Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Win 2 Tix to see TOTEM, Friday March 2nd!

Attention The San Jose Blog readers! Between now and NOON TOMORROW, you have the opportunity to win TWO (2) tickets to attend the Premiere of Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM!

TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.

Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential
- TOTEM website

Here's the show details:

When: Friday, March 2, 2012
Where: Taylor Street Bridge, Lot E (You can't miss the big tent!)
Site Opens: 7:00 PM
Showtime: 8:00 PM

Enter to win by filling out the form below-- but first, some contest details:

Contest ends NOON tomorrow, Thursday, March 1st.
Winner will be chosen at random.

Please do not enter the contest if you cannot make the show!
Winners will be notified by email (look for an email from Jennifer Bullock!)

Fill out the form below, and GOOD LUCK!

3/1: 12:00PM (NOON):

World Premier of "Worth the Weight" at Cinequest

There are many worthwhile films to check out at the Cinequest film festival--which officially started yesterday--but the one below is well worth highlighting for several reasons:

1.) It's a world premier. The first time the public will get to see the movie will be at Cinequest in San Jose.
2.) The producer was born and raised in San Jose and went to SJSU.
3.) The script was bought off of craigslist for $500 and the writer and director are meeting for the first time at Cinequest.
4.) The director, cast, and crew will be at each of the screenings for Q&A after the movie.

Sounds pretty interesting already without knowing anything about the movie itself! Now check out the trailer and press release below (or for the website click here).

Worth the Weight - Tease from Ryan Sage on Vimeo.




SAN JOSE, CALIF. – February 6, 2012 -Craigslist, the go-to website for finding jobs,
housing and deals, offered an unexpected opportunity for LA director Ryan Sage and
Chicago writer Dale Zawada to realize their dream of making a movie. “Worth the
Weight,” the story of one man’s quest to find love while on the challenging journey of
major weight loss, will have its World Premiere at San Jose’s Cinequest film festival
Friday, March 2nd, capping off a year long production that began with a short post on
Craigslist and culminating with the writer and director meeting in person for the first time
at the festival.

“I can’t say I was expecting to sell my first script on Craigslist,” said Zawada. “But my
goal was always to get my script into the hands of some talented and passionate
filmmakers and this just seemed like the right opportunity.”

Sage, a promo writer/producer for ABC’s hit show “Modern Family,” who has directed
many award-winning shorts, commercials and TV pilots, was looking to take on the
challenge of a feature length film. Unfortunately, he lacked the right script. Sifting
through dozens of responses from his Craigslist post, Sage discovered “Worth the
Weight” submitted by Chicago-based stand up comic Zawada and knew he had found
something special.

“What I loved was the story felt very real to me and it was peppered with these really
funny moments,” said Sage. “It really captured the ups and downs and realization by the
main characters that people are defined by more than just their size. Their hopes, their
outlook on life and the way they see themselves are just as important. It’s an inspiring
message that I think will resonate for people, with or without weight issues.”

“Worth the Weight” depicts the hard road of weight loss coupled with a journey to find
love – a story many can relate to. Steering clear of the standard transformation formula
seen on many current television shows such as “Biggest Loser,” the hero finds
acceptance – and love – in unexpected places.

Another reality for Sage was the need to make this film on a tight budget. Shooting on
weekends allowed cast and crew to keep their day jobs and also gave lead actors
Robbie Kaller and Jillian Leigh more time to delve into their characters. Zawada would
also use this time to hone the script from Chicago after getting notes on production from
the weekend’s prior shoot.

“I really think the extra work we put in paid off,” said Sage. “The actors give some truly
break out performances with amazing subtlety and nuance. I wouldn’t be surprised if
they were both household names within ten years.”

The festival will have additional special meaning for both Sage and producer, Kristina
Denton. Denton was born and raised in San Jose, and graduated from San Jose State
University in 2007. Sage spent five years studying film at the Academy of Art University
in San Francisco and spent every summer growing up at his grandparent’s house in
nearby Santa Rosa.

“This is really special for both Kristina and I and we can’t think of a better festival to
premiere at,” said Sage. “It’s basically a homecoming, only without the tiara. Although
I’m packing mine just in case.”

“Worth the Weight” Cinequest Screenings:
Friday, March 2nd -9:45pm (WORLD PREMIERE) | San Jose Repertory Theatre
Sunday, March 4th -4:00pm | Camera 12, San Jose, CA
Wednesday, March 7th -11:45am | Camera 12, San Jose, CA

# # #

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cinequest Begins Today!

The largest film festival in Northern California is kicking off their 22nd season today in Downtown San Jose. Hundreds of independent movies from all around the world will be screened to an estimated total audience of 90,000 over a two week period. The screenings will be accompanies by soirees and parties with the film makers and actors, all sorts of interviews, and the Maverick spirit awards ceremony.

If you have never attended the festival, you have to check it out for at least a screening or two. If you have attended, then I'm sure you don't need much convincing to go again. My quick recommendation for newcomers is to try out the "Shorts." These are collections of 2min-15min micro-movies that let you experience multiple works in a limited amount of time. My favorites each year are usually the comedies.

For all of the Cinequest information you could ever imagine, just head on over here or download the brochure.

Monday, February 27, 2012

KALEID's Feature Artists for March 2012

KALEID Gallery is pleased to present two new solo exhibitions opening with artists' receptions on First Friday March 2nd.

Portraits of the Innerself new work by Valerie Runningwolf

The person we wake up with every morning or the stranger just passing on the street carries their truth safely hidden on the inside. Often it is a mask we put on every morning to face the world and take off each night in our dreams that is seen as reality.

Steam Punk Explorations new work by Dorothy Whitman

Steam punk is a sub genre that explores an alternate historical progression which is supportive of the environments and individuals. As with any genre in art it has its niches. I like exploring Victorian representations of technology and totems, as well as the inclusions of poetry and words as a way of looking deeper at the current expressions of the individual and what the meaningful components of their life truly are.

Artists' Reception: Friday, March 2nd, 7–11pm
featuring live music by Lance Canales and the Flood.
(part of the South FIRST FRIDAYS art walk)
Exhibition Dates: March 2–30, 2012

88 South Fourth Street (@ San Fernando)
San Jose, CA
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, noon -7pm, free admission

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Talari Networks Raises $4.5M

Last month Talari Networks--a San Jose company focused on wide area network virtualization--raised an additional $4.5M in what I am guessing is a Seires B round. It's nice to see another non-greentech company get some venture support in San Jose.

Source: SJBJ

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Stats: San Jose Set for Real Estate Rebound

Forbes recently put out an article on the 10 areas where real estate prices will recover faster than the rest of the country. San Jose ranked #1 on the list. Here are some quotes from the article:

"San Jose is a veritable oasis of prosperity."
"Employment in the capital of Silicon Valley is expected to expand 3.3% this year."
"New home construction in the area was up a whopping 97% in 2011's third quarter"

For the full article just click the source link below!

Source: Forbes / MSNBC , Hat-tip to Dan

San Jose

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sobrato House: A Green Solution for Teenage Homelessness in San Jose

Guest Post by Tim Eyre 

At the corner of Third and William Street downtown, there's an attractive yellow-and-green house with a wrap-around porch. In my travels to San Jose over the last two years, I've driven past this intersection several times but never given the building much thought beyond, 'That's a nice looking house.'

As it turns out, it's a life-changing house.

Recently in Oakland, someone sparked a conversation with me about Crossroads, ( an $11 million emergency homeless shelter constructed to green-building standards. It seemed questionable to spend that kind of money on a population of people who may never return the investment, but I kept listening and was soon convinced of the merits. When we show the needy the same sort of care and comforts we would want ourselves, they respond with hope and motivation to reenter society.

Wondering if San Jose had anything similar, I discovered a website for the Sobrato House Youth Center. Of course, I immediately recognized the building.

Relocated from where City Hall now sits in 2008 (and virtually rebuilt, to the tune of $12.8 million), the Sobrato House is an outreach of EHC LifeBuilders ( The 2,500 square foot historic home is flanked by an adjoining 13,000 square foot brand new facility, including nine apartment units, a community room, and a kitchen designed for homeless teenagers and young people.

Santa Clara County is estimated to have over 5,000 people under 18 who experience homelessness at some point during the year, many of whom leave home due to physical or sexual abuse. Leaving young people to fend for themselves on the street after a troubling childhood only asks for more problems, be it drugs or criminal activity. With the Sobrato House, San Jose has found a solution.

In Santa Clara, the Sobrato Family Living Center on Agnew Road offers the same sort of respite. Its' 50 private apartments offer families that would otherwise be on the street a transitional bridge to self-sustenance through stability and a comfortable roof over their head.

Like Crossroads in Oakland, both Sobrato facilities embrace green building principles typically reserved for city government buildings and private businesses.

"All of the lighting is energy efficient, with water-saving laundry facilities and a new HVAC system," explains Anna Bagirov, the Communications Manager for EHC LifeBuilders, adding that they've reduced energy costs by 40 percent since the upgrades in 2008.

Both sites use reclaimed rainwater in their landscaping and feature double-paned window insulation. Most importantly to the residents, they're attractive dwellings that are worth taking pride in, a crucial element to gaining a new start in life.

"The Sobrato House, in particular, is beautiful," says Bagirov. "There's a lot of pride and happiness within these shelters."

In most cities around the country, homeless shelters are dreary, dim places. In that type of environment, it can be almost impossible for a person to find the hope required to make real life changes.

It's refreshing to find an organization like the Sobrato House and EHC Lifebuilders right here in San Jose. When we build shelters for the homeless that those of us more well off would find worthy of our own families, we're on the path to ending homelessness. That's something San Jose can take pride in, and a unique model that will hopefully be replicated elsewhere.


Tim Eyre works in the self storage industry, regularly traveling to see locations like San Jose storage facility. In many locations, like the storage units yard in San Diego, Tim helps his customers store seasonal equipment when it is not being used for outdoor activities or home improvement projects.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nanosolar Adds $20M in Funding

Nanosolar is the latest of many San Jose greentech companies to get additional funding. This also means VC confidence is still strong in the greentech sector, where San Jose dominates.

Nanosolar has developed technology that let's you "print" thin-film solar cells to produce much more cost-effective solar panels. This latest infusion of $20M will bring them up to a total of $420M of capital raised to date.

Source: SJBJ

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SJ Metblogs: Content Launches Print Era

Content Magazine has officially launched their print edition, and it looks fantastic. Matt from SJ Metblogs has already done a blog post about their launch event (below). I would highly encourage anyone reading this blog to subscribe to the magazine, and make sure to flip to page 18 for an interview featuring Metblogs and The San Jose Blog!

from San Jose Metblogs 

Content Magazine "Cultivator" Daniel Garcia at the print launch party.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign we reported on previously, San Jose’s local personality and fashion magazine Content has now printed its first issue. A launch party last night was attended by numerous recognizable local figures.

The printed magazine is dominated by interviews of local personalities somehow connected to the “Tech” theme of the issue, including politicians, artists, inventors, and even a blogger or two. I thought the most interesting story was an interview with Joel Slayton, director of the Zer01 art biennial. The interview covers Slayton’s history in art, starting at MIT, and future plans for Zer01. An interview with Slave Labor Graphics publisher Dan Vado brings together insights on the downtown San Jose business culture and the broader publishing business. Beyond those two interviews, there are 10 other stories filling out the issue.

The final few pages of the magazine switch over from interviews and profiles to fashion, with two multi-page photo spreads featuring dresses from The Usuals and men’s shirts from So What Industries. The photography is stylish, but some of the spreads don’t account for the fact that the binding of the magazine doesn’t let the pages lie open flat.

Content Magazine is attempting to finance their operations mainly through reader support rather than advertising. This keeps the “content” at the forefront and avoids the reader having to wade through ads to find the stories. A 6-issue annual subscription is now available for $42.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Aria Diagnostics Raises $52.7M

A San Jose company that does molecular diagnostics has just closed a huge Series C investment round of $52.7M. They are going to use the infusion of cash to develop prenatal tests that will determine whether or not unborn children have certain trisomies, such as one associated with Down syndrome.

It's also nice to see some companies outside of the greentech industry get funded in San Jose!

Source: SJBJ

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Will Johnson Open Studio

San Jose ceramicist Will Johnson will be a participant in The Art Of Living Black (TAOLB), the Bay Area’s longest running annual African American exhibition of its kind.

Johnson's Open Studio will be February 25th & 26th, March 3rd & 4th from 11am–5pm at the Black Bean Ceramic Art Center located at 561 Emory St., San Jose.

The TAOLB was co-founded by Jan Hart-Schuyers and Rae Louise Hayward. Both remarkable women have passed away but, their legacy lives on.

The driving force for Jan and Rae founding TAOLB was to present to the public artworks from artists of African descent, to show the richness and diversity of the artists and to give them exposure in the art world. Together they joined with the Richmond Art Center (RAC) in 1997, to have an annual exhibition for bay area African American Artists. The exhibition features emerging and established artists. The TAOLB Exhibition and Art Tour is a yearly event which is held at the RAC presented to the public between January and March. For more information, please visit

San Jose's Steinberg Architects Selected for Gigantasaurous Project in China

This project is so massive I had to make up a word. China is building an 80 million square foot mixed-use project in Changsha and a San Jose firm will be responsible for designing it. That is not a typo, 80 million square feet. This would be the equivalent of 50 Santana Rows side by side or every building in Downtown San Jose 8 times over. 63 million square feet will be residential and the rest will be office/retail. Despite the scope, the 7,000 acre project will "only" cost $3 billion to develop.

Source: SJBJ

Steinberg Architects

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Stats: Average Silicon Valley Tech Salary Tops $100,000

For the first time, Silicon Valley tech worker salaries are averaging over $100,000 per year. Those are just salaries, not even including bonuses or other benefits. This is 25% higher than the national average for the tech industry. From 2010 to 2011, tech salaries nationally grew at a rate of 2% while Silicon Valley salaries rose by a staggering 5.2%. Contractor rates in Silicon valley rose an astronomical 11% to $74/hr (the national average was 2% here as well). Given our shortage of qualified workers, this trend will likely continue for at least a couple more years.

Another nice stat... the average pay for ALL workers--not just tech--in the San Jose metro is $67,850.  San Francisco is at $63,290. 

Source: SJBJ

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pellet's Gouache Workshop

from Phantom Galleries 

What's gouache? Where did it come from? Who paints with this stuff? Why use gouache, and not another paint whose name I can pronounce easier? What can I do with it, and how do I get started?

Answers to all this and more at Pellet's Intro to Gouache!

Saturday, February 18th, 2–4pm
$30 for workshop, materials included
For inquiries or to sign up: call 408-293-1200 or email

The Arsenal
1202 The Alameda
San Jose

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is the Future of the Bay Area Moving South?

Earlier this month there was a great post on The Bay Area Real Estate Blog about changes happening in the Bay Area. This is definitely worth a read, full post below:


Happy New Year Everyone! Enjoy our special guest blog post below by Jeff Current, President of the AIA Santa Clara Valley (American Institute of Architects). This is an excellent synopsis of real estate opportunities in the Bay Area 2012!
bay area real estate 2012 resized 600
San Francisco – The City by the Bay! Beautiful & stately it stands as a metropolis that lives, breathes and expresses its unique personality to the world. SF is a fantastic place surrounded by sparkling bay and majestic sea: a metropolis that superimposed an urban grid right over the tops of its hills and valleys as if it were the flat expanse of the LA basin. It is, and will continue to be a hub for culture and creativity in the Bay Area.

But San Francisco has a cousin down the peninsula; the Santa Clara Valley, that continues to expand and grow and attract a life, culture and energy of its own. The business epicenter of northern California has shifted from the Financial District to Sand Hill Road and from the docks of Fort Mason to the disc drives of Silicon Valley.

Along with this shift in business comes a shift in population. A few years back San Jose passed San Francisco as the 10th largest city in the USA & 3rd largest city in California (behind LA & San Diego). In a new era of sustainability and gasoline prices approaching $5/gal, more people are choosing to live and work and play within a smaller circumference. This is building up the demand for ‘smart growth’ communities and the South Bay is home to quite a few of them. Looking ahead to Santa Clara Valley’s future is both exciting and dizzying.

new stadiums south bay
We could have 3 brand new Sports Stadiums built in the next 5 years with 49ers Football, Earthquakes Soccer and Athletics Baseball venues. These new projects attract hotels, restaurants and retail. Pro sports franchises put their host cities on a world stage as media covers ALL THE ACTION, LIVE!
tech boom silicon valley resized 600
Our business and social lives continue to be shaped by products conceived and born in our valley. Huge new campuses are being designed by World Class architects for Apple Computer in Cupertino, Facebook in Menlo Park and Google in Mountain View. Apple’s Net Zero Energy “Spaceship” design by Foster + Partners of London will house up to 15,000 employees in a glazed donut ring set in a serene orchard. Google is creating a “LEED Platinum Campus” that not only provides office space for 2,500 to 3,000 employees, but will include housing, retail and entertainment to offer its workforce a home and activities close by.

Transportation is getting a huge makeover as BART presses south into Santa Clara County with a station in Milpitas (Great Mall), 3 stations in San Jose (Berryessa Swap Meet site, Five Wounds neighborhood and Downtown SJ) and Santa Clara (FMC site near Santa Clara University). California High Speed Rail is in the planning stages to provide 2 hour and 7 minute rail service between San Jose’s Diridon Station and LA’s Union Station.
Alviso transit lines

Besides all this, Silicon Valley is attracting major auto-makers like Ford and GM with design and research facilities to connect them to the technologies that drive the future of transportation. The Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce has been working with the City of San Jose on ideas for a port in Alviso to allow for ferry service to once again connect Oakland and San Francisco with the South Bay. This plan could also include a marina with housing and hospitality uses, a Fisherman’s Wharf and restaurants, and recreation activities amidst the restored saltwater marshlands.

Alviso is linked to downtown San Jose by the Guadalupe River which plays host to pedestrian and bike trails and could even bring water taxi service from the Ferry Terminal to downtown (a la San Antonio’s Riverwalk). The Guadalupe River Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States with opportunity to attract thousands for nature, recreation and sports activities.

This is OUR VALLEY! These projects are in our neighborhoods and districts. As architects and designers in this thriving expanse of humanity and creativity, we need to plug in and get involved in some of these activities. Many of these organizations and projects are searching for visionary individuals to provide leadership for the process of growth and development. I encourage each of you to get involved to whatever degree you can commit.
- Jeff Current, AIA
>Click HERE for more information on AIA Santa Clara Valley!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday Wishlist: LED Architecture

In the 19th century, San Jose had a massive electric light tower Downtown... a landmark I often wish we managed to keep. Awesome lighting I think is a great way to brand a city, especially one in the middle of Silicon Valley. With the latest generation of LED lights, you can do some pretty incredible things. Below is a cathedral called the Luminarie Cagna in Belgium. This is one of many spectacles in the city in preparation for the 2nd annual "Festival of Lights." Over 200,000 visitors are expected for the event.

As insane as the cathedral looks, the 55,000 LED lights only use about 20 kilowatts of power. Imagine something to this scale in San Jose with interactive elements (think The 88's lighting system).

Source: inhabitat

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TWO BUCK Tuesday Today!

TWO BUCK Tuesdays is coming up soon, join us for a great night of live art, demos and music!

Shannon Amidon will demonstrate how to make non toxic, eco- friendly oil and egg tempera paint.

Paint By Color! (Interactive)
Collaborate on a pre-drawn original art piece with Lara Sophia

Brande Barrett will demonstrate how to make art into glass pendants.

LIVE ART by: Nik Caesar, 
John Hageman
, Jean Davis, 
Jehoiakim Santos
, Joanne Yada
, Courtney Thiesen, 
Al Preciado & 
students of Bellermine and Notre Dame

MUSIC by: J Swizza

If you'd like to join in as an artist, performer or musician, email us:

Tuesday February 21st, 7-10pm

KALEID Gallery
88 South Fourth Street
Downtown San Jose

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fundraising Saved San Jose's Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park

One of the largest skate parks in the US has just been saved by parents getting together and raising $30,000 to keep to park open a midst non-stop budget cuts. I have to be honest, I didn't even know this park existed before reading this article, but it looks pretty incredible. Definitely a hidden treasure in San Jose.

At 68,000 sqft, it is the largest skate park in California. It also features the world's largest "cradle," the largest full-pipe feature, and the tallest vertical wall in any skate park. It opened up in 2008, cost $6.4M to build, and now attracts over 40,000 visitors a year. To find out more about the park and it's "Women Skate It Up" contest, just click the source link below.

Source: The Merc

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Photolog: Moveable Feast in Willow Glen

Food so nice, you’d sit on buckets for it. Seriously, buckets. They were handy, just flip & now you’ve got a garbage can. Of course, they also had regular seats, but with there being so many people buckets were the next logical choice.

The turn out was huge. There was probably even more people there, if I hadn’t shown up late. The line at Scoops was massive.

I dropped by the Hiyaaa truck for a Chicken Quesadilla while the line was still short. The quesadilla wasn’t bad, the side salad with it was limp.

A friend got some sweet potato fries at Sanguchon. It was different; I have never seen fries served with chopped salad in the mix with cheese. The rest of us were in line at KoJa. I was quite happy with the KoJa short rib burger due to its cleverness & nostalgic effect. The toasted rice buns reminded of when my mother uses a clay pot to cook rice & the rice at the bottom would become toasted & crunchy. I also ordered the Mochimisu, which just seemed to be a tiramisu with mochi chunks.

Overall, this moveable feast wasn’t bad. It was only my first one though. But it’s still a fun event to be out at. It’s a nice change of venue now & again instead of just a loud restaurant.

On a side note I had just finished a photoshoot with Ruak Styling using Oxford flats & so it was nice to see some girls out there wearing Oxford flats.

You can checkout more photos on the tru2lifepix FB page or thesanjoseblog FB

San Jose Stage Company presents Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize Winning Buried Child

San Jose, CA  January 26, 2012
Buried Child is the play that launched Sam Shepard’s career as a playwright with the Pulitzer Prize Winning story of the powerful exploration of the American Dream.
The San Jose Stage, the Bay Area’s award-winning off-Broadway theatre, holds the opening Gala on Saturday, February 18 at 8 PM with preview beginning Wednesday and Thursday February 15 and 16 at 7:30 PM and Friday, February 17 at 8 PM.
This powerful and brilliant play probes deep into the disintegration of the American Dream. Winner of the 1979 Pulitzer Prize, Buried Child is set in a squalid farm home, occupied by a family filled with suppressed violence and an unease born of deep-seated unhappiness, all the while harboring a dark secret.
“This ferociously comic play set in the rural economic slowdown of the 1970’, Buried Childseems pertinent to today’s global”, said Artistic Director Randall King, “and reflects the frustrations of the America’s 99%. Buried Child has been called a masterpiece.”
Directed by Kenneth Kelleher the cast includes Lyndsy Kalil*, Randall King*, Michael Navarra*, Tim Hart, Stephen Massott, Judity Miller, and Harold Pierce.
The Stage is located at 490 South Frist Street at William Street in downtown San Jose’s South First (SoFA) area. Tickets are available through the Box Office by calling 408 283 7142 or online at between $20 and $45. Visa and MasterCard are accepted, and discounts are available for groups, students and seniors. The theatre is handicapped accessible.
   # # # 
*Member of Actors Equity Association
About San Jose Stage Company:
Founded in 1983, San Jose Stage Company is recognized as The Bay Area's Premiere Off-Broadway Theatre, and known for its devotion to new and cutting-edge work and for its commitment to showcasing high-quality local talent. In 1986, San Jose Stage Company set precedence as the first arts organization to negotiate and receive support from the Redevelopment Agency and the City of San Jose when over $500,000 was appropriated in support of the development of a new 200-seat theatre featuring a 3/4-thrust stage, which opened in 1990. Now in its 29th Season, SJSC continues to center its operations in this facility and has successfully produced over 138 productions and premiered 44 new works, including 11 world premieres and is acclaimed for maintaining high artistic standards, investing in local talent and supporting the region’s community of working artists while taking artistic risks. In addition to its core programming, San Jose Stage Company offers five core education and outreach programs and has housed over 200 independent performance groups. San Jose Stage Company is a vital force in the community and has earned a reputation for artistic excellence by providing high-quality, edgy theatrical experiences that engage, educate and provoke audiences. San Jose Stage Company serves an audience base of 30,000 and is recognized as a leader in the arts for a theatre of its size. For more information  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the Best City to Find a Job

Here is another reassuring stat that the San Jose economy is picking up steam. Not only is the rate of unemployment dropping precipitously in the San Jose area, but now we're being ranked as the best city to find a job based upon the number of available job openings. Here is the list of how many job postings each city had for each 1000 residents between October and December 2011:

#1 - San Jose: 130
#2 - Washington, DC: 89
#3 - San Francisco: 54
#4 - Boston: 53
#5 - Baltimore: 52
#6 - Raleigh: 50
#7 - Seattle: 42
#8 - Columbus: 38
#9 - Atlanta: 36
#10 - Minneapolis/St. Paul: 35

As you can see, not only were we #1, but we absolutely dominated this list. In fact, there are not enough unemployed people in San Jose to fulfill all of the outstanding job openings based on that stat (there is an issue of qualifying for these jobs, but that is another story). Expect the unemployment rate here to drop substantially over the next 12 months.

Source: Forbes, Dan thanks for the tip!

No. 1 easiest city for finding a job: San Jose, Calif.
Getty Images

Friday, February 10, 2012

Feathers of Fury: A Valentine's Weekend Pillow Fight in Downtown San Jose

Looking for something unique and fun to do this weekend? How about a massive pillow fight? That is exactly what's going down this Sunday at high noon somewhere in Downtown San Jose. To find out exactly where, you'll have to hit up this website sometime after 12:01am Sunday morning.

For a little preview, check out the video below from last year's event. I'm sure it'll be a great time for all. When else can you what a perfect stranger wearing a Santa Claus outfit in the face with a pillow?

For all the details either check out this blog or head over to their Facebook page!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2012 US Figure Skating Championships Drew 100,000 People to San Jose

A whopping 102,619 people showed up for the US Figure Skating Championships in Downtown San Jose in late January, well above the 80,000 that were estimated. The effect was obvious, there were way more people walking around Downtown than normal and the restaurants were definitely more full that week. According the Team San Jose, around 8,400 hotel room nights were booked and $12.5 million was pumped into the local economy.

Now imagine the impact of 3,000,000 visits a year to Downtown if the A's move to San Jose.

Source: SJBJ

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

San Jose Taiko Presents HIMAWARI

San JosĂ©, CA --- January 26, 2012 --- San Jose Taiko presents HIMAWARI: a unique collaboration with San Jose Taiko and the three members of Hanayui - Chieko Kojima, Yoko Fujimoto, Mitsue Kinjo, and guest artist, Yoshikazu Fujimoto of Kodo.
HIMAWARI (Sunflower) is the union of the performers of San Jose Taiko and Hanayui in a collaboration ten years in the making. Both groups explore their common roots and Japanese ancestry through music and dance: San Jose Taiko coming from the Japanese American community in San Jose, California, and Hanayui coming from Kodo Village on Sado Island in Japan.
The project name HIMAWARI was selected for the sunflower's strength as a symbol of power and energy, and a source for nurturing and sustaining life. San Jose Taiko and Hanayui first came together to create HIMAWARI in 2000 and debuted the program in Hawaii in 2002. The program included traditional folk songs and dances from Japan, contemporary taiko drumming from America, and collaborations that combined all of these elements. The new program will include works from the original program and showcase original arrangements from both Hanayui and San Jose Taiko.
“We’re very excited to be working with our friends at Kodo once again.” explains San Jose Taiko’s newly appointed Artistic Director Franco Imperial. “Their performances are so beautifully soulful. For audiences who have never seen them, their artistry touches on something both foreign and universal. For people familiar with taiko, it will be simply astounding to see these legendary artists all on the same stage.”
“This is a great opportunity for San Jose to witness Japanese artists of this caliber”, states newly- appointed Executive Director Wisa Uemura. “This collaboration concert will feature unparalleled performances of Japanese folk traditions from the senior members of Kodo along with contemporary interpretations of the taiko artform from San Jose Taiko.”
The performance will take place at the San Jose Repertory Theater, 101 Paseo De San Anotnio, San Jose on Saturday, February 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors if purchased at the door on the day of the event. Call (408) 293-9344 by 5:00 p.m. February 10 to receive a $5 discount on each ticket. For more information visit
********* Hanayui is made up of Kodo members Chieko Kojima and Yoko Fujimoto, joined by Okinawan dance expert Mitsue Kinjo. The Japanese word hana means “flower” and symbolized the youthful energy that Hanayui puts into their performances. The word yuimeans “to tie,” and recalls the relationship formed in ancient villages in Japan when families came together to share in both hardships and harvests.
Chieko Kojima was born in Iwafune, Tochigi-prefecture. Chieko first encountered Japanese folk dancing when she joined Ondekoza in 1976. When Kodo was formed, Chieko carved out a niche for herself as one of the few regularly performing female members. She is noted for the original style of her dancing in Kodo's taiko-based performance. Chieko enjoys expanding her repertoire and meeting new and stimulating people in her travels across the globe.
Yoko Fujimoto joined Ondekoza (later Kodo) in 1976. After three years appearing as a koto player, singer and dancer, she stepped down from the stage to edit Kodo’s monthly Japanese language newsletter for the next 13 years. In 1989 she began to sing again and has been Kodo's principal vocalist ever since. In 1996 she toured Cuba and North America with her husband Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Kodo's principal O-daiko player, giving drum-and- song workshops. She also conducts 'Voice Circle' workshops, which help participants to rediscover song and the power of their own voices.
Okinawa native Mitsue Kinjo entered the Okinawan dance groupe "Hana no Kai" in 1979 and was trained by Takako Sato. It was through her activities in Okinawan dance that Mitsue first encountered Kodo. Later, after receiving the Okinawa Times Highest Award for Achievement in the Performing Arts, Mitsue married a Kodo member and moved to Sado Island. Mitsue first participated in the Kodo Village Festival as a member of Hanayui and has continued in to participate as a dancer in other capacities since.
Yoshikazu Fujimoto joined Ondeko-za (later Kodo) in 1972, was one of the founding members of Kodo, and was the group's featured O-daiko player and center-man for the "Yatai-bayashi" climax piece. Yoshikazu is presently Kodo's most senior performing member. In recent years he has played a large role in educating the Kodo apprentices, and is conducting more and more workshops for the general public.
# # #
About San Jose Taiko:
San Jose Taiko, with a deep respect of cultural traditions and a commitment to artistic excellence, is dedicated to the advancement of the taiko art form through the development of its world-class Performing Ensemble and the San Jose Taiko Conservatory. Located in the heart of Japantown of San Jose, the company performs throughout the Bay Area, the United States and abroad.
Since 1973, San Jose Taiko (SJT) has integrated this historical Japanese art form with other world rhythms. All compositions performed by SJT are written or arranged by members of the group. Composing, choreographing, designing and producing costumes, and handcrafting of the drums are part of the holistic process in which all members participate. Through this singleness of mind and spirit, harmony is achieved and the music rings with unity and clarity.
Enrich the human spirit. Connect people beyond cultural and demographic boundaries.
San Jose Taiko, P.O. Box 26895, San Jose, CA 95159    408 293 9344         

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Huge Pro-Development Changes

Just last week San Jose officials passed several pro-development changes to encourage more companies to move here. These policies are a complete 180 from the previous proposal to raise business taxes in San Jose. Here is a list of the changes:
  • Lower construction taxes on tenant improvements citywide from 4.5% to 1% for office and R&D space
  • Temporarily lower traffic impact fees on new construction in North San Jose from $12.69 per sqft to $5
  • Create 21 new permanent positions related to processing planning and building permits (!!!)
  • Easing the requirement of new development in North San Jose being at least 14 stories tall
Already one new developer has contacted the city to take advantage of these changes and this will no doubt create a lot of buzz around those looking to expand or locate in the valley. This is definitely the right direction to encourage more businesses to locate here, pump more dollars into our economy, and eventually balance our budget without reducing city services.

Click here for more info.

Monday, February 6, 2012

5th Annual Open Your Heart Pajama Drive

The San Jose will be hosting its 5th Annual Open Your Heart Pajama Drive. 
The drive will be held on Friday, February 10, from 6 am-10 am.  Please consider donating new pajamas and books for the children in need.  The Fairmont will host a milk and cookie reception for any school children that participate during the drive on Friday morning.

The Pajama Program is a national non-profit organization providing comfort and love in the way of new pajamas to children-in-need and children waiting for a permanent home. They are youngsters who do not know the comforts of a mother or father to tuck them into a cozy bed and read them a bedtime story. Many have been abandoned or abused, most deprived of any love at all. “By providing pajamas we help to create a warm and nurturing bedtime environment for vulnerable youngsters living under difficult circumstances” says Pallie Zambrano, attorney-at-law and co-president of Northern California chapter. For more information, please contact or

Located in world-class destinations around the globe, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of hotels that includes landmark locations like London’s The Savoy, New York’s The Plaza, and Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel. With more than 60 hotels, Fairmont is known as much for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, as its classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also regarded for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and SwissĂ´tel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit
Pallie Zambrano
Northern California Chapter
Pajama Program

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Downtown Hyatt Place Now Open

The very first Hyatt Place Hotel in San Jose has just opened up it's doors across the street from the convention center. Some of the amenities are free breakfast, free WiFi, 42 inch HDTVs in all 234 rooms, a 24/7 guest kitchen, and a new bakery cafe with a bar.

For more info, click here.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday Stats: Colleges That Will Make You Rich

Recently, Forbes put out a list of the 20 colleges whose graduates had the highest average salaries 10-19 years after graduation. All 3 South Bay colleges made the list (San Jose was the only CSU on the list):

#3.) Stanford University - Average Graduate Salary: $116,954
#4.) Santa Clara University - Average Graduate Salary: $110,351
#14.) San Jose State University - Average Graduate Salary: $90,546

Other Bay Area Colleges on the List:

#5.) St. Mary's - Average Graduate Salary: $97,415
#12.) UC Berkeley - Average Graduate Salary: $103,554
#13.) USF - Average Graduate Salary: $93,430

Source: Forbes

Friday, February 3, 2012

South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk Today!

February 3rd is the 7th Anniversary of the South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk in downtown
San Jose! Come help us celebrate!

Phantom Galleries has two new exhibitions:

Blessed Are the Beasts, For They Shall Inherit the Earth by Katrina Marie Loera at Good Karma Vegan Cafe

and Catchwork in Rhythm paintings by Ricky Gumbrecht at Pho69.

KALEID Gallery has two featured solo exhibits:
Lunar Phases a new photography series by Centa Schumacher

and Brutal / Tender recent works by Al Preciado

with special performances by Cellist Freya Seeburger

Check out the full schedule of all 18 art venues and print out your own art walk map:

Stop by the TOTEM booth during the SOUTH FIRST Friday Art Walk for your chance to win a free pair of tickets, pick-up a special limited time discount card and check out the local Cirque-inspired performer! TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil opens March 2nd at the Taylor Street Bridge.
For more information on TOTEM, please visit: