Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 3.24.09: Drunk Corsortium/Task Force Edition...

San Jose Inside/Metro’s Fly questions the invitation to the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity, saying Police Chief Rob Davis likely had them in mind before the Drunk Task Force was a gleam in the Mayor and Councilmember Nora Campos’ eyes. Seems the Chief made plans with the Consortium sometime before mentioning it to the Task Force. He is said to have been eager to participate with the Consortium as of November last year and has San Jose Police Department as a participating organization on the CPLE website. So, back to Watch Dog’s original post: was there ever a plan by Mayor Reed or Councilmember Campos for the Task Force to be anything other than a place for community members to vent? Or was Councilmember Sam Liccardo prescient when he said: “…the place where good ideas go to die...” If Liccardo was right, then Reed and Campos must have known the bait and switch, Task Force and Consortium, was the plan all along...

San Jose Insider/Silicon Valley De-Bug(er) Raj Jayadev blogs his irritation with San Jose’s (apparent) drunk in public, racial (Latino) profiling problem.

Santa Clara District Attorney Dolores Carr finally has something to celebrate, a huge drug bust in a joint effort with Alameda and Monterey Counties. Over a million dollars in cash, weapons, and spy toys were captured along with 200 pounds of cocaine worth $5 million – leaving local coke-heads out of luck. Of course, the story also says the deliveries from Mexico take place every few weeks so how long the pipeline stays dry is up in the air.

San Jose and the County of Santa Clara are back at it with a tussle over money. Supervisor Don Gage seems hopeful saying under the previous regime (whose name he doesn’t share) they’d all be marching into court. This time the bickering is low key and private, like a tense couple at a party slugging down Martinis.

Would you rat out your neighbor for wasting water washing the Winnebago? The Santa Clara Valley Water District hopes you do. Facing an ongoing drought the District is contemplating cutbacks at today’s meeting. By the way, District Board members also consider allowing voters to decide term limits.

The Merc’s Editorial Board cheers for Supervisor Dave Cortese’s push towards solar and urges the Supervisors to look for rooftops and paved areas – rather than open space – for panel placement. Like, maybe their parking lot on North First?

The Merc’s Ann Killion, focused on sports, questions the wisdom of the A’s Lew Wolff bad mouthing Oakland and the stadium. Wolff initially called the Oakland stadium aging and backtracked a few days later saying he hadn’t intended to insult Oakland. Perhaps not, but Wolff wants a spiffy new place for his team to play and San Jose wants to give it to him.

Passage of Prop 1A and support from the Feds has high speed rail moving forward at a full gallop, which terrifies NIMBY’s between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Gilroy Mayor Al Pinheiro and Councilmember Perry Woodward agree the train is a boon to the Gilroy economy saying, “great European cities grew up around train stations.” Even Gilroy’s Chamber of Commerce gets in on the pro-train chant calling it an economic boon. The challenge for the High Speed Rail Authority is both how to prevent building a modern day Berlin Wall and letting NIMBY’s know their communities won’t be divided. And no offense Gilroy, but you'll never be a great European city...

Morgan Hill is into recycling – at least when it comes to ballot measures. The former Measure H has been repackaged as Measure A for May’s special election. Councilmembers hope to gain support for 500 homes they want downtown. Former Mayor Dennis Kennedy is leading the charge to May and vows not to get complacent – this time.

San Jose Revealed goes into mind-boggling (and mind-numbing) detail with charts and graphs analyzing the turnout in this month’s recall effort against San Jose Councilmember Madision Nguyen. (They lost me at Hello...) Bottom line in all the pointy-headed details: turnout was good not great and more people are voting absentee with each election. Mission City Lantern’s James Rowen also read Revealed’s analysis, Rowen calls it the “most accurate set of predictions of voting trends…”

Revealed uses their joy of analysis to look at local 2010 races. They agree with Watch Dog that San Jose’s Pete Constant and Sam Liccardo will have boring races, Madison Nguyen will face challengers and remain successful, oddly doesn’t bother to mention Nora Campos’ brother-in-waiting to fill his sister’s shoes. A fuller Watch Dog recap of Revealed's recap will appear here later today.

San Jose Insider/San Jose Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio complains he’s not part of closed door meetings with labor and calls for a city wide vote on making all negotiations public. Careful what you wish for Councilmember. Public negotiations are a sure way to kill any and all projects...and is what the Labor community was pushing with Community Benefits Initiative years ago...

The clerical screw-up that left the Gilroy Unified School District short $6 million has Supervisorial freshman Dave Cortese lending a hand. Cortese agrees with Supervisor Don Gage that something needs to be done immediately. With all the talking going on, Watch Dog hopes they figure it out soon. It is significantly less interesting to watch the screw-up drag on endlessly than it is to find (and share) solutions to them.

Mountain View residents and eight mediators met to talk about building affordable housing on a parking lot. One resident complained the area would be ghetto-ized with the ROEM development alongside the PacificEuro hotel. Jonathan Emami, a ROEM Vice President, promised a project that was “richly detailed” and would look like a market rate project. Pissed off residents have to wait until July for the design meeting. (If the name ROEM looks familiar, it is because they are the company looking to fast-track an expensive loan from the City of San Jose Housing Department...)

San Jose’s Bill Carlson is bringing good eats to the streets of San Jose – and hoping he’s found the next big thing in downtown eating: beer-bathed sausages. You can find Carlson, and your next brat, at Market & Santa Clara.

Silicon Valley’s Dancing ‘Teletubbie’ Geek Steve Wozniak fills in concerned Mr. Roadshow readers on his various injuries and his dancing exploits. Remember, Vote for Woz and your Prius speeding sins shall be forgiven.

The arts may be struggling with the economic downturn but that hasn’t stopped the Arts Council from naming Nils Peterson as Santa Clara County’s Poet Laureate. Peterson calls himself a ‘coffee shop poet,’ Watch Dog hopes that means we can see him wandering between Trieste and Peet's for a local reading.

Your Los Altos Town Crier mobile update will fill you in on PG&E’s planned power outages Wednesday.

On a (somewhat) related note...

There was a power outage in Palo Alto over the weekend, but that isn't the most interesting part of the story. Check out this media tid-bit about Palo Alto's Utility Department during the outage:
No city utilities officials were available Sunday afternoon or evening to provide information about what was happening.

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