By Tim Hunt
News notesUploaded: Oct 22, 2015
Senate Democrats this week stood unified in favor of cities and counties that ignore federal law with sanctuary city provisions.
The Democrats blocked a vote because the Republicans under Mitch McConnell are playing by the traditional rules, not the t playbook that Harry Reid used to control the upper house for six years. Because the Republicans did not have 60 votes, no action could be taken on the version of Kate's law that the House of Representatives passed.
Kate Steinle was the 32-year-old Pleasanton woman who was shot and killed while walking on a San Francisco pier with her dad. The alleged killer was an illegal immigrant with felony convictions who had been deported at least five times. He was released from San Francisco county jail under provisions of the city's sanctuary policy instead of being held for federal officials.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee affirmed their support this week for the ill-advised policy.
I find it remarkable that virtually all Democrats solidly line-up to support illegal immigrants regardless of the costs on American taxpayers and the society as a whole.
One additional note from Judge Morris Jacobson, who will become the county's supervising judge in January. He is driving changeÃ¢Â€"one place it is way overdue is in the jury pools, he believes.
In 1997, the state realigned courts to eliminate the municipal court system. Previously, Alameda County was divided into six municipal court districts. Jury pools, however, have continued to be pulled according to those districts.
Jacobson frankly pointed out that an Oakland-Berkeley jury was quite likely to be more sympathetic to a defendant than a jury from the Fremont area or out here in the Livermore Valley.
He is pushing hard to have all jury pools be drawn from throughout the county.
San Ramon Valley school trustees are moving ahead with important discussions to revise the district's instructional calendar. The board unanimously approved moving forward with negotiations with the three unions representing employees.
The key change is to start school one week earlier in August so the first semester will end before the winter holidays.
It is a commonsense approach that is long overdue in public schools around the state. Having a two-week break for the holidays with finals and semester-long projects still to come invites poor performance or unnecessary distractions during the holidays.
It also would extend the winter break for another week and wrap up in the year early in June. The shift clearly is in the best interest of students and staff. Trustees should focus on education and not allow parental concerns about summer activities to deter them from the best decision.
The final decision is expected in December for the 2016-17 school year.