There might be some good news on the horizon for those caught in the revolving criminal door of drug addiction. Proposed state legislation would give judges the discretion to offer people with drug-possession charges a chance to participate in a treatment program instead of spending time in jail.
Remember paying all those red-light camera tickets? The City Council spent most of the fine money collected since 2005 at the Monday, Feb. 1 meeting. Those dollars were allocated for upgrades to three fire stations, protective equipment for firefighters, 200 police cars and beefing up the party patrol.
New Mexico, land of two national laboratories, is home to lots of scientists. Whether employed developing supercomputers, testing explosives or doing autopsies on extraterrestrial crash victims, there are plenty of PhDs walking around.
Dateline: China—Desperate to cash in on the popularity of James Cameron’s smash hit film Avatar, tourism officials in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park held an official ceremony last Monday to change the name of Nan Tian Yi Zhu Mountain, which means Southern Sky Column Mountain, to Avatar Hallelujah Mountain. The towering land formation, which juts nearly vertically up from a sea of mist, was reportedly a major inspiration for the film’s floating Hallelujah Mountains. The Zhangjiajie government website says Hollywood photographer Scott Hansen spent time shooting there in 2008 for the movie. “Many pictures he took then become prototypes for various elements in the Avatar movie,” noted the website. The park is now offering package visits to tourists, including a “magical tour to Avatar-Pandora” and a “miracle tour to Avatar’s floating mountain.”
Scott Brown's victory over Martha Coakley in Massachusetts has been hyped in the media as a product of voter "anger" and a growing "anti-establishment" mood that may sweep across the country. Everyone seems to agree that Brown conducted a more dynamic campaign that Coakley. In addition, while Republicans pulled a good number of voters, turnout was lower among young people, urban voters and perhaps even women—all of whom could have disproportionately favored Coakley.