Longmont, Colorado, is a kinder, gentler place these days. City Council members have voted to replace street signs reading "Dead End" with ones that read "No Outlet." Some people complained the existing signs were too gloomy.
In California, Gov. Pete Wilson has again shown that he isn't afraid to take a stand on tough issues. He's come out in support of a law that would deny conjugal visits to inmates convicted of child molestation.
Following complaints from students about being exposed to sexually graphic material in classes, the University of Iowa Board of Regents has imposed a policy requiring teachers to tell students if their courses will include such material. University teachers have reacted predictably to this policy. They have termed it "censorship" and said that it abridges their academic freedom. And some members of the faculty have accused the regents of homophobia. It seems the films that prompted the complaints showed men having sex with each other.
Want to spot an unmarked police car in Tampa, Florida? Look for one sporting an expired license plate. The city police department forgot to renew the tags on its unmarked cars, including the one assigned to the chief. Another tip for spotting the cars: Look for a ticket on the windshield. Other local law-enforcement agencies have issued a number of citations to the Tampa police for the expired tags.
In Indian Creek, Florida, the City Council has banned several breeds of dogs because of their tendency to bark. Now forbidden are American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, German shepherds, Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers, and American pit bull terriers. Unfortunately, Chihuahuas and poodles are still legal.
Neither Nasr Abu Zeid nor his wife wants a divorce. But that isn't stopping divorce proceedings for the two in Cairo. Muslim fundamentalists have sued to end the marriage, claiming that Abu Zeid is a heretic and thus cannot be married to a Muslim woman. The fundamentalists say Abu Zeid should consider himself lucky that they are only trying to end his marriage and not his life.
In Concord, New Hampshire, Tiffany Tropp complained when she heard some classmates singing Christmas songs in the halls of her junior high school. Tiffany, who is Jewish, told the principal it made her feel uncomfortable, and he told the students to stop. That's when Tiffany's troubles started. She claims that other students teased her and that one classmate told her that Christmas is about peace and love, then shoved her into a locker.
In France, the courts have ordered Yves St. Laurent to stop marketing a perfume called Champagne. A 1990 law forbids using the name champagne for anything other than wine produced in the Champagne region of France.
Big B Inc., which operates the Drugs for Less chain, is under fire from civil-rights groups. Several months ago, noticing mounting losses from shoplifting, the chain began putting anti-theft tags on the items that its records showed were most likely to be stolen. Among the tagged items are batteries, diapers, condoms, and hair-care products. But black leaders say that the store discriminated against minorities because the tags were used on items often purchased by blacks.
If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. But if you're going to Berkeley, forget about strings. The city is cracking down on street artist Phillip Roundtree because he has been charging people to tie colored and beaded strings in their hair. That's vending without a license and practicing cosmetology without a license. Roundtree has racked up $11,320 in fines.
Wear dentures, go to jail. That, says Louis Clark, seems to be the law in Oakland, California. Clark is suing the city, claiming that officers hit and choked him during a drug arrest. Seems the officers thought his denture adhesive was cocaine. No charges were filed, but Clark says he spent three days in jail and his truck, in which he was sitting at the time of the arrest, was stolen because officers failed to lock it. "All I did was put my bottle of denture adhesive on the dashboard and slap in my lower teeth," Clark said.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".