With or Without Curfew
By Robert Haugh
I didn’t think I’d write about the U2 concert and the curfew again. Everyone seems to understand. The City has laws. The 49ers (ManCo) tried to change the law. They failed. So they broke it anyway.
It’s simple. To stop it from happening again, the City Council needs to significantly raise the fine and make the 49ers obey the law.
It’s simple to most people. But not to two columnists.
First: Santa Clara Weekly columnist, Miles Barber, thinks the curfew should be ignored because the concert made a lot of money.
It’s another weak column, but worth mentioning just to correct errors for the few who read it.
Miles writes that “… this Council passed a noise ordinance in January …” Wrong. The noise ordinance was in place when the stadium opened in 2014. In January, 2017, the 49ers unsuccessfully tried to change it for the U2 concert.
Miles also writes that 60,000 people had a great time. Wrong. It was widely reported that 50,000 people attended and many had a lousy time.
But we’ll give Miles credit for stumbling into something. He writes that “U2 was contracted to start at 9 p.m. and perform to 11 p.m.” If true, the City has real evidence of a willful violation for their breach of contract case. (Note to Interim City Attorney Brian Doyle).
Next up: Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold writes that the curfew is just a silly law, so it’s okay to break it.
That’s the same thinking that made Abdullah The Butcher such a hated figure in the squared circle. He didn’t care about rules.
Scott, a much better writer than Miles, asks:
“Did anyone think that a world-famous rock band was going to stop playing at 10 p.m.?’’ … Was someone confident that stadium authorities could run up on stage and say, “Hey, look, guys, ‘With or Without You’ needs to be your last song. We have to get people out of here’’?
Well, yes. Last Sunday, at the BottleRock Napa Valley Festival, a great event for rock music and gourmet food, the 10 p.m. curfew was enforced by shutting down the speakers and video during the Foo Fighters’ set.
Where would they get such an idea? Maybe from Scott, himself, who wrote last December that the San Jose City Council should have a curfew.
Set a curfew and hold to it. You can quibble about the time — I think midnight makes sense — but a curfew, like a deadline, helps to focus the mind wonderfully. To make it doubly enforceable, the lights in the council chambers should be timed to go off shortly afterward, say at 12:05.
Scott needs to explain why he’s willing to pull the plug on Mayor Sam Liccardo and not Bono. Is the Mayor’s voice that bad?