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December 02, 2009

Why laying off Public Defenders is the stupidest possible way to save money (I'm looking at you, San Francisco)

Serial Beggar Returns To City Hall Today: News: SFAppeal The short version is this: Defendants have a *right* to a defense attorney. If we don't provide them with public defenders we are then bound by law to pay for private attorneys. Guess which costs more?
As has been written before, Adachi says his office is forced to turn away clients because his lawyers' caseloads are all at full capacity. If the city declines Adachi's request to spend $620,000 and hire seven more public defenders, the city ultimately has to pay $1.6 million to hire private attorneys to represent the clients. Using the spend a little, save a little more metric, he contends that spending the $620,000 would ultimately save the city over $900,000 (and $906,000 is also Adachi's reduction target under the most recent, current, spending crunch). Adachi's been rebuffed before by the Mayor's Office in his request for more lawyers, and was recently told by the Mayor's chief of staff that he'd be again rejected. But that won't stop Adachi from heading to the Board of Supervisors (again) today. "We don't control the number of cases that come to our department," said Adachi, who said his only recourse to save money in a budget crunch is to cut staff (or move out of the offices he rents at the Hall of Justice, to, say, Golden Gate Park or Justin Herman Plaza). "It's a pretty simple question," he said. "Does the city want to pay $1 million more to handle these cases?" In other words, the city has to pay one way or the other to represent these folks; why not do it cheaply?

November 30, 2009

An ass to die for

Solange Magnano: Former Miss Argentina Dies From Cosmetic Buttocks Surgery
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Associated Press) — A 38-year-old former Miss Argentina has died from complications after undergoing cosmetic surgery on her buttocks. Solange Magnano, a mother of twins who won the crown in 1994, died of a pulmonary embolism Sunday after three days in critical condition following a gluteoplasty in Buenos Aires. Close friend Roberto Piazza said the procedure involved injections and the liquid "went to her lungs and brain." "A woman who had everything lost her life to have a slightly firmer behind," he said.

November 29, 2009

Crazed transit rider steals woman's actual teeth out of her mouth

Muni rider: Tooth bandit followed her off bus
Elena Aronson says she was riding a Muni bus to work back on April 6 on Van Ness Avenue when a man sitting next to her fixed his gaze on her teeth, and said, "I want them." "He kept saying how my teeth were beautiful, like the moon and the stars," she recalled. Aronson, who grew up riding buses on the South Side of Chicago and later in New York, had never encountered anything quite like it. She decided to make a quick exit. The next thing Aronson recalls is being on her knees outside the bus, bleeding profusely from her torn lip - with her two upper front teeth missing. As a crowd gathered around her, a man scooped her off the pavement and drove her to a hospital, where she spent the next two days recovering. Police took a report, but it was weeks before her memory returned. Even now, she doesn't remember the man following her off the bus or being hit. And no witnesses came forward to tell police about it.

Clients From Hell: Watch out for the gays

Clients From Hell : Watch out for the gays
We were building a website for a client that has a preschool and sells curriculum. Just before we went live, they called up and asked us to remove the word “school” from all the page titles and URLs. I asked why. They responded: “We heard if the gays find out we have a preschool, they can force us to teach the children to be gay. We think its safest if nobody can see that we’re a school. And we don’t want to come up on any Google searches dealing with ‘school.’”

November 25, 2009

Oxford officially creates a Gryffindor common room

Oxford University changes common room name to Harry Potter's Gryffindor - Telegraph
It is the first time Magdalen College Junior Common Room has changed its name during its 550 year history. Students are now campaigning to rename Christ Church, St Hughs and Merton colleges common rooms after the three other houses in Hogwarts; Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. "Magdalen College embodies the values of courage, daring, nerve and chivalry," third-year student Zoe Tyndall, 21, who proposed the name change. "These are the characteristics of the Gryffindor house in Harry Potter novels." The motion was passed with only six students opposing the name change. Tom Meakin, President-Elect of Magdalen Junior Common Room added: "Magdalen does after all look a little bit like Hogwarts, and not to put any noses out of joint, but my Vice-President does look a little bit like Hagrid."