News roundup- Santa Clara County

A news roundup, with our comments.

In the Mercury News:

Plan to clean up mercury contamination in the Bay reaches the Water Board today. These plans rarely get to that level without having the political path paved in advance, so it will likely go ahead. CGF follows this issue, but we are careful to remain an open-space/natural resource protection group. If we tried to become a toxics-control organization as well, the effect would be to lose our focus and efficiency.

Morgan Hill Times:

A proposal to expand the San Martin airport is in the works. Proponents say it will help bring jobs to the bedroom communities of South County, while opponents say its just another effort that will promote development of the North County, which lacks housing and will ultimately result in sprawl. This echoes a similar argument over Coyote Valley. Proponents have a somewhat better argument here than is the case in Coyote Valley, but we are reserving our judgment for now.

Morgan Hill ponders expanding the city limits in the southeastern area. We have written about this before, indicating that we have some doubts about the process. I am quoted as saying a compromise between developers and environmentalists would be a good thing, but I certainly intended to say it could be a good thing. The devil is in the details.

The Pinnacle News:

Gilroy supports a southern alignment of the proposed bullet train to Los Angeles. We have no final position on the best alignment, but the southern alignment could harm wetlands in the Pajaro River watershed. We would like to see the Altamont route studied. Left unmentioned in the article is the financial problems this project is encountering. Rumors suggest it is a very long way from ever happening.

The Gilroy Dispatch:

Both the local Native American tribe and members of the local community are opposed to a $300 million casino proposed by a five-member tribe that does not live here. Interestingly, a prominent opponent of a failed measure that would have stopped sprawl in San Benito County is now opposing the casino, which could cause sprawl in San Benito and Santa Clara Counties. They say politics makes for strange bedfellows….


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