Pardon the pun — actually, don't; it's totally appropriate in this case — but Twitter has exploded in terms of the number of uses it has when it comes to communicating, sharing information and keeping up on what's going on without ever having to look up from the laptop, tablet or smartphone.
But a couple south side teens might have gone a little too far with their recent tweets. Take it from someone who's had run-ins with oversensitive Twitter readers, this was no bueno.
Likely soon-to-be-former Sunnyside High School students Gerardo Fierros, 16, and Raymond Lopez, 17, have been arrested by Tucson police on suspicion of "interference with an educational institution" after it was discovered they'd tweeted about blowing up the school on Monday.
According to a news release, one tweet queried 'Who wants me to blow up my school tomorrow?' and was later followed by 'I will bring the C4 and the semtex.'
Both boys are in the Pima County Juvenile Correction Center for what they say (and is almost 100 percent likely the case) was a joke. No evidence has been found that there was an actual intention to do anything to Sunnyside, police said.
Twitter and other forms of social media are a great way for one to express their opinions, to be off-the-cuff or off-color, but some places just shouldn't be gone to in 140 characters that all the world can see. Especially not within a month of a mass shooting at a school.
The relationship between a union and the management of the employees it represents is never a harmonious one. Doesn't matter the industry or organization, unions and employers are as pre-destined to bicker and squabble as are Foghorn Leghorn and the chicken hawk.
But I say, I, I say, I don't reckon Foghorn has taken to Facebook to toss out little bon mots of angst and discontent. And because of that, we're not blogging about that rascally rooster and his arch nemesis.
We're instead talking about the Tucson Police Officer's Association, which describes itself on Facebook as the "professional bargaining unit" for Tucson cops.
I'm no expert in negotiation — except when it comes to trying to convince a slowly dwindling field of poker players it's better to chop up the prize pool now than risk getting nothing — but I wonder what TPOA's motivation was for this:
Aside from the fact it is publicizing that a nearby, competing police department is hiring, it's noting that current TPD officers would be wise to bolt from the city for greener pastures elsewhere.
However, if one compares the compensation schedules for Tucson and Marana, TPOA's claim that Tucson doesn't pay well enough to retain officers appears false. The starting hourly rate for TPD officers is $22.10, while Marana's is $20.39. The maximum hourly rate in Tucson is $29.61, in Marana it's $28.69.
So, less is more?
True, most Tucson employees (police or not) have gotten but one 1-percent raise in the past several years, while Marana and other nearby municipalities have been a little more generous with their pay bumps. But to contend that the city's pay scale is making its police department a breeding ground for other agencies seems unfounded, at least locally.
Flagstaff's Great Pine Cone Drop on New Year's Eve was accompanied by a good deal of lunacy, according to the Flagstaff Sun:
Local law enforcement officers rang in the new year dealing with drunk and disorderly revelers downtown — including one Flagstaff man who kicked a police horse after being arrested.
Keith Goldtooth was charged with assaulting an officer.
Officers and deputies were also involved in a car chase that ended when an 18-year-old Flagstaff man crashed a car into an eastside trailer home and then fled the area with two passengers, ages 13 and 15.
In the hours immediately before and after the Great Pine Cone Drop at midnight, Flagstaff police officers responded to 47 calls for service in the downtown and Southside neighborhoods, officials said.
If you were inside or just outside the Speedway Boulevard strip club known (for the time being) as Ten's, Tucson police want to talk to you about a shooting.
Then again, if you're a regular of that establishment at that time of night, police queries might start becoming part of the routine for your gentleman's club excursions.
A 32-year-old man was shot to death in the parking lot of Ten's Showclub early Sunday morning, the second fatal shooting there in little more than a week. The first incident on Dec. 22 had four victims, one of whom died a few days later.
With two homicides in its parking lot in eight days, Ten's could find itself in the same predicament the club formerly known as The Candy Store was in a few years ago.
The Candy Store, where the club Venom can now be found at 22nd St. and Craycroft, had two fatal shootings in its parking lot in 2009, and a few months later The Candy Store was raided by police to break up an internal drug-pushing operation.
Nothing so far about Sunday's shooting directly connects it to Ten's itself, or any activity inside the club — police say it was the typical scenario of two groups of people first jawing, then punching and then ultimately shooting at each other — but the parking lot publicity can't be good for the club.
Any suggestions for names for the club if and when it shutters and ultimately reopens as another version? Mine is the Pit Stop, fits well with the Speedway location.
Guess what? Wayne LaPierre made his first public appearance since Friday's total debacle of a press conference and yeah, he's not going to give an inch on any sort of gun control or restrictions. Meet the Press' David Gregory actually seemed irritated by LaPierre's stubbornness, getting into it with the NRA head over regulating high-capacity magazines.
Also, if you were wondering if LaPierre recognizes the cognitive dissonance of claiming that armed guards would stop school shootings even though Columbine had one on duty in 1999...nope, he's not bending on that either. Sigh.
Heard gunshots while I was outside the tucson mall... You serious?
— John Chang (@2_Changz_) December 22, 2012
No details yet, but word is that gunshots were heard in the Tucson Mall parking lot tonight. It appears initially that no one was hurt.
The stretch of Oracle from Grant up to the mall hasn't been terribly safe over the last few months, including a murder in the parking of the Eegee's a few blocks south in September. More details if and when we get them.
I'm not a fan of marijuana or marijuana culture in general (I mean, have you ever noticed that heavy stoners all develop the same laugh? Once you hear it, you can never un-hear it. Sorry for ruining your friendships), but I do appreciate the legalization of marijuana I mean, when you've got something that can be used both to help people manage chronic, nagging pain AND you can tax the hell out of it, we call that a win-win, right?
Well, the Seattle Police Department's Police Blotter blog has done Washingtonians the service of outlining how they'll be handling the future of marijuana enforcement within Seattle...and they were clever about it, too. Aside from the above Lord of the Rings video, which was placed at the bottom of their blog post entitled "Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle", they've offered up a few handy tips for Seattle-ites who are looking to get their blaze on (that's a thing that's said, right?) legally. We've included a few of the funnier bits here:
Can I legally carry around an ounce of marijuana?
According to the recently passed initiative, beginning December 6th, adults over the age of 21 will be able to carry up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. Please note that the initiative says it “is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana…in view of the general public,” so there’s that. Also, you probably shouldn’t bring pot with you to the federal courthouse (or any other federal property).
Can I smoke pot outside my home? Like at a park, magic show, or the Bite of Seattle?
Much like having an open container of alcohol in public, doing so could result in a civil infraction—like a ticket—but not arrest. You can certainly use marijuana in the privacy of your own home. Additionally, if smoking a cigarette isn’t allowed where you are (say, inside an apartment building or flammable chemical factory), smoking marijuana isn’t allowed there either.
What happens if I get pulled over and I’m sober, but an officer or his K9 buddy smells the ounce of Super Skunk I’ve got in my trunk?
Under state law, officers have to develop probable cause to search a closed or locked container. Each case stands on its own, but the smell of pot alone will not be reason to search a vehicle. If officers have information that you’re trafficking, producing or delivering marijuana in violation of state law, they can get a warrant to search your vehicle.
SPD seized a bunch of my marijuana before I-502 passed. Can I have it back?
Of course, closing out the page with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey puffing away is the classic, and classiest way, to close things out. I truly appreciate the light-hearted tone that SPD brought to the post if nothing else, it shows that they're going to make an effort to be as laid-back as possible regarding this huge change to the status-quo.
Either that, or they've been busy with the supply seized in the last question.
Gilberto Valle, 28 and a six-year veteran of the New York Police Department, is being accused of planning to kidnap and eat people, using his police database to identify and target as many as 100 women.
According to CBS New York:
Valle’s alleged barbaric plot involved months of scheming with at least two co-conspirators online to abduct women, kill them, and eat their cooked remains, the FBI said.
“As it came together and they followed these discussions going through the summer, about kidnapping individual people, they had monitoring these chat rooms and then yesterday arrested Valle,” CBS News Senior Correspondent John Miller said.
Let's pause; I'm astounded that they thought that chat rooms, of any variety, are a safe place to discuss anything, much less cannibalistic crimes.
Valle talked about his sick plot in an online chat:
“How big is your oven?” a co-conspirator asks.
“Big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs….The abduction will have to be flawless…I know all of them…as for Victim #1, I can just show up at her home unannounced. It will not alert her, and I can knock her out, wait until dark, and kidnap her right out of her home,” Valle says.
A co-conspirator says: “How could we put her over the fire, spitting kills the girl. Have to put her in kind of cage. What is your favorite cut of meat.”
Valle responds: “I was thinking of tying her body to some kind of apparatus… cook her over low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.”
And that's where this story takes a turn from strange to straight-up wrong.
Upon obtaining Valle's computer, federal investigators found detailed documents detailing files for more than 100 potential targets, as well as at least one complete kidnapping blueprint. They also uncovered a plan in which Valle would have been paid $5,000 to kidnap a second victim.
Officially, Valle is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. He is also charged with one count of intentionally and knowingly accessing a computer without authorization and exceeding his authorized access for allegedly using police computers to locate potential victims, officials said.
I'd say that Valle appears to have bit off more than he could chew with this plan, but that'd probably be in bad taste.
For the complete story, head over to CBS New York.
This is why booze and rare birds don't mix.
Two University of California-Berkley law students were arrested in Las Vegas last Friday for allegedly decapitating an exotic bird inside the wildlife refuge at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino.
Eric Cuellar, 24, and Justin Teixeira, 24, have been charged with — I didn't know there was such a specific charge, but then again, it is Vegas — the willful, malicious torture or killing of wildlife, according to the Las Vegas Sun. That's a felony, boys and girls.
The two self-professed law students were seen chasing a "14-year-old helmeted guinea fowl" into a tree-covered area of the Flamingo's courtyard, which hotel guests and anyone randomly coming in off the street can stroll through. Though not seen on surveillance video, a witness allegedly saw the two men walk out of the trees carrying the bird's body, and it's severed head.
I no longer feel that bad at all about any of the ridiculous things I've ended up doing in Vegas.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department has some new
firepower equipment out on the streets, having recently upgraded its Tasers to the new X2 model.
This bad boy, according to a press release, "allows for more accuracy, dual shot and warning arc capabilities, and is more rugged and durable in its design." It also looks like something out of RoboCop, which is never a bad thing.
The new stun guns were paid for with proceeds from drug seizures, PCSD says, though the department did manage to get more than $200,000 off the purchase price by trading in about 700 older models.
A place of special significance to the late Preclassic Hohokam is located at the base of the… More