Here’s a video on the “Traveler’s guide to firearms laws of the 50 states.” It’s mission: “Stay on the road and out of jail!”
“Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots and one of the most prominent spokesmen for the grassroots movement, was arrested Thursday and is being charged with illegally trying to carry a handgun onto a plane at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, NY,” according to TalkingPointsMemo.com and other media outlets.
“According to the Queens District Attorney’s office, Meckler arrived at the airport with the gun and ammunition locked in a safe and presented it to the flight attendant at the Delta check-in counter. He allegedly told authorities that he needed the gun for protection, but did not have a New York State license to carry the weapon. He’s being charged with a second degree possession of an illegal weapon, a felony charge that carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
“’Before leaving home, passengers should acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements if they choose to travel with a weapon,’ Queens DA Richard Brown said in a statement. ‘Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with a felony – as is what occurred in this case.’
“Meckler’s lawyer did not dispute the basic facts of the story, but said that his client followed routine procedure for transporting a weapon. In an e-mail to reporters, attorney Brian Stapleton wrote:
“’Mark Meckler, an attorney and National Coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, who holds a concealed-carry permit from the state of California, today was charged with a firearms violation at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. While in temporary transit through the state of New York in possession of an unloaded, lawful firearm that was locked in a TSA-approved safe, he legally declared his possession of the firearm in his checked baggage at the ticket counter as required by law and in a manner approved by TSA and the airline, yet was arrested by port authority for said possession.
“A spokesman for the Queens DA, Kevin Ryan, told TPM that the legal issue wasn’t whether Meckler followed airline regulations regarding safe transportation of a handgun, the issue was that he did not have a carry permit for New York state, which has strict requirements for handguns.”
The full article is here.
“The United States military officially declared an end to its mission in Iraq on Thursday even as violence continues to plague the country and the Muslim world remains distrustful of American power,” according to the New York Times this morning.
“In a fortified concrete courtyard at the airport in Baghdad, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta thanked the more than one million American service members who have served in Iraq for ‘the remarkable progress’ made over the past nine years but acknowledged the severe challenges that face the struggling democracy.
“’Let me be clear: Iraq will be tested in the days ahead — by terrorism, and by those who would seek to divide, by economic and social issues, by the demands of democracy itself,’ Mr. Panetta said. ‘Challenges remain, but the U.S. will be there to stand by the Iraqi people as they navigate those challenges to build a stronger and more prosperous nation.’”
The rest of the article is here.
We’ve heard all the complaints about Pioneer Park in Nevada City before: At certain times, at least, illegal drug sales, pot smoking, open containers, drunks and other “bad behavior,” as Council members put it.
But at last night’s Council meeting I heard a new one: Some enterprising souls are breaking into the electrical boxes at the park and tapping the electricity to charge their laptops.
The Council heard from concerned residents about the new (and old) problems and vowed to come up with a better plan to clean up the park, add walkable trails and additional lighting. A proposal to close the park at dusk, rather than 11 p.m., met some resistance and was tabled.
To me, the project exemplifies a new era of compromise between developers and environmental advocates at Tahoe — traditionally at loggerheads, as they are in our western Nevada County. Though there was still opposition to the project, many environmentally concerned groups saw it providing both environmental and economic benefits.
Such public-private partnerships (AKA compromise) will be vital in protecting the Lake going forward, because government restoration grants (such as the one approved in the Clinton administration) are drying up. The TRPA — despite being criticized by some for being anti-development — also recently approved a sensible casino revitalization project on the North Shore called Boulder Bay.
Sierra Business Council President Steve Frisch (who comments here regularly) confirmed the TRPA decision in an email last night. Frisch testified in support of the Homewood development at the meeting. For the record, our family also submitted a letter in support of the project.
We’ve been going to the West Shore for decades, and in my mind, the Homewood plan is an example of “smart” development — much like elements of the original plan for Loma Rica in our western county. A “no-growth” mindset can cripple your economy.
The Homewood project calls for an upscale hotel, multi-family condominiums and retail space, as well as workforce housing apartments. It encompases the base of Homewood ski resort and mid-mountain lodge, with an Old Tahoe “look and feel.” It also calls for environmental mitigation, replacing outdated and aging facilities with more “green” ones that will help protect the lake.
In addition, the developer JMA Ventures has a good track record with its projects, which have included revitalizing Ghirardelli Square.
Opponents, however, such as the Tahoe Area Sierra Club and The League to Save Lake Tahoe, have expressed concern that the project was too big and the developer hadn’t done enough to justify why a smaller plan wasn’t economically feasible as well.
I can understand the concerns — the West Shore is more pristine than other areas of the Lake — but I’m glad a developer of JMA’s caliber is involved, not an underfunded “fly-by-night” outfit. I also trust the regulators in their watchdog roles.
The TRPA governing board was considering the final environmental impact study for certification at last night’s meeting. Then it was to consider adopting the Master Plan in a separate vote. The Master Plan was unanimously approved about 8:30 p.m., according to Frisch.
The Master Plan is here.
Now what the ski areas could use this season is some cooperation from Mother Nature!