Thursday, March 5, 2009

Morning News Round-Up – 3.5.09: Santa Clara County Raiders?

Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa, Jr. continues his “quixotic quest" to toss the County’s plans for housing at the fairgrounds in order to bring pro football to San Jose. The Supervisor, referred to by the Merc. as “burly” (and by Watch Dog as Grand Poobah), met with Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask and Finance Director Mark Badain. Rumors that Shirakawa has abandoned his Supervisorial post to negotiate a coaching job for Eddie Garcia are unfounded.

The failed recall effort against San Jose Councilmember Madison Nguyen is the spin. The Merc. digs in with local wonk/SJSU political science Professor Larry Gerston and spinmeister/failed campaign manager Andre Charles. The Editorial Board offers up an opinion that it is time to move on and hopes Nguyen does indeed reach out to her opponents. San Jose Revealed also assesses the results and declares there was never any doubt about the outcome.

So much for the Smoke Police. Over 175 Santa Clara County residents complained about winter fires on Spare the Air days. Fewer than 35 firebugs received warnings. No one was slapped with a fine. Bay Area Air Quality Management District rep Kristine Roeselius said fines weren’t the focus, the goal is air quality improvement. The number of people wanting Spare the Air days email alerts doubled between September and November to 100,000.

Los Altos School District Trustees have proposed cutting their budget $2.3 million in response to the draconian budget from the State Legislature. They’ll be waving goodbye to 18 teachers and 28 support staffers.

Los Altans will be happy to know a second suspect has been arrested for the brazen November robbery of Harold’s Jewelry. The two suspects were both already in jail at the Elmwood Correctional Complex. Police warn there are other suspects still at large and hopes for a dramatic Hollywood style car chase remain.

Mountain View NIMBY’s have coughed up $346 to appeal placement of the Day Worker Center nearby. Opponents to the center include Brad Kellar who wrote "Please protect our neighborhood property values!" Appellant Vince Racifi worries the center will distract police from the growing gang problem.

There is (apparently) a big-time power outage in Palo Alto this morning. Crews are "scrambling" to get folks back online...this is the type of problem that the Utilities Department should be handling, rather than this type of problem with Federal law enforcement agents...(thank you Watch Dog San Mateo...)

Looks like the American Chemistry Association/plastic bag lover Manny Diaz has successfully convinced the Santa Clara County Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission to ignore plastic bags. The Commission had proposed charging consumers for “single-use” bags. According to Commission member/Mountain View Councilmember Ronit Bryant they’re hoping education will drag consumers away from plastics. Really?

California Lottery officials took over as undercover cops to ferret out local retailers separating lottery winners from their tickets. Owners (or employees) from Jerry’s Market on Main in Milpitas along with Mercado y Carneceria Moreno, 4th Street Bowl, and Guru’s on N. 13th have lost their lottery contracts and could head to prison. Alex Traverso with the California Lottery wants to send a message to would be scammers “…we’re coming after you...”

Sal Pizzaro, the Merc’s man about town, fills us in on San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s dinner plans in Washington, D.C. where he met with SJSU President Jon Whitmore and former San Jose Mayor/Congressman/U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta. Pizzaro muses over the selection of a bi-coastal chain restaurant for the dining luminaries.

The Merc’s Mr. Roadshow, Gary Richards, has received loads of queries asking whether BART does know the way to San Jose. Math and farm animals collide in questions about counting unhatched chickens and the weak tax projections.

The suicide death of SJSU/Sigma Chi’s Gregory Marcel Johnson, Jr. has grief stricken parents calling for a deeper investigation. The Metro’s Jessica Fromm covers all sides of the story. Mission City Lantern sends props to Metro for their coverage.

Metro/San Jose Inside’s Fly digs a little deeper into Saratoga/San Jose/Santa Maria Senator Abel Maldonado’s (conceited) demands in exchange for his support to pass the budget. Apparently the “outrageous” proposal to spend $1 million on office furniture by Controller John Chiang was just a tad less outrageous than Maldo wants us to believe. Maldonado dramatically tosses darts at former Assemblymember Fred Keely and waves his arms.

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