Saturday, May 24, 2008

Last post on this topic?

Steve and Solomon Saint John Sloan

More Family and Trip Information

This is the last I intend to post about the family and our trip on this blog. Since this is off topic for this blog I am covering this topic on my family blog here.

[Click here to see more photos]

New Grandson

Three grandkids

More photos of Solomon's First Day

Today was quite a day and I am tired. Today was the birth of grandchild number six, Soloman Sloan. I have covered the day in several ways:

I am too tired to do or say more. Wow, what a day!

[Click here to see more photos]

Friday, May 23, 2008

I am up in Washington

I am up in Washington and we have a grandchild coming today. This is grandchild number 6!

I will be posting updates on the trip and birth on my family blog and on my twitter stream.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Spring 2008 New Media Class

Spring 2008 New Media Class

My Spring Class was great!

I really enjoyed this, the biggest class I have ever taught. These students were a pleasure to teach. The really stretched themselves and went beyond their comfort zones. I am going to be awarding a lot of good grades because these folks delivered. I am really proud to know and have taught them. We had a good time. This is a fine bunch of young people!

For our final I bought pizza and drinks for the whole class, except for one student who is a Vegan and so I got her a Vegan dish. I learned a lot from them. For example, I plan to go back to that Vegan restaurant when I return from vacation (which starts tomorrow.) On Friday my wife and I will be in Seattle for the birth of our sixth grandchild!

These are the video and audio blogs of students in this class:

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Big Boeing B17 Bomber

B17 The Nine-O-Nine

Big bomber buzzes our street

Like a scene from the classic movie Twelve O'Clock High today we were awakened by the sound of four 1,200-horsepower Wright Radial engines on "The Nine-O-Nine," a B17G, flying over our house. It sounded loud. It sounded great! I can only imagine what a thousand of these must have sounded like flying over like they did in World War Two.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Mayor and Bike to Work Day

Bike to work day and Mayor Reed

Today was bike to work day

I rode my bike to work again today, that makes over 100 miles on my bike this week. Today was also a Spare the Air Day and the hottest bike commute I made so far this year. It was a good day to ride.

At the aid station near SJSU I met the mayor. He was riding with a police escort. I wonder if they biked to work that day too? Did they drive to the Mayor's home so they could ride in with him?

[Click Here to See More Photos]

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Study Time

Student studying in hallway.

The end of the semester is near

Students are hunkering down and working hard; for the end of the term is near. Few opportunities to study are being wasted.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gus Lease on safety, skateboards and bicycles

This is an Email from Gus

Just in case you don't know who Gus is, let me tell you. Gus Lease is one of the nicest people you might ever meet and on top of that; he is a university treasure. Gus has been on the faculty at SJSU for 56 years. He sings the national anthem at graduation. Gus was once the chairman of the Music department and he currently teaches Music History in the History department.

He has dedicated his life to SJSU. He has lived much of the history of this university. He remembers and tells stories about our university that are a pleasure to listen to. When he first told me about the skateboarder who almost hit him he said, "if he had hit me going as fast as he was, I think he would have killed me."

Gus parks in the campus disabled parking spaces on the north part of seventh street. Gus wrote:

About two weeks ago when I was parked on 7th street, I got out of my car and was going to the back of the car to get my teaching equipment out of the trunk when a skateboard rider coming down the street almost hit me. Since I have a disability and use a cane to walk, had I been hit, I could have suffered a serious injury. Also, today one of the student bicycle riders along the sidewalk between Clark and the administration building was going extremely fast and had to swerve to avoid hitting me.

I do hope you will relate my concerns to the committee that Skateboarding, and bicycling on Campus is a serious Safety issue for all who are walking on campus.

Gus C Lease
Department of History
May 7, 2008

In a recent Email on the same topic, University Police Chief Andre Barnes said, "I am not in agreement with you that it is a significant safety hazard or a position that I can argue comfortable in favor of changing the current policy."

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Email to University Police Chief Barnes

Skateboarder at Clark Hall

Skateboarder slipping

My Email to Chief Barnes

I know during our recent phone call you said you and your officers had not seen or reported much dangerous activity or unsafe practices on the part of operators of non-motorized vehicles including skateboards, bicycles and razors (at SJSU.) At 4:35 pm on May 5 I saw these youths doing acrobatics on the railings of the east side of Clark Hall. I called the UPD dispatcher and the call was logged on my cell phone at 4:35pm. Since it was time for me to go off work, I went back into the building, got ready to go home, took my camera and went out of the building. I had expected to see an officer there since it is maybe 750 feet from there to UPD. Since I saw no officer I started taking pictures. I kept taking pictures. I shot about 25 photos until I finished my roll of film. (Yes, I still shoot film.)

I then walked over to the bike corral and got my bicycle and rode home (circumnavigating SJSU of course.) I never saw any officers and I guess it is no wonder they never saw any dangerous activity or unsafe practices on the part of operators of non-motorized vehicles that day.

[Click here to see more related photographs]

[Copy of Grievance Here]

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Discrimination and the bike policy

White male bicyclist

Discrimination and the bike policy
The photo shown above is of a university employee riding his bicycle as he is exiting a university building. There has been something bothering me, something I couldn't quite put my finger on, that has nothing to do with the safety argument related to president Kassing's new bike policy, the part that extends this benefit, "Bicycles are not permitted in buildings unless in a private office, closet, or enclosure..."

The other day it hit me, like a ton of bricks, I should have been more sensitive to it. Like the rider in the photo above, very few of the folks I have seen keeping bicycles in their offices are minorities. Our highest areas of minority employment are among job classifications that do not have a private office, closet, or enclosure where they can store a bike. Most of the minorities in our bargaining units work in classifications that would not be able to use this benefit. I am concerned that by extending this benefit to classifications that are much more likely to be non-minority, my university may have committed de-facto discrimination.

Article 25.1 of our union contract should be also added to this grievance, the part that says, "The CSU prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ancestry, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical disability, mental disability, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition and/or national origin..."

To be able to keep their bike at their work place, in my opinion, that benefit like all benefits have to be given to all employees without prejudice, even unintentional prejudice.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Mercados Su Vianda

Su Vianda

NOTE -> This business has gone out of business (Too Bad)

A cool Latino grocery store
Just north of campus, where the old (and formerly filthy) Lucky's used to be has opened one of the best stores I have seen come in downtown. I think Mercados Su Vianda is great and I hope everyone in the SJSU community checks it out. There is what their website says:

From family to community, food for Latinos has an emotional and cultural significance that extends beyond eating. We think about every aspect of food shopping and preparation, hence Mercados SUVIANDA was created for Latinos by Latinos.

But, here is a hint, you do not have to be Latino to have a great shopping experience at Mercados Su Vianda. First off the place is very clean and very festive. They have a great meat counter, produce, bakery (they make tortillias on site,) a fun cremeria, and best of all, all on site and all great prices. Everybody, customers, employees and managers I have met there have been super friendly. Mercados Su Vianda is located at 272 E. Santa Clara, San Jose, CA they are open from 7am to 11pm daily. You should check it out. It is where I shop now and I am saving a lot of money.

Have a great Cinco de Mayo!

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Giant photos from film camera

Nicole at Giants game

Pictures from last month's JMC Giants game
Nicole and I went to the Giant's game with faculty and staff from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications last month. As well as my cameraphone Treo, I carried one of my film cameras, as I often do, and the pictures came out pretty well. I like shooting with film. You can carry a once high end film camera that takes great shots, has no battery weight and would cost only $200 to replace if someone poured beer on it. The downside is it took awhile to get the pictures developed, but that is life with film. I hope you like these photos!

[Click here to see photos on Flickr]

Thursday, May 01, 2008

More on the safety issue

Bike chained to stairwell

More on the safety issue
People chaining their bikes to stairs and fire exits is a relatively common occurance at SJSU. I have several photos of this in my growing photo archive.

I saw the article in today's Spartan Daily. While not accurate in every detail on some things, I think it caught the spirit of the issue.

In the article University Police Department Chief Barnes reportedly said he had not seen or heard about many safety issues linked with non-motorized vehicles that convince him to revisit the policy. According to the Daily; "There hasn't been any factual evidence that we can see that would cause us to change our mind," he said. "I understand that some people would not like to have them riding, but from an enforcement standpoint, based on the numbers and issues we've seen, we don't see any reason why we would change the policy."

I know this may be a misquote, so I will give him the benefit of a doubt. Perhaps you may wish to send him this photo and the link to the others as well. His email is:

Today was a great day for a bike ride. I rode my bike again today. After riding about eleven miles to SJSU I did not see any reason to ride the extra few hundred feet to my desk. I rode around SJSU on the public streets and parked my bike in one of the many bike corrals around campus and walked to my desk.

[Click here to see more related photographs]

[Copy of Grievance Here]

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Happy May Day!

Happy May Day Everybody
This is after all the first and traditional Labor Day is today. May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labor Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement. Here is a link to my union blog. I need to get this blog back on its meme.