CA High Speed Rail Industry Forum

Industry Forum: August 14, 2012

CHSRA to highlight Central Valley Construction Packages 2, 3 & 4

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is hosting an Industry Forum on August 14, 2012 at the Save Mart Center on the California State University Fresno campus. The event will provide firms interested in pursuing High-Speed Rail contracts with an overview of the Request for Qualifications, scheduled for release in September.

The general session will be followed by a teaming event, where potential prime contractors will be encouraged to set up an exhibition area in order to provide information to and gather information from Small Businesses, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises who attend the event. As a reminder, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has established an overall Small Business goal of 30%.

For updated event details, visit

ATTENTION POTENTIAL PRIMES: Firms interested in pursuing opportunities as prime contractors, which includes an exhibition area at the CHSRA Industry Forum, please send an email to Mary Ann Costamagna at . We are extending the deadline to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 7th.


California State University Fresno, Save Mart Center

2650 East Shaw Avenue, Fresno, CA 93710

Complimentary onsite parking will be available.


7:30 am – 8:30 am           Registration

8:30 am – 10:30 am         Program and Presentation

11 am – 1 pm                  Meet-the-Primes Networking


The event is free and open to the public. To expedite the registration process in the morning, we highly advise attendees to pre-register for the event. Pre-Registration closes Friday, August 10 at 10:00 am. We ask that businesses please pre-register at .

Onsite registration will also be available the day of the event.

Networking Recommendations:

Due to the number of attendees expected, we encourage all attendees to bring handouts highlighting your business. These should detail your interest, your services, any applicable license(s) or certification(s), and your contact information.

If you have questions, please contact

Any individual with a disability who requires reasonable accommodation to attend or participate may request assistance by contacting the Authority no later than August 9 at

Thank you for your interest in the high-speed rail project.

We look forward to seeing you on August 14.

‘Monolith’ Object on Mars? You Could Call It That

LiveScience.comBy Natalie Wolchover | 

  • 'Monolith' Object on Mars? You Could Call It That (Image: NASA HiRISE; Arrow:

    ‘Monolith’ Object on Mars? You Could Call It That (Image: NASA HiRISE; Arrow:

Amateur stargazers have discovered an intriguing object jutting out from the surface of Mars. The seemingly perfectly rectangular, upright structure, found in NASA images of the Red Planet, bears a striking resemblance to the monoliths planted on Earth and the moon by aliens in the classic sci-fi film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

The object in question was first spotted several years ago after being photographed by the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a NASA space probe; every so often, it garners renewed interest on the Internet. But is it unnatural — a beacon erected by aliens for mysterious reasons, and even more mysteriously paralleled in the imaginations of Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, creators of “2001”? Or is this rock the work of nature? [Photo ]

According to Jonathon Hill, a research technician and mission planner at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, who processes many of the images taken during NASA’s Mars missions, the object in question is no more than a roughly rectangular boulder.

The HiRISE camera that photographed it has a resolution of approximately 1 foot (30 centimeters) per pixel — impressive considering the 180-mile (300-kilometer) altitude from which it photographs the Martian surface, but not quite sharp enough to capture the cragginess of a mid-size boulder. “When your resolution is too low to fully resolve an object, it tends to look rectangular because the pixels in the image are squares. Any curve will look like a series of straight lines if you reduce your resolution enough,” Hill told Life’s Little Mysteries.

The location of the boulder at the bottom of a cliff near many other boulders suggests it broke off the cliff and tumbled to its current spot sometime in the distant past, Hill said. Such a perilous location is itself an argument against deliberate placement by aliens: “If I was going to build a monolith somewhere, that’s the last place I would put it!” he said. “The debris falling from the cliff would cover it up pretty quickly, on geologic timescales.” [Vote: Do You Believe in Life on Mars?]

Hill added that the height of the boulder is being exaggerated in the photo by a low sun angle. Photographed when the sun was near the horizon, the boulder casts an especially long shadow.

The ufologists aren’t necessarily wrong in calling it a monolith — the word simply translates from Latin as “one stone.” But this monolith isn’t the masonry of Martians.

Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @nattyover. Follow Life’s Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries and join us on Facebook.

Social Media Conference Silicon Valley – Oshman Family Jewish Community – May 1, 2012

Social Media Conference Silicon Valley Tuesday, May 1, 2012 from 7:00 AM to 7:30 PM (PT) Palo Alto, CA

Learn from the people and companies who invented social media. You’ll hear from the experts in your own backyard. Learn about social media marketing best-practices and find out what tools and techniques the pros are using to achieve success for their businesses and organizations.

Click here: For Additional Information and Registration:


This event is brought to you by:


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: Thank you, and hope to see you January 23rd!Sincerely,
Shiyama Clunie
AT&T Palo Alto
(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!
Monday, January 23rd 6:00pm
Palo Alto City Hall
250 Hamilton Ave.
1st floor (Council Chambers)
For more info and to RSVP:
(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:

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 (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:
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:
#554 5.1.0 Sender denied ##

Original message headers:

Final-Recipient: rfc822; 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: 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. This person retired last year and the email address has been disabled. A bounced email is the correct outcome.



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

Problem persists:

Hi Jonathan:

Still rejected. Have any idea?


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: :: 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.

New PAPD surveillance tool? US drones helping local police agencies

Predator drones are being used in domestic law enforcement cases, raising concerns that the aircraft are being deployed beyond the missions that Congress originally authorized them for, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

The Times said a North Dakota county sheriff asked federal authorities to employ a drone for surveillance in a standoff with three men on a large farm on June 23, resulting in the first known arrests of U.S. citizens involving the spy planes in domestic cases.

Since then, the Times said, two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base have flown at least two dozen surveillance flights for local police. The Times reported that the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration have also used Predator drones in domestic investigations.

“We don’t use [drones] on every call out,” Bill Macki, head of the police SWAT team in Grand Forks told the Times.

Congress authorized the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to buy unarmed Predators in 2005, the Times said, to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers on the country’s northern and southwestern borders.

The Times reported that officials in charge of the fleet said they have authority to perform such missions through congressional budget requests that cite “interior law enforcement support.”

But former California Rep. Jane Harman, who sat on the House homeland security intelligence subcommittee when the drone program was authorized, told the Times that no one discussed using drones to help local police in basic work.

“News you can get on the internet”sm staff

Stanford University Benefits From AT&T Network Upgrades with More Coverage, More Capacity :)

Enhancements Will Improve Connectivity and Performance for Mobile Voice and Data Network

PALO ALTO, CA. November 2, 2011 — AT&T today announced network upgrades at Stanford University designed to provide students and residents increased reliability and best-in-class wireless service.

AT&T’s network enhancements include a new cell site designed to bolster indoor coverage and capacity to Stanford University Hospital Center and the surrounding area, including the Stanford Shopping Center, Stanford Stadium and much of the Stanford campus.

In addition to expanded coverage and capacity from the new cell site at Stanford, AT&T has added additional capacity 12 cell sites in the City of Palo Alto and to more than 210 cell sites in Santa Clara County.

“Adding more capacity to a cell site is like adding more lanes on the freeway so that voice and data traffic flows faster,” said Terry Stenzel, AT&T Vice President and General Manager for Northern California and Northern Nevada.

“Whether customers are talking, texting, e-mailing, surfing the net, streaming music or video, using their favorite apps, or conducting business we want to make sure they have a good mobile broadband experience.”

In addition, AT&T continues upgrading cell sites with fiber optic and Ethernet connections back to the central switching facilities, enabling faster 4G speeds in Palo Alto and across the greater Bay Area.

“We’re investing in our network in Palo Alto and Santa Clara County because we’re committed to providing best-in-class wireless voice and data service to our customers,” said Ken McNeely, AT&T’s California President.  “AT&T has invested nearly $775 million in its San Francisco Bay Area wireless and wireline networks from 2008-2010, and we will continue investing and making network improvements.”

AT&T’s mobile broadband network provides several important advantages for customers, including the ability to talk and surf at the same time. For instance, customers can look up directions to an event while still talking on the phone, or browse social media sites will chatting with a friend.

AT&T also provides access to voice service in more than 225 countries and data service in more than 200 countries.  Business Traveler magazine recently named AT&T as having the “Best Mobile Coverage in the World” – the fourth time AT&T has received the distinction.

In addition, most AT&T customers have access to more than 29,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspots across the country, and more than 860 across the San Francisco Bay Area at no extra charge.  With more than half of AT&T customers now using smartphones, the popularity of Wi-Fi is soaring.

AT&T customers are now making more than 100 million connections a month to the AT&T Wi-Fi Network.   San Francisco leads the nation with nearly 10 percent of all the Wi-Fi connections coming from the greater Bay Area, including the new AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Zone from the 300 block to the 500 block of University Avenue in Palo Alto.

For more information, contact:
Dan Newman
or email

The arguments against Measure E are full of misinformation!

Dear Editor:

The arguments against Measure E are full of misinformation.  One glaring example is the claim that installing an anaerobic digestion facility would require “digging up more than 3.5 million cubic feet of old garbage, spreading it across remaining parkland, and releasing tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.”

The truth is very different:

o Much of the 10 acres is flat, so excavation would be minimal if at all.

o The amount that might have to be excavated is tiny compared to the existing dump
(120,000 cubic yards out of 7.6 million).

o The excavated material would not be spread over the whole park.  It would cover only about 10 acres, leaving 106 acres of untouched park.

o Regulations would not permit excavated garbage to be sprinkled and left in plain sight.  Instead, they would require that it be buried under a sealing cap to prevent water infiltration, and no park user would ever see it.

o Significant release of methane typically begins only after aerobic composting depletes oxygen, one or two years after disposal.

o The landfill would be re-capped and plumbed to collect the methane, utilizing it to generate electricity,, so actual emissions would be negligible.

No facility will be built under Measure E unless found to be both financially  and environmentally beneficial-and even if it is, it is not an issue of either anaerobic digestion or a park. It would allow both.  Vote YES!

A Full Measure of “E” Anyone

  What’s it all about Alfie ”E”

There seems to be no discussions from either side on a compromise.  “Parkland or Factory” reads from one opponent to this measure.

It’s like having your mom feeding you Cod Liver Oil.  Remember those days.  I do.  Especially when she tried to mask the flavor with a good dose of sugar along with “pinch your nose”.  Well I don’t like the taste or smell from either side of this measure.

Personally, I favor parks and the preservation of our wetlands that supports our fragile ecosystems.

What we don’t read about is the possibility of placing this planed utility complex underground.  That’s exactly what this is, a huge industrial utility complex.   It makes perfectly good sense to me.  Why not build underground as a compromise?

Underground utilities have dramatically improved our surrounding neighborhoods no longer having to look at huge ugly black transformers that once obstructed our views.

Many utility poles which once graced our Palo Alto neighbors are now gone.  Rather than waist energy by zapping opposing sides, why not consider alternatives.  At least give us something both sides can swallow.

Vote Yes On Measure E ?

For more information click here:

Park University Library Kansas City, Missouri