SHOULD SEX OFFENDERS BE BARRED FROM CHURCH?
That’s the question that Time Magazine and a convicted sex offender name John Nichols and his attorney are asking. Here are clips from the Time story.
North Carolina is a proud member of the so-called Bible Belt of states that take their religion seriously. So some eyebrows were raised when James Nichols was arrested for attending church.
His offense? Nichols, a convicted sex offender, had chosen to worship at a church that has a nursery where kids play while their parents pray. Now Nichols, 31, who only recently got out of prison, is fighting back, challenging the legality of a new law that took effect in December prohibiting registered sex offenders from coming within 300 ft. â€” nearly a football field’s length â€” of any facility devoted to the use, care or supervision of minors.
LAPD’S NEW HEADQUARTERS STILL NEEDS A SNAZZY NEW NAME
The new headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department is open for business even if every single person isn’t yet moved out of the old and into the new.
But, while there is more boxing, packing and unpacking ahead, the so-called Police Administration Building has at least already had its literary debut. (It is featured in Nine Dragons, the new Michael Connelly novel released earlier this week.)
The official dedication ceremony will be later this month.
In the meantime, the LA Times’ Patt Morrison gives a nice little run down about some of the building’s featires. But she also makes the point that the new LAPD building needs a name. I agree. And it shouldn’t be the Police Administration Building.
C’mon, LA — New York has ”One Police Plaza,” and even though it sounds like a name dreamed up by a studio production design team, it’s a whole lot better than ”police headquarters.”
Mayor Tom Bradley was a cop himself, but with his war with Chief Daryl Gates during his mayorship, he’s too contentious a figure to have his name on the LAPD’s building. ”Parker Center” is out of the question; the city would sooner name its new edifice after Pretty Boy Floyd. It’s possible that in time, the city might name the building after Bratton, but I expect City Hall is pretty wary of going that route.
In the meantime, you know that if the city doesn’t come up with a name, Angelenos will, on their own, find some nickname, and nicknames, once they stick, are almost impossible to get un-stuck.
THE DAMAGE WROUGHT BY ZERO TOLERANCE IN SCHOOLS
Friday’s NY Times has a good editorial on the abuses of over-the-top Zero Tolerance policies.
Here are clips:
Zachary Christie is back in his first-grade class. Delaware’s largest public school district has rescinded its order to punish him (and send him to a disciplinary school) after he came to class with a Cub Scout camping utensil that contained a small foldout knife.
This was a painful experience for the 6-year-old, and we are relieved that the school district has now amended its overly zealous disciplinary code. But far too many other communities are inflicting even greater damage on young children: handcuffing them or shipping them off to juvenile court for getting into minor skirmishes or for being unruly or disobedient at school.
In 1994, Congress required states to pass laws mandating expulsion for students who bring firearms onto school property. But many states overreacted and began to criminalize minor offenses.
PRISON TEACHERS GETTING LAID OFF (NATURALLY)
Since no one else has the good sense to make a fuss about the state’s absurdly penny-wise-and-pound-foolish plans to lay off around 800 teachers and support staff in California’s prisons, members of Service Employees International Union Local 1000 are doing their best to call attention to the stupidity of cutting or reducing programs that are proven to help prisoners stop returning to prison (thereby saving WAY more money than could possibly be saved by cutting the teachers).
The Fresno Bee has the story.
(Jerry Brown and protesting against insurance companies—after the jump.)
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS WITH BLUE SHIELD
Chanting “patients not profits,” protesters from a group called Mobilize for Health Care attempted to enter the lobby of a Blue Cross office in downtown LA. When the police barred the protesters at the office door, they sat down in a circle in front of the entrance.
Several of those involved with the protest talked about serious conditions that their insurers had suddenly declined to cover.
According to Mobilize for Health Care, These sit-ins are part of a national mobilization involving rallies and acts of civil disobedience at health insurance company offices in New York, Washington, Phoenix, Palm Beach, Portland, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Reno.
Around a dozen people were arrested in LA’s protest, and several dozen more in other cities.
JERRY BROWN USES AN ANTI TRUST SETTLEMENT TO PAY FOR PUBLIC CONCERTS
In 2003, the California AG’s office (pre-Jerry) settled an antitrust case against five of the country’s largest music CD distributors and three national retail chains. The suit contended that the distributors et all, had entered illegal agreements with each for the purpose of price fixing.
After the settlement was approved by the courts, 665,000 music CDs worth $9 million were distributed to public schools, colleges and libraries. Then after the cash part of settlement was distributed to plaintiffs, $549,000 remained. So Attorney General Jerry Had an idea. He partnered with the California Arts Council to establish a one-time music grant for 42 local arts organizations to give free public concerts.
“Music has a universal appeal, bringing people together and creating a community spirit,” Brown said. “Through these concerts, we hope to bring a small measure of joy into local communities and encourage cultural development.”
For a list of the various grantees and their future concerts, click here.
PS: While not social justice related, there’s a very cool series of photos of a white shark leaping out of the water, that were snapped on Saturday right off the beach across from Sunset Blvd. Interesting—and a little nervous making.