| NEWS of the Day - August 17, 2012
|on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...
We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...
From the L.A. Daily News
Arizona's Gov. Brewer bars public benefits for illegal immigrants
by Paul Davenport
PHOENIX - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday ordered state agencies to deny driver's licenses and other public benefits to young illegal immigrants who obtain work authorizations under a new Obama administration policy.
In an executive order, Brewer said she was reaffirming the intent of current Arizona law denying taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification to illegal immigrants.
Young illegal immigrants around the nation on Wednesday began the process of applying for federal work permits under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The federal policy defers deportations for that group if they meet certain criteria, including arrival in the United States before they turned 16 and no convictions for certain crimes.
After President Barack Obama announced the policy change in June, Brewer labeled it "backdoor amnesty" and political pandering by the Democratic president.
Arizona has been in the vanguard of states enacting laws against illegal immigration.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned parts of the Arizona enforcement law known as SB1070 but ruled that a key provision on requiring police to ask people about their immigration status under certain circumstances can be implemented.
The Obama administration challenged that law in 2010 after Brewer signed it into law.
In the past decade, Arizona voters twice approved laws denying publicly funded services, such as in-state resident university tuition rates, to illegal immigrants unless mandated by the federal government.
Brewer's order said the policy's federal paperwork doesn't confer lawful status on illegal immigrants and won't entitle them to Arizona public benefits.
However, it said the policy change "could result in some unlawfully present aliens inappropriately gaining access to public benefits contrary to the intent of Arizona voters and lawmakers who enacted laws expressly restricting access to taxpayer funded benefits and state identification."
Brewer directed state agencies to start any necessary emergency rulemaking processes to implement her order.
Some protesters marched to the state Capitol on Wednesday night from the downtown Phoenix office of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition.
"We are saddened that Gov. Brewer is siding with the past, against progress, against young people and the general support the Dream Act has in the general population," Dulce Matuz, Arizona ADAC chairman, said in a statement.
State Rep. Catherine Miranda, who supports the federal program, called Brewer's action mean-spirited.
"She just continues to put obstacles in front of young people in Arizona," the Phoenix Democrat said.
Rep. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix, said he questioned whether the order would have much practical effect under Arizona's current laws. But he said it served to demonize good kids who should be allowed to get state-issued identification and enter the workforce.
Arizona Democratic Party executive director Luis Heredia said Brewer's order "fails to move Arizona forward on immigration reform. This amounts to a gubernatorial temper tantrum."
From Google News
For Mississippi, an Angst-Filled Civil War Anniversary
by EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS
Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War can be an angst-filled task in Mississippi, with its long history of racial strife and a state flag that still bears the Confederate battle emblem.
Well-intentioned Mississippians who work for racial reconciliation say slavery was morally indefensible. Still, some speak in hushed tones as they confess a certain admiration for the valor of Confederate troops who fought for what was, to them, the hallowed ground of home and country.
"Mississippi has such a troubled past that a lot of people are very sensitive about commemorating or recognizing or remembering the Civil War because it has such an unpleasant reference for African-Americans," said David Sansing, who is white and a professor emeritus of history at the University of Mississippi.
"Many Mississippians are reluctant to go back there because they don't want to remind themselves or the African-American people about our sordid past," said Sansing. "But it is our past."
Black Mississippians express pride that some ancestors were Union soldiers who fought to end slavery, though it took more than a century for the U.S. to dismantle state-sanctioned segregation and guarantee voting rights.
Sansing is among dignitaries who will be traveling to Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Md., this weekend to dedicate a blue-gray granite marker commemorating the 11th Mississippi Infantry, which saw 119 members killed, wounded or missing in battle there on Sept. 16-17, 1862. The infantry had almost 1,000 soldiers, including a unit of University of Mississippi students known as the University Greys.
Among the speakers set to dedicate the monument Sunday is Bertram Hayes-Davis, great-great grandson of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. He was recently hired as executive director of Beauvoir, the white-columned Biloxi, Miss., mansion that was the final home of his ancestor, a Mississippi native.
The state is taking a decidedly low-key and scholarly approach to commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
Re-enactments have taken place at battlefields near Tupelo and are planned soon near Iuka. Lectures, concerts and other gatherings are scheduled over the next several months. Several events are expected in 2013 to mark the 1863 siege of Vicksburg, which gave the Union control of the Mississippi River.
Mississippi is the last state with a flag that includes the Confederate battle emblem, a red field topped by a blue X with 13 white stars. The symbol has been on the state flag since 1894. In a 2001 statewide election, voters decided nearly 2-to-1 to keep it, despite arguments it was racially divisive and tarnishing the state's image.
With a population that's 38 percent black, Mississippi has elected hundreds of public officials in the past four decades — a change directly linked to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Many people, across racial lines, say it's important that Civil War history commemorations not turn into celebrations of a lost cause.
Derrick Johnson, state president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said generations have been taught a "revisionist history" of the Civil War that ignores or downplays the impact of slavery. He said he wants a full discussion of the war.
"In mixed racial company, people don't want to address race and there is truly an avoidance of conversation when it relates to history and race," Johnson said. "Civil War, pre-Civil War, Reconstruction, Redemption, segregation — nobody wants to have candid conversations about how the past affects the public policy of this state and how people of different races interact with one another in this state."
On Dec. 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede. Mississippi moved next on Jan. 9, 1861, with a secession declaration stating, in part: "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world."
Rick Martin is chief of operations for the Vicksburg National Military Park, an 1,800-acre battlefield that sprawls through the city's hills and bluffs. The park attracts about 800,000 people a year from around the world, and Martin said their most common questions are "Why did the war start?" and "How could this happen?"
"Depending on what part of the country you're from ... people have been brought up different ways to understand why the Civil War was fought," Martin said. "When it comes down to it, you can boil it all down to slavery. That is the root cause of the Civil War."
Robert M. Walker, a historian who became Vicksburg's first black mayor in the late 1980s, was instrumental in pushing the park to install a monument that honors all black people — free and slave — who participated in military action in Vicksburg during the Civil War. The monument was added in 2003.
Black soldiers fought for the Union in the Battle of Milliken's Bend, La., on June 7, 1863, just up the Mississippi River from Vicksburg. The site was a supply and communication post for the Union as it worked to conquer Vicksburg during a siege that lasted from May 22, 1863, until the Confederates surrendered on July 4.
"One thing I'm particularly proud of is that black men who were poorly or sometimes not trained at all took up arms to fight for their own freedom and the freedom of their loved ones," Walker said. "The conventiona; belief was that they were not battle worthy, that they wouldn't fight."
After the Battle of Milliken's Bend, the black soldiers won praise from military officers.
"These folks were genuine, were real freedom fighters," Walker said.
Beauvoir, owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, honors Davis' service as Confederate president. The home was nearly wiped away by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Most of the restoration is finished, and Hayes-Davis said several events will mark the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. This fall, Beauvoir is reopening its presidential library.
Hayes-Davis doesn't apologize for his ancestor and doesn't shy away from discussing an era that divided a nation and killed an estimated 620,000 to 750,000 people.
"History is one of the most important things we have in our country and we need to make sure we understand it, that we know all the reasons things occurred," Hayes-Davis, who grew up in Colorado Springs, Colo. "I don't think it's difficult at all to talk about the War Between the States."
Mississippi Civil War Commission: http://www.mscivilwar150.com/
Vicksburg National Military Park: http://www.nps.gov/vick/index.htm
Registrations for Nashua's Citizen Police Academy now being accepted
Anyone with an interest in how the city's police department operates is invited to participate in its annual Citizen Police Academy program kicking off next month.
by KIMBERLY HOUGHTON --
Union Leader Correspondent
NASHUA — Anyone interested in how the city's Police Department operates is invited to participate in its annual Citizen Police Academy kicking off next month.
Registrations are now being accepted from residents seeking to enroll in the 24th academy, an eight-week course designed to acquaint the community with how the department functions.
“Last year we had 38 graduates,” said Ed Lecius, community policing coordinator. “We can hold up to 44 participants, and we will max it out if we can.”
On average, there are between 26 and 40 participants each year, with more than 900 residents graduating from the academy since its inception more than two decades ago, according to Lecius.
Classes are weekly from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from Sept. 18 to Nov. 13.
Each week, a different bureau commander will be featured, outlining daily duties and responsibilities within various sections of the force. Chief John Seusing and the deputies will be on hand for the first night of class, giving tours of the station and a brief introduction.
“We like to show the residents where their tax dollars are going. This program features all of the equipment being used and the training that takes place at the department,” said Lecius. “It focuses on what we do and how we do it.”
Often, citizens compare the city's police investigations with crime cases they witness on television, which isn't always applicable, according to Lecius. The academy helps clarify facts, reminding residents that DNA results are not always immediately available, and that cases are not often solved in one or two hours as seen on television, he said.
Academy participants will see demonstrations from the special reaction team, hazardous device unit, dive team, K-9 and crime scene unit. A bomb demonstration also will be offered, along with several PowerPoint presentations and a mock trial, Lecius said.
“Participants will have the opportunity to talk to the chief and learn about the history of the police commission,” he said, adding everyone will receive a certificate at the conclusion of the course.
Some graduates later volunteer at the station with the retired senior volunteer program, according to Lecius, saying they help with copying and filing necessary paperwork.
Residents outside Nashua will be accepted once slots are filled by city residents. Participants must be 18 or older. Space is limited, and the deadline for reservations is Sept. 6.
For more information, or to register, call Lecius at 594-3544.
Avon's Citizen's Police Academy has openings
AVON, Colorado — The Avon Police Department will be hosting the fourth annual Citizen's Police Academy starting Sept. 10. There are still a few openings for citizens to join the course.
The academy will take place on Mondays from 6-8:30 p.m. starting on Sept. 10 and concluding Oct. 15.
During the academy's six classes, the following presentations and interactive demonstrations will take place:
• Sept. 10: State of the police department, crime statistics in Avon, community policing philosophy, Criminal Investigation Bureau and crime scene investigation to include fingerprinting, latent prints, dusting and black lights.
• Sept. 17: Verbal judo and verbal de-escalation techniques. In addition, firearms training simulator will allow candidates to understand lethal force encounters and the use of force continuum.
• Sept. 24: Alcohol and Drug Recognition training and DUI enforcement.
• Oct. 1: Special Operations Unit (S.W.A.T.), use of force, and self-defense.
• Oct. 8: Tour of the Eagle County Jail.
• Oct. 15: An evening with firearms instructors at the firing range.
Participants must be 18 years of age or older; live, work or volunteer in the town of Avon; have no felony convictions; have no significant or recent misdemeanor convictions; and are willing to complete a waiver of liability.
Register at www.avon.org/citizenspoliceacademy or drop by the Avon Police Department to pick up an application form.
Organ Trafficking on the Rise in the United States
by Andrew O'Reilly
The demand for donated organs in wealthy nations is rising much faster than the supply of organs donated through traditional means can meet, leading to a small but growing number of people living in poverty who sell their vital organs on the black market.
Countries like Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Bolivia are among the nations where organ trafficking has become a major underground business as demand for these body parts rises in the United States, which has become the largest supplier and market for the trade, according to a news report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (CIJ).
The ICIJ reports says that two million products made of human tissue are sold every year in the U.S., with a complete disease-free human body going for upwards of $80,000 to $200,000. The organ trafficking industry in the U.S. has doubled in the last decade.
“It is an industry that promotes treatments and products that literally allow the blind to see (through cornea transplants) and the lame to walk (by recycling tendons and ligaments for use in knee repairs),” The ICIJ report, entitled “Skin and Bone: The Shadowy Trade in Human Body Part,” stated. “It's also an industry fueled by powerful appetites for bottom-line profits and fresh human bodies.”
Unlike the international drug and sex trade, organ trafficking has largely escaped the public eye thanks in part to lax government oversight and common attitudes that others' body parts should help people survive diseases, the ICIJ says. The group's eight-month investigation found that there are few safeguards to ensure that organs and human tissue are obtained legally. There has been a growing concern by some doctors that diseased tissues could infect patients with hepatitis, HIV and other diseases, yet little has been done in the medical field to monitor where the organs come from, the group says.
“The lack of proper tracking means that by the time problems are discovered some of the manufactured goods can't be found,” The ICIJ said. “When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assists in the recall of products made from potentially tainted tissues, transplant doctors frequently aren't much help.”
The CDC did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The organ trade not only adversely affects the patients who receive the transplants, but also the people selling their body parts. According to a study conducted in the early 2000s by the European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT) the main vendors of their organs tend to be the poor or unemployed, undocumented immigrants, former soldiers or young people.
The main brokers of organs tend to be local organized crime groups and corrupt officials on the local level and doctors, independent transplant coordinators and transnational organized crime syndicates on the international stage.
“Despite the popular urban myth that victims often find themselves post-operation in a bath of ice, having had an organ removed by criminals, this is a common misconception,” wrote Edward Fox of Insight Crime. “The role of organized crime is typically only that of facilitator, not surgeon.”
With the ESOT claiming that the nations of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are all key nations in the sale of illegal organs, some countries in Latin America are taking steps to combat the trade.In June, representatives from Central America and the Dominican Republic established a minimum penalty for the crime of organ trafficking, where a person convicted of the crime will receive no less than five years in prison.
However, other countries are slower to enact harsher penalties. In 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush signed the Organ Donation and Recovery Improvement Act, which authorized the federal government to reimburse living donors for expenses and offer project grants aimed at increasing donations and improving organ preservation and compatibility, but did little to combat the illegal trade, the group says.
The task of investigating and combating organ trafficking instead has fallen on organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), which plans to create a coding system to track human tissue traded for transplants.
“The coding system would enable authorities to track trade in products derived from human tissue,” The ICIJ reported. “If an infectious disease is caused by a particular product, products using the same donor's tissue can be recovered soon.”
Despite these advances and the efforts of some nations to combat the trade, the rising demand in many developed nations for organs will drive the organ trafficking business, ICIJ says.
“Organ transplantation is a necessary treatment for many individuals whose organs have failed and has been in practice in the United States since the 1950s,” said Dr. David E. Samadi, Vice Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and a Fox News contributor.
“An illegal market has capitalized on these individuals' desperation, and the prospects of large profits are creating unfortunate incentives, with patients willing to pay up to $200,000 for a kidney.”