Editorials

Bouquets and Brickbats: Support of profiling law outrageous

We aren’t surprised that uber conservative Republican Assembly candidates Matt Kokkonen and Etta Waterfield practically knocked each other over in their rush to gush over Arizona’s reprehensible immigration law.

We are disappointed, though, that the more moderate candidates in that race, Katcho Achadjian and Fred Strong, lined up right behind them — albeit belatedly and not quite as enthusiastically. Achadjian and Strong did add the caveat that immigration checks must be conducted without violating the U.S. Constitution. Whew — now that’s a relief!

We agree that immigration reform is necessary, but if Arizona’s law is upheld by the courts and does indeed become a “model” for other states — as Kokkonen hopes it will — then woe to us all. Any one of us who doesn’t look or sound or dress quite “legal” enough could be randomly stopped by police and ordered to show some papers.

This law should be overturned — not emulated. With that in mind, we’re taking that model of the Statue of Liberty we bought on our last trip to New York, smashing it into four brickbats, emblazoning each with the words of the Fourth Amendment, and sending them along to Kokkonen, Waterfield, Achadjian and Strong.

Wishing new warden the best

We offer a congratulatory bouquet to Terri Gonzalez, who has been appointed warden of the California Men’s Colony, pending successful completion of a lengthy vetting process.

Gonzalez, 53, has an impressive resume; most recently, she worked alongside former CMC Warden John Marshall as a chief deputy. “She is a decision maker, and she’s willing to make the needed calls in the event that something goes wrong,” said Marshall, who retired after seven years at CMC. “I leave the prison in good hands.”

The position of warden is challenging in the best of times, and that’s especially true in this era of reduced funding and continuing political struggles over how to comply with federal mandates.

We wish Gonzalez the best as she tackles the challenges ahead of her.

Governor gets stubbed for veto

We’re heaving a cigar-shaped brickbat at our lame-duck governor for vetoing a bill that would have banned smoking at most state parks and beaches. The governor didn’t like the idea of “encroaching in such a broad manner on the people of California.” We find his veto a far more disturbing encroachment, since it negates a piece of legislation that was passed by the duly elected representatives of the people of California.

The dangers of second-hand smoke are well documented and justify a ban on smoking in public places, especially the parks and beaches where families go to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Added benefits: The ban would have reduced litter and aided in the prevention of wild fires in our drought-prone state.

As for protecting the “rights” of smokers, they still would have been able to light up in parking lots and campsites.

We hope legislators try again, because this is a reasonable measure that would help put California in the forefront of protecting public health.

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