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Immigration Ruling Gives Both Sides Something to Cheer and Fear California lawmakers weigh in

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By Chris Levister 

Democrats and Republicans each found something to cheer in the Supreme Court's ruling Monday on Arizona's controversial immigration law, reflecting the delicate politics surrounding immigration and the court's own mixed decision. The court struck down major parts of Arizona's tough immigration law, but it unanimously upheld the most controversial “show me your papers” requirement – that police making arrests or traffic stops check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being here illegally. Supporters of the law said the ruling recognized the state’s right to enforce immigration laws, while working with federal authorities. Opponents said the ruling clearly indicated that the federal government has the ultimate authority to enforce immigration laws and states cannot pass laws that undermine that authority.

With both parties vying for a larger piece of the Hispanic vote, President Obama quickly praised the ruling while his GOP rival Mitt Romney criticized it, saying he would have preferred that the court give more latitude to Arizona. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called the decision a victory for all Americans, saying that the “heart of the bill” could now be enforced and that any officer who violates a person's civil rights will be held accountable.

Brewer said she expected lawsuits to challenge the implementation of the law. “It's certainly not the end of our journey,” she said. The president, who managed to sway two Republican justices to his viewpoint in the Arizona case, said the decision demonstrated the need for immigration reform, which has been bogged down amid partisan bickering on Capitol Hill.

“What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system -– it’s part of the problem,” Obama said. “At the same time, I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally.” Meanwhile, Romney said in a written statement, “The decision underscores the need for a president who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy.”

California Lawmakers Weigh In California lawmakers called the ruling a mix of victory and disappointment. Rep. Joe Baca, said in a written statement, the decision makes it clear that “immigration should be exclusively the jurisdiction of the federal government.”

“I am disappointed that the Court upheld the discriminatory ‘show me your papers’ provisions of the law. I fear that this misguided provision will inevitably lead to racial profiling. The simple truth is that if this provision is implemented, some Americans will be forced to prove their citizenship based on the color of their skin while others will stand little or no chance of being affected,” Baca said.

“I continue to wear a wrist band in solidarity with the families that may be victimized by this unjust law. Moving forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect civil rights and stop the immoral show me your papers’ provisions of S.B. 1070 from being implemented,” continued Baca.

State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod called the ruling a win “for those of us who want a comprehensive approach to immigration and it serves as a wakeup call to the federal government that more needs to be done. Despite reaffirming the Federal Government’s authority over immigration policy it was disappointing that the court upheld the most divisive aspect of Arizona’s immigration law permitting law enforcement to question an individual’s legal status,” said Senator McLeod. “Border enforcement and security are legitimate concerns, but politicizing the issue creates hostility and animosity within communities and does nothing to solve the problem.”

Assembly Member Tim Donnelly (R-Hesperia), a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, praised part of the court's ruling Monday. “This is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for the 10th Amendment and all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens.”

The number of illegal immigrants living in the United States dropped to 10.8 million in 2009 from 11.6 million in 2008, marking the second consecutive year of decline and the sharpest decrease in at least three decades, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

California's illegal immigrant population, still the largest in the nation, declined by 250,000 to 2.6 million. The state now accounts for just one-quarter of the nation's total illegal migrant population, compared with 30% in 2000. Meanwhile the mixed decision on Arizona’s immigration crackdown has stoked the public’s growing distain for the Supreme Court. A New York Times CBS Poll shows 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the high court is doing.

Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, says the decline in popularity may stem in part from Americans’ growing distrust in recent years of major institutions in general and the government in particular. “But it’s just as likely to reflect a sense that the Court is more political, especially after it divided in such partisan ways in the 5-4 decisions Bush v. Gore (which decided the 2000 presidential race) and Citizen’s United (which in 2010 opened the floodgates to unlimited campaign spending),” said Reich.

With the Supreme Court ruling on health care expected Thursday some are asking, can the American people trust the Court to put politics aside?

So Cal Energy Shortage Could Cause Rotating Outages This Summer

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By Ashley Jones

So Cal residents should be prepared to reduce energy use this summer as there will be an energy shortage for the next two months. On Wednesday, June 20, Southern California Edison (SCE) representatives Veronica Gutierrez, Vice President of Local Public Affairs and Pam Deahl, Manager of Business Solutions met with local Inland Empire news media at the San Bernardino Feldheym Library to formally debrief.

SCE has ordered the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, near San Clemente, California, to shut down Units 2 & 3 for maintenance and public safety reasons. The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station generates 2,200 megawatts of power to 1.4 million homes and is jointly owned by SCE, San Diego Gas & Electric Company and the city of Riverside. According to Gutierrez, Unit 2 should be up by the end of August 2012 but Unit 3 is to be determined. The worst complication that could occur this summer is rotating outages, which could last for one hour. Every So Cal resident is at risk.

It’s important to connect with SCE online through Facebook and Twitter to get the latest information on rotating outages, safety tips, and summer discount plans. SCE has provided several tips to protect our energy use including: 1.) Keep the thermostat on your A/C to 78 degrees Fahrenheit; 2.) Use your washer, dryer and dishwasher after 6:00 pm; 3.) Make sure coffee pots, radios and other electronics have been turned off or unplugged when not in-use; 4.) Turn off your computer screen saver; 5.) Set your computer to turn your monitor off after 10 minutes and your hard drive off after 20 minutes of inactivity; 6.) Allow your laptop computer to run on battery energy during the day and charge it back up at night; 7.) Reduce the use of your baking oven during warm temperatures because it can protect your A/C and increase efficiency; and 8.) Turn off lights when they are not in use. If you experience a power outage, contact SCE and report it. SCE has provided cooling stations in your area. You can use your smartphone or laptop to find a center (Call 1-800-811-1911 or visit http://www.sce.com/info/PowerOutages/default.htm). You should have your “planned outage number” ready when you call or go online. Every home is assigned a planned outage number and this number can be found on your monthly bill.

SCE also has provided a number of summer saving programs for its residents and businesses including: Save Power days (provides monthly bill credits to those who reduce power use during peak periods between 12:00pm-6:00pm daily), conservation tips and appliance rebates, Budget Assistant (a program that helps residents to better manage their electric bills), Summer Discount Plan, Time-of-use Base Interruptible Programs, and more. Other programs can be found at sce.com/drp for businesses and sce.com/Summer or sce.com/SummerOC for residents. Stay connected with SCE through Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/socaledison) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/socaledison) for updates.

Captain Kennedy-Smith To Run Lake Elsinore Station

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Sheriff Sniff this week announced the transfer of Captain Shelley Kennedy-Smith from the Riverside Court Services Division to the Lake Elsinore Sheriff's Station. She will be replacing Captain Dave Fontneau who is retiring in July. She takes command of the station officially on July 12th, but will begin transitioning to her new duties immediately.

Sheriff Stan Sniff said, "Captain Kennedy-Smith has worked in varied assignments within the Department including patrol, jail, courts, personnel, and administration. She has been successful at each and every one of them. The experience she has gained will serve her well at her new assignment."

Captain Shelley Kennedy-Smith will assume the command of the Lake Elsinore Station which provides service to 270.1 square miles of Riverside County, serving and protecting more than 135,581 residents. The station proudly serves the contract cities of Lake Elsinore, and Wildomar, and the unincorporated areas of Alberhill, El Cariso, Glen Eden, Glen Ivy Hot Springs, Good Hope, La Cresta, Lakeland Village, Meadowbrook, Ortega Hills, Temescal Canyon, and Warm Springs.

Captain Kennedy-Smith has 26 years of law enforcement experience, having joined the Riverside County Sheriff's Department in 1986. Upon completion of the academy, she was assigned to the Riverside Jail and later the Lake Elsinore Station, Court Services and the Southwest Detention Center. She promoted to the rank of Investigator in 1999 and was assigned to the Lake Elsinore Station, where she handled all types of investigations and was designated as the station Elder Abuse Detective. In 2000, Captain Kennedy-Smith was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to the Southwest Detention Center. As a Sergeant, Captain Kennedy-Smith also served as the Department's Public Information Officer from 2001 to 2004.

Captain Kennedy-Smith was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 2004 and placed in charge of the Sheriff's Personnel Bureau. In 2008, Captain Kennedy-Smith returned to the Lake Elsinore Station, where she served as the Patrol and Administrative Lieutenant responsible for the station budget along with the contract cities of Lake Elsinore and Wildomar. She was also responsible for management of the Detective Bureau, the Special Teams Unit, and Lake Operations.

In 2010, Captain Kennedy-Smith promoted to the rank of Captain and was placed in charge of Court Services West, Central, and East. These courts include the Historic Courthouse in Riverside, the Hall of Justice, the Family Law building, the Corona Court, Moreno Valley Court, Juvenile Court, Southwest Justice Center, the Hemet Court, the Banning Court, the Indio Court, the Civil Bureau, and the County Administrative Center.

In 2012, Captain Kennedy-Smith earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Captain Kennedy-Smith and her husband, Melvin, live in Murrieta and have two sons, and three grandchildren.

U.S. to Stop Deporting Young Illegal Immigrants

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BVN Staff Report

President Barack Obama said Friday that his administration would let many young illegal immigrants legally live and work in the U.S., sidestepping Congress after years of stalemate over the nation's immigration policy. The Obama administration says it won't deport many younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Under the new rules, an estimated 800,000 young people brought to the U.S. as children could apply for work permits and enjoy a safe haven from deportation. Unlike with the Dream Act, a bill backed by Mr. Obama that has stalled in Congress, they would not be eligible for citizenship. The rules, which Mr. Obama announced Friday from the Rose Garden, may inject a needed jolt of enthusiasm for his campaign among Hispanic voters, who overwhelmingly support him but often turn out in smaller numbers than other groups.

Many Republicans criticized the rules as an amnesty for law breakers, an overreach of administrative authority and an election-year pander to Hispanics. The new rules may complicate GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's efforts to find a more nuanced position to appeal to Hispanics after a primary campaign in which he said he would veto the Dream Act.

S.M.A.S.H. GANG SWEEP BRINGS RELIEF – FOR NOW 90 arrested in weekend roundup

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Chris Levister

When Stephanie Ellis was awakened late Friday night by commotion outside her Orange Street apartment in San Bernardino, her first thought was to grab her two teen sons and run for cover. “My heart started pounding. I braced for gunfire, we hid in the closet.” Hearing no gunfire, Ellis said she saw police lights flashing outside her window. “I took a deep breath and thought maybe a child’s life will be saved tonight.”

Welcome to the war on criminal street gangs where long suffering residents like Ellis routinely find themselves caught in the crossfire of murder, mayhem and pain. In a 9-hour sweep that began at 3:00 p.m. Friday and ended at midnight, San Bernardino law enforcement officers rounded up and arrested more than 90 people targeting gang members, probation violators and drug dealers.

Police seized guns, crack co¬caine, marijuana, body armor, cash and stolen property. Those arrested were brought to a mobile command post in the parking lot of San Manuel Stadium before being transported to jail. “They were pretty much going after each other for territory,” said Police Chief Robert Handy. “The majority of them are drug dealers. They hang out near public housing and make quality of life untenable.”

Handy said while the peace officers fanned out across the county, key parts of the operation focused on low income housing areas such as Waterman Gardens at Baseline Street where 19-year- old Donald Ray McCall, Jr. was gunned down June 1. Handy called the sweeps routine and not tied to the city’s recent spate of homicides. He said the sweeps help the district attorney’s office keep track of area gang members and get them off the street.

The operations are something law enforcement conduct on a revolving basis, he said. Friday’s sweep was very successful. No one was injured and no shots were fired. Those arrested ranged in age from 17 to 66. They face charges ranging from drug posses¬sion and distribution to at¬tempted murder. Authorities say the gang unit SMASH has identified and documented some 20 homegrown gangs in the city. There is an estimated 40,000 documented gang members in San Bernardino County, according to police.

About 50 peace officers from law enforcement agencies from Barstow to Fontana and Redlands and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's and Probation departments participated in the sweep. Alfie Williams who lives Waterman Gardens with her two children welcomed the sweep. “You never get used to the gang drama,” says Williams, “them selling drugs and firing off their weapons at each other, cars, houses and at innocent bystanders. On top of that you have to deal with law enforcement raids and other police activity. The tug of war between the gangs and police, it’s always in your face.”

“I worry about my children’s future. The violence leaves you in a constant state of fear and peril,” says Williams, who can’t afford to move out of the neighborhood. “The struggle bends lives in different ways.”

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BVN National News Wire