Thursday, October 23, 2008

Morning News Round-Up -- 10.23.08: Neiman Marcus, Saks, Barney's Edition

Over-confidence in politics is a bad thing -- but Jerry Hill is a slam-dunk to win an Assembly seat in November. There is a story today about not being over-confident, running through the finish line, etc., etc. Watch Dog is still waiting on his opponent Brian Perry to publish on these pages. What gives Brian?

Taxation without representation...sort of. The company Essex bought an apartment complex in San Mateo and is now suing the City and the County for a big refund because they say they were charged the transfer tax twice. Their total claim -- $600,000. (Lee Buffington probably scoffed at that number -- after all, $600,000 is nothing compared to the amount the county investment pool lost -- what's giving back $600,000 when you've lost tens of millions?)

Stanford Hospital and Clinics unveiled their architectural designs for their "massive" new hospital and medical center. Photos and story are here. The Merc Editorial Board weighs in on the plan and calls for the Palo Alto City Council to approve it.

From the bizarro world of contract negotiations comes this: controversy-free teacher contract heads to board (of San Mateo Union High School District). The details, "offering raises prior to knowing how much money the district will actually have." Sounds Lehman-Brothers-esque. But the Superintendent David Miller says, "I'm proud of everyone working together."

Rule number one in a debate is show up (see: John McCain debate #1). Last night only Rod Hsiao showed up to a debate of County Board of Education candidates. See a picture of the one-candidate debate here.

All the Menlo Park candidates showed up for a League of Women Voters forum last night. The debate will be broadcast on cable by MediaCenter and also available online here. News to Watch Dog -- many of the local debates are archived here as well, including debates in the much-covered Atherton race.

There is a Pacifica school board election happening in November. The three candidates/two seats/one incumbent are featured in a San Mateo County Times story.

Cabrillo Unified School District (finally) came up with ways to ensure sportsmanship and civil behavior at sporting events. Flashback to the actual coverage of the event in question last year. I guess the question is obvious -- what took so long?

San Mateo County gets a C+ in students' well-being. In a study by (San Mateo's own) Ted Lempert's non-profit Children Now -- San Mateo gets a C+. The study measures a number of factors. Most striking to Watch Dog in this story is that the percentage of schools in the County with a nurse is 2% -- which is bad -- but what is more striking is that 2% is down from 75% in 2002. Yikes. The full report report from Children Now is here.

The Daily Journal's Michelle Durand is Off the Beat again -- this time she is way off the beat, describing how she is dealing with the economic downturn. It is worth the read for no other reason than to learn about Michelle's personal tastes in make-up and nail polish which might be good conversation starters for all you Watch Dogs out there.

And some crime reports:

A mid-evening robbery at the 76 on Willow in Menlo Park. Police seeking 2 men.

EPA man shot Wednesday afternoon and taken to Stanford.

Palo Alto police are offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the rash of robberies that have occurred since June. Wow. $2,000 -- don't go overboard an unrelated story, the reward for the arrest and conviction of the San Jose cat-torturer has been upped to $3,200.

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