Culture

By the Numbers: 46,000 e-books

The selection of e-books in county libraries just got a lot bigger.

E-books used to focus on niche topics geared toward small, zany readerships, which made for riveting titles such as Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen or The Hidden Power of Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop. Now e-books cover the gamut, and the Santa Clara County Library District announced this week that it has 46,000 digital titles in its collection, including pop culture favorites like Wolf of Wall Street and 50 Shades of Grey—you know, if you’re into corporate barbarism or Penthouse letters.

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County Health Plan Enrollment Numbers Just Short of Projections

Most people signing up under Covered California chose a big-name insurance provider, but some opted for regional health plans like the one offered through the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System.

Valley Health Plan has managed to capture about 3 percent of the Santa Clara County market under Covered California, which is slightly below state levels. Though this figure pales in comparison to enrollment figures reported by the top four major healthcare providers, and it’s not as strong a figure as county officials expected two months away from the end-of-March enrollment deadline, it does represent a comparable market share to other small, local health plans, according to county officials.

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Task Force: Sign of Racial Abuse at San Jose State Was Overlooked

Task force chair LaDoris Cordell, auditor Mike Moyes and SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi (left to right) talk to the media about alleged hate crimes that occurred on campus. (Photo by Jennifer Wadsworth)

A report issued earlier this week cleared San Jose State University of any wrongdoing in the way it reacted to reports of an alleged hate crime against an African American student on campus last semester. But a closer look at the evidence shows that there were red flags the school failed to notice, according to some members of a task force assigned to review the report.

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Gates Foundation Donates $100,000 to Franklin-McKinley Schools

Franklin McKinley School District became the first in San Jose to receive funding from the Gates Foundation. (Photo by Marc_Smith, via Flickr)

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation granted $100,000 to Franklin McKinley School District to fund startup costs to promote collaboration between the traditional public school district and all its charter schools. The possibility that this seed money can lead to a much larger piece of the Gates Foundation Collaborative Compact financial pie is real, and predicated on the effort and results of the start-up phase. Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee Joseph DiSalvo says that in order to radically impact student achievement and graduation rates in San Jose, especially for students of color and those living in poverty, we must work with all publicly-funded partners to reach new heights of high achievement for all. Too many efforts and public dollars are going into litigation in the old toxic model of competition between districts and charters.

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Report Details Abuse Leading Up to Alleged Hate Crime at San Jose State

Students at a November rally protest campus policies that overlooked racial bullying at San Jose State University for more than a month. (Photo by Jennifer Wadsworth)

It took more than a month after the incident was reported to campus police for the president of San Jose State University to learn of alleged racial harassment that resulted in the arrest of four students on hate crime and battery charges.This afternoon, the university released a fact-finding review of racist hate crimes reported from a campus apartment last semester. The 52-page audit set out to determine at what point the school became aware of the abuse, what steps it took to fix the situation and whether campus policies allowed the bullying to go unnoticed.

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Fundraising Window Closes Doors

Making elections more fair for all candidates could require new rules on when candidates can raise funds.

San Jose’s Election Code is, like all laws in our democracy, a work in progress. So while the intent of each and every provision may be benevolently intended to lead us toward a more perfect political paradigm, it’s not a stretch to say revisions are in order. With the first campaign finance reports for Mayoral and Council elections due today, it’s appropriate to start by following the money. Regulations governing limits on individual donations and campaign spending are both worthy topics. But there’s enough grist there to write a novel. Instead, I’d prefer to look at a policy that is relatively unique to San Jose: the 180-day fundraising window for council and mayoral candidates.

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