David Wall

Councilmen Campos, Constant, Kalra Defend Russian Sister City Relationship

After Russia imposed a number of draconian anti-gay laws over the summer, LGBT advocacy groups asked U.S. leaders to sever sister-city ties with any Russian towns. San Jose fielded some of those requests, but councilmembers Xavier Campos, Ash Kalra and Pete Constant say the city’s in a better position to use that international relationship with Ekaterinburg to open up a meaningful dialogue instead. The trio said as much in a memo to the Rules and Open Government Committee, which will meet Wednesday.

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Up in Smoke? Medical Marijuana, Pot Clubs Back in front of Rules Committee

After failed past attempts to regulate medical marijuana collectives in San Jose, the city should take up the issue again, says Councilman Don Rocha—just as a voter initiative to legalize the stuff cleared for signature gathering. Other items on the agenda for Wednesday’s Rules and Open Government Committee meeting include Councilman Xavier Campos asking for the city to sponsor a gun buyback event, Voice Mayor Madison Nguyen wanting some pension reform clarification and David Wall doing his best David Wall impersonation.

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Rules Committee to Discuss Metal, Copper Wire Theft Legislaton

When the economy tanked, metal theft increased along with the price of non-ferrous alloys. Thieves haven’t slowed down since, snatching up copper wire, aluminum, fire hydrant parts, manhole covers, streetlights and other metal parts to trade in for cash at recycling centers. San Jose’s Rules and Open Government Committee will consider endorsing legislation to combat metal theft when it meets Wednesday. Other items on the agenda include firework regulation and defending mobile home residents from rent hikes.

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Councilman Ash Kalra Wants to Ban Soda, Other Sugary Drinks at City Spaces, Events

In a move New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg might appreciate, Councilman Ash Kalra wants to ban sugary drinks from all city-owned buildings and city-sponsored events. Other items on the Rules and Open Government Committee agenda include a potential raise in the airport’s noise curfew fines and David Wall alleging that the Environmental Innovation Center fiasco was a ponzi scheme.

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Future of Environmental Innovation Center Uncertain as Contractor Files for Bankruptcy

Contractors working on San Jose’s $11 million Environmental Innovation Center (EIC) walked off the job last month a half-year behind schedule and $1.6 million over budget. A couple weeks later, the company, Modesto-based Applegate Johnston, Inc., filed for bankruptcy. Modesto-based Applegate Johnston, Inc. was awarded a contract for San Jose’s EIC in 2011, despite having previously finished two fire stations several months late.

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Rules to Look at Renting Space at City Hall, Nonprofit Health Care Investigation

Parts of City Hall, left a bit empty after layoffs and the Redevelopment Agency’s closure, may soon be open to anyone looking to lease a slice of the swanky 18-story downtown centerpiece. Proceeds from the market-rate rents will go right to the city’s general fund, according to a memo going before the Rules and Open Government Committee on Wednesday. Other items include the Pete Constant-Johnny Khamis memo asking the city to investigate how public funds were used to fund a county sales tax measure carried out by organized labor.

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Alvarado Files Papers for Supervisor Race

Teresa Alavarado made it official Thursday, when she filed papers and paid the $1,430.31 fee to run for the vacant District 2 county supervisor seat. San Jose Inside just so happened to be checking up on Registrar of Voters records when Alvarado and her campaign manager, Peter Allen, walked into the office.

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Nguyen Won’t Run for Supervisor Seat

Madison Nguyen has ended her soul-search over a run for George Shirakawa Jr.‘s vacant county supervisor seat, deciding she’ll focus on the 2014 mayoral race in San Jose—despite some of her colleagues prodding her to get into the special election. That leaves a field that will likely soon include Cindy Chavez.

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Huffington Post Blogger Wants Answers about Casino M8trix

The city’s poised to deny for the second time a Public Records Act (PRA) request from a journalist who wants to glimpse the behind-the-scenes workings of Casino M8trix. Other items on the Rules and Open Government Committee agenda fro Wednesday include a dispute within the Vietnamese community and a passionate letter from our favorite city critic.

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Rules to Consider Library Funding; Rocha, Campos Memo on Immigration

The San Jose Public Libraries Commission wants the city to extend a parcel tax to avoid laying off 53 of its 314 full-time library employees. Other matters going before the Rules and Open Government Committee on Wednesday include a memo from councilmembers Don Rocha and Xavier Campos in support of immigration reform, a report on budget priorities and a letter slamming George Shirakawa and anyone else who eats on the public dime.

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Rules to Consider Tax Amnesty Program, Adding Guadalajara to Sister City Program

The city of San Jose may cut small businesses a few more breaks under a tax amnesty that sunsets this spring before doubling down on enforcement. The deal—if moved on to the City Council’s March 5 meeting by the Rules and Open Government Committee on Wednesday—allows businesses to pay what’s past due through March 29 and, in exchange, the city will forgive any interest and penalties. Another item going before the Rules committee Wednesday is Councilmember Xavier Campos’ proposal to add Guadalajara, Mexico to San Jose’s Sister City program.

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NRA Fires off Letter for Rules Committee Discussion on Local Gun Control

The National Rifle Association heard about a local attorney’s idea to crack down on assault weapons in San Jose and hired a law firm to write up a disapproving missive to City Council. Other items going before the Rules and Open Government Committee on Wednesday include support for a Constitutional amendment acknowledging companies aren’t people, a report on how transparent the city is in holding meetings and disseminating information and more rants from City Hall critic David Wall.

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Retired Attorney Asks San Jose to Consider New Rules on Assault Weapons

A semi-retired employment law and civil rights attorney thinks anyone in San Jose who wants to own an assault weapon should be required to pass a mental health check and hand over their gun to police for safekeeping. San Jose resident Maurits Van Smith, 77, drafted a proposed city ordinance, which he submitted to the police chief, the mayor and a handful of other public officials in the hopes that they’ll support his idea. Other topics going before the Rules and Open Government Committee meeting Wednesday include child obesity and how police interact with senior citizens.

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