The Tucson piggies handcuffed this guy to a bus bench and then checked him out with a bomb squad robot.




Florida cop misused data, ChoicePoint claims


Two other incidents involving private investigators also revealed


By Bob Sullivan

Technology correspondent


Updated: 8:28 p.m. ET Sept. 16, 2005


 A Miami-Dade police officer allegedly peeked at thousands of private consumer records in what database

giant ChoicePoint described as illegal use of itsinformation. The company also announced three other

incidents of improper access, two involvingprivateinvestigators.










































The incidents were discovered in February, said ChoicePoint marketing director James Lee, when the company was investigating a systematic electronic break in by a crime ring that managed to steal some 145,000 records from the firm's massive database. The Alpharetta, Ga.-based firm maintains records on nearly every adult in the United States.


ChoicePoint is sending out notice of the privacy breach to all those affected and offering a year of free credit monitoring. The letters state that Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and other personal information might have been accessed by rogue employees at legitimate agencies, the firm said. The company waited until now to notify consumers at the request of the various law enforcement agencies conducting their own investigations, Lee said.


In the biggest single incident, 4,689 people's records may have been improperly accessed by an officer of the Miami-Dade Police Department in Florida. Department spokeswoman Detective Mary Walters said the officer 








































ad been suspended and an investigation was ongoing. She declined to identify the officer and said no charges had been filed.


The three other incidents announced Friday were: # Two California-based private investigators, Kenneth Beck and Robert Starr, allegedly used ChoicePoint's data to hunt for possible identity theft victims, Lee said. # A Texas based firm named RPM was found to have improperly accessed  data. # An employee of an "accredited insurance" company that ChoicePoint would not name, citing contracts with the firm, was also alleged to have improperly accessed records.


In total, the three incidents resulted in 547 warning notices being sent to victims, Lee said.


ChoicePoint also announced Friday it will send out an additional 4,667 notices to newly-discovered victims of the high-profile data theft revealed in February. Those consumers will also get a year of free credit monitoring.


In the wake of that incident, ChoicePoint began taking a closer look at how its databases were being accessed.  "We identified some unusual search patterns," Lee said. "We have the ability for certain law enforcement customers to track the usage and report when there are anomalies."


 The firm passed the information on the U.S. Secret

Service and other law enforcement agencies, which are conducting their own  investigations.


`Access without accountability' Privacy rights advocate Chris Hoofnagle of the Electronic Privacy Information Center said the revelations highlight a serious problem with the use of electronic investigation tools such as ChoicePoint's database: Law enforcement officials might abuse such systems to conduct personal searches.


"One concern … is the problem of law enforcement having access without accountability," he said. Hoofnagle said he warned of this problem four years ago in a law journal article titled "Big Brother's Little Helper."


"This clearly raises the question of whether or not anyone is overseeing law enforcement users of ChoicePoint," he said.


But Hoofnagle did praise the ability of Choicepoint auditors to uncover these incidents.


"That's a good thing, that ChoicePoint found these errant users of the system and that the public has received notice of them," he said.


Lee said ChoicePoint does all it can to make sure its service is used legitimately, but he said the firm's clients also need to guard internally against misuse.


"We are using our technology to the degree that we can ensure searches are proper, but with any customer there has to be internal controls," he said.


Congress is currently debating legislation that would make customer notifications when private data is leaked mandatory nationwide, imitating a state law that protects California residents.


However, currently it's not clear which firm would have the responsibility to send the notifications: ChoicePoint, which owns the data, or the companies with the rogue employees that allegedly stolethe data. While ChoicePoint was not necessarily legally obliged to send the notifications, the company chose to do so "to avoid arm-wrestling" with the other firms, Lee said.


So far this year, nearly 50 million consumers' data has been reported lost, stolen, or exposed to hackers. ChoicePoint's data theft, first reported Feb. 14 on, began a string of reported incidents that has highlighted the fragility of systems used to protect consumer data.

© 2005 MSNBC Interactive


© 2005






 `We do things legally'

Governor denies pension scheme link


By John Chase and Ray Long, Chicago Tribune staff reporters. Tribune

staff reporters Rick Pearson, Matt O'Connor, Christi Parsons and Erika

Slife contributed to this report

Published September 17, 2005


Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Friday vehemently denied any wrongdoing in response to recent allegations that an unnamed high-ranking public official was behind a scheme to steer state pension fund business to firms that made campaign contributions.


Asked by reporters whether he was the unnamed official -identified only as "Public Official A" in a court document--Blagojevich said, "I don't know who A, B, C or Z is."


Blagojevich acknowledged that he had been questioned by federal prosecutors this year about allegations that state board and commission appointments were traded for campaign cash. Blagojevich said he cooperated and had done nothing wrong.


In a critical moment in his political career, Blagojevich remained unruffled during a half-hour news conference as he tried to deflect the surging scandal that is challenging his reformist image.


"I have on my side the most powerful ally that exists and that is the truth," the governor said. "And the truth is that we do things legally. We do things ethically. And we do things right."


He attributed any possible illegality involving the pension funds to the "spilling over" of 26 years of Republican administrations.


In addition to Blagojevich's meeting with federal prosecutors, the governor's longtime friend and chief of staff, Lon Monk, also was questioned by federal authorities, administration officials said.


Both men maintained there is "no basis" to the allegations, said Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff.


The Democratic governor would not discuss any details of his meeting with federal prosecutors and would not say whether their questions also involved fundraiser Stuart Levine, a key figure in the federal probe into the state's multibillion-dollar public pension funds.


Levine has pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion involving kickbacks from investment consultants. Blagojevich said he had met Levine and Democratic fundraiser Joseph Cari only a handful of times--including when he flew with them to New York for a campaign fundraiser they helped sponsor.


In plea agreements reached Thursday with the federal government, Cari and a former attorney for the state's Teacher's Retirement System said a high-ranking Illinois public official and the official's two associates were behind a scheme to trade pension fund business for campaign contributions. In both agreements, Levine was the ultimate source of the information to the two men.


Blagojevich harshly criticized the accusations against "Public Official A" as "triple hearsay" from someone who pleaded guilty to attempted extortion and heard the information from someone else who has been charged by federal authorities.


"All I can tell you is what was written in that document does not describe how we do things," Blagojevich said. "We don't operate that way. No one who is associated with me operates that way and if they did, they understand I wouldn't tolerate that for a split second."


Although federal authorities did not identify the official, several news organizations said it was Blagojevich, attributing the information to unnamed sources.


The Tribune did not identify Public Official A. It is the newspaper's policy not to accuse people of wrongdoing based on unnamed sources.


"When this is all said and done you're going to see we do things right and we are, as I said before, we do things the way you're supposed to do it," Blagojevich said.


Blagojevich also defended his two closest fundraisers, businessmen Christopher G. Kelly and Antoin "Tony" Rezko. He insisted that the two continued to enjoy his confidence and that he does not believe they are the associates referred to in the plea agreement.


"I have confidence that they do things right," he said. "They don't break the law or make any promises or deals or quid pro quos. Those are obvious and I don't think it takes a brain surgeon to figure out you shouldn't do those things."


Kelly's attorney, Michael Monico, pointed out that the government has not accused his client of wrongdoing.  "He's worked hard for the governor and has done so appropriately and lawfully," Monico said.

 In discussing his interview with representatives of the U.S. attorney's office, Blagojevich said an attorney accompanied him to the

meeting, but he would not identify who it was.

 The governor did say that the law firm Winston & Strawn has represented him since he was elected and is paid using funds from his political fund.


Blagojevich said the meeting with federal authorities took place in the winter. State election records show that in February his campaign fund paid Winston & Strawn almost $31,000 in legal fees--nearly three times the next largest single payment the governor's political fund has paid the firm since he was elected.


The governor said that interview stemmed from accusations first raised by his father-in-law, Chicago Ald. Richard Mell (33rd). Mell said Blagojevich traded appointments for campaign cash, but the alderman later recanted after Kelly threatened to sue. But by then, Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan and Cook County State's Atty. Richard Devine already had opened a joint investigation.


Levine, the man at the center of the allegations, initially was named by a Republican governor to be a trustee of the pension fund for public teachers outside Chicago. Blagojevich re-appointed him, he said Friday, because "the law requires a Republican opponent on the retirement pension system."


But the pension fund's executive director, Jon Bauman, said that unlike some state boards and commissions, where a balance of Republicans and Democrats is called for in state law, there are no partisan affiliation requirements for the retirement system's board.


"The requirements for appointed trustees are only that they live in the territory covered by TRS, which is that outside the city of Chicago," Bauman said. "But no [Republicans] or [Democrats]."




America Has Fallen to a Jacobin Coup


By Paul Craig Roberts


The most important casualties of September 11 are respect for truth

and American liberty. Propaganda has replaced deliberation based on

objective assessment of fact. The resurrection of the Star Chamber has

made moot the legal protections of liberty.


The US invasion of Iraq was based on the deliberate suppression of

fact. The invasion was not the result of mistaken intelligence. It was

based on deliberately concocted "intelligence" designed to deceive the

US Congress, the American public, and the United Nations.


In an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC News, General Colin Powell, who was Secretary of State at the time of the invasion, expressed dismay that he was the one who took the false information to the UN and presented it to the world. The weapons of mass destruction speech, he said, is a "blot" on his record. The full extent of the deception was made clear by the leaked top secret "Downing Street  Memos."


Two and one-half years after the March 2003 invasion, the US Congress and the American people still do not know the reason Iraq was invaded. The US is bogged down in an expensive and deadly combat, and no one outside the small circle of neoconservatives who orchestrated the war knows the reason why. Many guesses are rendered – oil, removal of Israel's enemy – but the Bush administration has never disclosed its real agenda, which it cloaked with the WMD deception.


This itself is powerful indication that American democracy is dead. With the exception of rightwing talk radio, everyone in America now knows that the invasion of Iraq was based on false information. Yet, 40 percent of the public and both political parties in Congress still support the ongoing war.


The CIA has issued a report that the war is working only for Osama bin Laden. The unprovoked American aggression against Iraq, the horrors perpetrated against Muslims in Abu Ghraib prison, and the slaughter and mistreatment of Iraqi noncombatants, have radicalized the Muslim world and elevated bin Laden from a fringe figure to a leader opposed to American hegemony in the Middle East. The chaos created in Iraq by the US military has provided al Qaeda with superb training grounds for insurgency and terrorism. Despite overwhelming evidence that the "war on terror" is in fact a war for terror, Republicans still cheer when Bush says we have to "fight them over there" so they don't come "over here."


If fact played any role in the decision to continue with this war, the US would not be spending hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars to provide recruits and training for al Qaeda, to radicalize Muslims, and to destroy trust in the United States both abroad and among its own citizens.


American casualties (dead and wounded) of this gratuitous war are now approximately 20,000. In July, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said the war might continue for 12 years. US casualties from such protracted combat would eat away US troop strength. Considering the well publicized recruitment problems, America would require a draft or foreign mercenaries in order to continue a ground war. Like the over-extended Roman Empire, the US would have to deplete its remaining wealth to pay mercenaries.


Dead and wounded Americans are too high a price to pay for a war based on deception. This alone is reason to end the war, if necessary by impeaching Bush and Cheney and arresting the neoconservatives for treason. Naked aggression is a war crime under the Nuremberg standard, and neoconservatives have brought this shame to America.


There is an even greater cost of the war – the legal system that protects liberty, a human achievement for which countless numbers of people gave their lives over the centuries. The Bush administration used September 11 to whip up fear and hysteria and to employ these weapons against American liberty. The Orwellian-named Patriot Act has destroyed habeas corpus. The executive branch has gained the unaccountable power to detain American citizens on mere suspicion or accusation, without evidence, and to hold Americans indefinitely without a trial.


Foolishly, many Americans believe this power can only be used against terrorists. Americans don't realize that the government can declare anyone to be a terrorist suspect. As no evidence is required, it is entirely up to the government to decide who is a terrorist. Thus, the power is unaccountable. Unaccountable power is the source of tyranny.


The English-speaking world has not seen such power since the 16th and 17th centuries when the Court of Star Chamber became a political weapon used against the king's opponents and to circumvent Parliament. The Star Chamber dispensed with juries, permitted hearsay evidence, and became so reviled that "Star Chamber" became a byword for injustice. The Long Parliament abolished the Star Chamber in 1641. In obedience to the Bush regime, the US Congress resurrected it with the Patriot Act. Can anything be more Orwellian than identifying patriotism with the abolition of habeas corpus?


Historians are quick to note that the Star Chamber was mild compared to Gitmo, to the US practice of sending detainees abroad to be tortured, and to the justice (sic) regime being run by Attorney General "Torture" Gonzales and his predecessor, "Draped Justice" Ashcroft, who went so far as to say that opposition to the Patriot Act was itself the mark of a terrorist.


The time-honored attorney-client privilege is another casualty of the "war on terror." Taking their cue from the restrictions placed on lawyers representing Stalin's victims in the 1930s show trials, Justice (sic) Department officials seek to limit attorneys representing terrorist suspects to procedural niceties. Lynn Stewart, attorney for Omar Abdel Rahman, was handed a letter by a Justice (sic) Department prosecutor instructing her how to represent her client. When she did what every good lawyer would do and represented her client aggressively, she was arrested, indicted and convicted.


Many conservative lawyers have turned a blind eye, because Stewart is regarded as a leftwing lawyer whom they dislike. Only a few civil libertarians, such as Harvey Silverglate, have pointed out that prosecutors cannot create felonies by writing letters to attorneys. Stewart was convicted for violating a prosecutor's letter (technically, a Special Administrative Measure). This should make it obvious even to the blind that American democracy has lost all control over law.


Federal officials have sensed the sea change in American law: arbitrary actions and assertions by federal officials are taking the place of statutory legislation. We saw an example recently when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that news media covering the New Orleans hurricane story were prohibited from taking pictures of the bodies of inhabitants drowned when the levees failed. Nowhere is FEMA given authority to override the First Amendment. Yet, FEMA officials saw no reason not to issue its decree. Rome had one caesar. America has them throughout the executive branch.


We see the same exercise of arbitrary authority in break ins by police into New Orleans homes in order to confiscate legally owned firearms. No authority exists for these violations of the Second Amendment. No authority exists for the forceful removal of residents from non damaged homes. Tyrannical precedents are being established by these fantastic abuses of government authority.


In the US today nothing stands in the way of the arbitrary exercise of power by government. Federal courts have acquiesced in unconstitutional detention policies. There is no opposition party, and there is no media, merely huge conglomerates or collections of federal broadcasting licenses, the owners of which are afraid to displease the government.


The collapse of the institutions that confine government to law and bind it with the Constitution was sudden. The president previous to Bush was impeached by the House for lying about a sexual affair. If we go back to the 1970s, President Richard Nixon had the decency to resign when it came to light that he had lied about when he first learned of a minor burglary. Bush's failures are far more serious and numerous; yet, Bush has escaped accountability.


Polls show that a majority of Americans have lost confidence in the Iraq war and believe Bush did a poor job responding to flooded New Orleans. Many Americans hope that these two massive failures have put Bush back into the box of responsible behavior from which September 11 allowed him to escape. However, there is no indication that the Bush administration sees any constraints placed on its behavior by these failures.


The identical cronyism and corrupt government contract practices, by which taxpayers' money is used to reward political contributors, so evident in Iraq, is now evident in New Orleans.


Despite having been fought to a stalemate by a few thousand insurgents in Iraq, the Bush administration continues to issue thunderous threats to Syria and Iran.


To press its fabricated case against Iran's alleged weapons of mass destruction program, the Bush administration is showing every foreigndiplomat it can corral an hour-long slide show titled, "A History of Concealment and Deception." Wary foreigners are reminded of the presentations about Iraq's WMD and wonder who is guilty of deception, Iran or the Bush administration.


Now that the war in Iraq has established that US ground forces cannot easily prevail against insurgency, the Bush administration is bringing new military threats to the fore. The neocon orchestrated "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" abandons the established doctrine that nuclear weapons are last-resort options. The Bush administration is so enamored of coercion that it is birthing the doctrine of preemptive nuclear attack. US war doctrine is being altered to eliminate the need for a large invasion force and to use "preventive nuclear strikes" in its place.


Is this the face that the American people want to present to the world? It is hard to imagine a greater risk to America than to put the entire world on notice that every country risks being nuked based on mere suspicion. By making nuclear war permissible, the Bush administration is crossing the line that divides civilized people from barbarians. The United States is starting to acquire the image of Nazi Germany. Knowledgeable people should have no trouble drawing up their own list of elements common to both the Bush and Hitler regimes: the use of extraordinary lies to justify military aggression; reliance on coercion and threats in place of diplomacy; total belief in the virtue and righteousness of one's cause; the equating of factual objections or "reality-based" analysis to treason; the redirection of patriotism from country to leader; the belief that defeat resides in debate and a weakening of will; refuge in delusion and denial when promised results don't materialize.


As Professor Claes Ryn made clear in his book, America the Virtuous, the neoconservatives are neo-Jacobins. There is nothing conservative about them. They are committed to the use of coercion to impose their agenda. Their attitude is merciless toward anyone in their way, whether fellow citizen or foreigner. "You are with us or against us." For those on the receiving end, the Nazi and Jacobin mentalities come to the same thing.  The Bush administration has abandoned American principles. It is a Jacobin regime. Woe to its citizens and the rest of the world.


 Dr. Roberts <> is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.




im sure when the police talk about this incident which seems like a horrible abuse of police power they will clarify what happened and why the police are not evil assholes. the police statement will read something like this. "yes we know she is a 73 year old lady with out a criminal record but she was a BLACK lady in the vincity of a crime so that MUST mean she is one of the criminals",,23889-1783767,00.html


September 16, 2005


New Orleans looter, 73, safely under lock and key

By Sam Knight, Times Online, and agencies


A 73-year-old diabetic grandmother and church elder was arrested for looting the day after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and has spent 16 days in jail because of a basket of suspicious food.


Police in a suburb of New Orleans put Merlene Maten in handcuffs on August 30 after accusing her of taking $63.50 (£35) in goods from a looted grocery. Even though she had no criminal record, Mrs Maten had her bail set at $50,000 was shipped off to a state penitentiary.


Family and witnesses insist that Mrs Maten was the innocent victim of frustrated police officers, who were unable to catch any younger looters in the flooded streets of the city.


Despite intervention from America's largest elderly campaign group, volunteer lawyers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a private lawyer, the family fought a futile battle for two weeks to get her freed.


It was only after Mrs Maten's story was reported in American media that a judge ordered her release yesterday, setting up a reunion with her daughter, grandchildren and 80-year-old husband.


"I’m just gonna hug her and say ’Mom, I’m so sorry this had to happen,"’ Maten’s tearful daughter, Elois Short, told the Associated Press shortly after getting the news.


Prison officials plan to release Mrs Maten this weekend but she must still face the looting charge at a court hearing in October. Mrs Maten, her family and several witnesses vigorously deny she did anything wrong.


"There were people looting, but she wasn’t one of them. Instead of chasing after people who were running, they grabbed the old lady who was walking," said Mrs Maten's daughter, a traffic warden in New Orleans.


Daniel Becnel, Mrs Maten's lawyer, said police arrested the grandmother in a hotel car park as she took a piece of sausage out of her car.


According to Mr Becnel, Mrs Maten had abandoned her flooded home and paid for a room at the hotel with a credit card before coming downstairs to collect some food for her and her husband.


"Why would someone loot when they had a car with a refrigerator and had paid with a credit card at the hotel?" Mr Becnel asked. "The circumstances defy the theory of looting."


Mr Becnel said Mrs Maten was arrested a block away from the looted shop where police say she was apprehended. The short police account of her arrest describes a more violent scene:


"When officers arrived, the arrestee was observed leaving the scene with items from the store. The store window doors were observed smashed out, where entry to the store was made," the report said.


Even the owner of the burgled shop does not want anyone prosecuted for the break-in: "Especially not a 70-year-old woman," said Christine Bishop, the owner of the Check In Check Out Deli.


Accused looter, 73, out of jail

Associated Press 


GRETNA, La. — A 73-year-old woman who was jailed for more than two weeks after authorities accused her of looting was released Friday evening. Merlene Maten said the first thing she wanted to do was visit her 80-year-old husband.


"I thank God this ordeal is over," she said after being released from the parish jail. "I did nothing wrong."


Police arrested Maten the day after Hurricane Katrina on charges she took $63.50 in goods from a looted deli.


Family and eyewitnesses insist she only had gone to her car to get some sausage to eat when officers cuffed her in frustration, unable to catch younger looters.


Despite intervention from the nation's largest senior lobby, volunteer lawyers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and even a private attorney, the family fought a futile battle for 16 days to get her freed. After the media picked up the story, a local judge ordered her freed.

Maten still must face the looting charge at a court hearing in October. But the family, armed with several witnesses, intends to prove she was wrongly arrested.


Christine Bishop, the owner of the Check In Check Out deli, said that she was angry that looters had damaged her store, but that she would not want anyone charged with a crime if the person had simply tried to get food to survive. "Especially not a 70-year-old woman," Bishop said.




right now they are volentary but you can bet the government buerocrats will want to make them mandatory next!


PV parents can sign up students for drug tests


Anne Ryman

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 17, 2005 12:00 AM


The Paradise Valley Unified School District, which became the first district in the state to randomly drug-test athletes in 1991, is expanding the program to all high school and middle school students whose parents approve.


Parents will be able to sign up their children for random drug testing beginning in November. It is believed to be the first district in the state with such a program. Students playing sports still face mandatory random drug testing.


The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that schools can have mandatory random drug testing for athletes, but the ruling doesn't extend to testing all students. District officials say they are adhering to that ruling because the drug testing is voluntary.


School officials will tell parents if their children test positive, but the students won't face discipline or criminal charges.


"Basically, it's a support system for parents," said Jim Lee, the district's director of student services.


The Paradise Valley School Board unanimously approved the program Thursday night. The board based its decision in part on a survey conducted last year that showed a vast majority of district parents would support such a program.


The Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has opposed random drug testing without cause in schools and opposes the Paradise Valley's voluntary random testing, said Stan Furman, its president.


"If they are going to have drug testing, they should have not only the parents' permission, but the kids' permission," Furman said.


Paradise Valley requires only parents to give permission, not students.


Only a handful of Arizona school districts, including Paradise Valley, Queen Creek and Show Low, have random drug testing for student athletes. Many Arizona school districts shy away because of the cost of testing and possible lawsuits. Paradise Valley pays $21,000 a year to randomly drug-test 400 to 500 athletes; Show Low pays about $35 a test.


More than 200 schools and school districts in the United States do some form of drug testing, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The agency's spokeswoman, Jennifer De Vallance, predicts it will become more common.


President Bush has been a strong advocate of random testing.


This year, Congress set aside an estimated $6.5 million for school drug-testing programs, and 32 grants are expected to be announced by the end of September.


When the Paradise Valley program begins in November, parents can sign up through their school principal. Schools also will provide free drug-testing kits to parents or give them vouchers for free drug testing at a lab. It is funded through an $18,000 grant from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.


Jesse Acosta, principal of Greenway Middle School near 32nd Street and Greenway Road, said the new program will be useful to both the school and parents.


"We have parents who come in and say, 'I'm struggling with my child at home, and I think he may be involved with drugs. We would have them talk to the counselor, but that doesn't really get to the root of the problem."


Once the program starts, Acosta said, the school can offer the parent free vouchers to get the student drug testing.


Paradise Valley is the fourth-largest school district in the state, with about 33,100 students, and serves northeast Phoenix and a small part of Scottsdale.


Parent Nancy Reynolds, who has a freshman daughter at Horizon High School, said she will sign up her daughter for the voluntary program.


"I don't think athletes should be the only ones tested," she said.


Reynolds does wonder, however, whether parents whose children are most likely to use drugs will be inclined to sign up. Her daughter, Brittany, 14, said she has no problem being tested.


Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne was a member of the Paradise Valley School Board when the board decided to start random drug testing in 1991. The district was sued by a student but prevailed in court.


"I think it's an excellent idea," Horne said about expanding the program. "Parents need to know if their child has a problem so that need can be addressed."


Horne said drug use will be reduced, and "where it does occur, it will enable the parents to be alerted to the problem and address the problem with their child and a therapist."


Reach the reporter at (602) 444-8072.




isnt this nice! in this poll 52 percent of people interviewed called for an immediate withdrawal from iraq


Americans concerned with money for Iraq war


New York Times

Sept. 17, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - With Hurricane Katrina already costing the federal government tens of billions of dollars, more than eight in 10 Americans are very or somewhat concerned that the $5 billion being spent each month on the war in Iraq is draining away money that could be used in the United States, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.


The poll also indicated that nearly half of Americans say that the war is distracting President Bush from addressing problems at home, though an equal number do not share that concern.


Support for the war in Iraq has fallen to an all-time low, according to the poll.


Only 44 percent now say the United States made the right decision in taking military action against Iraq, the lowest rating since the question was first asked by this poll more than two years ago.


The findings underscore the difficulty Bush faces as he calls on the public to show patience and resolve with the U.S. effort in Iraq, particularly in the face of a persistent insurgency, punctuated this week by the killings of nearly 200 people in a coordinated assault in Baghdad.


When asked how long U.S. troops should remain in Iraq, for example, 52 percent of people interviewed called for an immediate withdrawal, even if that means abandoning Bush's goal of restoring stability to that country.


Only 42 percent said that troops should remain for as long as it takes to accomplish that mission, 12 percentage points lower than slightly over a year ago, when the question was first asked.


The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Sept. 9 through 13, with 1,167 adults, and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

































gaurd your wallet. NASA wants to steal a few trillion dollars from us to put a man on the moon again and waste a few more trillion putting a man on mars. think the space shuttle was a disaster? then wait for this!


NASA to revisit moon by 2018 using shuttle, Apollo parts


Marcia Dunn

Associated Press

Sept. 17, 2005 12:00 AM


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA hopes to return astronauts to the moon by 2018, nearly a half-century after men last walked the lunar surface, by using a distinctly retro combination of space shuttle and Apollo rocket parts.


The space agency presented its lunar exploration plan to the White House on Wednesday and on Capitol Hill on Friday. An announcement is set for Monday at NASA headquarters in Washington.


The fact that this successor to the soon-to-be-retired shuttle relies so heavily on old-time equipment, rather than sporting fancy futuristic designs, "makes good


































technological and management sense," said John Logsdon, director of George Washington University's space policy institute.


Depending on advanced, unproven technology would slow everything down and raise the costs, which will be high anyway, he said.


The crew exploration vehicle's first manned trip will be to low Earth orbit, probably no earlier than 2012, leaving up to a two-year gap between the last shuttle flight and the debut of its successor.


In a speech at a California aerospace conference two weeks ago, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said the new spacecraft will build upon the proven designs and technologies used in the Apollo moon and shuttle programs, "while having far greater capability."


There would be two rockets, one for astronauts and their exploration vehicle and the other for cargo, the propulsion system and the lunar lander.


The idea would be to launch the crew exploration vehicle on the smaller of the new rockets, which would still be taller than the 184-foot shuttle.




a kinder gentler police state!! of course its for the sake of the children


CPS to remove fewer children

Says it will now try to keep families from being split up


By Howard Fischer and Joyesha Chesnick



Child Protective Services promised Friday to remove fewer youngsters from their homes and instead find ways to keep families together.


David Berns, director of the state Department of Economic Security, said his agency will provide more in-home services to families in trouble.


That should reduce the need for CPS caseworkers to take children to ensure their safety is protected, he said.


The shift in policy could have a big impact in Pima County, where more children are removed from their homes than in Maricopa County, despite having less than one-third the population.


Berns also vowed to bring the agency into compliance with state regulations that bar placing children into group homes for more than 21 days. And when children have to be taken, he said more will be placed with relatives and in foster care than in group homes and shelters.


Berns set a deadline of next June 30 to reduce the number of youngsters in out-of-home placement by 5 percent. As of June 30, there were 9,846 youngsters in CPS care. He would have to reduce that by nearly 500 to reach his goal.


The trend, however, has been the other direction: a nearly 40 percent increase over two years.


Half of that has been since the Legislature, at the behest of Gov. Janet Napolitano and CPS, altered the law to make the safety of the child a higher priority than family preservation.


Pima County has mirrored the state trend, with the number of children in foster care continuing to rise - albeit at a slower rate than in other areas.


That's because social workers here have emphasized child safety over family preservation for almost a decade, well before Napolitano and the Legislature stepped in.


Until 2003, Pima County caseworkers took children from as many families as Maricopa County workers did, even though Maricopa has three times the number of abuse and neglect cases.


Although Maricopa appeared to be catching up in child removals over the past few years, the latest report, examining cases between Oct. 1, 2004, and March 31, 2005, showed Pima County removed children in 274 cases compared with 218 cases for Maricopa.


The action by Napolitano and the Legislature followed a series of high-profile cases in which children died after CPS workers either did not investigate abuse reports or decided after inquiry to leave the child at home.


The trigger for stepping up removals here was the 1996 beating death of 5-year-old Donovan Hendrix, who was well-known to CPS.


The Hendrix tragedy led to the creation in Pima County of Model Court, which speeds permanent placements for children in state care.


Child abuse and neglect cases in Pima County have risen more than 50 percent since the start of Model Court, according to the Pima County Juvenile Court Center's 2003 annual report. Cases involving severance of parental rights have gone up 150 percent.


When she issued her directive, Napolitano said there needed to be a clear message to caseworkers: When in doubt, err on the side of taking a child out of harm's way.


Those orders created a "huge bottleneck of kids," according to Rep. Laura Knaperek, R-Tempe. "She caused a removal panic and didn't plan."


The CPS practices also have resulted in legislative hearings to determine whether the agency's removal policies and practices are doing more harm than good. Lawmakers have heard testimony from people who contend CPS is being overly aggressive in removing children from the home.


Berns said CPS wanted to keep more children at home, even with the 2003 change in law, but it could not.


"What we didn't have was an infrastructure to provide for that safety as much and as well as what we wanted with these in-home services," he said.


Now, Berns said, the agency will do more to provide "intensive in-home services" so families can stay together while parents get the help they need.


Knaperek said part of the problem is that most of the new dollars given to CPS in the last few years have gone to hire more caseworkers rather than provide in-home services - a practice Berns said was necessary.


"Well, you have to have the initial assessment, investigation and response as a prerequisite before you start providing services," he said. "Otherwise they're not aimed at anything in particular."


And the Legislature mandated that CPS investigate all complaints of abuse; before that, about a third deemed not high-priority were turned over to Family Builders, a group of volunteers.


Berns said the new focus won't necessarily cost more. He said lawmakers already provided enough funding for 153 new home-services staffers as well as more funding for foster homes.


But he said CPS may seek more money to help provide substance-abuse counseling for parents.


The promise to comply with the 21-day cap on institutional care follows a threat earlier this year by the California-based Youth Law Center to sue the state.


The organization, which has mounted similar successful lawsuits elsewhere, also wants no children younger than 6 in group homes. Now there are close to 140. Berns hopes to end that practice by next April.


Where kids are


&#9679; Status of children in out-of-home care:


&#9679; Relative - 3,120


&#9679; Family foster home - 3,633


&#9679; Group home - 1,406


&#9679; Residential treatment - 738


&#9679; Independent living - 233


&#9679; Runaway - 285


&#9679; Trial home visit - 121


Source: Department of Economic Security Figures as of 3-30-05 - most recent for this detailed breakdown.


How many


&#9679; Number of children in out-of-home care:


&#9679; September 2002: 6,7201


&#9679; March 2003: 6,826


&#9679; September 2003: 7,535


&#9679; March 2004: 8,246


&#9679; September 2004: 8,839


&#9679; March 2005: 9,536


&#9679; June 2005: 9,846


Source: Department of Economic Security




if you look at some of the stuff on this arizona department of corrections web site it makes you wonder why anyone would want to  have faith that the government can protect them or solve their problems.


the site is:


1) None of the information at this site is an official publication of the Arizona Department of Corrections


then why is it on the web if it aint official?


2) the Department will not be responsible for any results of this information not being accurate.


but the state will expect everybody else to be held responsible for their actions


3) In addition, since the Department cannot guarantee protection from potential alteration or tampering of the materials on this server by outside parties.


if the goverment cant even protect its own web site why should we expect the government to be able to protect anything else




rules for visiting prisons


Visitors must present photo identification (ID) upon entering the visitation checkpoint. Acceptable forms of ID are: a valid driver's license, a military identification card, a passport, an official photo identification card of any state or federal agency, or Immigration and Naturalization document.


Dress Code


Visitors are prohibited from wearing any brown-colored clothing that resembles the clothing worn by Department security staff, including khaki-colored clothing, solid light tan or light brown-colored shirts or dark brown-colored pants or slacks.


Visitors shall not wear any article of clothing fabricated with spandex-like material, blue denim material, or clothing that is orange or blue denim in color.


Skirts and dresses shall be knee-length, when standing. Slits in skirts and dresses shall not extend above mid-thigh when seated.


Shorts shall be knee-length, when standing. Jogging shorts, cut-offs or hip huggers are prohibited.


Sheer, see-through and/or open-netted clothing is prohibited.


Sleeveless tops/shirts or dresses; tank, tube, and halter tops; tops that are strapless; tops that allow display of bare midriff; mesh clothing; body suits; "muscle" shirts; and swimsuits are prohibited. Tops of clothing shall be no lower than the person's collarbone in the front and back.


Undergarments and shoes shall be worn at all times.


Allowable Property


Personal identification.


Prescription medication, in the original container, and only in a limited amount needed during the visitation period.


One unopened package of cigarettes. A flameless electric lighter shall be located in the designated smoking section of the Visitation Area.


A maximum of $20.00 in coins to purchase items from the vending machines, in a clear plastic bag/container, per visitor.


One engagement/wedding ring, one religious medallion, one wristwatch and one pair of earrings or two observable body piercing adornments.


Two vehicle keys or one key and a vehicle remote control entry device.


What items can be purchased at the inmate store?


Inmates may purchase items such as hygiene products, vitamins and supplements, food, candy, soda, bottled water, instant coffee, writing supplies, postage stamps, greeting cards, playing cards, tobacco products, chess/checker sets, clothing, and electronic devices including televisions, walkman, desk lamps and electric razors. For a complete listing of items an inmate is allowed to purchase, according to his or her custody level, refer to the table in Department Order 909, which can be obtained from Public Access for a fee or is available on the Department's web-site




The Department believes that sincere religious belief and expression serve a positive role for inmates. The Department's pastoral services section provides a variety of religious services, counseling and pastoral visits. Religious representation in the Department is accomplished through the services of full-time correctional chaplains and volunteers. In addition, inmates have the opportunity to request pastoral visits from their own minister.


Staff chaplains or volunteers conduct religious services at each prison facility for all major faiths, such as Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Native American and Sikh. Other services are accommodated when a sufficient number of inmates request service and appropriate representation is available. Inmates are also encouraged to practice their religion individually as security and operational requirements permit.


Requests for religious services or accommodations are to be made by the inmate with the chaplain of the inmate's assigned facility, and are considered within the requirements for operating prisons in a safe, secure and orderly manner. For this reason, some practices or religious supplies used by someone of a given faith on the street may not be authorized in the prison setting. However, the established primary mandates of a religion are accommodated within the prison security requirements.


(is this a joke or what?? i thought it was easier to get drugs in prison then it is to get drugs on the street)


Maintaining a drug-free environment and intervention are critical steps with an inmate population. The Department's position is a zero tolerance with respect to the possession or use of alcohol, narcotics or illegal drugs by inmates/offenders under its supervision.


Is there a charge for medical services?


Yes, there is a charge of up to $5.00 when an inmate is scheduled to be seen after submitting an HNR, or is seen on an emergency basis. However, should an appointment be requested by a health care provider (for instance, if a follow up appointment was required by the physician), there is no charge for this service. In addition, certain chronic serious medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension are followed up on a routine schedule without the necessity of an HNR. There is no charge for this service.


No inmate will be denied services due to lack of funds. Charges will be assessed to his inmate trust account.




government what a bunch of hipocrits! at election they tell us they will solve all our problems but they tell people entering new orleans not to expect any protection from government.


     As the returnees passed through checkpoints,

     they were handed a  printed warning: "You

     are entering  at your own risk."


Merchants return to Quarter

Some itching to reopen for business in district dependent on tourism


Bob Dart

Cox News Service

Sept. 18, 2005 12:00 AM


NEW ORLEANS - This deserted city's human tide began to turn Saturday as merchants and landlords were officially allowed back in the French Quarter for the first time.


The narrow streets and brick sidewalks normally filled with revelers were crowded with owners and others dealing with hurricane hangovers: cleanup crews, soldiers and police, utility workers, relief volunteers, furniture vans, garbage trucks and TV mobile satellite trucks.


As the returnees passed through checkpoints, they were handed a printed warning: "You are entering at your own risk." The two-page document urged wariness about everything from E. coli bacteria to broken traffic lights.


However, some returnees expressed surprise that the hurricane damage wasn't worse in this picturesque, historic district of fine dining, casual debauchery, good music and annual Mardi Gras festivities.


"As soon as the electricity comes back on, we'll be back in business," said Saint Jones, general manager of Big Daddy's, a strip joint on Bourbon Street.


"Nobody loots paintings," said a relieved Melissa Schehr, owner of Galerie Rouge, which specializes in paintings by European artists. After repairing some minor ceiling leaks, she said, she will reopen as soon as the city allows.


"It's about over with, trust me, and it's all going to be good from here on out," she said. "They're going to build a better city."


But it still may be months before the Big Easy's party spirit and crowds of tourists return.


The head of the federal relief effort, Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen, said in a statement, "there are continued concerns that the damaged electricity, water, sewage and safety systems are not restored to a level that can meet the basic needs of the businesses and residents who return.


"I urge all residents returning to use extreme caution if they return and to consider delaying their return until safer and more livable conditions are established," he said.


About 40 percent of the city remained flooded Saturday, nearly three weeks after Hurricane Katrina ripped through, though the rapidly receding waters were no more than 5 feet deep in any section. Crew continued to collect the dead, and toll stood at 579 in Louisiana and 816 across the Gulf Coast.


A sunset-to-sunrise curfew remained in force in New Orleans.


But in a city of hidden byways typified by Pirate's Alley, which sneaks to Jackson Square, it is no surprise that residents and business owners have been unofficially trickling back to the Quarter in the three weeks since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.


"I snuck in a couple of days ago, but this is my first entry into the buildings," said Chellie Smith, standing outside Pere Antoine's, one of four restaurants he owns in the Quarter.


A squad of soldiers, wearing camouflage battle fatigues and carrying rifles slung over their backs, approached and gave Smith written instructions on filing for disaster relief.


"I don't guess I need my gun," he said as they walked away. He pulled a pistol from his Bermuda shorts and locked it inside his black Hummer.


Smith said he could be ready to reopen a week from Monday, if the city has the water and electricity back on and the area is given an environmental OK.


In his weekly radio address Saturday, President Bush repeated his promise of federal help for the victims of Katrina.


"The recovery of the Gulf Coast region will be one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen," he said. "And I have made a pledge of the American people: Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will help our citizens rebuild their communities and their lives."




Supervisor denies conflict

Kunasek enlisted pathologist to help investigate Va. death for family's civil lawsuit


Robert Anglen

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 18, 2005 12:00 AM


Maricopa County's chief medical examiner launched an investigation into an out-of-state death five years ago that helped the relatives of county Supervisor Andrew Kunasek win hundreds of thousands of dollars this year in a civil lawsuit.


Dr. Philip Keen's investigation, which began in 2000 at Kunasek's request, involved the exhumation of a body and two skull reconstructions and could lead to murder charges in a Virginia case that was originally called a suicide.


Records from the Greensville Circuit Court in Virginia show that Keen's work involved at least two Maricopa County employees, the use of county facilities and some county equipment. 


The medical examiner's investigation raises questions about whether Kunasek violated state laws that restrict public officials from using their offices for private gain.


It also raises questions about whether Keen violated county policies that prohibit employees from using public equipment and work time for anything other than official business.


"This case may raise conflict-of-interest questions," said Steve Wilson, spokesman for the Arizona Attorney General's Office, which investigates allegations of conflicts.


"We could have jurisdiction in this case and do not want to say anything that could be seen as prejudicial."


Both Kunasek and Keen say they did nothing wrong and were careful to ensure no rules or laws were broken.


Kunasek, who as one of five county supervisors oversees Keen's office and votes on the medical examiner's budget, said he did not benefit financially from the investigation. And he said Keen assured him that no county resources would be used on his family's behalf.


"I was, and always have been, concerned with (conflicts). Anybody in public office would be," Kunasek said, adding that in 2000, he verified with Keen "that nothing out of the ordinary would be done."


Keen's investigation took place at a time when the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office, the fifth-busiest in the country, was besieged with budget concerns and staffing shortages that have left the department with a backlog of cases and an inability to meet its goal of closing local investigations within 90 days.


Keen, who worked the case for free and billed Kunasek's family only for out-of-pocket expenses, said he often consults in private cases on his own time and that any use of county facilities or equipment was negligible.


"You couldn't measure it," he said. "My time is not a county resource. It is my personal time. . . . That anyone would accuse me of (a conflict) is offensive."


Kunasek sought review


The case revolves around the shooting death of Carlton Wiley in March 2000. The 67-year-old Virginia farmer was found dead near an abandoned barn, the victim of an apparent suicide. But his family strongly believed that Wiley had been murdered and that the crime was staged to look like a suicide.


Wiley's stepson, Scottsdale resident Gene Taylor, is married to Kunasek's sister. He said he turned to Kunasek for support in the days after his father's death. The two men traveled to Virginia to look over evidence and talk with authorities.


"Andy was kind enough to fly back there with me," Taylor said. "Andy was there trying to help me. . . . My dad was killed. . . . The investigation was going nowhere."


He said the more time he and Kunasek spent talking with authorities, the more concerned they became about the death and the need to talk with an independent expert.


"I don't know if I asked Andy to go to Dr. Keen or not," Taylor said. "(Keen) is someone Andy knew and respected."


About two weeks after the shooting, Kunasek approached Keen and shared his suspicions about Wiley's death.


"If anybody knew the guy, they would know there was no way he committed suicide," Kunasek said. "He really was one of the neatest people I have ever met."


Kunasek said he mentioned the case in passing to Keen during a chance encounter in a hallway and that it seemed to pique the medical examiner's interest.


But in depositions and court testimony in the Virginia lawsuit, Keen described the original meeting with Kunasek as a formal affair.


He said Kunasek and Taylor came to his office along with another Wiley family member, a retired Mesa police detective.


Keen said they brought crime scene photos and other material that he and another Maricopa County pathologist reviewed.


"We expressed our opinion at that point in time that this really didn't look like a very clear-cut case of suicide, and I offered our services, either or both of us, if they wanted anyone to look into it," Keen said in a Nov. 4, 2003, deposition. "I pretty much volunteered to do it."


Question of conflict


Kunasek disputes any suggestion that he used his position improperly. He said that his initial request could not have been construed as pressuring the Medical Examiner's Office to conduct an examination.


Kunasek said after the initial meeting he stayed out of the case.


"My concern was always that there would be no impact for the taxpayers of Maricopa County," Kunasek said, adding that he doesn't believe it happened. "I'm comfortable based on what I've been told."


He said Keen worked directly with Taylor and other members of the Wiley family and their attorneys. Kunasek said the only updates he received were from Taylor at backyard barbecues.


At the time Kunasek asked Keen to review the case, he was chairman of the Board of Supervisors.


Kunasek, a Republican, was appointed to the board in 1997. He was first elected to office in 1998 and then re-elected in 2000 and 2004.


He said he never sought official legal advice from county attorneys but may have mentioned the case in passing to them. He said he never saw the need for legal advice because he did not perceive any conflict.


State and county policies say that conflict-of-interest laws "must be scrupulously observed" and warn against even the appearance of a conflict.


"The appearance of a conflict may be just as damaging to the county's reputation as an actual conflict," the county ethics policy states.


State law prohibits any public official from using his office to secure any benefit that would not normally "accrue to him in the performance of his official duties."


Maricopa County's ethics policy prohibits employees and elected officials from using public equipment, including phones and fax machines, for anything other than official business. It also prohibits employees from using work time for personal issues and advises against outside employment that "involves using county working time, facilities, equipment or supplies . . . for private gain or advantage."


Tim Delaney, director of the non-profit Center for Leadership, Ethics and Public Service in Phoenix, said Keen's investigation raises potential legal issues.


"There is a family tragedy here, and I don't want to compound that," said Delaney, who has served as Arizona solicitor general and a chief deputy attorney general. "I have three issues, and they all circle back to the potential misuse of public resources."


Those issues include: how Kunasek made his request to the medical examiner; whether Keen, as a public employee, felt pressured to conduct the investigation; and whether county employees, facilities and equipment were used in the case.


"If you or I went to the medical examiner as total strangers, would the medical examiner have done it?" Delaney said. "Would he have done it for free? Would he have done it for five years?"


He said this might turn out to be a perfectly innocent situation or it could be that public employees felt pressured by an elected official. Either way, Delaney called it "unfortunate" and said it is the type of situation he warns elected officials to be wary of when they take office.


"In my training, I encourage public officials to recognize how things can look in the (media)," Delaney said, adding that although a situation might be technically legal, elected officials should not "test the elasticity of the law."


Max Wilson, current chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said he was unaware of the situation. He said he understands that it could pose a conflict of interest for a supervisor to request an employee's help. But he expressed sympathy for Kunasek's situation and said he might have turned to Keen for help in the same circumstances.


"I probably would have asked him to do it," Wilson said. "I'd want the best, and I am pretty proud of him (Keen)."


Wilson, however, said if county facilities were used, then the county should have been reimbursed. He said that has always been his understanding with Keen. He said if facilities were used in this case without reimbursement, then it could cause a problem.


"I'd have to take a look at that," Wilson said, adding that Keen "deserves the benefit of the doubt."


He said Keen often works far and above the number of hours required of any county employee. Wilson said he would be far more concerned about the use of county equipment and county time if it involved a different employee, "an eight-hour employee." He said Keen is constantly on the job.


"He gets calls from all over the U.S. It is hard for him to say no," Wilson said. "I have absolutely no idea how many mysteries he has solved."


Suicide or murder?


Authorities searching for Wiley after a sudden disappearance found his body near a farmhouse on the property where he and his two brothers grew up. Police investigators and the chief medical examiner for Virginia ultimately concluded that Wiley shot himself in the temple with a shotgun.


But Taylor said his family didn't believe it. They accused Carlton's younger brother, Ralph, of killing him because of a dispute over the estate of their older brother, Vance, who died in 1999.


In 2003, Taylor's mother, Jewel Wiley, filed a $15 million wrongful-death lawsuit against Ralph, who has denied any involvement in Carlton's death.


Only circumstantial evidence linked Ralph to the death.


Jewel said in court that just days before her husband died he hired a lawyer to contest Vance's will and had demanded that Ralph provide an equal share of their brother's estate.


Ralph, a hog farmer, was facing a financial hardship and was angry over the possibility that he might have to split his inheritance, court testimony showed.


Testimony showed that both Ralph and Carlton had gone to the old family farm on the day of Carlton's death and that Ralph and his wife were the only people, other than Carlton, who knew that the shotgun used in the death was kept in a locked closet on the family farm.


After four days of testimony in March, a judge ruled in favor of Jewel, saying he was convinced that Ralph was responsible for his brother's death. But the judge reduced the monetary award based in part on Jewel's remarks during the trial that the family had no real interest in money, only justice. She said during the trial that she had more than $2 million in assets.


Instead of $15 million, the judge awarded her an estimated $557,000.


Taylor said Kunasek will not benefit financially from the verdict or the Wiley estate. He also said the award will not benefit a joint real estate venture he has with Kunasek.


"Absolutely not," Kunasek agreed.


Taylor explained that any money received from the verdict will likely be used to pay legal fees. He added that the family spent far more in preparing for the case against his uncle than the court awarded.


"We went the civil route to establish the murder," Taylor said. "The outcome of Vance's will contest would not have any (financial) benefit to Andy."


Ralph has appealed the verdict.


Keen's finding critical


Testimony shows that Keen's findings about the death were critical to the verdict in the wrongful-death suit.


And it likely played a part in a current grand-jury investigation, which began a month after the civil trial to determine if there is enough evidence to indict Ralph Wiley on murder charges.


"If I was betting, I'd say they are going to get an indictment," Kunasek said.


Keen concluded that Wiley was beaten before someone shot him in the temple with a shotgun. He disputed findings by the Virginia medical examiner that fractures to Wiley's jaw were caused by pressure from the shotgun blast as Wiley held the gun sideways to his head and pulled the trigger.


Marcella Fierro, Virginia's chief medical examiner, said in court that Keen was making too much out of minor scratches and scrapes on Wiley's face.


"Every one of the fractures that this man had in his head can be attributed to the shotgun wound, to the exclusion of other injuries," she said. "Secondly, I find no evidence, none, zip, zero, that his face had any injury other than that consistent with a shotgun wound."


Keen maintained that Wiley was struck on the jaw, thrown to the ground hard enough to be stunned if not knocked unconscious and then killed. He said some of the most compelling evidence came from the skull reconstruction, which showed fractures and points of impact.


Keen told the court that he analyzed evidence, assisted in a second autopsy, oversaw the skull reconstructions, reviewed photographs and met with bloodstain experts as part of his investigation. He also researched dozens of suicide cases, wrote three reports, testified in two phone depositions and took the stand during the trial.


In testimony, Keen was critical of the original forensic examination in Wiley's case. He said he reviewed crime scene photos, medical records, the initial autopsy report and other evidence provided by Kunasek and Taylor and other Wiley family members before he suggested exhuming Wiley's body.


In 2002, Keen attended a second autopsy of Wiley in Virginia and arranged for Wiley's skull to be shipped to Maricopa County for reconstruction.


In recent interviews, Keen was adamant that no county resources were used in the case. He said he paid forensic anthropologist Linda Fulginiti, a contract employee who works out of an office in the Maricopa Forensic Science Center, $350 to rebuild Wiley's skull at her home.


But Keen's testimony and depositions in the wrongful-death case, in which he gave detailed descriptions about what equipment was used and why, show that:


• Keen said he collected the skull fragments after the second autopsy. The fragments were bleached, rinsed and dried in Virginia and shipped to Maricopa County. "We did the reconstruction here."  


• He emphasized that the completion of the county's new Forensic Science Center in 2003 allowed him better access to facilities in which to analyze the reconstructed skull. He acknowledged reconstructing the skull for a second time at the new lab. "We moved from our old building to our new building, had a lot more space and time to set it up and to do it with a more meticulous and slower approach."


• He explained that once the new lab opened, he no longer had to rely on outside agencies for photographs because the county now had forensic photographers who could be used to take pictures of potential wounds in the skull. "I said, well, we ought to get good photos of this." More than once he referred to using the photographers to take pictures of the skull.  


• He repeatedly referred to the skull reconstruction being done in the lab and made no mention of Fulginiti's home. "We reconstructed it a second time because we originally reconstructed it at our old building site, and when we moved to the new building we needed to reassemble it because it got jarred a bit, and we took new pictures of it." On more than one occasion, Keen testified that she "called him down" from his office to the lab where the skull was being reconstructed.  


• He described pulling 50 Maricopa County case files involving victims who died of gunshot wounds to the head. He also said he compared Wiley's reconstructed skull with the skull of a man in an ongoing county case who died of gunshot wounds to the head.


Asked about these issues, Keen said it amounted to nothing more serious than setting the skull on a counter top in the lab.


"I would not say I used the lab," he said.


Keen has been Maricopa County's chief medical examiner since 1992. Before that, he was the chief medical examiner in Yavapai County for 17 years. He received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico in 1969. He said he stopped counting the number of autopsies he has performed when he reached 10,000 in 2002.


He is licensed in Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma.


Keen said he treats his office with an open-door policy and said he will sit down with anyone to discuss a death case. He said he often consults in private cases and said he doesn't always charge for getting involved. It depends on the case.


"Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't," he said.


In his deposition in the Wiley case, Keen estimated that he consults in about 10 cases a year and performs as many as 15 private autopsies. He said he primarily makes himself available in criminal cases because of a lack of board-certified forensic pathologists. But he said that he rarely testifies in cases outside Arizona and never before in Virginia.


"I have testified once or twice in New Mexico," he said.


"I have testified in Nevada, in Las Vegas, in cases that were kind of straddling the state line, but primarily my testifying has been in the state of Arizona."


Denise McNally, executive director of the National Association of Medical Examiners, said it is common for medical examiners to consult in private cases.


But each county and state makes its own rules.


She said most medical examiners use the facilities where they work, but she said there are often rules concerning reimbursement that require medical examiners to pay for the use of labs and equipment in private cases. She said some jurisdictions don't allow them to take private cases and others have no rules at all.


Office isn't making goals


Keen took the case while his office struggled to overcome staffing shortages and an extreme caseload that most medical examiners in the country never have to consider.


His office handles about 4,000 cases a year, of which an estimated 60 percent require autopsies. About 300 cases are homicides.


Keen acknowledged that the lack of adequate finances to hire more staff has been a longtime problem in Maricopa County.


"That's pretty much been our case for years," he said.


Documents from the county's budget office show that Keen's department is not meeting long-term goals.


By 2007, his office is supposed to complete 90 percent of cases within 45 days and the remaining 10 percent within 90 days.


But a county progress report this year states the Medical Examiner's Office "continues to lose more ground in the length of time taken to close cases."


The report says that the number of cases prevented the office from taking steps toward the goal of obtaining accreditation from the National Association of Medical Examiners.


It also said the office is so busy that it has not had time to certify additional investigators of the medical examiner's staff, which would "complement the cooperative efforts with law enforcement agencies, public health and county attorney investigating death-related cases."


The progress report warns that the medical office is only going to get busier with population growth.


Keen said last week that he wanted to get involved in the Wiley case because it presented a complex challenge. That is one of the reasons he said he decided right away not to charge the family for his services.


"The case was intriguing intellectually," he said.


Keen said he never felt as though he had to help in the investigation and could have turned Kunasek's family down.


"I could have said no, " Keen said.




bad piggy!!!


Ex-marshal failed to report abuse

Colorado City child cases involved


Mark Shaffer

Republic Flagstaff Bureau

Sept. 18, 2005 12:00 AM


The former town marshal of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, never notified Utah child-welfare authorities of sexual abuse cases he was investigating in the polygamist communities and acknowledged cohabiting with a wife and two "companions," with whom he has had 21 children, according to documents released Friday.


Samuel N. Roundy, 50, Colorado City's town marshal for 10 years before resigning this year, made those admissions during an interview in October with an investigator for the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.


Transcripts of the interview were released in conjunction with decertification hearings Thursday and Friday in Phoenix for Roundy and another polygamist Colorado City police officer, Vance Barlow. Neither officer attended the hearings.


Diana Stabler, an Arizona assistant attorney general, said Roundy and Barlow likely would be stripped of certification as Arizona police officers during the board's next meeting on Oct. 19.


Utah revoked the police certifications of the two in March, citing violation of state bigamy statutes. Roundy said he was never a sworn police officer in Utah.


The anticipated decertification would be the latest in a series of moves to tighten the noose around the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the largest multiple-marriage sect in the country.


The sect has no connection to the mainstream Mormon Church.


The sect's leader, Warren Jeffs, is a fugitive after being indicted in June on sexual-misconduct counts by a Mohave County grand jury.


Eight other members of the FLDS have been indicted in Arizona on sexual-misconduct charges with underage brides.


Utah courts stripped Jeffs and other church leaders from the board of trustees of the communal United Effort Plan which owns almost all the land and businesses in the twin towns.


Arizona also has seized documents and computers in an ongoing investigation of alleged financial mismanagement in the Colorado City Unified School District.


Roundy, who did not return phone messages Friday and Saturday, told Dan Altenes, an investigator for AZPOST, that he did not report the child-molestation indictment last year of David Leroy Steed, 22, or any of the other 20 to 25 child sexual abuse cases he said he had investigated over the years to the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, as required by law. Steed is accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl.


"I didn't know I was supposed to, to be just frankly honest with ya," Roundy said during his interview. "They said (it) was protocol, but I didn't even know about it . . . maybe I've been in a Hicksville too long and not looking out at what's coming in."


Roundy also acknowledged that he has 15 children with his legal wife, Valerie Roundy, and three children each with his companions, Jennifer Nielsen and Loretta Cooke.


Sam described his relationship with Nielsen and Cooke as a "calling" from the late leader of the FLDS, Rulon Jeffs, Warren Jeffs' father.


"I do introduce them as my wife's, my legal wife's sisters, but nothing other than that," Sam said.


Members of the FLDS believe that three wives are a requirement to reach the highest level of the "Celestial Kingdom," or heaven.


"It's a law that the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith," Sam said, referring to the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and noting that one of his ancestors was a bodyguard for Smith.


The Mormon Church disavowed polygamy in the late 1800s before Utah was admitted to the union.


Roundy, who named one of his children Warren Jeffs Roundy, also said that he "volunteered" for private security for FLDS church services between 1990 and 1995. The church meetings were discontinued by Warren Jeffs more than two years ago when the Arizona and Utah state governments increased their monitoring of the two towns.


The two towns have an estimated population of 6,000 but many church members have moved to a ranch near Eldorado, Texas, where a large, four-story temple is nearing completion.


Barlow, 45, acknowledged to Altenes in his interview that he has 18 children with three women, his legal wife, Sandra, and his "church union" wives, Sara Jessop and Geralian Steed


According to the AZPOST documents, Barlow "made admissions that he introduces all three women as his 'wife' and further evidence shows that he had a child with each wife in 2004 demonstrating their open and public union."


Barlow said that any attempt to keep him from having more than one wife "flies in the face of the Constitution."


"I personally do not believe that the way I live is a conflict with what the state needs to do to maintain a civilized society," Barlow said.


Reach the reporter at mark or (602) 444-8057.




these young kids are such wimps!!!! in my generation we would have killed any pigs that tried to arrest someone for smoking marijuana at a rock concert or event like this.


Cannabis advocates rally


September 18, 2005


The Boston Globe


BOSTON — Under hovering storm clouds, thousands gathered on the Boston Common on Saturday to sway to gritty rock music, shop for T-shirts with slogans like ''Thank You for Pot Smoking," and rally against marijuana prohibition.


Police motorcycles were parked seven deep at the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition's 16th Annual Freedom Rally, and uniformed and undercover police trolled the crowd for marijuana smokers. Puffs of smoke hovering over the crowd came mostly from cigarettes, but police made 44 arrests, mostly for drug possession, although there were some distribution charges.


"There is no day off from the law today," said Deputy Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald.


Turnout was smaller than in years past, when the event sometimes drew crowds of 30,000 or 40,000, according to police. The theme of this year's rally was "Secure the Blessings of Liberty," which Saunders described as a call to political action. His group is backing a bill that is before the state Senate and would impose a civil fine of $100 for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, rather than a criminal penalty.


The Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse heard testimony on the bill in June but has not taken action on it, Saunders said. Though a recent federal study found that the Boston area is the nation's capital of marijuana use, only a handful of people showed up to testify in favor of the bill, according to Mass Cann.


Saunders said that despite his support for decriminalization, he would not encourage anyone to light up on the Common during the protest.


"This is probably the worst place in the city of Boston to be smoking marijuana," he said.


Some were unfazed, though. Wayne Burke, a 53-year-old retired painter, placidly shared a joint on the lawn with two younger friends, Matt Duszak, 19, and Kevin Woods, 20. The three drove to Boston together from Worcester to attend the rally.


"When we're done smoking this bone, we're not going to go rob somebody," Burke said with a shrug. "We're going to go home and eat a sandwich and watch TV."


A pair of antidrug protesters wended their way through the legions of youth in hooded sweatshirts and faux-cannabis leis Saturday.


Lea Palleria Cox of the Hanover-based Concerned Citizens for Drug Prevention Inc. and Bill Breault of the Main South Alliance for Public Safety in Worcester, who have attended the rally for about a decade, said they were appalled to find vendors selling ceramic pipes this year. They said they were also dismayed to again see so many young people in the crowd.


"Parents have no clue," he said. "When their kid says 'I'm going to a concert on the Common,' they have no idea what goes on here."


NYT-09-17-05 2055EDT




Sep 18, 2:08 PM EDT


Maricopa supervisor got pathologist help in family suit


PHOENIX (AP) -- Maricopa County Supervisor Andrew Kunasek enlisted the help of the county's chief medical examiner in an out-of-state death that resulted in a civil lawsuit payout to Kunasek's family.


Dr. Philip Keen investigated the death starting in 2000 at Kunasek's request. It involved the exhumation of a body and two skull reconstructions and could lead to murder charges in a Virginia case that was originally called a suicide.


Keen's work involved at least two county employees, the use of county facilities and some county equipment, according to records from the Greensville Circuit Court in Virginia.


The investigation raises questions about whether Kunasek violated state laws that restrict public officials from using their office for private gain. It also raises questions about whether Keen violated county policies.


"This case may raise conflict-of-interest questions," Steve Wilson, spokesman for the Arizona Attorney General's Office, told The Arizona Republic. "We could have jurisdiction in this case and do not want to say anything that could be seen as prejudicial."


Kunasek and Keen deny doing anything wrong and said they were careful to ensure no rules or laws were violated.


Kunasek, who as one of five county supervisors that oversee Keen's office, said he did not benefit financially from the investigation.


Keen, who worked for free and billed Kunasek's family for out-of-pocket expenses, said he often consults on private cases in his own time and any use of county facilities or equipment was negligible.


"You couldn't measure it," he said. "My time is not a county resource. It is my personal time. That anyone would accuse me of (a conflict) is offensive."


The case involves the March 2000 shooting death of Carlton Wiley, the stepfather of Kunasek's son-in-law. The case was ruled a suicide, but the family believed Wiley was murdered.


Wiley's wife, Jewel, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wiley's brother, Ralph, suspecting him of killing Carlton in an inheritance dispute. Only circumstantial evidence linked Ralph to the death; he's denied any involvement.


A judge awarded Jewel Wiley $557,000 in the case, saying he was persuaded that Ralph was responsible. Ralph Wiley has appealed.




Council to weigh car-stipend hike

Committee recommends 200% raise


David Madrid

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 19, 2005 12:00 AM


SURPRISE - City Council members face another controversial vote on giving themselves a hefty increase in their auto allowance.


Late last week, an ad hoc committee chosen by members of the council voted 4-2 to increase the auto allowance for the council by 200 percent and the mayor by 25 percent.


The issue will now go to the council for consideration at its Sept. 29 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at Northwest Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Ave.


If council members agree, their auto stipend will increase from $150 a month to $400 a month. The mayor's stipend would increase from $400 a month to $500.


In May, the council directed the city manager to study the car allowance and adjust it. That resulted in a boost of 289 percent, to $583.


After a public outcry, the hike was rescinded in July on advice from the city attorney. The council then appointed the committee to study the issue and make recommendations.


Despite a public comment agenda item Thursday, committee Chairman Pete Gosda said he saw no need for public comment.


Councilman Joe Johnson chose Gosda, a neighbor, for the committee.


Voting for the increase were Gosda; Helene Wilkins, chosen by Councilman Gary "Doc" Sullivan; Minnie Williams, chosen by Vice Mayor Danny Arismendez; and Ken Furnia, chosen by Councilman Cliff Elkins.


Voting against the increase were Richard Alton, chosen by Councilwoman Martha Bails, and the Rev. John Bourcet, chosen by Councilwoman Gwyn Foro.


Bourcet was chosen after Foro went through the Surprise Mediation Program in order to find an impartial representative. David McGrew, chosen by Mayor Joan Shafer, did not attend the meeting.


Bourcet and Gosda had some testy exchanges after Gosda tried to stop Bourcet from speaking.


"Go ahead and ramrod this committee," Bourcet finally said after it became apparent that the committee was going to increase the auto stipend despite Bourcet's and Alton's objections.


Wilkins attempted to raise the council's auto stipend to $500 and the mayor's to $600, but that failed by a tie vote, with Furnia joining Bourcet and Alton in opposing it.


Reach the reporter at




DARE becoming rarer

Drug-prevention program cut back


Colleen Sparks

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 19, 2005 12:00 AM


Phoenix is the latest Valley city to cut the well-known DARE program from its schools, citing budget constraints and lack of evidence that it prevents students from using drugs.


Mesa and Scottsdale police already cut DARE while other cities, including Chandler and Paradise Valley, have managed to hold onto it.


Schools have been replacing it with other anti-drug programs, including one where police officers teach students about the legal consequences of being caught with drugs and the dangers of drinking and driving.


DARE, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, has drawn criticism in studies the past several years. The then General Accounting Office in a 2002 study, for example, found no "significant differences" in illicit drug use between students who took DARE and those who didn't.


But Valley parents, police and teachers relate countless stories about how DARE works.


"I've not only seen the effect it had on the students, but I've had students from the past come back" to say it helped them, said Arlen Sykes, a teacher at Kyrene de la Colina Elementary School in Ahwatukee.


One of his former students, Alexis Runninger, 13, now an Ahwatukee eighth-grader, said she hears classmates talk about using marijuana but she wouldn't consider it because of DARE. "I would have never learned that they were bad for me," Alexis said.


Phoenix police liked the program but couldn't afford to keep it and still have enough money to combat crime, said Kim Humphrey, public-affairs commander for the police department. The department will use the $500,000 DARE costs to add a vice squad to fight prostitution and related crimes, he said.


Phoenix police started cutting back DARE a few years ago because the city faced a budget crunch, said Phoenix police Sgt. Colin Pierce, a former DARE officer who now heads the school resource officer program.


Six DARE police officers and a police sergeant served Phoenix schools last school year, which was down from 18 officers and two sergeants about two years ago, Pierce said. Phoenix paid the entire cost of the DARE program, though in some cities schools help pay for it.


About 50 law enforcement agencies in Arizona still teach DARE, said Dave Parsons, a DARE officer in Chandler and president of the Arizona DARE Officers Association.


In DARE, police officers are assigned fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms to visit for 10 weeks. Officers offer students ways to say "no" to drugs, alcohol and tobacco.


In a sixth-grade classroom at Hartford Elementary School in Chandler recently, DARE Officer Daniel Chavarria talked about an underage college student who died from excessive alcohol consumption, and warned students of dangers linked to smoking and drinking.


Rene Monta&#57579;, 12, said he learned that drugs can cause short-term memory loss or death and he "would always say 'no' to drugs and alcohol because Officer Dan taught us a lot."


Chavarria said the DARE officers are also a source of support for kids.


Phoenix police Sgt. James Collins, a former DARE program supervisor, agreed. "To see the relationship between the officers and the kids . . . was priceless," he explained.


Years ago in the Madison School District, students and staff produced a musical about a DARE officer.


Not all are abandoning the program.


DARE is in three private schools and two public schools in Paradise Valley, said Police Chief John Wintersteen. "It's really valued by the parents and the schools," he said.


A Nov. 12 vintage car show will benefit the police department's DARE program, he said. The fund-raiser will help pay for T-shirts and other extras for the program.


Other schools are trying new anti-drug programs.


Starting this winter in Ahwatukee elementary schools, administrators will teach fifth-graders how to say "no" to tobacco, alcohol and drugs, said Samantha Heinrich, who manages prevention programs in the Kyrene Elementary School District. She hopes police officers will visit the classes.


The district will also provide workshops for parents on helping their children make healthy decisions, Heinrich said.


Next year in the Scottsdale Unified School District, where DARE ended in city schools a few years ago, teachers will help middle school students learn to say "yes" to positive behaviors, said Marla Abramowitz, prevention coordinator for the district.  




By MIKE ROBINSON Associated Press Writer

The Associated Press


CHICAGO Sep 19, 2005 — Former Illinois Republican Gov. George Ryan was relaxed and smiling Monday in federal court as attorneys began selecting a jury for his racketeering trial.


Only three of 300 potential jurors were interviewed by noon, but U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer said she hoped to have the 12-member jury and six alternates selected to begin opening arguments Thursday.


Ryan, who won accolades from capital punishment critics by clearing the state's death row before he left office in 2003, faces 22 charges of racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, lying to the FBI and tax fraud.


New Orleans Suspends Reopening of City

Residents of Keys Evacuate for Rita

Oil Facilities in Gulf Defenseless Against Katrina's Fury


Federal prosecutors have accused the Ryan administration of doling out big-money state contracts and leases to political insiders, resulting in charges being brought against 79 people, including many state employees.


Ryan, 71, greeted reporters outside the courthouse but did not speak as he made his way through security Monday.


"One thing I'm confident of is at the end of the day, after the jury's heard all of the evidence, they will find and see that George Ryan is not guilty of all charges in this indictment," defense lawyer Dan Webb said.


Webb and prosecutors quizzed potential jurors Monday, including a retiree who said she had heard Ryan had "problems" in office, but promised to be fair.


Another juror wrote: "I have a hard time with politicians who use their powers to give or receive favors," but said she could be fair to Ryan.


The indictment charges that Ryan gave lobbyist and co-defendant Larry Warner all but free reign to see that leases and contracts in the secretary of state's office went to Warner's clients. Millions of dollars were awarded this way, according to prosecutors. Ryan and Warner have denied any wrongdoing.


The charges grew out of the federal government's Operation Safe Road, which initially focused on bribes exchanged for drivers licenses but over seven years expanded into a full-blown investigation of political corruption when Ryan was secretary of state and later governor.




wow its only going to cost $104 billion to go to the moon again!!! thats only $346 for every man, woman and child in the USa or a mear $1,386 for that mythical family of four.


NASA tab for return to moon: $104 billion


Marcia Dunn

Associated Press

Sept. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - It will cost $104 billion over the next decade to send astronauts back to the moon, NASA's chief said Monday, defending the price as an investment the nation can afford despite the expense of Hurricane Katrina.


Described as "Apollo on steroids," the new moon exploration plan unveiled by the space agency will use beefed-up shuttle and Apollo parts and aims to put people on the moon by 2018.


"There will be a lot more hurricanes and a lot more other natural disasters to befall the United States and the world in that time, I hope none worse than Katrina," NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said at a news conference.


"But the space program is a long-term investment in our future. We must deal with our short-term problems while not sacrificing our long-term investments in our future. When we have a hurricane, we don't cancel the Air Force. We don't cancel the Navy. And we're not going to cancel NASA."


Griffin said he is not seeking extra money and stressed that NASA will live within its future annual budgets of $16 billion. Funding within the human spaceflight program will be redirected to achieve this goal, and not "one thin dime" will be taken from science projects, he said.


The $104 billion cost, leading up to an initial four-person lunar landing and spread over 13 years, represents 55 percent of what the Apollo program would cost in today's dollars, Griffin said. Apollo development spanned eight years, from 1961 to the first manned moon landing in 1969.


House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said the nation can fight the war on terror and deal with a disaster like Katrina while developing space technology for the future. "It is expensive, but at the same time it's incredibly important because the return to the people of the United States and the world is also very important," DeLay said.


The new space vehicle design uses shuttle rocket parts, an Apollo-style capsule and a lander capable of carrying four people to the moon. The rockets - there would be two, a small version for people and a heftier one for cargo - would eclipse the 18-story space shuttle. The larger one, in fact, would come close to the 36-story Saturn 5 moon rocket.


They would be built from shuttle booster rockets, fuel tanks and main engines, as well as moon rocket engines. The so-called crew exploration vehicle perched on top would look much like an Apollo capsule but larger.




Study shows old drugs good as new for schizophrenia


Ronald Kotulak

Chicago Tribune

Sept. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


CHICAGO - Undertaking the kind of study that drug manufacturers rarely do, the National Institute of Mental Health has found that an old medication for treating schizophrenia is just as effective as newer ones costing 10 times more.


The cost of the study is high, $45 million, but experts say it could pay for itself many times over if it leads to a significant reduction in the $10 billion now spent annually on drugs for the nation's 3.2 million schizophrenics.


"The implication of this study is that we've been wasting billions of dollars a year on drugs that have either no or minimal benefit over the older ones or that have minimal advantages that are greatly outweighed by their side effects," said Dr. Daniel Luchin, a University of Chicago psychiatrist who was not involved in the study.


Reporting in Monday's online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers headed by Columbia University's Dr. Jeffrey Liberman found that the older drug, Trilafon (perphenazine), was just as effective as three newer antipsychotics, Seroquel (quetiapine), Risperdal (risperidone) and Geodon (ziprasidone).


A fourth drug, Zyprexa (olanzapine), was somewhat better at controlling the hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking that characterize the disease, but it carried a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.


The study involved 1,400 patients treated in real-world settings at 57 sites that included doctors' offices, community clinics and hospitals.




this jail isnt about law and order or making the world better. it sounds like its solely being build to raise revenue


Pinal plans newest jail to hold ICE migrants

U.S. would pay county to hold 625 detainees


Josh Kelley

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


Pinal County is spending big bucks to build more jail cells and a training facility in Florence. And officials are banking on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, not county taxpayers, to pay the tab.


The county has borrowed $65 million to pay for the renovation and 1,034-bed expansion of its adult detention center, a new training facility with a firing range for deputies and a new 100-bed juvenile detention center.


Officials plan to pay off that debt and $10 million a year in operating costs with $15 million a year the county hopes to charge the federal government for housing up to 625 undocumented immigrants awaiting deportation after being detained by ICE agents.


County Manager Stanley Griffis said he expects to finalize a deal with ICE officials this fall after almost two years of negotiations.


The jail would be for undocumented immigrants detained by ICE for immigration violations and sent to the county under the terms of established intergovernmental agreements.


Immigrants arrested by state and local authorities for committing crimes locally would be housed in those agency's jails.


The Pinal County jail is under construction and expected to open next spring. If the agreement falls through or ICE's need for detention space declines, the new facilities' debt and operating costs would be paid for with county taxpayer money.


Nationwide, about 350 agencies have intergovernmental agreements with ICE to house varying numbers of detainees, but not all agreements are utilized, said Ernestine Fobbs, an ICE spokeswoman in Washington.


Funding for housing ICE detainees is determined at the national level. In August, ICE housed an average of 20,709 detainees a day nationwide. Federal funding next year is expected to cover up to 2,250 additional detainees a day nationwide.


For agencies like the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, agreements with ICE have proved to be lucrative. Last year, the department pulled in about $27.8 million for detaining an average of 839 undocumented immigrants per day at its Mira Loma Detention Center, said Glen Dragovich, who oversees the department's financial programs bureau.


That jail holds ICE inmates only.


"From the federal perspective, it's very expensive to construct correctional facilities and detention facilities," said Lt. Rick Mouwen, who manages law enforcement contracts for the department. "It's easier for them to enter into . . . relationships with sheriffs departments."


Mouwen said such arrangements are becoming increasingly common.


ICE has at least 13 agreements with agencies throughout Arizona to house detainees as needed, but none of those agencies houses the number of inmates that Pinal County is planning to detain, said Terry Altman, chief deputy over detention for the Sheriff's Office.


Russell Ahr, ICE spokesman for Arizona, said ICE officials with whom he has spoken are not privy to negotiations between the agency and Pinal County. But he said any intergovernmental agreement approved would allow ICE to house inmates on an as-needed basis with no minimum requirements.


ICE, which is a division of the Department of Homeland Security, already has about 1,000 beds at its own detention center in Florence and averages 900 to 950 inmates there, Ahr said. ICE also has a joint facility with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Eloy, where at least 1,000 more beds are available for housing undocumented immigrants.


Griffis said he is confident the agreement will pay off.


"I'm a hundred percent sure that once we build it, we'll get 625 inmates from ICE," Griffis said. "I'm absolutely certain we're going to get the money from ICE."


He said the agency actually needs more beds than the 625 the county wants to provide. Griffis said he limited the number to ensure the county could afford to pay for the facility out of its General Fund if ICE didn't use the beds.


While negotiations continue, Sheriff Chris Vásquez and his staff are planning how to deal with the unique challenges that such a large population of diverse people will bring.


Vásquez and Altman recently visited California's Mira Loma facility and the Kern County jail in Bakersfield. Altman said the Bakersfield facility is operated much like he hopes his jail in Florence will function. Undocumented immigrants apprehended by ICE are detained along with people either serving time or awaiting trial for offenses other than immigration violations.


Medical history and background information on undocumented immigrants is often sparse, even non-existent, Altman said.


"This individual may be a career criminal back in their home country, but we don't have that information," Altman said. "That's always going to be a challenge."


But ICE detainees generally require less security than other inmates because most of its detainees have not been convicted or charged with major crimes or felonies, said Capt. Dave Waters, who oversees the Mira Loma Detention Center.


Waters said he encounters fewer disciplinary violations than at a typical jail, so detainees are given more freedom.


For instance, they are allowed to keep $70 in cash for vending machines. Detainees even volunteer to work in the kitchen or help with gardening, despite not being required to help, Waters said.


"You just don't have that level of tension here that some jails have," he said.


At Mira Loma, most detainees are from Mexico, but other countries of origin include China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Mauritania, Tibet and Eritrea.


"Probably the biggest challenge is there can be the language barrier," Waters said.


At the Pinal County Detention Center, most of the ICE inmates are not expected to be from Mexico, Altman said. About 75 percent of the inmates at ICE's Florence facility are not from Mexico, and most are deported within three weeks, Ahr said.


To communicate with inmates who speak exotic languages, Altman said he plans to use a telephone translator service and detainees as interpreters, a tactic used at the Mira Loma facility.




more excuses to make a bigger, eviler, nastier police state!!!


McCain, colleagues decry lack of reliable communication gear


The Arizona Republic

Sept. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The "horrific" breakdowns of Gulf Coast phone lines, cell towers and electrical systems after Hurricane Katrina should move Congress to "finally" provide rescuers with more reliable emergency communications systems, say Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and three other lawmakers.


McCain, Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Reps. Jane Harman, D-Calif. and Curt Weldon, R-Pa., made their plea in an op-ed column appearing Monday in the Washington Post.


They noted it was four years ago this month when New York's fire, police and Port Authority officers were unable to talk to one another when responding to the collapse of the Twin Towers from a terrorist attack.


But they wrote, "(T)he federal government has sat by and allowed this problem to remain unresolved for four years following the devastation of Sept. 11, 2001, even as many predicted another disaster.


"In the past few weeks, we have seen an even more devastating breakdown in emergency communications, as phone lines, cell towers and electrical systems were wracked by Hurricane Katrina, making it nearly impossible at times for many first responders and government officials on the Gulf Coast to talk to each other."


All this occurred, the lawmakers added, as people across the country were able to watch the crisis unfold on television.


The reason: "It's because public officials have yet to get serious about developing and funding a safety communications system for all local, state and federal first responders. This reality became all too clear during the bungled response to Katrina."


McCain and his colleagues ask: "After watching the horrific communications breakdowns that occurred during Katrina, will we wait another four years before acting? How many more lives will be lost? What kind of catastrophic disaster is necessary for Congress to give these heroes the tools they need to save lives?"


The column reflected the tone of a speech last week by McCain on the Senate floor.


In both, it was noted that Congress has taken some steps toward achieving what is known as an "interoperable" emergency communications system for local, state and federal first responders. "Interoperable" refers to an ability of one public safety agency to communicate instantly by radio, cellphone or wireless device with personnel from other agencies.


But the column Monday also noted that Congress has yet to develop a comprehensive emergency communications plan and equipment standards or act on legislation to provide added equipment and radio spectrum to enable first responders to communicate over long distances using the same radio frequencies and equipment.


McCain is among those in Congress upset by legislative delays in broadcasters' handing off spectrum for use by first responders.


McCain has estimated the costs of "interoperability" could reach as high as $15 billion.




Tuesday, September 20, 2005 8:23 a.m. ET

By DON BABWIN Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- A boy falsely accused of killing an 11-year-old girl seven years ago agreed Monday to settle his lawsuit against the city and two police detectives for $6.2 million, a judge announced.


The settlement, which still must be approved by the City Council, came less than a week after the council ordered city lawyers to settle the matter. A trial in the case began several weeks ago.


seven years they wanted to get this behind them," said Andre Grant, an attorney representing the now 15-year-old boy.


Grant said at least some of the money would be spent on therapy and counseling for the boy.


Earlier this year, the city agreed to a $2 million settlement with the family of another boy also falsely accused in the 1998 murder of Ryan Harris.


The girl's slaying made national headlines after the two boys, then 7 and 8, became the youngest murder suspects in the United States at the time. It took almost a month before the boys were cleared after tests showed semen on the girl's clothing could not have come from them.


DNA tests later prompted police to charge Floyd Durr, a Chicago man who has been convicted of sexually assaulting other girls. Durr is awaiting trial in the girl's death.


In a statement about the tentative settlement, the city did not admit any wrongdoing. It also did not admit wrongdoing in its settlement with the other boy.


The settlement "compensates (the boy) and his family for any trauma suffered as a result of this incident," according to a written statement from Mara Georges, the city's corporation counsel.


During the civil trial, the boy's attorneys claimed police framed him and ignored evidence that showed he was innocent.


Attorneys for the city and the two detectives named in the suit countered that at the time there was reasonable cause to believe the two boys had been involved in the slaying. According to police at the time, they were arrested after they told detectives that they killed the girl for the shiny blue bicycle she was riding.


The girl disappeared July 27, 1998, and was found dead the next day in a weedy lot on the city's South Side. She had been sexually molested and beaten.


Boy Falsley Accused of Murder Gets $6.2M

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press Writer


Tuesday, September 20, 2005


(09-20) 05:23 PDT Chicago (AP) --


A boy falsely accused of killing an 11-year-old girl seven years ago agreed Monday to settle his lawsuit against the city and two police detectives for $6.2 million, a judge announced.


The settlement, which still must be approved by the City Council, came less than a week after the council ordered city lawyers to settle the matter. A trial in the case began several weeks ago.


"The parents were satisfied with it and after seven years they wanted to get this behind them," said Andre Grant, an attorney representing the now 15-year-old boy.


Grant said at least some of the money would be spent on therapy and counseling for the boy.


Earlier this year, the city agreed to a $2 million settlement with the family of another boy also falsely accused in the 1998 murder of Ryan Harris.


The girl's slaying made national headlines after the two boys, then 7 and 8, became the youngest murder suspects in the United States at the time. It took almost a month before the boys were cleared after tests showed semen on the girl's clothing could not have come from them.


DNA tests later prompted police to charge Floyd Durr, a Chicago man who has been convicted of sexually assaulting other girls. Durr is awaiting trial in the girl's death.


In a statement about the tentative settlement, the city did not admit any wrongdoing. It also did not admit wrongdoing in its settlement with the other boy.


The settlement "compensates (the boy) and his family for any trauma suffered as a result of this incident," according to a written statement from Mara Georges, the city's corporation counsel.


During the civil trial, the boy's attorneys claimed police framed him and ignored evidence that showed he was innocent.


Attorneys for the city and the two detectives named in the suit countered that at the time there was reasonable cause to believe the two boys had been involved in the slaying. According to police at the time, they were arrested after they told detectives that they killed the girl for the shiny blue bicycle she was riding.


The girl disappeared July 27, 1998, and was found dead the next day in a weedy lot on the city's South Side. She had been sexually molested and beaten.




any more questions about how Iraq is a sovern government and is not a puppet government run by the American Empire?,,7374-1790386,00.html


SAS stormed prison to save soldiers from execution

By Philip Webster, Political Editor, and Ali Hamdani, in Baghdad


BRITISH troops stormed an Iraqi police compound in Basra because they feared that two captured SAS soldiers were in danger of being summarily executed by Shia militiamen.

“The intelligence we had received left us in no doubt these men were going to be killed,” one senior military source told The Times yesterday.


Monday’s events caused deep concern within the Government yesterday. John Reid, the Defence Secretary, raised the prospect that Iraqi police seized the two special forces soldiers in collusion with the Mahdi Army, a banned militia loyal to the Shia firebrand Moqtada al-Sadr. The behaviour of the Iraqi police was worrying and not yet understood, he said.


Fears that hardline Islamic militia are tightening their grip on southern Iraq, with the connivance of Iraqi police, put Tony Blair under pressure to outline an exit strategy for the 8,500 British forces in Iraq.


Michael Howard, the Tory leader, said that the Government needed to set out an honest account of the difficulties it faced in Iraq. “If the Iraqi police are not doing their job properly and if, as appears to have been the case yesterday, they are colluding with extremist militants against British soldiers, that is a cause for very deep concern,” he told the BBC.


“If, as has been suggested, the Iraqi police has been systematically infiltrated in this way, then we need, perhaps, to set about building a different kind of police force.”


Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, said that the events in Basra confirmed his fears that Iraq was drifting towards civil war. He said: “The most worrying thing of all is if we are now seeing a breakdown in communication, trust and co-operation between the British forces, who have done a heroic job there under the most dreadful of circumstances, and aspects at least of the Iraqi domestic security forces.”


The developments in Basra were discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet, which reaffirmed the existing strategy that the British presence can be run down only when Iraqi security forces believe they have sufficient control. But Mr Blair’s hopes that he could use next week’s Labour Party conference to direct attention back to the domestic agenda look set to be thwarted yet again.


The two undercover soldiers were apparently captured and taken to the police station after exchanging fire with Iraqi police. An angry mob attacked a British unit sent to rescue them, setting fire to two Warrior armoured fighting vehicles. Late on Monday a much bigger force stormed the station and grabbed the soldiers from a neighbouring villa.


The British action angered the Iraqi authorities. Muhammad al-Waili, the Governor of Basra province, called it barbaric, savage and irresponsible. A spokesman for Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the Iraqi Prime Minister, called it a “very unfortunate development”.


Iraqi television fuelled that anger by broadcasting pictures of the two soldiers inside the station as the police inspected wigs, Arab headdresses, an anti-tank missile and communications equipment allegedly seized from the soldiers’ car.




Sep 20, 9:04 PM EDT


Tucson Diocese officially emerges from bankruptcy reorganization



Associated Press Writer


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson officially emerged from bankruptcy Tuesday, exactly a year after sex abuse lawsuits drove it to seek Chapter 11 protection.


Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas and Susan Boswell, the diocese's lead lawyer in the bankruptcy proceedings, said the diocese has sent a check for $15.7 million to begin the settlement trust, or pool, to be used to compensate victims abused by priests.


Kicanas apologized again to all victims "who have been harmed within the household of faith."


The Tucson diocese was only the second in the nation to file for bankruptcy protection, a few months after the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore. But both Portland and the diocese of Spokane, which also sought bankruptcy protection last year, remain mired in litigation and far from resolution of their cases.


The $15.7 million represents the initial funding of the roughly $22.3 million that the Tucson diocese will make available to more than 50 victims under the reorganization plan and settlement agreement that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James M. Marlar approved earlier this summer.


With money deposited in the trust, checks are expected to start flowing next month to court-approved victims.


More than two dozen victims are to receive at least $200,000 to $600,000 each, based on the acts of abuse and injuries suffered.


Five parents of victims will receive $21,250 or $30,000 each.


A few more victims may be added to the initial recipients.


Of the total amount, $5 million will be set aside to pay minors and other still unknown future claimants who may come forward, though lawyers doubt there will be many such claims. The remainder would be divided among already authorized victims.


The total also includes $15,000 earmarked for each of 20 claimants whom attorneys decided had credible abuse claims but did not meet Arizona's statute of limitations.


Boswell and Taylor Ashworth, who represented the tort claimants' committee which included five victims and decided upon appropriate compensation, called resolving a case of such complexity within a year remarkable.


"I don't think anybody thought we would get as far and as fast as we did, so I think we were all surprised," said Thomas Groom, a victim and member of the claimants' committee. "Everybody felt that this was a fair resolution."


Groom also said the bankruptcy's resolution marked a point of finality "and things will start moving forward. It starts the healing process, and we all have to move forward with our lives."


Still, he said he knows of many others who did not come forward for various reasons, including statute of limitation problems.


Kicanas noted that the abuse victims "are in many very different places. Some have moved on," he said, while others' "lives have been destroyed... their struggles are different."


He also cautioned that it is "a terrible mistake" to blame victims who have pursued legal avenues, and added that the victims in the Tucson bankruptcy case did not seek to destroy the church's mission.


"I see it as a day of fulfillment in the sense that we have fulfilled our promise to the victims" that in turn will allow the diocese to move forward with its mission, while "determined to see that this doesn't happen again."


"This is a day when the victims are no longer victims, that they're victorious, that they've moved on, and that's the most important transformation that this process has gone through," plaintiffs' lawyer Lynne Cadigan said. "There's a finality to the anger and to the resentment against the system that many of these victims have felt for years."


The bankruptcy's resolution provides "a sense of closure to move onto the next level of healing," said victim Troy Gray, 36, who now lives in Vail, Colo.




who needs fake ids when you can get the real thing!!!


Sep 20, 8:30 PM EDT


Contractor Accused of 'Green Zone' Fraud



Associated Press Writer


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- A former government contractor was charged with fraud Tuesday for handing out top access ID badges in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone to an Iraqi girlfriend and others not entitled to have them.


Thomas N. Barnes III, 48, of Fort Worth, Texas, a former employee of contractor DynCorp, was arrested Tuesday morning at Dulles International Airport.


Barnes was freed on his own recognizance following a brief initial appearance in federal court. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Thursday. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.


Attempts to reach Barnes were not immediately successful Tuesday.


According to court records, Barnes produced access badges for people authorized to enter the Green Zone, where security is especially tight after militants vowed last week to launch an attack in the zone.


DynCorp administers the badge program under a $7.7 million military contract. Greg Lagana, a spokesman for the Irving, Texas, company, said Barnes was fired and withdrawn from Iraq, and the company is confident that Barnes' actions were an isolated incident.


People seeking access to the Green Zone, or International Zone, apply for a badge and undergo a security check. Applicants cleared for access then receive a badge in one of eight colors to reflect high or low-level access.


According to the complaint, Barnes would sidestep the security check and issue blue badges - reflecting the highest level of access - to those who should not have received them.

The complaint alleges he issued blue badges to an Iraqi woman he had been dating - Anaam Ganzi Ali Al-Doury - and high-level badges to members of her family, even though they were entitled only to low-level access badges.


"By compromising the security system in Iraq, this defendant jeopardized the safety of our military, contractor and civilian personnel in Baghdad," said Paul McNulty, U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Virginia.


Barnes also acknowledged to the FBI that he prepared a blue badge for a DynCorp vice president when the executive was only entitled to a lesser classification, according to the complaint.


Lagana said the DynCorp vice president did not know his access badges were improperly issued.


Two South African members of the security detail that accompanied the DynCorp vice president in Baghdad also improperly received high-level access badges, the complaint said.


A Pentagon spokesman in Baghdad referred questions to the State Department that were not immediately returned.




time to plan for a big anti-war protest when the deaths hit the big 2,000!!!! remember on May 2, 2003 Bush announces end of major fighting in Iraqi War. At the time only 139 American soldiers had been killed in the Iraqi war.


Sep 20, 9:11 PM EDT


U.S. Military Deaths Top 1,900 in Iraq



Associated Press Writer


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The war in Iraq passed a sobering milepost Tuesday when U.S. officials reported 10 more Americans were killed - six of them members of the armed forces, raising to more than 1,900 the number of U.S. service members who have died in the country since the invasion.


A Diplomatic Security agent attached to the U.S. State Department and three private American security guards were killed when their convoy was hit by a suicide car bomber Monday in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said. The four were attached to the U.S. Embassy's regional office in Mosul.


The announcements came as British and Iraqi officials issued stinging charges and countercharges about the storming of a Basra jail to free two British soldiers who had been arrested by Basra police. During the raid, British forces learned that Shiite Muslim militiamen and police had just moved the two men to a nearby house. The British then stormed that house and rescued the men.


British Defense Minister John Reid said his forces in the southern city were "absolutely right" to act. But a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said the operation was "very unfortunate."


Britain's Foreign Office later released a statement it said was from al-Jaafari's office, insisting there is no crisis in relations between the two countries.


"In response to recent events in Basra, the Iraqi government wants to clarify that there is no 'crisis' - as some media have claimed - between it and the British government," said the statement from al-Jaafari's office, according to the Foreign Office. "Both governments are in close contact, and an inquiry will be conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior into the incident."


The latest American deaths, which raised the overall toll to 1,905, included a soldier from the 18th Military Police Brigade killed in a roadside bombing 75 miles north of the capital Tuesday, the military said.


Four soldiers attached to the Marines died Monday in two roadside bombings near the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad. They were attached to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.


 Hurst reports four Americans were killed in a separate incident in the city of Mosul.


The military also said that Sgt. Matthew L. Deckard, 29, of Elizabethtown, Ky., was killed Friday when a bomb went off near his tank during patrol operations.


Before the six military deaths were announced Tuesday, a Pentagon count said 1,479 U.S. service members had died in hostile action in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003. The toll includes five military civilians and excludes American service members who died from other causes.


Names of the victims were not released in Baghdad, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a statement issued in New York, identified the Diplomatic Security officer as Stephen Eric Sullivan. His age and address were not given.


"Steve's death is a tragic loss for all of us at the Department of State. Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve's family. We grieve with them in their loss and stand with them at this difficult time," the Rice statement said.


A new poll showed dwindling support among Americans for President Bush's handling of Iraq. Two-thirds in an AP-Ipsos survey said the United States was spending too much in Iraq, and just as many felt the money was not being spent wisely. The poll had a 3 percentage point margin of error.


While about 135,000 U.S. troops operate throughout Iraq, the 8,500 British forces are headquartered in the Basra region, in the country's far south.


A day after British armored vehicles stormed the jail in Basra to free two commandos, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, a Shiite who serves as Iraq's national security adviser, said the operation was "a violation of Iraqi sovereignty."


British forces used armor to bash their way into the jail compound late Monday after a day of turmoil that erupted with the arrest of the two commandos. At first Basra police said the men shot and killed a policeman, but on Tuesday the al-Jaafari spokesman, Haydar al-Abadi, said the men - who were wearing civilian clothes - were grabbed for behaving suspiciously and collecting information.


The British said the men had been handed over to a militia. The Basra governor confirmed the claim, saying the Britons were in the custody of the al-Mahdi Army, the militia controlled by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.


"The two British were being kept in a house controlled by militiamen when the rescue operation took place," said the governor, Mohammed al-Waili.


"Police who are members of the militia group took them to a nearby house after jail authorities learned the facility was about to be stormed," he said, demanding that the Britons be handed over to local authorities for trial. He would not say what charges they might face.


Officials in Basra, refusing to be named because they feared for their lives, said at least 60 percent of the police force there is made up of Shiite militiamen from one of three groups: the Mahdi Army; the Badr Brigade, the armed wing of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution; and Hezbollah in Iraq, a small group based in the marshlands in the south.


All militia have deep historical, religious and political ties to Iran, where many Shiite political and religious figures took refuge during the rule of Saddam Hussein.


The deepening chaos in the south, where the Shiite population had largely welcomed the U.S.-led invasion that freed them from the Saddam's oppressive rule, appears partly a function of local intrigues as the militias and their political backers vie for power.


The British forces have found themselves caught in the emerging conflict. It was believed that the arrest of the commandos Monday and subsequent rioting, which saw British forces jumping from burning armored vehicles under a hail stones and Molotov cocktails, grew out of the British arrest last week of an al-Mahdi Army leader, Sheikh Ahmed Fartosi.


Two reporters associated with The New York Times have been killed in Basra recently after they were abducted by alleged militia members. Fakher Haider, a 38-year-old Iraqi covering Basra for the newspaper, was found dead outside the city on Monday.


On Aug. 2, New York freelance journalist Steven Vincent and his female Iraqi translator were abducted at gunpoint. His body was discovered that night south of Basra. The translator was seriously wounded and remains hospitalized.


Vincent was killed shortly after he wrote a column published in the Times claiming Basra police were of being infiltrated by Shiite militiamen. A senior British official said Islamic militants - and not Iraqi police - probably killed him.




dont these FBI agents have any real criminals to hunt down????


Agents sought for porn squad


Barton Gellman

Washington Post

Sept. 21, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The FBI is joining the Bush administration's war on porn, and it's looking for a few good agents.


Last month, the bureau's Washington Field Office began recruiting for a new anti-obscenity squad. Attached to the job posting was a July 29 electronic communication from FBI headquarters to all 56 field offices, describing the initiative as "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and, by extension, of "the director," Robert Mueller III.


Mischievous commentary began propagating around the water coolers at 601 Fourth St. NW and its satellites, where the FBI's second-largest field office concentrates on national security, high-technology crimes and public corruption.


The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography - not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts and is marketed to consenting adults.


"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."


Among friends and trusted colleagues, an experienced national-security analyst said, "It's a running joke for us."


Federal obscenity prosecutions, which have been out of style since Attorney General Edwin Meese in the Reagan administration made pornography a signature issue in the 1980s, do "encounter many legal issues, including First Amendment claims," the FBI headquarters memo noted.


Applicants for the porn squad should therefore have a stomach for the kind of material that tends to be most offensive to local juries. Community standards, along with a prurient purpose and absence of artistic merit, define criminal obscenity under current Supreme Court doctrine.


Popular acceptance of hard-core pornography has come a long way, with some of its stars becoming mainstream celebrities and their products, once confined to seedy shops and theaters, being purveyed by upscale hotels and most home cable and satellite television systems.


Explicit sexual entertainment is a profit center for companies including General Motors Corp. and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (the two major owners of DirecTV), Time Warner Inc. and the Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt hotel chains.


But Gonzales endorses the rationale of Meese: that adult pornography is a threat to families and children. Christian conservatives, long skeptical of Gonzales, greeted the pornography initiative with what the Family Research Council called "a growing sense of confidence in our new attorney general."


Congress began funding the obscenity initiative in fiscal 2005 and specified that the FBI must devote 10 agents to adult pornography. The bureau decided to create a dedicated squad only in the Washington field office.


"All other field offices may investigate obscenity cases pursuant to this initiative if resources are available," the directive from headquarters said. "Field offices should not, however, divert resources from higher priority matters, such as public corruption."




a day in the life of a mormon proselytizer


A mission to Scottsdale

Missionaries gladly put in long days to spread the faith


John Faherty

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 21, 2005 12:00 AM


Elder Scott Clarke and Elder Ethan Farmer are on a mission from God.


The two young men are serving their mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but they are not local kids sent to Peru or Botswana. Clarke is from Ohio; Farmer is from Idaho. They have come to the Valley to convert people.


But coming to the Valley is different. For starters, there are already 153,980 Mormons living here, meaning Clarke and Farmer network almost as much as they door-knock. And they will never go hungry.


As their peers go to college or look for fun, Farmer and Clarke look for converts and lead a life that borders on monastic. There are a lot of rules on a mission. You must wear the tie and the nametag. An elder cannot back up his car without his companion elder standing behind the car to direct him. There is no television.


There is no dating. In fact, the two men cannot enter the home of a young woman, defined as younger than 55, without another person being present.


There is a no-swimming rule that stems in part from arcane beliefs that Satan rules the water and partly from the more practical belief that nothing good can come from healthy young men sitting around a pool with girls in bathing suits.


Both elders were advised to, "Lock your heart and leave the key at home. And never open it here." That expression has become a universal admonition for LDS missionaries. And it is one the church takes seriously. Men and women serving on their missions are expected to be fully focused on their faith, their spiritual growth and the growth of the Mormon Church.


A missionary is allowed to call his family twice a year: once on Christmas and once on Mother's Day, that's it - although it often is said that the church looks the other way when it comes to family contact.


In truth, there is not a lot of time for these young people to do anything but work and pray.


At 6:30 each morning, Farmer and Clarke wake for exercise. From 7 to 8 a.m., they eat breakfast, shower and prepare for the day. They dress in their short-sleeve white shirts and dark pants. Their ties are tight up to their necks.


At 8, a two-hour session called companion study begins. Each elder reads passages from the Bible or the Book of Mormon. Then they discuss what they have read.


At 10 a.m., they walk out the door to begin the most visible part of their day. You know it as door-knocking, they call it "tracting," from the practice of leaving religious pamphlets, known as tracts.


They will be on the street knocking on doors, keeping appointments and looking for potential converts until 9:30 p.m.




When you knock on as many doors as Clarke and Farmer have, you notice many small signs most people miss. Doves, yin-yang, crosses, fish, mezuzot and pentacles may all mean something about the home's occupants and their faith.


But this being the Valley, homes are bought and sold so often it's impossible to know whether the symbol is pertinent. Clarke and Farmer knock on every door, trading back and forth on who takes the lead.


Spend the day with these two gentlemen and you will be certain that Scottsdale is a very devout community. In one three-door span, homeowners told Farmer and Clarke they were not interested in learning more about the LDS Church because the occupants were Jewish, Greek Orthodox or Catholic. And all said they were very serious about their faith.


Farmer and Clark wonder whether some of the people are likely "C and E's." That's missionary talk for people who go to their house of worship only at Christmas and Easter.


But they do not appear discouraged. If their earnestness and devotion alone would mean more converts, the Mormon Church would be growing even faster.


As you might expect, they face a ton of rejection, although people who slam the door shut or scream at them are rare. Far more often is the person who claims to be very busy at the moment. Asked if there is a better time to try back, the elders usually are told no. If they get a generic answer of some time next week, Clarke and Farmer immediately pull out their calendars and nail down a day and time. An appointment is a small victory. They will return.


Watching them work, it is no wonder organizations that rely on door-to-door sales recruit heavily on the campus of Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. A common joke is that the next time a well-groomed exterminator salesman knocks on your door, you should ask him where he served on his mission.


When they get a chance, the missionaries tell people that God loves them. They tell people that they love them. Then they remind people that Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. They tell people that, in 1820, Joseph Smith was visited by God the Father and his son Jesus, and that the religion Smith established is a restoration of the original church established by Jesus Christ.


Almost invariably, they get nowhere.




But every once in a while they meet a person who is open to their message. Clarke describes that moment.


"It feels like the happiest day of your life. The happiest day of their life. To help someone come closer to God, to Jesus Christ. It's the most incredible blessing."


Adds Farmer: "It is hard work getting there, but it is very sweet. They literally change. They change before your eyes. It's hard to describe how right it feels."


That is what they live for. And pray for. It's what they left their homes for.


Clarke, 21, is from Cincinnati. He left behind his siblings and parents to go on his mission. He is devout and earnest, and takes his praying and proselytizing seriously. He believes his sacrifices are for God, to whom he refers invariably as his Heavenly Father.


Before Clarke left, his father was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died in June while Clarke was here on his mission. Clarke did not return to his family for the funeral. That was his decision, not the church's. Missionaries who lose family members are allowed to return home if they feel they should. But many do not. They think their mission is that important.


Clarke did not go home because he had already said his goodbyes. Neither he nor his father thought they would see each other again when Clarke left 15 months ago.


"A lot of the things I needed to work out, I was able to do before I left," Clarke said.


He called his father a great man and an inspiration.


"I know I will see him again."


Elder Farmer came to the Valley from his home in Pocatello, Idaho. "Yes, I am a Farmer from Idaho," he says.


At 27, he is older than most of his peers, who traditionally begin their missions at age 19 or 20. Farmer said he was not ready at that time to start his mission. He refers to having been a punk kid, though it sounds more as if he was simply a young man with a little growing up to do.


After graduating from college and working a few years, Farmer knew he was ready, so he approached his church ward to turn in his mission papers.


Farmer's belief that he needed to be more ready for his mission represents the larger shift in the mission program. Elders Clarke and Farmer certainly fit the bill. Their devotion is clear, their hard work impressive. And they love what they do.


"They say on a mission you have long days and short months. And it's true," Farmer said.


Ward 'adoptees'


One big difference between serving a mission in the Third World and serving in the Valley is the food. There is lots and lots of food.


The two men have been "adopted" by two wards in north Scottsdale. A ward represents a geographic area, and usually consists of a couple of hundred members.


When word went out that two nice young men might enjoy a family dinner, a couple of sign-up sheets were immediately filled by the congregations. Now they have dinners set up with Mormon families every night for the foreseeable future.


Recently, they ate with the Andersen family in their stunning home tucked into the foothills of the McDowell Mountains of east Scottsdale.


The menu was typical. Lasagna, garlic bread, a fruit salad, a green salad and dessert. The elders will not leave hungry. And they do not leave empty-handed. At home is a refrigerator filled with food in Tupperware.


Fifteen months into his mission, Clarke has gained 20-plus pounds. Farmer, a lean 6-foot-5, says he has to work to keep weight off for the first time in his life.


There are other reasons for the dinners beyond feeding the missionaries. The meals are a perfect networking opportunity for Clarke and Farmer.


One reason the Valley is a strong growth area for the LDS Church is that there are already so many Mormons here. People can see the faith and the lifestyle and know whether it may interest them.


More important, Mormon families in the Valley can help steer the missionaries to people who may be ready to convert. After each dinner, each family is asked whether they know somebody who may be interested in joining the church.


"Everybody loves a warm lead," Clarke said.


In addition to enjoying the company of the missionaries, the night provides another benefit for the Andersens. They have a son currently on a mission in Panama. By feeding these two young men, Teresa Andersen hopes her own son is eating well.


"You hope there is a woman in Panama doing this for your son."


More to do


After dinner with the Andersens, Farmer and Clarke were not yet finished with their day. In contrast to the devotion of that Mormon family, they met with a young woman in a Scottsdale apartment who was unsure of her beliefs.


When Clarke and Farmer enter the apartment of Debbie Ryba, 26, the Chicago-area native is watching her beloved Cubs. She could not get herself to turn the game off as Clarke and Farmer spoke about God, but she was willing to put it on mute.


Sitting on her leopard-spot futon couch, Ryba tells the elders that she thinks religion is a good idea for some people, just not for her. "I don't believe anything until I see it myself."


She listens politely but clearly is not open to their message. Still, they forge ahead.


"You are a daughter of God and he loves you," Clarke tells her.


While her roommate watches the interaction warily, Ryba tells them that in the big scheme of things, she does "not know if anything is actually knowable."


After getting nowhere for half an hour, the young men thank her for her time. They will check in with her the following week. She says she will read some of the Book of Mormon. They tell her she will be in their prayers.


The men have faith that she will be ready for the message at some point.


At least she listened.




too many piggies with cell phones. the good thing about police radio communications is that all of it is tape recorded so you can use it in lawsuits against crooked pigs. in my lawsuit i got copies of tempe radio communications. the bad news is the pigs often talk on their cell phones to keep from having their radio conversations taped.


Budget crisis forces cops to quit cellphones


Jim Walsh

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 21, 2005 12:00 AM


MESA - City budget cuts have forced the Mesa police to hang up on some of their officers and staff members.


In an effort to avoid cuts in personnel, 85 officers and other police employees were asked to turn in city-issued cellphones considered non-essential for their jobs. Some have opted for pagers.


Among those turning in cellphones were Police Chief Dennis Donna, who now uses a personal cellphone, and Assistant Police Chief Les Portee.


City employees have a total of about 790 cellphones.


"There are more cellphones in the Police Department than there are in any other department," said Bryan Raines, the city's financial services manager. "I think it's very significant. Every little bit helps."


If the financial picture doesn't improve, the city anticipates a budget shortfall of $30 million to $40 million and far deeper cuts in the future, Raines said.


The cutbacks mean the department trimmed its 462 phones to 377 and saved an estimated $77,000, he said.


In another austerity move, 66 officers lost another perk: take-home cars. Officers who live more than five miles outside the city were required to park their city vehicles at the police station nearest to their home.Savings are estimated at $80,000.


Donna's "main goal was not to lose personnel. He didn't want to lose bodies," said Sgt. Chuck Trapani, a police spokesman.


Raines said the City Council has prioritized public safety, utilities and transportation as essential services, so the police cutbacks are a last resort.


This story also appears in today's Mesa Community section.




boy they got some dangerous criminals in New York. Can you imagine a person talking on a microphone with out getting a government permit????


'Peace Mom' injured in NY protest scuffle


Associated Press

Sept. 21, 2005 12:00 AM


NEW YORK - Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan said Tuesday that she was hurt slightly in a scuffle that erupted when police broke up a rally as she was at the microphone.


An organizer was arrested and charged with using a loudspeaker without a permit.


"I was speaking and someone grabbed my backpack and pulled me back pretty roughly," Sheehan said, describing the scene at Manhattan's Union Square on Monday.


Sheehan is a grieving mother whose vigil near President Bush's Texas ranch sparked war protests around the country.




pigs get special perks!!!!!! but hey lets face it pigs are just government criminals with guns and badges who are rarely if ever held accountable for their crimes


Fired deputy reinstated with four years of back pay


By Becky Pallack and Kim Smith



A Pima County Sheriff's deputy fired in 2001, in part for slapping a handcuffed suspect, will get his job back - plus about $90,000 in back pay.


The six-year legal fight that pitted Sheriff Clarence Dupnik against the Pima County Law Enforcement Merit System Council has seemingly ended in favor of the council after an Arizona Supreme Court ruling Wednesday.


"We are thrilled that it is finally over. This represents a huge victory for every police officer in the state," said Mike Storie, Harvey's attorney.


Sheriff Clarence Dupnik referred questions to his attorneys, who said they are disappointed in the ruling.


Harvey, who has been on paid leave at $43,000 a year for more than two years, will return to patrol as early as next week after weapons qualification tests, Storie said. He also will receive $90,000 in back pay and interest for the first year and a half when he was fired, Storie said.


When he was fired, Dupnik said Harvey's dismissal was based on a history of complaints alleging rudeness, rough treatment and unprofessional conduct.


Harvey had more complaints and more decorations than any other active deputy. He was disciplined 20 times in his career, and citizens complained that he used excessive force 26 times. He also was given more than 70 commendations for his work.


In the termination notice, Dupnik said Harvey beat an unarmed suspect in 1999 and hit him twice in the head with the butt of his gun. After Michael Kollmann was on the ground, handcuffed and bleeding from a gunshot wound to the neck, Harvey slapped him to try to elicit incriminating statements. Harvey told superiors he slapped the suspect to keep him conscious.


Dupnik said Harvey's actions were "inappropriate, contrary to training and an excessive use of force."


Harvey, who has worked for the department since 1987, appealed his termination to the Law Enforcement Merit System Council.


In 2002, the council unanimously voted to reinstate Harvey as a deputy and award him back pay.


Dupnik filed a complaint in Pima County Superior Court in 2003, saying the council exceeded its authority. A superior court judge ruled in favor of Harvey and ordered Dupnik to hire him back. The sheriff filed an appeal.


The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in Dupnik's favor in 2004, finding the merit council had "substituted its discretion for the sheriff's." Then Harvey appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.


In an opinion written by Vice Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch Wednesday, the supreme court said the merit council may independently review disciplinary decisions and overturn them if they feel the discipline was unjust.


For more on this story, read tomorrow's Arizona Daily Star.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at 629-9412 or




Mexicans bulldoze border buildings




Mexican officials bulldozed 31 abandoned buildings Tuesday in Las Chepas, a border hamlet that officials in neighboring New Mexico say is used as a staging ground for crossings by illegal entrants.


A squad of about 15 Chihuahua state police officers showed up and, along with two bulldozers, began demolishing the adobe homes with tin roofs.


But many other houses were left standing in this tiny farm community, which has only 50 full-time residents but supports three grocery stores, whose main business apparently involves selling supplies to border crossers.


Residents of the cotton- and chile-growing village complained that police had not shown them any court order to justify the demolitions.


"(New Mexico Gov.) Bill Richardson wouldn't like it if we demolished Columbus," the New Mexico city that is just beyond a barbed-wire fence that marks the border, said local communal farm representative Francisco Molina.


Molina complained that the houses, while abandoned, had legal owners. However, another leader of the communal farm community apparently had agreed to the demolitions, angering the other residents.


Resident Erasmo Silva said one of the state police officers pointed his rifle at him after residents voiced their objections.


But Richardson praised the action. "This is great news for everyone living on the border," Richardson said. "I commend the actions of the Mexican government for taking this step to put a halt to increased illegal activity on the Mexico-New Mexico border."


The operation was monitored from the American side by U.S. Border Patrol agents.


"Bulldozing abandoned buildings in Las Chepas is a major step that sends a strong signal to anyone involved in illegal criminal activity on the border that it will not be tolerated," Richardson said.


Last week, the Border Patrol announced an additional 105 agents were being assigned to the Deming station. Richardson said that act, combined with Tuesday's demolition, "signifies what cooperation between border governors and federal officials can achieve."


In August, Richardson and the governor of Chihuahua agreed to bulldoze or board up abandoned buildings here to prevent them from being used as a haven for would-be border crossers and smugglers.


Richardson and Chihuahua Gov. Jose Reyes Baeza also said they hoped to establish a police presence to end lawlessness in Las Chepas and fine unlicensed bus operators who ferry migrants along a dusty washboard road to Las Chepas.


However, even after the demolitions, one such bus carrying people who appeared to be migrants was seen traveling toward Las Chepas.


And in the village, people peered out from the remaining homes, where bunk beds and cots apparently serve as improvised quarters for migrants waiting to cross.




iraq a sovern government??? give me a break its a puppet government run by the americans and the british lackies


British rescue of soldiers brings criticism by Iraqis


Thomas Wagner

Associated Press

Sept. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


BAGHDAD - Hundreds of Iraqi civilians and policemen, some waving pistols and AK-47s, rallied Wednesday in the southern city of Basra to denounce "British aggression" in the rescue of two British soldiers.


The Basra governor threatened to end all cooperation with British forces unless Prime Minister Tony Blair's government apologizes for the deadly clash with Iraqi police. Britain defended the raid.


In London, British Defense Secretary John Reid and Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari tried to minimize the effect of the fighting, saying it would not undermine the relationship between the two nations or their determination to lead Iraq to peace and democracy.


But the fighting raised new concerns about the power that radical Shiite militias with close ties to Iran have developed in the region, questions about the role of Britain's 8,500-strong force in Iraq and doubts about the timetable for handing over power to local security forces.


There has been disagreement about just what happened late Monday, when British armor crashed into a jail to free two British soldiers who had been arrested by Iraqi police.


According to the British, Shiite Muslim militiamen moved the two soldiers from the jail to a private home while British officials tried to negotiate their release with Iraqi officials. After raiding the jail, the British say they rescued the soldiers in a nearby private home in the custody of Shiite militias.


Earlier that day, a crowd attacked British troops with stones and Molotov cocktails.


Troops had tried to negotiate with the crowd in Basra "but that had no effect and it became more hostile quite quickly after that," Sgt. Eddie Pickersgill, whose face was bruised by a rock, said in television interviews in Britain on Wednesday.


Five Iraqi civilians were killed in the fighting, including two who died of their injuries Wednesday in a hospital, and other people wounded, Iraqi authorities said.


Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr disputed the British account of the raid that followed. He told the British Broadcasting Corp. the two soldiers never left police custody or the jail, were not handed over to militants, and that the British army acted on a "rumor" when it stormed the jail.


But Basra's governor, Mohammed al-Waili, said the two men were indeed moved from the jail. He said they were placed in the custody of the al-Mahdi Army, the militia of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.


"The two British were being kept in a house controlled by militiamen when the rescue operation took place," al-Waili said. "Police who are members of the militia group took them to a nearby house after jail authorities learned the facility was about to be stormed."


At first, Basra police said the two British soldiers shot and killed a policeman before they were taken into custody, but on Tuesday al-Jaafari's spokesman, Haydar al-Abadi, said the men - who were wearing civilian clothes - were grabbed for behaving suspiciously and collecting information.


Lisa Glover, a British Foreign Office spokeswoman in Baghdad, said the two soldiers "were challenged by armed men in plain clothes . . . and they obviously didn't know who they were being challenged by." But "when Iraqi police asked them to stop, they did," she told the Associated Press.


She said British officials negotiated with Iraqi authorities in Basra for the release of the two soldiers with an Iraqi judge present.


Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie, a Shiite politician who has criticized the British raid as "a violation of Iraqi sovereignty," acknowledged that one problem coalition forces face is that insurgents have joined the ranks of security forces.


"Iraqi security forces in general, police in particular, in many parts of Iraq, I have to admit, have been penetrated by some of the insurgents, some of the terrorists as well," he said in an interview with the BBC on Tuesday night.


Officials in Basra, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared for their lives, said at least 60 percent of the police force there is made up of Shiite militiamen from one of three groups: the Mahdi Army; the Badr Brigade, the armed wing of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq; and Hezbollah in Iraq, a small group based in the southern marshlands.


The militias have deep historical, religious and political ties to Iran, where many Shiite political and religious figures took refuge during the rule of Saddam Hussein.


On Wednesday, about 500 civilians and policemen held a protest in downtown Basra.


The demonstrators, waving pistols and AK-47s, shouted "No to occupation!" and carried banners condemning "British aggression" and demanding the freed soldiers be tried in an Iraqi court as "terrorists."




govenrment theives!


Kenner police find relief supplies in city official's home


The Associated Press

September 22. 2005 8:48PM


Police got a warrant Thursday to arrest Kenner's chief administrative officer, who is accused of taking four pickup-truck loads of clothes, tools, food and other supplies meant for hurricane victims.


The warrant accused Cedric Floyd of malfeasance in office, a felony.


Mayor Phil Capitano, who defeated Police Chief Nick Congemi in the 2004 election for mayor, suspended Floyd without pay on Wednesday, a day after police seached Floyd's house.


Until then, Floyd was paid $82,522 a year as one of Capitano's top two aides, managing daily operations for Louisiana's sixth-largest city and supervising all workers except those in the legal, fire and police departments.


Floyd's attorney told police Floyd was out of town, but would turn himself in when he returned, said Capt. Steve Caraway, a Kenner Police Department spokesman.


Earlier Thursday, Floyd said he wasn't taking anything - merely storing supplies from a city-run relief site until they could be moved to New Hope Community Church, where they would be distributed to needy people in its neighborhood.


"We gave stuff in bulk," he said. "What is too much?"


The church's pastor, Mark Mitchell, corroborated Floyd's account. "We just kept missing each other to get these goods," Mitchell said.


Both said Floyd had twice earlier taken donated goods to Mitchell instead of requiring the pastor to go to the city distribution center at 25th Street and Williams Boulevard.


Military officials who had been working at the distribution site filed a complaint against Floyd. State Attorney General Charles Foti's office is helping Kenner police in the investigation.


It took a big pickup truck four trips to carry away all of the goods, including lanterns, vacuums and clothes with price tags attached, Caraway said Wednesday.


Thousands of hurricane-stricken residents of the city a few miles west of New Orleans lined up each day at a furniture store parking lot to get clothing, food, household items and tons of other donated supplies.




scottsdale government rulers dont even obey laws they pass


Scottsdale/Northeast Valley briefs.


Sept. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


Scottsdale skirts rules, erects tent prematurely


SCOTTSDALE - The city began building the huge tent at WestWorld this month without first getting a necessary building permit, Scottsdale acknowledged Wednesday.


Making an exception to its own rules, Scottsdale started erecting the 120,000-square-foot tent while its building permit was still pending, City Engineer Dan Worth said.


"We built it while we were going through a permit approval process concurrently, and we did that because we had a pretty tight timeline," Worth said.


The permit should be complete before the first event is held at the tent Oct. 8, he said.




search warrent! we dont need no f*cking search warrent!


Hunt for bodies reaches locked homes; toll climbs


Adam Nossiter

Associated Press

Sept. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


NEW ORLEANS - Searchers smashed through doors in New Orleans on Wednesday, bringing their hunt for the dead to homes that had been locked and to blocks hardest hit by Katrina's flooding. Behind those doors, officials said they expected a sharply escalating body count even as the overall death toll passed 1,000.


"There still could be quite a few, especially in the deepest flooded areas," said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jeffrey Pettitt, who is overseeing the retrieval of bodies. "Some of the houses, they haven't been in yet." Officials said searchers are beginning to find more children.


The death toll in Louisiana stood at 799 on Wednesday, an increase of 153 bodies since the weekend and nearly 80 percent of the 1,036 deaths attributed to Hurricane Katrina across the Gulf Coast region. Pettitt and other officials would not speculate on what the final tally could be. They said the effort could last another four to six weeks.


About 500 people are involved in the search of locked homes, the third and most intense phase of the recovery effort. Initially, authorities made a hasty sweep through neighborhoods to identify the living and dead. That was followed by a door-to-door search, though locked doors were off-limits.


Previously, they had not entered unless they saw a body or heard someone inside. Now, even a high water mark on the side of a home was enough to allow them to go in.


At one home, Capt. Edan Jacobs of the Miami-Dade Fire Department kicked at a door a dozen times, then used a sledgehammer. The searchers, wearing special masks to ward off the mold and stench, sometimes have to go to three different entrances before they find one not blocked by refrigerators or couches.


Police officers and guardsmen stood by, weapons ready, as emaciated dogs circled.


"We try not to destroy the homes, but we have to get inside," said fire department Lt. Eric Baum.


Many homes are unsafe to enter, while others lie under piles of muck and debris. Some homes are so structurally unsound they are marked, "Do not enter," and seemingly every house has mold.


As the Katrina body retrieval accelerated, the city prepared for a new threat from Hurricane Rita. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin renewed his plea for residents to get out.


A mandatory evacuation order was in effect for the entire east bank of the Mississippi, and some 500 buses were standing by at the convention center, but few seemed to be taking advantage. Only one person showed up to be evacuated Wednesday morning.


The Army Corps of Engineers continued pumping the water left by Katrina and readying the city's fractured levee system.




the death penalty is racist and is mostly used agains minorities who kill whites!


Killers of whites more likely to get death


But Calif. study finds defendant's race isn't a factor




SAN FRANCISCO - More condemned men and women are on California's death row for killing whites than for murdering people of any other race, despite there being more black and Hispanic murder victims, according to a new study.


The study, to be published in the Santa Clara Law Review, for the first time takes a detailed accounting of the races of California homicide victims killed in the 1990s. It concludes that suspects who murder whites are almost four times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill Hispanics.


Also, perpetrators who kill whites are three times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill blacks.


"To put it bluntly, there's apparently different values being placed on victims from different racial and ethnic groups," Northeastern University criminal justice professor Glenn Pierce, a co-author of the study, said in an interview. "That's what the pattern would suggest."


However, the report, "The Impact of Legally Inappropriate Factors on Death Sentencing for California Homicides, 1990-1999," concludes that the race of the defendant did not contribute significantly to whether prosecutors sought the death penalty or whether jurors would issue a death judgment.


Instead, the study, co-authored by Michael Radelet, a University of Colorado sociology professor, concluded the victim's race was paramount in determining whether a defendant would get a death sentence.


Pierce said his conclusions mirrored studies in other states.


The study focuses on 263 California death sentences in the 1990s, although there were 302 death sentences issued altogether during that time.


The study eliminated 39 cases where a person was sentenced to death for multiple murders that took the lives of victims from different races or ethnic groups.


Of the 263 sentences, 142 were handed down for killing whites; 44 rendered for murdering blacks; 52 for Hispanics and 25 for other races.


During that time period, there were 8,136 whites killed; 9,338 blacks; 14,089 Hispanics; and 2,037 victims of other races.


The survey also notes that some counties, particularly rural ones, dole out the death penalty disproportionately to their larger, metropolitan counterparts.


"This study forced the people in California to confront the unfairness of how the death penalty is applied in this state," said Ellen Kreitzberg, a Santa Clara University professor and director of its Death Penalty College.


"The decision of who will live and who will die in California turns on arbitrary and unlawful factors such as the race and ethnicity of the murder victim or the location where the murder was committed."


Kent Scheidegger, director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, said the study showed that California does not racially discriminate against murder defendants because race of the defendant was not found to be a factor.


"I think that is an accomplishment to be celebrated," he said. "People who are attacking the death penalty want to find discrimination go looking for it and cannot find it." 




Section: News




LA PAZ, Bolivia - Indian leader Evo Morales said he would reject Washington's policy of eradicating much of Bolivia's coca crop if he is elected president and pledged he would work to legalize the leaf used to make cocaine.


Morales, a front-runner in this Andean nation's Dec. 4 election, is an Aymara Indian who led protests that helped oust President Carlos Mesa in June and led to the calling of the December vote.


He rose to power 10 years ago as the leader of the coca growers of the Chapare region, where U.S.-backed eradication efforts are focused.


During a campaign stop in the city of Sucre late Tuesday, Morales said the U.S. government's policies have the sole objective of "eliminating coca" and "tormenting the cocaleros," the people who grow coca.


Morales said he would oppose coca eradication efforts if president, but added that he would still fight cocaine production.


"There won't be zero coca, but there will be zero drug trafficking," Morales said.


Currently, the Bolivian government permits the cultivation of 29,600 acres of coca leaf for traditional uses. But recent United Nations estimates say more than twice that amount is actually grown. In 2004 the Bolivian government forcibly eradicated 20,800 acres with help from the U.S. government.


Bolivians, who have grown the coca leaf for thousands of years, drink it as tea, chew the leaf to stave off hunger while working, and use it in Indian religious ceremonies.


Morales and his supporters argue that the government is underestimating the demand for legal domestic consumption. 




lets legalize pot!


Legalized pot initiative backers light up debate 

By Jennifer Ryan, Tribune

September 22, 2005


Medical marijuana has not gone away in Arizona. Despite its last defeat at the polls nearly three years ago, the medical marijuana issue has returned.


And this time, the scope is bigger.


The Marijuana Policy Project, which calls itself the nation’s largest marijuana policy reform organization, is pushing to legalize marijuana use for all adults in Arizona and six other states.


The goal is to put pot in the same category as alcohol, with the same kind of taxes and regulation.


"It’s about providing funding and providing organization," said Krissy Oechslin, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project, based in Washington, D.C. "We’d like to bring it off the street and regulate it."


The effort, however, is in its infancy, and project officials emphasize they have no master plan for the seven states they have targeted: Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon.


Instead, the group is looking for local activists to build grass-roots support for legalized marijuana. Their efforts would be funded by the project’s grant program.


A request for proposals has been issued in the seven states, where grant applicants are asked to list "escalating tactics that would lead to a change in state law in three to five years via the state Legislature or the statewide ballot initiative process," according to a job listing on the Internet.


Those tactics could include organizing demonstrations, lobbying state lawmakers, building a coalition of supportive organizations and generating favorable news coverage.


The effort would go much further than previous Arizona medical marijuana initiatives, but it’s not surprising, said Barnett Lotstein, a special assistant in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.


"The objective was, once you get people to think of drugs as medicine, the next step is legalization," he said. "The ultimate goal of people who propose the legalization of marijuana is the legalization of all drugs."


Project officials, however, said their focus is only on marijuana. And while the organization supports the legal use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the group is separate from the one that organized Arizona’s medical marijuana initiatives, said Bruce Mirken, a spokesman for the project.


Both groups, however, share some of the same financial sources. University of Phoenix founder John Sperling provided financial support for medical marijuana campaigns in Arizona, and gave money to the Marijuana Policy Project once in 2002, said Oechslin. Peter Lewis, chairman of the Progressive Insurance Companies, has contributed money to medial marijuana efforts in Arizona, and is funding the grants program at the Marijuana Policy Project.


"There is probably a range of views out there . . . but we’ve been pretty clear that we support taxing and regulating marijuana for adults," Mirken said.


The project has targeted Arizona because of support residents have shown for medical marijuana, said Oechslin. In 1996, 65 percent of voters approved a ballot initiative that gave doctors authority to prescribe marijuana to seriously ill patients.


Public support continued two years later, when voters defeated a referendum sent to the ballot by state lawmakers, who wanted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve marijuana before Arizona doctors could prescribe the drug.


But in 2002, voters rejected a ballot measure aimed at correcting problems in the 1996 initiative. Doctors were afraid to write prescriptions for marijuana because federal authorities threatened to take away their prescribing authority, said Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a Phoenix surgeon and a medical marijuana campaign activist.


Proposition 203 would have allowed doctors to write a recommendation rather than a prescription, made possession of small amounts of pot punishable by a fine and created a distribution system using the state health department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.


The measure was hurt by controversy over having law enforcement distribute pot to sick people, said Singer. Since then, the group behind the medical marijuana propositions has faded from view.


"At the moment, we’re sort of on hold," said Singer. "We’re waiting for the right time."


The Marijuana Policy Project said the right time is now. The organization is behind efforts in Nevada, where a proposition will be on the November 2006 ballot that would tax and regulate marijuana, and make possession of up to one ounce of the drug legal by state law.


By federal law, marijuana use remains illegal, which could impact any success states have legalizing use of the drug, authorities say. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could prosecute people with marijuana, even if they have a doctor’s recommendation and are caught in a state that allows such possession.


Success on the state level will depend on the strength of grass-roots efforts and the effectiveness of grant applicants from Arizona and elsewhere, Oechslin said.


"It’s sort of an open-ended offer," she said.


Contact Jennifer Ryan by email, or phone (480) 898-6535




the catholic church hates gays


Vatican May Bar Gays From Seminaries



AP Religion Writer


Word that a soon-to-be-released Vatican document will signal homosexuals are unwelcome in Roman Catholic seminaries even if they are celibate has devastated gay clergy - and raised doubts among conservatives about whether an outright ban can be enforced.


A Vatican official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the document has not been released, said Thursday that the upcoming "instruction" from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education will reaffirm the church's belief that homosexuals should not be ordained.


In recent decades, Vatican officials have stated several times that gays should not become priests because their sexual orientation is "intrinsically disordered" and makes them unsuitable for ministry.


The latest document is scheduled to be distributed within weeks, just as an evaluation of all 229 American seminaries gets under way under the direction of the same Vatican agency developing the seminary statement. The review, called an Apostolic Visitation, was ordered by Pope John Paul II in response to the U.S. clergy sex abuse crisis which erupted in 2002. Among the questions the evaluators will ask is whether "there is evidence of homosexuality in the seminary," according to the agency's guide for the inspections.


The Rev. Thomas Krenik, who taught for 10 years in St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota and wrote the guidebook "Formation for Priestly Celibacy," worries that a blanket ban on gay priest-candidates will re-create the very conditions the Vatican wants to eradicate.


"For some men who happened to be homosexually oriented, they would go further in the closet," Krenik said. "That would be my fear, that this could become an even worse problem."


A gay American priest, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals from church leaders, said he and other gay clergy and seminarians felt "absolute horror" when they heard about the anticipated ban.


"I've spoken to gay priests who feel demoralized. I've heard straight priests say that they're embarrassed by it. I've heard priests both straight and gay seriously considering leaving," he said. "They couldn't believe that after centuries of either explicit or implicit welcoming of celibate gay clergy that the church would turn its back on them."


James Hitchcock, a church historian at St. Louis University and conservative commentator on contemporary Catholicism, said he thinks the ban is necessary considering that a study the U.S. bishops commissioned from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found most of the alleged abuse victims since 1950 were adolescent boys. But he conceded the policy will be difficult to enforce, since candidates for the priesthood can hide their sexual orientation. He's also concerned that gays truly dedicated to remaining celibate will be unfairly excluded.


"In theory, one might say judge each case on its individual merits, but some doubt whether it would be done in a proper way," Hitchcock said. "There isn't going to be an easy solution. I think if you have a policy statement that homosexuals ought not to be studying for the priesthood at least it gives seminaries a way to act."


Estimates of the number of gay seminarians and priests vary from 25 percent to 50 percent out of about 42,500 priests in the United States. Whatever the percentage, many Catholics are worried that the priesthood is becoming a homosexual profession. As the abuse crisis intensified, church officials discussed their concerns more openly and more urgently, even though experts on sex offenders said that homosexuals were no more likely than heterosexuals to abuse children.


Critics ranging from gay rights groups to advocates for victims have accused the Vatican of scapegoating homosexuals to divert attention from the church's failures to protect children.


Other seminary leaders have said a ban was pointless, since many clergy candidates do not realize they are gay until after they are enrolled or even ordained. And Krenik questioned whether the problem of subcultures of sexually active gays was as acute as the Vatican believes. He said that sexual activity was more prevalent a decade or so ago, before seminary administrators started clamping down on sexual misconduct - a trend that's intensified since the abuse crisis.


But Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, who leads the Archdiocese for the Military Services in Washington and is coordinating the seminary evaluations, told The Associated Press last week the church wants to "stay on the safe side" by enrolling seminarians who can remain celibate.


"There are some priests, I don't think there are many, some ordained people with same-sex attractions and they've done very well" remaining celibate, he said. "But generally speaking, in my experience, the pressures are strong in an all-male atmosphere."


Several priests challenged that argument and noted that heterosexual priests face their own temptations: The overwhelming majority of lay ministers who work side by side with clergy are women, yet no one has suggested banning heterosexuals from the priesthood.




Sep 22, 11:40 AM EDT


National group seeking Ariz. activists to push for legalized pot


MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- A pro-marijuana group based in Washington, D.C., is looking for activists in Arizona to build grass-roots support for legalized marijuana, with the eventual goal being to get the drug legalized here for all adults.


The nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project is targeting seven states, including also Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon.


The effort is in its infancy, and project officials emphasize they have no master plan for the seven states.


Instead, the group is looking for local activists whose efforts would be funded by the project's grant program. The eventual goal is to put marijuana in the same category as alcohol, with the same kind of taxes and regulation.


A request for proposals has been issued in the seven states, where grant applicants are asked to list "escalating tactics that would lead to a change in state law in three to five years via the state Legislature or the statewide ballot initiative process," according to a job listing on the Internet.


Tactics could include organizing demonstrations, lobbying state lawmakers, building a coalition of supportive organizations and generating favorable news coverage.


"It's about providing funding and providing organization," said Krissy Oechslin, a spokeswoman for the project. "We'd like to bring it off the street and regulate it."


Barnett Lotstein, a special assistant in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, said the effort would go much further than previous Arizona medical marijuana initiatives, but it's not surprising.


"The objective was, once you get people to think of drugs as medicine, the next step is legalization," he said. "The ultimate goal of people who propose the legalization of marijuana is the legalization of all drugs."


The project has targeted Arizona because of support residents have shown for medical marijuana, said Oechslin.


Voters here approved a ballot initiative in 1996 that gave doctors authority to prescribe marijuana to seriously ill patients.


Public support continued two years later, when voters defeated a referendum sent to the ballot by state lawmakers, who wanted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve marijuana before Arizona doctors could prescribe the drug.


However, voters also rejected a 2002 ballot measure aimed at correcting problems in the 1996 initiative. Doctors were afraid to write prescriptions for marijuana because federal authorities threatened to take away their prescribing authority, said Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a Phoenix surgeon and a medical marijuana campaign activist.


On the Net:


Marijuana Policy Project:




hmmm.... the cops view refuges from katrina as people they should shake down to see if they have arrest warrents. i wonder if they let you be a refuge if you take the 5th and refuse to tell the pigs your name and date of birth so they cant run a warrent check on you?


Sep 22, 2:49 PM EDT


DPS: Few among Katrina evacuees in Arizona had criminal records



Associated Press Writer


PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona authorities conducted criminal background checks on Hurricane Katrina evacuees transported to Phoenix and Tucson but found only a handful had criminal records.


None of the evacuees formerly at shelters in Phoenix and Tucson were sought on arrest warrants, but two evacuees at the Phoenix shelter were subject to a law requiring them to register as sex offenders and two others also had criminal records, a state Department of Public Safety spokesman said.


"The numbers are minute," said Officer Frank Valenzuela.


The Phoenix shelter at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which housed approximately 600 people at its peak, was scheduled to close Thursday. The Tucson Convention Center shelter has already closed after housing approximately 80 evacuees.


Valenzuela said DPS officials was not permitted to release details of the individuals' criminal records and did not want to discuss the background checks themselves for security reasons. He said DPS conducted the checks as part of the state's response to aid the evacuees.


"Our primary concern when these individual were brought to Arizona was to provide shelter, food and a safe environment for them," he said. "The objective was not to try to identify these individuals."


Valenzuela said DPS expected that the hundreds of people would include some with criminal records.


Of the two people subject to the sex offender registration, one was taken to a different shelter that could accommodate sex offenders and the other person left the Coliseum shelter on his own, Valenzuela said.


Valenzuela said two people who arrived in Arizona from the hurricane area later registered with the state as sex offenders but that he didn't know if those were the same two offenders.


With the security presence provided by uniformed DPS officers and, later, local police, evacuees in the Coliseum shelter were in a safe environment "even if there were convicted felons, even if there were sex offenders," Valenzuela said.


DPS made no arrests at the Coliseum shelter though there were reports of missing clothing and other personal items, Valenzuela said. "Under normal circumstances you might want to suspect a theft."


A Phoenix Police Department spokesman, Sgt. Andy Hill, said he was unaware of any criminal activity involving Katrina evacuees.


In Tucson, an evacuee was arrested on suspicion of attempting to bring crack cocaine into the shelter there, said Officer Lisa Peasley, a police spokeswoman.




if they required licenses to own cars and liceses to drive cars this would have never happened. opps they already do!!


Driver to face Vegas charges of murder; rammed crowd


Ken Ritter

Associated Press

Sept. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


LAS VEGAS - The driver of a stolen car who authorities say deliberately plowed into pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip, killing two and injuring a dozen others, will face charges of murder and attempted murder.


Witnesses said the driver, Stephen M. Ressa, 27, of Rialto, Calif., accelerated as he drove along the crowded casino sidewalk, Deputy Police Chief Greg McCurdy said.


One witness described it as "humans being mowed down like a lawn mower," McCurdy said. "It appears he did this intentionally."


Ressa was arrested Wednesday at the chaotic scene that stretched for yards under the marquee of the Bally's hotel-casino. There was no record Thursday that Ressa had retained a lawyer.


The injured were strewn along the sidewalk and treated in the street by emergency workers as stunned tourists looked on.


An off-duty Las Vegas police officer, Martin Wright, rushed from a nearby restaurant to help.


"All I saw was bodies on the sidewalk and in the bushes," Wright said Thursday.


The victims, including 11 tourists, were walking in front of the Bally's and Paris hotel-casinos when the car struck them, then crashed into a wall and came to a stop in a landscaped area in front of Bally's.


Six of the injured remained hospitalized Thursday, officials said. Gordon Kusayanagi, 52, of Hollister, Calif., died Wednesday; Mark Modaressi, 26, of Irvine, Calif., died Thursday.


Ressa also had been sought by his hometown police in a nearly fatal assault Monday on his mother, who owned the car Ressa was driving in Las Vegas.


He was held Thursday without bail at the Clark County jail and could face a court appearance as early as Monday.


During interviews with detectives, Ressa appeared lucid and correctly answered questions about his ability to determine right and wrong, McCurdy said. But Ressa's statements were "bizarre in nature," McCurdy said.


Results of alcohol and drug tests were pending.


Rialto police Detective Sgt. Reinhard Burkholder said Ressa was wanted for questioning in the assault on his 54-year-old mother. He had not been charged in that case.


"He punched her numerous times in the face and choked her into unconsciousness and stood over her with a butcher knife," Burkholder said.


Ressa may have been under the influence of methamphetamine, Burkholder said.


He was not being pursued by officers when he crashed in Las Vegas, police said.


Ressa's father said the family had tried to get their son treatment and counseling.


"We deeply regret any heartache or suffering our son might have caused you," Michael Ressa said in an interview aired on KLAS-TV. "Your families will be in our thoughts and prayers."




sadistic ASU cops will not longer be allowed to taser people for being "rowdy" people. the new police will not allow the sadistic cops to tazer people unless they are a "physical threat" to the piggy. but i suspect most piggy will take that to mean the suspect is breathing.


ASU tightens guidelines for Taser use

Report: Stuns justified at Fiesta game


Katie Nelson

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


Arizona State University is changing the way it uses Tasers to subdue rowdy football fans, almost a year after about two dozen were shocked with the stun guns following January's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.


The ASU Department of Public Safety says it did nothing wrong when officers jolted University of Utah fans with Tasers to keep them from rushing the field.


"It was justified 100 percent," said Cmdr. Allen Clark, who was on the field when the melee happened. "It saved people from getting hurt. I felt the Taser was used in a very appropriate manner."


"We had a jovial crowd that was not listening to instructions," Clark added. "And once the Tasers were deployed they were for the most part still jovial but complying with our orders."


Glendale police were asked to review the incident because the department was not involved that night. The department's report, released Thursday, said Taser use was justified.


But the university is revising its Taser policy in the coming months and will tighten up guidelines on when the devices can be used by the about 55 ASU DPS officers and sergeants who carry them.


Officials said the revised policy would require a physical threat, rather than just fans not complying with police commands, for the Tasers to be used.


There have been 144 cases in the United States and Canada of death following a police Taser strike since September 1999, according to Republic research. In 25 cases, coroners and other officials reported the stun gun was not a factor. In 18 cases, medical examiners said Tasers were a cause, a contributing factor or could not be ruled out in someone's death. And last month police in five states sued Scottsdale-based Taser International, for injuries they say they suffered after being shocked by a stun gun.

But Taser International refutes those findings, and Thursday announced preliminary results of a Taser-sponsored study indicating people can breathe during a 15-second exposure to their most recent Taser model.


The move at Sun Devil Stadium will restrict Taser use to what's in line with security measures at other sports venues including the University of Arizona in Tucson, Bank One Ballpark and America West Arena. There, too, police are armed with the "less lethal" weapons.


UA police permit Taser use if someone is physically resisting police, although they've never actually used them during crowd control at a sporting event, including Arizona's upset win last football season against Arizona State when fans flooded the field.


UA police have shocked two people in the first year they've used the devices on campus, said Sgt. Gene Mejia, police spokesman.


Phoenix police, who are the only armed security officials on hand among other security at the downtown Phoenix ballpark and basketball arena, also must meet the same criteria of a physical threat.


Police departments that seek national accreditation are required to review their policies on Taser use every year. The Mesa Police Department revised its policy in March, less than a week after the city paid $2.2 million in a civil lawsuit to a man who was stunned with a Taser while in a tree. His 10-foot fall caused him to become a quadriplegic.


Despite some recent national concerns about Tasers, ASU stands behind its actions following the Fiesta Bowl. The Glendale police review describes the chaos after the game's clock ran out.


" . . . It appeared that everything was out of control," the report stated, describing the standoff that pitted between up to a dozen armed uniformed officers and at least twice that many unarmed security workers against as many as 250 Utah fans.


As people flowed out of the stands and flooded the northeast corner of the stadium, fans started jumping the metal fencing at the beckoning of Utah football players and coaches.


ASU DPS Officer Michael Sloboda said he chased a student across the field and tackled him into custody, the report said, and then pulled three students trapped under a toppled fence. Officer Juan Escudero said he saw an unarmed security worker pick up and throw a fan back over the fence the fan had just clamored over, and a plainclothes FBI agent kicked a student standing beyond the field lines.


Officers yelled at the fans to stop pushing against the fence surrounding the field, according to the report, and when the fans didn't comply officers used their yellow Tasers in "drive stun" mode.


They touched people directly with the Taser, sending a shock into people's arms and fingers through the fencing. The report notes at least seven instances of Taser use.


"It really freaked people out," John Butters, a Utah fan who was in the middle of the confused crowd, said to The Republic Thursday.


He wasn't shocked with a Taser like two of his friends were, but he was one of four people arrested during the game's aftermath.


Butters, 29, had come from his home in Salt Lake City to watch his alma mater and went home with a felony charge of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was in Phoenix on Thursday for a court appearance where a judge allowed him to accept a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.


"I shouldn't have been there," he said, while waiting at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for a plane back to Utah. "I'm too old to be rushing the field."




border patrol has a press conference where they brag what a great job they are doing. despite the fact that their isnt any evidence that they are doing a great job. thats government - when they are not stealing your money they tell you they are spending the money that they stole from you wisely


Border Patrol's 'progress' unclear


Susan Carroll and Billy House

The Arizona Republic

Sept. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


Top U.S. Border Patrol officials say they've gained greater "operational control" along the Southwestern border, even as the number of arrests of undocumented immigrants has remained virtually unchanged in the past year and the death toll has broken all records.


At a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert Bonner said a recent decline in arrests in Arizona, where the agency has focused its efforts over the past 18 months, shows that over a six-month period, fewer migrants tried to slip across the border illegally.


"We're making progress," Bonner said, while his aides distributed a news release declaring, "Our strategy to gain operational control of our borders is working."


But a look at the government's statistics over the entire fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, raises questions about Bonner's progress report.




• Along the entire 1,951-mile Southwestern border, agents have made 1.1 million arrests so far this year, a decline of 1.6 percent compared with all of last fiscal year.


• Bonner announced a 13 percent drop in arrests in Arizona from March 25 to Sept. 18, compared with the same time the previous year, as evidence that the federal government's strategy is working. But since the start of the fiscal year Oct. 1, the typical timeframe the agency uses to track statistics, agents made 564,591 arrests in Arizona, down 4.3 percent from last year.


• A record 437 undocumented immigrants' bodies have been recovered since Oct. 1, including 238 in Arizona.


• The governors of Arizona and New Mexico have declared states of emergency because of the relentless problems associated with smuggling and illegal immigration, opting to spend money from state coffers because of the perceived lack of federal response.


Gauging effectiveness

While Bonner asserted that a recent drop in border arrests is a sign of success, it's difficult for the public to measure, in part because of the agency's refusal to disclose its internal gauges of effectiveness. The only statistics provided to the media are apprehension figures, which officials have interpreted to their advantage.


In spring 2004, top U.S. Border Patrol officials first announced the Arizona Border Control Initiative, a push to gain greater control along the state's 389-mile border. With 200 additional agents assigned to work in Arizona indefinitely, the number of arrests increased, which officials offered as evidence of the initiative's success.


In the second phase of the initiative, announced a year later, the agency pledged 534 more agents and doubled the number of aircraft in Arizona. This time, the result has been a decrease of 4.3 percent, which also was called a success.


Federal officials seem to want it both ways: When apprehensions increase, they herald that as a sign their strategy is working. When arrests drop, they also call it a success. So what is the public to believe?


"All (the number of apprehensions) really tells you is that those are the people they caught," said Roger Hartley, a University of Arizona assistant professor who specializes in statistics and criminal justice. "Certainly it is a measure that they are catching people, but it doesn't necessarily mean the policy overall is effective."


The Border Patrol keeps internal estimates for the number of undocumented immigrants believed to have slipped into the country on a daily basis, known as the "get-away ratio" but has declined repeated requests by The Arizona Republic and other media to disclose those numbers. In addition, if someone is arrested five times, the agency counts that as five apprehensions, which does not give an accurate picture of the actual number of people caught.


"We don't keep track of the number of people, of individuals, we apprehend. I'm sure it's out there somewhere, but it shouldn't matter because the amount of apprehensions we make . . . is the number of times our agents have to go out there and apprehend someone," said Sean King, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector.


Interpreting numbers

Richard Humphries, a retired Department of Public Safety officer who lives about 30 miles from the border in Cochise County, said it's hard to tell what apprehension numbers really mean.


"I do know that in the past, (the Border Patrol's) figures have been consistently misleading," he said. "They love to tell you how many they caught, but they'll never tell you how many got away."


Despite his statements of progress, Bonner on Thursday would not directly respond when asked whether he agreed with Gov. Janet Napolitano's decision to declare a state of emergency along the border.


In recent years, Arizona has become the main gateway for illegal immigration, accounting for up 49 percent of arrests along the entire border since Oct. 1.


Bonner said Thursday that the illegal immigration problem in Arizona is "better, but it still has serious problems."


Napolitano said she was grateful for the added manpower provided by the ABC initiative but added, "This is just a start of something that's going to take way more than a press release to solve."


Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a co-sponsor of a bipartisan immigration reform bill, said he wasn't sure how to interpret fluctuations in apprehensions.


"I just know fundamentally that as long as there is a demand for workers there's going to be a supply of workers," McCain said. "They'll either come across the Arizona border, or they'll come across the Texas border, or California, or they'll parachute in.


"That's why we need a guest-worker program, in combination with border enforcement." Mark Kirkorian, executive director for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies, which favors stricter immigration controls, said it is too early to declare "victory" in solving Arizona's immigration problems.


"Whatever the arrest numbers are, they will demonstrate that Washington is doing the right thing," he said. "The question is: Are lawmakers and citizens and outside observers sophisticated enough to detect the spin? That is often not the case."




charitys thats collect their money at gunpoint are morally wrong. and thats what the government is doing to fund the katrina charities.


Katrina is costing you $600




WASHINGTON - Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake and two dozen other conservative Republicans called a news conference this week to thank every American for donating more than $600 for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction and relief.


Haven't written your check yet? No matter.


Like it or not, willing or not, Flake and the others said, that is the cost that could be absorbed by every American one way or another to dry out and rebuild the Gulf Coast and to take care of millions of storm victims.


The estimated cost to the federal government is edging toward $200 billion - and that doesn't count the approaching Hurricane Rita, which could add billions to the costs.


At the same time, a powerful storm is gathering on Capitol Hill, propelled by differing opinions of how to pay for the recovery, how much sacrifice should be borne and by whom.


The $200 billion, if divided by the nation's population, amounts to more than $600 per person. The money has to come from somewhere.


Democrats can't agree with Republicans. Republicans, normally unified, can't agree with one another.


Should we add the cost to the federal deficit? Delay the Medicare drug benefit for a year? Eliminate political pork? Cancel tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Have members of Congress give back their $3,100 raises?


A review of the options shows no easy choices. President Bush has ruled out tax increases. The big-ticket budget cuts, such as delaying the drug benefit for senior citizens, face tremendous opposition. Other solutions, such as eliminating pork, are easier but don't raise much money.


Flake and his allies, including Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Wash., insist that money spent on Katrina should be offset by cuts in other federal programs. That approach differs from the one taken by the White House, which simply adds the cost of Katrina to the deficit. But as the numbers get bigger, so does the political pressure.


"Now is the time to make the tough choices to make sure a catastrophe of nature does not lead to a catastrophe of debt," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who along with Flake is leading the effort to offset Katrina spending with cuts in other parts of the federal budget.


The question that lawmakers and Bush must face is this: How much sacrifice is enough?


The White House insists that the economy can absorb the cost of hurricane relief even if it is $200 billion.


McMorris, Flake and Pence are members of the Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 100 fiscally conservative House members who offered a detailed list of programs that can be cut or eliminated.


On Capitol Hill Thursday, GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia opened an inquiry into a "largely abysmal" response by all levels of government to Ka-trina. Democrats, denied their wish for an independent commission, stayed away from the meeting.