Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rent Controls in San Jose

I usually try to avoid doing very controversial or polarizing posts, but in this case I can't resist. A couple weeks ago there was an article posting in the Silicon Valley Business Journal about rent controls. San Jose District 3 (Downtown San Jose) Councilman Raul Peralez is proposing to strengthen rent controls in San Jose, specifically by cutting maximum rent increases to 4% and extending rent control to all buildings constructed before 1995 (right now only buildings built before 1979 are rent controlled and the maximum increase is 8% a year). It sounds good on paper, right?

As an econ major, I can't stress how terrible this idea is. Rent controls do not make escalating rent problems better, they make them worse. Sometimes far worse.

Long story short, rent control is a manipulation of the market where demand exceeds supply (see image below). This isn't a guess or assumption, it's a science. With rent controls, there will be fewer rental options available and a greater amount of demand for those remaining units. The stronger the controls, the greater this effect. If you have ever wondered why 50-100 people are all applying for one rent-controlled apartment in SF, this is it.

You may think that if you are already in an apartment, that this will not effect you in a negative way. That couldn't be further from the truth. The stronger the gap between the market and the current rental price, the more likely your landlord will be doing everything possible to get you out of the building. Likely this will include include minimizing maintenance, refusing to do any improvements, trying to convert multi-family rentals to condos, and a variety of other items that I won't even go into. As soon as your are out of the apartment, you will be hit with far higher rents for lower quality units that more people are competing to get (again, SF). Many people will resort to "black market" apartments or tenement housing. Some will become homeless.

The damage does not end there. Rent controls will reduce the market value of all apartments affected. That means lower property taxes for the City of San Jose, and less revenue for services--including the already strapped SJPD and SJFD departments. Landlords will have less incentive to maintain their properties (in fact the opposite when trying to kick people out), leading to substandard housing and blight in both urban and suburban areas.

Thankfully, it seems like Mayor Sam Liccardo does not share the same sentiment on rent control as Raul Peralez. It's a very difficult topic to stand up to, because most voters will not understand economics and the topic of rent control is completely counter-intuitive. Sorry for the soapbox moment, but I really believe this will cause substantial damage to the rental market as can be seen in every single city around the world with strict rent controls (especially SF and New York).

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Apple and Tesla are Evaluating Expansion to San Jose!

The two hottest companies in Silicon Valley are contemplating expansion to San Jose! It has been a poorly kept secret that Apple is out of room and it's epic 2.8 million SQFT spaceship project in Cupertino will only cover a fraction of the space it needs. To make matters worse for Apple, Cupertino is not allowing any more office construction outside of a limited area round Valco. Reportedly, Apple has been looking at two different major San Jose projects to expand to: 101 Tech on Orchard Parkway (300,000 SQFT) and the Coleman Highline (up to 1.5 million SQFT).

To make things even more interesting, Tesla is also looking at 101 Tech. Whether it would be an expansion of their Palo Alto headquarters or a full move of their HQ is unclear (it would be much closer to the Tesla factory and the office space would cost half as much). In either case, they would be a very welcome addition to San Jose. Tesla actually wanted to create their factory in North San Jose near Aliso, but were not able to secure the state tax credits needed to build in the location.

Either one of these companies coming to San Jose would be a HUGE win. Nate's article is a great read and an excellent way way to start off the week. Grab a cup of coffee and read the full article via the source link below.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, May 25, 2015

Celtic Woman Performing in San Jose on 5/28

Celtic Woman is celebrating their 10th Anniversary with a world tour. They are going to be at the Center for the Performing Arts on May 28th (this Thursday) at 7pm.

If you're a fan of Irish music, then this critically-acclaimed performance is for you. The multi-platinum ensemble will be singing Irish classics like "Danny Boy" and "Mo Ghile Mhear" as well as contemporary takes on "You Raise Me Up" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." For a little preview, check out the short video below. For tickets, head over here.

About Celtic Woman 
In 2015, Multi-platinum Irish music sensation Celtic Woman celebrates the 10th anniversary of its debut with a breathtakingnew show across 80 North American cities through the end of June. The group celebrates a decade of performing a fresh fusion of contemporary and traditional music and dance with an Irish twist that has touched the hearts of millions of fans in America.  The all female ensemble made its debut on PBS in 2005 and has achieved massive success encompassing nine albums that have each debuted at #1 on Billboard’s World Album chart, over eight million albums sold and platinum sales in nine countries.  Their eight PBS specials have ranked among the network’s most-watched music programs and topped the Billboard DVD charts. Celtic Woman has sold over three millions concert tickets, sold out prestigious concert halls across across six continents & 23 countries with an especially devoted audience in America.   Over the past decade, Celtic Woman has performed for three U.S. presidents and made high-profile appearances on the daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful and on Dancing with the Stars.


Celtic Woman performs in San Jose on Thursday May 28 at 7pm at the Center for Performing Arts. Tickets  $39-$99   are available in person at the Box Office by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or online at

San Jose's Outset Medical Raises $60 Million

Outset Medical has developed an in-home dialysis machine called Tablo for those with kidney failure. It would be a huge quality-of-live improvement to be able to do these treatments from home instead of having to go to a dialysis center several times per week. Tablo is capable to purifying regular tap water, creating dialysate, and delivering medication. It does this using a simple UI and dramatically reduces how much time is required for patients to undergo treatment.

Outset Medical has just raised their Series B investment round, which will clock in right around $60 million. That is quite a substantial amount for a young company founded just five years ago. However, this is a $13 billion market and their product already has FDA clearance for clinics and hospitals (they are working on clearance for home use), so it looks like this round is more about scaling and delivering the product rather than creating it.

Outset Medical is located in North San Jose near SJC at 1830 Bering Drive. Check out the short video below for a little bit more information.

Source: MedCity News

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Census Population Chart

NBC Bay Area has a new population chart from the US Census showing San Jose as the 10th US city with a current population of 1 million. I added the word current in there because Detroit had 1.8 million people at it s peak in 1950 and has since dropped to 680,000.

At a growth rate of 1.2% in 2014, that also makes San Jose the 6th fastest growing city in the million club. It would be 3rd if you take out the cities in Texas.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Happy Hour as a Service @ ZERO1 Garage

Now that we have over 110 technology companies in Downtown San Jose, why not have some networking events to keep the momentum going. Well, that is exactly what the Silicon Valley Business Journal is doing. They are hosting a mixer with appetizers and cocktails at the ZERO1 Garage this Thursday between 6-8pm. The event also includes a tour of Whipsaw Inc. (industrial design company working with Nike, Google, etc.).

For more info and tickets, just head over here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

San Jose Greek Festival 2015!

Next weekend is the annual San Jose Greek Festival, one of the largest ethnic festivals in the Bay Area. If you like amazing Greek food, live entertainment, and friendly people, this is a San Jose tradition you won't want to miss. 

The festival is entirely volunteer run and all the food is made using family recipes. The Greek folk dancing will be done by teams that compete nationally (and some have even won first place), and the costumes the dancers wear are handmade and unique to many of the regions in Greece. It's a very authentic experience all around.

During the festival there will be a bunch of giveaways (food, wine, desserts, and CDs). There will also be giveaways leading up the the festival next week over at the Greek Festival Facebook Page.

The festivities are taking place on May 29th (5pm-10pm), May 30th (11am-10pm), and May 31st (11am-9pm). The area immediately surrounding St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (1260 Davis St.) is the epicenter for the event. You won't be able to park anywhere near it, so just get in the general area and follow the music.

Bring a copy of the image below--or pull it up on your phone--for FREE admission! For more info on the event, click here, here, or here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

1st Annual San Jose J-Town Filmfest!

First came Cinequest, then the San Jose Short Film Festival, and now there is a brand new festival for movie lovers. The San Jose J-Town Filmfest will run from May 29th to the 31st at the JTS Northside Community Center and the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. There will be a total of seven screenings, two special events, and multiple Q&As with the filmmakers.

For more information and tickets, just head over here.

San Jose J-Town FilmFest Film Line-up:

Friday  May 29   (Northside Community Center)

7:00pm - Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farmworkers (30min)

Delano Manongs tells the story of farm labor organizer Larry Itliong and a group of Filipino farm workers who instigated one of the American farm labor movement's finest hours :  The Delano Grape Strike of 1965 that brought about the creation of the United Farm Workers Union.

After the film, there will be a discussion and reflection on the 1965 Delano Grape Strike by famed playwright/filmmaker Luis Valdez and Marissa Aroy, the film's director.

8:15pm - Special Live Music Event featuring San Jose-based group Sonido Clash. Enjoy a night of live music, dancing, and food to kick off the first night of the festival!

Saturday  May 30   (Northside Community Center)

11:00 am - Hibakusha (45 min)

An animated documentary/drama directed by Steve Nguyen and Choz Belen, the film centers around Kaz Suyeishi, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. As an older woman, she recalls her most vivid and horrific memories of the bombing when she was a student in Hiroshima.

The filmmakers reached out to Mrs. Suyeishi in order to tell her story using computer animation and hand-drawn techniques. The film utilizes specialized graphic design techniques and 3-D implementation to establish the unique visual animation style.

Film screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Steve Nguyen.

12:45pm- Kumu Hina (77 min)

Kumu Hina is a powerful feature docu-drama that shines light on the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values within the Westernized society of modern day Hawaiʻi. It is told through the lens of Hina Wong-Kalu, an iconic Native Hawaiian figure who is both a proud māhū (transgender woman) and an honored and respected kumu (teacher) and community leader.

A special Q & A with Kumu Hina live via Skype will follow the screening of the film.

3:00pm - Skin Stories (60 min)

Skin Stories is an anthology of stories and stunning images gathered from the hot spots of Pacific tattoo culture. The film offers an insight into how various Pacific Island cultures have reclaimed their deep ancestral heritage of tattooing.

Co-Producer Emiko Omori will appear for a post-screening Q&A discussion.

5:00pm - East Side Sushi (100 min)

Winner of the Audience Award at the Cinequest and CAAMFest film festivals, this critically acclaimed film introduces us to Juana, a working-class Latina single mother struggling to make ends meet.

After landing a job at a Japanese restaurant, Juana is introduced to a completely new culinary experience after observing the restaurant's sushi chefs. A reinvigorated Juana embarks on a journey to become a great sushi chef, determined not to let anyone stop her from achieving her dream.

A Q&A with director Anthony Lucero will follow.

7:15pm - Special Sushi Reception

Join East Side Sushi director Anthony Lucero and other special guest filmmakers for a festival reception with sushi!

8:30pm - The People I've Slept With (89 min)

Karin Anna Cheung stars as a promiscuous young woman who finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy. Determined to find the father, she goes on a comical and raunchy hunt through her past hook-ups in this charming romantic comedy.

There will be a post-screening Q&A discussion with screenwriter Koji Sakai and the female lead, Karin Anna Cheung, after the film.

***Sunday May 31 (Japanese American Museum of San Jose)***

1:00pm - Issei: The First Generation (54 min)

Filmed in and around Walnut Grove, this historical documentary revolves around original interviews with Issei (first generation Japanese Americans) as they recount their lives and experiences growing up in rural California before, during, and after World War II.


Filmmaker Toshi Washizu will appear for a post-screening Q&A discussion.


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