Monday, March 31, 2014
Thursday, March 27, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- In January, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie became mired in scandal when revelations emerged that top aides in his administration orchestrated the politically motivated sabotage of the George Washington Bridge last September. Christie issued a brief public apology after the news broke, followed by two hours of self-indulgent, self-pitying and, at times, passive-aggressive assurances that he was “a very sad person.” Emails published by the Bergen Record presented indisputable evidence that Christie’s top staffers and allies plotted to create four days of lane closures on the bustling connector between New Jersey and New York. Christie fired those responsible and denied any involvement in the incident. But nearly four months later, the dark cloud that rained ruin over his career continues to show no signs of dissipating. On Thursday, the embattled governor and former GOP presidential contender announced that he had commissioned an internal investigation into his possible abetting of “Bridgegate,” which ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Monday, March 24, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- On Monday, the United States and its allies opted to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his annexation of Crimea by ousting him from the Group of 8. The decision to expel Putin from this exclusive club of power players came amid increasing tensions with Russia’s continuing aggression against Ukraine, a crisis that came to its head last month. President Obama and several of the world’s leading economic superpowers banded together in a closed-door meeting during a nuclear security summit to plan their collective stance against Moscow. While they stopped short of imposing sanctions, world leaders demonstrated the gravity and breadth of their displeasure with Russia’s military mobilization to the Crimean Peninsula by unfriending Putin from their Facebook pages.
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- A 38-year-old Massachusetts man was summoned before a judge Friday and ordered to stay away from the Rhode Island vacation home of singer Taylor Swift. Police in the area said the suspect ignored several warnings to desist from trespassing on the property. According to reports released by authorities in Westerly, the perpetrator used his truck to block Swift’s driveway on December 9. A neighbor phoned the police to alert them of the intrusion but stated that in the 30 minutes leading up to their arrival, Swift and the man dated briefly. He was escorted off the property immediately following the dissolution of the relationship. He returned December 21 and again dated Swift for about an hour, after which time she ended the affair. The man refused to leave and struggled with police. A Wakefield District Court judge imposed a no contact order and released the man on his own recognizance last week. However, on Monday the suspect filed a suit against Swift alleging unpaid royalties for the two songs she composed as a result of their failed romance.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Sad news in the entertainment world today as the Westboro Baptist Church confirmed the death of brilliant and successful long-form satirist Rev. Fred Phelps, who passed away at the age of 84. Most people knew Phelps as the ferociously anti-gay preacher who drew almost universal scorn for staging protests of military and celebrity funerals as a way of demonstrating God’s wrath for the world’s tolerance of homosexuality. He was remembered fondly by other long-form satirists such as Stephen Colbert, Kanye West, Alan Moore and Andy Kaufman, the pioneer of the genre, for his dedication and commitment to the craft. Speaking from his dressing room in character as Tony Clifton, an insulting lounge singer, Kaufman described Phelps as “the best of us. Nobody, myself included, managed to stay in character so passionately and for so long.”
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Toyota Motor Corp. revealed on Wednesday that it may take a step back from engineering automobiles to revive the slot car racing craze that swept the 1970s and 1980s, signaling a radical shift in its business model. Toyota has been ordered to pay a landmark $1.2 billion to conclude the Justice Department’s criminal probe into safety issues that began in 2009. Toyota executives expressed disappointment with the ruling, but said they hope to recover some of their losses with the release of a new toy called “Prius Pedal Force Robot Happy Lightning DRIVE!”
Monday, March 17, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- On March 13, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg phoned President Obama to voice his extreme displeasure over the U.S. government’s domestic spying programs, which were revealed to the public through leaks from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. “The President spoke last night with Mark Zuckerberg about recent reports in the press about alleged activities by the U.S. intelligence community,” a White House official said Friday. But by Monday, the 29-year-old tech billionaire showed no signs of being placated. Zuckerberg told reporters the NSA could monopolize all social media companies within days of launching its own network. He urged the Justice Department to file antitrust charges against the NSA for unfair competition.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Donkeydell Park, tucked away beneath a cover of massive eucalyptus trees behind the neighborhoods in the Andover tract, is one of Bennington Vale's oldest fixtures, having had its sod laid before construction on the first homes began in the late 1960s. While most residents in San Narciso visit the county's sprawling recreational areas to swim, play tennis, exercise, ride horses or just enjoy a warm day in a beautiful setting, the teens of Bennington Vale seldom stray from Donkeydell Park. Despite its unfortunate name -- the origins of which have remained a source of dispute and mystery for decades -- and its deceptively dingy appearance, Donkeydell endures as a secret oasis to those who seek it out. The field is a rolling swath of green, the length of two football fields. Father back, several tree houses, a wooden fort and a concrete pit that might have been intended for a pool can be found. Donkeydell also has a much richer history for the community's high schoolers, most of whom lost their virginity amid the squalid jungle gyms. But now, city officials want to close it down. Local teens say they won't let that happen without a fight.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The desperate search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 has widened since its disappearance four days ago. The Boeing 777 was carrying 239 passengers and vanished from radar without any signs of trouble from the cockpit. Authorities said they were ruling nothing out, with speculation ranging from pilot error and technical malfunctions to hijacking and terrorism. On Tuesday, Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble announced at an international press conference that the agency had identified two of the men aboard as Iranian nationals traveling on stolen passports. Although no terror organization has claimed responsibility for the event, senior al Qaeda executives hinted at some involvement but fell short of admitting their group’s hand in the crash because of “an embarrassing track record of aviation safety,” due to “substandard pilot training programs.”
Sunday, March 9, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- According to health researchers, today marks one of the most dangerous days of the year; and the switch to daylight savings time bears the blame. When the clocks are pushed ahead by an hour, they assert, one-fifth of the world's population suffers "acute effects" as a result of waking 60 minutes earlier to prepare for work or school. Among the perils created by springing forward are increased traffic accidents, a noticeable increase in the incidence of intense myocardial infarctions, a marked rise in the prevalence of workplace violence, and a greater number of suicide attempts. But mental health professionals in San Narciso County, Calif., discovered a more insidious and horrifying byproduct of daylight savings time this weekend -- a population of now homeless people who have been stuck living in a single hour for the past 27 years.
Friday, March 7, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Obesity in the United States is considered by many health experts to have reached epidemic proportions. Immediately after President Obama took office, First Lady Michelle Obama launched an aggressive campaign to promote exercise, nutrition and healthy habits for young children. As of today, 10,000 child care centers across the nation have adopted Mrs. Obama’s program. Her progress, according to federal health authorities, has also inspired parents to buy healthier, lower-calorie foods for their children. The success of these efforts is historic and undeniable -- the CDC reported last week an unprecedented 43-percent drop in obesity rates among two- to five-year-old children. But Republican lawmakers warn that this fitness agenda is a dangerous aspect of Mr. Obama’s socialist healthcare reform, intended to cripple the nation’s thriving health insurance market and destroy the economy.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- A larger-than-usual gathering of Catholics celebrating Ash Wednesday in Bennington Vale caused confusion and havoc among the community's predominantly white Republican Evangelical Protestant population. According to Mike Fallopian, Yoyodyne executive and chairman of the conservative Peter Pinguid Society, the problem began with an incident at the area Whole Foods. "At first I wasn't sure what I was seeing," Fallopian explained. "These three women were standing in line with dirt smeared all over their faces. Normally, when you politely tell a person she has something on her face, she discreetly wipes it away and thanks you. Not so much on Ash Wednesday, it turns out."
Monday, March 3, 2014
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Pope Francis on Sunday appealed to Catholics around the world for their prayers as the situation in the Ukraine worsened, which also triggered an increase in tensions between the United States and Russia as already tenuous relations began unraveling over Putin’s threat of military action in the Crimean Peninsula. Speaking to a crowd of thousands from his apartment window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, the impassioned pontiff shocked his audience with an expletive laden sermon, calling the situation in Ukraine a “f**king tragedy” and urging world leaders to work toward a “peaceful f**king resolution, for f**k’s sake.”