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April 15, 2011     Post-Gazette
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April 15, 2011

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Page 10 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 15, 2011 David J. Saliba Attorney at Law Here is a case where the Court inferred that if the sole effect of impaired driving is the result of medication and not the drinking of alcohol, you may not be guilty of driving under the influence. COMMONWEALTH vs. LISE J. BISHOP APPEALS COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS No. 08-P-1735. 2010 Mass. App. December 11, 2009, Argued * Otober 15, 2010, Decided Yarmouth police Officer Raymond Schichilone dis- covered the defendant, Lise J. Bishop, shortly before midnight at the wheel of her car, stopped in the mid- dle of the road in the town of Yarmouth. The car door was open, blocking the street. She appeared to be very in- toxicated; she was arrested and handcuffed with her hands in front of her because she had difficulty standing and needed her hands to steady herself. At the police station, the defendant began what Officer Schichilone de- scribed as "outbursts"; one minute she was "calm and cooperative," and the next minute, "uncooperative and yelling." The booking ser- geant confirmed the arrest- ing officer's testimony about the defendant's presenta- Lion, stating that he believed, based upon her "easily no- ticeable" odor of alcohol and speech that was thick and "almost difficult to under- stand," the defendant was "very drunk." The defendant testified that she remembered hav- ing two drinks and dinner with her husband in a res- taurant earlier in the evening, and nothing else until she was placed in a cell after being arrested. At the time, she was taking fluoxe- tine, an anti-depressant pre- scription medication, on an "as needed" basis to combat the symptoms of a premen- strual disorder. She did not know if she had used alco- hol in the past while taking the medication but her doc- tor had not warned her of any side effects and she had read neither the patient informa- tion provided with the medi- cation nor the labels on the bottles until after she was arrested. The defendant was permitted to read the labels with the warnings, including the side effects, to the jury. The trial judge clearly informed the jury that the Commonwealth had the burden of proving that alco- hol was at least one cause of the defendant's dimin- ished capacity to operate a motor vehicle safely; the judge also told the jurors that the defendant was entitled to an acquittal if her intoxica- tion was involuntary due solely to prescribed medica- tion. These instructions were proper and the defen- dant was entitled to nothing further on that issue. This case says that if tak- ing alcohol contributes to your incapacity, then you are guilty. It alsosays if the incapacity is solely due to medication or if you were not informed by the doctor that the drug can affect your abil- ity to drive, you may not be guilty. * News Briefs (Continued from Page i) and keep religion out of a court of law. This judge erred in his judgment. As Investors Business Daily opined, "Such a ruling may seem innocu- ous. But it's the camel's nose under the tent." Quote to Note "Remember, always give your best. Never get discour- aged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself." -- President Richard M. Nixon GOP House Bill Ending Troubled Mortgage Program Passes House Republicans have pushed through legislation up on Capitol Hill to end an underachieving Administra- tion program designed to re- duce mortgage payments for homeowners facing foreclo- sure. Most Democrats admit the Home Affordable Modifi- cation Program falls short Of its goal but protested the vote to end it. The White House says if the bill reaches President Obama's desk in the Oval Office, it most probably will be vetoed. The bill passed the House, 252-170. U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. and the bill's sponsor says that a majority of homeowners who enter the program end up getting harmed because they use up savings and damage credit ratings dur- ing months of waiting, and then are rejected for perma- nent reduced loans. Of course, U.S. Represen- tative Barney Frank, D-New- ton, ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee de- nies the program was a bur- den on taxpayers saying any TARP monies spent and not returned to taxpayers when it ends in 2013 will be provided by large financial institutions. House Republicans have also proposed legislation that would begin reducing the influence of government- run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We Won't See $5 Gas Because the Nation Can't Afford the Price According to a John Chal- lenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, rising fuel prices are the "biggest ob- stacle yet" to job growth. "Companies will be reluctant to pass along their higher fuel costs to consumers. So, the more companies are re- quired to spend on fuel," said Challenger, "the less they have to spend on expansion and hiring." As bad as the economy still is, higher gas prices would be even worse. Peter Morici, a University of Maryland economist has said, "Five dollar a gallon would be dev- astating if it's in 2011; if it's in 2014 it might not be as devastating. But right now, if we went to that by July it would kill the recovery. It is unlikely that we will get to 45 a gallon because it would kill the recovery before that point and then prices would go down." Fidelity Really Not That Bad? According to a news report on the Business pages of the Boston Globe on March 24 when Fidelity Investments closes up shop in Marlboro next year, with many job po- sitions being relocated to either New Hampshire or Rhode Island but 1,100 Bay State jobs should not really hurt the Massachusetts un- employment rate since many Fidelity workers may relocate. Is this a blow to the Bay State economy or not? The sudden decision by Fidelity upset Governor Patrick who stated back then that Fidelity did not give him a chance "to fight for these jobs." The Boston Globe stated in its story, " ... as the conflict in the federal data demonstrates moving across a state border isn't necessarily a loss to the local economy." I'm not buying any of this. Anytime Bay State-based jobs are lost to neighboring states it is good news for them and bad news for us. Good news also that those workers are still working but bad news for us that those jobs have left probably for good. New Hampshire wins, Rhode Island wins. We don't win no matter the spin on things. Sarah Palin Lite Needs to Remember History Better U.S. Representative Mich- ele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who many Republicans see as presidential material, blew one recently up in Manchester, New Hamp- shire. She's a Tea Party star who might just be testing the waters for the White House. The Tea Party move- ment has been built on Revo- lutionary roots, George Washington and Paul Re- vere, but up in New Hamp- shire she misspoke about the obvious when she stated, "You're the state where the shot was heard 'round the world at Lexington and Con- cord." Only trouble she mixed up her "Concords." The shot heard 'round the world was down in and around Concord, Massachusetts and not in New Hampshire. You can write her off in 2012 too. ..... aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiza:!:i, F by bob morello ac ax reviewing the the rest THE BELLE BRIGADE Reprise Along with the release of their self-titled debut album, The Belle Brigade also an- nounced they will tour with Canadian songstress, k.d. lang, as her opening act. Two stops in this area include July 9 at South Shore Music Circus and July 10 at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. Sib- lings Barbara and Ethan Gruska are The Belle Bri- gade. Pick your favorites from eleven creative, free- spirited songs that are truly refreshing. Beautiful harmo- nies emerge from slices as, "Sweet Louise," the honesty of "Where Not to Look for Free- dom," the silky "Losers," the perfect fit of "Shirt," and the catchy beat of "Lucky Guy." The L.A.-based Brigade con- tinues via the breezy "Lonely Lonely," delivering "Punch Line" with confidence, the punctuated "My Goodness," and the pretty ballad "Fasten You to Me." With bloodlines that include dad Jay Gruska and maternal grandfather, film composer John Williams, you could say their skills are 'relative'. LEMONADE MOUTH - SOUNDTRACK Walt Disney Lemonade Mouth portrays a powerhouse high school band formed by five alienated high school students. The film pre- mieres tonight (Friday 4/15) on the Disney Channel, boasting a talented cast that includes Disney Channel art- ists, Bridgit Mendler, Adam Hicks, Naomi Scott, Hayley Kiyoke, Blake Michael and Chris Brochu. Check out the debut single "Somebody" per- formed by Mendler, along with rock, dance, hip-hop and pop gems as "Turn Up the Music," the rap-flavored "And the Crowd Goes," the fiery dance beat of "Determinate," and the 'let it all go' "Here We Go." The tart taste of Lemonade's rocker, "She's So Gone" maintains the beat, trailed by the pledge "More Than a Band," the funky "Don't Ya Wish U Were Us?," the syn- thesized sound of "Break- through," and the bonus track of "Livin' On a High Wire." An infectious soundtrack scor- ing high marks in schooll SUNNY SWEENEY Republic Nashville Country music fans not yet introduced to the music of Sunny Sweeney are about to understand and enjoy the pleasure of those who already have. Sweeney's debut single "From A Table Awayj is the highest charting debut single of a female country artist, since Taylor Swift's 2007 "Tim McGraw." Sweeney's five-song EP precedes her full album scheduled for release later this year. "Drink Myself Single" is the opener to the five-song collection she co- wrote, plus the apologetic strains of "Amy," the ratio- nale of "Staying's Worse Than Leaving," telling it like it is with "Helluva Heart," and the finale is her Top 10 "From A Table Away." Brad Paisley in- vited sweeney to join him on his H20 II: Wetter World Tour -- this spring. Having had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Sweeney at last year's WKLB Country Festival, to me, she came across as an honest and sin- cere artist, two traits that are very obvious in her music. WIZ KHALIFA- ROLLING PAPERS Rostrum-Atlantic Pittsburgh MC Wiz Khalifa released his much-antici- pated major label debut, "Roll- ing Papers" -- which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. The album already spawned three smash singles currently in the top 50 of Billboard's Hot I00 Singles, including his first effort with Atlantic "Black and Yellow," (reached #I), plus "Roll Up" and "No Sleep." Khalifa begins with life's realization "When I'm Gone," trailed by the buzz track "On My Level (featur- ing Too Short)," addressing his financial situation with "Hopes & Dreams," opening his eyes to "Wake Up," then stepping up to the line for "The Race." The mainstream tapper continues the mood by headlining "Star of the Show (featuring Chevy Woods)," sends his SO packing with "Get Your S**T," getting high with "Top Floor," and books his flight with" "Fly So]0Y-lf ting the wraps on his rap, Khalifa teams with CurrenSy on "Rooftops," and gets the proper exposure with "Cam- eras." Excellent major label debut from the "Wiz of Rap!" LALO SCHIFRIN - INVOCATIONS: JAZZ MEETS THE SYMPHONY No. 7 Aleph Aleph Records releases the seventh recording of the labels 'Jazz Meets the Sym- phony' series. Invocations: Jazz Meets the Symphony No. 7, featuring pianist, com- poser, conductor Lalo Schifrin, along with world renowned jazz musicians James Morri- son, Tom Gordon, and Pierre Boussaquet. The result is seven outstanding tracks that provide listeners with over an hour's worth of sheer pleasure. Tune in and turn on to Schifrin's sliding and soaring "Trombone Fantasy," Dizzy Gillespie's classic gem "Groovin' High" gets royal treatment, followed by a pair of Schifrin creations, the haunting title cut, and the flighty, airy "Summer Dance." Claude Debussy's lovely "Rev- erie" is polished to a high shine thanks to Schifrin's wonderful arrangement, plus close to 16 minutes worth of "Etude In Rhythm" penned by Schifrin, and features some tasty solos. The finale is con- sidered Gillespie's most de- finitive composition, "Here 'Tis," and is given top shelf treatment with even more tasty solos, and the Schifrin 'touch of gold.' Schifrin has over 100 film and television scores to his credit, and the end to his success appears to be nowhere in sight!