Saturday, June 23, 2012

Luke Schenn for James van Riemsdyk has risks for both teams

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Trading Schenn for van Riemsdyk is one of those interesting deals that will take several years to properly evaluate. Anyone who tries to declare a winner at this point is full of it.

Both are high first round picks - van Riemsdyk was second overall in 2007, Schenn was fifth overall in 2008. Neither have developed to where their drafted team expected them to be at this point but both have shown flashes of what that might be someday.

The trade also fills some significant needs for both teams. The Flyers need a big physical defenseman to fill in for Chris Pronger. The Leafs just don't have enough size up front. Although van Riemsdyk has been playing left wing, he was originally drafted as a centre. He might just be able to fill the big hole up the middle on their top line.

Schenn has become dispendable because of the development of Jake Gardner but more important he just hasn't developed much in three years on the Leafs blueline. Essentially the Leafs feel they have traded a defenseman on their third pairing for a top 6 forward. But Schenn may very well live up to his potential by escaping the chronically weak defensive team in Toronto. However van Riemsdyk has some risks too. He missed a lot of hockey last season because of a series of injuries and has a bad hip. So he may turn out to be damaged goods.

I still like the trade. Altough van Riemsdyk's stock has fallen slightly he still has more potential than Schenn.

Video of the week

The bottom of the eighth inning of a Rangers-Padres game this week from San Diego turned weird during the broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest as longtime broadcaster Dave Barnett appeared to completely lose his mind, claiming a runner was at "fifth" base and then trailing off into a story about "henchmen" and a "botched robbery." Later it was announced that the lapse may have been due to the severe migraines Barnett suffers.

Adios Monster, by the way you weren't so scary

The Leafs have traded the rights to free-agent goalie Jonas Gustavsson to the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional seventh round pick in 2013. Conditional seventh round picks are just about the least amount of compensation you can receive for a player. The collective agreement doesn't allow teams to trade players for a bag of pucks. I guess the Jets could have sent the Leafs a bench warmer from their AHL affiliate so the Leafs could have done worse.

Gustavsson was a total disappointment. His goaltending style may have worked for him in Europe but it wasn't effective in the NHL. He was either not mobile enough or over committing and leaving himself out of position. He could make some vary good saves in games but invariably let in a soft goal in far too many games. His tendency to give up early in games suggests to me that he had difficulty mentally preparing himself for games. In the end he was as forgettable as Vesa Toskala, Andrew Raycroft and Justin Pogge. They invested 3 years of development in the Monster and it never really showed.

The Leafs still need a veteran goalie and so far no Roberto Luongo. This may take a while. The only other team with any interest at all is supposedly Florida but their level of interest would be low. They made the playoffs last year with Jose Theodore in net so what take on the big contract.

Who knows how long the staring match between Brian Burke and Mike Gillis will go on until someone blinks. Burke insists he is comfortable starting the season with Reimer and Scrivens. Gillis suggests he would be comfortable having Luongo back. They are both full of shit. These two guys don't apparently like each other so would probably love to stick it to the other guy.

Perhaps Vancouver is the more desperate of the two. They can't really carry two big contracts in net, even with a $70 million cap. They need those dollars freed up. As well Luongo has asked for a trade and wouldn't be happy reporting to Vancouver in the fall. It's a distraction the Canucks can live without. So both guys have to make this deal it's just impossibly to guess how long that will take. So the staring contest continues.

National roadkill clean up week

Father of the Year candidate

Police in China are hunting a motorcyclist who was spotted pulling his toddler son behind him - in a drinks crate.

The tot - clearly too young to ride pillion - stares out from the box trustingly as he is towed along the road by a piece of rope.

The scene was photographed by a passer-by in Xi'an, Shaanxi province.

He said: "When I first saw this bike coming down the road I thought he had a dog or something in the box and I thought, 'How cruel'. But when it got closer I could see it was a boy, no older than two and I was horrified."

Burglar cuts himself on broken window and bleeds to death


Police say a would-be burglar died after he was injured climbing through the window of a house.

Wednesday night, police got a call about a man found dead on the kitchen floor of an unoccupied house in Burke.

Police say Duwayne Masure, 73, of Sutton, smashed the glass out of a back window of the home while attempting to burglarize it. But while he climbed through the smashed window, he was severely cut by the glass and died.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Karen Klein, the bus monitor, is still the hottest thing on the net

It's amazing how people will walk right by destitute, homeless people without even looking at them let alone actually give them some change. But an elderly woman is harassed by a bunch of snotty teens and suddenly she is the neediest person in the world. I just don't get it.

Over 4.2 million people have watched the above video since it was posted on Tuesday. Over 26,000 people have donated money to provide her with a vacation. Vacation? This lady has won the lottery. People have given her $560,000 up to this moment. She has literally been transformed from victim to an exploiter.

Why are people still sending her money? I'm sure there more worthy and more desperate people in your own community. People who can't afford urgent medical care, having problems feeding their children or at risk of losing their home. She doesn't deserve the money. Karen Klein just had a bunch of idiots yell at her.

It's Draft Day!


Here we are on Draft Day and the Toronto Maple Leafs still hold their first round pick (fifth pick overall) now that can change over the next 12 hours with Brian Burke in charge. Draft Day always has this positive aura about it. Every pick is analysed but with a positive slant to it. You know that big power forward your team has drafted well everyone is talking about the best case scenario when they say this is a guy who will develop into a top 6 forward that will play on the powerplay. No one talks about the downside where he might only develop into a 4th liner playing about 8 minutes a game. Remember the optimism around the selection of Nazem Kadri, 7th overall in 2009. No one is that positive about his development anymore.

This draft is deep in defenseman but the Leafs really badly need to draft centres which sometimes lends itself to trading up or down. If you follow the theory that you draft the best player available and that happens to be a defenseman when your turn comes up then you might look at moving that pick. Except that this draft is not loaded with stud picks which means that many of the teams' lists could look much different. So a guy you really wanted but did expect to be around when you picked may still be available. That means fewer picks will be flipped.

So who might the Maple Leafs pick? Well it appears the Oilers will keep their pick since the offers they received for the #1 overall needed blow them away (supposedly Leafs offered their first pick and Schenn). The Oilers will choose Nail Yakupov.

The Blue Jackets need help on defense and the best defenseman in the draft is Ryan Murray so he will go next. Some think the Oilers who also need help on defense will pick Murray but Edmonton will follow the rule that you pick the best player available with is Yakupov.

I think after these two players the order of who is the next best becomes debatable already. Montreal like the Leafs need help at centre and need to make a splash at the draft so they will likely pick Mikhail Grigorenko. He is a big strong centre and a safe pick.

The next best player appears to be Flip Forsberg who is a big strong left winger and I'm guessing the Islanders will pick him.

So when Burke stands up to pick I would think he will grab Alex Galchenyuk. It's your typical "high risk that comes with high rewards" pick that Burke likes. Galchenyuk only played 2 Junior games last season because of a torn ACL. He is highly skilled and a fitness freak. His stock has risen considerably after scouts saw him at the NHL combines. It is possible that the Canadiens will pick him over Grigorenko in which case Burke will take Grigorenko. The fact that the two teams may be after the same player only makes the Rick Dudley hiring looking worse.

Anyway looking forward to the next "saviour" of the Maple Leafs franchise.

45 years of Maple Leafs frustration: 1988-89

The 1988-89 was best remembered as the Gord Stellick season. Stellick was a well-liked, personable young man who has worked his way up in the Leaf organization but was over his head as the general manager of a professional sports franchise. He was just 30 years old, the youngest GM in NHL history. At the Amateur Draft the Leafs pick Scott Pearson 6th overall who turns out to be a dud. Another bad pick from the incredibly incompetent Leafs scouting system.

Once again the Leafs finished 19th out of 21 teams and out of the playoffs with a pathetic record of 28-46-6. They were managed by a inexperienced rookie, coached by an unqualified veteran and with no captain. The team had still not replaced Rick Vaive.

Brophy who had been feuding with the previous general manager, Gerry McNamara, had hoped to replace McNamara but instead the job went to Stellick. Brophy didn't last much longer as coach. After an equally poor start to the 1988–89 season, and despite being a favourite of Leafs owner Harold Ballard, Brophy was fired in December 1988, 33 games into the season. He was replaced by George Armstrong. Armstrong had coached the 1974-75 Toromto Marlies to a Memorial Cup Championships. Throughout that season he had repeatedly tried to quit because he hated coaching. Ballard repeatedly tried to get Armstrong to sign a multiple year contract but he would have none of that.

Stellick made an effort to rebuild the team but he also made what I thought was one of the worst trades in the history of the Maple Leaf franchise (#4 on my list of worst trades). He traded Russ Courtnall to Montreal for John Kordic. Courtnall was a gifted skater and decent scorer who had been playing on the "Hound" line with Wendel Clark and Gary Leeman. The previous season, Brophy had attempted to get him to play a more physical game which caused a drop off in his offensive production. That partly may have led to the trade for an enforcer. Kordic had drug and alcohol problems as well as a terrible temper. Courtnall played 10 more seasons after the trade while Kordic died on August 8, 1992, after overdosing on drugs and being involved in a struggle with police at his hotel. He was just 27 years old.

Gord Stellick who had repeatedly stood up to Ballard throughout the season resigns in August rather than give in to the whims of the irrational owner.

National roadkill clean up week

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ignore this disclaimer every time

David Ortiz says Boston is becoming the shit-hole it used to be

Bobby Valentine offered that reporters might have caught Ortiz "on a bad day. The Red Sox is currently toxic and has been that way since last season. The Sox are the only hope the Jays have to avoid finishing in the basement of the AL East. It's not looking like the Orioles are about to collapse.

A petition to stop petitions

This guy nails it. Seriously this is real humour.

I love this guy!

Why did he lead police on a high speed chase? Because he's got swag!

Harassed school bus monitor is going to cash in on her 15 minutes

In case you haven't heard about Karen Klein she is an elderly school bus monitor who was verbally assaulted by a number of students from Athena Middle School in Greece, New York earlier this week. The kids were pretty mean. She said the most painful taunt was a vile suggestion from one of the kids that her child should kill themselves. It just so happened her son committed suicide 10 eyears ago.

Someone had a video going and posted it on YouTube (below) and it has gone viral. Already has almost 2 million hits.

She is a nice little lady so someone set up a fundraiser to "give Karen...a vacation of a lifetime." A goal was set at $5,000 but that was reached in just a matter of hours. It currently stands at over $300,000! Karen will be able to take a permanent vacation if donations continue at this pace for the next month.

National roadkill clean up week

Happy 70th birthday, Brian Wilson

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

That was over way too quick

Alec Baldwin has sheet for brains

After taking a swing at a reporter trying to take his picture, Alec Baldwin was seen walking down Park Avenue where a sheet over his head.

Alec Baldwin has always been known for his calm and mature demeanor. By the way he's 54 dressed up as a ghost and it's not Halloween.

Brian Burke is a desperate man and that worries me

Brian Burke reminds me of John Ferguson in his last year with the Leafs - desperate to improve the team. In times of desperation clear-headed decisions are not always made. Who can forget the Vesa Toskala trade. Ferguson was so desperate to find a goalie that he grossly overpaid for a goalie that just wasn't that good. That was just one year after Ferguson had traded away a great prospect for Andrew Raycroft.

Five years later we have another desperate GM - well he will tell you with his best poker face that he isn't desperate but he is. He knows like everyone else that his job is now on the line. When that happens bad deals start looking much better if there are short term gains available.

Burke told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN that he is comfortable with the goaltending he has in Reimer and Scrivens and finding another goalie is that much of a priority. Seems we heard that same tune last summer and we know how that ended. If he's serious then he should get fired right now. The reality is that he has to get a goalie and the only decent starter on the market is Luongo with his ugly 10 year contract. Burke and Gillis are going to game of poker through the summer until one of them cracks. Gillis would like to get some decent talent out of the Leafs which is most likely Jake Gardner. Burke would like to dump some salary on Vancouver which is probably Komisarek. This is a deal both GMs have to make.

Let's just not repeat the dying days of the Ferguson administration.

Blue Jays bats are alive too bad the arms aren't

Over the last 8 games the Jays have returned to the long ball with 15 home runs. Jose Bautista and Colby Rasmus have certainly found their stroke during that period. Over those 8 games Bautista had 5 leave the park and now trails AL leader Adam Dunn but just one. Meanwhile in those games Rasmus launched 4.

The problem is that the Jays really didn't get much pitching in those games and things aren't going to change in the short term. Over the past 8 games Jays starters averaged just 3.2 innings per game. Now 3 pitchers left games with injuries. Still the stress on the bullpen has been enormous.

So how long can the bats keep this up? Last night I was sure the Jays were dead when Fraser gave up a grand slam in the 6th. But the Jays bats kept chipping away - one solo homer after another. They won the game in the 9th with back-to-back homers by Rasmus and Bautista. That wasn't as impressive as the back-to-back-to=back homers by Rasmus, Bautista and Encarnacion in the 5th.

National roadkill clean up week

Hump day hottie

Emma Stone

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pizza Pizza won't be handing out too much free pizza anymore

The Blue Jays starting rotation has been built around power pitchers so reaching 7 strikeouts hasn't been a problem - until last week. When their rotation was wiped out by injury what has been left isn't very impressive. Ricky Romero has problems throwing strikes. Henderson Alvarez is not a strikeout guy. Brett Cecil has problems getting into the high 80s. We have no clue who will round out the rotation.

So it looks like no pizza for you!

Schenn, Kadri and Komisarek for...

Schenn Kadri Armstrong

It seems all you are hearing this spring are the names Schenn, Kadri and Komisarek. They are being traded for Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan Jordan Staal, you name it. I'm getting tired of it. Mix it up and include Matthew Lombardi or Tim Connelly.

The reality is if there names are truly on the trade market I have a message for Leafs Nation. If the Leafs don't want these players well no one does either. So you may have to wait for a Sutter to be managing somewhere to make this deal.

I expect more deals like the one where Burke picked up Lombardi and Franson. Burke is not about to deal core players so he isn't going to be picking up one in a deal either. Everyone is asking about Jake Gardner but he's not going anywhere. In fact either are Schenn, Kadri and Komisarek.

Oy Vey! Hebrew National Kosher hot dogs may not be Kosher?

ConAgra Foods Inc has been sued by consumers who contend that hot dogs and other products sold under its Hebrew National brand are not kosher.

The lawsuit alleges that meat processing services provided to ConAgra by privately held AER Services Inc fell short of the standards necessary to label Hebrew National products as kosher. As a result, they said, ConAgra misled consumers and was able to charge premium prices.

Eleven individual consumers filed their complaint in May in Minnesota state court. ConAgra moved the case this month to a federal court in St. Paul. The lawsuit was reported last week by American Jewish World, a publication based in Minnesota.

According to the complaint, Omaha, Nebraska-based ConAgra marks Hebrew National packages with a "Triangle K" symbol, and represents that the contents are kosher "as defined by the most stringent Jews who follow Orthodox Jewish law."

But the plaintiffs said in the complaint that AER supervisors "did little or nothing" to address employee complaints that the meat processed for ConAgra was non-kosher. They also said Skokie, Illinois-based AER fired or threatened retaliation against those who complained.


The mother of Chris Bosh's daughter had to apply for food stamps

Chris Bosh' ongoing court battles with Allison Mathis, the mother of his three-year-old daughter, are heating up.

Mathis' Florida-based attorney, Jane E. Carey, is becoming increasingly vocal about her distaste for Bosh. She recently chastised Bosh for wanting to take his daughter to the Olympics this summer calling it a "photo op."

Tuesday morning, Carey got into a heated argument over the phone with a popular radio host on the Tom Joyner Morning Show in Dallas about Chris Bosh's child support payments and giving him the authority to take his daughter to the Olympics. Mathis was recently laid off and applied for food stamps. Carey wants to increase Chris Bosh's current $2,600 child support payments and is demanding that his daughter receive the same type of lavish gifts as his infant son.

"Chris has a lavish lifestyle and he's not stingy, he takes care of everybody except Trinity," Carey screamed. "I've been an attorney for 29 years and Chris is the worst person I have ever dealt with!"

Those were pretty strong words coming from an attorney. I don't know what's going on here but I have seen lawyers do some pretty questionable things for a successful outcome for their clients. And it's not like the lawyers don't benefit as well unless they are working pro bono. I'm not a big an of using the media for support battles. How is that good for the child? I just don't know enough to say whether Chris Bosh is a deadbeat dad.


Why I would never work retail

Can we all agree that going after athletes that use steroids is a huge waste of time and money

The Roger Clemens perjury trial predictably was a giant waste of taxpayer money and government manpower. That would have been the case even had he been found guilty - which he was not.

American taxpayers should demand to know what the trials of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds cost them.

The bigger question is why were they necessary? Was it really to prevent people from misleading Congress? Somehow I doubt it.

This is what has taken in place over the past 10 years in an attempt to "clean up baseball." It started with the Balco scandal in 2003. We had the Mitchell Report that was good for nothing. It named names but so what. There was no proof. That was followed by a Congressional hearing because that is exactly what Congress should be spending its time on. Who really cares about the economy, corporate corruption and homeland security when there is a steroid scandal in baseball. Then there was a Department of Justice investigation into who might've been lying at the hearings. A Barry Bonds trial that ended in a token conviction that carried zero punishment. Finally two ridiculous Clemens trials that couldn't even prove that he was a liar.

Hey fans knew what was going on when ballplayers started looking like Ben Johnson and launching 70 home runs in a season. Yet they still came out to the ballpark. It's entertainment. That's all.

Supermarket flooded with naked shoppers in response to nudist gimmick

Police, photographers and a bemused manager witnessed strange scenes at a supermarket opening in Süderlügum, Germany as patrons wandered between the aisles studying shopping lists in nothing but their birthday suits.

Customers had camped outside the new “Priss” supermarket in the hope of being among the lucky first hundred who had been promised a basket full of free groceries worth €270 if they came in the nude.

Supermarket manager Nils Sterndorff was overwhelmed by the success of his gimmick. “I never thought a hundred people would come, I thought maybe more like ten,” he said.

In fact, so many turned up that Sterndorff had to let them in in batches of twenty. The police placed the number at 250, mostly Danish shoppers, who often take advantage of the cheaper alcohol and confectionary on the German side of the border.

Video is NSFW


National roadkill clean up week

Monday, June 18, 2012

5 goalies the Maple Leafs should go after

Roberto Luongo

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 21: Goalie Roberto Luongo #1of the Vancouver Canucks stops a shot from the San Jose Sharks during the first period in NHL action on January 21, 2012 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Ge

Love him or hate him, Roberto Luongo is one of the better goalies in the NHL. Even though he possesses a massive contract, should the Leafs pursue Luongo? Certainly.

But only if the price is right.

The key is to adequately assess his value, and then determine whether or not the package of assets that will be required to acquire him is worth more or less.

My gut says Brian Burke will eventually acquire a goalie elsewhere Mike Gillis finds no other buyer and treats the deal as a salary dump.

Jonathan Bernier

With the rise of Jonathan Quick, Jonathan Bernier has quickly become an attractive trade chip for the Kings.

Bernier is an interesting option, but he is still young and raw. Those are qualities Brian Burke isn't necessarily looking for in a goaltender this offseason. He already has young and raw. He needs a veteran. But if Burke believes Bernier has more upside than his goalies then perhaps he uses Bernier as an upgrade and still pursues a veteran.

However, the price tag may be too high considering the picks squandered to acquire Phil Kessel.

Scott Clemmensen


This ex-Leaf has had a solid history as a back up who can set in and fill the void when needed. He is a consummate team player who would never gripe about playing time. After all he backed up Martin Brodeur. He is also cheap which would free up dollars for Burke's now five-year pursuit of a number one centre. The downside of Clemmensen is that the goalie Burke picks up may have to be the starter if James Reimer can't regain his game and Ben Scrivens turns out to be not ready for prime time.

Clemmensen is not a number one goalie so this isn't the best fit either.

Dan Ellis


Now that Tomas Vokuun has been signed by Pittsburgh the best goalie likely to be available as a free agent will be Dan Ellis. He will come cheap and still has some upside. He is not a number one goalie but could share the net if Reimer isn't ready to re-assume the status of starter. It all depends if you are looking for insurance or a number one goalie.

Jaroslav Halak

Jaroslav Halak is splitting goaltending duties with Brian Elliott in St. Louis but at $3.75 million per season, Halak is expensive in a shared role. The cash-strapped Blues would probably entertain offers for Halak who had a goal against under 2.00 last season. The Blues gave up two prospects for Halak and would expect to get that back.

Halak has more experience than Bernier and possesses much more tread life than Ellis and Clemensen. Yet is contract is much better than Luongo. He becomes an intriguing option.

Paul McCartney is 70 today

So hard to find friends

Things not to say while being held up at knife point

Man is killed over 60 year old school prank


From the moment 73-year-old Carl Ericsson rang his old high school classmate's doorbell in January, verified the man's identity and then shot him dead, the question had been what prompted him to confront a man he hadn't even spoken to in years.

The startling answer, a prosecutor said Friday, was a 1950s locker room humiliation that festered in Ericsson's mind for a half-century.

"He said that a jockstrap was put on his head," Kenneth Meyer said. "It's the only thing he's ever mentioned in talking to law enforcement."

Ericsson, who a psychiatrist said suffered from anxiety and depression for years, last month pleaded guilty but mentally ill to second-degree murder in the death of Norman Johnson.

"I guess it was from something that happened over 50 years ago," Ericsson told a judge then. "It was apparently in my subconscious."

He was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

I can relate to this. My wife holds a grudge forever. She is constantly throwing shit in my face about stuff that happened decades ago although she has been compensated several times over. But then probably every wife is the same.


Couple go in debt from spending spree following cancer diagnosis - which turns out to be an error

A couple are $80,000 in debt after he was wrongly diagnosed with terminal cancer and they spent heavily achieving a rapidly compiled bucketlist.

Frank, 69, and Wilma, 65, who don't want their surname published, say they had "nothing to lose" after Frank was told in May 2010 that he had only a few months to live.

The medical advice turned out to be wrong and though they are happy Frank is alive, their quality of life has been eroded by a spending spree, which included trips to Australia and Fiji.

Frank had part of his lung removed following a brush with cancer, and after chemotherapy started getting chest pains and was short of breath.

He had an ultrasound done and fluid was taken from his pericardium - a tissue sac which surrounds the heart - for testing. A month later he was given the devastating news it was likely the cancer had returned to his heart and he only had a few months to live.

So Frank and Wilma did what many people would do - they made every day count.

Frank, who used to own a handyman business in Auckland, gave away $30,000 worth of tools, fishing gear, a quad bike, clothes and household items.

They sold their house in Wairoa at a loss of $70,000 and cancelled the health insurance.

Frank began smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee after quitting during his first cancer diagnosis.

The couple went to Fiji for 10 days. They blew $30,000 on food, a five-star resort and fishing activities, expecting his life insurance to cover the costs.

On their way home they stopped off in Australia to visit their daughter and two grandchildren.

Then they headed back to Wairoa and waited for Frank to die. Every morning Wilma would get up wondering if today was the day.

But every morning Frank would be feeling fit and healthy. His weight remained the same and his health was not deteriorating as predicted by doctors.

It was not until their hospice carer came for his monthly check-up - 23 months after Frank was told he was on his way out - that they discovered the terrible mistake.

Bummer he gets to live. Bucket list thing is a pretty good idea but on your own coin. They spent and gave away everything but they also went into debt with no plans to repay the money. Sue the doctor? Why is he responsible for bad choices you made?


Got a bad teacher? It's almost summer.

These are not too cool teachers who are in hot water.

Student forced to bathe at school because he smelled bad

A school nurse and counselor forced an 8-year-old Parker County boy to bathe after telling him he "smelled badly, was dirty and had bad hygiene," according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

The boy was forced to take off his clothes one day in November and the two school officials "began violently washing his body," the parents said.

Amber and Michael Tilley filed the suit against the Peaster School District on Thursday in federal court in Fort Worth. "It's terrible, and we don't want anything like that to happen to any other children," Amber Tilley said.

His parents also say school officials put cotton balls in their son's ears and left them there for the entire day. "His body and his ears, they were really sore, real tender from being scrubbed," Amber Tilley said.

The lawsuit claims the boy was traumatized by what happened and has had to see therapists. "He just kept on and on, wanting to take baths," his mother said. "You know, he just felt so disgusting." The parents say nobody from the school ever contacted them about a hygiene problem.

"The first thing I said was, 'You ought to try to call us,'" Michael Tilley said. "And they said, 'We were trying to avoid him being embarrassed.' And I said, 'You all did a real good job of helping that process along.'" His parents kept him out of school for a week.


Teacher had class line up and slap bully

A mother of a 6-year-old boy says her son was slapped by each of his classmates on the orders of their teacher as a form of discipline.

Aiden Neely was accused of being a bully at his school, Salinas Elementary School, near San Antonio, Texas. His kindergarten teacher came up with a creative way to put an end to the alleged bullying. The teacher is accused of having 24 other students in the class line up and slap Neely one-by-one.

"He was hit on the head, in the face, on the back. And all the kids hit him twice," said Amy Neely, the boy's mother. "He had friends in that class, and friends didn't want to hit him, but the teacher instructed them to hit him."

The incident occurred in early May, but Neely was not informed about it until weeks later when the principal called.

"The teacher told him not to tell us," said Neely. "My stomach was in knots. It was horrible."

The Judson Independent School District fired the teacher accused of hatching the most unusual anti-bullying lesson. She has been charged, along with another teacher who allegedly failed to report the incident, with a misdemeanor, according to the chief of the school district's police.


Police rescue tied up kidnap victim, turns out to be groom at his stag

Officers swooped on a car to rescue a tied-up kidnap victim on Friday morning – only to discover he was a groom on a stag party.

The unsuspecting gent was bundled into the back of a car by masked men in-front of shocked onlookers before the two vehicles sped-off.

A horrified mum out shopping with her 14-year-old daughter immediately called police to report the gang, who had their faces covered with women's tights.

Officers set off in pursuit of the four men south on the M5 towards Bridgwater and pounced at around 1.30pm as they reached junction 24.

Officers were left furious when the 'gang' and their 'victim' were forced to admit the 'abduction' was simply a joke - and all the men were given words of advice.


National roadkill clean up week

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rodney King was a reluctant race relations spokesperson and a minor celebrity

The announcement that Rodney King has died was confirmed by his publicist. This celebrity addict and petty criminal had a publicist, a book and a pretty good lifestyle. He had carved out a life though not necessarily a career from his 15 minutes of fame.

We all know about how King was brutally beaten by LA police on October 2, 2012 after a high speed chase while under the influence. The beating had while resisting arrest was not necessarily an isolated event in LA. What was different was that George Holliday, a private citizen, caught the lengthy beating on video from his apartment. This was still the early days of person video taping and the video became a media sensation.

The media attention led to charges against police officers who were eventually acquitted which triggered the 1992 Los Angles riots. By the time order was restored the casualties included 53 deaths, 2,383 injuries, more than 7,000 fires, damages to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses. On the third day of riots there was live footage of Rodney King at an impromptu news conference saying, "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"

For the rest of his life he struggled with his addictions and the effects of the beating and lived the life of a minor celebrity until found floating at the bottom of his swimming pool.

45 years of Maple Leafs frustration: 1987-88

During the 1987-88 season, the Maple Leafs finish 20th out of 21 teams but still make the playoffs because they finished with 1 point ahead of the Minnesota North Stars who were also in the Norris Division. In the boring Norris, only Detroit finished with a record above .500. The Leafs fall victim to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs although they manage to push the Wings to 6 games.

The NHL at the time was a scorer's league featuring twelve 100-point scorers and eight 50-goal scorers. The Leafs only has one decent scorer, Ed Olczyk who finished the season with 42 goals and 75 points. The league average for goals per game was 7.43 and Grant Fuhr won the Vezina with goals against average of 3.43 and a save percentage of .881. In contrast to today both Jonas Gustavsson and James Reimer has far better numbers this past season.

Harold Ballard and Gerry McNamara were more or less lost in the past. Always out of step with the rest of the league. When teams pursued Europeans, the Leafs stayed at home. When they finally showed up, they were scouting the wrong players like Jir Crha or Slav Duris.They had nothing but contempt for player agents as if you could turn back the clock to the 1960s.

The Leafs has a chronic shortage of depth in their organization. They would lose good young players in the waiver draft like Kevin Maguire to Buffalo and Craig Muni to Edmonton, both would go on to have successful careers. McNamara rarely signed free agents and when he did often they turned out to be players with little or nothing left in the tank like Marian Stastny and Dave Semenko. By the spring of 1988, John Brophy was at the peak of his influence in the Leaf organization dispite the fact that he was a lousy coach. As power shifted in the organization it partly led to the firing of McNamara.

Yolanda MacMillan legally changes her name to Ballard although she and Harold are not married. However, she insisted that the Gardens staff call her Mrs. Ballard. Harold's children grew to resent and then dispise Yolanda. Harold was by now in poor health and began using a wheelchair. He had diabetes which caused serious circulation problems in his legs and feet. He had suffered a heart attack while in Florida which left him in a weakened and, at times, confused state.

During the season Harold Ballard actually tried to orchestrate a friendly take over of the Leafs by a friend, Michael Gobuty. Ballard had agreed to guarantee credit from the National Bank for $2.5 million. However, when Gardens director Don Crump learned of the loan guarantee, he killed it. The bank later sued Gobuty and Ballard.

The next crisis came when Ballard declared he would leave his money to a charity and not his children. He indicated that he expected the charity to run the Gardens and the team. It was a tragic comedy every day at the Gardens.

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