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Hill gets leadership post

Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, has been named Democratic Caucus chair by new Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles.

“It’s a good position and I’m looking forward to it,” Hill said Thursday.

Hill’s position will entail heading up caucus meetings and trying to forge agreement among Assembly Democrats on key issues, among other duties.

The assemblyman will be in town for two events Saturday. 

First up is “Java with Jerry” from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. . at Il Piccolo Caffe, located at 1219 Broadway in Burlingame. It’s an opportunity for constituents to discuss issues of concern with their state rep in an informal setting. 

And from 10 a.m. to noon, Hill will help out at a free child car seat safety check at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center at 725 Monte Diablo Ave. in  San Mateo.

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Under: Burlingame, Democratic Party, Jerry Hill, San Mateo | 1 Comment »

The fightin’ twelfth!

Rep. Jackie Speier appeared on “The Colbert Report” last night in the latest installment of the “Better Know a District” series.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a District – California’s 12th – Jackie Speier
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor U.S. Speedskating

Burlingame’s Museum of Pez Memorabilia (currently embroiled in a copyright infringement lawsuit with Pez) even got a shoutout.

Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
Under: Burlingame, Jackie Speier, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Madoff’s “North Pole”

An amended complaint filed by Burlingame-based law firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy against Bernie Madoff and his alleged co-conspirators in a massive Ponzi scheme contains some salacious new details about the professional atmosphere Madoff cultivated in the early years of BMIS, including allegations of drug use and prostitution:

Behind the Facade, Madoff and BMIS Had A Dark Side

83. Behind this facade was a different side of Madoff and BMIS. Starting in 1975, Madoff began sending a long-time employee and office messenger to obtain drugs for himself and the company who worked with another individual who became a supplier to BMIS. These two men were described as
street tough men from Harlem “who were not to be messed with.” Their job was to get drugs and bring them to the office for use at BMIS. The employees in the office were well known and everyone knew, including some special investors. Drug use in the office was described as rampant and likened the office to the “North Pole” in reference to the cocaine use. Eventually the main employee supplier was fired for his drug abuse when cocaine and other undisclosed drugs were found in his desk in 2003. Madoff worried that it might bring in drug prosecutors who might uncover the big scam.

84. In regards to the diversion-filled office environment, employees described the wild office parties sans spouses. There were topless entertainers wearing only “G-string” underwear serving as waitresses, and a culture of sexual deviance existed in the office. The employees had late night affairs in exciting places – such as their boss’ sofa “with whomever they could find.” Employees described it as a wild, fast-talking, drug-using office culture.

85. Madoff also maintained a list of his favorite attractive female masseuses in his personal telephone book. Madoff’s affinity for escorts, masseuses, and attractive female employees was well known in the office culture, and certain feeders were allowed to participate in the conduct. A significant amount of the money stolen from investors went towards these lavish indulgences as well as other expenses for his employees, family and favorite feeders.

Among the other potential revelations in the complaint, which runs to nearly 300 pages, is that Madoff may have begun his Ponzi scheme as early as the the 1960s, not the 1990s, as he has claimed.

One of the victims of Madoff’s scheme who is being represented by Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy is a retired Foster City teacher.

Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
Under: Burlingame, Crime, Foster City, Joe Cotchett | No Comments »

Leftovers

Here’s eight photos from last week that didn’t make it into the paper, all taken by Times staff photographer John Green. Above and below, Foster City Mayor John Kiramis ships out for Southern California on Wednesday aboard his 50-foot power boat from Sausalito Shipyard & Marina. He’s resigning from the City Council and moving to Lancaster, in Los Angeles County, to help care for his ailing mother-in-law.

Nuffie Calbreath takes in the festivities with her dog Bella at Saturday’s Burlingame Pet Parade. Hundreds of pets and their owners turned out for the sixth-annual event.

Owners and their pets stroll down Broadway during the parade.

A cluster of grapes on the vine at Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside. The wine grape harvest has begun at Fogarty and other San Mateo County vineyards.

Elizabeth Enriques (right) picks grapes on Thursday at Thomas Fogarty.

Members of Mexico Vivo perform at the Redwood City Salsa Festival on Saturday.

Sigmund Jacobson, of San Leandro, tries some salsa at the festival.

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Under: Agriculture, Burlingame, Foster City, Redwood City, San Mateo County, Woodside | No Comments »

County students excell at Berklee College of Music

Who knew there were so many local kids attending, and thriving at, the Berklee College of Music in Boston?

We got an email today saying that eight students from San Mateo County made the dean’s list for the 2009 spring semester, meaning they had GPAs of 3.4 or higher:

– Lauren Blocker, Portola Valley
– Thomas Hass, Moss Beach
– Kelsey Luongo, Hillsborough
– Nate Marsh, Millbrae
– Torin Martinez, Half Moon Bay
– Chayah Miranda, Millbrae
– Heather Rose, Half Moon Bay
– Christopher Sullivan, Burlingame

Congrats to all these students.

Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
Under: Burlingame, Education, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Moss Beach, Portola Valley, San Mateo County, Schools | No Comments »

Speier oversight panel meets tonight

Rep. Jackie Speier’s Citizens Oversight Panel, which is charged with reviewing local appropriations requests, will meet tonight at 6 at the San Mateo Community College District Offices, 3401 CSM Drive, San Mateo.

Thirteen transportation projects will be reviewed, including projects in Brisbane, Burlingame, Millbrae, Pacifica and San Bruno.

Here are the projects, as listed in a press release from Speier’s office:

City of San Francisco — Ocean Avenue Streetscape project.

City of Burlingame — U.S. 101/Broadway Interchange Reconstruction Project.

SamTrans and CalTrain (2 projects) — Electric Multiple Units and Redi-Wheels Vehicle Expansion.

City of Pacifica — Manor Drive Overcrossing and Milagra On-Ramp.

San Mateo County City/County Association of Governments (3 projects) — San Mateo County Smart Corridors; U.S. 101 Auxiliary lanes from San Bruno to San Francisco County line; Alternative analysis (study) for operational improvement of the U.S. 101/SR92 interchange.

City of Millbrae — Millbrae Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing Project.

City of Brisbane — Bayshore Boulevard Overlay Project.

City of San Bruno (3 projects) — Caltrain Grade Separation Project; Streetlight Rehabilitation and Energy Efficiency Upgrade; Sidewalk, Lighting, Accessibility and Landscape Improvement Project.

Posted on Monday, May 4th, 2009
Under: Aaron Kinney, Brisbane, Burlingame, Democratic Party, Jackie Speier, Millbrae, Pacifica, Public Works, SamTrans, San Bruno, San Mateo County | No Comments »

So you did live in Burlingame!


Ed Jew admitted today in state court that he lived in the ‘Game, not in San Francisco, when he ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

The Insider, you may recall, has had a bit of an fixation with respect to Mr. Jew. Previous posts here, here and here.

(The shot above is a Times file photo of the Jews’ residence on Roosevelt Avenue. When the controversy over where Ed Jew lived first developed, the supervisor claimed he spent most of his time at a home in San Francisco, despite a glut of evidence to the contrary.)

Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Burlingame, Ed Jew, Political Campaigns, San Mateo County | No Comments »

From the notebook: More local reactions to Obama win

Before Barack Obama’s election win recedes too far in the rearview mirror, here’s a couple bits of local reaction that didn’t make it into the paper.

In the photo above, Karen Cunningham, sporting a Barack Obama T-shirt, was captured celebrating the Democratic Party’s historic night at the victory party for Rep. Jackie Speier in Burlingame.

Meanwhile, Bill Stewart, 70, took in the election results at an NAACP-organized party at B Street Billiards in downtown San Mateo.

Stewart, a computer consultant and member of the Foster City Association of Black Residents, grew up in Memphis, Tenn., where he participated in sit-ins during the civil rights movement.

He moved to California following graduate school to work for the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. Because of his race, he was not able to rent an apartment in Palo Alto.

On Tuesday night, Stewart said Obama’s victory struck him as “almost unbelievable.”

Stewart recalled living in the segregated South during college: “You were not allowed to try on clothes in certain stores … you couldn’t go to a lunch counter, buy a sandwich and sit down.”

“It’s a transition to a new day,” he said of the election. “What we need to do now is start working for economic parity for African-Americans.”

Posted on Thursday, November 6th, 2008
Under: 2008 Congressional Race, 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Barack Obama, Burlingame, Democratic Party, Foster City, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, Political Campaigns, San Mateo, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Palintology

Didn’t have time to post this Insider item here on Friday. Since it previewed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s appearance Sunday at a GOP fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency SFO in Burlingame, we’ll run it in a shorter, modified form with some additional comments thrown in.

First, a couple things we noticed from MediaNews (and San Jose Mercury News) reporter Mary Ann Ostrom’s account of the event.

According to Ostrom, Siebel Systems founder Tom Siebel introduced Palin to the crowd by saying, in part, “Sarah Palin carries the flag of outrage … for each of us who cries out, ‘We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.’”

Whuh? What are Tom and these people he’s referring to mad about? The last eight years of leadership under President George W. Bush? The Congress that’s been led by a Republican majority for six out of the past eight years? (And effectively filibustered by a Republican minority the past two years, on those occasions when Congressional Democrats weren’t kowtowing to the president’s demands.)

Tom and Sarah’s being mad about the status quo in Washington makes about as much sense as John McCain’s declaring that Obama is “angry,” when McCain lately has looked like he’s about to pop at the seams.

Palin reportedly got a good laugh during the fundraiser with a line about Tina Fey, who’s been parodying her recently on “Saturday Night Live,” saying she’s giving Tina Fey good “job security.”

Except not really, because Tina Fey has been playing her on “SNL,” a show for which she no longer works. In a broad sense, you could argue that Fey’s crushing portrayals of Palin have elevated her already brilliant career to new heights. But it’s not like she was scuffling. She’s won a slew of Emmys and Golden Globes for her new show, “30 Rock,” though TV ratings remain low. It’s a minor point, but we can’t resist the urge not to give Palin credit for anything.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, October 6th, 2008
Under: 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Barack Obama, Burlingame, Joe Biden, John McCain, Political Campaigns, Sarah Palin | No Comments »

See Rudy plunge

giuliani-2.jpg

When Rudy Giuliani paid a visit to Broadway Grill in Burlingame last spring, he was the frontrunner in the race to capture the Republican nomination and riding high in the polls. (This poll from April 2007 gives a sense of his status at the time.)

As of Wednesday, he was out of the presidential race, his campaign having suffered a collapse of historic proportions.

There are lots of theories as to what happened, chief among them Giuliani’s unusual strategy of focusing on Florida rather than some of the earlier contests.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2008
Under: 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Barack Obama, Burlingame, Republican Party | No Comments »