A morale patch on the backpack of U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Thomas James, senior enlisted advisor to the California Military Department adjutant general, reads that the fun meter is set to max during his visit to Camp San Luis Obispo, California, as part of a Federal Legislative Field Day, Sept. 18, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard/Senior Airman Crystal Housman)
Allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers in the California National Guard are more widespread than the complaints made at a Fresno air base that led to a dramatic leadership shakeup of the organization earlier this month, The Times has found.
Interviews with current and former Guard members and an examination of internal documents show that complaints go well beyond Fresno and extend to the army side as well. The allegations have come from fighter pilots, a top military prosecutor, Special Forces officers and a colonel who hoped to head the organization.
They allege a pattern of both retaliation against whistleblowers and others who accuse their superiors of misconduct and a failure of the Guard's justice system to protect them.
A decision to affix an American flag graphic to the side of freshly painted Laguna Beach police cars is dividing residents who are alternately praising the image as patriotic or panning it as too aggressive.
After hearing criticism from residents at recent council meetings, and acknowledging that the image they approved for the cars didn't quite match the final results, officials agreed to reconsider their February decision to paint the Laguna Beach Police Department's fleet of 11 squad cars. The City Council will take the issue up again at its Tuesday meeting.
The Billets in Echo Park, California (Google Maps)
For six years, dozens of homeless veterans have recovered from trauma in nine cottages along a winding residential road in Echo Park. The Billets — military jargon for civilian quarters — has been a model.
The 72-bed program places as much as 70% of its chronically homeless veterans — male and female — in permanent housing, according to Volunteers of America, which operates the program. It's based in a tranquil, leafy and gentrifying neighborhood of families and young professionals a short walk from a doughnut shop, a grocery store and multiple bus lines.
But on Monday, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is closing the Billets for good.