Monday, August 31, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 8.31.09: Farewell to August Edition...

High-Speed Rail talks to Union Pacific… The recent judicial smack down has dueling rail advocates chatting. Rod Diridon, Sr. hopes the final ruling from the judge is a request for “remedial action” and not a death knell. High-Speed Railers complain this is a stalling tactic by Union PacificaP as they up the ante.

Whoops! Before Silicon Valley’s former HP CEO Carly Fiorina can go after Senator Barbara Boxer she needs to spin (illegal) sales to Iran. The usual “I dunno” isn’t likely to work, Democratic Party Chair John Burton scoffed at the suggestion saying “’s always somebody else’s fault...” As to reports of Fiorina’s previous lack of interest in civic engagement, it probably wouldn’t hurt if Fiorina’s spokesperson didn’t have to say “…she regrets not voting...”

After 36 years in the Oak Grove School District, including 10 as Superintendent, Manny Barbara is off to the non-profit world. Unlike other superintendents' departures, Barbara’s leaving pulled at the heartstrings of everyone he touched.

Morgan Hill Unified Schools are celebrating. A $25 million federal grant means solar panels on two schools – no word (yet) about where the remaining $24.5 million (give or take) goes

That thud heard in Gilroy and at the Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA) was the report from the County Office of Education asking District Attorney Dolores Carr to investigate “…apparent illegal fiscal practices and misappropriation of funds...” MACSA’s interim CEO, Maria Elena De La Garza says they are (now) in the midst of 100% change in leadership, closing their charter schools, and letting someone else do the books. We know some folks that are probably not excited about a prolonged investigation...

San Jose is hoping the new San Jose Parks Foundation (a la Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy) will pay for programs and playgrounds. Councilmember Nora Campos said it’s a great direction and it should keep “…kids off the streets and safe and feeling productive in society...”

Gruesome Economy + Panicked Homeowners = An “Overwhelmed” Tax Assessor Larry Stone

For a personal tale of panicked homeowners, turn to the Merc’s Scott Herhold who follows Mountain View’s Lisa Burns through the nightmarish Making Home Affordable and 2 cents that nearly cost her a home.

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG... what a name!) had some cheery weekend news for San Jose’s Mayor Chuck Reed… They’re coming… Roughly 400,000 new residents over the next quarter century. Reed promises San Jose’s sprawly past doesn’t portend its future.

Less than a month after surgery San Jose Councilmember Pete Constant will hit the stage for Scott and Shannon Guggenheim’s (re)opening of the Retro Dome. The Merc’s Sal Pizarro also reports Arts Council CEO Bruce Davis is giddy over Adobe grants, Evergreen’s Samantha Worrall “…Has Talent” and lawyers from Robinson & Wood (along with co-workers) traded briefs for paint buckets at Sacred Heart Nativity School. On a final note, it’s goodbye COMPAC hello ChamberPAC.

San Jose Police busted David Conklin for lacing baby food with powdered aspirin – then sticking it back on shelves at CVS and Walgreens. The Police want to hear from you if you think you may have found contaminated baby food call 911 or the San Jose Police at 408-277-8900.

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