Gov pulls a boner: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this week OK’d a slew of bills aimed at tightening the noose on sex offenders, but passed on a couple, opting instead to hold out for a pair of Republican-backed pieces of legislation.
Assemblyman Rudy Bermúdez, D-Norwalk, stated he was “disappointed” at the death of his AB 240, which would have created a quarter-mile “sex offender-free” zone around high schools and prevented registered sex offenders from using Medi-Cal to buy Viagra-type meds.
Schwarzenegger maintained in his veto message that AB 240 has too many loopholes and “puts a band-aid on a growing problem.” (Presumably, this was not an unintentional reference to erectile disfunction.)
The bills currently in committee that the governor supports are AB 231 and SB 588, which would forbid offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park and track their movements for life via GPS at a cost estimated at $500 million a year.
Bermúdez believes the governor could have supported all three bills.
Chico Library’s hours remain uncut: Some fancy financial footwork by City Manager Tom Lando saved the day for the Butte County Library’s Chico branch this week when he suggested the council approve the city’s funding of the library—normally a county responsibility—at $109,000 until next July. The Chico library had asked for an additional $25,000 over the $120,000 approved by the council four years ago so it could remain open 60 hours per week. County funding alone is only enough to keep the library open 35 hours per week. Budgeting $109,000 just until next July works out to an additional $19,000
Councilmember Larry Wahl, who pushed hard for the city’s funding help for the library four years ago and sits on the library task force, reported that the county told him it is in no position to fund the Chico library’s additional hours. The matter will be revisited next July. Wahl, Butte County CAO Paul McIntosh and Butte County Supervisor Curt Josiassen had proposed a complex deal that used words like “practicable” and “expenditure accounting.” Lando, who is on the edge of retirement, stepped in and provided a much simpler solution that will go before the supervisors Oct. 25.
Don’t try me: One of the former members of Chi Tau being tried for hazing in connection with the death of Matthew Carrington pleaded no contest in court this week and will be used as a prosecution witness.
The announcement from 19-year-old Michael Fernandes leaves 20-year-old Trent Stiefvater and 22-year-old Richard Joseph Hirth as the only two defendants being charged with misdemeanor hazing. Four men are charged with involuntary manslaughter and hazing in the case including Gabriel John Maestretti, 22, John Paul Fickes, 20, Jerry Ming Lim, 25 and Carlos James Devilla Abrille, 22.
Fernandes was sentenced to 30 days in jail, while the trial for the remaining six defendants is set to begin Nov. 2.