News Digest | December 3, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - December 3, 2010

News Digest

Emotional intelligence is topic of panel

Nurturing emotional intelligence in students will be the topic of a Palo Alto PTA-sponsored panel discussion Wednesday, Dec. 8.

The discussion, featuring psychologists and counselors, is aimed at parents who want to foster emotional awareness in their children.

The event is a follow-up to a PTA-sponsored discussion in March titled "Growing up Asian in Palo Alto."

Organizers stressed that they hope for broad community participation in the event and encourage non-Asians as well as Asians to attend.

Panelists will discuss case histories and show video interviews with University of California, Berkeley, students on the subject of student scheduling and talk about what parents can do to nurture emotional intelligence.

Panelists include University of Tokyo psychologist and former Stanford University visiting scholar Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu; Terman Middle School counselor Bhavna Narula; and Cupertino Union School District counselor Helen Sung.

The discussion will be from 7 to 9 p.m. in the board room of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave., Palo Alto.

Sutter Health cuts medical foundation staff

Fifty-three positions have been eliminated at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), the organization announced Wednesday (Dec. 1).

The layoffs are being caused by financial difficulty at the nonprofit health care organization.

Those affected included nurses, medical assistants, patient-service representatives and imaging staff from multiple locations in Alameda, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, spokeswoman Cynthia Greaves said.

"Health care reform is already bringing reductions in Medicare reimbursement," Greaves said. "Commercial insurance companies are demanding lower costs, and employers are reducing their contribution to health care benefits for employees."

The changes from the health care reform have affected what Greaves called their "affordability goals," leading PAMF to terminate the 53 employees.

Before letting go any employees, PAMF offered a voluntary early-exit program and eliminated any vacant positions. While terminating positions, the organization also sought to move employees into open positions before laying the workers off.

"This action was not easily taken and was pursued only after long and careful review of many options," Greaves stated. According to a press release, PAMF will support those who lost their jobs through the transition and will keep the former employees informed of new job postings within PAMF when they arise.

"This has been a very difficult decision for all of us and a new experience for our organization and its culture," Greaves said. "We promise to respect and support the people affected by these changes, and we will continue to provide open and honest communication as we address the challenges ahead."

PAMF has approximately 4,600 employees.

Palo Alto teen arrested for Redwood City killing

Mario Cazares, 17, of Palo Alto was one of two persons charged with murder Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 1) in San Mateo County Superior Court on suspicion of being involved in a gang-related killing Sunday night in Redwood City.

Also charged with murder was Michael Elijah Rodriguez, 18, of Redwood City, according to Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, who said Cazares is being charged as an adult.

They are accused of being involved in the shooting of 21-year-old Julio Pantoja Cuevas, who was killed about 8 p.m. Sunday in Redwood City, police said.

Both declined to enter pleas Wednesday and requested court-appointed attorneys. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8, Wagstaffe said.

Police arrested Cazares at his home on Midtown Court in Palo Alto just before noon Monday. Officers also searched the house, according to a police statement.

Police earlier arrested Rodriguez as he was leaving his home in Redwood City at about 8:45 a.m. Monday, police said.

The shooting is being investigated as a gang-related incident, though the shooter's motive is unknown at this time, police said. The investigation is ongoing. Wagstaffe said the suspects were shouting out that they were members of the Nortenos gang as they confronted the victim.

Investigators believe five to eight people participated in the murder and are continuing to search for more suspects, police said.

Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 400 block of Madison Avenue in Redwood City at about 8 p.m. Sunday. They found Cuevas with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police were seeking between three and six Hispanic males in connection with the homicide, all in their late teens or early 20s. Anyone with information is asked to call the Redwood City Police Department at 650-780-7100.

— Bay City News and Palo Alto Weekly staff


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