Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Morning News Round-Up – 3.10.09: Mr. Carr Goes to DC. Et tu Mission City Lantern?

In case you missed the news (that means you Merc. reporters) -- check out the Tesla update from yesterday.

Developers John Vidovich and Gary Gillmor have a big carrot: 1,700 acres of open space. In exchange, the City of Gilroy would annex 285 acres to be used for housing, parks, and a bigger golf course. The obscure Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) are the folks that can make this deal happen. An alternate on that Commission, Supervisor/lobbyist George Shirakawa, Jr. received $4,500 from Vidovich last year during his campaign, preventing him from voting on the proposal. But, LAFCO Commissioner/Supervisor Don Gage hasn’t received any money from the developers since 2005 – making former State Republican party official Vidovich happy. Gilroy Mayor Al Pinheiro says it’s too early to speculate, a previous proposal failed due to Gilroy’s financial straits two years ago. Watch Dog can only assume Gilroy's financial picture looks worse today than two years ago...

The Merc’s Editorial Board asks East Side Union High School District parents to get pissed about the loss of teachers and librarians, not simply sports. East Side Union has a high dropout rate, which is unlikely to be corrected without teachers or library access. The Merc also wants Trustees to prioritize what to restore if the Obama stimulus dollars for education comes through and encourages Trustees to look at education first. Supervisor/former football star/former Trustee George Shirakawa, Jr. hasn’t weighed in (publicly) on the Sports vs. Education drama. (unelected) Trustee Eddie Garcia is no doubt struggling with the options.

Looks like the Bay Area Mayoral collaboration helped…Silicon Valley could receive as much as $7.7 billion in earmarks for projects ranging from flood control to juvenile justice. San Jose Congressman Mike Honda has been busily working to bring $87 million to the area saying the requests will spur job growth and economic development. Of course, one person's earmarks are another person's pork. In this case, some of San Jose's earmarks/pork have caught the attention of Senator John McCain...

Every 5 years cities are required to update their housing plans. It’s never easy as NIMBY’s decry adding housing. This year, Saratoga’s Planning Commission and City Council will consider more than a dozen recommended changes designed to allow mixed-use and increased housing for extremely low-income families. Planning Commissioner Joyce Hlava said existing ordinances make some of the proposals very difficult. No doubt that some of the neighbors make new housing proposals difficult too...

Palo Alto (rotating) Mayor/environmentalist Peter Drekmeier raised a few eyebrows with his State of the City speech yesterday when he said everything from a carbon tax to a sewage-to-energy composting should be looked at.

The Merc’s Scott Herhold seems pissed the Santa Clara Water District Trustees have managed (again) to drop consideration of term limits. Herhold sends props to Board Members Patrick Kwok, Richard Santos, and Rosemary Kamei for supporting Assemblymember Joe Coto’s recent reforms. Herhold identifies the Boards longest serving member, Sig Sanchez, 88, as Methusaleh.

Morgan Hill Councilmember Larry Carr, in D.C. on business for San Jose State University, carved out a little time to lobby for the funding needed to finish a flood control project started in the 1950s. Morgan Hill’s Recreation Director, Steve Rymer, joined Carr to meet with Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and the Army Corps of Engineers. (Watch Dog expects a Mission City Lantern critique of Carr's trip to DC sometime soon...)

Former Christian prep school softball coach Abigail Holloway was arrested in Colorado following revelations that she’d had a 3 year affair with a student. The former King’s Academy student went to a college counselor as she struggled with the aftermath.

Apple’s Steve Wozniack is hoping to prove “nerds can dance.” His first night out on Dancing with the Stars was a disaster however, with Judge Bruno Tonioli saying the Woz looked like “a Teletubby going mad in a gay pride parade...” Woz took it in stride saying it was almost a compliment.

No comments: