Lantos will not seek re-election
Longtime U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, announced the week of Jan. 4, 2008 he would not seek re-election in November 2008 because he had cancer of the esophagus.
Lantos, 79, was the only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress. He served 27 years in Congress, was one of the top ranking Democrats in Congress and chaired the Committee on Foreign Affairs. By all accounts, Lantos was ready to run for his 15th term that November. His departure from the seat left the race open for others such as former state senator Jackie Speier and current state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo. However, everyone appeared to be putting politics to the side and focusing on Lantos’ health.
"It is with great personal sadness and deep appreciation for his outstanding leadership that I learned of Chairman Lantos’ illness. His experience, intelligence and compassion will be deeply missed,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said in a press release.
Fundraiser gets three-year sentence
Disgraced political donor Norman Hsu was sentenced the week of Jan. 4, 2008 to three years in prison after a judge refused to throw out a prior no-contest plea to fraud.
Hsu’s lawyers had asked Judge Stephen Hall to dismiss his 16-year-old plea, arguing that Hsu’s right to speedy justice was violated because authorities were not actively pursuing him during his years as a fugitive. They could easily have arrested Hsu, his lawyers argued, at one of the fundraisers he hosted in California for prominent local politicians.
Hsu also faced federal fraud charges in New York.
His troubles began dogging then-senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and other big-name Democrats last summer when news reports revealed he was a fugitive who fled the state before he was sentenced for the 1992 fraud conviction for scamming investors out of $1 million.
He turned himself in on Aug. 31, 2007, posted $2 million in bail, then fled again, skipping a scheduled court appearance.
He was recaptured in September in Colorado after he tried to kill himself by overdosing on drugs aboard an eastbound Amtrak train. Hsu had since been held without bail in the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City.
District seeks unpaid benefit bill
More than $2,400 was being sought for unpaid health benefits from a former San Bruno Park Elementary School District trustee, according to a December 2007 lawsuit reported the week of Jan. 4, 2008.
Superintendent David Hutt filed a small claims suit on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 seeking $2,409.64 for unpaid health benefit overruns by former trustee Brian Kramer from January through July 2005. Kramer lost his bid for re-election in November 2005. The lawsuit is a result of previously unsuccessful attempts to collect, explained board President Skip Henderson.
Trustee Russ Hanley agreed, noting the district was just pursuing the legal avenues for repayment.
Burlingame parents welcome first baby of 2008
Labor began slow for Kate Karriker-Jaffe.
The new mom went into labor at 7 a.m. Monday, Dec. 31, 2007 — a day before her due date. It was not until 1 a.m. New Year’s morning that Karriker-Jaffe would welcome in her first child, Stella Kristina Jaffe. Stella was the first baby born in San Mateo County in 2008. Stella cried for only a few minutes before falling back to sleep. The baby with blueish-green eyes donned a yellow beanie announcing to the world, "I am adorable.” As her parents looked down on her, both admitted the new titles had yet to sink in.
Burlingame residents Karriker-Jaffe and her husband Chris Jaffe, both 36, had a leisurely day on Monday of that week. The couple went out to lunch and watched movies. Labor moved slowly for most of the day allowing the couple to take it easy. Then things came fast, explained Karriker-Jaffe.
"We actually almost had a home birth,” he said.
The couple headed to the Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame via ambulance at 11:30 p.m.
At 1 a.m. Stella was born weighing in at 7 pounds even, 19 inches long. She was the first child for Kate and Chris who first met 12 years prior while studying at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. The pair married in 2002.
From the archives highlights stories originally printed five years ago this week. It appears in the Friday edition of the Daily Journal.