News Digest | January 20, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 20, 2012

News Digest

Rich Gordon to seek another term in state Assembly

Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, announced Thursday (Jan. 19) that he would seek a second term in Sacramento.

Gordon, a veteran San Mateo County supervisor who was elected to the state Assembly in 2010, touted in his announcement his success during his freshman term. Of the 19 bills he proposed, 15 were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, including proposals to extend tax exemptions to public land trusts and to exempt volunteers from prevailing-wage requirements for public-works projects. He was also one of the architects, along with state Sen. Joe Simitian and U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, of a proposal to blend Caltrain and high-speed rail on the Peninsula — a proposal that the California High-Speed Rail Authority largely endorsed in its latest business plan.

As chair of the Assembly's Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation, he has been heavily involved in reviewing the latest plans for the controversial rail line. He also serves on the Budget, Health, Local Government, Joint Sunset Review and Revenue and Taxation committees and is a member of the Environmental and LGBT caucuses.

"Over the last year, it has been an honor to represent the residents of the Peninsula," Gordon said in a statement. "I am proud of what we have accomplished, in particular on issues regarding the environment and government efficiency. Yet there is still much more work to be done."

Gordon's reelection campaign has already received endorsements from a host of state and federal officials, including Eshoo, Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisors Liz Kniss and Ken Yeager, Palo Alto Mayor Yiaway Yeh and all five members of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

Simitian 'education update' set for Jan. 28

State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, will discuss school funding and pending legislation in an "education update" in Palo Alto next Saturday (Jan. 28).

Simitian, who began his political career as a member of the Palo Alto school board in the 1980s, regularly holds public updates that draw school board members, administrators and public education advocates from Santa Cruz to San Carlos.

Simitian, a member of the state Senate since 2004, sits on the Education Committee. He also chairs the Senate's Environmental Quality Committee and is a member of the committees on budget, energy, utilities and communications, natural resources and water and transportation and housing.

Because of term limits he is serving his final term in the Senate and has announced he will seek a seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors this November.

The "education update" event will be from 10 a.m. to noon in the board room of the Palo Alto Unified School District headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave. It will be broadcast on Channel 26 by the Midpeninsula Community Media Center.

People interested in attending are asked to RSVP online at or by calling 650-688-6384, 408-277-9460 or 831-425-0401.

Driver leads police on chase through Palo Alto

A 23-year-old East Palo Alto man faces an assault-with-a-deadly-weapon charge after allegedly ramming a Palo Alto police cruiser Sunday (Jan. 15).

Edward Guadalupe Enriquez was arrested on three felonies and a misdemeanor after he took police on a chase into Mountain View that involved crashing a stolen vehicle into two poles and a sign, Palo Alto police Agent Rich Bullerjahn said.

The incident began at 1:36 a.m. after a Palo Alto officer on patrol saw Enriquez suspiciously cruising around the area of Newell Road and Edgewood Drive in Palo Alto. The residential neighborhood has been plagued by burglaries, Bullerjahn said.

The officer ran the vehicle's license plate and discovered the car had been stolen from Hayward on Jan. 14. Following the vehicle, which entered southbound Highway 101 between San Antonio Road and Shoreline Boulevard, the officer turned on his rack lights and called for backup from Palo Alto and Mountain View officers.

Enriquez quickly exited at Shoreline. Palo Alto police policy prohibits pursuit of a stolen vehicle, so the officer turned off his lights and continued following Enriquez, Bullerjahn said.

The vehicle crashed into a sign and pole and the officer pulled up behind it. A backup officer from Palo Alto and one from Mountain View quickly surrounded the vehicle on the side and front.

Enriquez allegedly threw the car into reverse and backed into the officer's cruiser. He then drove forward and past the patrol car in front of him and drove off into Mountain View, Bullerjahn said.

Enriquez was booked into the Main Jail in San Jose on three felonies: possession of a stolen vehicle with a prior conviction, felony evading police, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer; and possession of burglary tools, a misdemeanor.

— Sue Dremann