Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Monday, January 30, 2006
The Church of St. John the Martyr, on East 71st Street, says in court papers the losses were due to thefts by Monsignor John Woolsey. After the losses were discovered, Woolsey was forced to resign as pastor and a Manhattan grand jury indicted him.And here's the potential understatement of the year:
Prosecutors charged that Woolsey, 67, funneled at least $820,800 from the church into his personal bank accounts, including $47,000 given to the church by parishioners.
Prosecutors said he used the stolen money for country club expenses, designer watches, fancy clothes and trips to Vermont, Florida and Spain. They said he used a church checking account to pay nearly $16,000 in personal credit card charges.
The investigation of Woolsey began in 2004 after a civil lawsuit was filed charging that he used undue influence to get an 88-year-old parishioner to sign over at least $490,000 in cash and stock to him before she died.
Woolsey "may not have been a good bookkeeper," the statement said.
Can property tax become a taking? From the state that brought you Kelo, here's yet another disgusting property story out of CT.
In 2002, Denny Andrews received his first tax bill after a townwide reassessment of taxable property. Andrews Point had climbed from a full-market assessment of $858,000 to $6.8 million and the taxes shot up, too, from a little under $20,000 to $89,000. Andrews was able to argue his assessment down to $6 million. But he knew it was only a temporary fix.Really, should someone have to pay tens of thousands of dollars in property tax per acre per year for residential property, to a town that doesn't even provide fresh water to the property?
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
PIANIST THROWN IN PEN FOR HARPING
A meek but persistent concert pianist was tossed in jail after repeatedly demanding a refund from Priceline.com .
In a bizarre tale of "extreme customer service," Juilliard-trained Ronnie Segev sued Priceline earlier this month alleging the corporate giant billed him for a $953 plane ticket he never purchased, then had its top lawyer call the cops after he phoned 215 times to ask for his money back.
Segev, who has played Carnegie Hall, was handcuffed and hauled out of his Hell's Kitchen apartment building early one morning in May.
The cops hit him with 215 counts of harassment — one for each call he made to Connecticut-based Priceline from January until his arrest.
"I tried to talk to them," he said, shaking his head. "Now I get the chills every time I see a Priceline commercial."
A judge later dismissed the charges, but not before Segev spent 40 hours in a Manhattan holding cell with hardened criminals who laughed at him, threatened him and tried to steal his fancy watch and sneakers.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Interesting website set up for the fictional True Vinyl Records, employer of the lead character in CBS's new show "Love Monkey", including links to actual myspace accounts for the characters on the show.
Monday, January 23, 2006
(Click image for story link.)
Sen. Patty Murray said Friday that returning contributions from Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff would "taint" the tribes.I guess she's wearing taint-proof gloves...
The state's senior senator, a Seattle Democrat, said there was nothing wrong with accepting more than $40,000 in campaign donations from out-of-state tribes represented by the disgraced lobbyist.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
In an email sent out today notifying sellers about changes to fee structures, Mr. Cobb used the word tranche where tier, or even level, would have sufficed.
First use of tranche. Note that the emailed version, quoted, differs in wording a bit from the announcement version posted on ebay:
For core insertion fees for auction-style and Fixed Price listings on eBay.com, we're again lowering the lowest tranche fee (i.e. for items with a starting price of $0.01 to $0.99) - from a quarter to twenty cents.
For final value fees for auction-style and Fixed Price listings on eBay.com, we are increasing one fee this year - the final value fee for the middle tranche, which will increase from 2.75 to 3%.
In a letter explaining to ebay sellers, the vast majority of whom don't have a finance background, Mr. Cobb threw in a term of art from the bond trading industry.
I'm guessing he either didn't have this proofed, he didn't read it, or (most likely) the people who proofread it either didn't realize how out of place tranche was, or didn't feel like they could tell Mr. Cobb that they felt it didn't belong in a mass emailing.
Either way, the letter strikes me as being written by someone who is out of touch with his customers.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
New DNA tests confirmed the guilt of a man who went to his death in Virginia's electric chair in 1992 proclaiming his innocence, the governor said Thursday.Yup. Pretty much dog bites man.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Aflatoxins are toxic metabolites produced by certain fungi in/on foods and feeds.
The occurence of aflatoxins is influenced by certain environmental factors ; hence the extent of contamination will vary with geographic location , agricultural and agronomic practices, and the susceptibility of commodities to fungal invasion during preharvest , storage, and/or processing periods.
In an experiment for a British TV documentary, a single mother spent a month drinking every night to see what it did to her body and mind.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Reminded of this by a post today on FR.
The jurisdictions that made this year's list are, ranked in order from first through sixth: Grande Valley and Gulf Coast, Texas; Cook County, Ill.; Madison County, Ill.; St. Clair County, Ill.; South Florida; and West Virginia. In addition, ATRA gave a ``dishonorable mention'' to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a series of decisions overturning tort reforms.It isn't just full of judicial hellholes, if you catch my meaning.
A leading Illinois tort reform advocate complained that having so many jurisdictions listed as hellholes is hurting the state's reputation.
``Having three of the six `hellholes' within our state is an embarrassment and a severe detriment to economic growth and development-and to the creation and attraction of private-sector expansion and jobs,'' said Edward D. Murnane, president of the Chicago-based Illinois Civil Justice League, in a statement concerning the report.