SKID ROW DRUG DEALER GANG INJUNCTION
On Wednesday, the LA City Attorney’s office announced a new kind of gang injunction that doesn’t target particular gangs per se, but names individuals from a variety of LA gangs who are believed to be coming into Skid Row on a commuter basis to sell drugs.
There are those who object to the injunction saying that homeless who are merely addicts—who may have run messages for dealers to get their own stash— will be driven away from the Skid Row area where they can acquire much needed services and help.
But others who serve the homeless, like the Union Rescue Mission’s Andy Bales, see the injunction as a good move. “This is the best news we’ve had in a while,” Andy Bales told the Times.
Bruce Riordan, the city attorney’s director of anti-gang operations, said that those listed in the injunction will have plenty of time to challenge their inclusion before the injunction actually kicks in.
Speaking personally, while I know there are more than a few possible abuses that can occur, and mistakes will no doubt be made, still I think the use of an injunction to dissuade the drive-through drug dealers who prey on the homeless is an idea that has appeal.
In the end, whether the injunction is used as valuable tool or a cudgel will depend upon the intelligence and the finesse—or lack thereof— with which it is enforced.
PARENTS’ SCHOOL CHOICE WINS—TEMPORARILY
In past years, around 12,000 students who live in the LAUSD area have been given permission to transfer to a school in a district outside LAUSD—districts such as Beverly Hills, Las Virgenes, Culver City and so on. The idea is that students can transfer to take advantage of a particular program that their local schools didn’t have. Sometimes the requests were just what they said they were. Other times, it was merely a case of frustrated parents who had learned to work the system because they wanted to get their children the hell out of the overcrowded, over-bureaucratized, often-failing Los Angeles Unified School District.
Last month, however, LAUSD superintendent Roman Cortines said that, next year, all of those 12,000 plus kids had to come back. The reasons had nothing to do with the kids’ well being. It was purely a money issue. If most of those students came back to Los Angeles schools LAUSD would get around $50 million more from the state in ADA money—ADA being the sacred average daily attendance figure that dictates much of school funding.
After weeks of parents flipping out, on Tuesday, Cortines and the school board reluctantly walked that very unpopular cat back, and said yes to the transfers—temporarily.
State Senator Gloria Romero, who wants to be the next head of Education for California—was vocally in favor of keeping the transfer policy. “While some might argue that LAUSD will suffer by implementing these reform measures…..Let us not forget that the needs of students must always come first,” she wrote.
Uh, yeah. That last part, the students come first thingy, would be very good to remember.
CALIFORNIA MOVES ONE STEP CLOSER TO REPEALING STATE LAW MANDATING A “GAY CURE.”
On Tuesday, the Assembly’s Public Safety committee passed AB 2199, a bill that would repeal a section of the California Welfare and Institutions code, created in the 1950s, which—no kidding—requires the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the “causes and cures of homosexuality.”
Startling to find that such a sad and loathsome thing is on the books, but it is. And it codifies bigotry.
The bill to repeal the statute passed out of committee with a 4-0 vote, but there were also three abstentions—namely Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, Assemblymen Curt Hagman, R-Diamond Bar, and Danny Gilmore, R-Hanford.
(What’s that about? No, don’t tell me.)
The bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, explains the genesis of the icky statute in question here in the LA Times.
THE DANZIGER BRIDGE MURDERS—AND THE COVER-UP—FINALLY COME TO LIGHT
Witnesses said it happened a week after Katrina hit as people were trying desperately to get to some kind of safety. Officers denied it and aggressively covered the incident up. But now,former New Orleans police officer Michael Hunt says he participated in covering up the murders of unarmed civilians, and told the whole horrifying story on the record in federal court on Wednesday.
The NOLA Times Picayune has the fullest account.
And here is their earlier investigation of the shootings.
Photo from AP