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The woman who drove the vehicle in the accident which led to Roger Rodoni’s death pled no contest to vehicular manslaughter.  As you know there were no drugs or alcohol involved.  No jail time.  I’ve heard several different versions of the story, including a wacky conspiracy theory involving Blackwater.  Jury selection in the trial was to begin tomorrow.  I hope Johanna and her family take some comfort in the criminal matter being put to rest.

Through the link is the article, and attached to it various comments; some blaming the “liberal courts.”  I can’t make a judgment about the woman’s guilt or innocence.  I don’t have any facts.  We drive these multi-ton chunks of metal around and they’ve been made so comfortable and quiet, we’re kind of cut off from the full significance of the inertia we’re dealing with.  Driving is a deadly practice.  But most of us agree the benefits are worth the risks.  Maybe we’re all just nuts.  It only takes the slightest loss of concentration to generate enormous consequences.

His challenge was unanimously “dismissed with prejudice.”

There will be an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court (if there are any justices left to hear the case) and then probably to the federal courts, but the current time estimate is that Franken will be seated sometime in May or June.  A couple of wildcard considerations are whether Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty will sign the certification, and whether the Republicans will filibuster, the threat of which has caused the Democrats to back down in pretty much every confrontration this year.

As always, you can keep up with Offshore Drilling news at the Pt. Arena Basin.


WHAT: Activists bused in from around the State will hold a protest against the Minerals Management Service’s (MMS) proposed five-year plan for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).  Demonstrators will be making speeches, waving signs, speaking at the hearing to tell the MMS and public how the increase in offshore oil drilling and this proposed plan could critically impact some of the world’s most pristine marine ecosystems and lead to the destruction of important habitats that are home to a diversity of wildlife.

WHO: Join Surfrider Foundation activists, members, volunteers from around California, Oregon and Washington, surfers, beach enthusiasts, and local, regional and national elected officials

WHEN: Thursday, April 16, 2009
Doors will open at 8:00 AM
Hearing begins at 9:00 AM and will conclude by 8:00 PM

Press is also invited to join Surfrider Foundation and its supporters for a noontime rally and demonstration that will feature speeches from various elected officials and activists, along with live music.

WHERE: University of California, San Francisco
Mission Bay Conference Center
Robertson Auditorium
1675 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA

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April 2009
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