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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Kate's murder has Pleasanton in national news

Uploaded: Jul 16, 2015
Pleasanton has been in the national news since Kate Steinle was murdered on a San Francisco pier while she walked with her dad, Jim.

As some commenters on the Weekly's coverage have observed, where is the White House? That question is being asked lots on Fox News. Her murder coupled with Donald Trump's comments have put illegal immigration back in the headlines.

Why has the White House been silent when President Obama spoke out after the deaths of black men as a result of police action that sparked riots in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo.? An aside: the firing of former Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake --- as crime rates have soared was predictable—after all, she could not fire herself and she's the one who gave the free pass to rioters destroying property.

The president's silence is understandable—he has nothing to gain by speaking into a situation that demonstrates his policies are failing. The contrast is sharp—no comment or contact with the Steinle family, but he has the time to hand-write letters to felons serving time for drug offenses and the visit them in prison.

It's way past time to crack down on the so-called sanctuary cities. Why is it that some 300 jurisdictions across the country can thumb their noses at the federal government when it comes to immigration policy, but then expect same-sex marriage to be the law of the land?

It will be interested to see how far Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly's campaign for mandatory five-year sentences for repeat illegal immigrants will fare in Congress.

It's remarkable to contrast the violence in Ferguson and Baltimore with the calm of residents of Charlotte after nine Black people were murdered during their weekly Bible study in their church. A 21-year-old white man is charged with the murders and the FBI director has said there was a major error when he was allowed to buy a gun.

The families' willingness to forgive him during the first church appearance stands as a shining testament to God's grace and the call he has on his followers. Our natural human reaction would be to seek justice or revenge for such a senseless act that robbed nine people of their lives. They believed, as do I, that God has them firmly in His hand, but that does not replace them for friends and family.
Their willingness to forgive sent a powerful message to anyone who was paying attention.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by A Neighbor, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jul 16, 2015 at 6:03 pm

To suggest an answer to your question "Why has the White House been silent when President Obama spoke out after the deaths of black men as a result of police action that sparked riots in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo.?" Maybe it's because these two situations are apples and oranges.

There are no similarities whatsoever between the tragic death of Kate Steinle and those of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown, despite Fox News' efforts to the contrary. Attempting to publicly draw parallels between Kate's murder and these other events where no logical connection exists simply to further political agendas is shameful.

Additionally, suggesting this painful tragedy is proof that Obama's "policies are failing" again attempts to link factually unrelated issues without basis.

Apples and oranges, Tim.

Posted by Ennis, a resident of Pleasanton Valley,
on Jul 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm

May I ask a question, Tim? The entire community feels this loss and I can not imagine the emotions, anguish, and loss her family is experiencing now and for the remainder of their lives. It is one of those horrible, life-changing events that one never fully recovers from and I hope, with two children of my own, that I never, ever have to deal with this.

So, my question. With this event so fresh in the minds of our community, why do you think it's appropriate, as a local columnist, to publish an article that is nothing more than an attempt, a crude one at that, to make a political statement from this horrible tragedy? Honestly Tim, disgusting, totally inappropriate, and I can't begin to understand why you thought this was acceptable.

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 17, 2015 at 8:05 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


You're absolutely right, there are no similarities in the DEATHS Tim cited. However, you are mistaken in regards to the POLITICS.

The Administration has made it very clear in it's ACTIONS that a white American women who is murdered in cold blood by a illegal alien is not as important to defend as a African American man who committed strong armed robbery and was shot LEGALLY by a white police officer.

Who has the administration sent to San Francisco to investigate the parties responsible for this tragedy? Crickets.

Who did the administration send to investigate Ferguson and Baltimore? That's right, the DoJ.

Why? Politics, and the very worst of politics: Racial politics. <---right there is your basis, man.

Liberal democrat politicians, a wife abusing (and liberal democrat) sheriff, the administration, and a complicit legislature of democrats and select republicans are the blame here.

But let's not let facts get in the way of a good narrative, eh?

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 17, 2015 at 8:17 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


The liberal democrat politicians and sheriff turned this into politics with their back-stabbing and backpedaling.

The Obama administration made this political when they injected themselves into the Ferguson and Baltimore cases, but not in this case.

I think Tim has every right to ask the question. Maybe you and Neighbor could provide answers to his questions rather then trying to change the subject?

Racial politics suck. Liberal democrats LOVE racial politics!

Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:07 am

Good post by "A Neighbor" above. Apples and Oranges. The deaths of black men in Ferguson and Baltimore by police action - and we might add as well the death of that unarmed black man in South Carolina who was shot at least half a dozen times by an officer In the back - have nothing to do with the Karen Steinle case. In fact, I'm amazed what anyone would think that there are any strong parallels. What, do some people here think that if the President goes public with condemnations when a national news story reports that black person got killed (whatever the circumstances) that to balance things out he should also go public whenever the death of a white person hits national news?

The situations in Ferguson and Baltimore and South Carolina (both the shooting of the man in the back as well as the shooting of the eight blacks in the church) deserve special attention because they are possible "hate crimes". Hate crimes get special attention because they are an attack not just against the individuals involved but also against our multi-racial, multi-ethnic society. In fact, Dylann Roof, the church shooter, explicitly said that his goal was to start a "race war". He had nothing personal against those black people in the church. His real goal was to attack our society. That's why the case is being treated seriously by the FBI. That's why Obama flew down to South Carolina to deliver a eulogy.

The thought that this illegal immigrant recklessly handled a gun and killed Kate Steinle makes my blood boil, too. I hope that he gets locked away for a long, long time and that if he ever does get deported again that he's told that he faces life without parole in jail if he ever steps foot in this country again. But the fact is that he did not kill Kate Steinle because of her race. He did not kill Kate Steinle because he wanted to start a "race war". In fact, I haven't seen any news report that he intended to target and kill Kate Steinle at all but was just careless and reckless in handling a gun on a public pier (which is deserving of a 2nd degree murder charge).

Posted by beach bum, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jul 17, 2015 at 1:42 pm

A reasonable person can argue they are similar, in that each is a result of how we as a society (via our public officials and bureaucracy) enforce and administer our laws.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 18, 2015 at 10:02 am

Plutonia has been in the national news for years and years: Web Link

People of all races have been involved in numerous crimes. FESS UP! Crime is not simply about an undocumented resident. It happens everywhere in the United States. Hate of people of color is pervasive in the United States. That's the reality.

If you are so unhappy that people of color exist near you, then please please please consider going back to where your ancestors came from.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 18, 2015 at 10:06 am


Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

Tim: I support your thoughts 100%! The issue is not whether it " involves apples & oranges", but rather how the President decides to use the power of his position to put issues in the national debate. When he talks about police brutality, it puts that issue in the national debate. When he is completely silent on an important issue like protecting our borders from violent criminals, it silences that issue from a national debate. Reality is the President has bully pulpit & can shine a light on an issue & bring it out for debate, or be silent & hope it goes away.

Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 20, 2015 at 9:53 am

After Damon presents the simple, straightforward explanation of the difference between official acts and crimes deliberately committed to further race conflict and the random and apparently unintentional act of a clearly impaired individual - a distinction that even folks blinded by ideology should be able to understand - we get the same tub thumping by folks like "American," formerly Dan, and Tim.

The tub-thumpers want to capitalize on a tragic event to advance their agenda. They want to frame the issue as one of "safety" - as if undocumented immigrants are the source of all significant threats to our lives and property.

It's classic demagoguery.

"They" are coming to get you! Vote for me! I will make you safe! The other guys' don't are about you! Don't vote for them! Only me! I will make you safe, safe from "them!"

Posted by Chris, a resident of Downtown,
on Jul 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Really PW? You could not come up with a more insensitive "title" to this article? Blunt. very rude

Posted by Incremental Enforcement, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jul 20, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Peter, neighbor, et al are really knee-jerk in assumptions. The pres is absent because it shines a light on both lax 'sanctuary' & 'immigration' law enforcement. There is zero justification for 7 'deportations'. There are better solutions. Either tighter border for illegal entrance or prison time in the first place for REPEAT offenders. Note REPEAT OFFENDERS, each repeated crossover, after being deported, there should be increased prison time....and not released to wander around freely on this side of the border, but delivered to Mexico City police. Again, note I did NOT say all illegals, I said REPEAT OFFENDERS. Incremental Enforcement

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 20, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Damon and Peter (or dog father maybe?),

There can be no doubt in any persons mind that South Carolina is a "hate" crime. Duh!

But you're fantastically wrong on Ferguson and Baltimore! Neither of those cases is or was a hate crime. In fact, Ferguson has been settled and the cop was found not to be liable based on all kinds of evidence. And I believe the cops in Baltimore will be found not guilty but for different reasons having to do with the city attorney and mayor. But the fact remain, not hate crimes.

Did you even bother to check the facts before you offered up this nonsense?

And what's funny is that Damon said they were "possible" hate crimes. So given his own words, President Putt made a snap decision that he would support the offenders in both cases and address them as hate crimes, even though no hate crime charges had been filed.

RACIAL POLITICS! Otherwise, he would have said something about Kate' murder by a illegal immigrant, or the recent murder of those marines by a Islamist militant.


Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Jul 20, 2015 at 11:25 pm

@Formerly Dan from BC: "And what's funny is that Damon said they were "possible" hate crimes."

I'll tell you what's funny, Dan: The fact that you yourself acknowledged that I used the word "possible" in my post while at the same time implying that I claimed that they were definitely hate crimes in the first part of your post. But then again you were never one for self-consistency.

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 21, 2015 at 9:40 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


Of course you point out semantics instead of debating the point. Par for the course, D.

We all get it Damon, you think white on black crime is always "possible" hate crime, but <insert any race here except white> on white crime is not a "possible" hate crime.

Say that President Putt Putt will only speak out to those crimes of the former rather then the latter and we'll call it a day, ok?

Just admit it all and we can stop right here and now. I'm not here to change your mind, just to point out the utter hypocrisy in your debate.

And read a little closer man, I agree with you re/South Carolina.

But I'm semantically incorrect <---sarcasm for you, genius'!

Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:25 am

@Formerly Dan from BC: "Of course you point out semantics instead of debating the point. Par for the course, D."

Let's summarize what's happened here, Dan. You wrote a post implying that I said something that I never in fact said. I then pointed out your mistake. Then, instead of simply apologizing and admitting that you made an error, you say that I'm pointing out "semantics", as if my pointing out the fact that you put words in my mouth is a minor quibble. You're a funny guy.

"We all get it Damon, you think white on black crime is always "possible" hate crime, but <insert any race here except white> on white crime is not a "possible" hate crime."

What, trying to put more words in my mouth? You just don't learn from your mistakes, do you? Finally, if you yourself want to put forth the proposition that the killing of Kate Steinle was a possible hate crime and have evidence to back it up, then please do so.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 21, 2015 at 4:17 pm

This is such a tragic case. May she rest in peace and may the family find comfort with family, friends, and community.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 21, 2015 at 7:11 pm

You do realize that Bill O'Really is not a congressman, right Tim?

And if you don't believe me, call senator Hannity.

Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 24, 2015 at 4:15 pm

So where are the demands for Republicans and right wing spokemen to speak out about the killings in Louisiana? You know, the old white guy who shot lots of people, killing two of them? The guy who hates government, Obama and feminists (not necessarily in that order) - a Tea Partier who is ready to "Stand with Rand?"

Or would speaking up just demonstrate that their ideology is failing? That encouraging old white guys to blame their own failures on those uppity whatevers until their seething rage boils over into murder isn't the way you lift up the nation.

No? You only want to talk about one apparently accidental shooting, because the guy who did it was - you know, "one of them" instead of "one of us?"

Figured as much.

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