Saturday, July 11

Tag: OneWorldCities

Permanente Quarry: Life on the Rocks
Culture, Events

Permanente Quarry: Life on the Rocks

Financially beleaguered German mining company HeidelbergCement, owner of Silicon Valley's devastating Permanente Quarry, wants to expand and extend the mine's reclamation to 2060, after the company told county residents in 2012 that it would close the mine and reclaim the land by 2032. By Sharon Simonson SILICON VALLEY—Given that Santa Clara County Supervisors devoted fewer than ten minutes to the item, and considering that four of the five supervisors asked no questions, and understanding that the fifth’s questions were superficial and unrevealing—nothing about the unanimous vote during their virtual meeting on the afternoon of May 12 telegraphed significance. But for residents of Silicon Valley and the global German mining company HeidelbergCement, which owns the Permanente Quarry above...
Silicon Valley Home Girl
Culture, Demographics

Silicon Valley Home Girl

By Sharon Simonson Hometown. Homespun. Home run. Home cooking. Homecoming. Homestead. Homebound. Home girl. Phone home. Homeward. Homemade. Mi casa es su casa. Homey. Homeless. Is there home away from home? I’ve begun to clear the dust from behind the closed doors of my corona addled mind. I, like so many others, have gloried in the beauty of the spring, a beauty that people worldwide have viewed through vastly clearer air. You don’t have to be that thoughtful to see the unpleasant irony of such a vital display of re-birth amidst pandemic death. I’m going to make a prediction, though perhaps it is more fledgling hope: after three or four or however many months mostly in our homes, yards and neighborhoods, Americans are going to feel differently about caring for them. Yes, for some it wi...
Little Cesar Chavez Chapel in the Parking Lot
Culture, Demographics

Little Cesar Chavez Chapel in the Parking Lot

By Sharon Simonson Was this the right place? The National Historic Landmark dedicated a mere twelve months ago to Cesar Chavez, the most significant Latino leader in the United States in the twentieth century? Was this 2020 East San Antonio Street, San Jose, Silicon Valley? Was that the chapel building where the farm worker movement began? Where Chavez spent five early years, his spirit fired by Catholic faith and his mind by the community organizing talents of Saul Alinsky? Was that it, hemmed round by a trash-strewn parking lot in which desperate people had created huddled shelters? What the hell was going on? A bronze marker in front of the small tan building suggested it was the right place. I parked and got out. The little chapel, deconsecrated now and called McDonnell Hall, stoo...
70,000 New Homes But Still Not Enough
Demographics

70,000 New Homes But Still Not Enough

By Sharon Simonson Same as it ever was. Even with nearly 70,000 new homes built in the Bay Area in the last five years, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data, 2015 population counts exclaim the continuing and huge disconnect between demand to live in the region and the production of new abodes. To keep pace with population growth of more than 450,000 since 2010, the region’s five primary counties—Santa Clara, Alameda, San Francisco, Contra Costa and San Mateo—should have built 155,630 new homes, based on an average of three people per household. That’s 83,000 homes more than were produced.  The existing housing stock absorbed at least some of the difference, with the average number of people per home rising in every county. Nationally, the average number of people per ho...
Oh Baby! San Francisco Births on the Rise
Demographics

Oh Baby! San Francisco Births on the Rise

State demographers said San Francisco, San Mateo and Alameda counties would experience declining births. They were wrong. By Sharon Simonson With wildly expensive housing and poorly perceived public schools, San Francisco has not enjoyed a reputation as a child-rearing mecca. As recently as 2010, state demographers predicted the number of births in the city each year would drop by a quarter over the coming decade. Trend lines were the same in Alameda and San Mateo counties. New U.S. Census Bureau birth estimates illustrate anew the pitfalls of future-telling: the number of babies born each year in both San Francisco and Alameda counties in fact rose from 2010 through 2015 and stayed steady in San Mateo County. A state demographer says their estimates erred in two, relate...
One World Plays Soccer, Thinks Better
Demographics

One World Plays Soccer, Thinks Better

(Editor's note: One World Play Project and SiliconValleyOneWorld.com are unaffiliated.) WEST BERKELEY, Calif. — In the narrow streets with clapboard housing, old industrial buildings and funky restaurants that constitute West Berkeley, the offices of One World Play Project fit comfortably next to the Westside Café and Ashtanga Yoga Berkeley. Chief Giving Officer and co-founder Lisa Tarver executes her duties for the five-year-old company from a second-story loft office. On a recent workday afternoon, a handful of casually dressed young women and men sit at modern work stations in two large open rooms below. Pink, blue, green and yellow balls clutter shelves and other surfaces throughout. Tarver is joined by Frew Tibebu, an Ethiopian-American and East Bay resident engaged in a One...
EnActe Arts Brings Indian Playwright Anuvab Pal’s ‘Chaos’ to Silicon Valley
Uncategorized

EnActe Arts Brings Indian Playwright Anuvab Pal’s ‘Chaos’ to Silicon Valley

By Sharon Simonson In the end, Sunita Sen sought simplicity in her existence that being an immigrant denied her. It was too much to digest—the cloying richness of American life on top of nearly 250 years of colonial rule. The lead character in the 2000 play “Chaos Theory” by American-educated Indian playwright Anuvab Pal, Sen has just been offered a full scholarship to attend Harvard University when the play's action begins in 1965. It is less than 20 years after India’s independence from Britain. Sen anticipates the intellectual permissiveness of American academia with glee. “I think I’m looking for something,” she tells her love interest Mukesh “Muk” (then later “Michael”) Singh, in New Delhi in the days before she leaves. “American universities are great—all this freedom, e...
Reaching for a Higher Self, Finding Better Technology
Uncategorized

Reaching for a Higher Self, Finding Better Technology

  By Sharon Simonson SAN MATEO—A Silicon Valley tech executive who exited the corporate fast lane in 2011 to study yoga in The Himalayas has returned bearing new insights that she believes can enhance worker productivity, creativity, innovation and happiness. Samya Boxberger-Oberoi never expected to write a book on yoga, to spend three-and-a-half months in an ashram or to see her life come full circle when she left Lab126, the research and development arm of Amazon, where she helped develop the Kindle e-reader for international buyers. But four years after her departure, she published “The Philosophy and Science of Yoga: The Power of Self-Expression 5,000 Years in the Making” exclusively on the Kindle. Friends say it is the doctoral dissertation she never finished. She...