Wasn’t this a plot of a Woody Allen short? A vigilante posse forms to go after a renegade rubber penis. It really happened the day before Thanksgiving at a Sugar House grocery store where hordes plotted to fight the move of lingerie shop Blue Boutique three blocks east into their neighborhood. Rallying to the call of City Councilman-elect J.T. “I don’t care if you have one rubber penis or you have 15” Martin, the mob pledged to picket the store and videotape customers. Vigilantes included the owner of a frozen-dessert shop whose business was built on foot traffic created by Blue Boutique. Pity that Councilman Søren Simonsen couldn’t garner support for a posse to stop the original, historic Blue Boutique building from being torn down.
Park City knows where its bread is buttered. All those million-dollar condos and fancy shops suddenly aren’t worth much if the snow melts due to global warming or the resort town’s air becomes thick with smog. The City Council is setting an environmentally friendly example by hiring an engineering firm to examine the city’s energy use. The $40,000 audit is expected to suggest heating and lighting system changes that could shave 15 to 25 percent from city utility bills. The audit will additionally highlight how Park City can reduce production of global warming pollutants. The initiative comes none too soon. This year Summit County received warning it could soon be in violation of federal air-pollution guidelines caused by excess car-tailpipe emissions.
Whether or not refusing to sign a speeding ticket warrants being zapped with 50,000 volts of electricity—as happened to one Utah motorist who posted his zapping on YouTube.com (see below)—it’s time to reexamine use of the Taser. Police understandably wish there was a Star Trek-like weapon that could safely knock out violent suspects and protesting hippies, but the Taser isn’t it. Last week alone, six men in the United States and Canada died after police zappings. The well-worn excuse that Tasers rarely kill is wearing thin. The U.N. recently declared Tasers can be considered torture. For evidence, look to the YouTube video in which, after shocking a motorist to the ground, a UHP trooper asks, “Do you want another hit with this?”