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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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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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