Monday, January 19, 2009

Morning News Round-Up – 1.19.09: Inauguration Eve...

Today, Watch Dog celebrates with the rest of the country the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King. The Merc. has a full listing of events that allow you to celebrate the legacy...starting with the annual freedom train from San Jose.

Marco Zuniga’s wife was Tasered early Saturday morning. Zuniga stepped up to the officer and was Shot outside the hip club Loft. Sunday, San Jose Inside followed the story of SJPD dropping deeper into trouble over the drunk and Latino in San Jose saga. Luckily for Chief Davis Marco Zuniga is resting in the hospital and is expected to survive. This was the second officer involved shooting in two days, on Friday a man took a gun from an SJPD officer and, after a 6 hour standoff, killed himself.

San Jose City Council will consider appointing recycled Employee Pension Board member David Bacigalupi who left the board in 2002 and former Retirement Director Edward Overton – who was replaced in 2007 after the pension board racked up $50,000 in undocumented travel expenses. Pension Board member/SJPD pensioner/San Jose Councilmember Pete Constant wants to toss those applicants in favor of retired officer Brian Arvin and is gearing up for a battle with his former colleagues who support Bacigalupi...oh yeah, Bacigalupi also voted against Constant's disability claim when Constant left the force -- no wonder Constant doesn't like this guy...

Lew Wolff doesn’t love Santa Clara, or maybe Wolff just fears the community's love for Great America...the Merc’s Internal Affairs reported Sunday that Wolff said Santa Clara was off the list of would-be locations for his A’s.

Watch Dog was tickled to see San Jose Inside following the Gilroy story of Garlic Ta-ta’s last week...that was even before Inside gave a shout out to Watch Dog for sniffing out the Tesla/San Jose story at the Mayor’s biscuits and gravy breakfast.

Creative refinancing sounded like a winning deal for cash strapped schools. The refi enabled schools to lower their interest rate, shorten their payoff, and even reduce property taxes. Citizens for Bond Accountability, with San Jose’s Jill Escher at the helm, questioned the legality of the financial wizardry. Attorney General Jerry Brown agreed declaring the scheme illegal though he left in place the funding received from past refi’s. The Los Altos School District breathed a deep sigh of relief, they gained nearly $11 million and were able to remodel the Gardner Bullis School as a result. Friday Escher called on San Jose Unified to come clean with the crafty dealings that lead to the AG’s decision.

The Metro/San Jose Inside’s Fly has insiders heading to D.C. for Tuesday’s historic inauguration. Fly reports Obama is already having a positive affect on the economy, most notably for the Fly’s favorite hang, the D.C. bar scene which will be open and serving until 5am for most of next week. Watch Dog hopes this includes the SJSU students who traveled the route of the civil rights movement on their way to the inauguration and are now reporting events for local news media.

Silicon Valley stands poised to have a direct influence on public policy following years of science and technology being ignored. San Jose’s Rep. Zoe Lofgren recalled days when then Gov. Jerry Brown was ridiculed for talking about windmills, “Now everybody is talking about wind energy and solar.” Silicon Valley stars with close ties to D.C. include Google CEO Eric Schmidt along with John Doerr and former Symantec CEO/possible Commerce Secretary John Thompson. SupervisorLiz Kniss is hoping...

Does San Jose Councilmember Madison Nguyen owe colleague Pete Constant and Mayor Reed a favor for their support while she battles a recall? It’s possible the former Labor darling will start voting the Constant/Reed ticket. The Merc’s Internal Affairs ponders the question as her friends at the South Bay Labor Council leap in with more assistance, perhaps an attempt to stave off a Reed/Constant maneuver. Mission City Lantern weighs in on the logic of Nguyen’s decisions...(Lantern talking logic?)

It’s a sign of the times, rural amenities disappearing as luxury homes pop up
. San Jose’s Cevalo Riding Academy is being left homeless following the owner’s request for a change in land designation from rural to high density. This is the 11th lost home for Cevalo and leaves Calero Ranch Stables as the sole public stable in San Jose. The Santa Clara Water District holds the lease for Calero – that expires in 2010 – better move your horses now.

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