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06.04.08

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Silicon Valley News Notes

LAST-MINUTE SAVE FOR BRADLEY?

Loyal customers of independent video store and Campbell institution Bradley Video were shocked and disappointed to see people carting out bags of liquidated video store merchandise last week. With a slew of "going out of business" and "everything must go" signs, the Campbell video location was putting its inventory up for sale and closing its doors permanently after defaulting on the rent several times. However, 11th-hour negotiations between the 18-year-old video chain and property owners has given hope to one of the Bay Area's last indie video chains. But they're not getting out unscathed. Negotiations include the possibility of keeping Bradley at its current location, but cutting the video store's current floor space in half and subleasing it to another party. "They're in negotiations with the landlord right now, and it looks like some promising talk. It looks pretty good that they'll be able to cut the pad in half, and reopen as a rental store," said Salvator Ierardo, liquidations director for Bradley Video Campbell. Bradley has used the chopping block strategy before to keep its locations open in the floundering local video rental market. "We've done it with a few other locations, and they've stabled off, in order to keep them alive as well," said Kevin Ricket, manager of Bradley Video in Santa Rosa. "We just had our Rohnert Park store and our Sebastopol store remodeled and shrunk." Though Bradley Video has a devoted customer base locally, this isn't the first time the video chain has been in the red. In 2005, when helmed by businessman Bill Bradley, it went belly up, with the company's assents becoming the property of the bank after he filed for bankruptcy. Three of Bradley's locations were closed, leaving seven Bradley video locations, currently owned by Phoenix Restructuring Group LLC. "The future of Bradley Video is something contingent on a number of things that we have to come to terms with," said Chris Lopez, operations director of Bradley Video. "Nobody wants to see Bradley Video move on, relocate, close or whatever; we all want to see it there and stay there, but it's got to be beneficial for all parties involved for that business to remain there, and that's what we're working towards." Another alternative: maybe Bradley Video can bring in Mos Def and Jack Black to remake the films.


CREDIT, BUT NO CREDITS

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an appearance Monday at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's 30th anniversary celebration, where she praised Silicon Valley for ongoing innovation that is helping to address the nation's greatest problems, including climate change. On that note, Pelosi said her contribution to helping advance the region was getting the recent energy bill passed and signed into legislation. The problem, of course, is that the energy bill was a body blow to the very same innovation Pelosi gushed about, thanks to Congress' failure to approve the much-needed solar and wind tax credits. Pelosi called the bill a breakthrough in Washington's "brick wall" of status quo, but admitted, "We didn't get everything we want." She said she's hopeful that within the next few weeks the Senate will get on board with the alt-energy tax credit plan the House recently approved. Pelosi did her best to stay bipartisan all the way up to the end, but the outspoken Democratic leader couldn't help herself when an audience member set her up on the final question: when will the federal government stop throwing money at the war in Iraq? "As soon as we have a new president, we can evaluate our priorities as a country," Pelosi said. "I hope the answer to your question will be 'very, very soon.'"


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