tech event every year. For the longest time it was held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Unfortunately, according to executives, the distance just became too much for the Cupertino based company to deal with.

“They need a thousand engineers to support this event and they were having problems getting them up to San Francisco. It became a logistics nightmare,” said Tim Bajarin, President of Creative Strategies.

It was only 3 years ago when Apple made the call to move the conference to San Jose. Here, the event has really thrived at the McEnery Convention Center.

Originally there were worries that San Jose wasn’t big enough but those issues have been addressed in many ways. For instance, when hotel rooms were all occupied, San Jose State provided empty dorm rooms to event attendees.

Not only has the event been a big success in San Jose but many agree this is the ideal location because it’s where all the big tech companies are located: Google, Facebook, and many others.

April 29, 2019 Evicted

Housing Crisis Hits Home, Councilman Evicted

The rents in Silicon Valley are ridiculously high. This is no secret. But the point is really driven home when even elected officials aren’t safe from being evicted. And this recently happened. San Jose Councilmember Raul Peralez and his family after were evicted after the landlord decided to offload the property and then retire.

Peralez and his family, which includes a six-month old son, have now had to move into a new home that runs $600 a month higher than their old home.

“My wife and I would love to have a lot more options – a place like our last place, a bigger place. But we couldn’t find any sort of location that was affordable,” Peralez said.

Peralez went on to discuss how depressing the search for a new place was. They’d previously been paying $2400 a month for a three bedroom house. Now they pay $3000 a month for a townhouse that’s much smaller and doesn’t have a yard.

Plus, the search was made even more difficult, because the family has two dogs. So with limited options already, this further narrowed their list of choices. The situation with the councilman truly reinforces how serious the housing problem is. Ultimately, the incident highlights what little value the city places on its population as now one of city leaders has been displaced.

Ironically, San Jose has been often criticized for not doing enough to promote more housing and to protect the rights of tenants, though Peralez was known as one of the more staunch supporters of these issues. Yet, here is a victim.

The Tech Business Impact

Peralez now has seen firsthand some of the deeper problems when it comes to housing. During his search he noticed how most of the listings appealed to the wealthy, tech demographic. In fact, a lot of it is a direct effect of Google who’s building new buildings in the area. The market is clearly reaching out to people who’ll be working there.

For Peralez the biggest issue is the notion of people who’ve lived their lives here being priced out. He contends that an elected official should be able to afford to live in the downtown area of the city he’s representing.

March 29, 2019 rape

San Jose Man Breaks In, Attempts Rape

SAN JOSE, CA – Local authorities on Thursday arrested a 25-year-old male suspect for breaking into a Canoas Garden home. Furthermore, once inside the man then attempted to rape the female resident asleep in the home.

San Jose Police officers were immediately sent to the residence which is located at the 900 block of Ironwood Drive. It was around 4:20 a.m. when the report of a man sexually assaulting a woman in her bedroom initially came in to the station. Finally, Officer Gina Tepoorten verified this information.

Officer Tepoorten said that when San Jose police showed up at the residence the suspect, identified as Richard Hernandez, was still inside the home. According to the police report, the woman did not know the suspect previously. For now, this looks like a random breaking and entering without premeditation.

The suspect, Richard Hernandez was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on multiple charges. Included among them was sexual battery, assault with intent to commit rape, and burglary.

Police ask that anyone with information about this incident, or possibly related ones, to contact Detective Frank Montoya at 408-537-1382.

If you prefer to leave an anonymous tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP or svcrimestoppers.org. Cash awards for tipsters may apply depending on eligibility.

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