Thursday, December 31, 2009

Morning News Round-Up – 12.31.09:It's time to reflect...

The year’s end is a good time for reflection, and we plan to reflect on the habits of our local elected officials… next year.

Gilroy’s personal pot shop is really, this time, facing the music. The City Council approved, for a second time, calling in the legal beagles to head to court with MediLeaf.

The pesky Taser ruling this week has police in Palo Alto looking to define what “reasonable” means before releasing the zap. Police Chief Dennis Burns says “what we want… is a clear policy where everyone understands when it’s appropriate…” (former San Jose) Los Altos Police Captain Andy Galea (seems to) agree saying he still needs to “analyze” the ruling.

The Merc’s Editorial Board calls on San Jose police to keep track of who uses force calling it necessary to help officers. Assistant Police Chief Daniel Katz says the department agrees with the Merc (sort of) and is planning on counseling for officers with a zap-happy hand.

Pissed off developer John Mozart is suing Mountain View arguing affordability fees are an “illegal tax.”

The rotating Mayoralship changes hands in Mountain View on Tuesday when Councilmember Ronit Bryant (assumes she will) take the reins from outgoing Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga. Bryant aims to be Mountain View’s “Green Mayor” for a year.

Also aiming for green-ness… Los Altos plans to lower gas emissions and no, they don’t mean ditching your favorite restaurant. The ambitious (little) town plans on an 80% reduction by 2050.

Palo Alto’s naked California Avenue will get a little love from volunteers in the opening days of 2010. Volunteers hit the streets to start replacing trees. If you want to join the California Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project email or call Sharon Kelly, (650)964-6110 or visit Canopy on the web.

The Merc welcomes a new voice to the Opinion pages with Sami Monsur, a neighborhood leader in downtown San Jose. Monsur asks for changes to San Jose police shift rotations calling them a deterrent to building relationships of trust and respect within communities.

Caltrain called a temporary halt to trains this morning following a(nother) fatal train vs. person incident.

The Merc’s Scott Herhold closes the decade with a touching reminder of the fragility of life and a gentle reminder to carry the pink dot.

A paramedic, (former) drunk drivers and victims band together in Gary “Mr. Roadshow” Richards New Year’s Eve message – take a cab, get a designated driver, ride the bus or a train when you head out tonight for your last night of drinking debauchery in 2009.

Protect San Jose has no comment on the Merc’s call to count but does want to see you on the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Train.

San Jose’s $100 million deficit drove San Jose Insider Pete Campbell to a Wall Street Journal story calling on American cities to rethink the way they do business.

Mission City Lantern throws a bone to 49ers foes and suggests they should break $100 before fundraising for 2009 is over.

A big Watch Dog Woof for tonight’s revelry, we’ll see you next year.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I would really like to encourage all of you WD readers to read Gary Richard's columns on DUIs in the Mercury News and send him an email thanking him. (

He has done something I rarely see in the Mercury News and that is support the law, and give priority to victims of crime. May be if we encourage writers like him to keep doing the great job he is doing, the Mercury News will finally start writing factual stories supporting the rights of victims, and lawful behaviors by the public.

Below is the email I sent him today.

(Roadshow: DUI offenders, victims share their stories
By Gary Richards)

Mr. Richards,
I really must commend you for your recent columns on DUI. I have been very angry at the City Council for relaxing their position on drinking in public. The likelihood that these drunks don't jump in a car drunk after partying downtown is almost nil! The pressure put on the Mayor and Council by criminal apologists, calling themselves activist, is one major aspect of why so many people get away with drinking and driving so many times before they are prosecuted, and why people die or are injured by drunks, or driving drunk. (The City's Task Force that dealt with public drunkenness did not have one single victim's rights advocate, or person from MADD on it, but yet they were allowed to speak for the entire community. Very sad indeed!)

I can not thank you enough for using your column to take a tough stand against the whining of that drunk driver who got a DUI and cried about the consequences he is now suffering, and for allowing such open and honest discussion on the seriousness of drinking and driving. It is really NICE to see someone at the Mercury News writing something that encourages lawfulness, and actually gives a dam about victims and their families.

Please, keep up the great work, and have a very HAPPY and SAFE New Year!

God Bless you,

Kathleen Flynn