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July 10, 2009

Miami forces sex offenders to sleep under highway bridge

Roadside Camp for Miami Sex Offenders Leads to Lawsuit - NYTimes.com
“At first, I thought ‘Tuttle’ was a halfway house,” said Ricky Dorzena, 23, sitting in the encampment his probation officers recommended five months ago. “Then they said, ‘No, you’re staying under a bridge.’ ” At least 70 convicted sex offenders live here now, in a shantytown on Biscayne Bay with trash piles clawed by crabs. It has become what even law enforcement officials call a public-safety hazard, produced by laws intended to keep the public safe. On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in state court to strike them down. The complaint argues that Miami-Dade County’s 2,500-foot restriction illegally pre-empts the state’s restriction of 1,000 feet, creating a situation in which sex offenders are more likely to flee supervision and commit new crimes.

Ohio grandmother accused of beating a fawn to death for sitting in her garden

Euclid woman faces charges of beating fawn to death after finding it in her flowers - cleveland.com
EUCLID -- Maybe Dorothy Richardson was scared, or maybe she was protecting her flower garden. Whatever the reason, the 75-year-old Euclid woman is accused of beating a fawn to death. Richardson faces charges of animal cruelty from the incident, which occurred June 15 at her home near the Cleveland Metroparks Euclid Creek Reservation. . . . Witnesses told Mills that Richardson beat the young deer in the head with a shovel because it was sitting in her flower bed. . . . Female deer leave their fawns in secluded spots while they forage for food. The fawns avoid being eaten by predators by remaining still until their mothers return. Young fawns are still nursing and do not eat flowers and other foliage, Division of Wildlife spokeswoman Jamey Graham said.

The F-22 costs a huge amount to operate and should be canned

High-Priced F-22 Fighter Has Major Shortcomings - washingtonpost.com
The United States' top fighter jet, the Lockheed Martin F-22, has recently required more than 30 hours of maintenance for every hour in the skies, pushing its hourly cost of flying to more than $44,000, a far higher figure than for the warplane it replaces, confidential Pentagon test results show. . . . Sensitive information about troubles with the nation's foremost air-defense fighter is emerging in the midst of a fight between the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress over whether the program should be halted next year at 187 planes, far short of what the Air Force and the F-22's contractors around the country had anticipated. "It is a disgrace that you can fly a plane [an average of] only 1.7 hours before it gets a critical failure" that jeopardizes success of the aircraft's mission, said a Defense Department critic of the plane who is not authorized to speak on the record. Other skeptics inside the Pentagon note that the planes, designed 30 years ago to combat a Cold War adversary, have cost an average of $350 million apiece and say they are not a priority in the age of small wars and terrorist threats.

July 09, 2009

Cottage rental horror stories

Summer Rental Nightmares - NYTimes.com
. . . She saw an ad on Craigslist for a two-bedroom cabin on a lake in Maine for $700 a week, with linens and maid service included, she checked it out thoroughly . . . . . . The part about the linens proved to be, as so much advertising is, an exaggeration. When Ms. Strassberg, her husband and two children arrived, there were no linens, just some aromatic old comforters. The seats of the leather couch were encrusted with black mold. The two bedrooms were lofts without railings. And the cabin was littered with dead leaves and spider webs. Still, as Ms. Strassberg said, trying to cheer up her dejected family, they did have that beautiful lake. “We put on our bathing suits, we’re standing in the water, and, like, 15 huge fat leeches come swimming up,” Ms. Strassberg says. “My daughter started screaming. Each one was like three or four inches long. That’s a bad leech.”
This is followed by four pages of other scams and nightmares.

Hide and Seek is now banned in their house

The Herald, Sharon, Pa. - Little girl lost is found
Natalie went missing Tuesday evening while playing the game with her brother and sisters and the best efforts of neighbors, police and firefighters called by her frantic parents weren’t enough to turn up the tot. The terrifying ordeal for her parents ended happily after more than an hour of scouring the neighborhood around the 10th Street mobile home park where the Jasmers live. In the end, it was the family dog that flushed her out. “Copper found her,” Natalie’s brother Kenny Findley said, crediting the mutt with discovering the tiny girl asleep inside a drawer underneath the washing machine in the family’s home.

New York Times Considers $5 Monthly Access Fee for Its Web Site

New York Times Considers $5 Monthly Access Fee for Its Web Site - Bloomberg.com
July 9 (Bloomberg) -- New York Times Co. is considering a $5 monthly fee for access to all of the content on its namesake newspaper’s Web site, according to a survey distributed to print subscribers. In the survey, Times Co. also asked whether subscribers would be willing to pay a discounted fee of $2.50 a month for Web access. The New York Times Web site, nytimes.com, is currently free, the survey said.