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Archive for July, 2007

Yee’s illegal car sales bill in governor’s hands

State Sen. Leland Yee’s bill to curb car sales along El Camino Real has just one more stop before it becomes law: the governor’s desk.

The California State Senate today sent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a bill to give local law enforcement agencies the same authority granted to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to prohibit used car sales on state roads, such as El Camino Real and San Francisco’s 19th Avenue.

Once Schwarzenegger receives the bill, SB 279, he will have twelve days to sign or veto it.

SB 279 is Yee’s first bill to pass the Legislature this session and his first as a state senator.

“I am proud that our first successful bill in the Senate is one that protects the interest of the Peninsula,” Yee said in a statement. “These illegal used car sales are causing congestion and creating a public nuisance, safety hazard, and problems for businesses, pedestrians and bicyclists. I urge the governor to swiftly sign this bill into law.”

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Posted on Monday, July 9th, 2007
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Million-dollar home loans for county heads

Add to San Mateo County’s list of governmental duties: mortgage broker.

Believing it’s a necessary recruitment tool to quell fears of high housing costs, County Manager John Maltbie wants the authority – without interference from the Board of Supervisors – to offer home loans for hiring key management positions.

Set for a consent calendar vote at the supervisors’ meeting Tuesday, the resolution would give Maltbie authority to offer home loan assistance to candidates for assistant or deputy county managers, department directors or deputy directors, or “other management-level positions determined by the county manager, after consultation with the director of human resources, to be ‘hard to fill’ positions.”

Loans would not exceed $1 million, have a term of no more than 30 years, and would be made at an interest rate comparable to the County Treasurer’s pooled rate for county investments.

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Posted on Monday, July 9th, 2007
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Local grassroots groups join in antiwar coalition

Local Democratic committees, clubs and organizations have joined a Bay Area-wide effort to provide a stronger voice in pressuring federal representatives to end the war in Iraq.

The San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee and San Mateo County Democracy for America are both members of the Resolution Peace Network, a coalition that aims to ensure withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Two dozen Bay Area Democratic committees and clubs have signed on to the network.

“The idea is trying to reach critical mass to collectively go to our legislators,” said Ashleigh Evans, chair of Democracy for America’s Out of Iraq Task Force and a member of the network’s steering committee. “We’re just trying to keep them on track.”

A San Mateo resident, Evans said Iraq withdrawal has been the network’s top goal for two years running. In November’s election, she said, voters demonstrated that they wanted Congress to change the direction of the war; the network aims to make sure that Congress follows through.

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Posted on Friday, July 6th, 2007
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Sequoia High grad a Congressional arts winner

Eighteen-year-old Viral Shah, who graduated in May from Redwood City’s Sequoia High School and is headed to Stanford University this fall, was a valedictorian, student body president, and a member of the San Mateo County Youth Council of the American Cancer Society.

But in case you doubted whether he qualifies as wunderkind, now he’s an award-winning artist too.

African WomanShah was chosen as the 2007 Congressional Arts Competition winner for the congressional district of U.S. Rep Anna Eshoo, D-Atherton. His mixed-media work, African Woman (shown here), was selected by a panel of local artists and will be on display at the U.S. Capitol through June.

Shah said the piece was a product of an International Baccalaureate art class Sequoia, which required students to choose a theme and build on it artistically. His charcoal and acrylic work explores thinking beyond the stereotype of Africa as little more than malaria, poverty and AIDS.

“It was just the idea that something so beautiful, so calm and so confident can come out of something that we stick with being so poor and disease ridden,” Shah said.

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Posted on Thursday, July 5th, 2007
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