Friday, December 12, 2008

Morning News Round-Up – 12.12.08: Drunk San Jose...continued...with a twist

Although ‘The Lioness’ has left the Chambers on Hedding her presence will still be felt. Supervisor Blanca Alvarado’s career had dramatic ups and downs, she’ll take some time off and return to San Jose to continue her work. Alvarado was San Jose’s first Latina Councilmember and the County’s first Latina Supervisor, appointed when Congresswoman (former Supervisor) Zoe Lofgren left for D.C. (after Lofgren beat-up on this guy.)

Whether the booze is to dull the pain of the economic crisis or to celebrate the holidays – watch out. Without any drunk tanks it could cost you as much as $8,000 in addition to the night in jail if you get pulled over for a DUI. A drunk tank might have prevented the death of a Sunnyvale man this week. A drunk driver driving North in the Southbound lanes of 280 killed one man and injured another.

But not everyone gets arrested for being drunk in San Jose. District Attorney Dolores Carr is expected to ask a secret grand jury to investigate a possible cover-up by two San Jose police officers for driving drunk. (Ironic, given the zero-tolerance policy usually in place.) Earlier this year District Attorney investigator (and former San Jose police officer) Sandra Woodall smashed her Cadillac Escalade into two cars injuring a teenager. Officers then (reportedly) helped her answer questions and delayed a blood alcohol test long enough to render any results inaccurate.

Angry parents, students, and coaches yelled at East Side Union Superintendent Bob Nunez for his threat to take away sports in an attempt to balance the budget. The San Jose Earthquakes (Lew Wolff) and Oakland A’s (Lew Wolff) have stepped up with offers to help the District raise money for sports. Watch Dog gnaws on this bone, come June when the final decision is made how likely is it sports remain while teachers, administrators, and staff disappear? What do you think, should East Side toss sports?

Without athletics to unload, the City of Morgan Hill is laying off as many as 13 employees in an effort to cut $2.1 million from its budget. At a community meeting, attendees offered ideas ranging from a 10% pay cut for management (savings: $40,000) to shutting off street lights (savings: $150,000). Councilmember Greg Sellers expressed concern that the budget cuts made now might be a prelude to a more painful situation if the state again takes/cuts City funds.

The Merc. makes a case to the Alum Rock Board of Trustees to put aside rancor and move forward – put the children, not the personalities, first. That truly would be a first in that school District...

Monte Sereno has selected Curtis Wright as its new (rotating) Mayor and Don Perry as Vice Mayor.

It was a mix of celebration and nostalgia as Campbell said farewell to Mayor Don Burr who has spent 50 years supporting his community in various roles and welcomed new (recycled and rotating) Mayor Jane Kennedy and Vice Mayor Evan Low. While Kennedy celebrated her fourth Mayoral appointment, newcomers Mike Kotowski and Jason Baker were sworn in to their Council seats in front of friends and family.

New VTA Board Chair Dolly Sandoval has asked her colleagues to stop bickering and get behind implementation of BART saying, "If we are going to max federal stimulus dollars or our own local dollars, we've got to make sure we are singing from the same hymn book." Amen sister...Outgoing VTA Chair Liz Kniss reportedly told a packed room of Measure B supporters she didn’t expect to see BART in her lifetime. Looking surprised, Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino voiced an expectation of the first trains rolling through in 2017. Perhaps 2017 if we all sing from Dolly's hymnal...

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