Archive for April, 2012

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Weekend Quick Hits

Spent the bulk of the week­end with fam­ily as we cel­e­brated the bap­tisms of my new niece as well as my brother’s new nephew (born a few weeks after his daugh­ter, it was a double-baptism).

And away we go..

The Most Hated Per­son in Madi­son Not Named Scott Walker

What kind of a per­son kid­naps another person’s dog?  Seri­ously?

A 21-year-old woman was arrested Sat­ur­day night for allegedly tak­ing a six-month-old puppy from a car parked at the Divi­sion of Motor Vehi­cles’ East Side office on April 16.

Erin Ohne­sorge of Sun Prairie was arrested on a ten­ta­tive charge of theft of a domes­tic ani­mal, Madi­son Police Sgt. Bernie Gon­za­lez said in a news release.

The dog-napping of Blake, a boxer-shepherd mix, had drawn media atten­tion after two busi­nesses pledged a reward of $1,250 for return of the 35-pound pooch. Blake was reunited with his owner, Lars Forde, on Wednes­day after an uniden­ti­fied woman from Sun Prairie said she found the black and gray dog wan­der­ing the city with no tags or collar.

Usu­ally, the only thing you have to worry about in a DMV park­ing lost are the cars of those tak­ing their dri­ving tests.

And I Thought the “Recall Soglin” Sign Out In-Front Was a Joke

When all else fails, bring in the lawyers!

The city of Madison’s bat­tle with Occupy Madi­son pro­test­ers heated up as a group of attor­neys filed suit Fri­day to stop the city from clos­ing the group’s camp on East Wash­ing­ton Avenue.

The suit asks the Dane County Cir­cuit Court for a tem­po­rary restrain­ing order against the city from evict­ing peo­ple who have “main­tained a peace­ful protest encamp­ment in coop­er­a­tion with the city,” accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union of Wisconsin.

The city allowed the Occupy pro­test­ers to set up a camp at 802 E. Wash­ing­ton Ave. dur­ing the past sev­eral months.

Wis­con­sin ACLU offi­cials said Madison’s Occupy move­ment is an exten­sion of the Occupy move­ment in other cities, and the East Wash­ing­ton site is pri­mar­ily a protest site where peo­ple are express­ing their First Amend­ment rights.

Protest site?  Please.  The site is noth­ing more than Madison’s lat­est park (or park­ing lot to be more pre­cise) for the homeless.

The most telling part of the place is the dump­ster which is marked with some­thing like “Not Trash, Peo­ple Inside” to stop the gang at Waste Man­age­ment from acci­den­tally killing any of the home­less at the site who have taken up res­i­dence inside.

How Would This Be Por­trayed If the Gen­ders Were Reversed Here?

Feel sorry for this kid.  There’s not much of a future in field hockey.

The attor­ney for a 13-year-old Long Island boy who was kicked off his high school’s girls’ field hockey team for being too dom­i­nant says his client will most likely be reinstated.

We are con­fi­dent that a court will see the dis­crim­i­na­tion in this case,” Frank Scagluso, the attor­ney for Keel­ing Pilaro said.

Scagluso said Keel­ing has sup­port from his school dis­trict, other coaches and play­ers in the league and that he has not heard any crit­i­cism about the boy’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in games.

Keel­ing, who played for Southamp­ton High School’s var­sity girls’ field hockey team for the past two years, was told he could no longer play next year after becom­ing the team’s star.

Sec­tion 11, which over­sees Suf­folk County’s high school sports, deter­mined that as a boy, Keel­ing had too sig­nif­i­cant an advan­tage over the other players.

(Keel­ing is) hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant adverse effect on some of his oppos­ing female play­ers,” Sec­tion 11 claimed, accord­ing to MyFoxNY. “The rules state he would be allowed to play if he wasn’t the dom­i­nant player.”

Sec­tion 11’s exec­u­tive direc­tor, Ed Cinelli, told MyFoxNY, “As a sport, it’s a girls sport. When a boy plays, it leads the way for other male play­ers to come in and take over.”

Keel­ing grew up in Ire­land and moved to the states only a few years ago with his par­ents.  Frankly, either way the court case goes, my sug­ges­tion to the kid is change over to lacrosse.  He’s more likely to get a col­lege schol­ar­ship if he has the skills to com­pete since the sport is more preva­lent in East Coast  states than any­where else.

Ran­dom Thoughts, Ques­tions, Com­ments, and Quem­ments

- If the Utah Sen­ate pri­mary was sup­posed to be a defeat for the Tea Party (Which it wasn’t, Orrin Hatch didn’t win out­right. But hey, I’m going by the words of Ryan Gru­ber here.), why is it likely that the Tea Party is about the claim the scalp of Indi­ana Sen­a­tor Dick Lugar in less than two weeks?

- Good to see Jeff Simp­son trans­ferred over to Cog Dis with “cap­per.”  Keeps all the cra­zies in one spot.

- Ques­tion — The left is quot­ing that UW-Madison Eco­nom­ics pro­fes­sor a lot because he got close to his pre­dic­tion on job loss right, but why is no one ask­ing what the state’s job sit­u­a­tion would be if we weren’t stuck in a land which also is full of union tem­per tantrums, boy­cott threats, protests, and recalls?   I only ask because even the UW prof admits in the WSJ story that uncer­tainty is hav­ing a effect on the jobs numbers.

- Con­grats to Lori Com­pas for get­ting $100,000 in dona­tions.  My advice, spend in the Madi­son mar­ket which hits the west­ern part of the 13th State Sen­ate Dis­trict.  Will keep the elec­tion from being the total blood­bath it’s expected to be.

- By the way, how angry must the Com­pas camp be that the DLSC didn’t feel the need to poll her race to try to blow up the meme that PPP said all but the Waang­gard / Lehman race was close?

- Was Zielinski’s flag burn­ing a plus in get­ting his job at the MJS, or his job at DPW?  Boy, his Jour­nal Com­mu­ni­ca­tions HR file must be one hell of a doozy?

- I’ll be in Austin, TX for work-related stuff for most of the week, so blog­ging may be limited.

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NBA Players’ Union Head Stealing Money?">Is NBA Players’ Union Head Stealing Money?

Sure looks that way, this could get interesting.

National Bas­ket­ball Play­ers Asso­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Derek Fisher asked for a review of union finances and was promptly asked to resign. Now, it looks like the gov­ern­ment wants to take a look at the union.

Exec­u­tive direc­tor Billy Hunter has been informed that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Man­hat­tan is con­duct­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion and has sub­poe­naed doc­u­ments, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The NBPA will coop­er­ate fully with the government’s inves­ti­ga­tion,” the union said in a statement.

The exact sub­stance of the inves­ti­ga­tion is not clear.

The union has cre­ated a six-member com­mit­tee of player rep­re­sen­ta­tives and exec­u­tives to con­duct an inter­nal review and finan­cial audit, Bloomberg reported.

The com­mit­tee has retained the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Whar­ton & Gar­ri­son to con­duct the inquiry.

The news comes days after Bloomberg reported that pub­lic records show Hunter’s fam­ily mem­bers and their busi­nesses have been paid almost $4.8 mil­lion by the union since 2001.

Hunter’s daugh­ter and daughter-in-law work for the union, another daugh­ter is spe­cial coun­sel at a law firm used by the asso­ci­a­tion and his son is a prin­ci­pal at a finan­cial plan­ning and invest­ment firm that was paid more than $45,000 per month the last fis­cal year to run the union’s finan­cial aware­ness pro­gram and advise on invest­ments, the report states, cit­ing U.S. Labor Depart­ment filings.

Hunter, 69, dis­cussed his family’s role in the union dur­ing the exec­u­tive com­mit­tee con­fer­ence call last week, said a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee, the Wiz­ards’ Mau­rice Evans, accord­ing to Bloomberg.

Accord­ing to a 2011 Labor Depart­ment fil­ing cited by Bloomberg, Hunter made $2.39 mil­lion in salary that year.

Haven’t seen this much nepo­tism in an orga­ni­za­tion since Gwen Moore’s last cam­paign finance report.

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Is the Pro Bowl No More?

Hon­estly, I won’t miss it much. 

It’s been called the game every­one wants to be named to, but no one wants to play in and the actions of some of foot­balls biggest stars (claims of injuries, declin­ing to play out­right) have proven the nick­name applies.

Good­bye.  Here’s hop­ing they replace the honor with a nice din­ner and a free trip to Hawaii.  That’s what all those ath­letes really wanted any­way after destroy­ing them­selves for 16 weeks of hard-nosed football.

Beyond 2013, another league source believes the Pro Bowl is “DOA (dead on arrival).”

The next Pro Bowl is sched­uled the week before the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Feb. 3, but a game site has not been listed because of its pre­car­i­ous sta­tus, sources added.

No deter­mi­na­tion has been made yet about this season’s game,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Asso­ci­ated Press in response to ESPN’s report. “We have been in dis­cus­sions with the union about the future of the Pro Bowl.”

Per the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment, the league must con­sult with the union on Pro Bowl mat­ters but can uni­lat­er­ally sus­pend the game. The league would like to have a joint con­sen­sus with the union, sources said.

Newly elected NFLPA pres­i­dent Domonique Fox­worth tweeted Thurs­day: “The Pro Bowl is an impor­tant tra­di­tion we are in talks with the league to improve and pre­serve the game for our play­ers and fans.”

If the game is sus­pended, the league still would have a Pro Bowl bal­lot­ing process to iden­tify the season’s top play­ers and would direct teams to remain open to nego­ti­at­ing Pro Bowl clauses into player con­tracts and to honor Pro Bowl incen­tive and esca­la­tor clauses to avoid any seri­ous con­flict with the play­ers asso­ci­a­tion. Those play­ers also likely would be hon­ored in some fash­ion dur­ing Super Bowl week.

The league and union held dis­cus­sions last week on whether the Pro Bowl can become more attrac­tive but nei­ther side has embraced an alter­na­tive solu­tion, sources said. Both sides also con­cede that height­ened player health and safety issues have been a con­tribut­ing fac­tor to a dimin­ished product.

NFL Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell is on the record say­ing elim­i­nat­ing the Pro Bowl has been on the table and been openly dis­cussed in the past.  Frankly, they might as well do it.

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Man Does Not Live on Sunlight Alone

Lit­er­ally.   And this idiot is proof of it.

Swiss news­pa­per Tages-Anzeiger reports that a woman starved to death after embark­ing on a spir­i­tual diet that required her to stop eat­ing or drink­ing and live off sun­light alone.

The Zurich news­pa­per reported Wednes­day that the unnamed Swiss woman in her fifties decided to fol­low the rad­i­cal fast in 2010 after view­ing an Aus­trian doc­u­men­tary about an Indian guru who claims to have lived this way for 70 years.

Tages-Anzeiger says there have been sim­i­lar cases of self-starvation in Ger­many, Britain and Australia.

The pros­e­cu­tors’ office in the Swiss can­ton (state) of Aar­gau con­firmed Wednes­day that the woman died in Jan­u­ary 2011 in the town of Wolfhalden in east­ern Switzerland.

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Packers Release Nick Collins

Sad, but some­how expected news. 

Nick Collins’ career with the Green Bay Pack­ers is over. The ques­tion now is whether the three-time Pro Bowl safety’s NFL career is over as well, or if he’ll attempt to con­tinue his career elsewhere.

Collins’ agent, Alan Her­man, said in a text mes­sage that the Pack­ers informed Collins Wednes­day morn­ing that they were releas­ing him.

Collins played in 102 career games (includ­ing play­offs) with the Pack­ers and deliv­ered one of the sig­na­ture plays in the team’s Super Bowl XLV tri­umph after the 2010 sea­son: A 37-yard inter­cep­tion return for a touch­down in the Pack­ers’ 31–25 vic­tory over the Pitts­burgh Steelers.

Last week at his annual pre-NFL Draft news con­fer­ence, Pack­ers gen­eral man­ager Ted Thomp­son said the process of decid­ing whether Collins, who suf­fered a career-threatening neck injury Sept. 18 and under­went spinal fusion surgery there­after, is ongo­ing. The Pack­ers sent Collins to a num­ber of other spe­cial­ists in order to gather mul­ti­ple opin­ions on whether Collins should be cleared to return to action.

The doc­tor who per­formed Collins’ surgery, Dr. Frank Camissa, and the Pack­ers’ team doc­tor, Dr. Pat McKen­zie, had their own input on Collins’ future but also pre­sented those other opin­ions to Collins.

In the end, the Pack­ers decided they weren’t com­fort­able with Collins resum­ing his foot­ball career with them. It’s unclear whether Collins will attempt to con­tinue play­ing with another team. If he wants to do that, he would have to con­vince one of the league’s other 31 teams to pass him on his phys­i­cal and let him play.

Both coach Mike McCarthy and Her­man have said that if Collins were their son, they would not allow him to play again.

I can’t help but feel a repeat of what hap­pened to Ster­ling Sharpe here with Nick Collins.  Like Collins, it was a neck injury that even­tu­ally side­lined Sharpe and put an end to his amaz­ing receiv­ing career with the Packers.

One can under­stand if Collins tries to play foot­ball with another this year.  One can also under­stand if Collins looks at the med­ical risks asso­ci­ated with the con­tin­ued col­li­sions expected in from the posi­tion of safety in today’s NFL and just walks away and is grate­ful he doesn’t have to risk another injury which could poten­tially par­a­lyze him.

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