Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Morning News Round-Up – 2.3.09: Vegas comes to San Jose...

Watch Dog can always count on San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo for witty repartee. This time he said, "I'm glad to say that if the City Council has not sufficiently beaten this dead horse. We can always count on lawyers to do so," about the seemingly never-ending Little Saigon challenge. (Perhaps Liccardo forgot about his Harvard law degree?) Lee’s Sandwiches Henry Huong Le is being accused of tricking business owners into signing a petition against “Little Saigon.” San Jose attorney Minh Steven Dovan filed the lawsuit yesterday but (unbelievably) dismisses any thought that the timing is more than coincidental...

Ausaf “Omar” Siddiqui, the former Fry’s exec/Baccarat player/embezzler will appear in federal court this week to face charges. In advance, the Feds are raiding Vegas casinos to make sure what happened in Vegas gets into the case in San Jose.

When San Jose’s Mayor Chuck Reed was giving his Celebrity critique of the Super Bowl ads he forgot to mention the brief porn interruption that happened on some COMCAST subscribers' televisions. Apparently Eddie Garcia's absence is having an impact over there...Luckily for everyone, Pete Constant was shielded from the pornography because it only happened in Tucson. Perhaps to avoid second-hand porn in San Jose, we should ban television...

Treading close to the danger line, Palo Alto Schools Superintendent Kevin Skelly says low income/Black/Latino kids can’t compete with the kids of Stanford grads. Skelly’s colleague Santa Clara County Office of Education Superintendent disagrees. Chuck Weis says, "Teaching is more powerful than what kids bring to school with them as background.'' California’s chief educator Jack O’Connell also believes the gap can be closed. Of course, with California ranking anywhere from 43rd to 48th in the nation for education

Letter writers ask Mr. Roadshow/Gary Richards who pays for fixes to the nasty 280-880-Stevens Creek interchange? Seems even the dismal economy can’t keep shoppers away from Valley Fair/Santana Row and the dreaded off-ramp.

The Merc.’s Joe Rodriguez shares the names of a new group hoping to turn around the moribund Mexican Heritage Plaza. Last week, the City Council appointed a baker’s dozen including San Jose Taiko’s Roy Hirabayashi, community leader Olivia Mendiola, artist/retired SJSU Professor Erin Goodwin-Guerrero, the head of Los Lupenos Maria de la Rosa and Chris Esparza with Giant Creative Services. Together with the Redevelopment Agency they hope to take the 10 year old, beautiful but rarely-used, Plaza and bring it life – and try make sure the City doesn’t have to bail it out yet again.

Mountain View Whisman and Mountain View-Los Altos School Districts may have to look at ways to slash a combined $5 million from their budgets. It looks like layoffs may be ahead.

San Jose Revealed received a mountain of email (really?) about the Merc’s “expose” on Vic Ajlouny – while thanking those who sent it reminds them there was nothing new in the story.

Morgan Hill’s Downtown Association is asking the City Council to delay a decision on a $20 million project until the Association can discuss all options with City staff. Mayor Steve Tate expressed frustration with the proposed delay and Councilmember Greg Sellers said any delay now would mean a delay later in opening. Perhaps an opening not during the Great Recession is preferable?

The Gilroy Dispatch wants to hear from you: Should Gilroy’s Mayor Al Pinheiro and the City Council be recalled over layoffs of City employees? Very productive Mr. Gilroy Dispatch...

On San Jose Inside, Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio pops off on the subject of campaign donations – and who should be allowed to make them. This all stems from the argument about the 'competition policy' that the Council discussed (and discussed and discussed) last Tuesday.

On a campaign-related note...

Mission City Lantern
gives props and issues concerns about the Santa Clara County Democratic Party – adding that there appears to be no Republican counterpart aside from Vic Ajlouny (who actually lives in Nebraska).

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