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Archive for March, 2007

Hill’s in it for real now

HillThronged by a crowd of supporters gathered at the Benjamin Franklin hotel in San Mateo Thursday, Jerry Hill made his long-known-about run for the 19th Assembly District seat officially official.

“I’m running for this job because I want to take my abilities to build consensus, forge coalitions, and find common-sense solutions to the issues facing our communities and apply them to the problems in Sacramento,” said Hill, who has been a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors since 1998 and is a former San Mateo councilman.

Though he just defected from the Republican Party in 2003 (after reportedly being fed up with the gubernatorial recall election), the platform Hill outlined Thursday was unquestionably Democratic: education, universal health care, a living wage, a clean environment, renewable energy, preservation of natural resources, affordable housing and investment in technology.

“Every Californian must have access to quality medical care and the protection of universal health care,” Hill said.

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Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2007
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Yet another wrinkle in society suit onslaught

Much has been said in the Insider about the civil suits filed by now three private citizens against Debi DeNardi, the captain of field services for the Peninsula Humane Society, the society itself and San Mateo County. Under a contract since 1971, the society provides animal control and shelter services for the county. See our previous post here for the claims levied by Janet Wherry and Tammy Doukas, and here for when pet store owner Mohammad “Moe” Olfat joined in the fray.

It’s worth noting that, earlier this week, Mark Webb, the San Francisco attorney representing the three, expanded their array of claims (from intentional infliction of emotional distress to abuse of process) to include a charge of “violation of statute” that the contracting relationship the county has with the society to prevent animal cruelty is illegal in the first place.

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Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2007
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Yee retorts to Ted Turner’s “Chinaman” remark

Ted TurnerAfter media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner apologized Tuesday for using the term “Chinaman” during a recent speech before the Bay Area Council, state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, weighed in Thursday condemning the remark. Yee is Chinese-American and came to the U.S. from China when he was a toddler.

“Mr. Turner’s comments are yet another example that racism is still prevalent, even within our media,” Yee said in a statement. “Mr. Turner’s comments show that Chinese-Americans are still often considered second-class citizens. As someone who has traveled the world, interacted with many Asian-Americans, and become one of the most successful media moguls, Mr. Turner should have been more conscious of the pain such derogatory comments cause.”

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Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2007
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Changes a’brewin’ at Coyote Point Museum

A new executive director at the once-headed-for-closure Coyote Point Museum could be announced as soon as Thursday morning, according to Linda Lanier, the museum’s president of the board of the trustees. The board of trustees will meet Wednesday night to take a final vote on the new hire.

“We are absolutely so solidly unanimous that this is the person with the skill set we need at this point in time,” Lanier said.

Lanier said that 47 candidates applied for the position. The pool was narrowed to 17, and five finalists were chosen, all of whom came to the museum for extensive interviews.
Coyote Point Museum
Meanwhile, the museum has restructured its education department, and recently laid off a staff member in the process. But Lanier insisted that the change does not represent a shrinking priority of education at the environmental center.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
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Mitt Romney to make Burlingame stop

romney.jpgMitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president and former governor of Massachusetts, will be making a pricey campaign fundraising stop in Burlingame Wednesday, where apparently there are enough Republicans to fill a hotel ballroom.

For the mere price of $23,000, you get a table of 10 for the dinner and a private photo reception with the candidate. For that much, don’t forget to smile! An individual ticket for the dinner and general reception is $2,300. And for the less fortunate who can only afford to fork over $1,000 to support Romney’s bid, you get admission to the reception only. The event is at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, 1333 Bayshore Highway, in Burlingame. Call (510) 420-1199 for more information.

Posted on Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
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Jerry Hill to “officially” launch Assembly run

Though Jerry Hill has acknowledged since September that he is gearing up for a run for the 19th Assembly District seat and has quietly gathered oodles of endorsements, he’ll finally make it official at a campaign kick-off and fundraiser on Thursday. The event is from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel, 44 E. 3rd Ave., in San Mateo. Though the event will solicit campaign donations, it is open to all. For more information, call (650) 344-3243 or email info@votejerryhill.com.

HillHill, a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and former San Mateo councilman, is running to replace Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-South San Francisco, who will be termed out in 2008.

Hill’s only opponent thus far is Richard Holober, a member of the Board of Trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District and the executive director of the Consumer Federation of California. Holober’s wife, Nadia, is the vice mayor of Millbrae. Another contender for the seat may be Millbrae Councilwoman Gina Papan, who has openly acknowledged she is deciding whether to run. Papan made an unsuccessful bid for the seat in 2002.

Posted on Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
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Illegal haven in Redwood City?

Redwood City is shaping up to be ground zero in San Mateo County for the debate over illegal immigration, if it’s not already.

During Monday night’s council meeting, several people spoke out against what they thought was the possibility that the city could become a sanctuary for illegal immigrants.

“I and many other citizens in Redwood City are opposed to this action,” one man told the council.

Another man said, “I don’t want our council to support illegal residents. I want the council to support legal residents.”

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Posted on Monday, March 12th, 2007
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Diner serves Redwood City with suit

Bob’s Courthouse Coffee Shop

Downtown restaurant owner Bob Bryant sounded pretty supportive of Redwood City’s efforts to re-energize downtown, especially for someone suing the town over the keystone of that ongoing revitalization campaign.

“The town will be booming one of these days _ maybe in a year,” Bryant said Wednesday inside his Bob’s Courthouse Coffee Shop (shown here) across from the new On Broadway cinema-retail complex featuring a 20-screen movie theater. “I’m all for it. I’m hoping a lot of people come to downtown.

“But I’m talking about the past. I had to take a lot out of my bank account to keep this (shop) open. It wasn’t cheap.”

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Posted on Monday, March 12th, 2007
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Add to their accomplishments: Woman of the Year

South San Francisco City Councilwoman Karyl Matsumoto was chosen by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, as the 8th Senate District Woman of the Year for 2007, and Pacifica attorney Helen Karr was chosen by Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-San Francisco, as the 19th Assembly District Woman of the Year. Both were honored in a ceremony today at the state Capitol.

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Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2007
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Picon: Talk to my attorney

The mother of 23-year-old Nicholas Picon, the Daly City man who died of a heart defect on October, informed the local media on Sunday that her attorney will now speak for her.

After Picon’s body was returned to his family from the office of the San Mateo County Coroner sans his heart, his mother, Selina Picon, decried Coroner Robert Foucrault’s conduct and lobbied the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for a change in law to require coroners to notify families that they may retain body parts. Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-South San Francisco, has transformed her plea into a bill proposal.

However, it doesn’t appear that the county can merely pat itself on the back for brokering the legislative proposal and entirely wash its hands of the original incident. Reading between the lines, the letter seems to indicate that a claim or lawsuit may still be imminent.

“I have decided to retain the Law Offices Of Ayanna L. Jenkins-Toney to assist me in resolving the inconsistencies and general shroud of misinformation and secrecy concerning what we believe to be the unlawful retention of my son Nicholas’s heart by the San Mateo County Coroner,” her letter states. “Mrs. Jenkins-Toney will be the person that those of you in the press should contact in the future when making inquires as they pertain to my case. My lawyer and I are diligently working to get the law to be more specific as it relates to notifying the next of kin when organs, tissue, etc. are kept by the coroner.”

Previously: Coroner clarification

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2007
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