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Would U.S. slave owners
have freed slaves earlier?

Re: “Slaves may have been free sooner if Revolution failed” (Letter to the editor, July 12):

Letter-writer Martha Toppin concluded had we lost the Revolutionary War, and remained part of England, slavery “would likely have ended 32 years earlier (1833).” That’s highly questionable.

England itself had legitimized slavery for centuries. Over 12,500,000 African slaves were transported to the Americas during the 240-year slave trade. By the 1760s, England was the foremost European country engaged in the slave trade.

Speculative question: Would slave-owners in our South have freed their slaves because England (5,500 miles away) passed a law?

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It took 650,000 to 850,000 Americans dying in our Civil War to do it. Consider that countries including India and Ireland were not free of England’s centuries of harsh rule until the 20th century.

Joe Moran
Orinda

 

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Judith Martin 

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am fed up with my fiance’s parenting skills of his 20-year-old son. This son lives with us in the home we bought together, as do my two children, ages 11 and 14. His son makes over $30,000 a year, does not contribute to one bill in our home, and does not have one chore to do.

I am a clean freak and I keep my home actually spotless, and his son is a complete pig with his room. He has been told a million times not to eat upstairs, as we just replaced the carpet, and he still continues to bring food upstairs.

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I know it’s his room, but it is still my house, and he shows no respect as to the rules of the home. He comes and goes as he pleases, and never asks if he can help with anything. He won’t even take his own garbage out, nor does my fiance tell him to. We are even paying for his son’s cable that is in his bedroom.

My fiance is a wonderful man, and I don’t want to jeopardize what we have over this adult kid, who hopefully will be moving out soon. His other children are not speaking to him, and I feel that he does not want to make his son mad by giving him chores or making him pay a bill.

So, before I lose my mind, can you please tell me how I can close my eyes to all of this and live happily in this home with my fiance while his son resides there?

Want Miss Manners delivered to your inbox for free on weekdays?

GENTLE READER: Second families face challenges that first families are spared, but one hopes that second family members also have the benefit of having learned something the first time around.

Your stepson’s age is both an asset and a liability: an asset because he will most likely be moving out soon, a liability because his interactions with his father are long ingrained.

Miss Manners can offer two starting points. First, identify some areas in which you are willing to recognize your stepson’s autonomy: perhaps at the door to his bedroom. Second, discuss the situation with your fiance, explaining that, as his son’s primary parent, he may have to be more active than in the past — while also recognizing the effective limits of your own authority to make change directly.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I just had surgery, and my boyfriend wants to leave for the weekend with his friend. I feel very hurt. Is it just me?

GENTLE READER: One of the duties of a boyfriend (a girlfriend, too) is to demonstrate a more-than-passing interest in the object of his affections.

Miss Manners uses the word “demonstrate” advisedly. She has no objection to his feelings also being genuine; that is merely outside of the realm of etiquette. But no matter how deep his love, you cannot reasonably be expected to appreciate it while he is away skiing and you are eating applesauce through a straw.

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Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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DEAR AMY: My 90-year-old grandmother is a truly awful human being. She has alienated her entire family, including her five kids and multiple grandchildren. She’s lost countless friends and ruined relationships with those around her.

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune) 

My mother refers to her as a sociopath, and my uncles and aunts say they cannot wait for the day that she eventually passes.

While she’s typically invited to family functions, she has not attended in years — and honestly, we don’t miss her.

When my sister (who is gay) got married a few years ago, my grandmother was invited and chose not to attend. Instead, she sent my sister and her new wife a pamphlet on sexually transmitted diseases enclosed in a sympathy card. At that point, I was fully done with her, as was my sister.

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My grandmother has run out of money in recent years. Her children were all contributing to a monthly account for her, but after discovering that she was spending most of this money on home shopping purchases and casino trips, they all stopped. My mother and her siblings said the only items they will pay for now will be her moving into assisted living and her funeral, but nothing else.

About a week ago, my sister and I both received a letter in the mail from my grandmother pleading for money and explaining how dire her financial situation was. She sent this letter to all of her grandchildren, all of whom feel the same way about her.

I really want to respond and tell her what I think of her. The other part of me wants to show compassion toward someone near the end of their life. I certainly will not be giving her any money, but I feel that I should respond regardless. I just don’t know how.

What do you think?

Unsure Grandchild

DEAR UNSURE: Before you respond, ask yourself: “What good would it do?” If it would somehow benefit her, you, and others to lay out with complete honesty how reprehensible her behavior has been over the years, then do that.

Otherwise, you could try a simple, more compassionate, but also truthful response: “Dear Gran, I received your letter. I’m genuinely sorry you are in this position. Unfortunately, I cannot be part of your solution. I hope you find peace during this part of your life. Every person deserves that, and I want that for you, too.”

DEAR AMY: Today I attended my son’s “continuation ceremony,” i.e., graduation from elementary school.

As part of the ceremony, six or eight parents were recognized for having done a lot of volunteering at the school over the years and were given small bouquets of flowers, delivered by their kids.

I was one of the recipients and was really touched.

Here’s the problem: A few other people should have been recognized too — one person in particular. In fact, I was shocked that she was overlooked (I don’t know who came up with the list). Her contributions easily topped mine and some of the other people’s.

After the ceremony, during the cake-and-fruit interlude, I caught her eye and smiled at her, while clutching my flowers. She gave me a kind of rueful smile back.

We’re not close, just volunteer colleagues. In fact, I don’t think she likes me. I considered saying, “These should have been yours,” and “I don’t know why they didn’t give you flowers,” and various other remarks, all of which seemed horrible.

So I didn’t say anything. What on earth could I have said?

A Volunteer

DEAR VOLUNTEER: The rueful look you received was an invitation for you to acknowledge this other person’s efforts. And yes, you could/should have said, “You are obviously more deserving than I, and I’m embarrassed that your own efforts were not acknowledged. I don’t know what they were thinking, but I want to thank you very much for all you’ve done for this school, and all the children who have graduated today.”

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DEAR AMY: I loved your answer to “Pissed Mom,” the new mom whose elderly visiting father-in-law regularly seemed to “miss” the toilet when using it at night. I understand why she didn’t want to clean up after him.

Thank you for suggesting that the older dad might have vision or other problems. And thank you for suggesting that “Pissed’s” husband should handle this with his father.

 Appreciative

DEAR APPRECIATIVE: Many readers also expressed appreciation for the suggestion that “Pissed” and her husband should be sharing all diapering and cleaning chores.

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You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.

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SAN JOSE – A trio of San Jose police officers are being hailed as heroes for rescuing a 56-year-old homeless man from a burning van earlier this month.

On the evening of July 9, officers were dispatched to the One World Montessori School at 1170 Foxworthy Ave. for a report of a man who was yelling and throwing things in a rear parking lot, according to San Jose police Officer Gina Tepoorten.

Tepoorten said the man was standing near a van when patrol Officers Chris Pirelli and Tim Wright and reserve Officer Gregory Wharton arrived at the address. He ignored their requests to step away from the vehicle, which they suddenly realized was on fire.

The man tried to climb into the van and grabbed onto a tire, according to Tepoorten.

“Our perception was, he was having some kind of mental health crisis and clearly was not thinking about his own safety,” said Wright in an interview with ABC7 News, this news organization’s media partner.

With the man refusing to loosen his grip, Wharton drew and fired his Taser at the man, which caused him to let go, Tepoorten said. The officers then dragged the man to safety as flames engulfed the vehicle.

One of the officers wrote in a report that a “large explosion erupted from within the van, blowing out the van’s windows and buckling the van’s roof,” according to Tepoorten.

“These officers risked their lives to help this individual,” said Tepoorten, adding that there were propane tanks inside the van.

The San Jose Fire Department extinguished the fire and the man was taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and burns to his hands, according to Tepoorten.

The man was cited for resisting the officers and placed on a psychiatric hold. Police declined to identify the man and an update on his condition was not immediately available.

San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia praised the actions of his officers in a tweet Wednesday. He also posted images of the rescue, taken from Wright’s body-mounted camera.

As Chief, I have the honor of working with these men and women. This is why I love those who put on this uniform and run head-on, and not away, from the unknown dangers of each day! These pictures needed to be shared. pic.twitter.com/DAcAKw8iJx

— Eddie Garcia (@sjpdchief) July 17, 2019

“As chief, I have the honor of working with these men and women,” Garcia said in the tweet. “This is why I love those who put on this uniform and run head-on, and not away, from the unknown dangers of each day! These pictures needed to be shared.”

In an interview with ABC7 News, Pirelli said, “We just want the community to know that we’re here for everybody, unhoused, people with mental health issues, the rest of the community.”

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RICHMOND — An equipment issue at the Chevron refinery led to flaring, officials said Wednesday.

In a post to the refinery’s Facebook account just before 10:40 a.m., a statement said any smoke seen nearby was a result of fire-brigade drills.

But other reports of visible smoke plumes over the skies Wednesday evening led staff to issue a statement.

“This evening, the Chevron Richmond Refinery experienced some flaring activity due to an upset at a process unit. Refinery employees addressed the cause and the flaring has stopped,” Chevron spokeswoman Amy Mosley said.

Mosley did not say how long the flaring lasted, but added that the refinery issued a level-one alert, one of the lowest on the county’s community warning system scale, with no need to shelter in place.

According to this news organization’s reporting, the refinery saw nine flaring episodes in 2018, its most in the last decade, according to a recent Bay Area Air Quality Management District report.

On top of two other flaring episodes at the refinery in March, a KQED report last week said maintenance crews were evacuated from the refinery after a process-unit problem the morning of July 6.

Anyone with questions may call the refinery’s general number at 510-242-2000, ask about specific noises or odors at 510-242-2127, e-mail richmondrefineryinfo@chevron.com or go to www.fenceline.org/richmond for real-time air quality data.

Richmond @Chevron is spewing lots of black smoke pic.twitter.com/jSEYSMiYZA

— (Kane Baccigalupi (@rubyghetto) July 18, 2019

UPDATE: @Chevron says the flaring at the #Richmond refinery has stopped https://t.co/HHqT5YJwrw

— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) July 18, 2019

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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DALY CITY – The city is investigating whether one of its police officers violated the state’s sanctuary law when he arrested an undocumented 21-year-old El Salvadorian national and turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement earlier this year.

The officer took Jose Armando Escobar-Lopez into custody following a traffic stop on May 11. His girlfriend Krisia Mendoza told ABC7 News, this news organization’s media partner, Escobar-Lopez didn’t have a criminal record, but he was living in the country illegally and, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, driving without a license.

Passed in 2017, the state’s sanctuary law limits cooperation between local authorities and ICE. The state is still required to turn over immigrants who have committed violent crimes and felonies, but Escobar-Lopez does not appear to fall under that category.

As cities prepare for possible ICE raids, Krisia Mendoza is fighting for the release of her 21-year-old boyfriend Armando, who she said was detained by Daly City Police and then turned over to ICE.

Their attorney is looking into whether police violated sanctuary state policies pic.twitter.com/5uxxPDXcED

— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) July 13, 2019

In a statement Wednesday, the city called Escobar-Lopez’s arrest and transfer to ICE an “isolated incident.”

“Although this is an isolated incident, the city is nonetheless conducting a thorough investigation into all aspects of what led to Mr. Escobar-Lopez’s arrest and eventual transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” the statement said. “If the investigation uncovers a violation of law or city policy, the city will take appropriate action.”

The city said it is also reviewing police department policies to ensure compliance with the sanctuary law, also known as Senate Bill 54 or SB 54, and will be retraining its officers.

“The city is committed to complying with the spirit and the letter of SB 54 – not only because it is state law, but also because SB 54 embodies our city’s values,” the statement said.

“Daly City has always been a city of immigrants and we are extremely proud of that heritage,” the statement continued. “Daly City and its police department are firmly committed to protecting the rights of all individuals in our community, including immigrants, and we will be reinforcing that dedication and commitment in the days to come.”

ICE spokesman Paul Prince confirmed the federal agency arrested Escobar-Lopez for unspecified “immigration violations” on May 11. An immigration judge ordered Escobar-Lopez removed from the country on Sept. 21, 2017, and the immigration courts upheld the decision following his motion to reopen the case, according to Prince.

Escobar-Lopez was scheduled to be deported Wednesday, but the Board of Immigration Appeals granted him an emergency stay of removal, the Chronicle reported. He remains in ICE custody pending a decision by the board whether to reopen his case.

Daly City police Chief Patrick Hensley recently submitted a letter requesting Escobar-Lopez’s release from ICE Enforcement Removal Operations custody, according to Prince.

“ICE ERO has not made any determination in this matter at this time,” Prince added.

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Escobar-Lopez’s attorney, Jessica Yamane of La Raza Community Resource Center in San Francisco, could not be immediately reached for comment. In an earlier interview with ABC7 News, Yamane said there was a “very real possibility” the city violated the law.

Mendoza told the station she fears for her boyfriend’s safety if he is sent back to El Salvador. Friends and family said he came to the United States as an unaccompanied minor seeking refuge from domestic violence and threats from gangs, the station reported.

“He goes back to El Salvador,” she said, “I’m afraid someone will kill him or someone will do something to him.”

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Comic-Con International: San Diego, the granddaddy of all entertainment conventions, had its unofficial start Wednesday with Preview Night. It’s a time when four-day pass-holders get a sneak peek at the show floor and have the opportunity to pick up collectibles before the event officially opens Thursday.

Preview Night attracts cosplayers and fans of Warner Bros. properties. Many of them attended the preview in order to check out a screening of the new “Batwoman” series and a pilot from “Pennyworth,” a show about Bruce Wayne’s butler in the beginning of his career serving the the family of the Dark Knight. According to the Comic-Con website, the previews are an annual Comic-Con tradition.

This convention is expected have some momentous announcements including hints at Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Witcher” Netflix series, “His Dark Materials” and “Rick and Morty. Most of the big news will be generated out of Hall H. The photo gallery above shows the cosplayers, shoppers and the huge lines waiting for fans at the event.

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A San Mateo County judge ordered doctors to evaluate whether a Pacifica man is fit to stand trial for the murders of two men who were stabbed to death along Skyline Boulevard on consecutive nights last month.

Judge Robert Foiles said at a hearing Wednesday that he is concerned murder suspect Malik Dosouqi “is unable to truly understand the criminal proceedings” or contribute to his defense. Foiles suspended the criminal case against the 26-year-old until the question of his competency is resolved.

Authorities say Dosouqi killed the two victims after targeting them at random and luring them to secluded spots along the road near Woodside. They have charged him with two counts of murder.

Dosouqi pleaded not guilty earlier this month to the charges and continued to maintain Wednesday that he has been wrongly accused, saying in court that he is “100 percent innocent.”

Wednesday’s hearing was supposed to center on a request Dosouqi had made previously to represent himself in the case. After Foiles said he would be evaluated by doctors, Dosouqi dropped the request to be his own attorney, apparently in an attempt to avoid the six-week delay the competency process is expected to cause in the case.

“I would like it to be done as soon as possible,” Dosouqi told Foiles during a back and forth with the judge in which he asked how quickly he could have a trial if he accepted an attorney.

Foiles responded that the question of Dosouqi’s ability to stand trial is separate from both his request to represent himself and the rest of his case. A preliminary hearing that was set for Thursday was canceled until after Dosouqi is evaluated.

Dosouqi sat handcuffed at the defense table next to attorney George Borges, wearing a red jail jumpsuit with a thick beard and mustache.

Relatives of the two murder victims — 32-year-old taxi driver Abdulmalek Nagi Nasher, who was killed the night of June 18, and 31-year-old John Sione Pekipaki, a tow truck driver killed the following night — sat in the courtroom gallery behind Dosouqi before quickly leaving once the hearing was complete.

Several of Pekipaki’s family members wore black shirts with his photo that read, “Forever in our hearts.”

One of Dosouqi’s arms was still in a sling following injuries prosecutors said he sustained in the second killing. Sheriff’s deputies said they arrested Dosouqi after he drove at them as they attended to a mortally wounded Pekipaki, who cried out while they were tracking a cellphone tied to Nasher’s killing, alerting them to the victim’s presence. A deputy fired at Dosouqi’s car; he was not hit by gunfire, but soon crashed the car.

Questions about Dosouqi’s mental state have swirled since soon after he was arrested.

His neighbors in Pacifica described odd interactions with Dosouqi, with one saying he seemed to become more standoffish in recent years. Dosouqi was arrested on misdemeanor charges earlier this year, after deputies said he had been walking along Highway 1 and kept trying to touch firefighters who responded to check on him.

His request to represent himself also was an unusual one for criminal proceedings, especially in a complex murder case that could end in a death sentence if he is convicted of the charges and enhancements prosecutors have filed against him.

Abanto said that, at one point while Foiles and members of the public were out of the room Wednesday, he saw Dosouqi “laughing for no apparent reason.”

Dosouqi responded that he was laughing because he was confident he will be released soon because he is innocent.

Foiles said he suspended the criminal proceedings after reviewing Dosouqi’s medical records and meeting in chambers with his Borges.

“The concern I have is that at this point the defendant is unable to truly understand the criminal proceedings” and contribute to his defense, Foiles said.

Foiles said Dosouqi will be evaluated by two doctors, and set a hearing on the results of their evaluations for Aug. 30.

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East Bay Regional Park District police shared this image Wednesday, July 17, 2019 of a black and white border collie puppy stolen from its owner July 8 at Point Pinole Regional Park in Pinole, Calif. (Courtesy East Bay Regional Park District Police Department) 

PINOLE — Police said they are asking for the public’s help in finding a person or people who stole two herding dog puppies at a park last week.

Sometime between 8 and 11:30 a.m. on July 8, two black-and-white border collies were taken from their owner near Point Pinole Regional Park’s Dodson Family Marsh, East Bay Regional Park District police said Wednesday.

The collies, who are between 5 and 8 weeks old, are working dogs already relied upon by their herder owner.

Anyone with information about the theft or the dogs’ current location should call the parks police emergency line at 510-881-1121 or non-emergency line at 510-881-1833.

@regionalparkspd searching for herding puppies stolen on 7/8/19 near Dotson Family marsh at Pt. Pinole. Contact Dispatch at 510-881-1833 with information. #120 #pleaseRT #stolenpuppies #pleasehelp #beonthelookout pic.twitter.com/SZPnSWComc

— Regional Parks PD (@RegionalParksPD) July 18, 2019

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, the first black player in Boston Red Sox history, died on Wednesday in San Leandro. He was 85.

He lived in California most of his life and no cause of death was immediately available.

The Red Sox confirmed Green’s death on Wednesday and also held a moment of silence prior to their Wednesday night home game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

“Pumpsie Green occupies a special place in our history,” Red Sox principal owner John Henry said in a press release. “He was, by his own admission, a reluctant pioneer, but we will always remember him for his grace and perseverance in becoming our first African-American player. He paved the way for the many great Sox players of color who followed. For that, we all owe Pumpsie a debt of gratitude.”

Green entered as a pinch runner against the Chicago White Sox on July 21, 1959, to become the first black player to play in a game for Boston. The Red Sox were the last major league team to integrate.

A speedy but light-hitting utilityman, Green brought baseball’s segregation era to an end of sorts when he entered a game against the Chicago White Sox as a pinch runner for Vic Wertz on July 21, 1959 — more than a dozen years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Green joined the team on a lengthy road trip and had played nine games before taking the field at Fenway Park for the first time. Green said this year in an interview with NESN, the Red Sox TV network, that he remembered receiving a standing ovation when he came to the plate, batting leadoff.

“It was heart-warming and nerve-wracking,” he told reporters in 1997, when he returned to Boston to take part in ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s debut. “But I got lucky: I hit a triple off the left-center fence.”

Green played parts of four seasons with the Red Sox (1959-62) and one season with the New York Mets (1963). He had a career batting average of .246 with 13 homers and 74 RBIs in 344 games.

“We salute the courage Pumpsie Green demonstrated 60 years ago when he became our first player of color,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said in a statement. “Despite the challenges he faced, he showed great resilience and took pride in wearing our uniform. He honored us by his presence. We send our deepest condolences to Pumpsie’s family and friends.”

Green, an Oklahoma native who went to high school and college in Northern California, was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2018.

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