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Silicon Valley News Notes

Just Like Starting Over

We knew the job market was tough, but this is ridiculous. When San Jose Councilmember Forrest Williams ' term is up this year, he plans to reinvent himself—as an intern. Specifically, as an intern for Supervisor Don Gage, who represents District 1 of the county. Williams' position would be unpaid, of course, but he's not planning to get stuck making coffee. "I want it to be meaningful," Williams said. They say nothing makes up for unconscionable exploitation like "valuable experience," and Williams' internship could pay off better than most: he plans to run for Gage's seat in 2010. "I want to know all the things I don't know," Williams said. "I want be in him and be in his shadow and see what it is he does." Sounds more like a stalker than an intern, but not to worry. Although Gage is a Republican and Williams is a Democrat, the two are good friends who go way back, having worked together at IBM for many years. They've endorsed each other for public office and they have also worked together on various county related issues and sat together on committees, most recently the Valley Transportation Authority Board . Williams says he hasn't officially asked Gage for the volunteer position yet, but he's confident it will be a win-win for both of them. Our advice: watch out for that goldenrod résumé paper . It's so pre-9/11!

Snippy Cups

Speaking of big dreams, if Councilmember Pete Constant ever decides to give up politics, he's got a bright future as a prop comedian. Is there any issue he can't make into political theater, or any item he won't use to do so? In a word, no. He opened his latest one-man show at last week's City Council meeting, where he tried to make the point that banning bottled water in San Jose is a dumb idea. He brought a range of props that would have made Carrot Top proud—water bottles, tin cans and sippy cups—in an attempt to show that even after banning bottled water, the city has to deal with soda and other liquids in cans and glass bottles. "I don't see how we are getting to the recycling problem," Constant said. He also argued that it poses a potential health threat to ask employees to rely on reusable cups and tap water. "I'm confident we are all capable of washing our own bottles or sippy cups," shot back Councilman Sam Liccardo . "The amounts of crevasses that exist with a twist top, it's a breeding ground for bacteria," countered Constant. Councilwoman Nancy Pyle didn't want anyone to lose sight of the big picture: "It's the planet, sweetheart, we need to think about," she said, for some reason not delivering the line in her best Humphrey Bogart voice.


The San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA) has called for an investigation into whether the city's police department targeted the nonprofit for an enforcement action by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control , presumably in retaliation for SJDA's advocacy of after-hours club closings, which SJPD opposed. The ABC ferreted out two or three minors drinking in the concert crowd at Music In the Other Park , though it doesn't appear that the alcohol was sold by the concert organizers. The police department often works closely with other agencies, including the ABC, to regulate entertainment activities downtown. PD flak Michael Sullivan said he wasn't aware that the department had been blamed for shutting down the beer taps at the event when Fly caught up with him Tuesday. But Sullivan did not hesitate to point out that the cops had nothing to do with the beer ban. "We weren't involved at all," he said. "We like the event. We think it's good for the city." San Jose Downtown Association, which runs the event, is taking a five-figure bath on the dry dates. (Metro is the media sponsor, but not financially involved, other than buying a beer now and then.) On Monday, SJDA president Art Bernstein sent a letter to City Manager Debra Figone , chastising the police department for initiating the clampdown by the state Alcohol Beverage Control agency. The memo calls for a full review of the SJPD role in helping to bring about this heavy-handed action.

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