Digest 1/15

Road work will close Las Animas Avenue

Gilroy – Las Animas Avenue will be closed on either side of Monterey Road, beginning Monday, Jan. 17. The road will be closed every day from 8:30am to 4:30pm, through Friday, Jan. 28, for work on the railroad tracks.

Details: Gilroy’s Engineering Division at (408) 846-0450.

Financial workshop for teachers slated

Gilroy – Educators are invited to attend the Teachers’ Financial Survival Workshop at 5pm, Thursday, at Mama Mia’s Restaurant, 1360B First St., Gilroy.

The meeting will discuss the 2005 changes in the IRS code that affect retirement planning for teachers, as well as an updated estimate of the State Teachers’ Retirement Benefits.

A review of 2005 income tax, Social Security and Medicare changes also will be included.

There is no charge for admission, and complimentary dinner will be served at 6:20pm.

To RSVP, call Jeff Chilman at 848-0931.

New county tax to benefit fire district

Gilroy – New home builders and other developers will soon have to pay a little bit more to build in the unincorporated parts of South County.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to add a fire mitigation tax to new development projects to ensure that South County Fired District has the personnel for future emergencies.

“People are going to have to pay a fee so when they call 9-1-1, there will be someone to answer the call,” Supervisor Don Gage said. “It’s not a big amount but it guarantees fire protection.”

Homebuilders who install sprinklers will have to pay an additional 16 cents a square foot, or 34 cents without a sprinkler. Commercial builders will pay an additional 75 cents with a sprinkler, or slightly more than a dollar without.

Lawmakers want to collect data on tasers

San Francisco – A San Francisco lawmaker said Thursday he will introduce a bill that would collect data on stun-gun use and could lead to proposed restrictions on the device.

Assemblyman Mark Leno cited concern over the deaths of six people in Northern California since last August, after they were shocked by law enforcement with 50,000-volt Tasers.

Leno said he will introduce the bill next week.

“We owe it to the public and the officers who are being told that these devices are safe and non-lethal to learn more about Tasers before we allow their continued use,” Leno said in a statement.

A growing number of law enforcement agencies across the country – including Gilroy – are using Tasers as a non-lethal way to disable suspects.

Leno noted that the deaths of six people followed Taser shocks, most recently a 30-year-old Pacifica man who died on Jan. 2. The company announced last week it was cooperating with an informal inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into the safety of its product.

A report released Thursday by the Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology Journal said the likelihood that the stun guns would cause a serious disruption in a person’s heartbeat are “extremely low.”

Send news items to City Editor Robert Airoldi. Fax to

842-2206, mail to Gilroy Dispatch, 6400 Monterey Road, Gilroy, CA 95020 or e-mail [email protected]

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