• phill4paul

      by Published on 04-19-2014 03:18 PM

      Western lawmakers gather in Utah to talk federal land takeover
      ‘It’s time’ » Lawmakers from 9 states gather in Utah, discuss ways to take control of federal lands.
      By Kristen Moulton | The Salt Lake Tribune

      It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

      More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

      "It’s simply time," said Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands along with Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. "The urgency is now."

      Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, was flanked by a dozen participants, including her counterparts from Idaho and Montana, during a press conference after the daylong closed-door summit. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee addressed the group over lunch, Ivory said. New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington also were represented.

      The summit was in the works before this month’s tense standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management over cattle grazing, Lockhart said.

      "What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem," Lockhart said.

      Fielder, who described herself as "just a person who lives in the woods," said federal land management is hamstrung by bad policies, politicized science and severe federal budget cuts.

      "Those of us who live in the rural areas know how to take care of lands," Fielder said, who lives in the northwestern Montana town of Thompson Falls.

      Full story: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politic...deral.html.csp
      by Published on 04-04-2014 01:52 PM

      SHORTOFF MOUNTAIN — An experienced rock climber said he was the first person to reach the man who fell 20-40 feet off a cliff in Linville Gorge.

      Officials also cited him because emergency crews said he got in the way of their operation.

      The civilian rock climber said he spent hours with the victim, but Tuesday, he's being fined with interfering with the rescue.

      It's the latest twist in a dramatic rescue you watched unfold live on Channel 9.

      The 23-year-old who fell is in good condition at an Asheville hospital.

      Jackson Depew severely injured his pelvis in the fall when he landed on a ledge just a few feet wide when his climbing anchors gave way.
      Full story: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/stat...itation/nd9rc/
      by Published on 03-27-2014 11:14 AM

      Up until the time police put her in handcuffs and loaded her into a cruiser, Ann Musser was not expecting to be arrested.

      “I just wished that at least for my first time getting arrested, I had something interesting to say about what I had done wrong,” said Musser, a Holyoke resident.

      Musser was arrested at her home Friday night on an outstanding arrest warrant issued by Holyoke District Court for failing to appear in court. The court appearance was scheduled last September because Musser had failed to comply with repeated requests from the city of Holyoke in June for her to renew the license for Pumpkin, her 14-year-old family dog.

      Musser, 41, admits failing to pay the $5 renewal fee was an oversight on her part, but she had a lot on her mind at the time. The main thing was the diagnosis for advanced ovarian cancer and having to undergo major surgery.

      “Your priorities are a little different when you are fighting death,” said her husband, Ozzie Ercan. “It’s easy to lose track of how important those little pieces of paper are.”

      Full story: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.s...th_cancer.html
      by Published on 03-26-2014 11:32 AM

      Bob Harte groggily opened his front door and found a fully-armed Johnson County SWAT team in front of him early in the morning of April 20, 2012.

      It was 7:30 a.m. when he'd heard a knock at the door and pulled himself out of bed to answer it while his wife and two kids slept. A SWAT team surrounded his home, and a deputy had a battering ram ready to charge through the door had Bob had not opened it.
      “On television, they always come to the door and say ‘we have a search warrant’ and hold it up. Here it is. Let us in. We were told in Kansas, they don't have to give you the search warrant until they leave,” Bob Harte said.
      After the raid, the couple thought they could access public records to find out why law enforcement suspected drugs were in their
      by Published on 03-21-2014 01:13 PM

      Here's how it's supposed to work: Upon evidence that a crime has been committed — Professor Plum, found dead in the conservatory with a lead pipe on the floor next to him, say — the police commence an investigation. When they have probable cause to believe that someone is guilty, the case is taken to a prosecutor, who (in the federal system, and many states) puts it before a grand jury. If the grand jury agrees that there's probable cause, it indicts. The case goes to trial, where a jury of 12 ordinary citizens hears the evidence. If they judge the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they convict. If they think the accused not guilty — or even simply believe that a conviction would be unjust — they acquit.

      Here's how things all-too-often work today: Law enforcement decides that a person is suspicious (or, possibly, just a political enemy). Upon investigation into every aspect of his/her life, they find possible violations of the law, often involving obscure, technical statutes that no one really knows. They then file a "kitchen-sink" indictment involving dozens, or even hundreds of charges, which the grand jury rubber stamps. The accused then must choose between a plea bargain, or the risk of a trial in which a jury might convict on one or two felony counts simply on a "where there's smoke there must be fire" theory even if the evidence seems less than compelling.

      This is why, in our current system, the vast majority of cases never go to trial, but end in plea bargains. And if being charged with a crime ultimately leads to a plea bargain, then it follows that the real action in the criminal justice system doesn't happen at trial, as it does in most legal TV shows, but way before, at the time when prosecutors decide to bring charges. Because usually, once charges are brought, the defendant will wind up doing time for something.

      The problem is that, although there's lots of due process at trial — right to cross-examine, right to counsel, rules of evidence, and, of course, the jury itself, which the Framers of our Constitution thought the most important protection in criminal cases — there's basically no due process at the stage when prosecutors decide to bring charges. Prosecutors who are out to "get" people have a free hand; prosecutors who want to give favored groups or individuals a pass have a free hand, too.
      Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinio...olumn/6490641/
      by Published on 03-20-2014 11:13 PM

      It has been a little over eight years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided that homeowners in New London, Conn., had no property rights. In 2005, residents in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London were told they had to abandon their homes so the city’s government could demolish them and hand the property over to developers to build hotels, health clubs and new condominiums.

      The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling, with a 5-4 decision, that the Fifth Amendment’s “taking clause” could extend to city governments that wanted to remove old structures and build something for the betterment of the community. Traditionally, such seizure of personal property, known as “eminent domain," had been limited to a government’s need to build facilities like schools or police stations, according to a recent story in the Boston Globe.

      Today, the land that was cleared remains a 90-acre barren field with waist-high weeds. The Weekly Standard recently ran a story reporting on the the aftermath of the decision.

      Continued: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/socie...ht-years-later
      by Published on 03-18-2014 11:08 AM

      When was the last time a cop was charged with perjury when caught in a lie?....

      The Kansas House Standing Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice has introduced a bill that will require private citizens who file complaints against police officers to sign an affidavit, acknowledging that if their allegations are proven false, they can be charged with perjury, which is a felony charge.

      Furthermore, this bill prohibits a Kansas law enforcement agency from opening an investigation into a complaint if another law enforcement agency has already investigated the complaint and found in favor of the officer.

      In other words, this bill would allow police departments to arrest the people who file complaints against police officers. In Wichita, Kansas, complaints are almost always dismissed, by the Wichita Police Department, so, according to this bill and its vague wording, the WPD, could now go arrest the people who file complaints against their officers.

      People in Wichita are already afraid to file complaints against the WPD, because the department has a well-known reputation for retaliating against those who do, and this bill would render such retaliation legal. Furthermore, the bill clearly prevents an outside agency, such as the Kansas Bureau of Investigations, from opening an investigation into an allegation that the WPD has already ruled upon.

      According to the Racial Profiling Advisory Board, the WPD denied 100 out of 100 claims of racial profiling, ruling that each was a “false report”. If this bill had been law when those reports were made, everyone of those 100 people could have potentially faced a felony charge, and no other law enforcement agency would be permitted to investigate the allegations.
      by Published on 02-21-2014 06:38 AM

      A 13-year-old boy arrested for allegedly hitting a Chicago police officer with a snowball says he was wrongly picked out of a crowd of kids walking home from school.

      And besides, he adds, the snowball didn't even hit the cop.

      "It made me mad," said the eighth-grader, who is facing a felony charge of battery to a police officer. “He (the officer) said the snowball hit him but it hit the car, not him."

      The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 4900 block of West Congress Parkway, about a half a block from where the boy attends school, according to a police report.

      The officer reported that the boy threw a snowball and hit him in the arm while he sat in a marked squad car. The boy was taken into custody and charged as a juvenile with aggravated battery to a peace officer, a felony. The Tribune is not naming him because he is a minor.

      Full story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,6134985.story
      by Published on 02-14-2014 05:57 PM


      Multnomah County and Portland police this week suspended a new program that supplied data-gathering ID scanners to Old Town bars after WW raised questions about whether it was legal.
      The state-funded program allowed Portland police to equip downtown bars and clubs in recent weeks with high-tech ID scanners that captured patrons’ names, ages and photos for upload to a central database, which police could then access.

      There’s no indication patrons knew they were being tracked.

      “We tried to say ‘no’ at the very beginning, and police strongly encouraged that we should do it,” says Mike Reed, general manager of the Boiler Room and Jones Bar, both located in Old Town. “We don’t want to track people’s every move. We considered that a possible issue.”

      Despite his misgivings, Reed gave the scanners a try. So did a dozen other downtown clubs.

      With government agencies already surreptitiously gathering information without warrants, the Portland program raised questions about transparency and privacy.

      It might also have been illegal.
      by Published on 02-03-2014 11:27 AM

      Yamaki was a senior civilian advisor to former Sheriff Lee Baca. Yamaki had no sheriff's department office, no phone line, and appeared to spend work days at the exclusive Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. Yamaki is also a longtime friend of Baca and loaned him $20,000 in his first campaign for sheriff. Eyewitness News filed a Public Records Act request asking for Yamaki's work calendars and a description of his job. We were told that neither of those things exists.

      Yamaki has been identified in numerous articles as the "general manager", "managing corporate officer" and "chief executive" of the Riviera, where the initiation fee is reported to be around $250,000. However, sheriff's department spokesperson Steve Whitmore told Eyewitness News that Yamaki's only job was with the LA County Sheriff's Department. Whitmore says that Yamaki has never been an employee at the Riviera and does not receive a salary, but that he is an investor at the club .

      Yamaki's job with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department came with a county car, which we spotted driving into and out of the Riviera Country Club on three occasions. On yet another day, we spotted Yamaki driving that same county car to another country club, this one in Valencia.

      Michael Yamaki refused to speak with Eyewitness News for our story, but we learned through public records that of the $120,000 worth of gifts that Sheriff Baca accepted during his tenure, there are nine rounds of golf paid for by Yamaki, most at the Riviera Country Club.

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