Author: Ramona Giwargis (Ramona Giwargis)

San Jose Unified School District approves layoffs in 37 positions

The San Jose Unified School District will lay off employees in 37 classified positions — ranging from administrative aides to secretaries and student services techs — a reduction in force administrators say will fund raises to existing employees. The school board last week unanimously approved a resolution to eliminate the positions, a decision board leaders...

Corruption allegations at Silicon Valley’s Hispanic chamber; board members ousted

Six prominent Latino leaders were kicked off the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley board of directors, a shakeup five of them say happened after they questioned the chamber’s financial standing and demanded to see its budget. In separate interviews, multiple ex-board members claim they’ve never seen the chamber’s annual budget, expenditures or other financial...

San Jose planning commission vacancy leads to showdown

A routine appointment to the San Jose Planning Commission became a somewhat contentious affair Monday after former commissioner Norm Kline was granted an interview under unusual circumstances. Kline applied for the appointment ahead of the deadline, said City Clerk Toni Taber, but his name didn’t appear alongside the nearly two dozen other applicants. Taber said...

San Jose Councilmember Lan Diep draws a challenger

Councilman Captain America has drawn at least one re-election challenger. San Jose’s most eccentric lawmaker, Lan Diep, will face Huy Tran, the housing commissioner he appointed, and potentially Berryessa school trustee David Cohen, in his re-election bid next year. Diep was narrowly elected to the San Jose City Council in June 2016 by 12 votes. He unseated...

Ann Ravel witnessed wage disparity working in fruit orchards

Working in a fruit orchard cannery in San Jose as a school girl gave Former Federal Election Commission chair Ann Ravel a startling glimpse at income inequality, gender and racial disparities. White men were treated and paid better than white women, Latinos and Latina workers, she said. “I was a member of the union for the workers...

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is moving to Colorado

After three decades in San Jose and leading the city through some of its most pressing fiscal challenges, former Mayor Chuck Reed is saying goodbye to San Jose —  sort of. Reed confirmed to San José Spotlight that he’s moving to Monument, Colorado, where his daughter, son-in-law and two grandkids live. “My wife wants to...

Google in San Jose: Who signed non-disclosure agreements?

Nearly 20 San Jose officials signed non-disclosure agreements in 2017 at the behest of Google as the tech giant explored building a massive campus in downtown San Jose. The agreements became a major sticking point for advocates who claimed the massive land deal was cloaked in secrecy and that the public deserved to know the...

San Jose denies airport commission chair access to records

San Jose leaders on Tuesday denied the airport commission chair’s request to see documents that detail the impacts of raising height limits in downtown San Jose. One government watchdog says the denial could run afoul with California’s public records law. San Jose lawmakers this month will weigh raising building heights up to 35 feet above...

Ann Ravel joins the Senate race to replace Jim Beall

After months of speculation, former FEC commissioner Ann Ravel on Monday jumped into the race to replace Silicon Valley Senator Jim Beall next year. “I care a lot about California, and I want to do things that are in the public interest,” Ravel said in an interview with San José Spotlight on Monday. “I’m interested only...

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