Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Music and Yoga near SJSU

Girish performing at Downtown Yoga Shala

Within a short walk of San Jose State University is a special place, Downtown Yoga Shala. Shala, a “sacred space” in Sanskrit, is just that. It is a wonderful yoga studio that has made a big difference in my life. Located at 450 S. 1st Street the Shala is in San Jose's blossoming South First Art (SoFA) District and is surrounded by art galleries.

On June 26, 2009 the Shala had a Candlelight Yoga Class taught by Jeff Lang featuring live music. Girish played wonderful music and the result was unlike anything I have ever seen or photographed. Veronica Cruz, a good friend and the owner of the Shala did a great job setting up this event!

[More Photos on Facebook]

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CSU (SJSU) budget related Tweets

These links off Twitter this morning are very interesting:

  • Here's the Chancellor's message on CFA/furloughs...
  • CSU Urges Faculty Union to Bring Furlough Option to Members for Vote
  • CSU Trustees to Hold Special Meeting on July 7th

    Budget to be discussed...
  • Future worker supply at risk as cuts squeeze higher education - Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal:

For more updates please check out my union Twitter feed.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Is CSU furlough proposal a red herring?


The California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), the union that represents most classified staff employees, surveyed its constituents. Over 82% of those who responded voted for the California State University (CSU) plan to offer furloughs to mitigate layoffs in the CSU system. Still it is hard for me to imagine all the unions that represent California State University employees will go for furloughs.

The plan, which will close CSU campuses two Fridays a month, may offer faculty too little. Most faculty do not teach Fridays. For them the CSU plan is a ten percent pay cut. Classified staff get two extra days off a month in return for their reduced pay. For most faculty it can be seen as a pay cut with no visible workload reduction yet seen.

The California Faculty Association (CFA) may not be that enthusiastic about this option. CFA may turn the furlough proposal down. If the union that represents CSU faculty does not sign off on furloughs, they cannot happen.

What does CSU management have to gain if this happens? Absent furloughs, CSU management has said there will be massive layoffs. Staff will be hit hard. CSU management could do layoffs and have the excuse that they were "forced into it" by the union(s) who turned down furloughs. This could cause bitterness between the staff and faculty that could last for a long time.

Yes, that does sound cynical; I know.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Staff union vote favors furloughs

The CSU Employees Union (CSUEU) represents over 16,000 employees on 23 CSU campuses and in the office of the chancellor. Its bargaining units comprise the majority of non-academic (classified) employees in the state university system. Recently the CSUEU announced the results of a survey of its members. According to the union, the union members voted overwhelmingly to support furloughs as opposed to layoffs:

In a series of advisory votes over the last week, CSUEU members have clearly indicated their support for the concept of two furlough days per month, as proposed earlier this month by the Chancellor’s Office.

The results of the votes taken at the chapter level are reflected in the chart below. An online survey and a scientific poll came to the same result: CSUEU-represented employees support the concept of furloughs at the rate of approximately 82 percent in favor. [Read More]

This does not mean there will not be layoffs at SJSU or in the CSU system, this still has to be negotiated at the bargaining table and is subject to the state budget outcome.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

BEWARE - Lies to get your passwords

If you get an e-mail that says this:

WARNING!!! Dear sjsu.edu e-mail owner,
This message is from San Jose State University Webmail Team messaging center to all sjsu.edu e-mail owners. We are currently upgrading our data base and e-mail center. We are deleting all unused sjsu.edu e-mail accounts to create space for new ones...

It is a LIE!

If your log-in information has been compromised, you need to immediately change your password on all accounts you have unintentionally given up information on.

Also, these kind of spammers are aware that many people use the same user names and/or passwords in multiple places, like bank accounts, ebay and/or Amazon. So, you should change the passwords on any and all of these accounts that have the same password, even if the user name is different.

More information is here and here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Budget crisis to mean CSU layoffs and/or furloughs?

According to an FAQ posted on the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) Web site:

The State Budget Crisis has finally hit the CSU, and we are being faced with the possibility of massive layoffs as a result. On Tuesday, June 9, CSUEU President Pat Gantt, VP for Representation Dennis Dillon and SLRR Teven Laxer met with representatives of CSU management at the Office of the Chancellor on an information-gathering basis. The CSU informed the union that it was likely that the Budget Conference Committee would be recommending cuts to the CSU budget totaling $583,816,000, the amount proposed by the governor in the May Revise. This represents a staggering 13.5 percent cut to the budget.

[Click on this link for more information]

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Twitpocalypse: The failure of Twitter (a Geek tragedy)

Mark Gibbs of Network World wrote The Twitpocalypse Tragedy, a Greek Geek tragedy about the failure of Twitter. Gibb wrote:

It has been predicted that A Bad Thing is about to happen in the Twitterverse. This Bad Thing is being called the "Twitpocalypse", and if you believe some of the commentaries, we could have a world totally bereft of Twitter. They make it sound like a tragedy. Accordingly, here's my tragedic play in the classical Greek style (sort of) that I have titled "Twitpocalypse Now." [Follow link to read more.]

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bikes out of control at SJSU

Cyclist riding without hands at SJSU

Many of the people who ride bicycles on the sidewalks at SJSU do so in ways that risk serious injury to themselves and others. Cyclists riding with no hands are unable to take evasive action if a pedestrian, cart or disabled person steps into their path. Usually cyclists who ride like this way are not wearing helmets.

This bike position is especially prone to falling. These cyclists, as well as endangering others, risk head injuries that could kill them or leave them permanently disabled.

[My blog about human powered vehicles at SJSU]

[More photos of human powered vehicles on and around SJSU]

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

June Fourth Twenty Years Ago

Tiananmen Square Protester

Remembering Tiananmen Square

As we live our American lives enjoying so many goods that say "Made in China." Let's not forget how much it has cost. "The time for the Chinese government to provide the fullest possible public accounting of the thousands killed, detained, or missing in the massacre that followed the protests is long overdue," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Sean McCormack said in a statement on the eve of the 19th anniversary of what China has called the "June Fourth incident."

"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly," Martin Luther King Jr.