Thursday, December 4, 2008

Morning News Round-Up – 12.04.08

Locate a ballpark near a rail station? The Merc. Editorial board thinks it might be a good idea while Lew Wolff, owner of both the A’s and the Earthquakes, is hoping to make it real. The recent passage of Measure B may be having positive economic benefits already, Wolff looks for a 2014 opening. "We're happy to sit down with them," said BART spokesman Linton Johnson, who noted team officials approached the transit agency about a week ago. "We'll see what they have to say."

Watch out - Watch Dogs (and potential employers) are sniffing around the Facebook, the Metro’s Fly this week highlights dissension in the ranks. In a move contrary to the time honored tradition of holding ones tongue, Councilmember Pete Constant’s Chief of Staff Jim Cogan declared his support for Measure B even while his boss blasted Measure B fan Carl Guardino at a fundraiser for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Could this explain Constants attitude problem on the dais?

The Metro also looks into Madison Nguyen's recall campaign and catches her admitting that she didn't foresee the ability of her foes to qualify a recall measure...oops...

Women’s sports also make the news – Brandi Chastain is confident the new soccer team FC Gold Pride will be knocking on her door. The Merc.’s Ann Killion, herself a trailblazer, hopes it’s true.

In a move that might signal support for “small schools,” the Alum Rock School Board voted 3-1 to allow Superintendent Norma Martinez to end her stormy relationship with nearly $300,000 in walk-away money. Trustee Tanya Fruedenberger missed the meeting and was “outraged” the Board was so generous. (Perhaps she could have shown up to vote and turned her outrage into action...) Then, in a confusing statement, Trustee Frank Chavez indicated he thought they saved money in the move while Trustee Gustavo Gonzalez voted against the generous package. Watch Dog notes that the hurried move took place before two new Trustees were seated.

San Jose City Council refers to it as the “Peralta Action Plan,” hoping to bring an open air version of the Pike Place Market to downtown San Jose. Others call it the Tom McEnery retirement package. Councilmembers Nora Campos and Forest Williams insisted this summer an economic analysis be part of the request for $5 million. Watch Dog thinks it sounds cool and hopes it’s more Pike Place than San Jose Pavilion. Any Watch Dog insiders who watch this at next weeks Council meeting are invited to dish.

In a sign of the times, the three towers on the Guadalupe River, affectionately known as Adobe, will see fewer folks as Adobe lets go 600 people. "The global economic crisis significantly impacted our revenue during the fourth quarter," said Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen.

Following the European tradition of B.Y.O., Los Gatos is hoping to make shoppers pay for bags if they’ve forgotten their own. County Recycling and Waste Reduction Commissioner Steve Glickman says plastic bags are the biggest concern.

Not keeping up with collecting money owed has cost the City of Gilroy and is now going to cost residents. Gilroy City Council decided this week to raise rates for drinking water and toilet flushes. Embarrassed Councilmember Perry Woodward said, "If you were doing a better job collecting what you're owed, you wouldn't need 5 percent more from residents," referring to the City’s forgetfulness in collecting more than $20 million from businesses that have not paid up. The largest debtor is West Coast Linens, they recently ditched employees and Gilroy so it’s not likely any payments will come from that quarter.

Mountain View will allow the ubiquitous big city cool toy on park trails but not sidewalks. Earlier this year Segway commuter Richard Roeder complained to Mayor Tom Means that he wasn’t being allowed to get to work and wanted changes. The Council agreed but doesn’t want them roaming around town.

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