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The Fly

The Dragon of Milpitas

Milpitas Vice Mayor Patricia Dixon isn't making many friends in law enforcement these days. Four Milpitas officers say Dixon threatened their jobs in the anti-drug DARE program because the Police Officers Association failed to endorse her re-election bid. According to a letter sent to Dixon by police association attorney David Clisham, the goldy-locked Dixon was "hostile and confrontational" March 17, telling officers she was "disappointed by their vote of no confidence" at a DARE graduation ceremony at Sinnott Elementary School. Dixon, who didn't return Fly's phone calls, reportedly told officers the graduation would be the last one the DARE program would conduct because she would make sure the program was eliminated. Milpitas has had an ongoing debate about budget cuts, layoffs and shrinking rank-and-file salaries. On the other end of the spectrum, the City Council has been generous with City Manager Tom Wilson, who received a $20,000 raise three weeks ago, with Dixon's blessing. City employees are fed up, forming a coalition that endorsed two candidates: incumbent Councilman Robert Livengood, who voted against Wilson's salary increase, and Debra Giordano, a planning commissioner who lives on the same street as Dixon. "We're having problems getting small things accomplished," says Eric Emmanuele, vice president of the Police Officers Association. "It's the politics of pettiness. Things aren't getting done because of personalities." Expect the race for the two at-large seats to remain hot and heavy--the election is still seven months away. At some point, candidates might want to ask themselves if it's worth getting down and dirty for a $861-per-month job.

Rubber Baby Buddy Bumper

Christians are celebrating born-again President George W. Bush's stab at heathen condom usage with a push for new warning labels on rubbers. The idea, which the FDA might entertain, aims to broadcast the fact that having sex always poses the risk of trading a sexually transmitted disease. The Fly wonders, why mess around with packaging? Why not put the warning right on the penis? And instead of reading, "Condoms don't protect against all sexually transmitted diseases," or whatever the FDA agrees to, the penis tattoo could command, "Stay off unless you're a God-fearing female and my wife." (Ephesians 5:23, or something.) Fun condom fact: Marin County pharmacist Fred Mayer gave birth to the first Condom Day at UC-Berkeley, March 17, 1977.

The Body Police

Normally calm and collected, the Feminist Majority is freaking out over the thought that a U.S. Supreme Court Justice could croak. "We just received shocking news," the women power group exclaimed in a March 10 letter to supporters. "U.S. Supreme Court justices initially voted 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade in a 1992 case." Dead former Justice Harry Blackmun's secret journal recently became public, revealing that Justice Anthony Kennedy switched his anti-Roe v. Wade vote at the last minute because of peer pressure from not-conservative Justice David Souter and wishy-washy moderate Sandra Day O'Connor, saving legal abortion but barely. The alarm has sounded because abortion almost became illegal again and feminists (who own that issue) didn't know about it. Also, one liberal or wishy-washy justice bites the dust and the conservative administration gets to appoint a new pro-life lifer to the voting seat. Bye-bye right to choose; hello unwanted baby boom! Spry but very old liberal Justice John Paul Stevens is 84 and 11/12ths, and is therefore statistically near death. Pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is only 71--Ruth: happy birthday (it was March 15)--but she's a sickly 71, having had colon surgery in 1999. The Feminist Majority regional spokesperson--who commits that most irritating of PR flak behaviors: refusing to give her name for publication--says pro-choicers should be on high alert. She recommends locals worried about the growth of the Rehnquist-Scalia-Thomas conservabloc head to the mega-rally for women's rights in Washington, D.C., April 25.

Bankrupting the Baby Sitters

Varian Medical Systems will not be deterred in collecting the more than $1 million owed to them by Internet gadflies Michelangelo Delfino and Mary Day. While the California Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear Delfino and Day's case, for Varian, it's apparently all about the money. Delfino and Day, of course, happen to be broke. First, Varian, using the high-priced Pillsbury-Winthrop law firm, contemplated taking the couple's VCR ("High Rollers," Feb. 12). Now, the stakes are even higher. This week, Delfino and Day learned that Varian had garnished the savings and checking accounts of Day's two teenage daughters. From Day's 14-year-old, Tessa, the mega-company took exactly $896.84---most of it coming from baby-sitting earnings--and $237.98 from 17-year-old Tria. "We haven't told [Day's daughters] yet," confessed a perplexed Delfino. "We don't know exactly how to handle it. We don't know what to tell them. So far, we basically told them, Don't use your account because there's a problem with Wells Fargo. Should we have told them, Some guy came over and took your money because your parents were on the Internet? This is a tough one for kids to understand." Thomas Loran, Varian's attorney from Pillsbury-Winthrop, said it was not their intention to swipe the kids' money. "The only money we're seeking to levy are monies held in the names of Delfino and Day," Loran says. "If they're holding money in the trustee of somebody else or the accounts are set up in a child's name, we're certainly not levying on that. If someone has information that it was a mistake, certainly Varian would rectify that immediately." Otherwise, it's back to the neighbor's house for Tessa and Tria. There's legal bills to pay.

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From the March 24-31, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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