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Silicon Valley News Notes

With Friends Like These

It's no secret that Councilman Pete Constant and his loyal chief of staff aren't political allies, what with Constant being a Republican and Jim Cogan a Democrat. Still, it seemed a little odd that Cogan wasn't willing to keep his mouth shut when it came to Measure B, the contentious BART tax that Cogan's boss was campaigning against. On Nov. 19, Cogan declared his support when he updated his Facebook profile with the following: "Jim hopes Measure B holds onto its slim lead." Cogan, who is already making plans to run for City Council himself, claims it's no biggie; he sarcastically noted that the Bill of Rights gives him the freedom to disagree with Constant. Meanwhile, Constant wrote a blunt and angry letter to Carl Guardino, the head honcho of the BART campaign, who publicly blasted him at a fundraiser for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "If there is something coming before the council, I definitely I would not publicly disagree with the councilmember," Cogan says. "But when it comes to stuff on the ballot, and the council is not taking a vote on it, then I feel free to express my opinion."

Facing the Music

In September, American Musical Theatre of San Jose threw a big, raunchy party for the ladies—a tuneful strip show known as The Full Monty. The audience, reported Metro's critic, was full of white-haired ladies "snorting, choking [with] tear-inducing laughter." There were tears but no laughter this Monday as AMT suddenly announced that it was going out of business. The trouble began when Theater of the Stars in Atlanta, co-producers of a reworked version of Disney's Tarzan, pulled the plug on the new musical. AMT and Dallas Summer Musicals, which had ponied up $225,000 each for the show, were left high and dry. Michael Miller of AMT estimates that the loss extends to $800,000 in already sold tickets. AMT is already pursuing legal options against the Atlanta outfit, which offered the excuse that it was spending the money on a different production. AMT's CFO, Robert Nazarenus, sternly blamed the situation on "the wanton actions of another theater company."

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