Police have identified the two young men found dead within 24 hours of
one another in different Abbotsford locations.
Ryan Alexander Richards, 19, of Abbotsford, was found sprawled in a
grassy field behind the Yellow Barn - a produce store on the
Abbotsford/Chilliwack border south of Highway 1 - at daybreak on
Investigators say Richards was the victim of foul play, but have yet
to say how he died.
The second victim, Sean Patrick Murphy, aged 21 from Mission, was
found Monday evening, dead from gunshot wounds. He was behind the
wheel of a beige Toyota Camry on Bateman Road. Both young men were
known to police.
[continues 282 words]
The news for the past few months has been grim, with our communities
being held hostage by urban thugs and the impression that our justice
system is incapable of handling this crime wave.
I want to share with you an e-mail sent to me by a colleague, which I
thought would be appropriate for these distressing times:
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in
front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very
large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf
balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed
that it was.
[continues 387 words]
The weather-beaten one-storey house with the faded blue siding and
security cameras was located near two Surrey schools - a few blocks
from Sullivan Heights Secondary and right beside Cambridge Elementary.
Some students were suspicious.
In early March, they told school authorities, who alerted the school
liaison officer, who called in the drug squad.
During their very first day of surveillance, drug squad officers could
see the windows and door of the ramshackle house at 14953 60 Ave. had
[continues 321 words]
YUCATAN, Mexico -- The Canadian guy at the swim-up bar seemed ready to
fall off his stool and float away.
In an effort to help him focus, I asked him about Canada's involvement
in Mexico's brutal drug war.
"What involvement?" he said.
And that's the problem. A lot of Canadians don't know about our stake
in Mexico's war against drug lords, which now has a higher death rate
than the war in Iraq.
The war's statistics are staggering: More than 7,000 people killed
this year and last; 50,000 Mexican troops and federal police battling
five big drug cartels armed with rocket-launchers, machine guns,
grenades and armour-piercing sniper rifles over a drug trade valued at
$50 billion a year.
[continues 608 words]
Finally, a little honesty.
Finally, after America has frittered away billions of taxpayer dollars
arming Latin American death squads, airdropping toxic herbicide on
equatorial farmland, and incarcerating more of its own citizens on
nonviolent drug charges than any other industrialized nation, two
political leaders last week tried to begin taming the most wildly out
of control beast in the government zoo: federal narcotics policy.
It started with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stating an
embarrassingly obvious truth that politicians hardly ever discuss. In
a speech about rising violence in Mexico, she said, "Our insatiable
demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade," and then added that
"we have co-responsibility" for the cartel-driven carnage plaguing our
[continues 518 words]
They Belong in Treatment Facilities, Not in Jails and Prisons
You see them all the time: People who aimlessly wander the streets,
obviously homeless and obviously in need of attention for their mental
illnesses. Ever wonder what happens to them? Far too many end up in
jail or prison, at great and unnecessary expense to taxpayers.
To keep just 1,700 of these people locked up, as Florida currently
does, costs $250 million each year. When they are released from
prison, as inevitably all of them are, their mental-health conditions
[continues 446 words]
Re: War on gangs is 'working,' Letter April 4
Police chief William Blair is right that this and other mass arrest
operations are helpful. But they cannot have any permanent effect on
drug trafficking as other gangs and criminals quickly fill any void
and those charged frequently are out on the street before you can blink.
It is also commendable that Toronto police since 2004 have been
charging many of those arrested with being members of an organized
crime entity. But often those charges, which should result in a much
longer prison sentence, are dropped in plea bargains over the years it
takes to comekto trial.
[continues 157 words]
As chief authors of the bipartisan Medical Marijuana Bill moving
through the Legislature, we felt compelled to respond to Dakota County
Attorney Jim Backstrom's misleading column regarding our bill ("Law
enforcement groups oppose it, and here's why," March 20).
It was extremely disappointing to note that Backstrom began his column
by asserting that he and the groups he represents will never agree to
sit down with us to negotiate a bill that meets their concerns. This
is unfortunate, because in other states, law enforcement has been
supportive of the legalization of medical marijuana. They got involved
in the process early on and worked with lawmakers to craft a system
that would be workable. Because of their involvement, other states'
medical marijuana systems have been successful.
[continues 397 words]
I was in the liquor store the other day buying some coffee liqueur.
Although I normally go for the big name brand, I thought I would try
for the 100- mile diet. Sure enough, I could save 25 per cent off
the price and stimulate the local economy by purchasing a product
made in Grimsby, not 80 miles away.
It was six per cent higher in alcohol to boot. Checking this fact
reminded me of my student days in university when our house had an
all-night Godzilla film festival. I was in charge of the
refreshments and had strict orders to get the most alcohol for the buck.
[continues 386 words]
Pot For Sale?
A recent proposal out of San Francisco to legalize and tax the sale
of marijuana has raised questions about the future of the substance
Marijuana has come back into the spotlight recently with San
Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's Feb. 23 proposal to legalize the
sale of marijuana, because the tax from the sales could help balance
the state budget, he said.
If passed, this proposal would make marijuana available to adults 21
and older for any type of use, not just medical, according to
Ammiano's Assembly Bill 390.
[continues 1150 words]