I'm healing, albeit more slowly than I would like. I'm hoping to be back to normal (whatever that is) soon.
On to the news.
-- [Charles] The refinery fire in Richmond has affected thousands of people, and many of them ventured out to the town hall meeting where Chevron officials were present. Many crowded the stage, asking questions and paying for doctor's visits, the effect on their families and their animals, and what can be done to fix the warning systems. Almost a thousand people ended up going to the hospital due to the fire.
-- [Kate] Chicago is riled up over the use of TIF funds to develop a hotel while schools around the new hotel are losing money and cutting budgets due to lack of TIF funding. Many are upset over an obvious conflict of interest, as one of the School Board members is associated with the Hyatt Hotels. (She's either an owner or somehow employed with the company receiving the funds, it isn't clear from the article.) Occupy is heavily involved with the protests, but are not the majority in the activists. In the first link, you can read the article describing what is going on, and why. The second link is a video of the protest. The third is a link to the Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign, which shows dates, times, locations, and other information concerning the events.
-- A man has been charged with being an accessory after the fact in the murder of a man at the Occupy Oakland encampment last year, and has been ordered to stand trial. He will also be standing trial for sexually assaulting a woman five days after the murder. He could not be charged with murder because of a lack of proof of knowledge. He had given his gun to the man who actually committed the murder, but prosecutors could not determine he knew the man would kill. The sexual assault charges are the most serious he faces, and may result in prison time from 25 years to life. To read more about the attacks and the charges, follow the link.
-- In Las Vegas, drivers called 911 with increasing frequency after billboards were altered to read things like "Dying for Work" and "Hope you're happy Wall St." It wasn't the billboards themselves that made drivers call in, but rather the mannequins hanging from them in an attempt to create the look of a suicide. The companies that owned the billboards worked quickly to remove the dummies, worried that traffic problems or accidents could result from the distraction. It is not yet known who put the signs and dummies up, but the companies want to find out, calling it "vandalism." It is unclear whether any crimes other than vandalism have been committed.
This last one amazes me. In a bad way. Are you freaking kidding me?!
-- An Occupy Easton protester has been charged with attempted bank robbery for carrying two signs, one of which read "You're Being Robbed." The other sign read "Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob a country." The signs were directed towards the public being robbed by banks, but when the man stepped inside a Bank of America, a teller believed he was robbing them, pressing the panic button. The man faces two charges of Attempted Bank Robbery and Terroristic Threatening and one charge of disorderly conduct. Find out more here, and learn what you can do to help. (This is so stupid I can't even see straight. I just... can't... UGH.)
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.