The Week in Review
MONDAY, APRIL 21 This week of civic failure, killer crucifixes, and fatal Facebook postings kicks off in the wheel well of Boeing 767 jetliner, into which a 15-year-old California boy inserted himself and flew to Hawaii. Details come from the Associated Press, which identifies the stowaway as a high-school student from Santa Clara, who yesterday flew for five freezing hours in the wheel well before landing in Maui. "He passed out in the air and didn't regain consciousness until an hour after the plane landed in Hawaii," reports the AP. "When he came to, he climbed out of the wheel well and was immediately seen by airport personnel who escorted him inside where he was interviewed by the FBI." As for how the boy managed to not die: "It was not immediately clear how the boy stayed alive in the unpressurized space, where temperatures at cruising altitude can fall well below zero and the air is too thin for humans to stay conscious," reports the AP. "An FAA study of stowaways found that some survive by going into a hibernation-like state." Whatever the case, the boy survived and is reportedly doing fine, leaving authorities to wrangle with the fact that a high-school student managed to slip undetected through multiple layers of security, including extensive video surveillance, grounds-roving German shepherds, and Segway-riding police officers.
TUESDAY, APRIL 22 Speaking of impressive adventures, the week continues nearly 17,000 feet above Uganda, where an intrepid mountain climber from Sausalito, California, left a meaningful souvenir. As climber Neal Gottlieb wrote in an open letter posted today to Facebook: "Dear President Museveni of Uganda: On April 16, 2014, after a 6-day climb, I summited your country's tallest peak, Mount Stanley's 16,753 foot tall Margherita Peak, and mounted a gay pride flag at its summit in protest of your country's criminalization of homosexuality. Your country's highest point is no longer its soil, its snow or a summit marker, but rather a gay pride flag waving brilliantly, shining down from above as a sign of protest and hope behalf of the many thousands of Ugandans that you seek to repress and the many more that understand the hideous nature of your repressive legislation." Thank you, Neal Gottlieb, and screw you, Uganda.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23 In much worse news, the week continues in Washington State, where today brought confirmation of the defeat of Proposition 1, which sought to preserve public transit and repair roads via a $60 vehicle fee and a 0.1 percent increase in the King County sales tax, and which was conclusively rejected in yesterday's special election. "We gave the voters a choice, and presented a proposal for saving Metro Transit and maintaining our roads," said King County executive Dow Constantine at a press conference today. "They have chosen a reduced level of service, and we will carry out the will of the voters. Tomorrow, I will transmit legislation to the King County Council to reduce service by 550,000 hours and eliminate 72 bus routes." For a full explication of the anti-human shittiness of this development, as well as info on the ray-of-hope ballot measure that seeks to get Seattle property owners to pay for Seattle-only bus service, see Anna Minard's news piece on page 11.
THURSDAY, APRIL 24 Nothing happened today, unless you count the 21-year-old man who was fatally crushed by a 100-foot crucifix that toppled over in Northern Italy. ("A group of children was reported to be in attendance at the time," reports the BBC. "It is not the first death caused by a falling crucifix in Italy.") Meanwhile in North Carolina, a 32-year-old driver with a soft spot for Pharrell Williams had just updated her Facebook status—"The happy song makes me HAPPY!"—when she crashed head-on into a truck and died. "The Facebook text happened at 8:33 a.m.," explained High Point Police lieutenant Chris Weisner to MyFox8. "We got the call on the wreck at 8:34 a.m. In a matter of seconds, a life was over just so she could notify some friends that she was happy."
FRIDAY, APRIL 25 In worse news, the week continues in Connecticut, with the heartbreaking saga of Maren Sanchez, the 16-year-old honor student and drama-club kid at Milford's Jonathan Law High School, where Sanchez was enjoying life and gearing up for a production of Little Shop of Horrors (in which she was to act as puppeteer of the man-eating plant) until today, when she was fatally stabbed in the hallway at school, allegedly by a fellow student with whom she'd declined to go to prom. As witnesses told the New York Daily News, a 16-year-old male student shoved Sanchez down the stairs and attempted to choke her before stabbing her in the neck with a kitchen knife. Maren Sanchez died from her wounds, and her 16-year-old alleged killer was hauled off by school security and handed over to cops. "[Maren Sanchez] was a vibrant contributor to the school community," said Superintendent Elizabeth Feser in a statement. "We are devastated."
SATURDAY, APRIL 26 Nothing happened today, unless you count the highly intoxicating righteous indignation shared among the millions of Americans horrified by this week's two-count-'em-two instances of ridiculous old-school racism. Instance #1 involved embattled Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who spiced up an interview with the New York Times by musing about "Negroes" being "better off as slaves, picking cotton." Instance #2 involved embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was recorded by his girlfriend expressing his extreme distaste for any and all African Americans (a strong choice for the owner of a team in the friggin' NBA). Consolation fact: Both Bundy and Sterling are a million years old and will probably be dead by the time you finish reading this sentence. Bonus: Next Tuesday, Donald Sterling will be banned for life from the NBA.
SUNDAY, APRIL 27 The week ends with the return of a perennial Last Days villain: deadly weather, which today took the form of ferocious tornados that killed 14 people in Arkansas, along with one in Oklahoma and one in Iowa. "Nine of the victims came from the same street in the town of Vilonia," reports Reuters. The weather-based horror will continue tomorrow, when tornados will kill at least 13 people in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.