Author: Sonya Herrera (Sonya Herrera)

San Jose code enforcement struggles with backlog of complaints

Steve Brashear’s frustration exploded when he called San Jose’s Code Enforcement division last year to report unpermitted construction. “There just seems to be a lack of responsiveness from the city on all services due to COVID,” Brashear said. While he understands spotty service in the first few months of the pandemic, he isn’t sure why...

San Jose residents propose ideas for community-owned housing

When imagining community-owned housing in San Jose, the first thing that comes to mind for some residents is inclusion. “We want to ensure we include very low-income, extremely low-income and those who have no income,” said Delma Hernandez, an organizer with South Bay Community Land Trust, Latinos United for a New America and Next Door Solutions....

Why does San Jose close Roosevelt Park during Cinco de Mayo?

Last year was the worst Cinco de Mayo that Corena Medina ever experienced. “It was a complete wreck,” said Medina, a resident of the Roosevelt Park neighborhood. “Literally, smoke filled the air from all the (tire) burnouts.” For at least the last 15 years, San Jose has fenced off Roosevelt Park during the week of...

San Jose building department sees revenue decline during pandemic

One of San Jose’s most powerful city departments is just beginning to recover from a pandemic-driven decline in revenues—but some operations still lag behind. When Santa Clara County’s shelter-in-place order went into effect last year, leaders in the city’s Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department described a chaotic situation. “Once they shut down, everybody went...

San Jose unites to support undocumented immigrants, workers

At San Jose’s May Day march on Saturday — organized in tandem with Papeles Para Todos, a campaign to secure rights for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants — one message resounded above all: unity. “Everybody comes here for the opportunity for a better life,” said Mauricio Carrera, who attended the downtown rally. “Unless you’re indigenous...

Can San Jose reduce its pension debt by issuing bonds?

As San Jose prepares its annual budget proposal, one factor looms larger than any other: Pensions. As of June 30, San Jose had $3.5 billion in unfunded liability—pension debt owed to city retirees that’s not covered by the return on investments made by the city’s two retirement plans. The city’s retirement plan for police and firefighters...

San Jose Google project one step closer to reality

More than three years after Google set its sights on San Jose, a major milestone occurred Wednesday for its plan to build a massive campus in the city’s urban core. The San Jose Planning Commission unanimously approved Google’s proposed 80-acre campus at its evening meeting—moving the city’s largest land use project another step forward. “I...

San Jose Sharks take another bite out of Google development proposal

The San Jose Sharks say they want 4,800 parking spaces in exchange for their approval of Google’s proposed downtown campus—nearly 2,000 more than what the city promises to maintain during construction. The team took a bigger bite out of the the city’s development agreement with Google on Sunday, posting a newsletter that urged fans to contact the...

Silicon Valley transit agency anticipates net losses over next decade

Facing net losses over the next decade, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority plans to spread more than $180 million in federal COVID-19 relief over several years—which transit riders say endangers the agency’s operations. “If VTA does not provide high-quality service as the county reopens, we risk disillusioning our riders and returning to a death...

San Jose Sharks oppose Google development agreement

The San Jose Sharks are taking a bite out of Google’s plan to build a massive downtown campus. The NHL team voiced deep concern with the city’s development agreement with Google for its proposed campus, saying efforts to preserve parking near SAP Center are inadequate. “The city and Google are heading down a path that...

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