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This week in news: June 21, 2018

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There’s just no amount of sugarcoating in existence to make this week’s news any easier to swallow, and unless you live under a rock with no Wi-Fi, you already know that. But before we dive into that abyss, let’s touch on some stories that were buried under all the horrific shit. This week’s wrap is about Oakland bleeding the budget rock, a local man with a deep desire to slap Trump, weed making waves, lots and lots of Pride and yes, “zero tolerance” and zero heart. Let’s go…

Hey Oakland, gimme some money

Elliott Van Fleet was riding his motorcycle through a green light at 19th and Broadway March 25, 2017 when he was struck and thrown from his bike by an Oakland police officer driving against a red light in a Ford SUV. Van Fleet’s lower left leg was amputated due to the collision and he sustained several other serious injuries, according to the East Bay Express. Over one year later, the city has approved a $12 million settlement, of which Oakland itself will pay out $3 million, leaving the remainder to fall on the insurance company after, which had been heavily disputed.

Scene of accident between OPD and Elliot Van Fleet on March 25, 2017 in Oakland, Calif. Photo courtesy of East Bay Times.

This settlement marks one of the largest Oakland has paid out, although pending fallout from the Ghost Ship promises to shatter previous records.

Walnut Creek man goes AWOL, ends up at the White House

A 29-year-old Walnut Creek man and former Marine was reported missing two weeks ago. Alexander Miner was found and arrested Monday while attempting to jump a security barrier at the White House, according to the Mercury News. His two-week venture took a detour in Virginia first, where he attempted to confront a woman he’s been accused of stalking and threatening for 11 years. When he was arrested at the White House, he told officers that he was on “orders from God” with a mission to slap or punch Donald Trump in the face and “make him cry like a bitch”. Miner’s father told police he was worried his son had “gone off the deep end” and suffers from PTSD.

Weed. GO CANADA, and Walnut Creek!

Canada legalized the cannabis, in a big way. The final Senate vote Tuesday of 52-29 paved the way for legalization throughout the entire freaking country. And for context, Canada is only the second nation to federally legalize marijuana, behind Uruguay. That’s it, Canada and Uruguay. Pending some final administrative maneuvers, the rollout would come somewhere between August and October for flower, with edibles staggered out over the next year to give regulatory agencies time to adapt.

Smokey haze over Parliament Hill during Canadian 420 festival. Photo courtesy of Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images

The Cannabis Act allows adults to grow up to four plants and possess up to one ounce in public. It’s noteworthy that Canadian citizens are adults, and legally allowed to drink and purchase marijuana, at the age of 18 or 19 years old in varying provinces. The bill also allows for strict enforcement of the laws, especially those pertaining to minors. The country has been long preparing for what many saw as inevitable, and although there’s been staunch opposition, entrepreneurs have raced to be ready for the market. Hip, hip, hoo Eh!

Graphic courtesy of Zoomer Radio

The U.S. may not be any closer to countrywide legalization, but little ol’ Walnut Creek is stepping up to make access just a bit easier with Tuesday’s passage of the Personal and Commercial Cannabis Activities Ordinance, which allows residents to grow up to six outdoor plants and establishes two delivery-only dispensaries. That’s better than the previous number of options, which equaled zero. Baby steps.

Weird shit to do on your day off

I shouldn’t even have to say this, but if you’re looking for some strange and happy times, get out your best wig and hit up San Francisco for a weekend of Pride. The parade starts Sunday at 10:30 a.m. followed by Saturday’s huge collection of activities. Check out the SFPride site for details on the all the festivities.

SF Pride 2017 parade. Photo courtesy of The San Francisco Examiner

If you haven’t already snagged tickets to the last Vans Warped Tour in Mountain View Saturday, you’re shit of of luck because it’s sold out. The legendary music festival is wrapping up and calling it quits this year for a variety of reasons. But if you are one the lucky thousands, enjoy yourself, don’t get too fucked up (and don’t drive if you do) and send us some pictures!

#FamiliesBelongTogether

San Francisco residents and our own Broke-Ass Stuart flocked to the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement headquarters on Sansome Street Tuesday to protest the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy and practice of separating families at the southern border. This was just one of many, many protests that grew in intensity over the week as images and audio of small, crying children were thrust into the public’s consciousness. Suspicion and speculation continues to grow under the government’s denial of press access to facilities where girls and very young children are detained. AP News broke the story Tuesday night about three “tender age” shelters in operation and another in the planning phase, causing massive outrage – MSNBC’s typically poised Rachel Maddow broke down on-air while attempted to share the breaking news.

Detainment centers are being used throughout the country and we’ve become aware that children are being shipped to states far from their parents, with little to no process for reunification. The images strike an eerie chord with Bay Area residents familiar with Japanese internment history – Angel Island looks like a scary place once again.

The pressure to stop treating immigrant children like criminals finally reached a pitch that even Trump and his Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Michele Nielsen couldn’t ignore. In a bombastic display, the president signed an executive order that would allow children to remain with their parents, in detention facilities, because that’s just the kind of big heart he has. Trump claimed the practice had been an issue for 60 years and that he is the only president with the “political courage” to put an end to it. He failed to mention that it’s been just six weeks of the “zero tolerance” policy, announced May 7, which decidedly criminalized every person “illegally” crossing the border. Those prosecutions have resulted in the uptick of children removed from and detained away from their parents while they await hearings.

Photo courtesy of Florida Politics

Unfortunately, his executive order did nothing for over 2,000 children who have already been separated from parents, leaving many families in fear they may never see their babies again. Mass protests are still scheduled in several cities June 30.

 

 

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.