Background image: Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe.
The links below will take you to freelance pieces I do for newspapers and magazines. If you're interested in sports stories from my time with the San Jose Mercury News, go here.
What people earn: Tech dominates Silicon Valley job scene
Sept. 11, 2015
You sense it when a three-bedroom cottage in Willow Glen lists at $1.1 million, sells for $1.3 million, and the buyer tears it down so he can build what he really wants.
You’re convinced when you drive down Blossom Hill Road in Los Gatos and pass a dealership selling Aston Martins, Bentleys, Bugattis, Lamborghinis, Lotuses and Rolls-Royces, plus the occasional Ferrari trade-in.
Many of the nearly 2 million people in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area are making a lot of money, which is reflected in 2014 data collected by American City Business Journals, publisher of the Silicon Valley Business Journal, from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Reinventing the urban experience: How to add life to downtown San Jose
June 26, 2015
Danny Harris has lived in San Jose only eight months, but he has a Silicon Valley native’s love for the word “disruption,” a home near St. James Park, a walking commute to a downtown cubbyhole of an office, a mental map of coffee spots and such a facility for telling stories that one of his previous job titles was “chief storytelling officer.” This matters because Harris has more than the typical newcomer’s influence on what happens to the nation’s 10th-largest city.
Performance Anxiety: The state of the arts in Silicon Valley
June 12, 2015
Across Silicon Valley, performing arts organizations struggle to find funds and draw audiences. They’re looking for ways to adapt, but what will it take to keep them alive as they try to reach the coder’s soul?
Why some local governments are so nervous about a state airline-tax bill
June 2, 2015
The California Senate Appropriations Committee is working on a hotly disputed bill that would strip counties of their authority for assessing taxes on the planes that airlines fly in the state, giving that responsibility instead to the state Board of Equalization (BOE).
Silicon Valley Regional Economic Forum attendees support higher taxes to tackle Valley's big problems
May 29, 2015
Instant polling among the 400 attendees at today’s fourth annual Silicon Valley Regional Economic Forum revealed strong support for increased taxes and fees to support some of the Valley’s needs: transportation, affordable housing, early childhood education, more state funding for higher education and a $15 minimum wage.
What's California's economic future? San Jose mayor and economist spar over the answer
May 29, 2015
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and California economist Christopher Thornberg began the San Jose State Economic Summit battling to paint a rosier picture of the state’s economic future. The rosiness paled when the speakers began to note the inescapably obvious:
There’s little water left in California’s well.
The college degrees that Californians are earning in psychology and business management don’t lead to jobs in engineering, computer science and pharmacy, which are in demand.
Our transportation infrastructure is full of potholes.
There aren’t enough places to live even though too much of San Jose’s land is occupied by government service-consuming housing rather than tax-producing businesses.
Major League Soccer All-Star Game coming to San Jose
May 28, 2015
The top soccer league in the U.S. announced today that one of its showcase games will be held in San Jose next year.
Major League Soccer has selected Avaya Stadium, the new home of the San Jose Earthquakes, to be the host of the 2016 All-Star Game.
Meet the winners of 13 Knight Foundation grants intended to burnish downtown San Jose's appeal
May 27, 2015
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundationannounced $620,000 in grants Wednesday for 13 projects intended to make downtown San Jose more attractive to workers and residents. Ranging from advertising that promotes the SoFa arts and cultural district to a mobile coffee cart in St. James Park to figuring out how to entice visitors to explore more of what the central city has to offer, “the $620,000 is part of a larger process,” said Danny Harris, the foundation’s program director for San Jose. “Central San Jose is a region where [the Knight Foundation] thinks we can make an impact on helping develop a vibrant urban core.”
Lots of jobs in San Jose, but cost of living pushes its desirability down in new ranking
May 19, 2015
San Jose has the most job opportunities per capita, according to a new report based on data from job review site Glassdoor. San Francisco ranks No. 2. Those statistics are part of a new study by Mill Valley-based Glassdoor, which included the criteria as part of its evaluation of the nation’s top 25 cities for jobs.
Market makers: At Zanotto’s, family needs dictate growth
May 15, 2015
Almost four years after pulling its failing grocery out of downtown San Jose — an attempted expansion that nearly undid the local Zanotto’s Family Markets chain — the collection of neighborhood specialty markets that began with a single Rose Garden store 40 years ago is standing again.
South Bay oasis: Four passenger train operations keep San Jose rolling
The nation’s 10th-largest city, San Jose has been flirting with the one million population mark for several years. Within the city and surrounding Santa Clara County are 74 passenger rail stations, 62 of them on the Valley Transportation Authority’s light-rail system. The remainder serve one of three passenger carriers: Amtrak, CalTrain and the Altamont Corridor Express, known as ACE. These railroads intertwine and connect at several locations, but all come together at only one place, Diridon Station, a national historic landmark on the edge of downtown.
(TRAINS subscribers only, behind paywall)
Check out the new Zanotto's market in Sunnyvale
April 15, 2015
Two hours before the 10 a.m. “soft opening” of the new Zanotto’s Market in Sunnyvale, Store President Troy Zanottowas busy stocking shelves with last-minute items and dealing with some of the 100 vendors scattered throughout the store.
Symphony Silicon Valley: "Lord of the Rings" like you've never heard it before
April 10, 2015
Symphony Silicon Valley President Andrew Bales acknowledges the irony of his $800,000 bet on showing the three “Lord of the Rings” movies in a row, set to live music.
What do Silicon Valley's WrestleMania 31 and Super Bowl 50 have in common? Hint: Ka-ching!
March 26, 2015
WrestleMania and the Super Bowl may be different forms of entertainment, but their economic effects are likely to have more in common than the impact of a Super Bowl compared with that of a 49ers game.