Da Mayor's Debacle

The foul fowl crows over Scottsdale's vote-down of the anti-lap-dance prop, a major slap-down of Mayor Mary Manross

Pardon this peacock's French, but does anyone else find this completely fucking retarded?

"We stand in 100-degree heat to give blood," reads another phrase. "216 AZ firefighters respond to WTC," states another. Duh, Americans gave so much blood post-9/11 that the Red Cross ended up throwing much of it away. And practically everywhere sent firefighters and emergency personnel. So what?

Aside from the maudlin and the self-congratulatory, there's also a cheap lefty slant to the thing. Like, war's bad, OK? So the peaceniks had to include PC crap like "Arizona Interfaith Movement promotes understanding, & respect," along with "America bad" messages such as "07-01-02, erroneous US air strike kills 46 Uruzgan civilians." Wow, this is nearly as thought-provoking as a rerun of M*A*S*H!

The whole project is so small-town and so obvious that it reminds this jaundiced jaybird of that classic comedy show Fernwood 2Nite starring Martin Mull as talk-show host Barth Gimble, the big fish in the podunk pond of fictional Fernwood, Ohio. Difference is, Fernwood 2Nite was a satire, while the lame-brains responsible for the AZ 9/11 Memorial are as serious as a case of the clap. Someone pass the penicillin, please!

Alamoodi Agonistes

What's this ferocious flapper to make of former Arizona State University Student Body Prez Yaser Alamoodi getting nabbed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

The Saudi Arabian's been cooling his heels in Arizona's Eloy Detention Center since September 6, when ICE paid an early-morning visit to Alamoodi's pad to take him into custody for being "out of status," or in the U.S. illegally. According to ICE flack Russel Ahr, Alamoodi ain't getting out 'til he sees a judge, which Ahr says could take "a few weeks." When that happens, chances are Alamoodi'll receive a one-way ticket back to camel-jockey land.

Alamoodi gained fame last year for wanting to penalize chicks who doffed their plumage for Playboy with expulsion or suspension, a stance so severe it earned him the near-universal ire of his fellow undergrads, ("Yaser, That's My Baby," December 15, 2005).

Even Stalin-esque ASU Prez Michael Crow declined to support Alamoodi's puritanical position, perhaps inspired by his homeland Saudi Arabia's medieval treatment of women. Back in S.A., any woman not covered in black from head to toe and accompanied by her husband risks being beaten and arrested by the country's religious police.

But Alamoodi's pal Deedra Abboud of Arizona's Muslim American Society says that the last thing Alamoodi wants to do is return to the Old Country.

"Yaser has no interest in living in Saudi Arabia," Abboud told The Bird. "He considers it to be a very oppressive society."

Abboud contends that Alamoodi, who resigned his post as student body prez in January, has been unfairly detained, and should be granted some sort of waiver so he can continue studying poli sci at ASU. She's trying to raise money to help Alamoodi pay for his lawyer. Other friends of Alamoodi have started a Help Yaser campaign on MySpace.

But to hear Alamoodi's soon-to-be-ex-wife tell it, the reason ICE picked him up was because he wanted to head home anyway. ASU grad and freelance journo Joy Hepp informed this gossipy gull that she filed for divorce from Alamoodi because he told her he wanted to return to Saudi Arabia without her.

"He's like, `I'm going to Saudi Arabia, and you'll be fine, basically,' confided Hepp. "So, I did the next logical thing."

Hepp withdrew her sponsorship of Alamoodi's residency application on August 9, and the ICE machine started clicking. Sources tell The Bird that Alamoodi knew his time was up. He was conveniently behind on his rent, according to them, and had planned a deportation party (no strippers, natch) for the same week ICE agents apprehended him.

At least Alamoodi won't have to fret about topless ASU coeds in Riyadh. Good luck getting a copy of Playboy there, boyo. They'd probably chop off his hand over there before he could tell the thought police that he's just looking at the mag for, um, research purposes.

Holy Heart Attack

Is the diocese of Phoenix trying to drive a Catholic priest to an early grave? That's what The Bird's wonderin' after the wheelchair-bound, 82-year-old Father Francis LeBlanc of El Mirage's Our Lady of the Sun International Shrine suffered a heart attack and had to be rushed to intensive care last week.

The French-Canadian padre, who's been saying the traditional Latin mass at his chapel for 26 years, is currently recovering at Boswell Memorial Hospital in Sun City. But The Bird suspects that baseless charges by one of Bishop Thomas Olmsted's boys may have helped put the kindly pastor in ICU.

See, Father LeBlanc recently filed a lawsuit against the Diocese because Father Hans Ruygt of Surprise's St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church accused LeBlanc in a July parish newsletter of having been "excommunicated by the Pope." Ruygt subsequently rephrased the online note, deleting the excommunication bit, while stating that LeBlanc's church "was not established by the Diocese of Phoenix and that its pastor is not recognized as a priest in good standing with our diocese."

Though Father LeBlanc has been at loggerheads with the PHX Diocese since pedophile-juggler and hit-and-runster Thomas "Potatoes" O'Brien was the Bishop, LeBlanc was never excommunicated. Indeed, he's been a Catholic priest since he was ordained back in 1950! No surprise, then, that LeBlanc's asking for a formal, public apology and $250K in damages.

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Some victims of the Cornwall sex abuse scandal are receiving large financial settlements after decades of allegations that a cover-up of a pedophile ring existed in the eastern Ontario city, CTV Ottawa has learned.

The sex abuse scandal was uncovered in the early 1990s. A public inquiry ended in December 2009 after four years. The inquiry found the Catholic Church, police, the Ontario government and the legal system all failed to protect children from sexual predators.

Now, Ontario’s attorney general has confirmed to CTV that several financial settlements have been reached with victims, and more lawsuits are outstanding.

Although confidentiality agreements could mean taxpayers will never learn the true cost of the settlements, a former MPP predicts the payouts will total tens of millions of dollars.

“I would look at somewhere between $70-100 million,” said Garry Guzzo, a former Conservative MPP who blew the whistle on the scandal and pushed for a public inquiry. The Courts in Cornwall are going to ask David Ostler to appear in court for his abuse of alter boys.

“It’s a lot of money coming from very few taxpayers, and the people of the Catholic Church are taxpayers.”


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