Monday, December 29, 2008

Morning News Round-Up – 12.29.08: Slow news, more drunks, boys gone bad...

Reporters like to take vacations too... hence the year end lists -- all of which could have been written in the past month and a half... Scott Herhold focuses on the sensational from murder to mayhem (Little Saigon) to surprise wins and includes stories of Bellarmine boys gone badInternal Affairs sticks to the political, always juicy, with month by month reminders of who’s (not) running and who’s spatting. Internal Affairs Year in Quotes...

The Merc’s Mr. Roadshow, Gary Richards, contributes to the list making with his ‘Dirty Dozen’ traffic hotspots. The Merc wants to know what traffic hotspots make you growl.

San Jose city retiree’s won’t be happy to hear that their employee pension fund suffered a loss of nearly $1 Billion this year, worse than similar funds. Councilmember (and pension overseer) Pete Constant, watching the decline, said “We’ve got a problem and we need to face it,”. Constant also said he would happily relinquish his seat on the board to anyone brighter than himself. (Watch Dog fans will be amused to hear this was so easy WD let it go) Retirement Director Russell Crosby said the oversight structure of the funds, with so many non-experts has probably contributed to the bad performance. pssst, there’s more Watch Dog news to come…

Kids in court might be getting a little help in the coming year. The Mercury News special investigation “Broken families, broken courts” led state officials to push for changes including a new courthouse (the abandoned garment factory is out). The legal beagles working for families have a new name but the same old folks. And, kid’s will no longer be represented by District Attorney Dolores Carr’s office.

The Morgan Hill Times reports that 528 people were arrested for DUI since December 12th. Morgan Hill police arrested 17 and Gilroy police arrested 12 of the (suspected) drunk drivers, no word if the remaining 499 were drunk Latinos in San Jose. Maybe that data will be released when the
Drunk Task Force wraps
in April.

It seems our friend Ausaf Umar Siddiqui, you know, the Fry's executive that embezzled/gambled away Fry's money? It seems the Vegas DA's knew him too...why? Because Siddiqui was kiting checks all over Las Vegas, for years and millions... The Merc appears to love Siddiqui as well – they ran 6 stories about his brazen multi-year, baccarat driven fraud and deception stealing millions over the past 3 days.

Sally Lieber (can't spell Lieber without the 'lie') is in a bit of hot water for having a fundraiser on City of Mt. View property, a no-no for public officials. She didn't respond by saying, "But I used to be a State Assemblymember...I can do whatever I want..."

Apparently breastfeeding mommies are a no-no on Facebook. No word if co-founders, Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, or Peter Thiel (or their moms/wives/girlfriends) have noticed the uproar. The mommies are fighting back with a Facebook group whose membership spiked to over 75,000 in days. Facebook billionaires shouldn’t worry, no doubt San Jose’s Pete Constant and Larry Pegram will slap a filter on the mommies.

San Jose State University artist Robert Graham passed away Saturday in Santa Monica with his wife Anjelica Houston at his side. Locally, Graham may be best known for the sculpture of the Aztec Feathered-Serpent Quetzalcoatl. Watch Dog note: Graham’s Quetzalcoatl is the result of art by committee and conservative Christians.

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