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Man Shot, Killed as He Leaves Party in Stockton

Sunday, October 15, 2017 / No Comments


An early morning murder is under investigation by Stockton Police.

At approximately 1:30 a.m on Sunday, October 15, a 20-year old man, and some friends were leaving a party in the 8600 block of Leadon Drive. The suspect approached the victim and shot him.

The victim was later located and medical staff pronounced the victim deceased at the scene. Detectives responded and took over the investigation. At this time there is no releasable suspect information or a motive.

The Stockton Police Department is encouraging citizens to call if they have information pertaining to this investigation. Callers are asked to call the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377, Investigations at (209) 937-8323, or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600. Callers can remain anonymous.




Disability rights in school are civil rights too!

Saturday, October 14, 2017 / No Comments


By Steven Masone |   

Are we still leaving disabled students behind?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), was signed into law on July 26, 1990. More than 50 million Americans have some kind of physical, cognitive, sensory, or mental disability. The ADA’s extensive provisions for employment, state and local governments, transportation,public accommodations, and telecommunications, has helped end discrimination towards those with disabilities tremendously. 

Congress' concern to eliminate intentional and benign discrimination against disabled individuals is evident in the findings and purpose of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12101. The purpose of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act is "to include persons”.The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), was signed into law on July 26. 1990. 

More than fifty million Americans have some kind of physical, cognitive, sensory, or mental disability. The ADA’s extensive provisions for employment, state and local governments, transportation,public accommodations, and telecommunications, has helped end discrimination towards those with disabilities tremendously.

However, the fight is far from over, and even in our public schools, we find that faculty and educators are many times, inadequately trained to understand, and conform to the ADA. In a Northern  California High School, a young student with Asperger's Syndrome (a form of Autism) has developed an aversion to wearing footwear, which is symptomatic to his disability, and has been denied the right to finish and graduate at the public ceremony barefoot. The student had been attending classes barefoot with de facto acceptance from teachers until the Principle discovered him barefoot in the halls one day. 

The Principal refused to accommodate the student’s symptomatic issue even after the student’s parents requested accommodation.  The Principal and his superiors claim it is a safety issue and the school's financial liability overrides reasonable accommodation. The parents offered to sign a release of liability, which at first was acceptable but then they were told it was not sufficient.                                                                                                                      
The student would not be allowed on campus nor even attend his graduation ceremony barefoot. The ADA states: “no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs,or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.” (42 U.S.C. §Section 12132)    

There have been many cases where school districts and other public entities waste taxpayers money fighting the ADA, only to lose in federal court because reasonable accommodation is not understood. It is reasonable accommodation to accept a waiver and release of liability from the parents of the student. The school has a football team and other sports activities that require athletes and participants sign such releases.   

It can be argued that many injuries have occurred through those programs. How many times has a barefoot student posed a danger to others, much less injured themselves and the school was harmed?  The student's diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome is recent, although the school was aware of the students Attention Deficit Disorder diagnosis earlier and failed to start the Individual Education Plan (IEP) as required by law.  

The Principal told the parents that by the time they can redress the ban from campus, the school year will be over. The school is also rejecting the Asperger’s diagnosis until the school’s experts can now evaluate him. Had the evaluation been done in timely fashion as the law prescribes, time would not be against the student to have the resolution completed.   

The ADA utilizes a three-pronged definition of disability. For the purpose of coverage under the ADA, a person with a disability is defined as an individual who: has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or has a record or history of such an impairment; or is perceived or regarded as having such an impairment.                                                                                       
The phrase "major life activities" means functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks. Whether or not an impairment substantially limits a major life activity is made on an individual basis, and is not based on the existence of a condition or impairment but rather by its impact on the individual. A substantial impairment will be found when the conditions, manner, or duration under which a major life activity can be performed by the individual are limited when compared to most people.  

The school cannot claim a safety issue is not addressed by liability waiver as they have published on a website that all graduates attending the official graduation party hosted by them, have a waiver of liability all students must sign: “By signing the Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement, you are releasing Project Graduation of all liability and accepting responsibility for any action by your son/daughter with respect to bodily injury and property."  There will be dancing and as customary, shoes will come off.  Shoes are not worn in some activities on campus and at sports games and events which come under the jurisdiction of the school and their surrogate agents.  

The school district maintains they have a right to keep their rule on the barefoot issue as an absolute rule.  It has already been decided in one ADA court case that waiving an age requirement and safety claim for a disabled student to participate in football, a contact and dangerous sport, was reasonable accommodation.  JOHNSON v. FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ASS'N, INC.899 F.Supp. 579 (1995) United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division September 6, 1995)   

Also, reasonable accommodation can be made where the student may be restricted to areas deemed threat free from nails, glass and foreign objects avoiding areas beyond  maintenance workers control.  Swimming area’s are kept free from glass and sharp objects, but in this day and age the entire campus is relatively monitored and policed well where students often go barefoot while in-between classes.  

Twenty seven years after enactment of the ADA, one would think we would be closer to ending discrimination against people with disabilities in education. This writer has experienced it as well in undergraduate institutions because administrators feel it is more important to protect academic standards, and school policy, than civil rights.  

Whether it is lack of empathy, training, or by administrators, who have an "us against them attitude" ...it seems we will always need advocates and organizations that monitor and intervene on behalf of our disabled. Congress' concern to eliminate intentional and benign discrimination against disabled individuals is evident in the findings and purpose of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12101. The purpose of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act is "to include persons”.  





Chew's Reviews - Professor Marston And The Wonder Women

Friday, October 13, 2017 / No Comments

By Gary Chew | 

Now Playing  |

It's a kinky one, but only superficially. Professor Marston And The Wonder Women loosely falls into a movie niche that contains, as well, a couple of other flicks you could call kinky: Kinsey (2004) and The Hours (2002). Sex sits on the front burner of these three films, some of it gay; and what's left … as straight.

Such activity gets an up and close look from writer/director Angela Robinson's bio-pic on how Wonder Woman, the comic book world's first female superhero, came to be. Holy Gal Gadot, Bat Guy!

An actual intellectually inclined person known as Dr. William Marston (Luke Wilson) came up with the Wonder Woman concept while in, what you'd call, a polyamorous relationship with his wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and a female psychology student named Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). But shucks, we know how the English language lags in comparison with what French folks speak. “Polyamorous” is really “vanilla” when put along side the titillating term more commonly heard and known as: “ménage à trois.” Like … who today eats their cheeseburger with American fries, I ask!

Mrs. Marston speaks most of the very blue lines that approach routine on the soundtrack. On the other hand, the filmcomes off muted. Love scenes establishing “triangularity” eschew specifics so as not to startle too much. That scene looks like it could play in an MGM musical of the 40s. It's just that the overly enlightened Professor seems to be the most feminist male in WWII society, except for that displayed by Elizabeth and Olive. The chumminess of the trio gets the Prof and Elizabeth dumped from their on campus gig. Olive, after all, is an enrolled student. Wholly unprofessional, Bruce Wayne!

The Marston are free thinking. Free love is not an anathema. Olive declares in private moments, while in the Professor's office, that she agrees and is in love with Elizabeth, whom Ms. Byrne deeply respects as a worthy intellectual. Likely for misogynistic reasons, Elizabeth had been denied a doctorate earlier in her life.

Turns out, each member of the threesome loves both of the others in the ensemble. And it doesn't disturb the two who are married. Although, given the time in American history, it does piss off lots ofothers. Conflict ensues, of course … as well as children, born of each female in the party and sired by the professor, alone.

Along the way, the interaction of the three “inspires” the Professor to make ends meet by writing comic book story lines for other guys who draw those pictures of Wonder Woman employing her kinky-like strategies to make people seek and tell Truth. Sadomasochism, although not blatant, is not something that goes unseen in the panels of Wonder Woman for those old enough to recall. Elizabeth snags a steady job as a paid secretary and stenographer --- way below her I.Q pay grade, and Olive handles the offspring. The Marstons, plus Byrne, are happy until neighbors get a notion of the arrangement; and the children, those now in grammar school, are bullied due to the abnormal life style of the Marston family.

What with all that's afoot in America regarding contemporary LGBTQ issues, Professor Marston And The Wonder Women ought to stir up progressive thinkers and those who feel the sustained repression of their personal lifestyle that might be so weighted with loving, very much, another human being. Could be that's why another just released movie called The Battle Of The Sexes continues to sell them tickets.

All hail Billie Jean!

Copyright by Gary Chew © 2017. All rights reserved.





Man Convicted in Tahoe Park Stabbing Death, Could Face 86 Years to Life

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 / No Comments


A man convicted of the stabbing death in Sacramento's Tahoe Park could face 86 years to life.

In a jury trial that concluded yesterday in Sacramento Superior Court, Rodney Bruno was convicted of first degree murder in the stabbing death of Virgil Torres. According to information presented in the case, on October 2, 2016 Bruno was upset with Torres when they started to argue at a Tahoe Park residence. 

The argument quickly escalated into a physical fight with Bruno stabbing his victim multiple times that resulted in his death. Allegations that Bruno suffered a 1980 prior conviction for voluntary manslaughter and a prior 2008 conviction for robbery will be decided at sentencing. 

Bruno is scheduled for November 17, 2017 in Department 31 by Judge Michael Kenny. 



Liberal Activist Announces Candidacy For Cosumnes Community Service District Board of Directors

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Jacklyn Moreno. |  

In an announcement made yesterday on social media and via email, Elk Grove resident Jacklyn Moreno has announced her candidacy for a seat on the Cosumnes Community Services District Board of Directors.

In a caption in her email message, Moreno said First we marched ...now we run. Like many new activists, Moreno has a political awakening in the aftermath of the election of Donald J. Trump as president.

Moreno's involvement started with her help in founding the Elk Grove branch the progressive political movement known as The Resistance. That group organized as a push back against the Trump administration's stated policies and intents.

While the Trump administration is the primary focus of The Resistance's activism, they have also pressed Democratic officeholders to take more progressive stances. In late January the group held a the "Lets Hold Bera Accountable" rally at Dr. Ami Bera's (D - Elk Grove) field office to express their desire for the third term Congressman to support immigrants, refugees, and minorities in California's 7th Congressional district.  

"Ami Bera has a voting record in the past where he has voted against funding for sanctuary cities," Moreno said at the time. "And where he has made it more difficult for certain groups coming from Iraq and other countries. We want to let him know that we expect him to protect all vulnerable communities."   

The vote Moreno was referencing was Bera's November 2015 vote with a majority of Republicans on the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, which called for stricter screening standards for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. The bill was never passed in the U.S. Senate and advanced to then President Obama for consideration. 

At the most recent meeting of The Resistance which featured Brad Westmoreland, a Democratic primary challenger to Bera, Moreno announced she would relinquish her leadership role in that group in anticipation of her candidacy. 

According to biographical information in her announcement, Moreno owns a small business "that focuses on providing assessments and services to students with disabilities." Additionally, Moreno noted that she is the mother of two daughters, and lists that as one reason for running for a CCSD seat.

Moreno said "Both of my daughters continue to benefit from CSD programs today. Representing the people of Elk Grove and Galt, I will work hard to enhance the high-quality parks, recreation, and fire services that already make our community a great place to live."

As part of her campaign kick-off, Moreno is holding a fundraiser on October 19 hosted by Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly; Elk Grove-South County Democratic Club President Dan Schmitt; and CCSD board members Orlando Fuentes and Rod Brewer.

Interestingly, the two CCSD seats that will be open in the November 2018 general election are held by Rod Brewer and Rich Lozano. Brewer, with the backing of Ly, is rumored to be considering a challenge to Pat Hume, who is expected to seek his fourth term representing District 2 on the Elk Grove City Council.

More information about Moreno's campaign and fundraiser are available on her Facebook page, Facebook.com/MorenoforCSD.







Man Shot Multiple Times, Injured After Fake Date Set-up in Stockton

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 / No Comments


In what appears to be a set-up, a man was shot this morning in Stockton.

According to Stockton Police, officers responded to the  Bonaire Circle and Ijams Road after received reports of shots being fired. When officers arrived, they located the adult male victim in a vehicle suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. 

The victim had reportedly met a black female at the location for a date, when a black make in his 20's rode up on a motorcycle and tried to rob him. The female jumped out of the vehicle, and the victim drove after the suspect, using his car to knock the suspect off of the motorcycle. 

The suspect fired several gunshots at the victim, striking him multiple times. Both the suspect and the female fled together over a fence and into the block. 

The victim was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening gunshot wounds. 



Chew's Reviews - Blade Runner - 2049

Sunday, October 8, 2017 / No Comments


By Gary Chew |

Now playing | 

The year is 2049, not 2017. Things are even worse than in the current hurt of Trump World. It's still raining dirty drops on Los Angeles. The flying automobiles, swishing and wriggling through the grimy mist, still seem about to crash into faceless skyscrapers. But the operator of one of those sleek, edgy aero/autos is Ryan Gosling (Call him Officer “K” or Joe), so it's not all bad in this cinematic extension of the fantastic imagination housed, … once upon a time ... in the brain of author Philip K. Dick.

First, I need to say that the adroit director of this shiny, new Blade Runner, Denis Villeneuve, sent a written appeal to the few film commentators gathered and breathlessly awaiting the picture to play on a huuuge Sacramento screen. (The only things “larger” than it, we all realized, as the film began, were the speakers hidden away in this up-to-date movie theater; no earplugs were provided.) Villenueve courteously asked us to not give out any spoilers in our copy, and that some characters seen in his film go unmentioned. The director's plea was read to us by Terry, the gentleman running the screening for Warner Bros. In 2016, Monsieur Villenueve gave us Arrival, the spine-tingling sci-fier known for totally screwing over one's head with an entity that simultaneously exists in the past, present and future. Yip, trippy, and so the new Blade!

Time, however, is not so much the essence of Blade Runner - 2049. As is the first take of this Dickian tale about a dark Southern Californian future, so does the new one lay on large amounts of dystopian dread. By the way, on my second viewing of this new film ... a couple of days later … most of the coming attractions preceding the main event were also touting violence and danger in the days ahead for this human race of ours. That made me wonder that if Hollywood makes a plentitude of this genre, moviegoers might simply “give up” by being inured to Orwell's weighty homily of1984. Let us hope not.

Joe or Officer “K” (Gosling) is a nice … well maybe a not so nice LAPD robotish/human cop much like his predecessor we all knew and loved in Blade Runner The First : Rick Dekard (Harrison Ford). Gosling is just right for this new character. And no one else could ever be Dekard but this Ford fellow.

Three decades after Blade One, Office “K” discovers something buried under a dead tree that could heave this 2049 society into even more profound chaos. Officer “K,” being cruelly ordered to carry out the mission by Lieutenant Joshi … a really butchy Robin Wright wearing black … must find what the buried secret suggests. (I feel restrained from saying just what Joe or Officer “K” is seeking due to Monsieur Villenueve's expressed fear of any hint that might spoil his creation.) I hope it's okay for me to spoil out to you that Dekard finally shows up in the third act, appearing in a most Kubrikian-like scene that brings together, for the first time, Dekard and Officer “K” or, by now, just called Joe. The scene is set in a lofty, glassed-in penthouse on a slender skyscraper that looks down on a forlorn Los Angeles. The weather hasn't improved a damned bit. The fight scene between these two heroes, one old, the other young, takes waaaay tooooo long, just like the entire movie. To put a point on it: the numerous fight scenes are what make Villenueve's film in dire need of an intermission, especially for elderly males.

Eye candy is neither in short supply. There's the lovely Ana de Armas as a holograhic beauty called Joi. Joe can bring her to life by merely pressing a button and hearing the opening strains of a familiar piece of music by Sergei Prokofiev, a favorite Russian composer of mine. In competition with Joi is another striking beauty called Mariette, played by MacKenzie Davis. Ms. Davis will resonate with you to recall the character Daryl Hannah played in the first Blade. How can any us forget Pris and those inviting flip-flops she does just before Dekard wastes her way back in 2019. Happily, Mariette is a nice girl, and all human, but her haircut and its coloration do make one remember the obstreperous Pris.

Another new female character is introduced in 2049. Her name is ironically inappropriate: Luv. Oh, but Luv in a really bad girl; and like Pris, very, very strong. Hmm, yes Luv isn't really human, even though she seems to be. Her tussles with Officer “K” are as rigorous and dynamic as the one Deckard has with Pris … but much, much greater in duration. Did I mention that Blade Runner – 2049 runs 2 hours and 44 minutes, not counting the credits which drag on for 14 more minutes?

Monsieur Villenueve has added another role to his long list. This character has the ridiculous name of Niander Wallace. That would feature Jared Leto's excellent portrayal. I can't be precise in saying what it is that Niander is in the film, but he's really important and powerful; maybe a bit like the guy Frank Morgan played in The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, Niander, in his quiet, creepy demeanor, could be categorized as a Messianic meanie. Leto's makeup includes weird eyes that seem to be those of a blind man who … yet … sees all!

Blade- 2049 can boast that its substance is: how can one detect what reality is, given all the virtual BS that's arrived since the turn of century? Along the convoluted way of this motion picture, Lieutenant Joshi barks at Officer “K” something about “always looking out for something real!”

Don't let me put you off on this stop at “Blade Runner Central.” The film is a visual masterpiece. One scene in particular involves Gosling, Armas and Davis: one man and two women. The special effects for it are mind blowing, and not just because the scene might be suggesting there's a ménage à trois about to congeal … though and alas, not depicted.

Rated R for ladies sometimes saying the f-word.
                                                                                                                 
Copyright © 2017 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved.