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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pot Smokers Rest Assured, The Firefighters are doing everything they can to save the Wo/men's Alliance Medical Marijuana Farm in the Santa Cruz Fire.

San Jose Mercury News Update:
On Swanton Road, five fire crews are battling flames alongside Valerie and Mike Corral, the founders of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana who have a home and a medical marijuana farm in the area.

Since Friday afternoon, fire crews have been of assistance, with planes dropping water overhead around Valerie's home, a few hundred feet away from the garden.

"The flames are closest to Val's house," WAMM board member Suzanne Pfeil said. "Valerie and Mike and some other volunteers have been out there, doing their best to defend the houses and garden. So far so good. We haven't lost anything."

As fire crews and friends and family of Valerie and Mike Corral picked up hoses to maintain a defensible space on Saturday, Valerie said if it weren't for the firefighters' help, her home and the garden would be gone.

Pfeil said flames chose to jump over a special memorial garden on their property dedicated to WAMM members who have died.

(read the story here)
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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