Monday, October 26, 2009

Morning News Round-Up – 10.26.09: No singing in San Jose...

Across California, San Jose has landed in the news
  • San Jose Police Chief Rob Davis put 4 officers on leave after a videotape wound up in the hands of Attorney Duyen Hoang Nguyen.
  • (apparently) Showing a brutal beating of San Jose State University math student Phuong Ho, the video is disturbing.
  • Former San Francisco Police Chief/Mayor Frank Jordan joined others in asking if the beating was necessary.
  • Following a yearlong series of questions about San Jose police (possibly) profiling or behaving badly, this has to sting.
  • The Merc’s Editorial Board reminds San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed of his previous statements that it’s not enough to avoid breaking the law, it’s doing the right thing that counts.
  • The Merc calls on District Attorney Dolores Carr to open the (inevitable) grand jury hearings on this case.
  • San Jose Inside shares Mayor Reed’s comment that he is “troubled” by the contents of the video and notes Chief Rob Davis launched an Internal Affairs investigation after learning from the Merc about the video.

Following two deaths from illegal road races in San Jose, the Merc’s Gary “Mr. Roadshow” Richards did a little digging. Thousands of racers are ticketed in the Bay Area. It’s tough tracking down races. And…. California Highway Patrol Sgt. William Bradshaw says the solution is to give kids their own race track, Sonoma’s Infineon is too far and, well, kids will be kids…

Former Vice Mayor/Labor leader Cindy Chavez says calls by San Jose City Manager Debra Figone for drastic cuts will damage the city and isn’t very creative. Figone, facing a $90 million budget gap is calling for reductions in pay and benefits including elimination of “redundant compensation” to police and firefighters.

Sunnyvale dentist John Licking bucked the sagging home value trend after the city of San Jose offered to settle a lawsuit and buy up property near a planned BART station for a cool $2 million. San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo said, in “technical legal terms” the deal was “twofer” noting the end of the lawsuit and purchase of needed land.

The Merc’s Internal Affairs uncovered a little gloating in District Attorney Dolores Carr’s office. Carr let loose a “final salvo” at (former) Deputy DA/Councilmember Sam Liccardo and (former) defense attorney/Councilmember Ash Kalra for supporting the dangerous promotion of Sunshine. After a Pacific Research Institute report that said Los Altos elementary school, Santa Rita, suspended 81% of their little tykes for “obscene, disruptive, hostile or intimidating behavior” IA went to the source only to find Los Altos is not a hotbed of violent crime.

Thanks to a Watch Dog tipster this blurb from last week. Porn king/Values Advocacy Council president Larry Pegram has officially tossed his hat in the ring to unseat Congressional representative Jerry McNerney. Pegram plans to ditch San Jose for Plesanton. Oddly, the Pegram press release made no mention of Pegrams penchant for censorship.

The Merc’s Patty Fisher was reminded of the importance of friends during the memorial service for former Mountain View Mayor Rosemary Stasek. Email was Stasek’s favored communications tool as she maintained lives, and friendships around the world. Still mourning Stasek, husband Morne du Preez said his wife love parties but always liked leaving while “she was still having fun.”

For your government Watch Dog pleasure

  • San Jose’s City Council talks further cutbacks and critter care.
  • The Los Altos School District (not a hotbed of kiddie violence) considers renewal of a parcel tax.
  • School closure is on the minds of Trustees for the Alum Rock Union School District with 5 schools facing darkness.
  • The Cupertino Union School District considers technology and special education.
  • In Palo Alto the Unified School District noodles over plans for student achievement and Gunn and Palo Alto High buildings. The board also considers a pre-kindergarten plan.
  • San Jose’s Franklin-McKinley School District hears Rocketship Education's plans to open charter schools.
Following a weekend of bad news for local deputy dawgs, Protect San Jose leads with an invite to the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers dinner.

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