Monday, August 24, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 8.24.09: Threatened Garbage Strike + Reelection = Mayoral Trouble?

Federal mediators are on their way to San Jose in the hopes of stopping a Teamsters strike against GreenTeam garbage haulers. South Bay Labor Council leader/ former Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez says while she doubts “…anybody wants to strike...” it’s not a threat to take lightly. Something interesting about this story: This is the exact same issue that got Mayor Ron Gonzales into trouble. A threatened garbage strike coupled with fear about a looming reelection campaign. Yet Mayor Chuck Reed is not in this story. Perhaps that is the safest place to be Mayor Reed...

The latest guest at San Jose's texting party (no, not sexting) is environmentalist Ted Smith of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Mr. Smith is going to court to get email, texts, and “other electronic communications.” Mr. Smith is pissed that the City refused his more congenial request earlier this year. While the Toxics Coalition is fighting City Hall on this front, they are likely supporting a City Hall effort on another because...

The San Jose City Council will think about San Jose’s contribution to the 19,000,000,000 plastic bags leaving California stores each year. American Chemistry Council and their lobbyist Manny Diaz are cheering on Councilmember/ proud anti-environmentalist Pete Constant who says he questions whether plastic bags should be ditched, after all they’re great for scooping poop. Fill in your own Constant poop joke here: ________.

Mr. Smith, make sure to get the emails, texts, and calendars surrounding the plastic bag issue as well... Watch Dog bets the meeting between Manny Diaz and Pete Constant was an interesting one.

Speaking of environmentalists... Larry Ames and Taisia McMahon are hoping to see you at the Planning Commission in support of the Three Creeks Trail. Worried about “trail-severing" development, Ames and McMahon shared their worries on the Merc’s Opinion page.

(so far) No one at San Jose’s Family Camp is sick but news of e-coli tainted water wells gotta be making campers nervous. Ironically, San Jose Inside reports their namesake city is behind only Virginia Beach, Virginia and Madison, Alabama for kid friendliness. Good thing Family Camp is in Yosemite…

Palo Alto is reeling after the suicide death of a 13 year old on Caltrain tracks where two other Gunn High School students died in the past several months. Former Palo Alto Mayor Victor Ojakian and Supervisor/former Palo Alo Mayor Liz Kniss are considering a committee to examine the issue.

Cupertino-ites have a few months to figure out their Council choices with 7 candidates and 3 seats open, the two incumbents are hopeful their names will float to the top. Busy times for Rich Robinson...

Swine Flu joins the back-to-school fun. Kids will learn the Dracula Cough, and hand-scrubbing while they sing Happy Birthday in an attempt to stem the tide.

The Merc’s Patty Fisher is happily chowing down on her daily coco kook as she celebrates peace in the (Psycho) Donut wars. Fisher closes by saying (cynically) “…without all that free publicity, where would Psycho Donuts be today?...” Certainly not in Patty Fisher's column...

Former Independent Police Auditor Barbara Attard’s San Jose pied-à-terre caused the Merc’s Scott Herhold to dust off his calculator and call those pesky IRS tax guys. Herhold chuckles as he reports Attard may owe as much as $6,000 in pillow taxes.

Having had one too many cheap drinks at the “dingy, punky, (puky?)Caravan Lounge the Merc’s Internal Affairs bemoans its loss as San Jose makes way for a parking garage. Mission City Lantern chimes in on this story as well. James, you know the old adage: don't pick a fight with folks who buy ink by the barrel.

Protect San Jose dished its “Open Forum Friday” with a few (long/ oddly constructed) bits about cost over-runs, police practices, and statistical gurus.

Looking for your own government reform? Check these out…
  • Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors finalize decisions on Jeffery Smith as County Executive. (Let's hope Supervisor Shirakawa remembered to check with Smith's previous employers...)
  • San Jose talks plastic bags (Monday), Pension Trustees (Tuesday), and Pensions (Wednesday).
  • The Mountain View-Los Altos School District gets the good/bad news about test results.
  • Palo Alto Unified School District ponders the State’s budget thievery.

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