Computer Repair Service Orange County CA (714)975-3656 https://masleyassociates.com Computer Repair Service Orange County CA (714)975-3656 Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:33:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 https://masleyassociates.com https://masleyassociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/orange_county_logo_print_horz2-512x512-54f95421v1_site_icon-32x32.png Computer Repair Service Orange County CA (714)975-3656 32 32 Gov. Brown blocks parole for former Mexican Mafia boss-turned-snitch – OCRegister https://masleyassociates.com/gov-brown-blocks-parole-for-former-mexican-mafia-boss-turned-snitch-ocregister-2/ https://masleyassociates.com/gov-brown-blocks-parole-for-former-mexican-mafia-boss-turned-snitch-ocregister-2/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:33:05 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/gov-brown-blocks-parole-for-former-mexican-mafia-boss-turned-snitch-ocregister-2/ Late Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown halted the scheduled parole of an ex-Mexican Mafia boss turned police informant, despite support for the informant from some prosecutors and police throughout California. Rene “Boxer” Enriquez, 52, who said in court that he has killed more people than he can remember, was scheduled to go free from an unknown […]

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Late Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown halted the scheduled parole of an ex-Mexican Mafia boss turned police informant, despite support for the informant from some prosecutors and police throughout California.

Rene “Boxer” Enriquez, 52, who said in court that he has killed more people than he can remember, was scheduled to go free from an unknown federal lockup at midnight Sunday.

“When considered as a whole, I find the evidence shows that he currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison,” Brown said in his order. “Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Enriquez.”

Enriquez was granted parole in September after board members heard evidence that included a letter from Orange County Deputy District Attorney Erik Petersen, detailing Enriquez’ help as an informant in a major case against the Mexican Mafia, and a letter of support from an unnamed police official in Anaheim.

Enriquez is currently serving three concurrent life terms for two counts of second degree murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

The surviving children of murder victim Cynthia Galvadon were among those who recently urged the governor to keep Enriquez in prison. Enriquez ordered their mother’s murder in 1989.

“I felt defeated and now I feel victorious, not personally, but that the right thing happened for all the victims and all the families,“ Galvadon’s son said Friday night. He requested that the Register withold his name out of fear for his safety.

“I’m just relieved and happy really. I feel grateful to the governor’s office for doing what’s right,” he said, adding that he first learned of the possibility of Enriquez going free from news reports.

“People change but that doesn’t erase what you did and the people’s lives you affected,” he said.

Galvadon’s murder is described in the best-selling biography, “The Black Hand,” about Enriquez’s rise in the Mexican Mafia and transition to police informant. Galvadon’s daughter said she didn’t know why her mother died until reading the book.

In 1993, Enriquez was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Galvadon and David Gallegos, a gang member provided a fatal dose of heroin. The Mexican Mafia allegedly ordered a hit on Gallegos as punishment for fleeing from a fight.

Enriquez committed both murders while on parole following his first release from state prison, in 1988.

Brown’s statement detailing his decision Friday highlights some of why Enriquez has gained the support of some in law enforcment.

“At great risk to his own safety, he has provided officials with valuable information about the inner workings of the Mexican Mafia. Mr. Enriquez has testified as an expert at multiple criminal trials, served as an informant for law enforcement gang investigations, and delivered informational presentations about gang activity to various law enforcement agencies. He participated in at-risk youth outreach programs. I commend Mr. Enriquez for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.”

Enriquez also has lectured, via computer, at UC Irvine and written or co-written at least two books.

He has said he changed his thinking about the Mexican Mafia after seeing a “60 Minutes” episode in 2002 that detailed gang killings of children.

But other elements of Brown’s letter offer insight into why Enriquez remains in prison

“Rene “Boxer” Enriquez joined the Mexican Mafia in 1985 while serving prison terms for armed robbery and forcible rape. He became a leader in the organization and helped establish a hierarchy that gave gang leaders authority over and profits from drug dealers and gang members in the community. While on parole in 1989, Mr. Enriquez suspected that one of his subordinate drug dealers, Cynthia Galvadon, was shorting buyers by keeping drugs for herself. To set an example, Mr. Enriquez gave an associate a gun and ordered him to kill Ms. Galvadon. On December 23, 1989, Ms. Galvadon was driven to a secluded area and shot once in the head and once in the chest, killing her.

On December 30, 1989, Mr. Enriquez carried out a contract hit on David “Pelon” Gallegos, a disfavored Mexican Mafia member…”

Galvadon’s son, who has two children of his own, said: “People change but that doesn’t erase what you did and the people’s lives you affected.”

Enriquez began working with law enforcement as an informant in 2002, including on Orange County cases, and said previously that he would continue that partnership after his release. He was expected to live under the federal witness protection program.

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Gov. Brown blocks parole for former Mexican Mafia boss-turned-snitch – OCRegister https://masleyassociates.com/gov-brown-blocks-parole-for-former-mexican-mafia-boss-turned-snitch-ocregister/ https://masleyassociates.com/gov-brown-blocks-parole-for-former-mexican-mafia-boss-turned-snitch-ocregister/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:33:01 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/gov-brown-blocks-parole-for-former-mexican-mafia-boss-turned-snitch-ocregister/ Late Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown halted the scheduled parole of an ex-Mexican Mafia boss turned police informant, despite support for the informant from some prosecutors and police throughout California. Rene “Boxer” Enriquez, 52, who said in court that he has killed more people than he can remember, was scheduled to go free from an unknown […]

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Late Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown halted the scheduled parole of an ex-Mexican Mafia boss turned police informant, despite support for the informant from some prosecutors and police throughout California.

Rene “Boxer” Enriquez, 52, who said in court that he has killed more people than he can remember, was scheduled to go free from an unknown federal lockup at midnight Sunday.

“When considered as a whole, I find the evidence shows that he currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison,” Brown said in his order. “Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Mr. Enriquez.”

Enriquez was granted parole in September after board members heard evidence that included a letter from Orange County Deputy District Attorney Erik Petersen, detailing Enriquez’ help as an informant in a major case against the Mexican Mafia, and a letter of support from an unnamed police official in Anaheim.

Enriquez is currently serving three concurrent life terms for two counts of second degree murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

The surviving children of murder victim Cynthia Galvadon were among those who recently urged the governor to keep Enriquez in prison. Enriquez ordered their mother’s murder in 1989.

“I felt defeated and now I feel victorious, not personally, but that the right thing happened for all the victims and all the families,“ Galvadon’s son said Friday night. He requested that the Register withold his name out of fear for his safety.

“I’m just relieved and happy really. I feel grateful to the governor’s office for doing what’s right,” he said, adding that he first learned of the possibility of Enriquez going free from news reports.

“People change but that doesn’t erase what you did and the people’s lives you affected,” he said.

Galvadon’s murder is described in the best-selling biography, “The Black Hand,” about Enriquez’s rise in the Mexican Mafia and transition to police informant. Galvadon’s daughter said she didn’t know why her mother died until reading the book.

In 1993, Enriquez was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Galvadon and David Gallegos, a gang member provided a fatal dose of heroin. The Mexican Mafia allegedly ordered a hit on Gallegos as punishment for fleeing from a fight.

Enriquez committed both murders while on parole following his first release from state prison, in 1988.

Brown’s statement detailing his decision Friday highlights some of why Enriquez has gained the support of some in law enforcment.

“At great risk to his own safety, he has provided officials with valuable information about the inner workings of the Mexican Mafia. Mr. Enriquez has testified as an expert at multiple criminal trials, served as an informant for law enforcement gang investigations, and delivered informational presentations about gang activity to various law enforcement agencies. He participated in at-risk youth outreach programs. I commend Mr. Enriquez for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.”

Enriquez also has lectured, via computer, at UC Irvine and written or co-written at least two books.

He has said he changed his thinking about the Mexican Mafia after seeing a “60 Minutes” episode in 2002 that detailed gang killings of children.

But other elements of Brown’s letter offer insight into why Enriquez remains in prison

“Rene “Boxer” Enriquez joined the Mexican Mafia in 1985 while serving prison terms for armed robbery and forcible rape. He became a leader in the organization and helped establish a hierarchy that gave gang leaders authority over and profits from drug dealers and gang members in the community. While on parole in 1989, Mr. Enriquez suspected that one of his subordinate drug dealers, Cynthia Galvadon, was shorting buyers by keeping drugs for herself. To set an example, Mr. Enriquez gave an associate a gun and ordered him to kill Ms. Galvadon. On December 23, 1989, Ms. Galvadon was driven to a secluded area and shot once in the head and once in the chest, killing her.

On December 30, 1989, Mr. Enriquez carried out a contract hit on David “Pelon” Gallegos, a disfavored Mexican Mafia member…”

Galvadon’s son, who has two children of his own, said: “People change but that doesn’t erase what you did and the people’s lives you affected.”

Enriquez began working with law enforcement as an informant in 2002, including on Orange County cases, and said previously that he would continue that partnership after his release. He was expected to live under the federal witness protection program.

        <!--googleoff: all-->

Source

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Registration opens for ISA’s 60th Analysis Division Symposium – InTech https://masleyassociates.com/registration-opens-for-isas-60th-analysis-division-symposium-intech/ https://masleyassociates.com/registration-opens-for-isas-60th-analysis-division-symposium-intech/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 05:32:58 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/registration-opens-for-isas-60th-analysis-division-symposium-intech/ <span> <h2> <i>The resource cannot be found.</i> </h2></span> <span> <b> Description: </b>HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. &nbsp;Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly. <p><b> Requested URL: </b>/news-and-press-releases/latest-automation-news/registration-opens-for-isa&acirc;&euro;&trade;s-60th-analysis-division-symposium/</p><hr width="100%" size="1"/><b>Version […]

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<span> <h2> <i>The resource cannot be found.</i> </h2></span> <span> <b> Description: </b>HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. &nbsp;Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly. <p><b> Requested URL: </b>/news-and-press-releases/latest-automation-news/registration-opens-for-isa&acirc;&euro;&trade;s-60th-analysis-division-symposium/</p><hr width="100%" size="1"/><b>Version Information:</b>&nbsp;Microsoft .NET Framework Version:4.0.30319; ASP.NET Version:4.0.30319.18446 </span>

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Obamacare: Medi-Cal a waiting game for many low-income Californians – San Jose Mercury News https://masleyassociates.com/obamacare-medi-cal-a-waiting-game-for-many-low-income-californians-san-jose-mercury-news/ https://masleyassociates.com/obamacare-medi-cal-a-waiting-game-for-many-low-income-californians-san-jose-mercury-news/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 04:32:55 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/obamacare-medi-cal-a-waiting-game-for-many-low-income-californians-san-jose-mercury-news/ Click photo to enlarge Julie Moreno is photographed in her Mountain View home on Dec. 23, 2014. She is upset with Medi-Cal because she could not get cataract surgery scheduled in a timely way, so she shelled out $14,000 of her own money to get it done. Julie Moreno felt lucky to be among more […]

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Click photo to enlarge

Julie Moreno is photographed in her Mountain View home on Dec. 23, 2014. She is upset with Medi-Cal because she could not get cataract surgery scheduled in a timely way, so she shelled out $14,000 of her own money to get it done.

Julie Moreno felt lucky to be among more than 2.7 million previously uninsured Californians to be added to Medi-Cal, the state’s health care program for the poor.

Until she needed cataract surgery.

For three months after her November 2013 diagnosis, the 49-year-old Mountain View resident said, she tried to get an appointment, but each time she called, no slots were available. Desperate and worried, she finally borrowed $14,000 from her boyfriend’s mother to have the procedure done elsewhere last February.

One year into the explosive, health law-induced growth of Medi-Cal, it appears one of the most alarming predictions of critics is coming true: The supply of doctors hasn’t kept up with demand. One recent study suggests the number of primary care doctors in California per Medi-Cal patient is woefully below federal guidelines.

“If you’re pregnant, you get help,” Moreno said. “But if you’re 49 and not pregnant, you have to wait for everything.”

In fact, seven months after Moreno’s surgery, her original surgeon’s office called just to say they still couldn’t fit her in.

At least 1.2 million Californians have signed up for a private insurance plan since enrollment began in October 2013 under the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. But it’s Medi-Cal that has witnessed the largest growth — 2.7 million since the controversial law opened the program up to many more recipients in January 2014.

By mid-2016, more than 12.2 million people — nearly a third of all Californians — will be on Medi-Cal, state health officials say.

Those officials continue to insist that the current delays to see a doctor and crowded emergency rooms are all part of to-be-expected growing pains. But many experts say the problems are so widespread they shouldn’t be ignored.

“California did a good job of getting people signed up, but they basically stuck their heads in the sand and assumed that California physicians would just jump right on board and want to take more Medi-Cal patients,” said Dr. Del Morris, president of the California Academy of Family Physicians, which represents many of the first-line doctors who treat Medi-Cal patients. “It’s unacceptable to say, ‘We are not ready for you yet, you’ll just have to suffer with your disease.'”

Morris and other experts say the situation is about to get worse, in part because of Medi-Cal’s health care reimbursement rates.

For years, the rates paid by Medi-Cal — called Medicaid in the rest of the country — have been among the nation’s lowest. A provision of Obamacare hiked the rates for primary care doctors to the substantially higher Medicare rates for two years, but those increases ended on Dec. 31. A second blow came last month when the state cut the Medi-Cal reimbursement rate by another 10 percent, a reduction approved by California lawmakers in 2011 but delayed in a court battle that doctors ultimately lost.

Even before the latest cuts, Medi-Cal doctors — particularly specialists — in California’s rural areas often seemed nearly impossible to find. And the shortage of Medi-Cal physicians appears to be causing spikes in the number of Medi-Cal patients being treated in hospital emergency rooms around the state. Data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development show that in the first three quarters of 2014, “treat and release” visits to emergency rooms by Medi-Cal patients jumped 30 percent from the same period the year before.

At least once a week at the MayView Community Health Center in Mountain View, the clinic is so swamped that it is forced to send Medi-Cal patients to hospital emergency rooms “because they cannot go anywhere else,” clinic operations director Harsha Mehta said.

Since January 2014, Axis Community Health in Pleasanton has added about 1,700 new Medi-Cal patients to its five facilities that serve the Tri-Valley area, bringing the total to about 14,000. While 700 of those patients were already being treated at Axis before they enrolled in Medi-Cal, the overall jump in new patients is forcing Dr. Divya Raj, Axis’ medical director, to hire more hard-to-find doctors.

A recent report by the California HealthCare Foundation that tried to determine if the state has enough doctors to handle the influx of Medi-Cal patients reinforces Raj’s trepidation.

The report found the ratio of patients to full-time primary care doctors participating in Medi-Cal — including family medicine physicians, general internists, pediatricians and ob/gyns — was 35 to 49 physicians per 100,000 enrollees, well below the federal guidelines of 60 to 80.

“We had a shortage of primary care doctors before this flood (of Medi-Cal enrollees) came about,” said Dr. Steven Harrison, a veteran primary care doctor who directs a residency program for such physicians at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas. “Now we have a dire shortage.”

The report, however, did say the access to specialists participating in Medi-Cal met federal guidelines.

Some health care industry players argue that Medi-Cal is simply undergoing a shakeout period and will get better over time.

“There’s a lot of talk about physician shortages in California, and I don’t buy it,” said Bill Barcellona, vice president of the California Association of Physician Groups. “We have plenty of doctors — in fact, we have an oversupply of specialists in many areas, like the coastal areas.”

While acknowledging that California has “very low” Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, Gov. Jerry Brown last year told this newspaper that the state’s Medi-Cal costs had increased by $2.5 billion in an 18-month period — to more than $30 billion in the current fiscal year.

“Will the doctors be there?” Brown asked. “We are watching that very carefully. But it’s hard to come up with more providers, I have to tell you that.”

The California Department of Health Care Services, which oversees the Medi-Cal program, says there are 84,628 fee-for-service physicians enrolled in Medi-Cal, 44,538 of whom have a specialty. The total number represents about 80 percent of the state’s 106,284 licensed and practicing doctors.

Morris, however, calls those numbers “laughable” because the state’s list includes any doctor who has seen at least one Medi-Cal patient in the last year.

Mari Cantwell, chief deputy director of the department, said officials are not aware of significant access problems and that “we are continually monitoring access to ensure members are able to receive care.” Should problems arise, she said, the department can increase reimbursement rates in certain geographical areas.

Cantwell also said she believes that moving more Medi-Cal enrollees into managed care — as opposed to traditional fee-for-service plans –will reduce access problems. Eighty percent of Medi-Cal enrollees are now in managed care.

Not every patient is unhappy. Ron Correll, 48, a Pleasanton tutor who has been on Medi-Cal for a few years, said he isn’t too bothered by the long waits at the Axis clinic. It still takes him awhile to get regular appointments, he said, but he’s got a good primary care doctor he likes, so he’s flexible about the wait times. And even with the delays, Correll said, echoing a widespread sentiment: “It’s still better than having no insurance.”

Maria Johnson, a new Medi-Cal enrollee, is far less sanguine. After blood started showing up in her urine in June, it took a series of appointments until she was diagnosed with bladder cancer in early October. Johnson was frantic the cancer was spreading as she waited six weeks more to have her tumor removed.

“It seemed like they were playing Russian roulette with my life,” said the unemployed Santa Clara resident, who is in her late 50s. “I’d like to ask my doctor: ‘If it were your mother, or your wife, or your daughter, would you have made them wait that long for surgery?'”

This article was produced in conjunction with the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Contact Tracy Seipel at 408-920-5343. Follow her at Twitter.com/taseipel.

MEDI-CAL INCOME LEVEL

You may qualify for Medi-Cal coverage if your annual household income is at or below:
$16,243 for 1 person
$21,983 for 2 people
$27,724 for 3 people
$33,465 for 4 people
$39,206 for 5 people
$44,497 for 6 people

Source: HealthCare.gov

Government health care BY THE NUMBERS

California population: 38.3 million
Medi-Cal enrollees: 12 million, including 2.2 million enrolled through the Affordable Care Act’s expanded Medicaid provision.
Medicare enrollees: 5 million
Source: Bay Area News Group reporting


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California parks: New funding, better accountability needed to stop decline … – San Jose Mercury News https://masleyassociates.com/california-parks-new-funding-better-accountability-needed-to-stop-decline-san-jose-mercury-news/ https://masleyassociates.com/california-parks-new-funding-better-accountability-needed-to-stop-decline-san-jose-mercury-news/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 03:32:51 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/california-parks-new-funding-better-accountability-needed-to-stop-decline-san-jose-mercury-news/ Fog rolls in cooling temperatures as the day comes to an end as seen from Northgate Road at Mount Diablo State Park in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group) ( SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD ) California’s venerable state parks — from sunny Los Angeles beaches to towering redwoods […]

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Fog rolls in cooling temperatures as the day comes to an end as seen from Northgate Road at Mount Diablo State Park in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Wednesday,
Fog rolls in cooling temperatures as the day comes to an end as seen from Northgate Road at Mount Diablo State Park in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)
(
SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD
)
California’s venerable state parks — from sunny Los Angeles beaches to towering redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains — are under “serious stress” and suffering from declining budgets, shorter hours, higher fees, a $1.3 billion maintenance backlog and outdated technology.

That’s the conclusion of a new report scheduled for release Friday by a blue-ribbon state commission made up of business leaders, government officials and park experts.

The California Parks Forward Commission says the parks system can be fixed but that a dedicated source of new funding must be found. But first, the state parks department has to rebuild public confidence three years after Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger before him threatened to close dozens of parks to save money — and former parks director Ruth Coleman resigned after auditors found her staff had not reported millions of dollars sitting in accounts to state finance officials.

One of the many hiking trails at Butano State Park near Pescadero, Calif., Friday, June 13, 2014. The Bay Area boasts an abundance of glorious hiking

One of the many hiking trails at Butano State Park near Pescadero, Calif., Friday, June 13, 2014. The Bay Area boasts an abundance of glorious hiking trails and the perfect weather to enjoy them. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)
(
Patrick Tehan
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“It’s extremely important to have sustainable funding,” said Dr. Stephen Lockhart, chief medical officer for Sutter Health and one of the 12 commissioners who worked 18 months on the recommendations.

“But we’re trying to rebuild trust and transparency with the public first. We feel the responsible approach is to go in and do the hard work and then come back and say this is what we need.”

The commission, created by a law Brown signed in 2012, was intended to set new direction for the beloved — but increasingly troubled — system of 279 parks spread over 1.6 million acres. The system includes everything from Lake Tahoe shoreline to Hearst Castle to Sutter’s Mill, where the Gold Rush began in 1848.

Its key recommendations:

  • Establishing a new permanent funding source so parks are not reliant on the ups and downs of the state general fund. In the late 1970s, before Proposition 13 limited property-tax increases, 90 percent of the parks budget came from the general fund. This year, only 24 percent — $124 million of the $502 million budget — came from the general fund. That shift has meant relentless increases in camping fees and entrance fees, while subjecting hikers, campers and other parks users to closures and crumbling facilities during years when money is extra tight.
  • The report did not choose a funding source. But a consulting firm working with the commission issued a report last March that identified six potential sources used in other states. They include a vehicle license fee, such as the $6 fee that funds Montana state parks, or a sales tax increase, such as the eighth-of-a-cent tax that funds Arkansas parks, or a possible hotel tax or other fee. New taxes could prove difficult, however, and would require a two-thirds vote by state lawmakers or voters. In 2010, voters rejected Proposition 21, which would have imposed an annual $18 surcharge on vehicle licenses to raise $500 million a year for state parks, doubling the agency’s budget.
  • Working harder to hire Latinos and members of other ethnic groups as rangers and parks managers, as well as improving dramatically outreach to diverse communities to build public support as the state’s demographics change.
  • Modernizing parks so that all parks take credit cards and ATM cards, in addition to using interactive websites and other digital tools to show people the wonders of the parks, particularly young people.
  • Creating a new statewide nonprofit group, called “Parks California,” to raise millions of dollars from foundations and individual donors to fund parks projects, similar to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy or the Central Park Conservancy.

    John Laird, California’s resources secretary, said he agrees with the commission’s conclusions and already has put in place a 15-member team to prioritize them.

    “The parks department bottomed out in the middle of 2012,” Laird said. “We went through a number of audits and investigations and changes of leadership. We have turned the corner, but we have to re-establish the confidence of the public. We have a department that has been operating for a century. It’s always helpful to have renewal.”

    Republicans who have seen the report say they agree that the department needs to be reorganized and more accountable. Until recently, for example, the state parks department could not tell lawmakers or donors how much it cost to operate each individual parks unit.

    “We need to fix the bureaucracy once and for all inside state parks so that they can use outside funding and foundation monies to keep our parks open, protect the parks we have and expand into urban areas,” said Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Redding, vice chairman of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

    The parks commission making the recommendations includes such leaders as Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium; former Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton; and Lance Conn, former president of Vulcan Capital, the company that runs Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s business and philanthropic affairs.

    The effort was bankrolled largely by the Packard, Bechtel, Hewlett, Moore and Irvine foundations, which are expected to step up efforts at private fundraising.

    Tax activists say they’ll fight any new tax proposal.

    “State parks are a jewel. They are popular, as they should be,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “We should make them a higher priority.”

    But Coupal said that means cutting money from other parts of the state budget, such as high-speed rail or public employee pensions.

    “We have the highest income tax rate in America. We have the highest sales tax rate,” he said. “We have the highest gas tax rate. It never seems to be enough. The pension obligations are crowding out all other areas of public spending. Until we get a handle on those pension obligations, we shouldn’t be talking about more taxes.”

    Paul Rogers covers resources and environmental issues. Contact him at 408-920-5045. Follow him at Twitter.com/PaulRogersSJMN

    FIXING STATE PARKS

    To fix California’s state parks system the California Parks Forward Commission recommends:
    Finding a dedicated funding source, which could be a sales tax, vehicle fee or other tax to restore and run parks, beaches and historic sites.
    Modernizing facilities to allow for ATM and credit cards, newer cabins and other changes.
    Reaching out to Latinos and other ethnic groups to visit parks and work as rangers and managers.
    Reforming state parks’ accounting systems for better accountability
    Creating a statewide nonprofit group to raise millions in private funding.

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    Record Otay pot bust: 15 tons, $19M value – U-T San Diego https://masleyassociates.com/record-otay-pot-bust-15-tons-19m-value-u-t-san-diego/ https://masleyassociates.com/record-otay-pot-bust-15-tons-19m-value-u-t-san-diego/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 02:32:54 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/record-otay-pot-bust-15-tons-19m-value-u-t-san-diego/ OTAY MESA — In what was described as a “very risky” drug-smuggling attempt, more than 15 tons of marijuana stacked in bundles was seized from a tractor-trailer at the Otay Mesa border crossing. Federal officials said Friday it was the largest seizure ever at the port and the second-largest at any crossing in the country. […]

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    OTAY MESA — In what was described as a “very risky” drug-smuggling attempt, more than 15 tons of marijuana stacked in bundles was seized from a tractor-trailer at the Otay Mesa border crossing. Federal officials said Friday it was the largest seizure ever at the port and the second-largest at any crossing in the country.

    The driver, a 46-year-old Mexican citizen, was alone in the cab when he drove into the commercial port about 6 p.m. Thursday, according to a federal charging complaint. His shipment was labeled as mattresses and cushions.

    The smuggling attempt is suspected of being tied to a drug cartel in Mexico, said Lauren Mack, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. More commonly, drug smugglers would try other means, such as border tunnels, to try to move such a large shipment, Mack said.

    Attempting to smuggle tons of marijuana in a truck through the busy Otay commercial port is “definitely very risky,” Mack said.

    In the ongoing “cat-and-mouse” game that smugglers play to try to outsmart law enforcement, they are always trying new tactics, she said. In this case, “obviously they felt confident they were going to succeed,” she said. During an X-ray examination, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials identified an undisclosed “anomaly” in the trailer and the truck was sent to a dock, according to a statement sent by Customs and Border Patrol spokeswoman Jackie Wasiluk.

    Agents asked the driver, identified as Martin Martinez-Penaflor, to cut the seal of the trailer and open the doors. Asked what he was carrying, according to the complaint, he replied, “mattresses.”

    As the doors opened, officers saw stacks of plastic-wrapped packages.

    “Almost the entire trailer was filled with those packages from floor to ceiling, front to back, although there were a few mattresses stacked along the wall at the opposite end of the trailer from the doors,” the statement said.

    In all, there were nearly 1,300 packages. They weighed a total of nearly 32,000 pounds, much larger than the previous record seizure at the Otay port in 2003 of 19,999 pounds of marijuana, officials said.

    Customs and Border Protection officials could not be reached for further details.

    The amount came close to the record for the largest seizure ever at a border crossing in the United States. That was in Imperial County in July 2013, when 35,265 pounds of marijuana was seized at the Calexico East Port of Entry, officials said.

    In that smuggling attempt, the marijuana was hidden from view in a tractor-trailer that was said to be carrying computer monitors. Customs and Border Protection officers found 2,471 packages of marijuana inside cardboard boxes behind pallets of computer parts.

    Officials said at the time that the seizure dealt a significant blow to the drug-trafficking organizations operating in the region.

    Martinez-Penaflor was booked into the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown San Diego and made an initial court appearance on Friday. He told authorities that he knew the trailer contained drugs, and said he was offered $50,000 to smuggle the marijuana the 150 miles from Tijuana to Burbank, according to the complaint.
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    Theater shooting defendant is quiet as jury selection nears – WANE https://masleyassociates.com/theater-shooting-defendant-is-quiet-as-jury-selection-nears-wane/ https://masleyassociates.com/theater-shooting-defendant-is-quiet-as-jury-selection-nears-wane/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 01:32:52 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/theater-shooting-defendant-is-quiet-as-jury-selection-nears-wane/ Photo of James Holmes courtesy the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office / MGN CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Theater shooting defendant James Holmes sat quietly and rocked slightly back and forth in his chair in court on Tuesday just hours before the start of the arduous process of choosing a jury to decide whether he was sane […]

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    Photo of James Holmes  courtesy the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office / MGN


    Photo of James Holmes courtesy the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office / MGN

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Theater shooting defendant James Holmes sat quietly and rocked slightly back and forth in his chair in court on Tuesday just hours before the start of the arduous process of choosing a jury to decide whether he was sane when he opened fire in a packed Colorado movie theater.

    In public for the first time since the 2012 shooting, Holmes was dressed in civilian clothes with no visible restraints, though the judge had ordered him to be tethered to the floor in a way the public couldn’t see for the trial.

    His dark hair was neatly trimmed, and he had a medium-length curly beard and wore oval-shaped reddish glasses.

    His appearance was in contrast to earlier court hearings where he wore jail uniforms and occasionally had wild orange hair and wide eyes.

    An unprecedented jury pool of 9,000 people has been summoned and will be winnowed to a handful in the weeks ahead to hear the death penalty trial that could last until October.

    Jury selection was set to begin later in the day. Its scope and that of the trial are testaments to the logistical hurdles of trying the rare case of a mass shooter who survives his attack.

    “The public is going to get an insight into the mind of a killer who says he doesn’t know right from wrong,” said Alan Tuerkheimer, a Chicago-based jury consultant. “It is really rare. It just doesn’t usually come to this.”

    In the 2 1/2 years since the shooting, the case has sparked an emotionally charged debate, with Holmes’ parents begging for a plea deal that would save his life while many survivors and family members of victims have demanded that he be put to death.

    Twelve people died and 70 were injured in the attack during a midnight showing of a new Batman movie. Holmes, 27, was arrested as he stripped off his combat gear in the parking lot of the Century 16 movie theater.

    He later pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

    If jurors find him guilty, they must then decide whether to recommend the death penalty. If Holmes is found not guilty, he would be committed indefinitely to the state mental hospital.

    Defense attorneys acknowledge Holmes was the gunman in the July 20, 2012, attack but say he was in the grip of a psychotic episode at the time.

    Under Colorado law, defendants are not legally liable for their acts if their minds are so “diseased” that they cannot distinguish right from wrong. Part of the reason the case has dragged on so long is the battle over whether that standard applies to Holmes.

    Few details on those arguments have been made public. Prosecutors and defense attorneys remain under a long-running gag order, and court documents detailing the issue have stayed under seal.

    Holmes’ sanity was evaluated by a state psychiatrist but the results were not made public. Prosecutors objected to the findings and persuaded a judge to order a second evaluation. Those results were contested by the defense.

    Prosecutors previously rejected at least one proposed plea deal made by attorneys for Holmes, criticizing the lawyers for publicizing the offer and calling it a ploy meant to draw the public and the judge into what should be private plea negotiations.

    Survivors of the attack and family members of victims have had a long time to get ready for a trial.

    “We’ve all been to therapists and have talked to our families and have our support groups, so we’re prepared,” said Marcus Weaver, who was shot in the arm and whose friend, Rebecca Wingo, died in the attack. “It’s gonna be quite the journey.”

    It could take until June to find the jurors and alternates who were not biased by the widespread news coverage of the shooting. Equally challenging will be finding jurors who were not personally affected by the attack.

    Judge Carlos Samour called nearly nine times as many prospective jurors as were summoned in the ongoing Boston marathon bombing trial. That meant the county’s 600,000 residents had a nearly one-in-50 chance of being selected.

    Among those summoned were 13 people who were either witnesses to the attack or have family members who work in the prosecutor’s office. They were quickly excused.

    During the selection process, Holmes’ attorneys will focus on picking jurors who are morally opposed to capital punishment, even as prosecutors fight to ensure those on the panel are “death-penalty eligible,” meaning they would be open to executing Holmes.

    “Because of the heinous nature of the crime and the number of victims, I can see people who would say, ‘In most instances I could not support the death penalty, and in this case, I can.’” said Joseph Rice, managing partner of the Jury Research Institute, a California-based trial consulting firm.

    Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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    Laverne Cox, Rainn Wilson to speak at BSU – Muncie Star Press https://masleyassociates.com/laverne-cox-rainn-wilson-to-speak-at-bsu-muncie-star-press/ https://masleyassociates.com/laverne-cox-rainn-wilson-to-speak-at-bsu-muncie-star-press/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2015 00:32:54 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/laverne-cox-rainn-wilson-to-speak-at-bsu-muncie-star-press/ The Star Press 3:58 p.m. EST February 4, 2015 Rainn Wilson(Photo: Photo provided) MUNCIE – Laverne Cox and Rainn Wilson, two rising stars in television and movies, will visit Ball State University in the coming weeks as part of the Excellence in Leadership (EIL) Speaker Series. Cox, a transgender advocate and actor who portrays Sophia […]

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    The Star Press
    3:58 p.m. EST February 4, 2015

    MUNCIE – Laverne Cox and Rainn Wilson, two rising stars in television and movies, will visit Ball State University in the coming weeks as part of the Excellence in Leadership (EIL) Speaker Series.

    Cox, a transgender advocate and actor who portrays Sophia in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” will present “Ain’t I a Woman: My Journey to Womanhood” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23, in Emens Auditorium.

    Wilson, best known for his role of Dwight Schrute on “The Office,” will discuss “SoulPancake: Chew on Life’s Big Questions” at 7:30 p.m. March 16 in Emens. Both presentations are free and open to the public.

    In the role of Sophia Burset, Cox is the first transgender woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. Time Magazine named Sophia Burset the fourth most influential fictional character of 2013. Cox is also a recipient of the Dorian Rising Star award for her work in “Orange is the New Black.” A renowned speaker, Cox has taken her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country.

    Wilson starred in “The Office,” the long-running, award-winning NBC comedy series. Over run of the show, he earned three Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Dwight Schrute, an eccentric paper salesman whose ego knows no bounds.

    In 2008, Wilson and two of his friends created the program SoulPancake to create a space where people from all walks of life could discuss and question what it means to be human — a place to wrestle with the spiritual, philosophical and creative journey that is life.

    SoulPancake spans multiple distribution channels, from web to print to video to live events. In 2010, the SoulPancake book, “SoulPancake: Chew on Life’s Big Questions,” was released with thought-provoking messages, bold questions and mind-bending art.

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    Area roundup – Muncie Star Press https://masleyassociates.com/area-roundup-muncie-star-press/ https://masleyassociates.com/area-roundup-muncie-star-press/#respond Mon, 30 Mar 2015 23:32:54 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/area-roundup-muncie-star-press/ <!–<!–<!– Subscribe today for full access on your desktop, tablet, and mobile device.Subscribe Now Share This Story! Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about Area roundup Candidate meet-and-greet and Amish breakfast Post to Facebook Try Another Audio CAPTCHA Image CAPTCHA Help {# #} CancelSend Sent! A link has been sent […]

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    The Star Press
    6:45 p.m. EST February 11, 2015

    Candidate meet-and-greet

    MUNCIE – A meet-and-greet for Richard M. Ivy, candidate for Muncie City Council District 6, will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at Price Hall, 704 S. Madison St.

    Amish breakfast, auction

    MOORELAND – An Amish breakfast and auction on Saturday at the Mooreland Community Center will benefit the Mooreland School.

    Breakfast will be served 8 a.m.-noon and will include scrambled eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, orange juice and coffee. The auction will be after breakfast.

    Information: Alvin Schwartz, (765) 238-7757; Benjamin Schwartz, (765) 766-5830, or Walter Schmidt, (765) 774-3056.

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    Muncie getting new Mexican and Asian restaurant, yogurt shop – Muncie Star Press https://masleyassociates.com/muncie-getting-new-mexican-and-asian-restaurant-yogurt-shop-muncie-star-press/ https://masleyassociates.com/muncie-getting-new-mexican-and-asian-restaurant-yogurt-shop-muncie-star-press/#respond Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:33:04 +0000 https://masleyassociates.com/muncie-getting-new-mexican-and-asian-restaurant-yogurt-shop-muncie-star-press/ The owner of Puerta al Paraiso hopes to open his new Mexican restaurant in March at Village Promenade near Ball State University.(Photo: Keith Roysdon / The Star Press) MUNCIE – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A new Mexican restaurant, a new Asian restaurant and a new frozen yogurt shop open in Muncie […]

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    MUNCIE – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A new Mexican restaurant, a new Asian restaurant and a new frozen yogurt shop open in Muncie or make plans to.

    The city continues to be a prime location for types of eateries that have long prospered here. In each of these cases, the new restaurant promises to bring something better or innovative to a market that’s seen substantial development in recent years.

    Two of the three are close to opening in a new commercial development near Ball State University while the third has already opened along Tillotson Avenue.

    The largest of the three, Puerta al Paraiso, could open in mid-March in the eastern-most Village Promenade building along University Avenue.

    “The plan is to open in 45 days,” Daniel Martinez-Steinberger, co-owner of Puerta al Paraiso, told The Star Press on Thursday.

    Construction is continuing at the restaurant, which will occupy the entire ground-floor storefront of the east building.

    Martinez-Steinberger, who is originally from Honduras, is partners in Puerta al Paraiso with his grandsons, Hugo and Ricardo Garcia, who plan to graduate this year from Ball State University. Another partner is Maria Escamilla.

    The partners emphasize that the new restaurant is not a spin-off of Muncie’s long-established Puerto Vallarta restaurants, although Escamilla’s husband is a principal in that operation and Ricardo Garcia formerly worked at Puerto Vallarto and continues to operate the Puerta food truck.

    “We’re not affiliated with Puerto,” Martinez-Steinberger said.

    Puerta al Paraiso will serve a family customer base until late in the evening when the restaurant will try to appeal to Ball State students, he said.

    “That’s one of our principal targets for evenings and nights,” Martinez-Steinberger said, adding that Paraiso will serve beer and wine until it can get a three-way alcoholic beverage license that also allows liquor sales.

    At more than 3,000 square feet in size, the new restaurant will offer a substantial dining room, and outdoor seating will also be offered in spring, summer and fall, he said.

    A block further west on University Avenue, work continues on Let’s Spoon Frozen Yogurt, which will open soon in the west Village Promenade building.

    “I’m shooting for Valentine’s Day-ish right now,” Trake Carpenter, local franchise owner of the South Bend-based Let’s Spoon.

    Muncie has Berry Winkle and a Orange Leaf franchise, but they’re widely separated from the near-campus location of Let’s Spoon. Carpenter said his yogurt shop will offer the elements that are standard in the industry now, including several frozen yogurt flavors and “several dozen” toppings.

    A couple of storefronts remain at Village Promenade, which opened last fall with more than 200 apartments upstairs and a Brothers sports bar downstairs. Developers hope to put a pizza place and small grocery store in the remaining spots.

    And on Tillotson Avenue on Muncie’s west side, a new Asian restaurant has opened. Dumpling House shares a space with Asian Market, a grocery store that opened with the same ownership two years ago in the 400 block of South Tillotson.

    Pingping Zhang, daughter of owner Zirong Zhang, said the restaurant will serve authentic Chinese and Americanized Chinese dishes for eat-in or carry-out.

    She said her family opened the restaurant on Jan. 20 “because there’s no real Chinese food in Muncie.”

    In other Muncie restaurant news, the sign at McAlister’s Deli went up in recent days. The restaurant, in the Muncie Marketplace shopping center along McGalliard Road, has been tentatively scheduled to open in March.

    Contact Keith Roysdon at 765-213-5828 and follow him on Twitter: @keithroysdon

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