Monday, May 11, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 5.11.09: A 'Hypocritical Grandstanding'-Free Zone...

Swine Flu mania persists as County officials review the results of this test to their pandemic plan. Outcome? Things could be better. County health officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib bought a new gizmo to test your fluish samples but as of Friday there were still 800 untested samples. The “pandemic” never turned into a hospital filler but folks were scared.

Valley Transit Authority Board Chair Dolly Sandoval recommended her fellow Board members ditch their $200/month stipend. It won’t cover the $79 million gap but Sandoval hopes it will send “...a message that we are willing to step up...” This brings up the obvious question: VTA Board members get a stipend?

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has declared a solution to keeping libraries open so the unemployed have computer access. City employees give up raises for the next year. According to Reed he, the City Manager, and all senior staff have given up pay raises. Of course, when you make almost $300,000 a year… This brings up the obvious question: Why are folks due pay-raises anyway? Hasn't the budget been a mess for years?

A’s/Earthquakes owner Lew Wolff will be asked to foot the bill for the new San Jose A’s baseball stadium. Tuesday the City Council will discuss details for negotiations and community outreach. Reminding neighbors to be part of the conversation, former neighborhood association president Harvey Darnell said stopping the ballpark won’t mean “’ll get nothing. You’ll still get a lot of something...”

The Merc’s Editorial Board calls on San Jose’s Mayor and City Council to repair the growing rift with the Drunk Task Force. The Merc also calls on the Consortium brought in to displace the Task Force to reach out to the communities that are most affected by this City/Community rift.

The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s political arm, COMPAC, wasted no time filing a lawsuit against the City of San Jose. They’re pissed off about a $5,000 fine after a judge agreed with them there are no limits to free speech. (We hear Revealed furiously typing away now...)

Will the Independent Police Auditor with the shortest reign in history run for termed out Councilmember Judy Chirco’s seat? The Merc’s Internal Affairs wants to know. Chris Constantin is being coy but candidate Jim Cogan says Constantin isn’t a threat. (Watch Dog sort of said the same thing about Cogan a while back... much to Cogan's displeasure...)

Thanks to a Watch Dog tipster we learned… San Jose’s Assemblymember Joe Coto got press for working with the Greenlining Institute and the Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition to get $30 million set aside as support for Hispanic run non-profits. (Hopefully not this Hispanic run non-profit...)

Internal Affairs also dishes Councilmember Nora Campos has her sights set on Sacramento, not the Mayor's seat...yet. Campos’ recent missteps over the too public former Mayor/lobbyist complaint, Independent Police Auditor, and tossing her Task Force baby under a bus may have helped make the decision.

Which brings us to the Merc’s Scott Herhold's column about Councilmember Campos. He takes time to dis San Jose Councilmember (and new Mom) Nora Campos on Mothers Day. Herhold doesn’t restrict himself to Campos and calls out Campos' staffers Ryan Ford and Rolando Bonilla for getting the boss noticed through “hypocritical grandstanding.”

San Jose Police shot and killed a young man in East San Jose Sunday morning as they responded to a domestic disturbance and he answered the door wielding a knife.

Gilroy Police busted three gang members for stabbing a 20 year old man during a Saturday afternoon gang fight. A fourth assailant is being sought, if you’ve got info call investigator Geoff Guerin of the Gilroy Police Department at 408-846-0650.

For all you Silicon Valley City Hall Watch Dogs, here’s where to get your fix this week:
  • The San Jose City Council Chambers will be the site of baseball negotiation principles and how to talk to the community. (Oh, and that pesky budget problem is on tap as well.)
  • San Jose’s Elections Commission will consider charging you for the privilege of complaining, campaign contribution limits, and anonymous filings...
  • The Mountain View City Council talks about the Day Worker Center of Mountain View (the bigot’s of D.C. will be there as well)...
  • The Santa Clara City Council talks dollars (or lack thereof)...
  • In Sunnyvale, there’s a plan hatching to create City-generated email spam letting you know about public meetings. (Please include us...)
In your kids' schools this week
  • The Alum Rock Union School District considers small schools and how much to pay the interim Superintendent. (How about with savings from not having to pay the last one?)
  • The Cupertino Union School District studies revised budgets. (Revised down, we guess...)
  • Los Gatos Union School District talks union contracts. (Have fun...)
  • The Mountain View-Los Altos High School District will consider laying off one teacher, and bringing back adult education...
Revealed adds to items of government watch interest in San Jose… (It must be nice to have interns to do this type of stuff for you Mr./Ms. Revealed...)
  • Federal stimulus dollars helping San Jose’s homeless.
  • It’ll cost you more to recycle those old cans.
  • Garbage, garbage and more garbage.
  • Crime at local gambling joints is on the rise, hookers down, child abuse up.

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