A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nutsy news, edition 4

1. Well, does a good decision make up for a previous bad one in terms of PR damage?
The Colorado State Patrol has withdrawn the $22 jaywalking ticket issued to a good Samaritan who was seriously injured by a pickup after he pushed three people out of its path.

Bus driver Jim Moffett of Denver and another man were helping two elderly women cross a busy Denver street in a snowstorm when he was hit Feb. 20.

Moffett, 58, suffered bleeding in the brain, broken bones, a dislocated shoulder and a possible ruptured spleen. He remained hospitalized in serious condition Friday.

"He's doing better, but it's going to be a long, hard road for him," said his wife, Donna. "His knee is just completely destroyed, his shoulder was badly dislocated, he's got a lot of internal injuries."

The State Patrol said in a statement that it withdrew the citation "after examining the ... circumstances" and consulting with prosecutors. A patrol spokesman didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

The patrol initially said that despite Moffett's intentions, jaywalking contributed to the accident.

The patrol also withdrew jaywalking citations against the other good Samaritan and one of the two women. The other woman wasn't cited because troopers said she wasn't directly involved.

A citation against the pickup driver for careless driving resulting in injury still stands.

The two women and the other good Samaritan were passengers on Moffett's Regional Transportation District bus.

"He told his son he'd do it again, which really upsets me because he almost lost his life," Donna Moffett said.

2. When you trap something smart in a glass container filled with thousands of gallons of seawater, you might want to make sure it can't get revenge:
Staff at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in California say the trickster who flooded their offices with sea water was armed. Eight-armed, to be exact.

They blame the soaking they discovered Tuesday morning on the aquarium's resident two-spotted octopus, a tiny female known for being curious and gregarious with visitors. The octopus apparently tugged on a valve and that allowed hundreds of gallons of water to overflow its tank.

Aquarium spokeswoman Randi Parent says no sea life was harmed by the flood, but the brand new, ecologically designed floors might be damaged by the water.

3. A good lawyer might make the argument that no real law was broken-- he was just testing the system. But will he get sent to a fake prison?
A man was been arrested after police said he used counterfeit money to purchase fake OxyContin pills from an undercover officer. Unicoi County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 21-year-old man on Tuesday and charged him with criminal conspiracy with schedule II drugs, forgery and criminal simulation.

Investigator Frank Rogers said the officer met with several people at a mobile home park and arranged for the suspect and another man to come to Unicoi to buy 76 OxyContin pills for $4,875.

Officers said it was "obviously bad money" with some bills printed on just one side.

4. After this lady wielded her frying pan, did her assailants also little twittering birds flying around their heads like in the cartoons?
The 70-year-old wife of an Ohio judge said teens who tried to rob her made her so angry that she whacked one in the head with a sauce pan.

Ellen Basinski said she was on the phone with her husband Tuesday when four boys pushed their way into her home in Elyria, west of Cleveland.

Lorain County Judge David Basinski overheard the scuffle and raced home, while his wife grabbed her favorite pan to defend herself against the intruders rifling through her purse and cabinets.

One of the teens told police he threw a bottle of whiskey at Basinski to distract her so another boy could flee. They ran from the house but were later caught and charged with aggravated burglary.

The judge said his wife is upset that police took the pan as evidence.

On hearing the news, Chef Emeril Lagasse said he felt so bad that the woman that he's replacing the item.

Lagasse planned to send Basinski a whole new set of his signature cookware.

5. And now, the Ms. Cornelius Award for Absolute Chutzpah goes to dis guy:
Attorneys for a former state trooper who joined a group affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan were scheduled to argue Tuesday before the state Supreme Court that he was wrongly fired by the state.

In briefs filed with the state Supreme Court, the attorney for former trooper Robert Henderson says his client’s free speech rights were trampled and that Henderson didn’t violate a specific state policy because he never treated anyone differently based on race.

But an attorney in state Attorney General Jon Bruning’s office argues that Henderson’s previous ties with the KKK is a clear breach of a policy: that officers be impartial enforcers of the law and encourage public confidence.

“Employing as a state law enforcement officer someone who espouses a personal conviction that race makes a difference in how people should be treated, and who aligns himself with ... the KKK cannot, under any circumstances, be consistent with public policy ... to encourage public confidence in our law enforcement officers and treat all citizens equally,’’ Assistant Attorney General Tom Stine says in written arguments to the state high court.

The court was expected to offer the final word in the topsy-turvy case.

Henderson was fired from the force, then ordered by an arbitrator to be reinstated as an officer, only to have the reinstatement overturned by a Lancaster County District Court judge.

Henderson was dismissed in early 2006 after patrol officials discovered he had joined a racist group and posted messages on its Web site.

Henderson, who was a patrolman for 18 years, told an investigator he joined the Knights Party in June 2004 to vent his frustrations about his separation with his wife. She left him for a Hispanic man.

Henderson posted four messages to the Knights’ Web site, according to the investigator’s report. The group has described itself as the most active Klan organization in the United States.

Arbitrator Paul J. Caffera from New York later overturned Henderson’s firing. He said Henderson was entitled to his First Amendment rights of free speech and that the state violated the state troopers’ contract, in part when it fired Henderson “because of his association with the Knights Party ... and the Ku Klux Klan.’’

Caffera ordered the patrol to reinstate Henderson within 60 days and pay him his back wages.

Bruning’s office appealed that decision and won in Lancaster County District Court. A judge said Henderson violated the state’s public policy against discrimination.

Henderson then appealed that decision.

His attorney argues that there is no evidence Henderson committed “actual acts’’ of racial discrimination. The attorney, Vincent Valentino, says in written arguments that Henderson has never been accused of any such act and that data on who he stopped while working indicates he did not engage in racial profiling.

Valentino goes on to argue that the public policy the district court pointed to when reversing the arbitrator’s ruling was “judicially created.’’

“Since ... Henderson has never deprived anyone of any right, privilege, liberty, property or employment because of race, he has not violated the public policy identified by the district court,’’ Valentino says in his written argument.

“Henderson was fired for exercising his constitutional and statutory rights to free speech and free political affiliation, and not for violating clear and explicit Nebraska public policy,’’ Valentino goes on to argue.

The state Police Standards Advisory Council will wait until after a ruling from the state Supreme Court before holding a hearing on whether to revoke Henderson’s certification to be a law enforcement officer.

And by the way, this is news because, yesterday, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld his firing.



At 3/2/09, 5:52 AM, Blogger sexy said...

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At 3/6/09, 3:14 AM, Blogger sexy said...

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