10 worst ideas of the week: January 3, 2010 

 

Wrong number
1. Florida man calls 911 for ride to bar
The details: Gregory Oras, 37, called 911 saying he’d been beaten and shot at. But the truth was that he was hoping to use the sob story to get the police to drive him to a bar. Instead, Oras got a ride to the big house, where he’s being held on charges of misusing the 911 system and battery on an officer.
‘False hope’ ends
2. SF Housing Authority closes waiting list
The details: There are too many people on the waiting list for affordable housing in San Francisco, and there are not enough employees — or units — to come close to whittling the list down. As of January 2009, there were nearly 30,000 people on the waiting list and only 104 vacant units. The number of staff who handle all the requests? Thirteen. But closing the waiting list is for residents’ own good, according to The City. “With a very low vacancy rate, it can sometimes take 10 years for clients to reach the top of the waiting list, leading to false hopes of finding immediate affordable housing in San Francisco,” a report said.
Bad aim
3. Man accused of using pellet gun on boy as a lesson
The details: A Florida man is accused of trying to teach a boy a lesson by shooting him with a pellet gun. According to a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, 39-year-old Christopher Fred Cady shot the boy in the chest with the pellet gun, a Christmas gift, after the child shot an autistic cousin with the gun.
Playing with fire
4. 11-year-old, boyfriend set girl’s mother on fire
The details: An 11-year-old Florida girl and her 15-year-old boyfriend face attempted murder charges after allegedly setting the girl’s mother’s bedroom on fire while the woman slept. The girl had reportedly been fighting with her mother, most recently when the mom accused her of stealing cigarettes.
Mean Sheen
5. Actor reportedly threatens wife with knife 
The details: Charlie Sheen, 44, was arrested Christmas Day in Aspen, Colo., where he was on vacation with wife Brooke Sheen, 32. Brooke told police he threatened her during an argument that started when she said she wanted a divorce, and 911 tapes revealed a woman who identifies herself as Brooke tells the dispatcher, “I thought I was gonna die for one hour.” Charlie told police the couple slapped each other and that he snapped two pairs of her eyeglasses in front of her, but he denied threatening her with a knife. The couple is trying to reconcile and have asked a judge to modify a restraining order that prevents them from having contact.
Unethical treatment
6. PETA worker allegedly neglects snakes in his care
The details: According to attorneys for an exotic animal dealer based in Arlington, Texas, a PETA worker who was posing as an employee of the store was intentionally neglecting the animals in order to enhance his daily reports to the animal rights group. The company, called U.S. Global Exotics, is trying to regain custody of more than 26,000 animals seized by the city Dec. 15 after evidence was turned over describing what is said to be animal cruelty. 
 
He was really into her
7. Ohio top cop sentenced for break-in at actress’ surrogate’s home 
The details: The police chief in Ohio who was found guilty last month of breaking into the residence of Sarah Jessica Parker’s baby’s surrogate mother was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. Barry Carpenter was snooping around the woman’s home, looking for items to sell to the tabloids while she was pregnant with the celebrity’s twin daughters. Among the items that Carpenter stole were a plaster cast of the surrogate’s belly, ultrasound pictures and various surrogate documents with tax information. The surrogate was not home at the time of the incident.
 
Scandalous losses
8. Tiger Woods saga costs sponsors’ shareholders up to $12 billion
The details: Shareholders of Nike, Gatorade and other Tiger Woods sponsors will lose $5 billion to $12 billion from the scandal about his mistresses, according to researchers at UC Davis. These losses are separate from — and potentially much larger than — damage to Woods’ own $100 million annual earnings. It’s based on stock market returns for 13 trading days between the car crash that triggered Woods’ fall from grace and a week after the golf great announced his indefinite leave from competition.
Nuke-fuel deal
9. Iran seeks to smuggle tons of uranium ore
The details: A leaked intelligence report said Iran is trying to import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, which is in violation of United Nations Security Council sanctions. Tehran appears to be running out of the material, which it needs to feed its uranium enrichment program. The deal could be completed within weeks, with Iran willing to pay $450 million for the shipment.
Heart problems
10. Slipshod tests used to approve medical devices
The details: About two of three cardiac pacemakers, stents and other medical devices implanted each year in hundreds of thousands of U.S. heart patients were approved by government regulators without adequate scientific review. Eighty-eight percent had no direct measure of whether patients felt better, their heart function improved or they lived longer, according to scientists at UC San Francisco. Medtronic’s Sprint Fidelis defibrillators were recalled in 2007 after 268,000 were already implanted.
Dim bulb of the week: Ivana Trump
What: Ivana Trump was reportedly removed from a Delta-Northwest flight from West Palm Beach, Fla., to New York’s La Guardia Airport after calling nearby children “little f---ers” and abusing flight attendants. 
Why: Apparently it wasn’t the first time she ran into such problems. A report in September indicated that she acted upset because she was put in coach and referred to children on the flight as “monsters” and “barbarians,” telling parents to “shut them up.” On another flight two years ago, airline personnel reportedly refused to let her board because she was so abusive.

wrong number

 

1. Florida man calls 911 for ride to bar

The details: Gregory Oras, 37, called 911 saying he’d been beaten and shot at. But the truth was that he was hoping to use the sob story to get the police to drive him to a bar. Instead, Oras got a ride to the big house, where he’s being held on charges of misusing the 911 system and battery on an officer.


‘False hope’ ends

 

2. SF Housing Authority closes waiting list

The details: There are too many people on the waiting list for affordable housing in San Francisco, and there are not enough employees — or units — to come close to whittling the list down. As of January 2009, there were nearly 30,000 people on the waiting list and only 104 vacant units. The number of staff who handle all the requests? Thirteen. But closing the waiting list is for residents’ own good, according to The City. “With a very low vacancy rate, it can sometimes take 10 years for clients to reach the top of the waiting list, leading to false hopes of finding immediate affordable housing in San Francisco,” a report said.


Bad aim

 

3. Man accused of using pellet gun on boy as a lesson

The details: A Florida man is accused of trying to teach a boy a lesson by shooting him with a pellet gun. According to a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, 39-year-old Christopher Fred Cady shot the boy in the chest with the pellet gun, a Christmas gift, after the child shot an autistic cousin with the gun.


Playing with fire

 

4. 11-year-old, boyfriend set girl’s mother on fire

The details: An 11-year-old Florida girl and her 15-year-old boyfriend face attempted murder charges after allegedly setting the girl’s mother’s bedroom on fire while the woman slept. The girl had reportedly been fighting with her mother, most recently when the mom accused her of stealing cigarettes.


Mean Sheen

 

5. Actor reportedly threatens wife with knife 

The details: Charlie Sheen, 44, was arrested Christmas Day in Aspen, Colo., where he was on vacation with wife Brooke Sheen, 32. Brooke told police he threatened her during an argument that started when she said she wanted a divorce, and 911 tapes revealed a woman who identifies herself as Brooke tells the dispatcher, “I thought I was gonna die for one hour.” Charlie told police the couple slapped each other and that he snapped two pairs of her eyeglasses in front of her, but he denied threatening her with a knife. The couple is trying to reconcile and have asked a judge to modify a restraining order that prevents them from having contact.


Unethical treatment

 

6. PETA worker allegedly neglects snakes in his care

The details: According to attorneys for an exotic animal dealer based in Arlington, Texas, a PETA worker who was posing as an employee of the store was intentionally neglecting the animals in order to enhance his daily reports to the animal rights group. The company, called U.S. Global Exotics, is trying to regain custody of more than 26,000 animals seized by the city Dec. 15 after evidence was turned over describing what is said to be animal cruelty. 

 He was really into her

 

7. Ohio top cop sentenced for break-in at actress’ surrogate’s home 

The details: The police chief in Ohio who was found guilty last month of breaking into the residence of Sarah Jessica Parker’s baby’s surrogate mother was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. Barry Carpenter was snooping around the woman’s home, looking for items to sell to the tabloids while she was pregnant with the celebrity’s twin daughters. Among the items that Carpenter stole were a plaster cast of the surrogate’s belly, ultrasound pictures and various surrogate documents with tax information. The surrogate was not home at the time of the incident.

 Scandalous losses

 

8. Tiger Woods saga costs sponsors’ shareholders up to $12 billion

The details: Shareholders of Nike, Gatorade and other Tiger Woods sponsors will lose $5 billion to $12 billion from the scandal about his mistresses, according to researchers at UC Davis. These losses are separate from — and potentially much larger than — damage to Woods’ own $100 million annual earnings. It’s based on stock market returns for 13 trading days between the car crash that triggered Woods’ fall from grace and a week after the golf great announced his indefinite leave from competition.


Nuke-fuel deal

 

9. Iran seeks to smuggle tons of uranium ore

The details: A leaked intelligence report said Iran is trying to import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, which is in violation of United Nations Security Council sanctions. Tehran appears to be running out of the material, which it needs to feed its uranium enrichment program. The deal could be completed within weeks, with Iran willing to pay $450 million for the shipment.


Heart problems

 

10. Slipshod tests used to approve medical devices

The details: About two of three cardiac pacemakers, stents and other medical devices implanted each year in hundreds of thousands of U.S. heart patients were approved by government regulators without adequate scientific review. Eighty-eight percent had no direct measure of whether patients felt better, their heart function improved or they lived longer, according to scientists at UC San Francisco. Medtronic’s Sprint Fidelis defibrillators were recalled in 2007 after 268,000 were already implanted.


Dim bulb of the week: Ivana Trump

 

What: Ivana Trump was reportedly removed from a Delta-Northwest flight from West Palm Beach, Fla., to New York’s La Guardia Airport after calling nearby children “little f---ers” and abusing flight attendants. 

Why: Apparently it wasn’t the first time she ran into such problems. A report in September indicated that she acted upset because she was put in coach and referred to children on the flight as “monsters” and “barbarians,” telling parents to “shut them up.” On another flight two years ago, airline personnel reportedly refused to let her board because she was so abusive.

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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