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

Tuesday 02.20.01

The Marin County chapter of the American Red Cross and the National Disaster Operations Center will join in an extensive earthquake exercise on Friday, reports the Marin Independent Journal. Though critics believe the activities will prove moot after the coming earthquake plunges the state into the ocean, enthusiasts are boning up on preparedness tactics: Bolinas’ self-titled Tsunami Six plan to surf the towering waves generated by aftershocks, and the Looters Local 537 is gearing up for post-quake “anarchy shopping.” Tom Busk, disaster manager for the Marin County chapter of the American Red Cross, quotes a frustrated mime: “We’re pretending we’re having the big one.” The two-day exercise will consist of working out almost every possible scenario, including alien invasion and a Jermaine Jackson comeback tour. “There will be no business as usual,” says Hank Waschow, coordinator for the Marin Office of Emergency Services–no business except underwater tours of Marin County.

Tuesday 02.20.01

A stowaway aboard a US Airways flight failed to make his connection to the Land of the Living, reports the Napa Valley Register. The dead man was found in the wheel well of one of the airline’s 767-200 jets at San Francisco International Airport. The human popsicle boarded the jet at London’s Gatwick Airport before landing in San Francisco, where the skyrocketing rents may have killed him instantly. “At higher altitudes you can get to almost minus-60 degrees Fahrenheit with no oxygen. So the chances of surviving something like that are totally remote,” said SFO spokesman Ron Wilson, though he could not deny that being a stowaway is more socially responsible than purchasing tickets through Priceline and furthering the scourge of pitchman William Shatner.

Sunday 02.18.01

A recent settlement has one cracker slum lord eating Jim Crow. In 1997, Fred Rogers allegedly told Lynn Hudson that African-Americans were prohibited from moving into Novato’s Marin Valley Mobile Country Club, seeing as it was apparently a “white trash only” trailer park. “He told Mr. Hudson to look around and he would see that there were no black residents,” said Fair Housing Executive Director Nancy Kenyon. In an out-of-court settlement, Rogers has agreed to pay Hudson $3,000 in damages and perform 240 hours of community service in Marin City. “Mr. Rogers led me to understand that people of the African-American race and people of color are not welcome into his community because they would bring it down,” said Hudson in a written statement. “To the contrary, it is only people with ignorant, insensitive attitudes who . . . bear the responsibility for making a community unattractive to anyone.” Despite the housing crush, methinks no one wants to live in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.

From the February 22-28, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley’s Weekly Newspaper.

© 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. MetroActive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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