Jail for man who attacked police with toy light sabers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon judge is using his force to order a 45-day jail sentence and mental health evaluation for a would-be Jedi who attacked toy store customers with light sabers last December.

David Allen Canterbury told Judge Kenneth Walker that he is already seeking mental health treatment. Canterbury also apologized to his victims.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/LWuDHh ) that the 33-year-old Canterbury pleaded no contest Monday to assault and resisting arrest.

Portland police say Canterbury had a Star Wars light saber in each hand as he swung at three customers last Dec. 14 at a Toys R Us store. He carried the light sabers outside the store and swung at police.

Officers eventually wrestled him to the ground. Canterbury has been banned from the toy store.

___

Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

Palo Alto Glass, a place to stay for homeless folks living out of their cars in Palo Alto

Dave Stellman of Palo Alto Glass deserves praise for his leadership in the fight against homelessness. In these troubled times were the economy is so bad that people are losing their homes and being forced to live in cars, at least one Palo Alto business is doing something about it.

Dave Stellman of Palo Alto Glass has publicly announced supporting a completely voluntary program to have those living out of their cars being able to park their cars on business parking lots at night.

I know of no other business owner who has bothered to publicly speak out on this important issue. If you are a vehicle dweller living out of your car, and are afraid to sleep on the street at night, you should stop by Palo Alto Glass at 4085 Transport Street, where you can park your vehicle at night in security and without fear of harassment.

If you are homeless, and will be traveling to the Palo Alto area by vehicle, you should can call at 650-4949-7000, Palo Alto Glass, and make arrangements to have a free place to park and sleep at night, or email him at dave@paloaltoglass.com. Or just stop by when passing through town.

Notice of this fine effort by Palo Alto Glass, and this free place to stay in Palo Alto has now gone out to local homelessness advocacy groups in the greater Bay Area, and will be going out statewide. You should help out, and publicize this and other such local places to stay, by posting the address of any other business leaders who trying to help out like this, so vehicle dwellers can know of other safe places besides Palo Alto Glass where they can park at night.

Dave Stellman deserves some kind of a medal as an example of the finest in Palo Alto business leadership. That’s the plain truth.

As a small business, Do I really want to hire anyone?

Carpenters – Plumbers – Electricians – Laborers – Wanted
Starting Pay $ 25 – 78 / Hour  but…………

I work as a General Building Contractor in California.  And I would like to hire you if you’re a skilled worker.  But if I do,  I could go to jail.

Why?

The IRS can imprison or levy Payroll Tax Penalties and take collection actions against employers and their personal assets if unpaid ‘trust fund recovery penalties’ or ‘employment taxes’ themselves – cannot be immediately collected .

How hard is it to calculate and pay the Payroll Taxes?

There are quite a few things to pay, track and file for Social Security, Unemployment, FICA, Disability, Hospital Insurance, IRS and the Due Dates, forms, programs and amounts vary and change.

Here are just a few examples:

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Re-authorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 – reduced Social Security withholding from 6.2 to 4.2 percent for 2011.  It may be extended. Maybe not.

*Failure to pay correct & timely amount results in civil – criminal penalties.

The Wage base for  computing the Social Security Tax OASDI increases in 2012 to $ 110,000 from $ 106,800.

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) imposes -2- taxes on employers, employees and the self employed. Employer pays Half. 50 %

1. Old Age, Survivors – Disability Insurance – the Social Security Tax.
2. Hospital Insurance (Medicare Tax or HI)

OASDI maximum is $ 110,100 but there is No maximum on HI *Failure to pay correct & timely amount results in civil – criminal penalties

Plus the employer is also responsible for:

Federal Unemployment UE Tax FUTA. FUTA rate is now 6 percent on the first $ 7,500 of wages. May Change. State UE Tax – Varies, based on location &; number of employees *Failure to pay correct & timely amount results in civil – criminal penalties

Supplemental Wages, Commissions, draws, signing bonuses, severance pay, vacation and sick pay, all pay tax at ‘different rates.’

Since 1/1/11  IRS requires all federal tax deposits be Electronic. IRS e-file system includes forms 94x, 940, 941, and 944. But Payments by US Mail will be returned. If payments are then late, penalties will apply.

In the event of errors, Employers must file IRS Form  13460. But  Form 13460 is NOT available from the IRS electronically.

Each Quarter – IRS Forms must be filed promptly with correct Tax. By February 28 – Social Security Forms W-2, 1099R, W-3 must be filed.

By January 31 every employee must receive Form W-2. Before I hire anyone, I need to hire a Payroll Processor. If the payroll processor makes a mistake, I am still the ‘responsible party.’

As a small business, Do I really want to hire anyone?

Eugene Oregon Municipal Code Section 4.816 – Permitted Overnight Sleeping

Eugene Municipal Code Section 4.816 – Permitted Overnight Sleeping.

1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code:

A. Persons may sleep overnight in a vehicle, camper or trailer in a parking lot of a religious institution, place of worship, business or public entity that owns or leases property on which a parking lot and occupied structure are located, with permission of the property owner. The property owner may not grant permission for more than three vehicles used for sleeping at any one time.

B. Persons may sleep overnight in the back yard of a single family residence in a residential zoning district, with permission of the owner and tenant of the residence. Not more than one family may sleep in any back yard, and not more than one tent or camping shelter may be used for sleeping in the back yard.

As an alternative, but not in addition to sleeping overnight in the back yard, not more than one family may sleep in a vehicle, camper or trailer parked in the driveway of a single family residence in a residential zoning district, with permission of the owner and tenant of the residence. For purposes of this subsection, “family” means persons related by blood or marriage, or no more than two unrelated adults.

C. Persons may sleep overnight in a vehicle, camper or trailer on a paved or graveled surface located on a vacant or unoccupied parcel, with the permission of the property owner, if the owner registers the site with the city or its agent. The city may require the site to be part of a supervised program operated by the city or its agent. The property owner may not grant permission for more than three vehicles used for sleeping at any one time.

2. A property owner who allows a person or persons to sleep overnight on a property pursuant to subsections (1)(a), (1)(b) or (1)(c) of this section shall:

A. Provide or make available sanitary facilities;

B. Provide garbage disposal services as required by sections 6.050 and 6.055 of this code;

C. Provide a storage area for campers to store any personal items so the items are not visible from any public street;

D. Require a tent or camping shelter in a backyard to be not less than five feet away from any property line; and

E. Not require payment of any fee, rent or other monetary charge for overnight sleeping, as authorized by this section.

3. A property owner who permits overnight sleeping pursuant to subsection (1) and (2) of this section, may revoke that permission at any time and for any reason. Any person who receives permission to sleep on that property as provided in this section shall leave the property immediately after permission has been revoked.

4. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the city manager or the manager’s designee may:

A. Prohibit overnight sleeping on a property if the city finds that such an activity on that property is incompatible with the uses of adjacent properties or constitutes a nuisance or other threat to the public welfare; or

B. Revoke permission for a person to sleep overnight on city-owned property if the city finds that the person has violated any applicable law, ordinance, rule, guideline or agreement, or that the activity is incompatible with the use of the property or adjacent properties.

5.The city manager or the manager’s designee may impose administrative civil penalties on property owners who fail to comply with the requirements of subsections (1) and (2) of this section, as provided in section 2.018 of this code.

6. In addition to any other penalties that may be imposed, any campsite used for overnight sleeping in a manner not authorized by this section or other provisions of this code shall constitute a nuisance and may be abated as such. As used in this section, “campsite” has the meaning given in section 4.815 of this code.

7. The city manager may adopt administrative rules in the manner provided in section 2.019 of this code to implement this section.

8. With authorization from the city manager or designee in connection with a specific special event, persons may sleep overnight on public property which has a community center, swimming pool, or other city-operated athletic facility located thereon at which the special event is being held. The authorization shall be limited to no more than eight days in any two-week period.

9. Nothing in section 4.815 or 4.816 of this code creates any duty on the part of the city or its agents to ensure the protection of persons or property with regard to permitted overnight sleeping.

(Section 4.816 added by Ordinance No. 20130, enacted August 5, 1998; and amended by Ordinance No. 20255, enacted June 10, 2002, effective July 10, 2002.)

As Occupy Eugene Ends, St. Vincent de Paul Increases Services to Homeless

 

Palo Alto Resident succumbs to hypothermia on Christmas in Front of City Hall

From the Future, Column

A 52 year old Palo Alto resident, John Doe, died in his sleep early yesterday morning while sleeping outside in the elements. The temperature dropped to 27°F and Mr. Doe apparently died from hypothermia.

Mr. Doe was active in the movement apposing the City’s “Vehicle Habitation Ban & Program” that went into effect August 25, 2012. Mr. Doe had been living out of his car after he lost his job in 2010 and applied to and was accepted into the “Vehicle Parking Program” but was termed out after three months on November 25, 2012.

According to a Source who is closely associated with Mr. Doe, after moving his vehicle around to different locations within the City and receiving three warnings his Vehicle was impounded and Mr. Doe was arrested on the Misdemeanor charge of using his Vehicle as a Dwelling. This arrest occurred December 7, 2012.

The Source informed the Palo Alto Free Press that Mr. Doe acquired a sleeping bag and some other necessities but that he had no place to keep them and therefore stored the sleeping bag and other belongings in some hedges next to City Hall. As informed by the Source, Mr. Doe returned to the location of his belongings in the early evening of December 22, 2012 only to find that the sleeping bag and other items had been taken.

Mr. Doe sought shelter in the City Hall Parking Garage over the next two nights as it was warm enough to sleep without anything more than a jacket but was evicted by authorities on Christmas Eve. The Source stated that he last saw Mr. Doe drinking some alcohol around 11:00pm Christmas Eve to help him sleep through the night, (toxicology tests to verify will not be available for a couple of weeks). Mr. Doe’s body was found on the grass under the trees in front of City Hall approximately 7:30am December 25, 2012.

Palo Alto Community Announcement – Distributed Antenna System (DAS) Rethink the possible!


Happy New Year! I’d like to begin by thanking everyone who helped make our hearing before the Palo Alto Architectural Review Board (ARB) on December 8th a great success. Your letters, emails, and in-person support led to a unanimous approval of our Distributed Antenna System (DAS) by the ARB members, marking a major step toward better wireless service in Palo Alto. While one hurdle was crossed, the next and most important vote will take place only a few days from now: The Palo Alto City Council will review appeals of the ARB decision and make a final decision on the first 20 DAS sites. Again, please take time to visit our website: http://att.com/wireless4paloalto. Thank you, and hope to see you January 23rd!Sincerely,
Shiyama Clunie
AT&T Palo Alto
shiyama.clunie@att.com
(650) 615-6852
Thank you for helping AT&T improve the wireless experience in Palo Alto!
Voice your support for
better wireless:

We urge you to join other Palo Altans and attend the City Council hearing to review AT&T’s oDAS design and make your voice heard!
When:
Monday, January 23rd 6:00pm
Where:
Palo Alto City Hall
250 Hamilton Ave.
1st floor (Council Chambers)
For more info and to RSVP:
shiyama.clunie@att.com
(650) 615-6852
Contact the Palo Alto
City Council:

If you are unable to attend the meeting on January 23rd, don’t worry, you can send the City Council an e-mail by clicking here or by emailing the City Council in your own words: city.council@cityofpaloalto.org
 

Palo Alto’s Chief Information Officer is Unable or Unwilling to Get to the Core of a Problem

When our email kept getting bounced back, I set out to find out why by asking the head of the Information Technology Department for the city of Palo Alto, Jonathan Reichental, Ph.D., and recent hire.

His background is impressive with a long list of accomplishments in the private sector: PricewaterhouseCoopers, Avida consulting and O’Reilly Media.

“Jonathan was the clear frontrunner in our recruitment,” Keene said in the release announcing his hire. “He brings a combination of creative and entrepreneurial drive and skills and a commitment to taking city government to the forefront of public technology and innovation, befitting Palo Alto, the heartbeat of Silicon Valley.”

He is also described as “a passionate technologist” among other charming, descriptive terms as mentioned in his Press Release, which includes the paltry compensation package of 180k a year. So, one would think that as a passionate technologist he would have a clear understanding of technology issues centering around email systems.

On many different levels one can equate this email disconnect with a government agency as a public utility problem.  And the problem thus far appears to be with the city of Palo Alto’s email server.  Through a series of emails sent to the chief technology officer, Mr. Reichental, I  thought he would get at the core of the issues as to why our emails were bouncing back from kara.apple@cityofpaloalto.org. (No pun intended)

What our readers need to be aware of is that city attorney Donald Larkin was quietly blacklisting many email addresses criticizing local government leadership activities and preventing them from reaching their intended persons. A constitutional violation without the benefit of due process of law.

Mr. Larkin’s legal interpretation of harassment when sending multiple emails to the same persons and or the use of blind copies was later reversed by newly appointed city attorney Molly Stump.  In a brief interview Ms. Stump stated, ‘she doesn’t want any emails blocked coming into city offices’.  So we were surprised when we received the following message back from the city’s email server.

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:

kara.apple@cityofpaloalto.org
This message was rejected by the recipient e-mail system. Please check the recipient’s e-mail address and try resending this message, or contact the recipient directly.

Diagnostic information for administrators: Generating server: CityofPaloAlto.org

kara.apple@cityofpaloalto.org
#554 5.1.0 Sender denied ##

Original message headers:

Final-Recipient: rfc822;kara.apple@cityofpaloalto.org Action: failed Status: 5.1.0 Diagnostic-Code: smtp;554 5.1.0 Sender denied

Here’s the technical response we received back to my underling concerns of Mr. Larkin quietly blocking and or filtering emails classified as government critical spam.

Hi Mark:

We’ve reviewed your request below and found the following:

Kara.apple@cityofpaloalto.org: We found no obvious server-side restriction on this email. There are any number of other reasons it could have bounced outside of my teams control.

Sandra.brown@cityofpaloalto.org: This person retired last year and the email address has been disabled. A bounced email is the correct outcome.

Thanks.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Jonathan Reichental, Ph.D. :: Chief Information Officer :: City of Palo Alto :: @Reichental
Assistant: jeanny.weatherford@cityofpaloalto.org :: 650-329-2182

Problem persists:

Hi Jonathan:

Still rejected. Have any idea?

Thanks

Ps. Would you run an additional test on your side so we can get to the bottom of this?  Perhaps have this employee send me an email.  I’m surprised this was not done. Lastly do employees have the capability to set there own spam filters. Was this question asked and or pursued.

The final technical response received from the city’s top Chief Information Officer: 

Hi Mark:

We’ve confirmed that her email is functioning correctly. We don’t know why you are getting bounced. Sorry I can’t assist further.

All the best.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Jonathan Reichental, Ph.D. :: Chief Information Officer :: City of Palo Alto :: @Reichental
Assistant: jeanny.weatherford@cityofpaloalto.org :: 650-329-2182

This story is far from being over.

We plan to take a bite out of the kara apple figuratively ourselves and see what we come up with.

There are several things we find troubling.  First, We’ve lost our email connection with our local government news media representative. Secondly, Mr. Reichental appears to be uninterested as a public government servant in solving this problem.

Lets not forget. He works for us and at a salary of 180 thousand dollars.  So, we should be able at the very least, get something in return for our hard pressed taxpayer dollars.  Weather or not the blocking of our email address is intentional or unintentional.  We intend to find out why.

Pattern of on-going harassment by the Palo Alto Police Department Alleged

Long time Palo Alto resident Tony Ciampi and local police watchdog claims in his latest email to city leaders he was made the subject of what he feels to be an illegal traffic stop by PAPD officer Thomas Destefano.

Based on the information received from Mr. Ciampi in his email he alleges he was detained and targeted for, “not having reflectors on my bicycle pedals.”  We thought we would take a closer look at the law and this is what we uncovered.

V C Section 21201.5 Reflectorized Equipment

Reflectorized Equipment

21201.5.  (a) No person shall sell, or offer for sale, a reflex reflector or reflectorized tire of a type required on a bicycle unless it meets requirements established by the department. If there exists a federal Consumer Product Safety Commission regulation applicable to bicycle reflectors, the provisions of that regulation shall prevail over provisions of this code or requirements established by the department pursuant to this code relative to bicycle reflectors.

(b) No person shall sell, or offer for sale, a new bicycle that is not equipped with a red reflector on the rear, a white or yellow reflector on each pedal visible from the front and rear of the bicycle, a white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles which are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and rear need not be equipped with these side reflectors.

(c) Area reflectorizing material meeting the requirements of Section 25500 may be used on a bicycle.

Amended Ch. 399, Stats. 1980. Effective July 11, 1980 by terms of an urgency clause.

Based on the law, we find that reflective pedals are a requirement on new bicycles only. The existing statue makes no mention of retrofitting older bikes which Mr. Ciampi owns with reflective pedals.

So were at odds as to the real motives behind of Officer Thomas Destefano’s detention. Mr. Ciampi was the recipient of a recent $35,000.00 dollar payout settlement by the Palo Alto Police Department on a similar non-consensual detention and tasing where the police admitted to no wrong doing.

However in this case, Judge Thang Nguyen Barrett ruled that “law officials should not trample upon Constitutional rights” of people, saying that the conduct of the Palo Alto officers was “tainted.”

Mr. Ciampi is also calling for a review of the MAV tapes which recorded the entire traffic stop from city attorney Molly Stumps and Police Chief Dennis Burns.  It will be interesting to see how transparent this investigation turns out to be.

Demise of U.S. Post Office Not What It Appears

Postal Service Budget Crisis Postal Service Budget Crisis Caused by 2006 Bush Law: “Pre-Pay the Post Office Pensions 50 Years Ahead”

By Donna Macris

The U.S. Postal Service is under attack and fighting for its life,but it isn’t for the reasons that are being spun by some:the Post Office is inefficient,the Post Office cannot compete with the Internet and the Postal Service is going bankrupt. These are smokescreens.

The real reason the Postal Service is in financial trouble is that it is the only U.S. business,public or governmental,required by law to prepay its projected pension bill for the next 50 years and to pay it now.

The Postal Service would not currently be facing any deficit if it had not been forced to make advance pension payments of $25 billion over the last five years into a retirement fund for its employees including those that do not even exist yet.

The Postal Service was placed in this predicament through mandates in a “modernizing” law pushed through during the last days of the lame duck Republican Congress in December 2006:HR 6407,the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act,which was signed into law by then President George W. Bush (Public Law 109-435).

Public Law 109-435 mandates that the Postal Service completely pay this newly created 50-year pay-it-forward pension debt through 10 massive annual payments,one every September 30 over 10 years (2006–2015).

One of those payments of $5.5 billion was missed on Sept. 30,2011,therefore placing the Postal Service in financial jeopardy. It will be in further default if it does not meet another general governmental budget deadline of Nov. 18,2011,established under a general government continuing resolution budget extension.

This year,however,two independent auditors have both concluded that the Post Office has actually overpaid its pension accounts into the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) by an estimated $50 billion–$80 billion due to decades of financial miscalculation.

The Post Office and its unions would simply like to recalculate the overpayments,have the money returned to the Postal Service and use this money to pay its bills and move forward.

Historically,the U.S. Postal Service (also known as the USPS,the Post Office or the U.S. Mail) is one of the few government agencies that was explicitly authorized in the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 22,1789. Under Article 1,Section 8,Clause 7,of the Constitution,the Postal Clause empowers Congress “to establish post offices and post roads.”

For almost 200 years,the Post Office was a secure department within the U.S. government,held a cabinet seat and was taxpayer supported like all other government agencies.

But in 1971,President Richard Nixon removed nearly 200 years of federal protections from the Post Office when he reorganized it as the less powerful U.S. Postal Service in retaliation for the postal workers striking for a living wage in 1970. In the 1980s,the Postal Service had its funding removed.

Today,the Postal Service is the second largest employer in the United States,second only to Walmart. But unlike Walmart,the Postal Service has about 575,000 employees (of whom 25% are veterans) represented by the nation’s largest single-employer unions. It has not used any tax dollars for more than 30 years.

There are currently competing “fix-it” bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The issue is also before the Super Committee.

The Democrats first fix-it bill is Rep. Stephen Lynch’s (D–Mass.) HR 1351,U.S. Postal Service Pension Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011. Supported by 226 Congressional cosponsors,HR 1351 would allow the Postal Service to recalculate its overpayments of $50 billion–$80 billion and return these funds so the Post Office can pay its current bills including the overdue prefunding pension payment.

Rep. Elijah Cummings’ (D–Md.) HR 2884 would give the Postal Service a 90-day extension until Dec. 30,2011,to make its prefunding payment. And HR 2967,Innovate to Deliver,would lift restrictions,thereby allowing the Postal Service to introduce new product lines and enter new markets.

Sen. Max Baucus (D–Mont.),who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and sits on the Super Committee,has introduced the companion bill S. 1649,the Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D–Md.) added S. 1688. Together,these bills allow the Post Office to restore its overpaid funds,save rural post offices,save postal jobs and pay its bills.

The Republican bills do just the opposite.

Rep. Darrel Issa (R–Calif.) introduced HR 2309,the Postal Reform Act of 2011,with just one cosponsor in the House. However,as the Republican chairman of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,Issa was able to pass his own bill through his own committee,advancing it to the floor of the House while effectively blocking all the Democrat-sponsored bills.

A Save Our Postal Service Rally was held on Sept. 27. Issa’s HR 2309 has been described as a destructive and job-killing bill. It would heavily restrict and regulate the Postal Service,mandate cutting 110,000 postal jobs,close thousands of rural post offices and eliminate Saturday mail deliveries. Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.) has introduced the Republicans’ equally restrictive companion bill in the Senate,S. 1625,the Postal Reform Act of 2011.

The Postal Service has been battling back starting with its national Save Our Postal Service Rally on Sept. 27,2011. An estimated 50,000 Americans including postal workers,the AFL-CIO and farmworker unions,progressive Democrats and the public participated in rallies outside 550 Congressional offices,including the Congressional offices here in the Valley of Representatives Jeff Denham,Devin Nunes and Jim Costa.

There are informational ads on TV and petition drives that the public can access on union web sites such as the National Association of Letter Carriers www.nalc.org.

The constitutional right of Americans to have a Postal Service is under attack. There has been a 40-year Republican effort to discredit,dismantle and privatize the Post Office. It may be on the chopping block in the Super Committee right now.

The only thing that can stand in the way is the American people—if we use our collective voice.

*****

Donna Macris is the healthcare leader of the Central Valley–Sierra Progressives and is a published lifelong human rights advocate. Contact her at dmacris@aol.com.

Article Forwarded by Tony Ciampi

Is Liz Kniss nothing more than a political retread?

Is Lis Kniss nothing more than a political retread?  Does she really have any appeal or traction left?  It’s amazing so few care to challenge this aging icon of hope and inspiration by running against her.

Apparently she mulled over the idea to run again for city council after a three day marathon of deep thought and deliberation. Yea right, give us a break!

Her platform promises?  Nothing new or creative the same old message on infrastructure, health, welfare, and sustainability. We’ve heard these promises before.

But when the political smoke clears what we find absent or missing is anything pertaining to our local economy, our youth, disabled, vehicle habitation, disenfranchised or jobs!  For that matter, what has any of our local leadership proven in this regard?

The only time she graces the city council chambers it seems is when someone retires, congratulating a community volunteer, a new mayor, an outgoing mayor for outstanding service or some other community accomplishment.  Ask yourself, what has she done to engage this community and any meaningful dialog on any pressing community issue as mentioned above?  When has she reached out to you personally as one of her constituents?

She claims voters are engaged. Then why would anyone want to vote for her a second time around.

We think she should just buzz off and let someone with a fresh creative innovated appeal and approach tackle our problems of infrastructure, health, welfare, sustainability and jobs rather than a regurgitated message.

We’ll take a new tire over an old retread any day.