Archive for the ‘gilory’ Category

Morning News Round-Up — 1.14.10: Nothing Snarky to Write Here…

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

The Oakland A’s desire to move to San Jose continue to light up the sports/blog/news world. Here are a few samples… from the Tri-Valley Herald, and editorial about the NUMMI site as a possibility, pointing out this: “…Ironically, it was the NUMMI plant and Toyota that helped torpedo Fremont’s last pitch to the A’s for a new ballpark…” And a story from USA Today, includes this gem of a quote from A’s owner Lew Wolff: “It is like we are bing held hostage… We tried to make it work in Oakland. We exhausted everything we could in our area. It can’t work. For us to compete, we’ve got to have revenue, and for us to get revenue we have to move to San Jose. It’s that simple.
Andrew King, the swim coach/molester, will face his victims in court
Here’s another heartwarming story… a San Jose woman’s car was repossessed because she was late with her payments. Ok, that happens all the time. But her 2-year old son was in the car. Oops.
The Mercury News Editorial board comments (positively) on the Tom Campbell political switcheroo (from Guv’s race to Senate race)… The Editorial board also chimes in (positively) on Google’s pulling out of China. A very positive day on Ridder Park Drive…
Nothing is easy to build/upgrade/restore in Los Gatos, but (finally) plans to rebuild/restore the Los Gatos Public Library passed the Town Council on Monday. Kudos all around.
El Camino Real and Stanford Avenue, perhaps one of the worst intersections in Silicon Valley, is going to get redesigned… thank goodness. Maybe this is the one thing that everyone in Palo Alto can agree on… it got a 5-0 vote on the Planning and Transportation Commission.
Small town politics can be wacky… like in Morgan Hill. Years ago, a local attorney/Commissioner Bruce Tichinin hired a spy to keep tabs on the City Manager… the City Council condemned him and asked him to step down. Tichinin filed a lawsuit… yada, yada, yada… the California Supreme Court denied a legal petition by the City of Morgan Hill. Just be happy you aren’t involved in Morgan Hill politics… sorry Larry Carr…
Gilroy is still obsessed with pot. We learn from today’s Dispatch that there are at least 4 “quiet” dispensaries there… Watch Dog is fan of the loud dispensaries, rather than the quiet ones…
Most cities would love a downtown grocery store… heck, San Jose tried 30 years to get one and now has two. But the Mountain View City Council said no to two proposals for downtown grocery stores this week

Morning News Round-Up — 1.13.10: Mayor of Almaden for Senate…

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

It is a big political news day locally…
The Mayor of Almaden Valley (not Jim Cunneen or Pat Dando) Tom Campbell is dropping out of the $uper rich race for Governor against Meg Whitman and $teve Poizner and turning his sites on the slightly less rich Carly Fiorina. Campbell will jump into the Republican primary for US Senate with Fiorina and the right winger from the Southern California (Chuck DeVore)… Continue to do Almaden proud Mr. Campbell.
The pro-Santa Clara 49ers stadium folks delivered 8,000 signatures for their ballot measure to Santa Clara City Hall yesterday. Begging the question: there are 8,000 people in Santa Clara? (Just kidding.) That is almost double what they need to qualify the measure. Expect an election in June. (And expect James Rowen to continue writing about it…)
Supervisor Ken Yeager is the new President of the Board of Supervisors, taking over for Liz Kniss at yesterday’s meeting. Congrats President Yeager, and good luck with that budget…
And finally this political piece: the Palo Alto Unified School District will go for a parcel tax renewal and hike in May. They are looking to increase their current parcel tax ($493) by $96. Every other school district in the County is drooling at those numbers…
The much-discussed ‘inclusionary housing’ policy in San Jose passed yesterday, much to the chagrine of Councilmembers Pete Constant and Pierluigi Oliverio who were out-voted by a 9 to 2 margin. The policy doesn’t go into affect until 2013 at the earliest
Merc columnis Mike Cassidy continues his Mercury News boosterism by letting us all know that the Mercury Newsfocuses on offering unique local content” and that they do local better than anyone. Ok. Saying it doesn’t make it so Mr. Cassidy. Perhaps covering a new President of the Board of Supervisors would be “unique local content” but it doesn’t appear anywhere on the Merc’s site…
A big Bay restoration project will break ground in Alviso today. This is a long time coming… like 80 years.
This should go over big… the Cupertino Union School District is increasing its teacher-to-student ratio in order to deal with budget shortfalls. Expect crowded meetings and upset parents…
The Third Street Promenade opened to traffic (cars and people) yesterday. Not the one in Santa Monica, but the one in Morgan Hill.
There will be no pot dispensaries in Gilroy. That’s the vote of the City Council. It didn’t pass by five votes, however, meaning that it won’t go into affect immediately, but rather in February. (Note to those candidates running for the South County Supervisorial seat — the vote at the Gilroy City Council was split. One of the candidates in your race is in favor of pot dispensaries…) San Jose Inside breaks the “sticky situation” down as well…
Protect San Jose, which has been complaining about the Mercury News for some time, is now fond of reposting things directly from their website. Yesterday they reposted some comments that have been published in response to Bobby Lopez’s “Latinos have a drinking problem” piece. Because the comment section of the Mercury News is where enlightened dialogue thrives…

Morning News Round-Up — 6.26.09: Ich bin ein Berliner Day…

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Seriously, it is Ich bin ein Berliner Day

The estranged wife of San Jose pension fund Trustee Patrick Skillsky has come to his defense calling him a wonderful man. The Mrs. blames booze and stress for her husband trying to kill her and beating the tar out of San Mateo Police Officers. Stress and booze leading to domestic violence, sounds like just the type of guy you want overseeing billions of public employee pensions…

Aspiring politicos love to be on the San Jose Planning Commission. Unless, of course, you are involved in a controversy just as you prepare to run for City Council. That’s what’s happening right now on the Planning Commissioners. At the center of the controversy seems to be Xavier Campos, who denies that he violated the Brown Act open government rules.

East Side Union High School District Trustees saved sports! The formal (one time) money shuffle is complete. The future of East Side Union sports is up to athletes and donors to find another $1 million. Now, onto the academics

The dip in White Road was not your imagination, there’s a busted water pipe leaking thousands of gallons of water a day. Santa Clara Water District spokesperson Susan Siravo is hoping the pipe and road will be up and running in a week. Your shocks and struts may not be so lucky…

The Merc’s Editorial Board cheers the County’s decision to bring Lawyer/Former Supervisor/Dr. Jeffrey Smith on board as the new County Executive. The Editorial closes with a nudge for the Supervisors “…find the political will to back him up…”

After “VIGOROUSLY” objecting to Morgan Hill’s “low-ball” offer for their downtown home, Dwight and Linda Jungkeit asked the City Council to delay the decision on eminent domain. Next time the attorney is expected to be in the room for what promises to be a fun discussion.

The party is over (for now) in Gilroy. Officials from the Department of Justice along with Morgan Hill and Gilroy Police swept up a “bevy” of coke, shrooms, pot, and the “Love Drug” along with guns not meant for a deer hunt.

A little over a decade ago, Morgan Hill Unified School District was ordered to stop harassment of gay students and pay over $1 million in damages to six gay students. The settlement period is finished. Status reports to the ACLU will stop, as will training. Oh, by the way, complaints of discrimination are up, according to Board President Don Moody.

Gilroy Unified School District needs a new Superintendent and is giving themselves 16 weeks to find the new Super. Watch Dog San Mateo has an idea

Checking in on the local blogosphere:

San Jose Revealed seems to be sticking to the “pneumonia” excuse for a long, long time. Not to sound unsympathetic, but Watch Dog is skeptical… they haven’t posted since June 14th. According to WebMd:

For most people, pneumonia can be treated at home. It often clears up in 2 to 3 weeks.

San Jose Inside gets in on Mayor Reed’s trip up to the Most Dysfunctional Place on Earth (a.k.a. Sacramento) to tell the Governor to keep his hands off local funds. Sounds like an awesome meeting. (Mission City Lantern likes this story too…)

Protect San Jose has some reader-generated ideas about how to solve the City’s budget mess. Most interesting to Watch Dog is that Councilmember Pete Constant takes aim at the Mariachi Festival. He and Bobby Lopez must share talking points

Morning News Round-Up – 4.21.09: It was an interesting fact…

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

It’s been a fun filled month in San Jose with Porn BFF’s Larry Pegram and Pete Constant battling for headlines over Mayor Chuck Reed’s “clownish” IPA mishap and the ongoing Drunk Task Force drama. Rep’s from the rest of Silicon Valley are breathing a deep sigh of relief as San Jose stays firmly in the spotlight.

San Jose’s IPA screw-up continued. Unless you were under a rock you saw this one coming…

  • The newly appointed Independent Police Auditor Chris Constantin quits under the growing outrage.
  • San Jose officials sheepishly admit newly appointed Independent Police Auditor Chris Constantin would be auditing his own brother.
  • Watch Dog posted the early rumor about the eminent demise of Chris Constantin as Independent Police Auditor.
  • Mayor Reed : When asked about the brother “It was an interesting fact and probably should have been in there. But it was one of a whole series of facts about the man.”
  • Councilmember Nora Campos stomps her foot saying she received a promise from the Mayor.
  • Merc Editorial : Constantin did not disclose the brotherly love in his application. City leaders did not tell a citizen review panel about Constantin’s brother, those same leaders did not ask the city attorney about any conflict.
  • Scott Herhold : Mayor Reed’s staffers were unenthusiastic about Constantin, it was a clownish affair. Way to turn on the boss…
  • San Jose Revealed : That was quick, followed by a public spanking of Constantin and Mayor Reed.

Tonight San Jose’s city council will decide whether to back the guy with limited punctuation skills!!!! Or, library proponents, Books Not Filters. For all your (unfiltered) viewing pleasure…

If you live in Mountain View, well, you probably can’t afford it, or anywhere else in Silicon Valley. The Environmental Planning Commission hears the grim news this week. Mountain View planner Scott Plambaeck was philosophical saying “yeah, housing’s expensive here.”

Morgan Hill’s Measure A advocates are leaving nothing to chance. They’ve got their own blogging and mixers with movers and shakers, including Mayor Steve Tate and former Mayors John Varela and Dennis Kennedy. Without any organized opposition the measure depends on voters optimism about the future.

A few of Gilroy’s finest received raises over 30% in the last few years. Councilmember Craig Gartman is getting pissed at slow disclosure from city administration and wonders if he should keep turning over rocks or ignore them. This is one case where ignorance is not bliss…

Yesterday’s 420 was largely ignored by the local press but Watch Dog bets the Beer Tax will get pot brewing. Assemblymember Jim Beall is hoping the second time around will help to fill the state’s empty coffers. Prepare for marches from pissed off grape stompers and hops swillers…

Los Gatos town council is proposing more new and higher fees to help raise funds. You know that safe where you hide your guns to protect you from thieves, count on it costing you…. Mayor Wasserman wants to charge for false alarms and you might end up paying more for using that park.

Open space in Mountain View is about to become a Summerhill Homes construction zone. The Los Altos NIMBY’s are getting support from Los Altos councilmember David Casas who says “I will be encouraging the neighborhood … to vocalize and coordinate their activities to make sure that their interests (are represented).”

Julie Packard, yes, that Packard, was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Morning News Round-Up — 3.2.09: A Nickname is Born…

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

The final days leading up to the biggest day San Jose Councilmember Madison Nguyen’s career are filled with precinct walking and calloused dialing fingers. Tomorrow at 8 p.m., one way or another, papers will be recycled, old coffee cups thrown away, and sleep will come in more than a few hours at a time. San Jose has seen 5 recall elections before now, only one was successful. “We were hopeful that she would understand the Vietnamese community better,” volunteer My Phuong Le said in between (Yes) calling voters Sunday, “because that’s her background.” We will be blogging live on Tuesday night as the results come in…whatever the results, Andre Charles is putting his new resume together

As Nguyen’s date with the recall nears, it looks like Silicon Valley/Santa Maria State Senator Abel Maldonado will avoid a recall. Former Congressman/Former Assemblymember Ernie Konnyu is choosing not to harass Abel Maldonado via recall. (Konnyu is fond of other kinds of harassment, though.) But as Konnyu eases up, GOP leaders aren’t going to. The State Republican Party has decided that they are going to withhold campaign dollars from Maldonado and the other five Republicans who voted for the budget package. Maldonado said his party “…is down in the dumpsters, and it’s wrong to do this.” Truer words have rarely been said…

The Merc’s Internal Affairs continues to muse over San Jose Councilmember Nora Campos’ ambitious goals for higher office. (They are still writing that story?) Campos aims to expand her meet and greets outside Assemblymember Joe Coto’s Assembly District to include the entire City – covering her bases for his seat and Mayor Reed’s.

In other Internal Affairs news, Supervisor Liz Kniss opted for the title President over Chair saying she could have chosen Grand Poobah. Supervisor George Shirakawa did not say, “She really couldn’t have chosen Grand Poobah, because I’m the Grand Poobah…I even have the hat…” And with this story, a new nickname is born for the County’s newest Supervisor…

As scrutiny increased on the San Jose Police Department, the questionable arrest rates curiously plunged in December and January. ACLU’s local Director Skyler Porras said it was, “an alarming confirmation of the sheer number of wrongful arrests” that were occurring. Police Chief Rob Davis had a different spin saying he was pleased the “changes we have made” were having a “positive impact.” That is quite a different tune than Chief Davis was singing last year

Speaking of fun drunken times…Internal Affairs ferreted out four downtown clubs that offer the biggest challenges to San Jose Police Chief Rob Davis: WET, Miami Beach Club, Vivid, and Motif…if anyone reading this blog has ever gone to one of these places, hit me up so we can roll together…

And the Drunk Task Force is still talking drunks in San Jose…City Manager Debra Figone ordered Police Chief Rob Davis to release 200 police reports to the Drunk Task Force for review. “We consider access to the information to actually identify the problem as a fundamental piece of our charge,” said ACLU’s (always quotable) Sklyer Porras. “There is no point in sitting at the table to combat symptoms without getting at the disease.”

Someone on the Merc’s Editorial Board was feeling particularly sassy this weekend when they wrote, “The great crossing guard panic of San Jose.” The Merc. Ed Board is critical of Councilmembers Pierluigi Oliverio and Pete Constant for frightening parents and education leaders when they claimed the crossing guard budget was being cut. Just as entertaining was the Rules Committee meeting where they feigned ignorance over the furor they helped create.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted to give Santa Clara County $90 million of the $490 million in Federal money. The funding is a relief because the State has cut funding said VTA spokesperson Jennie Hwang Loft adding, “Losing a few million dollars is one thing. When you start getting into double digits, that’s a whole other scenario.”

Los Altos Planners are mulling over the results of polling data in order to narrow the scope of a bond measure for their new Civic Center. In November, voters head to the polls to decide how much they are willing to tax themselves for a City Hall. Assistant City Manager James Walgren is confident sufficient funds are available for one facility and plans to survey voters again in the summer. Any chance Los Altos wants to relocate their City Hall to 801 N. First Street in San Jose? We hear there is an empty building there…

Watch Dog congratulation Mountain View for joining Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and San Jose on the Bicycle Friendly Community list of California’s bike friendly cities.

Mountain View Police arrested community leader/soccer coach Pedro Carbajal for sexually assaulting female relatives under the age of 14. Police spokesperson Liz Wylie said they are “not looking for victims” among the Amigo League teams he coached.

And while we are on the topic…

Gilroy High math teacher (Morgan Hill resident) Alberto Gomez Vicuna, Jr. heads to court in San Jose this week. According to Deputy DA Ray Mendoza Vicuna, Jr. is a very, very bad man and faces up to 10 years in prison for having sex with a 14 year old San Jose girl he met on the social networking site Tagged.com. Vicuna had over 100 female friends on the site. Mendoza is concerned there may be more victims. Pissed off parent Jeannie White said, “If they have a pedophile on school grounds, I want to know if they’re not doing a good enough background check.”

Gang members in Gilroy High started an oatmeal fight which escalated to a battle that included 30 police officers in riot gear and shotgun wielding CHP officers and the arrest of 7 students. While the students were entertained, Principal James Maxwell was not because he was hosting reviewers from the California School Recognition Program for a possible award. (Was it an award for the most gang members at lunch?) Maxwell sighed, “Every couple of years you get a riot like this, and a lot of kids think this is a big joke, but it’s not…”

Breaking news this morning in San Jose: A body was found on the 680/McKee off-ramp early this morning. Officer Jermaine Thomas said, “This was an apparent hit-and-run, and the pedestrian was dragged after the collision.” Yikes…

It’s going to be a race now as to who is more pissed off: the Spansion employees who got rudely ditched last week (while the bosses got raises) or the ones who learned Sunday that their employer was filing for bankruptcy. Former Chief Exec Bertrand Cambou pledged Friday to return his $403,000 severance check because “my heart is broken” seeing his old team let go without severance. Current Chief Exec John Kispert said Chapter 11 made sense because it provides the company “the most effective means to preserve our market position and to maintain customer confidence.”