Friday, August 28, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 8.28.09: The Detroit of the Bay Area?

It’s official, Toyota walks away from Fremont after 25 years. That is a heck of a year for Fremont, losing a professional baseball team AND a massive automobile manufacturing plant. We'd call them the Detroit of the Bay Area, but Detroit has a baseball team. Perhaps casinos would be a nice addition...

Things took a turn towards ugly at meetings for San Jose’s pension systems this week. Current and future retiree’s attacked the Canadian consultant’s proposal to create an independent board while non-governmental folks attacked worker pensions. “Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic...” was the accusation of tech retiree Jerry Mungai. Oddly, the pissing match at the actual meetings sounded a lot nastier than the joint post from the Police Officers and Firefighter union heads this week on Protect San Jose where Bobby Lopez and Randy Sekany offered this: "We’re always open to listening and talking about ways to improve things."

We hope the anti-High Speed Rail/ NIMBY celebrants are enjoying their party. One downside the court's ruling this week questioning the EIR of High-Speed Rail, which the NIMBY's love, is that Caltrain electrification could be delayed or defuned... buzz kill, man.

The Civil Grand Jury took a swipe at San Jose in June for cost increases at the Los Lagos Golf Course. San Jose responded this week saying an unexpected increase in construction costs was the problem.

Wanna catch up with the Merc’s Sal Pizarro? Sounds like he’ll be at the grand (re)opening of San Jose’s 101 year old Carnegie Library following the $9 million overhaul.

Speaking of openings... the Merc’s Scott Herhold munched on shrimp and sipped champagne while San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo channeled Will Rogers at the opening of San Jose’s newest downtown attraction: a grocery store in a downtown high-rise condo building.

Don’t be dumping your garbage in San Jose’s Hoffman Via Monte neighborhood. The neighbors voted to keep their no-warning-big-fine penalty in place for the idiots tossing beds on sidewalks.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stopped by San Jose to see those federal stimulus dollars start trickling in this week for the Lower Silver Creek flood control project.

It’s Barry Swenson Friday… First up, pissed off Cupertinites found the ad-hoc parking lot for as many as 50 construction vehicles offensive... A few calls to Cupertino City officials later, Swenson was in hot water. Next, the Watch Dog formula of the day:
Was Mountain View pissed they weren’t called kid friendly and San Jose was? Maybe. This week the City bulldozed a 20 year old make-shift BMX park called “Creek Trails” by local dirt bikers. City Attorney Michael Martello (the biggest downer of them all) ‘fessed up it was his idea saying it was “…one of the times where you hate to be an adult...” but it was a lawsuit that caused San Jose’s $8 million got the bull-dozers rolling.

Palo Alto Mayor Peter Drekmeier will host a forum organized by the faith community and Penny Barrett to help grown-ups figure out how to help fix the teen suicide problem. The Merc’s Editorial Board adds their voice supporting the County’s call for more work.

Mountain View Councilmembers agree with the Santa Clara Valley Water District and McKelvey Park is headed for a flood protection/ baseball field of dreams. Councilmember Laura Macias stayed out of the conversation as colleagues called it a win-win.

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