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December 23, 2008

Morning News Round-Up – 12.23.08: More Drunk News…


Congratulations, Sergeant Manion and Officer D’Arrigo. You received a get out of jail free card from the secret Grand Jury, just in time for Christmas. These guys were not indicted for their part in the Sandra Woodall drunk driving cover up – they may not be so lucky when Chief Rob Davis begins his own internal investigation…but Watch Dog expects they’ll be ok.

The Merc. recommends the drunk Task Force installed by Mayor Reed and Councilmember Campos focus first on the wildly disproportionate arrests of Latinos. What the Editorial doesn’t say is that this Task Force won’t start until 3 months after the problem was identified by their reporter Sean Webby and that the Task Force won’t make any recommendations until April…six months?!

Make note of this name, Ausaf Umar Siddiqui. He managed to scam Fry’s Electronics, and vendors, for $65 million since 2005. This story includes “secret backroom” deals, masquerading as an owner, casino jets, exotic cars, and swarms of FBI agents invading Fry’s to take Siddiqui away in handcuffs. Fry’s spokesman Manuel Valerio says that while Siddiqui made off with millions “neither Fry’s nor Fry’s customers were damaged by this.” Watch Dog wonders if the Fry’s family would agree. (As an aside, does anyone out there remember rising political star Manuel Valerio? Same guy…)

It’s a big week for travelers. The weather around the country is not cooperating. If air travel is on your mind, be patient and bring your sense of humor. David Vossbrink, spokesman at the Mineta International Airport, says that the cancellation of hundred’s of flights across the country due to blizzards raging from Seattle to Chicago to Washington, D.C., were most troublesome for San Jose flights. And take it from Vossbrink — he knows something about patience and sense of humor from his last job

Mr. Roadshow received a request to make 2009 the Year of the Pedestrian – making travel safer for those on foot. Pedestrian deaths are on the rise, making streets more pedestrian (and bike) friendly seems a logical solution.

San Jose Revealed does a holiday rundown of the less than cheerful variety. Revealed is surprised that the ball playing skills of the President-elect’s appointees are more newsworthy than torture. Well, perhaps Revealed never saw the Bush Basketball Team — Cheney sucked! We needed a change…

Morgan Hill looks at budget cuts that include shutting off residential streetlights, letting potholes go unrepaired, shutting down playgrounds, letting park turf die, and decreasing code enforcement. Mayor Steve Tate says, “It’s not anything real dramatic that you would notice a whole bunch. Maybe if you’re going to a park every day, and see half the grass gone, you’d notice that. It depends. Generally, I don’t think you will.” Mayor Tate — voters have a funny way of noticing such things. You know who else notices such things?…the Morgan Hill Police showed up in force with nearly half the department at the Council meeting to protest the loss of three police officers.

The Los Gatos Observer posts photos of the Monte Sereno and Los Gatos Councils being sworn in. Watch Dog is a little confused as the Observer ran the story of the Los Gatos swearing in on November 18 – complete with photos of Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner delivering the oath of office. Is news so slow in Los Gatos that the Observer needs to rerun old news?

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