Monday, December 8, 2008

Morning News Round-Up – 12.08.08

San Jose is in a budgetary bind. No question about that. So with that in mind, they are about to answer some pressing questions:
Tomorrow's San Jose City Council meeting will answer some of these questions...

Across town on Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors will ponder the decision they made in 2003 to close the sobering station a.k.a. Drunk Tank. Following Mayor Chuck Reed/Nora Campos’s lead, maybe they’ll form a task force. Watch Dog predicts more finger pointing and less action.

Soon-to-be termed out Supervisor Don Gage was a no-show at the annual Los Gatos parade this weekend. With 2 more years to serve as a Supervisor it seems a tad early to call him a lame duck. None of the replacement hopefuls bothered to show up at the parade either.

Cupertino’s School Board will consider placing a parcel tax on the June ballot tonight.

‘Boots’ Del Biaggio’s (see These Boots were Made for Prison) victims will give the U.S. Attorney’s their perspective today in San Francisco. Former U.S. Attorney Charles Stevens said the sentencing for the $100 million in fraud takes sentencing “off the charts.” Stevens said it was more likely ‘Boots’ would serve a little over 10 years. The Merc set up a page dedicated to the ‘Boots’ saga for you to follow.

San Jose, after having been the safest big city for 6 years, has dropped now to 4th place. Bobby Lopez, President of the San Jose Police Officers Association, says there was only enough manpower to investigate 13% of the robberies which took place. (Perhaps the Chief put attention here as opposed to robbery investigation.) Mayor Reed says he is committed to getting back to number one because, "We like the bragging rights of being one of the safest big cities.” And here Watch Dog thought it was all about safety not bragging...How safe do you feel in San Jose? The Merc wants to know.

The Alum Rock Neighborhood Coalition meets tonight to discuss the Norma Martinez bailout package from the Alum Rock School District, whereby she will leave her position and get paid a handsome sum. New Trustees Esau Herrera and Dolores Marquez have joined with Trustee Gustavo Gonzalez to call for a review of the $300,000 severance package this week. In an ironic twist, the three Trustees who want the review are in violation of California open meeting rules. Trustee Herrera, an attorney, noted that if rules were not followed on the original bail out, then those actions would be voided –- of course, he meant the other Trustees who might have violated open meeting laws.

After bouncing Councilmember Nora Campos from the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force, Mayor Chuck Reed has put his on-again, off-again challenger/Vice Mayor Possibility back.

The Merc’s Internal Affairs continues the Sam Liccardo for Mayor chant after reviewing Mayor Reed’s new committee assignments. (No mention of Pete Constant, which must make him angry...) Meanwhile, Los Angeles political blog is floating Liccardo’s name as a possibility for the rumored maybe-soon-to-be-vacant Congressional seat held by Mike Honda. Liccardo is in good company as PolitickerCA also lists Mayor Reed, State Senator Joe Simitian, Sally Lieber, and former Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez. Most would need to move into Honda's District. A real question though, Chuck Reed as a Democratic nominee for Congress? Watch Dog doubts it...especially after his Guiliani-loving Presidential no show.

San Jose’s Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio wonders if his colleagues are playing ostrich and ignoring his ideas for fixing the budget deficit.

San Jose Revealed toots it’s horn as source to breaking stories (but don't talk about the conflicts of interest with Shirakawa's staff picks) while wondering how the Merc. will manage to outsource local news reporting to India. Did Molina move to start running the Indian bureau of the Merc?

In Morgan Hill 14 city employees will likely lose their jobs -– City Manager Ed Tewes says the new Morgan Hill organization, “is going to be smaller, but an excellent one.”

Trees at Live Oak High School disappeared over Thanksgiving weekend –- District officials know the trees were diseased and in the way of the schools solar project -– but they don’t know how many disappeared. District spokesman Dan Ehrler said all removed trees will be replaced either with rosebushes or healthy trees. It makes the school's name

Perhaps Gilroy could use Chuck Reed's Gang Prevention Task Force –- with more than 750 gang members and 1,300 parolees in this small town Police Chief Denise Turner says, "I think it's important to unite, as gang members unite, and for a strong front against crime. We really do want to prevent violence in our community."

Add to the gang issue, Gilroy’s financial profile has weakened, the housing market looks bleak, development is off, foreclosures are high –- no surprise that their bond rating has been downgraded from A+ to A.

The Los Gatos Observer reports newcomer to the Los Gatos City Council, Steve Rice, came in 6 votes ahead of incumbent Barbara Spector. (Barbara Spector, let's re-elect her...) Both are to be sworn in at tonight's special meeting.

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