Friday, June 19, 2009

Morning News Round-Up – 6.19.09: No Video-Gate News, sorry...

Leaders in the San Jose firefighter’s union are blistering in the glare of a Civil Grand Jury report entitled “City of San Jose Hosed by IAFF Local 230 Executives.” The report calls firefighters courageous and dedicated but their union leaders created a “toxic relationship." Union President Randy Sekany says no one from the Grand Jury ever talked to him. There is no truth to the rumor that Police Officers Association President Bobby Lopez was jumping for joy that the heat was off of him for a day...

The Merc’s Editorial Board cheers Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s efforts to turn El Camino Real into Main Street Silicon Valley.

San Jose’s Mayor and City Council are breathing a sigh of relief. Two more unions will pass on raises to save the city $6 million and keep 46 people working. City Manager Debra Figone praised the unions and union leader Yolanda Cruz called the move a community investment.

San Jose saw the third in a string of Silicon Valley pedestrian fatalities. A young man riding a scooter was killed by the lightrail after went under the crossing arm. In another (un)related train incident, a 19 year old was busted for DUI after he tried pushing his car across Caltrain tracks. You can guess the rest. No one was hurt but the kid’s been busted for DUI.

San Jose Unified School District Board President Leslie Reynolds likened their decision to “…holding your nose and taking the least stinking thing on the list,” as Trustees last night increased class sizes. Thank you Sacramento...

Speaking of which...

The Merc’s Patty Fisher lends support to Assemblymember Jim Beall’s push for increased alcohol taxes. Party pooper Beall points to voter support, 17 years without a tax increase, and children with developmental defects due to fetal alcohol syndrome as justification. On the other side, “anti-tax Republicans and the powerful alcohol lobby.”

San Jose Inside/Silicon Valley Newsroom hung out for a discussion with Mayor Chuck Reed who kicked things off with “this is a no-bad-news zone.” Reed, no doubt eager to shake off the budget gloom, talked about sidewalk cafes and baseball.

San Jose and Campbell will be negotiating (or battling) over 68 to 130 acres of land in San Jose’s Cambrian neighborhood, surrounded by Campbell… Campbell Mayor Jane Kennedy called annexation to Campbell the most sensible course of action. In the mix, talks with the Local Agency Formation Commission and San Jose.

Campbell also has a battle heating up over an all-night gas station. Station representative Jonathan Ramos with Stantec Architecture said the owner pulled his application for late night use because “… there is no legal requirement” for the business to comply with City ordinances. (That sounds vaguely familiar...)
It’s buyer beware according to the Mountain View City Councilmember John Inks who supported taxi deregulation saying “competition – that’s the key to customer satisfaction." Straight from the Libertarian talking points, no doubt.

Gilroy’s City Council (and City Attorney) had a second look at City ordinances and decided maybe they couldn’t let Garlic City Casino run a blackjack game after all. Counciclmember Dion Bracco asked to have the proposal reconsidered saying he didn’t think either the Council or Police understood what they were doing.

Former Olympic wrestler Marco Sanchez steps up as Gilroy High’s new principal. Superintendent Deborah Flores called it a “new era” at Gilroy. Sanchez arrives just as Gilroy hands schools a bill for $1.8 million, School District Trustee Denise Apuzzo called the city’s bill “ridiculous.”

Mountain View Whisman School District Trustees are talking 10 year plans, bond measures, and “guiding principles” as they struggle with current budget problems.

San Jose Revealed’s pneumonia wears on leaving us breathless in anticipation of this week's “thinly veiled hostility and revelations of hypocrisy:” San Jose City Manager Debra Figone as an unquotable toughie, ongoing attacks from Police Officers Association President Bobby Lopez and yesterday’s grand jury report. (Feel better soon…)

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