Two Daily Independent stories caught my eye this week.

The first, dated Nov. 22, was headlined, “FPPC: No violation by Breeden.” The story stated the California Fair Political Practices Commission decided not to pursue any action against Mayor Peggy Breeden, citing insufficient evidence to support a finding of a violation of the political reform act in her vote to withdraw the city from the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program.

The FPPC’s finding does not surprise me because I have known the mayor for several years, and I have never known her to do anything dishonest.

However, we must be fair. The Checks and Balance Project was within its rights to file the complaint. It had a concern, and it asked the commission to investigate. That is why the Fair Political Practices Commission is there.

The second story was in yesterday’s paper and was headlined “McLaughlin named Ridgecrest police chief.”

This is a good choice, because I have known Jed McLaughlin since he joined the Ridgecrest Police Department. I remember when he served in the Patrol Division, Crime Suppression Unit, General Investigations, and as a watch commander, Police and Community Together supervisor, Explorer Supervisor, and a term as the president of the Police Employees Association of Ridgecrest.

It was also through his encouragement that I did many ride-along stints with the police.

I also like the police department’s outreach efforts such as Coffee with a Cop. In St. Petersburg, where I live, we have similar outreach efforts. One such effort that has really impressed me is the Park, Walk and Talk Initiative in which the officers park their cars and walk around and talk to residents. RPD should consider this as well.

I cannot believe some of the news posts I see on Facebook. One that caught my eye said, “Trump removes Muslim judge for trying to implement Sharia Law in America.” The post encouraged people to share it and thank the president.

Well morbid curiosity kicked in, so I checked it out. I went to the Politifact, Snopes and Fact Check websites, and all three said it was false. I stated that in the comments and received one response that stated, “50 cents, and anything SNOPES says, will get you a cup of coffee, wherever coffee is sold for 50 cents or less.”

With that in mind, I delved further into the post and found it came from a website, which is a satirical website. Talk about fake news.

There are other posts I am looking at as well.

I believe Facebook needs to screen posts like these, because unfortunately there are people, very intelligent people, who tend to believe them.

— John V. Ciani is a retired Daily Independent reporter. He currently resides in Florida.


The views expressed are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the official stance of the Daily Independent.