Letters to the Editor
"Money from Above" (Cover Story, April 22) by Diane Solomon was well researched and timely, and it made key links between local, state and federal programs. The resources listed at the end are particularly useful.
It did, however, contain a couple of inaccuracies. Where it reported that I received "one of San Jose's first federal Recovery Act gigs," it should have said that I received "one of San Jose's first federal solar- energy-related gigs under the Obama Administration.
Although I already have a "Green Job," it's not directly funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the Stimulus Package). I do not think that anything I have done yet for DOE involves stimulus funds, and the federal government might be very sensitive to this distinction.
Greg Bernal-Mendoza Smestad
The IPA issue (The Fly, "What's Up, Bro?" April 22) raises the question of why, in the "Capital of Silicon Valley," San Jose's leadership did not know Chris Constantin had a brother on the police force. Mayor Reed or any City Council member (or any city staff member) should have easily been able to find out within minutes on a computer.
All the more reason San Jose's citizens must demand to take their city back from corruption now.
How many contacts with city officials can a lobbyist make and still be considered ethical?
Nineteen seems to fall within the ballpark since ex-mayor McEnery was forgiven for his nineteen unreported contacts. Also permitted was providing a City Council person free access to a Shark's game. This gives me an idea: what about setting up a check list to be used by any committee evaluating the activities of lobbyists and others seeking special considerations from the city? All that is needed are the titles of favor seekers (like former mayors and council members, developers, business organizations, etc.) and the number of ethical slip-ups each group is allowed.
For example, 25 ethical slip-ups for a former mayor, 20 for a developer, 19 for an athletic organization. The same might be done with free passes. This would make ethical behaviors quantifiable and save groups like the Elections Commission from the intellectual exercise of objectively evaluating lobbyists.
We opened up a business, because it's the American dream ("Crazy About Donuts," MetroMenu, April 8). Because it has a chance of surviving a severe recession, we chose a donut shop.
We made it very different, because if we didn't, it would be like any other donut shop. Because our donuts look and taste crazy, we chose a fitting name. Because donuts have no feelings, they won't be upset that we're making fun of them. Because we love Campbell, we chose our location. Because we will not fire our eight employees, we won't shut down the shop. Because of First Amendment rights, we won't change our name. Some groups are going after us—and not South Park and Mind of Mencia—because they are bullies.
Because there are a million donut shops, everyone has a choice. Because most people have a sense of humor and like our donuts, we are thriving.
Kipp Berdianski, Psycho Donuts