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Silicon Valley News Notes

Blank Check

For 5 1/2 years, the Blank Club has kept live music, both of the local and touring variety, in the heart of San Jose. Uh oh, sounds like the start of an obit for yet another downtown music spot, doesn't it? It's not quite that bad, but a big change is indeed ahead, as co-owner Larry Trujillo, who has been the heart and soul of the Blank's eclectic music offerings, is stepping down from his position as booker. He'll be sorely missed. Last year, Trujillo, who also owns Zero magazine, opened the Uptown Nightclub in Oakland. He's been pulling double duty, booking acts for both venues. The arrangement has been a happy one for local bands, some of whom have been booked at both venues as openers and headliners. Now, Trujillo says he's going to focus all of his time and energy on the Uptown, leaving all booking of the Blank to co-owners Corey O'Brien and Craig Yamato. O'Brien says it'll be a while until things look different, if at all, but that right now he's trying to revamp the club's weekday events. While Trujillo is excited about his new life in Oakland, he can't help getting sentimental about San Jose. "A part of my spirit will always remain with San Jose and the Blank Club," he says. "I am proud that I was able to bring some of the best bands—nationally, internationally as well as local—and help put San Jose on the entertainment map. From the Reverend Horton Heat to one of my very last bookings, The Damned, it has been both a pleasure as well as a challenge."

Total Recall

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to local politics ... Little Saigon is back. After months of relative quiet on the Story Road front, the Vietnamese activists behind the push for the designation have returned with a double whammy. First, they officially succeeded in getting enough signatures to force a recall of San Jose Councilwoman Madison Nguyen onto a special-election ballot. Last Saturday, they celebrated  as their Little Saigon banners went up along Story Road, a partial victory for their campaign as the name is not officially recognized by the city. Their next battle is to convince San Jose officials to hold one election in the spring where voters can decide whether to recall Nguyen and who they want to replace her if she is recalled. Incredibly, this Little Saigon business won't be settled even after the recall goes to a vote. The activists still plan to fight the city over the designation. "We will try to make it make it officially on the map on San Jose," Do said.

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