Quick hits on previously reported news
Thursday, May 14, 2009
CITIZENS ON PATROL… The same day the Salinas Police Department announced a series of high-profile arrests in gang-related shootings and armed robberies, a 34-year-old man became the city’s 13th homicide victim. On May 8 Police Chief Louis Fetherolf credited anonymous tips from the public for the string of arrests in seven cases. Police arrested Jose Manzo on suspicion of committing several armed robberies and allegedly linked seven other Salinas holdups to three men arrested in February on suspicion of robbing Safeway in Del Rey Oaks. But police need more help from residents to find the shooter in the most recent homicide. [ZS]
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES… First chief spook Leon Panetta, and now President Obama has tapped Naval Postgraduate School professor Paul Stockton to be assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and Americas’ security affairs. Stockton, currently on leave as a Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University, founded NPS’ Center for Homeland Defense and Security and School of International Graduate Studies, and served as the associate provost. This week, the Senate’s Committee on Armed Services considers Stockton’s nomination. [JL]
CARMEL IN FLUX… The fates of two controversial Carmel properties are in limbo. On April 28 the City Council tabled a discussion on whether to take the first steps in selling the city-owned Flanders Mansion, which – thanks to a 2007 court win by the Flanders Foundation – would have to be approved in a public vote. Meanwhile, a new developer has taken on the battle to develop the site of the former Carmel Convalescent Hospital. After the city refused to annex the property to local son Robert Leidig, owners Rider and Victoria McDowell are reportedly working with the New York-based Widewaters Group to a back a 46-unit condominium project – to the angst of local neighbors. The environmental impact report is open to public comment through June 5. [KA] *UPDATE 5/15: The Carmel City Council voted in a special meeting May 12 to clear the path for a public vote on selling Flanders Mansion, which would be on the November ballot. The Council will hold a protest hearing June 16 at 4:30pm.
UNIONS TRADE JABS… SEIU Local 521 says an attempt by unhappy union members to force an election to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers has failed. SEIU claims the county announced who workers did not gather enough signatures – 30 percent – for the J unit, which has about 1,650 workers. SEIU members who want to join NUHW argue the union is misusing member dues to fight the decertification effort. [ZS]