Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 4.29.09: Swine Flu Day 2

The national panic begins and Silicon Valley is not immune. San Jose’s Branham High School has one student out with the Swine flu. Campbell Union High School District website let's us know that Branham will be closed for a week, other updates on the Swine flu can be read on Twitter on @swineflunews...

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed starts to repair the damage after his Independent Police Auditor (IPA) mea culpa. He pronounced the initial process bad. Next time, he suggests, all candidates get reviewed by all Councilmembers. You may recall, the last time around Reed, along with Councilmembers Nora Campos and Pete Constant, selected the final four IPA candidates and the final two. The stress is making even the normally bland Reed a little snarky “My councilmembers usually have pretty good ears,” in reference to the brewing battle with Campos over who knew and when about the brotherly conflict.

At yesterday’s San Jose City Council meeting $4.8 million was approved for removing the toxic sludge in Watson Park and downtown club owners will share the cost of policing downtown on weekends. (These two things are unrelated, by the way... although, former Mayor Tom McEnery probably feels like the sludge and downtown club owners are pretty closely related.)

Los Altos School District hired four new Principals with none of the drama seen last year when parents and Trustees battled over the selection of Terri Stromfeld. Joining the Los Altos ranks are Wade Spenader, Kimberly Attell, Erin Green, and Amy Rettberg.

The Merc is celebrating as staff writer Karen de Sa takes home the Silver Gavel from the American Bar Association for her series on juvenile dependency courts – the same series that landed the District Attorney’s office in hot water. Merc Editor David J. Butler said the award “underscores the commitment of the Merc’s staff to continue its tradition of producing world-class journalism.”

It’s good to be green. When Silicon Valley gets there Watch Dog will let you know. Santa Clara County received an ‘F’ from the American Lung Association on the 10th annual “State of the Air” report card. Joining Silicon Valley were 37 other counties mostly in Southern California and the Central Valley.

What does Palo Alto have against plastic? Chemical lover Manny Diaz screwed up again as Palo Alto’s City Council joined the growing ranks of cities banning polystyrene, those foam boxes you call a doggie bag. Palo Alto estimates the foam box ban will affect only 30% of local restaurants, everyone else having moved away from the chemical killers before now.

The Koi donated to San Jose by Sister City Okayama are dying of herpes, no kidding. Mona Favorite-Hill, spokesperson for San Jose Parks, said chances are someone wanted their own herpes ridden fish to roam free among their Japanese cousins.

A teenager in Palo Alto kept a lot more than fireworks at home. The PA Police found explosive components when they went home with the kid.

Watch Dog enjoyed the celebration at Morgan Hill’s two year old dog park. Councilmember Marilyn Librers said it was paws up for the work done by MHDOG.

Morgan Hill revenues are down. With the crashing economy and no one hitting the stores it comes as no surprise sales and property taxes are in the toilet.

According to venture capitalist Peter Thiel, it’s the fairer sex that f’d up the world once they started voting. Yep, ladies, according to the Facebook backer/former Paypal CEO “the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women … have rendered the notion of "capitalist democracy" into an oxymoron.” Thiel also shares his opinion that the only ones not on drugs are idiots.

Watch Dog had to list this, blogger Will Wilson works with his pooch Dora the boxer on political blogging, among other things. San Jose’s recent adventure into porn filters caught Dora’s keen eye.

San Jose Insider/County Board of Education Trustee Joseph DiSalvo worries about a brain drain from public schools as Charter Schools take off in popularity.

San Jose Revealed is hopping a plane to LA and leaves us with this question: Is the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce the leading voice in business in the Valley? Revealed’s snarky afterthought indicates the Chamber might be the leading party organizer.

In a related (?) story...

This note from the South Bay Labor Council, Steve Preminger, Director of Working Partnerships and Chair of the local Democratic Party, was honored by the Dalai Lama as one of the worlds “Unsung Heroes” for 2009.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of REED, he gets another smack down from the cops. It's not just the council who is on his ass.

Numbers don't tell the complete story

I was disappointed by Mayor Chuck Reed's comments at the April 21 San Jose City Council meeting regarding arrest data reported by the Mercury News.

"Looking at the data, I think we have a problem," the mayor said. This conclusion sounds irresponsible to me, as it does to a lot of people, including professor Philip Goff, research director of the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity.

Speaking at the City Council Rules Committee meeting April 22, Goff said directly to Reed, "Looking only at those statistics as if it's a complete picture is actually biasing you." If the sociologists the city invited to study our policing practices won't make assumptions based on one set of numbers, the mayor should refrain from doing so, too.

Bobby Lopez

President, San Jose Police Officers Association