Friday, January 30, 2009

Morning News Round-Up – 1.30.09: Drunks, Fast Cars and Animal Cruelty...

A rift is growing on San Jose’s Drunk Task Force. Community members are demanding a look back while city staff seem to think the past is irrelevant. Watch Dog has been following San Jose’s drunken intrigue from the beginning. Perhaps a sign of things to come…

  • "I don't think that we need to have [arrest reports] to take a good and hard look at the way (public intoxication) arrests are conducted now or for us to come up with options to make things better,'' said Deputy City Manager Norberto Duenas. Those who forget history...
  • ACLU head, Skyler Porras is pissed and said it’s all about "public relations [rather] than an opportunity to create accountability and transparency."
  • Metro/De-Bug’s Raj Jayadev agreed saying "It's very strange to be asked to investigate an issue and not be given the most relevant documents to do an a honest examination."
  • San Jose City Manager Deb Figone wants the Sunshine Reform Task Force to address the issue of report release – of course, Sunshine wants the reports released it’s Rules where the hang-up occurs.
  • Attorney/Merc attendee at Sunshine committees James Chadwick "The members of the rules committee have been clear they have no interest in providing public access to police reports,"

Splattered all over the old-school news today – Plans to build Tesla plant in San Jose cancelled. Watch Dog issued the warning last year, a month later Watch Dog scooped the competition and yesterday watched as the rest of the media caught up. Tesla is lining up behind banks/states/local mayors for federal money to keep things moving. In a sign that Mayor Chuck Reed has been reading Watch Dog he says (now) the news was disappointing but not unexpected. Company founder Elon Musk will be unveiling the latest edition to the family – in Los Angeles – in March.

SanJoseRevealed gloats a little over the Tesla loss laying responsibility for the economic downfall at the feet of Chuck Reed. Revealed also spent time googling Dan Pulcrano and Chuck Reed – double checking positioning for SJR stories. Revealed didn’t find the multiple mentions of SJR on Watch Dog.

Boots is heading to jail, at least that’s what it looks like with Del Biaggio pleading guilty to at least some of the charges against him. The US Attorney Generals office and Boots’ lawyer Elliot Peters aren’t talking to the press but it’s clear Boots’ is talking to someone.
The Morgan Hill Times editorial board weighs in on efforts in Morgan Hill and Gilroy to cope with the economic crisis and takes issue with a few things. Like, it’s going to take 3 years to study the economic crisis? Looks like Morgan Hill and Gilroy are competing with San Jose in the study-don’t-solve department.

Duffers are among the latest group proposed to help raise state funds and local golf courses are not happy. "It's like getting hit with a sucker punch," said Tony Lauria, director of sales and marketing at Coyote Creek Golf Club north of Morgan Hill. "It's unfair to hit an industry that's struggling, and doing its best to keep our jobs."

Gilroy moved it’s police headquarters into a new building and promptly slapped a sign on the front claiming it was a “green business.” Seems Gilroy needs a lesson in what it means to reduce the carbon footprint. The new building is an energy hog and accounts for 41% of the city’s entire electricity and gas bill. Lisa Jensema, who recently lost her job as Gilroy’s Environmental Programs Coordinator, says the boastful sticker on the front door was not claiming to have reduced the city's carbon footprint, but to have encouraged other green practices - increased recycling, warmer clothes during the winter, shuttered blinds during summer, and so on.

The latest victim of the economic crisis? Animals, specifically animals in rodeos. County Supervisor Don Gage said "We don't feel the animal cruelty ordinance is a high priority right now." Not wanting to leave it at that acting county executive Gary Graves wrote, "we do not believe we have the resources at this time to adequately provide the review and development of options that will allow the board to make an informed decision on the (animal cruelty ordinance)."

There’s a sea change in shopping centers – Cupertino and Sunnyvale plan to capitalize on modern thought rather than rebuild the Edsel. With Sand Hill Property’s Peter Pau at the helm and 34 acre’s of shopping, housing, office space and so on. "We are not trying to create a mall here. We're blowing the mall up," Reed Moulds, Sand Hill project manager said. It looks like mall experts took a trip to Europe, question is, how well will communities adapt to the local mall being integrated in residential neighborhoods?

Abandoned in San Jose, J.R. ended up at the Santa Clara animal shelter. That is, until his mug was spotted by celebrity animal trainer Mathilde DeCagny. Now the formerly homeless terrier is a star in Hotel for Dogs. In the rare occasion where animal cruelty ends up benefitting the critter...

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