Santa Clara University

SCU in the News: February 10, 2010 to February 23, 2010

Report Overview:
Total Clips (67)
School of Law (1)
Other (66)


Headline Date Outlet Links

School of Law (1)
Same-Sex Marriage on Trial: A Look Inside Prop 8 in Federal Court 02/08/2010 KALW-FM Text View Clip

Other (66)
Students Launch Protest of AT&T Coverage 02/25/2010 Network World Text View Clip
We Shall Overcome... Dropped Calls, Students Protest AT&T Network Coverage 02/25/2010 Fast Company - Online Text View Clip
Students Protest Poor AT&T Cell Phone Reception 02/25/2010 TMCnet.com Text View Clip
Students launch protest of AT&T coverage 02/24/2010 Network World Text View Clip
Wired Campus: Santa Clara U. Students Call for Better Cellphone Service 02/23/2010 Chronicle of Higher Education - Online, The Text View Clip
Tulare attorney's swearing-in as judge may be 2 months away 02/23/2010 Visalia Times-Delta Text View Clip
Voices: Mansour Izadinia: spreading analog expertise 02/23/2010 EDN.com Text View Clip
Investors can avoid regret by consistently following a few rules 02/23/2010 Business Day (South Africa) Text
Top Films at SI DocFest 2010 Win $29,000 in Awards 02/22/2010 Biotech Week Text
Top Films at SI DocFest 2010 Win $29,000 in Awards 02/22/2010 NewsRx.com Text
Top Films at SI DocFest 2010 Win $29,000 in Awards 02/22/2010 Pharma Business Week Text
NGCSU ROTC battalion named tops in U.S. 02/22/2010 AccessNorthGa.com Text View Clip
The Stock Markets Little Shop of Horrors: And You Thought the Aftermath of 1929 Was Grim (125) 02/21/2010 Journal of Investing Text View Clip
Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley 02/21/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley 02/21/2010 SiliconValley.com Text View Clip
Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley 02/21/2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley 02/21/2010 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley 02/21/2010 Whittier Daily News Text View Clip
Stetz: Bring your invitation and your ignorance 02/21/2010 San Diego Union-Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley 02/21/2010 Pasadena Star-News - Online Text View Clip
Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley 02/21/2010 Press-Telegram - Online Text View Clip
BLACK TIE OPTIONAL THE ORDER OF THE DAY 02/21/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
In Norwalk, citizens speak but TV viewers don't hear 02/20/2010 Los Angeles Times - Online Text View Clip
Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation 02/20/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation 02/20/2010 Whittier Daily News Text View Clip
CALIFORNIA 02/20/2010 Los Angeles Times Text
Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation 02/20/2010 Press-Telegram - Online Text View Clip
In Norwalk, citizens speak but TV viewers don't hear 02/20/2010 Sun Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
In Norwalk, citizens speak but TV viewers don't hear 02/20/2010 TMCnet.com Text View Clip
Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation 02/20/2010 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
San Jose Mercury News, Calif., Bruce Newman column: Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation 02/20/2010 Individual.com Text View Clip
Movies and TV 02/20/2010 Los Angeles Times - Online Text View Clip
Utah bill is another attempt to regulate Internet practices 02/20/2010 Salt Lake Tribune - Online, The Text View Clip
Utah bill is another attempt to regulate Internet practices: Despite past failures, this year's meas 02/20/2010 TMCnet.com Text View Clip
Utah bill is another attempt to regulate Internet practices: Despite past failures, this year's meas 02/20/2010 Salt Lake Tribune, The Text
Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Buzz Seen As Facing Hurdles 02/20/2010 MediaPost.com Text View Clip
FOR COLLEGE KIDS, A TIME OF TEMPTATION 02/20/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Loving Kindness: Perhaps the Best that Spirituality and Religion has to Offer? 02/19/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
Professor discusses ethical dilemmas all college students will have to face 02/19/2010 Pasadena Star-News - Online Text View Clip
In Norwalk, citizens speak but TV viewers don't hear 02/19/2010 Daily Press - Online, The Text View Clip
ISRAELI PEER PULLS THIRD UPSET IN DUBAI 02/19/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
NBC BAY AREA'S TRACI GRANT IS LIVE IN SANTA CLARA. 02/18/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 6 PM - KNTV-TV Text
DOUBLE! PLEASE WELCOME SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY FRESHMAN JAMES 02/18/2010 View From The Bay - KGO-TV, The Text
Opinion: Strong headwinds will resist drop in U.S. unemployment rate 02/18/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Parish Mission slated 02/18/2010 NJ.com Text View Clip
Voices: Mansour Izadinia: spreading analog expertise 02/18/2010 EDN.com Text View Clip
Cocktail Chronicles: Notes on what's happening 02/18/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Suspicious Alumnus Asks to Enter Student Apartment 02/18/2010 Cowl Text View Clip
KEEPING UP WITH CHANGES AT SOUTH BAY, PENINSULA BARS 02/18/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
$timulus: Successful, or stifling? 02/17/2010 Herald-Palladium Text View Clip
Google Buzz may be a lesson in viral backlash 02/16/2010 Investor's Business Daily - Online Text View Clip
Some techies lambast Google's overhyped Buzz 02/16/2010 MarketWatch Text View Clip
Your Mind and Your Money-Risk Roulette 02/16/2010 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) - Online Text View Clip
Paired Ends 02/16/2010 Genome Web Daily News Text View Clip
O'Neal's choice 02/15/2010 Lawrence Journal-World - Online Text View Clip
Nightly Business Report 02/15/2010 Nightly Business Report - WPBT-TV Text
Nightly Business Report 02/15/2010 AP Digital Associated Press - CEO Wire Text
Colored by tragedy, games off to weird start 02/13/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Driving by looking in rear view mirror 02/12/2010 MarketWatch Text View Clip
Meir Statman on Efficient Markets in Crisis 02/11/2010 MoneyScience Text View Clip
Part-time smokers put health at full-time risk 02/10/2010 KNTV-TV Text View Clip
Response needed to be accelerated 02/10/2010 San Francisco Chronicle Text
Toyota should have accelerated response 02/10/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Building your Business 02/10/2010 Investment Executive Text View Clip
Alberto Torrico 02/10/2010 Huffington Post, The Text View Clip
Same-Sex Marriage on Trial: A Look Inside Prop 8 in Federal Court 02/08/2010 City Visions - KALW-FM Text View Clip


Same-Sex Marriage on Trial: A Look Inside Prop 8 in Federal Court | View Clip
02/08/2010
KALW-FM

KALW's City Visions reviewed the highlights of the historic Prop 8 trial with help from Santa Clara University School of Law professor Deep Gulasekaram. The trial, which drew to a close in San Francisco last week, was the first federal trial to determine if the U.S. Constitution allows states to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Called the civil rights trial of the modern era, the trial explored issues from the meaning of marriage to whether sexual orientation is a choice. Join host Joseph Pace as he talks to legal experts about the trial and what's at stake.

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Students Launch Protest of AT&T Coverage | View Clip
02/25/2010
Network World

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.

AT&T tops in 3G wireless speeds, study finds

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.

AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

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We Shall Overcome... Dropped Calls, Students Protest AT&T Network Coverage | View Clip
02/25/2010
Fast Company - Online

There was a time when student protests in the U.S. meant something, when the iconic sit-ins, occupations and banner-waving could've impacted the world. Now Santa Clara U students have a new cause: AT&T's coverage. What?

AT&T's spotty network coverage and high data drop-out rate is the stuff of (recent) legend, and even lawsuits and public company-to-company slanging matches. The reasons behind it are clear--partly a lack of foresight and continued investment in improving infrastructure by AT&T, and partly through the unprecedented explosion in mobile data consumption caused by the iPhone, which is an AT&T exclusive device inside the U.S. It's annoying to AT&T users (it's annoying to the majority of iPhone users too who, as extra-USA folk, are fed up of hearing about the issue.) It's been embarrassing to AT&T, and the company has apparently been working desperately to tackle the matter--with, according to the latest stats, some notable successes.

But that's not enough for Santa Clara U students. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, they've agitated, cogitated, deliberated, and organized, and then they arranged for a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day." Some 200 to 300 staff and students took part. AT&T even took notice, and sent a representative out to engage in dialog. We do not know if any banners were waved, whether the strains of "we shall overcome" were heard drifting across the campus, or indeed if the protest campaign had any effect on the issue in hand.

And what precisely was this issue? Allegedly poor AT&T cell phone reception on campus. Compared to the drugs and free speech sit-ins of the '60s, the Vietnam protests, and student activism about the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, does AT&T network performance really stand up as an issue to fight for?

I'm being light-hearted of course. But there is actually a socially important matter at the core of this news. Is cell phone reception now regarded on almost the same basis as other human rights like freedom of speech? Will we see a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing free, fair and ubiquitous access to cell phone signals no matter weather, locale or political persuasion? Of course not... yet. But the times they are a-changing, and the changes are extremely swift.

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Students Protest Poor AT&T Cell Phone Reception | View Clip
02/25/2010
TMCnet.com

When the word “protest” comes to mind, most might conjure up imagines of sit-ins or large groups holding signs against war or some other hot-button issue.

But students at Santa Clara University reportedly are calling attention to a new so-called “injustice”: poor cell phone reception.

According to news reports, university students have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T (News - Alert) to Complain Day." Students that use AT&T were encouraged to call the company and complain about the allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dorms. Event organizer Kelsey Houlihan, a junior at the school, said between 200 and 300 students and faculty members called AT&T to complain.


In response, AT&T sent a representative to the campus to talk with students. The company reportedly has been aware for months about the on-campus coverage issues and is working with the university to improve reception, the report said.

This isn't the first time AT&T has heard complaints about its coverage. The company has heard from iPhone (News - Alert) users over the last year regarding its 3G network performance, the report said. To help, AT&T launched HSPA 7.2 technology that is designed to boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company has high hopes that the move to deploy its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the problems,Network World ( News - Alert) reported.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

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Students launch protest of AT&T coverage | View Clip
02/24/2010
Network World

College students have long been known to protest against war, racism and other social maladies. But now students at Santa Clara University are taking aim at what they see as a new form of injustice: allegedly poor cell phone reception.


According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students at the university have organized a "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day" that encourages AT&T users to give the company an earful about allegedly poor reception in some Santa Clara dormitories. The event's chief organizer, Santa Clara junior Kelsey Houlihan, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that between 200 and 300 students and faculty at the university have called AT&T to complain.

The Chronicle also reports that AT&T actually tried to calm the storm by sending a representative out to the campus to talk with upset students. Additionally the Chronicle says AT&T has for months been aware of coverage issues on the campus and has been working with the university to improve reception.


AT&T has taken a lot of grief from both competitors and iPhone users over the past year over the size of its 3G network. In response, the company has aggressively rolled out HSPA 7.2 technology that it says will significantly boost speeds on its GSM-based 3G network. The company is hoping that deploying its 3G network over stronger spectrum on the 850MHz band will solve some of the big capacity and propagation problems that have given iPhone users headaches in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. Santa Clara, which is located around 40 miles south of San Francisco, would logically figure to benefit from such upgrades.

AT&T's overall network performance has also shown some distinct signs of improvement in recent months. A recent study conducted by PC World shows that AT&T now has the fastest average download speeds on its 3G network of all four major U.S. carriers. Similarly, a study conducted late last year by performance-monitoring start up Root Wireless also found that AT&T had the fastest average 3G download speeds.

But while AT&T's 3G network performance has certainly improved, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that its 3G coverage does not extend far enough since it is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the United States.

Return to Top



Wired Campus: Santa Clara U. Students Call for Better Cellphone Service | View Clip
02/23/2010
Chronicle of Higher Education - Online, The

iPhone-toting students at Santa Clara University say they're fed up with AT&T's poor reception on the campus, so they organized a day of complaint to lobby the company for better coverage.

Students and professors made a couple hundred phone calls to the cellphone provider one day this month. Kelsey Houlihan, a junior at Santa Clara who helped organize the event, dubbed "Campus Wide Call AT&T to Complain Day," said that AT&T users can't get reception in many of the dormitories, in the basements of the library and the student center, in some academic buildings, and in student houses near the campus. Ms. Houlihan estimated that between 200 and 300 people called AT&T to complain, based on the number of people who joined the Facebook group for the event and the number of flyers that she and other students passed out. The flyers listed a direct number to call and suggested what to say in the conversation.

Ms. Houlihan said that she knew of many students who had switched from AT&T to another provider, but that not everyone can easily do so. She explained that many students are on their parents' family plans with AT&T or rely on the company for iPhone service (the company has exclusive rights to work with Apple's device).

On the morning of the demonstration, before the majority of the calls were even made, Leon F. Beauchman, an area manager for AT&T, made an unexpected visit to the campus. He had caught wind of the event and came to discuss the problem with students.

In fact, Santa Clara officials had already been working with AT&T for a few months to devise a way to improve reception on the campus.

Joe Sugg, assistant vice president for university operations, said he didn't know whether or not the calls from students helped move things along, but "it probably got their attention -- it made my job a little easier."

Mr. Sugg said that one solution was being evaluated already, and that if all went well, Santa Clara might have much better service by this summer.

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Tulare attorney's swearing-in as judge may be 2 months away | View Clip
02/23/2010
Visalia Times-Delta

It could be two months before Tulare attorney Bret Hillman dons a Tulare County Superior Court judicial robe.

Hillman, a Tulare attorney specializing in business, estate planning and real estate law, was appointed a judge Thursday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Hillman said It will take him up to two months to close his portion of the Tulare law firm Hillman & Lew, he said.

Court administrators will meet with Hillman this week to talk about a swearing-in date and other details. Administrators will determine where Hillman will be assigned, a spokeswoman said.

Hillman said he applied last year for a judgeship. Most applicants are contacted only if considered under-qualified for the position.

"I was glad I didn't get that news," Hillman said.

He said he was "humbled" to get the nod from the governor.

Hillman graduated from Stanford University and Santa Clara University school of law. He has been a California State Bar member since 1986, practicing in Tulare.

Having practiced law focusing on business, estate planning and real estate, Hillman said his transition will be easier if he's appointed to oversee those types of cases. But if he's appointed to criminal court, Hillman said, he'll adjust.

"I see that as a learning opportunity," he said. "The learning curve will be steeper."

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Voices: Mansour Izadinia: spreading analog expertise | View Clip
02/23/2010
EDN.com

Mansour Izadinia, senior vice president of IDT's analog and power group, discusses product definition, smartphnones, and opportunities in the analog area.

By Paul Rako, Technical Editor -- EDN, 2/18/2010

IDT (Integrated Device Technology) recently hired Mansour Izadinia as senior vice president of the analog and power group, signaling the company's growing emphasis on analog- and mixed signal-products. Izadinia has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of California—Los Angeles and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA). He has seven patents in the analog field and has authored several articles on the subject. EDN recently interviewed him.

What got you into analog?

I got into analog from school. When I was at UCLA, I always wanted to take the hardest courses. Everyone told me that analog-circuit design was the hardest course, so I tried it.

What was your job path to get to IDT?

I started as an analog-design engineer at National Semiconductor. For a number of years, I worked for nalog engineer] Bob Pease. After 10 years at National, I went to Maxim. I worked at Maxim for 16 years.

What kind of things did you do at National Semiconductor?

I designed many dc/dc converters and motor-drive ICs, such as the LMD18200. I designed a lot of the BCD [bipolar-CMOS-DMOS]-process products. My last year was as a section head for automotive design. I had a group of design engineers who were working on ABS ntilock-braking systems] and air-bag controllers. I designed a lot of custom automotive parts that don't show up in catalogs.

So you had an affinity toward the processing side of semiconductors, as well?

Even though I'm strong in circuit design, I never viewed an analog-circuit designer as a success unless he had a mastery of process technologies. I always wanted to understand how semiconductor-process technologies worked. I paid a lot of attention to that, and I was as good with circuit design as I was with process technology. I worked on bringing up several generations of BCD technologies at National and at Maxim.

What attracted you to Maxim?

Maxim's nalog engineer] Dave Fullagar (Reference 1) called me in 1988. I didn't take the job. Every year, I would get a call from Maxim. In 1994 I felt Maxim was not a start-up anymore, so I went there. My first job was as a senior scientist for portable power. I started to hire people and form a group of design engineers. I designed several Maxim products in the notebook area.

What increased your responsibilities at Maxim?

Back then, Maxim was very strong in portable electronics. I felt that they didn't have a lot of traction in the communication segment—things like the base stations, servers, routers, and switches. Cisco, Alcatel, and Siemens were not our customers back in 1995. I started championing doing products for this segment. I took business plans in front of our chief executive officer, Jack Gifford. In his classical methodology, he would reject me 10 times, but he eventually bought the idea. If Maxim wanted to be a power-management supplier, we would have to address this huge segment of telecommunication, server, and nonportable applications. The group was a bunch of design engineers and one marketing guy and one or two application engineers. That group grew to about 116 individuals. My last position at Maxim was vice president for the system and power-management group.

Maxim was the first analog company that seemed to organize by market. How did that come about?

This move goes back to the entrepreneurial spirit of Jack. He was an entrepreneur, and he led a lot of people who had the drive, passion, and technical background to explore markets. He believed in engineering excellence. He believed in a business of selling engineering. When Jack saw somebody who was technically good, had passion and drive, and knew what he was talking about, he gave them a lot of rope.

He believed in creating these little fiefdoms—that was his word—that would let these guys all compete for market segments and become experts at those market segments. He believed in technical, product, and application expertise about markets. He also believed that you have to beat your competition by encouraging excellence and doing good execution. He had such a huge emphasis on execution. “I'm going to create these pockets that are run by these driven people who get specialized about end markets,” he thought. I have never met any business semiconductor person who was better qualified.

Was Gifford hard to work for?

In a lot of ways, he was very misunderstood. I think his close friends know what a human person he was. He really did have a soft heart. He held the bar high and drove a lot of people hard, but he had a big heart.

What attracted you to IDT?

I always liked passionate people. Jack was a passionate person. I always wanted to be around people who had drive and passion because I'm the same way. When I was talking to Ted [Tewksbury, IDT's president and chief executive officer], I could feel the passion in his voice. I have known him for a long time. At Maxim, he had a lot of passion. He impressed me with that.

A lot of people get hung up on creating a 10-year plan that's all mapped out. I think what's even more important is that the person is adaptive to change—that he can figure things out. A person with drive is going to figure it out along the way. I like people that are not myopic about things and who are not stuck up about their own ideas. I like people who are open to other people's ideas and who can build a team. You're only as good as your team is. Ted understood that. A lot of things that he told me resonated well.

IDT is an established company. Is a start-up culture something you like to build in your team?

Yes. I think the key to success for a large company is to make sure they keep the team's focus and that they focus on execution. This approach is integral to the success of start-ups. If you look at how start-ups succeed, they get a small group of people who are not bothered by all the other corporate stuff. They execute. The key to success is exactly that. I think IDT is going through this transformation—this focus on execution. Ted started that focus, and I'm carrying it forward. I'm trying to put an emphasis on product execution, product development, and having the right metrics in place. I learned this approach from him.

How do you think product definition should work in an analog-semiconductor company?

You didn't really need an equipment expert 20 years ago. An op amp is so general-purpose that it would compete on parameters and specs. As systems got more complex and integration took hold, we needed to have people who exactly understand the end-customer system. Sometimes, our customers don't understand their own subsystems. Many companies don't have power-management experts, yet power management is critical to the performance of their end products. There lies an opportunity for us to bring that expertise and use it to come up with differentiated products. We alleviate our customers' headaches. In the future, customers won't really care what an IC does as long as it solves their entire problem.

Read more Voices

Apple shows this approach. If you buy an iPhone, it takes you 10 minutes to know how to use it. It's exactly the same with chips and ICs. If you handed a 300-page data sheet to a customer, they don't have the time and sometimes not even the expertise to be able to read it. Ease of use also applies to ICs. To do that, we need to have elegance in product definition. We need product definition that's targeted, that's specific, and that solves the problem with the least amount of headache. When a customer calls us and wants to use our product, we need to have experts in product definition who can go in and solve the problem in the shortest amount of time. That service is what differentiates our products. Ted has put an emphasis on this issue. We've been bringing that end-equipment expertise into IDT.

Some companies call [this person] a product definer. Some companies call him system architect. Some companies call him a marketing person. Some companies call him a field application engineer. It doesn't matter what title you give that person. You've got to have a person who has the system knowledge of your customer and who can bring a value to your customer. No customer ever wants to talk to a salesman or a field-application engineer who doesn't understand his problems.

So, rather than resent doing your customers' jobs, you view them as opportunities?

Absolutely. We have to bring value to a meeting. We want to solve this problem that you have. We want to exactly understand that problem. That differentiates companies and drives sales. It's not just an IC design anymore. It used to be that you would execute on a product specification. If you came up with a lower offset voltage on an op amp, you would win the business. It's not that way anymore. The world has become so complex and systems have become so complex. The end equipment may have one or two ICs inside. The whole thing is integrated. That guy who understands how to apply that IC is the one who wins the business.

Smartphones seem to have changed everything. They have lots of analog and power-management content. Is that the kind of business you want to do?

At IDT, we have a diverse set of technologies that apply not just to smartphones, but also to e-books and display applications. We have a whole bag of technologies available to us. I think mobile computing is important. I can‘t speculate on whether it's smartphones, e-books, or other audio and video handheld devices.

IDT also has cellular base-station RF chips.

We have a sizable business in base stations. We understand how the data flows in a base station. We are focusing on some of the front-end technologies for the base station, as well. We want to be a total system provider. We want to provide the entire solution that goes into a base station. We can choose to go after sockets that make sense for us, both in core competency and from a business aspect.

Your knowledge of process seems to play well serving an entire system.

We're going to be looking at all these system pieces at IDT. In the front end, we look to provide RF devices. On the back end, we are looking at providing the power-amplifier devices. It's not an issue of whether we need to have analog, digital, DSP capabilities. It's an issue of providing tools for a complete system solution. I don't think that any company has a choice in being an analog supplier or a mixed-signal supplier or a digital supplier. You have to have this bag of tricks. You have to be an analog provider. You have to know how to do signal processing. You have to make the best ADCs and DACs. You have to be able to make the best power amplifiers. These are all the little blocks that go into a big system. When Ted came up with this charter of being a solution provider, it meant that the company had to have analog, signal processing, and RF and power amps.

What is your attitude about fabless versus captive fab operation?

We need certain technologies to be differentiated from our competition and to provide special value to a customer. We don't need to have a fab to have those differentiated technologies. So, whether or not you own a fabrication facility, I think it's immaterial. We can develop specialized process technologies within any of the captive foundries.

Do you mean real process differences, or do you mean device geometries or IP (intellectual property)?

We have the expertise to do that. I'm a device guy as much as I'm a circuit guy. I don't need a captive fab to implement those processes. Sometimes, having a fab is a hindrance. A captive fab is targeted toward the entire corporation. Sometimes, they're so busy with doing what's right for three-fourths of the company, that, if you're trying to start a business and you actually need a specialized process, they have no time to give you. Not having a fab is somewhat of a blessing because I don't have to convince one technology-development group to add a process. I have multiple foundries that are calling us on a weekly basis asking, “What can we do for you?” You have to figure out what you're trying to do. These days, there is going to be a fab that will implement what you want if you provide them a business case. China is building foundries as if there were no end.

I notice that IDT makes analog switches. Can you comment on that?

I managed the design group for analog switch-product line at Maxim, and it's a great business. It's underserved in the marketplace. A lot of companies and a lot of designers think that analog switches are low-tech, old technology. But there are things that you can do with analog switches that you cannot do with more integrated solutions.

So, does it make sense to design a system that is not just a single chip?

Yes. When you integrate more and more of these solutions, what if something goes wrong? What if you get to the end of your product development and you're trying to ship a product two weeks from now and you didn't define a certain thing right? That's when an analog switch comes in to the rescue. That's how we built a huge business, because errors happen and things change.

I notice IDT has a broad spectrum of part types. Could you comment on that?

Ted has a vision that you've got to have these foundations—these pillars that we put in place now to invest for the future. Touch technology is going to be a must. Audio is going to be a must. If you look at what IDT has been doing, we've been putting in place all these technologies that we think are needed for the next 10 years—not in one year or two years but the next 10 years.

How do you balance the consumer market with the industrial and medical markets? How do you get people to understand that designing for the long term is important?

If I didn't have to deal with Wall Street, my ideal business would be an infrastructure kind of a business. I wouldn't have to deal with cyclical ups and downs. Unfortunately, we have to deal with the reality of the business world and the fact that Wall Street is involved. We have to participate in fast-growth markets. And fast-growth markets by definition can also be fast-declining markets. When the GDP [gross domestic product] goes up by 1%, your business goes up 20%; it amplifies the GDP by that much. The infrastructure markets don't amplify the GDP by that much. So, I love infrastructure businesses, but I don't think we have a choice. We have to play in the mobile markets.

Does operating as a fab-lite company help with these big swings in demand?

Absolutely. I think that you cannot be in a mobile market having only your own fab. Consumer markets go up and down by so much, and they are very seasonal. How do you forecast your products if you're completely in the consumer markets? Being a fab-lite company really addresses that difficulty. If you sell to stable infrastructure markets, you might keep a fab at 90% utilization. If your fabs aren't full all the time, they won't pay for themselves. Utilization factors have to be 90% plus, which is hard in the consumer markets. That is why fab-lite works so well for us.

As technology gets more complicated, does the job of semiconductor companies also get more complicated?

Yes. Our customers are paying a lot of attention not just to the chip that we provide, but also to the service that we provide. They seek the knowledge that we bring to the interaction with them.

Reference

Rako, Paul, “Dave Fullagar, analog-IC designer and entrepreneur," EDN, Nov 22, 2007, pg 26.

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Investors can avoid regret by consistently following a few rules
02/23/2010
Business Day (South Africa)

StreetDogs Investors can avoid regret by consistently following a few rules SUCCESSFUL professionals are subject to the same emotions as the rest of us, says Meir Statman, professor of finance at Santa Clara University, in the Wall Street Journal. But they counter it in two ways: They know their weaknesses (and) they have rules to overcome them. Statman goes on to suggest a few rules of his own, including: Goldman Sachs is faster. There's the old story about not having to outrun anyone other than the person next to you. The speed of the Goldman Sachses of the world has been boosted recently by computerised high-frequency trading. Can you really outrun them? Individual investors should resist racing against faster runners by trading on every bit of news. Instead, buy and hold a diversified portfolio. Banal? Yes. Typically followed? Sadly, no.

Hindsight is not foresight. Want to check the quality of your foresight? Write down tomorrow's stock prices. Do that each day and check the accuracy of your predictions. You'll find your foresight is not nearly as good as your hindsight. When I hear in my mind's ear a voice that says that the stock market is sure to zoom or plunge, says Statman, I activate my 'noise-cancelling' device rather than go online and trade. It's like a lottery. Ever seen a lottery advert showing a man muttering Lost again? Of course not. Only winners holding giant cheques. Once we have settled on the belief that I'm going to win the lottery, we look for evidence that confirms it. Lottery players who overcome this bias acknowledge that winning numbers are random. Investors acknowledge that winning investments are almost as random. A diversified portfolio of many investments might make you a loser for a year or more, but too few investments can ruin you forever. Neither fear nor exuberance are good guides. A Gallup poll asked: Do you think this is a good time to invest in the financial markets? February 2000 was a time of exuberance, and 78% of investors agreed that it was. It turned out to be a bad time. March 2003 was a time of fear, and only 41% agreed that it was a good time to invest. It turned out to be a good time to invest. It is good to learn the lesson of fear and exuberance, and to resist their pull. Check yourself. A stock-market crash is akin to a car crash. Is anyone bleeding? Can we drive the car or do we need a tow truck? We must check ourselves after a market crash as well. Did the market damage your retirement prospects or only deflate your ego? If it damaged your retirement prospects, you'll have to save more, spend less or retire later. But don't worry about your ego. In time it will inflate to its former size. Dollar-cost averaging reduces regret. You have R100000 you want to put into stocks. Invest R10000 on the first Monday of each of the next 10 months. If the market declines you'll take comfort in what you haven't yet invested, while the first Monday rule removes responsibility.

MICHEL PIREU: pireum@bdfm.co.za

Copyright © 2010 Johnnic Communications, Source: The Financial Times Limited

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Top Films at SI DocFest 2010 Win $29,000 in Awards
02/22/2010
Biotech Week

The Third Annual Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest) was held at the Camera 12 Cinemas on Saturday, February 6, 2010. Awards totaling $29,000, provided by sponsor and organizer Do Good Docs Corporation, were shared by the top films, the high schools they represented, and their designated nonprofit organizations (see also ).

A panel of independent judges ranked the ten semifinalist films and their combined scores yielded the winners. These judges were Blanche Araj-Shaheen, TV production professional and host of KTEH's "Video I;" Dr. Felix Gutierrez, Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School and a Bay Area resident; Jan Krawitz, a distinguished documentary filmmaker and Director of the M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University; Ray Telles, a three-time Emmy Award-winning, Berkeley-based documentary and television producer; and Michael Whalen, Assistant Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University and independent television and film producer.

First place was awarded to "Art Works," a film by Emily Munoz and Natalie Hon, which features an organization that makes art education accessible to children. The $10,000 award was shared with the Freestyle Academy of the Mountain View/Los Altos High Schools and The Imagine Bus Project (imaginebusproject.org).

Second place winner was "Sacey/Spa," a film by Melody C. Miller that deals with alleviating and preventing the sexual exploitation of children in the Bay Area. The $6,000 award was shared with San Leandro High School and Misssey (misssey.org).

Third place winner was "Beating the Unbeatable: Joe Wise," a film by Michael Hoff and Tim Jacob that covers the overcoming of a debilitating illness by Joe Wise, a world-class Paralympic swimmer. The $4,000 award was shared with Bellarmine College Preparatory and the Joe Wise Foundation.

Additionally, the organizing committee awarded $1,500 to Christina Marie Star Riders (cmstarriders.com), which offers horse-riding therapy to handicapped children and is profiled in "Star Riders" by fourth place winner Tom MacVicar of Carmel High School. Two films tied for fifth place, and $1,000 was awarded to each of the nonprofits they represented. Reading Partners (readingpartners.org) was the beneficiary of Castilleja High School's Tayo Amos' film, "The Victory over Illiteracy," which features local author Anthony Hamilton. Sacred Heart Community Service (shcstheheart.org), a local agency that fights poverty, was the subject of Presentation High School's Brittany Ricketts and Jessica Scarborough's film, entitled "Unite to Fight."

In recognition of their outstanding accomplishments, the other five semifinalists were awarded $500 each for their featured nonprofits (visit sidocfest.com for details).

Dereck Hoekstra of Valley Christian High School won a special organizer's award for Creativity and Technical Excellence for his film "Fault Point," which included a $1,500 scholarship.

The Terry McElhatton Memorial Award recognizes the dedication of an educator to the teaching of documentary filmmaking, as represented by the number of films submitted to the SI DocFest. It is named after its original winner and friend of the SI DocFest, the late Terry McElhatton. The winner this year was Nate Marshall of Valley Christian High School, and a $1,500 award was presented to Valley Christian's video production program in Nate's honor.

The event was hosted by SI DocFest organizers and co-founders, sisters Monica Alba and Loreli Alba, a graduate from and current student at the University of Southern California, respectively. Camera Cinemas, the leading independent movie theater company in the South Bay, was an official sponsor and the host of the SI DocFest 2010.

Do Good Docs is a non-profit organization located in San Jose, California. Its first project has been the sponsoring and organizing of the Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest), while two more initiatives focused on socially responsible filmmaking are in their early stages.

For nearly 35 years, Camera Cinemas has been presenting a wide variety of well-made, intelligent films, from re-released classics to independents, international to mainstream. With four distinct locations - Camera 7 Cinemas, the state-of-the-art multiplex in Campbell's Pruneyard Shopping Center; the Art Deco neighborhood theater, Los Gatos Cinemas in downtown Los Gatos; the three-level Camera 12 Cinemas, and the newly re-opened Camera 3 Entertainment in downtown San Jose - Camera Cinemas has become an important institution in the local film community, making vital contributions to the cultural life of the San Jose area and representing the best of what the South Bay has to offer.

Copyright © 2010 Biotech Business Week via NewsRx.com

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Top Films at SI DocFest 2010 Win $29,000 in Awards
02/22/2010
NewsRx.com

The Third Annual Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest) was held at the Camera 12 Cinemas on Saturday, February 6, 2010. Awards totaling $29,000, provided by sponsor and organizer Do Good Docs Corporation, were shared by the top films, the high schools they represented, and their designated nonprofit organizations (see also ).

A panel of independent judges ranked the ten semifinalist films and their combined scores yielded the winners. These judges were Blanche Araj-Shaheen, TV production professional and host of KTEH's "Video I;" Dr. Felix Gutierrez, Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School and a Bay Area resident; Jan Krawitz, a distinguished documentary filmmaker and Director of the M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University; Ray Telles, a three-time Emmy Award-winning, Berkeley-based documentary and television producer; and Michael Whalen, Assistant Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University and independent television and film producer.

First place was awarded to "Art Works," a film by Emily Munoz and Natalie Hon, which features an organization that makes art education accessible to children. The $10,000 award was shared with the Freestyle Academy of the Mountain View/Los Altos High Schools and The Imagine Bus Project (imaginebusproject.org).

Second place winner was "Sacey/Spa," a film by Melody C. Miller that deals with alleviating and preventing the sexual exploitation of children in the Bay Area. The $6,000 award was shared with San Leandro High School and Misssey (misssey.org).

Third place winner was "Beating the Unbeatable: Joe Wise," a film by Michael Hoff and Tim Jacob that covers the overcoming of a debilitating illness by Joe Wise, a world-class Paralympic swimmer. The $4,000 award was shared with Bellarmine College Preparatory and the Joe Wise Foundation.

Additionally, the organizing committee awarded $1,500 to Christina Marie Star Riders (cmstarriders.com), which offers horse-riding therapy to handicapped children and is profiled in "Star Riders" by fourth place winner Tom MacVicar of Carmel High School. Two films tied for fifth place, and $1,000 was awarded to each of the nonprofits they represented. Reading Partners (readingpartners.org) was the beneficiary of Castilleja High School's Tayo Amos' film, "The Victory over Illiteracy," which features local author Anthony Hamilton. Sacred Heart Community Service (shcstheheart.org), a local agency that fights poverty, was the subject of Presentation High School's Brittany Ricketts and Jessica Scarborough's film, entitled "Unite to Fight."

In recognition of their outstanding accomplishments, the other five semifinalists were awarded $500 each for their featured nonprofits (visit sidocfest.com for details).

Dereck Hoekstra of Valley Christian High School won a special organizer's award for Creativity and Technical Excellence for his film "Fault Point," which included a $1,500 scholarship.

The Terry McElhatton Memorial Award recognizes the dedication of an educator to the teaching of documentary filmmaking, as represented by the number of films submitted to the SI DocFest. It is named after its original winner and friend of the SI DocFest, the late Terry McElhatton. The winner this year was Nate Marshall of Valley Christian High School, and a $1,500 award was presented to Valley Christian's video production program in Nate's honor.

The event was hosted by SI DocFest organizers and co-founders, sisters Monica Alba and Loreli Alba, a graduate from and current student at the University of Southern California, respectively. Camera Cinemas, the leading independent movie theater company in the South Bay, was an official sponsor and the host of the SI DocFest 2010.

Do Good Docs is a non-profit organization located in San Jose, California. Its first project has been the sponsoring and organizing of the Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest), while two more initiatives focused on socially responsible filmmaking are in their early stages.

For nearly 35 years, Camera Cinemas has been presenting a wide variety of well-made, intelligent films, from re-released classics to independents, international to mainstream. With four distinct locations - Camera 7 Cinemas, the state-of-the-art multiplex in Campbell's Pruneyard Shopping Center; the Art Deco neighborhood theater, Los Gatos Cinemas in downtown Los Gatos; the three-level Camera 12 Cinemas, and the newly re-opened Camera 3 Entertainment in downtown San Jose - Camera Cinemas has become an important institution in the local film community, making vital contributions to the cultural life of the San Jose area and representing the best of what the South Bay has to offer.

Copyright © 2010 Health & Medicine Week via NewsRx.com

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Top Films at SI DocFest 2010 Win $29,000 in Awards
02/22/2010
Pharma Business Week

The Third Annual Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest) was held at the Camera 12 Cinemas on Saturday, February 6, 2010. Awards totaling $29,000, provided by sponsor and organizer Do Good Docs Corporation, were shared by the top films, the high schools they represented, and their designated nonprofit organizations (see also ).

A panel of independent judges ranked the ten semifinalist films and their combined scores yielded the winners. These judges were Blanche Araj-Shaheen, TV production professional and host of KTEH's "Video I;" Dr. Felix Gutierrez, Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School and a Bay Area resident; Jan Krawitz, a distinguished documentary filmmaker and Director of the M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University; Ray Telles, a three-time Emmy Award-winning, Berkeley-based documentary and television producer; and Michael Whalen, Assistant Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University and independent television and film producer.

First place was awarded to "Art Works," a film by Emily Munoz and Natalie Hon, which features an organization that makes art education accessible to children. The $10,000 award was shared with the Freestyle Academy of the Mountain View/Los Altos High Schools and The Imagine Bus Project (imaginebusproject.org).

Second place winner was "Sacey/Spa," a film by Melody C. Miller that deals with alleviating and preventing the sexual exploitation of children in the Bay Area. The $6,000 award was shared with San Leandro High School and Misssey (misssey.org).

Third place winner was "Beating the Unbeatable: Joe Wise," a film by Michael Hoff and Tim Jacob that covers the overcoming of a debilitating illness by Joe Wise, a world-class Paralympic swimmer. The $4,000 award was shared with Bellarmine College Preparatory and the Joe Wise Foundation.

Additionally, the organizing committee awarded $1,500 to Christina Marie Star Riders (cmstarriders.com), which offers horse-riding therapy to handicapped children and is profiled in "Star Riders" by fourth place winner Tom MacVicar of Carmel High School. Two films tied for fifth place, and $1,000 was awarded to each of the nonprofits they represented. Reading Partners (readingpartners.org) was the beneficiary of Castilleja High School's Tayo Amos' film, "The Victory over Illiteracy," which features local author Anthony Hamilton. Sacred Heart Community Service (shcstheheart.org), a local agency that fights poverty, was the subject of Presentation High School's Brittany Ricketts and Jessica Scarborough's film, entitled "Unite to Fight."

In recognition of their outstanding accomplishments, the other five semifinalists were awarded $500 each for their featured nonprofits (visit sidocfest.com for details).

Dereck Hoekstra of Valley Christian High School won a special organizer's award for Creativity and Technical Excellence for his film "Fault Point," which included a $1,500 scholarship.

The Terry McElhatton Memorial Award recognizes the dedication of an educator to the teaching of documentary filmmaking, as represented by the number of films submitted to the SI DocFest. It is named after its original winner and friend of the SI DocFest, the late Terry McElhatton. The winner this year was Nate Marshall of Valley Christian High School, and a $1,500 award was presented to Valley Christian's video production program in Nate's honor.

The event was hosted by SI DocFest organizers and co-founders, sisters Monica Alba and Loreli Alba, a graduate from and current student at the University of Southern California, respectively. Camera Cinemas, the leading independent movie theater company in the South Bay, was an official sponsor and the host of the SI DocFest 2010.

Do Good Docs is a non-profit organization located in San Jose, California. Its first project has been the sponsoring and organizing of the Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest (SI DocFest), while two more initiatives focused on socially responsible filmmaking are in their early stages.

For nearly 35 years, Camera Cinemas has been presenting a wide variety of well-made, intelligent films, from re-released classics to independents, international to mainstream. With four distinct locations - Camera 7 Cinemas, the state-of-the-art multiplex in Campbell's Pruneyard Shopping Center; the Art Deco neighborhood theater, Los Gatos Cinemas in downtown Los Gatos; the three-level Camera 12 Cinemas, and the newly re-opened Camera 3 Entertainment in downtown San Jose - Camera Cinemas has become an important institution in the local film community, making vital contributions to the cultural life of the San Jose area and representing the best of what the South Bay has to offer.

Copyright © 2010 Pharma Business Week via NewsRx.com

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NGCSU ROTC battalion named tops in U.S. | View Clip
02/22/2010
AccessNorthGa.com

DAHLONEGA - North Georgia College & State University's Corps of Cadets has been named the top Army ROTC battalion in the nation by Cadet Command and the MacArthur Foundation.

North Georgia was among eight Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs honored Feb. 2 during the annual U.S. Army Cadet Command Winter Commander's Conference. The awards recognize unit performance based on the ideals of the late Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

This year's winners were: North Georgia College & State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of North Dakota, Campbell University, Cameron University, Georgia Southern University, University of Cincinnati and Santa Clara University.

North Georgia previously received the MacArthur Award in 1991 and 1995.

Cadet Command, the parent organization of Army ROTC, in conjunction with the Norfolk, Va.-based General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, has presented the awards each year since 1989.

"The awards recognize the individual units within the Army ROTC program that have achieved the standards that best represent the ideals of the watch words of 'duty, honor, country' as practiced by General MacArthur," said retired Marine Corps Col. William J. Davis, the foundation's executive director.

Cadet Command's commanding general, Maj. Gen. Arthur M. Bartell, thanked Davis and the foundation for supporting Army ROTC over the years with the awards and for keeping MacArthur's legacy alive.

"It means a lot to the schools to receive this award, and it is the pinnacle for the brigade leadership represented here today," Bartell said. "Again, on behalf of the 35,000 cadets within the command, I want to thank you for your continuing support of the Army ROTC program."

The Army ROTC battalions selected for the awards were the most successful of the command's 273 units in accomplishing the mission of training and commissioning the majority of the lieutenants entering the Army each year.

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The Stock Markets Little Shop of Horrors: And You Thought the Aftermath of 1929 Was Grim (125) | View Clip
02/21/2010
Journal of Investing

Do stocks always beat bonds? Do stocks necessarily beat inflation by 6%7% over long periods? Data from select foreign markets and pre-1926 U.S. markets call these shibboleths into question. Better to regard stocks as always a risky investment, independent of holding period, and regardless of immediate prior returns. Thus, buying after stocks have declined by 40% is no panacea. And, severe declines in excess of 40% are more common than with conventional asset allocation models, as the halcyon decades following the Depression might suggest.

Edward F McQuarrie is a professor at Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA. emcquarrie@scu.edu

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Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley | View Clip
02/21/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

With a veritable cornucopia of events scheduled for March 6, there probably won't be a tuxedo left to rent in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program will welcome Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello and honor San Jose Conservation Corps Executive Director Bob Hennessy at the Spirit of Ireland Award dinner at Hayes Mansion.

The Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission, meanwhile, will have a musical "Celebration of Russian Arts," starting at 6:30 p.m. at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose.

There will be wine flowing downtown as the movers and shakers of the San Jose Rotary Club get on board for "Ticket to Ride," its annual gala. Over at Bellarmine College Prep, the supporters of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools will be raising margarita glasses at its FIESTA 2010! fundraiser.

And Cinequest will be calling a wrap on the main part of the 20th film festival with its closing night movie, "Mother," at the California Theatre, followed by a party at South First Billiards.

With all that going on, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford might have been lucky it was forced to move its "Denim to Diamonds" fundraiser that night.

It's usually held at San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. But since Parkside Hall is being taken up by the "Star Trek" exhibit, the fundraiser beamed over to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

CRUSTACEAN CELEBRATION: There are still a few tables left for the

fifth annual Santa "Claws" Crab Feed on Saturday, which supports the San Jose Holiday Parade.

The crab-a-palooza gets going at 6 p.m. at the Camden Community Center. Call 408-794-6200 or go to www.sanjoseholidayparade.com/crab_feed.htm for ticket information.

BRONCOS ON TOP: If you're ever in a sticky situation, it would be good to have the Santa Clara University ROTC "Bronco Battalion" on your side.

The battalion, which also includes cadets from Stanford and San Jose State universities, was one of eight nationwide to win the MacArthur Award from the U.S. Army's Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

Santa Clara beat out 32 other West Coast programs after being judged on factors such as the physical fitness, navigation skills and leadership.

Cadets winning national-level awards this year included SJSU's Alejandra Del Rello and two recent Santa Clara graduates: 2nd Lt. Alexander Kneefe and 2nd Lt. Brittany Clark. Santa Clara's Lt. Col. Shawn Cowley was honored as military science professor of the year for the region.

FAMILY TIES: Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz will be speaking at San Jose State on Tuesday about "Freefall," his book on the current economic crisis.

The former Stanford professor, now at Columbia University, should enjoy the visit; His sister, Eloise Stiglitz, is San Jose State's associate vice president for student services.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/sjsu-stiglitz to register for the free 5 p.m. talk.

SAVE THE DATES: A baker's dozen of local women will appear in "The Vagina Monologues" Friday and Saturday at the Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose.

General admission tickets are $25 for the shows, which start at 8 p.m. It's a fundraiser for Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence, with a portion of the proceeds also going to the global V-Day efforts to stop violence against women.

Go to www.cslsj.org for more details.

BOOK 'EM: The Triton Museum in Santa Clara will be filled with food, music and, of course, art on Saturday, all for a good cause: Raising $10,000 for textbook scholarships for Mission College students.

The Book Bash starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes an auction. Tickets are just $20 (or $35 for a couple).

For tickets or details, contact Barbara Weigel at 408-855-5152 or send an e-mail to barbara_weigel@wvm.edu.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

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Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley | View Clip
02/21/2010
SiliconValley.com

With a veritable cornucopia of events scheduled for March 6, there probably won't be a tuxedo left to rent in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program will welcome Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello and honor San Jose Conservation Corps Executive Director Bob Hennessy at the Spirit of Ireland Award dinner at Hayes Mansion.

The Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission, meanwhile, will have a musical "Celebration of Russian Arts," starting at 6:30 p.m. at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose.

There will be wine flowing downtown as the movers and shakers of the San Jose Rotary Club get on board for "Ticket to Ride," its annual gala. Over at Bellarmine College Prep, the supporters of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools will be raising margarita glasses at its FIESTA 2010! fundraiser.

And Cinequest will be calling a wrap on the main part of the 20th film festival with its closing night movie, "Mother," at the California Theatre, followed by a party at South First Billiards.

With all that going on, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford might have been lucky it was forced to move its "Denim to Diamonds" fundraiser that night.

It's usually held at San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. But since Parkside Hall is being taken up by the "Star Trek" exhibit, the fundraiser beamed over to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

CRUSTACEAN CELEBRATION: There are still a few tables left for the

fifth annual Santa "Claws" Crab Feed on Saturday, which supports the San Jose Holiday Parade.

The crab-a-palooza gets going at 6 p.m. at the Camden Community Center. Call 408-794-6200 or go to www.sanjoseholidayparade.com/crab_feed.htm for ticket information.

BRONCOS ON TOP: If you're ever in a sticky situation, it would be good to have the Santa Clara University ROTC "Bronco Battalion" on your side.

The battalion, which also includes cadets from Stanford and San Jose State universities, was one of eight nationwide to win the MacArthur Award from the U.S. Army's Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

Santa Clara beat out 32 other West Coast programs after being judged on factors such as the physical fitness, navigation skills and leadership.

Cadets winning national-level awards this year included SJSU's Alejandra Del Rello and two recent Santa Clara graduates: 2nd Lt. Alexander Kneefe and 2nd Lt. Brittany Clark. Santa Clara's Lt. Col. Shawn Cowley was honored as military science professor of the year for the region.

FAMILY TIES: Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz will be speaking at San Jose State on Tuesday about "Freefall," his book on the current economic crisis.

The former Stanford professor, now at Columbia University, should enjoy the visit; His sister, Eloise Stiglitz, is San Jose State's associate vice president for student services.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/sjsu-stiglitz to register for the free 5 p.m. talk.

SAVE THE DATES: A baker's dozen of local women will appear in "The Vagina Monologues" Friday and Saturday at the Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose.

General admission tickets are $25 for the shows, which start at 8 p.m. It's a fundraiser for Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence, with a portion of the proceeds also going to the global V-Day efforts to stop violence against women.

Go to www.cslsj.org for more details.

BOOK 'EM: The Triton Museum in Santa Clara will be filled with food, music and, of course, art on Saturday, all for a good cause: Raising $10,000 for textbook scholarships for Mission College students.

The Book Bash starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes an auction. Tickets are just $20 (or $35 for a couple).

For tickets or details, contact Barbara Weigel at 408-855-5152 or send an e-mail to barbara_weigel@wvm.edu.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

Return to Top



Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley | View Clip
02/21/2010
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online

With a veritable cornucopia of events scheduled for March 6, there probably won't be a tuxedo left to rent in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program will welcome Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello and honor San Jose Conservation Corps Executive Director Bob Hennessy at the Spirit of Ireland Award dinner at Hayes Mansion.

The Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission, meanwhile, will have a musical "Celebration of Russian Arts," starting at 6:30 p.m. at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose.

There will be wine flowing downtown as the movers and shakers of the San Jose Rotary Club get on board for "Ticket to Ride," its annual gala. Over at Bellarmine College Prep, the supporters of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools will be raising margarita glasses at its FIESTA 2010! fundraiser.

And Cinequest will be calling a wrap on the main part of the 20th film festival with its closing night movie, "Mother," at the California Theatre, followed by a party at South First Billiards.

With all that going on, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford might have been lucky it was forced to move its "Denim to Diamonds" fundraiser that night.

It's usually held at San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. But since Parkside Hall is being taken up by the "Star Trek" exhibit, the fundraiser beamed over to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

CRUSTACEAN CELEBRATION: There are still a few tables left for the

fifth annual Santa "Claws" Crab Feed on Saturday, which supports the San Jose Holiday Parade.

The crab-a-palooza gets going at 6 p.m. at the Camden Community Center. Call 408-794-6200 or go to www.sanjoseholidayparade.com/crab_feed.htm for ticket information.

BRONCOS ON TOP: If you're ever in a sticky situation, it would be good to have the Santa Clara University ROTC "Bronco Battalion" on your side.

The battalion, which also includes cadets from Stanford and San Jose State universities, was one of eight nationwide to win the MacArthur Award from the U.S. Army's Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

Santa Clara beat out 32 other West Coast programs after being judged on factors such as the physical fitness, navigation skills and leadership.

Cadets winning national-level awards this year included SJSU's Alejandra Del Rello and two recent Santa Clara graduates: 2nd Lt. Alexander Kneefe and 2nd Lt. Brittany Clark. Santa Clara's Lt. Col. Shawn Cowley was honored as military science professor of the year for the region.

FAMILY TIES: Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz will be speaking at San Jose State on Tuesday about "Freefall," his book on the current economic crisis.

The former Stanford professor, now at Columbia University, should enjoy the visit; His sister, Eloise Stiglitz, is San Jose State's associate vice president for student services.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/sjsu-stiglitz to register for the free 5 p.m. talk.

SAVE THE DATES: A baker's dozen of local women will appear in "The Vagina Monologues" Friday and Saturday at the Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose.

General admission tickets are $25 for the shows, which start at 8 p.m. It's a fundraiser for Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence, with a portion of the proceeds also going to the global V-Day efforts to stop violence against women.

Go to www.cslsj.org for more details.

BOOK 'EM: The Triton Museum in Santa Clara will be filled with food, music and, of course, art on Saturday, all for a good cause: Raising $10,000 for textbook scholarships for Mission College students.

The Book Bash starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes an auction. Tickets are just $20 (or $35 for a couple).

For tickets or details, contact Barbara Weigel at 408-855-5152 or send an e-mail to barbara_weigel@wvm.edu.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

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Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley | View Clip
02/21/2010
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

With a veritable cornucopia of events scheduled for March 6, there probably won't be a tuxedo left to rent in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program will welcome Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello and honor San Jose Conservation Corps Executive Director Bob Hennessy at the Spirit of Ireland Award dinner at Hayes Mansion.

The Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission, meanwhile, will have a musical "Celebration of Russian Arts," starting at 6:30 p.m. at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose.

There will be wine flowing downtown as the movers and shakers of the San Jose Rotary Club get on board for "Ticket to Ride," its annual gala. Over at Bellarmine College Prep, the supporters of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools will be raising margarita glasses at its FIESTA 2010! fundraiser.

And Cinequest will be calling a wrap on the main part of the 20th film festival with its closing night movie, "Mother," at the California Theatre, followed by a party at South First Billiards.

With all that going on, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford might have been lucky it was forced to move its "Denim to Diamonds" fundraiser that night.

It's usually held at San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. But since Parkside Hall is being taken up by the "Star Trek" exhibit, the fundraiser beamed over to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

CRUSTACEAN CELEBRATION: There are still a few tables left for the

fifth annual Santa "Claws" Crab Feed on Saturday, which supports the San Jose Holiday Parade.

The crab-a-palooza gets going at 6 p.m. at the Camden Community Center. Call 408-794-6200 or go to www.sanjoseholidayparade.com/crab_feed.htm for ticket information.

BRONCOS ON TOP: If you're ever in a sticky situation, it would be good to have the Santa Clara University ROTC "Bronco Battalion" on your side.

The battalion, which also includes cadets from Stanford and San Jose State universities, was one of eight nationwide to win the MacArthur Award from the U.S. Army's Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

Santa Clara beat out 32 other West Coast programs after being judged on factors such as the physical fitness, navigation skills and leadership.

Cadets winning national-level awards this year included SJSU's Alejandra Del Rello and two recent Santa Clara graduates: 2nd Lt. Alexander Kneefe and 2nd Lt. Brittany Clark. Santa Clara's Lt. Col. Shawn Cowley was honored as military science professor of the year for the region.

FAMILY TIES: Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz will be speaking at San Jose State on Tuesday about "Freefall," his book on the current economic crisis.

The former Stanford professor, now at Columbia University, should enjoy the visit; His sister, Eloise Stiglitz, is San Jose State's associate vice president for student services.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/sjsu-stiglitz to register for the free 5 p.m. talk.

SAVE THE DATES: A baker's dozen of local women will appear in "The Vagina Monologues" Friday and Saturday at the Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose.

General admission tickets are $25 for the shows, which start at 8 p.m. It's a fundraiser for Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence, with a portion of the proceeds also going to the global V-Day efforts to stop violence against women.

Go to www.cslsj.org for more details.

BOOK 'EM: The Triton Museum in Santa Clara will be filled with food, music and, of course, art on Saturday, all for a good cause: Raising $10,000 for textbook scholarships for Mission College students.

The Book Bash starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes an auction. Tickets are just $20 (or $35 for a couple).

For tickets or details, contact Barbara Weigel at 408-855-5152 or send an e-mail to barbara_weigel@wvm.edu.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

Return to Top



Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley | View Clip
02/21/2010
Whittier Daily News

With a veritable cornucopia of events scheduled for March 6, there probably won't be a tuxedo left to rent in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program will welcome Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello and honor San Jose Conservation Corps Executive Director Bob Hennessy at the Spirit of Ireland Award dinner at Hayes Mansion.

The Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission, meanwhile, will have a musical "Celebration of Russian Arts," starting at 6:30 p.m. at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose.

There will be wine flowing downtown as the movers and shakers of the San Jose Rotary Club get on board for "Ticket to Ride," its annual gala. Over at Bellarmine College Prep, the supporters of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools will be raising margarita glasses at its FIESTA 2010! fundraiser.

And Cinequest will be calling a wrap on the main part of the 20th film festival with its closing night movie, "Mother," at the California Theatre, followed by a party at South First Billiards.

With all that going on, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford might have been lucky it was forced to move its "Denim to Diamonds" fundraiser that night.

It's usually held at San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. But since Parkside Hall is being taken up by the "Star Trek" exhibit, the fundraiser beamed over to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

CRUSTACEAN CELEBRATION: There are still a few tables left for the

fifth annual Santa "Claws" Crab Feed on Saturday, which supports the San Jose Holiday Parade.

The crab-a-palooza gets going at 6 p.m. at the Camden Community Center. Call 408-794-6200 or go to www.sanjoseholidayparade.com/crab_feed.htm for ticket information.

BRONCOS ON TOP: If you're ever in a sticky situation, it would be good to have the Santa Clara University ROTC "Bronco Battalion" on your side.

The battalion, which also includes cadets from Stanford and San Jose State universities, was one of eight nationwide to win the MacArthur Award from the U.S. Army's Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

Santa Clara beat out 32 other West Coast programs after being judged on factors such as the physical fitness, navigation skills and leadership.

Cadets winning national-level awards this year included SJSU's Alejandra Del Rello and two recent Santa Clara graduates: 2nd Lt. Alexander Kneefe and 2nd Lt. Brittany Clark. Santa Clara's Lt. Col. Shawn Cowley was honored as military science professor of the year for the region.

FAMILY TIES: Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz will be speaking at San Jose State on Tuesday about "Freefall," his book on the current economic crisis.

The former Stanford professor, now at Columbia University, should enjoy the visit; His sister, Eloise Stiglitz, is San Jose State's associate vice president for student services.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/sjsu-stiglitz to register for the free 5 p.m. talk.

SAVE THE DATES: A baker's dozen of local women will appear in "The Vagina Monologues" Friday and Saturday at the Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose.

General admission tickets are $25 for the shows, which start at 8 p.m. It's a fundraiser for Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence, with a portion of the proceeds also going to the global V-Day efforts to stop violence against women.

Go to www.cslsj.org for more details.

BOOK 'EM: The Triton Museum in Santa Clara will be filled with food, music and, of course, art on Saturday, all for a good cause: Raising $10,000 for textbook scholarships for Mission College students.

The Book Bash starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes an auction. Tickets are just $20 (or $35 for a couple).

For tickets or details, contact Barbara Weigel at 408-855-5152 or send an e-mail to barbara_weigel@wvm.edu.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

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Stetz: Bring your invitation and your ignorance | View Clip
02/21/2010
San Diego Union-Tribune - Online

, UNION-TRIBUNE COLUMNIST

Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.

It's no surprise that college kids like to throw parties. You might be surprised by the kind of parties that some like to throw, though.

We got something of an idea last week when a number of UCSD students helped arrange a party called the “Compton Cookout,” which ridiculed African-Americans on the occasion of Black History Month.

That's actually a more common party theme than you might think. They also go by the names “Pimps and Hos,” and “Gangsta” or “Ghetto” parties.

At these gangsta parties, students wear gold chains. They drink malt liquor. They flash gang signs.

Fraternities also have thrown parties making fun of Latinos. At Santa Clara University, students came dressed as gardeners and janitors. Some of the women put balloons under their shirts to look pregnant.

Poor white people are targets, too. A fraternity at the University of Idaho throws a big one at the end of the year. Partyers wear overalls and John Deere caps to the “White Trash Trailer Bash.”

Here's another party concept: “Mekong Delta.” At the University of Florida, male students dressed up as U.S. soldiers and the women as Vietnamese prostitutes.

Whatever happened to togas?

So why is this happening? Daniel Widener, who teaches African-American history at UCSD, believes that the lack of black students on college campuses is partly to blame.

“The Cosby Show” probably boasted more blacks than UCSD. So the other students rarely get a chance to interact with average, everyday blacks, Widener said.

They get their cues from TV, which often portrays young blacks as gangsters and thugs, Widener said. And they aren't told when they're crossing the line because there's no one to tell them so.

Society, in general, has tired of hearing about the plight of minorities, Widener said. That's particularly true now, given how the economy is hurting all people, whites included. So fewer college students feel empathy.

They may even feel threatened by the rise of minorities, such as President Barack Obama.

Some students said that those involved in the party are not racists. They're just normal guys who weren't thinking, said Debbie Sert, a member of the sorority TriDelta.

“They were trying to be funny,” Sert said. “But it was ridiculous. I'd never take part in it.”

On campus last week, she was selling calendars that pictured members of different campus fraternities. The money is going to a local hospital.

“We're shocked because it's not what the Greek community is about,” Sert said.

Members of Pi Kappa Alpha — also known as Pike — the fraternity in question, are pictured in the calendar. They represent the month of August and are pictured in Speedos and holding foam noodles, which help keep you afloat.

In the back of the calendar is another picture of the students. There, they have the noodles sticking out from their crotches.

They've since cleared out their Web site, which had pictures of them partying. And partying.

They wouldn't return phone calls or e-mails.

UCSD got hit with more controversy when a student-run television show was aired Thursday defending the students who threw the party and criticizing blacks for being offended.

Regardless of how anyone feels about what the students did — and some feel it was no big deal, that it was just a joke — some argue the students do indeed have the right to have their party.

Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tenn., noted how the First Amendment “allows people to say hurtful and insulting things.”

It would be wrong to suppress it, Policinski said. Indeed, it sometimes works out better if such speech is aired. That way, people can rally to fight against it.

“It promotes more speech,” he said.

That's already happening at UCSD. For one thing, the party invitation, which described “ghetto chicks” as having “short nappy hair” and “cheap weave,” turned viral because people were outraged over it.

And the incident is sparking a loud call for the university to do a better job in recruiting blacks and fostering a more welcoming campus.

One of the colleges there is named after Thurgood Marshall. Let's see if they can start living up to it.

Michael Stetz: (619) 293-1720; michael.stetz@uniontrib.com

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Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley | View Clip
02/21/2010
Pasadena Star-News - Online

With a veritable cornucopia of events scheduled for March 6, there probably won't be a tuxedo left to rent in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program will welcome Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello and honor San Jose Conservation Corps Executive Director Bob Hennessy at the Spirit of Ireland Award dinner at Hayes Mansion.

The Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission, meanwhile, will have a musical "Celebration of Russian Arts," starting at 6:30 p.m. at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose.

There will be wine flowing downtown as the movers and shakers of the San Jose Rotary Club get on board for "Ticket to Ride," its annual gala. Over at Bellarmine College Prep, the supporters of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools will be raising margarita glasses at its FIESTA 2010! fundraiser.

And Cinequest will be calling a wrap on the main part of the 20th film festival with its closing night movie, "Mother," at the California Theatre, followed by a party at South First Billiards.

With all that going on, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford might have been lucky it was forced to move its "Denim to Diamonds" fundraiser that night.

It's usually held at San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. But since Parkside Hall is being taken up by the "Star Trek" exhibit, the fundraiser beamed over to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

CRUSTACEAN CELEBRATION: There are still a few tables left for the

fifth annual Santa "Claws" Crab Feed on Saturday, which supports the San Jose Holiday Parade.

The crab-a-palooza gets going at 6 p.m. at the Camden Community Center. Call 408-794-6200 or go to www.sanjoseholidayparade.com/crab_feed.htm for ticket information.

BRONCOS ON TOP: If you're ever in a sticky situation, it would be good to have the Santa Clara University ROTC "Bronco Battalion" on your side.

The battalion, which also includes cadets from Stanford and San Jose State universities, was one of eight nationwide to win the MacArthur Award from the U.S. Army's Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

Santa Clara beat out 32 other West Coast programs after being judged on factors such as the physical fitness, navigation skills and leadership.

Cadets winning national-level awards this year included SJSU's Alejandra Del Rello and two recent Santa Clara graduates: 2nd Lt. Alexander Kneefe and 2nd Lt. Brittany Clark. Santa Clara's Lt. Col. Shawn Cowley was honored as military science professor of the year for the region.

FAMILY TIES: Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz will be speaking at San Jose State on Tuesday about "Freefall," his book on the current economic crisis.

The former Stanford professor, now at Columbia University, should enjoy the visit; His sister, Eloise Stiglitz, is San Jose State's associate vice president for student services.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/sjsu-stiglitz to register for the free 5 p.m. talk.

SAVE THE DATES: A baker's dozen of local women will appear in "The Vagina Monologues" Friday and Saturday at the Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose.

General admission tickets are $25 for the shows, which start at 8 p.m. It's a fundraiser for Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence, with a portion of the proceeds also going to the global V-Day efforts to stop violence against women.

Go to www.cslsj.org for more details.

BOOK 'EM: The Triton Museum in Santa Clara will be filled with food, music and, of course, art on Saturday, all for a good cause: Raising $10,000 for textbook scholarships for Mission College students.

The Book Bash starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes an auction. Tickets are just $20 (or $35 for a couple).

For tickets or details, contact Barbara Weigel at 408-855-5152 or send an e-mail to barbara_weigel@wvm.edu.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

Return to Top



Pizarro: Big party night on the horizon for Silicon Valley | View Clip
02/21/2010
Press-Telegram - Online

With a veritable cornucopia of events scheduled for March 6, there probably won't be a tuxedo left to rent in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program will welcome Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello and honor San Jose Conservation Corps Executive Director Bob Hennessy at the Spirit of Ireland Award dinner at Hayes Mansion.

The Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission, meanwhile, will have a musical "Celebration of Russian Arts," starting at 6:30 p.m. at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose.

There will be wine flowing downtown as the movers and shakers of the San Jose Rotary Club get on board for "Ticket to Ride," its annual gala. Over at Bellarmine College Prep, the supporters of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools will be raising margarita glasses at its FIESTA 2010! fundraiser.

And Cinequest will be calling a wrap on the main part of the 20th film festival with its closing night movie, "Mother," at the California Theatre, followed by a party at South First Billiards.

With all that going on, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford might have been lucky it was forced to move its "Denim to Diamonds" fundraiser that night.

It's usually held at San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. But since Parkside Hall is being taken up by the "Star Trek" exhibit, the fundraiser beamed over to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

CRUSTACEAN CELEBRATION: There are still a few tables left for the

fifth annual Santa "Claws" Crab Feed on Saturday, which supports the San Jose Holiday Parade.

The crab-a-palooza gets going at 6 p.m. at the Camden Community Center. Call 408-794-6200 or go to www.sanjoseholidayparade.com/crab_feed.htm for ticket information.

BRONCOS ON TOP: If you're ever in a sticky situation, it would be good to have the Santa Clara University ROTC "Bronco Battalion" on your side.

The battalion, which also includes cadets from Stanford and San Jose State universities, was one of eight nationwide to win the MacArthur Award from the U.S. Army's Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

Santa Clara beat out 32 other West Coast programs after being judged on factors such as the physical fitness, navigation skills and leadership.

Cadets winning national-level awards this year included SJSU's Alejandra Del Rello and two recent Santa Clara graduates: 2nd Lt. Alexander Kneefe and 2nd Lt. Brittany Clark. Santa Clara's Lt. Col. Shawn Cowley was honored as military science professor of the year for the region.

FAMILY TIES: Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz will be speaking at San Jose State on Tuesday about "Freefall," his book on the current economic crisis.

The former Stanford professor, now at Columbia University, should enjoy the visit; His sister, Eloise Stiglitz, is San Jose State's associate vice president for student services.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/sjsu-stiglitz to register for the free 5 p.m. talk.

SAVE THE DATES: A baker's dozen of local women will appear in "The Vagina Monologues" Friday and Saturday at the Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose.

General admission tickets are $25 for the shows, which start at 8 p.m. It's a fundraiser for Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence, with a portion of the proceeds also going to the global V-Day efforts to stop violence against women.

Go to www.cslsj.org for more details.

BOOK 'EM: The Triton Museum in Santa Clara will be filled with food, music and, of course, art on Saturday, all for a good cause: Raising $10,000 for textbook scholarships for Mission College students.

The Book Bash starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes an auction. Tickets are just $20 (or $35 for a couple).

For tickets or details, contact Barbara Weigel at 408-855-5152 or send an e-mail to barbara_weigel@wvm.edu.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

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BLACK TIE OPTIONAL THE ORDER OF THE DAY
02/21/2010
San Jose Mercury News

With a veritable cornucopia of events scheduled for March 6, there probably won't be a tuxedo left to rent in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program will welcome Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello and honor San Jose Conservation Corps Executive Director Bob Hennessy at the Spirit of Ireland Award dinner at Hayes Mansion.

The Santa Clara/Moscow Sister County Commission, meanwhile, will have a musical "Celebration of Russian Arts," starting at 6:30 p.m. at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose.

There will be wine flowing downtown as the movers and shakers of the San Jose Rotary Club get on board for "Ticket to Ride," its annual gala. Over at Bellarmine College Prep, the supporters of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools will be raising margarita glasses at its FIESTA 2010! fundraiser.

And Cinequest will be calling a wrap on the main part of the 20th film festival with its closing night movie, "Mother," at the California Theatre, followed by a party at South First Billiards.

With all that going on, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford might have been lucky it was forced to move its "Denim to Diamonds" fundraiser that night.

It's usually held at San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation. But since Parkside Hall is being taken up by the "Star Trek" exhibit, the fundraiser beamed over to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

CRUSTACEAN CELEBRATION: There are still a few tables left for the fifth annual Santa "Claws" Crab Feed on Saturday, which supports the San Jose Holiday Parade.

The crab-a-palooza gets going at 6 p.m. at the Camden Community Center. Call 408-794-6200 or go to www.sanjoseholidayparade.com/crab_feed.htm for ticket information.

BRONCOS ON TOP: If you're ever in a sticky situation, it would be good to have the Santa Clara University ROTC "Bronco Battalion" on your side.

The battalion, which also includes cadets from Stanford and San Jose State universities, was one of eight nationwide to win the MacArthur Award from the U.S. Army's Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

Santa Clara beat out 32 other West Coast programs after being judged on factors such as the physical fitness, navigation skills and leadership.

Cadets winning national-level awards this year included SJSU's Alejandra Del Rello and two recent Santa Clara graduates: 2nd Lt. Alexander Kneefe and 2nd Lt. Brittany Clark. Santa Clara's Lt. Col. Shawn Cowley was honored as military science professor of the year for the region.

FAMILY TIES: Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz will be speaking at San Jose State on Tuesday about "Freefall," his book on the current economic crisis.

The former Stanford professor, now at Columbia University, should enjoy the visit; His sister, Eloise Stiglitz, is San Jose State's associate vice president for student services.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/sjsu-stiglitz to register for the free 5 p.m. talk.

SAVE THE DATES: A baker's dozen of local women will appear in "The Vagina Monologues" Friday and Saturday at the Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose.

General admission tickets are $25 for the shows, which start at 8 p.m. It's a fundraiser for Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence, with a portion of the proceeds also going to the global V-Day efforts to stop violence against women.

Go to www.cslsj.org for more details.

BOOK 'EM: The Triton Museum in Santa Clara will be filled with food, music and, of course, art on Saturday, all for a good cause: Raising $10,000 for textbook scholarships for Mission College students.

The Book Bash starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes an auction. Tickets are just $20 (or $35 for a couple).

For tickets or details, contact Barbara Weigel at 408-855-5152 or send an e-mail to barbara_weigel@wvm.edu.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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In Norwalk, citizens speak but TV viewers don't hear | View Clip
02/20/2010
Los Angeles Times - Online

Like most towns, Norwalk broadcasts its City Council meetings on its government access cable channel. But unlike most cities, Norwalk blacks out the portion of the meeting where residents step to the microphone and speak their mind. As soon as residents start taking turns sounding off on civic affairs, the cameras are shut down.

"We stop as soon as they get to oral communications," said Sherian Mussegek, the city's production supervisor. "That's it. We're off."

Neither Mayor Cheri Kelley nor longtime City Manager Ernie Garcia returned calls or e-mails to explain why the council adopted the policy, but Vice Mayor Gordon Stefanhagen said, "It just went that way and we did it. I don't know why."

Though viewers may be denied the opportunity to witness the liveliest portion of most council meetings, 1st Amendment experts said the policy appears legal, as long as everyone is blacked out and it's not just specific speakers being censored.

Still, public policy experts said they'd never heard of such a blackout rule.

"You're kidding?" said former Santa Clara Mayor Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. "The idea of cutting off the public from access to what fellow citizens have on their mind is troubling. There's no excuse for that."

Said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles: "Oh, my goodness. That's a new one for me. How petty can you get?"

Stern said that during the cablecasts of Los Angeles City Council meetings, while it might appear as if most council members are not paying attention to the speakers, at least their comments are being broadcast.

Although it is rare for cities to black out comments from its citizens, several Southern California cities have at least considered it, usually because council members disliked the bashing they often received. The Garden Grove Council decided to black out the public comments portion 10 years ago but reinstated it a year later. Earlier proposals from council members in Pomona and Thousand Oaks were withdrawn because of the firestorm that ensued.

Meanwhile, in Carson, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office is investigating whether the mayor is employing a form of censorship by using a mute button to silence community members and council members, a potential violation of the state open meetings law.

Jennifer Lentz Snyder, assistant head deputy of the D.A.'s Public Integrity Division, said the Norwalk policy did not appear to violate the Brown Act.

The Norwalk council approved the blackout policy in 2004, censoring what it calls "oral communications" from broadcasts of the City Council and planning commission.

"I feel it's an opportunity for open communications and the video should roll," said Jesse Luera, the only council member who voted against the policy.

During oral communications, members of the audience can speak for five minutes on anything to do with the city, the closest thing most cities have to a speakers' corner. The freewheeling monologues can range from harsh criticism of city officials to announcing that the Girl Scouts are holding a pancake breakfast.

Those watching some cities' council meetings at home can become so exercised about what they hear that they march into meetings to speak their minds wearing slippers and a coat over their nightclothes.

State law requires a city to offer the public a chance to speak out at council meetings, said JoAnne Speers, executive director of the Institute for Local Government in Sacramento.

Stern said he suspected that the Norwalk council's reason for the blackout was "it didn't want to give publicity to these gadflies."

Two of Norwalk's most prominent self-described gadflies agreed.

Jerry Ori, a management consultant, said Mayor Kelley told him that Ori would bring up issues at council meetings to which she had no answers when people later asked her about them.

Bob Hoskins said Ori's criticism of a councilman's use of his city credit card on a Palm Springs trip prompted the council to adopt the blackout.

"There are two gadflies these people don't want to hear, don't want to see, and they're going to stifle them," said Hoskins, a retired MTA clerk. "To me it's a form a censorship."

jeff.gottlieb@latimes.com

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Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation | View Clip
02/20/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Even at a college not run by Jesuits, it's possible that Parents Weekend could include a discussion of student ethics. But at Santa Clara University on Friday, a crowd of about 100 parents — and a handful of their nervous-looking offspring — enacted a sort of morality Mardi Gras that was convened by the Catholic university's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

The program was called "10 Ethical Choices Every College Student Faces" — catechism as catnip for parents experiencing "anxiety over their children's experience in college," theorized Kirk Hanson earlier in the day. As executive director of the Markkula Center, he presented a set of ethical dilemmas and moderated the lively discussion.

The idea was to identify potential ethical lapses before they happen, said Hanson, who isn't a man of the cloth, but does have three adult children. "That's particularly important for college students," he said. "They are so new to so many things in life. Most of them are away from home for the first time and without their parents looking over their shoulder for the first time."

The room was filled with parents whose heads were developing gray areas, but whose ethics were not. Deborah McHenry of Fresno attended with her daughter Kat, a sophomore studying to be a marine biologist.

"I told her I wanted her to come here, because I feel Santa Clara does place importance on ethics," Deborah said. "As a parent, you know your kids are faced

with these issues. It's great to be able to sit with her and hear the discussion, to go, 'Is she making the right choices? Does she know how to handle this stuff when it comes up?'"Š"

Both piped up during the discussion, which dealt with issues such as whether parents should dictate what their children study because they're paying the bills, and whether students should call authorities when a roommate passes out from drinking — a hot-button topic on the Santa Clara campus recently.

That was covered by one of the ethical dilemmas posed by Hanson: "How much should I help my friends?" Kat McHenry said the questions were all familiar to anyone who lives in a college dorm. "I face all 10 of those choices," she said, "and you're going to face them on any campus."

Unavoidable dilemmas

Hanson insisted the Jesuits don't have a monopoly on ethical rectitude, and that the Markkula Center is not a place for deep-dish philosophizing. "We're hands-on ethics," he said.

His list of ethical "choices" was a little bit Ten Commandments, with a touch of David Letterman's Top 10 list. "But we're more Moses than Letterman," Hanson asserted.

He posed questions to the parents about how much risk they should let their children take, and how they treat each one equally. That drew a knowing chuckle from the crowd, especially Steve Lass and his wife, Diana Poole, both of Denver, who were visiting their son Sam, a freshman. "We have three freshmen because we have triplets," Poole said. "I figured if there are 10 unavoidable ethical dilemmas, it would be nice to find out what they are."

When Hanson taught at the Stanford business school, he based one of his courses on the 20 ethical dilemmas common to a career in business. His Parents Weekend seminar suggested he's downsizing. Either that, or he's got research indicating that dorm life corrupts, and commerce corrupts absolutely.

"There are some people who are evil," Hanson said. "But more commonly, it's that we don't see an ethical issue, so we blunder into it. Or that we haven't thought about how to insulate ourselves from all the temptations — the incentives to do the wrong thing."

Set free from the constraints of parental oversight, the last thing on the minds of many college students is insulating themselves from temptation. If college isn't incentive to get into as many ethical dilemmas as possible, after all, what is?

Hanson's presentation Friday was not prescriptive, with one exception. "Wagging your finger at college students doesn't get you very far," he said.

Contact Bruce Newman at 408-920-5004.

10 ethical dilemmas students face

1. How much studying do I have to do? Can I party all the time?

2. Can my parents tell me what to do when I"m in college?

3. What kind of behavior respects my roommate?

4. How much should I help my friends?

5. What does sex mean to me? When is intimacy appropriate?

6. What is cheating in academic work?

7. When are drugs permitted?

8. How honest do I have to be about myself?

9. What is my obligation to my own religion and beliefs?

10. Do I have to tolerate everyone I meet?

Return to Top



Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation | View Clip
02/20/2010
Whittier Daily News

Even at a college not run by Jesuits, it's possible that Parents Weekend could include a discussion of student ethics. But at Santa Clara University on Friday, a crowd of about 100 parents — and a handful of their nervous-looking offspring — enacted a sort of morality Mardi Gras that was convened by the Catholic university's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

The program was called "10 Ethical Choices Every College Student Faces" — catechism as catnip for parents experiencing "anxiety over their children's experience in college," theorized Kirk Hanson earlier in the day. As executive director of the Markkula Center, he presented a set of ethical dilemmas and moderated the lively discussion.

The idea was to identify potential ethical lapses before they happen, said Hanson, who isn't a man of the cloth, but does have three adult children. "That's particularly important for college students," he said. "They are so new to so many things in life. Most of them are away from home for the first time and without their parents looking over their shoulder for the first time."

The room was filled with parents whose heads were developing gray areas, but whose ethics were not. Deborah McHenry of Fresno attended with her daughter Kat, a sophomore studying to be a marine biologist.

"I told her I wanted her to come here, because I feel Santa Clara does place importance on ethics," Deborah said. "As a parent, you know your kids are faced

with these issues. It's great to be able to sit with her and hear the discussion, to go, 'Is she making the right choices? Does she know how to handle this stuff when it comes up?'"Š"

Both piped up during the discussion, which dealt with issues such as whether parents should dictate what their children study because they're paying the bills, and whether students should call authorities when a roommate passes out from drinking — a hot-button topic on the Santa Clara campus recently.

That was covered by one of the ethical dilemmas posed by Hanson: "How much should I help my friends?" Kat McHenry said the questions were all familiar to anyone who lives in a college dorm. "I face all 10 of those choices," she said, "and you're going to face them on any campus."

Unavoidable dilemmas

Hanson insisted the Jesuits don't have a monopoly on ethical rectitude, and that the Markkula Center is not a place for deep-dish philosophizing. "We're hands-on ethics," he said.

His list of ethical "choices" was a little bit Ten Commandments, with a touch of David Letterman's Top 10 list. "But we're more Moses than Letterman," Hanson asserted.

He posed questions to the parents about how much risk they should let their children take, and how they treat each one equally. That drew a knowing chuckle from the crowd, especially Steve Lass and his wife, Diana Poole, both of Denver, who were visiting their son Sam, a freshman. "We have three freshmen because we have triplets," Poole said. "I figured if there are 10 unavoidable ethical dilemmas, it would be nice to find out what they are."

When Hanson taught at the Stanford business school, he based one of his courses on the 20 ethical dilemmas common to a career in business. His Parents Weekend seminar suggested he's downsizing. Either that, or he's got research indicating that dorm life corrupts, and commerce corrupts absolutely.

"There are some people who are evil," Hanson said. "But more commonly, it's that we don't see an ethical issue, so we blunder into it. Or that we haven't thought about how to insulate ourselves from all the temptations — the incentives to do the wrong thing."

Set free from the constraints of parental oversight, the last thing on the minds of many college students is insulating themselves from temptation. If college isn't incentive to get into as many ethical dilemmas as possible, after all, what is?

Hanson's presentation Friday was not prescriptive, with one exception. "Wagging your finger at college students doesn't get you very far," he said.

Contact Bruce Newman at 408-920-5004.

10 ethical dilemmas students face

1. How much studying do I have to do? Can I party all the time?

2. Can my parents tell me what to do when I"m in college?

3. What kind of behavior respects my roommate?

4. How much should I help my friends?

5. What does sex mean to me? When is intimacy appropriate?

6. What is cheating in academic work?

7. When are drugs permitted?

8. How honest do I have to be about myself?

9. What is my obligation to my own religion and beliefs?

10. Do I have to tolerate everyone I meet?

Return to Top



CALIFORNIA
02/20/2010
Los Angeles Times

Like most towns, Norwalk broadcasts its City Council meetings on its government access cable channel. But unlike most cities, Norwalk blacks out the portion of the meeting where residents step to the microphone and speak their mind. As soon as residents start taking turns sounding off on civic affairs, the cameras are shut down.

"We stop as soon as they get to oral communications," said Sherian Mussegek, the city's production supervisor. "That's it. We're off."

Neither Mayor Cheri Kelley nor longtime City Manager Ernie Garcia returned calls or e-mails to explain why the council adopted the policy, but Vice Mayor Gordon Stefanhagen said, "It just went that way and we did it. I don't know why."

Though viewers may be denied the opportunity to witness the liveliest portion of most council meetings, 1st Amendment experts said the policy appears legal, as long as everyone is blacked out and it's not just specific speakers being censored.

Still, public policy experts said they'd never heard of such a blackout rule.

"You're kidding?" said former Santa Clara Mayor Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. "The idea of cutting off the public from access to what fellow citizens have on their mind is troubling. There's no excuse for that."

Said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles: "Oh, my goodness. That's a new one for me. How petty can you get?"

Stern said that during the cablecasts of Los Angeles City Council meetings, while it might appear as if most council members are not paying attention to the speakers, at least their comments are being broadcast.

Although it is rare for cities to black out comments from its citizens, several Southern California cities have at least considered it, usually because council members disliked the bashing they often received. The Garden Grove Council decided to black out the public comments portion 10 years ago but reinstated it a year later. Earlier proposals from council members in Pomona and Thousand Oaks were withdrawn because of the firestorm that ensued.

Meanwhile, in Carson, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office is investigating whether the mayor is employing a form of censorship by using a mute button to silence community members and council members, a potential violation of the state open meetings law.

Jennifer Lentz Snyder, assistant head deputy of the D.A.'s Public Integrity Division, said the Norwalk policy did not appear to violate the Brown Act.

The Norwalk council approved the blackout policy in 2004, censoring what it calls "oral communications" from broadcasts of the City Council and planning commission.

"I feel it's an opportunity for open communications and the video should roll," said Jesse Luera, the only council member who voted against the policy.

During oral communications, members of the audience can speak for five minutes on anything to do with the city, the closest thing most cities have to a speakers' corner. The freewheeling monologues can range from harsh criticism of city officials to announcing that the Girl Scouts are holding a pancake breakfast.

Those watching some cities' council meetings at home can become so exercised about what they hear that they march into meetings to speak their minds wearing slippers and a coat over their nightclothes.

State law requires a city to offer the public a chance to speak out at council meetings, said JoAnne Speers, executive director of the Institute for Local Government in Sacramento.

Stern said he suspected that the Norwalk council's reason for the blackout was "it didn't want to give publicity to these gadflies."

Two of Norwalk's most prominent self-described gadflies agreed.

Jerry Ori, a management consultant, said Mayor Kelley told him that Ori would bring up issues at council meetings to which she had no answers when people later asked her about them.

Bob Hoskins said Ori's criticism of a councilman's use of his city credit card on a Palm Springs trip prompted the council to adopt the blackout.

"There are two gadflies these people don't want to hear, don't want to see, and they're going to stifle them," said Hoskins, a retired MTA clerk. "To me it's a form a censorship."

--

jeff.gottlieb@latimes.com

Copyright © 2010 Los Angeles Times

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Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation | View Clip
02/20/2010
Press-Telegram - Online

Even at a college not run by Jesuits, it's possible that Parents Weekend could include a discussion of student ethics. But at Santa Clara University on Friday, a crowd of about 100 parents — and a handful of their nervous-looking offspring — enacted a sort of morality Mardi Gras that was convened by the Catholic university's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

The program was called "10 Ethical Choices Every College Student Faces" — catechism as catnip for parents experiencing "anxiety over their children's experience in college," theorized Kirk Hanson earlier in the day. As executive director of the Markkula Center, he presented a set of ethical dilemmas and moderated the lively discussion.

The idea was to identify potential ethical lapses before they happen, said Hanson, who isn't a man of the cloth, but does have three adult children. "That's particularly important for college students," he said. "They are so new to so many things in life. Most of them are away from home for the first time and without their parents looking over their shoulder for the first time."

The room was filled with parents whose heads were developing gray areas, but whose ethics were not. Deborah McHenry of Fresno attended with her daughter Kat, a sophomore studying to be a marine biologist.

"I told her I wanted her to come here, because I feel Santa Clara does place importance on ethics," Deborah said. "As a parent, you know your kids are faced

with these issues. It's great to be able to sit with her and hear the discussion, to go, 'Is she making the right choices? Does she know how to handle this stuff when it comes up?'"Š"

Both piped up during the discussion, which dealt with issues such as whether parents should dictate what their children study because they're paying the bills, and whether students should call authorities when a roommate passes out from drinking — a hot-button topic on the Santa Clara campus recently.

That was covered by one of the ethical dilemmas posed by Hanson: "How much should I help my friends?" Kat McHenry said the questions were all familiar to anyone who lives in a college dorm. "I face all 10 of those choices," she said, "and you're going to face them on any campus."

Unavoidable dilemmas

Hanson insisted the Jesuits don't have a monopoly on ethical rectitude, and that the Markkula Center is not a place for deep-dish philosophizing. "We're hands-on ethics," he said.

His list of ethical "choices" was a little bit Ten Commandments, with a touch of David Letterman's Top 10 list. "But we're more Moses than Letterman," Hanson asserted.

He posed questions to the parents about how much risk they should let their children take, and how they treat each one equally. That drew a knowing chuckle from the crowd, especially Steve Lass and his wife, Diana Poole, both of Denver, who were visiting their son Sam, a freshman. "We have three freshmen because we have triplets," Poole said. "I figured if there are 10 unavoidable ethical dilemmas, it would be nice to find out what they are."

When Hanson taught at the Stanford business school, he based one of his courses on the 20 ethical dilemmas common to a career in business. His Parents Weekend seminar suggested he's downsizing. Either that, or he's got research indicating that dorm life corrupts, and commerce corrupts absolutely.

"There are some people who are evil," Hanson said. "But more commonly, it's that we don't see an ethical issue, so we blunder into it. Or that we haven't thought about how to insulate ourselves from all the temptations — the incentives to do the wrong thing."

Set free from the constraints of parental oversight, the last thing on the minds of many college students is insulating themselves from temptation. If college isn't incentive to get into as many ethical dilemmas as possible, after all, what is?

Hanson's presentation Friday was not prescriptive, with one exception. "Wagging your finger at college students doesn't get you very far," he said.

Contact Bruce Newman at 408-920-5004.

10 ethical dilemmas students face

1. How much studying do I have to do? Can I party all the time?

2. Can my parents tell me what to do when I"m in college?

3. What kind of behavior respects my roommate?

4. How much should I help my friends?

5. What does sex mean to me? When is intimacy appropriate?

6. What is cheating in academic work?

7. When are drugs permitted?

8. How honest do I have to be about myself?

9. What is my obligation to my own religion and beliefs?

10. Do I have to tolerate everyone I meet?

Return to Top



In Norwalk, citizens speak but TV viewers don't hear | View Clip
02/20/2010
Sun Sentinel - Online

The City Council blacks out the public-comments period of its meetings' cablecasts. Experts say the policy is probably legal, but they express surprise at it nonetheless.

Like most towns, Norwalk broadcasts its City Council meetings on its government access cable channel. But unlike most cities, Norwalk blacks out the portion of the meeting where residents step to the microphone and speak their mind. As soon as residents start taking turns sounding off on civic affairs, the cameras are shut down.

"We stop as soon as they get to oral communications," said Sherian Mussegek, the city's production supervisor. "That's it. We're off."

Neither Mayor Cheri Kelley nor longtime City Manager Ernie Garcia returned calls or e-mails to explain why the council adopted the policy, but Vice Mayor Gordon Stefanhagen said, "It just went that way and we did it. I don't know why."

Though viewers may be denied the opportunity to witness the liveliest portion of most council meetings, 1st Amendment experts said the policy appears legal, as long as everyone is blacked out and it's not just specific speakers being censored.

Still, public policy experts said they'd never heard of such a blackout rule.

"You're kidding?" said former Santa Clara Mayor Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. "The idea of cutting off the public from access to what fellow citizens have on their mind is troubling. There's no excuse for that."

Said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles: "Oh, my goodness. That's a new one for me. How petty can you get?"

Stern said that during the cablecasts of Los Angeles City Council meetings, while it might appear as if most council members are not paying attention to the speakers, at least their comments are being broadcast.

Although it is rare for cities to black out comments from its citizens, several Southern California cities have at least considered it, usually because council members disliked the bashing they often received. The Garden Grove Council decided to black out the public comments portion 10 years ago but reinstated it a year later. Earlier proposals from council members in Pomona and Thousand Oaks were withdrawn because of the firestorm that ensued.

Meanwhile, in Carson, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office is investigating whether the mayor is employing a form of censorship by using a mute button to silence community members and council members, a potential violation of the state open meetings law.

Jennifer Lentz Snyder, assistant head deputy of the D.A.'s Public Integrity Division, said the Norwalk policy did not appear to violate the Brown Act.

The Norwalk council approved the blackout policy in 2004, censoring what it calls "oral communications" from broadcasts of the City Council and planning commission.

"I feel it's an opportunity for open communications and the video should roll," said Jesse Luera, the only council member who voted against the policy.

During oral communications, members of the audience can speak for five minutes on anything to do with the city, the closest thing most cities have to a speakers' corner. The freewheeling monologues can range from harsh criticism of city officials to announcing that the Girl Scouts are holding a pancake breakfast.

Those watching some cities' council meetings at home can become so exercised about what they hear that they march into meetings to speak their minds wearing slippers and a coat over their nightclothes.

State law requires a city to offer the public a chance to speak out at council meetings, said JoAnne Speers, executive director of the Institute for Local Government in Sacramento.

Stern said he suspected that the Norwalk council's reason for the blackout was "it didn't want to give publicity to these gadflies."

Two of Norwalk's most prominent self-described gadflies agreed.

Jerry Ori, a management consultant, said Mayor Kelley told him that Ori would bring up issues at council meetings to which she had no answers when people later asked her about them.

Bob Hoskins said Ori's criticism of a councilman's use of his city credit card on a Palm Springs trip prompted the council to adopt the blackout.

"There are two gadflies these people don't want to hear, don't want to see, and they're going to stifle them," said Hoskins, a retired MTA clerk. "To me it's a form a censorship."

Return to Top



In Norwalk, citizens speak but TV viewers don't hear | View Clip
02/20/2010
TMCnet.com

(Los Angeles Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Like most towns, Norwalk broadcasts its City Council meetings on its government access cable channel. But unlike most cities, Norwalk blacks out the portion of the meeting where residents step to the microphone and speak their mind. As soon as residents start taking turns sounding off on civic affairs, the cameras are shut down. 'We stop as soon as they get to oral communications,' said Sherian Mussegek, the city's production supervisor. 'That's it. We're off.' Neither Mayor Cheri Kelley nor longtime City Manager Ernie Garcia returned calls or e-mails to explain why the council adopted the policy, but Vice Mayor Gordon Stefanhagen said, 'It just went that way and we did it. I don't know why.' Though viewers may be denied the opportunity to witness the liveliest portion of most council meetings, 1st Amendment experts said the policy appears legal, as long as everyone is blacked out and it's not just specific speakers being censored. Still, public policy experts said they'd never heard of such a blackout rule. 'You're kidding?' said former Santa Clara Mayor Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. 'The idea of cutting off the public from access to what fellow citizens have on their mind is troubling. There's no excuse for that.' Said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles: 'Oh, my goodness. That's a new one for me. How petty can you get?' Stern said that during the cablecasts of Los Angeles City Council meetings, while it might appear as if most council members are not paying attention to the speakers, at least their comments are being broadcast. Although it is rare for cities to black out comments from its citizens, several Southern California cities have at least considered it, usually because council members disliked the bashing they often received. The Garden Grove Council decided to black out the public comments portion 10 years ago but reinstated it a year later. Earlier proposals from council members in Pomona and Thousand Oaks were withdrawn because of the firestorm that ensued. Meanwhile, in Carson, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office is investigating whether the mayor is employing a form of censorship by using a mute button to silence community members and council members, a potential violation of the state open meetings law. Jennifer Lentz Snyder, assistant head deputy of the D.A.'s Public Integrity Division, said the Norwalk policy did not appear to violate the Brown Act. The Norwalk council approved the blackout policy in 2004, censoring what it calls 'oral communications' from broadcasts of the City Council and planning commission. 'I feel it's an opportunity for open communications and the video should roll,' said Jesse Luera, the only council member who voted against the policy. During oral communications, members of the audience can speak for five minutes on anything to do with the city, the closest thing most cities have to a speakers' corner. The freewheeling monologues can range from harsh criticism of city officials to announcing that the Girl Scouts are holding a pancake breakfast. Those watching some cities' council meetings at home can become so exercised about what they hear that they march into meetings to speak their minds wearing slippers and a coat over their nightclothes. State law requires a city to offer the public a chance to speak out at council meetings, said JoAnne Speers, executive director of the Institute for Local Government in Sacramento. Stern said he suspected that the Norwalk council's reason for the blackout was 'it didn't want to give publicity to these gadflies.' Two of Norwalk's most prominent self-described gadflies agreed. Jerry Ori, a management consultant, said Mayor Kelley told him that Ori would bring up issues at council meetings to which she had no answers when people later asked her about them.

Return to Top



Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation | View Clip
02/20/2010
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

Even at a college not run by Jesuits, it's possible that Parents Weekend could include a discussion of student ethics. But at Santa Clara University on Friday, a crowd of about 100 parents — and a handful of their nervous-looking offspring — enacted a sort of morality Mardi Gras that was convened by the Catholic university's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

The program was called "10 Ethical Choices Every College Student Faces" — catechism as catnip for parents experiencing "anxiety over their children's experience in college," theorized Kirk Hanson earlier in the day. As executive director of the Markkula Center, he presented a set of ethical dilemmas and moderated the lively discussion.

The idea was to identify potential ethical lapses before they happen, said Hanson, who isn't a man of the cloth, but does have three adult children. "That's particularly important for college students," he said. "They are so new to so many things in life. Most of them are away from home for the first time and without their parents looking over their shoulder for the first time."

The room was filled with parents whose heads were developing gray areas, but whose ethics were not. Deborah McHenry of Fresno attended with her daughter Kat, a sophomore studying to be a marine biologist.

"I told her I wanted her to come here, because I feel Santa Clara does place importance on ethics," Deborah said. "As a parent, you know your kids are faced

with these issues. It's great to be able to sit with her and hear the discussion, to go, 'Is she making the right choices? Does she know how to handle this stuff when it comes up?'"Š"

Both piped up during the discussion, which dealt with issues such as whether parents should dictate what their children study because they're paying the bills, and whether students should call authorities when a roommate passes out from drinking — a hot-button topic on the Santa Clara campus recently.

That was covered by one of the ethical dilemmas posed by Hanson: "How much should I help my friends?" Kat McHenry said the questions were all familiar to anyone who lives in a college dorm. "I face all 10 of those choices," she said, "and you're going to face them on any campus."

Unavoidable dilemmas

Hanson insisted the Jesuits don't have a monopoly on ethical rectitude, and that the Markkula Center is not a place for deep-dish philosophizing. "We're hands-on ethics," he said.

His list of ethical "choices" was a little bit Ten Commandments, with a touch of David Letterman's Top 10 list. "But we're more Moses than Letterman," Hanson asserted.

He posed questions to the parents about how much risk they should let their children take, and how they treat each one equally. That drew a knowing chuckle from the crowd, especially Steve Lass and his wife, Diana Poole, both of Denver, who were visiting their son Sam, a freshman. "We have three freshmen because we have triplets," Poole said. "I figured if there are 10 unavoidable ethical dilemmas, it would be nice to find out what they are."

When Hanson taught at the Stanford business school, he based one of his courses on the 20 ethical dilemmas common to a career in business. His Parents Weekend seminar suggested he's downsizing. Either that, or he's got research indicating that dorm life corrupts, and commerce corrupts absolutely.

"There are some people who are evil," Hanson said. "But more commonly, it's that we don't see an ethical issue, so we blunder into it. Or that we haven't thought about how to insulate ourselves from all the temptations — the incentives to do the wrong thing."

Set free from the constraints of parental oversight, the last thing on the minds of many college students is insulating themselves from temptation. If college isn't incentive to get into as many ethical dilemmas as possible, after all, what is?

Hanson's presentation Friday was not prescriptive, with one exception. "Wagging your finger at college students doesn't get you very far," he said.

Contact Bruce Newman at 408-920-5004.

10 ethical dilemmas students face

1. How much studying do I have to do? Can I party all the time?

2. Can my parents tell me what to do when I"m in college?

3. What kind of behavior respects my roommate?

4. How much should I help my friends?

5. What does sex mean to me? When is intimacy appropriate?

6. What is cheating in academic work?

7. When are drugs permitted?

8. How honest do I have to be about myself?

9. What is my obligation to my own religion and beliefs?

10. Do I have to tolerate everyone I meet?

Return to Top



San Jose Mercury News, Calif., Bruce Newman column: Ethics: For college kids, a time of temptation | View Clip
02/20/2010
Individual.com

Even at a college not run by Jesuits, it's possible that Parents Weekend could include a discussion of student ethics. But at Santa Clara University on Friday, a crowd of about 100 parents -- and a handful of their nervous-looking offspring -- enacted a sort of morality Mardi Gras that was convened by the Catholic university's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Return to Top



Movies and TV | View Clip
02/20/2010
Los Angeles Times - Online

Like most towns, Norwalk broadcasts its City Council meetings on its government access cable channel. But unlike most cities, Norwalk blacks out the portion of the meeting where residents step to the microphone and speak their mind. As soon as residents start taking turns sounding off on civic affairs, the cameras are shut down.

"We stop as soon as they get to oral communications," said Sherian Mussegek, the city's production supervisor. "That's it. We're off."

Neither Mayor Cheri Kelley nor longtime City Manager Ernie Garcia returned calls or e-mails to explain why the council adopted the policy, but Vice Mayor Gordon Stefanhagen said, "It just went that way and we did it. I don't know why."

Though viewers may be denied the opportunity to witness the liveliest portion of most council meetings, 1st Amendment experts said the policy appears legal, as long as everyone is blacked out and it's not just specific speakers being censored.

Still, public policy experts said they'd never heard of such a blackout rule.

"You're kidding?" said former Santa Clara Mayor Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. "The idea of cutting off the public from access to what fellow citizens have on their mind is troubling. There's no excuse for that."

Said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles: "Oh, my goodness. That's a new one for me. How petty can you get?"

Stern said that during the cablecasts of Los Angeles City Council meetings, while it might appear as if most council members are not paying attention to the speakers, at least their comments are being broadcast.

Although it is rare for cities to black out comments from its citizens, several Southern California cities have at least considered it, usually because council members disliked the bashing they often received. The Garden Grove Council decided to black out the public comments portion 10 years ago but reinstated it a year later. Earlier proposals from council members in Pomona and Thousand Oaks were withdrawn because of the firestorm that ensued.

Meanwhile, in Carson, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office is investigating whether the mayor is employing a form of censorship by using a mute button to silence community members and council members, a potential violation of the state open meetings law.

Jennifer Lentz Snyder, assistant head deputy of the D.A.'s Public Integrity Division, said the Norwalk policy did not appear to violate the Brown Act.

The Norwalk council approved the blackout policy in 2004, censoring what it calls "oral communications" from broadcasts of the City Council and planning commission.

"I feel it's an opportunity for open communications and the video should roll," said Jesse Luera, the only council member who voted against the policy.

During oral communications, members of the audience can speak for five minutes on anything to do with the city, the closest thing most cities have to a speakers' corner. The freewheeling monologues can range from harsh criticism of city officials to announcing that the Girl Scouts are holding a pancake breakfast.

Those watching some cities' council meetings at home can become so exercised about what they hear that they march into meetings to speak their minds wearing slippers and a coat over their nightclothes.

State law requires a city to offer the public a chance to speak out at council meetings, said JoAnne Speers, executive director of the Institute for Local Government in Sacramento.

Stern said he suspected that the Norwalk council's reason for the blackout was "it didn't want to give publicity to these gadflies."

Two of Norwalk's most prominent self-described gadflies agreed.

Jerry Ori, a management consultant, said Mayor Kelley told him that Ori would bring up issues at council meetings to which she had no answers when people later asked her about them.

Bob Hoskins said Ori's criticism of a councilman's use of his city credit card on a Palm Springs trip prompted the council to adopt the blackout.

"There are two gadflies these people don't want to hear, don't want to see, and they're going to stifle them," said Hoskins, a retired MTA clerk. "To me it's a form a censorship."

jeff.gottlieb@latimes.com

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Utah bill is another attempt to regulate Internet practices | View Clip
02/20/2010
Salt Lake Tribune - Online, The

Legislature » Despite past failures, this year's measure has wide support.

Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George.

With an unsuccessful history of trying to regulate aspects of the Internet, the Utah Legislature is back again this year with a new measure.

This time, however, the proposed law is fairly benign, with broad backing from an array of Internet, technology and other companies.

Sen. Steve Urquhart's SB26 would allow companies that are victims of certain fraudulent practices to go after those responsible in state court.

Those include phishing and pharming that aim to obtain personal information such as passwords and credit card numbers. Also prohibited are certain kinds and uses of spyware, which is software placed on a computer to gather personal information.

But the main thrust of the legislation takes aim at cybersquatting, in which Internet domain names are nearly identical to another company's, to try to profit from that company's name or trademark.

"Utah will be the first state to pass cybersquatting legislation," Urquhart said. "The feds have had an act since '98 or '99 ... The cybersquatting provisions [of HB26] are closely patterned after that."

In 2004, the Utah Legislature became the first in the nation to pass a law cracking down on spyware, But that law was blocked by a state judge who found it likely violated the U.S. Constitution.

In 2009, Rep. Bradley Last, R-St. George, sponsored a bill that would have set a low legal standard for Utah companies to go to court because they felt their trademark was being

misused in Internet searches. The measure was pushed aggressively by Draper-based 1-800 Contacts Inc., and targeted Internet search engines selling a company's name to competitors as a search term that would direct traffic to the competitor's Web site.

After passing the Utah House by a narrow margin, the measure stalled in the Senate because of complaints it would adversely affect Internet commerce and the state's image.

Now, Urquhart's measure has the backing of companies such as Google, AOL, Microsoft, eBay and Comcast, as well as the Utah Technology CouncilBut Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law, said he doesn't believe the law will have much effect.

"Given all the troubles Utah has had putting together a smart legislative solution, whatever it is, why are they bothering now?" Goldman said.

In fact, Goldman said the most important part of the bill is its repeal of the 2004 spyware law. That law is being replaced with language modeled on a California law that regulates intentionally deceptive software. Still, he said, the Utah bill mostly would outlaw practices that are no longer in use.

Goldman is also unsure about the impact of the anti-cybersquatting bill because there are other avenues to pursue cybersquatters that could be less costly or easier. He disputed Urquhart's assertion that the Utah law would be the first state law in the nation to tackle cybersquatting.

SB26 has passed the Senate and also won unanimous approval from the House Business and Labor Committee. But it was redirected to the Rules Committee because it contains a fiscal note that estimates it could cost almost $40,000 a year for Utah courts. Urquhart said he is working to reduce the estimate and get the legislation to a final vote.

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Utah bill is another attempt to regulate Internet practices: Despite past failures, this year's meas | View Clip
02/20/2010
TMCnet.com

(The Salt Lake Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- With an unsuccessful history of trying to regulate aspects of the Internet, the Utah Legislature is back again this year with a new measure. This time, however, the proposed law is fairly benign, with broad backing from an array of Internet, technology and other companies. Sen. Steve Urquhart's SB26 would allow companies that are victims of certain fraudulent practices to go after those responsible in state court. Those include phishing and pharming that aim to obtain personal information such as passwords and credit card numbers. Also prohibited are certain kinds and uses of spyware, which is software placed on a computer to gather personal information. But the main thrust of the legislation takes aim at cybersquatting, in which Internet domain names are nearly identical to another company's, to try to profit from that company's name or trademark. 'Utah will be the first state to pass cybersquatting legislation,' Urquhart said. 'The feds have had an act since '98 or '99 ... The cybersquatting provisions [of HB26] are closely patterned after that.' In 2004, the Utah Legislature became the first in the nation to pass a law cracking down on spyware, But that law was blocked by a state judge who found it likely violated the U.S. Constitution. In 2009, Rep. Bradley Last, R-St. George, sponsored a bill that would have set a low legal standard for Utah companies to go to court because they felt their trademark was being misused in Internet searches. The measure was pushed aggressively by Draper-based 1-800 Contacts Inc., and targeted Internet search engines selling a company's name to competitors as a search term that would direct traffic to the competitor's Web site. After passing the Utah House by a narrow margin, the measure stalled in the Senate because of complaints it would adversely affect Internet commerce and the state's image. Now, Urquhart's measure has the backing of companies such as Google, AOL, Microsoft, eBay and Comcast, as well as the Utah Technology CouncilBut Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law, said he doesn't believe the law will have much effect. 'Given all the troubles Utah has had putting together a smart legislative solution, whatever it is, why are they bothering now?' Goldman said. In fact, Goldman said the most important part of the bill is its repeal of the 2004 spyware law. That law is being replaced with language modeled on a California law that regulates intentionally deceptive software. Still, he said, the Utah bill mostly would outlaw practices that are no longer in use. Goldman is also unsure about the impact of the anti-cybersquatting bill because there are other avenues to pursue cybersquatters that could be less costly or easier. He disputed Urquhart's assertion that the Utah law would be the first state law in the nation to tackle cybersquatting.

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Utah bill is another attempt to regulate Internet practices: Despite past failures, this year's meas
02/20/2010
Salt Lake Tribune, The

Feb. 20--With an unsuccessful history of trying to regulate aspects of the Internet, the Utah Legislature is back again this year with a new measure.

This time, however, the proposed law is fairly benign, with broad backing from an array of Internet, technology and other companies.

Sen. Steve Urquhart's SB26 would allow companies that are victims of certain fraudulent practices to go after those responsible in state court.

Those include phishing and pharming that aim to obtain personal information such as passwords and credit card numbers. Also prohibited are certain kinds and uses of spyware, which is software placed on a computer to gather personal information.

But the main thrust of the legislation takes aim at cybersquatting, in which Internet domain names are nearly identical to another company's, to try to profit from that company's name or trademark.

"Utah will be the first state to pass cybersquatting legislation," Urquhart said. "The feds have had an act since '98 or '99 ... The cybersquatting provisions [of HB26] are closely patterned after that."

In 2004, the Utah Legislature became the first in the nation to pass a law cracking down on spyware, But that law was blocked by a state judge who found it likely violated the U.S. Constitution.

In 2009, Rep. Bradley Last, R-St. George, sponsored a bill that would have set a low legal standard for Utah companies to go to court because they felt their trademark was being

misused in Internet searches. The measure was pushed aggressively by Draper-based 1-800 Contacts Inc., and targeted Internet search engines selling a company's name to competitors as a search term that would direct traffic to the competitor's Web site.

After passing the Utah House by a narrow margin, the measure stalled in the Senate because of complaints it would adversely affect Internet commerce and the state's image.

Now, Urquhart's measure has the backing of companies such as Google, AOL, Microsoft, eBay and Comcast, as well as the Utah Technology CouncilBut Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law, said he doesn't believe the law will have much effect.

"Given all the troubles Utah has had putting together a smart legislative solution, whatever it is, why are they bothering now?" Goldman said.

In fact, Goldman said the most important part of the bill is its repeal of the 2004 spyware law. That law is being replaced with language modeled on a California law that regulates intentionally deceptive software. Still, he said, the Utah bill mostly would outlaw practices that are no longer in use.

Goldman is also unsure about the impact of the anti-cybersquatting bill because there are other avenues to pursue cybersquatters that could be less costly or easier. He disputed Urquhart's assertion that the Utah law would be the first state law in the nation to tackle cybersquatting.

SB26 has passed the Senate and also won unanimous approval from the House Business and Labor Committee. But it was redirected to the Rules Committee because it contains a fiscal note that estimates it could cost almost $40,000 a year for Utah courts. Urquhart said he is working to reduce the estimate and get the legislation to a final vote.

tharvey@sltrib.com

Copyright © 2010 The Salt Lake Tribune

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Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Buzz Seen As Facing Hurdles | View Clip
02/20/2010
MediaPost.com

Home > Online Media Daily > Friday, Feb 19, 2010

Adding to Google's Buzz-related woes, a student at Harvard Law has sued the company for allegedly "forcing all Gmail users to share their personal data in a public forum."

In papers filed this week in federal district court in San Francisco, Eva Hibnick alleges that Buzz violated federal privacy laws by publicly disclosing information about Gmail users' contacts.

"An individual's email contacts may be a different group of people (for example, professional contacts), than the group with whom a user would want to be in a social network," she alleges. "By implementing the Buzz program, Google forced upon its Gmail users Google's own definition of a proper social network, all in an effort to jump-start Google's entry into a new consumer market."

When Google initially rolled out Buzz on Feb. 9, the feature automatically transformed users' Gmail contacts into their followers -- and made that group public by default. Since launching, Google has already revised Buzz twice. In one of its most recent changes, the company replaced a feature that automatically includes other users as followers with one that merely suggests followers.

But Hibnick alleges that the revisions don't adequately address the problem. "The bell of breached privacy cannot be un-rung," she argues.

Hibnick specifically alleges that Google violated several federal laws, including the Stored Communications Act and Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

But Hibnick doesn't state in her complaint that she herself was harmed by Buzz. Without such an assertion, Hibnick might not be able to pursue her claim in court, says Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman. "There's case law saying that if you don't show some tangible damage, you don't have standing to bring a claim," Goldman says.

At the same time, Goldman says, Google's decision to harness Gmail data for Buzz could be problematic for the company because federal laws specifically protect the privacy of email communications. "The fact that Google merged Gmail and Buzz raises a concern that this was a violation of all the laws that apply to email," he says.

He adds that while Google's initial decisions about Buzz were questionable, the company acted quickly to correct the problem. "There's so much evidence that you don't configure the defaults the way that they configured them. I was really shocked that they made such a rookie mistake," he says. But, he adds, "they realized they made a mistake. They should have avoided it -- but to their credit they fixed it quickly."

3 people recommend this article.

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FOR COLLEGE KIDS, A TIME OF TEMPTATION
02/20/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Even at a college not run by Jesuits, it's possible that Parents Weekend could include a discussion of student ethics. But at Santa Clara University on Friday, a crowd of about 100 parents -- and a handful of their nervous-looking offspring -- enacted a sort of morality Mardi Gras that was convened by the Catholic university's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

The program was called "10 Ethical Choices Every College Student Faces" -- catechism as catnip for parents experiencing "anxiety over their children's experience in college," theorized Kirk Hanson earlier in the day. As executive director of the Markkula Center, he presented a set of ethical dilemmas and moderated the lively discussion.

The idea was to identify potential ethical lapses before they happen, said Hanson, who isn't a man of the cloth, but does have three adult children. "That's particularly important for college students," he said. "They are so new to so many things in life. Most of them are away from home for the first time and without their parents looking over their shoulder for the first time."

The room was filled with parents whose heads were developing gray areas, but whose ethics were not. Deborah McHenry of Fresno attended with her daughter Kat, a sophomore studying to be a marine biologist.

"I told her I wanted her to come here, because I feel Santa Clara does place importance on ethics," Deborah said. "As a parent, you know your kids are faced with these issues. It's great to be able to sit with her and hear the discussion, to go, 'Is she making the right choices? Does she know how to handle this stuff when it comes up?'"

Both piped up during the discussion, which dealt with issues such as whether parents should dictate what their children study because they're paying the bills, and whether students should call authorities when a roommate passes out from drinking -- a hot-button topic on the Santa Clara campus recently.

That was covered by one of the ethical dilemmas posed by Hanson: "How much should I help my friends?" Kat McHenry said the questions were all familiar to anyone who lives in a college dorm. "I face all 10 of those choices," she said, "and you're going to face them on any campus."

Unavoidable dilemmas

Hanson insisted the Jesuits don't have a monopoly on ethical rectitude, and that the Markkula Center is not a place for deep-dish philosophizing. "We're hands-on ethics," he said.

His list of ethical "choices" was a little bit Ten Commandments, with a touch of David Letterman's Top 10 list. "But we're more Moses than Letterman," Hanson asserted.

He posed questions to the parents about how much risk they should let their children take, and how they treat each one equally. That drew a knowing chuckle from the crowd, especially Steve Lass and his wife, Diana Poole, both of Denver, who were visiting their son Sam, a freshman. "We have three freshmen because we have triplets," Poole said. "I figured if there are 10 unavoidable ethical dilemmas, it would be nice to find out what they are."

When Hanson taught at the Stanford business school, he based one of his courses on the 20 ethical dilemmas common to a career in business. His Parents Weekend seminar suggested he's downsizing. Either that, or he's got research indicating that dorm life corrupts, and commerce corrupts absolutely.

"There are some people who are evil," Hanson said. "But more commonly, it's that we don't see an ethical issue, so we blunder into it. Or that we haven't thought about how to insulate ourselves from all the temptations -- the incentives to do the wrong thing."

Set free from the constraints of parental oversight, the last thing on the minds of many college students is insulating themselves from temptation. If college isn't incentive to get into as many ethical dilemmas as possible, after all, what is?

Hanson's presentation Friday was not prescriptive, with one exception. "Wagging your finger at college students doesn't get you very far," he said.

Contact Bruce Newman at 408-920-5004.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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Loving Kindness: Perhaps the Best that Spirituality and Religion has to Offer? | View Clip
02/19/2010
Psychology Today - Online

Loving kindness is another tool of religion and spirituality

You would never know it by reading daily news accounts about religion but, perhaps at its very best, spirituality and religion fosters many very helpful qualities such as loving kindness as well as forgiveness, gratitude, and compassion.

The religious traditions encourage loving kindness to others along with compassionate behaviors which can not only make the world a better place but has many physical and mental health benefits as well. For example, in one of our recent studies at Santa Clara University, we found that students who participated in an alternative school break focusing on "faith that does justice" involving helping others in solidarity returned from their experience more compassionate than when they left and coped better with school and others stressors to boot.

Additionally, religious traditions, at their best, highlight the need to and benefits from forgiveness and redemption. Forgiveness is an important foil to anger and bitterness. Letting go of anger and bitterness, of real or perceived slights by others, and of transgressions of all sorts, can have many positive mental and physical effects according to a large number of recent research studies.

Gratitude highlights the ability to be thankful for what one has or what has been given as well as the ability to appreciate and savor daily events and experiences. It involves "counting your blessings" and is encouraged within all of the major religious traditions. Research has indicated that those who experience more gratitude tend to sleep better, are more optimistic, more energetic, and maintain better interpersonal relationships too.

So, doing the right thing for ourselves and others involves religious and spiritual tools such as focusing on loving kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, and compassion.

Perhaps media and others can focus more on these qualities than the terrible ones that we hear about on a regular basis. Too often we are quick to throw the baby out with the bath water when we read about some of the terrible aspects of religion. Religion can bring out the worst in people as well as the very best in people. Let's focus on the best.

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Professor discusses ethical dilemmas all college students will have to face | View Clip
02/19/2010
Pasadena Star-News - Online

Even at a college not run by Jesuits, it's possible that Parents Weekend could include a discussion of student ethics. But at Santa Clara University Friday, a crowd of about 100 parents — and a handful of their nervous-looking offspring — enacted a sort of morality Mardi Gras that was convened by the Catholic university's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

The program was called "10 Ethical Choices Every College Student Faces" — catechism as catnip for parents experiencing "anxiety over their children's experience in college," theorized Kirk Hanson earlier in the day. As executive director of the Markkula Center, he presented a set of ethical dilemmas and moderated the lively discussion.

The idea was to identify potential ethical lapses before they happen, said Hanson, who isn't a man of the cloth, but does have three adult children. "That's particularly important for college students," he said. "They are so new to so many things in life. Most of them are away from home for the first time and without their parents looking over their shoulder for the first time."

The room was filled with parents whose heads were developing gray areas, but whose ethics were not. Deborah McHenry of Fresno attended with her daughter Kat, a sophomore studying to be a marine biologist.

"I told her I wanted her to come here, because I feel Santa Clara does place importance on ethics," Deborah said. "As a parent, you know your kids are faced

with these issues. It's great to be able to sit with her and hear the discussion, to go, 'Is she making the right choices? Does she know how to handle this stuff when it comes up?'"Š"

Both piped up during the discussion, which dealt with issues such as whether parents should dictate what their children study because they're paying the bills, and whether students should call authorities when a roommate passes out from drinking — a hot-button topic on the Santa Clara campus recently.

That was covered by one of the ethical dilemmas posed by Hanson: "How much should I help my friends?" Kat McHenry said the questions were all familiar to anyone who lives in a college dorm. "I face all 10 of those choices," she said, "and you're going to face them on any campus."

Unavoidable dilemmas

Hanson insisted the Jesuits don't have a monopoly on ethical rectitude, and that the Markkula Center is not a place for deep-dish philosophizing. "We're hands-on ethics," he said.

His list of ethical "choices" was a little bit 10 Commandments, with a touch of David Letterman's Top 10 list. "But we're more Moses than Letterman," Hanson asserted.

He posed questions to the parents about how much risk they should let their children take, and how they treat each one equally. That drew a knowing chuckle from the crowd, especially Steve Lass and his wife Diana Poole of Denver, who were visiting their son Sam, a freshman. "We have three freshmen because we have triplets," said Poole. "I figured if there are 10 unavoidable ethical dilemmas, it would be nice to find out what they are."

When Hanson taught at the Stanford business school, he based one of his courses on the 20 ethical dilemmas common to a career in business. His Parents Weekend seminar suggested he's downsizing. Either that, or he's got research indicating that dorm life corrupts, and commerce corrupts absolutely.

"There are some people who are evil," Hanson said. "But more commonly, it's that we don't see an ethical issue, so we blunder into it. Or that we haven't thought about how to insulate ourselves from all the temptations — the incentives to do the wrong thing."

Set free from the constraints of parental oversight, the last thing on the minds of many college students is insulating themselves from temptation. If college isn't incentive to get into as many ethical dilemmas as possible, after all, what is?

Hanson's presentation Friday was not prescriptive, with one exception. "Wagging your finger at college students doesn't get you very far," he said.

Contact Bruce Newman at 408-920-5004.

10 ethical dilemmas students face

1. How much studying do I have to do? Can I party all the time?

2. Can my parents tell me what to do when I"m in college?

3. What kind of behavior respects my roommate?

4. How much should I help my friends?

5. What does sex mean to me? When is intimacy appropriate?

6. What is cheating in academic work?

7. When are drugs permitted?

8. How honest do I have to be about myself?

9. What is my obligation to my own religion and beliefs?

10. Do I have to tolerate everyone I meet?

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In Norwalk, citizens speak but TV viewers don't hear | View Clip
02/19/2010
Daily Press - Online, The

The City Council blacks out the public-comments period of its meetings' cablecasts. Experts say the policy is probably legal, but they express surprise at it nonetheless.

11:18 p.m. EST, February 19, 2010

Like most towns, Norwalk broadcasts its City Council meetings on its government access cable channel. But unlike most cities, Norwalk blacks out the portion of the meeting where residents step to the microphone and speak their mind. As soon as residents start taking turns sounding off on civic affairs, the cameras are shut down.

"We stop as soon as they get to oral communications," said Sherian Mussegek, the city's production supervisor. "That's it. We're off."

Neither Mayor Cheri Kelley nor longtime City Manager Ernie Garcia returned calls or e-mails to explain why the council adopted the policy, but Vice Mayor Gordon Stefanhagen said, "It just went that way and we did it. I don't know why."

Though viewers may be denied the opportunity to witness the liveliest portion of most council meetings, 1st Amendment experts said the policy appears legal, as long as everyone is blacked out and it's not just specific speakers being censored.

Still, public policy experts said they'd never heard of such a blackout rule.

"You're kidding?" said former Santa Clara Mayor Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. "The idea of cutting off the public from access to what fellow citizens have on their mind is troubling. There's no excuse for that."

Said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles: "Oh, my goodness. That's a new one for me. How petty can you get?"

Stern said that during the cablecasts of Los Angeles City Council meetings, while it might appear as if most council members are not paying attention to the speakers, at least their comments are being broadcast.

Although it is rare for cities to black out comments from its citizens, several Southern California cities have at least considered it, usually because council members disliked the bashing they often received. The Garden Grove Council decided to black out the public comments portion 10 years ago but reinstated it a year later. Earlier proposals from council members in Pomona and Thousand Oaks were withdrawn because of the firestorm that ensued.

Meanwhile, in Carson, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office is investigating whether the mayor is employing a form of censorship by using a mute button to silence community members and council members, a potential violation of the state open meetings law.

Jennifer Lentz Snyder, assistant head deputy of the D.A.'s Public Integrity Division, said the Norwalk policy did not appear to violate the Brown Act.

The Norwalk council approved the blackout policy in 2004, censoring what it calls "oral communications" from broadcasts of the City Council and planning commission.

"I feel it's an opportunity for open communications and the video should roll," said Jesse Luera, the only council member who voted against the policy.

During oral communications, members of the audience can speak for five minutes on anything to do with the city, the closest thing most cities have to a speakers' corner. The freewheeling monologues can range from harsh criticism of city officials to announcing that the Girl Scouts are holding a pancake breakfast.

Those watching some cities' council meetings at home can become so exercised about what they hear that they march into meetings to speak their minds wearing slippers and a coat over their nightclothes.

State law requires a city to offer the public a chance to speak out at council meetings, said JoAnne Speers, executive director of the Institute for Local Government in Sacramento.

Stern said he suspected that the Norwalk council's reason for the blackout was "it didn't want to give publicity to these gadflies."

Two of Norwalk's most prominent self-described gadflies agreed.

Jerry Ori, a management consultant, said Mayor Kelley told him that Ori would bring up issues at council meetings to which she had no answers when people later asked her about them.

Bob Hoskins said Ori's criticism of a councilman's use of his city credit card on a Palm Springs trip prompted the council to adopt the blackout.

"There are two gadflies these people don't want to hear, don't want to see, and they're going to stifle them," said Hoskins, a retired MTA clerk. "To me it's a form a censorship."

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ISRAELI PEER PULLS THIRD UPSET IN DUBAI
02/19/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Shahar Peer is proving unstoppable at the Dubai Championships one year after the Israeli was denied a chance to play in the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

Peer beat a seeded player for the third time in four matches Thursday and advanced to the semifinals with a 7-5, 3-0 win over Australian Open semifinalist Li Na, who retired due to back spasms.

The unseeded Peer will face defending champion Venus Williams, who beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 6-4. Peer also upset top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and No. 13 Yanina Wickmayer.

Baseball

Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez lost to the Houston Astros in salary arbitration, and Angels catcher Jeff Mathis and Washington reliever Sean Burnett had their hearings.

Rodriguez, 31, will be paid $5 million this year instead of the $7 million he sought. The left-hander was 14-12 last season with a 3.02 ERA.

Infielder Erick Aybar (.312, 5 HR, 58 RBI in '09) and the Angels agreed to a $2.05 million, one-year contract that avoided arbitration.

(box) The Seattle Mariners have targeted next Wednesday for pitcher Cliff Lee's first bullpen session of spring training. Lee is coming off foot surgery.

(box) The St. Louis Cardinals have hired former A's outfielder Mitchell Page as hitting instructor at Class-A Quad Cities.

Colleges

Santa Clara University has signed nine women's soccer players to national letters of intent, including Bay Area forwards Kelly Jenks of Palo Alto High and Jessica Castillo of San Ramon's California High.

Motor sports

KV Racing Technology, co-owned by former IndyCar Series champion Jimmy Vasser of Morgan Hill, has hired former Formula One driver Takuma Sato of Japan to race for it in the IndyCar Series' 2010 season. KVRT's other owner is Australian venture capitalist Kevin Kalkhoven based in Menlo Park.

Sato, 33, is a veteran of seven Formula One seasons.

(box) Daytona International Speedway began repairs to the damaged portion of Turn 2 that forced two delays during the Daytona 500 totaling more than two hours.

The patch in the asphalt surface will be about 6 feet wide and 18 feet long.

Miscellany

Landon Donovan has been selected Everton's player of the month for January in the English Premier League.

(box) Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers, Buffalo wide receiver Terrell Owens and Saints safety Darren Sharper are among 235 scheduled to become NFL unrestricted free agents next month.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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NBC BAY AREA'S TRACI GRANT IS LIVE IN SANTA CLARA.
02/18/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 6 PM - KNTV-TV

THE FINISH LINE, MANCUSO, LINDEY VONN. INTO THE LEAD, MORE THAN A HALF SECOND THE FINAL STRAIGHTAWAY, SHANI DAVIS PUSHING IT UNTIL THE END. AND HE'S GOT ANOTHER GOLD MEDAL! IT IS SO IMPRESSIVE WHAT THEY DO. IT'S NOT JUST THE ATHLETICISM, IT'S ALSO THAT MENTAL ENDURANCE THAT OLYMPIANS POSSESS. HOW DO THEY MANAGE TO COMPETE WITH THE ENTIRE WORLD WATCHING? THAT'S WHAT A LOT OF US HAVE BEEN ASKING FROM OUR SOFAS. NBC BAY AREA'S TRACI GRANT IS LIVE IN SANTA CLARA. ATHLETES ARE TELLING YOU THAT MOST OF THE COMPETITION TAKES PLACE NOT ON THE BODY BUT REALLY IN THE MIND. Reporter: JESSICA, I TALKED TO A SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST THIS WEEK AND HERE TODAY AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, I TALKED TO THE BASKETBALL COACH AND TO SOME ATHLETES. THEY ALL SAY THE SAME THING. THIS KIND OF COMPETITION IS ABOUT 20% PHYSICAL, 80% MENTAL. CLEARS YOUR MIND OF EVERYTHING, AND YOU LISTEN TO THE MUSIC AND DO WHAT YOU DO. Reporter: 21-YEAR-OLD TROY PAYNE SAYS A SIMPLE THING LIKE LISTENING TO HIS iPOD BEFORE A GAME ALLOWS HIM TO MAKE BASKETS LIKE THIS. THE SANTA CLARA JUNIOR SAYS EVERYONE ON HIS TEAM HAS THEIR OWN RITUALS LIKE THE OLYMPIC ATHLETES. BASKETBALL COACH CARY KEATING SAYS PLAYERS USE CATCH PHRASES TO GET THEIR MINDS IN COMPETITIVE MODE. THINGS LIKE THAT CAN REALLY, REALLY HELP AN ATHLETE STAY FOCUSED. Reporter: IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE ATHLETES PERFORM AS WELL AS THEY DO AT HOME, SOME COACHES MAKE THE OLYMPICS AS MUCH LIKE HOME AS POSSIBLE. THAT'S HOW MICHELLE SCHMIDT ENDED UP ATTENDING THREE GAMES. SHE WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE ATHLETES WHEN SHE WAS IN PUBLIC RELATIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA. THAT'S WHY SHE ENDED UP AT THEIR SIDES IN ATLANTA, SYDNEY, AND ATHENS. THE ATHLETES THEMSELVES WANT AS MUCH REPETITION AS POSSIBLE. WHATEVER IS NORMALLY WITH THEM, WHETHER IT'S THEIR MUSIC, THEIR TEDDY BEAR, THEIR LIPSTICK, THEIR MASSAGE PERSON, THEIR PUBLIC RELATIONS PERSON, THEY WANT THE SAME THING. Reporter: SHE SAYS THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE IS NOT THE PARTY PLACE MANY ENVISION. IT'S QUIET BECAUSE THE ATHLETES ARE ONLY PREPARING ON EXCELLING AND WINNING THE EVENT. SOMETHING PAYNE HAS DEEM OF FOR YOURS. YOU THINK ONE DAY I MIGHT TURN ON THE TV IN THE SUMMER AND SEE YOU IN THE OLYMPICS? SURE, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. Reporter: NOW THE TRUTH IS ATHLETES IN CERTAIN OLYMPIC SPORTS ARE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME PHYSICALLY. THEY HAVE THE SAME DRIVE TO HAVE GOTTEN THEM THIS FAR, AND THEY HAVE THE SAME BASIC SKILLS. WHAT REALLY SEPARATES THE WINNERS FROM THE LOSERS IS MOSTLY UP HERE. LIVE IN SANTA CLARA, TRACI GRANT, NBC BAY AREA NEWS. CONCENTRATION AMID CRISIS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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DOUBLE! PLEASE WELCOME SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY FRESHMAN JAMES
02/18/2010
View From The Bay - KGO-TV, The

OKAY. WHAT IS A SMART KID REALLY LIKE? I KNOW. I KNOW. LET'S TAKE A LOOK. WILLIAM AND MARY COLLEGE. CLASS OF 1762. JAMES? JEFFERSON. YES. PRESIDENTIAL ALMA MATERS. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN? FORD. RIGHT. AND ANSWER, DAILY DOUBLE! PLEASE WELCOME SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY FRESHMAN JAMES HILL THE THIRD. WOO! WELCOME. SO AWESOME. MADE TO IT SEMI FINALS. HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED? IT'S JUST BEEN AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE BEING HERE HEARING WELL WISHING FROM STUDENTS AND GETTING RECOGNIZED. AND I'M NOT USED TO GETTING RECOGNIZED BY ALMOST EVERY STUDENT AT SCHOOL AND EVERYTHING. WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY? I GET A LOT OF ISN'T THAT THE "JEOPARDY" GUY? PEOPLE WALK AROUND YELLING "JEOPARDY! " Z IT'S GOOD TO HEAR POSITIVE REENFORCEMENTS. HOW DID YOU GET SO SMART? MY MOM TAUGHT ME TO READ AT TWO SKMAD ME READING DIFFERENT THINGS. NEWSPAPERS AND A BOOK CALLED "KNOW IT ALL" WITH RANDOM INFORMATION. I GOT A BOOK OF TOTALLY USELESS INFORMATION AS A BIRTHDAY PRESENT AND I LOVED IT. I ATE IT UP. I JUST READ A LOT. I'M I SEEM TO BE ABLE TO PUT INFORMATION AWAY. ALL USELESS INFORMATION CAME IN HANDY. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING "JEOPARDY". AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. AT LEAST SIX OR SEVEN, MILLIONAIRE CAME ON WHEN I WAS SEVEN I REMEMBER WATCHING THEM ALL, BUT "JEOPARDY" WAS ON BEFORE THAT. HAS THAT BEEN A DREAM OF YOURS? TO BE ON THE SHOW? I ALWAYS WANTED TO GO COMPETE ON THE SHOW. I TOLD MY MOM I WAS GOING TO REGISTER TO VOTE AND REGISTER FOR "WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE". TELLING DAD I FIGURED WHICHEVER CAME FIRST, I WOULD TRY FOR TEAM TOURNAMENT A COUPLE TIMES. THEN COLLEGE TOURNAMENT. GOT THE AUDITION. FELT LIKE IT WENT WELL. AND I GOT A CALL. HOW DO YOU PREPARE? WHAT DO YOU DO? READ EVERYTHING? CLOSE. I MEAN I FOUND IT HIGH SCHOOL QUIZ TEAM TRIVIA ORGANIZATION BECAUSE I LOVE DOING IT IN MIDDLE SCHOOL WITH MY MIDDLE SCHOOLTEACHER THAT'S HELPED GROOM THAT. I USE A LOT OF THE SAME RESOURCES. WIKIPEDIA IS A GOD SEND. LOTS OF DATA BASES LIST TOP 100 PIECES AUTHORS AND SCIENTISTS, SO REVIEW A LOT OF THAT. LATE AT NIGHT, AFTER DOING OTHER HOME WORK. LOOK AT WIKIPEDIA, SEE WHAT I CAN FIND. TAKE IN AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE. I'M IMPRESSED. WELL, GONT AWAICHL WE'RE GOING PUT JAMES TO JANELLE'S JEOPARDY TEST. HIS CHALLENGER? SPENCER CHRISTIAN. I'M GOING DOWN! AND STILL TO COME ON TODAY'S SHOW, MAKING A DELICIOUS PORK LOIN WITH A SECRET CANNED INGREDIENT. WE'RE GOING TO SHARE THAT RECIPE STILL TO COME. WHAT IS COMING UP ON "THE VIEW FROM THE BAY"? FOLLOW US ON TWITTER AND YOU WON'T MISS A THICHBLGT OPRAH: ALL NEW A DESPERATE MOTHER'S SEARCH WITNESS THE REUNION 42 YEARS IN-THE-MAKING. HELLO! THEN, A TERMINALLY ILL WOMAN IN SEARCH OF HER LONG LOST FATHER

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Opinion: Strong headwinds will resist drop in U.S. unemployment rate | View Clip
02/18/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

The U.S. Department of Labor recently reported that job losses seem to be abating. The White House predicts the economy will add 95,000 jobs a month this year. So why are so many economists still predicting a 10 percent unemployment rate in 2010?

The answer lies in the ugly mathematics of measuring people at work in the U.S. — and the four headwinds working against a faster reduction in the unemployment rate: population growth, the reality of discouraged and part-time workers, and productivity improvement.

Once you look at the full picture, I predict it will be at least three years before the U.S. economy gets anywhere close to a 5 percent rate of unemployment that has been the norm in strong economic times.

The Department of Labor reported that in January the U.S. labor force — anyone 16 years or older who has a job or is looking for a job — was 153.2 million people. Of this, 138.4 million had a job, and 14.8 million, or 9.7 percent, were unemployed.

Before that rate can start falling, there are four factors to consider.

One, because our population is growing, and more workers are deciding to work longer before retirement, the U.S. labor force is increasing by an average of about 110,000 people a month, thus prompting the need to create as many jobs.

Two, according to the latest Department of Labor figures, there existed 1,065,000 so-called "discouraged workers," those who want a job but got tired

of looking for one and are no longer in the labor force, so no longer considered unemployed. However, when jobs become more plentiful, they will re-enter the labor force and start looking for a job. Until they find one, they will join the list of unemployed, slowing down the fall in the unemployment rate.

The third factor to consider is that as the economy improves, firms may turn a number of their part-time workers into full-time ones before adding new people to their payroll.

Finally, there are changes in labor productivity. In 2010, as firms start hiring more workers, labor productivity is expected to increase by only 2 percent — implying that the U.S. economy can increase by 2 percent without creating one new job or adding new work hours. That in turn means the U.S. economy must grow at a much higher rate than 2 percent to make a dent in the unemployment rate.

Most economists are projecting a fairly modest 3 percent rate of economic growth for 2010. I feel it will be somewhere between 3.5 percent and 4 percent. But even at this higher rate, by the end of 2010, the unemployment rate will still be close to 9.5 percent.

The $798 billion stimulus package passed by Congress in February 2009 did not create many new jobs in 2009. Without doubt, it saved a certain number of jobs and kept the unemployment rate from becoming even worse. The 2009 stimulus package will have a greater impact on the U.S. economy in 2010 than it had last year because more projects have become shovel-ready. The new jobs bill being discussed in Congress today, if it becomes law, will create some new jobs — but not fast enough or plentiful enough to have a major impact on this year's unemployment rate.

What is important for our economy today is for the unemployment rate to stop increasing. This alone will reduce the fear of unemployment and increase consumer confidence in the economy, leading to an increase in consumer spending on which our economy relies.

MARIO BELOTTI is a professor of economics at Santa Clara University. He wrote this article for the Mercury News.

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Parish Mission slated | View Clip
02/18/2010
NJ.com

at Our Lady of Mercy

Fr. Ricky Manalo, CSP will present a Parish Mission, "In These Days of Lenten Journey," at Our Lady of Mercy Parish from Monday, March 8, to Wednesday, March 10.

He will preach at all masses the weekend of March 6-7, at 5:30 p.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, and 7 p.m.

Planned is an evening prayer on Monday; communal celebration of the Sacrament of Penance on Tuesday; and Celebration of the Holy Eucharist on Wednesday.

The time frame for each evening is from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Manalo is a liturgical composer and member of the Paulist community (The Paulist Fathers.) He was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Marlboro, NJ. His music, which includes "Ang Katawan ni Kristo," is published through Oregon Catholic Press.

He serves as a board member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) and is an advisor to the U. S. Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy and the Secretariate on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Currently, he is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA., and is an Adjunct Professor at Santa Clara University. He resides at Old St. Mary's Cathedral, in Chinatown, San Francisco.

Our Lady of Mercy Parish is located at 40 Sullivan Drive, Jersey City. For directions and information, call the parish office (201) 434-7500.

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Voices: Mansour Izadinia: spreading analog expertise | View Clip
02/18/2010
EDN.com

Mansour Izadinia, senior vice president of IDT's analog and power group, discusses product definition, smartphnones, and opportunities in the analog area.

IDT (Integrated Device Technology) recently hired Mansour Izadinia as senior vice president of the analog and power group, signaling the company's growing emphasis on analog- and mixed signal-products. Izadinia has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of California—Los Angeles and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA). He has seven patents in the analog field and has authored several articles on the subject. EDN recently interviewed him.

What got you into analog?

I got into analog from school. When I was at UCLA, I always wanted to take the hardest courses. Everyone told me that analog-circuit design was the hardest course, so I tried it.

What was your job path to get to IDT?

I started as an analog-design engineer at National Semiconductor. For a number of years, I worked for nalog engineer] Bob Pease. After 10 years at National, I went to Maxim. I worked at Maxim for 16 years.

What kind of things did you do at National Semiconductor?

I designed many dc/dc converters and motor-drive ICs, such as the LMD18200. I designed a lot of the BCD [bipolar-CMOS-DMOS]-process products. My last year was as a section head for automotive design. I had a group of design engineers who were working on ABS ntilock-braking systems] and air-bag controllers. I designed a lot of custom automotive parts that don't show up in catalogs.

So you had an affinity toward the processing side of semiconductors, as well?

Even though I'm strong in circuit design, I never viewed an analog-circuit designer as a success unless he had a mastery of process technologies. I always wanted to understand how semiconductor-process technologies worked. I paid a lot of attention to that, and I was as good with circuit design as I was with process technology. I worked on bringing up several generations of BCD technologies at National and at Maxim.

What attracted you to Maxim?

Maxim's nalog engineer] Dave Fullagar (Reference 1) called me in 1988. I didn't take the job. Every year, I would get a call from Maxim. In 1994 I felt Maxim was not a start-up anymore, so I went there. My first job was as a senior scientist for portable power. I started to hire people and form a group of design engineers. I designed several Maxim products in the notebook area.

What increased your responsibilities at Maxim?

Back then, Maxim was very strong in portable electronics. I felt that they didn't have a lot of traction in the communication segment—things like the base stations, servers, routers, and switches. Cisco, Alcatel, and Siemens were not our customers back in 1995. I started championing doing products for this segment. I took business plans in front of our chief executive officer, Jack Gifford. In his classical methodology, he would reject me 10 times, but he eventually bought the idea. If Maxim wanted to be a power-management supplier, we would have to address this huge segment of telecommunication, server, and nonportable applications. The group was a bunch of design engineers and one marketing guy and one or two application engineers. That group grew to about 116 individuals. My last position at Maxim was vice president for the system and power-management group.

Maxim was the first analog company that seemed to organize by market. How did that come about?

This move goes back to the entrepreneurial spirit of Jack. He was an entrepreneur, and he led a lot of people who had the drive, passion, and technical background to explore markets. He believed in engineering excellence. He believed in a business of selling engineering. When Jack saw somebody who was technically good, had passion and drive, and knew what he was talking about, he gave them a lot of rope.

He believed in creating these little fiefdoms—that was his word—that would let these guys all compete for market segments and become experts at those market segments. He believed in technical, product, and application expertise about markets. He also believed that you have to beat your competition by encouraging excellence and doing good execution. He had such a huge emphasis on execution. “I'm going to create these pockets that are run by these driven people who get specialized about end markets,” he thought. I have never met any business semiconductor person who was better qualified.

Was Gifford hard to work for?

In a lot of ways, he was very misunderstood. I think his close friends know what a human person he was. He really did have a soft heart. He held the bar high and drove a lot of people hard, but he had a big heart.

What attracted you to IDT?

I always liked passionate people. Jack was a passionate person. I always wanted to be around people who had drive and passion because I'm the same way. When I was talking to Ted [Tewksbury, IDT's president and chief executive officer], I could feel the passion in his voice. I have known him for a long time. At Maxim, he had a lot of passion. He impressed me with that.

A lot of people get hung up on creating a 10-year plan that's all mapped out. I think what's even more important is that the person is adaptive to change—that he can figure things out. A person with drive is going to figure it out along the way. I like people that are not myopic about things and who are not stuck up about their own ideas. I like people who are open to other people's ideas and who can build a team. You're only as good as your team is. Ted understood that. A lot of things that he told me resonated well.

IDT is an established company. Is a start-up culture something you like to build in your team?

Yes. I think the key to success for a large company is to make sure they keep the team's focus and that they focus on execution. This approach is integral to the success of start-ups. If you look at how start-ups succeed, they get a small group of people who are not bothered by all the other corporate stuff. They execute. The key to success is exactly that. I think IDT is going through this transformation—this focus on execution. Ted started that focus, and I'm carrying it forward. I'm trying to put an emphasis on product execution, product development, and having the right metrics in place. I learned this approach from him.

How do you think product definition should work in an analog-semiconductor company?

You didn't really need an equipment expert 20 years ago. An op amp is so general-purpose that it would compete on parameters and specs. As systems got more complex and integration took hold, we needed to have people who exactly understand the end-customer system. Sometimes, our customers don't understand their own subsystems. Many companies don't have power-management experts, yet power management is critical to the performance of their end products. There lies an opportunity for us to bring that expertise and use it to come up with differentiated products. We alleviate our customers' headaches. In the future, customers won't really care what an IC does as long as it solves their entire problem.

Read more Voices

Apple shows this approach. If you buy an iPhone, it takes you 10 minutes to know how to use it. It's exactly the same with chips and ICs. If you handed a 300-page data sheet to a customer, they don't have the time and sometimes not even the expertise to be able to read it. Ease of use also applies to ICs. To do that, we need to have elegance in product definition. We need product definition that's targeted, that's specific, and that solves the problem with the least amount of headache. When a customer calls us and wants to use our product, we need to have experts in product definition who can go in and solve the problem in the shortest amount of time. That service is what differentiates our products. Ted has put an emphasis on this issue. We've been bringing that end-equipment expertise into IDT.

Some companies call [this person] a product definer. Some companies call him system architect. Some companies call him a marketing person. Some companies call him a field application engineer. It doesn't matter what title you give that person. You've got to have a person who has the system knowledge of your customer and who can bring a value to your customer. No customer ever wants to talk to a salesman or a field-application engineer who doesn't understand his problems.

So, rather than resent doing your customers' jobs, you view them as opportunities?

Absolutely. We have to bring value to a meeting. We want to solve this problem that you have. We want to exactly understand that problem. That differentiates companies and drives sales. It's not just an IC design anymore. It used to be that you would execute on a product specification. If you came up with a lower offset voltage on an op amp, you would win the business. It's not that way anymore. The world has become so complex and systems have become so complex. The end equipment may have one or two ICs inside. The whole thing is integrated. That guy who understands how to apply that IC is the one who wins the business.

Smartphones seem to have changed everything. They have lots of analog and power-management content. Is that the kind of business you want to do?

At IDT, we have a diverse set of technologies that apply not just to smartphones, but also to e-books and display applications. We have a whole bag of technologies available to us. I think mobile computing is important. I can‘t speculate on whether it's smartphones, e-books, or other audio and video handheld devices.

IDT also has cellular base-station RF chips.

We have a sizable business in base stations. We understand how the data flows in a base station. We are focusing on some of the front-end technologies for the base station, as well. We want to be a total system provider. We want to provide the entire solution that goes into a base station. We can choose to go after sockets that make sense for us, both in core competency and from a business aspect.

Your knowledge of process seems to play well serving an entire system.

We're going to be looking at all these system pieces at IDT. In the front end, we look to provide RF devices. On the back end, we are looking at providing the power-amplifier devices. It's not an issue of whether we need to have analog, digital, DSP capabilities. It's an issue of providing tools for a complete system solution. I don't think that any company has a choice in being an analog supplier or a mixed-signal supplier or a digital supplier. You have to have this bag of tricks. You have to be an analog provider. You have to know how to do signal processing. You have to make the best ADCs and DACs. You have to be able to make the best power amplifiers. These are all the little blocks that go into a big system. When Ted came up with this charter of being a solution provider, it meant that the company had to have analog, signal processing, and RF and power amps.

What is your attitude about fabless versus captive fab operation?

We need certain technologies to be differentiated from our competition and to provide special value to a customer. We don't need to have a fab to have those differentiated technologies. So, whether or not you own a fabrication facility, I think it's immaterial. We can develop specialized process technologies within any of the captive foundries.

Do you mean real process differences, or do you mean device geometries or IP (intellectual property)?

We have the expertise to do that. I'm a device guy as much as I'm a circuit guy. I don't need a captive fab to implement those processes. Sometimes, having a fab is a hindrance. A captive fab is targeted toward the entire corporation. Sometimes, they're so busy with doing what's right for three-fourths of the company, that, if you're trying to start a business and you actually need a specialized process, they have no time to give you. Not having a fab is somewhat of a blessing because I don't have to convince one technology-development group to add a process. I have multiple foundries that are calling us on a weekly basis asking, “What can we do for you?” You have to figure out what you're trying to do. These days, there is going to be a fab that will implement what you want if you provide them a business case. China is building foundries as if there were no end.

I notice that IDT makes analog switches. Can you comment on that?

I managed the design group for analog switch-product line at Maxim, and it's a great business. It's underserved in the marketplace. A lot of companies and a lot of designers think that analog switches are low-tech, old technology. But there are things that you can do with analog switches that you cannot do with more integrated solutions.

So, does it make sense to design a system that is not just a single chip?

Yes. When you integrate more and more of these solutions, what if something goes wrong? What if you get to the end of your product development and you're trying to ship a product two weeks from now and you didn't define a certain thing right? That's when an analog switch comes in to the rescue. That's how we built a huge business, because errors happen and things change.

I notice IDT has a broad spectrum of part types. Could you comment on that?

Ted has a vision that you've got to have these foundations—these pillars that we put in place now to invest for the future. Touch technology is going to be a must. Audio is going to be a must. If you look at what IDT has been doing, we've been putting in place all these technologies that we think are needed for the next 10 years—not in one year or two years but the next 10 years.

How do you balance the consumer market with the industrial and medical markets? How do you get people to understand that designing for the long term is important?

If I didn't have to deal with Wall Street, my ideal business would be an infrastructure kind of a business. I wouldn't have to deal with cyclical ups and downs. Unfortunately, we have to deal with the reality of the business world and the fact that Wall Street is involved. We have to participate in fast-growth markets. And fast-growth markets by definition can also be fast-declining markets. When the GDP [gross domestic product] goes up by 1%, your business goes up 20%; it amplifies the GDP by that much. The infrastructure markets don't amplify the GDP by that much. So, I love infrastructure businesses, but I don't think we have a choice. We have to play in the mobile markets.

Does operating as a fab-lite company help with these big swings in demand?

Absolutely. I think that you cannot be in a mobile market having only your own fab. Consumer markets go up and down by so much, and they are very seasonal. How do you forecast your products if you're completely in the consumer markets? Being a fab-lite company really addresses that difficulty. If you sell to stable infrastructure markets, you might keep a fab at 90% utilization. If your fabs aren't full all the time, they won't pay for themselves. Utilization factors have to be 90% plus, which is hard in the consumer markets. That is why fab-lite works so well for us.

As technology gets more complicated, does the job of semiconductor companies also get more complicated?

Yes. Our customers are paying a lot of attention not just to the chip that we provide, but also to the service that we provide. They seek the knowledge that we bring to the interaction with them.

Reference

Rako, Paul, “Dave Fullagar, analog-IC designer and entrepreneur," EDN, Nov 22, 2007, pg 26.

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Cocktail Chronicles: Notes on what's happening | View Clip
02/18/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

San Jose's Smoke Tiki Lounge has closed as bar but will reopen as a restaurant. photo by Charlie McCollum for the Mercury News

Time to take a break from the regular rounds of Silicon Valley barhopping to update the Cocktail Chronicles score card.

Freddy Jackson has brought a whole new look to Freddie J's, the new name of the bar formerly known as Mission Ale House, in downtown San Jose.

Instead of its antique saloon look, Jackson's painted the walls red and gray and replaced Mission's tables with black leather couches that definitely give the bar a lounge atmosphere.

Although Freddie J's has been open since November, bartenders tell me that things are still falling into place. For that reason, we'll reserve any judgment until a later date.

Blue Chalk Cafe, which had been a hot spot in Palo Alto since 1993, has closed its doors on Ramona Street. The swanky pool hall/bar seems to have gotten caught in the sudden shuttering of Left at Albuquerque restaurants, with which it was affiliated.

If you're looking for a sports bar to add to your rounds, the newest player is Rookies, which took over the old Straw Hat Pizza location on Meridian Avenue in San Jose.

The bar has more than a dozen flat screen TVs, and its memorabilia leans more toward old school (right down to a leather football helmet).

Smoke Tiki Lounge, which held the corner of Post and San Pedro streets in downtown San Jose since 2005, closed up shop after its New Year's Eve party. Since that night, I've heard from several people to expect big changes

there.

Reportedly, operator Tim Littlefield plans to ditch the tiki theme and make the place more an eatery. When I walked past last week, though, there wasn't any activity in the empty bar, which looked like a disaster had struck.

BACK TO THE BRIT: After the column on Britannia Arms in South San Jose ran a few weeks ago, I heard from Deepa Arora, the communications director at Santa Clara University.

She lightly chided me for dissing the shandy, which she informed me is hugely popular in India and among the Indian population here.

I didn't know that, so I promised her I would return to give it a try. I did, but I've got admit I'm still not a fan.

Also, Brit owner John McKay called to correct the notion that the ladies' room didn't have a baby-changing table. Mrs. Cocktail Chronicles chalked up missing it to a rookie mistake. "I thought that was just a tray for my drink," joked the mother of the year.

TROPICAL READING: It's a shame Smoke Tiki Lounge flamed out, because it would have been a great spot to try out some of the recipes in "Beachbum Berry Remixed," a book for tropical-cocktail lovers coming out in March from San Jose-based SLG Publishing.

Beachbum Berry — whose real name is Jeff Berry — mixes more than 100 recipes with well-researched histories of drinks such as the Mai Tai and the Zombie, which first came on the scene in the 1930s and '40s.

SLG's Dan Vado says he hopes to set up a book signing for Berry at an appropriate bar this spring.

Places where you can get modern-day versions of those tropical classics include E&O Trading Co. and the Elephant Bar. Or pick up the book and mix 'em at home.

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Suspicious Alumnus Asks to Enter Student Apartment | View Clip
02/18/2010
Cowl

On alumni weekend, Cunningham Hall residents received an unexpected visitor. A male subject knocked on the door of an apartment and told the student residents that he was an alumnus who had lived in that apartment several years ago. The man claimed that he had lost a ring and asked if he could go into the room and look in the closet for it.

"[He] went through the apartment, looked in the closet, said he found the ring, and left," said Sgt. David Marshall, supervisor of the Office of Safety and Security.

Upon further inspection, the students found nothing missing from the apartment. Providence College Security investigated both the man and the incident.

"He did tell the student actual things that happened…what year he was here, who lived in the room then, nd] the loss of the ring was actually legit," said Marshall.

It would have been impossible for the man to discover the ring, since the ring had been lost 10 years earlier, and the room had since been repainted and cleaned numerous times.

This incident has instigated a further promotion of on-campus safety tips.

"If a stranger was to come to the door [of an apartment or dorm], number one: don't let him in, and number two: if he gives you a story…tell him that he has the wrong room, and go to security," said Marshall. "I would suggest just calling us right away."

Aside from this incident, there have been no other reports of uninvited persons entering the dorms and apartments this year. College Security strongly advises students not to prop open doors, as leaving doors ajar and opening doors for strangers sets students up to become victims.

"Non-students should not be in residence halls, and if someone doesn't look right, contact us so that we can investigate," said Major John Leyden, executive director of Safety and Security. "Propped doors invite unwanted guests."

Other suggestions for safety within the gates of the College include utilizing the available campus resources such as the campus shuttle, student escorts, and emergency phones. Marshall encourages students to report any suspicious activity to Safety and Security right away.

"If something smells rotten, it usually is, [so] use your senses and call us, let us check it out," he said.

This semester, a new reporting system has been initiated at Providence College to allow students to report any incidents or suspicious activities completely anonymously right from their cell phones. The service is called TipNow, and is used at several other colleges and universities throughout the nation, including Quinnipiac University and Santa Clara University.

As of mid-January, students and members of the College community can now simply send a text message to PC@tipnow.org. The phone number remains untraceable, and the text message is sent to emergency supervisors and sergeants, as well as to the dispatcher.

Thus far, Safety and Security has received five tips via this new text messaging system. Most recently, a witness reported to PC@tipnow.org that a green SUV backed into a pole in front of Cunningham Hall and that the subjects in the car got out and ran.

"This person told everything that went on, so [Safety and Security] was able to tell the police exactly what happened," said Marshall.

Marshall emphasized that this system is very effective and encourages students to use it.

"Students can assist in providing a safer campus by being vigilant and contacting the Office of Safety and Security at extension 2222 or PC@tipnow.org whenever suspicious activity is observed," said Major Leyden.

It is also recommended that students lock cars and secure any electronics or valuables safely in car trunks or in out-of-sight locations. Recently, there have been stolen GPSs from cars on campus.

"We had three [stolen GPSs] last week in front of Alumni Hall, in the dirt lot area," said Marshall.

These instances all happened between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

"It's not happening at night, it's happening during the day," he said. "We're investigating right now and hopefully it doesn't happen again."

Marshall also suggested that female students attend a semester-long women's self defense program that is currently being hosted by PC Security. The group meets on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. in Feinstein Academic Center for one hour. The program lasts for eight to 12 weeks, and teaches women self defense moves called RAD, boxing skills, and other important facts and physical maneuvers that will allow them to defend themselves in situations if necessary. The course averages 35 girls per semester and is a beneficial way to prevent students from becoming victims.

By acting wisely, exercising caution in daily activities, and reporting any suspicious activities, students can ensure that life on campus remains as safe as possible. Students should make sure to close first floor apartment and dorm windows while the residence is unoccupied, and exercise care with PC ID cards or report any lost or missing cards as soon as possible in order to prevent fraudulent ID uses.

PC Safety and Security is constantly working hard to make students feel safe, so students must take part in this effort as well.

"Students should feel safe on campus and I am confident they do," said Major Leyden.

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KEEPING UP WITH CHANGES AT SOUTH BAY, PENINSULA BARS
02/18/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Time to take a break from the regular rounds of Silicon Valley barhopping to update the Cocktail Chronicles score card.

(box) Freddy Jackson has brought a whole new look to Freddie J's, the new name of the bar formerly known as Mission Ale House, in downtown San Jose.

Instead of its antique saloon look, Jackson's painted the walls red and gray and replaced Mission's tables with black leather couches that definitely give the bar a lounge atmosphere.

Although Freddie J's has been open since November, bartenders tell me that things are still falling into place. For that reason, we'll reserve any judgment until a later date.

(box) Blue Chalk Cafe, which had been a hot spot in Palo Alto since 1993, has closed its doors on Ramona Street. The swanky pool hall/bar seems to have gotten caught in the sudden shuttering of Left at Albuquerque restaurants, with which it was affiliated.

(box) If you're looking for a sports bar to add to your rounds, the newest player is Rookies, which took over the old Straw Hat Pizza location on Meridian Avenue in San Jose.

The bar has more than a dozen flat screen TVs, and its memorabilia leans more toward old school (right down to a leather football helmet).

(box) Smoke Tiki Lounge, which held the corner of Post and San Pedro streets in downtown San Jose since 2005, closed up shop after its New Year's Eve party. Since that night, I've heard from several people to expect big changes there.

Reportedly, operator Tim Littlefield plans to ditch the tiki theme and make the place more an eatery. When I walked past last week, though, there wasn't any activity in the empty bar, which looked like a disaster had struck.

BACK TO THE BRIT: After the column on Britannia Arms in South San Jose ran a few weeks ago, I heard from Deepa Arora, the communications director at Santa Clara University.

She lightly chided me for dissing the shandy, which she informed me is hugely popular in India and among the Indian population here.

I didn't know that, so I promised her I would return to give it a try. I did, but I've got admit I'm still not a fan.

Also, Brit owner John McKay called to correct the notion that the ladies' room didn't have a baby-changing table. Mrs. Cocktail Chronicles chalked up missing it to a rookie mistake. "I thought that was just a tray for my drink," joked the mother of the year.

TROPICAL READING: It's a shame Smoke Tiki Lounge flamed out, because it would have been a great spot to try out some of the recipes in "Beachbum Berry Remixed," a book for tropical-cocktail lovers coming out in March from San Jose-based SLG Publishing.

Beachbum Berry -- whose real name is Jeff Berry -- mixes more than 100 recipes with well-researched histories of drinks such as the Mai Tai and the Zombie, which first came on the scene in the 1930s and '40s.

SLG's Dan Vado says he hopes to set up a book signing for Berry at an appropriate bar this spring.

Places where you can get modern-day versions of those tropical classics include E&O Trading Co. and the Elephant Bar. Or pick up the book and mix 'em at home.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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$timulus: Successful, or stifling? | View Clip
02/17/2010
Herald-Palladium

Guy Page of Benton Harbor received golf course maintenance training last summer through a Michigan Works! program, which received federal stimulus money in 2009. Today is the first anniversary of the stimulus bill becoming law. Don Campbell / H-P staff

One year later, the American Recovery and Reinvestment act sparks praise, criticism

Too big, too small or just right?

Today is the one-year anniversary of passage of the $787 billion federal stimulus bill known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It was designed to jump start the economy through job creation, job retention, job retraining, tax cuts and unemployment benefit extensions.

More than $10.6 billion in Recovery Act dollars have been invested in Michigan, allowing the state to create or retain 42,000 jobs, according to Lt. Gov. John D. Cherry Jr. Cherry traveled to Bay County and Saginaw on Tuesday with Vice President Joe Biden to tout the stimulus in a tour of a small business, a jobs training program and a solar panel factory that were all paid for with stimulus money.

"The Recovery Act has funded tens of thousands of jobs for Michigan workers, but jobs numbers alone don't tell the whole story," Cherry said at one event, as reported by the Associated Press. "The Recovery Act is providing an unprecedented level of investment in Michigan's new energy economy - investments we can see in the form of multi-million dollar tax credits."

Benton Harbor and Benton Township received some $43.89 million in grants, according to recovery.gov, the government Web site tracking stimulus spending. The money went for education, environmental protection, housing as well as hiring four police officers and buying three police cruisers for the Benton Harbor Police Department. St. Joseph and St. Joseph Township received about $20.32 million in contracts in similar areas, according to the site.

The money also helped expand a Michigan Works summer jobs program, pumping $1.2 million into the local economy as well as paying for a separate worker retraining program, said Candice Elders, Michigan Works spokeswoman.

"We would've had the summer youth program anyway, but the stimulus money gave us a shot in the arm and allowed us to serve more youths," she said. "It was great because in our down economy it allowed people out of a job to retrain."

About $10 million of stimulus money will help pay for a replacement water intake line from Lake Michigan into the St. Joseph water filtration plant, according to St. Joseph City Manager Frank Walsh.

"We certainly have received a big share of the pie when it comes to stimulus dollars locally," Walsh said.

While appreciative, Walsh worries about it adding to the projected $1.6 trillion deficit and about $12.37 trillion national debt.

"I still have a lot of questions about what generation is going to pay back the money," Walsh said. "The federal government needs to go on a diet."

Despite his concerns, Walsh said they wouldn't stop him from applying for more stimulus money if it becomes available.

"If it's out there we certainly owe it to our residents to take advantage of it," he said.

However, another stimulus bill is unlikely due to a lack of political will, said U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph. Upton said a $156 billion jobs bill approved in the House was reduced to $1.5 billion in the Senate.

Upton's Web site includes information on how to apply for stimulus money, but he voted against the bill, citing deficit concerns and saying more money should have been spent on business tax breaks rather than on government jobs.

"It really hasn't helped us much and it's set us up for big deficits," Upton said. "Most people understand you can't spend money you don't have."

While he voted against the stimulus due to deficit concerns, Upton previously voted for the Bush tax cuts, the Medicare Part D prescription drug program and the Iraq War. Those three initiatives and the recession are blamed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office for turning a $260 billion surplus when President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 to the $1.3 trillion deficit when he left in 2009.

Upton said he has no regrets about the votes or promoting how to apply for stimulus money on his Web site.

"(My) view has always been that our district needs to compete with other districts," he said. "We're not going to deny folks the right to get it."

Biden's visit is part of a weeklong push to highlight the stimulus program's first year to a skeptical public. While the tax cuts Democrats included in their bill have the backing of 70 percent of the public and another 80 percent support the infrastructure investments, 56 percent of the public opposes the broad plan, according to a CNN poll last month.

Obama's fellow Democrats planned to tout programs putting people back to work under the bill. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was touring a medical center in Atlanta on Tuesday; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was promoting stimulus projects in Virginia and Texas the same day.

In all, senior administration officials are scheduled to visit 35 communities before Friday to counter Republican claims the massive deficit-spending program has failed. Obama plans to surround himself at the White House today with people who have jobs because of the stimulus plan, then travel to Colorado and Nevada.

While Republicans say the stimulus was too big, Nobel Prize winning economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz say it was too small and too focused on tax cuts rather than job creation. With 14.8 million unemployed and a record 3.9 million foreclosures in 2009, author and liberal economist Jack Rasmus, says its clear Obama didn't aim high enough.

Rasmus, who teaches economics at St. Marys College and Santa Clara University in California, said the stimulus needed to be about $2 trillion. Last year, Rasmus sent a proposal to the House Financial Services Committee calling for $1 trillion on job creation and $1 trillion in direct lending to homeowners and small businesses through a small business loan corporation similar to a Depression-era program established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The programs would be paid for by raising the income tax to its 1980 level of about 50 percent for top bracked income - it is currently about 36 percent - and the capital gains tax from the current 7 percent to about 15 percent.

Rasmus said Obama has failed to recognize that the worst recession since the Great Depression requires extreme measures.

"The government can pump money into the states through unemployment insurance, but that just keeps things from getting worse," Rasmus said. "Obama's going to have to realize that this isn't 1994, and if he doesn't act like FDR in 1934 he's going to end up like Jimmy Carter in 1978."

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Google Buzz may be a lesson in viral backlash | View Clip
02/16/2010
Investor's Business Daily - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- "How do I turn this thing off?"

It was a frequent outburst over a slew of Facebook updates and tweets as Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Buzz, its latest foray into social networking, got the wrong kind of buzz. This was probably not the kind of viral chatter the top execs at the GooglePlex envisioned when they named, perhaps prematurely, their newest product Google Buzz.

In Silicon Valley and beyond, many critics and consumers were saying "Buzz off" to the company's attempt to turn its popular free Gmail service into a social network.

"Marketing is marketing. You want people to talk about it," said Buford Barr, a lecturer of marketing and communication at Santa Clara University. "You want things to go viral, but here is the downside of it."

As playwright, poet and quipster Oscar Wilde wrote in his only novel of the Victorian era, "there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

But the last thing savvy tech companies want is for a product to end up as a frequent mention in #fail on Twitter. Yet that is exactly where Google Buzz was frequently mentioned, just hours after many consumers started to play with the new tool. One of the complaints was that Buzz seemed to have a mind of its own, picking names in your email inbox , and selecting them randomly for you to follow in your "Buzz" network.

"Thanks Google Buzz, I'm automatically following 3 ex-girlfriends. #fail," wrote Tony Pitluga of Pittsburgh in a tweet that was widely re-tweeted last week.

Another problem users discovered is that Google makes public everything you do in Buzz in its search engine, unless you set the privacy settings ahead of time.

In the world of real time search and the growth of social networking, early adopters of new tech products can be an important voice early on, thus affecting a broader adoption of a product. Companies are listening and when they can, they are taking action.

On Friday, Google released some fixes to Buzz. In a blog post, the company admitted that consumers were, ugh, how to say this politely, annoyed.

"In particular there's been concern from some people who thought their contacts were being made public without their knowledge (in particular the lists of people they follow, and the people following them)," wrote Todd Jackson, product manager of Gmail and Google Buzz. "In addition, others felt they had too little control over who could follow them and were upset that they lacked the ability to block people who didn't yet have public profiles from following them."

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Some techies lambast Google's overhyped Buzz | View Clip
02/16/2010
MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- "How do I turn this thing off?"

It was a frequent outburst over a slew of Facebook updates and tweets as Google Inc.'s /quotes/comstock/15*!goog/quotes/nls/goog (GOOG 536.68, +3.56, +0.67%) Buzz, its latest foray into social networking, got the wrong kind of buzz. This was probably not the kind of viral chatter the top execs at the GooglePlex envisioned when they named, perhaps prematurely, their newest product Google Buzz.

In Silicon Valley and beyond, many critics and consumers were saying "Buzz off" to the company's attempt to turn its popular free Gmail service into a social network.

"Marketing is marketing. You want people to talk about it," said Buford Barr, a lecturer of marketing and communication at Santa Clara University. "You want things to go viral, but here is the downside of it."

As playwright, poet and quipster Oscar Wilde wrote in his only novel of the Victorian era, "there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

But the last thing savvy tech companies want is for a product to end up as a frequent mention in #fail on Twitter. Yet that is exactly where Google Buzz was frequently mentioned, just hours after many consumers started to play with the new tool. One of the complaints was that Buzz seemed to have a mind of its own, picking names in your email inbox , and selecting them randomly for you to follow in your "Buzz" network.

"Thanks Google Buzz, I'm automatically following 3 ex-girlfriends. #fail," wrote Tony Pitluga of Pittsburgh in a tweet that was widely re-tweeted last week.

Another problem users discovered is that Google makes public everything you do in Buzz in its search engine, unless you set the privacy settings ahead of time.

In the world of real time search and the growth of social networking, early adopters of new tech products can be an important voice early on, thus affecting a broader adoption of a product. Companies are listening and when they can, they are taking action.

On Friday, Google released some fixes to Buzz. In a blog post, the company admitted that consumers were, ugh, how to say this politely, annoyed.

"In particular there's been concern from some people who thought their contacts were being made public without their knowledge (in particular the lists of people they follow, and the people following them)," wrote Todd Jackson, product manager of Gmail and Google Buzz. "In addition, others felt they had too little control over who could follow them and were upset that they lacked the ability to block people who didn't yet have public profiles from following them."

Google said it was making immediate improvements and making options more clearly visible. It added that "tens of millions of people have checked Buzz out, creating over nine million posts and comments."

Now the question is, will consumers keep using Google Buzz or be turned off completely after their initial freakouts? Or can the search engine giant overcome it by responding quickly to concerns, as it appears to be trying to do? The social networking leader Facebook also has had many privacy issues, but manages to keep most of its users, even as it makes changes to its site, some of them not always well-received.

Even so, Google faces an uphill battle launching another social network oh the heels of the bigger successes of Facebook and Twitter. Its 2004 launch of Orkut, while very popular in Brazil and India, is generally considered a flop. Many of my friends say they don't need the hassle of creating and maintaining yet another social network.

I have to agree. I am not using Buzz. I have no interesting in cluttering up my Gmail account. I already use Facebook and Twitter, and less frequently, LinkedIn. I don't need another social network or status update service, especially one so integrated with email that I use for private communication. While I don't like Facebook for email, I check what my friends and contacts are doing, catch up briefly over Facebook, chat and write fast emails in Facebook if I need to. I also am increasingly using it for work.

Yahoo Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!yhoo/quotes/nls/yhoo (YHOO 15.24, +0.07, +0.46%) last year added more social features to Yahoo Mail, a move that Google seems to be mimicking. Yahoo's effort was viewed as a flop and disabled by many users.

Facebook now has over 400 million registered users. While all social networks face the potential risk of faddishness -- look at News Corp.'s /quotes/comstock/15*!nws/quotes/nls/nws (NWS 15.47, -0.01, -0.06%) MySpace -- it's going to be hard for Google to stop that momentum. (News Corp. also owns MarketWatch) See news of MySpace CEO stepping down here.

"Unfortunately, the real-world taste test turned sour and Google is scrambling to make changes," said Ray Valdes, an analyst with market research firm Gartner, in an email. "I think this story will have a few more twists and turns as it unfolds."

Therese Poletti is a senior columnist for MarketWatch in San Francisco.

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Your Mind and Your Money-Risk Roulette | View Clip
02/16/2010
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) - Online

TOM HUDSON: You can trigger an emotional response in many investors just by saying, it's risky. And as we heard earlier, dealing with risk leads some investors to behave irrationally. But that's not true of everyone. So, why do different investors have different attitudes toward risk? Let's turn once again to Dan Grech for a look at the psychology behind risk tolerance.

DAN GRECH: When it comes to doing something risky, the question is this: how much of a chance are you willing to take to get a reward? That also applies to investing. Some people are born gamblers. They're willing to take big risks in order to make big money. They're said to have a high risk tolerance. But many people have a profound fear of losing money. They have a low risk tolerance. They avoid taking risks with their hard- earned cash.

MIO RODRIGUEZ, INVESTOR: Hi, how's it going?

GRECH: Investor Mio Rodriguez likes to gamble.

RODRIGUEZ: I'm not a very patient person. I like to see results quickly and so I'm not really into watching money grow slowly. I prefer taking a little bit of a risk knowing that there's a high reward.

GRECH: Rodriguez says his high risk tolerance is influenced by his profession. His job is to pull off the impossible.

RODRIGUEZ: Exhale slowly. Relax your hand. Let it out, Marissa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No way.

RODRIGUEZ: In doing magic for a living, which is a high-risk sort of occupation, it definitely sort of bleeds over into my investing thoughts.

GRECH: A few miles and a world away lives retired IT executive Ralph Zullo. He does not want to take big chances with his money.

RALPH ZULLO, INVESTOR: I hate to lose money, so high risk situations? That's Las Vegas for me and I don't like to do that.

GRECH: You may assume your appetite for risk is ingrained in your personality. You're either a gambler or a saver, a magician or a squirrel. But Professor Meir Statman of Santa Clara University says it's not that simple. He says when it comes to taking risks with money, people often seem to act in contradictory ways. For instance, many buy lottery tickets despite the high odds of losing. Then, those same people buy insurance to protect themselves against loss.

MEIR STATMAN, PROFESSOR, SANTA CLARA UNIV.: We want two things in life. One is not to be poor and the other is to be rich. And we have different attitudes, of course, in terms of risk. The money that is saved, the money for retirement, we want safe. We are very risk averse about it. But then we want to take chances in the hope of getting rich. And the lottery ticket that costs only a dollar gives you hope for an entire week, even if you don't get rich.

GRECH: Professor Baruch Fischhoff is with Carnegie Mellon University. He says our appetite for risk has a lot to do with how we interpret information.

BARUCH FISCHHOFF, PROFESSOR, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIV.: Just like you'd find two people, one who will stay in a job because she thinks it's a greater risk to move to something else and somebody will leave the job because she's afraid that the industry or the company is going down.

GRECH: So experts have found that risk tolerance is a complicated mix of personality and perception. That can make it difficult to decide how much risk to take. To find the right level of risk for his clients, financial planner Harold Evensky has them take a risk-tolerance test. But Evensky says the results of that test don't always paint a true picture.

HAROLD EVENSKY, EVENSKY & KATZ WEALTH MGMT.: Well, I always joke people have an infinite risk tolerance when the market's going up and zero when it's going down.

GRECH: Here's one way to deal with investment risk. Think of your money as being divided into different buckets. Then tie your riskier investments to your less-important financial goals. That's called mental accounting. Like a good hand in a card game, investment winnings can be easy come, easy go. And you have to manage your risks if you want to play another day. Dan Grech, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Miami Beach.

GHARIB: The reluctance to take investment risks is really about fear. For more on that, I again talked with psychiatrists Gregory Berns and Richard Peterson. I asked Dr. Berns whether people avoid taking risks because they're worried about losing money or because they're afraid of looking foolish.

BERNS: You know, Susie, it's really all of those things and I have to say, after a decade of studying peoples' brains on these types of things, that we find that most people are risk averse. Most people, kind of as a normal point of view for how the world works, are afraid of risks. So, for most people, if you want to succeed in a financial market, you have to overcome that fear and the fears that you mentioned -- the fear of losing money, the fear of looking foolish -- are particularly important and dictate what people do or do not do.

GHARIB: Dr. Peterson, how much of it is about losing control?

PETERSON: Well, if fear were an infection, I guess you could say that control is the vaccine. Essentially, feeling control is an antidote to any kind of out of control or uncertainty that you feel when you're experiencing fear.

GHARIB: Dr. Berns, let me follow up on that, because you have studied some really extraordinary people. And in your book, you call them iconoclasts, people like Warren Buffett and Jack Welch, that we talked about earlier. They don't have any fear of failure. Why is that?

BERNS: Well, Susie, that's not entirely correct. It's not that these iconoclasts and people who take risks don't have fear. I think it's more correct to say they manage the fear and they don't let it cloud their judgment. And I think that's the key in the takeaway message for pretty much everyone. The issue is not fear. The issue is letting it dictate your decisions and recognizing it. And the key is fear is very easy to recognize and for the most part, it just means not acting on it straight away. Think about it.

GHARIB: So, Dr. Peterson, is this something genetic or something learned?

PETERSON: Well, I think it's both. I think part of it is, you know, did you get into risk-taking situations when you were younger? Over your life span, how have they turned out? If you had terrible traumas, for example, if you just started investing in 2007 and then you lost half your money in the stock market, then that's going to color your perceptions the rest of your life. And studies do show that with the depression-era babies. So, it's both, actually. And I think one thing that Dr. Berns was pointing out is courage is essential to being able to overcome fears. We all experience fear. It's really about how much courage can we muster every time we, again, are in that situation.

GHARIB: Gentlemen, thank you so much for your time. It was fascinating talking with both of you, Dr. Richard Peterson, author of "Inside the Investor's Brain", Dr. Berns of Emory University.

HUDSON: We know that human beings are social animals. That means we place a high value on being part of a group. So does that herd mentality also extend to how we invest? In his next report, Dan looks at the evidence.

GRECH: Have you ever noticed how animals tend to move together in groups? Whether it's birds, elephants or cows, they all seem to share the same instincts to herd. The question is: do we as humans share this same herding behavior?

PETERSON: Herding is a response to having not enough information and thinking that others around us can actually give us a shortcut to how to make a decision.

GRECH: Dr. Richard Peterson is a psychiatrist who now manages hedge funds. He says the impulse to stick with the group dates back to our earliest ancestors.

PETERSON: If we're in a group of people in the Serengeti and one person starts running, we probably either want to pay attention to what they're running away from or start running with them, because those who didn't do so would be a meal for the lions.

GRECH: Today, lions are less of a problem, but the desire to be part of a group still runs deep. Safety in numbers is one reason people join investment clubs like the Polaris investment club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Once a month, club members meet to invest the cash they've put in the treasury. Sally Escott helped found the club 15 years ago . She says one strength of the group is that members do not always agree.

SALLY ESCOTT, POLARIS INVESTMENT CLUB: We don't get to the fisticuffs stage. We just debate and if you're on the winning side of the vote, that's fine and if you're not, that's OK. You go do it on your own.

GRECH: That range of independent views has helped the Polaris Club win a national portfolio contest eight years in a row. Co-founder Len Gilman says in other investment clubs, group-think often prevails.

LEN GILMAN, POLARIS INVESTMENT CLUB: Our club does not have anybody who is monopolizing or strong-arming or over influencing others and this has been the downfall of some investment clubs.

GRECH: Studies have found that going against the majority is incredibly hard. People will generally suppress their own opinions instead. Dr. Gregory Berns is a neuro-economist at Emory University. In one of his experiments, volunteers were shown three-dimensional blocks in various configurations. They were asked: are the blocks identical? When the volunteers were alone, they almost always gave the correct answer: the blocks are the same. But when they were put with people coached to give the wrong answer, the volunteers changed their minds. They said the blocks were different. Berns says brain scans revealed why. The desire to please the group was so strong, it actually altered the way the volunteers saw the blocks.

BERNS: There is, as far as our brains go, kind of no reality. The reality is what we construct in our mind. And that's influenced by other people.

GRECH: So, studies of the brain confirm that people are very sensitive to peer pressure, but some people are able to withstand that pressure. They're not afraid to go against the crowd. They're called iconoclasts. Among investors, Warren Buffett is an iconoclast. He often goes against conventional wisdom on Wall Street. Peterson says being an iconoclast may seem risky, but it's often profitable.

PETERSON: In the financial markets of today, if you see a danger, you can probably bet that everybody else has seen that danger, as well. And in fact, it turns out it's probably best to buy at that time when you see the danger. It's very ironic, but financial markets are completely counterintuitive.

GRECH: So herding may be good for cows, but if you're an investor, even a bullish one, it's one form of animal behavior you may want to avoid. Dan Grech, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Cherry Grove Farms, New Jersey.

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Paired Ends | View Clip
02/16/2010
Genome Web Daily News

Tim Harkins joined Life Technologies as director of R&D for SOLiD collaborations last week. He comes to Life Tech from Roche Applied Science North America, where he was director of marketing for sequencing, responsible for the company's 454 Life Sciences Genome Sequencer platform.

Steve Lombardi has resigned as president and director of Helicos BioSciences, effective Feb. 11, according to a company filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week. Ron Lowy, Helicos' CEO, has also taken on the role of president.

Lombardi joined Helicos in 2006 as senior vice president of sales and marketing and became president and COO in 2007. From August until December 2008, he served as the company's CEO. Prior to Helicos, he was a senior vice president at Affymetrix, and before that, he held various positions at Applied Biosystems, including vice president of the firm's sequencing and genetic analysis business unit. He has a degree in biology from Merrimack College.

Agilent Technologies has appointed Robert Schueren as vice president and general manager for genomics. He will be responsible for all genomics operations, including microarrays, qPCR, and life science reagents. Most recently, he was global head of companion diagnostics, clinical biomarker, and sample operations at Genentech/Roche.

Ion Torrent Systems has disclosed on its website additional members of its management team, scientific advisory board, and business advisory board:

Jamie Kole joined the company in December 2009 as vice president of finance and administration. Previously, she was chief financial officer and vice president of operations at iPierian, a stem cell therapeutics company. Before that, she was vice president of finance at Affymetrix, where she acted as chief financial officer from December 2006 to June 2007. Kole holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BS in applied mathematics from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Maneesh Jain joined Ion Torrent in May 2009 as vice president of marketing and business development. Previously, he co-founded Auriphex, a cell sorting and analysis company, and served as the firm's interim CEO. Prior to that, he was senior director of global marketing at Affymetrix. He joined Affymetrix following its acquisition of ParAllele BioScience, a company he co-founded in 2001 with researchers from Stanford University. Before that, he worked at the Stanford Genome Technology Center, where he developed new DNA sequencing approaches and co-invented the molecular inversion probe technology. Jain holds a PhD from Stanford University and a BS from Caltech.

Stephen Macevicz is Ion Torrent's vice president for intellectual property. Previously, he held positions at Aclara BioSciences; GeneProt; Lynx Therapeutics, where he was vice president of intellectual property; and Applied Biosystems, where he was chief patent counsel.

Macevicz holds a JD degree and a PhD in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an AB in mathematics from San Diego State University.

James Bustillo joined Ion Torrent in 2007 as vice president of sensor technology. Prior to that, he was associate director of the Molecular Foundry, a nanotechnology science research center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is also a former scientific advisor to CuraGen. Bustillo holds a master's degree of engineering in applied solid-state physics from Cornell University and a BS in engineering physics from Lehigh University.

Thomas Roth, Ion Torrent's vice president for engineering, joined the company in 2008. Prior to that, he was director of instrumentation engineering and program manager at 454 Life Sciences, now part of Roche. Prior to that, he was senior program manager of Home Diagnostics. Roth holds a BSEE from George Washington University.

Additional members of Ion Torrent's scientific advisory board include George Church, Ron Davis, and Abbas El Gamal.

Church is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Computational Genetics. He is also an advisor to numerous companies, including Complete Genomics, 23andme, Knome, and Halcyon Molecular, and the principal investigator of the Personal Genome Project.

Davis is the director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center and professor of biochemistry and genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also a co-founder of ParAllele BioScence. He holds a PhD in chemistry from Caltech and a BS in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and botany from Eastern Illinois University.

El Gamal is a professor of the department of electrical engineering and the director of the information systems laboratory at Stanford University. He co-founded Silicon Architects, now part of Synopsys. He was also director of LSI Logic Research Lab, as well as chief scientist and a co-founder of Actel. El Gamal holds a PhD in electrical engineering and an MS in statistics from Stanford, and a BS in electrical engineering from Cairo University.

Dan Seligson and Sass Somekh are additional members of Ion Torrent's business advisory board.

Seligson is COO of GlobalMotion and has been a member of the Band of Angels, a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and professionals who invest in early stage companies, since 2004. Previously, he worked in lithography process development and manufacturing engineering at Intel. He holds physics degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and from the University of California, Berkeley.

Somekh is the former president and current chair of the technical advisory board of Novellus Systems. Prior to that, he was executive vice president and a board member at Applied Materials. He holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Caltech.

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O'Neal's choice | View Clip
02/15/2010
Lawrence Journal-World - Online

To the editor:

For House Speaker/litigator Mike O'Neal: Can you act in a truly virtuous manner in your public duties and private business by avoiding issues under litigation you conduct for private clients against Kansas while leading the Kansas House of Representatives? I say no.

Expenses defending litigation place you as an adversary to the Kansas citizenry already beleaguered by losses of government services. As a litigator against Kansas you are not defending the public good, rather you're a champion for narrow (meritorious or not) interests of private clients. If true to your clients, as legal ethics demand, you're against Kansas.

My ethical compass, calibrated by 37 years of government service, tells me your choice of clients conflicts with Kansas' public good, impairs public trust, and wastes appropriations. Consider the following points from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. First, “Even the appearance of impropriety undermines the public's faith that the process is fair.” Second, “Aristotle would have argued that leaders should have true virtue, where all parts of the soul are pulling in the same direction; that is, toward the good.”

As House speaker, you control all House processes as its presiding officer, lead the majority caucus and quarterback all the legislative committee chairs. In this high position of public trust, you must defend the public good at all times. In the future, you must decline to represent plaintiffs with claims against Kansas or step down.

Michael K. Kelly,

Lawrence

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Nightly Business Report
02/15/2010
Nightly Business Report - WPBT-TV

xfdbr NIGHTLY-BUSINESS-REPO-01

Show: NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT

Date: February 15, 2010

Time: 18:30:00

Tran: 021501cb.118

Type: SHOW

Head: Nightly Business Report

Sect: Business

Byline: Paul Kangas, Susie Gharib

Spec: Business; Economy

Time: 18:30:00

DR. JONATHAN COHEN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Our brains have different kinds of mechanisms that serve different sorts of needs. And it`s that conflict between these different mechanisms that may explain our erratic and sometimes seemingly irrational behavior.SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Why do we as investors often make the wrong decisions? Researchers are looking to psychology and neurology for clues.

TOM HUDSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: So, could their findings help us to become better investors? We`ll let you decide in Your Mind and Your Money. It`s Monday, February 15th.

GHARIB: Good evening, everyone. On this Presidents` Day holiday, the financial markets were closed. So tonight, we`re focusing on how the workings of the human mind may affect our investing decisions.

HUDSON: You know, Susie, this the subject of our ongoing Your Mind and Your Money series, which we`re producing in association with Kiplinger`s Personal Finance. If you`ve ever thought investors often act on the basis of gut feelings rather than rational thinking, well, there actually may be something to that.

GHARIB: That`s right, Tom. Dan Grech reports, there seem to be many factors that lead investors to act impulsively rather than logically.

DAN GRECH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: We all know these investors and perhaps you`re among them: people who obsessively check their portfolios; people who buy when they should sell and sell when they should buy; people who follow the pack on Wall Street, even when it leads them over a cliff. The big question is, why? Why do we as investors, often make the wrong decisions? In this series, we`ll look at the evidence to understand how emotions, psychology, even the wiring in our brains, affect our financial decision-making. Welcome to Your Mind and Your Money. September 2008: Lehman Brothers goes bankrupt, stocks tank, the global financial system seems on the verge of collapse. Fast forward one year. Investor Susan Abrams sits calmly in her living room. The market has finally begun to recover, but she remembers the pit in her stomach during the crash as her portfolio dropped nearly 30 percent.

SUSAN ABRAMS, INVESTOR: I`m not a suicidal person, but, yeah, it did affect me.

GRECH: Susan was not alone. Countless investors watched a lifetime of savings vanish. Panic was in the air.

ABRAMS: Some were probably on their roofs. I was not on the roof. I did get nervous.

GRECH: Standard economics assumes that people are cool, calm and collected. They make logical decisions to maximize their wealth. Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman turned that idea on its head. He found that in matters involving risk, people are anything but rational. His work won him a Nobel prize.

DANIEL KAHNEMAN, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, PRINCETON UNIV.: People hate losing much more than they like winning. We actually have a pretty good idea of the ratio, the factor, how much people hate losing more than they like winning. And it`s about between two and three. If you ask, let`s say, Princeton students, how about a gamble where if it shows tails you lose $10, if it shows heads you win `X` dollars? What would X have to be before you like the gamble, before you`re willing to take it. They`ll want $25. So that`s a very fundamental fact about people that they`re loss averse.

GRECH: That trait, loss aversion, leads people to shy away from good bets. Susan Abrams says that happens to her. After the market crash, her emotions said hunker down. She chose to stay out of the market.

ABRAMS: I still was nervous, you know.

GRECH: MRI brain scans have taken Dr. Kahneman`s insights one step further. Dr. Jonathan Cohen is a brain scientist at Princeton University. He and others have found evidence that emotional mechanisms like loss aversion are hard-wired in our brains.

DR. JONATHAN COHEN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Our brains have different kinds of mechanisms, some of which are sort of holdovers from prior times and may still be very useful. With those different mechanisms that serve different sorts of needs, you have the potential for conflict. And it`s that conflict between these different mechanisms that may explain our erratic and sometimes seemingly irrational behavior.

GRECH: So, if irrational behavior has its roots in the evolution of the brain, how can we overcome our emotions and make sensible investment decisions? Abrams says once she realized how her emotions were influencing her investing, she was better able to manage them.

ABRAMS: I`m not as crazy as I was, no.

GHARIB: So how much of a role do emotions play in our investing decisions? I asked two psychiatrists who have studied this matter extensively: Dr. Richard Peterson, author of Inside the Investor`s Brain and Dr. Gregory Berns. He`s a professor of neuro-economics at Emory University and author of Iconoclast. I started the discussion by asking Dr. Peterson why emotions can overrule rational thinking when we make investment decisions.

RICHARD PETERSON, M.D., AUTHOR, INSIDE THE INVESTOR`S BRAIN: Susie, it all boils down the structure of the brain. Essentially, we have a prefrontal cortex that determines rational planning and thought. And that prefrontal cortex evolved about 100,000 years ago and it`s superimposed on top of our emotion centers of our brain. So, when we get into a stressful situation over a crisis, we decide out of emotion.

GHARIB: Dr. Berns, you know, some people think that it`s not a good idea to, you know, let your emotions go into making a financial decision, that you should be cool, calm and collected. But sometimes can emotions lead you to the right decision?

DR. GREGORY BERNS, NEUROECONOMIST, EMORY UNIV., SCHOOL OFMEDICINE: I actually don`t think that emotions are generally a good idea when it comes to financial decisions, because -- for the reasons that Dr. Peterson said - - they tend to lead us into either rash decisions, impulsive ones motivated out of either a particular greed or impulsive in a way that we panic and make quick decisions to forgo losses. And rarely is it the case that it`s a good decision in retrospect.

GHARIB: But Dr. Peterson, how about the times that people say, I just went with my gut. I go with my gut. Is going with your gut sometimes a good thing to do?

PETERSON: You know, Susie, you`re right. Jack Welch wrote one of his best-selling books, Jack, Straight from the Gut.

GHARIB: Exactly.

PETERSON: George Soros is known for deciding because of his back pain. So, there are intuitive feelings that we have. I think where the issue comes in with emotion is when the emotion becomes so strong that it overrides our ability to pay attention to the subtle emotional cues that actually guide most of our decisions in everyday life. I mean, you don`t buy your house because of rational considerations. Ultimately, you buy it because you like it.

GHARIB: Dr. Berns, you have studied great investors like Warren Buffett. You`ve looked at what`s behind the success of their investing behavior. Do you think that people like that are successful because they control their emotions or they do just the opposite, that they go with their gut, they follow their emotions?

BERNS: Well, I think it`s true that many people make a great deal out of their gut feelings. However, after a decade of studying so-called normal people in the laboratories and brain imaging, you know, we often see for the most part, that people are using emotions the majority of the time to make financial decisions. And often times these emotional decisions -- and when I say emotion, they`re typically driven out of fear and we can see it in the brain -- lead to outcomes that simply are not the best. And for the most part, rational weighing cost and benefits, pros and cons, risk and reward, generally, in the long run, will do better for the average person. I mean, keep in my mind, to develop a gut feeling you have to have a great deal of experience to back up that gut. And for most people, the experience isn`t there.

GHARIB: All right, gentlemen, let`s take a break here. We`re going to be back in a few moments to talk more and continue our conversation.

HUDSON: You can trigger an emotional response in many investors just by saying, it`s risky. And as we heard earlier, dealing with risk leads some investors to behave irrationally. But that`s not true of everyone. So, why do different investors have different attitudes toward risk? Let`s turn once again to Dan Grech for a look at the psychology behind risk tolerance.

GRECH: When it comes to doing something risky, the question is this: how much of a chance are you willing to take to get a reward? That also applies to investing. Some people are born gamblers. They`re willing to take big risks in order to make big money. They`re said to have a high risk tolerance. But many people have a profound fear of losing money. They have a low risk tolerance. They avoid taking risks with their hard- earned cash.

MIO RODRIGUEZ, INVESTOR: Hi, how`s it going?

GRECH: Investor Mio Rodriguez likes to gamble.

RODRIGUEZ: I`m not a very patient person. I like to see results quickly and so I`m not really into watching money grow slowly. I prefer taking a little bit of a risk knowing that there`s a high reward.

GRECH: Rodriguez says his high risk tolerance is influenced by his profession. His job is to pull off the impossible.

RODRIGUEZ: Exhale slowly. Relax your hand. Let it out, Marissa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No way.

RODRIGUEZ: In doing magic for a living, which is a high-risk sort of occupation, it definitely sort of bleeds over into my investing thoughts.

GRECH: A few miles and a world away lives retired IT executive Ralph Zullo. He does not want to take big chances with his money.

RALPH ZULLO, INVESTOR: I hate to lose money, so high risk situations? That`s Las Vegas for me and I don`t like to do that.

GRECH: You may assume your appetite for risk is ingrained in your personality. You`re either a gambler or a saver, a magician or a squirrel. But Professor Meir Statman of Santa Clara University says it`s not that simple. He says when it comes to taking risks with money, people often seem to act in contradictory ways. For instance, many buy lottery tickets despite the high odds of losing. Then, those same people buy insurance to protect themselves against loss.

MEIR STATMAN, PROFESSOR, SANTA CLARA UNIV.: We want two things in life. One is not to be poor and the other is to be rich. And we have different attitudes, of course, in terms of risk. The money that is saved, the money for retirement, we want safe. We are very risk averse about it. But then we want to take chances in the hope of getting rich. And the lottery ticket that costs only a dollar gives you hope for an entire week, even if you don`t get rich.

GRECH: Professor Baruch Fischhoff is with Carnegie Mellon University. He says our appetite for risk has a lot to do with how we interpret information.

BARUCH FISCHHOFF, PROFESSOR, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIV.: Just like you`d find two people, one who will stay in a job because she thinks it`s a greater risk to move to something else and somebody will leave the job because she`s afraid that the industry or the company is going down.

GRECH: So experts have found that risk tolerance is a complicated mix of personality and perception. That can make it difficult to decide how much risk to take. To find the right level of risk for his clients, financial planner Harold Evensky has them take a risk-tolerance test. But Evensky says the results of that test don`t always paint a true picture.

HAROLD EVENSKY, EVENSKY KATZ WEALTH MGMT.: Well, I always joke people have an infinite risk tolerance when the market`s going up and zero when it`s going down.

GRECH: Here`s one way to deal with investment risk. Think of your money as being divided into different buckets. Then tie your riskier investments to your less-important financial goals. That`s called mental accounting. Like a good hand in a card game, investment winnings can be easy come, easy go. And you have to manage your risks if you want to play another day. Dan Grech, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Miami Beach.

GHARIB: The reluctance to take investment risks is really about fear. For more on that, I again talked with psychiatrists Gregory Berns and Richard Peterson. I asked Dr. Berns whether people avoid taking risks because they`re worried about losing money or because they`re afraid of looking foolish.

BERNS: You know, Susie, it`s really all of those things and I have to say, after a decade of studying peoples` brains on these types of things, that we find that most people are risk averse. Most people, kind of as a normal point of view for how the world works, are afraid of risks. So, for most people, if you want to succeed in a financial market, you have to overcome that fear and the fears that you mentioned -- the fear of losing money, the fear of looking foolish -- are particularly important and dictate what people do or do not do.

GHARIB: Dr. Peterson, how much of it is about losing control?

PETERSON: Well, if fear were an infection, I guess you could say that control is the vaccine. Essentially, feeling control is an antidote to any kind of out of control or uncertainty that you feel when you`re experiencing fear.

GHARIB: Dr. Berns, let me follow up on that, because you have studied some really extraordinary people. And in your book, you call them iconoclasts, people like Warren Buffett and Jack Welch, that we talked about earlier. They don`t have any fear of failure. Why is that?

BERNS: Well, Susie, that`s not entirely correct. It`s not that these iconoclasts and people who take risks don`t have fear. I think it`s more correct to say they manage the fear and they don`t let it cloud their judgment. And I think that`s the key in the takeaway message for pretty much everyone. The issue is not fear. The issue is letting it dictate your decisions and recognizing it. And the key is fear is very easy to recognize and for the most part, it just means not acting on it straight away. Think about it.

GHARIB: So, Dr. Peterson, is this something genetic or something learned?

PETERSON: Well, I think it`s both. I think part of it is, you know, did you get into risk-taking situations when you were younger? Over your life span, how have they turned out? If you had terrible traumas, for example, if you just started investing in 2007 and then you lost half your money in the stock market, then that`s going to color your perceptions the rest of your life. And studies do show that with the depression-era babies. So, it`s both, actually. And I think one thing that Dr. Berns was pointing out is courage is essential to being able to overcome fears. We all experience fear. It`s really about how much courage can we muster every time we, again, are in that situation.

GHARIB: Gentlemen, thank you so much for your time. It was fascinating talking with both of you, Dr. Richard Peterson, author of Inside the Investor`s Brain , Dr. Berns of Emory University.

HUDSON: We know that human beings are social animals. That means we place a high value on being part of a group. So does that herd mentality also extend to how we invest? In his next report, Dan looks at the evidence.

GRECH: Have you ever noticed how animals tend to move together in groups? Whether it`s birds, elephants or cows, they all seem to share the same instincts to herd. The question is: do we as humans share this same herding behavior?

PETERSON: Herding is a response to having not enough information and thinking that others around us can actually give us a shortcut to how to make a decision.

GRECH: Dr. Richard Peterson is a psychiatrist who now manages hedge funds. He says the impulse to stick with the group dates back to our earliest ancestors.

PETERSON: If we`re in a group of people in the Serengeti and one person starts running, we probably either want to pay attention to what they`re running away from or start running with them, because those who didn`t do so would be a meal for the lions.

GRECH: Today, lions are less of a problem, but the desire to be part of a group still runs deep. Safety in numbers is one reason people join investment clubs like the Polaris investment club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Once a month, club members meet to invest the cash they`ve put in the treasury. Sally Escott helped found the club 15 years ago . She says one strength of the group is that members do not always agree.

SALLY ESCOTT, POLARIS INVESTMENT CLUB: We don`t get to the fisticuffs stage. We just debate and if you`re on the winning side of the vote, that`s fine and if you`re not, that`s OK. You go do it on your own.

GRECH: That range of independent views has helped the Polaris Club win a national portfolio contest eight years in a row. Co-founder Len Gilman says in other investment clubs, group-think often prevails.

LEN GILMAN, POLARIS INVESTMENT CLUB: Our club does not have anybody who is monopolizing or strong-arming or over influencing others and this has been the downfall of some investment clubs.

GRECH: Studies have found that going against the majority is incredibly hard. People will generally suppress their own opinions instead. Dr. Gregory Berns is a neuro-economist at Emory University. In one of his experiments, volunteers were shown three-dimensional blocks in various configurations. They were asked: are the blocks identical? When the volunteers were alone, they almost always gave the correct answer: the blocks are the same. But when they were put with people coached to give the wrong answer, the volunteers changed their minds. They said the blocks were different. Berns says brain scans revealed why. The desire to please the group was so strong, it actually altered the way the volunteers saw the blocks.

BERNS: There is, as far as our brains go, kind of no reality. The reality is what we construct in our mind. And that`s influenced by other people.

GRECH: So, studies of the brain confirm that people are very sensitive to peer pressure, but some people are able to withstand that pressure. They`re not afraid to go against the crowd. They`re called iconoclasts. Among investors, Warren Buffett is an iconoclast. He often goes against conventional wisdom on Wall Street. Peterson says being an iconoclast may seem risky, but it`s often profitable.

PETERSON: In the financial markets of today, if you see a danger, you can probably bet that everybody else has seen that danger, as well. And in fact, it turns out it`s probably best to buy at that time when you see the danger. It`s very ironic, but financial markets are completely counterintuitive.

GRECH: So herding may be good for cows, but if you`re an investor, even a bullish one, it`s one form of animal behavior you may want to avoid. Dan Grech, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Cherry Grove Farms, New Jersey.

HUDSON: Those findings on herding also suggest our investment decisions may be swayed by hidden psychological factors. So, if that`s the case, how can you take control of your decision making and make the right choices? To find out, let`s go to two people who use behavioral research findings as a means to improve investment results: Michael Mauboussin, adjunct professor of finance at Columbia business school, author of Think Twice and Denise Shull. She`s CEO of Re-Think Group and Trader Psyches, where she advises professional traders on neuro-economics and behavioral finance. We`re also happy to welcome Robert Frick, senior editor of Kiplinger`s Personal Finance , who`s covering Your Mind and Your Money for Kiplinger`s. Now, first, Michael, you`re convinced the way our minds work frequently leads investors to make some pretty bad mistakes, so does it matter how smart we are investing?

MICHAEL MAUBOUSSIN, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL, AUTHOR, THINK TWICE: Yeah, how smart you are doesn`t matter because we all come with the same mental software. And there is one bias that all of us share, whether your smart or not as smart and that is a tendency to extrapolate. So what we -- if we`ve seen good results, we think they`re going to go on forever. If we`ve seen something bad, we think it`s going to go on forever. And that leads to what I think is the biggest mistake in investing, which is failure to distinguish between fundamentals and expectations. Fundamentals, basically how the company is going to perform in terms of sales and profits and expectations is what`s embedded in the stock price. Those are two really different things and you have to look for the disconnects and where the market`s mis-pricing expectations. That`s the key -- the key task for investors.

HUDSON: Michael, what about kind of ignoring the crowd, ignoring that herd and having the courage and the confidence to say you think maybe the market`s wrong.

MAUBOUSSIN: To be a really great investor, you first do need to be a contrarian. So you have to be going against the crowd. But let just me be really clear about this. Being a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian is not a good idea. In other words, when the movie theater`s on fire, run out the door, right? Don`t run in the door. But once you identify a situation where you think you can be a contrarian, then there`s a second test. The second test is going back to what I mentioned at the outset, measuring the difference between fundamentals and expectations. Because if the crowd takes something to an extreme, either on the bullish side or the bearish side, that should show up in your disconnect between fundamentals and expectations. And that is what allows you to make a good investment.

HUDSON: Denise, what about kind of ignoring the crowd?

DENISE SHULL, CEO, THE RETHINK GROUP TRADER PSYCHES: Well, if you really think about it, the only question anyone`s trying to answer when they make a risk decision is what somebody else is going to pay for this in the future. You just want somebody to buy it from you for more a year from now or five years from now. So, if you actually asked sort of the social - - what we call the social question, like who`s going to pay more for this, three years, five years, whatever your time frame is? And why are they going to pay more for it? You`re actually working with the way your brain sees markets and actually even is easier to see probabilities, if you think in terms of which group of people might be buying this. Like, how is it that I know more now than they know and who`s going to find out what down road so that they`ll buy it from me for 25 percent more than I paid for it.

HUDSON: All right, let`s bring in Bob Frick of Kiplinger`s Personal Finance.

ROBERT FRICK, SR. EDITOR, KIPLINGER`S PERSONAL FINANCE: Well, one of the problems that we identify in almost all of these biases is how do you move from emotional thinking to logical thinking? So, I mean, my question to both of you really is how do we know when to use what and how do we stop being emotional? How do we start being logical? How do we get ourselves in the right frame of mind to make the proper decisions?

SHULL: Well, I`m going to jump in their, Bob and say that basically if you`re emotionally aware, you have a chance of making a more rational decision. And actually, research ironically shows that, that investors who are both the most emotional but aware of what those emotions are can then be aware of what bias they`re operating under and then they have a chance of looking at it objectively and being able to see the bigger picture data set that Michael`s talking about. But we haven`t been taught to use emotional awareness as part of our decision making. It`s there, though. We can`t really get away from it. I mean, look at confidence versus fear versus greed. They`re always there. So our argument is use them as data and understand and then you have actually a chance of being more rational, ironically.

MAUBOUSSIN: If I could just jump in. First of all, I want to echo want Denise said. I think that`s absolutely correct. When you`re faced with certain types of situations as an investor or any kind of professional, your mind is often going to take you down one path, when a better way to think about that problem is a different way. So, I would also say learning about these kinds of situations and learning where you`re likely to wrong, can be very, very helpful. So, again, it`s not that you should be non-emotional, or not be aware of your emotions, it`s to be tuned into that and sort of recognize when you walk into potential decision- making danger zones.

FRICK: Right. Now it seems to me in working on this series -- and I think my colleagues at NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT would agree -- that there`s been a tremendous amount of research done identifying these biases, but very little done helping people overcome them. Michael, is that what you found in your research?

MAUBOUSSIN: Yeah, I completely agree with that, and I think that`s the sentiment a lot of people have. They read about these things, but they don`t know what to do about it. I`ll just mention a couple of things very quickly. The first is keeping a decision making journal. When you make an important decision, write down what you decided, what you expect to have happen and, literally, how you feel. How do you feel physically? How do you feel emotionally? And that allows you to audit your decisions. We always look for confirming information. There`s also something called hindsight bias. Once something happens, we think that we knew what was going to happen with a higher probability than we actually did. So, a journal can be really helpful there. Another think I`ll mention is a checklist. Sometimes checklists can be very, very helpful in proving our outcomes without improving our skill at all.

HUDSON: And we`re going to have to stop there. Michael Mauboussin, Denise Shull and Robert Frick, thanks so much for joining us.

GHARIB: Our series, Your Mind and Your Money continues next Monday and over the coming months. To learn more about the stories in tonight`s broadcast, to watch our streaming video or to find out more about this series, go to NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT on pbs.org.

HUDSON: And that`s it for this NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT on this Monday, February 15. I`m Tom Hudson. Good night to everyone and good night to you, too, Susie.

GHARIB: See you tomorrow, Tom. I`m Susie Gharib. Have a great President`s Day holiday everyone and we`ll see all of you again tomorrow night.

END

Nightly Business Report transcripts are available on-line post broadcast. The program is transcribed by CQ Transcriptions, LLC Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Community Television Foundation of South Florida, Inc. Nightly Business Report, or WPBT. Information presented on Nightly Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice. c 2007 Community Television Foundation of South Florida, Inc.

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Nightly Business Report
02/15/2010
AP Digital Associated Press - CEO Wire

xfdce NIGHTLY-BUSINESS-REPO-01

Show: NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT

Date: February 15, 2010

Time: 18:30:00

Tran: 021501cb.118

Type: SHOW

Head: Nightly Business Report

Sect: Business

Byline: Paul Kangas, Susie Gharib

Spec: Business; Economy

Time: 18:30:00

DR. JONATHAN COHEN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Our brains have different kinds of mechanisms that serve different sorts of needs. And it`s that conflict between these different mechanisms that may explain our erratic and sometimes seemingly irrational behavior.SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Why do we as investors often make the wrong decisions? Researchers are looking to psychology and neurology for clues.

TOM HUDSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: So, could their findings help us to become better investors? We`ll let you decide in Your Mind and Your Money. It`s Monday, February 15th.

GHARIB: Good evening, everyone. On this Presidents` Day holiday, the financial markets were closed. So tonight, we`re focusing on how the workings of the human mind may affect our investing decisions.

HUDSON: You know, Susie, this the subject of our ongoing Your Mind and Your Money series, which we`re producing in association with Kiplinger`s Personal Finance. If you`ve ever thought investors often act on the basis of gut feelings rather than rational thinking, well, there actually may be something to that.

GHARIB: That`s right, Tom. Dan Grech reports, there seem to be many factors that lead investors to act impulsively rather than logically.

DAN GRECH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: We all know these investors and perhaps you`re among them: people who obsessively check their portfolios; people who buy when they should sell and sell when they should buy; people who follow the pack on Wall Street, even when it leads them over a cliff. The big question is, why? Why do we as investors, often make the wrong decisions? In this series, we`ll look at the evidence to understand how emotions, psychology, even the wiring in our brains, affect our financial decision-making. Welcome to Your Mind and Your Money. September 2008: Lehman Brothers goes bankrupt, stocks tank, the global financial system seems on the verge of collapse. Fast forward one year. Investor Susan Abrams sits calmly in her living room. The market has finally begun to recover, but she remembers the pit in her stomach during the crash as her portfolio dropped nearly 30 percent.

SUSAN ABRAMS, INVESTOR: I`m not a suicidal person, but, yeah, it did affect me.

GRECH: Susan was not alone. Countless investors watched a lifetime of savings vanish. Panic was in the air.

ABRAMS: Some were probably on their roofs. I was not on the roof. I did get nervous.

GRECH: Standard economics assumes that people are cool, calm and collected. They make logical decisions to maximize their wealth. Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman turned that idea on its head. He found that in matters involving risk, people are anything but rational. His work won him a Nobel prize.

DANIEL KAHNEMAN, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, PRINCETON UNIV.: People hate losing much more than they like winning. We actually have a pretty good idea of the ratio, the factor, how much people hate losing more than they like winning. And it`s about between two and three. If you ask, let`s say, Princeton students, how about a gamble where if it shows tails you lose $10, if it shows heads you win `X` dollars? What would X have to be before you like the gamble, before you`re willing to take it. They`ll want $25. So that`s a very fundamental fact about people that they`re loss averse.

GRECH: That trait, loss aversion, leads people to shy away from good bets. Susan Abrams says that happens to her. After the market crash, her emotions said hunker down. She chose to stay out of the market.

ABRAMS: I still was nervous, you know.

GRECH: MRI brain scans have taken Dr. Kahneman`s insights one step further. Dr. Jonathan Cohen is a brain scientist at Princeton University. He and others have found evidence that emotional mechanisms like loss aversion are hard-wired in our brains.

DR. JONATHAN COHEN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Our brains have different kinds of mechanisms, some of which are sort of holdovers from prior times and may still be very useful. With those different mechanisms that serve different sorts of needs, you have the potential for conflict. And it`s that conflict between these different mechanisms that may explain our erratic and sometimes seemingly irrational behavior.

GRECH: So, if irrational behavior has its roots in the evolution of the brain, how can we overcome our emotions and make sensible investment decisions? Abrams says once she realized how her emotions were influencing her investing, she was better able to manage them.

ABRAMS: I`m not as crazy as I was, no.

GHARIB: So how much of a role do emotions play in our investing decisions? I asked two psychiatrists who have studied this matter extensively: Dr. Richard Peterson, author of Inside the Investor`s Brain and Dr. Gregory Berns. He`s a professor of neuro-economics at Emory University and author of Iconoclast. I started the discussion by asking Dr. Peterson why emotions can overrule rational thinking when we make investment decisions.

RICHARD PETERSON, M.D., AUTHOR, INSIDE THE INVESTOR`S BRAIN: Susie, it all boils down the structure of the brain. Essentially, we have a prefrontal cortex that determines rational planning and thought. And that prefrontal cortex evolved about 100,000 years ago and it`s superimposed on top of our emotion centers of our brain. So, when we get into a stressful situation over a crisis, we decide out of emotion.

GHARIB: Dr. Berns, you know, some people think that it`s not a good idea to, you know, let your emotions go into making a financial decision, that you should be cool, calm and collected. But sometimes can emotions lead you to the right decision?

DR. GREGORY BERNS, NEUROECONOMIST, EMORY UNIV., SCHOOL OFMEDICINE: I actually don`t think that emotions are generally a good idea when it comes to financial decisions, because -- for the reasons that Dr. Peterson said - - they tend to lead us into either rash decisions, impulsive ones motivated out of either a particular greed or impulsive in a way that we panic and make quick decisions to forgo losses. And rarely is it the case that it`s a good decision in retrospect.

GHARIB: But Dr. Peterson, how about the times that people say, I just went with my gut. I go with my gut. Is going with your gut sometimes a good thing to do?

PETERSON: You know, Susie, you`re right. Jack Welch wrote one of his best-selling books, Jack, Straight from the Gut.

GHARIB: Exactly.

PETERSON: George Soros is known for deciding because of his back pain. So, there are intuitive feelings that we have. I think where the issue comes in with emotion is when the emotion becomes so strong that it overrides our ability to pay attention to the subtle emotional cues that actually guide most of our decisions in everyday life. I mean, you don`t buy your house because of rational considerations. Ultimately, you buy it because you like it.

GHARIB: Dr. Berns, you have studied great investors like Warren Buffett. You`ve looked at what`s behind the success of their investing behavior. Do you think that people like that are successful because they control their emotions or they do just the opposite, that they go with their gut, they follow their emotions?

BERNS: Well, I think it`s true that many people make a great deal out of their gut feelings. However, after a decade of studying so-called normal people in the laboratories and brain imaging, you know, we often see for the most part, that people are using emotions the majority of the time to make financial decisions. And often times these emotional decisions -- and when I say emotion, they`re typically driven out of fear and we can see it in the brain -- lead to outcomes that simply are not the best. And for the most part, rational weighing cost and benefits, pros and cons, risk and reward, generally, in the long run, will do better for the average person. I mean, keep in my mind, to develop a gut feeling you have to have a great deal of experience to back up that gut. And for most people, the experience isn`t there.

GHARIB: All right, gentlemen, let`s take a break here. We`re going to be back in a few moments to talk more and continue our conversation.

HUDSON: You can trigger an emotional response in many investors just by saying, it`s risky. And as we heard earlier, dealing with risk leads some investors to behave irrationally. But that`s not true of everyone. So, why do different investors have different attitudes toward risk? Let`s turn once again to Dan Grech for a look at the psychology behind risk tolerance.

GRECH: When it comes to doing something risky, the question is this: how much of a chance are you willing to take to get a reward? That also applies to investing. Some people are born gamblers. They`re willing to take big risks in order to make big money. They`re said to have a high risk tolerance. But many people have a profound fear of losing money. They have a low risk tolerance. They avoid taking risks with their hard- earned cash.

MIO RODRIGUEZ, INVESTOR: Hi, how`s it going?

GRECH: Investor Mio Rodriguez likes to gamble.

RODRIGUEZ: I`m not a very patient person. I like to see results quickly and so I`m not really into watching money grow slowly. I prefer taking a little bit of a risk knowing that there`s a high reward.

GRECH: Rodriguez says his high risk tolerance is influenced by his profession. His job is to pull off the impossible.

RODRIGUEZ: Exhale slowly. Relax your hand. Let it out, Marissa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No way.

RODRIGUEZ: In doing magic for a living, which is a high-risk sort of occupation, it definitely sort of bleeds over into my investing thoughts.

GRECH: A few miles and a world away lives retired IT executive Ralph Zullo. He does not want to take big chances with his money.

RALPH ZULLO, INVESTOR: I hate to lose money, so high risk situations? That`s Las Vegas for me and I don`t like to do that.

GRECH: You may assume your appetite for risk is ingrained in your personality. You`re either a gambler or a saver, a magician or a squirrel. But Professor Meir Statman of Santa Clara University says it`s not that simple. He says when it comes to taking risks with money, people often seem to act in contradictory ways. For instance, many buy lottery tickets despite the high odds of losing. Then, those same people buy insurance to protect themselves against loss.

MEIR STATMAN, PROFESSOR, SANTA CLARA UNIV.: We want two things in life. One is not to be poor and the other is to be rich. And we have different attitudes, of course, in terms of risk. The money that is saved, the money for retirement, we want safe. We are very risk averse about it. But then we want to take chances in the hope of getting rich. And the lottery ticket that costs only a dollar gives you hope for an entire week, even if you don`t get rich.

GRECH: Professor Baruch Fischhoff is with Carnegie Mellon University. He says our appetite for risk has a lot to do with how we interpret information.

BARUCH FISCHHOFF, PROFESSOR, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIV.: Just like you`d find two people, one who will stay in a job because she thinks it`s a greater risk to move to something else and somebody will leave the job because she`s afraid that the industry or the company is going down.

GRECH: So experts have found that risk tolerance is a complicated mix of personality and perception. That can make it difficult to decide how much risk to take. To find the right level of risk for his clients, financial planner Harold Evensky has them take a risk-tolerance test. But Evensky says the results of that test don`t always paint a true picture.

HAROLD EVENSKY, EVENSKY KATZ WEALTH MGMT.: Well, I always joke people have an infinite risk tolerance when the market`s going up and zero when it`s going down.

GRECH: Here`s one way to deal with investment risk. Think of your money as being divided into different buckets. Then tie your riskier investments to your less-important financial goals. That`s called mental accounting. Like a good hand in a card game, investment winnings can be easy come, easy go. And you have to manage your risks if you want to play another day. Dan Grech, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Miami Beach.

GHARIB: The reluctance to take investment risks is really about fear. For more on that, I again talked with psychiatrists Gregory Berns and Richard Peterson. I asked Dr. Berns whether people avoid taking risks because they`re worried about losing money or because they`re afraid of looking foolish.

BERNS: You know, Susie, it`s really all of those things and I have to say, after a decade of studying peoples` brains on these types of things, that we find that most people are risk averse. Most people, kind of as a normal point of view for how the world works, are afraid of risks. So, for most people, if you want to succeed in a financial market, you have to overcome that fear and the fears that you mentioned -- the fear of losing money, the fear of looking foolish -- are particularly important and dictate what people do or do not do.

GHARIB: Dr. Peterson, how much of it is about losing control?

PETERSON: Well, if fear were an infection, I guess you could say that control is the vaccine. Essentially, feeling control is an antidote to any kind of out of control or uncertainty that you feel when you`re experiencing fear.

GHARIB: Dr. Berns, let me follow up on that, because you have studied some really extraordinary people. And in your book, you call them iconoclasts, people like Warren Buffett and Jack Welch, that we talked about earlier. They don`t have any fear of failure. Why is that?

BERNS: Well, Susie, that`s not entirely correct. It`s not that these iconoclasts and people who take risks don`t have fear. I think it`s more correct to say they manage the fear and they don`t let it cloud their judgment. And I think that`s the key in the takeaway message for pretty much everyone. The issue is not fear. The issue is letting it dictate your decisions and recognizing it. And the key is fear is very easy to recognize and for the most part, it just means not acting on it straight away. Think about it.

GHARIB: So, Dr. Peterson, is this something genetic or something learned?

PETERSON: Well, I think it`s both. I think part of it is, you know, did you get into risk-taking situations when you were younger? Over your life span, how have they turned out? If you had terrible traumas, for example, if you just started investing in 2007 and then you lost half your money in the stock market, then that`s going to color your perceptions the rest of your life. And studies do show that with the depression-era babies. So, it`s both, actually. And I think one thing that Dr. Berns was pointing out is courage is essential to being able to overcome fears. We all experience fear. It`s really about how much courage can we muster every time we, again, are in that situation.

GHARIB: Gentlemen, thank you so much for your time. It was fascinating talking with both of you, Dr. Richard Peterson, author of Inside the Investor`s Brain , Dr. Berns of Emory University.

HUDSON: We know that human beings are social animals. That means we place a high value on being part of a group. So does that herd mentality also extend to how we invest? In his next report, Dan looks at the evidence.

GRECH: Have you ever noticed how animals tend to move together in groups? Whether it`s birds, elephants or cows, they all seem to share the same instincts to herd. The question is: do we as humans share this same herding behavior?

PETERSON: Herding is a response to having not enough information and thinking that others around us can actually give us a shortcut to how to make a decision.

GRECH: Dr. Richard Peterson is a psychiatrist who now manages hedge funds. He says the impulse to stick with the group dates back to our earliest ancestors.

PETERSON: If we`re in a group of people in the Serengeti and one person starts running, we probably either want to pay attention to what they`re running away from or start running with them, because those who didn`t do so would be a meal for the lions.

GRECH: Today, lions are less of a problem, but the desire to be part of a group still runs deep. Safety in numbers is one reason people join investment clubs like the Polaris investment club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Once a month, club members meet to invest the cash they`ve put in the treasury. Sally Escott helped found the club 15 years ago . She says one strength of the group is that members do not always agree.

SALLY ESCOTT, POLARIS INVESTMENT CLUB: We don`t get to the fisticuffs stage. We just debate and if you`re on the winning side of the vote, that`s fine and if you`re not, that`s OK. You go do it on your own.

GRECH: That range of independent views has helped the Polaris Club win a national portfolio contest eight years in a row. Co-founder Len Gilman says in other investment clubs, group-think often prevails.

LEN GILMAN, POLARIS INVESTMENT CLUB: Our club does not have anybody who is monopolizing or strong-arming or over influencing others and this has been the downfall of some investment clubs.

GRECH: Studies have found that going against the majority is incredibly hard. People will generally suppress their own opinions instead. Dr. Gregory Berns is a neuro-economist at Emory University. In one of his experiments, volunteers were shown three-dimensional blocks in various configurations. They were asked: are the blocks identical? When the volunteers were alone, they almost always gave the correct answer: the blocks are the same. But when they were put with people coached to give the wrong answer, the volunteers changed their minds. They said the blocks were different. Berns says brain scans revealed why. The desire to please the group was so strong, it actually altered the way the volunteers saw the blocks.

BERNS: There is, as far as our brains go, kind of no reality. The reality is what we construct in our mind. And that`s influenced by other people.

GRECH: So, studies of the brain confirm that people are very sensitive to peer pressure, but some people are able to withstand that pressure. They`re not afraid to go against the crowd. They`re called iconoclasts. Among investors, Warren Buffett is an iconoclast. He often goes against conventional wisdom on Wall Street. Peterson says being an iconoclast may seem risky, but it`s often profitable.

PETERSON: In the financial markets of today, if you see a danger, you can probably bet that everybody else has seen that danger, as well. And in fact, it turns out it`s probably best to buy at that time when you see the danger. It`s very ironic, but financial markets are completely counterintuitive.

GRECH: So herding may be good for cows, but if you`re an investor, even a bullish one, it`s one form of animal behavior you may want to avoid. Dan Grech, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Cherry Grove Farms, New Jersey.

HUDSON: Those findings on herding also suggest our investment decisions may be swayed by hidden psychological factors. So, if that`s the case, how can you take control of your decision making and make the right choices? To find out, let`s go to two people who use behavioral research findings as a means to improve investment results: Michael Mauboussin, adjunct professor of finance at Columbia business school, author of Think Twice and Denise Shull. She`s CEO of Re-Think Group and Trader Psyches, where she advises professional traders on neuro-economics and behavioral finance. We`re also happy to welcome Robert Frick, senior editor of Kiplinger`s Personal Finance , who`s covering Your Mind and Your Money for Kiplinger`s. Now, first, Michael, you`re convinced the way our minds work frequently leads investors to make some pretty bad mistakes, so does it matter how smart we are investing?

MICHAEL MAUBOUSSIN, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL, AUTHOR, THINK TWICE: Yeah, how smart you are doesn`t matter because we all come with the same mental software. And there is one bias that all of us share, whether your smart or not as smart and that is a tendency to extrapolate. So what we -- if we`ve seen good results, we think they`re going to go on forever. If we`ve seen something bad, we think it`s going to go on forever. And that leads to what I think is the biggest mistake in investing, which is failure to distinguish between fundamentals and expectations. Fundamentals, basically how the company is going to perform in terms of sales and profits and expectations is what`s embedded in the stock price. Those are two really different things and you have to look for the disconnects and where the market`s mis-pricing expectations. That`s the key -- the key task for investors.

HUDSON: Michael, what about kind of ignoring the crowd, ignoring that herd and having the courage and the confidence to say you think maybe the market`s wrong.

MAUBOUSSIN: To be a really great investor, you first do need to be a contrarian. So you have to be going against the crowd. But let just me be really clear about this. Being a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian is not a good idea. In other words, when the movie theater`s on fire, run out the door, right? Don`t run in the door. But once you identify a situation where you think you can be a contrarian, then there`s a second test. The second test is going back to what I mentioned at the outset, measuring the difference between fundamentals and expectations. Because if the crowd takes something to an extreme, either on the bullish side or the bearish side, that should show up in your disconnect between fundamentals and expectations. And that is what allows you to make a good investment.

HUDSON: Denise, what about kind of ignoring the crowd?

DENISE SHULL, CEO, THE RETHINK GROUP TRADER PSYCHES: Well, if you really think about it, the only question anyone`s trying to answer when they make a risk decision is what somebody else is going to pay for this in the future. You just want somebody to buy it from you for more a year from now or five years from now. So, if you actually asked sort of the social - - what we call the social question, like who`s going to pay more for this, three years, five years, whatever your time frame is? And why are they going to pay more for it? You`re actually working with the way your brain sees markets and actually even is easier to see probabilities, if you think in terms of which group of people might be buying this. Like, how is it that I know more now than they know and who`s going to find out what down road so that they`ll buy it from me for 25 percent more than I paid for it.

HUDSON: All right, let`s bring in Bob Frick of Kiplinger`s Personal Finance.

ROBERT FRICK, SR. EDITOR, KIPLINGER`S PERSONAL FINANCE: Well, one of the problems that we identify in almost all of these biases is how do you move from emotional thinking to logical thinking? So, I mean, my question to both of you really is how do we know when to use what and how do we stop being emotional? How do we start being logical? How do we get ourselves in the right frame of mind to make the proper decisions?

SHULL: Well, I`m going to jump in their, Bob and say that basically if you`re emotionally aware, you have a chance of making a more rational decision. And actually, research ironically shows that, that investors who are both the most emotional but aware of what those emotions are can then be aware of what bias they`re operating under and then they have a chance of looking at it objectively and being able to see the bigger picture data set that Michael`s talking about. But we haven`t been taught to use emotional awareness as part of our decision making. It`s there, though. We can`t really get away from it. I mean, look at confidence versus fear versus greed. They`re always there. So our argument is use them as data and understand and then you have actually a chance of being more rational, ironically.

MAUBOUSSIN: If I could just jump in. First of all, I want to echo want Denise said. I think that`s absolutely correct. When you`re faced with certain types of situations as an investor or any kind of professional, your mind is often going to take you down one path, when a better way to think about that problem is a different way. So, I would also say learning about these kinds of situations and learning where you`re likely to wrong, can be very, very helpful. So, again, it`s not that you should be non-emotional, or not be aware of your emotions, it`s to be tuned into that and sort of recognize when you walk into potential decision- making danger zones.

FRICK: Right. Now it seems to me in working on this series -- and I think my colleagues at NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT would agree -- that there`s been a tremendous amount of research done identifying these biases, but very little done helping people overcome them. Michael, is that what you found in your research?

MAUBOUSSIN: Yeah, I completely agree with that, and I think that`s the sentiment a lot of people have. They read about these things, but they don`t know what to do about it. I`ll just mention a couple of things very quickly. The first is keeping a decision making journal. When you make an important decision, write down what you decided, what you expect to have happen and, literally, how you feel. How do you feel physically? How do you feel emotionally? And that allows you to audit your decisions. We always look for confirming information. There`s also something called hindsight bias. Once something happens, we think that we knew what was going to happen with a higher probability than we actually did. So, a journal can be really helpful there. Another think I`ll mention is a checklist. Sometimes checklists can be very, very helpful in proving our outcomes without improving our skill at all.

HUDSON: And we`re going to have to stop there. Michael Mauboussin, Denise Shull and Robert Frick, thanks so much for joining us.

GHARIB: Our series, Your Mind and Your Money continues next Monday and over the coming months. To learn more about the stories in tonight`s broadcast, to watch our streaming video or to find out more about this series, go to NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT on pbs.org.

HUDSON: And that`s it for this NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT on this Monday, February 15. I`m Tom Hudson. Good night to everyone and good night to you, too, Susie.

GHARIB: See you tomorrow, Tom. I`m Susie Gharib. Have a great President`s Day holiday everyone and we`ll see all of you again tomorrow night.

END

Nightly Business Report transcripts are available on-line post broadcast. The program is transcribed by CQ Transcriptions, LLC Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Community Television Foundation of South Florida, Inc. Nightly Business Report, or WPBT. Information presented on Nightly Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice. c 2007 Community Television Foundation of South Florida, Inc.

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Colored by tragedy, games off to weird start | View Clip
02/13/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The dancing and the music were not as powerful as one man holding a piece of cloth.

Forty minutes after the opening ceremonies began, there he stood: The flag bearer from the Republic of Georgia.

He first popped into view out of the tunnel ramp that led to the stadium floor. His name was Iason Abramashvili. He led a small delegation of nine others in red warm-up suits. They were lined up in rows of three, with a noticeable gap in the next-to-last row.

And for the first time all night, the 60,600 people inside the domed B.C. Place stood to applaud. Loudly and warmly and a bit uncomfortably. It was the only way they knew how to answer a question that may have no true answer:

How do you "celebrate" the opening of an Olympic competition that has just resulted in a young athlete who was trying so hard to compete that he died?

Until 10 hours earlier, that gap in the last row of Georgia's was scheduled be occupied by Nodar Kumaritashvili, a participant in one of the world's most dangerous sports, the luge. It's basically a snow sled going at NASCAR speeds on a frozen waterslide. Friday morning, the 21-year-old Kumaritashvili was killed after crashing his sled at 90 miles per hour during a practice run on a mountain 80 miles north of here.

In reaction, the International Olympic Committee president said he was "in deep mourning." Yet as Jacques Rogge dabbed his eyes during a media conference,

he said the ceremonies would go off as planned. He thus guaranteed that Friday night — and the entire next two weeks — would have the weirdest vibe of any Winter Games in history.

Four other athletes have died at previous Olympics — including another luge victim killed in a practice run at the 1964 Innsbruck Winter Games. But none of those deaths had ever occurred on the same day as the opening ceremonies. So there was no standard protocol to handle the situation. The hosts had to invent some.

Their response: Carry on politely, the way Canadians do.

Along with their warm welcome to the Georgia team, the audience sat through the usual Olympic beauty pageant with people who flew through the air and famous Canadian singers who sang very dramatic songs. K.D. Lang and Sarah McLachlan were the best. Bryan Adams, not so much.

Other famous Canadians participated in various capacities, as well. And very predictably, hockey legend Bobby Orr received louder applause than acting legend Donald Sutherland. (Kiefer Sutherland must have been working security).

The noisiest applause erupted, of course, when the Canadian team entered the building. They were proceeded by the usual costumed assortment of other nation's athletes, some of them wearing large fur hats despite the climate-controlled temperatures inside the dome, normally the home of Vancouver's Canadian Football League team.

In fact, the strangeness of holding a Winter Games ceremony in an enclosed domed stadium never quite went away, despite the artificial snow and cold blue light. The duty fell to John Furlong, chief organizer of the Games, to acknowledge the day's awful news.

Furlong did not have much time to craft words, but he acknowledged that the athletes now have "the added burden to shine and be united around your fallen colleague, Nodar" and asked them to "compete with his spirit in your hearts."

This was eventually followed by a minute of silence that, unlike many minutes of silence in sports stadiums, actually lasted a full minute. Also, it was truly silent. Impressive.

Yet it must be said that this city, province and country simply can't catch a break. First came the warmest winter in years, creating a snow shortage for these Games. Then came the tragedy on the luge hill. And then, at the conclusion of Friday night's ceremonies, when a four-pronged Olympic cauldron with a central flame container was supposed to rise from the stadium floor "... only three of the four prongs emerged.

Oops. Who would expect a cauldron malfunction? It partially ruined the plans for still one more example of Canadian attack politeness: The idea to have four people light the official torch simultaneously, rather than the traditional one Olympic hero. In this case, the foursome included former Santa Clara University basketball player and NBA star Steve Nash, a native of British Columbia.

Nash and the other three torch carriers — hockey great Wayne Gretzky, speed skater Catriona LeMay Doan and skier Nancy Greene — each held their own small torches and waited patiently for the prongs to rise. Each person was supposed to light the base of one prong, with the fire rising up each to create a central flame.

At long last, after a very awkward wait when the fourth prong never appeared out of its large hole in the floor, the decision was made to go ahead. LeMay Doan was left holding her torch while the other three applied the flame to their prongs. When the large device did ignite, so did the relieved and heartfelt cheers.

The Games are under way. It has to be all downhill from here. Has to be.

Contact Mark Purdy at mpurdy@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5092.

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Driving by looking in rear view mirror | View Clip
02/12/2010
MarketWatch

ANNANDALE, Va. (MarketWatch) -- This morning's report of an unexpectedly big drop in consumer sentiment may not be something about which to jump up and down for joy.

But it is not terrible news, either.

That's because consumer sentiment is more of a lagging indicator than a leading one. Following periods in which the stock market goes up, for example, consumer sentiment often rises -- and vice versa. Given January's unexpected 3.5% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (INDU 10,099, -45.05, -0.44%) , it should not have been a big surprise that consumer sentiment would drop too.

That alone should soften the blow of today's consumer sentiment news, but there's more.

It turns out that not only is consumer sentiment a lagging indicator, it also is a contrarian one as well. That means that, other things being equal, drops in consumer sentiment are more bullish than are jumps in sentiment.

Counterintuitive as that seems, it has been confirmed by a number of research studies. One such study was conducted by Kenneth Fisher of Fisher Investments and Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University. Click here for a link to their study.

They found that "Consumer confidence declines when stock prices decline but investors need not fear that declines in consumer confidence would be followed by low stocks returns... Low consumer confidence is followed by high stock returns more often than it is followed by low stock returns."

-- Mark Hulbert

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Meir Statman on Efficient Markets in Crisis | View Clip
02/11/2010
MoneyScience

A belief that markets are efficient is blamed for instigating the crisis we are in and lulling us into complacency as the crisis was approaching. But the debate about the role of such belief in the crisis is unfocused for two reasons. First, a lack of a common definition of market efficiency precludes a common language. Second, efficient markets are conflated with free markets.

The ambitious definition of efficient markets is their definition as rational markets, where security prices always equal intrinsic values. The modest definition of efficient markets is their definition as unbeatable markets. Bubbles cannot occur in rational markets but they can occur in unbeatable markets. I argue that a belief in market efficiency cannot bear responsibility for our crisis since most investors do not believe that markets are either rational or unbeatable.

Free markets are markets where government puts little or no imprint on the financial behavior of individuals and organizations and on markets through regulations and direct intervention. Many advocates of free markets believe that such markets are also more efficient than markets which are not as free. But free markets are distinct from efficient markets. Highly regulated markets can be no less efficient in the sense of rational markets or unbeatable markets than lightly regulated markets. I argue that a belief that free markets are always superior to regulated markets and lightly regulated markets are always superior to heavily regulated markets does bear some responsibility for our crisis. Regulations that would have limited the types of mortgages offered to homeowners would have helped stem the crisis or mitigate it. So would have limits on the degree of leverage employed by banks and homeowners alike.

Yet not all regulations and government interventions bring unmitigated benefits. We have no precise measures by which we might distinguish real bubbles from illusory ones. Governments which aim to pop real bubbles run the risk of plunging us into recessions by popping illusory ones. While high P/E ratios and similar measures might alert us to the presence of real bubbles, they are far from precise. The challenge we face is the challenge of seeing an opaque future as clearly as possible, knowing not only that foresight is not as clear as hindsight but also that we would be judged in the future as if it is.

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Part-time smokers put health at full-time risk | View Clip
02/10/2010
KNTV-TV

For some people, lighting up is a commitment that lasts a lifetime.
But for others, their relationship with cigarettes is more like dating, only smoking on occasion.
And while the smoking rate has gone down, the number of part-time smokers is on the rise.
“Being a part time smoker allows some people to be able to kind of deny that they're using tobacco,“ said Serena Chen of the American Lung Association.

The rise in what's called “part time smoking” is likely the result of tobacco education and smoke-free laws.

Chain smoking is viewed as socially un-acceptable, but the occasional cigarette? Studies show many young people will give it a try.
A recent study shows that 18-29 year olds are twice as likely to be non-daily smokers than 50 to 64 year olds.

But experts say part time smoking can be just as dangerous.

“Social smoking is like playing with fire in the sense that every time you smoke, you increase the likelihood of your brain creating addictive tendencies toward that nicotine. And before you know it without even recognizing that's even happening, you're smoking more and more and then you are addicted to nicotine,“ Chen said.

The occasional cigarette can also be a psychological addiction like when people smoke to cope with stress, depression and weight loss.

“Yeah, I think it's dangerous when we're not at our best, we make a decisions about these things and then down the pike, we say, ‘oh why did I do that?‘“ said psychologist Dr. Tom Plante.

Despite the regret, experts say part time smokers never quit. That's because they don't believe they're addicted.
Experts say even part-time smokers might need to seek professional help before they can quit.

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Response needed to be accelerated
02/10/2010
San Francisco Chronicle

It's going to take a mighty powerful hose to wash off the mud that's soiled Toyota's reputation, according to experts on crisis communication.

In just the past couple of days, Toyota was forced to recall 2010 Priuses over brake issues, faced a range of class-action lawsuits and heard new reports of possible steering problems in the 2009 and 2010 Corolla. That's on top of the huge recalls related to accelerator problems affecting eight models and the temporary halt in production and sales of those vehicles. The company's stock has plunged, and its cars' resale value has dropped.

Beyond the actual events, experts said, Toyota magnified the damage by failing to swoop in and acknowledge and correct the problems.

"Toyota has broken every rule of good crisis management that I have ever taught," said Buford Barr, a lecturer in marketing and communication at Santa Clara University. "They started off blaming the customers, and then were very slow to admit that they had anything to do with (the accelerator issues). They were even slower to have management step up."

Matthew Benson, managing director at Sard Verbinnen & Co. in San Francisco, knows a thing or two about crisis communication. His corporate communications firm worked with Martha Stewart when she was indicted.

Benson agreed that Toyota allowed the situation "to become a bigger problem by not communicating more proactively early on. From what I gather, Toyota didn't begin to acknowledge the problem until they were really pressed to answer some tough questions from the U.S. Department of Transportation, in spite of the fact that there were indications from consumers for a long time about these problems."

Communication keyThe lesson other firms can learn, Benson said: "Companies often start out looking at issues as narrow operational or financial problems. If they don't deal with the communications piece, what could have been confined to an operational or financial problem which could be fixed in a quarter or a year becomes potentially a very, very big reputation problem. Reputation problems often take years to correct."

The damage to Toyota's once-pristine reputation is incalculable.

"Your brand is everything," Barr said. "It is the trigger that initiates the thought a person has about your company, the perception. When it's been tarnished like this, even coming from the powerful position Toyota had, it's going to hurt for a long time."

Good moves, finallyNow the company has finally become proactive, taking steps that experts agree will help: announcing a fix for the accelerator problem and encouraging dealers to stay open late, placing ads in mainstream media, sending executives out on TV and employing new media such as a chat by Jim Lentz, Toyota's U.S. division president, on social-media site Digg Dialogg. In an op-ed piece in the Washington Post on Tuesday, company President Akio Toyoda apologized, promised to learn from Toyota's mistakes and announced formation of a safety advisory group and a North American quality-control center.

"This is certainly not a time to duck and hide," Benson said. "This is a time for Toyota to continue to be in the public eye and to redouble communications efforts. It's an opportunity to revisit practices and policies of how they manage challenges like this, to look at their structure to make sure this doesn't happen going forward."

Toyota's damage-control still could backfire if its repairs turn out to be inadequate. Congress plans to grill Toyota on that topic at hearings this month. (Initially planned for today, the hearings were postponed due to snow.)

"The first step is, they've got to fix the problems they have," said George Magliano, director of automotive industry research at HIS Global Insight in New York. "There seems to be a recall every day, and we're not sure whether these are the only problems. To get their image back, they have got to prove to the public that these are indeed the right fixes for the right problems."

The company's delay in acting could continue to hurt its reputation. Congressional investigators also will focus on that topic, and public opinion could sour even more if it turns out that Toyota knew about the accelerator issues - which have been implicated in 19 deaths - and stalled addressing them, Magliano said.

Classic responsesIn teaching crisis communications at Santa Clara, Barr cites two case studies as exemplifying effective and ineffective corporate responses. The good example: Johnson & Johnson's swift steps after the 1982 Tylenol poisoning scare, when it immediately yanked the product off store shelves nationwide. The bad: Exxon's laggard response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

"I've used those two cases as examples of good and bad for years," Barr said. "But now Toyota is going to take over the 'bad' slot."

"Toyota has broken every rule of good crisis management that I have ever taught."

Buford Barr, Santa Clara University lecturer in marketing and communication

Copyright © 2010 San Francisco Chronicle

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Toyota should have accelerated response | View Clip
02/10/2010
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

It's going to take a mighty powerful hose to wash off the mud that's soiled Toyota's reputation, according to experts on crisis communication.

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In just the past couple of days, Toyota was forced to recall 2010 Priuses over brake issues, faced a range of class-action lawsuits and heard new reports of possible steering problems in the 2009 and 2010 Corolla. That's on top of the huge recalls related to accelerator problems affecting eight models and the temporary halt in production and sales of those vehicles. The company's stock has plunged, and its cars' resale value has dropped.

Beyond the actual events, experts said, Toyota magnified the damage by failing to swoop in and acknowledge and correct the problems.

"Toyota has broken every rule of good crisis management that I have ever taught," said Buford Barr, a lecturer in marketing and communication at Santa Clara University. "They started off blaming the customers, and then were very slow to admit that they had anything to do with (the accelerator issues). They were even slower to have management step up."

Matthew Benson, managing director at Sard Verbinnen & Co. in San Francisco, knows a thing or two about crisis communication. His corporate communications firm worked with Martha Stewart when she was indicted.

Benson agreed that Toyota allowed the situation "to become a bigger problem by not communicating more proactively early on. From what I gather, Toyota didn't begin to acknowledge the problem until they were really pressed to answer some tough questions from the U.S. Department of Transportation, in spite of the fact that there were indications from consumers for a long time about these problems."

Communication key

The lesson other firms can learn, Benson said: "Companies often start out looking at issues as narrow operational or financial problems. If they don't deal with the communications piece, what could have been confined to an operational or financial problem which could be fixed in a quarter or a year becomes potentially a very, very big reputation problem. Reputation problems often take years to correct."

The damage to Toyota's once-pristine reputation is incalculable.

"Your brand is everything," Barr said. "It is the trigger that initiates the thought a person has about your company, the perception. When it's been tarnished like this, even coming from the powerful position Toyota had, it's going to hurt for a long time."

Good moves, finally

Now the company has finally become proactive, taking steps that experts agree will help: announcing a fix for the accelerator problem and encouraging dealers to stay open late, placing ads in mainstream media, sending executives out on TV and employing new media such as a chat by Jim Lentz, Toyota's U.S. division president, on social-media site Digg Dialogg. In an op-ed piece in the Washington Post on Tuesday, company President Akio Toyoda apologized, promised to learn from Toyota's mistakes and announced formation of a safety advisory group and a North American quality-control center.

"This is certainly not a time to duck and hide," Benson said. "This is a time for Toyota to continue to be in the public eye and to redouble communications efforts. It's an opportunity to revisit practices and policies of how they manage challenges like this, to look at their structure to make sure this doesn't happen going forward."

Toyota's damage-control still could backfire if its repairs turn out to be inadequate. Congress plans to grill Toyota on that topic at hearings this month. (Initially planned for today, the hearings were postponed due to snow.)

"The first step is, they've got to fix the problems they have," said George Magliano, director of automotive industry research at HIS Global Insight in New York. "There seems to be a recall every day, and we're not sure whether these are the only problems. To get their image back, they have got to prove to the public that these are indeed the right fixes for the right problems."

The company's delay in acting could continue to hurt its reputation. Congressional investigators also will focus on that topic, and public opinion could sour even more if it turns out that Toyota knew about the accelerator issues - which have been implicated in 19 deaths - and stalled addressing them, Magliano said.

Classic responses

In teaching crisis communications at Santa Clara, Barr cites two case studies as exemplifying effective and ineffective corporate responses. The good example: Johnson & Johnson's swift steps after the 1982 Tylenol poisoning scare, when it immediately yanked the product off store shelves nationwide. The bad: Exxon's laggard response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

"I've used those two cases as examples of good and bad for years," Barr said. "But now Toyota is going to take over the 'bad' slot."

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Building your Business | View Clip
02/10/2010
Investment Executive

Understanding client behaviour

Some investors are reeling from last year’s downturn; you can strengthen relationships by learning about their fears and their goals

Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University in California, tells of a client who had promised his adult son he would pay for the college education of his grandchildren. After last year’s market downturn, those plans are no longer feasible. The client is now blaming his financial advisor for ruining the family.

Many financial advisors now face the challenge of helping their clients come to terms with the setbacks they have suffered during the market downturn and keeping them focused on their long-term goals. To retain these clients and get them back on track, say leading consultants and behavioural economics specialists, you will need patience and sensitivity to both your clients’ emotions and their financial needs.

Advisors who have hitched their wagons to investment performance above all else are most vulnerable to suffering damage to their client relationships when markets turn south. Some advisors have lost the confidence of their clients, Statman says, by promising things the advisors are unable to deliver.

For example, many advisors had promised their clients that, based on historical averages, investors could not lose money in stocks over a 10-year period. But for the 10 years ended Dec. 31, 2009, the S&P 500 index shows a 4.1% average annual loss. The Nasdaq composite did even worse, with an average annual loss of 8.7%. (While Canada’s S&P/TSX composite index fared better, showing an average annual return of 5.6%, the U.S. figures make a strong point.)

“Many advisors are feeling they have lost their expertise,” Statman says. “If they told investors they would never have losses, they are feeling a sense of guilt. There’s been a lot of fear, anger and disgust with themselves and the academics who educated them. It’s been a rough time.”

Although the markets have recovered much of their lost ground, clients who were heavily exposed to equities have still not come back to where they were before the market crash that began in late 2008 and bottomed in March 2009, wiping out almost half the value of key stock indices. In some cases, clients have had to bite a reality bullet and adjust their life plans, as the money simply isn’t there to finance them.

The key is not to lecture, Statman says. Underneath their anger or fear, your clients are ready to be guided.

> Dealing With Anger

Advisors may be at risk of losing clients due to unresolved emotions surrounding the financial meltdown of the past year, says Frank Murtha, managing director of MarketPsych LLC in New York, a consulting firm that specializes in financial psychology.

“Investors have been through a lot, and even with the market recovery of the past few months, many are experiencing negative emotions that will linger until they are actively discharged,” says Murtha, who holds a doctorate in counselling psychology and specializes in investor psychology and behavioural finance. “Unresolved emotions are like a stone in the shoe. And they tend to get worse with time, not better.”

Clients have suffered both psychologi-cal wounds and actual cuts to their financial wealth, Murtha says. Some harbour anger and resentment, while others are paralyzed by fear; still others are in the “denial” phase.

“When the client has suffered a wound, it’s best to make sure it does not get infected by an emotional reaction that will poison the relationship with the financial advisor,” Murtha says. “The goal is to get the client to a point of acceptance, and clear the way to move forward.”

Getting your clients to this stage involves having meaningful conversations about how they feel and determining whether there have been any changes in their life goals. Clients may previously have wanted to achieve specific goals — such as retirement, major purchases or travel — in certain time frames, and may now be going through an adjustment process based on the realities of their financial losses.

Alternatively, they may be re-evaluating their risk tolerances and their desired exposure to the volatility of equity investments. The key, says Murtha, is to let your clients talk and unburden themselves first. Then, discuss what can be done and the solutions that will get your clients where they need to go.

If you are dealing with an angry and upset client, let the client vent rather than trying to counter emotion with logic.

“The worst thing an advisor can do is trot out charts and reiterate the benefits of a long-term time horizon when the client is upset,” says Barry LaValley, president of LifeFirst Approach in Nanaimo, B.C. “When clients are hurting, they don’t need charts. What they need is a coach or guide, and they want someone to feel their pain and help them through it.”

Clients will eventually need to hear about long-term returns in equities markets and the power of compounding, agrees Murtha, adding: “But you can’t force-feed them or reason with them when they’re distracted by intense emotions.”

You should strive to develop the relationship based on your ability to move your client through difficult times, he says, not on your abilities as an investment expert.

It’s also important to anticipate client roadblocks or areas in which they may be particularly sensitive or reactive, such as estate planning or their recent losses, and ensure you approach these issues with sensitivity.

Advisors need to be especially sensitive to where their clients stand on the risk spectrum, which often involves reading between the lines of what they actually say. People get more conservative and risk-averse as they become older — even if they become wealthier — and many advisors have not adapted to this mental change, LaValley says. If you fail to make the shift, the potential surprise for you is defecting clients.

> Empathy

“Advisors need to understand why a client is upset, and show their concern,” Statman says. “Empathy is very important.”

The key is to listen, then come back with a concrete plan.

With the panic in the markets now subsiding, some advisors are dealing with a few clients who had reacted emotionally at the height of the storm, having insisted on selling all equities and heading to cash despite their advisor’s efforts to dissuade them. One of the most helpful things you can do in such cases is help your clients understand why they reacted they way they did, so they can learn from the experience.

“We all make mistakes,” Statman says, “but we must carry on with life.”

When you see or hear an emotional reaction, show empathy rather than trying to minimize or dispel it, Murtha says: “It’s like putting your arm around your client and demonstrating that you see what they see. Give them the recognition they need. Once their emotional needs are met, then you can have conversations about concrete steps to take.”

Help your clients understand what actions they made purely out of fear, and show them that fear is a poor basis for clear decision-making. Avoid finger-pointing or smugness, Statman says: “The last thing an advi-sor should do is say, ‘I told you so’.”

> Rediscovery

This is also a good time to get to know your clients again. Their overall goals and attitudes may have changed — not only because of the market downturn but because other aspects of their lives may have changed since the last time you assessed their long-term plans.

“Advisors can no longer fall back on what worked in the accumulation stage of life for their clients,” LaValley says. “Baby-boomer clients in retirement, or moving toward it, are more concerned about hanging on to their wealth than increasing it.”

These shifting priorities mean investors’ time horizons become more psychological than chronological, LaValley says. The older people get, the less time they have to recover from any market losses. And when clients begin to experience declining health and the deaths of friends and family members, they become increasingly aware of life’s uncertainty and often become more anxious.

“The [conventional] client discovery process is flawed,” LaValley says. “It should not be just about financial goals and risk tolerance. There are a lot of psychological things that need to be understood before appropriate recommendations can be made, and planning must become more life-based.”

A client “rediscovery process” is needed for advisors to determine where clients should go from this point forward, and to enable advisors to tailor advice accordingly, LaValley says. Advisors who take a holistic approach, which includes helping clients manage such areas as insurance, tax planning and estate planning, will be able to demonstrate expertise in more than one area and deepen the client/advisor relationship.

Murtha offers a technique called the “future slide show” to help clients focus on the longer term and remain committed to a financial plan. It involves a heart-to-heart conversation about how your clients visualize their life down the road, with explicit details about the things they would like to achieve.

The idea is to develop images about what the future will look and feel like, thereby creating “points of light” that will help guide your clients through the fog created by market gyrations. The slide show helps keep your clients away from the gravitational pull of emotion-dictated behaviour, Murtha says, and leads them toward a more rational, long-term perspective.

Begin with conversations that have nothing to do with money or financial issues, but that focus more on feelings and challenges that your clients are facing in their lives. “Talking about money can sometimes sound mercenary,” Murtha says. “It can trigger mental cues that lead to defensiveness. The relationship is much stronger if it’s built at a level that is not compromised by unpredictable market behaviour.”

> “Bucket” Strategy

When the conversation does move on to financial issues, LaValley suggests a strategy that can give your clients psychological comfort while helping them meet their financial goals. It involves dividing your clients’ retirement money into three “buckets,” each designed to meet a specific need in retirement.

One bucket would cover essential expenses needed to pay the most basic living costs; a second bucket would provide for lifestyle enhancements, from travel to helping others; and a third, “nest egg” bucket would be for safe investments. The nest-egg category, which is included to help your clients sleep at night, could contain equity in the home, products with guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits and fixed-income investments.

“A portion of retirement savings must be invested for growth,” LaValley says. “And if the stock market doesn’t co-operate, the client may have to postpone the annual trip to Hawaii, but everything else is covered.”

Each bucket should be invested with its own level of risk, depending on what each client wants to accomplish. That requires an emotional — rather than a logical — discussion, and you must be more of a communicator and educator than ever before, LaValley says.

> Risk

You have to explain that there is a risk of losing purchasing power if your clients lean so far toward safety that they fail to make an adequate return, Statman points out: “Risk is not a luxury; it’s a necessity and part of life. If you want to avoid all risk, you can never leave the house. If you put every penny in [government bonds], you could be as poor as a mouse. We take some risk because we must. And, in some cases, it simply doesn’t work out.”

Taking a middle-of-the-road approach that involves a balanced portfolio with a variety of asset classes and deployment of cash on an incremental basis will remove the fear of making the wrong move at the wrong time, and reduce the potential for regret, Murtha says. He likes to paint the image of the market as a seesaw that will stay level if weight is moved toward the centre rather than putting heavy weight at either end.

It may be easier for some clients to do nothing in the short term if they are paralyzed by fear. But, Murtha says, the nature of regret is that it is typically stronger regarding missed opportunities than regarding actions that were thoughtfully taken. Even making small changes to a client’s portfolio, or simply conducting a thorough review to make sure it still suits the client’s goals and risk tolerance, is helpful, he says.

“Investors can be overwhelmed by anxiety, and action can be an antidote because it gives a sense of control,” Murtha says. “It’s less important what the action is than it is to get some momentum happening.”

> Watering The Weeds

Murtha cautions against creating what he calls a “wicked garden” — by pulling the flowers and watering the weeds. It is a metaphor for taking profits on investments that have risen in value but still have good long-term growth potential (flowers), but hanging on to losers that haven’t recovered yet and show little promise of ever doing so (weeds).

“The most important determinant of investment success is investor behaviour,” Murtha says. “Many people are invested in good things, but they don’t stay in them and they miss out on long-term appreciation. They give in to the familiar itch to jump from lily pad to lily pad, and tend to abandon things at precisely the wrong time.”

> Remain Realistic

Resist the urge always to paint a positive picture, an easy tendency for salespeople. In good times, your clients must prepare for a time when the markets will turn down, and that often means rebalancing by taking profits and, thereby, lagging market averages.

“A good advisor typically gets complaints during a bull market because the client’s portfolio isn’t keeping up with the brother-in-law’s,” says Richard Thaler, professor of behavioural science and economics at the Chicago Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

But those clients whose portfolios were properly diversified across asset classes before the downturn now have something to show for it, he adds: “If you want protection against the downside, you’re not going to get all the upside.”

The aftermath of the downturn is what Thaler calls “a teachable moment”: every advisor should be pointing out that what happened in the past year can happen again, and portfolios must be designed to weather worst-case scenarios in various asset classes.

The goal is to use the experience of the past year for the client and advisor to understand each other better, Thaler says. If you made mistakes in positioning your client’s portfolio, admit it. Clients typically appreciate candour, he says, and honesty makes them more willing to forgive.

The unexpected can still happen. A good advisor tells clients they can’t know everything in advance, but can prepare by being properly diversified and by rebalancing systematically. Rebalancing automatically leads to selling high and buying low.

“You go shopping when there’s a sale,” Thaler says. “The best time to buy a turkey is after Christmas.” IE

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Alberto Torrico | View Clip
02/10/2010
Huffington Post, The

Alberto Torrico embodies the life experiences of the emerging California majority. Torrico is the son of immigrant parents – his father from Boliva and mother's family from Japan – who worked as janitors to provide a better life for him and his three brothers. He grew up in a neighborhood where too many kids didn't get the help they needed to succeed in school or beyond. He worked alongside his parents as a janitor in high school, helping to pay his way through Santa Clara University – becoming the first member of his family to graduate from college. And with the support of his family, he

went on to earn a J.D. at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

For Torrico, whose brother Fabian is a veteran San Jose Police Officer, the law is about transforming lives for the better.

As a workers' rights attorney, Torrico applied the power of the law to help transform lives. He specialized in labor law, teaching labor and employment law at San Jose City College and served as Senior Assistant Counsel at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. In 2001, Torrico opened a private law practice in Fremont where he worked with unions to protect the rights of working families who – much like his parents – had no one else to fight for them.

Since his election to the California State Assembly in 2004, Torrico has earned a reputation for hard work, earning the respect of his colleagues and a top leadership position as the Assembly Majority Leader.

As a member of the Assembly, Torrico made history as the first legislator to sit in both Latino and Asian Pacific Islander caucus. He has held a number of leadership posts, including chair of the Governmental Organization Committee, Director of Majority Affairs, chair of the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security (PERSS) and most recently the Special Committee on Prison Reform.

Torrico's ability to build successful coalitions has led to the passage of 38 the legislative measures he's authored, with 27 of them being signed into law by the state's Republican governor, including:

- Requiring 60 day notice for no-fault evictions of renters;

- Removing barriers to the development of affordable housing for working families;

- Maintaining health care benefits for foster children;

- Protecting the assets of public, community hospitals;

- Preserving $50 to $100 million in funding for local transportation projects;

- Restricting the use of pesticides in day care centers.

Representing Assembly District 20 (Newark and Fremont), Torrico is the current Assembly majority Leader and Chair of the Select Committee on Prison Reform. He and his wife, Raquel, have two children, son Mateo and daughter Amy-Elyzabeth.

Education is a way out - and a way forward. But, in California's most crime-ridden high schools, education is also putting our students in harm's way.

My folks came a long way - immigrating from Bolivia and Japan - and worked as janitors to provide a better, safer life...

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Same-Sex Marriage on Trial: A Look Inside Prop 8 in Federal Court | View Clip
02/08/2010
City Visions - KALW-FM

A review of highlights of the historic Prop 8 trial. The trial, which drew to a close in San Francisco in mid-Februrary was the first federal trial to determine if the U.S. Constitution allows states to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Called the civil rights trial of the modern era, the trial explored issues from the meaning of marriage to whether sexual orientation is a choice. Join host Joseph Pace as he talks to legal experts about the trial and what's at stake.
Guests:

* Pratheepan Gulasekaram, constitutional law professor, University of Santa Clara School of Law
* Dan Levine, journalist, The Recorder; blogger, Fedcourt Junkie

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