22 August 2001

It's a Better Deal to Flee the Scene of an Accident

The hit-and-run case of Mark Aaron Torre, a Phoenix lawyer and graduate of ASU and Harvard Law School, is drawing a lot of attention. Torre faces felony charges for leaving the scene of an accident - 18 year old Jessica Woodin died crossing the intersection of McAllister and Apache, after being propelled 300 feet (the AZ Republic story says "dragged 100 feet", but an officer on KTAR Leibowitz said "propelled 300 feet" and estimated the vehicle speed at 55+ ...) after getting struck by a speeding Ford Mustang owned by Torre. Obviously, Torre is abreast of Arizona law, and leaving the scene of an accident is a much preferred charge over manslaughter, negligent homicide, or 2nd degree murder (if alcohol was involved). On the KTAR Leibowitz show, the jail time penalties for the various charges were detailed:
  • Leaving the scene of a fatal accident: 1-3.75 years
  • Manslaughter (speeding, driving violation): 3-12.5 years
  • 2nd degree murder (alcohol involved): Up to 22 years

There's going to be no way to ascertain the blood alcohol content of Mr. Torre at the time of the accident. And in the dark of night, estimates of speed will be disputed by Torre's legal representatives. So, it looks like that leaving the scene of an accident is the preferred choice of action for an dangerous, irresponsible driver.
» read more

15 August 2001

Long vows suit, says stadium is illegal

Geez, I go away for five days and when I return the Arizona Cardinals stadium fiasco is still the talk of the town. Now, West Valley developer John F. Long is throwing a monkey wrench into the deal by asking (in a 17 page letter) AZ A.G. Janet Napolitano to declare the proposed Tempe stadium site illegal and to bar the use of any tax money for the facility. If she doesn't, Long said he will file a lawsuit.

Long's letter makes the following points:

  • According to Long, the law says that all possible stadium sites had to be presented to Maricopa County residents before they voted on a sales tax to fund the facility.
  • The law requires the sports authority to own the stadium land; the Tempe site will be leased from Salt River Project.
  • Tempe violated its agreement with the authority by failing to secure approval from the FAA earlier and by failing to make a required $3 million payment to the authority by Aug. 3.
  • Several members of the authority board had conflicts of interest that should have barred them from voting on the stadium site in February.

Ted Ferris and TSA officials are "fuming" at what they characterize as "groundless allegations". The action by Long could have serious ramifications for the $335 million project, as a legal challenge could mean months of delay.

Will this stadium ever get built? Will Bidwell throw in the towel and sell the team? On the KFYI Mohan in the morning show, many callers expressed feelings of cynicism on the matter.
» read more

14 August 2001

Did Jack Welch order NBC to call the election for Bush?

From the liberal-media-bias-my-arse department comes this guest column penned by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman. Under oath, NBC president Andy Lack confirmed that an advertising and promotion videotape existed and promised to supply congress with the tape. But the network is now flatly refusing to release the tape. Welch, a strong Bush partisan, allegedly interfered with the election call at the network.

NBC is a special entity. It exists because it has the use--without charge--of the public airwaves. In return, it has been given the duty of serving the public interest. That brings with it special obligations, including the duty to earn the public's confidence by adhering to the highest standards of conduct.

I don't know if Jack Welch acted inappropriately on election night, but it's a question that's both easily answered and worth answering.

The question now is why GE/NBC won't do so, even at the risk of breaking a sworn commitment to Congress.

» read more

7 August 2001

KFYI and Bundgaard Still Doing Battle With TSA and Tempe Stadium Site

Even though the new stadium site seems to have a nod of approval from the pilots, the KFYI talk-show hosts are still banging the war drums in opposition to the AZ Tourism and Sports Authority and their new Tempe site for the woeful NFL Cardinals. State Senator Scott Bundgaard was Charles Goyette's guest today, and he is urging AZ A.G. Janet Napolitano to review the TSA actions, arguing that the Tempe site is illegal according to the written guidelines of Proposition 302 - potential sites needed to be declared at election time, and moving the site after constitutes an illegal act.
» read more

Summer Reading List 2001

Thought I would dump my summer reading list out for you all ... going to have a few days off soon and wonder if anyone has some favorite selections of their own they would like to recommend. My list is not all-inclusive, as I've omitted books on computer programming, computer programs, computer program manuals, and wargaming books - the total number of "geek" books easily outnumbers the list presented here, maybe even by a ratio of 3 to 1 ... nevertheless, the choices following represent subjects agreeable to most here ... Anyway, I'm not going to rate them with 4 out of 5 stars or brand some kind of "Naumie" rating on the choices. I'll just give the title, author, and a short blurb with my take on the deal ...
» read more

2 August 2001

Judge Bars Statements Made in A.A., Overturns Conviction

This remarkable case in New York was the topic of the KTAR David Leibowitz program today. A federal judge overturned a conviction of a man who killed two people because he ruled that conversations between members of Alcoholics Anonymous members have the same protected privilege as contacts between clerics and parishioners.

The judge, Charles Brieant of United States District Court in White Plains, cited previous cases in which courts had found that the authorities could not force prisoners or people on probation to attend A.A. meetings. Those courts ruled that such a requirement would violate the separation of church and state.

Since courts have found that A.A. is a religion for the purpose of church-state separation, the judge wrote, they must also hold that "disclosures of wrongs to fellow members as ordained by the 12 steps" of the A.A. program qualify as "a privilege granted to other religions similarly situated."

Should A.A. be granted the same treatment as lawyer/client, cleric/individual, therapist/patient relationships? It can be argued that in A.A. each individual is indeed performing as "therapist" for the rest of the group. The judge cited two cases as precedent whereby A.A. was granted "religous" status. I'll probally be lambasted as, unlike the show host, I agree with the ruling - the police and district attorney should have not relied on A.A. witness testimony for evidence even if that is what triggered the suspect identification. There's not enough information in the article and I don't know all the facts of the original trial prosecution, but I feel that, abhorrent as it is to set this guy free, the patient/client protections should be still kept intact.

Another thing I don't understand is how someone slashes up two people and gets convicted of manslaughter instead of murder. Tonight, I'll see if I can drudge up some more material on this case.