Cajon Valley Union One Of Several Districts Taking On Social Emotional Learning This Year

Schools are using Common Core—in math that means teaching two plus two CAN equal five if you understand the process.  It also means using “tens” to add and subtract—solving a simple problem takes a couple of minutes of thought instead of a moment to solve.  Now the Cajon Valley Union schools, instead of teaching math, English, reading, science, computers to the elementary school students, spend precious classroom time to get in touch with their “social emotional learning”.  This is not a joke—except on the students in this district.

““Let’s talk about you. Then we’ll talk about me. Be a good listener to everyone you meet.”

The students wriggle in place and perform choreographed hand movements to match the music.

Theirs is one of 490 classrooms in the Cajon Valley Union School District implementing National University’s Sanford Harmony program this year. It aims to help students deal with their and their peers’ emotions through regular activities and story time — usually signaled by the “listening” song.

More than 160 schools in San Diego County have adopted the curriculum, which National provides for free through a donation from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford. They join many others who are teaching students to understand their emotions and develop social skills like conflict resolution.

Who is to decide what the “real” social emotions” of the students to be?  Government.  Feel better about government schools—is this used in your district, you should find out.

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Cajon Valley Union One Of Several Districts Taking On Social Emotional Learning This Year

By Megan Burks, KPBS,  9/21/17

There is a new routine in Ms. Carolina Calhoun’s second-grade class at Meridian Elementary School in El Cajon. After lunch, she presses play on small boombox. A man’s cheery voice sings over bouncy music.

“Let’s talk about you. Then we’ll talk about me. Be a good listener to everyone you meet.”

The students wriggle in place and perform choreographed hand movements to match the music.

Theirs is one of 490 classrooms in the Cajon Valley Union School District implementing National University’s Sanford Harmony program this year. It aims to help students deal with their and their peers’ emotions through regular activities and story time — usually signaled by the “listening” song.

More than 160 schools in San Diego County have adopted the curriculum, which National provides for free through a donation from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford. They join many others who are teaching students to understand their emotions and develop social skills like conflict resolution.

A national panel of education, psychology and neuroscience researchers this month called on all schools to adopt so-called social-emotional learning programs. The group, assembled by nonpartisan think tank The Aspen Institute, looked at the available research and said: “the success of young people in school and beyond is inextricably linked to healthy social and emotional development.”

“Studies have shown through social-emotional learning programs — and through Sanford Harmony — that empathy goes up, aggression goes down, and math and reading scores go up,” said National University Vice Chancellor Chris Graham. “And classroom management, less time is spent with the teachers doing that.”

Meridian Principal Ryan Satterfield said, five weeks into the program, teachers are having to spend less time managing conflicts.

“Foursquare gets pretty heated out there and arguments are settled with a quick push, where now they’re given the language to communicate effectively, strategies to resolve the conflicts they have,” Satterfield said.

Students are learning to recognize emotions, anticipate reactions by their peers and ask questions to diffuse situations. Take the recent picture book Calhoun read to her students. The main character was disappointed when her plan for show-and-tell did not work out.

“And from her body language, can you see that it went from (her) standing up nice and tall to her shoulders kind of hunched over?” Calhoun said to the students. “We need to pay attention to body language, don’t we?”

Assistant Superintendent Karen Minshew said she jumped at the chance to bring the free curriculum to her schools. She said they are skills students will need in their future workplaces, but also right now. El Cajon is home to a diverse community of immigrants and refugees.

“We want kids to have intentional conversations with each other and to build that empathy and to really understand who’s in my classroom,” Minshew said.

Cajon Valley plans to measure its outcomes at the end of the year, but Satterfield said he is looking forward to expanding the program to more grade levels.

“It is a way to naturally give a framework to the things that teachers are already doing, but it gives equity across classrooms,” he said. “And it gives us consistency in the language that we’re using with students and the way that students are speaking to each other.”

CA Should Raise Teacher Pay By Reducing Unfunded Retirement Liabilities

If CalSTRS was run like a pension fund, not a politically correct operation, it would have a lower unfunded liability number and the mandatory contributions would not be doubling in a five year period.  Instead it will only invest in politically correct industries—with lots invested in money losing “green” companies instead.  Can CalSTRS be saved?  Not over the long run—I do not see the trustees making financial decision on investments instead of PC decisions.

  • “Self-serving pension fund board members and elected officials blocked honest pre-funding of retirement promises, causing today’s unfunded liabilities. While it would be wonderful justice if they could be forced to pay for the problem they created, at nearly $100 billion and growing the problem is too big for their resources.
  • Taxpayers didn’t cause the problem but they’ve been paying for it. Income taxes were raised 30 percent in 2012 and school revenues are up 60 percent since then but pension spending in districts like SFUSD grew more than 100 percent over that same period and are heading higher.
  • Students and current teachers didn’t cause the problem but they’ve been paying for it in the forms of understaffed classrooms and inadequate salaries, especially in school districts without well-to-do parents to subsidize school budgets. It’s no wonder poor and minority students in California perform worse than their counterparts in Texas, which spends less per student but has a better student-teacher ratio.”

Again, Texas is better for minorities and the poor than California—slave State vs. Free State—FREE always wins.

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CA Should Raise Teacher Pay By Reducing Unfunded Retirement Liabilities

by David Crane, Medium,  9/16/17

Fast-rising spending on pensions and other retirement costs is crushing teacher staffing and pay in California. As an example, retirement spending at San Francisco Unified School District grew 3x faster than district revenues over the last five years, absorbing $35 million that could have gone to current teachers. Worse, that happened despite record stock market gains and school revenues. Absent reform, teacher staffing and pay will decline further.

Something must be done. Public school students and teachers deserve fully-staffed classrooms and sufficient salaries. While the children of well-to-do parents can attend private schools or privately-subsidized public schools, most of California’s six million K-12 students cannot.

Someone must step up. Potential candidates fall into five categories: (i) the people who created the problem, (ii) taxpayers, (iii) students, (iv) current teachers, and (v) pension beneficiaries.

  • Self-serving pension fund board members and elected officials blocked honest pre-funding of retirement promises, causing today’s unfunded liabilities. While it would be wonderful justice if they could be forced to pay for the problem they created, at nearly $100 billion and growing the problem is too big for their resources.
  • Taxpayers didn’t cause the problem but they’ve been paying for it. Income taxes were raised 30 percent in 2012 and school revenues are up 60 percent since then but pension spending in districts like SFUSD grew more than 100 percent over that same period and are heading higher.
  • Students and current teachers didn’t cause the problem but they’ve been paying for it in the forms of understaffed classrooms and inadequate salaries, especially in school districts without well-to-do parents to subsidize school budgets. It’s no wonder poor and minority students in California perform worse than their counterparts in Texas, which spends less per student but has a better student-teacher ratio.
  • Pension beneficiaries didn’t cause the problem but unlike students, teachers and taxpayers they have NOT been paying for it. In fact, they garnered additional financial benefits from the actions that created the problem, as explained here. They need to step up.

Reducing unfunded obligations would free up billions for current teachers.

Shrinking unfunded retirement obligations by reducing un-earned future benefits would allow school districts to divert fewer dollars to retirement costs. For example, Rhode Island suspended annual increases until pension funds are better funded and moved some to-be-earned benefits to hybrid plans. Acting similarly in California could free up billions with which to boost current teacher staffing and pay. Such sacrifices by beneficiaries would be no greater than those of students, teachers and taxpayers and beneficiary retirement benefits would still be greater than those of the vast majority of their fellow citizens.

No one can be happy about making any innocent person sacrifice to meet unfunded liabilities created by corrupt pension fund board members and elected officials. But students need fully staffed classrooms and teachers need adequate salaries. Everyone needs to chip in to reach those goals.

One cannot both be progressive and be opposed to pension reform.

Unfunded retirement obligations are crushing the hopes and dreams of California’s public school students and teachers. Policymakers need to act.

NB: A different set of unfunded liabilities is crushing higher education. The University of California is losing $600 million this year compared to what it would’ve received had it simply maintained the same share of the state budget as it garnered a decade ago. Retirement beneficiaries didn’t cause that problem either but only they have avoided the consequences as taxpayers are paying more and citizens are receiving less. The state needs to reduce its unfunded liabilities. Beneficiaries must chip in there too.

Link to original article

Majority of Bay Area residents would move due to high cost of living, UC Berkeley poll shows

San Fran is a drugged, intolerant, crime ridden city—with the criminals being foreigners allowed to stay here by a corrupt Sheriff and Board of Supervisors.  High taxes—close to $100 a week to get to work if you have to pay tolls on the bridges.  Life is expensive living in the Bay Area—bad traffic, indoctrination camps pretending to be government schools, riots when free speech is practiced.  This is not a place for decent families—so they are leaving or want to leave.

“The poll also showed that out of those considering moving, 25 percent would relocate out of state.

Sixty-five percent of voters in the Bay Area feel that housing affordability is an “extremely serious” issue, according to the poll. Of all the regions polled for this question, the Bay Area saw affordable housing as the most serious issue, compared to 42 percent in Los Angeles County and 38 percent in the Central Valley.

Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission Chair Igor Tregub said there is an enormous and growing imbalance between jobs and housing in the Bay Area. The amount of available jobs has increased, while housing has not, Tregub said.”

If you love high cost totalitarianism, the Bay Area is for you—want freedom and safety—Texas is for you.

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Majority of Bay Area residents would move due to high cost of living, UC Berkeley poll shows

 

By Ella Colbert, Daily Californian,  09/21/17

A poll conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies showed that 51 percent of voters living in the San Francisco Bay Area have considered moving due to the rising cost of housing.

The poll also showed that out of those considering moving, 25 percent would relocate out of state.

Sixty-five percent of voters in the Bay Area feel that housing affordability is an “extremely serious” issue, according to the poll. Of all the regions polled for this question, the Bay Area saw affordable housing as the most serious issue, compared to 42 percent in Los Angeles County and 38 percent in the Central Valley.

Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission Chair Igor Tregub said there is an enormous and growing imbalance between jobs and housing in the Bay Area. The amount of available jobs has increased, while housing has not, Tregub said.

According to Terrie Light, executive director of Berkeley Food and Housing Project, the issue of affordable housing in the Bay Area is not new, it is just “way worse.”

“It has always been pricey, but this is at a level I have never seen before,” Light said.

BFHP is an organization that provides free meal service, temporary and permanent shelter and case management services for people in need. The project serves approximately 2,000 homeless people each year.

Light noted that there is a difference between those who have no source of income and cannot afford housing, and those who have an income but still can’t afford housing where they live. Although she said finding affordable housing is “particularly awful” for homeless people, she added that it is becoming similarly difficult for working people.

Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington noted that the percentage of Bay Area residents who saw affordable housing as an issue was “amazingly high.”

“I firmly understand this is a very serious problem and I am coming up with solutions,” Worthington said.

The state recently passed a package of bills to address the statewide housing crisis. Fifty-one percent of voters said they would support the construction of more low-income housing in California, according to the poll.

According to Worthington, one of his solutions would be to build more housing units for UC Berkeley students that are close to campus. He said the increase of students attending UC Berkeley in recent years has caused more competition for housing, which has driven rent prices up. Worthington said he thinks that, by building more housing units, high housing prices could be minimized.

Worthington said the campus has taken several steps forward to address this issue with a new housing unit currently under construction, and that the city of Berkeley should do the same.

Berkeley, Richmond and San Francisco now have rent control, which protects tenants “somewhat,” Worthington said. He added that rent control ensures that tenant’s rent does not jump astronomically.

According to the poll, 63 percent of Bay Area residents “favor” local rent control laws.

New legislation may also help solve the housing affordability issue. Tregub pointed to Measure U1, which was overwhelming approved by voters in November 2016. The measure promises to provide $4 million a year of new revenue that will be used to create and invest in existing affordable housing in Berkeley. Measure U1 will begin to take effect in 2018.

“We’re facing a housing affordability crisis of unprecedented conditions,” Tregub said. “We’re seeing study after study that continues to indicate the existential crisis that an increasing number of Bay Area residents find themselves in.”

 

As California congressional races heat up, will new voters show up?

In 2016, thanks to Prop. 14, there were 28 legislative races with only one Party on the November ballot—like they run elections in Russia.  So, why should folks with NO candidate on the ballot come out to vote.  The Senate race had two Democrats, Harris and Sanchez on the ballot—this is like having Fidel Castro vs. Raul Castro on the ballot—Castro will win.  So, why vote?

“But data on registered voters in Orange County — home to some of the most watched congressional races in the country — suggest their participation in the upcoming midterm elections may be lackluster.

“Every bit of data we have on these voters and their interest in elections is that these are the very voters who will underperform in an election like what we have coming up in 2018,” said Paul Mitchell, an expert on California elections and vice president of the data firm, Political Data Inc.

Last November, Orange County voters shocked many election watchers when they voted for Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, after many years of backing GOP candidates for president.”

Why did Hillary win and a GOP Assembly seat turn to a socialist?  Voters felt they had no choice—and all know of the massive vote fraud, protected by the Democrat Secretary of State.  Prop. 14 and vote fraud—why waste the time voting.  It is time to be honest about the cause of low voter turnout.

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As California congressional races heat up, will new voters show up?

Mary Plummer, KPCC, 9/20/17

Engagement around politics has been surging since President Trump took office, with people protesting or counter-demonstrating, posting on Facebook and consuming large quantities of political news.

But data on registered voters in Orange County — home to some of the most watched congressional races in the country — suggest their participation in the upcoming midterm elections may be lackluster.

“Every bit of data we have on these voters and their interest in elections is that these are the very voters who will underperform in an election like what we have coming up in 2018,” said Paul Mitchell, an expert on California elections and vice president of the data firm, Political Data Inc.

Last November, Orange County voters shocked many election watchers when they voted for Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, after many years of backing GOP candidates for president.

That shift was fueled by a wave of newly registered voters, largely independents, young adults and people of color, according to Mitchell.

Data show those groups turn out to vote at lower levels outside of presidential elections. Mitchell said that is likely to happen again in 2018 despite the growth of political engagement in California at organized events and on social media.

“Those emotions don’t really translate to stamps on ballots. They don’t really translate to going to the polling place on a random Tuesday in the middle of the spring,” Mitchell said. “People who are trying to draw a direct line from what happened in 2016 and how progressive that electorate was in these districts … I think those people are going to be gravely disappointed.”

The June 5 primary election will be the first attempt by Democrats to turn the U.S. House of Representatives from red to blue since President Trump’s election. California is seen as key to that effort because of the number of GOP seats in Orange County that may be flippable.

Failure of the new Orange County voters to turn up in large numbers could benefit the incumbent GOP members of Congress targeted by Democrats.

While 2018 may not bring the voter bonanza that Democrats want, Mitchell said he expects turnout to be much different in 2020 when President Trump’s second term is expected to be on the line. At that point, he said, the state is poised to break voter turnout records.

Feds Spend $187,704 to Improve Older Women’s Sex Lives

The Feds have spent your tax dollars on studies questioning why San Fran prostitutes use drugs, the sex lives of panda’s in China and why fat girls can’t get dates.  Now your money is being used to study the sex lives of “older women”.  This is not a joke.

“The National Institutes of Health is spending nearly $200,000 on a study that seeks to improve older women’s sex lives through mindfulness meditation.

The University of Pittsburgh received the funding for the project, which began last month. Mindfulness, a New Age meditation technique of thinking about thoughts, will be used as an intervention to get women older than 50 more active in the bedroom.

“Almost half of U.S. women experience sexual problems, which have significant negative impacts on physical and mental health,” according to the grant awarded for the project. “Low sexual desire is the most common sexual problem, particularly among women 50 and older, but there are few treatment options available.”

To be blunt—is it the role of government to assure women 50 and old to have sex?  When will government get out of our bedrooms?

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Feds Spend $187,704 to Improve Older Women’s Sex Lives

Study tests how mindfulness can get women over 50 more active in the bedroom

BY: Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon,  9/21/17
The National Institutes of Health is spending nearly $200,000 on a study that seeks to improve older women’s sex lives through mindfulness meditation.

The University of Pittsburgh received the funding for the project, which began last month. Mindfulness, a New Age meditation technique of thinking about thoughts, will be used as an intervention to get women older than 50 more active in the bedroom.

“Almost half of U.S. women experience sexual problems, which have significant negative impacts on physical and mental health,” according to the grant awarded for the project. “Low sexual desire is the most common sexual problem, particularly among women 50 and older, but there are few treatment options available.”

Researchers believe meditating can help elderly women increase their sexual desire.

“Treatments that can address both physical and psychological aspects of sexual dysfunction may be more effective than medications,” the grant continues. “Mindfulness is a practice that emphasizes in-the-moment focus and non-judgmental bodily awareness. A group-based behavioral intervention rooted in mindfulness has shown early promise in small trials, but only among younger women.”

“The overall objective of this study is to adapt and pilot test a mindfulness intervention in women 50 and older with low sexual desire,” the grant states.

The university received $187,704 for the study. Research will continue through March 2022. The NIH has spent over $100 million and counting on mindfulness research.

The goal of the study is to address a “significant public health need” of improving “women’s sex lives.”

“The proposed award is consistent with the mission of the [National Institute on Aging] to support research using ‘integrative approaches to the study of social, psychological, and physiological influences on health and well-being over the life course,'” the grant states. “Developing effective treatments for women’s sexual problems will not only improve women’s sex lives. It will address a significant public health need by allowing adults to maintain high quality of life and essential social relationships with aging.”

Holly Thomas, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, is leading the study. Thomas’s overall career goal is to become an independent scientist who focuses on “patient-centered clinical research to improve sexual function in aging women,” according to the grant.

A 2014 research paper coauthored by Thomas found women who “reported greater importance of sex” were more likely to be sexually active. The study reported 66.3 percent of women aged 40 to 65 in the research sample were sexually active.

The study also found that midlife women “have many reasons for engaging in sex that go beyond ‘quality.'”

Another paper in 2015 coauthored by Thomas found that “a considerable proportion of midlife and older women remain sexually active if they have a partner available.”

 

Despite Legislature’s liberal bent, business groups did well–Families–Not So Well

The Chamber of Commerce has a narrow view of what is good for business.  It is now claiming an 89% “win” rate against the Democrats in the Legislature.  Guess they do not count the $5.2 billion gas tax increase approved in April—money taken from their potential customers.  Seems they do not count the cap and trade measure that raises gas taxes by 63 cents a gallon—money taken from their potential customers.  Nor do they seem to care about the safety of Californians—not only did the Democrats pass a sanctuary city bill—it made it illegal for businesses or landlords to obey Federal law and turn in illegal aliens—better to assure more crime, higher taxes and crowded schools and hospitals.

The California Chamber is a special interest—it represents the rich, the elites and crony capitalists—it does not represent the needs or concerns of the people of California.

“However, despite the overall left-of-center tone to the session that ended last week, the California Chamber of Commerce and other business and employer lobbies did what they have done for nearly two decades: killed all but a few of the measures tagged with the “job killer” epithet.

This year, the chamber placed 27 bills on its hit list and when the dust had settled early Saturday morning, 24 of them had been executed, and only three had been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for signature or veto. That 89 percent kill rate is right in line with the chamber’s record ever since the “job killer” program was instituted in the late 1990s.

Productive people are leaving the State due to Sacramento policy—and the Chamber thinks it did good—could it be because thirty FINANCED many of the Democrats that are killing jobs and families in California?  The California Chamber of Commerce is another source of Fake News.  Thought you should know.

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Despite Legislature’s liberal bent, business groups did well

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,  9/21/17

From all appearances, the California Legislature’s 2017 session was one of the most liberal – or progressive, as liberals prefer to say – in the state’s history.

In fact, legislative leaders such as Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon are saying as much.

However, despite the overall left-of-center tone to the session that ended last week, the California Chamber of Commerce and other business and employer lobbies did what they have done for nearly two decades: killed all but a few of the measures tagged with the “job killer” epithet.

This year, the chamber placed 27 bills on its hit list and when the dust had settled early Saturday morning, 24 of them had been executed, and only three had been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for signature or veto. That 89 percent kill rate is right in line with the chamber’s record ever since the “job killer” program was instituted in the late 1990s.

As usual, however, one will not find fingerprints on the ones that died, in the form of up-or-down rollcall votes, because virtually all were either dropped by their authors or held in committee when those involved realized that they couldn’t make it through the process. The subtle influence of a bloc of moderate Democrats was a major factor in the soft kills.

Most of the contentious measures, including the three that survived, were sponsored by liberal groups, such as unions, personal injury lawyers, environmentalists or consumer activists.

They were billed as protecting California consumers and/or workers, but chamber president Allan Zaremberg tagged them as “a threat to our state’s future prosperity and our quality of life.” Nine of the stalled bills would have directly or indirectly raised taxes.

The most prominent casualty of the annual battle was Senate Bill 562, which would have created a universal health care system for California. It passed the Senate but Speaker Rendon blocked action in the Assembly, calling it “woefully incomplete” because it lacked a financing mechanism.

Ever since, the chief sponsor of the measure, the California Nurses Association, has waged a campaign of personal invective against Rendon, mirroring the ideological split in the state’s Democratic Party.

The three survivors are:

Senate Bill 33, carried by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa. It would void arbitration clauses in banking agreements if they involve fraud or identity theft, sparked by a scandal involving huge numbers of accounts opened for Wells Fargo customers by bank employees without knowledge or permission.

Senate Bill 63, by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara. It would extend job-protected maternal and paternal leave, now affecting employers with 50 or more workers, to those with 20 or more. Brown vetoed a similar, but not identical, Jackson bill last year, saying he was “concerned… about the impact of this leave particularly on small businesses and the potential liability that could result.”

Assembly Bill 1209, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego. It would require large employers to collect and publicly report data on wages by gender and is aimed at closing the gap between male and female workers. But the chamber denounces it as “public shaming” of employers. Gonzalez Fletcher has had a knack for getting legislation labeled as “job killers” enacted.

Those three legislators and their backers now will wage a behind-the-scenes battle with the chamber and its allies over whether Brown signs or vetoes the three bills.

 

 

 

Behold, a School District That Embraces Local Charter Schools

Competition is what makes Ford and General Motors better.  Charter schools challenge government schools to be better.  In most places the unions that run government schools do not like to be shown up by quality education provided by charter schools in comparison to failed government schools.  The Chula Vista school has children, not unions as their priority—it is a model district in the creation of quality government and charter schools.

“Chula Vista Elementary School District has five dependent charters and two independent charters.

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At four of the five dependent charters, the superintendent of the district chose the school principal. District representatives have a seat on the school board of the dependent charters. These charters also outsource many operational services, like human resources.

“It’s definitely more of a partnership,” said Chula Vista Elementary School District Superintendent Francisco Escobedo. “Traditional public school organizations and charter school organizations can come together and learn from each other in programs and how to best create a learning environment. We have a great exchange of ideas between our public schools and our charter schools.”

Here we have real professionals, not educational politicians and unions running the schools—a great model for the rest of the State and nation.

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Behold, a School District That Embraces Local Charter Schools

Chula Vista Elementary School District and charter school leaders use words like “partnership” to describe their relationship, and district officials say they don’t view charters as competition.

By Maya Srikrishnan, Voice of San Diego, 9/21/17

Chula Vista Elementary School District has a different kind of relationship with some of its charter schools.

The district authorizes two kinds of charters: dependent and autonomous.

Autonomous, or independent charters, are common in most districts. A district authorizes the charter but the schools operate largely on their own. Dependent charters are more closely tied to their district authorizer.

Chula Vista Elementary School District has five dependent charters and two independent charters.

At four of the five dependent charters, the superintendent of the district chose the school principal. District representatives have a seat on the school board of the dependent charters. These charters also outsource many operational services, like human resources.

“It’s definitely more of a partnership,” said Chula Vista Elementary School District Superintendent Francisco Escobedo. “Traditional public school organizations and charter school organizations can come together and learn from each other in programs and how to best create a learning environment. We have a great exchange of ideas between our public schools and our charter schools.”

Escobedo said he also views the charters as a sort of research and development laboratory for the district, since charters can try new things on a small scale.

I reached out to all the dependent charters in the district, but didn’t hear back from any of them.

I did get to chat with Josh Stepner, the director at the Leonardo da Vinci Health Sciences Charter School, an autonomous charter in the district.

Although his school has more independence, Stepner said he feels the same collaborative relationship with the district.

At other districts he’s worked in, “we were kind of the red-headed step children. We got services last, looked at last for substitutes. Hard to get things going, Not really an open relationship in terms of communication,” Stepner said.

But Stepner said he’s always invited to participate in professional development and feels that the relationship is more open than at other districts.

“Charter school principals, in my opinion, are honestly left to find their own professional development,” he said. “And it can be challenging, because when you’re in a charter, you’re immersed in your school. When you’re in a district, all the principals are brought to professional development to exchange ideas.”

It’s helpful to have open communication with the district in other ways too, such as being able to sit down with the district’s finance department when you have questions, he said.

“There are certain times when you need the district and certain times when you don’t,” Stepner said. “When things get rough at your school, say you have an incident where student brings a weapon, that’s a big deal for a school of 300. That’s where the district comes in.”

While Stepner is happy with the relationship with the district, he said he doesn’t think he would want to be a dependent charter.

“Dependent charters have to do everything that the district does, and cater to the charter community,” he said. “That’s just a lot.”

Anthony Millican, the district’s director of communications and community development, said part of the reason the district works closely with its charters that the district doesn’t view charters as competition.

“There’s always been a great deal of confidence in our public schools,” Millican said. “We haven’t been threatened by the charter movement because we’re confident that our schools can hold our own.”

Enrollment at Chula Vista Elementary School District has been increasing for some time because of its reputation and thanks to residential growth, said Millican, though he thinks enrollment is beginning to level out.

“I think we take a whole different paradigm,” said Escobedo. “They teach the kids in our community. Every child within the community of Chula Vista is our customer. I find that as being important that I’m connected to the charter schools. There also is movement of students between charters and public schools.”

But Escobedo said he has one issue with charters: when they aren’t community-grown.

“The spirit of the charter movement is that it should be locally grown by parents, teachers or community members,” he said. “They shouldn’t be working in isolation when they’re in our community, so I do have a concern with for-profit or outside entities authorizing charter schools.”

 

Exposing SJP as a Terrorist Front at UC-Berkeley

UC Chancellor Janet Napolitano—who opened our borders as Homeland Secretary to the drug cartels, human traffickers, terrorists and run of the mill criminal illegal aliens, has opened up our UC system to Hamas backed haters of Jews—Hamas is a terrorist organization.

“As revealed in recent congressional testimony, Students for Justice in Palestine is a campus front for Hamas terrorists. SJP’s propaganda activities are orchestrated and funded by a Hamas front group, American Muslims for Palestine, whose chairman is Hatem Bazian and whose principals are former officers of the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic “charities” previously convicted of funneling money to Hamas. The report and posters are part of a larger Freedom Center campaign titled Stop University Support for Terrorists. Images of the posters that appeared at UC-Berkeley may be viewed at www.stopuniversitysupportforterrorists.org.

Napolitano is allowing those that openly want to kill Jews, kill off Israel to have free speech on our campuses—yet can not allow Milo, Coulter, Shapiro or others to speak on campuses, promoting freedom and anti-terrorism.  While Shapiro got to speak last week, it took $600,000 to stop the Napolitano/Obama supporters from rioting.  Free speech on UC campuses, safe UC campuses, not as long as Janet is in control.

Photo Courtesy of Rusty Stewart, Flickr

Exposing SJP as a Terrorist Front at UC-Berkeley

Berkeley campus is one of the “Top Ten Worst Schools that Support Terrorists”

Sara Dogan, Truth Revolt,  9/21/17

 

 

Editor’s note: The David Horowitz Freedom Center today announced the University of California-Berkeley as the first school named in its new report on the “Top Ten Worst Schools that Support Terrorists.” Coinciding with the release, the Freedom Center placed posters on Berkeley’s campus exposing the links between Students for Justice in Palestine and the terrorist organization Hamas, whose stated goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.

As revealed in recent congressional testimony, Students for Justice in Palestine is a campus front for Hamas terrorists. SJP’s propaganda activities are orchestrated and funded by a Hamas front group, American Muslims for Palestine, whose chairman is Hatem Bazian and whose principals are former officers of the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic “charities” previously convicted of funneling money to Hamas. The report and posters are part of a larger Freedom Center campaign titled Stop University Support for Terrorists. Images of the posters that appeared at UC-Berkeley may be viewed at www.stopuniversitysupportforterrorists.org.

While America’s eyes are focused on the battle to defeat ISIS in Syria and terrorist attacks in Europe, at colleges across the United States a coalition of terrorist-linked organizations are waging a propaganda war to destroy the Jewish state, annihilate the Jewish people and fan the flames of hatred for America as Israel’s “protector.” Led by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association, and Jewish Voice for Peace, these organizations do not launch rockets at Israeli civilian targets or dig terror tunnels under Israeli kindergarten classrooms. But they spread propaganda and take money and marching orders from those who do. Their mission is to whitewash actual terrorist attacks and promote the genocidal lies of terrorist organizations, specifically Hamas, whose stated goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.

In conducting these malevolent campaigns, these campus allies of the terrorists can count on the funding and protection of American universities like the University of California, who allow them to use their authority and prestige to lend this genocidal offensive an aura of respectability. The hatred that is an inevitable aspect of these campaigns has inspired an epidemic of anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish students, 59% of which – according to one study – are attributable to the anti-Israel lies spread by these campus groups, namely that Israel is built on stolen Arab land and is an “apartheid state.”[1]

The primary collegiate member of the Hamas terror network is Students for Justice in Palestine whose principal founder is Hamas supporter Hatem Bazian, a Palestinian professor at UC-Berkeley. Bazian co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine in 2001 to support the Second Palestinian Intifada, which introduced suicide bombing into the attacks on Israel’s citizens in September 2000.

In his book American Jihad, terrorism expert Steven Emerson quotes Bazian’s exhortations at an American Muslim Alliance conference at which Bazian endorsed the infamous Hadith calling for the slaughter of the Jews, and advocated for the establishment of an Islamic state in Palestine:  “In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews. They are on the west side of the river, which is the Jordan River, and you’re on the east side until the trees and stones will say, ‘Oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him!’ And that’s in the Hadith about this, this is a future battle before the Day of Judgment.”

Every successful terrorist campaign has a political as well as a military arm. The IRA terrorist organization was aided and abetted by its sister organization, Sinn Fein, a parliamentary party which advanced the terrorists’ agendas through propaganda and political support. Hamas operates in a similar fashion, relying on Students for Justice in Palestine and its key campus allies – the Muslim Students Association and Jewish Voice for Peace – to advance its sinister agendas. It does so with Hamas’s organizational support and funding through an intermediary organization, American Muslims for Palestine, whose creator is also Hatem Bazian. Hatem Bazian currently serves as the chair of AMP’s board. In 2009, Bazian founded the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the University of California’s Center for Race and Gender. Thus, the University of California also lends its prestige and resources to a program designed by a terrorist agent to discredit critics of Islamic terrorism as “Islamophobes.”

Other key board member officers of American Muslims for Palestine were formerly board members of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity in America until it was exposed in trial as a front for Hamas. American Muslims for Palestine has copied the Holy Land Foundation model. In recent testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Jonathan Schanzer, who worked as a terrorism finance analyst for the United States Department of the Treasury from 2004-2007, and now serves as the Vice President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), described how Hamas funnels large sums of money and provides material assistance to Students for Justice in Palestine  through AMP for the purpose of promoting BDS campaigns and disseminating Hamas propaganda on American campuses.

According to his testimony, “At its 2014 annual conference, AMP invited participants to ‘come and navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.’”  He further classified AMP as “arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States.”  He revealed that AMP “provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called ‘Apartheid Wall,’ and grants to SJP activists” and “even has a campus coordinator on staff whose job is to work directly with SJP and other pro-BDS campus groups across the country.”  Furthermore, “according to an email it sent to subscribers, AMP spent $100,000 on campus activities in 2014 alone.”

Since its founding in 2001, Students for Justice in Palestine has served as a front for Hamas on university campuses. Students for Justice in Palestine is the leading force behind the Hamas-endorsed and funded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, a form of economic terrorism which seeks to weaken the Jewish state, deny it legitimacy, and ultimately destroy it. As of May 2017, over 50 campuses had passed resolutions endorsing the BDS movement against Israel and over 100 campuses had debated the issue. Students for Justice in Palestine’s chief allies in these BDS campaigns are the Muslim Students Association and Jewish Voice for Peace.

Students for Justice in Palestine and its partners are also responsible for the proliferation of Hamas propaganda attacks known as “Israeli Apartheid Weeks” which occur on dozens of prominent university campuses every year. These weeks provide opportunities to bring in Hamas-supporting campus speakers and to erect mock “apartheid walls” featuring Hamas propaganda claims that Israel targets Palestinian children for slaughter, and fake maps that purport to show that Israel stole Palestinian land. While SJP falsely accuses Israel of theft and war crimes, it also works to whitewash the atrocities committed by Hamas, whether the deliberate use of civilians as human shields in military combat or the abduction and slaughter of three Israeli teenagers that started the 2014 Gaza War. And it works to glamorize terrorists such as Rasmeah Odeh who was convicted by an Israeli military court in 1970 for her involvement in two fatal terrorist bombings. Another terrorist lionized by SJP is Leila Khaled, a convicted hijacker and a member of the terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

SJP and its partners conduct their campaign of aggression against the Jewish state through the relentless dissemination of genocidal lies intended to warp student opinion on Israel. Prominent among these lies is the claim that Israel occupies Arab land. In fact, the land on which Israel was created by the U.N. was part of the Ottoman Empire that belonged to the Turks for 400 years previously. The Turks are not “Palestinians,” and are not even Arabs. A second lie designed to de-legitimize the Jewish state and justify its destruction, is the claim that Israel is an “apartheid state.” The Arab citizens of Israel have more rights, and enjoy more freedom, education, and economic opportunity than the Arabs of any Arab state. Arab citizens of Israel vote in national elections, have representatives in the Israeli Parliament, sit on the Israeli Supreme Court, and serve as tenured professors teaching in Israeli colleges and universities.

Perhaps the most destructive lie is the one that motivates all the campaigns of SJP and its partners — the claim that the terrorist aggressions by Arabs against Israel which began in 1949 as unprovoked attacks on the newly created Jewish state are efforts to liberate “Palestine.” Palestinians are a “nationality” that didn’t even exist until 1964 – sixteen years after Israel’s creation. Jordan is a majority Palestinian country ruled by a Hashemite minority, but it is not a target of this alleged liberation campaign. The campaign in fact has only one clear agenda: the destruction of the Jewish state.

The campaigns inspired and funded by Hamas terrorists and carried out by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association and Jewish Voice for Peace have had the demonstrable effect of spreading hate against Jewish students on American campuses. A recent study conducted by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights found that 54% of students surveyed experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during the previous six months on campus. Another study conducted by the Amcha Initiative revealed a very strong correlation between these so-called “anti-Zionist” groups and incidents of anti-Semitism and harassment of Jewish students. The study found that “99% of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups had one or more incidents of anti-Semitic activity, whereas only 16% of schools with no active anti-Zionist student group had incidents of overall anti-Semitic activity.” As these studies make clear, Hamas’s campus front has spawned an epidemic of anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish students that continues to grow worse.

The following report chronicles the campus terrorist campaign to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish state at ten American universities. The fact is that hundreds of campuses across our nation now support terrorist-inspired campaigns whose goals are genocidal and whose weapon is hate. What follows are descriptions of these campaigns on ten characteristic campuses, which we have singled out as the worst.

University of California-Berkeley:

UC-Berkeley, the academic home of Hamas agent and SJP co-founder Hatem Bazian, has long been known as a hub for anti-Israel extremism. This reputation was proven to be well-deserved by the offering of a course in Fall 2016 on “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” The course syllabus explained that the course would explore “the possibility of decolonization,” meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. The course was briefly suspended by the campus administration but it was reinstated after only minor changes to the syllabus.

Berkeley also boasts a highly active SJP chapter that holds regular protests and die-ins which parrot Hamas propaganda claims that Israel deliberately targets Palestinian children. During a recent campus rally, students supporting the BDS movement chanted pro-terrorist slogans including “Let it be known that we here at Berkeley support the Intifada” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – calls to kill Jews in Israel and destroy the Jewish state. The Berkeley campus has hosted numerous pro-BDS speakers including Omar Barghouti, founder of the Hamas-inspired and funded boycott movement.

Supporting Evidence:

During March 2017, Berkeley SJP held “Palestine Solidarity Week” on campus featuring the display of a mock apartheid wall, meant to symbolize Israel’s security fence which has saved thousands of Jewish lives by keeping Palestinian terrorists out. The Week also featured a “die-in” designed to showcase the Hamas propaganda lie that Israel commits indiscriminate violence against Palestinians, and a mock checkpoint on campus. At the die-in, students held signs proclaiming “Zionism is racism” and “Stop Israeli Occupation Forces From Killing Palestinian Children in Cold Blood.”

During November 2016, the Berkeley Law chapter of SJP posted an open letter on social media asking students to pledge not to participate in trips to Israel sponsored by “Israel & Co.” The open letter repeated Hamas propaganda lies, claiming that “This trip is part of a broader effort to normalize the occupation of Palestinian people by drawing attention away from a settler-colonial state’s systemic violations of human rights.” The chapter also tabled on campus in an effort to encourage students to sign the pledge. One student held a sign stating, “I pledge not to go on the Israel trip because: white supremacy here looks a lot like white supremacy there.” The Facebook page of the Berkeley Law chapter of SJP carries a banner which compares illegal immigrants in America to Palestinians with the slogan “we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.”

On October 27, 2016, SJP at Berkeley heldthe “3rd Annual International Day of Action on University Campuses for Palestine.” Speakers at the event which promoted the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS movement against Israel included Hatem Bazian and SFSU professor Rabab Abdulhadi who has used university funds to meet with anti-Israel terrorists.  Social media promotions for the event stated, “Make this call of action part of campus education by holding teach-ins, rallies, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and push for BDS activities. No to Academic Complicity with Israeli Occupation, No to Study Abroad Programs in Israel, No Investments in Apartheid and Occupation Supporting Companies, No to University Presidents’ Visits to Israel, No Campus Police Training or Cooperation with Israeli Security, No Joint Research or Conferences with Israeli Institutions, No Cooperation with Hasbara Networks on College Campuses, No to Targeting Faculty for Speaking Against Israeli Crimes, No to Administrative Limits on Free Speech Rights of Palestine Activists, No to University Coordination and Strategizing with the ADL, JCRC, AJC, Stand With US, ZOA, Israeli Consulate to Limit Students Pro-Palestine Constitutionally Protected Activities.”

On September 22, 2016, anti-Semitic posters appeared on Berkeley’s campus which stated, “Jewish bullies smash free speech at Cal and are pledged $58 billion. Attention Non-Jews: PAY UP AND SHUT UP!”

A course offered at Berkeley during the Fall 2016 semester was titled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” The course facilitator was Paul Hadweh and the faculty sponsor was Hatem Bazian.  The course syllabus included generous doses of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic literature and claimed that the course would be “exploring the possibility of decolonization,” meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. The course was briefly suspended by the campus administration but it was reinstated after only minor and cosmetic changes to the course syllabus.  Course facilitator Hadweh promoted the course on social media by stating that it would explore “the history and present of Zionist settler colonialism in Palestine” and by posting a series of infamous Hamas propaganda maps that falsely show Israel colonizing Arab Palestine. Of course the actual Arab colonization of the Middle East outside the Arabian peninsula – a historical fact – was absent from the syllabus which focused solely on the fictional colonization of an entity – Palestine – which has never existed.

In June 2016, UC Berkeley’s Center for Race & Gender offered a “Palestine De-Colonial Summer School” in Istanbul, Turkey. The program reinforced the Hamas narrative that Jews colonized a non-existent state called Palestine. Among the themes examined in the program were “Colonialism: settler colonialism and the meaning of de-colonization,” “Understanding Zionism, as a colonial, racial and Euro-centric Project,” and “The Palestinian Nakba and the dispossession”—acompendium of Hamas libels against the Jews.

During May 2016, UC Berkeley SJP shared several posts on Facebook commemorating the “Nakba,” an Arabic term meaning catastrophe that Hamas and its supporters use to refer to the creation of Israel and to commemorate the unprovoked aggressive war five Arab dictatorships launched against the tiny state on that day and have continued ever since.

On March 31, 2016, Berkeley SJP held a “Die-in, March, and Speakout for Palestine” on campus. The Facebook notice for the event read, “We are dying-in and marching in solidarity with all Palestinians subjected to Israeli violence. Our action seeks to represent visually the people who have shed blood and tears at Israel’s hands in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in Gaza, and worldwide.” The rally included the display of a large mock “apartheid wall” which featured anti-Israel slogans and pro-terrorist propaganda. One panel of the “apartheid wall” depicted all of Israel replaced with a Palestinian flag, implying that Israel should be replaced by an Arab state of Palestine and should no longer exist.

On March 29, 2016, Berkeley SJP created a “mock checkpoint” on campus to demonize Israel and intimidate students as they attempted to cross the campus. The actual checkpoints have cut the number of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian terrorists to near zero – a fact suppressed by SJP. During the demonstration, students impersonating Israeli soldiers with “IDF” written on the backs of their shirts, and armed with mock assault rifles, arrested those representing Palestinians, as though the IDF’s efforts were about oppressing Palestinians instead of defending innocent civilians.

Over March 8-10, 2016, UC Berkeley SJP held “Palestine Awareness Week” on campus, although events actually continued throughout the month of March. This week featured all the key propaganda points Hamas uses to justify its war of extermination against Israel’s Jews.

In March 2015, three Berkeley professors—Rutie Adler, Hatem Bazian, and SameraEsmeir—were among the signatories to an op-ed printed in the Daily Californian supporting BDS resolutions on UC campuses and the Hamas-inspired effort to destroy the Jewish state.

On February 19, 2016, Berkeley SJP shared an article on its Facebook page defending Palestinian terrorism against Israel. The article focused on a Fatah activist who spent 23 years in prison for killing an Israeli. The activist is quoted as saying “Call Me a Terrorist, but I’m No Different From Israeli Troops Defending Their Homeland.” The inability to distinguish between a defender and an aggressor is characteristic of Hamas-SJP propaganda.

On February 18, 2016, UC Berkeley hosted Dr. Jeff Halper for a talk on “War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians, and Global Pacification.” The Facebook notice for the event repeated the Hamas libel that Israelis are using the “occupied territories” to test their experimental weapons: “Drawing on firsthand research, the author shows how the integration of militarized systems – databases, tracking civilian activity, automated targeting systems and unmanned drones – is perfected to sustain fear among the populace and how the Occupied Territories are used by Israel as a veritable weapon laboratory.” No mention was made by Halper of the fact that every time Israel withdraws its forces, as in Gaza, the vacuum is filled with Hamas terrorists firing rockets into Israeli schoolyards and digging multimillion dollar terror tunnels to carry out attacks in Israel.

On November 16, 2015, Berkeley SJP hosted anti-Israel poet Remi Kanazi on campus. Kanazi has called Israel “a racist state built on stolen Palestinian land” that is “maintained through ethnic cleansing, occupation, bombing campaigns, draconian laws, settlements, outposts, colonizer roads, siege, blockade, chemical warfare, an apartheid wall, home demolitions, control of borders/imports/exports/water aquifers/air/sea/taxes/currency, the denial of family reunification, jailing of children, night raids, administrative detention, uprooting olive groves, restriction on movement, denying refugees the ability to return, and much more.”

On October 14, 2015, UC Berkeley’s SJP chapter held a rally to support the “International Day of Action” for Palestine and the BDS movement against Israel at Sproul Plaza on campus. The Muslim Students Association co-sponsored the event. Featured speakers included SJP co-founder, Berkeley professor and Hamas-supporter Hatem Bazian. Speakers and participants at the event chanted pro-terrorist slogans including “Let it be known that we here at Berkeley support the Intifada” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The Intifada refers to unprovoked attacks on Jews, and “from the river to the sea” means the obliteration of the Jewish state and its replacement by an Islamic totalitarian regime identical to the one that now exists in Gaza. A mock “apartheid wall” plastered with anti-Israel propaganda was displayed at the event, including the malicious and false accusation that “Israel massacred over 500 kids in Gaza.”

On September 18, 2015, Omar Barghouti, the founder of the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS movement against Israel, spoke at Berkeley. His talk was co-sponsored by SJP and by eight university departments including the Cen­ter for Race and Gen­der, Asian Amer­i­can Stud­ies, Native Amer­i­can Stud­ies, Eth­nic Stud­ies, Eng­lish, Chi­cano Stud­ies, Near East­ern Stud­ies, and African Amer­i­can Studies. Barghouti’s speech was titled, “BDS: Academia’s Role in the Struggle for Freedom and Justice in Palestine,” and promoted the academic boycott of Israel.

On February 4, 2015, a swastika was found on a “university-owned building on University Avenue.”

On March 2, 2015, genocidal graffiti was found in a campus restroom reading: “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber.”

On February 22, 2015, Berkeley SJP violated campus rules by distributing over 600 fake eviction notices to students in campus housing. SJP made clear that the campaign was in support of the Hamas-inspired BDS movement against Israel, stating in a press release that “With this action, we are calling on the UC Regents to honor the consensus in favor of divestment.”

On January 30, 2015, UC Berkeley’s office for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity posted an article on its website titled “Rhetoric of racism, from Ferguson to Palestine” that defended Hamas terrorism, claiming that “Hamas is a political party that has been under siege, along with the entirety of the Gaza Strip, for the last seven years and under Israeli military occupation since 1967.” The article, which ignored the 7 years of unprovoked Gaza aggression against Israel, the three aggressive wars conducted by the Arab states against Israel from its birth, and the 70 years of unprovoked terror attacks by Arabs and Palestinians against Jewish civilians, condemned Israel claiming that it “was founded after a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian population that continues until today.” Thus it merely repeated the genocidal lie created by Arab dictators and terrorists to justify their aggressive war against the Jews. The only ethnic cleansing proposed in the Middle East is the Arab plan to purge the region of Jews – and in so many words.

 

California Law Enforcement Groups Say Sanctuary Law Makes Communities Less Safe

Want to be a victim?  California Democrats just make the opportunity to be mugged, robbed, raped or killed by an illegal alien using a gun or driving drunk, easier.  California, like the South in December, 1860, has nullified Federal law.  It is an outlaw State-where criminals are protected and victims are created—by government policy.

“”It’s a hazardous law for Californians and people sworn to protect and serve Californians and we would like to see it changed,” Bill Brown, the sheriff for Santa Barbara County who serves as president of the California State Sheriffs Association, told the Washington Free Beacon.

“I hope next year we can be catalysts for some type of legislative fix,” he added, giving credit to Gov. Jerry Brown for late modifications to the bill in response to law enforcement concern.

The law passed along straight party-lines, and, considering the lopsided Democratic majority in both houses in the state legislature, law enforcement leaders predict that only a high-profile tragedy or heinous crime could shift the political will enough to modify the bill.

BTW, Sacramento does not want counties or cities to keep records of the crimes committed by illegal aliens—so no one can show the crime wave caused by a criminal Legislature and Governor.  Feel safe?  Only if you live in Texas or any other free and responsible State.

ICE-Immigration-Agents

California Law Enforcement Groups Say Sanctuary Law Makes Communities Less Safe

Top sheriff: We can’t call ICE on three-time drunk-drivers or MS-13 gang members

BY: Susan Crabtree, Washington Free Beacon,  9/22/17
Sheriffs on the frontlines of immigration debate in California are warning that the sanctuary state law the legislature passed over the weekend ties law enforcement’s hands too tightly and is only inviting more tragedy when it comes to illegal immigrants who have repeatedly committed serious crimes.

“It’s a hazardous law for Californians and people sworn to protect and serve Californians and we would like to see it changed,” Bill Brown, the sheriff for Santa Barbara County who serves as president of the California State Sheriffs Association, told the Washington Free Beacon.

“I hope next year we can be catalysts for some type of legislative fix,” he added, giving credit to Gov. Jerry Brown for late modifications to the bill in response to law enforcement concern.

The law passed along straight party-lines, and, considering the lopsided Democratic majority in both houses in the state legislature, law enforcement leaders predict that only a high-profile tragedy or heinous crime could shift the political will enough to modify the bill.

“I do believe those who voted for this law are making California less safe, and at some point, there is going to be an incident that is going to backfire on the legislature when one of these criminal aliens is released,” said Michael Durant, president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, a union representing 70,000 law enforcement officers in California and Nevada.

The passage of the “California Values Act” this week escalated California’s battle with the Trump administration on several fronts, as leading local politicians try to insulate the heavily Democratic state from the administration’s immigration policies.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to withhold federal grants for states that refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests to hold illegal immigrants arrested or convicted of crimes until federal authorities can pick them up and potentially deport them.

States and local municipalities have fought back; late last week a federal judge in Chicago blocked Sessions attempt to withhold grant funding from the sanctuary cities.

California’s new sanctuary state law, the most far-reaching of its kind in the country, would limit what state and local law enforcement officials can communicate to federal immigration authorities, and prevents officers from questioning and holding people on immigration-only violations.

It would also prevent California schools, hospitals, libraries, and courthouses from enforcing federal immigration laws on its premises.

State Sen. Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles and other Democratic party leaders say the law is necessary to protect immigrant families from being separated after Trump pledged to phase out an Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Trump last week indicated he would sign a congressional fix to protect the children, known as DREAMers, without demanding that Congress immediately provide money to build his promised border wall.

Critics say the law is mere symbolism, because local police in the state never engage in immigration enforcement in the field or try to inquire about a person’s immigration status, leaving that job to federal authorities.

Brown says police across the state have spent years working with advocacy groups for immigrants to foster a relationship of trust so victims of or witnesses to crimes can work with them without fear of deportation.

Only in cases in which local law enforcement officials see illegal immigrants committing major crimes or returning to their custody for serious repeat offenses do they comply with ICE notifications to remove offenders from their communities

In the final weeks before the bill’s passage, Gov. Brown stepped in to negotiate changes to ensure that the law didn’t prevent local law enforcement officers from notifying federal immigration agents about the release of dangerous convicted criminals.

The changes included allowing officers to pass along information to ICE about inmates who have previously been deported for a violent felony or are serving time on a misdemeanor or felony and have a prior serious or violent felony conviction.

De Leon, the lead sponsor, said the changes didn’t gut the intent of the bill and represented a major compromise between law enforcement officials and advocates.

“These amendments do not mean to erode the core mission of this measure, which is to protect hardworking families that have contributed greatly to our culture and the economy,” De Leon said on the Senate floor early Saturday morning. “This is a measure that reflects the values of who we are as a great state.”

Sheriff Brown said he welcomed those changes, which made the bill much better. However, he still thinks the threshold for notifying ICE is too high, especially when it comes to drunk-driving offenses.

“Drunk-driving is not a trivial matter,” he said. “There are people killed all the time on our highways as a result of drunk driving.”

Brown pointed to a high-profile crash early this year in San Diego in which the drunken-driving hit-and-run suspect allegedly hit a family driving home after a trip to Disneyland, badly injuring a six-year-old boy. The suspect, who was in the country illegally, had previously been deported 15 times and had a criminal history including arrests on domestic violence allegations.

Groups opposed to Trump’s immigration policies have warned against using individual drunk-driving incidents involving unauthorized immigrants as a rationale for state-wide or federal efforts to crackdown on illegal immigrants.

“Drunk-driving is a nation-wide problem that has affected the lives of far too many,” Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, said earlier this year. “Using the pain and suffering of victims and their families to vilify a single community is irresponsible and unhelpful. We all need to work together, in an atmosphere of trust in order to solve safety issues.”

Brown said the law’s threshold is still too high with regard to drunk driving.

“Under the law as it stands now, we will be barred from notifying ICE unless an illegal immigrant arrested for drunk-driving is charged with committing a felony—meaning they already killed or injured someone, or they have been convicted for drunken-driving four times in a 10-year period,” he said.

Last year alone Santa Barbara county received a roughly 650 notices from ICE asking for notifications of any arrests of illegal immigrants with criminal records, Brown said. Of those, he said they had 250 people come into their custody that matched the ICE request, and of those 250, an estimated 30 were facing drunk-driving charges.

Additionally, the new law would prevent police from notifying ICE of self-admitted members of MS-13 and other gangs if California police arrest them for misdemeanor crimes such as possession of narcotics or driving without a license, Brown said. It also imposes a lot of additional reporting and other time-consuming burdens on police as they try to determine if the crimes the illegal immigrants have committed fall into a complicated matrix of what can and cannot trigger ICE notifications.

For instance, police are barred from calling ICE on repeat-offender thieves if the stolen property does not meet a $950 threshold for each theft.

“They can steal as many times as they would like, as long as what they steal is below $950 each time, and we would be precluded from calling ICE,” he said.

LAX just as bad as you think? Second-to-last in new passenger survey

Los Angeles has the worst streets in the United States.  It has high taxes, a deficit, gridlock on city streets, in part due to bikes having priorities over cars.  This is a town where illegal aliens are saluted and honest citizens are their victims—and the Mayor raised $30 million for his “charities”—all to gain support for his race for Governor, Senator, President, or anything he can find.  Now we find that L.A. has two of the worst airports in the nation.  LAX is 18 worst and Hollywood-Burbank is 15th worst.  Makes you proud to call Texas your home.

“LAX came in second-to-last among 19 mega airports in a passenger satisfaction study released Thursday, while John Wayne Airport in Orange County ranked highest among large airports in North America.

The low ranking for Los Angeles International Airport comes amid several major projects underway, in the works or recently completed, including construction of a $1.6 billion terminal that began earlier this year, the addition of high-end stores and eateries, and an automated people mover that will take travelers to and from a centralized car rental location.

Congrats to Orange County, having the BEST airport in the nation.  What a difference a few miles and honest government makes.  Thought you should know.

Photo courtesy work the angles, flickr

LAX just as bad as you think? Second-to-last in new passenger survey

Posted by Christina Kelley, MyNewsLA,  9/21/17

LAX came in second-to-last among 19 mega airports in a passenger satisfaction study released Thursday, while John Wayne Airport in Orange County ranked highest among large airports in North America.

The low ranking for Los Angeles International Airport comes amid several major projects underway, in the works or recently completed, including construction of a $1.6 billion terminal that began earlier this year, the addition of high-end stores and eateries, and an automated people mover that will take travelers to and from a centralized car rental location.

LAX was not the only big city airport whose ranking suffered from big projects, according to Costa Mesa-based J.D. Power, which which based its 12th traveler satisfaction study on responses from 34,695 North American passengers.

“Despite the most creative efforts to address traveler frustration, major city airports that are in the thick of massive construction efforts — notably Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, Los Angeles International and Chicago O’Hare — are still fighting the headwinds of traveler disruption and access challenges that are handicapping their overall satisfaction scores,” according to J.D. Power.

Michael Taylor, who heads the firm’s Travel Practice, added: “The trifecta of a steadily improving economy, record passenger volume and billion- dollar renovation projects unfolding in airports across the country has created a challenging environment for customer satisfaction. The fact that many airports are overcoming those challenges is incredibly instructive for the industry as it remodels and improves airport infrastructure.”

Overall passenger satisfaction with North American airports reached an all-time high in the study, as technology innovation and personal attention is helping ease the stress of traveling.

“Capacity has become a huge challenge for North American airports, with many reporting 100 percent of available parking spots being filled and large airports, such as Orlando International, setting passenger volume records each month for more than three years straight,” Taylor said. “Despite these difficulties, airports are responding with new technology and old-fashioned personal skills to win over harried travelers. These range from smartphone apps that tell travelers where to find a parking spot to therapy dogs — and in one case, a therapy pig — mingling with travelers to relieve stress and improve the overall airport experience.”

Orlando International Airport ranked the highest in satisfaction among mega airports, with a score of 778, while Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport ranked second at 767, and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas ranked third at 765. LAX’s score was 712.

John Wayne Airport’s score of 796 was the best among large airports, beating Tampa International Airport at 795 and Dallas Love Field at 790. San Diego International Airport came in eighth place with a score of 757.

Sacramento International Airport ranked highest among medium-size airports, with a score of 810. Indianapolis International Airport ranked second at 807, and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport was third at 806. Ontario International Airport came in 10th at 782, and Hollywood Burbank Airport came in 15th at 779.