Nobody was elected to the Jont Creek Water Improvement District Board in Arlie, Oregon, because nobody bothered to, vote, including the five candidates. "I had work and other stuff on my mind, I guess. I just forgot," says candidate Thomas Bollene. "It was a bad day for me to vote," said another. You might think community leaders would wise up to the fact that since nobody was interested in voting, there's probably no need for a water district. But no such luck. The county will appoint directors for the district—again. Nobody voted two years ago, either.
While educators in some schools worry about students beating the daylights out of each other or their teachers, others have the opposite problem—students being too affectionate. To stop kids from hugging and kissing on school grounds, Principal Larry Graham of Pavilion Central School in rural New York imposed a rule forbidding "overt displays of affection beyond handholding." He said the behavior had become an embarrassment. When students protested, he assured them that hugging will be allowed when the home team wins.
Videotapes destined for the Cannes Film Festival almost didn't make it because customs inspectors at London's Heathrow International Airport deemed them pornographic. Officials didn't actually look at Sex Talk and Tiger, or they would have discovered that they were public service announcements meant to get pet owners to neuter their dogs and cats. One look at the titles—clearly marked on the package because of Cannes entry rules—convinced them to return the tapes to the Boston ad agency whence they came. According to an Associated Press report, Britain's customs watchdogs thought the messages on pet reproduction were "films of animal attraction."
Give us you tired, your poor—but don't try to operate a video arcade in Rocky River, Ohio. The city council voted to drop an ordinance that allows only U.S. citizens to run game parlors. But Mayor Earl Martin didn't want foreigners corrupting local youth with their Space Invaders and Pac Man games. That's a job for Americans! He vetoed the measure. "We just want someone in charge who knows what the laws are," Martin said. "We don't expect a foreigner to know and defend these laws. They have taken no oath to the Constitution."
If they won't let you sell liquor, give it away. That's how Arnold Kaye is getting revenge on officials in Westport, Connecticut, who won't grant him a liquor license because his store is within 1,500 feet of an establishment that already has a license. In the delicatessen part of Kaye's store, customers can buy beer but can't drink it there; and in the restaurant part, they can bring in their own beer and wine. But they can't buy beer in the delicatessen and drink it in the restaurant. Kaye got fed up with the silly rules and started giving away beer and wine by the case. So far, that's not illegal. "I want to be able to enjoy freedom of competition," he says. "It's like the Boston Tea Party."
Wither Fido in the hereafter? Under Vermont law, animal carcasses are considered solid waste and should be incinerated or tossed in an approved landfill. But when state inspectors ordered a veterinary clinic to clean up a pit that it had been using to bury dead pets, someone pointed out that the state wildlife department has 40 such pits for deer, moose, and other "road kills." Somehow that's different. "Animals have been dying in the woods of Vermont for centuries," says Chief Warden Roger Whitcomb. "They're part of the food chain." State officials are writing a loophole only for themselves, but also promise not to go after homeowners who give Fluffy the Cat a shoebox funeral in the backyard.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".