Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 5.19.09: Election Day = Fight Night

It is quite possibly the least exciting election day in history today... so go vote? That's what the Governor wants you to do, even though he is out of town...

He did make one last Silicon Valley pass yesterday, however. He stopped in San Jose to share the stage with San Jose Police Officers Association leader Bobby Lopez. Lopez said the state’s “budget roller coaster” was a “threat to public safety.” Schwarzenegger faces an uphill battle, Elma Rosas with the Santa Clara County Registrar’s office said they expect only 40% of voters to show up.

It’s (apparently) going to be Fight Night at San Jose City Hall. "High-priced lobbyists" Tom Saggau and Dustin DeRollo are hoping to get rid of regulations on bail bonds operators. In the other corner, Councilmember Sam Liccardo (and neighborhoods) are seeking rules on location and hours. The Merc’s Scott Herhold, talking to bail bondsman Tedd Wallace says “there is money to be made.” Also in Herhold's column is this gem: they are also trying to increase business by having the County cut Pre-Trial Services... (This issue has been burning up Watch Dog's email... thanks, tipsters.)

San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo lent his literary skills to the Merc., writing an opinion piece calling for wage reductions to save jobs and City services. Liccardo is going to be in the firing line today: first from the bail bonds folks, now with the City's unions. Liccardo praised local labor for creating a national model for children’s health insurance and neighborhood development and asks leaders to now help develop a plan to save jobs and services during the economic crisis.

The Mexican American Community Service Agency (MACSA) is back in Gilroy news. Gilroy Unified School District trustees are considering pulling the plug on MACSA’s El Portal Leadership Academy pointing to MACSA’s embezzlement and El Portal’s academic failure. Trustee Tom Bundros accused MACSA of not taking responsibility and making excuses.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr wants to take over victim-advocacy services, removing the services from the non-profit FACES. She’s facing a fight from retired Judges Len Edward and LaDoris Cordell along with other high profile names including San Jose Police Chief Rob Davis, former Vice Mayor Frank Fiscalini, and County Supervisors. Cordell pointed out the DA’s office is currently facing its own problems which will take “substantial time, resources and energy to remedy.”

Pacific Grove developer Bill Cusack hopes to tear out 60 acres of cherry trees and replace it with 349 affordable homes for seniors in Gilroy. Gilroy’s housing plan didn’t make the state happy and left Gilroy without access to the states affordable housing money. Councilmember Bob Dillon wants to check the proposal out “because we've gotten so much grief over our housing element - maybe this'll make them shut up."

Morgan Hill’s Measure A supporters are pissed about an 11th hour negative campaign aimed at defeating the downtown development proposal. Former Mayor and Measure A Committee Chair Dennis Kennedy called the negative campaign misleading and Councilmember Greg Sellers said it was disingenuous. Welcome to campaigns in Morgan Hill...

Mountain View is basking in the glory of Forbes Magazine’s declaration: Mountain View is the best place to live in the Bay Area, for a small city. Forbes said Mountain Views drawback includes a lack of restaurants, to which City Manager Kevin Duggan said “imagine how we would be rated if they figured out we did have plenty of restaurants.” Watch Dog does heart Castro Street.

San Jose Insider/County Board of Education Trustee Joseph DiSalvo wants local schools to follow President Obama’s goal of reducing “unwanted pregnancies.” DiSalvo wants to start with high-quality sex education pointing to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s pregnant 17 year old daughter as justification.

Big surprise, the economic crisis is driving people to their local libraries. Los Gatos Library Director Peggy Conway has seen a 31% increase in people walking through the doors. Seventeen year old Jose Garcia was drawn to the free internet, he’s looking for rims for his car.

Peninsula Open Space Trust is taking advantage of the crumbling economy. New Cities Development Group bought South San Jose’s Rancho San Vicente in 1998 hoping to exploit the booming economy. Today, POST announces purchase of the 966 acre ranch in a game of connect the park dots.

The Grandma scammer has been hitting Silicon Valley hard. San Jose Grandmother Beverly Avery got a call from a scam artist last summer using the same line who scammed Palo Alto grandparents out of $11,000. Avery is embarrassed and hopes her story will protect others.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: The Open Space Authority. Is this another Mike Potter screw up when he was on the board?