Stone Sentinel: May 2019

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Welcome to the May 2019 edition of the Stone Sentinel, my monthly newsletter to help keep you up-to-date with what’s happening in Sacramento and across the 28th Senate District.

The past month here in the State Capitol has been filled with the introduction of legislation and numerous committee hearings.

Mark Twain once said “those who respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made.”

This can be a grinding process as bills are read, testimony is heard and votes are counted. However, I do invite you to watch the process at work.

Floor sessions and committee hearings are broadcast live on the California State Senate website: www.senate.ca.gov.

California State Senate (image from the Senate Floor)

If you miss a meeting or a session, the videos are also archived on the website and can be viewed at any time.

I am happy to report that several of my proposed bills have made it through their initial committee hearings and are moving along in the legislature.

Please know, however, that there is a long way to go before these bills can become law.

You can follow the progress of my legislation by clicking on the links on this newsletter or visiting my website at www.Senate.ca.Gov/Stone.

Your support is needed. As you read about my bills, or any other bills, please contact my office, or the offices of other legislators, to let us know how you feel.

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Senator Stone Presents 2019 Veterans Service Awards

On May 4th Senator Stone presented his 2019 Veterans Service Awards. Ten veterans—five from Southwest County and five from the Coachella Valley—were honored in ceremonies in Wildomar and Desert Hot Springs.

“We had a record number of nominations and it was quite a challenge to select the 10 recipients this year,” said Senator Stone. “While I believe everyone who serves honorably in our military is worthy of special recognition, after reviewing the applications with the veterans who serve on my staff, these are the veterans who were selected for this year’s awards.”

Senator Stone’s Veterans Service Awards are based not only on military service, but on the contributions each veteran has made in their communities following their time in uniform.

The following is a list of the 2019 honorees and some of their accomplishments:

Southwest Riverside County

Senator Stone with Southwest Riverside County veteran service award recipients
Left to right: Sharon Carvalho, Senator Stone, Tom Hicks, Pete Ramos, Bob Davies, Terry Gilmore

Sergeant Bob Davies
United States Air Force
Murrieta

Bob Davies was born in England, migrated to Canada and moved to California in 1963.

Drafted after high school in 1966, he joined the Air Force and was assigned to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines as an Aircraft Technician.

He was frequently deployed to Vietnam where he served for almost a year and a half, including during the TET Offensive in 1968.

Bob is the Chief Executive Officer of Community Outreach Ministry, a 501-c3 non-profit for two decades in Wildomar, which helps at-risk children break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, drugs, gangs and incarceration.

The ministry gives kids a second chance to be winners and champions through outreach, camping, mentoring and the annual Angel Tree Christmas Party.

Bob is the incoming President of the Temecula Sunrise Rotary Club.

Lt. Col. Guilherme R. Carvalho, M.D.
United States Air Force
Temecula

Dr. Gil R. Carvalho was born in India. He immigrated to the United State in the 1970s and became a U.S. citizen.

He established his medical practice in Hemet and joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves in order to give back and serve this great country.

During the Persian Gulf War Gil was deployed for both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In 2005, while stationed at March Air Reserve Base, he was critically injured in the line of duty and suffered extensive damage to his heart. Despite his injury, he soon returned to duty and retired from the Reserves in 2008.

For the last six years of his life, Gil commuted from Temecula to Hemet each day to treat his patients, many of whom were military veterans.

Dr. Gil Carvalho died in 2016 of his service connected injury.

Sergeant Pete “Pedro” Ramos
United States Army
Temecula

Pete “Pedro” Ramos was born in El Paso, Texas, the third of 11 children of migrant farmworker parents.

He enlisted in the Army in 1963, and was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. where he was an Air Traffic Controller.

After leaving the Army Pete attended the California Highway Patrol Academy where he began a 32 year career with the CHP serving in Los Angeles, San Bernardino AND San Diego Counties.

He retired as a CHP Commander.

Pete has been an American Legion member for 45 years. He was the Commander of the Temecula Post from 2003-2007. He also served as the Post Chairman for JROTC, Oratorical, Boys State and Law and Order.

Pete served as American Legion District 21 Commander Riverside County in 2007-2008 and was the District 21 Law and Order Chairman for 10 years.

Pete has also served his community in many capacities including nine years on the Temecula Public Safety and Traffic Commission.

Sergeant Terry A. Gilmore
United States Army
Temecula

Terry Gilmore was born in St Louis and joined the Army in October 1966. He attended Radio Operator School and was sent to Vietnam in 1967 with the 25th Infantry Division.

While serving in Vietnam he earned the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star.

Terry returned home in 1968 and went to work in the automotive industry. In 1992 he opened Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac, the first auto dealership in what would become the Temecula Auto Mall.

Terry’s charitable efforts in the Temecula Valley are legendary. He has been quick to help those in need, in particular disabled veterans in our community.

Terry has offered his leadership skills to the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest County for decades including as Chairman of the “Our Kids Rock” annual fundraiser for many years.

He has been named the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year a record four times and received the Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Airman Third Class Tom Hicks
United States Air Force
Murrieta

Tom Hicks served as a Military Police Officer during his time in the Air Force.

He brought his law enforcement experience with him to his distinguished 30-year civilian carrier.

Tom is a retired Chief of Police and a former FBI Agent. He obtained a BA degree from the University of Redlands and is a graduate of the prestigious FBI Academy.

He has also served as an Interim City Manager and Director of Disaster Management.

He has led numerous law enforcement agencies and has been honored by the U.S. Congress and Department of Justice for his innovative ideas for law enforcement.

Tom has been life-long community volunteer supporting many non-profits including Michelle’s Place Cancer and Resource Center, and the Temecula Food Bank and Senior Center and has helped many struggling military families with deployed heads of household.

Coachella Valley

Senator Stone with Coachella Valley veteran service award recipients
Left to right: Daniel Ball, Jim Hawks, Senator Stone, Tom Swann, Daryl James, Ron Hare

Petty Office Frederick “Jim” Hawks
United State Navy

For more than a decade Jim Hawks has helped VFW Post 3699 grow in communities from Palm Desert to Mecca. He has served as VFW All-State Post Quarter/Master and All-State Post Commander for VFW Post 3699.

Jim and his wife Lynn have been instrumental in putting on the Post Awards Dinner at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa.

He has been the Post Buddy Distribution Chairman for five years which has collected over $4,000 each year to help local Veterans.

Jim is involved in many activities that positively impact our community.

Petty Officer Daryl Leon “Jesse” James
United States Navy

Daryl James was born in Illinois and joined the Navy in 1944. He served in both World War II and Korean War.

Daryl moved to California 1952, but moved back to Chicago in 1959. In 1973 he returned to California to stay and, in 1975, purchased a Palm Springs hotel which became the first gay resort in Warm Springs.

He is the former President of the Palm Springs Gay Tourism Guild and former Vice-President of the Palm Springs Gay Veterans.

Daryl was a charter member of AMVETS Post 66 and served as post treasurer when AMVETS dedicated America’s first LGBTQ Veteran’s Memorial in 2001.

Daryl has also served as chairman of the Riverside County Veterans Advisory Committee and has been involved with many veterans’ organizations and event.

Staff Sergeant Thomas A. Swann
United States Marine Corps
Rancho Mirage

Tom Swann is a champion of veterans’ rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, sexual orientation/identity rights, AIDS Awareness and Health Maintenance Organization Accountability.

Tom is a Vietnam Era Veteran who is a founder of AMVETS Post 66 in Palm Springs, District 9 AMVETS Commander, and a member of both the American Legion and the VFW.

He also is a founding Chairman of the California Democratic Party’s Veterans Caucus, Past President of Palm Springs Gay Veterans and a member of the California State Democratic Central Committee.

Tom led the effort to build the LGBT Veterans Memorial in Cathedral City.

Corporal R. Ronald Hare, MD
United States Army
Rancho Mirage

Dr. Ron Hare joined the Army in 1954 and was stationed overseas as a Morse Code Interceptor. Following active duty he enrolled at UC Riverside and then the University of California San Francisco Medical School, graduating in 1964.

After years of both Public and Private Practice in Los Angeles, he and his wife Norma retired to the desert in 1985. Ron has held a number of positions in non-profit organizations including Chamber of Commerce President, Chairman of the Riverside County Fair Board, and JFK Memorial Hospital board member and chairman.

In 2008, Ron began his efforts to provide no-charge health care services to uninsured and underinsured residents. In 2010, the newly incorporated Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine first opened their clinic doors and two years later CVVIM moved into a new 5,000 square-foot facility funded by Riverside County.

Relying on volunteers and a small paid staff, CVVIM provides comprehensive medical and dental care without charge to thousands of Coachella Valley residents.

Senior Airman Daniel Prince Ball
United States Air Force
Bermuda Dunes

Dan Ball joined the Air Force from his home of Archbold, Ohio in 1993 and served as a military journalist covering Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

A familiar face in the Coachella Valley, after his military service Dan got his start in local news as a reporter for TV station KESQ in the mid-1990s. He went on to work at other stations in Nevada and Indiana before returning to the desert in 2015 to anchor day-time broadcasts on KMIR.

Currently he is a local realtor.

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Death Penalty is the One Percent

By State Senator Jeff Stone

Senator Stone speaking on the Senate Floor

Everything Governor Newsom has stated as a reason for imposing his one-size-fits-all blanket moratorium on carrying out the death penalty in California is based on false premises.

With his actions, the Governor has made it clear that to him democracy does not matter. The people have spoken repeatedly on the death penalty and this Governor has chosen to ignore them.

He has cited there are 164 people nationwide who have been freed from death row after they were found to be wrongfully convicted. Doesn’t that mean the appeals process works?

He has said the death penalty has not made the state safer and has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. Isn’t that because those who oppose the death penalty have thrown so many wrenches in the process that it has ground to a virtual halt? Sorry, you don’t get to break something and then say, ‘Well, let’s toss it because it’s broken.’”

He says he couldn’t sleep at night if he thought he had put an innocent man to death. Well then, make sure that doesn’t happen. Modern DNA testing is amazing, and the governor has the power to order that testing.

He says in the end this was an emotional decision: “I cannot sign off on executing hundreds and hundreds of human beings.” Given that lethal injection is still hung up in the courts and is currently the only legal means of execution in California, this simply would not come to pass. In fact, out of the 737 prisoners on death row, there are only 25 who have exhausted all of their appeals and stand to be executed sooner rather than later, pending the courts’ determination.

Which leads me to the most important point: The 737 murderers on death row represent the worst of the worst. You don’t end up on death row simply because you committed murder; you have to have hit some really brutal and heinous legal criteria to be eligible for capital punishment. We’re not talking about a bar fight gone bad.

In fact, according to the Attorney General’s annual report on homicides in California, the number of people arrested for homicide from 2008-2017 that go on to receive the death sentence averages just around one percent (1.14%). In 2017 there were 1,501 homicide arrests in California; of those, 11 received the death penalty – 0.73 percent. In 2016 the percentage of murderers sentenced to death was 0.63 percent, and in 2015, 0.97 percent.

Those one percenters represent the worst of the worst; the most heinous, cold-blooded, brutal and cruel collection of murderers there are. The death penalty is NOT handed down lightly.

How “worst” do you have to be?

The Governor has given a reprieve to serial killers such as William Suff who was found guilty of murdering 12 women and dumping their bodies in fields in Western Riverside County between 1989 and 1991. Suff was sentenced to death in 1995. His death sentence was upheld in 2014 by the California Supreme Court.

Consider serial killer Randy Kraft. Between 1972 and 1983 he killed 16 young men and sexually mutilated their bodies.

Charles Ng, with killing partner Leonard Lake, used a dungeon adjacent to their cabin to torture and kill at least 11 and up to as many as 25 women.

Then there’s Wayne Adam Ford who, when he turned himself in to authorities in 1988, was found to be carrying a woman’s severed breast in his pocket. He confessed to having killed four women in 1997 and 1998.

These are the one percenters who sit on California’s Death Row. These are the one percenters whose lives Governor Newsom wants to spare.

Don’t be taken in by false arguments about who’s receiving the death penalty and that they haven’t earned capital punishment. They didn’t just have a bad childhood or get enough hugs from their parents. They aren’t just misunderstood. They are sociopaths who have committed cruel, atrocious, heinous crimes, and for them, for the one percent, capital punishment is just and deserved. Some people truly are just evil.

In addition, the families and friends of the people who have been heinously murdered by killers arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced and have had their sentences upheld by appellate courts are being victimized once again by a Governor who has abandoned his constitutional responsibility to support, uphold and defend the laws and constitution of the State of California.

Governor Newsom, rescind your blanket moratorium. Take a case-by-case approach if you must, if it will help you sleep at night, but on this issue you are just plain wrong.

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Senator Stone Supports Increased Funding for the Developmentally Disabled Community

Senator Stone speaking a committee hearing

Senator Stone has been a leading voice in urging the legislature to increase funding and resources for the Developmentally Disabled Community. Many of the budgets for these important programs were slashed during the Great Recession.

To date, much of that funding has not been restored.

The Senator vows to keep working to provide the necessary funding to provide a livable wage for healthcare workers in these vital fields and to provide resources for those Californians in the Developmentally Disabled Community to lead full and meaningful lives.

Watch the video here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-continues-support-increased-funding-developmentally-disabled-community

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Senator Stone’s Veterans Tax Relief Bill Moves Forward

Support Out Veterans

The Senate Committee on Appropriations unanimously passed legislation authored by Senator Stone to provide needed and deserved tax relief to those who have worn this nation’s uniform and served it faithfully.

Senate Bill 364—the Veterans Tax Relief Bill—previously received unanimous support in the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance and the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Senator Stone’s bill would cap property taxes on the primary residence of all honorably discharged veterans over the age of 65.

“Many veterans who are, or will soon become, senior citizens served America during the Vietnam and Korean wars, a time when our nation often did not show these men and women the respect they deserved,” the Senator said. “As these men and women become senior citizens the least we can do is offer them the financial stability to allow them to stay in their homes that this legislation provides.”

Senate Bill 364 is similar to SB 1104 which the Senator introduced in 2016. That bill received bi-partisan support but was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee before it could be heard by the entire legislature.

“I’m encouraged this year that members of the Legislature have stood up to support this common sense and compassionate legislation to bring tax relief to our veterans who have done so much for all of us,” said Senator Stone.

Senator Stone is urging all California Veterans, Veterans organizations and other interested residents to contact their State legislators to let them know they support SB 364.

The bill now moves to the full Senate for a vote.

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Senator Stone hosts Senior Scam Stopper Event

Senator Stone speaking at the Senior Scam Stopper event

Senator Jeff Stone hosted a free Senior Scam Stopper seminar on May 10th in Palm Desert.

About 40 seniors attended the event, held at The Joslyn Center located at 73750 Catalina Way in Palm Desert.

A panel of experts provided information to seniors on how to protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud. Attendees asked questions and obtained assistance if they have been scammed.

Senior Scam Stopper event

One in five seniors has been a victim of fraud and seniors are the most targeted group. In addition, new scams are developed every day.

Senator Stone with panelists from the Senior Scam Stopper event

One in five seniors has been a victim of fraud and seniors are the most targeted group. In addition, new scams are developed every day.

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Meet the Senator

May is one of the busiest months in Sacramento. This is the time of year when hundreds of groups and organizations visit the State Capitol to sit down with legislators to discuss the issues that are important to them and the people they represent.

Senator Stone welcomes these discussions and always looks forward to meeting with people from the 28th Senate District.

Here are just a few of the dozens of groups and individuals the Senator has met with recently.

Senator Stone with Pat Walsh of Menifee

Senator Stone welcomed Pat Walsh, Menifee’s new police chief, to his Sacramento office.

Senator Stone met with representatives of First 5 from Riverside County

Senator Stone met with representatives of First 5 from Riverside County in his Sacramento office. Thanks for all you do for our children.

Senator Stone welcomed Debbie Espinosa, CEO of FIND Food Bank, to his Sacramento office

Senator Stone welcomed Debbie Espinosa, CEO of FIND Food Bank, to his Sacramento office. Thanks for all of the great work this organization does for the people of Riverside County.

Senator Stone welcomed members of the Palo Verde Chapter of California Women for Agriculture to his Sacramento office

Senator Stone welcomed members of the Palo Verde Chapter of California Women for Agriculture to his Sacramento office.

Senator Stone welcomed the Environmental Club of Indio High School to the State Capitol to discuss issues related to the Salton Sea

Senator Stone welcomed the Environmental Club of Indio High School to the State Capitol to discuss issues related to the Salton Sea. It’s always great when young people get involved in such important issues.

Senator Stone welcomed members of Riverside County law enforcement agencies to his Capitol office

Senator Stone welcomed members of Riverside County law enforcement agencies to his Capitol office. The group was in Sacramento with their families attending the annual California Peace Officers Memorial event. Thank you for all you do for the people of Riverside County.

Senator Stone welcomed students with special needs and their parents, along with representatives of SELPA

Senator Stone welcomed students with special needs and their parents, along with representatives of SELPA—Special Education Local Plan Area—to his Sacramento office. SELPA represents 35,000 school-age children with disabilities in Riverside County.

Senator Stone met with Gene Wunderlich and the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors in Sacramento

Senator Stone met with Gene Wunderlich and the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors in Sacramento.

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Visit the Capitol

California State Capitol

The school year is ending and summer vacations are about to get underway.

Each year millions of people flock to California to enjoy its beaches, deserts, mountains, theme parks, wineries and other attractions.

Sometimes, when planning vacations, Californians forget all of the things there are to do right here in the Golden State.

We urge you to get out and enjoy all California has to offer.

This website may help: https://www.visitcalifornia.com/

If your vacation plans bring you to the Sacramento area, a visit to your State Capitol should be high on your list.

statue within the Capitol

Thousands of visitors flock to the Capitol building each year which is open to the public every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

statue within the Capitol

In addition to being the seat of California’s government, the Capitol building is a museum—admission is free—featuring numerous exhibits, free tours and a gift shop.

Reagan statue in the Capitol

To learn more about visiting the Capitol click on this link: http://capitolmuseum.ca.gov/

If you do plan a visit, please feel free to give Senator Stone’s office a call ahead of time. The phone number is (916) 651-4028.

Although the summer months can be a busy time for the Senate, if Senator Stone is available he always enjoys meeting people from the 28th Senate District.

To learn more visit this website: http://capitolmuseum.ca.gov/

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Team Stone on the Move

Each month Team Stone travels across Riverside County attending events, meeting with constituents and listening to business owners, local officials and the hard working people of the 28th Senate District. Here are a few of the places Team Stone has been recently.

Team Stone honored the Classified Employee of the Year, Ronald Nelson, Campus Security, Murrieta Valley High. School

District Representative Debbie Herrera attended the Riverside County Office of Education “Celebrating Educators Luncheon” at the Riverside Convention Center. Among the honorees was the Classified Employee of the Year, Ronald Nelson, Campus Security, Murrieta Valley High. School. Debbie presented him with a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone celebrated the the grand opening of Home2 Suites by Hilton

District Representative Debbie Herrera joined with the Temecula Valley and Murrieta/Wildomar chambers of commerce to celebrate the grand opening of Home2 Suites by Hilton on Rancho California Road in Temecula.

Team Stone attended the senior graduation ceremony for the Assisteens program at the Assistance League of Temecula

District Representative Debbie Herrera attended the senior graduation ceremony for the Assisteens program at the Assistance League of Temecula. Debbie presented certificates from Senator Stone and thanked these amazing teenagers for all they have done for the community.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Bikram Yoga Plus

District Representative Josie Arechiga recently attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Bikram Yoga Plus on S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. Josie presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Palm Desert Hypnosis - Roger Moore

Team Stone joined with the Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Palm Desert Hypnosis - Roger Moore on Sheryl Avenue in Palm Desert. District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for JR Thomas Golf Cars

District Director Glenn Miller attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for JR Thomas Golf Cars on Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage. Glenn presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the 6 year anniversary celebration of Do It Yourself Divorce

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce for the 6 year anniversary celebration of Do It Yourself Divorce. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone to owner Kristin Harrison.

Team Stone attended the grand opening of his newest Denny’s restaurant on Winchester Road in French Valley

District Representative Debbie Herrera congratulated owner David Beshay at the grand opening of his newest Denny’s restaurant on Winchester Road in French Valley. Debbie presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for State Farm Insurance – Cynthia Cabanas Insurance and Financial Services

District Director Glenn Miller joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce to welcome State Farm Insurance – Cynthia Cabanas Insurance and Financial Services on Highway 111 in La Quinta. Glenn presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting for Dove River Tactical Training

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the ribbon cutting for Dove River Tactical Training. District Director Glenn Miller and District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Magic Brow

Team Stone joined with the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Magic Brow on Temecula Parkway. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy of TVCC)

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