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Speier announces appropriations requests

Rep. Jackie Speier has released the 15 projects she will submit for appropriations requests in the coming fiscal year.

Speier, a critic of the congressional earmark process, came up with the list of public and nonprofit projects courtesy of a Citizens Oversight Panel  she convened to review 43 requests that came to her office.

Speier’s office touts the panel as a model of transparency and the only one of its kind in the nation. According to a press release, the panel was chaired by former Peninsula Assemblyman Gene Mullin.  The other members were: Don Griffin, chancellor of City College of San Francisco; Marland Townsend, a former Foster City councilman; Louise Renne, former SF City Attorney; Harry Low, a retired judge; Rose Guilbault of the California State Automobile Association; Bill Nack of the San Mateo Building Trades Council; Dr. Sandra Hernandez of the San Francisco Foundation and Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Here, pulled directly from the release, are the projects, only some of which will receive funding(Last year’s panel recommended 9 projects, and four were funded): 

 –$200,000 for Shelter Network of San Mateo County’s Maple Street Shelter Program to support a short-term emergency shelter and mid-term transitional housing for homeless adults.  In the past year, more than 550 people found support at the Maple Street Shelter and 80% of those completing the transitional program succeeded in securing permanent housing.

–$1,675,000 for the San Mateo County Flood Control District to repair the Colma Creek Flood Control Channel.

 –$2,000,000 for the U.S. Highway 101/Broadway Interchange reconstruction project.

 –$3,000,000 for the City and County of San Francisco to help find a long-term solution, supported by the community, to erosion issues on Ocean Beach along the Great Highway.

 $181,440 for the Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County’s SaMCARES program that encourages quality and permanence in the child care workforce and rewards achievement in continuing education.

 –$975,000 for the Pacifica Police Department to enhance the delivery of police services among participating agencies with a goal of consolidating four or five north San Mateo County departments into a combined dispatch center.

 –$6,100,000 for the City of San Mateo to equip the Poplar Avenue storm water pump station with automatic emergency power to prevent flooding in the event of a power outage.

 –$500,000 for Caltrain to repair existing, and install new, fencing and signage along the Caltrain tracks to improve safety and security.

 –$250,000 for HIP Housing to expand education and outreach of their unique and successful home sharing program to people in the 12th and 14th Congressional Districts.

 –$1,200,000 for the San Mateo County Medical Center renovation to help upgrade the ground floor to bring it up to licensing standards and to offset transition costs.

 –$3,000,000 for the Peninsula Open Space Trust for the final installment to purchase Rancho Corral de Tierra east of Highway 1 near Montara and Moss Beach. 

 –$1,000,000 for Sojourn to the Past to enable a minimum of 1000 economically disadvantaged students in the district to experience a hands-on lesson on the history of Civil Rights in America.

 –$805,000 (total over 5 years) for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s women’s transitional facility to establish a program to transition female inmates from a locked and secure environment to one with more freedoms and education to prepare for successful release back into the community.

 –$73,000 for Samaritan House to provide a third vehicle to pick up food donations for residents in need.

 –$600,000 for San Francisco General Hospital’s Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) to help the hospital meet criteria for Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to make it eligible for maximum incentive payments.

Posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Under: Democratic Party, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, San Mateo, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Jackie Speier on Facebook

With health care reform coming down to the wire, Jackie Speier is knocking out updates on her Facebook page, with links to two brief but fiery speeches this week on the House floor.

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Under: Democratic Party, Health care, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Whither Jackie Speier?

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UPDATED BELOW

As you probably know, Rep. Jackie Speier (pictured above at a town hall meeting last year in Montara) is pondering a bid for California attorney general after a poll showed her having an advantage over other Democratic candidates, and with the candidate filing period opening Feb. 15, a decision is expected soon.

So which way is she going to go? It’s clear she’s fed up with Washington and the Senate in particular. Being a junior member of the House at a time of partisan gridlock has been difficult for her, especially when financial reform proposals she’s worked hard to pass are being tossed aside in the Senate, where Sen. Chris Dodd is in the process of caving in to Republican demands.

On the other hand, there is still a slim chance to enact historic health care reform legislation as well as contribute to a moment of great importance for Democrats, who have as good a shot as they’re going to get to enact significant policies on climate change and other issues. San Mateo County residents need leadership from Washington as far as stimulating the economy and creating jobs. And doesn’t every newbie in Washington have to pay his or her dues before rising in influence and seniority?

But Speier, 59, doesn’t have unlimited time left in public office. So she has to figure out how best to use that time, and maybe spending five years working her way up the ladder in the House isn’t it. And perhaps Capitol Hill really is so “dysfunctional,” as she put it, and the Senate is so corrupt and useless, that there’s no legitimate hope of winning important legislative battles or making a difference there.

If she runs for attorney general and wins, Speier will be able to spend much more time with her husband and two children — Jackson, 21, and Stephanie, 15. The commute to and from Washington has been a strain for her, newly hired spokesman Nathan Ballard confirmed this week. As attorney general, she’d also be able to focus on many of the consumer protection issues that are so important to her.

The hunch here is that Speier will run for AG. Maybe she’ll decide she has unfinished business in Washington. Perhaps her family could talk her into sticking with it, if that’s what they feel. But if we had to guess, we’d say her clear distaste for what’s going on in D.C., particularly the sausage-making that takes place in the Senate, combined with the need to be closer to her family, will tip the scales in favor of leaving the House and heading back to Sacramento.

UPDATE: Wrong! Speier released a statement today saying she will not run for attorney general.

“I am thankful that so many supporters came forward to urge me to run for statewide office, but after talking it over with my family, I have decided to stay in Congress,” Speier said in a statement. “I am convinced it is the right thing to do for my family, and I believe I can best serve my constituents by remaining in Congress and working hard on consumer protection, financial reform, jobs, and health care.”

So don’t ever listen to us again.

Posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
Under: 2008 Presidental Race, Barack Obama, Corruption, Democratic Party, Health care, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, Republican Party, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Health care call

Rep. Jackie Speier is holding a town hall meeting by telephone tonight on health care reform. The call will begin at 6:50 p.m. and run for about an hour. To listen in or comment, call 877-229-8493. The PIN number is 13867.

We’ll be listening in as well for Speier’s take on the health care debate and to see if she gets any wacky death panel questions or other such nonsense.

For more on Speier’s position on reform, here’s a recent statement.

Posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
Under: Democratic Party, Health care, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, San Mateo County | 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 »

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 »

The Speier and Eshoo update

Before Jackie Speier learned about the handiness of the bicycle rickshaw, she wore out her feet Monday trekking from one event to the next in downtown Denver. She estimates she walked six miles that day, much of it in high heels. She was eventually forced to stop and buy a pair of flats to ease the pain.

John Kerry spoke at a delegates breakfast Wednesday morning and tore the roof off with a speech that was very much like the one he delivered later that day at the Pepsi Center. Speier said the speech reinforced her opinion that John McCain is an “extremist,” from foreign policy to abortion, and not a maverick.

At a lunch hosted by Sen. Barbara Boxer later that day and put on by none another than local Democratic Party insider Joe Cotchett, California’s junior senator regaled the crowd with stories of her interactions with McCain when she first got to Washington in 1992.

Boxer recalled seeing flashes of McCain’s anger on more than one occasion, said Speier, who like Barack Obama himself Thursday night questioned whether McCain has the temperament to be a steady commander in chief.

“The question I would ask is, do we really want someone like that holding on to the red phone?” said Speier.

Speier wanted to see her fellow Democrats go on the offensive against McCain during the convention. Rep. Anna Eshoo had a different approach, warning that bashing McCain too aggressively could produce a backlash.

“By the time the TVs are off with the closing of the convention, (voters) need to be left with the impression that it was thoughtful,” Eshoo said. “This is not about (a) bumper sticker mentality. That’s what the Republicans like to do, but that’s not enough. It’s about the future of our country.”

Nevertheless, Eshoo predicted Wednesday, by the end of the convention, “The lines will have been drawn.”

We’re trying to check in with both Speier and Eshoo today to see if the final 24 hours of the convention lived up to their expectations.

Posted on Friday, August 29th, 2008
Under: 2008 Congressional Race, 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Anna Eshoo, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, Political Campaigns, Republican Party, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Speier and Eshoo in Denver

[Update: We were snowed under Thursday. We'll have a full account from Speier and Eshoo, as well as San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon, on Friday. Apologies for the delay.]

We talked Wednesday afternoon to both Reps. Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, who shared their thoughts on Sen. Hillary Clinton’s speech Tuesday night, among other subjects.

What else did they talk about? Speier mentioned some interesting remarks that Sen. Barbara Boxer made about John McCain, while Eshoo offered up a vision for a successful finish to the Democratic National Convention that keeps McCain bashing to a minimum.

Check back here Thursday morning for more on those subject and few others.

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: 2008 Congressional Race, 2008 Presidental Race, Aaron Kinney, Anna Eshoo, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Hillsborough, Jackie Speier, Political Campaigns, Republican Party, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Swanky Speier

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Mr. and Mrs. Insider paid a visit to the Carolands Chateau on Friday, at the invitation of Burlingame attorney Joe Cotchett, to attend a campaign party he threw for former state Sen. Jackie Speier, who is running for the congressional seat occupied by Rep. Tom Lantos until he died in February.

Roughly 100 to 150 people circulated around the second-floor of the mansion — which is a succession of rooms off a central atrium — sipping white wine and cocktails (no red wine allowed, for fear of stains) and munching on hors d’oeuvres.

Among those the Insider spotted at the party: San Mateo County Supervisors Mark Church and Adrienne Tissier; San Mateo police Chief Susan Manheimer; former county sheriff, and current member of the Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors, Don Horsley; and Robert Foucrault, the county coroner.

Speier herself, wearing a red dress with a black sash, posed for photographs with supporters in the chateau’s ridiculous wood-paneled library. Sometime after 7 p.m., guests were ushered into the ballroom for the evening’s presentation.

Cotchett spoke first, thanking the chateau’s owners, Ann and Charles Johnson (who bought the estate in 1998 and spent millions refurbishing it). He said the Johnsons were “equal opportunity employers,” since they hosted a Republican fundraiser with President Bush in late January in the exact same room.

Cotchett then introduced the emcee for the night, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who interrupted a tour hawking his memoir, “Basic Brown: My Life and Our Times,” to be there for Speier, a friend and colleague from their years together in the state legislature.

Brown said he owed many votes on “family values” issues to Speier, who would cast his votes for him when he was absent from the state Assembly. The Insider isn’t sure whether he was being serious, or if the practice he described is legal, but there you have it.

Brown also joked about being mortified that he was selling his books at Wal-Mart, which has become a major book retailer that helps authors get on best-seller lists, and encouraged anyone in the audience not to attend a book signing held at one of the stores.

Standing as he was within one of the Peninsula’s symbolic seats of wealth and power, Brown may have forgotten that tens of millions of Democratic voters nationwide shop at Wal-Mart because it’s what they can afford. That Willie Brown is a real champion of the working class, isn’t he?

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, also took a turn at the microphone before Brown turned the stage over to the evening’s main attraction, celebrated actress and singer Carol Channing.

As a member of Generation X, the Insider is not overly familiar with Channing’s oeuvre, but the stories and impressions from early in her career were pretty funny; and the fact that she’s still performing at the age of 87 is impressive.

One thought that came to mind following the party was that Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig proved how smart a guy he is by deciding not to enter the race against Speier, despite the pleas of online supporters.

Because the roster of Jackie-ites Friday in Hillsborough was further evidence that whoever steps in front of the Speier juggernaut this spring will be squashed like a bug.

Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2008
Under: 2008 Congressional Race, Aaron Kinney, Adrienne Tissier, Anna Eshoo, Assembly, Board of Supervisors, Coroner, Democratic Party, Hillsborough, Mark Church, San Mateo County, Tom Lantos | No Comments »

A brief visit by Dubya

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[Updated Thursday at 4 p.m. See below]

The Hillsborough Police Department was keeping mum on President George W. Bush’s visit today, but we’re hearing the dinner he’s attending this afternoon will take place at the Carolands Chateau.

“The only thing we are saying right now is he is visiting Hillsborough and we’re referring questions to the Secret Service,” Hillsborough police Executive Assistant LeAnn Thornton said this morning.

The San Francisco office of the Secret Service was swift to inform us that they don’t talk about the president’s schedule (which is understandable). But we’ve learned that, by the looks of it, something big is afoot up at the Carolands.

Bush is to participate in a Republican National Committee dinner that is closed to the press. His visit will be brief. Air Force One is scheduled to touch down at SFO at 4:30 p.m. and depart at 7:05 p.m.

UPDATE: The GOP soiree was indeed held at the Carolands. Republican insider and Hillsborough resident Katherine Boyd declared Thursday that the dinner, which raised a reported $1.5 million for the RNC, was “absolutely wonderful.”

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Boyd said Bush spoke briefly and then took questions. She said she’s “never seen him better” and he looked “very relaxed.”

Despite all the turmoil that’s gripped his unpopular administration over the last several years, Bush’s life would appear to remain pretty comfortable.

The scene around the chateau Wednesday afternoon was quiet. No protestors and not too many gawkers. Just a bunch of cops posted at pretty much every intersection near the estate and a bit of snarled traffic surrounding the president’s arrival and departure.

Posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Hillsborough, Republican Party | No Comments »