RSS FeedSilicon Valley

June 25, 2015

Daily Fetch 6.25.15: Manh is the Man, Obama Wins, Murder is Still Unconstitutional, Matrix Swallows Large Fine, Barry Swenson Owns the World…

City Council candidate Manh Nguyen easily coasts to victory over Tim Orozco in the SJ District 4 special election.  The outcome is not a surprise to insiders who pointed to the large, motivated base of Vietnamese voters in District 4.  The fact that there was an election was a surprise to many as turnout as of right now is a paltry 27%.  Mayor Liccardo is doing the happy dance right now because he backed Nguyen.  We’ll see how that works out for him as he’s had his hands full with new councilmembers thus far in his short tenure. The Left Hook gives its rundown of the District 4 election and why Manh was victorious.

Obamacare is here to stay so says the Supreme Court.   Maybe we can all move on now.

SEIU Local 521 which represents 9,000 County of Santa Clara workers votes to authorize a strike.

The Matrix Casino admits it broke the law in concocting a labyrinth of LLCs to put more money in its owners pockets and pay less taxes to the City of San Jose.  The Business Journal breaks down a settlement agreement between the Matrix (at least half of its ownership anyway) and the State.  More intrigue lingers for the casino as co-owners Peter & Jeanine Lunardi fess up to the shady dealings but blame fellow co-owener, Larry Swallow (real name, really) for duping them into paying a company owned by Swallow’s wife.  While the Lunardi’s save their gaming license, allowing them to preserve their high prices at their local markets, Swallow’s hangs in the balance.  Stay tuned…

Councilmember Raul Peralez takes it off for the arts…displaying a whole lot of body art.  We’re going out on a limb in stating that Raul has more ink than any councilmember who has preceded him.

SJ PoPo are seeking help in tracking down two suspects who robbed a woman in a downtown parking garage.  Classy and courageous fellas.

Speaking of the PoPo, seems like the SJPD brass keep stepping in it.  At issue now?  According to ABC7’s David Louie, A $100 filing fee for new recruits to pay to just apply for a job.  But hey, Mayor Liccardo doesn’t think its affecting the numbers in attracting new recruits.  No.  That would be Measure B.  But the $100 fee sure isn’t helping.

In a win for AG Kamala Harris and mankind in general, a judge has ruled that a proposed initiative allowing the murder of gays is unconstitutional.  Luckily, California voters won’t have to vote on this turd.  The jackass who proposed the initiative didn’t even have the stones to show up in court to defend his appalling proposal.  Some food for thought, if you’re a lawyer and you openly promote the murder of fellow citizens, should you be allowed to still be a member of the State Bar?

In the battle of Uber/Lyft vs. Taxicabs, the new school wins.  However, the requirement that rideshare drivers get fingerprinted has seriously irked Lyft.  That’s reassuring.

Nate Dogg from the Business Journal tells us how Barry Swenson will own even more of downtown San Jose after the approval of a new high-rise development next to St. Junkie…we mean St. James park.

County Supervisors tossed $6.5 million towards trying to save a mobile home park in Palo Alto where the park owner is preparing to evict 400 residents.

There’s a new park opening in San Jose’s Coyote Valley where developers once salivated over building thousands of suburban homes that all looked exactly the same.

June 23, 2015

Daily Fetch 6.23.15: There’s An Election? A Swift Pimp Slap For Apple, Old School vs. New School @ Airport

SJ Fire Fighters Union ratified a new contract with the City of San Jose by a 95% margin.   This marks the first raise for firefighters since 2008.  The City Council is set to vote on the contract today.

The Merc breaks its silence on the council race that will be decided today just in time to influence the 13 likely poll voters.    Chances are we’ll know the winner and loser tonight. But then again, we are relying on the Registrar of Voters to do the counting.

Make sure you tune in your dials to the Government Access channel today.  The Uber vs. Taxi war is supposed to pick up at the SJ City council meeting today.  The never-changing cab industry seems to be outflanked once again.  This is all happening over the background of Uber continuing to rack up new friends in its quest for world domination.

Not to be outdone at the Council meeting, however, is the Chuck “Club” Reed vs. the next flash-in-the-pan nightclub battle royale.  Scott Herhold gives some bromance backup to Mayor Liccardo in this ditty on why downtown is already too fun.

Taylor Swift pimp slapped Apple this weekend, causing one of the world’s most powerful corporations to buckle in one day.  Taylor threatened to leave a Blank Space in Apple’s music line up because the trillion dollar company refused to pay royalties on its new streaming music service for its initial three-month launch.

And in other Silicon Valley news…Kleiner Perkins Caufiled & Byers, which recently won a gender equality lawsuit released its diversity report.  The report shows that only 20% of the firm’s investment partners are women.  How many were minorities?  They ain’t saying.  We’re sure that’s because there were too many to count.  Right?

The homeless man who took over a construction crane downtown yesterday finally climbed down.  Work is expected to resume at the site.

In a story that’s hard to believe, homelessness is at a 10-year low in Santa Clara County according to a recent study.

June 22, 2015

Daily Fetch 6.22.15: Special Election Media Blitz, SJ’s Blood-Sucking Buffet, Chuck Goes Clubbin’, Ro Hides Behind Hillary, Peralez Takes The Stage

Well, Fetch Fans, there’s a Special Election in San Jose’s Council District 4 tomorrow.  We have all the last-minute coverage of the race here.

San Jose Police leaders are looking for some outside help to figure out how to run the bare-boned department while officers continue to flee.  We’re hoping the recommendations go beyond chewing gum and duct tape to hold it together.

Of course, what led the SJPD to this place of desperation was the disastrous Measure B.  So, what do you to the folks who helped create the disaster?  Give ’em a raise!!  Yup, SJ’s outside labor lawyers are getting another $250,000.  That brings their total dinner bill at the public trough up to $1,445,000.  This is like letting a vampire into a blood bank and yelling “all you can eat!”

Do the 49ers have too much influence over Santa Clara politicians?  That’s what some are saying in this write-up by the Merc’s Joe Rodriguez.  Santa Clara Councilmember Lisa Gillmor blasts her colleagues from taking some of that 49er gold in their campaigns.  That may be the ultimate pot/kettle name-calling situation given that the Gillmor family has been long criticized for having too much sway over City Hall.

Apparently former SJ Mayor Chuck Reed hasn’t loosed up in his old age.  His lawfirm, along with the rest of the white collar crew from downtown, have gone nuts over a proposed new night club in the old Bella Mia restaurant space.  The money behind the new club is the same owner who brought Downtown such delights as the Gold Club a “bikini bar” that got then Councilmember Liccardo’s swim trunks in a bunch.  While Chuck Reed didn’t comment for the story, its rumored that the altercation between the night club crew and Club Chuck went like this.

Merc News golden boy Ro Khanna, touted as a “breath of fresh air” (read he’s not old like Honda) proved to be a bit full of hot air when it came to taking a position on the controversial issue of fast track trade authority for the President.  The ultimate answer from the always-running-Ro seems to be “what Hillary said.”  Bold.

A man perched himself atop a downtown San Jose construction crane last night and appears to still be up there.    Apparently this may be in some way be a protest over homelessness.  The crane top stowaway shut down the construction site today.  The ironic part of all this is the construction project is to build affordable rental apartments.

Win a NBA championship, get exempted from state law on building a new stadium.  The exemption from California’s CEQA law should save the project tons of time and money, but not everyone is happy.  A petition has started to halt the project.

President Obama swooped into town Friday to raise some dough and backslap a few mayors at the US Conference of Mayors in San Francisco.

Military vets are asking San Jose leaders to fly the POW/MIA flag over City Hall.

And tonight, Council newbie Raul Peralez will host the San Jose Stage Company’s “Monday Night Live” event.  This is the annual fundraiser were local politicians put themselves into compromising positions which will be used against them later in their careers.  Have fun!

June 19, 2015

Daily Fetch 6.19.15: Campaign Contributors Get Reprieve From Liccardo, Hooker High Rises, The Real Slim Shady & White Plight In SV

Earlier this week, the Business Journal told us about the conflict between the City of San Jose’s proposal to build a new homeless housing project in downtown San Jose at the shuttered Plaza Hotel vs. the interests of politically connected developers who want to build expensive high-rise housing.  We asked who would win the battle?  Well, on cue, Mayor Liccardo has hit the pause button on moving the homeless project forward as told in this Merc article.  This sets up the developers to potentially gain control of the site. We’re sure the Merc meant to point out that the developers were big donors during the Mayor’s campaign.

A new high-rise tower is planned for the SOFA district in downtown San Jose.  The penthouses on the 24th floor are sure to offer spectacular views of the bustling market economy to the south: pimps, hookers, johns and drug dealers.    Once again, Nate Dogg from the Business Journal has the scoop.

Just as the SJ City Council is about to blast some Alice Cooper, the SJ PoPo say NoNo.  The SJPOA is asking the City Council to stick around during the summer to finish contract negotiations to prevent more officers from seeking greener pastures.  Special thanks to Ambulance chaser/night club shill/bail bonds BS’er/POA spokesflak, Tom Saggau for ruining our morning coffee with images of the City Council suntanning with his choice quote.  Evil.

The Santa Clara County Office of Education has managed to royally piss off the Metro/San Jose Inside/The Fly.  Josh Koehn breaks down the new Supe’s labyrinth of secret contracts (some written by hand) and administrative stonewalling coming from the organization that is under fire for a child abuse scandal at the science camp it was supposed to oversee.  Appears Superintendent Jon Gundry has been doing his best Eminem impression.

While its OK to piss away tax dollars on secret contracts and completely fail to protect children from child predators, the Santa Clara County Office of Education thinks it’s up to the task of overseeing the 10th Rocketship charter school.  They approved this charter over the strong objections of the Franklin-McKinley School District.

NBC Bay Area brings us this “explosive” story about 100 pounds of firework power being confiscated from a Gilroy home in an investigation into the sale of illegal fireworks.  Yes, a shameless pun.  So what.

We hope the following headline is just some writer’s hyperbole or we really only have White People Problems in Silicon Valley.

The secret files on driverless car accidents has finally been release.  Guess what?  Turns out humans drive like s#@t!



June 18, 2015

Daily Fetch 6.18.15: Liccardo’s BFF Dilemma, Welcome (Back) to the Jungle, & 49er Playland

It’s deja vu all over again.  Silicon Valley Leadership Group head honcho, Carl Guardino, is shopping around a new poll that reportedly shows that there’s two-thirds support for a new countywide sales tax for transportation.  No one in Silicon Valley will dispute the horrific traffic and road conditions.  However, Guradino’s push for a half-cent sales tax may put him at odds with leaders from various cities who are eyeing a sales tax for local needs of their own.

San Jose, for example, has looked multiple times over the last four years at going to the ballot to boost funds for services like police, fire, parks and libraries.  Former Mayor Reed and his Measure B team stopped the tax multiple times back then.  This will put Mayor Liccardo in a tough spot as he’ll have to choose between city needs and his super bestest BFF Guardino who has relentlessly pushed a new tax for VTA.  Sure will make for interesting bike rides.

And on the issue of traffic, the worst commute in Santa Clara County has been announced.  It’s the Highway 87 crawl between San Jose’s Almaden and North San Jose.  If only that stretch of highway had something like light rail and carpool lanes on it, things would be much better.  What?  Oh.  Right.  It does.  Apparently empty light rail trains don’t relive traffic.

Following the County’s lead, San Jose may be cracking down on illegal fireworks. The proposal allows for more city officials to be able to write citations for the use of the illegal explosives.  Wonder if Councilmembers will get their own ticket books?

San Jose’s infamous homeless camp dubbed “The Jungle” may be back.  NBC’s Robert Handa reports on resident concerns of a new camp that has sprung up around the Higway 280 and Interstate 101 interchange.   SJ leaders have their work cut out for them in how to respond to this latest development.

West Valley College reopened this morning after a student reportedly saw someone with a gun early this morning.

And in the Fetch’s beach report, three of Cali’s dirtiest beaches are right in our backyard. Surfs up?

Uber suffered an uber setback when the California PUC sided with a driver declaring her an “employee” as opposed to an independent contractor for the ridesharing giant. While the monetary loss in this case was small, under 5 Gs, the implications for the hard-charging company’s business model are huge.

Nate Dogg from the Business Journal tells us about a proposal in Santa Clara for a DIY downtown akin to Santana Row.   Word on the street is that this the low-key city will now have its own place where 49er players can commit their crimes.  Kidding.  Kidding.  Sorta.

San Jose Inside tells us that the County Office of Education is forming a task force to explore how it allowed an alleged child predator to be a camp counselor.  About time.  As this crisis has exploded, the County Office has been alarmingly quiet and at times seemed to barely understand that the science camp was their operation.  But hey, they sure can operate a revolving door at the Superintendent’s Office and approve charter schools at breakneck speeds.  Priorities.


June 16, 2015

Daily Fetch 6.16.15: SJ Finally Wins One, $117 Billion Facebook Distraction, Sunnyvale Summer Spoiler

Short and sweet today folks…

San Jose finally won a big court case yesterday.  The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of San Jose’s inclusionary zoning policy which mandates a percentage of all new housing be set aside for affordable housing.  It’s a win for Mayor Sam Liccardo who pushed the policy, but Nate Dogg from the Business Journal breaks down why the fight might not be over.  Big question Fetchers…now that this is law, will Liccardo make sure that downtown high-rise developers actually follow the policy or will he keep handing out exemptions??

You might not be able to dig to China from here, but now you can take a plane.  SJC began flights to China yesterday.  Of course, in San Jose, tickets are optional.

Well, he may be dumb, but at least he’s honest about it.  This GOP Assemblymember accidently voted in favor of the Democrat’s budget pending plan yesterday because he was too busy posting selfies on Facebook.  No.  Really.

You’re fired!  Well, not exactly, but kinda.  That’s the message to teachers at one Sunnyvale school who were told that everyone needed to reapply for their jobs.  So much for a peaceful summer.

The FBI is on the hunt for vandals that are purposefully cutting fiber optic lines knocking out phone and Internet service for over 50,000 South Bay customers.

The Evergreen School District in San Jose is paying out a $15 million settlement to the families of the children molested by their teacher.  While admitting no guilt, the district was criticized for not acting sooner to stop the abuse.  NBC’s Robert Handa has the story.

June 15, 2015

Daily Fetch 6.15.15: Manh Nguyen’s No Shame Name Game, SJ Homeless Vs. High-rollers, Mellow Yellow & Why God Hates Cali…

Are you a friggin’ lawyer or not?  That’s what SJ City Council District 4 voters have to be asking themselves.  Candidate Manh Nguyen’s campaign has been crookeder than Lombard Street on this issue.  The Merc’s Internal Affairs Blog has uncovered a few tasty nuggets.

Nguyen first drew heat for an Internet banner ad his campaign put up which had the title “Esq.” short for “Esquire” aka lawyer after his name.  Ngueyn said it was a mistake by the media company who created the ad.  Not likely, but OK.  Problem is he also had a radio ad up in Vietnamese where a supporter states Nguyen is a lawyer.  But wait…there’s more.  Same guy is quoted in a mail piece (also in Vietnamese) calling Nguyen a “jurist” (more on that below).  Later he said he was called a “legal scholar.”  Now, Nguyen tells the Merc that never happened.  However, the Merc confirmed the straight-up fabrication through the use of an independent translator.

Worse for the wily Manh Nguyen, his campaign chieftain, Peter Allen, confirmed that the radio ads did in fact state that the term lawyer was used.  So, Lawyer/Jurist/Legal Scholar Nguyen, are the Mercury News and your campaign boss both lying?

The funny thing about this is that in the Mercury News hard copy edition, the headline reads “Lawyer or Legal Scholar?”  Really?  Well it’s neither and why the Merc isn’t calling him out more on this is troubling.

The Fetch interns took to Google to find all the scholarly works written by Manh Nguyen.  Either Google’s broken or he’s not a legal scholar.  As far as calling himself a “jurist” is concerned, that’s the biggest fabrication yet.  Check the definition for yourself.  Jurist is associated with being a judge.

So what do we have here?  A shadow campaign being targeted to Vietnamese language voters severely distorting the candidate’s qualifications.  Perhaps Mr. Nguyen associates being a lawyer with this lawyer.  Makes sense now.

If you’re 18-34 and living in San Jose, you’d have to earn an additional $80,000 a year to afford an average mortgage in San Jo.  SJ ranked as the least affordable city in the nation to live for that age demographic.

Speaking of housing…housing for the homeless or high rises for the highfalutin?  Nate Dog from the Business Journal breaks down a potential fight brewing between the City of San Jose which wants to build a project to serve the ginormous homeless population and land developers and speculators who want to build luxury housing (obviously for those who are older than 34).  Wonder who will win this fight?

San Jose has come to agreement with three more city unions according to the Merc News’ New Gal.  This is good progress that insiders are attributing to the ousting of former Deputy City Manager Alex Gurza and the hands on approach of new City Manager Norberto Duenas.  While its nice to wrap up more contracts, left unsettled are the negotiations surrounding Measure B.  As loyal Fetch Fans know, Measure B was the impetus behind the mass exodus of SJ PoPo.  Never fear, however, Mayor Liccardo is attacking that problem at break-neck glacial speed according to the Merc:

Separate from the wage agreements, city officials are also negotiating benefits under pension-related Measure B. Liccardo said those agreements are “weeks or months” away because of the complex nature of the discussions.

No rush.  Really.  Take your time.

As a separate aside, the Fetch is puzzled why the Merc’s New Gal constantly goes to SJ’s Vice Mayor for a continuous onslaught of hypocritical quotes filled with platitudes.  Is there some kinda quota for that we don’t know about??

And in the Vice Mayor’s district…A teenager is accused of planning a violent home invasion robbery of his own home in Evergreen.  The attempted robbery was caught on video and shows two of the perpetrators, armed with kitchen knives, trying to break down a door to get to family members who were hiding from the perps.

Smile, you’re on camera!  Los Gatos officials are crediting a security camera registry program with helping them solve crimes faster.

You’re wanted by the PoPo!  No, not for arrest, but to put on a uniform.  ABC 7 tells us that departments across the county are ramping up their recruiting efforts.  We wish the SJ PoPo good luck with that as new recruits have either failed to apply or have gone runnin’ from the department once they get a look at that pay and benefit package the Chuccardo administration forced on the coppers.

If its yellow, let it mellow…that’s going to be the likely result for San Jose families who will begin facing stiff penalities for using too much water.

And, while its not local, it is just that good.  California’s drought was brought to us by a vengeful God supremely pissed off about abortion according to this State Assemblymember.






June 10, 2015

Daily Fetch 6.10.15: Cash for PoPos, Rose Herrera’s Epiphany, Big Tobacco Gets Rolled, Local Judge Gaveled

You know you’re gonna have a rough morning when TracEy Kaplan has attached official court docs to a story about you.  That was the wake-up call Santa Clara County Judge Stuart Scott got in this article detailing while the Federal Court of Appeals made a finding of prosecutorial misconduct for the then prosecutor, overturning a 2004 murder conviction.  Apparently you’re not allowed to make up your own facts when you make you’re closing arguments.  Who knew?

Old enough to vote, but not to smoke.  The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. The new ordinance will also apply to electronic cigs as well.  So that’s 2 losses for big tobacco in our backyard in the last 2 weeks, despite Johnny “Marlboro Man” Khamis’ best efforts.

The SJ PoPo scored a victory this week, getting an extra $5 million in this year’s budget.  The money will be used for retention bonuses for officers who have stuck with the department while hundreds of their colleagues have left to other cities or to retirement.  Still, as the Merc’s New Gal reports, the last minute proposal irked Councilmember Don Rocha who felt the Council should have more of a say in how the money was spent.

Of course the priceless pearl of wisdom on the issue came from our eloquent, illustrious Vice Mayor who stated: “We can’t just focus on recruiting new officers if our veteran officers are leaving.”  Really?  It only took 3 years and hundreds of officers leaving for you to realize that?  Quick study.

Bad news for patriotic pyros…the County Board of Supervisors is cracking down not just on illegal fireworks, but on property owners who allow fireworks to be shot off on their property.

Nate Dogg gives us the rundown on the booting of the construction firm hired to build Apple’s new spaceship corporate HQ.  Time will tell if Apple manages this project as well as SJ leaders managed the construction of its current City Hall….

June 9, 2015

Daily Fetch 06.09.15: Manh Nguyen is Lost in Translation, Fire Fighters & City Hall Kiss and Make Up, Cash for Gats & Sippin’ Sewer Water


Lost in Translation.  No…not the ultra slow, mumbling Bill Murray movieNBC’s Robert Handa tell us that SJ District 4 City Council candidate Manh Nguyen might be telling Vietnamese speaking voters one thing, and the rest of the voters something else.

Peace in our time??  San Jose Fire Fighters and the City of San Jose have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.  The contract gives SJ Fire Fighters their first raise since 2008—Fire Fighters credit Norberto Duenas, SJ’s new City Manager with changing the negotiations dynamic enabling a deal to get done.

Supervisor Cindy Chavez and Sheriff Laurie Smith hosted a gun buy back program which netted nearly 200 weapons this past weekend.  Handguns, shotguns and rifles fetched $100 a pop while assault weapons were bought back at $200.

Supervisor Joe Simitian has a proposal to look at providing hospital beds for children who need physiatrist care.

As if our freeways weren’t congested enough, now commuters on Hwy 101 need to fear airplanes in the carpool lanes.

Bay area renters who have been paying through the nose for rent, may have to pay out of their you know whats now for water.

How do you get drought relief?  Sewer water to your tap.  Please do not read anything into this story following the one above.  None at all.

B-I-N-G-O…B-I-N-G-O…Members of a San Jose church are accused of being involved in a money laundering scheme that involved over $300,000 in embezzled checks.  These folks broke the Cardinal rule, never mess with the senior citizens with the bingo daubers.

The troubles for ex-49er, ex-Bear, Ray McDonald keep mounting.  A Santa Clara County judge tossed out his defamation lawsuit filed against the woman who accused McDonal of rape.

A kidnapped Milpitas 3-year old was reunited with his family thanks to an alert VTA bus driver.

A sad day for all of our political junkies know.  Field Poll Founder, Mervin Field died Monday.  He was a leader in public opinion polling since 1947.  He was 94.




June 5, 2015

Daily Fetch 6.5.15: Reed Threatens To San Joseize Cali, Rosen Gets Smacked Down For His Smackdown, & Silicon Valley Has A Whole Lotta Jobs

Short and sweet today Fetchers…

Can you hear the Sonny & Cher playing?  Yep, It’s Ground Hog Day courtesy of Former Mayor Who Just Won’t Go Away Chuck Reed.  Chuckster believes Measure B worked out so well for San Jose that he wants to spread the same blessings to the entire state of California.  God help us all.

In case you were in a bunker yesterday, the Warriors took Game 1 of the NBA Championship Series last night.

Santa Clara County District Attorney, Jeff “I Am The Law” Rosen took a few gut punches in an arbitration ruling concerning his actions to demote and banish Deputy District Attorney Jim Sibley who spoke out against Rosen’s actions to give away free vacation time to his top lieutenants. TracEy Kaplan gives us the rundown on the ruling.  While the arbitrator found that it was OK to demote Sibley for not sucking up to management at all times, he ruled against Rosen banishing Sibley to the Palo Alto DA outpost.  The arbitrator found that Sibley “was transferred to Palo Alto and subsequently left in Palo Alto for punitive reasons, largely based on his role in the administrative leave controversy.”

A SJ Police Officer was cleared in the fatal shooting of a bi-polar 19-year women who wielded a black painted, gun-shaped power drill at the officer.  The officer responded to a 9-1-1 call from the woman who stated that she was armed and was going to harm her family.

A second victim has come forward in the molestation scandal at the Walden West science camp.  The student identified his alleged attacker, Edgar Covarrubias, when he saw Covarrubias’ photo on the news.  Covarrubias is now accused of child pornography and molestation charges.

Santa Clara PD have released surveillance video in hopes of tracking down the hit-and-run driver who hit an 86-year old woman outside of the Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara.

Silicon Valley has a s*#t ton of jobs, but not everyone may be benefiting according to this Business Journal article.