San Jose, Unions Battle in Court over Measure B Pension Reform

Mayor Chuck Reed’s pension reform plan went to trial Monday in a Santa Clara County court room. The outcome of the case is expected to influence other cities considering ways to cut down on the cost of retirement benefits. The lawsuit, brought against the city by its employee unions in response to Reed’s Measure B reforms, demonstrates the challenge of reforming pension plans despite having to cut public services to pay for them.


Review: ‘The Fosters’ and the Complexities of TV, Child Welfare

I had high hopes for the new ABC Family cable show The Fosters when I saw the first promo. Produced by Jennifer Lopez, the new summer series highlights a new “non-traditional” family with foster children, and I was anxious to see how a foster family and the child welfare system would be portrayed on TV. But, after watching a few episodes, and speaking with a couple of foster kids about it, I have mixed feelings.

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SJPD Detective Charged with Sex Crimes

A San Jose sex crimes detective was charged this week with possessing sexually graphic photos of a teen girl. Tony Fregger, 33, surrendered Thursday evening, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The eight-year SJPD veteran has been placed on paid administrative leave from his assignment to the Sexual Assaults Investigation Unit.

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DA Opens Hotline for Victims of Sunlight Travel

To handle the surge of complaints, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office set up a fraud hotline in Vietnamese and English for customers bilked by a San Jose travel agency. Sunlight Travel, founded in 1996 by Diane Ho, suddenly closed up shop June 5, leaving customers in a lurch. Many of them stand to lose thousands of dollars for flights bought but never booked. Sunlight Travel catered to a lot of Vietnamese clients from its now-closed strip mall storefront on South King Road.

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No More Pay Raises for Govt. Executives

City manager Debra Figone made the correct decision in turning down a raise. What was astounding was that it was ever offered in the first place. Her current compensation is a whopping $227,975 a year. Just the offer of this raise is cause for voters to become irate. It reduces the credibility of public service and confirms taxpayers belief their money is being wasted.


Sam Liccardo: Why San Jose Sued Major League Baseball

Original Joe’s has become a San Jose institution by serving the best eggplant parmesan in the Bay Area for over 50 years. It has thrived in Downtown San Jose because their owners, the Rocca family, like so many other San Jose businesspeople, know what it takes to compete. As they compete for the loyalty of their patrons, Original Joe’s has helped to support the college tuitions and mortgages of generations of cooks and wait staff.


Council to Discuss Cost of Homeless Camp Cleanups in Fiscal Year’s Last Meeting

The city expects to clear up 40 to 60 homeless encampments a year—indefinitely. Annual cost for the cleanups will range around $550,000, and possibly more, if the city approves a contract with Tucker Construction, Inc., at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Other agenda items for the last council meeting of the fiscal year include a settlement for a man struck by a police car, a renewal agreement with the city’s Sacramento lobbying firm and a potential shift to store city data through cloud computing.

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County Makes Correct Call on Jail Letters

Most people do not consider jail inmates to be an empathic interest group. But many in custody are innocent, as they have not yet been proven guilty, and as a matter of law and right they must be treated justly. That’s why the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections (DOC) was right in halting a new proposal to limit mail in county jails.


Council Set to Raise Pot Club Taxes

The City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to pursue a tax hike on medical marijuana collectives, bumping up fees to the maximum amount allowed under the voter-approved pot club tax Measure U. Also on the council agenda for Tuesday: an update on measure B litigation and a new incentives agreement for Team San Jose.

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Supreme Court Ruling Spurs San Jose Pot Club Ordinance

Enforcement may soon get a lot stricter for San Jose cannabis retailers. Emboldened by the California Supreme Court’s recent ruling on City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, that reinforced municipal rights to ban medical marijuana collectives, city officials are looking at ways to crack down on local storefronts and delivery services.

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