December 22, 2006
School is out for the year
This was a short day at SJSU. We worked half a day and now the campus is closed until January 2, 2007. This is also the day after the shortest day of the year. I brought a film camera to work and shot a short roll. The low angle of the early morning sun and the crisp cold winter morning air made for dramatic light on these two west campus towers.
December 19, 2006
The most important training I hope I will never use
My colleague Colin and I have been going through CERT training every day this week.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
One of the greatest constants in the recent disasters this country has faced is that it can often be a long wait between the crisis and when help arrives. We saw it in Katrina and in the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. This area has the potential for an earthquake over ten times that size. If we get hit with a 1906 level quake destruction will be massive. The emergency responders will be totally overwhelmed and the infrastructure loss will be incredible. We may be cut off for a very long time. Who, then will be the first responders? We will! Are you ready? That is the point of this training. There will be no time for learning when disaster strikes, and the experts say, it is a matter of when.
December 11, 2006
Should disaster strike we university employees may be the only thing standing between life and death for university students and/or our fellow workers. Are you ready? Next week the university is offering Campus Emergency Response Team Training. It is free! Now that you know about it, how can you not go? What if someday your decision to not go to this costs another person to be hurt or worse?
December 8, 2006
Camera Phone Post: A gray dead day at SJSU
It is dead day, that quiet day between the end of regular classes and the start of finals. On top of that, there is a storm coming in and the wind is blowing. The rain is coming soon. The wind is bringing down the leaves and the grounds workers are trying to keep ahead of them.
December 7, 2006
Mercury News agreement saves some jobs
From Mercury News on-line: Hard bargaining session with union reduces newspaper job losses from 69 to 27.5. As a former union leader I can only imagine how painful this must be for them. I have only been in layoff negotiations once and it was hard, you have nothing to negotiate with. You just try not to lose too much and help as many folks as you can. It really sucks. They apparently paid a dear price, they seem to have given up their retirement plan and replaced it with a 401K.
The San Jose Mercury News has reached a tentative agreement with the San Jose Newspaper Guild for a two-year contract that significantly reduces the number of layoffs the newspaper was planning.
December 6, 2006
Save Google Answers Video
I just saw this wonderfully inventive video on YouTube about the effort to save Google Answers. Okay, what is Google Answers? According to Wikipedia this morning:
Google Answers was an Internet search and research service offered for a fee by Google, “answer brokering”. It was launched by Google in April 2002, and went out of Beta in May 2003. In late November 2006, Google reported that it planned to permanently shut down the service. As of November 30, 2006, new questions may no longer be asked, but existing questions may continue to be answered until December 30, 2006.
Worth a look at the video. It is a great example of effective multimedia for the web, like your union organizing. Here is a link to the Save Google Answers Blog. If you are in a union and have a cause you would like to promote, an issue to advocate for, or something you would like to save, this could be a great approach! This could be effectively used for organizing if done well.