Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 25, 2010

News Digest

Davis narrowly misses Seattle police chief job

East Palo Alto police Chief Ronald Davis has narrowly missed being nominated for Seattle, Wash., chief of police, Seattle's mayor announced Thursday morning.

John Diaz, Seattle's interim chief, was nominated by Mayor Mike McGinn and must be confirmed by the Seattle City Council.

Like Davis, Diaz has a strong focus on community policing. He was told of the mayor's selection on Wednesday, he said during at a 9:30 a.m. press conference Thursday.

"It sends a message that you can start out as a patrol officer and become a leader," he said.

Davis was one of only two remaining candidates for the position out of 11 semifinalists from across the country. The mayor was considering three finalists but one, Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel, dropped out of the running June 6.

McGinn said he took the advice of former mayors who told him not to be rushed by politics.

"You have to make the best decision and make the decision for the objectives you were looking for," he said.

All three candidates had supporters in the community, he added.

Davis was also one of three semi-finalists for the New Orleans chief of police in May but did not win the position.

He has said he was recruited for the Seattle job and that it and New Orleans were extraordinary opportunities but he would be happy to stay East Palo Alto's chief if he did not get the appointments. He could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.

Davis' program to reduce parolee recidivism, approach to community policing, building community trust and focus on the root social causes of crime have reduced murders by 30 percent and overall crime by 16 percent since 2007.

Death penalty possible in Woodside murder case

Pooroushasb "Peter" Parineh, a resident of unincorporated Woodside and a real estate investor, has been charged with premeditated murder for financial gain in the April 13 shooting death of his wife, Parima Parineh, prosecutors said.

Parima Parineh, 56, had a "large" life insurance policy and Pooroushasb Parineh has several properties in foreclosure, no liquidity and "enormous debt," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe of the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office in a report.

The apparently planned nature of the allegations makes Pooroushasb Parineh, 64, subject to the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted, according to the state penal code.

Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office arrested Pooroushasb Parineh in Sunnyvale on June 17 and booked him into the San Mateo County jail. He is the only suspect in the case and is in jail on a no-bail status.

Pooroushasb Parineh tried to make the death of his wife appear to be a suicide, Wagstaffe said. Parima Parineh had been shot several times in the head and was found in the couples' bedroom of their home, a mansion at 50 Fox Hill Drive.

Details about the case are sealed until after the trial, if there is one, Lt. Ray Lunny of the Sheriff's Office told The Almanac.

Junipero Serra Boulevard to get safety upgrade

A busy stretch of road in the Stanford foothills where 90 percent of drivers violate the speed limit will get $1.5 million in safety improvements, Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss announced this week.

The traffic-calming project will focus on Junipero Serra Boulevard between Santa Maria Avenue and Campus Drive, which includes a blind hill, windy roads and nearly 20 driveways. Approximately 12,000 to 15,000 cars a day commute on the road.

The project is scheduled to begin construction in 2011 or 2012 and is anticipated to limit the number of accidents that occur.

The Santa Clara County Roads and Airports Department will build a landscaped median and bulb-outs to narrow the roads and slow traffic.

"Speeding causes 57 percent of the accidents on Junipero Serra Boulevard, and 11 percent of the accidents involve cyclists. The posted speed is 35 mph, which according to monitoring is exceeded 90 percent of the time," Kniss said in a press release.

Funding was approved from Prop 1B funds, a statewide transportation bond that was approved in 2006.

The project is an outcome of the 2000 General Use Permit, which monitors advancement on the Stanford campus, according to the Stanford Report. As a condition of this, the county required that a group be formed as a way to regulate safety on Stanford Avenue and Junipero Serra.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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