From the daily archives: Thursday, July 22, 2010

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today released an “encouraging” 2009 annual report showing that hate crimes in California fell by more than 20% last year, but he warned that we are still a long way from ending bigotry and prejudice.

“While the drop in these crimes is encouraging,” Brown said, “hate has certainly not been banished from California. The sheer total of incidents motivated by hate is a reminder of how much harder we need to work to overcome prejudice, bigotry and ignorance.”

The Attorney General’s report, “Hate Crime in California 2009” was compiled using data submitted to the California Department of Justice by police, sheriffs’ departments and prosecutors in California’s 58 counties.

The report showed that hate crime events dropped 21.3% – from 1,397 in 2008 to 1,100 last year, the second consecutive year of decline. Overall, hate crimes have declined by half since they peaked in 2001, dropping from 2,261 to 1,100.

Today’s favorable report follows news last month that the state’s violent crime rate dropped for a third straight year in 2009.

Contributing to last year’s downward trend in hate crimes was a decline in anti-black crime (-17.7%), anti-Jewish crime (-13%) and anti-gay crime (-22.1%). Together, those categories account for approximately 60% of all hate crime events in the state.

While violent offenses accounted for 63.5% of all hate crimes in 2009, last year marked the largest year-over-year decline in violent hate crimes (-22.8%) this decade.

In total, 479 hate crime cases were referred to prosecutors in 2009. Of those, 363 criminal cases were filed, 283 as hate crimes. Of the 257 hate crime cases with dispositions in 2009, there were 223 convictions (131 hate crime convictions and 92 other convictions).

The Attorney General’s office published its first hate crimes report in 1995. The reports can be found at:

Under California law, the Attorney General is required to submit an annual report to the Legislature enumerating crimes motivated by the victim’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or physical or mental disability.

The decline in hate crimes reflects an overall drop in crime. Last month’s report by the Attorney General on all types of crime in California showed across-the-board declines in every category of offense measured, from homicide (-8.9%) and robbery (-8.6%), to motor vehicle theft (-15.8%) and arson (-14.3%). For more information, visit:

A copy of the 2009 hate crimes report is attached.

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Nearly $20,000 in undeclared currency was found by CBP officers in this stuffed animal.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting southbound operations at the Otay Mesa passenger port of entry Tuesday found $83,241 in undeclared currency hidden inside a stuffed animal, a loaf of bread and other places.

At about 2:30 p.m. on July 20, officers inspecting vehicles heading south into Mexico along the SR-905 freeway stopped two vehicles, a green 1999 Ford F-250 pickup and a gold 2000 Chevy Silverado, both towing trailers

The pickup was driven by a 41-year-old male Mexican citizen, with two passengers: a 35-year-old female Mexican citizen and her minor son. The sport utility vehicle was driven by a 31-year-old male Mexican citizen, with two passengers, a 39-year-old male Mexican citizen and his minor son. The passengers in the SUV were the husband and other son of the female passenger in the pickup.

$5,200 in undeclared currency was discovered by CBP officers in this loaf of bread.

CBP officers pulled the vehicles and occupants aside for a more intensive inspection and discovered $16,271 in undeclared currency in the female passenger’s handbag. Officers also found $5,200 concealed within a loaf of wheat bread, $2,370 inside a brown pouch and $19,400 concealed within a stuffed animal inside the pickup, along with an additional $40,000 hidden in the bottom of a child’s brown backpack in the SUV.

During their inspection, CBP officers also determined that the husband and wife were illegal immigrants with no legal ability to enter or reside in the U.S.

CBP officers seized a total of $83,241 in undeclared currency.

“The traveling public needs to understand that declaring currency over $10,000 when crossing the border is not an option, it is a requirement of federal law,” said Rosa Hernandez, port director overseeing outbound operations at Otay Mesa. “Travelers need to declare; the consequences are severe when you fail to do so.

It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.


Congressman Bob Filner announced today that he has joined the 4-H Congressional Caucus.

Congressman Bob Filner recently met in his Washington, D.C. office with Imperial Valley students Gabrielle Lofton (Westmoreland) and Preston Hutchinson (Brawley). Gabrielle and Preston traveled to the Nation’s Capital as part of a national 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus trip.

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Bob Filner announced today that he has joined the 4-H Congressional Caucus.

“I’m proud to be a part of the 4-H Caucus and work with the 4-H to help create a new generation of leaders,” said Congressman Filner.  “4-H is not only engaging our youth to reach their full potential, but also teaches them life skills and how to better serve their community.”

The 4-H Caucus in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives creates educational opportunities for 4-H youth to learn how the U.S. government functions, encouraging greater and better informed involvement in the political process. The Caucus also provides members of the House and Senate with the most current information on the mission, activities and accomplishments of the 4-H.


San Diego, June 22, 2010 – The American Red Cross will host the annual summer Lifeguard Games on August 1, 2010 at the City of Coronado Aquatics Center located at 1845 Strand Way, Coronado, California. The event starts at 8.00 a.m. and ends at 1.00 p.m. after an awards ceremony.  Participant registration opens at 7.00 a.m.

Lifeguard teams from San Diego and the Imperial Counties will participate in a series of group and individual events such as the submerged victim towing, active victim rescues, 50-yard crawl swim with rescue tube, 10-pound brick carry, and several new fun and exciting events.

The Lifeguard Games is a morning event where Lifeguards can show off their skills in a non-emergency, non-life threatening atmosphere, where they can participate in friendly competition and interact with the public. Members of the community are invited to come and enjoy some lively competition and cheer for their local teams. This family affair is a great opportunity for adults and children to spend a day by Coronado Beach, cheering on local teams and learning the importance of water safety.

To learn more about the Lifeguard Games, or for information on volunteering for the event, please visit or call (858) 309-1200.

About the American Red Cross, San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter

The American Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on the generosity of the American people to provide our programs and services. The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter is leading the effort to make San Diego and Imperial Counties “America’s most prepared communities.” With the public’s ongoing support we provide life saving preparedness training; disaster relief services; 24-hour emergency services to deployed military personnel and their families; and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. For more information about or to support the chapter please contact (858) 309-1200 or visit

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