Understatement: 'Why Sara hates Laredo' video annoys Laredo

"This town sucks, and thank God I was not born here or raised here 'cause I would probably be dead by now."

That was the opening salvo from Sara Wells' roughly 8-minute video, "Why Sara hates Laredo," posted earlier this month on YouTube. The video, which appears to have been shot at home with Walls speaking directly to the camera, did not go unnoticed.

Walls, a Colorado native, explains at the start of the video that she moved to the Texas border city of about 230,000 people a year and a half ago, after her husband was transferred there for work. She then begins to rail against Laredo's Latino drivers, crime and life on the border.

"Half the people driving around have Mexican plates and don't know American laws," the young mother says. In the video, Walls wears a hoodie and dangling earrings -- her brown hair pulled back -- with what appears to be a wall of windows and family photos in the background.

Walls, who is white, says in the video that she's encountered "illegal Mexicans" in her backyard three times since moving to Laredo and that half the people in town don't speak English. She bases the statement, she says, on interactions she's had while driving to, among other places, Wal-Mart.

"The Mexican men here are disgusting," she says, and goes on to complain about being hit on. She also has a few things to say about Mexican moms covering their children's cavities with gold caps and feeding babies Pepsi. She even condemns menudo, a traditional Mexican soup, and the annual Laredo menudo festival.

"I have a list of bad stuff I hate about Laredo, that's how much I hate it," Walls says, glancing down to consult the list. "The whole town is really ghetto, sketchy, scary, unsafe."

"I pray to God that my husband can transfer out of here."

The video ends with Walls casually mentioning that she anticipates negative comments from "haters," but promising to read their comments nonetheless.

"I'm a white girl. How do they say it? They call me guera, gringo," she says. "I was never prejudiced against Mexicans until I moved to this town. So thank you, Laredo, for giving good Mexicans a bad name."

Walls grossly underestimated the potential effect of her video rant.

Overwhelmed by hundreds of negative comments and threats, she removed the video only to later see it posted again by critics, garnering more than 24,000 views and nearly 500 comments as of Friday. Viewers vented their anger on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, prompting a CNN ireport that fanned the flames.

"Get a life. Get a job and stop leeching off our Laredo economy and go back to Colorado," one critic wrote, adding, "By the way Colorado is a Spanish word that means red."

"I have blonde hair, green eyes and im not from here either but i love it here. This chick is stupid!" wrote another.

"Everyone should gather a ton of menudo and dump it on her garden at night," someone suggested.

Soon after, a photo of what appears to be Sara Walls menudo mix was uploaded online.

Earlier this week, Walls' husband came forward to apologize on her behalf, but that failed to contain the controversy.

Michael Walls told Laredo's Pro8 News that his wife struggled with being away from her hometown and adjusting to a very different culture. After she posted the video, he said, he and his kids saw the community turn not just on her, but on them too.

"I'm just sincerely sorry and if there is anything I can do to make it right I mean I would but I didn't do it. So I'm apologizing for my family," Walls said on Monday. He added that the family has moved away from Laredo and has no plans to return.

But the apology didn't satisfy Laredoans outraged by the video, many of whom posted send-up videos of their own on YouTube, including an LMFAO remixWhy Laredo hates Colorado and Sara hates menudo, which dubbed Walls "the meanest whitey you'll ever meet."

The outraged included Laredo's mayor, who spoke out against the video the same days Walls' husband apologized.

"The city of Laredo has been offended," Mayor Raul G. Salinas told KGNS TV.

The mayor made a suggestion of what might help, besides apologizing: He invited Sara Walls to come see him at his office "to talk about the city of Laredo."

He said the video was "not fair to the people of Laredo" and claimed "the monster of racism has awoken."

"On YouTube, Facebook you can say whatever you want, but it does not give you the right to be destroying a great city and speaking ill of our culture and our people," he said, "Just because we happen to be bilingual is not a bad thing. It's a good thing."

The mayor went on to praise the local university and schools, tout the upcoming baseball stadium, golf course and the fact that local unemployment is at 7.2%.

"She's totally wrong," he said, "Laredo is numero uno."


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'Sexperiment': Texas pastor beds down with wife atop church

Wedding ringsA Southern Baptist pastor recently bedded down with his wife atop their Dallas-area church for what they called a 24-hour "Sexperiment."

"We're bringing the bed back in church," the Rev. Ed Young said.

"For far too long, the church has been silent," added Lisa Young, his wife.

Ed Young told Houston's KHOU that he decided to camp out with his wife of 29 years on the roof of their Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, to send a message about faith and marriage.

The message: “Bring God back into the bed,” by having sex with your spouse for seven days straight.

The couple expound upon this point in their new book,"Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy With Your Spouse."

The couple started what they billed as a "24-hour bed-in" at 6 a.m. Friday. They had a live webcam and even held "bedside interviews," taking questions and comments on Facebook and Twitter.

They cited John Lennon and Yoko Ono's famous bed-ins for peace as their inspiration.

"We're trying not to go for the same hair styles and facial hair," Lisa Young said.

At one point, the couple's four children joined them in bed. Lisa Young asked her teenage daughter what it was like to have her parents write a book about sex.

"It's pretty cool actually," she said. "It's reassuring to know y'all are doing OK, that your marriage is kind of a model."

She urged fellow teens to "save yourselves" for marriage.

Once the kids left, things got a little chilly.

"We have an electric blanket -- it's getting cooler; the wind's picked up," Lisa Young said as she sat next to her husband in bed, tucked under a comforter, both wearing coats and sunglasses ("looking Hollywood," as she put it). In the background, cars zoomed down nearby highways.

"It's like an Arctic zone," Ed Young said.

Several guests chatted with the couple via Skype.

"It is obvious Lisa is doing all the work of the bed-in," joked Steven Furtick, of Charlotte, N.C. "I might make an analogy... "

They all laughed.

Furtick, a young father of three married for almost a decade, quoted Proverbs 29:13, "Where there is no vision, people cast off restraint."

"Usually we approach sexuality from a restrictive standpoint," he said, as the Youngs nodded in agreement. "You can put on all the rules and scare people with tactics, but if there's no vision, no preferable future they're driving towards, the restraint will be cast off. You guys have a vision."

The Youngs agreed.

Judah Smith, a Seattle pastor, also Skyped with the couple. He and his wife said they plan to hold their own "Sexperiment."

"If anybody should have the best sex, it should be the people who worship the one who created it," Smith said.

Critics have called Young's approach extreme, saying he is too focused on sex. Young told KHOU “it’s not a gimmick,” but necessary for pastors to discuss sexuality.


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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Illustration credit: Shutterstock

'I'm shooting people': Man who allegedly shot family calls 911 [Audio]

A memorial is held for victims of a Christmas Day shooting in Texas.

A Texas man can be heard whispering to a 911 operator, "I'm shooting people," from a Dallas-area home where seven family members were killed on Christmas Day.

Police in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine originally thought the call was just an open 911 line but later enhanced the audio on the recording, revealing the voice.

"The newly discovered audio was not heard on the original audio software over many playbacks, and was not heard/understood by the dispatcher who took the call on Sunday," Grapevine police Lt. Todd Dearling said in a statement released to the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.

AUDIO: 911 call

At the start of the call, a man believed to be the shooter initially gasps, "Help, help!"

"You need help? Are you sick?" the dispatcher says.

His chilling response, in a low whisper:

"I'm shooting people."

"What was that?" the dispatcher responds, "Do you need an ambulance or police? Hello?"

No response can be heard.

ApartmentsPolice responded to the call from a Grapevine apartment complex and found the bodies, surrounded by opened Christmas presents. The town is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas.

Investigators now believe Azizolah "Bob" Yazdanpanah, 56, who came to the apartment dressed as Santa Claus, shot his family before fatally shooting himself. He was found holding a 9-millimeter pistol, and although his brother-in-law was also holding a 40-caliber pistol, police believe Yazdanpanah placed the gun in his hand before shooting himself, according to Grapevine police Sgt. Robert Eberling.

"We believe based on the investigation that he staged it there," Eberling told The Times.

Among the dead were Yazdanpanah's estranged wife, Fatemeh Rahmaty, 55; son, Ali Yazdanpanah, 14; and daughter, Nona Yazdanpanah, 19; Zohreh Ramahty, 58, Fatemeh Rahmaty's sister, and her husband, Mohamad Hossein Zarei, 59; and their daughter, Sara Fatemeh Zarei, 22.

Yazdanpanah, a volunteer high school debate coach and real estate agent who also went by "Aziz," had separated from his wife earlier this year and declared bankruptcy, investigators have said. But that did not immediately explain the shooting, Eberling said.

"We might not have any idea of what absolutely motivated him," Eberling said, adding, "We still have some folks to speak with and some evidence to go through."

A friend told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Yazdanpanah sent her a text earlier this year joking about death in Grapevine.

“What do u call a guy who’s born in Austin and grows up in Dallas and then dies in Grapevine? ......... DEAD," the text said.

"He was always telling a joke," the friend told the Star-Telegram, saying she knew Yazdanpanah from a happy hour group where he appeared to be a lighthearted family man.

"But when he sent me this, I thought it was weird. I didn't even respond," said the friend, who asked not to be identified.

Sara Fatemeh Zarei, Yazdanpana's niece who was among the victims, sent several text messages to a friend shortly before the shooting, police confirmed.

"So we're here. We just got here and my uncle is here too. Dressed as Santa. Awesome," Zarei texted.

And later:

"Now he wants to be all fatherly and win father of the year."

A memorial page on Facebook has been created, and a candlelight vigil was held Wednesday in a park near the Grapevine apartment complex where the family was killed. Mourners said the family of Iranian immigrants settled in the Dallas area decades ago.

"This is a night of closure and a way to pay our respects," Allison Baum, Nona's best friend, told Reuters at the memorial.

Karim Ghoghaie, who told Reuters that he had known the family for more than 30 years, said relatives from London and Los Angeles arrived on Wednesday to claim the bodies, which will be buried at a private funeral in the Dallas area on Thursday. A separate memorial was also planned in Lanncaster, Texas, on Friday, according to Nona Yazdanpanah's memorial page on Facebook.


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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston

Photos, from top: A candlelight vigil was held in Grapevine, Texas, for the Yazdanpanah family; the Lincoln Vineyard Apartments, where authorities say Aziz Yazandanpanah killed his family and himself on Christmas Day. Credit: Mona Reeder / Dallas Morning News; Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Jon Bon Jovi dead? This Internet hoax just won't die

Jon Bon Jovi dead -- just unfounded rumors that won't go away

Jon Bon Jovi dead? No. Jon Bon Jovi is not dead. But that little tidbit of truth doesn't seem to matter. The false rumors about Bon Jovi's untimely demise gripped the country on Tuesday -- well, that and the Kardashian Christmas card -- so you might as well brush up on the details.

Bon Jovi is the latest celebrity victim of an Internet death hoax. It all started with a website called Daily News Blog International, which posted a story Monday claiming that the New Jersey rocker was dead. From there, the rumor spread like wildfire, pinging around the blogosphere and every social media network known to mankind.

Despite repeated attempts by Bon Jovi himself to put the rumors to rest, "Jon Bon Jovi dead" continued to be on fire among Google searches on Tuesday morning.

Perhaps the real news in this non-news story is that Bon Jovi might have a second career as a comedian if he decides to give up his day job.

Bon Jovi poked repeated fun at the rumor at a concert Monday night in New Jersey, referring to it several times and pretending to take frantic phone calls from friends who'd heard the news, the Star-Ledger reported.

Bon Jovi also responded to the rumor on Twitter and Facebook. On his Facbook page, he posted a picture of himself in front of a Christmas tree, holding a handmade sign that read: "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey" and included Monday's date and the time. (Brace yourselves for the next rumor about how the sign was Photoshopped and that Bon Jovi really is dead, and it's all a conspiracy.)

Adding to the intrigue: It appeared that the fake report that Bon Jovi had died was copied in part from a 2009 Los Angeles Times story that announced the death of Michael Jackson.  The Times noted on Monday that it was looking into the matter but emphasized that the newspaper was not involved in the false report.

Death hoaxes and bum rumors are nothing new. (Remember Mark Twain's quip about reports of his death being greatly exaggerated?) But new technology means these rumors ping around the globe, lightning-quick, thanks to Internet users' desire to both know everything and share everything instantly.

Bon Jovi is in good company. Other celebrity death hoax victims include Will Smith, Lady Gaga, Eddie Murphy, Justin Bieber, Jackie Chan, Johnny Depp and Mick Jagger.


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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Singer Jon Bon Jovi attends a movie premiere earlier this month in New York City. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press

New York police rip into West Indian Day parade-goers on Facebook

West Indian American Day parade in New York

New York police officers who voiced ugly complaints on Facebook about West Indians who attend an annual celebration in Brooklyn may be in trouble.

Both the New York Police Department and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office are investigating after a report in Tuesday's New York Times described a Facebook group called “No More West Indian Day Detail.” The report says the group was intended for “NYPD officers who are threatened by superiors and forced to be victims themselves by the violence of the West Indian Day massacre.”

Every Labor Day a massive celebration of Caribbean culture is held by West Indians in Brooklyn; thousands of people come out for a parade and other festivities. Some celebrations have been interrupted by violence.

For several days in September, New York police officers apparently took to Facebook to complain about having to patrol the parade; the online group grew to more than 1,200 members before it disappeared for unknown reasons.

The New York Times obtained 70 printed pages of comments, including some in which officers called the parade “a schedule riot” and referred to working it as “ghetto training.” Of the parade participants, one commented: “Let them kill each other”; one referred to them as “animals”; and another suggested: "I say have the parade one more year, and when they all gather drop a bomb and wipe them all out." 

The New York Times attempted to contact some of the commenters whose names matched those of New York police officers; one officer refused to comment and another denied he made the remarks associated with his name.

Benjamin Moore, a Brooklyn attorney, brought the group to the attention of a local court after he stumbled on it while researching a police officer who had arrested his client on gun charges after the parade. Moore, who read the comments aloud during trial, told the New York Times that they were “astounding” in their “reckless explicitness.”

Gothamist notes that none of this will come as any real shock to those familiar with the police message board NYPD Rant. On that site Tuesday, officers labeled parade participants as “savages who walked from the jungle 2 minutes ago.”

A spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and the NYPD told media outlets that the departments would be looking into who on the force might be linked to the Facebook page; the police department prohibits "discourteous or disrespectful" remarks about race and ethnicity.


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-- Geraldine Baum in New York

Photo: A costumed reveler dances in the streets of Brooklyn at the 2007 West Indian Day parade. Credit: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback apologizes for flap over student tweet

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday apologized for his staff's response to an 18-year-old student’s tweet about him

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday apologized for his staff's response to an 18-year-old student's tweet about him.

In a statement emailed to reporters and posted on the governor’s Facebook page, Brownback, a conservative Republican, said his staff had overreacted to the tweet by high school senior Emma Sullivan. She had tweeted that the governor "sucked."

The tweet was sent during a Youth in Government program last week in the state Capitol.

Sullivan did not actually speak to the governor, but his staff, which was monitoring social media, complained. Her principal eventually ordered her to write a letter of apology to the governor, which Sullivan refused to do.

The school district said in a statement Monday that Sullivan did not have to apologize.

During the weeklong dispute, Sullivan became a symbol of free speech for many in the liberal blogosphere who are at odds with Brownback's politics. The number of her followers has grown to almost 10,000, more than triple the governor's.

"My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize," Brownback wrote of the incident.

"Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms," he said.

Brownback also praised educators "who remind us daily of our liberties, as well as the values of civility and decorum. Again, I apologize for our over-reaction."


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-- Michael Muskal

Photo: Gov. Sam Brownback's Facebook page

Nasty fake Facebook pages not OK -- that's ID theft, judge says

 Dana Thornton

Facebook pages are covered by New Jersey's identity-theft law, a judge has ruled in upholding charges against a woman who allegedly trashed her ex-boyfriend by creating a false Facebook account in his name and peppering it with unpleasantries.

After Wednesday's hearing in Morristown, N.J., the woman, Dana Thornton, was ordered to appear in court next month on ID theft charges stemming from her failed relationship with Michael Lasalandra. Her lawyer, Richard Roberts, had argued that, because the state's law does not specifically mention electronic communications or social media as a means for stealing someone's identity, the charges were invalid.

Roberts also argued that the charges failed to specify any injuries Lasalandra might have suffered, comparing it to someone simply having somebody else "saying something nasty about them," New Jersey's Star-Ledger newspaper reported.

Lasalandra and Thornton dated for only about three months in 2007, and it's unclear why they broke up. But one thing is clear: The person behind the page was angry enough to create the false page for Lasalandra and post updates aimed at disparaging the former boyfriend, a police detective in Parsippany.

The comments posted on the page, which no longer exists, portrayed Lasalandra as a cop who used drugs, hired prostitutes and had at least one sexually transmitted disease.

"I’m a sick piece of scum with a gun," read one comment. "I’m an undercover narcotics detective that gets high every day," read another.

That was enough to convince Judge David Ironson that injury had been done to Lasalandra's reputation. Even though the law does not specify the means by which such injury could occur, it is "clear and unambiguous," Ironson said in ordering Thornton to face ID theft charges. 

Thornton has pleaded not guilty; if convicted, she faces 18 months in prison.

-- Tina Susman in New York


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Photo: Dana Thornton, left, and her lawyer, Richard Roberts, in court as a judge ruled that Facebook pages are covered in ID theft laws. Credit: A.F. Menezes / Associated Press

Fake Facebook page leads to ID theft charge


Facebook pages are not to be taken lightly, as a New Jersey woman has learned. She's been charged with identity theft for allegedly creating a fake Facebook page using her ex-boyfriend's name, photograph and personal information and sprinkling it with comments intended to disparage the man.

She's now challenging New Jersey's identity theft laws by arguing that they don't apply to the alleged crime.

Granted, a fake Facebook page isn't the most graceful way of bemoaning a bad breakup, and it probably didn't help that the ex is also a police detective. But the angry former girlfriend, Dana Thornton, and her lawyer say she did nothing against the law, and they will seek to have the identity theft charge thrown out at a court hearing next week.

“The statute as it exists really is aimed at people who actually go into a store with a phony credit card, for instance, and use that number and assume that name while committing a crime,” said Thornton's attorney, Richard Roberts, the Associated Press reported. “When you’re talking about things that get put on the Internet, you’re getting into free speech.”

Thornton, who is 41, faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors acknowledge that their state's law -- unlike some -- does not specifically mention Internet identities in its ID theft statute, but that Thornton's behavior harmed the reputation of her former boyfriend, a Parsippany police detective named Michael Lasalandra. (Don't bother searching -- the fake Facebook page has been removed.)

In court papers, the Morris County prosecutor's office said that even if the law does not mention Facebook or other social media, it makes clear that assuming another person's identity to injure someone is illegal. And Facebook also makes clear on its Help Center page that being a Facebook impostor is not permitted.

"Certainly it would damage his good name, standing or reputation if false comments and assertions” about Lasalandra were circulated, the court papers said.

The Daily Record has more on the case. Thornton's court date is set for Wednesday.

-- Tina Susman in New York


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Photo: The home page of Facebook. Credit: Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images

Cat lost by American Airlines gains fame as search continues

Animal lovers plan to rev up a nearly 2-month-old search at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday for Jack the cat, a fluffy orange feline whose disappearance at the hands of American Airlines has spawned a Facebook page and a PR headache for the airline.

The date has been declared Jack the Cat Awareness Day by organizers of the afternoon search at the cargo area of JFK where Jack was last seen Aug. 25. That's when Jack's owner, Karen Pascoe, checked the 18-pound cat in for their flight to California, where Pascoe was to begin a new job.

That's where the mystery begins. About a half-hour later, a baggage supervisor called Pascoe and told her that Jack's crate was empty. Searches so far have turned up nothing, and nobody has explained how the cat crate fell open as Jack waited for cargo handlers to load him onto the jet. A second pet carrier holding Pascoe's other cat, Barry, remained closed, and Barry and Pascoe eventually flew to California, without Jack.

But Jack's fame has grown steadily. A Facebook page dedicated to the search for him has more than 15,500 followers. The cat also has figured prominently on the Facebook page of American Airlines, which has been hammered by critics who say it didn't act quickly enough in the hours after Jack's disappearance to find him.

The airline notes that its efforts since the end of August have included hiring a pet detective, flying Pascoe back from California to help search, and placing food, water and humane traps in the cargo area -- all to no avail.

"We are all concerned with Jack’s well-being and our employees have been doing everything they can to locate him," American said in its most recent statement on Facebook on the situation.

But that was on Sept. 9, leading many of Jack's supporters to conclude that the airline has lost interest in the cat.

American denies this.

"We haven't given up," a spokesman, Ned Reynolds, said earlier this month, according to the New York Observer, which in this story also looked at the possible public relations ramifications of Jack's loss.

While Jack has been missing a long time, searchers might be heartened by the tale of Willow the cat, who made headlines in New York recently when she was picked up on a Manhattan street and taken to an animal shelter. It turns out Willow had vanished from her home in Colorado five years earlier but was reunited with her family thanks to a microchip inserted beneath her skin, which allowed officials in New York to contact her elated owners.

-- Tina Susman


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'Occupy the Tundra': One woman's lonely vigil in bush Alaska

Bethel protest
She is standing alone with her dogs with an early frost on the grass, staking her claim as part of the 99%. "Occupy the Tundra," says the sign she holds, hand-lettered on an old piece of cardboard.

Thousands of Americans are occupying Wall Street and various plazas, parks and squares across America. Diane McEachern has made sure that Bethel, Alaska -- a town of 6,400 way out in western Alaska -- is among them.

The picture she posted on the Occupy Wall Street Facebook page of herself in a musk-ox neck warmer, standing in the grass with her dogs in silent protest of corporate greed, has become the rural equivalent of a million-man march. The photo has been shared by thousands of people around the world.

PHOTOS: 'Occupy' protests

"I am a woman. The dogs are rescues. The tundra is outside of Bethel, Alaska. The day is chill. The sentiment is solid. Find your spot. Occupy it. Even if it is only your own mind," she wrote as a caption.

McEachern, an assistant professor in the rural human service program at the University of Alaska's Kuskokwim Campus, said she was following the Wall Street protests and wondering how they might be brought home to a town with one main street and no roads out.

"When I saw that it was growing and there was Occupying Portland and Occupying New Hampshire, I thought, for goodness' sake, what can I occupy? How can I get on this?" McEachern said in an interview with The Times. "And I thought, well, what's my context? What's important to me?"

The foreclosure crisis may not have hit bush Alaska in a huge way, but people in Bethel are paying $6.87 a gallon for gasoline, she said. Stove oil prices for heating homes are equally unaffordable. Cuts in social services to rural villages are pending.

"And right now, they're proposing here the largest gold mine in human history, the Pebble Mine, that's going to do catastrophic damage to the environment and the native community, in the premier wild salmon habitat in the world," she said. "So I'm not well-versed on the larger economic system, but I can relate to the idea of corporate wealth being lopsidedly in the hands of so few, when so many are struggling."

McEachern said she initially took the photo as a lark, inviting a friend to snap her picture with her dogs so she could post it on her own Facebook page. When she decided to post it on Occupy Wall Street's page as well, the image unexpectedly took off.

More than 4,100 people have shared it on their own Facebook pages; nearly 8,000 others have "liked" it. "If I found my way to the tundra, I would give you a hug for how awesome you are!" one person wrote. "Thank you for keeping your lonely vigil!" said another.

"I didn't think anything was going to explode like this," McEachern said. "I didn't really quite get a clue until I opened my Facebook one morning, and there's over 200 friend requests. I've got to tell you, I'm likeable, but not that likeable," she added.

"I think it may be the little dog with the piercing blue eyes, because there are so many comments about that dog piercing their soul," she added, referring to her dog Seabiscuit, one of three resolute-looking canines in the photo. "Either that, or we need to do an exorcism."

In response to the flood of comments, McEachern recently replied, announcing plans to go out on a tundra protest again on Saturday. She took the opportunity to answer queries, some from supporters, some who hadn't had anything nice to say.

"For those who ask about the [permanent fund dividend] that all Alaskans receive [based on oil revenues], I got mine and donated it to Greenpeace on behalf of Glenn Beck," she wrote. "To the suggestion I set myself on fire ...I AM on fire!"


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-- Kim Murphy in Seattle

Photo: Diane McEachern stands with her dogs with an early frost on the grass, staking her claim as part of the 99%. Credit: Diane McEachern.


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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal

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