Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 6.24.09: San Jose's lost lover is back...

Tesla Chronicles Continue... Tesla nailed a loan from the Feds to the tune of $465 million and has plans to announce where in the Bay Area a battery production plant will land. San Jose’s Nanci Klein is thrilled and confident San Jose will land the electric fish gushing “Tesla’s success is our success.” Really? Even though they left San Jose at the alter previously? Let's hope that the on-again/off-again San Jose/Tesla romance continues for a while. Or at least until they burn through taxpayers' $465 mill...

San Jose’s City Council moves closer to reforms for the beleaguered Employee Pension Funds. Consultant Cortex Applied Research said the existing Boards lack expertise and have little incentive to save taxpayer money. Perhaps that, coupled with the economic melt-down, explains the billion (plus) dollar losses...

San Jose’s Planning Commission landed in hot water last month with accusations of a Brown Act open government violation. City Attorney Rick Doyle lowered the temperature and is requiring a re-vote in the election of a new Commission Chair. Watch Dog prediction: one of the four alleged co-conspirators Xavier Campos, Chris Platten, Hope Cahan, or Thang Do lands in the center chair.

Santa Clara County Open Space Authority mails notices to hundreds of thousands of property owners fessing up to an illegal tax and offering a refund. Sierra Club’s Melissa Hippard suggests refusing, others suggest taking the $130 and donating it back (read tax deduction). The Open Space Authority loses $51 million for their screw-up. The winner is Tony Tanke, a Davis attorney, who walks away with $7.4 million in legal fees.

Former Los Altos Police Chief Bob Lacey may be “crude” and “inappropriate” but the Judge says porn on a flash drive, fat jokes for a pregnant lady, discussions of testicles, and photos of a naked transgender person did not make for a hostile workplace.

The Merc’s Scott Herhold likens the ongoing squabble between NASA and the Navy over who is responsible for Moffett’s Hangar One to an officious clerk making your life miserable. Herhold says it’s time to cut through the nonsense and call in White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Congressmember Anna Eshoo agreed it was “absolutely absurd” for the Navy to move forward without an end game but wasn’t so sure about calling Emanuel. (Watch Dog doesn't blame Eshoo... here's why.)

While the rest of the Valley is grilling and hanging out for the fireworks, three Monte Sereno Councilmembers have local fireworks to deal with. The recall effort over the (very badly timed) Council salary decision heads into high gear on the 4th of July. Recall proponent Fred Hawkes doesn’t want his Councilmembers wasting their time or money on Countywide groups like the Association of Bay Area Governments or the Santa Clara Cities Association.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is all over the news. He’ll get his dream mansion, Woodside keeps parts of an historic home, and Jobs ill health was confirmed when a Tennessee hospital confirmed Jobs’ liver transplant. We guess is that he'd rather be in the news discussing the latest and greatest iPod...

Saratoga Planning Commissioners approved plans to relocate a San Jose business (Demetri's the Hair People) onto Saratoga’s main drag. Commissioner David Reis was impressed with plans to update the exterior. Also approved, enlarging outdoor seating for Cinnabar Winery. Expensive hair cuts and expensive wine... perfect for Saratoga.

Sunnyvale’s newest City Manager, Gary Luebbers, says patience is his biggest challenge. Mayor Anthony Spitaleri likes that Luebbers isn’t “analyzing to death” and is hopeful this bodes well for Sunnyvale’s (Albatross) Town Center project.

What do Halle Berry, Paris, New York, Monte Carlo, and Palo Alto have in common? Doris Payne and It Takes a Thief, of course.

Busy times in South County: Gilroy had more gang problems, an “elaborate” car theft, and big robbery last week. Trustees for Gilroy Unified hired a new principal for Gilroy High and three new administrators to see them through tough times ahead.

Upscale Los Gatos hopes you’ll join them for Jazz on the Plazz but doesn’t want your crummy turf damaging blanket and has a slew of rules for those lawn chairs. Welcome to Los Gatos, don't leave a mark...

San Jose Insider/Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee Joseph DiSalvo weighs in on class size reduction standing firmly on the fence. DiSalvo also continues his push for increased teacher salaries. Thank you (?) Joe.

Bucking the trend towards cheap, Cisco Systems handed out $1.26 million in grants including to 53 local non-profits.

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