Chamber PAC Endorses Armando Gomez for Assembly District 25

Armando Gomez

After interviewing five candidates that are running for Assembly District 25 in the 2014 race, the Santa Clara Chamber PAC (SCCPAC) has endorsed Milpitas City Council Member Armando Gomez for Assembly District 25.  Dave Tobkin, Co-Chair of the SCCPAC said, “Each candidate expressed creative ideas on how to improve and assist the business community in our district but City Council Member Armando Gomez rose to the top.  Not only does he have 11 years of experience as a Milpitas City Council Member, he has also served as Mayor Chuck Reed’s Budget Director.  We were impressed with his understanding of the business community’s issues as well as the State’s budget challenges.

San Jose City Council Member Kansen Chu, Retired Fremont Police Chief Craig Steckler, Businesswoman Teresa Cox, all democrats and Businessman Robert Brunton, the lone Republican, were also interviewed.  The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will be decided on the June 3, 2014 Primary Election with a final determination made by voters on the November 4, 2014 General Election.

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Santa Clara Chosen for Google Gigabit Community Feasibility Study

google-fiber

The City of Santa Clara is one of five California cities chosen by Google to explore the possibility of bringing citywide ultra high-speed Google Fiber access to its residents. The service would make Internet connections up to 100 times faster than the basic broadband used by most online users.

Ultra high-speed connections make a video call with a loved one, a business conference with a client, watching a movie or playing an online game instantaneous, with little or no buffering or video delay.

“This is an exciting extension of the Silicon Valley Power fiber network our city has been developing for the last 15 years,” said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie L. Matthews. Silicon Valley Power (SVP), the city’s municipal electric utility, already provides a state-of-the-art fiber optic network to businesses, city facilities and schools under the SVP Fiber Enterprise.

“With a company like Google exploring the options with us, we are optimistic that our built-in fiber capabilities and our experienced SVP Fiber Enterprise professionals will make the transition to a Google Gigabit community a reality for Santa Clara,” said Santa Clara City Manager Julio J. Fuentes.

Fiber-enabled “Gigabit” Internet connections feature speeds of up to 1,000 Megabits of data per second, about 100 times the average basic speed of 9.8 Megabits per second common for existing high-speed service. The higher speed allows no-wait Internet interaction for users, a convenience as well as an economic boost for a city.

“Communities with abundant high-speed Internet grow stronger because there’s greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth, and help students and families get access to essential resources,” said Kevin Lo, General Manager for Google Fiber.

Google has worked with several cities in Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Utah to provide them with gigabit access speeds.

“In surveys, our customers have consistently expressed interest in premium Internet service and convenient online access,” said Larry Owens, SVP Manager of Customer Services. “Last year we were among the first cities in the nation to provide free citywide outdoor Wi-Fi access through our advanced metering technology, SVP MeterConnect. We will now do all we can to leverage our state-of-the-art SVP Fiber Enterprise network with Google’s expertise to move Santa Clara further to the forefront of municipal Internet connectivity.”

Guest Commentary: Demise of Car Tax Initiative Leaves Transportation Finance Unresolved

Guest Commentary by Loren Kaye  (California Foundation for Commerce and Education)

News last week that proponents have dropped their initiative to increase the car tax for transportation projects was unsurprising, but only leads to the larger question of how to meet legitimate new needs for roads, highways and other transportation works.

Recent private polling has found that voters are disinclined to approve new taxes for… almost anything. Even though most voters won’t pay the Proposition 30 income tax hikes, they believe these tax increases are enough to address the state’s problems, especially with their biggest concern: public education. Lingering uncertainty about California’s modest economic recovery also dampens voter interest in new taxes.

Incipient Financial Crisis

This is cold comfort for transportation and economic development advocates, who see an incipient financial crisis for Californians’ mobility.

The lion’s share of money for roads, highways and transit in California is thrown off by the gasoline excise tax, which totals 39.5 cents a gallon — the highest such rate in the country. But changes in Californians’ behavior — influenced by market forces and public policy — have disrupted this venerable source of transportation finance.

Higher mileage cars, including the penetration of hybrids and vehicles that don’t run at all on gasoline, are fundamentally altering the shape of the fuel tax revenue curve. Last fiscal year, Californians purchased the least amount of gasoline since 1998–99.

Downward Trend

While historic downturns in gasoline purchases have been temporary, the overall downward trend since the end of the last century seems apparent.

Add to this the inherent loss of purchasing power in an excise tax, and the result is a revenue source that is falling far behind the legitimate maintenance and growth needs of the system.

Governor Brown has dedicated some of next year’s budget surplus to transportation finance, repaying loans from special funds and dedicating some new money to deferred maintenance.

But this is small ball compared with the looming needs for California’s roads, highways and urban rail systems. Soon enough, California leaders—if not voters—will have to address this issue.

LorenGuest Commentary by Loren Kaye.   Loren is president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, a nonprofit think tank affiliated with the California Chamber of Commerce.

El Camino Hospital And Fire Departments Of Santa Clara County Launch Free CPR “Citizen Responder” App

Group Shot

February 14th launch event featured members of El Camino Hospital, the Fire Departments of Santa Clara County, the PulsePoint Foundation and Workday.

Residents throughout Santa Clara County now have the technology available to provide assistance to a person experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) who may be in need of CPR.  El Camino Hospital, the fire departments within Santa Clara County and the PulsePoint Foundation announced the availability of the revolutionary PulsePoint mobile phone application to all of Santa Clara County.

“Every day, we treat patients in our emergency rooms that have sudden cardiac arrest. We know that quick action to restore heart function is essential to full recovery,” said Tomi Ryba, president and chief executive officer of El Camino Hospital, “Two years ago, El Camino Hospital provided the funding needed for the non-profit PulsePoint Foundation to enable our fire departments and emergency response systems to make this technology available to our community. This is an important investment to bringing this life-saving technology to Santa Clara County.”

Integrated with the 911 system, the location-based mobile app notifies CPR-trained citizens, who are in the immediate vicinity, of the critical need for CPR nearby. The app also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED). This notification happens simultaneously with the dispatch of emergency service crews to alert bystander response while emergency services make their way to the scene.

“The close collaboration between El Camino Hospital, the fire departments within Santa Clara County, the PulsePoint Foundation and Workday, a tech company, is a great example of how public and private partnerships can benefit our entire community,” said Mike Wasserman, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, representing District 1. “Congratulations to all who made today’s launch possible.  It’s a point of pride that Santa Clara County is the first county nationwide to have 100% of its residents covered by this technology.”

“The Pulse Point app lets everyday folks make a life-saving difference in those first few minutes when emergency services are on the way,” said Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisor for District 5. “I’m really pleased this technology is now available throughout the County. Today we’re asking the residents of Santa Clara County to do two simple things – download the PulsePoint app to your cell phone, and learn or brush up on your CPR skills.”

“Today’s launch could not have been possible without the coordinated efforts of nine Fire Chiefs from across Santa Clara County to ensure that our systems would enable citizen responders – no matter where they are in the county –to come to the aid of someone in need,” said Chief Ken Kehmna, Santa Clara County Fire District.  “With the aging of our county’s population we can expect that more people will experience sudden cardiac arrest, so we welcome innovative approaches like PulsePoint to improve our collective ability to save lives.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for an estimated 360,000 deaths each year or 1,000 deaths per day.  Different than a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops working properly.  CPR or AED use helps restore the heart’s normal rhythm.  However, from the onset of a SCA, for every minute that passes without a SCA victim receiving resuscitation, the chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent.   After 10 minutes, chances of survival are minimal.  That is why effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

PulsePoint was developed by volunteer engineers at Workday, a Silicon Valley-based company that creates enterprise cloud applications.  The idea came from Richard Price, the former chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Department who wanted to bridge the gap between the critical minutes following SCA and the 13 million Americans who are CPR trained but don’t often know their skills are required.

PulsePoint is being used in more than 525 communities across 17 states.  It was launched in San Jose in 2012, where there are currently more than 15,000 devices that have downloaded the app.

The PulsePoint app is available for iPhone and Android and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store™ and Google Play™.  For more information about the PulsePoint app and to link to CPR classes, visit: www.elcaminohospital.org/CPRHelpNow

App Screen Shot

A screen shot of the “Citizen CPR” application. PulsePoint technology alerts CPR-trained bystanders that someone nearby may require CPR.

Member of the Month: Coast Range Technologies, Inc.

crt

Founded in 2001, Coast Range Technologies, Inc. is a leader in network services for small and medium-sized businesses (75 seats or less) in the SF South Bay, offering a proven service portfolio, ranging from simple monitoring and maintenance services to complete outsourced IT solutions.

Their proactive services enable clients to lower their IT service costs as well as their equipment and employee down time. Ushering in a sense of business security and peace of mind knowing their IT services are in trusted hands.

Through training and extensive testing of products, technologies and services in their lab, CRT employees are empowered to provide high quality customer service and technical expertise.  Therefore, as CRT partners, clients are able to focus their resources on growing their business and gaining a competitive advantage: We Manage your Network while You Manage your Business.

If Information Technology is not yet considered an “Asset” in your company or you’re interested in exploring some of the IT solutions that may elevate your business, schedule a free consultation.

You can visit Coast Range Technologies, Inc. at www.coastrangetech.com or call their office at 408-224-2777. You’ll be glad you did!