Friday, November 13, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 11.13.09: Nightmare on Santa Clara Street...

It is Friday the 13th and there is a nightmare (for Rob Davis) on Santa Clara Street... Ethnic leaders in San Jose are calling for Police Chief Rob Davis to head into the sunset. Asian Law Alliance Executive Director Richard Konda doesn’t “ask for [Davis’] resignation lightly,” standing with La Raza Lawyers, San Jose Peace and Justice Center, Services Immigrant Rights and Education Network, and the San Jose/Silicon Valley Branch of the NAACP. Konda adds Davis’ resignation is not the “end-all solution” but a good “first step.”

No nightmare for Chuck Reed though: San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s high marks during a recent poll caused San Jose State’s Terry Christensen to suggest anyone thinking about challenging Reed would be “extremely” discouraged. San Jose Councilmember/ Assembly candidate Nora Campos dismissed the results saying polls have “varying degrees of accuracy.”

But there is a nightmare for Harry Mavrogenes and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency: The Merc’s Editorial Board (apparently) read San Jose Redevelopment Agency budget and found themselves with more questions than answers. First up: Does Redevelopment head Harry Mavrogenes know how much money he has in the kitty? Next: Can Redevelopment get the County to agree to $2 million (instead of $58 million) during their own cash-strapped challenge? County Executive Jeff Smith thinks Redevelopment is telling tales about the depth of their poverty and isn’t likely to ditch $56 million.

Meeting approval with the Merc’s Editorial Board, a proposal for the County to purchase the (former) San Jose Medical Center site to return medical care to San Jose. Calling the past 5 years a “public relations nightmare” for the Health Corporation of America, the Merc calls this a problem solved.

The 4 teens/(suspected) SureƱo gang members who attacked trick-or-treating kids were in court yesterday while the youngest victim remains in “extremely critical” condition.

Calling compliance with Gilroy’s cease and desist order “irresponsible,” MediLeaf’s dispensary ombudsman Eric Madigan said the marijuana dispensary plans to stay open until they “work out the details.” MediLeaf attorney James Anthony is part of a “mercenary band of lawyers” looking forward to seeing the city in court. During a shopping trip to Rock Zone, 16 year old Jeremiah Loyd said “bud’s bud” as Rock Zone manager Cassie Lopez tried to explain the difference between (medical) bud and the other kind.

Life is good if you’re a Planning Commissioner working for the Mexican American Community Services Agency. Gilroy Planning Commissioner Art Barron played the lottery and took home $64,000. Perhaps he could use that money to help MACSA deal with their (alleged) embezzling problems...

Look for sparks to fly as San Jose’s Planning Commission and City Council discuss doubling the height of allowed housing on West San Carlos Street. Consider it a battle between the neighborhood, business, housing advocates, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

San Jose’s Lynbrook High was hearing “Let the Sunshine In” as they powered up their parking lot solar panels. Estimated savings: $12 million from the districts 2nd highest budget item.

In a moment of rare economic good news, Gilroy Unified School District Trustees will save $20,000 million in construction costs during the Christopher School upgrades. Trustee/Christopher School Parent Club Vice President Fred Tovar commented he didn’t want to take away state-of-the-art fittings at the Christopher School theater or aquatic center “because a few individuals” want the same for their kids schools.

“If we wanted to go to Campbell’s stuff – we’d a moved there” Parents pissed at having their kids leave home in Santa Clara to attend Campbell schools didn’t say that but they sure were thinking about it. Hot on the heels of Santa Clara’s defeat at the ballot box another financial hit is in the works if parents determined to leave the Campbell school districts have their way. Santa Clara Superintendent Steve Stavis said his schools are “pretty much at max” with no room for new kids.


Kathleen said...

Two sides to every story WD.

"There were several verbal attempts to coax Pham to drop his knife — he had just cut his brother Brian's neck shortly before, which is why police were called to the home on Branbury Way. Then, officers discussed trying to get Pham to drop the knife by using a stun bag, and then a Taser. But nothing worked, police reports show."

"Pham approached officer Brian Jeffrey, right arm raised in the air with the knife, and that's when both Jeffrey and officer Matthew Blackerby shot Pham to death."

Mike O'Halloran said...

Santa Clara kids to Santa Clara schools.

It's been an easily confused argument. Santa Clara schools are certainly close to max or soon will be. That needs to be addressed. The 148 kids in this transfer are a drop in that bucket. The transfer will not take place until Sep 2011 at the earliest. More likely, Sep 2012. SCUSD will have to address the larger issue well before then. (note: SCUSD currently has about 14,700 students. It's had as many as 23,000 in the past. There are closed schools that can be opened in that time frame.)

The defeat of Measure C meant a foregone $4M. Transferring this area into SCUSD would mean bringing $1.2M annually to the District… and not need recurring votes as a parcel tax would. It is hard to understand any SCUSD opposition to what should be a logical result: Santa Clara kids (and parents) to Santa Clara schools along with their $1.2M property tax allocation!

Fortunately the SCUSD Board overrode Stavis's recommended opposition and voted to support the transfer if the school capacity issues could be resolved. We know the school capacity issue needs to find resolution with or without us. We hope we can encourage Stavis go beyond "might look into that", but rather include it as one of the goals in his analysis to address the larger capacity issue.

This transfer will increase parent participation in both the schools and the City programs as a single community focus. The close connection between SCUSD and Santa Clara is undeniable. SCUSD only went to the Santa Clara City Council to request support for Measure C. They did not go to San Jose or Sunnyvale. Residents here vote for City officials and measures that support this relationship, which frequently include City funds. The upcoming stadium vote also involves this relationship.

The final decision is to be made by the County Committee on District Reorganization (in December or January). SCUSD should be going beyond just a recommendation with the qualifier, as reasonable as it is. They should be working to resolve that qualifier and fighting for the transfer. Campbell is certainly fighting to stop from losing what one Committee member suggested was a “goldmine”.