Thursday, December 3, 2020

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News of the Weird

Big-tent mentality

2/4/2015

The Project Theater Board at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, decided in January to cancel its upcoming annual presentation of the feminist classic “Vagina Monologues.” The all-women’s college recently declared it would admit males who lived and “identified” as female (regardless of genitalia), and the basis for cancellation of “Vagina Monologues” was that the unmodifiable script is not “inclusive” of those females — that it covers only experiences of females who actually have vaginas.

 

No good deed goes unpunished

Kathi Fedden filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit in December against Suffolk County, New York, police after her 29-year-old son, driving drunk in 2013, fatally crashed into an office. She reasons that the son’s death is the fault of the police officer who stopped him earlier that evening and who must have noticed he was already drunk but did not arrest him. The officer, who knew the son as the owner of a popular-with-police local delicatessen, merely gave the son a lift home, but the son later drove off in his mother’s car, in which he had the fatal crash.

The new normal

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The website/smartphone app Airbnb, launched in 2008, connects travelers seeking lodging with individuals offering private facilities at certain prices. About a year ago, entrepreneur Travis Laurendine launched a similar smartphone app, “Airpnp,” to connect people walking around select cities and needing access to a toilet, listing residents who make their utilities available, with description and price. Laurendine told the New York Post in January that New York City is a promising market (though his two best cities are New Orleans and Antwerp, Belgium). The prices vary from free to $20, and the facilities range from a sweet-smelling room stocked with reading material to a barely maintained toilet (with no lavatory), but, said one supplier, sometimes people “really need to go, and this will have to do.”

 

Government in action

Kentucky, one of America’s financially worse-off states, annually spends $2 million of taxpayer money on salaries and expenses for 41 “jailers” who have no jails to manage. Research by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in January noted that Kentucky’s constitution requires “elected” jailers despite the fact that 41 counties have shut down their jails and house detainees elsewhere via contracts with sheriffs. (Though the jailers may be called upon to transport prisoners from time to time, the 41 counties are mostly small ones with few detainees.) Several jailers have full-time “side” jobs, and one jail-less jailer employs five deputies while another has 11 part-timers.

 

Ironies

Timothy DeFoggi, 56, was sentenced in January to 25 years in prison on child pornography charges — unable to keep his illicit online transactions hidden from law-enforcement authorities. Before his conviction, he was acting director for cyber security in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and, one would assume (wrongly), an accomplished user of security software. …

The Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times), reeling financially, pledged several properties it owns (including its downtown headquarters) to borrow $30 million last year from a distressed-property lender and now announces an intention to pay back that loan by selling the properties. As reported by the local St. Petersblog website, the sore-thumb loan was almost exactly the amount the Times paid in 2002 for “naming rights” to the Tampa concert-and-hockey venue, the Ice Palace (which became the St. Petersburg Times Forum and is now Amalie Arena). Thus, St. Petersblog wrote, “do the math,” concluding that the Tampa Bay Times was pressured to sell its own headquarters building in order to pay for the 12-year privilege of being able to name someone else’s building.

 

Recurring themes

Rose Ann Bolasny, 60, of Great Neck, New York, last year created a trust fund for her 3-year-old Maltese (dog), Bella Mia, that will allow spending $100,000 a year on fashions and spa treatments so that Bolasny can pamper “the daughter I never had.” Bella Mia reportedly has 1,000 outfits in her custom-made walk-in closet, including ball gowns, along with diamond and pearl jewelry, and she sleeps on her own double bed. Previous News of the Weird reports of ridiculously rich dogs involved inheritances, but Bolasny still lives with her husband and has two adult sons (who are said to be fine with their mother’s intention to will Bella Mia a house in Florida if she outlives Bolasny and her 82-year-old husband).

Read more weird news at www.dmcityview.com or www.WeirdUniverse.net.

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