After an outpouring of anger from firefighters and the citizens they serve, Palo Alto city officials have apologized for the insult leveled at the memories of two fallen Contra Costa County firefighters. In a letter to California Professional Firefighters President Lou Paulson, Palo Alto Fire Chief Nicolas Marinaro offered personal apologies for "the controversy and consternation" surrounding City Manager Frank Benest's refusal to honor the sacrifices of firefighters Matt Burton and Scott Desmond. Benest refused to permit Palo Alto fire station flags to be lowered for the two because, in his words, "you can't lower the flags willy-nilly." Benest -- while saying he "doesn't recall" making the widely-quoted statement, has also offered an apology.
Marin Firefighter News
In the classic holiday movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Jimmy Stewart’s guardian angel showed him that he was the “richest man in town.” Ventura County Firefighter Greg Chavez’ “Guardian Angel” has made him a rich man, too. Chavez, a member of Ventura County Firefighters Local 1364, has won the nationally broadcast American Inventor contest – and a $1 million prize – for his holiday fire safety device disguised as a Christmas tree ornament. His “Guardian Angel” design beat out five other finalists and literally thousands of entries to with the contest, which aired on ABC television on Wednesday nights.
Former Assemblyman Keith Richman -- a termed-out politician and failed statewide candidate -- has introduced a new and even more mean-spirited version of the pension destruction plan that tanked in 2005. Richman who put forth the idea of privatizing the entire retirement system for new employees, threatening to eliminate death and disability benefits for firefighters and law enforcement. Unlike the previous proposal, Richman's proposed initiative doesn't couch its plan in a desire to "help" new employees. It just punishes them ... and punishes them ... and punishes them some more.