Danny Wool

Danny Wool

Posts by Danny Wool

Local Impacts of a Government Shutdown

With Republicans and Democrats in Washington still haggling over a possible federal funding compromise, the possibility of a government shutdown today looms ever more ominous. It has been almost two decades since the last shut down, so it is probably worth reminding ourselves of how it will likely impact everyone.


Labor Groups Rally in San Jose

Yesterday, April 4, marked the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. To commemorate that tragic event, union workers nationwide held rallies to protest recent moves against workers’ rights to organize.


City Approves Bond Financing for Convention Center

The San Jose McEnery Convention Center is in dire need of an upgrade to avoid losing business to rival venues in San Francisco and Santa Clara. The cost of just the most urgent improvement is $26.5 million. It’s money that the city doesn’t have—what the city does have is a $105 million deficit. On the other hand, the Convention Center brings in about $12.5 million to Downtown businesses, and this could be lost if no upgrade takes place.


San Jose Firefighters Make Concessions

UPDATED WITH CORRECTION: Firefighters Union Local 230 and the city are on the verge of reaching an agreement that would reduce the deficit and possibly even get back some jobs. The most radical concession involves the introduction of a two-tiered retirement plan, and distinguishes between employees hired before and after the agreement is signed. It will be the first such plan for public employees in the entire country.


Cosentino’s Will Close

It started with a fruit stand more than seven decades ago, and emerged as one of the landmark local grocery stores in San Jose, with branches in Silver Creek and Santa Clara. On February 8, Cosentino’s will be shutting its doors one last time. The reason, according to Dominic Cosentino, is not just the economy but the shifting purchasing habits of Americans over the last few decades: “Everything is favoring the big-box stores today.”


Accounting Error Responsible for Deficit

City Manager Debra Figone held a press conference late last night to announce that the San Jose budget deficit, long estimated at $116 million, is the result of an accounting error and a misplaced decimal point. The real deficit is one order of magnitude smaller—just $11.6 million. Figone attributed to the error to the furloughs imposed on city employees: “With fewer employees and less time, no one has gone over the figures until now. It really does make a difference where you put the decimal point in your Excel spreadsheet.”


Murder Trial Focuses on SJPD Use of Tasers

Back in 2006, Jorge Trujillo was allegedly beaten up in San Jose by two strangers, Daniel Miller, 19, and Edward Sample, 20, wielding baseball bats. He managed to stumble away from the scene, and got over a mile away, bumping into cars along the way, according to police. Finally, someone called 911 and reported him to the police. When they arrived, Trujillo refused to speak with them or even let them approach, so the officers did what they were trained to do: they tased him. Trujillo died in hospital the next day.

With the murder trial underway in San Jose, the question being asked is to what degree did the tasing contribute to his death? Would he have died from the beating alone, meaning that Miller and Sample are guilty of murder, or was it the tasing that pushed him over the edge.


Fiorina’s YouTube Vid Attacking Tom Campbell Goes Viral

You gotta hand it to Carly Fiorina. Love her or hate her, you can’t help watching her Internet-only ad, and that’s what campaign ads are all about—getting eyeballs. Described as everything from an SNL skit to what would happen if the kid from The Omen directed Teletubbies, it’s already gotten 375,000 hits in Youtube, and the number keeps going up and up.

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Emotional Opening to Prop. 8 Trial

It was an emotional morning for Jeff Zarillo, 36. At a trial being watched across the nation, he described how he loved his partner, Paul Katami, more than he loves himself, and how he only wants to have “the same joy and happiness” that his parents and brother have in their marriages. Zarillo was the first witness in the Proposition 8 trial, which opened today.


Tech Museum Firestorm

No one questions whether Peter Friess did a great job turning San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation around. He might claim that much of that is thanks to the work of Birgit Binner, a graphic designer he hired as a consultant, whose job was “to establish The Tech Museum as an immediately recognizable brand.” The problem is that Birgit Binner, who receives a $400,000 salary for her two-year contract, is also Friess’s wife.


Attorney: Treat Citizens Like Children

The problem isn’t the police; it’s the people. That’s the underlying theme of a controversial editorial that appeared in Protect San Jose earlier this week. The piece was written by attorney Terry Bowman, who represents one of the officers involved in the videotaped beating of Vietnamese student Phuong Ho this September.