Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 4.8.09: San Jose A's...the first pitch

“Play Ball!” erupted from the usually very mellow Mayor Chuck Reed as discussion began for baseball’s migration to San Jose. Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino calmly ran the numbers reflecting support from local large business. Joining Guardino in support of baseball were local luminaries, former Mayor Janet Gray Hayes, former Mayor Susan Hammer, County Assessor Larry Stone, and Pro Baseball San Jose’s co-founder Michael Mulcahy. Plus a bunch of ballpark neighbors in support, and far fewer in opposition. Lew Wolff must be smiling widely today. San Jose's stadium moving forward (seemingly) and the A's big bats showed up yesterday.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported a letter drafted by freshman Supervisor Dave Cortese to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. The letter reads, in part “When the Giants obtained its territorial rights to San Jose in 1992, it was based upon the assumption that the Giants were going to move from one wealthy enclave to another; namely from San Francisco County to Santa Clara County.”

San Jose’s financial woes are mounting…First finding out that the City's deficit could reach $78 million within the year and now the devastated pension funds (remember, they lost $1 billion). City Manager Debra Figone had to present the bad news -- the pension fund could force an additional $50 million out of the cash strapped City. Mayor Chuck Reed said the City is head towards “major layoffs.” Councilmember Sam Liccardo called it delusional to ask taxpayers to keep up with current funding levels.

Metro/San Jose Insider Erin Sherbert muses Chief Davis might not survive the current Drunk Task Force/Arresting Latinos everywhere crisis. The ever-quotable Police Officers Association President Bobby Lopez says “[Chief Davis] is adamantly in the hot seat right now… Issues are cascading. And at the bottom of them is the signature ‘Robert L. Davis’” Lopez and Sherbert aren't wrong, in Watch Dog's view. Davis is getting hit from all sides right now -- and the City Council's support seems to be cracking...

Mountain View also faces serious budget problems. City Manager Kevin Duggan’s proposal of a “hybrid” strategy that included use of rainy day funds had Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga saying “it’s pouring.” Mountain View Councilmembers are asking residents to get involved early reviewing proposals leading up to decisions later this year.

The Veterans are leaving the Valley
. Senator Barbara Boxer’s office says Vets must travel farther to find an open base and is one reason for leaving. Another is the naturally declining population. But the largest reason seems to be a migration of war Vets abandoning the city to head to the country.

The Merc’s Editorial Board sends a message to high school and college graduates facing a grim job future – consider domestic service with AmeriCorps. As President Obama prepares to sign the Serve America Act of 2009 thousands of two year positions will open up with programs like City Year San Jose.

Programs that train high school students and career changing adults could see their funds disappear altogether after the State budget gave flexibility to local districts on using the money. Schools face terrible decisions and program loyalists clamoring to keep their programs running. Nora Ho, Principal of San Jose’s Ruskin Elementary worries bright children will lose the special programs that keep them motivated.

In a sign of the times Kip Berdiansky and Jordan Zewigoron are capitalizing on the Valley’s need to laugh in hard times. The partners took their strange sense of humor and added the American sugar laden treat – the doughnut – to come up with Psycho Donuts. The Merc’s Patty Fisher wasn’t impressed with the tasteless trappings and thinks minor tweaks will remove the offense while keeping the funny.

Things aren’t easy on Mountain View’s Easy Street – some residents arrived home to find they’d been burgled. The cops set off looking for the teens who’d been hanging around earlier and found them with jewelry and a game console stuffed in their pants.

San Jose Revealed muses that it might not be in San Jose’s best interest to subsidize a newsletter featuring politicized commentary bashing Revealed’s friends at Labor. Revealed says the Chamber of Commerce’s six figure subsidy might be an area to look for budget cuts. Revealed has also been prowling survey’s from the Pew Research Center – this time the (un) surprising news that “Latinos have substantially lower confidence in the police” than others. Revealed offers Chief Davis the link to the report, in case he’s interested.

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