Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 25, 2012

News Digest

HP to cut 27,000 jobs

Palo Alto tech giant HP announced Thursday, May 24, that it would cut 27,000 jobs — 8 percent of its global workforce — by the end of the fiscal year of 2014.

An HP spokesperson told the Weekly that the company has not announced any specific plans for Palo Alto's HP workforce, but stated that it does "expect the workforce reduction to impact just about every business and region."

The company also announced that its second-quarter revenue was $30.7 billion, down 3 percent from last year's $31.6 billion. Its profits are down 31 percent, dropping from $2.1 billion to $1.6 billion.

The cuts, along with changes in its business operations, are part of a restructuring program that the company expects will save between $3 and $3.5 billion. HP stated that some of the reductions will come from employees who participate in an early retirement program but did not specify how many.

"These initiatives build upon our recent organizational realignment, and will further streamline our operations, improve our processes, and remove complexity from our business," said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. "While some of these actions are difficult because they involve the loss of jobs, they are necessary to improve execution and to fund the long term health of the company. We are setting HP on a path to extend our global leadership and deliver the greatest value to customers and shareholders."

Weekly wins 10 Bay Area journalism awards

The Palo Alto Weekly received 10 journalism awards for its work, including third place for overall excellence, at the annual San Francisco Peninsula Press Club awards dinner in Foster City Saturday night, May 19.

News organizations from throughout the greater Bay Area vied for honors, including online, print, television and radio outlets. The journalism contest covered work done in 2011. The Weekly competed against other non-daily newspapers.

The Weekly's series on the lack of purpose among youth by writer Terri Lobdell took home first place in the category of series. Reporter Sue Dremann's cover story about companies focusing on biofuel bested other weekly publications' work in the category of business/technology. Her reporting on the precarious future of Caltrain was chosen as best analysis.

City hall reporter Gennady Sheyner's articles on the tense relationship between the City of Palo Alto and its labor unions won for continuing coverage.

The staff's coverage of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' death in October took second place in the breaking-news category. Dremann and photographer Veronica Weber won second place in the news-story category for their article on people living in their cars.

Sheyner took third place in the categories of analysis and feature story of a serious nature for his reporting on last November's Measure E (the undedication of 10 acres in the Baylands) and murder victim Jennifer Schipsi's final hours, respectively.

Film critic Susan Tavernetti won third place in the entertainment category for her review of director Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."

The contest entries were judged by press clubs in Bakersfield, Cleveland, Florida, Milwaukee, New Orleans and San Diego.

In the Press Club's contest for high schools, Gunn High School's Oracle took first place for general excellence.

High school journalist Brian Benton of Palo Alto High was awarded a Herb Caen scholarship of $1,500.

Elarms back in court following stay at mental facility

The man accused of murdering East Palo Alto community activist David Lewis in 2010 will be back in court on June 8, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's office.

Gregory Elarms, 59, was back in court May 15 following a 10-month stay in a state mental facility. He is accused of shooting Lewis in the parking lot of San Mateo's Hillsdale Mall on June 9, 2010.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Mark Forcum on July 7, 2011, ordered Elarms hospitalized until he is competent to stand trial. On July 14 the court authorized the hospital to involuntarily medicate Elarms for his psychiatric condition if needed.

Elarms is suspected of following Lewis from the San Mateo Medical Center to Hillsdale Mall and shooting him once in the stomach with a .44-caliber handgun.

Elarms was charged with murder, discharging a gun in the course of murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and the special circumstance of lying in wait, which could make him eligible for the death penalty. Deputy District Attorney Al Giannini said last August that the district attorney's office would seek life in prison over the death penalty.

Atascadero State Hospital doctors have found Elarms is now competent to stand trial, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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