Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Morning News Round-Up – 6.2.09: It's a do-over...

Leading the way, our Sister blog Watch Dog San Mateo posts Silicon Valley news…
  • Businesses face new taxes in November, odd time to do this... A big oops from Palo Alto officials over an ill-advised probe into Children’s Theatre
  • San Jose’s Cayetano Figueroa-Fernandez used his break time to sell meth in the company parking lot
  • Not related to Silicon Valley but Watch Dog couldn’t resist, senior prank day at Menlo-Atherton scores big

Santa Clara city leaders, and the Niners, face a motley crew of anti-stadium voices. City manager Ron Garratt looks forward to lively discussion an election will bring saying “it makes for a better project when folks are involved.” Stanford economist Roger Noll says Santa Clara will end up with a “better deal than just about any other city…”

Palo Alto Unified School District Trustees aren’t waiting for the other enormous/painful shoe to drop from the State. Tonight Trustees propose a budget that keeps existing pay raises. Trustees expect September will have them sorting out the State’s disaster.

A Santa Clara County Grand Jury report slams the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Words matter and these words paint a picture of the VTA as a petulant teenager… Unresponsive, unaccountable, disobedient and dishonest. VTA spokesperson Jennie Loft shoots back that the report is filled with erroneous information and sounds more like the “anti-BART rhetoric… rejected by voters in November,” than a Grand Jury report.

The Morgan Hill Times Editorial Board takes a shot at Caltrain’s budget cutting proposal to eliminate service to the Southern portion of Santa Clara County. The Times calls for more service and a “shuttle train.”

Bike commuter/Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager is pissed county fleet cars go unused, take vacations to Malibu, and several drivers “are racking up… parking fines,” for over $100,000. President Liz Kniss praised Yeager and called for a halt on the proposed purchase of new sheriff’s cars. The President didn’t point out the audit was decades overdue…

Shock, shock hits the streets of San Jose. San Jose Councilmember Nora Campos officially announced her plans to take termed out Assemblymember Joe “Mr. Insurance” Coto’s seat. Campos’ promised not to forget San Jose saying “my biggest job will be to make sure we don’t lose any more local money.” The surprise is that anyone thought otherwise

Taking pity on taxpayers, the Santa Clara Valley Water District directors voted unanimously not to raise rates and to make more than $100 million in budget cuts. Director Rosemary Kamei warns the cuts come from delayed projects and rate payers will be in for a rude awakening at a future date…

This summer kids are losing their Jamba Juice jobs to unemployed old folks. Business owners like Details’ Bernie Levine are cutting staff while trying to keep mortgage paying parents off unemployment lines.

Girls Middle School students aren’t looking for Jamba Juice, they launched an eco-friendly micro business with $100. “Buckle My Jeans” co-founders Jamie Bindon, Rachael Rappoport, Maggie Brown and Jaime McConachie report their motto “we’ve got your jeans in the bag,” was a no-brainer. There’s no truth to the rumor Watch Dog was first in line for the doggie bag…

San Jose was the site of a green/labor conference with such luminaries as economist James Galbraith, Sierra Club leader Carl Pope and San Jose’s own Cindy Chavez. (Un)surprisingly, the only coverage was from an alternative/online media source out of San Francisco.

The crashing economy has a few bright spots. Palo Alto officials are looking for a place to build a new cop-shop, current negotiations could turn to their favor. Councilmember John Barton said it was an example of the council “acting in a very business-wise manner.

The Merc’s Joe Rodriguez reports a small victory in consumer affairs. The 17 year old credit nightmare for Manuel and Luz Fausto is over and there’s a check for $500,000 in the mail. Consumer advocate Denise Richardson says the web is buzzing, “finally, some good news to report.”

Morgan Hill Superintendent Alan Nishino announced he’s outa here at the end of June. Nishino leaves a $4.1 million shortfall and a “fractured” union relationship.

Gilroy Councilmember Dion Bracco supported colleagues who said no to South County Housing’s project a few months ago. Bracco said he wouldn’t spend his own money on the project, at the time. Last night Bracco convinced colleagues a do-over was needed because the project owner was now changing the financial agreement.

San Jose Revealed calls this week the “boringest week ever,” aside from the Merc’s Scott Herhold increasingly busy schedule and old news about Nora Campos it wasn’t worth a visit to the keyboard yesterday.

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