City Of L.A. Announces Halt to Detaining Undocumented Immigrants Without Court Order or Arrest Warrant

Citing constitutional concerns, the city of Los Angeles announced today that have put a halt to detaining undocumented immigrants for ICE without either a court order or and arrest warrant. In announcing the decision, Mayor Eric Garcetti and police Chief Charlie Beck cited a recent decision by a federal judge in Oregon who found that local authorities violated the 4th Amendment rights of an undocumented immigrant held for two weeks on an ICE hold despite being eligible for release. Specifically, the judge found that such detainers lacked the necessary legal underpinnings, such as probable cause or a judicial determination, required to hold a suspect for a longer period. They also cited a bulletin to law enforcement from California Attorney General Kamala Harris … Continue reading

Pain At The Pumps

Around the country in the past couple of weeks drivers are beginning to feel a little more pain at the pumps as gas prices creep up yet again.  NewHampshire apparently has taken one of the biggest hits in increased gas prices as the San Francisco Gate reports: Gas prices in New Hampshire are 21.1 cents a gallon higher than they were one year ago, and are 5.9 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. Businessweek notes today that prices should be dropping again.

Reflections on Independence Day

It is Independence Day in America, but rather than focusing on our independence today, I find myself reflecting on our interdependence, because the fact is, we all ultimately rely on one another in this country and on the planet. What we do, how we act, what we say, how we treat others, what we create and what we destroy, are all deeply connected. I feel as though there are a lot of people who have lost sight of this very integral fact of our existence in this country. Recent political decisions and deeper political party polarization has pushed us to extremes, many people are in denial and no one seems to want to budge. But we must budge, we must come … Continue reading

Pennsylvania Senate Committee Says Pigeon Shoots are Animal Cruelty

  by Walter Brasch   HARRISBURG, Pa.—There is a remote possibility that Pennsylvania will finally ban the cruel practice of live pigeon shoots when the state senate reconvenes in September. Pennsylvania is the last state where pigeon shoots are legally held. Rep. John Maher had written an amendment to an animal cruelty bill that would ban the killing, serving, and eating of dogs and cats. The amendment to ban pigeon shoots was sponsored in the Senate by Stewart J. Greenleaf, the committee chair; and Richard Alloway, a life-long hunter. The Judiciary committee had voted 10-4 to send the bill to the full Senate. Voting to send the bill to the Senate were all five Democrats and five of the nine … Continue reading

Religious Freedom Trumps Individual Rights in Supreme Court Ruling

I wasn’t planning to write about the Hobby Lobby decision tonight, but the more I read about it, the more incensed I become. I came of age in the 1970′s when women were fighting the battles that shockingly got pushed backwards today in the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Hobby Lobby case. I’ve fought against more than my share of sexism in my life, and I have stood up many a time to say I believe in religious freedom in America. That said, I do not believe that religious freedom should in any way trump individual rights. The Hobby Lobby ruling highlights a Supreme Court out of control, biased by male opinion, making decisions that affect the lives of women. There are so many things wrong with … Continue reading

Scientists Predict Increased Rain, Floods for Northeast

  by Walter Brasch   Pennsylvanians will experience increased rainfall and floods if data analysis by a Penn State meteorologist and long-term projections by a fisheries biologist, with a specialty in surface water pollution, are accurate. Paul Knight, senior lecturer in meteorology at Penn State, compiled rainfall data for Pennsylvania from 1895—when recordings were first made—to this year. He says there has been an increase of 10 percent of rainfall during the past century. Until the 1970s, the average rainfall throughout the state was about 42 inches. Beginning in the 1970s, the average began creeping up. “By the 1990s, the increase was noticeable,” he says.  The three wettest years on record since 1895 were 2003, 2004, and 2011. The statewide … Continue reading