Monday, September 21, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 9.21.09: A South Bay Stadium... or two... or three...

Stadium news from around the South Bay...

Paul Krutko, San Jose Chief economic dude, says a (nearly) 8 decade old stadium is the youngest outdoor stadium the “Capital of Silicon Valley” has to offer. Earthquakes/A’s owner Lew Wolff is hoping to change that with a sparkly new Euro style stadium – if he can round up the bucks.

A Santa Clara Citizens Review Committee is in for the coin toss and supports amending Santa Clara’s City Charter to allow the 49ers to hire a football-centric design team. But, only if the Guvernator doesn’t sign State Senator Elaine Alquist's bill by October 11.

San Jose talks plastic bags this week while the Merc’s Patty Fisher reports it was a non-event when Palo Alto went plastic-free. San Jose’s hang-up is the cost of an Environmental Impact Report while Fisher sings the praises of the reusable bag.

With a single school and a mere 566 students you would think the Luther Burbank School District would keep itself below the radar. But you would wrong. A recent Civil Grand Jury report accused District Trustees of conflicts of interest, secrecy, intimidation, questionable spending, and election malfeasance. This week, the Luther Burbank Board was supposed to respond... but they got a 5-week extension. Watch Dog guesses that it is sort of like getting a few extra weeks to do your homework... Brand new Superintendent-Principal Becki Cohn-Vargas likens fixing problems to “…rebuilding a train while it’s going 100 m.p.h.” Yes, but if the train is about to run off the tracks, perhaps slowing it down to fix it would be a really good idea...

Speaking of trains... Those annoying Caltrain whistles will begin relocation to the underside of the train, making nearby (sleeping) residents very happy.

Mountain View is considering the PRT (personal rapid transit) as the dream commute alternative for Google/NASA/Moffett. Unfortunately, jet-packs may never happen.

San Jose’s City Council gears up for a rehash of the City Executive home loan discussion this week. Redevelopment Agency Director Harry Mavrogenes benefited from the practice when he moved inside FROM San Jose TO San Jose.

And while we are on housing...

The Silicon Valley housing market is “…picking itself up from the bottom” according to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo said the City will kick in another $2.7 million to help first time homebuyers get into the condo, or house, of their dreams.

From the Merc’s Internal Affairs
  • A report from California’s Fair Political Practices Commission reports that our local folks in Sacramento spent as much time on the fundraising circuit as they did making laws... perhaps they are sticking to what they are best at...
  • Palo Alto State Senator Joe Simitian could be paying more attention to Assemblymember Ira Ruskin’s replacement that you’d think – he’s planning an Assembly redux in 2012.
  • San Jose Councilmember Rose Herrera is hearing from opposing sides on proposals for a new library.
San Jose Inside channels Kermit the Frog, or maybe the Jolly Green Giant, to send props to San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed for pitching the green dream.

Mission City Lantern enjoyed the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival until arriving in the “Free Speech” area to find anti-49ers fans. Mission City also posts (un)love notes to Justin Schall, Philip Bump, Bill Bailey, and Brian Darby... again.

Local lawmakers in action, for your Watch Dog pleasure, thanks to the Merc's crack staff
  • Santa Clara County’s Committee on Children, Seniors & Families tries to lessen disproportionate impacts of child welfare on African-Americans and Latinos.
  • Alum Rock School District holds a team-building session on governance... that sounds like a barrel of laughs...
  • Cupertino Union School District studies special education and state test scores...
  • Palo Alto Unified School District looks at a parcel tax and the budget...
  • San Jose Unified School District looks at approving Gann appropriations limits for 2009-2010.
  • Santa Clara Unified School District considers adding students, growing Haman Elementary, and a possible new lease.
  • The Franklin-McKinley School District sends props to schools for API/AYP successes.

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