Guardino-backed groups will benefit from jet center donations
Silicon Valley Leadership Group Chief Executive Officer Carl Guardino scored big on the San Jose City Council's recent approval of Signature Flight Support's $82 million elite corporate jet center on Mineta San Jose International Airport's west side.
And that's not just because the jet center's primary tenant will manage planes for top executives of one of the leadership group's marquee members, Google.
An appendix from Signature's bid proposal, titled "benefits to the surrounding commercial and residential community," lays out the largesse it will shower on local community groups, many of which have ties to Guardino. To wit:
The nonprofit City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley will receive $250,000 in 2017-18 from Signature to help that group's work with at-risk students. Guardino is on the City Year board and recently was its chairman.
The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition will receive $150,000 to help fund a 3-mile bike path near the airport. Shiloh Ballard, a vice president at the leadership group, is on the coalition's board, while Guardino is on its executive advisory board.
The Santa Run, coordinated with Christmas in the Park, will receive $10,000. The run was founded and produced by the leadership group.
Rest assured, Signature -- which touts its long-standing commitment to local communities -- doled out some benefits to others as well.
The Tech Museum of Innovation will receive a $500,000 in-kind contribution.
And the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, headed by former San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, is counting on $5,000 to enhance science, technology, engineering and math curriculum for Latino students in the area
District did not choose words carefully enough
Being in the news business, we're all too familiar with the typographical gaffes that can embarrass us after banging out the latest version of the daily miracle.
So we can surely sympathize with the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District as it sought to deflect criticism over how it handled the Audrie Pott tragedy. The teen girl took her life after three Saratoga High boys allegedly wrote humiliating messages on her body when she passed out at a party last year. Her family has said school officials had dismissed their earlier complaint that she had been bullied at the school.
School and district officials have been careful to limit public comment since the boys' recent arrest on sexual battery and other charges. But apparently not careful enough.
Superintendent Bob Mistele has e-mailed occasional statements, including this one a week ago:
"Our staff fakes every allegation of bullying seriously."
Administrative assistant Jane Marashian acknowledged it was a typo.
But given the apparent care the district is taking with its public pronouncements on the matter these days, you wonder how that got through. Aren't these the folks teaching spelling and grammar to the valley's next generation of leaders?
Alvarado pollsters ask an intriguing question
Should Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith be forced to resign because of the way he handled the George Shirakawa Jr. mess?
That's among the more pointed questions about 350 voters were asked during a recent poll paid for by the Teresa Alvarado campaign seeking to smoke out voter sentiment toward longtime labor honcho Cindy Chavez, her main rival for the seat.
In the race to replace the disgraced Shirakawa who is awaiting sentencing for misusing campaign and taxpayer funds, Alvarado is running on a reform ticket, saying it's time to clean up county government.
The question about Smith is significant because Chavez is not only cozy with the county executive, but with supervisors Ken Yeager and Dave Cortese, Shirakawa and even Joe Simitian, whose wife Mary Hughes was Chavez's political consultant in her ill-fated 2006 mayoral run against Mayor Chuck Reed.
If Alvarado were to win the race, could Smith find his tenure in jeopardy?
Moyers gives Chavez her 77 seconds of fame
Santa Clara County supervisorial candidate Cindy Chavez, until recently the executive director of the labor-oriented Working Partnerships USA, has been the target of critical reporting recently from local media, particularly the weekly Metro. But she got some very positive national publicity this month from Bill Moyers, the public television commentator, who did a piece on homelessness in Silicon Valley.
The broadcast, which you can see at http://goo.gl/8MfTc, did an intelligent job of probing the extremes of the valley, pointing out how homeless encampments have grown in the shadow of Facebook, Google and Apple.
Politically, there are two things to remember about the piece: Chavez, who dropped her dark-rim glasses, was on for 77 seconds of a six-minute broadcast. And she sounded both smart and compassionate, saying, "Are we literally creating two Americas?''
Of course, the broadcast ran on public television, not precisely a ratings-buster. Then again, as some observers noticed, Bill Moyers didn't publicly interview her opponents, including Teresa Alvarado, the Santa Clara Valley Water District communications manager who is Chavez's chief opponent.
Ex-schools chief Wilcox molds a new career
We haven't heard too much from Colleen Wilcox, the former Santa Clara County superintendent of schools, since she was forced out by her board in 2008. But there might be a reason for that: Wilcox has launched a new career as a sculptor.
While we don't pretend to be experts, we'll say this: She's good. Maybe even very good. You can see examples of her stuff at www.colleenwilcoxsculpture.com. The photos were taken by Peter Carter, her good friend who died last month in Los Gatos.
The blurb on site says that Wilcox, now 63, began her love affair with art at age 4 and still remembers sleeping with her first box of colored pencils. At age 28, she took an evening sculpting class in Southern California and decided that some day her second career would be in sculpture.
Using unusual objects to represent bodies -- a bowling ball, a tree root -- the former superintendent has fashioned a series of bronzes of women. "I can't help creating a little back story to each piece," her blurb reads. One of our favorites is the head of an anguished woman, a bronze that reflects a life of travail. The title? "She's seen so much."
Internal Affairs is an offbeat look at state and local politics. This week's items were written by Tracy Seipel, Sharon Noguchi, Scott Herhold and Paul Rogers. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 408-975-9346.
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