August 31, 2012
Re "Lancaster takes a long view on crime," Aug. 25 Two principles underlie a country's descent into fascism: One, if you don't have anything to hide, you shouldn't resist government invasion of your privacy; and two, the ends justify the means. With its defense of the aerial surveillance of its residents, Lancaster is following the playbook to the letter. Never mind the 4th Amendment or the history of governments abusing this sort of "protection" of their citizens. No, just sit quietly and accept your loss of freedom.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2013 |
Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a teenager at a party in Lancaster early Saturday, authorities said. The shooting occurred about 1 a.m. in the 700 block of East Avenue K Street, authorities said. The unidentified victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The shooting took place in a house where a large party was taking place, some witnesses told KABC-TV and City News Service. Authorities provided no additional information.
March 28, 2013 |
Once again Lancaster has been vindicated - or "blessed," as the city's press release put it - by a court ruling upholding its practice of opening City Council meetings with a prayer. On Tuesday, a federal appellate court affirmed a district court ruling that a single reference to Jesus Christ in an invocation did not violate the constitutional separation of church and state. But regardless of what the courts say about its legality, opening council meetings with a prayer is inappropriate, and it should stop.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2010 |
When the eight-minute promotional video wrapped up, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris' review wasn't entirely flattering. The movie-making seemed amateurish in spots, and, in some shots, he and others would have benefited from a little makeup. Most important, the mayor told his staff, there weren't enough Asians in the video. "If we're going to try to attract members of the Asian business community, we need to have more Asians in there," Parris told staffers. The promotional video, which Parris requested be re-shot before being dubbed in Mandarin, is part of a larger strategy that Lancaster hopes will help it attract Chinese investment and create jobs in a region where unemployed is pegged at 17%. The city is sending business delegations to China, partnering with a Chinese sister city, and using a language tutor to teach bureaucrats Mandarin.
September 4, 2012
We want sophisticated technology to protect us. But we don't want it to stalk us. A new aerial surveillance system that the city of Lancaster put into place last week to reduce crime has the potential to do both, although with some strict monitoring, it might accomplish the former without subjecting residents to the latter. Officials in the high-desert city unveiled a program in which a small plane, manned by a pilot and equipped with cameras capturing real-time video footage of the landscape below, will fly in a loop at 3,000 feet.
July 13, 2010 |
In the Antelope Valley, Lancaster is known for its aerospace connections, its annual poppy festival and its arid desert atmosphere. But soon enough, if Mayor R. Rex Parris has his way, Lancaster may be headed for a new reputation as what he calls "alternative energy capital of the world." "This is the best-kept secret in Los Angeles County," Parris said. "With the uniqueness of our latitude and longitude and elevation and air quality, we're going to produce more energy than we consume before 2020."