A Soldier Criticizes His Army Comrades’ Tea Party Ideology
I bet I’m not the only journalist who can relate to that quote. (Another: “I’m just pointing out that the vast majority of Americans assume the media they consume isn’t regularly filled with obvious untruths.”)
The pianist at First United Methodist Church was as nervous as he’d ever been before a performance.
Music comes naturally to Chad Stoffel. So he wasn’t worried what they would think of his playing. He was worried what they thought of him.
"Do they know about my past?" Had they seen the newspapers? The ones that showed his face and the words sex offender?
This was February 2012. For about seven months, Stoffel had been living 2 miles outside of town in a secluded neighborhood called Miracle Village. He was one of about 85 sex offenders who had quietly settled there under court order after finishing their prison sentences. It was a lonely exile but preferable to sleeping under bridges like so many other sex offenders around the state.
Now he was standing at the front of the congregation — on Ash Wednesday, no less — flanked by two other Miracle Village residents who were going to accompany him on the hymns.
Stoffel, 37, wanted to show the congregation that he was more than a criminal. He wore nice slacks and a dress shirt and tried to be, in his words, “perfect.” Still, even Pastor Patti Aupperlee, who had invited the men to the service, couldn’t reassure them.
"I don’t know what’s going to happen," she said.
Just before 7 p.m., a woman in her late 50s found her usual place seven rows back on the right. Lynda Moss, the church treasurer, had attended First United Methodist since she was little. She had harbored an aversion to sex offenders almost as long. It was the reason that she had once stormed into the pastor’s office to tell her: “Those people will never change.”
No one that day expected who would end up changing.
Sex offenders, Pahokee congregation forge unlikely bond | Tampa Bay Times
Story by Ben Wolford
Photos by Melissa Lyttle
I thought this was one of the most well-written things I’ve read in a long time. Then I noticed it was written by Ben Wolford, a former Stater colleague and cross-country opponent from my high school’s rival. Very amazed. Read this. Look at the photos. Do both.
Eleana Frangedis, 18, lives in an eight-bedroom house in a gated community on the water in Tarpon Springs. She had never hiked or chopped wood or gone more than a day without washing her hair.
But in March, in her role as Miss Teen America, she had spent an afternoon at a wilderness camp for troubled girls. She had planned to tell the girls at Camp E-Nini-Hassee they could be anything they wanted to be. Instead, they had inspired her with their stories of survival.
In their thank-you letters, they invited her back for a week. She wanted to prove she was strong, that she could make it in the woods, like them.
Eleana’s mother said she wouldn’t be able to handle it. Besides, her mom said, why would you want to do that?
Finally, Eleana’s mom relented. She could go for one night.
Miss Teen America finds freedom, for a day | Tampa Bay Times
Story by Lane DeGregory
Photo by Melissa Lyttle
Read the whole thing. It’s so sad. Yes, really. Read it.
More than 1 in 4 kids rely on the government for food, and that’s especially a problem in the summer.
The Boston marathon bombers might still be at large if they hadn’t been so careless.
For instance: Why did they interrupt their carjacking to stop for snacks?
Crowdfunding Campaign of the Day: Let’s Fix David Henneberry’s Boat (That Got Ruined in the Boston Bomber’s Standoff)!
Wouldn’t it already be covered by insurance?
Hundreds are injured and many feared dead in the small central Texas town.
We’ve embedded the Soundcloud of the emergency dispatcher, along with the video we linked to earlier. More to come in the morning.
The Marathon was the old, drunk uncle of Boston sports, the last of the true festival events. Every other one of our major sporting rodeos is locked down, and tightened up, and Fail-Safed until the Super Bowl now is little more than NORAD with bad rock music and offensive tackles. You can’t do that to the Marathon. There was no way to do it. There was no way to lock down, or tighten up, or Fail-Safe into Security Theater a race that covers 26.2 miles, a race that travels from town to town, a race that travels past people’s houses. There was no way to garrison the Boston Marathon. Now there will be. Someone will find a way to do it. And I do not know what the race will be now. I literally haven’t the vaguest clue.
Boston Marathon explosion - Grantland
Story by Charles P. Pierce
Photo by Aram Boghosian/Boston Globe/Getty Images