Representative Zoe Lofgren has issued a statement on the death of former aide Cindy Avitia. She worked on the congresswoman’s staff from 2006 to 2010, and was killed in an automobile accident in Mexico, according to Lofgren’s office. Avitia was a strong advocate for immigration reform. According to the Chihuahua, Mexico newspaper Tiempo, the accident occurred near the city of Parral in northern Mexico.
We all stand on the shoulders of others in the building of a city or a nation. Nowhere is that more true of our valley than in one strip of San Jose called San Pedro Square. A boy named Luis Peralta traveled north from Tubac, in Old Mexico, fully 1,000 miles, and he settled in this area; the DeAnza Party followed. We move from Peralta to Fallon, Masson, Giannini, Disney, Hewlett and Packard, and on to Jobs in a few short steps and some 200 years of San Jose history.
This week, Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone has agreed to answer questions from San Jose Inside readers. He is the sixth public official to participate in this series. Questions are selected from online posts to this site.
As the year winds down, you can almost hear the collective sigh coming from City Hall. Or maybe that’s an echoing whoosh from councilmembers, the mayor, city manager and their staffs, who hightailed it for the holidays. Either way, 2011 was a tumultuous year, fierce in the manner civic actors clashed over pension reform, public safety, pot, a potential ballpark, ballot measures, pay cuts, occupations of city property and other issues of varying degrees of importance.
In any other time in history, re-election for President Barack Obama would be a cinch. But in the era of FAUX News, twisted truths, instant gratification and public ignorance, this administration will face a tough road to re-election. The Democrats need to do something to energize the base.
This week, San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen answered 10 questions selected by SJI staff out of dozens submitted by San Jose Inside commenters. The topics range from the Little Saigon controversy and Nguyen’s relationship with public safety unions to the city’s legal basis for the pension reform ballot measure.—Editor
Chris Shimek and I grew up in the same neighborhood. We played baseball together, attended the same neighborhood schools—but the thing we had most in common was we shared the same best friend. The Chris I knew was outgoing, friendly, cheerful, and abhorred violence against women and children. It is why he became a San Jose police officer. Something happened to the Chris I knew on Sunday, November 27, when he took the life of his soon to be ex-wife and himself.
Cupertino is a very small city that borders San Jose on the western edge of its larger neighbor. It is an elite community that prides itself on its excellent schools, ethnic diversity and its agrarian heritage. Its biggest claim to fame remains that it is the corporate headquarters to the wealthiest company in the world, Apple.
For the second time in a month, a local Hells Angels member was shot to death in public. Steve Tausan, 52, was attending a funeral Saturday for the late president of the motorcycle club’s San Jose chapter, Jeffrey Pettigrew, who was killed in September in a casino shooting in Sparks, Nev. Pettigrew also worked as a city of San Jose employee.
Oddly enough, three of the biggest stories in San Jose right now all have one thing in common: the most famous nonfiction author in America, Michael Lewis. His current bestseller, Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World, details how countries, states and municipalities are going bankrupt, and he uses San Jose as a model for implosion by pension.