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Like dad, like son: Kevin Mullin in SSF council race

Kevin MullinFollowing his father’s foray into politics, Kevin Mullin, the 37-year-old son of state Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-South San Francisco, has officially declared his candidacy for South San Francisco City Council.

This will be the first elected position for Mullin, who has spent most of his career aiding other candidates and elected officials behind the scenes. Besides helping manage his father’s campaigns, Mullin spent three years as a district director for Jackie Speier when she was a state senator and two years a field manager when she was an assemblywoman.

“I am running on my record of experience, service and leadership in the South San Francisco community,” Mullin said in a statement released Monday. “I look forward to presenting my credentials and my vision for the future to the voters of my hometown.”

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Posted on Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
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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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Hill weighs in on Air Resources Board fallout

After Robert Sawyer, the chairman of the California Air Resources Board, was fired by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Thursday, the Insider asked San Mateo County Supervisor Jerry Hill, who was appointed to the board earlier this year, to weigh in on the fallout.

The board’s 11 members serve at the pleasure of the governor, and are charged with setting and enforcing air pollution rules and regulations for the state. Sawyer, a professor emeritus of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, had been at the helm full-time for 18 months.

“He’s probably the most credible man that I’ve ever met,” Hill said. “I find him to be extremely intelligent, courageous, with the highest integrity and with a tremendous knowledge of air quality.”

Initial reports were unclear as to whether Sawyer had resigned or been fired, but he cleared the air (no pun intended) on that one in the Los Angeles Times today:

“I was fired, I did not resign… The entire issue is the independence of the board, and that’s why I got fired,” Sawyer told the Times. “I have board members going all the way back to [Gov. Pete] Wilson’s time, and they tell me they have never seen such a level of interference as is occurring at this time.”

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Posted on Friday, June 29th, 2007
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It’s Ratatouille (rat*a*too*ee) Day in San Carlos!

With a nod to Vice Mayor Brad Lewis, today is officially Ratatouille (pronounced rat*a*too*ee) Day in San Carlos.

Lewis is the producer of the Disney-Pixar film Ratatouille, released in theaters nationwide today. San Carlos, according to a proclamation, is “simmering with enthusiasm” over its local connection to the cinematic masterpiece. Lewis, the proclamation made by Mayor Tom Davids further exclaims, “has been basting this movie to perfection as the producer of Ratatouille for the past five years, folding in layers of talent and handfuls of creativity.” Tasty!


The animated movie features a country rat named Remy (above) who dreams of becoming a chef in Paris despite the fact that he is, well, vermin. Finding himself beneath the famed Gusteau’s restaurant, Remy befriends the garbage boy, Luinguini, and the two set out to show the French culinary world how to really make a souffle.

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Posted on Friday, June 29th, 2007
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“This smells as bad as 80,000 dead salmon”

U.S. Rep Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, thinks Vice President Dick Cheney is up to something mighty fishy.

Eshoo is one of three dozen members of Congress from California and Oregon who signed a letter Wednesday calling for a Congressional investigation into Cheney’s role in the 2002 diversion of water from the Klamath River Basin. The diversion preceded the largest commercial salmon fishing disaster in U.S. history and devastated commercial and recreational fishing in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties.

U.S. Rep Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, also signed the letter.

The members made the request for hearings to U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.V., the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, after the Washington Post reported Wednesday that Cheney pressured mid-level bureaucrats in the U.S. Department of the Interior to divert water from the Klamath River Basin to benefit Republican political prospects among Oregon farmers.

Salmon fisherman

“This smells as bad as 80,000 dead salmon,” Eshoo said in a statement. “Those who depend on salmon for their livelihood, including many of my constituents, deserve to know exactly what the Vice President did to implement a water policy that circumvented the Endangered Species Act and devastated commercial, sport and tribal fishing in California and Oregon.”

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Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2007
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Busy in Burlingame

dave-pine.JPGDave Pine, president of the Burlingame School District’s Board of Trustees, has officially thrown his hat in the ring for a seat on the board of the troubled San Mateo Union High School District.

“With a new superintendent soon to be hired and possibly two new members joining the school board, the next few years presents a unique opportunity to strengthen the district for the benefit of our students and the entire community,” Pine said Wednesday in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Pine said that, if elected, his first priorities will be improving the district’s fiscal health and making sure its construction projects are managed properly.

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Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2007
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Light bulbs, pets, Royce, lobbying and $1,000

Time to tie up loose ends on several juicy Insider tidbits we hope you’ve been following.

  • Light bulbs
  • We wrote a couple of posts about San Carlos contending for the top spot in a viral marketing promotion sponsored by Yahoo! to find “America’s Greenest City.”

    Not that there was any independent, scientifically-based judging here, but residents earned points towards “greenest city” status by taking a pledge to “live a greener lifestyle,” signing up for Yahoo! Answers, and downloading Yahoo! oneSearch – a Web interface for mobile phones – to look-up eco-friendly terms.

    The grand prize was $250,000 for environmental projects or a fleet of yellow hybrid taxis emblazoned with the Yahoo! logo. At one point San Carlos was in second place, behind a 0.2-square-mile town with a population of 100 in South Carolina.

    But when all was said and done, San Carlos placed third. Their consolation prize from Yahoo! was 5,000 compact florescent light bulbs, 500 of which were delivered on Monday. Residents of all ages, as we reported and you can see below, clamored for bulbs at the initial giveaway.

    Yahoo light bulbs San Carlos

    Hastings, Neb. took the top spot. And they took the cash.

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    Posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2007
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