Dave Stancliff 2009-01-04 blogarama.com

Saturday, January 10, 2009

'Shadow' to the Rescue: Dog helps save Glenoma woman

 

Glenoma, Lewis County: Linda Mitchell, owner of the Roadside Inn Tavern in Glenoma, stands atop debris that reaches the height of the bartools. She described her rescue from a mudslide with help from her son, a friend with an excavator and her Lab, Shadow.

Glenoma, Lewis County: Linda Mitchell's Roadside Inn was hit hard by the mudslide as she struggled to reach safety.

 

STEVE RINGMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Glenoma, Lewis County: Linda Mitchell's Roadside Inn was hit hard by the mudslide as she struggled to reach safety.

GLENOMA, Lewis County — For 23 years, Linda Mitchell made the Roadside Inn a cozy watering hole where locals could stop for a beer, play darts, or admire the deer head that her late husband, Charlie, had mounted on the wall. At the end of her shift, she would walk next door to her white, wood-framed house.

On Wednesday morning, Mitchell lost her tavern, home and nearly her life as a mudslide enveloped her property.

She was trapped by water and mud, first inside her house and later in the bar, for three nightmarish hours.

She figures she owes her life to her ax-wielding son, who chopped down a fence to ease the pressure from the mud and water engulfing her house, and a friend who later used an excavator to divert water surrounding the bar.

Then there was her Lab, Shadow, who helped her make a treacherous trek from her home to the slightly higher ground of the bar.

"He (Shadow) literally came back for me three times when I fell through the mud, snow and water, and I'm not real light," she said. "He'd stand there and let me pick myself back up with his body. He saved me."

Mitchell's land was among the hardest hit in Glenoma, which was slammed by mud, logs and water during this week's rainstorm that damaged Highway 12 through town and some properties.

Several hundred people live in the community strung out along the state highway, which winds through the Cowlitz River valley of Southwest Washington.

Near Highway 12, many of the slopes have been logged during the past decade. Some of those snow-laden hillsides gave way in the unrelenting rain, dumping large amounts of debris.

Mitchell had feared the logging might increase slide risks.

"I was against the logging," Mitchell said. "But it didn't make any difference."

Mitchell slept through intense rains on Tuesday night. She was awakened around 8 a.m. the next day by a phone call from a neighbor, who wanted her to peek outside.

She went to her window, stunned to find muddy water pressed against the glass and seeping through cracks.

Mitchell called her son, Luke Pugh, and his girlfriend, Amber Lagett, who lived in a nearby camp trailer.

Pugh used an ax to topple a fence that was acting like a dam, letting debris and water build up that threatened to breach the house. Four times, Pugh fell in the floodwaters.

Each time, Mitchell was able to extend a broom handle and rescue her son, she said.

The trio then decided to leave the back porch of the house for slightly higher ground at the tavern.

That's when Mitchell, 55, faltered amid the water and mud, and Shadow came to her rescue.

The tavern was no safe haven. They figured water and mud might bust through the door. Somehow, they had to find a way out.

A friend, Lynn King, responded to a phone plea for help. He used his excavator to divert some of the water from around the tavern.

Mitchell said that gave them a precious window of time so they could open a window and throw out some metal chairs to help them ford the rushing water and finally make it to the highway.

"He (King) risked his life and helped us so much," Mitchell said.

On Friday, Mitchell returned to the tavern and was dismayed to see that her late husband's deer head had been stolen by a looter.

She stood on top of mud so deep that it nearly reached the top of the bar stools and smoked a cigarette. Soon, she was surrounded by friends, sharing hugs, laughs and tears.

Mitchell said the house is insured but not against landslides, and there's no insurance on the bar. She's staying with family members who live elsewhere in Glenoma, and longs for a good night's sleep.

"Every time I close my eyes, I see walls of water and logs coming at me," Mitchell said.

Friday, January 9, 2009

You had that coming Perry! Don't mess with me!

image by jbaziuk/photobucket

There's potty training, and then there's potty training!

image source funnypictures.com

Marvin's masochist games get him in trouble sometimes

image from funnypill.com

Another Obama appointee under fire: did Blair lie to Congress?

President-elect Obama is expected to name his intelligence team today: Leon Panetta for the CIA, John Brennan as a key White House adviser, and Admiral Dennis Blair as Director of National Intelligence.

 Blair, as Allan Nairn reported on Democracy Now!, was implicated in backing the perpetrators of church massacres in East Timor in 1999.

Award-winning investigative reporter Allan Nairn has revealed new information that indicates he may have lied to Congress.

The last thing Obama needs is problems with his appointees. We'll have to see what happens today. If Obama doesn't appoint him then we have a clue why. 

 

Marvel Comics Produces Special Barack Obama edition

How cool! I've been a Marvel Comic fan since I started reading their comics in 1965. Spider Man has always been one of my favorite characters. I've got to make sure to get a copy of this one for my collection.

Marvel editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, said the idea for the "Spidey meets the President!" edition came from a statement from Obama's campaign listing 10 little known facts about the Democrat who will be America's first black president.

In recent years I've enjoyed the resurgence of Spidey in the movies. I never thought I'd see the day that Marvel's superheros would go mainstream. A whole new generation of readers seems to be as enchanted with the Spider Man character as I am.

There's one thing you can be sure of, Spider Man will be there on Obama's Inauguration Day to make sure no bad guys cause trouble!

Supporters fear retaliation for voting against Prop 8

Supporters of the ballot measure that banned gay marriage in California have filed a lawsuit seeking to block their campaign finance records from public view, saying the reports have led to the harassment of donors.

"No one should have to worry about getting a death threat because of the way he or she votes," said James Bopp Jr., an attorney representing two groups that supported Proposition 8, Protect Marriage.com and the National Organization for Marriage California.

 "This lawsuit will protect the right of all people to help support causes they agree with, without having to worry about harassment or threats."
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Sacramento, asks the court to order the secretary of state's office to remove all donations for the proposition from its Web site.

Click here to read the full story in today's LA Times.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cheney claims no one saw the financial crisis coming

I've heard it all now. How come numerous financial experts were predicting a market crash two years ago but Cheney claims no one knew?

Cheney says no one saw it coming, but that's crap of the highest order! Just like Bush, he was too busy looting American taxpayers money for a war that should never happened to watch the unregulated antics of Wall Street. Both of these morons had to be aware their were holes in the financial dike built by speculators, and traders.

Of course his company Haliburton has been doing a bang-up business during the last eight years, ripping the military off, and any civilians in it's area of operations.

In an interview with the Associated Press today, Cheney said he and Bush have done nothing to be sorry for, or to apologize for during their regime.

I don't want to spend the time listing everything from their war crimes, to treason, because it would take up valuable space here. History will be their judge, and it's going to be a harsh judgement.

AP photo

Silly signs of the times illustrate diverse concepts

images above via Sally Lentz, Warren Ellis, Slurpy

images via

photo of Ann Arbor, Michigan "Robert Supply & Repair" shop, by Andy.

Obama warns that stimulus package must be passed!

President-elect Barack Obama warned of dire and long-lasting consequences if Congress doesn't pump unprecedented dollars into the national economy, making an urgent pitch today for his mammoth spending proposal in his first speech since the election.
"In short, a bad situation could become dramatically worse" if Washington doesn't go far enough to address the spreading crisis, the Democrat said as fresh economic reports showed an outlook growing increasingly grim.

Click here to see more in late breaking news from the LA Times (photo by Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)

Proof that bears don't always go potty in the woods!

Lately, here in Humboldt County, there have been alerts about rabid foxes attacking people in broad daylight.

Naturally everyone is a little on edge and some of the rabid animal reports coming in about bears just didn't sound right.

That is until an alert camper, while in a public restroom, spotted this black bear taking care of business. Sure that he had to be rabid, the camper called the cops.

The only proof of the bear's violation of the men's room is this photo. Otherwise people would have said he was crazy because when the cops arrived the bear was gone.

Animal experts said that while this is not normal bear behavior, it doesn't mean he's rabid. Especially interesting, was the camper's claim that he saw the bear wash his paws afterwards!

photo from Google funny images

Squirrels Gone Crazy: British 'Save a Squirrel by Eating One' campaign coupled with massive hunting efforts attempt to save the Red ones from the American Grays

 

With literally millions of squirrels rampaging through England, Scotland, and Wales, locals felt something needed to be done.

The Red squirrels are locals, but the cute little Gray one's have been imported from North America. The British are not new to eating squirrel, but it's not like they haven't, especially during WWII. Now squirrel is enjoying a popularity that it's never experienced before and is being featured on the menu's of fancy restaurants. How times change. This Save A Squirrel campaign seems kinda strange to me. Do the hunters just kill the Grays? Because if they don't, and also kill the Reds, It's hard to see how they are saving the Reds! Take a look at this feature story in today's New York Post by clicking here.

                                                                   Andrew Parkinson/Getty Images

China losing taste for American debt: what's next?

The Chinese are carrying over a Trillion dollars in American debts and their policy makers have been hinting for weeks that something has got to be done.

In the last five years China has spent as much as one-seventh of their entire economy output buying foreign debt, mostly American.

The Chinese economy has slowed down and now their looking at a 600 billion stimulus package for their people.

I often wondered what would happen if China called in it's markers from America. If they do now, you can be sure it's going to further rock our crippled economy.

To read more about this situation click here and see what The New York Times had to say about it.

 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Percy had to wake up Paul before the hunters arrived

"C'mon you big galoot! Wake up! We got to get out of this place," Percy pleaded.

"There's some hunters out there just looking for polar bear hair!" he shrieked.

Gertrude had packed her bag and wasn't going to wait and see if Percy could wake Paul.

She heard that Penguins made a good stew, and wasn't going to hang around and find out.

Joe the Plumber Goes to War as Reporter for Conservative's

JOE THE WAR CORRESPONDENT.... Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher ("Joe the Plumber") hasn't had too much to do since the election, and it's not as if he's been missed. He popped up about a month ago to bash John McCain.

Now, it appears the unlicensed plumber/campaign prop, looking for a 16th minute of fame, has a new gig lined up.

Joe The Plumber is putting down his wrenches and picking up a reporter's notebook.

The Ohio man who became a household name during the presidential campaign says he is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for the conservative Web site pjtv.com.

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher (WUR'-zuhl-bah-kur) says he'll spend 10 days covering the fighting.

Wurzelbacher isn't a journalist, has no background in reporting, and has no background in foreign policy. His most substantive thought on the Middle East was his stated belief on the campaign trail that Barack Obama would mean "death to Israel," lunacy that even Fox News was uncomfortable with.

And yet, PJTV.com, a project of Pajamas Media, thinks Wurzelbacher is a great choice to be a correspondent to cover a war in Israel. For the entire article by Steve Benen and featuring Hilzoy of Political Animal, click here.

Outsourcing Business Scandal Rocks India's Sensex index

 

A leading Indian outsourcing company, Satyam Computer Services, has been cooking-the-books for years now according to it's chairman and co-founder, Ramalinga Raju, who confessed how he did it. This news rocked India's stock market and the benchmark Sensex index fell more than 5 percent. Shares in Satyam fell more than 70 percent.

Observers are already comparing this huge scandal with America's Enron debacle. With America's recent outsourcing popularity on the rise, this could just be the tip of an iceberg that reverses the trend. The idea of having a "backdoor business" has been growing in popularity here, and getting work done for less money has fueled the trend. But what about quality?

I've had a problem with this outsourcing trend since I've researched it in recent years. For starters, we have been shipping jobs to India and letting Americans get laid off, like in the newspaper industry, in the name of profit. Patriotism be damned. In a time where we are facing staggering unemployment figures that threaten our economy, we are currently outsourcing jobs. It just doesn't seem right.

Several states reported employment computers were crashing from the massive inquirers this morning. While the mainstream media is reporting those shocking numbers of Americans standing in unemployment lines, there's very little being said about jobs leaving the country. That has to be factored in. To pour some salt on that wound, we are also bringing in foreign workers, like teachers, to fill job positions in our public schools, and other white-collar jobs.

You can't tell me this is good for the American economy. It's good for those select businesses that save money however. It's certainly not good for those long-time employees who were making good wages and were the first to get let go and replaced by cheap labor.

AS IT STANDS, India's outsourcing industry problems are now entwined with ours, and the future is unclear.  

Click here to read more about the Satyam scandal.

Skier let's it all hang out after his chair lift malfunctions!

This morning all of the news channels made sure to lighten up the daily news by pointing out what happened to one poor skier at a posh Vail Colorado ski resort.

Apparently there was an equipment malfunction, and his seat gave away. Instead of tumbling to his death down a steep mountain pass, he was left dangling upside down with his pants around his ankles!

Cell phone cameras starting clicking immediately and now this unlucky guy is all over cyberspace with his bare ass to the wind!

On one hand he could have died. On the other, he's probably going to die of shame because of his new found fame.

I think he will have the last laugh however, when he sues the pants off of the ski resort!

Driver warned of jail's sexual gorillas if he keeps speeding

Source: Reuters

Posted: 01/06/09 2:02PM

Filed Under: Weird News

By Michael Perry

An Australian court has issued a blunt warning about the sexual predators a young driver faces in jail if he does not stop speeding, as authorities struggle to stop teenagers street racing.

"You'll find big, ugly, hairy strong men (in jail) who've got faces only a mother could love that will pay a lot of attention to you -- and your anatomy," said Magistrate Brian Maloney.

The 19-year-old male appeared in Sydney's Downing Center Court on Monday charged with driving without a license, failing to stop at a police alcohol check point and driving dangerously.

It was his third time before the courts for driving offences, prompting the magistrate's warning he would be jailed next time.

Maloney barred the teenager from driving until 2013, placed him on a 12-month good behavior bond and ordered him to do 150 hours of community work.

Breaching any of these conditions would see the teenager jailed where he would "shower with the gorillas in the mist down at Long Bay jail," said Maloney, his comments confirmed by the court on Tuesday.

"Out of control" was the frontpage headline in Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday for a story on four teenagers either booked for street racing, speeding, driving without a license or crashing their car and killing a passenger.

The newspaper's editorial backed the magistrate's warning of life behind bars, saying his comments were "a vision in clarity" and gave the teenager "a reality check of his future."

"We can only hope this strategy helps. Hope it ends the slaughter of young innocents on the roads through stupidity...," said the Telegraph. "Road safety has become a war zone and any tactics are permissible..."

Police in the southern state of Victoria impounded 42 cars in the past six days after drivers were caught speeding.

One driver, aged 78, was clocked in Melbourne on New Year's Day at 170 kph (105 mph) -- 70 kph (44 mph) over the limit.

The 78-year-old was the "oldest hoon" in Victoria to have his car confiscated for speeding, local media said on Tuesday.

"It is disappointing to see a senior member of our community being so irresponsible," Acting Police Sergeant Carlo Visser told Melbourne's Herald-Sun newspaper.

"What example does this set for younger drivers?" said Visser.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Metalwork Designs From Heavy Metal Artists

  

     

  

images credit-Joe Pagan

Rancher rears mega rooster: KFC makes offer for bird

Cyrus Billy Joe Goodfellow has been experimenting on raising giant roosters for years now, and has finally met with some success. Red Boy's (the rooster above) morning crowing can be heard three counties away! Goodfellow takes Red Boy for a walk every morning and says the bird loves it. "When he starts to fly I warn him that I might make a deal with them KFC fellers," Goodfellow told me in a recent interview. KFC has been badgering Goodfellow to sell his rooster, but he has resisted all of their offers thus far. A spokesperson for KFC told the press that they want the bird to be the new company mascot!

photo from visualjokes.com 

A little fish had a dream one night, and it was quite a sight!

thanks to visualjokes.com

Burris denied senate seat when he arrived at the capitol

Roland Burris knew he wasn't going to be accepted as the new junior senator for Illinois before he arrived in Washington DC today.

Illinois state secretary, Nancy Erickson, had informed him in a private meeting that he lacked the credentials to be seated. Another signature was required and he didn't get it.

So why did he still go? Because this is all theatre and he's playing his role as a wronged black man trying to be the first African-American senator.

In character, Burris now says he may have to go to federal court to get his way. It's an uphill battle however, as no one wants a toxic Blago appointee!

Reuters photo

AS IT STANDS- Recycling is also affected by economy

Last Sunday there was no T-S Online link to this column, so I'm giving readers another opportunity to read it.

Tell me what you think? Here's the link.

Monday, January 5, 2009

It doesn't look good for Roland Burris as senate officer rejects paperwork to fill seat

By Mike Dorning
Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON—Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson rejected Roland Burris's certificate of appointment to the Senate as invalid, said Beth Provenzano, a spokeswoman for Erickson.
"We received it this morning at 9 a.m.. The parliamentarian reviewed it and we've advised Mr. Burris' staff that it does not conform with Senate Rule 2," Provenzano said.

That rule requires that the certificate be signed both by the governor and the secretary of state. Provenzano said the certificate was signed by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich but she declined to answer a question on whether the certificate was signed by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, saying only that the certificate did not meet the requirements of the rule.
White has said publicly that he would not sign the certificate.
Senate leaders insist they will refuse to admit Burris on opening day Tuesday, having warned Blagojevich they will not accept any appointment from a governor accused by federal authorities of trying to sell the seat. The lack of a certificate for Burris' appointment provides them the grounds they will need to reject him as a matter of the rule book.

Getty Images/AP Photos

What are the odds that Madoff makes off with justice?

Illusion for the Day: How many deer and wolves do you see?

Images from Real Funny Photos

The Price is Right: Blago backs Burris as next state senator

  

It should be interesting to see Roland Burris come to the senate floor Wednesday. Thus far, the senate worthies have said he won't be allowed to do business with them, because they feel he is tainted by Blago's "senator for sale" controversy. Still, this morning I heard that there might be a shift in some of the senator's decision to let him play house with them. Burris was quick to pull out the race card and say that those senators who didn't want him there are racists. Here's what is amazing me...Blago may get away with this appointment despite the charges that are being filed against him. Burris is hot to get that senate seat because he knows once he's seated he's going to be bullet-proof when it comes to laying out Blago's bads, even if there is a link there. You gotta give them both a G for gall!

Lakers post best record in the NBA with win over the Jazz

After beating the Utak Jazz last night, 113-100, the Lakers have once again claimed the best record in the NBA.

The Celtics and the Cavs both lost last night to pave the way.

The interesting ting to me is that the Lakers are not playing that well, but they manage to win. Go Lakers!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Today in The Times-Standard: Recycling Woes

(Editor's Note: the Times-Standard didn't update their Online front page again this weekend so you won't be able to find my column. I've reprinted it here for readers who want to view it.

                          By Dave Stancliff
       I talked with a small businessman in Arcata the other day and the subject of recycling came up. Linn, who owns a muffler shop, pointed to a stack of catalytic convertors in one corner, and shook his head in disgust.
       “Their value is dropping through the floor,” he said. “A year ago I could have sold that bunch for $2,000. I’ll be lucky to get $500 for them now.” Linn isn’t alone. Small businesses and  municipalities across the country face this year’s decline in prices and demand for recycled material. 
        In recent years, recycling has been profitable and a win-win situation for all involved. Municipalities, the recycling companies that serve them, and the manufacturers that process the paper, cans and plastics into everything from packaging to fabric have found profit in the practice.
        Those profits are disappearing as consumers buy fewer goods and factories need less raw material. In a recent report from the Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators - a non profit organization of management professionals - the alarm was sounded.
        According to this report, the “recycling market is in turmoil.” It points out that there is now a glut of recyclables, but they expect that to level off over the coming months as generation of this material slows down.
         The report stated, “the overseas market appears to have pretty much dried up and recycling programs in Europe are also facing the same oversupply challenges.” Allen Herschkowitz, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, recently told the press that he was concerned that the recycling infrastructure in America might not survive without government help.
           I’m not sure I agree with Herschkowitz. Any kind of bailout is viewed very critically right now. However, the government should prioritize normal funding for programs that are ecologically healing - like recycling. My biggest concern is that people will stop recycling if they get less money for their efforts.
          The slow down in the recycling industry, has a few good side effects. There’s less copper theft in Lansing, MI., according to The Lansing State Journal. It’s report declared that is the good news when markets for metals and other recyclables have tumbled.
           Lt. Noel Garcia, a spokesman for the Lansing Police Department, told the Journal “the decrease in crime is, of course, welcome.” He said t theft of copper from vacant homes and other properties is down.
           I’ve also read that recycling thieves who were stealing manhole covers have moved onto other pursuits, due to plunging profits.
           According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash last year. Bob Garino, director of commodities at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a Washington, D.C. based trade association, told the press that about 150 million tons of material were recycled - roughly 80 million of that in iron and steel - supporting an industry that employs 85,000 workers and has $70 billion in sales.
           Experts say  most of the recyclables Americans generate are shipped to Asian countries to make products that are shipped back to the United States.
         Prices and profits are down right according to the industry gurus, but many of them think that is a temporary situation. Mike Schedler, the technical director of NAPCOR, the trade organization for the North American PET plastics industry, told the press “there should be as much of a focus on the end use of recyclables as on their collection.”
            There’s a sense of hope in the recycling industry, despite it’s sudden hard times. I suspect that’s because anyone with a brain understands that recycling is absolutely necessary. Imagine what would happen to the country’s landfills if we stopped recycling? Not a pretty picture.
           Changes are coming this year. The new administration will be more environmentally conscious. Most Americans appreciate the fact that recycling is necessary, and hopefully will not  change their habits during this rough stretch in the economy.
           I’d like to see more American manufacturers like “Terracycle” in Trenton, New Jersey (http://www.terracycle.net ), that make things out of recycled material instead of shipping it overseas. More businessmen need to look to the good old USA again and the potential our own recycled materials have.
           As It Stands, there will always be trash, and the need to ecologically dispose of it is tied into the need to make a profit while we do it.