Tuesday, October 17, 2017

2017 General Plan Annual Review Report

On Wednesday, October 11, the Planning Division presented the 2017 General Plan Annual Review Report to the Planning Commission. This report details how well the City is achieving the Major Strategies of the General Plan. Sound boring? It’s not! This report contains a ton of interesting data including building permits, jobs and population numbers, and described multi-departmental initiatives intended to better San José. Some highlights from the report include:
  • The jobs-to-employed-resident (J/ER) ratio is 0.80, meaning that San José has 0.80 jobs per employed resident. In contrast, Palo Alto has 3.29 and Mountain View has 1.92 jobs per employed resident. San José’s low J/ER ratio plays a large role in contributing to the City’s poor fiscal health and heavy traffic.
  • San José has approved 10 Urban Village Plans, including three recently approved this year. Six plans are currently under development by the Urban Village Team in the Planning Division.
  • There are 342 miles of bikeways within San José: 285 miles of on-street bikeways and 57 miles of off-street trails.
  • Office vacancies in downtown San José are down to 11%, from 23.6% in 2011.
  • San José has 200 park sites totaling over 3,500 acres of parkland.
  • Currently 77% of San José residents commute by standalone vehicle, with only 4% taking public transit. San José seeks to reduce residents driving alone to work to 40% by 2040
-Kimberly Vacca

Monday, October 16, 2017

East San Jose mixed-use development

The eastside is finally getting some development love. A 10.6-acre property at 641 Capital was sold to a developer earlier this month for $30 million. The land is already entitled for 188 condos, a medical office building, a commercial/retail building, and a mini-storage building. 30 of those units would be "E-homes" or "environmentally friendly homes" and include solar panels and electric car charging stations.

The homes would be 3-story townhomes, probably not the density we would hope for it would be an improvement for the area. Retail would clock in at 10,000 SQFT in a two-story building at the corner of the project and there would also be a 28,000 SQFT medical office building right next to it with an art plaza between them. A four-story 70,000 SQFT storage building would be placed on the opposite end of the project and provide some extra buffer from 680 noise. A one-acre park with a playground, orchard, and community garden would round out the project.

It is nice to see a mixed-use development of this size being planned for East San Jose. Downtown and North San Jose are getting most of the attention right now, but other San Jose districts are going to evolve as well.

Source: SVBJ (subscription required)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sonic Runway exhibit coming to City Hall on November 3rd

A 432-foot-long art piece that was originally built for the Burning Man festival will soon be visiting San Jose. Lights inside of large rings change and pulsate to music as you can see in the video below. Sonic Runway will officially be introduced to the public on November 3rd at 6pm outside of City Hall. This is just one of four Burning Man art pieces that will be coming to San Jose over the next few months.

Source: SJ Economy

Thursday, October 12, 2017

San Jose has the fastest-growing economy in California

The San Jose metro continues to grow despite already having one of the most booming economies in the US (and perhaps the world). The Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy (CCSCE) released a report last month showing that our GDP--essentially how productive each worker is--increased faster than any other region in California.

We grew our local economy by 5.9% while SF grew by 5.4%, Sacramento came in at 3% and LA at 2.1%. While this is a great indicator for jobs and salaries in the area, it also will continue to put upward pressure on housing costs. Overall this is a big win and shows that we are still on an upward trajectory.

Oh, and there was also a random fun fact in the report. If the Bay Area was a country (not Califonia, but just the 9-county Bay Area), we would have the 18th largest economy in the world just behind Turkey and surpassing the Netherlands.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Y2K International Live Looping Festival opens in San Jose on October 18

If you happened to stop by the October South First Friday, you might have noticed some live looping performers near Anno Domini. That was just a small preview to the main Y2K main festival that is set to start on Wednesday, October 18.

Y2K is the first and longest running live looping festival. This year it's Y2K17, and will bring a number of international artists to San Jose:

Otros Cronopios (Mexico)
ecNegru (France)
MIDI_Pipe (Mexico)
CIAN (Mexico)
Philippe Ollivier (France)
Entertainment for the Braindead (Germany)
Laura Stavinoha (Netherlands)
Martin Janíček (Czech Republic)

The venue will be Anno Domini once again. This is the first leg of the festival, which continues in Santa Cruz for the weekend. Not sure how to expect? Here's a clip from the 2014 festival that demonstrates live looping.

For more information, visit the festival website.

-Lawrence Lui

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

AR and Human Anatomy Tango at The Tech Museum

An unprecedented new AR experience is coming to San Jose!

The Tech Museum of Innovation is proud to present Body Worlds Decoded – putting a Silicon Valley twist on the world-renowned plastinated human bodies exhibit through Gunther von Hagens’ Institute for Plastination.

In partnership with the Institute for the Future, The Tech created the Iris AR system, which allows visitors to view and interact with 3D models and virtual objects including a heart, eyeball, digestive tract and skull. Imagine walking all the way around a beating heart floating in front of you through the AR lens, or, wandering around an eyeball and optical nerve, and then being able to step inside for an internal view.

Funded by Ann and John Doerr, Body Worlds Decoded opens October 15, 2017.

For more information on Body Worlds Decoded, visit thetech.org/bodyworldsdecoded.

-Noe Sacoco

The Tech Museum of Innovation reinvents Body Worlds exhibit with unprecedented augmented reality experience

The Tech will premiere Iris, a custom AR experience that allows visitors to examine anatomy like never before, in Body Worlds Decoded, opening Oct. 15.

SAN JOSE, CA – October 10, 2017 – The Tech Museum of Innovation will open a new exhibition, Body Worlds Decoded, on Sunday, Oct. 15. This groundbreaking experience uses augmented reality (AR) and other emerging tech to put a Silicon Valley spin on Body Worlds, the display of plastinated human bodies that have sparked curiosity and awe around the world. The Tech will also debut Iris, its custom AR system that allows visitors to examine organs and body systems through immersive graphics.

“Body Worlds Decoded is an experience like no other, and it is only fitting that this blending of nature and technology should be celebrated in Silicon Valley,” said John Doerr, the chairman of Kleiner Perkins who with his wife Ann is contributing $5 million to The Tech to make the exhibit possible. “Ann and I are thrilled to help bring this experience to life, and it is our dream that it will inspire youth and contribute to a greater understanding of the life sciences.”

In partnership with the Institute for the Future, The Tech created the Iris AR system, which allows visitors to view and interact with 3D models and virtual objects including a heart, eyeball, digestive tract and skull. Iris uses ARtifactor content authoring and management software developed by IFTF and runs on the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, a Google Tango-enabled mobile device. The Tech will add new 3D models, animations and other content to the 5,000-square-foot exhibition, so visitors will always have something new to discover.

“This is the future of museums —  AR is about to transform how we interpret our world and how we approach education,” said Toshi Anders Hoo, lead AR consultant and director of the Institute for the Future’s Emerging Media Lab. “The Tech has emerged as a leader in the exciting AR movement, offering a whole new world of immersive technology that will influence museums and exhibitions globally.”

The Tech aims for Body Worlds Decoded to become Northern California’s premiere public anatomy lab as well as an AR testbed. Teachers and professors will be able to take biology lessons out of the classroom, and doctors can recommend a visit for patient education. The AR industry will also be invited to use the exhibition to prototype advances in software and hardware with the community.

“Body Worlds Decoded is one of the most ambitious and exciting anatomy experiences ever created,” said Tim Ritchie, president and CEO of The Tech Museum of Innovation. “The human body contains so many mysteries, and the implementation of AR and all of its capabilities stands to provide valuable clues in unlocking those secrets and inspiring the next generation of advances in medicine and physiology.”

In Body Worlds Decoded, displays of real human bodies — eight full-body plastinates and more than 60 individual specimens — will help visitors explore the smallest organs to the most complex systems, including nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, urinary, reproductive, digestive and locomotive. They can participate in live demonstrations of Anatomage, a 3D virtual dissection used at the nation’s top medical schools. Body Worlds Decoded also explores the artistic side of anatomy with installations of art inspired by the wonder and mystery of the human body. Pieces by local artist Lauren A. Toomer will be displayed, and visitors will be invited to create their own artwork.

“The human form has intrigued artists throughout history,” said Lisa Incatasciato, Exhibit Content Developer at The Tech. “Despite technology giving us a more accurate look, there’s still something mysterious and inspiring about creating your own visual interpretation of the body. You don’t have to love anatomy to enjoy this exhibit, but we bet you’ll appreciate it before you leave.”

Body Worlds Decoded opens Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, and is set for an unprecedented 10-year run at The Tech. The bodies and specimens were preserved by Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ Institute for Plastination, which created BODY WORLDS exhibitions to help people better understand the human body and its functions.

For more information on Body Worlds Decoded, visit thetech.org/bodyworldsdecoded.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum — located in the Capital of Silicon Valley — is a non-profit experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech for Global Good, The Tech endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Microsoft looking to build a 1M SQFT campus in San Jose

The latest big tech company to take a serious look at San Jose is none other than the 800lb gorilla from Seattle. Microsoft has purchased close to 65 acres of "farmland" in North San Jose bound by 237, Zanker Road, and the Coyote Creek. They want to use the space to build either 1.2 million SQFT of light industrial space or a 436,880 SQFT data center and 728,000 SQFT of light industrial space.

Either of the options on the table would not bring as many jobs and tax dollars to the city as a traditional office complex, but it would be a great foot in the door as Microsoft currently has zero presence in San Jose proper. Microsoft has 1,600 employees in the area, but most are in Mountain View. With a grand total of 71,000 employees, San Jose could provide a viable opportunity to move more of their workforce into the tech capital of the world. They would be in good company as both Google and Apple and considering significant operations in San Jose.

Source: SVBJ (Subscription Required)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Mom's Gift

Who: The Tabard Theatre Company presents
What: The Northern California Premiere of Mom’s Gift
   Written by Phil Olson
When: Friday, October 27 through Sunday November 19, 2017 (See schedule below)
Where: Theatre on San Pedro Square, 29 N. San Pedro Street, San Jose, CA 95110  (Parking is validated for most performances at the San Pedro Square Garage directly across the street)
Why: Everyone deserves a do-over. In this comedy with a heart, Mom has been dead for eleven months and shows up at her husband’s birthday party as a ghost with a mission. Like Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life, she has to accomplish a task to earn her wings.

Tickets: $32 - $44
Cabaret Seating: $42 - $44  
* Tiered Seating: $30 - $32 
* (Discounts available for seniors and students)

Performance Schedule:
Friday, Oct 27 @ 8:00pm (Opening Performance)
Saturday, Oct 28 (1:30pm to 2:00pm. Free hands-on presentation for visually impaired patrons. Everyone is welcome.)
Saturday, Oct 28 @ 3:00pm
Sunday, Oct 29 @ 2:00pm
Friday, Nov 3 @8pm
Saturday, Nov 4 @ 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday, Nov 5 @ 2:00pm
Thursday, Nov 9 @ 8pm
Friday, Nov 10 @ 8:00pm
Saturday, Nov 11 @ 3:00pm
Sunday, Nov 12 @ 2:00pm
Thursday, Nov 16 @ 8:00pm
Friday, Nov 17 @ 8:00pm
Saturday, Nov 18 @ 8:00pm
Sunday, Nov 19 @ 2:00pm (Closing Performance)

Director: Doug Baird
Cast: Rebecca Brownson Ray D’Ambrosio, Christian Hosler, Elizabeth McClelland, Heather Skelley, Amanda Vogel, and Charlotte Jacobs as Mom.

In this comedy with a heart, Mom has been dead for 11 months and shows up at her husband’s birthday party as a ghost with a mission. Like Clarence in It’s A Wonderful Life, she has to accomplish a task to earn her wings. Only what the task actually is, is a mystery. There are so many things to fix. The problem is complicated by the fact that the only person who can hear or see Mom is her daughter who has been ordered by the court to spend Dad’s birthday with him as part of her Anger Management Program. One by one the family's secrets are peeled away revealing a shocking truth that surprises even our ghost.     

Mom's Gift was first produced at the Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles, California, in December, 2013. It has won accolades from numerous competitions and festivals across the United States. Playwright Phil Olson is well known for his hilarious “Don’t Hug Me” play series.                

“An audience pleaser! …an always engaging, funny evening of love and laughter.” — Stage Happenings

“A crowd pleaser! …Mom’s Gift demonstrates playwright Olson’s gift at creating the kind of old-fashioned feel-good comedy that hardly gets written anymore…”  — Stage Scene LA

"If you love the comedy “It’s a Wonderful Life” this modern variant by playwright Phil Olson is just for you!” — Theatre Spoken Here

Theatre on San Pedro Square (The Destination for Arts Discovery) is located in the heart of historic San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose amid a bustling restaurant district. This intimate and unique venue brings a touch of Manhattan to the South Bay with its rustic yet edgy feel. Old brick walls, plush leather seats, antique wood plank floors, sweeping red velvet drapes and a 35-foot mahogany bar create a casual cabaret atmosphere. The full bar also offer a variety of food choices that may be enjoyed while watching the show.

For every production, The Tabard designates a local non-profit, that is in some way related to the theme of the show, to receive a portion of its concession proceeds. The designated non-profit for MOMS GIFT is Girls @ The Tech, a program of The Tech Museum which provides a pipeline of opportunities for girls that nurtures their interest, builds their skills and solidifies their confidence in STEM with the ultimate goal to dramatically increase the participation of girls in STEM activities and women in STEM careers. https://www.thetech.org/generationtech/girls

The Tabard’s mission is to provide live entertainment experiences that are enlightening, appropriate and affordable for audiences of all ages. We champion new works, innovative interpretations, and unique plays rarely staged. Tabard is an inclusive environment where the community can participate in every aspect of the plays, musicals, educational programs and music concerts we produce. With altruistic attention to the underserved, Tabard reaches out to communities such as the visually impaired and children in low-income areas, and donates a portion of each production's concessions proceeds to a designated local charity. 

The Tabard Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) California Corporation.