Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 12.1.09: Chief Burns in Palo Alto?

Ascension Calderon wanted to know why San Jose Police had stopped his nephew. For Calderon that day in 2006 escalated into a nightmare with pepper spray and racial epithets. When Bruno Figueroa, the Mexican Counsel General, asked for more police accountability, Calderon’s case became international headline news. Today, San Jose’s City Council is expected to authorize $97,000 to make a lawsuit about it go away. City Attorney Rick Doyle points to possible “exposure to substantial attorney’s fees” as one reason to avoid the courtroom. Bobby Lopez gives us an interesting quote in the Merc story as well. Here is the paragraph from the story:
Figueroa's criticism drew a rebuke from the head of the officers' union, Bobby Lopez, who suggested the Mexican government solve its own police problems "before he tries to solve ours."
Is Mr. Lopez admitting that there are police problems in San Jose? Just asking...

Alviso may again be a launching point for fishermen, children, and marsh enthusiasts when the first boat launch in 25 years opens next year. County Supervisor Dave Cortese now worries a new dock will invite abandonment of boats “the last thing we want is for it to look like a junkyard on the water.” Way to lighten up the day Supervisor Cortese...

Great Oaks Water Company is doing the happy dance. A judge has ordered the Santa Clara Valley Water District to refund Great Oaks more than $4.6 million for overcharging.

On the heels of (more) bad news for the Water District, Sig Sanchez has announced his retirement after 55 years in public service. From 4 terms on the County Board of Supervisors to (nearly) 30 years on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors, Sanchez has seen it all. About retirement Sanchez says “I’ve just updated my TV service and I’ve got 24 hour cartoons coming.”

San Jose lost an icon when developer Jim Fox passed away last week. Fox made sure San Jose’s old buildings were brought back to their former glory, he kept his promises, and smoked his favored cigars on the ledges of his restored buildings. The Merc’s Scott Herhold sends a fond farewell to Fox who left San Jose a better place.

It may be called the Rose Garden but San Jose residents are mighty pissed at the thought of losing a 70 year old Sycamore tree.

Busted. Gilroy’s medical marijuana dispensary owner Goyko “Batzi” Kuburovich refused to let City inspectors stroll through the joint and was tossed into the pokey. Gilroy Councilmember Craig Gartman was curious as to why Police were part of a code enforcement problem and said he didn’t “think the City should try to intimidate a business owner.” The Wild West Weed War...

It was a star-studded night for the swearing in of Palo Alto’s new Police Chief Dennis Burns. Former Secretary of State George Schultz did the honor of swearing in the replacement for Palo Alto’s ousted/ embarrassment Lynn Johnson, relatives from Ireland were on hand and Burns 11-year-old daughter pinned Daddy’s new badge on. Hopes are high for an end to the racial controversies that plagued Burns' predecessor.

Palo Alto’s sit-lie ordinance has been used once for prosecution since enacted 12 years ago to get homeless folks upright. Council candidate/ panhandler Victor Frost drew the lucky straw during his sit-lie candidacy at Whole Foods. Frost’s troubles mount as his public defender ditches Palo Alto for San Jose.

San Jose Insider/Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee Joseph DiSalvo is having a ‘60’s flashback chanting Books Not Bombs. DiSalvo expresses fading hope the new administration will focus on closing the achievement gap and educating the 40% of Latinos and African-Americans who do not graduate from high school.

Protect San Jose notes the Consortium for Police Leadership in Equity released their much anticipated quarterly report without fanfare. Protect San Jose plans to dig deep in the 8 page report with regular updates. The first CPLE report concludes by suggesting San Jose Police should change the way racial arrest data is collected and make it public, tell CPLE whether arrests resulted from officer or citizen call, and create a community/police executive ongoing dialogue. Bobby Lopez did not say, "Why doesn't the CPLE solve its own police problems before trying to solve ours..."


Kathleen said...

You might want to post this to help readers know where to go to give input:

If you’d like to give input on Police practices to the Consortium in San Jose you can contact:

Kimberly Barsamian Kahn, the CPLE Site Coordinator for San Jose at outreach@policingequity.org.

And Dr. Goff. He has repeatedly assured people that he encourages their participation and he will not reveal the names of the individuals he has spoken with. If the individual is a member of a group he has worked with he may reveal the name of the group, but not the individual member. Dr. Goff has provided his direct email at goff@psych.ucla.edu.

Also regarding the hiring of the new IPA. If you want to give input:

The City is currently in the process of recruiting and selecting a new Independent Police Auditor. Because the IPA plays a significant role in bridging communication between the community and the San José Police Department, it is important that the community provide input regarding the qualities of the new IPA they believe are essential. Recent events have revealed that while the responsibilities of the position are mandated by City Charter there is a desire in the community to strengthen and expanded this relationship and to participate in the selection process of the new auditor. Avery Associates, the executive search firm conducting the recruitment, has set up an email address to invite community input; this email address is: SJIPA@averyassoc.net.

Wes said...

WD, Maybe those problems you noted with the Water District show that Sanchez's time to have stepped down was 10 years ago. With all his supposed experience, we should not be flooded with bad decisions.