Okay, traffic is bad, what do you want to do about it?

Responses to Steve's Article

My favorite one...

"Put soccer moms on lock-down after 6 p.m. Fewer minivans on the road would do us commuters a WORLD of good, because we know where we're headed, and we're headed there fast. Commuting isn't a joy ride for us, and we don't care if taking your little brats to ballet class is your only time out of the house all day — stop your lollygagging! You're in my way — move!"

Funny Ferrets


He really doesn't like Washington

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 12:00 AM

9-year-old runaway flies from Seattle to San Antonio via Phoenix

The Associated Press

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — A 9-year-old boy who didn't like his suburban Tacoma home stole a car, got caught, then ran away again and flew to San Antonio with a plane change in Phoenix before he was arrested, authorities said.

Investigators and Southwest Airlines officials were trying to determine how Semaj Booker, who was trying to get to his grandfather in Texas, got through airport security and boarded the flights.

"The only thing I have to offer on that is that were looking into it," Southwest spokeswoman Beth Harbin said.

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Jennifer Peppin said travelers must have a boarding pass to go through airport security checkpoints, although adults can use an escort pass to bring young children or seniors to a flight gate.

"That young man would've had to have a boarding pass," Peppin said.

The 80-pound, 4-foot-9 fourth grader, held in juvenile detention Tuesday night in San Antonio, was "incredibly motivated to get to Texas," Lakewood police Lt. David B. Guttu said. "He doesn't want to live in Washington state."

The boy's mother, Sakinah Booker, said he dislikes the neighborhood where the family lives and is afraid of a sex offender who lives nearby.

"He does not like it here at all," she said.

She said she was told the boy wound up in San Antonio rather than Dallas, his intended destination, because he boarded the wrong plane in Phoenix. She also said she had hoped to move her four sons back to Dallas soon, but Semaj grew tired of waiting.

Gutto said the diminutive boy's odyssey began Sunday when he stole an Acura that was left running outside a neighbors house, only to be spotted by police near the interchange of Interstate 5 and State Route 512.

Police pursued young Booker on Highway 512 at 80 to 90 mph until he took an exit and the engine blew, after which the car went over a curb and coasted into a tree.

He refused to come out of the car, so officers broke a window to unlock a door and immediately recognized him as a frequent runaway and car thief, Gutto said. Last month he also crashed a stolen car before being caught by police in Tacoma, and more recently he was caught in Seattle in a stolen car that had run out of gas, his mother said.

She believes he learned to drive from playing video games on a PlayStation.

Because of those earlier episodes, she said, she had told police not to bring him home if he got into more trouble, but after the latest episode officials at Remann Hall, Pierce County's juvenile detention center, refused to admit him, partly because of his young age.

"Putting a 9-year-old in our facility with our population is not a good thing," said Shelly Maluo, the county's juvenile court administrator.

As a result, he was taken home again, but by 6 a.m. Monday he again had been reported missing. The next day, Guttu said, police got a call from a juvenile lockup in San Antonio saying, "we've got your runaway."

He said the boy was arrested as he got off a Southwest plane from Phoenix, but it was unclear how police in San Antonio learned he was on the flight. The boy initially gave a false name before admitting his true identity, Gutto said.

Deputy Prosecutor Fred C. Wist said Tuesday he had not decided whether to file charges in the car theft and police chase Sunday.

"It is very seldom that we see kids this young," he said.

Sakinah Booker said she hadn't spoken with her son since he'd reached Texas, but that shed been told he ended up in San Antonio instead of Dallas because he boarded the wrong plane in Phoenix. She said she had hoped to soon move her four sons back to Dallas, but Semaj grew tired of waiting. Shed also said she considered sending him to live with her sister in Illinois.

Looking for Medea!?

How Do I Get to Gitmo?
Tips for travelers to the Cuban military zone.
By Daniel Engber
Posted Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007, at 6:23 PM ET

On Thursday, a group of American protesters stood at a fence near the Guantanamo prison and demanded its closure. The activists, among them Cindy Sheehan, held a press conference in Havana before heading to the eastern end of the country to march on the military base. How do you get to Cuba to stage a protest?

Fly in from the Bahamas, or another nearby country. The U.S. government keeps tight restrictions on any financial dealings with Cuba, which include travel to and from the country. The Treasury Department does grant travel licenses to certain people, like journalists, athletes, and Americans with immediate family in Cuba. But the feds aren't likely to make exceptions for peace protesters. Without a government license, the activists have to buy a round-trip ticket to Cuba from a third country, like the Bahamas or the Dominican Republic.

When they get back to the United States, they'll be asked which countries they visited on their trip. If they're honest, they could be in trouble. When more than two dozen activists returned from a similar march in late 2005, they gave the U.S. customs officials a full accounting of their trip, including a list of the names and addresses of everyone who participated. The treasury sent threatening letters to nine of the activists a few months later, but none of them have heard anything since. (In theory, the government could levy fines and bring criminal charges against anyone who breaks the rules.)

If you don't want to sneak in from a third country, you have to apply for a government license. Anyone who's visiting family, traveling on official government business, or working for the news media can get one, although they'll also need permission from the Cubans. (Havana has often denied entry to reporters from the Miami Herald, for example.) Special licenses are sometimes given out to students, freelance reporters, religious groups, performers or athletes, and people working on projects to aid "the Cuban people."

There's also an exemption for "professional research," which includes attending international conferences that happen to be in Cuba. The organizer of this most recent protest told the Associated Press that Cindy Sheehan and the other marchers were eligible for a travel license because they are "professional human rights activists," and would be attending an international conference in Guantanamo on Wednesday. One of the 12 protesters did, in fact, fly direct from Miami on a government-approved airline.

Once you arrive in Cuba, it's easy enough to travel to the city of Guantanamo, all the way at the eastern tip of the island. From there it's a short trip to a Cuban military checkpoint, where both the 2005 and 2007 protest marches were stopped. The American checkpoint—and the fence around the prison—are several miles farther away, down a road surrounded by landmines.

Not everyone needs to pass through Cuba to get to the prison. Soldiers' spouses and journalists, for example, can get permission to take a direct flight to the facility without ever crossing into the rest of Cuba.

Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.

Explainer thanks Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange, Matt Daloisio of Witness Against Torture, and Charles Savage of the Boston Globe. Thanks also to reader Caroline Godkin for asking the question.
Daniel Engber is an associate editor at Slate. He can be reached at danengber@yahoo.com.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2157488/

Copyright 2006 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC
Forwarded message:

From: "Kara Carlisle"
Date: January 3, 2007 4:04:45 PM PST
Subject: Invitation for Jan 9th

On Tuesday January 9, 2007, Zócalo presents a lecture by Los Angeles Times City-County Bureau Chief Jim Newtonentitled "Earl Warren and the Californiaization of America." Held at the Central Library downtown, the lecture will begin at 7 PM and will be followed by a reception with Jim Newton.

Please join us for this event and feel free to extend the invitation to others. For additional information and to RSVP, please go to www.zocalola.org.


Kara Inae Carlisle

Zócalo at Central Library

Tuesday, January 9, 7pm at Central Library

Jim Newton, "Earl Warren and the Californiaization of America"

The work of Earl Warren and the Warren Court is widely known and fiercely debated for its impact on far-flung fields such as racial equality, privacy, police procedure and voting rights. Less appreciated is that body of work as an expression of Warren’s upbringing – as the leading edge of a period of history in which California shifted from recipient of American problems to crafter of the nation’s future. When he went to the court in 1953, Warren was 62 years old and the most dominant political figure of his generation in California politics. He was not an ideologue but rather a man of experience, and thus the conscience that guided the nation’s new chief justice at that critical moment was one molded from his upbringing in California. Jim Newton, Los Angeles Times City-County Bureau Chief and author of"Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made," argues that over the 16 years that Warren held his post in Washington, he exported to the nation the values of California Progressivism and the experiences of a Bakersfield boyhood. His remove from the North-South battles over racial segregation helped Warren to break a potentially catastrophic division in Brown v. Board of Education. His insistence on police professionalism was matched by his fury over crime and vice, both products of his early California politics, and that unusual hybrid gave rise to the court’s new paradigm in those fields.Warren is remembered – fondly by some, with irritation by others – as perhaps the most consequential chief justice in American history. He may also be regarded as the man who launched the Californiaization of America.

Oh, I forgot, drinking laws don't apply on NYE

Just Celebrating the New Year


A Bremerton police officer driving south on the Warren Avenue Bridge at 12:20 a.m. Sunday saw two men carrying a 12-pack of beer and open beer containers along the side of the road, according to police reports.

The officer stopped to ask the men how old they were. One male said he was 18 years old and the other 19 years old. The officer asked them why they were drinking if they weren’t 21 years old, and they said they were "Celebrating New Years." They both said they knew they weren’t old enough to be drinking.

The teens were released at the scene, but were cited on suspicion of minor in possession and having an open container of alcohol.

ATTN: Druggies - keep your cars up

Man Arrested After Hot-Wiring Own Car


A 33-year-old Bremerton man was arrested for outstanding warrants and possession of methamphetamine Dec. 24, after a Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy thought he was driving a stolen car, according to sheriff’s reports.

The deputy was driving along Kitsap Way near Oyster Bay Road around 9 a.m. and saw the man drive by in a white truck with the driver’s side window broken. Thinking the car might have been stolen, the deputy followed the man, who quickly turned into Yak’s Deli along the 4900 block of Kitsap Way.

The deputy ran the license plate and saw the vehicle was not stolen, but the registered owner had a warrant for arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia. When the deputy arrested the man, he said the man also had a warrant for escaping from state Department of Corrections custody. When searching the man, the deputy found a plastic bag with a small amount of methamphetamine inside, according to the report. At the time, the man said the pants he was wearing were not his own, but he later said he bought the drugs for $20.

When the deputy searched the truck, the man said the window was broken and the vehicle’s ignition could only be started with a screwdriver because he had lost his keys. The man was arrested on the two warrants and suspicion of possession of methamphetamine. Bail was set at $15,000.

“Someone hit the pole, knocked it down and ran away”

Crash knocks out power in Kula
Tuesday, January 02, 2007 9:53 AM

Crews from Maui Electric Co. worked to restore power to Kula residents Monday morning after a vehicle slammed into a pole.

Supervising Dispatcher Michael Roberts said about 1,685 Upcountry households lost power after a vehicle apparently hit a utility pole at the corner of Crater Road and Upper Kula Highway around 2:32 a.m. Monday.

“Someone hit the pole, knocked it down and ran away,” he said. Cable and telephone crews also had to repair damage to their lines, he said. Power was restored to all cusomers by 12:53 p.m.

Bert Kauhane of Maui Electric Co. lends a hand toward correcting the power outage. Damage from the accident could be found at the scene.

Copyright © 2005 The Maui News.