Santa Clara University

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Other (206)
Santa Clara University Dedicates New Student Activity Center Named for Rev. Paul Locatelli, S.J. 10/26/2010 AJCU Connections Text
If you're "hard-wired" to invest in certain ways, is there anything you can do about it? 10/25/2010 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) - Online Text View Clip
Lets Hear It for the Imperfect Supply Chain 10/25/2010 SupplyChainBrain.com Text View Clip
Relationship Satisfaction is an Opportunity for Daily Forgiveness 10/25/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
WikiLeaks taunts Pentagon with server mirrors in USA 10/25/2010 The Register Text View Clip
Wikileaks taunts Pentagon with server mirrors in USA 10/25/2010 The Register Text View Clip
I AM A PRODUCT OF THE JESUITS UNIVERSITY, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. 10/25/2010 C-SPAN Text
I WENT TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY IN THE BAY AREA. 10/25/2010 C-SPAN2 Text
Perspectives: Should U.S. loosen business regulations? 10/24/2010 Pasadena Star-News Text View Clip
Perspectives: Should U.S. loosen business regulations? 10/24/2010 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Perspectives: Should U.S. loosen business regulations? 10/24/2010 Whittier Daily News Text View Clip
Perspectives: Should U.S. loosen business regulations? 10/24/2010 Whittier Daily News Text View Clip
Pizarro: The podcar people are coming to San Jose 10/24/2010 SiliconValley.com Text View Clip
Does That Request Pass the Smell Test? 10/24/2010 New York Times Text
Does That Request Pass the Smell Test? 10/24/2010 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Online Text View Clip
Crime Waves and Aftershocks 10/24/2010 Big Think Text View Clip
It's prep time for the Olympics 10/23/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Enduring contradictions of Jerry Brown's career 10/23/2010 San Francisco Chronicle Text
Enduring contradictions in career of Jerry Brown 10/23/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Policing: The aftershocks of crime 10/23/2010 The Economist Text
Career Couch: Does That Request Pass the Smell Test? 10/23/2010 New York Times - Online Text View Clip
Comment By: PDXRosebud 10/23/2010 Salem-News.com Text View Clip
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY WITH AN ACCEPTANCE RATE OF 58%. 10/23/2010 NBC Bay Area News Weekend Morning - KNTV-TV Text
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY WITH AN ACCEPTANCE RATE OF 58%. 10/23/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV Text
Pizarro: The podcar people are coming to San Jose 10/22/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Pizarro: The podcar people are coming to San Jose 10/22/2010 SiliconValley.com Text View Clip
Guest Post: Compassion, Empathy and the Growth of Social Business, An Inspiring Day at Santa Clara U | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise 10/22/2010 Development through Enterprise Text View Clip
It's prep time for the Olympics 10/22/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
State's bishops post 'Proposition Guide,' voice concern for Props. 19, 23 10/21/2010 Tidings - Online Text View Clip
Sanctuary Policies & Immigration Federalism: A Dialectic Analysis 10/21/2010 Environmental Law Professors Text View Clip
Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case 10/21/2010 Oakland Tribune Text
Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case 10/21/2010 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case 10/21/2010 Daily Review, The Text
Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case 10/21/2010 Argus, The Text
Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case 10/21/2010 Alameda Times-Star Text
Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case 10/21/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text View Clip
Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case 10/21/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text
Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case 10/21/2010 San Mateo County Times Text
Troublesome nun's faith and feminism 10/21/2010 Eureka Street Text View Clip
Tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times 10/21/2010 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
Prep Lookout: Coaches to Coaches Clinic a special one 10/21/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Policing: The aftershocks of crime 10/21/2010 The Economist Text View Clip
Copyright Troll Righthaven Loses First Suit; Copying Was Fair Use, Judge Ruled 10/21/2010 ABA Journal - Online Text View Clip
Copyright Troll Righthaven Loses First Suit; Copying Was Fair Use, Judge Ruled 10/21/2010 ABA Journal - Online Text View Clip
County prosecutors listed in 'misconduct' report 10/21/2010 Mountain View Voice Text View Clip
Local prosecutor listed in 'misconduct' report 10/20/2010 Palo Alto Weekly - Online Text View Clip
Righthaven defendant wins first lawsuit dismissal motion 10/20/2010 Las Vegas Sun Text View Clip
Daily Online Examiner: Righthaven Loses Lawsuit Against Blogger 10/20/2010 MediaPost.com Text View Clip
Defining Who's Rich and Who's Not 10/20/2010 KPLU-FM - Online Text View Clip
Defining Who's Rich and Who's Not 10/20/2010 Prairie Public Newsroom - Online Text View Clip
Elisabeth Mineta new superior court judge 10/20/2010 Monterey County Herald Text
Inside Tips for College Admissions 10/20/2010 KNTV-TV - Online Text View Clip
Summer interns gain research experience in Silicon Valley nanotech labs 10/20/2010 Currents UC Santa Cruz Text View Clip
Tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times 10/20/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text View Clip
Tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times 10/20/2010 Contra Costa Times - Online Text View Clip
Tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times 10/20/2010 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
Tualatin High grad enriches lives in El Salvador 10/20/2010 Beaverton Valley Times - Online Text View Clip
Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list 10/20/2010 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list 10/20/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text View Clip
Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list 10/20/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text View Clip
Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list 10/20/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text
Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list 10/20/2010 Contra Costa Times - Online Text View Clip
Contra Costa County 's tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times 10/20/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text View Clip
Contra Costa County 's tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times 10/20/2010 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Contra Costa County 's tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times 10/20/2010 Press-Telegram - Online Text View Clip
County prosecutors listed in 'misconduct' report 10/20/2010 Mountain View Voice Text View Clip
A Roadmap to Successful Brand Marketing 10/20/2010 Natural Products Insider Text View Clip
A Companion to Plato 10/20/2010 ARN - Online Text View Clip
Santa Clara University's Jim Cottrill Puts Political Ads to the Truth Test 10/20/2010 KRON Text View Clip
Two judges named to SC County Superior Court 10/19/2010 Palo Alto Weekly - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/19/2010 San Mateo Daily Journal Text View Clip
Taking Base of the Pyramid Strategies To Scale Pt.1: An Introduction to Transformative Sector Strate | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise 10/19/2010 Development through Enterprise Text View Clip
Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment: 10/19/2010 Associated Press (AP) - Sacramento Bureau Text
Proposition 19: After Federal Threat, Pot Stores Consider Limits 10/19/2010 Huffington Post, The Text View Clip
Governor Schwarzenegger Appoints 12 to Superior Courts Around State 10/19/2010 Metropolitan News-Enterprise - Online, The Text View Clip
CUTTING-EDGE THEATER GROUP PLANS 'FUNDRAZOR' 10/19/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
California Bar reviewing 130 prosecutors for possible disciplinary action 10/19/2010 Oroville Mercury-Register Text View Clip
Lessons from Michelle Rhee's Time in D.C. 10/19/2010 Urdan Education Blog Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 KCBA-TV - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 KCOY-TV - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 KFMB-TV - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Fresno Bee - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Gainesville Sun - Online, The Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 KSBY-TV - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Merced Sun-Star - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 MyMotherLode.com Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Marin Independent Journal - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 KTVN-TV - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 KION - TV - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 KKFX-TV - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 KMPH-TV - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Associated Press (AP) - Sacramento Bureau Text
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Whittier Daily News Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Times-Standard - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 San Francisco Examiner - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Press-Enterprise - Online Text View Clip
State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 San Diego Union-Tribune - Online Text View Clip
State Bar launches review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
Two Words to Repeat when using Social Media: Control Impulses! 10/18/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
The Northern California Innocence Project releases comprehensive study of prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Oroville Mercury-Register Text View Clip
The Northern California Innocence Project releases comprehensive study of prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
The Northern California Innocence Project releases comprehensive study of prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
The Northern California Innocence Project releases comprehensive study of prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
The Appearance of Impropriety 10/18/2010 Convene Text View Clip
State Prosecutors Investigated 10/18/2010 KHYL-FM - Online Text View Clip
State Prosecutors Investigated 10/18/2010 KHYL-FM - Online Text View Clip
State Prosecutors Investigated 10/18/2010 KTSE-AM - Online Text View Clip
Here is the latest California news from The Associated Press 10/18/2010 Associated Press (AP) - Sacramento Bureau Text
Pro/con: Should the U.S. loosen regulations on businesses? 10/18/2010 Duluth News Tribune, The Text
KSWT: Local News, Weather, Sports Yuma, AZ El Centro Imperial Valley, CA | State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct 10/18/2010 KSWT-TV - Online Text View Clip
Clinton Rallies Dems ... Prosecutor Misconduct Often Overlooked ... Travel Numbers Up 10/18/2010 KQED-FM - Online Text View Clip
Cease-and-Desist Order Against Website Selling Class Notes Raises IP Questions 10/18/2010 ABA Journal - Online Text View Clip
Con: Must the U.S. loosen up to promote job growth? 10/18/2010 Argus Leader - Online Text View Clip
California Bar reviewing 130 prosecutors for possible disciplinary action 10/18/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
BAR TO REVIEW 130 FOR ACTION 10/18/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
California prosecutors' misconduct probed 10/18/2010 St. Louis Globe-Democrat Text View Clip
California prosecutors' misconduct probed 10/18/2010 United Press International (UPI) Text
California prosecutors' misconduct probed 10/18/2010 UPI.com Text View Clip
California prosecutors' misconduct probed 10/18/2010 UPI.com Text View Clip
Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say 10/18/2010 Orlando Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say 10/18/2010 Daily Press - Online, The Text View Clip
CSU orders NoteUtopia to cease its note-selling operation 10/18/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
THE CALIFORNIA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS NOW RESPONDING TO A STUDY ISSUED STATEWIDE BY A GROUP FROM THE SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL. 10/18/2010 Channel 2 News at 5 PM - KTVU-TV Text
THE CALIFORNIA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS NOW RESPONDING TO A STUDY ISSUED STATEWIDE BY A GROUP FROM THE SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL. 10/18/2010 Channel 2 News at 5 PM - KTVU-TV Text
THE REPORT BY THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT OUT OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL FOUND 600 LAWYERS COMMITTED EVERYTHING FROM SMALL TECHNICAL MISTAKES TO HARMFUL AND DECEPTIVE TACTICS LIKE HIDING EVIDENCE. 10/18/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 6 PM - KNTV-TV Text
THE REPORT BY THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT OUT OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL FOUND 600 LAWYERS COMMITTED EVERYTHING FROM SMALL TECHNICAL MISTAKES TO HARMFUL AND DECEPTIVE TACTICS LIKE HIDING EVIDENCE. 10/18/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 6 PM - KNTV-TV Text
Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say 10/17/2010 Sun Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say 10/17/2010 Chicago Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say 10/17/2010 Baltimore Sun - Online Text View Clip
Commentary: Disruptive effect of bailouts is the real culprit behind snail-like recovery 10/17/2010 McClatchy Company Washington DC Bureau Text View Clip
Bailouts not over-regulation is real culprit behind snail-like recovery 10/17/2010 Rome News-Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Bailouts not over-regulation is real culprit behind snail-like recovery 10/17/2010 Rome News-Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Professor Thomas G. Plante 10/17/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
Farewell to the 'Corporate University' 10/17/2010 Chronicle of Higher Education - Online, The Text View Clip
Farewell to the 'Corporate University' 10/17/2010 Chronicle of Higher Education - Online, The Text View Clip
If California votes to legalize marijuana, will feds crack down? 10/17/2010 Columbus Dispatch - Online Text View Clip
I WENT TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR. 10/17/2010 Channel 4 News Conference - KNBC-TV Text
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR. 10/17/2010 Channel 4 News Conference - KNBC-TV Text
Santa Clara Historic Home Tour 2010 10/16/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Scary Investments ... That Work 10/16/2010 Yahoo! Finance Text View Clip
What Conflict of Interest? How Power Blinds Us to Our Flaws 10/16/2010 Wall Street Journal Text View Clip
TWO VIEWS: Disruptive effect of bailouts is real culprit 10/16/2010 Fresno Bee - Online Text View Clip
Natural selection process needed for thriving marketplace 10/16/2010 Journal News - Online Text View Clip
Natural selection process needed for thriving marketplace 10/16/2010 Journal News - Online Text View Clip
CSU orders NoteUtopia to cease its note-selling operation 10/16/2010 Merced Sun-Star - Online Text View Clip
CSU orders NoteUtopia to cease its note-selling operation 10/16/2010 Sacramento Bee, The Text
CSU orders NoteUtopia to cease its note-selling operation 10/16/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
ASSESSOR'S TROUBLING TRANSACTIONS 10/15/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text
CON: Should the US loosen regulations on businesses? 10/15/2010 Juneau Empire - Online Text View Clip
CSU tells startup company to stop selling class notes 10/15/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
CSU tells startup company to stop selling class notes 10/15/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
CSU tells startup company to shut down class notes business 10/15/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
CSU tells startup company to shut down class notes business 10/15/2010 Sacramento Bee, The Text
Prop. 19 could set up legal battle between California, federal government 10/15/2010 Lexington Herald-Leader - Online Text View Clip
DEALS, DEEDS QUESTIONED 10/15/2010 West County Times Text
Global Social Benefit Incubator: A $20,000 BoP Scholarship | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise 10/15/2010 Development through Enterprise Text View Clip
Scary Investments -- That Actually Work 10/15/2010 Yahoo! Finance Text View Clip
Prop. 19 Could Set UP Legal Battle Between California, Federal Government 10/14/2010 Media Awareness Project Text View Clip
A Classic Base of the Pyramid Business | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise 10/14/2010 Development through Enterprise Text View Clip
4 Common Investment Pitfalls 10/14/2010 SmartMoney - Online Text View Clip
4 Common Investment Pitfalls 10/14/2010 SmartMoney - Online Text View Clip
'Scraping' Incident Illustrates Risks for Online Health Data 10/13/2010 iHealthBeat Text View Clip
The controversial practice of data scraping 10/13/2010 SmartBrief Text View Clip
October 2010 – Online Strategies: Online Insights: Video 10/13/2010 Electronic Retailer Text View Clip
Prop. 19 Passage Could Spark U.S.-California Legal War 10/13/2010 Media Awareness Project Text View Clip
Prop. 19 Could Set UP Legal Battle Between California, ... 10/13/2010 Media Awareness Project Text View Clip
Professor Thomas G. Plante, PhD 10/13/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
Proposition 23 – good or bad for California's businesses? 10/13/2010 San Diego Newsroom Text View Clip
A special report on the world economy: Smart work 10/12/2010 Executive Briefing Text
Attorney: Accountability lacking in judicial system 10/12/2010 One News Now Text View Clip
Criminals increasingly using Craigslist 10/12/2010 Bradenton Herald - Online Text View Clip
California prosecutor errors go unpunished, Prof. says 10/12/2010 McClatchy Company Washington DC Bureau Text View Clip
New online trend: Shoppers video their 'haul' 10/12/2010 Providence Journal - Online Text View Clip
No Change Seen in CDA if GOP Takes Congress 10/12/2010 Warren's Washington Internet Daily Text
Proposition 23 – good or bad for California's businesses? 10/12/2010 San Diego Newsroom Text View Clip
Prop. 19 could spark U.S.-Calif. legal war over pot 10/12/2010 ScrippsNews Text View Clip
Silicon Valley Wrestles With Reform Implications 10/12/2010 California Healthline Text View Clip
'Scrapers' Dig Deep for Data on Web 10/12/2010 Wall Street Journal Text View Clip
KIMBERLY HILL IS THE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND JOINS US THIS MORNING TO TALK ABOUT WAYS PEOPLE CAN GET OVER THAT FEAR. 10/12/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV Text
KIMBERLY HILL IS THE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND JOINS US THIS MORNING TO TALK ABOUT WAYS PEOPLE CAN GET OVER THAT FEAR. 10/12/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV Text
KIMBERLY HILL IS ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF THEATER AND DANCE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. 10/12/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV Text
KIMBERLY HILL IS ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF THEATER AND DANCE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. 10/12/2010 NBC Bay Area News at 6 AM - KNTV-TV Text
Santa Clara University's Kimberly Mohne Hill Talks about How to Overcome Fears of Public Speaking 10/12/2010 KNTV-TV Text View Clip
Santa Clara University dedicates new Locatelli Student Activity Center 10/11/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Santa Clara University dedicates new Locatelli Student Activity Center 10/11/2010 Press-Telegram - Online Text View Clip
Race factor in contest between Hispanic, Vietnamese candidates for Congress 10/11/2010 Baltimore Sun - Online Text View Clip
Race factor in contest between Hispanic, Vietnamese candidates for Congress 10/11/2010 Orlando Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
Prosecutorial Misconduct Documented in Northern California Innocence Project Report 10/11/2010 Huffington Post, The Text View Clip
New Orleans case is heard before U.S. Supreme Court 10/11/2010 Louisiana Weekly Text View Clip
Ethnic spat erupts in changing OC district 10/11/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Ethnic spat erupts in changing OC district 10/11/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Ethnic spat erupts in changing OC district 10/11/2010 San Bernardino Sun Text View Clip
Ethnic spat erupts in changing OC district 10/11/2010 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Online Text View Clip
Ethnic spat erupts in changing OC district 10/11/2010 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - Online Text View Clip
Ethnic spat erupts in changing OC district 10/11/2010 Los Angeles Daily News - Online Text View Clip
Ethnic spat erupts in changing OC district 10/11/2010 Los Angeles Daily News - Online Text View Clip
Ethnic spat erupts in changing OC district 10/11/2010 FOXNews.com Text View Clip
Ethnic spat erupts in changing OC district 10/11/2010 Greeley Tribune, The Text View Clip
Directory profiles sometimes lead law clients astray 10/11/2010 BizJournals.com Text View Clip
Directory profiles sometimes lead law clients astray 10/11/2010 San Francisco Business Times - Online Text View Clip
DEDICATION 10/11/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Baby boomers prepare to recalculate future 10/11/2010 San Antonio Express-News - Online Text View Clip
A Surprising and Countercultural Secret to Happiness 10/11/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip


Santa Clara University Dedicates New Student Activity Center Named for Rev. Paul Locatelli, S.J.
10/26/2010
AJCU Connections

Santa Clara University's dedication of the Paul Locatelli New Student Activity Center was mentioned in AJCU Ed News

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If you're "hard-wired" to invest in certain ways, is there anything you can do about it? | View Clip
10/25/2010
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) - Online

I've learned a lot of things in the course of putting together this series. One of the most interesting is: when it comes to how we make investment decisions, our parents largely deserve the blame (or credit). You might think that's because of the money habits they taught us. However, a team of professors from the University of Washington and Claremont College says no-- it's more a matter of genetics. That's right: the way you relate to money may be inherited, via your genes!

Here's how we know that. Professors Stephan Siegel, Henrik Cronqvist and Amir Barnea, examined a study of 35,000 twins in Sweden. Among other things, that study followed the investment tendencies of both fraternal and identical twins (something made easier by the fact that most Swedes invest in the Stock Market). According to Professor Siegel, many identical twins that were raised apart ended up having many of the same investing styles (a sign of genetic predisposition). After comparing that coincidence with the investing styles of fraternal twins, Siegel and his partners concluded that between 30% and 45% of a person's investment behavior is a result of genetic factors.

Now that has big implications. Let's say that I have a high risk-tolerance, which leads me to put too much money into overly risky investments. I could just throw up my hands and say, since I got the "high-risk gene" from my father or mother, I'm not responsible for my irresponsible choice of investments. I'm "hard-wired" to act this way, and there's nothing

I can do about it....

Not so fast. First, Professor Siegel notes that about 70% of our investment behavior

is unrelated to genetic factors. Second, other studies have found that people can (and do) change their attitudes toward money. For example, Professor Meir Statman of Santa Clara University found that Chinese immigrants to the United States start out with typically Chinese money habits--including a high savings rate, an aversion to borrowing and a preference for investing in hard assets. But they eventually adapt to the American financial culture. Over time, they end up spending, borrowing and investing more like the average American.

Finally, there is a lot of evidence that just being aware of your built-in behavioral tendencies can make it possible for you to overcome them. And that is why our "Your Mind & Your Money" series is far from a pointless academic exercise. If we can make you aware of your irrational tendencies in financial behavior, then perhaps we can help you do something about them--even if they are part of your genetic code.

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Lets Hear It for the Imperfect Supply Chain | View Clip
10/25/2010
SupplyChainBrain.com

Let's Hear It for the Imperfect Supply Chain

Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain | October 25, 2010

“All happy supply chains are alike,” Tolstoy wrote; “each unhappy supply chain is unhappy in its own way.” Actually, he never said that, although I wish he had. With all this talk of “the perfect order,” it's good to remember that global supply chains are far from perfect. So let us take a passing look at several that are striving for that elusive goal, even as they cope with the vagaries of the real world.

The brave individuals quoted here were speakers at a recent meeting of the San Francisco Roundtable of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. They were responding to a question from moderator Steven Nahmias, professor of operations and management information systems at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business. He asked: “What is the most important issue your company faces in supply-chain planning?”

Kim Peterson is corporate distribution manager for Specialized Bicycle Components, a Morgan Hill, Calif.-based maker of high-performance bicycles and equipment. Its bikes were ridden by the first- and second-place winners of the Tour de France, among other major racers. The company's slogan, said Peterson, is “innovate or die.”

Day-to-day concerns are more prosaic. Peterson says the company has a tough time coming up with accurate demand forecasts. With most of its product manufactured in Asia, Specialized struggles with long lead times. “We don't know ahead of time what's going to be hot,” he says. Then, when it identifies a big seller, it has to gear up to make enough of that product to capture the fleeting demand. “If we forecast wrong,” Peterson says, “it's difficult to recover.”

Distribution labors to work closely with the supplier side to get the right product to market as quickly as possible. Frequently, however, the traffic department is called upon “to make up for the sins of delays in procurement,” Peterson said, adding that Specialized still faces big issues in communicating properly with vendors. It hopes to solve the problem with the recent hiring of a lead logistics provider, Century Distribution Systems, Inc., which will create a single database and point of contact in its dealings with vendors.

Peet's Coffee & Teais the Berkeley, Calif.-based pioneer of the modern-day gourmet coffee craze. Industry veteran Alfred H. Peet hired and trained the individuals who went on to found Starbucks. Today, Peet's does a strong business at 193 retail locations in six states, in addition to servicing nearly 9,000 grocery stores with fresh coffee between one and three times a week.

Peet's doesn't make its life easy. It supplies the whole network out of a single roasting facility in Alameda, Calif., producing 32 types of beans each day. The time from roasting to store shelf is just seven to 14 days, said director of logistics Neil Rowe. Relying on direct store delivery (DSD), Peet's maintains some 300 routes, servicing 30 to 50 stores in a given area with the help of less-than-truckload carriers. Ninety percent of the stores receive same- or next-day coffee deliveries, some in the dead of night. The DSD model “gives us better control of inventory in transit, ensuring freshness,” says Rowe.

Sounds like a decent system, but there are always complications. About a year ago, Peet's faced a “tremendous challenge” in implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. (Sound familiar, dear reader?) On top of that, the company has struggled with electronic data interchange (EDI), especially with respect to its rapid expansion. “We're kind of famous at Peet's for getting the business, then figuring out how to do it,” said Rowe. Recently the company created a two-pound coffee bag for Sam's Club without having the machine on site to produce it. “It's coming in from Italy in two weeks,” Rowe promised. A similar challenge arose when Peet's realized that it lacked the EDI capability to support its high-volume roast-to-order model for supplying Target Stores.

A couple of years ago, some college students were touring Peet's Alameda roasting plant. Everything they observed, Rowe recalls, was contrary to what they had been taught about proper business processes. He told them: “If you want to do your thesis on product efficiency, you might not want to look at this as a model.”

Corporate acquisitions are never smooth, a lesson being learned these days by Data Domain, the maker of space-saving storage disks for critical data. In July 2009, the company was bought by Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp., a vendor of systems for network storage, data recovery and information management. Full integration is supposed to be wrapped up by January. In the meantime, the merged operation is trying to get two separate ERP systems – Oracle Corp. for EMC and SAP AG for Data Domain – to play nicely together, according to Paul Goodman, director of global logistics. The plan is to go to a common ERP from Oracle, creating one system of record for all trade documentation, although the setup for handling spares and services will remain with Data Domain. For now, says Goodman, the situation “plays havoc in creating the right document sets.”

Less easily reconciled are the differing manufacturing philosophies of EMC and Data Domain. The first runs three large factories of its own, two in the U.S. and one in Ireland. The second purchases “white” parts and assemblies, then relies on outsourced manufacturing partners to create finished product. The strategy makes for excellent margins, says Goodman, and Data Domain is understandably reluctant to give it up in favor of the parent company's asset-heavy manufacturing model, despite pressure to do so. “We need to stay with our core competency,” he says.

A common theme among the three companies is the need for agility. All are forced to respond quickly to true demand, in the absence of a time machine or crystal ball that provides a solid picture of future customer behavior. Moreover, all accept the necessity for constant change – an attitude that makes hash out of the notion of “perfection.” On paper, Rowe noted, Peet's has enough capacity at its one roasting plant to serve customer needs for the next 10 years. “But that doesn't mean we'll continue to do what we're doing.”

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Relationship Satisfaction is an Opportunity for Daily Forgiveness | View Clip
10/25/2010
Psychology Today - Online

People rarely behave as we expect...get over it!

Much has been written and studied about the physical and health benefits of forgiveness. But what I think people often forget about in their efforts to maximize relationship satisfaction is that every day is an opportunity to practice our forgiveness skills!

People never behave as we wish they would. This is true for not only our most intimate loved ones but also our family members, friends, co-workers and random strangers that we bump into. Face it…they just don't. We need to get over it! I have had countless clinical patients who have lost sleep, gotten very upset, and destroyed relationships by acting on their frustrations and anger regarding the disappointing behaviors of others. We certainly have very high expectations for the behavior of others (usually higher expectations for others than for ourselves) that is often unrealistic.

While walking into class where I teach at Santa Clara University I overheard a student complaining about her boyfriend. She was frustrated with what appeared to be a typical college age dating conflcit and the student was planning on dealing with it via texting which I think would have made the conflict much much worse. I politely suggested that there might be a better way to deal with the problem (and suggested texting was certainly not the place to do it). It was also an opportunity to discuss practicing forgiveness too. The boyfriend did something that appeared thoughtless but harmless and unintended. Our conversation resulted in a discussion about the benefits of regular forgiveness and what we can realistically expect from those we care about.

Doing the right thing for ourselves and our relationships mean that we have to practice forgiveness regularly and let it become a daily contemplative practice for us. This applies to the random person on the freeway who cuts you off as well as the behaviors of those who are most important to us in our lives. This doesn't mean that we become a doormat and let people walk all over us. This also doesn't mean that we condone the behavior of others when it is problematic and egregious. It doesn't mean that we don't provide corrective feedback to people when needed. We must always pick our battles wisely but if we forgive more we'll likely enjoy more satisfying relationships with everyone.

What do you think?

Two Words to Repeat when using Social Media: Control Impulses!

Thomas Plante, PhD., ABPP is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University.

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WikiLeaks taunts Pentagon with server mirrors in USA | View Clip
10/25/2010
The Register

WikiLeaks is using US-based servers run by Amazon.com to mirror its controversial data stash, including the classified " [1]" released on Friday afternoon, according to internet records.

Since at least Friday night, the famous whistle-blowing site has been hosting data on Amazon's AWS infrastructure cloud, both in the US and Ireland, records collected by  [2] show. WikiLeaks is also mirroring servers with French service provider Octopuce, according to NetCraft. WikiLeaks has  [3] with "bulletproof" hosting outfit PRQ. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that the servers are kept in Sweden because the country provides legal protection for disclosures on the site. To further  [4], PRQ keeps almost no information about its clientele and maintains few if any of its own logs.

Recently, the Swedish Pirate Party said that it's also hosting servers for WikiLeaks, and according to one report, some WikiLeaks servers are now inside a Cold War–era nuclear bunker that was  [5]. But on Friday, after WikiLeaks defied warnings from the Pentagon and released nearly 400,000 classified US military documents involving the Iraq War, NetCraft showed that the site was mirroring these and other documents in the US, Ireland, and France, countries that don't offer the sort of protection provided by Sweden. According to Santa Clara University law professor and tech law blogger Eric Goldman, Amazon may not be legally required to remove the content, but he says the company could be persuaded to do so. "[Federal law]  [6] protects Amazon from being liable for WikiLeaks' content in most circumstances. The only relevant exception is that 230 does not protect Amazon if republishing the content constitutes a federal crime. I'm uncertain what crimes could apply to the content publication," Goldman told The Reg.

"However, even if Amazon is insulated from liability, I suspect Amazon will choose to remove the content 'voluntarily' (motivated by a little persuasion from the government), presumably citing a breach of its terms of service as a pretext.

"A more 'ideological' web host would probably fight more vigorously for its users' publishing rights than Amazon will."

The US, Ireland, and France mirrors were first noticed by  [7]. It's unclear why WikiLeaks is mirroring its servers in such unprotected locations. The move could be part of an effort to accommodate the added traffic expected following the release of the Iraq documents, and the organization may be trying to decentralize its data stash. But it's surprising that the whistle-blowers would use servers based in such countries.

We've contacted WikiLeaks through email addresses it has used in the past, and it has not responded. Presumably, the site's content is still hosted on "bulletproof" servers in Sweden, but these no longer show up in NetCraft's records.

We've also contacted Amazon, and it has yet to respond. Nor has the US Department of Defense, which condemned the release of the . The US government has long said that releasing such documents will endanger the lives of soldiers and civilians alike. "We deplore WikiLeaks for inducing individuals to break the law, leak classified documents and then cavalierly share that secret information with the world, including our enemies," the Defense Department press secretary said in a statement on Friday.

Some have speculated that WikiLeaks is now running US-based mirrors as some sort of publicity stunt. "They are waiting for the US to shut down those servers so that they can say 'Oh, look at the information the US doesn't want you to know!'" said one commenter on Norcliffe's blog.

Norcliffe is less sure. "WikiLeaks has set a confusing new precedent for its approach to hosting; in the past much has been made of its reputation for putting its servers in bunkers in Sweden for apparent legal protection, and yet for this launch the primary websites are being served in some cases from US datacenters.

"I can't believe this is incompetence on WikiLeaks' part, but whatever their reason it also seems unlikely a US company like Amazon won't be under pressure soon from US authorities."

As Norcliffe points out, WikiLeaks doesn't appear to be using a CDN for global caching which might have otherwise accounted for an accidental or automatic mirror, but instead seems to be using "round-robin DNS" resolution targeted at definitive IP addresses chosen by the organization. This method is used on WikiLeaks.org, and WarLogs.wikileaks.org gives you a random IP from France, Ireland, or the US.

As recently as October 10, NetCraft records showed PRQ as WikiLeaks' hosting providers. But now, the only providers returned by the research outfit are Amazon and Octopuce. ®

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Wikileaks taunts Pentagon with server mirrors in USA | View Clip
10/25/2010
The Register

WikiLeaks is using US-based servers run by Amazon.com to mirror its controversial data stash, including the classified " [1]" released on Friday afternoon, according to internet records.

Since at least Friday night, the famous whistle-blowing site has been hosting data on Amazon's AWS infrastructure cloud, both in the US and Ireland, records collected by  [2] show. WikiLeaks is also mirroring servers with French service provider Octopuce, according to NetCraft. WikiLeaks has  [3] with "bulletproof" hosting outfit PRQ. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that the servers are kept in Sweden because the country provides legal protection for disclosures on the site. To further  [4], PRQ keeps almost no information about its clientele and maintains few if any of its own logs.

Recently, the Swedish Pirate Party said that it's also hosting servers for WikiLeaks, and according to one report, some WikiLeaks servers are now inside a Cold War–era nuclear bunker that was  [5]. But on Friday, after WikiLeaks defied warnings from the Pentagon and released nearly 400,000 classified US military documents involving the Iraq War, NetCraft showed that the site was mirroring these and other documents in the US, Ireland, and France, countries that don't offer the sort of protection provided by Sweden. According to Santa Clara University law professor and tech law blogger Eric Goldman, Amazon may not be legally required to remove the content, but he says the company could be persuaded to do so. "[Federal law]  [6] protects Amazon from being liable for WikiLeaks' content in most circumstances. The only relevant exception is that 230 does not protect Amazon if republishing the content constitutes a federal crime. I'm uncertain what crimes could apply to the content publication," Goldman told The Reg.

"However, even if Amazon is insulated from liability, I suspect Amazon will choose to remove the content 'voluntarily' (motivated by a little persuasion from the government), presumably citing a breach of its terms of service as a pretext.

"A more 'ideological' web host would probably fight more vigorously for its users' publishing rights than Amazon will."

The US, Ireland, and France mirrors were first noticed by  [7]. It's unclear why WikiLeaks is mirroring its servers in such unprotected locations. The move could be part of an effort to accommodate the added traffic expected following the release of the Iraq documents, and the organization may be trying to decentralize its data stash. But it's surprising that the whistle-blowers would use servers based in such countries.

We've contacted WikiLeaks through email addresses it has used in the past, and it has not responded. Presumably, the site's content is still hosted on "bulletproof" servers in Sweden, but these no longer show up in NetCraft's records.

We've also contacted Amazon, and it has yet to respond. Nor has the US Department of Defense, which condemned the release of the . The US government has long said that releasing such documents will endanger the lives of soldiers and civilians alike. "We deplore WikiLeaks for inducing individuals to break the law, leak classified documents and then cavalierly share that secret information with the world, including our enemies," the Defense Department press secretary said in a statement on Friday.

Some have speculated that WikiLeaks is now running US-based mirrors as some sort of publicity stunt. "They are waiting for the US to shut down those servers so that they can say 'Oh, look at the information the US doesn't want you to know!'" said one commenter on Norcliffe's blog.

Norcliffe is less sure. "WikiLeaks has set a confusing new precedent for its approach to hosting; in the past much has been made of its reputation for putting its servers in bunkers in Sweden for apparent legal protection, and yet for this launch the primary websites are being served in some cases from US datacenters.

"I can't believe this is incompetence on WikiLeaks' part, but whatever their reason it also seems unlikely a US company like Amazon won't be under pressure soon from US authorities."

As Norcliffe points out, WikiLeaks doesn't appear to be using a CDN for global caching which might have otherwise accounted for an accidental or automatic mirror, but instead seems to be using "round-robin DNS" resolution targeted at definitive IP addresses chosen by the organization. This method is used on WikiLeaks.org, and WarLogs.wikileaks.org gives you a random IP from France, Ireland, or the US.

As recently as October 10, NetCraft records showed PRQ as WikiLeaks' hosting providers. But now, the only providers returned by the research outfit are Amazon and Octopuce. ®

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I AM A PRODUCT OF THE JESUITS UNIVERSITY, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY.
10/25/2010
C-SPAN

PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY ARE PUTTING THE BRAKES ON. I THINK THERE ARE A MAJOR REASON WHY THIS ELECTION MATTERS MUCH MORE THAN JUST A TRADITIONAL VOTE THE INCUMBENT-OUT OF THE ELECTION. WHEN THE PRESIDENT AND HIS PARTY HAVE TRIED TO IMPOSE RADICAL CHANGE ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, CHANGE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DO NOT WANT, AND WHEN THEY REFUSE TO LISTEN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHEN THEY SAY STOP, THEY ARE BOUND TO LOSE AT THE POLLS. IN MY EYES, THEY DESERVE TO. [APPLAUSE] THAT WAS GREAT REPUBLICAN STUFF. I ASKED HER TO SPEAK FOR 10 MINUTES AND IT WAS EXACT. DEE DEE, YOU ARE ON. IT IS GREAT TO BE HERE. THANK YOU FOR HAVING US. AS I WAS GETTING READY TO SPEAK TO YOU ALL, I WAS REMINDED OF A STORY OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE WASHINGTON CHARACTERS, RUSH LIMBAUGH. [LAUGHTER] IT SEEMS THAT HE WAS VISITING WASHINGTON NOT LONG AGO JOGGING ALONG THE POTOMAC RIVER. HE IS A FITNESS BUFF. [LAUGHTER] HE WAS GOING ALONG AND CAME UP ON THREE GIRLS RIDING THEIR BIKES. THEY RECOGNIZED HIM AND HE WAS FLATTERED THAT THEY RECOGNIZED HIM. SOMEHOW HE GOT DISTRACTED AND SLIPPED AND FELL INTO THE RIVER. THE GIRLS SAW THE WHOLE THING AND THEY PULLED HIM FROM THE RIVER AND HE WAS SO GRATEFUL. HE SAID, WHAT CAN I DO, I AM SO GRATEFUL? ONE OF THE GIRLS LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID, I KNOW THIS IS A TALL ORDER, BUT YOU ARE A POWERFUL MAN. I WOULD LIKE TO BE BURIED AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY. HE SAID, WHY ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE BURIED? SHE SAID, WHEN I GET HOME AND TELL MY MOM WHO I JUST SAVED [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] I WAS GOING TO TELL THE JOKE ABOUT DICK CHENEY. THE FIRST TIME I TOLD THE JOKE IT WAS ABOUT BILL CLINTON. [LAUGHTER] IT IS GREAT TO BE HERE. I AM A PRODUCT OF THE JESUITS UNIVERSITY, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. THAT WAS A TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE FOR ME. IT WAS THE DESOLATE EDUCATION THAT SET ME ON THIS RIGHT OR WRONG PATH OF PROGRESSIVE POLITICS. A SANTA CLARA USED TO DESCRIBE ITSELF AS FRAMING THE ACADEMIC WORK AND COMMUNITY INTO THE QUESTION OF GREATER VALUES. NOT SENDING KIDS OFF TO WALL STREET BUT ASKING KIDS WHAT IS OUR GREATER OBLIGATION TO THE COMMUNITY? I SEE THAT HERE IN THE MISSION STATEMENT OF FAIRFIELD. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW IMPORTANT I THINK THAT IS. ALWAYS HAPPY TO BE HERE. I FIND THAT WHENEVER I GO TO COLLEGES, STUDENTS ASK ABOUT HOW YOU GOT TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW. I GOT OUT OF COLLEGE, MY PARENTS ARE BOTH REPUBLICANS. MY MOTHER HAS JUST SEEN THE LIGHT AND IS NOW A DEMOCRAT. MY FATHER WAS THRILLED THAT I CHOSE A CATHOLIC IN DIVERSITY. I CAME OUT A REACHING LIBERAL AND HE WAS HORRIFIED. I SPENT HOW MUCH AND THIS IS WHAT I GOT? ANYWAY, RONALD REAGAN WAS RUNNING FOR REELECTION. I DECIDED HE DID NOT DESERVE A SECOND TERM, SO I VOTED FOR WENT TO WORK FOR WALTER MONDALE. I THOUGHT THAT WE WERE GOING TO WIN RIGHT UP UNTIL THE END. WE LOST 49 STATES. [LAUGHTER] WE GOT A 33 GOT WE GOT A TOTAL OF 13 ELECTORAL VOTES. I WENT FROM THERE TO THE MAYORAL OFFICE OF LOS ANGELES. I WENT TO WORK FOR MICROCOCCUS AFTER THAT. [LAUGHTER] THERE IS A THEME HERE. THAT DID NOT WORK VERY GOOD SO I WORKED FOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN, WHO HAD DONE TWO SUCCESSFUL TERMS FOR SAN FRANCISCO AND WAS RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA. OBVIOUSLY, WITH MY HELP SHE LOST. [LAUGHTER] SINCE THEN, SHE HAS BEEN ELECTED TO THE US SAID THAT WITHOUT MY HELP. IT IS PRETTY OBVIOUS THEN WHY BILL CLINTON CALLED ME IN THE FALL OF 1991. WHO WOULD NOT WANT ME ON THEIR TEAM AT THAT POINT? AT THAT POINT, GOVERNOR CLINTON WAS NOT GIVEN MUCH CHANCE TO WIN BUT I LIKED WHAT HE WAS SAYING. HE WAS TALKING ABOUT THINGS THAT I THOUGHT DEMOCRATS NEEDED TO TALK ABOUT.

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I WENT TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY IN THE BAY AREA.
10/25/2010
C-SPAN2

GOVERNORS' RACES AND SAVE LEGISLATIVE RACES. I THINK ONCE THE ELECTION MIGHT IS OVER, REPUBLICANS MAY WELL HAVE 33 GOVERNORSHIPS AND WE ARE IN PLACE TO WIN OVER 400 SEATS, 400 SEATS IN STATE LEGISLATURES WHICH WILL GIVE US 12 TO 15 MORE STATE LEGISLATURES. NOW THAT IS OBVIOUSLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE OF THE REDISTRICTING BECAUSE THAT MEANS OF A MAP CAN BE DRAWN IN THE FUTURE. BUT IT ALSO IS VERY IMPORTANT THE GOVERNORS MATTER HUGELY AND THE MATTER BECAUSE THE GOVERNORS ARE THE REPUBLICAN LEADERS OF THE FUTURE AND A LOT OF THE RACES WHERE THE GOVERNORS HOUSES ARE UP AND REPUBLICANS ARE LIKELY TO BE BUILT A GAME OF IN BATTLEGROUND STATES. SIEGEL HAVE A SITUATION IF THE REPUBLICANS ARE SUCCESSFUL IN THOSE STATES AND THE GOVERNORS DO WHAT THEY ARE PROMISING TO DO ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL IF THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE AND EFFECTIVE STEWARDS OF THEIR STATE AND IF THEY ARE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE. YOU HAVE A SITUATION IN 2012 WHERE PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS TO GO TO THE STATES, HE HAS TO CARRY IN ORDER TO WIN THE ELECTION. AND HE WILL BE FACED WITH SAYING TO THE VOTERS IN THOSE STATES LOOK AT MY RECORD, WHICH UNLESS HE TURNS THINGS AROUND, IS A PRETTY ABYSMAL ONE, AND THE VOTERS WILL BE ABLE TO COMPARE THAT WITH A RECORD OF THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR, SOMEBODY LIKE MITCH DANIELS OR CHRIS CHRISTI, PEOPLE WHO ARE IN FACT PUTTING THE BRAKES ON. SO I DID THAT THERE ARE A RANGE OF REASONS WHY THIS ELECTION MATTERS MUCH MORE THAN JUST A TRADITIONAL VOTE TO THE INCUMBENTS OUT OF THE ELECTION. I THINK THAT WHEN THE PRESIDENT AND HIS PARTY HAVE TRIED TO IMPOSE THE RADICAL CHANGE ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, CHANGE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DON'T WANT AND WHEN HE REFUSES TO LISTEN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHEN THEY STOP THEY ARE BOUND TO LEAD THE POLLS AND IN MY VIEW THEY DESERVE TO. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE] I ASKED LIZ TO SPEAK FOR TEN MINUTES AND IT WAS EXACTLY TEN MINUTES. ALL RIGHT, DEE DEE, YOUR HONOR, TEN MINUTES. REPUBLICANS ARE SO CONCISE. [LAUGHTER] HOW CAN I COMPETE WITH THAT? IS GREAT TO BE HERE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING LIZ AND ME. AS I WAS GETTING READY TO COME SPEAK TO YOU ALL I WAS REMINDED OF A STORY ABOUT ONE OF MY FAVORITE WASHINGTON CHARACTERS, RUSH LIMBAUGH. [LAUGHTER] YEAH, I LOVE RUSH. SEEMS RUSH WAS VISITING WASHINGTON NOT LONG AGO AND HE WAS OUT JOGGING ON THE POTOMAC RIVER BECAUSE HE'S OBVIOUSLY A FITNESS BUFF. [LAUGHTER] HE WAS GOING ALONG AND HE CAME ON THESE THREE GIRLS RIDING THEIR BIKES AND THE RECOGNIZED HIM AND WAVED AND HE WAS FLATTERED DIESELS RECOGNIZED HIM AND HE WAVED BACK AND BECAME DISTRACTED AND SLIPPED AND FELL INTO THE RIVER. NOT TO WORRY, THE GIRLS ALL HOLDING AND RACED OVER ON THEIR BIKES AND THEY PULLED RUSH OUT OF THE RIVER AND REVIVED HIM. HE WAS SO GRATEFUL. HE SAID WHAT CAN I DO TO REPAY YOU? I'M SO GRATEFUL FOR YOU HAVING SAVED ME. AND ONE OF THE GIRLS LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID I KNOW THIS THAT YOU ARE A POWERFUL MAN. HE SAID WHAT IS IT? SHE SAID I WOULD LIKE TO BE BURIED AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY. SHE SAID YOU CAN'T BE MORE THAN 10-YEARS-OLD. WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE BURIED? SHE SAID WHEN I GET HOME AND TELL MY MOM WHO I JUST SAVED [LAUGHTER] THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO ANYTHING I JUST LIKE MAKING FUN OF RUSH LIMBAUGH. I ACTUALLY THOUGHT ABOUT TELLING IT ABOUT DICK CHENEY. THE FIRST TIME I HEARD IT WAS CALLED BILL CLINTON. ANYWAY IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE AT FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY. I NATURALLY THE PRODUCT OF THE EDUCATION. I WENT TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY IN THE BAY AREA. AND THE WAS A TRANSFORMING EXPERIENCE FOR ME. I LOVED MY YEARS AT SANTA CLARA, AND WAS A JUDGMENT EDUCATION THAT SET ME ON THIS EITHER RIGHT OR WRONG PATH OF PROGRESSIVE POLITICS. BUT ON THE FEELING WAS ALWAYS SANTA CLARA USED TO DESCRIBE IT AS THE VALUE EDUCATION OF SCREENING ALL OF THE ACADEMIC WORK AND THE COMMUNITY INTO THE QUESTION OF THE GREATER VALUE, NOT TO STUFF WALL STREET TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY BUT ASK THE QUESTION WHAT WE GO TO THE COMMUNITY, WHAT IS THE OBLIGATION AND I SEE THAT HERE, TO BACK IN THE MISSION STATEMENT OF THE FAIRFIELD TO EDUCATE A WHOLE PERSON, MY BODY AND SPIRIT, AND I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW IMPORTANT I THINK THAT IS, SO I AM ALWAYS HAPPY TO BE BACK IN THE COMMUNITY. SO THANKS FOR HAVING US. YOU KNOW, I FIND THAT WHEN I GO TO THE COLLEGE'S TO ASK A LITTLE BIT OF HOW YOU GOT TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW, JUST QUICKLY ON GOT OUT OF COLLEGE. BY PREPARING FOR WHAT REPUBLICANS, MY MOM HAS SINCE SEEN THE LIGHT COME SHE IS NOW A DEMOCRAT BUT MY PARENTS, MY DAD IS CONSERVATIVE AND WAS THRILLED TO CHOOSE A CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY AND OFF I WENT AND I CAN NOW A RANKING LIBERAL AND HE WAS HORRIFIED. HE SAID THIS IS WHAT I GOT? [LAUGHTER] BUT ANYWAY, IT WAS RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT REAGAN WON THE ELECTION AND I DECIDED HE DIDN'T WIN A SECOND TERM AS I WENT TO WORK FOR THE OTHER GUY, WALTER MONDALE AND I WOULD TV COULD NEVER KNEW ANYBODY THAT WORKED IN POLITICS BUT I LOVED IT AND I BELIEVE WE WERE GOING TO WIN RIGHT UP UNTIL THE END.

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Perspectives: Should U.S. loosen business regulations? | View Clip
10/24/2010
Pasadena Star-News

YES; They devastate economic growth and cost us jobs

Today, a regulatory hurricane threatens our economy and its ability to create the 20 million American jobs that we need by the end of this decade. It's been building strength for some time. Over the last several decades, more than 100,000 regulations have been issued, many of which impose heavy burdens on our job creators.

In the last two years, conditions have grown even worse.

We've seen a dramatic acceleration of major regulations and mandates, from the health care and financial reform laws to some of the most activist agendas ever undertaken by federal agencies.

Businesses are hunkering down in response, hoping to wait out the storm. The $1.8 trillion they hold in cash reserves will likely remain on the sidelines until the economy becomes more certain. Without certainty, businesses find it difficult to make the plans and investments needed to grow and create jobs.

The business community, of course, has long recognized the need for sensible regulations to ensure workplace safety, guarantee worker rights and protect public health.

But government has gone too far. America is sinking under the crushing weight of the ever-expanding regulatory state. This burden threatens to disrupt our recovery, hamper long-term growth, undermine our global competitiveness, and suffocate the entrepreneurial spirit so vital to America's success.

If you want to see how far-reaching the regulatory state has become, look at The Code of Federal Regulations. Put simply, it includes every regulation now in force in this country. The document is nearly 150,000 pages long, spread over 50 different volumes.

Federal regulations are only the tip of the iceberg - there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of regulations at the state and local levels. In fact, those are often the ones small businesses complain about the most.

California offers a perfect example. A recent study pegged the cost of state regulations at $177 billion in 2007. It also resulted in the loss of more than 1 million jobs.

While many regulations have a positive impact, many others are outdated, ineffective, overly complicated, and counterproductive.

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy put the total price tag of complying with federal regulations at $1.75 trillion in 2008. That amounts to $15,500 for each U.S. household. In the same year, the average cost to businesses was nearly $8,100 per employee. Costs are 36 percent higher for small businesses, which create 60 to 80 percent of new jobs.

It's only going to get worse. The Environmental Protection Agency is advancing 29 proposed major rules and 173 others - an unprecedented level of regulatory action. The massive health care law creates 183 new agencies, commissions, panels and other bodies. And the nearly 2,400-page financial regulatory reform bill creates nearly 500 regulatory rulemakings, 60 studies, and 93 reports.

So what's to be done to stem this rising tide?

First, Congress needs to stop approving bills that pass the buck to the regulators. For example, the health care law hands significant new powers to the Department of Health and Human Services and vests its secretary with broad, unchecked discretion.

Second, Congress must begin to exercise vigorous oversight of the sweeping bills that it passes. At the moment, regulators are left to do as they see fit, and even regulations with a major economic impact are infrequently reviewed.

Third, the federal agencies must do a much better job of complying with laws designed to ensure the use of quality data, cost-benefit analyses, and the scrupulous review of regulations.

Finally, the American people must speak out against the regulatory hurricane that is overwhelming our economy and squelching job creation.

At stake is the health of our economy, our standard of living, our global competitiveness, and the free enterprise system that is at the heart of the American Dream.

Thomas J. Donohue is the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20062 (www.uschamber.com).

NO; Regulations are not the problem; bailouts are the real culprits

By George Chacko and Carolyn Evans

The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing - and hiring.

For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries - involving both the Bush and Obama administrations - and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time - in a recession - when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry - from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries - thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration - something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run - are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara 95053.

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Perspectives: Should U.S. loosen business regulations? | View Clip
10/24/2010
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

YES; They devastate economic growth and cost us jobs

Today, a regulatory hurricane threatens our economy and its ability to create the 20 million American jobs that we need by the end of this decade. It's been building strength for some time. Over the last several decades, more than 100,000 regulations have been issued, many of which impose heavy burdens on our job creators.

In the last two years, conditions have grown even worse.

We've seen a dramatic acceleration of major regulations and mandates, from the health care and financial reform laws to some of the most activist agendas ever undertaken by federal agencies.

Businesses are hunkering down in response, hoping to wait out the storm. The $1.8 trillion they hold in cash reserves will likely remain on the sidelines until the economy becomes more certain. Without certainty, businesses find it difficult to make the plans and investments needed to grow and create jobs.

The business community, of course, has long recognized the need for sensible regulations to ensure workplace safety, guarantee worker rights and protect public health.

But government has gone too far. America is sinking under the crushing weight of the ever-expanding regulatory state. This burden threatens to disrupt our recovery, hamper long-term growth, undermine our global competitiveness, and suffocate the entrepreneurial spirit so vital to America's success.

If you want to see how far-reaching the regulatory state has become, look at The Code of Federal Regulations. Put simply, it includes every regulation now in force in this country. The document is nearly 150,000 pages long, spread over 50 different volumes.

Federal regulations are only the tip of the iceberg - there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of regulations at the state and local levels. In fact, those are often the ones small businesses complain about the most.

California offers a perfect example. A recent study pegged the cost of state regulations at $177 billion in 2007. It also resulted in the loss of more than 1 million jobs.

While many regulations have a positive impact, many others are outdated, ineffective, overly complicated, and counterproductive.

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy put the total price tag of complying with federal regulations at $1.75 trillion in 2008. That amounts to $15,500 for each U.S. household. In the same year, the average cost to businesses was nearly $8,100 per employee. Costs are 36 percent higher for small businesses, which create 60 to 80 percent of new jobs.

It's only going to get worse. The Environmental Protection Agency is advancing 29 proposed major rules and 173 others - an unprecedented level of regulatory action. The massive health care law creates 183 new agencies, commissions, panels and other bodies. And the nearly 2,400-page financial regulatory reform bill creates nearly 500 regulatory rulemakings, 60 studies, and 93 reports.

So what's to be done to stem this rising tide?

First, Congress needs to stop approving bills that pass the buck to the regulators. For example, the health care law hands significant new powers to the Department of Health and Human Services and vests its secretary with broad, unchecked discretion.

Second, Congress must begin to exercise vigorous oversight of the sweeping bills that it passes. At the moment, regulators are left to do as they see fit, and even regulations with a major economic impact are infrequently reviewed.

Third, the federal agencies must do a much better job of complying with laws designed to ensure the use of quality data, cost-benefit analyses, and the scrupulous review of regulations.

Finally, the American people must speak out against the regulatory hurricane that is overwhelming our economy and squelching job creation.

At stake is the health of our economy, our standard of living, our global competitiveness, and the free enterprise system that is at the heart of the American Dream.

Thomas J. Donohue is the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20062 (www.uschamber.com).

NO; Regulations are not the problem; bailouts are the real culprits

By George Chacko and Carolyn Evans

The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing - and hiring.

For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries - involving both the Bush and Obama administrations - and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time - in a recession - when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry - from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries - thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration - something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run - are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara 95053.

Return to Top



Perspectives: Should U.S. loosen business regulations? | View Clip
10/24/2010
Whittier Daily News

YES; They devastate economic growth and cost us jobs

By Thomas J. Donohue

Today, a regulatory hurricane threatens our economy and its ability to create the 20 million American jobs that we need by the end of this decade. It's been building strength for some time. Over the last several decades, more than 100,000 regulations have been issued, many of which impose heavy burdens on our job creators.

In the last two years, conditions have grown even worse.

We've seen a dramatic acceleration of major regulations and mandates, from the health care and financial reform laws to some of the most activist agendas ever undertaken by federal agencies.

Businesses are hunkering down in response, hoping to wait out the storm. The $1.8 trillion they hold in cash reserves will likely remain on the sidelines until the economy becomes more certain. Without certainty, businesses find it difficult to make the plans and investments needed to grow and create jobs.

The business community, of course, has long recognized the need for sensible regulations to ensure workplace safety, guarantee worker rights and protect public health.

But government has gone too far. America is sinking under the crushing weight of the ever-expanding regulatory state. This burden threatens to disrupt our recovery, hamper long-term growth, undermine our global competitiveness, and suffocate the entrepreneurial spirit so vital to America's success.yld_mgr.place_ad_here("adPosBox"); If you want to see how far-reaching the regulatory state has become, look at The Code of Federal Regulations. Put simply, it includes every regulation now in force in this country. The document is nearly 150,000 pages long, spread over 50 different volumes.

Federal regulations are only the tip of the iceberg - there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of regulations at the state and local levels. In fact, those are often the ones small businesses complain about the most.

California offers a perfect example. A recent study pegged the cost of state regulations at $177 billion in 2007. It also resulted in the loss of more than 1 million jobs.

While many regulations have a positive impact, many others are outdated, ineffective, overly complicated, and counterproductive.

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy put the total price tag of complying with federal regulations at $1.75 trillion in 2008. That amounts to $15,500 for each U.S. household. In the same year, the average cost to businesses was nearly $8,100 per employee. Costs are 36 percent higher for small businesses, which create 60 to 80 percent of new jobs.

It's only going to get worse. The Environmental Protection Agency is advancing 29 proposed major rules and 173 others - an unprecedented level of regulatory action. The massive health care law creates 183 new agencies, commissions, panels and other bodies. And the nearly 2,400-page financial regulatory reform bill creates nearly 500 regulatory rulemakings, 60 studies, and 93 reports.

So what's to be done to stem this rising tide?

First, Congress needs to stop approving bills that pass the buck to the regulators. For example, the health care law hands significant new powers to the Department of Health and Human Services and vests its secretary with broad, unchecked discretion.

Second, Congress must begin to exercise vigorous oversight of the sweeping bills that it passes. At the moment, regulators are left to do as they see fit, and even regulations with a major economic impact are infrequently reviewed.

Third, the federal agencies must do a much better job of complying with laws designed to ensure the use of quality data, cost-benefit analyses, and the scrupulous review of regulations.

Finally, the American people must speak out against the regulatory hurricane that is overwhelming our economy and squelching job creation.

At stake is the health of our economy, our standard of living, our global competitiveness, and the free enterprise system that is at the heart of the American Dream.

Thomas J. Donohue is the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20062 (www.uschamber.com). NO; Regulations are not the problem; bailouts are the real culprits

By George Chacko and Carolyn Evans

The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing - and hiring.

For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries - involving both the Bush and Obama administrations - and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time - in a recession - when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry - from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries - thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration - something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run - are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara 95053.

Return to Top



Perspectives: Should U.S. loosen business regulations? | View Clip
10/24/2010
Whittier Daily News

YES; They devastate economic growth and cost us jobs

Today, a regulatory hurricane threatens our economy and its ability to create the 20 million American jobs that we need by the end of this decade. It's been building strength for some time. Over the last several decades, more than 100,000 regulations have been issued, many of which impose heavy burdens on our job creators.

In the last two years, conditions have grown even worse.

We've seen a dramatic acceleration of major regulations and mandates, from the health care and financial reform laws to some of the most activist agendas ever undertaken by federal agencies.

Businesses are hunkering down in response, hoping to wait out the storm. The $1.8 trillion they hold in cash reserves will likely remain on the sidelines until the economy becomes more certain. Without certainty, businesses find it difficult to make the plans and investments needed to grow and create jobs.

The business community, of course, has long recognized the need for sensible regulations to ensure workplace safety, guarantee worker rights and protect public health.

But government has gone too far. America is sinking under the crushing weight of the ever-expanding regulatory state. This burden threatens to disrupt our recovery, hamper long-term growth, undermine our global competitiveness, and suffocate the entrepreneurial spirit so vital to America's success.

If you want to see how far-reaching the regulatory state has become, look at The Code of Federal Regulations. Put simply, it includes every regulation now in force in this country. The document is nearly 150,000 pages long, spread over 50 different volumes.

Federal regulations are only the tip of the iceberg - there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of regulations at the state and local levels. In fact, those are often the ones small businesses complain about the most.

California offers a perfect example. A recent study pegged the cost of state regulations at $177 billion in 2007. It also resulted in the loss of more than 1 million jobs.

While many regulations have a positive impact, many others are outdated, ineffective, overly complicated, and counterproductive.

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy put the total price tag of complying with federal regulations at $1.75 trillion in 2008. That amounts to $15,500 for each U.S. household. In the same year, the average cost to businesses was nearly $8,100 per employee. Costs are 36 percent higher for small businesses, which create 60 to 80 percent of new jobs.

It's only going to get worse. The Environmental Protection Agency is advancing 29 proposed major rules and 173 others - an unprecedented level of regulatory action. The massive health care law creates 183 new agencies, commissions, panels and other bodies. And the nearly 2,400-page financial regulatory reform bill creates nearly 500 regulatory rulemakings, 60 studies, and 93 reports.

So what's to be done to stem this rising tide?

First, Congress needs to stop approving bills that pass the buck to the regulators. For example, the health care law hands significant new powers to the Department of Health and Human Services and vests its secretary with broad, unchecked discretion.

Second, Congress must begin to exercise vigorous oversight of the sweeping bills that it passes. At the moment, regulators are left to do as they see fit, and even regulations with a major economic impact are infrequently reviewed.

Third, the federal agencies must do a much better job of complying with laws designed to ensure the use of quality data, cost-benefit analyses, and the scrupulous review of regulations.

Finally, the American people must speak out against the regulatory hurricane that is overwhelming our economy and squelching job creation.

At stake is the health of our economy, our standard of living, our global competitiveness, and the free enterprise system that is at the heart of the American Dream.

Thomas J. Donohue is the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20062 (

www.uschamber.com).

NO; Regulations are not the problem; bailouts are the real culprits

By George Chacko and Carolyn Evans

The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing - and hiring.

For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries - involving both the Bush and Obama administrations - and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time - in a recession - when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry - from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries - thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration - something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run - are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara 95053.

Return to Top



Pizarro: The podcar people are coming to San Jose | View Clip
10/24/2010
SiliconValley.com

The possible future of transportation arrives in San Jose this week, and it sure is funny looking.

The conference "Podcar City: San Jose" is all about the bubble-shaped, driverless vehicles that have been causing a stir in Europe. With San Jose's emphasis on green technology, there's some sentiment that the futuristic cars could work here, perhaps at the city's airport.

You can get a peek for yourself at the conference's free public night Wednesday at the Tech Museum of Innovation. A presentation on the first generation of podcars and what they could mean for San Jose starts at 7 p.m. at the Tech's IMAX Dome theater.

There's a lot of information about podcars and the conference at www.podcarcity.org.

TUNE IN: CBS's "60 Minutes" is scheduled to air a segment on its 7 p.m. broadcast tonight on the new face of the unemployed, and it was shot in Silicon Valley.

Locations included Second Harvest Food Bank, Sacred Heart Community Service, Martha's Kitchen, NOVA Connect and Sunnyvale Community Services.

WONDER WOMEN: Notre Dame High School in San Jose welcomed more than 350 people to its second annual Women of Impact luncheon Friday at the downtown Rotary Summit Center.

This year's honorees were Geralynn Patellaro, the president of Building a Better Workplace (who

graduated from the school in 1974), and retired educator and civic leader Charmaine Warmenhoven.

OCTOBER FEST: The 15th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, which kicked off last week at San Francisco's Castro Theatre, includes an encore in San Jose on Saturday at the downtown Camera 12 cinemas.

The festival -- which showcases movies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland -- will screen five films here, including one, "Soul Kitchen," that's exclusive to San Jose. Film lovers can get their fix at www.berlinandbeyond.com.

DANCE FOR A CAUSE: Kannada Koota of Northern California, a South Asian nonprofit based in Fremont, is organizing a dance program Saturday to raise awareness about childhood cancer. The show benefits the cancer research fund of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.

The event, "Nritya Milana," starts at 5:30 p.m. at Chabot College in Hayward. Tickets are $20 to $100; get details at www.kknc.org.

WHODUNIT? Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers is letting its supporters play the role of crime solver on Wednesday at its annual fundraiser, "An Evening of Mystery and Mayhem."

The appetizer party starts at 5:30 p.m. at an appropriate locale for detective work, the San Jose Police Officers Association Hall (1151 N. Fourth St.). Tickets are $35, and you can RSVP to svcrimestoppers@gmail.com. Get the full briefing at www.svcrimestoppers.org.

JUDGE FOR YOURSELF: Santa Clara University's senior debate team will tackle a timely subject at the Saratoga Foothill Club (www.foothillclub.org) Tuesday: Has the media made American politics more divisive?

The audience will be polled before and after the 7:30 p.m. debate to see if any minds change. Call 408-867-2919 for details.

AT YOUR SERVICE: The Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits has lined up more than two dozen elected officials and community leaders for its third annual "Be Our Guest" celebrity server luncheon Thursday.

Tickets ($70) are still available for the 11:30 a.m. event at the Rotary Summit Center in downtown San Jose. Go to www.svcn.org for details.

BIRTHDAY BREAK: This column will be gone the rest of the week, as I'm taking a break to celebrate our daughter Mia's first birthday and entertain relatives from New Mexico. If I survive it all, I'll be back here next week.

Call Sal Pizarro at 408-627-0940 or e-mail him at spizarro@mercurynews.com.

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

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Does That Request Pass the Smell Test?
10/24/2010
New York Times

Q. Your boss has asked you to do something that seems unethical. How can you determine whether your suspicions are correct?

A. Intuition is often very reliable in these situations, so if the request makes you uneasy, you may be right to question it, says Stephen M. Paskoff, a lawyer who is the president of Employment Learning Innovations, a workplace compliance, ethics and behavior-training firm based in Atlanta.

Of course, there are other signals that a request may be unethical. These include ''being told not to tell anyone else, that this is a one-time thing, not to put anything in writing or that everyone else does it,'' Mr. Paskoff says. And being asked to engage in certain activities, like fabricating or destroying documents, lying to clients, or anything well outside the normal course of business should also raise red flags, he says.

If the signs are subtler than that, go to a mentor or someone you trust -- either at your company or outside of it -- and ask for their opinion. You should also discuss the potential effects of any action you take on yourself, your co-workers and the company, says Steven Mintz, an accounting professor who specializes in ethics at the Orfalea College of Business at California Polytechnic State University in San Louis Obispo. He also writes the blog ethicssage.com.

It's also possible that you have simply misunderstood the request, so ask your boss to restate it. This gives him or her a chance to rethink it and possibly decide to do things another way, says Kirk O. Hanson, professor of social ethics and executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

Q. If you decide to raise objections, what approach should you take?

A. A nonconfrontational approach is best. Start by asking questions like: ''Do we have a policy on that?'' ''How do we usually handle things like this?'' or ''Under what circumstances would we normally destroy documents?''

These push your boss to relate the request to company policy, Mr. Hanson says. ''You don't want to say, 'You're unethical,' so instead focus on your need to understand the situation correctly,'' he says. Then you can explain why it makes you uncomfortable.

Mary C. Gentile, a senior research scholar at Babson College in Massachusetts and author of ''Giving Voice to Values,'' says people who successfully challenge questionable directives often show first that they understand the underlying business concerns. ''They say, for instance, 'I know we need to bring our sales up, but I think we'll be more effective if we do X rather than Y,' with Y being the thing giving them pause,'' Ms. Gentile says.

Q.What if your boss wants to push forward, regardless of your misgivings?

A. Then you will have to go above your boss, or to an adviser within the company who handles ethical issues. But first, write a memo explaining the problem, the talk with your boss and the response you received, Mr. Mintz says. ''Be very specific, because you want to protect yourself if no action is taken by showing you raised the issue,'' he says. If you get pushback from your boss's manager, you may have to go to a senior executive or the company board.

Many large companies have an anonymous hot line for reporting problems. If you use it, Mr. Paskoff says, be specific and state facts -- rather than your feelings -- so that those receiving the information know where to look within the company for the problem.

Q.What kind of consequences do you risk by voicing your objections?

A. Although companies have shown much less tolerance for ethical lapses in recent years, there could still be negative consequences for you as an internal whistle-blower, Mr. Mintz says.

''You won't necessarily be fired, but I have seen situations where someone has been demoted or passed over for promotions,'' he says. ''Some companies might make your life so miserable you leave on your own.''

Generally, there are broad legal protections for internal whistle-blowers, but those protections can vary by state and by industry, says Richard Betheil, a partner in the labor and employment practice of Pryor Cashman, a law firm in New York.

In some states, employees are protected if what they were asked to do is illegal, but not necessarily if it is unethical. However, Mr. Betheil says, ''across the board, an employer that would take retaliatory action against an employee for whistle-blowing runs afoul of laws in many states and will open itself to a tremendous amount of adverse investigation and publicity.''

There are also consequences for keeping quiet. If you don't act in the case of serious wrongdoing, you could be blamed for not taking action.

If your conscience gets the best of you only the second time you're asked to do something you feel isn't right, your manager will remind you that you went along with it in the past, Mr. Mintz says. ''That becomes a very slippery ethical slope,'' he says. ''And it's difficult to turn around and climb back up.''

DRAWING (DRAWING BY CHRIS REED)

Copyright © 2010 The New York Times Company

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Does That Request Pass the Smell Test? | View Clip
10/24/2010
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Online

Q. Your boss has asked you to do something that seems unethical. How can you determine whether your suspicions are correct?

A. Intuition is often very reliable in these situations, so if the request makes you uneasy, you may be right to question it, says Stephen M. Paskoff, a lawyer who is the president of Employment Learning Innovations, a workplace compliance, ethics and behavior-training firm based in Atlanta.

Of course, there are other signals that a request may be unethical. These include "being told not to tell anyone else, that this is a one-time thing, not to put anything in writing or that everyone else does it," Mr. Paskoff says. And being asked to engage in certain activities, like fabricating or destroying documents, lying to clients, or anything well outside the normal course of business should also raise red flags, he says.

If the signs are subtler than that, go to a mentor or someone you trust -- either at your company or outside of it -- and ask for their opinion. You should also discuss the potential effects of any action you take on yourself, your co-workers and the company, says Steven Mintz, an accounting professor who specializes in ethics at the Orfalea College of Business at California Polytechnic State University in San Louis Obispo. He also writes the blog ethicssage.com.

It's also possible that you have simply misunderstood the request, so ask your boss to restate it. This gives him or her a chance to rethink it and possibly decide to do things another way, says Kirk O. Hanson, professor of social ethics and executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

Q. If you decide to raise objections, what approach should you take?

A. A nonconfrontational approach is best. Start by asking questions like: "Do we have a policy on that?" "How do we usually handle things like this?" or "Under what circumstances would we normally destroy documents?"

These push your boss to relate the request to company policy, Mr. Hanson says. "You don't want to say, 'You're unethical,' so instead focus on your need to understand the situation correctly," he says. Then you can explain why it makes you uncomfortable.

Mary C. Gentile, a senior research scholar at Babson College in Massachusetts and author of "Giving Voice to Values," says people who successfully challenge questionable directives often show first that they understand the underlying business concerns. "They say, for instance, 'I know we need to bring our sales up, but I think we'll be more effective if we do X rather than Y,' with Y being the thing giving them pause," Ms. Gentile says.

Q. What if your boss wants to push forward, regardless of your misgivings?

A. Then you will have to go above your boss, or to an adviser within the company who handles ethical issues. But first, write a memo explaining the problem, the talk with your boss and the response you received, Mr. Mintz says. "Be very specific, because you want to protect yourself if no action is taken by showing you raised the issue," he says. If you get pushback from your boss's manager, you may have to go to a senior executive or the company board.

Many large companies have an anonymous hot line for reporting problems. If you use it, Mr. Paskoff says, be specific and state facts -- rather than your feelings -- so that those receiving the information know where to look within the company for the problem.

Q. What kind of consequences do you risk by voicing your objections?

A. Although companies have shown much less tolerance for ethical lapses in recent years, there could still be negative consequences for you as an internal whistle-blower, Mr. Mintz says.

"You won't necessarily be fired, but I have seen situations where someone has been demoted or passed over for promotions," he says. "Some companies might make your life so miserable you leave on your own."

Generally, there are broad legal protections for internal whistle-blowers, but those protections can vary by state and by industry, says Richard Betheil, a partner in the labor and employment practice of Pryor Cashman, a law firm in New York.

In some states, employees are protected if what they were asked to do is illegal, but not necessarily if it is unethical. However, Mr. Betheil says, "across the board, an employer that would take retaliatory action against an employee for whistle-blowing runs afoul of laws in many states and will open itself to a tremendous amount of adverse investigation and publicity."

There are also consequences for keeping quiet. If you don't act in the case of serious wrongdoing, you could be blamed for not taking action.

If your conscience gets the best of you only the second time you're asked to do something you feel isn't right, your manager will remind you that you went along with it in the past, Mr. Mintz says. "That becomes a very slippery ethical slope," he says. "And it's difficult to turn around and climb back up."

E-mail: ccouch@nytimes.com.

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Crime Waves and Aftershocks | View Clip
10/24/2010
Big Think

"Los Angeles is one of the most under-policed cities in America. With a mere 26 officers for every 10,000 residents (Chicago, by comparison, has 46), the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) needs all the help it can get. That help may be at hand, with a modification of technology used to predict another type of threat that the city is prone to: the aftershocks from earthquakes. Big earthquakes are unpredictable. Once they have happened, however, they are usually followed by further tremors, and the pattern of these is tractable. George Mohler, a mathematician at Santa Clara University, in California, thinks something similar is true of crimes."

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It's prep time for the Olympics | View Clip
10/23/2010
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

With water enthusiasts gripped by America's Cup and Giants fever (did you see McCovey Cove this week?), it's easy to forget a small competition called the Olympics is ramping up.

London fires up the Olympic Torch in 21 months, and Northern California has more open water Olympic hopefuls than most countries: six sailing, nine rowing, one in open water swimming and one in canoe/kayak.

At Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond for a world championship last month, Olympic silver medalist Zach Railey cut through any misperceptions that sailing is easy as he prepared for a day's racing on the bay on the road to the 2012 Olympics.

He competes in a Finn, a heavy single-handed class of boat with a single powerful sail. The physical demands are intense. You see it in Railey's tall, heavily muscled frame.

"On a three-hour sail, we're burning 3,000 calories an hour when it's windy." That's right, a total of 9,000 calories - that's getting into champion swimmer Michael Phelps territory.

Railey bursts around the boat like a gymnast, levering his big frame out over the water and straining against lines controlling the beefy sail. It's so tough that competitors use heart rate monitors to manage energy expenditure. They routinely top 180 beats per minute when racing.

To get there, Railey trains under a performance enhancement program set up by the U.S. Olympic Sailing Committee. Nutrition, physical training, physical therapy, all focused on peaking at two events per year.

Railey trains four days a week on the boat, plus cross-training. A month before an event, he pours it on full time, seven days a week. He'll spend 90 minutes on a bike, then four hours on the water, followed by a squat and Olympic lift workout.

Nutrition is important. It takes 17 Big Macs to reach 9,000 calories. Of course, Olympic sailing focuses on high-quality proteins, grains, veggies, and fats - and the quantities of food are so great it's almost unbelievable.

Then there's the fundraising and plain ol' logistics. U.S. Sailing recognizes an Olympic medal takes full-time training and provides serious support. The organization covers about 60 percent of Railey's costs, including team coaching, logistical support, equipment shipping, travel and housing. He fills in the rest with small personal sponsorships and lots of parental help.

Railey and U.S. Sailing also credit St. Francis Yacht Club's Olympic Sailing Foundation for playing "a huge part." On top of $75,000 directly to the U.S. Olympic sailing effort, the St. Francis supports Railey and his sister Paige (both from Florida), Claire Dennis (Saratoga), and Genny Tulloch (San Francisco).

Paige Railey and Dennis compete in a smaller one-person boat called the Laser Radial. Tulloch skippers a women's match racing team with Stanford graduate Alice Manard, which is racing against a team with Molly Vandemoer (Redwood City).

There's strong rowing talent, too, with an "unstoppable" women's eight-person boat roster including rower Erin Cafaro (Modesto) and coxswain Mary Whipple (Sacramento) among the nine hopefuls.

Distance swimmer Haley Anderson (Sacramento) has shot in 10-kilometer open water swimming, and Berkeley-born kayak sprinter Rami Zur will try to make London his fourth Olympics.

Championships in the next 12 months will determine whether these athletes make it to the U.S. Olympic team. Get more info at teamusa.org.

Cal Maritime in France

Ten sailors from the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo arrived in La Rochelle, France, on Thursday to compete in the 30th Annual Student Yachting World Cup running through Oct. 29. Thrown against 11 international universities with 6,000 to 60,000 enrollment, the first-ever West Coast entrant, tiny 850-student Cal Maritime calls it David vs. Goliath.

Team director Charlie Arms Cartee hopes size is an advantage. She points to teammate cohesion and experience in a variety of boats, plus strength in the heavy wind conditions they could face on a wintry Atlantic Ocean. Boats race with a crew of eight, with at least two women.

See daily reports, photos and video at fol lowteamusa.csum.edu.

Nautica picks bay faces

You may have seen some familiar faces in fashion ads this month. Nautica is using Bay Area waterfront personalities in the first wave of an "ocean to ocean" campaign celebrating people doing extraordinary things in coastal communities and the company's sponsorship of global conservation organization Oceana.

Images by Anders Overgaard include Berkeley kiteboarding icon Chip Wasson, Sausalito sailor Adam Correa, who sailed and blogged to Hawaii and back, and Santa Clara University student and competitive rower Sam Seely. A shot teeming with fish at the California Academy of Sciences features the husband-and-wife team of David McGuire and Dr. Healy Hamilton. He promotes ocean health and shark conservation through SeaStewards, and she heads the academy's biodiversity informatics center.

The ads appear in the October Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure magazines, Google and Yahoo ad networks, social networking sites, and the company's Milpitas store. There are videos and a photo contest to win a Hawaiian vacation at NauticaOcean2Ocean.com.

Short tacks

-- The New York Times reported Wednesday that Giants games officially count as a water competition.

-- Potential America's Cup competitors gathered Friday in Paris. Teams begin signing up Nov. 1.

-- Sixteen sailors with disabilities, including four quadriplegic sailors each alone in a servo-operated boat, competed last week on McCovey Cove in the Herb Meyer Regatta organized by the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (baads.org).

This article appeared on page E - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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Enduring contradictions of Jerry Brown's career
10/23/2010
San Francisco Chronicle

As governor from 1959 to 1967, Pat Brown was a builder on a grand scale - highways, water projects, the state's university system. His son, Jerry, reached the same office in 1975 and declared an "era of limits."

The new governor put the brakes on road-building and questioned the need to fill vacant judgeships. Symbolically savvy, he swapped the state limousine for a Plymouth, and regularly invoked E.F. Schumacher's book "Small Is Beautiful."

But Jerry Brown came from liberal roots, and his election revived an agenda that Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan had thwarted for eight years.

In two terms, Brown compiled a record that was both liberal and conservative on spending, taxes, crime and labor. It's a record that is coming under renewed scrutiny as he and Republican Meg Whitman approach the end of their race for governor.

In an echo of his "era of limits" rhetoric of 35 years ago, Brown promises to keep a lid on spending so that state government operations "live within our means." Neither he nor Whitman, who has made a similar pledge, has spelled out how to achieve that goal without disrupting critical services.

Brown's recordAs governor, Brown signed laws protecting the coastline and farmland and expanding protections against sex discrimination. Two 1975 measures legalized gay sex and reduced marijuana possession from a felony to a $100 fine.

Brown also approved union organizing rights for teachers and state employees and signed the nation's first collective bargaining law for farmworkers.

But before he left office in 1983, Brown had clashed with liberal allies by cutting school funding and social service programs and endorsing a constitutional amendment for a balanced federal budget.

The same governor who vetoed a death penalty bill in 1977 also signed legislation that sent California's prison population soaring for the next three decades.

And the governor who had denounced Proposition 13's drastic property tax cuts as a "fraud" and a "can of worms" embraced the measure after it passed in June 1978, declaring himself a "born-again tax-cutter." Five months later, Prop. 13's archconservative sponsor, Howard Jarvis, supported Brown for re-election, an endorsement Brown has trumpeted during his current campaign for governor.

As Brown sometimes described his political navigation, "You paddle a little on the left and a little on the right and you paddle a straight course."

His critics said Brown's course mostly shifted with the political winds or the latest intellectual fad. His support of alternative energy sources and, later, a state-sponsored satellite prompted columnist Mike Royko to dub him "Gov. Moonbeam," a nickname that stuck even after Royko apologized.

Just misunderstood?Sympathetic observers said Brown's independent mind and willingness to question established concepts were mistaken for indecisiveness or opportunism.

"There's an essential Jerry ... intellectually curious, searching for significant meaning in life," said state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who was a Democratic legislator from San Leandro during Brown's governorship and later preceded him as state attorney general. "Anyone doing that sometimes looks like they're going in different directions."

Marc Poché, now a judge in Santa Clara County, met Brown in 1955 as the future governor's freshman dorm adviser at Santa Clara University. After Brown's election, Poché served as his top legislative aide for two years before Brown appointed him to the bench.

Both as a student and as governor, Brown "was interested in ideas to the extent you would think he was working on a Ph.D. in philosophy," Poché said. In Sacramento, "we would go into the wee hours of the morning, working these things out. ... Schedules meant very little to him."

Nor did such conventional notions as immediately filling judicial vacancies, said J. Anthony Kline, Brown's legal affairs secretary from 1975 to 1980.

"He wanted to know why we needed all those judges," said Kline, now a Brown-appointed presiding justice on the state appeals court in San Francisco. His attitude, Kline said, was, "We've already got the biggest judicial system in the world. Judges are like freeways - if you build more, people are going to use them."

'Psychic income'Brown remained skeptical about the need to raise salaries for judges or other publicly employed professionals, saying they were partly compensated by "psychic income." But he eventually put his stamp on the judiciary by making the most diverse appointments in state history.

They included the nation's first openly gay judge and many lawyers from sources that previous governors had seldom tapped: labor, civil rights, criminal defense.

At the state Supreme Court, Brown named the first Latino justice, the first two African Americans, and the first woman, Rose Bird, whose 1977 appointment as chief justice overshadowed all the others.

Ideologically, Bird and the other Brown appointees did not bring radical change to a court whose majority had been liberal for more than 20 years. But virtually all that is remembered today is a stream of death penalty reversals - 61 out of 65 cases - that fueled the 1986 campaign that removed Bird and fellow Brown appointees Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin.

It was the first time that California voters had unseated any Supreme Court justice. It also enabled Brown's political opponents to this day, including Whitman, to argue that his judicial appointments reveal him as soft on crime and out of step with the public.

Even some of those who praise Brown's overall judicial record say he erred by picking Bird - a capable lawyer with little knack for diplomacy - to lead the court rather than serving as one of its seven justices.

"He wanted to throw a grenade into the California Supreme Court," said Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor and longtime court observer. Bird would have made a fine justice, he said, but "her style of leadership was a disaster."

Record on crimeBrown's crime record was mixed. His judicial appointees were more likely than most of their colleagues to overturn convictions, but he also signed prosecution-backed sentencing bills, including the "use a gun, go to prison" law. And he approved a fundamental change in the state's system of punishing criminals.

When Brown took office, most felons were sentenced to "indeterminate" terms - one to 10 years, or seven to life - and the state parole board decided when to release them, under policies that kept a lid on the prison population.

But diverse critics assailed the system - from the right, for allegedly letting dangerous inmates out too soon, and from the left, for allegedly holding minorities and the poor too long.

In 1976, Brown signed bipartisan legislation establishing fixed terms for felonies other than murder - three, five or eight years, for example, with the sentencing judge choosing the term and the inmate earning parole credits with good behavior.

The prison population then was 21,000. Today, after a parade of laws ratcheting up terms and requiring "three-strikes" sentences of up to life for repeat felons, it is 170,000. While California's prison budget continues to climb, it has cut rehabilitation and education programs for inmates, and its parolees return to prison more often than those in any other state.

In 2003, when he was mayor of Oakland, Brown told a state commission that the law he had signed was an "abysmal failure" and needed to be changed.

But he has opposed proposals to ease the three-strikes law and, as attorney general, is fighting court orders to reduce the prison population by 40,000 to relieve overcrowding.

Across the aisleThe sentencing law, sponsored by a Republican, also illustrated Brown's willingness to cross party lines.

Brown's "goals and policies differed from ours, but he reached out and he was available," said Paul Priolo, a Los Angeles-area lawmaker who was the Assembly's Republican leader from 1976 to 1979. He said Brown was "more down to earth ... after eight years of Ronald Reagan and his star quality."

Priolo said Brown sometimes invited him to take part in news conferences, and occasionally dropped by, "a little awkward," at spaghetti feeds that a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers held at one of their apartments once or twice a month.

Poché, Brown's legislative assistant, said his job was to build relationships with every lawmaker, including conservative Republicans. He recalled swaying a vote on a tax bill by getting Brown to make a late-night phone call to a conservative Democrat, and astonishing a Republican legislator and his wife by inviting them to dinner with the governor.

Today, Brown says he would take the same approach to resolve the state's annual budget deadlock by conducting nonstop negotiations with all 120 legislators.

But his experience as governor dates from a less polarized era. Party lines have hardened since then, although the first signs may have come during Brown's tenure, with the election of a cohort of conservative Republicans - dubbed the "Prop. 13 babies" - who removed the more moderate Priolo as Assembly leader.

Turning pointProp. 13 was also a watershed for Brown's governorship.

Along with most leaders of both parties and major business groups, he opposed the 1978 initiative that rolled back property taxes, set limits on future property levies and established a two-thirds vote requirement in the Legislature for tax hikes.

Brown acknowledged homeowners' need for relief from exploding assessments, but was unwilling to commit much of the state's $5 billion surplus to property tax relief. When the measure passed by a nearly 2-1 majority, Brown responded by pouring the surplus into local government coffers while clamping down on spending and pay raises, winning plaudits from Jarvis, who had once denounced him.

The bailout prevented shutdowns of schools and parks, but shifted considerable control over local revenue to Sacramento. It also helped Brown win re-election later in 1978.

Brown now says he wants to re-empower city and county governments but hasn't suggested any new funding sources, pledging only that he won't increase taxes without voter approval.

To Brown's critics, his Prop. 13 turnabout revealed a politician whose only principle was self-preservation. Brown cites the episode as evidence that he is willing to change his mind and listens to the public.

Brown "joined the (Prop. 13) revolutionaries. He more or less had to," said Bill Bagley, a former Republican assemblyman from Marin County. "His principles are with the mainstream of the Democratic Party, but if you're going to be accepted by the public, you have to be pragmatic."

What would we see?The contradictions and imponderables in Brown's record as governor - and his subsequent positions as state Democratic chairman, Oakland mayor and attorney general - make it especially difficult to forecast his performance if elected Nov. 2. Even those who know him well have varying assessments.

Brown "has in some ways changed a lot and in some ways changed very little," said Kline, his former legal affairs secretary.

He said Brown still has "a more open and inquisitive mind" than any other state office-holder he's met, but - with age, hard experience as mayor, and his 2005 marriage to attorney Anne Gust - has become "much more self-disciplined."

Poché, who has also kept in touch with his former boss, said Brown's wife is the first person "who's actually been able to get him to follow a schedule."

But he said the 2010 candidate for governor mostly resembles the 1974 model.

"He is exactly the same guy," Poché said, "with less hair."

The contradictions and imponderables in Jerry Brown's record as governor - and his subsequent positions as state Democratic chairman, Oakland mayor and attorney general - make it especially difficult to forecast his performance if elected Nov. 2.

Copyright © 2010 San Francisco Chronicle

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Enduring contradictions in career of Jerry Brown | View Clip
10/23/2010
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

As governor from 1959 to 1967, Pat Brown was a builder on a grand scale - highways, water projects, the state's university system. His son, Jerry, reached the same office in 1975 and declared an "era of limits."

The new governor put the brakes on road-building and questioned the need to fill vacant judgeships. Symbolically savvy, he swapped the state limousine for a Plymouth, and regularly invoked E.F. Schumacher's book "Small Is Beautiful."

But Jerry Brown came from liberal roots, and his election revived an agenda that Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan had thwarted for eight years.

In two terms, Brown compiled a record that was both liberal and conservative on spending, taxes, crime and labor. It's a record that is coming under renewed scrutiny as he and Republican Meg Whitman approach the end of their race for governor.

In an echo of his "era of limits" rhetoric of 35 years ago, Brown promises to keep a lid on spending so that state government operations "live within our means." Neither he nor Whitman, who has made a similar pledge, has spelled out how to achieve that goal without disrupting critical services.

Brown's record

As governor, Brown signed laws protecting the coastline and farmland and expanding protections against sex discrimination. Two 1975 measures legalized gay sex and reduced marijuana possession from a felony to a $100 fine.

Brown also approved union organizing rights for teachers and state employees and signed the nation's first collective bargaining law for farmworkers.

But before he left office in 1983, Brown had clashed with liberal allies by cutting school funding and social service programs and endorsing a constitutional amendment for a balanced federal budget.

The same governor who vetoed a death penalty bill in 1977 also signed legislation that sent California's prison population soaring for the next three decades.

And the governor who had denounced Proposition 13's drastic property tax cuts as a "fraud" and a "can of worms" embraced the measure after it passed in June 1978, declaring himself a "born-again tax-cutter." Five months later, Prop. 13's archconservative sponsor, Howard Jarvis, supported Brown for re-election, an endorsement Brown has trumpeted during his current campaign for governor.

As Brown sometimes described his political navigation, "You paddle a little on the left and a little on the right and you paddle a straight course."

His critics said Brown's course mostly shifted with the political winds or the latest intellectual fad. His support of alternative energy sources and, later, a state-sponsored satellite prompted columnist Mike Royko to dub him "Gov. Moonbeam," a nickname that stuck even after Royko apologized.

Just misunderstood?

Sympathetic observers said Brown's independent mind and willingness to question established concepts were mistaken for indecisiveness or opportunism.

"There's an essential Jerry ... intellectually curious, searching for significant meaning in life," said state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who was a Democratic legislator from San Leandro during Brown's governorship and later preceded him as state attorney general. "Anyone doing that sometimes looks like they're going in different directions."

Marc Poché, now a judge in Santa Clara County, met Brown in 1955 as the future governor's freshman dorm adviser at Santa Clara University. After Brown's election, Poché served as his top legislative aide for two years before Brown appointed him to the bench.

Both as a student and as governor, Brown "was interested in ideas to the extent you would think he was working on a Ph.D. in philosophy," Poché said. In Sacramento, "we would go into the wee hours of the morning, working these things out. ... Schedules meant very little to him."

Nor did such conventional notions as immediately filling judicial vacancies, said J. Anthony Kline, Brown's legal affairs secretary from 1975 to 1980.

For more election-related news and information, visit our California Elections 2010 page.

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Policing: The aftershocks of crime
10/23/2010
The Economist

An idea borrowed from seismology may help to predict criminal activity

LOS ANGELES is one of the most under-policed cities in America. With a mere 26 officers for every 10,000 residents (Chicago, by comparison, has 46), the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) needs all the help it can get.

That help may be at hand, with a modification of technology used to predict another type of threat that the city is prone to: the aftershocks from earthquakes. Big earthquakes are unpredictable. Once they have happened, however, they are usually followed by further tremors, and the pattern of these is tractable.

George Mohler, a mathematician at Santa Clara University, in California, thinks something similar is true of crimes. There is often a pattern of "aftercrimes" in the wake of an initial one. The similarity with earthquakes intrigued him and he wondered if the mathematical formulas that seismologists employ to predict aftershocks were applicable to aftercrimes, too.

To test this idea, he and a team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, adapted a computer program used by seismologists to calculate the likelihood of aftershocks. They then seeded it with actual LAPD data on 2,803 residential burglaries that occurred in an 18km-by-18km region of the San Fernando valley, one of the city's largest districts, during 2004. Using the seismological algorithms, the computer calculated which city blocks were likely to experience the highest number of burglaries the next day, and thus which 5% of homes within the area were at particular risk of being broken into. In one test the program accurately identified a high-risk portion of the city in which, had it been adequately patrolled, police could have prevented a quarter of the burglaries that took place in the whole area that day.

In addition to modelling burglary, Dr Mohler examined three gang rivalries in Los Angeles, using data from 1999 to 2002, and discovered that similar patterns emerge from gang violence as retaliations typically occur within days--and metres--of an initial attack. That, too, should help police deploy their limited resources more effectively. RoboCop move over, then. ComputerCop is coming.

SOURCE: The Economist

Copyright © 2010 Economist Newspaper

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Career Couch: Does That Request Pass the Smell Test? | View Clip
10/23/2010
New York Times - Online

Q. Your boss has asked you to do something that seems unethical. How can you determine whether your suspicions are correct?

A. Intuition is often very reliable in these situations, so if the request makes you uneasy, you may be right to question it, says Stephen M. Paskoff, a lawyer who is the president of Employment Learning Innovations, a workplace compliance, ethics and behavior-training firm based in Atlanta.

Of course, there are other signals that a request may be unethical. These include being told not to tell anyone else, that this is a one-time thing, not to put anything in writing or that everyone else does it, Mr. Paskoff says. And being asked to engage in certain activities, like fabricating or destroying documents, lying to clients, or anything well outside the normal course of business should also raise red flags, he says.

If the signs are subtler than that, go to a mentor or someone you trust either at your company or outside of it and ask for their opinion. You should also discuss the potential effects of any action you take on yourself, your co-workers and the company, says Steven Mintz, an accounting professor who specializes in ethics at the Orfalea College of Business at California Polytechnic State University in San Louis Obispo. He also writes the blog ethicssage.com. Its also possible that you have simply misunderstood the request, so ask your boss to restate it. This gives him or her a chance to rethink it and possibly decide to do things another way, says Kirk O. Hanson, professor of social ethics and executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

Q. If you decide to raise objections, what approach should you take?

A. A nonconfrontational approach is best. Start by asking questions like: Do we have a policy on that? How do we usually handle things like this? or Under what circumstances would we normally destroy documents? These push your boss to relate the request to company policy, Mr. Hanson says. You dont want to say, Youre unethical, so instead focus on your need to understand the situation correctly, he says. Then you can explain why it makes you uncomfortable.

Mary C. Gentile, a senior research scholar at Babson College in Massachusetts and author of Giving Voice to Values, says people who successfully challenge questionable directives often show first that they understand the underlying business concerns. They say, for instance, I know we need to bring our sales up, but I think well be more effective if we do X rather than Y, with Y being the thing giving them pause, Ms. Gentile says. Q. What if your boss wants to push forward, regardless of your misgivings?

A. Then you will have to go above your boss, or to an adviser within the company who handles ethical issues. But first, write a memo explaining the problem, the talk with your boss and the response you received, Mr. Mintz says. Be very specific, because you want to protect yourself if no action is taken by showing you raised the issue, he says. If you get pushback from your bosss manager, you may have to go to a senior executive or the company board.

Many large companies have an anonymous hot line for reporting problems. If you use it, Mr. Paskoff says, be specific and state facts rather than your feelings so that those receiving the information know where to look within the company for the problem.

Q. What kind of consequences do you risk by voicing your objections?

A. Although companies have shown much less tolerance for ethical lapses in recent years, there could still be negative consequences for you as an internal whistle-blower, Mr. Mintz says. You wont necessarily be fired, but I have seen situations where someone has been demoted or passed over for promotions, he says. Some companies might make your life so miserable you leave on your own. Generally, there are broad legal protections for internal whistle-blowers, but those protections can vary by state and by industry, says Richard Betheil, a partner in the labor and employment practice of Pryor Cashman, a law firm in New York.

In some states, employees are protected if what they were asked to do is illegal, but not necessarily if it is unethical. However, Mr. Betheil says, across the board, an employer that would take retaliatory action against an employee for whistle-blowing runs afoul of laws in many states and will open itself to a tremendous amount of adverse investigation and publicity. There are also consequences for keeping quiet. If you dont act in the case of serious wrongdoing, you could be blamed for not taking action.

If your conscience gets the best of you only the second time youre asked to do something you feel isnt right, your manager will remind you that you went along with it in the past, Mr. Mintz says. That becomes a very slippery ethical slope, he says. And its difficult to turn around and climb back up. E-mail: ccouch@nytimes.com.

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Comment By: PDXRosebud | View Clip
10/23/2010
Salem-News.com

Medical Marijuana: A Surprising Solution to Severe Morning Sickness

Erin Hildebrandt Salem-News.com

Marijuana can bring relief to the nausea and discomfort of pregnancy's most well known side effect, morning sickness.

(SALEM, Ore.) - As is the case for many young women, my indulgence in recreational drugs, including alcohol and caffeine, came to an abrupt halt when my husband and I discovered we were pregnant with our first child. To say we were ecstatic is an understatement.

Doctors had told me we might never conceive, yet here we were, expecting our first miracle. I closely followed my doctor's recommendations. When I began to experience severe morning sickness, I went to him for help. He ran all of the standard tests, then sent me home with the first of many prescription medicines.

Weeks passed, and, as the nausea and vomiting increased, I began to lose weight. I was diagnosed as having hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe and constant form of morning sickness. I started researching the condition, desperately searching for a solution. I tried wristbands, herbs, yoga, pharmaceuticals, meditation—everything I could think of.

Ultimately, after losing 20 pounds in middle pregnancy, and being hospitalized repeatedly for dehydration and migraines, I developed preeclampsia and was told an emergency cesarean was necessary. My dreams of a normal birth were shattered, but our baby boy, though weighing only 4 pounds 14 ounces and jaundiced from the perinatal medications I'd been given, was relatively healthy.

When, six months later, I again found myself pregnant, I was even more determined to have a healthy and enjoyable pregnancy, and sought out the care of the best perinatologist in the area. At first, I was impressed. This doctor assured me he had all the answers, and that, under his expert care, my baby and I would never experience a moment of discomfort. However, as my belly swelled, I grew more and more ill, and my faith in my dream doctor began to falter.

What convinced me to change healthcare providers midstream was this doctor's honesty. He admitted that, due to constraints imposed on him by his malpractice-insurance company, some routine procedures that he knew to be harmful would be required of me. We left his office that day and never went back.

As I searched for a new doctor, I ran across information about midwifery and homebirth. At first, I thought this was simply crazy. Have a baby at home, with no doctor? No way! I thought. But, as I began examining the statistics, I discovered an unexpected pattern. In studies comparing planned home versus hospital births, planned homebirths, with a midwife in attendance, have lower rates of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Not only that, but midwives' rates of such invasive procedures as amniotomy and episiotomy are much lower. Everything I had believed about birth and medicine suddenly came into question. I located a midwife and made an appointment to see her.

We were very impressed with this woman's education and experience, and were delighted to invite her into our home to share in our second birth. She gave me many new ideas to try to abate the morning sickness, which still plagued me. But despite her best efforts with herbs, homeopathic remedies, and even chiropractic care, my illness remained intractable.

About this time, I ran into an old, dear friend from college. When Jenny came to visit me one particularly awful day, we shared stories of the old days, and I soon found myself laughing as I hadn't laughed in years. Despite being interrupted by numerous trips to worship the porcelain god, it felt wonderful to share some time with her. But when we began talking about my burgeoning belly, I broke down in sobs. I told her about how I was desperately afraid of what this malnutrition was doing to my baby. I explained how my midwife had told me that preeclampsia appears to be a nutritional disorder of pregnancy, and I didn't know how I could avoid it if I couldn't eat.

Jenny listened and cried with me. Then, she tentatively produced a joint from her jacket pocket. I was shocked. We had shared a lot of these in college, but I had no idea she still smoked. Slowly, she began telling me that she knew some women who smoked marijuana for morning sickness, and it really helped them. She hadn't known anyone with as severe a form of the illness as I had, but reasoned that if it works to quell the side effects of chemotherapy, it must work well.

Understandably, I was concerned about what kind of effect marijuana might have on my baby. The only information I had ever heard on the subject was that it was a dangerous drug that should not be used in pregnancy. We discussed for some time the possibility that it could be harmful, though neither of us had enough information to make any sort of truly informed decision.

What finally convinced me to give it a try was Jenny's compelling reasoning. “Well, you know that not eating or drinking more than sips of tea and nibbles of crackers is definitely harmful, right? You might as well give this a try and see what happens. You don't have much to lose.”

She was right. I was 32 weeks along and had already lost 30 pounds. I had experienced four days of vomiting tea, broth, crackers, and toast. Nothing would stay down long. In an excited, giggly, reminiscing mood, I told her to “Fire it up!” I took two puffs of the tangy, piney smoke. As it took effect, I felt my aches and nausea finally leave me. Jenny and I reclined against my old beanbag, and I began sobbing again and unintelligibly thanking her—here was the miracle I had prayed for. A few minutes later, when I calmed down, we ordered a pizza. That was the best pizza I had ever tasted—and I kept down every bite.

It was sad that I had to discover the benefits of this medicine late in my second pregnancy, through trial and error, and not learned of them long before—from my doctors. This experience launched a much safer and more intelligent investigation into the use of cannabis during pregnancy.

I spent hour after hour poring over library books that contained references to medical marijuana and marijuana in pregnancy. Most of what I found was either a reference to the legal or political status of marijuana in medicine, or medical references that simply said that doctors discourage the use of any “recreational drug” during pregnancy. This was before I discovered the Internet, so my resources were limited.

The little I could find that described the actual effects on a fetus of a mother's smoking cannabis claimed that there was little to no detectable effect, but, as this area was relatively unstudied, it would be unethical to call it “safe.” I later discovered that midwives had safely used marijuana in pregnancy and birth for thousands of years. Old doctors' tales to the contrary, this herb was far safer than any of the pharmaceuticals prescribed for me by my doctors to treat the same condition. I confidently continued my use of marijuana, knowing that, among all options available to me, it was the safest, wisest choice.

Ten weeks after my first dose, I had gained 17 pounds over my pre-pregnant weight. I gave beautiful and joyous birth to a 9 pound, 2 ounce baby boy in the bed in which he'd been conceived. I know that using marijuana saved us both from many of the terrible dangers associated with malnutrition in pregnancy. Soon after giving birth, I told my husband I wanted to do it again.

Not one to deny himself or his wife the pleasures of conception, my husband agreed that we would not actively try to prevent a pregnancy, and nine months after the birth of our second son, I was pregnant with our third child. This time, I had my routine down. At the first sign of nausea, I called Jenny, who brought me my medicine. In my third, fourth, and fifth pregnancies, I gained an average of 25 pounds with each child. I had healthy, pink, chubby little angels, with lusty first cries. Their weights ranged from 8 to 9 1/2 pounds. Marijuana completely transformed very dangerous pregnancies into more enjoyable, safer, and healthier gestations.

But I was caught in a catch-22. Because my providers of perinatal health care were not doctors, they had no authority to issue me a recommendation for marijuana. In addition, I chose not to tell them I used cannabis for fear they could refuse me care. Finally, even if I could get a recommendation, I knew of no compassion clubs (medical marijuana cooperatives or dispensaries) in my area. I had to take whatever my friends could find from street dealers.

Many times I would go hungry, waiting four or more days for someone in town to find marijuana. I became so desperate for relief that I would contemplate driving to a large city like New York and walking the streets until I could find something. Fortunately, each time I almost reached that point, some kind soul would show up with something to get me through. What else is a sick person supposed to do when the only medicine that helps, and is potentially life-saving for her baby, is unavailable? I would much rather go to a store and purchase a product wrapped in a package secured with the seal of the state in which I live than buy from some guy on the street.

Along the way, I discovered the benefits of using marijuana to treat other disorders. At times, I have been plagued by migraines so severe I would wind up in the emergency room. I would receive up to 250 milligrams of Demerol, and sometimes, when Demerol failed, even shots of Dilaudid.

Thanks to my sporadic use of marijuana and a careful dosing regimen, I have not been to an emergency room in more than three years. [In September 1999, the Food and Drug Administration approved an application for a rigorous study designed to investigate the medical efficacy of marijuana on migraine headaches.—Ed.] In addition, I was diagnosed as having Crohn's disease. After months of tests and treatments for my symptoms, I began using a dosing method similar to what I'd used for migraines, and I found that, once again, marijuana provided more relief than anything else. All in all, I've been prescribed more than 30 truly dangerous drugs, yet the only one that has provided relief without the associated risks is one many doctors won't even discuss, much less recommend.

My history with medicine and with marijuana has been more extensive than average. It is my sincere belief that if the American public were told the truth about marijuana, they could not help but support an immediate end to cannabis prohibition. Even I believed it was dangerous, until I began researching the issue.

What I discovered is that not one person has ever died from smoking marijuana. The same cannot be said for the results of the misuse of some of our most commonly used substances, such as caffeine, aspirin, or vitamin A. In addition, marijuana is no more a “gateway drug” to other substances than is caffeine or alcohol. Most kids try these things long before they experiment with cannabis.

And, finally, unlike such legal drugs as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, marijuana is not addictive. As with Twinkies or sex, a user can come to psychologically depend on marijuana's mood-altering effects; however, no physical addiction is associated with cannabis.

Now I find myself mother to five beautiful, intelligent, creative children for whom I would lay down my life in an instant. I have been blessed with the challenge of helping them grow into responsible, hardworking, and loving adults. I have also been blessed with the challenge of protecting them from a world fraught with dangers.

There are those who would have me believe that, in order to protect my children from drug abuse, I must lie to them; that I must tell them that marijuana is dangerous, with no redeeming qualities. Some say I should go so far as to tell them that it couldn't possibly be used as a medicine. Then there are those who would say that if I ever find out that my child has experimented with marijuana, I should turn her over to expert authorities in order to impart a lesson. While this does send a message to the child, it is not the message I want to send.

What I teach my children, ages nine and under, about drugs is that medicine comes in many forms, and that children should never touch any medicine (categorized broadly as a pill, liquid, herb, or even caffeinated beverage) unless it is given to them by a trusted adult. My cabinets are full of herbs, such as red raspberry leaves and rosemary, which I use in cooking and as medicines. I have things such as comfrey, which I use externally, that could be dangerous if taken internally. Like all responsible parents, my husband and I keep all medicines, cleaning products, and age-inappropriate items, such as small buttons, out of the reach of our kids and safely locked away.

However, I am aware that the day may come when my kids figure out the trick to the lock, so I add an extra measure of safety by educating them about the honest dangers of using medicines that are not needed. In addition, by sharing my views about the politics behind the issues, I am teaching them another, equally important lesson. As Santa Clara University School of Law Professor Gerald Uelmen stated last year at the medical marijuana giveaway at the City Hall in Santa Cruz, California, “We are teaching our children compassion for the sick and dying; only a twisted and perverted federal bureaucrat could call that the wrong message.”

I have also tried to impart a deep respect for natural healing. By using cool compresses and acupressure for headaches before grabbing a pharmaceutical such as acetaminophen, I've taught them the importance of avoiding dependence on drugs. I have shown them the benefits of the wise and careful use of pharmaceuticals by using them when they were my best choice. I try to instill in them a sense of reason and resourcefulness by honestly presenting the answers to their questions and admitting what I do not know, but searching until I find the answer.

When our oldest child overheard my husband and me discussing marijuana prohibition, it opened up a wonderful line of communication about the subject. I gave him a very basic explanation: that marijuana is a plant that can be used as a medicine. I explained that it could be overused and abused, as well. Then I told him that this plant is illegal, and that people who are found to possess marijuana can go to jail. The question I found myself floundering to answer, however, was when he asked, “Why would the police put someone in jail for using medicine?”

It is long past time parents stood up and took notice of the abuses being leveled on our children by well-intentioned but misinformed governing officials. We need honest and responsible drug education that treats children as intelligent pre-adults who are learning how to live full and healthy lives in a dangerous world.

They need every shred of information we can give them, so that they do not choose to huff butane or snort heroin simply because they survived smoking the joint we told them was dangerous, and because they therefore assume we must be lying about the rest.

We need to provide an open line of communication so that, if they ever have to face areas of ambiguity or situations we have neglected to discuss, they will feel comfortable coming to us, and not friends or the Internet, to advise them when they need it most. In order to do this, we must first educate ourselves.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bolton, Sanford, PhD, and Gary Null, MS. “Caffeine: Psychological Effects, Use and Abuse.” Orthomolecular Psychiatry 10, no. 3 (Third Quarter 1981): 202–211.

Campbell, Fiona A., et al. “Are Cannabinoids an Effective and Safe Treatment Option in the Management of Pain? A Qualitative Systematic Review.” British Medical Journal 323, no. 7303 (7 July 2001): 13–16.

Conrad, Chris. Hemp for Health. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1997.

Department of Health, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Rota. “The Safety of Home Birth: The Farm Study.” American Journal of Public Health 82, no. 3 (March 1992): 450–453.

Duran, AM. Dreher, Melanie C., PhD, et al. “Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: An Ethnographic Study.” Pediatrics 93, no. 2 (February 1994): 254–260.

Grinspoon, Lester, MD, and James B. Bakalar. Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine, rev ed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997.

Hall, W., et al. The Health and Psychological Consequences of Cannabis Use. National Drug Strategy Monograph Series 25. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1994.

House of Lords, Select Committee on Science and Technology. “Cannabis—The Scientific and Medical Evidence.” London, England: The Stationery Office, Parliament (1998). Cited in Iversen, Leslie L., PhD, FRS. The Science of Marijuana. London, England: Oxford University Press, 2000: 178.

Joy, Janet E., et al. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 1999.

Munch, S. “Women's Experiences with a Pregnancy Complication: Causal Explanations of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.” Social Work and Health Care 36, no. 1 (2002): 59–76.

Nettis, E., et al. “Update on Sensitivity to Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.” Current Drug Targets: Immune, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders 1, no. 3 (November 2001): 233–240.

Randall, Robert C., and Alice M. O'Leary. Marijuana Rx: The Patients' Fight for Medicinal Pot. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1998.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Dept. of Health and Human Services. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse 2000. Washington, DC: SAMHSA, 2001.

Tramer, M. R., et al. “Cannabinoids for Control of Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting: A Quantitative Systematic Review.” British Medical Journal 323, no. 7303 (7 July 2001): 16–21.

US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. “In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition.” Docket 86-22 (6 September 1988): 57.

“Vitamin A Toxicity.” The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Sec. 1, Ch. 3, “Vitamin Deficiency, Dependency and Toxicity.” www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual/section1/chapter3/3c.htm.

Woodcock, H. C., et al. “A Matched Cohort Study of Planned Home and Hospital Births in Western Australia 1981–1987.” Midwifery 10, no. 3 (September 1994): 125–135.

Zimmer, Lynn, PhD, and John P. Morgan, MD. Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence. New York: The Lindesmith Center, 1997.

Zimmerman, Bill, PhD, et al. Is Marijuana the Right Medicine for You? New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1998.

Erin Hildebrandt wears many hats. She's wife to Bill Hildebrandt, mom to five beautiful kids, activist, artist, legally registered Oregon medical marijuana patient, public speaker, and an internationally published writer. She co-founded Parents Ending Prohibition, and her writing has been printed in Mothering Magazine, New York's Newsday, and Canada's National Post, among many others. Erin has been interviewed for a front page story in USA Today, and she has been published in the American Bar Association Journal. Speaking as a survivor of child sexual abuse, Erin also appeared on the Geraldo Rivera show. She has also testified before Oregon Senate and House committees, and Maryland Senate and House committees. We are very pleased to feature the work of Erin Hildebrandt on Salem-News.com.

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Comments

PDXRosebud October 23, 2010 10:29 am (Pacific time)

I am a medical cannabis grower and am 8 weeks pregnant. I quit smoking a month ago (the day I found out I was pregnant) but have continued to vaporize my weakest Indica strain (no White Widow for me!) only when the morning sickness and nausea become overwhelming. I have eliminated all drugs with the exception of vaping ganja and drinking an occasional cup of coffee (1-2x/wk) which strangely seems to also help with the morning sickness, but I feel far guiltier over the coffee than the cannabis. Caffeine, antihistamines, alcohol, and smoke of any kind (due to oxygen deprivation and combustion of any material causing the release of carcinogens) are all known to be harmful to a developing baby, but there is surprising empirical evidence in studies by Dr. Melanie Dreher that points toward ganja doing more good than harm. However, I am scared that even though I am otherwise legal to use and grow (my very fine and all-organic) cannabis, eating an organic diet and taking the highest quality fish oil and organic, food-derived prenatals that I will be listed as a child abuser if I admit my ganja use to my midwife at my first prenatal appointment in two weeks. I've been unable to find any solid information pertaining to procedure in the State of Oregon for moms admitting to eating, smoking or vaping cannabis while pregnant. I already love my baby very much and don't want him/her taken away by Child Protective Services. Any reliable sources on this subject would be most appreciated.

KayinChicago September 22, 2010 7:41 am (Pacific time)

I can't tell you the relief I feel at reading this article. I'm 3 months pregnant and have been diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum since I was 6 weeks pregnant. The doctors prescribed me an anti-nausea drug at first, whcih worked great. Sadly, after 6 weeks taking that I've built up a tolerance to it and it just doesn't work. So it's been yet more days of being unable to keep even a glass of water down. My neighbor and close friend has always been an advocate of cannabis to provide relief from morning sickness during pregnancy, and gave me a joint to smoke. The nausea was gone instantly. I limit my smoking to 1 joint a day and it keep the nausea/sickness at bay long enough for me to actually eat and keep food down, I haven't felt this good since I fell pregnant. I wish to God I could find a sympathetic doctor who would understand where I'm coming from. As it is, I'm terrified whenever they do blood or urine tests, in case I get "caught out" and wonder what kind of trouble I could get into. Thank you so much more making me not feel like the world's worst mother.

Anonymous June 19, 2010 4:56 am (Pacific time)

I have been a medical marijuana user/ activist and am 7 weeks prego. I use a vaporiser which uses no smoke, only vapors, and effectivly uses approx. 90% of the thc. pregnant women should not be smoking but consider the alternative. you need nutrition from food to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and this is a deffinite way to get it! not to mention the cancer curing properties it has, it really is a wonder drug that should be legal for all. So, to all you pregos out there, EAT! btw, im writing this as i am up sick, i smoked and now im gonna eat. before, id be eating pills with no luck. and if you still doubt it, do some research! you'd be amazed. i was!

Anony June 2, 2010 8:49 am (Pacific time)

I had a baby in Oregon. I admitted to my OB-GYN after the delivery that I'd used marijuana in early pregnancy to help with morning sickness, and found myself battling with Child Protective Services for a week before I could take my baby home. They wouldn't even let me breast feed even though I and the baby tested negative for any drugs. They made me sign a paper admitting to be a child abuser by "using marijuana during pregnancy" and as soon as I did, they released my healthy baby to me. But now I'm in the "child abuse registry" for that reason and no other. This was in the 1990s. Their policies might have changed since then.

Mary Jane May 30, 2010 4:52 pm (Pacific time)

Hi, I was hoping to get a response but not really expecting one. I'm pregnant with my second child and about 6 weeks along. I've been smoking marijuana to alieviate the sickness. Smoking is not good for my developing fetus. Just wondering if anyone has tried eating/drinking the thc and what effects it had on the morning sickness. Also, is it just as dangerous to eat it as it is to smoke it?

AMANDA April 19, 2010 12:12 pm (Pacific time)

I AM 2 MONTHS PREGERS WITH NUMBER 3. I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH ISCHEMIC COLITIS ( SIMILAR TO CHRONES) JUST BEFORE CONCEPTION. WITH THE ALREADY HORRIBLE STOMACH PAINS THE MORNING SICKNESS BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES. THE POINT OF NOTHING LEFT NOT EVEN WATER WOULD STAY DOWN ON SOME DAYS. I TOO HAD SMOKED IN THE PAST BUT THOUGHT NOT WHEN PREGNANT. I QUIT SMOKING CIGERETTS THE DAY I TOOK MY TEST. BUT POT WAS GIVEN TO ME AND I WAS LIKE AT THIS POINT I JUST WANT TO STOP THROWING UP. I ATE LIKE I HAD NOT IN 4EVER! I FELT GUILTY AND FOUND THIS PAGE, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Sarah Fiske April 2, 2010 7:48 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you so much for this. I spent a few hours in the ER this afternoon recieving 2 packs of saline and zofran from severe morning sickness, I am 6 weeks along, and was sent home with zofran. I started researching it, and something just doesn't feel right about it. My husband and I have spent the last couple of hours debating marijuana or zofran, while not pregnant we use marijuana for migrains, and other ailments as we prefer natural over synthetic. This article sealed the deal. Marijuana will be what gets us through this. Thank you so much for putting us at ease, it is a tremendous help.

Tena H December 1, 2008 12:31 pm (Pacific time)

I am a hyperemesis gravidarum survivor. I was hospitalized 17 times in 6 months for extreme dehydration and vomiting blood. I lost 42 lbs which was 29% of my body weight. My doctors did nothing for me, none of their medications worked at all. I was left for dead and almost lost my baby too. The only way I made it through was by self medicating with marijuana. It suppressed the constant nausea and allowed me to eat a small bit. Marijuana was the only way I made it through my pregnancy, when I was out of it was when I would get so bad that I would have to be admitted into the hospital. My baby suffered no ill effects from using marijuana during my pregnancy, he is perfect in every way.

Melissa November 10, 2008 4:55 am (Pacific time)

I am thankfull for reading your page. My boyfriend thinks Im crazy when I say that I need to smoke a little something to make myself be able to eat and keep it down. I was saverly sick for the first 5mnths of my first child and found the only thing to help to be thc. Now 8 weeks pregnant with my second and I am sick all day everyday, I dont even know how it is Im am to go to wrk normally because I feel so ill and vomitt all the time. People dont even take my sickness seriously, they just say ahh your pregnant its JUST morning sickness, hehe. Im like JUST?? I feel sicker now and cannot eat a thing than I would with the flu. I have no relief!!! I know what my relief could be because of smoking mary with my first, but my previous father to be does not see it that , Ive been trying to respect his views but I am in need and think the advantages of smoking it will far out way the disadvantages (whatever they may be). SO once again thank you for assuring me that I am not crazy for thinking of using this as my relief from what seems like torture for wanting a sweet little one!!

Jasmin G October 7, 2008 11:16 am (Pacific time)

I am currently 4 1/2 months pregnant, and suffer from severe all day sickness, and often times feel ashamed of going to the DR. and having him ask for urine, then frowning upon me when I come up positive for THC. What they do not understand is that Regalin, or Zofran will not help someone who has trouble swallowing water let alone a pill, that within a matter of seconds will come back up tasting like metal. Thanks Erin for speaking out about this, I wish more people including Dr.s would educate themselves moreso on the marijuana issue, and not look down upon us women who smoke during pregnancy to be able to eat, gain weight and have somewhat of a normal pregnancy.

Matt Haines September 1, 2008 8:11 am (Pacific time)

Marijuana would put the chemical, energy, and pharmacutical companies out of business! Thats why it is illegal. In the words of Bob Marley: "The Great God is on the earth."

Telford August 7, 2008 8:15 am (Pacific time)

Makes me wonder why OB/GYN's, pediatricans, other medical professionals and professional journals are not on the same page as the writer of this article? Are there any double-blind longitudinal studies available, or in progress? Certainly other countries, e.g. , in Europe have developed replicable research on this? The fetus is highly suseptible to numerous environmental influences, so hopefully there is some good research available, somewhere.

Barbara Houtchens August 6, 2008 6:25 pm (Pacific time)

someone needs to study the effects of marijuana on high blood preasure, after a monetary incress my blood preasure drops to normal leavels that not even Norvasc could match as confirmed by my Dr.

Jodie Emery August 6, 2008 4:40 pm (Pacific time)

Excellent article! Our magazine Cannabis Culture has covered pregnancy and cannabis use, too. The truth needs to be told -- thank you, Erin, for sharing your story.

Laura Shanley August 5, 2008 7:28 pm (Pacific time)

This is a wonderful article! Those of us who have benefitted from using marijuana in pregnancy (and in my case, in labor) need to feel comfortable sharing our stories. Despite the fact that it's been condemned by those who haven't done their research, it is a natural, gentle herb that has helped millions of people throughout history. Thank you, Erin, for speaking out!

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SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY WITH AN ACCEPTANCE RATE OF 58%.
10/23/2010
NBC Bay Area News Weekend Morning - KNTV-TV

GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS THIS MORNING. SALARY AND WAGES ARE UP IN ONE INDUSTRY. BAD NEWS, NOT LIKELY TO BE FOR YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. WALL STREET INCOMES ARE ON THE RISE. A NEW GOVERNMENT SURVEY SHOWS THAT FINANCE INDUSTRY EMPLOY ES EES MADE MORE THAN THEY DID LAST YEAR. FIGURES INDICATE THE BONUSES WERE HIGHER THIS YEAR THAN LAST. THE SURVEY INCLUDED SENIOR INVEST MEMBERS TO BANK MEMBERS AND ALL POSITIONS IN BETWEEN. GET READY TO SCRAMBLE AND MAYBE PANIC A LITTLE BIT. COLLEGE ADMISSIONS DEADLINES ARE WEEKS AWAY. WITH MORE COMPETITION FOR SPOTTING THAT FRESHMAN CLASS OF 2011, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOUR WOULD-BE FRESHMEN? WHAT DO THEY NEED TO DO TO GET IN. WE HAVE TO GET ANSWERS FROM THE PEOPLE WHO DECIDE WHO IS IN AND WHO IS OUT. THIS IS WHAT FOUR YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL LOOKS LIKE TO ADMISSIONS OFFICER. A SINGLE FOLDER AND AN ONLINE APPLICATION. SOMEWHERE IN HERE, THE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE YOU A YES OR A NO. IT'S VERY STRESSFUL. IT'S ON MY MIND 24/7. A LITTLE BIT THAT YOU ARE NOT QUITE SURE EXACTLY WHAT EACH IS LOOKING FOR. I PACK MY SCHEDULE PRETTY FULL. A CUMULATIVE GPA IS AROUND 3.8. AWE SOLID GRADE AND TEST SCORES. YOU START THERE. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY WITH AN ACCEPTANCE RATE OF 58%. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, WE READ EVERY SINGLE ESSAY. Reporter: AT THE PUBLIC CALIFORNIA EAST BAY ACCEPTANCE RATE, 34%. IF THEY HAVE A PERFECT GPA. Reporter: TO FIND OUT HOW YOU AVOID ENDING UP HERE? ALL OF US WANT STUDENTS WHO CAN WRITE, IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU ARE IN ENGINEERING OR BUSINESS OR ENGLISH. Reporter: SANTA CLARA'S MIKE SEXTON SAYS, SHOWCASE YOUR ABILITY TO WRITE. WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING PERSONAL AND SPECIFIC. IF THEY HAVE DONE TRAVEL, WE DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE TRAVEL LONG OR THE AFTERNOON THEY SAT DOWN AND TALKED ABOUT ANOTHER TEENAGER IN NICK CAR AGUA ABOUT POLITICS. NOT ALL 4.0s ARE CREATED EQUAL. Reporter: EACH APPLICATION LOOKS BEYOND GRADES AS THINGS LIKE CLASS RICK CORE. HOW CHALLENGING WAS THE COURSE WORK. Reporter: SCHOOL STRENGTH. SOME WILL BE MORE CHALLENGING THAN OTHERS. Reporter: AND SENIOR LOAD, NO SLACKING OFF BEFORE GRADUATION. WHEN IT COMES TO CAN ACTIVITY, BETTER TO BE A LEADER IN A FEW CLUBS THAN A MEMBER OF MANY. IN 11,000 APPLICATIONS ABOUT 5,000 END UP HERE IN THE DENIED FILE. Reporter: ACROSS THE BAY. WE HAD A RECORD NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS. Reporter: ESSAYS, RECOMMENDATION LETTERS AND ACTIVITIES ARE NOT PART OF THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS. TEST SCORES AND A MINIMUM 2.0 GPA ARE ALL THAT COUNT. A "B, " WHETHER IT BE A B MINUS OR B PLUS, IT DOESN'T MATTER. Reporter: STUDENTS THAT THINK THEY MIGHT BE ON THE BUBBLE SHOULD SUBMIT A STATEMENT TO EXPLAIN ANY HARDSHIPS. THE FIRST GENERATION FROM COLLEGE, COMING FROM SCHOOLS THAT ARE NOT AS WELL RESOURCED AS SCHOOLS IN FROM OTHER AREAS. WE TAKE THAT INTO ACCOUNT WHEN THEY ARE APPLYING. Reporter: SO WHERE DO PARENTS FIT IN? IT'S DAUNTING. DEADLINES. WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT HER. Reporter: THE ANSWER IS, ALL OF THE ABOVE AND BACK OFF. FROM THE MOMENT CHILDREN ARE BORN, WE ARE PREPARING THEM TO LEAVE US. THE COLLEGE SEARCH PROCESS IS PRETTY GOOD PRACTICE FOR THAT. Reporter: AFTER ALL, WHAT ENDS UP IN THE NEXT FOLDER SHOULD BE UP TO THE STUDENTS. VICKY WIN, "TODAY IN THE BAY. " I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU CAN BACK OFF. THEY NEED REMINDING, RIGHT?

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SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY WITH AN ACCEPTANCE RATE OF 58%.
10/23/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV

GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS THIS MORNING. SALARY AND WAGES ARE UP IN ONE INDUSTRY. BAD NEWS, NOT LIKELY TO BE FOR YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. WALL STREET INCOMES ARE ON THE RISE. A NEW GOVERNMENT SURVEY SHOWS S MADE MORE THAN THEY DID LAST YEAR. FIGURES INDICATE THE BONUSES WERE HIGHER THIS YEAR THAN LAST. THE SURVEY INCLUDED SENIOR INVEST MEMBERS TO BANK MEMBERS AND ALL POSITIONS IN BETWEEN. GET READY TO SCRAMBLE AND MAYBE PANIC A LITTLE BIT. COLLEGE ADMISSIONS DEADLINES ARE WEEKS AWAY. WITH MORE COMPETITION FOR SPOTTING THAT FRESHMAN CLASS OF 2011, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOUR WOULD-BE FRESHMEN? WHAT DO THEY NEED TO DO TO GET IN. WE HAVE TO GET ANSWERS FROM THE PEOPLE WHO DECIDE WHO IS IN AND WHO IS OUT. THIS IS WHAT FOUR YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL LOOKS LIKE TO ADMISSIONS OFFICER. A SINGLE FOLDER AND AN ONLINE APPLICATION. SOMEWHERE IN HERE, THE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE YOU A YES OR A NO. IT'S VERY STRESSFUL. IT'S ON MY MIND 24/7. A LITTLE BIT THAT YOU ARE NOT QUITE SURE EXACTLY WHAT EACH IS LOOKING FOR. I PACK MY SCHEDULE PRETTY FULL. A CUMULATIVE GPA IS AROUND 3.8. AWE SOLID GRADE AND TEST SCORES. YOU START THERE. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY WITH AN ACCEPTANCE RATE OF 58%. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, WE READ EVERY SINGLE ESSAY. Reporter: AT THE PUBLIC CALIFORNIA EAST BAY ACCEPTANCE RATE, 34%. IF THEY HAVE A PERFECT GPA. Reporter: TO FIND OUT HOW YOU AVOID ENDING UP HERE? ALL OF US WANT STUDENTS WHO CAN WRITE, IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU ARE IN ENGINEERING OR BUSINESS OR ENGLISH. Reporter: SANTA CLARA'S MIKE SEXTON SAYS, SHOWCASE YOUR ABILITY TO WRITE. WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING PERSONAL AND SPECIFIC. IF THEY HAVE DONE TRAVEL, WE DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE TRAVEL LONG OR THE AFTERNOON THEY SAT DOWN AND TALKED ABOUT ANOTHER TEENAGER IN NICK CAR AGUA ABOUT POLITICS. NOT ALL 4.0s ARE CREATED EQUAL. Reporter: EACH APPLICATION LOOKS BEYOND GRADES AS THINGS LIKE CLASS RICK CORE. HOW CHALLENGING WAS THE COURSE WORK. Reporter: SCHOOL STRENGTH. SOME WILL BE MORE CHALLENGING THAN OTHERS. Reporter: AND SENIOR LOAD, NO SLACKING OFF BEFORE GRADUATION. WHEN IT COMES TO CAN ACTIVITY, BETTER TO BE A LEADER IN A FEW CLUBS THAN A MEMBER OF MANY. IN 11,000 APPLICATIONS ABOUT 5,000 END UP HERE IN THE DENIED FILE. Reporter: ACROSS THE BAY. WE HAD A RECORD NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS. Reporter: ESSAYS, RECOMMENDATION LETTERS AND ACTIVITIES ARE NOT PART OF THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS. TEST SCORES AND A MINIMUM 2.0 GPA ARE ALL THAT COUNT. A "B, " WHETHER IT BE A B MINUS OR B PLUS, IT DOESN'T MATTER. Reporter: STUDENTS THAT THINK THEY MIGHT BE ON THE BUBBLE SHOULD SUBMIT A STATEMENT TO EXPLAIN ANY HARDSHIPS. THE FIRST GENERATION FROM COLLEGE, COMING FROM SCHOOLS THAT ARE NOT AS WELL RESOURCED AS SCHOOLS IN FROM OTHER AREAS. WE TAKE THAT INTO ACCOUNT WHEN THEY ARE APPLYING. Reporter: SO WHERE DO PARENTS FIT IN? IT'S DAUNTING. DEADLINES. WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT HER. Reporter: THE ANSWER IS, ALL OF THE ABOVE AND BACK OFF. FROM THE MOMENT CHILDREN ARE BORN, WE ARE PREPARING THEM TO LEAVE US. THE COLLEGE SEARCH PROCESS IS PRETTY GOOD PRACTICE FOR THAT. Reporter: AFTER ALL, WHAT ENDS UP IN THE NEXT FOLDER SHOULD BE UP TO THE STUDENTS. VICKY WIN, "TODAY IN THE BAY. " I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU CAN BACK OFF. THEY NEED REMINDING, RIGHT?

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Pizarro: The podcar people are coming to San Jose | View Clip
10/22/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

The possible future of transportation arrives in San Jose this week, and it sure is funny looking.

The conference "Podcar City: San Jose" is all about the bubble-shaped, driverless vehicles that have been causing a stir in Europe. With San Jose's emphasis on green technology, there's some sentiment that the futuristic cars could work here, perhaps at the city's airport.

You can get a peek for yourself at the conference's free public night Wednesday at the Tech Museum of Innovation. A presentation on the first generation of podcars and what they could mean for San Jose starts at 7 p.m. at the Tech's IMAX Dome theater.

There's lot of information about podcars and the conference at www.podcarcity.org.

TUNE IN: CBS's "60 Minutes" is scheduled to air a segment on its 7 p.m. broadcast tonight on the new face of the unemployed, and it was shot in Silicon Valley.

Locations included Second Harvest Food Bank, Sacred Heart Community Service, Martha's Kitchen, NOVA Connect and Sunnyvale Community Services.

WONDER WOMEN: Notre Dame High School in San Jose welcomed more than 350 people to its second annual Women of Impact luncheon Friday at the downtown Rotary Summit Center.

This year's honorees were Geralynn Patellaro, the president of Building a Better Workplace (who Advertisementgraduated from the school in 1974), and retired educator and civic leader Charmaine Warmenhoven.

OCTOBER FEST: The 15th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, which kicked off last week at San Francisco's Castro Theatre, includes an encore in San Jose Saturday at the downtown Camera 12 cinemas.

The festival -- which showcases movies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland -- will screen five films here, including one, "Soul Kitchen," that's exclusive to San Jose. Film lovers can get their fix at www.berlinandbeyond.com.

DANCE FOR A CAUSE: Kannada Koota of Northern California, a South Asian nonprofit based in Fremont, is organizing a dance program Saturday to raise awareness about childhood cancer. The show benefits the cancer research fund of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital's at Stanford.

The event, "Nritya Milana," starts at 5:30 p.m. at Chabot College in Hayward. Tickets are $20 to $100; get details at www.kknc.org.

WHODUNIT? Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers is letting its supporters play the role of crime solver on Wednesday at its annual fundraiser, "An Evening of Mystery and Mayhem."

The appetizer party starts at 5:30 p.m. at an appropriate locale for detective work, the San Jose Police Officers Association Hall (1151 N. Fourth St.). Tickets are $35, and you can RSVP to svcrimestoppers@gmail.com. Get the full briefing at www.svcrimestoppers.org.

JUDGE FOR YOURSELF: Santa Clara University's senior debate team will tackle a timely subject at the Saratoga Foothill Club (www.foothillclub.org) Tuesday: Has the media made American politics more divisive?

The audience will be polled before and after the 7:30 p.m. debate to see if any minds change. Call 408-867-2919 for details.

AT YOUR SERVICE: The Silicon Valley Council of Non-Profits has lined up more than two dozen elected officials and community leaders for its third annual "Be Our Guest" celebrity server luncheon Thursday.

Tickets ($70) are still available for the 11:30 a.m. event at the Rotary Summit Center in downtown San Jose. Go to www.svcn.org for details.

BIRTHDAY BREAK: This column will be gone the rest of the week, as I'm taking a break to celebrate our daughter Mia's first birthday and entertain relatives from New Mexico. If I survive it all, I'll be back here next week.

Call Sal Pizarro at 408-627-0940 or e-mail him at spizarro@mercurynews.com.

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

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Pizarro: The podcar people are coming to San Jose | View Clip
10/22/2010
SiliconValley.com

The possible future of transportation arrives in San Jose this week, and it sure is funny looking.

The conference "Podcar City: San Jose" is all about the bubble-shaped, driverless vehicles that have been causing a stir in Europe. With San Jose's emphasis on green technology, there's some sentiment that the futuristic cars could work here, perhaps at the city's airport.

You can get a peek for yourself at the conference's free public night Wednesday at the Tech Museum of Innovation. A presentation on the first generation of podcars and what they could mean for San Jose starts at 7 p.m. at the Tech's IMAX Dome theater.

There's lot of information about podcars and the conference at www.podcarcity.org.

TUNE IN: CBS's "60 Minutes" is scheduled to air a segment on its 7 p.m. broadcast tonight on the new face of the unemployed, and it was shot in Silicon Valley.

Locations included Second Harvest Food Bank, Sacred Heart Community Service, Martha's Kitchen, NOVA Connect and Sunnyvale Community Services.

WONDER WOMEN: Notre Dame High School in San Jose welcomed more than 350 people to its second annual Women of Impact luncheon Friday at the downtown Rotary Summit Center.

This year's honorees were Geralynn Patellaro, the president of Building a Better Workplace (who Advertisementgraduated from the school in 1974), and retired educator and civic leader Charmaine Warmenhoven.

OCTOBER FEST: The 15th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, which kicked off last week at San Francisco's Castro Theatre, includes an encore in San Jose Saturday at the downtown Camera 12 cinemas.

The festival -- which showcases movies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland -- will screen five films here, including one, "Soul Kitchen," that's exclusive to San Jose. Film lovers can get their fix at www.berlinandbeyond.com.

DANCE FOR A CAUSE: Kannada Koota of Northern California, a South Asian nonprofit based in Fremont, is organizing a dance program Saturday to raise awareness about childhood cancer. The show benefits the cancer research fund of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital's at Stanford.

The event, "Nritya Milana," starts at 5:30 p.m. at Chabot College in Hayward. Tickets are $20 to $100; get details at www.kknc.org.

WHODUNIT? Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers is letting its supporters play the role of crime solver on Wednesday at its annual fundraiser, "An Evening of Mystery and Mayhem."

The appetizer party starts at 5:30 p.m. at an appropriate locale for detective work, the San Jose Police Officers Association Hall (1151 N. Fourth St.). Tickets are $35, and you can RSVP to svcrimestoppers@gmail.com. Get the full briefing at www.svcrimestoppers.org.

JUDGE FOR YOURSELF: Santa Clara University's senior debate team will tackle a timely subject at the Saratoga Foothill Club (www.foothillclub.org) Tuesday: Has the media made American politics more divisive?

The audience will be polled before and after the 7:30 p.m. debate to see if any minds change. Call 408-867-2919 for details.

AT YOUR SERVICE: The Silicon Valley Council of Non-Profits has lined up more than two dozen elected officials and community leaders for its third annual "Be Our Guest" celebrity server luncheon Thursday.

Tickets ($70) are still available for the 11:30 a.m. event at the Rotary Summit Center in downtown San Jose. Go to www.svcn.org for details.

BIRTHDAY BREAK: This column will be gone the rest of the week, as I'm taking a break to celebrate our daughter Mia's first birthday and entertain relatives from New Mexico. If I survive it all, I'll be back here next week.

Call Sal Pizarro at 408-627-0940 or e-mail him at spizarro@mercurynews.com.

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Guest Post: Compassion, Empathy and the Growth of Social Business, An Inspiring Day at Santa Clara U | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise | View Clip
10/22/2010
Development through Enterprise

Guest Post: Compassion, Empathy and the Growth of Social Business, An Inspiring Day at Santa Clara U
Guest blogger Karen Lynn Vincent, a serial social benefit entrepreneur, is the co-founder and current chief operating officer at , a hybrid social business distributing content via mobile devices to the rural poor. She also works with the Santa Clara University .

She sent us the following post from Santa Clara, California, where the Grameen companies occurs not in structure or organization but with the woman in the village. The Grameen companies are separate entities that converge in their compassion and empathy for the rural poor. Tech Museum in San Jose and brought the many sponsors and laureates together for a highly inspirational day.

It was also a very full day. Yunus delivered the morning keynote, and

Bill Drayton of Ashoka addressed the audience with the luncheon keynote. Tech Awards laureate presentations were in the afternoon. A panel discussion shared lessons learned at the Global Social Benefit Incubator and featured many of the program alumni. It drew to a close with a town hall discussion. The energy throughout the day was high and the atmosphere was buzzing as so many great minds were converging to consider the impact of social benefit entrepreneurship. Yunus described how Grameen Bank employees sat with beggars to learn which events precipitated becoming a beggar. It was through this understanding that the bank developed its lending program for beggars that had 0% interest and no term for repayment. With the suggestion that they might choose to carry goods with them as they beg, beggars were offered a microloan and were told they never needed to worry that the principal would increase and no one would ever chase them for the money. However, if they repaid the loan, they would be eligible for other loans.

The loan officers listened with compassion to the beggars they wished to help, developed empathy for their struggles, and worked out a solution molded to their needs. Approximately eleven thousand beggars chose to become full-time peddlers. They were empowered by the program to make a choice. Some might say that a 0% interest, no term loan cannot or should not be done in traditional business practice, and many would argue that the non-profit model may not be agile enough to manage the innovation.

Here rises the need for social business. All it takes is for an individual to listen with compassion, understand through empathy, innovate a solid business model, persevere through obstacles, defy all common reason and execute with passion. That sounds like a tall order, but it is the way of life for social benefit entrepreneurs all over the world.

Despite appearances, the for-profit model is equipped to execute a social mission. Rewards are based on how well the customer's needs are met, making empathy essential for success. Sales volume directly relates to how well business understands and solves the problems of its customer. Yunus said that in traditional business money is both the means and the end, but for social business money is only the means. The end is compassionately serving the needs of customers. The agility of the for-profit model and its inherent reward system can encourage the innovation needed to creatively solve the problems of the poor.

Developing the capacity for empathy
program, Drayton highlighted the importance of teaching empathy skills to young people to inspire this innovation. Drayton feels that empathy is a skill set that can be taught and needs to be developed in children. As these children grow, they will create change at the grass-roots level.

If the capacity for empathy is developed in youth around the world, human capacity will grow in response which will increase economic capacity globally. Empathic youth can direct their passion toward solutions but will not be locked into the confines of societal rules. The mind is still open, and they will be better equipped to drive economic growth more creatively leading us into the future.

Yunus also noted that the human capacity for creativity is a real driving force behind the rise of entrepreneurship, and urges university professors to enlighten and inspire their students, yet be careful not to "replace" their "eyes and minds." Students enter with wide eyes and open minds and should leave that way as well to preserve the ability to creatively innovate.

A disruptive economy

We often hear about disruptive technology in innovation. I was recently asked for my opinion as to why for-profit social business seems to be growing among the rural poor throughout the world. To me the answer is timing. Technology is penetrating the most rural reaches of the world in the form of the mobile phone, and although many are the most basic handsets, these are still more powerful than the first personal computers I was hacking away on back in the 80s.

Although much of the functionality is untapped, the rural poor hold so much power in their hands, and like Yunus says, human beings have a tremendous capacity for creativity. Creativity is allowing them to create new livelihoods using this tool. For instance, Edgardo Herbosa of b2bpricenow.com created a mCommerce mobile phone solution that allows impoverished farmers to obtain the latest prices, transfer funds, execute trades, and thereby participate in the global economy while in the field.

Due to the many disruptive technologies, the time is finally right for disruptive economy. Social business models are upsetting tradition and creating change, and the technology is there to accelerate its growth. Social business is agile and revenue is based on the ability to understand the human condition and tailor the best possible solutions.

These solutions empower the customer to choose to purchase products and services that matter to them. Products and services do not need to be given charitably; the poor can have the power to choose and the economic ability to pay which inspires confidence. The most empathic businesses will see the most growth and will likely create the most jobs. These jobs will perpetuate the cycle of continued confidence, new products, more jobs and economic growth.
Social business is a highly disruptive economic catalyst for the local economy which can set the lives of many in motion. It injects cash. It inspires innovation. It balances power. The timing is right, the world is becoming smaller through technology and now is the time to (1) feel compassion; (2) develop empathy in ourselves, our children and our communities; and (3) channel our human creativity to invoke change.

what we can learn from the "poor"

Beyond compassion and empathy, what we need to re-learn from these women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh is the value of Social Capital. What makes the whole system work is the fact that these women are trusted by their peers and they are willing to live up to this trust that they have received (and probably die to keep it).

Meanwhile in developed countries we have been fed by mass media and mass communication, we are living on mass production and we have lost some of this basic connection.

Video of Yunus keynote at SCU event

An unedited version of the entire morning session where Dr. Muhammad Yunus delivered the keynote address Karen refers to is available at this URL:

http://tools.cisco.com/cmn/jsp/index.jsp?id=81023

To add a new comment, submit or cancel your comment reply.
To add a new comment, submit or cancel your comment reply.

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It's prep time for the Olympics | View Clip
10/22/2010
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

Sausalito sailor Adam Correa is one of the faces in Nautica's ad campaign touting people who do extraordinary things in coastal communities.

With water enthusiasts gripped by America's Cup and Giants fever (did you see McCovey Cove this week?), it's easy to forget a small competition called the Olympics is ramping up.

London fires up the Olympic Torch in 21 months, and Northern California has more open water Olympic hopefuls than most countries: six sailing, nine rowing, one in and one in canoe/kayak.

At Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond for a world championship last month, Olympic silver medalist Zach Railey cut through any misperceptions that sailing is easy as he prepared for a day's racing on the bay on the road to the 2012 Olympics.

He competes in a Finn, a heavy single-handed class of boat with a single powerful sail. The physical demands are intense. You see it in Railey's tall, heavily muscled frame.

"On a three-hour sail, we're burning 3,000 calories an hour when it's windy." That's right, a total of 9,000 calories - that's getting into champion swimmer Michael Phelps territory.

Railey bursts around the boat like a gymnast, levering his big frame out over the water and straining against lines controlling the beefy sail. It's so tough that competitors use heart rate monitors to manage energy expenditure. They routinely top 180 beats per minute when racing.

To get there, Railey trains under a performance enhancement program set up by the U.S. Olympic Sailing Committee. Nutrition, physical training, physical therapy, all focused on peaking at two events per year.

Railey trains four days a week on the boat, plus cross-training. A month before an event, he pours it on full time, seven days a week. He'll spend 90 minutes on a bike, then four hours on the water, followed by a squat and Olympic lift workout.

Nutrition is important. It takes 17 Big Macs to reach 9,000 calories. Of course, Olympic sailing focuses on high-quality proteins, grains, veggies, and fats - and the quantities of food are so great it's almost unbelievable.

Then there's the fundraising and plain ol' logistics. U.S. Sailing recognizes an Olympic medal takes full-time training and provides serious support. The organization covers about 60 percent of Railey's costs, including team coaching, logistical support, equipment shipping, travel and housing. He fills in the rest with small personal sponsorships and lots of parental help.

Railey and U.S. Sailing also credit St. Francis Yacht Club's Olympic Sailing Foundation for playing "a huge part." On top of $75,000 directly to the U.S. Olympic sailing effort, the St. Francis supports Railey and his sister Paige (both from Florida), Claire Dennis (Saratoga), and Genny Tulloch (San Francisco).

Paige Railey and Dennis compete in a smaller one-person boat called the Laser Radial. Tulloch skippers a women's match racing team with Stanford graduate Alice Manard, which is racing against a team with Molly Vandemoer (Redwood City).

There's strong rowing talent, too, with an "unstoppable" women's eight-person boat roster including rower Erin Cafaro (Modesto) and coxswain Mary Whipple (Sacramento) among the nine hopefuls.

Distance swimmer Haley Anderson (Sacramento) has shot in 10-kilometer , and Berkeley-born kayak sprinter Rami Zur will try to make London his fourth Olympics.

Championships in the next 12 months will determine whether these athletes make it to the U.S. Olympic team. Get more info at teamusa.org.

Ten sailors from the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo arrived in La Rochelle, France, on Thursday to compete in the 30th Annual Student Yachting World Cup running through Oct. 29. Thrown against 11 international universities with 6,000 to 60,000 enrollment, the first-ever West Coast entrant, tiny 850-student Cal Maritime calls it David vs. Goliath.

Team director Charlie Arms Cartee hopes size is an advantage. She points to teammate cohesion and experience in a variety of boats, plus strength in the heavy wind conditions they could face on a wintry Atlantic Ocean. Boats race with a crew of eight, with at least two women.

See daily reports, photos and video at fol lowteamusa.csum.edu.

You may have seen some familiar faces in fashion ads this month. Nautica is using Bay Area waterfront personalities in the first wave of an "ocean to ocean" campaign celebrating people doing extraordinary things in coastal communities and the company's sponsorship of global conservation organization Oceana.

Images by Anders Overgaard include Berkeley kiteboarding icon Chip Wasson, Sausalito sailor Adam Correa, who sailed and blogged to Hawaii and back, and Santa Clara University student and competitive rower Sam Seely. A shot teeming with fish at the California Academy of Sciences features the husband-and-wife team of David McGuire and Dr. Healy Hamilton. He promotes ocean health and shark conservation through SeaStewards, and she heads the academy's biodiversity informatics center.

The ads appear in the October Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure magazines, Google and Yahoo ad networks, social networking sites, and the company's Milpitas store. There are videos and a photo contest to win a Hawaiian vacation at NauticaOcean2Ocean.com.

-- The New York Times reported Wednesday that Giants games officially count as a water competition.

-- Potential America's Cup competitors gathered Friday in Paris. Teams begin signing up Nov. 1.

-- Sixteen sailors with disabilities, including four quadriplegic sailors each alone in a servo-operated boat, competed last week on McCovey Cove in the Herb Meyer Regatta organized by the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (baads.org).

Paul Oliva is a consultant, writer and sailor. E-mail him at datebookletters@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page E - 2 of the

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State's bishops post 'Proposition Guide,' voice concern for Props. 19, 23 | View Clip
10/21/2010
Tidings - Online

While they have not taken formal positions on any of the nine propositions on the Nov. 2 ballot, California's bishops have expressed concerns about two of the initiatives: Proposition 19 legalizing marijuana under California law and Proposition 23 suspending implementation of the state's landmark air pollution control law.

An online summary of the text and arguments of the proponents and opponents of all nine propositions appears on the California Catholic Conference's website, www.cacatholic.org, under the heading "Proposition Guide."

Besides offering links to non-partisan analysis furnished by the Legislative Analyst's Office, the guide also contains expanded information on Catholic social teaching dealing with broad moral and ethical principles for all the initiatives.

In addition, there is a reflection by Sulpician Father Gerald Coleman, moral theologian, on Proposition 19 and a request by Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire for voters to consider stewardship of creation when deciding how to vote on Proposition 23. Catholic social teaching urges people to use prudential judgment with a well-formed conscience in preparation to vote.

Citing "serious moral and practical concerns about Proposition 19," the state's bishops published excerpts in their Proposition Guide from an analysis article they urged voters to read, "The California Cannabis Initiative," written by Father Coleman, vice president for corporate ethics for the Daughters of Charity Health System and a lecturer of moral theology at Santa Clara University.

"California voters should be wary of economics as the primary factor [driving the passage of Proposition 19]," wrote Father Coleman. "…While there are financial incentives to consider, morality cannot be divorced from this debate…life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God, and we must take reasonable care of them…Decriminalized or not, cannabis remains a drug," stated the priest.

Father Coleman added that the Vatican's Pontifical Council teaches that the use of cannabis is "incompatible with Christian morality" because it is an intoxicant that dims reason and is potentially damaging to the integrity of one's body and soul. He noted that marijuana's classification as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law (in the same category grouping as heroin, LSD and peyote) points to its high potential for abuse.

Even if Proposition 19 passes, it will still remain a prohibited Schedule I drug under federal law. According to Father Coleman, "…moral concerns about proper care for one's health, what safeguards will be put in place to protect minors from easy access, and what parameters are realistic for taxing and regulating cannot be sidelined or easily dismissed." Under Proposition 19, each of California's cities and counties would be permitted to establish local laws regarding growing, possessing and selling marijuana.

Prop. 23

Proposition 23, which suspends implementation of air pollution control law AB 32 requiring major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for a full year, has prompted Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire, past president of the California Catholic Conference, to ask voters to reflect on "stewardship of creation" when considering the initiative.

In his Oct. 8 statement posted on the CCC website, Bishop Blaire said Proposition 23 provides an opportunity for voters "to engage in serious moral reflection on our common responsibility for stewardship of the environment…We are accountable to God and to one another for this stewardship. Catholic Social Teaching locates this responsibility in three areas: towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole," he added.

The air quality situation in California's San Joaquin Valley is "critical," said Bishop Blaire. He noted that four of the six counties in the Stockton Diocese --- San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Calaveras and Tuolumne --- received a grade of "F" in the American Lung Association's 2010 State of the Air Report. Also, he pointed out, the US Environmental Protection Agency classifies the San Joaquin Valley as "extreme non-attainment for ozone and smog."

"One can easily conclude," said Bishop Blaire, "that air pollution contributes to respiratory illnesses and to the one in five children suffering from asthma in the Central Valley….Poor air quality affects all our families. This burden also falls heavily upon the poor who cannot afford health insurance and often work in circumstances which exacerbate vulnerability to respiratory illnesses," he pointed out.

According to the bishop, the Stockton Diocese, "through the agency of Catholic Charities, has cooperated with environmental justice organizations, public health and community groups to advocate successfully for precedent-setting legislation and environmental policies in California to reduce air pollution and improve general health."

Coalition efforts helped win passage of AB 32, the "Global Warming Solutions Act," which mandates the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. To achieve that goal, the Air Resources Board has devised a cap and trade program which allows emitters to buy, sell or trade emission allowances. In addition, fees will be levied against power plants and refineries.

Proposition 23, whose backers include large oil companies, would suspend implementation of AB 32 until unemployment dips to 5.5 percent, a seldom-seen figure in California where unemployment stands at 12.4 percent. (Sept. 2010 unemployment figures will be issued Oct. 22, too late for Tidings' press time).

"Before casting our votes on Proposition 23," said Bishop Blaire, "[reflecting] on the common good, our children's health, and the stewardship of our land can assist us in the formation of conscience which guides our decision making. We always pray that God grant us wisdom in the exercise of our citizenship."

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Sanctuary Policies & Immigration Federalism: A Dialectic Analysis | View Clip
10/21/2010
Environmental Law Professors

« It Guess That It Must Be Election Season -- Georgia Legislator: Time to Allow Border Officers to "Shoot to Kill" | Main

Here is an article on a hot issue from the immigration symposiumissue of the Wayne Law Review:  Sanctuary Policies & Immigration Federalism: A Dialectic Analysis Pratheepan Gulasekaram Santa Clara University School of Law Rose Cuison Villazor Hofstra University - School of Law Wayne Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2009.  Abstract: This Article explores the doctrinal and theoretical challenges confronting San Francisco's non-cooperation ordinance, and similar subfederal actions. It does so using a non-conventional but useful method where we, the authors, engage in a dialectic exchange. Through a fictional conversation, we present the opposing doctrinal views on whether San Francisco's ordinance is preempted by 8 U.SC. § 1373.19 Agreeing that only one provision of the ordinance potentially faces a preemptive strike, we articulate the underlying doctrinal and theoretical issues facing sanctuary laws specifically and sub-federal immigration regulation generally. Ultimately, through our exchange, we develop how inclusionary measures such as sanctuary laws may survive preemption analysis and exclusionary measures such as bans on rental housing may be invalidated on preemption grounds. In addition, apropos to the focus of this symposium, we assess the impact of any potential comprehensive federal immigration reform on such policies.

KJ

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef0134885c7009970c

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Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case
10/21/2010
Oakland Tribune

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his suspected captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 31, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection resumes today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, 45-year-old Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6 to 30 years or more in prison.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Last week, potential jurors filled out a 16-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to

Copyright © 2010 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case | View Clip
10/21/2010
InsideBayArea.com

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his suspected captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 31, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection resumes today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, 45-year-old Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6 to 30 years or more in prison.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness

list.

Last week, potential jurors filled out a 16-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to contracostatimes.com

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Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case
10/21/2010
Daily Review, The

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his suspected captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 31, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection resumes today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, 45-year-old Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6 to 30 years or more in prison.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Last week, potential jurors filled out a 16-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to

Copyright © 2010 The Daily Review. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case
10/21/2010
Argus, The

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his suspected captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 31, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection resumes today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, 45-year-old Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6 to 30 years or more in prison.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Last week, potential jurors filled out a 16-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to

Copyright © 2010 The Argus. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case
10/21/2010
Alameda Times-Star

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his suspected captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 31, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection resumes today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, 45-year-old Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6 to 30 years or more in prison.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Last week, potential jurors filled out a 16-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to

Copyright © 2010 Alameda Times-Star. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case | View Clip
10/21/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his suspected captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 31, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection resumes today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael? Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, 45-year-old Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6 to 30 years or more in prison.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness Advertisementlist. Last week, potential jurors filled out a 16-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122.

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Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case
10/21/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his suspected captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 31, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection resumes today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, 45-year-old Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6 to 30 years or more in prison.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Last week, potential jurors filled out a 16-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to

Copyright © 2010 Tri-Valley Herald. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Victim could be called to take the stand in Tracy torture case
10/21/2010
San Mateo County Times

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his suspected captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 31, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection resumes today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, 45-year-old Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6 to 30 years or more in prison.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Last week, potential jurors filled out a 16-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to

Copyright © 2010 San Mateo County Times. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Troublesome nun's faith and feminism | View Clip
10/21/2010
Eureka Street

Sandra Schneiders is one of the most prominent and accomplished nuns in the American Catholic Church. She is a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Emeritus Professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California.

Schneiders' message and concerns resonate strongly with those of Mary MacKillop, so it's fitting that we hear from her this week when Australians celebrate the canonisation of the new saint. (Continues below)

Mary MacKillop founded the Josephite Sisters to address the pressing needs of the real world around her. In a similar vein, Schneiders warns of the dangers for the Church in seeing itself above and separate from the world. She argues that scripture and the documents of Vatican II position the Church firmly in the world, with something vital to contribute to the struggles and development of the world.

Schneiders spoke to Eureka Street TV at a conference marking the centenary of the Melbourne College of Divinity where she was one of the keynote speakers. Her talk was entitled 'The Word in the World'. The meeting was held at Trinity College at the University of Melbourne in July 2010, and its overall theme was the future of religion in Australian society.

Like MacKillop, Schneiders is a 'troublesome nun' who is fearless in calling the male Church hierarchy to account. This occurred most recently and publicly in a series of articles she wrote for America's National Catholic Reporter in response to the Vatican's three-year study of institutes of religious women announced in January 2009.

Her opening salvo came in an email she wrote to a few close colleagues that was widely circulated and, with her permission and with some additions, was later published in the NCR. Its opening paragraph gives an indication of its overall tenor and her feisty words:

'I am not inclined to get into too much of a panic about this investigation — which is what it is. We just went through a similar investigation of seminaries, equally aggressive and dishonest. I do not put any credence at all in the claim that this is friendly, transparent, aimed to be helpful, etc. It is a hostile move and the conclusions are already in. It is meant to be intimidating.'

During 2009 she penned a series of articles against the Vatican investigation, espousing her vision for the future of religious life and ministry, culminating in a five-part essay published in the NCR in January 2010.

All her writing reflects deep learning, spirituality and love of the Church. She has written a number of acclaimed books, including With Oil in Their Lamps: Faith, Feminism and the Future; Selling All: Commitment, Consecrated Celibacy and Community in Catholic Religious Life; Revelatory Text: Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture; and Beyond Patching: Faith and Feminism in the Catholic Church.

Peter Kirkwood is a freelance writer and video consultant with a Master's degree from the Sydney College of Divinity.

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Previous Articles by this Author

Renowned sociologist Gary Bouma is one of most respected observers of religion in this country. He predicts that, by 2021, less than 50 per cent of Australians will call themselves Christian.

Australian poet Tasha Sudan just won the Blake Prize for Religious Poetry, and in October will be ordained in a Zen Buddhist monastery. In simple but evocative language the poem speaks of the Buddha from his son's point of view.

The annual Blake Prize for Religious Art has never been far from controversy. Works honoured this year include Sydney artist Rodney Pople's Cardinal with Altar Boy, which is a provocative painting dealing with clergy sexual abuse. Its setting is the interior of a beautiful baroque church, and it portrays a headless prelate dressed in ecclesiastical finery, with an altar boy in his lap.

On his return to Europe after many years absence, Raimon Panikkar said: ‘I left as a Christian, I found myself a Hindu, and I return a Buddhist, without having ceased to be a Christian.' This statement of his own multiple religious belonging is just one of many challenging insights and ideas that he wrote about with passion and eloquence.

With an Aboriginal mother and Irish American Catholic father, Joan Hendriks is a bridge figure between the Indigenous and Catholic worlds. Her life's goal is to bring these two realms into productive engagement. By Peter Kirkwood

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Tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times | View Clip
10/21/2010
InsideBayArea.com

2006 FILE PHOTO--Contra Costa County assessor Gus S. Kramer during an interview Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006, in his office in Martinez, Calif. (Bob Pepping/Contra Costa Times)

Contra Costa County Tax Assessor Gus Kramer recently amended state ethics forms because he failed 33 times since 2002 to disclose ownership of millions of dollars worth of property in the county and loans of hundreds thousands of dollars to friends and associates.

Kramer made the amendments for the years 2002-09, including 25 changes in the past two weeks. The additions to previously filed documents came at a time when the Times was questioning him about numerous omissions on the annual ethics form called the Statement of Economic Interest, annual documentation required of all California public officials disclosing property investments and outside income.

The Times reported on Oct. 15 that Kramer used gift deeds to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in the county without paying real estate transfer taxes, which indicates no money changed hands.

State ethics law dictates that elected officials cannot accept more than $420 in gifts from an individual in a given year.

He didn't declare any gifts on his amended statements, although in some cases he listed ownership of the property he obtained through gift deeds without stating how he acquired them. In an e-mail to the Times late Tuesday, Kramer wrote such deeds could be used as security for personal loans and weren't liable for transfer taxes. It remains unclear, however, why Kramer is obtaining property through gift deeds.

Without listing specifics, Kramer wrote he

made personal loans to "help someone buy their first home, help with a refinance or help in a financial bind." He didn't answer follow-up questions, nor did he say what compelled him to file the amended statements.

Officials are permitted to file amendments to their ethics statements, and the Fair Political Practices Commission sets no time limit for the amendments. But former commission general counsel Robert Stern says the number of amendments Kramer filed is troubling.

"It's a lot," Stern said. "You can leave out one or two, but (33) sounds like more than a (mistaken) omission."

Kramer also claimed the use of the word "gift" in real estate transactions is not the same as the legal meaning used by the Fair Political Practices Commission. State ethics law defines a gift as "any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received."

Deeds showing Kramer receiving property as gifts don't mention loans or state that they are used for security. A former FPPC chairwoman, Liane Randolph, has said the use of gift deeds appears troubling and should be investigated. Santa Clara University ethicist Judy Nadler said Kramer's tangle of personal real estate deals in the county -- he has owned more than 40 properties in past decade -- demonstrates that assessors should be barred from real estate investments within their jurisdictions.

Kramer's recent spate of amendments involve ownership of 11 properties, four loans that he made and one easement.

In several instances, the recent documents show, he failed to declare ownership of individual properties over multiple years, including a Walnut Creek condominium that he's owned since 2005 and didn't declare until last week.

He didn't report until August 2009 that he bought a 3-acre tract in Antioch in 2004 for which he applied for a subdivision under a friend's name.

He also didn't report until 2009 part ownership of an Orinda home acquired in 2005 and returned via gift deed to its original owners the next year.

In the amendments, Kramer declared making three loans for which he didn't charge interest, describing the loans as personal deals with friends. He loaned William Wood, an architect, $250,000 in 2004, and wrote he was paid back in six months.

In 2004, he loaned $100,000 to a Concord women, Ann Palmer. He loaned her another $50,000 in 2005 and wrote that both loans were repaid in 2006 without interest. In 2005, Palmer used a gift deed to give Kramer and a Lafayette real estate agent half ownership of her Concord condominium. Records still list Kramer as an owner, which he hasn't reported.

He also reported last week receiving a payoff of less than $100,000 from the owner of a Walnut Creek house in 2009 and not reporting it on his annual disclosure statement in April.

Kramer made the 33 amendments after the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office began an inquiry of him last year after the Times reported a woman claimed her name was forged on a gift deed giving Kramer 50 percent interest in her Concord home. In 1998 the Fair Political Practices Commission fined Kramer $4,000 for investment properties in Martinez he didn't declare for multiple years while serving as that city's clerk.

The commission executive director said this week it would look into Kramer's ethics statements.

While officials can file an amended statement at any time, doing so does not absolve them of their responsibility to make timely reports, the director, Roman Porter, added. "One of the most important aspect of the law is the timely and accurate reporting of an official's pertinent financial holdings."

The commission enforcement division takes a "holistic look" at amendments and omissions including "the state of the law at the time and whether there was any intent to deceive the public," he said.

Contact Thomas Peele at 510-208-6458.

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Prep Lookout: Coaches to Coaches Clinic a special one | View Clip
10/21/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Raskob Gymnasium should see a few tears hit its hardwood on Saturday. St. Francis-Mountain View girls basketball coach Ashley Hill has lined up an all-star coaching lineup for the inaugural Coaches to Coaches Clinic. There's nothing sad about that, but tears could be reserved for the guest of honor -- Nancy Polisso -- a resident of Mountain View.

Polisso, the mother of 2007 Daily News girls hoop player of the year, Sami Field-Polisso, was diagnosed with ALS in May of last year. The cost for the clinic is $20, all the money going to the battle to fight ALS, a disease that has no known cure.

Any entrance fee will be well worth it. Scheduled to speak on such subjects as "Defensive skill development," "Developing shooters" and "Rebounding and skill development" are Stanford men's assistant basketball coach Dick Davey (formerly men's hoop coach at Santa Clara University), Pinewood-Los Altos Hills girls hoop coach Doc Scheppler, Foothill College women's basketball coach Jody Craig and Owls men's hoop coach Shanan Rosenberg, a St. Francis alum.

Other coaches will be there -- most notably Cal Poly Pomona women's coach Scott Davis, St. Francis boys basketball coach Mike Motil and Cal's Director of Men's Basketball Operations John Montgomery, son of Cal men's coach Mike Montgomery, as well as an ex-Lancer.

The clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"I'm amazed at all the great coaches that Ashley Hill has put together," said Field-Polisso, who Advertisementhas two years of eligibility left as a member of Sac State's hoop team. "Our family is so thankful. It's a great honor. Doc has always been a big part of our lives. My mom got goose bumps when she found out."

Nancy Polisso is scheduled to speak around noon. Field-Polisso has practice in the morning, then will hustle down, arriving around 1 p.m.

"My mom is in a wheelchair most of the time," Field-Polisso said. "It's affecting her hands some. She can write, type and text. We assist her as much as possible."

Polisso is taking the only approved drug to fight ALS -- Rilutek. She's also being administered a drug sanctioned by the Forbes Norris Clinic in San Francisco.

"My mom is doing everything in her power to be around as long as she can," Field-Polisso said. "What gives us hope is that not all cases are alike."

Field-Polisso pointed to the famous case of Los Gatos High football coach Charlie Wedemeyer, who lived with disease for 32 years before finally succumbing last June.

Polisso is well-known in the AAU girls basketball circles as a coach, most recently coaching the West Coast Xtreme. When Sami was in the fifth and sixth grade, Polisso coached her daughter in the Bay Area Slammers. That must have been quite a team, considering former Mitty-San Jose and current Oklahoma guard Danielle Robinson along with ex-Mitty hooper and UC Irvine guard Kassandra McAlister were on the team. Polisso also coached Mitty products Desiray Johnston and Lindsay Leo, now playing respectively at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara.

"My mom coached a lot of players in the important time of their lives," Field-Polisso said. "She coached a lot of future Division I players."

The Polisso family is full of good athletes. Nancy played guard for Costa Mesa High, then Orange Coast Junior College. Sami's father, Jeff, got a baseball scholarship at UC Irvine.

At Pinewood, Sami Field-Polisso was part of two state Div. V hoop teams under Scheppler (2005, '06). She played softball for three years, then played volleyball and swam when she was a senior.

One of Sami's brothers, Mike, is a senior soccer player at Mountain View. A sister, Bailey, should be a sophomore on the Spartans' varsity team this year.

"Bailey has a flair to her game," Sami said. "She's real good."

Younger sister, Carly, is an all-sports seventh-grader at Graham Middle School in Mountain View. The youngest, Frankie, dominates the fifth grade at Bubb Elementary in Mountain View.

"They're all studs," Sami said.

Nancy's plight has brought this close family even closer.

"Frankie has never missed one of my home games at Sac State," said Sami, who redshirted last year with an ACL injury. "All of this is making us stronger. We were always close. Now we're even closer."

Nancy, a personal fitness trainer, is known for her vivacious personality.

"She is an amazing person," Sami said. "Her goal is to affect as many children as she can. So many children have been touched by her already. That's how she'll work her way to heaven."

Save a tear for me.

E-mail John Reid at jreid@dailynewsgroup.com.

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Policing: The aftershocks of crime | View Clip
10/21/2010
The Economist

LOS ANGELES is one of the most under-policed cities in America. With a mere 26 officers for every 10,000 residents (Chicago, by comparison, has 46), the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) needs all the help it can get.

That help may be at hand, with a modification of technology used to predict another type of threat that the city is prone to: the aftershocks from earthquakes. Big earthquakes are unpredictable. Once they have happened, however, they are usually followed by further tremors, and the pattern of these is tractable.

George Mohler, a mathematician at Santa Clara University, in California, thinks something similar is true of crimes. There is often a pattern of “aftercrimes” in the wake of an initial one. The similarity with earthquakes intrigued him and he wondered if the mathematical formulas that seismologists employ to predict aftershocks were applicable to aftercrimes, too.

To test this idea, he and a team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, adapted a computer program used by seismologists to calculate the likelihood of aftershocks. They then seeded it with actual LAPD data on 2,803 residential burglaries that occurred in an 18km-by-18km region of the San Fernando valley, one of the city's largest districts, during 2004. Using the seismological algorithms, the computer calculated which city blocks were likely to experience the highest number of burglaries the next day, and thus which 5% of homes within the area were at particular risk of being broken into. In one test the program accurately identified a high-risk portion of the city in which, had it been adequately patrolled, police could have prevented a quarter of the burglaries that took place in the whole area that day.

In addition to modelling burglary, Dr Mohler examined three gang rivalries in Los Angeles, using data from 1999 to 2002, and discovered that similar patterns emerge from gang violence as retaliations typically occur within days—and metres—of an initial attack. That, too, should help police deploy their limited resources more effectively. RoboCop move over, then. ComputerCop is coming.

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Copyright Troll Righthaven Loses First Suit; Copying Was Fair Use, Judge Ruled | View Clip
10/21/2010
ABA Journal - Online

This was apparently the first time a defendant sued by Righthaven has won a dismissal motion on the merits, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Righthaven has filed more than 150 suits since March, the Sun reports.

In the suit against Realty One Group Inc., Righthaven alleged real estate agent Michael Nelson "copied, on an unauthorized basis, a significant and substantial portion" of Review-Journal story about real estate. The story was 30 sentences long; Nelson reproduced the story's first eight sentences on his blog, the Sun reported.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks said Nelson's use of the story is not likely to have any effect on the market for the copyrighted news article; plus, Nelson did not reproduce any of the author's commentary and directed blog readers to the full text of the work.

However, the Sun reports that Nelson and Righthaven actually entered into a confidential settlement after the ruling was filed.

Eric Goldman, an associate professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law and director of its High Tech Law Institute, told the Sun it is unusual to win a fair use defense on a motion to dismiss.

"Procedurally, the court [at this point] must accept all of Righthaven's factual allegations as true, and the court is not permitted to resolve any factual disputes between the parties. [Absent the settlement] I could see Righthaven protesting that the court made its decision based on disputed facts. ... This ruling could be vulnerable on those procedural grounds," Goldman told the Sun. But "putting aside the procedural issues, the court's message to Righthaven was clear: The judge cut some procedural corners because Righthaven's lawsuits—especially this case—are bogus."

Meanwhile, Righthaven filed six more lawsuits Wednesday, the Sun reported in a later story.

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Copyright Troll Righthaven Loses First Suit; Copying Was Fair Use, Judge Ruled | View Clip
10/21/2010
ABA Journal - Online

Copyright Law

Righthaven, a copyright troll that buys the rights to Las Vegas Review-Journal stories and then sues alleged infringers lost its first suit Tuesday when a judge granted a real estate agent's motion for dismissal.

This was apparently the first time a defendant sued by Righthaven has won a dismissal motion on the merits, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Righthaven has filed more than 150 suits since March, the Sun reports.

In the suit against Realty One Group Inc., Righthaven alleged real estate agent Michael Nelson "copied, on an unauthorized basis, a significant and substantial portion" of Review-Journal story about real estate. The story was 30 sentences long; Nelson reproduced the story's first eight sentences on his blog, the Sun reported.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks said Nelson's use of the story is not likely to have any effect on the market for the copyrighted news article; plus, Nelson did not reproduce any of the author's commentary and directed blog readers to the full text of the work.

However, the Sun reports that Nelson and Righthaven actually entered into a confidential settlement after the ruling was filed.

Eric Goldman, an associate professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law and director of its High Tech Law Institute, told the Sun it is unusual to win a fair use defense on a motion to dismiss.

"Procedurally, the court t this point] must accept all of Righthaven's factual allegations as true, and the court is not permitted to resolve any factual disputes between the parties. [Absent the settlement] I could see Righthaven protesting that the court made its decision based on disputed facts. ... This ruling could be vulnerable on those procedural grounds," Goldman told the Sun. But "putting aside the procedural issues, the court's message to Righthaven was clear: The judge cut some procedural corners because Righthaven's lawsuits—especially this case—are bogus."

Meanwhile, Righthaven filed six more lawsuits Wednesday, the Sun reported in a later story.

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County prosecutors listed in 'misconduct' report | View Clip
10/21/2010
Mountain View Voice

Other Issues, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, 12 hours ago

Lane Liroff, a Santa Clara County deputy district attorney from Palo Alto, is among six county prosecutors whom judges found committed misconduct during a trial, according to a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law.

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Posted by Old Ben, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, 12 hours ago

Let the penalty fit the crime: these prosecutors should have to serve jail time equivalent to what their victims served.

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Local prosecutor listed in 'misconduct' report | View Clip
10/20/2010
Palo Alto Weekly - Online

Palo Alto attorney Lane Liroff among county prosecutors named in report by Innocence Project, being reviewed by State Bar Association

Palo Alto Online Staff

Lane Liroff, a Santa Clara County deputy district attorney from Palo Alto, is among six county prosecutors whom judges found committed misconduct during a trial, according to a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law.

Other deputy district attorneys listed include Troy Benson, James Demertzis, Benjamin Field, Jaime Stringfield and Brian Welch.

Field's listing was the most serious, alleging repeated misconduct, including failure to disclose exculpatory evidence in more than one trial that would have shown the defendant did not commit the crime. In September, the California State Bar Association suspended him from practicing law for up to five years, according to the association's database.

Liroff's error in a 1996 first-degree murder trial led to the conviction being tossed out in 2007 for "failure to disclose exculpatory evidence." Liroff ran for a judgeship in 2008 but lost in a run-off election with San Jose attorney Diane Ritchie. He has no public record of discipline or administrative actions, according to the bar association. But state law limits what the association can tell the public, a spokesperson said.

Liroff did not return phone calls requesting comment.

The "Misconduct Study" looked at 4,000 state and federal appellate rulings regarding cases of prosecutorial misconduct between 1997 and 2009. Six hundred prosecutors were found to have committed acts of misconduct that ranged from technical errors to deception and hiding evidence.

The Innocence Project's study revealed 707 cases in which courts explicitly found that prosecutors committed misconduct. In about 3,000 cases, the courts rejected the allegations and in another 282, the courts did not decide if prosecutors' actions were improper; the trials were deemed otherwise fair.

Misconduct fell into two broad categories, either "harmful error" or "harmless error." Harmful-error cases, the most egregious, resulted in misconduct that altered the fundamental fairness of the trial. But the study found some "harmless" misconduct might have involved infractions that were just as serious and in some cases were identical to those in harmful cases.

Santa Clara County had nine cases of harmful misconduct and 33 cases of harmless error, according to the report. San Mateo County had five cases of harmful misconduct and five cases of harmless conduct.

In the 1996 case, Liroff prosecuted defendant Dung Pham, who was convicted of first-degree murder for a fatal shooting outside a cafe. At trial, the defense noted that another man was the initial suspect but a forensic analyst testified that he did not find evidence of gunshot residue on that suspect's hands.

The defense later learned of lab notes showing the analyst only tested 59 percent of the sample residue taken from the initial suspect's hands -- notes which Liroff's prosecutorial team failed to disclose to the defense, according to the report.

Subsequent testing of the remaining samples by the defense found there was gunshot residue present on the initial suspect's hands. A U.S. District Court found the failure to disclose by Liroff was material to Pham's guilt or innocence and violated his due process. The court granted Pham's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, according to the report.

Other county prosecutors were also found to have excluded crucial evidence.

DeMertzis used an improper argument and improperly examined a witness in a trial of a man convicted of petty theft for stealing two fans from Home Depot, a Court of Appeal found. The court ruled DeMertzis' questions about race were irrelevant and could have inflamed the emotions of a jury. The man's conviction was overturned.

Demertzis said Tuesday that the case was complicated and he didn't think the judge or defense thought his actions were misconduct.

Troy Benson did not disclose a videotape of a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) examination in the 2006 case of Augustin Uribe that supported a defense expert's testimony that no sexual assault had occurred. The conviction was reversed, according to the report.

But Benson's situation illustrates the complexity of determining who is responsible for misconduct, according to Cydney Batchelor, deputy trial counsel for the California State Bar Association.

Prosecutors are held to a higher standard in criminal cases, where the prosecution as an entity is considered the whole team -- including investigators, district attorneys and police. If police withhold or omit evidence, courts will still find prosecutorial misconduct that might not be the fault of the attorney, she said.

Benson said Tuesday his case was far more complicated than as described in the report.

"The defense knew about the video before we did. The court said it was not a failure to turn over exculpatory evidence. The court said the evidence could possibly be exculpatory, and that Mr. Uribe should get a new trial. It's not that anybody intentionally withheld evidence," he said.

Batchelor said the bar association is reviewing the 159 cases where misconduct was harmful and resulted in setting aside a conviction or sentence. But she cautioned that flagging a case by the court doesn't mean the attorney necessarily committed an ethical breach.

The report also used media reports and footnotes in court decisions to identify misconduct. Before disciplining any attorney, the bar association will decide if each situation meets its "burden of proof as clear and convincing" misconduct, she said.

The report found that the courts routinely do not report the misconducts to the bar association, although they are required to do so in the "harmful" cases. Batchelor said it appears many of the cases were not reported but that might have been due to ignorance, she said.

The association's new chief trial counsel, James Towery of San Jose, had already planned a rigorous training program before the report came out, she said. The association plans ethics training for both defense attorneys and prosecutors, she said.

The report also recommended that the association be more transparent, but as a prosecutorial agency, confidentiality statutes limit what information the association can make public, she said. Greater transparency is only possible if the law changes, she said.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr said Monday that in her experience as a judge and DA such cases are relatively few and that most prosecutorial misconduct is not malicious but a product of insufficient training and experience.

"There are a lot of pitfalls in prosecuting cases. Rules change, sometimes unpredictably," she said. "The Innocence Project report recognizes that the vast majority of prosecutors utilize fair methods in their work. In fact, less than 4 percent of California's prosecutors were found to have committed 'harmful error' over a period, which extends back in some cases 30 years.

"While prosecutorial misconduct is always a serious issue, the public should not assume that where there is smoke there is always fire."

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, 3 minutes ago

Why is it relevant the Liroff lives in PA? Isn't it more relevant, overall, that these incidents occurred among DDAs who represent the SC County?

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Righthaven defendant wins first lawsuit dismissal motion | View Clip
10/20/2010
Las Vegas Sun

Righthaven files, settles more copyright lawsuits (10-13-2010)

Sharron Angle signals interest in settling copyright lawsuit (10-9-2010)

Attorneys accuse Righthaven of settlement shakedown (10-8-2010)

Two more website operators sued for copyright infringement (10-7-2010)

Seven more defendants settle Righthaven copyright lawsuits (10-6-2010)

Group plans to sue over right to sell insurance to nonprofits (10-6-2010)

Nevada Democratic Party settles copyright lawsuit (10-2-2010)

Righthaven reaches another copyright settlement over R-J website content (9-30-2010)

Amid new criticism, Righthaven sues additional website operators (9-29-2010)

R-J owner faces counterclaim in copyright lawsuit campaign (9-28-2010)

5 more website operators sued over R-J copyrights (9-28-2010)

Attorneys attack Review-Journal copyright suit arrangement (9-27-2010)

Executive says suing over R-J copyrights worth the negative publicity (9-26-2010)

Lawyers argue R-J stories on Web aren't protected by copyright (9-25-2010)

Attorney: Righthaven copyright suits a free speech threat (9-23-2010)

Observers note uncertainty over future of Righthaven/R-J copyright suits (9-21-2010)

Righthaven judge: Review-Journal ‘implied license' defense may have merit (9-20-2010)

Defendants fight back against Righthaven copyright lawsuits (9-20-2010)

Copyright lawsuit filed against group fighting Pahrump prison (9-15-2010)

Righthaven settles 2 lawsuits over R-J story copyrights (9-13-2010)

Another company fights back against copyright lawsuit (9-11-2010)

Quick settlement reached in copyright lawsuit against PR company (9-10-2010)

Texas woman emerges as vocal critic of copyright lawsuit firm (9-9-2010)

Righthaven CEO defends company during roundtable discussion (9-9-2010)

Copyright lawsuits filed against U.S. Marijuana Party, dating website (9-9-2010)

Righthaven's suit against Sharron Angle draws increased attention (9-8-2010)

Defendant accuses Righthaven of misusing legal system (9-5-2010)

Sharron Angle hit with R-J copyright infringement lawsuit (9-3-2010)

Righthaven wins key ruling as new criticism leveled over suits (9-3-2010)

Righthaven sues D.C.-based group over R-J editorial posting (9-2-2010)

PR firm Kirvin Doak sued by Righthaven over Celine Dion story it promoted (9-1-2010)

The Las Vegas Review-Journal online copyright infringement lawsuit campaign sustained a setback Tuesday when a judge granted a real estate agent's motion for dismissal, ruling his posting of part of a Review-Journal story on his website amounted to fair use under copyright law.

But in another case involving a Review-Journal story on Wednesday, copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC received a boost when a second judge denied a motion to dismiss and authorized the parties to engage in evidence-gathering through discovery.

In the first case involving the real estate agent, this apparently was the first time a defendant sued by Righthaven, the Review-Journal's copyright enforcement partner, has won a dismissal motion on the merits.

Many of the 151 Righthaven lawsuits filed since March have been settled and others are in various stages of litigation.

Righthaven is a Las Vegas company that detects online infringements to Review-Journal material, obtains copyrights to that material and then sues alleged infringers on a retroactive basis and typically without warning.

An affiliate of the parent company of Review-Journal owner Stephens Media LLC has invested in Righthaven, and Stephens Media participates in the lawsuits by providing the copyrights at issue, causing some observers to call Righthaven the Review-Journal's copyright enforcement partner.

U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks granted a motion to dismiss filed by an attorney for Las Vegas real estate agent Michael Nelson, who along with Realty One Group Inc. and a Realty One executive were sued by Righthaven after Nelson allegedly posted Review-Journal stories on his website.

Court records show these postings appeared to include links to the Review-Journal website, but that Nelson in some cases didn't credited the Review-Journal for the information. This caused Righthaven to accuse him of plagiarism.

Righthaven, in its June 25 lawsuit, alleged Nelson and codefendants "copied, on an unauthorized basis, a significant and substantial portion" of an April 30 Review-Journal story called "Program may level housing sale odds" as well as two other Review-Journal stories about real estate.

The "housing sale odds" story that Righthaven obtained a copyright for and sued over consisted of 30 sentences, but Nelson reproduced "only" the first eight sentences, Hicks wrote in his ruling that was filed Tuesday.

"The court finds that this use weighs in favor of a fair use of the copyrighted material," Hicks wrote in his ruling, citing case law stating "copying only as much as necessary in a greater work (story) to provide relevant factual information weighs in favor of fair use."

As to whether the online posting affected the potential market for the Review-Journal story, Hicks wrote: "Nelson's use of the copyrighted material is likely to have little to no effect on the market for the copyrighted news article. Nelson's copied portion of the work (story) did not contain the author's commentary. As such, his use does not satisfy a reader's desire to view and read the article in its entirety the author's original commentary and thereby does not dilute the market for the copyrighted work. Additionally, Nelson directed readers of his blog to the full text of the work. Therefore, Nelson's use supports a finding of fair use."

Hicks ruled in favor of Nelson despite finding that his blogsite where the information was posted was commercial in nature, writing "the underlying purpose of providing this information is to create business for himself as a duly licensed Realtor."

In Nelson's favor, Hicks found the portion of the story that Nelson copied contained "factual news reporting about a new federal housing program, which supports Nelson's fair use of the copyrighted information."

While the Review-Journal story at issue included both "factual news reporting and reporter commentary," Hicks found Nelson's posting of the factual reporting part of the story was protected under case law in which a rebroadcast "of a video depicting a news report was a fair use because it was informational rather than creative."

This case gained some notoriety when Nelson's Las Vegas attorney, Sergio Salzano, accused Righthaven in court papers of coming to the case with "unclean hands" and of "barratry," or the persistent incitement of litigation -- charges denied by Righthaven. Hicks didn't address those issues in Tuesday's ruling.

The lawsuit remains active against Realty One, which never responded to the lawsuit and for which a "clerk's default" was issued on Oct. 6.

Unless Realty One moves to have the clerk's default canceled, Righthaven can now seek a judgment with damages against Realty One.

Righthaven observers were surprised that the case against Nelson would be dismissed at this early stage of the proceedings, with copyright scholar Eric Goldman saying "it is extremely unusual to win a fair use defense on a motion to dismiss."

"Procedurally, the court (at this point) must accept all of Righthaven's factual allegations as true, and the court is not permitted to resolve any factual disputes between the parties. I could see Righthaven protesting that the court made its decision based on disputed facts. So I imagine that Righthaven will contest this ruling on procedural grounds (among others). This ruling could be vulnerable on those procedural grounds," said Goldman, an associate professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law in California and director of the university's High Tech Law Institute.

Goldman, a critic of Righthaven's business plan that has been criticized as involving frivolous lawsuits and settlement shakedowns, added: "Putting aside the procedural issues, the court's message to Righthaven was clear: the judge cut some procedural corners because Righthaven's lawsuits -- especially this case -- are bogus."

"The court nails it when the opinion says `Nelson's use of the copyrighted material is likely to have little to no effect on the market for the copyrighted news article.' Everyone but Righthaven and the Las Vegas Review-Journal have known this from the start; but it's noteworthy that the judge embraced this obvious reality on a motion to dismiss. Because the case so clearly lacked merit, the judge prudently is trying to end the case early rather than letting it drag on for months and years, wasting lots of time and money in the process," Goldman said.

"Righthaven has repeatedly insisted that almost all of its lawsuits involve copies of 100 percent of the article. This opinion shows why that approach makes sense, because a lawsuit over a blog reposting eight factual sentences of a 30 sentence newspaper article is ridiculous," he said. "If the ruling holds up, this could be a good case for cost- and fee-shifting, which could result in Righthaven writing a check to the defendant. Obviously, any such fee-shifting awards against Righthaven would severely degrade its profits."

Ryan Gile, a Las Vegas attorney at the firm Weide & Miller Ltd who has represented other Righthaven defendants, noted this case involved just the first eight sentences of a 30-sentence story.

"This was an important factor in supporting a fair use defense that you don't see in a lot of the other Righthaven cases. I think most of the other cases that Righthaven has pursued since that time have been against websites/blogs posting the entire article – and it can be more difficult to invoke the fair use defense when the entire article is copied verbatim," Gile said.

"So while this is an important decision for those defendants that only copied and pasted some portion of the Review-Journal's article because it shows the court's willingness to make a fair use determination on a motion to dismiss, it probably does not impact the majority of the cases currently pending. Righthaven probably should've never filed this complaint in the first place and probably will not appeal the court's decision," Gile said.

Hicks' ruling does not establish a precedent for the other Nevada federal judges hearing Righthaven cases.

But it's sure to attract the attention of defense attorneys -- for instance attorneys for the Electronic Frontier Foundation defending the Democratic Underground in a Righthaven case they have suggested is even weaker than the Nelson/Realty One case.

That's because the Democratic Underground case allegedly involved an even smaller portion of a Review-Journal story being copied -- and in that case the material allegedly was posted by a third-party message board user as opposed to being posted by the website owner or webmaster.

A message for comment was left with Steven Gibson, Righthaven's CEO who is a Las Vegas attorney.

Separately on Wednesday, Gibson and Righthaven prevailed when U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben in Reno denied a motion for dismissal in a Righthaven lawsuit against the operator of a nonprofit emergency medical services website based in New Hampshire called EMTCity.com.

EMTCity attorneys with the Las Vegas office of the law firm Lewis and Roca LLP argued in the dismissal motion among other things that the case was frivolous in that a Review-Journal story posted on the website was posted not by website operator Christopher Malley but by a third party from Texas.

Righthaven, however, has repeatedly argued that website operators are responsible for unauthorized news postings on their sites -- particularly if they don't comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The DMCA has a provision that websites seeking protection from unauthorized posts must provide a mechanism for the sites to be notified of infringements and register this information with the copyright office.

McKibben, in denying the motion for dismissal without prejudice during a telephone hearing with the attorneys, found that factual issues over jurisdiction can be explored for 45 days and at that time Lewis and Roca can renew its motion for dismissal.

In another Righthaven development, the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) is out with a criticism of Righthaven and its legal tactics, suggesting Righthaven has caused outrage in the legal and media spheres and that better approaches are possible between newspapers and unauthorized users of their content.

BNA says it's the largest independent publisher of information and analysis products for professionals in business and government.

Righthaven and the Review-Journal, however, say their copyright infringement lawsuit campaign is necessary to deter infringements of Review-Journal material.

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Daily Online Examiner: Righthaven Loses Lawsuit Against Blogger | View Clip
10/20/2010
MediaPost.com

U.S. District Court Judge Larry Hicks ruled that realtor Michael Nelson, who also blogs about home ownership, is protected by the fair use doctrine. "Nelson's use of the copyrighted material is likely to have little to no effect on the market for the copyrighted news article," Hicks wrote.

The judge ruled that because Nelson only copied a portion of the original article, the blog "does not satisfy a reader's desire to view and read the article in its entirety." Additionally, Hicks wrote, Nelson included a link in his blog to the original article -- a piece about a new federal housing program.

The ruling is a major blow to the controversial Righthaven, which has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against around 150 Web publishers, including bloggers, nonprofits and political candidates. In many cases, the Web site operators allegedly copied entire articles that originally appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal -- which transferred the rights to Righthaven for purposes of the lawsuits. But Righthaven also has sued sites that have only copied fractions of articles, including Democratic Underground -- which is represented by the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Meet Wendy Davis at ! Wendy Davis will be there moderating a panel on "Grilling the Mall Cops: Does Privacy Self-Regulation Have a Chance?" on November 02 at 4:15 PM. Top executives will be there. Will you? Hicks' decision, which dismissed the case at a preliminary stage, is procedurally unusual, says Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman. But, he says, the judge was right to find fair use on these facts. Nelson's blog post "is likely to have little to no effect on the market for the copyrighted news article," Goldman says. "It was really courageous of this court to just call a spade a spade and say, 'This is a bogus lawsuit over nothing.'"

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Defining Who's Rich and Who's Not | View Clip
10/20/2010
KPLU-FM - Online

Paula Wissel, KPLU Reporter

Bill Gates, Sr. is the public face of an income tax initiative that would target Washington's wealthiest residents- including himself. AP photo.

SEATTLE, WA

(KPLU) -

Who do you consider rich? Someone making $200,000 a year? $300,000? More? A poll conducted for KPLU and KCTS-9 by the University of Washington shows there is not agreement among Washington voters on what it means to be rich.

When candidates Barack Obama and John McCain were asked to define "rich" during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said, "If you make $250,000, you're doing well." McCain sparked laughter in the audience when he said he thought someone making "five million" was rich.

The recently conducted KPLU/KCTS 9/Washington Poll mirrors those answers. Republicans in the state are more likely than Democrats to say it takes more than a million dollars a year to be rich.

Political affiliation isn't the only thing that appears to color the view of who's rich and who's not.

How much you earn also seems to be a factor. The more you make, the higher you set the bar for "rich."

Bill Sundstrom is an economics professor at Santa Clara University who writes about income inequality. He says the results of the poll are not surprising. People, including high income earners, tend to compare themselves to those they're around every day.

Sundstrom says people making $200,000 a year may work around people making substantially more and driving nicer cars than they do so they say, "I'm middle income, they are rich," Sundstrom said.

One surprising result of the poll is that even people in the middle and lower income brackets seem reluctant to tax the rich.

Initiative 1098 would establish an income tax for people making more than $200,000 a year. At the same time it would lower sales taxes.

University of Washington pollster Matt Barretto says, while you'd expect voters making less than $60,000 a year to overwhelmingly support the measure, that's not the case. 45 percent oppose it.

Frank Walker, a retired accountant from Spokane, is one of them.

"I'm a very poor person and I don't think we should tax people that make more than me," Walker said.

Bill Sundstrom, the economics professor, says there has often been a reluctance by people to "stick it to the rich." Some are simply opposed to taxes, others worry it could hurt the country's productivity and then there's the belief that the rich deserve their riches.

"There's a strong undercurrent in this country that people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps," he said.

Frank Walker is a perfect example of that attitude.

"Bless the rich," Walker said.

"They lead the way in the world. They're really good people. I love them. Taxing them feels like revenge and I won't go there," he said.

We also asked Washington voters if it's a good or bad thing that the income gap between rich and poor has continued to grow. Most said it was a bad thing. But, among Republicans and Independents combined, nearly 50 percent said it was neither good nor bad.

A TV ad running for income tax Initiative 1098 shows Bill Gates, Sr. being soaked in a dunk tank.

People's ambivalence about who is rich and whether we really should soak them may very well play out when Washington voters mark their ballots.

For more on the 2010 Election and Washington Poll Data, check out KPLU's Election 2010 page.

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Defining Who's Rich and Who's Not | View Clip
10/20/2010
Prairie Public Newsroom - Online

(2010-10-20)

Bill Gates, Sr. is the public face of an income tax initiative that would target Washington's wealthiest residents- including himself. AP photo.

SEATTLE, WA

(KPLU) -

Who do you consider rich? Someone making $200,000 a year? $300,000? More? A poll conducted for KPLU and KCTS-9 by the University of Washington shows there is not agreement among Washington voters on what it means to be rich.

When candidates Barack Obama and John McCain were asked to define "rich" during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said, "If you make $250,000, you're doing well." McCain sparked laughter in the audience when he said he thought someone making "five million" was rich.

The recently conducted KPLU/KCTS 9/Washington Poll mirrors those answers. Republicans in the state are more likely than Democrats to say it takes more than a million dollars a year to be rich.

Political affiliation isn't the only thing that appears to color the view of who's rich and who's not.

How much you earn also seems to be a factor. The more you make, the higher you set the bar for "rich."

Bill Sundstrom is an economics professor at Santa Clara University who writes about income inequality. He says the results of the poll are not surprising. People, including high income earners, tend to compare themselves to those they're around every day.

Sundstrom says people making $200,000 a year may work around people making substantially more and driving nicer cars than they do so they say, "I'm middle income, they are rich," Sundstrom said.

One surprising result of the poll is that even people in the middle and lower income brackets seem reluctant to tax the rich.

Initiative 1098 would establish an income tax for people making more than $200,000 a year. At the same time it would lower sales taxes.

University of Washington pollster Matt Barretto says, while you'd expect voters making less than $60,000 a year to overwhelmingly support the measure, that's not the case. 45 percent oppose it.

Frank Walker, a retired accountant from Spokane, is one of them.

"I'm a very poor person and I don't think we should tax people that make more than me," Walker said.

Bill Sundstrom, the economics professor, says there has often been a reluctance by people to "stick it to the rich." Some are simply opposed to taxes, others worry it could hurt the country's productivity and then there's the belief that the rich deserve their riches.

"There's a strong undercurrent in this country that people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps," he said.

Frank Walker is a perfect example of that attitude.

"Bless the rich," Walker said.

"They lead the way in the world. They're really good people. I love them. Taxing them feels like revenge and I won't go there," he said.

We also asked Washington voters if it's a good or bad thing that the income gap between rich and poor has continued to grow. Most said it was a bad thing. But, among Republicans and Independents combined, nearly 50 percent said it was neither good nor bad.

A TV ad running for income tax Initiative 1098 shows Bill Gates, Sr. being soaked in a dunk tank.

People's ambivalence about who is rich and whether we really should soak them may very well play out when Washington voters mark their ballots.

For more on the 2010 Election and Washington Poll Data, check out KPLU's Election 2010 page.

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Elisabeth Mineta new superior court judge
10/20/2010
Monterey County Herald

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named Elisabeth Mineta to fill the vacancy on the Monterey County Superior Court created by the retirement in November 2009 of Judge Jonathan Price.

Mineta's appointment brings the bench to a full complement, with the exception of an as-yet unfunded position previously approved by state legislators.

Mineta, 50, of Salinas, has served the bench as a legal research attorney for the past five years, a position she also held from 1988-99. She had a solo law practice in the interim.

She earned her law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law and her bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley. Mineta, who is registered as an independent, will earn $178,789 annually.

Mineta becomes the 19th judge on the Monterey County Superior Court bench. Nine judges were appointed by Schwarzenegger, the past four of whom have been women.

Where she will sit was unclear Tuesday.

As of last week, all 11 courtrooms in the Salinas Courthouse are in the newly opened North Wing, where there are 12 judges.

Presiding Judge Adrienne Grover and incoming presiding Judge Timothy Roberts share duties in Department 1. Grover has no assigned chambers.

One courtroom is vacant in the Monterey Courthouse, but Grover has not indicated she wants to add another full-time judge there.

Neither Mineta nor Grover could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Grover and her fellow jurists told county officials they are interested in leasing one or both of the third-floor courtrooms in the West Wing, which was abandoned when the new North Wing opened. The Board of Supervisors has not decided whether it is more cost-efficient to lease or close the building.

The county planned to rebuild the east and west wings, but abandoned the plans because of financial deficits and asbestos concerns.

Virginia Hennessey can be reached at 753-6751 or vhennessey@montereyherald .com.

----

All contents ©2010 MONTEREY COUNTY HERALD and may not be republished without written permission.

Copyright © 2010 The Monterey County Herald

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Inside Tips for College Admissions | View Clip
10/20/2010
KNTV-TV - Online

A parent and student 101 to landing a spot in next year's freshman class.

Getting into college is tougher than ever. The number of qualified applicants has hit new records at colleges and universities nationwide and with even more competition for a spot in the next freshman class, what exactly do you need to do to get in?

We asked the admissions leaders at Santa Clara University and California State University East Bay for some advice that you won't read on the school's website.

Everyone knows you should start with a solid GPA and good test scores. Every school posts a range for what they typically accept. But beyond that, students need to be savvy with their essays.

Tip 1: Writing matters.

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Celebrity Brainiacs: James Franco Accepted into Yale

"We read every single essay the students submit," says Luis Lecanda of Santa Clara University. He personally takes responsibility for about 800 of the school's 11,000 applications. What is he looking for? Personal impact. If you're writing about someone who inspired you, make sure you write about exactly how that inspiration has changed your life or how you're a different person. Give examples of how that inspiration has changed you. Lecanda says, "We're admitting you, not the inspirational person, so make sure you write about yourself.

Mike Sexton, SCU VP of Enrollment Management, says, "Too often they think the essay is a summary of their life and a 17 year old life is not exactly a novel yet." Better to choose something specific or a moment that affected you. "If they've traveled, we don't want travel log; we want to hear about the afternoon they sat with student in Nicaragua and talked politics or justice." Sexton says writing is critical, and students who write well stand a much better chance of being accepted. "All of our faculty want students who can write, whether you're studying engineering or business or English."

Tip 2: Not all A's are created equal.

Every application at SCU goes through a system that allows admissions officers to assign scores to different categories. For example, course rigor (How tough were the classes you took--honors? AP? IB?), school strength (how challenging was the course work offered at your school), and senior load (did you slack off before graduation or did you continue to take tough classes?)

Tip 3: Emphasize the quality, not quantity of activities and service.

Better to be the leader of a few groups than a member of a lot of different clubs. Taking a leadership role in the activities that you've done shows your commitment and that you spent a lot of time dedicated to that group. Consistency in groups from 9th to 12th grade also looks better than a year here and there. And try to do things that are unique. The Asian kid who plays piano is more common than you realize.

Tip 4: No doesn't always mean no.

That doesn't mean badger the admissions office or try to talk your way in. But if you get rejected from your dream school, call or email and often you can speak directly to the admissions officer who looked at your application. Ask what you can do to strengthen it and how you might be able to transfer in later. That shows persistence, dedication, and that you really want to be part of that school.

At CSU East Bay, a committee also reviews the "maybe" pile, and they will take into account personal hardships. Sending in a personal statement to explain any difficulties you endured may help admissions officers better understand your background. Greg Smith, CSU EB Associate Vice President, says examples include " first generation to college, [students] coming from ESL backgrounds, coming from schools not as well resourced. We take that into account when they're applying."

Tip 5: Make your deadlines.

At CSU EB, the acceptance rate is just 31%. Smith says last year he saw a record number of applications last year. But he says students who procrastinate and submit their applications even a day late may end up losing their spot. "It's critical to apply on time, and get your documents in on time," says Smith. The good news at CSU--essays, recommendation letters, and activities are NOT part of the admissions process! Test scores and a minimum 2.0 GPA are all that count.

Tip 6: Start early. They can tell if you procrastinated.

Start looking over the application early. Now that most of the process is online, admissions officers can see exactly how much time you've spent on your application.

Tip 7: Fill out every blank.

Make sure you write something down in any spot that asks for additional information or areas where you can add personal stories. That shows you care, you're thorough, and that you've thought about the entire application.

Tip 8: Parents need to chillax.

Mom and Dad: It's time to let go. Help your students manage deadlines, and make sure they get some rest and encouragement. Don't call and pose as a student to ask questions (yes that happens all the time) and don't micromanage. You won't be there to program the rest of your child's life. Or at least you shouldn't.

"If we did our job well for last 17 years, we should really believe in the student and deciding "where do I want to wake up for 4 years" even though it might not be the place mom and dad want to have a decal on back of their car," says SCU's Sexton.

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Summer interns gain research experience in Silicon Valley nanotech labs | View Clip
10/20/2010
Currents UC Santa Cruz

Electrical engineering student Salvador Vazquez presented a poster on thermoreflectance imaging of solar cells. Photo by T. Stephens.

ASL co-director Nobuhiko Kobayashi (left) with graduate student Kaelan Yee (middle) and undergraduate Andy Liang, who presented a poster on measuring thermoelectric device efficiency. Photo by T. Stephens.

Dozens of students gained valuable experience in nanotechnology and energy research labs this summer through an internship program at the Advanced Studies Laboratories (ASL), a collaborative partnership led by UC Santa Cruz and NASA Ames Research Center. The student research projects, ranging from solar energy technology to thermoelectric devices, were on display in a poster session held last week in the ASL facility at NASA Ames, located at Moffett Field in Mountain View.

Much of the funding for the internship program is provided by the Bio-Info-Nano Research and Development Institute (BIN-RDI), which is affiliated with ASL and was established through a NASA grant with support from Congressman Mike Honda (15th district). UCSC's Silicon Valley Initiatives also provided funding for summer interns.

"The internship program expanded by leaps and bounds this year," said BIN-RDI director Richard Hughey, a professor of computer engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at UCSC. "We have about 15 students from UCSC and San Jose State University, there's another BIN-RDI program with a like number of students from Santa Clara University, and then there are various NASA programs that fund interns at ASL. It's a great opportunity for students to take part in nanotechnology research and training."

Salvador Vasquez, an undergraduate in electrical engineering at UCSC, said working in a research lab has been a great experience for him. "You learn how to work as part of a large research group, and you also get a sense of what graduate school is like," he said. "I'm thinking about going to graduate school, and I might not have considered that if I hadn't had this experience."

Vasquez has been working in the Thermal Characterization Laboratory led by Ali Shakouri, professor of electrical engineering at UCSC. His summer project involved using a technique called thermoreflectance imaging to look for defects in solar cells that can affect their efficiency and reliability.

In addition to Shakouri, other UCSC faculty with research labs at the ASL facility include Glenn Alers, adjunct professor of physics; Sue Carter, professor of physics; Bin Chen, adjunct professor of electrical engineering; Joel Kubby, associate professor of electrical engineering; and Nobuhiko Kobayashi, associate professor of electrical engineering and co-director of ASL. Several faculty from Santa Clara University, an ASL affiliate, also have labs at the facility.

Nathan Green, who graduated from UCSC in June with a B.S. in applied physics, studied solar concentrators in the Solar Energy and Renewable Fuels (SERF) lab led by Alers and Carter. Luminescent films can be used to concentrate sunlight onto solar cells and increase efficiency. But exposure to water and oxygen in the atmosphere can degrade the films, so Green studied the effectiveness of sealing luminescent films in an oxygen- and water-free environment to prevent degradation.

"With a solar concentrator, you don't need as many photovoltaic cells, so it can potentially reduce the cost of solar energy systems," he said.

Kobayashi had five students working in his Nanostructured Energy Conversion Technology & Research (NECTAR) lab this summer. The NECTAR lab investigates nanoscale materials and technologies for the development of efficient, reliable, and cost-effective devices that convert light and heat energy sources into useful electrical power. Undergraduate Andy Liang worked with Kobayashi and graduate student Kaelan Yee on a project to measure the efficiency of thermoelectric devices, which convert heat into electricity.

"People don't expect to find materials science research at UCSC, but it is an important area of research for us now," Kobayashi said. "The internship program is a great opportunity for me to interact with students and get them involved in this research."

The eight-week internship program included seminars presented by ASL, NASA, and Santa Clara University researchers; a two-day workshop on Ethics in Science and another workshop on Technical Writing and Communications; a tour of the NASA Ames campus; and weekly seminars presented by the interns.

Santa Clara University chemistry professor and senior associate dean Amy Shachter worked with Hughey to design the SCU internship program at ASL. SCU undergraduate Sarah Ghanbari won an award for the project "of greatest benefit to society" for her poster describing a microfluidic system for rapidly detecting disease-causing organisms in water samples. Ghanbari worked with SCU bioengineer Unyoung (Ashley) Kim on the project, which aims to develop inexpensive, portable devices for use in the developing world.

Currently, a major focus of ASL and BIN-RDI is the establishment of a shared facility to provide state-of-the-art equipment for nanotechnology and materials science research. The Materials Analysis for Collaborative Science (MACS) facility recently acquired a new scanning electron microscope with x-ray analysis technology that enables rapid chemical analysis of samples. Other major instruments will be installed this fall, including a new transmission electron microscope and an x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) instrument.

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Tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times | View Clip
10/20/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

Contra Costa County Tax Assessor Gus Kramer recently amended state ethics forms because he failed 33 times since 2002 to disclose ownership of millions of dollars worth of property in the county and loans of hundreds thousands of dollars to friends and associates.

Kramer made the amendments for the years 2002-09, including 25 changes in the past two weeks. The additions to previously filed documents came at a time when the Times was questioning him about numerous omissions on the annual ethics form called the Statement of Economic Interest, annual documentation required of all California public officials disclosing property investments and outside income.

The Times reported on Oct. 15 that Kramer used gift deeds to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in the county without paying real estate transfer taxes, which indicates no money changed hands.

State ethics law dictates that elected officials cannot accept more than $420 in gifts from an individual in a given year.

He didn't declare any gifts on his amended statements, although in some cases he listed ownership of the property he obtained through gift deeds without stating how he acquired them. In an e-mail to the Times late Tuesday, Kramer wrote such deeds could be used as security for personal loans and weren't liable for transfer taxes. It remains unclear, however, why Kramer is obtaining property through gift deeds.

Without listing specifics, Kramer wrote he made personal loans to "help someone buy their first home, help with a refinance or help in a financial bind." He didn't answer follow-up questions, nor did he say what compelled him to file the amended statements.

Officials are permitted to file amendments to their ethics statements, and the Fair Political Practices Commission sets no time limit for the amendments. But former commission general counsel Robert Stern says the number of amendments Kramer filed is troubling.

"It's a lot," Stern said. "You can leave out one or two, but (33) sounds like more than a (mistaken) omission."

Kramer also claimed the use of the word "gift" in real estate transactions is not the same as the legal meaning used by the Fair Political Practices Commission. State ethics law defines a gift as "any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received."

Deeds showing Kramer receiving property as gifts don't mention loans or state that they are used for security. A former FPPC chairwoman, Liane Randolph, has said the use of gift deeds appears troubling and should be investigated. Santa Clara University ethicist Judy Nadler said Kramer's tangle of personal real estate deals in the county -- he has owned more than 40 properties in past decade -- demonstrates that assessors should be barred from real estate investments within their jurisdictions.

Kramer's recent spate of amendments involve ownership of 11 properties, four loans that he made and one easement.

In several instances, the recent documents show, he failed to declare ownership of individual properties over multiple years, including a Walnut Creek condominium that he's owned since 2005 and didn't declare until last week.

He didn't report until August 2009 that he bought a 3-acre tract in Antioch in 2004 for which he applied for a subdivision under a friend's name.

He also didn't report until 2009 part ownership of an Orinda home acquired in 2005 and returned via gift deed to its original owners the next year.

In the amendments, Kramer declared making three loans for which he didn't charge interest, describing the loans as personal deals with friends. He loaned William Wood, an architect, $250,000 in 2004, and wrote he was paid back in six months.

In 2004, he loaned $100,000 to a Concord women, Ann Palmer. He loaned her another $50,000 in 2005 and wrote that both loans were repaid in 2006 without interest. In 2005, Palmer used a gift deed to give Kramer and a Lafayette real estate agent half ownership of her Concord condominium. Records still list Kramer as an owner, which he hasn't reported.

He also reported last week receiving a payoff of less than $100,000 from the owner of a Walnut Creek house in 2009 and not reporting it on his annual disclosure statement in April.

Kramer made the 33 amendments after the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office began an inquiry of him last year after the Times reported a woman claimed her name was forged on a gift deed giving Kramer 50 percent interest in her Concord home. In 1998 the Fair Political Practices Commission fined Kramer $4,000 for investment properties in Martinez he didn't declare for multiple years while serving as that city's clerk.

The commission executive director said this week it would look into Kramer's ethics statements.

While officials can file an amended statement at any time, doing so does not absolve them of their responsibility to make timely reports, the director, Roman Porter, added. "One of the most important aspect of the law is the timely and accurate reporting of an official's pertinent financial holdings."

The commission enforcement division takes a "holistic look" at amendments and omissions including "the state of the law at the time and whether there was any intent to deceive the public," he said.

Contact Thomas Peele at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com or 510-208-6458.

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Tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times | View Clip
10/20/2010
Contra Costa Times - Online

Contra Costa County Tax Assessor Gus Kramer recently amended state ethics forms because he failed 33 times since 2002 to disclose ownership of millions of dollars worth of property in the county and loans of hundreds thousands of dollars to friends and associates.

Kramer made the amendments for the years 2002-09, including 25 changes in the past two weeks. The additions to previously filed documents came at a time when the Times was questioning him about numerous omissions on the annual ethics form called the Statement of Economic Interest, annual documentation required of all California public officials disclosing property investments and outside income.

The Times reported on Oct. 15 that Kramer used gift deeds to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in the county without paying real estate transfer taxes, which indicates no money changed hands.

State ethics law dictates that elected officials cannot accept more than $420 in gifts from an individual in a given year.

He didn't declare any gifts on his amended statements, although in some cases he listed ownership of the property he obtained through gift deeds without stating how he acquired them. In an e-mail to the Times late Tuesday, Kramer wrote such deeds could be used as security for personal loans and weren't liable for transfer taxes. It remains unclear, however, why Kramer is obtaining property through gift deeds.

Without listing specifics, Kramer wrote heyld_mgr.place_ad_here("adPosBox"); made personal loans to "help someone buy their first home, help with a refinance or help in a financial bind." He didn't answer follow-up questions, nor did he say what compelled him to file the amended statements.

Officials are permitted to file amendments to their ethics statements, and the Fair Political Practices Commission sets no time limit for the amendments. But former commission general counsel Robert Stern says the number of amendments Kramer filed is troubling.

"It's a lot," Stern said. "You can leave out one or two, but (33) sounds like more than a (mistaken) omission."

Kramer also claimed the use of the word "gift" in real estate transactions is not the same as the legal meaning used by the Fair Political Practices Commission. State ethics law defines a gift as "any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received."

Deeds showing Kramer receiving property as gifts don't mention loans or state that they are used for security. A former FPPC chairwoman, Liane Randolph, has said the use of gift deeds appears troubling and should be investigated. Santa Clara University ethicist Judy Nadler said Kramer's tangle of personal real estate deals in the county -- he has owned more than 40 properties in past decade -- demonstrates that assessors should be barred from real estate investments within their jurisdictions.

Kramer's recent spate of amendments involve ownership of 11 properties, four loans that he made and one easement.

In several instances, the recent documents show, he failed to declare ownership of individual properties over multiple years, including a Walnut Creek condominium that he's owned since 2005 and didn't declare until last week.

He didn't report until August 2009 that he bought a 3-acre tract in Antioch in 2004 for which he applied for a subdivision under a friend's name.

He also didn't report until 2009 part ownership of an Orinda home acquired in 2005 and returned via gift deed to its original owners the next year.

In the amendments, Kramer declared making three loans for which he didn't charge interest, describing the loans as personal deals with friends. He loaned William Wood, an architect, $250,000 in 2004, and wrote he was paid back in six months.

In 2004, he loaned $100,000 to a Concord women, Ann Palmer. He loaned her another $50,000 in 2005 and wrote that both loans were repaid in 2006 without interest. In 2005, Palmer used a gift deed to give Kramer and a Lafayette real estate agent half ownership of her Concord condominium. Records still list Kramer as an owner, which he hasn't reported.

He also reported last week receiving a payoff of less than $100,000 from the owner of a Walnut Creek house in 2009 and not reporting it on his annual disclosure statement in April.

Kramer made the 33 amendments after the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office began an inquiry of him last year after the Times reported a woman claimed her name was forged on a gift deed giving Kramer 50 percent interest in her Concord home. In 1998 the Fair Political Practices Commission fined Kramer $4,000 for investment properties in Martinez he didn't declare for multiple years while serving as that city's clerk.

The commission executive director said this week it would look into Kramer's ethics statements.

While officials can file an amended statement at any time, doing so does not absolve them of their responsibility to make timely reports, the director, Roman Porter, added. "One of the most important aspect of the law is the timely and accurate reporting of an official's pertinent financial holdings."

The commission enforcement division takes a "holistic look" at amendments and omissions including "the state of the law at the time and whether there was any intent to deceive the public," he said.

Contact Thomas Peele at 510-208-6458.

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Tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times | View Clip
10/20/2010
InsideBayArea.com

Contra Costa County Tax Assessor Gus Kramer recently amended state ethics forms because he failed 33 times since 2002 to disclose ownership of millions of dollars worth of property in the county and loans of hundreds thousands of dollars to friends and associates.

Kramer made the amendments for the years 2002-09, including 25 changes in the past two weeks. The additions to previously filed documents came at a time when the Times was questioning him about numerous omissions on the annual ethics form called the Statement of Economic Interest, annual documentation required of all California public officials disclosing property investments and outside income.

The Times reported on Oct. 15 that Kramer used gift deeds to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in the county without paying real estate transfer taxes, which indicates no money changed hands.

State ethics law dictates that elected officials cannot accept more than $420 in gifts from an individual in a given year.

He didn't declare any gifts on his amended statements, although in some cases he listed ownership of the property he obtained through gift deeds without stating how he acquired them. In an e-mail to the Times late Tuesday, Kramer wrote such deeds could be used as security for personal loans and weren't liable for transfer taxes. It remains unclear, however, why Kramer is obtaining property through gift deeds.

Without listing specifics, Kramer wrote he

made personal loans to "help someone buy their first home, help with a refinance or help in a financial bind." He didn't answer follow-up questions, nor did he say what compelled him to file the amended statements.

Officials are permitted to file amendments to their ethics statements, and the Fair Political Practices Commission sets no time limit for the amendments. But former commission general counsel Robert Stern says the number of amendments Kramer filed is troubling.

"It's a lot," Stern said. "You can leave out one or two, but (33) sounds like more than a (mistaken) omission."

Kramer also claimed the use of the word "gift" in real estate transactions is not the same as the legal meaning used by the Fair Political Practices Commission. State ethics law defines a gift as "any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received."

Deeds showing Kramer receiving property as gifts don't mention loans or state that they are used for security. A former FPPC chairwoman, Liane Randolph, has said the use of gift deeds appears troubling and should be investigated. Santa Clara University ethicist Judy Nadler said Kramer's tangle of personal real estate deals in the county -- he has owned more than 40 properties in past decade -- demonstrates that assessors should be barred from real estate investments within their jurisdictions.

Kramer's recent spate of amendments involve ownership of 11 properties, four loans that he made and one easement.

In several instances, the recent documents show, he failed to declare ownership of individual properties over multiple years, including a Walnut Creek condominium that he's owned since 2005 and didn't declare until last week.

He didn't report until August 2009 that he bought a 3-acre tract in Antioch in 2004 for which he applied for a subdivision under a friend's name.

He also didn't report until 2009 part ownership of an Orinda home acquired in 2005 and returned via gift deed to its original owners the next year.

In the amendments, Kramer declared making three loans for which he didn't charge interest, describing the loans as personal deals with friends. He loaned William Wood, an architect, $250,000 in 2004, and wrote he was paid back in six months.

In 2004, he loaned $100,000 to a Concord women, Ann Palmer. He loaned her another $50,000 in 2005 and wrote that both loans were repaid in 2006 without interest. In 2005, Palmer used a gift deed to give Kramer and a Lafayette real estate agent half ownership of her Concord condominium. Records still list Kramer as an owner, which he hasn't reported.

He also reported last week receiving a payoff of less than $100,000 from the owner of a Walnut Creek house in 2009 and not reporting it on his annual disclosure statement in April.

Kramer made the 33 amendments after the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office began an inquiry of him last year after the Times reported a woman claimed her name was forged on a gift deed giving Kramer 50 percent interest in her Concord home. In 1998 the Fair Political Practices Commission fined Kramer $4,000 for investment properties in Martinez he didn't declare for multiple years while serving as that city's clerk.

The commission executive director said this week it would look into Kramer's ethics statements.

While officials can file an amended statement at any time, doing so does not absolve them of their responsibility to make timely reports, the director, Roman Porter, added. "One of the most important aspect of the law is the timely and accurate reporting of an official's pertinent financial holdings."

The commission enforcement division takes a "holistic look" at amendments and omissions including "the state of the law at the time and whether there was any intent to deceive the public," he said.

Contact Thomas Peele at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com or 510-208-6458.

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Tualatin High grad enriches lives in El Salvador | View Clip
10/20/2010
Beaverton Valley Times - Online

After Sam Baker graduated from Tualatin High School in 2004, he went to Santa Clara University and majored in finance. From there, he went to El Salvador for a fellowship with Kiva.org, an organization that does micro lending over the Internet.

When his fellowship/internship ended, he connected with Brian Belcher, a Santa Clara classmate who graduated the year after Baker. The two sat down and discussed ways they could use their business skills to make an impact.

“The term that people use a lot is ‘the digital divide,'” says Baker. “The way we see that expressed in El Salvador is that, according to data, ninety percent of Salvadorans in 2005 did not have computers in their homes. Now, if you look at the United States, it's almost the opposite. Around 75 percent or more have computers in the home, and of course many of those have internet connections. So, we're looking at a completely different reality. That's the divide right there.”

Baker adds that in addition to having fewer computers in the home, public computers are often less accessible in El Salvador. The computers that are so readily available to us here in public schools and libraries are much more scarce there. Baker recalls asking one student about the long commute from the countryside. The student informed him that it was cheaper to ride four hours on the bus to use a computer in the city at a scholarship house than to go to the nearest community to rent a computer at a cyber café.

“We put our business thinking caps on and thought there has to be a better way,” says Baker.

In September 2009, Baker and Belcher began planning a business that would bring affordable computers to low-income Salvadorans, with the ultimate goal of reaching all Central Americans. At the beginning of this year, they began fully operating Computod@s (which roughly translates to “computers for all”) in El Salvador. They initially found a provider in the United States called InterConnection, based out of Seattle. InterConnection receives donated computers from businesses who are looking to recycle in a responsible way and receive a tax break in the process. Computods buys these computers to ship to

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Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list | View Clip
10/20/2010
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

Contra Costa Times

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his alleged captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 35, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection begins today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael¿ Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced to 30 years or more in prison on Dec. 6.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Last

week, potential jurors filled out a 15-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/sophiakazmi.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to contracostatimes.com

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Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list | View Clip
10/20/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his alleged captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 35, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection begins today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael� Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced to 30 years or more in prison on Dec. 6.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list. Last week, potential jurors filled out a 15-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/sophiakazmi.

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Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list | View Clip
10/20/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his alleged captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 35, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection begins today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael¿ Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced to 30 years or more in prison on Dec. 6.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Last

week, potential jurors filled out a 15-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/sophiakazmi.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to contracostatimes.com

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Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list
10/20/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

Oct. 20--STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his alleged captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 35, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection begins today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael¿ Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced to 30 years or more in prison on Dec. 6.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Last

week, potential jurors filled out a 15-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/sophiakazmi.

JURY QUESTIONNAIRE

To see the list of questions asked of potential jurors in this case, go to contracostatimes.com

Copyright © 2010 Tri-Valley Herald, Pleasanton, Calif.

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Victim in Tracy torture case on potential witness list | View Clip
10/20/2010
Contra Costa Times - Online

STOCKTON -- The teenager who said he was abused and held captive in a Tracy home for more than a year may be called to testify against one of his alleged captors.

The teen, known only in court records as Kyle R., is one of 25 people on the witness list for the trial of Anthony Waiters, 35, of Tracy. Waiters is charged with torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. Jury selection begins today.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Waiters' mother, Alice Waiters; an employee of the Tracy gym where a ragged, bruised and emaciated Kyle went for help, and the two young daughters of Michael� Schumacher, 36, and Kelly Lau, 32, who have already pleaded guilty in this case in a deal with the District Attorney's Office.

Like Schumacher and Lau, Caren Ramirez, Kyle's caretaker, also accepted a plea deal that took the most serious charge, of torture, off the table, thus avoiding a life sentence. The three are each scheduled to be sentenced to 30 years or more in prison on Dec. 6.

Waiters was the neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, who shared their Tennis Lane home with Ramirez and Kyle R. He is the only one of the four going forward with a trial.

Ed Steinman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said it is not unusual for co-defendants to take a plea deal and then testify against the person on trial. It is unusual, he said, that neither Lau, Schumacher or Ramirez are on the potential witness list.

Lastyld_mgr.place_ad_here("adPosBox"); week, potential jurors filled out a 15-page survey that asked what they knew about the case or of Waiters, what their thoughts are on disciplining children, on child abuse and their feelings toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The prosecution hopes to find an unbiased and impartial jury to try the case, which shocked Tracy and garnered national attention when on Dec. 1, 2008, a 16-year-old Kyle showed up at a Tracy gym wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a chain around his ankle, begging for help.

Waiters' attorney, Allan Jose, last month asked the court for more time to poll San Joaquin County residents to see if a change of venue was necessary.

Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss denied the request for additional time, but said it an impartial jury cannot be found during jury selection, that he would consider a change of venue.

Donna Shestowsky, a UC Davis law school professor, said the state penal code clearly allows a judge to consider a change of venue during jury selection. Shestowsky said it is interesting that Waiters is going forth with a trial, given that his co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

"That is in fact his right," Shestowsky said. "It is interesting, certainly risky business. On the other hand, maybe he knows something we don't know."

Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/sophiakazmi.

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Contra Costa County 's tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times | View Clip
10/20/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

Contra Costa County Tax Assessor Gus Kramer recently amended state ethics forms because he failed 33 times since 2002 to disclose ownership of millions of dollars worth of property in the county and loans of hundreds thousands of dollars to friends and associates.

Kramer made the amendments for the years 2002-09, including 25 changes in the past two weeks. The additions to previously filed documents came at a time when the Times was questioning him about numerous omissions on the annual ethics form called the Statement of Economic Interest, annual documentation required of all California public officials disclosing property investments and outside income.

The Times reported on Oct. 15 that Kramer used gift deeds to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in the county without paying real estate transfer taxes, which indicates no money changed hands.

State ethics law dictates that elected officials cannot accept more than $420 in gifts from an individual in a given year.

He didn't declare any gifts on his amended statements, although in some cases he listed ownership of the property he obtained through gift deeds without stating how he acquired them. In an e-mail to the Times late Tuesday, Kramer wrote such deeds could be used as security for personal loans and weren't liable for transfer taxes. It remains unclear, however, why Kramer is obtaining property through gift deeds.

Without listing specifics, Kramer wrote he made personal loans to "help someone buy their first home, help with a refinance or help in a financial bind." He didn't answer follow-up questions, nor did he say what compelled him to file the amended statements.

Officials are permitted to file amendments to their ethics statements, and the Fair Political Practices Commission sets no time limit for the amendments. But former commission general counsel Robert Stern says the number of amendments Kramer filed is troubling.

"It's a lot," Stern said. "You can leave out one or two, but (33) sounds like more than a (mistaken) omission."

Kramer also claimed the use of the word "gift" in real estate transactions is not the same as the legal meaning used by the Fair Political Practices Commission. State ethics law defines a gift as "any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received."

Deeds showing Kramer receiving property as gifts don't mention loans or state that they are used for security. A former FPPC chairwoman, Liane Randolph, has said the use of gift deeds appears troubling and should be investigated. Santa Clara University ethicist Judy Nadler said Kramer's tangle of personal real estate deals in the county -- he has owned more than 40 properties in past decade -- demonstrates that assessors should be barred from real estate investments within their jurisdictions.

Kramer's recent spate of amendments involve ownership of 11 properties, four loans that he made and one easement.

In several instances, the recent documents show, he failed to declare ownership of individual properties over multiple years, including a Walnut Creek condominium that he's owned since 2005 and didn't declare until last week.

He didn't report until August 2009 that he bought a 3-acre tract in Antioch in 2004 for which he applied for a subdivision under a friend's name.

He also didn't report until 2009 part ownership of an Orinda home acquired in 2005 and returned via gift deed to its original owners the next year.

In the amendments, Kramer declared making three loans for which he didn't charge interest, describing the loans as personal deals with friends. He loaned William Wood, an architect, $250,000 in 2004, and wrote he was paid back in six months.

In 2004, he loaned $100,000 to a Concord women, Ann Palmer. He loaned her another $50,000 in 2005 and wrote that both loans were repaid in 2006 without interest. In 2005, Palmer used a gift deed to give Kramer and a Lafayette real estate agent half ownership of her Concord condominium. Records still list Kramer as an owner, which he hasn't reported.

He also reported last week receiving a payoff of less than $100,000 from the owner of a Walnut Creek house in 2009 and not reporting it on his annual disclosure statement in April.

Kramer made the 33 amendments after the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office began an inquiry of him last year after the Times reported a woman claimed her name was forged on a gift deed giving Kramer 50 percent interest in her Concord home. In 1998 the Fair Political Practices Commission fined Kramer $4,000 for investment properties in Martinez he didn't declare for multiple years while serving as that city's clerk.

The commission executive director said this week it would look into Kramer's ethics statements.

While officials can file an amended statement at any time, doing so does not absolve them of their responsibility to make timely reports, the director, Roman Porter, added. "One of the most important aspect of the law is the timely and accurate reporting of an official's pertinent financial holdings."

The commission enforcement division takes a "holistic look" at amendments and omissions including "the state of the law at the time and whether there was any intent to deceive the public," he said.

Contact Thomas Peele at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com or 510-208-6458.

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Contra Costa County 's tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times | View Clip
10/20/2010
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

Contra Costa Times

2006 FILE PHOTO--Contra Costa County assessor Gus S. Kramer during an interview Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006, in his office in Martinez, Calif. (Bob Pepping/Contra Costa Times)

Contra Costa County Tax Assessor Gus Kramer recently amended state ethics forms because he failed 33 times since 2002 to disclose ownership of millions of dollars worth of property in the county and loans of hundreds thousands of dollars to friends and associates.

Kramer made the amendments for the years 2002-09, including 25 changes in the past two weeks. The additions to previously filed documents came at a time when the Times was questioning him about numerous omissions on the annual ethics form called the Statement of Economic Interest, annual documentation required of all California public officials disclosing property investments and outside income.

The Times reported on Oct. 15 that Kramer used gift deeds to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in the county without paying real estate transfer taxes, which indicates no money changed hands.

State ethics law dictates that elected officials cannot accept more than $420 in gifts from an individual in a given year.

He didn't declare any gifts on his amended statements, although in some cases he listed ownership of the property he obtained through gift deeds without stating how he acquired them. In an e-mail to the Times late Tuesday, Kramer wrote such deeds could be used as security for personal loans and weren't liable for transfer taxes. It remains unclear, however, why Kramer is obtaining property through gift deeds.

Without listing specifics, Kramer wrote he

made personal loans to "help someone buy their first home, help with a refinance or help in a financial bind." He didn't answer follow-up questions, nor did he say what compelled him to file the amended statements.

Officials are permitted to file amendments to their ethics statements, and the Fair Political Practices Commission sets no time limit for the amendments. But former commission general counsel Robert Stern says the number of amendments Kramer filed is troubling.

"It's a lot," Stern said. "You can leave out one or two, but (33) sounds like more than a (mistaken) omission."

Kramer also claimed the use of the word "gift" in real estate transactions is not the same as the legal meaning used by the Fair Political Practices Commission. State ethics law defines a gift as "any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received."

Deeds showing Kramer receiving property as gifts don't mention loans or state that they are used for security. A former FPPC chairwoman, Liane Randolph, has said the use of gift deeds appears troubling and should be investigated. Santa Clara University ethicist Judy Nadler said Kramer's tangle of personal real estate deals in the county -- he has owned more than 40 properties in past decade -- demonstrates that assessors should be barred from real estate investments within their jurisdictions.

Kramer's recent spate of amendments involve ownership of 11 properties, four loans that he made and one easement.

In several instances, the recent documents show, he failed to declare ownership of individual properties over multiple years, including a Walnut Creek condominium that he's owned since 2005 and didn't declare until last week.

He didn't report until August 2009 that he bought a 3-acre tract in Antioch in 2004 for which he applied for a subdivision under a friend's name.

He also didn't report until 2009 part ownership of an Orinda home acquired in 2005 and returned via gift deed to its original owners the next year.

In the amendments, Kramer declared making three loans for which he didn't charge interest, describing the loans as personal deals with friends. He loaned William Wood, an architect, $250,000 in 2004, and wrote he was paid back in six months.

In 2004, he loaned $100,000 to a Concord women, Ann Palmer. He loaned her another $50,000 in 2005 and wrote that both loans were repaid in 2006 without interest. In 2005, Palmer used a gift deed to give Kramer and a Lafayette real estate agent half ownership of her Concord condominium. Records still list Kramer as an owner, which he hasn't reported.

He also reported last week receiving a payoff of less than $100,000 from the owner of a Walnut Creek house in 2009 and not reporting it on his annual disclosure statement in April.

Kramer made the 33 amendments after the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office began an inquiry of him last year after the Times reported a woman claimed her name was forged on a gift deed giving Kramer 50 percent interest in her Concord home. In 1998 the Fair Political Practices Commission fined Kramer $4,000 for investment properties in Martinez he didn't declare for multiple years while serving as that city's clerk.

The commission executive director said this week it would look into Kramer's ethics statements.

While officials can file an amended statement at any time, doing so does not absolve them of their responsibility to make timely reports, the director, Roman Porter, added. "One of the most important aspect of the law is the timely and accurate reporting of an official's pertinent financial holdings."

The commission enforcement division takes a "holistic look" at amendments and omissions including "the state of the law at the time and whether there was any intent to deceive the public," he said.

Contact Thomas Peele at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com or 510-208-6458.

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Contra Costa County 's tax assessor amends ethics statements 33 times | View Clip
10/20/2010
Press-Telegram - Online

Contra Costa Times

Click photo to enlarge

2006 FILE PHOTO--Contra Costa County assessor Gus S. Kramer during an interview Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006, in his office in Martinez, Calif. (Bob Pepping/Contra Costa Times)

Contra Costa County Tax Assessor Gus Kramer recently amended state ethics forms because he failed 33 times since 2002 to disclose ownership of millions of dollars worth of property in the county and loans of hundreds thousands of dollars to friends and associates.

Kramer made the amendments for the years 2002-09, including 25 changes in the past two weeks. The additions to previously filed documents came at a time when the Times was questioning him about numerous omissions on the annual ethics form called the Statement of Economic Interest, annual documentation required of all California public officials disclosing property investments and outside income.

The Times reported on Oct. 15 that Kramer used gift deeds to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in the county without paying real estate transfer taxes, which indicates no money changed hands.

State ethics law dictates that elected officials cannot accept more than $420 in gifts from an individual in a given year.

He didn't declare any gifts on his amended statements, although in some cases he listed ownership of the property he obtained through gift deeds without stating how he acquired them. In an e-mail to the Times late Tuesday, Kramer wrote such deeds could be used as security for personal loans and weren't liable for transfer taxes. It remains unclear, however, why Kramer is obtaining property through gift deeds.

Without listing specifics, Kramer wrote he

made personal loans to "help someone buy their first home, help with a refinance or help in a financial bind." He didn't answer follow-up questions, nor did he say what compelled him to file the amended statements.

Officials are permitted to file amendments to their ethics statements, and the Fair Political Practices Commission sets no time limit for the amendments. But former commission general counsel Robert Stern says the number of amendments Kramer filed is troubling.

"It's a lot," Stern said. "You can leave out one or two, but (33) sounds like more than a (mistaken) omission."

Kramer also claimed the use of the word "gift" in real estate transactions is not the same as the legal meaning used by the Fair Political Practices Commission. State ethics law defines a gift as "any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received."

Deeds showing Kramer receiving property as gifts don't mention loans or state that they are used for security. A former FPPC chairwoman, Liane Randolph, has said the use of gift deeds appears troubling and should be investigated. Santa Clara University ethicist Judy Nadler said Kramer's tangle of personal real estate deals in the county -- he has owned more than 40 properties in past decade -- demonstrates that assessors should be barred from real estate investments within their jurisdictions.

Kramer's recent spate of amendments involve ownership of 11 properties, four loans that he made and one easement.

In several instances, the recent documents show, he failed to declare ownership of individual properties over multiple years, including a Walnut Creek condominium that he's owned since 2005 and didn't declare until last week.

He didn't report until August 2009 that he bought a 3-acre tract in Antioch in 2004 for which he applied for a subdivision under a friend's name.

He also didn't report until 2009 part ownership of an Orinda home acquired in 2005 and returned via gift deed to its original owners the next year.

In the amendments, Kramer declared making three loans for which he didn't charge interest, describing the loans as personal deals with friends. He loaned William Wood, an architect, $250,000 in 2004, and wrote he was paid back in six months.

In 2004, he loaned $100,000 to a Concord women, Ann Palmer. He loaned her another $50,000 in 2005 and wrote that both loans were repaid in 2006 without interest. In 2005, Palmer used a gift deed to give Kramer and a Lafayette real estate agent half ownership of her Concord condominium. Records still list Kramer as an owner, which he hasn't reported.

He also reported last week receiving a payoff of less than $100,000 from the owner of a Walnut Creek house in 2009 and not reporting it on his annual disclosure statement in April.

Kramer made the 33 amendments after the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office began an inquiry of him last year after the Times reported a woman claimed her name was forged on a gift deed giving Kramer 50 percent interest in her Concord home. In 1998 the Fair Political Practices Commission fined Kramer $4,000 for investment properties in Martinez he didn't declare for multiple years while serving as that city's clerk.

The commission executive director said this week it would look into Kramer's ethics statements.

While officials can file an amended statement at any time, doing so does not absolve them of their responsibility to make timely reports, the director, Roman Porter, added. "One of the most important aspect of the law is the timely and accurate reporting of an official's pertinent financial holdings."

The commission enforcement division takes a "holistic look" at amendments and omissions including "the state of the law at the time and whether there was any intent to deceive the public," he said.

Contact Thomas Peele at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com or 510-208-6458.

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County prosecutors listed in 'misconduct' report | View Clip
10/20/2010
Mountain View Voice

Palo Alto attorney Lane Liroff among county prosecutors named in report by Innocence Project, being reviewed by State Bar Association

Palo Alto Online Staff

Lane Liroff, a Santa Clara County deputy district attorney from Palo Alto, is among six county prosecutors whom judges found committed misconduct during a trial, according to a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law.

Other deputy district attorneys listed include Troy Benson, James Demertzis, Benjamin Field, Jaime Stringfield and Brian Welch.

Field's listing was the most serious, alleging repeated misconduct, including failure to disclose exculpatory evidence in more than one trial that would have shown the defendant did not commit the crime. In September, the California State Bar Association suspended him from practicing law for up to five years, according to the association's database.

Liroff's error in a 1996 first-degree murder trial led to the conviction being tossed out in 2007 for "failure to disclose exculpatory evidence." Liroff ran for a judgeship in 2008 but lost in a run-off election with San Jose attorney Diane Ritchie. He has no public record of discipline or administrative actions, according to the bar association. But state law limits what the association can tell the public, a spokesperson said.

Liroff did not return phone calls requesting comment.

The "Misconduct Study" looked at 4,000 state and federal appellate rulings regarding cases of prosecutorial misconduct between 1997 and 2009. Six hundred prosecutors were found to have committed acts of misconduct that ranged from technical errors to deception and hiding evidence.

The Innocence Project's study revealed 707 cases in which courts explicitly found that prosecutors committed misconduct. In about 3,000 cases, the courts rejected the allegations and in another 282, the courts did not decide if prosecutors' actions were improper; the trials were deemed otherwise fair.

Misconduct fell into two broad categories, either "harmful error" or "harmless error." Harmful-error cases, the most egregious, resulted in misconduct that altered the fundamental fairness of the trial. But the study found some "harmless" misconduct might have involved infractions that were just as serious and in some cases were identical to those in harmful cases.

Santa Clara County had nine cases of harmful misconduct and 33 cases of harmless error, according to the report. San Mateo County had five cases of harmful misconduct and five cases of harmless conduct.

In the 1996 case, Liroff prosecuted defendant Dung Pham, who was convicted of first-degree murder for a fatal shooting outside a cafe. At trial, the defense noted that another man was the initial suspect but a forensic analyst testified that he did not find evidence of gunshot residue on that suspect's hands.

The defense later learned of lab notes showing the analyst only tested 59 percent of the sample residue taken from the initial suspect's hands -- notes which Liroff's prosecutorial team failed to disclose to the defense, according to the report.

Subsequent testing of the remaining samples by the defense found there was gunshot residue present on the initial suspect's hands. A U.S. District Court found the failure to disclose by Liroff was material to Pham's guilt or innocence and violated his due process. The court granted Pham's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, according to the report.

Other county prosecutors were also found to have excluded crucial evidence.

DeMertzis used an improper argument and improperly examined a witness in a trial of a man convicted of petty theft for stealing two fans from Home Depot, a Court of Appeal found. The court ruled DeMertzis' questions about race were irrelevant and could have inflamed the emotions of a jury. The man's conviction was overturned.

Demertzis said Tuesday that the case was complicated and he didn't think the judge or defense thought his actions were misconduct.

Troy Benson did not disclose a videotape of a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) examination in the 2006 case of Augustin Uribe that supported a defense expert's testimony that no sexual assault had occurred. The conviction was reversed, according to the report.

But Benson's situation illustrates the complexity of determining who is responsible for misconduct, according to Cydney Batchelor, deputy trial counsel for the California State Bar Association.

Prosecutors are held to a higher standard in criminal cases, where the prosecution as an entity is considered the whole team -- including investigators, district attorneys and police. If police withhold or omit evidence, courts will still find prosecutorial misconduct that might not be the fault of the attorney, she said.

Benson said Tuesday his case was far more complicated than as described in the report.

"The defense knew about the video before we did. The court said it was not a failure to turn over exculpatory evidence. The court said the evidence could possibly be exculpatory, and that Mr. Uribe should get a new trial. It's not that anybody intentionally withheld evidence," he said.

Batchelor said the bar association is reviewing the 159 cases where misconduct was harmful and resulted in setting aside a conviction or sentence. But she cautioned that flagging a case by the court doesn't mean the attorney necessarily committed an ethical breach.

The report also used media reports and footnotes in court decisions to identify misconduct. Before disciplining any attorney, the bar association will decide if each situation meets its "burden of proof as clear and convincing" misconduct, she said.

The report found that the courts routinely do not report the misconducts to the bar association, although they are required to do so in the "harmful" cases. Batchelor said it appears many of the cases were not reported but that might have been due to ignorance, she said.

The association's new chief trial counsel, James Towery of San Jose, had already planned a rigorous training program before the report came out, she said. The association plans ethics training for both defense attorneys and prosecutors, she said.

The report also recommended that the association be more transparent, but as a prosecutorial agency, confidentiality statutes limit what information the association can make public, she said. Greater transparency is only possible if the law changes, she said.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr said Monday that in her experience as a judge and DA such cases are relatively few and that most prosecutorial misconduct is not malicious but a product of insufficient training and experience.

"There are a lot of pitfalls in prosecuting cases. Rules change, sometimes unpredictably," she said. "The Innocence Project report recognizes that the vast majority of prosecutors utilize fair methods in their work. In fact, less than 4 percent of California's prosecutors were found to have committed 'harmful error' over a period, which extends back in some cases 30 years.

"While prosecutorial misconduct is always a serious issue, the public should not assume that where there is smoke there is always fire."

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A Roadmap to Successful Brand Marketing | View Clip
10/20/2010
Natural Products Insider

The rules of the road to launching a new product or ingredient are more stringent than ever before. It's important for marketers to be prepared when “the rubber meets the road.” Following specific rules ensures a smooth ride down the road to market success. And the two critical elements to remember: “Science Tells the Story,” and “Education is the Key.”

When entering the fast-paced, crowded “highway” of the natural-products racetrack, it is essential to have substantiation for all marketing claims before they're released. This applies to every aspect of the branding/marketing process, including labeling, packaging, collateral materials, any and all online content, sales sheets, brochures, shelf talkers and even the product name. All must be as regulatory compliant as possible. This is not an option; it is critical for success.

Several years ago, FTC presented a course at Santa Clara University of Law titled, “Lessons from the FTC: Red Flags & Green Lights for Advertisers.” FTC was up front about the fact the agency is watching, listening and lying in wait to “catch” companies making false claims about a product or disparaging remarks about competitors. Agency speakers said they consider it their job to keep a vigilant watch and then make an example out of whomever it was they singled out, or whatever product they seized. They also made it clear as to culpability: the manufacturer, of course, but also the store that sold it, the advertising agency that promoted it, and even the media source that published it. FTC is seeking to ensure every party involved in the climb on each rung of the ladder—from concept, to branding, to launch—is held accountable.

That being said, FTC admitted the agency does not have enough personnel to accurately monitor all media all of the time. They “confessed” this daunting task was especially difficult to perform on the millions of websites regarding health products on the Internet.

Their advice to marketers was to ensure any marketing claims, selling points or promotional statements are substantiated with hard, cold facts. The more scientific those facts are, the better the chances of being OK'd by regulatory agencies and gaining credibility from consumers.

To this end, assembling an expert road crew can help smooth the road to success. Among those parties:

An established, trusted testing laboratory that utilizes reliable analytical testing tools.

A reputable manufacturer that follows and adheres to GMPs (good manufacturing practices) every step of the way from raw material control to finished product release.

A label expert who knows the precise language allowed by law for acceptable labeling.

An excellent sales force that accurately portrays the health benefits of the product, making only claims that can be proven with scientific documentation and research.

Expert writers to create marketing and sales tools that are easy to understand, and do not include any overstatements or claims, nor mention diseases by name in any collateral pieces or online.

An attorney trained to stop any “red flags” before they go out in any statements about products or ingredients.

An articulate spokesperson to help educate people about the benefits of the product. This includes retail store managers and staff, and any and all consumers who come to hear scheduled lectures, seminars, teleseminars and Webinars.

An excellent design/marketing/branding company that can create attractive, clean, appealing visuals that are appropriate to the company's message and the health benefits of the product(s), and do so consistently: logos, labels, websites, shelf talkers. All materials should present a cohesive image that only includes scientifically supported statements.

An experienced, knowledgeable public relations (PR) firm that creates a well-defined, comprehensive campaign.

A good mix of advertising, articles and other promotions should be featured in print, on the airwaves (targeted television and cost-effective radio), as well as everywhere possible online. Integrating these promotional tools is a must; tie in your website to all advertising and all outreach to your own customer database. This includes condition-specific health newsletters, video on YouTube or other online channels, Twitter posts, Facebook or LinkedIn business page announcements, and even an outreach via mobile applications. It's all part and parcel of being a success in the natural health industry today and in years to come.

If you can learn how to shift gears, according to the terrain and the current climatic conditions, you will succeed!

Linda Roxanne Bryer, a 21-year veteran of the natural health industry, is president of Santa Cruz, CA-based Bryer Advertising & Public Relations, a boutique agency responsible for the successful launch of numerous innovative natural products. They specialize in working with “Clients With Science™.” Contact Bryer at (831) 479-8725 or visit BryerAdvertising.com .

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A Companion to Plato | View Clip
10/20/2010
ARN - Online

This broad-ranging Companion comprises original contributions from leading Platonic scholars and reflects the different ways in which they are dealing with Plato's legacy.

Covers an exceptionally broad range of subjects from diverse perspectives

Contributions are devoted to topics, ranging from perception and knowledge to politics and cosmology

Allows readers to see how a position advocated in one of Plato's dialogues compares with positions advocated in others

Permits readers to engage the debate concerning Plato's philosophical development on particular topics

Also includes overviews of Plato's life, works and philosophical method

Hugh H. Benson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. He is the editor of Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates (1992) and author of Socratic Wisdom (2000) as well as various articles on the philosophy of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors.

Preface.

Abbreviations.

1. The Life of Plato of Athens: Debra Nails (Michigan State University).

2. Interpreting Plato: Christopher Rowe (University of Durham).

3. The Socratic Problem: William J. Prior (Santa Clara University).

Part I: Platonic Method and the Dialogue Form:.

4. Form and the Platonic Dialogues: Mary Margaret McCabe (King's College London).

5. The Socratic Elenchus: Charles M. Young (Claremont Graduate University).

6. Platonic Definitions and Forms: R. M. Dancy (Florida State University).

7. Plato's Method of Dialectic: Hugh H. Benson (University of Oklahoma).

Part II: Platonic Epistemology:.

8. Socratic Ignorance: Gareth B. Matthews (University of Massachusetts at Amherst).

9. Plato on Recollection: Charles Kahn (University of Pennsylvania).

10. Plato: A Theory of Perception or a Nod to Sensation?: Deborah K. W. Modrak (University of Rochester).

11. Knowledge and the Forms in Plato: Michael Ferejohn (Duke University).

Part III: Platonic Metaphysics:.

12. The Forms and the Sciences in Socrates and Plato: Terry Penner (Professor Emeritus).

13. Problems for Forms: Mary Louise Gill (Brown University).

14. The Role of Cosmology in Plato's Philosophy: Cynthia Freeland (University of Houston).

15. Plato on Language: David Sedley (University of Cambridge).

16. Plato and Mathematics: Michael J. White (Arizona State University).

17. Platonic Religion: Mark L. McPherran (University of Maine at Farmington).

Part IV: Platonic Psychology:.

18. The Socratic Paradoxes: Thomas C. Brickhouse (Lynchburg College) and Nicholas D. Smith (Lewis and Clark College, Portland).

19. The Platonic Soul: Fred D. Miller, Jr. (Bowling Green State University).

20. Plato on Eros and Friendship: C. D. C. Reeve (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

21. Plato on Pleasure as the Human Good: Gerasimos Santas (University of California, Irvine).

Part V: Platonic Ethics, Politics, And Aesthetics:.

22. The Unity of the Virtues: Daniel Devereux (University of Virginia).

23. Plato on Justice: David Keyt (University of Washington, Seattle).

24. Plato's Concept of Goodness: Nicholas White (University of California at Irvine).

25. Plato on the Law: Susan Sauvé Meyer (University of Pennsylvania).

26. Plato and the Arts: Christopher Janaway (University of Southampton).

Part VI: Platonic Legacy:.

28. Plato and Hellenistic Philosophy: A. A. Long (University of California, Berkeley).

29. Plato's Influence on Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Philosophy: Sara Ahbel-Rappe (University of Michigan).

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Santa Clara University's Jim Cottrill Puts Political Ads to the Truth Test | View Clip
10/20/2010
KRON

Jim Cottrill appeared on KRON4 in a piece by Craig Sklar analyzing the truth of the gubernatorial campaign ads.

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Two judges named to SC County Superior Court | View Clip
10/19/2010
Palo Alto Weekly - Online

Deputy District Attorney Javier Alcala of Mountain View appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed two Santa Clara County Superior Court judges Monday: Deputy District Attorney Javier Alcala, 57, of Mountain View, and Court Commissioner Deborah Ryan, 57, of San Jose.

He also names two other judges to Alameda County and Contra Costa County superior courts.

Alcala, a prosecutor since 1983, earned his college and law degrees from the University of Santa Clara. He is a Republican and will take the seat of retired Judge Jack Kolmar.

Before being names a court commissioner in 1999, Ryan served as senior assistant counsel for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and as a deputy county counsel. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis and her law degree from Santa Clara University. A Democrat, she will replace retired Judge John Herlihy.

Federal prosecutor Iaona Petrou, 42, of Oakland, was named to the bench in Alameda County Superior Court. Petrou is currently the criminal health fraud coordinator in the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco. She previously served as the office's chief of major crimes.

Petrou, a Democrat, will replace retired Judge Morris Beautus. She received her college and law degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

The Contra Costa County Superior Court will be joined by Christopher Bowen, 42, of Richmond, who has been a deputy county public defender since 1994.

Bowen will fill a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position to a judgeship. He earned a bachelor of science degree from Santa Clara University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He is a Democrat.

The new judges will earn $178,789 per year.

— Bay City News Service

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/19/2010
San Mateo Daily Journal

SAN FRANCISCO — The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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Taking Base of the Pyramid Strategies To Scale Pt.1: An Introduction to Transformative Sector Strate | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise | View Clip
10/19/2010
Development through Enterprise

Allen Hammond

May 6, 2008 - 09:03 am

Taking Base of the Pyramid Strategies To Scale Pt.1: An Introduction to Transformative Sector Strate

This post is the first of a five part series on a radical new approach to scaling BoP business models, what we call a transformative sector strategy. In this segment, I introduce the conceptual framework for this innovative poverty-alleviation model.

"It doesn't exactly keep me up at night, but I do think about it a lot." Jacqueline Novogratz , head of Acumen Fund, and I were talking about getting to scale - about expanding private sector business development and investment aimed at empowering and providing basic services to the poor to the point of making a real impact.

I felt exactly the same, and I've had similar conversations with colleagues at Santa Clara University, at Ashoka, at private investment funds, and elsewhere. Ever since we finished our report on The Next 4 Billion, the numbers haunt me. How do you meet the unmet needs of four billion people?

Convincing a dozen multinational companies to take this market seriously isn't enough. Doubling or quadrupling the capacity of the organizations that mentor social enterprises and BoP-serving small and medium businesses won't do it either. Even investing hundreds of millions of dollars in individual enterprises in this sector doesn't guarantee success. I think the goal has to be to transform whole sectors in ways that catalyze mainstream investment in BoP economic activity and unleash market forces. To get there, I think we need a more systematic approach.

A Next-Generation BoP Approach: Transformative Sector Models

In this and subsequent posts, I'm going to suggest one such approach that I and my colleagues at WRI and elsewhere have been developing for several years, and that we are now starting to take into the field. I'm proposing this scaling model tentatively, and asking for feedback and for comparisons to other scaling models.

The approach builds on the perception that there is a growing amount of public and private capital available to fund BoP strategies - almost every month now I hear about a new BoP private equity fund - and the conviction that the bottleneck is a shortage of solutions in the form of investable enterprises. In venture capital jargon, what's missing is the "deal flow." And I'm suggesting that the way to create that deal flow and unleash a rising tide of investment is to focus not on individual entrepreneurs, not on individual companies, but on economic sectors.

Our approach is to seek to understand deeply the critical problems and opportunities of individual BoP sectors - whether healthcare or housing or connectivity - and identify transformative business models that can be scaled and widely replicated in many countries by many different actors. I think that focusing on the sector - and then either helping existing enterprises to adopt the transformative model or incubating new enterprises to embody it - is a more systematic approach to meeting needs, increasing service delivery, and empowering the BoP. And if the solutions are truly transformative, then supporting the first half-dozen test cases may be all that is needed before the market itself begins to drive the change.

Of course, finding transformative solutions for a sector and implementing them in half-a-dozen countries is hardly easy. I think it will take catalytic civil society actors, skilled entrepreneurs, pioneering investors, and enlightened (or very strategic) corporations working together to make this happen. But let me introduce a couple of examples to make these ideas a bit more concrete.

"Last Mile" Solutions with Real World Impact One example starts with the huge benefits that come from access to mobile phones, and the reality that most rural BoP households still either have no access or can't afford the high prepaid charges (as detailed in this recent NYT piece). Suppose there was a dramatically lower cost way to provide that service to hundreds of millions of people, especially in rural areas that do not yet have coverage, using a technology that is unfamiliar to mobile phone companies.

In fact, there is just such a solution, one that could put modern communications tools - and soon, mobile phone banking services - in the hands of even the poorest and most remote communities at a profit to the provider. So how might we catalyze widespread adoption of this solution? Our approach has been to pilot this new "last mile" model for rural connectivity, which we have marketed to leading mobile phone companies in developing countries.

A second example is a franchising concept that could provide a similar "last mile" solution for rural and peri-urban healthcare - in effect, filling in key missing pieces of national healthcare distribution systems and bringing better service-or even eventually world class care, thanks to new technology and "remote practice" approaches - to many underserved low-income households. What is potentially transformative is that the solution bridges the huge gap in functional healthcare infrastructure and the acute shortage of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists in many rural areas, enabling access for underserved communities.
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Latest California news, sports, business and entertainment:
10/19/2010
Associated Press (AP) - Sacramento Bureau

Fiorina criticizes Boxer for supporting stimulus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is continuing to attack Sen. Barbara Boxer for supporting the federal stimulus plan, calling it a failure.

Fiorina was in San Bernardino on Monday to visit a car dealership that closed in July 2009. The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. says the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County has risen from 11.7 percent to 14.2 percent since the stimulus package was passed in February 2009.

Boxer contends that had Congress and President Barack Obama not acted as they did, the nation would have fallen into a depression. She made a stop Monday at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank to highlight her record on airline safety.

Many economists say job losses would have been deeper and unemployment higher without the $814 billion stimulus.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR

Brown, Whitman tangle over capital gains tax cut

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Democrat Jerry Brown is casting his gubernatorial rival as a billionaire opportunist who wants to enrich herself with tax breaks _ a charge Meg Whitman calls class warfare.

Whitman, a Republican, accused the California attorney general on Monday of engaging in a political stunt, trying to pit her against working people.

Brown has repeatedly called on the former eBay chief executive to disclose how much she would save under her proposal to eliminate the capital gains tax.

At a news conference in San Francisco, Brown said the amount is clearly stated on annual tax returns. He has estimated Whitman would owe $15 million if she sold stock for the $140 million she's given her campaign.

Whitman said no person in their right mind would spend $140 million to save $15 million.

TAXI DRIVER KILLED

$21K reward to find shooter of Sacto-area cabbie

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of a taxi driver in Sacramento County, and there's a $21,000 reward for information leading to the person who did it.

The coroner's office has identified the victim as 54-year-old James Walker.

He was found dead shortly after 3 a.m. Monday in the driver's seat of his taxi parked at an apartment complex off Interstate 80 northeast of Sacramento. Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran says he had at least one gunshot wound in his upper body.

Nearby residents told investigators that they heard two shots, but Curran says no one witnessed the shooting.

Yellow Cab of Sacramento is putting up a $15,000 reward finding the killer, Yellow Cab of San Jose is putting up $5,000 and authorities are adding another $1,000.

EARNS-APPLE

Apple 4Q net income soars 70 percent

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) _ Apple says its fourth-quarter net income soared 70 percent on staggering sales of iPhones and iPads.

Apple Inc. sold 14.1 million iPhones from July through September. It sold 4.2 million of its tablet computer, the iPad. That's fewer than analysts, on average, had expected.

Apple earned $4.3 billion, or $4.64 per share.

Revenue jumped 67 percent to $20.3 billion.

On both measures, Apple did significantly better than Wall Street analysts expected.

BABY BATHTUB DROWNING

Fresno mom gets 15 years to life for baby drowning

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) _ A Fresno woman who pleaded no contest to drowning her infant daughter in the bathtub is heading to prison for 15 years to life.

Prosecutors say 33-year-old Lisa Brown drowned 7-month-old Jillian Engelman on Christmas Eve 2007 and told authorities that she did it because the baby was possessed by demons.

Brown's lawyer maintains that she is bipolar and suffered from postpartum psychosis at the time of the drowning. Attorney Roberto Dulce says his client is remorseful for what she did.

Brown pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in August. If convicted at trial, she would have faced 25 years to life behind bars.

The Fresno Bee reports that Brown thanked her lawyer and the prosecutor after her Monday morning sentencing.

___

Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com

BAR STABBINGS

5 people stabbed during fight at San Jose bar

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ San Jose police say a weekend bar fight left five people suffering from stab wounds.

Officer Jose Garcia says two large groups of people began fighting at a south San Jose bar around 12:52 a.m. Sunday.

Officers found one injured man who told them that four others also had been stabbed during the altercation. The other victims reportedly drove themselves to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Garcia says the victims' names and conditions are not being released.

Police are looking for members of the other group that fled the scene. Investigators say they don't know what groups were fighting about.

PETS POISONED

Rash of pet poisonings in Central Calif city

MANTECA, Calif. (AP) _ Authorities say someone is poisoning pets in a Central Valley neighborhood with antifreeze.

Over the past few weeks, at least seven dogs and cats in Manteca have died from ingesting food laced with the chemical used to protect engines from freezing or boiling temperatures. Animal Control officials say someone is throwing poisoned meat wrapped in foil into backyards.

Police say they have no suspects.

Officers have stepped up patrols of the neighborhood, and the homeowner's association has increased security.

VETERANS-HOLIDAY MEALS

Santa Cruz veterans cancel holiday meals for needy

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) _ A Santa Cruz veterans group is suspending its 24-year tradition of serving holiday meals to the needy after the county shuttered its building.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5888 has been serving around 1,000 people each Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Veterans Memorial Building.

But the county, which owns the building, closed it in January, citing structural problems. The county says it hasn't come up with the $1.3 million needed for repairs.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that the veterans group announced the cancellation of the holiday meals Sunday. The group has sued the county over the building's closure, accusing officials of not properly maintaining it.

County officials and meal organizers say they haven't found an alternate place to serve the dinners.

___

Information from: Santa Cruz Sentinel, http://www.santacruzsentinel.com.

SWIM RACE RESCUES

Some cold-water rescues during Tiburon swim race

TIBURON, Calif. (AP) _ Wet, chilly weather had authorities treating a half-dozen swimmers with hypothermia symptoms during a Tiburon open water race.

Fire crews monitoring the RCP Tiburon Mile Open Water Swim on Sunday morning pulled two swimmers out of the water and treated four swimmers with mild hypothermia.

Fire Capt. Steven Ardigo told the Marin Independent Journal that more swimmers fell victim to the cold this year than in past years.

Firefighters say many of the 850 race participants had to wait on shore because the ferries were packed, so their body temperatures were low before going into the water.

Chip Peterson and Christine Jennings both took home $10,000 prizes for winning the race from Angel Island's Ayala Cove to the downtown Tiburon waterfront.

___

Information from: Marin Independent Journal, http://www.marinij.com

PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT

State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

___

Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Proposition 19: After Federal Threat, Pot Stores Consider Limits | View Clip
10/19/2010
Huffington Post, The

This story comes courtesy of California Watch

By Michael Montgomery

Pressure from the Obama administration could force some California cities to rethink plans to open retail pot stores and commercial cultivation centers if voters approve Proposition 19 next month.

"We will be willing to confront the federal government, up to a point," said Oakland City Council President Jane Brunner. "And that is going to be if we start getting penalized or we could jeopardize being arrested."

Prop. 19 allows adults 21 and older to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana and possess up to an ounce. But what is triggering alarm in Washington is a clause authorizing cities and counties to approve commercial cultivation and retail sales for recreational users, something that could make California the most pot-friendly place in the world.

No city has gone further than Oakland in outlining plans for the building of a massive legal pot industry, with downtown hash bars and industrial farms capable of producing marijuana for much of the Bay Area. All this new business could earn the city millions if Oakland voters approve a special ballot measure imposing a 5 percent tax on all marijuana sales.

But not if the Obama administration has its way. With Prop. 19 running even or ahead in some polls, Attorney General Eric Holder last week threw down the gauntlet, vowing to "vigorously enforce" federal marijuana laws even if California voters approve the ballot measure.

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';/gi,HPAds.ads_client_side_qvs()); document.write(debugadcode); "Let me state clearly that the Department of Justice strongly opposes Proposition 19," Holder said in a letter to nine former Drug Enforcement Administration chiefs. "If passed, this legislation will greatly complicate federal drug enforcement efforts to the detriment of our citizens."

The measure, wrote Holder, "would provide a significant impediment to ... efforts by law enforcement to target drug traffickers who frequently distribute marijuana alongside cocaine and other controlled substances."

The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule One narcotic alongside LSD and heroin.

Some marijuana advocates expect the Obama administration to file suit if Prop. 19 passes. Others say the measure could upset a truce between federal agents and California over the state's medical marijuana program.

"I think it will open up a new order of conflict between the state and the feds," Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen told the Sacramento Bee. "Now, if we open the door to lawful cultivation and distribution for recreational use, I think there will be a very strong reaction."

Jeff Wilcox, an East Bay businessman with plans to open a 100,000-square-foot pot farm in Oakland, said the city isn't trying to scrum with the feds over marijuana laws.

"This is not a political fight. This is a way for Oakland to revive itself, raise millions in tax revenue and take money away from dangerous street gangs," he said.

Council member Brunner said Oakland would closely analyze the federal government's legal position if voters approve Prop. 19, and then decide on a course of action, including whether to move forward with licensing retail pot shops.

"The city of Oakland has always been willing to push the envelope," she said. "But at some point there is a question between pushing the envelope to (committing) a criminalized act."

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Governor Schwarzenegger Appoints 12 to Superior Courts Around State | View Clip
10/19/2010
Metropolitan News-Enterprise - Online, The

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Page 3 By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday appointed 12 people, including six Republicans, five Democrats and one registered decline-to-state, to superior court judgeships in 10 counties.

The governor named Assistant U.S. Attorney Ioana Petrou of the Northern District of California to the Alameda Superior Court and Contra Costa County Deputy Public Defender Christopher R. Bowen to the Contra Costa Superior Court, named Fresno Superior Court Commissioner Jonathan M. Skiles as a judge of that court, and appointed Bakersfield attorney Thomas S. Clark and Assistant Kern County Counsel Stephen D. Schuett to the Kern Superior Court.

He tapped Janesville attorney Michele Verderosa for the Lassen Superior Court, Monterey Superior Court legal research attorney Elisabeth K. Mineta to join that court, Carmichael attorney James P. Arguelles for the Sacramento Superior Court, and San Diego attorney Kenneth J. Medel for the San Diego Superior Court.

Schwarzenegger also appointed Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Javier Alcala and Superior Court Commissioner Deborah A. Ryan to the Santa Clara Superior Court, and named his deputy legal affairs secretary, Daniel P. Maguire, to the Yolo Superior Court.

Assisstant U.S. Attorney

Petrou, 42, has been an assistant U.S. attorney since 2004, and before that was counsel for O'Melveny and Myers and an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York. A Democrat, she joined the State Bar in 1994 after attending college and law school at UC Berkeley, and she previously practiced with Foley and Lardner and with Proskauer Rose.

Bowen, 42, has been a deputy public defender since 1994, having been admitted to the State Bar the preceding year. He is a Democrat, and he graduated from Santa Clara University and the University of Virginia School of Law

Skiles, 48, became a court commissioner last year after serving in the Fresno County District Attorney's Office and in the Fresno City Attorney's Office. A Democrat, he attended California State University, Stanislaus and Santa Clara School of Law before joining the State Bar in 1995, and he previously practiced with Thoits Love Hershberger and McLean, and with Gray Carey Ware and Freidenrich.

Clark, 62, has been a senior partner for Arrache, Clark and Potter since 1985, and practiced with various incarnations of the firm for seven years before that. A Republican, he attended college and law school at USC, and he joined Income Equities Corporation and then served as a deputy district attorney after he joined the State Bar in 1973.

Schuett, 57, has been with the Kern County Counsel's office since 1985, and was previously an associate attorney for Chain, Younger, Lemucchi, Noriega, Cohn, Stiles and Rodriguez after serving as associate counsel for City National Bank and for Pierson and Letteau. He is a Republican, and he joined the State Bar in 1979 after attending college and law school at UCLA.

Sole Practitioner

Verderosa, 52, has been a sole practitioner since 2000, and before that served in the offices of both the Lassen and Sonoma district attorneys. A Republican, she joined the State Bar in 1996 after graduating from Santa Rosa Junior College and Empire College School of Law.

Mineta, 50, has served as a legal research attorney for the Monterey Superior Court since joining the State Bar in 1988, with the exception of a period from 1999 to 2005 when she was a sole practitioner. Registered decline-to-state, she attended UC Berkeley and Santa Clara University School of Law.

Arguelles, 44, has been an attorney for Stevens, O'Connell and Jacobs since 2005 and a judge advocate general in the U.S. Army Reserve since 2002. Before that, he served in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and as an associate for Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.

A Republican, Arguelles became a State Bar member in 1996 after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy and Harvard Law School. He also previously served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn L. Huff of the Southern District of California.

Medel, 56, has owned and been the principal attorney for The Medel Law Firm since 2001, and before that was a partner with Medel and Rawers, and with Ault, Deuprey, Jones and Gorman. A Democrat, he was also previously as a deputy district attorney in San Diego County, and he joined the State Bar in 1979 after attending UC Irvine and the University of San Diego School of Law.

Alcala, 57, has served in the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office since he joined the State Bar in 1983. He attended college and law school at the University of Santa Clara, and is a Republican.

Court Commissioner

Ryan, 57, has served as a court commissioner since 1999, and before that served as counsel for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and in the Santa Clara County Counsel's Office. She also previously served as project coordinator for the Comprehensive Adjudication of Drug Arrestees program for the Santa Clara County Executive Office and as a deputy public defender.

A Democrat, Ryan graduated from UC Davis and Santa Clara University School of Law before joining the State Bar in 1977.

Maguire, 43, has been Schwarzenegger's deputy legal affairs secretary since 2005, and was a sole practitioner for four years before that. He also previously practiced with Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe and with Holme Roberts and Owen, and served as a law clerk for Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Andrew Kleinfeld.

Maguire is a Republican, and he joined the State Bar in 1997 after attending Stanford and Harvard Law School.

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CUTTING-EDGE THEATER GROUP PLANS 'FUNDRAZOR'
10/19/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Renegade Theatre Experiment is hosting a "Fundrazor" on Oct. 23 to fill a $15,000 hole in its budget which occurred when an expected grant from the city of San Jose feel through because of budget cuts.

In keeping with its experimental and often offbeat nature, the company is holding its party at Blooming Bouquet Florist, 500 Coleman Ave., across from San Jose MarketCenter.

Habana Cuba will cater the food, and the evening includes drinks, a karaoke competition, previews of upcoming performances and a live auction.

Tickets are $50 for the event, which takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Advance tickets are available online at www.renegadetheatre.com.

The alternative theater group was started in 2001 by a group of six alumni of the theater arts program at Santa Clara University.

They incorporated into a nonprofit in 2002, initially performing in the summer at Bellarmine College Preparatory's campus theater.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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California Bar reviewing 130 prosecutors for possible disciplinary action | View Clip
10/19/2010
Oroville Mercury-Register

Responding to the first statewide report on lax discipline of prosecutors who commit misconduct, the California State Bar Association is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors named in the report for possible disciplinary action.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a prominent San Jose lawyer recently appointed the bar's chief trial counsel, to prosecute discipline cases against attorneys.

The report by Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law noted the majority of California prosecutors use fair methods to prosecute those they believe are guilty.

Still, the study found that over a 13-year period,

Special Report

600 prosecutors have committed misconduct according to rulings by state and federal appellate judges. They range from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases, such as hiding evidence. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field. He has been suspended by the bar for four years for violating a host of rules in four criminal cases, ranging from disobeying judges' orders to hiding crucial evidence from defense lawyers that could have helped people accused of crimes.

The suspension followed an unprecedented, three-year Mercury News investigation

of the Santa Clara County criminal justice system called "Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice" that found a dramatic number of cases were infected with errors by defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors.

Praised, faulted

But Field's punishment was the exception, not the rule: Only seven of the 600 prosecutors whom the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar -- slightly more than 1 percent.

"Here is an area of professional responsibility that has gone wildly under-enforced, so it's good to see the bar take this action," said Michael Kresser, who coordinates appeals of indigent local defendants as director of the Sixth District Appellate Program.

But Scott Thorpe, director of the California District Attorneys Association, faulted the study for exaggerating the problem of prosecutorial misconduct.

"It dramatically overstates the problem," Thorpe said. "They didn't quote one single prosecutor. It's upsetting." Towery said most of the misconduct is probably not serious enough to warrant public reproval, suspension or disbarment.

"We're likely to find that the overwhelming majority of cases reflect simply human mistakes that don't rise to the level of discipline," Towery said, adding he will recuse himself from cases from Santa Clara County because his wife is a county prosecutor. "But at the same time, the State Bar should make sure all prosecutors follow the ethical rules just as we look to make sure all lawyers do." The study acknowledges that only 130 of the 600 prosecutors were deemed by the appellate courts to have committed "harmful error" -- that is, to have done something that altered the fundamental fairness of the trial, prompting the court to set aside convictions or sentences, declare mistrials or bar evidence.

But the Innocence Project study found some "harmless error cases may have involved infractions just as serious -- and in some cases identical to" those in harmful error cases.

Even if the errors weren't egregious enough to have swayed the jury, the study contends a prosecutor should be reported to the bar based on the seriousness of the conduct and not on the guilt of the defendant.

Attorneys are required to report any harmful error judgments against them to the State Bar and can be disciplined for failing to do so, even when there is no basis to impose discipline against them otherwise.

The study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or reproval, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

"This report takes a dynamic new approach to prosecutorial misconduct by naming names," said Gerald Uelmen, a professor at Santa Clara University's law school. "For years and years, this has been swept under the rug."

Attorneys named

The study names six attorneys in Santa Clara County who were found to have committed harmful error in a single case: former prosecutor Jaime Stringfield, Troy Benson, Brian Welch, Lane Liroff and Jimmy DeMertzis, as well as Field in multiple cases.

The study also found courts routinely fail to report prosecutorial misconduct to the State Bar, as they are required to do in harmful error cases. Prosecutors also often deny that it occurred and the State Bar almost never takes action -- at least not publicly, the report found. The bar can send a private letter of warning or reproval, or publicly reprove attorneys, suspend them or disbar them.

A State Bar attorney said the agency expects to find the courts didn't report the misconduct of most of the 130 attorneys in 159 cases. However, the bar also can independently review cases, even those that have been deemed "harmless error." Even if few of the 130 attorneys wind up being disciplined, largely because most haven't demonstrated a pattern of misconduct over a series of cases, their names will be noted.

"If we see misconduct," said Deputy Trial Counsel Cydney Batchelor, "we're going to open a file on them." The study, written by Kathleen M. Ridolfi and Maurice Possley, urges district attorneys, the courts and the bar to reform the system, including to provide more ethics training for prosecutors, which the State Bar under Towery's leadership plans to do.

Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482.

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Lessons from Michelle Rhee's Time in D.C. | View Clip
10/19/2010
Urdan Education Blog

This week, Michelle Rhee resigned from her post as chancellor of the Washington D.C. public school system. She entered the job as children enter a playground: loudly and without caution. In some ways, she was exactly what they D. C. school system (and many other public school systems in the U.S.) needed. But her approach to school reform efforts ensured that should would not remain in her position over the long haul.

Perhaps the biggest problem plaguing many large, urban school districts is a shortage of highly motivated and qualified teachers. Ms. Rhee recognized that the key to improving schools in D. C. was removing bad teachers and hiring better ones. But removing teachers, particularly those who have several years of seniority and tenure, is a difficult process that produces powerful enemies. Teachers unions, which have worked very hard to ensure that teachers are not fired capriciously, are often powerful political players, and they do not like it when teachers with seniority are fired. Teachers' unions can influence elections, so one angers them at their own political peril.

Ms. Rhee also closed down several low-performing schools. Americans are funny about our schools. Although we tend to believe that the public school system in general is underperforming, we also tend to be quite satisfied the performance of teachers and schools in our own neighborhoods. When the teachers in our neighborhood school are fired and the school is shut down, people in the neighborhood get angry. Some of this anger is due to our satisfaction with the school that was closed down, and part is due to the pragmatic issue of having to now send our children to a school in a neighborhood further away.
Although I do not support all of Ms. Rhee's methods toward reform (her insistence on evaluating teachers by using student test scores, for instance), her tenure as Chancellor of schools in Washington D. C. provides many important lessons that are worthy of our attention.

First, we cannot continue to treat low-performing schools with a light hand. As a district, Washington D. C. schools have had some of the lowest achieving students in the country for decades. Despite a history of extremely high drop-out rates and low test scores for students, teachers were routinely evaluated as performing adequately. Ms. Rhee recognized the incongruity of this situation and had the nerve to touch the third rail of education: Some experienced teachers should not remain in the classroom.

Second, we need a better system for evaluating the effectiveness of teachers. This is much more difficult than it sounds, because teachers do not produce tangible outcomes that can be attributed directly to them. (Student test scores are influenced by many factors, not just teacher effectiveness.) The system of teacher evaluation the Ms. Rhee introduced in D. C. includes several classroom observations by impartial master teachers who do not work at the schools where they conduct the observations. This is a good step.

Finally, we need to develop the will, both political and societal, to recognize when teachers or schools are failing and to take the difficult steps required to improve them. Sometimes, this means teachers will lose their jobs. Sometimes, this means schools will be closed. We cannot bemoan the inadequacy of public education if we are not willing to make the difficult changes required to improve it. Unfortunately, there are not simple or pain-free solutions, as the research on school choice and its limited efficacy demonstrates.

Michelle Rhee's brand of reform has a limited shelf life in any single community. It is simply too disruptive, and makes too many enemies, to last. But that does not mean that he message is wrong. In many school districts, dramatic changes are needed, and they will hurt. Meaningful reform usually does.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
KCBA-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
KCOY-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
KFMB-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Fresno Bee - Online

Posted at 05:22 AM on Monday, Oct. 18, 2010

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Gainesville Sun - Online, The

The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
KSBY-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Merced Sun-Star - Online

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
MyMotherLode.com

The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Marin Independent Journal - Online

SAN FRANCISCOThe California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error. Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
KTVN-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
KION - TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
KKFX-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
KMPH-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct
10/18/2010
Associated Press (AP) - Sacramento Bureau

SAN FRANCISCO_The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

___

Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Whittier Daily News

SAN FRANCISCO—The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online

SAN FRANCISCO—The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Times-Standard - Online

SAN FRANCISCO—The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

———

Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

SAN FRANCISCO—The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

———

Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
San Francisco Examiner - Online

SAN FRANCISCO — The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO—The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Press-Enterprise - Online

The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

___

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
San Diego Union-Tribune - Online

SAN FRANCISCO — The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

Return to Top



State Bar launches review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

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Two Words to Repeat when using Social Media: Control Impulses! | View Clip
10/18/2010
Psychology Today - Online

Facebook isn't the place to manage conflict

Recent events at Rutgers and elsewhere leading to tragic suicides associated with cyber bullying brings up an important lesson regarding the use of social media. Perhaps our mantra when on should be "Control Impulses."

When walking into class recently at Santa Clara University one of my students was expressing her frustration about one of her roommates. The roommate had the reported habit of taking still moist clothes out of the dryer in order to put her own clothes in the dryer. A pretty typical roommate conflict issue, right? This was driving my student nuts and she said that she was going to deal with the conflict and her frustration via Facebook. Bad idea! I spoke with her about other perhaps more productive ways to deal with her roommate conflict which she agreed to try. At the next class several days later, she admitted that her plan to use Facebook to deal with her conflict was "stupid" (in her words) and that she was just upset in the moment when she came up with her Facebook plan. Sound familiar?

As we all know (but often ignore in the heat of the moment), the challenge with social media is that one can quickly act on an impulse without thinking through the possible unintended consequences. In the old days, before Facebook, perhaps acting on impulses in this manner created tensions or made matters worse but at least they weren't so public such that the whole world could watch the conflict or the embarrassing moment unfold. If the roommate at Rutgers just looked through a keyhole to watch his roommate in an intimate moment the rest of the world couldn't watch as well. Looking through a keyhole is, of course, bad enough but not as bad as a live webcast through the keyhole for the whole world to see.

Doing the right thing for ourselves and others means controlling impulses in many aspects of our lives. I tell my students that perhaps being able to control and manage impulses might be the most important lesson for them to learn during their college years. Those who are better able to manage their impulses on Facebook and in all areas of their lives are likely to have higher life satisfaction, better health, and more success in life. Remember the lessons of the famous marshmallow study? Delaying gratification and controlling impulses predicts all sorts of positive mental, physical, relationship, and career health outcomes. We need to be hypervigilant in this regard when it comes to social media. It could be the difference between life and death!

What do you think?

A Surprising and Countercultural Secret to Happiness

Thomas Plante, PhD., ABPP is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University.

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The Northern California Innocence Project releases comprehensive study of prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Oroville Mercury-Register

Responding to the first statewide report on lax discipline of prosecutors who commit misconduct, the California State Bar Association is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors named in the report for possible disciplinary action.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a prominent San Jose lawyer recently appointed the bar's chief trial counsel, to prosecute discipline cases against attorneys.

The report by Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law noted the majority of California prosecutors use fair methods to prosecute those they believe are guilty.

Still, the study found that over a 13-year period, 600 prosecutors have committed misconduct according to rulings by state and federal appellate judges. They range from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases, such as hiding evidence. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field. He has been suspended by the bar for four years for violating a host of rules in four criminal cases, ranging from disobeying judges' orders to hiding crucial evidence from defense lawyers that could have helped people accused of crimes.

The suspension followed an unprecedented, three-year Mercury News investigation

of the Santa Clara County criminal justice system called "Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice" that found a dramatic number of cases were infected with errors by defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors.

Praised, faulted

But Field's punishment was the exception, not the rule: Only seven of the 600 prosecutors whom the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar -- slightly more than 1 percent.

"Here is an area of professional responsibility that has gone wildly under-enforced, so it's good to see the bar take this action," said Michael Kresser, who coordinates appeals of indigent local defendants as director of the Sixth District Appellate Program.

But Scott Thorpe, director of the California District Attorneys Association, faulted the study for exaggerating the problem of prosecutorial misconduct.

"It dramatically overstates the problem," Thorpe said. "They didn't quote one single prosecutor. It's upsetting." Towery said most of the misconduct is probably not serious enough to warrant public reproval, suspension or disbarment.

"We're likely to find that the overwhelming majority of cases reflect simply human mistakes that don't rise to the level of discipline," Towery said, adding he will recuse himself from cases from Santa Clara County because his wife is a county prosecutor. "But at the same time, the State Bar should make sure all prosecutors follow the ethical rules just as we look to make sure all lawyers do." The study acknowledges that only 130 of the 600 prosecutors were deemed by the appellate courts to have committed "harmful error" -- that is, to have done something that altered the fundamental fairness of the trial, prompting the court to set aside convictions or sentences, declare mistrials or bar evidence.

But the Innocence Project study found some "harmless error cases may have involved infractions just as serious -- and in some cases identical to" those in harmful error cases.

Even if the errors weren't egregious enough to have swayed the jury, the study contends a prosecutor should be reported to the bar based on the seriousness of the conduct and not on the guilt of the defendant.

Attorneys are required to report any harmful error judgments against them to the State Bar and can be disciplined for failing to do so, even when there is no basis to impose discipline against them otherwise.

The study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or reproval, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

"This report takes a dynamic new approach to prosecutorial misconduct by naming names," said Gerald Uelmen, a professor at Santa Clara University's law school. "For years and years, this has been swept under the rug."

Attorneys named

The study names six attorneys in Santa Clara County who were found to have committed harmful error in a single case: former prosecutor Jaime Stringfield, Troy Benson, Brian Welch, Lane Liroff and Jimmy DeMertzis, as well as Field in multiple cases.

The study also found courts routinely fail to report prosecutorial misconduct to the State Bar, as they are required to do in harmful error cases. Prosecutors also often deny that it occurred and the State Bar almost never takes action -- at least not publicly, the report found. The bar can send a private letter of warning or reproval, or publicly reprove attorneys, suspend them or disbar them.

A State Bar attorney said the agency expects to find the courts didn't report the misconduct of most of the 130 attorneys in 159 cases. However, the bar also can independently review cases, even those that have been deemed "harmless error." Even if few of the 130 attorneys wind up being disciplined, largely because most haven't demonstrated a pattern of misconduct over a series of cases, their names will be noted.

"If we see misconduct," said Deputy Trial Counsel Cydney Batchelor, "we're going to open a file on them." The study, written by Kathleen M. Ridolfi and Maurice Possley, urges district attorneys, the courts and the bar to reform the system, including to provide more ethics training for prosecutors, which the State Bar under Towery's leadership plans to do.

Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482.

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The Northern California Innocence Project releases comprehensive study of prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Responding to the first statewide report on lax discipline of prosecutors who commit misconduct, the California State Bar Association is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors named in the report for possible disciplinary action.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a prominent San Jose lawyer recently appointed the bar's chief trial counsel, to prosecute discipline cases against attorneys.

The report by Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law noted the majority of California prosecutors use fair methods to prosecute those they believe are guilty.

Still, the study found that over a 13-year period, 600 prosecutors have committed misconduct according to rulings by state and federal appellate judges. They range from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases, such as hiding evidence. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field. He has been suspended by the bar for four years for violating a host of rules in four criminal cases, ranging from disobeying judges' orders to hiding crucial evidence from defense lawyers that could have helped people accused of crimes.

The suspension followed an unprecedented, three-year Mercury News investigation

of the Santa Clara County criminal justice system called "Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice" that found a dramatic number of cases were infected with errors by defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors.

Praised, faulted

But Field's punishment was the exception, not the rule: Only seven of the 600 prosecutors whom the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar -- slightly more than 1 percent.

"Here is an area of professional responsibility that has gone wildly under-enforced, so it's good to see the bar take this action," said Michael Kresser, who coordinates appeals of indigent local defendants as director of the Sixth District Appellate Program.

But Scott Thorpe, director of the California District Attorneys Association, faulted the study for exaggerating the problem of prosecutorial misconduct.

"It dramatically overstates the problem," Thorpe said. "They didn't quote one single prosecutor. It's upsetting." Towery said most of the misconduct is probably not serious enough to warrant public reproval, suspension or disbarment.

"We're likely to find that the overwhelming majority of cases reflect simply human mistakes that don't rise to the level of discipline," Towery said, adding he will recuse himself from cases from Santa Clara County because his wife is a county prosecutor. "But at the same time, the State Bar should make sure all prosecutors follow the ethical rules just as we look to make sure all lawyers do." The study acknowledges that only 130 of the 600 prosecutors were deemed by the appellate courts to have committed "harmful error" -- that is, to have done something that altered the fundamental fairness of the trial, prompting the court to set aside convictions or sentences, declare mistrials or bar evidence.

But the Innocence Project study found some "harmless error cases may have involved infractions just as serious -- and in some cases identical to" those in harmful error cases.

Even if the errors weren't egregious enough to have swayed the jury, the study contends a prosecutor should be reported to the bar based on the seriousness of the conduct and not on the guilt of the defendant.

Attorneys are required to report any harmful error judgments against them to the State Bar and can be disciplined for failing to do so, even when there is no basis to impose discipline against them otherwise.

The study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or reproval, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

"This report takes a dynamic new approach to prosecutorial misconduct by naming names," said Gerald Uelmen, a professor at Santa Clara University's law school. "For years and years, this has been swept under the rug."

Attorneys named

The study names six attorneys in Santa Clara County who were found to have committed harmful error in a single case: former prosecutor Jaime Stringfield, Troy Benson, Brian Welch, Lane Liroff and Jimmy DeMertzis, as well as Field in multiple cases.

The study also found courts routinely fail to report prosecutorial misconduct to the State Bar, as they are required to do in harmful error cases. Prosecutors also often deny that it occurred and the State Bar almost never takes action -- at least not publicly, the report found. The bar can send a private letter of warning or reproval, or publicly reprove attorneys, suspend them or disbar them.

A State Bar attorney said the agency expects to find the courts didn't report the misconduct of most of the 130 attorneys in 159 cases. However, the bar also can independently review cases, even those that have been deemed "harmless error." Even if few of the 130 attorneys wind up being disciplined, largely because most haven't demonstrated a pattern of misconduct over a series of cases, their names will be noted.

"If we see misconduct," said Deputy Trial Counsel Cydney Batchelor, "we're going to open a file on them." The study, written by Kathleen M. Ridolfi and Maurice Possley, urges district attorneys, the courts and the bar to reform the system, including to provide more ethics training for prosecutors, which the State Bar under Towery's leadership plans to do.

Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482.

For more information

To see the most comprehensive statewide study of prosecutorial misconduct in California, go to www.veritasinitiative.org

Return to Top



The Northern California Innocence Project releases comprehensive study of prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Responding to the first statewide report on lax discipline of prosecutors who commit misconduct, the California State Bar Association is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors named in the report for possible disciplinary action.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a prominent San Jose lawyer recently appointed the bar's chief trial counsel, to prosecute discipline cases against attorneys.

The report by Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law noted the majority of California prosecutors use fair methods to prosecute those they believe are guilty.

Still, the study found that over a 13-year period, 600 prosecutors have committed misconduct according to rulings by state and federal appellate judges. They range from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases, such as hiding evidence. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field. He has been suspended by the bar for four years for violating a host of rules in four criminal cases, ranging from disobeying judges' orders to hiding crucial evidence from defense lawyers that could have helped people accused of crimes.

The suspension followed an unprecedented, three-year Mercury News investigation

of the Santa Clara County criminal justice system called "Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice" that found a dramatic number of cases were infected with errors by defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors.

Praised, faulted

But Field's punishment was the exception, not the rule: Only seven of the 600 prosecutors whom the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar -- slightly more than 1 percent.

"Here is an area of professional responsibility that has gone wildly under-enforced, so it's good to see the bar take this action," said Michael Kresser, who coordinates appeals of indigent local defendants as director of the Sixth District Appellate Program.

But Scott Thorpe, director of the California District Attorneys Association, faulted the study for exaggerating the problem of prosecutorial misconduct.

"It dramatically overstates the problem," Thorpe said. "They didn't quote one single prosecutor. It's upsetting." Towery said most of the misconduct is probably not serious enough to warrant public reproval, suspension or disbarment.

"We're likely to find that the overwhelming majority of cases reflect simply human mistakes that don't rise to the level of discipline," Towery said, adding he will recuse himself from cases from Santa Clara County because his wife is a county prosecutor. "But at the same time, the State Bar should make sure all prosecutors follow the ethical rules just as we look to make sure all lawyers do." The study acknowledges that only 130 of the 600 prosecutors were deemed by the appellate courts to have committed "harmful error" -- that is, to have done something that altered the fundamental fairness of the trial, prompting the court to set aside convictions or sentences, declare mistrials or bar evidence.

But the Innocence Project study found some "harmless error cases may have involved infractions just as serious -- and in some cases identical to" those in harmful error cases.

Even if the errors weren't egregious enough to have swayed the jury, the study contends a prosecutor should be reported to the bar based on the seriousness of the conduct and not on the guilt of the defendant.

Attorneys are required to report any harmful error judgments against them to the State Bar and can be disciplined for failing to do so, even when there is no basis to impose discipline against them otherwise.

The study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or reproval, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

"This report takes a dynamic new approach to prosecutorial misconduct by naming names," said Gerald Uelmen, a professor at Santa Clara University's law school. "For years and years, this has been swept under the rug."

Attorneys named

The study names six attorneys in Santa Clara County who were found to have committed harmful error in a single case: former prosecutor Jaime Stringfield, Troy Benson, Brian Welch, Lane Liroff and Jimmy DeMertzis, as well as Field in multiple cases.

The study also found courts routinely fail to report prosecutorial misconduct to the State Bar, as they are required to do in harmful error cases. Prosecutors also often deny that it occurred and the State Bar almost never takes action -- at least not publicly, the report found. The bar can send a private letter of warning or reproval, or publicly reprove attorneys, suspend them or disbar them.

A State Bar attorney said the agency expects to find the courts didn't report the misconduct of most of the 130 attorneys in 159 cases. However, the bar also can independently review cases, even those that have been deemed "harmless error." Even if few of the 130 attorneys wind up being disciplined, largely because most haven't demonstrated a pattern of misconduct over a series of cases, their names will be noted.

"If we see misconduct," said Deputy Trial Counsel Cydney Batchelor, "we're going to open a file on them." The study, written by Kathleen M. Ridolfi and Maurice Possley, urges district attorneys, the courts and the bar to reform the system, including to provide more ethics training for prosecutors, which the State Bar under Towery's leadership plans to do.

Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482.

Return to Top



The Northern California Innocence Project releases comprehensive study of prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online

Responding to the first statewide report on lax discipline of prosecutors who commit misconduct, the California State Bar Association is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors named in the report for possible disciplinary action.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a prominent San Jose lawyer recently appointed the bar's chief trial counsel, to prosecute discipline cases against attorneys.

The report by Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law noted the majority of California prosecutors use fair methods to prosecute those they believe are guilty.

Still, the study found that over a 13-year period, 600 prosecutors have committed misconduct according to rulings by state and federal appellate judges. They range from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases, such as hiding evidence. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field. He has been suspended by the bar for four years for violating a host of rules in four criminal cases, ranging from disobeying judges' orders to hiding crucial evidence from defense lawyers that could have helped people accused of crimes.

The suspension followed an unprecedented, three-year Mercury News investigationyld_mgr.place_ad_here("adPosBox"); of the Santa Clara County criminal justice system called "Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice" that found a dramatic number of cases were infected with errors by defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors.

Praised, faulted

But Field's punishment was the exception, not the rule: Only seven of the 600 prosecutors whom the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar -- slightly more than 1 percent.

"Here is an area of professional responsibility that has gone wildly under-enforced, so it's good to see the bar take this action," said Michael Kresser, who coordinates appeals of indigent local defendants as director of the Sixth District Appellate Program.

But Scott Thorpe, director of the California District Attorneys Association, faulted the study for exaggerating the problem of prosecutorial misconduct.

"It dramatically overstates the problem," Thorpe said. "They didn't quote one single prosecutor. It's upsetting." Towery said most of the misconduct is probably not serious enough to warrant public reproval, suspension or disbarment.

"We're likely to find that the overwhelming majority of cases reflect simply human mistakes that don't rise to the level of discipline," Towery said, adding he will recuse himself from cases from Santa Clara County because his wife is a county prosecutor. "But at the same time, the State Bar should make sure all prosecutors follow the ethical rules just as we look to make sure all lawyers do." The study acknowledges that only 130 of the 600 prosecutors were deemed by the appellate courts to have committed "harmful error" -- that is, to have done something that altered the fundamental fairness of the trial, prompting the court to set aside convictions or sentences, declare mistrials or bar evidence.

But the Innocence Project study found some "harmless error cases may have involved infractions just as serious -- and in some cases identical to" those in harmful error cases.

Even if the errors weren't egregious enough to have swayed the jury, the study contends a prosecutor should be reported to the bar based on the seriousness of the conduct and not on the guilt of the defendant.

Attorneys are required to report any harmful error judgments against them to the State Bar and can be disciplined for failing to do so, even when there is no basis to impose discipline against them otherwise.

The study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or reproval, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

"This report takes a dynamic new approach to prosecutorial misconduct by naming names," said Gerald Uelmen, a professor at Santa Clara University's law school. "For years and years, this has been swept under the rug."

Attorneys named

The study names six attorneys in Santa Clara County who were found to have committed harmful error in a single case: former prosecutor Jaime Stringfield, Troy Benson, Brian Welch, Lane Liroff and Jimmy DeMertzis, as well as Field in multiple cases.

The study also found courts routinely fail to report prosecutorial misconduct to the State Bar, as they are required to do in harmful error cases. Prosecutors also often deny that it occurred and the State Bar almost never takes action -- at least not publicly, the report found. The bar can send a private letter of warning or reproval, or publicly reprove attorneys, suspend them or disbar them.

A State Bar attorney said the agency expects to find the courts didn't report the misconduct of most of the 130 attorneys in 159 cases. However, the bar also can independently review cases, even those that have been deemed "harmless error." Even if few of the 130 attorneys wind up being disciplined, largely because most haven't demonstrated a pattern of misconduct over a series of cases, their names will be noted.

"If we see misconduct," said Deputy Trial Counsel Cydney Batchelor, "we're going to open a file on them." The study, written by Kathleen M. Ridolfi and Maurice Possley, urges district attorneys, the courts and the bar to reform the system, including to provide more ethics training for prosecutors, which the State Bar under Towery's leadership plans to do.

Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482.

Return to Top



The Appearance of Impropriety | View Clip
10/18/2010
Convene

What is ethical behavior for meeting professionals? What isn't? How do you know? And how can you and your organization stick to the straight and narrow? We use a new Convene survey as the starting point for a comprehensive look at ethics in the meetings industry.

This past summer, Convene invited readers and PCMA members to participate in a short online survey on the subject of ethics. The response we received took us by surprise. Approximately 630 meeting professionals answered each of 10 questions - and left pages upon pages of comments regarding how and why they think the meetings industry does or does not operate in an ethical manner, and whether there is room for reform.

In short, we touched a nerve. But why? And why now, with the many pressing issues that meeting professionals face on a daily basis, especially the still-uncertain economy? To find out - and to explore the greater topic of ethics - we spoke with planners, suppliers, educators, and thinkers from both inside and outside the industry.

The Perception's the Thing

At the heart of the issue is the question of perception. Our survey was inspired by a discussion among the Convene Task Force - a volunteer group of planners and suppliers who help guide the magazine's editorial direction - at the PCMA Education Conference this past June. Task Force members felt that there are a lot of people in the meetings industry who are unethical and abuse the system. They were particularly bothered by the story of an industry professional who admitted that he added "CMP" after his name without having actually earned the Certified Meeting Professional designation. He knew it carried respect in the industry, it seems, but he personally didn't think it was worth the investment of his time to get one.

For Task Force Chair Anne O'Neill, CMP, CAE, an account manager for Denver-based The Meeting Edge, ethics is of particular concern because she thinks that some clients might be confused as to how meeting planners get paid. "Some people might think that the way we get paid ... might give us a horse in this race" - that is, a personal financial interest in which destination or venue is chosen for a particular meeting, O'Neill said. "Personally I don't think it's true, but I think the perception might be out there."

Thanks in no small part to the AIG Effect, perception has been of particular concern to the meetings industry for the last two years. Indeed, 60 percent of respondents to Convene's survey said that when someone in the meetings industry behaves unethically, it reflects poorly on the entire profession. One respondent, Sean Kirklen, CMP, manager of educational conference services for the University of California, San Francisco's Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME), said that a discussion about ethics was already under way among the six planners who work in his office when the survey landed in his e-mail inbox. Kirklen agrees with O'Neill that the groundswell of interest in ethics could be due to market forces. "With the economy the way it is," he said, "[suppliers] are a lot freer with what they are willing to offer." As a result, Kirklen and his team have taken special care to reinforce their internal ethics guidelines.

Tyra Hilliard, Ph.D., J.D., CMP, a lawyer and associate professor of meetings management at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, has a broader explanation for the apparent rise to prominence of professional ethics. She thinks that over the last decade, the issue has become more prevalent within U.S. culture as a whole - not just the meetings industry. "It's really been building since Enron, MCI/WorldCom, all of those kinds of things in business - and now the word ‘transparency' is no longer a buzzword, but a standard part of the business vernacular," Hilliard said. "I think to some extent it's just our response to greater trends within the business world."

One of those trends has been toward increased complexity - which, according to Deborah Breiter, chair of the event management department at the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management, has encouraged more stringent ethical guidelines than in the past. Years ago, when Breiter was a convention services manager, it wasn't uncommon to receive some sort of tip or gift from a client at the close of a successful meeting. At the time, she said, it seemed like a "wonderful way" for a customer to say thanks for a job well done. "But that was ... a long time ago," Breiter said. "As this business has progressed from contracts or agreements being written on cocktail napkins to 20-, 30-page documents, people have gotten more aware of things that might be ethically questionable."

It's Getting Better All the Time?

Given that the meetings industry has grown in complexity along with the rest of the business world, has there been a corresponding rise in ethical behavior? Or has increased complexity merely provided more opportunities for planners to be led astray? Simply put, do meeting professionals practice good ethics today?

"That's a hard sort of generalization, but I would have to say - if I had to give a yes-or-no answer - no," Hilliard said. Some of that is a result of ignorance (not knowing what is and isn't ethical), some is temptation from suppliers, and some is simple human weakness. "It always amazes me," Hilliard said, "when ... I see people that I think should know better ... say, ‘Oh yeah, I would take that' or ‘I think that's a perfectly appropriate gift - I put in 80 hours a week, so I think it's perfectly acceptable that I allow the hotel to upgrade me to a suite and extend it over the following weekend so my husband can stay and we can have a free vacation.'" To wit, in the comments portion of our survey, one respondent wrote: "This is a time-consuming, detail-oriented profession and we need SOME perks."

Nevertheless, Hilliard believes that professional behavior within the meetings industry is more ethical than it was 20 years ago - although there's room for improvement. Her assessment tracks with our survey results: 61.4 percent of respondents said that the meetings industry "operates ethically on balance, but there is still room for reform."

What about younger meeting professionals, and students majoring in hospitality or event management? How are their ethics? Although Breiter takes care to qualify her response by saying that this is a "very hard" question and that she could be wrong, she theorizes that tomorrow's planners may be desensitized to unethical behavior simply as a result of seeing so much of it all around them. "Whether it's a celebrity who's doing something they shouldn't be doing, or a sports figure who's been taking performance-enhancing drugs, or a politician who's been cheating on his wife, or bankers running the mortgage business with sleight of hand - maybe sometimes [students] don't get that there are real ethical issues," Breiter says. "[Maybe] they just think that's the way the world works."

Hilliard sees it somewhat differently. "I'm actually fairly impressed with this generation of students," she said. "I asked the students, ... ‘Is it okay to stab someone in the back to move up?' and they looked at me shocked that I would even suggest that. It made me think that they are a little more astute than others - that they might really get it."

Sticky Situations

But what is the "it" to get? What are the ethical flashpoints within the meetings industry? What practices might be considered questionable? The answer depends on whom you ask - which is one of the difficulties when discussing the subject: What's perfectly acceptable to one planner might be considered beyond the pale by another.

Fam trips. That said, in the comments left by respondents to our ethics survey, fam trips and site inspections were consistently singled out as potentially dicey. Two questions on the survey dealt directly with these areas:

> When is it ethical for suppliers to issue and for planners to accept invitations to events?

> On a site visit, is it ethical for a planner to ...

* Have the entire stay (including room and meals) comped?

* Accept complimentary in-room amenities (such as wine, fruit, etc.), spa treatments, and/or golf?

* Pay for the stay and amenities and, if you book the venue or destination, have that amount taken off your master account?

Sixty-seven percent of respondents answered the first question by saying it was ethical to accept an invitation when there is "business on the table." Just under a quarter said it was ethical to do so "when you know the person, even if there is no business pending." Less than 6 percent believe that it is never ethical to accept (or issue) such an invitation. For the second question, a little less than two-thirds said it was ethical to have the entire stay comped (2.7 percent fewer said it was okay to accept free amenities). Just under a third replied that one should pay for one's own stay and amenities. Fewer than 10 percent of respondents said it was unethical to accept anything while on a site visit.

"I think there's more scrutiny on both [the planner and supplier] sides," Breiter said. "I think the hotels, convention centers, conference centers, whatever it may be ... are a little more concerned with appearing to be trying to buy somebody's business. On the other side, my boss ... doesn't want me getting gifts and sullying the waters about what is the best [destination, site, or facility] for my event. Let's not muddy the waters by somebody giving you a gift and trying to buy you."

More often than not, whether a practice can be considered ethical is a fine distinction. Breiter offers the example of a single bottle of wine being given to her during a site visit, as opposed to a case of wine being sent to her office. Which, if either, is acceptable? Possibly the bottle of wine, but almost certainly not the case. "Sometimes the lines are razor-thin," Breiter said, "and sometimes the lines are big and bold."

Kirklen raises another distinction. "If it's a legitimate piece of business, [a fam trip is] warranted - I mean, obviously you want to get a feel for the location," he said. "It's just a matter of how much is warranted, and ensuring you're using your moral compass." For example, Kirklen thinks that a one-day site visit to a location makes perfect sense, whereas a three-day site visit "obviously would not."

Some suppliers have tried to make the decision of whether to participate in a fam trip easier for planners by emphasizing the event's educational elements and downplaying or eliminating activities that might be seen as flashy, luxurious, or excessive. "When they're here [on a fam trip], it's really educational," said Rob Osterberg, director of sales for the Palm Springs Desert Resort Communities Convention and Visitors Authority. "Certainly we are showing them the various resorts ... and the various venues and things of interest out here, but we'll also have the airport do an educational component to our fams, so it's not a boondoggle."

Osterberg added: "I think it's unfair that some who don't understand our industry, or don't ask the questions about what this program is about or how it works, just kind of have a preset notion of what it's about - and it's incorrect. More so than ever, planners' time is very limited, and when they are doing something, they want to get something out of it."

Reward points. Another bone of contention has to do with hotel points and frequent-flier miles. Our survey asked, "Is it ethical for planners to keep the points (from airlines, hotels, etc.) that they accumulate through their professional work?" More than 71 percent said that it was - 6 percent more than said it was okay to have the costs of a site visit comped. The higher percentage finding this practice acceptable could be a result of the generally widespread practice in the United States of business travelers being allowed to keep points for their own personal use as a tacitly acknowledged perk. But that doesn't mean the practice is ethically blemish-free for planners.

"I had a client that had a monthly meeting at a local hotel," O'Neill said. "We'd always done it there, and it had been pretty standard, the same thing every month. The hotel came to me and said, ‘We can give you reward points for holding this meeting here.' I didn't see a problem with it. It wasn't like I did it intentionally. I simply brought it up to the [client] and said, ‘Oh, and by the way, these points are going to my company's account' - and everybody was fine with that. But at the time I thought, ‘Hmm, I wonder if that puts me in a position of owing them something.'"

Some planners believe that it might - and decline to accept such bonuses. "Rewards points need to be designed to benefit the hosting organizations, not the planners who are signing the contracts," one survey respondent wrote. "Although I receive points and miles for my organization's meetings, I strictly redeem [them] for something that benefits the organization," such as site visits, a master-account reduction, or conference registration fees.

Gifts. Our survey also asked respondents whether their organization places a limit on the dollar amount allowed for "gifts and entertaining." Thirteen percent said they have a $25 limit per item per vendor, 13 percent a $50 limit, and 11 percent a $100 limit - with the majority (63 percent) having no limit at all. This, Hilliard said, is where a written ethics policy comes in handy. That way, when planners receive, say, a solid gold pen from a supplier, they can look it up in the manual and easily determine whether it falls within the allowable dollar amount.

But, still, meeting professionals must understand that no matter the cost, a gift is never just a nice gesture. "There is a wishful thinking in meeting planning that is exactly the same in many other industries," said Christopher Bauer, Ph.D., an ethics expert who spoke at PCMA's 2008 annual meeting, "that marketing materials and marketing opportunities ... somehow won't affect my purchasing decisions."

With that in mind, Bauer recommends that planners do two things. First, "forget this wishful-thinking nonsense that somehow marketing opportunities don't change behavior; they change behavior routinely and effectively," he said. Second, "remember that any time there is a monetary limit placed on a gift ... it really is arbitrary. The reality is, who is going to coherently describe the difference between a $75 gift and a $125 gift?"

In other words, you can't just rely on policy: You have to use your own judgment in concert with the guidelines your organization has in place. "I do keep it in the front of my mind," O'Neill said, "that I'm making my decisions based on business facts and profit. I really can't be bought for a free hotel night or a free lunch."

Cracking the Code

But if ethics guidelines aren't available in the first place, you have nothing to go on but your own judgment, which often can be a recipe for disaster. And, unfortunately, a universally recognized, industry-wide code of ethics doesn't exist at present. (To read PCMA's Principles of Professional and Ethical Conduct, visit www.pcma.org/documents/code_of_ethics.pdf.) "Some people would argue that we are a profession, and all professions have codes of ethics; so therefore we should have some sort of code," Breiter said. But how specific or generic would that code need to be? "That's where you'd probably have a hard time getting agreement in the industry," she said. "The devil's in the details."

The devil can also be in the lack of details, according to Bauer. "Ethics codes are notoriously unhelpful, and [often] fall into one of several unhelpful categories," he said. "A list of rules, or they simply say, ‘Don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal,' [or] basically a single-spaced, 60-page, legalese, risk-management document that doesn't help at all."

How can your organization formulate a code of ethics that is genuinely helpful? One way is by doing what Kirklen's team was engaged in when Convene called for an interview: communicating. "The way we define and refine our standard of ethics is by talking about it," O'Neill said, "and by looking at it from different points of view and in different situations."

The most important place to start is by deciding what values you want to promote. "If an organization really is serious about developing a culture of ethics ... there needs to be a statement that really nails with absolutely clarity what are the most important, most persistent priorities for its members or its employees," Bauer said. "So that all day, every day, folks can effectively self-evaluate: Is what I'm about to do really, fully, and appropriately aligned with the values that this industry or this organization says I'm supposed to have?"

Bauer recommends backing up that statement with a separate but related code of conduct, containing examples that illustrate just how an organization's various values, as enumerated in the code of ethics, should manifest themselves in the real world. One good rule of thumb, as expressed by several people interviewed for this article, is the "newspaper test": Would you want whatever it is you're about to do to be reported on the front page of your local newspaper?

Finally, there's education. "A lot of corporate planners, or corporations in general, have ethics training," Hilliard said. "Many associations and nonprofits don't do that." Even if your organization does have a written policy, but junior members aren't educated as to what's expected of them ethically, how can they be expected to know when they cross the line?

"Having a well-written ethics code is of huge value, but only if there is effective training on what it says, what it means, and how to actively bring it to life," Bauer said.

After all, he added, "Enron had a terrifically well-written ethics code ... [which] in and of itself was of no use absent the appropriate training, oversight, and appropriate organizational ethical tone."

> Hunter R. Slaton is a senior editor of Convene.

Respondents left an avalanche of comments in response to our ethics survey's final question, which asked whether the meetings industry was doing fine ethically, or if there is room for reform. What follows below, and throughout this article, is a small sample of what they wrote.

"Because I am based in Canada, I don't see ethics as being as much of a concern as in the U.S."

"As a planner, I am very careful to act ethically and professionally. There are times when suppliers try to push the limits."

"We're not members of Congress. Even in the event of an ethical breach, the reach CMPs and other planners have is not extensive into the community, industry, etc. Personally, I feel the debate over meetings ethics has been inflamed by medical meetings as well as government meetings - but, as a whole, is a nonissue. Let's not create controversy and self-regulation where none is needed."

"Sales departments are designed to get people to use their services (just like in any other industry), so I don't think it is unethical for them to offer benefits to planners.

However, it is up to the planner to make the final decision, keeping in mind that bad ones will affect their reputation. Some offers of thanks and appreciation are warranted, but the planner needs to use common sense as to what is appropriate and what is not."

"I think some things that may be ‘borderline' as far as ethics [are concerned] are a necessity in certain circumstances. For example, travel and site inspections for potential meetings may not be budgeted in an organization. A fam or sponsored trip may provide the ability to showcase a venue/destination that might not otherwise have been considered. Speaking from personal experience, I have booked several meetings at locations that I iscovered ‘by accident' during a sponsored event that I would not have considered otherwise."

A Framework for Ethical Decision-Making

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, in Santa Clara, Calif., concerns itself with developing tools and programs to address real-world ethical issues. While not specific to the meetings industry, the Markkula Center's 10-step "Framework for Ethical Decision-Making" can serve as a useful "decision tree" for any planner to use when confronted with an ethical dilemma.

Recognize an Ethical Issue

1. Could this decision or situation be damaging to someone or to some group? Does this decision involve a choice between a good and bad alternative, or perhaps between two "goods" or between two "bads"?

2. Is this issue about more than what is legal or what is most efficient? If so, how?

Get the Facts

3. What are the relevant facts of the case?

What facts are not known? Can I learn more about the situation? Do I know enough to make a

decision?

4. What individuals and groups have an important stake in the outcome? Are some concerns more important? Why?

5. What are the options for acting? Have all the relevant persons and groups been

consulted? Have I identified creative options?

Evaluate Alternative Actions

6. Evaluate the options by asking the following questions:

- Which option will produce the most good and do the least harm? (The Utilitarian Approach)

- Which option best respects the rights of all who have a stake? (The Rights Approach)

- Which option treats people equally or proportionately? (The Justice Approach)

- Which option best serves the community as a whole, not just some members? (The Common Good Approach)

- Which option leads me to act as the sort of person I want to be? (The Virtue Approach)

Make a Decision and Test It

7. Considering all these approaches, which option best addresses the situation?

8. If I told someone I respect - or told a television audience - which option I have chosen, what would they say?

Act and Reflect on the Outcome

9. How can my decision be implemented with

the greatest care and attention to the concerns of all stakeholders?

10. How did my decision turn out, and what have I learned from this specific situation?

- Reprinted with permission of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University (www.scu.edu/ethics).

Test Time

Once you finish reading this CMP Series article, read the following article from a previous issue of Convene:

- "‘Stronger Than Concern & Weaker Than Panic,'" which is about the revisions to the PhRMA and AdvaMed codes of ethics that went into effect last year and are still the subject of discussion and debate among meeting professionals: http://bit.ly/94SE5U.

- Then, to earn one hour of CEU credit toward your CMP®, visit www.pcma.org/convenecmp to answer questions about the material contained in these two articles.

The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is a registered trademark of the Convention Industry Council.

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State Prosecutors Investigated | View Clip
10/18/2010
KHYL-FM - Online

The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The study reportedly analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009. The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods. Most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions even when they find harmful error.

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State Prosecutors Investigated | View Clip
10/18/2010
KHYL-FM - Online

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases. The study reportedly analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009. The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods. Most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions even when they find harmful error. addthis_pub = 'kfbk';

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State Prosecutors Investigated | View Clip
10/18/2010
KTSE-AM - Online

The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The study reportedly analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009. The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods. Most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions even when they find harmful error.

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Here is the latest California news from The Associated Press
10/18/2010
Associated Press (AP) - Sacramento Bureau

PASADENA, Calif._A 3-year-old boy who was reported missing yesterday morning was found safe and strapped into his car seat in a Pasadena parking garage. Police arrested the boy's father, 23-year-old Joe Kurihara, on Saturday night. He said he was too drunk to remember that he had left a wedding Saturday night with the boy.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline. The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Former President Bill Clinton told young voters at a rally at San Jose State University not to sit out the midterm election. The event last night before a crowd of about 5,000 was Clinton's second appearance in two days with California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and lieutenant governor hopeful Gavin Newsom.

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Medical Board of California will decide if the Beverly Hills doctor who helped Nadya Suleman conceive her octuplets and six other children through in vitro fertilization should have his license revoked or suspended. Fertility specialists have criticized Beverly Hills Dr. Michael Kamrava's methods.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Pro/con: Should the U.S. loosen regulations on businesses?
10/18/2010
Duluth News Tribune, The

More...

* Yes: Regulations devastate nation's economic growth

The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by

2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health-care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's “bailout approach” to business.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries — involving both the Bush and Obama administrations — and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787 billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time — in a recession — when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry — from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

The regulations advocated by the present administration — something that has not yet affected hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run — are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration.

Copyright © 2010 Duluth News Tribune

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KSWT: Local News, Weather, Sports Yuma, AZ El Centro Imperial Valley, CA | State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct | View Clip
10/18/2010
KSWT-TV - Online

State Bar review for prosecutorial misconduct

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California State Bar is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors cited for misconduct in a statewide report alleging lax discipline.

The investigation follows release of a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law that shows there was prosecutorial misconduct ranging from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases.

The San Jose Mercury News says the study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

The study determined the majority of California prosecutors used fair methods.

Still, the study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or sanctions, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Clinton Rallies Dems ... Prosecutor Misconduct Often Overlooked ... Travel Numbers Up | View Clip
10/18/2010
KQED-FM - Online

Clinton Rallies Dems in San Jose

Bill Clinton reached out to young voters over the weekend at San Jose State. The former president spoke at a rally for the Democratic ticket, specifically Jerry Brown for governor and Gavin Newsom for lieutenant governor.

Study Finds Little Discipline for Prosecutor Misconduct

Some California prosecutors now face added scrutiny, after a new report claims they face little or no discipline for misconduct. The Northern California Innocence Project, part of Santa Clara University School of Law, reviewed about four thousand appeals court rulings for the study.

New figures show air travel this summer was up about four percent from the year before. Federal statistics show national air traffic is down over the last three years. SFO officials attribute the increase to more low-cost flights, and increased traffic to Asia and the Middle East.

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Cease-and-Desist Order Against Website Selling Class Notes Raises IP Questions | View Clip
10/18/2010
ABA Journal - Online

Education Law

Ryan Stevens launched his idea for NoteUtopia.com—a website that allows students to sell and buy notes for classes—while in a business entrepreneurship class at California State University, Sacramento. Stevens graduated and got permits from his alma mater as well as CSU Chico and CSU East Bay to pass out NoteUtopia marketing materials to students.

But last month, CSU University Counsel Gale Baker told Stevens in a letter that his site violates a section of California's state education code prohibiting anyone from selling or disseminating "academic presentations," class notes included for commercial purposes, the Sacramento Bee reported. All students from the 23 schools in the California State University system were also sent an e-mail warning them that they faced discipline or expulsion for selling class notes through NoteUtopia or by any other means.

The Bee reported that while Stevens replied with Baker's requests, he has contacted an attorney about fighting the state law.

The law was co-sponsored 10 years ago by the California Faculty Association in response to websites posting class notes without the permission of faculty members giving the lectures. Professors felt it was unfair that they spent hours assembling course materials only to see others profit from them.

What students are legally able to do with material they glean from class lectures "comes up with some regularity," Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University Law School and a professor of Internet law, told the Bee.

James D. Nguyen, Beverly Hills attorney and former chairman of the intellectual property section of the State Bar of California, told the Los Angeles Times that when students summarize a lecture, they create a new work that they own under federal copyright law.

Hat Tip: Pat's Papers.

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Con: Must the U.S. loosen up to promote job growth? | View Clip
10/18/2010
Argus Leader - Online

Next Page 1 | 2 Previous Page lif. - The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment.

In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions. Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements advocated by the Obama administration will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms and others will dampen economic growth.Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's bailout approach to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing - and hiring.For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers such as DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of dominant personal computer makers such as Apple and HP.(2 of 2)Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries - involving both the Bush and Obama administrations - and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the $787 billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time - in a recession - when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford did not. Yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently. This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.This friction, in turn, hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry - from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.In the end, according to government figures more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period but delayed the recovery of several large industries - thus slowing job growth.The regulations advocated by the present administration - something that has not yet affected hiring and probably will reduce economic volatility in the long run - are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration. Reach them at SCU, 500 El Camino Real,

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California Bar reviewing 130 prosecutors for possible disciplinary action | View Clip
10/18/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Responding to the first statewide report on lax discipline of prosecutors who commit misconduct, the California State Bar Association is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors named in the report for possible disciplinary action.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a prominent San Jose lawyer recently appointed the bar's chief trial counsel, to prosecute discipline cases against attorneys.

The report by Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law noted the majority of California prosecutors use fair methods to prosecute those they believe are guilty.

Still, the study found that over a 13-year period,

Special Report

600 prosecutors have committed misconduct according to rulings by state and federal appellate judges. They range from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases, such as hiding evidence. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field. He has been suspended by the bar for four years for violating a host of rules in four criminal cases, ranging from disobeying judges' orders to hiding crucial evidence from defense lawyers that could have helped people accused of crimes.

The suspension followed an unprecedented, three-year Mercury News investigation

of the Santa Clara County criminal justice system called "Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice" that found a dramatic number of cases were infected with errors by defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors.

Praised, faulted

But Field's punishment was the exception, not the rule: Only seven of the 600 prosecutors whom the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar -- slightly more than 1 percent.

"Here is an area of professional responsibility that has gone wildly under-enforced, so it's good to see the bar take this action," said Michael Kresser, who coordinates appeals of indigent local defendants as director of the Sixth District Appellate Program.

But Scott Thorpe, director of the California District Attorneys Association, faulted the study for exaggerating the problem of prosecutorial misconduct.

"It dramatically overstates the problem," Thorpe said. "They didn't quote one single prosecutor. It's upsetting." Towery said most of the misconduct is probably not serious enough to warrant public reproval, suspension or disbarment.

"We're likely to find that the overwhelming majority of cases reflect simply human mistakes that don't rise to the level of discipline," Towery said, adding he will recuse himself from cases from Santa Clara County because his wife is a county prosecutor. "But at the same time, the State Bar should make sure all prosecutors follow the ethical rules just as we look to make sure all lawyers do." The study acknowledges that only 130 of the 600 prosecutors were deemed by the appellate courts to have committed "harmful error" -- that is, to have done something that altered the fundamental fairness of the trial, prompting the court to set aside convictions or sentences, declare mistrials or bar evidence.

But the Innocence Project study found some "harmless error cases may have involved infractions just as serious -- and in some cases identical to" those in harmful error cases.

Even if the errors weren't egregious enough to have swayed the jury, the study contends a prosecutor should be reported to the bar based on the seriousness of the conduct and not on the guilt of the defendant.

Attorneys are required to report any harmful error judgments against them to the State Bar and can be disciplined for failing to do so, even when there is no basis to impose discipline against them otherwise.

The study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or reproval, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

"This report takes a dynamic new approach to prosecutorial misconduct by naming names," said Gerald Uelmen, a professor at Santa Clara University's law school. "For years and years, this has been swept under the rug."

Attorneys named

The study names six attorneys in Santa Clara County who were found to have committed harmful error in a single case: former prosecutor Jaime Stringfield, Troy Benson, Brian Welch, Lane Liroff and Jimmy DeMertzis, as well as Field in multiple cases.

The study also found courts routinely fail to report prosecutorial misconduct to the State Bar, as they are required to do in harmful error cases. Prosecutors also often deny that it occurred and the State Bar almost never takes action -- at least not publicly, the report found. The bar can send a private letter of warning or reproval, or publicly reprove attorneys, suspend them or disbar them.

A State Bar attorney said the agency expects to find the courts didn't report the misconduct of most of the 130 attorneys in 159 cases. However, the bar also can independently review cases, even those that have been deemed "harmless error." Even if few of the 130 attorneys wind up being disciplined, largely because most haven't demonstrated a pattern of misconduct over a series of cases, their names will be noted.

"If we see misconduct," said Deputy Trial Counsel Cydney Batchelor, "we're going to open a file on them." The study, written by Kathleen M. Ridolfi and Maurice Possley, urges district attorneys, the courts and the bar to reform the system, including to provide more ethics training for prosecutors, which the State Bar under Towery's leadership plans to do.

Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482.

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BAR TO REVIEW 130 FOR ACTION
10/18/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Responding to the first statewide report on lax discipline of prosecutors who commit misconduct, the California State Bar Association is reviewing the records of 130 prosecutors named in the report for possible disciplinary action.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a prominent San Jose lawyer recently appointed the bar's chief trial counsel, to prosecute discipline cases against attorneys.

The report by Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law noted the majority of California prosecutors use fair methods to prosecute those they believe are guilty.

Still, the study found that over a 13-year period, 600 prosecutors have committed misconduct according to rulings by state and federal appellate judges. They range from small technical mistakes to unfair and deceptive tactics to win cases, such as hiding evidence. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field. He has been suspended by the bar for four years for violating a host of rules in four criminal cases, ranging from disobeying judges' orders to hiding crucial evidence from defense lawyers that could have helped people accused of crimes.

The suspension followed an unprecedented, three-year Mercury News investigation of the Santa Clara County criminal justice system called "Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice" that found a dramatic number of cases were infected with errors by defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors.

Praised, faulted

But Field's punishment was the exception, not the rule: Only seven of the 600 prosecutors whom the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar -- slightly more than 1 percent.

"Here is an area of professional responsibility that has gone wildly under-enforced, so it's good to see the bar take this action," said Michael Kresser, who coordinates appeals of indigent local defendants as director of the Sixth District Appellate Program.

But Scott Thorpe, director of the California District Attorneys Association, faulted the study for exaggerating the problem of prosecutorial misconduct.

"It dramatically overstates the problem," Thorpe said. "They didn't quote one single prosecutor. It's upsetting." Towery said most of the misconduct is probably not serious enough to warrant public reproval, suspension or disbarment.

"We're likely to find that the overwhelming majority of cases reflect simply human mistakes that don't rise to the level of discipline," Towery said, adding he will recuse himself from cases from Santa Clara County because his wife is a county prosecutor. "But at the same time, the State Bar should make sure all prosecutors follow the ethical rules just as we look to make sure all lawyers do." The study acknowledges that only 130 of the 600 prosecutors were deemed by the appellate courts to have committed "harmful error" -- that is, to have done something that altered the fundamental fairness of the trial, prompting the court to set aside convictions or sentences, declare mistrials or bar evidence.

But the Innocence Project study found some "harmless error cases may have involved infractions just as serious -- and in some cases identical to" those in harmful error cases.

Even if the errors weren't egregious enough to have swayed the jury, the study contends a prosecutor should be reported to the bar based on the seriousness of the conduct and not on the guilt of the defendant.

Attorneys are required to report any harmful error judgments against them to the State Bar and can be disciplined for failing to do so, even when there is no basis to impose discipline against them otherwise.

The study found most prosecutors can operate with little risk of public embarrassment or reproval, partly because judges often delete the prosecutor's name from their opinions, even when they find harmful error.

"This report takes a dynamic new approach to prosecutorial misconduct by naming names," said Gerald Uelmen, a professor at Santa Clara University's law school. "For years and years, this has been swept under the rug."

Attorneys named

The study names six attorneys in Santa Clara County who were found to have committed harmful error in a single case: former prosecutor Jaime Stringfield, Troy Benson, Brian Welch, Lane Liroff and Jimmy DeMertzis, as well as Field in multiple cases.

The study also found courts routinely fail to report prosecutorial misconduct to the State Bar, as they are required to do in harmful error cases. Prosecutors also often deny that it occurred and the State Bar almost never takes action -- at least not publicly, the report found. The bar can send a private letter of warning or reproval, or publicly reprove attorneys, suspend them or disbar them.

A State Bar attorney said the agency expects to find the courts didn't report the misconduct of most of the 130 attorneys in 159 cases. However, the bar also can independently review cases, even those that have been deemed "harmless error." Even if few of the 130 attorneys wind up being disciplined, largely because most haven't demonstrated a pattern of misconduct over a series of cases, their names will be noted.

"If we see misconduct," said Deputy Trial Counsel Cydney Batchelor, "we're going to open a file on them." The study, written by Kathleen M. Ridolfi and Maurice Possley, urges district attorneys, the courts and the bar to reform the system, including to provide more ethics training for prosecutors, which the State Bar under Towery's leadership plans to do.

Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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California prosecutors' misconduct probed | View Clip
10/18/2010
St. Louis Globe-Democrat

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The California State Bar announced it is investigating 130 prosecutors who are suspected of misconduct and face possible disciplinary action.

The bar is responding to a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a bar counsel appointed to prosecute disciplinary cases involving attorneys.

The report said that over a 13-year period 600 prosecutors have committed misconduct.

The charges range from technical errors to deceptive tactics, like concealing evidence, to win cases. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field, the Mercury News said. He has been suspended for four years for violating rules in four cases, including hiding exculpatory evidence from defense lawyers, the newspaper said.

But he is an exception. Only seven of the 600 prosecutors the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar, slightly more than 1 percent.

Field's suspension followed an investigation by the Mercury News.

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California prosecutors' misconduct probed
10/18/2010
United Press International (UPI)

The California State Bar announced it is investigating 130 prosecutors who are suspected of misconduct and face possible disciplinary action.

The bar is responding to a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a bar counsel appointed to prosecute disciplinary cases involving attorneys.

The report said that over a 13-year period 600 prosecutors have committed misconduct.

The charges range from technical errors to deceptive tactics, like concealing evidence, to win cases. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field, the Mercury News said. He has been suspended for four years for violating rules in four cases, including hiding exculpatory evidence from defense lawyers, the newspaper said.

But he is an exception. Only seven of the 600 prosecutors the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar, slightly more than 1 percent.

Field's suspension followed an investigation by the Mercury News.

Copyright © 2010 United Press International

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California prosecutors' misconduct probed | View Clip
10/18/2010
UPI.com

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The California State Bar announced it is investigating 130 prosecutors who are suspected of misconduct and face possible disciplinary action.

The bar is responding to a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a bar counsel appointed to prosecute disciplinary cases involving attorneys.

The report said that over a 13-year period 600 prosecutors have committed misconduct.

The charges range from technical errors to deceptive tactics, like concealing evidence, to win cases. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field, the Mercury News said. He has been suspended for four years for violating rules in four cases, including hiding exculpatory evidence from defense lawyers, the newspaper said.

But he is an exception. Only seven of the 600 prosecutors the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar, slightly more than 1 percent.

Field's suspension followed an investigation by the Mercury News.

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California prosecutors' misconduct probed | View Clip
10/18/2010
UPI.com

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The California State Bar announced it is investigating 130 prosecutors who are suspected of misconduct and face possible disciplinary action.

The bar is responding to a report by the Northern California Innocence Project at the Santa Clara University School of Law, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"I welcome the report because it shines a light on an issue we need to address," said James Towery, a bar counsel appointed to prosecute disciplinary cases involving attorneys.

The report said that over a 13-year period 600 prosecutors have committed misconduct.

The charges range from technical errors to deceptive tactics, like concealing evidence, to win cases. The study analyzed about 4,000 appellate court rulings from 1997 through 2009.

Sixty-seven of the 600 prosecutors committed misconduct more than once, including former Santa Clara County prosecutor Ben Field, the Mercury News said. He has been suspended for four years for violating rules in four cases, including hiding exculpatory evidence from defense lawyers, the newspaper said.

But he is an exception. Only seven of the 600 prosecutors the courts found to have committed misconduct were disciplined by the State Bar, slightly more than 1 percent.

Field's suspension followed an investigation by the Mercury News.

Return to Top



Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say | View Clip
10/18/2010
Orlando Sentinel - Online

By David Ovalle, The Miami Herald

11:12 p.m. EDT, October 16, 2010

When she wanted to hawk her cell phone, 17-year-old Rosa Zelaya of Hialeah turned to the ever-popular website Craigslist.

But instead of cash, two thugs stole her phone and fired a bullet at her.

Rosa is one of a dozen people this year alone who Miami-Dade police say were victimized by criminals who met them through the ubiquitous buy-and-sell website. Ten cases resulted in arrests.

To steal everything from iPhones to concert tickets to video game consoles, criminals are increasingly using Craigslist.com to arrange the robberies of unsuspecting victims, police said.

In Rosa's case, she posted her HTC HD2 phone for sale for $450 on the website in June.

An affable young man sent her boyfriend, Kevin Rodriguez, a text message inquiring about the phone.

But the man claimed he didn't have a car, and asked if the couple could meet him in front of a house in the 1000 block of Northwest 106th Street. Wary of the neighborhood but not suspicious enough, the couple tooks some friends along and drove to the house.

At gunpoint, police say, Jeffry Saintil, 17, and Kareen Bowles, 17, then robbed them of the phone. When the teens tried following the robbers, one of them shot at their car, missing.

Saintil and Bowles are now jailed, awaiting trial for armed robbery. The suspects were arrested at the same meeting place -- actually an abandoned house, police said.

"The lesson is, don't go on Craigslist unless you meet the person in a public place," Rosa said. "Don't trust anybody, even if they sound nice."

As its reach has grown in recent years, Craigslist has come under closer scrutiny for its use by criminals, including robbers, prostitutes and thieves looking to peddle their stolen goods.

The most high-profile case was that of former Boston medical student Philip Markoff, accused of murdering a masseuse he met through Craigslist. Markoff, while in jail, killed himself in August before standing trial.

In response to the wave of publicity -- and outcry from state attorneys general -- Craigslist pulled its "adult services'' ads from the site.

In a high-profile local Craigslist case last month, a Miami-Dade police detective shot and critically wounded suspected robber Marcus Rogers, 18, during a confrontation at the teen's home in the 1800 block of Northwest 45th Street.

According to police, Rogers had earlier robbed two men from Palm Beach County who had agreed to meet him in Miami, thinking he was going to sell them a used Honda.

Police stress that buyers and sellers should meet only in well-lit, public places.

"You have to be careful. Victims are being asked to go to a residence, or a secluded place at night. Obviously, we recommend against that," said Miami-Dade Detective Aida M. Fina-Milian, a police spokeswoman.

Eric Goldman, director of the Santa Clara University School of Law's High Tech Institute, said buyers should be wary of buying smaller items such as phones and electronics from the site.

"Buying and selling on Craigslist has inherent risks, as opposed to an online retailer or Ebay, where sellers have well-developed reputations," Goldman said.

But he noted that most Craigslist users are honest, and customers should simply use common sense.

"Craigslist is not an ideal place for criminals because buyers and sellers exchange a lot of information about each other," he said, adding: "It doesn't sound like we have the most savvy criminals."

Police say those less-than-savvy robbers include Marcelo Peña, 18, who was arrested on a robbery charge after meeting Nicolas Portuando, 20, in front of Devon Aire Elementary in South Miami-Dade on the night of March 10.

Portuando was to sell him a $100 ticket for Miami's Ultra music festival. But Peña snatched the ticket from Portuando's hand and drove off, knocking Portuando down, scraping

him up, police said.

Investigators, within four hours, tracked Peña down with the obvious evidence:

Portuando had the suspect's phone number stored in his cell phone.

"I haven't posted anything else on Craigslist, just for the fact you never know who

you're going to be dealing with," Portuando said.

Miami Herald staff writer Jennifer Lebovich contributed to this report.

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Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say | View Clip
10/18/2010
Daily Press - Online, The

By David Ovalle, The Miami Herald

11:12 p.m. EDT, October 16, 2010

When she wanted to hawk her cell phone, 17-year-old Rosa Zelaya of Hialeah turned to the ever-popular website Craigslist.

But instead of cash, two thugs stole her phone and fired a bullet at her.

Rosa is one of a dozen people this year alone who Miami-Dade police say were victimized by criminals who met them through the ubiquitous buy-and-sell website. Ten cases resulted in arrests.

To steal everything from iPhones to concert tickets to video game consoles, criminals are increasingly using Craigslist.com to arrange the robberies of unsuspecting victims, police said.

In Rosa's case, she posted her HTC HD2 phone for sale for $450 on the website in June.

An affable young man sent her boyfriend, Kevin Rodriguez, a text message inquiring about the phone.

But the man claimed he didn't have a car, and asked if the couple could meet him in front of a house in the 1000 block of Northwest 106th Street. Wary of the neighborhood but not suspicious enough, the couple tooks some friends along and drove to the house.

At gunpoint, police say, Jeffry Saintil, 17, and Kareen Bowles, 17, then robbed them of the phone. When the teens tried following the robbers, one of them shot at their car, missing.

Saintil and Bowles are now jailed, awaiting trial for armed robbery. The suspects were arrested at the same meeting place -- actually an abandoned house, police said.

"The lesson is, don't go on Craigslist unless you meet the person in a public place," Rosa said. "Don't trust anybody, even if they sound nice."

As its reach has grown in recent years, Craigslist has come under closer scrutiny for its use by criminals, including robbers, prostitutes and thieves looking to peddle their stolen goods.

The most high-profile case was that of former Boston medical student Philip Markoff, accused of murdering a masseuse he met through Craigslist. Markoff, while in jail, killed himself in August before standing trial.

In response to the wave of publicity -- and outcry from state attorneys general -- Craigslist pulled its "adult services'' ads from the site.

In a high-profile local Craigslist case last month, a Miami-Dade police detective shot and critically wounded suspected robber Marcus Rogers, 18, during a confrontation at the teen's home in the 1800 block of Northwest 45th Street.

According to police, Rogers had earlier robbed two men from Palm Beach County who had agreed to meet him in Miami, thinking he was going to sell them a used Honda.

Police stress that buyers and sellers should meet only in well-lit, public places.

"You have to be careful. Victims are being asked to go to a residence, or a secluded place at night. Obviously, we recommend against that," said Miami-Dade Detective Aida M. Fina-Milian, a police spokeswoman.

Eric Goldman, director of the Santa Clara University School of Law's High Tech Institute, said buyers should be wary of buying smaller items such as phones and electronics from the site.

"Buying and selling on Craigslist has inherent risks, as opposed to an online retailer or Ebay, where sellers have well-developed reputations," Goldman said.

But he noted that most Craigslist users are honest, and customers should simply use common sense.

"Craigslist is not an ideal place for criminals because buyers and sellers exchange a lot of information about each other," he said, adding: "It doesn't sound like we have the most savvy criminals."

Police say those less-than-savvy robbers include Marcelo Peña, 18, who was arrested on a robbery charge after meeting Nicolas Portuando, 20, in front of Devon Aire Elementary in South Miami-Dade on the night of March 10.

Portuando was to sell him a $100 ticket for Miami's Ultra music festival. But Peña snatched the ticket from Portuando's hand and drove off, knocking Portuando down, scraping

him up, police said.

Investigators, within four hours, tracked Peña down with the obvious evidence:

Portuando had the suspect's phone number stored in his cell phone.

"I haven't posted anything else on Craigslist, just for the fact you never know who

you're going to be dealing with," Portuando said.

Miami Herald staff writer Jennifer Lebovich contributed to this report.

Return to Top



CSU orders NoteUtopia to cease its note-selling operation | View Clip
10/18/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

NoteUtopia, a startup company for college students founded by a young Sacramento State graduate, has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the CSU chancellor's office, which said the company is violating state education codes that prohibit students from selling their class notes.

The ban came just weeks after Ryan Stevens launched his company – sort of an eBay for college students to buy and sell their study materials – with back-to-school booths in September at CSU Sacramento, Chico and East Bay.

The 10-year-old law that prompted the ban is so obscure that it caught NoteUtopia's founder, campus officials and Internet law experts by surprise.

Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University Law School and a professor of Internet law, said "many people had no idea it's on the books."

But while the law may be a sleeper, the issue of what students can do with material taken from class lectures "comes up with some regularity," Goldman noted. It's at the heart of an academic and legal debate on intellectual property rights involving how classroom content is shared among students.

Stevens, a June graduate who launched the idea in a California State University, Sacramento, business entrepreneurship class, said he was "shocked" by the ban, especially since he was granted permits and paid daily fees – as high as $500 a day at CSUS – to pass out NoteUtopia fliers and marketing materials at three state college campuses.

In a Sept. 21 letter, CSU University Counsel Gale Baker told Stevens that NoteUtopia violates a state education code section that prohibits anyone from selling or disseminating "academic presentations" for commercial purposes, including handwritten class notes.

"This means that any CSU student posting class notes for sale on your website is subject to discipline, up through and including expulsion from the university," Baker wrote.

Stevens was directed to immediately cease selling class notes in California, to stop marketing NoteUtopia to students at all 23 CSU campuses and place a prominent notice on the website that such sales are prohibited.

In a subsequent e-mail to CSUS students, Lori Varlotta, the campus's vice president for student affairs, repeated the warning that students buying or selling class notes risk penalties, including possible expulsion. Other campuses issued similar warnings.

The warnings prompted about 15 students to cancel their NoteUtopia accounts, said Stevens, 22, who declined to give the total number of members.

Stevens isn't backing down. He said he's complied with the CSU counsel's requests, but he's also contacted an attorney and Internet law experts about fighting the statute in court.

"If students are writing their own notes on what a teacher is saying, we don't see why the state can tell them what they can do or cannot do with that material. It's a violation of students' rights."

Further, Stevens says CSU officials are harming his fledgling company's reputation. "They're leaving the impression that we're an illegal website. And that's not true."

The website offers a number of other services that apparently aren't prohibited by California law. Students can still upload – for free or for sale – other class-related items such as exam study guides, chapter outlines and released quizzes and exams.

NoteUtopia touts itself as a way for "well-performing" students to earn some cash by uploading their class notes and other study guides, at suggested rates of $1 to $3. Students who've had to miss class or whose own notes may be "incomplete or not as comprehensive" can purchase what they need. NoteUtopia collects a few cents from every transaction.

"What I'm doing is truly a good thing," said Stevens, a San Francisco resident. "I'm not giving them answers to a test under the table. It's students helping other students do better in school. What else could a professor want?"

Whether NoteUtopia can survive without the ability of California students to buy or sell class notes is unclear. Stevens said he's had students join since the controversy erupted.

"You could take one piece away from one state (California) and the business could still flourish," said Goldman.

But if NoteUtopia intends to challenge California's statute, the legal battle could be so costly it would "dwarf the business," said Goldman. "The real tragedy for small businesses is that it's very expensive to be an entrepreneur in our society today. If (Note-Utopia) can't afford to wade into these cloudy legal areas," it may not survive.

Call The Bee's Claudia Buck, (916) 321-1968.

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THE CALIFORNIA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS NOW RESPONDING TO A STUDY ISSUED STATEWIDE BY A GROUP FROM THE SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL.
10/18/2010
Channel 2 News at 5 PM - KTVU-TV

THE CALIFORNIA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS NOW RESPONDING TO A STUDY ISSUED STATEWIDE BY A GROUP FROM THE SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL. THE REPORT CITED HUNDREDS OF CASES WHERE COURTS FOUND MISCONDUCT BY PROSECUTORS BUT VERY LITTLE ACCOUNTABILITY OR DISCIPLINARY ACTION. KTVU'S ROBERT HANDA IS LIVE IN SAN JOSE TONIGHT WITH MORE ON THIS. ROBERT. Reporter: FRANK, WE ARE HERE AT THE HALL OF JUSTICE IN SAN JOSE AND THIS IS JUST A PARTIAL LIST OF UPCOMING TRIALS GENERATING MEDIA AND PUBLIC INTEREST. NOW, THE STATEWIDE REPORT REVIEWED THOUSANDS OF CASES TO FIND THE CONFIRMED MISCONDUCT AND THAT LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND NOW IT APPEARS SOME CHANGES ARE COMING. CHANGE IN THE NEXT WEEK OR SO. Reporter: LAW STUDENTS AT THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL ARE LEARNING ABOUT JUSTICE AND THAT EVEN AS PROSECUTORS, THE GOAL IS NOT JUST WINNING A CASE. PROSECUTORS ARE MINISTERS OF JUSTICE, RIGHT, THEIR GOAL IS NOT TO CONVICT BUT TO SEE THAT JUSTICE IS DONE. Reporter: PROFESSOR IS THE COAUTHOR OF PREVENTABLE ERROR, A STUDY RELEASED EARLIER THIS MONTH THROUGH THE INNOCENCE PROJECT. THE STUDY REVIEWED MORE THAN 4000 CASES OVER A 13-YEAR PERIOD WHERE SOME TYPE OF MISCONDUCT WAS BROUGHT UP. IT FOUND 707 IN WHICH THE COURTS EXPLICITLY DETERMINED SIGNIFICANT MISCONDUCT BUT THAT ONLY SIX PROSECUTORS WERE DISCIPLINED BY THE STATE BAR ASSOCIATION AND THE STUDY ALSO SAID JUDGES OFTEN DON'T REPORT MISCONDUCT IF IN THEIR OPINION THE MISCONDUCT DIDN'T AFFECT THE OUTCOME. WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH THE SYSTEM THAT NOT ONLY GIVES PROSECUTORS A PASS, NOT ONLY TOLERATES MISCONDUCT, BUT YOU KNOW IT REALLY FOSTERS MISCONDUCT. Reporter: THE STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS NOW REVIEWING THE RECORDS OF PROSECUTORS CITED IN THE REPORT IN ITS INITIAL STATEMENT IT POINTED OUT THE STATE BAR DOES DISCIPLINE WHEN APPROPRIATE AND WHERE MISCONDUCT WAS WILLFUL AND ESTABLISHED BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE. THE INNOCENCE PROJECT IS ALSO CALLING FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY AND PUBLIC NOTICE WHEN THERE IS MISCONDUCT AND MORE ETHICS TRAINING FOR PROSECUTORS. SANTA CLARA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY DOLORES CARR SAYS HER DEPARTMENT HAS A PROGRAM OF REVIEWING AND TRAINING THAT COULD BE A GOOD MODEL AND SAID EVEN THOUGH LEGAL CASES ARE COMPLICATED, JUSTICE IS NOT AN IDEALISTIC OR UNREALISTIC GOAL. I THINK THE PROSECUTORS, THE DAs THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA ONLY WANT TO CONVICT THE GUILTY AND THEY WANT THE INNOCENT TO GO FREE. R PROJECT SAYS IT IS OPTIMISTIC CHANGE WILL OCCUR OR CERTAINLY IMPROVEMENT POINTING OUT IN THE FIRST NINE YEARS OF THE CASE AND STUDY, NO DISCIPLINARY ACTION WAS TAKEN. LIVE IN SAN JOSE, ROBERT HANDA, KTVU CHANNEL 2 NEWS.

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THE CALIFORNIA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS NOW RESPONDING TO A STUDY ISSUED STATEWIDE BY A GROUP FROM THE SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL.
10/18/2010
Channel 2 News at 5 PM - KTVU-TV

THE CALIFORNIA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS NOW RESPONDING TO A STUDY ISSUED STATEWIDE BY A GROUP FROM THE SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL. THE REPORT CITED HUNDREDS OF CASES WHERE COURTS FOUND MISCONDUCT BY PROSECUTORS BUT VERY LITTLE ACCOUNTABILITY OR DISCIPLINARY ACTION. KTVU'S ROBERT HANDA IS LIVE IN SAN JOSE TONIGHT WITH MORE ON THIS. ROBERT. Reporter: FRANK, WE ARE HERE AT THE HALL OF JUSTICE IN SAN JOSE AND THIS IS JUST A PARTIAL LIST OF UPCOMING TRIALS GENERATING MEDIA AND PUBLIC INTEREST. NOW, THE STATEWIDE REPORT REVIEWED THOUSANDS OF CASES TO FIND THE CONFIRMED MISCONDUCT AND THAT LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND NOW IT APPEARS SOME CHANGES ARE COMING. CHANGE IN THE NEXT WEEK OR SO. Reporter: LAW STUDENTS AT THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL ARE LEARNING ABOUT JUSTICE AND THAT EVEN AS PROSECUTORS, THE GOAL IS NOT JUST WINNING A CASE. PROSECUTORS ARE MINISTERS OF JUSTICE, RIGHT, THEIR GOAL IS NOT TO CONVICT BUT TO SEE THAT JUSTICE IS DONE. Reporter: PROFESSOR IS THE COAUTHOR OF PREVENTABLE ERROR, A STUDY RELEASED EARLIER THIS MONTH THROUGH THE INNOCENCE PROJECT. THE STUDY REVIEWED MORE THAN 4000 CASES OVER A 13-YEAR PERIOD WHERE SOME TYPE OF MISCONDUCT WAS BROUGHT UP. IT FOUND 707 IN WHICH THE COURTS EXPLICITLY DETERMINED SIGNIFICANT MISCONDUCT BUT THAT ONLY SIX PROSECUTORS WERE DISCIPLINED BY THE STATE BAR ASSOCIATION AND THE STUDY ALSO SAID JUDGES OFTEN DON'T REPORT MISCONDUCT IF IN THEIR OPINION THE MISCONDUCT DIDN'T AFFECT THE OUTCOME. WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH THE SYSTEM THAT NOT ONLY GIVES PROSECUTORS A PASS, NOT ONLY TOLERATES MISCONDUCT, BUT YOU KNOW IT REALLY FOSTERS MISCONDUCT. Reporter: THE STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS NOW REVIEWING THE RECORDS OF PROSECUTORS CITED IN THE REPORT IN ITS INITIAL STATEMENT IT POINTED OUT THE STATE BAR DOES DISCIPLINE WHEN APPROPRIATE AND WHERE MISCONDUCT WAS WILLFUL AND ESTABLISHED BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE. THE INNOCENCE PROJECT IS ALSO CALLING FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY AND PUBLIC NOTICE WHEN THERE IS MISCONDUCT AND MORE ETHICS TRAINING FOR PROSECUTORS. SANTA CLARA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY DOLORES CARR SAYS HER DEPARTMENT HAS A PROGRAM OF REVIEWING AND TRAINING THAT COULD BE A GOOD MODEL AND SAID EVEN THOUGH LEGAL CASES ARE COMPLICATED, JUSTICE IS NOT AN IDEALISTIC OR UNREALISTIC GOAL. I THINK THE PROSECUTORS, THE DAs THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA ONLY WANT TO CONVICT THE GUILTY AND THEY WANT THE INNOCENT TO GO FREE. Reporter: THE INNOCENCE PROJECT SAYS IT IS OPTIMISTIC CHANGE WILL OCCUR OR CERTAINLY IMPROVEMENT POINTING OUT IN THE FIRST NINE YEARS OF THE CASE AND STUDY, NO DISCIPLINARY ACTION WAS TAKEN. LIVE IN SAN JOSE, ROBERT HANDA, KTVU CHANNEL 2 NEWS.

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THE REPORT BY THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT OUT OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL FOUND 600 LAWYERS COMMITTED EVERYTHING FROM SMALL TECHNICAL MISTAKES TO HARMFUL AND DECEPTIVE TACTICS LIKE HIDING EVIDENCE.
10/18/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 6 PM - KNTV-TV

IT IS PROSECUTORS WHO WILL FACE JUDGMENT IN THE COMING WEEKS. THE STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS REVIEWING DOZENS OF PROSECUTORS AFTER A NEW REPORT FOUND MISCONDUCT MAY HAVE SENT INNOCENT PEOPLE TO JAIL. THE REPORT BY THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT OUT OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL FOUND 600 LAWYERS COMMITTED EVERYTHING FROM SMALL TECHNICAL MISTAKES TO HARMFUL AND DECEPTIVE TACTICS LIKE HIDING EVIDENCE. THE STATE BAR IS INVESTIGATING 130 PROSECUTORS WHO MAY HAVE MADE MISTAKES WHO COULD HAVE RESULTED IN AN UNFAIR TRIAL.

Return to Top



THE REPORT BY THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT OUT OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL FOUND 600 LAWYERS COMMITTED EVERYTHING FROM SMALL TECHNICAL MISTAKES TO HARMFUL AND DECEPTIVE TACTICS LIKE HIDING EVIDENCE.
10/18/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 6 PM - KNTV-TV

IT IS PROSECUTORS WHO WILL FACE JUDGMENT IN THE COMING WEEKS. THE STATE BAR ASSOCIATION IS REVIEWING DOZENS OF PROSECUTORS AFTER A NEW REPORT FOUND MISCONDUCT MAY HAVE SENT INNOCENT PEOPLE TO JAIL. THE REPORT BY THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA INNOCENCE PROJECT OUT OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL FOUND 600 LAWYERS COMMITTED EVERYTHING FROM SMALL TECHNICAL MISTAKES TO HARMFUL AND DECEPTIVE TACTICS LIKE HIDING EVIDENCE. THE STATE BAR IS INVESTIGATING 130 PROSECUTORS WHO MAY HAVE MADE MISTAKES WHO COULD HAVE RESULTED IN AN UNFAIR TRIAL.

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Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say | View Clip
10/17/2010
Sun Sentinel - Online

By David Ovalle, The Miami Herald

11:12 p.m. EDT, October 16, 2010

When she wanted to hawk her cell phone, 17-year-old Rosa Zelaya of Hialeah turned to the ever-popular website Craigslist.

But instead of cash, two thugs stole her phone and fired a bullet at her.

Rosa is one of a dozen people this year alone who Miami-Dade police say were victimized by criminals who met them through the ubiquitous buy-and-sell website. Ten cases resulted in arrests.

To steal everything from iPhones to concert tickets to video game consoles, criminals are increasingly using Craigslist.com to arrange the robberies of unsuspecting victims, police said.

In Rosa's case, she posted her HTC HD2 phone for sale for $450 on the website in June.

An affable young man sent her boyfriend, Kevin Rodriguez, a text message inquiring about the phone.

But the man claimed he didn't have a car, and asked if the couple could meet him in front of a house in the 1000 block of Northwest 106th Street. Wary of the neighborhood but not suspicious enough, the couple tooks some friends along and drove to the house.

At gunpoint, police say, Jeffry Saintil, 17, and Kareen Bowles, 17, then robbed them of the phone. When the teens tried following the robbers, one of them shot at their car, missing.

Saintil and Bowles are now jailed, awaiting trial for armed robbery. The suspects were arrested at the same meeting place -- actually an abandoned house, police said.

"The lesson is, don't go on Craigslist unless you meet the person in a public place," Rosa said. "Don't trust anybody, even if they sound nice."

As its reach has grown in recent years, Craigslist has come under closer scrutiny for its use by criminals, including robbers, prostitutes and thieves looking to peddle their stolen goods.

The most high-profile case was that of former Boston medical student Philip Markoff, accused of murdering a masseuse he met through Craigslist. Markoff, while in jail, killed himself in August before standing trial.

In response to the wave of publicity -- and outcry from state attorneys general -- Craigslist pulled its "adult services'' ads from the site.

In a high-profile local Craigslist case last month, a Miami-Dade police detective shot and critically wounded suspected robber Marcus Rogers, 18, during a confrontation at the teen's home in the 1800 block of Northwest 45th Street.

According to police, Rogers had earlier robbed two men from Palm Beach County who had agreed to meet him in Miami, thinking he was going to sell them a used Honda.

Police stress that buyers and sellers should meet only in well-lit, public places.

"You have to be careful. Victims are being asked to go to a residence, or a secluded place at night. Obviously, we recommend against that," said Miami-Dade Detective Aida M. Fina-Milian, a police spokeswoman.

Eric Goldman, director of the Santa Clara University School of Law's High Tech Institute, said buyers should be wary of buying smaller items such as phones and electronics from the site.

"Buying and selling on Craigslist has inherent risks, as opposed to an online retailer or Ebay, where sellers have well-developed reputations," Goldman said.

But he noted that most Craigslist users are honest, and customers should simply use common sense.

"Craigslist is not an ideal place for criminals because buyers and sellers exchange a lot of information about each other," he said, adding: "It doesn't sound like we have the most savvy criminals."

Police say those less-than-savvy robbers include Marcelo Peña, 18, who was arrested on a robbery charge after meeting Nicolas Portuando, 20, in front of Devon Aire Elementary in South Miami-Dade on the night of March 10.

Portuando was to sell him a $100 ticket for Miami's Ultra music festival. But Peña snatched the ticket from Portuando's hand and drove off, knocking Portuando down, scraping

him up, police said.

Investigators, within four hours, tracked Peña down with the obvious evidence:

Portuando had the suspect's phone number stored in his cell phone.

"I haven't posted anything else on Craigslist, just for the fact you never know who

you're going to be dealing with," Portuando said.

Miami Herald staff writer Jennifer Lebovich contributed to this report.

Return to Top



Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say | View Clip
10/17/2010
Chicago Tribune - Online

By David Ovalle, The Miami Herald

10:12 p.m. CDT, October 16, 2010

When she wanted to hawk her cell phone, 17-year-old Rosa Zelaya of Hialeah turned to the ever-popular website Craigslist.

But instead of cash, two thugs stole her phone and fired a bullet at her.

Rosa is one of a dozen people this year alone who Miami-Dade police say were victimized by criminals who met them through the ubiquitous buy-and-sell website. Ten cases resulted in arrests.

To steal everything from iPhones to concert tickets to video game consoles, criminals are increasingly using Craigslist.com to arrange the robberies of unsuspecting victims, police said.

In Rosa's case, she posted her HTC HD2 phone for sale for $450 on the website in June.

An affable young man sent her boyfriend, Kevin Rodriguez, a text message inquiring about the phone.

But the man claimed he didn't have a car, and asked if the couple could meet him in front of a house in the 1000 block of Northwest 106th Street. Wary of the neighborhood but not suspicious enough, the couple tooks some friends along and drove to the house.

At gunpoint, police say, Jeffry Saintil, 17, and Kareen Bowles, 17, then robbed them of the phone. When the teens tried following the robbers, one of them shot at their car, missing.

Saintil and Bowles are now jailed, awaiting trial for armed robbery. The suspects were arrested at the same meeting place -- actually an abandoned house, police said.

"The lesson is, don't go on Craigslist unless you meet the person in a public place," Rosa said. "Don't trust anybody, even if they sound nice."

As its reach has grown in recent years, Craigslist has come under closer scrutiny for its use by criminals, including robbers, prostitutes and thieves looking to peddle their stolen goods.

The most high-profile case was that of former Boston medical student Philip Markoff, accused of murdering a masseuse he met through Craigslist. Markoff, while in jail, killed himself in August before standing trial.

In response to the wave of publicity -- and outcry from state attorneys general -- Craigslist pulled its "adult services'' ads from the site.

In a high-profile local Craigslist case last month, a Miami-Dade police detective shot and critically wounded suspected robber Marcus Rogers, 18, during a confrontation at the teen's home in the 1800 block of Northwest 45th Street.

According to police, Rogers had earlier robbed two men from Palm Beach County who had agreed to meet him in Miami, thinking he was going to sell them a used Honda.

Police stress that buyers and sellers should meet only in well-lit, public places.

"You have to be careful. Victims are being asked to go to a residence, or a secluded place at night. Obviously, we recommend against that," said Miami-Dade Detective Aida M. Fina-Milian, a police spokeswoman.

Eric Goldman, director of the Santa Clara University School of Law's High Tech Institute, said buyers should be wary of buying smaller items such as phones and electronics from the site.

"Buying and selling on Craigslist has inherent risks, as opposed to an online retailer or Ebay, where sellers have well-developed reputations," Goldman said.

But he noted that most Craigslist users are honest, and customers should simply use common sense.

"Craigslist is not an ideal place for criminals because buyers and sellers exchange a lot of information about each other," he said, adding: "It doesn't sound like we have the most savvy criminals."

Police say those less-than-savvy robbers include Marcelo Peña, 18, who was arrested on a robbery charge after meeting Nicolas Portuando, 20, in front of Devon Aire Elementary in South Miami-Dade on the night of March 10.

Portuando was to sell him a $100 ticket for Miami's Ultra music festival. But Peña snatched the ticket from Portuando's hand and drove off, knocking Portuando down, scraping

him up, police said.

Investigators, within four hours, tracked Peña down with the obvious evidence:

Portuando had the suspect's phone number stored in his cell phone.

"I haven't posted anything else on Craigslist, just for the fact you never know who

you're going to be dealing with," Portuando said.

Miami Herald staff writer Jennifer Lebovich contributed to this report.

Return to Top



Craigslist sales end in a dozen robberies, Miami-Dade cops say | View Clip
10/17/2010
Baltimore Sun - Online

By David Ovalle, The Miami Herald

11:12 p.m. EDT, October 16, 2010

When she wanted to hawk her cell phone, 17-year-old Rosa Zelaya of Hialeah turned to the ever-popular website Craigslist.

But instead of cash, two thugs stole her phone and fired a bullet at her.

Rosa is one of a dozen people this year alone who Miami-Dade police say were victimized by criminals who met them through the ubiquitous buy-and-sell website. Ten cases resulted in arrests.

To steal everything from iPhones to concert tickets to video game consoles, criminals are increasingly using Craigslist.com to arrange the robberies of unsuspecting victims, police said.

In Rosa's case, she posted her HTC HD2 phone for sale for $450 on the website in June.

An affable young man sent her boyfriend, Kevin Rodriguez, a text message inquiring about the phone.

But the man claimed he didn't have a car, and asked if the couple could meet him in front of a house in the 1000 block of Northwest 106th Street. Wary of the neighborhood but not suspicious enough, the couple tooks some friends along and drove to the house.

At gunpoint, police say, Jeffry Saintil, 17, and Kareen Bowles, 17, then robbed them of the phone. When the teens tried following the robbers, one of them shot at their car, missing.

Saintil and Bowles are now jailed, awaiting trial for armed robbery. The suspects were arrested at the same meeting place -- actually an abandoned house, police said.

"The lesson is, don't go on Craigslist unless you meet the person in a public place," Rosa said. "Don't trust anybody, even if they sound nice."

As its reach has grown in recent years, Craigslist has come under closer scrutiny for its use by criminals, including robbers, prostitutes and thieves looking to peddle their stolen goods.

The most high-profile case was that of former Boston medical student Philip Markoff, accused of murdering a masseuse he met through Craigslist. Markoff, while in jail, killed himself in August before standing trial.

In response to the wave of publicity -- and outcry from state attorneys general -- Craigslist pulled its "adult services'' ads from the site.

In a high-profile local Craigslist case last month, a Miami-Dade police detective shot and critically wounded suspected robber Marcus Rogers, 18, during a confrontation at the teen's home in the 1800 block of Northwest 45th Street.

According to police, Rogers had earlier robbed two men from Palm Beach County who had agreed to meet him in Miami, thinking he was going to sell them a used Honda.

Police stress that buyers and sellers should meet only in well-lit, public places.

"You have to be careful. Victims are being asked to go to a residence, or a secluded place at night. Obviously, we recommend against that," said Miami-Dade Detective Aida M. Fina-Milian, a police spokeswoman.

Eric Goldman, director of the Santa Clara University School of Law's High Tech Institute, said buyers should be wary of buying smaller items such as phones and electronics from the site.

"Buying and selling on Craigslist has inherent risks, as opposed to an online retailer or Ebay, where sellers have well-developed reputations," Goldman said.

But he noted that most Craigslist users are honest, and customers should simply use common sense.

"Craigslist is not an ideal place for criminals because buyers and sellers exchange a lot of information about each other," he said, adding: "It doesn't sound like we have the most savvy criminals."

Police say those less-than-savvy robbers include Marcelo Peña, 18, who was arrested on a robbery charge after meeting Nicolas Portuando, 20, in front of Devon Aire Elementary in South Miami-Dade on the night of March 10.

Portuando was to sell him a $100 ticket for Miami's Ultra music festival. But Peña snatched the ticket from Portuando's hand and drove off, knocking Portuando down, scraping

him up, police said.

Investigators, within four hours, tracked Peña down with the obvious evidence:

Portuando had the suspect's phone number stored in his cell phone.

"I haven't posted anything else on Craigslist, just for the fact you never know who

you're going to be dealing with," Portuando said.

Miami Herald staff writer Jennifer Lebovich contributed to this report.

Return to Top



Commentary: Disruptive effect of bailouts is the real culprit behind snail-like recovery | View Clip
10/17/2010
McClatchy Company Washington DC Bureau

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing - and hiring.

For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries - involving both the Bush and Obama administrations - and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787-billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time - in a recession - when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry - from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries - thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration - something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run - are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

ABOUT THE WRITERS

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration. Readers may write to them at SCU, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif. 95053.

This essay is available to McClatchy-Tribune News Service subscribers. McClatchy-Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column; the opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of McClatchy-Tribune or its editors.

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Bailouts not over-regulation is real culprit behind snail-like recovery | View Clip
10/17/2010
Rome News-Tribune - Online

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing — and hiring.

For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries — involving both the Bush and Obama administrations — and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787-billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time — in a recession — when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry — from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries — thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration — something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run — are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration. Readers may write to them at SCU, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif. 95053.

Return to Top



Bailouts not over-regulation is real culprit behind snail-like recovery | View Clip
10/17/2010
Rome News-Tribune - Online

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing — and hiring.

For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries — involving both the Bush and Obama administrations — and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787-billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time — in a recession — when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry — from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries — thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration — something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run — are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration. Readers may write to them at SCU, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif. 95053.

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Professor Thomas G. Plante | View Clip
10/17/2010
Psychology Today - Online

Thomas Plante, PhD., ABPP is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University as well as an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. In recent years he has served as psychology department chair as well as acting dean of the school of education, counseling psychology, and pastoral at Santa Clara University. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children for the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and is President of the Psychology of Religion division of the American Psychological Association (Division 36). He was born and raised in Rhode Island and received his ScB degree in psychology from Brown University, his M.A. and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and health psychology from Yale University. Prior to coming to Santa Clara in 1994, he was a staff psychologist and on the clinical faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of mental health services at the Children's Health Council in Palo Alto, California.

He has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited fourteen books including Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church (2004, Greenwood), Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned: Perspectives on Sexual Abuse Committed by Roman Catholic Priests (1999, Greenwood), Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives (2001, Guilford), Do the Right Thing: Living Ethically in an Unethical World (2004, New Harbinger), Contemporary Clinical Psychology (1999, 2005, 2011, Wiley), Mental Disorders of the New Millennium (Vols. I, II, and III, 2006, Greenwood), Spirit, Science and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels Physical Wellness (2007, Greenwood), Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health (2009, American Psychological Association), and Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health (2010, Greenwood) as well as published over 150 scholarly professional journal articles and book chapters. His area of clinical and research interest focuses on stress and coping, the influence of aerobic exercise and perceived fitness on psychological functioning, faith and health outcomes, psychological issues among Catholic clergy and laypersons, and ethical decision making. He has been featured in numerous media outlets including Time Magazine, CNN, NBC Nightly News, the PBS News Hour, New York Times, USA Today, British Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio, among many others. He has evaluated or treated more than 600 Catholic and Episcopal priests and applicants to the priesthood and diaconate and has served as a consultant for a number of Church dioceses and religious orders. Time Magazine referred to him (April 1, 2002) as one of "three leading (American) Catholics." He maintains a private practice in northern California where he lives with his wife, Lori (also a psychologist) and son, Zachary. His hobbies include running and managing a small home vineyard where he and his family grow syrah grapes for wine making under the TLZ Plante Family Vineyard label. He can be reached at tplante@scu.edu and his university web page is scu.edu/tplante.

by Thomas G. Plante Ph.D.

2010 Praeger

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by Thomas G. Plante Ph.D.

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by Thomas G. Plante Ph.D.

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2009 American Psychological Association (APA)

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2001 The Guilford Press

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In this blog, I hope to offer reflections on doing the right thing for our body, minds, and souls as well as for our relationships, communities, and the world. While I certainly don't own a corner on the truth and know what the right thing is for you, I hopefully can at least offer some thoughtful ideas about how to discern for ourselves what the right thing might be. I'll comment on health and fitness, ethical behavior, and ways to live a life that hopefully maximizes our potential for health, wellness, and satisfaction.

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Farewell to the 'Corporate University' | View Clip
10/17/2010
Chronicle of Higher Education - Online, The

The term "corporate university" barely raises an eyebrow these days. That is unfortunate. It's perfectly fine for a collegial kvetch around the department water cooler, but it's not all that helpful for analyzing how institutions like ours are being restructured. In fact, the term is a lazy shorthand for understanding the changes coursing through higher education.

Admittedly, there is a pile of evidence to support the idea that universities have gone corporate. The casualization of the academic work force is the most obvious—arguably, the loss of professional job security has occurred at a rate faster than in any other occupational sector. The polarization in salaries is another example of marketization: The ratio of executive compensation to the pay of the average adjunct instructor bears comparison with that in most top-down corporations. So too have universities, like corporations, gone offshore, cutting costs, spreading assets, and polishing their brands in "emerging markets." The shift in attention and funds toward commercially relevant fields has also been quite pronounced, and the production of a jumbo pool of student debt has made universities into vehicles, if not instruments, for bankers' profits. Some of the most delicious water-cooler tales emphasize how our administrators are adopting managerial techniques from corporate America.

But there the analogy begins to unravel. At my own university—no slouch when it comes to entrepreneurial moves—the administration recently introduced a "re-engineering" campaign to cut costs and improve managerial efficiency. Transplants from the corporate world might have concluded they were in a time warp. After all, the heyday of the managerial fad known as "re-engineering" was in the early 1990s, sparked by Michael Hammer and James Champy's Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution (HarperBusiness, 1993).

But doesn't that just illustrate that higher education (like the armed forces) is a late adopter of cutting-edge corporate strategies? Well, not exactly. Champy and Hammer's ideas were an important driver of the "lean and mean" phase of corporate restructuring, and one of the outcomes was the drastic thinning out of middle-management ranks. Corporations became much flatter, as managerial responsibilities were pushed down onto the desks, laptops, and BlackBerrys of nonmanagerial employees. Yet the evidence is that the opposite is occurring in higher education. The amassing of administrative ranks is on a steady upward swing, as more and more middle managers are added to college payrolls. Nor are regular faculty members being asked to take on managerial responsibilities. If anything, the additional tasks they are given—mostly gathering data—are routine in nature.

At New York University, the administration seems to model itself more on Washington than on Wall Street. Our president has a "chief of staff" and often recruits officials from the federal government; the senior administrators of our new Abu Dhabi campus are referred to as the "senior cabinet." NYU, of course, enjoys a metropolitan location that is attractive to bureaucrats looking to trade in their Georgetown digs for a Manhattan ZIP code. But even for colleges without that geographical advantage, the steady increase in administrator-to-faculty ratios bears more of a resemblance to the thickening of a government bureaucracy than to any corporate leadership structure.

Further evidence for the political model can be found in the galloping erosion of shared governance in higher education. Instead of enjoying their full traditional role in governance, faculty members are increasingly likely to be "consulted" about decision making, and more and more on an ad hoc basis. Again, the model of voluntary solicitation is more akin to the internal workings of government agencies than modern corporations. It is geared more to shoring up and protecting power at the top than to encouraging ideas and innovations that will improve company market position.

The root problem with the way we invoke the "corporate university" is that academics tend to have a fixed, undifferentiated idea of what "corporate" means. In reality, corporations are fast-mutating species, constantly looking to reinvent themselves, rolling out "re-orgs" periodically, and experimenting with workflows at a rate that academic culture (even the most entrepreneurial) would never tolerate. Nor have we fully absorbed the degree to which corporations, and especially businesses that trade on knowledge or ideas, have adopted many features of the traditional academic work mentality: open speech, the 24/7 cycle of generating ideas, the loose, overlapping live-work schedule, the custom of sharing knowledge—even the need for sabbaticals. For many corporations, the work tempo of academics is zealously advocated as a model for their high-wage employees.

So, at the very least, the traffic is two-way. Indeed, I am inclined to see the relationship between research universities and knowledge corporations best described not as converging, but as coevolving, with each morphing into new and ever-expanding institutional forms. One example of the way the sectors appear to run in tandem is the emphasis on intellectual property, which is more and more the coin of the realm in advanced economies. The pursuit of revenue from intellectual property is now also increasingly common in academe. But, unlike in the corporate sphere, there are limits to how far higher education will go in turning knowledge into a private revenue stream. Just as industrial capitalism depended on free inputs from nature—air, water, and fossil fuels—so too knowledge capitalism depends on freely exploiting ideas and nonpatented research generated by the exercise of academic freedom.

Last but not least, there are some aspects of education that just don't fit industrial models of profit. Though speculative investors in higher education would like to see it treated as a tradable service (under WTO rules), it doesn't really resemble other services. For one thing, the quality of the product in education depends heavily on the hard work of the client. Students have to participate fully and perform well for the outcome to be satisfactory. One could think of a few other sectors—therapy and certain sex work—where clients have to labor to get a result, but none require recipients of the service to undergo the wholesale disciplining and self-development that education does.

It has been argued that capitalism's ultimate goal is eliminating wage labor and asking us all to work for nothing, whether as "prosumers" (consumers who do more and more of the work that producers used to pay employees for) or amateur content-providers (for corporate news organizations or user-based Web sites). With chronic joblessness all around us, and corporate profits buoyant, that is certainly an attractive thesis. Indeed, I would predict that unpaid labor is going to become more and more the norm in high-consumption economies like ours. Is higher education a good fit for that profile?

Yes and no. On the teaching side, all the sacrificial labor that we instructors perform "for the love of our subject" is readily available to be exploited. But on the learning side, things are more cloudy. In his book How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation (NYU Press, 2008), Marc Bousquet, a professor at Santa Clara University, and a blogger for The Chronicle, has shown how our undergraduates are increasingly treated as sources of cheap labor, performing many essential service functions—cafeteria, laundry, landscaping, clerical—at discount prices. But the kind of work that students do at the core of their education—reading, writing, listening, thinking, debating, and experimenting—does not strike me as fitting the model of free labor. I'm not quite at the point of concluding that such a work profile is indifferent, even resistant, to the newest modes of extracting profit, but it's one of many parts of academe that don't fold neatly into the bag of the corporate university.

Like many of the labels brandished by activists, the "corporate university" is very good for consciousness raising, but it doesn't hold up so well under closer scrutiny. For academics who believe that the birthright of their profession is being sold off, and that we are witnessing deprofessionalization of the majority of faculty members, it is salutary to feel that there is a single, sulfurous logic responsible for our woes. Let's remember that it wasn't so long ago that the military's ties to universities were the primary target of faculty anxieties. U.S. Defense Department money for academic research has declined since the era when it more or less bankrolled the rise of the postwar research university, but all the new attention to dodgy contracts with corporations has sidelined the substantial influence that the Pentagon still exerts on the physical sciences and on "softer" fields that fall within the orbit of national security. To be effective advocates for the profession and for the cause of education, we need to recognize that our workplaces are subject to more than one gravitational force, and also that universities exert their own pull on other sectors.

In the cold-war heyday, C. Wright Mills argued that the exercise of power in the United States was shaped by "interlocking directorates" drawn from corporations, the government, and the military. Mills's thesis, while cogent for its time, could use an update. Research universities are becoming independent drivers of the economy—stimulating growth and development rather than merely providing trained labor and research. In so doing, they are forging their own influential directorates. Nongovernmental organizations will very likely follow suit. At that point, the tripartite model that Mills set forth in 1956 will have added at least two more prongs. In anticipation of that scenario, we should consider that our universities, far from devolving into mere adjuncts of corporations, will more likely end up as players, in their own right, on a landscape with many hubs.

Andrew Ross is a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University and a member of the American Association of University Professors' "Committee A" on academic freedom and tenure. His most recent book is Nice Work If You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times (NYU Press, 2009).

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Farewell to the 'Corporate University' | View Clip
10/17/2010
Chronicle of Higher Education - Online, The

The term "corporate university" barely raises an eyebrow these days. That is unfortunate. It's perfectly fine for a collegial kvetch around the department water cooler, but it's not all that helpful for analyzing how institutions like ours are being restructured. In fact, the term is a lazy shorthand for understanding the changes coursing through higher education.

Admittedly, there is a pile of evidence to support the idea that universities have gone corporate. The casualization of the academic work force is the most obvious—arguably, the loss of professional job security has occurred at a rate faster than in any other occupational sector. The polarization in salaries is another example of marketization: The ratio of executive compensation to the pay of the average adjunct instructor bears comparison with that in most top-down corporations. So too have universities, like corporations, gone offshore, cutting costs, spreading assets, and polishing their brands in "emerging markets." The shift in attention and funds toward commercially relevant fields has also been quite pronounced, and the production of a jumbo pool of student debt has made universities into vehicles, if not instruments, for bankers' profits. Some of the most delicious water-cooler tales emphasize how our administrators are adopting managerial techniques from corporate America.

But there the analogy begins to unravel. At my own university—no slouch when it comes to entrepreneurial moves—the administration recently introduced a "re-engineering" campaign to cut costs and improve managerial efficiency. Transplants from the corporate world might have concluded they were in a time warp. After all, the heyday of the managerial fad known as "re-engineering" was in the early 1990s, sparked by Michael Hammer and James Champy's Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution (HarperBusiness, 1993).

But doesn't that just illustrate that higher education (like the armed forces) is a late adopter of cutting-edge corporate strategies? Well, not exactly. Champy and Hammer's ideas were an important driver of the "lean and mean" phase of corporate restructuring, and one of the outcomes was the drastic thinning out of middle-management ranks. Corporations became much flatter, as managerial responsibilities were pushed down onto the desks, laptops, and BlackBerrys of nonmanagerial employees. Yet the evidence is that the opposite is occurring in higher education. The amassing of administrative ranks is on a steady upward swing, as more and more middle managers are added to college payrolls. Nor are regular faculty members being asked to take on managerial responsibilities. If anything, the additional tasks they are given—mostly gathering data—are routine in nature.

At New York University, the administration seems to model itself more on Washington than on Wall Street. Our president has a "chief of staff" and often recruits officials from the federal government; the senior administrators of our new Abu Dhabi campus are referred to as the "senior cabinet." NYU, of course, enjoys a metropolitan location that is attractive to bureaucrats looking to trade in their Georgetown digs for a Manhattan ZIP code. But even for colleges without that geographical advantage, the steady increase in administrator-to-faculty ratios bears more of a resemblance to the thickening of a government bureaucracy than to any corporate leadership structure.

Further evidence for the political model can be found in the galloping erosion of shared governance in higher education. Instead of enjoying their full traditional role in governance, faculty members are increasingly likely to be "consulted" about decision making, and more and more on an ad hoc basis. Again, the model of voluntary solicitation is more akin to the internal workings of government agencies than modern corporations. It is geared more to shoring up and protecting power at the top than to encouraging ideas and innovations that will improve company market position.

The root problem with the way we invoke the "corporate university" is that academics tend to have a fixed, undifferentiated idea of what "corporate" means. In reality, corporations are fast-mutating species, constantly looking to reinvent themselves, rolling out "re-orgs" periodically, and experimenting with workflows at a rate that academic culture (even the most entrepreneurial) would never tolerate. Nor have we fully absorbed the degree to which corporations, and especially businesses that trade on knowledge or ideas, have adopted many features of the traditional academic work mentality: open speech, the 24/7 cycle of generating ideas, the loose, overlapping live-work schedule, the custom of sharing knowledge—even the need for sabbaticals. For many corporations, the work tempo of academics is zealously advocated as a model for their high-wage employees.

So, at the very least, the traffic is two-way. Indeed, I am inclined to see the relationship between research universities and knowledge corporations best described not as converging, but as coevolving, with each morphing into new and ever-expanding institutional forms. One example of the way the sectors appear to run in tandem is the emphasis on intellectual property, which is more and more the coin of the realm in advanced economies. The pursuit of revenue from intellectual property is now also increasingly common in academe. But, unlike in the corporate sphere, there are limits to how far higher education will go in turning knowledge into a private revenue stream. Just as industrial capitalism depended on free inputs from nature—air, water, and fossil fuels—so too knowledge capitalism depends on freely exploiting ideas and nonpatented research generated by the exercise of academic freedom.

Last but not least, there are some aspects of education that just don't fit industrial models of profit. Though speculative investors in higher education would like to see it treated as a tradable service (under WTO rules), it doesn't really resemble other services. For one thing, the quality of the product in education depends heavily on the hard work of the client. Students have to participate fully and perform well for the outcome to be satisfactory. One could think of a few other sectors—therapy and certain sex work—where clients have to labor to get a result, but none require recipients of the service to undergo the wholesale disciplining and self-development that education does.

It has been argued that capitalism's ultimate goal is eliminating wage labor and asking us all to work for nothing, whether as "prosumers" (consumers who do more and more of the work that producers used to pay employees for) or amateur content-providers (for corporate news organizations or user-based Web sites). With chronic joblessness all around us, and corporate profits buoyant, that is certainly an attractive thesis. Indeed, I would predict that unpaid labor is going to become more and more the norm in high-consumption economies like ours. Is higher education a good fit for that profile?

Yes and no. On the teaching side, all the sacrificial labor that we instructors perform "for the love of our subject" is readily available to be exploited. But on the learning side, things are more cloudy. In his book How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation (NYU Press, 2008), Marc Bousquet, a professor at Santa Clara University, and a blogger for The Chronicle, has shown how our undergraduates are increasingly treated as sources of cheap labor, performing many essential service functions—cafeteria, laundry, landscaping, clerical—at discount prices. But the kind of work that students do at the core of their education—reading, writing, listening, thinking, debating, and experimenting—does not strike me as fitting the model of free labor. I'm not quite at the point of concluding that such a work profile is indifferent, even resistant, to the newest modes of extracting profit, but it's one of many parts of academe that don't fold neatly into the bag of the corporate university.

Like many of the labels brandished by activists, the "corporate university" is very good for consciousness raising, but it doesn't hold up so well under closer scrutiny. For academics who believe that the birthright of their profession is being sold off, and that we are witnessing deprofessionalization of the majority of faculty members, it is salutary to feel that there is a single, sulfurous logic responsible for our woes. Let's remember that it wasn't so long ago that the military's ties to universities were the primary target of faculty anxieties. U.S. Defense Department money for academic research has declined since the era when it more or less bankrolled the rise of the postwar research university, but all the new attention to dodgy contracts with corporations has sidelined the substantial influence that the Pentagon still exerts on the physical sciences and on "softer" fields that fall within the orbit of national security. To be effective advocates for the profession and for the cause of education, we need to recognize that our workplaces are subject to more than one gravitational force, and also that universities exert their own pull on other sectors.

In the cold-war heyday, C. Wright Mills argued that the exercise of power in the United States was shaped by "interlocking directorates" drawn from corporations, the government, and the military. Mills's thesis, while cogent for its time, could use an update. Research universities are becoming independent drivers of the economy—stimulating growth and development rather than merely providing trained labor and research. In so doing, they are forging their own influential directorates. Nongovernmental organizations will very likely follow suit. At that point, the tripartite model that Mills set forth in 1956 will have added at least two more prongs. In anticipation of that scenario, we should consider that our universities, far from devolving into mere adjuncts of corporations, will more likely end up as players, in their own right, on a landscape with many hubs.

Andrew Ross is a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University and a member of the American Association of University Professors' "Committee A" on academic freedom and tenure. His most recent book is Nice Work If You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times (NYU Press, 2009).

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If California votes to legalize marijuana, will feds crack down? | View Clip
10/17/2010
Columbus Dispatch - Online

Mike Corral cuts branches from a marijuana plant as he prepares a harvest in Davenport, Calif.

Dan CoyroSanta Cruz Sentinel

The Creme De Canna pot shop across from Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, Calif., features marijuana ice cream in three flavors.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Backers of California's Proposition 19 call it a landmark challenge to America's war on drugs. But passage of the Nov. 2 initiative to legalize pot for recreational use might start a legal war between California and the federal government.

Some fear a renewed surge of federal raids - similar to actions that shut down medical pot shops and targeted suppliers and doctors after California voters passed the state's medical-marijuana law in 1996.

Even some fervent proponents of the initiative to allow anyone 21 or older to smoke pot say federal authorities will quickly sue California to overturn the new law.

"I have no doubt that the feds will file suit if Proposition 19 passes," said Dale Gieringer, California director for the pro-legalization National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

In an Aug. 24 letter, nine former administrators for the Drug Enforcement Administration urged Attorney General Eric Holder to sue California - just as the Obama administration sued Arizona when that state passed a controversial immigration law.

"The California proposition is not a close call," wrote the ex-DEA administrators, including Robert Bonner, the former supervising U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. "It will be a clear conflict with established federal law."

Bonner said recently that the California measure conflicts with United Nations treaties to prevent the spread of psychoactive drugs.

"The United States has treaties that would be violated if Proposition 19 were enacted. It would send a terrible signal to countries of the world," he said.

Last week, Holder said the federal government will enforce its marijuana laws in California even if Proposition 19 passes.

The Justice Department strongly opposes the measure and remains firmly committed to enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act in all states, Holder wrote in a letter to former chiefs of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Most of the recent polls suggest that a slight majority of California voters favor legalization.

Last year, in an announcement hailed by marijuana advocates, Holder declared the federal government would no longer target medical marijuana operations in states permitting medical use.

California and 13 other states permit medical marijuana. And federal raids on medical pot establishments - particularly those catering to the seriously ill - stirred political sympathies in favor of the medical marijuana movement.

But now legal observers, such as Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, say Proposition 19 could upset the accord that federal agents and California established with medical use.

"I think it will open up a new order of conflict between the state and the feds," Uelmen said. "The feds resisted (medical use) from the get-go. But I think we finally wore them down.

"Now, if we open the door to lawful cultivation and distribution for recreational use, I think there will be a very strong reaction."

In 2001, Uelmen unsuccessfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative serving medical marijuana patients.

The court, in a decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, declared that marijuana was still illegal and that a "medical exception" defense for the Oakland pot club was invalid under federal law.

In 2005, the high court also ruled against California petitioner Angel Raich, whose six-plant medical marijuana garden was raided by DEA agents after Butte County authorities declined to file state drug charges against him.

In the second ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that although "California has been a pioneer in the regulation of marijuana," enforcement of Federal Controlled Substance Act prohibitions against pot remains "a valid exercise of federal power."

President Barack Obama is opposed to legalizing marijuana. His 2010 National Drug Control Strategy statement declares: "This administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug."

Still, retired Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, a backer of Proposition 19, said he believes current public acceptance of marijuana will diminish the federal response.

"I cannot conceive that the Obama administration would thumb its nose at the voters of the state of California," Gray said.

Proposition 19 would allow Californians 21 or older to possess marijuana for recreational use and permit them to grow pot in small residential spaces. It would also allow local governments to tax retail sales and production.

Zenia Gilg, a San Francisco attorney who handles medical marijuana cases, said federal authorities are unlikely to target average Californians if the measure passes. But she said they might well raid large-scale producers.

In Oakland, producers readying industrial growing rooms of medical pot are eying expansion into legal recreational weed. The city has already approved a conditional tax if Proposition 19 passes.

Gilg says that might be a dilemma for federal agents.

"If they're going to prosecute the guy at the till (of a marijuana business) and not the city or county, they run into a political quagmire," Gilg said.

In California's medical marijuana market, dispensaries amassing up to $1.3 billion in transactions account for more than $100 million in sales taxes, according to state estimates.

But Uelmen said the mere act of paying taxes on recreational marijuana sales could constitute acknowledgment of a federal crime. "To pay the taxes will require us to admit that, in effect, we're violating federal law," he said.

While the law might side with the federal government, Los Angeles marijuana lawyer Bruce Margolin insists politics doesn't. He points to decreased acceptance of medical pot raids.

In 2002, a DEA raid on a Santa Cruz medical pot commune for sick and dying patients produced such a backlash that the city and county sued the federal government. A court settlement banned future DEA raids as long the operation was legal under state law.

A U.S. District Court in San Francisco also stopped the DEA from punishing doctors or threatening to revoke their licenses for recommending marijuana to patients.

"If the feds are going to make a show of force again, clamor their swords and show they're in control, I don't know if the public is going to accept it," Margolin said.

But Donald Heller, a former Sacramento assistant U.S. attorney, said passage of Proposition 19 would give federal authorities no choice but to act.

"I think this pushes it beyond the edge," he said.

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I WENT TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR.
10/17/2010
Channel 4 News Conference - KNBC-TV

THEY'LL MEET THEIR KYOTO PROTOCOLS AS THEIR ECONOMY IS GROWING. MY POINT IS THAT WE CAN GROW OUR ECONOMY, WE CAN CREATE THESE GREEN COLLAR JOBS. BUT WE NEED TO HAVE LEADERSHIP THAT ACTUALLY MOVES US FORWARD. WE'LL DO IT IN A JUDICIOUS WAY, WE'LL DO IT IN A THOUGHTFUL WAY. BUT TO SEND A MESSAGE THAT YOU'RE GOING TO STOP BEFORE YOU'VE BEGUN PUTS A CHILL ON VENTURE CAPITAL, A CHILL ON INVESTMENT. ONE FINAL POINT. IN 2005, CALIFORNIA HAD 34% OF ALL THE GREEN TECH DOLLARS IN VENTURE CAPITAL. NOW WE HAVE OVER 60% BECAUSE WE'VE CREATED A FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGY TO BEGIN THE IMPLEMENTATION AND ADOPTION OF AB-32. WHAT ABEL MALDONADO AND MEG WHITMAN DON'T REALIZE IS RHETORIC MATTERS, WORDS MATTER. IF THEY SUCCEED IT WILL HURT OUR ABILITY TO ATTACK THAT. QUICKLY, LET'S TALK ABOUT POSSIBLY MEG WHITMAN SUCCEEDING. IF SHE'S THE GOVERNOR AND YOU'RE THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, DO YOU LEAD THE POSITION, OR DO YOU WALK INTO HER ROOM AS ABEL MALDONADO SAID HE WOULD WALK INTO THE OFFICE AND SAY LET'S FIND COMMONALITY? I WANT TO GET THINGS DONE. IF WHITMAN'S A SUCCESS, THAT MEAN THE STATE'S A SUCCESS. I WANT TO MAKE HER A SUCCESS, I WANT TO MAKE JERRY BROWN A SUCCESS BECAUSE THAT MEANS THE STATE'S MOVING THE RIGHT DIRECTION. NO LONGER GOOD ENOUGH TO BLAME PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE A DIFFERENT PARTY OR THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW. BUT THAT MEANS THE SAME TIME, I'LL CHALLENGE HER TO HOLD UP TO THE PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP THROUGH INVESTMENT, HIGHER EDUCATION, REFORMS. AND I WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO ACTUALLY COMMUNICATE MY OPPOSITION. LESS THAN A MINUTE LEFT. YOU BAD-MOUTHED THIS JOB DURING THE PRIMARY WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR. YEAH. DISSUADE US OF THE FACT THAT THIS IS A PLACEHOLDER FOR YOU. I DID THAT IN THE CONTEXT OF THE GUBLTORIAL CAMPAIGN. PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO GET PLEA OUT. MY FIRST LIEUTENANT JOB WAS WORKING FOR LEO McCARTHY. I WENT TO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR. WITH RESPECT WE'VE NEVER LIVED UP TO PEOPLE'S EXPECTATION. I WANT TO CHANGE THE DYNAMIC IN TERMS OF PEOPLE'S EXPECTATION, RAISE THE BAR, FOCUS ON JOBS AND THE ECONOMY, 401(k) ON HIGHER EDUCATION, FOCUS ON FOCUS ON HIGHER EDUCATION, FOCUS ON GREEN COLLAR JOBS AND LOW CARBON GROWTH, GET THERE ECONOMY MOVING BY THE INTERSECTION OF WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY THAT WE CAN BE PROUD OF AGAIN. THE MAYOR, GAVIN NEWSOM, WHO WORKED FOR THE LATE LEO McCARTHY, GOD REST HIS SOUL. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US. CANDIDATE FOR LIEUTENANT HIS MESSAGE.

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SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR.
10/17/2010
Channel 4 News Conference - KNBC-TV

MY POINT IN SAYING THIS IS THAT WE CAN GROW OUR ECONOMY, WE CAN CREATE THESE GREEN-COLLAR JOBS BUT WE NEED TO HAVE LEADERSHIP THAT ACTUALLY MOVES US FORWARD. WE'LL DO IT IN A JUDICIOUS WAY, WE'LL DO IT IN A THOUGHTFUL WAY, BUT TO SEND A MESSAGE THAT YOU'RE GOING TO STOP BEFORE YOU'VE EVEN BEGUN PUTS A CHILL ON VENTURE CAPITAL, PUTS A CHILL ON INVESTMENT. ONE FINAL POINT. IN 2005 CALIFORNIA AT 34% OF ALL THE GREEN TECH DOLLARS IN VENTURE CAPITAL. NOW WE HAVE OVER 60% BECAUSE WE'VE CREATED A FRAMEWORK AND A STRATEGY TO BEGIN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OPTION OF A. WHAT ABE'LL MALDONADO AND MEG WHITMAN FAIL TO REALIZE IS RHETORIC MATTERS, WORDS MATTER, AND IF THEY ACTUALLY SUCCEED IT WILL HURT OUR ABILITY TO TRACK THAT INVESTMENT. LET'S TALK ABOUT MEG WHITMAN SUCCEEDING. IF SHE'S THE GOVERNOR AND YOU'RE THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, DO YOU LEAD THE OPPOSITION OR DO YOU WALK INTO HER ROOM AS ABEL MALDONADO SAID HE WOULD WALK INTO JERRY BROWN'S OFFICE AND SAY LET'S FIND COMMONALITY? I WANT TO GET THINGS DONE. IF MEG IF WHITMAN'S A SUCCESS, THAT MEANS THE STATE'S A SUCCESS. I WANT TO MAKE HER A SUCCESS. I WANT TO MAKE JERRY BROWN A SUCCESS BECAUSE THAT MEANS THE STATE'S MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. IT'S NO LONGER GOOD ENOUGH TO BLAME PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE A DIFFERENT PARTY OR THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW. BUT THAT MEANS AT THE SAME TIME I'LL CHALLENGE HER TO HOLD UP TO THE PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP, TO INVEST IN HIGHER EDUCATION AND REFORMS, AND I WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO ACTUALLY COMMUNICATE MY OPPOSITION. LESS THAN A MINUTE LEFT. YOU BADMOUTHED THIS JOB DURING THE PRIMARY WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR. YEAH. DISSUADE US OF THE FACT THAT THIS IS A PLACE HOLDER FOR YOU. I DID THAT IN THE CONTEXT OF THE GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN AND PEOPLE TRYING TO GET ME OUT OF IT. BUT MY FIRST POLITICAL JOB WAS WORKING FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR LEO McCARTHY. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR. SO I'VE ALWAYS FOLLOWED WHAT THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNORS DO. BUT WITH RESPECT, WE'VE NEVER LIVED UP TO PEOPLE'S EXPECTATION. I WANT TO CHANGE THE DYNAMIC IN TERMS OF PEOPLE'S EXPECTATION, RAISE THE BAR, FOCUS ON JOBS AND THE ECONOMY, FOCUS ON HIGHER EDUCATION, FOCUS ON GREEN-COLLAR JOBS AND FOCUS ON LOW-CARBON GREEN GROWTH AND GET THIS ECONOMY MOVING AGAIN BY THE INTERSECTION OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY THAT WE CAN BE PROUD OF AGAIN. THE MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO, GAVIN NEWSOM, WHO WORKED FOR THE LATE LEO McCARTHY, GOD REST HIS SOUL. YEAH. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US. CANDIDATE FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. WELL, SOME FINAL COMMENTS AFTER Refrigerated section

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Santa Clara Historic Home Tour 2010 | View Clip
10/16/2010
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

to 10:00p

at Harris-Lass House Museum, Santa Clara, CA

Price: $20--$25 Advance ticket purchase; $30 tickets at door if available

Tags: home tours historic homes

The Historic Preservation Society of Santa Clara, based at the Harris-Lass Museum, is sponsoring a historic home tour in Santa Clara's Old Quad district to benefit historic preservation projects and non-profit groups in Santa Clara. The tour, to be held December 3rd & 4th includes a Stripped Queen Anne, Eastlake Victorian, Queen Anne Cottage, California Bungalow and the Adobe Lodge on the Santa Clara University Campus. Visit www.sc-hometour.com for more information and ticket prices.

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Scary Investments ... That Work | View Clip
10/16/2010
Yahoo! Finance

Robert Hort is 64, an age when many investors start to slow down a bit -- at least when it comes to where they put their money. Bonds begin to look more appealing than stocks, and cash looks like a safer bet than bonds. So where is Hort, a business owner from suburban New York City, putting a chunk of his savings? Into some of the spookiest stuff on the market, from junk bonds to commercial real estate. "They help me sleep at night," says Hort.

For many investors, only a dose of sleeping pills would provide rest with a portfolio like that. But at a time when Hort should be thinking about safeguarding assets for retirement, he seems to be amping up his risk. Indeed, he's one of a growing number of investors thumbing their noses at the conventional wisdom, turning much of what they learned about investing upside down.

The old rules, of course, told investors to stick with a mix of stocks, high-quality bonds and cash, and to stay away from hard-to-fathom stuff like junk bonds, options and emerging markets. And for a long time, that strategy seemed to work. But after a decade of watching the stock market go nowhere -- and after the stomach-churning ups and downs of the past few years -- more investors are willing to try something new, even if it means stepping out of their comfort zone. A growing number of market experts and financial advisers are telling them that some of the same assets they were supposed to be afraid of can actually be good for them -- as long as they don't take it too far. Commercial real estate, for instance, tracks the stock market only about 57 percent of the time, and some types of real estate investing can offer yields of more than 8 percent, well above what most stocks and bonds provide. Options like puts and calls can act as insurance policies for stock holdings or generate income on the side, limiting losses in down or flat markets, says Hans Olsen, chief investment officer for J.P. Morgan's private-wealth-management business.

Some people are listening. While billions of dollars have flowed out of domestic stocks and into bonds this year, investors have also poured $12.2 billion into emerging-market stock funds that invest not just in China and India, but farther afield, like in the Middle East and Africa. Another $2.1 billion has flowed into real estate funds. At the same time, options trading volume is on the rise at some discount brokers. While some investors are just chasing the latest trend, others have come to the conclusion that financial moves that seemed superscary not that long ago might actually provide balance to their portfolios -- and boost returns over the long run. "You can justify the risks," says Brian Kazanchy, a financial adviser in New Jersey.

Of course, no one is telling investors to abandon U.S. stocks and investment-grade bonds; advisers say they remain bedrocks of any sound portfolio. (Hort, for example, keeps less than 30 percent of his portfolio in the risky stuff.) And even as individual investors are catching on, the idea of building a basket of higher-risk investments isn't exactly a state secret. Many hedge funds have followed similar strategies for decades, and mutual funds are starting to employ them too. Investment managers at the endowments of Harvard and Yale have used them for years, with long periods of success interrupted by big setbacks in the financial crisis.

Still, stepping up the risk even in part of a portfolio goes against the instincts of many investors, like telling your mother she was wrong about drinking milk and getting enough sleep. For investors who want to reevaluate what they consider scary, here are four ways to start.

Rethink Ratios

Is it all in your head? For many investors, the biggest hurdle to remaking a portfolio may be psychological. Losses have been so painful lately that we may have a distorted view of anything risky, says Hersh Shefrin, a behavioral-finance expert at Santa Clara University. What's more, our brains are hardwired to think of investments in isolation, attaching labels like "danger" to a whole class of assets. The upshot: We hone in on the risks of things like junk bonds instead of "how the dots connect" in a portfolio, says Shefrin. For example, emerging-market stocks and U.S. junk bonds rarely move in sync -- when one zigs, the other may zag. Owning both can boost the odds of making money over time, since one asset class often has periods when it outshines the other, says Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist with RDM Financial Group in Westport, Conn.

[See To Roth or Not to Roth]

With U.S. stocks in the doldrums, more financial advisers are urging their clients to consider alternatives. According to investment-management firm Russell Investments, 59 percent of advisers plan to boost their clients' exposure to emerging-market stocks, and 33 percent plan to increase exposure to real estate. Exactly how much should go into such nontraditional assets is a matter of debate, with some advisers urging clients to make them as much as 40 percent of their portfolio.

Thomas Meyer has steadily ramped up his clients' exposure to things like foreign debt, junk bonds and emerging markets. Such investments now account for 30 percent of his clients' portfolios, with the rest in stocks and bonds. Are they scared? Sure. But the Marlton, N.J., adviser says clients often come around after he pulls out charts and shows how their returns are likely to be higher over time -- with less risk along the way. "Volatility is killing investors," he says, "and this stuff can help."

One way to think of these assets is as "satellites" orbiting a core portfolio of high-quality stocks and investment-grade bonds. Sheldon, the market strategist, points out that the satellites can't eliminate volatility or the potential for big losses, and it's best to ease into them over time. Still, many investors who have tweaked their portfolios say they're comfortable with their new mix. Lawrance Fineburg, a sales executive in Exeter, N.H., had a traditional portfolio of stocks and bonds before the crash but has since branched out to include things like junk bonds and emerging-market stocks. "My instinct was to avoid this stuff," he says. "But overall I think my portfolio is safer."

Embrace Risk

George Middleton knows his clients can turn ashen when he recommends junk bonds or debt issued by foreign governments. After all, these bonds look far dicier than old-fashioned Treasurys, and this year's debt debacles in Greece and Portugal have only made folks more leery of anything that lacks an investment-grade credit rating. Investors' fear extends well beyond foreign bonds: According to a recent survey by insurance giant MetLife, 72 percent of advisers say their clients' approach to retirement savings has become more conservative as a result of the financial crisis.

Yet Middleton, an adviser in Vancouver, Wash., urges his clients to put their fears aside and take on a little more risk. Junk bonds, which have yields of around 8 percent, have beaten the stock market this year. And to the surprise of many investors, they've also outperformed stocks over the past five and 10 years. Analysts say some emerging-market debt looks even more attractive. Countries like Brazil recently paid upwards of 11 percent on their local-currency debt, even though government finances in many emerging markets are looking a lot healthier than those of European countries or the U.S. "When you have significantly better balance sheets than the developed world, it's not that risky," says David Robbins, a foreign-bond manager with investment firm TCW.

That doesn't make it easy to step up to the plate, especially after the meltdown of 2008. Behavioral economists say that's partly because losses are often experienced more intensely than gains. One way to ease the fears is to buy a basket of these bonds. The Artio Global High Income fund, for instance, holds 233 debt securities, spread out over different credit qualities and industries. Manager Greg Hopper says he likes the "boring middle class" of the junk universe and holds debt issued by solid companies, such as United Airlines and oil-and-gas firm Plains Exploration & Production.

In emerging markets, Robbins has been buying things like Indonesian government debt and bonds issued by companies such as Pan American Energy, an Argentine firm. The indexes that track emerging-market debt were recently upgraded to investment grade, he notes. And even rising interest rates in these countries may not be so bad; such moves often make a country's currency more attractive to foreign investors, boosting its value. "There are a lot of tailwinds," says Robbins.

[See 7 Myths About Roth IRA Conversions]

Of course, a sudden headwind can knock these investments off stride. While default rates for junk bonds have been falling, they can tick up if the economy weakens. And emerging markets could tumble if there's another flight to safety. Yet the greater risk may be avoiding such investments, at least for a small chunk of one's portfolio. Middleton, for example, sees junk bonds as a long-term play, with "great potential over the next five years."

Buy What Others Are Avoiding

For many investors, the idea of buying the things no one else wants sounds about as appealing as stepping into a haunted house alone. Most of us want to get out when the markets are going down and join the party when they're on the way up. At the same time, part of us knows that Warren Buffett is right when he urges us to be "greedy when others are fearful."

Case in point: real estate. Many people see real estate as a giant money pit these days -- even the ones who don't own a condo in Miami. The commercial market is littered with half-empty properties and unfinished buildings. And there's an estimated $1.4 trillion in commercial debt coming due in the next few years -- in many cases for buildings worth a fraction of their value before the crash. Still, while it can be risky, real estate doesn't always track the same path as stocks or bonds. That can help make real estate a winner when other asset classes are flat.

Though real estate overall still looks pretty dismal, "there are some positive signals," says Stuart Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA. The number of properties entering the foreclosure process has slowed. Even if real estate prices stay flat for years, rental income can be a steady source of cash, buffering riskier investments in a portfolio, says Erik Miller, a financial planner in Portland, Ore. Some real estate investment trusts, which hold commercial properties, yield over 4 percent, almost double the recent yield of the average stock in the S&P 500.

Want to be even more contrarian? It requires a good bit of homework, but some investors are turning into commercial landlords, investing in so-called net-lease properties. The tenants agree to pay the taxes, insurance and maintenance, and often sign leases for a decade or more. It's possible to find properties with tenants such as Walgreens or Capital One bank, whose risk of default is low, says Judson Kauffman, a broker with Marcus & Millichap. These properties tend to be more stable than other types of commercial real estate, he adds. And yields rose in the second quarter for the first time in a year; they recently averaged 8 percent for retail space and 8.4 percent for offices. "It's like buying a corporate bond," says Randy Blankstein, president of the Boulder Group, an industry advisory firm.

These properties aren't for everyone. With tenants locked in for years, landlords can't hike the rent in a hot market, and the properties tend to gain value much more slowly than more flexible types of real estate. Prices for a store leased to a high-quality company can start at $800,000, requiring a down payment of $200,000. Still, Daniel Scotti, a retired physician in Vacaville, Calif., says his net-lease properties pay reliable income and are practically hassle-free. "I just cash the checks," he says.

Watch Your Back

Stocks, bonds, real estate -- no matter what you own, it could take a hit if there's another financial crisis. Just about every kind of asset fell in the 2008 crash. And it's why many pros are telling clients to be more vigilant about their portfolios and take steps in case there's another downdraft. "If you just sit back and wait for things to happen, you're going to get burned," says Betsy Billard, an adviser with Ameriprise Financial.

One of the most effective tools to protect yourself sometimes looks like the scariest: options. To many folks, the world of puts and calls conjures images of Wall Street traders wreaking havoc with arcane financial instruments. But sophisticated investors also use those products to hedge their stock holdings. And brokerage firms like TD Ameritrade and E-Trade are making a push to educate investors, with TD Ameritrade alone hosting 2,100 webcasts and workshops a year addressing options. No wonder: Options are one of the firm's fastest-growing trading segments, with a 14 percent jump in volume over the past year.

Of course, it takes a bit of studying to understand the basic concepts. But one way to dip in is with a hedging strategy of buying puts, says Lee Munson, a money manager in Albuquerque, N.M. A put gives the owner the right to sell a stock at a specific price by a certain date. A put on Coca-Cola would gain value, for instance, if Coke's stock price falls. Investors could then sell the put for a profit. Another strategy is to sell a call option on a stock you own and pocket the income from the sale. The buyer of the option gets the right to buy the stock at a specific price by a certain date. If the stock doesn't go above that price, the option expires worthless and the seller can keep the stock.

Some investors who have studied up on options say it's paying off. Richard Forno, a cybersecurity expert in Arlington, Va., says he's made money on General Electric options over the past few years and he now owns puts against the broad market to profit if it falls. "I'm doing it for protection more than anything," says Forno, 37. "You need to look out for yourself now."

___

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What Conflict of Interest? How Power Blinds Us to Our Flaws | View Clip
10/16/2010
Wall Street Journal

...Congress to put their assets in blind trusts. "If you passed a law saying that [members of Congress and their staffs] can only invest in index funds, on the whole you would do them a great favor, for two reasons," says Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University. "First, they won't be reading news coverage about themselves that they and their constituents don't like. And two, they're more likely to make more money on index funds than by trying to outsmart the market." intelligentinvestor@wsj.com;...

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TWO VIEWS: Disruptive effect of bailouts is real culprit | View Clip
10/16/2010
Fresno Bee - Online

Should the U.S. loosen regulations on businesses?

Posted at 12:00 AM on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010

Economy pitch mainly a blame game for both parties

U.S. sheds more jobs in Sept. than expected

Poll: Weak economic growth expected through 2011

Valley congressional races at a glance

Seen as an economic success, bailout program still provides political fodder

SANTA CLARA -- The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2%.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing -- and hiring.

For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries -- involving both the Bush and Obama administrations -- and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787 billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time -- in a recession -- when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs.

For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry -- from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures, more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries -- thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration -- something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run -- are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow, we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business and Administration. Readers may write to them at SCU, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clar

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Natural selection process needed for thriving marketplace | View Clip
10/16/2010
Journal News - Online

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health-care companies, energy firms and others, will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing — and hiring.

For example, in the last recession, the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant minicomputer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries — involving both the Bush and Obama administrations — and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787 billion fiscal stimulus package — have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time — in a recession — when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs.

For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry — from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures, more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries — thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration — something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run — are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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Natural selection process needed for thriving marketplace | View Clip
10/16/2010
Journal News - Online

|lif. ? The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September. The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health-care companies, energy firms and others, will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing ? and hiring.For example, in the last recession, the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant minicomputer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.(2 of 2)Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries ? involving both the Bush and Obama administrations ? and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787 billion fiscal stimulus package ? have slowed the market's natural selection process. And this has occurred at a critical time ? in a recession ? when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs.

For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry ? from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures, more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries ? thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration ? something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run ? are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace. |George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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CSU orders NoteUtopia to cease its note-selling operation | View Clip
10/16/2010
Merced Sun-Star - Online

NoteUtopia, a startup company for college students founded by a young Sacramento State graduate, has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the CSU chancellor's office, which said the company is violating state education codes that prohibit students from selling their class notes.

The ban came just weeks after Ryan Stevens launched his company – sort of an eBay for college students to buy and sell their study materials – with back-to-school booths in September at CSU Sacramento, Chico and East Bay.

The 10-year-old law that prompted the ban is so obscure that it caught NoteUtopia's founder, campus officials and Internet law experts by surprise.

Call The Bee's Claudia Buck, (916) 321-1968.

PAUL KITAGAKI JR.

pkitagaki@sacbee.com - Ryan Stevens used the old-fashioned marketing tool of an on-campus booth to introduce Sacramento State students to NoteUtopia, a website that lets students buy and sell class notes, tests and study guides. He has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the CSU chancellor's office.

Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University Law School and a professor of Internet law, said "many people had no idea it's on the books."

But while the law may be a sleeper, the issue of what students can do with material taken from class lectures "comes up with some regularity," Goldman noted. It's at the heart of an academic and legal debate on intellectual property rights involving how classroom content is shared among students.

Stevens, a June graduate who launched the idea in a California State University, Sacramento, business entrepreneurship class, said he was "shocked" by the ban, especially since he was granted permits and paid daily fees – as high as $500 a day at CSUS – to pass out NoteUtopia fliers and marketing materials at three state college campuses.

In a Sept. 21 letter, CSU University Counsel Gale Baker told Stevens that NoteUtopia violates a state education code section that prohibits anyone from selling or disseminating "academic presentations" for commercial purposes, including handwritten class notes.

"This means that any CSU student posting class notes for sale on your website is subject to discipline, up through and including expulsion from the university," Baker wrote.

Stevens was directed to immediately cease selling class notes in California, to stop marketing NoteUtopia to students at all 23 CSU campuses and place a prominent notice on the website that such sales are prohibited.

In a subsequent e-mail to CSUS students, Lori Varlotta, the campus's vice president for student affairs, repeated the warning that students buying or selling class notes risk penalties, including possible expulsion. Other campuses issued similar warnings.

The warnings prompted about 15 students to cancel their NoteUtopia accounts, said Stevens, 22, who declined to give the total number of members.

Stevens isn't backing down. He said he's complied with the CSU counsel's requests, but he's also contacted an attorney and Internet law experts about fighting the statute in court.

"If students are writing their own notes on what a teacher is saying, we don't see why the state can tell them what they can do or cannot do with that material. It's a violation of students' rights."

Further, Stevens says CSU officials are harming his fledgling company's reputation. "They're leaving the impression that we're an illegal website. And that's not true."

The website offers a number of other services that apparently aren't prohibited by California law. Students can still upload – for free or for sale – other class-related items such as exam study guides, chapter outlines and released quizzes and exams.

NoteUtopia touts itself as a way for "well-performing" students to earn some cash by uploading their class notes and other study guides, at suggested rates of $1 to $3. Students who've had to miss class or whose own notes may be "incomplete or not as comprehensive" can purchase what they need. NoteUtopia collects a few cents from every transaction.

"What I'm doing is truly a good thing," said Stevens, a San Francisco resident. "I'm not giving them answers to a test under the table. It's students helping other students do better in school. What else could a professor want?"

Whether NoteUtopia can survive without the ability of California students to buy or sell class notes is unclear. Stevens said he's had students join since the controversy erupted.

"You could take one piece away from one state (California) and the business could still flourish," said Goldman.

But if NoteUtopia intends to challenge California's statute, the legal battle could be so costly it would "dwarf the business," said Goldman. "The real tragedy for small businesses is that it's very expensive to be an entrepreneur in our society today. If (Note-Utopia) can't afford to wade into these cloudy legal areas," it may not survive.

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CSU orders NoteUtopia to cease its note-selling operation
10/16/2010
Sacramento Bee, The

NoteUtopia, a startup company for college students founded by a young Sacramento State graduate, has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the CSU chancellor's office, which said the company is violating state education codes that prohibit students from selling their class notes.

The ban came just weeks after Ryan Stevens launched his company – sort of an eBay for college students to buy and sell their study materials – with back-to-school booths in September at CSU Sacramento, Chico and East Bay.

The 10-year-old law that prompted the ban is so obscure that it caught NoteUtopia's founder, campus officials and Internet law experts by surprise.

Eric Goldman , director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University Law School and a professor of Internet law, said "many people had no idea it's on the books."

But while the law may be a sleeper, the issue of what students can do with material taken from class lectures "comes up with some regularity," Goldman noted. It's at the heart of an academic and legal debate on intellectual property rights involving how classroom content is shared among students.

Stevens, a June graduate who launched the idea in a California State University, Sacramento , business entrepreneurship class, said he was "shocked" by the ban, especially since he was granted permits and paid daily fees – as high as $500 a day at CSUS – to pass out NoteUtopia fliers and marketing materials at three state college campuses.

In a Sept. 21 letter, CSU University Counsel Gale Baker told Stevens that NoteUtopia violates a state education code section that prohibits anyone from selling or disseminating "academic presentations" for commercial purposes, including handwritten class notes.

"This means that any CSU student posting class notes for sale on your website is subject to discipline, up through and including expulsion from the university," Baker wrote.

Stevens was directed to immediately cease selling class notes in California, to stop marketing NoteUtopia to students at all 23 CSU campuses and place a prominent notice on the website that such sales are prohibited.

In a subsequent e-mail to CSUS students, Lori Varlotta, the campus's vice president for student affairs, repeated the warning that students buying or selling class notes risk penalties, including possible expulsion. Other campuses issued similar warnings.

The warnings prompted about 15 students to cancel their NoteUtopia accounts, said Stevens, 22, who declined to give the total number of members.

Stevens isn't backing down. He said he's complied with the CSU counsel's requests, but he's also contacted an attorney and Internet law experts about fighting the statute in court.

"If students are writing their own notes on what a teacher is saying, we don't see why the state can tell them what they can do or cannot do with that material. It's a violation of students' rights."

Further, Stevens says CSU officials are harming his fledgling company's reputation. "They're leaving the impression that we're an illegal website. And that's not true."

The website offers a number of other services that apparently aren't prohibited by California law. Students can still upload – for free or for sale – other class-related items such as exam study guides, chapter outlines and released quizzes and exams.

NoteUtopia touts itself as a way for "well-performing" students to earn some cash by uploading their class notes and other study guides, at suggested rates of $1 to $3. Students who've had to miss class or whose own notes may be "incomplete or not as comprehensive" can purchase what they need. NoteUtopia collects a few cents from every transaction.

"What I'm doing is truly a good thing," said Stevens, a San Francisco resident. "I'm not giving them answers to a test under the table. It's students helping other students do better in school. What else could a professor want?"

Whether NoteUtopia can survive without the ability of California students to buy or sell class notes is unclear. Stevens said he's had students join since the controversy erupted.

"You could take one piece away from one state (California) and the business could still flourish," said Goldman.

But if NoteUtopia intends to challenge California's statute, the legal battle could be so costly it would "dwarf the business," said Goldman. "The real tragedy for small businesses is that it's very expensive to be an entrepreneur in our society today. If (Note-Utopia) can't afford to wade into these cloudy legal areas," it may not survive.

Copyright © 2010 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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CSU orders NoteUtopia to cease its note-selling operation | View Clip
10/16/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

NoteUtopia, a startup company for college students founded by a young Sacramento State graduate, has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the CSU chancellor's office, which said the company is violating state education codes that prohibit students from selling their class notes.

The ban came just weeks after Ryan Stevens launched his company � sort of an eBay for college students to buy and sell their study materials � with back-to-school booths in September at CSU Sacramento, Chico and East Bay.

The 10-year-old law that prompted the ban is so obscure that it caught NoteUtopia's founder, campus officials and Internet law experts by surprise.

Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University Law School and a professor of Internet law, said "many people had no idea it's on the books."

But while the law may be a sleeper, the issue of what students can do with material taken from class lectures "comes up with some regularity," Goldman noted. It's at the heart of an academic and legal debate on intellectual property rights involving how classroom content is shared among students.

Stevens, a June graduate who launched the idea in a California State University, Sacramento, business entrepreneurship class, said he was "shocked" by the ban, especially since he was granted permits and paid daily fees � as high as $500 a day at CSUS � to pass out NoteUtopia fliers and marketing materials at three state college campuses.

In a Sept. 21 letter, CSU University Counsel Gale Baker told Stevens that NoteUtopia violates a state education code section that prohibits anyone from selling or disseminating "academic presentations" for commercial purposes, including handwritten class notes.

"This means that any CSU student posting class notes for sale on your website is subject to discipline, up through and including expulsion from the university," Baker wrote.

Stevens was directed to immediately cease selling class notes in California, to stop marketing NoteUtopia to students at all 23 CSU campuses and place a prominent notice on the website that such sales are prohibited.

In a subsequent e-mail to CSUS students, Lori Varlotta, the campus's vice president for student affairs, repeated the warning that students buying or selling class notes risk penalties, including possible expulsion. Other campuses issued similar warnings.

The warnings prompted about 15 students to cancel their NoteUtopia accounts, said Stevens, 22, who declined to give the total number of members.

Stevens isn't backing down. He said he's complied with the CSU counsel's requests, but he's also contacted an attorney and Internet law experts about fighting the statute in court.

"If students are writing their own notes on what a teacher is saying, we don't see why the state can tell them what they can do or cannot do with that material. It's a violation of students' rights."

Further, Stevens says CSU officials are harming his fledgling company's reputation. "They're leaving the impression that we're an illegal website. And that's not true."

The website offers a number of other services that apparently aren't prohibited by California law. Students can still upload � for free or for sale � other class-related items such as exam study guides, chapter outlines and released quizzes and exams.

NoteUtopia touts itself as a way for "well-performing" students to earn some cash by uploading their class notes and other study guides, at suggested rates of $1 to $3. Students who've had to miss class or whose own notes may be "incomplete or not as comprehensive" can purchase what they need. NoteUtopia collects a few cents from every transaction.

"What I'm doing is truly a good thing," said Stevens, a San Francisco resident. "I'm not giving them answers to a test under the table. It's students helping other students do better in school. What else could a professor want?"

Whether NoteUtopia can survive without the ability of California students to buy or sell class notes is unclear. Stevens said he's had students join since the controversy erupted.

"You could take one piece away from one state (California) and the business could still flourish," said Goldman.

But if NoteUtopia intends to challenge California's statute, the legal battle could be so costly it would "dwarf the business," said Goldman. "The real tragedy for small businesses is that it's very expensive to be an entrepreneur in our society today. If (Note-Utopia) can't afford to wade into these cloudy legal areas," it may not survive.

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ASSESSOR'S TROUBLING TRANSACTIONS
10/15/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

By Thomas Peele

tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com

Contra Costa Tax Assessor Gus Kramer used an arcane real estate transaction known as a gift deed to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in the county during the past decade despite an ethics law limiting gifts that a public official can accept to a few hundred dollars a year from any one person.

Public records show Kramer obtained full or partial title to seven properties from 2000 to 2010 for which no money changed hands and no real estate transfer taxes were paid. Kramer didn't list three of those properties on his annual ethics disclosure statements, which is required by state law.

Experts in ethics law said the gift transactions and lack of disclosure are troubling and should be investigated.

That Kramer didn't disclose anything about three of the properties "is a huge red flag," said former Fair Political Practices Commission chairwoman Liane Randolph. "I mean, he's the county assessor. He has to know the rules."

Those transactions appear to be more trouble for Kramer, who is already the subject of a county district attorney investigation into his personal real estate deals. The investigation, launched a year ago, followed a Bay Area News Group article in which a woman alleged that her name was forged on a gift deed. Kramer assumed half interest in the woman's property through the gift deed several months before buying it outright. Kramer denied wrongdoing.

Deputy district attorney Steven Bolen, who prosecutes political corruption cases, said last week the Kramer probe is ongoing.

In his only response to numerous interview requests, Kramer wrote in an e-mail that he had done nothing wrong and that he believed receiving property titles through gift deeds differed from the definition of a gift in the ethics law.

Randolph, the former Fair Political Practices Commission chairwoman, disagreed.

"Certainly, the (gift) limits would apply," she said.

In some instances, Kramer loaned money to the other person involved in the gift transaction. But those loans are not linked in paperwork to the gift deeds, and the loan documents don't mention gifts.

The use of gift deeds, as well as a lack of disclosure of ownership, could put Kramer back before the Fair Political Practices Commission, which has investigated and fined him in the past for ethical lapses. In 1998, the commission found he didn't disclose ownership of rental properties in Martinez when he was that city's clerk. The commission fined him $4,000.

Kramer turned down numerous interview requests for this story beginning in August, saying he had a conflict of interest with Bay Area News Group because the company appealed his staff's assessment of its Walnut Creek newspaper plant.

The company's executive editor said no conflict exists.

"The reassessment request is tied to the value of the newspaper's property holdings in the county and is not related to its editorial coverage," said Executive Editor Kevin G. Keane. "It is not unusual for companies to appeal assessments for tax purposes, particularly during an economic downturn."

Voters elected Kramer, 60, a Martinez Democrat, to his fourth four-year term in June. His 2009 government salary was $178,070.

At the height of the real estate boom in the 2000s, Kramer owned part or all of 44 properties in the county, records show, including 32 at one time in 2007.

Kramer's deals

A Bay Area News Group review of recorded property records for the past 10 years shows that Kramer:

(Box)Acquired the title or partial title to seven properties through gift deeds.

(Box)Failed to list ownership of three properties acquired by gift deeds on his statements of economic interest.

(Box)Loaned money four times to individuals with properties used as collateral. He has not reported any interest income from those loans on his statements of economic interest.

(Box)Accepted documents related to his personal transactions mailed to the assessor's office. Copies of recorded deeds show some faxed to and from the office. State law prohibits officials from using government resources for private business.

Also, Kramer:

(Box)Has bought and sold properties from companies controlled by the county's largest developer, Albert Seeno Jr., without documenting any recusal of himself from the assessment process of other Seeno properties.

(Box)Worked occasionally as a salesman for a Martinez real estate company. A public records request showed no recusals by Kramer of any properties owned by the company.

(Box)Ignored the nonbinding advice of the state Board of Equalization that all county assessors file a document, an "employee property activity report," to document and track transactions involving their personal property deals.

As "the face of real estate in the county," Kramer should take pains to disclose all his holdings so as not to undermine public confidence in his office, said Robert Stern, the Fair Political Practices Commission's former general counsel.

"This is serious because we're talking about the assessor," Stern said. "There is no other official who has more connection to real property than the assessor."

Because Kramer was fined in the past for not disclosing real estate holdings, it "makes it much more serious. The FPPC doesn't like repeat violators," said Stern, now the president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles.

Stern also suggested that the county District Attorney's Office could investigate Kramer's disclosure statements and the properties that aren't included on them. "The real question is: What is the DA going to do?" Stern said.

Under scrutiny

Santa Clara University ethicist Judy Nadler said Kramer is an example of why she believes tax assessors "should not be engaged in real estate transactions within their jurisdictions" because of unavoidable conflicts.

Nadler said the large number of Kramer's transactions demonstrate that inherent and worrisome conflicts of interest exist between his official duties and private dealings.

Kramer's web of dealings -- including personal transactions with Seeno companies -- create an appearance of conflict. It is virtually impossible to determine if quid-pro-quo dealings occurred, Nadler said.

She said it is also difficult to determine how Kramer could avoid the appearance of using his elected post to better position himself as a real estate investor or use the resources of his office to complete transactions.

"An assessor has instant access to all kinds of records," she said. "He took an oath to put the public good above all else. The most important thing the public wants in an elected official is to trust them. When he is out wheeling and dealing you have to ask, Which hat is he wearing?"

Gift deeds

Gift deeds are typically used for intrafamily transactions, such as a parent or grandparent giving title to a child or grandchild. They signify what the name implies: a property is given as a gift without anything in return.

Barbara Chambers, Contra Costa County's assistant recorder, whose office records and taxes real estate transactions, said no verification of a family relationship is required to file a gift deed. "We don't look. If they say it is a gift, it is a gift," she said.

The real estate transfer tax -- $1.10 for every $1,000 paid for property -- isn't collected on gift deeds because the person submitting the deed is claiming the property was not paid for, she said.

State ethics law defines a gift as "any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received."

Through gift deeds, Kramer has become full or part owner of condominiums, houses and vacant land. State ethics law requires public officials to disclose all gifts they receive except those from immediate relatives. If Kramer were to report receiving a gift deed, he would show receipt of something valued far in excess of the state gift limit for elected officials.

The state's 1974 political reform act capped gifts at $250 from any one person in a year to public officials. Since 1993 it has increased every two years based on the consumer-price index. The limit for 2009-10 is $420.

The combined assessed value of the properties in the year in which Kramer received title to them was $3.8 million.

They include a 12-home subdivision in Antioch that Kramer pushed the city to approve. Planning documents identify him as an owner of the project. The houses never were built.

The motivations of the givers remain unclear. An Orinda couple deeded Kramer 50 percent interest in their home. Kramer and Lafayette real estate agent Mary Lou Till then lent the couple, Arden and Susan Strasser, $79,000 the same day. There is no reference of the gift deed in the loan and title experts called the transactions strange.

Terms of that loan were not disclosed. Kramer has never reported interest income from the loan on his disclosure statement, which is required. Kramer used a gift deed to return title to the property to the Stassers the next year. There is no public document showing the loan has been paid.

The Stassers are Lutheran missionaries now working in southern Africa. When first contacted by e-mail, Susan Strasser said she would discuss the Orinda property, which the couple still owns. But when questions were e-mailed to her about Kramer, she wouldn't answer them.

Till wouldn't discuss the deal. In response to a request for an interview, she replied with a phone message saying Kramer is an "honest politician." She did not respond to other messages.

Behind transactions

Kramer and Till made a similar series of deals involving a Concord condominium beginning in 2005 when they loaned $100,000 to its owner, Ann Palmer, records show.

A year later, Palmer used a gift deed to give Kramer and Till title to the property. No real estate transfer tax was paid, records show, and there was no public record indicating that the title transfer resolved the debt, a standard recorded document known as a reconveyance.

Kramer didn't report his ownership interest in the condominium or income from the loan. An October 2008 lien against the property for unpaid condominium fees listed Kramer as owner of the unit. Palmer did not respond to a request to discuss the assessor's involvement in the property.

Another person who used a gift deed to transfer title to Kramer was Frederick Lamb, a Brentwood builder who has done work for Kramer on other properties. In 2005 and again in 2007, Lamb used gift deeds to put a vacant lot on Worrell Road in Antioch in Kramer's name.

He did not respond to telephone calls or a letter sent to his Brentwood home.

In 2008, Kramer deeded the property to a Brentwood resident, Jimmie Lee Odom, writing on the document that the title transfer was to satisfy a debt.

Kramer never reported ownership of the land -- or that he owed anyone money on it -- on his ethics statement.

Odom was the only person involved in the "gift deed" deals with Kramer who would discuss the transactions.

Documents show he sold the 3-acre tract for $900,000 in 2004. Odom said the buyer of record was Lamb but that the money came from Kramer, who wanted to keep his name off the transaction. Odom said he didn't ask why.

Antioch deal

Odom was paid $200,000 down and carried a $700,000 note for the balance. The deal called for interest-only payments with the balance to be paid off in 2009, presumably after homes were built on the land. Lamb then filed a subdivision application with the city of Antioch.

In telephone interviews, Odom said that Kramer paid the monthly installments on the sale even though the deal was made in Lamb's name.

"Gus wanted to be the quiet money man," Odom said. "Gus made all the payments. All the money came from him, but he didn't want his name on the deed. Gus likes to stay behind the scenes."

An Aug. 7, 2006, letter from a city planner to Kramer makes clear his ownership.

"This letter is intended to primarily describe what actions you will need to take to have your final subdivision map ready for council approval," wrote Joseph Brandt, then Antioch's community development director.

The letter refers to meetings Kramer attended about the project and numerous phone calls concerning disputes over engineering details and what Kramer said were unnecessary delays in the subdivision approval process. The Antioch City Council approved a 12-home subdivision for the property called Ashleigh Estates in 2006, but the houses never were built.

After Lamb used gift deeds to give the land title to Kramer, the assessor stopped making payments, Odom said, and defaulted on the $700,000 balloon payment.

Kramer returned the title to Odom in December 2008 to satisfy the debt.

Odom said he didn't record the notice of default he served on Kramer -- the standard practice of making public a real estate document through the county recorder's office -- because he was worried about embarrassing and angering Kramer.

"He's the county tax assessor. I didn't want to record the (default notice) in his name," Odom said. "You don't do that to Gus Kramer."

Odom also didn't record the deed that returned the property to him until June 2010 -- nearly 18 months after it was signed -- also because he feared embarrassing Kramer, he said.

When Kramer returned the title to the property, Odom said it came with an unpleasant surprise: Kramer hadn't paid the taxes on the property for a year. Odom was liable for a $6,000 bill.

Thomas Peele is an investigative reporter. Contact him at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com. Staff writers Matthias Gafni and John Simerman contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2010 Tri-Valley Herald. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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CON: Should the US loosen regulations on businesses? | View Clip
10/15/2010
Juneau Empire - Online

Disruptive effect of bailouts, not over-regulation, is real culprit behind snail-like recovery

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Oct. 8 jobs report showed that the U.S. economy shed 95,000 jobs in September.

The private sector created a mere 64,000 jobs, well below the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep employment stable and even further below the 400,000 a month needed to significantly reduce unemployment. In fact, numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the current job creation rate is well below the rate recorded as the economy rebounded from the five previous recessions.

Some argue that regulations advocated by the Obama administration are anti-business and one major reason for this jobless recovery.

For example, a recent report by Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius calculated that the Basel III bank capital requirements, strongly advocated by the Obama administration, will reduce future U.S. GDP growth by 2 percent.

This viewpoint holds that new regulations, by increasing costs for financial institutions, health care companies, energy firms, and others will dampen economic growth.

Even if one accepts questionable calculations such as these, it is extremely unlikely that recent regulatory reforms have had any effect yet on job creation. The more likely culprit is the administration's "bailout approach" to business.

A thriving economy undergoes a process of constant natural selection. Less efficient firms fall away, while more efficient, innovative firms take their place and grow.

This process is especially important as an economy attempts to recover from a contraction. To the extent that government policy props up inefficient businesses and prevents them from failing, it prevents those businesses that are more innovative and efficient from growing - and hiring.

For example, in the last recession the death of many steel companies, such as National Steel and Birmingham Steel, cleared the way for healthier firms such as Nucor Steel and U.S. Steel to grow and led to job creation.

In the recession before that, the death of once-dominant mini-computer makers like DEC and Wang gave way to the rise of now-dominant personal computer makers like Apple and HP.

Explicit bailouts of firms in the financial services and automotive industries - involving both the Bush and Obama administrations - and implicit bailouts of countless other firms receiving money via the bloated $787-billion fiscal stimulus package have slowed the market's natural selection process.

And this has occurred at a critical time - in a recession - when it is especially important that poorly managed firms fall away and clear the way for better-managed competitors to grow and create jobs. For example, while GM needed a bailout, Ford Motor Co. did not; yet Ford and its suppliers were not rewarded for their ability to run their firms more efficiently.

This slowdown of the natural selection process has not been confined to businesses. When the Obama administration bailed out homeowners in default on their mortgages via loan modifications, it slowed down the process by which ownership of assets was transferred to those best capable of developing those assets.

This friction in turn hampered recovery in the residential real estate industry - from real estate agents to home builders to the home improvement industry.

In the end, according to government figures more than half of the loans that were modified returned to default within six months. So this policy benefitted a few for a short period of time but delayed the recovery of several large industries - thus slowing job growth.

The regulations advocated by the present administration - something that has not yet impacted hiring, and will likely reduce economic volatility in the long run - are not the problem.

In order to create jobs, businesses have to grow. And for businesses to grow we cannot allow the poor decisions of individuals and management teams to get in the way of more capable people. We have to allow natural selection to function in the marketplace.

• George Chacko is an associate professor of finance and Carolyn Evans is an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business and Administration. Readers may write to them at SCU, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif. 95053.

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CSU tells startup company to stop selling class notes | View Clip
10/15/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

NoteUtopia, a startup company for college students founded by a young CSUS graduate, has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the CSU chancellor's office, which said the company is violating state education codes that prohibit students from selling their class notes.

The ban came just weeks after Ryan Stevens launched his company in September with back-to-school booths on the campuses of CSU Sacramento, Chico and East Bay.

The 10-year-old law that prompted the letter is so obscure that it apparently caught NoteUtopia's founder, campus officials and Internet law experts by surprise.

Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University who teaches classes on Internet law, said "many people had no idea it's on the books."

But while the law may be a sleeper, the issue of what students can do with material taken from class lectures "comes up with some regularity," Goldman noted. It's at the heart of an ongoing academic debate over intellectual property rights involving how classroom content is shared among students.

Stevens, a June graduate who launched the idea in a CSUS business entrepreneurship class, said he was "shocked" by the ban, especially since he was granted permits and paid daily fees - as high as $500 a day at CSUS - to pass out NoteUtopia flyers and marketing materials at three state campuses.

In a Sept. 21 letter, CSU University Counsel Gale Baker told Stevens that NoteUtopia violates a state education code section that prohibits anyone from selling or disseminating "academic presentations" for commercial purposes, including handwritten class notes.

"This means that any CSU student posting class notes for sale on your website is subject to discipline, up through and including expulsion from the University," Baker wrote.

Stevens was directed to immediately cease selling class notes in California, to stop marketing NoteUtopia to students at all 23 CSU campuses and to place a prominent notice on the website that such sales are prohibited.

In a subsequent e-mail to CSUS students, Lori Varlotta, Sac State's Vice President for Student Affairs, repeated the warning that students buying or selling class notes risk penalties, including possible expulsion. Similar warnings were issued by other campuses statewide.

Those warnings prompted about 15 students to cancel their NoteUtopia accounts, said Stevens, who declined to state the total number of memberships.

At 22, the young entrepreneur isn't backing down. Stevens said he's complied with the CSU counsel's requests but also contacted an attorney and Internet law experts about fighting the statute in court.

"If students are writing their own notes on what a teacher is saying, we don't see why the state can tell them what they can do or cannot do with that material. It's a violation of students' rights."

Call The Bee's Claudia Buck, (916) 321-1968.

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CSU tells startup company to stop selling class notes | View Clip
10/15/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

NoteUtopia, a startup company for college students founded by a young CSUS graduate, has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the CSU chancellor's office, which said the company is violating state education codes that prohibit students from selling their class notes.

The ban came just weeks after Ryan Stevens launched his company in September with back-to-school booths on the campuses of CSU Sacramento, Chico and East Bay.

The 10-year-old law that prompted the letter is so obscure that it apparently caught NoteUtopia's founder, campus officials and Internet law experts by surprise.

Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University who teaches classes on Internet law, said "many people had no idea it's on the books."

But while the law may be a sleeper, the issue of what students can do with material taken from class lectures "comes up with some regularity," Goldman noted. It's at the heart of an ongoing academic debate over intellectual property rights involving how classroom content is shared among students.

Stevens, a June graduate who launched the idea in a CSUS business entrepreneurship class, said he was "shocked" by the ban, especially since he was granted permits and paid daily fees - as high as $500 a day at CSUS - to pass out NoteUtopia flyers and marketing materials at three state campuses.

In a Sept. 21 letter, CSU University Counsel Gale Baker told Stevens that NoteUtopia violates a state education code section that prohibits anyone from selling or disseminating "academic presentations" for commercial purposes, including handwritten class notes.

"This means that any CSU student posting class notes for sale on your website is subject to discipline, up through and including expulsion from the University," Baker wrote.

Stevens was directed to immediately cease selling class notes in California, to stop marketing NoteUtopia to students at all 23 CSU campuses and to place a prominent notice on the website that such sales are prohibited.

In a subsequent e-mail to CSUS students, Lori Varlotta, Sac State's Vice President for Student Affairs, repeated the warning that students buying or selling class notes risk penalties, including possible expulsion. Similar warnings were issued by other campuses statewide.

Those warnings prompted about 15 students to cancel their NoteUtopia accounts, said Stevens, who declined to state the total number of memberships.

At 22, the young entrepreneur isn't backing down. Stevens said he's complied with the CSU counsel's requests but also contacted an attorney and Internet law experts about fighting the statute in court.

"If students are writing their own notes on what a teacher is saying, we don't see why the state can tell them what they can do or cannot do with that material. It's a violation of students' rights."

Call The Bee's Claudia Buck, (916) 321-1968.

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CSU tells startup company to shut down class notes business | View Clip
10/15/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

NoteUtopia, a startup company for college students founded by a young CSUS graduate, has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the CSU chancellor's office, which said the company is violating state education codes that prohibit students from selling their class notes.

The ban came just weeks after Ryan Stevens launched his company in September with back-to-school booths on the campuses of CSU Sacramento, Chico and East Bay.

The 10-year-old law that prompted the letter is so obscure that it apparently caught NoteUtopia's founder, campus officials and Internet law experts by surprise.

Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University who teaches classes on Internet law, said "many people had no idea it's on the books."

But while the law may be a sleeper, the issue of what students can do with material taken from class lectures "comes up with some regularity," Goldman noted. It's at the heart of an ongoing academic debate over intellectual property rights involving how classroom content is shared among students.

Stevens, a June graduate who launched the idea in a CSUS business entrepreneurship class, said he was "shocked" by the ban, especially since he was granted permits and paid daily fees - as high as $500 a day at CSUS - to pass out NoteUtopia flyers and marketing materials at three state campuses.

In a Sept. 21 letter, CSU University Counsel Gale Baker told Stevens that NoteUtopia violates a state education code section that prohibits anyone from selling or disseminating "academic presentations" for commercial purposes, including handwritten class notes.

"This means that any CSU student posting class notes for sale on your website is subject to discipline, up through and including expulsion from the University," Baker wrote.

Stevens was directed to immediately cease selling class notes in California, to stop marketing NoteUtopia to students at all 23 CSU campuses and to place a prominent notice on the website that such sales are prohibited.

In a subsequent e-mail to CSUS students, Lori Varlotta, Sac State's Vice President for Student Affairs, repeated the warning that students buying or selling class notes risk penalties, including possible expulsion. Similar warnings were issued by other campuses statewide.

Those warnings prompted about 15 students to cancel their NoteUtopia accounts, said Stevens, who declined to state the total number of memberships.

At 22, the young entrepreneur isn't backing down. Stevens said he's complied with the CSU counsel's requests but also contacted an attorney and Internet law experts about fighting the statute in court.

"If students are writing their own notes on what a teacher is saying, we don't see why the state can tell them what they can do or cannot do with that material. It's a violation of students' rights."

Call The Bee's Claudia Buck, (916) 321-1968.

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CSU tells startup company to shut down class notes business
10/15/2010
Sacramento Bee, The

NoteUtopia, a startup company for college students founded by a young CSUS graduate, has been ordered to "cease and desist" by the CSU chancellor's office, which said the company is violating state education codes that prohibit students from selling their class notes.

The ban came just weeks after Ryan Stevens launched his company in September with back-to-school booths on the campuses of CSU Sacramento, Chico and East Bay.

The 10-year-old law that prompted the letter is so obscure that it apparently caught NoteUtopia's founder, campus officials and Internet law experts by surprise.

Eric Goldman , director of the High-Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University who teaches classes on Internet law, said "many people had no idea it's on the books."

But while the law may be a sleeper, the issue of what students can do with material taken from class lectures "comes up with some regularity," Goldman noted. It's at the heart of an ongoing academic debate over intellectual property rights involving how classroom content is shared among students.

Stevens, a June graduate who launched the idea in a CSUS business entrepreneurship class, said he was "shocked" by the ban, especially since he was granted permits and paid daily fees - as high as $500 a day at CSUS - to pass out NoteUtopia flyers and marketing materials at three state campuses.

In a Sept. 21 letter, CSU University Counsel Gale Baker told Stevens that NoteUtopia violates a state education code section that prohibits anyone from selling or disseminating "academic presentations" for commercial purposes, including handwritten class notes.

"This means that any CSU student posting class notes for sale on your website is subject to discipline, up through and including expulsion from the University," Baker wrote.

Stevens was directed to immediately cease selling class notes in California, to stop marketing NoteUtopia to students at all 23 CSU campuses and to place a prominent notice on the website that such sales are prohibited.

In a subsequent e-mail to CSUS students, Lori Varlotta, Sac State's Vice President for Student Affairs, repeated the warning that students buying or selling class notes risk penalties, including possible expulsion. Similar warnings were issued by other campuses statewide.

Those warnings prompted about 15 students to cancel their NoteUtopia accounts, said Stevens, who declined to state the total number of memberships.

At 22, the young entrepreneur isn't backing down. Stevens said he's complied with the CSU counsel's requests but also contacted an attorney and Internet law experts about fighting the statute in court.

"If students are writing their own notes on what a teacher is saying, we don't see why the state can tell them what they can do or cannot do with that material. It's a violation of students' rights."

Copyright © 2010 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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Prop. 19 could set up legal battle between California, federal government | View Clip
10/15/2010
Lexington Herald-Leader - Online

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Backers of California's Proposition 19 call it a landmark challenge to America's war on drugs. But passage of the initiative to legalize pot for recreational use may open up a legal war between California and the federal government.

Some fear a renewed surge of federal raids - similar to actions that shut down medical pot shops, targeted suppliers and doctors after California voters passed Proposition 215, its medical marijuana law in 1996.

Even some fervent proponents of the initiative to allow anyone 21 and over to smoke pot say federal authorities will quickly sue California to overturn the new law.

Feds oppose Calif. Prop 19 to legalize marijuana

Pot possession in Calif now like speeding ticket

California town wants to tax marijuana grown at home

Legalizing marijuana in California would not curtail Mexican drug organizations, study says

Study: Legalizing pot won't hinder Mexican cartels

"I have no doubt that the feds will file suit if Proposition 19 passes," said Dale Gieringer, California director for the pro-legalization National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

In an Aug. 24 letter, nine former administrators for the Drug Enforcement Administration urged Attorney General Eric Holder to bring suit against California - just as the Obama administration sued Arizona when that state passed a controversial immigration law.

"The California proposition is not a close call," wrote the ex-DEA administrators, including Robert Bonner, the former supervising U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. "It will be a clear conflict with established federal law."

Bonner said last week that the California measure conflicts with United Nations treaties signed to prevent the spread of psychoactive drugs.

"The United States has treaties that would be violated if Proposition 19 were enacted. It would send a terrible signal to countries of the world," he said.

Officially, the U.S. Justice Department isn't saying how it would respond if Proposition 19 passes.

"The Department of Justice will continue to focus its enforcement resources on significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler in Washington, D.C. "It is premature to speculate what steps we would take in the event that California passes its ballot measure."

Last year, in an announcement hailed by marijuana advocates, Attorney General Eric Holder declared the federal government would no longer target medical marijuana operations in states permitting medical use.

California and 13 other states now permit medical marijuana. And federal raids on medical pot establishments - particularly those catering to the seriously ill - stirred political sympathies in favor of the medical marijuana movement.

But now legal observers, such as Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, say Proposition 19 could upset the accord that federal agents and California established with medical use.

"I think it will open up a new order of conflict between the state and the feds," Uelmen said. "The feds resisted (Proposition 215) from the get-go. But I think we finally wore them down.

"Now, if we open the door to lawful cultivation and distribution for recreational use, I think there will be a very strong reaction."

In 2001, Uelmen unsuccessfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative serving medical marijuana patients.

The court, in a decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, declared that marijuana was still illegal and a "medical exception" defense for the Oakland pot club was invalid under federal law.

In a 2005, the high court also ruled against California petitioner Angel Raich, whose six-plant medical marijuana garden was raided by DEA agents after Butte County authorities declined to file state drug charges against him.

In the second ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that although "California has been a pioneer in the regulation of marijuana," enforcement of Federal Controlled Substance Act prohibitions against pot remain "a valid exercise of federal power."

The president is opposed to legalizing marijuana. His 2010 National Drug Control Strategy statement declares: "This administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug."

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DEALS, DEEDS QUESTIONED
10/15/2010
West County Times

By Thomas Peele

tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com

Contra Costa Tax Assessor Gus Kramer used an arcane real estate transaction known as a gift deed to acquire millions of dollars worth of property in the county during the past decade despite an ethics law limiting gifts to a few hundred dollars a year that a public official can accept from any one person.

Public records show Kramer obtained full or partial title to seven properties from 2000 to 2010 for which no money changed hands and no real estate transfer taxes were paid. Kramer didn't list three of those properties on his annual ethics disclosure statements, as required by state law.

Experts in ethics law said the gift transactions and lack of disclosure are troubling and should be investigated.

That Kramer didn't disclose anything about three of the properties "is a huge red flag," said former Fair Political Practices Commission chairwoman Liane Randolph. "I mean, he's the county assessor. He has to know the rules."

Those transactions appear to be more trouble for Kramer, who is already the subject of a county district attorney investigation into his personal real estate deals. The investigation, launched a year ago, followed a Times article in which a woman alleged that her name was forged on a gift deed. Kramer assumed half interest in the woman's property through the gift deed several months before buying it outright. Kramer denied wrongdoing.

Deputy district attorney Steven Bolen, who prosecutes political corruption cases, said last week the Kramer probe is ongoing.

In his only response to numerous interview requests, Kramer wrote in an e-mail that he had done nothing wrong and that he believed receiving property titles through gift deeds differed from the definition of a gift in the ethics law.

Randolph, the former Fair Political Practices Commission chairwoman, disagreed.

"Certainly, the (gift) limits would apply," she said.

In some instances, Kramer loaned money to the other person involved in the gift transaction. But those loans are not linked in paperwork to the gift deeds, and the loan documents don't mention gifts.

The use of gift deeds, as well as a lack of disclosure of ownership, could put Kramer back before the Fair Political Practices Commission, which has investigated and fined him in the past for ethical lapses. In 1998, the commission found he didn't disclose ownership of rental properties in Martinez when he was that city's clerk. The commission fined him $4,000.

Kramer turned down numerous interview requests for this story beginning in August, saying he had a conflict of interest with Bay Area News Group because the company appealed his staff's assessment of its Walnut Creek newspaper plant.

The company's executive editor said no conflict exists.

"The reassessment request is tied to the value of the newspaper's property holdings in the county and is not related to its editorial coverage," said Executive Editor Kevin G. Keane. "It is not unusual for companies to appeal assessments for tax purposes, particularly during an economic downturn."

Voters elected Kramer, 60, a Martinez Democrat, to his fourth four-year term in June. His 2009 government salary was $178,070.

At the height of the real estate boom in the 2000s, Kramer owned part or all of 44 properties in the county, records show, including 32 at one time in 2007.

Kramer's deals

A Bay Area News Group review of recorded property records for the past 10 years shows that Kramer:

(Box)Acquired the title or partial title to seven properties through gift deeds.

(Box)Failed to list ownership of three properties acquired by gift deeds on his statements of economic interest.

(Box)Loaned money four times to individuals with properties used as collateral. He has not reported any interest income from those loans on his statements of economic interest.

(Box)Accepted documents related to his personal transactions mailed to the assessor's office. Copies of recorded deeds show some faxed to and from the office. State law prohibits officials from using government resources for private business.

Also, Kramer:

(Box)Has bought and sold properties from companies controlled by the county's largest developer, Albert Seeno Jr., without documenting any recusal of himself from the assessment process of other Seeno properties.

(Box)Worked occasionally as a salesman for a Martinez real estate company. A public records request showed no recusals by Kramer of any properties owned by the company.

(Box)Ignored the nonbinding advice of the state Board of Equalization that all county assessors file a document, an "employee property activity report," to document and track transactions involving their personal property deals.

As "the face of real estate in the county," Kramer should take pains to disclose all his holdings so as not to undermine public confidence in his office, said Robert Stern, the Fair Political Practices Commission's former general counsel.

"This is serious because we're talking about the assessor," Stern said. "There is no other official who has more connection to real property than the assessor."

Because Kramer was fined in the past for not disclosing real estate holdings, it "makes it much more serious. The FPPC doesn't like repeat violators," said Stern, now the president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles.

Stern also suggested that the county District Attorney's Office could investigate Kramer's disclosure statements and the properties that aren't included on them. "The real question is: What is the DA going to do?" Stern said.

Under scrutiny

Santa Clara University ethicist Judy Nadler said Kramer is an example of why she believes tax assessors "should not be engaged in real estate transactions within their jurisdictions" because of unavoidable conflicts.

Nadler said the large number of Kramer's transactions demonstrate that inherent and worrisome conflicts of interest exist between his official duties and private dealings.

Kramer's web of dealings -- including personal transactions with Seeno companies -- create an appearance of conflict. It is virtually impossible to determine if quid-pro-quo dealings occurred, Nadler said.

She said it is also difficult to determine how Kramer could avoid the appearance of using his elected post to better position himself as a real estate investor or use the resources of his office to complete transactions.

"An assessor has instant access to all kinds of records," she said. "He took an oath to put the public good above all else. The most important thing the public wants in an elected official is to trust them. When he is out wheeling and dealing you have to ask, Which hat is he wearing?"

Gift deeds

Gift deeds are typically used for intrafamily transactions, such as a parent or grandparent giving title to a child or grandchild. They signify what the name implies: a property is given as a gift without anything in return.

Barbara Chambers, Contra Costa County's assistant recorder, whose office records and taxes real estate transactions, said no verification of a family relationship is required to file a gift deed. "We don't look. If they say it is a gift, it is a gift," she said.

The real estate transfer tax -- $1.10 for every $1,000 paid for property -- isn't collected on gift deeds because the person submitting the deed is claiming the property was not paid for, she said.

State ethics law defines a gift as "any payment that confers a personal benefit on the recipient, to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received."

Through gift deeds, Kramer has become full or part owner of condominiums, houses and vacant land. State ethics law requires public officials to disclose all gifts they receive except those from immediate relatives. If Kramer were to report receiving a gift deed, he would show receipt of something valued far in excess of the state gift limit for elected officials.

The state's 1974 political reform act capped gifts at $250 from any one person in a year to public officials. Since 1993 it has increased every two years based on the consumer-price index. The limit for 2009-10 is $420.

The combined assessed value of the properties in the year in which Kramer received title to them was $3.8 million.

They include a 12-home subdivision in Antioch that Kramer pushed the city to approve. Planning documents identify him as an owner of the project. The houses never were built.

The motivations of the givers remain unclear. An Orinda couple deeded Kramer 50 percent interest in their home. Kramer and Lafayette real estate agent Mary Lou Till then lent the couple, Arden and Susan Strasser, $79,000 the same day. There is no reference of the gift deed in the loan and title experts called the transactions strange.

Terms of that loan were not disclosed. Kramer has never reported interest income from the loan on his disclosure statement, which is required. Kramer used a gift deed to return title to the property to the Stassers the next year. There is no public document showing the loan has been paid.

The Stassers are Lutheran missionaries now working in southern Africa. When first contacted by e-mail, Susan Strasser said she would discuss the Orinda property, which the couple still owns. But when questions were e-mailed to her about Kramer, she wouldn't answer them.

Till wouldn't discuss the deal. In response to a request for an interview, she replied with a phone message saying Kramer is an "honest politician." She did not respond to other messages.

Behind transactions

Kramer and Till made a similar series of deals involving a Concord condominium beginning in 2005 when they loaned $100,000 to its owner, Ann Palmer, records show.

A year later, Palmer used a gift deed to give Kramer and Till title to the property. No real estate transfer tax was paid, records show, and there was no public record indicating that the title transfer resolved the debt, a standard recorded document known as a reconveyance.

Kramer didn't report his ownership interest in the condominium or income from the loan. An October 2008 lien against the property for unpaid condominium fees listed Kramer as owner of the unit. Palmer did not respond to a request to discuss the assessor's involvement in the property.

Another person who used a gift deed to transfer title to Kramer was Frederick Lamb, a Brentwood builder who has done work for Kramer on other properties. In 2005 and again in 2007, Lamb used gift deeds to put a vacant lot on Worrell Road in Antioch in Kramer's name.

He did not respond to telephone calls or a letter sent to his Brentwood home.

In 2008, Kramer deeded the property to a Brentwood resident, Jimmie Lee Odom, writing on the document that the title transfer was to satisfy a debt.

Kramer never reported ownership of the land -- or that he owed anyone money on it -- on his ethics statement.

Odom was the only person involved in the "gift deed" deals with Kramer who would discuss the transactions.

Documents show he sold the 3-acre tract for $900,000 in 2004. Odom said the buyer of record was Lamb but that the money came from Kramer, who wanted to keep his name off the transaction. Odom said he didn't ask why.

Antioch deal

Odom was paid $200,000 down and carried a $700,000 note for the balance. The deal called for interest-only payments with the balance to be paid off in 2009, presumably after homes were built on the land. Lamb then filed a subdivision application with the city of Antioch.

In telephone interviews, Odom said that Kramer paid the monthly installments on the sale even though the deal was made in Lamb's name.

"Gus wanted to be the quiet money man," Odom said. "Gus made all the payments. All the money came from him, but he didn't want his name on the deed. Gus likes to stay behind the scenes."

An Aug. 7, 2006, letter from a city planner to Kramer makes clear his ownership.

"This letter is intended to primarily describe what actions you will need to take to have your final subdivision map ready for council approval," wrote Joseph Brandt, then Antioch's community development director.

The letter refers to meetings Kramer attended about the project and numerous phone calls concerning disputes over engineering details and what Kramer said were unnecessary delays in the subdivision approval process. The Antioch City Council approved a 12-home subdivision for the property called Ashleigh Estates in 2006, but the houses never were built.

After Lamb used gift deeds to give the land title to Kramer, the assessor stopped making payments, Odom said, and defaulted on the $700,000 balloon payment.

Kramer returned the title to Odom in December 2008 to satisfy the debt.

Odom said he didn't record the notice of default he served on Kramer -- the standard practice of making public a real estate document through the county recorder's office -- because he was worried about embarrassing and angering Kramer.

"He's the county tax assessor. I didn't want to record the (default notice) in his name," Odom said. "You don't do that to Gus Kramer."

Odom also didn't record the deed that returned the property to him until June 2010 -- nearly 18 months after it was signed -- also because he feared embarrassing Kramer, he said.

When Kramer returned the title to the property, Odom said it came with an unpleasant surprise: Kramer hadn't paid the taxes on the property for a year. Odom was liable for a $6,000 bill.

Thomas Peele is an investigative reporter. Contact him at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com. Staff writers Matthias Gafni and John Simerman contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2010 West County Times.

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Global Social Benefit Incubator: A $20,000 BoP Scholarship | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise | View Clip
10/15/2010
Development through Enterprise

Allen Hammond

January 2, 2008 - 08:47 am

Global Social Benefit Incubator: A $20,000 BoP Scholarship

Santa Clara University is known in social entrepreneurial circles for its work helping to organize and judge the Awards - a showcase for social entrepreneurs, mostly from developing countries. Less well-known about the school is the Benefit Incubator, run by SCU's Center for Science, Technology, and Society and a host of Silicon Valley volunteers. im Koch , selects 15-20 enterprises from developing countries and provides an 8-month mentoring process. The mentoring culminates with an intensive 10-day process in Santa Clara, where entrepreneurs work with their mentors, other experts, and each other to prepare themselves to succeed upon their return home. Applications for the fully-funded 2008 class of entrepreneurs are available now over at World Resources Institute to work with them on the GSBI process and accepted my suggestion that we focus a sub-group of the available slots on enterprises in the water sector.

The idea is to promote cross-learning among water entrepreneurs, and also to analyze the sector as a whole more deeply. This includes looking at geographic differences in the treatment challenge, the range of available and prospective technologies, business models, financing strategies, etc. The goal is to stimulate the sector as a whole.

The SCU-WRI partnership is related to sector-specific research that WRI's New Ventures project has been working on, particularly in the areas of rural connectivity and healthcare, and about which you will hear more in coming months. For the water sector, we are particularly interested in community or village-level water treatment systems and the technologies and business models that can sustainably provide affordable and safe drinking water - which we began to explore in The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid .

So, if you are a social entrepreneur or innovator addressing this problem, or know of promising enterprises we should consider, please contact either

quaries

Please apprise me the required participants fee and other details at your earliest convenience.

These are nice initiatives.They could help Africa on Rural irrigation.

To add a new comment, submit or cancel your comment reply.
To add a new comment, submit or cancel your comment reply. Venture Finance and Small Business Development in Central America - IPEG Meeting

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Scary Investments -- That Actually Work | View Clip
10/15/2010
Yahoo! Finance

Robert Hort is 64, an age when many investors start to slow down a bit -- at least when it comes to where they put their money. Bonds begin to look more appealing than stocks, and cash looks like a safer bet than bonds. So where is Hort, a business owner from suburban New York City, putting a chunk of his savings? Into some of the spookiest stuff on the market, from junk bonds to commercial real estate. "They help me sleep at night," says Hort.

For many investors, only a dose of sleeping pills would provide rest with a portfolio like that. But at a time when Hort should be thinking about safeguarding assets for retirement, he seems to be amping up his risk. Indeed, he's one of a growing number of investors thumbing their noses at the conventional wisdom, turning much of what they learned about investing upside down.

More from SmartMoney.com:

• Brave New World of Investing

• 4 Common Investment Pitfalls

• 3 Companies Whose Bosses Are Bargains

The old rules, of course, told investors to stick with a mix of stocks, high-quality bonds and cash, and to stay away from hard-to-fathom stuff like junk bonds, options and emerging markets. And for a long time, that strategy seemed to work. But after a decade of watching the stock market go nowhere -- and after the stomach-churning ups and downs of the past few years -- more investors are willing to try something new, even if it means stepping out of their comfort zone. A growing number of market experts and financial advisers are telling them that some of the same assets they were supposed to be afraid of can actually be good for them -- as long as they don't take it too far. Commercial real estate, for instance, tracks the stock market only about 57 percent of the time, and some types of real estate investing can offer yields of more than 8 percent, well above what most stocks and bonds provide. Options like puts and calls can act as insurance policies for stock holdings or generate income on the side, limiting losses in down or flat markets, says Hans Olsen, chief investment officer for J.P. Morgan's private-wealth-management business.

Some people are listening. While billions of dollars have flowed out of domestic stocks and into bonds this year, investors have also poured $12.2 billion into emerging-market stock funds that invest not just in China and India, but farther afield, like in the Middle East and Africa. Another $2.1 billion has flowed into real estate funds. At the same time, options trading volume is on the rise at some discount brokers. While some investors are just chasing the latest trend, others have come to the conclusion that financial moves that seemed superscary not that long ago might actually provide balance to their portfolios -- and boost returns over the long run. "You can justify the risks," says Brian Kazanchy, a financial adviser in New Jersey.

Of course, no one is telling investors to abandon U.S. stocks and investment-grade bonds; advisers say they remain bedrocks of any sound portfolio. (Hort, for example, keeps less than 30 percent of his portfolio in the risky stuff.) And even as individual investors are catching on, the idea of building a basket of higher-risk investments isn't exactly a state secret. Many hedge funds have followed similar strategies for decades, and mutual funds are starting to employ them too. Investment managers at the endowments of Harvard and Yale have used them for years, with long periods of success interrupted by big setbacks in the financial crisis.

Still, stepping up the risk even in part of a portfolio goes against the instincts of many investors, like telling your mother she was wrong about drinking milk and getting enough sleep. For investors who want to reevaluate what they consider scary, here are four ways to start.

Rethink Ratios

Is it all in your head? For many investors, the biggest hurdle to remaking a portfolio may be psychological. Losses have been so painful lately that we may have a distorted view of anything risky, says Hersh Shefrin, a behavioral-finance expert at Santa Clara University. What's more, our brains are hardwired to think of investments in isolation, attaching labels like "danger" to a whole class of assets. The upshot: We hone in on the risks of things like junk bonds instead of "how the dots connect" in a portfolio, says Shefrin. For example, emerging-market stocks and U.S. junk bonds rarely move in sync -- when one zigs, the other may zag. Owning both can boost the odds of making money over time, since one asset class often has periods when it outshines the other, says Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist with RDM Financial Group in Westport, Conn.

[See To Roth or Not to Roth]

With U.S. stocks in the doldrums, more financial advisers are urging their clients to consider alternatives. According to investment-management firm Russell Investments, 59 percent of advisers plan to boost their clients' exposure to emerging-market stocks, and 33 percent plan to increase exposure to real estate. Exactly how much should go into such nontraditional assets is a matter of debate, with some advisers urging clients to make them as much as 40 percent of their portfolio.

Thomas Meyer has steadily ramped up his clients' exposure to things like foreign debt, junk bonds and emerging markets. Such investments now account for 30 percent of his clients' portfolios, with the rest in stocks and bonds. Are they scared? Sure. But the Marlton, N.J., adviser says clients often come around after he pulls out charts and shows how their returns are likely to be higher over time -- with less risk along the way. "Volatility is killing investors," he says, "and this stuff can help."

One way to think of these assets is as "satellites" orbiting a core portfolio of high-quality stocks and investment-grade bonds. Sheldon, the market strategist, points out that the satellites can't eliminate volatility or the potential for big losses, and it's best to ease into them over time. Still, many investors who have tweaked their portfolios say they're comfortable with their new mix. Lawrance Fineburg, a sales executive in Exeter, N.H., had a traditional portfolio of stocks and bonds before the crash but has since branched out to include things like junk bonds and emerging-market stocks. "My instinct was to avoid this stuff," he says. "But overall I think my portfolio is safer."

Embrace Risk

George Middleton knows his clients can turn ashen when he recommends junk bonds or debt issued by foreign governments. After all, these bonds look far dicier than old-fashioned Treasurys, and this year's debt debacles in Greece and Portugal have only made folks more leery of anything that lacks an investment-grade credit rating. Investors' fear extends well beyond foreign bonds: According to a recent survey by insurance giant MetLife, 72 percent of advisers say their clients' approach to retirement savings has become more conservative as a result of the financial crisis.

Yet Middleton, an adviser in Vancouver, Wash., urges his clients to put their fears aside and take on a little more risk. Junk bonds, which have yields of around 8 percent, have beaten the stock market this year. And to the surprise of many investors, they've also outperformed stocks over the past five and 10 years. Analysts say some emerging-market debt looks even more attractive. Countries like Brazil recently paid upwards of 11 percent on their local-currency debt, even though government finances in many emerging markets are looking a lot healthier than those of European countries or the U.S. "When you have significantly better balance sheets than the developed world, it's not that risky," says David Robbins, a foreign-bond manager with investment firm TCW.

That doesn't make it easy to step up to the plate, especially after the meltdown of 2008. Behavioral economists say that's partly because losses are often experienced more intensely than gains. One way to ease the fears is to buy a basket of these bonds. The Artio Global High Income fund, for instance, holds 233 debt securities, spread out over different credit qualities and industries. Manager Greg Hopper says he likes the "boring middle class" of the junk universe and holds debt issued by solid companies, such as United Airlines and oil-and-gas firm Plains Exploration & Production.

In emerging markets, Robbins has been buying things like Indonesian government debt and bonds issued by companies such as Pan American Energy, an Argentine firm. The indexes that track emerging-market debt were recently upgraded to investment grade, he notes. And even rising interest rates in these countries may not be so bad; such moves often make a country's currency more attractive to foreign investors, boosting its value. "There are a lot of tailwinds," says Robbins.

[See 7 Myths About Roth IRA Conversions]

Of course, a sudden headwind can knock these investments off stride. While default rates for junk bonds have been falling, they can tick up if the economy weakens. And emerging markets could tumble if there's another flight to safety. Yet the greater risk may be avoiding such investments, at least for a small chunk of one's portfolio. Middleton, for example, sees junk bonds as a long-term play, with "great potential over the next five years."

Buy What Others Are Avoiding

For many investors, the idea of buying the things no one else wants sounds about as appealing as stepping into a haunted house alone. Most of us want to get out when the markets are going down and join the party when they're on the way up. At the same time, part of us knows that Warren Buffett is right when he urges us to be "greedy when others are fearful."

Case in point: real estate. Many people see real estate as a giant money pit these days -- even the ones who don't own a condo in Miami. The commercial market is littered with half-empty properties and unfinished buildings. And there's an estimated $1.4 trillion in commercial debt coming due in the next few years -- in many cases for buildings worth a fraction of their value before the crash. Still, while it can be risky, real estate doesn't always track the same path as stocks or bonds. That can help make real estate a winner when other asset classes are flat.

Though real estate overall still looks pretty dismal, "there are some positive signals," says Stuart Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA. The number of properties entering the foreclosure process has slowed. Even if real estate prices stay flat for years, rental income can be a steady source of cash, buffering riskier investments in a portfolio, says Erik Miller, a financial planner in Portland, Ore. Some real estate investment trusts, which hold commercial properties, yield over 4 percent, almost double the recent yield of the average stock in the S&P 500.

Want to be even more contrarian? It requires a good bit of homework, but some investors are turning into commercial landlords, investing in so-called net-lease properties. The tenants agree to pay the taxes, insurance and maintenance, and often sign leases for a decade or more. It's possible to find properties with tenants such as Walgreens or Capital One bank, whose risk of default is low, says Judson Kauffman, a broker with Marcus & Millichap. These properties tend to be more stable than other types of commercial real estate, he adds. And yields rose in the second quarter for the first time in a year; they recently averaged 8 percent for retail space and 8.4 percent for offices. "It's like buying a corporate bond," says Randy Blankstein, president of the Boulder Group, an industry advisory firm.

These properties aren't for everyone. With tenants locked in for years, landlords can't hike the rent in a hot market, and the properties tend to gain value much more slowly than more flexible types of real estate. Prices for a store leased to a high-quality company can start at $800,000, requiring a down payment of $200,000. Still, Daniel Scotti, a retired physician in Vacaville, Calif., says his net-lease properties pay reliable income and are practically hassle-free. "I just cash the checks," he says.

Watch Your Back

Stocks, bonds, real estate -- no matter what you own, it could take a hit if there's another financial crisis. Just about every kind of asset fell in the 2008 crash. And it's why many pros are telling clients to be more vigilant about their portfolios and take steps in case there's another downdraft. "If you just sit back and wait for things to happen, you're going to get burned," says Betsy Billard, an adviser with Ameriprise Financial.

One of the most effective tools to protect yourself sometimes looks like the scariest: options. To many folks, the world of puts and calls conjures images of Wall Street traders wreaking havoc with arcane financial instruments. But sophisticated investors also use those products to hedge their stock holdings. And brokerage firms like TD Ameritrade and E-Trade are making a push to educate investors, with TD Ameritrade alone hosting 2,100 webcasts and workshops a year addressing options. No wonder: Options are one of the firm's fastest-growing trading segments, with a 14 percent jump in volume over the past year.

Of course, it takes a bit of studying to understand the basic concepts. But one way to dip in is with a hedging strategy of buying puts, says Lee Munson, a money manager in Albuquerque, N.M. A put gives the owner the right to sell a stock at a specific price by a certain date. A put on Coca-Cola would gain value, for instance, if Coke's stock price falls. Investors could then sell the put for a profit. Another strategy is to sell a call option on a stock you own and pocket the income from the sale. The buyer of the option gets the right to buy the stock at a specific price by a certain date. If the stock doesn't go above that price, the option expires worthless and the seller can keep the stock.

Some investors who have studied up on options say it's paying off. Richard Forno, a cybersecurity expert in Arlington, Va., says he's made money on General Electric options over the past few years and he now owns puts against the broad market to profit if it falls. "I'm doing it for protection more than anything," says Forno, 37. "You need to look out for yourself now."

___

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Prop. 19 Could Set UP Legal Battle Between California, Federal Government | View Clip
10/14/2010
Media Awareness Project

PROP. 19 COULD SET UP LEGAL BATTLE BETWEEN CALIFORNIA, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Backers of California's Proposition 19 call it a landmark challenge to America's war on drugs. But passage of the initiative to legalize pot for recreational use may open up a legal war between California and the federal government.

Some fear a renewed surge of federal raids - similar to actions that shut down medical pot shops, targeted suppliers and doctors after California voters passed Proposition 215, its medical marijuana law in 1996.

Even some fervent proponents of the initiative to allow anyone 21 and over to smoke pot say federal authorities will quickly sue California to overturn the new law.

"I have no doubt that the feds will file suit if Proposition 19 passes," said Dale Gieringer, California director for the pro-legalization National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

In an Aug. 24 letter, nine former administrators for the Drug Enforcement Administration urged Attorney General Eric Holder to bring suit against California - just as the Obama administration sued Arizona when that state passed a controversial immigration law.

"The California proposition is not a close call," wrote the ex-DEA administrators, including Robert Bonner, the former supervising U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. "It will be a clear conflict with established federal law."

Bonner said last week that the California measure conflicts with United Nations treaties signed to prevent the spread of psychoactive drugs.

"The United States has treaties that would be violated if Proposition 19 were enacted. It would send a terrible signal to countries of the world," he said.

Officially, the U.S. Justice Department isn't saying how it would respond if Proposition 19 passes.

"The Department of Justice will continue to focus its enforcement resources on significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler in Washington, D.C. "It is premature to speculate what steps we would take in the event that California passes its ballot measure."

Last year, in an announcement hailed by marijuana advocates, Attorney General Eric Holder declared the federal government would no longer target medical marijuana operations in states permitting medical use.

California and 13 other states now permit medical marijuana. And federal raids on medical pot establishments - particularly those catering to the seriously ill - stirred political sympathies in favor of the medical marijuana movement.

But now legal observers, such as Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, say Proposition 19 could upset the accord that federal agents and California established with medical use.

"I think it will open up a new order of conflict between the state and the feds," Uelmen said. "The feds resisted ( Proposition 215 ) from the get-go. But I think we finally wore them down.

"Now, if we open the door to lawful cultivation and distribution for recreational use, I think there will be a very strong reaction."

In 2001, Uelmen unsuccessfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative serving medical marijuana patients.

The court, in a decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, declared that marijuana was still illegal and a "medical exception" defense for the Oakland pot club was invalid under federal law.

In a 2005, the high court also ruled against California petitioner Angel Raich, whose six-plant medical marijuana garden was raided by DEA agents after Butte County authorities declined to file state drug charges against him.

In the second ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that although "California has been a pioneer in the regulation of marijuana," enforcement of Federal Controlled Substance Act prohibitions against pot remain "a valid exercise of federal power."

The president is opposed to legalizing marijuana. His 2010 National Drug Control Strategy statement declares: "This administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug."

Still, retired Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, a backer of Proposition 19, said he believes current public acceptance of marijuana will diminish the federal response.

"I cannot conceive that the Obama administration would thumb its nose at the voters of the state of California," Gray said.

Proposition 19 would allow Californians over 21 to possess marijuana for recreational use and permit them to grow pot in small residential spaces. It would also allow local governments to tax retail sales and production.

Zenia Gilg, a San Francisco attorney who handles medical marijuana cases, said federal authorities are unlikely to target average Californians if Proposition 19 passes. But she said they may well raid large-scale marijuana producers.

In Oakland, producers readying industrial growing rooms of medical pot are eying expansion into legal recreational weed. The city has already approved a conditional tax if Proposition 19 passes.

Gilg says that may be a dilemma for federal agents.

"If they're going to prosecute the guy at the till ( of a marijuana business ) and not the city or county, they run into a political quagmire," Gilg said. "Because they're not going to prosecute the city or county."

In California's medical marijuana market, dispensaries amassing up to $1.3 billion in transactions account for more than $100 million in sales taxes, according to state estimates.

But Uelmen said the mere act of paying taxes on recreational marijuana sales could constitute acknowledgment of a federal crime. "To pay the taxes will require us to admit that, in effect, we're violating federal law," he said.

While the law may side with the federal government, Los Angeles marijuana lawyer Bruce Margolin insists politics doesn't. He points to decreased acceptance of medical pot raids.

In 2002, a DEA raid on a Santa Cruz medical pot commune for sick and dying patients produced such a backlash that the city and county sued the federal government. A court settlement banned future DEA raids as long the operation was legal under state law.

In a high profile medical marijuana case, California cannabis growing guru Ed Rosenthal was sentenced to a single day in jail in 2007 - despite a federal conviction for illegal cultivation.

A U.S. District Court in San Francisco also stopped the DEA from punishing doctors or threatening to revoke their licenses for recommending marijuana to patients.

"If the feds are going to make a show of force again, clamor their swords and show they're in control, I don't know if the public is going to accept it," Margolin said.

But Donald Heller, a former Sacramento assistant U.S. attorney, said passage of Proposition 19 would give federal authorities no choice but to act.

"I think this pushes it beyond the edge," he said.

MAP posted-by: Richard Lake

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A Classic Base of the Pyramid Business | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise | View Clip
10/14/2010
Development through Enterprise

Allen Hammond

September 5, 2008 - 10:09 am

A Classic Base of the Pyramid Business

The product is something people everywhere need, but is often costly or - for more than a billion people worldwide - simply unavailable. It has to be produced locally on a daily basis. And the market price, in rural India, is less than $20 per household per year. An impossible business? I say no; in fact, I'd argue that this is a classic base of the pyramid business opportunity: low-margin, high volume; leveraging advanced technology; scalable; and potentially very profitable.
I'm talking, of course, about clean water for drinking and cooking. And two of the businesses I've been mentoring at Santa Clara University's Naandi Foundation is an NGO that partners with the government but operates with business-like efficiency and is already starting to scale in several states outside its Andhra Pradesh base. Both deploy reverse osmosis water treatment plants, primarily in rural villages that do not now have access to clean water.

The government of India does provide water to some rural villages, but virtually none of that water is treated to remove mineral, chemical or biological contaminants. More than 200,000 rural villages - 200 million people - have no source of clean drinking water, which results in more than 5 million deaths and 100 million workdays lost per year. Both Naandi Foundation and EPGL are building water treatment units that serve entire villages, using an own-and-operate business model. Between the two, they already provide services in more than 300 villages; their goal is 8000 villages (30 million people) within five years. Both charge prices around $.01 per gallon for clean water, which families collect from the treatment center typically twice a day.

However, their infrastructure investments expect to pay back in 3 years or less, and both companies have credible financial projections showing that they will be extremely profitable. Inexpensive technology makes everything possible: the patent on membranes for reverse osmosis has expired, and manufacturing for these units has moved to Asia. As a result, a unit producing 1000 liters per hour (about village-sized) costs less than $8000 (and falling); the other inputs are electric power, some maintenance and the manpower to run the unit. As the numbers of units grow and move beyond the payback period, both Naandi's and EPGL's bottom line soars into the black.

Base of the Pyramid water technology

It is wonderful to hear such success stories of quality-of-life enhancement programs, or business however you may look at it. In the Philippines we are also looking into capturing the "great unserved" water communities through stand-alone water systems. And I am very interested in the technology that you used. RO treatment for that cost only. Do you know if we will be able to find a supplier of that technology here in Manila?

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4 Common Investment Pitfalls | View Clip
10/14/2010
SmartMoney - Online

It's not just investments that can inspire fear. It's also some of our own behaviors, experts say. Here are some common emotional pitfalls and ways to overcome them.

Don't Let the Past Obscure the Future

Your tolerance for risk can change nearly as often as the weather. For instance, when stocks tank, people tend to think that buying stocks will always be a high-risk proposition, according to a recent study cowritten by behavorial economist Meir Statman. Letting the recent past dictate your attitude can keep you from spotting a good opportunity.

Beware “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” Investing

Hindsight can help you learn valuable lessons, but when it comes to investing, it can also cloud your judgment, according to experts. Some people, instead of seeing how well an investment is performing on its own, only compare it with how poorly it's doing versus something else. That type of behavior can lead investors to take unnecessary risks.

Try Not to Run Too Hot—or Too Cold

Statman warns against getting too caught up in the performance of an individual investment. Puffing yourself up after a moneymaking trade can make you overconfident; taking an investing loss personally can make you gun-shy. Either way, you could end up misjudging your skills and curbing your willingness to try different investments.

Dodge the Home-Team Effect

It's natural to stick with investments based in the U.S., because they feel familiar. But being comfortable isn't the same as buying a good asset. Hersh Schefrin, a behavioral-finance expert at Santa Clara University, says the home-team effect can work against investors when foreign markets might offer better investments.

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4 Common Investment Pitfalls | View Clip
10/14/2010
SmartMoney - Online

It's not just investments that can inspire fear. It's also some of our own behaviors, experts say. Here are some common emotional pitfalls and ways to overcome them.

Don't Let the Past Obscure the Future

Your tolerance for risk can change nearly as often as the weather. For instance, when stocks tank, people tend to think that buying stocks will always be a high-risk proposition, according to a recent study cowritten by behavorial economist Meir Statman. Letting the recent past dictate your attitude can keep you from spotting a good opportunity.

Beware “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” Investing

Hindsight can help you learn valuable lessons, but when it comes to investing, it can also cloud your judgment, according to experts. Some people, instead of seeing how well an investment is performing on its own, only compare it with how poorly it's doing versus something else. That type of behavior can lead investors to take unnecessary risks.

Try Not to Run Too Hot—or Too Cold

Statman warns against getting too caught up in the performance of an individual investment. Puffing yourself up after a moneymaking trade can make you overconfident; taking an investing loss personally can make you gun-shy. Either way, you could end up misjudging your skills and curbing your willingness to try different investments.

Dodge the Home-Team Effect

It's natural to stick with investments based in the U.S., because they feel familiar. But being comfortable isn't the same as buying a good asset. Hersh Schefrin, a behavioral-finance expert at Santa Clara University, says the home-team effect can work against investors when foreign markets might offer better investments.

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'Scraping' Incident Illustrates Risks for Online Health Data | View Clip
10/13/2010
iHealthBeat

An incident in which a media research firm improperly copied messages from a discussion forum on the website PatientsLikeMe has sparked questions about the practice of data "scraping," the reports. PatientsLikeMe is an online� social networking site.

What Is Scraping?

Scraping refers to the practice of using sophisticated software to collect personal data from social networking websites, online forums, job sites and other Web-based sources.

The information can be used to track consumer preferences, screen job candidates and conduct market research.

PatientsLikeMe Incident

On May 7, PatientsLikeMe administrators noticed unusual activity on a discussion board about moods. The company shut down the suspicious account, as well as three additional questionable accounts.

PatientsLikeMe traced the suspicious accounts to the media research firm Nielsen, which monitors online trends to provide consumer insight for its clients. Investigators found that Nielsen had been copying messages from patient discussion forums.

On May 18, PatientsLikeMe sent a cease-and-desist order to Nielsen, which agreed to stop scraping.

On May 20, PatientsLikeMe President Ben Heywood informed the site's 70,000 users about the scraping incident . He also reminded members that PatientsLikeMe sells user information that has been de-identified (Angwin/Stecklow, , 10/12). PatientsLikeMe called the incident a violation of its user agreement rather than a security breach because user account information was not compromised (Merrill, , 10/12). Nielsen Response

Dave Hudson -- who took over in June as the CEO of the Nielsen unit that scraped PatientsLikeMe in May -- said the incident was "a bad legacy practice that we don't do anymore."

The company said it no longer scrapes websites that require individual accounts for access, unless it has permission to do so.

A Growing Industry

Over the next few years, spending on data from online sources is expected to more than double from $410 million in 2009 to $840 million in 2012.

Numerous companies across the country provide data scraping services, but few legal precedents govern the practice of extracting online data.

Eric Goldman, law professor at Santa Clara University, said, "Scraping is ubiquitous, but questionable." He added, "Everyone does it, but it's not totally clear that anyone is allowed to do it without permission" (, 10/12). Next Article

Sign in or register to share your thoughts on this article. Readers are invited to send feedback to: ihb@chcf.org

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The controversial practice of data scraping | View Clip
10/13/2010
SmartBrief

Scraping, an emerging business of mining social media and other websites for consumer data that can be packaged and resold, operates in "a legal gray area" both in the U.S. and around the world. "Everyone does it, but it's not totally clear that anyone is allowed to do it without permission," said Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University.

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October 2010 – Online Strategies: Online Insights: Video | View Clip
10/13/2010
Electronic Retailer

Guess Who's Using YouTube to Make the Cash Register Ring?

Many electronic retailers would never guess who is using YouTube to make the cash register ring.

That is because YouTube still has the reputation of being a small video-sharing site where any wanna-be director with a video camera and an Internet connection can upload their quirky and unusual amateur content for an audience of 18- to-24-year-olds to discover, watch and share.

YouTube has this reputation because…that's what it was back in December 2005 when three former PayPal employees officially launched YouTube.

But that's so five years ago. It's time for direct marketers to check out YouTube again…today.

Attracting Buzz

According to comScore Video Metrix, 143 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content on YouTube.com in July 2010. By comparison, 106.5 million people tuned in to watch the Super Bowl this year, making it the most watched telecast in U.S. TV history.

That's right. More Americans visit YouTube each month than watch the Super Bowl.

According to Hitwise, YouTube is the most popular video site in the U.S., getting 86.2 percent of the visits to video sites in July 2010. Hulu, which ranked second, got 3.6 percent that month. Bing Videos, which ranked third, got 2.0 percent. Google Video, which ranked fourth, got 1.1 percent. And the other 73 video sites in the category split the remaining 7.1 percent of visits.

That's right. YouTube gets more than six out of seven visits to video sites.

And according to comScore Video Metrix, Americans watched 14.2 billion videos on YouTube in July 2010. According to comScore qSearch, Americans conducted 10.3 billion searches on Google that month.

Yes, Americans watch more videos on YouTube than they conduct searches on Google.

Now, let's look at who is using YouTube to make the cash register ring. If you haven't seen him yet, check out the YouTube video of Isaiah Mustafa asking ladies, “Should your man smell like an Old Spice man?” As of Aug. 30, 2010, “Old Spice – Questions,” had 14.4 million views.

And a variety of news sources reported that sales of the Old Spice brand have increased by 107 percent a month after the Wieden+Kennedy campaign started on YouTube and Twitter.

YouTube Video:

If you think 107 percent is a big number, you'll be amazed to learn that Monty Python garnered even more viewers.

When Monty Python launched their YouTube channel in November 2008, not only did their videos shoot to the top of the most viewed lists, but their DVDs also quickly climbed to Number 2 on Amazon's Movies & TV bestsellers list, with increased sales of 23,000 percent.

And now for something completely different. If you look at the bottom of the video on The Monty Python Channel, you will see that the Pythons used YouTube's e-commerce platform, which allows users to easily “click-to-buy” products—like songs and movies—related to the content they're watching on the site.

A small business can use YouTube to make the cash register ring, too. For example, Terrance Kelleman, president and designer of Dynomighty Design, began marketing his magnetic bracelets, paper wallets and other products with creative videos on YouTube in November 2006. His first YouTube video, “The Original Magnetic Plaything @dynomighty.com,” got over 3.2 million views and generated $130,000 in sales in three months.

You can also see click-to-buy links appearing as semi-transparent overlays that appear in the bottom of the video. After his initial success, Terrence continued creating videos to showcase his products and create connections with potential buyers. Today, more than 50 percent of the referring traffic to Dynomighty's website comes from YouTube.

Direct marketers don't even need to have videos to use YouTube. For example, Jordan Blum of Beautychoice.com has reached out to the top YouTube channels in the beauty tips category. Beautychoice.com, a leading online retailer of branded premium beauty products for personal care, provides products to professional makeup artists like Michelle Phan, who then link back to Beautychoice.com.

According to Blum, the results of what he calls “product placement on steroids” have been “awesome.” On Aug. 30, 2010, Phan's “Lady Ga Ga Poker Face Tutorial” had almost 21 million views. Overall, beauty tips videos featuring Beautychoice.com products have been viewed more than 320 million times, these videos have generated “a lot of traffic” and created “millions of dollars in transactions in less than a year.”

But wait! There's more!

On July 13, 2010, Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY reported, “Show-and-tell shopping videos posted by teens on YouTube for fun are about to get a serious back-to-school commercial twist.”

That was the day when JCPenney, one of the nation's largest retailers, announced plans to turn a handful of these look-what-I-got-at-the-store teen videos—known as “hauls”—into a core component of its back-to-school marketing.

The chain has a deal with six girls to create back-to-school haul videos. Each was provided with gift cards worth $250 to $1,000. Some were given free transportation and lodging to shop near JCPenney's home in Plano, Texas.

“It's one of the most innovative things we're doing this fall,” Mike Boylson, JCPenney's chief marketing officer, told Horovitz. “All of these haulers have followers and friends. That's how you start the ball rolling.”

On Aug. 16, 2010, Samantha Critchell of AP followed up with Annie St. John, a soon-to-be high school senior in Michigan, who had already bought cardigans and skinny jeans for the new season, using the $1,000 gift card that JCPenney had given her in exchange for her sharing her purchases in her popular “haul” videos on YouTube.

St. John told Critchell, “If someone else is watching me, they might see something I like and think it'll work for them, too, but I also talk about quality and price. I brag about how little I spend. I mostly do haul videos to help lower the cost for a lot girls.”

“There are kids who are influencers and care about what's on trend, and other kids emulate them,” Boylson told Critchell. “The thing about the haul videos is teens go on shopping trips and videotape themselves shopping. They are the next generation's bloggers. They are becoming fashion authorities with huge followings.”

Boylson added, “We know consumers, especially teens, rely on their friends. They trust their friends more than marketers, and that is more genuine and effective.” However, he also noted, “We put things in logical order, but teens want to mix and match and put together unique looks. They're not bound by a set trend statement or rules.”

On Aug. 25, 2010, Sue McAllister of the San Jose Mercury News reported that the videos uploaded by a 23-year-old woman from Oxnard, Calif., who goes by the name “DulceCandy87” had 48.7 million total upload views.

In her channel description, DulceCandy87 says, “The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products.”

“Haul videos are blogs meet videos meet consumer ratings,” Kirthi Kalyanam, who is the JCPenney research professor at Santa Clara University, told McAllister. “In product categories like cosmetics, where look and feel are important and are not that easily communicated via text, video blogs can be powerful.”

Kalyanam also told McAllister, “Some of these video bloggers already have a following, so a retailer can tap into this. The retailer can also leverage a video made by a consumer, which costs the retailer no money.”

So, would you have guessed that Old Spice, Monty Python, Dynomighty Design, Beautychoice.com and JCPenney are using YouTube to make the cash register ring?

Be honest.

Even I'm pretty surprised by this eclectic collection of electronic retailers.

Greg Jarboe is president and co-founder of SEO-PR, which provides SEO, public relations, social media and video marketing services.

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Prop. 19 Passage Could Spark U.S.-California Legal War | View Clip
10/13/2010
Media Awareness Project

PROP. 19 PASSAGE COULD SPARK U.S.-CALIFORNIA LEGAL WAR OVER POT

Backers of California's Proposition 19 call it a landmark challenge to America's war on drugs. But passage of the initiative to legalize pot for recreational use may open up a legal war between California and the federal government.

Some fear a renewed surge of federal raids, similar to actions that shut down medical pot shops, targeted suppliers and doctors after California voters passed Proposition 215, its medical marijuana law, in 1996.

Even some fervent proponents of the initiative to allow anyone 21 and over to smoke pot say federal authorities would quickly sue California to overturn the new law.

"I have no doubt that the feds will file suit if Proposition 19 passes," said Dale Gieringer, California director for the pro-legalization National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

In an Aug. 24 letter, nine former administrators for the Drug Enforcement Administration urged Attorney General Eric Holder to bring suit against California -- just as the Obama administration sued Arizona when that state passed a controversial law aimed at illegal immigrants.

"The California proposition is not a close call," wrote the ex-DEA administrators, including Robert Bonner, the former supervising U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. "It will be a clear conflict with established federal law."

Reached Wednesday in Mexico City, where he was attending a drug policy conference, Bonner said the California measure conflicts with United Nations treaties signed to prevent the spread of psychoactive drugs.

"The United States has treaties that would be violated if Proposition 19 were enacted. It would send a terrible signal to countries of the world," he said.

The U.S. Justice Department isn't saying how it would respond if Proposition 19 passes.

"The Department of Justice will continue to focus its enforcement resources on significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler in Washington, D.C. "It is premature to speculate what steps we would take in the event that California passes its ballot measure."

Backlash Could Hurt Medical Pot Users

Last year, Attorney General Eric Holder declared the federal government would no longer target medical marijuana operations in states permitting medical use.

California and 13 other states now permit medical marijuana. And federal raids on medical pot establishments -- particularly those catering to the seriously ill -- stirred political sympathies in favor of medical marijuana. Now legal observers, such as Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, say Proposition 19 could upset the accord that federal agents and California established with medical use.

"I think it will open up a new order of conflict between the state and the feds," Uelmen said. "The feds resisted ( Proposition 215 ) from the get-go. But I think we finally wore them down.

"Now, if we open the door to lawful cultivation and distribution for recreational use, I think there will be a very strong reaction."

In 2001, Uelmen unsuccessfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative serving medical marijuana patients.

The court, in a decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, declared that marijuana was still illegal, and a "medical exception" defense for the Oakland pot club was invalid under federal law.

In a 2005 case, the high court also ruled against California petitioner Angel Raich, whose six-plant medical marijuana garden was raided by DEA agents after Butte County authorities declined to file state drug charges against him.

In the second ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that although "California has been a pioneer in the regulation of marijuana," enforcement of Federal Controlled Substance Act prohibitions against pot remain "a valid exercise of federal power."

President Barack Obama is opposed to legalizing marijuana. His 2010 National Drug Control Strategy statement declares: "This administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug."

Still, retired Orange Superior Court Judge James Gray, a backer of Proposition 19, said he believes public acceptance of marijuana will diminish the federal response.

"I cannot conceive that the Obama administration would thumb its nose at the voters of the state of California," Gray said.

Passage Could Put State, Federal Law in Conflict

Proposition 19 would allow Californians over 21 to possess marijuana for recreational use and permit them to grow pot in small residential spaces. It would also allow local governments to tax retail sales and production.

Zenia Gilg, a San Francisco attorney who handles medical marijuana cases, said federal authorities are unlikely to target average Californians if Proposition 19 passes. But she said they may well raid large-scale marijuana producers.

In Oakland, producers readying industrial growing rooms for medical pot are eying expansion into legal recreational weed. The city has already approved a conditional tax if Proposition 19 passes.

Gilg says that may be a dilemma for federal agents.

"If they're going to prosecute the guy at the till ( of a marijuana business ) and not the city or county, they run into a political quagmire," Gilg said. "Because they're not going to prosecute the city or county."

In California's medical marijuana market, dispensaries account for more than $100 million in sales taxes, according to state estimates.

But Uelmen said the mere act of paying taxes on recreational marijuana sales could constitute acknowledgment of a federal crime. "To pay the taxes will require us to admit that, in effect, we're violating federal law," he said.

While the law may side with the federal government, Los Angeles marijuana lawyer Bruce Margolin said politics does not. He points to decreased acceptance of medical pot raids.

In 2002, a DEA raid on a Santa Cruz medical pot commune for sick and dying patients produced such a backlash that the city and county sued the federal government. A court settlement banned future DEA raids as long as the operation was legal under state law.

In a high-profile medical marijuana case, California cannabis growing guru Ed Rosenthal was sentenced to a single day in jail in 2007 -- despite a federal conviction for illegal cultivation.

A U.S. District Court in San Francisco also stopped the DEA from punishing doctors or threatening to revoke their licenses for recommending marijuana to patients.

Still, Donald Heller, a former Sacramento assistant U.S. attorney, said passage of Proposition 19 would give federal authorities no choice but to act.

"I think this pushes it beyond the edge," he said.

MAP posted-by: Richard Lake

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Prop. 19 Could Set UP Legal Battle Between California, ... | View Clip
10/13/2010
Media Awareness Project

PROP. 19 COULD SET UP LEGAL BATTLE BETWEEN CALIFORNIA, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Backers of California's Proposition 19 call it a landmark challenge to America's war on drugs. But passage of the initiative to legalize pot for recreational use may open up a legal war between California and the federal government.

Some fear a renewed surge of federal raids - similar to actions that shut down medical pot shops, targeted suppliers and doctors after California voters passed Proposition 215, its medical marijuana law in 1996.

Even some fervent proponents of the initiative to allow anyone 21 and over to smoke pot say federal authorities will quickly sue California to overturn the new law.

"I have no doubt that the feds will file suit if Proposition 19 passes," said Dale Gieringer, California director for the pro-legalization National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

In an Aug. 24 letter, nine former administrators for the Drug Enforcement Administration urged Attorney General Eric Holder to bring suit against California - just as the Obama administration sued Arizona when that state passed a controversial immigration law.

"The California proposition is not a close call," wrote the ex-DEA administrators, including Robert Bonner, the former supervising U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. "It will be a clear conflict with established federal law."

Bonner said last week that the California measure conflicts with United Nations treaties signed to prevent the spread of psychoactive drugs.

"The United States has treaties that would be violated if Proposition 19 were enacted. It would send a terrible signal to countries of the world," he said.

Officially, the U.S. Justice Department isn't saying how it would respond if Proposition 19 passes.

"The Department of Justice will continue to focus its enforcement resources on significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler in Washington, D.C. "It is premature to speculate what steps we would take in the event that California passes its ballot measure."

Last year, in an announcement hailed by marijuana advocates, Attorney General Eric Holder declared the federal government would no longer target medical marijuana operations in states permitting medical use.

California and 13 other states now permit medical marijuana. And federal raids on medical pot establishments - particularly those catering to the seriously ill - stirred political sympathies in favor of the medical marijuana movement.

But now legal observers, such as Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, say Proposition 19 could upset the accord that federal agents and California established with medical use.

"I think it will open up a new order of conflict between the state and the feds," Uelmen said. "The feds resisted ( Proposition 215 ) from the get-go. But I think we finally wore them down.

"Now, if we open the door to lawful cultivation and distribution for recreational use, I think there will be a very strong reaction."

In 2001, Uelmen unsuccessfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative serving medical marijuana patients.

The court, in a decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, declared that marijuana was still illegal and a "medical exception" defense for the Oakland pot club was invalid under federal law.

In a 2005, the high court also ruled against California petitioner Angel Raich, whose six-plant medical marijuana garden was raided by DEA agents after Butte County authorities declined to file state drug charges against him.

In the second ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that although "California has been a pioneer in the regulation of marijuana," enforcement of Federal Controlled Substance Act prohibitions against pot remain "a valid exercise of federal power."

The president is opposed to legalizing marijuana. His 2010 National Drug Control Strategy statement declares: "This administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug."

Still, retired Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, a backer of Proposition 19, said he believes current public acceptance of marijuana will diminish the federal response.

"I cannot conceive that the Obama administration would thumb its nose at the voters of the state of California," Gray said.

Proposition 19 would allow Californians over 21 to possess marijuana for recreational use and permit them to grow pot in small residential spaces. It would also allow local governments to tax retail sales and production.

Zenia Gilg, a San Francisco attorney who handles medical marijuana cases, said federal authorities are unlikely to target average Californians if Proposition 19 passes. But she said they may well raid large-scale marijuana producers.

In Oakland, producers readying industrial growing rooms of medical pot are eying expansion into legal recreational weed. The city has already approved a conditional tax if Proposition 19 passes.

Gilg says that may be a dilemma for federal agents.

"If they're going to prosecute the guy at the till ( of a marijuana business ) and not the city or county, they run into a political quagmire," Gilg said. "Because they're not going to prosecute the city or county."

In California's medical marijuana market, dispensaries amassing up to $1.3 billion in transactions account for more than $100 million in sales taxes, according to state estimates.

But Uelmen said the mere act of paying taxes on recreational marijuana sales could constitute acknowledgment of a federal crime. "To pay the taxes will require us to admit that, in effect, we're violating federal law," he said.

While the law may side with the federal government, Los Angeles marijuana lawyer Bruce Margolin insists politics doesn't. He points to decreased acceptance of medical pot raids.

In 2002, a DEA raid on a Santa Cruz medical pot commune for sick and dying patients produced such a backlash that the city and county sued the federal government. A court settlement banned future DEA raids as long the operation was legal under state law.

In a high profile medical marijuana case, California cannabis growing guru Ed Rosenthal was sentenced to a single day in jail in 2007 - despite a federal conviction for illegal cultivation.

A U.S. District Court in San Francisco also stopped the DEA from punishing doctors or threatening to revoke their licenses for recommending marijuana to patients.

"If the feds are going to make a show of force again, clamor their swords and show they're in control, I don't know if the public is going to accept it," Margolin said.

But Donald Heller, a former Sacramento assistant U.S. attorney, said passage of Proposition 19 would give federal authorities no choice but to act.

"I think this pushes it beyond the edge," he said.

MAP posted-by: Richard Lake

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Professor Thomas G. Plante, PhD | View Clip
10/13/2010
Psychology Today - Online

Thomas Plante, PhD., ABPP is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University as well as an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. In recent years he has served as psychology department chair as well as acting dean of the school of education, counseling psychology, and pastoral at Santa Clara University. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children for the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and is President of the Psychology of Religion division of the American Psychological Association (Division 36). He was born and raised in Rhode Island and received his ScB degree in psychology from Brown University, his M.A. and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and health psychology from Yale University. Prior to coming to Santa Clara in 1994, he was a staff psychologist and on the clinical faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of mental health services at the Children's Health Council in Palo Alto, California.

He has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited fourteen books including Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church (2004, Greenwood), Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned: Perspectives on Sexual Abuse Committed by Roman Catholic Priests (1999, Greenwood), Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives (2001, Guilford), Do the Right Thing: Living Ethically in an Unethical World (2004, New Harbinger), Contemporary Clinical Psychology (1999, 2005, 2011, Wiley), Mental Disorders of the New Millennium (Vols. I, II, and III, 2006, Greenwood), Spirit, Science and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels Physical Wellness (2007, Greenwood), Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health (2009, American Psychological Association), and Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health (2010, Greenwood) as well as published over 150 scholarly professional journal articles and book chapters. His area of clinical and research interest focuses on stress and coping, the influence of aerobic exercise and perceived fitness on psychological functioning, faith and health outcomes, psychological issues among Catholic clergy and laypersons, and ethical decision making. He has been featured in numerous media outlets including Time Magazine, CNN, NBC Nightly News, the PBS News Hour, New York Times, USA Today, British Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio, among many others. He has evaluated or treated more than 600 Catholic and Episcopal priests and applicants to the priesthood and diaconate and has served as a consultant for a number of Church dioceses and religious orders. Time Magazine referred to him (April 1, 2002) as one of "three leading (American) Catholics." He maintains a private practice in northern California where he lives with his wife, Lori (also a psychologist) and son, Zachary. His hobbies include running and managing a small home vineyard where he and his family grow syrah grapes for wine making under the TLZ Plante Family Vineyard label. He can be reached at tplante@scu.edu and his university web page is scu.edu/tplante.

by Thomas G. Plante Ph.D.

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In this blog, I hope to offer reflections on doing the right thing for our body, minds, and souls as well as for our relationships, communities, and the world. While I certainly don't own a corner on the truth and know what the right thing is for you, I hopefully can at least offer some thoughtful ideas about how to discern for ourselves what the right thing might be. I'll comment on health and fitness, ethical behavior, and ways to live a life that hopefully maximizes our potential for health, wellness, and satisfaction.

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Proposition 23 – good or bad for California's businesses? | View Clip
10/13/2010
San Diego Newsroom

Amidst the crowded ballot of initiatives for the November election is one that its proponents call the “California Jobs Initiative.”  The ballot title is much longer: “ Suspends Implementation of Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32) Requiring Major Sources of Emissions to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops to 5.5 Percent or Less for Full Year.”

While the majority of the $6.5 million funding in support of Proposition 23 initially came from oil companies outside of California (Valero, Tesoro Companies, Flint Hills Resources, Marathon Petroleum Company and Occidental Petroleum), the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Adam Smith Foundation, California Trucking Association and California State Pipes Trade Association have donated substantially since the ballot initiative qualified.

The majority of funding for the opposition campaign has come from a group called “Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs,” made up of wealthy individuals who are believers in global warming as a reality:  Thomas Steyer, Robert Fisher, Wendy Schmidt, Claire Perry, L. John Doerr, William Patterson, as well as such organizations as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Green Tech Action Fund, and the California Teachers Association.

Thomas Steyer, founder of San Francisco-based hedge fund Farrallon Capital Management LLC, gave $2.5 million and promised another $2.5 million to come.  Steyer and his wife donated about $40 million to fund renewable energy research at Stanford University last year.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is just as strongly opposed to Proposition 23, as he was supportive of AB 32.  He isn't buying the report from California's Legislative Analyst's Office that shows near term job loss from implementing AB 32.

Opponents say that Proposition 23 would delay sensible measures to create a clean energy economy. William Sundstrom, Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University, said “The net impact on California's employment picture is likely to be so small as to barely noticeable in the unemployment statistics…. Offsetting these transitional impacts will be new ‘green jobs' in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.  Clean technology is a growth industry, and California has been a significant beneficiary of that growth…”

James Birkelund, an attorney at Cleantech Law Partners, states “California has invested billions of dollars in clean energy technology such as wind and solar, and is well positioned to lead the nation in the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector… California already had 500,000 workers employed in green jobs, and more than 12,000 clean tech companies call the state home.  It is estimated that Prop. 23 will reduce the state's economic output by $80 billion and cut over half a million jobs by 2020."

On the other side, a new study released on October 6, 2010 by the non-profit Pacific Research Institute showed that passage of Proposition 23 would create about 1.3 million California jobs by 2020, with 500,000 of those jobs created by 2012, and 150,000 in 2011.  The study assumes that four consecutive quarters of 5.5 percent unemployment or less would not be observed, so that implementation of AB 32 would not resume.   If AB 32 is implemented, they project an employment loss equal to about 5 percent of the working age population, or more than a million jobs.

The California Trucking Association is strongly in favor of Prop. 23 because the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has imposed billions of dollars in high costs on trucking companies to comply with on-road and off-road diesel regulation, and fuel costs could increase another 32%, depending on how AB 32 is implemented.  A study authored by a former Executive Officer of CARB found that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (AB 32 Scoping Plan Measure T-2) would increase gasoline and diesel costs by $3.7 billion a year with no detectable impact on global warming and a five ton per day increase in smog-forming emissions. The increase in fuel costs would apply to everyone purchasing gasoline and diesel fuel, not just businesses.

Valerie Liese, Chairwoman, California Trucking Association said, “Implementing AB 32 at this time would break the back of the trucking business in California.  That's why the California Jobs Initiative is so important …Right now, that represents the difference between surviving this recession or going under for a lot of our members.

Law enforcement and firefighters have voiced their support.  Kevin Nida, President California State Firefighters Association said, “The economic crisis of the last few years has put a real strain on resources available to fund firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other public safety personnel throughout the state...The last thing we need is a law that will leave local governments with even less money to fund public safety.”

Small businesses have joined the campaign to support Prop. 23.  Reid Ennis, Ennis Inc., Lakeside, CA said, “We already are burdened with so many taxes and regulations, we barely exist.  We are down from 190 people to 46 and are losing money every month.  With California's construction unemployment above 30% any more fuel cost increases, fees, or taxes, will destroy many more businesses.”

Michelle Grangetto, 5th Axis, San Diego, CA, said “…We machine parts for aerospace, military, and medical fields…another increase in electricity will force us to relocate to another state.”

San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt said “Our top priority has to be job creation…With more than 2.2 million people out of work in the state and the jobless rate at close to 15 percent in some counties including San Bernardino, Prop. 23 represents a common-sense approach to protecting jobs and holding the line on costs for California's struggling families.”

When the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) was passed in 2006, California's economy was booming, with unemployment at only 4.8 percent.  Now California's unemployment is at 12.4 percent statewide, and we've lost over 50,000 manufacturing jobs since the recession began in at the end of 2007.   Over the last several years, hundreds of manufacturers have relocated to Nevada and Oregon where there is no state income tax, workers' compensation costs are much lower, and the cost of regulatory compliance is also much lower.

Now is not the time to make it harder for California companies to stay in business and stay in California.  County Supervisor Mitzelfelt said it best --- a “yes” vote on Prop. 23 makes sense.  Passage of Prop. 23 will save more California businesses than it will hurt in the clean energy technology industry.

Michele Nash-Hoff is the president of ElectroFab Sales and the author of "Can American Manufacturing be Saved?  Why we should and how we can."

Comments (1)

The California Jobs Initiative (cji) is an oil corporation farce and fraud. There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is job growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employs 65,000 worldwide and CJI is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up jobs after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs amd pump-handler jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil industry, increase air pollution, especially in communities around their refineries and there will not be lower gas prices. Koch Industries, Valero and Tesoro are super Enrons. Since when did the oil companies start to show any concern for the unemployed and their families and for small businesses?

Earl Richards , October 12, 2010

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A special report on the world economy: Smart work
10/12/2010
Executive Briefing

FROM THE ECONOMIST

Faster productivity growth will be an important part of rich economies' revival

PRODUCTIVITY growth is the closest economics gets to a magic elixir, especially for ageing advanced economies. When workers produce more for every hour they toil, living standards rise and governments have more resources to service their debts and support those who cannot work. As the rich world emerges from the financial crisis, faster productivity growth could counteract the drag from adverse demography. But slower productivity growth could make matters worse.

Workers' productivity depends on their skills, the amount of capital invested in helping them to do their jobs and the pace of "innovation"--the process of generating ideas that lead to new products and more efficient business practices. Financial crises and deep recessions can affect these variables in several ways. As this special report has argued, workers' skills may erode if long-term unemployment rises. The disruption to the financial sector and the reluctance of businesses to invest in the face of uncertain demand may also reduce the rate of capital formation, delaying the factory upgrades and IT purchases that would boost workers' efficiency.

Financial crises can affect the pace of innovation, too, though it is hard to predict which way. Deep recessions can slow it down as firms slash their spending on research and development. But they can also boost the pace of efficiency gains as weak demand forces firms to rethink their products and cost structures and the weakest companies are winnowed out. According to Alexander Field of Santa Clara University, the 1930s saw the fastest efficiency improvements in America's history amid large-scale restructuring.

Here we go again

Almost every government in the rich world has a spanking new "innovation strategy". Industrial policy--out of fashion since its most credible champion, Japan, lost its way in the 1990s--is staging a comeback. But mostly such policies end up subsidising well-connected industries and products. "Green technology" is a favourite receptacle for such subsidies.

In 2008 France created a sovereign-wealth fund as part of its response to the financial crisis; it promises to promote biotechnology ventures, though it has also sunk capital into conventional manufacturers that happened to need money. In 2009 Britain followed suit with a "strategic investment fund". The Japanese too are back in the game. In June the newly invigorated Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) unveiled a plan to promote five strategic sectors, ranging from environmental products to robotics. However, past experiments with industrial policy, from France's Minitel, an attempt to create a government-run national communications network, to Spain's expensive subsidies to jump-start solar power, suggest that governments are not much good at picking promising sectors or products.

More important, the politicians' current focus on fostering productivity growth via exciting high-tech breakthroughs misses a big part of what really drives innovation: the diffusion of better business processes and management methods. This sort of innovation is generally the result of competitive pressure. The best thing that governments can do to foster new ideas is to get out of the way. This is especially true in the most regulated and least competitive parts of the economy, notably services.

To see why competition matters so much, consider the recent history of productivity in the rich world. On the eve of the recession the rate of growth in workers' output per hour was slowing. So, too, was the pace of improvement in "total factor productivity" (a measure of the overall efficiency with which capital and workers are used which is economists' best gauge of the speed of innovation). But that broad trend masks considerable differences.

Over the past 15 years America's underlying productivity growth--adjusted for the ups and downs of the business cycle--has outperformed most other rich economies' by a wide margin (see chart 12). Workers' output per hour soared in the late 1990s, thanks largely to investment in computers and software. At first this advance was powered by productivity gains within the technology sector. From 2000 onwards efficiency gains spread through the wider economy, especially in services such as retailing and wholesaling, helped by the deregulated and competitive nature of America's economy. The improvements were extraordinary, though they slowed after the middle of the decade.

The recent history of productivity in Europe is almost the mirror image of America's. Up to the mid-1990s the continent's output per hour grew faster than America's (see chart 13), helped by imports of tried and tested ideas from across the water. Thanks to this process of catch-up, by 1995 Europe's output per hour reached over 90% of the American level. But then Europe slowed, and by 2008 the figure was back down to 83%. This partly reflected Europe's labour-market reforms, which brought more low-skilled workers into the workforce. That seemed a price well worth paying for higher employment. But the main reason for Europe's disappointing productivity performance was that it failed to squeeze productivity gains from its service sector.

A forthcoming history of European growth by Marcel Timmer and Robert Inklaar of the University of Groningen, Mary O'Mahony of Birmingham University and Bart Van Ark of the Conference Board, a business-research organisation, carefully dissects the statistics for individual countries and industries and finds considerable variation within Europe. Finland and Sweden improved their productivity growth whereas Italy and Spain were particularly sluggish. Europe also did better in some sectors than in others; for example, telecommunications was a bright spot. But overall, compared with America, European firms invested relatively little in services and innovative business practices. A new McKinsey study suggests that around two-thirds of the differential in productivity growth between America and Europe between 1995 and 2005 can be explained by the gap in "local services", such as retail and wholesale services.

Europe's service markets are smaller than America's, fragmented along national lines and heavily regulated. The OECD has tracked regulation of product and services markets across countries since 1998. It measures the degree of state control, barriers to competition and obstacles to starting a new company, assigning a score to each market of between 0 and 6 (where 0 is the least restrictive). Overall the absolute level of product regulation fell between 1998 and 2008, and the variation between countries lessened. America and Britain score joint best, with 0.84. The EU average is 1.4. But when it comes to services, the variation is larger and Europe has made much less progress.

In professional services, the OECD's score for Europe is fully twice as high as for America (meaning it is twice as restrictive). As the McKinsey report notes, many European countries are rife with anti-competitive rules. Architects' and lawyers' fees in Italy and Germany are subject to price floors and ceilings. Notaries in France, Spain and Greece and pharmacies in Greece are banned from advertising their services. Such restrictions limit the ability of efficient newcomers to compete for market share, cosseting incumbents and raising costs across the economy.

In Japan productivity growth slumped after the country's asset bubble burst at the start of the 1990s. One reason, as an earlier section of this report has described, was the failure to deal decisively with the bad loans clogging its banks, which propped up inefficient "zombie" companies rather than forcing them into liquidation. That meant less capital was available to lend to upstart firms. Another problem was the lack of competition. Japan's service sector, unlike its world-class manufacturers, is fragmented, protected from foreign competition and heavily regulated, so it failed to capture the gains of the IT revolution.

Over the years Japan made various efforts at regulatory reform, from freeing up the energy market and mobile telephony in the mid-1990s to liberalising the financial sector in the late 1990s. These have borne some fruit. Japan's total factor productivity growth, unlike Europe's, began to improve after 2000. But coupled with the continuing weakness of investment, the reforms were too modest to bring about a decisive change in the country's overall productivity prospects.

Learn Swedish

Sweden offers a more encouraging lesson. In the aftermath of its banking bust in the early 1990s it not only cleaned up its banks quickly but also embarked on a radical programme of microeconomic deregulation. The government reformed its tax and pension systems and freed up whole swaths of the economy, from aviation, telecommunications and electricity to banking and retailing. Thanks to these reforms, Swedish productivity growth, which had averaged 1.2% a year from 1980 to 1990, accelerated to a remarkable 2.2% a year from 1991 to 1998 and 2.5% from 1999 to 2005, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

Sweden's retailers put in a particularly impressive performance. In 1990, McKinsey found, they were 5% less productive than America's, mainly because a thicket of regulations ensured that stores were much smaller and competition less intense. Local laws restricted access to land for large stores, existing retailers colluded on prices and incumbent chains pressed suppliers to boycott cheaper competitors. But in 1992 the laws were changed to weaken municipal land-use restrictions, and Swedish entry into the EU and the creation of a new competition authority raised competitive pressures. Large stores and vertically integrated chains rapidly gained market share. By 2005 Sweden's retail productivity was 14% higher than America's.

The restructuring of retail banking services was another success story. Consolidation driven by the financial crisis and by EU entry increased competition. New niche players introduced innovative products like telephone and internet banking that later spread to larger banks. Many branches were closed, and by 2006 Sweden had one of the lowest branch densities in Europe. Between 1995 and 2002 banking productivity grew by 4.6% a year, much faster than in other European countries. Swedish banks' productivity went from slightly behind to slightly ahead of American levels.

All this suggests that for many rich countries the quickest route to faster productivity growth will be to use the crisis to deregulate the service sector. A recent study by the Bank of France and the OECD looked at 20 sectors in 15 OECD countries between 1984 and 2007. It found that reducing regulation on "upstream" services would have a marked effect not just on productivity in those sectors but also on other parts of the economy. The logic is simple: more efficient lawyers, distributors or banks enable firms across the economy to become more productive. The size of the potential gains calculated by the Bank of France is stunning. Getting rid of all price, market-entry and other competition-restricting regulations would boost annual total factor productivity growth by one percentage point in a typical country in their sample, enough to more than double its pace.

Getting rid of all anti-competitive regulation may be impossible, but even the more modest goal of embracing "best practice" would yield large benefits. The IMF has calculated that if countries could reduce regulation to the average of the least restrictive three OECD countries, annual productivity growth would rise by some 0.2 percentage points in America, 0.3 percentage points in the euro area and 0.6 percentage points in Japan. The larger gains for Europe and Japan reflect the amount of deregulation left to be done. In both cases the productivity gains to be achieved from moving to best practice would all but counter the drag on growth from unfavourable demography.

Even in America there would be benefits. But, alas, the regulatory pendulum is moving in the opposite direction as the Obama administration pushes through new rules on industries from health care to finance. So far the damage may be limited. Many of Mr Obama's regulatory changes, from tougher fuel-efficiency requirements to curbs on deep-water drilling, were meant to benefit consumers and the environment, not to curb competition and protect incumbents. Some of the White House's ideas, such as the overhaul of broadband internet access, would in fact increase competition. The biggest risk lies in finance, where America's new rules could easily hold back innovation.

An unlikely role model

The country that is grasping the challenge of deregulation most energetically is Greece, whose debt crisis has earned it a reputation for macroeconomic mismanagement. Under pressure from the IMF and its European partners, the Greek government has embarked on one of the most radical reforms in modern history to boost its productive potential.

Again, this involves freeing up an historically cushioned service sector. So far the main battleground has been trucking. Before Greece descended into crisis, its lorry drivers required special licences, and none had been granted for several decades. So a licence changed hands in the secondary market for about €300,000, driving up the costs of everything that travelled by road in Greece. But under a reform recently passed by the Greek government, the number of licences is due to double. Greek lorry drivers went on strike in protest, but the government did not budge. Lawyers and pharmacists too are slated for deregulation.

If Greece can stick to its plans, it will, like Sweden, show that crises can offer valuable opportunities. Without the country's brush with default and the conditions attached to the resulting bail-out, its leaders would have been unlikely to muster the necessary political will.

The sluggish progress of reform elsewhere underlines this point. Germany, which ranks 25th out of 30 OECD countries on the complications of its licence and permit system, approaches deregulation on tiptoes: it recently reduced restrictions on price-setting by architects and allowed chimney-sweeps easier market access.

Two French economists, Jacques Delpla and Charles Wyplosz, have argued that incumbent service providers should be paid off in exchange for accepting competition. They reckon that compensating French taxi drivers for deregulation would cost €4.5 billion. But buying off the losers from reforms may not hold much appeal.

Boosting European integration could be another way to cut through national resistance to deregulation. As Mario Monti, a former EU competition commissioner, pointed out in a recent call for action, 70% of the EU's GDP is in services but only 20% of those services cross borders. The EU's Services Directive, which is supposed to boost cross-country competition in services, has proved fairly toothless.

How governments can help

Activism on the part of governments is not always misguided. Their investment in basic research is important. The grants doled out by America's National Institutes of Health, for example, generate the raw ideas that pharmaceutical firms turn into profitable medicines. America's Defence Department created the beginnings of the internet. Public spending on building and maintaining infrastructure also matters, though economists argue about how much. Governments can encourage private R&D spending with tax credits and subsidies, and the evidence suggests that more R&D spending overall boosts growth. Other research shows that firms which spend more on R&D are also often quicker to adopt other innovations.

But these traditional ways of encouraging innovation may be less relevant now that research has become more global and more concentrated on software than on hardware. Since the mid-1990s China alone has accounted for a third of the increase in global spending on research and development. Big firms maintain research facilities in many countries. Dreaming up new products and services, as well as better ways of producing old ones, increasingly involves collaboration across borders and companies. As Mr Jorgenson of Harvard University puts it: "Think Google, not lab coats."

In this more fluid world the old kind of government incentives, such as tax credits and subsidies, may do less to boost innovation than more imaginative inducements, such as offering firms prizes for breakthrough innovations. Bigger efforts to remove remaining barriers to collaboration, from limitations on high-skilled immigration to excessively rigid land-use rules, should also help.

A smart innovation agenda, in short, would be quite different from the one that most rich governments seem to favour. It would be more about freeing markets and less about picking winners; more about creating the right conditions for bright ideas to emerge and less about promises of things like green jobs. But pursuing that kind of policy requires courage and vision--and most of the rich economies are not displaying enough of either.

SOURCE: The Economist

Copyright © 2010 Economist Intelligence Unit

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Attorney: Accountability lacking in judicial system | View Clip
10/12/2010
One News Now

A former judge states that if Americans are looking for justice, they should not look to the courts.

A report issued last week discovered that over a 12-year period, prosecutors in California committed 707 cases of misconduct in court. The Santa Clara University School of Law, which examined more than 4,000 cases between 1997 and 2009, reports the misconduct included prosecutors withholding evidence, introducing false evidence in court, and asking defendants inappropriate questions. A spokesperson for the project that issued the report describes the legal system in California as one "that does not hold prosecutors accountable who have abused public trust."

Richard Ackerman of the California-based Pro-Family Law Center addresses that dearth of accountability. He believes the judiciary system in The Golden State needs to be more public to voters.

"If you went up to ten people on the street, all registered voters, and sked them], 'What do you know about any of these judges on the ballot?' -- they wouldn't [know anything about them]," he suggests.

"Everybody battles on and on about how we need to make sure that the electorate is more knowledgeable about the judiciary, but very little has been done," he continues, "and the judiciary certainly has no incentive to go out and expose itself so the people can see what it really is."

According to the report, the majority of the offending prosecutors were never publicly disciplined. In fact, it claims the State Bar of California only disciplined six prosecutors out of the hundreds of cases -- less than one percent. Justice, states Ackerman, has gone out the window.

"I tell my clients when they come in, that if they're looking for justice, they had better not be looking at black robes," he says. "I don't think that people can trust the judiciary because there is no oversight."

The former judge is calling for accountability and oversight in the nation's court system.

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Criminals increasingly using Craigslist | View Clip
10/12/2010
Bradenton Herald - Online

When she wanted to hawk her cellphone, 17-year-old Rosa Zelaya, of Hialeah, turned to the ever-popular website, Craigslist.

But instead of cash, two thugs stole her phone and fired a bullet at her.

Rosa is one of a dozen people this year alone who Miami-Dade police say were victimized by criminals they met through the ubiquitous buy-and-sell website. Ten cases resulted in arrests.

To steal everything from iPhones to concert tickets to video game consoles, criminals are increasingly using Craigslist.com to arrange the robberies of unsuspecting victims, police said.

In Rosa's case, she posted her HTC HD2 phone for sale for $450 on the website in June. An affable young man sent her boyfriend, Kevin Rodriguez, a text message inquiring about the cellphone.

But the man claimed he didn't have a car, and asked if the couple could meet him in front of a house in the 1000 block of Northwest 106th Street. Wary of the neighborhood but not suspicious enough, the couple took some friends along and drove to the house.

At gunpoint, police say, Jeffry Saintil, 17, and Kareen Bowles, 17, then robbed them of the phone. When the teens tried following the robbers, one of them shot at their car and missed.

Saintil and Bowles are now jailed, awaiting trial for armed robbery. The suspects were arrested at the same meeting place — actually an abandoned house, police said.

“The lesson is, don't go on Craigslist unless you meet the person in a public place,” Rosa said. “Don't trust anybody, even if they sound nice.”

As its reach has grown in recent years, Craigslist has come under closer scrutiny for its use by criminals, including robbers, prostitutes and thieves looking to peddle their stolen goods.

The most high-profile case was that of former Boston medical student Philip Markoff, accused of murdering a masseuse he met through Craigslist. Markoff, while in jail, killed himself in August before standing trial.

In response to the wave of publicity — and outcry from state attorneys general — Craigslist pulled its “adult services” ads from the site.

In a high-profile Craigslist case last month, a Miami-Dade police detective shot and critically wounded suspected robber Marcus Rogers, 18, during a confrontation at the teen's home in the 1800 block of Northwest 45th Street.

According to police, Rogers had earlier robbed two men from Palm Beach County who had agreed to meet him in Miami, thinking he was going to sell them a used Honda.

Police stress that buyers and sellers should meet only in well-lit, public places.

“You have to be careful. Victims are being asked to go to a residence or a secluded place at night. Obviously, we recommend against that,” said Miami-Dade Detective Aida M. Fina-Milian, a police spokeswoman.

Eric Goldman, director of the Santa Clara University School of Law's High Tech Institute, said buyers should be wary of buying smaller items such as phones and electronics from the site.

“Buying and selling on Craigslist has inherent risks, as opposed to an online retailer or eBay, where sellers have well-developed reputations,” Goldman said.

But he noted that most Craigslist users are honest, and customers should simply use common sense.

“Craigslist is not an ideal place for criminals because buyers and sellers exchange a lot of information about each other,” he said, adding: “It doesn't sound like we have the most savvy criminals.”

Police say those less-than-savvy robbers include Marcelo Pena, 18, who was arrested on a robbery charge after meeting Nicolas Portuando, 20, in front of Devon Aire Elementary in South Miami-Dade on the night of March 10.

Portuando was to sell him a $100 ticket for Miami's Ultra music festival.

But Pena snatched the ticket from Portuando's hand and drove off, knocking Portuando down and scraping him up, police said.

Within hours, investigators tracked Pena down with the obvious evidence: Portuando had the suspect's phone number stored in his cellphone.

“I haven't posted anything else on Craigslist, just for the fact you never know who you're going to be dealing with,” Portuando said.

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California prosecutor errors go unpunished, Prof. says | View Clip
10/12/2010
McClatchy Company Washington DC Bureau

By Merrill Balassone | The Modesto Bee

Hundreds of California prosecutors — including a handful in the Northern San Joaquin Valley — committed ethical lapses in the courtroom without being punished, according to a report released this week.

Of the 707 cases in which courts found evidence of misconduct from 1997 to 2009, just six prosecutors faced public sanctions by the State Bar. Researchers examined more than 4,000 appeals that alleged misconduct on the part of prosecutors.

"They're simply not being held accountable," said Cookie Ridolfi, director of the Northern California Innocence Project, author of the study and a law professor at Santa Clara University. "They answer to no one, and prosecutors are the most powerful people in the justice system."

Prosecutors have absolute immunity against civil liability no matter how egregious the misconduct, Ridolfi added. The study's cases ranged from failing to turn over evidence that could help a defendant to asking witnesses improper questions during trial and presenting false testimony in court.

Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager strongly denounced the report as a public relations campaign by anti-death penalty advocates. She called the term "prosecutorial misconduct" misleading and pejorative.

Read the full story at Modbee.com

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New online trend: Shoppers video their 'haul' | View Clip
10/12/2010
Providence Journal - Online

Audrey Voss, 16, a hauler who posts under the YouTube name “wowaudrey,” describes a Disney Tinker Bell sweatshirt as she makes her back-to-school video.

Sixteen-year-old Audrey Voss' videos have earned more than 6,400 views. Julia, another teen, has had about 19,500 people watch her on YouTube. And the 336 videos posted by a young woman who goes by the name “dulcecandy87” have been viewed nearly 47 million times, all told.

What's the big draw?

Lip gloss. Hoodies. Pencil cases.

That's right, shopping.

All these young women, and thousands more, are cranking out “haul” videos — as in “here's all the stuff I hauled home from Forever 21 and the Walgreen's makeup department” — and inviting friends and strangers alike to check out their latest purchases. The videos, which range from oddly captivating to crashingly dull, represent yet another way in which the Internet is both nurturing new communities and redefining retail.

“Haul videos are blogs meet videos meet consumer ratings,” said Kirthi Kalyanam, J.C. Penney Research professor at Santa Clara University in California, who studies retailing. “In product categories like cosmetics, where look and feel are important and are not that easily communicated via text, video blogs can be powerful.”

With the back-to-school shopping season in mind, Audrey — known on YouTube as “wowaudrey” — recently sat in her bedroom amiably describing a nostalgic collection of Tinkerbell-themed school supplies as the camera on her laptop recorded the scene.

“One big thing to do at my school is to choose your favorite children's character,” Audrey, a high school junior in San Jose, Calif., explained to the YouTube audience. In patter only slightly less polished than that of a veteran Home Shopping Network host, she suggested that viewers might choose school supplies in a polka-dot or animal-print theme, “so that you're exhibiting your style in class.”

She continued: “The first thing I got was this backpack, which was $19.50. It looks like this. It has a raised leaf with a ladybug on it,” she said, pointing out a leaf-shaped outer pocket.

A couple of minutes later, Audrey's newest “haul” video was done, just in time to catch (and influence) any last-minute shoppers.

Julie Gerstein, an associate editor of TheFrisky.com, a fashion and celebrity website, said haul videos provide “a way for these girls to show alliances to particular culture markers within their groups” and to build a virtual community, as they subscribe to and comment on each other's videos. “What you buy is who you are, to these girls who are doing these videos,” she said.

HAULIN' HITS

261,000: Haul videos posted on YouTube by users of the site's ad-revenue-sharing partnership

4,030: Videos posted this year under YouTube tags “mall haul 2010” and “mall hauls 2010”

5,450: YouTube hits searching mall haul celebrity “juicystar07”

5,110: YouTube hits searching mall haul celebrity “allthatglitters21”

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No Change Seen in CDA if GOP Takes Congress
10/12/2010
Warren's Washington Internet Daily

The Communications Decency Act is unlikely to be rewritten so ISPs are held liable for posting ads selling minors for sex should Republicans take control of the House or Senate, an increasing possibility to many pollsters, some experts said. The GOP's business-friendly attitude works against CDA rewrite and ISPs will unify against any attempt to amend the CDA, they said.

The issue flared in Congress this summer after news stories exposed how pimps and johns allegedly use Craigslist for soliciting sex with minors (WID Aug 12 p4). The subsequent public outcry resulted in a congressional hearing and Craigslist's voluntary removal of its Adult Services category. The issue is unlikely to disappear as the ads migrated to other websites such as the Village Voice-owned Backpage. Advertisers on the company's site adjusted to capitalize on the new business with text such as "Craigslist Adult Services Closed - (domain name) has 250,000 guys looking for you now!" Backpage rejected requests to follow Craigslist and recently retained as an adviser Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor of child predators.

Amending the CDA to fight child trafficking isn't a partisan issue but reflects public frustration with criminal activity flaunted on the Internet, said Nigam. "Anyone who cares about kids will focus on this." Donna Rice Hughes, president of the Internet safety group Enough Is Enough, agreed. "I don't think it would make a difference if it was a Republican or Democratic congress," she said. "You have your libertarians, your First Amendment absolutists on either side of the aisle."

Marshalling the political will to amend the CDA would take a watershed change on Internet philosophy, or a dramatic event convincing Congress it must act, said Eric Goldman, an associate professor and director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law. "Congress reacts when there is a particular victim that becomes a flashpoint." If anything, the GOP is less likely to amend the CDA, he said, noting that liberal Democrats such as Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., are the politicians raising the issue. It would be difficult for any one issue to dislodge the GOP from its stereotypical pro-business approach, he said.

The CDA won't change even if someone mounted a challenge in the next congressional session because the political interests pushing it lack unity, said Goldman. Complaints are usually raised by individuals instead of a group forming a consensus and doing something about it, he said. Any attempt to amend the CDA would fail because ISPs will band together against it, Nigam said. "If you try to hold someone liable if you are not policing every nook and cranny of a site, no site would exist." -- Dave Hansen

Copyright © 2010 Warren Publishing, Inc.

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Proposition 23 – good or bad for California's businesses? | View Clip
10/12/2010
San Diego Newsroom

Amidst the crowded ballot of initiatives for the November election is one that its proponents call the “California Jobs Initiative.”  The ballot title is much longer: “ Suspends Implementation of Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32) Requiring Major Sources of Emissions to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops to 5.5 Percent or Less for Full Year.”

While the majority of the $6.5 million funding in support of Proposition 23 initially came from oil companies outside of California (Valero, Tesoro Companies, Flint Hills Resources, Marathon Petroleum Company and Occidental Petroleum), the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Adam Smith Foundation, California Trucking Association and California State Pipes Trade Association have donated substantially since the ballot initiative qualified.

The majority of funding for the opposition campaign has come from a group called “Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs,” made up of wealthy individuals who are believers in global warming as a reality:  Thomas Steyer, Robert Fisher, Wendy Schmidt, Claire Perry, L. John Doerr, William Patterson, as well as such organizations as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Green Tech Action Fund, and the California Teachers Association.

Thomas Steyer, founder of San Francisco-based hedge fund Farrallon Capital Management LLC, gave $2.5 million and promised another $2.5 million to come.  Steyer and his wife donated about $40 million to fund renewable energy research at Stanford University last year.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is just as strongly opposed to Proposition 23, as he was supportive of AB 32.  He isn't buying the report from California's Legislative Analyst's Office that shows near term job loss from implementing AB 32.

Opponents say that Proposition 23 would delay sensible measures to create a clean energy economy. William Sundstrom, Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University, said “The net impact on California's employment picture is likely to be so small as to barely noticeable in the unemployment statistics…. Offsetting these transitional impacts will be new ‘green jobs' in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.  Clean technology is a growth industry, and California has been a significant beneficiary of that growth…”

James Birkelund, an attorney at Cleantech Law Partners, states “California has invested billions of dollars in clean energy technology such as wind and solar, and is well positioned to lead the nation in the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector… California already had 500,000 workers employed in green jobs, and more than 12,000 clean tech companies call the state home.  It is estimated that Prop. 23 will reduce the state's economic output by $80 billion and cut over half a million jobs by 2020."

On the other side, a new study released on October 6, 2010 by the non-profit Pacific Research Institute showed that passage of Proposition 23 would create about 1.3 million California jobs by 2020, with 500,000 of those jobs created by 2012, and 150,000 in 2011.  The study assumes that four consecutive quarters of 5.5 percent unemployment or less would not be observed, so that implementation of AB 32 would not resume.   If AB 32 is implemented, they project an employment loss equal to about 5 percent of the working age population, or more than a million jobs.

The California Trucking Association is strongly in favor of Prop. 23 because the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has imposed billions of dollars in high costs on trucking companies to comply with on-road and off-road diesel regulation, and fuel costs could increase another 32%, depending on how AB 32 is implemented.  A study authored by a former Executive Officer of CARB found that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (AB 32 Scoping Plan Measure T-2) would increase gasoline and diesel costs by $3.7 billion a year with no detectable impact on global warming and a five ton per day increase in smog-forming emissions. The increase in fuel costs would apply to everyone purchasing gasoline and diesel fuel, not just businesses.

Valerie Liese, Chairwoman, California Trucking Association said, “Implementing AB 32 at this time would break the back of the trucking business in California.  That's why the California Jobs Initiative is so important …Right now, that represents the difference between surviving this recession or going under for a lot of our members.

Law enforcement and firefighters have voiced their support.  Kevin Nida, President California State Firefighters Association said, “The economic crisis of the last few years has put a real strain on resources available to fund firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other public safety personnel throughout the state...The last thing we need is a law that will leave local governments with even less money to fund public safety.”

Small businesses have joined the campaign to support Prop. 23.  Reid Ennis, Ennis Inc., Lakeside, CA said, “We already are burdened with so many taxes and regulations, we barely exist.  We are down from 190 people to 46 and are losing money every month.  With California's construction unemployment above 30% any more fuel cost increases, fees, or taxes, will destroy many more businesses.”

Michelle Grangetto, 5th Axis, San Diego, CA, said “…We machine parts for aerospace, military, and medical fields…another increase in electricity will force us to relocate to another state.”

San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt said “Our top priority has to be job creation…With more than 2.2 million people out of work in the state and the jobless rate at close to 15 percent in some counties including San Bernardino, Prop. 23 represents a common-sense approach to protecting jobs and holding the line on costs for California's struggling families.”

When the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) was passed in 2006, California's economy was booming, with unemployment at only 4.8 percent.  Now California's unemployment is at 12.4 percent statewide, and we've lost over 50,000 manufacturing jobs since the recession began in at the end of 2007.   Over the last several years, hundreds of manufacturers have relocated to Nevada and Oregon where there is no state income tax, workers' compensation costs are much lower, and the cost of regulatory compliance is also much lower.

Now is not the time to make it harder for California companies to stay in business and stay in California.  County Supervisor Mitzelfelt said it best --- a “yes” vote on Prop. 23 makes sense.  Passage of Prop. 23 will save more California businesses than it will hurt in the clean energy technology industry.

Michele Nash-Hoff is the president of ElectroFab Sales and the author of "Can American Manufacturing be Saved?  Why we should and how we can."

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Prop. 19 could spark U.S.-Calif. legal war over pot | View Clip
10/12/2010
ScrippsNews

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Backers of California's Proposition 19 call it a landmark challenge to America's war on drugs. But passage of the initiative to legalize pot for recreational use may open up a legal war between California and the federal government.

Some fear a renewed surge of federal raids, similar to actions that shut down medical pot shops, targeted suppliers and doctors after California voters passed Proposition 215, its medical marijuana law, in 1996.

Even some fervent proponents of the initiative to allow anyone 21 and over to smoke pot say federal authorities would quickly sue California to overturn the new law.

"I have no doubt that the feds will file suit if Proposition 19 passes," said Dale Gieringer, California director for the pro-legalization National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

In an Aug. 24 letter, nine former administrators for the Drug Enforcement Administration urged Attorney General Eric Holder to bring suit against California -- just as the Obama administration sued Arizona when that state passed a controversial law aimed at illegal immigrants.

"The California proposition is not a close call," wrote the ex-DEA administrators, including Robert Bonner, the former supervising U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. "It will be a clear conflict with established federal law."

Reached Wednesday in Mexico City, where he was attending a drug policy conference, Bonner said the California measure conflicts with United Nations treaties signed to prevent the spread of psychoactive drugs.

"The United States has treaties that would be violated if Proposition 19 were enacted. It would send a terrible signal to countries of the world," he said.

The U.S. Justice Department isn't saying how it would respond if Proposition 19 passes.

"The Department of Justice will continue to focus its enforcement resources on significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler in Washington, D.C. "It is premature to speculate what steps we would take in the event that California passes its ballot measure."

Last year, Holder declared the federal government would no longer target medical marijuana operations in states permitting medical use.

California and 13 other states now permit medical marijuana. And federal raids on medical pot establishments -- particularly those catering to the seriously ill -- stirred political sympathies in favor of medical marijuana.

Now legal observers, such as Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, say Proposition 19 could upset the accord that federal agents and California established with medical use.

"I think it will open up a new order of conflict between the state and the feds," Uelmen said. "... Now, if we open the door to lawful cultivation and distribution for recreational use, I think there will be a very strong reaction."

In 2001, Uelmen unsuccessfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative serving medical marijuana patients.

The court, in a decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, declared that marijuana was still illegal, and a "medical exception" defense for the Oakland pot club was invalid under federal law.

In a 2005 case, the high court also ruled against California petitioner Angel Raich, whose six-plant medical marijuana garden was raided by DEA agents after Butte County authorities declined to file state drug charges against him.

In the second ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that although "California has been a pioneer in the regulation of marijuana," enforcement of Federal Controlled Substance Act prohibitions against pot remain "a valid exercise of federal power."

President Barack Obama's 2010 National Drug Control Strategy statement declares: "This administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug."

Still, retired Orange Superior Court Judge James Gray, a backer of Proposition 19, said he believes public acceptance of marijuana will diminish the federal response.

"I cannot conceive that the Obama administration would thumb its nose at the voters of the state of California," Gray said.

Proposition 19 would allow Californians over 21 to possess marijuana for recreational use and permit them to grow pot in small residential spaces. It also would allow local governments to tax retail sales and production.

Zenia Gilg, a San Francisco attorney who handles medical marijuana cases, said federal authorities are unlikely to target average Californians if Proposition 19 passes. But she said they may well raid large-scale marijuana producers.

In Oakland, producers readying industrial growing rooms for medical pot are eying expansion into legal recreational weed. The city has already approved a conditional tax if Proposition 19 passes.

Gilg says that may be a dilemma for federal agents.

"If they're going to prosecute the guy at the till (of a marijuana business) and not the city or county, they run into a political quagmire," Gilg said. "Because they're not going to prosecute the city or county."

In California's medical marijuana market, dispensaries account for more than $100 million in sales taxes, according to state estimates.

(Contact Sacramento Bee reporter Peter Hecht at phecht(at)sacbee.com.)

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.scrippsnews.com.)

Must credit Sacramento Bee

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Silicon Valley Wrestles With Reform Implications | View Clip
10/12/2010
California Healthline

SANTA CLARA – This county of more than a million people is one of relative affluence and high education levels -- which, according to the county public health department, allows residents, as a whole, to enjoy better health than most of California and the U.S. But that's only part of the picture. The Silicon Valley also has one of the most diverse populations in the state, with a rising number of uninsured. A recent UCLA study put the number at about 314,000 --  or almost one of every three residents.

"Our board of supervisors has emphasized this issue for some time. Since we have such a diverse population to reach out to, it only intensifies our need to look at how reform impacts our county," said Santa Clara Supervisor Liz Kniss, who moderated a special forum last month on the subject at Santa Clara University. The session was sponsored by the Health Trust, the California Public Health Association-North  and the EQUAL Health Network. The panelists covered such issues as how the health reform law affects public health, children, seniors and the health care work force.

"We need to move forward with reform because people are suffering. There are 47,000 deaths a year in this country due to a lack of insurance," said Ellen Shaffer, co-director of the EQUAL Health Network, which sponsors online advocacy for health care reform. "The more people we cover the better we can control costs," she said.

'We Need To Get Ready'

Sarah Muller of the San Jose public policy group Working Partnerships USA pointed out that 71% of uninsured people in Santa Clara County are employed and work 20 hours a week or more. "The number of uninsured is increasing for several reasons," she said. "Between 2000 and 2009, premiums rose 130%. As a result, fewer employers are offering affordable employer-based health insurance and individual health insurance is often too expensive for low- and middle-income families."

She said her group wants to make sure that when mandatory health coverage kicks in through national health reform, the necessary resources -- including doctors -- are available. "We need to get ready to make sure people know what they qualify for so they can get into the right program and not be penalized," Muller said.

According to Muller, it's going to take extensive outreach and community education. Muller added that even under reform there's still a concern about finding affordable health insurance products, some of which will still be too expensive for many people. Working Partnerships is joining forces with health care experts throughout the county to find ways to expand health coverage to low-income adults employed by small businesses.

Efforts are also under way in Santa Clara County to expand the "safety net" for those residents who don't have coverage or the ability to pay. Traditionally, Valley Medical Center, the largest and busiest hospital in the region, has handled those patients. To ease its overcrowded emergency room, the county is setting up additional urgent care clinics to more rapidly screen patients and handle those who don't need a hospital bed.

"There's going to be a group of newly insured people who haven't been to a doctor in a long time," said Chris Wilder, executive director of VMC Foundation. "These people will have a laundry list of problems, so the county is working to add more primary care physicians to meet the greater demand."

Access as Important as Coverage

Conference panelists pointed out that health care reform is as much about access as it is about coverage. "Having a relationship with a doctor you can call anytime, even for something that may turn out to be small keeps us healthier and holds costs down in the long run," said Supervisor Kniss, who also sits on the Health Steering Committee for the National Association of Counties.

Access to health coverage for children is something Santa Clara is aggressively trying to maintain. In 2001, the county launched the nation's first universal health insurance program for children. However, it may be dismantled after nearly a decade of surviving on a patchwork of funding sources. To save the program, a coalition of health, business and community leaders qualified an initiative on the November ballot that calls for a county parcel tax. "This is one of the most proactive children's health initiatives ever, focusing on kids who are under the national poverty level. Our program is being copied in 27 other counties," said Kathleen King, executive director of Santa Clara County Family Health Foundation.

On the other end of the spectrum, senior health issues are getting attention in Santa Clara County. Sarah Steenhausen of the SCAN Foundation, a senior health care policy organization, told the audience that the new law lays the foundation for a much improved system of long-term care. "At the same time, it takes steps to bolster the Medicare system to make sure it doesn't go bankrupt in seven years as some have predicted," Steenhausen said.

Moving From 'Sick-Care to Wellness-Based' System

Rounding out the conference, Marty Fenstersheib, Santa Clara public health officer, said his department's health reform focus is an ongoing investment in prevention. "We need to move from a sick care system to a wellness-based system," Fenstersheib urged. "There's too much emphasis on the medical care side and prevention is secondary."

He said one of the challenges to public health is to expand partnerships with the medical care community to promote a full spectrum of prevention. That includes collaborating with schools, businesses, cities and transportation agencies to create a healthier environment. "The health of the individual is inseparable from the health of the community," Fenstersheib said.

Santa Clara County expects to have more of these conferences as additional parts of the Affordable Health Act take effect over the next several years.

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'Scrapers' Dig Deep for Data on Web | View Clip
10/12/2010
Wall Street Journal

...just ripped off their last employer." Scrapers operate in a legal gray area. Internationally, anti-scraping laws vary. In the U.S., court rulings have been contradictory. "Scraping is ubiquitous, but questionable," says Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University. "Everyone does it, but it's not totally clear that anyone is allowed to do it without permission." Scrapers and listening companies say what they're doing is no different from what any person does when gathering information...

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KIMBERLY HILL IS THE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND JOINS US THIS MORNING TO TALK ABOUT WAYS PEOPLE CAN GET OVER THAT FEAR.
10/12/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV

THE GIANTS ARE A STEP CLOSER TO BEING IN THE WORLD SERIES. IT WOULDN'T BE RIGHT IF THE GAME WAS A BREEZE. THE BRAVES LED FOR MOST OF THE GAME AND THREATENED TO TAKE THE GAME IN THE NINTH. THEY WERE ABLE TO SHUT THE DOOR ON THE RALLY. LIVE AT THE PINE CREST DIAPER IN SAN FRANCISCO, HE IS LOOKING FOR FANS WHO MIGHT BE UP EARLY. THE OPERATIVE WORD IS LOOKING. THERE IS A NICE COUPLE OVER HERE FROM AUSTRALIA. THEY KNOW A LOT ABOUT THE AFL. THIS GENTLEMEN DOWN HERE IS FROM ENGLAND. THIS GUY IS NOT A GIANTS FAN. WE ARE STRIKING OUT IN THE LITERAL SENSE AS FAR AS FINING FANS, BUT WE WANT TO SHOW YOU VIDEO WE SHOT A COUPLE OF HOURS AGO. THIS WAS A SCENE OUTSIDE AT&T PARK AS THE TEAM CAME OFF OF THE BUSES THAT PICKED THEM UP AT SFO. A TIRED TEAM. SOME PLAYERS WERE NOT VERY CHATTY. THEY WERE ANXIOUS TO GET HOME AND THEY ARE PROBABLY COMINGLY DOWN FROM THE HIGH FROM LAST NIGHT'S GAME IN ATLANTA WHERE THEY DID FINISH UP TAKING ON THE BRAVES. THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME GETTING IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES. THE FIFTH TIME EVER. WE WILL HEAR FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE GIANTS AND FREDDIE SANCHEZ. REPORTING LIVE HERE IN SAN FRANCISCO, TODAY IN THE BAY. THANKS A LOT AND THE TIME NOW IS 5:44. THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M LAURA GARCIA CANNON AND WE ARE TALKING GIANTS FEVER AND A NURSE'S STRIKE PART OF THE TOP STORIES. FIRST DECISION 2010. THE FINAL GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE BETWEEN MEG WHITMAN AND JERRY BROWN IS HERE IN THE BAY AREA. CHRISTIE SMITH JOINING US FROM SAN RAFAEL WITH A PREVIEW. THIS IS HOT TICKET. YOU ACTUALLY GOT INTO THE DEBATE THROUGH A LOTTERY SYSTEM AND A UNIVERSITY SPOKESPERSON IS TELLING ME THAT INITIALLY THEY GOT ABOUT 4300 REQUESTS TO COME HERE TONIGHT FOR ONLY 770 SLOTS. I HAVE BEEN SPEAKING WITH STUDENTS WHO ARE GOING TO THE DEBATE AND THIS COMES DOWN TO EDUCATION AND THE ECONOMY. THEY SAY THEY WON'T FOCUS TOO MUCH ON THE BACK STORY GOING ON BETWEEN REPUBLICAN MEG WHITMAN AND JERRY BROWN. WHITMAN UNDER FIRE FOR TREATMENT ON AN UNDOCUMENTED HOUSEKEEPER AND JERRY BROWN UNDER FIRE FOR A STAFFER'S USE OF A SLUR TOWARDS MEG WHITMAN. I DON'T LIKE THE NEGATIVE SMEAR IDEA. IT AFFECTS ME IF ONE CANDIDATE PUSHES TOO HARD IN A NEGATIVE WAY AS OPPOSED TO TELLING ME THEIR VISION. THERE POSITIVE THINGS THEY CAN BE FOCUSING ON INSTEAD OF SPENDING THE MONEY IN A NEGATIVE WAY. A SPOKESPERSON ALSO SAID THIS HAS BECOME SO POPULAR THAT JOURNALISTS ARE COMING HERE FROM AS FAR AWAY AS GERMANY AND HONG KONG. LIVE IN SAN RAFAEL, TODAY IN THE BAY. THANKS A LOT. SCOTT CONDITIONS OUR COVERAGE. THE CANDIDATES KNOW THEY ARE GOING TO GET TOUGH QUESTIONING FROM A REAL VETERAN TOO. TOM BROCAW WILL BE MODERATING THIS DEBATE. A LONG VETERAN OF POLITICS. HE WAS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT AND THE ANCHOR OF THE NIGHTLY NEW FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS UNTIL 2004. HE IS WELL AWARE THE CANDIDATES HAVE BEEN STICKING TO A SCRIPT, NOT SAYING MUCH BEYOND CAREFULLY THOUGHT OUT TALKING POINTS. HE WILL TRY TO GET THEM OFF WITH POINTED QUESTIONS. THERE WILL BE SOME AREAS IN WHICH I WILL ASK THE SAME QUESTION OF BOTH CANDIDATES AND OTHER AREAS IN WHICH I WILL ASK DIFFERENT QUESTIONS, BUT IN THE SAME AREA. JERRY BROWN SISEASONED POLL IS A SEASONED POLITICIAN AND MEG WHITMAN A BIT LESS EXPERIENCED. TOM BROCAW IS ACTUALLY INJURED. HE BROKE HIS ANKLE, BUT NONE THE LESS WILL BE MODERATING THE DEBATE. WE WILL HAVE REPORTERS ANDA ANCHORS THROUGHOUT THE DEBATE FROM THE GREEN ROOM TO THE SPIN ROOM. FULL COVERAGE TONIGHT ON TELEVISION AND NBCBAYAREA. COM. WE LOOK FORWARD TO IT. JERRY BROWN OF COURSE IS A VERY SEASONED POLITICIAN AND MEG WHITMAN, FORMER CEO OF eBAY USED TO ADDRESSING LARGE CROWDS. THE PUBLIC SPEAK SUGGEST TOUGH FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. IT'S THE GREATEST FEAR EVEN OVER DEATH. KIMBERLY HILL IS THE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND JOINS US THIS MORNING TO TALK ABOUT WAYS PEOPLE CAN GET OVER THAT FEAR.

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KIMBERLY HILL IS THE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND JOINS US THIS MORNING TO TALK ABOUT WAYS PEOPLE CAN GET OVER THAT FEAR.
10/12/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV

A SEASONED POLITICIAN AND MEG WHITMAN A BIT LESS EXPERIENCED. TOM BROCAW IS ACTUALLY INJURED. HE BROKE HIS ANKLE, BUT NONE THE LESS WILL BE MODERATING THE DEBATE. WE WILL HAVE REPORTERS ANDA ANCHORS THROUGHOUT THE DEBATE FROM THE GREEN ROOM TO THE SPIN ROOM. FULL COVERAGE TONIGHT ON TELEVISION AND NBCBAYAREA. COM. WE LOOK FORWARD TO IT. JERRY BROWN OF COURSE IS A VERY SEASONED POLITICIAN AND MEG WHITMAN, FORMER CEO OF eBAY USED TO ADDRESSING LARGE CROWDS. THE PUBLIC SPEAK SUGGEST TOUGH FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. IT'S THE GREATEST FEAR EVEN OVER DEATH. KIMBERLY HILL IS THE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND JOINS US THIS MORNING TO TALK ABOUT WAYS PEOPLE CAN GET OVER THAT FEAR. THANKS FOR JOINING US. YOU'RE WELCOME. ARE PEOPLE BORN WITH THE ABILITY TO JUST BE ABLE TO SPEAK IN FRONT OF OTHERS OR IS IT MORE OF A LEARNED BEHAVIOR? CAN YOU GET OVER THAT FEAR? THERE THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO. WITH CHILDREN YOU WATCH CHILDREN PLAYING AND A LOT OF THEM ARE VERY EXUBERANT AND GREGARIOUS AND THROUGH EXPERIENCE AS WE GROW UP AND SOMETIMES IN OUR CLASSROOM WHEN IS WE HAVE TO DO THINGS IN FRONT OF OUR PEERS, WE HAVE A FEAR OF BEING JUDGED. THAT IS WHAT PEOPLE ARE MOST AFRAID OF. THE FEAR OF BEING JUDGED AND SAYING SOMETHING WRONG OR BEING CAUGHT IN A LIE. A LOT OF POLITICIANS HAVE TO CHOOSE THEIR WORDS CAREFULLY FOR THAT VERY REASON. THEY ARE MEASURED SOMETIMES. YOU CAN SEE THE THOUGHT PROCESS. ABSOLUTELY. THEY ARE PROCESSING A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT THINGS. MOSTLY HOW IS THIS GOING TO AFFECT THIS WIDE SWATH OF LISTENERS I HAVE TO ADDRESS AND HOW AM I GOING TO PLEASE ALL OF THEM OR MAKE SENSE TO ALL OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME? WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR WHEN WATCHING A DEBATE? I COMPLETELY SEPARATELY FROM PUBLIC SPEAKING, YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE THINGS THAT AFFECT YOU AND ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FROM A TECHNICAL POINT OF VIEW AND A SPEECH TEACHER'S POINT OF VIEW, YOU CAN SEE WHERE THEY ARE ON AND OFF SCRIPT. THEY ARE STRAYING FROM THE PREPARATION. THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS YOU CAN CONTROL IN YOUR PUBLIC SPEAKING WHEN YOU ARE AFRAID OF SPEAKING IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. THE THING THAT HELPS IS PREPARATION. BEING READY. YOU ARE SAYING THERE BREATHING EXERCISES AND THINGS THAT CAN HELP. THE WHOLE MENTAL THING. ABSOLUTELY. AGAIN, I'M A TEACHER OF THEATER AND DANCE SO ONE OF THE THINGS WE HAVE TO TRAIN IS THAT RITUAL OF WARM UP AND PREPARATION AND BREATHING AND BEING ABLE TO INSPIRE YOUR CREATIVITY AND YOUR THOUGHT WITH A SERIES OF EXERCISES AND STRETCHES AND DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES TO KEEP YOU ON VOICE THE WHOLE TIME YOU ARE SPEAKING. A LOT OF POLITICIANS SUFFER FROM VOCAL EXHAUSTION AND YOU HEAR IT OVER THE COURSE OF A CAMPAIGN. THEY START OFF STRONG AND THEY HAVE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT VOICE ALL OF A SUDDEN. IT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH BREATHING AND KEEPING VOICES HEALTHY. THERE IS A WAY TO GET OVER IT. WE THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. NEW? MORNING, AN ARMY PSYCHIATRIST ACCUSED OF KILLING 14 PEOPLE AT FT. HOOD GOES TO COURT. A HEARING WILL DETERMINE IF THERE IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO TRY THE ARMY MAJOR. HE IS ACCUSED OF OPENING FIRE LAST NOVEMBER, KILLING 13 AND WOUNDING 32. THE HEARING IS EXPECTED THE LAST THREE WEEKS AND WILL EXPECT TESTIMONY FROM VICTIMS. CHINA IS ACCUSE FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS OF TRYING TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM BY AWARDING THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. PRISON LEADERS ARE GIVING THE WINNER BETTER FOOD. HE STARTED SERVING A SENTENCE FOR THE PRODEMOCRACY WRITING.

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KIMBERLY HILL IS ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF THEATER AND DANCE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY.
10/12/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV

DEMOCRATS SAY THE SPENDING HELPED THE ECONOMY. SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY HARRIS IS GETTING A BIG ENDORSEMENT FOR THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL. PRESIDENT OBAMA IS SUPPORTING HARRIS OVER REPUBLICAN STEVE COOLEY. THE PRESIDENT AND HARRIS ARE OLD FRIENDS. SHE COCHAIRED THE CAMPAIGN FOR PRESIDENT TWO YEARS AGO. PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID HARRIS UNDERSTANDS THE NEEDS OF ALL AMERICANS AND HE NEEDS ALLIES LIKE HER FIGHTING FOR CHANGE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. MEANTIME, COOLLY IS GETTING SUPPORT FROM PAPERS ALL UP AND DOWN THE STATE. THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN, FRESNO BEE, LA TIMES AND SACRAMENTO BEE ENDORSED HIM. THE PRESIDENT WILL MAKE A CALIFORNIA STOP BEFORE THE NOVEMBER ELECTION. HE WILL BE IN LOS ANGELES ON OCTOBER 22nd TO SUPPORT BARBARA BOXER. SHE IS IN A TIGHT RACE WITH REPUBLICAN AND CEO CARLY FIORINA. ON OCTOBER 27th, THE FIRST LADY, MICHELLE OBAMA WILL BE IN LOS ANGELES CAMPAIGNING FOR BOXER. OF COURSE MEG WHITMAN AND JERRY BROWN WILL FACE OFF TONIGHT. YOU CAN SEE IT RIGHT HERE ON NBC BAY AREA. SOMETHING WE WANT TO LISTEN FOR IS HOW THE CANDIDATES RESPOND. LITERALLY. KIMBERLY HILL IS ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF THEATER AND DANCE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. SHE JOINS US LIVE. THANKS FOR GETTING UP EARLY. IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO WATCH TONIGHT. IT'S NOT JUST WHAT THEY SAY, BUT HOW THEY SAY IT. INDEED. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS YOU WANT TO LOOK FOR AND THINK ABOUT IS HAVE THEY SAID THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. WHEN THEY STRAY FROM THE SCRIPT OR ARE CAUGHT OFF GUARD, YOU WILL SEE REAL IMPROVISATION. WHETHER OR NOT THEY IMPROVISE WITH CLARITY AND BRING THEIR ANSWER BACK TO SOMETHING THEY HAVE ALREADY SAID IS ONE OF THE THINGS YOU WILL SEE THEM TRY TO DO. TO TRY TO STAY ON SCRIPT OR ON POINT AS MUCH AS THEY CAN. DO YOU THINK NERVES COME TO PLAY FOR EVERYONE ON SOME LEVEL? OBVIOUSLY SOME MORE THAN OTHERS? ABSOLUTELY. IT'S A SCARY THING TO GET UP THERE AND TRY TO TALK TO A BUNCH OF PEOPLE ON SOMETHING THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT LIKE THE COUNTRY. IT'S HARD TO MAKE SENSE OF A LOT OF COMPLEX ISSUES AND WHEN THEY HAVE TO ADAPT THAT MESSAGE TO MEET ALL OF THE AUDIENCE MEMBERS SOMEWHERE CLOSE TO THEIR HEART THEY WILL FIND THEMSELVES STUTTERING MUCH LIKE I AM AND BREEZING AND HAVING NONVERBAL INTERJECTIONS AND THINGS LIKE UMS AND PAUSES OF THOUGHT TO COMPOSE THEIR THOUGHTS QUICKLY. THAT ALLOWS THEM TO BE HEARD BY MASS OF PEOPLE. DO YOU THINK IT'S DIFFERENT WHEN YOU FACE A CROWD LIKE A CROWDED ROOM AS OPPOSED TO KNOWING THAT YOU ARE FACING THE POTENTIAL OF MILLIONS OF VIEWERS ON TELEVISION? THEY ARE NOT IN THE ROOM, BUT THEY ARE OUT THERE. DEFINITELY BECAUSE WITH THE CROWD IT'S A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT. YOU KNOW THE AUDIENCE THAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO ADDRESS. IT'S AT A CONFERENCE OR A DEBATE WHERE THE AUDIENCE IS PRIMED ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE ABOUT TO HEAR. YOU KNOW THAT AUDIENCE AND WHAT TO SORT OF EXPECT AND YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINED BY THE PREPARERS TO HANDLE THOSE QUESTIONS. WHEN YOU ARE TALKING TO A WIDE GROUP OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE AIRWAVES, THERE SO MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE OUT THERE WITH DIFFERENT OPINIONS AND IMPRESSIONS. IT'S MUCH HARDER TO TAP INTO SOMETHING THAT MEANS SOMETHING TO THEM. IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO WATCH. WE APPRECIATE YOU JOINING US EARLY THIS MORNING. YOU CAN TAKE THE DEEP BREATH. YOU ARE OUT NOW. WE DON'T NEED T. THANK YOU.

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KIMBERLY HILL IS ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF THEATER AND DANCE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY.
10/12/2010
NBC Bay Area News at 6 AM - KNTV-TV

DEMOCRATS SAY THE SPENDING HELPED THE ECONOMY. SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY HARRIS IS GETTING A BIG ENDORSEMENT FOR THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL. PRESIDENT OBAMA IS SUPPORTING HARRIS OVER REPUBLICAN STEVE COOLEY. THE PRESIDENT AND HARRIS ARE OLD FRIENDS. SHE COCHAIRED THE CAMPAIGN FOR PRESIDENT TWO YEARS AGO. PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID HARRIS UNDERSTANDS THE NEEDS OF ALL AMERICANS AND HE NEEDS ALLIES LIKE HER FIGHTING FOR CHANGE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. MEANTIME, COOLLY IS GETTING SUPPORT FROM PAPERS ALL UP AND DOWN THE STATE. THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN, FRESNO BEE, LA TIMES AND SACRAMENTO BEE ENDORSED HIM. THE PRESIDENT WILL MAKE A CALIFORNIA STOP BEFORE THE NOVEMBER ELECTION. HE WILL BE IN LOS ANGELES ON OCTOBER 22nd TO SUPPORT BARBARA BOXER. SHE IS IN A TIGHT RACE WITH REPUBLICAN AND CEO CARLY FIORINA. ON OCTOBER 27th, THE FIRST LADY, MICHELLE OBAMA WILL BE IN LOS ANGELES CAMPAIGNING FOR BOXER. OF COURSE MEG WHITMAN AND JERRY BROWN WILL FACE OFF TONIGHT. YOU CAN SEE IT RIGHT HERE ON NBC BAY AREA. SOMETHING WE WANT TO LISTEN FOR IS HOW THE CANDIDATES RESPOND. LITERALLY. KIMBERLY HILL IS ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF THEATER AND DANCE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. SHE JOINS US LIVE. THANKS FOR GETTING UP EARLY. IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO WATCH TONIGHT. IT'S NOT JUST WHAT THEY SAY, BUT HOW THEY SAY IT. INDEED. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS YOU WANT TO LOOK FOR AND THINK ABOUT IS HAVE THEY SAID THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. WHEN THEY STRAY FROM THE SCRIPT OR ARE CAUGHT OFF GUARD, YOU WILL SEE REAL IMPROVISATION. WHETHER OR NOT THEY IMPROVISE WITH CLARITY AND BRING THEIR ANSWER BACK TO SOMETHING THEY HAVE ALREADY SAID IS ONE OF THE THINGS YOU WILL SEE THEM TRY TO DO. TO TRY TO STAY ON SCRIPT OR ON POINT AS MUCH AS THEY CAN. DO YOU THINK NERVES COME TO PLAY FOR EVERYONE ON SOME LEVEL? OBVIOUSLY SOME MORE THAN OTHERS? ABSOLUTELY. IT'S A SCARY THING TO GET UP THERE AND TRY TO TALK TO A BUNCH OF PEOPLE ON SOMETHING THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT LIKE THE COUNTRY. IT'S HARD TO MAKE SENSE OF A LOT OF COMPLEX ISSUES AND WHEN THEY HAVE TO ADAPT THAT MESSAGE TO MEET ALL OF THE AUDIENCE MEMBERS SOMEWHERE CLOSE TO THEIR HEART THEY WILL FIND THEMSELVES STUTTERING MUCH LIKE I AM AND BREEZING AND HAVING NONVERBAL INTERJECTIONS AND THINGS LIKE UMS AND PAUSES OF THOUGHT TO COMPOSE THEIR THOUGHTS QUICKLY. THAT ALLOWS THEM TO BE HEARD BY MASS OF PEOPLE. DO YOU THINK IT'S DIFFERENT WHEN YOU FACE A CROWD LIKE A CROWDED ROOM AS OPPOSED TO KNOWING THAT YOU ARE FACING THE POTENTIAL OF MILLIONS OF VIEWERS ON TELEVISION? THEY ARE NOT IN THE ROOM, BUT THEY ARE OUT THERE. DEFINITELY BECAUSE WITH THE CROWD IT'S A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT. YOU KNOW THE AUDIENCE THAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO ADDRESS. IT'S AT A CONFERENCE OR A DEBATE WHERE THE AUDIENCE IS PRIMED ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE ABOUT TO HEAR. YOU KNOW THAT AUDIENCE AND WHAT TO SORT OF EXPECT AND YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINED BY THE PREPARERS TO HANDLE THOSE QUESTIONS. WHEN YOU ARE TALKING TO A WIDE GROUP OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE AIRWAVES, THERE SO MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE OUT THERE WITH DIFFERENT OPINIONS AND IMPRESSIONS. IT'S MUCH HARDER TO TAP INTO SOMETHING THAT MEANS SOMETHING TO THEM. IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO WATCH. WE APPRECIATE YOU JOINING US EARLY THIS MORNING. YOU CAN TAKE THE DEEP BREATH. YOU ARE OUT NOW. WE DON'T NEED T. THANK YOU.

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Santa Clara University's Kimberly Mohne Hill Talks about How to Overcome Fears of Public Speaking | View Clip
10/12/2010
KNTV-TV

SCU Assistant Professor Kimberly Mohne Hill talks about how to overcome fears of public speaking and best practices

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