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  1. #4426

    Re: National, Regional and Local News



    When the 3,500-year-old bald cypress tree known as "The Senator" burned to the ground in January, initial reports from investigators theorized that the fire might have been caused by a lightning strike.



    But this week, a Florida woman was arrested on a charge of arson for burning down the tree. Sara Barnes, 26, told authorities that she and an unidentified friend were doing drugs inside the hollow tree and she lit a fire to see what she was doing.



    Barnes took cellphone photos of the fire as it started and bragged about it to friends. According to officials, who said the arrest followed tips from witnesses, Barnes showed people the photos and told them "I can't believe I burned down a tree older then Jesus." She also told police that she regularly hid out in Big Tree Park, home of "The Senator," to get high.

    Deputies from the Seminole County Sheriffs' Office arrested Barnes and another woman, 41-year-old Jodi Hill, at Barnes' apartment on Feb. 18. Both women were charged with possession of methamphetamine, intent to sell the drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police also confiscated Barnes' phone and laptop, where the photos of the fire were stored.

    Beyond of the drug charges, there were tree-related charges filed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which arrested Barnes on charges of intentional burning of land, a third-degree felony.

    According to The Orlando Sentinel, people angry about the fire have started posting "profanity-laced comments" on Barnes' Facebook page.

    "The Senator" was believed to be one of the 10 oldest trees in the world and probably the oldest in the United States. It measured 17.5 feet in diameter and 425 inches in circumference, according to the Tampa Bay Times. It got its name from Florida state Sen. Moses Overstreet, who donated the acreage that formed Big Tree Park to Seminole County. The tree and the park received hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

    Last week, Seminole County officials announced plans to install fencing and security cameras in Big Tree Park near the site of the historic tree to protect the remains of the tree and another 2,000-year-old tree nearby. The fences will cost nearly $30,000, while the security system is estimated to cost an additional $34,000.

    Barnes is currently being held in Seminole County Jail.

    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wil...-a-3500-year-o
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  2. #4427

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Olympia Snowe (r-Maine), one of the few remaining "reach across the aisle"-ers in the US Senate, has announced that she will not seek re-election this year.

    Curious for craighickman's take on this.
    The Maine political scene is about as turbulent at the moment as it's been for the last decade and may be for another.

    I wasn't sure she wanted to have her legacy dragged through the mud by her Tea Party challenger so I'm not totally surprised by her decision. Other than that, she looks tired, so again, not a total surprise.

    What's most surprising (and telling) is the fact that she held this announcement till two weeks before the filing deadline for party candidates in all races. Like a middle finger to her own party both nationally and in Maine. There's a ton of frustration among moderate GOP legislators in the state who must deal with the LePage administration. Even though the GOP controls everything, LePage can't push his unconscionable agenda through. But he's wearing out legislative leaders the same as Snowe feels worn out by the dysfunction of Washington.

    I was at the State House yesterday shadowing the Assistant Minority Leader in preparation for another run for the state Legislature. I wish I had been there today. I spoke with the minority whip this evening, and she sounded like she was ready for several cocktails. Everybody and their grandmother has filed papers to run for the US Senate, including both Democratic incumbent Congresspeople, and so everybody else is filing papers to fill their seats.

    It's a circus, to be sure.

    Let's see who can get the 2,000 or 1,000 signatures by March 15.

    As for Snowe, she will always be Maine Royalty. Across the board, her political eulogies have been as glowing as they ought to be.
    Last edited by craighickman; 02-29-2012 at 08:13 PM.


  3. #4428

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    As a follow up to yesterday's comment, here's a quote from a FB friend about the state of the races in Maine:

    "I'm announcing an exploratory committee to look at running for the local library board. That seat opened up when the current library board member announced they were running for dog catcher. That seat opened when the incumbent decided to run for city council, a seat that became vacant when the incumbent decided to run for state rep, a seat that opened up when the incumbent decided to run for state senate, a seat that opened up when that incumbent decided to run for Congress, a seat that became vacant when the incumbent decided to run for the US Senate..."

    And that's about the size of it.


  4. #4429
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    A beautifully written piece about the ugly spectacle that occurred several days at a church in Maryland in which a Priest refused to serve communion to a lesbian during her mother's funeral, left the service when this daughter was delivering the eulogy, and refused to accompany the family to the graveside services.

    But there is much more to this story--as told by John Shore, one of my favorite Christian bloggers, who interviewed the daughter. And it's quite beautiful.


    http://johnshore.com/2012/02/29/fath...e-whole-story/
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  5. #4430
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    What seems to be missing from the story so often in the repeated blurbs was that she feels that her faith was actually strengthened by the response she got from the church and others after the experience. She sounded dismayed by the use of her story to Catholic bash. It really is all intended to be specifically against the individual culprit here.

    (This is somewhat local for me, so I did get a lot of coverage)

    Also, I did want to note that our marriage equality bill was signed into law yesterday.
    Last edited by James7; 03-02-2012 at 11:02 AM.
    I disapprove of this message

  6. #4431

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    A beautifully written piece about the ugly spectacle that occurred several days at a church in Maryland in which a Priest refused to serve communion to a lesbian during her mother's funeral, left the service when this daughter was delivering the eulogy, and refused to accompany the family to the graveside services.

    But there is much more to this story--as told by John Shore, one of my favorite Christian bloggers, who interviewed the daughter. And it's quite beautiful.


    http://johnshore.com/2012/02/29/fath...e-whole-story/

    I understand why some people would love this piece (and for good reasons) but I disagree with the conclusion.. certainly with the ending part, the last paragraph. It should be noted that it is our innate human values that prevailed. The feeling of moral justice of those people that stepped in to help resolve the situation is what should be noted, not their religion as the author mentions. The author does say " and if anything highlighted people’s capacity for loving and comforting one another" and THAT I completely agree with. The sole emphasize should be on people in that situation, because in any other setting or tradition, say Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist, etc you will find those that will be able to provide comfort just as well.

    I hope that makes sense.
    Last edited by Vlad; 03-02-2012 at 11:56 AM.
    "Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd." Baruch Spinoza

  7. #4432
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    I understand why some people would love this piece (and for good reasons) but I disagree with the conclusion.. certainly with the ending part, the last paragraph. It should be noted that it is our innate human values that prevailed. The feeling of moral justice of those people that stepped in to help resolve the situation is what should be noted, not their religion as the author mentions. The author does say " and if anything highlighted people’s capacity for loving and comforting one another" and THAT I completely agree with. The sole emphasize should be on people in that situation, because in any other setting or tradition, say Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist, etc you will find those that will be able to provide comfort just as well.

    I hope that makes sense.
    I hear ya, Vlad.
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  8. #4433

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    **************Sarcasm Alert******************


    The Wilmington City Council has a message for men -- sperm are people, too.

    The council for Delaware's largest city passed a resolution by an 8-4 vote Thursday calling on the Delaware legislature, other state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to pass laws granting "personhood" rights to eggs and sperm. The resolution was authored by councilwoman Loretta Walsh as a protest in the current battle over women's health care access.

    "[E]ach 'egg person' and each 'sperm person' should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government and be subject to the same laws and regulations as any other dependent minor and be protected against abuse, neglect or abandonment by the parent or guardian," says the resolution. "[L]aws should be enacted by all legislative bodies in the United States to promote equal representation, and should potentially include laws in defense of 'personhood,' forbidding every man from destroying his semen."

    The vote came the same day that the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment that would have given employers the right to refuse any health care service to employees for moral reasons.

    Walsh isn't the first lawmaker to introduce such a measure. Sen. Constance Johnson, a Democratic state senator from Oklahoma, introduced and later withdrew an amendment to a "personhood" bill that would have given zygotes the same rights as adults. "However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman's vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child," reads the amendment.
    Other legislators have lodged similar protests. As the Virginia legislature considered a bill requiring women to undergo mandatory ultrasounds before abortions, state Sen. Janet Howell put forth an amendment mandating that men get a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test prior to being treated for erectile dysfunction. (The mandatory ultrasound bill has since passed the state Senate and the governor is expected to sign, albeit no longer requiring an invasive transvaginal ultrasound.) Georgia state Rep. Yasmin Neal introduced a bill vastly limiting vasectomies for men as a protest against an abortion bill in her state.
    "What's good for the gander is good for the goose," said Walsh, according to The News Journal.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1316924.html
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  9. #4434

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    **************Sarcasm Alert******************


    The Wilmington City Council has a message for men -- sperm are people, too.

    The council for Delaware's largest city passed a resolution by an 8-4 vote Thursday calling on the Delaware legislature, other state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to pass laws granting "personhood" rights to eggs and sperm. The resolution was authored by councilwoman Loretta Walsh as a protest in the current battle over women's health care access.

    "[E]ach 'egg person' and each 'sperm person' should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government and be subject to the same laws and regulations as any other dependent minor and be protected against abuse, neglect or abandonment by the parent or guardian," says the resolution. "[L]aws should be enacted by all legislative bodies in the United States to promote equal representation, and should potentially include laws in defense of 'personhood,' forbidding every man from destroying his semen."

    The vote came the same day that the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment that would have given employers the right to refuse any health care service to employees for moral reasons.

    Walsh isn't the first lawmaker to introduce such a measure. Sen. Constance Johnson, a Democratic state senator from Oklahoma, introduced and later withdrew an amendment to a "personhood" bill that would have given zygotes the same rights as adults. "However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman's vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child," reads the amendment.
    Other legislators have lodged similar protests. As the Virginia legislature considered a bill requiring women to undergo mandatory ultrasounds before abortions, state Sen. Janet Howell put forth an amendment mandating that men get a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test prior to being treated for erectile dysfunction. (The mandatory ultrasound bill has since passed the state Senate and the governor is expected to sign, albeit no longer requiring an invasive transvaginal ultrasound.) Georgia state Rep. Yasmin Neal introduced a bill vastly limiting vasectomies for men as a protest against an abortion bill in her state.
    "What's good for the gander is good for the goose," said Walsh, according to The News Journal.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1316924.html
    I think this makes Jack Sock an accomplice to many mass murders.

  10. #4435
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    There's a live broadcast on Youtube of "8" a play based on the Prop. 8 trial. Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, George Clooney, John C. Reilly, George Takei, Jane Lynch, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis and lots of other (liberal) celebrities are performing. It's very entertaining so far. It's obviously quite one-sided but very entertaining.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/American...ure=inp-lt-VTI
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  11. #4436
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post


    When the 3,500-year-old bald cypress tree known as "The Senator" burned to the ground in January, initial reports from investigators theorized that the fire might have been caused by a lightning strike.



    But this week, a Florida woman was arrested on a charge of arson for burning down the tree. Sara Barnes, 26, told authorities that she and an unidentified friend were doing drugs inside the hollow tree and she lit a fire to see what she was doing.



    Barnes took cellphone photos of the fire as it started and bragged about it to friends. According to officials, who said the arrest followed tips from witnesses, Barnes showed people the photos and told them "I can't believe I burned down a tree older then Jesus." She also told police that she regularly hid out in Big Tree Park, home of "The Senator," to get high.

    Deputies from the Seminole County Sheriffs' Office arrested Barnes and another woman, 41-year-old Jodi Hill, at Barnes' apartment on Feb. 18. Both women were charged with possession of methamphetamine, intent to sell the drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police also confiscated Barnes' phone and laptop, where the photos of the fire were stored.

    Beyond of the drug charges, there were tree-related charges filed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which arrested Barnes on charges of intentional burning of land, a third-degree felony.

    According to The Orlando Sentinel, people angry about the fire have started posting "profanity-laced comments" on Barnes' Facebook page.

    "The Senator" was believed to be one of the 10 oldest trees in the world and probably the oldest in the United States. It measured 17.5 feet in diameter and 425 inches in circumference, according to the Tampa Bay Times. It got its name from Florida state Sen. Moses Overstreet, who donated the acreage that formed Big Tree Park to Seminole County. The tree and the park received hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

    Last week, Seminole County officials announced plans to install fencing and security cameras in Big Tree Park near the site of the historic tree to protect the remains of the tree and another 2,000-year-old tree nearby. The fences will cost nearly $30,000, while the security system is estimated to cost an additional $34,000.

    Barnes is currently being held in Seminole County Jail.

    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wil...-a-3500-year-o
    This story just really pisses me all off.
    Hello, Grigor.

  12. #4437
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkus View Post
    This story just really pisses me all off.
    Me too. This week in Ireland a farmer was fined €25000 for destroying a fort on his property that was over 1000 years old. Same story, no respect.

    Depressing.

  13. #4438

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A hospital official says an Indiana toddler found in a field after Friday's violent tornadoes has died.

    Fourteen-month-old Angel Babcock of New Pekin (PEEK'-in), Ind., was found after her family's mobile home was destroyed in the storms that ravaged the Midwest and South.

    She had been in critical condition at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky. Chief nursing officer Cis Gruebbel says she suffered head and neck injuries and her family decided to take her off life support.

    Her father, mother and two siblings were killed in the storm.

    Her grandfather, Jack Brough, says the family is thankful for the thoughts and prayers they have received and is looking to God.

    The girl's death brings the overall toll from the storms to 39 across five states.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1319917.html

    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  14. #4439
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A hospital official says an Indiana toddler found in a field after Friday's violent tornadoes has died.

    Fourteen-month-old Angel Babcock of New Pekin (PEEK'-in), Ind., was found after her family's mobile home was destroyed in the storms that ravaged the Midwest and South.

    She had been in critical condition at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky. Chief nursing officer Cis Gruebbel says she suffered head and neck injuries and her family decided to take her off life support.

    Her father, mother and two siblings were killed in the storm.

    Her grandfather, Jack Brough, says the family is thankful for the thoughts and prayers they have received and is looking to God.

    The girl's death brings the overall toll from the storms to 39 across five states.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1319917.html

    This is just heartbreaking.
    Gender should never be a death sentence. http://www.facebook.com/The.Worldwide.War.on.Girls. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. http://www.facebook.com/TheSilenceStopsNow?ref=hl. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globa...417742?fref=ts

  15. #4440

    Re: National, Regional and Local News


    There's a Million Hoodie March taking place in NYC in memory of Trayvon Martin right now. Gathering is at 14th Street and Union Square.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

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