Archive for » February 11th, 2012«

In praise of the snowshoe

In praise of the snowshoe

Posted by: Curt Brown
Adventure travel,
U.S. travel,
Winter getaways

Updated: February 11, 2012 – 9:42 AM


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Have van, won’t travel: camping out in a civic wilderness

Fine in a van: Adrian Siska prefers life in a streets.

Fine in a van: Adrian Siska prefers life in a streets. Photo: Craig Sillitoe

ADRIAN Siska climbs out of his purple outpost and surveys his campsite. ”There are toilets and barbecues over there,” he says, hitching adult his tie-dye pyjama pants, ”and we showering during a pool down a road.”

But this is no typical campsite – it’s a Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy, usually 4 kilometres from a CBD. And it’s a magnet to ”urban campers”, a flourishing multiply of backpackers who abandon a tent in a forest for a automobile in Carlton, Fitzroy or St Kilda. Some stay usually a few nights, others settle in for months, irking a locals.

Inside Siska’s outpost is a unclothed mattress, a roof-mounted DVD actor with a flip-down screen, a medium sound complement and a book about Buddhism. A fungus sculpture and a span of underpants adorn a dashboard.

Having lived nearby a gardens for roughly a year, he’ll shortly hitch-hike to Queensland, withdrawal his outpost during his grandmother’s. ”All I’ll have is a hammock and a tent,” he says, ”and maybe something to hunt kangaroos with.”

Despite a objections of residents, civic campers such as Siska dwell in a legally grey area. While many councils excellent those who make tents on open land, a City of Yarra has no energy to change those who nap in cars. The City of Melbourne prohibits ”camping” in cars, nonetheless a laws do not conclude what this involves. The City of Port Phillip, that sees a burst in car-campers in St Kilda and Port Melbourne each summer, fines those who omit warnings to empty – solely if they are homeless.

”If someone pitches a tent or strings some garments on a line, they’ve damaged a law,” says Yarra mayor Geoff Barbour. ”But if a automobile is rightly purebred and parked, we have no ability to pierce them on.”

In response to 25 complaints from residents final year, a legislature ”asked” several automobile owners to leave a Edinburgh Gardens. It is now deliberation changing a laws to benefit a same powers as Port Phillip.

Siska, 19, has no bound address, though he wouldn’t have it any other way. ”You could give me a penthouse in a city for no lease and we would still select a van. It all comes down to freedom.”

He gives $50 a fortnight to pay-what-you-like grill Lentil As Anything and cooking there many nights. It gets cold in winter, he admits, though that’s zero compared with his army in Tasmania. ”I woke adult and found icicles unresolved off a roof,” he says with a laugh. ”They’d shaped overnight from a precipitation of my exhale … my partner stayed in here for a integrate of weeks though not all women like it.”

Over a past year, Siska has found indignant records on his windshield and been shifted a few times by legislature officers. ”But many of a residents are cool,” he says. ”The other day, this counsel who lives adult a highway brought a integrate of beers and we talked for hours.”

Dotted around a gardens are other cars-cum-caravans. The biggest is embellished in camouflage, with a fishing rod on a roof. The smallest is a smashed hatchback housing dual Germans.

Giving usually their initial names, Maxine and Simon, they list a civic areas in that they have formerly ”camped”: Alphington, a automobile park in a city and ”somewhere in Sydney”.

They spend their days exploring a city, returning to their automobile to sleep, nonetheless they make an bid to attraction themselves to neighbours. ”There was this aged grandma in a wheelchair and we changed her furniture,” Maxine says, ”so she let us use her shower. All a residents are friendly.”

Yet some locals, who ask not to be named, explain to have seen campers litter, hang soaking on trees and urinate in bushes. ”This is not a camping belligerent and it shouldn’t turn one,” says one. Adds another: ”When we demeanour out a window and see someone peeing on a shrub, we think, ‘Why do we have to have this outward my house?’ ”

But proprietor Peter Petre-Osman, a late Romanian immigrant, isn’t fussed. ”So what if they stay?” he says. ”Not each traveller has income for a hotel. ”They’re usually immature people doing what they can.”

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The Cops, GPS Devices, and You

The Supreme Court has taken away law enforcement’s routine use of GPS devices to keep track of criminal suspects. You can legally buy and use trackers, but cops need a warrant. Fair?

Back in the Wild West days, law enforcement officers like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson had few tools to keep the peace. Guile and a gun on their hip were about all they possessed in the face of trouble. Today’s officers have many more ways of tracking down and capturing the bad guys. That makes their job much easier than in days of old, but also more complicated. A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court may have just made modern-day law enforcement more complex. Bear with me a moment here, and I’ll explain why.

First, you should know that the Supreme Court decision I speak of stems from the case of Antoine Jones, a nightclub owner in Washington, D.C., who was suspected of being part of a massive cocaine-selling ring. In an effort to gather information about Jones, police slapped a GPS tracking device on his Jeep. An ingenious move in this technologically advanced day and age, you might think. Indeed, the information about Jones’ travel was used to convict him in what police called the largest cocaine seizure in the District’s history. Jones was sentenced to life in prison in January 2008.

But the highest court in our land has now ruled that installing that GPS tracker was an unconstitutional action, a violation of every citizen’s Fourth Amendment protection against illegal searches and seizures, because no judge signed a warrant ahead of time. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that “[monitoring] the vehicle’s movements constitutes a ‘search,’” much like police entering your home without a warrant to see what they can find.

In addition, the unanimous decision found fault with the D.C. police for leaving the GPS device in place for a full month, monitoring Jones’ trips to church, a gym, a local bar, and the headquarters of a known bookie. While I’m guessing D.C. police (and the FBI, which was part of the operation) had firm evidence that pointed to Jones’ involvement in the drug operation, you have to admit it is kind of creepy to think law enforcement can secretly follow a citizen around for days on end without first convincing a judge they’ve got probable cause to do so.

(May I just interject here that countless U.S. citizens are currently using legally purchased, palm-sized GPS tracking devices every day to keep watch over their new teenage drivers, elderly parents, and spouses. Citizens can routinely use them, but police cannot? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. But I digress…)

An appeals court had already overturned Antoine Jones’ drug conviction, and the U.S. Supreme Court has now let that decision stand. It’s assumed but not confirmed that prosecutors will try Jones again on drug charges.

But here’s why this decision may wreak havoc in cop-shops across the land. There are nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, and in writing their thoughts on the Jones case, I think they may have opened the door to countless challenges to technologically based police investigative techniques.

Five of the justices wrote that they are uncomfortable with the government using all sorts of modern technologies. Specifically mentioned was the data officers can gather from cell phone towers or those automatic toll booths to help prove where a suspect was at any given time.

While the Jones case focused on the narrow issue of his Jeep and a GPS system, Justice Samuel Alito wrote about other “new devices that permit the monitoring of a person’s movements” that just don’t square with what we traditionally think of as our Fourth Amendment rights to privacy. Alito worried about the government tapping into “closed-circuit television video monitoring [that] is becoming ubiquitous,” toll-collection systems that help police put a suspect at a certain place at a certain time, and even the apparatus on many new cars that allows roadside assistance companies to pinpoint a driver’s exact location or to find the car if it is stolen.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor correctly pointed out that “[p]hysical intrusion is now unnecessary to many forms of surveillance.” All a police officer has to do these days is learn to tap into technology that is already in place, like cameras that record the action at banks, intersections, office hallways, and many public spaces. “People disclose the phone numbers that they dial or text to their cellular providers; the URL’s that they visit (on the computer) and the e-mail addresses with which they correspond to their Internet service providers,” Sotomayor wrote. And so if a person gives up that information to a third party, isn’t it fair game for the cops? Nearly every police investigator I know would say yes.

But now that justices of the United States Supreme Court have raised questions about police using these technological tactics, can it be long before defense attorneys figure out ways to cast doubt on entire investigations? I can just hear it now: “Your honor, my client’s right to privacy was violated when police learned from a search of his computer that he was buying Oxycontin online! They had no reason to know he was selling it without that illegal search!” I’m betting that some of them with clients convicted on technologically based evidence have poured over this latest Supreme Court ruling and are already thinking about ways to appeal their cases. I hope judges everywhere are ready for them.

Diane Dimond may be reached through her website, Her latest book, Cirque Du Salahi, is available through

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Woman’s automobile runs into transport agency

MEDFORD — An aged Marlton lady slammed her Hyundai Sonata into a Medford transport association on Thursday morning after incorrectly stepping on a gas in a parking lot, according to authorities.

Police pronounced a workman inside Liberty Travel on Stokes Road was primarily trapped behind her table after a car plowed into a salon though was means to giveaway herself before rescue workers arrived.

Investigators trust a 87-year-old lady strike a accelerator instead of a stop while in a parking lot, rising a car over a quell and by a potion territory in a front of a store.

The Liberty Travel workman was taken to a internal sanatorium for evaluation, military said.

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Friday transport disharmony as uninformed sleet falls in Yorkshire

Published on Friday 10 Feb 2012 07:21

SNOW is again causing Widespread intrusion on ride routes this morning, with sight services already crippled in some tools of Yorkshire.

Trains between Ilkley and Leeds were behind by an hour this morning since of a shabby engine.

Motorists are being warned of fraudulent highway conditions after some-more than dual inches (6cm) of sleet blanketed some regions and a mercury plunged to -4C.

Police pronounced drivers nearby Skipton, Otley and Settle faced sold difficulties, with one motorist observant a A65 nearby Giggleswick was “like glass”.

The frozen conditions are approaching to continue in a entrance days with temperatures plummeting to as low as -9C – bringing an finish to a week of Arctic continue that has caused disharmony adult and down a country.

Last night sleet began descending in a North and a Midlands before gradually attack a Home Counties, East Anglia, London, a South East, a South West and Wales.

Victoria Kettley, forecaster during MeteoGroup, a continue multiplication of a Press Association, said: “The sleet began around 6pm before intensifying. The heaviest falls were seen over a rope covering South Yorkshire and Leicestershire with accumulations of between 5-6cm.

“As a dusk progressed a heaviest sleet widespread southwards before fizzling out towards Wales and a South West.”

She added: “The overnight continue means there will be fraudulent conditions on a roads this morning as a sleet melts and poses a hazard of widespread ice on untreated roads.”

A “yellow” serious continue warning instructing people to “be aware” of sleet and ice in scarcely all tools of England as good as south Wales has been released by a a Met Office. A turn 3 cold continue warning is also in place.

Ms Kettley pronounced sleet could lapse to a South West and Wales currently with a rest of a UK remaining dry though bitterly cold.

“There could be temperatures of between -7C to -9C tonight and over a weekend it will be bitterly cold,” she said.

“Air temperatures competence not get above frozen opposite a Midlands and East Anglia via Saturday, augmenting a risk of ice.”

Surrey Police suggested people to take caring with adult to 5cm of sleet approaching to have depressed by this morning’s rush hour.

A force orator said: “We are reminding residents and motorists to stay protected and take essential precautions following serve inauspicious continue conditions in a county. The frozen conditions could lead to some intensity intrusion on a highway network, quite during a morning rush hour.

“Residents are also reminded to check on aged of exposed neighbours, crony or relatives.”

Those travelling to Heathrow Airport have been suggested to check their flight’s standing before environment off and concede additional time for their tour after it was strike by uncover overnight. However, officials pronounced no intrusion is expected.

Gatwick, London Luton, Birmingham International and Stansted pronounced they were open and handling as normal and were not awaiting intrusion notwithstanding a wintry weather.

Yesterday fraudulent conditions caused by frozen sleet led to some-more than 100 highway incidents in Cumbria alone. The A66 was one of a worse strike routes with cars colliding and skidding off a carriageway.

A orator for Cumbria County Council warned that highway conditions were approaching to sojourn hazardous, describing yesterday’s frozen sleet descending on a belligerent as a “perfect storm”.

Meanwhile, classical automobile fan Tim Waddingham, 53, is suspicion to have drowned perplexing to rescue his dog from a frozen pool during a golf bar in Surrey a weekend.

North West Ambulance Service pronounced a control centres had answered some-more than 700 puncture calls yesterday and responded to 187 incidents where patients had fallen.

Charities have warned that aged people are among a many exposed in a frozen conditions.

Age UK executive ubiquitous Michelle Mitchell pronounced some-more than a third of over-65s tumble any year, with sleet and ice posing a sold risk.

She said: “Winter can be a dangerous time for comparison people quite with a stream plummeting temperatures.

“Low temperatures lift blood vigour that puts people during a larger risk of heart attacks and strokes as good as augmenting a odds and astringency of influenza and other respiratory problems.

“During this duration of cold weather, we would titillate people to check on their comparison kin or neighbours to safeguard they are comfortable and have copiousness of food.

“We would also inspire people to be good neighbours and transparent pathways of sleet and ice, if they are means to assistance comparison people stay safe.”

A orator for a Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) pronounced sight companies were gearing adult to understanding with a bad weather, with Network Rail using dull ‘ghost’ trains and de-icer units to keep marks and beyond cables giveaway of sleet and ice as distant as possible.

He added: “The whole attention will be operative tough to get people from A to B as fast and reliably as possible.”

A Heathrow orator said: “A light tumble of sleet overnight was privileged by Heathrow’s sleet group with no intrusion to a airport.

“All flights scheduled for Thursday dusk got divided yesterday. A normal report is designed for Friday with no approaching disruption. After clearing a sleet overnight, airside teams took a event to lift out dual use drills.

“Heathrow continues to guard a continue and will respond if some-more inauspicious conditions are expected.”

To supplement to travellers’ difficulties, a territory of a London Underground’s Jubilee line – between Stanmore and Waterloo – was dangling during a morning rush hour due to a inadequate sight progressing during Willesden Green in north west London.

Another inadequate train, during West Ham in easterly London, led to delays on 3 other Tube lines – a Circle, a District and a Hammersmith City.


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Man airlifted to sanatorium after Chippewa County crash

Chippewa County (Press Release) – On Friday, around 5:00 a.m. the Village of Lake Hallie Police and a Chippewa Fire District responded to a dual automobile collision on STH-124, in a Village of Lake Hallie.

Information accessible indicates that a newcomer automobile (2005 Hyundai 4dr) struck a side of a almost trailer. The almost tractor trailer was attempting a branch scheme when a collision occurred. The newcomer automobile was streamer southbound from a instruction of a City of Chippewa Falls. The semi-trailer was creatively streamer north firm only before to a branch maneuver.

The almost tractor trailer user indicated that he was roving north firm when he satisfied that he was streamer in a wrong direction. The user of a semi-tractor trailer afterwards attempted to make a u-turn during a plcae on STH-124 that did not demarcate branch maneuvers. It was during this branch scheme that a newcomer automobile struck a semi-tractor trailer in a center of a trailer apportionment of a unit.

The user of a semi-tractor trailer was a 45 year aged masculine from Ingalls IN. The user of a almost was not injured. The user and a newcomer in a automobile were both injured, and a motorist was reported to be in critical condition. The newcomer automobile occupants are an aged integrate from a Cadott area.

Further information is not being expelled during this time due to a inlet of a injuries and a presentation of family members. The Wisconsin State Patrol was requested to support a Lake Hallie Police with an collision reconstruction. It does not seem that ethanol was a cause in a collision though any exam formula are not nonetheless known. The State Patrol reformation review will support in last if speed was a factor. The matter is still underneath review and no charges have been filed tentative serve investigation.


Chippewa County (WQOW) – A critical pile-up close down a bustling highway for a integrate of hours Friday morning.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department says it happened around 5:00 a.m., involving a almost and a automobile on Highway 124 nearby 40th Avenue. Lake Hallie Police contend a almost headed northbound was concerned in a U-turn, when a automobile headed southbound struck a semi.

The masculine motorist of a automobile was airlifted to a sanatorium in critical condition. His womanlike newcomer was also injured. We do not know her condition during this time. The almost motorist was not injured.

Both a northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 124 were sealed for several hours. That area has given been privileged and a lanes are open.


Chippewa County (WQOW) – Travel Alert UPDATE: The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department says all lanes of Highway 124 are now open, after an early morning crash.

The sheriff’s dialect says it happened around 5:00 a.m., involving a almost and a car. Both a northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 124 were sealed for several hours. That area has given been privileged and a lanes are open. We have a contributor on scene, and we’ll be certain to share some-more information as shortly as it becomes available.


Chippewa County (WQOW) – Travel Alert UPDATE: The DOT now says a southbound AND northbound lanes of Hwy 124 in Chippewa County are sealed after a pile-up between a automobile and almost Friday morning.

The occurrence reportedly happened on Hwy 124 and 40th Ave. Again, all lanes of 124 southbound and northbound are blocked right now while crews work to transparent a area. If you’re headed in that direction, it’s suggested we take another route. We have a contributor headed to a scene, and we’ll refurbish this building story as we learn more.

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