Judicial council hears cases on elections violations

Evan Ismail, SSW

The ASUCR Judicial Council held their weekly meeting this past Tuesday, May 16 in the senate chambers, beginning at 12:36 p.m. The five justices in attendance discussed two elections violations cases, Hayden Jackson v. Marco Ornelas and Katherine Tatley v. Briana Perera.

The first of the two cases heard was Jackson v. Ornelas, in which Vice Chief Justice Jackson accused CHASS senator-elect Marco Ornelas of taping a campaign poster to the Rivera Library arches, a violation of item 6, section B, subsection 2 of the elections code, which states that “Posters are NOT ALLOWED on the Rivera Library/arches or the Fine Arts Building.” Ornelas pleaded guilty to the charge.

The second case was Tatley v. Perera. Tatley, who vied for personnel director in the 2017-18 elections, lost to Perrera by a margin of 389 votes. Tatley accused Perrera of using the ASUCR logo in her campaign material, which would violate item 6, section C, part 1 of the elections bylaws. Per judicial council rules, and since Perrera failed to attend the hearing and defend herself despite notices, the hearing proceeded with observing the evidence provided by Tatley and hearing her testimony. When asked if Tatley would like to give a closing argument, she declared that the case was “pretty self-explanatory.”

Both cases are not expected to have an impact on the outcome of the 2017-18 ASUCR elections.

The meeting adjourned at 12:49 p.m.

The decisions for both of these cases were not available at time of publication.

Courtesy of City of Riverside

Riverside police department launches anti-auto theft program

Andreas Rauch, CW

The Riverside Police Department (RPD) initiated a new program last week, known as “H.E.A.T.” (Help Eliminate Auto Theft), designed to minimize the number of car thefts in the Riverside area. Chief of Police Sergio Diaz announced the program in a statement released Monday, May 8, in which details were presented regarding the implementation of new anti-theft measures.

Under the new initiative, inspired by a similar program in Los Angeles, Riverside residents can obtain special stickers from local police stations to put on their car’s rear window. These stickers would effectively “mark” the cars for police. If these “marked” cars are observed driving on streets between 1 – 5 a.m., they will be pulled over by officers for a license and registration check.

By designating vehicles for police inspection, RPD hopes to cut down on the number of stolen cars                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           especially during the night. Riverside city statistics indicate 484 auto thefts thus far in 2017 citywide. According to the statement, most of these auto thefts occur during the early hours, as car owners are asleep and unaware of the ongoing theft. In the past, cars driving during this time, even if stolen, seemed innocuous and would not catch the attention of any officers. By enacting such preventative measures, however, RPD hopes to decrease the risks of car theft faced by local residents.

Any residents interested in participating can register at the Magnolia Police Station (10540 Magnolia Avenue) or at Orange Police Station (4102 Orange Street) during regular business hours.

One of the new Pentland Hills signs on building A near Lot 15.

Pentland Hills upgrades yields three new signs

Nicholas Frakes, SW

Over spring break, three signs reading, “Pentland Hills” were added outside the Pentland Hills residence halls for the first time. The signs were placed outside the entrance of building N, the Pentland Hills resident services office (RSO) and building A near lot 15.

Third-year business administration major and theater, film and digital production minor Jeffrey Ramos led the effort to add these signs in the 2015-16 academic year, when he served as building president.

According to Ramos, he started the process of having the signs built on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 by sending an email to Assistant Vice Chancellor of Auxiliary Services Andy Plumley. By Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, funding had been secured for the project. Finally, on Monday, March 27, 2017, construction began on the signs and concluded by the end of spring break.

“It took a bit longer than we hoped, we understand that it had to go through the system. Wish we could’ve had signs like Caesar’s Palace,” Ramos joked. “But we are grateful that it was completed now.”

In addition, Ramos worked to produce buttons and refillable water bottles with “Pentland Hills” written on them, for residents.

Ramos explained that he had the buttons and bottles made in order to make the experience more memorable for students that lived in Pentland Hills as well as give them something to look back on.

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Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Trump revealed classified information to Russian diplomats

Nicholas Frakes, SW

On Monday, May 15, The Washington Post released an article, revealing that President Donald Trump told visiting Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov highly classified intelligence. This meeting took place one day after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, May 9.

Initially, after The Washington Post published their article, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster denied that these events ever took place. However, on Tuesday, May 16, Trump tweeted, “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”

Political science doctoral student Ian Oxnevad explained, “Since he is the president he can give classified information to whoever he wants pretty much … There is a declassification process, but he’s the president so I mean there is really no other check to that.” Oxnevad later added, “If he gave the information to somebody and it came from the Israelis and the Israelis didn’t give him permission for that, that’s a big faux pas and I would just chalk that up to inexperience.”

According to The New York Times, the information that Trump told the Russians came from Israel. The Israeli government refused to confirm or deny if the information came from them, but the Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer reaffirmed that the U.S. and Israel would remain close allies.