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

Tuesday 12.12.00

A 29-year-old man was taken to Petaluma Valley Hospital after being a victim of a "kick and run" in the area of Erwin and East D streets, according to an ArgusCourier.com police report. A rash of the so-called "kick and run" incidents has broken out on playgrounds throughout Petaluma. The Petaluma Police Department has attempted to blow the whistle on the menace, also known as "soccer," but the culprits only yell, "Hands!" and begin their tyranny afresh. . . .

Thursday 12.21.00

A 100-pound sea turtle found floating listlessly in the Sausalito Channel last weekend is on his way to Sea World in San Diego, where he will be locked up for the rest of his natural life. The federally protected Eastern Pacific black sea turtle (which means no turtle soup) was named Mothra by sci-fi fans at the Sausalito Mammal Center that initially received the wayfaring amphibian. A Sheriff's Deputy discovered Mothra behind Sausalito's Margaritaville Restaurant (it's unclear why the deputy or the turtle was loitering in back of the nightspot). The Deputy told the Marin Independent Journal, "He was lethargic." Well, duh, it's a freakin' turtle. With apologies to Aesop, who would finish first here, the tortoise or the cop?

Thursday 12.21.00

Marin County's Judge Vernon Smith refused to hold Gerald Armstrong in contempt yesterday for his long-standing battle of bile against the Church of Scientology. Church attorneys filed a contempt motion against the former Scientology archivist for violating a judge's 1995 order to cease criticizing the church and discussing his experiences as an employee there. As evidence, church attorneys submitted a ream of messages Armstrong had posted in the Internet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. "There is a collision course between $cientology's [sic] determination to dominate, and thus in some way, imprison people, and the people's determination to have all men free," wrote Armstrong. "Very stupid of $cientology [sic] to be on the wrong side of this battle." Scientology was founded in the 1950s by former Hollywood scribe L. Ron Hubbard. He is presumed to have died in 1986 at the age of 74.

Friday 12.22.00

Paging Johnny Cochran: Louis Pelfini, a Petaluma family practice physician, was arraigned Thursday on charges that he murdered his wife last year, reports the Press Domcrat. Pelfini called 911 in November of 1999 and reported that his wife had committed suicide by putting her head in a bucket of water. Two pathologists concluded, however, that the 63-year-old woman was suffocated; there was no water in the woman's lungs. "People don't commit suicide by sticking their head in a bucket of water," said Deputy District Attorney Brook Halsey Jr. "There were only two people there. And one is dead." There's a hole in me story, dear Liza, dear Liza . . .

Sunday 12.24.00

A partial solar eclipse blocked out a bit of the sun early Christmas Eve morning, reports the local daily. Those who snoozed through the celestial display will have to wait until the 24th century, when it next returns on this date. Why is a partial eclipse interesting, one might ask? "A partial eclipse of the sun is interesting because the moon is moving and blocking out a little part of the sun," said Santa Rosa Junior College planetarium director Ed Megill (someday Ed will find his people and they will rejoice). The last Christmas solar eclipse was in 1954--oddly, that's the same year that actor James Belushi was born. Experts warn that looking at a solar eclipse with the naked eye can cause permanent damage to the retina--the same as looking at James Belushi on screen.

Monday 12.25.00

Last-minute shoppers Meghan and Mason Mark, siblings from Sebastopol, received an unexpected gift from the Press Democrat. When interviewed for a capitalism-in-action piece, they had no idea their gift purchases would be published before their intended recipients could open them. This is what Mother Mark received from her children: "Candles, they are always good, and I bought my mother a vase," said Meghan. The Grinchesque paper went on to reveal brother Mason's surprise contribution to the holiday fete--smoked salmon--before tipping the young man's hand yet again by quoting him as saying, "Personally, I think a wire Ethernet card is a great gift."

Monday 12.25.00

Sonoma County sheriff's deputies are searching for a man who allegedly fondled himself in front of a group of teens Wednesday evening in a Boyes Hot Springs park, reports the Sonoma Index Tribune. The suspect was described as wearing a baseball cap embroidered with "Just Call Me Grandpa." One of the teens had a camera, and the suspect invited them to photograph his act. The junior pornographer attempted to take a picture with "the intent of furnishing law enforcement with the photo as evidence" before posting it on the Internet.

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From the December 28, 2000-January 3, 2001 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.

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