Aug 16, 2007 by Jack Van Zandt Comments (13)
The turmoil in the economy caused by the subprime lending debacle is far from over. The stock markets may be somewhat stabilized temporarily by the intervention of European and Japanese central banks along with the U.S. Federal Reserve pumping in billions of dollars borrowed from the Chinese, but the overvalued real estate markets will most certainly take a tumble as a result of bad loans and a tighter fist in the banking industry as a whole. There is still a subprime lender shakeout to come as many are in deep trouble due to “lack of liquidity,” i.e., there are no buyers funneling cash through their complicated systems. To add to their problems, it was reported yesterday that the big banks have stopped institutional lending against subprime portfolios.
Aug 15, 2007 by Tom McEnery Comments (14)
Two stories—one local and one national—do much to define the political money chase in the electoral process nowadays. Nationally, the proliferation of “independent committees” is about to sink the process in a sea of dollars and special interest “juice.” The so-called “Swift Boat” attacks on John Kerry in 2004 that came from such a committee that raised $25 million from many dubious sources, was fatal to his chances. They managed to turn a decorated war hero into a wimp and shirker. After the election, the Federal Elections Commission fined this committee $300,000. Big deal! The dirty job was done; the election was won.
Aug 14, 2007 by Single Gal Comments (23)
Knowing San Jose as well as I do, I sometimes forget how people who move here view this town. My friend just moved back to San Jose after living in Hawaii for eight years, started working at a restaurant downtown, and really is starting to get to know the area well. So it was interesting when she started commenting on and questioning the status of downtown San Jose.
Aug 13, 2007 by Pierluigi Oliverio Comments (9)
City Hall Diary
One issue that everyone who is paying attention to San Jose politics agrees with is that the City of San Jose’s General Plan is outdated and is in need of revamping.
At the August 7 city council meeting, all of Mayor Reed’s recommendations for the General Plan Update Task Force (which included Councilmembers Liccardo and Chirco and me) were supported by the council. The task force is a diverse group of people representing environmentalists, developers, unions and community members, among others.
Aug 10, 2007 by John McEnery IV Comments (4)
Feared to Be in the Hands of Gadflies and Former Politicians and in Denny’s Chili
According to a scathing report from San Jose’s Government Accountability Office (GAO), the city has lost track of approximately 190,000 Keys to the City.
The Key to the City is an award used by municipalities in which an ornamental key is given to honor esteemed visitors, local residents, or organizations of note in a ceremonial presentation. The award carries no formal privileges or distinctions but symbolizes honor, power and the ability to break certain rules without fear of humiliation or prosecution. Former Mayor Gonzales is rumored to have hundreds of them.
Aug 9, 2007 by Jack Van Zandt Comments (13)
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s decision to decertify electronic voting machines manufactured by Sequoia and Diebold is a welcome one. There are serious security concerns associated with these machines that the manufacturers have not addressed, forcing Bowen to take this action. Among other things, it has been demonstrated that the machines can easily be hacked, employees of the manufacturers can gain access to the machines, and they provide no paper trail for each voter for a hand count in case of breakdown.
Aug 8, 2007 by Tom McEnery Comments (28)
The tumult and the shouting have ceased, the fools and conmen have departed (well, at least some of them), and now it is time to do the people’s work. A new General Plan Committee has been established, consisting of 37 good and true citizens. Unlike the Coyote Planning group which had all the independent thought of the shills at Bay 101, this one has hope. Although there are very many development interests on it, and few genuine neighborhood advocates in the tradition of former Councilmember Nancy Ianni, I have high hopes for it. The development advocates will not have the mayor’s thumb on the scale; they will not have the unbridled arrogance of the past regime. This will be a fair, “let the facts determine the outcome” group.
Aug 7, 2007 by Single Gal Comments (39)
I spent the weekend at Lake Tahoe, enjoying the life that lake people lead, and it got me thinking: Where is our waterfront?
There is something about a body of water that makes it a relaxing and social meeting place; a place where things happen and people want to be. Though we are a city nestled in a valley and we have bodies of water that could serve as destinations, it seems no one has thought to do so.
Aug 6, 2007 by Pierluigi Oliverio Comments (26)
I took advantage of the great Bay Area weather that San Jose benefits from and attended two night time events that were held outdoors in downtown.
I went to the Christmas in the Park fundraiser at the Circle of Palms two weeks ago. The night was filled with great company, a silent auction, wine and opportunities to win trips. All of this was outside in the heart of San Jose.
Aug 3, 2007 by John McEnery IV Comments (5)
AARP Outraged Over Plans for Hunting Club
Just days after angry protests stopped a controversial plan to hire archers to kill a growing and bothersome deer population at The Villages adult community, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) fought back by announcing plans to “thin” the elderly residents of the popular upscale retirement enclave.
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