Thursday, November 20, 2008

Morning News Round-Up -- 11.20.08: Where there is smoke...

The Merc's Scott Herhold reviews Supervisor Blanca Alvarado’s emotional presentation in front of the San Jose City Council on Tuesday night. She received a standing ovation. In a move sure to correct the public intoxication arrest problem Chief Davis instituted immediate change -- police sergeants will now review every report on drunk arrest. Does this mean no one was reviewing reports previously? Check out Watch Dog's run down of the actual Council meeting discussing the public intoxication arrests.

In an (un)related story, the San Jose Downtown Association is seeking a community police oversight committee. In the least surprising reaction to this, the San Jose Police Department are opposed...The Metro's The Fly takes a look.

The smoke police are here. In a move that has Watch Dog itching, San Jose Police will now crack down on outdoor fires on Spare the Air Days –- not that having a fire is a bad thing. Watch Dog likes nothing better than taking a snooze in front of crackling flames. But, if the police are so short staffed evacuating downtown at lightening speed on the weekend -– do they have the resources to sniff out winter chimneys? Will you be turning in your neighbor?

Opponents of Prop. 8 head back to court. Santa Clara Councilwoman Jamie McLeod hopes it will give her the opportunity to marry her partner Vanessa Cooper. McLeod said, "We didn't take the time to say, 'Hey, if this passes we may lose this opportunity.'"

Also in Santa Clara, yesterday's City Council meeting featured one of the stranger moments Watch Dog has ever read about. A Santa Clara gadfly filed an FPPC suit against Santa Clara Councilmember Dominic Caserta for allegedly failing to recuse himself from a vote four years ago. The vote granted Caserta's home 'historic'. The City Clerk at the time seems to have screwed up by saying only that the vote was unanimous -- which it probably was -- but it doesn't list that Caserta abstained -- which is a glaring omission. Mayor Mahan and others remember that Caserta didn't vote and have corrected the record accordingly. But politics in Santa Clara are a bit whacky -- to say the least. There, the gadflies have all the power. At the meeting yesterday a different local gadfly claimed he had video tape of the meeting in question -- but he didn't want to show anyone...because why would you want to prove your point in public?

Mayor/Supervisor/Councilmember Pete McHugh is recovering from open heart surgery. Good to hear. When with the roaring laugh be back?

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