Place Stamp Here
LEGAL STREET NEWS Circulated Weekly To Cities In America
in The News This Week LAWMAkEr WANTS PAPErS oN rADioACTivE DuMP rELEASED
Volume 731 Issue 17
April 23, 2012
L a w m a k e r Wa n t s Papers on Radioactive D u m p R e l e a s e d
Concerns about possible groundwater contamination at a radioactive waste dump in West Texas, and is seeking official permission to release them. Page1
iNTErNATioNAL oNLiNE NArCoTiCS MArkET Eight men ran "The Farmer's Market," which allowed suppliers of drugs — including LSD, Ecstasy and ketamine. Page2
SECrET SErviCE SCANDAL WiDENS To uS MiLiTAry An embarrassing scandal involving prostitutes and Secret Service agents widened Saturday when the u.S. military confirmed five service members staying at the same hotel in Colombia may have been involved in misconduct as well. Page 3
2012 PuLiTzEr WiNNErS in fact, the law provides for a cheaper "bronze" plan that is broadly similar to today's so-called catastrophic coverage policies for individuals, several insurance experts said. Page 4
voLkSWAgEN SPEAkS ouT AgAiNST guNS iN PArkiNg LoTS The head of volkswagen's Chattanooga plant is speaking out against a bill pending in the Tennessee general Assembly to strip employers of the right to ban firearms on company property. Page 6
JuDgES, JourNALiSTS CLASH ovEr CourTrooM TWEETS Now comes Twitter with more changes, breaking up courtroom journalism into bite-size reports that take shape as fast as a reporter can tap 140 characters into a smartphone. Page7
JuDgE ASkED To SigN oFF oN BP oiL SPiLL SETTLEMENT BP and a team of plaintiffs' attorneys on Wednesday presented a federal judge with the formal terms of a proposed class-action settlement designed to resolve billions of dollars in economic damage claims spawned by the 2010 oil spill in the gulf of Mexico. Page8
BoEHNEr SAyS oBAMA CAN'T ruN oN ECoNoMiC Page8 rECorD
WILL WEISSERT,Associated Press AuSTiN, Texas (AP) — A lawmaker said Monday he has confidential documents detailing state officials' concerns about possible groundwater contamination at a radioactive waste dump in West Texas, and is seeking official permission to release them. State rep. Lon Burnam wrote a letter to Attorney general greg Abbott asking him to waive the confidentiality agreement for documents expressing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's concerns about Waste Control Specialists LLC's application to build the site in rural Andrews County near the New Mexico border. Burnam, a Democrat from Fort Worth, said he obtained the documents under a 2009 open records request — and only after years of legal battles. He said he's not allowed to release what's in them but said they contain officials' concerns about the location of groundwater tables near the dump site; the margin of safety in the event of groundwater contamination; and the possible risk of public exposure to radiation. Burnam also said other paperwork that can be released indicates water has already seeped into a buffer zone around the radioactive waste disposal facility. The majority owner of Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists is Harold Simmons, who has donated generously to top republicans, including gov. rick Perry. Burnam said he wasn't optimistic that he would get a favorable decision from Abbott, because "the attorney general has received over a half million dollars from ...
billionaire Harold Simmons in the last five years." "He's not the only one," Burnam said at a news conference at the state Capitol, "but he's the elected official in question today." Abbott's office said it had yet to receive Burnam's letter and had no immediate comment. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has yet to give final approval on operating the dump site, but state lawmakers cleared the way for it with a new law passed during the last legislative session. Anticipating final approval, Waste Control Specialists planned to begin burying radioactive waste at the site in a matter of days. Burnam said he may sue to block approval of the dump site while he awaits a ruling from Abbott on releasing the confidential documents. Waste Control Specialists spokesman Chuck McDonald dismissed Burnam's comments as a ploy for attention, and said they shouldn't stop the site's beginning operation. McDonald said Burnam called Monday's news conference, "because we're opening and he's running for re-election." Burnam gave journalists separate Waste Control Specialists documents in which the company told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that 23,000 gallons of water had been pumped out of temporary observation wells around the waste dumping site between November and the end of March.
Continued on page 4
Legal Street News Monday April 23, 2012 ___________________________________________________________
PUBLISHER INFORMATION Publisher & Editor Jane L Rahim
Design, Production & Layout Joseph Badamo
Records Department Administrator Jane L Rahim
Administrative Assistant Charlene Smith
Sales Director James Perchitti Office
Office Assistance Karen Green Local Sales & Marketing Office The Legal Street News, Inc. 1887 Wildwood Lane North Deerfield Beach, Florida 33442
TOLL FREE (888) 708-3576 T h e L e g a l S t r e e t N e w s ™”, is published four times a month by “The Legal Street News Inc.” with editorial and advertising offices at 1887 Wildwood Lane North,Deerfield Beach, Florida 33442. All rights are reserved throughout the world. Reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited. Editorial inquiries and manuscripts should be directed to the Editor. Manuscripts or other submissions must be accompanied by self addressed, stamped envelopes. “The Legal Street News, Inc.,”, assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, or artwork. All correspondence regarding business, editorial, production, and address changes should be sent to: The Legal Street News, Inc. 1887 Wildwood Lane North Deerfield Beach, Florida 33442 Disclaimer: We are a news agency and consumer journalists. We are not insurance, legal or medical advisors. So, while we try our best to write accurate articles on many different types of state and world wide laws and government decisions. We are happy to answer your questions, to the best of our ability and knowledge, nothing we say should be interpreted or considered as legal advise or medical opinion.
You Can Help Make A Difference By 2020, WWF will conserve 15 of the world’s most ecologically important regions by working in partnership with others
THE WORLD WILDLIFE FUND www.worldwildlife.org/
8 A R R E S T S i N i N T E R N AT i o N A L o N L i N E NARCoTiCS mARkET ROBERT JABLON,Associated Press LoS ANgELES (AP) — A sophisticated online drug marketplace that sold everything from marijuana to mescaline to some 3,000 people around the world has been cracked with the arrests of 15 people in several countries, u.S. authorities announced Monday. An indictment unsealed in federal court in Los Angeles claims eight men ran "The Farmer's Market," which allowed suppliers of drugs — including LSD, Ecstasy and ketamine — to anonymously sell their wares online. They hooked up with buyers in 34 countries and accepted various forms of payment, including cash, Western union and PayPal transactions, the indictment claims. From 2007 to 2009 alone, the marketplace processed more than 5,000 orders for drugs valued at more than $1 million, federal officials contended. it began operations as far back as March 2006, authorities said. The market "provided a controlled substances storefront, order forms, online forums, customer service, and payment methods for the different sources of supply" and charged the suppliers a commission based upon the value of the order, according to a statement from the u.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles. "For customers, the operators screened all sources of supply and guaranteed delivery of the illegal drugs," the statement said. The alleged ringleader, Dutch citizen Marc Willems, 42, was arrested Monday at his home in Lelystad in the Netherlands, officials said. The other seven men named in the indictment were arrested earlier at their homes in Bogota, Colombia and in iowa, Michigan, georgia, New york, New Jersey, and Florida. The 12-count indictment charges all eight men with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and money laundering conspiracy. Some of the men also are charged with distributing LSD and taking part in a continuing criminal enterprise.
LIVE UNITED http://www.sierraclub.org/
All could face a maximum sentence of life prison if convicted of conspiracy.
in addition, seven other people were arrested on suspicion of drug crimes Monday in the Netherlands, georgia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and authorities seized hallucinogenic mushrooms, hashish, LSD, marijuana and Ecstasy, the u.S. attorney's office said. The investigation led to those arrests, but authorities still were trying to determine their connections to the online marketplace, said Assistant u.S. Attorney kevin S. rosenberg. The two-year investigation, dubbed "operation Adam Bomb, "involved law enforcement agents from several u.S. states and several countries, including Colombia, the Netherlands and Scotland, the u.S. attorney's office said. The case was filed in Los Angeles because some of the customers and an undercover agent who bought drugs through the marketplace are from the area, rosenberg said. "illegal narcotics trafficking now reaches every corner of our world, including our home computers," u.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said in the statement. "But the reach of the law is just as long. ... We want to make the internet a safe and secure marketplace by rooting out and prosecuting those persons who seek to illegally pervert and exploit that market." The marketplace "was distributing dangerous and addictive drugs to every corner of the world, and trying to hide their activities through the use of advanced anonymizing online technology," said Briane M. grey, acting special agent in charge of the Los Angeles Field Division for the Drug Enforcement Administration. The marketplace allegedly used the Tor network, which spreads website and email communications through a volunteer network of servers around the world in order to mask internet
Continued on page 3
EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE,
ENJOY AND ENJOY AND ENJOY AND ENJOY AND ENJOY AND ENJOY AND ENJOY AND ENJOY AND ENJOY AND
PROTECT PROTECT PROTECT PROTECT PROTECT PROTECT PROTECT PROTECT PROTECT
THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE
PLANET PLANET PLANET PLANET PLANET PLANET PLANET PLANET PLANET
Subscription Request Form TAKE ACTION GIVE ADVOCATE VOLUNTEER http://www.unitedway.org/
The Florida Legal Street Newspapers are happy to offer free subscriptions to individuals and businesses that would like to receive a weekly publication. However, if you would like to have one of the newspapers sent to you on a weekly basis, please fill out the form below and return it with a money order for $24.95 per year to cover postage & handling. Outside Florida $52.95 Tax Incuded Mail To:
The Legal Street News 1887 Wildwood Lane North Deerfield Beach, Florida 33442
__________________________________________________________Legal Street News Monday, April 23, 2012
SECRET SERviCE SCANDAL WiDENS To US miLiTARy king credited the Secret Service director for acting quickly to remove the agents in question and replace them before obama's arrival.
LIBARDO CARDONA,Associated Press CArTAgENA, Colombia (AP) â€” An embarrassing scandal involving prostitutes and Secret Service agents widened Saturday when the u.S. military confirmed five service members staying at the same hotel in Colombia may have been involved in misconduct as well. The allegations overshadowed President Barack obama's diplomacy in Latin America and threatened to bruise America's image. The White House found itself having to insist that obama still had full confidence in the agency designed to protect his life. The Secret Service sent home about a dozen Secret Service agents for misconduct that occurred at their hotel before obama's arrival in Colombia on Friday; The Associated Press confirmed that the behavior in question involved prostitutes. Another bolt came Saturday when the u.S. Southern Command said five service members assigned to support the Secret Service violated their curfew and may have been involved in inappropriate conduct. The military members remained in Colombia confined to their quarters and ordered not to have contact with others. White House spokesman Jay Carney said it was part of the same incident involving the Secret Service. Put together, the allegations were an embarrassment for an American president on foreign soil and threatened to upend White House efforts to keep his trip focused squarely on boosting economic ties with fast-growing Latin America. obama was holding two days of summit meetings with regional leaders before heading back to Washington Sunday night. The Secret Service was investigating exactly what happened.
The incident was reported to the u.S. embassy, prompting further investigation, king said. A hotel employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job, said the agents arrived at the beachfront hotel about a week ago and said the agents left the hotel Thursday, a day before obama and other regional leaders arrived for the weekend summit. Cartagena's Hotel Caribe As for the apparent misconduct by the military members, gen. Douglas Fraser, commander of u.S. Southern Command, said he was "disappointed by the entire incident" and said the behavior was "not in keeping with the professional standards expected of members of the united States military." Col. Scott Malcom, chief of public affairs for Southern Command, said of the five service members: "The only misconduct i can confirm is that they were violating the curfew established. He said he had seen the news reports about the Secret Service agents involved in alleged prostitution at the hotel but could not confirm whether the service members also were involved. The military is investigating. initial reports said 12 Secret Service agents were involved, while king put the number at 11. "The president does have full confidence in the united States Secret Service," Carney told reporters when asked about such a vote of confidence. The alleged activities took place before obama arrived Friday in this Colombian port city for meetings with 33 other regional leaders.
rep. Peter king, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the AP after he was briefed on the investigation on Saturday that "close to" all 11 of the agents involved had brought women back to their rooms at a hotel separate from where obama is now staying.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the agents involved were relieved from duty and replaced with other agency personnel.
The New york republican said the women were "presumed to be prostitutes" but investigators were interviewing the agents.
The agency was continuing to investigate the matter Saturday, but had no additional comment.
The lawmaker also offered new details about the controversy.
The agents at the center of the allegations had stayed at Cartagena's five-star Hotel Caribe. Several members of the White House staff and press corps subsequently stayed at the hotel.
king said he was told that anyone visiting the hotel overnight was required to leave identification at the front desk and leave the hotel by 7 a.m. When a woman failed to do so, it raised questions among hotel staff and police, who investigated. They found the woman with the agent in the hotel room and a dispute arose over whether the agent should have paid her. king said he was told that the agent did eventually pay the woman. Carney said the president was told of the incident involving the Secret Service on Friday. The spokesman refused to offer obama's reaction. The White House spokesman said the incident was not distracting obama from his work, suggesting it was more of a matter of consuming interest to the media.
"These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the president's trip," Donovan said.
Continued from page 2
Online Drug Market address information. Tor originally was developed at a project of the u.S. Naval research Laboratory to protect government communications. The free software and open network is used to prevent websites from tracking users, getting access to websites blocked by internet providers, and providing anonymity for online users and online publishers. it is used by "normal people, the military, journalists, law enforcement officers, activists, and many others," according to the Tor Project website.
Three waiters interviewed by the AP at the hotel described the agents as drinking heavily during their stay. on Friday, the hotel began filling up with the delegations of some of the more than 30 countries whose leaders are convening for the weekend Summit of the Americas. The hotel's public relations director, Ana Beatriz Angel, refused to comment on the incident, which she said "concerns only and exclusively the u.S. government." on the steamy streets of Cartagena, a resort city with a teeming prostitution trade, there was condemnation for the Secret Service agents for what residents saw as abusing their station and dishonoring their country. Edwin yepes, a souvenir vendor, said "they are supposed to come here and set an example. We are an inferior culture, and so it's better if they don't come than if they damage our image of them."
Continued from page 1
Want Papers on Rad ioactive Dump Burnam said Waste Control Specialists characterized the water flow as "discontinuous and controlled, and that they're merely puddles and that they'll dry up." "Well, November to now, that's not puddles," he said of repeated pumping. Burnam noted the area for the dump site is in severe drought, meaning that if pumping is still necessary, the water that's there is likely groundwater seeping in from elsewhere. "This is underground water migrating," Burnam said. "Where's the water coming from? We have a right to know this simple question and have it answered." McDonald countered that the water is moisture that built up over decades and remained trapped underground due to the area's uneven topography. He added that some residential swimming pools alone contain more than 20,000 gallons of water. McDonald said he expected that the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality could give final approval for the company to begin burying waste by the end of the month. Agency spokesman Terry Clawson said Monday that there is no timetable on when approval would come. But when asked about McDonald's estimate that it would be within two weeks he said, "i don't have a problem with that."
Legal Street News Monday April 23, 2012 ___________________________________________________________
2012 PULiTzER WiNNERS iN jo
WiNNERS AND fiNALiSTS, WiT giffords, an exemplary use of journalistic tools, from Twitter to video to written reports and features, to tell an unfolding story, and the staff of the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, for its energetic coverage of 27 days of around-theclock protests in the state Capitol over collective bargaining rights, using an array of journalistic tools to capture one breaking development after another.
NEW york (AP) â€” The 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists, with comments from judges: JOURNALISM Public service: The Philadelphia inquirer for its exploration of pervasive violence in the city's schools, using powerful print narratives and videos to illuminate crimes committed by children against children and to stir reforms to improve safety for teachers and students. Finalists: The Miami Herald for its exposure of deadly abuses and lax state oversight in Florida's assisted-living facilities for the elderly and mentally ill that resulted in the closure of dangerous homes, punishment of violators and creation of tougher laws and regulations, and The New york Times for the work of Danny Hakim and russ Buettner that revealed rapes, beatings and more than 1,200 unexplained deaths over the past decade of developmentally disabled people in New york State group homes, leading to removal of two top officials, movement to fire 130 employees and passage of remedial laws. Breaking news reporting: The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News staff for its enterprising coverage of a deadly tornado, using social media as well as traditional reporting to provide real-time updates, help locate missing people and produce in-depth print accounts even after power disruption forced the paper to publish at another plant 50 miles away. Finalists: The Arizona republic Staff, Phoenix, for its comprehensive coverage of the mass shooting that killed six and wounded 13, including Congresswoman gabrielle
investigative reporting: Matt Apuzzo, Adam goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley of The Associated Press for their spotlighting of the New york Police Department's clandestine spying program that monitored daily life in Muslim communities, resulting in congressional calls for a federal investigation, and a debate over the proper role of domestic intelligence gathering; and Michael J. Berens and ken Armstrong of The Seattle Times for their investigation of how a little known governmental body in Washington state moved vulnerable patients from safer pain-control medication to methadone, a cheaper but more dangerous drug, coverage that prompted statewide health warnings. Finalists: gary Marx and David Jackson of the Chicago Tribune for their exposure of a neglectful state justice system that allowed dozens of brutal criminals to evade punishment by fleeing the country, sparking moves for corrective change. Explanatory reporting: David kocieniewski of The New york Times for his lucid series that penetrated a legal thicket to explain how the nation's wealthiest citizens and corporations often exploited loopholes and avoided taxes. Finalists: Tom Frank of uSA Today for his sharply focused exploration of inflated pensions for state and local employees, enhancing stories with graphic material to show how state legislators pump up retirement benefits in creative but unconscionable ways, and The Wall Street Journal staff for its tenacious exploration of how personal information is harvested from the cellphones and computers of unsuspecting Americans by corporations and public officials in a largely unmonitored realm of modern life.
OUR PURPOSE IS To strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world.
h t t p : / / w w w . f o u n d a t i o n c e n t e r . o r g /
Local reporting: Sara ganim and members of The Patriot-News staff, Harrisburg, Pa., for courageously revealing and adeptly covering the explosive Penn State sex scandal involving former football coach Jerry Sandusky. Finalists: staff of California Watch, founded by the Center for investigative reporting, Berkeley, for its rigorous probe of deficient earthquake protection in the construction of public schools across the state, telling the story with words, graphics, videos and other tools, and A.M. Sheehan and Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling of the Advertiser Democrat, Norway, Maine, a weekly, for their tenacious exposure of disgraceful conditions in federally-supported housing in a small rural community that, within hours, triggered a state investigation. National reporting: David Wood of The Huffington Post for his riveting exploration of the physical and emotional challenges facing American soldiers severely wounded in iraq and Afghanistan during a decade of war. Finalists: Jeff Donn of The Associated Press for his diligent exposure of federal regulators easing or neglecting to enforce safety standards as aging nuclear power plants exceed their original life spans, with interactive data and videos used to drive home the findings, and Jessica Silvergreenberg of The Wall Street Journal for her compelling examination of aggressive debt collectors whose often questionable tactics, profitable but largely unseen by the public, vexed borrowers hard hit by the nation's financial crisis. international reporting: Jeffrey gettleman of The New york Times for his vivid reports, often at personal peril, on famine and conflict in East Africa, a neglected but increasingly strategic part of the world. Finalists: The New york Times staff for its powerful exploration of serious mistakes concealed by authorities in Japan after a tsunami and earthquake devastated the nation, and caused a nuclear disaster, and the Thomson reuters staff for its well-crafted reports on the momentous revolution in Libya that went beyond battlefield dispatches to tell the wider story of discontent, conflict and the role of outside powers. feature writing: Eli Sanders of The Stranger, a Seattle weekly, for his haunting story of a woman who survived a brutal attack that took the life of her partner, using the woman's brave courtroom testimony and the details of the crime to construct a moving narrative. Finalists: John Branch of The New york Times for his deeply reported story of Derek Boogaard, a professional hockey player valued for his brawling, whose tragic story shed light on a popular sport's disturbing embrace of potentially braindamaging violence, and Corinne reilly of The virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, for her inspiring stories that bring the reader side-by-side with the medical professionals seeking to save the lives of gravely injured American soldiers at a combat hospital in Afghanistan. Commentary: Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune for her wide range of down-toearth columns that reflect the character and capture the culture of her famed city. Finalists: Nicholas kristof of The New york Times for his valorous columns that transport readers into dangerous international scenes, from Egypt to
__________________________________________________________Legal Street News Monday, April 23, 2012
joURNALiSm AND ARTS, PRizE
iTH CommENTS fRom jUDGES kenya to Cambodia, often focusing on the disenfranchised and always providing insight, and Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times for his engaging commentary on death and dying, marked by pieces on his own father's rapid physical and mental decline, that stir readers to address end-of-life questions. Criticism: Wesley Morris of The Boston globe for his smart, inventive film criticism, distinguished by pinpoint prose and an easy traverse between the art house and the big-screen box office. Finalists: Philip kennicott of The Washington Post for his ambitious and insightful cultural criticism, taking on topical events from the uprisings in Egypt to the dedication of the ground zero memorial, causing readers to reflect on the world around them, and Tobi Tobias for work appearing on ArtsJournal.com that reveals passion as well as deep historical knowledge of dance, her well-expressed arguments coming from the heart as well as the head. Editorial writing: No award. Finalists: Paula Dwyer and Mark Whitehouse of Bloomberg News for their analysis of and prescription for the European debt crisis, dealing with important technical questions in ways that the average readers could grasp; Tim Nickens, Joni James, John Hill and robyn Blumner of the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times for editorials that examined the policies of a new, inexperienced governor and their impact on the state, using techniques that stretched the typical editorial format and caused the governor to mend some of his ways, and Aki Soga and Michael Townsend, of the Burlington (vt.) Free Press, for their campaign that resulted in the state's first reform of open government laws in 35 years, reducing legal obstacles that helped shroud the work of government officials. Editorial cartooning: Matt Wuerker of Politico for his consistently fresh, funny cartoons, especially memorable for lampooning the partisan conflict that engulfed Washington. Finalists: Matt Bors, syndicated by universal uclick, for his pungent work outside the traditional style of American cartooning, and Jack ohman, of The oregonian, Portland, for his clever daily cartoons and a distinctive Sunday panel on local issues in which his reporting was as important as his artistic execution. Breaking news photography: Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse for his heartbreaking image of a girl crying in fear after a suicide bomber's attack at a crowded shrine in kabul. Finalists: Carolyn Cole and Brian van der Brug of the Los Angeles Times for their illumination of epic disasters in Japan, documenting the brutality of nature as well as the durability of the human spirit, and John Moore, Peter Macdiarmid and the late Chris Hondros of getty images for their brave coverage of revolutionary protests known as the Arab Spring, capturing the chaos and exuberance as ordinary people glimpsed new possibilities. feature photography: Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post for his compassionate chroni-
cle of an honorably discharged veteran, home from iraq and struggling with a severe case of post-traumatic stress, images that enable viewers to better grasp a national issue. Finalists: David guttenfelder, Ng Han guan and rafael Wober of The Associated Press for their extraordinary portrayal of daily life inside the reclusive nation of North korea, including scenes after the death of kim Jong il, and Francine orr of the Los Angeles Times for her poignant portrait of the suffering by desperate families and misunderstood children who live with autism. ARTS fiction: No award. Finalists: "Train Dreams," by Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and giroux), a novella about a day laborer in the old American West, bearing witness to terrors and glories with compassionate, heartbreaking calm; "Swamplandia!" by karen russell (Alfred A. knopf), an adventure tale about an eccentric family adrift in its failing alligatorwrestling theme park; and "The Pale king," by the late David Foster Wallace (Little, Brown and Co.), a posthumously completed novel that explores boredom and bureaucracy in the American workplace. "Water by the Spoonful" by Quiara Alegria Hudes, an imaginative play about the search for meaning by a returning iraq war veteran working in a sandwich shop in his hometown of Philadelphia. Finalists: "other Desert Cities," by Jon robin Baitz, a drama about an affluent California couple whose daughter has written a memoir that threatens to reveal family secrets about her dead brother, and "Sons of the Prophet," by Stephen karam, about a LebaneseAmerican family that blends comedy and tragedy in its examination of how suffering capriciously rains down on some and not others. History: "Malcolm X: A Life of reinvention" by the late Manning Marable (viking), an exploration of the legendary life and provocative views of one of the most significant African-Americans in u.S. history. (moved by the Board from the Biography category.) Finalists: "Empires, Nations & Families: A History of the North American West, 18001860," by Anne F. Hyde (university of Nebraska Press), which traced how people created families and conducted business in a vast, fur-trading region newly part of an expanding united States; "The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and osama Bin Laden," by Anthony Summers and robbyn Swan (Ballantine Books), a look at a catastrophic act of terrorism and the nagging questions that have swirled around it; and "railroaded: The
Sponcor A Child
Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America," by richard White (W.W. Norton & Company), which shows how reckless but influential railroad corporations in the late 19th century often profited by failure as well as success. Biography: "george F. kennan: An American Life" by John Lewis gaddis (The Penguin Press), a portrait of a globe-trotting diplomat whose complicated life was interwoven with the Cold War and America's emergence as the world's dominant power. Finalists: "Love and Capital: karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a revolution," by Mary gabriel (Little, Brown and Co.), on the saga of Marx, his family and the ideas and historical events they helped to shape, and "Malcolm X: A Life of reinvention," by the late Manning Marable (viking), an exploration of the legendary life and provocative views of one of the most significant African-Americans in u.S. history (moved by the Board to the History category). Poetry: "Life on Mars" by Tracy k. Smith (graywolf Press), a collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain. Finalists: "Core Samples from the World," by Forrest gander (New Directions), which explores cross-cultural tensions in the world and digs deeply to identify what is essential in human experience, and "How Long," by ron Padgett (Coffee House Press), a collection of poems that juggle delight, wit and endless fascination with language. General nonfiction: "The Swerve: How the World Became Modern" by Stephen greenblatt (W.W. Norton and Co.), a provocative book arguing that an obscure work of philosophy, discovered nearly 600 years ago, changed the course of history by anticipating the science and sensibilities of today. Finalists: "one Hundred Names For Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing," by Diane Ackerman (W.W. Norton and Co.), an account of caring for a stricken husband, sharing fears and insights as she explores neurology and ponders the gift of words, and "unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men," by Mara Hvistendahl (Public Affairs), a book probing the causes and effects of a global imbalance in the gender ratio. music: "Silent Night: opera in Two Acts" by kevin Puts, commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota opera in Minneapolis on Nov. 12, 2011, a stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and germans during World War i, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart. Libretto by Mark Campbell (Aperto Press). Finalists: Tod Machover for "Death and the Powers," premiered by the
Continued on page 6
Hopr for Today...Hope for Tommarow
6 Legal Street News
Monday April 23, 2012_____________________________________________________________
vo l k s w a g e n G a . H a n d c u f f C a s e R e n e w s School Policing Debate Speaks out Against Guns in Parking Lots NASHviLLE, Tenn. (AP) — The head of volkswagen's Chattanooga plant is speaking out against a bill pending in the Tennessee general Assembly to strip employers of the right to ban firearms on company property. The proposal headed for vote in a House committee on Tuesday morning would allow people to store legally-owned firearms in vehicles parked at work — regardless of their employers' wishes. "That's a sort of thing that makes us a bit nervous," Frank Fischer, the CEo and chairman of volkswagen Chattanooga, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday. The guns-in-parking-lots measure is a rare instance where the german automaker has been at odds with Tennessee lawmakers, he said. "on the whole, the cooperation and mutual understanding has been excellent," Fischer said in german. "The only thing we see critically as a company is the guns law. "We would not welcome people being able to carry weapons on factory grounds, probably just as little as the state House or Senate would like people to enter their building armed." Fischer and other vW executives on Monday hosted a reception in Nashville for state lawmakers and republican gov. Bill Haslam. Supporters of the measure backed by the National rifle Association say they consider vehicles an extension of workers' private property, even if they are parked on company lots. But the governor and republican speakers of the House and Senate have argued that the proposal is too broad. The Senate version sponsored by Sen. Mike Faulk of kingsport would limit the bill to people who have either a state-issued handgun carry permit or a state hunting license. Acquiring a handgun carry permit involves a training course and background check, while any state resident can order a hunting license off the internet for $27.
The case is among thousands across the country fueling a long-simmering debate over when educators should bring in the police to deal with disruptive students. A 6-year-old georgia kindergartner became the latest test case last week when she was hauled off in steel handcuffs after throwing books and toys in a school tantrum.
"kids are being arrested for being kids," said Shannon kennedy, a civil rights attorney who has filed a class-action lawsuit against Albuquerque's public school district and its police department on behalf of hundreds of kids arrested for minor offenses over the past few years, including having cellphones in class, destroying a history book and inflating a condom. Civil rights advocates and criminal justice experts say frustrated teachers and principals are calling in the police too often to deal with the most minor disturbances. But other teachers say a police presence that has grown in response to zero tolerance policies of the 1990s and tragedies like the Columbine High massacre is needed to keep teachers and well-behaved students safe. From sexual harassment in elementary and middle school to children throwing furniture, "there is more chronic and extreme disrespect, disinterest and kids who basically don't care," said Ellen Bernstein, president of the Albuquerque teacher's union. Experts point to a number of factors that lead to the arrests: Some officers are operating without special training. School administrators
"i have had some concern for a while that the schools have relied a little too heavily on police officers to handle disciplinary problems," said Darrel Stephens, a former Charlotte, N.C., police chief and executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. There is little national data to back those assertions; no numbers are tracked nationally on how often police are called in to arrest students. Whether the children are actually charged and saddled with criminal records varies by case and jurisdiction. Some youngsters are charged with felonies. Some are freed without further incident. others receive tickets. in Milledgeville, ga., a city of 18,000 some 90 miles from Atlanta, Salecia Johnson was accused of tearing items off the walls and throwing books and toys in an outburst Friday at Creekside Elementary. Police said she also threw a small shelf that struck the principal in the leg, and jumped on a paper shredder and tried to break a glass frame. Salecia was handcuffed and taken away in a patrol car to the police station, where she was taken to a squad room and given a soda, police said. She won't be charged with a crime.
Dino Castings Dispute Ends MATTHEW BROWN,Associated Press
Continued from page 5
Pulitzer Prize Boston Modern opera Project in Massachusetts on March 18, 2011, an inventive opera that uses electronic music as it explores a dying billionaire's attempt to transcend mortality through technology, raising significant questions about human existence. Libretto by robert Pinsky (Boosey & Hawkes); and Andrew Norman for "The Companion guide to rome," premiered on Nov. 13, 2011, in Salt Lake City, utah, an impressive musical portrait of nine historic churches, written for a string trio but sometimes giving the illusion of being played by a much larger group, changing mood and mode on a dime (Schott Music).
US appeals Court Takes Up New Haven Protesters NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The city of New Haven could find out soon if it may resume evicting Occupy New Haven protesters from the Green.
are desperate to get the attention of uninvolved parents. And overwhelmed teachers are unaware that calling in the police to defuse a situation could lead to serious criminal charges.
BiLLiNgS, Mont. (AP) — A federal lawsuit in Montana over bone castings from three well-known Tyrannosaurus rex specimens has been settled for largely undisclosed terms. The settlement leaves unanswered the question of whether fossil renderings can be copyright protected as "original" works of art. A hearing in the case scheduled for Tuesday was cancelled by u.S. District Judge Sam Haddon. The dispute pitted South Dakota-based Black Hills institute of geological research against a Montana nonprofit that allegedly made unauthorized copies of castings from two Trexes, dubbed Stan and Sue. Fort Peck Paleontology, inc. allegedly used the castings to fill out incomplete portions of a third Tyrannosaurus rex, known as Peck's rex, and sell replicas. Attorney Antoinette Tease said Monday that Fort Peck Paleontology is likely to be dissolved.
protesters. The city began removing a tent city when word came of a stay ordered by the federal appeals court in New York.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York is due to take up the case Tuesday.
Occupy New Haven protesters cite free speech rights and challenge the city's authority to evict the activists because the Green is privately owned.
Federal Judge Mark Kravitz ruled last week that the city has the right to oust the
Kravitz said New Haven has maintained the public space and regulates its use.
If You Hve It Give Some Back
__________________________________________________________Legal Street News Monday, April 23, 2012
jUDGES, joURNALiSTS CLASH ovER CoURTRoom TWEETS
CHiCAgo (AP) — getting news from a big trial once took days, moving at the speed of a carrier pigeon or an express pony. The telegraph and telephone cut that time dramatically, as did live television broadcasts. Now comes Twitter with more changes, breaking up courtroom journalism into bite-size reports that take shape as fast as a reporter can tap 140 characters into a smartphone. But the micro-blogging site is increasingly putting reporters on a collision course with judges who fear it could threaten a defendant's right to a fair trial. The tension was highlighted recently by a Chicago court's decision to ban anyone from tweeting or using other social media at the upcoming trial of a man accused of killing oscar winner Jennifer Hudson's family. reporters and their advocates insist the practice is essential to providing a play-by-play for the public as justice unfolds. "We're troubled by this ban," said Ed yohnka, Chicago spokesman for the American Civil Liberties union. Tweeting and social media are "merely the 21st century version of what reporters have always done — gather information and disseminate it." Judges, he said, should embrace Twitter as a way to shed light on the judicial process, which, for many Americans, remains shrouded in mysterious ritual. The judge in the illinois case fears that feverish tweeting on smartphones could distract jurors and witnesses when testimony begins April 23. "Tweeting takes away from the dignity of a courtroom," said irv Miller, media liaison for Cook County Judge Charles Burns. "The judge doesn't want the trial to turn into a circus." Burns is allowing reporters to bring cellphones and to send e-mails periodically, a notable concession in a state that has only recently announced it will begin experimenting with cameras in court and where cellphones are often barred from courtrooms altogether. There's also an overflow courtroom where reporters can tweet freely. But there will be no audio or video of proceedings in the room, just live transcripts scrolling across a screen. The issue extends beyond journalists to jurors, whose tweets have raised issues of their own across the country. Last year, the Arkansas Supreme Court threw out a death row inmate's murder convic-
tion after one juror tweeted during proceedings and another slept. Juror randy Franco's tweets ranged from the philosophical to the mundane. one read, "The coffee sucks here." Less than an hour before the jury returned with a verdict, he tweeted, "it's all over."
mailed colleagues at news bureaus, who then put their own interpretation on emailed text and published it on websites or their own Twitter accounts.
There's little gray area regarding jurors tweeting. The Arkansas trial judge had warned jurors, "Don't Twitter anybody" about the case. Burns was similarly explicit during jury selection in Chicago.
"We've been taking notes in courts for years," said Fuller, president of the illinois News Broadcasters Association. "if a dozen reporters put their heads down to start writing at the same time, couldn't you say that's as disruptive as tweeting?"
But there's no consensus among either state or federal judges about the propriety of in-court tweets, so individual judges are often left to craft their own rules. For instance, the judge in the child sexual abuse case of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has allowed reporters to tweet from pretrial hearings but not to transmit verbatim accounts or to take photographs. Judge John Cleland hasn't indicated whether he will change that policy for the June trial. in some ways, Judge Burns has gone further than others. To ensure his ban is respected, he's assigned a member of the sheriff's department to track reporters' Twitter accounts while court is in session. To get accreditation to cover the trial, reporters had to disclose their Twitter handles. if there appears to be a tweet from inside the courtroom, Penny Mateck will report it to the judge. "He'll decide what action to take," she said. Penalties could include contempt-of-court sanctions. Peter Scheer, director of the Californiabased First Amendment Coalition, said having a sheriff's employee monitor tweets makes him uneasy, but it doesn't seem to violate anyone's rights because most Twitter feeds are already open for anyone to see. Still, some observers are puzzled why emails would be ok, but tweets are out of order. The judge, Miller explained, believes that having reporters constantly hunched over their phones pecking out tweets is more disruptive than sending an email every 10 or 15 minutes. "We have been dealing with this issue of tweeting in court a lot these days — but this is an approach i have never heard of before. it's weird," said Lucy Dalglish, director of the virginia-based reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She wondered if there wasn't a greater risk of inaccuracies when reporters at the scene e-
radio journalist Jennifer Fuller is equally perplexed.
it's not just Twitter's potential to distract. other judges worry that tweets about evidence could pop up uninvited on jurors' cellphones, possibly tainting the panel. in their request for a new trial, attorneys for Texas financier r. Allen Stanford, who was convicted of fraud last month, argued that tweeting by reporters distracted jurors and created other risks. The federal judge denied the request without explanation. And a kansas judge last week declared a mistrial after a Topeka Capital-Journal reporter tweeted a photo that included the grainy profile of a juror hearing a murder case. The judge had permitted camera phones in court but said no photos were to be taken of jurors. reporter Ann Marie Bush hadn't realized one juror was in view, Publisher gregg ireland said, adding that the company "regrets the error and loss of the court's time." Journalists understand judges' concerns, Dalglish said. But the better solution is for courts to do what they have done for decades — tell jurors not to follow news on their case, including by switching off their Twitter feeds. one obstacle to reaching a consensus is that no one can agree on just what Twitter is or does. Some judges say it's broadcasting, like Tv, which is banned from courtrooms in some states. Fuller says tweets are more like notes that get shared. Because Twitter has become the medium through which some consumers get most of their news, it's all the more urgent for judges and journalists to come to an accommodation, Fuller said. And her association's policy on tweeting in court? "We don't have one yet," she said. "We're working at it. Finding a middle ground will take time."
Legal Street News Monday, April 23, 2012 ___________________________________________________________
jUDGE ASkED To SiGN off oN B P o i L S P i L L S E T T L E m E N T temporary moratorium on deepwater drilling. in a court filing Friday, Florida Attorney general Pamela Jo Bondi urged Barbier to hold off on giving preliminary approval to the deal before "other interested stakeholders" can review and comment on its terms. Bondi said the settlement seems to apply only to claims from Florida residents and businesses on the Panhandle or along the west coast of the state, possibly shutting out thousands of other claimants in other parts of the state. She also expressed concern that Barbier's preliminary approval would eliminate the interim claims process. "This could significantly harm those individuals and businesses that have sought and received interim payments but decided not to submit final claims, perhaps due to their concerns over the spill's unknown long-term effects," she wrote.
MICHAEL KUNZELMAN,Associated Press NEW orLEANS (AP) â€” BP and a team of plaintiffs' attorneys on Wednesday presented a federal judge with the formal terms of a proposed class-action settlement designed to resolve billions of dollars in economic damage claims spawned by the 2010 oil spill in the gulf of Mexico. The London-based oil giant and lawyers representing more than 100,000 individuals and businesses are asking u.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New orleans to give preliminary approval to the settlement agreement. The judge hasn't indicated when he will rule. BP PLC has estimated it will pay about $7.8 billion to resolve these private party claims, which would make it one of the largest classaction settlements ever. But the settlement doesn't have a cap on the amount of money BP would pay. Wednesday's court filing says the agreement "creates a comprehensive compensation system" and is "more than fair, reasonable and adequate." "As in any settlement, neither side will receive everything it wants â€” not BP, which believes that plaintiffs' claims are subject to considerable litigation risk, and not the (Plaintiffs' Steering Committee), who maintain that they would one day obtain larger awards if their claims were to proceed to trial," the filing says. The agreement announced March 2 doesn't resolve separate claims brought by the federal government and gulf states against BP and its partners on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig over environmental damage from the nation's worst offshore oil spill. The settlement also doesn't resolve claims against Switzerland-based rig owner Transocean Ltd. and Houston-based cement contractor Halliburton. Barbier has scheduled a May 3 status conference to discuss plans for a possible trial for claims not covered by the settlement.
Barbier also is expected to hold a "fairness hearing" on the settlement before deciding whether to give final approval to it.
glen Brooks, the Cortez, Florida-based owner of a fleet of fishing boats, said his business survived the closing of fishing grounds and other early effects of the spill. He turned down a settlement offer from the gCCF out of uncertainty about the spill's long-term effects.
BP and the plaintiffs' attorneys have said their agreement calls for paying medical claims from cleanup workers and others who say they suffered illnesses from exposure to the oil or chemicals used to disperse it. Many people have filed claims asserting spill-related illnesses, but none were paid through a BP-created $20 billion compensation fund administered by the gulf Coast Claims Facility.
Boehner Says obama Can't R u n on Economic
The oil company also agreed to pay $2.3 billion for seafood-related claims by commercial fishing vessel owners, captains and deckhands. The April 20, 2010, blowout of BP's Macondo well triggered an explosion that killed 11 rig workers and unleashed a gusher that spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil into the gulf. in the aftermath, BP created a $20 billion fund to compensate commercial fishermen, property owners, hotels and other tourism-driven businesses that claimed they suffered economic damages. The gulf Coast Claims Facility processed more than 221,000 claims and paid out more than $6 billion from the fund before a courtsupervised administrator took over the claims process on March 8. The administrator, Patrick Juneau, announced last week that 5,238 claimants have been paid more than $134 million during the transition period as of April 6. Claimants who received settlement offers from the gCCF can receive 60 percent of that offer while they consider whether to participate in the court settlement. if they opt out of the court settlement, they must sign a release to get the remaining 40 percent. if they opt in, the court-supervised process will decide if they are entitled to more than what the gCCF offered. The settlement excludes certain types of businesses, including financial institutions, casinos and racetracks, as well as losses allegedly caused by the federal government's
WASHiNgToN (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner (BAy'-nur) says President Barack obama can't run for re-election on his economic record so his campaign will "pull out every bogey man that they can." The ohio republican tells CBS News that he and obama were close to a deal to break the budget stalemate when obama "lost his courage." Boehner says he agreed to raise revenue by overhauling the tax code and obama initially accepted changes in entitlement programs. instead, the speaker says, obama ended up advocating higher tax rates for the wealthy. Boehner says he believes former Massachusetts governor Mitt romney is well prepared for the general election "and will appeal to more than half of America." He predicts obama "is going to make the election about anything other than his failed economic policies."