St. Elizabeth's avoids legal action
NORTHEAST -- The
federal government will get new authority to regulate D.C.’s troubled
mental institution under a settlement that avoids federal litigation
over massive problems in the hospital’s billing and accounting
departments, The Examiner has learned.
St. Elizabeth's hospital will sign a “corporate
integrity agreement” with the Department of Health and Human Services to
avoid costly federal legal action over allegations of fraud in the
hospital’s Medicare billing, according to sources with intimate
knowledge of the negotiations.
The deal will give federal authorities broad power
to regulate, monitor and if necessary, restructure St. E’s, which only
emerged from a court-imposed receivership in 2002.
The Department of Justice began investigating the
hospital in June 2007, on suspicions that the hospital was improperly
billing the federal government for patient care.
While that investigation was pending, a team of
inspectors from Justice came to St. E’s in February to check into
allegations that the hospital was violating its wards’ civil rights. The
integrity agreement may defuse both investigations, according to one
source familiar with the case.
Sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the
negotiations are supposed to be secret.
D.C. was led in negotiations by its acting attorney
general, Peter Nickles, who once was the lead attorney in a massive
class-action suit alleging that St. E’s was failing its patients.
Critics say that the hospital is still dangerous
for its wards. According to a January report released by University
Legal Services, a nonprofit advocacy group, 11 patients died at St. E’s
last year — the same as had died in the previous two years combined. The
report’s authors concluded that the quality of patient care had declined
under Mayor Adrian Fenty’s watch.
ULS’ report, “Patients in
Peril,” was filed as part of ongoing litigation over St. E’s care.
Models Needed for Local Urban Fashion Show
Warren, a 23 year old student at both GWU and Howard Universities, will be
holding a fashion show on Saturday, May 10th at GWU.
Mr. Warren will be
showcasing his urban fashion line, "Warren Wear." "We're ready to put DC on the
map." says Warren, "You got your Sean Johns and Rockawears, but Warren
Wear is ready to take over the whole industry! We're gonna keep it real
close to the street, yet real classy as well."
Models are asked to be between
the ages of 18 and 25, of either gender, and to be in reasonable
physical shape. Those interested in modeling for Mr. Warren may contact
him at *cell phone number here* or *college email address here.*
[ST NOTE OOC: Contact Trenton for more info.]
scouts will be on hand to review model portfolios. Models will be
monetarily compensated for their time and participation.
THE DEAD WILL WALK DC ON MAY 3rd
it... shoot it in the head, man!"
classic line from George A. Romero's 1978 cult zombie flick "Dawn of the
Dead" may ring true on May 3rd, 2008, as "the dead will rise" at GWU,
when a Zombie Lurch in honor of the release of George A. Romero's new
zombie film, "Diary of the Dead" will take place.
A zombie lurch is when people gather en masse,
dressed as zombies, and march through parts of the city, such as shopping
malls, or doing a pub crawl along a pre-selected route.
The lurch organizer, Vanessa Goldwyn, a 25 year old GWU student,
commented, "At first, this lurch wasn't going to see
the light of day, due to the original organizer having personal problems
and having to fold the lurch all together, until I stepped up. We're not
only doing this for Romero's movie, but for him!"
Goldwyn also noted that the lurch is one
week after the 25th anniversary of the debut of Michael Jackson's
"Thriller" video. The Weinstein Company and Genius Entertainment have
set 20 May 2008 as the release date for the Diary of the Dead DVD, as a
simultaneous release with a new edition of Night of the Living Dead.
Participants are encouraged to
bring their best zombie outfit, and their appetite for brains and human
flesh, to GWU at 3PM, Saturday May 3rd, 2008. For more information, you
may reach Ms. Goldwyn by e-mail at:
[ST Note OOC: this is a real address maintained by the player and
should actually be used to respond]
Horror Writer moves to DC and brings his monsters
MIDTOWN - Packing up boxes wasn't all horror writer Janko
Karovic had to worry about
when he moved to D.C earlier this month. His
novels, which tell the story of an ancient vampire named Edward
Aberdeen, who masquerades as a private detective in modern times,
has moved from city to city to work on difference cases, and rumor has
it the next book will take place in Washington D.C., so Karovic had to
give his anti-hero a reason to come.
Looking for inspiration for the new story and
remembering pictures of D.C. from books at home when he was still in his native
land of Vukovar, Croatia, Karovic decided it was time for a change
of scenery for him and Aberdeen.
Karovic moved to the United
States a few years ago after serving in the Croatian army and being
honorable discharged when his time of service was up. He attended a
community college in New York State, where he says he was inspired to start
writing the first of his now seven novels about Aberdeen and his various cases.
Vivid descriptions of
violence and sex have cornered him an impressive fan base among the
young and old alike. Critics have compared him to Laurell K. Hamilton
and Anne Rice, though Karovic modestly says he is not quite that
will be doing book signings at local Borders and Barnes and Nobles
bookstores for his last released book, Children of a Silent God, this
Fallen Star hopes to rise again
When her career ended five years ago, Annika Sandburg who
was once a
rising star in the classical music and opera circuit closed the book on
that part of her life and she moved into a small house in California
forgetting about the lights and applause.
But now the Minnesota native has moved to D.C. and
hopes to come back to the stage.
“It just seems to be the natural path my life now
is moving to,” she said when we spoke to her about her plans to return
to the stage from her new home in the Georgetown area that she shares
with her boyfriend, none other than
Azazel Sevren of recent Dark
Asgard fame and their pet cat, Andrew.
Sitting on her back patio, Sandburg, who
still looks much as she did as a young teenager on the stage fragile
graceful and polite, spoke to us about her plans for the future.
“Right now I am working on some
music with Loki, and just trying to get into the swing of things again
with performing,” she said, adding, “in between planning a summer wedding.”
Ms. Sandburg says right
now nothing official performance wise is lined up but we at the Star
will be the first to know when something concrete is set up. She is
hoping to release a new album, the first in over eight years, by the end
of this year.
D.C. police step up presence in response to neighborhood
MIDTOWN -- Metropolitan Police will double the
number of officers in a section of Northeast Washington that
has been hit with five killings in four days, authorities
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said
that in the last few weeks police have been working extra
overtime hours to address the violence. Now she will add
more patrols and deploy drug- and gun-recovery units in the
vicinity of the Trinidad neighborhood. Police will work
double shifts and desk officers will walk the beat.
"I am concerned
about the rise of violent crime in the past week," Lanier
said in a statement. "We will use every resource available
to address this issue."
The extra officers will interact with
residents to develop leads and help prevent more crimes,
said Commander Lamar Greene, head of the Fifth Police
District that has been the site of the recent killings.
sure how long the increased patrols would continue, but the
police will be evaluating the progress weekly, checking to
see if the violence subsides or whether significant arrests
do not have a definite ending date," Greene said.
Five people have
been killed in the area since Monday, police said. Two of
the killings might be connected to years-old disputes,
Twenty-nine-year-old William Foster, of the 100 block of U
street, was gunned down in broad daylight at North Capitol
and R Street. The next day, around the same time, Gary
Oliver English, of the 2000 block of Lincoln Road Northeast,
was killed with multiple gunshot wounds.
On Wednesday, the
partially clad body Tonette Gail Ferguson, 38, was found in
an alley in the 1600 block of Montello Avenue. She died of
apparent blunt-force trauma to the head, police said.
Citywide there have
been 42 homicides, down from 47 at this time last year.
in patrols came two weeks after D.C. Councilman Harry Thomas
Jr. called for a crime emergency in the neighborhood to
quell the spate of violence that has troubled the community
over the last several months.
Club shooting victim dies; The Meeting Place temporarily closed
NORTHWEST -- D.C. Police Chief Cathy
Lanier ordered an emergency
closure of a jazz and go-go club
near the Farragut North Metro Station on Thursday after a
30-year-old Northeast D.C. man was shot and killed Wednesday
The victim left The Meeting Place at 1707 L St. NW
at about 10:20 p.m. and was waiting near his car when he was
shot by an unidentified gunman. He was taken to the George
Washington University Hospital where he died of multiple
gunshot wounds to the body, police said.
The victim was
identified as 30-year-old Edward Badenbaugh, of the 300
block of 63rd Street Northeast.
Lanier ordered a 96-hour
closure of the business while the investigation continues,
police said. This is the third time in about five months
that she has used her emergency powers to shut down a
An initial investigation by the Alcoholic
Beverage Regulation Administration found no sign of an
altercation inside the bar that might have spilled outside.
The club was hosting a birthday party with entertainment
from the band E-U, featuring Sugar Bear.
the local advisory neighborhood commissioner, said The
Meeting Place was not on his radar as a bar to keep an eye
“Something like this can happen,” he said. “This came
as a total shock.”
Violent crime in Farragut North is
rare but not unprecedented. In the past 60 days, within
1,000 feet of 17th and L streets, there were eight violent
crimes, according to police statistics — four robberies
excluding a gun, three assaults with a deadly weapon
excluding a gun, and one assault with a gun.
39 property crimes during that same period: 25 thefts, two
burglaries, nine thefts from auto and three stolen cars.
dance instructor missing
-- Local dance instructor Kayla Brown has been reported missing
by her family this week. Her father called DCPD Missing
Persons Department when his daughter stopped answering her
phone last week.
"Kayla has always been prone to flights of fancy but not for
this long of a period of time." her father said.
Ms. Brown was last seen in the Georgetown area and was
rumored to be looking for space to host dance
Anyone with information on her whereabouts are
asked to call DCPD at (202) 555-1711.
Garment Rules Used to Control Women's
Individuality, Former Cult Members Say
When the women of a
Texas polygamist cult emerged from self-imposed seclusion into the media
spotlight this week, it looked to some outsiders as if they had stepped
out of another century.
Wearing heavy pastel-colored dresses buttoned up to the neck and
reaching down to the ground, their hair pinned up into tight, tall
waves, the women congregated on the porches of the sprawling Yearning
for Zion Ranch and pleaded for the return of their children, 314 of whom
are in state custody while authorities investigate allegations of child
appearance garnered nearly as much attention as their tears and meek
fence isn't the only cage for the women of polygamy," Rebecca Walsh, a
columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune wrote in an article this week
critical of the sect. "There is also a prison uniform: yards of pink and
blue fabric, inches and inches of hair, and ugly orthopedic shoes."
Like many other religious groups, the
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a dress
code, which in its case can be traced back to the late 19th century, a
time when polygamy was still common in mainstream Mormonism. But those
familiar with the cult say the women's attire is not just a matter of
tradition or preference. Rather, they say, fashions are dictated by very
strict rules imposed and revised by sect elders to promote modesty and
enforce religious devotion.
Controlling dress is a way of controlling behavior,
experts say, and isolation from the outside world is precisely the
"They see the world
as filled with the presence of Satan," Stephen Kent, a professor of
sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, who has
studied polygamy, told ABC News. "The conservative dress of the women
sets them apart from the outside world. It fosters among them the
attitude that the outside world is sensual and bad."
Kent added that women in the polygamist sect are
often proud of their appearance, seeing their attire as a reflection of
their piety and proximity to God.
"These groups believe that they are the path to
heaven," Kent said. "And so they value their public statements about
their elite exclusivity."
Carolyn Jessop, a former member of the sect who was married to a
50-year-old man when she was 18 but later left the group, agreed. She
told ABC News the distinctive style of dress was meant to make women
feel not only separate from the outside world, but also more dependent
on each other.
just a way to control individuality," Jessop said. "Everybody starts
looking like everybody else. And then you control it to the point where
people can't be an individual."
Experts told ABC News that women in the cult, which
is also known as FLDS, wear as many as three layers of clothing
underneath their dresses, including an undergarment they consider holy,
three pairs of stockings and sometimes pants. Patterns or bright colors
are forbidden especially red, a color allegedly reserved for God and any
hint of makeup or loose-hanging hair is reason for severe punishment by
father or husband.
don't want anybody to lust after you," Irene Spencer, 71, a former
polygamist wife who wrote a book about her experience and who has
several sisters and nieces still living at the Yearning for Zion Ranch,
told ABC News. "They used to tell us that if a man saw your elbow it
would turn him on."
could never wear makeup," Spencer said. "You can't touch that wicked
stuff to your face or your lips at all. You can't even have bangs.
They're very, very strict." Fears of breaking the group's code of
appearance can apparently run deep.
In a call to a family violence shelter on March 30,
which prompted Texas authorities to raid the 1,700 acre Yearning for
Zion Ranch, a 16-year-old girl reported being abused by her 50-year-old
husband but said church members threatened that if she left, outsiders
would "hurt her, force her to cut her hair, to wear makeup and [modern]
clothes and to have sex with lots of men."
Spencer said such intimidation is common within the
are scared spit-less," she said. "We were told all our lives that
[outsiders] were wicked. These people are told that they are the only
righteous people. It's no wonder that they live in the fear they live
Of all the different
garments sown and worn by the women of the Yearning for Zion Ranch,
former cult members told ABC News the underwear is the most important.
Covering the skin from neck to ankles and wrists,
it is worn year-round underneath regular undergarments and said to be
symbolic of the clothes that God provided for Adam and Eve to use in the
Garden of Eden.
Seen as a
kind of spiritual defense, some women don't remove the underwear even in
the most intimate of situations.
"My grandmother and aunts and some of the people I
knew wouldn't even take them off to bathe," said former polygamist
Spencer. "They would leave them on one leg and bathe the rest of their
body and put them back on."
She added that some women keep the garments on even
while giving birth or having intercourse with their husbands.
"They were told that [the undergarments] were
supposed to be a protection and nothing would happen to them if they
wore them," Spencer said.
Court terminates 8-year-old girl's marriage
SANAA (Reuters) - A Yemeni court ordered the
marriage of an eight-year-old girl terminated on Tuesday because she had
not reached puberty.
court also ordered the child's family to pay about $250 in compensation
to the 30-year-old ex-husband.
The girl's lawyer and human rights activist Shatha
Nasser said the minor had filed a suit in April asking for divorce and
told the court that her husband had been physically abusing her and
forcing her to have "sex with him after hitting her."
One of the people attending the trial volunteered
to pay the compensation, the lawyer said, but did not explain the reason
why the court ordered the compensation.
The ruling terminated the marriage instead of
granting a divorce to prevent the husband from seeking to reinstate the
marriage, according to the lawyer.
Many minor girls in Arab countries that observe
tribal traditions are married to older husbands but not before puberty.
Such marriages are also driven by poverty in countries like Yemen, one
of the poorest countries outside Africa.
Psychics see big trouble over new laws
(Reuters) - Fortune-tellers, mediums and spiritual healers
the home of the British prime minister at Downing Street on Friday to
protest against new laws they fear will lead to them being "persecuted
Organizers say that replacing the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951 with
new consumer protection rules will remove key legal protection for
think skeptics might bring malicious prosecutions to force spiritualists
to prove in court that they can heal people, see into the future or talk
to the dead.
fear they will have to give disclaimers describing their services as
entertainment or as scientific experiments with unpredictable results.
"If I'm giving a healing to someone, I don't want
to have to stand there and say I don't believe in what I'm doing," said
Carole McEntee-Taylor, a healer who co-founded the Spiritual Workers
delivered a petition with 5,000 names to the prime minister's office,
although Gordon Brown is away in the United States.
With the changes expected to come into force next
month, spiritualists have faced a barrage of headlines gleefully
suggesting that they should have seen it coming.
But many don't see the funny side. They say the new
rules will shift the responsibility of proving they are not frauds from
prosecutors and onto them.
"By repealing the Act, the onus will go round the
other way and we will have to prove we are genuine," McEntee-Taylor told
Reuters. "No other religion has to do that."
The government said the new regulations form part
of a European Union directive that is meant to harmonize unfair trading
laws across the EU. It will introduce a ban on traders "treating
British Humanist Association, a charity which campaigns against religion
and supernatural beliefs, said stricter regulations were overdue because
the current laws don't work.
"It is misleading for spiritualists to claim that,
as ‘religious' practitioners they should not be regulated under consumer
laws," said Chief Executive Hanne Stinson.
"The psychic industry is huge and lucrative and it
exploits some very vulnerable, and some very gullible, people with
claims for which there is no scientific evidence."
MARINE CONFESSES, DEFENDS ACTIONS
David Motari speaks:
"Puppy killer" claims he was only being "creative" by tossing dog to its
On his profile at Bebo.com, Lance Cpl. David
Motari of the U.S. Marines defends his tossing of a small puppy off a
cliff: "What, you expect me to carry a stray sick dog from patrol 10+
miles back to camp with me. Did you know that we're not supposed to have
dogs? Did you know that there isn't medicine available for animals out
there? So what the fuck do you want me to do with it. It was going to
side a slow and horrible death.
"Sorry you guys saw that, but it wasn't supposed to ever [sic] been
shown. Usually what happens is we shoot them. I was being "creative"
that day and decided to throw the dog instead. If I could take it back,
I would. Either way, I did the dog a favor. Sorry if you can't
This would confirm that the dog was indeed alive and not already
deceased, as some have speculated. If it is considered "humane" to put
dogs to death—as many animal services agencies do—for being mangy,
stray, old, or sick, then Motari's actions can hardly deserve the sort
of vilification he and his family have been receiving.
Motari's family in Monroe, WA have received a number of death threats,
prompting police to guard their home. Real estate agent Rayane Motari,
David's mother, has had her profile deleted from a website for realtors
and her mobile phone number posted around the internet alongside urgings
to harass the poor woman—who will likely not sell any homes this week.
amount of hardship, harassment, and inconvenience the entire Motari
family is being forced to endure over this incident is entirely out of
proportion to the severity of David Motari's actions.
Whether the Marines have an official or unofficial policy of killing
stray dogs I don't know, but regardless of the sensationalism
story there are so many more atrocious acts by the U.S.
Military that have been documented on video but have not gathered the
attention of the international media.
In a sick twist, an American general public that unnecessarily indulges
in all-you-can-eat ribs and other delights of the recently-living flesh
seems to have less sympathy for unarmed Iraqi
motorists shot dead
without reason than they do for a lost sick puppy in a country that has
so many stray pooches they might as well be vermin.
Motari ought not to be prosecuted, court-martialled, dishonorably
discharged, or harassed—he's already suffered more than he deserves.
While we don't know the circumstances behind his finding this puppy,
it's clear enough that his most major mistake was to have been so
"creative" as to turn the harsh reality of dog disposal into a video
skit that would later be seen by millions.
From regular columnist
Esculapius come; I know right well
His laboure's lost when you may ring her Knell.
The fatall sisters doome none can withstand,
Nor Cithareas powre, who poynts to land
With proclamation that the first of May
At Ma-re Mount shall be kept hollyday...
-- Anonymous 17th Century Maypole Poem
Two quick bites for you, to tide you over
until later this month. Both music related. Well, three, in truth.
First, I have left off the Loki watching
somewhat in lieu of the fact that a full-length interview should be
coming out later this month.
Secondly, in said interview will be further
details on the upcoming multimedia presentation between his Trickster
self, and Mlle Nouveau. The DVD is entitled "The Evolution of Man" and
will be sold at a live performance of the collaborative work to be
showcased at Dark Asgard. Be there.
Thirdly, on a curious side note, I was
offered a delightful little indie treat from the mysterious one-eyed
gentleman so often mixed up in Dark Asgard's debauchery in recent
months. Turns out the mystery man is a musician named Steel, who was
kind enough to provide me with one of his vintage recordings from his
former band, Steel's Reapers. When he's not being modest about all this,
he is the brains and brawn behind Steel and Rain dojo that advertizes
elsewhere in this paper. I don't know if he'd be willing to
reprint the CD commercially but you might consider asking. It's
absolutely fascinating stuff.
On to things that are far more shocking...
What is it with everyone and the Miley Cyrus pics?
Yes, she's a minor, but you saw less skin
than your average MySpace brat wears to the beach or puts on their
Facebook, please, people. Her parents were both present on the set, and
poor Annie L. worked her tuchas off on those pics, which Cyrus praised
only a few days ago. Just stop it already!
of shocking photos of another sort, I have an
absolute hate-on for the MILFilicious
Heather Locklear, who is obviously in
some kind of time stop. This shot is from earlier this month. Heather
Locklear is photographed here filming her new movie, "Flirting with 40."
According to IMDB: "A divorced mother approaching her 40th birthday
falls for a younger man while on vacation." That's funny because Heather
Locklear is pushing 50 in real life. So Heather not only flirted with
40, it had its way with her then, ironically, ditched her for Denise
Excuse me while I go dance around a pole
with some ribbons on it, and then have my wicked way with some hot young
thing. Until next time...