Thumbs Up: To free summer camp for children with autism.
The Autism Support of Imperial County has teamed with the Seanez Sports Academy in Imperial to offer free summer activities.
Thumbs Up: To the continuation of Imperial Valley College’s “First Step” program, which concluded Saturday.
First Step is intended to help incoming freshmen and their parents navigate the college world, from college admission to available services to registering for classes.
About 500 incoming freshmen were able through the program to gain priority registration over their peers. That alone should motivate incoming students to participate in the program, as getting the classes one needs continues to be a hurdle for many students.
The program was open to former high school seniors who previously took IVC assessments during IVC visits to their schools, with one official saying the program is beneficial to students motivated to go beyond high school and levels the playing field regardless of a student’s grade-point average.
Thumbs Down: To some disturbing news this past week, namely the death and dismemberment of an 8-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., boy at the hands of a stranger.
The gruesome death of Leiby Kletzky, a child in Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jewish community, at the hands of 35-year-old Levi Aron, an Orthodox Jew who is not a member of that community, is mind-boggling. It was preceded by the mutilation of a Garden Grove, Calif., man by his estranged wife. And those stories coincided with the news of a Washington state inmate who, as his own attorney, is being allowed to watch videos he made of himself molesting young boys.
All of the above stories are a discomforting statement on the depths to which far too many in our society sink, but the most perplexing is that of Mark Weldon Gilbert, the former pilot who has admitted to molesting young boys and who is being allowed by a judge to watch videos of himself doing just that. It’s all allowed by a law that allows defense attorneys to view evidence being used against them, and as his own defense attorney Gilbert falls within that category. But that it’s being carried out is far too creepy and unsettling, particularly for his victims.