Tragic Accident Claims Local Immigration Attorney, Lofgren Aide Cindy Avitia

Representative Zoe Lofgren has issued a statement on the death of former aide Cindy Avitia. She worked on the congresswoman’s staff from 2006 to 2010, and was killed in an automobile accident in Mexico, according to Lofgren’s office. Avitia was a strong advocate for immigration reform. According to the Chihuahua, Mexico newspaper Tiempo, the accident occurred near the city of Parral in northern Mexico.

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Six Degrees of Separation from Steve Jobs or the Shoulders of San Pedro Square

We all stand on the shoulders of others in the building of a city or a nation. Nowhere is that more true of our valley than in one strip of San Jose called San Pedro Square. A boy named Luis Peralta traveled north from Tubac, in Old Mexico, fully 1,000 miles, and he settled in this area; the DeAnza Party followed. We move from Peralta to Fallon, Masson, Giannini, Disney, Hewlett and Packard, and on to Jobs in a few short steps and some 200 years of San Jose history.

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San Jose Inside’s 2011 Year in Review

As the year winds down, you can almost hear the collective sigh coming from City Hall. Or maybe that’s an echoing whoosh from councilmembers, the mayor, city manager and their staffs, who hightailed it for the holidays. Either way, 2011 was a tumultuous year, fierce in the manner civic actors clashed over pension reform, public safety, pot, a potential ballpark, ballot measures, pay cuts, occupations of city property and other issues of varying degrees of importance.


Biden, Clinton Should Swap Jobs

In any other time in history, re-election for President Barack Obama would be a cinch. But in the era of FAUX News, twisted truths, instant gratification and public ignorance, this administration will face a tough road to re-election. The Democrats need to do something to energize the base.


Vice Mayor Answers Reader Questions

This week, San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen answered 10 questions selected by SJI staff out of dozens submitted by San Jose Inside commenters. The topics range from the Little Saigon controversy and Nguyen’s relationship with public safety unions to the city’s legal basis for the pension reform ballot measure.—Editor


Not the Man I Knew

Chris Shimek and I grew up in the same neighborhood.  We played baseball together, attended the same neighborhood schools—but the thing we had most in common was we shared the same best friend. The Chris I knew was outgoing, friendly, cheerful, and abhorred violence against women and children.  It is why he became a San Jose police officer. Something happened to the Chris I knew on Sunday, November 27, when he took the life of his soon to be ex-wife and himself.


A Very Bad Day in Cupertino

Cupertino is a very small city that borders San Jose on the western edge of its larger neighbor. It is an elite community that prides itself on its excellent schools, ethnic diversity and its agrarian heritage. Its biggest claim to fame remains that it is the corporate headquarters to the wealthiest company in the world, Apple.

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Shooting at Funeral for City-Employed Biker

For the second time in a month, a local Hells Angels member was shot to death in public. Steve Tausan, 52, was attending a funeral Saturday for the late president of the motorcycle club’s San Jose chapter, Jeffrey Pettigrew, who was killed in September in a casino shooting in Sparks, Nev. Pettigrew also worked as a city of San Jose employee.


The Six Degrees of Michael Lewis

Oddly enough, three of the biggest stories in San Jose right now all have one thing in common: the most famous nonfiction author in America, Michael Lewis. His current bestseller, Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World, details how countries, states and municipalities are going bankrupt, and he uses San Jose as a model for implosion by pension.

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Former Santa Clara Mayor Has Cancer

Patricia Mahan, Santa Clara’s vice mayor after serving as mayor from 2002 through 2010, says she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. While it is unclear if Mahan’s condition will require leave from her position, she reportedly is expected to fully recover with proper treatment.

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