Sunday, March 24, 2019

Socialism-Communism dies without charity. Cuba and Maduro's Venezuela manage decline not progress.

An oil tanker enters the Bay of Havana, Cuba.
An oil tanker enters the Bay of Havana, Cuba. JORGE REY. AP

At 14 he survived a stolen SUV crash that killed three. At 15 he stole again, deputies say.

At 14 he survived a stolen SUV crash that killed three. At 15 he stole again, deputies say.

Keondrae Brown was thrown from the fiery SUV crash that killed his brother and two other teens in 2017. Deputies say he was caught stealing again early Friday.
CLEARWATER — Keondrae Brown was just 14 when bailiffs  wheeled him into a courtroom in 2017, his bruised, bandaged face the latest symbol of Pinellas County’s deadly, juvenile-fueled car theft epidemic. His 16-year-old brother and two friends had died in the fiery wreck of a stolen SUV.
Keondrae was the only survivor.
“The problem is that these kids could have cared less about their crimes,” Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the Tampa Bay Times then. “They had no concern whatsoever about the juvenile justice system.”
Now 15, Keondrae is still in the same juvenile justice system and in the same kind of trouble once again, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.He and a 17 year old eluded deputies in a stolen vehicle early Friday, ditched it, and then were captured near the Pinellas Trail trying to run away from deputies, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The 15 year old also had six active juvenile pick-up orders for other charges and was classified as a prolific juvenile offender, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He will turn 16 in three weeks.
The Sheriff’s Office said the teen’s latest arrest unfolded like this:
Deputies were on routine patrol, looking out for potential burglars near 298th Avenue N and 67th Street N . Then at about 2:15 a.m., deputies said a male ran from them after seeing a sheriff’s vehicle.
The deputies watched as Keondrae and the 17-year-old entered a stolen vehicle and sped off.
A sheriff’s helicopter tracked the teens as they drove southbound along U.S. 19.
Deputies on the ground tried to disable the stolen vehicle by placing a tire deflation device on the roadway, the Sheriff’s Office said, but the teens drove around it.
The teens exited U.S. 19 and headed west on Sunset Point Road. The teens made numerous turns before coming to a stop at Fulton Avenue and Harbor Drive. Then the two left the vehicle and ran north, deputies said, attempting to hide behind the houses there.
Eventually they ran into a wooded area along the Pinellas Trail until deputies and a sheriff’s dog located and arrested both.

Keondrae and the 17 year old were both arrested on one count each of grand theft auto. The Times is withholding the 17-year-old’s name because of his age.
It is the same charge Keondrae faced in the deadly Aug. 6, 2017 crash he survived.
Five teens were using stolen vehicles to “car-hop” through Safety Harbor and Oldsmar, deputies said, looking for unlocked cars to rob or steal. They wore gloves. Four rode in a stolen 2015 Ford Explorer. Two were in a 2008 Chrysler Sebring. They would elude deputies and at about 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday, were seen playing cat-and-mouse with each other on Tampa Road, one speeding up and the other slowing down and so on.
A deputy who had spotted them was waiting for back-up, the Sheriff’s Office said, when the Explorer took off with its headlights turned off.
The SUV ran through a red light — it was going 117 mph just 2½-seconds before impact, according to crash recovery data — and then collided with a 1999 Toyota Camry in the middle lane of U.S. 19 N, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Camry driver, Ricky Melendez Jr., was on his way to work.
The Explorer was sent airborne, crashed into five parked cars at a dealership and then struck a billboard pole 10 feet above the ground before tumbling to stop on Tampa Road.
Keondrae was thrown from the back seat. So was his brother, Keontae Brown, 16, who was driving and died in the wreck. The SUV quickly caught fire, and two other teens died inside: Jimmie Goshey, 14; and Dejarae Thomas, 16.
The two teens in the Sebring, Deyon Kaigler, then 16, and Kamal Campbell, then 18, saw the fiery crash and sped off, the Sheriff’s Office said. They were captured 20 minutes away trying to run away.
Juvenile court records are not public record, so the disposition of those cases was not known late Friday.
Melendez suffered internal bleeding, a shattered collarbone and a broken foot in the crash. The stolen SUV struck his Camry at 112 mph, deputies said.
In Friday’s incident, Keondrae also faces charges of aggravated fleeing and eluding and loitering and prowling. He was on felony probation for a charge of grand theft auto. The Sheriff’s Office said he is classified as a prolific juvenile offender. That meant he was being monitored by the Habitual Offender Monitoring Enforcement program, a task force aimed at teens with a minimum of five felony arrests.
The 17 year old was also on felony probation and being monitored by the same task force. 
Both teens could face additional charges. Both were both taken to a familiar place: the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center.

Democrat nutters...Beto

'..beyond the shadow of a doubt...'

Special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his final report to Attorney General William Barr Friday, signaling the end of his 22-month investigation into Russia and Trump's campaign. 
Mueller did not recommend new indictments, crushing the predictions of many anti-Trump advocates who claimed Trump's closest allies, like Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, could be indicted as part of Mueller's final act.
To most, including CNN legal analyst Jeffery Toobin, that meant good news for Trump and his inner-circle, proving they did not break the law. However, Beto O'Rourke must have not received the memo, telling supporters in South Carolina on Saturday that Trump is guilty of attempting to collude with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

What did Beto say?

Speaking in Charleston, South Carolina, O'Rourke claimed Trump "beyond the shadow of a doubt" attempted to collude with Russia.
"You have a president, who, in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to, however ham-handedly, collude with the Russian government, a foreign power, to undermine and influence our elections," O'Rourke said, according to CNN.

"If you are wondering about collusion then when you saw the president of the United States standing next to leader of Russia on that stage in Helsinki, Finland, defending him and taking his word for it against our own intelligence community in our country, in George Will's words not mine, that is collusion in action," O'Rourke went on to claim. "Ultimately, I believe this will be decided at the ballot box in 2020 by you, by me, by all of us in this country."
O'Rourke's comments come as Congress awaits a briefing by the Justice Department on the "principle conclusions" of Mueller's investigation. The briefing is expected this weekend.
Almost immediately after Mueller submitted his final report to the Justice Department, O'Rourke, who is a former Texas congressman, called for the report's public release in the name of government transparency.

In Mammoth, the snow is so deep residents must tunnel out. There’s a history to that

In Mammoth, the snow is so deep residents must tunnel out. There’s a history to that
Snow blows from the crest of the Sierra Nevada in a view from Highway 168 near Aspendell, Calif., on March 12. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
By February, the snow made many neighborhoods here feel subterranean.
Twenty-foot walls of white, corniced by the wind, leaned over the plowed roads. Residents worked feverishly to keep the snow from swallowing their homes. They dug tunnels and narrow passageways to the street, opened portals to get light through second-story windows, shoveled dangerous weight off their roofs.Unoccupied homes were so buried that a child might unknowingly sled down one. On still nights, when the wind stopped and the plows had passed, the silence was absolute. Only the streetlights and spirals of smoke from unseen chimneys suggested human life.
This year’s record-setting February and continued storms have reconnected residents to a historic rite of passage in California’s highest town, a place that largely came to be because of its monumental snowfall.

(Lorena Elebee / Los Angeles Times)
Brenda McCann had gone through the many harsh Mammoth snowfalls since her first autumn here in 1998, when four feet fell in two days at Thanksgiving. The old-timers called her neighborhood of Old Mammoth “Moleville” because of its propensity to get buried, turning homes into burrows.
The long drought began to make those eerie winters feel distant, a fading quirk of a town just five hours from Los Angeles that regularly made winters in Buffalo look moderate.
But the heavy snows of 2017 brought back memories. Many homeowners were unprepared, and roofs collapsed.
This winter, the town was ready, as 17 feet of snow landed in February, with more storms following in March.
“My whole house is encased in snow,” said McCann, 54, last week. “I’m in an igloo.”
Brenda McCann has had to deal with more snow this year than any other in recent memory since she moved to Old Mammoth more than 20 years ago.
Brenda McCann has had to deal with more snow this year than any other in recent memory since she moved to Old Mammoth more than 20 years ago. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
While her house sits a good four feet above her driveway, she had to climb five feet over a frozen berm to get out, until she had someone plow it away. In the backyard, the snow rises straight up over the two-story roof of her next-door neighbor.
“I’ve seen a lot of dogs on roofs this winter.”
During and after white-out days, people spend so much time shoveling, blowing, shoveling, that their backs wince and their abs feel like they’d done a couple hundred sit-ups. Members come into the gym where McCann works, they say, “I worked out all day, I just need the Jacuzzi.”
One of her friends, who had moved back to Mammoth in summer after many years away, told her: “I’m outta here. Now I remember why I moved away in the first place.”
The sheer volume of the snow creates a logistical puzzle. Where to put it?
The town’s public works crews and the California Department of Transportation use large ribbon-bladed blowers to shoot it up on hills between homes, where it builds until it looms over the roads like a wave ready to take a ship down. Dump trucks haul the rest to a site down Highway 203, where it’s bulldozed off the side of the mesa.
From the huge ski operations on the mountain to town hall to condo complexes to small cabins and trailer homes, the urgent matter day and night has been “snow management.”
“People can’t understand this type of snow,” said Grady Dutton, the town’s public works director. “Fifty-three feet fell at the top of the mountain.”
During storms, his crews hack away at it 24 hours a day. County employees scrape 104 miles of street with seven plows and five massive Kodiak snowblowers, delivering the snow to scattered spots and the “snow pit” off the mesa. “We have a good idea of every nook and cranny in town,” Dutton said.
The machinery keeps the resort town functioning at the height of the ski season.
Record snowfall in the Sierra has entire homes in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., encased in snow as residents look forward to a long ski season. 
Mammoth gets its heavy snow due to its altitude and the topography surrounding it. Generally in the Sierra, Pacific storms hit the western slopes and rise into thinner atmosphere against the ridges. The clouds’ relative humidity climbs, ice particles congeal and snow falls — mostly in the highest, uninhabited interior — wrung dry by the 12,000- to 14,000-foot peaks.
But here, storms roll up the deep gorge of the middle fork of the San Joaquin River, rising quickly to a wide break between the high peaks — Mammoth Pass, just 9,300 feet.
Clouds funnel through the pass, and dump snow with a vengeance, particularly on the volcanic Mammoth Mountain, which rises to 11,059 feet.
Most of California’s big snow areas rely on this orographic effect of the storms rising and funneling up deep canyons — Squaw Valley, Bear Valley, Echo Summit and the home of America’s original snow nightmare, Donner Pass.
The community of Tamarack, three miles from Bear Valley, holds the record for the greatest snow depth ever measured in the U.S. — 37½ feet.
In Mammoth, the remoteness of the area combined with the harsh winters, keeping settlers at bay.
The first to try it were some 2,500 prospectors who built a boom town they called Mammoth City in 1879. That December, storms dumped snow for 18 days. By spring, 28 feet had engulfed the newcomers.
“Residents were forced to cut a warren of snow tunnels to allow them to make their way through town, and businesses hacked long rows of snow steps down to their front doors,” wrote Martin Forstenzer, in “Mammoth: The Sierra Legend.”
Miners strapped barrel staves to their boots to use as skis, taking their cues from a Norwegian man who delivered U.S. mail all over the Sierra no matter the weather.
Only a handful of residents stayed to endure the following winter.
The town of Mammoth Lakes has had to deal with more snow than almost anywhere in the country with 635 inches, or almost 53 feet, at the summit of Mammoth Mountain.
The town of Mammoth Lakes has had to deal with more snow than almost anywhere in the country with 635 inches, or almost 53 feet, at the summit of Mammoth Mountain. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Modern Mammoth traces back to 1936, when a penniless 21-year-old from Independence took a job as a hydrographer for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which had famously diverted the snowmelt of the Eastern Sierra into an aqueduct to the exploding city. Dave McCoy’s job was to ski throughout the Sierra measuring snowpack so the water managers in L.A. would know what to expect come summer. He came to realize with the bald lava dome of Mammoth Mountain that it had the deepest snow he had seen, and regularly trekked there with friends to ski. Where the miners had failed, McCoy struck what would become white gold.
But it was a place where skiers could race giddily down a wide bowl in brilliant sunshine, and an hour later, as a blizzard howls through, start envisioning a fate like the Donner Party’s.
One day McCoy arrived at his friend Ted Cushion’s cabin, only to have it snow unrelentingly for 11 days, according to Forstenzer. When it stopped 20 feet later, McCoy and Cushion went to check on neighbors who ran a tavern. They climbed in a second-story window to find them alive and well. Cushion asked McCoy to check on a couple named Phillips who were winter caretakers of a summer camp.
“He told me about how far it was and how to get to it,” McCoy recalled to Forstenzer. “”But when I got there, I couldn’t see a cabin or anything, anywhere.”
“Pretty soon I saw a little opening in the snow with a little bit of smoke coming out of it, and heard a strange noise.”
Down below, the Phillips were trying to tunnel out by shoveling snow by the front door into the cabin. McCoy helped dig them out.
Such conditions never daunted him.
McCoy built the first chairlift on Mammoth Mountain in 1955, and retired 50 years later, selling his ski resort for $365 million.
Snow is piled nearly 20 feet high along Davison Street in the town of Mammoth Lakes, which has had to deal with more snow than almost anywhere in the country with 635 inches.
Snow is piled nearly 20 feet high along Davison Street in the town of Mammoth Lakes, which has had to deal with more snow than almost anywhere in the country with 635 inches. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
The town contains many microclimates sloping down a thousand feet from the base of the mountain at 8,700 feet into the Long Valley caldera. Some areas might have 10 feet of snow, where others have two. Near the top, and just below the pass, Old Mammoth, gets heaps.
“If you go down some of the smaller streets in town, it is literally tunnels,” said Jo Louise, a hotel receptionist who moved here 22 years ago. “You have to be careful. It’s eerie.”
She was taking a bus to work because her car was buried.
The clouds had vanished the night before — storms rarely linger — leaving the snow glistening and draping off roofs like a Bavarian fairy tale. The wind sculpted it into strange formations. People found faces and animals. One man found a mythical “dwarf with a hat.”
Gary and Cathy Wyatt took the crystalline day to cross-country ski across Snow Creek meadow and up to a knoll of the Sherwin Mountains to look over the vast caldera, with its volcano cones, and the White Mountains beyond. All of it covered in snow that will melt in spring and summer and flow out of taps in Los Angeles.
The beauty belied the harsh forces that delivered it.
“Last time I was up here a couple weeks ago, it was blowing 85 miles per hour on the top of the mountain,” he said. “You could see about 10 feet in front of you.”
Dave Harvey, 72, was once the president of the town’s search and rescue team.
In February, he could hear his house in Old Mammoth groaning under the weight.
“You got to respect the snow and wind,” he said. “Make no mistake, this is rugged country.”