WLA STORY ON UNDERSHERIFF PAUL TANAKA GETS MORE SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES AND SUPERVISORS TO COME FORWARD
The 3rd part of WitnessLA’s Dangerous Jails series by the very excellent Matt Fleischer has caused more LASD insiders –many still working now for the department—to come forward with new information. “We want a department we can be proud of,” said one supervisor I spoke with Thursday night.
Yep. Us too. So please keep reaching out with your stories.
MAYOR CAN’T KEEP STORY STRAIGHT ON BIG BUCKS SETTLEMENT DEAL WITH OUSTED HACLA CHIEF RUDY MONTIEL
Kevin Roderick at LA Observed caught these dueling stories.
And, as the mess gets ever worse, we learned Thursday night from the LA Times that the interim chief was just asked to resign too. (Thankfully, no word on a giant golden parachute for this guy though).
Meanwhile, So Cal Connected, which has owned this story, keeps up the pressure, along with Controller Wendy Greuel.
LAPD USING DOWNTOWN PRIVATE SECURITY FIRM TO HELP POLICE OCCUPY PROTESTORS?
The LA Weekly’s Dennis Romero reports that, yes, as a matter of fact, the LAPD has used private security guards in some of its Occupy enforcement, but that it’s not typical. (Good thing, because it’s a sort of cringe-making notion.)
Anyway, read the story. Here’s how it opens.
In video of a police confrontation with Occupy L.A. protesters outside a Bank of America branch downtown over the weekend a few private security guards are seen, batons-in-hand, helping the LAPD form a skirmish line.
In fact officers can be seen pushing security guards into strategic positions as they face off against the so-called 99-percenters. The security employees push people back with batons and aim the business ends of the weapons at citizens. At least one guard even appears to participate in the arrest of demonstrator Anthony Loscano.
What gives? Did the LAPD just deputize a group of civilians? LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman tells the Weekly:
I have no idea why they were with us. Typically we do not integrate and mix resources when we’re in a tactical situation like that because of training issues and stuff like that.
These aren’t just run-of-the-mill security guards though. They’re the notorious “shirts,” employees of downtown’s business improvement districts, organizations that band together to increase security, clean up trash and lobby the city for improvements….
PS: Romero and his colleagues at the The Weekly’s Informer blog, Simone Wilson and Gene Maddaus, have been very much on top of things with their Occupy coverage, so keep an eye on them as the stories continue to unfold.
A WAR ON WOLVES?
In Thursday’s LA Times, sociology professor and author J. William Gibson has an op ed about what he calls The New War on Wolves. In it he gives up to date wolf killing and population stats for the gray wolves that were removed last spring from the endangered species list. (If you remember, the wolves weren’t delisted by the Department of the Interior, but by Congress (that notoriously knowledgeable group of wildlife biologists) that managed to get enough votes for the delisting provision only by attaching it as a rider to a must pass budget package last April.
Gibson explains the results—and also attempts to explain the the absolute blood lustt that seems to motivate certain hunters when it comes to killing Canis Lupus—an enmity that is not present in the attitudes toward other large predators like mountain lions and grizzlies.
Here’s how the essay opens:
As of Wednesday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reported that 154 of its estimated 750 wolves had been “harvested” this year. Legal hunting and trapping — with both snares to strangle and leg traps to capture — will continue through the spring. And if hunting fails to reduce the wolf population sufficiently — to less than 150 wolves — the state says it will use airborne shooters to eliminate more.
In Montana, hunters will be allowed to kill up to 220 wolves this season (or about 40% of the state’s roughly 550 wolves). To date, hunters have taken only about 100 wolves, prompting the state to extend the hunting season until the end of January. David Allen, president of the powerful Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, has said he thinks hunters can’t do the job, and he is urging the state to follow Idaho’s lead and “prepare for more aggressive wolf control methods, perhaps as early as summer 2012.”
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead recently concluded an agreement with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to save 100 to 150 wolves in lands near Yellowstone National Park. But in the remaining 80% of the state, wolves can be killed year-round because they are considered vermin. Roughly 60% of Wyoming’s 350 wolves will become targeted for elimination.
What is happening to wolves now, and what is planned for them, doesn’t really qualify as hunting. It is an outright war…..
Read the rest.
By the way, as those longtime WLA readers know, I am not the least emotionally objective on the issue of wolf hunting in the U.S. In Montana, I’ve observed wolves in the wild with biologists, and been with other biologists when they’ve tracked radio collared wolves from the air. My son and I shared our home and lives for 16 and a half years with a wolf hybrid, the late great Loup-Loup. Now Lily-the 15 month old rescue wolf dog is at my feet as I type.
Yet, I realize that—practically speaking— predator species like the wolf have to be managed and, as much as I hate it, that sometimes includes hunting. But so much of what drives this issue is counterfactual and just plain ignorant. Yet it’s such a hot button topic that politicians have kowtowed to it.
I am at least thankful that, as Gibson reports, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has had the good sense to work out some kind of nominal protection for the wolf packs in and around Yellowstone Park, thus protecting the Yellowstone Wolf Project, started in 1994, which is unique in all the world, but was in part destroyed in 2008 when wolf hunting was, at first, clumsily reopened.
60 MINUTES ADDS A LEGAL ANALYST TO ITS ROSTER
Evidently with the departure of the late Andy Rooney, CBS’s 60 Minutes felt it now has room for an analyst who….you know…analyzes things, that, like, matter. So they’ve added legal analyst Andrew Cohen to the mix. This seems like a good thing.
SUPREMES HEAR MONTANA’S WHO-OWNS-THE-RIVERS DISPUTE
Here’s a clip from Mark Sherman and Matt Volz writing for the AP.
A Supreme Court dominated by Easterners tried to make sense Wednesday of a Western water dispute.
The court heard arguments in a lawsuit between a power company and the state of Montana over who owns the riverbeds beneath 10 dams sitting on three Montana rivers.
The state says it’s owed more than $50 million in back rent and interest from the company, PPL Montana.
For an answer, the court is looking back as far as the travels of Lewis and Clark more than 200 years ago.
The outcome could affect property rights, public access and wildlife management along Montana’s rivers, as well as those in other states.
The power company is appealing a Montana Supreme Court ruling that the state owns the submerged land beneath the dams. The decision turned in large part on that court’s findings that the three rivers were navigable when Montana became a state, despite the presence of significant waterfalls on two of the waterways.
The justices were dealing with unfamiliar issues in an area without much in the way of prior decisions to guide them.
Justice Samuel Alito, from Trenton, N.J., repeatedly asked where to turn for help.
“I’m not a sailor,” said Bronx-born Justice Sonia Sotomayor, explaining that she’s not especially conversant in nautical terminology.
Sotomayor was trying to figure out whether it matters in deciding on navigability how far someone has to go to get around a waterfall….
A decision is expected by June.