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Important events as reported by daily newspapers and summarized by Daedalus Howell.

Tuesday 11.14.00

With apologies to Kermit the Frog, it's not easy being (a putting) green for neighbors of Kentfield's Ann Morrissey. Her motion to review the legality of a backyard 600-square-foot synthetic green near her home was rejected by the Marin County Board of Supervisors, reports the Marin Independent Journal. "Most people would say, 'A putting green? So what?' " said Morrissey. Indeed the chorus resounds--so what? "But they are not using it as a putting green. They are using it as a chipping green and whacking the ball," she laments. "This is not trivial--it is about safety for my son." It's unclear how many points golfers score if one actually pegs the kid, but area putters agree that a moving target increases the par considerably. The feud came to a head at a recent meeting of the Kentfield Planning Advisory Board where, according to meeting's minutes, the neighbor picked up a sack of balls that Morrissey had brought as a visual aid. Morrissey then tried to grab the guy's balls, but he wrestled his sack away from her. When onlookers protested, he let Morrissey get her hands on his ball sack, sputtered some dirty words, and left. No word if the ball-grabbing later inspired the golfer to use his wood. The case was cited in an 87-page report by the Marin County Civil grand jury (the report can be delivered to your mailbox in a plain brown wrapper).

Wednesday 11.15.00

Petaluma's ArgusCourier.com reports that the Petaluma Police arrested Billy Messimer, clothier manager of the Petaluma Ross discount store and criminal mastermind, for allegedly embezzling $468 by giving himself credit for returned items he never purchased. The action handily earns the department the coveted moniker "Fashion Police." The company's district loss-prevention manager (read: tattletale) had taken the Petaluma man into custody for the crime, but let the Fashion Police take credit for it, garnering a rocket boost in their public opinion ratings, which brings them to an even zero.

Saturday 11.18.00

Anti-smoking crusaders can exhale a collective sigh of relief--the world's first Marlboro Man has gone up in a puff of crematory smoke, reports the Napa Valley Register. Seventy-year-old Stephen Butin joins Joe Camel and his Marlboro Man successor David McClean (who died of smoking-related illness in 1995) in that great black lung in the sky. A former rodeo rider born in Santa Rosa, Butin was recruited by famed ad man Jay Conrad Levinson in the mid-'50s because he was a "real cowboy." Honey! The Marlboro Man concept, considered one of the most successful in advertising history, enticed millions of orally fixated macho men into the boys' room, where they huffed, puffed. and sucked the tar out of (insert your favorite slang for "cigarette" here). Now they get their fix from an oxygen tube. Thank you, Marlboro Man.

Sunday 11.19.00

Buyers beware: The Rohnert Park fuzz are giving locals another legal reason to avoid teenage girls (used camcorder, anyone?) with their new decoy program that busts adults who purchase booze for hot teenage betties, reports the local daily. Administered by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the sting is jocularly referred to by the cops and young honeys as "Mister, Mistering" (which sounds like either a French skin flick or an '80s Euro-pop band). In a new spin on the term "police siren," the barely legal chicks hang around the entrances of liquor stores (what's new?) flashing their doe eyes and courting buyers, who are summarily popped for contributing to the delinquency of minors. Twenty-four-year-old Joel Roberts learned the hard way that one can't drain a keg with a wiretap when a six-pack intended for a beer-baiting tart landed him a misdemeanor citation. In a "this hurts me more than it hurts you" recap of Roberts' bust, the teenage Santa Rosa Junior College police cadet said, "I feel so bad. I feel so bad. But it's teaching him a lesson." As they say, if you're too young to do, teach.

Monday 11.20.00

Residents of a Petaluma neighborhood were allowed back into their homes after a nightlong standoff ended between police and 52-year-old Jay Haymaker, who they decided to believe was holding his roommate at gunpoint. Haymaker was actually alone. The suspect "surrendered" at 9:30 on Monday morning, when retrieving his morning newspaper, after officers from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department's SWAT team made an explosive sound as a diversionary tactic--then pointed fingers at each other crowing, "You smelt it, you dealt it." Officers had tried to make contact with Haymaker throughout the night, using bullhorns because his phone number is apparently unlisted. They'd asked residents of about a dozen homes on West Payran Street and Rocca Drive to leave, ostensibly because of the danger of gunfire, but also so they wouldn't see how their tax dollars were spent on a PD block party.

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From the November 23-29, 2000 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.

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