why do i keep saying hello iraq goodby vietnam :)




Rice Won't Rule Out Force on Syria, Iran By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON - Secretary of State     Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday refused to rule out the possibility of U.S. troops still serving in     Iraq in 10 years or U.S. military force against     Syria and     Iran.


Rice deferred to the decisions of     President Bush and military commanders as members of the     Senate Foreign Relations Committee pressed her for more specifics on the U.S. strategy in Iraq.


Asked whether the U.S. would have troops in Iraq in five years or 10 years, Rice said: "I think that even to try and speculate on how many years from now there will be a certain number of American forces is not appropriate."


White House spokesman Scott McClellan also would not rule out the chance of a U.S. troop presence that far in the future.


"In terms of decisions about troop levels, we've always said that we will look to our commanders on the ground and they will be the ones who will make decisions based on circumstances on the ground," McClellan said.


Lawmakers also pressed Rice on strategy for dealing with Iran and Syria, two of Iraq's neighbors. U.S. officials have accused Syria of allowing foreign fighters to cross into Iraq. The Bush administration contends Iran is supporting the Iraqi insurgency.


Rice said the U.S. was using diplomacy to urge a change in the behavior of Syria and Iran. But she stopped short of ruling out military force. "I'm not going to get into what the president's options might be," Rice said. "I don't think the president ever takes any of his options off the table concerning anything to do with military force."


Rice sought to reassure jittery lawmakers, who are hearing from constituents weary of the war, that the administration had a plan for helping Iraqis drive out insurgents and build durable, national institutions.


Testifying before the committee for the first time since February, the secretary said the U.S. will follow a model that was successful in     Afghanistan. Starting next month, she said, joint diplomatic-military groups will work alongside Iraqis as they train police, set up courts, and help local governments establish essential services.


Lawmakers from both parties asked the kind of questions they said the public wants answers to.


"I'm not looking for a date to get out of Iraq," said Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) of Delaware, the committee's top Democrat. "But at what point, assuming the strategy works, do you think we'll be able to see some sign of bringing some American forces home?"


Rice declined to answer directly, choosing to leave an estimate to military commanders. "I don't want to hazard what I think would be a guess, even if it were an assessment, of when that might be possible," Rice said.


Later, Sen. Paul Sarbanes (news, bio, voting record), D-Md., told Rice that her response to questions about U.S. troop withdrawal "leads me to draw the conclusion that you're leaving open the possibility that 10 years from now we will still have military forces in Iraq."


Rice said on response: "I don't know how to speculate about what will happen 10 years from now, but I do believe that we are moving on a course on which Iraqi security forces are rather rapidly able to take care of their own security concerns."


Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island were among several lawmakers who pressed Rice on U.S. strategy on Iran and Syria. Democrats asked whether the administration was considering military action against those countries and whether the president would circumvent congressional authorization if the White House chose that option.


"I will not say anything that constrains his authority as commander in chief," Rice said.


The senators' questioning followed Rice's earlier remark that Syria and Iran "must decide whether they wish to side with the cause of war or with the cause of peace."


As Rice spoke, a woman in the second row of spectators shouted "Stop the killing in Iraq." A police officer motioned her out of the room.


By the State Department's design, Rice testified just days after Iraq apparently approved its first constitution since a U.S.-led coalition ousted Iraqi President     Saddam Hussein in 2003. Her appearance also coincided with the start of Saddam's trial in Baghdad for a massacre of 150 Iraqis.


McClellan said the trial was "a symbol that the rule of law is returning to Iraq."


Rice heralded the referendum on the charter as "a landmark" and said the U.S. strategy was moving from a stage of transition to one of preparing a permanent Iraqi government.


She described the administration's plan as intended to "clear areas from insurgent control, to hold them securely, and to build durable, national Iraqi institutions."


"Our strategy is to clear, hold, and build," she said. "The enemy's strategy is to infect, terrorize, and pull down."


Alongside Iraq's allies, she said, the U.S. is working to dismantle the insurgent network and disrupt foreign support for it; maintain security in areas insurgents no longer hold; and build national institutions to support security forces, deliver essential services, bring the rule of law and offer Iraqis the hope for a better economic future.


Senate Foreign Relations Committee: http://foreign.senate.gov


State Department: http://www.state.gov






Tougher rules on rentals proposed

By Ryan Gabrielson, Tribune

October 19, 2005


Scottsdale is crafting a plan to use search warrants to enter rental properties when serious code violations might exist inside.


The plan would allow city code inspectors to ask a judge for the authority to enter homes or apartments against the wishes of a tenant or property owner. If approved by the City Council, the rules would represent an expansion of power for the inspectors, who now respond mainly to complaints about weedy lots and rusting cars outside homes.


"In some cases, if we’re looking at conditions that are existing on the exterior of a property, it might be logical to assume that perhaps there’s issues on the inside of the property," said Raun Keagy, director of Scottsdale’s citizen and neighborhood resources department.


As part of its effort to revitalize south Scottsdale, city officials have in recent years poured funds into code enforcement to hire new inspectors and launch programs that assist residents in aging neighborhoods to fix up their homes.


The officials have also researched measures to force repairs on problem properties when owners refuse to comply with city codes. Rental properties — particularly leased single-family homes — have proven troublesome because the actual owners sometimes live out of state and are hard to track down, Keagy said.


City officials are crafting a criteria to determine when code inspectors would seek a warrant, Keagy said.


"This is a new area for us, for Scottsdale," he said.


A year ago, code enforcement officials proposed annual internal inspections of rental properties and a new licensing requirement for renters of single family homes. Those ideas were largely scrapped after backlash from the rental community and several City Council members who questioned the proposal’s legality.


Keagy said the warrants would not be part of a regular inspection program under the newest plan, but only for specific cases where there were health risks to tenants or neighbors.


This time, Scottsdale has worked with the rental community on the warrant proposal. The Arizona Multi-Housing Association voiced objections to the licensing of single-family homes and annual inspections, but now has no problem with the city’s plans, said Terry Feinberg, the association’s executive director.


"As long as it sticks to that and people have a reasonable opportunity to comply and, you know, there’s a reasonable due process, we can support it," Feinberg said.


The city’s use of warrants would be similar to how code enforcement personnel in Phoenix and Tempe use them, Keagy said. In Scottsdale, inspectors themselves would be granted the warrants and would not automatically involve police officers, who would typically execute such a court order.


In Phoenix, police officers always go along when inspectors use warrants to enter a property, said Ken Lynch, a spokesman with Phoenix’s Neighborhood Services Department.


"We’re not law enforcement agents. We don’t go to court and seek warrant permission," Lynch said. "There have been occasions where we will work with the police — they do their thing, we do our thing."


Keagy said the city will merge the county’s database of registered rental properties with its own list to track down the owners when problems arise.


Scottsdale already requires those who own at least two rental properties to obtain a city business license, and inspectors have a less-formal list of homes they have determined to be rentals.


"Right now, we have to do a lot of research to figure out, well, who is responsible for this property?" Keagy said. "When you’ve got a list of registered rental properties, it’s going to be real simple for us to go directly from XYZ address, look it up on the list . . . we know how to contact that person directly."


It is unclear when the warrant proposal will be formally brought to the council or what kind or reception it will receive, Keagy said.


The rental community’s support will depend on what exactly Scottsdale includes in its proposal, Feinberg said.


"As with everything else," Feinberg said, "the devil’s in the details."


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






Bad drivers face fingerprinting

By Mike Branom, Tribune

October 20, 2005


People don’t like being fingerprinted, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has found out. So he’s retooling a controversial tactic in the war against identity theft. Drivers who deputies cite for minor traffic offenses no longer will be asked to voluntarily give a fingerprint. Instead, drivers cited for criminal violations, such as driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit, must ink their thumbs or be jailed.


And the program is being expanded to the entire county.


Apparently, allowing people to opt out rendered the program ineffective. Since its inception in February, two-thirds of the 7,479 people cited declined the request for a print, with the pace quickening as time passed. That led to only 14 incidents in which a driver was found to be using a fake name, usually to escape arrest for other crimes.


"To be frank with you, the stupid people gave their prints," Arpaio said. "You think anybody else would give their prints if they had a problem? No.


"But now they will have to give their prints. Then we will see what the statistics show."


When Arpaio began the fingerprinting program in the district encompassing the West Valley to Gila Bend, it was immediately met with a hailstorm of criticism. The Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union cited the power disparity between deputies and drivers as creating an element of coercion,

leading to people waiving their rights.


In response, Arpaio agreed to have deputies state there were no consequences for not cooperating.


Three months later, the program expanded to the county islands around Mesa, Apache Junction and Queen Creek. By then, the public was informed of their rights, and almost three-quarters of those cited in the East Valley kept their thumbs in their pockets.


Now, sheriff’s officials said they can jail noncompliant drivers for the same reason they can jail people who refuse to sign their criminal citations. In these instances, they said, the thumbprint and signature stand as signs of good faith the driver will appear in court.


The ACLU did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.


The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office was not consulted, said special assistant county attorney Barnett Lotstein. But he added Arpaio is not required to do so.


Beyond that, Lotstein said his office had no comment because it had not researched the program’s new direction.


It takes a day or two to run prints through the state’s database, two to three hours in priority cases, Arpaio said. He said his office is looking into technology that would allow a deputy in the field to check prints and get an immediate response. But that is at least a year away.


Arpaio admitted the current set-up allows a person suspected of identity theft or other crimes some lead time before authorities are alerted.


"But we do have leads, we have his car," Arpaio said. "It’s better than nothing."


The violations


Giving a print: Criminal violations for which people will be fingerprinted include:


• Driving more than 20 mph over speed limit

• Reckless driving


• Hit and run

• Drag racing

• Driving with suspended/canceled/ revoked license or plates

• Failure to stop for school bus stop signal


Contact Mike Branom by email, or phone (480) 898-6536




Traffic violators face ID theft check

Give fingerprint or get jail time


Judi Villa

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


Motorists cited for criminal traffic violations will have to give their thumbprint to Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies or go to jail.


"This will be mandatory. No exceptions," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Wednesday. "If they don't want to give the print, they're going directly to jail. Period."


Arpaio launched the new policy Wednesday across the Valley, expanding and toughening a pilot program in which motorists pulled over for routine traffic stops were asked to voluntarily provide a thumbprint. The goal was to catch people who took the wheel with stolen or phony driver's licenses and ultimately to combat identity theft in Arizona, which ranks top in the nation for the crime.


But Arpaio said about 67 percent of motorists declined to voluntarily give their thumbprints. Although Arpaio cannot require people to provide a fingerprint if they are cited for civil traffic violations, he said he can if the citation is criminal.


Criminal traffic violations include reckless driving, excessive speed (more than 20 mph above the posted speed limit) and driving under the influence, while civil violations include speeding, failure to yield or unsafe lane changes.


Officials at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said they had not been consulted about the new policy and could not comment whether it was legal.


"Of course we can take prints," Arpaio said, referring to criminal traffic violators. "We can arrest everybody if we want to."


The prints are entered into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System to see if drivers are using fake identification.


Civil libertarians have been vehemently opposed to the program since the pilot began in February in the West Valley. It expanded to the East Valley three months later.


"We still have a major constitutional privacy issue here," Dawn Wyland, interim director of the Arizona Civil Liberties Union, said Wednesday.


It's one thing to take a fingerprint from a person suspected of driving drunk, Wyland said. But it's something entirely different to threaten people with jail for offenses they never dreamed would land them behind bars.


Across the Valley, motorists cited for criminal traffic violations are not routinely arrested and fingerprinted. Officers often opt to cite and release them instead.


"You can go to jail for driving a little too fast through a school zone," Wyland said. "How much are we going to put up with? This is a bad one."


Wyland also questioned Arpaio's link between traffic tickets and identity theft.


"The trouble I'm having is finding the nexus between people violating traffic laws and identity theft," she said. "I just don't see it."


Still, Arpaio insisted the mandatory thumbprinting could reduce identity theft and help deputies locate wanted people. Nearly 7,500 traffic citations have been issued this year during the pilot program. Roughly 3,000 of those tickets were for criminal traffic offenses.


About 15 of those cited were found to be using fraudulent identification, Arpaio said. One man was wanted for sexual assault, he said.


Republic reporter Michael Kiefer contributed to this article.




the hayden flour mill has hundreds of violations of tempes messy yard laws. and the city doesnt fix them.




Tempe mill slighted amid building spree


Katie Nelson

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


As Tempe's bigwigs broke ground on yet another sleek lakeside high-rise Wednesday, across the street one of the city's most recognizable buildings remains empty.


There's no question the gritty white silos of the Hayden Flour Mill are an area icon. They're the downtown district's namesake, a historical landmark, an archeological site. City leaders call the mill the linchpin of development in a blooming urban center because of its location between the Town Lake and Mill Avenue.


But the city-owned mill has baggage: It's saddled with a pending $40 million lawsuit. It's been vacant for seven years. There are use restrictions, building restrictions and view restrictions. There is a lack of parking, electricity and water. Never mind the asbestos or that it's on an odd, ladle-shaped piece of land.


That doesn't deter city leaders who say the right project could make it the pride of the city once again.


"The interest is out there, but once folks understand the level of challenge that this property poses, they often start looking elsewhere for something that's easier to do," Mayor Hugh Hallman said.


Mill was Arizona fixture

Unlike the Hayden Ferry Lakeside project where a 12-story tower is soon going to rise, the mill dates to Tempe's beginnings. It's been more than 135 years since, legend says, Charles Hayden, climbed the butte that would later bear his name , surveyed his surroundings and decided the area below him would be a good place to live.


"Charles Hayden is the business founder of Tempe," said John Akers, curator of the Tempe Historical Museum. "He opened the first store, brought goods to the farmers; opened the mill and became the largest employer for a very long time."


Over the years there were three Hayden Mills. The first was a water-powered, two-story adobe building. It opened for business in 1874, and burned down about 15 years later.


A second adobe mill burned in 1917. Again the mill was rebuilt - part of this structure is what still stands at the site east of Hayden Butte, on the north end of Mill Avenue. The grain elevator and seven silos were added in 1951.


Three generations of the Hayden family ran the mill, using Tempe-grown wheat to churn out cloth and later paper bags of baking and tortilla flour. Newspaper accounts from the era report Hayden processed almost the entire Arizona wheat crop.


Silent since 1998

After 107 years of Hayden ownership, the mill was sold to the Bay State Milling Company of Massachusetts.


But in 1998, the mill fell silent. The decision ended production at the Valley's longest-running industrial plant.


Since then transients and teens who found their way into the building despite fencing left their marks in graffiti and urine. Meanwhile, it changed ownership.


The property was sold to MCW Holdings in 2001. MCW wanted to put lofts, shops and offices on the site. But the city says they didn't start the project within a promised two-year time limit, despite $12 million in incentives. In 2003, Tempe acquired the property after claiming MCW defaulted on its contract, but MCW Holdings is suing the city for more than $40 million in Maricopa County Superior Court because it disagrees.


Variety of proposals

Despite that, city leaders entertain ideas on what to do with the mill at least monthly. The suitors range from neighbors with no real financial backing to serious investment firms with development experience. Yet the many restrictions usually scare developers off.


Some businesses have pitched hotels; others suggested apartments, stores and boutiques. Some of the most recent suitors met with Hallman on Monday, a courtesy he says he and other city leaders give to all potentially serious proposals. Constellation Property Group envisions condos in the silos and artsy retail on the ground.


The Australian-based company has turned a set of Sydney silos into a modern, chic place to live. They are considering doing the same in Tempe, according to Eugene Marchese, managing director. He is also looking at nine other potential sites in Phoenix and Tempe, he said.


For the possible mill project, Constellation wants to team up with the Lab, a California-based group that has built two "anti-malls" - one art- and fashion-based, the other focused on sports and recreation - in Orange County. The Lab could create a similar non-corporate approach to retail in the Mill.


"We like the historical integrity of the building and the location," said Shaheen Sadeghi, the creative juice behind the anti-malls.


"And from a cultural standpoint, the area has a lot of potential ... our approach with specialty art and culture focus would do well there. There are certainly already enough Wal-Marts and Gaps and Banana Republics."




hmmm..... so why is the Arizona DMV doing homeland security functions????? Maybe we should stop calling them "drivers licenses" and start calling them "internal passports". And perhaps change the letters from DMV to KGB.




Drivers waiting longer in MVD offices despite changes


Jahna Berry

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 21, 2005 12:00 AM


Lester Jackson had been in and out of the 51st Avenue MVD office for three hours, trying to transfer the title for his car.


His attorney told him he faced a 15-minute wait at most. But the 80-year-old Phoenix resident had become frustrated by a situation that seemed to go from bad to worse and by a wait that seemed longer than ever.


He's right. We are waiting longer at state Motor Vehicle Division offices than we used to, state officials say, and we better get used to it.


A 14 percent drop in customer clerks, high turnover and new homeland security regulations have combined with Arizona's explosive growth to cause new aggravations for customers at MVD offices. No solutions are in sight.


"When you pull all of those components together, it contributes to higher wait time, transaction time and total visit time," MVD spokeswoman Cydney DeModica said.


This year, customers sat in MVD offices statewide for an average of 22 minutes before they saw a clerk, seven minutes longer than last year. But that's only part of the story. Waits in metropolitan Phoenix, such as at the office at 51st Avenue and Indian School, can take two hours or longer.


State officials thought they solved the problem several years ago after pouring millions of dollars into simplifying the process of getting a license, registering a vehicle and pursuing other tasks. A fury over long lines in the late 1990s prompted lawmakers to pump an additional $4.6 million into MVD and to add 127 positions to shorten the wait.


The effort succeeded, at least temporarily. The average statewide wait dropped to 15 minutes.


But now, the longer waits are back. And although state officials say an average MVD visit lasts just under 30 minutes, Valley residents say reality is much more complicated.


This week, early bird Lena Reyes of Mesa breezed in and out of the Mesa Drive branch within 20 minutes when she got an identification card. "As soon as I came, they called me right away," she said.


Others weren't so lucky. Some customers at the MVD branch at 51st Avenue and Indian School said they'd been waiting for hours. Others fled after they saw rows of people sitting in the waiting area.


"It looks like a Sunday church service in there," said Chandler resident Ernest Lee, who went to the office on Mesa Drive with Phoenix resident Bill Vernon to transfer a car title.


"We're leaving," Vernon said. "That line is too long."


One state lawmaker who was involved in the earlier push to improve customer service says he is frustrated by the slide.


"When I got into office in 1993, there were riots going on because there were waits of two to three hours," said Sen. John Huppenthal, who helped push for performance pay and other reforms that cut wait times.


Huppenthal stressed that he doesn't blame employees but that the situation is getting worse. "This is disintegrating. That's what I am concerned about."


Huppenthal suspects that people are waiting even longer than the state statistics show. The MVD starts counting the wait time after customers pull a number. Some customers probably wait several minutes in line at the information desk before they are assigned a number, the Chandler Republican said.


The customer-service problems are puzzling because the Motor Vehicle Division's staffing and budget have slowly increased over the years, the lawmaker said. And with so many services available over the Internet, fewer people are visiting MVD offices.


But people still walk into their local MVD office for many services, such as to take a vision test, transfer a title, register an out-of-state car or get their first driver's license.


There is no easy way to fix the problem, transportation officials say. A growing population and evolving security demands mean longer waits, says Charles Bitner, MVD deputy director.


"Wait times for us have been a continuing concern," Bitner said "This administration. I think it's fair to say from the governor right on down . . . have always been committed to customers service."


The deputy director added that the agency plans to brief lawmakers about the increase in wait times.


"Our challenge continues to be how can we best provide services as rapidly and a speedily has we can, within the context of insuring that the credentials and the products that we deliver are secure," Bitner said.


Now, customer service clerks are increasingly on the lookout for fake identification, and many were pulled away from their normal duties for lengthy homeland security training. Plus, there are fewer clerks shouldering the work than there used to be. In 2003, the division had 872 customer service clerks. This year, at the end of June there were 685.


MVD's past campaign to slash wait times was so effective that the agency is a victim of its own success, DeModica said. Now people expect short lines.


State lawmakers and the governor control the MVD budget.


Gov. Janet Napolitano is concerned about retaining state employees, including MVD workers, and plans to include a pay raise proposal in the budget, a spokeswoman said.


Although residents want shorter lines, many say they are prepared for slow service when they go to MVD.


"I kind of expect it," said Chad Everett, 32, of Glendale, who took time off from work to transfer his title. The construction project manager says he waited 2½ hours. "That's government service for you," he said.




cops get search warrent to hunt down dangerous messy yard criminal!!!!!!! dont these government thugs have any real criminals to chase down?


Police target junk-filled Chandler yard


Edythe Jensen

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 21, 2005 12:00 AM


CHANDLER - Three people living in one of the city's worst neighborhood eyesores could go to jail if they don't clean up their property.


On Thursday, police served the city's first "inspection warrant" on a cul-de-sac home southwest of Dobson Road and Chandler Boulevard. The warrant allowed officers to peek behind backyard walls at mounds of tools, bicycles, old tires, file cabinets, light fixtures, lawn mowers, buckets, car parts and electronic equipment. They were looking for property code violations and stolen property, said Sgt. Greg Carr, who oversees code enforcement.


Carr said he would seek criminal misdemeanor charges against three occupants of the home on South 95th Street that could send them to jail if they don't remove the junk. The action is part of stepped-up efforts to keep neighborhoods safe and free of blight, he said.


At 10 a.m., Carr knocked on the door and shouted for occupants, but no one answered. He called in backup officers and county animal control workers to monitor three large dogs that paced and barked in a back yard packed with trash, vehicles and tires. A partially drained pool held green water.


"We've been here before, and they know whoever answers the door gets a ticket," Carr said.


"Every time we come, it gets worse."


The warrant named property owner John Bourdlais, 39, and other occupants Debora Kay Vasquez, 35, and Wayne Marshall Eggins, 41. Vasquez is on probation for possession of drug paraphernalia, court records show. Carr said Eggins and Vasquez were cited and fined for junk collecting at a previous Chandler address.


Chandler police have been called to the 95th Street address 36 times since January 2004 for abandoned vehicles, suspicious persons, litter, suspected narcotics activity, threatening and noise, records show.


Thursday's warrant charges violations of city property maintenance standards, keeping inoperable vehicles and outside storage. Carr said additional charges could include environmental violations.


Neighborhood Services Specialist Larry Hammack and Officer Phil Besse wiped dust and grime from bicycle and trailer frames to record identification numbers. They stepped gingerly among wires, oil spills and what appeared to be dried remains of household chemicals during about an hour of photographing and note-taking.


Neighbor Maria Martinez, 45, said she has called the city to complain several times during the year she has lived next door to the junk-strewn house because constant traffic and large numbers of parked cars force her visitors to park down the street.


"People are coming and going all day over there, especially on Wednesdays, and things are going on in the house all night," she said.


Two other neighbors declined comment.


The warrant is a sign the city is taking residents' complaints seriously, said Mayor Boyd Dunn.






Brazilians will vote on historic gun ban


Michael Astor

Associated Press

Oct. 21, 2005 12:00 AM


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - When kids play cops and robbers in Rio's Mare shantytown, many of the guns aren't make-believe.


Boys playfully take aim at their buddies with loaded assault rifles. They don't shoot; it's just a game. But the violence is real - so real that one piece of Mare is known as the Gaza Strip for its frequent shootouts between police and drug gangs.


Shantytowns such as Mare are ground zero in a battle over Brazilians' right to bear arms, which goes to a national referendum Sunday. More than 100 million voters will decide: Should the sale of guns and ammunition be banned in Brazil?


Both sides claim the violence in shantytowns supports their argument. Those in favor of banning firearm sales say the bloodshed proves there are too many guns on the streets; opponents say the ban would leave law-abiding citizens with no means to protect themselves from the wave of violence.


"I don't believe even armed people can defend themselves," said Josineide da Silva, a 36-year-old teacher in Mare who plans to vote for the ban. "They say a bandit won't come into your house if he knows you're armed. But I think he'll just come in and take your gun away."


Supporters of both sides agree on one thing: Gun violence in Brazil has spun out of control. About 39,000 people in Brazil are killed by guns each year, more than any country in the world.


In comparison, about 30,000 people die each year of gunshots in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though the U.S. population is about 100 million more than Brazil's. Only Venezuela has a higher per capita death rate than Brazil, but it has a much smaller population.


Despite early support for the ban, the pro-gun lobby has made big gains, and recent polls indicate it may be headed for an upset victory in the referendum.


In a survey released Wednesday by Toledo & Associates, 52 percent of those questioned said they would vote against the ban, while 34 percent would support it. The poll questioned 1,947 people in 11 Brazilian state capitals on Oct. 8 to 15 and had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.


The referendum is the last stage in Brazil's 2003 gun-control law. If approved, it would limit the sale of firearms to law enforcement authorities, the military, some security guards, some hunters, gun collectors and sports shooters.


The issue has angered arms producers and threatens their industry, although guns and ammunition bought before the referendum would not be confiscated. The Rio-based rights group Viva Rio calculates that 90,000 jobs linked to the manufacture and sale of guns could be lost if the referendum passes.


"It's a mistake the size of Brazil," gunmaker Taurus said in a statement.




the police love to lie to us and say that they have the most dangerous job in the world and they risk their lives on a daily basis to protect us. well thats bullshit!!!!! you look at any survey of dangerous jobs and the police are almost never in the top 10 jobs. usually these surveys are based on mortality rates or injury rates. this survey says the most dangerous jobs are


1) woodcutters (loggers or lumberjacks)

2) fishermen

3) alaskan airplane pilots

4) iron construction workers

5) salesmen (traffic accidents & robberies)

6) roof workers




Los seis trabajos más peligrosos


Ser leñador no es fácil en ninguna parte del mundo y en Estados Unidos mucho menos. Según los útimos datos del Buró de Estadísticas Laborales, el promedio de mortalidad es de 118 personas por cada 100 mil trabajadores y por esta razón es considerado el trabajo más peligroso en este país.


El segundo puesto, en cuanto a peligrosidad laboral se refiere, lo tienen los pescadores.

El promedio de mortalidad en esta profesión es de 71 trabajadores por cada 100 mil.


Esto sin contar que la embarcación sufra un accidente o la amenaza de un hambriento tiburón.

La industria pesquera de cangrejo en Alaska es particularmente peligrosa ya que en invierno tiene las peores condiciones ambientales del planeta.


A esto súmale que están a cientos de millas de distancia de casa, las tormentas marinas y el hielo que se forma por todas partes que puede voltear el barco.


Aunque volar es sinónimo de vacaciones y placer, para los pilotos es su día a día.

Y esta profesión ocupa el tercer lugar en la lista de los trabajos más peligrosos.

Según estadísticas, 70 de cada 100 mil trabajadores mueren en esta profesión. Los pilotos en Alaska son los que más peligro corren, 1 de cada 8 pilotos tiene la posibilidad de morir durante sus 30 años de carrera.

Otro de los trabajos más peligrosos, aunque paga buenos salarios, está en el área de construcción.


Las personas que trabajan con estructuras metálicas y con acero, mueren en un porcentaje de 58 por cada 100 mil empleados.

A pesar de ser una profesión bien pagan (20 dólares por hora, aproximadamente), sus riesgos no compensan el ganar un buen salario

Pero no creas que por ser vendedor tienes menos riesgo de morir en tu trabajo. Aunque te parezca extraño, el quinto puesto, en cuanto a peligrosidad laboral se refiere se lo llevan los vendedores que tienen que manejar. Es que esto de estar horas y horas metido en un carro y tener que llegar a tiempo a una cita cuando la cola de carros es interminable no es cualquier cosa.


Los accidentes de tránsito son su principal causa de mortalidad, además de los robos y los asaltos.


Arreglar techos es un trabajo no apto para aquellos que sufren de vértigo y no por nada está en la lista de los más peligrosos.

Con un sueldo promedio de 16 dólares por hora, de cada 100 mil techadores mueren aproximadamente 37.






Study: 2,225 serving life for crimes as juveniles


By Hope Yen


The Associated Press


WASHINGTON — There are 2,225 people serving life terms in prison without parole for crimes committed as juveniles, most of them in a handful of states where judges don't have the discretion to impose lighter penalties.


A report being released today by Amnesty International USA and Human Rights Watch found that a surge in violent crime in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to tougher sentencing laws and a jump in the number of juveniles sent to prison for the rest of their lives.


Pennsylvania has the most such inmates (332), followed by Louisiana (317), Michigan (306) and Florida (273). All four states have laws making life without parole mandatory for certain crimes and don't allow judges to lighten sentences. Washington state has 23 such inmates.


The groups say the sentence amounts to cruel and unusual punishment for criminals who may not be mature enough to grasp the consequences of their actions. They want the United States to abolish the penalty.


Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that executing juvenile killers was unconstitutional.


According to the study, 93 percent of juvenile offenders sentenced to life without parole were convicted of murder. Fifty-nine percent had no prior convictions, and 16 percent were 15 or under.


Dianne Clements, president of the victims advocacy group Justice for All, said taking away life-without-parole sentences would remove a strong deterrent to crime.


Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company




US throws away the key for 2225 child offenders



By Andrew Gumbel


Human rights groups have accused the United States of throwing away the lives of more than 2000 children and young teenagers sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.


Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say the US is the only country on the planet to punish juveniles so severely on a routine basis. The punishment is entirely out of step with international law but is one increasingly popular with US tough-on-crime legislators.


Their study counted 2225 child offenders on "life row" in 42 states. In the rest of the world, by contrast, they found only a dozen other cases restricted to three countries - Israel, South Africa and Tanzania.


"Criminal punishment in the US can serve four goals: rehabilitation, retribution, deterrence and incapacitation," the report concluded. "No punishment should be more severe than necessary. Sentencing children to life fails on all counts."


Some US states permit the imposition of a life sentence without parole to offenders as young as 10. The youngest actually serving is 13.


Roughly one-sixth of those locked up for life committed their offence when they were under 16.


Almost 60 per cent were given their sentence for their first offence.


In most cases, the crime in question was murder. But about one quarter of those locked up, the report found, were not the actual murderers, merely participants in a robbery or burglary in which a murder was committed by someone else.


In many US states, draconian laws stipulate that being present at the scene of a murder can be equivalent to being guilty of the murder.


Remarkably, the report found that while the number of juvenile offenders being sentenced to life has gone up markedly over the past 25 years, the rate of serious juvenile crime has actually gone down.


In most years since 1985, juveniles were sentenced to life without parole at a faster rate than adult murderers.


Politicians have found that it pays significant electoral dividends to advocate "zero tolerance" policies.


As a result, legislators have introduced ever tougher regimes of minimum sentencing, including one Californian law whereby non-violent offenders can face life without parole if they are caught three times.


Amnesty and Human Rights Watch said the attitude of "adult time for adult crimes" was entirely inappropriate. Sentencing teenagers to life in prison removed all motivation for education or self-improvement.


Being in an adult prison rather than a juvenile facility also exposed them to a heightened risk of assault and rape, rampant in US institutions.


Sentencing children to life without parole is specifically forbidden under the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child.


The report found that black offenders were 10 times more likely to receive a life sentence without parole than white offenders.


"Children can and do commit terrible crimes," the report conceded. "When they do, they should be held accountable, but in a manner that reflects their special capacity for rehabilitation."






You can get your fake ids at Scottsdale Motor Company


Arizona Republic

Thursday, October 20, 2005


5 accused of providing fake IDs to immigrants


Scottsdale – The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that five people, including four who worked at a Scottsdale car dealership, were indicted on charges of providing fake identification to undocumented immigrants.


The suspects provided IDs to help immigrants get approved for loans to buy cars, according to County Attorney’s Office.


As many as 30 more individuals could be indicted in connection to the fake-ID ring, officials said.


Rodolfo Andres Varona, Mauricio Augusto Nunez-Alamos, Hector Romero and Chad Collins were among those tied to crimes that reportedly occurred in Scottsdale between October 2004 and May 2005.


A fifth person was not named and remains at large. Four of the five individuals were employed by Scottsdale Motor Company, officials said.




for a child in search of a pedifile preist alaska a dream come true




Former Alaska priest sued

Problem clergy being exiled to state, critics say


Rachel D'Oro

Associated Press

Oct. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The fourth lawsuit in less than two weeks accusing an Alaska-based Roman Catholic priest of sexual abuse is fueling a belief among critics that Alaska was a dumping ground for problem clergy.


The complaint alleges the Rev. James Laudwein molested a 14-year-old western Alaska girl in 1980 when she visited the nearby Yupik Eskimo village of St. Marys.


Laudwein is the latest of a dozen priests who served in Alaska and have been accused publicly of abusing a child or children in the past. Most of the abuse reportedly took place in remote villages and most of the accusers are Alaska Natives, a common pattern over the decades, critics contend.


"I absolutely believe that church officials intentionally sent abusive priests to minor communities, transient communities, where kids may be less apt to tell and have less faith in the justice system," said David Clohessy, national director of Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.


Rural Alaska was a prime place to send abusive priests, given its isolation and cultural reverence for authority figures, such as elders and priests, said Patrick Wall, a former Benedictine priest and consultant for a Costa Mesa, Calif., law firm that has worked on more than 300 allegations of church abuse nationwide, including Alaska.


Wall said he has interviewed more than 100 Alaskans alleging abuse, many taking decades to come to terms with their pasts.


Even though only 12 of Alaska's 500 priests who served from 1959 to 2002 face allegations, a fraction of nearly 4,400 priests accused nationwide, people such as Wall say the spate of allegations has only begun.


"I'm quite sure that by the time this runs its course, we can expect over 200 clients," he said. "There are whole villages we've never been able to visit that we know perpetrators were in."


In the latest lawsuit, filed in Bethel, the plaintiff is identified only as Jana Doe, a lifelong Alaskan who grew up in a small village near St. Marys, about 500 miles southwest of Fairbanks. The diocese serves 41 parishes spread out over more than 400,000 square miles covering Alaska's interior, the North Slope and the western coast.


"This is among the worst kinds of ritual abuses, to take a holy sacrament so meaningful to people and twist it into an opportunity to commit a horrendous crime on a child," said Ken Roosa, the woman's Anchorage attorney who has represented others alleging past abuse by Alaska-based priests.


Also named in the 17-page lawsuit is the Catholic bishop of northern Alaska and the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province.


Laudwein, who could not be reached for comment, is now living in Portland, Ore., working in a ministry with the poor, according to the Rev. John Whitney, provincial of the Society of Jesus province. Whitney said he was unaware of any allegations against the Jesuit priest.


"This is the first I've ever heard about this," he said. "I can't give you a response."


Whitney denied that Alaska was used as a hiding spot for problem priests.


"It's absolutely untrue," he said.




15 years in jail for giving a blow job!!!! is that cruel and unsuall punishment?????




Kansas teen gay sex law rejected


John Hanna

Associated Press

Oct. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


TOPEKA, Kan. - The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday unanimously struck down a state law that punished underage sex more severely if it involved homosexual acts, saying "moral disapproval" of such conduct is not enough to justify the different treatment.


In a case closely watched by national groups on all sides of the gay rights debate, the high court said the law "suggests animus toward teenagers who engage in homosexual sex."


Gay rights groups praised the ruling, while conservatives complained that the court intruded on the Legislature's authority to make laws.


The case involved an 18-year-old man, Matthew R. Limon, who was found guilty in 2000 of performing a sex act on a 14-year-old boy and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Had one of them been a girl, state law would have dictated a maximum sentence of 15 months.


The high court ordered that Limon be re-sentenced as if the law treated illegal gay sex and illegal straight sex the same. He has already served more than five years.


Limon's lawyer, James Esseks of the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, said, "We are very happy that Matthew will soon be getting out of prison. We are sorry there is no way to make up for the extra four years he spent in prison simply because he is gay."


Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline said in a statement that he does not plan to appeal.




the American Emporor gets the freeway for himself. (well i bet they took sepuleveda to sunset then down PCH)




Bush jams LA traffic in motorcade


Dana Bartholomew

Los Angeles Daily News

Oct. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


LOS ANGELES - About 100 Brentwood kindergartners, many dressed in costumes, were all set to go see The Wizard of Oz on Friday when their first-ever field trip was blocked by the nation's 43rd president.


They never got to see the wizard.


President Bush, his Marine One helicopter grounded by fog, brought morning rush hour to a standstill while his motorcade proceeded from West Los Angeles through the San Fernando Valley to Simi Valley for the dedication of the Air Force One Pavilion.


"We had buses all loaded up, but by the time they got to school it was too late," said Julie Fahn, a volunteer mom at Kenter Canyon Elementary in Brentwood, where girls had dressed as Dorothy to see the play performed in Malibu.


"My poor children, they were so disappointed. They're all so sad. They were inconvenienced by a silly motorcade down Sunset (Boulevard)."


Bush's traffic jams added to the lore of a city notorious for its gridlock.


On Friday, police were alerted just before Bush began his commute. With only a few minutes' notice from the Secret Service, Police Department officers and city Transportation Department police shut down Sunset Boulevard west of the San Diego Freeway from 8:15 to 10 a.m.


Thousands of commuters, unable to cross the legendary LA strip except for intermittent breaks in traffic, were trapped with engines idling in miles-long jams.


John Brooks, a news reporter for radio station KFWB-AM (980), was unable to move for more than an hour as gridlocked motorists as far south as Wilshire Boulevard screamed at traffic cops barring their commutes.


Lt. Joseph Peyton of West Traffic Divisionwas proud to have protected the president but was sorry for the logjam.


"We did the best we could . . . it went without a hitch. Our command staff, with short notice, swung into action. It's the most outstanding moment I had anything to do with," he said. "Unfortunately, there were inconveniences and we apologize for that."


In Simi Valley, police reported no traffic slowdowns.


For the children of Kenter Canyon Elementary who had planned to see The Wizard of Oz at Pepperdine University, their buses were 90 minutes late.


They missed the last performance and will not be given a rain check on $6 tickets.


"All the Kenter Canyon parents, they are not happy with (Bush) right now," said Fahn,




the american emporor gets the freeway all to himself (well not i bet he took supelveda out of LAX down to sunset blvd and then down PCH)




Bush jams LA traffic in motorcade


Dana Bartholomew

Los Angeles Daily News

Oct. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


LOS ANGELES - About 100 Brentwood kindergartners, many dressed in costumes, were all set to go see The Wizard of Oz on Friday when their first-ever field trip was blocked by the nation's 43rd president.


They never got to see the wizard.


President Bush, his Marine One helicopter grounded by fog, brought morning rush hour to a standstill while his motorcade proceeded from West Los Angeles through the San Fernando Valley to Simi Valley for the dedication of the Air Force One Pavilion.


"We had buses all loaded up, but by the time they got to school it was too late," said Julie Fahn, a volunteer mom at Kenter Canyon Elementary in Brentwood, where girls had dressed as Dorothy to see the play performed in Malibu.


"My poor children, they were so disappointed. They're all so sad. They were inconvenienced by a silly motorcade down Sunset (Boulevard)."


Bush's traffic jams added to the lore of a city notorious for its gridlock.


On Friday, police were alerted just before Bush began his commute. With only a few minutes' notice from the Secret Service, Police Department officers and city Transportation Department police shut down Sunset Boulevard west of the San Diego Freeway from 8:15 to 10 a.m.


Thousands of commuters, unable to cross the legendary LA strip except for intermittent breaks in traffic, were trapped with engines idling in miles-long jams.


John Brooks, a news reporter for radio station KFWB-AM (980), was unable to move for more than an hour as gridlocked motorists as far south as Wilshire Boulevard screamed at traffic cops barring their commutes.


Lt. Joseph Peyton of West Traffic Divisionwas proud to have protected the president but was sorry for the logjam.


"We did the best we could . . . it went without a hitch. Our command staff, with short notice, swung into action. It's the most outstanding moment I had anything to do with," he said. "Unfortunately, there were inconveniences and we apologize for that."


In Simi Valley, police reported no traffic slowdowns.


For the children of Kenter Canyon Elementary who had planned to see The Wizard of Oz at Pepperdine University, their buses were 90 minutes late.


They missed the last performance and will not be given a rain check on $6 tickets.


"All the Kenter Canyon parents, they are not happy with (Bush) right now," said Fahn, 33. "The kids did not see the wizard."




Government bureaucrat says  DMV employees are not the cause of the problems at the driver license offices. He blames the problems on the stupid citizens that use the DMV. Typical government bureaucrat blaming their failures on other people. Doesn’t this sound like Katrina?




Lines at MVD can be shortened


Oct. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


Long waiting times at the Motor Vehicle Division are legitimate concerns for those who visit a MVD office.


The reasons for long lines are twofold:


• The Legislature has piled a fantastic amount of work on MVD, with verification of insurance and emissions inspection, myriad special plates, longer VIN inspections, ID cards, voter registration, rebates of taxes on sales of vehicles and a host of other requirements that simply take much more time.


• There are people who unnecessarily go into an office to get things done, especially those who want to avoid late fees at the end of the month.


The actual waiting time is about the same as it was 20 years ago, except today MVD times the customers so it can be flogged with the results, another legislative gift.


Most people who go into an MVD office don't need to make the trip. There is the mail (and a grace period, as long as the postmark is the end of the registration period) and online services, including payments and refunds. There are also title-service companies.


Why waste gas, money and time when there are other, easier options?


If you absolutely have to visit the MVD, consider these suggestions: Take a book or crossword puzzle. Don't bring the kids or friends if you can help it. Go in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day or in the evenings.


Lee A. Prins

Gold Canyon, Arizona


The writer is a former director of the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division.




where do all the crooked cops go????




Cottonwood going to cops, maybe dogs

By Paul Giblin, Tribune Columnist

October 21, 2005


Somewhere, at this very moment, Rocky the Scottsdale police dog is filling out an application with the Cottonwood Police Department.


It seems all disgraced Scottsdale cops eventually get to Cottonwood. There's plenty of room in that doghouse.


First Scottsdale Police Chief Doug Bartosh, who was fired in January 2003, turned up as the Cottonwood police chief in February.


Then Scottsdale police officer Gareth Braxton-Johnson, who resigned while under an internal affairs investigation in June, signed on as one of Cottonwood's finest Aug. 28.


So really, how long can it be before Rocky takes the 100-mile trip up Interstate 17 to the Verde Valley?


The route is well established.


Scottsdale City Manager Jan Dolan fired Bartosh for poor communication and unwillingness to make changes within the department following an independent performance review.


Braxton-Johnson quit while being investigated for making a series of potentially lifethreatening decisions when he responded to a possible armed robbery at a south Scottsdale store on April 25.


Cottonwood officials presumably knew about Braxton-Johnson's service record when they hired him, city human relations director Dave Puzas said Thursday. "There was a background investigation of him by the police department," Puzas said.


In that case, Bartosh knew Braxton-Johnson was suspended for 80 hours for arriving drunk behind the wheel of his personal vehicle at a Scottsdale police substation on Dec. 15. Supervisors didn't arrest him for DUI, because, they said, police didn't actually see him drive the vehicle.


Bartosh also knew Braxton-Johnson's pay was cut 5 percent for six months because he stored equipment improperly in 2003.


And of course, Bartosh must have remembered he suspended Braxton-Johnson for 80 hours for reporting overtime dishonestly in 2001.


Bartosh did not return calls to discuss the Scottsdale-to-Cottonwood pipeline this week.


Puzas said Bartosh made the decision to hire Braxton-Johnson to the 28-man Cottonwood police force, which serves Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, Camp Verde and the surrounding area.


Bartosh assigned Braxton-Johnson to serve as the school resource officer at Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood. The officer's duties involve teaching a course on criminal law and police issues.


Obviously, Rocky is prime Cottonwood cop material.


Rocky bit an officer while searching for a shooting suspect Sept. 12. The officer shot Rocky in the hindquarters. He recovered quickly, rejoined the force and attacked two officers who were trying to subdue a man with a pipe Oct. 10.


There's only one place where a dog with those issues can safely extend his career.


Contact Paul Giblin by email, or phone (480) 970-2331






Strip club law revisions due for council decision

By Ryan Gabrielson, Tribune

October 23, 2005


Changes are coming for a Scottsdale ordinance that bans strippers from performing offstage, but city officials are waiting to disclose their ideas.

The ordinance hasn’t been enforced in at least two years because of concerns about its legality.


Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down sections of Maricopa County’s strip club ordinance in a lawsuit brought by Dream Palace, an all-nude club just south of Scottsdale. That ruling likely invalidated some of the city’s regulations.


Any changes to the city’s sexually oriented business ordinance would be designed to ensure they do not violate the First Amendment, since strippers’ performances have been declared a form of free speech, Councilman Jim Lane said.


The City Council is scheduled to vote on the changes Nov. 15. To date, the council has only discussed the revisions in a closed meeting.


Mary Grace, an assistant city attorney, declined comment on Friday and referred all questions on the ordinance to Pat Dodds, a Scottsdale spokesman. Dodds said the city has hired Scott Bergthold, a Tennessee lawyer and expert on strip club regulations, to help craft the revisions.


Bergthold could not be reached for comment Friday.


The city’s two strip clubs have come under scrutiny from police, politicians and neighborhood activists after it became known over the summer that adult film mogul Jenna Jameson purchased a share of Babe’s Cabaret.


Skin Cabaret is Scottsdale’s only other topless bar. Both are on Scottsdale Road near its southern border with Tempe.


City officials — including Mayor Mary Manross and Councilmen Wayne Ecton and Bob Littlefield — have directed City Manager Jan Dolan and Scottsdale’s legal office to explore ways to shut down Babe’s.


Jameson officially purchased Babe’s last month with several business partners also from the adult film industry.


Scottsdale police and prosecutors began ignoring violations of the ordinance starting in August 2003 amid concerns that its regulations might be unconstitutional.


When regulating strip clubs, governments must walk a fine line not to bar protected speech, said Lawrence Walters, a Florida lawyer specializing in First Amendment issues.


Regulations that prohibit a stripper from performing offstage, as Scottsdale’s does, can be enforceable, Walters said.


"Some courts have upheld them and other courts have struck them down," he said.


"The real question," he added, "is what interference do those restrictions cause on the erotic message to be conveyed by the dancer?"


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




the government thugs are always in a big rush to lock up criminals. but then they lock up innoncent people they are in no rush to clear up their names and lives.




Hundreds waiting for clemency rulings


Christopher Wills

Associated Press

Oct. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Robert Gayol spent five years behind bars for a murder he didn't commit. Then the real killers were caught, and Gayol was released to rebuild his life.


Two years later, he is among hundreds of people in Illinois waiting for a pardon to officially clear his record and allow him to seek compensation from the state.


"I don't think it should be on my record," said Gayol, of Chicago. "It's just unfair."


Gov. Rod Blagojevich has about 1,100 clemency petitions on his desk, and his aides say they feel little pressure to act quickly. They deny it's a backlog, saying Blagojevich has no deadline.


"Legally, we're not required to respond within any particular time," Blagojevich's senior counsel Matt Ryan said. "The governor's doing his best to be fair and give these important decisions the attention they're due."


Some awaiting clemency decisions are hardened criminals taking a desperate shot at freedom. A few, like Gayol, are innocent. Most are petty offenders hoping to have some long-ago crime erased so they can join the military or apply for better jobs.


The petitions are first studied by the Prisoner Review Board, which gives the governor a confidential recommendation on whether to grant clemency. Critics say Blagojevich could act on the petitions with a unanimous recommendation, which account for about 40 percent of the requests.


But even in those cases, the Democratic governor still has to take a hard look at the requests, spokesman Gerardo Cardenas said.


"Just because there's a recommendation from the (board) doesn't mean that the case does not warrant further review," he said. "The clemency power is an extraordinary power and is used judiciously by the governor."


Executive clemency got a shot of publicity under former Republican Gov. George Ryan. Just before leaving office in 2003, he pardoned several people on death row and commuted the sentences of the remaining condemned inmates to life in prison over concerns of unjust convictions.


After that, clemency requests flooded in.


At one point, Blagojevich had 1,600 clemency petitions pending, but Matt Ryan said the governor rejected about 500 this summer from violent criminals.




stupid criminal???




Oct 22, 4:57 PM EDT


Man turns himself in, then escapes Tucson jail


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A man who turned himself in on a warrant turned around and walked right out of the Pima County jail by acting like an employee, officials said.


Authorities say Brandon Robinson walked out of jail alongside two Pima County detentions officers but aroused suspicions when he immediately took off running. The officers chased him, but he eluded them for more than an hour until he was recaptured hiding behind a bail bondsman's office.


Robinson had been left unhandcuffed Thursday in the jail booking area. A Santa Cruz County officer who had brought him to jail left him alone before medical workers took custody of him, officials said.


Pima County Deputy Dawn Barkman said he then picked up a a clipboard, began chatting with some officers and walked out of jail.


Robinson had an outstanding warrant for missing a court date and now faces an escape charge.






Firetruck rams car, killing man


Josh Kelley

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


A 25-year-old Phoenix man has died from injuries he received after his car collided with a Phoenix fire engine Friday night.


The engine was traveling south on 67th Avenue about 6 p.m. with lights flashing and sirens blaring when it crossed the center line into northbound lanes to go around traffic congestion, police said Saturday. Two other Phoenix Fire Department vehicles in front of the engine already had passed through the area.


But as the engine approached Earll Drive, Samuel Marrufo-Gonzales attempted to make a left turn after waiting in southbound traffic on 67th Avenue, said Sgt. Andy Hill, a Phoenix police spokesman.


Cousins of Marrufo-Gonzales witnessed the collision and told police that as he turned left, the engine struck the Nissan Sentra he was driving, Hill said. The Sentra then collided with a Ford F-150 pickup in the curb lane of northbound traffic.


Marrufo-Gonzales died after being taken to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.


Hill said the cousins of Marrufo-Gonzales apparently lived close to where the collision occurred north of Thomas Road in west Phoenix.


"They were right there and actually witnessed what happened, and their story was consistent with what investigators found at the scene," Hill said.


Four firefighters in the engine, including driver Tom Arnold, suffered minor injuries. Bruce Kellog, the driver of the Ford pickup, was not injured.


The firefighters were responding to a reported structure fire, said Assistant Fire Chief Bob Khan.


State law allows emergency responders to ignore traffic laws where prudent and when proper warning is given to other vehicles, Hill said.


"The emergency responder is responsible for making that judgment call, and that's a tough one," Hill said.


Alcohol possibly was a factor in the crash because the cousins told investigators that Marrufo-Gonzales had been drinking before the crash, Hill said.


But police have not confirmed that alcohol was a factor and now must await toxicology reports.


The Police Department's vehicular crimes unit is investigating the crash and has yet to determine how fast the engine was traveling.


Khan said Arnold was a veteran engineer with the department.


Once Arnold recovers from the crash, fire officials will assess whether he should go on administrative leave, Khan said.


The Fire Department will conduct its own review once police finish their investigation.


Khan said that Fire Department vehicles travel about 1 million miles per year and responded to 137,011 calls for service last year.


It has been at least three years since a Phoenix Fire Department vehicle was involved in a fatal crash, he said.




whats it take to buy off a supreme court judge? not much




Report: Texas overpaid Miers in 2000 land sale


Associated Press

Oct. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Texas officials paid Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers' family more than $100,000 for a small piece of land in 2000, 10 times the land's worth, despite the state's objections to the way the price was determined, Knight Ridder Newspapers reported Saturday.


The three-member committee that determined the price included Peggy Lundy, a friend of Miers, and property-rights activist Cathie Adams, Knight Ridder reported. They were appointed to the panel by state District Judge David Evans, who had received at least $5,000 in campaign contributions from Miers' law firm.


The land in question in west Dallas was owned by Miers' mother, Sally; Harriet Miers had the authority to represent her mother's interests. Texas needed the northeastern corner of the parcel to build an interstate highway off-ramp.


According to Knight Ridder, the land, which was part of a Superfund pollution cleanup site, was valued at less than 30 cents a square foot. But the panel recommended paying nearly $5 a square foot for it.


The price was later reduced from $106,915 to $80,915, but Miers has yet to return the $26,000 difference to the state, said the story by Jack Douglas Jr. and Stephen Henderson.




is this another one of those journalism pieces made and paid for by the white house??




U.S. troops' morale high despite risk

As casualties rise, amenities, loyalty help GIs


Antonio Castaneda

Associated Press

Oct. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


BAQOUBA, Iraq - One night on the outskirts of this restive city, a few dozen U.S. soldiers exited a movie theater on a military base, the smell of popcorn wafting from the doors as a few complained about the film.


Only a few miles away soldiers in the chilly night scanned the distance from an outpost deep in the city, peering through the darkness with night-vision goggles for signs of insurgents who have steadily attacked their position throughout the year.


As U.S. forces approach a dark milestone of 2,000 American dead since the war began in March 2003, many say morale has remained high, bolstered by the need to protect each other, by concentrating on their daily assigned tasks - and by amenities provided by the military to keep life in a war zone as normal as possible.


Some troops just focus on the day's mission and hope for a safe return home - soon.


"A lot of people don't want to be here, but they're here because it's their job," said Staff Sgt. Anthony Rayner of Atlanta as he slowly ate shrimp in a mess hall on a support base on the edge of Baqouba, a town of central Iraq plagued by insurgent attacks.


The factors that build morale look different whether you're looking from the center of the fight or from the more-removed bases - though in a guerrilla-style conflict like Iraq, "front line" can have little meaning.


Those at the front sometimes look longingly for the amenities of the base; while some separated from the reality of urban warfare wish they were more in the heat of things. About 150,000 American troops are in the country.


Rayner said the conflict that had been abstract for some in his supply unit changed when they suffered casualties while traveling dangerous roads.


"Then it's personal, and they want to go out there," said Rayner, referring to area towns where insurgents still lurk.


The U.S. military said Saturday that three U.S. Marines and an Army soldier were killed in three areas of Iraq earlier this week, raising to at least 1,996 the number of members of the U.S. military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.


In Baqouba, some troops said the fight isn't what builds their spirits, it's helping in reconstruction efforts.


"When you get attacked every day then it's tough to maintain morale," said 1st Lt. Doug Serota of Birmingham, Ala., as his unit spoke to residents about plans to rebuild an irrigation system in a village north of Baqouba. "I've always said it's not necessarily fun being here, but there are many, many things that are rewarding."


Even better are the phone lines and Internet connections to home.


"Just getting the soldiers to talk to their wives and families is the best morale booster," added Serota of the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment.


"There are some who say . . . they're all hard" and want to be in combat, said Pfc. Sean Rolling of Boston, as he sipped a coffee milkshake in a fortified coffee shop during a break between missions. "But they all just want to go home."


Others say the toll of two and even three tours in Iraq in as many years has dwindled the number of those who will remain in the military and drained confidence that their work was making the United States safer.


Rayner said he has gone through two divorces, both blamed in part on a string of deployments.


"I'm a newlywed and I'm already trying to make my marriage work," said Spc. Charles Boyle of Oak Harbor, Wash., a mechanic who is serving in his second yearlong deployment.


But others said the lifestyle of today's American soldier on constant standby was what they expected.


"This is what I do for a living," said Sgt. Maj. William Doherty of Boston after being awarded a Bronze Star for his response to an insurgent attack where shrapnel from a grenade tore through his thigh.


The military's efforts were slowly stabilizing Iraq, he said. "This place is a lot better for these people to live in," he said of Baqouba, where he was injured this spring.


Some soldiers and commanders said their faith in their mission was unshakable, confident that ongoing patrols and raids were making Iraq and their own country safer.


"This is not about Sunni Arabs laying (roadside bombs) out there. It's about al-Qaida and radical Islam," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto, commander of the 42nd Infantry Division, in a pep talk to officers at a base in Baqouba.


However, a lukewarm reaction by many Iraqis to the military, particularly in Sunni regions like Baqouba, made some soldiers take a second look at the impact of their presence.


Skeptics say morale is propped up because of soldiers' limited access to news: Newspapers on many bases throughout the country are sparse, and weary soldiers often head straight to their trailers after missions instead of plodding to check the latest nationwide news at Internet centers.


"We really don't know what is going on in the rest of the country, just here," said Spc. Dainsworth Harris of New York, tapping his table. Harris said he sometimes would learn about major attacks in the country in e-mails from relatives.




i dont agree with all this guys stuff but it does show how f*cked up the prison system is and lend some credibality to kevins comments that the Aryan Brotherhood runs the Arizona State Prison




Political Prisoner Harold Thompson Attacked in Prison by Aryan Brotherhood

by . Friday October 21, 2005 at 05:45 PM


Just this past week, Harold Thompson, an anarchist political prisoner in Tiptonville, TN, was attacked by five or six Arayan Brotherhood nazis while doing work in the

law library in Tennesee's Northwest Correctional Complex. He suspects one of the prison staff, a racist sympathizer, might be in on it as well. He seems to be doing all right, nothing is broken, but every time he clears his throat or blows his nose he is spitting up blood.


He's asked for the word to be spread on the internet, and has asked folks to call the Warden of Tennesse,

Tony Parker, "to find out what is up with this prison when an older man is mobbed by AB punks while working in a protective custory segregation unit?" The number for the prison is (731) 253-5000.



Harold welcomes correspondence and can be written at


Harold H. Thompson #93992

Northwest Correctional Complex

960 State Route 212

Tiptonville, Tennessee 38079, U.S.A


This all just happened after the completion of Harold's latest publication.


"They Will Never Get Us All!"

A new collection of writings and poerty by anarchist

prisoner Harold H. Tmompson


Harold H. Thompson is an anarchist prisoner serving life plus sentences in Tennessee, USA after a serious of farcical trials. Following an earlier collection released in 1996, this edition of They Will Never Get Us All! is an updated collection of writings and poetry produced by Harold over the past decade. In it he addresses the oppression of capitalism, the State, the prison industrial complex, and of course, anarchism and the struggle for a better tomorrow.


"I am an anti-authoritarian, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anarchist revolutionary of proud Irish heritage. I am

also a vegetarian and strongly support the animal liberation movement. I stand for civil/human rights

and will not break, bend nor be intimidated. I stand in solidarity with all people struggling against oppression but most particularly with my brothers and sisters in the anarchist movement."


For more information on Harold, plese see



If people are interested in a copy of They Will Never

Get Us All!, send $3-7 US (sliding scale) well

concealed cash to


Andrew Hedden

711 E. Holly St. PMB #748

Bellingham, WA 98225


All proceeds from this booklet go to Harold to cover

his legal and general living costs.


Copies are available for reviewers. If you are a publication that could publish a selection from the

zine for publicity purposes, please get in touch! Please e mail mourningcommute@yahoo.com for more information.




hey laro! here is something from your old stomping grounds down in tucson. it ran in the tucson weekly which is tucsons version of the new times. i saw it when somebody posted it on indymedia.






Hi-Tech Chain Gang


Is the federal prison a toxic dump?




Tim Vanderpool

Hard drives, hard labor?


Shoved to Tucson's scruffy fringes, the federal prison on South Wilmot Road is a clenched compound rising from bare-knuckle desert. But within its razor-wire membrane is the captive buzz of cheap industry, where inmates--some earning only 20 cents an hour--may be exposing themselves and prison guards to toxins from computer recycling.

At the same time, it's possible that some some by-products of their dangerous vocation are arriving at our city landfill.


Despite safety problems with similar operations at other prisons, however, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not even inspected the Tucson recycling program, according to OSHA spokesman Roger Gayman in Phoenix.


It remains unclear why inspections haven't taken place; nearly a week after being contacted by this newspaper, Federal Bureau of Prison officials have not provided information about the Tucson computer recycling program.


The medium security Federal Correctional Institution-Tucson is one of seven facilities across the United States with such operations. The also list includes far-flung prisons from Elkton, Ohio, and Lewisburg, Pa., to Texarkana, Texas. Administered by a branch of the Federal Bureau of Prisons called Federal Prison Industries, the program's business contracts are handled by a government-owned corporation called Unicor. Customers have included state and local governments, along with computer industry giants such as Dell Inc.


Under these outside contracts, Unicor uses about 1,000 hammer-wielding prisoners to dismantle used computers, which releases dangerous metals including beryllium, lead, cadmium and barium. Exposure to those toxins can cause nervous-system damage, and prostate or lung cancer. Nor are their amounts insubstantial; a single television or computer monitor can contain up to four pounds of lead.


By contrast, modern recycling systems use automated crushers and sophisticated environmental controls. So long as prisons avoid investing in this equipment--and cling to their primitive processes--inmates will likely continue facing unacceptable health risks, critics charge. "Prisoners are one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States," says Sheila Davis, executive director of California's Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. "Now they are being asked to process large amounts of dangerous material without being fully protected. That is just wrong."


When her group targeted the prison recycling program in Atwater, Calif., they started "getting quite a few letters from prisoners saying they were being exposed to hazardous materials and asking for information," Davis says. "They were using sledgehammers to smash cathode ray tubes. And whatever system they're using at Atwater is probably very similar to what they're using at other facilities," including FCI-Tucson.


Among those letters, one inmate reported that "Even when I wear the paper mask, I blow out black mucus from my nose every day. The black particles in my nose and throat look as if I am a heavy smoker. Cuts and abrasions happen all the time. Of these the open wounds are exposed to the dirt and dust and many do not heal as quickly as normal wounds."


Still, these risks were disclosed only after one worried prison official went public with his concerns. Leroy Smith was safety manager at federal facility in Phoenix before assuming that role at the Atwater prison in 2000. A year later, he requested heightened safety training for computer dismantlers, and asked that eating areas be relocated away from computer dismantling areas.


Due in part to public pressure from Smith's disclosures, and following a scathing report by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, both Dell and the State of California canceled their contracts with Unicor.


Attempts to contact Smith were unsuccessful. His attorney, Mary Dryovage, didn't return a call to her San Francisco office seeking comment.


But according to The Modesto Bee, Smith reported dust from toxic metals drifting throughout the recycling factory. The newspaper also noted that Smith's own records detail growing metal concentrations in prison workers from September 2002 to March 2003. One inmate's lead levels rose from 3 micrograms per liter to 9 micrograms per liter, while another experienced barium level increases from 59 micrograms per liter to 120 during that time. While by themselves these levels aren't considered hazardous, Smith voiced concerns that those metals could eventually concentrate in inmates' bodies.


Because of his complaints, last year the independent Office of Special Counsel prompted the Federal Bureau of Prisons to investigate Atwater's recycling program. A subsequent BOP report substantiated many of his allegations, noting that inmates in the computer recycling area were subjected to unsafe levels of cadmium and lead for at least 80 days. The report was signed on June 13 by BOP Director Harley Lappin, who cited "a substantial likelihood that a violation of law, rule or regulation and a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety has occurred." Disciplinary action against several prison officials is pending.


Since Smith became a whistleblower, his allegations have been echoed at the prisons in Ohio and Texas. But inaction at both facilities suggests that no serious inquiry will take place at FCI-Tucson. That's according to Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. "We drew attention to the fact that (BOP) didn't even seem interested enough to investigate those two," he says.


Ruch charges that used air filters are simply "thrown in the trash and go to your landfill. And they contain all kinds of things that aren't supposed to be in a general landfill." At the same time, he says ventilation in computer recycling areas is often poor, and that inmates break glass cathode tubes while they're still boxed, which may prevent glass shards from spreading but does little to reduce exposure to toxic metals.


In all, Ruch calls the recycling program a cultural throwback, "hearkening to the old days when inmate labor involved prisoners and hammers."




god caused the quake :)




Some Pakistanis see quake as a reprimand from God


Paul Watson

Los Angeles Times

Oct. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


GARHI HABIBULLAH, Pakistan - The black wires running through the ruins in this mountain town struck a local Muslim cleric as a message from God.


The wires had delivered cable television to about 300 homes and businesses in the town, which was devastated by the Oct. 8 earthquake. Imam Shafqat ur-Rehman is convinced that the natural disaster was God's punishment for people viewing too much cable smut.


"Cable TV is a source of vulgarity and obscenity," said the imam, who heads a local "madrasa," or Islamic school. "There are various programs on cable that a true Muslim just cannot watch.


"I do not know the exact names because I haven't viewed them myself," the cleric added. "I have no interest in such things. But my friends tell me they have seen them at roadside hotels and such. They show men and women hugging each other. They also kiss one another. And there are nude pictures."


For four years, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has tried to lead this Muslim-majority country of 162 million people away from religious extremism and down a path of what he calls "enlightened moderation."


His success is crucial to winning the battle of ideas at the heart of the U.S.-led war on terrorism. But the magnitude-7.6 quake dealt a blow to his efforts by giving renewed strength to extremists.


In parts of the quake zone, survivors say Islamic militants, many of them veterans of the rebellion in the India-controlled portion of Kashmir, were among the first to rescue victims trapped in rubble. It happened in this town, Rehman said, because Pakistani soldiers arrived only later.


This remote town, in the mountains about 100 miles north of Islamabad, the capital, first got cable seven months ago. Hundreds of subscribers signed up, despite an anti-cable campaign by the imam and his supporters.


In Garhi Habibullah, the quake inflicted the worst damage on the girls' high school. It had 887 students, over half of whom escaped alive. The bodies of 323 girls were dug from the ruins, while about 80 corpses are believed buried in the rubble, residents said.


There was nothing wrong with girls being at school, the imam said. But they were not fully covered, offending God, he added.


Standing amid the splintered wood, brick and steel rods that were once the girls' high school, Niaz Akhtar scoffed at the imam's suggestion.


"There wasn't a single TV set in this school," he said. "It was just an unfortunate moment for us. Cable TV is everywhere in Pakistan, but others weren't hurt. This imam is just giving his own opinion. He's a liar."




seems like a waste of money to me. we dont have any superpowers to challenge the american empire as the world tyrant and ruler




Navy sonar project plan upsets whale advocates


Marc Kaufman

Washington Post

Oct. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The Navy is moving ahead with plans to build a 500-square-mile sonar training range off North Carolina, officials said last week, a project that has sparked fierce opposition from environmentalists who say that some of the world's most endangered whales and sea turtles pass through the area.


Planning for the $99 million range has been under way for almost 10 years, but environmental challenges and concern that the sound waves from sonar may harm protected marine mammals have held up the process. The Navy published its draft environmental impact statement Friday and will begin a series of public hearings on the proposal next month.


The proposed site, about 50 miles off North Carolina, was selected to provide the Atlantic fleet with training in the use of sonar in coastal areas, where the Navy believes the greatest submarine threats exist. The global spread of quiet and relatively low-cost diesel submarines has alarmed the Navy and convinced officials that its sailors need more training in detecting hostile subs in canyons and ocean beds closer to shore.


But marine mammal researchers and environmentalists have grown increasingly alarmed over the Navy's plans and the potentially damaging effects of active sonar, which sends out very loud blasts of underwater sound.


Whales and other marine mammals have very sensitive hearing, and a growing body of research has shown that sonar can disorient and sometimes kill them. The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmentalist group, sued the Navy last week over its use of midfrequency sonar, the type that would be deployed at the new sonar range. The group claimed that the sonar threatened endangered animals, in violation of several federal environmental laws.


Marine mammal advocates say they see the proposal for an East Coast sonar range as a long-feared "test case" of increased Navy assertiveness, especially since one of the most endangered and highly protected whales on Earth migrates through the region.


The world's 300 to 350 remaining North Atlantic right whales, whose numbers were decimated in the 1800s by whalers who considered it the "right" one to harpoon, are known to travel from the Arctic to Florida along the East Coast. Their plight led this year to federal regulations requiring Navy and commercial vessels to take a variety of steps to avoid them.


"These animals are teetering on the brink of extinction," said Sharon Young of the Humane Society of the United States on Cape Cod. "Adding a sonar range in what may well be the middle of their migration route is just insane."


In its draft environmental impact statement, the Navy says that right whales pass through two of the possible sites for the training range: off Virginia and another off Florida. But for its preferred North Carolina site, between the other two, the document says only that humpback and sperm whales could be harmed, saying nothing about right whales.


Asked why the right whale was not mentioned as a potential problem at the North Carolina site, a U.S. Fleet Forces Command spokesman said the majority of right whale sightings there are within 37 miles of shore. Because the training range would be 50 miles offshore, the environmental impact statement concludes the right whale is "expected to occur only rarely in the vicinity of the proposed site."


The Navy has another training range off Hawaii, but officials said it is generally not available to ships in the Atlantic fleet and does not provide the kind of coastal, shallow-water sonar practice now considered necessary.






Oct 23, 9:13 PM EDT


Study Shows Upswing in Arrests of Women



Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Women made up 7 percent of all inmates in state and federal prisons last year and accounted for nearly one in four arrests, the government reported Sunday.


A co-author of a Bureau of Justice Statistics report, Paige Harrison, linked an upswing in the rate of arrest for women to their increased participation in drug crimes, violent crimes and fraud.


The number of women incarcerated in state and federal prisons in 2004 was up 4 percent compared with 2003, more than double the 1.8 percent increase among men, the study said. In 1995, women made up 6.1 percent of all inmates in those facilities.


"The number of incarcerated women has been growing ... due in large part to sentencing policies in the war in drugs," The Sentencing Project, a group promoting alternatives to prison, said in a statement.


The group said the number of drug offenders in prisons and jails has risen from 40,000 in 1980 to more than 450,000 today. According to FBI figures, law officers in 2004 made more arrests for drug violations than for any other offense - about 1.7 million arrests, or 12.5 percent of all arrests.


Those sentenced for drug offenses made up 55 percent of federal inmates in 2003, the report said.


The total number of people incarcerated grew 1.9 percent in 2004 to 2,267,787 people. That figure includes federal and state prisoners, as well as 713,990 inmates held in local jails, 15,757 prisoners in U.S. territorial prisons, 9,788 in immigration and customs facilities, 2,177 in military facilities, 1,826 in Indian Country jails and 102,338 in juvenile facilities.


The country's state and federal prison population - 1,421,911, which excludes state and federal prisoners in local jails - grew 2.6 percent in 2004, compared with an average growth of 3.4 percent a year since 1995.


 Maguire reports that most federal prisoners are serving time for drugs.


Growth last year in federal prison populations was 5.5 percent, outpacing overall prisoner growth but slipping from the 7.4 average annual growth in federal prison populations since 1995. The number of inmates in state prisons rose 1.8 percent, with about half that growth in Georgia, Florida and California.


Harrison attributed some of the prison population rise to tougher sentencing policies implemented in the late 1990s. She said the average time served by prisoners today is seven months longer than it was in 1995.


"You bring more people in, you keep them longer - inevitably you're going to have growth," she said.


The Sentencing Project said the continued rise in prisoners despite falling crime rates raises questions about the country's imprisonment system. The group said the incarceration rate - 724 per 100,000 - is 25 percent higher than that of any other nation.


"Policy-makers would be wise to reconsider the wisdom of current sentencing and drug policies, both to avoid expensive incarceration costs and to invest in more productive prevention and treatment approaches to crime," Marc Mauer, the group's executive director, said in a statement.


Another group, The Justice Policy Institute in Washington, said the statistics show little relationship between prison population growth and the crime rate, which has been falling in recent years.


"The nation does not have to lock more people up to have safer communities," said Jason Ziedenberg, the institute's executive director.


About 8.4 percent of the country's black males between the ages of 25 and 29 were in state or federal prison, compared with 2.5 percent of Hispanic males and 1.2 percent of white males in the same age group, the report said.


Blacks made up an estimated 41 percent of inmates with a sentence of more than one year, the report said.




On the Net:


Bureau of Justice Statistics: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs


FBI: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius-04/persons-arrested/index.html


The Sentencing Project: http://www.sentencingproject.org/




Phoenix anti-war protest the day after the 2000th death in Iraq.

by Mike Dugger



The American Friends Service Committee is preparing a vigil to take place the day after the 2000th American combat death in Iraq. This won't be long from now. The location of the Phoenix vigil will be at Eastlake Park at 16th St. and Jefferson, in Phoenix, at 6:30 p.m. on the day following our 2000th combat death.


To: "Mike Dugger" cartero@golfront.org

From: "Mike Dugger" manifold@golfront.org

Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2005 19:44:12 -0700

Subject: Quakers organize next Anti-War vigil


The American Friends Service Committee is preparing a vigil to take place the day after the 2000th American combat death in Iraq. This won't be long from now. The location of the Phoenix vigil will be at Eastlake Park at 16th St. and Jefferson, in Phoenix, at 6:30 p.m. on the day following our 2000th combat death.


About the nationally coordinated event (302 local events nationwide planned so far):



About the Phoenix event:




To sign up to attend this event:



RSVPing is not required to attend, but it is nice as it helps in promoting the event to news media. This type of internet activism is a good way to use activist technology to keep the Iraq War death toll nearer to 2000 Americans, rather than the 58,000 of the Viet Nam War. The best part is we don't have to worry about them calling out the National Guard to stop anti-war protesters, because they've already deployed The Guard to Iraq. What's bad for New Orleans may be good for the quickly growing Anti-War Movement. Please plan on attending this vigil and spread the word






Learn about how the police state operates in Mesa

by Nobody Monday October 24, 2005 at 12:58 PM


Learn about how the police state works at this free seminar put on by the police state thugs in Mesa. Remember use a fake name when you sign up for the free class. Spy on them. They spy on us!


Mesa offers free course on emergency readiness

MESA - Mesa residents have the chance to hone their emergency-preparation skills in a free course offered by the Mesa Fire and Police departments.


Mesa's Emergency Management Division will present the class from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Public Safety Training Facility, 3260 N. 40th St., in Mesa.


The class will cover topics such as where you should go if you have to evacuate, how to find out where to go and what to do, how to prepare for disaster and what the city's preparations are for disaster.


The class is designed for Mesa residents.


Reservations are suggested because class size is limited.


Details: (480) 644-5163






its nice to know that the people in brazil are smart enough to know that 1) the government can't protect them from criminals and 2) if the government takes guns away from citizens the government will sooner or later enslave the citizens.




Brazilians reject proposed gun ban


Associated Press

Sept. 24, 2005 07:32 AM


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Brazilians struck down a proposal to ban the sale of guns in a national referendum, rejecting a bid to stem one of the world's highest firearm murder rates in a debate that mirrored the gun control battle in the United States.


Brazil has 100 million fewer citizens than the United States, but a staggering 25 percent more gun deaths at nearly 40,000 a year. While supporters argued gun control was the best way to stanch the violence, opponents played on Brazilians' fears that the police can't protect them in the campaign leading up to Sunday's vote.


"I don't like people walking around armed on the street. But since all the bandits have guns, you need to have a gun at home," said taxi driver Mohammed Osei, who voted against the ban.


With more than 92 percent of the votes counted, 64 percent of Brazilians opposed the ban, while 36 percent backed it, said election officials, giving the 'no' position an insurmountable lead.


The proposal would have prohibited the sale of firearms and ammunition except for police, the military, some security guards, gun collectors and sports shooters. It would complement a 2003 disarmament law that sharply restricts who can legally purchase firearms and carry guns in the street.


That law, coupled with a government-sponsored gun buyback program, has reduced deaths from firearms by about 8 percent this year, the Health Ministry said.


But the referendum backfired for proponents. Earlier this year, support for the ban was running as high as 80 percent. But in the weeks before the vote, both sides got free time to present their cases on prime-time TV, and the pro-gun lobby began to gain traction.


Analysts said the pro-gun lobby benefited from equal time on television in the final weeks of the campaign and that they cannily cashed in on Brazilian skepticism of the police.


"They ask the question: 'Do you feel protected and do you think the government is protecting you?' and the answer is a violent no," said political scientist David Fleischer of the University of Brasilia.


The combination of Brazil's high gun-death rate and the nature of the debate over the right to gun ownership has echoed the gun debate in the United States.


"The whole campaign (against the ban) was imported from the United States. They just translated a lot of material from the NRA," said Jessica Galeria, a Californian who researches gun violence with the Viva Rio think tank, referring to the National Rifle Association. "Now, a lot of Brazilians are insisting on their right to bear arms. They don't even have a pseudo right to bear arms. It's not in their Constitution."


NRA public affairs director Andrew Arulanandam called the proposal's defeat "a victory for freedom."


"It's a stunning defeat for the global gun control movement. They poured millions of dollars and millions more man hours trying to enact this gun ban and they failed. The aim of this gun ban movement was to use Brazil as the rallying point to enact gun bans in the United States. We're happy they were defeated," he said.


Some Brazilians said they resented the referendum because they feel the government is ducking its responsibility to keep the peace.


"It's immoral for the government to have this vote," said Pedro Ricardo, an army officer in Sao Paulo. "They're putting the responsibility on us, but ... the way to cut down on violence is to combat the drug trade and patrol our borders."


Supporters maintain the referendum is the only way to make Brazil safer.


"We have to change the violence in this country," said Paulo Leite, an engineer from the upscale Ipanema beach district.


About 39,000 people in Brazil are killed by guns each year, compared to about 30,000 people in the United States, although the U.S. population is about 100 million more than Brazil's, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


According to UNESCO, Brazil ranks second in deaths by guns, with 21.72 per 100,000 people a year. Only Venezuela has more - 34.3 gun deaths per 100,000.


But in shantytowns like Vila do Joao, the rate rises to around 150 per 100,000. And for males between 17 and 24, the death rate is closer to 250 per 100,000.






7% of prison population now female


Rebecca Carroll

Associated Press

Oct. 24, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Women made up 7 percent of all inmates in state and federal prisons last year and accounted for nearly one in four arrests, the government reported Sunday.


Paige Harrison, a co-author of a Bureau of Justice Statistics report, linked an upswing in the rate of arrests for women to their increased participation in drug crimes, violent crimes and fraud.


The number of women incarcerated in state and federal prisons in 2004 was up 4 percent compared with 2003, more than double the 1.8 percent increase among men, the study said. In 1995, women made up 6.1 percent of all inmates in those facilities.


"The number of incarcerated women has been growing . . . due in large part to sentencing policies in the war in drugs," the Sentencing Project, a group promoting alternatives to prison, said in a statement.


The group said the number of drug offenders in prisons and jails has risen from 40,000 in 1980 to more than 450,000. According to FBI figures, law officers in 2004 made more arrests for drug violations than for any other offense, about 1.7 million arrests, or 12.5 percent of all arrests.


Those sentenced for drug offenses made up 55 percent of federal inmates in 2003, the report said.


The total number of people incarcerated grew 1.9 percent in 2004 to 2,267,787 people. That includes federal and state prisoners, as well as 713,990 inmates held in local jails, 15,757 prisoners in U.S. territorial prisons, 9,788 in immigration and customs facilities, 2,177 in military facilities, 1,826 in Indian reservation jails and 102,338 in juvenile facilities.


The country's state and federal prison population of 1,421,911, which excludes state and federal prisoners in local jails, grew 2.6 percent in 2004, compared with an average growth of 3.4 percent a year since 1995.


Growth last year in federal prison populations was 5.5 percent, outpacing overall prisoner growth but slipping from the 7.4 average annual growth in federal prison populations since 1995. The number of inmates in state prisons rose 1.8 percent, with about half that growth in Georgia, Florida and California.


Harrison attributed some of the rise to tougher sentencing policies implemented in the late 1990s. She said the average time served by prisoners today is seven months longer than it was in 1995.




Hello Iraq, Good Bye Vietnam - Remember the Vietnam body counts. How the military bragged to the media that we were winning the war because for every dead American there were 10 dead "gooks." Of course the body count was rigged and a "gook" was any dead body with brown skin including woman and children. For those who were not around in those days a "gook" was American slang for the people the American Empire was murdering in Vietnam.


Monday October 24, 2005

Arizona Republic


(sorry no URL)


The News


Military now disclosing body counts of enemy


Eager to demonstrate success in Iraq, the U.S. Military has abandoned its refusal to publicize enemy body counts and now cites number periodically to show the impact of some counterinsurgency operations, the Washington Post reported Sunday.




The revival of body counts, a practice discredited during the Vietnam War, has apparently come without formal guidance from the Pentagon's leadership. Military spokesmen in Washington and Baghdad described an ad hoc process has emerged over the past year, with authority to issue death tolls pushed out to the field and down to the level of divisonal staffs.




Friday, May 2, 2003 - 139 American soldiers had been killed in the Iraq war and President George W. Bush announces the end of major fighting in the Iraq war on the Aircraft Carrier USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN!


Monday, Oct 24, 2005 - 1,996 American soldiers have  been killed in the Iraq war and the Arizona Republic announces "Insurgents' bombmaking quickly evolves" - George Bush has said we have to fight terrorism and some sources have said we will be in Iraq for another 10 years.




Insurgents' bombmaking quickly evolves


Rick Jervis

USA Today

Oct. 24, 2005 12:00 AM


BAQOUBA, Iraq - Roadside bombs are growing more powerful and sophisticated because insurgents throughout Iraq have grown adept at sharing information and using expert trainers.


"What we're seeing is an increase in the evolutionary pace of IED (improvised explosive device) design," said Ben Venzke, CEO of IntelCenter, a Washington counterterrorism firm contracted by the U.S. military to study insurgent tactics.


"It's increasing at a pace we previously haven't seen."


Insurgent groups are passing around videos and other training aids to teach the most effective bomb-making techniques.


"There is definitely a program to share information," said Maj. Dean Wollan, intelligence officer for the Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, operating in this area north of Baghdad.


Sometimes explosives experts from one cell are sent to other areas to learn new techniques, then return to train others, Venzke said.


One captured video shows in three-dimensional animation every component of a roadside bomb, how to build and use it, and where to place it for the biggest impact, he said.


Roadside bombs are the main weapon used against U.S. forces in Iraq.


They are usually made from explosives or artillery shells and can be detonated remotely or triggered when a vehicle passes over one.


The number of improvised explosive devices detonated or discovered has steadily increased to more than 1,000 last month from fewer than 600 in September 2004, according to the multinational forces command in Iraq.






Phoenix area Candlelight Vigil to Commemorate Deaths of 2,000

Soldiers in Iraq


Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar  A candlelight vigil will be held 6:30 pm in Phoenix, 1548 E. Jefferson Street at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Eastlake Park, the day  following the death of the 2000th U.S. soldier.  A new announcement will be sent once the exact date is determined.  The vigil will feature muffled drums, silent  prayers, and a continuous large screen video presentation Wage Peace (www.afsc.org that communicates the human costs by Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis.


"Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar" is one of hundreds of

planned similar events across the nation to focus attention on the

tragic human and monetary costs of the unnecessary and illegal Iraq war.  We call on

Congress to stop funding the destruction of Iraq, and to utilize much

needed resources to meet human needs and reconstruction in the United


The Phoenix area vigil is in conjunction with nationwide actions

sponsored by MoveOn, the American Friends Service Committee, Military

Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace, Veterans for Peace,

and United for Peace and Justice.

Local group sponsors include End the War Now Coalition, Code Pink,

Women In Black, Veterans for Peace, and the Arizona Alliance for

Peaceful Justice.


www.azpeace.org  For more information contact (480) 894-2024 or





even though im dont really like jason any more i will include his letter in here again:


To: lpaz-discuss@yahoogroups.com, lpaz-pima@yahoogroups.com

From: "Jason" auvenj@gmail.com

Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 00:39:22 -0700

Subject: [lpaz-discuss] New Zealand: Car Purchase and Insurance, and the Auckland bus


Hi All,


This message is a follow-on to the one I sent a little over a week ago about our first two weeks in New Zealand.  Since then, we have purchased a car and returned our rental car, the last step to achieving "normal" living – that is, not living like we're on vacation.  We now cook most of our meals at home rather than eat out or take away (the same proportion as we did in Tucson), rent a regular house in a neighborhood rather than live in a motel, I'm working full time, driving an owned rather than rented car, etc.  I feel good about the fact that we were able to accomplish this in just over three weeks from our first arrival in New Zealand.


 Purchasing a car was the biggest challenge, primarily because we didn't want to spend a lot of money at this point because we still own two vehicles in Arizona.  We also wanted something small because the roads here seem really narrow to us, and even a mid-sized car seemed difficult to drive, especially for me as I have some difficulties in judging distances.  A mini-van, which we had originally thought of getting, was completely out of the question solely because of size

considerations.  Maybe after a few months of driving here I will feel

differently about larger vehicles – there are lots of them on the

roads so apparently its not a problem for some people.


Anyway, we went to several dealers, none of whom were really any help

at all.  Their selection of lower priced small used cars was always

meager and mechanically questionable, and when they even gave us the

time of day it was generally to push us towards larger, newer, and of

course more expensive cars.


Fortunately, a member of one of the New Zealand lists I am on recommended that we go to a car fair, for which I am eternally grateful.  The car fair is held every Sunday at a horse racing track, and is definitely the place to go to find a good used car really cheap.  Like any such event, there are some "sharks" (mostly dealers and "panelbeaters" – accident repair guys) and also some worthless junk around, so you have to be wary and choosy about what you buy. But the quantity is definitely there to be choosy from; I'd guess there were over 100 cars to choose from for under $5000 NZD.  In addition to the selection there are two invaluable services on site, one of which will check the background of a car you're thinking of purchasing (when and where imported, registered, if money is outstanding on it, verify the odometer reading is legitimate based on past registrations, etc.) and the other of which will do a thorough mechanical inspection and tell you what needs fixing.


 We were able to find a nice little Nissan four-door sedan.  In the US, I've never seen the model, "Sunny" or the type, "Super Saloon" – and it is a car name which we still can't believe any company could put on the boot (trunk) of a car with a straight face.  But Nissan did, and it does appear to be a good little car.  It's a 1995 with 90,000 Kilometers on it (about 56,000 miles), and the mechanical inspection picked up a few minor things that it needs like an oil change, leaking gasket fixed, coolant flush and new spark plugs, but all major components are in good condition.  Thankfully for us it's also an automatic, so we don't have to re-learn driving a stick with the shifter on the left instead of the right!  We only paid $4350 NZD for it, which is about $3000 US.  The cars at the dealerships started at nearly twice that much money and twice the number of kilometers on the odometer too.  So buying a car seems to fit the same profile I described previously about buying other things in New Zealand:  It's not that expensive IF you are a smart shopper.  The other BIG surprise came when we got insurance for this little car.  Because the car was so cheap all I wanted was liability coverage, so I expected it wouldn't be too expensive.  And when I called the New Zealand Automobile Association which offers insurance here, I was not disappointed.  I faxed them a copy of my US insurer's reference (over age 25, no accidents or claims, clean driving record) and I was quoted a rate of $72.45 NZD.  Doing a quick mental calculation I thought, 'I guess that's not too bad for a monthly rate'…but then they told me it's not per month – it's PER YEAR!  I couldn't believe it could be that cheap (just a little over $50 US for a whole year of auto liability coverage?)  Well the explanation of why it is so cheap explains the political appeal of "no fault" systems I have heard proposed in the US.  It seems that a sizable chunk of the petrol tax here goes into an accident compensation fund called ACC, from which all automobile personal injury claims are paid regardless of who is at fault. So your personal liability coverage only has to cover property damage, and the cap on that is so high it doesn't even matter (something like $20 million NZD).  Politically I certainly have objections to "no fault" systems, but from a cost perspective it is quite compelling – for moderate drivers like us, especially with a small car the insurance savings way more than make up for the extra cost of petrol here.  Liability coverage alone on my US vehicles with $500K limits costs me $500 USD per year each, nearly 10 times what it costs in New Zealand.  For those who are interested in such things, when I transferred ownership of the car I was asked for either a drivers license or passport, and my passport number was recorded in the government's car ownership registry.  I was not asked for any form of ID or number to get the liability insurance; only my full name and date of birth.


Lastly, in order to return our rental car in downtown Auckland (about 50 Kilometers/30 miles to the south of Waiwera) I had to have a way to get back home, and as it would be a pain for the wife and kids to spend an hour and a half to drive down there just to drive me back home, I decided to try the public bus system.  Our particular location seems to be very lucky in terms of bus service.  There is one route that goes straight from downtown Auckland to our location in Waiwera. I had to get off one bus and onto another bus in Orewa, but this appeared to be an orchestrated affair, ie the bus in Orewa was empty and waiting for us, once everyone got off the one we were on and onto the new one it immediately left.  The fare (proportional to distance traveled) was steep for public transport -- $7.50 NZD.  But it was worth it for the distance, and if the busses here pay more of their own way so much the better.  It didn't hurt that it was a wonderful day too…70s and sunny so I didn't at all mind walking to the bus depot from the rental car drop off or from the bus stop to the house.  This bus route passed all the good spots for shopping and eating we know about between us and Auckland – Orewa, Silverdale, Albany, and some stuff around Northcote Road we hadn't investigated.  It definitely passed more empty land than the Sun Tran busses I rode 10 or more years ago in Tucson, so I was surprised at how quick and easy it was to use by comparison.  As I said though, I really think I just lucked out being right on a very good bus route.  Other locations this far out from the city centre might not have bus service at all or might have to transfer a bunch of times to get anywhere interesting other than city centre.  I expect if I'm not in a huge hurry and the weather isn't bad I'll actually use the bus whenever I need to go to downtown Auckland, as it is definitely easier than driving and parking, and unlike Tucson I don't have to wait and walk in the burning heat – all I need to do is carry a brolly (umbrella) in case of a little unexpected rain and I'm set!


--Jason Auvenshine

Waiwera, North Auckland, New Zealand




white house thinks its OK for the CIA to torture people




White House wants CIA exempt in McCain's bill


Eric Schmitt

New York Times

Oct. 25, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Stepping up a confrontation with the Senate over the treatment of detainees, the White House insists the CIA be exempted from a proposed ban on abusive treatment of suspected al-Qaida militants and other terrorists.


The Senate defied a presidential veto threat nearly three weeks ago and approved, 90-9, an amendment to a $440 billion military spending bill that would ban the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of any detainee held by the U.S. government. This could bar some techniques that the CIA has used in some interrogations overseas.


But in a 45-minute meeting last Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA director, Porter J. Goss, urged Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who wrote the amendment, to support an exemption for the agency, arguing that the president needed maximum flexibility in dealing with the global war on terrorism, according to two government officials briefed on the meeting. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the discussions.


McCain rejected the proposed exemption, which stated that the measure "shall not apply with respect to clandestine counterterrorism operations conducted abroad, with respect to terrorists who are not citizens of the United States, that are carried out by an element of the U.S. government other than the Department of Defense and are consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and treaties to which the United States is a party, if the President determines that such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack."


Spokesmen for McCain, Cheney and Goss all declined to comment on the matter on Monday, citing the confidential nature of the discussions.


McCain's provision faces stiff opposition in the House, which did not include similar language in its version of the spending bill.


The White House has threatened to veto any bill that includes the McCain provision, contending that it would bind the president's hands in wartime.


But McCain has kept the pressure on as the issue moves to a House-Senate conference committee, perhaps later this week or next. Shortly after the Senate vote on Oct. 5, McCain's staff sent conference committee members endorsement letters signed by more than two dozen retired senior military officers, including former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and John M. Shalikashvili, both former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


The matter will probably be settled in a private meeting in the next week or two among four senior lawmakers: Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska; Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla.; Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii; and Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa. All are on the conference committee.


McCain originally offered his measure earlier this year, when the Senate was working on a bill setting Pentagon policy. But Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., the majority leader, scuttled that bill, partly because of White House opposition to the amendment.


Now it appears that senators have struck a deal to revive the budget bill for Senate floor debate and action.




hmmmm..... its illegal to remove your relatives dead body from a plane crash




Surgeon in trouble for removing son's body from plane crash

Police found debris of craft - no body


Thomas Ropp

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 25, 2005 12:00 AM


In a case federal aviation authorities describe as "one of the weirdest ever," a Paradise Valley surgeon could face federal and state charges after removing the body of his dead son from a plane crash.


Jacob Lundell, 21, died late Saturday afternoon while doing touch-and-go maneuvers at the Casa Grande Municipal Airport, police said.


His father, Dr. Mark Lundell, and a brother witnessed the crash, authorities said.


Casa Grande police arrived a few minutes later to find the scene of an obvious fatality - but no body.


"There was a lot of blood and even brain matter in the cockpit," Casa Grande police Lt. Steve Cantrell said.


Officers said that a witness saw a red pickup truck pull up to the crash site and that two men removed the body. When the witness asked the men if he should call 911, the older man said no, they could handle it, police said.


Case Grande police got the identifying N-number off the plane tail and located a Paradise Valley address.


They contacted Paradise Valley police who arrived at the Lundell home seconds before a red pickup pulled up with the body.


Larry Scott, assistant Paradise Valley police chief, said other family members were present in the driveway, including Deborah Lundell, the victim's mother.


"They were all in shock," Scott said.


Deborah Lundell told Channel 3 (KTVK) that her husband brought their son's body home because "he knew my grieving, he knew my heartache; he knew I needed to see him before they took him away."


Mark Lundell did the right thing in allowing the family to say goodbye, she told the TV station.


"He may have legally not done the right thing, but morally he did the right thing," she added.


The body was taken to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.


Donn Walker of the FAA's Los Angeles regional office said their investigator showed up shortly after the Casa Grande police and was baffled.


"He called up and said we just had a plane crash but can't find the body," Walker said. "It's one of the most bizarre things I've ever heard."


Walker said that the victim had neither a pilot's license nor a valid student pilot's certificate and that the plane, a 1961 Nord owned by the Lundells, was not registered.


Walker said the FAA is investigating possible federal violations, including the removal of the body from the crash site.


Andrea Esquer, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Attorney General's Office, would not comment on the state's position, pending the outcome of the probe by U.S. authorities.


There are several Arizona statutes that address such situations. One requires that human body cannot be removed from the scene of a suspicious death unless a county medical examiner gives permission.


The Lundells have five children. They have appeared in newspaper articles in connection with their love of flying.






Some design not so intelligent . . .


Oct. 26, 2005 12:00 AM


Regarding "Let's try teaching the 'Golden Rule' " (Letters, Monday):


Hooray for the letter writer. The only good things that have come from religion are the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. If you live your life by them you are way ahead of the game.


If intelligent design is true, then why do we suffocate to death when we get something caught in our throats?


That's not such an intelligent design.


Why are there fleas and cockroaches? Why do our brains clog up with gunk to cause Alzheimer's? Why are there conjoined twins? If something or someone caused humans to exist, why didn't he/she/it provide better health and safety for us? We don't know, and we never will.


Most of these intelligent-design believers just don't want to admit that more than likely we are evolved from apes.


Did you ever think that maybe the apes don't like the idea either?


Kathleen Chaney

Cottonwood, Arizona






Patriot Act proposal alters death penalty


Dan Eggen

Washington Post

Oct. 26, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The House bill that would reauthorize the USA Patriot Act anti-terrorism law includes several little-noticed provisions that would dramatically transform the federal death penalty system, allowing smaller juries to decide on executions and giving prosecutors the ability to try again if a jury deadlocks on sentencing.


The bill also triples the number of terrorism-related crimes eligible for the death penalty, adding, among others, the material support law that has been the core of the government's legal strategy against terrorism.


The death penalty provisions, which were added to the House bill during a voice vote in July, are emerging as one of the major points of contention between House and Senate negotiators as they begin work on a compromise bill to renew expiring portions of the Patriot Act. If approved, the provisions could affect future Justice Department terrorism prosecutions.


The Senate version of the bill does not include the death penalty expansions. Senate Democrats argue that the proposals are extraneous to the Patriot Act and should not be approved without fuller debate. Death penalty opponents and defense attorneys also contend that the measures would increase the risk that innocent people could be executed by removing some of the safeguards now in place.


"These are radical changes in the way federal death penalty cases are litigated, and they were added virtually without any debate," said Jennifer Daskal, U.S. program advocate for Human Rights Watch.


The Justice Department has endorsed the provisions and a spokesman for House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis., said Tuesday that the proposals were viewed as uncontroversial because they were approved overwhelmingly on the House floor.


The death penalty provisions were added as an amendment by Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, who had originally proposed the changes in a separate bill called the Terrorist Death Penalty Enhancement Act. Under the proposals, 41 new crimes would be added to the 20 terrorism-related offenses now eligible for the federal death penalty. Prosecutors would also find it easier to impose a death sentence in cases in which the defendant did not have the intent to kill.


But critics are most concerned about procedural changes related to juries, including a provision that would allow a trial with fewer than 12 jurors if the court finds "good cause," with or without the agreement of the defense.


The bill also would give prosecutors a chance to try again if a jury is deadlocked over a death sentence. Under current law, a hung jury at sentencing results in a life sentence, which mirrors the system used by most of the 38 states that currently allow the death penalty. Five states, including California, allow prosecutors to empanel a new jury if the first one deadlocks.




more feel good government. if these molesters are a real danger to children why did the government let them out of prisons????




Molesters in N.J. face curfew on Halloween


Associated Press

Oct. 26, 2005 12:00 AM


NEWARK, N.J. - New Jersey sex offenders who face supervision under Megan's Law will be confined to their homes on Halloween and under orders not to answer the door when trick-or-treaters come.


It will be the first time sex offenders in New Jersey will be subject to a curfew.


A lawyer who represents offenders questioned whether the ban will protect children.


The rules were issued by the state Parole Board in a recent letter to the 2,200 offenders it supervises.


The offenders must be indoors by 7 p.m. Monday and cannot answer their door when trick-or-treaters knock. They cannot attend parties where there are children and cannot take any children, including their own, out in search of treats.


"Our goal is to avoid unsupervised contact," said Edward Bray, acting deputy executive director of the state Parole Board.


Bray said he was not aware of any other states with a similar curfew.


Megan's Law got its start in New Jersey after the 1994 rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived across the street in Hamilton Township.


Megan's Law requires released sex offenders to register with police when they move into a community and for residents to be notified.


Lawyer John S. Furlong said Tuesday that he has heard from a half-dozen clients regarding the curfew but he conceded that the state has the authority to impose the curfew.


But he said: "My own view is that it's unfair, expensive and inane. In other words, it's just stupid. Nobody is going to be safer. Nobody is going to be less at risk."


He added: "The best monitors in the world for children are their parents. You want to keep your kids safe? Go trick-or-treating with them."






Drug-sniffing dogs search 2 high schools

By Andrea Falkenhagen, Tribune

October 25, 2005


Scottsdale police brought canines into two high schools for drug searches earlier this month, but school officials refused to discuss where or when those searches occurred.


"There were two searches at two of our high schools, and both resulted in no drugs found in any of the lockers," Keith Sterling, spokesman for the Scottsdale Unified School District, said Monday.


He said the searches were done after school hours, and students can expect additional searches at other high schools in the future.


Bringing drug-sniffing dogs on campuses is just one of the tactics Scottsdale schools are using to combat drug use among students. The idea came about after a report released by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office last spring found numerous instances of drug use among Scottsdale teens and young adults.


Governing board president Chris Schild said no one from the district or the police department has told her about the most recent drug searches.


She said she plans to withhold judgement about the plan’s effectiveness until the end of the school year, when she can determine whether there has been a decrease in the number of students who face discipline for bringing drugs on campus.


"If we would see a decline in the number of on-campus possession offenses, then I think we should give serious consideration to continuing the program for its deterrent effect," she said. "But if we haven’t seen any decline in the number of drug offenses, then what’s the point?"


Meanwhile, the neighboring Paradise Valley Unified School District is using different tactics to help students say no to drugs.


The district does not implement random drug dog searches, said district spokeswoman Judi Willis.


Instead, the high schools recently announced plans to offer random drug testing for any student whose parent requests it.


Contact Andrea Falkenhagen by email, or phone (480) 970-2348




mesa cops cracking down on dangerous and deadly jaywalkers.




Mesa police crack down on speeders, red-light runners

By Mike Branom, Tribune

October 25, 2005


Mesa police say they’ve practically begged motorists and pedestrians to be careful on the city’s streets, but to no avail. Now they’re hoping to catch people’s attention with a blizzard of citations.


Prompted by a record number of traffic fatalities, a special traffic enforcement squad is cracking down on speeders, red-light runners and jaywalkers. Working every weekday since Oct. 3, the four-man unit has issued 1,023 tickets for 1,457 violations.


If that seems like a lot, measure against this statistic: 57 people have died on Mesa streets and roads this year, topping the record 39 traffic deaths in 1996. And there’s still two months remaining in 2005.


So, police are hoping their safety message will sink in because of another number — the cost of paying the ticket or taking a driver’s education class.


"When you attach a fine to a citation, I think it gets people’s attention," said Lt. Ben Kulina, who heads the department’s traffic unit.


The enforcement efforts, due to continue indefinitely, are taking place across the city, just as the 54 fatal crashes did.


"If there was a particular intersection or a particular area and I was able to put all my resources there, I would," Kulina said. "Unfortunately, this year they’re everywhere."


Contact Mike Branom by email, or phone (480) 898-6536






Detective indicted on 23 counts

Phoenix veteran accused of tampering with computers


Lindsey Collom

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 27, 2005 12:00 AM


A Phoenix police detective has been indicted on 23 counts of computer tampering after investigators said he used his authority to access secure information for personal interest.


Juan H. Rivera, a 13-year veteran of Phoenix police, is on paid administrative leave. He will be arraigned Oct. 31 in Maricopa County Superior Court.


In the past two years, Rivera allegedly accessed police and motor vehicle records of at least 23 people, including acquaintances and city employees; some were people he once dated, said Sgt. Lauri Williams, a Phoenix police spokeswoman.


What Rivera did with the information is not known, Williams said.


Police were tipped off in June after a detective in the Violent Crime Bureau Robbery Detail, where Rivera is assigned, found a printout of a co-worker's driver license. When presented with the copy, the co-worker became "concerned."


Investigators determined the license was printed from Rivera's computer and a full-scale investigation was launched, Williams said.


"It is unnerving, especially in this day and age of privacy and identity theft," she said. "You can get tons of info on a person. You can imagine the kind of info we can access."


Any citizen can access public records, including police reports and motor vehicle information. But the Police Department viewed Rivera's activities as an abuse of authority, Williams said.


"I think this is a rare case in that a police officer is using his authority essentially for personal interest," she said. "It's something we're not going to tolerate here in our Police Department."


Reach the reporter at lindsey.collom@arizonarepublic.com or

(602) 444-8557.






Justices of Peace criticize move of courts to Chandler


Edythe Jensen

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 26, 2005 02:20 PM


Two Tempe justice courts and one from south Mesa/Gilbert will move to downtown Chandler next year as part of a plan to double the capacity of a regional court center.


The move is a coup for Chandler and its downtown redevelopment efforts, bringing hundreds of additional people each day into the city center. But Tempe and south Mesa/Gilbert justices of the peace say it's a bad idea that inconveniences their residents and will lead to the demise of "the peoples' courts."


"One of the easiest ways to make justice courts irrelevant is removing them from the communities they serve," said east Tempe Justice of the Peace John Ore. "Tempe on the county level has been disenfranchised."


Ore said many of his litigants have ties to Arizona State University and some are students who get to court on bicycles. "It's a long ride to Chandler, and public transportation is minimal at best," he said. "This will be good for the lawyers; they'll be able to get more defaults because people won't be able to get to court."


Ore said the expansion was poorly handled and Tempe judges didn't get the news until after the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted approval earlier this month.


A similar center opened last month in northeast Phoenix, and others are planned in the northwest Valley, southwest Valley, central Phoenix and Mesa, said county courts spokeswoman J.W. Brown.


As part of the consolidation, the courts will change their titles and will no longer contain the name of a city. Scottsdale's court has been renamed "McDowell," Peoria's will become "Lake Pleasant" and Glendale's will become "Manistee." Names have not yet been selected for Chandler, south Mesa/Gilbert and Tempe.


All new centers will house several justice courts, and some will offer other services and are expected to save $58 million in space rental costs over 14 years, Brown said.


"They say we'll be saving money on rent, but has anybody thought about the constituents, how much farther they'll have to drive? This isn't right, just to save a few bucks," said south Mesa/Gilbert Justice of the Peace Sam Goodman, who has been holding court for two years in a building constructed for that purpose by the town.


Gilbert Town Councilman Don Skousen, a former Mesa/Gilbert justice, said Gilbert will be able to use the abandoned county court space, but he thinks moving four courts to Chandler is a bad idea.


"Justice courts are the people's courts and should be located where the people live," Skousen said.


Pat McDermott, Chandler assistant city manager, said Chandler donated 2.5 acres of land for the project in 2003 to keep its own justice court in the city and enhance its downtown redevelopment efforts.


Last month, the county asked for more land to double the court capacity to four, and tonight the council will vote on donation of an additional 1.6 acres. Both parcels are near city police and courts buildings northwest of Delaware and Frye roads.


Like many other justice courts, Chandler's current court is housed in leased shopping center space at the southwestern corner of Dobson and Warner roads.


The increased traffic from court personnel, attorneys and litigants at the four-court facility could be a boon to downtown shops and restaurants, McDermott said.


"Does Chandler realize how many people they're going to get? Do they have parking spaces?" Ore asked. "Last year, more people came through our metal detectors than came to the Fiesta Bowl - 77,000," he said.


The consolidation is also likely to force more driving time for Tempe police and process servers, he said.


Reach the reporter at edythe.jensen@arizonarepublic.com






MVD service has never been good


Oct. 27, 2005 12:00 AM


Regarding "MVD mess worse than story showed" (Letters, Monday):


I disagree with state Sen. John Huppenthal.


For the past 35 years I have dealt with state Motor Vehicle Division and it has never provided "good service." It doesn't matter if Democrats or Republicans are in office - the service has always been horrible.


The extremely high Arizona license fees should provide plenty of funds for adequate staff, if politicians would stop raiding the fund for other things.


Bob Jordan

Chandler, Arizona






Thomas targets moms of babies on drugs

By Gary Grado, Tribune

October 27, 2005


Mothers whose newborns have illegal drugs in their systems would be charged with child abuse under a law proposed Wednesday by Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.


County prosecutors receive at least two to four inquiries a month from police investigating cases of babies born on drugs, but the problem is probably on a greater scale because most police officers know nothing can be done, said Patty Stevens, who runs the county attorney’s Family Violence Bureau.


"We’re not involved in these as far as litigating them, so often times our involvement ends with a phone call of ‘can you do anything?’ " Stevens said. "And right now, we can’t because the abuse was while the baby was being carried by the mother."


Appellate courts have found that mothers can’t be charged with child abuse under Arizona’s current child abuse laws, Thomas said.


Rep. Steve Yarbrough, RChandler, is the bill’s sponsor.


The legislation would make a mother guilty of child abuse if her child tests positive for an illegal drug such as heroin, marijuana or methamphetamine within 72 hours of birth.


Mothers would also face charges if the child showed an injury within one year of birth that is a direct result of drug use.


A felony conviction involving a child victim would also constitute grounds for severing parental rights under the proposed law.


The law would also allow the court to give harsher sentences if the child were removed from the home by Child Protective Services.


Lastly, the law would require police and health care workers to report when they suspect a newborn is affected by a mother’s illegal drug use.


"We need to hold people responsible who are doing this, and we need to get these children out of these abusive situations," Thomas said.


A similar idea was rejected during a special legislative session in 2002 dedicated to reforming CPS, said Mary Rimsza, who was on a governor’s task force during the session.


"It comes up again and again," said Rimsza, who is co-director of Health Information and Research at Arizona State University.


Rimsza said the medical community opposed the idea out of fear that women who are drug users wouldn’t seek prenatal care to avoid arrest.


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






Chandler preps for student drug tests

By Hayley Ringle, Tribune

October 27, 2005


The Chandler Unified School District has a lot to do before implementing a random drug testing program in January, or it does not get a $719,000 grant.


Within 10 weeks, the district needs to hire a project director who will oversee the program. The job has not yet been posted.


Information meetings must be held for parents, students and the community at each of the three Chandler high schools. No dates have been set.


"It’s almost November. I’m just worried about rushing to implement this. That’s my anxiety," said governing board member Karen Clark.


Others at the Wednesday study session about the program said it could be done.


The district announced last week it was one of 55 districts nationwide to receive threeyear grants from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.


Beginning in January, students and parents must give written consent for students to enter the pool for a random drug test if joining an Arizona Interscholastic Association sport or nonathletic activity, everything from badminton and wrestling to chess and theater.


The governing board, school officials and principals who attended the study session were positive the district would be ready to begin in January. No parents or students attended.


Chandler High School principal Terry Williams said he has received no negative comments from parents or students.


"It gives the students a legitimate way of saying no," Williams said.


Contact Hayley Ringle by email, or phone (480)-898-6301






Oct 27, 10:18 AM EDT


Police officer accused of illegally obtaining records


PHOENIX (AP) -- A Phoenix police officer has been indicted on 23 counts of computer tampering for allegedly using authority to access secure information for personal interest.


Police officials said Wednesday that Juan H. Rivera, a 13-year veteran, is on paid administrative leave. He will be arraigned Oct. 31 in Maricopa County Superior Court.


In the last two years, Rivera allegedly accessed police and motor vehicle records of at least 23 people, including acquaintances and city employees and people he once dated.


What Rivera did with the information is not known, authorities said.


Police were tipped off in June after a detective in the Violent Crime Bureau Robbery Detail where Rivera is assigned found a printout of a co-worker's driver license.


Investigators determined the license was printed from Rivera's computer and a full-scale investigation was launched.






how much does the state charge you or your mother to make calls to here? i bet we are talking about real rip off numbers. i know i can buy a phone card and call anywhere in the use for $5 and talk for 500 minutes. how much is the state raping you for?




jesus loves you. and his priest love your children (in a biblical sense)




2 men testify against priest


Jim Walsh

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 28, 2005 12:00 AM


Two men in their 30s from Indiana said they suffered silently for years, but the hurt spilled out Thursday as they testified in Maricopa County Superior Court against a former West Valley priest accused of molesting six Arizona boys.


A 38-year-old father from South Bend, Ind., testified that Rev. Paul LeBrun first fondled him when he was 13 years old, under the ruse that he was checking for a hernia.


"I wish he would do what he taught us to do, to be accountable for his actions, to be truthful," said the witness, whose identity is being withheld because he is the victim of an alleged sex crime.


LeBrun is one of only two priests to go on trial on sex charges in the Valley. The other, Father Karl LeClaire, pleaded guilty in November to lesser charges before the second day of his trial and there was no testimony by the victim. He was given a year in jail in January.


LeBrun, 49, is accused of eight counts of sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of child molestation. The allegations stem from his relationships with six Arizona boys between 1986 and 1991. Allegations in Indiana surfaced after he was transferred to Arizona. He has not been charged with any crimes in Indiana because of the statute of limitations.


The victims were 11 to 13 years old and the crimes occurred while LeBrun worked as a youth minister at St. John Vianney Church in Avondale and Blessed Sacrament Church in Tolleson, prosecutors said.


"It's very hard to comprehend how someone can establish a trusting relationship with a child and then betray it," Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in opening statements before Superior Court Judge Crane McClennen in Mesa.


"Each of them had no father figure to go to," she said of the victims. "Each of them went to Father LeBrun."


But defense attorney Kenneth Huls said LeBrun is a victim of a "witch hunt" that swept the nation during the priest abuse scandal, that the allegations are more than a decade old, that three Arizona victims have felony convictions and two hope to win millions in a civil suit.


"This case is about scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, this case is about greed, this case is about false accusations," Huls said.


Working with youth was LeBrun's mission, the defense attorney said, but it also exposed him to potential allegations of sexual abuse.


"Paul LeBrun unwittingly put a large target on his back," Huls said.


McClennen allowed four Indiana victims to testify so prosecutors can attempt to prove that LeBrun has a "sexual propensity" to abuse young boys.


A second witness, a 34-year-old man originally from South Bend who now lives in Florida, described in graphic detail how LeBrun abused him repeatedly as a 14-year-old boy on youth group trips to Fort Myers, Fla., and on a houseboat on the Mississippi River in Iowa.


LeBrun was the cool priest everyone trusted, the second witness said.


"He was almost like a super hero," said the witness, now the father of three children. "You could tell him anything and he wouldn't pass judgment on you."


But all that changed for the witness when LeBrun insisted on sharing a bed with him at a condominium in Fort Myers and molested him repeatedly.


The second witness cried as he described why he never told his parents about the abuse on either trip.


"By telling my parents, I would have risked more than losing my faith. I would have taken my family's faith," he testified. "I don't think we'd be here. I think my family would have taken the matter into their own hands."


The 34-year-old man said he no longer attends church regularly, but his children are baptized Catholics.


"It's very difficult for me to attend Mass without being reminded of him," he said.


The witness said he will only sue LeBrun or the church if LeBrun is found not guilty by jurors.


"In order to heal, all the people who thought I was a liar need to know I was telling the truth," he said.


The witness glared at LeBrun after he finished testifying and walked past the priest to leave the courtroom.


LeBrun is still a member of the Holy Cross order, but can no longer carry out priestly duties, said Dick Nussbaum, an attorney for the Priests of Holy Cross. Testimony is expected to resume Monday and the trial is expected to last about four weeks.


Supporters of LeBrun angered one Indiana victim by sending letters to South Bend parishioners soliciting money for LeBrun's defense, the South Bend Tribune reported.


Reach the reporter at jim.walsh@arizonarepublic.com.




phoenix rulers may ask you to vote to give the phoenix cops $4 million!




Possible Phoenix bond up $8 mil for police, others

Residents would vote on $858 mil in March


Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 28, 2005 12:00 AM


PHOENIX - An executive committee bumped the upcoming bond program on Thursday by nearly $8 million, bringing the total package that could go before voters to $857.8 million.


The Citizens Bond Executive Committee exceeded the $850 million they initially approved so they could increase funding for areas like public safety, economic development and neighborhood revitalization.


The police department got the biggest budget boost with an additional $4 million recommended to buy land that would house future police stations, expand their communication system and bolster the Family Advocacy Center.


"You have to prioritize and figure out how to best use taxpayers' money," said Paul Johnson, a former Phoenix mayor and committee chairman. "Clearly, public safety came out overwhelmingly as Number 1."


The committee deviated from the recommendations of about 700 volunteers who spent weeks on 14 different subcommittees whittling more than $3 billion in project requests to the $850 million. There were also three other subcommittees that recommended the size of the bond program, set limits on maintenance and operation expenses and handled public relations.


The committee approved an additional $3 million for the Ben Avery Shooting Facility and the Pioneer Arizona Living History Village & Museum.


But that increase meant a $1 million cut from water management and trail renovations at city parks and $2 million taken from money assigned for renovations to Heritage and Science Park in downtown Phoenix.


As committee members spent the morning hashing out what projects should get more or less funding, they were careful that any increases not rise above 1 percent, or $8.5 million, of the initial amount. City officials said that going above that amount would likely mean a tax increase.


The additional money approved also was carefully spread across the city. They earmarked additional money to revitalize abandoned or underutilized retail strip malls and big box stores and to create a park on the city's west side. They set aside more money for youth programs for Reach 11, a recreation area in the northeast, for buying land for the 620 mountain preserve in far south Phoenix and also land for future police stations in northwest, northeast and southwest.


Mark Briggs, who headed the city's Historic Preservation Committee, urged that the committee members not go too far and leave no flexibility for the council members, who will consider their recommendations in November.


"I think we're asking for trouble," he said, voicing concerns about not closely sticking with subcommittee recommendations. He said he'd been contacted by council members whose projects didn't make the cut and was concerned that elected officials would move money around. If that happened, he believes it would "be a mockery of the time we've spent and citizens have spent on this."


"I'm concerned we're going to have a second round of winners and losers," he said.


Johnson said he hopes the City Council makes few, if any, changes.


Some members made a last-ditch plea for projects and organizations didn't get any money, or they believed didn't get enough, in the initial rounds of recommendations.


Barry Wong, the co-chair of the Drainage and Storm Sewer Subcommittee, tried at least three different times - unsuccessfully - to get as much as $17.8 million more dedicated to that area.


"I know this isn't as sexy as parks or other subcommittees, but this issue is a very important and serious issue," he said.


The City Council is expected to consider the executive committee's recommendations in November before adopting a final list that will appear on a March 14 ballot.






Sergeant linked to fraud still on sheriff's payroll


Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 28, 2005 12:00 AM


In early August, Maricopa County Sheriff's Sgt. Leo Driving Hawk Sr. stood before a U.S. District magistrate in Phoenix and confessed to a felony as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.


The 16-year law officer admitted to his role in a $78 million swindle at his father's bank, where he moonlighted as vice president.


Ten weeks later, Driving Hawk, a member of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Internal Affairs Division, continues receiving a government paycheck while on administrative leave.


Jack MacIntyre, an aide to Arpaio, said the sergeant still is collecting his $60,000 annual salary because the conviction has not been accepted by a judge and an internal investigation is unfinished.


"We want to make sure we cross all the t's and dot all the i's so there's no lawsuit that costs even more," MacIntyre explained.


Driving Hawk could not be reached for comment. He faces a maximum three years in prison. However, under terms of a plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney's Office is expected to request probation without time behind bars. In return, Driving Hawk would have to cooperate in future prosecutions.


Sentencing is scheduled in April.


Grounds for firing

Law enforcement policies on termination vary from agency to agency but do not limit firing to employees who have been convicted of a felony. Officers may be dismissed for insubordination, policy breeches and ethical violations.


Samuel Walker, a criminal justice professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha who runs a Web site and has written books on police accountability, said a signed plea agreement should be grounds for firing.


"Certainly, if he has admitted he's guilty, that would be sufficient," Walker said. "He probably should be terminated - and immediately."


Arizona law officers must be certified by the state Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, which is empowered to strip certification from those who violate legal or ethical standards.


An officer who commits a felony faces automatic decertification, and there is no legal reason to await formal conviction before termination, said Bob Forry, the agency's compliance manager.


Forry added that enforcement agencies routinely fire officers for misconduct without awaiting a conviction or requiring one.


Arpaio critics say Driving Hawk remains on staff because he knows about workings inside the Sheriff's Office. Over the past decade, at least a dozen of Arpaio's former employees and campaign rivals have filed suit alleging that the sheriff used his deputies to wage retribution against political enemies.


Union leaders were investigated, demoted and fired or forced out. Opposing campaign figures were placed under surveillance, investigated and prosecuted. And as a member of Internal Affairs and the Threat Assessment Unit, Driving Hawk has insider knowledge about why and how the Sheriff's Office acted, critics say.


MacIntyre said Driving Hawk was never in the sheriff's "inner circle."


Personnel files obtained under Arizona public records law suggest otherwise. A job description says Driving Hawk was "hand-selected by the sheriff and/or the chief deputy" to serve in the Internal Affairs Division and communicated with the sheriff regularly "on sensitive investigations and other matters, including security issues." The files also show he was "one of the few supervisors who routinely reports directly to the sheriff."


Federal officials publicly linked Driving Hawk with investment fraud for the first time 3½ years ago when the Securities and Exchange Commission named him in a lawsuit.


MacIntyre said personnel records contain no mention of that case because sheriff's officials did not learn of the allegations until this past July. However, a sheriff's spokesman told The Arizona Republic in June 2003 that Arpaio was aware of the SEC complaint. Nevertheless, MacIntyre said an internal probe was not launched until five weeks ago. It has not yet been completed.


Driving Hawk's personnel file describes an accomplished sheriff's employee who has received numerous commendations and promotions. The most recent evaluation, done last January, praises the sergeant and approves a pay increase.


Ponzi scheme

Driving Hawk's father, Edward Sr., is a former chairman of the Rosebud Sioux tribe in South Dakota and past president of the National Congress of American Indians.


In 1992 Edward Sr. founded the United States Reservation Bank and Trust, most recently based on the Salt River Reservation.


Four years ago, the SEC lawsuit says, the bank became part of a Ponzi scheme, in which investors were lured with guaranteed profits of 20 percent and early clients were paid with money from those who followed. Edward Sr. has filed court papers blaming others for the alleged fraud and claiming his son was not a part of it.


So far in the ongoing probe, charges have been lodged only against Leo Driving Hawk. Court papers say he became vice president at his father's bank in December 2001 and discovered the investment scheme. Before that, personnel records show, Leo juggled his hours at the Sheriff's Office to work at the bank.


Two years ago, Leo told the Republic he didn't understand the business and was just trying to help his dad. However, plea papers contain an admission that he failed to notify authorities of fraud and, in at least one case, lied to a client who had invested $1 million.


The SEC complaint says Reservation Bank raised $78 million from 20 victims "while under the control of Ed Driving Hawk and Leo Driving Hawk." It also says Leo was a principle in companies that siphoned more than $2.5 million from the bank "for no apparent consideration."


Marshall Gandy, an SEC lawyer handling the civil case, said Leo received $216,258 and other money was funneled to the family's racehorse and casino-development businesses.




constitional rights? you dont have not stinking constitional rights as long as bush is president




High court rule asked on holding U.S. citizen


Richard A. Serrano

Los Angeles Times

Oct. 28, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Lawyers for Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held as an "enemy combatant," asked the Supreme Court on Thursday for the final word on how long the Bush administration can legally hold Americans accused in the war on terror without criminal charges or a trial.


Padilla has spent more than three years behind bars and has yet to be brought to court. His lawyers said in their petition to the court that his predicament was blatantly unconstitutional for a U.S. citizen.


Padilla is a native of New York and was arrested in Chicago.


The lawyers want the Supreme Court to rule that the Bush White House has overstepped its legal authority by holding "without charge an American citizen arrested on American soil" during the war on terror that is "indeterminate in scope and time."


But the government, which won a major ruling in the case last month when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided Padilla could be held without trial, said the president has the authority in wartime to identify enemy combatants and hold them indefinitely. Prosecutors further warn that granting Padilla a trial and risking his eventual release from custody would allow him to again take up arms against this country.


When Padilla was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare Airport in May 2002, authorities said he was returning from Central Asia to scope out targets for a "dirty bomb" attack using chemical weapons. He eventually was taken to a Navy brig in South Carolina, where he remains.


But officials have since backed off the "dirty bomb" scenario and instead focused on allegations that he fought against U.S. forces in Afghanistan and is an enemy combatant dangerous to this country.


Padilla's lawyers told the Supreme Court that only the justices "possess the national authority to conclusively resolve the issue" about whether an American's right to due process can be upheld without endangering the public against future terror attacks.


Legal experts believe the Supreme Court, now waiting for the government's response to Padilla's petition, will decide by the end of this year whether to take the case. Experts said it provides a unique opportunity for the court to set uniform standards on how far the White House can proceed with enemy combatants.






Oct 28, 4:30 AM EDT


Judge asked to revoke probation of retired police officer


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A judge has been asked to revoke the probation of a retired Tucson police officer arrested two years ago for using the Internet to set up a sexual encounter with a person he thought was an underage girl.


Charles Kenneth Walter, a 21-year police veteran, was arrested in December 2003 after showing up for the meeting.


The girl turned out to be an undercover officer, and Walter was charged with luring a minor for sexual exploitation and computer tampering.


Walter, who retired after his arrest, pleaded guilty to computer tampering with sexual motives and was sentenced to three years' probation. He was also ordered to undergo counseling and register as a sex offender.


On Thursday, the Probation Department asked Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell to revoke Walter's probation for several reasons.


Walter, 50, is being held without bail in the county jail pending a hearing to discuss the allegations.




22 October 2005


Dear Mike,


Thank you for the news update. I was not aware that the Aryan Brotherhood had a creed.


To answer your questions, no we are not allowed to have matches or lighters, but I am given to understand that some inmates have them anyway. Inmates are not allowed to smoke in their cells. Smoking is permitted outdoors, and there are electric cigarette lighters in several locations outdoors, so inmates often smoke on their way to or from the dining hall or the recreation field.


Thus far I have been unable to obtain a spare commissary list. I will try to obtain one, however.


Tom, my cellmate, tells me that there is racial trouble brewing in this housing unit and that there will be a riot. I have seen not evidence of it, and racial relations here do not appear to be strained.


Yesterday Tom attacked a guard in the dining hall. That is a felony, but because he is already doing a life sentence, they couldn’t add any time to his sentence. They could send him to a maximum security prison, but for some reason they did not punish him.


I now have the job of shower sanitizer. The work is easy and only takes me about an hour a day, but we are often out of supplies, and the guards sometimes don’t let me out to do my job.


Today I was able to telephone my mother for the first time since I’ve been here. The phone bureaucracy finally cleared me. I can’t telephone anyone else, however because one can only call those on one’s visitors list.


My mothers visited me two weeks ago, but it was such an ordeal she only thinks she can do it every month. They strip-searched me after the visit.


My health is good. I hope all is well with you.










Dear Mike;


I’m the Law Librarian here at the prison, & I have access to typewriters, which don’t cost anything. There’s no access to computers – The ancient set they let inmates  use is strictly for GED classes; and don’t allow printing – so no letter writing on computers is possible. The software is garbage anyway; & it wouldn’t work for word processing.


On the book – its’ an analysis of religion from 3 perspectives – historical, phenomenological, and sociological. I approach the subject from a scholarly, skeptical perspective. Though I’m sort of a Taoist /  Animist (pagan, really), I’m not an atheist but I do understand & am sympathetic to their views. I’m very critical of what religions have done & been used for; & the book breaks down religion in the same way Machiavelli analyzed politics & power in The Prince.


I’m definitely a freethinker; w/ agnostic tendencies. Thanks for the address in Phoenix – I may write them when my MS is farther along. I’m in the middle of the 3rd draft – of at least 4, and possibly 5 drafts total. A lot of work remains to be done. If I’m lucky, I’ll be finished in the Spring of ’06.


I’d be willing to talk to the Phoenix & Tucson Atheist groups, though honestly they (the Feds) are very laid back about religion. Norse, Pagan, Wicca, Indian/Native religions all have access to the chapel here; & the Christian sects are no more favored than others (though they are given easier passes inside, while the Islamic Imam went  thought Hell to get inside. To be fair, the Buddhist Monk got his pass easily).


Give my best to Laro – take care of yourself, & write back soon. Send the Tucson Atheist group address if its’ convenient .


Your Friend,





 another interesting letter from jason - even though im currently not too happy with jason


To: lpaz-discuss@yahoogroups.com, lpaz-pima@yahoogroups.com

From: "Jason" auvenj@gmail.com

Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by yahoogroups.com. Learn more

Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2005 01:12:15 -0700

Subject: [lpaz-discuss] New Zealand: Guy Fawkes Night


 A few days ago I saw an ad for fireworks and it immediately caught myeye.  They were selling all kinds of stuff, ranging from sparklers up to $200 complete backyard extravaganza sets.  The ads referred, cryptically to us, to "Guy Fawkes" and "400 years".


My first thought was, "wow, here's another thing we can do in New Zealand that we can't do in Arizona".  Though to be fair, this is not so much a US-NZ thing as a desert wetlands thing -- fireworks are legal in plenty of US states where they get as much rain as New Zealand.


My second thought, promptly acted upon was, "great, this will be a chance to show the kids some small personal fireworks they won't ever get to see/use in Arizona."  We bought a small set containing an assortment of goodies the kids can't wait to see lit off.


Only after buying the fireworks did I really start to think, "I wonder what it is we're celebrating?"  So Sharon looked it up on the 'net, then I looked it up myself because I couldn't believe what Sharon told me.


The extra short story is, while Americans light fireworks to celebrate their success in overthrowing the British government, New Zealanders light fireworks to celebrate the failure of an attempt to overthrow the British government.  OK, that's definitely oversimplifying it, but one can't help making the comparison.  The short story is Guy Fawkes led a plot to blow up the King and Parliament on the 5th of November 1605, probably would have killed some innocent bystanders and even supporters in the process, was caught red handed putting barrels of gunpowder under the parliament building, was tortured and then executed for treason.  The tradition of fireworks is apparently accompanied by the public burning dolls of Guy Fawkes in effigy every 5th of November!  The tradition was just imported unchanged from England, and has nothing to do with New Zealand history.


The somewhat longer story behind it is that Guy Fawkes was motivated by religion rather than politics per se, and he was not a hero of freedom.  England was officially Protestant at the time.  Fawkes was Catholic, and wanted to establish Catholicism as the state religion in England.  While the English did treat the Catholics badly, the Catholic church in 1605 was hardly a pinnacle of freedom and virtue itself.  So the Guy Fawkes plot was really about one religious theocrat failing in a violent plot to overthow and replace a theocracy he differed with on some relatively minor theological specifics -- not something I could really find worth celebrating on either side.


The other factor is that New Zealanders seem to treat Guy Fawkes Night as nothing more than an excuse to light off fireworks -- it seems to mean even less to them than the 4th of July means to most Americans. And one of the links below says some people are celebrating the attempt rather than the failure.  Still, finding out this was the reason for all the fireworks being sold has been the most culturally jarring moment I've had yet in New Zealand, simply because I just can't see it as something to celebrate either way.  So we'll light off our fireworks just for the fun of it, scratching our heads at the same time…from a safe distance of course.  :-)


Those who want to read more about Guy Fawkes can do so here:




--Jason Auvenshine

Waiwera, North Auckland, New Zealand






Report blames MVD problems on low staffing


Jahna Berry

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 29, 2005 12:00 AM


A state inspector general has found that Motor Vehicle Division offices throughout Arizona have been operating with large numbers of their customer-service staff absent and many service windows closed, contributing to long waits and potential security problems.


Department of Transportation Inspector General Peter Francis reported that offices have operated with a third or more of their customer service staff missing and 50 percent or less of their service windows open.


Francis filed a report Oct. 3 that included a section warning that persistent understaffing has made it difficult or impossible to carry out new anti-fraud measures, let alone shorten wait times.


"Lacking adequate staff to operate offices, supervisors and employees cannot both take the additional time needed to implement new security measures and meet wait-time goals," he wrote.


Over the past two years the state Motor Vehicle Division has shed 187 temporary and permanent customer service jobs, internal figures show. Most were through attrition. Today, MVD has 685 customer-service representatives, and 84 of those jobs are vacant.


The average waiting time at MVD offices statewide has risen to 22 minutes, from 15 a year ago, but waiting times in Valley motor vehicles offices can be hours.


Victor Mendez, director of the Arizona Department of Transportation, acknowledged this week that while other factors cause service delays, manpower is a huge problem.


"We know that cuts in all (transportation) divisions have impacted customer service. It has been a priority to maintain service levels," Mendez said. All state agencies have been asked to trim their budgets over the past few years, Mendez said, and ADOT keeps some posts empty to help balance the budget. Mendez says he plans to ask the governor and state lawmakers for money to fill more positions.


Spot check

When Francis made a spot check at offices over four months, those in central Phoenix, Scottsdale, east Mesa, Chandler and Tucson were missing nearly a third or more of their staff. Six offices, including the central Phoenix branch, had 50 percent or less of their service windows open.


Security at the offices is considered a major concern. Gov. Janet Napolitano assigned Francis to his task after authorities netted 26 state workers who, in unconnected groups throughout the state, accepted bribes of $600 to $3,500 to create fake drivers licenses. Most of the workers were fired, contributing to the staffing problems. Many of them have pleaded guilty to producing false documents or conspiracy to produce false documents


The saga chilled state officials because a driver's license can be used as part of the process to buy guns, apply for passports and walk through airport security checkpoints.


Francis credits MVD for successfully carrying out most of the governor's strategies to prevent such fraud from happening again. However, an important part of the plan is to divide up duties among several workers, he said. That way it's harder for one employee to engage in misconduct. "Most offices do not have adequate numbers of staff to support this security enhancement," Francis wrote.


Meanwhile, customers at MVD offices across metropolitan Phoenix routinely have been waiting hours before seeing a clerk. This week, Napolitano said she sympathized with angry customers but expressed reluctance to commit to more staff funding.


Fraud checks

She attributed the waits in large part to the time it takes to conduct more-thorough checks to detect fraudulent documents because of homeland security concerns.


Figures provided by MVD, however, cast doubt on the contention that anti-terrorism activities have contributed to the long waits. The figures show that it isn't taking staffers longer to deal with customers once they finish waiting and reach the service desk.


Average transaction times - the amount of time it takes a clerk to process a customer's drivers license or title transfer, for example - have hovered around eight or nine minutes for years. The wait times and customer frustration, however, have escalated.


Earlier this month, for example, former Philadelphia resident Steve Myers showed up at a central Phoenix MVD office at 8 a.m. to register his car in Arizona but waited four hours. He went to MVD after learning that officials were cracking down on new residents with out-of-state registration.


Myers said he and other customers who complained about the four-hour wait got conflicting messages - first that staffers weren't trained to handle titles, then that they were.


"I was told (by a Valley resident) that MVD was vastly improved," Myers said grimly. "Imagine my surprise."


Understaffing has a ripple effect that affects security and MVD field office crowds. One state program allows private contractors to handle MVD customers, but there aren't enough state workers to handle quality control for the satellite offices. MVD has all but halted plans to expand that program beyond its 62 contractors.


MVD officials say that adding more staff would solve some problems but not all of them. Even if the agency filled all of its positions tomorrow, it takes a year of training to bring a new recruit up to speed, said Stacey Stanton, MVD's director.


Other factors add to delays, Mendez said. The agency has a 30-year-old computer system in need of an upgrade. Some small offices, such as in Surprise, are overwhelmed by population growth and need to be expanded.


Although many easy MVD transactions are completed over the Internet, the most complicated cases end up at MVD field offices, adding to the waits.


"At the end of the day, we are doing what we can with the resources that we have," Stanton said.


And customer-service representatives have a tough job, she added. They serve customers at field office windows, train workers, keep an eye out for false documents, learn how to process hundreds of vehicle matters, and become mini experts in several areas of law.


Meanwhile, the pay scale makes it tough to retain workers. An entry-level clerk makes $24,500 annually and many longtime customer-service reps make around $27,000, Stanton said.


While customers want faster service, the MVD director said, the agency can't speed thing up at the expense of the beefed-up security measures.


"We want to ensure that in addition to providing customer service we provide customer security," Stanton said.




so the piggies were defending themselfs? yea sure!




San Luis police officers cleared in shooting case

SAN LUIS - The Police Department has determined that two officers followed proper procedure when they shot at a van fleeing toward an international border crossing and wounded three undocumented immigrants inside.


The department found that the officers were defending themselves during the Aug. 14 incident, police spokesman Sgt. Ernesto Lugo said.


"Everything was followed according to our procedure, and we're satisfied with the results of the investigation," Police Chief Heriberto Bejarano said.


The Border Patrol said the minivan had picked up a group of undocumented immigrants who had crossed the border. It then turned toward Mexico when agents began following it.


The Border Patrol radioed the San Luis police, and Officers Joel Sauceda and Paulino Rubio were trying to stop the van when it swerved and tried to run one of the officers down, police said.


Lugo said he could not provide other information about the incident, including which officer the van tried to hit.


The two officers, who had been on administrative leave since the incident, returned to duty last week.


Wire and staff reports




When I bought my car in Los Angeles I got the title thru AAA which the state of California lets do anything that can be done at the California DMV. My cube mate who is a member of AAA told me it would be easier to register the car thru AAA then the California DMV. He was right. I went to a branch of AAA about a mile from work, paid $50 to join AAA and registered my car in less then 30 minutes and got the title, plates and everything.


If I would have registered it at the nearest California DMV in Los Angeles I would have had to CALL the DMV and make an appointment to come in a couple of weeks later to register the car. It was unbelievable that the state of California could be so inefficient when it is shaking you down for money.




Private sector speeds paperwork for vehicle transactions - for a fee


Bob Golfen

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 29, 2005 12:00 AM


Anyone dreading the grueling marathon of waiting at a crowded Motor Vehicle Division office should take notice: There are alternatives.


Most people never need to enter an MVD office for title and registration service. Even most driver's license services can be done without ever setting foot inside a state building.


Avoiding MVD may be as simple as accessing the Internet. Or, for complete MVD vehicle service, a trip to a third-party business that contracts with MVD to provide titles and registrations for an extra fee.


The big advantage of third-party offices, generally small businesses found in shopping centers, is that the wait times are drastically reduced. These offices can perform any title or registration function, such as titling a newly purchased vehicle or bringing one in from out of state.


"There are 62 of them (statewide), and they can provide full MVD service for title and registration," said Cydney DeModica, MVD spokeswoman. "Offering people the option of third parties has been very helpful, but not everybody knows about them."


In north central Phoenix, Arizona Rapid Motor Vehicle Service and Transit performs any MVD title and registration service, said manager Vanessa Rocha, such as vehicle title and registration, safety inspections or providing special permits. Walk into the office with the paperwork for a newly purchased car or truck, and they'll do the transfer work and hand over a new license plate.


The additional fess range from $12 to $20, depending on the service, in addition to the normal MVD fees, Rocha said. The entire process takes about five minutes, or maybe 20 minutes if the place is crowded, she said.


"Some consumers may hesitate about paying the (additional) fee," Rocha said. "They'll go out to their cars then turn around and walk back in after thinking about spending the day waiting at the MVD office."


MVD's Web site, www .servicearizona.com, provides services that motorists can access online, including annual registration renewals, address changes, license-plate refunds and credits, sold notices after private vehicle sales, even personalized plates.


The site also lists all the third-party offices by region, with addresses and maps of their locations. In the Phoenix area, 19 such businesses are listed, including one in west Phoenix with full driver's license service for new drivers or other license issues.






Gilbert police get more clout in ordinance


Josh Kelley and Chris Ramirez

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 29, 2005 12:00 AM


GILBERT - Gilbert police have more power to enforce orders and broader authority to detain and question people who act suspiciously, under a new town ordinance.


It allows officers to use force to prevent residents from crossing crime-scene tape and disperse rowdy crowds of people creating a safety hazard.


Until now, the town had no regulation to keep people from interfering with the work of an on-duty police officer.


Without the ordinance, police can give an order to stay away or disperse, but they can't enforce the order, police Cmdr. Tim Dorn said.


The key to the ordinance is that it requires officers to have a lawful reason, but no proof of a crime, to forcefully detain someone for questioning or mandate that a person evacuate an area, he said.


"This is patterned after statutes in other communities all across the state," Dorn said.


The ordinance, approved by the Town Council this week, goes into effect in late November.


Gilbert resident Daryl Colvintold the council he was concerned the ordinance gave police too much power and was not convinced that it will make Gilbert safer.


Violating the ordinance is considered a misdemeanor and punishable with a fine of up to $2,500 or a six-month jail term.


"We will be careful not to abuse it because we know, like anything else, when those things get abused, you lose it," police Lt. Joe Ruet said.


A version of this story appeared in the Gilbert Republic.




In a different article Mesa City Councilman Tom Rawles said that he thinks the City of Mesa is passing a similar law to keep Mexican, Negros and low income white trash out of the City of Mesa because it is these people who tend to use these loan stores. I bet that is the reason the City of Tempe wants to rush thru and pass this law




Pay-day loan store limits law hurried


Katie Nelson

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 29, 2005 12:00 AM


The Tempe City Council decided Thursday night to hurry ahead an ordinance that would limit the number of check-cashing and payday-loan stores.


The ordinance would require store owners to get a use permit through the city's Planning and Zoning Commission and require a quarter-mile buffer between stores. This could keep more than one store from clustering at an intersection, city leaders say.


Approval of the ordinance will take two hearings in city council meetings, on Nov. 17 and Dec. 1. The proposed ordinance will also come before the Planning and Zoning commission on Nov. 22. The council used an emergency clause to enact the ordinance faster than usual.




scottsdale cops get a slap on the wrist for causing death in high speed car chase




Scottsdale cops punished for high-speed chase

By Nick Martin, Tribune

October 29, 2005


Five Scottsdale police officers have been punished for their roles in a high-speed car chase that turned deadly in April on Loop 101.


The list of punishments along with the results of a police internal investigation were released Friday and add up to 150 hours of suspension, one demotion and a letter of reprimand between the five officers.


In April, Scottsdale officers chased David Szymanski, 22, of Fountain Hills around south Scottsdale neighborhoods before he got on southbound Loop 101, headed the wrong direction.


Police believe Szymanski was driving 85 to 90 mph when his car collided head on with another car, killing that car’s passenger, Cody Morrison, also 22.


The whole thing lasted about 10 minutes but has spawned two police investigations, including the one released Friday, and a claim by Morrison’s family asking the city for $3 million after the first investigation called the chase improper.


The most recent investigation, requested by Police Chief Alan Rodbell in August, differed somewhat from the first conducted by a board that reviews police pursuits and collisions. But it reached essentially the same conclusion: Officers should have never chased Szymanski and their supervisors should have called them off the chase.


Those supervisors, Lt. Todd Muilenberg and Sgts. Dan Rincon and Rob Ryan, received the most severe punishment of any of the officers involved.


Muilenberg and Rincon were suspended without pay. Ryan was demoted to the rank of officer.


The officer who chased Szymanski for nearly the entire 10 minutes until the fatal crash, officer Carrie Candler, was given a shorter suspension without pay and officer Aaron Crawford, who also took part in the chase, was given a letter of reprimand.


According to the paperwork released Friday, Muilenberg, Rincon and Candler have disputed certain details of the most recent investigation’s findings.


This chase also has spurred the department to look again recently at its policy on police chases. Police spokesman Sgt. Mark Clark said a few minor changes were made to clarify the policy, but at its heart, it remains the same.


According to Scottsdale’s pursuit policy, chases are only allowed when the person police are chasing is suspected of a violent or dangerous felony or there is an "immediate and articulable" threat to human life.


Stated plainly, officers are asked to, in a moment’s notice, weigh the crime committed versus the threat to public safety a pursuit would create.


In this case, police wanted to talk to Szymanski about reports in the area of a vehicle causing criminal damage, a misdemeanor, the recent investigation report states.


They also had unconfirmed reports that the owner of his vehicle had a warrant for another misdemeanor.


The internal investigator, Sgt. Jeff Walther, states in the report that the chase that followed, with Szymanski driving 70 mph at times and running red lights to elude police, according to department policy, should never have happened.


"They do pay us to make decisions, but these are not easy decisions to make," said Scottsdale officer Chet Anderson, who is president of the Scottsdale Fraternal Order of Police. "The Internal Affairs Division and the investigators have the luxury of spending many hours looking at" decisions officers on the ground made in seconds, he said.


Anderson commented briefly Friday night about the chase and its aftermath.


"At the end of the day . . . it’s a tragic event," Anderson said. "It’s affected the lives of everyone involved."


Contact Nick Martin by email, or phone (480) 898-6380




Hi Mike,


thanks for sending me the letters from Kevin; I appreciate it.  I'm glad to read what he's up to.  Please tell him I said hello.


Here are the addresses:




this was removed to keep the spying government snitches who read our mail from seeing these names




Also, sure I can get you two signatures.  If my wife is registered as an independent, that's easy: me and her can sign it.  If not, it might take a little snooping.  Send me the forms.








hmmm this is interesting many times our government idiots use helicoptors to transport accident vitims to hospitals in the phoenix area with the mistaken idea that it is faster. in the phoenix area a ground anbulance get often get the person to a  hospital in 10 minutes - while it takes a helicoptor 20 minutes to get to the scene.

and helicoptors ride costs $7,000 while a ground ambulance only costs $553.




Emergency transport by copter may be curbed

Ambulances often reach Valley's hospitals faster


Judi Villa

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


Valley cities have begun curtailing their use of medical helicopters, saying ground ambulances may actually get patients to the hospital faster.


That idea is contrary to long-held beliefs that helicopters are the quickest way to go. But in urban areas such as the Valley, where five trauma centers are centrally located, ground ambulances could actually save minutes.


"It's faster in the air, but it isn't that much faster if you have to launch it and land it and launch it again," said Assistant Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan. "It's probably quicker to go by ground."


Phoenix officials now are looking critically at when it's really necessary to launch a helicopter and likely will restrict their use to situations in which it would take a ground ambulance longer than 20 minutes to reach a hospital. A few other cities are doing the same.


The average ground transport time in Phoenix is 10 minutes.


In Glendale, firefighters usually can reach a trauma center in 12 to 15 minutes.


By comparison, a medical helicopter can get to just about any accident scene in the Valley within 10 minutes, said Mike Todd, spokesman for Native Air Ambulance. Flight crews spend up to 10 minutes on the ground before taking off for the hospital. Flight time is 2 miles per minute.


"The air time is relatively short compared to ground ambulance time," said Dr. John Gallagher, director of emergency medical services for the Phoenix Fire Department. But, he said, all the other minutes add up: "You may be talking 15 to 20 minutes at that point."


"All those things have to be considered vs. the transport time in a ground ambulance."


Medical helicopters were launched at firefighters' requests more than 1,100 times last year in the Valley.


But officials say congestion is making it harder for helicopters to find a safe place to land. In addition, fire departments such as Phoenix's have built new stations in outlying areas, bringing ground ambulances closer to patients. Those kinds of changes have affected the air vs. ground equation across the Valley.


"If you're out in Wickenburg or Anthem or you're out in Buckeye somewhere, and you need to bring a critical patient, that's definitely the way to go, by helicopter," said Phoenix fire Capt. Rick Garner.


"But in the city, ground ambulance is the way to go. . . . If you have an ambulance on scene, you can be in the ambulance and get en route before the helicopter can land."


'Save a minute or two'

In Glendale, where access to hospitals also is relatively good, crews already are being told to transport patients by ground unless there are "special circumstances," said Firefighter Tim Wayne.


"At best usually you can save a minute or two. Usually, it's a wash."


Scottsdale, which is home to one of the Valley's trauma centers, transports by ground "probably nine times out of 10" because it's faster than flying, said Deputy Scottsdale Fire Chief Rod Thompson.


But in Mesa, where transport times from some areas are 20 to 30 minutes, Deputy Mesa Fire Chief Mary Cameli said helicopters remain a necessity. The closest trauma centers are in Phoenix and Scottsdale.


"It is much quicker for us to fly a patient than to ground a patient," Cameli said.


Because the conditions of each situation vary so much, firefighters arriving at an accident must make decisions quickly. They consider the extent of injury, traffic conditions, the time it would take a helicopter to arrive and whether there is a safe place for it to land.


Native Air's Todd said there are times, especially during rush hour in outlying areas, where a helicopter "absolutely is faster."


"Get in your car and go drive in traffic and see," Todd said.


"You're not going to go much faster with lights and sirens. The bottom line is your lights and sirens are great, but if you're stopped in traffic four cars back, it doesn't matter how bright your lights are or how loud your siren is, you're not going to get there any faster."


The three air ambulance companies based in the Valley operate 15 helicopters.


Todd said the bulk of their flights are from outlying areas, not from within the Valley's urban core.


"Most of our stuff is times where they would never be able to do it in 10 minutes," he said. "I don't see a lot of times when they're calling for helicopters when they shouldn't."


Medical transporting

Nationwide, fire officials are debating how best to use medical helicopters even as they are being increasingly relied upon to transport patients.


There are 753 medical helicopters in the United States, transporting about 400,000 patients a year, said Tom Judge, executive director of LifeFlight of Maine and president of the Association of Air Medical Services.


As many as 30 percent of those patients would die if they didn't have access to a helicopter, he said.


"You're bringing more than a transport vehicle," Judge said. "You're bringing an emergency department to the patient."


The cost difference between the two options is large: a minimum of $553 for a ground ambulance vs. about $7,000 for a helicopter.


But the cities and their fire departments don't pay the costs - insurance companies or the patients do. And emergency responders say cost isn't a factor in the decisions they make.


"We're concerned about what's best for the patient," Gallagher said. "Time is the consideration. How quickly can we get the patient to the hospital?"




The $919,405 firetruck in this article was destroyed because the fireman driving it was speeding when he turned off of central avenue to go east on indian school road. The dumb fireman paying with his million dollar toy caused the firetruck to flip on its side, destroying the truck and causing a huge traffic jam that closed indian school road and central avenue for several hours.


This is a request for public information per A.R.S 39-121 for public information.


1) was the fireman ever punished for speeding and destroying the $919,405 firetruck?


2) if the fireman was punished what was his punishment?


3) is the fireman being required to pay for the cost of the $919,405 firetruck that was destoryed?


4) what was  the firemans name?






New ladder firetruck expected in December


Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


In September 2003, the wreck of a workhorse firetruck handicapped the Phoenix Fire Department's ability to fight high-rise and hard-to-reach fires.


The truck, which firefighters nicknamed the "Big Unit," was crushed under its own weight and totaled when it rolled over while returning from a call.


The $919,405 truck, acquired in 2001, had the department's longest ladder, 118 feet as opposed to the 93 feet of the next-longest.


That meant firefighters lost the capability to go 10 stories higher for a rescue. Also, the last 20 feet of the ladder was articulated, meaning it could bend to put firefighters in positions they couldn't safely reach with straight ladders.


It could place them over walls and allow them to hover over roofs that were too dangerous to stand on.


The truck couldn't be immediately replaced because it had to be specially built.


Status: An $863,500 replacement ladder truck should arrive in Phoenix on Dec. 27, Assistant Fire Chief Bob Khan said.


"We're really looking forward to it," Khan said. "Our world revolves around fighting fire and the ability to rescue people and save property, and this is the most effective ladder truck in the country to do that with."


- Judi Villa




isnt this nice. the europeans are treating american empire thugs that kill and maim their citizens like the criminals they are and charging them with crimes.




Europeans seeking legal sway over Americans


Eric Rosenberg

Hearst Newspapers

Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Three U.S. Army soldiers most likely won't attend the annual "running of the bulls" festival in scenic Pamplona, Spain, anytime soon.


Should Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip de Camp, all from the Army's 3rd Infantry, based at Fort Stewart, Ga., touch down in Spain, authorities there could arrest them in connection with the deaths of two journalists during the invasion of Iraq.


"Obviously, they shouldn't go to Spain," said Philip Cave, an Alexandria, Va.-based attorney who specializes in military law.


On April 8, 2003, the three soldiers were part of a tank unit that fired on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, killing the two journalists, one of whom, cameraman Jose Manuel Couso Permuy, was a Spanish citizen.


The U.S. Central Command determined that the unit's actions were justified because insurgents had fired on them from the hotel and surrounding area. At the time, the American forces were rolling through Iraq less than a month after the initial invasion.


Nevertheless, a judge in Madrid this month issued arrest warrants for the soldiers, saying that the Americans might have committed murder and a "crime against the international community" by firing on the hotel.


That judicial action followed an Italian judge's arrest warrants for 22 reputed CIA operatives accused of abducting an Islamic cleric in Milan.


A trend among judges

Both cases underscore a trend among some European judges: stepped-up use in the past three years of a legal principle known as universal jurisdiction, the view that governments have the right to try anyone accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed anywhere in the world.


It's the same legal principle Spain employed in seeking the extradition of ex-Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from England and a Belgian court used when it sought to put Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on trial for a massacre committed by Lebanese militias in Lebanon in 1982.


The principle has been used liberally against senior American officials, straining bilateral relations with U.S. allies.


In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former CIA Director George Tenet and other officials were named in a criminal complaint filed in a German court on behalf of four Iraqis who alleged that American forces mistreated them at the at Abu Ghraib prison.


Belgium has been a favorite venue for such lawsuits. Courts there have allowed lawsuits alleging human rights crimes by Vice President Dick Cheney, Army Gen. Tommy Franks, who led the 2003 invasion of Iraq, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former President Bush.


"These (legal) trends are dangerous, not just because they threaten to disrupt cooperation between friends and allies but also because the erosion of respect for state sovereignty absolves states of their responsibilities to deal with problems within their borders," Rumsfeld said.


"Belgium needs to realize that there are consequences to its actions," he said in unusually blunt language to a longtime ally.


After Belgium courts allowed a case to move forward alleging war crimes against Franks, Rumsfeld threatened to block funds for NATO buildings and move NATO headquarters from Belgium. Subsequently, Belgium watered down its laws and the lawsuits were thrown out.


Legal principle is alive

But as the case in Spain involving the three U.S. troops demonstrates, the legal principle remains alive and well in Europe.


In issuing the warrant, Judge Santiago Pedraz Gomez of the National Court in Madrid said that it "is the only effective measure to ensure the presence of the suspects in the case being handled by Spanish justice, given the lack of judicial cooperation by U.S. authorities."


A Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Barry Venable, said that the U.S. Central Command had "fully investigated the incident and determined that the U.S. service members acted appropriately during that combat action."


The military's official report of the incident concluded that insurgents had been "utilizing the Palestine Hotel and the areas immediately around it as a platform for military operations. Baghdad was a high intensity combat area and some journalists had elected to remain there despite repeated warnings of the extreme danger of doing so."


An investigation by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists found that the killing of the two journalists could have been avoided but was not a deliberate act. The organization also countered U.S. statements, saying that there was not hostile fire coming from the hotel.


An 'abuse' of power

Eugene Fidell, a Washington, D.C., attorney and president of the National Institute of Military Justice, called the arrest warrants an "abuse" of judicial power.


"Unless you can demonstrate that our country was unwilling or unable to prosecute these people, it's none of the Spanish government's business," said Fidell, whose private organization studies military jurisprudence and has often been critical of the administration.


The Spanish case reinforces the views of the Bush administration that U.S. sovereignty places American soldiers beyond the reach of other nations' courts.


The Bush administration has refused to join the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, out of concerns over yielding sovereignty.


The ICC is the world's first permanent tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity.


But the United States fears the court could pursue politically motivated prosecutions of U.S. soldiers abroad.








Big games are big business, lawmakers learn on junkets


Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


Political Insider is a tongue-in-cheek look at the past week in Arizona politics.


Ready, set, hut 1, hut 2, go on a junket . . . Four state lawmakers spent a grueling weekend in Chicago getting a hands-on "education" about the economic benefits of big-time college football. Courtesy of the folks at the Fiesta Bowl, state Sens. Robert Blendu, R-Litchfield Park, and Linda Aguirre, D-Phoenix, and Reps. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, and Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, learned about the economic engine of championship football - like they learn every year when the Fiesta Bowl hosts a junket. A real bunch of philomaths, these lawmakers.


They watched the Michigan Wolverines tussle with the Northwestern Wildcats, roughing it at the Ritz for the weekend.


This isn't Pearce's first football trip this year. The Mesa Republican also trekked to Annapolis, Md., earlier this fall to check out the Navy-Air Force game as part of a delegation by the Fiesta Bowl and Insight Bowl. Pearce was the sponsor this year of House Bill 2035, which helped Arizona secure the first college super bowl in 2007.


For the past three years, a handful of influential Arizona legislators have taken free trips, except for the cost of game tickets, to out-of-state college football games courtesy of the Fiesta Bowl. Bowl President John Junker told The Republic earlier this year that there's information that can't be covered in a 15-minute meeting in a lawmaker's office.


The trips are legal. State law says a group that wants to offer one lawmaker a sporting ticket must make the offer available to the full membership of the Legislature, one house or one committee. The Fiesta Bowl exercises a loophole in the law by having the lawmakers pay for the game tickets. Travel and lodging are exempt from the state's gift ban.




feds says the american empire has killed 26,000 iraqis - other studies have said 100,000+ iraqis have been killed by the american empire in iraq




26,000 Iraqis hurt or dead, data show


Associated Press

Oct. 30, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - In a rare look at how the Defense Department tracks non-U.S. casualties in the war in Iraq, the Pentagon is estimating that 26,000 Iraqis have been killed or wounded by insurgents since Jan. 1, 2004.


The Pentagon, in response to questions from congressional staffers, provided daily casualty estimates - those killed and wounded - over six time periods, the most recent period ending Sept. 16 of this year. Applying those daily estimates to the number of days in each period results in nearly 26,000, a total not included in the Pentagon report to Congress.


In the most recent period, from Aug. 29 to Sept. 16, an estimated 64 Iraqis became casualties each day, the report indicated. The rate increased in four of the past five periods.


"It's a kind of a snapshot," Pentagon spokesman Greg Hicks said Saturday. "The Defense Department doesn't maintain a comprehensive or authoritative count of Iraqi casualties."


The Pentagon provided the estimates in a bar graph in a 44-page security and stability report to Congress on Oct. 13, its second quarterly report, mandated by lawmakers.


Hicks said the estimates were gathered from initial incident reports by subordinate units of coalition forces and are not meant to be taken as comprehensive.


A recent Associated Press count found that at least 3,870 Iraqis have died in the past six months. A U.S. military spokesman told the AP last week that as many as 30,000 Iraqis died during the war, which began in March 2003.


The AP count found that two-thirds of those killed were civilians and one-third were security personnel.


More than 2,000 U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq have died since the war began.