Monday, April 6, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 4.6.09: Fake Quotes Edition...

The Merc. was on a tear this weekend over accusations of racial profiling. (Perhaps reporters and editors are listening to the Drunk Task Force even though the folks that launched the Task Force aren't):
In other law enforcement news: Sheriff Laurie Smith cut off access to expensive psychotropic drugs for inmates in order to save money and get folks off of drugs. Apparently some inmates pretend to be schizophrenic to get high. Spokesperson Joy Alexiou says there are other drugs that do the job but won’t cost as much. (Perhaps meth?) Sheriff Smith did not say, "If the San Jose Police Department would stop bringing us all these people that don't really belong here, we'd really appreciate it."

Tuesday is a big day for San Jose's Major League hopes. In chambers for both the County Supervisors and San Jose City Council the words “Play Ball!” will ring out. The Supervisors and Council call the Giants territorial rights nothing more than the creation of “indentured servants” of the South Bay. Not everyone agrees, Giants Executive Vice President Larry Baer says Santa Clara County is “the heart of our business.” What he didn't say was, "and the heart of business is for sale to the A's if the price is right..."

The Merc’s Internal Affairs brings us up to date on the continuing political drama around Silicon Valley -- even though some of it you know because you read Watch Dog...
  • The Manuel Herrera-Xavier Campos battle for San Jose’s City Council District 5 seat is lining up. The X Man (Shirakawa staffer/Nora Campos' brother Xavier Campos) tells us that he is “seriously considering” a run at the seat. Really? Watch Dog is shocked! Shocked! (Except we wrote about on March 20th.)
  • In the Alum Rock School District, former/current Superintendent Norma Martinez quit last year but is still pulling down the big bucks, draining much needed dollars from a cash-strapped School District, and making the District look horrible...
  • GOP rivals for the Governor’s office flew together out of San Jose, which is pretty funny. But that story that both campaigns wanted everyone to know about (which Internal Affairs didn't mention) was that the two m/billionaires were both flying Southwest and the candidates want everyone to know that they are "of the people." Steve and Meg, good work -- we believe it. Whitman was not heard saying, "I like this brand new airline...Southwest."
San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo’s bad decision to take Sharks tickets might not be turn out so badly. The tickets weren’t as expensive as Liccardo thought so there’s (apparently) no violation of State rules. (Watch Dog spies have let us know that the 18th floor of City Hall is scrambling to figure out who else may have taken tickets but not reported them. Remember, Liccardo actually reported the tickets...) One spy did not say, "Everyone accepts tickets, Sam is the only one silly enough to even report it..." (Actually, someone did say that...)

San Jose Revealed amps up the angst over the Liccardo mishap but sets their aims at City Attorney Rick Doyle with a rather long tirade.

Mr. Roadshow’s Gary Richards handed the reins over to Mrs. Roadshow so he could head out for a little baseball. The Mrs. gets the chance to dish on the Mr.’s driving habits.

The community member of the Merc's Editorial Board is changing over. Teresa Alvarado is out and Michelle Lew is in. Lew is the President of Asian Americans for Community Involvement.

Vasona Park was the site of the Iranian community’s annual NoRouz celebration. San Jose Planning Commissioner/Festival organizer Matt Kamkar hopes the crowd of over 20,000 will work together to raise $100 million for a community center in San Jose. Not great timing for that fundraising effort -- but at least the weather was good.

Here’s where you can go to be a part of government in action this week:
  • The County Board of Supervisors will hear Supervisor Dave Cortese’s request for more details on the lock-up of a 10 year old boy and his 11, 12 year old siblings. (Oh, and a request to have Major League Baseball let San Jose out of San Francisco's grip...)
  • The San Jose City Council will also discuss Major League Baseball and a downtown San Jose stadium...and sidewalk cafes, surplus land, and fee increases for tree removal.
  • Monte Sereno’s City Council (they have a City Council?) will consider pay for City Council members. Good timing for that discussion...
  • The San Jose Elections Commission will consider the complaint against former Mayor/Lobbyist Tom McEnery, discuss procedures for anonymous complaints, and campaign finance and limits to contributions.
And in our School Districts...
  • The Franklin-McKinley School District hosts a workshop to figure out how to chop $2 million out of the budget, including increasing class sizes.
  • The Los Altos School District discusses removing money from programs to feed the general fund.
  • The Alum Rock Union School District will consider formation of multiple committees and consider a supplemental retirement plan for teachers. Wouldn't it be great if the District had a Superintendent to guide this discussion?
  • The Cupertino Union School District also considers moving money from programs to keep the general fund afloat.
  • East Side Union High School District Trustees will consider approval of a charter for Downtown College Prep, lockers, and an agreement with the teachers union.


Dale Warner said...

I have learned to be deeply distrustful of the Merc when it compiles statistics to support its divisive activities. Here are three examples of how the Merc lied in its story about sidewalk arrests. (The Barrera matter was entirely different, and heads should roll from that matter.)

A flaw in its reporting of the arrest rates downtown was that its demographic comparison was limited to American Latino rates and European American rates, and neglected Asian Americans and African Americans in the comparisons. That would have given readers some valuable information.

Analyzing by gender would also have helped. Wonder why the Merc suppressed so many factors?

The big flaw was the Merc's conscious and dishonest decision to fail to analyze arrest rates by age. It is almost a truism that judgment is acquired slowly in life for all demographics, and that the usual victim of overzealous police work will be a person in late teenage years or in the 20s.

I think the reported stats would have shown pretty much a muted version of the same picture, but the limitation to a comparison of just two demographic groups, one probably the oldest on average by age in San Jose, and the other probably the youngest on average by age in San Jose was obviously done to push the Merc's own divisive agenda, not to help the citizenry support better policies.

Hint to the vicious divisive Mercury News: Most older members of the diverse white San Josean populations stay away from downtown at night. Too many pushy police cars trolling around the street. Actually scary the way they drive.

Kathleen said...

I stay a way from DT because of the drunks, thugs, and fights. How long has it been since you went down thee?