Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Morning News Round-Up – 12.10.08: 20 years, 18 months, 5 hours...

20 years of waiting + 18 months of study + 5 hours of debate = a major push forward toward more affordable housing in San Jose...not to mention a win San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo. Inclusionary zoning comes to San Jose, beyond Redevelopment areas, that is. Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Shiloh Ballard told the City Council that employers have listed a lack of affordable housing as a serious problem in recruitment. Tax Assessor Larry Stone helped to bring inclusionary zoning to Sunnyvale and says, “It works and it’s been working for years.” The Ballard/Stone attack put the issue over the edge...that and 9 votes...

The “Peralta Action Plan” a.k.a. McEnery's Plan sailed through the San Jose City Council on Tuesday with Councilmembers trying to separate the business decision from concerns over (alleged) violations of the City’s Sunshine guidelines. Outgoing (soon to be Supervisor) Vice Mayor Dave Cortese says of the McEnery family, "As business people, they have been good neighbors and friends for three generations. We owe them enough trust on this deal to keep it moving forward." Mayor Reed, feeling a little snippy at the criticism, complained other downtown projects have not received the scrutiny of San Jose’s “Pike Place Market.” The Merc’s Scott Herhold summed it up best saying that while aspects of the “Peralta Action Plan” were about business, in the end it was all about Tom McEnery and the decision was personal.

Meanwhile on San Jose Inside Tom McEnery says the decline in San Jose’s safety rating means little and the objective is to build the city – an oblique reference to his success?

The County Board of Supervisors wants to join the Campos/Reed Drunk Task Force to study the San Jose problem. Lioness (Supervisor) Blanca Alvarado roared at San Jose Police for, "attempting to regain its status as the safest city at the expense of our people. If the police department is arresting people without proof of inebriation — if for no other reason than justice — we ought to stand up." Will Shirakawa be able to fill Alvarado's shoes...not literally, of course.

Assemblymember Paul “see the light” Fong’s seat on the Foothill-De Anza Community College Board has been given to Pearl Cheng, President of the Cupertino School board. Cheng needs to update her website as she’s now got “More Pearl News.”

Mission City Lantern opened with “This is a cranky blog, no question…” Rowen then launched salvos at one of his favorite targets, Santa Clara Councilmember Jamie McLeod. Thanks to Santa Clara’s efficiency you can judge for yourself here, the discussion begins about 4 minutes in. Councilmember Dominic Caserta recused himself and stepped off the dais, if Santa Clara retained old videos or keep specific votes this wouldn’t have been an issue in the first place. On the upside, Rowen gave a nod to Watch Dog yesterday calling the Dog’s writing crisp.

San Jose State Journalism professors Michael Cheers and Bob Rucker hope to lead a team of multi-media savvy students on the road trip of a lifetime. They plan to explore the historic locations of the civil rights movement on their way to be part of the Obama inauguration. They need your help to make it so, contact Amy Freitag at (408) 924-3241.

Sal Pizzaro reports Tesla CEO Elon Musk had a little Oprah magic going on when he handed the keys to the 100th roadster to Oprah’s election night “shoulder to cry on” Sam Perry. Perry had been on the list for years but his recent publicity is likely the reason his car showed up.

Judge Steve Sanders dismissed DUI charges for Hollister police sergeant James Egan when it was revealed Egan had called the accident in himself and was at a hospital with a medication filled drip line in his arm. Defense attorney Greg LaForge called the attempt to figure out the blood alcohol level at the time of the accident “Voodoo science.”

Threats from a highly invasive mussel has local water officials ordering boat inspections. The quagga has shut down fishing lakes, wreaked havoc on water supplies, and caused millions of dollars of harm throughout the state. Water District Director Rosemary Kamei says of the inspections, “This is something we’re going to have to live with a very long time.” Not a boating friend, District Director Joe Judge would like to see a complete boat ban. Before you ban that boat, Watch Dog suggests a call to Brenna Callero for her “Quagga Goo.”

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