Saturday, April 30, 2016

Space Battle San Jose 2016 happening today

I never cease to be impressed by the long list of creative events that keep on popping up in San Jose. Today there is basically a giant lightsaber battle going on in Downtown San Jose. Due to a Lucasfilm lawsuit, they can't actually call it a lightsaber fight--but we all know that is exactly what this is.

The "space battle" goes down tonight at 8pm in St. James Park and part of the proceeds will benefit the Bay Area chapter of Make-A-Wish. For more info (including a video clip), keep reading.

Massive “Space Battles” Set to Explode from Coast to Coast this May

The charitable mock battles will see glowing sword-fighting to benefit 6 local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapters in 4 states

Tour forced to change its “Lightsaber Battle” name by legal settlement with Lucasfilm  

THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2016 -  Following on the success of their December event tour, which saw 10,000 people come together to have massive battles with glowing weapons, Toronto-based arts organization Newmindspace plans to go even bigger with “space battles” from San Jose to Boston this May. The events are all free, but participants can register online at for $10 to receive a glowing sword, and each tour stop benefits the local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapter by donating a portion of the proceeds.

“We are excited to get back on the road, put on some huge, family-friendly events, and raise money for the amazing work that Make-A-Wish does,” said Kevin Bracken, tour co-founder. Along with co-founder Lori Kufner, the pair have been organizing free, all-ages events such as giant pillow fights, bubble blowing parties and subway celebrations around North America since 2005.

The tour was recently forced to change its name from “The Light Battle Tour” by a legal settlement with Lucasfilm, which is now owned by Disney. Lucasfilm believed people would too ​​easily confuse the name and the glowing swords offered by the tour with “lightsabers.” The new name of the tour is Cats in Space Tour, and instead of each event being called a “Light Battle,” they will be called Space Battles. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume, whether that is a character from their favorite sci-fi universe, or with cat ears and whiskers.

The May tour will see events in San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Grand Rapids, and Boston between April 30th and May 28th.

April 30 - San Jose to benefit Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area
St. James Park, 8 PM - 11 PM
Register: ​
Facebook: ​

Cats in Space Tour 2016 Teaser from Newmindspace on Vimeo.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Roughhouse sketch comedy show returns to San Jose

The Roughhouse is a sketch comedy group based in the Bay Area. Formed by Jimmy Snell, Marisa Hankins and Brandon Arnold in 2012. The Roughhouse has brought its carefully cultivated madness and mayhem to numerous venues and festivals, including SF Sketchfest and ShortLived.

Originating as a late night offering at the ComedySportz Theater in San Jose, The Roughhouse quickly outgrew their late night time slot and has performed sold-out shows at venues throughout the Bay Area. You can watch The Roughhouse on the first Saturday of every month at PianoFight Mainstage in San Francisco.

The Roughhouse is having three nights of homecoming shows celebrating their return to San Jose starting today. All Shows take place at the Black Cat Licorice Theater on 260 McEvoy Street near Downtown.

Ticket info:

Dirty, Dirty Comedy from Roughhouse Comedy on Vimeo.

Rock-N-Cook 2016

How does listening to live music while feasting on a gourmet 6+ course meal sound? Rock-N-Cook is a new event that brings together great music and fine-dining caliber food in an intimate location. The menu will be revealed soon and the bands will be announced this Sunday. Tickets cost $100, which is not cheap but is reasonable based on the food that was served last year.

For photos from the 2015 inaugural event, click here. For more details and tickets, head here.

Updated (4/29):


A little over half a year ago, Lucas Gordon got in a car and drove from the East Coast to the West in pursuit of his passion. He began performing his music live around the San Francisco Bay Area and quickly gained notoriety for his down-to-earth disposition, dexterity on guitar, and his catchy and insightful songs. With roots in blues and influences like Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, James Taylor, etc., he ultimately wants his lyrics to connect with those that, like himself, are constantly wondering if they’re doing this whole thing right.


Chef Matt’s “Appe-teasers”

Gravlax with dill mustard dressing on rye
Goat cheese and sun-dried tomato galette
Gigandes bean salad with frissé and citrus

Chef Baudi’s Menu

Potage cultivateur
Tasty vegetable soup

Pan fried cod fillet with vinaigrette sauce
Nice fish dish for warm summer days!

Beef Bourguignon with Mousseline
French style beef stew with creamy potato mash


Profiterole à l’orange
French pastry with a delicate orange cream filling

Crème brûlée
Scorched vanilla cream

VIP Additional Apéritif Riche

Smashed pea and asparagus toast
Celeriac and tart apple salad
Hummus cucumber cups
Bacon wrapped shrimp skewers with Asian bbq sauce

Baked Camembert with rhubarb compote

Talented Swiss Chef Baudi and San Jose Promoter Barb Rocks are hosting our second unforgettable music and pop-up dining experience!

Rock-N-Cook features a unique and delicious gourmet meal served between two sets of spectacular music by two popular Bay Area bands, that will not only entice your taste buds, but satisfy your musical desires, and leave you hungry for more!

Join us for this exclusive event on Saturday May 21 from 3-8pm for only $100 per person, with VIP option available for an additional $50 which includes best stage viewing, priority serving, a dedicated server, valet parking, and a drink on us!

Bands performing will be announced by May 1st. This event will be filmed and made into videos for YouTube.

This event is all-ages, though bar service is limited to those 21+. Drinks are an additional cost and no outside food or drinks are allowed.

Our menu will be up in early May, but we can guarantee some delicious, mouth-watering dishes you'll definitely enjoy!  Current plan is to serve 6 courses plus some delicious appetizers to start off this tasty experience.

If you have specific food allergies or a special diet, then please let us know, though we might not be able to accommodate specific requests.

Individual Bios

Marco Baudenbacher (aka Chef Baudi) started his culinary education at Hotel Splügenschloss ('82-'85) in Zürich, Switzerland, from which he went on to be a culinary professor at the prestigious Belvoirpark Hotel Management School ('85-90). He worked as the Executive Chef at Roxy Restaurant, Bar & Club ('91-92), then started his own restaurant, bar/club, and catering business called Goodies ('92-present). He's also been the CEO of a 5 Star Grill-Restaurant in Zürich, Restaurant Easy in Ascona, La Gazza Trading Inc. in Zürich, and Hotel Du Lac (a 3 Star hotel/restaurant/pub) in Zürich. His varied experience and talents with food preparation has garnered a great reputation in the Swiss culinary world, and even led to the creation of a special "Goodies sauce" with distribution from famous spice maker Knorr.

Barbara "Barb Rocks" Wahli manages some of San Francisco and San Jose's most well known rock bands and is the Vice President of Artist & Repertoire at Nemesis Media Inc. Barbara is also recognized for putting on highly-organized and well-attended shows at reputable venues in the Bay Area, plus she books the Ugly Whale music showcase featuring original Bay Area bands in Austin. Barbara also heads the South Bay chapter of Balanced Breakfast, a group of music industry professionals that meet regularly for breakfast and talk about actions they can employ that will help grow the community.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)

Private Residence - address announced with ticket purchase, Campbell, CA 95008

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Health Trust Hike & Bike Silicon Valley taking place this weekend

Join the Health Trust Hike & Bike Silicon Valley to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS and help fund the Health Trust's AIDS services. This is a unique event that combines a 5K walk and a 30 mile bike ride. The event begins at 9am this Sunday, May 1st at Hellyer Park in South San Jose.

For more information and registration, just heard over here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weimers Emerging Artists Award - Call for Artist Submissions - $5,000

Artists in a variety of fields throughout Santa Clara County are encouraged to apply for the fourth annual Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Awards, which will present three grants of $5000 to selected artists. The award honors the legacy of late San Jose Mercury News columnist Leigh Weimers, a lifelong champion of the arts. For more information:

Weimers Emerging Artists Award - Call for Artist Submissions - $5,000 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

San Jose winners of the Knight Cities Challenge

The Knight Cities Challenge has announced a list of 37 winners that will share $5 million in grants to make their cities better places. The contest looks for ideas that will help cities keep talented people, expand economic opportunity, and create a culture of civic engagement. San Jose had two winners this year, each taking home $100,000:

Post Street Night Market by Justin Triano | $100,000
Expanding economic opportunity with a recurring night market that features local crafts, food and entertainment.
The MayFeria by Mexican Heritage Plaza | $100,000 | submitted by Tamara Alvarado
Increasing civic engagement and expanding economic opportunity in San Jose’s Mayfair neighborhood with The MayFeria, which will consist of folk life events, a community task force, and a coordinator to help identify and make better use of cultural and civic assets

Congrats to both of the winners! I'm especially excited about the new night market on Post Street. For the press release, read on.

Knight Cities Challenge awards $5 million for ideas to make cities more successful
MIAMI — The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced that 37 innovative projects will share $5 million as winners of the Knight Cities Challenge. Each of the ideas centers on helping cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunities and create a culture of civic engagement.
The challenge attracted more than 4,500 ideas to make the 26 communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work. It asked innovators of all kinds to answer the question: What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?
The 37 winners proposed a host of ideas, from exploring Detroit’s untold history through monthly bike tours that blend storytelling with neighborhood discovery to using hip-hop to provide hands-on business training to members of low-income groups in Philadelphia, from developing a toolkit to create temporary pop-up social spaces at voting polls in Long Beach to creating a new cultural hub in West Palm Beach’s Northwest Historic District.
“At its core, the Knight Cities Challenge is about discovering and connecting civic innovators, creative interventionists who inspire positive change,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president. “The winners reflect this goal. Their ideas have the potential to create stronger communities and spaces that spur learning, engagement and growth.”
Open to any individual, business, government or nonprofit, the Knight Cities Challenge has just two rules: (1) A submission may come from anywhere, but the project must take place in or benefit one or more of the 26 communities where Knight invests and (2) the idea should focus on one or more of three drivers of city success: Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep talented people; Opportunity: Ideas that create economic prospects by breaking down divides and making new connections; Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.

Winning projects are based in 19 of the 26 communities where Knight invests including: Akron, Ohio; Boulder, Colo.; Columbus, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit; Gary, Ind.; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Lexington, Ky.; Macon, Ga.; Miami; Long Beach, Calif.; Milledgeville, Ga.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; Philadelphia; St. Paul, Minn.; San Jose, Calif; State College, Pa; and Tallahassee, Fla.

The list of winners is below and at:
The challenge launched in October 2015. Finalists were announced in January.
This is the second year of the Knight Cities Challenge. In March 2015 Knight announced 32 winners of the inaugural Knight Cities Challenge. The 2015 challenge winners have created innovative solutions aimed at connecting people of all backgrounds and incomes, inviting people into active civic engagement and helping keep and attract talented people in their communities. They include: the Pop-Up Pool Project, which reimagines Philadelphia’s city pools as neighborhood assets that attract a broad range of people of all incomes and backgrounds; Re:Brand Detroit, which aims to spark reinvestment in Detroit’s neighborhoods through entrepreneurship; and Minimum Grid Maximum Impact, which improves neighborhood life by creating a network of bike and pedestrian connections between Midtown and Uptown Columbus, Ga.
The challenge will reopen for submissions in fall 2016.
For more on the Knight Cities Challenge, visit and For information and updates follow @knightfdn and #knightcities on Twitter.
2016 Knight Cities Challenge Winners
San Jose, Calif.
Post Street Night Market by Justin Triano | $100,000
Expanding economic opportunity with a recurring night market that features local crafts, food and entertainment.
The MayFeria by Mexican Heritage Plaza | $100,000 | submitted by Tamara Alvarado
Increasing civic engagement and expanding economic opportunity in San Jose’s Mayfair neighborhood with The MayFeria, which will consist of folk life events, a community task force, and a coordinator to help identify and make better use of cultural and civic assets

[Josh: to see the list of winners from other cities go to]
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when  people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

High-speed rail will add Merced and Bakersfield to initial service to San Jose

San Jose scored another win when high-speed rail comes to our city in 2025. The initial operating segment will now likely include both Merced and Bakersfield, two cities originally omitted from the first phase. Merced would require a spur track from the main operating line that will eventually go from San Jose to Los Angeles (and perhaps San Diego). Bringing Bakersfield into the network would involve choosing a different terminus station with connections to Amtrak services.

This would give even more people easy access to Downtown San Jose and further stimulate the demand to locate more jobs in or near Downtown. The main risk in adding more cities into the initial segment would be the potential for delays and funding issues. If this ends up happening in 2025, it will give us a substantial economic boost and can perhaps help to correct our jobs and housing imbalances.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, April 25, 2016

Air China is coming to San Jose International!

SJC is on fire when it comes to landing new international routes. In 2012, ANA announced their nonstop to Tokyo. Then 2013 and 2014 came and went without any additional big news. The floodgates opened January of last year when Hainan announced a nonstop to Beijing. That was followed by British Airways announcing a direct flight to London in September. Then SJC scored a surprise hat trick the following month when Lufthansa revealed a flight to Frankfurt. In November, Air Canada announced they are returning to San Jose with a twice-daily nonstop flight to Vancouver. 

While 2015 was incredible, 2016 has been off to a slow start. That all changed last week when Air China officially got the green light to launch flights between San Jose and Shanghai. The direct flight will take to the skies three times per week on an Airbus A330, bringing two of the most innovative cities in the world closer together.

Shanghai will be San Jose's 8th international route (Guadalajara, Cabo San Lucas, Tokyo, Beijing, London, Frankfurt, and Vancouver are the others). This ties us with Oakland International in terms of international routes. However, Oakland's flight to the Azores is seasonal (summer-only and it requires a refueling stop) and five of its international routes are in Mexico. If we look at unique countries, San Jose is up 6 to 4.

Source: The Merc

Sunday, April 24, 2016

SVSJ Chamber hosting San Jose business tax modernization meeting

On April 27, from 7:30-9 a.m., the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting a City of San Jose Business Tax Modernization proposal meeting. The city of San Jose's business license tax has not been updated since 1986. Business owners throughout San Jose are invited to join us at this 60-90 minute morning session, where there will be a presentation by City of San Jose staff who are charged with implementing recent City Council direction to recommend how to double the amount of revenue generated by San Jose’s business tax and make it more progressive, for a November 2016 City-initiated ballot measure.

City staff will present their draft recommendation and seek feedback from business owners.

Who:  Any business that operates in the city of San Jose
When:  Wednesday, April 27th at 7:30 am to 9:00 am  (30 min networking, 60 minute presentation/Q&A)
Where:  San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, 101 W. Santa Clara St, San Jose (parking is available at 45 N. Market St. Garage)
Cost:  FREE
Please pre-register here:

Coffee and pastries will be provided.

CROWNS presented by The Tabard Theatre Company

CROWNS is playing at the Tabard Theatre in San Pedro Square until May 1st. For a little preview or to purchase tickets, head over to The Tabard Theatre Company website.

CROWNS presented by The Tabard Theatre Company from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

SoFA Street Fair is bringing tons of live music to San Jose today

2016's SoFA Street Fair is much larger than last year's event. Over 100 live bands will play on two outdoor stages and multiple indoor stages (15 total). There will even be vendors and wrestling matches. The event is completely free and runs from 2pm to 7pm. For more information check out their Facebook page over here.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hello Kitty Cafe at Santana Row today

San Jose, CA -- The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is a mobile vehicle of cuteness that offers yummy treats and supercute goodies, each infused with unique Hello Kitty details for all to enjoy.

The mobile cafe will feature new goodies from its last visit to Northern California, including a box set of Hello Kitty macarons that features one surprise Sanrio character macaron, a delicious 3-piece Hello Kitty cookie set, an adorable Hello Kitty Cafe mug and a supercute pink Hello Kitty Cafe t-shirt. Additional yummy treats include a 4-pack of mini cakes & a pink bow-shaped water bottle.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is the first of its kind food service venture for Sanrio. Fans can follow the cafe truck on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter to stay updated about upcoming appearances and where to find these adorable Hello Kitty treats.

When:   Saturday, April 23     10am-8pm

Where:   Santana Row
                377 Santana Row,
                San Jose, CA 95128

Friday, April 22, 2016

Content Issue 8.1 pick up party

The latest edition of Content Magazine is called Sight and Sound and features Chris Wondolowski, Kwesi Young, B. Lewis, Christ Reed, and The International Culinary Center. The publishers are throwing a pick up party during the SoFA Street Fair on April 24th between 3pm and 6pm.

There will be live music and subscribers will get one free drink when they pick up the magazine. For more information, head over here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Facebook will pilot a new WiFi service in Downtown San Jose

Facebook is working on a new Gigabit-speed WiFi service that will use many shoe box-sized nodes that can be placed just about anywhere. The services is called Terragraph and Downtown San Jose will be their first service area outside of their Menlo Park Headquarters. The goal of the service is to provide a low cost way to connect people to the internet that have limited access, such as rural areas all over the world.

Terragraph will piggyback off existing Downtown San Jose WiFi networks provided by Ruckus Wireless. Even if it is using the same bandwidth, the project should help improve coverage in "dead zones" throughout Downtown. If all goes well, Facebook may bring the service to East San Jose where access is more limited.

Facebook's Terragraph may end up competing with Google Fiber, but not replacing it in San Jose. Google Fiber is still on track based on the article. Mayor Sam Liccardo even mentioned that he hopes to announce a partnership with Google in a matter of weeks and that San Jose will be the largest city in the county to get Google Fiber when the announcement comes.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sourisseau News: Local Residential Architecture

The latest edition of Sourisseau News discusses a polarizing topic--residential architecture. San Jose has had a wide variety of residential styles over the decades, most of which you can still find in or near Downtown San Jose. Check out the two minute video below for several examples of local architectural styles, most of which we would now consider "historic homes."

To see an archive of past videos, head over here.

Sourisseau News April 2016 Local Residential Architecture from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Dancing Cat partners with Silicon Valley Pet Project seeking location to re-open in San Jose

SAN JOSE, CA - April 7, 2016—Silicon Valley’s first cat adoption lounge, The Dancing Cat, is back better than ever with the announcement of  a new partnership with Silicon Valley Pet Project (SVPP).  SVPP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal rescue organization that rescues at-risk cats and dogs from the San Jose Animal Care Center, Silicon Valley’s largest municipal animal shelter.

The Dancing Cat was originally conceived as a four-week pop-up lounge in downtown San Jose in May, 2015, designed to help potential adopters meet and become acquainted with adoptable pets.  The Dancing Cat was so embraced by the community, that it remained active and of service to the public for six months. More than 50 adult cats were adopted, 12 community events were held in the space, and over 2,000 visitors passed through the doors.

Building on the organization’s success, The Dancing Cat's founders Mary Rubin and Ann Chasson are joining with Silicon Valley Pet Project to create a permanent space for people to meet, mingle and spend time with adoptable cats. The main goal of the partnership is to find loving forever homes for adult cats who are at risk in the shelter by providing a free-roaming, comfortable and safe space for these cats to be showcased.  Additionally, the project seeks to present a unique venue for social and educational events in the community.

To date, SVPP has primarily focused on foster parents and local adoption events to rehome rescued animals, but that strategy is expanding.

“We were incredibly inspired by Ann’s and Mary’s commitment and passion to feature adoptable adult cats in such a creative way,” said Melissa Lisbon, President of Silicon Valley Pet Project.  “The adult cats SVPP selected to be featured at The Dancing Cat were quickly adopted by wonderful families. We are excited to join forces in our common mission to save more lives in our community through innovative initiatives.  The Dancing Cat represents the Silicon Valley spirit by addressing a challenge with a fresh perspective: the animal welfare challenge of the overpopulation of adult cats in our local shelters.”

The Dancing Cat team is currently searching for a suitable permanent location in the San Jose area.  Anyone with information about a possible available location can contact The project is accepting financial donations towards the reopening of The Dancing Cat on its website.

“It was exciting to see how enthusiastically the space was embraced,  resulting in so many successful adoptions,” Rubin said.  “We in the volunteer and nonprofit arenas can make a bigger impact on a problem like homeless pets when we work together, leverage our passion and learnings.  We look forward to continuing The Dancing Cat with SVPP's contributions of both talent and support.”

The Dancing Cat is a passion project developed by a small group of cat lovers and creatives who work to improve the quality of life for the cats in Silicon Valley. We are dedicated to connecting these valuable members of our community with their forever homes in a responsible way. Recognizing that there are many cat lovers amongst us, we also hope The Dancing Cat will provide opportunities for new partnerships among people who are contributing to the vibrancy and creativity of our community.

Silicon Valley Pet Project (SVPP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of volunteers committed to saving local at-risk shelter pets through rescue, community involvement and education.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Plans for two towers at Greyhound station are coming together

The same investor that is building Silvery Towers (San Jose's largest residential project ever) is now gearing up for an even larger project. KT Urban and their partner have acquired the 1.6-acre Greyhound bus site for $39 million. The latest concept for the site calls for two towers around 24 stories tall with with 708 residential units and 13,500 SQFT of retail.

The next step is to acquire construction financing, which should be no problem despite the recent slowdown of investment markets. Construction will begin soon after they receive financial approvals from the city, which is expected later this year.

So what will happen to the Greyhound bus station in Downtown San Jose? All Greyhound operations will move to Diridon Station in late May. Customers will be able to purchase tickets at the Amtrak counter and easily connect to other bus services, VTA Light Rail, Capitol Corridor, ACE, Caltrain, and eventually BART and California High Speed Rail. Greyhound should have likely been located at Diridon to begin with, so the move will correct a transit mistake created long ago.

Source: SVBJ, SVJB #2

Sunday, April 17, 2016

First Music in the Park show scheduled for June 24th

SAN JOSE - Multi-Grammy Award-winners Los Lobos will headline the Music in the Park 2016 series opener June 24 at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

The Mexican-American roots-rock group from East Los Angeles has been recording since the late 1970s. Their crossover hit, La Bamba, from the 1987 film reached phenomenal worldwide popularity. Their current tour supports their latest album release, Gates of Gold.

Los Lobos’ three Grammy Awards:
1983 – Anselma – Best Mexican-American Performance (song)
1989 – La Pistola y el Corazon – Best Mexican-American Performance (album)
1995 – Mariachi Suite – Best Pop Instrumental Performance

The show begins just after work at 5:30 p.m. with South Bay guitarist Maxx Cabelllo, Jr.

Tickets are now available at

Advanced tickets are $10 per adult and free for 12-under when accompanied by an adult.  At the door, admission will cost $15 per adult.

Music in the Park is presented by Metro Newspapers and produced by the San Jose Downtown Association. The events are supported by the City of San Jose.

This is the 28th season of Music in the Park. Three more Music in the Park concerts are also planned this summer at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, which is located along Market Street and surrounded by downtown’s museums, hotels and office buildings.

For more about the artists, visit and  Visit for information about downtown San Jose and the San Jose Downtown Association.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the top place for minority-owned businesses in the US

We all know San Jose is one of the most diverse cities on the planet and also one of the best cities for business. So it should not come as a big surprise that San Jose is the best place for minority-owned businesses.

At $83,406/year, San Jose had the highest minority median income in the US. The average revenue per minority-owned business in our area comes in at $317,979 and there are 45.74 minority-owned businesses per 1,000 residents. 6th on the list was San Francisco and New York was all the way down at #51.

Source: Nerdwallet, SJ Economy News

Friday, April 15, 2016

2nd Annual Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival and Bike Show

From San Jose Bike Party:

Join San Josè Bike Party and the Valley’s racing, road, recreation, fixed gear, cruiser, vintage, lowrider, mountain biking and cool urban lifestyle cyclists and their families for a day of fun and community building on Sunday, May 15th, 11am to 5pm at Kelley Park’s History Park, 635 Phelan Avenue at Senter Road in San Josè.

Admission to the public is $5, kids two and under are free and $5 per show bike.

  • Food Trucks
  • Craft Beer
  • Kids’ Space
  • Bicycle Show
  • Free Valet Bike Parking
  • Expo
  • Amazing Vendors
  • Talks
  • Music

Thursday, April 14, 2016

San Jose's Vasona Networks raises $14.6 million

Venture funding may be slowing down, but that has not stopped Vasona Networks from raising new funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, New Venture Partners, and NexStar Partners. The company provides mobile network infrastructure that makes it easier to manage spikes of internet traffic.

This latest round of $14.6 million will bring total funding to $48 million. They will use the money to expand their services to additional cities around the globe.

Vasona Networks is headquartered at 2025 Gateway Pl. in North San Jose near the airport.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April 2016 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • General sales tax and business tax hikes have been proposed in order to help fund public services.
  • Two plans are in the work to house the homeless, a permanent housing project on 278 N. Second Street and a temporary housing facility at the former Plaza Hotel.
  • More food and drink openings!
    • Our House at 185 Park features farm-to-fork cuisine
    • Social Policy is now open at 200 S. First, a sister coffee shop to Bellano Coffee and B2 Coffee
    • 2nd Story Bakeshop is a new bakery at 138 E. Santa Clara
    • Ola's Exotic African Coffee and Tea is open at 30 E. Santa Clara, Suite 120
    • Olla Cocina at 17 N. San Pedro offers a fresh take on traditional Mexican favorites.
  • A seven-story building is moving forward near Whole Foods. It would have 35,000 SQFT of office and commercial space as well as 164 apartments. 
  • The first Music in the Park show of the season will be headlined by Los Lobos on June 24th at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.
To read the newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Electronic Sriracha Festival 2016

History Park is going to be all fired up with hot sauce and electronic music on May 29th. The Electronic Sriracha Festival (ESF) is coming back to San Jose after a one year hiatus. The inaugural event took place at St. James Park in 2014. While I loved the fact it was Downtown, the new location at History Park will allow more trucks and people to attend.

ESF 2016 will have seven hours of electronic dance music and 25 food trucks, all featuring Sriracha-inspired dishes. You can wash down all those spicy plates with an assortment of craft beers. All dishes and drinks will be reasonably priced at $6 or less. I wouldn't expect large portions, but this gives you the opportunity to pretend you're Anthony Bourdain and stuff your face at multiple trucks. A SJ MADE Street Mart will also be onsite offering locally produced goods and clothing.

The cost of general admission is $10 and kids under 12 get in for $3. There is also a $35 VIP admission which includes a souvenir beer mug and unlimited craft beer. I like that last option the most.

The Electronic Sriracha Festival goes down on Memorial Day Weekend (May 29th) from 12pm to 7pm. You can find out more over here or purchase tickets here.

Electronic Sriracha Festival 2014 from GLofrano on Vimeo.

Monday, April 11, 2016

SPUR: A Boom, and a Turning Point, for Downtown San Jose

There is a great article describing what is happening in Downtown San Jose over at SPUR. After many years (decades actually) of hoping that Downtown would turn the corner, it is actually happening. 

The housing market is exploding with 1,900 units under construction and 5,000 more either approved or proposed. Commercial projects are finally being proposed again with over 2,000,000 SQFT of new office space in the pipe. You can see below how much has changed in just two years. With BART and High Speed Rail coming in the next decade, the momentum will continue to build.

There is certainly much to be excited about in the years ahead if you are a Downtown resident, business owner, or supporter. To read the SPUR article, head over here.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

British Airways: London vs. San Jose

As a clever promo for the new direct flight between San Jose and London, British Airways has made a video where San Jose and London face off. It is definitely worth watching and is only a few minutes long. The flight launched on May 4th and will utilize a cutting edge Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner plane.

Source: SJ Economy News

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the second best city for young professionals

Forbes has completed their annual study on the best cities for young professionals, and we fared quite well. Criteria for the study included the quality of jobs for graduates, salaries, job growth, unemployment rates, and cost of living in the 100 largest metro areas. The San Jose Metro came in second on their list despite the astronomical cost of living. When it came to salaries, we were #1 with a median salary of $78,400 for workers with five years of experience or less. You can check out the full list over here.

In related news, the SJSV Chamber is hosting a special event specifically for young professionals in Silicon Valley. This is part of their "SV Next" initiative and you can learn more about that below.


San Jose, Calif— The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is proud to see San Jose included in yet another prominent national list, this time in Forbes’ 20 Best Cities for Young Professionals.

“San Jose and the Silicon Valley continue to be the place for educated young professionals to not only start their career but to also take it to the next level,” said Matt Mahood, San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce President & CEO. “That is why the SJSV Chamber is relaunching our young professionals program, SV Next, to assist in helping them network, develop professionally and give back to their communities.”

SV Next is comprised of young professionals from Silicon Valley companies—including NowCFO, SAP, and Ameriprise Financial—between the ages of 21 and 39. It officially relaunches with a networking mixer on April 20, at Scott’s Seafood and offers young professionals a chance to meet, mingle, network and connect as well as meet established professionals who can become their mentors.

“SV Next strives to be the one-stop-shop for young professionals in Silicon Valley,” said Chloe Verrey, SV Next Chair. “Our programming addresses the needs of mid-career individuals, those entering the workforce and transplants to Silicon Valley. Establishing meaningful connections and providing professional development experiences for our members within the context of our Valley will enable them to advance their careers.”

Young professionals have always been one of the Valley's greatest assets. Just last year, San Jose's own institution of higher learning—San Jose State University—cemented its value to Silicon Valley employers when Jobvite named it one of the top workforce provider to some of the Valley's heavyweights, including Apple, Cisco and Hewlett Packard. San Jose also holds a greater share of total STEM graduates [29%], compared to the national average of 15%, and higher even than the average held by STEM global leader Finland [22%]—a crucial key for young professionals looking to attain high-paying jobs within the advanced industry sectors.

"There are many opportunities for young professionals in this Valley," Verrey said. “With the diversity of companies and people in San Jose, it's no surprise that we made this list.”

SV Next is looking to engage young professionals in unique networking and professional development opportunities. In 2016, the group aims at working with partners focused on leadership training, professional advancement and community service. For additional information or to join, email here.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Event season kicks off at Evergreen Village Square

San Jose, CA - Another season of fun events at Evergreen Village Square will be kicked off at the end of April with the annual EPIC Festival. The event brings together the various cultures of the Evergreen community to celebrate and appreciate the cultural diversity of the area.

Saturday April 30 will be the annual EPIC Festival.  EPIC stands for Earth, People, International, Culture, and was started by Vice-Mayor Rose Herrera nearly a decade ago to showcase the rich cultural diversity of the Evergreen area.  The Vice Mayor will be there to address the crowd and get the festivities started.  Emceed by the famous Lori and RJ of Cotton Candy Express, the event will again feature local dancing and singing groups both young and old.  Many different cultures and traditions are represented at the EPIC Festival, often wearing beautiful and colorful costumes.  The event coincides with the weekly Off the Grid Food Trucks, allowing festival goers to enjoy a wide variety of food, adding to the international flavor of this event.

The popular Friday Night Music, Art and Wine events will take place June 24, July 22 and August 5. A free family-friendly movie will be shown after dark at all three events.  There is always something going on at Evergreen Village Square!  Stay up to date with what is happening at the Square on the Evergreen Village Square Facebook page, or visit for a complete detailed list of events at the Square.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

SJSV Chamber: Nominate a Woman in Leadership

San Jose, Calif—On this International Women’s Day, the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce opens up the nomination period for one of its most distinguished programs: Women in Leadership.

“Silicon Valley women are change-makers in their industries and across the world. The annual Women in Leadership event celebrates the talent, ethics and motivation that women bring to the workforce.” –Matthew Mahood, SJSV Chamber President & CEO

For more than a decade, the SJSV Chamber Foundation selects a group of women who are both attending school and working full- or part-time or as an intern at a Chamber-member business to receive Women in Leadership [WIL] Grants—funded by the Chamber Foundation. Since its launch, the SJSV Chamber has given more than $60,000 in WIL grants to 45 women.

The WIL grants will be presented during the Women In Leadership Luncheon—an event designed to bring together women leaders in the Silicon Valley for a chance to network and connect—this year set for Friday, May 20, at the San Jose Marriott in Downtown San Jose.

The luncheon event includes short, inspirational “WIL Talks,” given by women in the local business community. Previous speakers include Jenny Dearborn, Sr. VP & Chief Learning Officer, SAP; Lisa Lambert, VP, Managing Director Diversity Equity Fund, Intel Capital; Toni Burke, VP & Executive Director, City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley; and Barbara Kamm, President & CEO, Tech CU.

The 2016 Women in Leadership event is presented by Kaiser Permanente and Bank of America. Applications for the WIL grants are now open. The deadline is April 13.

Submit your nominations here | Read more about WIL here | Donate to the Chamber Foundation here

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Student-housing tower could rise at Techshop site

Amcal has acquired a parcel of land at 300 S. Second St. where it will partner with Barry Swenson Builder to build a student housing project. This is the site with the original TechShop location near SoFA.

The new building could rise up to 20 stories and house 800+ SJSU students. Each of the 235 units would have four bedrooms (each with their own bathroom), a shared kitchen, and a common area (living room). Amenity-wise there would be a resident assistant (RA) on each floor, study rooms, a fitness center, business center, and a pool. There would also be some retail fronting San Carlos Street.

The project would welcome anyone, but it is obviously targeted at students. Rent is expected to be around $1,000/mo, a bargain for Silicon Valley.

A project of that scale would considerably add to the activity and vibrancy in Downtown San Jose--especially in the SoFA area which is already booming. The soonest it would be open for business would be the fall of 2019 or 2020.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Vote for Downtown projects that matter to you at #d3decides

San Jose's District 3 is allocating funds for local projects in the most democratic way possible. Residents and visitors can vote on projects that they feel would have the strongest impact to the community. A total of $100,000 is available for investment and the projects range in cost from $600 all the way to $60,000.

Potential projects include interactive artwork, improved lighting, lending libraries, solar mobile-phone charging kiosks. Voting is open until April 15th at 5pm. To make sure your voice is heard and to learn about each proposal, head over here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sobrato adding a third office building on Julian Street

As a sign of the times, Sobrato is finally confident enough in the Downtown office market that they are planning to finish off a project that was started 16 years ago. The River Corporate Center was always envisioned as a three-building campus--in fact, the parking has already been built for the third building. The dotcom crash put this project on hiatus leaving only two mid-rise buildings completed.

Building #3 will be located at 353 Julian St. and clock in at 190,000 SQFT. The six-story building has upgraded amenities over what was originally envisioned (also a sign of the times). The roof will have an impressive terrace and garden with a view of Downtown San Jose and the ceiling heights for each floor have been increased.

Sobrato plans to build this on spec, meaning it is going up even without a tenant. Given its proximity to Downtown and the future Diridon megatransit hub, it is only a matter of time until its floors fill up. Downtown vacancy for "Class A" space is also 13.4%, an eight year low. Clearly the area is getting traction with companies, a trend that I hope will continue for a long time to come.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Playful People Productions Presents: Starmites

"Starmites" is the story of Eleanor, a teenage girl who falls into the word of her favorite comic book, and discovers her destiny. Along her journey she is drawn into the conflict between Shak Graa, the “creep of chaos” and the Starmites, a group of wise-cracking superheros, along with their heart throb captain Space Punk. Eleanor (who is really the pre-ordained savior of the Universe) learns that only she can save the Earth from destruction! Together they must fight Shak Graa and the Banshees, strong women who protect the world’s most fearsome weapon,  and their leader the flamboyant Diva.

Playful People will be putting their own punk/glam rock touch to this show which is one of the most exciting and  hilarious musicals to come off Broadway in years. Nominated for six Tony Awards, this sci-fi rock musical is one no audience member should miss!  

"Starmites" features an eclectic pop rock score by Barry Keating, a book by Barry Keating and Stuart Ross, and is most appropriate for audiences 7 and up.

Our shows often sell out prior to the show weekend. Be sure to buy your tickets early, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic production. 

All Shows at the Historic Hoover Theatre, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126
Show Times:

Friday, April 29th - 7:00pm
Saturday, April 30th - 11:00am, 3:00pm and 7:00pm
Sunday, May 1st - 11:00am, and 3:00pm

Friday, May 6th - 7:00pm
Saturday, May 7th - 11:00am and 5:00pm

Tickets available at
$12 attendees 12 and up, $8 children 11 and under,  and $6 Children’s floor seating
Tickets at the door (30 minutes prior to curtain)
$15 attendees 12 and up, $10 children 11 and under, and $6 Children’s floor seating
Founded in 2010, Playful People Production’s mission is to provide a quality, caring environment where children, teens and their families can have positive theater experiences. We strive to involve all family members in the many aspects of on stage and backstage theater in a safe and fun environment and offer participation in theatrical productions, classes, summer stock and camps for ages 3-93.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Saturday Stats: our traffic still sucks

Shocker, our traffic is still terrible. At least we are slightly better off than four US cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Seattle. So while you are crawling at 1mph on 101 during peak rush hour, just keep telling yourself it could be worse.

Below is a list of the 20 US cities with the worst traffic in 2015. To see the global list, hit the source link at the bottom.

1. Los Angeles, 41%
2. San Francisco, 36%
3. New York, 33%
4. Seattle, Wash., 31%
5. San Jose, 30%
6. Honolulu, Hawaii, 29%
7. Miami, Fla., 28%
8. (tie) Washington, D.C.; Portland, Ore.; and Chicago, Ill., 26%
11. (tie) Houston, Texas and Boston, Mass., 25%
13. (tie) Atlanta, Ga.; San Diego; and Tampa, Fla., 24%
16. (tie) Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Baton Rouge, La., 23%
19. (tie) Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans, La.; Austin, Texas; and Las Vegas, Nev., 22%

Source: SVBJ

Friday, April 1, 2016

The San Jose Blog is changing its name to....................................... The San Francisco Bay Area Blog

It's time for a big change! For nearly seven years the focus of this blog has been on development, events, and culture in San Jose proper. We've decided to expand our horizons and the scope of this blog to encompass the whole Bay Area, especially San Francisco! Hyper-local is out, generic is in.

Next week we'll be changing our name to "The San Francisco Bay Area Blog." We think getting the word San Francisco in there will do wonders for traffic to the site and create more opportunities to focus on grittier posts--we're talking crime, homelessness, cold weather, and extreme gentrification.

Check out the draft version of our new logo below!

Sources: 2010201120122013, 2014, 2015
(For more April Fool's posts click the links above)