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Private Ryan

Fly's well-connected sources predict former mayoral roommate RYAN HUBRIS is a reasonable bet to become the first Vietnamese member of the San Jose City Council if beleaguered Councilmember TERRY GREGORY resigns or is removed from office. A pal of RON GONZALES, Hubris roomed with Gonzo in 2002 in Hubris' downtown condo while Gonzo was between marriages. There are rumblings about Hubris buying real estate in District 7, even though no transactions have appeared on the rolls at the county recorder's office. It sometimes takes a few weeks for sales to show up on the public rolls, however. And the cagey Hubris dodged our phone calls. Until recently, Hubris was a senior executive with Bridgecreek Group, a real estate firm involved in the development of Orange County's Little Saigon district that manages 10 buildings containing 2 million square feet of commercial space. He came from Vietnam at age 8, following the fall of Saigon. In the early 1990s, he ran a federally funded drug abuse prevention program at the Asian Americans for Community Involvement social services agency. AACI's longtime director, DR. ALLAN SEID, made the mistake of firing Hubris, who organized demonstrations and a pressure campaign that eventually forced Seid from his job. Hubris' recent reappearance on the scene may have been a contributing factor in Gonzales' about-face on Gregory, one theory goes. While Gonzales originally opposed censure hearings, he reversed himself and held the Dec. 17 session, citing a wrongful termination claim by Gregory's former chief of staff as the reason. Having an ally ready to step into Gregory's seat may have been a happy coincidence for the mayor, who these days needs all the votes he can get. Hubris has at least one thing going for him. Having worked for a property management firm that leases to more than 1,000 small businesses, he may be less likely to screw up future deals related to the Tropicana Shopping Center, a quagmire less real estate-savvy city officials have been sucked into.

Tom, the Sequel

With 2005 here, it's not too early to start placing bets on the 2006 competition to succeed lame duck RON GONZALES. The big question: Which business-friendly leader will take on presumed Labor Party candidate CINDY CHAVEZ? Possible candidates include District 4 Councilman CHUCK REED, who's smart and ethical but thought to be too stiff and eccentric for popular consumption. Then there's District 8 Councilman DAVE CORTESE, a man who's so independent it's hard to say what political philosophy he represents. Sheriff LAURIE SMITH or Chamber of Commerce president JIM CUNEEN probably won't want to take salary cuts; the mayor's job doesn't pay all that well. Then there's Republican PAT DANDO, who is now off the San Jose City Council and could be forgotten by next year. That's not the case with ex-Mayor TOM McENERY, who had the good sense to have a convention center named after him in a genius stroke of political branding, and who pals around with ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER to keep his name in the news. McEnery threatened to run in 1998 and again in 2002, but always seems to change his mind if the race seems like more work than a simple coronation. A downtown property owner, author and talk-show host who doesn't really have a day job like the rest of us, would McEnery consider another stab at the position he owned from 1983 to 1990? All he says is that he's been in Ireland reading literature and really enjoys that kind of stuff a lot. That doesn't really sound like a firm "no" to us.

SV Mag: Round Two

Valley Scene and the SV Biz Ink stopped publishing this month. So it would have surprised no one if Silicon Valley Magazine, a high-end glossy that has produced two issues, ended its brief run as rumors last week indicated. Instead, there's been a shuffle of the paper's top managers. Out is attorney-turned-publisher RICK AMOR, bought out by co-publisher PETE CONSTANT, who is a full-time photographer when he's not founding businesses. (He counts seven he's started thus far.) Because of confidentiality agreements, Constant was limited in what he could tell Fly. But according to another SV Mag source, Amor couldn't secure a second level of funding from investors. Under terms of his agreement with Amor, Constant bought the SV Mag name and some of its assets but not the corporation Amor founded, Silicon Valley Publications Inc. Constant will set up shop on First Street near City Hall. He expects the regional magazine to eventually go national, with readers able to find it in airports and Barnes & Nobles across the country.

East Side Mutiny

Teachers at Andrew Hill High School voted two weeks ago to begin a strange and curious journey to succeed from East Side Union High School District. Teachers voted 56-14 (according to one teacher's figures) to send a letter to East Side trustees, saying the school would like to be considered for charter status, which would permit administrators to make decisions independent of East Side trustees, whom many Andrew Hill teachers have come to distrust. East Side teachers list a number of reasons for their decision. Andrew Hill has had three principals in the past six months, four vice principals in the past two years. Teachers are increasingly worried about the school's academic programs—its medical magnate program and international baccalaureate program and the dismantling of the math institute founded by JOSE VALDES, through which East Side students have gone on to Harvard, MIT, Stanford and other prestigious institutions. The district has decided to close Andrew Hill's health clinic, where East Side residents—not just students—went for medical attention. Helix High in La Mesa and Grenada Hills High are among the schools that have successfully seceded from their districts. Andrew Hill teachers should know by March 1 if they're next in line.

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From the December 29, 2004-January 4, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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