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Silicon Valley News Notes

Mandatory Drug Tests For California Lawmakers?

A press release arrived last week from California's secretary of state, Debra Bowen, that read like something in The Onion. It announced the approval of an initiative to require drug and alcohol tests of all members of the state Legislature. Among other things, the statute would "prevent a legislator who tests positive from performing his or her official duties or from getting paid until that legislator completes a substance abuse program." Fly can practically hear the conversation that led to this effort: "I think they're all high on glue." "What are they, smoking crack?" So here's a question: Is this campaign further evidence of just how cynical government-bashers have become? Or is it proof that the proponents, Dorothy Cummings and Gary Ellis, have a pretty good sense of humor? Potentially telling detail: The proposed law "provides exception for use of medicinal marijuana."

BizJournal Loses Chairman to Bee Sting; Hit by Random Vandalism

Staffers at the San Jose–Silicon Valley Business Journal arrived at their offices Monday morning to discover two saddening surprises. One was broken glass from a brick thrown through their break room window. The other was a mass email informing them that Ray Shaw, the chairman of their parent company, had died Sunday of a bee sting. (Fly never liked bees anyway.) The 75-year-old chairman had been working in his garage in Charlotte, N.C., when he was stung by a yellow jacket and collapsed, relatives said. Shaw had just celebrated being head of the business-news empire, American City Business Journals, for two decades this year. "Ray was an extremely generous individual who took great pride in the business and his employees," Silicon Valley/ San Jose publisher James MacGregor said in an announcement on the Journal's website. Last month the BizJournal won top prizes at the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club awards, including first prize in the breaking news category for its story on Safeway coming to downtown San Jose, headlined "The 88 may bag a grocer." As for the vandalism, managing editor Cromwell Schubarth says that they do not currently know the cause of the crime. Fly thinks this brick may just be an effort by Pez Candy Co. operatives to terrorize all who use the word "Pez" without official consent from their Austrian headquarters (the Business Journal ran a story on Pez's ongoing lawsuit with Burlingame's Museum of Pez Memorabilia last Wednesday.)


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