April 27, 2001 PROBE

April 27, 2001

QUESTION: I was given a ticket for "walking while brown." If you're standing in the middle of a mile-long block and you need to cross the street, do you have to walk to the end of the block?

What standards do police use to issue a jaywalking ticket? Who made the rules, the city or the state? Can PROBE find out? — Walker, El Centro

It's a state standard.

The state vehicle code says if there is a "device" (stop sign or signal) at the end of the block, the pedestrian must walk to the end of the block or the nearest crosswalk.

We don't know of any mile-long blocks in El Centro. In the downtown area on Main Street, several blocks have crosswalks in the middle of the block.


By the way, why do you say you got a ticket for "walking while brown"? Do you really believe you got a jaywalking ticket because you are Hispanic?

In Imperial County, that's so 20th century!

QUESTION: My friend believes spanking a child is necessary to get the child to obey. I believe this is outrageous! Spanking a child is not right!

As a child I was spanked. Some days I would have a red mark all day. It's scary when you are 8 years old to have a 200-pound father spank you with all his might.

Although parents might not realize it, they are hurting their child more than they think. There are other ways to teach a child to obey you. Please don't resort to spanking. — Opposed to Child Abuse, Brawley

Why don't you write down your tips to teach a child to obey and send them to us? Raising five kids, we never figured it out.

Whatever rules you devise will work with some kids. With other kids, nothing works.

We just read a news account in which a foster mother used a "time-out" to discipline a 3-year-old.

Apparently the child resisted the "time-out," so the foster mother fastened her into a high chair with duct tape and taped the little girl's mouth shut.

At least that's the allegation. The child died of asphyxiation.

What's needed in this debate is some common sense. A swat on the seat is not the same thing as having a 200-pound male (or 110-pound female) "spank a child …with all his (or her) might."

A "time-out" sounds fine but if the "time-out" is enforced with smothering duct tape, a swat that leaves a red mark on the bottom is kinder and safer.

QUESTION: Why is one of the new employees of the Center for Family Solutions living in the center's transitional housing in Holtville?

I thought the housing was for the low-income victims of domestic violence — not the employees. Isn't this a conflict? There is a long waiting list to go into the houses. — Waiting, Holtville

The employee may be eligible for the transitional housing. The criteria is to be a victim of domestic violence.

The income factor is a little muddier. The tenant must pay 30 percent of income to live in the house for up to two years, said Denise Bracamonte, client advocate for the center.

We don't see a conflict of interest. However, with only three transitional units in Holtville, putting an employee in one raises the suspicion of favoritism.

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