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July 11-17, 2007

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Silicon Valley News Notes


The San Jose City Council's young singles division took a hit Saturday when Councilwoman Madison Nguyen tied the knot in a stealth ceremony in a friend's San Jose backyard. The councilmember, who was preparing to jet off to Hawaii on Monday, was surprised when Fly uncovered the heavily guarded 411 that Nguyen married her secret boyfriend, Terry Tran, on the numerologically significant 07-07-07 date. Not wanting to turn her private life into a political event, Nguyen hid the relationship from public view, only showing up with Tran, a tax preparer, at one event—last month's Sunday-morning schmoozefest with Bill Clinton, a onetime U.S. president, at Mike Fox Sr.'s Saratoga crib. Only family and a few close personal friends attended the wedding ceremony, reports of which will no doubt shock her still-single colleagues, Pierluigi Oliverio and Sam Liccardo, who share the left side of the council dais with Nguyen.

Sunnyville Switcheroo?

Is Sunnyvale Mayor Otto Lee playing a sneaky game of musical campaigns? Suspicious types embedded deep in the 'burbs smell a change-up that would work like this: First, Lee files for re-election to the Sunnyvale City Council quietly, so no one pays too much attention until the deadline to challenge him passes in August. Then he'll be a shoo-in and have a comfortable placeholder job while he launches a campaign for the County Board of Supervisors—just in time to catch up with the other District 3 candidates running for the seat held by soon-to-be-termed-out Pete McHugh. And too late, of course, for an opposing candidate to call him on the fact that he may ditch his local constituents only 13 months into his second four-year term. Is it true? Well, Lee's "maybe" sure sounds a lot like a "yes." He told Fly very carefully that he is not running for supervisor "at this very moment," but "that could certainly change." "I really have not put that much thought into it," he added. "I'm honored when people mention my name. I'm certainly interested in the job." Hmmm, kind of sounds like the fuzzy answer Santa Clara Councilmember Dominic Caserta gave during his heated re-election campaign last year, which he won only two months before he announced his bid for State Assembly. His opponent Karen Hardy said she pledged to serve her entire term without running for higher office. Caserta wouldn't make the same promise to voters, but he swears now, "It's something I didn't even think about. I was so laser-focused on re-election at the time." The Santa Claran also said snatching an assembly seat would only be "an extension of my desire to serve the city." When we ran this by Hardy, she responded with smirk: "I see it as his extension of serving himself, which he is very good at."

Public Sly

It was hot drama in the summertime waiting for elusive funk legend Sly Stone to emerge from his trailer on Saturday. With his history of no-shows and walk-offs, suspense grew as the Family Stone Band kicked into a smoking set with "Dance to the Music," "Everyday People" and "Hot Fun in the Summertime," while Sly was nowhere to be seen. Campbell-based promoter Franco Herrera, who took a bold gamble to bring Sly to San Jose as the headliner of a music festival to help orphans in Mozambique, grew distraught. He furiously pointed to his watch and the set list as the performance wore on, even throwing his hands together in a pleading prayer gesture. Herrera, in a black suit and Zorro hat, stood sidestage as baseball-cap-sporting Vallejo Mike ran between the stage and Sly's trailer to forge an accord. Finally, Sly emerged, hunched over and looking a bit like a police artist's sketch of the Unabomber, in shades and a white hoodie. He slowly ascended to the top step and halted, slowly bouncing to the music while Mike and Franco encouraged and reassured. Finally, Sly ambled out to the keyboards, and the crowd went nuts. Stone performed on "Sing a Simple Song," "If You Want Me to Stay" and part of "Higher" before retreating to his trailer. Stone returned briefly to inform the crowd that SJPD was shutting the show down, which wasn't quite true, though Herrera had mentioned the police curfew as part of his pitch to encourage Sly to perform more than three songs, for which Herrera had paid more than $33 grand apiece. Outside of a few seconds onstage at the Grammies and two appearances in Vegas, Sly hasn't been seen in public since the 1980s, so the concert on the banks of the Guadalupe River near the HP Pavilion is now part of music history. Sly, 64, heads to Europe next for some festival dates and no doubt more promoter handwringing.

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