[Metroactive Features]

[ Features Index | Metro | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

Silicon Folly

[whitespace] It was the best of times; it was the festive times. Three cheers to the good, the bad and the smugly of 1998.


Sucking, the new French way
We can all probably agree that the best thing to come out of the U.S. team's foray to the World Cup in France was that Merc sports columnist Ann Killion got a six-week European vacation. After all the hype, the training and the false hope, Team USA, led by local ballman Eric Wynalda, managed to remind the world that the U.S. is still a 98-pound weakling in international soccer. Blame the coach, blame the U.S. "system," blame Elvis, for all we care, the U.S. played the kind of heartless, joyless game that got it stomped by Germany and Yugoslavia and even pathetic Iran.

Park different
Deposed Apple CEO Gil Amelio complained in a book that he wasted much time circling in his Cadillac looking for a parking spot in Apple's once-crowded garage. ("I refused to let my brain tally the cost of the time searching for the space," he calculated.) His successor, interim CEO Steve Jobs, Amelio whines, "drove himself to work, just as I had done...but in the largest, most expensive Mercedes Benz, the S600, [and when] faced with the same problem of finding places to park, he solved it by using spaces reserved for the handicapped" until an employee slapped a placard on his car that read "Park Different."

He ran his personal finances like
he ran Apple Computer, too

Despite $7.7 million in compensation, Amelio groused that he was only in the 70th percentile of Fortune 500 CEOs and wound up $500,000 in the hole after taxes and repayment of a loan to Apple.

I see they have Shakespeare, but how much
is a burger and fries?

As the San José Repertory Theatre took shape this year, we ignored the wags who mistook the architectural masterpiece for a large trash dumpster. Then some genius slapped a marquee on it more suited to a strip joint than a rep theater. The cheesy backlit sign can make even Twelfth Night look like GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS!

The new urban assault vehicle package:
cell phone, alarm, machete

Early in December, Santa Clara's Zoya Moghaddas missed the exit at Wolfe Road on I-280, steering her Ford Explorer into a dense swath of bushes and trees between the off-ramp and the highway. Bleeding profusely from head injuries, she used her cell phone to place a dazed call to the CHP, who took almost an hour to find her because she was so deep in the brush. The state's finest finally located Moghaddas by following the sound of her truck's alarm.


300 days of sunshine a year, 5,153 high-tech firms, 10,000 rat sightings ...
Noticeably absent from the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Web site is this bit of trivia: 1998 was a blue-ribbon year for service calls to County Vector Control--10,000 people called to report rat sightings or infestations, the second highest number ever.

My god, who could have done such a ...
hey, what's this?

In October a brave Cupertino resident, noticing her door ajar, broke up a burglary-in-progress by screaming "Get out!" into her house. Jeffrey Williams came running out with stolen goods, hopped into a hot Honda Accord and led police on a wild chase to Palo Alto, where he escaped on foot. Police tracked his identity down, thanks to a day planner he left in the car that contained a small photograph of himself.

Own an electric coffee grinder? Health club membership? Watch The Learning Channel?
You must live in Willow Glen

A New York-based market research firm that specializes in "lifestyle segmentation" identified the top five demographic clusters in the Valley: American Dreams, Young Literati, Kids & Cul-de-sacs, Money & Brains and Winner's circle. nearly half of willow glen's 16,400 households fall into the Money & Brains cluster.


Apple's Edsel--it has everything but fins
Sure, the new iMac is Apple's fastest-selling Mac yet. But the egg-headed machine doesn't have an internal floppy, and some users are grumbling about its stylish but ergonomically incorrect mouse. Think different--even if it hurts.

Illustration by Steven DeCinzo

Values? What values? Show me the stock options!
In an article about Silicon Valley's techno-culture, The Washington Post reflected that the valley's "potent mixture of technology and money" has created a region with "its own language, norms and, ultimately, values."

Sunnyvale: The 'Tow Me' State
Sunnyvale city officials settled a class-action lawsuit in August after they admitted being unaware of changes in a law that led the city to hold onto towed cars longer than was legal. Ignorance of the law, which changed in January (cough) 1996, will cost city taxpayers an expected $67,000.


And no more wire hangers!
According to a report prepared by the office of Sunnyvale city manager Robert LaSala in September, the city is determined to help secure funding for a new "$14 million hanger [sic]" at Moffett Field. Of course, the city would like to see a hangar constructed to keep the testy crew of the 129th Air Guard at ease. The city report warns, "If the hanger is not built at Moffett, it is likely that the 129th would not stay."

Which do you need first, Karl?
My ad copy or that consumer report?

Not only are the advertisers with The Times Newspaper Group et al. successful entrepreneurs, but they double as topic writers for the chain's papers! no trespass against editorial integrity is too flagrant for executive editor karl laucher: frequently an advertiser's self-penned article appears right alongside his paid advertisement. Did Laucher learn this during his years at the San Jose Mercury News?

It can't be the food, can it?
Inmates in the Santa Clara County Jail have a bad habit of expiring under the tender care of their jailers. This year Brian Vaughn suffered from seizures and drowned in a bathtub, Victor Duran died from a broken neck, and Donald Cox also met his Maker. While only three deaths in a year may not seem like victory, it's actually an improvement over recent years: during 1995 and 1996 a total of 11 inmates died in the county lockup.

We take from the poor and give to ourselves
Tough to say which is the most despicable thing about the five San Jose Goodwill Industries workers who were convicted of embezzling $26 million over 20 years from the nonprofit charity--their greed or their stupidity for not taking the money and running a long time ago.

illustration So who got the award for 'reprehensible service'?
Former acting San Jose police chief Walt Adkins (above) honored Tom Harris with a posthumous Hazardous Duty Award for meritorious service. Harris got the award after murdering his wife, lying about it, then committing suicide in the Los Gatos hills.

Illustration by Fred Harper

Once every 150 or so years, whether we need to or not
Ron Gonzales becomes the first Hispanic to lead San Jose since Dolores Pacheco in 1845. The former Sunnyvale mayor also becomes the first person in anyone's memory to have been mayor of two Silicon Valley cities.

Midlife-schmidlife--staying power without Viagra
Redevelopment chief Frank Taylor, unaccustomed to defeat, threatened to pack up his toys and go home after losing his fight to stop the Town & Country project a few months back. But alas, unnamed councilmembers dissuaded Lord Taylor from ending his color-coordinated reign over downtown San Jose. And in spite of spit-flying words that he might pull the ripcord on his golden parachute if Ron Gonzales were elected mayor, Taylor's mouthpiece now calmly insists that the czar is looking forward to working with the new administration. Big swallow and God save the redevelopment king!

I said Mutt!
Ex-Santa Clara Mayor Eddie Souza lashed out at his nemesis, Judy Nadler, the city's current mayor, in "Public Eye" before the last election by inexplicably calling her "a sleazy slut." When a Metro reporter reminded Souza he was on the record, he snapped back, "I didn't tell you it was off record." The next week, however, the outspoken Souza evidently had missed a few ginkgo pills, because he told the Mercury News he didn't recall ever calling Nadler a slut.

I'd kill for a smoke
Santa Clara County jails chief Timothy Ryan thinks his pokey's too smoky. if he has his way, inmates won't be allowed to smoke or drink coffee in jail after Jan. 1.

Oh, Tommy boy ...
When local Congressman Tom Campbell cast his vote in favor of impeachment last month, it lit a blowtorch under the buns of the normally peaceful citizenry of Campbell. The West Valley's electorate--who put their trusting votes in the so-called moderate reep--didn't appreciate the Camster's choice to go on a bone-doggin' spree with the Republican wolves. Kiss that "moderate" image goodbye, Tomboy, and whatever you do, don't worry about that lingering rumor that a group of disgruntled Campbellites are investigating your sex life. Shoot, there aren't any secrets there worth fibbing about, are there?

Merc Editors ban Monica, Bill and Ken, forcing columnists to plumb the mundane for deeper meaning
A selection of Merc columnist Murry Frymer's column leads, as published in the Mercury News: "Hey, gang, I got myself a new stereo ... I don't know much about the stock market ... Our topic today is depression ... My mission was to get new tires for my car ... It's on days like these that I'm not sure the column is visible among the ads."

More evidence that free speech died in Silicon Valley
Netscape Communications Corp. pulled the plug on employee Web sites after one rogue posted a parody of Apple Computer's "Think Different" ad campaign. The parody version featured photographs of Cambodian mass murderer Pol Pot and serial killers John Wayne Gacy and Theodore Bundy.

illustration Can you write us an advertisement--I mean an article?
January 1998 brought us the first issue of a brand-new city magazine that makes the abysmal San Francisco Magazine seem like Harold Ross' New Yorker. San Jose Magazine, published by a businessman with a closet full of garish ties, Gilbert Sangari (above), served up a new level of dim-witted boosterism, blurry publicity photos and bad syntax. Claiming to be the "authoritative guide to the Silicon Valley," San Jose Magazine served up cutting-edge covers on Silicon Planet, Susan Hammer's house, Kenny Loggins, Peggy Fleming, Celine Dion and the Tech.

illustration Hey, everyone has bad days ...
Nov. 10 will go down in history as a painful date for the San Jose Sharks. That's the night the team ate ice against freshman rookies the Nashville Predators, one of the new expansion teams in the National Hockey League. When it was clear the team was headed for a blunder, even Sharky's furry cheeks turned crimson, and it wasn't because of the chill in the Arena air.

I mean, maybe if we got some support around here ...
When a photographer for Germany's People magazine positioned the German-born San Jose Shark Marco Sturm between the crèche and the manger at "Christmas In the Park" hoping to elicit autograph requests, only the automated Baby Jesus turned to look, just as he does every five seconds. Finally the frustrated camerawoman waylaid a group of women strolling through the park and asked if they would fawn on Marco and ask for autographs while she snapped some "candid" shots. The girls conceded and the photographer fired off instructions: "Okay, girls, flirt with him. Smile. Smile at him. Okay, don't cover him up ..."

Beam me your BMW, please
Journalist Lars Sørensen discovered that a Pilot Palm III personal digital assistant could be used to capture the infrared signals from luxury car key fobs and be used to enter cars by defeating their alarm system. The device is manufactured by the Santa Clara-based 3Com, which says it takes the problem "very seriously" and is investigating.

It's Tony Ridder on the phone
Knight Ridder CEO Tony Ridder did not need a Palm Pilot, however, to take the wheel of a vehicle shaped like a green telephone at the Sand Hill Challenge. A PR person for the media company showed up the morning of the race and instructed the car's builder that her employer wanted to participate in the soapbox derby for rich venture capitalists and would be taking command of his creation. Ridder, however, failed to finish the race, slamming on the brakes after about 50 feet after apparently losing control of the vehicle. A 15-year-old boy later hopped in the phone-car for a spin without difficulty.

illustration But where am I supposed to keep my ski boots, mountain bike, supersize water bottle, roller blades, scuba gear, camcorder, telescope, sierra club calendar ...
Sport utility vehicles emit up to 2 1/2 times the pollution of regular autos and have been fingered as culprits in a growing number of fatal two-vehicle collisions. Even so, record numbers of the Yuppie Assault Vehicles are clogging the highways of Silicon Valley.

Photo by Christopher Gardner

Ding dong! The Incas are dead!
Political correctness dies hard in Catholic school. Bent on plugging the school play last fall, Bellarmine High School's annual report purred that Royal Hunt of the Sun depicted the Spanish conquest of the Incas "with spectacle and magic"--and ran a photo of a soldier holding a sword to the throat of an Incan priestess.

Her bosoms heaved as the plate of fish and chips glistened on the table in front of the software engineer--whom she suspected of murder!
Cupertino's British pub, the Duke of Edinburgh, discovered itself immortalized within the pages of the Sydney Sheldon novel Tell Me Your Dreams--a corset-popping murder mystery set in the computer industry:

    A few months after Toni started working at Global Computer Graphics, she learned about the Internet, the worldwide open door to meeting men.

    She was having dinner at the Duke of Edinburgh with Kathy Healy, a friend who worked for a rival computer company... .

    Toni looked up at Kathy. "I want you to do me a favor."

    "Name it."

    "I want you to help me with the Internet, luv. Tell me how to use it."

Five down and a good five or ten to go ...
Once upon a time, 48-year-old Elaine Alquist (now Assemblywoman Alquist) boasted that her new octogenarian hubby, the venerable state Sen. Al Alquist, was in great shape for a man his age. "Granted, he is 85 years old and he's not going to live another 30 years. But I think he's going to live a minimum of five or 10 or hopefully another 15 years." This year Al fulfilled his career-climbing wife's loving prediction by surviving the minimum five years. Here's to your health, senator!

Hamidi inside
Chipmaker Intel pulled out anti-spam arguments against disgruntled former employee Ken Hamidi charging him with unauthorized trespass on company networks after he exercised his First Amendment rights by sending at least six email messages to as many as 30,000 Intel employees. The missives alleged secret layoffs at Intel, overseas sweatshops and other corporate sins. Intel won an injunction against the bankrupt man, claiming that it was suffering "immeasurable" and "irreparable" harm from "the impact on employee morale and productivity" caused by Hamidi's spams, the content of which is publicly available at www.igc.apc.org/faceintel.

But downtown San Jose's so unsafe,
and there's no parking!

Santa Clara's new 20-screen movie theater, the AMC Mercado, opened to great fanfare in 1997. By 1998 it became apparent that the reality didn't meet the hype. Mercado moviegoers must regularly traverse an obstacle course that includes 20-minute parking hunts, pockets of edgy gangbangers, random pepper sprayings and teenagers who think a laser pointer strategically aimed at Leonardo DiCaprio's nostrils is subversive humor at its funniest. Meanwhile, downtown San Jose's UA Pavilion, which offers abundant validated parking, goes half-empty every Saturday night.

Does he burp at the dinner table, too?
Maybe in the task-oriented world of business they don't pay much heed to social niceties. That might explain H-P exec-turned-mayor Ron Gonzales' poor political etiquette. In the primary, ex-mayor Janet Gray Hayes--a prominent supporter of Gonzales--pulled her endorsement after Gonzo ignored repeated phone calls to discuss his position on the airport expansion. More recently, the newly elected mayor failed to call and congratulate two other election-night victors, Linda LeZotte and Cindy Chavez. Gonzales' top aide, Jude Barry, contends that the latest lapse of politesse was an innocent oversight. "It was a mistake on our part," Barry concedes, "and what we need to do now is schedule a big hug."

Hmmm ... I wonder who could have posted all this community news online. Could it be--Satan?
In response to pressure from conservative zealots at the southern end of the county, the library system finally gave in and installed software designed to filter out pornography on all computers in the county library system. Net surfers in the adult section of the library can choose whether or not to filter the Web, but the filters on the computers in the children's section are always on. Like all acts of censorship, though, this one has had some unintended consequences: patrons often find themselves blocked from such lurid sites as the Palo Alto Weekly.

They prefer washing dishes and darning my socks
Superior Court Judge John Ball defended his membership in an exclusive San Jose fishing and golfing club with no women members by saying, "It's not a men's club, it's just that the activities we participate in, most women are not interested in doing."

Got milk?
San Jose State's Center for Literary Arts hosted Norman Mailer for a reading in April. The peckish pugilist and author expressed surprise at how much San Jose had changed since his last visit during World War II, when "it was kind of a cow town."

illustration From one right-wing militia to another
Ex-San Jose police chief Lou Cobarruviaz retired, presumably to run for sheriff, but he chickened out when he realized he would actually have to grovel for money. After disappearing for a few months, the Los Altos millionnaire resurfaced in November to announce he was taking a job advising the police of El Salvador on the finer points of enlightened law enforcement, like not torturing innocent countrymen.

Oh, that Bumb family!
Sheriff candidate Ruben Diaz lost all credibility (and any chance of winning the election) when he claimed not to know that two members of the Bumb family--the clan synonymous with "gambling" in San Jose--were connected to Bay 101. In an attempt to save face, he returned their two $500 contributions.

Well, I'm sure there's more than one Bumb family!
Later Diaz accepted $1500 from other Bumb family entities,which his attorney promises he will return.

Worst way to punch up a foundering political campaign award
This one goes to Milpitas City Council candidate Disappearing Dan Terry. Police reports say the conservative activist Terry jumped out of his car on a Milpitas street in a fit of road rage, shouted the N-word several times at a Somalian motorist before socking him in the mouth and then disappeared from the scene before officers could arrive. Disappeared from the campaign trail, too, as he later failed to return reporters' phone calls and ducked out on the only debate of the election. Lost the police vote. Lost the Somalian vote. Lost the election, too.

Sorry, Dan, the judges have reconsidered and ...
... the Worst Way to Punch Up a Foundering Political Campaign Award now goes to county Human Relations Commissioner Rick Callender, who used a racquetball racquet upside someone's head in an argument that took place a year before the election even started. But when a Superior Court judge found him guilty of assault with a deadly weapon in the midst of the campaign season, Callender withdrew from the race for East Side Union School District trustee. Callendar also wins the award for the most creative road-rage dispute. His fight was over two cars that had been parked for hours.

illustration New home of the Whopper
Barely a year after Metro exposed Silicon Valley's own liar-liar ("Mister Wrong," Sep. 18) John Michael Gentes (a.k.a. Giovanni Ballachi, a.k.a. Gio Vallucci, a.k.a. Steven Michael Foley), the amazing "Gio" is back. This time it's on a mountain bike in front of the Peet's Coffee on Lincoln Avenue, where the ever-charming Gentes practices his eye- contact skills with the ladies and regales the good citizens of Willow Glen with his amazing tales (have you heard the one yet about him carrying Norman Schwartzkopf to safety during Desert Storm or his dancing career with MC Hammer?). Most recently, the underemployed Gentes was spotted driving some poor soul's Jaguar, proof positive that in the attention-challenged society, people can recover from anything.

Worst example of fact checking
This award goes to ... who else?... our good friends at the Merc. Before publishing a hard-hitting exposé of competition on the Nasdaq, a bright Merc reporter decided that--just to be on the safe side--he should send an advance copy to the marketers themselves. Nasdaq flew a bunch of honchos to Ridder Park Drive, and the story was "delayed" until the proper changes could be made. Hey, it's only fair! top brass later argued. Hey, maybe next they'll start letting Saddam take a red pen to their coverage of the Gulf siege ... Or let Bill Gates take a pre-print squint at all that coverage of the Microsoft trial? Just think of the possibilities for fairness!

We can't print anything nice about our competitors,
so we just make things up out of thin air

In April 1996 the Mercury News reported that the San Francisco Examiner would be shutting down, then didn't bother to follow up on the story when the Examiner kept merrily publishing along. This month, the Merc's Scott Herhold stooped to new lows of fabrication in erroneously claiming that Metro's editor or "someone who looked very much like" him flipped off a bartender at A.P. Stump's. Slow news week, boys?


Frusetta loses the Wiccan vote
Capitol cowboy Pete Frusetta allegedly called a constituent a "bitch" when she wouldn't take his campaign literature during a business expo. When the woman confronted him, Frusetta told her he used the word "witch," not "bitch." Oh, that's much better, asshole, er, butthead.

Christopher Gardner

Like taking candy from 585
developmentally disabled patients!

After snapping up a chunk of Agnews Developmental Center for a song, Sun Microsystems razed all but four of the property's historic buildings to make way for a mammoth R&D center. The electronics giant encountered little resistance from Agnews' 585 autistic, brain-damaged and mentally retarded patients, who were moved to another campus a year before the sale closed. For your humanity and your good taste, Scott McNealy, we salute you!

illustration People once laughed at
the Eiffel Tower, y'know

The Great Mall's new owner, florida-based Michael Swerdlow Companies, unveiled its plan to postmodernize the 4-year-old mall by erecting a 337-foot "Theme Tower" with a drop zone-like ride. milpitians have so far applied a sanguine eye to the plan, comparing the tower to the space needle, the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben.

illustration Sure, and that house you built on Lake Washington is just a double-wide
To show he's a man of the people, microsoft chairman bill gates appeared on Rosie O'Donnell in December to counter his "overly stern" performance in a videotaped deposition. Reconstructing his image from software monopolist to warm and fuzzy man-of-the-people, Gates confided to the Cabbage Patch TV host that his 2-year-old daughter's favorite book is Everybody Poops. And even though he's rich, the Microsoft mogul--who, it must be presumed, also poops--had to take third place on Rosie's 3pm bill behind guests Noah Wylie and Savion Glover.

The softer side of Sears
Deciding it wanted to open a new furniture wing at its Vallco mall location, Sears booted all mall food court tenants, claiming landlord's prerogative. As part of the mass eviction, Sears also demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars in back rent and taxes. Food court tenants insist they faithfully paid rent to the mall management company and never knew Sears owned the property.

With 12.8 square miles and 6,550 undergraduates, they still can't find two dorm rooms far enough apart
Freshman Carolyn Starr, daughter of independent counsel Kenneth Starr, joined sophomore Chelsea Clinton at Stanford in September.

illustration I have heard the chainsaws singing
In October, a group of UC-Berkeley students calling themselves the Phoenix Five kidnapped the Stanford mascot, the Tree, before the big Cal/Stanford football game. During its ordeal, the Tree costume was reportedly blindfolded and made to listen to Berkeley's mascot,
Oski the Bear, singing "Throw Another Yule Log on the Fire."

Next time, boys, try an alarm clock
In September, a four-hour police standoff outside a Sunnyvale apartment ended after the city's award-winning SWAT unit stormed the residence, only to find the suspect asleep in his bedroom. "What's going on?" said the sleepy suspect, who waltzed out of his bedroom during the raid.

Por favor, no me modesto!
A rogue San Jose housing official came up with a novel approach to solving the city's homeless problem: Send the poor slobs to Modesto. The solution was temporary, however; the exported San Joseans soon found themselves homeless again, and Modesto officials were grumbling to reporters about having to provide financial aid to these new unwanted residents.

For sale: 141,000-square-foot dream home
Before it ever broke ground, software giant Symantec Corp. hoisted a name sign over a chunk of De Anza Boulevard-front property over what was supposed to be the home of its grandiose new world headquarters. Five months' worth of construction and 141,000 square feet of office space later, Symantec decided it didn't want the building anymore and took the sign down.

Actually, Webster's Dictionary defines 'teacher' as
'a person who teaches'

Los Gatos voters cried foul when they learned that Andrew Fanelli, a newly elected school board member who listed his occupation on the ballot as "teacher," is a karate instructor with no experience in formal education.

Fortunately, his is not made of marble
Patrick Mormon, the flamboyant antique dealer with a 24-karat vocabulary, grew impatient when a cautious reporter from the Willow Glen Resident kept referring to the missing "member" and "lower appendage" of Mormon's storefront statue of David, which had been castrated by vandals. "Honey, the word is penis," Mormon interrupted. "PENIS. And if you don't know what one is, I'll show you one." Mormon, however, did not follow through with his show-and-tell threat. "Maybe if I had one as pretty as David's," Mormon confided later, "I would have."

Cops? Politicians? They both suck
Watching the cops and politicians brawl over binding arbitration was like being forced to witness 1,000 consecutive hours of Punch and Judy. Residents finally said, "Enough!" and failed to pass either initiative put on the ballot by the competing sides.

Well, maybe just politicians suck
After signing their names to a document that pledged support for binding arbitration--thereby gaining the pre-election endorsements of local labor unions--four members of the Sunnyvale City Council turned their backs on the idea once in office. Grade AA Fellatio Honorees: Jack Walker, Manuel Valerio, Patricia Vorreiter and Julia Miller.


Ok, so they suck because they don't
know how to use forks

Sunnyvale Councilmember Jim Roberts (left) and Mayor Manuel Valerio (right) eat their cake.

Christopher Gardner

And we thought he was just another
cold-blooded businessman

John Musumeci of Arlie Land and Cattle spent most of this year threatening to sell 1,100 acres of redwood forest above Lexington Reservoir to developers, suing the Greenbelt Alliance and fondling the ambitions of local golf course developer Pete Denevi. But look who's turned fuzzy eco-hero! Now Musumeci is giving open-space advocates 800 acres of Bambi habitat and the country club property while he keeps a measly 100 acres for himself. So, which of these gestures is not like the others? (Hint: Musumeci's 100 acres will border prime nature preserve guaranteed to drive property values through the roof.)

The real Godfather, however, never put
his threats in writing

He didn't have a job working for the new mayor yet--in fact, the new mayor hadn't even been elected--but that didn't stop City Hall operative Joe Guerra from warning a couple of bureaucrats to get their act together quick. Guerra prefaced his email rant by saying, "I am an old world Italian ... and I don't forget anything." He then sternly added that there would be "zero tolerance" for such transgressions next year, i.e. when Godfather Guerra will be running this town.

Most efficient use of time and resources
in a totally irrelevant cause

Fifty-something homeless vet Andy Diaz claims he has run 86 times for public office, an average of about three campaigns a year since he reached adulthood. Can any local officeholder boast a better management of time? In his race for San Jose City Council this year Diaz showed his genius for cost-saving measures, plastering up signs from his old sheriff's and mayoral campaigns. Considering the waste that goes on in government, shouldn't Diaz be in a budget office somewhere?

illustration Do you know with whom you are #$%*!!?
District Attorney George Kennedy is known for both his profanity and his respect for the Queen's English. To wit: Kennedy once called opponent Jerry Nadler a "jerk-fuck dickhead," and he has also scolded reporters for quoting him using improper grammar. This year Kennedy outdid himself, using naughty language and a near-extinct big-ass word in the same sentence (when asked about allegations that his office stymied a grand jury investigation): "Are you asking was there an inappropriate, crooked fucking fix by the district attorney's office to spirit some individual out of the area ...?" Hats off to you, George, you're a real fucking Renaissance Man.

[ San Jose | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

From the December 31, 1998-January 6, 1999 issue of Metro.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.