Santa Clara University

SCU in the News (Dec. 11, 2010- Jan.10, 2011)

SCU in the News (Dec. 11, 2010- Jan.10, 2011)

Report Overview:
Total Clips (228)
Other (228)


Headline Date Outlet Links

Other (228)
Women's rights advocate remembered in Sauk County 01/12/2011 Wisconsin Public Radio Text View Clip
Catholic Scandal and the Third Reich: Rise and Fall of a Moral Panic 01/10/2011 EnerPub Text View Clip
Can Crime Be Predicted? 01/10/2011 KSBW-TV - Online Text View Clip
Gold is a bubble - resist its charms 01/10/2011 Yahoo! Finance Text View Clip
Has Psychiatry become Faust? 01/10/2011 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
Has Wikileaks and Political Vitriol Made Americans Ripe for a Free Speech Power Grab? 01/10/2011 Useful Arts - Online Text View Clip
Guy Garb Gauge Flashing Negative? 01/10/2011 FOREXHOUND Text View Clip
World's Largest Social Enterprise Directory, iuMAP, Gets a Makeover | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise 01/10/2011 Development through Enterprise Text View Clip
Arizona shooting: Has harsh political rhetoric become dangerous? 01/10/2011 Burlington Free Press - Online Text View Clip
AFP v. Morel: How will photographers benefit? 01/10/2011 British Journal of Photography Text View Clip
Gold is a bubble - resist its charms 01/10/2011 CNNMoney.com Text View Clip
Gold is a bubble - resist its charms 01/10/2011 WSAW-TV - Online Text View Clip
Chief Judge Kozinkski, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to Speak at Jan. 12 Santa Clara University Event on Civility, Partisanship and the Bench 01/10/2011 Morningstar.com Text View Clip
Chief Judge Kozinkski, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to Speak at Jan. 12 ... 01/10/2011 FinanzNachrichten.de Text View Clip
Chief Judge Kozinkski, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to Speak at Jan. 12 Santa Clara University Event on Civility, Partisanship and the Bench 01/10/2011 About.com Text View Clip
Chief Judge Kozinkski, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to Speak at Jan. 12 Santa Clara University Event on Civility, Partisanship and the Bench 01/10/2011 TMCnet.com Text View Clip
Gabrielle Giffords shooting fuels debate over rhetoric 01/10/2011 WZZM-TV - Online Text View Clip
Have nasty politics gotten out of hand? 01/10/2011 USA Today Text
Ariz. shooting: Has political rhetoric gone too far? 01/09/2011 USA Today - Online Text View Clip
Gabrielle Giffords shooting fuels debate over rhetoric 01/09/2011 USA Today - Online Text View Clip
Have nasty politics gotten out of hand? 01/09/2011 ContentOne Text
Facebook IPO likely by April 2012 01/08/2011 Oroville Mercury-Register Text View Clip
Moreno stepping down from high court 01/08/2011 San Mateo Daily Journal Text View Clip
Around the Parishes 01/08/2011 Catholic Voice Oakland - Online Text View Clip
The 'Lord Voldemort' of Legal Education Takes on Faculty Tenure 01/08/2011 Business Insider - Online, The Text View Clip
A sustainable life 01/08/2011 CHINAdaily Text View Clip
Hot topics for a cold month 01/08/2011 Charlotte Observer Text
Broderick gets his robes in courthouse ceremony 01/07/2011 Press Democrat - Online Text View Clip
Gov. Brown gets chance to name high court justice 01/07/2011 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Brown Gets Chance To Name High Court Justice 01/07/2011 KTVU-TV - Online Text View Clip
Gov. Brown gets chance to name high court justice 01/07/2011 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Facebook IPO could be a reality in April 2012 01/07/2011 Tri-Valley Herald Text View Clip
Lone Latino Judge in Calif. Calls it Quits 01/07/2011 Fox News Latino Text View Clip
Carlos Moreno stepping down from state high court 01/07/2011 Orange County Register - Online Text View Clip
State Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno to step down 01/07/2011 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Payment prognostications for 2011 01/07/2011 Green Sheet - Online, The Text View Clip
Tara Siegel Bernard: Why a budget is like a diet -- ineffective 01/07/2011 Dallas Morning News - Online Text View Clip
Facebook IPO likely by April 2012 01/07/2011 SiliconValley.com Text View Clip
Moreno Confirms Retirement, Says He Is Headed to Private Sector 01/07/2011 Metropolitan News-Enterprise - Online, The Text View Clip
On the Job 01/07/2011 Boulder County Business Report, The Text View Clip
FACEBOOK IPO IS ROCKETING TOWARD REALITY 01/07/2011 San Jose Mercury News Text
DEMOCRATIC JUSTICE RETIRING 01/07/2011 San Jose Mercury News Text
Facebook IPO could be a reality in April 2012 01/07/2011 Oakland Tribune Text
State high court losing lone Democratic appointee 01/07/2011 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
New site aims to educate Catholics on the death penalty 01/07/2011 Tidings - Online Text View Clip
Only Latino justice plans to step down 01/07/2011 San Francisco Chronicle Text
Balance may shift at PUC 01/07/2011 Los Angeles Times Text
Gov. Brown gets chance to name high court justice 01/07/2011 Associated Press (AP) - Sacramento Bureau Text
Gov. Brown gets chance to name high court justice 01/07/2011 Whittier Daily News Text View Clip
Is Men's Wear Back? 01/06/2011 WWD.com Text View Clip
Is Men's Wear Back? 01/06/2011 Daily News Record Text View Clip
New DA restoring 'Conviction Integrity' and 'Cold Case' units 01/06/2011 Palo Alto Weekly - Online Text View Clip
US schools step up recruitment in China 01/06/2011 China Economic Review Text View Clip
Resolved: Distinguish Hindsight From Foresight 01/06/2011 New York Times - Online Text View Clip
Bucks: Resolved: Distinguish Hindsight From Foresight 01/06/2011 New York Times - Online Text View Clip
California Public Utilities Commission could get pro-consumer majority 01/06/2011 Los Angeles Times - Online Text View Clip
The basics of ethics (and eggs) 01/06/2011 Examiner.com Text View Clip
US universities increasingly recruiting Chinese undergraduates 01/06/2011 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
Justice Moreno stepping down from Calif high court 01/06/2011 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
Facebook IPO could be a reality in April 2012 01/06/2011 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Justice Moreno to resign from state's high court 01/06/2011 North County Times - Online Text View Clip
State Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno to step down 01/06/2011 San Mateo County Times Text
State Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno to step down 01/06/2011 Oakland Tribune Text
Trick yourself into spending less 01/05/2011 Globe and Mail - Online, The Text View Clip
Recruiting by U.S. universities of Chinese undergrads is hottest new education trend 01/05/2011 Palo Alto Daily News - Online Text View Clip
US universities increasingly recruiting Chinese undergraduates 01/05/2011 Bellingham Herald - Online Text View Clip
Off-the-Grid Clean Energy 01/05/2011 Let There d.light Text View Clip
Data-Scraping Lawsuit Sheds Light On Risk To Databases 01/05/2011 Dark Reading Text View Clip
Local resident co-hosts dance to celebrate Special Olympians 01/05/2011 Los Altos Town Crier Text View Clip
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nunez's commutation 01/04/2011 California Chronicle Text View Clip
Commentary: Budding entrepreneurs can create new products 01/04/2011 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/04/2011 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
SCHWARZENEGGER PICKS KUNG FOR CSU BOARD 01/04/2011 San Jose Mercury News Text
ANALYSTS SUGGEST EX-GOVERNOR'S ACT A POLITICAL FAVOR 01/04/2011 San Jose Mercury News Text
Schwarzenegger plays favorites to aid Nunez 01/04/2011 Daily Democrat - Online Text View Clip
Commutation a 'political act' 01/04/2011 Reporter - Online, The Text View Clip
Commentary: Budding entrepreneurs can create new products 01/04/2011 Saratoga News Text View Clip
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/04/2011 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Supreme Court Asked to Review Prop. 8 Issue 01/04/2011 KCBS-AM Text
THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY JUST GOT BACK FROM A WHIRLWIND RECRUITMENT TOUR AT FIVE CHINESE CITIES. 01/04/2011 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 4:30 AM - KPIX-TV Text
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY RECENTLY HELD A TOUR ACROSS FIVE CHINESE CITIES. 01/04/2011 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5 AM - KPIX-TV Text
Arizona Anti-Citizenship Proposal for Children of Undocumented Immigrants 01/04/2011 KGO-AM Text
Reporter: THIS CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR IN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. 01/04/2011 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 6 PM - KPIX-TV Text
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/03/2011 Tri-Valley Herald Text
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/03/2011 Oakland Tribune Text
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/03/2011 Daily Review, The Text
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/03/2011 Alameda Times-Star Text
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/03/2011 Tri-Valley Herald Text
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/03/2011 San Mateo County Times Text
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/03/2011 Argus, The Text
Recruiting by U.S. universities of Chinese undergrads is hottest new education trend 01/03/2011 Daily News, The Text View Clip
Nominee sees big challenges 01/03/2011 Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Online Text View Clip
Jerry Brown (D) - WhoRunsGov.com/The Washington Post 01/03/2011 Who Runs Gov Text View Clip
Recruiting by U.S. universities of Chinese undergrads is hottest new education trend 01/03/2011 Oroville Mercury-Register Text View Clip
Borders Teeters on Liquidity Border 01/03/2011 KNTV-TV - Online Text View Clip
Law profs say politics loomed large over Nunez's commutation 01/03/2011 Contra Costa Times - Online Text View Clip
Microwave Circuit Design Using Linear and Nonlinear Techniques, Second Edition 01/03/2011 ARN - Online Text View Clip
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/03/2011 Tri-Valley Herald Text View Clip
Santa Clara University's de Saisset Museum Explores The Practice of Veiling Through a Thought-Provoking Exhibition 01/03/2011 About.com Text View Clip
Santa Clara University's de Saisset Museum Explores The Practice of Veiling Through a Thought-Provoking Exhibition 01/03/2011 Bradenton Herald - Online Text View Clip
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nu�ez's commutation 01/03/2011 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation 01/03/2011 Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
Santa Clara Universitys de Saisset Museum Explores The... 01/03/2011 AOL Text View Clip
SEEKING CHINA'S STARS 01/03/2011 San Jose Mercury News Text
MANY CAMPUSES INCLUDING SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND CAL AND THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO ARE PUTTING OUT THE WELCOME MAT. 01/03/2011 NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV Text
Reporter: MICHAEL SEXTON, AN AD MISSIONS OFFICER AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY JUST GOT BACK FROM A WHIRLWIND RECRUITMENT TOUR IN 5 CHINESE CITIES. 01/03/2011 CBS 5 Eyewitness News At 11 PM - KPIX-TV Text
Bob Farrell's 10 Rules For Investing 01/02/2011 DailyMarkets.com Text View Clip
Why a Budget Is Like a Diet -- Ineffective 01/02/2011 New York Times Text
Recruiting by U.S. universities of Chinese undergrads is hottest new education trend 01/02/2011 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Books that help deal with money 01/02/2011 Seattle Times Text
Greed and UC execs 01/01/2011 San Francisco Chronicle Text
At the Dark End of the Street 01/01/2011 California Lawyer Text View Clip
Sustainable Money: Why a Budget Is Like a Diet -- Ineffective 01/01/2011 New York Times - Online Text View Clip
New Year Resolutions: Make them Work this Time 01/01/2011 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy 12/31/2010 Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Online Text View Clip
GOD HAS HIS HAND ON THIS VERY SPECIAL & UNIQUE AMERICAN CA SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD M GEORGE ... 12/31/2010 Boston Indpendent Media Center Text View Clip
Mayor hopes to bring positive changes to Campbell 12/31/2010 Campbell Reporter Text View Clip
California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy 12/31/2010 Charlotte Observer - Online Text View Clip
Mayor hopes to bring positive changes to Campbell 12/31/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Dual Play: Chromasun Chases Emerging Hybrid Solar Market 12/31/2010 RenewableEnergyWorld.com Text View Clip
Why a Budget Is Like a Diet -- Ineffective 12/31/2010 New York Times - Online Text View Clip
California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy 12/30/2010 Sacramento Bee - Online, The Text View Clip
US Patent Issued to The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, Santa Clara University on Dec. 28 for "Artificial Corneal... 12/30/2010 Federal News Service Text
Handing down a legacy 12/30/2010 Los Angeles Times Text
Frustrated Employees Perceive Injustices at Work | Employee Psychological Distress & Unfair Work Treatment, Happy Employees | Business News Daily 12/29/2010 BusinessNewsDaily Text View Clip
Estudio sobre produccion intelectual en Computer Science 12/29/2010 SYS-CON Media Text View Clip
Court To AFP: Pics Aren't Free Just Because They're On Twitter | paidContent 12/29/2010 paidContent.org Text View Clip
Court To AFP: Pics Aren't Free Just Because They're On Twitter 12/29/2010 MocoNews.net Text View Clip
California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy 12/29/2010 Los Angeles Times - Online Text View Clip
California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy 12/29/2010 Island Packet - Online Text View Clip
Women's Education in Afghanistan - GlobalGiving 12/28/2010 GlobalGiving Text View Clip
Why You Should and Shouldn't Pay Off Your Mortgage 12/28/2010 Free Money Finance Text View Clip
Study: Diverse Employee Work Groups Can Reduce Workplace Psychological Distress 12/28/2010 EHS Today -- Environment, Health and Safety - Online Text View Clip
Workplace faultlines can ease psychological distress among employees 12/28/2010 Reliable Plant Text View Clip
Workplace Faultlines Can Ease Psychological Distress Among Employees, Rutgers University and Santa Clara University Study 12/27/2010 BioSpace.com Text View Clip
THE DIRECTOR OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HE SAYS RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THIS SEASON. 12/27/2010 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 6 AM - KPIX-TV Text
DISHL TORE OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. 12/27/2010 NewsChannel 7 at Noon - WSPA-TV Text
THE DIRECTOR OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SAYS RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THE SEASON. 12/27/2010 CBS 13 News at Noon - KOVR-TV Text
Workplace Faultlines Can Ease Psychological Distress Among Employees 12/26/2010 Medical News Today Text View Clip
Workplace Faultlines Can Ease Psychological Distress Among Employees 12/26/2010 mediLexicon Text View Clip
Reporter: THE DIRECTOR OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SAYS RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THIS SEASON. 12/26/2010 CBS 5 Eyewitness News Saturday at 5:30 PM - KPIX-TV Text
Reporter: THE DIRECTOR OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SAYS RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THIS SEASON. 12/26/2010 CBS 5 Eyewitness News Saturday at 6:30 PM - KPIX-TV Text
Reporter: THE DIRECTOR OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SAYS RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THIS SEASON. 12/26/2010 CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 6 PM - KPIX-TV Text
Perfect 10 Raises ‘Chilling Effects’ in Google Lawsuit 12/25/2010 Adult Video News (AVN) Text View Clip
Take control of your money 12/24/2010 News-Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
Bookshelf: Help for taking control of your money 12/23/2010 Laconia Citizen - Online Text View Clip
Asian-Americans Enjoy New Political Clout in Bay Area 12/23/2010 KQED-FM - Online Text View Clip
Workplace Faultlines Can Ease Psychological Distress Among Employees 12/23/2010 Newswise Text View Clip
Church role 12/23/2010 Arizona Republic - Online Text View Clip
What works to stop bullying 12/22/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
ImmigrationProf Blog: The Executive Office for Immigration Review Swears in Nine Immigration Judges: Judge Corps Reaches 270 Serving in 59 Immigration Courts 12/22/2010 Environmental Law Professors Text View Clip
Employment trends: Drawn to academia 12/22/2010 Nature - Online Text View Clip
2010 an eventful year for Interfaith in Silicon Valley 12/22/2010 Examiner.com Text View Clip
CHALLENGE: Catholic Church's role in care at hospital debated 12/21/2010 USA Today - Online Text View Clip
Apple App Aims to Squash Sexting 12/21/2010 ABA Journal - Online Text View Clip
Learning curve goes digital 12/21/2010 PhysOrg.com Text View Clip
Bookshelf: Help for taking control of your money 12/21/2010 Foster's Daily Democrat - Online Text View Clip
What investors really want 12/21/2010 Manawatu Standard Text View Clip
What investors really want 12/21/2010 Stuff.co.nz Text View Clip
What investors really want 12/21/2010 Sunday Star-Times Text View Clip
Justices Offer Receptive Ear to Business Interests 12/20/2010 New York Times - Online Text View Clip
What investors really want 12/20/2010 Reuters - Online Text View Clip
Lobby group becomes power before U.S. justices 12/20/2010 International Herald Tribune Text
Joseph S. Maresca gave 5 stars to: What Investors Really Want 12/20/2010 Suomen Kuvalehti Text View Clip
Connections 12/19/2010 America: The National Catholic Weekly Text View Clip
THE ROBERTS COURT; Justices Offer Receptive Ear to Business Interests 12/19/2010 New York Times Text
Quinn's role for NEPA, not just U of S 12/19/2010 Scranton Times Tribune - Online, The Text View Clip
Bookshelf: Help for taking control of your money 12/19/2010 Staten Island Advance Text View Clip
Justices Offer Receptive Ear to Business Interests 12/19/2010 Houma Courier - Online Text View Clip
Book Review: What Investors Really Want By Meir Statman 12/19/2010 American Chronicle Text View Clip
FAMILY'S HONDURAS TRIP WAS PERFECT FIT 12/19/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
YOUR LETTERS 12/19/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Bookshelf: Help for taking control of your money 12/18/2010 Times Union - Online Text View Clip
Bookshelf: Help for taking control of your money 12/18/2010 CNBC - Online Text View Clip
A Shout Out to "Recovering Catholics" this Christmas and Beyond 12/18/2010 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
New University of Scranton president ready to lead 12/17/2010 Scranton Times Tribune, The Text
What Makes a Great Leader 12/17/2010 Businsess NH Magazine - Online Text View Clip
Church's role in care at hospital hotly debated 12/17/2010 AZCentral.com Text View Clip
Bookshelf: Help for taking control of your money 12/17/2010 MLive.com Text View Clip
Bookshelf: Help for taking control of your money 12/17/2010 News-Times - Online, The Text View Clip
After 21 Years, Inmate's Conviction Reversed; Prosecutor in '91 Trial Still Calls It 'Bulletproof' 12/17/2010 ABA Journal - Online Text View Clip
Bookshelf: Help for taking control of your money 12/17/2010 Advocate - Online, The Text View Clip
New Scranton president: 'No job can be too tough' 12/17/2010 Times Leader - Online Text View Clip
Conviction of S.F. man in prison 21 years set aside 12/17/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
And the Jesuits must be reformed. 12/17/2010 Catholic World News Text View Clip
After 2 decades, man's conviction in murder tossed 12/17/2010 San Francisco Chronicle Text
University of Scranton names a new president 12/17/2010 Philadelphia Inquirer - Online Text View Clip
Arizona Catholic hospital defends killing of unborn child 12/16/2010 Catholic World News Text View Clip
State Attorney General-Elect Harris Announces Transition Leadership Team 12/16/2010 Black Voice News Text View Clip
For B-Schools, Jobs Should Be Job One 12/16/2010 Yahoo! Canada Text View Clip
Catholic Church's role in care at Ariz. hospital hotly debated 12/16/2010 USA Today - Online Text View Clip
HERE'S WHY A 401(K) CAN OUTGAIN THE STOCK MARKET 12/16/2010 Sun Sentinel Text
University of Scranton names Quinn 25th president 12/15/2010 Republic - Online, The Text View Clip
University of Scranton names Quinn 25th president 12/15/2010 Tribune - Online, The Text View Clip
Santa Clara University's Community Action Program (SCCAP) Special Olympics 12/15/2010 Santa Clara Weekly - Online, The Text View Clip
University of Scranton names Quinn 25th president 12/15/2010 Associated Press (AP) - Harrisburg Bureau Text
University of Scranton names Quinn 25th president 12/15/2010 KION - TV - Online Text View Clip
University of Scranton names Quinn 25th president 12/15/2010 Public Opinion Text View Clip
For B-Schools, Jobs Should Be Job One 12/15/2010 Business Week via Yahoo! Text View Clip
University of Scranton press release on Kevin P. Quinn 12/15/2010 Scranton Times Tribune - Online, The Text View Clip
Inch by inch repeal of ObamaCare 12/15/2010 New York Post - Online Text View Clip
NASA ARC: Small Spacecraft Division Microsatellite-Nanosatellite Technology Research And Development Support 12/15/2010 SpaceRef.com Text View Clip
FOR JESUIT EDUCATION AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY IN CALIFORNIA, 12/15/2010 Newswatch 16 at Noon - WNEP-TV Text
FOR JESUIT EDUCATION AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY IN CALIFORNIA, 12/15/2010 Newswatch 16 at 4 PM - WNEP-TV Text
" REVEREND QUINN HAS BEEN SERVING AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE IGNATIAN CENTER FOR JESUIT EDUCATION AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY IN CALIFORNIA. 12/15/2010 Newswatch 16 at 5 PM - WNEP-TV Text
PROFESSOR OF LAW AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY IN CALIFORNIA, 12/15/2010 Newswatch 16 at 6 PM - WNEP-TV Text
THIS IS REVEREND KEVIN QUINN, HE HAS BEEN SERVING AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE IGNATIAN CENTER FOR JESUIT EDUCATION, AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY IN CALIFORNIA. 12/15/2010 Newswatch 16 at 7 PM - WNEP-TV Text
REVEREND KEVIN QUINN COMES TO THE U ALL THE WAY FROM CALIFORNIA, WHERE HE SERVED AS AN ADMINISTRATOR AND PROFESSOR OF LAW AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, REVEREND QUINN IS EXPECTED TO TAKE OVER AT THE "U" NEXT SUMMER. 12/15/2010 Newswatch 16 At 11 PM - WNEP-TV Text
In Bay area, the old and the new of Guadalupe 12/14/2010 National Catholic Reporter Text View Clip
Undocumented student activist wants public to wake up to the DREAM 12/14/2010 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
For B-Schools, Jobs Should Be Job One (BusinessWeek) 12/14/2010 Yahoo! News Text View Clip
Berkeley City Council agenda item on Wikileaks Leaker 12/14/2010 KCBS-AM Text
Federal Judge to Rule on Health Law's Constitutionality 12/13/2010 Wall Street Journal Text View Clip
Here's why a 401(k) can outgain the stock market 12/13/2010 Chicago Tribune Text
Judge to Rule on Health Law... 12/13/2010 Wall Street Journal - Online Text View Clip
Virginia Decision Against the Obama Health Care Individual Mandate 12/13/2010 KGO-AM Text
Individual Mandate Struck Down in Virginia 12/13/2010 KPCC-FM Text
Shoppers, beware retailers' hidden meanings 12/12/2010 Grand Rapids Press Text
Port Authority contract raises ethical questions 12/12/2010 Kansas City Star Text
To group of Bay Area women, Our Lady of Guadalupe represents mother, friend lawyer 12/12/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text View Clip
To group of Bay Area women, Our Lady of Guadalupe represents mother, friend lawyer 12/12/2010 Oroville Mercury-Register Text View Clip
How female investors reacted to the recession 12/12/2010 InvestmentNews (Crain's) Online Text View Clip
Our Lady of Guadalupe presentation 12/11/2010 El Observador Text View Clip
Experts: Mayor's alleged fee raises questions 12/11/2010 Bajo El Sol - Online Text View Clip
To group of Bay Area women, Our Lady of Guadalupe represents mother, friend lawyer 12/11/2010 Whittier Daily News Text View Clip
To group of Bay Area women, Our Lady of Guadalupe represents mother, friend lawyer 12/11/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
What more can we learn about the Lady of Guadalupe? 12/11/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
FINDING GUADALUPE 12/11/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text


Women's rights advocate remembered in Sauk County | View Clip
01/12/2011
Wisconsin Public Radio

Santa Clara University History Professor Nancy Unger was featured on Wisconsin Public Radio, talking about Belle La Follette's campaign against the segregation of Washington, D.C. that had been ordered into place by Woodrow Wilson in 1913

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Catholic Scandal and the Third Reich: Rise and Fall of a Moral Panic | View Clip
01/10/2011
EnerPub

“The great mass of people … will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.” Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Ch. 10 (1925)

Eight months ago, I posted a tribute to Saint Maximilian Kolbe on the April 28th anniversary of his ordination. I made a controversial point in that post: Almost without exception, the typical claims of abuse by Catholic priests so roiling the news media were alleged to have happened thirty to forty years ago.

“Go back just another thirty to forty years,” I wrote, “and you will find yourself right in the middle of the Nazi horror that engulfed Europe and claimed the lives of six million Jews and millions of others.” I suggested that Catholics should not accept what some would now impose: that the Catholic Church is to be the moral scapegoat of the Twentieth Century.

A reader responded to that insight by sending me a rather startling document. As I began to read it, I almost tossed it aside dismissing it as just another sensational headline. You might be tempted to do the same. Resist that temptation, please, and keep reading:

“There are cases of sexual abuse that come to light day against a large number of the Catholic clergy. Unfortunately it's not a matter of individual cases, but a collective moral crisis that perhaps the cultural history of humanity has never before known with such a frightening and disconcerting dimension. Numerous priests and religious have confessed. There's no doubt that the thousands of cases which have come to the attention of the justice system represent only a small fraction of the true total, given that many molesters have been covered and hidden by the hierarchy.”

This isn't an editorial in yesterday's New York Times, nor is it the opening gun in a new lawsuit by Jeffrey Anderson. It also isn't a quote from S.N.A.P. or V.O.T. F. It is part of a speech delivered on May 28, 1937 by Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler's Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich.

As a direct result of Goebbels' speech, 325 Catholic priests representing every diocese in Germany were arrested and sent to prison. The story was uncovered by Italian sociologist and author, Massimo Introvigne and republished by LifeSiteNews.com. According to Mr. Introvigne, the term “moral panic” is a modern term used since the 1970s “to identify a social alarm created artificially by amplifying real facts and exaggerating their numbers” and by “presenting as ‘new' events which in reality are already known and which date to the past.”

It all has a terribly familiar ring. Though “moral panic” wasn't a term used in 1937, it describes exactly what Joseph Goebbels was called upon by the Third Reich to create. And the propaganda campaign, like the current one, had nothing to do with protecting children. It was launched by the Third Reich because of a 1937 Papal Encyclical by Pope Pius XI entitled “Mit brennender Sorge” – “With burning concern” – in which the Pope condemned Nazi ideology. According to Matthew Cullinan Hoffman of LifeSiteNews.com, the encyclical was smuggled out of Rome into Germany and read from every pulpit in every Catholic parish in the Reich.

The propaganda campaign launched by Goebbels was later exposed as a clear exaggeration and exploitation of a few cases of sexual abuse that were all too real, but for which the Church had taken decisive action. In the end, the vast majority of the priests arrested and imprisoned, their reputations destroyed and the Church's moral authority in Germany impugned – were quietly set free. When the campaign finally evaporated, only six percent of the 325 priests accused were ultimately condemned, and it is a certainty that among even those were some who were falsely accused.

By the end of the war, according to Introvigne, “the perfidy of the campaign of Goebbels aroused more indignation than the eventual guilt” of a relatively small number of priests – a number that was a mere percentage of those first accused.

The accused priests were not Goebbels' real target, of course. The Nazi Ministry of Propaganda targeted the Church and its bishops and papacy declaring a cover-up of the claims and keeping the matter in the daily headlines.

According to Massimo Introvigne who uncovered this story, “Goebbels' campaign followed the same pattern seen in recent media attacks on the Church.” Like today's moral panic, the Goebbels campaign attempted to revive old claims that had long since been resolved to keep the matter in public view and to discredit the Catholic Church because of the Papal encyclical denouncing Nazi ideology and tactics and defending “the Church's Jewish heritage against Hitler's racist attacks,” according to Hoffman.

CONSIDER THE SOURCE

How the Massimo Introvigne article came to me makes for an interesting aside. It was sent to me by a victim of sexual abuse perpetrated twenty-two years ago by a priest in my diocese, a priest with whom I once served in ministry. The young man he violated has worked to overcome his anger and to embrace the grace of forgiveness. He sought and obtained a modest settlement for the abuse he suffered years ago, and he used it for counseling expenses. This man is a reader of These Stone Walls who recently wrote to me:

“I have been scouring the Internet and doing a great deal of reading … For what it is worth, I believe you are serving an unjust sentence for a crime you did not commit. If I do not do everything in my power to be of assistance to you, I would be committing a grave sin.”

That is certainly a far different reaction than the rhetoric of most other claimants against priests and their “advocates” among contingency lawyers and the victim groups that are receiving major donations from contingency lawyers. My more recent exchanges with this man lead me to conclude something I have long believed: that the people most repulsed and offended by false claims of abuse and the rhetoric of a witch hunt should be the real victims of sexual abuse.

It is no longer the Nazi state that stands to win big from the creation of a moral panic targeting the Catholic Church and priesthood. But the current propaganda campaign is little different in either its impetus or its result.

Dr. Thomas Plante, Ph.D., a professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University, published an article entitled “Six important points you don't hear about regarding clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church” (Psychology Today, March 24, 2010). Dr. Plante's conclusions from studying the empirical data are far different from what you may read in any propaganda campaign – either the 1937 one or the one underway now.

These are Dr. Plante's conclusions:

“Catholic clergy are not more likely to abuse children than other clergy or men in general.” [As I pointed out in "Due Process for Accused Priests," priests convicted of sexual abuse account for no more than three (3) out of 6,000 incarcerated, paroled, and registered sex offenders.]

“Clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic church cannot be blamed on celibacy.” The majority of men convicted of sexual abuse are married and/or divorced.

“Almost all of the clergy sexual abuse cases that we hear about in the news are from decades ago,” most from the 1960s to 1970s.

“Most clergy sex offenders are not pedophiles.” Eighty percent of accusers were post-pubescent teens, and not children, when abuse was alleged to have occurred.”

“There is much to be angry about,” Dr. Plante concluded, but anger about the above media-fueled misconceptions is misplaced Why this isn't clearer in the secular press is no mystery. As one observer of the news media wrote, “More than illness or death, the American journalist fears standing alone against the whim of his owners or the prejudice of his audience.” Lewis Lapham, Money and Class in America, Ch. 9, (1988).

DIETRICH BONHOEFFER ON THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP

If you read “Fifty-Seven Times Around the Sun,” you know I was born on April 9, 1953. That was just eight years to the day after Lutheran theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged at age 39 on the direct orders of Adolf Hitler. It was to be Hitler's last gesture of contempt for truth before he took his own life as the Allies advanced on Germany in April, 1945.

Since childhood, I have been aware that I shared this date with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man I greatly admire. He was imprisoned and hanged because he made a decision of conscience to resist Hitler with every ounce of strength God gave him. I concluded my Holy Week post with an excerpt of his most famous book, The Cost of Discipleship.

The truth of what happened in Germany and Poland emerged into full public view just sixty-five years ago. The entire world recoiled in horror and revulsion. The revelations changed the world, radically altering humanity's world view. It marked the dawn of the age of cynicism and distrust. How did a society come to stand behind the hateful rhetoric of one man and his political machine? How did masses of people become convinced that any ideology of the state was worth the horror unfolding before their eyes?

As the truth slowly emerged during the years of war and slaughter, The New York Times, in its 1942 Christmas Day editorial declared:

“No Christmas sermon reaches a larger congregation than the message Pope Pius XII addresses to a war-torn world at this season. This Christmas more than ever he is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent.”

In 1942, The New York Times was joined in its acclaim of Pope Pius XII by the World Jewish Congress, Albert Einstein, and Golda Meir. The March 2010 issue of Catalyst reported that Pope Pius was officially recognized for directly saving the lives of 860,000 Jews while the chief rabbi in Rome, Eugenio Zolli, converted to Catholicism and took the name “Eugenio” in honor of the Pope's (Eugenio Pacelli) challenge of the Nazi regime.

The New York Times has sure changed its tune since then, and has helped build a revisionist history of Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church that takes a polar opposite point of view. Today, commending a pope, or even mentioning Christmas, would be anathema to the Times' editorial agenda.

By the end of April, 1945, within days of ordering Dietrich Bonhoeffer hanged, Adolf Hitler took his own life. Joseph Goebbels, intensely loyal to Hitler, murdered his wife and children before also committing suicide. The terror and propaganda of the Third Reich were over.

The propaganda of the current moral panic is just getting fully underway, however. Last September, British atheist Richard Dawkins declared the Catholic Church to be “a child-raping institution” and wrote in The Washington Post ahead of Pope Benedict's visit to England:

“This former head of the Inquisition should be arrested the moment he dares set foot outside the tin pot fiefdom of the Vatican and he should be tried in an appropriate civil court.”

Does this sound like reasonable discourse to you? And it isn't just the secular press engaged in this sort of hate speech. I was utterly dismayed a few weeks ago to see a highly respected Catholic weekly newspaper box off and highlight a letter from a reader calling for the imprisonment of all priests accused from thirty and forty years ago.

Don't be so quick to consign 80-year-old men to prison for things alleged to have happened decades ago – things that cannot be proven at all; claims that are brought by adults whose own names are protected from public view, and stand to gain hundreds of thousands of dollars for making such claims.

It's tempting to toss the rights of all priests out the window in the heat of a global media witch trial, but it is not the way of our Church to abandon all reason in favor of the mob. The secular press is going to do what it always does: sell newspapers to the mob. But this hateful rhetoric should not be appearing in the Catholic press. Calling upon the Vatican to set aside the rights of priests under Church law is no way to follow the Year of the Priest.

Adopting the rhetoric of Joseph Goebbels simply doesn't bring light to the issues. It brings only heat. It is caving in to our basest nature, and reflects not the Truth upon which our faith is built. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a courageous Lutheran, would be calling upon Catholics to live a much higher standard of discipleship.

Fr. Gordon J. MacRae edits www.TheseStoneWalls.com. His writings from prison have appeared in First Things, The Catholic Response, Catalyst, Op-ed News, Spero News, and many on-line Catholic venues. The above article was modified from one that originally appeared at www.TheseStoneWalls.com.

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Can Crime Be Predicted? | View Clip
01/10/2011
KSBW-TV - Online

Santa Cruz PD Teams With College Professor

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- The Santa Cruz Police Department has teamed up with a professor who says he can predict where and when crime will occur.

Santa Cruz police could be the first department in Northern California that will deploy officers based on forecasting.

Santa Clara University assistant math professor Dr. George Mohler said the same algorithms used to predict aftershocks from earthquakes work to predict crime.

"We started with theories from sociological and criminological fields of research that says offenders are more likely to return to a place where they've been successful in the past," Mohler said.

To test his theory, Mohler plugged in several years worth of old burglary data from Los Angeles.

When a burglary is reported, Mohler's model tells police where and when a so-called "after crime" is likely to occur.

The Santa Cruz Police Department has turned over 10 years of crime data to Mohler to run in the model.

Last March, Santa Cruz police unveiled maps showing crime hot spots. But the maps only allow officers to react to crimes that have already happened.

If Mohler's theories are correct, police said they will be able to know where people will commit a crime before it happens.

"What (Mohler) is actually doing is predicting future hot spots," said Zach Friend, of the Santa Cruz Police Department.

In a time where pennies are being squeezed by local governments, police departments are looking at ways to use officers more effectively, especially when combating gangs.

"They've found out exactly what law enforcement is doing, and they are innovative in ways that's even tough for us to keep up with," Friend said. "We feel that using models like this will help us keep one step ahead."

Mohler said he hopes to release his findings to Santa Cruz police in about a month.

Copyright 2011 by KSBW.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Gold is a bubble - resist its charms | View Clip
01/10/2011
Yahoo! Finance

Can you tell when a boom has turned into a bubble? One clue: When pop culture starts paying attention. The housing bubble, for example, brought both the TV show Flip This House and a rival on another network, Flip That House.

So if you own a lot of gold, you might regard a recent episode of Saturday Night Live as your first warning. In the opening skit, Bill Hader as China's President Hu Jintao declares that Glenn Beck was right and that "my government should have bought gold. Unfortunately, all our assets were tied up in U.S. Treasury bills."

Back in the real world, gold is trading at about $1,400 an ounce, up from less than $500 five years ago. That's a 23% annualized return, far outstripping the gains on stocks (1.1%) or bonds (6.1%). Fear is driving a lot of the rise.

Investors have always turned to gold in times of trouble, and we have worries to spare these days: a weakening dollar, a deeply divided political climate, and a growing budget deficit.

And in the aftermath of the bursting of two historic bubbles -- dotcom stocks a decade ago and then real estate -- many investors long to hold something that seems to have a timeless, intrinsic value. (Never mind that five years ago the market thought gold was intrinsically worth 65% less.)

You may be wondering whether you should be getting a piece of this action. This time last year, MONEY argued that although gold prices could continue to climb in the short run, the case for gold as an investment no longer made sense.

And that leads to another truth about bubbles: You'll almost never look smart trying to call them, at least at the outset. The real estate bubble was six years in the making; the dotcom bubble lasted five years before bursting.

The gold bubble could stay pumped up for a while. But that doesn't make gold less speculative and risky than it was a year ago.

Three solid reasons to be wary of gold:

1. Bad economic news may not earn you much, and good news could crush you

Gold has traditionally been considered a hedge against high inflation. And gold bulls argue that the money the Federal Reserve has been pumping into the economy will eventually create runaway consumer prices, as more dollars chase too few goods.

Gold, the thinking goes, will hold its purchasing power -- after all, it can't be manufactured at the whim of a central bank. Gold enthusiasts point to a strong precedent for its vigor: During the late 1970s and early '80s, when the inflation rate surged by double digits, gold prices also soared, rewarding investors handsomely.

Right now, though, there's no sign that inflation is about to rear up anytime soon. For all the Fed's efforts to inject money into the system, the folks who have it -- banks, mostly -- have been reluctant to do much besides sit on it, leaving too few dollars chasing too many goods.

As a result, the inflation rate stands at just 1.2%, down sharply from 2.7% in December 2009. In fact, the bond market has been signaling fears of low inflation or even deflation -- a sustained weakness in prices that could hold down the economy for years. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond is about 3%. Bond investors wouldn't accept such paltry yields if they saw high inflation.

Maybe bond investors are just wrong, and the gold traders are right. Or perhaps, says HSBC commodities analyst James Steel, investors are hedging their risks by buying bonds as a defense against the short-term threat of deflation, and gold as a store of value "in case inflation eventually takes off."

That's plausible. But the case for gold depends a lot on what you think "takes off" means. Many market observers do believe that inflation is going to rise eventually. The Fed seems to be trying to engineer at least a modest increase, and there's hardly anywhere to go but up from here.

However, a return to 3% inflation or even something a bit higher isn't what many gold investors are betting on. Many are concerned about low-probability catastrophes like the collapse of the global money system or a U.S. debt default. It's not that those things are impossible -- it's that gold owners have to worry about what happens to their investment if those things don't happen.

"Gold is already fully pricing in some very nasty scenarios, including high inflation," says Jason Hsu, chief investment officer at Research Affiliates. "The price is going to react in a very negative way to any reality that deviates from that expectation."

That reality would include a continuation of the sluggish, unemployment-ridden, but modestly growing economy we seem to be stuck in now.

And if the economy turns back to real health, watch out. From 1980 through 2005, gold earned zilch. In fact, if you had bought gold at its peak in 1980, you still wouldn't be back to even today on an inflation-adjusted basis.

"When the economy moves from recession to prosperity, there will be little reason to own gold," says Mark Williams, who teaches risk management at Boston University. "And speculators will learn the hard way that gold in times of financial stability is hazardous to investor health."

2. Sure, the dollar has its problems, but just look at the other guys

Related to fears of inflation is the bet that the U.S. dollar is about to tank. Part of the argument here is that the Fed's latest easing efforts will spook foreign investors. Or that fear of rising U.S. deficits will cause China and other sovereign investors to pull out of Treasuries.

When overseas investors sell Treasuries, that should mean less demand for dollars. And if the dollar falls, investors around the world tend to gravitate toward gold. Since June, in fact, the dollar has dropped about 10% against a trade-weighted basket of foreign currencies. Gold in the same period shot up 14%.

If you think the dollar is going to fall against foreign currencies, a better way to play it is to skip gold and simply own mutual funds that invest overseas. Most international funds hold stocks in their local currencies, so you get a jolt of extra returns when those currencies rise.

And even if the dollar turns out to be stronger, you'll still participate in the growth of the underlying business and get some dividend income to cushion the blow.

More to the point, reports of the death of the dollar have been greatly exaggerated. As much as you may worry about the deficit, the future direction of the dollar doesn't just depend on what's going on in the U.S. In early November, for instance, the greenback shot up 3.5% in little more than a week amid fears about government debt problems in Europe. Gold plunged by about the same percentage.

In fact, many experts contend that the dollar could soon stabilize -- and might even reverse course and start rising against currencies like the euro and the Japanese yen if the Fed's moves actually work at spurring the U.S. economy.

"The U.S. dollar is the best-looking horse in the glue factory," says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for the information and forecasting group IHS. "Many economies around the world are in far worse shape."

What about China dumping Treasuries?

Props to the writers at SNL for catching the zeitgeist, but it's unlikely that President Hu regrets China's having invested so much in the U.S. By financing U.S. debt China has kept its exports to our shores humming. That can't last forever, and there's always a risk that this trade pattern will unwind too fast. But at the moment, the Chinese seem to need us as much as we need them.

3. The gold boom has the earmarks of a speculators' rally

Scientists sometimes call a bad idea "not even wrong" -- meaning that it's so groundless it can't even be tested. In the same vein, you could say that gold isn't even overvalued. Because how would you value the stuff in the first place?

Unlike a bond, gold doesn't promise to pay you back with interest; unlike a stock, it doesn't have any hope of generating earnings over time. If gold were a house, it would be one you couldn't live in or collect rent from.

Unless you want to flash some bling, buying gold today is just a bet that someone else will want to pay you more for it tomorrow. That's why even advocates of diversified portfolios, like Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, often rule out gold investing as speculation. "The 'greater fool' theory is not a convincing argument for buying gold," says adviser William Bernstein, author of The Investor's Manifesto.

This actually makes the argument that gold is a "bubble" a little bit tricky. Since it produces no earnings in the first place, you can't say gold's price/earnings ratio is too high to justify the risk. But you can tease out some indicators that demand for gold is overinflated right now.

An oft-cited argument in favor of high prices is that gold is in limited supply -- new mines take up to a decade to come online. But as the chart above shows, the demand side of the equation has changed a lot.

In 2005 only 16% of the demand for gold came from investors� most went to industrial users and jewelers. Now investors reflect almost 40% of the demand. As a result, gold prices are more exposed to speculators' whims.

Meir Statman, finance professor at Santa Clara University and author of What Investors Really Want, points out that investors buy assets for "expressive" and emotional as well as economic benefits -- and owning gold expresses a lot right now.

"It gives you the opportunity to convey to others that you're a 'player' like the hedge fund managers, or that you're a 'patriot' opposed to the country's growing debt," says Statman.

True, some investors refuse gold for expressive reasons too. Charlie Munger, longtime right-hand man of Warren Buffett, recently dismissed "hoarding" gold, telling an audience, "Even if it works, you're a jerk." But right now, gold bugs have the buzz. Are you comfortable betting this mood won't change -- or that you'll sense when to get out in time?

Gold fans often lean hard on history. Although gold may have hit new highs in nominal terms, the bulls note that it hasn't come close to hitting its peak price after accounting for inflation.

Figure that into the 1980 high of $850 and you get a price of around $2,300 an ounce -- some 63% higher than where gold is trading today. But that is just the greater fool theory dressed up with charts: If people paid $2,300 once, maybe they'll repeat that mistake. Well, in 2000 investors were willing to pay 45 times earnings for stocks. Want to bet they'll do that again?

Still can't resist the luster?

There's always that sneaking suspicion that maybe the doomsayers are right. In an economy where nothing grows and paper currency goes for kindling, yes, you'll be glad to own gold. Plus, you're only human. When people around you seem to be getting rich on gold, it's hard to sit idly by.

That's why Harold Evensky, a Coral Gables, Fla., financial planner, doesn't think it's crazy to indulge in a little preventive speculation. Use no more than 1% of your total portfolio to play your gold hunches.

"If that prevents you from putting 15% or 20% of your portfolio into gold, it can be effective," says Evensky.

If you want to take a flier on unlikely events, consider a high-octane wager. You could plunk down a small -- emphasis on small -- amount of money to buy call options on the SPDR Gold Trust, an exchange-traded fund that invests in the metal.

The ETF cost around $138 a share in December. But for $3 you can buy the right to snap up GLD at $200 anytime until January 2012. If gold doesn't rise, your small investment is wiped out. But if it actually hits its $2,300 peak, the GLD will go for around $230, earning you $30.

That's a 10-bagger on your $3 investment, way better than you'll get buying the coins hawked by talk-radio yakkers. And if you sleep better knowing you have a Plan Z on the off chance those guys and the SNL writers are right, all the better.

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Has Psychiatry become Faust? | View Clip
01/10/2011
Psychology Today - Online

Has psychiatry sold its soul to the pharmaceutical industry? This is a question being asked a lot of late with reports of numerous studies published in top medical journals and even textbooks being ghostwritten by the pharmaceutical industry. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Jose Mercury News, and other major news outlets have been reporting on this in recent months (and years) and it has even been the subject, broadly defined, of a recent popular romantic drama, Love and Other Drugs.

First off, you may be familiar with the well known German legend, Faust, which is also a very popular opera. Faust was an elderly scholar unhappy with his life. He makes a deal with the Devil that gives him unlimited knowledge and pleasure for the price of his soul. This arrangement results in many unintended consequences that include the tragic death of a lovely young woman who Faust falls in love with as well as even more life unhappiness for Faust until finally the Devil comes to collect his payment, his soul. Faust (and the adjective Faustian) has since been used to describe an arrangement where an ambitious person compromises his or her ethics (especially their moral integrity) to achieve power, pleasure, prestige, and success and thus the phrase "a " was born. Search for a mental health professional near you.

Not satisfied with the success, power, financial incentives, and prestige of their primarily psychotherapy and modest medication use, the field of psychiatry in recent years (and perhaps decades), according to Dr. Carlat (a practicing psychiatrist in Boston himself), has abandoned their moral integrity, the welfare of their patients, and their identity as an independent professional. Psychiatrists, in his view, now too often seek to enrich themselves by blindly following the demands of the for- profit pharmaceutical industry. Psychiatry has become Faust - selling its soul to the Devil.

It should be noted that Dr. Carlat isn't stating that all psychiatric medication use is ill advised and only due to the for profit motive of the greedy drug companies and all too willing psychiatrists. He admits that there are plenty of occasions where psychotropic medications can be effectively used to help patients improve the quality of their lives. The problem is that medications are too often overused with other more likely sources of helpful interventions such as psychotherapy and additional psychosocial interventions not offered. Additionally, pressure and various industry incentives encourage aggressive medication use when it isn't clinical indicated or scientifically supported.

Recent press accounts have highlighted the updating of the psychiatric "bible", the highly profitable Diagnostic and Statistical Manual with a 5th edition due to be released during May 2013. As the diagnostic manual has evolved over the years, more and more "disorders" are being added with drugs being their primary mode of treatment. You may have seen press reports stating that half of the personality disorders are being removed such as which curiously tends to include those disorders that can't really be treated by drugs while those that remain in the new manual (e.g., Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder) often are treated by medications. Hummm...could this important document be ghostwritten by Big Pharma?

Several years ago my wife and I were hosting a dinner party with several academic psychiatrists included. We have been good friends for many years and talk candidly. One mentioned that he and his wife were on their way to Europe where he was presenting a lecture. He said that the plane tickets were first class, they were staying for a full week at the Ritz Carlton hotel, and that all expenses were being paid for by a pharmaceutical company. As someone who writes on and teaches courses on ethics I mentioned the many ethical conflicts of accepting such a lavish arrangement. He stated that he saw no ethical conflict at all since he refused to use the presentation slides that the company wanted to provide but would develop his own slides for the presentation. Somehow in his mind, providing his own slides negated any ethical conflicts in the deal. I laughed and said that there still appears to be more than enough ethical issues with the arrangements and went a step further stating that psychiatry has sadly become a whore to the pharmaceutical industry. After a few laughs, he and the other psychiatrist actually agreed with my provocative observation. While they still felt that their own behavior in relationship to the pharmaceutical industry was ethical they agreed with the statement that the field of psychiatry as a whole is now the applied wing of the pharmaceutical industry. Sadly, in their view, psychiatry had become merely an extension of the pharmaceutical industry. It is sad and disturbing if psychiatry has become Faust. They (as well as perhaps all of us) will likely regret it and suffer greatly in the end. You don't sell your soul to the Devil and win.

Psychiatry really needs to do all that they can do to turn this around and do the right thing. They really must put patient care first and base their interventions on quality scientific research findings that has not been corrupted by big pharma influence. They must avoid conflcits of interest at all costs. Otherwise, their soul has been lost to the devil and they can't be trusted at all.

What do you think?

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

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Has Wikileaks and Political Vitriol Made Americans Ripe for a Free Speech Power Grab? | View Clip
01/10/2011
Useful Arts - Online

If you follow my tweet stream, you may have noticed a conversation I had with Emer Kirrane, @Exxx, about how online culture encourages youthful indiscretion along with outrageously bad behavior. And why my kids won't be on social networks until they're old enough to take Facebook, and the Net, with some skepticism.

Emer pointed out there's a cultural confusion between “Attention and Approval”.  When infamy, celebrity and virtue are confused – outrageousness becomes cultural currently.

That's why I took note today when the unabashedly liberal Boston Globe ran an Ideas's feature on the book “The Offensive Internet”. They highlighted a thesis of its chapter by Cass Sunstein, who is the head of President Obama's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.  In it he poses that that public discourse needs greater “chilling effects” of regulation and social pressure.

“The goal of the law governing speech must be to ensure an optimum level of chill, whether face-to-face or online.”

The article suggests that the free speech safe harbor enjoyed in social media is overly broad, by pointing out that graffiti on a public bathroom walls would enjoy less protection than if it were a posting on a website.

As Speech, Online Speech is Subject to Law

Let's be clear, I'm all for social pressure to be decent and “get it right”.  But, online speech is already regulated through established law. Trademark, copyright, plagiarism, incitement, bribery, and a host of other laws are fully in force. In fact, online defamation has been stretched to an absurdity which is unparalleled in the physical world.

The call for “chilling effects” on speech by government regulation should be fighting words for speech advocates. (if you agree, you might want to follw the blog Chilling Effects – which is a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics, to preserve free online speech.)

Your Private Speech Online Is Not a Public Accommodation

The use of the analogy of graffiti in a public restroom invokes the liberal claim (and regulatory power grab) that online spaces and the Internet as a whole are public accommodations. If accepted, just as that bar's bathrooms must be accessible, free of offensive graffiti, open to all groups – then the website on your private server must be too.

Your right to privacy and self-determination is infinitely higher within the walls of your private home or enterprise. So attempts to establish websites as “public accommodations” would diminish your speech rights in these “public spaces”. Yet, people using their private computers to access private servers over commercial networks, are just as private as if the communication was by phone or teleconference. In many cases they are using the exact same infrastructure.

Liberalism and Free Speech Too Often Part Ways

Not long ago, Democrats in the Senate proposed a lobbying reform bill which would have required bloggers who communicate to more than 500 members of the public on public policy matters to register and report quarterly to Congress, in much the same way as K Street lobbyists.  This post would conceivably have made me a lobbyist, and require my self-expression to be registered and approved the state.

Since the State Can't Handle The Power of Chilling Speech – We Must Govern Each Other

There is a hunger in government to control the Internet, and the often anonymous wide-spread communication it allows. An each time free speech has a negative consequence the case for regulating the Net and speech increases.

If regulation invites censorship and state control of private expression, then what can be done about objectionable online conduct?  Start by objecting, and make it count.  And start to require the private platforms that we use to disengage from value neutrality.

We may, in fact, be in a better position to petition publishers and platforms such as Facebook, Yahoo and Google, than federal regulators.  Plenty of you have joined me in occasional efforts to do just this here on this blog.

We need to stand-up to potentially well meaning, or self-serving, regulators. The pursuit of happiness, however it is defined, and free speech are now inexorably linked in the creative economy. And its protection almost certainly will require us to hold back the hand of government from fixing the problems of free speech. As long as free speech is abused, we know it is there.

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Guy Garb Gauge Flashing Negative? | View Clip
01/10/2011
FOREXHOUND

Many of you are familiar with the hemline index, which holds that the length of women's dresses tends to rise and fall with the economy. Well, it seems that's not the only apparel-related indicator. WWD's Mensweek gives us on update on what might be called the "guy garb gauge" in "Is Men's Wear Back?":

Yes — and you can credit the recession.

Behavioral experts say shopping doesn't come naturally to most men, yet men's wear was among the star performers this past holiday and retailers are expecting (or at least hoping) the growth will continue in 2011. They're helped by the fact that clothes do wear out — and men feel that it's time at last to replace their threadbare suits and holey socks and underwear.

According to behavioral finance expert Meir Statman, author and business professor at Santa Clara University, the recession has stirred men's competitive juices and they see dressing better as a competitive edge. “It's not just a matter of impressing women anymore,” he said. “It's also about impressing potential employers. There is a sense that the competition out there is more fierce.”

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World's Largest Social Enterprise Directory, iuMAP, Gets a Makeover | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise | View Clip
01/10/2011
Development through Enterprise

iuMAP

World's Largest Social Enterprise Directory, iuMAP, Gets a Makeover

here) in media partnership with NextBillion. Since then, it has grown by 50% and is easier to search. iuMAP now lists the majority of the world's social enterprises (450 enterprises in 65+ developing countries), and it has been visited by users in 133 countries!

To our knowledge, iuMAP is the now the world's largest directory of market solutions to poverty. And that's only the beginning.

The Ayllu team developed iuMAP in response to what we saw as a lack of centralized information on social enterprises. It is a place where users can find easily digestible and critical information to help the social enterprise community learn from successes, failures and challenges, so that decisions can be made more easily, quickly and cheaply.

is unveiling a new and improved iuMAP! Here are two important new features we're rolling out: Thanks to our tech partner,OpenAction, you can now filter enterprises on the map more easily (i.e. Nonprofit enterprises focused on water in India, or For-Profit enterprises focused on Energy in Tanzania). You can also view the enterprises as a list, with tags that make them even easier to sort. Energy & India Maps: In the spring, Ayllu will release in-depth maps on the iuMAP platform. Our survey and information collection process was built with . We're now using it to map India and Energy. The Energy Map, focused on social enterprises delivering energy solutions to the poor, is surveying 60+ enterprises and is funded by the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University.

The India map, focused on social enterprises in India facing enormous growth challenges, is surveying 50+ enterprises and is funded by Artemisia International. Both maps will be 'live', which means we will continue updating and expanding them over time. We'll use them to prototype tools for funders and enterprises to more easily find and use market information.

To learn more please click here .

Here's what a few a few users have said about iuMAP:

"It helps me understand how the global puzzle fits together, and to find my peers" (Shashin Chokshi,Moneythink.org)
"I use it to find new investment opportunities. I love how organized it is!" (Paulo Bellotti, PRAGMA) iuMAP into the most valuable resource possible. Please help us do so with your

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Arizona shooting: Has harsh political rhetoric become dangerous? | View Clip
01/10/2011
Burlington Free Press - Online

Has the nation's harsh political rhetoric become more than just talk to the point of being dangerous? The attempted assassination of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she spoke with voters outside a grocery store in Tucson fueled a debate Sunday over whether the sharp partisanship and anti-government language that now mark American politics have created a climate that makes violence against public officials more likely.

As a moderate Democrat who barely won re-election in a state torn by disputes over immigration policy, economic angst and growing mistrust in the government, Giffords was familiar with today's increasingly nasty political rhetoric. Her opponent last fall accused her of betraying her district. Meanwhile, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's website posted a map with cross hairs on 20 Democrat-held congressional districts Palin was targeting for takeover by Republicans in the November elections. Giffords' was one of them.

"You can't say they're just words; they have consequences," said South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, a member of the Democratic leadership. He said he worries about the effect of words on "people who may not be clicking on all cylinders."

He cautioned, "We need to take a look at what we're drifting into here."

However, some Republican leaders and conservative activists rejected the suggestion that their hard-edged language on issues such as health care and immigration could fairly be tied to Saturday's attack by a gunman in Tucson that left six people dead, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. Giffords, who was shot in the head, was in critical condition Sunday after surgery.

"This is a terrible politicization of a tragedy," said Rebecca Mansour, an aide to Palin. "We don't know (the suspect's) motive. It doesn't seem like he was motivated by a political ideology. Craziness is not an ideology."

She dismissed criticism by liberal blogs suggesting that Palin's congressional map had helped encourage violence.

The map didn't show Giffords herself in a gun's cross hairs, only her district, Mansour said. "The language of 'targeting a swing district' has been used long before we used it. We have no idea whether (suspect Jared Lee Loughner) ever saw that graphic."(2 of 5)Some national tragedies the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, for one, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 became moments of national unity and solemnity that prompted officeholders and voters to step back from the most polarized politics of the day, at least for a time.

Whether that will happen in the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson isn't clear, though officials on all sides decried the shooting and offered prayers for Giffords and the other victims. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced that Wednesday's scheduled vote to repeal the health care law that was passed by the Democrat-led Congress last session a measure guaranteed to be the focus of heated rhetoric would be postponed.

There were calls for comity: President Obama ordered American flags flown at half-staff and called for a national moment of silence today at 11 a.m. ET to honor the victims. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, urged members of Congress to rally together. "At a time when an individual has shown us humanity at its worst, we must rise to the occasion for our nation and show Congress at its best," he said during a conference call for members.

Even so, the instant venues that have accelerated the polarization of U.S. politics cable TV, talk radio, political blogs, Twitter and more have become the vehicles for fierce back-and-forths on who was to blame and what should be done.

"When politicians and news commentators use nasty, violent rhetoric, it revs up the base and it fills campaign coffers, but there are repercussions," said Daniel Shea of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. "No one wants to make a direct connection between this fellow's actions and a single political speech or event, but we have to worry about the climate."

Not so fast, said political scientist John Geer of Vanderbilt University. "Shootings happen all the time. It could be political, but it's more likely that this person isn't stable," he said, calling criticism part of democracy. "It's not for the faint-hearted."(3 of 5)The 'Tombstone' of the United States

Arizona is the center of some of the nation's most polarized politics.

The once-booming economy in the Grand Canyon State has been devastated by the mortgage crisis that has left some neighborhoods pockmarked with foreclosed homes. Fears about illegal immigration across the border with Mexico led the state Legislature last year to enact the nation's toughest crackdown. The state also has among the nation's most lenient gun laws.

"We're the 'Tombstone' of the United States of America," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told reporters Sunday, a reference to the dusty Arizona town that was the site of the legendary 19th-century gunfight at the O.K. Corral. "I have never been a proponent of letting everybody in this state carry weapons under any circumstances where they want. That's almost where we are."

The blunt-spoken Democratic sheriff called Arizona "the capital" of anti-government rhetoric that is heard across the country, often citing the Wall Street bailout and the health care law as outrageous overreaches by the federal government.

"The rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week has impact on people, especially (those) who are unbalanced personalities to begin with," Dupnik said.

The health care law has been a flashpoint in Arizona. During the debate over the bill in August 2009, a protester at a Giffords event dropped a gun; police escorted him out. On the night the law passed in Washington with her support, a window in her district office was smashed.

In the November election, she faced a Republican challenger who had Tea Party support. Jesse Kelly, a businessman and Iraq veteran, used tough language against Giffords, accusing her of having "betrayed" her district on immigration and of having produced "four years of failure" in Congress.

She prevailed and won a third term, but barely. An 'angrier, confrontational environment'

Just before 10 a.m. Saturday, Giffords typed out a tweet on her iPad. "My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now," it read. "Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later."(4 of 5)Setting up outside a grocery store on a weekend morning so voters would have a chance to chat is the type of event many members of Congress routinely hold to connect with their constituents. But a few minutes after Gifford sent the message on Twitter, Loughner, 22, walked up to her, pulled out a gun and hit her and 19 others in a spray of gunfire, according to charges filed Sunday.

Ultimately, the victims also may include events such as "Congress on Your Corner." Congressional leaders and U.S. Capitol police are reassessing security for lawmakers and their aides at the Capitol and when they travel to their home states, typically without any security. Republicans and Democrats will hold a rare joint meeting in the House on Wednesday to discuss security measures.

House records indicate only a few assassination attempts against members of Congress: A duel between two House members in 1838, a brutal fistfight over slavery between two House members and a senator in 1856, an attack by Puerto Rican nationalists on Congress in 1954 and the ambush of a California congressman in 1978 while he was on an investigative trip to Guyana.

In this case, Giffords was simply meeting with constituents when the gunman began firing. Fears of such violence could make officeholders more reluctant to hold open events where there often are often no law enforcement officers present.

Rhetorical attacks on officials have been getting tougher, and words that once would have seemed out of bounds now are almost routine. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at Obama when the president spoke to a joint session on health care in 2009. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has compared the president to Adolf Hitler.

Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican who challenged then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid last year, said she hoped "we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies" in dealing with "Harry Reid problems." (Reid was re-elected.) Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat, ran a TV ad calling GOP opponent Daniel Webster "Taliban Dan." (Webster won.)(5 of 5)Amid the escalating verbal attacks, concerns about security have been building. During the health care debate last year, chaotic protests led some members of Congress to stop holding town hall meetings. The FBI reports that death threats to members of Congress tripled in the second half of 2010, mostly tied to the issue of health care.

"I don't think there's any doubt but my colleagues are very concerned about the environment in which they are now operating," Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "It has been a much angrier, confrontational environment over the last two or three years than we have experienced in the past."

Some representatives said limits on interacting with voters could make their jobs difficult. "I'm concerned about putting up more walls between me and the people I represent," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said on Fox News Sunday.

The nation's angry politics is distressing many Americans. Nearly three of four voters polled in November called the fall election one of the nastiest they had seen, according to a survey by the Allegheny College center. Nearly two-thirds called the negative tone of politics bad for democracy.

The Tucson shootings feel "like a significant moment" to a nation bruised by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the bitter mid-term elections in November, said Kirk Hanson of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

"Americans are trying to cope with diminished expectations. We will not be the richest and most successful country in the next 25 years," he said. The shootings reinforce "a soul-searching that many in Washington and around the country have been engaged in. The questions about violent rhetoric were already being asked even before the first shots were fired on Saturday."

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AFP v. Morel: How will photographers benefit? | View Clip
01/10/2011
British Journal of Photography

Let it be clear: the high-profile case pitting freelance photographer Daniel Morel to Agence France Presse, and CNN is not just a personal fight between one photographer against larger corporations. It's a case that could impact all photographers. Here's why.

On 23 December, Daniel Morel found himself in a much stronger position in his legal fight against Agence France Presse when a judge refused to dismiss the photographer's claims. Already, we've seen the impact that decision has had. Late last week, CBS settled with the photographer, with terms that strongly favour Morel, BJP understands.

Now, let's come back to the judge's decision, as I summarised it in a previous report here.

Beyond the fact that District Judge William H. Pauley makes it clear that anything posted on Twitter and TwitPic can't be freely re-used and distributed by Agence France Presse – and any other user for that matter, the most notable finding in this memorandum and court order relates to Copyright Management Information (or metadata), which is defined in section 1202 of the United States' Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

As I wrote in the summary of Judge Pauley's findings, the Act defines CMI as any information conveyed in connection with a work in digital form – such as title, name of the author of the work or any other identifying information.

In this particular case, the images posted on TwitPic didn't have any embedded metadata – the information you usually find when opening an image in Photoshop and other similar applications. In previous legal cases, courts only found that section 1202 had been violated if the embedded metadata had been removed or altered. However, in this particular case, District Judge Pauley believes that the information doesn't have to be embedded – it can be shown alongside the image, as it was the case with Morel's images.

When Morel uploaded his 13 photographs, he did it under the “photomorel” and “Morel” handled, which were displayed alongside and below his images on his Twitter and TwitPic pages. The Court says that anyone, including Agence France Presse, understood that it meant Morel was the author of these images. Consequently, says Judge Pauley, by failing to include that information when it distributed and benefited financially from the images, Agence France Presse violated section 1202 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

As Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, points out, it's not the first time that a court has found that “failing to capture and republish metadata outside the file itself could violate 1202.” He adds: “Should more courts jump on this bandwagon, expect 1202 to become the copyright plaintiff's favorite new toy in 2011.”

What does that mean for photographers in the United States or for international photographers that have registered their images with the US Copyright Office? If these photographers find that an organization, with a legal presence in the US, have used their images without authorisation and credit, they will be able to argue violation of section 1202 and use Judge Pauley's comments to support their claims – as well as any other judges who ruled similarly.

For example, the Daily Mail, which is currently being sued for $1,5m after it used, without authorisation, images captured by Mavrix Photo, could be found to have violated section 1202 if it didn't credit the images to Mavrix Photo. In fact, the Daily Mail could get into much more trouble for the countless images it credits to “The Internet” – if these images, of course, have been shot by US-based photographers or have been registered with the US Copyright Office.

Daniel Morel's case, if it goes to a full trial – Agence France Presse, as we revealed, is looking to settle it before it reaches that stage – could become jurisprudence. But, more broadly, it's bound to raise awareness among the photographic community, and hopefully the wider public, that everything you find online isn't free to use – an excuse that has been, constantly, used by the Daily Mail and countless media organisations' CEOs and managers to justify the “stealing “ of images.

What about ?

Beyond this, Daniel Morel's case has revealed deep flaws in Agence France Presse's and ' practices, as Judge Pauley wrote in his order. While we knew that AFP acted improperly in this particular case, now we also find that shares responsibility, according to the judge.

Indeed, why did continue to distribute and profit from photographs it knew didn't belong to Lisandro Suero, in the first place, and later on, weren't even authorised for distribution? So far, has declined to comment on the case, arguing that the images came from Agence France Presse – via its distribution deal. Getty also tells BJP that it cannot comment as the case is still ongoing.

But that's just not enough. Judge Pauley writes: “Morel's allegations that AFP and Getty knew the images were his, disregarded his rights, and licensed his images to third parties are sufficient to plead knowledge and inducement of infringement." In short, knew it was doing something wrong and kept doing it anyway. Why?

Right now, BJP understands that Agence France Presse and are actively seeking a settlement, but why would a photographer who's winning his case settle?

The hope is that, when all is said and done, this case will push Agence France Presse and to review what went wrong, and, maybe, just maybe, become more transparent in their practices. They stand to benefit, especially considering the hit their brands have taken with this case and Judge Pauley's recent order.

Read our full coverage of the case:

Daniel Morel, CBS settle case (09 January 2011)

"We will prevail," says AFP of Morel case(04 January 2011)

Court hands Morel his first victory in AFP case(31 December 2010)

Morel to pursue legal case(08 November 2010)

AFP v. Morel: Judges reserves decision in AFP dismissal request(29 September 2010)

AFP v. Morel: the debate rages on(27 September 2010)

Court date set in AFP v. Morel case(22 September 2010)

JFL hits back at critics in AFP/Morel copyright case(14 June 2010)

No Visa support for Morel in Haiti case(09 June 2010)

Agence France Presse's slap to photographers(28 April 2010)

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Gold is a bubble - resist its charms | View Clip
01/10/2011
CNNMoney.com

(MONEY Magazine) -- Can you tell when a boom has turned into a bubble? One clue: When pop culture starts paying attention. The housing bubble, for example, brought both the TV show Flip This House and a rival on another network, Flip That House.

So if you own a lot of gold, you might regard a recent episode of Saturday Night Live as your first warning. In the opening skit, Bill Hader as China's President Hu Jintao declares that Glenn Beck was right and that "my government should have bought gold. Unfortunately, all our assets were tied up in U.S. Treasury bills."

Back in the real world, gold is trading at about $1,400 an ounce, up from less than $500 five years ago. That's a 23% annualized return, far outstripping the gains on stocks (1.1%) or bonds (6.1%). Fear is driving a lot of the rise.

Investors have always turned to gold in times of trouble, and we have worries to spare these days: a weakening dollar, a deeply divided political climate, and a growing budget deficit.

And in the aftermath of the bursting of two historic bubbles -- dotcom stocks a decade ago and then real estate -- many investors long to hold something that seems to have a timeless, intrinsic value. (Never mind that five years ago the market thought gold was intrinsically worth 65% less.)

You may be wondering whether you should be getting a piece of this action. This time last year, MONEY argued that although gold prices could continue to climb in the short run, the case for gold as an investment no longer made sense.

And that leads to another truth about bubbles: You'll almost never look smart trying to call them, at least at the outset. The real estate bubble was six years in the making; the dotcom bubble lasted five years before bursting.

The gold bubble could stay pumped up for a while. But that doesn't make gold less speculative and risky than it was a year ago.

Three solid reasons to be wary of gold:

Gold has traditionally been considered a hedge against high inflation. And gold bulls argue that the money the Federal Reserve has been pumping into the economy will eventually create runaway consumer prices, as more dollars chase too few goods.

0:00 /4:25Digging for gold at $1,400 an ounce

Gold, the thinking goes, will hold its purchasing power -- after all, it can't be manufactured at the whim of a central bank. Gold enthusiasts point to a strong precedent for its vigor: During the late 1970s and early '80s, when the inflation rate surged by double digits, gold prices also soared, rewarding investors handsomely.

Right now, though, there's no sign that inflation is about to rear up anytime soon. For all the Fed's efforts to inject money into the system, the folks who have it -- banks, mostly -- have been reluctant to do much besides sit on it, leaving too few dollars chasing too many goods.

As a result, the inflation rate stands at just 1.2%, down sharply from 2.7% in December 2009. In fact, the bond market has been signaling fears of low inflation or even deflation -- a sustained weakness in prices that could hold down the economy for years. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond is about 3%. Bond investors wouldn't accept such paltry yields if they saw high inflation.

Maybe bond investors are just wrong, and the gold traders are right. Or perhaps, says HSBC commodities analyst James Steel, investors are hedging their risks by buying bonds as a defense against the short-term threat of deflation, and gold as a store of value "in case inflation eventually takes off."

That's plausible. But the case for gold depends a lot on what you think "takes off" means. Many market observers do believe that inflation is going to rise eventually. The Fed seems to be trying to engineer at least a modest increase, and there's hardly anywhere to go but up from here.

However, a return to 3% inflation or even something a bit higher isn't what many gold investors are betting on. Many are concerned about low-probability catastrophes like the collapse of the global money system or a U.S. debt default. It's not that those things are impossible -- it's that gold owners have to worry about what happens to their investment if those things don't happen.

"Gold is already fully pricing in some very nasty scenarios, including high inflation," says Jason Hsu, chief investment officer at Research Affiliates. "The price is going to react in a very negative way to any reality that deviates from that expectation."

That reality would include a continuation of the sluggish, unemployment-ridden, but modestly growing economy we seem to be stuck in now.

And if the economy turns back to real health, watch out. From 1980 through 2005, gold earned zilch. In fact, if you had bought gold at its peak in 1980, you still wouldn't be back to even today on an inflation-adjusted basis.

"When the economy moves from recession to prosperity, there will be little reason to own gold," says Mark Williams, who teaches risk management at Boston University. "And speculators will learn the hard way that gold in times of financial stability is hazardous to investor health."

2. Sure, the dollar has its problems, but just look at the other guys

Related to fears of inflation is the bet that the U.S. dollar is about to tank. Part of the argument here is that the Fed's latest easing efforts will spook foreign investors. Or that fear of rising U.S. deficits will cause China and other sovereign investors to pull out of Treasuries.

When overseas investors sell Treasuries, that should mean less demand for dollars. And if the dollar falls, investors around the world tend to gravitate toward gold. Since June, in fact, the dollar has dropped about 10% against a trade-weighted basket of foreign currencies. Gold in the same period shot up 14%.

If you think the dollar is going to fall against foreign currencies, a better way to play it is to skip gold and simply own mutual funds that invest overseas. Most international funds hold stocks in their local currencies, so you get a jolt of extra returns when those currencies rise.

And even if the dollar turns out to be stronger, you'll still participate in the growth of the underlying business and get some dividend income to cushion the blow.

0:00 /05:36Debating gold's place in your portfolio

More to the point, reports of the death of the dollar have been greatly exaggerated. As much as you may worry about the deficit, the future direction of the dollar doesn't just depend on what's going on in the U.S. In early November, for instance, the greenback shot up 3.5% in little more than a week amid fears about government debt problems in Europe. Gold plunged by about the same percentage.

In fact, many experts contend that the dollar could soon stabilize -- and might even reverse course and start rising against currencies like the euro and the Japanese yen if the Fed's moves actually work at spurring the U.S. economy.

"The U.S. dollar is the best-looking horse in the glue factory," says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for the information and forecasting group IHS. "Many economies around the world are in far worse shape."

What about China dumping Treasuries?

Props to the writers at SNL for catching the zeitgeist, but it's unlikely that President Hu regrets China's having invested so much in the U.S. By financing U.S. debt China has kept its exports to our shores humming. That can't last forever, and there's always a risk that this trade pattern will unwind too fast. But at the moment, the Chinese seem to need us as much as we need them.

3. The gold boom has the earmarks of a speculators' rally

Scientists sometimes call a bad idea "not even wrong" -- meaning that it's so groundless it can't even be tested. In the same vein, you could say that gold isn't even overvalued. Because how would you value the stuff in the first place?

Unlike a bond, gold doesn't promise to pay you back with interest; unlike a stock, it doesn't have any hope of generating earnings over time. If gold were a house, it would be one you couldn't live in or collect rent from.

Unless you want to flash some bling, buying gold today is just a bet that someone else will want to pay you more for it tomorrow. That's why even advocates of diversified portfolios, like Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, often rule out gold investing as speculation. "The 'greater fool' theory is not a convincing argument for buying gold," says adviser William Bernstein, author of The Investor's Manifesto.

This actually makes the argument that gold is a "bubble" a little bit tricky. Since it produces no earnings in the first place, you can't say gold's price/earnings ratio is too high to justify the risk. But you can tease out some indicators that demand for gold is overinflated right now.

An oft-cited argument in favor of high prices is that gold is in limited supply -- new mines take up to a decade to come online. But as the chart above shows, the demand side of the equation has changed a lot.

In 2005 only 16% of the demand for gold came from investors most went to industrial users and jewelers. Now investors reflect almost 40% of the demand. As a result, gold prices are more exposed to speculators' whims.

Meir Statman, finance professor at Santa Clara University and author of What Investors Really Want, points out that investors buy assets for "expressive" and emotional as well as economic benefits -- and owning gold expresses a lot right now.

"It gives you the opportunity to convey to others that you're a 'player' like the hedge fund managers, or that you're a 'patriot' opposed to the country's growing debt," says Statman.

True, some investors refuse gold for expressive reasons too. Charlie Munger, longtime right-hand man of Warren Buffett, recently dismissed "hoarding" gold, telling an audience, "Even if it works, you're a jerk." But right now, gold bugs have the buzz. Are you comfortable betting this mood won't change -- or that you'll sense when to get out in time?

Gold fans often lean hard on history. Although gold may have hit new highs in nominal terms, the bulls note that it hasn't come close to hitting its peak price after accounting for inflation.

Figure that into the 1980 high of $850 and you get a price of around $2,300 an ounce -- some 63% higher than where gold is trading today. But that is just the greater fool theory dressed up with charts: If people paid $2,300 once, maybe they'll repeat that mistake. Well, in 2000 investors were willing to pay 45 times earnings for stocks. Want to bet they'll do that again?

There's always that sneaking suspicion that maybe the doomsayers are right. In an economy where nothing grows and paper currency goes for kindling, yes, you'll be glad to own gold. Plus, you're only human. When people around you seem to be getting rich on gold, it's hard to sit idly by.

That's why Harold Evensky, a Coral Gables, Fla., financial planner, doesn't think it's crazy to indulge in a little preventive speculation. Use no more than 1% of your total portfolio to play your gold hunches.

"If that prevents you from putting 15% or 20% of your portfolio into gold, it can be effective," says Evensky.

If you want to take a flier on unlikely events, consider a high-octane wager. You could plunk down a small -- emphasis on small -- amount of money to buy call options on the SPDR Gold Trust, an exchange-traded fund that invests in the metal.

The ETF cost around $138 a share in December. But for $3 you can buy the right to snap up GLD at $200 anytime until January 2012. If gold doesn't rise, your small investment is wiped out. But if it actually hits its $2,300 peak, the GLD will go for around $230, earning you $30.

That's a 10-bagger on your $3 investment, way better than you'll get buying the coins hawked by talk-radio yakkers. And if you sleep better knowing you have a Plan Z on the off chance those guys and the SNL writers are right, all the better.

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Gold is a bubble - resist its charms | View Clip
01/10/2011
WSAW-TV - Online

(MONEY Magazine) -- Can you tell when a boom has turned into a bubble? One clue: When pop culture starts paying attention. The housing bubble, for example, brought both the TV show Flip This House and a rival on another network, Flip That House.

So if you own a lot of gold, you might regard a recent episode of Saturday Night Live as your first warning. In the opening skit, Bill Hader as China's President Hu Jintao declares that Glenn Beck was right and that "my government should have bought gold. Unfortunately, all our assets were tied up in U.S. Treasury bills."

Back in the real world, gold is trading at about $1,400 an ounce, up from less than $500 five years ago. That's a 23% annualized return, far outstripping the gains on stocks (1.1%) or bonds (6.1%). Fear is driving a lot of the rise.

Investors have always turned to gold in times of trouble, and we have worries to spare these days: a weakening dollar, a deeply divided political climate, and a growing budget deficit.

And in the aftermath of the bursting of two historic bubbles -- dotcom stocks a decade ago and then real estate -- many investors long to hold something that seems to have a timeless, intrinsic value. (Never mind that five years ago the market thought gold was intrinsically worth 65% less.)

You may be wondering whether you should be getting a piece of this action. This time last year, MONEY argued that although gold prices could continue to climb in the short run, the case for gold as an investment no longer made sense.

And that leads to another truth about bubbles: You'll almost never look smart trying to call them, at least at the outset. The real estate bubble was six years in the making; the dotcom bubble lasted five years before bursting.

The gold bubble could stay pumped up for a while. But that doesn't make gold less speculative and risky than it was a year ago.

Three solid reasons to be wary of gold:

Gold has traditionally been considered a hedge against high inflation. And gold bulls argue that the money the Federal Reserve has been pumping into the economy will eventually create runaway consumer prices, as more dollars chase too few goods.

0:00 /4:25Digging for gold at $1,400 an ounce

Gold, the thinking goes, will hold its purchasing power -- after all, it can't be manufactured at the whim of a central bank. Gold enthusiasts point to a strong precedent for its vigor: During the late 1970s and early '80s, when the inflation rate surged by double digits, gold prices also soared, rewarding investors handsomely.

Right now, though, there's no sign that inflation is about to rear up anytime soon. For all the Fed's efforts to inject money into the system, the folks who have it -- banks, mostly -- have been reluctant to do much besides sit on it, leaving too few dollars chasing too many goods.

As a result, the inflation rate stands at just 1.2%, down sharply from 2.7% in December 2009. In fact, the bond market has been signaling fears of low inflation or even deflation -- a sustained weakness in prices that could hold down the economy for years. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond is about 3%. Bond investors wouldn't accept such paltry yields if they saw high inflation.

Maybe bond investors are just wrong, and the gold traders are right. Or perhaps, says HSBC commodities analyst James Steel, investors are hedging their risks by buying bonds as a defense against the short-term threat of deflation, and gold as a store of value "in case inflation eventually takes off."

That's plausible. But the case for gold depends a lot on what you think "takes off" means. Many market observers do believe that inflation is going to rise eventually. The Fed seems to be trying to engineer at least a modest increase, and there's hardly anywhere to go but up from here.

However, a return to 3% inflation or even something a bit higher isn't what many gold investors are betting on. Many are concerned about low-probability catastrophes like the collapse of the global money system or a U.S. debt default. It's not that those things are impossible -- it's that gold owners have to worry about what happens to their investment if those things don't happen.

"Gold is already fully pricing in some very nasty scenarios, including high inflation," says Jason Hsu, chief investment officer at Research Affiliates. "The price is going to react in a very negative way to any reality that deviates from that expectation."

That reality would include a continuation of the sluggish, unemployment-ridden, but modestly growing economy we seem to be stuck in now.

And if the economy turns back to real health, watch out. From 1980 through 2005, gold earned zilch. In fact, if you had bought gold at its peak in 1980, you still wouldn't be back to even today on an inflation-adjusted basis.

"When the economy moves from recession to prosperity, there will be little reason to own gold," says Mark Williams, who teaches risk management at Boston University. "And speculators will learn the hard way that gold in times of financial stability is hazardous to investor health."

2. Sure, the dollar has its problems, but just look at the other guys

Related to fears of inflation is the bet that the U.S. dollar is about to tank. Part of the argument here is that the Fed's latest easing efforts will spook foreign investors. Or that fear of rising U.S. deficits will cause China and other sovereign investors to pull out of Treasuries.

When overseas investors sell Treasuries, that should mean less demand for dollars. And if the dollar falls, investors around the world tend to gravitate toward gold. Since June, in fact, the dollar has dropped about 10% against a trade-weighted basket of foreign currencies. Gold in the same period shot up 14%.

If you think the dollar is going to fall against foreign currencies, a better way to play it is to skip gold and simply own mutual funds that invest overseas. Most international funds hold stocks in their local currencies, so you get a jolt of extra returns when those currencies rise.

And even if the dollar turns out to be stronger, you'll still participate in the growth of the underlying business and get some dividend income to cushion the blow.

0:00 /05:36Debating gold's place in your portfolio

More to the point, reports of the death of the dollar have been greatly exaggerated. As much as you may worry about the deficit, the future direction of the dollar doesn't just depend on what's going on in the U.S. In early November, for instance, the greenback shot up 3.5% in little more than a week amid fears about government debt problems in Europe. Gold plunged by about the same percentage.

In fact, many experts contend that the dollar could soon stabilize -- and might even reverse course and start rising against currencies like the euro and the Japanese yen if the Fed's moves actually work at spurring the U.S. economy.

"The U.S. dollar is the best-looking horse in the glue factory," says Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for the information and forecasting group IHS. "Many economies around the world are in far worse shape."

What about China dumping Treasuries?

Props to the writers at SNL for catching the zeitgeist, but it's unlikely that President Hu regrets China's having invested so much in the U.S. By financing U.S. debt China has kept its exports to our shores humming. That can't last forever, and there's always a risk that this trade pattern will unwind too fast. But at the moment, the Chinese seem to need us as much as we need them.

3. The gold boom has the earmarks of a speculators' rally

Scientists sometimes call a bad idea "not even wrong" -- meaning that it's so groundless it can't even be tested. In the same vein, you could say that gold isn't even overvalued. Because how would you value the stuff in the first place?

Unlike a bond, gold doesn't promise to pay you back with interest; unlike a stock, it doesn't have any hope of generating earnings over time. If gold were a house, it would be one you couldn't live in or collect rent from.

Unless you want to flash some bling, buying gold today is just a bet that someone else will want to pay you more for it tomorrow. That's why even advocates of diversified portfolios, like Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, often rule out gold investing as speculation. "The 'greater fool' theory is not a convincing argument for buying gold," says adviser William Bernstein, author of The Investor's Manifesto.

This actually makes the argument that gold is a "bubble" a little bit tricky. Since it produces no earnings in the first place, you can't say gold's price/earnings ratio is too high to justify the risk. But you can tease out some indicators that demand for gold is overinflated right now.

An oft-cited argument in favor of high prices is that gold is in limited supply -- new mines take up to a decade to come online. But as the chart above shows, the demand side of the equation has changed a lot.

In 2005 only 16% of the demand for gold came from investors most went to industrial users and jewelers. Now investors reflect almost 40% of the demand. As a result, gold prices are more exposed to speculators' whims.

Meir Statman, finance professor at Santa Clara University and author of What Investors Really Want, points out that investors buy assets for "expressive" and emotional as well as economic benefits -- and owning gold expresses a lot right now.

"It gives you the opportunity to convey to others that you're a 'player' like the hedge fund managers, or that you're a 'patriot' opposed to the country's growing debt," says Statman.

True, some investors refuse gold for expressive reasons too. Charlie Munger, longtime right-hand man of Warren Buffett, recently dismissed "hoarding" gold, telling an audience, "Even if it works, you're a jerk." But right now, gold bugs have the buzz. Are you comfortable betting this mood won't change -- or that you'll sense when to get out in time?

Gold fans often lean hard on history. Although gold may have hit new highs in nominal terms, the bulls note that it hasn't come close to hitting its peak price after accounting for inflation.

Figure that into the 1980 high of $850 and you get a price of around $2,300 an ounce -- some 63% higher than where gold is trading today. But that is just the greater fool theory dressed up with charts: If people paid $2,300 once, maybe they'll repeat that mistake. Well, in 2000 investors were willing to pay 45 times earnings for stocks. Want to bet they'll do that again?

There's always that sneaking suspicion that maybe the doomsayers are right. In an economy where nothing grows and paper currency goes for kindling, yes, you'll be glad to own gold. Plus, you're only human. When people around you seem to be getting rich on gold, it's hard to sit idly by.

That's why Harold Evensky, a Coral Gables, Fla., financial planner, doesn't think it's crazy to indulge in a little preventive speculation. Use no more than 1% of your total portfolio to play your gold hunches.

"If that prevents you from putting 15% or 20% of your portfolio into gold, it can be effective," says Evensky.

If you want to take a flier on unlikely events, consider a high-octane wager. You could plunk down a small -- emphasis on small -- amount of money to buy call options on the SPDR Gold Trust, an exchange-traded fund that invests in the metal.

The ETF cost around $138 a share in December. But for $3 you can buy the right to snap up GLD at $200 anytime until January 2012. If gold doesn't rise, your small investment is wiped out. But if it actually hits its $2,300 peak, the GLD will go for around $230, earning you $30.

That's a 10-bagger on your $3 investment, way better than you'll get buying the coins hawked by talk-radio yakkers. And if you sleep better knowing you have a Plan Z on the off chance those guys and the SNL writers are right, all the better.

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Chief Judge Kozinkski, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to Speak at Jan. 12 Santa Clara University Event on Civility, Partisanship and the Bench | View Clip
01/10/2011
Morningstar.com

As judges in Iowa and elsewhere get voted out of their seats by special-interest groups seeking to sway judicial decisions, a timely panel discussion entitled "Collegial Courts in a Contentious Climate" is being held Jan. 12 at Santa Clara University.

Moderated by Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, the program aims to explore the impact of our current sharply partisan political climate upon the functioning of our courts at the highest level, as well as the difficulty of reaching political compromises. Elected judges face particular problems, having to raise millions of dollars to retain their seats in contested elections.

The event, featuring panelists California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, will be held Jan. 12 at the University's Mayer Theatre from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m., 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, California 95053. More information is available at http://law.scu.edu/news/ingram-symposium-2011.cfm.

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski presides over the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appointments to his court have been political battlegrounds, and the Court is now equally divided between Democratic and Republican appointees. The issues before this Court, such as the gay marriage decision now under submission, are among the most contentious issues facing courts across the nation.

California's new Supreme Court Chief Justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, will be making one of her first public appearances since her appointment and confirmation by the voters. Among the chief reasons cited for her appointment by Governor Schwarzenegger are her political savvy in working with the legislative and executive branches of state government.

Moderator Uelmen has spent much of the past 25 years studying and researching appellate courts and the increasing political vulnerability of their Justices.

The event is the eighth annual Judge William A. Ingram Memorial Symposium, presented by the William A. Ingram Inn and the American Inns of Court. It is free for judges, Ingram Inn members, law students and faculty. It is $35 for attorneys seeking CLE credit.

Media are welcome to attend and are asked to RSVP with Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations. The event is scheduled to be taped by C-SPAN for airing at a later date.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California's oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

SCU Media Relations

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Chief Judge Kozinkski, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to Speak at Jan. 12 ... | View Clip
01/10/2011
FinanzNachrichten.de

As judges in Iowa and elsewhere get voted out of their seats by special-interest groups seeking to sway judicial decisions, a timely panel discussion entitled "Collegial Courts in a Contentious Climate" is being held Jan. 12 at Santa Clara University.

Moderated by Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, the program aims to explore the impact of our current sharply partisan political climate upon the functioning of our courts at the highest level, as well as the difficulty of reaching political compromises. Elected judges face particular problems, having to raise millions of dollars to retain their seats in contested elections.

The event, featuring panelists California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, will be held Jan. 12 at the University's Mayer Theatre from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m., 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, California 95053. More information is available at http://law.scu.edu/news/ingram-symposium-2011.cfm.

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski presides over the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appointments to his court have been political battlegrounds, and the Court is now equally divided between Democratic and Republican appointees. The issues before this Court, such as the gay marriage decision now under submission, are among the most contentious issues facing courts across the nation.

California's new Supreme Court Chief Justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, will be making one of her first public appearances since her appointment and confirmation by the voters. Among the chief reasons cited for her appointment by Governor Schwarzenegger are her political savvy in working with the legislative and executive branches of state government.

Moderator Uelmen has spent much of the past 25 years studying and researching appellate courts and the increasing political vulnerability of their Justices.

The event is the eighth annual Judge William A. Ingram Memorial Symposium, presented by the William A. Ingram Inn and the American Inns of Court. It is free for judges, Ingram Inn members, law students and faculty. It is $35 for attorneys seeking CLE credit.

Media are welcome to attend and are asked to RSVP with Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations. The event is scheduled to be taped by C-SPAN for airing at a later date.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California's oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

Contacts:

SCU Media Relations

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Chief Judge Kozinkski, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to Speak at Jan. 12 Santa Clara University Event on Civility, Partisanship and the Bench | View Clip
01/10/2011
About.com

As judges in Iowa and elsewhere get voted out of their seats by special-interest groups seeking to sway judicial decisions, a timely panel discussion entitled "Collegial Courts in a Contentious Climate" is being held Jan. 12 at . Moderated by law professor Gerald Uelmen, the program aims to explore the impact of our current sharply partisan political climate upon the functioning of our courts at the highest level, as well as the difficulty of reaching political compromises. Elected judges face particular problems, having to raise millions of dollars to retain their seats in contested elections.

The event, featuring panelists California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, will be held Jan. 12 at the University's Mayer Theatre from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m., 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, California 95053. More information is available at http://law.scu.edu/news/ingram-symposium-2011.cfm. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski presides over the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appointments to his court have been political battlegrounds, and the Court is now equally divided between Democratic and Republican appointees. The issues before this Court, such as the gay marriage decision now under submission, are among the most contentious issues facing courts across the nation.

California's new Supreme Court Chief Justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, will be making one of her first public appearances since her appointment and confirmation by the voters. Among the chief reasons cited for her appointment by Governor Schwarzenegger are her political savvy in working with the legislative and executive branches of state government.

Moderator Uelmen has spent much of the past 25 years studying and researching appellate courts and the increasing political vulnerability of their Justices.

The event is the eighth annual Judge William A. Ingram Memorial Symposium, presented by the William A. Ingram Inn and the American Inns of Court. It is free for judges, Ingram Inn members, law students and faculty. It is $35 for attorneys seeking CLE credit.

Media are welcome to attend and are asked to RSVP with Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations. The event is scheduled to be taped by C-SPAN for airing at a later date. About is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California's oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

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Chief Judge Kozinkski, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to Speak at Jan. 12 Santa Clara University Event on Civility, Partisanship and the Bench | View Clip
01/10/2011
TMCnet.com

As judges in Iowa and elsewhere get voted out of their seats by special-interest groups seeking to sway judicial decisions, a timely panel discussion entitled "Collegial Courts in a Contentious Climate" is being held Jan. 12 at Santa Clara University.

Moderated by Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, the program aims to explore the impact of our current sharply partisan political climate upon the functioning of our courts at the highest level, as well as the difficulty of reaching political compromises. Elected judges face particular problems, having to raise millions of dollars to retain their seats in contested elections.

The event, featuring panelists California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, will be held Jan. 12 at the University's Mayer Theatre from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m., 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, California 95053. More information is available at http://law.scu.edu/news/ingram-symposium-2011.cfm. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski presides over the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appointments to his court have been political battlegrounds, and the Court is now equally divided between Democratic and Republican appointees. The issues before this Court, such as the gay marriage decision now under submission, are among the most contentious issues facing courts across the nation.

California's new Supreme Court Chief Justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, will be making one of her first public appearances since her appointment and confirmation by the voters. Among the chief reasons cited for her appointment by Governor Schwarzenegger are her political savvy in working with the legislative and executive branches of state government. switch (VarBucketNo)

Moderator Uelmen has spent much of the past 25 years studying and researching appellate courts and the increasing political vulnerability of their Justices.

The event is the eighth annual Judge William A. Ingram Memorial Symposium, presented by the William A. Ingram Inn and the American Inns of Court. It is free for judges, Ingram Inn members, law students and faculty. It is $35 for attorneys seeking CLE credit.

Media are welcome to attend and are asked to RSVP with Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations. The event is scheduled to be taped by C-SPAN for airing at a later date.

About Santa Clara University Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California's oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

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Gabrielle Giffords shooting fuels debate over rhetoric | View Clip
01/10/2011
WZZM-TV - Online

WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - Has the nation's harsh political rhetoric become more than just talk - to the point of being dangerous?

The attempted assassination of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she spoke with voters outside a grocery store in Tucson fueled a debate Sunday over whether the sharp partisanship and anti-government language that now mark American politics have created a climate that makes violence against public officials more likely.

As a moderate Democrat who barely won re-election in a state torn by disputes over immigration policy, economic angst and growing mistrust in the government, Giffords was familiar with today's increasingly nasty political rhetoric. Her opponent last fall accused her of betraying her district. Meanwhile, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's website posted a map with cross hairs on 20 Democrat-held congressional districts Palin was targeting for takeover by Republicans in the November elections. Giffords' was one of them.

"You can't say they're just words; they have consequences," said South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, a member of the Democratic leadership. He said he worries about the effect of words on "people who may not be clicking on all cylinders."

He cautioned, "We need to take a look at what we're drifting into here."

However, some Republican leaders and conservative activists rejected the suggestion that their hard-edged language on issues such as health care and immigration could fairly be tied to Saturday's attack by a gunman in Tucson that left six people dead, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. Giffords, who was shot in the head, was in critical condition Sunday after surgery.

"This is a terrible politicization of a tragedy," said Rebecca Mansour, an aide to Palin. "We don't know (the suspect's) motive. It doesn't seem like he was motivated by a political ideology. Craziness is not an ideology."

She dismissed criticism by liberal blogs suggesting that Palin's congressional map had helped encourage violence.

The map didn't show Giffords herself in a gun's cross hairs, only her district, Mansour said. "The language of 'targeting a swing district' has been used long before we used it. We have no idea whether (suspect Jared Lee Loughner) ever saw that graphic."

Some national tragedies - the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, for one, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 - became moments of national unity and solemnity that prompted officeholders and voters to step back from the most polarized politics of the day, at least for a time.

Whether that will happen in the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson isn't clear, though officials on all sides decried the shooting and offered prayers for Giffords and the other victims. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced that Wednesday's scheduled vote to repeal the health care law that was passed by the Democrat-led Congress last session - a measure guaranteed to be the focus of heated rhetoric - would be postponed.

There were calls for comity: President Obama ordered American flags flown at half-staff and called for a national moment of silence today at 11 a.m. ET to honor the victims. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, urged members of Congress to rally together. "At a time when an individual has shown us humanity at its worst, we must rise to the occasion for our nation and show Congress at its best," he said during a conference call for members.

Even so, the instant venues that have accelerated the polarization of U.S. politics - cable TV, talk radio, political blogs, Twitter and more - have become the vehicles for fierce back-and-forths on who was to blame and what should be done.

"When politicians and news commentators use nasty, violent rhetoric, it revs up the base and it fills campaign coffers, but there are repercussions," said Daniel Shea of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. "No one wants to make a direct connection between this fellow's actions and a single political speech or event, but we have to worry about the climate."

Not so fast, said political scientist John Geer of Vanderbilt University. "Shootings happen all the time. It could be political, but it's more likely that this person isn't stable," he said, calling criticism part of democracy. "It's not for the faint-hearted."

The 'Tombstone' of the United States

Arizona is the center of some of the nation's most polarized politics.

The once-booming economy in the Grand Canyon State has been devastated by the mortgage crisis that has left some neighborhoods pockmarked with foreclosed homes. Fears about illegal immigration across the border with Mexico led the state Legislature last year to enact the nation's toughest crackdown. The state also has among the nation's most lenient gun laws.

"We're the 'Tombstone' of the United States of America," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told reporters Sunday, a reference to the dusty Arizona town that was the site of the legendary 19th-century gunfight at the O.K. Corral. "I have never been a proponent of letting everybody in this state carry weapons under any circumstances where they want. That's almost where we are."

The blunt-spoken Democratic sheriff called Arizona "the capital" of anti-government rhetoric that is heard across the country, often citing the Wall Street bailout and the health care law as outrageous overreaches by the federal government.

"The rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates - and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week - has impact on people, especially (those) who are unbalanced personalities to begin with," Dupnik said.

The health care law has been a flashpoint in Arizona. During the debate over the bill in August 2009, a protester at a Giffords event dropped a gun; police escorted him out. On the night the law passed in Washington with her support, a window in her district office was smashed.

In the November election, she faced a Republican challenger who had Tea Party support. Jesse Kelly, a businessman and Iraq veteran, used tough language against Giffords, accusing her of having "betrayed" her district on immigration and of having produced "four years of failure" in Congress.

She prevailed and won a third term, but barely.

An 'angrier, confrontational environment'

Just before 10 a.m. Saturday, Giffords typed out a tweet on her iPad. "My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now," it read. "Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later."

Setting up outside a grocery store on a weekend morning so voters would have a chance to chat is the type of event many members of Congress routinely hold to connect with their constituents. But a few minutes after Gifford sent the message on Twitter, Loughner, 22, walked up to her, pulled out a gun and hit her and 19 others in a spray of gunfire, according to charges filed Sunday.

Ultimately, the victims also may include events such as "Congress on Your Corner." Congressional leaders and U.S. Capitol police are reassessing security for lawmakers and their aides at the Capitol and when they travel to their home states, typically without any security. Republicans and Democrats will hold a rare joint meeting in the House on Wednesday to discuss security measures.

House records indicate only a few assassination attempts against members of Congress: A duel between two House members in 1838, a brutal fistfight over slavery between two House members and a senator in 1856, an attack by Puerto Rican nationalists on Congress in 1954 and the ambush of a California congressman in 1978 while he was on an investigative trip to Guyana.

In this case, Giffords was simply meeting with constituents when the gunman began firing. Fears of such violence could make officeholders more reluctant to hold open events where there often are often no law enforcement officers present.

Rhetorical attacks on officials have been getting tougher, and words that once would have seemed out of bounds now are almost routine. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at Obama when the president spoke to a joint session on health care in 2009. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has compared the president to Adolf Hitler.

Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican who challenged then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid last year, said she hoped "we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies" in dealing with "Harry Reid problems." (Reid was re-elected.) Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat, ran a TV ad calling GOP opponent Daniel Webster "Taliban Dan." (Webster won.)

Amid the escalating verbal attacks, concerns about security have been building. During the health care debate last year, chaotic protests led some members of Congress to stop holding town hall meetings. The FBI reports that death threats to members of Congress tripled in the second half of 2010, mostly tied to the issue of health care.

"I don't think there's any doubt but my colleagues are very concerned about the environment in which they are now operating," Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "It has been a much angrier, confrontational environment over the last two or three years than we have experienced in the past."

Some representatives said limits on interacting with voters could make their jobs difficult. "I'm concerned about putting up more walls between me and the people I represent," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said on Fox News Sunday.

The nation's angry politics is distressing many Americans. Nearly three of four voters polled in November called the fall election one of the nastiest they had seen, according to a survey by the Allegheny College center. Nearly two-thirds called the negative tone of politics bad for democracy.

The Tucson shootings feel "like a significant moment" to a nation bruised by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the bitter mid-term elections in November, said Kirk Hanson of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

"Americans are trying to cope with diminished expectations. We will not be the richest and most successful country in the next 25 years," he said. The shootings reinforce "a soul-searching that many in Washington and around the country have been engaged in. The questions about violent rhetoric were already being asked even before the first shots were fired on Saturday."

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Have nasty politics gotten out of hand?
01/10/2011
USA Today

WASHINGTON -- Has the nation's harsh political rhetoric become more than just talk -- to the point of being dangerous?

The attempted assassination of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she spoke with voters outside a grocery store in Tucson fueled a debate Sunday over whether the sharp partisanship and anti-government language that now mark American politics have created a climate that makes violence against public officials more likely.

As a moderate Democrat who barely won re-election in a state torn by disputes over immigration policy, economic angst and growing mistrust in the government, Giffords was familiar with today's increasingly nasty political rhetoric. Her opponent last fall accused her of betraying her district. Meanwhile, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's website posted a map with cross hairs on 20 Democrat-held congressional districts Palin was targeting for takeover by Republicans in the November elections. Giffords' was one of them.

"You can't say they're just words; they have consequences," said South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, a member of the Democratic leadership. He said he worries about the effect of words on "people who may not be clicking on all cylinders."

He cautioned, "We need to take a look at what we're drifting into here."

However, some Republican leaders and conservative activists rejected the suggestion that their hard-edged language on issues such as health care and immigration could fairly be tied to Saturday's attack by a gunman in Tucson that left six people dead, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. Giffords, who was shot in the head, was in critical condition Sunday after surgery.

"This is a terrible politicization of a tragedy," said Rebecca Mansour, an aide to Palin. "We don't know (the suspect's) motive. It doesn't seem like he was motivated by a political ideology. Craziness is not an ideology."

She dismissed criticism by liberal blogs suggesting that Palin's congressional map had helped encourage violence.

The map didn't show Giffords herself in a gun's cross hairs, only her district, Mansour said. "The language of 'targeting a swing district' has been used long before we used it. We have no idea whether (suspect Jared Lee Loughner) ever saw that graphic."

Some national tragedies -- the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, for one, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 -- became moments of national unity and solemnity that prompted officeholders and voters to step back from the most polarized politics of the day, at least for a time.

Whether that will happen in the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson isn't clear, though officials on all sides decried the shooting and offered prayers for Giffords and the other victims. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced that Wednesday's scheduled vote to repeal the health care law that was passed by the Democrat-led Congress last session -- a measure guaranteed to be the focus of heated rhetoric -- would be postponed.

There were calls for comity: President Obama ordered American flags flown at half-staff and called for a national moment of silence today at 11 a.m. ET to honor the victims. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, urged members of Congress to rally together. "At a time when an individual has shown us humanity at its worst, we must rise to the occasion for our nation and show Congress at its best," he said during a conference call for members.

Even so, the instant venues that have accelerated the polarization of U.S. politics -- cable TV, talk radio, political blogs, Twitter and more -- have become the vehicles for fierce back-and-forths on who was to blame and what should be done.

"When politicians and news commentators use nasty, violent rhetoric, it revs up the base and it fills campaign coffers, but there are repercussions," said Daniel Shea of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. "No one wants to make a direct connection between this fellow's actions and a single political speech or event, but we have to worry about the climate."

Not so fast, said political scientist John Geer of Vanderbilt University. "Shootings happen all the time. It could be political, but it's more likely that this person isn't stable," he said, calling criticism part of democracy. "It's not for the faint-hearted."

The 'Tombstone' of the United States

Arizona is the center of some of the nation's most polarized politics.

The once-booming economy in the Grand Canyon State has been devastated by the mortgage crisis that has left some neighborhoods pockmarked with foreclosed homes. Fears about illegal immigration across the border with Mexico led the state Legislature last year to enact the nation's toughest crackdown. The state also has among the nation's most lenient gun laws.

"We're the 'Tombstone' of the United States of America," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told reporters Sunday, a reference to the dusty Arizona town that was the site of the legendary 19th-century gunfight at the O.K. Corral. "I have never been a proponent of letting everybody in this state carry weapons under any circumstances where they want. That's almost where we are."

The blunt-spoken Democratic sheriff called Arizona "the capital" of anti-government rhetoric that is heard across the country, often citing the Wall Street bailout and the health care law as outrageous overreaches by the federal government.

"The rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates -- and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week -- has impact on people, especially (those) who are unbalanced personalities to begin with," Dupnik said.

The health care law has been a flashpoint in Arizona. During the debate over the bill in August 2009, a protester at a Giffords event dropped a gun; police escorted him out. On the night the law passed in Washington with her support, a window in her district office was smashed.

In the November election, she faced a Republican challenger who had Tea Party support. Jesse Kelly, a businessman and Iraq veteran, used tough language against Giffords, accusing her of having "betrayed" her district on immigration and of having produced "four years of failure" in Congress.

She prevailed and won a third term, but barely.

An 'angrier, confrontational environment'

Just before 10 a.m. Saturday, Giffords typed out a tweet on her iPad. "My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now," it read. "Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later."

Setting up outside a grocery store on a weekend morning so voters would have a chance to chat is the type of event many members of Congress routinely hold to connect with their constituents. But a few minutes after Gifford sent the message on Twitter, Loughner, 22, walked up to her, pulled out a gun and hit her and 19 others in a spray of gunfire, according to charges filed Sunday.

Ultimately, the victims also may include events such as "Congress on Your Corner." Congressional leaders and U.S. Capitol police are reassessing security for lawmakers and their aides at the Capitol and when they travel to their home states, typically without any security. Republicans and Democrats will hold a rare joint meeting in the House on Wednesday to discuss security measures.

House records indicate only a few assassination attempts against members of Congress: A duel between two House members in 1838, a brutal fistfight over slavery between two House members and a senator in 1856, an attack by Puerto Rican nationalists on Congress in 1954 and the ambush of a California congressman in 1978 while he was on an investigative trip to Guyana.

In this case, Giffords was simply meeting with constituents when the gunman began firing. Fears of such violence could make officeholders more reluctant to hold open events where there often are often no law enforcement officers present.

Rhetorical attacks on officials have been getting tougher, and words that once would have seemed out of bounds now are almost routine. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at Obama when the president spoke to a joint session on health care in 2009. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has compared the president to Adolf Hitler.

Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican who challenged then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid last year, said she hoped "we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies" in dealing with "Harry Reid problems." (Reid was re-elected.) Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat, ran a TV ad calling GOP opponent Daniel Webster "Taliban Dan." (Webster won.)

Amid the escalating verbal attacks, concerns about security have been building. During the health care debate last year, chaotic protests led some members of Congress to stop holding town hall meetings. The FBI reports that death threats to members of Congress tripled in the second half of 2010, mostly tied to the issue of health care.

"I don't think there's any doubt but my colleagues are very concerned about the environment in which they are now operating," Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "It has been a much angrier, confrontational environment over the last two or three years than we have experienced in the past."

Some representatives said limits on interacting with voters could make their jobs difficult. "I'm concerned about putting up more walls between me and the people I represent," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said on Fox News Sunday.

The nation's angry politics is distressing many Americans. Nearly three of four voters polled in November called the fall election one of the nastiest they had seen, according to a survey by the Allegheny College center. Nearly two-thirds called the negative tone of politics bad for democracy.

The Tucson shootings feel "like a significant moment" to a nation bruised by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the bitter mid-term elections in November, said Kirk Hanson of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

"Americans are trying to cope with diminished expectations. We will not be the richest and most successful country in the next 25 years," he said. The shootings reinforce "a soul-searching that many in Washington and around the country have been engaged in. The questions about violent rhetoric were already being asked even before the first shots were fired on Saturday."

Copyright © 2011 USA TODAY

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Ariz. shooting: Has political rhetoric gone too far? | View Clip
01/09/2011
USA Today - Online

WASHINGTON - Has the nation's harsh political rhetoric become more than just talk?

The attempted assassination of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she talked to voters outside a grocery store in Tucson fueled a debate Sunday over whether the sharp partisanship and anti-government language that now mark American politics have created a climate that makes violence against public officials more likely.

"You can't say they're just words; they have consequences," South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, a member of the Democratic leadership, said in an interview, especially given their potential impact on "people who may not be clicking on all cylinders."

He cautioned: "We need to take a look at what we're drifting into here."

But some Republican leaders and conservative activists flatly reject the suggestion that hard-edged language on issues such as health care and immigration could fairly be tied to the shocking attack that left six people dead, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. Giffords remained in critical condition after brain surgery. "This is a terrible politicization of a tragedy," Rebecca Mansour, an aide to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, said in an interview. "We don't know this person's motive. It doesn't seem like he was motivated by a political ideology. Craziness is not an ideology."

She disputed criticism on liberal blogs of Palin for posting a map that put the crosshairs of a gun on 20 Democratic congressional districts targeted for takeover in November's congressional elections. Giffords' was one of them.

The map on the SarahPAC website and on Palin's Facebook page didn't show Giffords herself in the crosshairs but only her district, Mansour said. "The language of targeting a swing district has been used long before we used it," she protested. "We have no idea whether that person ever saw that graphic."

Some national tragedies � the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, for one, and the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001 � became moments of national unity and solemnity that prompted officeholders and their constituents to step back from the most polarized politics of the day, at least for a time.

Whether that would happen in the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson wasn't clear, though officials on all sides decried the shooting and offered prayers for Giffords and the other victims. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced that Wednesday's scheduled vote to repeal the health care law, guaranteed to be an occasion for heated rhetoric, would be postponed.

Meanwhile, the same instant venues that have accelerated the polarization of American politics � cable TV, talk radio, political blogs, Twitter and more � became the vehicles for fierce back-and-forths on who was to blame and what should be done.

"When politicians and news commentators use nasty, violent rhetoric, it revs up the base and it fills campaign coffers, but there are repercussions," said Daniel Shea of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College in Meadville, Penn. "No one wants to make a direct connection between this fellow's actions and a single political speech or event, but we have to worry about the climate."

Not so fast, said John Geer, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University. "Shootings happen all the time. It could be political, but it's more likely that this person isn't stable," he cautioned, calling tough criticism part of democracy. "It's not for the faint-hearted."

A Grand Canyon of woes

Arizona is the center of some of the nation's most polarized politics.

The once-booming economy in the Grand Canyon State has been devastated by the mortgage crisis that has left some neighborhoods pockmarked with foreclosed homes. Fears about illegal immigration across the border with Mexico prompted the state legislature last year to enact the nation's toughest crackdown.

The state also has one of the nation's most lenient gun laws.

"I think we're the Tombstone of the United States of America," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told reporters at a news conference Sunday, a reference to the dusty Arizona town that was the site of the legendary 19th-century gunfight at the O.K. Corral. "I have never been a proponent of letting everybody in this state carry weapons under any circumstances where they want, and that's almost where we are."

The blunt-spoken Democratic sheriff called Arizona "the capital" for anti-government rhetoric that is heard across the country, often calling the Wall Street bailout and the health care law as overreach by the federal government.

"The rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates � and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week � has impact on people, especially (those) who are unbalanced personalities to begin with," Dupnik said.

The health care law had been a flashpoint in Arizona. During the debate over the bill, in August 2009, a protester at a Giffords event dropped a gun; police escorted him out. On the night the law passed in Washington, with her support, a window in her district office was smashed.

In the election, she faced a Republican challenger with Tea Party support. Jesse Kelly, a businessman and Iraq veteran, used tough language against her, accusing her of having "betrayed" her district on immigration and of having produced "four years of failure" in Congress on every issue.

She prevailed and won a third term, but barely.

'Congress on Your Corner'

A few minutes before 10 a.m Saturday, Giffords typed out a tweet on her iPad.

"My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now," it read. "Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later."

Setting up shop outside a grocery story on a weekend morning so voters would have a chance to say a word or express a concern is the kind of event many members of Congress routinely hold to connect with their constituents. But a few minutes after Gifford sent that message on Twitter, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner walked up to her, pulled out his gun and hit her and 19 others in a spray of gunfire, according to charges filed Sunday.

The victims may also include events like "Congress on Your Corner" themselves. Congressional leaders and the Capitol Police force are reassessing security for lawmakers and their aides at the Capitol and when they travel to their home states, typically without any regular security details. Members of Congress and their family members participated in a conference call Sunday afternoon to discuss security and other issues.

The attack seems to be virtually unprecedented. House records indicate only a handful of assassination attempts against members of Congress: A duel between two House members in 1838, a brutal fistfight over slavery between two House members and a senator in 1856, an attack by Puerto Rican nationalists on Congress in 1954 and the ambush of a California congressman in 1978 while he was on an investigative trip to Guyana.

In this case, however, the congresswoman was simply meeting with constituents when a gunman started firing. Fears of that sort of violence could make officeholders more reluctant to go to open events where there are often no law enforcement figures present.

Rhetorical attacks on public officials have been getting tougher, and words that once would have seemed out of bounds are now almost routine. President Obama has been labeled a socialist and likened to Hitler. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at Obama's speech to a joint session on health care in 2009.

Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican who challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last year, said she hoped "we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies" in dealing with "the Harry Reid problems." (Reid was re-elected.) Florida Rep. Alan Grayson ran a TV ad calling Republican opponent Daniel Webster "Taliban Dan." (Grayson lost.)

With the escalating verbal attacks, concerns about security have been building. During the health care debate last year, chaotic protests prompted some members to end the practice of holding town hall meetings. The FBI reports that death threats to members of Congress tripled in the second half of 2010, mostly tied to the health care debate.

"I don't think there's any doubt but my colleagues are very concerned about the environment in which they are now operating," Democratic whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said on CBS' Face the Nation On the other hand, some representatives said limits on interacting with voters could make it impossible to do their job. "I'm concerned about putting up more walls between me and the people I represent," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said on Fox.

The nation's angry politics distresses many Americans. Nearly three of four voters polled in November called the fall election one of the nastiest they had seen, according to a survey by the Allegheny College center. Nearly two-thirds called the negative tone of politics bad for democracy.

The nation has endured violent episodes in the past, but the shooting "feels like a significant moment" to a country bruised by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the bitter midterm elections in November, said Kirk Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

"Americans are trying to cope with diminished expectations; we will not be the richest and most successful country in the next 25 years," he said. The shooting "reinforces a soul-sarching that many in Washington and around the country have been engaged in the last month. The questions about violent rhetoric were already being asked even before the first shots were fired on Saturday."

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Gabrielle Giffords shooting fuels debate over rhetoric | View Clip
01/09/2011
USA Today - Online

WASHINGTON — Has the nation's harsh political rhetoric become more than just talk — to the point of being dangerous?

The attempted assassination of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she spoke with voters outside a grocery store in Tucson fueled a debate Sunday over whether the sharp partisanship and anti-government language that now mark American politics have created a climate that makes violence against public officials more likely.

As a moderate Democrat who barely won re-election in a state torn by disputes over immigration policy, economic angst and growing mistrust in the government, Giffords was familiar with today's increasingly nasty political rhetoric. Her opponent last fall accused her of betraying her district. Meanwhile, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's website posted a map with crosshairs on 20 Democrat-held congressional districts Palin was targeting for takeover by Republicans in the November elections. Giffords' was one of them.

"You can't say they're just words; they have consequences," said South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, a member of the Democratic leadership. He said he worries about the effect of words on "people who may not be clicking on all cylinders."

GIFFORDS: Still critical after deadly shooting spree

He cautioned, "We need to take a look at what we're drifting into here."

However, some Republican leaders and conservative activists rejected the suggestion that their hard-edged language on issues such as health care and immigration could fairly be tied to Saturday's attack by a gunman in Tucson that left six people dead, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. Giffords, who was shot in the head, was in critical condition Sunday after surgery.

"This is a terrible politicization of a tragedy," said Rebecca Mansour, an aide to Palin. "We don't know (the suspect's) motive. It doesn't seem like he was motivated by a political ideology. Craziness is not an ideology."

She dismissed criticism by liberal blogs suggesting that Palin's congressional map had helped encourage violence.

The map didn't show Giffords herself in a gun's crosshairs, only her district, Mansour said. "The language of 'targeting a swing district' has been used long before we used it. We have no idea whether (suspect Jared Lee Loughner) ever saw that graphic."

Some national tragedies — the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, for one, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 — became moments of national unity and solemnity that prompted officeholders and voters to step back from the most polarized politics of the day, at least for a time.

Whether that will happen in the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson isn't clear, though officials on all sides decried the shooting and offered prayers for Giffords and the other victims. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced that Wednesday's scheduled vote to repeal the health care law that was passed by the Democrat-led Congress last session — a measure guaranteed to be the focus of heated rhetoric — would be postponed.

There were calls for comity: President Obama ordered American flags flown at half-staff and called for a national moment of silence today at 11 a.m. ET to honor the victims. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, urged members of Congress to rally together. "At a time when an individual has shown us humanity at its worst, we must rise to the occasion for our nation and show Congress at its best," he said during a conference call for members.

Even so, the instant venues that have accelerated the polarization of U.S. politics — cable TV, talk radio, political blogs, and more — have become the vehicles for fierce back-and-forths on who was to blame and what should be done.

"When politicians and news commentators use nasty, violent rhetoric, it revs up the base and it fills campaign coffers, but there are repercussions," said Daniel Shea of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. "No one wants to make a direct connection between this fellow's actions and a single political speech or event, but we have to worry about the climate."

Not so fast, said political scientist John Geer of Vanderbilt University. "Shootings happen all the time. It could be political, but it's more likely that this person isn't stable," he said, calling criticism part of democracy. "It's not for the faint-hearted."

The 'Tombstone' of the United States

Arizona is the center of some of the nation's most polarized politics.

The once-booming economy in the Grand Canyon State has been devastated by the mortgage crisis that has left some neighborhoods pockmarked with foreclosed homes. Fears about illegal immigration across the border with Mexico led the state Legislature last year to enact the nation's toughest crackdown. The state also has among the nation's most lenient gun laws.

"We're the 'Tombstone' of the United States of America," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told reporters Sunday, a reference to the dusty Arizona town that was the site of the legendary 19th-century gunfight at the O.K. Corral. "I have never been a proponent of letting everybody in this state carry weapons under any circumstances where they want. That's almost where we are."

The blunt-spoken Democratic sheriff called Arizona "the capital" of anti-government rhetoric that is heard across the country, often citing the Wall Street bailout and the health care law as outrageous overreaches by the federal government.

"The rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates — and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — has impact on people, especially (those) who are unbalanced personalities to begin with," Dupnik said.

The health care law has been a flashpoint in Arizona. During the debate over the bill in August 2009, a protester at a Giffords event dropped a gun; police escorted him out. On the night the law passed in Washington with her support, a window in her district office was smashed.

In the November election, she faced a Republican challenger who had Tea Party support. Jesse Kelly, a businessman and Iraq veteran, used tough language against Giffords, accusing her of having "betrayed" her district on immigration and of having produced "four years of failure" in Congress.

She prevailed and won a third term, but barely.

An 'angrier, confrontational environment'

Just before 10 a.m. Saturday, Giffords typed out a tweet on her iPad. "My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now," it read. "Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later."

Setting up outside a grocery store on a weekend morning so voters would have a chance to chat is the type of event many members of Congress routinely hold to connect with their constituents. But a few minutes after Gifford sent the message on Twitter, Loughner, 22, walked up to her, pulled out a gun and hit her and 19 others in a spray of gunfire, according to charges filed Sunday.

Ultimately, the victims also may include events such as "Congress on Your Corner." Congressional leaders and U.S. Capitol police are reassessing security for lawmakers and their aides at the Capitol and when they travel to their home states, typically without any security. Republicans and Democrats will hold a rare joint meeting in the House on Wednesday to discuss security measures.

House records indicate only a few assassination attempts against members of Congress: A duel between two House members in 1838, a brutal fistfight over slavery between two House members and a senator in 1856, an attack by Puerto Rican nationalists on Congress in 1954 and the ambush of a California congressman in 1978 while he was on an investigative trip to Guyana.

In this case, Giffords was simply meeting with constituents when the gunman began firing. Fears of such violence could make officeholders more reluctant to hold open events where there often are often no law enforcement officers present.

Rhetorical attacks on officials have been getting tougher, and words that once would have seemed out of bounds now are almost routine. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at Obama when the president spoke to a joint session on health care in 2009. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has compared the president to Adolf Hitler.

Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican who challenged then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid last year, said she hoped "we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies" in dealing with "Harry Reid problems." (Reid was re-elected.) Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat, ran a TV ad calling GOP opponent Daniel Webster "Taliban Dan." (Webster won.)

Amid the escalating verbal attacks, concerns about security have been building. During the health care debate last year, chaotic protests led some members of Congress to stop holding town hall meetings. The FBI reports that death threats to members of Congress tripled in the second half of 2010, mostly tied to the issue of health care.

"I don't think there's any doubt but my colleagues are very concerned about the environment in which they are now operating," Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "It has been a much angrier, confrontational environment over the last two or three years than we have experienced in the past."

Some representatives said limits on interacting with voters could make their jobs difficult. "I'm concerned about putting up more walls between me and the people I represent," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said on Fox News Sunday.

The nation's angry politics is distressing many Americans. Nearly three of four voters polled in November called the fall election one of the nastiest they had seen, according to a survey by the Allegheny College center. Nearly two-thirds called the negative tone of politics bad for democracy.

The Tucson shootings feel "like a significant moment" to a nation bruised by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the bitter mid-term elections in November, said Kirk Hanson of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

"Americans are trying to cope with diminished expectations. We will not be the richest and most successful country in the next 25 years," he said. The shootings reinforce "a soul-searching that many in Washington and around the country have been engaged in. The questions about violent rhetoric were already being asked even before the first shots were fired on Saturday."

Return to Top



Have nasty politics gotten out of hand?
01/09/2011
ContentOne

Shootings fuel debate on tenor of rhetoric

By Susan Page and Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON - Has the nation's harsh political rhetoric become more than just talk - to the point of being dangerous?

The attempted assassination of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she spoke with voters outside a grocery store in Tucson fueled a debate Sunday over whether the sharp partisanship and anti-government language that now mark American politics have created a climate that makes violence against public officials more likely.

As a moderate Democrat who barely won re-election in a state torn by disputes over immigration policy, economic angst and growing mistrust in the government, Giffords was familiar with today's increasingly nasty political rhetoric. Her opponent last fall accused her of betraying her district. Meanwhile, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's website posted a map with crosshairs on 20 Democrat-held congressional districts Palin was targeting for takeover by Republicans in the November elections. Giffords' was one of them.

"You can't say they're just words; they have consequences," said South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, a member of the Democratic leadership. He said he worries about the impact of words on "people who may not be clicking on all cylinders."

He cautioned, "We need to take a look at what we're drifting into here."

However, some Republican leaders and conservative activists rejected the suggestion that their hard-edged language on issues such as health care and immigration could fairly be tied to Saturday's attack by a gunman in Tucson that left six people dead, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. Giffords, who was shot in the head, was in critical condition Sunday after surgery.

"This is a terrible politicization of a tragedy," said Rebecca Mansour, an aide to Palin. "We don't know (the suspect's) motive. It doesn't seem like he was motivated by a political ideology. Craziness is not an ideology."

She dismissed criticism by liberal blogs suggesting that Palin's congressional map had helped to encourage violence.

The map didn't show Giffords herself in a gun's crosshairs, only her district, Mansour said. "The language of 'targeting a swing district' has been used long before we used it. We have no idea whether (suspect Jared Lee Loughner) ever saw that graphic."

Some national tragedies - the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, for one, and the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001 - became moments of national unity and solemnity that prompted officeholders and voters to step back from the most polarized politics of the day, at least for a time.

Whether that will happen in the aftermath of the tragedy in Tucson isn't clear, though officials on all sides decried the shooting and offered prayers for Giffords and the other victims. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced that Wednesday's scheduled vote to repeal the health care law that was passed by the Democrat-led Congress last session - a measure guaranteed to be the focus of heated rhetoric - would be postponed.

There were calls for comity: President Obama ordered American flags flown at half-mast and called for a national moment of silence today at 11 a.m. ET to honor the victims. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, urged members of Congress to rally together. "At a time when an individual has shown us humanity at its worst, we must rise to the occasion for our nation and show Congress at its best," he said during a conference call for members.

Even so, the instant venues that have accelerated the polarization of U.S. politics - cable TV, talk radio, political blogs, Twitter and more - have become the vehicles for fierce back-and-forths on who was to blame and what should be done.

"When politicians and news commentators use nasty, violent rhetoric, it revs up the base and it fills campaign coffers, but there are repercussions," said Daniel Shea of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. "No one wants to make a direct connection between this fellow's actions and a single political speech or event, but we have to worry about the climate."

Not so fast, said political scientist John Geer of Vanderbilt University. "Shootings happen all the time. It could be political, but it's more likely that this person isn't stable," he said, calling criticism part of democracy. "It's not for the faint-hearted."

The 'Tombstone' of the United States

Arizona is the center of some of the nation's most polarized politics.

The once-booming economy in the Grand Canyon State has been devastated by the mortgage crisis that has left some neighborhoods pockmarked with foreclosed homes. Fears about illegal immigration across the border with Mexico led the state Legislature last year to enact the nation's toughest crackdown. The state also has among the nation's most lenient gun laws.

"We're the 'Tombstone' of the United States of America," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told reporters Sunday, a reference to the dusty Arizona town that was the site of the legendary 19th-century gunfight at the O.K. Corral. "I have never been a proponent of letting everybody in this state carry weapons under any circumstances where they want. That's almost where we are."

The blunt-spoken Democratic sheriff called Arizona "the capital" of anti-government rhetoric that is heard across the country, often citing the Wall Street bailout and the health care law as outrageous overreaches by the federal government.

"The rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates - and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week - has impact on people, especially (those) who are unbalanced personalities to begin with," Dupnik said.

The health care law has been a flashpoint in Arizona. During the debate over the bill in August 2009, a protester at a Giffords event dropped a gun; police escorted him out. On the night the law passed in Washington with her support, a window in her district office was smashed.

In the November election, she faced a Republican challenger who had Tea Party support. Jesse Kelly, a businessman and Iraq veteran, used tough language against Giffords, accusing her of having "betrayed" her district on immigration and of having produced "four years of failure" in Congress.

She prevailed and won a third term, but barely.

An 'angrier, confrontational environment'

Just before 10 a.m. Saturday, Giffords typed out a tweet on her iPad. "My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now," it read. "Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later."

Setting up outside a grocery story on a weekend morning so voters would have a chance to chat is the type of event many members of Congress routinely hold to connect with their constituents. But a few minutes after Gifford sent the message on Twitter, Loughner, 22, walked up to her, pulled out a gun and hit her and 19 others in a spray of gunfire, according to charges filed Sunday.

Ultimately, the victims also may include events such as "Congress on Your Corner." Congressional leaders and U.S. Capitol police are reassessing security for lawmakers and their aides at the Capitol and when they travel to their home states, typically without any security. Republicans and Democrats will hold a rare joint meeting in the House on Wednesday to discuss security measures.

House records indicate only a few assassination attempts against members of Congress: A duel between two House members in 1838, a brutal fistfight over slavery between two House members and a senator in 1856, an attack by Puerto Rican nationalists on Congress in 1954 and the ambush of a California congressman in 1978 while he was on an investigative trip to Guyana.

In this case, Giffords was simply meeting with constituents when the gunman began firing. Fears of such violence could make officeholders more reluctant to hold open events where there often are often no law enforcement officers present.

Rhetorical attacks on officials have been getting tougher, and words that once would have seemed out of bounds now are almost routine. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" at Obama when the president spoke to a joint session on health care in 2009. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has compared the president to Adolf Hitler.

Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican who challenged then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid last year, said she hoped "we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies" in dealing with "Harry Reid problems." (Reid was re-elected.) Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat, ran a TV ad calling GOP opponent Daniel Webster "Taliban Dan." (Webster won.)

Amid the escalating verbal attacks, concerns about security have been building. During the health care debate last year, chaotic protests led some members of Congress to stop holding town hall meetings. The FBI reports that death threats to members of Congress tripled in the second half of 2010, mostly tied to the issue of health care.

"I don't think there's any doubt but my colleagues are very concerned about the environment in which they are now operating," Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "It has been a much angrier, confrontational environment over the last two or three years than we have experienced in the past."

Some representatives said limits on interacting with voters could make their jobs difficult. "I'm concerned about putting up more walls between me and the people I represent," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said on Fox News Sunday.

The nation's angry politics is distressing many Americans. Nearly three of four voters polled in November called the fall election one of the nastiest they had seen, according to a survey by the Allegheny College center. Nearly two-thirds called the negative tone of politics bad for democracy.

The Tucson shootings feel "like a significant moment" to a nation bruised by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the bitter mid-term elections in November, said Kirk Hanson of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

"Americans are trying to cope with diminished expectations. We will not be the richest and most successful country in the next 25 years," he said. The shootings reinforce "a soul-searching that many in Washington and around the country have been engaged in. The questions about violent rhetoric were already being asked even before the first shots were fired on Saturday."

Copyright © 2011 Gannett News Service

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Facebook IPO likely by April 2012 | View Clip
01/08/2011
Oroville Mercury-Register

Inflaming a subject of feverish speculation from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Facebook has indicated that it could be on track for an initial public offering by April 2012, or at a minimum will have to disclose its closely guarded financial information.

What would easily be the largest IPO since Google's in August of 2004 would create dozens if not hundreds of instant millionaires, likely encourage other social Internet companies such as LinkedIn and Twitter to go public -- and give a boost to the high-end housing market and Silicon Valley's luxury car dealers.

Published reports Thursday said the investment bank Goldman Sachs is circulating a memorandum to potential Facebook investors saying that the Palo Alto-based social-networking site will breach a critical federal securities limit this year, when the number of its shareholders tops 500. That will force the company by April of next year to begin disclosing the financial details of its business, with the additional option of selling its shares.

"In this social-networking space, there is the possibility of revived IPO activity," said Stephen Diamond, a securities law expert at the Santa Clara University School of Law. "This means, as it did in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and as it did in 2004, a flood of money coming into the valley. And, once again, an opening question is whether it's too much money chasing too few good projects."

Facebook would have the option under federal law to

indefinitely postpone a public offering of its shares, so an IPO next spring is not certain. That may not be so surprising because CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has long stated his reluctance to part with the privacy and control Facebook enjoys as a company with a very small pool of shareholders.

If Facebook delayed selling shares, "it would be unusual, in the sense that you'd be opening the kimono, but you're not getting the cash outcome of public shares," Diamond said.

Facebook declined to comment Thursday.

With Zuckerberg and others saying that Internet companies and services built around people's social relationships are poised to take off and transform whole industries, shares of Facebook and other large social startups, including Twitter and Zynga, are attracting intense interest on private secondary markets, which usually allow former employees to sell their shares to wealthy investors hoping to grab a piece of a rising star before the general public can.

IPO speculation reached a fevered pitch this week, when Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor agreed to invest $500 million in Facebook. The investment gave Facebook a $50 billion valuation -- higher than Silicon Valley stalwarts such as eBay and Yahoo.

Goldman will create a "Special Purpose Vehicle" that allows Facebook shareholders to sell their stakes to the investment bank, which acts as a single shareholder. Goldman plans to sell the shares to its wealthy customers, a deal that securities experts like Diamond, and Adam Pritchard of the University of Michigan law school, say will give Goldman the inside track for the lucrative job of being the lead underwriter for any Facebook IPO. Pritchard said the SEC is certain to scrutinize the unconventional arrangement, however.

The Goldman memorandum, according to the New York Times, which obtained a copy, also said Facebook posted $355 million in profit on $1.2 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2010. That nearly 30 percent profit margin is roughly similar to what Google posted for the first nine months of 2010, when it had nearly $6 billion in net income on $20.9 billion in revenue.

For entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors, the news that a Facebook IPO could finally be at hand was exciting.

"It's a very good sign because it's validation that social-media and social-networking companies can exist and thrive as independent companies," said Brian Pokorny, CEO of DailyBooth, a San Francisco startup that allows members to post and share daily photos of themselves.

"In terms of what it does for the macro economy and the local economy, a few billion-dollar IPOs sure make things more robust," said Bing Gordon, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers partner who heads the sFund, a $250 million investment pool for online social startups. "These are wildly exciting times."

Diamond said he is skeptical that Facebook will have the same long-term economic impact on the valley that Intel, Apple or Google have had but that it will make a few people very rich in the short term.

"I imagine there are any number of real estate agents who are sharpening their contact list for buyers of real estate in Atherton," he said, "because there will be some Facebook billionaires from this."

Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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Moreno stepping down from high court | View Clip
01/08/2011
San Mateo Daily Journal

SAN FRANCISCO — The only Democratic appointee and Latino on the California Supreme Court said Thursday that he's stepping down next month, giving Gov. Jerry Brown an early opportunity to shape the state's high court.

Justice Carlos Moreno, 62, submitted his resignation to Brown on Wednesday, according to court spokeswoman Lynn Holton. His last day will be Feb. 28.

Moreno was named to the state Supreme Court in 2001 by then-Gov. Gray Davis and was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

In a brief statement, Moreno said he planned on returning to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

“It has been a truly unique honor and privilege to have served the people of California as a judge for over 24 years and, together with my great colleagues on the court, to have played a modest role in shaping California jurisprudence,” Moreno said in the statement.

Gov. Brown thanked the departing justice for his service and “intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious,” said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

Moreno's resignation, which surprised some legal observers, gives Brown his first chance to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court since his last term as governor more than 25 years ago.

“It's an opportunity for him to make a very important pick very quickly for his administration,” said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. “This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process.”

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Gov. Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so “it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court.”

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelman said.

Brown is likely to be proceed cautiously with the appointment after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor — Cruz Reynoso, Joseph Grodin and former Chief Justice Rose Bird — were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty, Uelman said.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

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Around the Parishes | View Clip
01/08/2011
Catholic Voice Oakland - Online

Lay ministers meet

Lay leaders and ministers around the Oakland Diocese will gather for a day of enrichment, information and camaraderie at the annual Lay Ecclesial Ministers Annual Convocation and Blessing on Jan. 14 at St. Joan of Arc Parish in San Ramon.

Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will bless all who serve as lay ecclesial ministers at the event, which will be from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The day includes a morning session, “Celebrating Sabbath: The Pause That Refreshes,” with Sister Maria Elena Martinez, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, who is active in lay ecclesial minister leadership formation throughout the U.S. and in Chiapas, Mexico. Christian Brother William Woeger, executive director of the Archdiocese of Omaha Office of Worship, will lead the afternoon session, “Celebrating Liturgy: Welcoming the New Roman Missal.” Brother Woeger will offer insights to the implementation of the New Roman Missal in the Oakland Diocese, and practical tools to assist in the effort.

Late registrations, which includes morning hospitality and lunch, will be accepted at the door at a cost of $25. For more information go to the website, www.oakdiocese.org/lemc, or phone Sandra Martinez at (510) 267-8371.

Help for Haiti

The Nonviolent Peacekeeping Group at Holy Spirit/Newman Hall Parish in Berkeley is sponsoring its second annual fundraiser on Jan. 21 to help in the recovery of Haiti through the work of The Little Sisters of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. The fundraiser, which includes a PowerPoint presentation by Barbara Wander, will be from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the lounge at Newman Hall.

Last year's fundraiser resulted in more than $12,000 being sent to Haiti. The devastating earthquake in January 2010 affected 18 of their missions, resulting in the deaths of 150 students, four nuns, four teachers and four young women. The current cholera epidemic has claimed the lives of more students and their parents. For those who cannot attend the fundraiser but wish to contribute can make their donations (tax deductible), payable to the Sisters of Loretto and mail or drop them off at Holy Spirit/Newman Church, 2700 Dwight Way, Berkeley 94707, from Jan. 15 through Feb. 1. For more information, contact Kara at (510) 594-2401.

The Respect Life Ministry at St. Joseph Parish in Pinole will be showing a film, “The Biology of Prenatal Development,” in English and Spanish at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in the church at 837 Tennent Ave. The acclaimed DVD shows life at all stages of prenatal development through the eyes of an intrauterine camera. All are invited.

The St. Felicitas CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) Fifth-Grade National Boys Basketball team collected over 140 items of warm clothing and 190 pairs of socks and distributed them to the homeless at the Portuguese Centennial Park in Hayward last month. Dale Burdick, outreach coordinator of Beans and Rice and Jesus Christ, worked on the outreach effort with the boys' coach, Mike Carvalho, to serve beans and rice to about 40 homeless people.

Around the Schools

The student council at Carondelet High School in Concord organized a schoolwide drive for toys, books and warm clothing during Advent for the benefit of seven different agencies. Representatives from the agencies attended an Advent prayer service at the campus on Dec. 13, where they received the donations. The agencies are Lincoln Elementary School in Richmond; George Mark House in San Leandro, which serves terminally and critically ill children; Camp Enea, which serves mentally and physically challenged adults and children; Dorothy's Place, which serves the homeless in the Central Valley; Monument Crisis Center

in Concord and the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, also in Concord; and St. Martin de Porres School in Oakland.

Students at St. Francis of Assisi School in Concord helped make Christmas a magical time for a number of youths in their community. The students raised money for the Contra Costa firefighters to buy unassembled bicycles. The students joined the fire fighters in assembling the bikes at the school. The firehouse delivered the bikes to the youths a week before Christmas.

The holiday spirit was also thriving at Assumption School in San Leandro. The kindergarten class collected blankets and coats for the homeless as their service learning project. The school also held its annual St. Nick's Boutique in which parents donated used and new items that were purchased by the students as holiday gifts. The fundraiser raised $3,825 and proceeds were donated to the Davis Street Family Resource Center, which serves many families in need in the community. The second- and fifth-grade classes visited Salem Lutheran Convalescent Home in Oakland to deliver Christmas decorations and provide entertainment for the residents. School families also supported the service learning project of the third grade class by donating close to 300 items for Toys for Tots, which were distributed to children in need in Alameda County.

Students at St. Jerome School in El Cerrito recently raised $710 to support the Sisters of the Holy Names' Community Education Center in Tutwiler, Mississippi. The Sisters had appealed for funds to provide Christmas festivities for the children of Tutwiler, a small, impoverished community. Although there is no Catholic parish community in the town, the Sisters of the Holy Names operate Tutwiler Community Education Center, which provides outreach to children and seniors as well as the operation of a health clinic. When she returns from Mississippi, Sister Diane Nixon, SNJM, plans to visit St. Jerome School to share pictures and stories.

The acclaimed football team at Concord's De La Salle High School, capped off a 14-0 season by capturing the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) Open Division Championship on Dec. 18. The Spartans defeated the team from Servite-Anaheim, 48-8, on a rain-soaked field at the Home Depot Center in Carson. The win is the third state title in four years for the Spartans.

The Salesian High School football team (Richmond) is the North Coast Section (NCS) Division Four champion, with an overtime win (28-21) against Middletown at Alhambra High School in Martinez.

The varsity football team at St. Mary's High School in Berkeley received the North Coast Section (NCS) Scholastic Football Championship Team Award for fall 2010 last month. Out of 168 schools in the NCS the Panthers were recognized for combining outstanding academic performance with interscholastic athletic participation. The team has a grade-point average of 3.14. A pennant marking the honor will be added to the many athletic awards on display in the school auditorium.

Nicholas Sterzinger, Kevin Dito and Kevin Wark, members of Boy Scout Troop 364 in Clayton and graduates of De La Salle High School in Concord, all earned their Eagle Scout Rank this past summer. Sterzinger and Wark are currently attending Diablo Valley College, while Dito recently completed boot camp and is serving his country as a U.S. Marine.

The Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley has launched a new program, the master of theological studies for working professionals who intend to remain in their current profession and integrate theology into their profession. The program is suitable for professionals with a minimum of two years of experience in a specialized field, such as business, law, health care, education and other related fields who are interested in exploring how their professional experience interfaced with the life and mission of the Church. Applications for 2011 will be accepted until Feb. 15. For more information, go to www.dspt.edu/mts or dial (510) 883-2073.

Among the Religious

The Congregation of the Holy Cross moved a step closer in concluding the planned merger of two of its U.S. provinces. At a joint meeting last month leaders from the current Eastern and Indiana provinces agreed that the merger will take effect July 1. More than 410 priests and Brothers and 80 seminarians will make up the new province, called the United States Province of Priests and Brothers, which will be based in South Bend, Indiana. The Holy Cross congregation operates six colleges and universities throughout the country, the most famous of which is the University of Notre Dame, as well as 17 parishes from Vermont to Oregon and numerous ministries. In the Oakland Diocese, five Holy Cross Fathers currently part of the Indiana Province, are based in Berkeley. Holy Cross Brothers sponsor Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward.

Names, News, Notes

A new website seeks to educate Catholics about the death penalty in California and to actively promote the repeal of the state's death penalty law. The website, which can be found at www.ccladp.org, is designed to be a resource for Catholics who have questions about participation in enforcing the death penalty. The website developed in response to a public opinion poll showing that, contrary to Church teaching, Catholics registered the highest support for the continuation of the death penalty among all religious groups in California. The website is sponsored by Santa Clara University and California Catholic Lawyers Against the Death Penalty.

Volunteer alert! The American Red Cross Blood Donation Center, at 6230 Claremont Ave. in Oakland, is seeking volunteers. Learn more by attending the Center's volunteer orientations from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 11 and 18 or by contacting Anne at (510) 594-5165 or BlackstoneA@usa.redcross.org.

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The 'Lord Voldemort' of Legal Education Takes on Faculty Tenure | View Clip
01/08/2011
Business Insider - Online, The

National Law Journal, 'Voldemort' Attempts to Salve Worries That ABA Might Drop Tenure Requirement: A colleague, Santa Clara University School of Law Dean Donald Polden said, called him the "Lord Voldemort of legal education." Polden is chairman of an ABA committee that is reviewing, and consider...

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A sustainable life | View Clip
01/08/2011
CHINAdaily

It's hard enough to make it through a week, never mind a new year, of good intentions.

The problem is often with the goals themselves: Be loving to your spouse. Stay within your budget.

Easy to say, but hard to do. Here is a guide to making some of those resolutions last. A spending plan is like a diet. It's hard to stay on it. What would you do if your wallet became harder to open as your spending approached or exceeded your budget? Would you think twice about where your money was going?

A product designer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who created a working prototype for such a wallet thinks so, and he may be on to something.

Part of the reason so many people spend too much, or fail to stick to budgets, is because parting with money has become an abstraction in increasingly cashless societies. Credit cards provide immediate gratification, but no immediate consequences. Plucking actual dollars from your pile of cash, research suggests, is more painful, and leads you to spend less.

There's another factor that prevents people from being model financial citizens (besides, of course, circumstances like joblessness). Humans are notoriously poor at following through with their plans. Sticking to a budget feels too much like dieting. And we often fail at both for the same reasons: too much focus on the restrictions, not enough on fun. So it's not surprising when people end up bingeing later, more than making up for dollars not spent or calories not consumed.

On Mint.com, a money-tracking Web site, top goals among the nearly half a million users include paying off debt, creating an emergency fund and saving for retirement.

The battle, say money and psychology experts, is finding ways to close the gap between good intentions and human nature. So when every dollar counts, how can you accomplish what you're not necessarily wired to do?

It may be a while before that smart wallet hits the shelves (a hinge in the middle of the wallet, wired to your bank account balance via a Bluetooth connection to your cellphone, makes it harder to open as you reach a spending limit). The main inventor, John Kestner, said he's working on bringing its retail price down to $60, to "avoid obvious irony."

The best budget strategy is not to think about it as budgeting at all. Instead, set up broad goals and automate all savings and other priorities where you can. "Self-control is wonderful, but it's just not sufficient," said Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University in California who focuses on behavioral finance.

Start by becoming more conscious of your spending, whether you jot it down in a notepad, on a spreadsheet, or on a Web site. Then, give your spending plan a sense of purpose; budgets with a goal, whether it's a vacation or buying a home, tend to be the most successful.

"For there to be sustainable change, there needs to be some sort of positive motivation," said Amanda Clayman, a financial therapist in New York. People tend to set unrealistic goals that don't factor in their lifestyle, she said.

"Ultimately, what we want our money to be is an energy source," Ms. Clayman said. "It should help us get somewhere or do something."

One strategy to keep spending in check is to employ what's known as mental accounting �?dividing your money into separate mental accounts that you treat differently. The easiest way to set up a system, experts suggest, is to put your income into separate accounts or subaccounts, including one that distinguishes spending money from money needed for recurring household expenses. And think about working backward, as a way to keep things simple: instead of setting up an overly detailed budget, first decide how much you want to save for retirement and other goals, then work with what's left over. If you want to cut spending, attack a few big categories where you can make the biggest difference.

And don't rely on doing it yourself. Arrange to have the money withdrawn from your paycheck.

"We need to exploit automaticity," said Professor David Laibson, a behavioral economist at Harvard University.

He points to the success of automatic enrollment into retirement savings plans. "We need to build in more of these commitment mechanisms, so we can live up to our intentions." Good marriages do not neglect the individual A lasting marriage does not always signal a happy marriage. Plenty of miserable couples have stayed together for children, religion or other practical reasons. But for many couples, it's just not enough to stay together. They want a relationship that is meaningful and satisfying. In short, they want a sustainable marriage.

"The things that make a marriage last have more to do with communication skills, mental health, social support, stress - those are the things that allow it to last or not," says Arthur Aron, a psychology professor who directs the Interpersonal Relationships Laboratory at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. "But those things don't necessarily make it meaningful or enjoyable or sustaining to the individual."

The notion that the best marriages are those that bring satisfaction to the individual may seem counterintuitive. After all, isn't marriage supposed to be about putting the relationship first?

Not anymore. For centuries, marriage was viewed as an economic and social institution, and the emotional and intellectual needs of the spouses were secondary to the survival of the marriage itself. But in modern relationships, people are looking for a partnership, and they want partners who make their lives more interesting.

Caryl Rusbult, a researcher at Vrije University in Amsterdam who died last January, called it the "Michelangelo effect," referring to the manner in which close partners "sculpt" each other in ways that help them attain goals.

Dr. Aron and Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., a professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey, have studied how individuals use a relationship to accumulate knowledge and experiences, a process they call "selfexpansion." Research shows that the more self-expansion people experience, the more satisfied they are in the relationship.

Dr. Lewandowski developed a series of questions: How much has being with your partner resulted in your learning new things? How much has knowing your partner made you a better person?

Self-expansion can lead to more sustainable relationships, Dr. Lewandowski says.

"If you're seeking self-growth and obtain it from your partner, then that puts your partner in a pretty important position," he explains. "And being able to help your partner's self-expansion would be pretty pleasing to yourself."

The concept explains why people are delighted when dates treat them to new experiences. Individuals grow with their partners' help in big and small ways. It happens when they introduce new friends, or casually talk about a new restaurant or a story in the news.

The effect of self-expansion is particularly pronounced when people first fall in love. In research at the University of California at Santa Cruz, 325 undergraduate students were given questionnaires five times over 10 weeks. They were asked, "Who are you today?" and given three minutes to describe themselves.

They were also asked about recent experiences, including whether they had fallen in love.

After students reported falling in love, they used more varied words in their self-descriptions. The new relationships had broadened the way they looked at themselves. "You go from being a stranger to including this person in the self, so you suddenly have all of these social roles and identities you didn't have before," explains Dr. Aron, an author of the research. "It's very exhilarating."

The personal gains from lasting relationships are often subtle. Having a partner who is funny or creative adds something new to someone who isn't. A partner who is a community volunteer creates social opportunities for a spouse who spends long hours at work.

Additional research suggests that spouses eventually adopt the traits of the other - and become slower to distinguish differences between them, or slower to remember which skills belong to which spouse.

It's not that these couples lost themselves in the marriage; instead, they grew in it. Activities, traits and behaviors that had not been part of their identity before the relationship were now an essential part of how they experienced life.

All of this can be highly predictive for a couple's happiness. One scale designed by Dr. Aron and colleagues depicts seven pairs of circles. The first set is side by side. With each new set, the circles begin to overlap until they are nearly on top of each other. Couples choose the set that best represents their relationship.

People bored in their marriages were more likely to choose the more separate circles. Partners involved in novel and interesting experiences together were more likely to pick one of the overlapping circles and less likely to report boredom. "People have a fundamental motivation to improve the self and add to who they are as a person," Dr. Lewandowski says. "If your partner is helping you become a better person, you become happier and more satisfied in the relationship."

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Hot topics for a cold month
01/08/2011
Charlotte Observer

Maybe it's the cold weather, which drives most of us inside. Or maybe it's our resolve to self-improve in the new year by filling up our brains instead of our bodies.

Whatever the reason, January and February have become popular times to take in lectures. And we have some interesting ones coming up on the religion beat.

'Sex, Women and Religion'

Temple Beth El has chosen "Sex, Women and Religion" as the topic for its 14th annual Comparative Religion series. The Tuesday lectures will all start at 7 p.m. This Tuesday's will be in the Sam Lerner Center for the Cultural Arts at Shalom Park, 5007 Providence Road. The rest will be at Temple Beth El , 5101 Providence Road.

Tuesday : the Christian perspective, from Davidson College's Sally McMillan ; Jan, 18 : the Jewish perspective, from Rabbi Barbara Thiede of UNC Charlotte; Jan. 25 : the Mormon perspective, from Paul Garrett and Heather Jenkins ; Feb. 1 : the Muslim perspective, from UNC Charlotte's Kathryn Johnson ; Feb. 8 : the Catholic perspective, from Sister Jane Russell of Belmont Abbey College ; Feb. 15 : S. Catherine Johnson of Queens University of Charlotte will speak about sexual harassment; and Feb. 22 : Maria Hanlin of Mecklenburg Ministries on "The Blame Game in America."

Details: 704-366-1948; .

Catholics and immigration

What Roman Catholic social teaching says about immigration will be the subject of the annual Kennedy Lecture Jan. 15 at St. Peter's Catholic Church , 507 S. Tryon St., at 9:30 a.m. in the church's Biss Hall. The speaker: The Rev. William O'Neill , a Jesuit priest and professor at Santa Clara University .

Details: 704-332-2901.

Jay Bakker at Border's

At 7 p.m. on Jan. 17, Jay Bakker - son of Jim and Tammy - will give a talk and sign copies of "Fall to Grace" at Borders bookstore, 7836 Rea Road.

Now co-pastor of Revolution Church NYC, the tattooed, body-pierced Bakker opens his book with his take on the PTL debacle in the late 1980s, when he was a kid.

He'll also talk about his ongoing ministry to gays and lesbians.

Focus on the Holocaust

"A Conversation on Forgiveness," featuring Jackie Fishman , a Holocaust survivor's daughter, and Ken Garfield , the Observer's former religion editor, will be held Jan. 26 at St. Gabriel Catholic Church , 3016 Providence Road.

Fishman, who teaches at Charlotte Latin School , and Garfield, now director of communications at Myers Park United Methodist Church , will focus on keeping the Holocaust from fading into history.

Their talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. Details: 704-362-5047; .

Reading the Bible

How the Bible was formed and how it is read today will be the focus of this year's Cooley Lectures, Jan. 27-28, at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 14542 Choate Circle.

Michael Holmes , a professor of biblical studies and early Christianity at Bethel University , will speak in the school's chapel at 7p.m. each day.

The first lecture will explain why certain books were included in the Bible; the second will explore how many believers are now reading the Bible on iPhones, Kindles and laptops.

Details: 704-435-6408; .

Copyright © 2011 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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Broderick gets his robes in courthouse ceremony | View Clip
01/07/2011
Press Democrat - Online

After being sworn in as Sonoma County's newest judge, Pat Broderick receives his robes from his sister Mary Christensen, left, and his brother Ed Broderick at ceremonies Thursday.

Incoming Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Patrick Broderick is best known as the longest serving dean of Empire law school and for being an accomplished trial attorney.

More Photos:

But the 50-year-old Santa Rosa resident also has another title: singer.

He once mixed his musical talent with his passion for the law and sung his closing argument to a jury in a construction defect trial.

The panel was stunned by his a cappella performance but ultimately decided in Broderick's favor, said his former law partner, Michael Watters.

The question is, Watters said, will he reprise the performance on the bench?

“Maybe Pat will help us all by singing his decisions,” Watters said at Broderick's ceremonial swearing in Thursday. “At least he has a day job to fall back on.”

The revelation came during the county's third judicial investiture this week. On Monday, former commissioner Nancy Case Shaffer was sworn in as judge and on Tuesday Santa Rosa civil lawyer Brad DeMeo took the oath.

Criminal defense lawyer Jamie Thistlethwaite will be sworn in today

Friday and two other judicial officers take the bench next week.

Broderick fills a vacancy created by the retirement of former colleague, Judge Elaine Rushing. He will move into her very courtroom next to Empire College and handle civil trials, at a salary of $178,780.

“It's a privilege to serve on such an outstanding bench,” Broderick said after being sworn by Judge James Bertoli.

Broderick went to Cardinal Newman High School and Santa Clara University before completing law school in 1987 at McGeorge in Sacramento.

He clerked for state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, who graduated six years earlier, and signed on with the Santa Rosa firm of O'Brien Watters & Davis.

He made partner in about five years. But Broderick had other interests. He began teaching political science at Santa Rosa Junior College and torts at the law school.

“We would tell him, ‘Hey are you going to be a lawyer or a professor?'” Watters said.

He left after being appointed the school's fourth-ever dean, a position he held from 1997 to 2010. Broderick helped maintain Empire's record of having the highest first-time state bar pass rate in the state, Watters said.

In recent years, Broderick has served as a temporary judge, gaining experience and displaying fairness, intelligence, integrity and community involvement, Presiding Judge Gary Nadler said.

“Pat Broderick possesses the best of all these qualities,” Nadler said.

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Gov. Brown gets chance to name high court justice | View Clip
01/07/2011
San Jose Mercury News - Online

SAN FRANCISCO—Gov. Jerry Brown will have an early opportunity to shape California's high court following the surprise announcement that its only Latino justice is stepping down next month.

Justice Carlos Moreno, the only Democratic appointee on the state Supreme Court, submitted his resignation to California's new governor on Wednesday and said his last day will be Feb. 28, according to court spokeswoman Lynn Holton.

Moreno, 62, was named to the state Supreme Court in 1991 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. He was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

Brown "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

In a brief statement, Moreno said after more than 24 years as a judge he plans to return to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

Moreno's coming departure will follow closely behind that of former Chief Justice Ronald George, who stepped down Sunday after 14 years. He was succeeded by appellate court judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who assumed the post Monday.

Moreno's resignation, which surprised legal observers, gives Brown his first chance to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court since his last term as governor more than 25 years ago.

"It's an opportunity for him to make a

very important pick very quickly for his administration," said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. "This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process."

Legal observers say Brown would like proceed cautiously after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty. The ballot-box ouster of former Chief Justice Rose Bird and associate justices Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin was unprecedented in California history.

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Gov. Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so "it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court."

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelmen said.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

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Brown Gets Chance To Name High Court Justice | View Clip
01/07/2011
KTVU-TV - Online

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Jerry Brown will have an early opportunity to shape California's high court following the surprise announcement that its only Latino justice is stepping down next month.

Justice Carlos Moreno, the only Democratic appointee on the state Supreme Court, submitted his resignation to California's new governor on Wednesday and said his last day will be Feb. 28, according to court spokeswoman Lynn Holton.

Moreno, 62, was named to the state Supreme Court in 2001 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. He was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

Brown "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

In a brief statement, Moreno said after more than 24 years as a judge he plans to return to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

Moreno's coming departure will follow closely behind that of former Chief Justice Ronald George, who stepped down Sunday after 14 years. He was succeeded by appellate court judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who assumed the post Monday.

Moreno's resignation, which surprised legal observers, gives Brown his first chance to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court since his last term as governor more than 25 years ago.

"It's an opportunity for him to make a very important pick very quickly for his administration," said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. "This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process."

Legal observers say Brown would like proceed cautiously after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty. The ballot-box ouster of former Chief Justice Rose Bird and associate justices Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin was unprecedented in California history.

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Gov. Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so "it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court."

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelmen said.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

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Gov. Brown gets chance to name high court justice | View Clip
01/07/2011
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

(01-07) 07:45 PST San Francisco, CA (AP) --

Gov. Jerry Brown will have an early opportunity to shape California's high court following the surprise announcement that its only Latino justice is stepping down next month.

Justice Carlos Moreno, the only Democratic appointee on the state Supreme Court, submitted his resignation to California's new governor on Wednesday and said his last day will be Feb. 28, according to court spokeswoman Lynn Holton.

Moreno, 62, was named to the state Supreme Court in 2001 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. He was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

Brown "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

In a brief statement, Moreno said after more than 24 years as a judge he plans to return to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

Moreno's coming departure will follow closely behind that of former Chief Justice Ronald George, who stepped down Sunday after 14 years. He was succeeded by appellate court judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who assumed the post Monday.

Moreno's resignation, which surprised legal observers, gives Brown his first chance to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court since his last term as governor more than 25 years ago.

"It's an opportunity for him to make a very important pick very quickly for his administration," said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. "This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process."

Legal observers say Brown would like proceed cautiously after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty. The ballot-box ouster of former Chief Justice Rose Bird and associate justices Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin was unprecedented in California history.

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Gov. Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so "it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court."

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelmen said.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

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Facebook IPO could be a reality in April 2012 | View Clip
01/07/2011
Tri-Valley Herald

Inflaming a subject of feverish speculation from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Facebook has indicated that it could be on track for an initial public offering by April 2012, or at a minimum will have to disclose its closely guarded financial information.

What would easily be the largest IPO since Google's in August of 2004 would create dozens if not hundreds of instant millionaires, likely encourage other social Internet companies such as LinkedIn and Twitter to go public -- and give a boost to the high-end housing market and Silicon Valley's luxury car dealers.

Published reports Thursday said the investment bank Goldman Sachs is circulating a memorandum to potential Facebook investors saying that the Palo Alto-based social-networking site will breach a critical federal securities limit this year, when the number of its shareholders tops 500. That will force the company by April of next year to begin disclosing the financial details of its business, with the additional option of selling its shares.

"In this social-networking space, there is the possibility of revived IPO activity," said Stephen Diamond, a securities law expert at the Santa Clara University School of Law. "This means, as it did in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and as it did in 2004, a flood of money coming into the valley. And, once again, an opening question is whether it's too much money chasing too few good projects."

Facebook would have the option under federal law to indefinitely postpone a public offering of its shares, so an IPO next spring is not certain. That may not be so surprising because CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has long stated his reluctance to part with the privacy and control Facebook enjoys as a company with a very small pool of shareholders.

If Facebook delayed selling shares, "it would be unusual, in the sense that you'd be opening the kimono, but you're not getting the cash outcome of public shares," Diamond said.

Facebook declined to comment Thursday.

With Zuckerberg and others saying that Internet companies and services built around people's social relationships are poised to take off and transform whole industries, shares of Facebook and other large social startups, including Twitter and Zynga, are attracting intense interest on private secondary markets, which usually allow former employees to sell their shares to wealthy investors hoping to grab a piece of a rising star before the general public can.

IPO speculation reached a fevered pitch this week, when Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor agreed to invest $500 million in Facebook. The investment gave Facebook a $50 billion valuation -- higher than Silicon Valley stalwarts such as eBay and Yahoo.

Goldman will create a "Special Purpose Vehicle" that allows Facebook shareholders to sell their stakes to the investment bank, which acts as a single shareholder. Goldman plans to sell the shares to its wealthy customers, a deal that securities experts like Diamond, and Adam Pritchard of the University of Michigan law school, say will give Goldman the inside track for the lucrative job of being the lead underwriter for any Facebook IPO. Pritchard said the SEC is certain to scrutinize the unconventional arrangement, however.

The Goldman memorandum, according to the New York Times, which obtained a copy, also said Facebook posted $355 million in profit on $1.2 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2010. That nearly 30 percent profit margin is roughly similar to what Google posted for the first nine months of 2010, when it had nearly $6 billion in net income on $20.9 billion in revenue.

For entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors, the news that a Facebook IPO could finally be at hand was exciting.

"It's a very good sign because it's validation that social-media and social-networking companies can exist and thrive as independent companies," said Brian Pokorny, CEO of DailyBooth, a San Francisco startup that allows members to post and share daily photos of themselves.

"In terms of what it does for the macro economy and the local economy, a few billion-dollar IPOs sure make things more robust," said Bing Gordon, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers partner who heads the sFund, a $250 million investment pool for online social startups. "These are wildly exciting times."

Diamond said he is skeptical that Facebook will have the same long-term economic impact on the valley that Intel, Apple or Google have had but that it will make a few people very rich in the short term.

"I imagine there are any number of real estate agents who are sharpening their contact list for buyers of real estate in Atherton," he said, "because there will be some Facebook billionaires from this."

Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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Lone Latino Judge in Calif. Calls it Quits | View Clip
01/07/2011
Fox News Latino

California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno has announced his retirement.

The California Supreme Court's only Democratic and Latino appointee has announced his retirement.

Justice Carlos Moreno submitted his resignation, court spokeswoman Lynn Holton revealed Thursday. His last day will be Feb. 28.

Moreno, 62, was named to the state Supreme Court in 1991 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. He was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

In a brief statement, Moreno said after more than 24 years as a judge he plans to return to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

The retirement gives Gov. Jerry Brown his first opportunity to fill a seat on the state's highest court since his last gubernatorial term 25 years ago.

"It's an opportunity for him to make a very important pick very quickly for his administration," said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. "This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process."

Brown "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

Legal observers say Brown would like to proceed cautiously after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty. The ballot-box ouster of former Chief Justice Rose Bird and associate justices Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin was unprecedented in California history.

Moreno's coming departure will follow closely behind that of former Chief Justice Ronald George, who stepped down Sunday after 14 years. He was succeeded by appellate court judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who assumed the post Monday.

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Gov. Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so "it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court."

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelmen said.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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Carlos Moreno stepping down from state high court | View Clip
01/07/2011
Orange County Register - Online

SAN FRANCISCO The only Democratic appointee and Latino on the California Supreme Court said Thursday that he's stepping down next month.

Justice Carlos Moreno, 62, submitted his resignation to Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday, court spokeswoman Lynn Holton said. His last day will be Feb. 28.

Moreno was named to the court in 2001 by then-Gov. Gray Davis and was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

In a statement, Moreno said he planned to return to the private sector and was weighing options including private practice and alternative dispute resolution.

“It has been a truly unique honor and privilege to have served the people of California as a judge for over 24 years and, together with my great colleagues on the court, to have played a modest role in shaping California jurisprudence,” he said.

Brown thanked the justice for his service and “intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious,” said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

Moreno's resignation surprised some legal observers.

“This is going to force (Brown) very quickly to develop his judicial selection process,” said Rory Little, a professor at the UC Hastings School of Law in San Francisco.

Moreno's departure will follow closely that of former Chief Justice Ronald George, who stepped down Sunday after 14 years.

He was succeeded by appellate court judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who assumed the post Monday.

Moreno was the only justice on the seven-member Supreme Court who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Brown to appoint a successor who will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so “it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court.”

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelmen said.

Brown is likely to proceed cautiously with the appointment after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor – Cruz Reynoso, Joseph Grodin and former Chief Justice Rose Bird – were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty, Uelmen said.

SAN FRANCISCO The only Democratic appointee and Latino on the California Supreme Court said Thursday that he's stepping down next month.

Justice Carlos Moreno, 62, submitted his resignation to Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday, court spokeswoman Lynn Holton said. His last day will be Feb. 28.

Moreno was named to the court in 2001 by then-Gov. Gray Davis and was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

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State Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno to step down | View Clip
01/07/2011
San Jose Mercury News - Online

California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno is resigning in February.

Just days after his inauguration, new Gov. Jerry Brown has a quick opportunity to dust off his once controversial judge-picking skills and name a justice to one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country.

California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, 62, the sole Democrat and Latino on the state's high court, submitted his letter of resignation to Brown this week, informing the governor he would retire from the court on Feb. 28.

In an interview with the Mercury News on Thursday, the soft-spoken Moreno said the "time seemed right" to move on, citing Brown's election, reaching full judicial pension eligibility and being young enough to still explore lucrative options in the private sector.

Moreno's departure comes on the heels of the retirement this month of Chief Justice Ronald George, who has been replaced by new Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The two moves could usher in one of the most significant shifts on the court in decades, with Brown in position to fill Moreno's seat and perhaps others in the coming years on an aging Supreme Court.

The governor will be under pressure to replace Moreno with either a Latino or an African-American; there currently are no African-American justices on the court, and San Francisco appeals court Justice Martin Jenkins, a former federal judge, is already being circulated as a potential candidate.

Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor, said it

might take six months to find that replacement but predicts Brown's emphasis on diversity is likely to mean he'll tap a minority for Moreno's seat.

For his part, Moreno said he would urge Brown to replace him with a Latino.

"If he asks for my opinion, I think he should do whatever he can that a Latino replaces me on the court," Moreno said.

There did not appear to be any mystery to Moreno's decision. Among other things, he has been living a commuter life, shuttling between his home in Los Angeles and the court's San Francisco headquarters for years.

"I felt with so much transition in the air, the chief justice leaving, the change in administrations, I started looking at my own career and what else I'd like to do," Moreno said. "It seemed exciting to try something new."

Moreno has already been particularly active in trying to improve the state's foster care system, and he is a foster parent himself. He made it clear he wants to continue civic work and become more active politically, which is virtually forbidden for a Supreme Court justice.

Cantil-Sakauye said she was "saddened" by Moreno's resignation, adding she expected to serve with him for at least another decade. But, she said in a statement, "I am happy for him because his future is filled with possibilities."

Moreno has been a justice since 2001, when he was named to the Supreme Court by former Gov. Gray Davis. He has been perhaps the most liberal justice on the conservative court, particularly on social issues such as same-sex marriage. Two years ago, he was the only justice on the court who voted to invalidate Proposition 8, the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

In a long legal career, Moreno joined the Supreme Court after serving as a federal judge in Los Angeles. Former President Bill Clinton appointed him to the federal bench in 1998.

More recently, Moreno was on a shortlist for the U.S. Supreme Court when the Obama administration was considering vacancies and was interviewed by the president.

Moreno grew up in a poor family in East Los Angeles, the son of Mexican immigrants. He forged a success story by attending Yale University and Stanford Law School and becoming a successful lawyer and eventually one of the state's judicial leaders.

For Brown, it will be a chance to fill a state Supreme Court spot for the first time since his first tenure as governor ended in 1983. That was marked by the ill-fated choice of former Chief Justice Rose Bird, who was later ousted by voters, along with two other Brown appointees, in a backlash over their refusal to uphold death sentences.

On Thursday, Brown released a statement simply saying he "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious."

While Brown's judicial selections are still expected to be liberal, experts have predicted he will take a more cautious approach to choosing justices this time around. In fact, in an interview in October during the governor's race, Brown told the Mercury News he "has learned from the past" on judicial appointments.

Contact Howard Mintz at 408-286-0236.

The California Supreme Court's roster

With Carlos Moreno's looming retirement, there could be other slots to fill for Gov. Jerry Brown on an aging high court over the next four years.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

At 51, she is going nowhere, having just taken over as chief justice this week and is the youngest member of the court. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named her last year to succeed longtime Chief Justice Ronald George.

Justice Joyce Kennard

The longest-serving member of the court, Kennard, 69, has given no hints of stepping down. But she has had some health concerns and, despite being an appointee of former Republican Gov. George Deukmejian, is one of the court's more liberal members.

Justice Marvin Baxter

Baxter, who turns 70 next week, is one of the court's elder statesmen and arguably its most conservative member. A staunch Republican, it would be hard to see him letting Brown fill his seat. But he is eligible for his judicial pension.

Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar

At 74, Werdegar is the court's eldest justice, even though she appears as spry during arguments as her colleagues. Hard to say whether this centrist appointee of former Gov. Pete Wilson would step down after 16 years and give her post up to a Brown selection.

Justice Ming Chin

The 68-year-old Chin is considered, along with Baxter, one of the court's most reliable conservative voices. He has overcome serious health problems, including 2006 surgery on his skull. The former Alameda County prosecutor and judge could be among the justices mulling a move.

Justice Carol Corrigan

Corrigan is the court's second newest member and would appear to be on the court for the long haul. The 62-year-old Corrigan, another Schwarzenegger appointee, has only been on the court for five years.

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Payment prognostications for 2011 | View Clip
01/07/2011
Green Sheet - Online, The

s a new year starts, it is time for "payment experts" to predict what will happen in 2011. Rampant confusion and, frankly, misinformation exist out there regarding the "next big thing" in payments, so I will try to at least define the issues pertaining to card, check and automated clearing house (ACH) transactions - even if I can't predict the future.

Most everyone is aware that payments via social networks will lead to a series of innovations, particularly from nonbanks, which are not traditional players in the payments system. However, this article will talk about more conventional payments.

Let's start with the recently released 2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study, which covers the period from 2006 through 2009 and was released Dec. 7. The award for the most understated comment of the year goes to the Fed vice president who said, "It is likely that the results of the study reflect changing consumer behavior during difficult economic times." Well, all-righty then - do ya think?

What most observers will take from the study is the headline: "Electronic payments crowd out checks." But it would be a mistake to conclude that checks are not important. During this three-year period, checks dropped 7.2 percent. Even so, they still comprise 24.4 billion items a year, totaling $31.6 trillion.

This compares to total dollar volume for electronic payments of $40.7 trillion. To put it another way, dollars cleared by check are still three-quarters of total electronic payments, 25 years after the first Electronic Data Interchange initiatives by major banks.

B2B, the check stronghold

Most business-to-business (B2B) payments are check-based and are likely to remain so for some time. One commentator, Dan O'Neill, writing in the excellent First Annapolis Navigator, suggested this is due to "long-held views on and desires for centralized control and physical specimen document imaging and retention, as well as organizational inertia."

Right now, the majority of invoices from suppliers are paper, not electronic, and some of the electronic ones are printed to initiate a paper-based payment process. And, of course, currently, there is no centralized database of payees, nor is there a convention for standardized line item detail capture.

But the key concept behind checks is that if you are taking a high-dollar payment (examples include brokerage, insurance, tax, title settlement or critical time-sensitive payments) you will want a check (or wire transfer), not an ACH credit, because you desire absolute finality of payment and the Uniform Commercial Code and 200 years of check law on your side, not Reg E and NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association's rules and regulations.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has received significant attention for the electronic payment order (EPO) concept. It would allow the consumer to write a check digitally, on a smart phone or other computer device, and then send the digital check (a debit push) to the payee, which would send it to the payee's bank to clear the way check images do now.

The EPO requires a digital signature signifying intent and authentication, unlike remotely created checks used by some merchants today. Since it is unclear as to which laws would apply to the EPO, it is likely banks will use an approach based on mutual agreements. Consumers like to write checks; why shouldn't they be able to write and clear them electronically?

There is an alternative, credit-push version of the digital check, (kind of like electronic bill payment) where the bank's account holder instructs the bank to transfer funds electronically to the payee bank, but the applicable law is uncertain here, too. In this case, the payment would not be made unless there were sufficient funds in the account, so the payee can be certain the funds are good upon receipt.

At this point, the Fed has not yet approved any of these new payment transfer methodologies, but you can see there is a lot of new thinking in this space. I think we can expect some ruling from the Fed in the coming year here.

Credit, on the wane

The Fed study shows other noteworthy trends. One is that credit card balances dropped for the 26th consecutive month in October 2010. Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, dropped 7.6 percent to $800 billion from a year ago. In 2009, debit card usage surpassed credit card usage for the first time. Javelin Strategy & Research projected, assuming current trends continue, credit card use would fall below 50 percent by the end of 2010.

Another recent study revealed that only about 63 million Americans (out of a 300 million-plus total population) are actively using a credit card every month. Indeed, credit card volume actually declined 0.2 percent from 2006 through 2009 - the first decline since the Fed started tracking it. If you are selling credit card processing, think about this trend. There is less unsecured debt available from card issuers, and consumers are reducing their debt. These are long-term structural changes in the card industry.

The real story is the 14.8 percent growth in debit card transactions over the study's period. Some observers believe that PIN debit (ATM transaction with no interchange charged) will ultimately overpower signature debit (interchange based and running on the Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide rails). The cost differential is too great for this not to happen. Yes, consumers will still use checks to make recurring payments, but ACH and home banking will inevitably make significant inroads here.

The key thing to remember is that most consumers want to pay with their checking accounts rather than credit cards. It's just that (at the POS) they are using their debit cards rather than writing checks, but the money is still coming out of the checking account.

ACH, ripe for increases

ACH transactions increased 9.3 percent during the Fed study's time period, but remember that ACH is a batch, store-and-forward, next-day settlement system primarily used by very large billers. Most ACH transactions are for recurring debits, preauthorized by the consumer. ACH volume at the POS and over the Internet is still small because there is no easy way for consumers to pay with a one-time ACH, at least, not yet.

There are also issues involving the authorization process for one-time transactions. Some very smart people at NACHA are working on this. Some people believe the growth in ACH will be a big trend in 2011 and cite NACHA's Secure Vault product for one-time payments.

This product allows a consumer to buy something (in what we used to call a "card not present" environment) without a debit or credit card, using his or her bank's online banking platform. The bank authenticates the consumer and provides the business with real-time authentication and payment confirmation. The payment is made by the consumer's bank directly to the merchant, so the merchant doesn't need to collect the consumer's personal financial information.

For this to work, the consumer would have to be on the bank's electronic banking platform, the merchant would have to be signed up with the Secure Vault network and all parties would have to use banks that were members of this network. I don't know about this - it reminds me of the Visa POS product, which Visa has flogged for years now, with very little traction in the marketplace.

The Fed proposed substantial debit interchange rate cuts in December 2010, which could cause debit card issuer revenue to fall dramatically. Remember, the regulators have already changed how banks can collect overdraft fees, previously the single biggest fee-based income source for financial institutions.

Now they are looking into interchange rates. No one in our industry wants interchange rates to be regulated by the government. But in the past, income from interchange and overdraft fees was so substantial that it allowed the banks to subsidize other transactions, such as ACH.

Smaller banks have always complained about the "free ride" that ACH transactions get, because the cost to large originators is only a few cents per transaction. When I worked for a major cash management bank, our executive vice president said, "No bank has ever made money in the ACH business and no bank ever will." This is probably truer today than it was then. If major banks see their revenue decline precipitously from both credit and debit cards, they will make up the shortfall somewhere else, and ACH processing looks like a logical place.

B2B cards, not for big business

There is one more payment product that has been heavily promoted by the card brands for many years: payment cards for B2B transactions. In spite of millions of dollars in advertising, payment cards have been a nonstarter.

I predict they will continue to be. Almost every study I have read about this product is replete with references to payment fraud; employees with access to these cards somehow managed to make fraudulent purchases with them.

While such payment cards might work for a small to midsize business, why a large enterprise would want to pay interchange for accounts payable mystifies me (and most other people in this space, apparently). As an ISO or merchant level salesperson, I wouldn't devote much time to this product.

I want to close with a comment by Adolfo Nicolas, the Jesuits' Superior General. In an article in my alumni magazine (Santa Clara University), Nicolas talks about the "globalization of superficiality." He believes the way people work today on the web short-circuits the laborious, painstaking work of serious, critical thinking. He feels we are overwhelmed with a "dizzying pluralism of choices and values and beliefs and visions of life" and is calling for new ways to promote depth of thought and imagination.

He noted that the Japanese Ministry of Education found its curriculum had made great advances in science, technology, mathematics and memory work. However, it had become weaker in teaching imagination, creativity and critical thinking, the three points that are essential to Jesuit education. In managing and growing your business, where will you focus in 2011?

Brandes Elitch, Director of Partner Acquisition for CrossCheck Inc., has been a cash management practitioner for several Fortune 500 companies, sold cash management services for major banks and served as a consultant to bankcard acquirers. A Certified Cash Manager and Accredited ACH Professional, Brandes has a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University. He can be reached at brandese@cross-check.com.

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Tara Siegel Bernard: Why a budget is like a diet -- ineffective | View Clip
01/07/2011
Dallas Morning News - Online

What would you do if your wallet became harder to open as your spending approached or exceeded your budget? Would you think twice about where your money was going?

A product designer at MIT who created a working prototype for such a wallet seems to think so, and he may be on to something. Part of the reason so many people spend too much, or fail to stick to self-imposed budgets, is because parting with our money has become an abstraction in our increasingly cashless society. Credit cards provide immediate gratification but no immediate consequences. Plucking actual dollars from your pile of cash, research suggests, is more painful and leads you to spend less.There's another factor that prevents people from being model financial citizens. As a species, humans are notoriously poor at following through with their plans. Sticking to a budget – a dirty word even among many financial planners, who prefer the more euphemistic "spending plan" – feels too much like dieting. And we often fail at both for the same reasons: too much focus on the restrictions, not enough on fun. So it's not surprising when people end up bingeing later, more than making up for dollars not spent or calories not consumed.

On Mint.com, the popular money-tracking website, top goals among the nearly half a million users who set them include paying off debt, creating an emergency fund and saving for retirement. All virtuous goals, to be sure.

The battle, say money and psychology experts, is finding ways to close the gap between good intentions and human nature. So at a time when every dollar counts, how can you accomplish what you're not necessarily wired to do?

It may be awhile before that smart wallet hits the shelves (a hinge in the middle of the wallet, wired to your bank account balance via a Bluetooth connection to your cellphone, makes it harder to open as you reach a spending limit). The main inventor, John Kestner, said he's working on bringing its retail price down to $60, to "avoid obvious irony." But there are plenty of mental tricks and strategies that can make your budgeting more sustainable now. In fact, the best strategy is not to think about it as budgeting at all. Instead, set up broad goals and automate all savings and other priorities where you can. "Self-control is wonderful, but it's just not sufficient," said Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University who focuses on behavioral finance and is the author of What Investors Really Want.

Start by becoming more conscious of your spending, whether you jot it down in a notepad, on a spreadsheet or on websites like Mint.com. Then, give your spending plan a sense of purpose; budgets with a goal, whether it's a European vacation or buying a home, tend to be the most successful.

One strategy to keep spending in check is to employ what's known as mental accounting – dividing your money into separate mental accounts that you treat differently. "From a psychological standpoint, there is merit to having a separate account for entirely discretionary or luxury spending," said Steve Levinson, a psychologist and co-author of Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start. Spending $100 out of $300 earmarked for fun will feel more meaningful than pulling out $100 from your entire $3,000 monthly budget.

The easiest way to set up a system, experts suggest, is to put your income into separate accounts or subaccounts, including one that distinguishes spending money from money needed for recurring household expenses. And think about working backward, as a way to keep things simple: Instead of setting up an overly detailed budget, first decide how much you want to save for retirement and other goals, then work with what's left over. If you want to cut spending, attack a few big categories where you can make the biggest difference.

Life has a natural way of derailing even the best-laid plans, so experts recommend building a cushion, or a slush fund of sorts. "It's the one-time expenses that kill a budget," said Rick Kahler, a financial planner in Rapid City, S.D. "The average person needs to be saving for car repairs every month, they need to be saving for their trips, for Christmas, for medical expenses." Just don't rely on doing it yourself. Arrange to have the money withdrawn from your paycheck. "We need to exploit automaticity," said David Laibson, a behavioral economist at Harvard. He points to the success of automatic enrollment of new employees into retirement savings plans, like 401(k)s. "We need to build in more of these commitment mechanisms, so we can live up to our intentions." Tara Siegel Bernard is a writer for The New York Times.

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Facebook IPO likely by April 2012 | View Clip
01/07/2011
SiliconValley.com

Inflaming a subject of feverish speculation from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Facebook has indicated that it could be on track for an initial public offering by April 2012, or at a minimum will have to disclose its closely guarded financial information.

What would easily be the largest IPO since Google's in August of 2004 would create dozens if not hundreds of instant millionaires, likely encourage other social Internet companies such as LinkedIn and Twitter to go public -- and give a boost to the high-end housing market and Silicon Valley's luxury car dealers.

Published reports Thursday said the investment bank Goldman Sachs is circulating a memorandum to potential Facebook investors saying that the Palo Alto-based social-networking site will breach a critical federal securities limit this year, when the number of its shareholders tops 500. That will force the company by April of next year to begin disclosing the financial details of its business, with the additional option of selling its shares.

"In this social-networking space, there is the possibility of revived IPO activity," said Stephen Diamond, a securities law expert at the Santa Clara University School of Law. "This means, as it did in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and as it did in 2004, a flood of money coming into the valley. And, once again, an opening question is whether it's too much money chasing too few good projects."

Facebook would have the option under federal law to Advertisementindefinitely postpone a public offering of its shares, so an IPO next spring is not certain. That may not be so surprising because CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has long stated his reluctance to part with the privacy and control Facebook enjoys as a company with a very small pool of shareholders.

If Facebook delayed selling shares, "it would be unusual, in the sense that you'd be opening the kimono, but you're not getting the cash outcome of public shares," Diamond said.

Facebook declined to comment Thursday.

With Zuckerberg and others saying that Internet companies and services built around people's social relationships are poised to take off and transform whole industries, shares of Facebook and other large social startups, including Twitter and Zynga, are attracting intense interest on private secondary markets, which usually allow former employees to sell their shares to wealthy investors hoping to grab a piece of a rising star before the general public can.

IPO speculation reached a fevered pitch this week, when Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor agreed to invest $500 million in Facebook. The investment gave Facebook a $50 billion valuation -- higher than Silicon Valley stalwarts such as eBay and Yahoo.

Goldman will create a "Special Purpose Vehicle" that allows Facebook shareholders to sell their stakes to the investment bank, which acts as a single shareholder. Goldman plans to sell the shares to its wealthy customers, a deal that securities experts like Diamond, and Adam Pritchard of the University of Michigan law school, say will give Goldman the inside track for the lucrative job of being the lead underwriter for any Facebook IPO. Pritchard said the SEC is certain to scrutinize the unconventional arrangement, however.

The Goldman memorandum, according to the New York Times, which obtained a copy, also said Facebook posted $355 million in profit on $1.2 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2010. That nearly 30 percent profit margin is roughly similar to what Google posted for the first nine months of 2010, when it had nearly $6 billion in net income on $20.9 billion in revenue.

For entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors, the news that a Facebook IPO could finally be at hand was exciting.

"It's a very good sign because it's validation that social-media and social-networking companies can exist and thrive as independent companies," said Brian Pokorny, CEO of DailyBooth, a San Francisco startup that allows members to post and share daily photos of themselves.

"In terms of what it does for the macro economy and the local economy, a few billion-dollar IPOs sure make things more robust," said Bing Gordon, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers partner who heads the sFund, a $250 million investment pool for online social startups. "These are wildly exciting times."

Diamond said he is skeptical that Facebook will have the same long-term economic impact on the valley that Intel, Apple or Google have had but that it will make a few people very rich in the short term.

"I imagine there are any number of real estate agents who are sharpening their contact list for buyers of real estate in Atherton," he said, "because there will be some Facebook billionaires from this."

Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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Moreno Confirms Retirement, Says He Is Headed to Private Sector | View Clip
01/07/2011
Metropolitan News-Enterprise - Online, The

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

Friday, January 7, 2011

Page 3 From Staff and Wire Service Reports

California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno confirmed yesterday that he intends to retire Feb. 28.

As reported yesterday in the MetNews, the only Democratic appointee and Latino on the court will step down less than two months into a 12-year term that voters gave him in a November retention election. By doing so, he gives new Gov. Jerry Brown an early opportunity to shape the state's high court.

Moreno 62, submitted his resignation to Brown on Wednesday, a court spokesperson said.

Moreno was named to the state Supreme Court in 2001 by then-Gov. Gray Davis and was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

In a brief statement, Moreno said he planned on returning to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

“It has been a truly unique honor and privilege to have served the people of California as a judge for over 24 years and, together with my great colleagues on the court, to have played a modest role in shaping California jurisprudence,” Moreno said in the statement.

Brown thanked the departing justice for his service and “intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious,” the governor's spokesman said.

Moreno's resignation, which surprised some legal observers, gives Brown his first chance to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court since his last term as governor more than 25 years ago.

“It's an opportunity for him to make a very important pick very quickly for his administration,” said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. “This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process.”

Moreno's coming departure will follow closely behind that of former Chief Justice Ronald George, who stepped down Sunday after 14 years. He was succeeded by appellate court judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who assumed the post Monday.

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so “it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court.”

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelmen said.

The retirement could force the administration to expedite the setting up of its judicial selection machinery. Brown has not appointed a judicial appointments secretary, and a spokesperson said Tuesday that no decision has been made on whether to choose someone for that role or combine it with that of legal affairs secretary, as Brown did during his first two terms.

Brown is likely to be proceed cautiously with the appointment after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor — Cruz Reynoso, Joseph Grodin and former Chief Justice Rose Bird — were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty, Uelmen said.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles Superior Court. He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

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On the Job | View Clip
01/07/2011
Boulder County Business Report, The

Security Service Federal Credit Union named Donna German manager of its service center in Longmont. German has worked in the credit union industry for more than 14 years and was previously employed with Norbel Credit Union. Norbel was acquired by Security Service in late July. German will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the service center.

Steven Strunk resigned as Colorado's banking commissioner effective Jan. 1. He served as commissioner for eight months. Strunk will return to the private banking industry. Fred Joseph, Colorado's securities commissioner, will serve as acting commissioner of banking.

Boulder-based Elevations Credit Union hired Jay Champion as chief lending officer, Todd Kern as vice president of marketing and Ryan Klassen as assistant vice president of credit risk management. Champion, a 22-year banking, insurance and credit union executive, will lead a lending initiative that will include business lending as well as developing a line of business services. Champion previously was executive vice president/chief lending officer for Texans Credit Union in Richardson, Texas. Kern is an 18-year marketing and brand management veteran spanning the entertainment, sports and financial industries. Kern previously was with USA Federal Credit Union in San Diego, California. Klassen will oversee Elevations loan portfolio analytics and credit risk initiatives. He previously was director of lending services for Englewood-based Bellco Credit Union.

EDUCATION

The University of Colorado at Boulder named Moe Tabrizi director of campus sustainability. The appointment was effective Dec. 2. Currently CU-Boulder's energy conservation officer, Tabrizi will continue to work in collaboration with the CU Environmental Center, Housing and Dining Services and CU Student Government to further CU's campus sustainability initiatives. As CU-Boulder's first sustainability director, Tabrizi is charged with the task of meeting the Greening the Government Governor's Energy Orders, as well as campus initiatives.

Naropa University in Boulder hired Jill Grammer as vice president for development and external relations. She has nearly 20 years of higher education management and development experience and comes to Naropa from New Mexico State University where she was the executive director and director of development for the Center for the Arts and former assistant dean of external relations for the NMSU Honors College.

GOVERNMENT

University of Colorado Boulder faculty member Waleed Abdalati was appointed to serve as NASA's chief scientist beginning in January for a two-year appointment. Abdalati, 46, is an associate professor in the CU-Boulder's geography department and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES, a joint venture between CU-Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Abdalati, who directs the Earth Science Observation Center at CIRES, will oversee and advocate for NASA science.

Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper appointed TJ Deora as the director of the Governor's Energy Office. Deora now leads state and regional policy advocacy efforts for Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy's government affairs team, focusing on promoting investment-friendly environments for renewable energy. Hickenlooper also appointed Sue Birch executive director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. Birch is now the chief executive of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association in Steamboat Springs. She also helped start Club 20's Health Care task force, which focused on Western Slope health-care challenges.

HIGH TECH

Boulder-based FreeWave Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of spread spectrum and licensed radios, hired Hope Sheffield, Rob Sarno and Bekki Smith. Sheffield will serve as a customer support technician. Sheffield has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and physics minor from Santa Clara University. Sarno was hired for inside sales. Sarno attended Green Mountain Valley College in Vermont and the University of Oregon. Smith will serve as director of human resources. Smith has more than 25 years in senior HR leadership at Xerox Corp., Agilent Technologies and Hewlett-Packard Co. FreeWave also promoted Carla Scott to executive assistant. She will support the company's senior management team. Previously, Scott worked in human resources at the company.

INSURANCE

Jeff Tetrick, chief financial officer for Pinnacol Assurance, a provider of workers' compensation, has been appointed as a national board member to the San Francisco-based Integrated Benefits Institute. IBI programs, resources and expert networks advance the understanding and the impact of health-related productivity on corporate American's bottom line.

LAW

Catherine A. Tallerico has become a shareholder in the Longmont-based law firm Lyons Gaddis Kahn & Hall PC. She has been an attorney with the firm's government practice group since 2006 and specializes in education law, local government matters and commercial litigation. She also counsels and defends employment law matters for employers.

Laurel Durham has become a partner in the law firm Holme Roberts & Owen LLP. Durham, who works in the firm's office in Boulder, focuses on corporate matters, emerging growth and venture capital, and sports and entertainment law. HRO also made Paul Cha, Doyle Byers and Cory Talbot partners in the firm.

Tucker M. Katz has become a shareholder in Boulder-based Dietze and Davis PC. Katz's practice continues to focus on family law, civil litigation, and water law. He serves on the board of directors for the Boulder County Bar Association.

MANUFACTURING

Boulder-based natural products company Justin's hired Todd Powers as operations manager. Powers will lead Justin's operations team, spearheading raw material procurement and operational optimization as well as co-packer and vendor management. Justin's also hired Elizabeth Kennedy as operations coordinator and Walter Czapran as sales coordinator. Powers has worked extensively in the natural products industry managing operations, production and logistics. Kennedy and Czapran both moved up through Justin's intern program and are both graduates of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

REAL ESTATE

Residential real estate agent Mary Colwell recently joined Wright Kingdom Real Estate in Longmont.

OTHER

Radio station KGNU in Boulder promoted Shawna Sprowls to community development director. She previously was the station's membership director, a position the station is currently taking applications for.

Deadline to submit items for On the Job is three weeks prior to publication of each biweekly issue. Mail to Editor, Boulder County Business Report, 3180 Sterling Circle, Suite 201, Boulder, CO 80301; fax to 303-440-8954; or e-mail to news@bcbr.com with On the Job in the subject line. Photos submitted will not be returned.

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FACEBOOK IPO IS ROCKETING TOWARD REALITY
01/07/2011
San Jose Mercury News

Inflaming a subject of feverish speculation from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Facebook has indicated that it could be on track for an initial public offering by April 2012, or at a minimum will have to disclose its closely guarded financial information.

What would easily be the largest IPO since Google's in August of 2004 would create dozens if not hundreds of instant millionaires, likely encourage other social Internet companies such as LinkedIn and Twitter to go public -- and give a boost to the high-end housing market and Silicon Valley's luxury car dealers.

Published reports Thursday said the investment bank Goldman Sachs is circulating a memorandum to potential Facebook investors saying that the Palo Alto-based social-networking site will breach a critical federal securities limit this year, when the number of its shareholders tops 500. That will force the company by April of next year to begin disclosing the financial details of its business, with the additional option of selling its shares.

"In this social-networking space, there is the possibility of revived IPO activity," said Stephen Diamond, a securities law expert at the Santa Clara University School of Law. "This means, as it did in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and as it did in 2004, a flood of money coming into the valley. And, once again, an opening question is whether it's too much money chasing too few good projects."

Facebook would have the option under federal law to indefinitely postpone a public offering of its shares, so an IPO next spring is not certain. That may not be so surprising because CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has long stated his reluctance to part with the privacy and control Facebook enjoys as a company with a very small pool of shareholders.

If Facebook delayed selling shares, "it would be unusual, in the sense that you'd be opening the kimono, but you're not getting the cash outcome of public shares," Diamond said.

Facebook declined to comment Thursday.

With Zuckerberg and others saying that Internet companies and services built around people's social relationships are poised to take off and transform whole industries, shares of Facebook and other large social startups, including Twitter and Zynga, are attracting intense interest on private secondary markets, which usually allow former employees to sell their shares to wealthy investors hoping to grab a piece of a rising star before the general public can.

IPO speculation reached a fevered pitch this week, when Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor agreed to invest $500 million in Facebook. The investment gave Facebook a $50 billion valuation -- higher than Silicon Valley stalwarts such as eBay and Yahoo.

Goldman will create a "Special Purpose Vehicle" that allows Facebook shareholders to sell their stakes to the investment bank, which acts as a single shareholder. Goldman plans to sell the shares to its wealthy customers, a deal that securities experts like Diamond, and Adam Pritchard of the University of Michigan law school, say will give Goldman the inside track for the lucrative job of being the lead underwriter for any Facebook IPO. Pritchard said the SEC is certain to scrutinize the unconventional arrangement, however.

The Goldman memorandum, according to the New York Times, which obtained a copy, also said Facebook posted $355 million in profit on $1.2 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2010. That nearly 30 percent profit margin is roughly similar to what Google posted for the first nine months of 2010, when it had nearly $6 billion in net income on $20.9 billion in revenue.

For entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors, the news that a Facebook IPO could finally be at hand was exciting.

"It's a very good sign because it's validation that social-media and social-networking companies can exist and thrive as independent companies," said Brian Pokorny, CEO of DailyBooth, a San Francisco startup that allows members to post and share daily photos of themselves.

"In terms of what it does for the macro economy and the local economy, a few billion-dollar IPOs sure make things more robust," said Bing Gordon, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers partner who heads the sFund, a $250 million investment pool for online social startups. "These are wildly exciting times."

Diamond said he is skeptical that Facebook will have the same long-term economic impact on the valley that Intel, Apple or Google have had but that it will make a few people very rich in the short term.

"I imagine there are any number of real estate agents who are sharpening their contact list for buyers of real estate in Atherton," he said, "because there will be some Facebook billionaires from this."

Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

Copyright © 2011 San Jose Mercury News

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DEMOCRATIC JUSTICE RETIRING
01/07/2011
San Jose Mercury News

Just days after his inauguration, new Gov. Jerry Brown has a quick opportunity to dust off his once controversial judge-picking skills and name a justice to one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country.

California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, 62, the sole Democrat and Latino on the state's high court, submitted his letter of resignation to Brown this week, informing the governor he would retire from the court on Feb. 28.

In an interview with the Mercury News on Thursday, the soft-spoken Moreno said the "time seemed right" to move on, citing Brown's election, reaching full judicial pension eligibility and being young enough to still explore lucrative options in the private sector.

Moreno's departure comes on the heels of the retirement this month of Chief Justice Ronald George, who has been replaced by new Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The two moves could usher in one of the most significant shifts on the court in decades, with Brown in position to fill Moreno's seat and perhaps others in the coming years on an aging Supreme Court.

The governor will be under pressure to replace Moreno with either a Latino or an African-American; there currently are no African-American justices on the court, and San Francisco appeals court Justice Martin Jenkins, a former federal judge, is already being circulated as a potential candidate.

Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor, said it might take six months to find that replacement but predicts Brown's emphasis on diversity is likely to mean he'll tap a minority for Moreno's seat.

For his part, Moreno said he would urge Brown to replace him with a Latino.

"If he asks for my opinion, I think he should do whatever he can that a Latino replaces me on the court," Moreno said.

There did not appear to be any mystery to Moreno's decision. Among other things, he has been living a commuter life, shuttling between his home in Los Angeles and the court's San Francisco headquarters for years.

"I felt with so much transition in the air, the chief justice leaving, the change in administrations, I started looking at my own career and what else I'd like to do," Moreno said. "It seemed exciting to try something new."

Moreno has already been particularly active in trying to improve the state's foster care system, and he is a foster parent himself. He made it clear he wants to continue civic work and become more active politically, which is virtually forbidden for a Supreme Court justice.

Cantil-Sakauye said she was "saddened" by Moreno's resignation, adding she expected to serve with him for at least another decade. But, she said in a statement, "I am happy for him because his future is filled with possibilities."

Moreno has been a justice since 2001, when he was named to the Supreme Court by former Gov. Gray Davis. He has been perhaps the most liberal justice on the conservative court, particularly on social issues such as same-sex marriage. Two years ago, he was the only justice on the court who voted to invalidate Proposition 8, the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

In a long legal career, Moreno joined the Supreme Court after serving as a federal judge in Los Angeles. Former President Bill Clinton appointed him to the federal bench in 1998.

More recently, Moreno was on a shortlist for the U.S. Supreme Court when the Obama administration was considering vacancies and was interviewed by the president.

Moreno grew up in a poor family in East Los Angeles, the son of Mexican immigrants. He forged a success story by attending Yale University and Stanford Law School and becoming a successful lawyer and eventually one of the state's judicial leaders.

For Brown, it will be a chance to fill a state Supreme Court spot for the first time since his first tenure as governor ended in 1983. That was marked by the ill-fated choice of former Chief Justice Rose Bird, who was later ousted by voters, along with two other Brown appointees, in a backlash over their refusal to uphold death sentences.

On Thursday, Brown released a statement simply saying he "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious."

While Brown's judicial selections are still expected to be liberal, experts have predicted he will take a more cautious approach to choosing justices this time around. In fact, in an interview in October during the governor's race, Brown told the Mercury News he "has learned from the past" on judicial appointments.

Contact Howard Mintz at 408-286-0236.

Copyright © 2011 San Jose Mercury News

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Facebook IPO could be a reality in April 2012
01/07/2011
Oakland Tribune

Inflaming a subject of feverish speculation from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Facebook has indicated that it could be on track for an initial public offering by April 2012, or at a minimum will have to disclose its closely guarded financial information.

What would easily be the largest IPO since Google's in August of 2004 would create dozens if not hundreds of instant millionaires, likely encourage other social Internet companies such as LinkedIn and Twitter to go public -- and give a boost to the high-end housing market and Silicon Valley's luxury car dealers.

Published reports Thursday said the investment bank Goldman Sachs is circulating a memorandum to potential Facebook investors saying that the Palo Alto-based social-networking site will breach a critical federal securities limit this year, when the number of its shareholders tops 500. That will force the company by April of next year to begin disclosing the financial details of its business, with the additional option of selling its shares.

"In this social-networking space, there is the possibility of revived IPO activity," said Stephen Diamond, a securities law expert at the Santa Clara University School of Law. "This means, as it did in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and as it did in 2004, a flood of money coming into the valley. And, once again, an opening question is whether it's too much money chasing too few good projects."

Facebook would have the option under federal law to indefinitely postpone a public offering of its shares, so an IPO next spring is not certain. That may not be so surprising because CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has long stated his reluctance to part with the privacy and control Facebook enjoys as a company with a very small pool of shareholders.

If Facebook delayed selling shares, "it would be unusual, in the sense that you'd be opening the kimono, but you're not getting the cash outcome of public shares," Diamond said.

Facebook declined to comment Thursday.

With Zuckerberg and others saying that Internet companies and services built around people's social relationships are poised to take off and transform whole industries, shares of Facebook and other large social startups, including Twitter and Zynga, are attracting intense interest on private secondary markets, which usually allow former employees to sell their shares to wealthy investors hoping to grab a piece of a rising star before the general public can.

IPO speculation reached a fevered pitch this week, when Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor agreed to invest $500 million in Facebook. The investment gave Facebook a $50 billion valuation -- higher than Silicon Valley stalwarts such as eBay and Yahoo.

Goldman will create a "Special Purpose Vehicle" that allows Facebook shareholders to sell their stakes to the investment bank, which acts as a single shareholder. Goldman plans to sell the shares to its wealthy customers, a deal that securities experts like Diamond, and Adam Pritchard of the University of Michigan law school, say will give Goldman the inside track for the lucrative job of being the lead underwriter for any Facebook IPO. Pritchard said the SEC is certain to scrutinize the unconventional arrangement, however.

The Goldman memorandum, according to the New York Times, which obtained a copy, also said Facebook posted $355 million in profit on $1.2 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2010. That nearly 30 percent profit margin is roughly similar to what Google posted for the first nine months of 2010, when it had nearly $6 billion in net income on $20.9 billion in revenue.

For entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors, the news that a Facebook IPO could finally be at hand was exciting.

"It's a very good sign because it's validation that social-media and social-networking companies can exist and thrive as independent companies," said Brian Pokorny, CEO of DailyBooth, a San Francisco startup that allows members to post and share daily photos of themselves.

"In terms of what it does for the macro economy and the local economy, a few billion-dollar IPOs sure make things more robust," said Bing Gordon, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers partner who heads the sFund, a $250 million investment pool for online social startups. "These are wildly exciting times."

Diamond said he is skeptical that Facebook will have the same long-term economic impact on the valley that Intel, Apple or Google have had but that it will make a few people very rich in the short term.

"I imagine there are any number of real estate agents who are sharpening their contact list for buyers of real estate in Atherton," he said, "because there will be some Facebook billionaires from this."

Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at .

Copyright © 2011 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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State high court losing lone Democratic appointee | View Clip
01/07/2011
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

(01-06) 17:06 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- Justice Carlos Moreno, the California Supreme Court's only Democratic appointee and Latino and the author of some of its most important gay-rights opinions, unexpectedly announced his retirement Thursday, creating a vacancy for new Gov. Jerry Brown to fill.

Moreno, 62, a former federal judge who joined the court in October 2001, is stepping down Feb. 28, less than four months after winning voter approval for a new 12-year term. He said the reasons for his decision include family concerns, finances and Brown's election.

The Democratic governor's victory "gives me a certain comfort level" about who his replacement will be, Moreno said in an interview.

A weekly commuter from Los Angeles who is not among the San Francisco-based court's wealthier members, Moreno said he could better provide for his family - which includes a daughter with autism and a son who wants to go to law school - by working as a lawyer or a private arbitrator.

Supreme Court justices make $218,237 a year.

Top justice surprised

His announcement clearly surprised the court's new chief justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who said she had expected to serve alongside Moreno for at least a decade. She issued a statement praising him as "a consummate professional, a dedicated and gracious jurist."

Brown, who took office Monday, plans to name "a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said spokesman Evan Westrup.

As governor from 1975 to 1983, Brown named the court's first Latino, its first two African Americans and its first woman, Chief Justice Rose Bird. The voters removed Bird and Justices Cruz Reynoso - Brown's Latino appointee - and Joseph Grodin in 1986 after a campaign that focused on their reversals of death sentences.

There are no Latinos or African Americans among the remaining six justices on the current court. Moreno said he hoped Brown would consider a successor from one of those groups, "given the demographics of the state."

From East L.A.

A produce dealer's son who grew up in the East Los Angeles barrio, Moreno was appointed to the court by Gov. Gray Davis. He had previously been a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years and a trial judge in Los Angeles County for 12 years.

Moreno was widely reported to be on President Obama's list of candidates in 2009 for the U.S. Supreme Court nomination that went to Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Had he been named to the high court, "that would have put off any retirement," he said Thursday.

Moreno said the rulings of which he was proudest include four 2005 decisions that upheld same-sex couples' parental rights, including custody and child support, and the right of domestic partners to be free of discrimination by businesses.

He was also part of the 4-3 majority in May 2008 that declared the right of gays and lesbians to marry in California.

Prop. 8 case dissent

After voters overturned that ruling by passing Proposition 8 in November 2008, Moreno was the only dissenter in the court's 6-1 decision that declared the measure a valid amendment to the state Constitution.

In his dissent, Moreno wrote that the ruling "places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities." Prop. 8 is now being challenged in federal court.

"He has been a champion of ensuring the Constitution's protection of equality," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, the state's largest gay-rights group.

Moreno was also the sole dissenter from an August 2010 ruling that upheld Proposition 209, California's ban on race-conscious affirmative action.

Moreno wrote the court's 4-3 ruling in 2007 that said labor unions and political protesters are protected by freedom of speech when they urge customers at large shopping centers to boycott stores.

Moderate overall

His overall record, nevertheless, was relatively moderate, said Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor and close observer of the court. He said court records show Moreno voted with centrist former Chief Justice Ronald George 95 percent of the time.

Uelmen said Moreno's successor is unlikely to change the ideological balance on the court, which is divided between conservative and moderate to liberal justices.

The successor nominated by Brown would take office if approved by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, chaired by Cantil-Sakauye, and would be on the ballot in 2014 for confirmation for the remaining eight years of Moreno's term.

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New site aims to educate Catholics on the death penalty | View Clip
01/07/2011
Tidings - Online

A new website sponsored by Santa Clara University and California Catholic Lawyers Against the Death Penalty seeks to inform Catholic opinion regarding the death penalty in California, and to actively promote the repeal of California's death-penalty law.

California Catholic Lawyers Against the Death Penalty (CCLADP) is a newly formed organization headed by Santa Clara University School of Law professor Gerald F. Uelmen, who teaches criminal law at SCU and previously directed a state-wide commission on California's justice system.

Uelmen received a grant from the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at SCU to organize and launch the website. CCLADP will be directed by an advisory board which includes many leading Catholic lawyers in California, including former Attorney General John Van de Kamp, former state public defender and Sacramento federal defender Quin Denvir, Newcastle attorney Paul Comiskey and San Jose attorney Thomas Hogan.

The new website --- http://www.ccladp.org --- will be a rich resource for Catholics who have questions about participation in enforcing the death penalty, with resource materials for Catholic prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges and jurors, as well as Catholic doctors, legislators and governors. Uelmen said the genesis of the project was a public opinion poll showing that, contrary to Church teaching, Catholics registered the highest support for the continuation of the death penalty among all religious groups in California.

CCLADP will seek to persuade Catholics to re-examine the issue in light of the wealth of Church teaching and advocacy available. The website includes resource sections on how the death penalty is viewed and analyzed by the pope, the American and California Bishops, the Bible and Catholic catechism.

"While California Catholics include lots of 'Cafeteria Catholics' who pick and choose which Church teachings to follow," said Uelmen, "it struck me as ironic that so many Catholics would reject such a rich source of guidance on such an important issue."

The site contains a letter of support from San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath, praising Santa Clara University and its law school in promoting opposition to California's death penalty law.

CCLADP members will be available to speak to parish groups and organizations regarding the issue. "Lawyers are particularly well informed on this issue, and can address a broad spectrum of the questions Catholics may have," said Uelmen. The website also provides links to websites of numerous other religious groups with information about the death penalty.

Since California's death penalty law was adopted by initiative, it can only be modified or repealed by a vote of the people. Across the nation, growing opposition to the death penalty has led to many efforts at repeal. Those efforts succeeded in New Jersey and New Mexico two years ago. CCLADP hopes to affect public opinion among California's Catholics to favor the abolition of California's death penalty law and its replacement with sentences of life without parole.

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Only Latino justice plans to step down
01/07/2011
San Francisco Chronicle

Justice Carlos Moreno, the California Supreme Court's only Democratic appointee and Latino and the author of some of its most important gay-rights opinions, unexpectedly announced his retirement Thursday, creating a vacancy for new Gov. Jerry Brown to fill.

Moreno, 62, a former federal judge who joined the court in October 2001, is stepping down Feb. 28, less than four months after winning voter approval for a new 12-year term. He said the reasons for his decision include family concerns, finances and Brown's election.

The Democratic governor's victory "gives me a certain comfort level" about who his replacement will be, Moreno said.

A weekly commuter from Los Angeles who is not among the San Francisco-based court's wealthier members, Moreno said he could better provide for his family - which includes a daughter with autism and a son who wants to go to law school - by working as a lawyer or a private arbitrator.

Supreme Court justices make $218,237 a year.

Top justice surprisedHis announcement clearly surprised the court's new chief justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who said she had expected to serve alongside Moreno for at least a decade. She issued a statement praising him as "a consummate professional, a dedicated and gracious jurist."

Brown, who took office Monday, plans to name "a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said spokesman Evan Westrup.

As governor from 1975 to 1983, Brown named the court's first Latino, its first two African Americans and its first woman, Chief Justice Rose Bird. The voters removed Bird and Justices Cruz Reynoso - Brown's Latino appointee - and Joseph Grodin in 1986 after a campaign that focused on their reversals of death sentences.

There are no Latinos or African Americans among the remaining six justices on the court. Moreno said he hopes that Brown will consider a successor from one of those groups, "given the demographics of the state."

From East L.A.A produce dealer's son who grew up in the East Los Angeles barrio, Moreno was appointed to the court by Gov. Gray Davis. He had previously been a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years and a trial judge in Los Angeles County for 12 years.

Moreno was widely reported to be on President Obama's list of candidates in 2009 for the U.S. Supreme Court nomination that went to Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Had he been named to the high court, "that would have put off any retirement," he said Thursday.

Moreno said the rulings of which he is proudest include four 2005 decisions that upheld same-sex couples' parental rights, including custody and child support, and the right of domestic partners to be free of discrimination by businesses.

He was also part of the 4-3 majority in May 2008 that declared the right of gays and lesbians to marry in California.

Prop. 8 case dissentAfter voters overturned that ruling by passing Proposition 8 in November 2008, Moreno was the only dissenter in the court's 6-1 decision that declared the measure a valid amendment to the state Constitution.

In his dissent, Moreno wrote that the ruling "places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities." Prop. 8 is now being challenged in federal court.

"He has been a champion of ensuring the Constitution's protection of equality," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, the state's largest gay-rights group.

Moreno was also the sole dissenter from an August 2010 ruling that upheld Proposition 209, California's ban on race-conscious affirmative action.

Moreno wrote the court's 4-3 ruling in 2007 that said labor unions and political protesters are protected by freedom of speech when they urge customers at large shopping centers to boycott stores.

Moderate overallHis overall record, nevertheless, was relatively moderate, said Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor and close observer of the court. He said court records show Moreno voted with centrist former Chief Justice Ronald George 95 percent of the time.

Uelmen said Moreno's successor is unlikely to change the ideological balance on the court, which is divided between conservative and moderate-to-liberal justices.

The successor nominated by Brown would take office if approved by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, chaired by Cantil-Sakauye, and would be on the ballot in 2014 for confirmation for the remaining eight years of Moreno's term.

Copyright © 2011 San Francisco Chronicle

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Balance may shift at PUC
01/07/2011
Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown could have a big impact on business and residential energy bills and the California economy by making as many as three appointments this month to the state's top regulatory body, the Public Utilities Commission.

At least two appointments to fill current vacancies in the five-member panel could come as early as Friday and could start to give the PUC its most pro-consumer majority since the days of the energy crisis a decade ago.

A third member, Nancy Ryan, must step down Jan. 20 if her appointment last year by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to a regular six-year term is not confirmed by the state Senate by then.

The PUC is a constitutionally independent commission that oversees companies supplying electricity, natural gas, telephone and cable service to millions of homes and businesses.

"This is a most powerful agency that is supposed to be regulating utilities that every Californian uses," said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause.

All of the half-dozen candidates known to be interested in joining the commission have strong pro-consumer credentials.

Critics contend that the Schwarzenegger appointees, who dominated the panel in recent years, have been overly friendly to the state's three big electric utilities -- Southern California Edison Co., Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. -- and opened the door to higher rates.

At the same time, Schwarzenegger's commissioners largely deregulated the telephone business.

"The PUC in the last six years has a pattern of giving away the store to utilities," said Mark Toney, executive director of the Utility Reform Network, a San Francisco ratepayers group.

Regulated companies such as Edison and major business trade groups such as the California Manufacturers & Technology Assn. declined to comment on possible Brown nominees and their influence on PUC policies.

But one Democrat in the state Senate didn't see a bias against consumers.

"I don't think the commission has been anti-consumer," said Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), chairman of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. "As a whole, they are relatively balanced."

Critics, though, point to a number of decisions under PUC President Michael Peevey that they say overly favored the big corporations at the expense of ratepayers.

Last month, the PUC helped utilities financially by reversing three proposed decisions by its own administrative law judges.

A 3-2 majority approved millions of dollars in energy efficiency bonuses for four utilities; another 3-2 vote allowed San Diego Gas & Electric to recoup wildfire insurance costs from ratepayers; and a 4-1 vote approved procurement orders for electricity from a new power plant that the PUC's independent Division of Ratepayer Advocates said wasn't needed.

Those decisions and others spurred an avalanche of spending that utilities can recoup -- along with substantial markups -- from consumers, said Cheryl Cox, the Division of Ratepayer Advocates' chief policy advisor.

Critics also charge that the PUC has been complacent in overseeing regulated companies. An investigation of the fatal explosion of a PG&E natural gas pipeline in San Bruno in September showed that some PUC staff members did not do their jobs.

According to PUC work papers, the utility sought $5 million in its 2009 rates to cover the cost of repairs to the San Bruno pipeline section that eventually failed.

Peevey, a former Southern California Edison president, did not respond to the criticism or speculate on who might be appointed to the commission.

Brown can replace Peevey as president but can't remove him from the agency until his term ends in four years. Capital insiders suggest that the governor might replace him as president with John Geesman, a former member of the California Energy Commission.

Last fall Geesman was a leader in a successful campaign to defeat a PG&E-sponsored ballot measure that would have made it more difficult for ratepayers to create public power authorities. He previously served as president of the Utility Reform Network's board of directors. Geesman declined to talk about his application for a PUC appointment.

Another candidate, Michael Florio, also has a strong connection to the Utility Reform Network. He has served as a staff attorney since 1978, appearing hundreds of times in PUC legal proceedings.

Other PUC candidates include former state Sen. Dean Florez; Catherine Sandoval, a Santa Clara University law professor and telecommunications expert; Jack McNally, a retired business official for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and Julia Levin, a former state energy commissioner and environmental attorney at the California attorney general's office.

Additionally, Brown could reappoint Ryan, an energy economist and former top Peevey assistant, to a new six-year term.

All of the candidates, except Florez, declined to be interviewed or could not be reached for comment. The governor's office also declined to comment.

Florez, the son of farmworkers who represented the southern San Joaquin Valley until last month, tangled repeatedly with PG&E, the PUC and Peevey over the installation of so-called electricity smart meters on residences.

The meters, his constituents complained, drove up energy bills. Florez cast the only negative vote to confirm Peevey's reappointment in 2008.

"My vote was really about the direction the PUC is going, not necessarily about Mike Peevey," Florez said. "The ratepayers are always the last persons to get served."

marc.lifsher@latimes.com

PHOTO: DEAN FLOREZ The former state senator has tangled with PG&E, Peevey and the PUC.

PHOTOGRAPHER:Stefano Paltera For The Times

PHOTO: MICHAEL PEEVEY The PUC president is a former Southern California Edison president.

PHOTOGRAPHER:Randi Lynn Beach For The Times

Copyright © 2011 Los Angeles Times

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Gov. Brown gets chance to name high court justice
01/07/2011
Associated Press (AP) - Sacramento Bureau

SAN FRANCISCO_Gov. Jerry Brown will have an early opportunity to shape California's high court following the surprise announcement that its only Latino justice is stepping down next month.

Justice Carlos Moreno, the only Democratic appointee on the state Supreme Court, submitted his resignation to California's new governor on Wednesday and said his last day will be Feb. 28, according to court spokeswoman Lynn Holton.

Moreno, 62, was named to the state Supreme Court in 1991 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. He was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

Brown "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

In a brief statement, Moreno said after more than 24 years as a judge he plans to return to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

Moreno's coming departure will follow closely behind that of former Chief Justice Ronald George, who stepped down Sunday after 14 years. He was succeeded by appellate court judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who assumed the post Monday.

Moreno's resignation, which surprised legal observers, gives Brown his first chance to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court since his last term as governor more than 25 years ago.

"It's an opportunity for him to make a very important pick very quickly for his administration," said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. "This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process."

Legal observers say Brown would like proceed cautiously after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty. The ballot-box ouster of former Chief Justice Rose Bird and associate justices Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin was unprecedented in California history.

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Gov. Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so "it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court."

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelmen said.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Gov. Brown gets chance to name high court justice | View Clip
01/07/2011
Whittier Daily News

SAN FRANCISCO—Gov. Jerry Brown will have an early opportunity to shape California's high court following the surprise announcement that its only Latino justice is stepping down next month.

Justice Carlos Moreno, the only Democratic appointee on the state Supreme Court, submitted his resignation to California's new governor on Wednesday and said his last day will be Feb. 28, according to court spokeswoman Lynn Holton.

Moreno, 62, was named to the state Supreme Court in 1991 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. He was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

Brown "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

In a brief statement, Moreno said after more than 24 years as a judge he plans to return to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

Moreno's coming departure will follow closely behind that of former Chief Justice Ronald George, who stepped down Sunday after 14 years. He was succeeded by appellate court judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who assumed the post Monday.

Moreno's resignation, which surprised legal observers, gives Brown his first chance to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court since his last term as governor more than 25 years ago.

"It's an opportunity for him to make a

very important pick very quickly for his administration," said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. "This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process."

Legal observers say Brown would like proceed cautiously after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty. The ballot-box ouster of former Chief Justice Rose Bird and associate justices Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin was unprecedented in California history.

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Gov. Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so "it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court."

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelmen said.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

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Is Men's Wear Back? | View Clip
01/06/2011
WWD.com

Yes ? and you can credit the recession.Behavioral experts say shopping doesn?t come naturally to most men, yet men?s wear was among the star performers this past holiday and retailers are expecting (or at least hoping) the growth will continue in 2011. They?re helped by the fact that clothes do wear out ? and men feel that it?s time at last to replace their threadbare suits and holey socks and underwear. According to behavioral finance expert Meir Statman, author and business professor at Santa Clara University, the recession has stirred men?s competitive juices and they see dressing better as a competitive edge. ?It?s not just a matter of impressing women anymore,? he said. ?It?s also about impressing potential employers. There is a sense that the competition out there is more fierce.? In his book, ?What Investors Really Want,? Statman devotes a chapter to buying clothes. ?Clothing are visible status goods. You can have very chic furniture in your own home, but only friends and family see your home. Many more people see your car, your watch, your clothes. People compete with clothes,? though Statman himself isn?t inclined to. ?I am a professor and I?m tenured,? he said. ?I buy my clothes at Lands? End. I have three suits with stitching on the lapels. They look as if they?re bespoke and when I wear the suits, I suck in my tummy and stick out my chest.? His point: ?You can feel good when you buy something new, but I think for men, at least in my case and many others, it?s really not natural to go out looking for clothes. The last thing we want to do is accompany the wife on a shopping trip. However, in an economy where the competition is fierce, men do feel they have to pay more attention to how they present themselves.?Marc Gob�, president of Emotional Branding LLC, an experimental think tank, cited innovation in men?s wear by both brands and retailers, and a pent-up demand to replenish wardrobes after abstaining for so long, as contributing to the pickup at retail. ?It?s also not impossible that men are discovering what women have known all along ? that buying new clothes is psychologically rewarding and not a vast expense,? he added.?From a psychological perspective, fashion is pleasurable. It?s a way to express a sense of hope. A new shirt can change your mood. A new suit can give you confidence. A new pair of shoes makes you look at life differently,? said Gob�. ?Fashion is not an expensive way to feel good about yourself. At a time when the economy is tough and people have lots of anxieties on their shoulders, there?s been a big change in how men are looking at fashion. ?I?ve been looking at a few fashion stores. It?s really interesting how retailers have become much better with fashion and style. There?s a lot more innovation offered. Under the pressure of the economy, retailers have been forced to innovate. It?s very possible this innovation has attracted new shoppers. I was looking at the Gap yesterday. I was passing by one on my way to the theater. The pants, shirts and sweaters I thought were very cool. It was good design with innovative textures. Things worked well together. It didn?t look like the boring, commodity offering that you would find there season after season.? However, Gob� isn?t completely convinced there is a huge rebound in men?s attitude toward fashion ? although they are more comfortable now shopping for clothes online. ?Don?t underestimate men shopping online, even if they don?t make the buy online. It?s where they can feel more comfortable exploring,? he said. ?Traditional shopping is not that comfortable for men. Research shows it?s not regarded as a priority.? With women, however, ?Shopping is totally pleasurable. It?s a social happening, for joyful moments of discovery. I don?t think guys take their friends to buy suits. ?For most American men, fashion is not part of their vocabulary,? Gob� said. ?If you are with a bunch of guys, no one says, ?Yeah, I really love that tie? or, ?Hey. That jacket fits really well.? Men don?t talk like that. In Europe, men are a lot more open with fashion. They can have a fashion conversation. There is a real interest in fashion. In America, the whole of men?s fashion at large is not part of the conversation.?? David Moin

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Is Men's Wear Back? | View Clip
01/06/2011
Daily News Record

Yes ? and you can credit the recession.Behavioral experts say shopping doesn?t come naturally to most men, yet men?s wear was among the star performers this past holiday and retailers are expecting (or at least hoping) the growth will continue in 2011. They?re helped by the fact that clothes do wear out ? and men feel that it?s time at last to replace their threadbare suits and holey socks and underwear. According to behavioral finance expert Meir Statman, author and business professor at Santa Clara University, the recession has stirred men?s competitive juices and they see dressing better as a competitive edge. ?It?s not just a matter of impressing women anymore,? he said. ?It?s also about impressing potential employers. There is a sense that the competition out there is more fierce.? In his book, ?What Investors Really Want,? Statman devotes a chapter to buying clothes. ?Clothing are visible status goods. You can have very chic furniture in your own home, but only friends and family see your home. Many more people see your car, your watch, your clothes. People compete with clothes,? though Statman himself isn?t inclined to. ?I am a professor and I?m tenured,? he said. ?I buy my clothes at Lands? End. I have three suits with stitching on the lapels. They look as if they?re bespoke and when I wear the suits, I suck in my tummy and stick out my chest.? His point: ?You can feel good when you buy something new, but I think for men, at least in my case and many others, it?s really not natural to go out looking for clothes. The last thing we want to do is accompany the wife on a shopping trip. However, in an economy where the competition is fierce, men do feel they have to pay more attention to how they present themselves.?Marc Gob�, president of Emotional Branding LLC, an experimental think tank, cited innovation in men?s wear by both brands and retailers, and a pent-up demand to replenish wardrobes after abstaining for so long, as contributing to the pickup at retail. ?It?s also not impossible that men are discovering what women have known all along ? that buying new clothes is psychologically rewarding and not a vast expense,? he added.?From a psychological perspective, fashion is pleasurable. It?s a way to express a sense of hope. A new shirt can change your mood. A new suit can give you confidence. A new pair of shoes makes you look at life differently,? said Gob�. ?Fashion is not an expensive way to feel good about yourself. At a time when the economy is tough and people have lots of anxieties on their shoulders, there?s been a big change in how men are looking at fashion. ?I?ve been looking at a few fashion stores. It?s really interesting how retailers have become much better with fashion and style. There?s a lot more innovation offered. Under the pressure of the economy, retailers have been forced to innovate. It?s very possible this innovation has attracted new shoppers. I was looking at the Gap yesterday. I was passing by one on my way to the theater. The pants, shirts and sweaters I thought were very cool. It was good design with innovative textures. Things worked well together. It didn?t look like the boring, commodity offering that you would find there season after season.? However, Gob� isn?t completely convinced there is a huge rebound in men?s attitude toward fashion ? although they are more comfortable now shopping for clothes online. ?Don?t underestimate men shopping online, even if they don?t make the buy online. It?s where they can feel more comfortable exploring,? he said. ?Traditional shopping is not that comfortable for men. Research shows it?s not regarded as a priority.? With women, however, ?Shopping is totally pleasurable. It?s a social happening, for joyful moments of discovery. I don?t think guys take their friends to buy suits. ?For most American men, fashion is not part of their vocabulary,? Gob� said. ?If you are with a bunch of guys, no one says, ?Yeah, I really love that tie? or, ?Hey. That jacket fits really well.? Men don?t talk like that. In Europe, men are a lot more open with fashion. They can have a fashion conversation. There is a real interest in fashion. In America, the whole of men?s fashion at large is not part of the conversation.?? David Moin

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New DA restoring 'Conviction Integrity' and 'Cold Case' units | View Clip
01/06/2011
Palo Alto Weekly - Online

Jeff Rosen announces plans to reinstate cold-case unit and expand review of convictions

Criminals who never got caught for past crimes in Santa Clara County should be looking over their shoulders, while persons wrongly convicted may have new hope under policies announced this week by Jeff Rosen, who became the county's new district attorney Monday.

Rosen was sworn in during a private administrative ceremony Monday in San Jose but will be ceremonially sworn in a public ceremony Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the San Jose City Hall at 200 Santa Clara St.

Among Rosen's first acts Wednesday was to create an expanded Conviction Integrity Unit that will monitor procedures relating to arrests, prosecutions and convictions of persons accused of crimes to safeguard against wrongful convictions. On Wednesday, he announced that the unit will be headed by David Angel, a deputy district attorney with about 16 years experience in a variety of positions within the DA's office.

He also announced reinstatement of the Cold Case Unit, which will follow-up on unsolved serious crimes, primarily murder and rape cases, working with local police agencies, Rosen said in an interview with the Palo Alto Weekly. He said he is currently evaluating who would best head that unit.

Both units were disbanded by former District Attorney Dolores Carr, who cited budgetary reasons. But she lost a bid for re-election last November to Rosen, who mounted a strong challenge with support from retired District Attorney George Kennedy and others. Kennedy retired in 2007.

Rosen also announced the appointment of Ian Fitch as the new director of the county Crime Lab, replacing retiring Director Benny DelRe. Fitch was most recently the crime-lab director in Colorado Springs and formerly was a supervisor for the Santa Clara County lab.

Rosen said Fitch is "highly respected and is known as an expert in DNA," and that he was chosen from several "exceptionally well-qualified candidates" for the position.

Rosen said the Conviction Integrity Unit is based a so-called Innocence Project that Kennedy created a decade ago but was named after a similar unit in Dallas, Texas. Rosen said he felt "conviction integrity" was broader and better described the scope of what the unit will do which includes developing best-practices for police and prosecutors to minimize the chances of wrongful convictions.

Angel, a graduate of the Harvard Law School, pioneered the creation of Kennedy's project, which resulted in three exonerations, including someone who had been sentenced to life in prison, and two lesser cases. Angel resides in San Francisco with his wife, Jana Clark, a deputy city attorney there, and their three children.

Rosen said the integrity unit will work with defense attorneys and the Northern California Innocence Project, based at Santa Clara University.

He said Kennedy's creation of such a unit was "a very forward-looking, progressive move," and a model.

"What I'm creating here really builds and expands on what George Kennedy was doing before," Rosen said.

He said Angel will have supervisory authority over the office's law-and-motions team, "where many issues relating to prosecutorial misconduct or police misconduct come up." He said he will also be a liaison with police agencies in terms of helping with training and reviewing of how cases are handled.

Angel will report to Jay Boyarsky, recently announced as Rosen's chief assistant. Boyarsky formerly supervised the North County DA's office in Palo Alto.

Rosen also announced that he will be eliminating the office's public-information staff and shifting much of the responsibility for getting information out via the media to prosecuting attorneys.

"It's more efficient, and we have less kind of telephone tag," and the prosecutors know most about the cases, he said of the move. A weekly summary of significant cases will continue to be issued, he said.

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US schools step up recruitment in China | View Clip
01/06/2011
China Economic Review

Many American universities are accelerating recruitment in China, attracted by the newfound wealth of many Chinese and their strong academic preparation.

This educational pipeline delivered more than 40,000 undergraduates to the US in the 2009-10 academic year - a 46% increase over the previous year - and promises to bring more.

China's undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students in the US.

Santa Clara University has just completed its first recruitment tour in five Chinese cities. A recruiting brochure, written in Chinese, extols the virtue of its location "in the heart of Silicon Valley, where all technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens."

The search for Chinese talent is also under way at the University of San Francisco, where enrollment has jumped from 32 students to 424 in five years.

Peninsula Palo Altoreports that Chinese students bring added value to the campus because of their academic preparation, global perspective and willingness to pay full tuition at cash-strapped campuses.

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Resolved: Distinguish Hindsight From Foresight | View Clip
01/06/2011
New York Times - Online

Courtesy of Meir Statman Meir Statman.

This week on the Bucks blog, our contributors, along with some of our favorite sources, are posting about their new year's financial resolutions. Here, Meir Statman a finance professor at Santa Clara University who specializes in behavioral finance, and author of “What Investors Really Want,” shares his thoughts.

I resolve to know the difference between foresight and hindsight. I will compel myself to remember that my hindsight about 2010 does not endow me with foresight about 2011.

I resolve to remind myself that I've seen my investment losses only in hindsight and make peace with them. I will realize my losses quickly, accept the sting of regret and enjoy the tax benefits.

I resolve not to fret over small expenditures. I will not spend an hour on the phone to retrieve a $5 overcharge.

I resolve to set my goals high enough to propel me toward them, and not so high that I would never reach them.

I resolve to muster my resilience. I will remember the my parents survived the Holocaust and will not whine over a 50 percent loss in my portfolio.

I resolve to care about what I do with my money more than I care about making my money. I will increase my contributions to those who have much less than I do.

I resolve to continue my pursuit of investment truth through scholarship and share that truth with others.

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Bucks: Resolved: Distinguish Hindsight From Foresight | View Clip
01/06/2011
New York Times - Online

This week on the Bucks blog, our contributors, along with some of our favorite sources, are posting about their new year's financial resolutions. Here, Meir Statman a finance professor at Santa Clara University who specializes in behavioral finance, and author of ?What Investors Really Want,? shares his thoughts.

I resolve to know the difference between foresight and hindsight. I will compel myself to remember that my hindsight about 2010 does not endow me with foresight about 2011.

I resolve to remind myself that I?ve seen my investment losses only in hindsight and make peace with them. I will realize my losses quickly, accept the sting of regret and enjoy the tax benefits.

I resolve not to fret over small expenditures. I will not spend an hour on the phone to retrieve a $5 overcharge.

I resolve to set my goals high enough to propel me toward them, and not so high that I would never reach them.

I resolve to muster my resilience. I will remember the my parents survived the Holocaust and will not whine over a 50 percent loss in my portfolio.

I resolve to care about what I do with my money more than I care about making my money. I will increase my contributions to those who have much less than I do.

I resolve to continue my pursuit of investment truth through scholarship and share that truth with others.

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California Public Utilities Commission could get pro-consumer majority | View Clip
01/06/2011
Los Angeles Times - Online

Gov. Jerry Brown may make as many as three appointments this month to the state's top regulatory agency. Critics say the PUC has been overly friendly to the state's three big electric utilities in recent years. Gov. Jerry Brown could have a big impact on business and residential energy bills and the California economy by making as many as three appointments this month to the state's top regulatory body, the Public Utilities Commission.

At least two appointments to fill current vacancies in the five-member panel could come as early as Friday and could start to give the PUC its most pro-consumer majority since the days of the energy crisis a decade ago.

A third member, Nancy Ryan, must step down Jan. 20 if her appointment last year by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to a regular six-year term is not confirmed by the state Senate by then.

The PUC is a constitutionally independent commission that oversees private companies supplying electricity, natural gas, telephone and cable service to millions of homes and businesses.

The agency also regulates private drinking water providers, household moving companies, limousine operators and light-rail and intrastate railroad safety.

"This is a most powerful agency that is supposed to be regulating utilities that every Californian uses," said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause. "Its reach expands much further than what folks usually think of as public utilities."

All of the half-dozen candidates known to be interested in joining the commission have strong pro-consumer credentials. One, consumer lawyer Michael Florio, has spent the last 32 years representing utility ratepayers at meetings in the PUC's San Francisco headquarters.

Critics contend that the Schwarzenegger appointees, who dominated the panel in recent years, have been overly friendly to the state's three big electric utilities ? Southern California Edison Co., Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. ? and opened the door to higher rates.

At the same time, Schwarzenegger's commissioners largely deregulated the telephone business.

"We really think that the PUC has lost its way," said Mark Toney, executive director of the Utility Reform Network, a San Francisco ratepayers group. "The PUC in the last six years has a pattern of giving away the store to utilities. That's the first thing we want to see stopped."

Regulated companies such as Edison and major business trade groups such as the California Manufacturers & Technology Assn. declined to comment on possible Brown nominees and their influence on PUC policies.

But one Democrat in the state Senate didn't see a bias against consumers.

"I don't think the commission has been anti-consumer," said Sen. Alex Padilla (D- Pacoima), chairman of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. "The various commissioners each bring life experiences and sets of expertise to the commission. As a whole, they are relatively balanced."

Critics, though, point to a number of decisions by the PUC under President Michael Peevey that they say overly favored the big corporations at the expense of ratepayers.

Last month, the PUC reversed three proposed decisions by its own administrative law judges in ways that financially helped utilities.

A 3-2 majority approved millions of dollars in energy efficiency bonuses for four utilities; another 3-2 vote allowed San Diego Gas & Electric to recoup wildfire insurance costs from ratepayers; and a 4-1 vote approved procurement orders for electricity from a new power plant that the PUC's independent Division of Ratepayer Advocates said wasn't needed.

Those decisions and others spurred an avalanche of spending that utilities can recoup ? along with substantial markups ? from consumers, said Cheryl Cox, the Division of Ratepayer Advocates' chief policy advisor.

"On the energy side, where so much money is being spent, we definitely want to see a more balanced ratepayer perspective from the commission," Cox said.

Critics also charge that the PUC has been complacent in overseeing regulated companies. An investigation of the fatal explosion of a PG&E natural gas pipeline in San Bruno in September showed that some PUC staff did not do their jobs.

According to PUC work papers, the utility sought $5 million in its 2009 rates to cover the cost of repairs to the San Bruno pipeline section that eventually failed.

"I think the gas pipeline aftermath has revealed some significant breakdowns in the safety division," said V. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology in Sacramento.

Peevey, a former Southern California Edison president, declined to respond to the criticism or to speculate on who might be appointed to the commission. Peevey was appointed by former Gov. Gray Davis in March 2002 and named as president 10 months later. Schwarzenegger reappointed him to a second, six-year term in 2008.

Brown can replace Peevey as president but can't remove him from the agency. Capital insiders suggest that the governor might replace him as president with John Geesman, a former member of the California Energy Commission.

Last fall, Geesman was a leader in a successful campaign to defeat a PG&E-sponsored ballot measure that would have made it more difficult for ratepayers to create public power authorities.

He previously served as president of the Utility Reform Network's board of directors. Geesman declined to talk about his application for a PUC appointment.

Another candidate, Florio, also has a strong connection to the Utility Reform Network. He has served as a staff attorney since 1978, appearing hundreds of times in PUC legal proceedings.

Other PUC candidates include former state Sen. Dean Florez; Catherine Sandoval, a Santa Clara University law professor and telecommunications expert; Jack McNally, a retired business agent for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and Julia Levin, a former state energy commissioner and environmental attorney at the California attorney general's office.

Additionally, Brown could reappoint Ryan, an energy economist and former top Peevey assistant, to a new six-year term.

All of the candidates, except Florez, declined to be interviewed or could not be reached for comment. The governor's office also refused to comment.

Florez, the son of farmworkers who represented the southern San Joaquin Valley until last month, tangled repeatedly with PG&E, the PUC and Peevey over the installation of so-called electricity smart meters on residences.

The meters, his constituents complained, drove up energy bills. Florez cast the only negative vote to confirm Peevey's reappointment in 2008.

"My vote was really about the direction the PUC is going, not necessarily about Mike Peevey," Florez said. "The ratepayers are always the last persons to get served."

marc.lifsher@latimes.com

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The basics of ethics (and eggs) | View Clip
01/06/2011
Examiner.com

Suppose you're scrambling to make your mom's birthday cake from scratch, but wait, you forgot the eggs! You drive to the nearest Safeway, hurry to refrigerator of eggs, and you stop in your tracks. There are 12 different varieties, but which do you buy?  You think should I buy Cage-free or regular? And then suddenly more questions:  Is it cruel to confine chickens to a cage? What if they have access to the outdoors for a period of time?  Do the same standards of cruelty that apply to humans apply to chickens?  Upon first inspection, it seems crazy to address something like eggs as a matter of ethics, but in reality, these issues permeate every aspect of our lives.

Humans can examine the outcome of an action, and deem it either “good” or “bad” as a result.  As higher-level beings, we choose to fall victim to our natures, or the, often more difficult, alternative. It's important to note that an ethical decision is not always what instinctively seems right. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University says, “Ethics is not the same as feelings. Feelings provide important information for our ethical choices.” (“Framework for Thinking Ethically”) While it feels good to get a great deal on a dozen eggs, it may not be good or right to purchase them if chickens indeed have rights that were violated in the eggs' production.

Lately Relativism has become the norm, and where we hear the phrase “who are we to say it's wrong?” uttered daily. We must draw the line and say that there truly are moral absolutes. Some things are wrong, and some things are right, and we should all have an opinion, so we can engage in discussions with our peers. And purchase the right brand of eggs.

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US universities increasingly recruiting Chinese undergraduates | View Clip
01/06/2011
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- To attract new students, Santa Clara University promotes its top professors, small seminars, long educational tradition and proximity to tech companies including Apple and Netflix.

In Chinese.

The Santa Clara school is among the American universities that are accelerating recruitment in China. This educational pipeline delivered more than 40,000 undergraduates to the U.S. in the 2009-10 academic year - a 46 percent increase over the previous year - and promises to bring more.

The newfound wealth of many Chinese and their strong academic preparation make these students an admissions officer's dream. Although China's students have long filled American graduate schools, the country's undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. Last year, the number of Indians plateaued and the number of South Koreans declined, but the Chinese population surged.

"We're extending our arms. There is untapped potential," said Santa Clara University admissions director Michael Sexton, who recently completed the school's first recruitment tour in five Chinese cities. "Diversity is a very important educational trait."

A recruiting brochure, written in Chinese, extols the virtue of Santa Clara University's location "in the heart of Silicon Valley, where all technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens."

The search for Chinese talent is also under way at the University of San Francisco, where enrollment has jumped from 32 students to 424 in five years. Stanley Nel, University of San Francisco's vice president of internal relations and a recruiter, travels to China four to 10 times a year, staying from a few days to several weeks.

Public universities like the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State and community colleges like Foothill and De Anza also have launched recruitment efforts, joining the five-city China Education Expo 2010, which was attended by 70,000 students. Stanford, which does not recruit, reports only a modest increase in applications from China.

Enrollment officials at Santa Clara and the University of San Francisco contend that they can accommodate all students who make the grade and that the international students do not squeeze out Americans.

"Either an applicant has it or not, whether they're from China or South America or Boston," Sexton said.

Chinese students bring added value to the campus, admissions officers say, because of their academic preparation, global perspective and willingness to pay full tuition at cash-strapped campuses. (Most international students are not eligible for financial aid.)

There are two primary reasons Chinese enrollment has jumped so dramatically, Nel said.

Many Chinese people believe the U.S. higher education system is the best in the world, and they seek multidisciplinary study, close faculty relationships and an ethos of innovation, he said. And with so much of China's growth tied to international trade, families seek to give their children the advantages of English fluency and alumni networking.

For the first time in China's history, students can afford to study abroad, Nel said. The growth of the nation's economy - and the surge in Shanghai real-estate prices - has helped create 700,000 new millionaires and a middle class of more than 300 million.

At age 15, China's Minao Wang set her sights on an American education. When it came time to apply to college, she collected her school transcripts, hired an organization to evaluate them and then applied to Santa Clara University.

"It was my idea," said Wang, now 20, the only child of a judge from the city of Wuxi, in Jiangsu province. "I am really glad my mom supported me. She did not want me to go, from the bottom of her heart, but she said if I wanted to do it - if it made me a better person - she would do it."

"I heard that America was a more-free country," added Wang, an accounting student who lives with an aunt in Cupertino. "And I didn't want to study for a number on a test. I wanted to study for the fun of learning."

Before arriving, Wang said, "I was really shy, but I have learned how to speak up. America has changed me."

Chinese school officials had long opposed studying abroad, but now they encourage it, wrote Jiang Xueqin, the Yale-educated principal at Peking University High School.

In the past, "losing their best students would mean lower national examination scores, which, as bureaucrats, they live and die by." So most Chinese youth studied in secret, cramming for the American SAT and English-language tests on weekends.

But the nation now fears a shortage of "knowledge workers," he said. In November, Beijing officials "explicitly told the schools they now had to help study-abroad students," instructing them to help students with American applications.

Today's surge may be just the beginning. To prepare students for American education, a robust for-profit educational market has emerged in China. The market leader, New Oriental School - which offers SAT, Advanced Placement and English-language tests as well as college counseling - says it has 9.5 million students.

Some American educators urge caution. In a debate at the 2009 National Association for College Admission Counseling titled "The Chinese Are Coming," Vanderbilt University admissions dean Douglas Christiansen said a homogeneous international population doesn't increase campus diversity.

"Do you want to build pipelines throughout the world," he asked, "or do you want to build pipelines to just one country?"

The expansion of the number of Chinese students has created tension on some campuses. Some American students complain of communication problems or say that Chinese students cluster together and distort the grading curve on math tests. There are other challenges, as well, including increased demand for engineering classes and complaints about dining hall rice.

Still, seizing on the demand, universities are working to adapt. At Santa Clara, officials drive to the airport for pickups and drop-offs of Chinese students. They help them set up bank accounts and take them to Walmart and Target. They help them practice asking questions in class and the assertiveness skills that are critical for American academic success.

The University of San Francisco added conversation programs, writing instruction and immigration advising.

"If we build it, they will come," Sexton said. "But we have to be ready."

ADVICE ABOUT AMERICA FOR CHINESE STUDENTS

Classrooms: Some degree of assertiveness is necessary for success.

Creativity: Americans expect students to produce their own ideas.

Honesty: American academics regard plagiarism as a kind of theft.

Individualist: Self-promotion is more accepted.

Friends: Large collection of friends changes over time.

Obligations: People avoid interdependent situations that entail long-term obligations.

Task-oriented: Relationships are less important than getting the work done.

Law: Applies to everyone - Americans do not have a "back door" idea.

Source: American International Education Foundation

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Justice Moreno stepping down from Calif high court | View Clip
01/06/2011
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

(01-06) 16:17 PST San Francisco, CA (AP) --

The only Democratic appointee and Latino on the California Supreme Court said Thursday that he's stepping down next month, giving Gov. Jerry Brown an early opportunity to shape the state's high court.

Justice Carlos Moreno, 62, submitted his resignation to Brown on Wednesday, according to court spokeswoman Lynn Holton. His last day will be Feb. 28.

Moreno was named to the state Supreme Court in 2001 by then-Gov. Gray Davis and was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

In a brief statement, Moreno said he planned on returning to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

"It has been a truly unique honor and privilege to have served the people of California as a judge for over 24 years and, together with my great colleagues on the court, to have played a modest role in shaping California jurisprudence," Moreno said in the statement.

Gov. Brown thanked the departing justice for his service and "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

Moreno's resignation, which surprised some legal observers, gives Brown his first chance to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court since his last term as governor more than 25 years ago.

"It's an opportunity for him to make a very important pick very quickly for his administration," said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. "This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process."

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Gov. Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so "it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court."

Brown will likely choose a Hispanic or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelman said.

Brown is likely to be proceed cautiously with the appointment after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor — Cruz Reynoso, Joseph Grodin and former Chief Justice Rose Bird — were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty, Uelman said.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

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Facebook IPO could be a reality in April 2012 | View Clip
01/06/2011
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Inflaming a subject of feverish speculation from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Facebook has indicated that it could be on track for an initial public offering by April 2012, or at a minimum will have to disclose its closely guarded financial information.

What would easily be the largest IPO since Google's in August of 2004 would create dozens if not hundreds of instant millionaires, likely encourage other social Internet companies such as LinkedIn and Twitter to go public -- and give a boost to the high-end housing market and the Valley's luxury car dealers.

Published reports Thursday said the investment bank Goldman Sachs is circulating a memorandum to potential Facebook investors saying that the Palo Alto-based social network will breach a critical federal securities limit this year when the number of its shareholders tops 500. That will force the company by April of next year to begin disclosing the financial details of its business, with the additional option of selling its shares.

"In this social networking space, there is the possibility of revived IPO activity," said Stephen Diamond, a securities law expert at the Santa Clara University School of Law. "This means, as it did in 1997, 1998 and 1999; and as it did in 2004, a flood of money coming into the valley. And once again, an opening question is whether it's too much money chasing too few good projects." If Facebook delayed selling shares, "it would be unusual, in the sense that you'd be opening the kimono, but you're not getting the cash outcome of public shares," Diamond said.

Facebook declined comment Thursday.

With Zuckerberg and others saying that Internet companies and services built around people's social relationships are poised to take off and transform whole industries, shares of Facebook and other large social startups, including Twitter and Zynga, are attracting intense interest on private secondary markets, which usually allow former employees to sell their shares to wealthy investors hoping to grab a piece of a rising star before the general public can.

IPO speculation reached a fevered pitch this week when Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor agreed to invest $500 million in Facebook. The investment gave Facebook a $50 billion valuation -- higher than Silicon Valley stalwarts like eBay and Yahoo.

Goldman will create a "Special Purpose Vehicle" that allows Facebook shareholders to sell their stakes to the investment bank, which acts as a single shareholder. Goldman plans to sell the shares to its wealthy customers, a deal that securities experts like Diamond, and Adam Pritchard of the University of Michigan law school say will give Goldman the inside track for the lucrative job of being the lead underwriter for any Facebook IPO. Pritchard said the SEC is certain to scrutinize the unconventional arrangement, however.

The Goldman memorandum, according to the New York Times, which obtained a copy, also said Facebook posted $355 million in profit on $1.2 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2010. That nearly 30 percent profit margin is roughly similar to what Google posted for the first nine months of 2010, when it had nearly $6 billion in net income on $20.9 billion in revenue.

For entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors, the news that a Facebook IPO could finally be at hand was exciting.

"It's a very good sign because it's validation that social media and social networking companies can exist and thrive as independent companies," said Brian Pokorny, CEO of DailyBooth, a San Francisco startup that allows members to post and share daily photos of themselves.

"In terms of what it does for the macro economy and the local economy, a few billion-dollar IPOs sure make things more robust," said Bing Gordon, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers partner who heads the sFund, a $250 million investment pool for online social startups. "These are wildly exciting times."

Diamond said he is skeptical that Facebook will have the same long-term economic impact on the valley that Intel, Apple or Google have had, but that it will make a few people very rich in the short term.

"I imagine there are any number of real estate agents who are sharpening their contact list for buyers of real estate in Atherton," he said, "because there will be some Facebook billionaires from this."

Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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Justice Moreno to resign from state's high court | View Clip
01/06/2011
North County Times - Online

SAN FRANCISCO ---- The only Democratic appointee and Latino on the California Supreme Court said Thursday that he's stepping down next month, giving Gov. Jerry Brown an early opportunity to shape the state's high court.

Justice Carlos Moreno, 62, submitted his resignation to Brown on Wednesday, according to court spokeswoman Lynn Holton. His last day will be Feb. 28.

Moreno was named to the state Supreme Court in 2001 by then-Gov. Gray Davis and was on President Barack Obama's short list for a U.S. Supreme Court opening in 2009 that was ultimately filled by Sonia Sotomayor.

In a brief statement, Moreno said he planned on returning to the private sector and was weighing his options, including private practice or alternative dispute resolution.

"It has been a truly unique honor and privilege to have served the people of California as a judge for over 24 years and, together with my great colleagues on the court, to have played a modest role in shaping California jurisprudence," Moreno said in the statement.

Gov. Brown thanked the departing justice for his service and "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious," said governor's spokesman Evan Westrup.

Moreno's resignation, which surprised some legal observers, gives Brown his first chance to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court since his last term as governor more than 25 years ago.

"It's an opportunity for him to make a very important pick very quickly for his administration," said Rory Little, a professor at the University of California Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. "This is going to force him very quickly to develop his judicial selection process."

Moreno's coming departure will follow closely behind that of former Chief Justice Ronald George, who stepped down Sunday after 14 years. He was succeeded by appellate court judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who assumed the post Monday.

Moreno is among the more liberal members of the seven-justice Supreme Court. He was the only justice who voted to block enforcement of California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2009, and last year he was the lone dissenting vote in a ruling that upheld the state's affirmative-action ban.

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University, said he expects Gov. Brown to appoint a successor that will likely join the panel's liberal wing, so "it won't affect the ultimate balance of the court."

Brown will likely choose a Latino or African American to fill the open seat since there will not be a member of either group after Moreno steps down, Uelmen said.

Brown is likely to proceed cautiously with the appointment after three justices he appointed during his first tenure as governor -- Cruz Reynoso, Joseph Grodin and former Chief Justice Rose Bird -- were voted out of their jobs in 1986 following public outrage over their opposition to the death penalty, Uelmen said.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Moreno grew up in East Los Angeles before attending Yale University and Stanford Law School. He started his legal career as a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles and then joined a commercial litigation practice.

Moreno, who is married with three children, began his judicial career in 1986 as a municipal court judge in Compton and later served as a felony trial judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He served as a federal judge in Los Angeles for three years before being appointed to the state Supreme Court.

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State Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno to step down
01/06/2011
San Mateo County Times

Just days after his inauguration, new Gov. Jerry Brown has a quick opportunity to dust off his once controversial judge-picking skills and name a justice to one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country.

California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, the sole Democrat and Latino on the state's high court, submitted his letter of resignation to Brown this week, informing the governor he would retire from the court on Feb. 28. Moreno's resignation is expected to place pressure on the governor to either replace him with another Latino, or choose an African-American justice on a court without a black justice for the past seven years.

In an interview with the Mercury News on Thursday, the soft-spoken Moreno said the "time seemed right" to move on, citing Brown's election, reaching full judicial pension eligibility and being young enough to still explore lucrative options in the private sector.

Moreno's departure comes on the heels of the retirement this month of Chief Justice Ronald George, who has been replaced by new Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The two moves could usher in one of the most significant shifts on the court in decades, with Brown in position to fill Moreno's seat and perhaps others in the coming years on an aging Supreme Court.

The governor will be under pressure to replace Moreno with either a Latino or an African-American; there currently are no African-American justices on the court, and San Francisco appeals court Justice Martin Jenkins, a former federal judge, is already being circulated as a potential candidate.

Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor, said it might take six months to find that replacement, but predicts Brown's emphasis on diversity is likely to mean he'll tap a minority for Moreno's seat.

For his part, Moreno said he would urge Brown to replace him with a Latino.

"If he asks for my opinion, I think he should do whatever he can that a Latino replaces me on the court," Moreno said.

There did not appear to be any mystery to Moreno's decision. Among other things, he has been living a commuter life, shuttling between his home in Los Angeles and the court's San Francisco headquarters for years.

"I felt with so much transition in the air, the chief justice leaving, the change in administrations, I started looking at my own career and what else I'd like to do," Moreno said. "It seemed exciting to try something new."

Moreno has already been particularly active in trying to improve the state's foster care system, and he is a foster parent himself. He made it clear he wants to continue civic work and become more active politically, which is virtually forbidden for a Supreme Court justice.

Cantil-Sakauye said she was "saddened" by Moreno's resignation, adding she expected to serve with him for at least another decade. But, she said in a statement, "I am happy for him because his future is filled with possibilities."

Moreno has been a justice since 2001, when he was named to the Supreme Court by former Gov. Gray Davis. He has been perhaps the most liberal justice on the conservative court, particularly on social issues such as same-sex marriage. Two years ago, he was the only justice on the court who voted to invalidate Proposition 8, the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

In a long legal career, Moreno joined the Supreme Court after serving as a federal judge in Los Angeles. Former President Bill Clinton appointed him to the federal bench in 1998.

More recently, Moreno was on a short list for the U.S. Supreme Court when the Obama administration was considering vacancies, and was interviewed by the president.

Moreno grew up in a poor family in East Los Angeles, the son of Mexican immigrants who forged a success story to attend Yale and Stanford law school, become a successful lawyer and eventually one of the state's judicial leaders.

For Brown, it will be a chance to fill a state Supreme Court spot for the first time since his first tenure as governor ended in 1983. That was marked by the ill-fated choice of former Chief Justice Rose Bird, who was later ousted by voters along with two other Brown appointees in a backlash over their refusal to uphold death sentences.

On Thursday, Brown released a statement simply saying he "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious."

While Brown's judicial selections are still expected to be liberal, experts have predicted he will take a more cautious approach to choosing justices this time around. In fact, in an interview in October during the governor's race, Brown told the Mercury News he "has learned from the past" on judicial appointments.

Contact Howard Mintz at 408-286-0236

The California Supreme Court's roster

With Carlos Moreno's looming retirement, there could be other slots to fill for Gov. Jerry Brown on an aging high court over the next four years

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

At 51, she is going nowhere, having just taken over as chief justice this week and is the youngest member of the court. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named her last year to succeed longtime Chief Justice Ronald George.

Justice Joyce Kennard

The longest-serving member of the court, Kennard, 69, has given no hints of stepping down. But she has had some health concerns and, despite being an appointee of former Republican Gov. George Deukmejian, is one of the court's more liberal members.

Justice Marvin Baxter

Baxter, who turns 70 next week, is one of the court's elder statesmen and arguably its most conservative member. A staunch Republican, it would be hard to see him letting Brown fill his seat. But he is eligible for his judicial pension.

Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar

At 74, Werdegar is the court's eldest justice, even though she appears as spry during arguments as her colleagues. Hard to say whether this centrist appointee of former Gov. Pete Wilson would step down after 16 years and give her post up to a Brown selection.

Justice Ming Chin

The 68-year-old Chin is considered, along with Baxter, one of the court's most reliable conservative voices. He has overcome serious health problems, including 2006 surgery on his skull. The former Alameda County prosecutor and judge could be among the justices mulling a move.

Justice Carol Corrigan

Corrigan is the court's second newest member and would appear to be on the court for the long haul. The 62-year-old Corrigan, another Schwarzenegger appointee, has only been on the court for five years.

Copyright © 2011 San Mateo County Times. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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State Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno to step down
01/06/2011
Oakland Tribune

Just days after his inauguration, new Gov. Jerry Brown has a quick opportunity to dust off his once controversial judge-picking skills and name a justice to one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country.

California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, the sole Democrat and Latino on the state's high court, submitted his letter of resignation to Brown this week, informing the governor he would retire from the court on Feb. 28. Moreno's resignation is expected to place pressure on the governor to either replace him with another Latino, or choose an African-American justice on a court without a black justice for the past seven years.

In an interview with the Mercury News on Thursday, the soft-spoken Moreno said the "time seemed right" to move on, citing Brown's election, reaching full judicial pension eligibility and being young enough to still explore lucrative options in the private sector.

Moreno's departure comes on the heels of the retirement this month of Chief Justice Ronald George, who has been replaced by new Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The two moves could usher in one of the most significant shifts on the court in decades, with Brown in position to fill Moreno's seat and perhaps others in the coming years on an aging Supreme Court.

The governor will be under pressure to replace Moreno with either a Latino or an African-American; there currently are no African-American justices on the court, and San Francisco appeals court Justice Martin Jenkins, a former federal judge, is already being circulated as a potential candidate.

Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor, said it might take six months to find that replacement, but predicts Brown's emphasis on diversity is likely to mean he'll tap a minority for Moreno's seat.

For his part, Moreno said he would urge Brown to replace him with a Latino.

"If he asks for my opinion, I think he should do whatever he can that a Latino replaces me on the court," Moreno said.

There did not appear to be any mystery to Moreno's decision. Among other things, he has been living a commuter life, shuttling between his home in Los Angeles and the court's San Francisco headquarters for years.

"I felt with so much transition in the air, the chief justice leaving, the change in administrations, I started looking at my own career and what else I'd like to do," Moreno said. "It seemed exciting to try something new."

Moreno has already been particularly active in trying to improve the state's foster care system, and he is a foster parent himself. He made it clear he wants to continue civic work and become more active politically, which is virtually forbidden for a Supreme Court justice.

Cantil-Sakauye said she was "saddened" by Moreno's resignation, adding she expected to serve with him for at least another decade. But, she said in a statement, "I am happy for him because his future is filled with possibilities."

Moreno has been a justice since 2001, when he was named to the Supreme Court by former Gov. Gray Davis. He has been perhaps the most liberal justice on the conservative court, particularly on social issues such as same-sex marriage. Two years ago, he was the only justice on the court who voted to invalidate Proposition 8, the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

In a long legal career, Moreno joined the Supreme Court after serving as a federal judge in Los Angeles. Former President Bill Clinton appointed him to the federal bench in 1998.

More recently, Moreno was on a short list for the U.S. Supreme Court when the Obama administration was considering vacancies, and was interviewed by the president.

Moreno grew up in a poor family in East Los Angeles, the son of Mexican immigrants who forged a success story to attend Yale and Stanford law school, become a successful lawyer and eventually one of the state's judicial leaders.

For Brown, it will be a chance to fill a state Supreme Court spot for the first time since his first tenure as governor ended in 1983. That was marked by the ill-fated choice of former Chief Justice Rose Bird, who was later ousted by voters along with two other Brown appointees in a backlash over their refusal to uphold death sentences.

On Thursday, Brown released a statement simply saying he "intends to fill Justice Moreno's seat with a candidate who is equally knowledgeable, thoughtful and judicious."

While Brown's judicial selections are still expected to be liberal, experts have predicted he will take a more cautious approach to choosing justices this time around. In fact, in an interview in October during the governor's race, Brown told the Mercury News he "has learned from the past" on judicial appointments.

Contact Howard Mintz at 408-286-0236

The California Supreme Court's roster

With Carlos Moreno's looming retirement, there could be other slots to fill for Gov. Jerry Brown on an aging high court over the next four years

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

At 51, she is going nowhere, having just taken over as chief justice this week and is the youngest member of the court. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named her last year to succeed longtime Chief Justice Ronald George.

Justice Joyce Kennard

The longest-serving member of the court, Kennard, 69, has given no hints of stepping down. But she has had some health concerns and, despite being an appointee of former Republican Gov. George Deukmejian, is one of the court's more liberal members.

Justice Marvin Baxter

Baxter, who turns 70 next week, is one of the court's elder statesmen and arguably its most conservative member. A staunch Republican, it would be hard to see him letting Brown fill his seat. But he is eligible for his judicial pension.

Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar

At 74, Werdegar is the court's eldest justice, even though she appears as spry during arguments as her colleagues. Hard to say whether this centrist appointee of former Gov. Pete Wilson would step down after 16 years and give her post up to a Brown selection.

Justice Ming Chin

The 68-year-old Chin is considered, along with Baxter, one of the court's most reliable conservative voices. He has overcome serious health problems, including 2006 surgery on his skull. The former Alameda County prosecutor and judge could be among the justices mulling a move.

Justice Carol Corrigan

Corrigan is the court's second newest member and would appear to be on the court for the long haul. The 62-year-old Corrigan, another Schwarzenegger appointee, has only been on the court for five years.

Copyright © 2011 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Trick yourself into spending less | View Clip
01/05/2011
Globe and Mail - Online, The

What would you do if your wallet became harder to open as your spending approached or exceeded your budget? Would you think twice about where your money was going?

A product designer at MIT who created a working prototype for such a wallet seems to think so, and he may be on to something. Part of the reason so many people spend too much, or fail to stick to self-imposed budgets, is because parting with our money has become an abstraction in our increasingly cashless society. Credit cards provide immediate gratification, but no immediate consequences. Plucking actual dollars from your pile of cash, research suggests, is more painful, and leads you to spend less. Theres another factor that prevents people from being model financial citizens (besides, of course, uncontrollable circumstances like joblessness). As a species, Humans are notoriously poor at following through with their plans. Sticking to a budget a dirty word even among many financial planners, who prefer the more euphemistic spending plan feels too much like dieting. And we often fail at both for the same reasons: too much focus on the restrictions, not enough on fun. So its not surprising when people end up bingeing later, more than making up for dollars not spent or calories not consumed.

On Mint.com, the popular money-tracking website, top goals among the nearly half a million users who set them include paying off debt, creating an emergency fund and saving for retirement. All virtuous goals, to be sure.

The battle, say money and psychology experts, is finding ways to close the gap between good intentions and human nature. So at a time when every dollar counts, how can you accomplish what youre not necessarily wired to do?

It may be a while before that smart wallet hits the shelves (a hinge in the middle of the wallet, wired to your bank account balance via a Bluetooth connection to your cellphone, makes it harder to open as you reach a spending limit). The main inventor, John Kestner, said hes working on bringing its retail price down to $60 (U.S.).

But there are plenty of mental tricks and strategies that can make your budgeting more sustainable now. In fact, the best strategy is not to think about it as budgeting at all. Instead, set up broad goals and automate all savings and other priorities where you can. Self-control is wonderful, but its just not sufficient, said Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University who focuses on behavioral finance and is the author of What Investors Really Want.

Start by becoming more conscious of your spending, whether you jot it down in a notepad, on a spreadsheet, or on websites like Mint.com. Then, give your spending plan a sense of purpose. Budgets with a goal, whether its a European vacation or buying a home, tend to be the most successful. For there to be sustainable change, there needs to be some sort of positive motivation, said Amanda Clayman, a financial therapist in New York. People tend to set unrealistic goals that dont factor in their lifestyle, she said. Ultimately, what we want our money to be is an energy source, Ms. Clayman said. It should help us get somewhere or do something. One strategy to keep spending in check is to employ whats known as mental accounting dividing your money into separate mental accounts that you treat differently. From a psychological standpoint, there is merit to having a separate account for entirely discretionary or luxury spending, said Steve Levinson, a psychologist and co-author of Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start. Spending $100 out of $300 earmarked for fun will feel more meaningful than pulling out $100 from your entire $3,000 monthly budget.

The easiest way to set up a system, experts suggest, is to put your income into separate accounts or subaccounts, including one that distinguishes spending money from money needed for recurring household expenses. And think about working backward, as a way to keep things simple: Instead of setting up an overly detailed budget, first decide how much you want to save for retirement and other goals, then work with whats left over. If you want to cut spending, attack a few big categories where you can make the biggest difference.

Life has a natural way of derailing even the best-laid plans, so experts recommend building a cushion, or a slush fund of sorts. Its the one-time expenses that kill a budget, said Rick Kahler, a financial planner in Rapid City, S.D. The average person needs to be saving for car repairs every month, they need to be saving for their trips, for Christmas, for medical expenses. Just dont rely on doing it yourself. Arrange to have the money withdrawn from your paycheque. We need to exploit automaticity, said Professor David Laibson, a behavioral economist at Harvard.

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Recruiting by U.S. universities of Chinese undergrads is hottest new education trend | View Clip
01/05/2011
Palo Alto Daily News - Online

Minao Wang, left, with Kang Ming Si in a business ethics class at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., Dec. 2, 2010. (Josie Lepe/Mercury News)

To attract new students, Santa Clara University promotes its top professors, small seminars, long educational tradition and proximity to tech companies including Apple and Netflix.

In Chinese.

As Friday's application deadline approaches, the Santa Clara school is among the American universities that are accelerating recruitment in China. This educational pipeline delivered more than 40,000 undergraduates to the U.S. in the 2009-10 academic year -- a 46 percent increase over the previous year -- and promises to bring more.

The newfound wealth of many Chinese and their strong academic preparation make these students an admissions officer's dream. Although China's students have long filled American graduate schools, the country's undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. Last year, the number of Indians plateaued and the number of South Koreans declined, but the Chinese population surged.

"We're extending our arms. There is untapped potential," said Santa Clara University admissions director Michael Sexton, who recently completed the school's first recruitment tour in five Chinese cities. "Diversity is a very important educational trait."

A recruiting brochure, written in Chinese, extols the virtue of Santa Clara University's location "in the heart of Silicon Valley, where all technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens." The search for Chinese talent is also under way at the University

of San Francisco, where enrollment has jumped from 32 students to 424 in five years. Stanley Nel, University of San Francisco's vice president of internal relations and a recruiter, travels to China four to 10 times a year, staying from a few days to several weeks.

Benefits for campuses

Public universities like UC Berkeley and San Francisco State and community colleges like Foothill and De Anza also have launched recruitment efforts, joining the five-city China Education Expo 2010, which was attended by 70,000 students. Stanford, which does not recruit, reports only a modest increase in applications from China.

Enrollment officials at Santa Clara and the University of San Francisco contend that they can accommodate all students who make the grade and that the international students do not squeeze out Americans.

"Either an applicant has it or not, whether they're from China or South America or Boston," Sexton said.

Chinese students bring added value to the campus, admissions officers say, because of their academic preparation, global perspective and willingness to pay full tuition at cash-strapped campuses. (Most international students are not eligible for financial

aid.)

There are two primary reasons Chinese enrollment has jumped so dramatically, said Nel.

Many Chinese people believe the U.S. higher-education system is the best in the world, and they seek multidisciplinary study, close faculty relationships and an ethos of innovation, he said. And with so much of China's growth tied to international trade, families seek to give their children the advantages of English fluency and alumni networking.

For the first time in China's history, students can afford to study abroad, Nel said. The growth of the nation's economy -- and the surge in Shanghai real-estate prices -- has helped create 700,000 new millionaires and a middle class of more than 300 million.

At age 15, China's Minao Wang set her sights on an American education. When it came time to apply to college, she collected her school transcripts, hired an organization to evaluate them and then applied to Santa Clara University.

"It was my idea," said Wang, now 20, the only child of a judge from the city of Wuxi, in Jiangsu province. "I am really glad my mom supported me. She did not want me to go, from the bottom of her heart, but she said if I wanted to do it -- if it made me a better person -- she would do it."

"I heard that America was a more-free country," added Wang, an accounting student who lives with an aunt in Cupertino. "And I didn't want to study for a number on a test. I wanted to study for the fun of learning."

Before arriving, Wang said, "I was really shy, but I have learned how to speak up. America has changed me."

Chinese school officials had long opposed studying abroad, but now they encourage it, wrote Jiang Xueqin, the Yale-educated principal at Peking University High School.

In the past, "losing their best students would mean lower national examination scores, which, as bureaucrats, they live and die by." So most Chinese youth studied in secret, cramming for the American SAT and English-language tests on weekends.

But the nation now fears a shortage of "knowledge workers," he said. In November, Beijing officials "explicitly told the schools they now had to help study-abroad students," instructing them to help students with American applications.

Today's surge may be just the beginning. To prepare students for American education, a robust for-profit educational market has emerged in China. The market leader, New Oriental School -- which offers SAT, Advanced Placement and English-language tests as well as college counseling -- says it has 9.5 million students.

'We have to be ready'

Some American educators urge caution. In a debate at the 2009 National Association for College Admission Counseling titled "The Chinese Are Coming," Vanderbilt University admissions dean Douglas Christiansen said a homogeneous international population doesn't increase campus diversity.

"Do you want to build pipelines throughout the world," he asked, "or do you want to build pipelines to just one country?"

The expansion of the number of Chinese students has created tension on some campuses. Some American students complain of communication problems or say that Chinese students cluster together and distort the grading curve on math tests. There are other challenges, as well, including increased demand for engineering classes and complaints about dining hall rice.

Still, seizing on the demand, universities are working to adapt. At Santa Clara, officials drive to the airport for pickups and drop-offs of Chinese students. They help them set up bank accounts and take them to Walmart and Target. They help them practice asking questions in class and the assertiveness skills that are critical for American academic success.

The University of San Francisco added conversation programs, writing instruction and immigration advising.

"If we build it, they will come," said Sexton. "But we have to be ready."

Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 408-920-5565

Advice About America For Chinese Students

Classrooms: Some degree of assertiveness is necessary for success.

Creativity: Americans expect students to produce their own ideas.

Honesty: American academics regard plagiarism as a kind of theft.

Individualist: Self-promotion is more accepted.

Friends: Large collection of friends changes over time.

Obligations: People avoid interdependent situations that entail long-term obligations.

Task-oriented: Relationships are less important than getting the work done.

Law: Applies to everyone -- Americans do not have a "back door" idea.

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US universities increasingly recruiting Chinese undergraduates | View Clip
01/05/2011
Bellingham Herald - Online

SAN JOSE, Calif.

In Chinese.

The Santa Clara school is among the American universities that are accelerating recruitment in China. This educational pipeline delivered more than 40,000 undergraduates to the U.S. in the 2009-10 academic year - a 46 percent increase over the previous year - and promises to bring more.

The newfound wealth of many Chinese and their strong academic preparation make these students an admissions officer's dream. Although China's students have long filled American graduate schools, the country's undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. Last year, the number of Indians plateaued and the number of South Koreans declined, but the Chinese population surged.

"We're extending our arms. There is untapped potential," said Santa Clara University admissions director Michael Sexton, who recently completed the school's first recruitment tour in five Chinese cities. "Diversity is a very important educational trait."

A recruiting brochure, written in Chinese, extols the virtue of Santa Clara University's location "in the heart of Silicon Valley, where all technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens."

The search for Chinese talent is also under way at the University of San Francisco, where enrollment has jumped from 32 students to 424 in five years. Stanley Nel, University of San Francisco's vice president of internal relations and a recruiter, travels to China four to 10 times a year, staying from a few days to several weeks.

Public universities like the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State and community colleges like Foothill and De Anza also have launched recruitment efforts, joining the five-city China Education Expo 2010, which was attended by 70,000 students. Stanford, which does not recruit, reports only a modest increase in applications from China.

Enrollment officials at Santa Clara and the University of San Francisco contend that they can accommodate all students who make the grade and that the international students do not squeeze out Americans.

"Either an applicant has it or not, whether they're from China or South America or Boston," Sexton said.

Chinese students bring added value to the campus, admissions officers say, because of their academic preparation, global perspective and willingness to pay full tuition at cash-strapped campuses. (Most international students are not eligible for financial aid.)

There are two primary reasons Chinese enrollment has jumped so dramatically, Nel said.

Many Chinese people believe the U.S. higher education system is the best in the world, and they seek multidisciplinary study, close faculty relationships and an ethos of innovation, he said. And with so much of China's growth tied to international trade, families seek to give their children the advantages of English fluency and alumni networking.

For the first time in China's history, students can afford to study abroad, Nel said. The growth of the nation's economy - and the surge in Shanghai real-estate prices - has helped create 700,000 new millionaires and a middle class of more than 300 million.

At age 15, China's Minao Wang set her sights on an American education. When it came time to apply to college, she collected her school transcripts, hired an organization to evaluate them and then applied to Santa Clara University.

"It was my idea," said Wang, now 20, the only child of a judge from the city of Wuxi, in Jiangsu province. "I am really glad my mom supported me. She did not want me to go, from the bottom of her heart, but she said if I wanted to do it - if it made me a better person - she would do it."

"I heard that America was a more-free country," added Wang, an accounting student who lives with an aunt in Cupertino. "And I didn't want to study for a number on a test. I wanted to study for the fun of learning."

Before arriving, Wang said, "I was really shy, but I have learned how to speak up. America has changed me."

Chinese school officials had long opposed studying abroad, but now they encourage it, wrote Jiang Xueqin, the Yale-educated principal at Peking University High School.

In the past, "losing their best students would mean lower national examination scores, which, as bureaucrats, they live and die by." So most Chinese youth studied in secret, cramming for the American SAT and English-language tests on weekends.

But the nation now fears a shortage of "knowledge workers," he said. In November, Beijing officials "explicitly told the schools they now had to help study-abroad students," instructing them to help students with American applications.

Today's surge may be just the beginning. To prepare students for American education, a robust for-profit educational market has emerged in China. The market leader, New Oriental School - which offers SAT, Advanced Placement and English-language tests as well as college counseling - says it has 9.5 million students.

Some American educators urge caution. In a debate at the 2009 National Association for College Admission Counseling titled "The Chinese Are Coming," Vanderbilt University admissions dean Douglas Christiansen said a homogeneous international population doesn't increase campus diversity.

"Do you want to build pipelines throughout the world," he asked, "or do you want to build pipelines to just one country?"

The expansion of the number of Chinese students has created tension on some campuses. Some American students complain of communication problems or say that Chinese students cluster together and distort the grading curve on math tests. There are other challenges, as well, including increased demand for engineering classes and complaints about dining hall rice.

Still, seizing on the demand, universities are working to adapt. At Santa Clara, officials drive to the airport for pickups and drop-offs of Chinese students. They help them set up bank accounts and take them to Walmart and Target. They help them practice asking questions in class and the assertiveness skills that are critical for American academic success.

The University of San Francisco added conversation programs, writing instruction and immigration advising.

"If we build it, they will come," Sexton said. "But we have to be ready."

ADVICE ABOUT AMERICA FOR CHINESE STUDENTS

Classrooms: Some degree of assertiveness is necessary for success.

Creativity: Americans expect students to produce their own ideas.

Honesty: American academics regard plagiarism as a kind of theft.

Individualist: Self-promotion is more accepted.

Friends: Large collection of friends changes over time.

Obligations: People avoid interdependent situations that entail long-term obligations.

Task-oriented: Relationships are less important than getting the work done.

Law: Applies to everyone - Americans do not have a "back door" idea.

Return to Top



Off-the-Grid Clean Energy | View Clip
01/05/2011
Let There d.light

Hosted by Eric Carlson (January 2011)

About 1.5 billion people are without access to electricity, and about 3 billion use solid state fuel for cooking (UN estimates). Several studies have shown high correlation between each of these problems and both poverty and poor health. The Next 4 Billion Base of the Pyramid (BOP) market report (2007) indicated that energy is the second largest expense for the poor. Clearly, clean energy is a significant problem for the BOP, and also a significant market opportunity.

Since we began the GSBI, nearly 25% of our 121 attendees have represented organizations working to provide either “off –the-grid” electricity or “clean cooking” devices. The 2010 GSBI™ had a “clean energy sector” focus, with 13 of the 19 attendees working in this sector.

In reviewing the business plans of the GSBI™ alumni working on clean energy, we have been able to draw a few conclusions.

There is considerable effort on low-cost, off-the-grid, clean energy generation, with bio-diesel, bio-mass gasification, solar, “clean charcoal,” and fuel cells being the leading sources.

There are a number of low cost “appliances” or devices (ranging from LED lighting systems to cooking stoves, to hearing-aids) that can use energy from these new sources.

A number of MFIs are becoming part of the “channel” for financing and distributing clean energy generation and utilization products.

We also have three key questions to which we do not have clear answers:

How do the new energy generation technologies compare in terms of: a) cost per kwh, b) total kwh generation capacity per hour and per day, c) environmental conditions (e.g. hours of sunlight or existence of cheap bio-fuel) under which they can operated effectively, and d) total cost of ownership over the life of the products?

What are the best “channels” (e.g. NGOs, MFI, and existing retailers) for distributing these new energy-generation technologies and the devices that use them?

What are the right business-models (e.g. contributed income, direct product sales, franchising or licensing, Coops) for the organizations that produce the new technologies and devices? And how much do carbon credits and “secondary products” (e.g. bio-fertilizer) contribute to financially sustainable business models.

If you have any insights on these questions, or other useful information on clean energy for the BOP, please join Eric D. Carlson (with Santa Clara University's Global Social Benefit Incubator) in this conversation. And if your organization is working in this sector and you have not attended the GSBI, apply now for a full scholarship to GSBI 2011.

Social entrepreneur news.

No spam.

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Data-Scraping Lawsuit Sheds Light On Risk To Databases | View Clip
01/05/2011
Dark Reading

Former Mitsubishi database and Web development vendor Snap-On Business Solutions battles O'Neil Associates over data-scraping on behalf of Mitsubishi

By Ericka Chickowski, Special To Dark Reading

A recent lawsuit brought by a former database and Web development vendor for Mitsubishi against the industrial giant's current vendor is bringing to light the pitfalls of a common practice: data scraping from Web-facing databases. The case could give reason for pause for organizations considering this practice.

And for those who administer and build valuable Web-facing databases, it serves as another example of why it is important to deploy both technical and legal controls to mitigate the business risk posed by scraping.

The

lawsuit, filed by Snap-On Business Solutions against O'Neil Associates within the United States District Court Northern District Of Ohio, just two weeks ago survived summary judgment, which means Judge James Gwin believes Snap-On has a case against O'Neil.

The high and low of the suit is that Snap-On worked for Mitsubishi for years, creating an online parts-ordering site powered by a database that was created from scratch for paper-based parts catalogs provided by Mitsubishi. When Mitsubishi decided to use O'Neil to create and manage a new site instead of paying Snap-On for the data included within the database it created, Mitsubishi chose a different route.

"In 2007, one of Snap-On's clients, Mitsubishi, began considering whether to move its online parts catalog from Snap-on to Defendant O'Neil," wrote Judge Gwin in his summary judgment opinion. "When Mitsubishi and Snap-On disagreed about Mitsubishi's rights to the information in the Snap-On database, however, Mitsubishi directed Defendant O'Neil to run a data retrieval program to recover data and images on Snap-On's servers."

Mitsubishi offered O'Neil numerous login credentials in order for O'Neil to collect the contents of the database surreptitiously using a data-scraping program that automatically retrieves data -- a process that would take a Web user many hundreds of hours to retrieve using manual point-and-click methods. The credentials included those used by a variety of Mitsubishi dealers in order for O'Neil to avoid detection while performing the scrape. Snap-On discovered the data retrieval after a spike in traffic caused by the automated program crashed the parts site.

"This is an area that I'm seeing more activity in," says Eric Goldman, associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, about data-scraping lawsuits. "The customer has these credentials, and when the customer decides that it wants to basically take its marbles and go home, it realizes it doesn't have the stuff it needs, but it can get it by logging into this private access point and basically grabbing data files from there. There's two principle issues with that. Principle issue No. 1 is the misuse of credentials, and issue No. 2 is the misuse of the servers that are protected by those credentials."

Goldman is unequivocal about whether what O'Neil did was legally copacetic.

"The law is generally pretty clear on this: You can't do that. It's fairly rare when you get a nice, simple unambiguous statement from a law professor," he says, "but you just can't do that. That's about as clear of a statement as I'm ever going to give you."

Goldman encourages businesses, such as Snap-On, that want to protect their intellectual property against scraping to create solid legal contracts that dictate how the IP is used and also licenses the use of the company's physical property -- in this case, the database servers.

"What I used to do when I was drafting those types of contracts in practice is that I would actually say the password and credentials were the company's trade secret," he says.

He also believes it is important to take a "double-barreled" technical approach that includes ample monitoring of databases to detect misuse of data.

"What some of the clients that I work with do is two things," he says. "One, they set up a system that says, 'OK, tell me who is the biggest user of our system in the past 24 hours.' And second is they'll usually put in some kind of limit and say, 'OK, any particular IP address can pull down no more than X amount of megabytes or gigabytes of data in any particular period of time," Goldman says.

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Local resident co-hosts dance to celebrate Special Olympians | View Clip
01/05/2011
Los Altos Town Crier

Written by Special to the Town Crier

Special Olympics Program Coordinator Beth Kay of Los Altos, Cupertino resident Christine Whitehill and members of Santa Clara University's Community Action Program hosted the inaugural Special Olympics Holiday Dance Dec. 4 at the university's Locatelli Center.

Approximately 100 people attended the celebratory dance, which recognized Bay Area Special Olympians for their hard work throughout the year.

“Christine and I are thrilled with such a great turnout,” Kay said. “We are hoping to get the community more involved and make this an annual event.”

Scores of SCCAP volunteers, all SCU students, flooded Locatelli Hall the morning of the event to transform it into a Winter Wonderland.

Approximately 100 athletes and parents from as far away as Half Moon Bay gathered for a free evening of dancing, games and festivities to celebrate the athletes' efforts.

For more information on the Special Olympics Program in Santa Clara County, call Renee Ontiveros at (408) 392-0170, ext. 204.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nunez's commutation | View Clip
01/04/2011
California Chronicle

Jan. 03--Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nunez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nunez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nunez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nunez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nunez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nunez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's

decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nunez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nunez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nunez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Esteban Nunez, now serving his sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Amador County, wouldn't have been eligible for release from his original, 16-year sentence until December 2023, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Monday afternoon.

Thornton said the prison has not yet recalculated Nunez' earliest possible release date based on Sunday's commutation, but noted that because the controlling offense for which he's imprisoned is a violent offense, he must serve at least 85 percent of his new, seven-year sentence.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors who put Nunez away aren't happy at all.

"We were shocked to hear of the Governor's last-minute commutation, which greatly diminishes justice for victim Luis Santos and re-victimizes his family and friends," San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Monday. "The District Attorney's Office was not consulted and the decision comes as the appeals process was continuing."

Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics. Follow Josh Richman at Twitter.com/josh--richman.

-----

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Copyright (c) 2011, The Oakland Tribune, Calif.

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Commentary: Budding entrepreneurs can create new products | View Clip
01/04/2011
San Jose Mercury News - Online

for Saratoga News

TWEENPRENEURS: If you know a budding entrepreneur age 11-15, Camp BizSmart is tailormade for him or her. Its staff includes CEOs of such tech biggies as Cisco, Apple and Google, and execs from innovative companies such as Garage Technology, Kaboodle and Wagic. Los Gatans Peggy and Dr. Mike Gibbs founded Camp BizSmart four years ago.

Both are educators, as well as tech gurus. This year they expect 300 students to enroll in the two-week program at one of seven sites. Local sites are Stanford and Santa Clara University, which draws students from 40 schools in the Bay Areaand from abroad. Camp BizSmart will sponsor camps in Honolulu and four cities in India for the first time this year.

At this camp, participants work in teams to solve real problems provided by Silicon Valley firms or develop a totally new product they think has marketability. Wagic execs work with them as they brainstorm. The team learns to create a business plan, which is presented to a panel in a competition held at Microsoft.

Last year, HopeLab asked the kids to help design a teen fitness tracker called the Zam- zee. The company was so impressed that some youngsters were assigned to be testers before the launch of the product. At BizSmart the student-to-staff ratio is 7-1; tuition is $1,300.

Michael Gibbs has taught for UC-Berkeley Haas Business School's international MBA program and has worked at major companies such as Texas Instruments and General Electric. His

wife has worked for nonprofits in education, arts, health and technology, most recently as a vice president at Benetech. BizSmart's website is www.campbizsmart.org.

BEAT THIS: You'd have to go some to top Peggy and Pat Colvin's granddaughters: the five of them just keep winning accolades. Caitlin Colvin, 16, a junior at Castillejo, won a fiction contest sponsored by The Palo Alto Weekly. This is something of an echo: her sister won a fiction contest from Seventeen Magazine when she was 15. Now she's a Stanford sophomore.

The third sibling is Emily, a freshman at Amherst who is on the soccer team. Oliver and Srila of Palo Alto are their parents. Then there's their cousin, Francesca Aiassa, who played the lead in the St. Francis High School production of Pride and Prejudice.

Meanwhile, older sister Lexi Aiassa, a senior at USC, will wrap up both a master's and bachelor's degree in communication and marketing in a mere four years later this year. Alison and John Aiassa of Los Gatos are their parents. The Saratoga Colvins are certainly accruing bragging rights.

EAT WHAT YOU LOVE: Here are welcome words indeed at this time of year: Eat What You Love: More Than 300 Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories. Dietitian Marlene Koch is the author and she's had an exemplary year. For starters, she's been to the White House at Michelle Obama's invitation to help launch the healthy eating campaign.

Plus, Koch has appeared on TV cooking shows with noted food celebrities--Paula Dean, and Racheal Ray; and the Los Gatan is a regular on the QVC channel. In fact, QVC named Eat What You Love the best selling book of 2010. Not the best selling cookbook, you understand, but the best- selling book.

As witness, on Valentine's Day Koch sold 20,000 books in 18 minutes via that channel. "Good health, great taste" and "Everyone deserves chocolate cake" are two of this author's favorite mantras. As a youngster in a family of nine, Marlene was the chief baker, early on. Today her specialties are weight management and diabetes control.

Incidentally, Koch is pronounced cook. There's another nice touch.

TO GUATEMALA—AGAIN: Saratogan Marty Schibler has made five medical trips and three stove trips to Guatemala over the past few years. His son Dan, a surgeon, was the one who got him started on these trips. Dan also flew his dad to Los Angeles in November for a film culled from photos of the medical teams at work.

The 91-year-old Schibler intends to sign up for the spring trip this year. He is part of the team of six cooks serving 80 to 125 people on these expeditions. The sponsoring agency is HELPS International.

ARTIST ALERT: Applications are now being taken from artists who would like to display their work at the Saratoga Library sometime during the next two years, starting July 1. Each exhibit is up for two months. Digital applications are being accepted this year. Contact librarian Betsy White at 408.867.6126, ext. 3817. Deadline is March 1.

Got a tip for Saratoga Sampler? E-mail mac@impruve.com or call 408.540.7977.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation | View Clip
01/04/2011
InsideBayArea.com

Oakland Tribune

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Estebsn Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's

decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Esteban Nunez, now serving his sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Amador County, wouldn't have been eligible for release from his original, 16-year sentence until December 2023, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Monday afternoon.

Thornton said the prison has not yet recalculated Nunez' earliest possible release date based on Sunday's commutation, but noted that because the controlling offense for which he's imprisoned is a violent offense, he must serve at least 85 percent of his new, seven-year sentence.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors who put Nunez away aren't happy at all.

"We were shocked to hear of the Governor's last-minute commutation, which greatly diminishes justice for victim Luis Santos and re-victimizes his family and friends," San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Monday. "The District Attorney's Office was not consulted and the decision comes as the appeals process was continuing."

Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics. Follow Josh Richman at Twitter.com/josh_richman.

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SCHWARZENEGGER PICKS KUNG FOR CSU BOARD
01/04/2011
San Jose Mercury News

Hsing Kung, of Los Altos, has been appointed to the California State University board of trustees.

Kung, 65, fills a vacancy left by C.C. Yin, who resigned last month. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him before he left office.

Kung is the managing partner of Acorn Campus Ventures, which has offices in Cupertino, Shanghai and Taipei. In 2000, he co-founded Fremont-based Pine Photonics Communication.

Kung was CEO and founder of Fremont-based Luxnet Corp. from 1998 to 2000.

He was co-founder and vice president of manufacturing for SDL from 1983 to 1995.

Kung has a doctorate from UC Berkeley, a master's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor's degree from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, all in electrical engineering. He also earned a master's in business administration from Santa Clara University.

Copyright © 2011 San Jose Mercury News

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ANALYSTS SUGGEST EX-GOVERNOR'S ACT A POLITICAL FAVOR
01/04/2011
San Jose Mercury News

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else, who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics plays a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Esteban Nuñez, now serving his sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione in Amador County, wouldn't have been eligible for release from his original 16-year sentence until December 2023, Terry Thornton, a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman, said Monday.

Thornton said the prison has not yet recalculated Nunez' earliest possible release date based on Sunday's commutation, but noted that because the controlling offense for which he's imprisoned is a violent crime, he must serve at least 85 percent of his new seven-year sentence.

Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics. Follow Josh Richman at Twitter.com/josh_richman.

Copyright © 2011 San Jose Mercury News

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Schwarzenegger plays favorites to aid Nunez | View Clip
01/04/2011
Daily Democrat - Online

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuez, D-Los Angeles. Estebsn Nuez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The decisionyld_mgr.place_ad_here("adPosBox"); is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

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Commutation a 'political act' | View Clip
01/04/2011
Reporter - Online, The

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been

like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

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Commentary: Budding entrepreneurs can create new products | View Clip
01/04/2011
Saratoga News

TWEENPRENEURS: If you know a budding entrepreneur age 11-15, Camp BizSmart is tailormade for him or her. Its staff includes CEOs of such tech biggies as Cisco, Apple and Google, and execs from innovative companies such as Garage Technology, Kaboodle and Wagic. Los Gatans Peggy and Dr. Mike Gibbs founded Camp BizSmart four years ago.

Both are educators, as well as tech gurus. This year they expect 300 students to enroll in the two-week program at one of seven sites. Local sites are Stanford and Santa Clara University, which draws students from 40 schools in the Bay Areaand from abroad. Camp BizSmart will sponsor camps in Honolulu and four cities in India for the first time this year.

At this camp, participants work in teams to solve real problems provided by Silicon Valley firms or develop a totally new product they think has marketability. Wagic execs work with them as they brainstorm. The team learns to create a business plan, which is presented to a panel in a competition held at Microsoft.

Last year, HopeLab asked the kids to help design a teen fitness tracker called the Zam- zee. The company was so impressed that some youngsters were assigned to be testers before the launch of the product. At BizSmart the student-to-staff ratio is 7-1; tuition is $1,300.

Michael Gibbs has taught for UC-Berkeley Haas Business School's international MBA program and has worked at major companies such as Texas Instruments and General Electric. His

wife has worked for nonprofits in education, arts, health and technology, most recently as a vice president at Benetech. BizSmart's website is www.campbizsmart.org.

BEAT THIS: You'd have to go some to top Peggy and Pat Colvin's granddaughters: the five of them just keep winning accolades. Caitlin Colvin, 16, a junior at Castillejo, won a fiction contest sponsored by The Palo Alto Weekly. This is something of an echo: her sister won a fiction contest from Seventeen Magazine when she was 15. Now she's a Stanford sophomore.

The third sibling is Emily, a freshman at Amherst who is on the soccer team. Oliver and Srila of Palo Alto are their parents. Then there's their cousin, Francesca Aiassa, who played the lead in the St. Francis High School production of Pride and Prejudice.

Meanwhile, older sister Lexi Aiassa, a senior at USC, will wrap up both a master's and bachelor's degree in communication and marketing in a mere four years later this year. Alison and John Aiassa of Los Gatos are their parents. The Saratoga Colvins are certainly accruing bragging rights.

EAT WHAT YOU LOVE: Here are welcome words indeed at this time of year: Eat What You Love: More Than 300 Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories. Dietitian Marlene Koch is the author and she's had an exemplary year. For starters, she's been to the White House at Michelle Obama's invitation to help launch the healthy eating campaign.

Plus, Koch has appeared on TV cooking shows with noted food celebrities--Paula Dean, and Racheal Ray; and the Los Gatan is a regular on the QVC channel. In fact, QVC named Eat What You Love the best selling book of 2010. Not the best selling cookbook, you understand, but the best- selling book.

As witness, on Valentine's Day Koch sold 20,000 books in 18 minutes via that channel. "Good health, great taste" and "Everyone deserves chocolate cake" are two of this author's favorite mantras. As a youngster in a family of nine, Marlene was the chief baker, early on. Today her specialties are weight management and diabetes control.

Incidentally, Koch is pronounced cook. There's another nice touch.

TO GUATEMALA—AGAIN: Saratogan Marty Schibler has made five medical trips and three stove trips to Guatemala over the past few years. His son Dan, a surgeon, was the one who got him started on these trips. Dan also flew his dad to Los Angeles in November for a film culled from photos of the medical teams at work.

The 91-year-old Schibler intends to sign up for the spring trip this year. He is part of the team of six cooks serving 80 to 125 people on these expeditions. The sponsoring agency is HELPS International.

ARTIST ALERT: Applications are now being taken from artists who would like to display their work at the Saratoga Library sometime during the next two years, starting July 1. Each exhibit is up for two months. Digital applications are being accepted this year. Contact librarian Betsy White at 408.867.6126, ext. 3817. Deadline is March 1.

Got a tip for Saratoga Sampler? E-mail mac@impruve.com or call 408.540.7977.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation | View Clip
01/04/2011
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

Oakland Tribune

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's

decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Return to Top



Supreme Court Asked to Review Prop. 8 Issue
01/04/2011
KCBS-AM

Santa Clara University School of Law Professor Edward Steinman was interviewed on KCBS radio about the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that, in reviewing Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, asked the California Supreme Court to answer whether the ballot measure's sponsors can defend the proposition in a federal court when state officials refused to do so.

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THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY JUST GOT BACK FROM A WHIRLWIND RECRUITMENT TOUR AT FIVE CHINESE CITIES.
01/04/2011
CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 4:30 AM - KPIX-TV

Reporter: KIN JO WU IS A LIVING EXAMPLE OF THE TREND IN HIGHER EDUCATION, YOUNG, SMART, IMPORTED FROM CHINA. I WANT TO TRY, YOU KNOW, DIFFERENT PLACE TO STARTING TO LEARN AND DIFFERENT CULTURES AND CALIFORNIA IS WONDERFUL PLACE. Reporter: THE CHINESE MORE THAN ANY OTHER INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARE COMING BY THE TENS OF THOUSANDS TO AMERICAN COLLEGES EVERY YEAR. AND WHY NOT? CHINESE UNIVERSITIES ARE OVERCROWDED AND MORE AND MORE WEALTHY FAMILIES CAN AFFORD THE TUITION, OFTEN WITHOUT FINANCIAL AID. SO IT ADDS DIVERSITY. THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY JUST GOT BACK FROM A WHIRLWIND RECRUITMENT TOUR AT FIVE CHINESE CITIES. THE UNIVERSITY EVEN PASSED OUT MARKETING MATERIALS TRANSLATED INTO CHINESE TOUTING ALL THE BIG COMPANIES IN THE SILICON VALLEY. SEXTON SAYS IT'S NOT ABOUT PUSHING OUT LOCAL STUDENTS. IT'S ABOUT GETTING THE BEST MATCH FOR THE UNIVERSITY. CHINESE STUDENTS OR STUDENTS FROM ATLANTA OR MIAMI WAS ADMITTED NOT BECAUSE OF THE ZIP CODE OR THE COUNTRIES, BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE BETTER OVERALL ACADEMIC PROFILE THAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR. Reporter: FOR WU, SOME THINGS YOU JUST CAN'T LEARN AS WELL IN CHINA. ENGLISH, FOR ONE. AND THAT IT'S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES. BEFORE YOU DIDN'T TAKE RISKS AND NOW YOU DO? YES. ABSOLUTELY. [ LAUGHTER ] YEAH. YOU KNOW, IT'S DIFFERENT CULTURE. IT'S CULTURE DIFFERENCE. Reporter: COULD YOU HAVE LEARNED THAT IN CHINA? NO. I DON'T THINK SO. Reporter: 40,000 CHINESE UNDERGRADUATES STUDIED IN THE US THIS ACADEMIC YEAR AN INCREASE OF 46%. CHINESE STUDENTS ARE COMING IN DROVES BECAUSE FOR NOW, AN AMERICAN EDUCATION IS STILL A PRETTY GOOD BET FOR SUCCESS. KIET DO, CBS 5.

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SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY RECENTLY HELD A TOUR ACROSS FIVE CHINESE CITIES.
01/04/2011
CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 5 AM - KPIX-TV

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARE FLOCKING TO CALIFORNIA COLLEGES MORE THAN ANY OTHER STATE. AND WHEN IT COMES TO SENDING STUDENTS TO AMERICA, CHINA IS LEADING THE WAY. 40,000 CHINESE UNDERGRADUATES STUDIED IN THE US THIS ACADEMIC YEAR. THAT IS 46% MORE THAN LAST YEAR. CONTRIBUTING TO THOSE NUMBERS IS A PUSH BY AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES TO RECRUIT STUDENTS FROM CHINA. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY RECENTLY HELD A TOUR ACROSS FIVE CHINESE CITIES. CHINESE STUDENTS, STUDENTS FROM ATLANTA OR MIAMI IS ADMITTED NOT BECAUSE OF A ZIP CODE OR COUNTRY BUT BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE BETTER OVERALL ACADEMIC PROFILE THAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR. PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES LIKE UC-BERKELEY AND SAN FRANCISCO STATE HAVE ALSO LAUNCHED RECRUITING EFFORTS IN CHINA.

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Arizona Anti-Citizenship Proposal for Children of Undocumented Immigrants
01/04/2011
KGO-AM

Santa Clara University School of Law professor Edward Steinman was interviewed on KGO radio about the legislation being introduced in Arizona to prevent children of undocumented immigrants from being granted citizenship under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. With lawmakers in 13 other states indicating they will propose similar legislation, the interview was about the constitutionality of such laws as well as the question of whether the actions of the state legislators portend a movement to amend the US constitution itself.

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Reporter: THIS CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR IN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY.
01/04/2011
CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 6 PM - KPIX-TV

YOU KNOW, I HAVE TO ASK YOU, ALLAN, DO YOU THINK THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS HAS EVER MADE A DECISION SO QUICKLY? NO. ACTUALLY 40 MINUTES AGO THEY ACTUALLY STARTED THE DISCUSSION. IT IS A CHESS GAME AND IT IS CERTAINLY A LESSON, A CIVIC LESSON IN SAN FRANCISCO POLITICS. SO PRIOR TO THE MEETING GETTING STARTED, THOUGH, SEVERAL OF THE OUTGOING SUPERVISORS AS WELL AS THE CURRENT ONES DID HUDDLE TO TALK ABOUT AND PROBABLY MAKE SOME LAST-MINUTE DEALS ON WHO THEY SHOULD CHOOSE IF THEY HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF MAKING THAT CHOICE. WELL, ANY PICK FOR AN INTERIM MAYOR TO BE THE CARETAKER OF THAT POSITION UNTIL THE VOTERS GET THEIR CHANCE IN NOVEMBER. WELL, THEY HAVE TO HAVE AT LEAST SIX VOTES. WHAT I AM HEARING FROM A LOT OF THE SUPERVISORS THAT THE SHERIFF AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE ED LEE ARE THE ONES THAT THEY WOULD PICK AND ARE THE TWO PEOPLE THAT COULD GET SIX VOTES WERE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS IS. BUT REALLY THE STICKLER RIGHT NOW IS WILL THEY EVEN VOTE TONIGHT BECAUSE THEY CAN'T EVEN AGREE IF THEY COULD EVEN PICK SOMEBODY, YOU KNOW, AND WHETHER THEY SHOULD VOTE. HERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF THE DISCUSSION. I WANT TO LET YOU LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY TO SUPERVISOR CHRIS DALY WHO IS THE OUTGOING SUPERVISOR. HERE IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY. THERE HAS BEEN NO PUBLIC VETTING OF THESE CANDIDATES. AND I THINK THAT IF WE WERE TO MOVE FORWARD AND TO TAKE A NOMINATION AND MAKE A VOTE, WHICH POTENTIALLY COULD HAPPEN WITH JUST THE PUBLIC'S COMMENT THAT'S HERE RIGHT NOW, NO OTHER DISCUSSION, NO INQUIRY FROM THE PRESS, NO QUESTION AND ANSWER, WHETHER IT BE DEBATE-STYLE OR INTERVIEW-STYLE OR PHONE CALL OR CHAT OVER COFFEE TO FIND OUT POSITIONS ON ISSUES, IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE. SO THE SUPERVISOR IS ACTUALLY APPEALING TO THE OTHER SUPERVISORS TO LET'S PUT THIS VOTE OFF. LET'S LET EITHER THE NEW BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WHO WILL BE SWORN IN ON SATURDAY MAKE THE DECISION, WHICH HE SAYS PAINS HIM, OR LET'S PUT IT OFF TO A VOTE LATER THIS WEEK. SO THEREIN LIES ALL OF THE CONFUSION, ALLAN. YOU HAVE MADE A LOT OF IT VERY CLEAR. BUT LINDA I'VE GOT TO ASK YOU WE ARE TALKING ABOUT AN INTERIM POSITION HERE TO SERVE OUT GAVIN NEW SOME'S TERM. CORRECT. IT WOULD BE UNTIL NOVEMBER. AND THAT'S WHERE THE PROGRESSIVES AND THE MODERATES ARE BATTLING. ALL RIGHT. LINDA YEE, GET BACK TO US WITH AN UPDATE. THANKS. THE FIGHT OVER CALIFORNIA'S GAY MARRIAGE BAN IS TAKING A DETOUR. THEY ARE ASKING THE STATE SUPREME COURT TO WEIGH IN. LYNN RAMIREZ ON THE QUESTIONS THAT JUDGES WANT CALIFORNIA'S HIGH COURT TO ANSWER. Reporter: THE QUESTION OF WHETHER GAY COUPLES HAVE THE RIGHT TO MARRY IN CALIFORNIA IS NOT ON HOLD WHILE A CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT DECIDES A SEPARATE BUT KEY QUESTION. DO THE BACKERS OF PROPOSITION 8 HAVE THE LEGAL AUTHORITY, THE LEGAL STANDING TO APPEAL LAST YEAR'S RULING THAT STRUCK DOWN THE BAN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. LEGAL STANDING IS ALWAYS IMPORTANT. Reporter: THIS CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR IN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. IF THEY DON'T, IF THE PEOPLE IN COURT DON'T MEET THAT LEGAL REQUIREMENT OF STANDING, THE COURT CANNOT CONSIDER THE ACTUAL MERITS OF THE CASE. Reporter: THE ISSUE AROSE BECAUSE FORMER GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AND FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL NOW GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN DECLINED TO DEFEND THE INITIATIVE IN A BILL BROUGHT BY SAME SEX COUPLES TO APPEAL. IN ORDER TO REQUIRE SOME STANDING WOULD HAVE TO SHOW SOME CONCRETE INJURY TO THEM. Reporter: THE LAW PROFESSOR SAYS THAT MAY BE HARD TO PROVE. IN WHAT WAY ARE THEY HARMED? IN WHAT WAY ARE THEIR RIGHTS AFFECTED? WHAT DAMAGE HAVE THEY SUFFERED FROM THE ABILITY OF SAME SEX COUPLES TO MARRY IN CALIFORNIA? Reporter: IF THE STATE HIGH COURT DETERMINES THERE IS NO STANDING THAT WOULD LEAVE IN PLACE THE RULING THAT STRUCK DOWN PROPOSITION 8. IF PROPOSITION 8 BACKERS DO HAVE STANDING THE CASE GOES BACK TO THE 9th CIRCUIT TO DECIDE THE REAL HEART OF THE MATTER, WHETHER PROPOSITION 8 VIOLATES THE US CONSTITUTION. ONE OF THE EFFECTS OF THIS DETOUR THROUGH THE STATE SUPREME COURT IS IT WILL DELAY A FINAL RULING ON THIS CASE FOR AT LEAST SEVERAL MONTHS. IN SANTA CLARA, LEN RAMIREZ, CBS 5. AND THEN THIS MARCHER ACTUALLY LEAPT THROUGH THE AIR AND GOT ME HERE AND TWISTED ME RIGHT THROUGH THERE. IT WAS AN ATTACK THAT HE THOUGHT MIGHT KILL HIM. WHAT HE DID DURING THE FIGHT TO SAVE HIS OWN DOG. A VICTORY OF OPPONENTS FOR SMART METRES, A TEMPORARY ONE AT LEAST. WHERE THE NEW TECHNOLOGY FACES A ONE-YEAR MORATORIUM. AS IF TRAFFIC WASN'T BAD ENOUGH. WHY DRIVING IN THE BAY AREA JUST KEEPS GETTING ROUGHER.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation
01/03/2011
Tri-Valley Herald

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos.

"Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said.

"I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Read the Political Blotter at . Follow Josh Richman at .

Copyright © 2011 Tri-Valley Herald. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation
01/03/2011
Oakland Tribune

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos.

"Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said.

"I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Read the Political Blotter at . Follow Josh Richman at .

Copyright © 2011 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation
01/03/2011
Daily Review, The

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos.

"Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said.

"I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Read the Political Blotter at . Follow Josh Richman at .

Copyright © 2011 The Daily Review. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation
01/03/2011
Alameda Times-Star

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos.

"Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said.

"I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Read the Political Blotter at . Follow Josh Richman at .

Copyright © 2011 Alameda Times-Star. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation
01/03/2011
Tri-Valley Herald

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Estebsn Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Esteban Nunez, now serving his sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Amador County, wouldn't have been eligible for release from his original, 16-year sentence until December 2023, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Monday afternoon.

Thornton said the prison has not yet recalculated Nunez' earliest possible release date based on Sunday's commutation, but noted that because the controlling offense for which he's imprisoned is a violent offense, he must serve at least 85 percent of his new, seven-year sentence.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors who put Nunez away aren't happy at all.

"We were shocked to hear of the Governor's last-minute commutation, which greatly diminishes justice for victim Luis Santos and re-victimizes his family and friends," San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Monday. "The District Attorney's Office was not consulted and the decision comes as the appeals process was continuing."

Read the Political Blotter at . Follow Josh Richman at .

Copyright © 2011 Tri-Valley Herald. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation
01/03/2011
San Mateo County Times

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Estebsn Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Esteban Nunez, now serving his sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Amador County, wouldn't have been eligible for release from his original, 16-year sentence until December 2023, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Monday afternoon.

Thornton said the prison has not yet recalculated Nunez' earliest possible release date based on Sunday's commutation, but noted that because the controlling offense for which he's imprisoned is a violent offense, he must serve at least 85 percent of his new, seven-year sentence.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors who put Nunez away aren't happy at all.

"We were shocked to hear of the Governor's last-minute commutation, which greatly diminishes justice for victim Luis Santos and re-victimizes his family and friends," San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Monday. "The District Attorney's Office was not consulted and the decision comes as the appeals process was continuing."

Read the Political Blotter at . Follow Josh Richman at .

Copyright © 2011 San Mateo County Times. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation
01/03/2011
Argus, The

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Estebsn Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Esteban Nunez, now serving his sentence at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Amador County, wouldn't have been eligible for release from his original, 16-year sentence until December 2023, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Monday afternoon.

Thornton said the prison has not yet recalculated Nunez' earliest possible release date based on Sunday's commutation, but noted that because the controlling offense for which he's imprisoned is a violent offense, he must serve at least 85 percent of his new, seven-year sentence.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors who put Nunez away aren't happy at all.

"We were shocked to hear of the Governor's last-minute commutation, which greatly diminishes justice for victim Luis Santos and re-victimizes his family and friends," San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Monday. "The District Attorney's Office was not consulted and the decision comes as the appeals process was continuing."

Read the Political Blotter at . Follow Josh Richman at .

Copyright © 2011 The Argus. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Recruiting by U.S. universities of Chinese undergrads is hottest new education trend | View Clip
01/03/2011
Daily News, The

Minao Wang, left, with Kang Ming Si in a business ethics class at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., Dec. 2, 2010. (Josie Lepe/Mercury News)

To attract new students, Santa Clara University promotes its top professors, small seminars, long educational tradition and proximity to tech companies including Apple and Netflix.

In Chinese.

As Friday's application deadline approaches, the Santa Clara school is among the American universities that are accelerating recruitment in China. This educational pipeline delivered more than 40,000 undergraduates to the U.S. in the 2009-10 academic year -- a 46 percent increase over the previous year -- and promises to bring more.

The newfound wealth of many Chinese and their strong academic preparation make these students an admissions officer's dream. Although China's students have long filled American graduate schools, the country's undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. Last year, the number of Indians plateaued and the number of South Koreans declined, but the Chinese population surged.

"We're extending our arms. There is untapped potential," said Santa Clara University admissions director Michael Sexton, who recently completed the school's first recruitment tour in five Chinese cities. "Diversity is a very important educational trait."

A recruiting brochure, written in Chinese, extols the virtue of Santa Clara University's location "in the heart of Silicon Valley, where all technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens." The search for Chinese talent is also under way at the University

of San Francisco, where enrollment has jumped from 32 students to 424 in five years. Stanley Nel, University of San Francisco's vice president of internal relations and a recruiter, travels to China four to 10 times a year, staying from a few days to several weeks.

Benefits for campuses

Public universities like UC Berkeley and San Francisco State and community colleges like Foothill and De Anza also have launched recruitment efforts, joining the five-city China Education Expo 2010, which was attended by 70,000 students. Stanford, which does not recruit, reports only a modest increase in applications from China.

Enrollment officials at Santa Clara and the University of San Francisco contend that they can accommodate all students who make the grade and that the international students do not squeeze out Americans.

"Either an applicant has it or not, whether they're from China or South America or Boston," Sexton said.

Chinese students bring added value to the campus, admissions officers say, because of their academic preparation, global perspective and willingness to pay full tuition at cash-strapped campuses. (Most international students are not eligible for financial

aid.)

There are two primary reasons Chinese enrollment has jumped so dramatically, said Nel.

Many Chinese people believe the U.S. higher-education system is the best in the world, and they seek multidisciplinary study, close faculty relationships and an ethos of innovation, he said. And with so much of China's growth tied to international trade, families seek to give their children the advantages of English fluency and alumni networking.

For the first time in China's history, students can afford to study abroad, Nel said. The growth of the nation's economy -- and the surge in Shanghai real-estate prices -- has helped create 700,000 new millionaires and a middle class of more than 300 million.

At age 15, China's Minao Wang set her sights on an American education. When it came time to apply to college, she collected her school transcripts, hired an organization to evaluate them and then applied to Santa Clara University.

"It was my idea," said Wang, now 20, the only child of a judge from the city of Wuxi, in Jiangsu province. "I am really glad my mom supported me. She did not want me to go, from the bottom of her heart, but she said if I wanted to do it -- if it made me a better person -- she would do it."

"I heard that America was a more-free country," added Wang, an accounting student who lives with an aunt in Cupertino. "And I didn't want to study for a number on a test. I wanted to study for the fun of learning."

Before arriving, Wang said, "I was really shy, but I have learned how to speak up. America has changed me."

Chinese school officials had long opposed studying abroad, but now they encourage it, wrote Jiang Xueqin, the Yale-educated principal at Peking University High School.

In the past, "losing their best students would mean lower national examination scores, which, as bureaucrats, they live and die by." So most Chinese youth studied in secret, cramming for the American SAT and English-language tests on weekends.

But the nation now fears a shortage of "knowledge workers," he said. In November, Beijing officials "explicitly told the schools they now had to help study-abroad students," instructing them to help students with American applications.

Today's surge may be just the beginning. To prepare students for American education, a robust for-profit educational market has emerged in China. The market leader, New Oriental School -- which offers SAT, Advanced Placement and English-language tests as well as college counseling -- says it has 9.5 million students.

'We have to be ready'

Some American educators urge caution. In a debate at the 2009 National Association for College Admission Counseling titled "The Chinese Are Coming," Vanderbilt University admissions dean Douglas Christiansen said a homogeneous international population doesn't increase campus diversity.

"Do you want to build pipelines throughout the world," he asked, "or do you want to build pipelines to just one country?"

The expansion of the number of Chinese students has created tension on some campuses. Some American students complain of communication problems or say that Chinese students cluster together and distort the grading curve on math tests. There are other challenges, as well, including increased demand for engineering classes and complaints about dining hall rice.

Still, seizing on the demand, universities are working to adapt. At Santa Clara, officials drive to the airport for pickups and drop-offs of Chinese students. They help them set up bank accounts and take them to Walmart and Target. They help them practice asking questions in class and the assertiveness skills that are critical for American academic success.

The University of San Francisco added conversation programs, writing instruction and immigration advising.

"If we build it, they will come," said Sexton. "But we have to be ready."

Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 408-920-5565

Advice About America For Chinese Students

Classrooms: Some degree of assertiveness is necessary for success.

Creativity: Americans expect students to produce their own ideas.

Honesty: American academics regard plagiarism as a kind of theft.

Individualist: Self-promotion is more accepted.

Friends: Large collection of friends changes over time.

Obligations: People avoid interdependent situations that entail long-term obligations.

Task-oriented: Relationships are less important than getting the work done.

Law: Applies to everyone -- Americans do not have a "back door" idea.

Source: American International Education Foundation

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Nominee sees big challenges | View Clip
01/03/2011
Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Online

Richard Lim always has been at the forefront of Hawaii business.

But after more than 30 years of experience in banking and financial services, Lim was ready for a new challenge and the opportunity to make a difference in the state's future.

Profile

RICHARD LIM

Richard Lim has been appointed director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Here is his background:

» Age: 59

» Previous positions: Managing director and co-founder of Honolulu-based merchant banking firm Sennet Capital LLC, senior vice president of mortgage banking for Central Pacific Bank, president and chief operating officer of City Bank

» Nonprofit boards and commissions: Hawaii Technology Development Venture Board, Korean American Foundation, Chaminade University Board of Governors

» Education: Chaminade University (M.B.A.), Santa Clara University (B.A.)

"When I read the New Day in Hawaii plan, I knew I wanted to get involved," said Lim, 59, the newly appointed director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. "I think most people would agree that Hawaii needs to make fundamental changes to meet the challenges that we will face as our population ages. But no one had a plan other than cutting costs to balance the budget."

That's where Gov. Neil Abercrombie's New Day in Hawaii plan came in.

"I got excited and asked how I could help make it a reality," Lim said. "And somehow I ended up at DBEDT, right in the middle of it."

Abercrombie's appointment of Lim, who resigned as managing director of merchant banker Sennet Capital LLC, must be confirmed by the state Senate. But Lim is already immersed in his job, attending daylong meetings.

While Lim acknowledges that his financial background is important in helping him assess the feasibility of various programs and initiatives, he said he has quickly learned that the director's position requires a lot more than business acumen.

"The ability to work collaboratively with a wide variety of people with disparate views is critical to building the consensus required to make meaningful progress on economic initiatives," Lim said.

Four years ago, Lim and Kenton Eldridge co-founded Sennet Capital to help Hawaii companies with mergers and acquisitions, raising capital and planning.

Eldridge describes Lim as "an excellent taskmaster" with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, as well as a team builder and a good teacher.

"He's a visionary thinker," Eldridge said.

Lim was the president and chief operating officer of City Bank before it was taken over by rival Central Pacific Bank in September 2004. Lim worked for less than a year at Central Pacific as senior vice president of mortgage banking before leaving to start Sennet Capital.

Ron Migita, former chief executive officer of City Bank and the now-retired chairman of Central Pacific, said Lim will be "an excellent fit."

"Richard is a smart guy, very strategic in his thinking," Migita said. "He's focused and has a lot of energy. Richard is very good at evaluating talent ... and knows the local business community."

One of Lim's priorities will be to move Hawaii forward in reducing its dependence on imported food and oil.

"We have an opportunity to help craft a new economy with energy independence as one of our core missions, but, of course, we first have to deal with the budget shortfall," Lim said. "Our core staffing is down by roughly 45 percent, so just fulfilling our basic responsibilities is challenging. I give the staff a lot of credit for stepping up to the plate because we are asking them to take on new initiatives with substantially reduced resources."

Lim succeeds former DBEDT Director Ted Liu, who was audited by the state and came under fire for the department's financial practices, including how much state money was used for overseas trips and his decision to award a hydrogen investment fund contract to the lowest-rated bidder.

But Lim said he prefers to look forward.

"I'll trust that the past is behind us," Lim said. "After all, this is a new administration and a new day in Hawaii."

Paul Casey, former president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and a current partner at Sennet Capital, said Lim is financially savvy and is good at putting people and deals together.

"He will advance the cause of alternative energy even though he's had no previous government experience," Casey said. "I think he's a great fit for DBEDT, and having the support of a Democratic governor and Legislature means he can get some things done as well."

Lim said he is looking forward to working with Abercrombie.

"He's fun to work for because he has a vision, he's dynamic and he can get right to the heart of an issue in a heartbeat," Lim said.

Richard Lim always has been at the forefront of Hawaii business.

But after more than 30 years of experience in banking and financial services, Lim was ready for a new challenge and the opportunity to make a difference in the state's future.

RICHARD LIM

Richard Lim has been appointed director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Here is his background:

» Age: 59

» Previous positions: Managing director and co-founder of Honolulu-based merchant banking firm Sennet Capital LLC, senior vice president of mortgage banking for Central Pacific Bank, president and chief operating officer of City Bank

» Nonprofit boards and commissions: Hawaii Technology Development Venture Board, Korean American Foundation, Chaminade University Board of Governors

» Education: Chaminade University (M.B.A.), Santa Clara University (B.A.)

"When I read the New Day in Hawaii plan, I knew I wanted to get involved," said Lim, 59, the newly appointed director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. "I think most people would agree that Hawaii needs to make fundamental changes to meet the challenges that we will face as our population ages. But no one had a plan other than cutting costs to balance the budget."

That's where Gov. Neil Abercrombie's New Day in Hawaii plan came in.

"I got excited and asked how I could help make it a reality," Lim said. "And somehow I ended up at DBEDT, right in the middle of it."

Abercrombie's appointment of Lim, who resigned as managing director of merchant banker Sennet Capital LLC, must be confirmed by the state Senate. But Lim is already immersed in his job, attending daylong meetings.

While Lim acknowledges that his financial background is important in helping him assess the feasibility of various programs and initiatives, he said he has quickly learned that the director's position requires a lot more than business acumen.

"The ability to work collaboratively with a wide variety of people with disparate views is critical to building the consensus required to make meaningful progress on economic initiatives," Lim said.

Four years ago, Lim and Kenton Eldridge co-founded Sennet Capital to help Hawaii companies with mergers and acquisitions, raising capital and planning.

Eldridge describes Lim as "an excellent taskmaster" with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, as well as a team builder and a good teacher.

"He's a visionary thinker," Eldridge said.

Lim was the president and chief operating officer of City Bank before it was taken over by rival Central Pacific Bank in September 2004. Lim worked for less than a year at Central Pacific as senior vice president of mortgage banking before leaving to start Sennet Capital.

Ron Migita, former chief executive officer of City Bank and the now-retired chairman of Central Pacific, said Lim will be "an excellent fit."

"Richard is a smart guy, very strategic in his thinking," Migita said. "He's focused and has a lot of energy. Richard is very good at evaluating talent ... and knows the local business community."

One of Lim's priorities will be to move Hawaii forward in reducing its dependence on imported food and oil.

"We have an opportunity to help craft a new economy with energy independence as one of our core missions, but, of course, we first have to deal with the budget shortfall," Lim said. "Our core staffing is down by roughly 45 percent, so just fulfilling our basic responsibilities is challenging. I give the staff a lot of credit for stepping up to the plate because we are asking them to take on new initiatives with substantially reduced resources."

Lim succeeds former DBEDT Director Ted Liu, who was audited by the state and came under fire for the department's financial practices, including how much state money was used for overseas trips and his decision to award a hydrogen investment fund contract to the lowest-rated bidder.

But Lim said he prefers to look forward.

"I'll trust that the past is behind us," Lim said. "After all, this is a new administration and a new day in Hawaii."

Paul Casey, former president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and a current partner at Sennet Capital, said Lim is financially savvy and is good at putting people and deals together.

"He will advance the cause of alternative energy even though he's had no previous government experience," Casey said. "I think he's a great fit for DBEDT, and having the support of a Democratic governor and Legislature means he can get some things done as well."

Lim said he is looking forward to working with Abercrombie.

"He's fun to work for because he has a vision, he's dynamic and he can get right to the heart of an issue in a heartbeat," Lim said.

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Jerry Brown (D) - WhoRunsGov.com/The Washington Post | View Clip
01/03/2011
Who Runs Gov

California Governor (D)

Career History:

California Attorney General (January 2007-January 2011); Mayor of Oakland (1998 to 2006); Practiced law in Los Angeles (1989 to 1991); Governor of California (1974 to 1982)

Alma Mater: Sacred Heart Novitiate Jesuit Seminary School, 1958; University of California Berkeley, B.A. (classics), 1961; Yale Law School, J.D., 1964

Religion: Catholic

State Office:

2010, more than 30 years after he first swept into office pledging to balance the state's budget. He defeated internet billionaire Meg Whitman (R) to win his old job back, inheriting a $28 billion deficit from outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).

In the 1970s, Brown's slogan was that he was a "new spirit." In 2010, he ran on experience - something he has in spades. After serving as two-term governor in the 1970s, he was elected chairman of the California Democratic Party and Oakland mayor. He also ran (unsuccessfully) for

U.S. president.

Governor is "a very challenging job," Brown told the

L.A. Times in February 2010. "Obviously, I think knowing a great deal about it is a real asset."

Brown was an early and vocal environmentalist and proponent of Cesar Chavez and his farm labor movement .

"It's a very challenging job," Brown said in 2010. "Obviously, I think knowing a great deal about it is a real asset."

Brown was born into a political family. His father Pat Brown was once governor of California.

He grew up in San Francisco and attended one year of college at Santa Clara University before leaving to to join a Jesuit Seminary in 1956.

But after a couple of years, Brown decided seminary wasn't for him. In 1959, he returned to college, this time at the University of California-Berkeley.

After graduating in 1961, Brown went to Yale Law School. There, he studied (among other more traditional topics) Roman Law and psychiatry and law (a course taught by Sigmund Freud's daughter). He then clerked for Supreme Court of California Justice Mathew Tobriner and studied in Mexico and Latin America.

After graduating, Brown failed the notoriously difficult California bar test on the first try.

Dolan, Maura, "A High Bar for Lawyers," Los Angeles Times, Feb. 21, 2006

In 1967, he joined the Los Angeles law firm Tuttle & Taylor. During that time, he also began to tap his radical roots, organizing anti-Vietnam War protests and migrant workers.

Political Debut

In 1969, Brown won his first elected position - a seat on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees, which oversaw city community colleges.

California secretary of state, a job he used to to bring lawsuits against corporations for violations of campaign-finance laws.
California Governor

In 1974, Brown ran for

governor as a "new spirit." He won, replacing former President Ronald Reagan. He was reelected in 1978. During his time in office, he drew support from across the aisle with a mix of pragmatic and unorthodox ideas.

As governor, Brown made his frugality his calling card. He lived in an apartment instead of the state mansion, and canceled the lease for the state plane. He even refused to allow his staff to fix a hole in the carpet in the governor's rug, arguing that no one could come into the office and ask for too much money for projects.

"He understands the power of moral leverage," Gray Davis, Brown's's chief of staff at the time and a former California governor, told

The Washington Post.

However, Brown's eccentric qualities and bold ideas also drew some mockery. A Chicago columnist dubbed Brown "Governor Moonbeam" (for proposing that the state launch its own communications satellite), and the nickname stuck.

Presidential Politics

Brown tried to make the jump to national politics in 1976 and 1980, but was unsuccessful both times. He also lost a race for the U.S. Senate in 1982.

After that defeat, Brown travelled widely. He led delegations to China and the former U.S.S.R., studied Spanish (in Mexico) and Japanese. He volunteered with Mother Teresa in India and traveled to Bangladesh as a CARE ambassador in 1988.

California's Democratic Party, raising money and getting out the vote.

In 1992, he decided to make one last run for president. Brown did very well in the early primaries - he and

Bill Clinton competed long after the other candidates withdrew. The 1992 Campaign: Candidate's Record; Brown Firm on What He Believes, But What He Believes Often Shifts, " New York Times, March 30, 1992 But Brown was ultimately unsuccessful. After his defeat, he returned to practicing law.

But Brown soon transitioned to a new field. In 1995, Brown began hosting his own liberal radio show. He told his audience that he was "a recovering politician." But he couldn't stay out of the game for long.

Oakland Mayor and California Attorney General

In 1998, he ran for mayor of Oakland, pledging to reduce crime and bring young people back to the downtown. But despite his ambitions, Brown presided over a huge spike in crime (murders doubled during his term).

And his 10K Plan, an urban-development project which built 6,500 condos, lofts and apartments downtown in order to draw wealthy urbanites to city center, was a mixed success

Inflating the Numbers," East Bay Express, Jan. 3 2007 Still, Brown lured new charter schools and improved the education system. California attorney general. In that position, Brown focused on prosecuting drug dealers, gang members and corporate criminals. His office also attacked companies profiting from the mortgage crisis and labor law violators.
2010 Governor's Race

In 2009, Brown decided to make a comeback, bidding again for the

California governor's mansion.

He breezed through the Democratic primary and launched a somewhat unorthodox campaign. Instead of spending millions on attack ads, Brown spent almost nothing on advertising. He hosted few rallies or public events. Berkeley political scientist called the campaign "inexplicable and unpredictable."

Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO with deep pockets.

Whitman seemed to be gaining an egde until late fall when her former housekeeper alleged that she had knowingly employed her for nearly a decade even though she was an illegal immigrant, a charge that Whitman strongly denied. But given Whitman's strong stance against employers who hire illegal immigrants, the issue was problematic in a state with a big immigration issue.

But then, in early October, it emerged that a member of Brown's campaign had suggested calling the female former eBay chief executive a "whore" because she had told a police union she would keep their pensions intact.

While Brown's campaign apologized and said the candidate had not made the statement personally, Whitman's spokeswoman called it

an "appalling and unforgivable smear."

No one can accuse Brown of being unfamiliar with the landscape of

governor twice, mayor of Oakland for eight years and as state attorney general.

According to Brown, this experience will serve him well. "I have an insider's knowledge and an outsider's mind," he told

The Washington Post.

Brown believes the state needs to be completely revolutionized and "refunded." His plan, he said is to call the entire legislature for sit-downs to debate "what kind of state California should be."

But his campaign was accused of being short on specifics. His rival, 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee

Meg Whitman turned down his invitations for debates, telling voters that she would pass in order not to distract Brown "on the off chance that he actually needs to come up with some policy proposals."
Fiscal Responsibility

Brown predicted the end of the easy-money economy that had helped California grow so rapidly as early as 1999. At that time, he told the

San Francisco Chronicle "the country is rich, but not so rich as we have been led to believe ... The choice to do one thing may preclude another. In short, we are entering an era of limits.'"

He was right. California struggled with massive budget shortfalls during Gov.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) tenure. The 2008-2009 recess the left state $19 billion in debt, the state was forced to fire policeman and furlough many state workers. Brown has been vague about how he would address the budget crisis, though he has said he'd make some service cuts and may raise taxes, though he has vowed to only do so with public support.

Brown's most concrete suggestion for the state budget is that he'd like to begin working on it earlier in the year.

California's biggest problems - unemployment was at 12 percent in fall 2010, three percent higher than the national average. Brown plans to bring jobs back to the economy by funding a rapid expansion of renewable energy.

This expansion will lead to the creation of 500,000 new jobs in research, development, manufacturing, construction, installation, and maintenance by 2020, according to Brown's campaign web site.

Jerry Brown's campaign web site Brown has also called on the state to increase infrastructure spending, particularly on high-speed rail. Education

Brown has been a long-time advocate of improving

California's public-education system.

When Brown was

governor, he pushed for the establishment of minimum standards for high-school graduates, increased funding for the University of California system and created local councils to evaluate school performance.

When Brown was mayor of Oakland, he helped found two charter schools.

Brown has pledged to revitalize the state's public university system, overhaul the state testing system so tests are shorter and cover less content and improve math and science education.

Death Penalty

A former Catholic seminarian, Brown has been a staunch opponent of the death penalty.

It's a position that may have been influenced by his father. Former Gov. Pat Brown (D) wrote a book about the impact having the power to make the final decision over whether an inmate died or was granted clemency.

Brown first protested the death penalty in 1959 as a Jesuit seminarian outside a California prison. He lobbied his father not to allow Caryl Chessman, a convicted rapist, to be killed. When he was

governor, he vetoed death-penalty legislation and appointed judges who opposed capital punishment.

But during his 2006 campaign for attorney general, Brown didn't make his opposition a major issue. Instead, he pledged to enforce the current laws, which allowed for capital punishment. "It's the law, and I will follow the law," he said. "That means upholding death penalty convictions through the appellate process."

Campaign 2006: State Attorney General Brown's rivals question commitment to death penalty, " San Francisco Chronicle, June 2, 2006

The Network

Brown's long career means that he has close ties with most of the

California political establishment. Recalled California Gov. Gray Davis (D) served as chief of staff while Brown was governor. His sister Kathleen Brown (D) ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1994.

Though he's competing against mega-consultants, Brown preferred to keep his campaign staff small and local. It is managed by Steve Glazer, a city councilman from a California suburb. His spokesman Sterling Clifford, did damage control for disgraced former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon.

At 72, California Gubernatorial Candidate is the Same Old Jerry Brown,

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Recruiting by U.S. universities of Chinese undergrads is hottest new education trend | View Clip
01/03/2011
Oroville Mercury-Register

Minao Wang, left, with Kang Ming Si in a business ethics class at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., Dec. 2, 2010. (Josie Lepe/Mercury News)

To attract new students, Santa Clara University promotes its top professors, small seminars, long educational tradition and proximity to tech companies including Apple and Netflix.

In Chinese.

As Friday's application deadline approaches, the Santa Clara school is among the American universities that are accelerating recruitment in China. This educational pipeline delivered more than 40,000 undergraduates to the U.S. in the 2009-10 academic year -- a 46 percent increase over the previous year -- and promises to bring more.

The newfound wealth of many Chinese and their strong academic preparation make these students an admissions officer's dream. Although China's students have long filled American graduate schools, the country's undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. Last year, the number of Indians plateaued and the number of South Koreans declined, but the Chinese population surged.

"We're extending our arms. There is untapped potential," said Santa Clara University admissions director Michael Sexton, who recently completed the school's first recruitment tour in five Chinese cities. "Diversity is a very important educational trait."

A recruiting brochure, written in Chinese, extols the virtue of Santa Clara University's location "in the heart of Silicon Valley, where all technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens." The search for Chinese talent is also under way at the University

of San Francisco, where enrollment has jumped from 32 students to 424 in five years. Stanley Nel, University of San Francisco's vice president of internal relations and a recruiter, travels to China four to 10 times a year, staying from a few days to several weeks.

Benefits for campuses

Public universities like UC Berkeley and San Francisco State and community colleges like Foothill and De Anza also have launched recruitment efforts, joining the five-city China Education Expo 2010, which was attended by 70,000 students. Stanford, which does not recruit, reports only a modest increase in applications from China.

Enrollment officials at Santa Clara and the University of San Francisco contend that they can accommodate all students who make the grade and that the international students do not squeeze out Americans.

"Either an applicant has it or not, whether they're from China or South America or Boston," Sexton said.

Chinese students bring added value to the campus, admissions officers say, because of their academic preparation, global perspective and willingness to pay full tuition at cash-strapped campuses. (Most international students are not eligible for financial

aid.)

There are two primary reasons Chinese enrollment has jumped so dramatically, said Nel.

Many Chinese people believe the U.S. higher-education system is the best in the world, and they seek multidisciplinary study, close faculty relationships and an ethos of innovation, he said. And with so much of China's growth tied to international trade, families seek to give their children the advantages of English fluency and alumni networking.

For the first time in China's history, students can afford to study abroad, Nel said. The growth of the nation's economy -- and the surge in Shanghai real-estate prices -- has helped create 700,000 new millionaires and a middle class of more than 300 million.

At age 15, China's Minao Wang set her sights on an American education. When it came time to apply to college, she collected her school transcripts, hired an organization to evaluate them and then applied to Santa Clara University.

"It was my idea," said Wang, now 20, the only child of a judge from the city of Wuxi, in Jiangsu province. "I am really glad my mom supported me. She did not want me to go, from the bottom of her heart, but she said if I wanted to do it -- if it made me a better person -- she would do it."

"I heard that America was a more-free country," added Wang, an accounting student who lives with an aunt in Cupertino. "And I didn't want to study for a number on a test. I wanted to study for the fun of learning."

Before arriving, Wang said, "I was really shy, but I have learned how to speak up. America has changed me."

Chinese school officials had long opposed studying abroad, but now they encourage it, wrote Jiang Xueqin, the Yale-educated principal at Peking University High School.

In the past, "losing their best students would mean lower national examination scores, which, as bureaucrats, they live and die by." So most Chinese youth studied in secret, cramming for the American SAT and English-language tests on weekends.

But the nation now fears a shortage of "knowledge workers," he said. In November, Beijing officials "explicitly told the schools they now had to help study-abroad students," instructing them to help students with American applications.

Today's surge may be just the beginning. To prepare students for American education, a robust for-profit educational market has emerged in China. The market leader, New Oriental School -- which offers SAT, Advanced Placement and English-language tests as well as college counseling -- says it has 9.5 million students.

'We have to be ready'

Some American educators urge caution. In a debate at the 2009 National Association for College Admission Counseling titled "The Chinese Are Coming," Vanderbilt University admissions dean Douglas Christiansen said a homogeneous international population doesn't increase campus diversity.

"Do you want to build pipelines throughout the world," he asked, "or do you want to build pipelines to just one country?"

The expansion of the number of Chinese students has created tension on some campuses. Some American students complain of communication problems or say that Chinese students cluster together and distort the grading curve on math tests. There are other challenges, as well, including increased demand for engineering classes and complaints about dining hall rice.

Still, seizing on the demand, universities are working to adapt. At Santa Clara, officials drive to the airport for pickups and drop-offs of Chinese students. They help them set up bank accounts and take them to Walmart and Target. They help them practice asking questions in class and the assertiveness skills that are critical for American academic success.

The University of San Francisco added conversation programs, writing instruction and immigration advising.

"If we build it, they will come," said Sexton. "But we have to be ready."

Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 408-920-5565

Advice About America For Chinese Students

Classrooms: Some degree of assertiveness is necessary for success.

Creativity: Americans expect students to produce their own ideas.

Honesty: American academics regard plagiarism as a kind of theft.

Individualist: Self-promotion is more accepted.

Friends: Large collection of friends changes over time.

Obligations: People avoid interdependent situations that entail long-term obligations.

Task-oriented: Relationships are less important than getting the work done.

Law: Applies to everyone -- Americans do not have a "back door" idea.

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Borders Teeters on Liquidity Border | View Clip
01/03/2011
KNTV-TV - Online

Consumer advocate Linda Sherry minces no words for gift card holders: "get your butts to the store and buy what you want to buy!" That's particularly good advice for consumers who hold gift cards for Borders bookstores, which said it is very close to a "liquidity crisis". Borders (BGP) said Friday it faced a severe cash crunch. While the bookstore chain has not said it would seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, that would be an obvious solution. If that were to happen, Borders would be able to reschedule - or in some cases cancel - its debt.

Unfortunately for the consumer, that debt can include gift cards. Thousands of people have been left holding worthless debt cards to companies like Circuit City and Sharper Image. San Francisco based Sharper Image first filed for bankruptcy in early 2008 and suspended its gift card program at first. It later created a bizarre series of rules - demanding consumers holding $50 cards to spend at least $100 to qualify. Ultimately Sharper Image was sold to a holding company and the gift cards once again became worthless. "They would certainly be in a legal position to do that" says Santa Clara University Law School professor Scott Mauer. "Any money going out is supervised by the courts, and big creditors have just as big a right to a claim as you do." Publisher Rowman and Littlefield announced it will not send new books to Borders Bookstores until the retailer resumes payments to vendors. The imprint, which publishes books like Extravagant Expectations: New Ways to Find Romantic Love in America, is the first to pull its products but it may not be the last.

Vendors often begin to limit shipments of new products to companies nearing bankruptcy.

Borders did not respond to our inquiries, though that's not surprising. Companies on the brink need to be very careful about the wording they use to describe their financial situation. Commenting to the Wall Street Journal on Borders' failure to pay book publishers, spokeswoman Mary Davis read a statement that said only "Borders has determined that it is necessary to restructure its vendor financing arrangements and is delaying payments to certain of its vendors. Borders has notified these vendors and will be working with them to restructure their arrangements."

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Law profs say politics loomed large over Nunez's commutation | View Clip
01/03/2011
Contra Costa Times - Online

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for the former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

Hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger on Sunday reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nunez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles. Nunez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State University. Nunez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nunez's friend, Ryan Jett, stabbed Santos to death.

Santa Clara University Law Professor Kathleen Ridolfi, who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nunez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nu�ez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process wasn't even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nunez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; Nunez's opening brief isn't due until next Monday.

Ohio State University Law Professor Douglas Berman, a sentencing law and policy expert, said governors shouldn't hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand wringing that surrounds a high profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nunez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Another clemency expert, Professor Daniel Kobil of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, agreed it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nunez's commutation -- that Nunez received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics. Follow Josh Richman at Twitter.com/josh_richman.

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Microwave Circuit Design Using Linear and Nonlinear Techniques, Second Edition | View Clip
01/03/2011
ARN - Online

The ultimate handbook on microwave circuit design with CAD. Full of tips and insights from seasoned industry veterans, Microwave Circuit Design offers practical, proven advice on improving the design quality of microwave passive and active circuits-while cutting costs and time. Covering all levels of microwave circuit design from the elementary to the very advanced, the book systematically presents computer-aided methods for linear and nonlinear designs used in the design and manufacture of microwave amplifiers, oscillators, and mixers. Using the newest CAD tools, the book shows how to design transistor and diode circuits, and also details CAD's usefulness in microwave integrated circuit (MIC) and monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) technology. Applications of nonlinear SPICE programs, now available for microwave CAD, are described. State-of-the-art coverage includes microwave transistors (HEMTs, MODFETs, MESFETs, HBTs, and more), high-power amplifier design, oscillator design including feedback topologies, phase noise and examples, and more. The techniques presented are illustrated with several MMIC designs, including a wideband amplifier, a low-noise amplifier, and an MMIC mixer. This unique, one-stop handbook also features a major case study of an actual anticollision radar transceiver, which is compared in detail against CAD predictions; examples of actual circuit designs with photographs of completed circuits; and tables of design formulae.

GEORGE D. VENDELIN, ENGEE, is a technical consultant with more than forty years of microwave engineering design and teaching experience. His clients include Texas Instruments, Anritsu, Ford Aerospace/Loral Space & Communications/Lockheed Martin, Litton/Filtronics, and many others through his consulting firm, Vendelin Engineering. He is the author of Design of Amplifiers and Oscillators by the S-Parameter Method (Wiley). He is an adjunct professor at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, and the University of California, Berkeley–Extension.

ANTHONY M. PAVIO, PHD, is the Manager of the Phoenix Design Center for Rockwell Collins, which is focused on the development of advanced high-density military products. He was previously the manager of Integrated RF Ceramics Center for Motorola Labs, specializing in the development of highly integrated LTCC modules. Dr. Pavio was also a technical director of the microwave products division of Texas Instruments.

ULRICH L. ROHDE, PHD, Dr.-ING, is Chairman of Synergy Microwave Corporation; a partner of Rohde & Schwarz, a firm specializing in test equipment and advanced communications systems; and Professor of Microwave and RF Technology at the Technische Universität Cottbus, Germany.

Table of Contents

Foreword by David Leeson.

Preface.

1. RF/Microwave Systems.

2. Lumped and Distributed Elements.

3. Active Devices.

4. Two-Port Networks.

5. Impedance Matching.

6. Microwave Filters.

7. Noise in Linear Two-Ports.

8. Small- and Large-Signal Amplifier Design.

9. Power Amplifier Design.

10. Oscillator Design.

11. Microwave Mixer Design.

12. RF Switches and Attenuators.

13. Microwave Computer-Aided Workstations foor MMIC Requirements..

Appendix A: BIP: Gummel-Poon Bipolar Transistor Model.

Appendix B: Level 3 MOSFET.

Appendix C: Noise Parameters of GaAs MESFETs.

Appendix D: Derivations for Unilateral Gain Section.

Appendix E: Vector Representation of Two-Tone Intermodulation Products.

Appendix F: Passive Microwave Elements.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation | View Clip
01/03/2011
Tri-Valley Herald

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nu�ez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu�ez, D-Los Angeles. Estebsn Nu�ez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nu�ez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nu�ez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nu�ez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nu�ez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nu�ez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly." As for Nu�ez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nu�ez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics. Follow Josh Richman at Twitter.com/josh_richman.

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Santa Clara University's de Saisset Museum Explores The Practice of Veiling Through a Thought-Provoking Exhibition | View Clip
01/03/2011
About.com

The de Saisset Museum at will explore the topic of the veil through a provocative exhibition of contemporary women artists. The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces will open to the public on Jan. 15 and will be on view through March 11.

The veiling of women, men, and sacred places has existed in countless cultures and religions throughout history. Veiling expands far beyond Islam and the Middle East, yet is vastly misunderstood. This traveling exhibition features more than 30 works of art that examine the veil from myriad perspectives. Divided loosely into three thematic sections—the sacred veil, the sensuous veil, and the sociopolitical veil—the show aims to transcend popular clichés and stereotypes about the practice of veiling and to present the subject in a broader and more universal context.

Composed of works by 29 national and international artists, The Veil addresses issues such as modesty, oppression, liberation, freedom of expression, spirituality, nature, and magic. The artists represent diverse backgrounds, spiritual practices, and points of view. Through their work, they challenge, condemn, embrace, and praise the veil.

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces is curated by Jennifer Heath and serves as a visual companion to her edited volume, The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore, and Politics (University of California Press, 2008). The exhibition features works in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and new media.

Artists in the exhibition include Sama Alshaibi, Elizabeth Bisbing, Christine Breslin, Rebecca DiDomenico, Yassi Golshani, Ana Maria Hernando, Valari Jack, Tania Kamal-Eldin, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Anita Kunz, Judith Selby Lang, Mary Tuma, Kim Turos, and Helen Zughaib.

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 15. A free celebratory reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In conjunction with The Veil and in partnership with the Religious Studies Department at SCU, the de Saisset Museum will invite leaders of diverse religious communities to reflect on the exhibition and to share their perspectives on the history and practice of veiling. The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

In addition, the de Saisset will host its annual College Night event, an evening of free art, activities, and education geared to college students, on Feb. 24 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information about this exhibition and the accompanying programs, visit www.scu.edu/desaisset.

About the de Saisset Museum

The de Saisset Museum at is the South Bay's free museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the campus in 1955 and is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. The de Saisset Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets objects of art and history for the educational and cultural enrichment of all people. The museum achieves its mission through an active program of exhibitions, collections, education programs, and publications. About is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California's oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see� www.scu.edu.

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Santa Clara University's de Saisset Museum Explores The Practice of Veiling Through a Thought-Provoking Exhibition | View Clip
01/03/2011
Bradenton Herald - Online

The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University will explore the topic of the veil through a provocative exhibition of contemporary women artists. The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces will open to the public on Jan. 15 and will be on view through March 11.

The veiling of women, men, and sacred places has existed in countless cultures and religions throughout history. Veiling expands far beyond Islam and the Middle East, yet is vastly misunderstood. This traveling exhibition features more than 30 works of art that examine the veil from myriad perspectives. Divided loosely into three thematic sections?the sacred veil, the sensuous veil, and the sociopolitical veil?the show aims to transcend popular clichés and stereotypes about the practice of veiling and to present the subject in a broader and more universal context.

Composed of works by 29 national and international artists, The Veil addresses issues such as modesty, oppression, liberation, freedom of expression, spirituality, nature, and magic. The artists represent diverse backgrounds, spiritual practices, and points of view. Through their work, they challenge, condemn, embrace, and praise the veil.

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces is curated by Jennifer Heath and serves as a visual companion to her edited volume, The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore, and Politics (University of California Press, 2008). The exhibition features works in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and new media.

Artists in the exhibition include Sama Alshaibi, Elizabeth Bisbing, Christine Breslin, Rebecca DiDomenico, Yassi Golshani, Ana Maria Hernando, Valari Jack, Tania Kamal-Eldin, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Anita Kunz, Judith Selby Lang, Mary Tuma, Kim Turos, and Helen Zughaib.

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 15. A free celebratory reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In conjunction with The Veil and in partnership with the Religious Studies Department at SCU, the de Saisset Museum will invite leaders of diverse religious communities to reflect on the exhibition and to share their perspectives on the history and practice of veiling. The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

In addition, the de Saisset will host its annual College Night event, an evening of free art, activities, and education geared to college students, on Feb. 24 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information about this exhibition and the accompanying programs, visit www.scu.edu/desaisset.

About the de Saisset Museum

The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay?s free museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the Santa Clara University campus in 1955 and is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. The de Saisset Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets objects of art and history for the educational and cultural enrichment of all people. The museum achieves its mission through an active program of exhibitions, collections, education programs, and publications.

About Santa Clara University Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California?s Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master?s degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master?s universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California?s oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

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Law professors say politics loomed large over Nu�ez's commutation | View Clip
01/03/2011
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor's

decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly."

As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Return to Top



Law professors say politics loomed large over Nuñez's commutation | View Clip
01/03/2011
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's last-minute commutation of a manslaughter sentence for a former Assembly speaker's son might have a solid legal basis, but it clearly raises questions of special access for the politically well-connected, legal experts said Monday.

On Sunday, hours before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced from 16 years to seven the state prison term for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles. Esteban Nuñez had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in May and was sentenced in June in connection with the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, 22, of Concord, during a 2008 fight near San Diego State. Nuñez stabbed someone else who survived, while Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett stabbed Santos to death.

Kathleen Ridolfi, a Santa Clara University law professor who directs the Northern California Innocence Project, said executive clemency powers were put in place by the founding fathers as a safety net when the courts fail to provide justice.

But the circumstances of Nuñez's case don't "boggle the mind in terms of your sense of justice in the way that so many other cases do, yet they are ignored," she said. "It's clearly a political act."

Brad Patton, Esteban Nuñez's trial attorney, said Sunday that he felt his client was given the maximum because the judge was concerned about appearing to be lenient to the son of a powerful political figure. "The governor'syld_mgr.place_ad_here("adPosBox"); decision is a reflection of what this case would have been like if politics had not been involved," Patton said.

The usual appeals process was not even close to having run its course. A trial judge in October had rejected Nuñez's request to reduce his prison term because the case already was pending before the California Court of Appeal; his opening brief isn't due until Monday.

Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who is an expert in a sentencing law and policy, said governors should not hesitate to jump ahead of the appeals process if the case deserves it.

"To have all of the expense, all of the uncertainty, all of the hand-wringing that surrounds a high-profile appeal is not cost-free," he said, and the governor's clemency or commutation power can "be the tiebreaker" in a case that otherwise would grind on for years in the courts. "Some people will say you're putting the cart before the horse," he said, but that might "put too much stock in the expectation that the legal process will always resolve itself justly." As for Nuñez's political ties, "there's no doubt politics play a role in the way politicians use their power, but I don't think that's a sign that something is completely rotten in Denmark," he said. "People will be extra concerned about playing politics this way only if they think the decision to give this kid a break was deeply unjustified."

Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it's not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez's commutation -- that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos. "Disparity of sentence when you've got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort," he said.

"I just wish he (Schwarzenegger) had been doing it more uniformly throughout his term rather than just picking out someone who's connected to him at the last minute. I'm sure there were other people in a similar boat," Kobil said. "I guess I don't think it's bad on the merits, but it's the access issue that's troubling, the fact that you have selected people who get his ear and his attention."

Return to Top



Santa Clara Universitys de Saisset Museum Explores The... | View Clip
01/03/2011
AOL

The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University will explore the topic of the veil through a provocative exhibition of contemporary women artists. The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces will open to the public on Jan. 15 and will be on view through March 11.

The veiling of women, men, and sacred places has existed in countless cultures and religions throughout history. Veiling expands far beyond Islam and the Middle East, yet is vastly misunderstood. This traveling exhibition features more than 30 works of art that examine the veil from myriad perspectives. Divided loosely into three thematic sections—the sacred veil, the sensuous veil, and the sociopolitical veil—the show aims to transcend popular clichés and stereotypes about the practice of veiling and to present the subject in a broader and more universal context.

Composed of works by 29 national and international artists, The Veil addresses issues such as modesty, oppression, liberation, freedom of expression, spirituality, nature, and magic. The artists represent diverse backgrounds, spiritual practices, and points of view. Through their work, they challenge, condemn, embrace, and praise the veil.

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces is curated by Jennifer Heath and serves as a visual companion to her edited volume, The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore, and Politics (University of California Press, 2008). The exhibition features works in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and new media.

Artists in the exhibition include Sama Alshaibi, Elizabeth Bisbing, Christine Breslin, Rebecca DiDomenico, Yassi Golshani, Ana Maria Hernando, Valari Jack, Tania Kamal-Eldin, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Anita Kunz, Judith Selby Lang, Mary Tuma, Kim Turos, and Helen Zughaib.

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 15. A free celebratory reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In conjunction with The Veil and in partnership with the Religious Studies Department at SCU, the de Saisset Museum will invite leaders of diverse religious communities to reflect on the exhibition and to share their perspectives on the history and practice of veiling. The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

In addition, the de Saisset will host its annual College Night event, an evening of free art, activities, and education geared to college students, on Feb. 24 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information about this exhibition and the accompanying programs, visit www.scu.edu/desaisset.

About the de Saisset Museum

The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay's free museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the Santa Clara University campus in 1955 and is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. The de Saisset Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets objects of art and history for the educational and cultural enrichment of all people. The museum achieves its mission through an active program of exhibitions, collections, education programs, and publications.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California's oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see  www.scu.edu.

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SEEKING CHINA'S STARS
01/03/2011
San Jose Mercury News

To attract new students, Santa Clara University promotes its top professors, small seminars, long educational tradition and proximity to tech companies including Apple and Netflix.

In Chinese.

As Friday's application deadline approaches, the Santa Clara school is among the American universities that are accelerating recruitment in China. This educational pipeline delivered more than 40,000 undergraduates to the U.S. in the 2009-10 academic year -- a 46 percent increase over the previous year -- and promises to bring more.

The newfound wealth of many Chinese and their strong academic preparation make these students an admissions officer's dream. Although China's students have long filled American graduate schools, the country's undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. Last year, the number of Indians plateaued and the number of South Koreans declined, but the Chinese population surged.

"We're extending our arms. There is untapped potential," said Santa Clara University admissions director Michael Sexton, who recently completed the school's first recruitment tour in five Chinese cities. "Diversity is a very important educational trait."

A recruiting brochure, written in Chinese, extols the virtue of Santa Clara University's location "in the heart of Silicon Valley, where all technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens." The search for Chinese talent is also under way at the University of San Francisco, where enrollment has jumped from 32 students to 424 in five years. Stanley Nel, University of San Francisco's vice president of internal relations and a recruiter, travels to China four to 10 times a year, staying from a few days to several weeks.

Benefits for campuses

Public universities like UC Berkeley and San Francisco State and community colleges like Foothill and De Anza also have launched recruitment efforts, joining the five-city China Education Expo 2010, which was attended by 70,000 students. Stanford, which does not recruit, reports only a modest increase in applications from China.

Enrollment officials at Santa Clara and the University of San Francisco contend that they can accommodate all students who make the grade and that the international students do not squeeze out Americans.

"Either an applicant has it or not, whether they're from China or South America or Boston," Sexton said.

Chinese students bring added value to the campus, admissions officers say, because of their academic preparation, global perspective and willingness to pay full tuition at cash-strapped campuses. (Most international students are not eligible for financial aid.)

There are two primary reasons Chinese enrollment has jumped so dramatically, said Nel.

Many Chinese people believe the U.S. higher-education system is the best in the world, and they seek multidisciplinary study, close faculty relationships and an ethos of innovation, he said. And with so much of China's growth tied to international trade, families seek to give their children the advantages of English fluency and alumni networking.

For the first time in China's history, students can afford to study abroad, Nel said. The growth of the nation's economy -- and the surge in Shanghai real-estate prices -- has helped create 700,000 new millionaires and a middle class of more than 300 million.

At age 15, China's Minao Wang set her sights on an American education. When it came time to apply to college, she collected her school transcripts, hired an organization to evaluate them and then applied to Santa Clara University.

"It was my idea," said Wang, now 20, the only child of a judge from the city of Wuxi, in Jiangsu province. "I am really glad my mom supported me. She did not want me to go, from the bottom of her heart, but she said if I wanted to do it -- if it made me a better person -- she would do it."

"I heard that America was a more-free country," added Wang, an accounting student who lives with an aunt in Cupertino. "And I didn't want to study for a number on a test. I wanted to study for the fun of learning."

Before arriving, Wang said, "I was really shy, but I have learned how to speak up. America has changed me."

Chinese school officials had long opposed studying abroad, but now they encourage it, wrote Jiang Xueqin, the Yale-educated principal at Peking University High School.

In the past, "losing their best students would mean lower national examination scores, which, as bureaucrats, they live and die by." So most Chinese youth studied in secret, cramming for the American SAT and English-language tests on weekends.

But the nation now fears a shortage of "knowledge workers," he said. In November, Beijing officials "explicitly told the schools they now had to help study-abroad students," instructing them to help students with American applications.

Today's surge may be just the beginning. To prepare students for American education, a robust for-profit educational market has emerged in China. The market leader, New Oriental School -- which offers SAT, Advanced Placement and English-language tests as well as college counseling -- says it has 9.5 million students.

'We have to be ready'

Some American educators urge caution. In a debate at the 2009 National Association for College Admission Counseling titled "The Chinese Are Coming," Vanderbilt University admissions dean Douglas Christiansen said a homogeneous international population doesn't increase campus diversity.

"Do you want to build pipelines throughout the world," he asked, "or do you want to build pipelines to just one country?"

The expansion of the number of Chinese students has created tension on some campuses. Some American students complain of communication problems or say that Chinese students cluster together and distort the grading curve on math tests. There are other challenges, as well, including increased demand for engineering classes and complaints about dining hall rice.

Still, seizing on the demand, universities are working to adapt. At Santa Clara, officials drive to the airport for pickups and drop-offs of Chinese students. They help them set up bank accounts and take them to Walmart and Target. They help them practice asking questions in class and the assertiveness skills that are critical for American academic success.

The University of San Francisco added conversation programs, writing instruction and immigration advising.

"If we build it, they will come," said Sexton. "But we have to be ready."

Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 408-920-5565

Copyright © 2011 San Jose Mercury News

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MANY CAMPUSES INCLUDING SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND CAL AND THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO ARE PUTTING OUT THE WELCOME MAT.
01/03/2011
NBC Bay Area News at 5 AM - KNTV-TV

GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER IS OUT AND TALKING ABOUT WHAT'S NEXT. HE IS SIFTING THROUGH A STACK OF CORPORATE HOLLYWOOD AND REAL ESTATE OFFERS. BEFORE HE MAKES A DECISION, HE WILL HIT THE SPEECH CIRCUIT AND POSSIBLY WRITE AN AUTO BIOGRAPHY THAT PUBLISHERS HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR. HE MAY RETURN TO FILM IF THE SCRIPT IS RIGHT. THE RIGHT ONE COMES ALONG. HE PLANS TO KEEP IN POLITICS ALTHOUGH HE SAID HE DOES NOT PLAN TO RUN FOR ANOTHER OFFICE. UNIVERSITIES ARE AMONG OTHER AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES RECRUITING STUDENTS FROM CHINA. MANY CAMPUSES INCLUDING SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND CAL AND THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO ARE PUTTING OUT THE WELCOME MAT. MORE THAN 40,000 UNDER GRADUATES CAME TO THE US FROM CHINA LAST YEAR. ENROLLMENT OFFICIALS SAY RECRUITING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS DOES NOT SQUEEZE OUT DOMESTIC STUDENTS.

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Reporter: MICHAEL SEXTON, AN AD MISSIONS OFFICER AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY JUST GOT BACK FROM A WHIRLWIND RECRUITMENT TOUR IN 5 CHINESE CITIES.
01/03/2011
CBS 5 Eyewitness News At 11 PM - KPIX-TV

RESEARCH SHOWS THAT CALIFORNIA HAS THE MOST INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE STUDENTS OF ANY STATE IN THE UNITED STATES. AND CHINA IS LEADING THE WAY WHEN IT COMES TO SENDING STUDENTS TO THIS COUNTRY. KIET DO SHOWS US WHY ONE BAY AREA COLLEGE WORKS PRETTY HARD TO REACH OUT TO BUDDING SCHOLARS ABROAD. Reporter: CONTINUE JOE WOW IS A LIVING EXAMPLE OF THE EXAMPLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, YOUNG AND SMART AND IMPORTED FROM CHINA. I WANT TO TRY A DIFFERENT PLACE TO STUDY, TO LEARN, AND TO SEE DIFFERENT CULTURES AND CALIFORNIA IS A WONDERFUL PLACE. Reporter: THE CHINESE, MORE THAN ANY OTHER INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, ARE COMING BY THE TENS OF THOUSANDS TO AMERICAN COLLEGES EVERY YEAR. AND WHY NOT? CHINESE UNIVERSITIES ARE OVERCROWDED AND MORE AND MORE WEALTHY FAMILIES CAN AFFORD THE TUITION, OFTEN WITHOUT FINANCIAL AID. SO IT'S ALL ABOUT DIVERSITY. Reporter: MICHAEL SEXTON, AN AD MISSIONS OFFICER AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY JUST GOT BACK FROM A WHIRLWIND RECRUITMENT TOUR IN 5 CHINESE CITIES. THEY PASSED OUT MARKETING MATERIALS TRANSLATED IN TO CHINESE COMMENTING ALL THE BIG COMPANIES IN THE SILICON VALLEY. HE SAYS IT'S NOT ABOUT PUSHING OUT LOCAL STUDENTS, IT'S ABOUT GETTING THE BEST MATCH FOR THE UNIVERSITY. CHINESE PEOPLE, STUDENTS FROM ATLANTA OR MIAMI, WAS ADMITTED NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR ZIP CODE OR THEIR COUNTRY, IT'S BECAUSE THEY HAVE HAD THE BETTER OVER ALL ACADEMIC PROFILE THAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR. Reporter: FOR WU. SOME THINGS YOU JUST CAN'T LEARN AS WELL IN CHINA, LEARNING RISH FOR ONE, AND THAT IT'S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES. BEFORE YOU DIDN'T TAKE RISKS? YEAH, ABSOLUTELY. IT'S DIFFERENT CULTURE. CULTURE DIFFERENCE. Reporter: COULD YOU HAVE LEARNED THAT IN CHINA? NO, I DON'T THINK SO. Reporter: 40,000 CHINESE UNDER GRADUATES STUDIED IN THE US THIS ACADEMIC YEAR, AN INCREASE OF 46%. CHINESE STUDENTS ARE COMING IN DROVES BECAUSE, FOR NOW, AN AMERICAN EDUCATION IS STILL A PRETTY GOOD BET FOR SUCCESS. IN SANTA CLARA KIET DO, CBS5.

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Bob Farrell's 10 Rules For Investing | View Clip
01/02/2011
DailyMarkets.com

By Prieur du Plessis on January 2, 2011 | More Posts By Prieur du Plessis | Author's Website

Wall Street “gurus” come and go, but in the case of Bob Farrell legendary status was achieved. He spent several decades as chief stock market analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. and had a front-row seat at the go-go markets of the late 1960s, mid-1980s and late 1990s, the brutal bear market of 1973-74, and October 1987 crash.

Farrell retired in 1992, but his famous “10 Market Rules to Remember” have lived on and are summarized below, courtesy of The Big Picture and MarketWatch (June 2008). The words of wisdom are timeless and are especially appropriate as investors grapple with the difficult juncture at which stock markets find themselves at this stage.

1. Markets tend to return to the mean over time

When stocks go too far in one direction, they come back. Euphoria and pessimism can cloud people's heads. It's easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and lose perspective.

2. Excesses in one direction will lead to an excess in the opposite direction

Think of the market baseline as attached to a rubber string. Any action too far in one direction not only brings you back to the baseline, but leads to an overshoot in the opposite direction.

3. There are no new eras – excesses are never permanent

Whatever the latest hot sector is, it eventually overheats, mean reverts, and then overshoots.

As the fever builds, a chorus of “this time it's different” will be heard, even if those exact words are never used. And of course, it – human nature – is never different.

4. Exponential rapidly rising or falling markets usually go further than you think, but they do not correct by going sideways

Regardless of how hot a sector is, don't expect a plateau to work off the excesses. Profits are locked in by selling, and that invariably leads to a significant correction eventually.

5. The public buys the most at the top and the least at the bottom

That's why contrarian-minded investors can make good money if they follow the sentiment indicators and have good timing. Watch Investors Intelligence (measuring the mood of more than 100 investment newsletter writers) and the American Association of Individual Investors Survey.

6. Fear and greed are stronger than long-term resolve

Investors can be their own worst enemy, particularly when emotions take hold. Gains “make us exuberant; they enhance well-being and promote optimism”, says Santa Clara University finance professor Meir Statman. His studies of investor behavior show that “Losses bring sadness, disgust, fear, regret. Fear increases the sense of risk and some react by shunning stocks.”

7. Markets are strongest when they are broad and weakest when they narrow to a handful of blue-chip names

This is why breadth and volume are so important. Think of it as strength in numbers. Broad momentum is hard to stop, Farrell observes. Watch for when momentum channels into a small number of stocks.

8. Bear markets have three stages – sharp down, reflexive rebound and a drawn-out fundamental downtrend

9. When all the experts and forecasts agree – something else is going to happen

As Sam Stovall, the S&P investment strategist, puts it: “If everybody's optimistic, who is left to buy? If everybody's pessimistic, who's left to sell?”

Going against the herd as Farrell repeatedly suggests can be very profitable, especially for patient buyers who raise cash from frothy markets and reinvest it when sentiment is darkest.

10. Bull markets are more fun than bear markets

Especially if you are long only or mandated to be fully invested. Those with more flexible charters might squeak out a smile or two here and there.

Sources: The Big Picture, 17 August, 2008 and MarketWatch, June 11, 2008.

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Why a Budget Is Like a Diet -- Ineffective
01/02/2011
New York Times

What would you do if your wallet became harder to open as your spending approached or exceeded your budget? Would you think twice about where your money was going?

A product designer at M.I.T. who created a working prototype for such a wallet seems to think so, and he may be on to something. Part of the reason so many people spend too much, or fail to stick to self-imposed budgets, is because parting with our money has become an abstraction in our increasingly cashless society. Credit cards provide immediate gratification, but no immediate consequences. Plucking actual dollars from your pile of cash, research suggests, is more painful, and leads you to spend less.

There's another factor that prevents people from being model financial citizens (besides, of course, uncontrollable circumstances like joblessness). As a species, humans are notoriously poor at following through with their plans. Sticking to a budget -- a dirty word even among many financial planners, who prefer the more euphemistic ''spending plan'' -- feels too much like dieting. And we often fail at both for the same reasons: too much focus on the restrictions, not enough on fun. So it's not surprising when people end up bingeing later, more than making up for dollars not spent or calories not consumed.

On Mint.com, the popular money-tracking Web site, top goals among the nearly half a million users who set them include paying off debt, creating an emergency fund and saving for retirement. All virtuous goals, to be sure.

The battle, say money and psychology experts, is finding ways to close the gap between good intentions and human nature. So at a time when every dollar counts, how can you accomplish what you're not necessarily wired to do?

It may be a while before that smart wallet hits the shelves (a hinge in the middle of the wallet, wired to your bank account balance via a Bluetooth connection to your cellphone, makes it harder to open as you reach a spending limit). The main inventor, John Kestner, said he's working on bringing its retail price down to $60, to ''avoid obvious irony.''

But there are plenty of mental tricks and strategies that can make your budgeting more sustainable now. In fact, the best strategy is not to think about it as budgeting at all. Instead, set up broad goals and automate all savings and other priorities where you can.

''Self-control is wonderful, but it's just not sufficient,'' said Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University who focuses on behavioral finance and is the author of ''What Investors Really Want.''

Start by becoming more conscious of your spending, whether you jot it down in a notepad, on a spreadsheet, or on Web sites like Mint.com. Then, give your spending plan a sense of purpose; budgets with a goal, whether it's a European vacation or buying a home, tend to be the most successful.

''For there to be sustainable change, there needs to be some sort of positive motivation,'' said Amanda Clayman, a financial therapist in New York. People tend to set unrealistic goals that don't factor in their lifestyle, she said. ''Ultimately, what we want our money to be is an energy source,'' Ms. Clayman said. ''It should help us get somewhere or do something.''

One strategy to keep spending in check is to employ what's known as mental accounting -- dividing your money into separate mental accounts that you treat differently.

''From a psychological standpoint, there is merit to having a separate account for entirely discretionary or luxury spending,'' said Steve Levinson, a psychologist and co-author of ''Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start.'' Spending $100 out of $300 earmarked for fun will feel more meaningful than pulling out $100 from your entire $3,000 monthly budget.

The easiest way to set up a system, experts suggest, is to put your income into separate accounts or subaccounts, including one that distinguishes spending money from money needed for recurring household expenses. And think about working backward, as a way to keep things simple: instead of setting up an overly detailed budget, first decide how much you want to save for retirement and other goals, then work with what's left over. If you want to cut spending, attack a few big categories where you can make the biggest difference.

Life has a natural way of derailing even the best-laid plans, so experts recommend building a cushion, or a slush fund of sorts. ''It's the one-time expenses that kill a budget,'' said Rick Kahler, a financial planner in Rapid City, S.D. ''The average person needs to be saving for car repairs every month, they need to be saving for their trips, for Christmas, for medical expenses.''

Just don't rely on doing it yourself. Arrange to have the money withdrawn from your paycheck. ''We need to exploit automaticity,'' said Professor David Laibson, a behavioral economist at Harvard. He points to the success of automatic enrollment of new employees into retirement savings plans, like 401(k)'s. ''We need to build in more of these commitment mechanisms, so we can live up to our intentions.''

DRAWING (DRAWING BY HEADS OF STATE) CHART: Personal Savings: U.S. year-end figures as a percentage of disposable personal income. (SOURCE: BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS)

Copyright © 2011 The New York Times Company

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Recruiting by U.S. universities of Chinese undergrads is hottest new education trend | View Clip
01/02/2011
San Jose Mercury News - Online

To attract new students, Santa Clara University promotes its top professors, small seminars, long educational tradition and proximity to tech companies including Apple and Netflix.

In Chinese.

As Friday's application deadline approaches, the Santa Clara campus is among the American universities that are accelerating recruitment in China. This educational pipeline delivered more than 40,000 undergraduates to the U.S. in the 2009-10 academic year -- a 46 percent increase over the previous year -- and promises to bring more.

The newfound wealth of many Chinese and strong their academic preparation make these students an admissions officer's dream. While China's students have long filled American graduate schools, the country's undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. Last year, the number of Indians plateaued and the number of South Koreans declined, but the Chinese population surged.

"We're extending our arms. There is untapped potential," said Santa Clara University admissions director Michael Sexton, who recently completed the school's first recruitment tour in five Chinese cities. "Diversity is a very important educational trait."

A recruiting brochure, written in Chinese, extols the virtue of Santa Clara University's location "in the heart of Silicon Valley, where all technology innovation and entrepreneurship happens." The search for Chinese talent is also under way at the University

of San Francisco, where enrollment has jumped from 32 students to 424 in five years. Stanley Nel, University of San Francisco's vice president of internal relations and a recruiter, travels to China four to 10 times a year, staying from a few days to several weeks.

Public universities like UC Berkeley and San Francisco State and community colleges like Foothill and De Anza also have launched recruitment efforts, joining the five-city China Education Expo 2010, which was attended by 70,000 students. Stanford, which does not recruit, reports only a modest increase in applications from China.

Enrollment officials at Santa Clara and University of San Francisco contend that they can accommodate all students who make the grade and that the international students do not squeeze out Americans.

"Either an applicant has it or not, whether they're from China or South America or Boston," Sexton said.

Chinese students bring added value to the campus, admissions officers say, because of their academic preparation, global perspective and willingness to pay full tuition at cash-strapped campuses. (Most international students are not eligible for financial aid.)

There are two primary reasons Chinese enrollment has jumped so dramatically, said Nel.

Many Chinese people believe the U.S. higher-education system is the best in the world, and they seek multidisciplinary study, close faculty relationships and an ethos of innovation, he said. And with so much of China's growth tied to international trade, families seek to give their children the advantages of English fluency and alumni networking.

For the first time in China's history, students can afford to study abroad, Nel said. The growth of the nation's economy -- and the surge in Shanghai real-estate prices -- has helped create 700,000 new millionaires and a middle class of more than 300 million.

At age 15, China's Minao Wang set her sights on an American education. When it came time to apply to college, she collected her school transcripts, hired an organization to evaluate them and then applied to Santa Clara University.

"It was my idea," said Wang, now 20, the only child of a judge from the city of Wuxi, in Jiangsu province. "I am really glad my mom supported me. She did not want me to go, from the bottom of her heart, but she said if I wanted to do it -- if it made me a better person -- she would do it."

"I heard that America was a more-free country," added Wang, an accounting student who lives with an aunt in Cupertino. "And I didn't want to study for a number on a test. I wanted to study for the fun of learning."

Before arriving, Wang said, "I was really shy, but I have learned how to speak up. America has changed me."

Chinese school officials have long opposed studying abroad, but now they encourage it, wrote Jiang Xueqin, the Yale-educated principal at Peking University High School.

In the past, "losing their best students would mean lower national examination scores, which, as bureaucrats, they live and die by." So most Chinese youth studied in secret, cramming for the American SAT and English-language tests on weekends.

But the nation now fears a shortage of "knowledge workers," he said. In November, Beijing officials "explicitly told the schools they now had to help study-abroad students," instructing them to help students with American applications.

Today's surge may be just the beginning. To prepare students for American education, a robust for-profit educational market has emerged in China. The market leader, New Oriental School -- which offers SAT, Advanced Placement, English-language tests and college counseling -- says it has 9.5 million students.

Some American educators urge caution. In a debate at the 2009 National Association for College Admission Counseling titled "The Chinese Are Coming," Vanderbilt University admissions dean Douglas Christiansen said a homogenous international population doesn't increase campus diversity.

"Do you want to build pipelines throughout the world," he asked, "or do you want to build pipelines to just one country?"

The expansion of the number of Chinese students has added tensions on some campuses. Some American students complain of communication problems or say that Chinese students cluster together and distort the grading curve on math tests. There are other challenges, as well, including increased demand for engineering classes and complaints about dining hall rice.

Still, seizing on the demand, universities are working to adapt. At Santa Clara, officials drive to the airport for pickups and drop-offs of Chinese students. They help them set up bank accounts and take them to Walmart and Target. They help them practice asking questions in class and learning the assertiveness skills that are critical for American academic success.

The University of San Francisco added conversation programs, writing instruction and immigration advising.

"If we build it, they will come," said Sexton. "But we have to be ready."

Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 408-920-5565

Advice About America For Chinese Students

Classrooms: Some degree of "assertiveness" is necessary for success.

Creativity: Americans expect students to produce their own ideas.

Honesty: American academics regard plagiarism as a kind of theft.

Individualist: Self-promotion is more accepted.

Friends: Large collection of "friends" changes over time.

Obligations: People avoid interdependent situations that entail long-term obligations.

Task-oriented: Relationships are less important than getting the work done.

Law: Applies to everyone -- Americans do not have the "back door" idea.

Source: American International Education Foundation

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Books that help deal with money
01/02/2011
Seattle Times

Seeking out professional financial advice can be intimidating if you don't have a sense of what questions you need to ask.

Here's a look at a few titles aimed at helping readers start the process. They can help you sort out both your day-to-day money matters and long-term investments.

The Road to Wealth

Author: Suze Orman

SUMMARY: If you keep putting off decisions about your personal finances because you're short on time or don't know where to begin, this is a good place to start. Orman, the best-selling author and personal-finance crusader, has updated her comprehensive guide consisting of more than 2,000 succinct answers to people's most frequent or important questions about money.

Need help managing or erasing your debt? Orman gives guidance in an 80-page section that's broken out into categories such as credit cards, student loans and bankruptcy. Not sure about the ins and outs of Roth IRAs? There are answers to more than a dozen commonly asked questions. Readers also will find answers to questions on paying for college, insurance, homeownership, retirement planning and others asked of Orman via her CNBC-TV show, financial seminars and www.suzeorman.com.

You can find more detailed information on any of these topics elsewhere. But for an overview covering many subjects, it's hard to beat this 600-page book, revised in 2010, as an all-in-one reference.

QUOTE: "It may seem safer not to do anything with our money than to do something we do not entirely understand. But when we postpone necessary financial decisions, we are relinquishing opportunities to protect what we've earned and to enrich our future choices. Good financial information gives us the power to act in our own best interests."

PUBLISHER: Riverhead Books

— Dave Carpenter

Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World

AUTHOR: Stuart Diamond

SUMMARY: Can't get ahead in life? Maybe your emotions are in the way.

Stuart Diamond, a professor at Wharton Business School, dismisses the traditional hard-charging bargaining tactics often associated with negotiating in the business world. He instead explores the nuances of persuasion and human interaction.

Diamond points out that it's necessary to understand another person's perspective if you have any hope of advancing your cause. Whether you disagree with them is beside the point.

People are often sabotaged by their own emotions, particularly when something they want is at stake. The ability to see a situation dispassionately lets people focus on goals.

Diamond goes beyond the workplace and explains how to apply these principles to family relationships and everyday interactions.

QUOTE: "The world is irrational. And the more important a negotiation is to an individual, the more irrational he or she often becomes: whether in world peace or a billion-dollar deal, or when your child wants an ice-cream cone. When people are irrational, they are emotional. When they are emotional, they can't listen. When they can't listen, they can't be persuaded."

PUBLISHER: Crown Business

— Candice Choi

What Investors

Really Want

AUTHOR: Meir Statman

SUMMARY: Casual stock-market observers frequently ask why the market behaves so erratically. Sometimes it appears to plummet for no logical reason and reacts positively to news that seems rather benign. A new release by Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, explains it all in easily understood terms. In "What Investors Really Want: Discover What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Smarter Financial Decisions," he explores how erroneous thoughts, misleading emotions and herd behavior leads us to make wrong investment decisions and affects markets.

Statman's research in behavioral finance has been supported by the National Science Foundation and other organizations and has been published in numerous journals.

As academic as it all sounds, the material is very accessible and full of anecdotes of real people, exploring their motives and behaviors.

QUOTE: "It is time to accept the fact that we engage in beat-the-market games not only because we are financially illiterate but also because we are willing to sacrifice some of the utilitarian benefits of our investment for expressive and emotional ones. We want the fun of playing beat-the-market games and the pride of winning them."

PUBLISHER: McGraw-Hill

— David Pitt

Psych Yourself Rich: Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life

AUTHOR: Farnoosh Torabi

SUMMARY: Drawing from a wide range of resources, personal-finance journalist Farnoosh Torabi examines the reasons why individuals make poor money decisions and how to change those patterns. She delves into behavioral psychology, her own personal experiences, as well as those of the compulsive spenders featured on her SoapNet reality TV series "The Bank of Mom & Dad." She explains why someone might run up five-figure credit-card debt, and how to craft a plan to get past the emotional issues that may have helped create the problem.

Torabi goes beyond laying out generic advice such as the importance of saving and careful spending. She delves into how to decide if purchasing a new car is worth it, even if it is affordable. In doing so, she argues, a reader can develop insight and motivation for trying a new approach to dealing with money.

In addition to planning for the long term, she encourages readers to think five years ahead. She argues that it's important to prepare for both positive and negative events over a midterm time period.

QUOTE: "A proper five-year compass is not designed to be a buzz kill. It's simply a useful strategy to prepare you for the expected and unexpected. Even if you don't hit all your goals in the next five years, the discipline and focus you gain from sticking to a five-year plan will ensure your money stays safe and well managed."

— Eileen AJ Connelly

30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances

AUTHOR: Christine Benz

SUMMARY: Got a few minutes? Benz, the personal-finance director for Morningstar, offers a guide to tackling three dozen financial-planning tasks. She breaks each task down so it can be completed in a half-hour to an hour.

The aim is to provide a kick-start to those of us with perpetually long to-do lists.

Topics include setting financial goals, creating a budget, managing an investment portfolio, and saving for a child's education. Benz writes in a conversational, straightforward style that helps readers navigate complex topics.

It may be tough to accomplish some of these tasks adequately in just a half-hour, but Benz doesn't leave readers hanging. She steers them to a companion website with worksheets, financial calculators and other planning tools to help finish the job.

This is a useful guide for anyone seeking help with money matters. It's organized so you can refer to just the sections that interest you most.

QUOTE: "The basics of personal finance are just that: Buy low, sell high; live within your means; understand your time horizon; set reasonable goals. These are all simple concepts that can be readily grasped and, with effort, mastered by all of us."

PUBLISHER: John Wiley & Sons

— Mark Jewell

The Real Cost of Living

AUTHOR: Carmen Wong Ulrich

SUMMARY: Financial choices are often about more than just what something costs. Aside from price, many decisions involve time and stress. They can also offer rewards that lack a price tag, such as happiness and fulfillment. That's what Carmen Wong Ulrich explores in "The Real Cost of Living."

A personal-finance expert and former host of CNBC's "On the Money," she helps break down the costs and benefits, personally and financially, of life decisions such as marriage and buying a home.

How much will having a baby cost you? Wong Ulrich answers in dollar signs as well as in time and stress. But she balances the cost of each decision with the benefits, and asks readers to identify their real motivations. Is renting or buying better for you? Is an expensive elite college worth the investment?

Wong Ulrich provides information on the financial, emotional and health costs of a decision.

QUOTE: "This book is about how to help you make better choices in life. Choices that sometimes seem to be all about money, but probably aren't, as well as choices that seem to have nothing to do with money, but should be all about the dollah bills, y'all."

PUBLISHER: Penguin Group

— Janna Herron

Copyright © 2011 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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Greed and UC execs
01/01/2011
San Francisco Chronicle

"UC execs demand millions" (Dec. 29)?

Ludicrous. With millions out of work, more and more students unable to pay college costs and the state's education system in terrible disrepair, these people should be ashamed of themselves.

Of course, greed is greed. The UC justification for outlandish staff compensation has always been "We must compete with the private sector." I say, release every one of these people to the private sector. Immediately.

J.J. Lamb, Novato

As students and staff suffer I worked at UC Berkeley as a staff person in the early 1990s, was a grad student 1992-99 and now teach there one semester a year.

I've known undergraduate Cal students for over 20 years now, and they are already suffering, not to mention staff people, part-time teachers like me and professors.

These executives, even if their demands are legally warranted, have demonstrated that they are completely out of touch with reality. How can they demand the letter of the law at a time like this?

The worst part: Even without the increases, they retire at $183,750/year as it is. They should be taking benefits cuts, not asking for more. Outrageous.

Kirsten Schwartz, Albany

Lead by exampleAs an alumna of the UC system and a potential resident physician at two of the hospitals with the named executives, I am appalled.

As the first person in my family to go to college, I was thrilled to go to a college that was both excellent and public. I have always been proud to be a UC alumna until now.

Maybe these executives think that they are entitled to what those in the private sector receive, but they certainly didn't think that when they started their jobs at UC. Did they have these dreams as children? Would they want their children and, indeed, students at all of the UC universities to act as they have?

We need people who lead by example, especially in the education system, and these executives do not qualify.

Erica van den Haak, South Pasadena

Pity the poor administratorsHow can you be so critical of "the UC 36"? Their suffering and privations are manifest. If they don't get those $300,000 pensions, they'll have to sell the Paris pied-a-terre, the Tuscany second home, the yacht and the classic-car collection. Instead of round-the-world cruises, weekly cases of Veuve Clicquot and that new wing on their mansions, they'll be struggling, dirt poor. They might - horrors! - have to travel with the public instead of on the rent-a-jet. Clearly they deserve our concern, indeed our pity.

John Joss, Los Altos

President Yudof, don't give inThis letter, alas, is the closest I will be able to come to saying to the already highly paid UC executives who are threatening a lawsuit unless retirement benefits are raised:

How many promising California youth are you willing to saddle with crushing debt or deny an education entirely in order to satisfy your own selfish desires? Shame on all of you. Chris Edley Jr. especially - what a disappointment and how demoralizing to see that you are among this group.

Please, UC President Mark Yudof, stay firm and strong.

Vicki De Goff, UC Berkeley B.A. 1967,

J.D. Boalt Hall 1972, Berkeley

It's a slap in the faceTo the executives who signed the letter to UC President Mark Yudof, and those employees making over $245,000 who seek to benefit from greater pensions: shame.

Happily, there are no signatures from UC Santa Cruz. Yet, while my alma mater stands unstained, I stand ashamed to have graduated from a system with employees self-important enough to indulge in such greed.

I experienced the desperation of my fellow students as they watched the cost of their education exceed their ability to obtain loans. I partook in demonstrations demanding better treatment for UC's lowest paid. Now I'm unemployed, striving in the ruthless job market today's graduates face.

No matter its grounding in a 1999 promise, your demand is a slap in the face to students and lower-income employees. Your current pensions allow comfort of which some can only dream, yet you have the audacity to insist on more in a time of debt and recession. This is not fair or reasonable. It is indefensibly selfish.

Jennifer Helfrich, Mill Valley

Betrayal of the missionThe primary mission of the University of California is the higher education of California youth. Without exception, every UC employee is hired to support, in one capacity or another, that single primary mission.

Yet 36 already overpaid UC executives are so ignorant of current economic conditions that they heedlessly, greedily and selfishly demand still more.

In their blind avarice for bigger slices of the pie, they have abandoned their duty to UC's mission and betrayed the students whose education they should support as a major component of that mission and whose tuition inevitably must rise even more to meet their demands.

UC's regents should tell them they are free to seek employment elsewhere if their current pay and perks are so far beneath their exalted standards.

Fielding Greaves, San Rafael

Renouncing my alma materUC execs are greedy, greedy, greedy! Who really needs $300,000 per year for retirement on top of the large salaries they already receive?

Don't these people have any compassion for those students just starting out in college, many of whom may not be able to afford a basic undergraduate education at a UC school?

I graduated from UC Davis in 1988, back when it was an excellent education that didn't bankrupt my family to pay for it.

I guess it's time to remove my UC Davis alumni license-plate holder from my car and replace it with one from Santa Clara University, my husband's alma mater. Apparently the Christian values taught at a Jesuit school, specifically the perils of greed, are something these execs have missed.

I no longer wish for my own children to attend UC, especially if this level of greed remains among their supposed leaders.

Sharon Murphy, San Rafael

Death in the coldAs an emergency medicine resident at the Alameda County Medical Center, I was witness to the heroic efforts of the Oakland fire and police departments and the staff at the Highland Hospital emergency department to save the lives of three people caught in a horrendous apartment fire in East Oakland early Thursday morning ("Fatal Oakland fire - 'Mama's burning,' " Dec. 31).

The horror of death by fire is something that no one who has seen it will ever forget. To awake the next morning and read that the cause of this tragedy ultimately stemmed from a family desperately attempting to keep the lights and heat on after the power was turned off by their utility company fills me with rage and despair.

The cold barbarism that reduces families to anonymous account numbers is simply greed.

We need safeguards to protect children and their families and allow them to have access to electricity in a safe and regulated way. In a cold winter, families need warmth and light.

Andrew Herring, M.D., Oakland

Thanks for 311One important accomplishment left out of the story "Mayor's legacy: bold ideas and mixed results" (Dec. 30) was Newsom's implementation of the 311 system that allows the common folk to call in needed repairs to city property, i.e., street potholes, broken fences, failed street lighting, missing or incorrect signage, graffiti, etc.

Prior to this, one could only see these things that needed fixing but not know whom to contact to improve the city.

The 311 system allows all residents to take increased pride in where they live.

Geoff Potter, San Francisco

Copyright © 2011 San Francisco Chronicle

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At the Dark End of the Street | View Clip
01/01/2011
California Lawyer

In this compelling book, Danielle L. McGuire excavates a tragic hidden legacy of slavery in the United States: the rape and sexual exploitation of thousands of black females (both women and girls) from the antebellum period to the present. McGuire, a history professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, traces the societal indifference toward and complicity in this sexual violence to their roots in slavery and forced miscegenation, when "a black woman's body was never hers alone." From this starting point, she presents a novel thesis: that the resistance of black women to their own sexual oppression was a major catalyst of the modern civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, effecting significant turning points such as the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, and the rise of the Black Power movement.

McGuire begins this capacious history with the unsettling account of the 1944 kidnapping and gang rape of Recy Taylor, a black 24-year-old mother and sharecropper, in Abbeville, Alabama. Accosted by seven white men as she left church with her friends, Taylor survived the assault and reported it to the Montgomery branch office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP sent as its investigator the then-unknown Rosa Parks, whom McGuire describes as "a militant race woman, a sharp detective, and an antirape activist long before she became the patron saint of the bus boycott." After meeting with Taylor, Parks decided to help organize the Committee for Equal Justice, which galvanized a nationwide campaign against the racial and sexual exploitation of black women.

Parks and the committee investigated numerous cases of rapes of black women by white men, which rarely resulted in arrests, prosecution, or conviction. They also worked on cases in which black men were summarily convicted or executed for having consensual relations with white women. McGuire persuasively connects the history of the rape of black women with the lynching of black men as dual constructs of sexual/racial terrorism.

The Committee for Equal Justice of the 1940s evolved into the Montgomery Improvement Association, which laid the groundwork and strategy for Parks's historic act of civil disobedience and the ensuing citywide bus boycott of 195556. Throughout this process, the voices and activism of black women were primary factors in the boycott's success. McGuire is particularly effective in documenting the role of black working women-maids, seamstresses, church women-as the backbone of the movement, and in explaining how their activism was integrally linked to freedom from the legacy of sexual enslavement and exploitation.

McGuire's groundbreaking thesis also covers (albeit more briefly) the history of black women's activism after the civil rights era. And in a stunning epilogue, McGuire pays a visit to the 89-year-old Taylor in Alabama at the time of the Obama inauguration. Taylor comments that "not in my lifetime" had she expected to see a black woman as first lady. McGuire quotes Michelle Obama's observation that understanding the history of black women's struggle for respect in America is "a process of uncovering the shame, digging out the pride that is part of that story—so that other folks feel comfortable about embracing the beauty and the tangled nature of the history of this country." contributes admirably to this process.

Margaret M. Russell is a professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law, where she teaches constitutional law and civil procedure. She is the editor of The First Amendment: Freedom of Assembly and Petition (Prometheus Books, 2010).

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Sustainable Money: Why a Budget Is Like a Diet -- Ineffective | View Clip
01/01/2011
New York Times - Online

What would you do if your wallet became harder to open as your spending approached or exceeded your budget? Would you think twice about where your money was going? A product designer at M.I.T. who created a working prototype for such a wallet seems to think so, and he may be on to something. Part of the reason so many people spend too much, or fail to stick to self-imposed budgets, is because parting with our money has become an abstraction in our increasingly cashless society. Credit cards provide immediate gratification, but no immediate consequences. Plucking actual dollars from your pile of cash, research suggests, is more painful, and leads you to spend less. Theres another factor that prevents people from being model financial citizens (besides, of course, uncontrollable circumstances like joblessness). As a species, humans are notoriously poor at following through with their plans. Sticking to a budget a dirty word even among many financial planners, who prefer the more euphemistic spending plan feels too much like dieting. And we often fail at both for the same reasons: too much focus on the restrictions, not enough on fun. So its not surprising when people end up bingeing later, more than making up for dollars not spent or calories not consumed.

On Mint.com, the popular money-tracking Web site, top goals among the nearly half a million users who set them include paying off debt, creating an emergency fund and saving for retirement. All virtuous goals, to be sure.

The battle, say money and psychology experts, is finding ways to close the gap between good intentions and human nature. So at a time when every dollar counts, how can you accomplish what youre not necessarily wired to do?

It may be a while before that smart wallet hits the shelves (a hinge in the middle of the wallet, wired to your bank account balance via a Bluetooth connection to your cellphone, makes it harder to open as you reach a spending limit). The said hes working on bringing its retail price down to $60, to avoid obvious irony. But there are plenty of mental tricks and strategies that can make your budgeting more sustainable now. In fact, the best strategy is not to think about it as budgeting at all. Instead, set up broad goals and automate all savings and other priorities where you can. Self-control is wonderful, but its just not sufficient, said Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University who focuses on behavioral finance and is the author of What Investors Really Want. Start by becoming more conscious of your spending, whether you jot it down in a notepad, on a spreadsheet, or on Web sites like Mint.com. Then, give your spending plan a sense of purpose; budgets with a goal, whether its a European vacation or buying a home, tend to be the most successful. For there to be sustainable change, there needs to be some sort of positive motivation, said Amanda Clayman, a financial therapist in New York. People tend to set unrealistic goals that dont factor in their lifestyle, she said. Ultimately, what we want our money to be is an energy source, Ms. Clayman said. It should help us get somewhere or do something. One strategy to keep spending in check is to employ whats known as mental accounting dividing your money into separate mental accounts that you treat differently. From a psychological standpoint, there is merit to having a separate account for entirely discretionary or luxury spending, said Steve Levinson, a psychologist and co-author of Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start. Spending $100 out of $300 earmarked for fun will feel more meaningful than pulling out $100 from your entire $3,000 monthly budget.

The easiest way to set up a system, experts suggest, is to put your income into separate accounts or subaccounts, including one that distinguishes spending money from money needed for recurring household expenses. And think about working backward, as a way to keep things simple: instead of setting up an overly detailed budget, first decide how much you want to save for retirement and other goals, then work with whats left over. If you want to cut spending, attack a few big categories where you can make the biggest difference.

Life has a natural way of derailing even the best-laid plans, so experts recommend building a cushion, or a slush fund of sorts. Its the one-time expenses that kill a budget, said Rick Kahler, a financial planner in Rapid City, S.D. The average person needs to be saving for car repairs every month, they need to be saving for their trips, for Christmas, for medical expenses. Just dont rely on doing it yourself. Arrange to have the money withdrawn from your paycheck. We need to exploit automaticity, said Professor David Laibson, a behavioral economist at Harvard. He points to the success of automatic enrollment of new employees into retirement savings plans, like 401(k)s. We need to build in more of these commitment mechanisms, so we can live up to our intentions.

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New Year Resolutions: Make them Work this Time | View Clip
01/01/2011
Psychology Today - Online

Well it's that once again when many people make New Year's resolutions. Why do we do it and why do we almost always fail at it?

It certainly makes sense that at the end of the year we might spend some time reflecting on the year that's ending and hope for a better new year ahead. Additionally, we often have time off from work and school to allow for reflection and spending time with friends and relatives that we may not see often throughout the year except for the year end holidays might also put us in a reflective mood.

Typically, resolutions focus on self-improvement: losing weight, exercising more, stop smoking, stop drinking to excess, getting the better job (or any job) getting a promotion, having a better intimate relationship (or getting some satisfying intimate relationship going), making more money, and so forth. Perhaps diet and exercise are at the very top of the New Year's resolution list.

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Of course, most people aren't successful with their resolutions due to several key factors. First, their expectations are too high. They somehow magically believe that big things will change starting when the calendar switches from one year to another. Second, they fail to understand that well established behavior patterns are very, very, very (did I say very?) hard to change! Third, they fail to plan for the inevitable set-backs and failures that come with changing any habit or behavior pattern. How can New Year resolutions be more successful? Two strategies immediately come to mind. First, set reasonable expectations. Expecting that someone is going to snap their fingers and set in motion sustainable behavior change starting on January 1st is unlikely. Second, remember the power of social engineering. Can we change our environment in such a way that will highly reinforce the behavior change we desire? For example, seat belt use has improved greatly in recent decades because of changes in the law that made it illegal to not wear seatbelts and changes in the design of cars that make it a hassle to not wear your seatbelt (e.g., annoying ligts and noise until the seatbelt is secured). Smoking rates have declined in part due to high taxes and legal changes such that it is very had to smoke in so many public and even private environments now. How can you socially engineer your behavior change?

And if you are one of so many trying to lose weight in the New Year may I offer two suggestions? Get a pedometer, wear it at all times, and don't go to bed unless you have 10,000 steps each day. Second, don't eat fast food or eat at anyplace that has a drive thru. You do those two simple things over time and I'll guarantee you'll lose weight!

So, Happy New Year and may 2011 be better than 2010 for us all.

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

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California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy | View Clip
12/31/2010
Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Online

SAN FRANCISCO —

Faced with the self-assigned task of writing the California Supreme Court's first ruling on gay marriage, Chief Justice Ronald M. George drafted an opinion in early 2008 with two different endings. One gave same-sex couples the right to marry. The other didn't. Then he asked the six associate justices for reaction.

George soon learned that his colleagues were split 3-3. His vote would decide the most burning civil rights question of the day.

George's handling of the marriage case was emblematic of his tenure as California's 27th chief justice. He was a centrist, the tie-breaker on the state high court, but also willing to put his reputation on the line and do the unpredictable.

When he steps down on midnight, Jan. 2, after four decades as a pivotal player in California law, George will leave behind a court system that is vastly different from the one he inherited. Law professors and others expect him to have an enduring legacy.

"He was the most extraordinary leader of the Supreme Court in modern history," said Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat and former legislator and attorney general.

George, 70, took big risks as head of the California judiciary, consolidating courts and bringing them under his authority to turn the judicial branch into a single, independent force. He created self-help services for people who could not afford lawyers. He insisted that courts have interpreters for the non-English speaking. He wrote a 1996 abortion ruling that triggered a campaign to unseat him.

But the moderate Republican jurist was legally cautious, disinclined to take the law to new places. He was what one law professor called "a tinkerer." The mostly Republican, relatively conservative court he headed is widely considered one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country, but was not known for innovative legal thinking.

As a jurist George moved the court closer to the middle and stressed compromise. The dissent rate under George plummeted. His rulings were sound but rarely soared, scholars said.

"He brought a lot of brainpower and political savvy to the position of chief justice," said Golden Gate Law School professor Peter Keane.

George grew up in Beverly Hills, the son of a Hungarian immigrant mother and French immigrant father. He was groomed for foreign affairs, but eventually decided international diplomacy was not for him. Law school at Stanford University was a fall-back position. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.

He chose to practice law in government, eschewing the vastly higher pay of the private sector. He became a deputy attorney general, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, a trial judge in Los Angeles County, an appeals court judge and finally an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. Former Gov. Pete Wilson elevated him to chief justice in 1996.

Shortly after being elevated, the new chief justice went on the road, a state map and a yellow marker in his back pocket. He inspected the courts in all 58 counties and discovered that some were teetering.

He met a judge whose chambers was a converted broom closet. He found jurors sharing an entrance with manacled prisoners. He once had to cut a quick check to keep a courthouse from closing.

Armed with his findings, he lobbied for and won state approval of a vast restructuring of the judiciary. More than 200 municipal and superior courts were merged into a single trial court system, and 532 courthouses went from county to judicial-branch ownership.

George said justice should be equal from county to county. He wanted uniform policies and practices, and he figured the judiciary would have more clout in Sacramento if it spoke with one voice.

Legal analysts consider the consolidation of the courts a historic achievement. George has received national recognition and awards for his work.

"It is a much more efficient system," said Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, an analyst of California courts. "I think he will rank up there ... as one of the most effective administrators the court has ever had."

George's critics, however, saw a power grab. The Administrative Office of the Courts, which now runs the court system, rapidly grew. Some trial judges resented the loss of independence and derided the ballooning bureaucracy as wasteful. They dubbed him "King George."

A group of dissenters formed the Alliance of California Judges. The membership is confidential, but the directors claim that more than 200 of the state's 1,700 judges belong.

Their aim is to restore more autonomy to the trial courts. They were particularly incensed when George decided to close courts one day a month for almost a year rather than make other cuts.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles Horan, one of the founding members of the group, complained that George pursued a failed model of judicial administration that "demanded centralized decision-making by an insular minority of loyalists, actively squelched dissent and greatly and unacceptably diminished the role of the trial courts and trial judges in the management of the affairs of the judiciary."

George said such complaints were inevitable. When some judges critical of the consolidation suggested the powerful, policy-making Judicial Council be filled with elected judges, rather than those selected by the chief, George declared that would be "a declaration of war."

"We really have created a judicial branch - not just in name or theory - but in reality," George said. "When I first went to Sacramento, I was asked which agency I was with and who I reported to. I said, 'You don't get it. We are a separate, co-equal branch of government.' They all get that now."

When George stunned even his colleagues by announcing his retirement on July 14, he had in mind a successor who would keep intact the statewide system he had built. He recommended Sacramento Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, saying she had the administrative and diplomatic skills and a "backbone of steel" needed to deal with dissenting judges and a cash-strapped state.

Cantil-Sakauye, who is Filipina, will be the first non-white to serve as chief justice. George said he planned to spend his retirement traveling with his wife of 44 years, Barbara, spending time with their three adult sons and two granddaughters, and rereading the "great books." He does not intend to practice law.

Soon after he was named chief justice, George discovered that the middle class as well as the poor had been priced out of the legal system. People with no legal education were appearing in court alone on such vital matters as child custody, guardianship, elder abuse, domestic violence and housing disputes.

George wanted the state to provide such litigants with legal aid lawyers, but the budget crisis forced him to settle for a temporary, pilot project, which starts in January. Even then, he had to resort to political wiles - George described himself as "shameless" - to get the governor's approval.

He told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the law would be named the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Law after Schwarzenegger's late father-in-law.

George spent long hours in Sacramento seeking legislative approval for court bills. One legislator said she decided to vote his way because she was embarrassed to see the chief justice hanging in the hallway with the lobbyists.

George created a commission to promote judicial independence. The effort to oust him for writing an opinion that overturned a parental-consent abortion law "sensitized him to the political vulnerability of judges," Uelmen said.

George's rulings favored a strong First Amendment and protection from discrimination for women and minorities, Uelmen said. He was considered conservative on most law-and-order issues, although two of his three final rulings were for the defense.

Some scholars were dismayed by George's rulings on ballot measures. George has called for a reining in of the initiative process, which he views as increasingly controlled by moneyed special interests. But as a jurist he was more deferential.

"There are all sorts of laws I might personally view as foolish that I am bound to uphold," he said. And then, tellingly, he added: "The court can't be viewed as flouting the people's will."

Conservatives say that is what he did in the court's May 15, 2008, gay marriage ruling. He had met with each justice individually and wrestled with Perez v. Sharp, a 1948 California Supreme Court ruling that overturned a ban on interracial marriage and declared marriage a fundamental right.

"No matter which way we went," George said, "we had to cope with this law on the books."

After weeks of mulling the law and its effect on racial discrimination, George broke the tie. His decision not only gave gays the right to marry - which voters took away six months later with Proposition 8 - but also bestowed the same legal protection from discrimination the law had long given race and gender. No other state high court had afforded sexual orientation such constitutional status.

With his signature at the end of a 121-page ruling, the self-effacing jurist reputed for court administration left his most enduring stamp on the law and California history.

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GOD HAS HIS HAND ON THIS VERY SPECIAL & UNIQUE AMERICAN CA SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD M GEORGE ... | View Clip
12/31/2010
Boston Indpendent Media Center

CALIFORNIA IS CURRENTLY TOO BROKE 4 CA SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE'S HEART OF GOLD ....

IT MAY EVEN TAKE A VILLAGE OF SPECIAL MEN & WOMEN LIKE RONALD GEORGE & SONIA SOTOMAYOR TO CONTINUE THE GREAT AURA THAT AMERICA PORTRAYS TO THE REST OF THE INTERNATIONAL WORLD THAT TRUE JUSTICE FOR ALL ONES PEOPLE CAN AND WILL BE FOUND ON OUR CURENT & FUTURE SHORES AT ALL CO$T$....

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS APPLAUDS THESE TWO SPECIAL AMERICANS WHO BOTH HAVE A KEEN INTEREST IN MAKING SURE OUR U.S. JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS CAPABLE OF AFFORDING ALL OUR MIDDLE~CLASS & POORER AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION & JUST OPPORTUNITIES OF RECEIVING A FUTURE OF REAL JUSTICE ....

SPECIAL THANKS RONALD M GEORGE FOR YOUR TIRELESS DEVOTION & LOVE OF JUSTICE IN MAKING SURE JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL FOR ALL our little Americans IN OUR UNDER~FINANCED JUDICIAL SYSTEM OF THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD GEORGE MAY BE RETIRING FROM OUR CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT BUT HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN BY OUR MILLIONS OF POORER AMERICANS NATION~WIDE WHO HAVE HAD ALL THEIR JUDICIAL RIGHTS TO FAIR CIVIL TRIALS (*WITH PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION supplied if poor *) BETTER PROTECTED BECAUSE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD GEORGE CHOSE TO LOVE, DEFEND, & HELP PROTECT ALL HIS FELLOW MAN IN THIS GREAT WEALTHY COUNTRY OF OUR WEALTHY ELITE'S.

By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times

Faced with the self-assigned task of writing the California Supreme Court's first ruling on gay marriage, Chief Justice Ronald M. George drafted an opinion in early 2008 with two different endings. One gave same-sex couples the right to marry. The other didn't. Then he asked the six associate justices for reaction.

George soon learned that his colleagues were split 3 to 3. His vote would decide the most burning civil rights question of the day.

George's handling of the marriage case was emblematic of his tenure as California's 27th chief justice. He was a centrist, the tie-breaker on the state high court, but also willing to put his reputation on the line and do the unpredictable.

When he steps down on midnight, Jan. 2, after four decades as a pivotal player in California law, George will leave behind a court system that is vastly different from the one he inherited. Law professors and others expect him to have an enduring legacy.

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"He was the most extraordinary leader of the Supreme Court in modern history," said Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat and former legislator and attorney general.

George, 70, took big risks as head of the California judiciary, consolidating courts and bringing them under his authority to turn the judicial branch into a single, independent force. He created self-help services for people who could not afford lawyers. He insisted that courts have interpreters for the non-English speaking. He wrote a 1996 abortion ruling that triggered a campaign to unseat him.

But the moderate Republican jurist was legally cautious, disinclined to take the law to new places. He was what one law professor called "a tinkerer." The mostly Republican, relatively conservative court he headed is widely considered one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country, but was not known for innovative legal thinking.

As a jurist George moved the court closer to the middle and stressed compromise. The dissent rate under George plummeted. His rulings were sound but rarely soared, scholars said.

"He brought a lot of brainpower and political savvy to the position of chief justice," said Golden Gate Law School professor Peter Keane.

Immigrant parents

George grew up in Beverly Hills, the son of a Hungarian immigrant mother and French immigrant father. He was groomed for foreign affairs, but eventually decided international diplomacy was not for him. Law school at Stanford University was a fall-back position. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.

He chose to practice law in government, eschewing the vastly higher pay of the private sector. He became a deputy attorney general, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, a trial judge in Los Angeles County, an appeals court judge and finally an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. Former Gov. Pete Wilson elevated him to chief justice in 1996.

Shortly after being elevated, the new chief justice went on the road, a state map and a yellow marker in his back pocket. He inspected the courts in all 58 counties and discovered that some were teetering.

He met a judge whose chambers was a converted broom closet. He found jurors sharing an entrance with manacled prisoners. He once had to cut a quick check to keep a courthouse from closing.

Armed with his findings, he lobbied for and won state approval of a vast restructuring of the judiciary. More than 200 municipal and superior courts were merged into a single trial court system, and 532 courthouses went from county to judicial-branch ownership.

George said justice should be equal from county to county. He wanted uniform policies and practices, and he figured the judiciary would have more clout in Sacramento if it spoke with one voice.

Legal analysts consider the consolidation of the courts a historic achievement. George has received national recognition and awards for his work.

"It is a much more efficient system," said Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, an analyst of California courts. "I think he will rank up there … as one of the most effective administrators the court has ever had."

George's critics, however, saw a power grab. The Administrative Office of the Courts, which now runs the court system, rapidly grew. Some trial judges resented the loss of independence and derided the ballooning bureaucracy as wasteful. They dubbed him "King George."

A group of dissenters formed the Alliance of California Judges. The membership is confidential, but the directors claim that more than 200 of the state's 1,700 judges belong.

Their aim is to restore more autonomy to the trial courts. They were particularly incensed when George decided to close courts one day a month for almost a year rather than make other cuts.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles Horan, one of the founding members of the group, complained that George pursued a failed model of judicial administration that "demanded centralized decision-making by an insular minority of loyalists, actively squelched dissent and greatly and unacceptably diminished the role of the trial courts and trial judges in the management of the affairs of the judiciary."

George said such complaints were inevitable. When some judges critical of the consolidation suggested the powerful, policy-making Judicial Council be filled with elected judges, rather than those selected by the chief, George declared that would be "a declaration of war."

"We really have created a judicial branch — not just in name or theory — but in reality," George said. "When I first went to Sacramento, I was asked which agency I was with and who I reported to. I said, 'You don't get it. We are a separate, co-equal branch of government.' They all get that now."

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When George stunned even his colleagues by announcing his retirement on July 14, he had in mind a successor who would keep intact the statewide system he had built. He recommended Sacramento Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, saying she had the administrative and diplomatic skills and a "backbone of steel" needed to deal with dissenting judges and a cash-strapped state.

Cantil-Sakauye, who is Filipina, will be the first non-white to serve as chief justice. George said he planned to spend his retirement traveling with his wife of 44 years, Barbara, spending time with their three adult sons and two granddaughters, and rereading the "great books." He does not intend to practice law.

Priced out of system

Soon after he was named chief justice, George discovered that the middle class as well as the poor had been priced out of the legal system. People with no legal education were appearing in court alone on such vital matters as child custody, guardianship, elder abuse, domestic violence and housing disputes.

George wanted the state to provide such litigants with legal aid lawyers, but the budget crisis forced him to settle for a temporary, pilot project, which starts in January. Even then, he had to resort to political wiles — George described himself as "shameless" — to get the governor's approval.

He told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the law would be named the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Law after Schwarzenegger's late father-in-law.

Under George's prodding, jury duty and jury instructions were revamped. He reported to jury duty four times as chief justice and changed the requirement for duty to one day or one trial a year.

Relations between the statewide judiciary and the Legislature, frayed when George became chief, warmed.

His predecessor, Malcolm M. Lucas, had infuriated legislators with a ruling that upheld term limits. Lockyer, who was then a legislator, said many of his colleagues thought Lucas "went out of his way to add gratuitous insult to the commentary."

"So Ron George had to clean up after the elephant," Lockyer said. "He restored relationships partly because he worked so hard and partly because he may be the most diplomatic human being I have met…. When I would try to provoke him, I couldn't."

George took command of cases that involved the Legislature or the governor, and when the court ruled against the other branches, he couched the losses in language designed not to give offense.

"Incredibly effective," is how state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg described George. "He is not a partisan, and he doesn't go out of his way to poke you in the eye. He is a pretty darn good country politician."

George spent long hours in Sacramento seeking legislative approval for court bills. One legislator said she decided to vote his way because she was embarrassed to see the chief justice hanging in the hallway with the lobbyists.

George created a commission to promote judicial independence. The effort to oust him for writing an opinion that overturned a parental-consent abortion law "sensitized him to the political vulnerability of judges," Uelmen said.

George's rulings favored a strong 1st Amendment and protection from discrimination for women and minorities, Uelmen said. He was considered conservative on most law-and-order issues, although two of his three final rulings were for the defense.

When he took over, the court was viewed as anti-plaintiff, with business expected to win over consumers. The court is no longer so predictable.

But George was not viewed as a legal trailblazer.

"Maybe that is incompatible with being the centrist that he is," said UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. "At a time when our society and legal system is deeply divided, he was such a non-divisive figure."

Some scholars were dismayed by George's rulings on ballot measures. George has called for a reining in of the initiative process, which he views as increasingly controlled by moneyed special interests. But as a jurist he was more deferential.

"There are all sorts of laws I might personally view as foolish that I am bound to uphold," he said. And then, tellingly, he added: "The court can't be viewed as flouting the people's will."

Conservatives say that is what he did in the court's May 15, 2008, gay marriage ruling. He had met with each justice individually and wrestled with Perez v. Sharp, a 1948 California Supreme Court ruling that overturned a ban on interracial marriage and declared marriage a fundamental right.

"No matter which way we went," George said, "we had to cope with this law on the books."

After weeks of mulling the law and its effect on racial discrimination, George broke the tie. His decision not only gave gays the right to marry — which voters took away six months later with Proposition 8 — but also bestowed the same legal protection from discrimination the law had long given race and gender. No other state high court had afforded sexual orientation such constitutional status.

With his signature at the end of a 121-page ruling, the self-effacing jurist reputed for court administration left his most enduring stamp on the law and California history.

maura.dolan (at) latimes.com

WITH THE HEART & SOUL OF MOTHER TERESA U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR IS READY & ABLE 2 DEFEND THE GOD GIVEN RIGHTS OF ALL OUR AMERICAN POOR....

BY LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS

12/29/2010

DID THE POPE SAY MOTHER TERESA LEFT U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR IN CHARGE OF PROTECTING OUR POORER AMERICANS ???

THE POPE KNOWS ALL ABOUT U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR BEING TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL ...

THANK U LORD 4 DELIVERING OUR AMERICAN POORER CITIZENS U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR.....

THE POPE, VATICAN & WORLD~WIDE CATHOLIC CHURCH SHOULD ALL BE VERY PROUD OF U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR....

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS VERY ELATED WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR BEING SO WISE IN HIS SELECTION OF U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR.

WE LOVE THE ENERGY & INTEGRITY THAT THIS SPECIAL MODERN DAY U.S.SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR BRINGS INTO AMERICA'S ELITE UPPER LEVEL JUDICIAL SYSTEM..

THIS UNIQUE LADY HAS THE ABILITY TO RELATE TO little Americans LIVING AND BEING DOMINATED BY OUR ELITE'S IN THEIR COUNTRY AND THEIR $$ TAKE ALL UNDER~FINANCED JUDICIAL SYSTEM...

FROM all of us little American's to OUR FAIR , JUST, INSPIRATIONAL & TRULY CARING SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR,...

OUR HOPES AND DREAMS THAT THIS GREAT COUNTRY WILL BECOME EVEN GREATER UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP IN THE UPPER BOWELS OF OUR UNDER~FINANCED AMERICAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM THAT ONLY CURRENTLY RESPECTS & RELIES ON A $$$ LEGAL DEFENSE OVER REAL JUSTICE FOR ALL THOSE TENS OF MILLIONS OF OUR POORER AMERICANS.

WITHOUT THE ADEQUATE MEANS TO AFFORD ONES OWN CIVIL,FAMILY COURT OR FEDERAL APPEAL LAWYERS, TENS OF MILLIONS OF OUR MIDDLE~CLASS & POORER AMERICANS HAVE ALL BEEN SIMPLY PUSHED TO THE SIDE OF TRUE JUSTICE BEING A MEANINGFUL OBJECTIVE IN OUR CURRENT NATIONAL AMERICAN COURT~JUDICIAL SYSTEM .....

Sotomayor protests court's refusal of appeals

Updated 12/27/2010

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has signed four dissents over rejected appeals and was lead author on three such dissents.

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has set herself apart from colleagues with her fervent statements protesting the majority's refusal to take some appeals, particularly involving prisoners.

Each month, the justices spurn hundreds of petitions from people who have lost in lower courts, and rarely does an individual justice go public with concern about the denial. In the seven times it has happened since the annual term opened in October, Justice Sotomayor has signed four of the opinions, more than any other justice. She was the lead author on three, again more than any other justice.

She forcefully dissented when the justices refused to hear the appeal of a Louisiana prisoner who claimed he was punished for not taking his HIV medication. He said prison officials subjected him to hard labor in 100-degree heat. Writing alone, she said the inmate had a persuasive claim of cruel and unusual punishment.

This emerging pattern of dissenting statements helps define a justice in her second term who is still — like newest justice Elena Kagan— fresh in the public eye.

SUPREME COURT: Seven cases show differences among justices

On the law, Sotomayor has been in the liberal mold of her predecessor, David Souter, and her approach to writing opinions on cases heard has been fact-specific and free of rhetorical flourish. That was her style as a trial judge (1992-98) and appeals court judge (1998-2009).

Yet she has stood out as one of the most demanding questioners during oral arguments. She often breaks in as a fellow justice is questioning a lawyer, although she is not alone. Antonin Scalia also has an aggressive approach.

Her tendency to protest when the justices pass up a case she believes is crucial may be another way of getting her voice heard.

Adam Abensohn, a law clerk to Sotomayor earlier in her career, said of the recent dissents, "If she has a viewpoint, she won't hesitate to assert herself. If she thinks it's a good idea to do something, she's not going to hold back simply because 'it's not the way things are done' or because she's relatively new."

Abensohn, who practices law in New York, said that although such dissenting opinions have no immediate legal consequence, they "may plant the seeds for the court to address an issue down the road. ... In a sense, Justice Sotomayor is placing her stamp on issues that may be decided years from now."

Dissents can change colleagues' minds — if not then, later. In February 2009, Scalia protested that the court repeatedly rejected appeals involving an open-ended U.S. law making it a crime for officials to deprive citizens of their right to "honest services." Dissenting alone in one of these disputes, Scalia noted lower courts disagreed on what offenses were covered and declared, "It seems ... quite irresponsible to let the current chaos prevail."

A few months later, the court took up the issue and ultimately ruled in a way that narrowed the law to bribes and kickbacks.

Sotomayor has been most vocal in criminal law cases. In the appeal from the Louisiana prisoner, she wrote that his decision to refuse medication "does not give prison officials license to exacerbate (his) condition further as a means of punishing or coercing him."

In another case, she objected when the justices declined to take a petition from an Arkansas murderer who said jurors should have heard mitigating evidence of his brutal childhood before deciding on a death sentence. She was troubled by an appeals court's decision letting officials wait to object to a claim for a new hearing until they had heard the prisoner's evidence and he had prevailed at an early stage.

Sotomayor said states should not be allowed "to manipulate federal ... proceedings to their own strategic advantage at an unacceptable cost to justice." She was joined only by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It takes four votes among the nine for the high court to take a case; it then takes five votes to resolve the case.

Jonathan Kirshbaum, a senior lawyer at the non-profit Center for Appellate Litigation in New York, which represents indigent defendants, said he has been struck by how Sotomayor, a former prosecutor, has "come out so strongly for criminal defendants."

Sotomayor declined to comment for this story.

Justice Samuel Alito, also a former prosecutor, has been a close second this term in publicly objecting when the majority declines a case. He protested in three cases and authored the opinion in two. On criminal matters, he tends to favor law enforcement.

When Sotomayor was appointed, some defendants' rights advocates, including Kirshbaum, speculated that she might take a hard line on prisoner appeals.

He said she's adopting a much different approach. "There seems to be real feeling behind these opinions," he said. "They give the criminal defendant's perspective on these issues."

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS WILL ONCE AGAIN BE PICKING UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF 2 YEARS AGO REPORTING ON THE LEGAL DRAMA THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE INDIO CALIFORNIA COURTS CONCERNING MARK BURK & FORMER MODEL BEVERLY JOHNSON.

MUCH HAS TAKEN PLACE IN & OUT OF THE RIVERSIDE COUNTY COURTS CONCERNING THIS MADE FOR TV LEGAL DRAMA BETWEEN THESE 2 FORMER GOLFING LIVE IN LOVERS OF THE FAMOUS PGA WEST GOLF COMMUNITY.

CURRENTLY MR. BURK HAS JUST RECENTLY FINISHED FILMING THE GOLF CHANNELS FIRST SEASON OF TEN VARIOUS EPISODES OF THEIR NEW GOLF REALITY TV SHOW CALLED PIPE DREAM.

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS FIRST REPORTED ON THE MARK BURK ~ BEVERLY JOHNSON LEGAL CASE TAKING PLACE IN INDIO CALIFORNIA 2 YEARS AGO PRIOR ANYONE EVER DREAMING MARK BURK WOULD BE FEATURED TWO YEARS LATER IN HIS INTERNATIONAL GOLF REALITY TV SHOW.

TWO YEARS AGO WE RE~PUBLISHED (ON THE WEB ) MANY DIFFERENT ARTICLES WRITTEN BY THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER NEWSPAPER & PUBLISHED OUR OWN WRITTEN COMMENTARY BY LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS CONCERNING THE COPY CAT LEGAL ACCUSATIONS MADE BY MODEL BEVERLY JOHNSON OF SHE'S GOT THE LOOK TV SHOW AGAINST LAW & ORDER ACTOR CHRIS NOTH & GOLF INSTRUCTOR MARK BURK.

IN OUR VERY SHORT INVESTIGATION OF THESE PAST POLICE CHARGES BEVERLY JOHNSON THREW INTO THE PUBLIC ARENA AGAINST MR. NOTH & MR. BURK WE COULD NOT HELP BUT NOTICE SOME VERRY SIMILAR COPY-CAT CLAIMS (MANY YEARS APART) BY BEVERLY JOHNSON AGAINST BOTH OF THESE MEN.

*** IT IS A INDIO COURT OF PUBLIC RECORDS FACT THAT BEVERLY JOHNSON & MARK BURK WERE LIVING TOGETHER FOR OVER 13 MONTHS IN THE SAME HOME AT PGA WEST WHILE MR BURK WAS UNDER A RIVERSIDE CONTY RESTRAINING ORDER THAT WAS SUPPOSE TO PREVENT ANY CONTACT OF 100 FEEET OR CLOSER WITH A SUPPOSED FRIGHTENED BEVERLY JOHNSON.

THAT BOGUS RESTRAINING ORDER FILED IN THE INDIO COURTS AGAINST MARK BURK BY BEVERLY JOHNSONS BULLY LAWYER WAS SUPPOSE TO BE USED TO PREVENT MR. BURK FROM BEING EVEN REMOTELY NEAR THIS SO CALLED FRIGHTENED WOMEN... BEVERLY JOHNSON.

NO, BEVERLY JOHNSON AND HER restraining order HIT MAN ATTORNEY PLAYED WITH MARK BURK AS IF HE WAS A BOUGHT AND PAID FOR little houseman THAT THEY KEPT ON A VERY SHORT LEASH.

THIS BEVERLY JOHNSON LAWYER WHO ACTED AS BEVERLY JOHNSON'S LEGAL GRUNT, WAS THE VERY SAME LAWYER WHO WAS UNDER PROBATION AND STILL UNDER PROBATION TODAY WITH THE CA BAR FOR PAST MISDEEDS HIMSELF.**THIS PHONEY RESTRAINING ORDER LEGAL HIT MAN ATTORNEY OF BEVERLY JOHNSON'S GOT INVOLVED IN A CAR ACCIDENT WITH A 82 YEAR ELDERLY MAN AND PUNCHED HIM OUT**

THESE TWO VERY TWISTED MINDS OF BEVERLY JOHNSON & HER ABUSIVE FORMER $$ GRUB LAWYER, WENT THROUGH 4 RESTRAINING ORDERS OVER A THREE YEAR PERIOD OF TIME WITH MARK BURK, PLAYING WITH HIM AS IF HE AND HIS LIFE WERE NOTHING MORE THAN A YO_YO.

WHATS THAT OLD ADAGE WHERE DIRTY WATER SEEKS IT'S OWN FILTHY LEVEL....

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS HAS READ FIRST HAND PAGES OUT OF BEVERLY JOHNSON'S HAND WRITTEN DIARY THAT SAY IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS THAT HER FORMER LOVER MARK BURK WAS NEVER PHYSICALLY ABUSIVE TOWARDS BEVERLY JOHNSON. THESE HAND WRITTEN DIARY PAGES OF BEVERLY JOHNSON ARE PART OF THE COURT RECORD IN INDIO CA AND ARE DATED AFTER 2 PREVIOUS RESTRAINING ORDERS WERE ISSUED ON MR MARK BURK BY BEVERLY JOHNSON AND HER ATTORNEY.

BEVERLY JOHNSON WRITES IN HER OWN DIARY THAT MARK BURK HAS NEVER BEEN VIOLENT TOWARDS HER BUT CONTINUES TO ATTEMPT TO CONTROL HIM WITH PHONY RESTRAINING ORDERS ISSUED THROUGH THE RIVERSIDE COURTS....

STAY TUNED BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY MORE INSIDE FACTS TO COME THAT WHEN READ & UNDERSTOOD COMPLETELY WILL GIVE ANY CIVILIZED AMERICAN THE CORRECT CONCEPT ABOUT HOW A WEALTHY ELITE BEVERLY JOHNSON WHO HAS BEEN DEALING WITH HER BI~POLAR LIFE ON AND APPARENTLY MANY DAYS OFF PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS.

**MR. BURK HAS LONG AGO (2 years ago ) INFORMED LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS ABOUT HOW HE HAD MANY NIGHTS OF LOCKING HIMSELF IN A GUEST BEDROOM TO SLEEP ALONE WHILE BEVERLY JOHNS WAS EITHER DRINKING OR USING DRUGS FOR SELF MEDICATION.

**** SOME OF THIS JOHNSON~BURK PAST WRITTEN MATERIAL BY LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS FOUND WITH ANY WEB SEARCH OF THESE TITLES.

1) MODEL BEVERLY JOHNSON COMMITS HARI~CARI PERJURY

2) BEVERLY JOHNSON RUNS FOR COVER BACK TO THE BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITY THAT SHE & OJ ABANDONED ...

3) BEVERLY JOHNSON'S PUBLIC RELATIONS $$ MACHINE.

4) FORMER MODEL BEVERLY JOHNSON HAS A SECRET HISTORY OF ASSAULT !!!

5) ACTOR CHRIS NOTH & MARK BURK SLANDERED BY MODEL BEVERLY JOHNSON.

6) ATTORNEY GENERAL BROWN, WHO PROTECTS MARK BURK FROM BEVERLY JOHNSON ???

7) CAN BEVERLY JOHNSON PULL AN OJ AND BUY JU$TICE IN PALM DE$ERT CA ?

8) PGA WEST SCANDAL IN PALM DESERT CA INVOLVING MODEL BEVERLY JOHNSON....

9) POORER INNOCENT AMERICANS HAVE NO CHANCE IN U.S. COURTS WITHOUT LAWYERS !

10) UNFORGETTABLE PRESIDENT OBAMA GOLF APPEARANCE.

11) WE HEARD THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S GOLF GAME WILL ALSO BE FEATURED ON THE GOLF CHANNEL'S "PIPE DREAMS" GOLF TV REALITY SHOW.

12) PGA WEST SCANDAL IN PALM DESERT INVOLVING BEVERLY JOHNSON HEATS UP !

13) AMERICA HAS 2 JUDICIAL SYSTEMS,ONE FOR BEVERLY JOHNSON & ANOTHER FOR MARK BURK.

14) PGA WEST IS SHOCKED BY BEVELY JOHNSON GUN SCANDAL.

15) BEVERLY JOHNSON HAS A SECRET HISTORY OF ASSAULT.

Golf Channel chronicles downtrodden pro Mark Burk in new series

By GolfChannel.com Team

ORLANDO, Fla. – Two years ago the life of 53-year old professional golfer Mark Burk changed. The man who won tournaments all around the world and coached celebrities found himself homeless and living in abandoned construction pipes in Palm Springs, Calif., after a romantic relationship went awry.

In the new 10-part series, "Pipe Dream," Golf Channel chronicles Burk's journey to get his life back on track, regain his golf career and restore his good name. Beginning with the series worldwide premiere on Jan. 11 at 9:30 p.m. ET, viewers will find out if Burk is able to get back in the game or if it all proves to be just a pipe dream.

(Courtesy Mark Ashman, Golf Channel)

From age 13, Burk knew he only wanted to play golf. Studying under instructors including Ben Doyle, Jim Flick, Peter Kostis, and Kip Puterbaugh, Burk played in various professional golf tournaments across the country and internationally, spending a year on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. After playing competitively, he became a golf instructor and Hollywood consultant, teaching actors Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman how to swing a golf club for the film Swordfish.

But after years of living a charmed life, Burk became homeless in 2008. Due to a bad turn of events, including an alleged domestic violence dispute with then girlfriend, supermodel Beverly Johnson, he was left penniless and without a place to live. "Pipe Dream" documents Burk's struggle to survive on the streets, as well as his efforts to achieve his goal of getting back on the green. Throughout the series, viewers will watch as Burk begins to pick up the pieces of his life, get a job, deal with a pending legal battle against his ex-girlfriend and attempt to make it through Champions Tour Qualifying School.

“Pipe Dream follows the story of a man whose life has been turned upside down and now struggles daily to reclaim his name and his dream. Even through all of Mark's personal and professional struggles, it's been his passion and respect for the game of golf that has kept him alive,” said Keith Allo, Golf Channel vice president of programming and original productions. “We are very excited to continue to bring unique and diverse programming to Golf Channel and feel that Pipe Dream will not only resonate with golf fans but with anyone, who at one time in their life, dared to dream against all odds.”

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS A INDEPENDENT VOLUNTEER WWW LOBBY THAT SINGS OUT FOR OUR AMERICAN MIDDLE~CLASS & POORER AMERICANS LIVING IN OUR WEALTHY ELITE'S COUNTRY.

*WE CAN BE FOUND WITH ANY WEB SEARCH ENGINE BY OUR NAME,TELEPHONE NUMBER OR E MAIL ADDRESS.

** GOOGLE, YAHOO, AOL, MSN,,BING..ETC..ALL CARRY OUR PREVIOUS WRITTEN COMMENTARY STUFF IN VARIOUS DIFFERENT LISTINGS.

*** WE ENJOY BRINGING all our fellow little Americans THE GOOD LIFE ON THE WORLD OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES WEB .

**** MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CALIFORNIA PRISON SYSTEM CAN BE ENTERED INTO ANY WEB SEARCH ENGINE FOR A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE.

MOST AMERICANS HAVE NO IDEA THAT GED EDUCATED PRISON INMATES ARE BEING FORCED TO ATTEMPT TO WRITE THEIR OWN FEDERAL APPEALS FROM THEIR PRISONS ALL ACROSS OUR COUNTRY.

THIS CALIFORNIA FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL CASE OF MANNY GONZALES WAS LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS FIRST LEGAL BLOG.

THIS GRAVE INJUSTICE BEING INFLICTED ON THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF OUR POORER INNOCENT AMERICAN PRISON INMATES BEING HELD CAPTIVE WITH ALL OUR GUILTY PRISON INMATES WILL SADLY NEVER GET A REALISTIC OPPORTUNITY TO GET THEIR FEDERAL APPEAL LOOKED AT PROPERLY BY OUR UNDERFUNDED FEDERAL APPEAL JUDICIAL SYSTEM.

lawyersforpooreramericans (at) gmail.com

lawyersforpooramericans (at) yahoo.com

424-247-2013

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Mayor hopes to bring positive changes to Campbell | View Clip
12/31/2010
Campbell Reporter

For Jason Baker, major political events in his life seem to continually coincide with personal ones. Baker and his wife of seven years, Mairead, signed the papers on their Campbell home the night of the 2004 presidential election. He campaigned two years ago to join Campbell City Council shortly after the birth of his son Eamonn, and this November he was selected to be mayor of the city just two months after his daughter Rowan was born. The practicing lawyer and father of two said juggling his occupations and family life is interesting, but he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I really enjoy it," Baker said, "and the kids will learn to appreciate community involvement."

Baker attended Santa Clara University for law school, which is where he met his wife, a public defender. Baker feels that what attracted him to law school is what will guide him in his mayoral term.

"I wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember," he said. "I want to represent the little guy, the people who might have less power. As mayor, I will try to keep in mind the people whose voices might not always be heard because they don't have the resources or time to come to city council meetings."

After law school, Baker and his wife settled into Campbell, which they chose for its strong sense of community and great downtown.

"You don't feel like an anonymous citizen here," he said.

Baker began his involvement with Campbell local

government with three years on the civic improvement commission. After what he described as a great learning experience on the commission, he decided to run for city council.

While Baker's time on the council has been primarily dominated by budget issues, he recalled a few other areas that shaped his city hall experience.

"Starting the work on Stojanovich Park, that was really fun," he said. "In these really tough times there has to be a bright spot."

Baker is also proud that the city has led by example in its projects during his term.

"I'm proud that we worked to renovate Orchard City Banquet Hall and did it according to LEED silver standards," he said. "The city and the Bay Area are working toward encouraging and requiring green building standards, but we can't require commercial and private builders to do it if we can't belly up and do so ourselves."

Baker has served on the council with several long-time members.

"One of the most rewarding parts was having a chance to learn from veterans with decades under their belts," he said. "They have such institutional knowledge, and when issues come up, they've got a basis for comparison. That's really important when issues are complicated."

As of recent years in Campbell, the issues have almost always been complicated. The economic situation of the country is reflected in Campbell's negative budget, which Baker has kept at the top of his to-do list.

"Making sure we are on a firm financial footing is priority No. 1," he said, "and the council shares that feeling."

Last election, voters approved measures M and N, which Baker said will bring in $500,000 annually to the city. Out of necessity, the majority of that funding will go toward keeping Campbell afloat fiscally, but Baker said he plans on asking that a small amount of it be set aside for another key issue on his plate: public safety.

"The police are doing a great job, but they're stretched thin," Baker said. "I'm going to ask that we set aside a little revenue from M and N to go toward things that can be used as force multipliers."

As a father of two young children, keeping the public safe and reducing crime are natural priorities to Baker, who said that the city's trusting citizens deserve a tangible outcome for their approval of the measures.

The new mayor also added that traffic is an issue to which he will provide much-needed attention.

"I ran for this office saying I would try to control traffic," Baker said. "I've studied it, and we have a great staff. Traffic control is a science and an art. We're going to look at the data and see what makes sense."

Currently, the city's traffic management system prevents the city council from considering the use of speed bumps in neighborhoods.

"Speed bumps don't solve everything, but the city's answer is no, and I don't think that's right," Baker said.

The unique downtown that first drew Baker to Campbell is also something he wants to address during his term.

"I want to work with continuing our extraordinary partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and businesses in Campbell," he said. "We need to enhance economic development and try to make things easier for businesses. Campbell would not be what it is without the active business community."

Overall, Baker said his new position as mayor is humbling and something he is not going to take for granted.

"It's exciting to be selected mayor and amazing to be selected mayor of Campbell," he said. "I truly enjoy serving the people of Campbell, and I want to do it as long as they'll have me."

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California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy | View Clip
12/31/2010
Charlotte Observer - Online

SAN FRANCISCO Faced with the self-assigned task of writing the California Supreme Court's first ruling on gay marriage, Chief Justice Ronald M. George drafted an opinion in early 2008 with two different endings. One gave same-sex couples the right to marry. The other didn't. Then he asked the six associate justices for reaction.

George soon learned that his colleagues were split 3-3. His vote would decide the most burning civil rights question of the day.

George's handling of the marriage case was emblematic of his tenure as California's 27th chief justice. He was a centrist, the tie-breaker on the state high court, but also willing to put his reputation on the line and do the unpredictable.

When he steps down on midnight, Jan. 2, after four decades as a pivotal player in California law, George will leave behind a court system that is vastly different from the one he inherited. Law professors and others expect him to have an enduring legacy.

"He was the most extraordinary leader of the Supreme Court in modern history," said Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat and former legislator and attorney general.

George, 70, took big risks as head of the California judiciary, consolidating courts and bringing them under his authority to turn the judicial branch into a single, independent force. He created self-help services for people who could not afford lawyers. He insisted that courts have interpreters for the non-English speaking. He wrote a 1996 abortion ruling that triggered a campaign to unseat him.

But the moderate Republican jurist was legally cautious, disinclined to take the law to new places. He was what one law professor called "a tinkerer." The mostly Republican, relatively conservative court he headed is widely considered one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country, but was not known for innovative legal thinking.

As a jurist George moved the court closer to the middle and stressed compromise. The dissent rate under George plummeted. His rulings were sound but rarely soared, scholars said.

"He brought a lot of brainpower and political savvy to the position of chief justice," said Golden Gate Law School professor Peter Keane.

George grew up in Beverly Hills, the son of a Hungarian immigrant mother and French immigrant father. He was groomed for foreign affairs, but eventually decided international diplomacy was not for him. Law school at Stanford University was a fall-back position. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.

He chose to practice law in government, eschewing the vastly higher pay of the private sector. He became a deputy attorney general, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, a trial judge in Los Angeles County, an appeals court judge and finally an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. Former Gov. Pete Wilson elevated him to chief justice in 1996.

Shortly after being elevated, the new chief justice went on the road, a state map and a yellow marker in his back pocket. He inspected the courts in all 58 counties and discovered that some were teetering.

He met a judge whose chambers was a converted broom closet. He found jurors sharing an entrance with manacled prisoners. He once had to cut a quick check to keep a courthouse from closing.

Armed with his findings, he lobbied for and won state approval of a vast restructuring of the judiciary. More than 200 municipal and superior courts were merged into a single trial court system, and 532 courthouses went from county to judicial-branch ownership.

George said justice should be equal from county to county. He wanted uniform policies and practices, and he figured the judiciary would have more clout in Sacramento if it spoke with one voice.

Legal analysts consider the consolidation of the courts a historic achievement. George has received national recognition and awards for his work.

"It is a much more efficient system," said Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, an analyst of California courts. "I think he will rank up there ... as one of the most effective administrators the court has ever had."

George's critics, however, saw a power grab. The Administrative Office of the Courts, which now runs the court system, rapidly grew. Some trial judges resented the loss of independence and derided the ballooning bureaucracy as wasteful. They dubbed him "King George."

A group of dissenters formed the Alliance of California Judges. The membership is confidential, but the directors claim that more than 200 of the state's 1,700 judges belong.

Their aim is to restore more autonomy to the trial courts. They were particularly incensed when George decided to close courts one day a month for almost a year rather than make other cuts.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles Horan, one of the founding members of the group, complained that George pursued a failed model of judicial administration that "demanded centralized decision-making by an insular minority of loyalists, actively squelched dissent and greatly and unacceptably diminished the role of the trial courts and trial judges in the management of the affairs of the judiciary."

George said such complaints were inevitable. When some judges critical of the consolidation suggested the powerful, policy-making Judicial Council be filled with elected judges, rather than those selected by the chief, George declared that would be "a declaration of war."

"We really have created a judicial branch - not just in name or theory - but in reality," George said. "When I first went to Sacramento, I was asked which agency I was with and who I reported to. I said, 'You don't get it. We are a separate, co-equal branch of government.' They all get that now."

When George stunned even his colleagues by announcing his retirement on July 14, he had in mind a successor who would keep intact the statewide system he had built. He recommended Sacramento Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, saying she had the administrative and diplomatic skills and a "backbone of steel" needed to deal with dissenting judges and a cash-strapped state.

Cantil-Sakauye, who is Filipina, will be the first non-white to serve as chief justice. George said he planned to spend his retirement traveling with his wife of 44 years, Barbara, spending time with their three adult sons and two granddaughters, and rereading the "great books." He does not intend to practice law.

Soon after he was named chief justice, George discovered that the middle class as well as the poor had been priced out of the legal system. People with no legal education were appearing in court alone on such vital matters as child custody, guardianship, elder abuse, domestic violence and housing disputes.

George wanted the state to provide such litigants with legal aid lawyers, but the budget crisis forced him to settle for a temporary, pilot project, which starts in January. Even then, he had to resort to political wiles - George described himself as "shameless" - to get the governor's approval.

He told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the law would be named the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Law after Schwarzenegger's late father-in-law.

George spent long hours in Sacramento seeking legislative approval for court bills. One legislator said she decided to vote his way because she was embarrassed to see the chief justice hanging in the hallway with the lobbyists.

George created a commission to promote judicial independence. The effort to oust him for writing an opinion that overturned a parental-consent abortion law "sensitized him to the political vulnerability of judges," Uelmen said.

George's rulings favored a strong First Amendment and protection from discrimination for women and minorities, Uelmen said. He was considered conservative on most law-and-order issues, although two of his three final rulings were for the defense.

Some scholars were dismayed by George's rulings on ballot measures. George has called for a reining in of the initiative process, which he views as increasingly controlled by moneyed special interests. But as a jurist he was more deferential.

"There are all sorts of laws I might personally view as foolish that I am bound to uphold," he said. And then, tellingly, he added: "The court can't be viewed as flouting the people's will."

Conservatives say that is what he did in the court's May 15, 2008, gay marriage ruling. He had met with each justice individually and wrestled with Perez v. Sharp, a 1948 California Supreme Court ruling that overturned a ban on interracial marriage and declared marriage a fundamental right.

"No matter which way we went," George said, "we had to cope with this law on the books."

After weeks of mulling the law and its effect on racial discrimination, George broke the tie. His decision not only gave gays the right to marry - which voters took away six months later with Proposition 8 - but also bestowed the same legal protection from discrimination the law had long given race and gender. No other state high court had afforded sexual orientation such constitutional status.

With his signature at the end of a 121-page ruling, the self-effacing jurist reputed for court administration left his most enduring stamp on the law and California history.

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Mayor hopes to bring positive changes to Campbell | View Clip
12/31/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

For Jason Baker, major political events in his life seem to continually coincide with personal ones. Baker and his wife of seven years, Mairead, signed the papers on their Campbell home the night of the 2004 presidential election. He campaigned two years ago to join Campbell City Council shortly after the birth of his son Eamonn, and this November he was selected to be mayor of the city just two months after his daughter Rowan was born. The practicing lawyer and father of two said juggling his occupations and family life is interesting, but he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I really enjoy it," Baker said, "and the kids will learn to appreciate community involvement."

Baker attended Santa Clara University for law school, which is where he met his wife, a public defender. Baker feels that what attracted him to law school is what will guide him in his mayoral term.

"I wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember," he said. "I want to represent the little guy, the people who might have less power. As mayor, I will try to keep in mind the people whose voices might not always be heard because they don't have the resources or time to come to city council meetings."

After law school, Baker and his wife settled into Campbell, which they chose for its strong sense of community and great downtown.

"You don't feel like an anonymous citizen here," he said.

Baker began his involvement with Campbell local

government with three years on the civic improvement commission. After what he described as a great learning experience on the commission, he decided to run for city council.

While Baker's time on the council has been primarily dominated by budget issues, he recalled a few other areas that shaped his city hall experience.

"Starting the work on Stojanovich Park, that was really fun," he said. "In these really tough times there has to be a bright spot."

Baker is also proud that the city has led by example in its projects during his term.

"I'm proud that we worked to renovate Orchard City Banquet Hall and did it according to LEED silver standards," he said. "The city and the Bay Area are working toward encouraging and requiring green building standards, but we can't require commercial and private builders to do it if we can't belly up and do so ourselves."

Baker has served on the council with several long-time members.

"One of the most rewarding parts was having a chance to learn from veterans with decades under their belts," he said. "They have such institutional knowledge, and when issues come up, they've got a basis for comparison. That's really important when issues are complicated."

As of recent years in Campbell, the issues have almost always been complicated. The economic situation of the country is reflected in Campbell's negative budget, which Baker has kept at the top of his to-do list.

"Making sure we are on a firm financial footing is priority No. 1," he said, "and the council shares that feeling."

Last election, voters approved measures M and N, which Baker said will bring in $500,000 annually to the city. Out of necessity, the majority of that funding will go toward keeping Campbell afloat fiscally, but Baker said he plans on asking that a small amount of it be set aside for another key issue on his plate: public safety.

"The police are doing a great job, but they're stretched thin," Baker said. "I'm going to ask that we set aside a little revenue from M and N to go toward things that can be used as force multipliers."

As a father of two young children, keeping the public safe and reducing crime are natural priorities to Baker, who said that the city's trusting citizens deserve a tangible outcome for their approval of the measures.

The new mayor also added that traffic is an issue to which he will provide much-needed attention.

"I ran for this office saying I would try to control traffic," Baker said. "I've studied it, and we have a great staff. Traffic control is a science and an art. We're going to look at the data and see what makes sense."

Currently, the city's traffic management system prevents the city council from considering the use of speed bumps in neighborhoods.

"Speed bumps don't solve everything, but the city's answer is no, and I don't think that's right," Baker said.

The unique downtown that first drew Baker to Campbell is also something he wants to address during his term.

"I want to work with continuing our extraordinary partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and businesses in Campbell," he said. "We need to enhance economic development and try to make things easier for businesses. Campbell would not be what it is without the active business community."

Overall, Baker said his new position as mayor is humbling and something he is not going to take for granted.

"It's exciting to be selected mayor and amazing to be selected mayor of Campbell," he said. "I truly enjoy serving the people of Campbell, and I want to do it as long as they'll have me."

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Dual Play: Chromasun Chases Emerging Hybrid Solar Market | View Clip
12/31/2010
RenewableEnergyWorld.com

By Ucilia Wang, Contributor | 2010-12-31 16:28:00.0 | 0 Comments

The Silicon Valley startup plans to launch a rooftop system in 2011 that produces electricity and harvests heat.

As the market for solar electric systems takes off, a growing number of technology companies are exploring hybrid systems, which reduce the use of coal and natural gas for energy generation. I caught with Chromasun's Peter Le Lievre to learn about the company's technology and launch plan.

One new technology theme that caught my attention in 2010 is a hybrid system that produces electricity while harvesting heat to create hot water or heat or cool a building.

The idea promises to use heat that would otherwise be lost into the air. The heat comes from crystalline silicon solar cells, which generally convert less than 20 percent of the sunlight that hits them into electricity. As the market for solar electric systems takes off, a growing number of technology companies are exploring hybrid systems, which reduce the use of coal and natural gas for energy generation.

I've spoken to several startups targeting the market. PVT Solar started selling its rooftop systems to home builders in late 2009. Cogenra Solar installed its first pilot system on the grounds of a winery this past summer. More recently, I caught up with Peter Le Lievre, CEO of Chromasun, which plans to launch its first rooftop hybrid system in 2011.

Le Lievre co-founded Ausra, the concentrating solar thermal technology developer Areva bought in 2010. He said the idea of creating a hybrid system came while he was at Ausra. He started Chromasun in 2008 and set about creating a rooftop version of the solar thermal system. The company announced the close of a $3 million A round earlier this year.

Chromasun's thermal system uses aluminum mirrors to concentrate the sun onto pipes that contain water or oil to generate hot water or steam to drive chillers or pre-heat boilers. Using thermal energy reduces the reliance on natural gas or heating oil. Chromasun, based in San Jose, Calif., is initially targeting businesses and universities that might want the solar thermal system to run air conditioners.

Chromasun already has thermal-only systems in field trials. Santa Clara University in the Silicon Valley and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority are some of its customers.

To turn the thermal system into a hybrid Chromasun will mount a receiver lined with monocrystalline silicon solar cells, behind which a pipe captures and transfers heat to water coursing through it. The plan is to sell both the thermal-only systems and the hybrid, Le Lievre said.

Overall, each concentrator runs 3.2-meters long by 1.2 meters wide by 0.3-meter high, and the aluminum mirrors will concentrate the sun 20 times, Le Lievre said. The system can heat water to 150-degrees Fahrenheit (65.6-degrees Celsius). It will be mounted on single-axis tracker and encased in glass. A glass canopy protects the solar collectors and relievers from debris and bird nests that otherwise are hard to clean or remove, Le Lievre says.

“We see that hybrid systems are for people who already are looking at PV and say, ‘Why not harvest the heat as well?' Because, you are going to get the heat for very little cost,” Le Lievre said. “Whereas with thermal, we think of commercial customers who don't ordinarily put PV on their rooftops. They want to reduce natural gas assumption.”

Reaching 150-degrees Fahrenheit (65.6-degrees Celsius) presents a good trade-off between electricity and heat generation, Le Lievre said.

“The challenge with the hybrid is the operating temperature of the photovoltaic cells is limited to how hot you can run the system,” he added.

Solar cells lose their power output with prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Research shows that above 25-degrees Celsius (77-degrees Fahrenheit), crystalline silicon solar modules lose 0.5 percent of their output with every 1-degree Celsius increase. A hybrid system works at a higher temperature and produces hotter heat by slowing the flow of the fluid through the pipe. That means the heat lingers and lowers the solar cells' performance. Conversely, the system can cool the cells by increasing the flow to whisk the heat away.

Figuring out how to harvest the heat without cooking the solar cells has stumped other technology developers in the past, according to Tim Merrigan, a senior program manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Merrigan told me a few months back that the last time there was a wave of efforts to design hybrid systems was about 10-15 years ago, and many of those designs couldn't remove the heat efficiently. A common approach back then was to put solar cells inside an enclosed, conventional solar thermal collector that used copper tubes to absorb the heat.

“By not having the right control over the fluid that was flowing through the system, it was increasing the temperatures of the PV cells. You weren't getting the added benefit of the PV,” Merrigan said.

Developers of the new crop of hybrid systems claim they have found better ways to manage the trade-offs between electricity and heat production. In some cases, the developers use more sophisticated sensors and controls to do so.

Chromasun and its research partners in Australia recently won a $3.2 million grant to develop a next-generation hybrid system. The research will investigate methods to split light so that the solar cells will only receive a portion of the spectrum that they can use, said Le Lievre, who declined to provide details. The rest of the spectrum that typically turns into heat will be directed to the thermal receiver. This way, the cells will perform in a cooler environment. It also allows adjustments in the thermal part of the system to produce hotter heat.

The startup will contract with American and/or Chinese manufacturers to make components for its first-generation hybrid and thermal-only systems. The company already has a 16,000 square-foot assembly plant in San Jose that can put together 10 megawatts of thermal systems per year, Le Lievre said. The plan is to expand the manufacturing operation in late 2011 and locate assembly plants close to Chromasun's customers.

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Why a Budget Is Like a Diet -- Ineffective | View Clip
12/31/2010
New York Times - Online

What would you do if your wallet became harder to open as your spending approached or exceeded your budget? Would you think twice about where your money was going?

The Week in Review's guide to a healthier, happier 2011.

Tara Parker-Pope on Love

Tara Siegel Bernard on Money

Mark Bittman on Food

James Gorman on Invasivores

David Pogue on Tech

A product designer at M.I.T. who created a working prototype for such a wallet seems to think so, and he may be on to something. Part of the reason so many people spend too much, or fail to stick to self-imposed budgets, is because parting with our money has become an abstraction in our increasingly cashless society. Credit cards provide immediate gratification, but no immediate consequences. Plucking actual dollars from your pile of cash, research suggests, is more painful, and leads you to spend less. Theres another factor that prevents people from being model financial citizens (besides, of course, uncontrollable circumstances like joblessness). As a species, humans are notoriously poor at following through with their plans. Sticking to a budget a dirty word even among many financial planners, who prefer the more euphemistic spending plan feels too much like dieting. And we often fail at both for the same reasons: too much focus on the restrictions, not enough on fun. So its not surprising when people end up bingeing later, more than making up for dollars not spent or calories not consumed.

On Mint.com, the popular money-tracking Web site, top goals among the nearly half a million users who set them include paying off debt, creating an emergency fund and saving for retirement. All virtuous goals, to be sure.

The battle, say money and psychology experts, is finding ways to close the gap between good intentions and human nature. So at a time when every dollar counts, how can you accomplish what youre not necessarily wired to do?

It may be a while before that smart wallet hits the shelves (a hinge in the middle of the wallet, wired to your bank account balance via a Bluetooth connection to your cellphone, makes it harder to open as you reach a spending limit). The main inventor, John Kestner, said hes working on bringing its retail price down to $60, to avoid obvious irony. But there are plenty of mental tricks and strategies that can make your budgeting more sustainable now. In fact, the best strategy is not to think about it as budgeting at all. Instead, set up broad goals and automate all savings and other priorities where you can. Self-control is wonderful, but its just not sufficient, said Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University who focuses on behavioral finance and is the author of What Investors Really Want. Start by becoming more conscious of your spending, whether you jot it down in a notepad, on a spreadsheet, or on Web sites like Mint.com. Then, give your spending plan a sense of purpose; budgets with a goal, whether its a European vacation or buying a home, tend to be the most successful. For there to be sustainable change, there needs to be some sort of positive motivation, said Amanda Clayman, a financial therapist in New York. People tend to set unrealistic goals that dont factor in their lifestyle, she said. Ultimately, what we want our money to be is an energy source, Ms. Clayman said. It should help us get somewhere or do something. One strategy to keep spending in check is to employ whats known as mental accounting dividing your money into separate mental accounts that you treat differently. From a psychological standpoint, there is merit to having a separate account for entirely discretionary or luxury spending, said Steve Levinson, a psychologist and co-author of Following Through: A Revolutionary New Model for Finishing Whatever You Start. Spending $100 out of $300 earmarked for fun will feel more meaningful than pulling out $100 from your entire $3,000 monthly budget.

The easiest way to set up a system, experts suggest, is to put your income into separate accounts or subaccounts, including one that distinguishes spending money from money needed for recurring household expenses. And think about working backward, as a way to keep things simple: instead of setting up an overly detailed budget, first decide how much you want to save for retirement and other goals, then work with whats left over. If you want to cut spending, attack a few big categories where you can make the biggest difference.

Life has a natural way of derailing even the best-laid plans, so experts recommend building a cushion, or a slush fund of sorts. Its the one-time expenses that kill a budget, said Rick Kahler, a financial planner in Rapid City, S.D. The average person needs to be saving for car repairs every month, they need to be saving for their trips, for Christmas, for medical expenses. Just dont rely on doing it yourself. Arrange to have the money withdrawn from your paycheck. We need to exploit automaticity, said Professor David Laibson, a behavioral economist at Harvard. He points to the success of automatic enrollment of new employees into retirement savings plans, like 401(k)s. We need to build in more of these commitment mechanisms, so we can live up to our intentions.

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California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy | View Clip
12/30/2010
Sacramento Bee - Online, The

SAN FRANCISCO -- Faced with the self-assigned task of writing the California Supreme Court's first ruling on gay marriage, Chief Justice Ronald M. George drafted an opinion in early 2008 with two different endings. One gave same-sex couples the right to marry. The other didn't. Then he asked the six associate justices for reaction.

George soon learned that his colleagues were split 3-3. His vote would decide the most burning civil rights question of the day.

George's handling of the marriage case was emblematic of his tenure as California's 27th chief justice. He was a centrist, the tie-breaker on the state high court, but also willing to put his reputation on the line and do the unpredictable.

When he steps down on midnight, Jan. 2, after four decades as a pivotal player in California law, George will leave behind a court system that is vastly different from the one he inherited. Law professors and others expect him to have an enduring legacy.

"He was the most extraordinary leader of the Supreme Court in modern history," said Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat and former legislator and attorney general.

George, 70, took big risks as head of the California judiciary, consolidating courts and bringing them under his authority to turn the judicial branch into a single, independent force. He created self-help services for people who could not afford lawyers. He insisted that courts have interpreters for the non-English speaking. He wrote a 1996 abortion ruling that triggered a campaign to unseat him.

But the moderate Republican jurist was legally cautious, disinclined to take the law to new places. He was what one law professor called "a tinkerer." The mostly Republican, relatively conservative court he headed is widely considered one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country, but was not known for innovative legal thinking.

As a jurist George moved the court closer to the middle and stressed compromise. The dissent rate under George plummeted. His rulings were sound but rarely soared, scholars said.

"He brought a lot of brainpower and political savvy to the position of chief justice," said Golden Gate Law School professor Peter Keane.

George grew up in Beverly Hills, the son of a Hungarian immigrant mother and French immigrant father. He was groomed for foreign affairs, but eventually decided international diplomacy was not for him. Law school at Stanford University was a fall-back position. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.

He chose to practice law in government, eschewing the vastly higher pay of the private sector. He became a deputy attorney general, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, a trial judge in Los Angeles County, an appeals court judge and finally an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. Former Gov. Pete Wilson elevated him to chief justice in 1996.

Shortly after being elevated, the new chief justice went on the road, a state map and a yellow marker in his back pocket. He inspected the courts in all 58 counties and discovered that some were teetering.

He met a judge whose chambers was a converted broom closet. He found jurors sharing an entrance with manacled prisoners. He once had to cut a quick check to keep a courthouse from closing.

Armed with his findings, he lobbied for and won state approval of a vast restructuring of the judiciary. More than 200 municipal and superior courts were merged into a single trial court system, and 532 courthouses went from county to judicial-branch ownership.

George said justice should be equal from county to county. He wanted uniform policies and practices, and he figured the judiciary would have more clout in Sacramento if it spoke with one voice.

Legal analysts consider the consolidation of the courts a historic achievement. George has received national recognition and awards for his work.

"It is a much more efficient system," said Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, an analyst of California courts. "I think he will rank up there ... as one of the most effective administrators the court has ever had."

George's critics, however, saw a power grab. The Administrative Office of the Courts, which now runs the court system, rapidly grew. Some trial judges resented the loss of independence and derided the ballooning bureaucracy as wasteful. They dubbed him "King George."

A group of dissenters formed the Alliance of California Judges. The membership is confidential, but the directors claim that more than 200 of the state's 1,700 judges belong.

Their aim is to restore more autonomy to the trial courts. They were particularly incensed when George decided to close courts one day a month for almost a year rather than make other cuts.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles Horan, one of the founding members of the group, complained that George pursued a failed model of judicial administration that "demanded centralized decision-making by an insular minority of loyalists, actively squelched dissent and greatly and unacceptably diminished the role of the trial courts and trial judges in the management of the affairs of the judiciary."

George said such complaints were inevitable. When some judges critical of the consolidation suggested the powerful, policy-making Judicial Council be filled with elected judges, rather than those selected by the chief, George declared that would be "a declaration of war."

"We really have created a judicial branch - not just in name or theory - but in reality," George said. "When I first went to Sacramento, I was asked which agency I was with and who I reported to. I said, 'You don't get it. We are a separate, co-equal branch of government.' They all get that now."

When George stunned even his colleagues by announcing his retirement on July 14, he had in mind a successor who would keep intact the statewide system he had built. He recommended Sacramento Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, saying she had the administrative and diplomatic skills and a "backbone of steel" needed to deal with dissenting judges and a cash-strapped state.

Cantil-Sakauye, who is Filipina, will be the first non-white to serve as chief justice. George said he planned to spend his retirement traveling with his wife of 44 years, Barbara, spending time with their three adult sons and two granddaughters, and rereading the "great books." He does not intend to practice law.

Soon after he was named chief justice, George discovered that the middle class as well as the poor had been priced out of the legal system. People with no legal education were appearing in court alone on such vital matters as child custody, guardianship, elder abuse, domestic violence and housing disputes.

George wanted the state to provide such litigants with legal aid lawyers, but the budget crisis forced him to settle for a temporary, pilot project, which starts in January. Even then, he had to resort to political wiles - George described himself as "shameless" - to get the governor's approval.

He told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the law would be named the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Law after Schwarzenegger's late father-in-law.

George spent long hours in Sacramento seeking legislative approval for court bills. One legislator said she decided to vote his way because she was embarrassed to see the chief justice hanging in the hallway with the lobbyists.

George created a commission to promote judicial independence. The effort to oust him for writing an opinion that overturned a parental-consent abortion law "sensitized him to the political vulnerability of judges," Uelmen said.

George's rulings favored a strong First Amendment and protection from discrimination for women and minorities, Uelmen said. He was considered conservative on most law-and-order issues, although two of his three final rulings were for the defense.

Some scholars were dismayed by George's rulings on ballot measures. George has called for a reining in of the initiative process, which he views as increasingly controlled by moneyed special interests. But as a jurist he was more deferential.

"There are all sorts of laws I might personally view as foolish that I am bound to uphold," he said. And then, tellingly, he added: "The court can't be viewed as flouting the people's will."

Conservatives say that is what he did in the court's May 15, 2008, gay marriage ruling. He had met with each justice individually and wrestled with Perez v. Sharp, a 1948 California Supreme Court ruling that overturned a ban on interracial marriage and declared marriage a fundamental right.

"No matter which way we went," George said, "we had to cope with this law on the books."

After weeks of mulling the law and its effect on racial discrimination, George broke the tie. His decision not only gave gays the right to marry - which voters took away six months later with Proposition 8 - but also bestowed the same legal protection from discrimination the law had long given race and gender. No other state high court had afforded sexual orientation such constitutional status.

With his signature at the end of a 121-page ruling, the self-effacing jurist reputed for court administration left his most enduring stamp on the law and California history.

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US Patent Issued to The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, Santa Clara University on Dec. 28 for "Artificial Corneal...
12/30/2010
Federal News Service

US Patent Issued to The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, Santa Clara University on Dec. 28 for "Artificial Corneal Implant" (American, South Korean Inventors)

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 30 -- United States Patent no. 7,857,849, issued on Dec. 28, was assigned to The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, Calif.).

"Artificial Corneal Implant" was invented by David Myung (Mountain View, Calif.), Jaan Noolandi (Palo Alto, Calif.), Alan J. Smith (Redwood City, Calif.), Curtis W. Frank (Cupertino, Calif.), Christopher Ta (Saratoga, Calif.), Yin Hu (Palo Alto, Calif.), Won-Gun Koh (Seoul, South Korea) and Michael R. Carrasco (Sunnyvale, Calif.).

According to the abstract released by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: "A material that can be applied as implants designed to artificially replace or augment the cornea, such as an artificial cornea, corneal onlay, or corneal inlay (intrastromal lens) is provided. The artificial corneal implant has a double network hydrogel with a first network interpenetrated with a second network. The first network and the second network are based on biocompatible polymers. At least one of the network polymers is based on a hydrophilic polymer. The artificial cornea or implant has epithelialization promoting biomolecules that are covalently linked to the surface of the double network hydrogel using an azide-active-ester chemical linker. Corneal epithelial cells or cornea-derived cells are adhered to the biomolecules. The double network has a physiologic diffusion coefficient to allow passage of nutrients to the adhered cells."

The patent was filed on Oct. 4, 2005, under Application No. 11/243,952.

For further information please visit: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=7857849&OS=7857849&RS=7857849

For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

Copyright © 2010 US Fed News (HT Syndication)

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Handing down a legacy
12/30/2010
Los Angeles Times

Profile
Infobox

Faced with the self-assigned task of writing the California Supreme Court's first ruling on gay marriage, Chief Justice Ronald M. George drafted an opinion in early 2008 with two different endings. One gave same-sex couples the right to marry. The other didn't. Then he asked the six associate justices for reaction.

George soon learned that his colleagues were split 3 to 3. His vote would decide the most burning civil rights question of the day.

George's handling of the marriage case was emblematic of his tenure as California's 27th chief justice. He was a centrist, the tie-breaker on the state high court, but also willing to put his reputation on the line and do the unpredictable.

When he steps down on midnight, Jan. 2, after four decades as a pivotal player in California law, George will leave behind a court system that is vastly different from the one he inherited. Law professors and others expect him to have an enduring legacy.

"He was the most extraordinary leader of the Supreme Court in modern history," said Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat and former legislator and attorney general.

George, 70, took big risks as head of the California judiciary, consolidating courts and bringing them under his authority to turn the judicial branch into a single, independent force. He created self-help services for people who could not afford lawyers. He insisted that courts have interpreters for the non-English speaking. He wrote a 1996 abortion ruling that triggered a campaign to unseat him.

But the moderate Republican jurist was legally cautious, disinclined to take the law to new places. He was what one law professor called "a tinkerer." The mostly Republican, relatively conservative court he headed is widely considered one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country, but was not known for innovative legal thinking.

As a jurist George moved the court closer to the middle and stressed compromise. The dissent rate under George plummeted. His rulings were sound but rarely soared, scholars said.

"He brought a lot of brainpower and political savvy to the position of chief justice," said Golden Gate Law School professor Peter Keane.

Immigrant parents

George grew up in Beverly Hills, the son of an Hungarian immigrant mother and French immigrant father. He was groomed for foreign affairs, but eventually decided international diplomacy was not for him. Law school at Stanford University was a fall-back position. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.

He chose to practice law in government, eschewing the vastly higher pay of the private sector. He became a deputy attorney general, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, a trial judge in Los Angeles County, an appeals court judge and finally an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. Former Gov. Pete Wilson elevated him to chief justice in 1996.

Shortly after being elevated, the new chief justice went on the road, a state map and a yellow marker in his back pocket. He inspected the courts in all 58 counties and discovered that some were teetering.

He met a judge whose chambers was a converted broom closet. He found jurors sharing an entrance with manacled prisoners. He once had to cut a quick check to keep a courthouse from closing.

Armed with his findings, he lobbied for and won state approval of a vast restructuring of the judiciary. More than 200 municipal and superior courts were merged into a single trial court system, and 532 courthouses went from county to judicial-branch ownership.

George said justice should be equal from county to county. He wanted uniform policies and practices, and he figured the judiciary would have more clout in Sacramento if it spoke with one voice.

Legal analysts consider the consolidation of the courts a historic achievement. George has received national recognition and awards for his work.

"It is a much more efficient system," said Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, an analyst of California courts. "I think he will rank up there ... as one of the most effective administrators the court has ever had."

George's critics, however, saw a power grab. The Administrative Office of the Courts, which now runs the court system, rapidly grew. Some trial judges resented the loss of independence and derided the ballooning bureaucracy as wasteful. They dubbed him "King George."

A group of dissenters formed the Alliance of California Judges. The membership is confidential, but the directors claim that more than 200 of the state's 1,700 judges belong.

Their aim is to restore more autonomy to the trial courts. They were particularly incensed when George decided to close courts one day a month for almost a year rather than make other cuts.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles Horan, one of the founding members of the group, complained that George pursued a failed model of judicial administration that "demanded centralized decision-making by an insular minority of loyalists, actively squelched dissent and greatly and unacceptably diminished the role of the trial courts and trial judges in the management of the affairs of the judiciary."

George said such complaints were inevitable. When some judges critical of the consolidation suggested the powerful, policy-making Judicial Council be filled with elected judges, rather than those selected by the chief, George declared that would be "a declaration of war."

"We really have created a judicial branch -- not just in name or theory -- but in reality," George said. "When I first went to Sacramento, I was asked which agency I was with and who I reported to. I said, 'You don't get it. We are a separate, co-equal branch of government.' They all get that now."

When George stunned even his colleagues by announcing his retirement on July 14, he had in mind a successor who would keep intact the statewide system he had built. He recommended Sacramento Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, saying she had the administrative and diplomatic skills and a "backbone of steel" needed to deal with dissenting judges and a cash-strapped state.

Cantil-Sakauye, who is Filipina, will be the first non-white to serve as chief justice. George said he planned to spend his retirement traveling with his wife of 44 years , Barbara, spending time with their three adult sons and two granddaughters, and rereading the "great books." He does not intend to practice law.

Priced out of system

Soon after he was named chief justice, George discovered that the middle class as well as the poor had been priced out of the legal system. People with no legal education were appearing in court alone on such vital matters as child custody, guardianship, elder abuse, domestic violence and housing disputes.

George wanted the state to provide such litigants with legal aid lawyers, but the budget crisis forced him to settle for a temporary, pilot project, which starts in January. Even then, he had to resort to political wiles -- George described himself as "shameless" -- to get the governor's approval.

He told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the law would be named the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Law after Schwarzenegger's late father-in-law.

Under George's prodding, jury duty and jury instructions were revamped. He reported to jury duty four times as chief justice and changed the requirement for duty to one day or one trial a year.

Relations between the statewide judiciary and the Legislature, frayed when George became chief, warmed.

His predecessor, Malcolm M. Lucas, had infuriated legislators with a ruling that upheld term limits. Lockyer, who was then a legislator, said many of his colleagues thought Lucas "went out of his way to add gratuitous insult to the commentary."

"So Ron George had to clean up after the elephant," Lockyer said. "He restored relationships partly because he worked so hard and partly because he may be the most diplomatic human being I have met.... When I would try to provoke him, I couldn't."

George took command of cases that involved the Legislature or the governor, and when the court ruled against the other branches, he couched the losses in language designed not to give offense.

"Incredibly effective," is how state Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg described George. "He is not a partisan, and he doesn't go out of his way to poke you in the eye. He is a pretty darn good country politician."

George spent long hours in Sacramento seeking legislative approval for court bills. One legislator said she decided to vote his way because she was embarrassed to see the chief justice hanging in the hallway with the lobbyists.

Unpredictable

George created a commission to promote judicial independence. The effort to oust him for writing an opinion that overturned a parental-consent abortion law "sensitized him to the political vulnerability of judges," Uelmen said.

George's rulings favored a strong 1st Amendment and protection from discrimination for women and minorities, Uelmen said. He was considered conservative on most law-and-order issues, although two of his three final rulings were for the defense.

When he took over, the court was viewed as anti-plaintiff, with business expected to win over consumers. The court is no longer so predictable.

But George was not viewed as a legal trailblazer.

"Maybe that is incompatible with being the centrist that he is," said UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. "At a time when our society and legal system is deeply divided, he was such a non-divisive figure. "

Some scholars were dismayed by George's rulings on ballot measures. George has called for a reining in of the initiative process, which he views as increasingly controlled by moneyed special interests. But as a jurist he was more deferential.

"There are all sorts of laws I might personally view as foolish that I am bound to uphold," he said. And then, tellingly, he added: "The court can't be viewed as flouting the people's will."

Conservatives say that is what he did in the court's May 15, 2008, gay marriage ruling. He had met with each justice individually and wrestled with Perez v. Sharp, a 1948 California Supreme Court ruling that overturned a ban on interracial marriage and declared marriage a fundamental right.

"No matter which way we went," George said, "we had to cope with this law on the books."

After weeks of mulling the law and its effect on racial discrimination, George broke the tie. His decision not only gave gays the right to marry -- which voters took away six months later with Proposition 8 -- but also bestowed the same legal protection from discrimination the law had long given race and gender. No other state high court had afforded sexual orientation such constitutional status.

With his signature at the end of a 121-page ruling, the self-effacing jurist reputed for court administration left his most enduring stamp on the law and California history.

maura.dolan@latimes.com

--

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Key rulings by the chief justice

Same-sex marriage: George wrote the 6-1 decision in May 2009 to uphold Proposition 8, rejecting an argument that same-sex marriage could not be abolished by a constitutional amendment. A federal appeals court is now considering a challenge to the 2008 ballot measure.

Same-sex marriage:

George was the tie-breaker in the 4-3 decision in May 2008 to overturn a ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the state Constitution. The decision, written by George, was a bold surprise from the Republican-dominated court.

Abortion parental consent: In one of his most contentious rulings, George wrote the 4-3 decision in August 1997 that overturned a state law requiring girls under 18 to obtain consent from a parent or a judge to have an abortion. George said the 1987 law violated privacy rights guaranteed by the state Constitution.

Workplace drug testing: George wrote the 5-2 decision in January 1997 that governments can screen job applicants for drugs and alcohol but may not require blanket testing as a condition of promotion. The landmark ruling was the state high court's first decision on the constitutionality of workplace drug testing.

--

Source: Times reporting

PHOTO: RETIRING: Ronald M. George was California's chief justice for 14 years.

PHOTOGRAPHER:Dave Getzschman For The Times

PHOTO: (no caption)

PHOTOGRAPHER:Dave Getzschman For The Times

Copyright © 2010 Los Angeles Times

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Frustrated Employees Perceive Injustices at Work | Employee Psychological Distress & Unfair Work Treatment, Happy Employees | Business News Daily | View Clip
12/29/2010
BusinessNewsDaily

Frustrated Employees Perceive Injustices at Work

By Jeanette Mulvey, BusinessNewsDaily Managing Editor

If you're still looking for a New Year's Resolution for your company, here's a suggestion: Figure out how to stop frustrating your employees.

Workplace injustice – whether caused by unfair employee treatment or unequal distribution of pay – can cause significant psychological distress among employees. In order to avoid creating the feeling of injustice in the workplace, employers should consider creating clear boundaries between different types of employees.

That's the finding of new research that says that employees who feel that they belong to a smaller “sub-group” at work are less likely to resent what they perceive to be mistreatment in the workplace, which can lead to psychological distress that the National Mental Health Association estimates costs American businesses $193 billion a year.

“Psychological distress is often caused by an injustice, either real or perceived, which can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, exhaustion and disengagement from fellow workers,” said Chester Spell, Rutgers University professor of management. “Therefore organizations need to understand and address employees' mental health which can have a significant impact upon corporate effectiveness and profitability.”

Chester and his fellow researchers found that injustice in the workplace takes on several forms including procedural injustices, which have to do with the way decisions are made for the workplace group; distributive injustices or the perceived fairness of outcome distributions such as bonuses and pay raises; informational injustices, which is providing adequate and honest explanations for company decisions; and interpersonal injustices, which is the perceived fairness in treating individuals with dignity, respect and courtesy by supervisors or administrators.

Of the four, interpersonal injustice had the strongest effect on psychological distress, said Spell. Distributive injustice was next strongest.

“As expected, our results indicate that employees who feel their supervisors did not support them or look out for their interests were the most distressed,” Spell said. He added that injustices, bullying or abuse directed personally at an employee can hurt to the core, especially if done in front of others. “Such an attack really sticks on a person and affects their mental health in that workplace situation.”

Spell and co-researchers Katerina Bezrukova of Santa Clara University and Jamie Perry, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers, undertook a study to determine if the composition of work groups could play a role in reducing psychological distress arising from injustice.

One way, the researchers suggested, is through demographic fault lines, which are alignments of group member characteristics (for example: age, gender, seniority, education). “Fault lines are often considered disruptive and can cause rifts within the workplace. In fact, previous research has focused on how fault lines can create an environment of distrust, conflict and other problems,” Spell said.

However, there can be a positive side to these workplace divisions which can be healthy.

“We found that members of subgroups within a group with a faultline can cope with injustice by cooperating with each other and lessen the effects of injustice on psychological distress,” he said.

Injustices can vary across groups depending upon their demographic composition. When, for example, office policies seem to affect one subgroup more than others, they will often create an informal pact to address the supervisor about the perceived injustice. “People who are more alike (women, older people, occupational groups, etc.) may do this to protect themselves,” said Spell.

The study found that fault line subgroups tend to support their fellow workers who seem to be the target of unfair treatment.

“They can offer their concerns and help make other employees feel better about the interpersonal injustice inflicted upon their co-workers,” said Spell. “This support, in turn, shows how fault lines can be ‘healthy divides' by providing a potential coping mechanism for workplace injustices.

Spell said managers should be aware of the composition of work groups within the organization since fault lines are common in groups because of globalization and diversification of the workplace. For example, if an organization has gone through downsizing and layoffs and surviving employees are experiencing anxiety about their jobs, managers should recognize that groups with fault lines may actually buffer the effects of workforce reductions on employees' psychological well being.

The research is in the current issue of the Journal Personnel Psychology.

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Estudio sobre produccion intelectual en Computer Science | View Clip
12/29/2010
SYS-CON Media

Undergraduate CS Enrollment Continues Rising; Doctoral Production Drops 2008-2009 Taulbee Survey

By Stuart Zweben

The CRA Taulbee Survey1 is conducted annually by the Computing Research Association to document trends in student enrollment, degree production, employment of graduates, and faculty salaries in Ph.D.-granting departments of computer science (CS),computer engineering (CE) and information (I)2 in the United States and Canada. This article and the accompanying figures and tables present the results of the 39th annual CRA Taulbee Survey.

Information is gathered during the fall. Responses received by January 5, 2010 are included in the analysis. The period covered by the data varies from table to table. Degree production and enrollment (Ph.D., Master's, and Bachelor's) refer to the previous academic year (2008-09). Data for new students in all categories refer to the current academic year (2009-10). Projected student production and information on faculty salaries and demographics also refer to the current academic year. Faculty salaries are those effective January 1, 2010.

We surveyed a total of 265 Ph.D.-granting departments. Included in this count are twenty I-school departments, which we began surveying a year ago. Of the 265 departments surveyed, 188 returned their survey forms, for a response rate of 71%. This is down from last year's 73%, but is still quite comprehensive (see Figure 1) and is negatively influenced by the response rates of 60% and 53% from the I departments and Canadian departments, respectively, as well as the typical low response rate (40%) from CE programs. We had a good response rate from U.S. CS departments (147 of 184, or 80%), although it was lower than last year's 83% response for this group.3

This year's report includes information about teaching loads, space, support staff, graduate student recruiting methods, and sources of research funding. These questions are added to the survey every third year because the data in these areas change slowly.

Departments that responded to the survey were sent preliminary results about faculty salaries in December 2009; these results included additional distributional information not contained in this report. The CRA Board views this as a benefit of participating in the survey.

We thank all respondents who completed this year's questionnaire. Departments that participated are listed at the end of this article.

Ph.D. Degree Production, Enrollments and Employment (Tables 1-8)

For the first time since 2001-02, total Ph.D. production among the responding departments declined last year. For the period between July 2008 and June 2009 production was 1,747 (Table 1), a 6.9% decrease from last year. If the I degrees are eliminated from consideration, the decline is 8.3%, and if computer science Ph.D.s only are considered, the decline is 7.8% (see Tables 2 and 3).

A decline was predicted in earlier Taulbee Survey reports. However, economic conditions may have exacerbated the extent of the current decline, as some students choose to take longer to graduate when the job market is weak. There also were fewer departments reporting this year, but those who did not tended to be departments with small numbers of doctoral graduates.

This year's production of 1,747 is well below the 2,107 predicted last year. The “optimism ratio,” defined as the actual number divided by the predicted number, was 0.83, much worse than last year's 0.90. Departments notoriously over-predict the number of Ph.D. graduates. Next year, they predict 2,009 graduates, fewer than they predicted last year. While normally we should expect to see a continued decline in the production during 2009-10, the delayed graduations this past year will affect next year's results.

The number of new students passing thesis candidacy exams (most, but not all, departments have such exams) rose only 1% this year. When the I departments are subtracted, there was no longer an increase. The overall number of students passing the qualifier dropped slightly more than 3%. Without I departments, the decrease was slightly over 4%.

The total number of new Ph.D. students overall (Table 5) is about the same as last year, following a 10% increase reported last year. On a per-department basis, the numbers also held steady, as was the case last year. If only computer science doctoral students are considered, there is a slight decline, but that is due to the decline from Canadian schools, whose data are more volatile due to the relatively small number of departments reporting.

Figure 3 shows a graphical view of the pipeline for computer science programs. The data in this graph are normalized by the number of departments reporting. The graph offsets the qualifier data by one year from the data for new students, and offsets the graduation data by five years from the data for new students. These data have been useful in estimating the timing of changes in production rates, including this year's decline.

Table 5a reports the data for new students in fall 2009 from outside North America. U.S. computer science departments have a larger percentage of new students from outside North America this year than they did last year (60.3% vs. 55.6% last year). When all departments are considered, the increase was to 59.1% this year from 54.0% last year and 54.8% the previous year.

Figure 4 shows the employment trend of new Ph.D.s in academia and industry, and the proportion of those going to academia who took positions in departments other than Ph.D.-granting CS/CE departments. Table 4 shows a more detailed breakdown of the employment data for new Ph.D.s. Largely due to economic conditions, there was a noticeable shift in the sector of employment for 2008-09 graduates. Whereas 56.6% of 2007-08 doctoral graduates went into industry, only 47.1% of 2008-09 graduates did so. A similar number of graduates took tenure-track jobs in 2008-09 as did in 2007-08. However, many more graduates went into academic positions as researchers and post-doctoral employees in 2008-09. The new NSF Computing Innovation Fellows program had a lot to do with supporting this shift. In aggregate, academic employment comprised nearly 36% of the total in 2008-09, much higher than the 30% figure from last year.

The unemployment rate for new Ph.D.s remains approximately 1%. The proportion of Ph.D. graduates who were reported taking positions outside of North America, among those whose employment is known, rose to 9.9% from 9.2% last year. It is back to its level from two years ago.

Table 4 also indicates the areas of specialty of new CS/CE Ph.D.s. Year-to-year fluctuations among these data are common and multi-year trends are difficult to discern. This year, more doctoral graduates specialized in architecture, information science and information assurance/security, while a smaller proportion specialized in databases/information retrieval, software engineering, operating systems and theory/algorithms. A large number of graduates were reported as having their degree in some area not specified.

Gender and ethnicity characteristics of enrolled doctoral students are similar to those of a year ago.

Master's and Bachelor's Degree Production and Enrollments (Tables 9-16)

This section reports data about enrollment and degree production for Master's and Bachelor's programs in the doctoral-granting departments. Although the absolute number of degrees and students enrolled reported herein only reflect departments that offer the doctoral degree, the trends observed in the master's and bachelor's data from these departments tend to strongly reflect trends in the larger population of programs that offer such degrees.

At the master's degree level, production declined 5.2% in 2008-09, to 9,483 from last year's 9,998 (Tables 9b-11b). The decline in CS departments was 6.7%. This decline is consistent with last year's observation of lower enrollments in master's programs, although not consistent with the departments' own predictions of higher production. Master's degree production also declined among I school departments, but increased in CE departments.

There was less than a 1% change in the proportion of female graduates among CS master's recipients in 2008-09 (22.1% vs. 21.2% the previous year) and an overall 1% increase among total master's recipients, due primarily to an increase in I school department graduates; in fact, for the past few years, there has been little change in the gender balance among master's recipients. A higher fraction of the recipients were non-resident aliens in 2008-09 (62.2% vs. 55.8% the previous year in CS, and 55.2% vs. 49.5% the previous year overall) and this continues a trend toward a larger international graduating class, and correspondingly fewer U.S.-resident white graduates, among master's recipients. Other ethnicity characteristics showed little change, but the fraction of master's graduates in these other categories is small.

The number of new master's students overall (Table 13) held steady this year at 7,593, though there was a slight increase (less than 2%) in the number of new students in computer science programs. A similar observation can be made for total master's program enrollment. This suggests that future master's degree production will not change much in the short term.

Overall bachelor's degree production in 2009 was down 12% from that in 2008. Bachelor's degree production in U.S. computer science departments also was down 12% (Tables 9a-11a). These decreases are a legacy of the decline in enrollments experienced earlier this decade, and also may be due in part to the decreased number of departments reporting.

However, the number of new students in U.S. CS programs continues to increase (Table 14). There was an 8.5% increase in the number of new CS majors among U.S. computer science departments and a 9% increase in the number of new pre-majors (students who are pursuing a curriculum for the major in computer science but as yet have not declared their official major). Total enrollment among majors and pre-majors in U.S. CS departments increased 4.2%, and if only majors are considered, the increase is 5.5% over last year (Table 16). This is the second straight year of these increases, and should result in an increased number of bachelor's degrees produced in these departments within another two years.

In Canada, the number of new CS majors increased by 8%, but the total number of CS majors declined by over 7%. Since relatively few Canadian departments participated, these trends are influenced significantly by the specific departments reporting. However, since the number of new CS majors in Canada increased for the second straight year, it appears that Canadian CS departments are headed for increased bachelor's degree production as well.

Because of the newness of the I-school data, it is not appropriate to try to discern any enrollment patterns at this time. Computer engineering enrollment data appear comparable to those from last year in aggregate, although there are more majors and fewer pre-majors this year.

Gender and ethnicity data show similar patterns this year as last year (Tables 9aand 10a). Only 11.3% of bachelor's graduates in CS were women, and 68.9% were white. The latter figure is an increase of 3 percentage points over last year, countered by slight declines in most of the other ethnicity categories.

Faculty Demographics (Tables 17-23)

For the first time in recent memory, actual faculty size declined this year, both in terms of total faculty as well as tenure-track faculty. Tenure-track faculty totals are down 6.7% from last year, and the total number of faculty is down 1.5% (Table 17). These declines are mitigated by the decrease in the number of departments reporting, particularly with respect to Canadian departments. Among U.S. CS departments the overall decline was 3%, but the top 24 departments experienced 1%-3% increases in the number of tenure-track faculty, while lower ranked departments experienced declines of 4% to 5% in their tenure-track faculty size (Table 18a). In aggregate, U.S. CS departments overestimated their faculty size by more than 6%.

There was a 7.7% increase in the number of postdocs and a 21% increase in the number of teaching faculty among the reporting departments. At U.S. CS departments the number of postdocs was fairly constant among the top 24 departments, with significant increases at the lower rankings, while for teaching faculty there were at least 25% increases in all the ranking strata. At least some of the increase in postdocs undoubtedly is due to the new Computing Innovation Fellows program (information at http://cifellows.org/).

Table 18b shows the clear effects of the economy on faculty hiring this past year. Whereas in 2007-08 there were 505 reported tenure-track faculty vacancies in the reporting departments, in 2008-09 there were only 254, roughly a 50% decrease. Among U.S. CS departments the decline was 38% and among U.S. I departments the decline was over 60%. Among all departments, the fraction of these positions that were filled rose from 26.7% in 2007-08 to 35.4% in 2008-09. This likely is due to a combination of the fact that there were fewer positions available and that, in 2007-08, halts in the hiring process took place in mid-year that affected the ability of several departments to complete searches that had begun.

The fraction of women hired into tenure-track positions rose from 21.9% in 2007-08 to 23.1% in 2008-09, close to its 23.9% level of 2006-07. This year's level of tenure-track faculty hiring is again slightly above the fraction of new Ph.D.s who were women (21.2%). The fraction of women among new postdocs rose from 14.2% to 15.3%. Again there was an increased percentage of new faculty members who are Nonresident Aliens and an increase in the percentage of Asians, offset by a decreased percentage of Whites. The African American percentage of new tenure-track hires this year declined from 3.4% to 2.0%.

There was a slight increase in the overall fraction of women at each of the tenure-track ranks (Table 21). The largest increase was at the assistant professor level, where the fraction of women rose from 21.7% last year to 24.3% this year. There also are more Asians and fewer Whites among current faculty at each of the tenure-track ranks this year compared with last year (Table 22).

For next year, reporting departments forecast a 2% growth in tenure-track faculty. This is about half the growth rate forecast last year.

There was a 30% drop in the number of faculty losses this year, with fewer retirements and much less movement to other positions, both academic and non-academic. Economic conditions and the concomitant decline in the number of open positions undoubtedly affected these statistics (Table 23).

Research Expenditures and Graduate Student Support (Tables 24-26)

Table 24-1 shows the department's total expenditure (including indirect costs or "overhead" as stated on project budgets) from external sources of support. Table 24-2 shows the per capita expenditure, where capitation is computed two ways. The first is relative to the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty members. The second is relative to researchers and postdocs as well as tenured and tenure-track faculty. Canadian levels are shown in Canadian dollars. The data indicate that the higher the ranking, the more external funding is received by the department (both in total and per capita).

This year the mean total expenditures were flat among CS departments ranked 1-12, increased in CS departments ranked 13-36 (with a 15.7% increase in departments ranked 25-36), and decreased by nearly 16% in departments ranked below 36. Median total expenditures were fairly flat in rank 1-12 and ranks lower than 36, with 12% to 14% increases in ranks 13-36. Among U.S. I departments the mean rose and the median declined from last year, while among Canadian departments the mean declined and the median rose.

Per-capita expenditure results also were mixed this year. Among U.S. rank 1-12 CS departments, both mean and median funding were flat, except that using the second capitation method the median funding was down 8.5%. For rank 13-24 departments, mean funding was very slightly higher (1% to 3%) while median funding rose 6.5% using the first capitation method, but dropped 8.7% using the second capitation method. Rank 25-36 departments showed gains for both capitation methods in both mean and median expenditures, ranging from 4.9% for median expenditures using the second capitation method to 44% for means using the second capitation method. Departments ranked lower than 36 showed declines for both capitation methods in both mean and median expenditures, ranging from 7.3% to 11.8%. I departments showed increases in means and flat medians, while Canadian departments showed increased medians and decreased means. These clearly were influenced by the specific departments reporting this year vs. last year.

Table 25 shows the number of graduate students supported as full-time students as of fall 2009, further categorized as teaching assistants (TAs), research assistants (RAs), fellows, or computer systems supporters, and split between those on institutional vs. external funds. The number of TAs in CS departments decreased between 10% and 20% this year, depending on ranking strata. However, departments appeared to be able to support at least as many students in total this year as last year, generally through shifting TA support to either RA or fellow support.

Median stipends for TAs and RAs declined at least 5% in more highly ranked U.S. CS departments, while they remained fairly steady in lower ranked departments (Table 26). Entries in this table show the net amount (as of fall 2009) of an academic-year stipend for a first-year doctoral student (not including tuition or fees). Canadian stipends are shown in Canadian dollars.

Faculty Salaries (Tables 27-35)

Each department was asked to report individual (but anonymous) faculty salaries if possible; otherwise, the department was requested to provide the minimum, median, mean, and maximum salaries for each rank (full, associate, and assistant professors and non-tenure-track teaching faculty) and the number of persons at each rank. The salaries are those in effect on January 1, 2010. For U.S. departments, nine-month salaries are reported in U.S. dollars. For Canadian departments, twelve-month salaries are reported in Canadian dollars. Respondents were asked to include salary supplements such as salary monies from endowed positions.

The tables contain data about ranges and measures of central tendency only. Those departments reporting individual salaries were provided more comprehensive distributional information in December 2009. This year, 83% of those reporting salary data provided salaries at the individual level.

We also report salary data based on time in rank. When comparing individual or departmental faculty salaries with national averages, time in rank may make the analysis more meaningful. We report associate professor salaries for time in rank of 7 years or less, and of more than 7 years. For full professors, we report time in rank of 7 years or less, 8-15 years, and more than 15 years.

The minimum and maximum of the reported salary minima (and maxima) are self-explanatory. The range of salaries in a given rank among departments that reported data for that rank is the interval ["minimum of the minima," "maximum of the maxima"].

The mean of the reported salary minima (maxima) in a given rank is computed by summing the departmental reported minimum (maximum) and dividing by the number of departments reporting data at that rank. The “average of dept median salaries” at each rank is computed by summing the individual medians reported at each rank and dividing by the number of departments reporting at that rank. Thus, it is not a true median of all the salaries. Similarly, "average of dept mean salaries” at each rank is computed by summing the individual means reported at each rank and dividing by the number of departments reporting at that rank. Thus, it is not a true average of all the salaries. Overall U.S. CS average salaries (Table 27) increased between 0.4% and 1.6%, depending on tenure-track rank, and 1.0% for non-tenure-track teaching faculty. Assistant professor average salaries had the lowest increases this year, and in general, the increases are lower than those experienced in the past few years for all faculty ranks. This is not surprising given the economic situation in effect when these salary increases were decided.

Canadian salaries (Table 33) rose 3.6% to 5.5% among tenure-track ranks, with thelargestincrease at the assistant professor rank and the smallest at the full professor rank. Non-tenure-track teaching faculty salaries for Canadian departments rose only 0.6%. Because of the sample sizes, Canadian values are affected more strongly than are U.S. values by the particular set of schools that responded to this year's survey compared to those who responded last year.

Average salaries for new Ph.D.s (those who received their Ph.D. last year and then joined departments as tenure-track faculty) increased 1.5% from those reported in last year's survey (Table 35). This is similar to the 1.2% increase that was observed last yearfor new Ph.D.s. Again this year, there were too few new Ph.D. salaries in Canadian departments to make meaningful comparisons.

Additional Department Profiles Analysis

Every three years, the Taulbee Survey collects data about elements of department activities that are not expected to change much from year to year. Included are data about teaching loads, sources of external funding, methods of recruiting graduate students, department support staff, and space. The most recent data about these activities were collected in the 2005-06 Taulbee Survey. The results of this survey are available on the CRA web site at (http://archive.cra.org/statistics/survey/0506.pdf). Since I departments were not surveyed then, no comparative statements can be made with previous data for these departments.

Teaching Loads (Tables 36-39)

Compared with three years ago, mean teaching loads are slightly higher among Canadian departments and U.S. departments ranked lower than 24, and slightly lower among U.S. CE departments and the top 24 U.S. CS departments (Table 36). Median teaching loads are lower in departments ranked 13-24 and are higher in departments ranked 25-36, but the same in other strata. Nearly all departments allow reductions from the standard load (similar to three years ago), while about two-thirds allow increases (somewhat less than the 73% that did so three years ago) (Table 37a). Tables 37b and38 show the reasons why these increases and decreases are allowed. These percentages are similar to those three years ago, although in aggregate more departments (86% vs. 76% three years ago) now allow reductions for administrative duties. The inclusion of I departments, in which 100% of those reporting allow reductions for administrative duties, is largely responsible for this overall increase.

Sources of External Funding (Tables 40-46)

Among U.S. top 12 departments, the most significant changes in sources of research funding are a decline in the fraction of funding from DARPA (to 13.1% from 21.6% three years ago) and increases from NIH funding (to 5.2% from 2.7%) and from industry sources (to 17.7% from 12.2%). Departments ranked 13-24 exhibited similar directional changes in these same categories. Departments ranked 25-36 showed shifts from NSF, DARPA and NIH to industry and other defense sources. Departments ranked lower than 36 showed less volatility in the funding sources, although they also showed decreased support from DARPA (from 5% to 1.7%). Computer engineering departments showed declines in DARPA, DOE and state agency share of support, while showing an increase in the share from other defense sources. As Table 46 shows, overall DARPA funding dropped from 10.8% of the total to 5.9% of the total, while NIH and industry increased somewhat as sources of support.

Canadian departments showed an increase in the proportion of their funding from NSERC, from 40.5% to 46.6%, and a corresponding decline in the proportion from other federal sources (from 15.3% to 9.0%).

Other Graduate Student Data (Tables 47-49)

Table 47 shows the factors affecting graduate student stipends. Overall, each of the factors affects stipends in a smaller percentage of departments than was the case three years ago. However, there are differences in the specific strata. For example, advancement to the next stage of the graduate program and years of service each affect stipends in a greater percentage of departments ranked 1-12 and 25-36. GPA affects a greater percentage of departments ranked 13-24, and recruiting enhancements affect a greater percentage of departments ranked 13-36. Within these U.S. CS departments ranking strata, the differences typically reflect a change in only one department of the 12.

Overall, there is a somewhat smaller percentage of departments that use stipend enhancements and summer support as recruiting incentives, as compared with three years ago (Table 48).

Departmental Support Staff (Tables 50-52)

The median amount of administrative staff declined in U.S. CS departments ranked 1-24, and was comparable in other U.S. CS and in Canadian departments. Median computer support staff fell in rank 13-24 departments, but rose slightly in departments ranked 25-36. Median number of research support staff fell in top 12 departments, but there appeared to be slight increases in overall research support staff among other U.S. CS departments.

Space (Tables 53-60)

Median total space, as well as conference room and seminar space, rose in all U.S. CS ranking strata and in Canadian departments, but fell in U.S. CE departments. Research lab space rose except in U.S. CS rank 13-24 and CE departments. On the other hand, instructional lab space decreased except for Canadian departments. Office space changes were less consistent across the strata. The CE departments' anomaly likely is influenced by the particular departments reporting this year versus those who reported three years ago.

About one quarter of departments report definite plans for increased space, with most of this planned for the next two years.

Concluding Observations

The fact that student interest in undergraduate computing programs continues to increase is heartening to our profession and consistent with the interests of governments in nurturing STEM(M) disciplines. While we have increased worldwide participation in our graduate programs, it would be helpful to also increase interest in these graduate programs among domestic graduates of our bachelor's programs.

The changing economic conditions that affected Ph.D. employment this past year may continue for another year, but we can hope for an economic recovery that will restore a better balance in industry vs. academic employment soon. Though production of new CS Ph.D.s has declined, it remains high and is forecast to continue to do so. Thus, both the academic and corporate sectors need to be strong so that the talents of these graduates can be used to maximal advantage.

Rankings

For tables that group computer science departments by rank, the rankings are based on information collected in the 1995 assessment of research and doctorate programs in the United States conducted by the National Research Council (NRC) [see http://www.cra.org/statistics/nrcstudy2/home.html].

The top twelve schools in this ranking are: Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California (Berkeley), Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Princeton, University of Texas (Austin), University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), University of Washington, University of Wisconsin (Madison), Harvard, and California Institute of Technology. All schools in this ranking participated in the survey this year.

CS departments ranked 13-24 are: Brown, Yale, University of California (Los Angeles), University of Maryland (College Park), New York University, University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Rice, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, University of California (San Diego), Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania.4 All schools in this ranking participated in the survey this year. CS departments ranked 25-36 are: University of Chicago, Purdue, Rutgers, Duke, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), University of Rochester, State University of New York (Stony Brook), Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, University of California (Irvine), University of Virginia, and Indiana. All schools in this ranking participated in the survey this year. CS departments that are ranked above 36 or that are unranked that responded to the survey include: Arizona State University, Auburn, Binghamton, Boston University, Case Western Reserve, City University of New York Graduate Center, Clarkson, College of William and Mary, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State, Dartmouth, DePaul, Drexel, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida International, Florida State, George Mason, George Washington, Georgia State, Illinois Institute of Technology, Iowa State, Johns Hopkins, Kansas State, Kent State, Lehigh, Louisiana State, Michigan State, Michigan Technological, Mississippi State, Montana State, Naval Postgraduate School, New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New Mexico State, North Carolina State, Northeastern, Northwestern, Oakland, Ohio State, Old Dominion, Oregon State, Pace, Pennsylvania State, Polytechnic, Portland State, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Rochester Institute of Technology, Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), Stevens Institute of Technology, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Toyota Technological Institute (Chicago), Tufts, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Washington State, Washington (St. Louis), Wayne State, Worcester Polytechnic, and Wright State.

University of: Alabama (Birmingham and Tuscaloosa), Albany, Arkansas (Fayetteville), Buffalo, California (at Davis, Irving, Riverside, and Santa Cruz), Cincinnati, Colorado (Boulder), Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois (Chicago), Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana (Lafayette), Maine, Maryland (Baltimore Co.), Massachusetts (at Boston and Lowell), Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri (at Columbia), Nebraska (Lincoln), Nevada (Las Vegas and Reno), New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina (Charlotte), North Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, South Florida, Southern Mississippi, Tennessee (Knoxville), Texas (at Arlington, Dallas, El Paso, and San Antonio), Tulsa, Utah, and Wyoming.

Computer Engineering departments participating in the survey this year include: Boston University, Florida Institute of Technology, Iowa State, Northeastern, Princeton, Santa Clara University, Virginia Tech, and the Universities of California (Santa Cruz), Houston, Iowa, New Mexico, Rochester, and Southern California.

Canadian departments participating in the survey include:Dalhousie, McGill, Memorial, Queen's, Simon Fraser, and York Universities, and the Universities of: Alberta, British Columbia, Calgary, Manitoba, Montreal, New Brunswick, Ottawa, Saskatchewan, Toronto, Waterloo, and Western Ontario.

Information departments participating in the survey include:Drexel, Indiana, Penn State, and Syracuse Universities, and the Universities of: California (Berkeley, Irvine, Los Angeles, and Santa Cruz), Maryland (College Park and Baltimore County), Michigan, Pittsburgh, and Texas (Austin).

Acknowledgments

Betsy Bizot once again provided valuable assistance with the data collection, tabulation, and analysis for this survey. Thanks also are due to Susanne Hambrusch and Jean Smith for their careful reading of the report and for their helpful suggestions to improve it. Endnotes The title of the survey honors the late Orrin E. Taulbee of the University of Pittsburgh, who conducted these surveys for the Computer Science Board until 1984, with retrospective annual data going back to 1970. Information (I) programs included here are Information Science, Information Systems, Information Technology, Informatics, and related disciplines with a strong computing component. In fall 2008, the first year these programs were surveyed as part of Taulbee, surveys were sent to CRA members, the CRA-Deans IT group members, and participants in the iSchools Caucus (www.ischools.org) who met the criteria of granting Ph.D.s and being located in North America. Other I-programs who meet these criteria and would like to participate in the survey in future years are invited to contact survey@cra.org for inclusion. The set of departments responding varies slightly from year to year, even when the total numbers are about the same; thus, we must approach any trend analysis with caution. We must be especially cautious in using the data about CE and I departments because of the low response rate. Although the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago were tied in the National Research Council rankings, CRA made the arbitrary decision to place Pennsylvania in the second tier of schools. All tables with rankings: Statistics sometimes are given according to departmental rank. Schools are ranked only if they offer a CS degree and according to the quality of their CS program as determined by reputation. Those that only offer CE or I degrees are not ranked, and statistics are given on a separate line, apart from the rankings. All ethnicity tables: Ethnic breakdowns are drawn from guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Education. All faculty tables: The survey makes no distinction between faculty specializing in CS vs. CE programs. Every effort is made to minimize the inclusion of faculty in electrical engineering who are not computer engineers.

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Court To AFP: Pics Aren't Free Just Because They're On Twitter | paidContent | View Clip
12/29/2010
paidContent.org

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Agence France-Presse stunned the Twitter-sphere last month when the wire service

defended itself against a copyright claim brought by Daniel Morel, a photographer who captured iconic images of the Haiti earthquake, by saying that the photos were essentially free for the taking because they'd been shared over Twitter and TwitPic. Tweeting photographers can rest easy, because now a court has ruled that AFP isn't off the hook, and will have to answer for its unauthorized use of Morel's images.

The case was closely watched because it was one of the first legal tests of the rules around news agencies' use of content from Twitter, which has become an increasingly important component of breaking-news coverage.

Morel took several iconic photos of the Haiti disaster, and uploaded them to TwitPic, a service that allows Twitter users to easily share photos. He also advertised, via Twitter, that his photos were available for purchase. However, according to Morel's account in court documents, his photos were illegally copied by Lisandro Suero, a resident of the Dominican Republic. Several major news agencies, including the AFP and

Newsweek, published Morel's photos but improperly credited them to Suero, and never paid Morel.

Morel, who was born in Haiti in 1951 and lived there until he moved to the U.S. at the age of 18, was one of a few professional photojournalists in Port-au-Prince when the city was hit by an earthquake on Jan. 12.

AFP had claimed that it had broad re-use rights because of Twitter's terms of service. "This broad re-use is evidenced every day when Twitter/TwitPic posts are copied, reprinted, quoted, and republished by third parties," wrote AFP's lawyers.

But that argument was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley, who wrote in his opinion [

PDF] that Twitter's terms of use "does not clearly confer a right on others to re-use copyrighted postings."

Now that AFP has lost key arguments of its motion to dismiss, Morel can move ahead with his copyright claims against AFP and other news companies that used the photo. Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman, who has been observing the case,

Sears Follows Other Big Retailers, Launches Digital Download Store Court To AFP: Pics Aren't Free Just Because They're On Twitter

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Court To AFP: Pics Aren't Free Just Because They're On Twitter | View Clip
12/29/2010
MocoNews.net

Agence France-Presse stunned the Twitter-sphere last month when the wire service defended itself against a copyright claim brought by Daniel Morel, a photographer who captured iconic images of the Haiti earthquake, by saying that the photos were essentially free for the taking because they'd been shared over Twitter and TwitPic. Tweeting photographers can rest easy, because now a court has ruled that AFP isn't off the hook, and will have to answer for its unauthorized use of Morel's images.

The case was closely watched because it was one of the first legal tests of the rules around news agencies' use of content from Twitter, which has become an increasingly important component of breaking-news coverage.

Morel took several iconic photos of the Haiti disaster, and uploaded them to TwitPic, a service that allows Twitter users to easily share photos. He also advertised, via Twitter, that his photos were available for purchase. However, according to Morel's account in court documents, his photos were illegally copied by Lisandro Suero, a resident of the Dominican Republic. Several major news agencies, including the AFP and Newsweek, published Morel's photos but improperly credited them to Suero, and never paid Morel.

Morel, who was born in Haiti in 1951 and lived there until he moved to the U.S. at the age of 18, was one of a few professional photojournalists in Port-au-Prince when the city was hit by an earthquake on Jan. 12.

AFP had claimed that it had broad re-use rights because of Twitter's terms of service. “This broad re-use is evidenced every day when Twitter/TwitPic posts are copied, reprinted, quoted, and republished by third parties,” wrote AFP's lawyers.

But that argument was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley, who wrote in his opinion [PDF] that Twitter's terms of use “does not clearly confer a right on others to re-use copyrighted postings.”

Now that AFP has lost key arguments of its motion to dismiss, Morel can move ahead with his copyright claims against AFP and other news companies that used the photo. Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman, who has been observing the case, writes:

“AFP made numerous mistakes that resulted in infringing photos being injected into the news coverage of a major world crisis, which inadvertently tainted a variety of downstream media properties—all of whom, due to copyright's strict liability standard, are likely to write checks to Morel. AFP and its unfortunate partners should end their likely-futile and sometimes-silly defense and settle up with Morel so that everyone can move on to more productive endeavors.”

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California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy | View Clip
12/29/2010
Los Angeles Times - Online

George will leave the state Supreme Court on Jan. 2. He consolidated municipal and superior courts and brought them under his authority. He also wrote key decisions on abortion and same-sex marriage. Faced with the self-assigned task of writing the California Supreme Court's first ruling on gay marriage, Chief Justice Ronald M. George drafted an opinion in early 2008 with two different endings. One gave same-sex couples the right to marry. The other didn't. Then he asked the six associate justices for reaction.

George soon learned that his colleagues were split 3 to 3. His vote would decide the most burning civil rights question of the day.

George's handling of the marriage case was emblematic of his tenure as California's 27th chief justice. He was a centrist, the tie-breaker on the state high court, but also willing to put his reputation on the line and do the unpredictable.

When he steps down on midnight, Jan. 2, after four decades as a pivotal player in California law, George will leave behind a court system that is vastly different from the one he inherited. Law professors and others expect him to have an enduring legacy.

"He was the most extraordinary leader of the Supreme Court in modern history," said Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat and former legislator and attorney general.

George, 70, took big risks as head of the California judiciary, consolidating courts and bringing them under his authority to turn the judicial branch into a single, independent force. He created self-help services for people who could not afford lawyers. He insisted that courts have interpreters for the non-English speaking. He wrote a 1996 abortion ruling that triggered a campaign to unseat him.

But the moderate Republican jurist was legally cautious, disinclined to take the law to new places. He was what one law professor called "a tinkerer." The mostly Republican, relatively conservative court he headed is widely considered one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country, but was not known for innovative legal thinking.

As a jurist George moved the court closer to the middle and stressed compromise. The dissent rate under George plummeted. His rulings were sound but rarely soared, scholars said.

"He brought a lot of brainpower and political savvy to the position of chief justice," said Golden Gate Law School professor Peter Keane. George grew up in Beverly Hills, the son of a Hungarian immigrant mother and French immigrant father. He was groomed for foreign affairs, but eventually decided international diplomacy was not for him. Law school at Stanford University was a fall-back position. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.

He chose to practice law in government, eschewing the vastly higher pay of the private sector. He became a deputy attorney general, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, a trial judge in Los Angeles County, an appeals court judge and finally an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. Former Gov. Pete Wilson elevated him to chief justice in 1996.

Shortly after being elevated, the new chief justice went on the road, a state map and a yellow marker in his back pocket. He inspected the courts in all 58 counties and discovered that some were teetering.

He met a judge whose chambers was a converted broom closet. He found jurors sharing an entrance with manacled prisoners. He once had to cut a quick check to keep a courthouse from closing.

Armed with his findings, he lobbied for and won state approval of a vast restructuring of the judiciary. More than 200 municipal and superior courts were merged into a single trial court system, and 532 courthouses went from county to judicial-branch ownership.

George said justice should be equal from county to county. He wanted uniform policies and practices, and he figured the judiciary would have more clout in Sacramento if it spoke with one voice.

Legal analysts consider the consolidation of the courts a historic achievement. George has received national recognition and awards for his work.

"It is a much more efficient system," said Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, an analyst of California courts. "I think he will rank up there ? as one of the most effective administrators the court has ever had."

George's critics, however, saw a power grab. The Administrative Office of the Courts, which now runs the court system, rapidly grew. Some trial judges resented the loss of independence and derided the ballooning bureaucracy as wasteful. They dubbed him "King George."

A group of dissenters formed the Alliance of California Judges. The membership is confidential, but the directors claim that more than 200 of the state's 1,700 judges belong.

Their aim is to restore more autonomy to the trial courts. They were particularly incensed when George decided to close courts one day a month for almost a year rather than make other cuts.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles Horan, one of the founding members of the group, complained that George pursued a failed model of judicial administration that "demanded centralized decision-making by an insular minority of loyalists, actively squelched dissent and greatly and unacceptably diminished the role of the trial courts and trial judges in the management of the affairs of the judiciary."

George said such complaints were inevitable. When some judges critical of the consolidation suggested the powerful, policy-making Judicial Council be filled with elected judges, rather than those selected by the chief, George declared that would be "a declaration of war."

"We really have created a judicial branch ? not just in name or theory ? but in reality," George said. "When I first went to Sacramento, I was asked which agency I was with and who I reported to. I said, 'You don't get it. We are a separate, co-equal branch of government.' They all get that now."

When George stunned even his colleagues by announcing his retirement on July 14, he had in mind a successor who would keep intact the statewide system he had built. He recommended Sacramento Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, saying she had the administrative and diplomatic skills and a "backbone of steel" needed to deal with dissenting judges and a cash-strapped state.

Cantil-Sakauye, who is Filipina, will be the first non-white to serve as chief justice. George said he planned to spend his retirement traveling with his wife of 44 years, Barbara, spending time with their three adult sons and two granddaughters, and rereading the "great books." He does not intend to practice law. Soon after he was named chief justice, George discovered that the middle class as well as the poor had been priced out of the legal system. People with no legal education were appearing in court alone on such vital matters as child custody, guardianship, elder abuse, domestic violence and housing disputes.

George wanted the state to provide such litigants with legal aid lawyers, but the budget crisis forced him to settle for a temporary, pilot project, which starts in January. Even then, he had to resort to political wiles ? George described himself as "shameless" ? to get the governor's approval.

He told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the law would be named the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Law after Schwarzenegger's late father-in-law.

Under George's prodding, jury duty and jury instructions were revamped. He reported to jury duty four times as chief justice and changed the requirement for duty to one day or one trial a year.

Relations between the statewide judiciary and the Legislature, frayed when George became chief, warmed.

His predecessor, Malcolm M. Lucas, had infuriated legislators with a ruling that upheld term limits. Lockyer, who was then a legislator, said many of his colleagues thought Lucas "went out of his way to add gratuitous insult to the commentary."

"So Ron George had to clean up after the elephant," Lockyer said. "He restored relationships partly because he worked so hard and partly because he may be the most diplomatic human being I have met?. When I would try to provoke him, I couldn't."

George took command of cases that involved the Legislature or the governor, and when the court ruled against the other branches, he couched the losses in language designed not to give offense.

"Incredibly effective," is how state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg described George. "He is not a partisan, and he doesn't go out of his way to poke you in the eye. He is a pretty darn good country politician."

George spent long hours in Sacramento seeking legislative approval for court bills. One legislator said she decided to vote his way because she was embarrassed to see the chief justice hanging in the hallway with the lobbyists.

George created a commission to promote judicial independence. The effort to oust him for writing an opinion that overturned a parental-consent abortion law "sensitized him to the political vulnerability of judges," Uelmen said.

George's rulings favored a strong 1st Amendment and protection from discrimination for women and minorities, Uelmen said. He was considered conservative on most law-and-order issues, although two of his three final rulings were for the defense.

When he took over, the court was viewed as anti-plaintiff, with business expected to win over consumers. The court is no longer so predictable.

But George was not viewed as a legal trailblazer.

"Maybe that is incompatible with being the centrist that he is," said UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. "At a time when our society and legal system is deeply divided, he was such a non-divisive figure."

Some scholars were dismayed by George's rulings on ballot measures. George has called for a reining in of the initiative process, which he views as increasingly controlled by moneyed special interests. But as a jurist he was more deferential.

"There are all sorts of laws I might personally view as foolish that I am bound to uphold," he said. And then, tellingly, he added: "The court can't be viewed as flouting the people's will."

Conservatives say that is what he did in the court's May 15, 2008, gay marriage ruling. He had met with each justice individually and wrestled with Perez v. Sharp, a 1948 California Supreme Court ruling that overturned a ban on interracial marriage and declared marriage a fundamental right.

"No matter which way we went," George said, "we had to cope with this law on the books."

After weeks of mulling the law and its effect on racial discrimination, George broke the tie. His decision not only gave gays the right to marry ? which voters took away six months later with Proposition 8 ? but also bestowed the same legal protection from discrimination the law had long given race and gender. No other state high court had afforded sexual orientation such constitutional status.

With his signature at the end of a 121-page ruling, the self-effacing jurist reputed for court administration left his most enduring stamp on the law and California history.

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California Chief Justice Ronald George leaves historic legacy | View Clip
12/29/2010
Island Packet - Online

SAN FRANCISCO Faced with the self-assigned task of writing the California Supreme Court's first ruling on gay marriage, Chief Justice Ronald M. George drafted an opinion in early 2008 with two different endings. One gave same-sex couples the right to marry. The other didn't. Then he asked the six associate justices for reaction.

George soon learned that his colleagues were split 3-3. His vote would decide the most burning civil rights question of the day.

George's handling of the marriage case was emblematic of his tenure as California's 27th chief justice. He was a centrist, the tie-breaker on the state high court, but also willing to put his reputation on the line and do the unpredictable.

When he steps down on midnight, Jan. 2, after four decades as a pivotal player in California law, George will leave behind a court system that is vastly different from the one he inherited. Law professors and others expect him to have an enduring legacy.

"He was the most extraordinary leader of the Supreme Court in modern history," said Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat and former legislator and attorney general.

George, 70, took big risks as head of the California judiciary, consolidating courts and bringing them under his authority to turn the judicial branch into a single, independent force. He created self-help services for people who could not afford lawyers. He insisted that courts have interpreters for the non-English speaking. He wrote a 1996 abortion ruling that triggered a campaign to unseat him.

But the moderate Republican jurist was legally cautious, disinclined to take the law to new places. He was what one law professor called "a tinkerer." The mostly Republican, relatively conservative court he headed is widely considered one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country, but was not known for innovative legal thinking.

As a jurist George moved the court closer to the middle and stressed compromise. The dissent rate under George plummeted. His rulings were sound but rarely soared, scholars said.

"He brought a lot of brainpower and political savvy to the position of chief justice," said Golden Gate Law School professor Peter Keane.

George grew up in Beverly Hills, the son of a Hungarian immigrant mother and French immigrant father. He was groomed for foreign affairs, but eventually decided international diplomacy was not for him. Law school at Stanford University was a fall-back position. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.

He chose to practice law in government, eschewing the vastly higher pay of the private sector. He became a deputy attorney general, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, a trial judge in Los Angeles County, an appeals court judge and finally an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. Former Gov. Pete Wilson elevated him to chief justice in 1996.

Shortly after being elevated, the new chief justice went on the road, a state map and a yellow marker in his back pocket. He inspected the courts in all 58 counties and discovered that some were teetering.

He met a judge whose chambers was a converted broom closet. He found jurors sharing an entrance with manacled prisoners. He once had to cut a quick check to keep a courthouse from closing.

Armed with his findings, he lobbied for and won state approval of a vast restructuring of the judiciary. More than 200 municipal and superior courts were merged into a single trial court system, and 532 courthouses went from county to judicial-branch ownership.

George said justice should be equal from county to county. He wanted uniform policies and practices, and he figured the judiciary would have more clout in Sacramento if it spoke with one voice.

Legal analysts consider the consolidation of the courts a historic achievement. George has received national recognition and awards for his work.

"It is a much more efficient system," said Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, an analyst of California courts. "I think he will rank up there ... as one of the most effective administrators the court has ever had."

George's critics, however, saw a power grab. The Administrative Office of the Courts, which now runs the court system, rapidly grew. Some trial judges resented the loss of independence and derided the ballooning bureaucracy as wasteful. They dubbed him "King George."

A group of dissenters formed the Alliance of California Judges. The membership is confidential, but the directors claim that more than 200 of the state's 1,700 judges belong.

Their aim is to restore more autonomy to the trial courts. They were particularly incensed when George decided to close courts one day a month for almost a year rather than make other cuts.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles Horan, one of the founding members of the group, complained that George pursued a failed model of judicial administration that "demanded centralized decision-making by an insular minority of loyalists, actively squelched dissent and greatly and unacceptably diminished the role of the trial courts and trial judges in the management of the affairs of the judiciary."

George said such complaints were inevitable. When some judges critical of the consolidation suggested the powerful, policy-making Judicial Council be filled with elected judges, rather than those selected by the chief, George declared that would be "a declaration of war."

"We really have created a judicial branch - not just in name or theory - but in reality," George said. "When I first went to Sacramento, I was asked which agency I was with and who I reported to. I said, 'You don't get it. We are a separate, co-equal branch of government.' They all get that now."

When George stunned even his colleagues by announcing his retirement on July 14, he had in mind a successor who would keep intact the statewide system he had built. He recommended Sacramento Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, saying she had the administrative and diplomatic skills and a "backbone of steel" needed to deal with dissenting judges and a cash-strapped state.

Cantil-Sakauye, who is Filipina, will be the first non-white to serve as chief justice. George said he planned to spend his retirement traveling with his wife of 44 years, Barbara, spending time with their three adult sons and two granddaughters, and rereading the "great books." He does not intend to practice law.

Soon after he was named chief justice, George discovered that the middle class as well as the poor had been priced out of the legal system. People with no legal education were appearing in court alone on such vital matters as child custody, guardianship, elder abuse, domestic violence and housing disputes.

George wanted the state to provide such litigants with legal aid lawyers, but the budget crisis forced him to settle for a temporary, pilot project, which starts in January. Even then, he had to resort to political wiles - George described himself as "shameless" - to get the governor's approval.

He told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the law would be named the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Law after Schwarzenegger's late father-in-law.

George spent long hours in Sacramento seeking legislative approval for court bills. One legislator said she decided to vote his way because she was embarrassed to see the chief justice hanging in the hallway with the lobbyists.

George created a commission to promote judicial independence. The effort to oust him for writing an opinion that overturned a parental-consent abortion law "sensitized him to the political vulnerability of judges," Uelmen said.

George's rulings favored a strong First Amendment and protection from discrimination for women and minorities, Uelmen said. He was considered conservative on most law-and-order issues, although two of his three final rulings were for the defense.

Some scholars were dismayed by George's rulings on ballot measures. George has called for a reining in of the initiative process, which he views as increasingly controlled by moneyed special interests. But as a jurist he was more deferential.

"There are all sorts of laws I might personally view as foolish that I am bound to uphold," he said. And then, tellingly, he added: "The court can't be viewed as flouting the people's will."

Conservatives say that is what he did in the court's May 15, 2008, gay marriage ruling. He had met with each justice individually and wrestled with Perez v. Sharp, a 1948 California Supreme Court ruling that overturned a ban on interracial marriage and declared marriage a fundamental right.

"No matter which way we went," George said, "we had to cope with this law on the books."

After weeks of mulling the law and its effect on racial discrimination, George broke the tie. His decision not only gave gays the right to marry - which voters took away six months later with Proposition 8 - but also bestowed the same legal protection from discrimination the law had long given race and gender. No other state high court had afforded sexual orientation such constitutional status.

With his signature at the end of a 121-page ruling, the self-effacing jurist reputed for court administration left his most enduring stamp on the law and California history.

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Women's Education in Afghanistan - GlobalGiving | View Clip
12/28/2010
GlobalGiving

Women and Girls > Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women (#921) Five Reason's to Celebrate
By Toc Dunlap - Executive Director

Five Reasons to Celebrate

The year 2010 has been one of many challenges for people throughout the world. In Afghanistan, insecurity, violence, and poverty continue to threaten communities. But the people of Afghanistan are strong and hopeful, and they are working hard to overcome these challenges. At the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), we see it every day. You can help Afghans, particularly women and children, to create a better future for themselves and their families with a contribution to AIL through Global Giving.

Looking back upon the year, what we focus on are our reasons to celebrate.

As a generous donor to AIL, you are a gift to us and to the people of Afghanistan. We thank you and they thank you!!!

In fact, you make all of the other reasons to celebrate possible. Here is the rest of AIL's top five reasons to celebrate in 2010:

Fatima's story. Fatima is 22 is and has just graduated from Herat University and come to work with AIL. As a young girl, her school was closed by the Taliban. She continued studying in one of AIL's underground home schools and in 2002, reentered high school, graduated and went on to university. Today, her dream, we are humbled to learn, is to work for AIL. She said, "AIL works for people, AIL helps needy people and AIL works among people. Also AIL's wish is that Afghan woman and girls can support themselves and their families so the Afghan woman and girls are interested in this project."

Each of the more than 7.9 million people (70% female) who have participated in AIL's programs since 1996 is a reason to celebrate. In spite of many challenges, they have chosen to improve their lives and their communities by attending AIL's Teacher Training, Learning Centers, workshops, and schools; seeking health care and health education at AIL's health clinics; or receiving AIL's Community Health Workers into their homes.

AIL's new gynecological and surgical hospital opened in October 2010. It is the only private women's hospital in Herat province. To keep the reasons to celebrate continuing, fees paid by patients who can afford them will eventually help subsidize AIL's services at community-based clinics. , a new Learning Center AIL opened in April 2010, located in a rural area about 50 km from Herat City. The people of the area are very poor and primarily illiterate. The community learned about AIL's ability to help them offer educational opportunities to their citizens and worked together to build a small facility. Although all communities are involved in the establishment and sustainability of their centers, this rural area was able to rally its citizens to make this project a success. Through November, nearly 300 students, all of them female, have attended courses at the Center. Subjects included Arabic, Tailoring/Sewing, Math, and Literacy. Grateful and Undaunted
By Sakena Yacoobi - AIL Executive Director

Grateful and Undaunted

At this time of year, we are reminded of our many blessings and how the people in our lives enrich us and bring joy to every day. All of us at the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) are especially grateful to you, for your generous support of our efforts to help the people of Afghanistan overcome many challenges. Through education, teacher training, health care programs, and emergency assistance, as one woman put it, "… AIL is like an experienced mother in our society who is here to get more information to the women of Afghanistan." We are able to serve that vital role - for the women, men, and children of Afghanistan - because of your contribution. Thank you!

As you celebrate this Holiday Season and anticipate the approach of the New Year, we hope that you will think of us again and make another donation to help ensure AIL is able to continue our work. You have most likely heard that Afghanistan continues to suffer terrible insecurity and poverty. But AIL is undaunted by the headlines because we know that the people of Afghanistan are working hard every day to improve their lives and the future of their country. Together with the people of Afghanistan, we are confident because we know that people like you believe in us and stand by us.

When you make your donation, check out the Tribute Card and Gift Card options - and please tell a friend about AIL and encourage them to make a donation too. As AIL's founder and executive director, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi has said, "Reach out to others and give a gift to yourself."

No matter what our circumstances today, when we believe in each other and work together, we can be assured that tomorrow will be better. Seasons Greetings and thank you again.

By Toc Dunlap - Executive Director

Zahra, a literacy student in one of AIL's women's learning centers, explains how the center has empowered and helped her:

"I have two children and came from an uneducated family. Before coming to Herat province, I had full information about AIL actually I knew about AIL and AIL services When we came to Herat province, our relatives introduced me to the Afghan Institute of Learning. Now I am a student in this center for literacy class I am very happy I can read the newspaper and books. Now I can help my children who are in the first position in their classes. I am thankful for the professor Sakena Yacoobi that helps the penurious people of Afghanistan.

Summer Update 2010
By Sondra Johnson - Project Administrator

The Afghan Institute of Learning currently supports 24 education learning centers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These centers have an enormous impact on the lives of Afghan women and give them the means to support themselves and their families. Here is a story that demonstrates how AIL classes impact women: "My name is Fatima. I am 17 years old and study in class 3 of literacy class. I am a girl who could not get an education due to my family's strictness. I could not read and write before getting admission in Literacy class. I wished to read and write like thousands of girls. Now my wish has become true by the grace of Allah. Now I can read even magazines and books." Another girl reports "My name is Ruqia and I study in the Macramé class. My father has a cart in Kote Sangee so that we can get education. I am 16 years old and study in class 8. One year I met some women and girls going this women's learning center, and I asked them about the center. I became interested and got admission in the Macramé class. Now I am able to make different kinds of table sheets and decoration pieces. When I make and sell them, I make money to help my aged and weak father."

Sakena Yacoobi honored for her work in health By Toc Dunlap - Project Leader

"Reach out to others and give a gift to yourself."

Sakena Yacoobi, founder and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning, urged the advanced degree graduates of Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California to "reach out to others and give a gift to yourself" in the process in her 2010 Commencement speech. She has been a model of such action since 1995. Under her leadership, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has delivered education and health services to over 7.1 million Afghan women, children and men. In appreciation of her work, SCU honored her with an honorary Doctor of Education Honoris Causa degree.

"Health and literacy are keys to human rights, empowerment and self sufficiency," says Dr Yacoobi, Mann Award winner.

Less than a week later, Dr. Yacoobi was at the Global Health Conference in Washington, DC to receive the 2010 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights established to honor the late Jonathan Mann and to call attention to the vital links between health and human rights. The Award is bestowed annually on an individual who shows an overwhelming commitment to health and human rights, often at great personal danger.

Sakena Yacoobi considers access to health care and education as human rights and takes a holistic approach to advancing health and human rights, particularly for women. Growing up in Afghanistan, Dr. Yacoobi saw firsthand the damage that inequity and a lack of education and lack of access to health care can inflict upon women and children. After receiving her undergraduate and masters degree in health in the U.S., she returned to help her fellow countrywomen. As the Taliban were closing schools for women and girls in Afghanistan, Dr. Yacoobi founded the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) in 1995 to fight oppressive traditions that left women uneducated and put their lives at risk.

Dr. Yacoobi and AIL believe that "all Afghan women can be catalysts for change in Afghanistan. With an education that teaches them how to think and to educate others, as well as an awareness of their human rights, women can create a better future for all Afghans… we know that educated women will educate families, communities, and the nation to bring lasting peace." And the same is true for health. Health education is integral to all of AIL's activities, as knowledge about health empowers individuals to care for themselves and their families.

Believing that access to education is a basic human right that should be available to all women and girls, AIL began by providing literacy, primary and secondary education, university classes, and teacher training for women across Afghanistan. AIL pioneered the concept of Women's Learning Centers in Afghanistan, which teach literacy, health education, human rights education, religious study, and income-generating skills. AIL was the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women. AIL has integrated health programs into its work and now operates seven clinics that provide prenatal care, safe delivery, well-baby care, immunizations, and primary-care services. AIL also operates mobile medical outreach campaigns, trains and supports community health workers, and developed a nurse/midwife/health educator course that graduates some of the most highly sought-after healthcare providers in Afghanistan.

AIL currently serves 350,000 women and children each year in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has provided education, training and health services to over 7.1 million Afghans since 1995. AIL is run by women and operated by women: of its 480 employees, more than 70% are women.

Every student in every one of AIL's Women's Learning Center s, every patient in AIL's seven health clinics, and every family served through AIL's Community Health Worker program receives basic health education along with health services and has opportunities to receive culturally sensitive additional "healthy families" training. AIL also provides 2-5 day workshops in reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, self immolation (rarely done by others for security reasons) and general health. This program targets young women, ages 10-25 years old, so that they have the knowledge they need early enough to prevent the health problems of their predecessors.

Dr. Yacoobi's approach to health and human rights is changing the culture of Afghanistan. Social dynamics have improved among families and neighbors as a result of the contributions healthy and educated girls and women make in their homes and communities. Under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable, Dr. Yacoobi is rebuilding family cohesion and a culture that respects the rights of each individual.

Though at times weary from the many demands put upon her, Sakena has no plans to slow down. "There is so much that needs to be done to help my people," she says. "I have deep hope for Afghanistan, and I am proud of the women who get up in the morning, say goodbye to their family, and go to work… go to learning… because they know that they must learn. The only way they can stop problems is to learn. They are learning, and they are not afraid."

Dr. Yacoobi's vision is to transform the way that Afghans regard human rights for women and for all Afghans. She firmly believes that when the war is over, the Afghan people will be self-sufficient and a people who respect everyone's rights.

Summer Update from the Afghan Institute of Learning By Sondra Johnson - Project Administrator

We'd like to share some great news with you that will give you a better understanding of our project and the work we do in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Through the generosity of the Skoll Foundation, a timely video was produced about life in Afghanistan and the work AIL is doing to make a difference. The film producer and crew did a beautiful job capturing the essence of the best of the Afghan people, and the struggles they work with to achieve a better life. This film is now on YouTube, and it will be the best seven minutes you spend today. Moderated by Sakena Yacoobi, AIL's executive director, this video offers a true taste of Afghanistan. Here's the link to view it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7t1Xu_MwHg We are also adding this as a permanent link to this project for future viewing. Your donation makes a precious impact on the lives of Afghan men, women and children. We thank you for your past support, and encourage you to forward this message to those who can help to continue this important work.

Spring Update
By Sondra Johnson - Project Administrator

In 2009, the Afghan Institute of Learning supported 28 learning centers in Herat, Mazar, Bamiyan and Kabul, Afghanistan and in Peshawar, Pakistan. Many centers previously supported have successfully met their goals or gone on to become self sufficient- the end goal that AIL strives for. Our supported centers served a total of 22,765 Afghan women, men and children in classes ranging from pre-school to university students. These centers have a huge impact on the lives of our students, since these Afghans have no other alternatives for receiving a quality education. Here is a story that demonstrates how AIL classes impact women: "I liked the beauty parlor class, and I got admitted to this course. Since I started learning this skill, I have found many friends in the center and the community. I'm able to find out what kind of make-up and hairstyle they like to have. I graduated from this course and started my own business. Day by day I learn more and increase my skill. Now, I help many poor women by doing their hair dressing and make-up. This skill brings me a good income in my community. I can buy the tools and equipments I need for my beautician shop, and I can provide better service for my people. I also help my family with my income- this is all because of the AIL center." Other AIL Accomplishments in 2009 included: • AIL trained over 1,800 Afghan teachers in pedagogy subjects, leadership, human rights, and school health. These teachers went to their classes and directly impacted over 500,000 students teaching these important subjects. • Nearly 23,000 students (primarily women and children) attended classes at AIL educational learning centers. • Over 362,000 Afghans received medical treatment and health education from AIL's 6 health clinics and community health worker program. • In January 2010, AIL expanded humanitarian aid efforts with the harsh winter and reached out to 22 families in need. AIL staff delivered to each family quantities of rice, cooking oil and tea. Most heads of the family were widows with children from Herat, and were recommended by community members. • In February 2010, flooding in the Enjil district of Herat destroyed many family homes, and AIL responded with a concerted effort of initial food aid. Reminder: On March 16, 2010, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations made to any project on www.globalgiving.org by 30% (up to $1,000 per person)! If you could like to donate again to our project, your donation will go further on March 16th!!!

Dear donors to the 'Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women':

We want to sincerely thank you for your many donations to this important project in Afghanistan. Our original goal was to reach $100,000.00, and we are nearly at that goal. However, due to the ongoing needs in Afghanistan, there is a still critical demand to offer education and health choices for Afghan women. Giving these women the opportunity to become literate, remain healthy, get an education and learn skills to make a living is essential for a strong family and community.

We have increased our funding goal to $200,000.00 to address this ongoing need. The Afghan Institute of Learning and Creating Hope International have used your donated funds to establish and continue educational and health classes in our educational learning centers. Students are learning to read and have gone on to other subjects such as math, science, and computer technology. Women are learning skills like tailoring to help their families and earn an income. In all our classes we also discuss human rights, democratic principles and peace. We continue to provide health services to women and children in our health clinics. Your donations have, and will, continue to empower Afghan women, who sincerely appreciate this chance to improve and grow in their daily lives.

An invitation to read our newsletter
By Sondra Johnson - Working Together...

Afghanistan is in the news a lot these days. As a donor to a project in Afghanistan, you may be wondering if change is happening, and if your donation really makes any difference. Following is a message from Dr. Sakena Yacoobi that answers your questions. It's part of our annual newsletter, where we also share progress reports from several areas, and the impact AIL's work is having in Afghan lives. This newsletter is below in a PDF format; we invite you to click on it and read ALL the details……

From Sakena Yacoobi: First, I want to thank all of you for supporting the work of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). Your support is so important. Yes, the funds you send help us to bring education and health to so many Afghan women and children. But, more importantly, in this time of increasing violence and insecurity in Afghanistan, your support helps Afghans to know that they are not forgotten. It gives ordinary Afghan women, men and children the courage to keep studying, to keep going to clinics and to keep working for peace.

Today you probably hear that Afghanistan is a place of war, terrorist bombings, burning of schools, kidnapping, drugs and all kinds of other horrible things. And it is true that in every province of Afghanistan, including the capitol, every single day, these kinds of things are happening. But what you might not hear in your news is that everyday many women, men and children of Afghanistan get up in the morning….. say goodbye to their family…..and go to work….. go to schools and centers ….. go to trainings……because they know that they must be educated. They know that the only way they can stop these problems is to be educated. So they are learning, they are teaching and they are not afraid.

And when there is no electricity or no clean water or no school or no road or no job and there is no help from the national government or the international agencies, Afghans, particularly women, are joining together in community or with their local officials to find ways to solve their own problems. And, with your help, AIL is helping them to do this. I want to let you know that as dark as it seems to be in Afghanistan now, much is happening. Afghans, themselves, are changing. They are educating themselves; they are making sure that their children are educated; they are finding new ways to solve their problems. I would ask you to walk with us a little further on our journey towards peace.

A Special Giving Opportunity.....
By Sondra Johnson - Afghan Women Thank You

Thank you for your support. Your desire to make a difference in this world has made a difference, and we are so thankful that Afghan people have had their lives changed with your help.

We wanted to share with you a very special opportunity to give more than 100% from November 10 through December 1st. Please share this with those you know who care. During this time, we are privileged to receive additional matching funds from your donation through Global Giving of at least 30%. The need is still great. Afghanistan struggles to become a country of strength and stability.

Here are 3 stories of women who have found the power within their lives:

Khalida returned from Iran a few years ago. She faced many problems in Afghanistan, like lack of a job, because she was illiterate. Fortunately, she was introduced to the AIL center by one of her friends. Her first priority was to be literate and she started the literacy class. After she completed the 6th grade level, she got admitted in the embroidery class because she wanted to learn a skill so she can have an income to help her family. She learned this skill too, and graduated from the course. Right now she works at this center as the trainer of embroidery. She is so happy because she teaches other women there to be self sufficient. She added that AIL changed her life, and she would like to thank all the AIL staff because of their good work for the community. Another woman said "My uncle forced my cousin to sit at home and not go to school because the situation in Afghanistan is not good and girls are for housework. He believed girls do not have the right to be educated and it's shaming for them. After I took an AIL workshop, I got up my courage and I went to my uncle's house to talk with him. I made him agree that education is important. Now, after two years, my cousin has joined the school and she is very happy." Says Ghorsana, "During the war in Afghanistan we went to Pakistan, where we had a very bad life. I was at home and my husband was selling water. I joined a sewing course and I finished the course successfully. I then got a sewing machine and started a sewing course at home for other Afghan refugees. One of my students had a bit of money, so she bought two other sewing machines for students to work on. At night I sewed clothes for people, and during the day I had sewing classes. Slowly my life became good. When we came back to Kabul, my husband and I got our previous jobs back and now we are living happily. I empowered myself and also many of my students are sewing and financially covering the needs of their families. I am happy that I had a good vision."

Sakena Wishes to Thank Her Supporters
By Sondra Johnson - Dr. Yacoobi Featured in Best-Selling Book

There's a new focus on women worldwide. The New York Times magazine dedicated their entire issue one week in August on women in the developing world. Of particular focus was a newly launched book written by the well-known Pulitzer winning couple Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl DuWunn titled: "Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide". The press focus on this timely book is significant- from reviews in Harvard and People magazine, to upcoming segments on shows like "The Today Show", the time has come for women and their issues worldwide to be in the spotlight.

Sakena Yacoobi and her organization the Afghan Institute of Learning is one of the topics in Chapter Nine of the book. Dr. Yacoobi grew up in Herat, Afghanistan and then came to the United States to study at the University of the Pacific and Loma Linda University. Concerned about the condition of her people back in Afghanistan, Sakena returned to Pakistan to work in Afghan refugee camps and later went to Afghanistan. Although the Taliban forbade girls from getting an education in Afghanistan, Sakena was instrumental in establishing a string of secret girls schools with community support.

Today, the Afghan Institute of Learning has multiple education programs in Pakistan and in seven provinces of Afghanistan. There are educational learning centers for women and children, preschool programs, post-secondary institutes, a university, and teacher training programs. In addition, AIL has an in-depth program of health education and treatment for women and small children. Since its start in 1995, AIL has trained nearly 16,000 teachers and over 3.5 million women and children have received a quality education. With the health programs included, AIL has directly impacted over 6.7 million Afghans.

Sakena has been and continues to be recognized for her work. Her philosophy is to develop a program from the grass-roots level so the community members are an integral part of the process. State Kristof and DuWunn in their book Half The Sky- "American organizations would have accomplished much more if they had financed and supported Sakena, rather than dispatching their own representatives to Kabul...The best role for Americans who want to help Muslim women isn't holding the microphone at the front of the rally, but writing the checks and carrying the bags in the back."

Dr. Yacoobi and the work of the Afghan Institute of Learning have been supported by multiple grantors and organizations over the years. "I wish to thank everyone who has helped in this important work," states Sakena. "I want to share with each and every contributor the joy of seeing a young woman, who has a renewed interest in life because she can now read, or the happiness of a widow who has learned a skill that will allow her to support her children.

"We now have children who are healthy because of inoculations, and women who did not die during childbirth who have happy, healthy babies. My wish is that these small steps that allow awareness and growth in families will lead to the growth of our country."

Recently, we spoke with Sakena, and she has this message to all the supporters of AIL:

"It is an honor to be included in Nicholas' and Sheryl's book Half The Sky. So many foundations and individuals have contributed to the work that the Afghan Institute of Learning has been able to do in Afghanistan.

"From the bottom of my heart I want to thank all who have understood the plight of Afghan women and children, and have reached out with compassionate, caring support.

"May God reward your generosity......."

Sakena

Recent updates and details
By Sondra Johnson - Project Update for AIL Empowers Afghan Women

Recently, AIL was asked by the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs to report on the impact AIL's programs have had. We were amazed by our findings. Since beginning in 1996 through May 2009, 220,970 Afghans have been educated and received skills training in AIL schools, centers and post-secondary programs. 27, 619 Afghans (more than 70% female) have received teacher training or capacity-building training. AIL has supported 13 clinics serving 998,088 patients and providing health education to 1,520,374 women and children. Overall 6,778,026 Afghan lives have been directly impacted by AIL programs.

With the help of your donations, during the first 6 months of 2009, AIL has been able to:

--Provide education to 7,864 women and girls. --Provide educational workshops to 1,343 women and girls. --Provided healthcare to 44,838 women and girls at AIL clinics.

During a recent workshop at an AIL center, one of the participants shared this story with the center staff: "I was illiterate and my husband had graduated from high school. My husband's mother told me that I should learn to read by participating in a literacy course, but that I must take the class at a center where there would not be any men in my class. I found the AIL center and decided to take classes here with my sisters. My husband's mother has never come here with me, until today. She stood outside the class and watched as our Life Skills class was taught by a man, and I worried about what I should say to her. I began to relax as I realized that my teachers were good and moral people, and decided that I must be patient and after class I would talk to my husband's mother. When I came out of class, I saw her standing there and I shared with her all of the things I had learned. She told me that she could hear that I was being taught well, and that she would like to join our class."

A woman taking classes in AIL's beautician courses shared her thoughts with the AIL staff. "One of my friends told me about the high quality of education you could receive at AIL's center in our town. I liked the beauty parlor, and was admitted to this course. Since I started learning this skill, I have made many friends at the center and in my community. Besides just making friends, I am also learning about what kind of make-up and hairstyles different women like to have. After graduating from the beautician course, I opened my own business. Day by day, I become even more interested in my skill and began my business by doing hair and make-up for poor women for free. This skill commands a good income in my community and I have been able to buy the necessary tools and equipment to make my beauty parlor the best it can be. I am able to help my family with my income and this is all because of the AIL center. I really appreciate AIL providing life changing opportunities for women and girls."

May 2009 Update
By Alison Hendry - Administrative Assistant

AIL recently received an update from Hafisa, a young woman that had taken classes at a Women's Learning Center in rural Herat, Afghanistan. As a teenage girl, Hafisa began going to the WLC in her village where she became literate and learned to sew. In all of her classes, the teachers talked about human rights, peace, health and leadership, emphasizing that anyone can be a leader, even if in a small way. After graduating from the center, Hafisa was married and moved away. Hafisa's sewing skills quickly made her popular in her new village with many people bringing her dresses for sewing. Soon, people in the village began asking her to open a center and teach other women to sew. Hafisa remembered the leadership lessons she learned at the AIL WLC in her village and knew that she could start a class. Starting a center to teach women to sew is a fairly novel concept. At first, her family ignored the requests, but due to community persistence, Hafisa's family eventually allowed her to open a center in her home. Now she uses one room of her house to teach a sewing class and has 40 students. She collects a fee from the students, and this income has helped to change her family's economic situation. She is respected in her community and her family is proud of her. Whenever she goes to her own village to see her parents, she visits the AIL center and thanks AIL for giving her the opportunity to be a useful person in her community. Not only did Hafisa learn to sew, she learned to be a leader and found that she could run a self-sufficient center.

Some of the stories AIL hears from women are about little things that make a big difference for the individual woman. We have one such example from a woman studying literacy in one of AIL's centers. When asked if she had a particularly happy memory that came from learning to read, she replied, "Yes. Before I would go places and could not read anything, but now I can. I went to the doctor with my sister-in-law and I read the name of the doctor for her. There was a woman there who could not read and asked me if I knew which doctor was the heart doctor. I read the board with the names of the doctors until I found the heart doctor and guided the woman to the correct doctor. She prayed for me. I was very happy and it is an unforgettable memory for me."

Update on AIL, and a Story to Share
By Alison Hendry - Administrative Assistant

In 2008 the Afghan Institute of Learning supported 46 learning centers in Herat, Mazar, Bamiyan and Kabul, Afghanistan and in Peshawar, Pakistan. These centers served a total of 23,750 Afghan women, men and children in classes ranging from pre-school to university students. These centers have had a huge impact on the lives of the students since the students have no other alternatives for receiving a quality education.

During 2008, one of AIL's WLC's reached a milestone-- its first class of girls studying in the 9th grade. This is a truly remarkable story as this group of initially illiterate girls from a very traditional, rural, conservative area in Afghanistan began studying with AIL 7 years ago and have continued their studies until now.. Here is one of the girl's stories: "I am from a poor and narrow-minded family that does not allow their daughters to go outside the home to study. My father has always told me that he did not have enough money to pay the fees to send me to school; he barely had enough money to feed me and pay our rent. Besides, he said, if he allowed me to go to school my relatives and neighbors would say that he was not zealous enough since no one allows their daughters to go to school. One day my neighbor told me that there was a center that teaches women and girls and that you can learn a great deal from this school without paying any fees. At first I was really excited until I realized that I was 13 and might have sit in a lower class with younger students. When I was finally allowed to go to the center, I saw that many older women and girls were attending the school. Now I am happy because I can read, and write. I pray 5 times a day to those who open centers like this for women and older girls."

Stories to Share
By Alison Hendry - Administrative Assistant

Since the establishment of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) the goal has been to help women improve their situation in life. Following is a story from one of AIL's Women's Learning Centers (WLC) that exemplifies the changes that AIL can make in Afghan women's lives.

When AIL student Rizagul was a young girl, her father was put in prison by the Taliban regime where he was tortured and eventually died leaving behind Rizagul as well as her young brother and her unwell, elderly mother.

Four years ago, Rizagul came to one of AIL's rural WLC's in Herat province and began taking various classes, including literacy and sewing. After two years at the center, she was able to gain admission to a regular school at grade level 4, a feat which might have taken 4 years in a regular school, if it happened at all. Even after gaining admission to the regular school, Rizagul continued to take extra courses after school at the center. Unfortunately, the center was closed due to the poor security situation in the region and Rizagul could no longer take the extra courses she had come to enjoy.

A short time ago, an AIL teacher saw Rizagul at a wedding ceremony in their village. Rizagul could not control her emotions and tears rolled down her cheeks as she told her teacher, "You and AIL were the best thing for me, and I will never, never forget your encouragement and all of the hard work that you did for me." She added, "I can now read in Arabic, I know how to sew and I am a student in grade 6. What I am is because of the AIL center."

She also said that she is sewing dresses to make money for her family and that she has so much business that she has to turn some people away. She is making a good living, and is able to improve her family's economic situation with her sewing skills.

Rizagul also told the teacher, "With the advice that the center supervisor wrote in my 'memory notebook' (try to learn, work hard for a better future and pray for your future) I am sure that I will go toward a better future."

2008 Snapshot of AIL's Women's Programs By Alison Hendry - Administrative Assistant

From January to June of 2008 the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has supported 37 Educational Learning Centers (ELC's) and Women's Learning Center's (WLC's) in 5 provinces of Afghanistan and in Peshawar, Pakistan serving 11,530 Afghan men, women and children. 65% of those served were female. The level of class run by the center varies from pre-school to university students.

AIL has also supported 3 health clinics in Herat and Kabul, Afghanistan. These three clinics have seen 63,345 patients during the first 6 months of 2008, the majority of whom are women and children. 9,347 of those seen were reproductive health patients. The clinic vaccinated 17,977 women and children during the first 6 months of 2008. The clinics also provide health education seminars and workshops to women. From January to June 2008 31,563 women have taken part in health education workshops.

Many of the women that take classes from AIL's ELC's and WLC's do so in order to learn to read or write, support their family or to learn skills that will help them to acquire a job.

Following is a story from a 28 year old women who graduated from one of AIL's tailoring classes that shows the value of not only the tailoring program, but the center's as a whole:

"When I was in Iran 2 years ago, I was concerned about what will happen to me when I return to my country. Would I be able to go in school or some educational center to be an educated person like Iranians? But when we came back to our country and moved to this village, after a short time, I found the AIL center and lots of women going and coming from this center. I felt that it is the best place for the improvement of women who want to learn some thing. I went there and enrolled in literacy, tailoring and holy Quran classes. I have attended these three classes in one center and was very happy because every day, I met at least 400 women from my community. And the quality of this center was very good because the teachers were updated by AIL through providing seminars and training. So the methods they taught were the best and students learned very fast. Today after 2 years, I have completed the 5th grade of literacy, Holy Quran and the sewing course. I feel I am very lucky to have this opportunity to learn these all things and now I can work to support my family. I can read the magazine, newspaper and also I can help my children in their lessons and home work."

A young girl named Parmila says, "I am really happy with the Women's Learning Center that I attend. It is a good and safe educational environment for females. Before the establishment of this center here, the society of this area was against the girl's education. But fortunately the center has done a great deal to change their minds. My parents have not allowed me to go to school and it was very hard for me that my rights have not given to me. So when my parent saw that many women and girls go to the Women's Learning Center without any problem and all the teachers there are female, they allowed me to go to this center. After some time they took another positive step and told me to get admission in the regular school too. Now I am in grade 7th and I understand if the Women's Learning Center had not been established here, I and many other girls would remain illiterate people in the society. If that were to happen, this society would never change their mind regarding their girls' education."

Zareen a student in the literacy class said: "When I got engaged I was in 3rd class and when I got married I was just 16 years old after that my husband continued his education but his parents didn't give me permission to continue my classes. I argued many times with my husband to get permission from your parents for me. After long time, they gave me permission to go and I went to Majoba Herawi center. Now I am in class 8th and I am very happy to be able to solve my and my family problems. Now my husband is in London and I can write letters to him. My mother in law says to me thanks to God you have become educated and can solve our family problems. Now all my husband's family members take advice from me as an educated woman to help solve their problems."

Here is the story of a woman who came to AIL's clinic after struggling to become pregnant for 25 years: "Habiba came to the clinic 9 months ago; and said that she had amenorrhea. I referred her to the clinic laboratory for a pregnancy test. The result of lab was positive. I congratulated her but she was upset because 25 years ago she got married and had been pregnant 17 times but unfortunately all of them miscarried. I did not think that this pregnancy would be full term as before. Again I referred her to complete all the tests and fortunately all the results were normal. She had a stepdaughter. I give hope to her that this time she would have a safe delivery and her own baby. I advised her to have monthly visits at the clinic. She was given Healthy Mom and Ferfolic. When she passed the seventh month of pregnancy she suffered from hypertension and pedal edema. I referred her to the laboratory for urine analysis test. The result of her examination was proteinurea; I took management of her. Weekly she has come to the clinic for follow up; her blood pressure was under control. A night she was going to have delivery and her family took her to the hospital for delivery. She gave birth 25 years of marriage. Two days later she came to the clinic with her baby; she was very happy and appreciated me and services of the Imam Shish Nur clinic. I was thrilled to see her with her baby. It was one of my best memories. She said I can't believe that after all this time I have a child."

Update on AIL's Educational Learning Centers By Toc Dunlap - Executive Director

The mission of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) is to empower all Afghans who are vulnerable and in need by expanding their education and health opportunities and by fostering self-reliance and community participation. AIL takes a holistic approach to its work with the goal of developing the overall health and education capacity of Afghan individuals and communities.

Because of the years of war, the educational system in Afghanistan has greatly deteriorated. The literacy rate is one of the lowest in the world with an estimated 31% of Afghan males and 15% of Afghan females literate. The situation is particularly acute for women and girls because of the banning of public education for females under the Taliban. Many teenage girls and boys and women were either not allowed to attend schools or had no opportunity to attend schools because of the fighting in Afghanistan. Many of the boys who went to school had a very poor education.

Faced with overwhelming needs from all sectors of the society, the Afghan government has opened schools and millions of children have now begun to continue their education. However, many older girls and boys, married girls and women are not allowed in the schools because of their age or their marital status.

To meet the educational needs of these older girls and boys and married women and in response to the requests of Afghan women, community leaders, and the Afghan government, AIL opened Women's Learning Centers (WLCs) for women and girls and then Educational Learning Centers (ELCs) for females and males in Afghanistan. AIL was the first NGO to start Women's Learning Centers (WLCs) in refugee camps in 2002 and soon after opened its first Educational Learning Centers (ELCs) in Afghanistan. WLCs and ELCs take a holistic approach and are designed to meet the multiple needs of Afghan women, girls and boys. Through the WLCs and ELCs that AIL supports, AIL offers preschool through university-level classes and trains teachers and administrators. In each of its centers, AIL also offers health and peace education and workshops that train women and older girls and boys to be leaders and to advocate for their basic human rights. The subjects of AIL center fast track classes presently include literacy (which includes reading, writing and math), sewing/tailoring, carpet weaving, English, computer, knitting, beautician training, math, chemistry, algebra, physics, trigonometry, Dari, Pushto, embroidery, calligraphy, art and Arabic. The goals of the students vary. Some students just want to learn to read and write. Others want to learn a skill so that they can earn money or make clothes for their family. Still others want to improve their knowledge of various subjects or learn English or computer skills to increase their chances of getting a job. Although the ages of students range from 8-65, about 70% of the students are between 15 and 25 and more than 75% of the students are between 10 and 25. Overall, 60% of the students are female. This, of course, varies with each new class and from center to center.

WLCs and ELCs are housed in homes in the community where the WLC/ELC is located. The community either donates the facility or rent is paid for use of the facility. Teachers come from the community. The women in the community decide if they want to meet in the morning or the afternoon or in both the morning or afternoon. Each class meets for an hour daily from Saturday through Thursday except for holidays. Although there are a few classes that have chairs and tables, most classes have a floor covering and a blackboard and other equipment pertinent to the class being taught (sewing machines, looms, etc.) and the students sit on the floor. Incorporated into the curriculum of each class is material on human rights, health and peace. The duration of the class varies depending on the subject. Beginning literacy, sewing, knitting and beautician classes are for 6 months. The duration of upper level classes in literacy depends on how fast the students study. The duration of other classes vary and, again, students can proceed at their own speed. Arabic classes usually require 8 months to 3 years. Carpet weaving usually requires 7 months to one year. It takes 5 to 6 months to finish a complete computer program-basic to advanced. One computer course usually takes 3 months. It takes 6 months to one year to complete calligraphy. Math classes are on-going and individualized to the students needs. Each level of English class is for 2½ to 3 months.

All of the classes are what AIL calls "fast track" classes. AIL had developed "fast track" classes during the time of the Taliban when AIL supported 80 underground home schools for over 3,000 girls in Afghanistan. Because the classes were multi-grade and because so many students were already behind their grade level, AIL developed a program whereby the students could study at their own pace. With the fall of the Taliban, most students wanted to learn as fast as possible. Thus, the majority of the educational classes offered through AIL WLCs and ELCs are "fast track" classes. What this means is that students study at a faster pace and greater intensity than students would in a regular school setting. Thus, for example, a literacy student will finish the first grade material in 6 months rather than 9 or 12 months. The literacy student can then either go on to a higher level, study another subject, or take a school placement test and mainstream into a government school at the student's age level. Likewise, students who are weak in a particular subject, like math, can take a math class at one of AIL's centers and study on an accelerated basis. This may be the subject which is holding the student back from joining her age group. By taking this class, she can then "challenge" the grade, take a test and progress to the next grade level. Skills training classes, such as tailoring, carpet weaving, embroidery or beauty shop classes are also "fast track" classes.

AIL is presently supporting WLCs and ELCs, which provide fast track classes, at 38 locations in five provinces of Afghanistan and the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Through its centers, AIL now offers educational opportunities to 25,000 Afghan women and children annually. Additionally, basic health services are available to many center participants through AIL health clinics. Services include medical examinations, midwifery and nursing services, vaccinations, and health education about hygiene and the proper use of medicine. Of AIL's 38 educational centers, 33 are Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). If a center is a CBO, it means that AIL did not actually start the center. Rather, the community decided that it needed a center, found a location, identified teachers and students and subjects that older girls and boys and women in their community wanted to study. The community members then came to AIL and asked for support for their center. AIL requires community participation from every project that it has. In the case of WLCs and ELCs, the community will either provide the building for the center or charge fees to the center to cover the costs. The overall security and running of the center is in the hands of the community.

AIL also places a great emphasis on training both teachers and administrators and has continued to expand its training programs. In addition to the training that AIL does for the government and NGOs, AIL trains all of the teachers and administrators in its centers. AIL has now trained over 12,000 teachers in pedagogy and subject matter seminars. AIL is continuing to offer its leadership and human rights seminars to women, government officials and NGO leaders and recently was asked to hold a training session for new members of parliament. Because of the need, AIL has developed new training material in management to build the capacity of government and NGO staff. In the last year, AIL has held management workshops for Ministry of Women's Affairs staff in Kabul and Herat, for new parliamentarians, and for the staff of a number of NGOs and CBOs. The ultimate goal of the training for teachers is to improve the quality of education of the students and the goal of administrative training is to enable the community administrators to more effectively run their center and ultimately become self-sufficient.

Because AIL's WLC/ELC program is a long term, holistic, capacity-building program, AIL continues to support centers until they have either reached their goals or become self-sufficient. Since it began this program, AIL has supported more than 100 centers. As centers become self-sufficient or close because needs have been met and as funding is available, AIL opens new centers.

AIL's learning centers have been particularly important for Afghan women and girls. Often there are no girls schools in the communities where they live. Afghans are sometimes reluctant to send their females to schools and Afghan schools will not accept older girls or married women in beginning classes. AIL's centers, because they are grassroots and started and run by the community have been very important for the education of Afghan females because families will allow their girls and women to go to these centers.

Presently, there are 6,713 women and girls studying in AIL centers.

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time. $50 36 women receive health services $75 44 girls will learn computer skills. $500 35 teachers upgrade skills in one-day workshop $1,000 pays for 33 teachers salaries for one month $5,000 supports a WLC for 250 students for one year $25 each month 15 women will learn to read. $42 each month 35 teachers upgrade skills in one-day workshop $50 each month 36 women receive health services $75 each month 44 girls will learn computer skills. $83 each month pays for 33 teachers salaries for one month $417 each month supports a WLC for 250 students for one year Projects on globalgiving.org undergo compliance checks to ensure they have a bona fide charitable purpose and meet applicable laws relating to international philanthropy. Organizations listed as partners do not necessarily endorse or support any particular project listed on globalgiving.org. The GlobalGiving Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization (EIN: 30-0108263).

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Why You Should and Shouldn't Pay Off Your Mortgage | View Clip
12/28/2010
Free Money Finance

MoneyWatch details the reasons why you shouldn't pay off your mortgage -- then the author tells why he paid it off anyway. Here are the reasons he gives for why you shouldn't pay off your mortgage: You need the liquidity. You could probably do better investing the money elsewhere. You expect inflation. You expect housing to rebound. Then he tells why he paid off his mortgage anyway: The logical explanation is that I had enough risk in my portfolio, and as for the low-risk portion of my money, it made no sense  to borrow at 3.0% after taxes and invest it at 2.2% in, say, Treasuries.  That would be acting like a very dumb hedge fund. But there's a less rational reason too. Like a lot of post-crisis Americans, I've had it with debt. I don't want to be beholden to a bank and in an uncertain world I'd rather not have the certain obligation of a mortgage payment every month. I asked Meir Statman, a behavioral finance professor at Santa Clara University about this caution, expecting a lecture about “availability bias,” or the exaggerated  fear of a bad event simply because it is fresh in memory. Instead, I was relieved to hear Statman admit that he'd paid off his mortgage too. “Maybe you could earn a higher return by arbitraging the difference between your mortgage and the stock market,” he said. “But you have to ask yourself what your money is really for,” he said. “Personally, it gives me satisfaction to know that I own the four walls around me.  Satisfaction and peace of mind are a kind of return, too.” As you might imagine, I have a few things to say about the thoughts above. Here goes: As far as needing the liquidity, if your gap is large enough, you can have plenty of cash and pay off your mortgage as well. I was able to manage both. As for investing the money elsewhere and getting a better return, maybe you will do better, maybe you won't. This last year you would have done much better by having the money in the market. The couple years before that -- not so much. And, of course, paying off debt is a guaranteed return. Investing is not. Do you expect inflation? Or deflation? I don't know what to expect these days when it comes to our economy. As for a housing rebound, this sounds like the best bet to me -- if you have five to seven years to wait. And for the "had it with debt" argument, this is why I paid off my mortgage almost 14 years ago. I list "being deep in debt" as #3 on my list of the 10 worst money moves you can make , but for me having ANY debt was a bad money move. I wanted to get rid of it all asap -- and my house was the last to go (I didn't have much before that, though). So for the last 14 years, I've had satisfaction, peace of mind, and no mortgage payment. Yes, it's been sweet! If you're in debt and think you can't get out -- you're wrong. Here are seven steps to get out of debt . Apply them over a long period of time and you WILL get out of debt -- including mortgage debt (if you work at it long and hard enough.)

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Study: Diverse Employee Work Groups Can Reduce Workplace Psychological Distress | View Clip
12/28/2010
EHS Today -- Environment, Health and Safety - Online

Psychological distress in the workplace costs American businesses about $193 billion annually, according to the National Mental Health Association. Organizations therefore must understand and address employees’ mental health, which can have a significant impact upon corporate effectiveness and profitability.

E-Mailed

“Psychological distress is often caused by an injustice, either real or perceived, which can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, exhaustion and disengagement from fellow workers,” explained Chester Spell, associate professor of management at Rutgers University. “Obviously, none of these are beneficial to an organization.”

Spell and co-researchers Katerina Bezrukova of Santa Clara University and Jamie L. Perry, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers, undertook a study to determine if the composition of work groups could play a role in reducing psychological distress arising from injustice.

“Unfairness in the workplace affecting job performance, satisfaction and other attitudes and behaviors has been the subject of considerable research, but we looked at psychological distress as an outcome of injustice,” Spell said.

Injustice and Faultlines

Researchers focused on four forms of injustice in the workplace:

Procedural – the way decisions are made for the workplace group;

Distributive – the perceived fairness of outcome distributions such as bonuses and pay raises;

Informational – providing adequate and honest explanations for company decisions; and

Interpersonal – the perceived fairness in treating individuals with dignity, respect and courtesy by supervisors or administrators.

Of the four, interpersonal injustice had the strongest effect on psychological distress, said Spell. Distributive injustice was next strongest.

According to researchers, work groups can alleviate injustices through demographic “faultlines,” which are alignments of group member characteristics such as age, gender, seniority or education. While faultlines traditionally are considered disruptive in the workplace, these workplace divisions may also have a positive, healthy side.

“We found that members of subgroups within a group with a faultline can cope with injustice by cooperating with each other and lessen the effects of injustice on psychological distress,” Spell explained. “For example, take a work group comprised of both senior male engineers nearing retirement as well as young female sales agents who are fairly recent graduates of a business school and who have not had a great amount of work experience. Two distinct subgroups are formed by a faultline based upon members’ differences in age, gender, experience and educational background.”

While a rift could emerge between the old group and young group, there also could be a sense of cooperation involving the older group’s talents and experience combined with the younger group’s eagerness to learn and enthusiasm. If both subgroups recognize the abilities of each other, they could use them as leverage to be productive, Spell explained.

A Safe Harbor

The study found that faultline subgroups tend to support their fellow workers who seem to be the target of unfair treatment. “This support, in turn, shows how faultlines can be ‘healthy divides’ by providing a potential coping mechanism for workplace injustices,” said Spell.

Spell said managers should be aware of the composition of work groups within the organization since faultlines are common in groups because of globalization and diversification of the workplace. For example, if an organization has gone through downsizing and layoffs and surviving employees are experiencing anxiety about their jobs, managers should recognize that groups with faultlines actually may buffer the effects of work force reductions on employees’ psychological well being.

Often, employees dealing with an injustice that is causing personal distress have limited responses – they can take a grievance to a supervisor, seek legal recourse or quit, none of which employees may desire or feel comfortable with. But people in work groups with faultline subgroup similarities tend to gravitate toward each other based upon their similarities in what Spell calls a “safe harbor” where employees are comfortable with each other and can confide about office problems. This can help relieve distress.

Managers want work groups to be productive and work together, so they must pay attention to the individual culture of the faultline subgroups as well as the work group as a whole. It is critical for managers to be aware of their work force’s makeup and how natural splits in groups can be leveraged for positive rather than negative outcomes.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is an international group of industrial-organizational psychologists whose members study and apply scientific principles concerning workplace productivity, motivation, leadership and engagement.

The Curse of the Workplace Bully

I'll admit it: I watch gossipy entertainment shows. I really don't care what Brangelina is doing on any given day, or if Britney has some new drama going...

Survey: Half of Americans Have Experienced Workplace Bullying

More than half of the working American population has suffered or witnessed workplace bullying, including verbal abuse, job sabotage, abuse of authority...

One Out of Four Workers Have Experienced Workplace Discrimination

With unemployment rising and competition in the workplace increasing, it’s tough to get a job – or get ahead – in today’s market. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that more than one in four American adults – 27 percent – say they have encountered employment discrimination....

Workplace Gender Inequality Still Alive Worldwide

Despite big changes over recent decades, workplace gender inequalities endure in the United States and other industrialized nations around the world. According to University of Washington sociologists, these inequalities are created by facets of national social policy that either ease or concentrate the demands of care giving within households and shape expectations in the workplace...

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Workplace faultlines can ease psychological distress among employees | View Clip
12/28/2010
Reliable Plant

Newswise

Psychological distress in the workplace costs American businesses about $193 billion annually, according to the National Mental Health Association.

Therefore organizations need to understand and address employees' mental health which can have a significant impact upon corporate effectiveness and profitability, said Chester Spell, associate professor of management at Rutgers University.

“Psychological distress is often caused by an injustice, either real or perceived, which can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, exhaustion and disengagement from fellow workers,” he explained. “Obviously none of these are beneficial to an organization.”

Spell and co-researchers Katerina Bezrukova of Santa Clara University and Jamie L. Perry, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers, undertook a study to determine if the composition of work groups could play a role in reducing psychological distress arising from injustice.

Men and women who held jobs and were enrolled in evening graduate courses were asked to distributed questionnaires to their respective work groups seeking information about injustices, demographics and psychological distress. In all, more than 675 questionnaires were returned from a cross section of industrial groups, including retail or wholesale trade, manufacturing, hospitals, real estate, insurance and transportation.

“Unfairness in the workplace affecting job performance, satisfaction and other attitudes and behaviors has been the subject of considerable research but we looked at psychological distress as an outcome of injustice,” he said.

“Injustice takes on several forms and we focused on four, including 1) procedural, which has to do with the way decisions are made for the workplace group; 2) distributive, the perceived fairness of outcome distributions such as bonuses and pay raises; 3) informational, which is providing adequate and honest explanations for company decisions, and 4) interpersonal, which is the perceived fairness in treating individuals with dignity, respect and courtesy by supervisors or administrators.

Of the four, interpersonal injustice had the strongest effect on psychological distress, said Spell. Distributive injustice was next strongest.

“As expected, our results indicate that employees who feel their supervisors did not support them or look out for their interests were the most distressed,” Spell said. He added that injustices, bullying or abuse directed personally at an employee can hurt to the core, especially if done in front of others. “Such an attack really sticks on a person and affects their mental health in that workplace situation.”

So how can work groups alleviate injustices?

One way, the researchers argue, is through demographic faultlines, which are alignments of group member characteristics (eg. age, gender, seniority, education). “Faultlines are often considered disruptive and can cause rifts within the workplace. In fact, previous research has focused on how faultlines can create an environment of distrust, conflict and other problems,” Spell said.

However, there can be a positive side to these workplace divisions which can be healthy.

“We found that members of subgroups within a group with a faultline can cope with injustice by cooperating with each other and lessen the effects of injustice on psychological distress,” he said.

“For example, take a work group comprised of both senior male engineers nearing retirement as well as young female sales agents who are fairly recent graduates of a business school and who have not had a great amount of work experience. Two distinct subgroups are formed by a faultline based upon members' differences in age, gender, experience and educational background,” Spell said.

“There could be a rift between the old and young group members that could result in a dysfunctional workplace and hurt productivity. On the other hand, there could be a sense of cooperation involving the older group's talents and experience combined with the younger group's eagerness to learn and enthusiasm. Both subgroups could recognize the abilities of each other and use them as leverage to be productive,” he added.

Injustices can vary across groups depending upon their demographic composition. When, for example, office policies seem to affect one subgroup more than others, they will often create an informal pact to address the supervisor about the perceived injustice. “People who are more alike (women, older people, occupational groups, etc.) may do this to protect themselves,” said Spell.

The study found that faultline subgroups tend to support their fellow workers who seem to be the target of unfair treatment. “They can offer their concerns and help make other employees feel better about the interpersonal injustice inflicted upon their co-workers,” said Spell. “This support, in turn, shows how faultlines can be ‘healthy divides' by providing a potential coping mechanism for workplace injustices.

He said this finding runs counter to the notion that faultlines are dysfunctional.

Spell said managers should be aware of the composition of work groups within the organization since faultlines are common in groups because of globalization and diversification of the workplace. For example, if an organization has gone through downsizing and layoffs and surviving employees are experiencing anxiety about their jobs, managers should recognize that groups with faultlines may actually buffer the effects of workforce reductions on employees' psychological well being.

This can be accomplished, said Spell, by the employees interacting with each other to discuss their workplace situations, within their respective subgroups.

Often employees dealing with an injustice that is causing personal distress have limited responses. “They can take their grievance directly to their supervisor, go above the supervisor to complain or seek legal recourse, none of which they are comfortable pursuing. Another course is to quit, also not what an employee wants,” Spell said.

People in work groups with faultline subgroup similarities tend to gravitate toward each other based upon their similarities. “I call that a ‘safe harbor' where employees are comfortable with each other and can confide about office problems. It provides a social support mechanism which can help relieve distress and this is healthy,” he said.

Managers want work groups to be productive and work together, so it becomes important to pay attention to the individual culture of the faultline subgroups as well as the work group as a whole. It is critical for managers to be aware of their work force's makeup and how natural splits in groups can be leveraged for positive rather than negative outcomes.

Faultline or work group composition can be a fine line and it is the wise manager who recognizes this and can leverage them to the advantage of the work group and the organization.

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is an international group of more than 7,800 industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists whose members study and apply scientific principles concerning workplace productivity, motivation, leadership and engagement. SIOP's mission is to enhance human well-being and performance in organizational and work settings by promoting the science, practice and teaching of I-O psychology. For more information about SIOP, including a Media Resources service that lists nearly 2,000 experts in more than 100 topic areas, visit www.siop.org.

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Workplace Faultlines Can Ease Psychological Distress Among Employees, Rutgers University and Santa Clara University Study | View Clip
12/27/2010
BioSpace.com

12/27/2010

Medical News Today -- Psychological distress in the workplace costs American businesses about $193 billion annually, according to the National Mental Health Association.

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THE DIRECTOR OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HE SAYS RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THIS SEASON.
12/27/2010
CBS 5 Eyewitness News at 6 AM - KPIX-TV

THE DIRECTOR OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY HE SAYS RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THIS SEASON. TOO MUCH INVENTORY A COUPLE YEARS AGO TAKEN BY SURPRISE. LAST YEAR THEY CUT BACK TOO MUCH THIS YEAR, JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE BALANCE. BUT MERCHANDISE MIGHT BE A LITTLE MORE PICKED OVER. YEAH, I HAVE TO DIG THIS IS FOR THE HARD CORE SHOPPERS. THREE QUARTERS OF AMERICANS BOUGHT GIFT CARDS THIS SEASON, WHICH MEANS MANY SHOPPERS ARE ARMED WITH PLASTIC RETAILERS HOPE THEY WILL USE. RETAILERS CAN'T REPORT SALES NUMBERS FROM THE GIFT CARDS UNTIL THE DOLLAR AMOUNT IS SPENT. I HAVE A LOT TO SPEND. I AM STARTING TODAY. ANN MAKOVEC CBS 5.

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DISHL TORE OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY.
12/27/2010
NewsChannel 7 at Noon - WSPA-TV

STILL SNOW POSSIBLE I THE SNOWSTORM ALONG THE EAST COAST PUT A DAMPER ON POST CHRISTMAS DAY SHOPPING. ACROSS THE REST OF THE USSHOPPERS TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE SALES MANY SPENDING GIFT CARDS. THE RETAIL FEDERATION PREDICTS SPENDING WILL BE UP 3.3 OVER LAST YEAR. WE HAVE THE 7 ON YOUR SIDE CONSUMER WATCH. OO STORES AND MALLS ARE PACKED WITH POST HOLIDAY SHOPPERS ALONG WITH AN AGENDA. I HAVE AN EXTRA LARGE SHIRT AND I AM GOING TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT SO I THOUGHT I WOULD EXCHANGE IT. THE BIGGEST MOTIVATION. MALL WIDE A LOT OF PRICE CUTS EVERY WHERE. GOOD TIME TO SHOP. THE 6 DAYS BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR CAN ACCOUNT FOR 15 PERCENT OF THE SEASON'S SPENDING. EVEN WITH THE SALES. THEY ARE REALLY GENEROUS. 60 TO 70 PERCENT OFF. THEY ARE BUSY ALL OVER THE BAY AREA AND IT HAS BEEN A BUSY HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON. THE BIGGEST SINCE 2007 WHICH ITSELF WAS A RECORD BREAKER. PEOPLE ARE FEELING GOOD. RETARRYLS ARE ALSO FEELING GOOD. DISHL TORE OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THIS SEASON. TOO MUCH INVENTORY TAKEN BY SURPRISE BY EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED. LAST YEAR CUT BACK TOO MUCH. THIS YEAR WAS A LITTLE MORE BALANCE. EMERGENCY MIGHT BE A LITTLE MORE PICKED OVER AT THIS POINT. THIS IS LIKE FOR THE HARD-CORE SHOPPER. ABOUT THREE QUARTERS OF AMERICANS BOUGHT GIFT CARDS THIS SEASON WHICH MEANS MANY SHOPPERS ARE ARMED WITH PLASTIC THAT RETAILERS HOPE THEY USE. THEY CAN TAKE THE MONEY FROM THE GIFT CARD AND REPORT IT FOR THE NUMBERS AS SPENT. CBS NEWS. KEEP IN MIND IF YOU ARE HEADED TO THE MALL MANY OF THE STORES HAVE 15 PERCENT RESTOCKING FEES ON ELECTRONICS THEY DON'T LET THE STORE SELL OPEN ITEMS AS NEW. THEY ARE DROPPING THE RESTOCKING FEE FOR THE HOLIDAYS. AMAZON. COM HAS PATENTED AWAY FOR YOU TO RETURN GIFTS BEFORE RECEIVING THEM. WASHINGTON REPORTS POSTS YOU CAN IDENTIFY SENDERS AND REJECT THEIR GIFTS IN ADVANCE SAVING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN PACKING AND MAILING THOSE ITEMS BACK. OO LIVE VIPER IS A LOT QUIETER THAN IT HAS BEEN IN SOMETIME. WE ARE CLEAR IN THE UPSTATE. SNOW SHOWERS WITHERED AWAY. THERE ARE CLOUDS IN THE TENNESSEE BORDER LIGHT SNOW FLURRYINGS TOO LIGHT TO BE DETECTED ON RADAR. OCCASIONALLY WE WILL SEE THE SNOW SHOWERS FLARE-UP THIS AFTERNOON AS GUSTY WINDS CONTINUE TO BANK THE MOISTURE. WE ARE NOT DONE WITH THE MOUNTAIN SNOW QUITE YET. A WINTER STORM WARNING REPLAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6:00 IN THE NORTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE BORDER. POTENTIAL FOR ANOTHER INCH OF SNOW. PEAKS COULD BE CLOSER TO 2 OR THREE. AT THE TAIL END OF THE SYSTEM. PLUS POTENTIAL FOR GUSTY WINDS. THE WINTER ADD VIEDZ RY IN EFFECT IN THE MOUNTAINS OF GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA EXPIRE AT NOON. WINDS ARE GOING TO BE AN ISSUE ACROSS THE MOUNTAIN AREAS IN ADDITION TO THE FACT WE WOULD HAVE GUSTY WINDS IN THE WINTER STORM AREA. HIGH WIND WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE DARKER SHADE OF BLUE HERE. HENDERSONVILLE THROUGH MARION AND NORTHEAST. BRIDGE TOPS COULD SEE GUSTS OF 50 MILES AN HOUR. A WINTER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR SOUTHERN JACKSON COUNTIES AND HIGHER ELEVATIONS IN PICKENS COUNTY. WE COULD SEE 40-50 MILE PER HOUR WIND GUSTS THIS AFTERNOON.

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THE DIRECTOR OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SAYS RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THE SEASON.
12/27/2010
CBS 13 News at Noon - KOVR-TV

THE DIRECTOR OF THE RETAIL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SAYS RETAILERS STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE THE SEASON.

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Workplace Faultlines Can Ease Psychological Distress Among Employees | View Clip
12/26/2010
Medical News Today

Psychological distress in the workplace costs American businesses about $193 billion annually, according to the National Mental Health Association.

Therefore organizations need to understand and address employees' mental health which can have a significant impact upon corporate effectiveness and profitability, said Chester Spell, associate professor of management at Rutgers University.

"Psychological distress is often caused by an injustice, either real or perceived, which can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, exhaustion and disengagement from fellow workers," he explained. "Obviously none of these are beneficial to an organization."

Spell and co-researchers Katerina Bezrukova of Santa Clara University and Jamie L. Perry, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers, undertook a study to determine if the composition of work groups could play a role in reducing psychological distress arising from injustice.

Men and women who held jobs and were enrolled in evening graduate courses were asked to distributed questionnaires to their respective work groups seeking information about injustices, demographics and psychological distress. In all, more than 675 questionnaires were returned from a cross section of industrial groups, including retail or wholesale trade, manufacturing, hospitals, real estate, insurance and transportation.

"Unfairness in the workplace affecting job performance, satisfaction and other attitudes and behaviors has been the subject of considerable research but we looked at psychological distress as an outcome of injustice," he said.

"Injustice takes on several forms and we focused on four, including 1) procedural, which has to do with the way decisions are made for the workplace group; 2) distributive, the perceived fairness of outcome distributions such as bonuses and pay raises; 3) informational, which is providing adequate and honest explanations for company decisions, and 4) interpersonal, which is the perceived fairness in treating individuals with dignity, respect and courtesy by supervisors or administrators.

Of the four, interpersonal injustice had the strongest effect on psychological distress, said Spell. Distributive injustice was next strongest.

"As expected, our results indicate that employees who feel their supervisors did not support them or look out for their interests were the most distressed," Spell said. He added that injustices, bullying or abuse directed personally at an employee can hurt to the core, especially if done in front of others. "Such an attack really sticks on a person and affects their mental health in that workplace situation."

So how can work groups alleviate injustices?

One way, the researchers argue, is through demographic faultlines, which are alignments of group member characteristics (eg. age, gender, seniority, education). "Faultlines are often considered disruptive and can cause rifts within the workplace. In fact, previous research has focused on how faultlines can create an environment of distrust, conflict and other problems," Spell said.

However, there can be a positive side to these workplace divisions which can be healthy.

"We found that members of subgroups within a group with a faultline can cope with injustice by cooperating with each other and lessen the effects of injustice on psychological distress," he said.

"For example, take a work group comprised of both senior male engineers nearing retirement as well as young female sales agents who are fairly recent graduates of a business school and who have not had a great amount of work experience. Two distinct subgroups are formed by a faultline based upon members' differences in age, gender, experience and educational background," Spell said.

"There could be a rift between the old and young group members that could result in a dysfunctional workplace and hurt productivity. On the other hand, there could be a sense of cooperation involving the older group's talents and experience combined with the younger group's eagerness to learn and enthusiasm. Both subgroups could recognize the abilities of each other and use them as leverage to be productive," he added.

Injustices can vary across groups depending upon their demographic composition. When, for example, office policies seem to affect one subgroup more than others, they will often create an informal pact to address the supervisor about the perceived injustice. "People who are more alike (women, older people, occupational groups, etc.) may do this to protect themselves," said Spell.

The study found that faultline subgroups tend to support their fellow workers who seem to be the target of unfair treatment. "They can offer their concerns and help make other employees feel better about the interpersonal injustice inflicted upon their co-workers," said Spell. "This support, in turn, shows how faultlines can be 'healthy divides' by providing a potential coping mechanism for workplace injustices.

He said this finding runs counter to the notion that faultlines are dysfunctional.

Spell said managers should be aware of the composition of work groups within the organization since faultlines are common in groups because of globalization and diversification of the workplace. For example, if an organization has gone through downsizing and layoffs and surviving employees are experiencing anxiety about their jobs, managers should recognize that groups with faultlines may actually buffer the effects of workforce reductions on employees' psychological well being.

This can be accomplished, said Spell, by the employees interacting with each other to discuss their workplace situations, within their respective subgroups.

Often employees dealing with an injustice that is causing personal distress have limited responses. "They can take their gri