Tag Archives: Naples

Floridians protest pork and spending at Tea Party in Naples

tea-party-naplesThousands gather during the first of two Naples Tea Parties on April 15, 2009 at the corner of US-41 and Pine Ridge Road in Naples, Florida. Residents gathered to protest government bailouts, excessive national debt and perceived efforts to socialize services and businesses under the federal government.

Insisting the day’s events were not politically motivated, Joanne DiCarlo said, “I don’t care who they are – Democrats or Republicans. We should vote them all out.”

Asked if she protested last year when George W. Bush was president, Joanne DiCarlo stiffened.

“I hate when people ask that because it makes it seem that this about politics,” she said. “It’s not. It’s about not tolerating unresponsive government anymore. Republicans and Democrats alike are rapidly encroaching upon our individual liberties. These enormous, bloated financial programs are placing a crippling burden on America’s future. I think George W. Bush was financially irresponsible, as well, and I called, faxed and e-mailed him to tell him about it, so I don’t want people trying to make it out like it’s all about Obama.”

Standing alongside U.S. 41 as thousands of cars whizzed past, with many drivers honking their support, Michael Joyce of Naples said he felt the need to speak out because he was “scared to death about what’s going on.”

“I’m a retired educator, and not your typical one,” the Long Island, N.Y., native said. “This is the first time I’ve ever demonstrated, and I’m 63, pushing 64. I think the quiet conservatives like myself, the quiet majority, has to start expressing themselves. It’s unfortunate the news media isn’t doing this for us. This (protest) wasn’t even mentioned on the main liberal channels.”

Regardless of their personal motivations, outrage was the unifying factor as hundreds of Southwest Florida residents gathered with signs and tea bags, chanting slogans like “Vote ‘em all out!” After an hour of stump speeches, petition signing and a break to vote for the best signs, the people gathered at Fleischmann Park in Naples took their tea bags and dumped them into a small pool of water poured just for that purpose.

Posted:  04.15.09

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Filed under Barack Obama, Financial Crisis, Human Interest, patriotism, politics

Jury selection begins in Gateway murder trial II

How did I forget about the jury selection.  This could take a few days or longer since it is a death penalty case.  The trial is beginning in Saint Petersburg, but of course this part won’t be televised.  I am not even sure Trutv will televise the testimony, but I am hoping they will.

But in addition to the death penalty issue in the selection of the jury, gender will probably play a major role as well.

The Naples News reported yesterday that during the deliberations in the first trial, it was four women who were the hold-outs for a not guilty verdict. (BUT there were four women who voted to convict as well, so was it really gender or just a difference of opinion.)

Juror Lynne Johnson reported that early in the deliberations, she and three other women were at odds with the other eight.

Cooper is charged with two counts of capital murder in the killings of Steven and Michelle Andrews, who were found dead in the bedroom of their Gateway home on the morning of December 27, 2005. Prosecutors say Cooper killed the pair in a fit of jealousy after his longtime girlfriend, Kelly Ballew,  entered a relationship with Steven Andrews.

Early in the deliberations of Fred Cooper’s first murder trial, juror Lynne Johnson snapped at a male colleague she thought was being disrespectful, she recalled.

The first trial, held in October, ended in a hung jury. The final jury split ended the way it began, with four women voting against conviction.

No smoking gun exists to show Cooper’s involvement in the killings of the Andrewses. Jurors in the first trial said they dismissed DNA evidence that showed Cooper as a possible contributor.

With no direct evidence, Cooper’s believability became an issue in the trial when he told jurors he and Andrews had sex in her driveway the night before she was killed. In the account, first offered by Cooper after he was told investigators had DNA evidence against him, Cooper and Andrews had grown close consoling one about their spouses’ affair.

Some jurors dismissed the account as made up. Others, like Johnson, called it believable.

In an interview, the juror claimed that “none of the women” liked Cooper’s former girlfriend, Kellie Ballew, who had the relationship with Steven Andrews.

“I can’t say I feel sorry for him,” she said. “Do I feel he’s getting railroaded? Yeah, quite possibly.”


I tend to agree with her.  I would make one heck of a defense juror.  I believe in the death penalty in certain cases, but I would hold the state to their burden and make them prove it to me, especially if the death penalty was on the table.

Jurors can be eliminated for cause if they state they could not under any circumstances render a verdict for the death penalty.  Of course, race or gender cannot be used as a reason to eliminate, but each side has a certain number of challenges for which they do not have to give a reason.

Posted:  02.17.09

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Filed under crime, Human Interest, law and order, Uncategorized