San Jose Mercury News (Sunday, 9/9/07)

Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by Goodsport, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. Goodsport

    Goodsport Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 18, 1999
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  2. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    We finally read something about the revived Quakes/SSS cause, but why is there always a negative twist to this thing?

    The fate of professional soccer - the Earthquakes - also presents an opportunity. Developer Lew Wolff's controversial financing plan for a stadium has forced the city into contortions of its development policies that may not be wise in the long term. The mayor's leadership is needed to either clarify why the plan is a good one for the city or, if it's not, to pull the plug.
     
  3. sj_oldtimer

    sj_oldtimer Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Clovis CA
    The articles are pretty good in my opinion. Both seem fair and relatively balanced. The one about Reed does say that Reed needs to articulate why the Wolff deal is good for the city. We don't need to hear it, but I do think that the voters need to have a better understanding of what is happening and why it is something different and why it is a development that is good for the city of San Jose. In that context, just having the team reborn is not a particularly compelling reason (to us it is, but we are but a small percentage of the citizenry). Wolff does need to show how the city will be better off when he is finished.
     
  4. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Why do voters need to have a better understanding? I thought this thing was not going to a ballot and that there was no tax payers money involved in this project?
     
  5. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    Too bad the MN editorial didn't see the connection between these two adjacent paragraphs.

    "Reed says he supports 1stACT Silicon Valley, the private-sector initiative to give the valley's urban core a real identity and flair by melding the arts and technology. Some "small wonder" changes are on the Oct. 2 council agenda, but a stronger commitment by the mayor would pay huge dividends to the city - and to Reed's image as a Silicon Valley leader.

    The fate of professional soccer - the Earthquakes - also presents an opportunity. Developer Lew Wolff's controversial financing plan for a stadium has forced the city into contortions of its development policies that may not be wise in the long term. The mayor's leadership is needed to either clarify why the plan is a good one for the city or, if it's not, to pull the plug.
    "

    IIRC 1stACT's vision includes a soccer stadium in or near downtown San Jose. It's not strictly about "melding the arts and technology". I think that's part of it, but in general I think it's more about making the downtown area a cultural hub.

    ...or that they didn't take into account the rezoning article which appears in the same issue, that paints the iStar rezoning in a relatively positive light because it involves industrial development on another property (the airport west property).
     
  6. sj_oldtimer

    sj_oldtimer Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Clovis CA

    The mayor and city council are obligated to make the case that Wolff's deal is good for the city, regardless of whether there is a public vote on the project. That is the mayor and council's legal obligation because the electorate put them in office specifically to do this kind of work. The elected leaders are always beholden to the voters. They have a legal, moral and ethical obligation to justify every thing they do. If there is even the appearance of impropriety or shady dealing in this, the entire deal will fall apart.
     
  7. darkstar10990

    darkstar10990 Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Bay Area
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    too much drama, just give me the damn epicenter =]
     
  8. athletics68

    athletics68 Member+

    Dec 12, 2006
    San Diego & San Jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The first article isn't bad. Infact they seem to highlight that Wolff's plan is a positive that other developers (who are implied to be the bad guys) fear. So I consider that first article a good thing. Espeically since if it had been written by someone like Twitt it easily could have turned into a bash Wolff fest based on the article's subject.

    The editorial is a tad bit harsher, but not untrue. Not the usual crap from the Murk, but it's not the best either.
     
  9. etastic

    etastic New Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm gonna guesss Barry Witt before reading the articles??

    alright, cringing face on, shoe ready to be thrown...clicking on article links........
     
  10. etastic

    etastic New Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    .....just more on the city of San Jose's chronic misunderstanding of everything they put their hands onto.

    This is basically trying to stoke the fires of a Industrial Use vs. Residential zoning debate. Ok.

    Let's see, there is a massive shortage of housing in the South Bay, chronically low vacancy rates. Hmmm

    On the other hand, the developed industrial zones that are already extant sit massively vacant. Hmmmmm. Maybe I should go drive by the miles of empty office parks scattered throughout the valley, from rt. below the Silver Creek Hills, to the strips running along 880, to those huge office towers in Downtown SJ that have never had tenants since they were built. Hmmmm.

    So, we need housing, and there isn't enough. We have an overflow of existing industrial land that is both developed, and unused....and yet somehow some proponents would seek to develop even more industrial land?? Notice that the numbers are always maximum hypotheticals 30 yrs. in the future. What about rt now??

    Jesus, if housing demand goes down, and industry goes up, just rezone in the future. I don't understand why this stuff is so hard, or why there is even a debate. If they really want to develop industry, then all they have to do is lower business taxes and restructure Californian incorporation rules. Guess not.
     
  11. Jay Hipps

    Jay Hipps Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Northern California
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree, these are both pretty even-handed. The only quibble I have is with the editorial and the statement that "The mayor's leadership is needed to either clarify why the plan is a good one for the city or, if it's not, to pull the plug." I agree that the mayor should take a leading role, but the call to do so now is premature -- the plan hasn't been presented to the council or the public yet. When it is, then the mayor can and should comment. Until then, why bother speculating?

    In general, though, kudos to the Merc. I think the article on the whole issue of residential vs. commercial/industrial land did a good job of providing some quantifiable data about why that's an important choice. I also happen to think that Wolff's proposal (as presented at the June council meeting) will fare very well when evaluated in that light.
     
  12. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Jay -- Actually, the broad outline of the plan was presented in public at a city council meeting by both city staff and Lew Wolff & Co. on June 12. We fans were all sitting there watching, 140+ of us. The plan made so much sense in its broad outline that the council voted for it unanimously. The story is there -- it's all archived on the city website -- but the Mercury News has chosen to look away.

    It's not the fault of the mayor or of Lew Wolff that the Mercury News does not do its job of reporting the news. Remember that the June 12 meeting was called by the mayor precisely to get all the facts as then existed out in the open. He did his job to promote a transparent process on the soccer stadium proposal. And Lew Wolff showed up at the public council meeting and was very direct -- as always -- about what he proposes doing. As mentioned, it's all part of the public record. What does the Merc suggest? A neighborhood-by-neighborhood whistle-stop campaign on light rail? The discussion of the soccer stadium in the editorial was an absolute and total cheap shot, in my view. But what else is new.

    JazzyJ very astutely noted the cognitive dissonance of the Mercury News editorial writers, praising FirstACT San Jose in one breathe, while knocking the potential for a sports stadium in the vicinity of downtown in the next. They really don't know what they are talking about. There's no persuading the Mercury News, so why should the mayor or Lew Wolff waste their breathe?

    I'll admit, the news story on industrial conversions was better done, probably because Barry Witt did not write it. If you read it closely enough, the article is a further rejoinder to the editorial folks. Lew Wolff's proposal is so good, the news story reports, it SETS THE STANDARD for future development activity in San Jose in the future, something other developers aren't too happy about.
     
  13. davez

    davez Member+

    Aug 10, 2000
    Mountain View, CA
    Actually I saw the headline and read the article with a great deal of trepidition... and no mention of Mr "Twitt" nor his point of view, nor was he referenced for a "contribution" to the article... Maybe Barry is been told to cool it on the Quakes?
     
  14. Tifoso

    Tifoso Moderator
    Staff Member

    Juventus
    Italy
    Feb 24, 2007
    northern California
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Is there any chance that

    1) The whole Quakes thing isn't happening?:eek::( or

    2) That it's happening, but not in San Jose?

    Can someone shed some light in this, please?
     
  15. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 12, 2005
    The hills above town
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    [​IMG]

    Don't fret over anything the Merc writes. The city is the one making the decisions. If you remember Paul Krutko's comment from last week about the FMC property review, "we are going gangbusters" you will see things seem to be on course.

    Relax.
     
  16. krudmonk

    krudmonk Member+

    Mar 7, 2007
    S.J. Sonora
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    The council meeting back in June (was it then) was far more positive than anything I've read in the Merc these past few months. I'm not putting any stock in this busywork hack crap they print.
     
  17. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    This is not the first time the MN has brought the soccer stadium proposal into question in an editorial

    "Wolff's controversial financing plan for a stadium has forced the city into contortions of its development policies that may not be wise in the long term".

    "Forced the city into contortions of its development policies"? There's unmistakable venom behind the choice of words there. I'd be surprised if Barry Witt and / or Scott Herhold were not involved in crafting the content of these editorials. We know about Witt's agenda, and Herhold has called the proposal into question a few times as well.

    I have no doubt that the land use article would have placed a focused attack on the Wolff proposal if it had been written by Witt. Instead, as others have mentioned, it puts it in a relatively positive light, which is a nice little bit of fresh air.
     
  18. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Didn't they vote 11-0 already? Why wouldn't it go thru again?
     
  19. DotMPP

    DotMPP 'Quakes fan in Stumptown

    San Jose Earthquakes
    United States
    Jun 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    They voted 11-0 to get exclusively negotiated proposals for the stadium and the rezoning prepared and presented to them.

    It's like getting a chance at a practice swing before actually having to address the ball. Who's going to say no to that?
     
  20. Jay Hipps

    Jay Hipps Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Northern California
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Don, I wasn't referring to the "broad outline" of the plan -- I was referring to the deal which is presumably being hammered out now that Wolff & Co. have been given the Exclusive Right to Negotiate with the city over the FMC property. The Merc is asking Reed to publicly endorse the deal and I'm sure he will if it meets the city's requirements, just like he did when the ERN came up for vote in June.
     
  21. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Got it. And of course none of us, including the Mercury News editorial writers, know the specifics currently being negotiated at this point. We all only know the broad outline -- if in fact the editorial writers are even aware of that.

    So the presumption at this point should be -- based on the broad outline revealed on June 12, which is the only information in the public domain -- that the deal is a good one. Unfortunately, the venomous language in Sunday's editorial effectively reverses things by placing the burden on Mayor Reed to rebut the editorial writers' presumption that the deal is a bad one that should be killed.

    Consider at the same time that we know far less about the 49ers stadium proposal, but we do know that it will involve a public subsidy from Santa Clarans of at least $160 million. The Mercury News has not editorialized that this deal should be killed unless Santa Clara's mayor can defend it.

    The editorialists have it bass ackwards.
     
  22. sj_oldtimer

    sj_oldtimer Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Clovis CA

    Has the MN, in any article or editorial, EVER acknowledged the "extraordinary value" part of the law? To me, it's difficult to not see the "extraordinary value" of this deal to the city. Never, ever, in the forseeable future is there going to be a developer willing to take the profits resulting from one council decision, then invest that money into another council approved project that will net the city a completed stadium (at zero cost to the city) and the first rate development of a marginal piece of property that is costing the city $7.5 million per year as it sits vacant. The city will own the stadium. The developer will cover any cost overruns in the construction and will maintain the facility. It is doubtful that anyone can point to any project in San Jose that is comparable. It's as risk free to the city as any project could possibly be. Wolff is not even asking for loan guarantees (which amounts to co-signing a loan), something that project developers routinely ask for in situations like this.
     
  23. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 12, 2005
    The hills above town
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But, but, after all those previous rezonings this is the one that is going to break the camel's back!!

    When the Cheap and Stolen Goods Market (oops, I mean Berryessa Flea Market) rezoning was recently happening, did the Murk hold it up to the same scrutiny as the iStar propery? Nooooo. They just looked for the best "story", and that was what was going to happen to all those poor immigrants who would now have to find a new place to sell their Mountains of Crap.
     
  24. krudmonk

    krudmonk Member+

    Mar 7, 2007
    S.J. Sonora
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Snob...
     
  25. don gagliardi

    don gagliardi Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    Feb 28, 2004
    san jose
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    I believe that the exception for projects that confer extraordinary economic benefit to the new city policy imposing a moratorium on industrial land conversions is what the Mercury News editorialists are calling "contortions" to the city's industrial land policy. The Mercury News' position is that no more industrial land should ever be converted to residential, no matter how good a deal it is for the city and its citizenry. No exceptions. Stated that starkly, you can see how nonsensical such a position is. But I believe that, in fact, that is the newspaper's position, though they may equivocate if asked directly. Which is why I predict the paper will oppose the proposed soccer stadium, no matter what the deal points are and no matter how beneficial it is to San Jose.

    Meanwhile, the paper will, if it is consistent with past form, fail to report or misreport the facts, and thus no ordinary citizen will be able to evaluate the soccer stadium proposal on its merits unless he or she retrieves the public documents directly from the city's website when they are made available.

    As you say, the Mercury News has never explored the extraordinary economic benefit that a soccer stadium and its surrounding development could confer. Indeed, when reporter Mike Swift recently did a story on the many positive benefits of stadia to their immediately surrounding communities through related development activity, he talked about the proposed new stadia for the 49ers and A's but said nothing whatsoever about the proposed soccer stadium and the benefits it might confer. It just never occurred to him to even explore the issue, because at the Mercury News soccer doesn't exist as a professional sport, the universe of soccer fans is very small, and it is inconceivable that a soccer stadium could benefit a community (even though the Kansas City Star ran a story at the same time showing precisely that.) That's the Merc's mindset. So, from their standpoint, Mayor Reed has lots of 'splaining to do for even giving Lew Wolff the time of day.
     

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