Thursday, June 18, 2009

Morning news Round-Up – 6.18.09: Enviable talent...

Another day, another garbage story. This time, district attorneys around the bay and the State, including District Attorney Dolores Carr, are joining forces in a lawsuit alleging Target dumps “…flammable liquids and toxic chemicals in local landfills...”

Seems the County Supervisors weren’t interested in cutting services to the County’s vulnerable. Before the public had a chance to speak, Supervisor Liz Kniss took Social Services Agency cuts off the table. The Merc’s Editorial Board congratulates the Supervisors for saving services and tells the County streamlining opportunities exist elsewhere.

The Merc’s Scott Herhold offers a backhanded compliment to San Jose Police Officers Association president Bobby Lopez saying Lopez has an “enviable talent for lobbing a verbal grenade into a crowded room.” Herhold and Lopez are at odds over the cost/benefit of police officers at festivals and the culture wars.

It’s a fact, fewer students in class pays off, especially for low-income and minority students. And still, the current economic climate is forcing San Jose Unified School District to consider increasing class sizes for K-2. Janice Allen, president of the San Jose Teachers Association said teachers in 3-12 already have 30 kids, laying them off to keep kindergarten classes small would not be fair.

San Jose’s dream of becoming the Bay Area’s transit hub isn’t guaranteed. First up, overcoming NIMBY chants (and money) High-Speed Rail NIMBYs (from Menlo Park and Atherton) are raising money for the NIMBY lawsuit against the California High-Speed Rail Authority. On one hand, it’s a tough time to raise money. On the other hand, if you have to raise NIMBY money, Menlo Park and Atherton are (probably) great places to start...

And, with more NIMBY/train news…

Mountain View NIMBY’s were vocal in their opposition to a housing proposal near Caltrain. Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga disagreed, calling the location for density “one of the best” as the council supported the Minton’s proposal.

Here's a Watch Dog San Mateo/Watch Dog Silicon Valley story for you: Gubernatorial candidates (maybe) snarled as they passed on the 101 yesterday. Republican Tom Campbell spoke to a joint session of Congress, well, actually it was a joint session of the Burlingame, Foster City, and San Mateo Rotaries in Foster City. Democrat Gavin Newsom spoke to the San Jose Rotary. We’lll let you decide which event was more high-profile and let pundits describe candidates chances of success...

In a creative move to generate revenue, Morgan Hill Police Commander David Swing says the city should open it’s own vehicle impound yard. Dion Bracco (owner of Bracco’s Towing and Transport/Gilroy Councilmember) says Morgan Hill will “turn this thing into a fiasco.”

Silicon Valley Realtors descended upon Sacramento to oppose legislation removing illegal/unenforceable restrictions from title records. Assemblymember Joe Coto was moved by the Realtors and arranged for a meeting with the bill’s author. Other Silicon Valley legislators were unable to meet with the Realtors due to the pesky business of being in session.

Some will call Stanford Hospital's $124 million investment in "community benefits" a way for Stanford to be a good neighbor to their Palo Alto "friends". Others will call this investment a way to buy good will... If the latter, the cost of good will is pretty steep...

Bad news for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, a grand jury report accuses the District of being “awash in cash while county and cities drown in red ink.” Board Chairman, Sig Sanchez, chided the Grand Jury for not digging deeply. Sanchez will dig more deeply himself and provide a formal response in a month.

Gilroy’s economic woes have Councilmember Perry Woodward heading for the hills. Woodward hits the road for a two week solo trek to the top of Mt. Whitney.

Cupertino’s Ramya Auroprem was a ringer at the Rep’s Spelling Bee, pulled on stage to be part of the performance. To get the show back on track the cast resorted to made up words to fool the 13 year old’s keen sense of wordology.

Do you Facebook? Creation of a new verb, ala Google, is what Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is dreaming about. Looks like the trendy Silicon Valley startup may have its dreams come true.

Times are tough when you’re stealing tips from Barristas… Watch out Starbucks, there’s a serial tip thief on the loose.

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