Know your legal rights: Guides in English and Spanish with info specifically for those under 18

Stockton Poet Laureate Tama Brisbane, executive director of With Our Words, will be leading the first in a series of “Street Smart” forums tomorrow night aimed at informing young people of their rights when encountering law officers or going through the court system. Among those scheduled to appear are Police Chief Eric Jones and District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. The event is from 6-8 p.m. at the Podesto Impact Teen Center, 725 N. El Dorado Street.

Many people, young and old, may not fully understand their rights in encounters with the law. The National Lawyers Guild has published a guidebook on the subject in English and Spanish. The guidebook includes information specifically for those under 18.

More “Street Smart” forums are planned next month in south Stockton and Tracy, with locations and dates to be determined.

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Franklin Templeton appeal of Stockton bankruptcy ruling dismissed

Stockton has survived creditor Franklin Templeton’s appeal. You can view the written decision here. Franklin is not out of options. It could still take the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. After that, it could try to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. Then what? The United Nations? The World Court?

A full story will appear later tonight @recordnet and in tomorrow’s Record. Here’s the city’s news release:

“The City of Stockton received good news late Friday afternoon, December 11, 2015; the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit (BAP) issued an opinion dismissing the appeal to confirmation of the City’s plan of adjustment by creditor Franklin High Yield Fund. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein entered an order confirming the City’s Plan of Adjustment in early February 2015, and the City exited bankruptcy later that month.

“We officially exited bankruptcy and began implementing our bankruptcy exit plan in February of this year, after a long and painful process in which we endured the most complex analysis and scrutiny of our financial choices and ability,” said City Manager Kurt Wilson. “Nearly every creditor, including each of our labor groups, reached an agreement with the City, but Franklin continued to challenge the Judge’s decisions. A panel of three U.S. bankruptcy judges have agreed with Judge Klein’s decision and the City on every point challenged by Franklin. The City will continue its current path of implementing the court-approved Plan of Adjustment.”

“The City of Stockton filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection June 28, 2012, after attempting to reach agreements with its major creditors, including Franklin, in a state-mandated, pre-bankruptcy process (AB 506). After over two years of continued mediation and hearings, Judge Christopher Klein, then Chief of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California, conducted a trial on Franklin’s objection to the Plan of Adjustment that memorialized the agreements reached by the City of Stockton and nearly all of its creditors. On February 4, 2015, the Judge signed the confirmation order approving the City’s Plan of Adjustment, enabling the City to exit bankruptcy.

“Through the bankruptcy process, the City was able to develop a long-range financial plan to help us prepare and guide our financial decisions for decades into the future,” continued Wilson. “We’re in a good place, and we’re on an even better path forward.”

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First in series of youth forums “to educate … about rights and responsibilities when encountering police”

From Tama Brisbane, Stockton Poet Laureate and executive director of With Our Words:

“With Our Words is kicking off a series of youth forums designed to educate and empower them about their rights (and responsibilities) when encountering the police. Even a cursory glance at the news will underscore why this is critical knowledge to have. But that same cursory glance at the news will also underscore the equally critical need for some real talk about implicit bias on the part of the police.

” ‘STREET SMART: Using Common Sense, Knowing Common Law’ will address both subjects. WOW reached out to and has been blessed by the cooperation and participation of Stockton’s Chief of Police, District Attorney, members of the Public Defender’s Office, along with mental health professionals, educators, youth advocates and prayer warriors. This is an incredible opportunity for our young people to ask questions and get answers, to voice frustrations and suspicions, and be heard.

“Every youth who attends will leave with so much more than they walked in with. And it wouldn’t be a WOW initiative if there wasn’t a creative writing, performance and social activism opportunity for the youth. We will be creating an hour-long video from the entire Street Smart series so that Stockton youth voices will have an impact far beyond the discussion space.

“If you’d like to register your group, simply send me an email ( and we’ll gladly sign them up. It’s a pleasure to be working alongside all of you!”

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The city’s spending money

The City Council tonight will consider a staff spending proposal, which in and of itself is news considering Stockton seemingly has not had any money to spend on anything for several years now. Among the proposals tonight is a one-time expenditure of $300,000 toward a helicopter for the Stockton Police Department. Included in the agenda is a helicopter report prepared by the police. You can view it here.

Additional library spending is not included in tonight’s spending proposal. But the agenda does suggest that up to $500,000 a year in ongoing additional library funding may not be far off. And the agenda includes this report by Community Services Director John Alita on future possibilities for library upgrades.

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“Stockton Proud” — The brochure

Mayor Anthony Silva unveiled his proposed “Stockton Proud” initiative last night. A slick 26-page brochure provides what Silva calls, “A Game Plan for our City.” You can view the brochure here.

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Silva’s town hall: The mayor unveils Stockton’s very own superhero. He answers to ‘Tipster.’

Who is that masked man? It’s Tipster! Mayor Anthony Silva unveiled Stockton’s own superhero last night at his town hall. Tipster aims at “helping to fight crime in Stockton, California one tip at a time!”

“This program is to teach children the difference between snitching and reporting crimes,” a Tipster tip sheet says. “Children must feel that it is ok for them to report suspected crimes such as murder, domestic violence, sex crimes, armed robbery etc.” View the description of Tipster here.

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Stockton: Bicycle Master Plan/Plan Maestro de Ciclismo (Updated)

NEW: Here’s more info, including an interactive map.

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Remembering victims of gun violence

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American Humanist Association to Mayor Silva: Stop violating separation of church and state

Mayor Anthony Silva held a prayer rally this week during which he said he was presenting “the Key to the City to God.” Silva also has scheduled a town-hall meeting at a church Nov. 30, and has held past events at churches, too.

Local atheists and the American Humanist Association (slogan is “Good without a god”) are calling Silva on it, saying his frequent religious invocations violate the separation of church and state. The group sent a letter of complaint this week to City Manager John Luebberke. The letter was copied to the mayor and City Council, as well as to California Attorney General Kamala Harris. You can read it here.

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Live jazz and a free dog or cat

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