Silicon Valley Year in Review 2013

January 2013

cindy Chavez Cindy Chavez

Supervisor Swap

Labor leader Cindy Chavez invited District Attorney Jeff Rosen to lunch at P.F. Chang's in January and warned that prosecuting embattled county supervisor George Shirakawa would upset East Side voters. Rosen didn't back down and when Chavez's ally resigned in disgrace, she ran for his seat. Chavez overcame conflict-of-interest allegations that she'd conspired with nonprofit executive Kathleen King to fund political campaigns with money raised to pay health premiums for poor kids. Her victory in the low- turnout special election was one of the costliest local races ever.

NHL Lockout ends

It seems so long ago, but once upon a time there was no hockey in San Jose. And, man, was it boring. The NHL lockout left fans and downtown business owners twiddling their thumbs for several months, proving that sports are a key economic driver in the city's core. (Now just imagine if we had the A's, too.) The Sharks slipped into the playoffs after the shortened season but managed to yet again fall short and break our hearts in new ways. Maybe this will be the year? Maybe we should just stop saying that

Metro Buys San Jose Revealed

Unwilling to let a good story die, Metro purchased the domain name for an abandoned political attack blog that was run by Philip Bump, a freelance writer and former South Bay Labor Council political director. The website, SanJoseRevealed.com, anonymously smeared journalists and opponents of labor-backed candidates, even going as far as to publish home addresses that led to vandalism and a hate crime. For a $10-a-year domain fee, the Internet never forgets.

Whiz kid hangs himself

Aaron Swartz, the 26-year-old Stanford dropout who co-created RSS and social news giant Reddit, hanged himself. He regularly blogged about suffering depression, and his family claims government spying on his online activities pushed him over the edge. After selling Reddit at age 19 to Conde Nast for a reported $20 million, the digital prodigy went on to protest Internet censorship. He butted heads with the FBI in 2009 after releasing millions of federal court documents online, and Massachusetts authorities indicted him two years later for allegedly hacking MIT computers. Before his legal troubles, though, Swartz penned a cryptic essay in 2007 entitled, [ http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/dying ]"A Moment Before Dying." In it, he described "a moment, immediately before life becomes no longer worth living, when the world appears to slow down and all its myriad details suddenly become brightly, achingly apparent."

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