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Archive for June, 2007

“Bail” for Sheriff stuck in dirty laundry limbo

So, you wonder, what ever became of that $1,000 check that San Mateo resident David Katz wrote as a down payment to help rescue the county’s top cop from his Las Vegas troubles?

Ah, there’s nothing like a good family squabble to make a story really interesting.

Katz’s $1,000 check didn’t make it far after he dropped it off on June 1. In fact, it has merely sat, undeposited, in the office of the County Counsel.

“We received a letter from a lawyer who I think is representing family interests raising a question of whether the check might be inappropriate given the source those funds,” County Counsel Tom Casey said. “That’s not a county issue, that’s a family issue.”

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Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2007
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Redwood City mayor pursues reelection

Barbara PierceRedwood City Mayor Barbara Pierce is going for a three-peat.

Pierce will seek her third consecutive term on the council during the November elections, she announced Friday.

“There is more to do to prepare our community for the future,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to working together with residents to realize their dreams for Redwood City.”

She added, “I believe in sensibly planned growth with community engagement. The Downtown Precise Plan was created with thoughtful participation of the community. I believe that community involvement is now part of the city’s DNA.”

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Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2007
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Jew’s attorneys deliver bravado and bombast

San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew, whose wife owns a home in Burlingame, had a pretty bad week.

The embattled politician and flower-shop owner turned himself in to police Tuesday after San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris issued an arrest warrant on nine felony counts, charging him with making false statements when he claimed – in filling out voter and campaign documents – to live at a home on 28th Avenue in the city’s Sunset District.

Since Jew appears to spend more time at his family’s Burlingame bungalow on Roosevelt Avenue (pictured below) than he does on 28th Avenue, at least according to the district attorney, it seems within our scope to reflect on some of the most melodramatic chapters of the saga so far.

Ed Jew Burlingame home

Though Jew’s attorneys, Bill Fazio and Steven F. Gruel, couldn’t keep Jew from getting booked, their rhetorical skills were in full flower.

“It’s not like he’s a flight risk — he’s a supervisor,” Fazio told the San Francisco Chronicle after his client turned himself in. “You think they would at least give Supervisor Jew that consideration.”

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Posted on Sunday, June 17th, 2007
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Harry Potter, rabbits and First Aid

Can’t get enough animal news?

Well, then. Did you hear about the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA vet who performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a rabbit?

According to PHS spokesman Scott Delucchi, a young male rabbit named Harry Potter stopped breathing last month while being prepped for a neutering procedure. A staff member saw a warning on the monitor and called over Dr. Eleanor Karlsson, who locked lips with Harry and restored his breathing.

After a few minutes, the rabbit was fine and Karlsson went ahead with the surgery.

Harry Potter, who is light brown in color, went up for adoption June 12 and was still looking for a new owner as of Friday. He and roughly two dozen other rabbits are currently available. (The rabbit pictured above right is a female named Peaches.)

Delucchi said two to three months after Easter is when “we hit our peak for incoming rabbits.” Apparently, some part-time rabbit lovers buy Easter bunnies, then have second thoughts once they’re confronted with the awesome responsibility of cleaning a cage and putting food in a bowl.

Posted on Friday, June 15th, 2007
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To fix or not to fix Fido? Give Simitian your answer

Got something to say about AB 1634, the proposed law that would require you to get your dog or cat fixed? Judging from the volume of calls and email he’s received about the bill, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, thinks you might.

Simitian sits on the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, which is expected to hear the bill sometime in the next few weeks. According to his staff, he’s gotten more than 100 emails and dozens of phone calls and letters on the matter. Some 15 to 20 constituents also brought it up during his recent “sidewalk office hours.”

To give his constituents of the human type (unlike the ones shown below) a chance to voice their perspective on the bill – and give his inbox a reprieve – Simitian will hold a public forum in Palo Alto on June 23.


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Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
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San Carlos slips in bid for “greenest city” title

Poor San Carlos.

Victory was close enough Thursday that they could almost taste it. They were in second place for the “greenest city” title as deemed by Internet giant Yahoo!, and we blogged as such. They only had to usurp Pelzer, S.C., a 0.2-square-mile town with a population of 100, to win the coveted fleet of ten hybrid taxis. Cake.

But alas, Hastings, Neb. snuck in from behind overnight, sending San Carlos spiraling down to third. Well, San Carlos, if it makes you feel any better, at least you were beat for the number two spot by a city of comparable population size which is apparently the birthplace of Kool-Aid.

“I was disappointed to see we’ve moved down,” said Ann Iverson, a member of San Carlos Green, an environmentally-minded citizen task force that has urged residents to participate in the contest. “I haven’t lost hope, but it is pretty much of a long shot.”

The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. ET today; the winner will be announced June 19. Will the “City of Good Living” come through in the clutch?

Remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the Insider also asked Iverson a few questions about the nature of this so-called competition.

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Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2007
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Bondonno launches Redwood City council campaign

Kevin BondonnoKevin Bondonno is the first to officially step into a quiet Redwood City council race, though it’s still early in the game.

Bondonno, currently the chairman of the city Housing and Human Concerns Committee, will kick off his campaign for the November elections Saturday at Mezes Park at Warren and Standish streets.

The event starts at 11:30 a.m. with former Mayor and current Councilman Jeff Ira on hand to introduce Bondonno.

“I am running for election to City Council because I want to increase my service to the community,” Bondonno said in a statement. “I want to continue my work in making Redwood City a great place to live, work and play.”

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Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2007
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Obama enthusiasts to pound the pavement

A fervent – and growing – group of supporters in San Mateo County for Barack Obama’s presidential bid is gearing up for door-to-door canvassing on Saturday.

Obama San Mateo CountyShown here, we’ve written about them before – and even Obama’s campaign took notice.

Their efforts are part of the Illinois senator’s national Walk for Change day, which aims to send legions of supporters across America to pound the pavement for the Democrat in their local precincts.

The San Mateo County group will meet at 9 a.m. at the picnic area outside the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Community Center, 725 Monte Diablo Ave., in San Mateo, for coffee and doughnuts. Volunteers will get some quick training and a fully-equipped precinct kit, complete with scripts, Obama paraphernalia and voter registration cards.

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Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2007
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Yahoo’s “greenest city” title eludes San Carlos

Thanks to a promotion from Internet giant Yahoo!, San Carlos appears to be the second-most “green” city in the country.

Should they usurp the coveted number one spot from Pelzer, S.C. as “America’s Greenest City,” San Carlos will find itself the recipient of a new fleet of ten hybrid taxis. Emblazoned with the Yahoo! logo, of course.

They’re up against some tough competition, what, with the population of Pelzer being a whopping 1,000 – with 35 households and 26 families, according to the 2000 Census – and the town just 0.2 square miles big. San Carlos, you can do it!

The effort is backed by San Carlos Green, a community task force. But before you go running for the pom-pons to cheer them on, the Insider feels obligated to give you a reality check, lest you be misled.

There are no experts here making independent judgments against peer-reviewed criteria about which of America’s cities is undertaking the greatest effort, through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and what-have-you, to save the earth. This, like seemingly everything else in America these days, is a viral marketing scheme based on who can get as many of their neighbors as possible to make a few Web site clicks and try out a few products in the process.

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Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2007
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Lobbying ordinance approved, with some tweaks

On Monday, we reported that the Board of Supervisors was considering a new county ordinance to allow the public more scrutiny over lobbyists’ attempts to assert political sway.

In the interest of open government, the Insider is pleased to report, it passed unanimously at the supervisors’ meeting Tuesday. But not without tying up a few loose ends in the original proposal, which was made by Supervisor Rich Gordon.

The rule, which goes into effect Jan. 1, will require lobbyists of supervisors or their aides to pay a $100 annual registration fee and file semiannual public reports of their activity, putting the county on par with other Bay Area jurisdictions.

Before the vote, the supervisors had a back-and-forth over perceived holes or unclear language in the ordinance, ultimately adding in exemptions for the media and non-profits that primarily provide social services for the county (such as homeless shelters).

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Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2007
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