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Member since: Wed Nov 16, 2022, 02:52 PM
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Anger Erupts as Rabbis Who Started Fatal Nursing Home Fire Avoid Jail

Anger Erupts as Rabbis Who Started Fatal Nursing Home Fire Avoid Jail
The March 2021 fire, which began with a pre-Passover cleansing of the home’s kitchen and ovens, killed a resident and a firefighter.

Calvin Lloyd, center, whose son Jared Lloyd was killed in a March 2021 fire at an assisted living home in Spring Valley, N.Y., spoke as the men who started the fire were sentenced to probation.Credit...Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

Tensions ran high in a Rockland County, N.Y., courtroom on Wednesday as two rabbis who have admitted to recklessly starting a deadly fire at an assisted living home were spared jail time under a plea agreement with prosecutors.

The rabbis, Nathaniel Sommer, 71, and his son Aaron, 29, were sentenced instead to probation after pleading guilty in connection with the March 2021 fire at the Evergreen Court Home for Adults in Spring Valley, N.Y., which they set off during a ritual cleansing of the home’s kitchen and ovens before Passover.

The fast-moving blaze killed Oliver Hueston, 79, one of the home’s 112 residents, and Jared Lloyd, 35, a volunteer firefighter who ran into the building and died attempting a rescue on the third floor. About a dozen others were injured.


“How does the negligent act of these offenses warrant no jail time?” Ms. Davenport asked Judge Kevin Russo of Rockland County Court, who described the sentence as “entirely appropriate.”

“How do you explain to my grandsons that these defendants who caused this tragedy will not be punished?” Ms. Davenport added.

Addressing the Sommers, Mr. Lloyd’s father, Calvin Lloyd, criticized “the decision you made as a father and son, not realizing the impact it would have on this father and son.”


The decision by the county’s district attorney, Thomas E. Walsh, not to seek jail time for the Sommers has prompted a backlash among Mr. Lloyd’s fellow firefighters, who packed the courtroom and the lawn outside for the sentencing.

Hours earlier, the Sommers had used an industrial blowtorch to cleanse the home’s ovens and kitchen for Passover in a ritual they had performed at Evergreen Court for at least a decade — one the authorities said they did not have a permit for.

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Sun Sep 24, 2023, 05:29 PM (0 replies)

Lost high paying CEO position after kicking dog. now releasing whining book about "twitter mob"

'I have lost millions of dollars!': Disgraced food firm boss Des Hague hits back at cancel culture in new book after viral video showing him kicking a PUPPY in a hotel elevator
In 2014, Des Hague was filmed repeatedly kicking a puppy in an elevator
The CEO was ousted before he was fined $5,000 and banned from keeping animals for three years
Hague has written a new book: 'Fifteen Minutes of Shame: How a Twitter Mob Ruined My Life', about his experience in the fallout of the incident

Multi-millionaire food company boss Des Hague was ousted from his high-profile job in 2014 after a video of him repeatedly kicking a puppy in hotel elevator went viral.

In his new book 'Fifteen Minutes of Shame: How a Twitter Mob Ruined My Life', Hague implores people to ask themselves: How much punishment does one person deserve when a damning video captures the public's disgust?


The distressing video showed Hague kicking the dog as it cowered in the elevator before Hague is seen yanking its leash and swinging it around, in scenes which some may find shocking.

'It's not my finest moment, it wasn't intentional,' Hague told DailyMail.com.

'The reality of the situation was I was walking my friend's dog. It must have startled or seen something, he jumped behind me, dislocated two of my fingers on my right hand - in a flash of anger, I did over-discipline the dog.

'I obviously didn't harm the dog. The dog actually was on a harness. So, I was trying to just control - it was a situation that went horribly wrong.

'I'm not making any excuses for it. I own it.'

Hague said he is trying to find out whether it's possible for the public to forgive his actions, given he has been punished with the loss of his job, reputation, loss of friendships together with future earning power.

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Tue Sep 5, 2023, 12:15 AM (27 replies)

Gary Wright dies ... best known for 1970s hit "Dream Weaver"

Gary Wright, ‘Dream Weaver’ singer, dies at 80

Gary Wright, a singer-songwriter best known for the 1970s hits “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive,” died Monday morning at his home in Palos Verdes Estates. He was 80 years old.

Family members said Wright, who had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia for the last several years, was surrounded by loved ones in his final moments. Word of his death quickly spread, with fans and fellow musicians sharing their memories on social media.

The artist, who helped establish the synthesizer as a leading instrument in rock and pop music, released his “The Dream Weaver” solo album in 1975. The songs “Dream Weaver” and “Love is Alive” were multiplatinum hits.

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Mon Sep 4, 2023, 11:46 PM (5 replies)

Welsh man uploaded a Facebook video of himself destroying 4,500 year-old rock art

A Welsh man uploaded a Facebook video of himself destroying 4,500 year-old rock art. Now, he will get 4 months in prison as officials say the Bronze Age artifact is 'lost forever.'

The monument before the damage was done

52-year-old Julian Baker filmed himself excavating and destroying a 4,500 year-old stone relic and uploaded the video to Facebook.

Officials from Cadw, the cultural preservation wing of the Welsh government, were outraged by Baker's stunt, saying his actions caused irrepara"Significant archaeological information has been lost forever," a Cadw spokesperson told the BBC.
ble damage to the artifact that dated back to the Bronze Age in 2500 BC.

The stone was lodged into the Eglwysilan hill in South Wales, located about 30 minutes north of Cardiff, Wales and 2 hours west of the historic Stonehenge site in England.

Made up of two large sandstones, the rock had flourishes of "cup marks" that were puzzling to researchers, who theorized the stone "may have acted as route markers or demarcated territorial boundaries," according to the BBC report.

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Mon Sep 4, 2023, 11:10 PM (6 replies)

Proud purple to angry red: These Florida residents feel unwelcome in 'new' Florida

Jean Siebenaler moved to Florida following her retirement to bask in the warmth of the Sunshine State.

"I finally thought I'd be sitting on the water with an umbrella drink in my hand," she said.

The Milton resident, a military veteran and retired physician, now says she wonders if Florida was where she needed to relocate after all. Having been politically active in her home state of Ohio, she finds beach time consumed by "steaming and stewing" over the state of the state and local politics.

"It's very upsetting, the direction we see Florida heading," she said. "Every day I wonder why I am living here."


But many — people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, non-Christians, teachers, union members, students — feel it is a war against themselves, as they face ridicule, discrimination, and, potentially, violence.


Eighty-three percent of the Hernando County teachers with three years or less experience were among those who resigned, said Dan Scott, a former World History teacher at Springstead High School.

Scott, who was in his third year of teaching, was one of "13 or 14" at Springstead alone who chose to pursue another occupation, in large part, "based on the overhead decisions in the government of Florida," he said.

"There are a lot of limitations being placed on teachers in regards to how we can communicate with students and what kind of content we're allowed to discuss within the curriculum," he said. "Education has become a very hostile environment from top to bottom."

Among the limitations, Scott said, were soon-to-be-imposed sanctions on what text he could use. Among the outrages, a school board member stalking school hallways searching for items that didn't correlate with the curriculum. In other words, Pride flags, Scott said.

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Mon Sep 4, 2023, 08:40 PM (1 replies)

Florida: just two people accounted for 600 of the 1,100 book removal requests

Book ban "zealots" were blasted by a Florida newspaper Monday for crippling the state's schools with crusades it said barely anybody supports.

The Tampa Bay Times editorial hit out after its own investigation showed just two people accounted for 600 of the 1,100 book removal requests made in the state since July 2022.

Those two have been “wasting untold hours of school employee time and the taxpayer dollars that pay for it," the editorial said.

It went on that the two “are part of a small group of Republican-backed scolds who are making Florida school officials afraid to do their job, which is to educate students, not placate zealots.”


Bruce Friedman, a 57-year-old New York transplant who now lives in Clay County, is one of the two people behind the complaints. Vicki Baggett, a high school teacher in Escambia, Florida, is the other.

“We have probably spent more resources on (Friedman) than anyone else in the history of the school district,’’ said Roger Dailey, who serves as Clay County’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, according to the report.

The editorial notes that the “saddest aspect of all this” is that Florida parents already have an opt-out mechanism that allows them to exclude content for their children without impacting other students.

“That’s a much better way to empower parents than allowing a few zealots to decide what every student should read,” the newspaper writes.

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Mon Sep 4, 2023, 08:28 PM (17 replies)

tourist kneels down and goes nose to nose with bison in Yellowstone

video here:

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Mon Sep 4, 2023, 06:54 PM (24 replies)

The California Megachurch Pushing Public Schools to the Far Right

Now Shaw is in the national spotlight in wake of her Chino school board passing codes that ban pride flags in classrooms and force educators to inform parents if their children identify as transgender—the first such policy to be passed in the state.


But in Chino Valley, the school board’s new direction appears to be spurred on by a man behind the curtain: Shaw’s megachurch pastor Jack Hibbs.

Indeed, three of the board’s five members belong to his church, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills.


On education, he’s claimed that he and his acolytes are “trying to rescue kids from a system that is sexualizing them,” that kids “come out of school questioning their gender but they don’t even know how to do simple math” and “are being raped by the public school system.”

Hibbs has also taken aim at California’s abortion protections, describing them as “Infanticidal Death Policies,” in a document circulated to his congregation in October 2022, just before Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s re-election.

“If God does not intervene in this upcoming election through His people, which has always been his MO, and, if Newsom has his way, then this will certainly be proof that judgment has begun in California if not the United States,” the document reads. It ends by encouraging followers to return their ballots to the church.

“We should be able to stand against the school board,” Hibbs said in May. “We should be able to stand against some teacher that is molesting your child—if not physically, in their minds.”

In July, Hibbs delivered a skewed history lesson claiming that some founding fathers “inherited” slaves but actually cared for them. “Before you call them rich white guys who were slave owners,” Hibbs preached, “you need to finish the sentence: They were rich white guys who were slave owners who clothed, fed, and in many cases took very good care of their slaves while at the same time juggling two worlds…”

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Mon Sep 4, 2023, 05:42 AM (16 replies)

I grew up in a culture that embraced physical touch. Then I came to America

In the small town where I grew up, my classmates at school would put an arm around my shoulder without asking for permission and we would sit like that for the whole duration of recess. On weekends, my cousin or a friend had me sit between her legs to braid my hair. Men held each other’s hands on the streets, rubbed shoulders and touched their friends’ lower backs. There was an unspoken entitlement to each other’s spaces and to varying degrees of touch.

Intense friendships were common. I knew adult women who bragged about how they slept with their best friends: holding each other tightly, face to face. As teenagers, my friends and I used to kiss each other’s faces and necks repeatedly. During sleepovers, we hugged with the sort of passion we felt in our bones, in our hearts.


I moved to California at 17. Soon after I arrived, my older sister and I were walking around a strip mall in Westchester, when I put my arm around her shoulders as I used to do back home.

“Please take off your hand,” she said. “People will think we are lesbians.”


My body changed to accommodate my new reality. When a friend asked if we could cuddle and laid her head on my lap, I contracted and felt cold and wooden. I realized I could now only touch people with ease (beyond the basics, like handshakes) when there was romantic attraction.

When I was a teenager, before I left Ethiopia, a woman in her 30s confided in me that she could no longer sleep in that romantic way with her married friend because her friend’s husband had told his wife that what the two were doing was “lesbian” and must stop. That was the beginning of something. When I visited Ethiopia in 2018 after 17 years in the U.S., I noticed a drastic drop in hand-holding, touching and hugging between friends on the streets.

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Sun Sep 3, 2023, 09:11 PM (27 replies)

California tech transplants to Austin Texas regret the move

California tech transplants unhappy with exodus to Austin, report says


One of the biggest themes of the early years of the pandemic was the exodus from San Francisco. Given the freedom of remote work, many Bay Area residents choose to move elsewhere — be it Iowa, Miami, Tahoe, Austin, or more recently, Sacramento. When SFGATE interviewed five tech professionals in 2021 who left for Austin, most were charmed by the capital of the Lone Star State. But a recent report from Insider suggests many transplants’ opinions have soured.


The founder who spoke with Insider summarized his woes succinctly: “Austin is where ambition goes to die,” a statement considered a negative here, but one coincidentally aligned with the city’s laid-back mentality, which was cemented in pop culture with the ’90s indie film “Slacker.”

It’s not just the city’s comparatively underdeveloped tech scene that disappointed Insider’s sources. One company’s product lead pointed to thick traffic and unreliable public transportation. Another transplant cited the city’s 100-plus-degree heat, in what was one of the city’s most brutal summers since 2011, when only two days in July didn’t hit triple digits.

Some tech workers may be on their way out. Using U.S. Postal Service data, Insider determined that from January to May 2023, Austin saw the fifth-largest net outward migration among major U.S. cities.

But others feel trapped — financially, if not physically. Workers who purchased homes in Austin in 2020 and 2021 benefited from low interest rates on homes that were considered bargains relative to Bay Area real estate. Now that interest rates are higher, trying a new city on for size is a much more expensive proposition.

Posted by BlueWaveNeverEnd | Sun Sep 3, 2023, 05:36 PM (34 replies)
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