would it be possible for you to give me a list of what your allowed to buy and the prices at the arizona state prison commissery. i would like to post it on my web site with the other lists you and laro gave me.


also i just got back the freedom of information act i sent to the secret service requestining info about you. remember you signed the notarized statement allowing me to do it. i have not opened it but it looks like a one page letter so im guessing the bastards rejected my FOIA request.






Laro and Kevin:


how do you spell $revenue$ and taxes? shaking down people with out of state license plates is how you spell revenue in arizona!!! but on the other hand i suspect the state of arizona steals much less then the mexican government does when they tax your car. perhaps kevin and laro can ask some latinos how much it costs to register a car in mexico. many years ago i though that cars cost two or three times in mexico because of the taxes government theives put on them.




special treatment for maricopa county government ruler Mary Rose Wilcox and her husband, Earl Wilcox????


Wilcoxes settle case of illegal demolition


Michael Kiefer

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 1, 2005 12:00 AM


Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and her husband, Earl, sidestepped criminal prosecution Friday when they entered an agreement with Phoenix over a historic home they demolished illegally.


Under the terms of the settlement, the Wilcoxes will donate $10,000, what they might have been fined if found guilty, to the Phoenix Historic Preservation Office to be used toward a survey of historic Hispanic properties.


"The settlement clearly indicates that Earl and I did not knowingly demolish a historic residence," the county supervisor said at a news conference held in front of the piles of rubble that was once the Madison Square Garden boxing arena.


That site was chosen as an ironic statement. The recently demolished landmark, she said, was "one of the most historic sites in the city for the Hispanic community, for the African-American community and the sports community," whereas she and her husband had destroyed only a crack house that had become a public hazard.


Wilcox told The Arizona Republic that she and her husband "hoped to build a home" on the property next to their restaurant in the 700 block of South First Avenue.


They maintained that the 105-year-old E.S. Turner house had become a site where drug addicts and prostitutes gathered, and they decided they had to tear it down immediately.


"You had to be there to see what we were talking about," Earl said. "I made the decision."


And Mary Rose said, "It was a drug-infested crack house and a danger to the Barrio Grant Park."


In her news conference, Wilcox said that when they bought the house, it was in such bad shape that they could not even get insurance for it. So in summer 2004, they tore it down with the approval of the neighborhood.


Wilcox, who as a Phoenix councilwoman in the late 1980s advocated for tougher demolition rules to protect historic structures, could not explain why they did not get approval from the city.


"So far as I know, we have never had a case of someone tearing down a historic house without approval," Deputy City Prosecutor John Tutleman said.




October 1, 2005



1 Killed, 1 Wounded in Carjacking Attempt

From Times Staff and Wire Reports


One man was shot to death and another was wounded early Friday when the pair and two accomplices allegedly tried to carjack a vehicle FBI agents were using in a stakeout, the bureau said.


The incident occurred at Vanowen Street and Corbin Avenue, agents said. The three survivors were arrested, and the wounded suspect was reportedly in stable condition, officials said.


The suspects' identities were not released.




this article isnt about the government so consider it as useless information. (well execpt it probably is funded by the government)


Scientist seeks way to make mosquitoes pee themselves to death


Reno Gazette-Journal

Sept. 21, 2005 05:10 PM


RENO, Nev. - In a combination laboratory-office lined with beakers, petri dishes and a glass case of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, a Reno biochemist is searching for a way to make mosquitoes pee themselves to death.


By finding the key that would cause mosquitoes to meet their urinary demise by dehydration, University of Nevada, Reno professor David Schooley and his fellow researchers hope to end the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused each year by mosquito-spread malaria and to halt the spread of West Nile virus.


Schooley came closer to realizing that goal five years ago when he discovered a diuretic hormone that causes a dramatic increase in how much mosquitoes urinate.


"The reason we think this has a good chance of working is because, after a blood meal, a mosquito more than doubles its weight," Schooley said. "That means it has to get rid of an enormous amount of fluid after feeding. It's like a 747 with 1,000 people on board. It has to lighten the load in order to take off."


After a mosquito finishes its meal - and only the female bites to feed the eggs she carries - it begins excreting salt and water from the blood it has just ingested, Schooley said.


"What we would hope is if we treat the mosquito ... before it has its blood meal, it will dehydrate and die," he said.


In tests, the hormone - a calcitonin-like peptide - worked when it was applied directly to what is the equivalent of the mosquito's kidney. The problem is the peptide doesn't penetrate the mosquito's body when sprayed on it. So the challenge Schooley and his fellow researchers face is finding something similar that can penetrate mosquitoes and reach their Malpighian tubules, their equivalent of kidneys.


"What I want to find is a simpler, smaller molecule than the C-T peptide with the same biological effect on the mosquito," said Schooley. Finding that key molecule to make mosquitoes vulnerable to a new pesticide could be 10 years away, he said.


He is being aided by Geoff Coast, a physiologist with Birkbeck College of the University of London. Coast studies the effects on mosquitoes of peptides Schooley synthesizes. They are co-principals in the research project, which is funded by a $927,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.


The implications of their recent discovery appeared in this month's issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology.


William Hawley, a malaria biologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said most malaria specialists agree it isn't feasible to eradicate mosquitoes, but the goal is to reduce their life span so they don't transmit the disease.


Hawley said mosquitoes begin life free of malaria, and it is not until they bite someone who has the disease that they become infected. However, even after biting an infected person, it takes about 10 days for the parasite to complete its life cycle, at which time the mosquito begins transmitting the disease.


"What research like this does, if they can work out a delivery system, is reduce the life span of mosquitoes so they would be rendered incapable of transmitting malaria," Hawley said.


"And we need all the help we can get," he said. "Malaria is killing about a million people annually around the world."


Malaria is a curable disease, Hawley said, but the disease kills very quickly if left untreated, and most people in the developing countries primarily affected by malaria are poor and can't afford treatment.


"About 80 percent of the cases of malaria are in Africa, where 90 percent of the deaths are mostly children under the age of 5," he said. "So malaria remains one of the major killers of people in the world."


The United States reported 1,337 cases of malaria, including eight deaths, in 2002, the most recent statistics available, according to the CDC's Web site. All but five of the 1,337 cases were acquired by people traveling in other countries.


The disease was virtually eradicated in this country during the early 1950s, but the CDC notes that the two species of mosquitoes responsible for transmitting malaria in the U.S. before its eradication are still widely prevalent.


If the current research results in a new pesticide to control mosquitoes, Schooley said the impact would be ridding the world of such deadly diseases.


"It would mean a revolutionary new way of killing adult mosquitoes with a chemical unlikely to affect mammals while preventing diseases like malaria and West Nile virus," he said.




an oxymoron or what :)


. Texas Peyote harvest dwindling


Sylvia Moreno

Washington Post

Oct. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


MIRANDO CITY, Texas - In the heart of Rio Grande brush country, Salvador Johnson works a patch of land just east of the Mexican border that is sacred to Native Americans.


Spade in hand, eyes scanning the earth as he pushes through the spiny brush, Johnson searches the ground carefully.


"This is good terrain for peyote," he said. "There's a low hill - the rain starts on top and goes down to water this - and there's a lot of brown ground."


He stops, points the tip of his shovel at a 3-inch spot of green that barely crests the soil under a clump of blackbrush and announces: "This is what you look for. You look for something that is not ordinary on the terrain. I saw that green."


One of the last remaining peyoteros, Johnson, 58, has been harvesting the small round plant in and around this tiny community for 47 years, long before the hallucinogenic Lophophora williamsii cactus was classified as a narcotic and outlawed by federal and state governments. Then as now, it is for use by Native Americans as the main sacrament in their religious ceremonies.


Johnson is part of a nearly extinct trade of licensed peyote harvesters and distributors at a time when the supply of the cactus and access to it is dwindling. The plant grows wild only in portions of four southern Texas counties and in the northern Mexico desert just across the Rio Grande.


But some southern Texas ranch owners have stopped leasing land to peyoteros and now offer their property to deer hunters or oil and gas companies for considerably higher profits. Others have plowed under peyote, and still others have never opened their land.


On the ranchland worked by peyoteros, conservationists are concerned about the overharvesting of immature plants as the Native American population and demand for the cactus grow.


"Will there be peyote for my children and my children's children?" asked Adam Nez, 35, a Navajo who had driven 26 hours with his father-in-law from their reservation in Page to stock up on peyote at Johnson's home.


That question and possible solutions to the problem - trying to legalize the importation of peyote from Mexico, where most of the plants grow, and creating legal cultivation centers in the United States - are being studied by members of the Native American Church, Indian rights advocates and conservationists.


There are an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 members of the church in the United States. Although 90 percent of the peyote in North America grows in Mexico, the number of ceremonial users there, mostly Huichol Indians, is a small fraction of the number in the United States and Canada.


"In effect, you have a whole continent grazing on little pieces of south Texas," said Martin Terry, a botany professor at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, who specializes in the study of peyote.


The church was incorporated in 1918 in Oklahoma to protect the religious use of peyote by indigenous Americans. Its charter was eventually expanded to other states and in 1965, a federal regulation was approved to protect the ceremonial use of peyote by Indians. In 1978, Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.


But subsequent conflicts between federal policy and state drug laws precipitated the passage of a federal law in 1994 to guarantee the legal use, possession and transportation of peyote "by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion." The law extends protection against prosecution for the possession and use of peyote only to members of federally recognized tribes.


"Over the last 40 years, there have been lots of equal-protection defenses to criminal prosecution thrown up, with people saying 'my use of this controlled substance is religiously derived,' " said Steve Moore, a senior staff attorney with the Native American Rights Fund.




tucson cops kill another person today.


Manhunt ends in Foothills shootout


Police kill gunman, 22, in 2nd gunbattle in 2 days


By Tony Davis



A suspected drug trafficker fired on law-enforcement officers here for the second time in two days, forcing a Tucson police officer to kill him Saturday morning in the Catalina Foothills, authorities said.


The man, 22, was the same one who tried to shoot an undercover Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Thursday night on the Northwest Side, police said.


Saturday's shootout brought to a climax a massive police hunt for the man and another one, following a kidnapping during the day Thursday and the first shootout that night.


And it capped a series of crimes committed by the two and several others, police said: home invasions, drive-by shootings, possession and trafficking of stolen property, and illegal drug trafficking and possession.


Police Chief Richard Miranda, in an emotional press briefing, said yesterday's shootout underscores how pervasive drug-related violence has become in the Tucson area.


"We had officers working almost 40 hours straight to get these guys off the street," he said.


Saturday's shootout, just before 9 a.m., occurred within 200 yards of where the two men abandoned their car and a high-powered rifle at a cul-de-sac at the end of a strip of homes near North Swan Road and East Skyline Drive.


That came after more than 60 officers chased them by car and helicopter from an apartment complex near Swan and East Sunrise Drive.


Authorities arrested and jailed three people in Saturday's shootout and the other crimes. One was a 19-year-old Tucson man who accompanied the man killed by police. The others, a man and a woman, were arrested in a shopping center at Swan and Sunrise about the same time as the shootout.


The 19-year-old is also suspected in a late-July shooting on the North Side, police said. In that case, Antonio Gonzalez Cornejo, 30, of Goodyear, was found shot to death near East Prince and North Country Club roads.


Saturday's shooting marked the fifth time this year that a Tucson police officer fatally shot someone. The most recent shooting came Thursday night on the far South Side in a domestic-violence case.


Miranda said the series of crimes leading to Saturday's event shows how much more dangerous it is to be a police officer today in Tucson than it was 10 or 15 years ago.


"We're not dealing with people who carry Saturday-night specials anymore," the police chief said. "They're carrying Uzis, machine guns that can do great harm. We need to be aggressive in pursuing them."


Police said they may never release the name of the police officer who shot the man, because he is regularly involved in undercover investigations.


The dead man's name also wasn't released Saturday, because the Pima County Sheriff's Department must first notify his family, said Sgt. Mark Robinson, a Tucson Police Department spokesman. The man has relatives in Tucson but it's not known if he lived here, Robinson said.


He has been linked to drive-by shootings, home invasions, drug trafficking and other violent criminal activity in Tucson and the Phoenix area, Robinson said.


Authorities arrested the second man, Armando Medrano, near the scene of Saturday's shooting, on two kidnapping charges stemming from Thursday's events. He was booked into the Pima County jail Saturday, with bond set at $500,000. Medrano, 19, lives in the 4600 block of East 19th Street.


Police also did not release the names of the man and woman who officers said were working with the two men involved in the shootout. The two were booked on charges of unlawful possession of dangerous drugs, possession of stolen property, carrying concealed weapons and trafficking in stolen property.


Police also did not disclose details of those crimes or the kidnapping, other than that the kidnapping occurred on Tucson's East Side during the day Thursday. They did not give the kidnapping victim's name.


But, "It's safe to say that we are no longer concerned for that person's welfare," police spokesman Robinson said. "We have been informed by his family that he is safe."


After the kidnapping occurred, the undercover DPS officer went to a house near North Silverbell Road and West Sweetwater Drive for a surveillance operation. There, a man came to the window of the officer's truck, pointed a gun at the officer's head and pulled the trigger twice. The gun didn't fire, and the officer got out of his truck and fired back.


During the ensuing shootout, the man - the same man the police officer shot Saturday - took off with the officer's truck when the officer ran into the desert seeking cover so he could reload his gun. Police recovered the truck Friday morning near Grant and Silverbell not far from the shooting scene, although some of the property in it had been stolen.


Saturday morning, the authorities following several leads had staked out the apartment complex near Sunrise and Swan when they spotted the same man and a companion, this time in a small, green Mercury Tracer, police said. They chased the Mercury through the Foothills, traveling about 2 1/2 miles in five minutes, before the green car pulled into the cul-de-sac on East Camino Culiacan and the two jumped out, Robinson said.


Chasing them on foot, officers first caught Medrano, Robinson said. The second man kept running into open desert near the homes until officers caught up with him and the shootout began. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


&#9679; Star reporter Alexis Huicochea contributed to this report.


&#9679; Contact reporter Tony Davis at 806-7746 or




governments always fear free speach. and china is terrified of the internet.


New Internet bans reveal China's fears




Two new Internet bans may offer insight into the Chinese government's biggest fears.


One bars Internet news services from inciting "illegal" assemblies, marches and demonstrations; the other prohibits activities on behalf of "illegal" civil groups.


Together, they evince the communist regime's concerns over growing civil unrest - and particularly technology's role in fostering protests and strikes, says Julien Pain, who heads the Internet Freedom desk at Reporters Without Borders in Paris.


While the government has been successful at blocking specific Web sites, Pain said, "what is more difficult to censor are usually the forums and chat rooms."


Add to that Web journals known as blogs, cell-phone text messaging and e-mail lists - all potential outlets for unchecked political commentary.


Last week's update to Internet regulations issued in 2000 is vague, but human-rights activists and scholars on China say the new rules define online news services more broadly. The state-run China Daily even cites SMS text messages, a fast and efficient communications means available to anyone with a mobile phone, as falling under the new umbrella.


Demonstrations on the rise


"The old regs were focused more on news sites," said Jim Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Since then, "people have used SMS to organize themselves, to pass news around, to rally crowds of protesters."


The two new speech prohibitions appear directed at discouraging protests and restricting dissidents. The other nine - including bans on rumors, pornography and defamatory statements online - came largely from the 2000 regulations.


Organized demonstrations have been on the rise in China, especially the impoverished countryside, where anger has been growing over widespread graft, industrial pollution and seizures of land for development. The government says there were 74,000 major protests last year nationwide.


Although the Chinese government encourages Internet use for education and business, it keeps a tight watch, blocking material it deems subversive or pornographic. Online dissidents who post items critical of the government, or those expressing opinions in chat rooms, are regularly arrested and charged under vague security laws.


"Before the Net came around, Xinhua (China's official news agency) was pretty much where you got the news," said Jonathan Zittrain, an Internet legal scholar affiliated with Oxford and Harvard universities. "This does seem to me an acknowledgment that news can be made by people, and they are struggling with that."




To More Inmates, Life Term Means Dying Behind Bars



Published: October 2, 2005

HARRISBURG, Pa. - In the winter woods near Gaines, Pa., on the day before New Year's Eve in 1969, four 15-year-olds were hunting rabbits when Charlotte Goodwin told Jackie Lee Thompson a lie. They had been having sex for about a month, and she said she was pregnant.


That angered Jackie, and he shot Charlotte three times and then drowned her in the icy waters of Pine Creek.


A few months later, Judge Charles G. Webb sentenced him to life in prison. But the judge told him:


"You will always have hope in a thing of this kind. We have found that, in the past, quite frequently, if you behave yourself, there is a good chance that you will learn a trade and you will be paroled after a few years."


Mr. Thompson did behave himself, learned quite a few trades in his 35 years in prison - he is an accomplished carpenter, bricklayer, electrician, plumber, welder and mechanic - and earned a high school diploma and an associate's degree in business.


So exemplary is his prison record that when Mr. Thompson, now 50, asked the state pardons board to release him, the victim's father begged for his release, and a retired prison official offered Mr. Thompson a place to stay and a job.


"We can forgive him," said Duane Goodwin, Charlotte's father. "Why can't you?"


The board turned Mr. Thompson down.


Tom Corbett, the state attorney general, cast the decisive vote.


"He shot her with a pump-action shotgun, three times," Mr. Corbett said. "This was a cold-blooded killing."


Just a few decades ago, a life sentence was often a misnomer, a way to suggest harsh punishment but deliver only 10 to 20 years.


But now, driven by tougher laws and political pressure on governors and parole boards, thousands of lifers are going into prisons each year, and in many states only a few are ever coming out, even in cases where judges and prosecutors did not intend to put them away forever.


Indeed, in just the last 30 years, the United States has created something never before seen in its history and unheard of around the globe: a booming population of prisoners whose only way out of prison is likely to be inside a coffin.


A survey by The New York Times found that about 132,000 of the nation's prisoners, or almost 1 in 10, are serving life sentences. The number of lifers has almost doubled in the last decade, far outpacing the overall growth in the prison population. Of those lifers sentenced between 1988 and 2001, about a third are serving time for sentences other than murder, including burglary and drug crimes.


Growth has been especially sharp among lifers with the words "without parole" appended to their sentences. In 1993, the Times survey found, about 20 percent of all lifers had no chance of parole. Last year, the number rose to 28 percent.


The phenomenon is in some ways an artifact of the death penalty. Opponents of capital punishment have promoted life sentences as an alternative to execution. And as the nation's enthusiasm for the death penalty wanes amid restrictive Supreme Court rulings and a spate of death row exonerations, more states are turning to life sentences.


Defendants facing a potential death sentence often plead to life; those who go to trial and are convicted are sentenced to life about half the time by juries that are sometimes swayed by the lingering possibility of innocence.


As a result the United States is now housing a large and permanent population of prisoners who will die of old age behind bars. At the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, for instance, more than 3,000 of the 5,100 prisoners are serving life without parole, and most of the rest are serving sentences so long that they cannot be completed in a typical lifetime.


About 150 inmates have died there in the last five years, and the prison recently opened a second cemetery, where simple white crosses are adorned with only the inmate's name and prisoner ID number.


A Growing Reliance on Life Terms


American enthusiasm for life sentences reflects an uneasy societal consensus. Such sentences are undeniably tough, pleasing politicians and prosecutors, but they also satisfy opponents of capital punishment.


"If you are punishing a heinous criminal who has committed a violent murder, it is appropriate to use severe sanctions," said Julian H. Wright Jr., a lawyer in North Carolina and the author of a study on life without parole. "It has the advantage of achieving a harsh penalty and keeping a violent offender off the streets. And you don't take a human life in the process. Indeed, if you mess up and do it wrong, you haven't taken someone's life."


Permanent incarceration may be the fitting punishment for murder. Few shed tears for Gary L. Ridgway, the Green River killer, who was sentenced to 48 consecutive life terms in Washington State, one for each of the women he admitted to killing.


But some critics of life sentences say they are overused, pointing to people like Jerald Sanders, who is serving a life sentence in Alabama. He was a small-time burglar and had never been convicted of a violent crime. Under the state's habitual offender law, he was sent away after stealing a $60 bicycle.


Fewer than two-thirds of the 70,000 people sentenced to life from 1988 to 2001 are in for murder, the Times analysis found. Other lifers - more than 25,000 of them - were convicted of crimes like rape, kidnapping, armed robbery, assault, extortion, burglary and arson. People convicted of drug trafficking account for 16 percent of all lifers.


Life sentences certainly keep criminals off the streets. But, as decades pass and prisoners grow more mature and less violent, does the cost of keeping them locked up justify what may be a diminishing benefit in public safety? By a conservative estimate, it costs $3 billion a year to house America's lifers. And as prisoners age, their medical care can become very expensive.


At the same time, studies show, most prisoners become markedly less violent as they grow older.


"Committing crime, particularly violent crime, is an activity of the young," said Richard Kern, the director of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission.


Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group that issued a report on life sentences last year, said that about a fifth of released lifers were arrested again, compared with two-thirds of all released prisoners.


"Many lifers," Mr. Mauer said, "are kept in prison long after they represent a public safety threat."


In much of the rest of the world, sentences of natural life are all but unknown.


"Western Europeans regard 10 or 12 years as an extremely long term, even for offenders sentenced in theory to life," said James Q. Whitman, a law professor at Yale and the author of "Harsh Justice," which compares criminal punishment in the United States and Europe.


Michael H. Tonry, a professor of law and public policy at the University of Minnesota and an expert on comparative punishment, said life without parole was a legal impossibility in much of the world.


Mexico will not extradite defendants who face sentences of life without parole. And when Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, was pardoned in 2000, an Italian judge remarked, "No one stays 20 years in prison."


Some developing and Islamic nations mete out brutal sanctions, including corporal punishment and mutilation. But if the discussion is limited to very long prison sentences, Professor Tonry said, "we are vastly more punitive than anybody else."


The reasons for this gap are hard to pinpoint. Professor Whitman detects an American appetite for harsh retribution. Professor Tonry locates that appetite in a Calvinist tradition.


"It's the same reason we're not a socialist welfare state," he said. "You deserve what you get, both good and bad."


That sort of talk struck M. L. Ebert Jr., a former president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and the district attorney of Cumberland County, Pa., as a little fancy.


"Is it too much to ask that people don't kill people?" he said. "I can't tell you the devastation it causes families, who never forget. If you kill somebody, life means life without parole."


The Crime and the Victim


"My anger broke loose, and I shot her," Mr. Thompson said recently, recalling for the millionth time the day he killed Charlotte Goodwin. He was afraid, he said, that her pregnancy would get him kicked out of his foster home, his fourth in five years and the first one that he liked.


Mr. Thompson is a slight, almost elfin man, with receding, wispy, unkempt salt-and-pepper hair, a casual mustache, breath that smells of cigarettes and moody brown eyes in a heavily creased face.


He is serving his time at the Rockview Correctional Institution near Bellefonte, just up the road from Pennsylvania State University. It is a soaring and forbidding mass of granite, a piece of Gotham City plunked down in the rolling hills of rural Pennsylvania.


He used his friend Dennis Ellis's pump-action shotgun, Mr. Thompson said, and he shot Charlotte at close range three times. He tried to explain the repeated shots.


"You have to pump each time," he said. "It is true. Dennis and I, we always had a habit of going out in the woods with a gun and see how fast we could empty a gun. That's where the second and third shots come from."


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Kalim A. Bhatti for The New York Times

Mr. Goodwin and his wife, Jean, traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., in April so he could speak up for his daughter's killer before the pardons board, which rejected Mr. Thompson's appeal.



The Changing Rules

Articles in this series will examine the swelling population of prisoners who are serving life sentences, often not for murder.


Charlotte's wounds were not immediately fatal. The youths had the idea, Mr. Thompson said, of putting her in a nearby creek. But she bobbed to the surface. So the three teenagers slid her body under the ice that covered a part of the creek, drowning her.


"You should have seen how stupid we was," Mr. Thompson said. "I wish I could change that."


Mr. Thompson grew up as a slow and confused child, with a slight speech impediment. He had 13 brothers and sisters, "and that's not counting the half ones," he said.


"Three or four of them have died so far," he said. His mother died when he was 10, he added, "I'm told of cancer."


Mr. Thompson recalled his younger self.


"That 15-year-old kid was so scared. He was a special-ed kid. Special-ed kids get teased a lot. I was small. I kept running away. Here was a kid who was always scared to death, picked on, possibly beat up."


"Looking back," he said, "I wish someone would have grabbed hold of me and kicked my butt. I wasn't a bad kid."


He met Charlotte Goodwin at the foster home.


"I didn't get to know her that well," Mr. Thompson said. "At that age, boys are after one thing. A girl can talk all she wants and you ain't listening to her. You're thinking of only one thing."


Duane Goodwin, Charlotte's father, remembered a cheerful child.


"She was just happy-go-lucky," Mr. Goodwin said of her. "If there was any kind of music on, she'd move to it."


Jackie confessed to killing Charlotte, and Judge Webb sentenced him to life. At that time, 1970, in Pennsylvania, a life sentence usually meant fewer than 20 years.


Dorothy D. Quimby was the clerk of the Orphans Court of Tioga County at the time and she knew him as "a gentle, good boy who had suffered a lot of hurt."


"I also knew Judge Webb very well," she wrote to the pardons board, "and know that his intentions were not to have Jackie incarcerated for any great length of time."


A few months ago, Mr. Goodwin, 78, traveled 100 miles to speak up for his daughter's killer before the pardons board, which meets in an ornate courtroom of the State Supreme Court here, under a stained-glass cupola and a dozen frescoes attesting to the majesty of the law.


Mr. Goodwin, a retired glass factory worker with a gray goatee and a hearing aid, is a small man with erect posture, alert eyes and quick laugh, but he gets a little overwhelmed by public speaking. He spoke softly and haltingly.


"He was just a scared little kid," Mr. Goodwin said of Jackie. "If he ever gets out, he's got a good education, and I think he'll use it."


Kenneth Chubb, a retired facilities manager at the prison in Camp Hill, told the board that he had a proposal.


"My wife and I would both like to offer, if needed, a place for him to stay," Mr. Chubb said, his voice choking with emotion. "Plus, my son, who has a plumbing business, will offer him a job."


That drew a low whistle of surprise from a former prison official in the audience.


"For a corrections person to embrace an inmate is just incredible," the official, W. Scott Thornsley, said.


A few days before the hearing, Mr. Corbett, the state attorney general, met with Mr. Thompson.


"I walked out of the room thinking and feeling that he was going to say yes," Mr. Thompson later said. "He was not coldhearted. He wasn't drilling me. He gets to the point. He's a decent man."


But in the end, that visit, Mr. Goodwin's pleas and Mr. Chubb's offer were not enough to sway Mr. Corbett, the one dissenting vote on the five-member parole board.


"I am not prepared," Mr. Corbett said, "at this time to vote in the affirmative."


John F. Cowley, the district attorney in Tioga County, where the killing took place, agreed that Mr. Thompson should never be free.


"At the end of the day, in Pennsylvania life means life," Mr. Cowley said. "I come down on the side - not firmly - but I come down on the side that there should be no pardon. It's a tough case. The only reason is the age at the time of the crime. Everything else is way beyond ugly."


In lawsuits around the country, lifers are complaining that the rules were changed after sentencing. In some cases, they have the support of the judges who sentenced them.


A survey of 95 current and retired judges by the Michigan state bar released in 2002 found that, on average, the judges had expected prisoners sentenced to life with the possibility of parole to become eligible for parole in 12 years and to be released in 16 years. In July, a Michigan appeals court echoed that, saying that many lawyers there used to assume that a life sentence meant 12 to 20 years.


"This belief seems to have been somewhat supported by parole data," the court said in rejecting a claim from a prisoner who claimed that recent changes in the parole system had worked to his disadvantage. "For example, between 1941 and 1974, 416 parole-eligible lifers were paroled, averaging 12 per year."


Skip to next paragraph


The Changing Rules

Articles in this series will examine the swelling population of prisoners who are serving life sentences, often not for murder.


In 2002, for instance, a Michigan judge tried to reopen the case of John Alexander, whom he had sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for a seemingly unprovoked street shooting in 1981.


The judge, Michael F. Sapala, said he had not anticipated the extent to which the parole board "wouldn't simply change policies but, in fact, would ignore the law" in denying parole to Mr. Alexander. "If I wanted to make sure he stayed in prison for the rest of his life, I would have imposed" a sentence "like 80 to 150 years," the judge said.


An appeals court ruled that the judge no longer had jurisdiction over the case.


Executive Clemency Wanes


In Louisiana, which, like Michigan and Pennsylvania, has a large number of lifers, "it was common knowledge that life imprisonment generally means 10 years and 6 months" in the 1970's, the state's Supreme Court said in 1982.


Since 1979, all life sentences there have come without the possibility of parole, and the governor rarely intervenes.


"The use of executive clemency has withered, as it has all over the country, especially with lifers," said Burk Foster, a recently retired professor of criminal justice at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.


The federal appeals court in California is considering whether the parole board there may deny parole to lifers based on the nature of the original crime, which, prisoners say, is a form of double jeopardy. The plaintiff in the case, Carl Merton Irons II, shot and stabbed a housemate, John Nicholson, in 1984 after hearing that Mr. Nicholson was stealing from their landlord. Mr. Irons was sentenced to 17 years to life for second-degree murder.


The parole board refused for a fifth time to release him in 2001, saying that the killing was "especially cruel and callous."


The prosecutor who sent Mr. Irons away spoke up for him at a hearing the next year, to no avail. "If life would have it that Carl Irons was my next-door neighbor or I heard he was going to move next door to me," the prosecutor, Stephen M. Wagstaffe said, "my view to you would be that I'm going to have a good neighbor."


Mr. Irons filed a lawsuit challenging the board's decision. A federal district judge agreed, ordering him paroled. The federal appeals court is expected to rule soon.


The state has 30,000 lifers, of whom 27,000 will eventually become eligible for parole. As a practical matter, parole for lifers is a two-step process: the parole board must recommend it, and the governor must approve it. Neither step is easy. In a 28-month period ending in 2001, according to the California Supreme Court, the board considered 4,800 cases and granted parole in 48. Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, reversed 47 of the decisions.


Governor Davis had run on a tough-on-crime platform. In five years as governor, he paroled five lifers, all murderers.


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who succeeded Mr. Davis in late 2003, has been more receptive to parole. He has paroled 103 lifers, 89 of them murderers.


"Even though he is letting out more than Davis, it is still just a trickle," said Don Spector, executive director of the Prison Law Office, a legal group concerned with inmate rights and prison reform. "The victims' rights groups are used to seeing nothing, so to them, it seems like there's been a flood of releases."


Reginald McFadden is the reason lifers no longer get pardons in Pennsylvania.


Mr. McFadden had served 24 years of a life sentence for suffocating Sonia Rosenbaum, 60, during a burglary of her home when a divided Board of Pardons voted to release him in 1992. After Gov. Robert P. Casey signed the commutation papers two years later, Mr. McFadden moved to New York, where he promptly killed two people and kidnapped and raped a third. He is now serving another life sentence there.


Lt. Gov. Mark Singel had voted to release Mr. McFadden. When news of the New York murders broke, Mr. Singel was running for governor and was well ahead in the polls. The commutation became a campaign issue, and Mr. Singel was defeated by Tom Ridge, who did not commute a single lifer's sentence in his six years in office.


Ernest D. Preate Jr., the state attorney general at the time, was the sole dissenting vote in Mr. McFadden's case.


Then, it took only a majority vote of the board to recommend clemency. Mr. Preate worked to change that, and in 1997 Pennsylvania voters passed a constitutional amendment requiring a unanimous vote in cases involving the death penalty and life sentences. The amendment also changed the composition of the board, substituting, for instance, a crime victim for a lawyer.


Mr. Thornsley, a former corrections official who now teaches at Mansfield University, said the amendment made a sensible change. "It took a unanimous vote to convict somebody," he said. "It should take a unanimous vote to send a case to the governor. If you're going to have a sentence, it should be served out in its entirety."


The McFadden experience in Pennsylvania is a representative one, said Michael Heise, a law professor at Cornell.


"Around World War II, governors were giving away clemency like candy," Dr. Heise said. "Ever since Governor Dukakis and Willie Horton and President Clinton and Marc Rich, executive officers have been far, far more reticent to exercise their power. The politics are pretty clear: they don't want to get burned."


As recently as 30 years ago, pardons for lifers were common in Pennsylvania. In eight years in the 1970's, for instance, Gov. Milton Shapp granted clemency to 251 lifers. Since 1995, even as the number of lifers has more than doubled, three governors combined have commuted a single life sentence.


These days, Mr. Preate is on the other side of the issue, working to overturn the amendment that he himself set in motion. He said his change of heart came after he spent a year in prison on a mail fraud conviction in the mid-90's. Meeting older lifers convinced him that the current system could be unduly punitive, he said.


"That got me involved in the fight against the amendment I helped create and supported," he said.


Mr. Preate now supports legislation that would allow a parole board to consider the cases of lifers who have served 25 years and are at least 50. "I never foresaw the politicization of this process," he said, "and the fear that has crept into the process."


Mr. Thompson entered prison in an era when its goal was rehabilitation, even for people serving nominal life terms. These days, he works as a prison carpenter, earning 42 cents an hour building cabinets and fixing things up around the prison, which houses about 1,800 inmates, more than 180 of whom are lifers.


"It helps pay the cable and gets you a little bit of commissary," he said. "It might be strange to say, but coming to jail helped me. I got an education. Would I have got that out there? I probably would have quit like my brothers and most of my sisters. Would I have an associate's degree? Would I have job training?"


He has a cell to himself, with a television and a guitar. He plays "the old rock, the classics" and said he was partial to Bob Dylan. He has started playing sports.


"Softball season started up again and the young boys talked me in to playing again, and I'm pretty good," he said several months ago. He plays second base.


A lifer entering the system today would have few of Mr. Thompson's advantages. Programs have been cut back, and those that still exist are often reserved for prisoners serving short sentences.


Mr. Thompson sounded resigned when he talked about being turned down by the pardons board.


"A lot of guys in here really thought I was going to make it, staff and inmates, to give a little hope to the lifers," he said wearily. "I didn't cry this time. I committed a crime. Even though I think I've been punished enough, I'm to the point where I'm worried about my people, my supporters, because it really does take a toll on them."




finally a good piggy!!!!! :)


Man's pet pig attacks police during escape


Associated Press

Sept. 30, 2005 10:20 AM


BOULDER CREEK, Calif. - A man and his pet wild pig facing eviction from their home have eluded authorities ó the man by running into the woods, and the pig by attacking deputies.


Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies have tried numerous times to evict Christian Canabou from his home, but he always flees when they arrive, authorities said.


Canabou has now been ordered by animal control officials to evict the pig ó a 200-pounder named Kate. He was given until 10 p.m. Thursday to remove the animal from the property, where neighbors have complained it has become a nuisance.


But getting Canabou and the pig to leave hasn't been an easy task.


"The pig, and I don't know her name, is aggressive," sheriff's Sgt. Fred Plageman said. "It seems to be a domesticated pig, and on past occasions it has chased deputies around and chewed up part of a patrol car."


Deputies tried again to evict Canabou on Tuesday but found only the pig. They posted eviction notices and left the property.


"The rumor is that every time we go up there, the owner runs into the woods," said Mike McFarland, general manager of Santa Cruz County Animal Services. "To be boldly honest, we don't really want to take custody of a 200-pound pig."




Undercover state DPS officer nearly killed


Spotted by a suspect in a drug and kidnapping case, the officer heard two clicks as gun is put to his head. He managed to get away.



Tucson Citizen


Tucson law enforcement officers late yesterday were trying to find a kidnapping victim and one of two suspected kidnappers who put a gun to an officer's head and tried to kill him as he was on surveillance in the case.

The undercover state Department of Public Safety officer escaped death when the gunman's pistol failed twice to fire and the officer was able to get out of his undercover pickup and away from the gunman, said Capt. Brett Klein, the Tucson Police Department's chief of staff.


The suspect approached the officer when he was doing surveillance in an unmarked truck, said he knew the officer was "a cop," and put a gun to his head, Klein said. The officer heard the gun click twice, but it didn't fire.


Klein said the officer and suspect circled the pickup and exchanged fire, when the gunman's pistol began working.


The suspect escaped in the officer's truck after the officer sought cover away from the pickup, which contained undisclosed DPS equipment, police said in a news release. Police did not know if the gunman was struck by the officer's bullets. The officer was not hurt, police said.


A "large scale manhunt" has been launched to find the kidnap victim and two suspects, Klein said at a news conference yesterday.


"These are very, very violent people and we're pulling out all the stops," Klein said.


Klein said investigators have identified two suspects in the case, but would not release their names. The suspects are being investigated for kidnapping and drug activity that are related, he said.


He declined to provide further details except to say that the kidnapping happened within 24 hours of the shootout.


Tucson police would not release the DPS officer's name because of his undercover assignment to the multiagency Counter Narcotics Alliance.


The shootout happened about 9:45 p.m. Thursday while the officer was watching a house near North Silverbell Road and West Sweetwater Drive, police said in the release. Klein said the officer's truck was recovered in the area about 8:25 a.m. yesterday.


Officer Frank Valenzuela, a Phoenix-based DPS spokesman, said the officer is on administrative leave for his well being, as is standard in such cases. Valenzuela said the officer has been with DPS for about 20 years.


DPS will conduct an administrative investigation once the Tucson area criminal investigation is finished, Valenzuela said. He said DPS does not want the administrative case to interfere with the criminal one.


Tucson Citizen reporter A.J. Flick contributed to this story.




Friday, May 2, 2003 - With only 139 American soldiers dead President George W. Bush flies a fighter jet to the Aircraft Carrier USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN and announces the end major fighting in the Iraqi war!


Monday Oct 3, 2005 - Almost 2000 dead American soldiers ......


Grim Iraq outlook eased

Top military brass strikes more positive note


Dana Priest

Washington Post

Oct. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The two top U.S. commanders in charge of the Iraq war, appearing separately on four network talk shows Sunday, amended more sobering statements they had made to Congress and reporters last week.


Gen. George Casey Jr., who oversees U.S. forces in Iraq, and Gen. John Abizaid, who leads the U.S. Central Command, stressed the military and political progress being made in Iraq.


"There are peaks and valleys that you go through, but overall the trend is good," Abizaid told NBC's Meet the Press. "We're certainly confident."


The training of Iraqi security forces is "very much on track," Casey told ABC's This Week.


The generals' comments came as the insurgent group al-Qaida in Iraq claimed to have captured two Marines participating in an offensive in western Iraq, threatening in a Web statement issued Sunday to kill them within 24 hours. The U.S. military said the claim appeared to be fake.


"There are no indications that the al-Qaida claim of having kidnapped two Marines in western Iraq are true," according to Multinational Force West, the command in the region, which was conducting checks "to verify that all Marines are accounted for."


Al-Qaida set a 24-hour deadline for Sunni women to be released from Iraqi and U.S. prisons or the two would be killed.


On Thursday, Casey said the "Iraqi armed forces will not have an independent capability for some time." The day before, he backed away from earlier predictions that a "substantial" number of U.S. troops could by withdrawn early next year. "Right now, we're in a period of a little greater uncertainty than when I was asked that question back in July and March," he told reporters Wednesday.


It is not unusual for the administration to send out its top military commanders to clarify or to speak more optimistically about operations after congressional testimony or independent statements to the media that appear more pessimistic than the administration's position.


On Thursday, the generals also told Congress that the number of Iraqi army battalions that can fight insurgents without U.S. and coalition help had dropped from three to one, meaning about 750 Iraqi troops out of 200,000 being trained were capable of operating independently, and that the security situation was too uncertain to predict large-scale U.S. troop withdrawals anytime soon.


On Sunday, Casey confirmed that about one-third of the 119 Iraqi battalions are able to conduct operations with some U.S. assistance.


Abizaid, speaking on CBS' Face the Nation, said Iraqi forces were courageously engaged in counterinsurgency operations and are now taking more casualties than U.S. forces. "Are they going to be capable of taking over counterinsurgency leads over the next several months? The answer is yes."


Both generals also said the political process was on track.


On Thursday, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., had asked Casey whether a Sunni vote against the Oct. 15 referendum on a constitution could "possibly lead to a worsening political situation, rather than a better one."


"I think that's entirely possible, Senator," Casey had answered. "I mean, as we've looked at this, we've looked for the constitution to be a national compact, and the perception now is that it's not . . . particularly among the Sunni."


Asked a similar question Sunday on CBS, Abizaid responded: "Whether or not the constitution fails in the referendum should not necessarily concern us. What should concern us is whether or not the Sunni Arab community in Iraq participates in the referendum politically, and in the upcoming governmental elections."


The generals' largely optimistic tone during their television appearances Sunday still included grave worries. Asked on CNN's Late Edition whether he thought that the nearly 2,000 American troops killed in Iraq since the beginning of the war may have died in vain, Casey answered: "No, I don't worry about that. Not yet. We're not there yet."


The Associated Press contributed to this article.




bible bashers at work in tolleson!


Tolleson puts limits on sites for sex shops


Marianne Refuerzo

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


TOLLESON - The City Council recently updated its ordinance regarding sexually explicit businesses, requiring them to stay in the General Industrial Zoning District, away from commercial and residential neighborhoods.


But that's not enough for one resident.


Edward de Santiago has lived in Tolleson for 35 years. He hates the thought of a porn shop or adult bookstore moving into town.


"Sexually explicit material and/or shops are not just sexually explicit shops . . . . They bring consequences that are unimaginable to us," he said.


Scott Ruby, the city's attorney, says Tolleson cannot legally prohibit a sexually orientated business.


"You have to allow some spot, some space, some location within your jurisdiction for this type of place," Ruby said. "It is a constitutionally protected activity by the Supreme Court of the United States."


The council unanimously passed the amendment, hoping that it would deter businesses from coming in.


"It's not something that we went out looking for - we don't want something like that," Mayor Adolfo F. GŠmez said. "But you have to make sure that everyone has their rights."


There is one request from Fascinations adult shop to move to Tolleson.


Ruby says the council is trying to limit community exposure to sexually orientated businesses.


"We are updating this ordinance to be the most restrictive it can be," he said.


Reach the reporter at or (602) 444-4136.




mesa cops shoot and kill a drunk man


Mesa police shoot, kill driver


Lindsey Collom and Jessica Coomes

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


Two Mesa police officers fatally shot a 39-year-old man Sunday after he didn't put down a gun he had drawn, police said.


The identities of the man and the officers were not released.


Police were called to a home in the 900 block of East Jasmine Street about 11:50 a.m. to deal with a reported drunken driver, according to Sgt. Chuck Trapani, a spokesman for the Mesa Police Department. A citizen followed the man from Gilbert and Brown roads and called 911 on a cellphone.


Another citizen had called to report the same driver.


Trapani gave this account: When officers arrived, the man appeared to be changing a tire in the roadway. They noticed a gun tucked in his waistband. He drew his weapon and the officers felt threatened, commanding him to place it on the ground. They fired several shots when he didn't comply, striking him an unknown number of times. He died at the scene.


The officers are on three-day routine, paid administrative-leave. It was the fifth officer-involved shooting in Mesa this year, Trapani said.




Government of the people, by the elected officials and appointed bureaucrats, for the elected officials, appointed bureaucrats and special interest groups that helped put them in office.


Council's vote on mileage raises anger in Surprise


David Madrid

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


SURPRISE - The City Council's latest vote on its members' car allowances is not sitting well with some residents.


The council on Thursday voted 4-3 to adopt a policy allowing individual members to choose whether to be reimbursed for miles driven on city business or to be paid a set car allowance each month.


One group of residents, not connected to groups already seeking to recall six of the seven council members, said it will begin an effort to place the council's recent salary and car-allowance increases on the next general election ballot.


At last week's meeting, nine residents urged the council to adopt a mileage-reimbursement system so that each member would have to document mileage and be reimbursed at the 48Ĺ cents per mile allowed by the IRS. But the council rejected that proposal, which was offered by Councilman Cliff Elkins and supported by Mayor Joan Shafer and Councilwoman Martha Bails.


Vice Mayor Danny Arismendez moved to adopt the ordinance permitting council members to choose either a stipend of $450 a month, with $500 a month for the mayor, or to be reimbursed for mileage. Joining Arismendez were council members Gary "Doc" Sullivan, Joe Johnson and Gwyn Foro.


Arismendez said he often drives to other council districts to help people, adding that it was nobody's business whom he went to help or the reason he helped them.


He said he would choose the car allowance so he wouldn't have to document that information.


Sullivan scolded residents who complained that they weren't allowed to speak at meetings of an ad hoc committee appointed to consider the car allowance.


"The people who keep writing the paper and coming to the council meetings saying you didn't have your chance (to speak), you've had four months of a chance," he said. "I don't want to hear any more of it."


Kenneth Wright, spokesman of Friends of Open Government in Surprise, said the group will seek to take the salary and mileage issues to the voters.


"The hard-core group of the City Council has done it again," Wright said. "They've succeeded in another bank robbery of the taxpayers. It appears the voters are going to have to speak sometime in the future."


Reach the reporter at or (602) 444-6926.




i suspect this one forth of a million dollar gran to the garfield area to support a boy scout program is illegal and unconstitution both at the federal level and state level because the boy scouts discriminate against atheists and will not allow atheists to join their group. when it comes to hating their fellow citizens the boy scouts have a real bad track record and also hate homosexuals and will not allow them to join the boy scouts either.


Phoenix news briefs


Oct. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


Garfield area receives


$225,000 federal grant advertisement


The historic Garfield neighborhood in downtown Phoenix recently received a $225,000 federal grant to help improve the area.


The Garfield Organization, a neighborhood-based volunteer group, will use the money to increase police presence, support a Cub Scout program, pay for an after-school sports program, pay an instructor to teach adult-education programs and fund a neighborhood inspector to enforce city code.


The Garfield neighborhood is bounded by Interstate 10 and Van Buren Street on the north and south and 16th and Seventh streets on the east and west.




isnt it amazing that we actually pay these government nannies to micromanage our lives like this.


MVD revokes 'UAH8R' personalized plate after complaint




TEMPE - Arizona State alumnus Scott Spencer might not like the University of Arizona, but he doesn't get to say that on his license plate anymore.


The Department of Motor Vehicle has forced the former Sun Devil to trade in his "UAH8R" personalized license plate.


"I had to fork it over," said Spencer, a 1993 ASU graduate who now lives in Chandler.


State law allows the MVD to cancel or refuse to issue a plate with any message "that carries connotations that are offensive to good taste and decency." A review committee meets monthly to look over questionable applications as well as complaints and appeals, said MVD spokeswoman Cydney DeModica.


State regulations require MVD to reject requests for plates that are obscene or make references to certain body parts or sexual or excretory functions.


Drug-related plates and those that show "contempt for or ridicule or superiority of a class of persons" are also prohibited, DeModica said.


"We're respectful of the messages people want to have on their license plates," she said, "but the committee is also very respectful and mindful of motorists who want to express their feelings."


Spencer said he received notice of a complaint about his license plate in a letter dated May 31. He appealed, but in August, the MVD plate-review committee denied it.


Under state regulations, Spencer is entitled to a prorated refund or another personalized ASU plate.


He said MVD office staff told him "4K EM" was prohibited and "4K UA" was not available. While they initially accepted his request for a plate reading "UASUX," Spencer said he soon received a letter stating his latest request would have to go before the review committee.


So Spencer decided to ask for a license plate honoring former Sun Devil Pat Tillman, who forsook a lucrative NFL contract after the Sept. 11 attacks to join the Army. He was killed in Afghanistan last year.


"They said that's not offensive and they'd issue that one," he said.




the government rulers in louisiana are asking the federal government to force every american man, woman, and child to pay $133 for the disaster caused by katrina. isn't charity at gun point wonderful?


Louisiana asking $40B to counter hurricanes




WASHINGTON - A $40 billion plan to hurricane-proof the Louisiana coast has ignited a battle over how best to prevent a repeat of this year's double flooding of New Orleans.


Endorsed by the state's congressional delegation, the proposal would create a nine-member independent commission that would give Louisiana a large say in how the federal money is spent.


The huge sums involved and the measure's plan to waive federal environmental laws underscore the dramatic steps that Louisiana lawmakers say are needed to help the state recover from one of the country's worst natural disasters.


The commission - with at least five members from Louisiana - would have final say over Army Corps of Engineers projects to protect New Orleans from the most potent type of hurricanes, known as Category 5, and to restore the coastline, control flooding and improve navigation.


Normal congressional processes for authorizing projects and spending money would be bypassed entirely under the proposal. Environmental laws would be waived once the commission signs off on the work plan, which the corps would have to develop in just six months.


Such an unprecedented transfer of power and money from Washington to a state usually would stand little chance of winning federal approval. Louisiana lawmakers, though, are hoping the catastrophic drubbing from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will force Congress and the White House to take a serious look at the proposal. It has been introduced as part of a broader reconstruction bill.


"The whole purpose is to give this a sense of urgency," said Sen. David Vitter, R-La. "We need to break out of the bureaucratic mentality where everything is studied to death."


While there is support for a new approach to hurricane protection, environmentalists complain that the proposal waives environmental studies and excludes existing projects for review.


Taxpayer advocates are up in arms over the proposed $40 billion cost - 10 times the corps' current annual budget - for a single state. Louisiana lawmakers want the money upfront to pay for the plan the corps would develop in six months, even though it would take years, perhaps decades, to build it all.


Scientists are pushing for more outside review of the final protection plan and want to broaden it to cover the entire Gulf Coast. Also, there is widespread concern about concentrating so much power in the hands of just nine commissioners.


"They're asking for a $40 billion blank check," said Steve Ellis, a vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. "It is a huge amount of money that would be essentially front-ended as appropriations, and then driven independent of Washington oversight."


Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said the proposal was "just a suggestion" and that she never intended to waive environmental laws. What is needed, she said, is a way to streamline the process so hurricane protection work can be done quickly.


"It is not our intention to loot the treasury," she said. "It is our intention to get support and help from the federal government."


The $40 billion estimate was based on the cost of nearly two dozen hurricane protection, coastal restoration, flood control and navigation projects that the corps either is building or planning. The list was adjusted to include protection against a Category 5 hurricane, according to congressional aides.


Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the corps' commander, said before Rita made landfall that the agency could not develop a plan quickly to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane.


Existing levees in New Orleans were designed to withstand a Category 3 storm. Strock estimated it would cost $2.5 billion to upgrade them to Category 5 level.


"Just the study itself could take years," said Strock, "and the actual implementation of the study could take many more years."


Louisiana lawmakers and coastal resources experts disagree that it would take years to come up with a workable plan. They point to a detailed $14 billion coastal restoration plan, supported by virtually all interest groups, that is ready to go into place. It is designed to reduce hurricane damage by rebuilding disappearing coast-al wetlands that help absorb storm surge.




two letters from todays arizona star


'Whispers' lack accuracy


Re: the Sept. 17 Desert Whispers "No atheists in foxholes, or in New Orleans."


First, the "No atheists in foxholes" slogan is an insult. I ask you to publicly apologize to the Americans serving in the U.S. military who are atheists.


This unfortunate phrase either implies atheists should be ashamed of their convictions or that the religious in the military believe only out of fear. The Star must drop it forever.


Second, learn to be accurate about the issue of "invoking God in public." This can have two meanings. One is that a person spontaneously invokes God in public. Nobody could object to that.


The other meaning is that a person is forced to participate in invoking God in public. This would be the case of a student forced to invoke the name of God in a public classroom. How could anyone be so heartless as to force someone into such a situation?


Please make this elementary distinction in your future writings.


William Faris



this lady thinks its ok for the government to force her god on other people. i guess that is called tyrnanny of the majority.


Pledge OK as written


A federal judge recently declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because it has the words "under God" in it.


Apparently this judge has an agenda and thinks he can impose his atheistic views on everybody else.


Something is wrong here. How can a single judge force his views and agenda on millions of people across this country who have no problem with the Pledge of Allegiance as it is currently written?


Those two words have been in the Pledge for years. If the American people were unhappy about it, why has no one been complaining before this?


As it is, we have a very small and vocal minority griping about those two words.


They are entitled to their opinion, but since they are in the minority, it is time for them to be quiet.


Margaret L. Fox





1) government goons dont seem to obey their own laws very well


2) government goons seem to be afraid of other government goons with guns.


FEMA suspends Phoenix team

Armed escorts during hurricane rescues broke rule


Judi Villa

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


The Phoenix Fire Department's Urban Search and Rescue team has been suspended from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for deploying armed police officers to protect firefighters in violation of the agency's rules.


As a result, Phoenix officials now are threatening to refuse some of the most dangerous deployments in the future or possibly even pull out of the federal agency altogether, unless the rules are changed to allow teams to bring their own security, even if that means police with guns.


FEMA has been the target of widespread criticism for its perceived slow response to Hurricane Katrina. Assistant Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan said his department also is questioning the federal agency's ability to manage working conditions, security and communications.


"Our priority has to be the safety of the firefighters we're sending," Khan said.


At issue is a rule in FEMA's Code of Conduct that prohibits Urban Search and Rescue teams from having firearms. Phoenix's team that deployed for Hurricane Katrina relief and again for Hurricane Rita included four police officers deputized as U.S. marshals.


Phoenix police were added to the team about a year ago, and officials say they are essential to protecting firefighters and FEMA's $1.4 million worth of equipment. Firefighters do not carry weapons.


"This is crazy," Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said Monday. "This is a rule that was designed before the world changed, pre-9/11. You can't stand on bureaucracy if we're going to protect and save lives, and that's what these teams do."


Instability in Gulf Coast

FEMA relies on 28 elite teams like Phoenix's across the country to perform specialized rescue operations immediately after terrorist attacks and natural disasters.


After Hurricane Katrina, firefighters faced deployment to areas plagued by looting and lawlessness. Twice, Phoenix's team was confronted by law enforcement officers who refused to let them pass through their communities and told them to "get out or get shot," Gordon said.


Given the instability in the Gulf Coast region, taking police "was as natural as us calling for backup when we go to a house fire and need traffic control," Khan said.


Phoenix's team was demobilized unexpectedly Sept. 26 after members were seen embarking on a helicopter sortie with a loaded shotgun while assigned to help with the aftermath of Rita.


FEMA officials did not return a call for comment on Monday. But in a letter to Phoenix Fire Chief Alan Brunacini, dated Sept. 29, the agency said Phoenix was placed on "non-deployment status" essentially for including armed police on the team without approval.


The team cannot be reconsidered for deployment until "we receive an official explanation of your sponsoring agency rationale for allowing these infractions, any corrective actions taken, and assurance that these infractions will not occur in the future," the letter said.


Gordon on Monday sent a letter to FEMA officials requesting that the Code of Conduct "be changed from an unrealistic 'No firearms allowed' to a common-sense 'No firearms allowed except for U.S. marshals integrated into the USAR team.' " Gordon also demanded an apology.


"We are not going to send our firefighters and police officers into harm's way if they don't have adequate security," Gordon said in an interview Monday. "We're not going to endanger our people's lives. I'm not going to take that responsibility."


Phoenix's team was credited with plucking more than 400 Hurricane Katrina survivors from rooftops and freeway overpasses in flooded sections of New Orleans.


The team also was the first out-of-state team to respond to the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and members deployed to New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.


Pulling out of FEMA

If Phoenix pulled out of FEMA entirely, the city would have to return its equipment, which includes medical supplies, communications equipment, tools, and cameras and listening devices that can detect people trapped in rubble.


Khan said that the equipment isn't used in Phoenix on a daily basis and that the city already owns "a lot of the same equipment."


Scott Phelps, Gordon's senior assistant, said the city's stance wasn't to pull out of every FEMA deployment, only to refuse those where the team could be at risk if the "no firearms" rule wasn't changed.


"To apply that sterile rule to the real-life experiences that these men and women were encountering is absurd and really not fair," Phelps said.


"Our question would be: What's the compelling reason not to change the rules? It's not an unreasonable request."




Relatives of man killed in police pursuit plan suit

Family seeking $3 million from Scottsdale


Michael Ferraresi

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


SCOTTSDALE - More than five months have passed since 22-year-old Cody Brett Morrison was struck and killed by a wrong-way driver during a Scottsdale police pursuit on Loop 101.


An internal investigation and review of Scottsdale's police pursuit policy continue.


But the city is feeling the repercussions of the chase.


The Morrison family has filed a legal notice, claiming as much as $3 million from the city and alleging that Scottsdale officers are at fault in the "unwarranted and reckless" April 7 chase that killed Morrison.


The results of Scottsdale's internal investigation, including possible disciplinary actions against the officers involved, could be announced this week, Scottsdale police Detective Sam Bailey said.


The Scottsdale police pursuit policy was last revised in February. The policy requires supervising officers to end pursuits immediately when suspects drive the wrong way on freeways.


A notice of claim is required under certain conditions before the filing of a lawsuit.


Scottsdale Officers Carrie Candler and Aaron Crawford, Lt. Todd Muilenberg, and Sgts. Dan Rincon and Rob Ryan are named in the notice.


Morrison was killed in a collision with a vehicle driven by David Syzmanski after Scottsdale police followed Syzmanski onto the freeway following a violent incident at the apartment of Syzmanski's former girlfriend.


Syzmanski, 22, of Fountain Hills, is charged with first-degree murder and could be the first person in Arizona to face the death penalty for a DUI-related traffic fatality.


Reach the reporter at or (602) 444-6843.




nazi germany 1940, USSR 1950 or phoenix arizona 2005???


Who's the school snitch?


Judi Villa

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


It's the classic moral dilemma: To tell or not to tell.


Spill the beans and you risk being labeled a snitch. Keep the secret and something bad could happen to someone else. What do you do?


Phoenix police Officer Cecil Jackson thinks he has hit on the answer: a new Web site where anyone can report criminal activity anonymously.


Aimed primarily at high school students as a way to keep campuses safe, the Web site,, is believed to be the first in the country to capitalize on the popularity of e-mailing and text messaging to report crime.


Jackson said kids usually know what's happening on campus and are inclined to tell, "but they don't want others to know they're telling."


"When you've got 1,600 kids and you have the Web site, you don't know who's telling," he said.


The Web site came online at the end of March, and within two days, a tip led to the arrest of a 17-year-old boy in the shooting of another teen.


Since then, word of the site has been trickling across the state, and more than 60,000 e-mails have come in about drug activity, gang fights, shootings, stabbings, sexual assaults and thefts both on campus and in students' neighborhoods.


More than 1 million students enrolled in Arizona schools potentially could use the Web site. Parents also are being encouraged to log on, and the goal is to pass the word to the 18.8 million high school students across the country by 2007.


The non-profit Web site is funded by Jackson and a longtime friend as well as by donations. Jackson is seeking grants to keep it going.


Messages go to a response center, where they are prioritized and disseminated round-the-clock by a staff of police officers and educators.


"You tell us what it is and where it is, and we'll take it from there," Jackson said.


Police long ago recognized the importance of anonymous hotlines in solving crimes, and these days, people dial those numbers to quietly name murder suspects and rapists and report everything from prostitution and graffiti to traffic complaints.


The new Web site takes that success a step further, offering wireless access and targeting students who are likely to be more comfortable with computers and cellphones. Text messaging was added about a month ago.


Experts say if you want students to report criminal activity or even bullying, it's imperative to provide them an option to do so anonymously.


"It's that feeling of safety. In most schools where there are high levels of bullying or harassment, there is a level of fear," said Ruby Alvarado, a senior program coordinator at the Arizona Prevention Resource Center, which is part of Arizona State University. "It empowers those students to still tell someone what's going on without that fear of repercussion.


"If somebody sees you walking into the principal's office and an hour later somebody is getting pulled out of class, on most campuses, it's pretty easy to put two and two together."


Damon Alexander, 17, a senior at Washington High School, said being labeled a snitch is one of the worst things that can happen.


"You get excluded and people want to fight you," Alexander said. "You become a snitch and nobody likes you anymore. That's the Number 1 rule in high school. You don't do it."


Senior Kayla Cummings, 17, said high school is "so judgmental" students have to watch everything they do.


"Nobody wants to be the rat," Cummings said.


With the new Web site, "you're watching out for yourself, but you're still able to tell the truth and get that off your chest," she said. "That would be a really hard thing to deal with if something did happen and you didn't tell somebody."


Although murders at schools are rare, 71 percent of the nation's public schools experienced one or more violent incidents on campus from 1992 to 2000, according to a study, "Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2004," by the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2002, more than 1.7 million non-fatal crimes were committed against students ages 12 to 18 at school.


Statewide, in the 2005 school year, there were 10,506 incidents on school grounds that required the intervention of local, state or federal law enforcement officials, according to the Arizona Department of Education.


"If we start sharing information, we can solve a lot of these things or even stop them," Jackson said.


At Washington High School, where first launched, Assistant Principal Matt Belden said tips have helped ferret out drug issues and even stopped some fights by giving officials warning to "put out the fire before something happens."


"It's a piece of making our campus safer," Belden said. "The kids feel it's a safe place they can go. No one's seeing them walk into an office. It's something they can do at home on their computer or in class, and nobody knows."


That is important to students like Washington High senior Rachel Mester. .


"It's better for us," the 17-year-old said. "You could do the right thing and not have people thinking you're snitching on them."




why is it alway true that when people in the government break the law they dont get punished like the rest of us??? (although i am personally glad that these folks are refusing to help the american empire kill woman and children in iraq)


Army reservists who won't go to war going unpunished


Gregg Zoroya

USA Today

Oct. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


Seventy-three reserve soldiers are defying orders to appear for wartime duty, with some of the cases pending for more than a year, and the Army has quietly chosen to take no action against them.


"We just continue to work with them, reminding them of their duty," said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman.


The soldiers are part of the Individual Ready Reserve, a pool of about 110,000 inactive troops rarely summoned back to active duty. But an Army stretched thin by the demands of war in Iraq and Afghanistan began a phased call-up of 6,545 such soldiers in June 2004.


About half have served, and 1,433 have been excused for issues such as finances, family or health. An additional 1,476 are slated to report in the future.


The Army has failed to reach 386 of the reservists, in many cases because addresses or phone numbers are no longer valid. But Lt. Col. Karla Brischke, who supervises call-ups, says that in some instances, the reservists may simply be avoiding the orders.


Seventy-three soldiers were contacted and either ignored their orders or blatantly refused to serve. One is an officer. The others are all enlisted. Brischke said Army staffers keep calling and reminding them of "duty, honor, country" and their need to fulfill their obligations.


Brischke and Hilferty say that, currently, the Army is taking no action.


Failing to punish those who disobey an order "sets a bad precedent, especially for those in the IRR who have accepted the call to serve," said retired Maj. Gen. John Meyer Jr., the Army's former chief of public affairs.


The behavior may be reinforced by peace activist groups operating the GI Rights Hotline, which keeps reservists informed about the Army's failure to act.


"What we tell them is that right now the Army is not doing anything to pursue IRR call-ups," hotline counselor Dawn Blanken said.


Army regulations state that a soldier who doesn't report for duty is usually declared absent without leave, or AWOL, and ultimately accused of desertion. Punishments can range from counseling to a less-than-honorable discharge.




no this wasnt in the national enquirer. it was in the arizona daily star the largest newspaper in tucson arizona. man people beleive weird irrational stuff.


psychics get message out


Fair offers wide variety of items to heal, guide

By Gillian Drummond



It was Mary Mendez's first time, and she was making the most of it. She had seen a couple of psychics and was now buying healing stones.


With three young sons at home and several moves within Arizona in the past six years, she figured she needed all the help she could get.


"I thought I'd try it, and some of them have been pretty dead on with what's going on in my life. It's been kind of a crazy six years. I wanted to know if (the moving around) was ever going to come to an end," said Mendez.


Happily, the readers and clairvoyants she consulted at the monthly Psychic Fair, held at St. Philip's Plaza, told Mendez a more peaceful time lay ahead of her.


David Christy, also visiting for the first time, was somewhat less purposeful. "I read about it in the newspaper and I thought it was just something to do. It's a Sunday afternoon thing," he said.


The fair is like a metaphysical food court - a gathering of readers, healers and crafts people that together offer just about everything for the spirit in need of guidance, the errant chakra in need of redirection, or the unread palm in need of a few life predictions.


Together they call themselves the Mystic Messengers. Set up behind tables in a conference room of the Windmill Suites hotel, they invite the public to browse for free (although they charge for readings and consultations).


Their offerings run the gamut, from jewelry and flutes for sale, to tarot card readings and feng shui consultations, to energy massage therapists and promises of an "authentic sha-manic journey."


Patricia Kirkman, a numerologist and organizer of the event, said she is responding to local demand for "reliable readers."


"They're the best that are out there," she said of her team. "Everyone here I've interviewed personally."


Lydia Sheldon calls herself an "intuitive artist." She combines her artistic skills with a clairvoyancy that, she said, surfaced five or six years ago. She says she uses her gift to create personal art pieces for people based on the energy field she sees around them.


"You have your energy field that's more than your body. I translate your energy (into) my language, which is art and symbols and colors. I'll often get words as well, often poetry," she said.


Sheldon, who is right-handed, uses her left hand to draw and write. "That way I bypass the judgment faculty of that side of my brain," she said. "It takes a bit of explaining," she laughed.


More tangible, perhaps, is what Kathleen Dreier has to offer. A social worker by day, in her spare time she runs Esens Custom Fragrances, creating personalized perfumes based on people's personalities and lifestyles. It's a practice that dates back to ancient Egypt, she said.


"[Perfumes] were originally developed for the individual. It was believed that a personalized scent opened the doorways to higher spiritual plains," said Dreier.


Through study and her own experimentation, she has assigned qualities to the oils she mixes: jasmine orange stands for joy and optimism; amber for self-care; black musk for the sensual and exotic.


Chuck Simonette is part of the husband-and-wife team behind Blue Moon Jewelry & Crystals in Casa Grande. They sell stones that promise to restore balance to the chakras, or energies, in people's bodies.


A regular participant in psychic fairs all over the state, Simonette said he has seen a shift in customers the last few years.


"There are a lot more younger people coming in, a lot in their early 20s, and a lot more males. Years ago it was just older females," he said.


And even among people who don't participate in such fairs, there is more acceptance of them, said Sheldon. "It doesn't seem that we have to edit ourselves so much in a public venue. We don't have to dance around what we do. There's an air of tolerance."


&#9679; Gillian Drummond is a free-lance writer from Tucson.


If you go


WHAT: The next Mystic Messengers Psychic Fair &#9962; WHERE: Windmill Suites in St. Philip's Plaza, 4250 N. Campbell Ave.


WHEN: Nov. 13


TIME: 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. &#9962; More info: Call 742 9905 or visit




Va. Deputy Pulls Over Officers, Gets Heat


Updated: Friday, Sep. 30, 2005 - 5:43 AM


STAUNTON, Va. (AP) - A deputy pulled over a convoy of New Jersey law enforcement officers traveling home from a Hurricane Katrina relief effort, sparking complaints from a New Jersey sheriff for the "grief" they received.


Augusta County Sheriff Randall D. Fisher defended the deputy, saying he pulled over the emergency vehicles on Interstate 81 after state police received complaints about their driving.


"They were traveling at a high rate of speed, people were being run off the road," Fisher said Thursday. The deputy "was basically asking the guys to cut their (emergency lights), slow down."


Some members of the convoy did not heed the deputy's order to pull over, Fisher said, and the stop initially was adversarial. But he said the New Jersey officers left amid handshakes and back slaps with his deputy.


"We pretty much thought it was the end of the story," Fisher said.


But the same day, New Jersey's Passaic County sheriff, Jerry Speziale, called the Augusta County Sheriff's Office and criticized the deputy's actions.


"If you think that that's not a disgrace, you should take the badge off your shirt and throw it in the garbage," Speziale said in the telephone call, which Fisher played for The Associated Press.


Speziale said Thursday that the vehicles in the convoy were using their overhead lights while driving in the left lane, but denied they were speeding or pushing drivers off the road.


"I stand behind my men," Speziale said.


He said Virginia police had pulled over other out-of-state officers also returning from Hurricane Katrina duty. "They did it to the NYPD. They did it to others. The pattern's not on our part."


Fisher said the deputy extended the professional courtesy of not ticketing the officers even though they were speeding at up 95 mph and, he said, forcing motorists out of the passing lane.


But he also said he could understand their haste: "I'm not defending anyone's actions, but I'm sure they were anxious to get home."




government nannies want to destroy this mans garden because it's messy!!!!!!!!


Homegrown controversy

Gilbert man's neighbors not enthusiastic about garden


Cary Aspinwall

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


Among the xeriscape, golf greens, patios and swimming pools of Gilbert, Daniel Lee Thompson has created his own little ecosystem.


Thompson's front yard is shaded by massive leaves of romaine lettuce, cornstalks, Swiss chard and towering turnip greens.


He will chomp on a turnip blossom as he shows the marigolds and sweet William blossoms he plants among the veggies to attract the right kinds of insects, the ones to eat the bad bugs. No pesticides are used in this garden. advertisement


"This is my breakfast," he said, winking as he pulls more greens from the ground.


Thompson and the owners of the house at 602 W. Rawhide Ave. in Gilbert, his mother and stepfather, Ann and Richard Carlisle, say they are proud and enthusiastic about their homegrown organic produce. They say it's the key to their health and longevity, the reason they don't need any prescription or over-the-counter drugs.


Some of their neighbors are less-than-thrilled, however, and have complained to Gilbert officials. One Town Council member, Dave Crozier, asked the town attorney to rule whether Thompson's garden is a code violation. If that fails, Crozier has talked about changing the ordinance that allows it.


"The question always comes down to where do you draw the line?" Crozier said. "This is over the line. I don't blame (the neighbor) for complaining - I would have, too."


The home is in Madera Parc, one of Gilbert's rare neighborhoods without a homeowners association governing what the family can plant in its own yard.


As long as the weeds are trimmed, the town can't tell Thompson to yank the Crenshaw melons from his front yard because the neighbors think it looks untidy, code compliance officers say.


"We get complaints from time to time," said Steve Wallace, Gilbert's senior code compliance officer. "It's a residential zoned area, and in those areas folks are allowed to grow crops for themselves."


Some who drive by have complained that the front yard looks like a jungle. They should see the back yard. It's a maze of kumquats, grapevines, carrots, salad greens, herbs and peach trees.


It's all part of a theory to which Thompson, 57, subscribes: Man is responsible for the current drought, fire, flood cycle that has hit the United States. Strange as it sounds to current desert dwellers, Arizona was all lush vegetation and forests at one time, he says.


He is an advocate of permaculture and sustainable farming methods, trying to restore the environment that has been destroyed by man. Almost every inch of the yard is used to grow food.


"For me, it's the whole idea of knowing the food is safe, healthy and here for my family to eat," he said.


His 80-year-old mother doesn't have the shelf full of daily prescription medications that many of her peers have to take.


"It all boils down to nutrition," Carlisle said. "What you're buying in the grocery store has so little nutrition, and it's all contaminated with pesticides."


She said she loves the figs that her son grows in the back yard, and she can remember when Gilbert was all farmland.


"I cry every time I hear a farmer has sold to another developer," she said.




scottsdale government nannies break their own zoning laws


Scottsdale residents criticize WestWorld tent

By Ryan Gabrielson, Tribune

October 4, 2005


Scottsdale will get rid of the massive U.S. flags emblazoned across the roof of the nationís largest open-air tent that was recently erected at WestWorld equestrian and events center, city officials said.


The announcement comes amid criticism from north Scottsdale residents that the tent is far too tall and does not blend with its desert surroundings.


"This tent is so intrusive, itís so high," said Bob Vairo, president of the government and land-use watchdog group Coalition of Pinnacle Peak.


The tent ó 119,700 square feet and planned as a multiuse building ó is white, except for the red and blue painted on each side to make two flags clearly visible from the heavily traveled Loop 101.


"You can talk about it in a patriotic vein but at the same time itís circus-like, to have a tent that size," Vairo said. "Itís not as if this is something thatís going to enhance the image of Scottsdale."


The tentís height is more than twice what is typically permitted at WestWorld and its color scheme violates the cityís Environmentally Sensitive Land Ordinance, the residents argue.


In addition, the city began construction on the tent before applying for building permits, in violation of its own regulations.


Scottsdale had the tent pieced together quickly last month in order to have it available for an event next week, the East Meets West motorcycle show. The city purchased the structure in early August from a facility in Victorville, Calif., for $2 million with the flags already in place.


"There was a lot of confusion in the community about that," said Pat Dodds, a Scottsdale spokesman. "People apparently think we ordered the tent that way and that wasnít the case."


Dodds said the city always intended to remove or cover the tentís flags because "we knew that would be a point of sensitivity in the community." The decision to alter the tent had nothing to do with the the rebuke by COPP, he said.


Though many north Scottsdale residents have criticized the tent, some living in the cityís southern half said they do not see what the fuss is about.


"It got my eye," Reba Averitt, a south Scottsdale resident, said of the tent. "I donít think it was ugly, Iíve seen a lot uglier."


Scottsdale employees have been researching ways to alter the tentís look, like installing a new "skin" on the metal frame, Dodd said. "Thereís all different kinds of techniques that are out there, so weíre just trying to get that narrowed down," he said.


It is unclear when the change will be made, said Roger Klingler, assistant city manager.


"Our main concern was just to get it constructed and that was a pretty tight time frame to get it up," Klingler said. "And then look at what the options are for getting a different color."


However, not all residents think the current color scheme is that bad.


"Itís pretty bright, I can see it when Iím driving. Itís all right (because) itís not in my neighborhood," said resident David Walker.


WestWorld is undergoing numerous changes in an effort to keep its signature events, such as the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction, from moving to other cities. Craig Jackson, the car auction president, has threatened to move his event unless WestWorldís space, parking and flooding issues are remedied.


The tent is to be a temporary solution to the space problem for Barrett-Jackson and some other events, said Brad Gessner, WestWorld general manager.


Two other domes at West-World have recently been covered with a sandstone-colored skin, similar to what the tent might be covered in, he said.


"You havenít heard anything about those because I donít think people can see them," Gessner said.


Contact Ryan Gabrielson by email, or phone (480)-898-2341




wow! no cops will be fired!!!! werent they some of the biggest looters out there!!!! will i guess its all about how you define something. clinton didnt have sex with monica and technically these cops say stealing non-luxury items isnt looting.


Mayor of New Orleans announces layoffs

Associated Press

October 4, 2005


NEW ORLEANS - Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday the city is laying off as many as 3,000 employees - or about half the city's workforce - because of the damage done to New Orleans' finances by Hurricane Katrina.


Nagin announced with "great sadness" that he had been unable to find the money to keep the workers on the payroll.


He said only non-essential workers would be laid off and that no firefighters or police would be among those let go.


"I wish I didn't have to do this. I wish we had the money, the resources to keep these people," Nagin said. "The problem we have is we have no revenue streams."


Nagin described the layoffs as "pretty permanent" and said that the city will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to contact municipal employees who fled the city in the aftermath of Katrina, which struck about a month ago.


The mayor said the move will save about $5 million to $8 million of the city's monthly payroll of $20 million. The layoffs will take place over the next two weeks.


Meanwhile, former President Clinton met with dozens of New Orleans-area evacuees staying at a shelter in Baton Rouge's convention center. And officials ended their door-to-door sweep for corpses in Louisiana with the death toll Tuesday at 972 - far fewer than the 10,000 the mayor had feared at one point. Mississippi's Katrina death toll was 221.


A company hired by the state to remove bodies will remain on call if any others are found.


Clinton, working with former President Bush to raise money for victims, shook hands and chatted with the evacuees, some of whom have been sleeping on cots in the Rivercenter's vast concrete hall for more than a month and complained of lack of showers, clean clothes, privacy and medical care.


"My concern is to listen to you ... and learn the best way to spend this money we've got," Clinton said.


Robert Warner, 51, of New Orleans said he and others have struggled to get private housing set up through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


"We've been mired in the bureaucratic red tape since Day One," he said.




dan lovelace is one sick piggy!!!!!!! he murders a woman by shooting her in the back and blames the woman and her family.


Lovelace on regret, reaction, redemption

By Gary Grado, Tribune

July 16, 2004


Daniel Lovelace wishes Dawn Rae Nelson were here to explain her side.


The former Chandler officer also wishes she had done one more thing before their deadly encounter in a pharmacy drive-through.


"She was a person in need, and I believe if she had gotten the help that she needed, she wouldnít have been there," Lovelace said in an exclusive interview Thursday with the Tribune.


At his Chandler home, he talked about the 35-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills woman; what it was like being in the limelight after he shot her Oct. 11, 2002; feelings that certain fellow officers betrayed him; how he has coped; and what is in store for his future.


He was joined by his wife, Tricia Debbs, their 9-month-old daughter, Lucy, and defense attorney Craig Mehrens. He answered every question and placed no restrictions on the interview except time. He allowed about 45 minutes. Throughout the interview, if he wasnít holding his squirming daughter, he was holding Debbsí hand.


Lovelace said he couldnít think of anything he would have done differently that day.


"I followed procedure, I followed what my job allows me to do and tells me to do," he said. "I wish she were here to explain her side."



One week ago today, a jury acquitted Lovelace of seconddegree murder, manslaughter and endangerment.


Nelson fled in her car suddenly as Lovelace questioned her about a fake prescription she was trying to fill at a Walgreens drive-through at Dobson and Warner roads.


Lovelace testified at Maricopa County Superior Court in Mesa that he feared for his life as he saw Nelsonís leftfront tire turning toward him, so he fired one shot from his 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. Prosecutors said the shooting was unjustified because three witnesses testified he chased Nelson before firing and the bullet traveled from back to front.


"I would like to move on from this, but I know in my heart you never forget it, it never goes away," Lovelace said. "I donít want to live my life bitter. Iím so sad it ended up the way it did."


What saddens him, he said, is that there were red flags that Nelson had substance abuse problems, but he has never heard anything that tells him anyone was trying to help her.


Had Nelson stayed put and been arrested, she probably would have gotten some kind of help for substance abuse, Lovelace said.


"I feel bad their family doesnít have their mother anymore, the children donít have her there, the rest of the family doesnít have her there."


Nelsonís widower, Colby Nelson, said earlier this week that Lovelace has shown no remorse for the killing.


Lovelace responded to the criticism by suggesting Colby Nelson failed his wife.


"We all have responsibilities to our loved ones. Iíll just leave it at that," Lovelace said.


He said he wished Colby Nelson could "put it behind him."



Lovelace might never have encountered Nelson.


He and his wife canceled trips to New York for his high school reunion and a second honeymoon in Hawaii so he could be available that week for court cases.


Lovelace, a motorcycle officer who got to drive his bike home, testified he was in his house and ready to call in that he was off duty when he heard the call about a fraudulent prescription at the Walgreens at Dobson and Warner roads.


On March 13, 2000, Lovelace was also near the end of his shift when he spotted a stolen pickup truck and gave chase. A few minutes later, the pickup roared through Warner and McQueen roads at 100 mph and killed a passing motorist, 19-year-old Bradley Downing.


Despite the ill-fated encounters, Lovelace never felt snakebit.


"In the last seven years, I Ďve done so much good for the community, and a lot of it was I was there at the right time at the right moment. A person getting carjacked, breaking into someoneís home, you catch these suspects right there. Is it a gift or is it a curse, I donít know. All I know is my duty as a police officer is to respond and do what Iím trained to do."


Lovelace referred to the police term of "having blinders," which is when an officer doesnít respond to a call and maybe goes to eat or goes home or doesnít want to be inconvenienced.


If he could do it over again, he would still the answer the false prescription radio call. Anything could have happened even if he didnít go, he said.



The Chandler Police Department fired Lovelace in November 2002 after the department found the shooting to be unjustified.


Cameras and reporters swarmed him at his first court appearance and havenít let up since.


He sought work in the backrooms of grocery and retail stores so he wouldnít have to interact with the public, but no one would hire him.


"I couldnít find any work because they know who you are. You kind of get the feeling your application is just going nowhere," Lovelace said.


He eventually found a parttime job at R & G Vent Cleaning, which is owned by Don LaBarge, a retired Phoenix police officer.


There he cleaned exhaust systems in restaurants and put together the companyís safety and employee manuals.


"Don was the only one who gave me a job," Lovelace said.


He also started landscaping, doing simple cleanup and gardening about a year ago.


It gave him time to think.


"Itís good because you work with your hands, you plant gardens and you see things grow," he said.


He read the Bible. The stories were written "thousands of years ago" and still "pull your heart."


He also read "The Onion Field," a 1970s bestseller about a Los Angeles police officerís struggles after his partner is killed by thieves in an onion field.


"He took a lot of heat from his own department," Lovelace said. "I saw the same pain I was feeling."



There was never a lack of support for Lovelace at his trial. Everyday, a dozen or so officers would come and go to catch portions of the testimony.


But there are some officers ó "the people who were in the trial" ó who he once believed supported him.


"It hurts a lot when those same people you fought next to ó for lack of a better word ó betrayed me," he said.


He commended the officers who took the stand on his behalf and who he says risked their jobs and reputations doing so.


"Thereís no guarantees in this job," he said. "The guys can say what they want about me, but thereís no guarantee this canít happen to them."



When Lovelace went to court for the reading of the verdict, he took nothing with him except his wedding ring, knowing he would be taken to jail immediately if convicted.


He said he was in a "twilight zone" and on "autopilot" in the courtroom and he brought little Lucy so he could kiss her goodbye just in case.


"Itís kind of like youíre ready for your life to end or youíre ready for your life to start," he said. "I know my innocence. I know who I am. I know the charges. The allegations against me were untrue."


The courtroom exploded in gasps when the verdict was read.


Lovelace has asked for his job back and must go through various administrative processes to succeed.


If he isnít allowed back, he will return to school and begin another line of work.


But in the meantime, he said he is willing to go through another high-profile process to get his job back.


"If the cameras are there, the cameras are there, I donít think it can get any worse," he said.


Contact Gary Grado by email, or phone (602) 258-1746




mesa cops murder a harmless drunk who had† a bb gun


Mesa officers shoot, kill man toting BB gun


Jim Walsh

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


MESA - A man shot and killed by police after he reportedly threatened to kill them was armed with a BB gun that resembled a pistol, police said Tuesday.


A drunken-driving suspect, Michael Andrew Howard Sr., 39, reportedly told officers, "I'm going to cap you," after they stopped his black Nissan Altima in the 1900 block of East Fountain about noon Sunday.


Howard was the fifth shooting this year by Mesa police, four of them fatal. Last year, there were seven officer-involved shootings, four of them fatal.


Sgt. Chuck Trapani, a police spokesman, said two officers spotted what appeared to be a pistol in Howard's waistband when he lifted his shirt and drew the gun.


"It was a BB gun, but it resembles a real gun, and he pointed it at the officers," Trapani said. "You can't wait for the suspect to shoot at you." Officers Juan Padilla, a 12-year veteran, and Ryan Gallagher, a five-year veteran, fired multiple shots.


Howard, a Salt River Reservation resident, was in Mesa because a friend was going to help him change a tire, police said. Howard had a history of traffic-related arrests and served nine months in the 1980s at the Arizona State Prison at Fort Grant on an auto theft charge.




ready for the police state???? im sorry we already live in a police state. ready for the new improved bigger police state??


Bush suggests military to enforce quarantines


Warren Vieth

Los Angeles Times

Oct. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - President Bush expressed concern Tuesday about the threat of a global flu pandemic and said Congress should consider letting the U.S. military play a broader role in enforcing quarantines and other emergency measures.


Bush said the possibility of a virulent new strain of avian influenza spreading rapidly around the world raises difficult questions about a president's ability to direct an effective domestic-response effort and the federal government's authority to carry it out.


Flu pandemics have tended to occur about three times a century, following the emergence of a new influenza virus to which humans have developed no immunity.


The last such outbreak was in 1968. The deadliest was the 1918 pandemic that killed as many as 50 million people worldwide and an estimated 675,000 in the United States.


"I'm not predicting an outbreak," Bush said. "I'm just suggesting to you that we'd better be thinking about it. And we are. ... We're trying to put some plans in place."


World health authorities have become increasingly alarmed about the pandemic potential of a lethal strain of avian influenza called H5N1, which has killed millions of birds and about 60 people who came into contact with them since it was first detected in Asia in 1997. Scientists have cited initial signs the virus may be mutating into a form that could spread rapidly from human to human and possibly trigger a pandemic.


Bush said his concern was heightened when he recently read The Great Influenza, a book by John M. Barry, who described the devastation of the 1918 pandemic and mistakes made by federal, state and local authorities in the United States that worsened its impact.


Asked about avian flu during a White House news conference, Bush said the potential risk of an outbreak is great enough to justify a more aggressive preparedness campaign.


Bush said one option would be to deploy the U.S. military to provide the kind of rapid command and control measures needed during a pandemic. He asked Congress to consider the need for legislation to expand the federal role.


Doing so would require changing laws that restrict the role of active-duty troops in domestic emergencies, a possibility raised in response to the government's problematic response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


Some military officials have expressed skepticism about assuming more responsibility in such situations, and some lawmakers have voiced concern about the diminished authority of state officials and the National Guard units they control.




queen creek cops frame man for murder. but justice is served when video tapes surface showing the man acted in self defense.


Man to go free; police call killing self-defense


Josh Kelley

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


A video recording has revealed that the man accused of killing 20-year-old Ramon Munguia Ramon early Sunday morning east of Queen Creek was acting in self-defense, police said Tuesday.


Vladimir E. Lizarraga,18, who has already been indicted in the slaying of Ramon, was to be freed from jail as soon as a court order could be obtained for his release, Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mike Minter said late Tuesday afternoon.


Ramon, who was a grounds-maintenance worker for the town of Queen Creek, died after being stabbed in the left side of his chest while in the parking lot of a Chevron gas station, according to a Sheriff's Office report.


The station is at Ironwood and Ocotillo roadsin Pinal County just outside Queen Creek.


The stabbing occurred during a dispute in which about 12 people were reportedly fighting around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday before fleeing, the report said.


A camera at the station recorded the altercation and showed that Lizarraga was acting in self-defense, Minter said.




Officer reports more abuses by troops in Iraq to McCain


New York Times

Oct. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - An Army officer who has reported new allegations of detainee abuse in Iraq met Tuesday with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and staff aides on the House Armed Services Committee and gave them additional accounts of abuse in Iraq that other soldiers had sent him in recent days, congressional aides said.


Capt. Ian Fishback later declined to describe the new information.


Fishback said that since he and two other former members of the 82nd Airborne Division last month accused soldiers in their battalion in Iraq of routinely beating and abusing prisoners in 2003 and 2004, several other soldiers had contacted him and asked him to relay to lawmakers their own experiences.


McCain, an Arizona Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said nothing in a statement about any new reports of abuse, saying only, "I'm even more impressed by what a fine and honorable officer he is."


A senior House aide who met with Fishback said the officer read a letter from a sergeant describing detainee abuse in Iraq and allowed House staff members to read the document before taking it back. The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to give details of the abuse.


In separate statements, Fishback and two sergeants recounted how members of the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry, had repeatedly beaten Iraqi prisoners, exposed them to extremes of hot and cold, and stacked them in human pyramids at Camp Mercury, a forward operating base near Fallujah.


The abuses reportedly took place before and during the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.




Voting woes

Make sure your ID fits Prop. 200 rules before you go to the polls


Oct. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


Arizona voters: Clip and save this memo. Consult it before every election from now on.


Two nuggets of advice:


ē When you go to vote, take your Arizona driver's license or valid photo ID with you. Make sure the address is the same one listed on your voter registration. If not, bring two other forms of identification, with your correct address: Utility bills, bank statements, insurance cards. Better yet . . .


ē Vote by mail and avoid the hassle. And preserve your electoral franchise.


Because there's a sea change coming in election-day procedures in Arizona.


In a matter of days, state officials expect a go-ahead from the U.S. Department of Justice for the compromise plan to carry out voting provisions of Proposition 200.


Truth be told, most Arizonans should be able to adjust to the new rules. Most of us routinely carry sufficient ID to sign a check and do other business. We just have to remember to bring them when we vote, something we've never had to do before.


For others among us, however, the new provisions will create inconveniences and even hardships in exercising our right to vote. Too few people understood this last year when they opted for Proposition 200.


For example, many senior citizens allow their driver's licenses to expire. Recently married women often change their name. And divorced women often drop their married name. Nursing home residents may be registered at their family home address. The same applies to college students. In Arizona, Native Americans' tribal IDs will often list a post office box, not a street address.


All these special populations will encounter specific problems that are only now beginning to surface. Some knowledgeable and experienced county election officials are predicting an election-day calamity. They fear thousands of citizens will be turned away or disenfranchised.


We don't think this was the intent of Proposition 200.


But ordinary citizens, many who have been voting for decades, have no tradition or experience under the new rules. Some confusion is inevitable. We've already seen evidence of this. About 40 percent of the voter registration applications this year have been sent back for lack of proper ID. As of last week, 22,805 voter-registration applications have been submitted to the Maricopa County elections office. Of these, 9,126 were returned for proof of ID.


That's democracy delayed, impeded or denied.


Proposition 200 passed, in part, to prevent non-citizens from voting. Unfortunately, Proposition 200 - at least, Secretary of State Jan Brewer's strict interpretation of it - is making it more cumbersome and difficult for legal citizens to register and vote.




making a big deal about nothing!! plus a jobs program for over paid government goons. when i was in high school mercury was legal. it was cool stuff and we often stuck our fingers in it. i had a bottle of mercury about as big as a roll of nickles which was in a container like prescription drugs are given out in. i suspect that if i had the same container of mercury today i would be jailed for having a dangerous chemical. i remember we would plate coins with mercury. i dont remember exactly what we would do but you† could turn a brown copper penny into a shiny coin that looked like a dime by covering it with mercury.


Students playing with thermometer blamed for mercury spill


J.J. Hensley

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 4, 2005 02:40 PM


Mesa High School students playing with mercury spilled the poisonous element in a classroom Tuesday, prompting a response from East Valley fire departments.


Firefighters followed decontamination procedures with 40 to 45 students in a school courtyard, washing them down with soap and water as a precaution, said Deputy Chief Mary Cameli of the Mesa Fire Department. No injuries were reported and the threat was not considered serious.


"We're talking very, very small amounts here," she said.


The incident occurred at 12:30 p.m. at the central Mesa school, at 1630 E. Southern Ave. Officials said two students first brought the mercury to school on Friday after breaking a thermometer at home. They brought it back Tuesday and accidentally dropped it on a classroom floor. That was the first time a teacher realized the silvery substance was present.


Students from three different classes were evacuated for decontamination, Cameli said. Firefighters from Mesa, Tempe and Chandler responded to the spill. The school remained open for classes.


The school principal will investigate and make any disciplinary recommendations.




tuscon government nannies seem to think you need a government issued photo id to do anything execpt breath. im probably wrong on that and they will require a government issued photo id to breath anywhere out side the pima county jail.


City seeks way to monitor meth-ingredient buyers


By Sarah Garrecht Gassen



Tucson shouldn't wait for the state to create a way for retailers and law enforcement to keep track of people who purchase products with pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in making methamphetamine, the City Council said Tuesday.


But just how to track them, how much it would cost and who would pay for it are still being hashed out by city staffers. The council unanimously asked to receive a progress report in two weeks.


The council also unanimously decided to vote on a new anti-meth ordinance at its Oct. 18 meeting. It would require retailers to put all products containing pseudoephedrine, a common active ingredient in over-the-counter cold medicines, behind the counter or keep them locked away.


Council members expressed urgency about creating a way for retailers to electronically record the identification of people buying the meth ingredient as a tool for law enforcement.


"We're moving forward as quickly as possible on what we can do quickly," said City Manager Mike Hein.


On another issue, the council agreed to allow staffers 30 days to bring back an ordinance that would require scrap metal and junk dealers to ask for identification and record transactions, similar to what pawnshops do now.


The proposed Tucson meth ordinance is similar to one Phoenix passed and is stricter than a state law that goes into effect Oct. 31, but it does not require a sales registry or the restriction of any product with pseudoephedrine.


But the state law also includes a provision to keep cities and towns from passing ordinances that are more restrictive. Phoenix and Cottonwood have defied the new law, and Tucson is poised to follow suit.


Tucson Councilwoman Kathleen Dunbar made the motion to move the proposed ordinance on to an official vote in two weeks.


She made a brief mention during the council meeting of her request to help raise $3,000 so the regional Meth Free Alliance Law Enforcement Task Force can buy age-progression software to show people what they'd look like in six months or a year using meth.


Karen Uhlich, a Democrat running against Dunbar in the Ward 3 general election Nov. 8, held a press conference outside City Hall. She said something like the age-progression program needs to be part of a larger plan.


&#9679; Contact reporter Sarah Garrecht Gassen at 573-4240 or




Victim's kin: DUI killer has an 'in' with city cops


By Alexis Huicochea



Tucson police are reviewing their handling of a fatal crash after a family's complaint that the suspected drunken driver may have received preferential treatment because he's the brother of a retired officer.


Court records show the July 14 crash was the second DUI incident in nine months for Douglas Scott Perrin. He has not been charged in the crash that resulted in the death of Charles Darnell Parker.


Parker's family said, and police reports show, that Perrin was not booked into jail the night of the crash and was released to a family member after being cited on charges of DUI and causing a crash.


Parker's family believes Perrin, 38, is getting preferential treatment because his brother, Gregory Perrin, is a recently retired and decorated Tucson police officer injured in a hit-and-run crash on duty in 2004.


"All I want is justice for my brother," said Anita Erhardt in a phone interview from her Florida home. "I haven't stopped crying. Charlie didn't die of natural causes. His life was taken."


The family has complained to police about how the incident was handled by officers, which has resulted in an internal-affairs review, said Lt. James McShea, commander of the office of internal affairs.


Parker, 61, was stopped at a red light on the Southeast Side when his car was struck from behind by a car driven by Perrin, according to police reports. Parker suffered a broken neck and died three weeks later.


"Other drunk drivers in similar situations have been arrested and put in jail immediately," Erhardt said.


Tucson police traffic Sgt. Tim Beam said there was no preferential treatment.


"I can understand the family's perception, but how the case is being handled has nothing to do with the fact that the arrestee is a retired officer's brother," he said.


Beam said he did not know if the officers who handled the crash even knew that Perrin was related to a police officer.


Douglas Perrin and his attorney, Anna Dennis, would not comment for this story.


Gregory Perrin also would not comment. He released a statement to the Star that said his connection to the department should not influence any decisions in his brother's case.


"My family and I are very sorry for the Parker family's loss," he wrote. "I am confident the Tucson Police Department and the Pima County Attorney's Office will make a fair decision regarding Doug's involvement in this tragedy. I have not and will not exert any personal influence in that process."


Police have concluded their probe and have sent the case to the Attorney's Office, which is responsible for bringing charges, Beam said.


Breath test result is 0.169


In the previous DUI incident, Perrin was stopped last October near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base by a Pima County sheriff's deputy who said he saw him swerving in traffic, according to a Sheriff's Department report.


His 16-year-old daughter and another girl were in the pickup with him. No one was hurt.


Perrin was given a breath test, which gave a reading of 0.169 percent - more than twice the state's legal limit, according to court records.


He was cited on charges of DUI, extreme DUI, DUI with blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or above and unsafe lane change. Perrin was released to his wife.


Perrin pleaded guilty to the DUI charge, and the other charges were dismissed. He spent one night in jail; was placed on a year of unsupervised probation; ordered to pay $975 in fines; get alcohol treatment; and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim-impact panel, a two-hour course on the consequences of drinking and driving.


Nine months later, Perrin's and Parker's lives collided at a Southeast Side intersection.


"Minding his own business"


"Charlie was on his way to the grocery store, sitting at a red light, minding his own business," Erhardt said.


Perrin was traveling at 40 mph, the posted speed limit, when he struck Parker's car on South Kolb Road near East Stella Road about 4:45 p.m., according to Tucson police reports.


When police arrived, Parker was unconscious and Perrin was gone, police reports state.


A witness told the responding officer that Perrin drove his car about a block away. Officer Michael Ryan found Perrin in his car, backed into a cul de sac.


"He told me he was the driver of the car and he hit the car in front of him," Ryan wrote. "He said he was not trying to leave the scene, but 'This is where I ended up.' "


The results of Perrin's breath tests were 0.125 percent and 0.123 percent. In Arizona, 0.08 percent and higher is considered intoxicated.


Perrin was cited on charges of DUI, DUI with blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or above and failure to reduce or control speed to avoid an accident. He was released that night to another brother, David Perrin.


Parker was taken to University Medical Center. He died of complications of a broken neck, according to an autopsy report.


Perrin was scheduled to go to court July 26 on the charges related to the Parker crash. But that was canceled when the charges were dismissed and the case was referred to the Pima County attorney, who will pursue more serious charges, records from Tucson City Court state.


The County Attorney's Office does not comment on pending cases, said spokeswoman Marcia Nugent. As of Friday, no charges had been filed.


Tucsonan since 1969


Parker lived in Tucson since 1969, when he moved here to be closer to his brother, William Parker. He worked in collections and repossession businesses, William Parker said.


Charles Parker left an adult son, Alex, Erhardt said.


After his death, Parker's siblings learned about hobbies that Parker had picked up to be closer to his son, including hunting. "Alex said that they had gone hunting twice," William Parker said. "We like to joke that the deer were pretty safe on those days."


To this day, Erhardt often calls the Tucson home of her "precious baby brother," simply to hear Charles Parker's voice on the answering machine.


Circumstances dictate jailing


Whether a person who has been drinking and driving will be cited and released or booked into jail depends on the circumstances, Beam said.


When there is a crash in which a person is intoxicated or someone is seriously injured, traffic detectives will be called out and could book a person into jail on aggravated-assault charges, Beam said.


In Perrin's case, traffic detectives were not called out because paramedics said Parker's injuries were not life-threatening, Beam said. The Tucson Fire Department would not release reports on this incident, citing medical privacy laws.


There were three officers who worked the crash, Beam said.


New crash, different result


A similar crash that occurred about a month after the one involving Perrin and Parker has progressed in a different manner for the driver police suspect was drunk.


On Aug. 24, police said Julie Ann Lagergren was driving a Volvo station wagon south on Country Club Road near East Arroyo Chico when she crashed into a northbound Kia.


The driver of the Kia suffered minor injuries, according to a police report. But the passenger, Evan Zarate, 22, died a week later.


Lagergren's blood-alcohol content was 0.241 percent. She was booked into jail on the day of the crash on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal damage.


Eight days after Zarate's death, Tucson police announced that Lagergren, 34, would be charged with second-degree murder. Court records do not show any previous DUI convictions for Lagergren.


Still waiting for answers two months after his death, Parker's family has remained in contact with Tucson police.


"My brother was most loving," Erhardt said. "We are in distress about this. Doug Perrin should be in jail. What do they want him to do? Go out and hit another person? Devastate another family like he has ours? We will fight this to the end."


&#9679; Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at 629-9412 or




Three inmates escape from Tent City Jail

Associated Press

October 5, 2005


PHOENIX - Three inmates jumped a fence and escaped from the Tent City jail complex here Tuesday night, authorities said.


The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office identified the escapees as Michael Williams, 20, David Thomas, 18, and Chad Merrill, 19.


The three were in jail for probation violations, according to sheriff's spokesman Travis Anglin.


He said the inmates escaped about 6 p.m. by climbing over a barbed wire fence and authorities were investigating how the inmates were able to do that.




Oct. 6, 2005

Inmate kills self in state prison in Tucson



Tucson Citizen


An inmate from Maricopa County killed himself Monday in the Tucson prison, officials say.

Devin F. Southers, 46, was serving a 3 1/2-year sentence for a weapons violation, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections' Web site. His sentence would have expired in December 2008.


Because of the ongoing investigation, DOC spokesman Bob Huhn could not say how Southers killed himself or whether he was on a suicide watch.


DOC's Web site says Southers was convicted for a February offense and entered the prison system in June.




Bennett Samuel Kalafut wrote:


>While it rightly bothers us

>that having a government ID is mandatory for air travel

To pick up on Mike's point, government photo I.D. is indeed NOT

mandatory for air travel. Mike's experience is more recent than mine


I've also successfully flown without government I.D. I was hassled by

Alaska Airlines while doing so. They even called out three jack-booted

thugs fully equipped and attired in the latest paramilitary fashion to

keep an eye on me but I made my flight on time.


To make a long story short:


* I showed up at the terminal early to make sure I'd have time to deal

with the inevitable hassle.

* They requested photo ID

* I told them I didn't have any.

* They said I couldn't fly.

* I informed them they would be in breach of their contract with me if they refused to allow me to board.

* They said federal law prohibited flying without approved government photo I.D.

* I asked for a copy of the law.

* They provided me with a copy of a security directive.

* I read them the opportune phrase from the directive - 'all airline carriers are required to request a form of government issued photo ID from passengers'.

* I pointed out the difference between 'require' and 'request' and


them if they still wanted to violate their end of the contract. * They said they'd have to get approval from a manager before allowing me to board but none were available since it was really early in the morning. * I said this would be a good time to call and wake someone up then. * They said we'll see what we can do. * I waited around for about 20 minutes under the watchful eye of 3 JBT's before the rep returned and indicated she was sorry for my delay and please let us escort you to your flight (which I made with about 5 minutes to spare).


Prior to the flight, I had done a little research and came across a FAQ from the FAA's Civil Aviation Security division. The first two questions on the FAQ read as follows:


"Q. Do I have to have a photo ID to fly?"


"A. The FAA does not prohibit the airline from transporting any passenger who does not present a photo ID. Airlines have available to them alternate procedures that allow them to transport passengers without ID. However, some airlines choose not to use such procedures, which is their perogative."


"Q. Why didn't the airline ask for my ID?"


"A. The FAA does not require all passengers to present ID. The FAA requires that airlines apply additional security measures to passengers who are unable to produce ID upon request."† Since the FAA FAQ is no longer available online, I've posted a copy of it to my website at:




Right from the horse's mouth - no ID is required to fly. TSA didn't exist when this FAQ was originally posted but the bottom line hasn't changed. Airlines are required to request photo ID but there is not requirement to have photo ID in order to fly.


If you want to read more on this issue, you can view John Gilmore's website highlighting his ongoing lawsuit at:




John's been attempting to force the government to produce copies of these "secret" security directives in court for several years now. The government continues to refuse under the auspices that releasing the directives that prove there is no photo ID requirement to fly would jeapordize national security (yes - the Alaska Airlines rep didn't realize she wasn't supposed to show me the directive and I wasn't smart enough to hold onto the copy she produced for me).


>and that the

>SSN has become the almost universal identifier for government and

>private sector bureaucrats,

This is only the case because so many people buy into the myth that SSN's are mandatory and so few people are willing to question the underlying assumptions or act upon their knowledge.


>the notion that we can somehow opt out

>of taxes or could've been opted out by our parents is at best a

>distraction from the way to liberty (namely, *changing the law*) and

>at worst, spreads misinfomation that could get good people fined or


Let's face it. There's a lot of misinformation that gets spread around these days. For instance - the assumption that government issued photo ID is required in order to fly....


How would "changing the law" in this case lead the way to liberty when there's no law requiring photo ID to fly?


How would "changing the law" with regards to SSN requirements lead the way to liberty when there's no law that requires a SSN to live and work in the United States?


How would changing any law lead the way to liberty when individuals aren't willing to do what's necessary to hold government actors accountable to those laws?


And finally, if you were mistaken about the requirements surrounding SSN's and flying given that they are common misconceptions in today's society, is it possible that you're mistaken about certain aspects of the income tax as well or have you thoroughly studied all 54,00 pages of internal revenue laws and regulations and convinced yourself that the masses are correct....



"Power is not justice, force is not law"




Inmate on loose after Tent City jailbreak

2 captured; officials fix 'design flaw'


Judi Villa

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


Three inmates escaped from Maricopa County's Tent City Jail compound by shimmying up a small portion of the fencing that was not electrified, officials said Wednesday.


It took them only 24 seconds.


"It's a design flaw," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "A little flaw, but they latched on to it."


Two of the inmates, Chad Merrill, 19, and David F. Thomas, 18, were captured Wednesday morning in central Phoenix. Michael L. Williams, 20, remains on the loose.


The inmates escaped during chow time Tuesday from a corner of the Tent City yard where an interior fence surrounding a watchtower joins the exterior electrified fence, Arpaio said.


He said the inmates climbed the interior fence, then walked across a pole at the top that does not carry electricity. Once at the top, they apparently got their footing on another pole between two electrified fences and dropped about 15 feet to freedom. The escape was captured on videotape.


On Wednesday, officials added coils of barbed wire to the corner to prevent escapes.


Arpaio said a pilot program, which was in the works before the escape, could put wrist monitors on Tent City inmates.


"We learn by our problems," Arpaio said. "We correct our deficiencies if there are any."


Meanwhile, Merrill and Thomas were arrested by Phoenix police Wednesday morning in a grocery store parking lot at Seventh Street and McDowell Road. Officers set up surveillance after they received a tip that the men would be there, said police Detective Tony Morales.


Merrill and Thomas arrived in separate stolen vehicles. A woman driving a third stolen vehicle also was arrested.


Police are investigating to see if the three inmates were involved in a carjacking shortly after the jail escape.


It was unclear Wednesday if the three had any help escaping. Arpaio said he didn't believe other inmates were involved. He also said Williams and Merrill previously had served time at Tent City and might have been "studying that design flaw."


"They took advantage of that," Arpaio said.


All three inmates were serving sentences of three to six months for bad checks and parole violations. At least one was expected to be released in early December. All could now have one to five years added to their sentence for the escape, Arpaio said.


Nearly 2,000 inmates are housed in tents. The electric fence carries a 50,000-volt jolt and was installed in August 2003. Tuesday night's escape was the first at the compound since the fence was installed.


Inmate Gary Eakin, who is serving seven months in the tents for a probation violation, said he was surprised to hear of the escapes.


"I've never even heard anybody even talking about something like that," Eakin said, adding he wouldn't think to try it. "I'm 59 years old. There's no way I could climb it. Even if you get up top, you'd have to get down."




Flagstaff declare war on homeless people!


City bans sleeping in car while on public street


FLAGSTAFF - Sleeping in a car parked on a public street is now illegal in Flagstaff.


The ban, approved by the City Council in a 4-3 vote Tuesday, is intended to stop homeless people from camping out on public property anywhere inside city limits.


Supporters said police need the new ordinance to combat vagrancy, while opponents think it's too broad and could make being homeless a crime.


"The net we are casting is so wide, it brings in a group of people who should not be here. It casts a net over those poor working families," said Councilman Art Babbott, who opposed the change.




J. Edgar Arpaio

Sheriff Joe's fashioning himself after the late FBI director, only (we think) without the women's underwear


By John Dougherty


Published: Thursday, October 6, 2005


An Elvis impersonator with Joe at his roast. The real Presley toured FBI headquarters in 1970, but Arpaio's mentor, Hoover, wouldn't meet with the King.


I really wanted to see Joe Arpaio get roasted on October 1, during an event to raise money for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's animal posse.

I called the MCSO and asked how to buy tickets for the shindig. A posse man who identified himself only as Commander Tom told me to show up at WestWorld in Scottsdale with $100 and that I would be "more than welcome." The posse was expecting 500 guests and hoped to raise $100,000. Everything went well until he asked my name.


"John Dougherty," I said.


"Are you the guy from New Times?" he asked.


"Yeah," I replied.


"I'll have to call you back in a minute," the posse man said.


Half an hour later, Commander Tom left me a voice message: "This is a private party, and they want to pass on you coming or for anybody from New Times [coming]," he said politely, and somewhat regretfully.


This isn't the first time Arpaio's banned New Times from an event. While others in the news media were given the red carpet, he refused to allow me to attend the July 2004 pre-election Tent City concert featuring his lackey Glen Campbell (who owed Arpaio for allowing him to avoid incarceration in a tent following his drunk-driving conviction).


Last September, Arpaio ordered his thugs to force me out the door of the Phoenix Civic Center on the night of the 2004 primary election because I dared to ask him a question.


"Get this guy out of here," he said, as I approached with tape recorder in hand.


Last winter, Arpaio's goons refused me entry to the gala inauguration for his fourth term; deputies turned me away at the door of the publicly owned sheriff's training facility.


All three of the events were covered by more than a dozen local newspapers and radio and television stations who spend more time blowing the sheriff in print and during broadcasts than seriously covering his $400-million-a-year operation.


For a guy who calls himself the "toughest sheriff in America," Arpaio's terrified about coming into contact with anyone other than his staunchest supporters. Fashioning himself as a modern-day J. Edgar Hoover, Arpaio demands complete adulation. I was about to write that Arpaio's a Hoover without the penchant for women's underwear, but his cowardice in dealing with detractors makes me believe he must be just as big a sissy as his hero.


The 73-year-old sheriff's wrath extends to more than just New Times, which has been exposing his incompetence for more than a decade. His public relations peons are now refusing to admit certain other journalists from attending his self-serving events.


For instance, Sonoran News reporter Curtis Riggs, who went to a September 23 press conference in Arpaio's 19th-floor office in the Wells Fargo Building to cover an event featuring Carefree mayor Ed Morgan and the sheriff.


Riggs had every right to be there, since his weekly paper routinely covers Carefree government. But the Sonoran News is the only other paper in the Valley that publishes serious, fair and critical coverage of the MCSO, so Riggs was deemed unworthy.


Riggs tells me he was refused entry to the news conference by one of Arpaio's top media censors -- Lieutenant Paul Chagolla.


"I'm denying you," Chagolla told Riggs twice.


Riggs said he could see about 20 other reporters and photographers in the suite's conference room. Rather than argue with Chagolla, who was surrounded by armed cops, Riggs packed up and left.


"Chagolla was awfully smug about it, and I'm sure Joe Arpaio got his kicks as soon as he heard the story," Riggs said.


Unfortunately, this is far from a laughing matter, though it's just another example of Arpaio's disdain for the constitutional rights of Arizonans.


Stoking a propaganda machine that's turned him into a worldwide celebrity is far more important to Arpaio than protecting our civil rights and deploying a competent police force that can protect the public from crime.


Few have the gall to criticize Arpaio.


After all, he's the only elected official in Maricopa County who's got a police force at his disposal to harass, arrest or incarcerate anyone he perceives to be an enemy. No one wants to end up in his filthy gulags on trumped-up charges, running the risk of getting beaten to a pulp by the jail gangs that dominate inside.


Not content to just violate the First Amendment rights of the principal newspaper covering the Carefree area, Arpaio's also intimidating the small town's government.


Last month, he bullied Carefree into announcing that it will no longer allow members of its own town council to publicly criticize the MCSO, which is under contract to provide police services to the municipality.


Last spring, several members of the Carefree council criticized the sheriff's office for its slow responses to calls for help in the community. Council members were particularly aggravated that it took 45 minutes for MCSO deputies to arrive on a burglary call after citizens reported masked men with crowbars in their yard.


Naturally, Arpaio was infuriated over the criticism, threatening publicly to cancel his office's contract with Carefree.


Don't tell anybody, but an MCSO insider whispered to me that Arpaio never really intended to eliminate the contract. He was just making an example of upstart Carefree.


The insider said Arpaio instigated the controversy knowing it would generate publicity that would further his well-groomed image as a bad ass. After slapping Carefree silly, what small-town mayor relying on the MCSO would run the risk of leaving citizens without police protection by criticizing the combative geezer in the future?


Over the summer, Carefree investigated whether it could afford to operate its own police force and concluded it would cost far more than its annual $360,000 contract with MCSO.


Carefree mayor Morgan's now trying to slither back into Arpaio's good graces, literally begging the sheriff to keep his deputies in town. Which, of course, Joe's happy to do because there's no way he would ever give up a lucrative contract to provide half-assed police services to the community.


Here's what I mean by slither. In an effort to further stroke Arpaio's fragile ego, Morgan decreed that all complaints about the sheriff's office must be relayed through Town Marshal Matthew Ecker, rather than discussed at town council meetings attended by the public and the press.


Just to make sure there's no possibility that anyone in Carefree will have the opportunity to criticize the sheriff, Morgan also eliminated the sheriff's office's monthly report on its contracted activities in town from the council's agenda.


Arpaio's living proof that the Arizona Constitution needs to be changed to make the office of county sheriff no longer an elected position.


It's dangerous to mix political power with law enforcement and the operation of jails. It's too easy for egomaniacs like Arpaio to get elected and then abuse their police powers to cower any future political opposition.


It's time to strip politics from the office of sheriff and turn over the position to a law enforcement professional who's accountable to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. I'm saying that the supes should be appointing the sheriff, something that even Arpaio pretended to favor when he was first running for office.


A monumental screw-up by the Maricopa County Elections Department will be the target of legislative hearings early next year.


State Senator Jack Harper informed me he will hold hearings about the September 2004 District 20 Republican primary recount in which 489 new votes inexplicably appeared. The sudden appearance of the additional votes changed the outcome of the election.


"I think there may be some negligence on the county's part," said Harper, who's chairman of the Government Accountability and Reform Committee.


Harper, a second-term Republican from Surprise, said he's particularly upset over the county's failure to require a representative of Elections Systems & Software, Inc. to appear in court to explain why there was such a wide variation in the total number of votes. Elections Systems' optical-scanner voting machines detected the variance between the primary and recount.


The county deliberately took steps to make sure Elections Systems employee Tina Polich wasn't served with a subpoena to appear in court to explain how the machines could've had such a wide variation in tabulating votes ("All Bark and No Bite," July 14, 2005). Although she's employed by the private company, Polich keeps an office in the elections department.


Polich's absence from a one-day hearing before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Eddward Ballinger on September 23, 2004 to certify the results of the recount allowed Elections Systems to cover up evidence that there may have been a malfunction of a voting machine during the District 20 recount.


Polich later told investigators from the County Attorney's Office "that there could have been a malfunction with the machine," which resulted in the 18.3 percent increase in the number of early ballots during the recount.


Senator Harper said the county's contract with Elections Systems requires the company to appear in court if questions arise over the performance of voting machines. He said evidence now shows that the county actually helped the firm prevent any court appearance from happening.


"There's pretty damning evidence that the county allowed ES&S not to fulfill the terms of its contract," Harper says.


I applaud Harper for stepping up the pressure on county elections officials. I hope he gets to the bottom of a mess that's undermining the public's already flagging faith that elections can be fairly and accurately conducted in this county.




hmmmm.... is this just another attempt by the city of phoenix to mix goverment and religion and allow the Catholic Church to force its views on Phoenix citizens. Or it it just another attempt for the city of Phoenix to shake down people convicted of victimless crimes for money. Men who are force to attend the program have to pay $750 for the brainwashing.


Phoenix hails success of 2 prostitution diversion programs


Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


Nearly 50 men arrested for soliciting sex in Phoenix since January got a free pass out of jail by completing a city-sponsored diversion program for johns, the only one of its kind in Arizona.


The daylong course, which includes talks with those who have been hurt by prostitution and testing to determine the men's attitudes about buying sex, costs $750. But it wipes the arrest from the offender's record in the same way defensive driving courses work with traffic tickets.


City officials are hosting a news conference today to mark Prostitution Awareness Week and to talk about the success of the Prostitution Solicitation Diversion Program and their latest efforts to crack down on street prostitution.


"There is too much street prostitution in the city. It's damaging to businesses, tourism and is an overall blight on the community," said Assistant City Attorney James Hays, who is reviewing the way the city deals with the problem and is looking for ways to make improvements.


The diversion course for men, which started this year, is designed to help raise the offenders' awareness about how prostitution contributes to community decline, said Barbara Strachan, a program coordinator for Catholic Social Service, the agency that runs the diversion class for the city prosecutor's office.


"They talk about how many people have been murdered in prostitution and the secondary crimes that affect the community," Strachan said. "They talk about the children having to watch what they're doing in parking lots, and that the people they're picking up are often the victims of sexual abuse or are minors."


The morning starts off with a risk assessment for sexually transmitted diseases and runs through information about prostitution laws and ways to control sexual addiction.


While the program for those who solicit sex is new, a more intensive program has been available to the prostitutes for eight years.


More than 700 individuals, including men, have completed the Prostitution Diversion Program, and city officials say that 74 percent of them have not been rearrested for prostitution.


Diana Glossip, 46, of Phoenix said she sold her body for years to support her crack addition and can't remember how many times she was arrested.


About four years ago, she opted for the diversion program rather than six months in jail.


"It changed my life," she said. "They helped me with my self-esteem and my drug addiction. I got back my dignity and self-worth."


She now shares her story about surviving a rape at gunpoint, living on the streets and waking up in fields hungry.


"It's demeaning to be out there," she said.


Phoenix Councilman Dave Siebert said he asked the city attorney to look at ways to reduce the street prostitution that has spread across the city.


"I think we're going to see some good results out of it," Siebert said.




you all know me as a crazy libertarian who says you should NOT pay taxes because they are stealing by the government. but if the mayor of washington dc says that taxes are stealing and doesnt pay them will you take his advice?????? finally me and old crack head mayor marion barry agree on something


IRS investigating Washington's former mayor

Marion Barry accused of not filing tax returns since 1998


Derrill Holly

Associated Press

Oct. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Former Mayor Marion Barry, who once served prison time on a drug charge, may have a new legal problem. There are reports the government is investigating whether he has filed any federal income tax returns since 1998.


Barry is not talking.


Citing unnamed sources, several local news outlets reported that Barry, 69, has been the target of an Internal Revenue Service investigation. Barry, a four-term mayor, was elected last November as the councilman representing the city's working class Ward 8.


"He will talk when his lawyer says it's OK," said Linda Greene, Barry's chief of staff.


Barry is represented by Frederick D. Cooke, Jr., who has handled other sensitive matters for him in the past, including drug possession allegations in 2002 that did not result in any charges.


Cooke declined comment.


Barry served a six-month prison sentence in 1991, stemming from a 1990 FBI sting operation in which he was videotaped in a downtown hotel room smoking crack cocaine.


Filing false income tax returns is a felony; failure to file can result in a misdemeanor charge.


According to the reports, Cooke has been negotiating a possible deal with federal prosecutors in the District of Columbia that could lead to a plea agreement without jail time. Barry would be required to file returns for the seven-year period and comply with tax laws.


A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to discuss Barry because he has not been charged.


Mayor Anthony A. Williams expressed confidence that Barry will be able to resolve the matter and continue to serve as an effective member of the city council.


"He can continue to be someone whom I look to for advice on important issues," Williams said Wednesday.


During the six years Barry was out of public office, he worked sporadically as a municipal bond consultant for a New York-based brokerage firm.


Barry earns $92,605 a year in council post.




of course it is my view that drugs should be legalized 100% and i am an atheist. but i think the church is being a hippocrite her. on one had agreeing the the government that drugs are bad but taking the money from the drug lords.


Drug cash rattles church


Lisa J. Adams

Associated Press

Oct. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


MEXICO CITY - When a Mexican bishop declared that drug traffickers often donate to the church, shock waves ran through this predominantly Roman Catholic nation - not because the news was a surprise, but because admitting it was tantamount to confessing that nothing, not even God, is sacred when it comes to organized crime in Mexico.


Provoking the uproar were Bishop Ramon Godinez's comments to reporters that donations from drug traffickers are not unusual and it's not the church's responsibility to investigate. He argued that the money is "purified" once it passes through parish doors.


"Just because the origin of the money is bad doesn't mean you have to burn it," Godinez, of the central state of Aguascalientes, said last month. "Instead, you have to transform it. . . . We live on this, on the offerings of the faithful."


Organized crime, especially drug trafficking, and the threat it poses to public safety are among Mexicans' highest concerns. And it's not just the criminals they worry about. They also distrust the public agencies responsible for tackling crime - prosecutors, police, the judicial system, politicians - all of which are perceived to be corrupt to some degree. The church, on the other hand, is still held in high esteem.


"Of all the institutions in Mexico, the church is ranked No. 1 in terms of people's confidence," said Roderic Ai Camp, an expert on Mexican religion at Claremont-McKenna College in California. It is "the one institution they find morally superior and basically honest and serving the interests of the average Mexican."


That trust holds steady even though it is common knowledge that "many towns and chapels in Mexico have been remodeled and restored thanks to the generous contributions of people who work in drug trafficking," Mexican religion expert Roberto Blancarte wrote in the Milenio newspaper.


Especially in poor, outlying rural areas, drug traffickers have taken on a kind of "Robin Hood" role, Blancarte said.


"It's not official, but it's probably fairly accepted," Camp added. "You don't want to legitimize it . . . because it's such a contradiction to the church's whole philosophy."


The Vatican had no comment on the matter Wednesday. But a Vatican official noted that the church has general principals based on the Bible which would prevent it from receiving the "fruit of an injustice."


Godinez's admission has drawn into controversy one of Mexico's most prominent, revered and criticized institutions.


For more than 300 years after the Spanish conquest of 1521, the Catholic Church was at the heart of Mexican power socially, politically and economically. Although the mid-19th-century Laws of the Reform put an end to that dominance, the country has remained, at least nominally, 90 percent Catholic.


"There are many . . . who want to scare us with the idea" that the church once again could become an all-powerful presence, said Jaime Septien Crespo, editor of the Catholic weekly newspaper Observador in the central state of Queretaro. "There is an interest in discrediting this presence, so when a minister of the church says something clumsy, he becomes an easy target."


As next year's presidential election race heats up, the scandal has been exaggerated by political parties "looking to destroy potential alliances, in this case an alliance of the National Action Party and the church," Crespo said, referring to the alleged links between President Vicente Fox's conservative party and the clergy.


The church has been accused in the past of links to drug traffickers, but the allegations have never been proven.


Camp say that while there are "numerous examples of drug traffickers donating money to the local parish . . . I don't think there has ever been any known case of collusion between any high-level Mexican religious officials and drug traffickers."of course it is my view that drugs should be legalized 100% and i am an atheist. but i think the church is being a hippocrite her. on one had agreeing the the government that drugs are bad but taking the money from the drug lords.


Drug cash rattles church


Lisa J. Adams

Associated Press

Oct. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


MEXICO CITY - When a Mexican bishop declared that drug traffickers often donate to the church, shock waves ran through this predominantly Roman Catholic nation - not because the news was a surprise, but because admitting it was tantamount to confessing that nothing, not even God, is sacred when it comes to organized crime in Mexico.


Provoking the uproar were Bishop Ramon Godinez's comments to reporters that donations from drug traffickers are not unusual and it's not the church's responsibility to investigate. He argued that the money is "purified" once it passes through parish doors.


"Just because the origin of the money is bad doesn't mean you have to burn it," Godinez, of the central state of Aguascalientes, said last month. "Instead, you have to transform it. . . . We live on this, on the offerings of the faithful."


Organized crime, especially drug trafficking, and the threat it poses to public safety are among Mexicans' highest concerns. And it's not just the criminals they worry about. They also distrust the public agencies responsible for tackling crime - prosecutors, police, the judicial system, politicians - all of which are perceived to be corrupt to some degree. The church, on the other hand, is still held in high esteem.


"Of all the institutions in Mexico, the church is ranked No. 1 in terms of people's confidence," said Roderic Ai Camp, an expert on Mexican religion at Claremont-McKenna College in California. It is "the one institution they find morally superior and basically honest and serving the interests of the average Mexican."


That trust holds steady even though it is common knowledge that "many towns and chapels in Mexico have been remodeled and restored thanks to the generous contributions of people who work in drug trafficking," Mexican religion expert Roberto Blancarte wrote in the Milenio newspaper.


Especially in poor, outlying rural areas, drug traffickers have taken on a kind of "Robin Hood" role, Blancarte said.


"It's not official, but it's probably fairly accepted," Camp added. "You don't want to legitimize it . . . because it's such a contradiction to the church's whole philosophy."


The Vatican had no comment on the matter Wednesday. But a Vatican official noted that the church has general principals based on the Bible which would prevent it from receiving the "fruit of an injustice."


Godinez's admission has drawn into controversy one of Mexico's most prominent, revered and criticized institutions.


For more than 300 years after the Spanish conquest of 1521, the Catholic Church was at the heart of Mexican power socially, politically and economically. Although the mid-19th-century Laws of the Reform put an end to that dominance, the country has remained, at least nominally, 90 percent Catholic.


"There are many . . . who want to scare us with the idea" that the church once again could become an all-powerful presence, said Jaime Septien Crespo, editor of the Catholic weekly newspaper Observador in the central state of Queretaro. "There is an interest in discrediting this presence, so when a minister of the church says something clumsy, he becomes an easy target."


As next year's presidential election race heats up, the scandal has been exaggerated by political parties "looking to destroy potential alliances, in this case an alliance of the National Action Party and the church," Crespo said, referring to the alleged links between President Vicente Fox's conservative party and the clergy.


The church has been accused in the past of links to drug traffickers, but the allegations have never been proven.


Camp say that while there are "numerous examples of drug traffickers donating money to the local parish . . . I don't think there has ever been any known case of collusion between any high-level Mexican religious officials and drug traffickers."




now wait a minute here. the usa has already signed the geneva treaty and that makes it illegal for the usa to torture prisoners of war. but we do it on a regular basis in iraq in afganistan. i suspect that if this law is passed it will just be one more law that the military disobeys.


Senate defies Bush, opposes cruelty to detainees


Liz Sidoti

Associated Press

Oct. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to impose restrictions on the treatment of terrorism suspects, delivering a rare wartime rebuke to President Bush.


Defying the White House, senators voted 90-9 to approve an amendment that would prohibit the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in U.S. government custody, regardless of where they are held.


The amendment was added to a $440 billion military spending bill for the budget year that began Oct. 1.


The proposal, sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., also requires all service members to follow procedures in the Army Field Manual when they detain and interrogate terrorism suspects.


Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., joined McCain in voting for the measure.


Bush administration officials say the legislation would limit the president's authority and flexibility in war.


But lawmakers from each party have said Congress must provide U.S. troops with clear standards for detaining, interrogating and prosecuting terrorism suspects in light of allegations of mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay and the abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.


"We demanded intelligence without ever clearly telling our troops what was permitted and what was forbidden. And when things went wrong, we blamed them and we punished them," said McCain, R-Ariz., a prisoner of war in Vietnam.


"Our troops are not served by ambiguity. They are crying out for clarity and Congress cannot shrink from this duty."


The Senate was expected to vote on the overall spending bill by week's end. The House-approved version of it does not include the detainee provisions.


It is unclear how much support the measure has in the GOP-run House.


However, Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, is supporting McCain's legislation.


Murtha could prove a powerful ally when House and Senate negotiators meet to reconcile differences in their bills.


The White House has said Bush advisers would recommend the president veto the entire bill over the legislation. But a veto is considered highly unlikely given that Bush has never used that power.


Also, scrapping a measure that provides money for pay raises, benefits, equipment and weapons for troops while the country is fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would open the president to criticism.


The confrontation by members of the president's own party shows how reluctant some lawmakers are to give him unchecked wartime power as the conflict in Iraq drags on and U.S. casualties mount.


It also comes as the president seeks to show strength after weeks in which his approval rating plummeted, with Americans questioning the direction of the war, the sluggish federal response to Hurricane Katrina and the upsurge in gas prices.


Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said he is concerned that McCain's legislation could inadvertently endanger the lives of people who work in classified roles.


Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said the legislation is unnecessary. "We do not have a system of systematic abuse of prisoners going on by our United States military," he said.




if they tell the cops to reduce their patrols by 10 percent then i suspect the patrols dont reduce crime and could be eliminated.


Strapped DPS to save on gasoline

Higher fuel prices spur cuts in patrols


Senta Scarborough

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


Arizona Department of Public Safety officers will cut the number of miles they patrol on the highway in the face of skyrocketing gas prices that could cost the agency an extra $2 million this year.


Officers have been ordered to cut their driving by 10 percent a month and conduct stationary enforcements using radar guns on freeway ramps, medians or overpasses instead of patrolling. Officers also will write reports on the road instead of returning to the office, carpool to meetings and training, and look for bargain gas prices when refueling.


"It was unforeseen," DPS spokesman Officer Frank Valenzuela said. "It's exceeded more than we could have imagined."


DPS Director Roger Vanderpool ordered the changes Sept. 23 to offset the "tremendous negative impact" of high fuel prices.


Valenzuela said that the changes at the DPS could have a "slightly negative" impact on enforcement but that it's hard to gauge.


"(Patrolling) is more visible to the public, and they are more apt to observe the traffic laws," he said. "We are still going to be out, and the officers, when needed, will do whatever to get the job done." Highway Patrol officers drive about 20,000 miles per year.


The DPS isn't alone in the struggle against high fuel costs.


Loretta Barkell, financial officer for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, said fuel costs will double this year over 2004, to about $250,000.


"If prices keep going as high as they are, I don't know how we're going to keep absorbing it with the appropriation given to us by the county," she said.


Deputies patrol about 7,700 unincorporated square miles in the county and sometimes face 30-mile drives to a single call. The agency averages about 700,000 to 900,000 miles a month, or about 11 million miles driven each year.


"We haven't asked them to cut back. Not yet, anyway," Barkell said. "I don't know how we could do our job and cut back."


Phoenix police officials said officers have been advised not to make unnecessary trips, but no significant changes have been ordered.


Sgt. Lynn Ideus, president of the Grand Canyon State Fraternal Order of Police, which represents all DPS employees, said he doesn't expect the cutbacks to hurt public safety.


"They will respond to each and every call," he said. "Those will not be limited."


The DPS budgeted $2.2 million for fuel this year and could spend an extra $2 million to $2.9 million. Vanderpool said if the department reaches its cost-saving goal, it could reduce that by about $500,000. The agency also plans to ask the Legislature and the Governor's Office to help cover the rising costs.


The crisis, brought on by Hurricane Katrina, isn't the first time the DPS has faced dramatic fuel conservation.


In the early 1980s, officers were restricted to 100 miles a day in the face of a gas shortage, Valenzuela said.


DPS Comptroller Phil Case said that last year the department incurred a $1.3 million shortfall due to gas shortages. But this fiscal year's fuel budget deficit could double.


"We didn't expect it would go as high as it did," Case said. "The desire is to make smart choices and do some more stationary patrols rather than rolling patrols."


The department hopes to increase staff this year but may face not filling positions depending on how high fuel prices rise and how long they last, he said.




Mexican bishop admits church gets drug money




MEXICO CITY - When a Mexican bishop declared that drug traffickers often donate to the church, shock waves ran through this predominantly Roman Catholic nation - not because the news was a surprise, but because admitting it was tantamount to confessing that nothing, not even God, is sacred when it comes to organized crime in Mexico.


Provoking the uproar were Bishop Ramon Godinez's comments to reporters that donations from drug traffickers are not unusual and it's not the church's responsibility to investigate. He argued that the money is "purified" once it passes through parish doors.


"Just because the origin of the money is bad doesn't mean you have to burn it," Godinez, of the central state of Aguascalientes, said last month. "Instead, you have to transform it. Ö We live on this, on the offerings of the faithful."


Organized crime, especially drug trafficking, and the threat it poses to public safety are among Mexicans' highest concerns. It's not just the criminals they worry about. They also distrust the public agencies responsible for tackling crime - prosecutors, police, the judicial system, politicians - all of which are perceived to be corrupt to some degree.


Church trusted, valued


The church, on the other hand, is still held in high esteem.


"Of all the institutions in Mexico, the church is ranked No. 1 in terms of people's confidence," said Roderic Ai Camp, an expert on Mexican religion at Claremont-McKenna College in California. It is "the one institution they find morally superior and basically honest and serving the interests of the average Mexican."


That trust holds steady even though it is common knowledge that "many towns and chapels in Mexico have been remodeled and restored thanks to the generous contributions of people who work in drug trafficking," Mexican religion expert Roberto Blancarte wrote in the Milenio newspaper.


Especially in poor, outlying rural areas, drug traffickers have taken on a kind of "Robin Hood" role, Blancarte said.


"It's not official, but it's probably fairly accepted," Camp added. "You don't want to legitimize it Ö because it's such a contradiction to the church's whole philosophy. People are looking to the church for moral leadership."


The Vatican had no comment on the matter Wednesday. But a Vatican official noted that the church has general principals based on the Bible that prevent it from receiving the "fruit of an injustice."


Godinez's admission has drawn into controversy one of Mexico's most prominent, revered - and criticized - institutions.


Nation is 90% Catholic


For more than 300 years after the Spanish conquest of 1521, the Catholic Church was at the heart of Mexican power socially, politically and economically. Although the mid-19th-century Laws of the Reform put an end to that dominance, the country has remained - at least nominally - 90 percent Catholic.


"There are many Ö who want to scare us with the idea" that the church once again could become an all-powerful presence, said Jaime Septien Crespo, editor of the Catholic weekly newspaper Observador in the central state of Queretaro. "There is an interest in discrediting this presence, so when a minister of the church says something clumsy, he becomes an easy target."


The scandal has been exaggerated by political parties "looking to destroy potential alliances, in this case an alliance of the National Action Party and the church," Crespo said, referring to the alleged links between President Vicente Fox's conservative party and the clergy.




Inmate hits guard, is sent to another prison, officials say


By Becky Pallack



A convicted robber who was being held at the state prison in Tucson has been moved to a maximum-security prison for punching a corrections officer, possibly fracturing his skull.


The incident, which occurred Friday in the Cimarron unit at 10000 S. Wilmot Road, was the 10th assault on a corrections officer at the Tucson complex in the past year, said Bart Graves, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Corrections.


Officials said Rodolfo Carranza Valencia Jr., 35, who is serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery out of Pima County, refused to get in his cell for a routine inmate count, Graves said. Valencia, the cell-block barber, wanted to retrieve his tools before the lockdown, but a corrections officer told him to wait. Valencia punched the officer in the eye and was detained by other officers, Graves said.


The officer was treated and released that day from St. Mary's Hospital, Graves said. He is on medical leave for treatment of a possible hairline skull fracture.


Valencia was taken to the Eyman prison complex in Florence, the most secure prison in the state, Graves said.


The assault is under investigation and will be presented to a prosecutor for new charges against Valencia.


&#9679; Contact reporter Becky Pallack at 629-9412 or




but janet supports the police state and tells them NOT to cut back on useless patroling


Napolitano orders DPS to rescind patrol cut

Associated Press

October 6, 2005

PHOENIX - Saying she should have been consulted, Gov. Janet Napolitano on Thursday ordered the state Department of Public Safety to rescind an order that Highway Patrol driving be reduced because of high gasoline prices.


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DPS officials had said Highway Patrol officers would be traveling fewer miles, partly by writing reports while on the road instead of returning to DPS offices and by increased use of radar speed guns to apprehend speeders.


However, Napolitano said Thursday in a memo to DPS Director Roger Vanderpool that reducing the Highway Patrol's presence on Arizona highways should be a last resort and not undertaken without a thorough review, including consultation with her office.


Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer says Vanderpool's order, first reported Thursday by The Arizona Republic in a front-page story, was a surprise to the governor and her staff. L'Ecuyer said Napolitano still has confidence in Vanderpool.




from this article in the flagstaff newspaper the rulers of the city of flagstaff have clearly declared war on the homeless.


City camping ban aims for discretion



Sun Staff Reporter



The new city camping ban will take effect Nov. 3, prohibiting people from sleeping in a public right of way, or on public property, when it appears they're doing so for living accommodations.


But the new law may leave much room for interpretation by the Flagstaff police officers, said opponents.


Passed 4-3 by the Flagstaff City Council Tuesday, a big concern from opponents is the lack of clarity and room for discretion it gives police officers when addressing campers.


Wording that states a violation is "in light of all the circumstances, that the participants, in conducting such activities, are in fact using the area for living accommodation purposes" is subjective, said Councilman Al White, who opposed the new law.


White had several amendments to help clarify the ordinance and eliminate some of the police discretion, but they were rejected along the same voting lines that approved the law.


White's amendments eliminated the term "sleeping activities" from the definition and permitted people to use a vehicle for sleeping in emergency situations or when someone pulls off the interstate for a few hours rest.


"It becomes confusing and vague," he said of the language.


Councilman Joe Haughey, who voted for the law, said this ordinance "goes to common sense" in determining the spirit of the law from the letter of the law.


Haughey said he trusts the police force to go by the spirit of the law.


Officer Milt Cruver, who spoke to the council about the ordinance before the vote, said the law is a tool for public safety, and "the first thing that every officer in this department will do is try to assist them."


"As a very last result we could use this as a tool to place them into a safe house. That is the jail," he said.


But there is no procedure specified in the ordinance for determining who should be assisted and who should be arrested. A violation is a Class I misdemeanor, punishable by up to $2,500 and six months is jail.


The only police limitations written into the ordinance are "no person shall be arrested for a violation of this ordinance unless the person continues to engage in such conduct after warning."


That means the person is literally taken into custody, said Ron Kanwischer, assistant city attorney. "On first offense, that person would have to be cited and released, or warned," he said.


And if the person was cited, it would rarely be at the maximum level, he added.


"Most of the time, you'd be looking at $100. We typically convert that to $5 an hour in community service," he said. "It would be extremely unlikely that anyone would ever get a $2,500 fine for this."


Assistant City Attorney James Speed, who drafted the ordinance, said there's a system of checks and balances, in that each charge goes through three levels to determine its validity: The police at the scene, the city attorney's office and the judge.


Regardless of the discretion given to officers, Cruver told the council the law is for safety, not increased police authority.


"It's not just going out with the hammer and saying, 'You're going to jail,'" he said. "We have absolutely nothing that will help us protect our citizens and the citizens on the street. We've had sexual assaults. We've had homicides. We've had robberies on these individuals."


Rachel Peterson can be reached at or 556-2253.




tempe may spend $15 million for police radios


Police may join radio link


Sarah Muench

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


Tempe emergency responders soon may communicate more easily with those in other Valley communities, enhancing response to major emergencies in the city.


A $5.5 million federal grant for a digital radio system awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice would bring Tempe police, federal officials and possibly the city's Fire Department under an emergency communications umbrella with agencies outside of Tempe.


With the current system, to talk to other police departments Tempe police have to use cellphones or contact dispatchers, who then send everyone to the same channel, said Tempe police administrator Brenda Buren, who helped write the grant application.


The new 800 MHz radios will allow for instant and direct contact, known among public-safety agencies as interoperability.


"Right now if our officers go to Phoenix, our radios won't work," Buren said. "With this, they can go out to the very west Valley and talk."


Tempe city officials, though, said it could be spring before they see the money, and they'll need an additional $10 million to complete the project. Tempe government relations spokeswoman Amber Wakeman said they'd look for resources to get the system implemented.


The grant, awarded to Phoenix, allocated the $5.5 million to bring Tempe onto the existing system with Phoenix, Mesa and Gilbert; it also will give nearly $500,000 to bring Apache Junction onto the system.


The grant funds will offset the cost for the voice and data communication equipment that will be shared among the participating cities.


Buren said the system would be more efficient in terms of interoperability.


"We should have better coverage and it'll be much safer for our officers," she said.


Because of concerns about possible problems with the system, Phoenix and Tempe firefighters have not decided whether to join the network.


Emergency radio upgrade is coming


TEMPE - Tempe emergency responders soon will be able to tune in to other Valley cities' crises after receiving a federal grant to upgrade to a new digital radio system.


Through a $5.5 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Tempe police, firefighters and federal officials will be able to communicate easily with each other using 800 MHz radios instead of having to go through dispatchers or cellphones. With the current system, to talk to other police departments Tempe police have to contact dispatchers first who then send everyone to the same channel.




damn real fake government issued photo ids are sure easy to get if you have connections.


Woman admits making fake ID for spouse


Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


A former clerk at the state Motor Vehicle Division pleaded guilty Tuesday to creating a fraudulent identification card for an Egyptian immigrant whom she married 18 days later.


Barbara Bojorquez Youssef, 36, of Phoenix, was among 26 state employees arrested in a September 2004 sting aimed at MVD workers who were issuing false documents to human traffickers, undocumented immigrants and drug dealers.


The two-year investigation by federal and state agents caught employees who took bribes of $600 to $3,500 at 10 MVD locations.


FBI Special Agent Deb McCarley said Youssef's circumstances were different: She was convicted of creating a phony ID card for her future husband, Magdi Youssef, who was facing deportation proceedings at the time.


McCarley said the card borrowed identity information from another man with a similar name.


Barbara Bojorquez Youssef pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake to one count of producing a false identification card. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison, but defendants in plea deals typically receive dramatically reduced penalties.


The undercover operation, known as Doubledriver, netted 34 suspects. McCarley said 32 of those have been convicted to date.


"We put a lot of importance in public corruption," she added. "Even with MVD clerks . . . they're in a position of trust. They're responsible for the security of our country."


McCarley said most of the defendants acted independently rather than as a network, and no terrorism ties were uncovered.




Janet Napolitano loves piggys!!!!


Napolitano reverses patrol cutback order

Napolitano says cuts a 'last resort'


Senta Scarborough

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


Gov. Janet Napolitano on Thursday reversed an order by the director of the Department of Public Safety requiring officers to reduce patrols to conserve fuel in the face of a potential $2 million overrun in fuel costs.


The governor directed DPS Director Roger Vanderpool to rescind his Sept. 23 order asking officers to cut the miles they drive by 10 percent each month.


Napolitano's decision came the same day The Republic reported the agency's new measures for fuel conservation as it faces an anticipated additional $2 million to $2.9 million in gas costs.


The measures included writing reports on the road instead of returning to the office, cutting unnecessary travel, and carpooling to meetings and training. Those measures will remain in place.


"We don't compromise public safety to save costs for fuel," Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L'Ecuyer said. "There are other ways to handle those kinds of budget shortfalls."


L'Ecuyer said the plans to reduce fuel consumption "was a surprise to the governor's staff." In a memo to Vanderpool, Napolitano said reducing patrols "should always be a last resort."


Vanderpool said he wanted to make an effort early on to conserve fuel in "common sense" ways such as carpooling. He said the intention was to save money and put more officers on the highway. "It was never to reduce officers patrolling the highways. It was to patrol smarter," he said. "The governor is committed to keep the highway patrol very visible on the road and that is what we are going to do."


The governor directed Vanderpool to review his budget to find other options to deal with the crunch. DPS and the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting will look for ways to cover the unexpected costs, L'Ecuyer said.


After a review by the executive budget office, DPS can request money from the Legislature, Napolitano said.


"We need to exhaust those options before we begin reducing the number of patrols. Patrolling is how you catch people committing crimes," L'Ecuyer said.


On Wednesday, Sgt. Lynn Ideus, president of the Grand Canyon State Fraternal Order of Police, which represents all DPS employees, said he didn't expect the cutbacks to affect public safety.


Vanderpool's order came after Napolitano asked all state agencies in early September to reduce travel as a precaution and encouraged agency directors to encourage carpooling, bus riding and telecommuting.


The director made the changes to offset the high fuel prices brought on by Hurricane Katrina.


The director's goal was to reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent, which could reduce the deficit by $500,000, he projected.




i bet these foiled plots have a lot in common with those weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that bush said iraq was going to use against the USA. ie: neither the plots nor the WMD ever existed


Bush says 10 plots by al-Qaida foiled

Warns of risk of losing battle for Iraq


Wire services

Oct. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Extremists have made Iraq the key to their goal of creating a radical Islamic empire, President Bush said Thursday, and he also revealed that at least 10 terrorist plots against the United States and its allies have been thwarted since the Sept. 11 attacks.


Struggling to reverse a steep slide in public support for the war in Iraq, Bush delivered a dramatic warning about the consequences of failure during a speech before the National Endowment for Democracy.


By controlling Iraq, Bush said, militants aim to use it to "overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia." They could then develop weapons of mass destruction to "destroy Israel, intimidate Europe (and) assault the American people," he said.


Bush's speech took on a greater urgency a few hours later when New York officials said the FBI had informed them that the city's subway system might be the target of a terrorist attack in coming days. Bush said the United States and its allies had disrupted at least 10 serious al-Qaida terrorist plots since Sept.11, 2001, including three inside the United States.


"We've stopped at least five more al-Qaida efforts to case targets in the United States, or infiltrate operatives into our country," Bush said.


The White House late Thursday released a statement detailing the plots mentioned by the president. Two had not been officially disclosed before: an effort to hijack aircraft and attack targets on the West Coast, and a plot disrupted in mid-2003 to hijack commercial aircraft and strike East Coast targets. The White House did not release additional details.


The plots inside the United States included the arrest of Jose Padilla in May 2002, who the government said had talked about igniting a so-called dirty bomb that would have spread radioactive materials.


Bush specifically accused Syria and Iran, whom he called "allies of convenience," of sponsoring terrorism.


"The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them because they are equally guilty of murder," Bush said.


Bush sought to turn around the war weariness that is manifested in a growing anti-war movement and poll numbers that indicate fewer than four in 10 support his Iraq policies.


He said that failing to win in Iraq could be disastrous.


"The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity, and we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror," Bush said.


Congressional Democrats did not hear in the speech what many in their party have demanded: a strategy and timetable for bringing troops home from Iraq.


"Today was an opportunity for the president to be candid with the American people about the status of democracy in Iraq and when he will bring our troops home," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "Instead, the president offered little more than empty rhetoric, claiming that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror - a position that is simply not supported by the facts."


The speech came a week after top Army commanders in Iraq, Gens. John Abizaid and George Casey, gave sobering testimony to Congress about the war. While they outlined some progress, many on Capitol Hill were troubled by their admission that just one Iraqi battalion was fully prepared to defend that country after months of U.S. training.


Bush's speech was delivered on a day that a congressional report estimated that the administration is spending about $7 billion a month to wage the war on terror, and costs could total $570 billion by the end of 2010.


The paper by the Congressional Research Service show that a year ago, the Pentagon was calculating its average monthly costs in that conflict at below $5 billion, an amount the research service says has now grown close to $6 billion.


A separate study by the Congressional Budget Office found it will be difficult for the Pentagon to sustain current troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan without rotating troops into the war zone more frequently and using more National Guard brigades. And even those steps will not be adequate long-term solutions.




Government is just an enity that takes money from one person and gives it to another person. there are two really big questions in every government. who will we steal the money from? and who will we give the money to? this isnt a bunch of idiots in FEMA giving away money withot bids it is government as usual.


FEMA to re-examine contracts in relief effort

No-bid deals hint at waste or abuse


Lara Jakes Jordan

Associated Press

Oct. 7, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Millions of dollars in federal contracts for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts that were handed out with little or no competition will be rebid to prevent any waste or abuse, FEMA chief R. David Paulison said Thursday.


"I've been a public servant for a long time, and I've never been a fan of no-bid contracts," Paulison told a Senate panel investigating the Federal Emergency Management Agency's response to the hurricane. "Sometimes you have to do them because of the expediency of getting things done. And I can assure that you we are going to look at all of those contracts very carefully."


"All of those no-bid contracts, we are going to go back and rebid," he said of pacts that were worth millions of dollars.


Paulison said after the hearing that he did not have a total figure for no-bid contracts that have been given, but said they include four agreements for $100 million each for housing and construction services awarded immediately after the storm hit.


The government has been accused of overpaying for some contracts that were awarded with unusual haste in an effort to speed assistance to Katrina's victims.


In the weeks after the storm, more than 80 percent of at least $1.5 billion in FEMA contracts were awarded with little or no competition, or had open-ended or vague terms that previous audits have cited as being highly prone to abuse.


Inspector General Richard Skinner of the Department of Homeland Security told a House subcommittee that 90 percent of the contracts awarded for debris removal in Mississippi were not put out for competitive bids. He said the Army Corps of Engineers had four pre-existing contracts for debris removal, but those four could not handle the overwhelming devastation of the storm.


He said reviewing those no-bid contracts is "high on our priority list."


Skinner also said that investigators are not seeing the kinds of problems in Louisiana and Mississippi that FEMA was criticized for in responding to hurricanes that hit Florida last year, particularly providing aid to individuals in counties that had little or no damage.


Sen. Joe Lieberman, the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, questioned whether the emergency management agency should look at having contracts for services - including housing and supplies - already in place before a disaster strikes.




only 50 more dead bodies bodies till we hit the 2000 mark.


Bombs kill 6 Marines; U.S. offensive kills 29 insurgents


Associated Press

Oct. 7, 2005 07:10 AM


BAGHDAD, Iraq - Bomb blasts killed six Marines in western Iraq, and U.S. forces killed 29 militants in U.S. offensives aimed at uprooting al-Qaida insurgents ahead of the country's vote on a new constitution, the military said Friday.


The American deaths brought to 1,950 the number of U.S. troops who have died since the beginning of the war in 2003, according to an Associated Press count.


In southern Iraq, British troops detained 12 militiamen loyal to a radical Shiite cleric in the city of Basra, accusing them of carrying out recent attacks on British and U.S. troops, officials said Friday, amid charges Iran is helping fighters carry out deadlier bombings.


Eight days before Iraqis were to go to the polls to approve or reject the new constitution, officials across the country were still waiting to get copies of the document to pass out to voters. Distribution began in a few Baghdad neighborhoods, but did not appear to have begun elsewhere.


Some shopkeepers in Baghdad refused to hand out the document and some people refused to take it, fearing reprisals by militants determined to wreck the crucial Oct. 15 referendum.


"Some people are excited to take it. Others are refusing to touch it," said Mohammed Ali, a shopkeeper in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Saydiya who handed out about 150 copies Friday.


"I know some merchants who have refused to accept copies for distribution because they fear retaliation by the insurgents," Ali said in an interview at his shop.


Al-Qaida in Iraq and other Sunni-led insurgent groups have launched a wave of violence that has killed more than 290 people the past two weeks, many of the Shiites in brutal bombings and shootings at a mosque, a bus and a school. Al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has declared war on Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority.


The Pentagon said Friday the military in Iraq had intercepted a letter from the second in command of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahri, to al-Zarqawi, urging him to avoid bombing mosques and slaughtering hostages to avoid alienating the masses.


Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the letter also demonstrates "detailed planning and intent on the part of the insurgents in Iraq to one day control that country and to really try to extend their extremism to neighboring countries."


The U.S. military is waging two large offensives in western Iraq - operations "Iron Fist" and "River Gate" - to oust al-Qaida in Iraqi militants from a half-dozen towns along the Euphrates River valley.


Two Marines were killed Thursday by a roadside bomb that hit their patrol outside the town of Qaim, the region near the Syrian border where Iron Fist is being waged, the military said.


Their deaths bring to six the number of U.S. troops killed in Iron Fist and River Gate, launched Oct. 1 and Tuesday, respectively.


Apart from the offensives, four Marines were killed Thursday by a roadside bomb in Karmah, near the town of Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, the military said.


On Thursday, warplanes dropped four precision-guided bombs on an abandoned three-story hotel seized by militants in the town of Karabilah, near the Syrian border, the focus of the Iron Fist assault. Twenty militants were killed in the bombardment, the military said. Seven more insurgents were killed when planes destroyed three buildings from which gunmen were firing on Marines, and two gunmen were killed in fighting in Karabilah.


The 29 deaths raised the insurgent death toll in Iron Fist to 71. At least six insurgents have been reported killed in River Gate offensive, taking place some 80 miles southeast down the Euphrates.


The British raid in Basra targeted a house and netted 12 members of the al-Mahdi militia, the armed force loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said British military spokesman Maj. Steven Melbourne. Britain's Ministry of Defense confirmed the raid.


On Thursday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said his government suspects that Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah might be supplying technology and explosives to Shiite Muslim militant groups operating in Iraq, but he provided no proof.


Sheik Khalil Al-Maliki, a member of the al-Mahdi militia, told the AP that British soldiers and tanks raided the home of police officer Ali Eliwi late just after midnight in the early hours Friday, detaining Eliwi and 11 other Iraqis there and seizing their weapons.


"I think the reason is the recent British claim about Iranian interference in Iraqi affairs," Al-Maliki said.


British and U.S. forces have been attacked in recent months by roadside bombs packed with "shaped charges," which are much more deadly than conventional roadside bombs.


Such attacks have killed six British troops since July. Late last month two U.S. soldiers were killed when a bomb exploded near their vehicle in Shaibah, a town near Basra.


Iran rejected Blair's accusations as "baseless," saying it "has no motive for intervening in the domestic affairs of Iraq." Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in a statement read on state television Friday that "Blair is accusing others to cover up Britain's failure to provide security in Iraq."


In Beirut, Hezbollah denounced Blair's accusations as "lies."


The arrests in Basra on Thursday night could increase tensions between the 8,500 British troops in Iraq and the provincial government and people of Basra, Iraq's second-largest city.


Last month, British forces used armored vehicles to storm a Basra jail and free two of their soldiers who had been arrested by police. During the raid, British forces learned that Shiite Muslim militiamen and police had moved the men to a nearby house. The British then stormed that house and rescued them.


At least five Iraqi civilians were reported killed in the fighting, and Basra's provincial government responded by suspending all cooperation with British forces. It also demanded the return of the two British soldiers, but Britain's government has refused.


In new violence in Baghdad, at least seven Iraqi civilians were killed in shootings around the city, and at least two bodies were found dumped in the capital.


Sunni Arabs held a funeral for 22 Sunnis who were abducted in Baghdad nearly two months ago and whose bound and bullet-ridden bodies were found a week ago near the Iranian border. The mourners accused government-allied militiamen of killing them.