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

Monday 12.18.00

Jack and Samantha top the list of the most popular names for babies delivered this year at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, reports the Marin Independent Journal. Other popular names for newborns were Baby-Jane-Doe.com, Baby-Jane-Doe.net, and Baby-Jane-Doe.org. With the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' recent approval of new domain name suffixes, baby names expected to become popular in the coming months include Baby-Jane-Doe.biz, Baby-Jane Doe.pro, and Baby-Jane-Doe.museum. "In the past we've had Justin and Jennifer and a whole host of other names that were less historical and traditional," said Vicki White, chief nursing officer at Marin General, with a nod to the future. In lieu of setting up trust funds, many parents expect their progeny to sell their names to the start-ups of tomorrow. . . .

Monday 12.18.00

A sewer by any other name would not smell as sweet, or at all if Monte Rio's Sweetwater Springs Water District gets its druthers. In opposition to the county, the quaint river town just flushed a proposed $7.9 million project to install a locally operated sewer system. The project was intended to help clean up the Russian River by piping waste from 600 Monte Rio homes and businesses into "underground barrel-shaped grinders, which would churn the material into purée and pump it through a pipeline to a treatment plant and disposal leaching fields," reports the local daily. In an unrelated story, sales of bedpans and corks have surged throughout Monte Rio.

Sunday 12.17.00

From the mouths of babes and into the ears of strange men who invite children to sit on their laps: Santa's back in town, hanging out at the Santa Rosa Plaza mall and taking Xmas orders from the rosy-cheeked consumers of the future, reports the Press Democrat. An 8-year-old girl explained that when St. Nick can't get his girth down the chimney he "goes through the front door. He's magic." No, he would be a felon. A 7-year-old boy told Santa that he wants chicks for Christmas so that he could "feed them and let them grow up." Well, he's got it about half right. Another little girl said she wanted batteries for Christmas--oddly enough, so does my girlfriend.

Sunday 12.17.00

The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians of Sonoma County will soon be the owners of Northern California's first full-service casino in an urban area. Congress approved the Lytton gambling plan in the East Bay city of San Pablo last week, and President Clinton is expected to sign the bill. The tribe's attorney, Anthony Cohen of Santa Rosa, told the PD, "What this is going to mean is that for the first time in 40 years they are going to be able to buy some land for themselves, build homes, and a tribal community center, and then provide all the benefits that any government strives to do for its people." Spokesmen for the Miwoks say the tribe has no plans to establish gambling operations on ancestral lands--psych! The whole state is ancestral land.

Saturday 12.16.00

Petaluma ain't getting jingly with it, according to Capt. Brian Hoover of the local Salvation Army, for whom the Christmas bells usually toll to the tune of $380,000 annually. A shortage of bell ringers means the metal in the kettle "will come about $10,000 short of what we did last year," says Hoover, who blames the good economy for the shortage. As he notes to the PD, fast-food restaurants are hiring at $9 to $10 an hour, whereas the Petaluma Salvation Army pays bell ringers only $6.25 an hour before ringers subtract their "administrative fee" and "tips" from the kettles. To join the bell brigade, call 707/769-0718. No musical talent necessary. . . .

Saturday 12.16.00

The Associated Press reports that a pair of eco-evangelists has been stalking SUVs parked at Marin's shopping malls and tagging them with bumper stickers that read: "I'm changing the environment! Ask me how!" Annoyed by the sport futility vehicles' negative environmental impact, adhesive activists Robert Lind and Charles Dines see their sticker campaign as "a way to punish these people," explains Lind. "They think their status trinket is more important than the environment we all share." You can join the rebel alliance and get stickers at changingtheclimate.com.

Thursday 12.14.00

A woman who unsuccessfully tried to get a credit card at a Corte Madera Macy's with someone else's identification, gave officers the slip, which inspired a car chase after her accomplice throughout Marin County. The driver ditched his Landrover at an apartment complex and escaped into the rugged Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve. A search of the vehicle produced a small quantity of methamphetamine as well as pictures of the woman dressed in a Raiders cheerleader uniform. "She looks like she could be a cheerleader," (ya think?) opined Officer Dan Jones, who is apparently renowned for his powers of observation.

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From the December 21-27, 2000 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.

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