Dan Pulcrano

Dan Pulcrano

Posts by Dan Pulcrano

The Mercury News is Lying

There are two kinds of thieves: ones who own up to their actions when caught and those who make up facts to justify their thievery. The Mercury News executive team has chosen to go the route of lying thieves. Luckily, no one is really fooled, and the ethical character of the group running the Bay Area’s daily newspapers is now on display for all to see. The emperor has no clothes.

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Rosen’s Last Stand

In a small courtroom on the fifth floor of the Hall of Justice, Jeff Rosen made the final arguments of his last trial as a hands-on prosecutor on Tuesday. With thin fingers, he karate-chopped the air like a symphony conductor cueing the string, brass and percussion sections, except the players here were three accused murderers. “The buyer, the middleman, the hit man,” he called them.

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Thinking Small, Like Guinea Pigs

Past San Jose mayors have used the annual State of the City speech to announce big projects or initiatives.  Commandeering a broke city, however, limits Chuck Reed to talking about already dry cement like the swoopy new airport terminal or trumpeting minor capital spending projects, such as fixing the convention center’s leaky roof or reopening the Happy Hollow Zoo with a renovated Guinea Pig Island.  When it comes to mayoral speeches in San Jose, no detail is too small.

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Newsom Stumps in San Jose

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom delivered an optimistic message about California’s prospects to members of the San Jose Rotary Club Wednesday. With a Kennedy-esque call to “renew the spirit of imagination” that has defined the state, the candidate for governor called California “a state not just of dreamers, but of doers and entrepreneurs.”

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SJPD’s New Club Cop: An Interview With   Lt. Larry McGrady

More enlightened police strategy appears to be taking hold in downtown San Jose´s entertainment zone. In the past, aggressive law enforcement tactics resulted in large numbers of public-intoxication arrests and lawsuits from club owners and members of the public, as well as packed council hearings, heated public debates over racial profiling and complaints of economic damage to downtown’s business community. Faced with community uproar, fiscal issues and political pressure, SJPD seems to have gotten the message.

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America Can Be Better

There’s something profoundly wrong with an economic system that sells homes cheaply then takes them away from young families; that encourages wasteful energy consumption while fuel prices double and ExxonMobil serially breaks corporate profit records ($12bn last quarter). And there’s something immoral about a political order that allows its leaders to invade countries on pretext then fails to hold them accountable; that end-runs international and constitutional principles on torture and incarcerating the innocent while endeavoring to globally spread its values.

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Sammy Cohen, Metro Columnist and Jazz Society Founder

Two giants of San Jose’s jazz world died in late August within a week of each other. One was tall and always immaculately dressed, a Bellarmine-educated pianist, raised in the Santa Clara Valley and married into one of its wealthiest and most prominent families. The other was round and simply dressed, a working drummer who kept time for musicians like Cab Calloway and Mike Bloomfield in the hardscrabble clubs of New York and New Orleans. Both were passionate about music. Henry Schiro was the well-dressed impresario who booked performers; Sammy Cohen was the drummer who fought for fair compensation as head of the local musician’s union.

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Tesla on Fast Track to San Jose

If all goes well, San Jose could be the headquarters of the world’s coolest car company. The maker of high performance electric cars is interested in a piece of land near San Jose’s Water Pollution Control Plant for its central manufacturing and R&D facility. On Aug. 19, the city council is slated to vote to direct the city manager to pursue a deal with Tesla Motors.  The facility, according to insiders, would directly employ more than 1,000 workers and create an ecosystem of more than 10,000 jobs.

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Democracy in Slow Motion

“C’mon you can blog in the limo,” ringleader orders me as I get yanked off the front lines of the most boring election ever. The front lines at that precise moment, 11 to 11pm PST, means a balloon-festooned Carlos Goldstein’s restaurant in North San Jose that smells like refried beans. The quartered quesadillas in the warming tray have permabonded to each other so that they peel up in clumps. 

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I’m on the Fence Now Too

I wanted to see this celebrated fence with my own two eyes to understand what all the controversy has been about—why it ran in the Rose Garden Resident, then as the lead story of the Mercury News’ local section, followed by a piece on San Jose Inside. The media fascination with a minor boundary squabble, cast in the David and Goliath mold of big, bad developer versus the trampled neighbors, appeared at first read like a bit of media sensationalism.  So I drove up San Carlos Street for a site visit to the as yet unnamed townhouse construction site in a part of town that is definitely not the Rose Garden neighborhood, as articles have claimed.

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Profiles in Courage and Cowardice

Just about the only thing that the San Jose City Council assured on Tuesday is that they will have to deal with the Little Saigon issue again. The next time they vote on the matter, though, there will at least be a community consensus. Yeah, right. Dealing with the most thankless, no-win issue ever to come before this city council tested the character and political skills of each elected member, and it was good political theater to boot.

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