Thursday, May 21, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 5.21.09

The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters estimated 40% of the Valley’s voters would take part in the May 19 bloodbath, turns out they were optimistic. Roughly 25% of Santa Clara County voters showed up. Better than the State average where the ballot decisions were made by 23% of voters.

Speaking of (future) elections...

The moment Santa Clara’s City Council happily announced a (tentative) deal with the 49ers, owner Jed York was dishing. Also excited, Councilmember Dominic Caserta who said “I’m so excited, I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.” The San Francisco Chronicle's coverage is (predictably) less enthusiastic... Expect an election in March 2010, if you live in Santa Clara.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed will meet with People Acting in Community Together (PACT) to wrangle over East San Jose’s high foreclosure rates, crime, City neglect, and mistrust of Police. PACT co-chair Margie Marquez said “...we want to get him to focus on the pain and concern in our community.”

Joe White, with the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District, said the impact of Tuesday's election was still unclear, but it would be ugly. Foothill-DeAnza’s Andy Dunn agreed saying community colleges and K-12 have some tough (impossible) decisions ahead.

Santa Clara County prosecutor Troy Benson said he “freaked out” when he learned a child sex-abuse victim’s medical exam had been videotaped. He promptly told the defense. Superior Court Judge Paul Bernal’s testimony pokes holes in Benson’s story and it seems the DA’s office can’t get their stories straight.

The folks in Mountain View are looking forward to (praying for) a shopping center face lift... The Thoits family will sell a corner slice of their San Antonio shopping center to San Diego developer Merlone Geier Partners. Mountain View Councilmember Ronit Bryant is happy and says the shopping center was not living up to its potential. Bryant looks forward to a mixed use project.

Speaking of shopping centers...

The Merc’s Scott Herhold reports Silicon Valley Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is stepping in to help Sunnyvale’s downtown. Lofgren shot letters to the Presidents of Wells Fargo and Bank of America demanding to know why they turned off the money to developer Peter Pau, especially after federal bailouts.

The Los Altos Planning Commission expects a full house tonight while they talk about a proposal for 28 new senior homes. Even NIMBYs have parents.

Los Gatos contractor/(accused) firebug Channing Verdan now has former Deputy District Attorney Dennis Lempert by his side. After telling reporters he was a “poor man” Verdan is no longer talking to the press and hasn’t entered a plea.

East San Jose teacher Janine Henderson’s students were out of shape, fighting, and 92% failed the President’s Physical Fitness test last year. Los Gatos Rotary President Beth Smith and Rotary buddies stepped in with a one year fitness program. The Merc’s Joe Rodriguez dishes all the sweaty details.

Merc. sports maven Ann Killion dishes her own version of tapas with two local nibbles…
  • 49ers – let the chaos begin.
  • A’s – Brad Pitt to play Billy Beane
Sunnyvale’s NetApp is the big deal in Silicon Valley with plans to buy Santa Clara based Data Domain for $1.5 Billion. NetApp CEO Daniel Warmenhoven dismissed rumors of becoming a takeover target

Metro reporter Alastair Bland took time to visit the San Jose-Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant (the stuff you flush). After 53 years of continuous operation the plant faces a $1 billion overhaul. The Plant's Mike Ortega shares tales of Plant humor, the ill-gotten gains of a bank robbery, and drunken seagulls among them.

They coulda used a little water pollution control… The Environmental Protection Agency spanked California Waste Solutions and American Metal and Iron for dumping pollutants into San Jose waterways.

SaveBAREC was unable to save itself. The grassroots group lost an appeal in Santa Clara Superior Court to stop development on a former pesticide test site and has called it quits. Summerhill Homes has to clean the site of toxins which SaveBAREC brought attention to according to Gordon Stemple, an attorney representing residents in another lawsuit.

San Jose Revealed lets loose with Thursday Quick Notes, among them…
  • Glee over newsworthy Chamber of Commerce leaders (which they got from us yesterday...),
  • Mayor Reed’s trip to East San Jose, and
  • Girls Gone Wild bus visits downtown San Jose.
Metro/San Jose Inside Editor posts a lament that San Jose will never lose its “soulless corporate blandness” as long as it kicks out local eateries like La Taqueria and replaces them with Carl’s Junior. The Editor expresses hope that the (McEnery) San Jose Public Market will give priority to local businesses, “not soul-sucking chains.”

San Jose Insider Pete Campbell posts his last Inside blog with a nostalgic look backwards and a cranky view of today.

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