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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 13,363

Journal Archives

Rob Gronkowski announces his retirement after nine seasons with Patriots

Rob Gronkowski is going out on top.

The New England Patriots tight end announced on Sunday that he is retiring.

After making the biggest play of Super Bowl LIII to help the Patriots win another championship, Gronkowski is calling it a career. He announced he is retiring after nine NFL seasons.

Gronkowski was a dominant force for the Patriots, though years of significant injuries took its toll last season. He still had enough left for one more playoff run before stepping away.


Arsonist strikes mosque in Escondido, Calif., refers to New Zealand massacre in note

Source: LA Times

An arsonist set a fire that blackened the walls of an Escondido mosque early Sunday and left a note on the house of worship’s driveway referencing a shooting rampage at two New Zealand mosques that left dozens dead, investigators said.

Several people who were inside the Islamic Center of Escondido on West 6th Avenue spotted the flames about 3:15 a.m. They managed to put out the fire before it caused any serious damage, Escondido Police Lt. Chris Lick said.

Officers and firefighters arrived soon afterward and quickly determined the fire was probably intentionally set. It was unclear what was used to set the blaze, and no suspect information was available.

Lick said investigators found a note on the driveway of the mosque that referred to the March 15 shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in New Zealand that left 50 people dead.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-mosque-fire-escondido-20190324-story.html

Dickey Betts on Allman Brothers' 50th anniversary and new Allman Betts Band

It’s a beautiful March afternoon and Dickey Betts — longtime lead guitarist, songwriter and singer in the Allman Brothers Band — enjoys a cup of coffee at home on Little Sarasota Bay while discussing the legendary group he co-founded 50 years ago.

Stories from the past are generously shared but the one topic he really sounds excited about involves a new band that will soon hit the road with the those iconic ABB initials.

To coincide with the milestone anniversary, the Allman Betts Band featuring second-generation standouts Devon Allman, Dickey’s son Duane Betts and Berry Duane Oakley will launch a worldwide tour Wednesday. Their debut LP “Down to the River” will be released in the summer.

“It’s good to see those guys together,” Betts says. “I suggested they get together years ago but they wanted to do individual things and I think they sound wonderful together. Berry Oakley Jr. is fantastic with them. It’s important to have strong partners and I think they’re going to do very well.”


Henrik Fisker is back with his latest Hail Mary, a $40,000 electric SUV

Henrik Fisker, who designed famously sensual cars for Aston Martin and BMW before his eponymous start-up blew up, has said he’ll have a $40,000 electric SUV built by 2021. That’s less than a year later than Elon Musk has promised his freshly unveiled Model Y will hit the road.

That announcement last week came as a surprise. A year ago, Fisker announced plans to produce an expensive electric sports car, the EMotion, instead.

But in a phone interview, Fisker said he’s evolved since 2012, when he released the now discontinued $100,000 Fisker Karma (and its warmed-over corpse, the Karma Revero). After an initial 2008 debut and prolonged hiatus until production started in 2011, the lugubrious hybrid-electric sedan received middling reviews (famously breaking down during Consumer Reports testing) and complaints from owners about reliability and craftsmanship. It sold fewer than 1,800 units nationwide.

Fisker Automotive, the Orange County company that manufactured it, filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group bought the remaining assets in 2014.


McConnell aims to use Green New Deal to divide Dems. But the party is unifying against his show vote

Senate Republicans are trying to elevate the ideas and personalities of House Democrats in a bid to divide the opposition into the rising liberal stars, the party's presidential contenders and its more mainstream lawmakers.

The effort begins with a midweek vote on the Green New Deal, a loosely defined effort to combat climate change by dramatically reducing greenhouse-gas emissions coupled with job creation. Democrats have spent years proposing different versions of legislation to rein in the effects of climate change, but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has taken the Green New Deal and raised it to a new level with her political star power.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., believes the proposal, written by Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., embraced by several top Democratic presidential contenders but criticized by the AFL-CIO as unrealistic, would be politically divisive for a party that has made winning back Midwest battleground states a top priority for 2020.

"The prevailing fashions in New York and San Francisco, that's what is defining today's Democrats," McConnell said during a floor speech two weeks ago.


How smart would a 'smart wall' be at the border?

Deep in the Otay Mountain Wilderness, there is no wall.

The only boundary between the U.S. and Mexico is a section of barbed wire fence in a pastoral valley. And miles and miles of treacherous terrain.

It’s a territory criss-crossed with steep trails that disappear into tunnels of thick brush, a place looped by violently rutted roads that Border Patrol agents negotiate daily.

Land such as this is not a likely candidate for President Donald Trump’s “big, beautiful wall.”


Mystery parent paid $6.5 million to get kids into top universities as part of admissions scandal

Of the many outrageous allegations revealed by federal prosecutors in the college cheating scandal, one stands out.

Someone paid $6.5 million to get his or her children into elite schools. But the identity of that parent — and details about which schools were involved — remains a mystery nearly two weeks after authorities in Boston filed the charges against dozens of wealthy individuals.

The lack of information about the money is more notable given that the charges go into intense detail about the alleged actions of other parents, who are accused of bribing and cheating to get their kids into schools such as Yale, USC and UCLA.

Prosecutors have mentioned the $6.5 million in payments at a news conference and in court. But they are not included in the hundreds of pages detailing the charges.


That's a lot of scratch.

Leaks reveal San Diego operations of white nationalists active at area colleges

A recent leak of more than 200,000 online chat logs from a white supremacist group reveals how local members are targeting students on San Diego college campuses and trying to project a respectable image even as the group’s members privately espoused Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and racist views.

The group, called Identity Evropa, is nationally known for helping organize the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a protestor was killed and dozens were injured over two days of clashes.

More recently, the group made news because online whistleblowers began identifying Identity Evropa members, publishing their online chat messages and linking them with social media posts. In the past week their efforts have led to official investigations of a Virginia school police officer and seven service members from various branches of the US military.

A Union-Tribune review of the chat logs reveals a local branch of Identity Evropa has visited local colleges at least a dozen times since Fall 2017, though flyers first appeared at San Diego State University the year before. The chat logs also refer to publicity and recruitment activities at Southern California colleges as recently as last month.


Suspect charged in stabbing of priest during livestreamed Mass in Montreal

A 26-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder and assault with a weapon after allegedly stabbing the elderly rector of a church in Canada during a livestreamed Mass as shocked parishioners watched, Montreal police said.

The attack happened as the priest of St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal led Mass on Friday morning at the church in Montreal, police said.

Father Claude Grou, 77, was taken to a hospital and is recovering, Constable Caroline Chevrefils said.

Grou has "no resentment" toward the suspect and "hopes he gets all the support he needs and find peace," said Céline Barbeau, a spokeswoman for St Joseph's Oratory.


A thief with a machete held up a gas station, police say--then the clerk pulled a machete of his own

There was probably no way for the gas station clerk to know that the customer would be carrying a machete. And there was probably no way for the alleged robber to know that the man he was about to demand money from also had a machete, squirreled away behind the counter.

But both of those things were true, according to Huntsville, Ala., police, who released surreal video of the alleged robbery this week.

Video from the security cameras at the Conoco gas station on Pulaski Pike in Huntsville shows a man knocking on the station clerk’s door on March 16 and pulling what appears to be a machete out of his pants. We’ll call him Machete Suspect.

Then the angle of the video changes — we get three different views of this alleged robbery — to the camera behind the cash register. There, we see the clerk has already pulled a machete of his own. Plot twist; we now have a Machete Clerk.


Dueling machetes!
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