Opinion: East Bay reservoir plan benefits Silicon Valley economy

With California’s Mediterranean climate and frequent droughts, water storage has helped keep our economy strong and meet the public’s need for water. Related Articles Opinion: Helping young men of color join Bay Area’s booming economy Opinion: Bay Area dad who lost two kids questions Trump’s opioid plan Opinion: New taxes, tolls, bonds and fees just keep coming Opinion: Evergreen ‘Senior Homes Initiative’ is a threat to your neighborhood, too Opinion: Heads up, Silicon Valley businesses — Head Start gives workers, kids a better chance Unfortunately, in the past, some reservoir projects have included waste-inducing subsidies and caused severe environmental damage, especially to California’s salmon, and to the communities and fishing… Read More

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San Jose: Park dedicated to Iris Chang could be delayed by Microsoft project

SAN JOSE — Not far from where best-selling Chinese-American author Iris Chang lived before she died in 2004, a vacant plot near an apartment-lined street in North San Jose that was planned to memorialize her is still covered in dirt and surrounded by an orange fence. Two years ago, San Jose leaders agreed to build a new 3-acre park there named after the internationally recognized author. It was supposed to open this year. But it hasn’t been an easy journey. First, the park’s debris-filled soil needed to be replaced, causing a year-long delay. Now, supporters worry, a proposal to build a water well on the site primarily to support a… Read More

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Nov. 5 Letters: San Jose should not adopt draconian rent price controls

The San Jose City Council will consider more changes to its rent control law. One side of the debate sees an affordability crisis that should be fixed by increasing supply and enforcing existing laws. Mayor Sam Liccardo’s housing plan aims to address that crisis. The other side only offers draconian price controls that will degrade the quality of the housing stock. The facts do not support the need for further restrictions on housing providers. Rents on rent controlled apartments have increased by 4.3 percent annually since 2009, even though the law allowed for increases of up to 8 percent. And our housing production has fallen short of what’s needed. On… Read More

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A farewell after 40 years

Near the end of the movie “Titanic,” as the big ship is about to plunge into the deep, Jack turns to Rose and says, “This is it!” almost giddy as the freezing water approaches. I feel a bit that way today as I write my last column for the Mercury News. Yes, this is it: After 40 years with the newspaper and more than 14 as a local columnist, I’m retiring. I’m almost giddy, though I wonder about the temperature of the water. It was in November, 1977, that I walked into the Mercury News’ North County bureau in an office building at the San Antonio Shopping Center in Mountain… Read More

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Muslim and LGBTQ students targeted for bullying, surveys show

Just how much of the inflammatory rhetoric from the nation’s political leaders harms young people isn’t precisely known, but two recently released surveys show that groups scapegoated in public run greater risk of being bullied. One survey recently released by an Islamic civil-rights group, showed that bullying of Muslim students in California rose significantly in 2016-’17, from two years earlier. Another nationwide survey, covering 5½ years and released last month by the San Francisco-based non-profit YouthTruth, indicated that 26 percent of more than 180,000 school-age students reported being bullied — but among those who don’t identify with gender norms 45 percent were targeted. The Council on American-Islamic Relations-California, which surveyed… Read More

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Governor’s PERA plan throws a curveball into looming political fight over state pension reform

When the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association in September crafted its plan to shore up the retirement fund’s $32 billion unfunded liability, its board of directors sent a near-unanimous message: To navigate the politically treacherous waters of pension reform requires nothing short of “shared sacrifice” from taxpayers, employees and retirees. Last week, Gov. John Hickenlooper sent a message of his own: Taxpayers have already sacrificed enough. “I took the partisan politics off the table and I tried to look at the long-term stability of PERA,” Hickenlooper told The Denver Post. “This seemed to me to be the way to make it as fair as possible.” The Democratic governor’s PERA policy… Read More

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