BALTIMORE HOTEL OPENING BRANCH IN DC
-- Kaitlynn Tabison, owner
of Hotel Veranda in Baltimore, had bought a location to
expand her chain to Washington DC. This location will soon
lie right outside of Chinatown, and across from the
Washington Convention Center at 999 9th St NW.
From small beginnings in 2001, Hotel Veranda became quickly
known in Baltimore for its comfortable atmosphere, friendly
staff and affordable prices.
In 2005, ownership passed from
the original owner and founder, Darien Elias, to Ms. Tabison.
When reached for comment, Ms. Tabison had this to say,
"We're sure that residents in the DC metro area and those
traveling to it will enjoy our luxurious rooms at reasonable
prices and see why we are the #1 Hotel in Baltimore."
Renovations are expected to
begin some time next month.
Area Tap Water Has Traces of Medicines -
Tests Find 6 Drugs, Caffeine
The Washington area's drinking
water contains trace amounts of six commonly used drugs that
typically turn up in wastewater and cannot be filtered out
by most treatment systems.
The pharmaceuticals -- an
anti-seizure medication, two anti-inflammatory drugs, two
kinds of antibiotics and a common disinfectant -- were found
in very small concentrations in the water supply that serves
more than 1 million people in the District, Arlington
County, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County. But
scientists say the health effects of long-term exposure to
such drugs are not known.
Pharmaceuticals, along with trace amounts of caffeine, were
found in the drinking water supplies of 24 of 28 U.S.
metropolitan areas tested. The findings were revealed as
part of the first federal research on pharmaceuticals in
water supplies, and those results are detailed in an
investigative report by the Associated Press set to be
In addition to caffeine, the drugs found in water treated by
the Washington Aqueduct include the well-known pain
medications ibuprofen and naproxen, commonly found in Aleve.
But there were also some lesser-known drugs: carbamazepine,
an anti-convulsive to reduce epileptic seizures and a mood
stabilizer for treating bipolar disorders; sulfamethoxazole,
an antibiotic that can be used for humans and animals in
treating urinary tract and other infections; and monensin,
an antibiotic typically given to cattle. In addition, the
study uncovered traces of triclocarban, a disinfectant used
in antibacterial soaps.
That the drugs were found so commonly nationwide highlights
an emerging water dilemma that the public rarely considers.
The drugs we use for ourselves and animals are being flushed
directly into wastewater, which then becomes a drinking
water source downstream. However, most wastewater and
drinking water treatment systems, including Washington's,
are incapable of removing those drugs.
And although the chemicals pose no immediate health threat
in the water, the health effects of drinking these drug
compounds over a long period is largely unstudied. Some
scientists said there is probably little human health risk;
others fear chronic exposure could alter immune responses or
interfere with adolescents' developing hormone systems.
Customers Find All Skin,
No Meat At New Vegan Strip Club
You won't find
any meat at a new spot in the U Street corridor, but you will find
plenty of flesh. Club Physique claims to be the world's first vegan
strip club - there's no meat, eggs, or dairy on the menu.
and manager, Daniel Christiansen, had this to say: "I'm not a
vegetarian, but animal cruelty is rampant in today's society, and the
best way to combat that is to change the way people think about our
While it may not be the most orthodox way
to expose people to thinking about humane treatment of animals, Daniel
says "If we can save even a few animals from pain and suffering, it's
He hopes that people will bring some green
and eat some green at his new club, which features both male and female
dancers, on separate stages. "It's vixens, not veal, and sizzle, not
steak. We put the meat on the pole, not on the plate."
Club Physique is now hiring, and soon to open on the U Street corridor
near fetish club Bound.
Local Psychologist and Musician Caught in Sex Scandal at Dark Asgard Nightclub
-- Noted Criminal
psychologist Dr. Moira Reynolds, and
local drummer Azazel Sevren
were both arrested at Dark Asgard nightclub and charged with
oral sodomy and public indecency, following an incident in
which they were caught in a sexual act in one of the booths
by the dance floor.
Several witnesses say that
Reynolds was allegedly under the table of the booth,
performing a lewd act upon Sevren, and that bouncers had to
break it up.
onlookers were taking photographs by cell phone.
The nightclub was closed for the
remainder of the evening, as the incident is in violation of
D. C. Health Codes.
A hearing is pending.
Sevren and Reynolds were both
released on bail. Reynolds has been placed on a leave of
absence from work pending the outcome of the hearing and/or
any resultant trial, and ordered to submit to impartial
mental health evaluation.
DCPD will not comment on the
particulars of the case at this time.
P. G. County Playing Catch-Up in Dealing With Gangs
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Nelson Hernandez, Washington
Star-News Staff Writers
HYATTSVILLE, MD -- Prince George's needs
to refocus its gang-prevention efforts, increase resources spent on the
problem, restructure the police department's gang unit and expand the
county's attention beyond Latino-controlled gangs, a new report on the
County Council member William A. Campos (D-Hyattsville) compiled the
report and submitted it last month to County Executive Jack B. Johnson
(D). Campos concluded the gang problem has "either increased or stayed
the same . . . but it has certainly not gotten better" since 2004, when
he served on a gang prevention task force with Montgomery County
officials. "It has become a countywide concern dealing with all gangs
and races, even though the perception and attention is that the Latin
gangs are the only ones that are causing problems in specific areas," he
In an interview, Campos said he is concerned that increased
gang-prevention efforts in neighboring jurisdictions could have the
effect of pushing gang members into Prince George's, unless the county
steps up its efforts quickly. "It's not like we're that far behind," he
said. But, the county needs to restructure its efforts "so we're not
left behind once the other jurisdictions crack down, the way they're
As part of his report, Campos studied how other police departments and
governments are attempting to combat gangs within their borders. He
praised an effort in the District that he said concentrates gang
intelligence analysis with one core group of officers, allowing
investigators to return quickly to the field to gather new clues.
In Montgomery, Campos wrote, each of the county's six police district
stations has a community services officer and a gang coordinator, who
work on the problem with a separate seven-person gang unit. The county
has at least 13 officers devoted specifically to the problem, he said.
By contrast, Prince George's has eight officers, a number increased
recently from five. "Five was not nearly enough," Campos said.
He said he hopes to get feedback on his recommendations from the
executive's office soon and plans to raise the issue in hearings on the
Centralia, Pennsylvania: Real Life "Silent Hill"
PHILADELPHIA, PA --
If you were driving north on route 61 in the
heart of the Anthracite coal region in Pennsylvania, you may have come
across a detour of 61 at the top of a hill in a community called
Ashland. Thinking nothing of it you would have followed the detour signs
that took you around some possible road construction or a bridge being
worked on. You're then reconnected with Rt. 61 again.
have followed this path in recent years with little knowledge of the on
going story of this little detour and the town that no longer is really
a town. If you had disregarded the detour signs and make the right that
61 north takes through Ashland your first clue that something isn't
right would be the abrupt end to route 61 as it once was.
Centralia, Pennsylvania (40°48'12" North, 76°20'30" West), a town in the
heart of Anthracite Country, famous for its devastating coal mine fire
that eventually forced its resident to abandon the town. The fire
started when, in anticipation of Memorial Day, firefighters attempted to
reduce trash odors located near a cemetery by lighting the town garbage
dump on fire and later extinguishing it with fire hoses. However, on May
27, 1962, the fire found its way through a hole into the labyrinth of
the abandoned coalmines.
It has burned ever since.
Firefighters battled the fire for the next two decades by flushing the
mines with water, excavating the burning material, backfilling, and
drilling again and again in an attempt to extinguish the fire or at
least contain it. They succeeded in keeping the majority of the fire in
areas of the mine outside the city until 1979 when it broke through an
underground barrier, built years earlier, and moved under the town. The
combustion released dangerous gases into residences, and caused
widespread subsidence that damaged homes, buildings and roadways.
By early 1981, the fire was sending harmful gases into homes, forcing
the federal government to install gas alarms. A 12-year-old boy dropped
into a steaming hole in the ground wrenched open by the fire's heat on
Valentine's Day as the region's congressman toured nearby.
In 1983, after multiple drillings, the collapse of parts of the town,
and approximately $40 million had been spent in an effort to extinguish
the fire, the federal government decided that any further attempts at
putting out the fire would be too large of an expense and would destroy
the majority of the town, allowing the fire to burn. Congress allocated
$42 million to aid any residents that sought to relocate. Studies done
that year found that the fire could burn for another century and spread
over 3,700 acres, and would cost $663 million to extinguish.
In 1993, the Commonwealth’s Centralia Task Force, with authorization
from the United States Office of Surface Mining, invoked condemnation
procedures to acquire the remaining properties and relocate any
remaining residents. This action was taken due to sudden and severe
subsidence and the continued release of toxic gases, particularly carbon
In 2002 the US Postal Service revoked the town's zip code, 17927. The
population today stands at about 20, down from more than 1,100 in the
Several major routes and minor roads run right through Centralia PA. Rt
54, Rt 61 and Rt 42 all pass through the town and are open to traffic.
Hundreds if not thousands pass this way daily. So entering Centralia is
legal and it is not closed off to the public. A stretch of Rt. 61 is
closed permanently due to the fire below that has cause the roadway to
collapse and open a several hundred foot long crack down the highway.
Pregnant man tells talk show host: It's a miracle
By Michael Conlon (Editing by
Peter Bohan and David Storey)
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A transgender
man who is six months pregnant said
an interview aired by Oprah Winfrey on Thursday that he always wanted to
have a child and considers it a miracle.
"It's not a male or female desire to have a child. It's a human desire,"
a thinly bearded Thomas Beatie said. "I have a very stable male
identity," he added, saying that pregnancy neither defines him nor makes
him feel feminine.
Beatie, 34, who lives in Oregon, was born a woman but decided to become
10 years ago. Originally Tracy Lagondino, he began taking testosterone
treatments and had breast surgery to remove glands and flatten his
chest. "I opted not to do anything with my reproductive organs because I
wanted to have a child one day," he told the talk show host. Beatie's
wife Nancy said she inseminated him with a syringe using sperm purchased
from a bank. Now, he said, his size 32 jeans are getting a bit tight and
his shirts are a bit stretched. He is currently 24 weeks pregnant.
Nancy, to whom he has been married for five years and who has two grown
daughters by a previous marriage, also appeared on the show, saying the
couple's roles will not change once the baby is born. "He's going to be
the father and I'm going to be the mother," she said. Their marriage is
legal and he is recognized under state law as a man.
couple was shown on video provided by People Magazine, which
collaborated with Winfrey on the show, showing the room that will be the
baby's nursery. Beatie said the little girl was going to be "daddy's
The couple was also filmed in their hometown of Bend, Oregon, where he
underwent an ultrasound showing the baby in his womb. "I can't believe
it. I can't believe she's inside me," Beatie said while watching the
ultrasound image. "We see her as our little miracle."
His obstetrician, Dr. Kimberly James, who practices in the Oregon town,
told Winfrey, "This is a normal pregnancy." She said Beatie stopped
taking testosterone two years ago and his levels of the hormone are
normal. "This baby is totally healthy," she said. "This is what I
consider a normal pregnancy."
The couple said they had been turned down by a number of other doctors
before James agreed to take him as a patient. The couple said an earlier
attempt at pregnancy failed when he developed a tubal pregnancy,
resulting in surgery that removed his Fallopian tubes.
The couple said they decided to go public with the pregnancy because
they wanted to control the way the news got out. "We're just going to
have the baby now," Nancy said. "If we have to, we'll go hide."
The couple runs a small business in Bend and has some savings, she said.
In addition, Beatie is working on a book about his childhood, his
mother's suicide and his life growing in Hawaii where, as a girl, he was
a teen beauty pageant contestant and earned a martial arts black belt.
Winfrey called the development "a new definition of what diversity means
Cemetery full, mayor tells locals not to
France (Reuters) - The mayor of a village in southwest
France has threatened residents with severe punishment if
they die, because there is no room left in the overcrowded
cemetery to bury them.
In an ordinance posted in the council offices, Mayor Gerard
Lalanne told the 260 residents of the village of Sarpourenx
that "all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and
wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying
in the parish."
It added: "Offenders will be severely punished."
The mayor said he was forced to take drastic action after an
administrative court in the nearby town of Pau ruled in
January that the acquisition of adjoining private land to
extend the cemetery would not be justified.
Lalanne, who celebrated his 70th birthday on Wednesday and
is standing for election to a seventh term in this month's
local elections, said he was sorry that there had not been a
positive outcome to the dilemma.
"It may be a laughing matter for some, but not for me," he
Lesbian vampire jailed for sex killing
PERTH, AUSTRALIA -- A lesbian member of a
blood-drinking vampire cult and her lover have been
sentenced to life in
prison for the sexually-motivated murder of their housemate.
Jessica Stasinowsky, 21, and Valerie Parashumti, 19, pleaded
guilty to bludgeoning 16-year-old Stacey Mitchell to death
with a concrete block in 2006 because she was "annoying",
the Australian Associated Press reported.
Judge Peter Blaxell said the murder, in Perth, Western
Australia, was "sexually perverse" and "evil", after the
court was told the two lesbian lovers became aroused as they
battered the teenage girl and then kissed while standing
over her body as she lay dying.
"You have each had more than a year in custody to reflect
upon the evilness of your crime, yet you still lack remorse
and obviously place no value on the sanctity of human life,"
Mr Blaxell said in handing down the life sentences.
"There is also the added problem that you each enjoy being
sexually aroused by the infliction of violence," he said.
When Stacey moved into a house the lovers were sharing, Stasinowsky immediately hated her because she thought the
teenager was flirting with her lover, the court heard.
Parashumti felt the need to prove that Stacey meant nothing
to her, so she and Stasinowsky decided to kill her.
day of the murder, the trio drank whiskey in the kitchen and
Stacey took tablets which made her drowsy. Parashumti crept
up behind Stacey and started hitting her on the head with a
concrete slab, while Stasinowsky took off a dog chain belt
and began to strangle her.
Stacey took at least 45 minutes to die, but Stasinowsky
later told a prison officer she wished it had lasted longer.
"Even more appalling are your admissions to the effect that
at the time of the murder you were each sexually excited by
the violence of the event," said Judge Blaxell.
The killers made a mobile phone video of the murder scene,
laughing and mocking their victim, and then dumped her body
upside down in a garbage bin in a back shed. A psychologist
found Parashumti, who drank blood as part of a vampire
subculture, had very strong sexual sadistic tendencies and
was sexually aroused by physical torture and violence, a
condition that Psychologists often refer to as Renfield's
syndrome, traditionally known as clinical vampirism.
Vatican lists "new sins," including
CITY (Reuters) - Thou shall not pollute the Earth. Thou
genetic manipulation. Modern times bring with
them modern sins. So the Vatican has told the faithful that
they should be aware of "new" sins such as causing
The guidance came at the weekend when Archbishop Gianfranco
Girotti, the Vatican's number two man in the sometimes murky
area of sins and penance, spoke of modern evils.
Asked what he believed were today's "new sins," he told the
Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that the greatest
danger zone for the modern soul was the largely uncharted
world of bioethics.
"(Within bioethics) there are areas where we absolutely must
denounce some violations of the fundamental rights of human
nature through experiments and genetic manipulation whose
outcome is difficult to predict and control," he said.
The Vatican opposes stem cell research that involves
destruction of embryos and has warned against the prospect
of human cloning.
Girotti, in an interview headlined "New Forms of Social
Sin," also listed "ecological" offences as modern evils.
In recent months, Pope Benedict has made several strong
appeals for the protection of the environment, saying issues
such as climate change had become gravely important for the
entire human race.
From regular columnist
Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I
wonder where the gossip is? Welcome back, my flowery petals.
Kitty has to put on her serious face for a
Two things, so listen up.
One, we are giving a moment of respect to
one of the last of the Old School Hollywood larger-than-lifes, Charleton
Heston. They don't make 'em like Chuck anymore.
And two. People, seriously, please, what is with the hate mail for Loki's fiancée,
Felicity? We have heard terrible, naughty, nasty stories about some
of the goings on since their Halloween engagement was announced, and now
enough is enough. We make great sport of Loki's antics in my
column, including his fiancée. Yes, yes, I have called her Barista and
Barrister Barbie, but I assure you we are all on good terms and
Kitty does not approve of your hateful attacks. I denounce you. No,
really. Knock it off. It borders on stalking.
With that out of the way, back to more
We're giving Loki a break this time, in
exchange for an upcoming exclusive interview. More to come!
And speaking of more to come... What on
earth has come over noted psychologist Moira Reynolds? (We know WHO...)
Speaking of tawdry celebs, Lindsay Lohan and
Calum Best have quite the sex
scandal going. It was only a matter of time until Lindsay released one
of these. I have been counting down the days…. Okay not really, but I
knew it was coming. There is an image that has been leaked of a girl
that has the exact appearance of Lindsay Lohan. The girl in the still
image is giving fellatio to the man, who can't be clearly seen.
Apparently, Calum has been trying to sell this sex tape which by the
looks of it was shot on the shoddiest camera phone on the market. Images
were sent to his friends who then sent it to other friends, who sent it
to even more people and now has made its way onto the internet.
Trump is trying to ignore the fact that he had a 17 year old girl
working for him at his party. Now, its not a big deal to have someone
thats 17 work for you but when they are topless and drinking, then you
have a major problem. Channell Elaine Hallet was working at the Trump
Vodka Super Bowl Party at the end of January. Donald Trump has called
the woman in question, Chanell Elaine Hallett, a publicity whore. He
also claims the 17 year old crashed his party.
My job here is done for now. I must go wash
my hands. Buh-bye!