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Public Eye

Lecture Circuit

Nancy Weiner, project manager for the Santa Clara County children's shelter, wants to send Eye back to school for saying last week that the C.W. Washington School at the shelter was undergoing an identity crisis. To backtrack: there is a sign in front of the building that reads McKenna School, as in power couple Regis and Dianne McKenna, and the Office of Education's school directory lists the school as McKenna School. Someone should have told public information officer Marla Olszewski, who said earlier that the school is still officially known as C.W. Washington. Even the school's assistant principal, Wes Mason, was unsure as to the school's actual name. ... Weiner, however, lectured Eye for eight full minutes on the importance of getting the facts straight and not embarrassing people. "The building's name is McKenna School," the project's top dog informed Eye. "We don't have anything to do with naming the school itself." ... Anyway, Weiner thinks the story caused the McKennas a great deal of embarrassment, especially since Regis headed up the campaign to raise $8 million for the new shelter and all. Weiner says it was decided to name the school building McKenna because the couple wasn't comfortable with having the entire shelter named after them.


Hold Sway

The young and hip among you will recall that a couple of months ago, two DJs from KYLD told their listeners to go out and cold-cock anyone wearing competing radio station KMEL's gear. And just last week, DJs from KYLD were dissing KMEL on-air personalities for planning to participate in a charity basketball game in San Jose. ... But then a funny thing happened. Evergreen Communications, the owners of top-rated KMEL 106.1, launched a bid to buy runner-up KYLD 107.7. Once rumor of the impending sale got out, the KYLD DJs suddenly showed up to play in the charity basketball game in question. On Monday morning, to everyone's surprise, KYLD invited KMEL's morning man, Sway, on their air--live. KMEL's assistant program director Michael Erickson confirm recent events have been most interesting. "I have never seen anything like this before," Erickson admits. "But we won't be inviting any of their personalities on our air anytime soon. We don't have to. We're still the number one station." ... As for any format changes, Erickson feels everything will remain the same for the time being. "The possibilities are endless," he understates. "But we're having fun creating our wish lists."


Clueless

There probably haven't been this many secessionists in San Jose since the War Between the States. Now Willow Glen is joining the Almaden Valley as a neighborhood exploring the possibility of seceding from the San Jose Unified School District. It seems that some parents in this upscale enclave have a dim view of SJUSD, a district under court-ordered desegregation since the early '80s. The whole issue was sparked this past winter when the district forged ahead with plans to implement a bilingual education program in one of Booksin Elementary School's kindergarten classes without asking parents if they wanted it. Parents involved with the revolt say that while teaching 5-year-olds in both Spanish and English did not drive the movement, the process was "the straw that broke the camel's back." ... In any case, parents in the district may not be unified enough to pull it off. While some parents from Booksin, Willow Glen and Hacienda elementary schools back the plan, parents from Schallenberger and River Glen (where there are large numbers of children bused in from outside of Willow Glen) appear to be balking. The group also may not win the support of SJUSD trustee Carol Myers, who says: " I represent Willow Glen but I am accountable to other children in the district. I can't see myself supporting this. They are not an island out there unto themselves. They haven't got a clue how to run a school district." ... Fellow secessionist Barbara Palmer from Aptos, who is heading a movement to shift Aptos out of the Pajaro Valley School District, warned the crowd, "You will be an emotional target. It is not politically correct right now to do this. I haven't found any groups that have seceded that weren't called racists."


Jaws

Apparently, those dynamic Milpitas public officials can't get to the point--if their cellular phone bills are any indication. In February police chief Charlie Lawson spent $304 and city manager Larry Moore racked up $310 on their bills, not including a $105 reimbursement. In September Rec and Community Services director Cathy Dressler stuck the city's taxpayers with a $340 bill. Over six months, Dressler had spent $1,186 in cell phone bills, or about $200 a month, not including a $334 reimbursement. Finance Director Larry Sabo finally pointed out that most city officials using the town's 42 phones have simply been turning in the top covers of their bills, not bothering to itemize for personal calls. He suggested a cell phone allowance. ... An unidentified watchdog raised a stink about the expenses recently, leading Mayor Pete McHugh to ask for itemized bills for every city phone. When the city council discusses the matter on April 16, they might consider comparing their bills to those of Sunnyvale, a town with a rep for good government. The public safety chief there spent $420 for a full year's worth of jabbering. The employment department head's bill was much higher, but not that high: $1,500 for the year. The city manager uses his own cell phone. ... Sunnyvale's total cell phone bill for this fiscal year is estimated at $35,000. That's slightly less than Milpitas plans to spend, even though Sunnyvale is more than twice as large as Milpitas. ... The council also learned that a phone hacker had hijacked a building inspector's phone, running up $400 in one vocal weekend. The phone company forgave that bill.


Proud to Ignore Republicans

There's been another changing of the guard at the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee, the gay group best known for its high-profile annual dinners to attract vote-seeking politicos of all stripes and persuasions. Leslee Hamilton, who managed BAYMEC co-founder Ken Yeager's recent unsuccessful Democratic candidacy for the state Assembly, is now the president of BAYMEC. Under the leadership of former president Tom Myers during 1995, BAYMEC had made a concerted effort to reach out to gay Republicans, much to the consternation of some longtime Democratic members of the group. ... Now, however, BAYMEC is on the program committee for "Win With Pride in '96," a national meeting of "gay and lesbian Democratic clubs around the nation" in Philadelphia next month. Among the goals of the meeting: "supporting the Clinton-Gore campaign" and "promoting the Democratic Party within the gay community." ... Gay Republicans shouldn't necessarily feel left out in the cold, however, since Silicon Valley already has its own chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans. But their dinners usually can fit into just a couple of tables.


Lunch Special

If you've been searching for parking around Mountain View's main drag lately, you might have noticed the ailing sign behind the Dynasty Restaurant on Castro Street. The banner, through wind or rain, or perhaps the mischievous hand of a prankster, has lost its first two letters, the result being, well, nasty. (No, Eye hasn't noticed a menu change or the addition of live entertainment.) Note to owners: don't let this go.


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From the April 11-17, 1996 issue of Metro

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