Watercooler Stories

Feb. 28, 2013 at 6:30 AM
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College bars public from porn star talk

PASADENA, Calif., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A California college decreed the public was barred from a lecture Wednesday by a porn actor alumnus, limiting the event to students.

Pasadena City College said Tuesday the event featuring James Deen was "unauthorized," the Los Angeles Times reported. Officials said a public lecture could be held at a later date but his appearance Wednesday would be restricted.

"We support the instructor's academic freedom within the classroom," Robert Bell, assistant superintendent of Academic and Student Affairs, said. "The college's concern is to schedule all public events according to procedures so we can insure public safety and security."

Hugo Schwyzer, who arranged the talk, said he had received only a handful of angry phone calls and emails since the event was announced two weeks ago, suggesting security would not be a problem. Schwyzer also said he had followed procedures for arranging speakers.

James Deen, born Bryan Matthew Sevilla, has starred in many X-rated films and received awards, including being named "Male Performer of the Year" by Adult Video News in 2009. He also co-starred with Lindsay Lohan in "The Canyons," a movie scheduled for release this year that has been described as an attempt to revive Lohan's career and those of its director, Paul Schrader, and writer, Bret Easton Ellis.

Before launching his movie career, he took classes at Pasadena City College.

Court: Abortion protester can enter D.C.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- An anti-abortion activist who spent 5 hours in a tree during President Obama's inauguration can visit Washington if he wishes, a court says.

But the court said Monday that Rives Grogan remains barred from an area that includes the Capitol, Supreme Court and White House, The Washington Post reported. Grogan was ordered to stay out of the District of Columbia after his arrest in January except for court hearings.

Grogan runs a ministry in Los Angeles but has been arrested many times before in Washington. After his Inauguration Day bust, prosecutors refiled charges stemming from an incident last year when he yelled anti-Planned Parenthood slogans from the public balcony in the Senate.

On Inauguration Day, Grogan yelled anti-abortion slogans from his perch in a tree.

N.Y. Times death notice criticizes Times

NEW YORK, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A paid death notice in The New York Times said a retired Israeli-born stockbroker loved everything about the city except the Times.

The New York Post said Wednesday the notice for Amos Shuchman, 84, ran Feb. 2. Schuchman "loved his family, his birth and adopted countries, finance, skiing, opera, ballet and biking in Central Park. Loved everything about NYC, except The New York Times."

Daniel Shuchman told the Post his father fought in the Haganah, a Jewish resistance movement, before Israel became an independent state. He said his father thought the Times' coverage of the Middle East was biased, canceled his subscription a long time ago and would have been unhappy to learn his death had brought the newspaper revenue.

"We think he is in heaven now with a New York Post and a falafel sandwich, having a good chuckle over this notoriety," Daniel said.

Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman, said she found the death notice "sort of amusing." She said death notices, which are paid, can say whatever they want, within broad limits.

Possible Burmese python on loose in Fla.

ANNA MARIA, Fla., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Wildlife officials in Florida said they haven't been able to track down a 6-foot snake a woman spotted slithering under a hot tub while walking her dog.

The woman saw the snake Monday while walking her dog near an apartment complex on Anna Maria Island. After her husband saw the serpent, they called Wildlife Inc., an animal rescue organization, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Tuesday.

"We don't know whether it's a Burmese python or not," said Damen Hurd of Wildlife Inc. "It sounds to me like it was a boa constrictor or a python but we won't know until we find it."

Hurd said the snake is most likely a lost pet because pythons are not native to Florida.

Wildlife Inc. rescuers searched the area for three hours but were unable to find the snake. They said they'd wait to search again until the animal is spotted a second time.

"We searched that entire area," Hurd said. "It's somewhere out there still."

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