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Social Justice Shorts

September 21st, 2009 by Celeste Fremon


The photo above doesn’t have a thing to do with the stories in this post. I took it on Friday afternoon when I stopped to talk to police at the scene of an attempted robbery of a West Los Angeles marijuana physician’s office on Pico Blvd., just west of Sawtelle, in which two people were shot, one of them critically. (The guy in the snazzy hat is the detective.) The shooting, which took place just after 4:30 p.m., was an odd and scary one according to the two witnesses with whom I spoke. (The witnesses were two young men in their early 20s.) They told me that a couple of guys walked into the doctor’s office, one dressed unaccountably in a yellow reflective traffic vest, the other dressed normally but with a back back strapped to his chest. The yellow vest guy signed in as if he was a patient, then the backpack guy reached into his pack, pulled out a pistol and shot the doctor’s receptionist and another office employee, a single shot fired at each. Just like that. No demand. No warning. A few seconds later, the shooter and friend ran out. It is not clear if they attempted to steal anything, or not.


It is no shock to find out that this fall many LAUSD classes are absurdly large and crowded due to teacher cuts. On Sunday, the LA Times had a look into some of those classes and schools that are faring the worst.

As it was, every seat was taken. One young woman plopped on the floor, next to a microwave oven. A young man stood in the corner, shifting from one foot to the other. Three teens scrunched on top of a desk. Everyone’s attention was riveted on the slight, soft-spoken man pacing the small patch of bare linoleum in front of them….

But, hey, at least the state legislature avoided letting those prisoners out a few months early (and putting them on house arrest) Whew! .


During his Sunday media blitz, Barack Obama said that he would be open to giving tax breaks to newspapers that restructured as nonprofits.

The Hill reports:

….“I haven’t seen detailed proposals yet, but I’ll be happy to look at them,” Obama told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade in an interview.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced S. 673, the so-called “Newspaper Revitalization Act,” that would give outlets tax deals if they were to restructure as 501(c)(3) corporations. That bill has so far attracted one cosponsor, Cardin’s Maryland colleague Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).


“I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding,” he said


The Washington Post reports:

A congressional push to enact a federal shield law for journalists is being held up by disagreement with the Justice Department on how to deal with cases that involve leaked national security information, congressional and media sources say.


This open letter to UTLA President A.J. Duffy from on of the union’s chapter chairs, Jordan Henry, a well-liked teacher and union rep at Santee High School.

(The link was in one of last night’s tweets by another LAUSD teacher/union activist, Jose del Barrio.)

In the letter, Henry suggest that the union rethink its knee-jerk condemnation of the charter school movement—for its own benefit.

Here’s a clip:

At this critical juncture in our union’s history, with at least one third of our union at stake, it is imperative we learn from past mistakes with haste. In particular, we must undo the misunderstanding, mischaracterization, and underestimation of the charter movement in Los Angeles which has marked your term and fueled the coalition of forces behind the School Choice Motion.


Okay, well if the 1962 infamous escape from Alcatraz isn’t a cold case, it’s mighty chilly. But according to Monday’s NPR story, U.S. Marshall’s are still actively working the case.

The U.S. Marshals Service is still actively pursuing the case on the chance that the three men pulled off one of the most daring prison escapes in U.S. history.

“Leads still come in. I just got one a couple weeks ago,” U.S. Marshal Michael Dyke said recently in his office in Oakland, Calif., as he poured over a stack of old file folders from the case.

Posted in California budget, Charter Schools, crime and punishment, LAUSD, law enforcement, media, Medical Marijuana, Obama, Social Justice Shorts | 40 Comments »

40 Responses

  1. Grace Pinkapank Says:

    The detective in the hat is fine and dandy but what I want to know Celeste, is that a regular cop behind him, leanining up against the building, and on tax payer dollar? Surprised’ the cop isn’t holding a latte with a napkin scarf.

  2. Art Bluechella Says:

    I’ve worn fezzes, homburgs, Panamas, pork pies, top hats, sombreros, tri-corns, war bonnets, you name it Celeste. There isn’t anything more sophisticated than a man wearing a hat. I must compliment the detective on his outstanding good taste.

  3. Gava Joe IV Says:

    Hats off to my Pa, He finished hisself a jigsaw.

  4. Millicent Rogers Says:

    Art, I think hats and sophistication reign as well in the female universe. There is Patt Morrison, Queeen Elizabeth and babies. The old saying goes ‘if you want to get ahead and get noticed, then get a hat’. Indeed the word ‘ahead’ means just that one head further forward.
    Hats when worn today are either worn for a special dressy occasion such as a wedding or conversely as casual statement attire in the way that the detective is wearing his.

  5. mrs. salazar Says:

    I want to hear about sombreros.

  6. Frank Levine Says:

    I want to hear about Yarmulkes. Do they count Celeste?

  7. Madge Says:

    I always thought Frank Sinatra looked great in a hat.

  8. Wally Says:

  9. Marty Says:

    Never worn a hat. Look funny with my short pants. But if’a did, it be a sailor’s hat.

  10. Celeste Fremon Says:

    I thought the hat was terrific. The detective definitely had an excellent style thing going on. (And it was a very nice hat.)

    By the way, if you don’t mind, no more additional Gava Joes please, even as a joke. We have enough of a muddle with our existing name confusion.

  11. WBC Says:

    Yes, we can thank those huge classrooms, which threaten the dramatic progress schools like the profiled Fairfax high have made, to the likes of scaremongers like Paul Weber of the Police PLeague and his endless blog rants, e-blasts and media appearances, the Prison Guard Union (whose former head is now advising the PPL/Weber), the Cooley-Trutanich-Zine Troika and their colleagues and foot soldiers like your very own Sure Fire and Kelvin. There’s a lot of “credit” to go around.

  12. She needs a hobby Says:

    Senorita Anonymousa must be bored or drunk again, she is crazy “Hat” commenting, how many names can she use?

  13. roy Says:

    her favorite names are don quixote and rob thomas(sns)but i think most of us have caught on to there non sense.

  14. reg Says:

    I’m not sure what kind of a deal giving tax breaks to non-profits constitutes. Don’t they already have tax breaks by definition. Or is this bill simply to make it easier for a profit-making company to switch to a different structure ?

  15. Sure Fire Says:

    You’re a donk WBC, just a whining braying jackass that lives to bitch. I’m sure you were the smartest kid in your special ed class.

  16. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Reg, hmmm. Good point. I don’t know

    Sure Fire, shout back at WBC if you feel moved to do so, but it’d be great if everyone keeps off the completely personal attacks.

    Sorry to pick on you as you’re only one of many, but I’ve let it go on for so long, simply due to business, that I’m trying to step in earlier on the days when I can.

    AND THIS IS TO EVERYONE….once the purely personal insults start, then the conversation devolves and it’s no longer an argument but merely a bunch of mudball throwing that is off-putting to all but the direct participants.

    Thanks in advance.

  17. Mavis Beacon Says:

    WBC, I don’t know you very well, but I don’t think you’re a “donk” at all.

  18. Woody Says:

    I haven’t read any specifics about the Democrats wanting to reward their mainstream liberal media friends, but a not-for-profit pays tax on its income unrelated to charitable purposes. Also, contributions to a not-for-profit are not deductible by the donors if for political or other disqualifying purposes.

    Newspapers that are supposed to be watchdogs for the public will lose more credibility and independence if they receive political financial help from the government.

    Celeste, do you like to listen to police scanners? I know some old folks who live out in the country who hang on to every minute of the transmissions.


  19. Woody Says:

    Oh, this is a good site. Chief’s Message You can even find a map of crimes!

  20. Cleyon Loonsfoot Says:

    Oh boy, Miss Celeste, the day isn’t lost when IQ boy shows up to comment.

  21. reg Says:

    I know non-profits pay tax on income unrelated to charitable purposes – I was treasurer of a non-profit (that was remarkably entrepeneurial and “profitable” incidentally in terms of net income which happened to be related to our charitable purposes) for a number of years. But if a newspaper has “journalism” as its mission, the only income I can see that might be defined as “unrelated” is advertising income. I have doubts that the tax codes could be change on this, favoring newspapers and only newspapers. Perhaps.

  22. Bug-Eyed Earl Says:

    Last night I snuck around Woody’s bedroom window. Saw him practicing with his maracas. hehehe.

  23. Woody Says:

    I just noted this video on the crime that you covered above.

    Solve a Crime – Medical Marijuana Dispensary Robbers

    Man, those guys are sick! I wouldn’t argue against the death penalty for them.

  24. Poplockerone Says:

    Years back, that detective used to be at LAPD’s North Hollywood division doing gang cases. In what I remember, he got booted out for doing something he really believed was rightfully ethical. He’s also the nicest person and intelligent enough that anyone can sit down, have a great lunch/dinner with him, and have a great conversation on numerous topics.
    In what I experienced, he enjoys his work and the people around him….

  25. reg Says:

    “Newspapers that are supposed to be watchdogs for the public will lose more credibility and independence if they receive political financial help from the government”

    Which is why no one has ever taken the non-profit Christian Science Monitor’s journalism serioiusly…

  26. Woody Says:

    It’s why I don’t take NPR seriously.

  27. Celeste Fremon Says:

    P. I only chatted with the detective for a minute or two, but that’s the impression I got as well. (And I loved his hat.)

  28. WBC Says:

    Thanks, Mavis. I don’t know what a “donk” is but I don’t think I am one, maybe Sure Fire’s referring to himself. Not making much of an appealing argument for his side in the process.

    But I’m ticked off with all the misleading propaganda from the PPL, like today their e-blast features a flashing red “alert” that it’s “Day 83 Without a Contract Agreement, Millions in Savings Lost,” to rile the masses to protest to the mayor and get the city to give the PPL (and LAFD’s Pat McOsker) whatever they want. INSTEAD of them making some concessions in order to allow the force to expand to the 10,000 goal as the mayor’s ofc., even the often lame Times editorial board, Celeste and the general public want & need to maintain public safety, until the economic situation improves and they can renogiate a better deal for current officers. (The whole discussion on previous thread.)

    Instead, Weber links to Gold’s Times article about the surge in violence since 2 SLA gangs halted their truce, and uses that as his argument to insist on his version of the contract. That’s sheer demagoguery, to turn the public into his foot soldiers. Frankly, didn’t seem smart for Weber to throw almost a million bucks opposing the mayor and their Chief of police electing a city attorney from Long Beach who’s defended criminals for the last 25 years, just because their buddy Cooley wanted to extend his reach into the city level, expressly against the mayor and certain Democrats, and so the Republican coalition could expand their grasp on law enforcement and on the city power structure in general as a group. (Something they cleverly denied during the election but it’s all now coming out as warned.)

    Meanwhile, I know people who are sending their kids to Fairfax High again after most more affluent locals shunned it for years: some of the bond money has been used to fix it up, including restoring a gem of an Art Deco auditorium, and parents and the business community have become involved. The School of Advanced Studies (Honors-AP program) is one of the best in the city, and scores way higher than the overall school average listed, which as the article said, soared almost 100 points in 3 years, which is pretty amazing. Many of the teachers really care and treat the kids as people, instead of talking down to them — something my kids’ very expensive last (and thus former) private school sure didn’t. The PPL and Weber had joined the scaremongering to discourage the early release of even older, and very costly, inmates very unlikely to re-offend. So yes, I am mad and I don’t care if Sure Fire and his prison guard union don’t like it.

  29. Sure Fire Says:

    A donk is a poker term, I play lots of poker, you’re a donk.

    The duty of any police union isn’t anything more than to make sure they represent their members in the best way possible by getting them the best deal possible in wage and hour negotiations and seeing that their rights are recognized during disciplinary actions as madated by the Police Officers Bill of Rights. The PAC of any union explains to their members why they donate to certain politicains or causes, they can be booted if the general membership doesn’t like their actions. It’s just the same as other union operates and UTLA is more extreme than any law enforcement one.

    That hard for you to understand? The methodology of how they get their message across, unless it can be shown to be based on blatant lies is ok by me and my friends. It’s the same tactics employed by many unions, a little posturing at times to make a point, spare me your juvenile like diatribe about it as it’s so weak.

    You sound like any other of the leftist elite, sending your kid to private school while bitching about things you have no clue about because of some personal gripe you have. No police union is responsible for making sure more officers are brought on board to police their city, what would make you think they are? Many would like that to be so, but that duty falls on the heads of the council and mayor, people you probably voted for.

    How long has the need for thousands of more officers been disregarded, or put on the back burner, by former mayors and councils in Los Angeles? Yet now it upsets you beacuse of the PPL’s actions? You have a hard on for the PPL and prison guard unions because of your baltant leftist political leanings and know nothing about the issue. You are only posting because you don’t like their tactics, too fing bad.

    Like any other union they do what’s best for their membership, do you bitch about all the rest? No, you have a hatred of people like me and I could care less, you’re just a “donk”. If “my” current union was not acting in “my” best interest I’d be going after them.

    By the way, I’m not LAPD and my current agency has thousands of employees. It’s actually my third agency. I’ve also never been a prison guard though I’ve been in some to interview people.

    Lastly, maybe you should look up the letter sent by all the head’s of the county D.A.’s offices to the state in regards to why they are against the relaese of the prisoners that you have no problem with, though the PPL bringing up the end of a gang truce infuriates you.

    Even Kamala Harris signed the letter and I’m betting people who actually work in the system understand the ramifications of what the release would me more than a guy, or girl, like you.

  30. StillRobGavaGust Says:

    I prefere Jimmy Hats

  31. WBC Says:

    Well Sure Fire, apart from getting slammed all over by even conservative members of the public for its tactics which would actually endanger citizens by removing cops from the streets, leaving us WAY under-policed (the 10,000 goal is just a bare min. let’s keep in mind: Bratton keeps reminding us that 12,000 is the real min. to control gangs as effectively as other big cities do, taking into account the ratio of cops to population density and area, not even factoring in the greater concentration of gangs and numbers), Weber and his overpaid-at-any-price “political advisors” via the prison guard union sure is NOT “looking out for the best interests of its members.” (Phew, that’s a long sentence but I’ll let it stand. As a test to see if you can read that much in one take.)

    Fact is, that when Weber started the fear-mongering e-blasts and blogging/ media and Homeowner group appearances (somewhere around 84 days ago by his count), his Chicken Little act was to claim that murder & mayhem would increase exponentially if cops were furloughed as little as one hour/ month. Then that offer was taken off the table as the situation worsened along with his tactics and NOW, the deal they were offered yesterday according to the Daily News, would have cops furloughed one day every 2 weeks like some other union members. This was the decision of their “friends” Greig Smith, Parks and Zine.

    Gee, now that’s looking out for the rank & file, isn’t it? They were mad as hell about his throwing that much money toward electing a guy from nowhere as a slap in the face to the Mayor whose goodwill they need, and their own Chief and officers, just because Zine and the Republicans told him them to. The rank & file were steamrolled by “the ruling clique, and there’s talk of joining the Teamsters instead. The rank & file don’t want political games, they wanted results, and now EVERYONE has lost, jobs and salaries will be cut, and the Chicken Little scenario the PPL had yelled about earlier may well come to pass. Even as gangs in SLA and the Glassell Park/ Avenues etc. are growing stronger.

    As for where I send my kids to school == they’re no social experiments. There needs to be a min. critical mass of kids from the area, plus their social lives and continuity must be considered. But I WOULD seriously consider a school like Fairfax’s Honors program now that the school is fixed up (Hamilton’s Humanities & Arts magnet is also excellent), I’d be only too happy to save the money; but these sorts of cuts are devastating to their ability to educate the kids to the best of their ability. (I’ve heard that Fairfax has added some classes, taking advantage of Title I funds, so some of those huge classes have been split up. Plus as the article says, the 9th-10th grade math and English classes strive for 20 kids limit.)

  32. WBC Says:

    BTW I’m not making a direct correlation between the prisoner issue/ costs and the over-crowding issue — there are other factors of course, as discussed here at length and elsewhere, including the wasted money by LAUSD, policies at UTLA which have rewarded seniority over quality and numbers needed (sort of a correlation to PPL/ prison guard union there), and above all, we’re spending billions building huge new schools on the eastside while westside schools like Fairfax, Hamilton, Uni get a small percentage to repair existing facilities.

    BUT in this current round of state budget decisions, there was in fact a significant direct correlation. On public schools, on community colleges where summer classes had to be cut altogether and sizes and fees increased to where students find it VERY difficult to complete the classes they need to transfer to 4-year schools. Which have also significantly cut enrollment and raised costs, a domino effect.

  33. poplockerone Says:

    How could anyone have any respect for B. Parks – he is such a sorry piece of work. The people who voted for him and put him in the city council are a bunch of idiots too.

  34. reg Says:

    “you have a hatred of people like me and I could care less”

    On a tilt ? More yoga !

  35. A Smithson Says:

    Thanks for stopping and covering the attempted robbery at the marijuana place, as it has not been covered in the LAPD online, LA Times, or Daily News.

    The above linked video does not relate to this crime at Pico and Sawtelle. It is from some other robbery of a medical marijuana place in the valley:

    These places are crime magnets, aren’t they?

  36. poplockerone Says:

    Marijuana dispensary are going to have so many problems with violent crimes, together with those quiet behind the scene drug dealers, and criminal organization taking over them and controlling their accounting books….basically, we can thank this headache to all you idiotic wealthy liberals-UCBerkeley undercover homeless types crying that you want to smoke your stupid yeska.
    That medical marijuana card is not working – I got numerous lazy reject pot heads coping out that its all a gimmick….

  37. Mavis Beacon Says:

    poplockerone, the medicinal marijuana law was passed by majority vote of the people of California so the liberal elite shtick is a silly red herring. I don’t know if you’ve ever met somebody dying from cancer or suffering from MS who used medicinal marijuana, but I wouldn’t deny those people anything (within reason) that could make their lives easier.

    You’re correct that it’s not difficult to get a prescription and there probably are new opportunities for criminality, but there are probably also new opportunities for law enforcement as black markets shrink and sellers operate in fixed locations and with licensing.

  38. poplockerone Says:

    Mavis – the black market is not shrinking, its expanding and directly connected to dispensaries and major drug dealing operations. That’s all I’m allowed to tell you in an open public blog.
    Aside from this, I am a strong believer that allowing adults to smoke marijuana with these bogus Medical Marijuana Cards – you are contributing a negative culture towards our youths -that its okay to smoke weed – my dad and mom do it. This type of family in my neighborhood are considered an eye sore of the block. I would never allow my children or myself to associate with these “Cheech and Chong” families.

  39. Mavis Beacon Says:

    poplockerone, I understand you may be party to privileged info, but I’m not going in for the, “I’d tell you but I’d have to kill you” shtick. My sense is that while it’s possible that semi-legalization has lead to a consolation of black market activity, it’s unlikely to have lead to an increase. If you’re a marijuana dispenser and you can buy and sell your product legally and profitably, why would you want to involve yourself with black market activities? I’m open to evidence that says otherwise, but not Dick Cheney-style assertions.

  40. Sure Fire Says:

    If there was no demand, no warning and no attempt to take any property how is this an attempt robbery? This is more an ADW or attempt murder. Be interesting to see if the suspects are connected to anyone who works there.

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