Sick of all those crack whores tearing up your neighborhood? Well, you’re not alone. Apparently fed up with the influx of prostitutes and drug dealers hawking their wares day and night outside their home, a couple in Flint, Michigan has posted a cardboard sign (pictured above) declaring their neighborhood a “No Ho Zone.”
Sherrie Lynn and Russ Palmer posted the sign outside their house “after watching drug dealers and prostitutes doing business on the street and finding hypodermic needles and condoms left in their yard.” Sherrie Lynn, “a budding artist,” made the sign, which features drawings of eyes watching the street and a dog chasing a prostitute, after her husband “got the idea…after seeing a report on the ozone level.”
It remains unclear whether the sign has, in fact, deterred any prostitutes, although the Palmers claim that since the sign went up in May, “there has been less activity on the streets,” noting further, “The area’s coming up to what we want. We’re just waiting it out.”
While real estate experts have not agreed on exactly how long that wait may be, they have commended the Palmers for stumbling upon that long-held and little-known secret of real estate developers and city planners worldwide: Nothing ups your property value like a handwritten cardboard sign hung outside your house with “No Ho Zone” scrawled above a picture of a stray dog chasing a hooker. Well played. [MLive]
If recent reports in the legal media are to be believed, it’s safe to assume that lady lawyer Catriona Collins doesn’t mind being called a lot of things, but she absolutely draws the line at “sweet.”
In a sex discrimination law suit that Collins filed in New York against her former firm, she alleged that the firm’s managing partner, Martin Pavane, remarked that she “wasn’t sweet enough” in dealing with a paralegal—and a federal judge has just ruled that the remark could indeed be “construed as discriminatory animus” supporting her suit. As Judge Kimba Wood explained, “A reasonable jury could find that Pavane’s statement indicates that (1) he holds stereotypes that women should be ‘sweet’ and non-aggressive, and (2) that Pavane believed that plaintiff did not fit this stereotype.”
When reached for comment, leading feminist legal scholars disagreed on the merits of Collins’s case. They did, however, wish to extend to her their collective thanks for working so hard to forge ahead and create a new world for the women lawyers of the future. A world where female attorneys everywhere finally won’t be discouraged from acting every bit like the aggressive, abusive, decidedly non-sweet douchebags that their male counterparts have been for years. Now that’s the sound of progress. [ABA Journal]
In a startling piece of investigative journalism, the ABA Journal is reporting that associates who get paid the most are apparently the happiest with their compensation. The article explains that, according to a recent survey, “midlevel associates are most satisfied with their compensation at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which paid huge bonuses last winter ranging from $175,000 to $215,000. That compares to median New York bonuses of $55,000 to $80,000.”
The article also busts wide open that well-guarded law-school secret that “interviewing students have little information to distinguish law firms and rely on compensation as a guide.” The madness doesn’t end with law school, apparently. “As associates became dissatisfied with the grind of law firm life,” the article reports, “bonuses or small differences in salary take on an outsize psychological importance.” And we thought they were just in it for the love of the game. Go figure. [ABA Journal]
Photo by Rob Lee
In reports as salacious as they are shocking, the media is reporting that the leader of a “Girls Gone Wild” film crew has been revealed to be a pervert douchebag. Matthew O’Sullivan, 37, was brought up on charges this week for sexually assualting a 20-year-old girl he met at a Long Island bar where his crew was filming a wet T-shirt contest. O’Sullivan apparently asked the young woman—who was not a contestant—to “join him for a bawdy bus bash in the bar’s parking lot at 2 a.m.” after the shoot was done.
Officials with the Suffolk county D.A.’s office have explained that the young woman boarded the bus “just to see what was going on,” at which point she and O’Sullivan “started touching and kissing, which she had no problem with.” Things, however, “took a tawdry turn when he allegedly pulled down her shorts and underwear as he put his hands around her throat to keep her from running out.” The young woman was able to break free and call the authorities, who subsequently arrested O’Sullivan and charged him with a criminal sexual act in the first degree.
Legal pundits following the case have expressed their support for the victim’s fight, though they have offered a word of advice for ladies who may find themselves in similar situations in the near future: When a camera guy for “Girls Gone Wild” asks you to hang out with him on a party-bus in the parking lot of a bar in the middle of the night after a wet T-shirt contest, chances are he doesn’t have your best interests necessarily at heart. Just something to think about. [NY Post]
Continuing the long tradition of revered Olympians who seem to spend more time on the tabloid stands than on the medal stands, Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou is now suing the International Olympic Committee for failing to pass her a gold medal won by disgraced athlete Marion Jones in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Thanou won the silver medal in the 100 meters at Sydney, finishing second behind Jones—who was later stripped of the gold after confessing to using steroids. Despite Thanou’s repeated requests, the Committee has still not handed over the gold medal she believes is rightfully hers. One possible reason: Soon after winning the silver, Thanou herself was busted for juicing and was banned from competition for two years.
Thanou returned to international competition in 2007 and has qualified for the Beijing Games, although an Olympic Disciplinary Committee still must meet to determine her eligibility to compete. We certainly can’t predict how the Committee will rule, but we can confidently say that Thanou would be wise to remember, like any athlete seeking Olympic glory: If at first you don’t succeed…well, maybe just stop trying in this case, actually. Sorry. It’s just that whole steroid thing. Olympic Committees apparently have a hard time getting over that one. [Sports Illustrated]
Wesley Snipes just can’t catch a break these days. On top of being handed a three-year prison sentence earlier this year for willfully failing to file his income taxes, the actor is now being told that he must reimburse the government about $217,000 for prosecution costs related to his conviction. Snipes, who is in the process of appealing his prison sentence, has apparently “objected to the cost.”
While we agree that having to pay for the people who sent to you prison is indeed objectionable, we can’t help but ask the “Blade” star: How’d refusing to pay government-mandated fees work out for you last time, guy? Last we checked, you’re trying to convince a court to let you out of having to go to prison for three years—maybe just stop complaining, pony up the 200K, and pray to God that you get some brownie points with the judge. [HuffPost]
Federal authorities investigating the recent suicide of Bruce Ivins, the former Army scientist thought to be responsible for several deaths related to anthrax poisonings in the weeks following 9/11, have discovered a particular and decades-long obsession of Ivins, which may shed some light on the pending investigation.
The apparent object of the mad scientist’s intense obsession? The inner lives of famous serial killers? Nope. Obscure German fetish porn? No, the actual obsession was far more sinister: Kappa Kappa Gamma, a sorority with chapters at colleges across the United States—including one in Princeton, New Jersey, about 100 yards from the mailbox where Ivins is believed to have mailed deadly anthrax-laced letters to unsuspecting victims. This, according to U.S. officials, “could explain one of the biggest mysteries in the case: why the anthrax was mailed from Princeton, New Jersey, 195 miles from the lab it’s believed to have been smuggled from.”
It’s unclear why exactly Ivins harbored the obsession with this particular branch of lady Greeks, but authorities have explained that he “was obsessed with Kappa Kappa Gamma, going back as far as his own college days at the University of Cincinnati when he apparently was rebuffed by a woman in the sorority.”
There you have it. After millions of dollars and years of investigation, the motivation for Ivins’s becoming a homicidal lunatic driven to terrorize innocent victims turns out to be pretty simple—and pretty shared by creepy, obsessive social deviants the world over: being blown off by some sorority girl back in college. Go know. [AP via Yahoo News]
Local media are reporting that earlier this week, in an attempt to test the boundaries of his own criminal ineptitude, a man in Salinas, California stole a truck, only to be carjacked at gunpoint later that day. The Salinas authorities explained that a man named Edward Bishop told police that he stole a pick-up truck late Saturday night, and while idling in the truck the next day at—where else?—a 7-11, a carjacker hopped in, aimed a gun at Bishop and ordered him to ride around. Apparently, it was a short ride, because the truck ran out of gas, and even though the carjacker “ordered Bishop to push the truck,” Bishop ran away and—yes—called the police. Sources with the Salinas police have been unable to confirm whether Bishop, a professed long-time fan of the Olsen twins, demanded immunity before reporting the crime. [The Californian]
Reports are circulating throughout the media that mogul-waif Mary-Kate Olsen has demanded a promise of prosecutorial immunity from federal investigators before answering their questions about how Heath Ledger may have procured two intense painkillers that contributed to his accidental overdose death earlier this year. Investigators with the DEA have confirmed the sources for “all the drugs Ledger ingested, except for one, the powerful painkiller OxyContin, which they believe was obtained illegally.”
Mary-Kate has vehemently denied the rumors that she may have been involved with any of the drugs that contributed to Ledger’s death. As her attorney, Michael C. Miller, commented yesterday, “Despite tabloid speculation, Mary-Kate Olsen had nothing whatsoever to do with the drugs found in Heath Ledger’s home or his body, and she does not know where he obtained them.”
Like all legal pundits following the case, we have to say, we get where the girl’s coming from. We understand that the last thing she needs is to find herself staring down some sort of involuntary manslaughter charge for admitting that she passed along a couple of happy pills from her friendly neighborhood psychopharmacologist to a friend who later used them to overdose. That said, while we’re not quite criminologists, it does seem like the quickest way to make the DEA, no less the general public, suspect that you may, may have given someone illegal drugs, is to ask for immunity before being questioned about whether you…gave someone illegal drugs. Just a thought. [ABC News]
The international media has recently reported that religious police in Saudi Arabia have imposed a ban on the sale of cats and dogs, as well as on the act of walking them in public, because of their apparent panty-melting effect on the ladies of Saudi Arabia. Othman al-Othman, head of the so-called Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh explained that the police were enforcing the ban in order to put an end to “the rising phenomenon of men using cats and dogs to make passes at women and pester families.”
When reached for comment, sources inside the Commission were unable to confirm whether the proposed bans on the use of flattering lighting and other people’s babies in public parks will be also put into effect any time soon. [AP via Yahoo News]
Photo by avelli