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08.19.09

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Silicon Valley News Notes

Fogan Race Is Over— Rocha In?

Pam Foley dropped out of the San Jose City Council District 9 race Tuesday morning, saying she had decided that cannot balance being a mother, a school board member and a businesswoman while running a campaign. "I'm really, really sad about it," Foley told Fly. In dropping out, the city has lost a candidate with psychic ability to predict the future: "It was tough because I know was going to win this race," she said. "I had everything." She wanted Fly to assure her supporters that "this is not an 'I will never run' but rather a 'not now' announcement." Foley pointedly did not endorse Jim Cogan, the only other candidate running for the seat. Foley, who is a trustee on the San Jose Unified School District board, announced her decision at 9am after considering it for two weeks. Perhaps her decision to drop out will influence Donald Rocha, a Cambrian school board trustee, to jump in the race. The day before Foley's announcement, Rocha, who works with the city's redevelopment agency, said he was "seriously" considering a run for the open seat, but said he wouldn't be ready to make a decision until October. Rocha is already getting comfortable on the 19th floor, where he is filling in as chief of staff for Councilmember Rose Herrera while her chief of staff, Jennifer Malutta, is on maternity leave.


Texting on the Dais

Anyone who has watched an open meeting of City Council will have seen councilmembers fiddling with their iPhones and Blackberries to check their latest emails or text messages. Councilmember Sam Liccardo now argues that those messages should be disclosed to the public as part of the city's policy on open governance. "Council meetings are open to the public for a reason," Liccardo says, "and if we're voting on a matter and outside groups are using private means to communicate with us about how we should or shouldn't vote, the public ought to know what's being said and who's saying it." The issue, which is not currently covered by city ordinances, could come up for debate as early as today's City Council meeting. Perhaps that would be a good time to text your representatives and let them know whether or not you support the proposal.


'Text a Librarian' Launches in San Jose

It happens all the time. You're stuck in a bar debating (1) who won the Second Battle of Vicksburg, (2) what were the names of the Seven Dwarfs or (3) whether it really can rain cats and dogs (answers below). San Jose residents now have a simple way to find the answer, and it's free of charge. No, not Wikipedia. All they have to do is text 66746, followed by AskSJ, and a professional librarian from the city's public libraries or San Jose State University will text them back the answer. Questions can be texted 24/7, though unlike Wikipedia, libraries have set hours, so you'll only get your answer between 1 and 6pm. And there are some questions that even the best librarian can't answer, such as: Where can I find a place to park, so that I can pop into the library and look up the answer myself? (1: General Robert E. Lee. 2: Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Sneezy. 3: Not cats and dogs, but it can rain frogs and fish.)

 

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