The downtown San Mateo post office was officially renamed in honor of the late congressman Leo J. Ryan the week of Nov. 22, 2008, 30 years after he was shot to death on a Guyana tarmac and more than 900 followers of Jim Jones and the People’s Temple committed suicide nearby.
The honor was the work of U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, who, as Ryan’s political aide, was seriously injured in the attack.
Speier, D-San Mateo, started her venture into politics as a high school volunteer for Ryan’s campaign. Naming the post office after Ryan is a fitting tribute to a “consummate civil servant,” Speier told a crowd gathered in front of the post office on Monday of that week.
On Nov. 18, 1978, Ryan paid the ultimate price for his unwavering quest for the truth. While on a fact-finding mission to the jungles of Guyana, he and a coalition of staff members and press were gunned down on an airstrip near Jonestown by members of the People’s Temple.
Board tackles vacancy plans
The Board of Supervisors decided the week of Nov. 22, 2008, to only call for a special election to replace Supervisor Jerry Hill, just elected to the state Assembly, if it does find an appropriate candidate among those applying for an appointment.
The board opted for the two-pronged approach on Tuesday of that week in hopes of avoiding a special election which was estimated to cost upwards of $1.6 million if it is the only item on the ballot.
contracting sting nabs 22
Twenty-two unlicensed contractors bid on home improvement jobs valued at more than $500 during a two-day sting, the District Attorney’s Office announced the week of Nov. 22, 2008.
The 22 contractors were either arrested or issued citations in the undercover bust held the previous week at homes in Belmont and Menlo Park.
starts with a whimper
The beginning of crab season the week of Nov. 22, 2008, was as bad — or worse — than fishermen expected.
Fishermen were returning to harbor with an average of one to three crabs per pot on Saturday of that week. In normal seasons, fishermen haul in approximately 15 crabs per pot.
The haul confirmed what everyone was already fearing — that in a common occurrence, crab did not settle in the area that year. The low crab count already had some fishermen selling crab for $5 to $5.50 per pound straight off their boats.
From the archives highlights stories originally printed five years ago this week. It appears in the Friday edition of the Daily Journal.