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

Wednesday 12.06.00

Unable to locate any real drug dealers, the Petaluma Police Department arrested one student at Petaluma High School for possessing and attempting to sell "a substance resembling a narcotic," reports Petaluma's ArgusCourier.com. If convicted, the suspected oregano dealer could do hard thyme for the offense. Officers could not be reached for comment regarding the apparently new "Spice Is Vice" policy.

Friday 12.08.00

The U.S. Postal Service is investigating the theft of several hundred pieces of mail, from addresses in Sausalito and Mill Valley, that were dumped on the side of a remote Marin County roadway. Authorities suspect that the mail was stolen from curbside mailboxes in an effort to find cash or other valuables, or was an ill-fated effort to recover a love letter the culprit may have sent his ex during a drinking binge. (I am reminded of the bizarre story of an acquaintance whose ex-girlfriend mailed him a "Dear John" that included a Polaroid of herself orally pleasing another man. In retaliation, the dude sent the picture to her father.) A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the theft--though the recipient is advised to pick up the dough in person, thus allaying any "the check is in the mail" dallying on the part of the post office.

Saturday 12.09.00

Due to a rash of "reverse hooky," more Marin County public school students are saying "Here" at roll call than should be, reports the Marin Independent Journal. Droves of parents from outside the county have taken to personally busing in their kids to the comparatively tony schools for which the county is known. The discovery led district officials to hire a private investigator to track the residency of students whose addresses were questionable--i.e., outside Marin County. "We would hear from the schools that they would try to call a parent and they wouldn't be at the phone number, or mail was returned, or children would be late and say they were in Vallejo," said Barbara Smith, superintendent of San Rafael schools. A homeless Davidson Middle School boy was kicked out of school the day before Thanksgiving when he was unable to prove he lived at a Marin residence--because, gee, he didn't have one. The boy returned to school the following week after his family proved they had been living in a one-room Canal District office for two weeks. Tamalpais Union High School District superintendent William Levinson mimicked the Grinch with his assessment of the problem: "It's impossible to know how many are in the schools that shouldn't be, because if we knew, they wouldn't be."

Saturday 12.09.00

Bondage to go: In an apparent new spin on autoeroticism, Trudja Williams of Suisun City tied her hands to the steering wheel of a minivan, plunged off Panoramic Highway, and blamed it on her boyfriend. Since paramedics found Williams in the minivan without bindings on her legs, however, police had been wondering why she didn't simply hit the brakes. "We are closing the case," Detective Fred Marziano told the Marin Independent Journal. "We have essentially discovered that the crime that was alleged did not occur." Williams stormed off in the minivan after a romantic spat with her beau over another driver. In an unrelated matter, director David Cronenberg's flick Crash, an examination of weirdoes who find sexual pleasure in automobile crashes, was released this week on DVD.

Tuesday 12.12.00

Looking for a cheap drunk? The Sonoma Index Tribune reports that Sears Point Raceway, the California Highway Patrol, and the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School are offering a "Holiday Sobriety Challenge," wherein participants will be served up to three glasses of wine or beer, let loose on the track, and put through a series of field sobriety tests by CHP officers. Yee-haaa! The challenge will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 14, at Sears Point Raceway. What do you mean this is sting, ociffer?

Tuesday 12.12.00

Eco-sadists who get off on maiming and humiliating defenseless vegetation may be disappointed this Christmas season, reports the Press Democrat. Several of Sonoma County's choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms have already sold out of their stock of firs and pines (which, to the delight of amateur clear-cutters, generally aren't spiked). "We had some disappointed people last weekend when they couldn't find the tree they liked because the selection was so limited," said Beverly Christensen of Christensen's Tree Farm in Cotati. One possible solution is to convert to Judaism, so you can play with fire for eight days.

Tuesday 12.12.00

Coast Miwok Indians entered the Bay Area real estate melee when, on Monday, the U.S. Senate voted to restore tribal status to eight California tribes, which includes about 3,500 acres of federal land, reports the PD. No word when the U.S. government is scheduled to double-cross the Native American group, but it could be as early as next week given the current housing market.

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From the December 14-20, 2000 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.

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