SAVING 'THE LAST FOREST'
The resignation of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens amid scandal and felony charges was one of the week's top stories, but here in Northeast Florida where it's news if a pol isn't a criminal, we were more intrigued by a yarn spun about neighbors fighting to save what they've dubbed 'The Last Forest.' Kansas City's The Pitch reports that when people learned 800 treasured wild acres in a quiet Northland community were to become a highway and a couple of schools, they banded together to fight the development.
As of May 24, 7,500 people had signed a petition opposing cutting down the forest, which TP (ooh, bad acronym, y'all) reveals comprises a mix of 50- to 100-year-old trees, uplands and lowlands, stream bottoms, plant and animal life, and no invasives of note. It's also a rare oasis just a few miles from the roar of I-29. So far, the school district remains unmoved to change its plans. But residents aren't giving up-not even close.
HOT FOR CONVICTED PEDOPHILE NIGHT
In the distant past of the late '90s, the nation was morbidly fascinated with 34-year-old Seattle schoolteacher Mary Kay Letourneau, who was charged and convicted of raping her 12-year-old student. The story got even more squirm-worthy when, after eight years in prison, she wed her wee lover (then over 21) and together they raised their two children, one whom she'd been pregnant with at the time of the original charges.
When we learned that Letourneau was to gab about prison in an A&E special, we consulted our pals at The Stranger to see what they knew about the atypical sex offender. They did not disappoint, though they did make us squirm some more. TS reports that in 2009, Letourneau and her hubs, who (no surprise) separated last year, hosted a "Hot for Teacher" night at a Seattle club. In spite of calls warning that all involved were going to hell, the night proceeded as planned, with television news crews camped outside, while indoors Letourneau signed autographs "Oh happy day" and chatted with a bachelorette party sporting a large, inflatable penis, as her then-hubs Vili Fualaau deejayed. Though all was smiles that night, hints of trouble may have blared over the speakers. "At one point, the lyric 'crazy bitch' played on a seemingly eternal loop," TS writes.
The airwaves in Toledo, Ohio have recently enhanced with the city's first Spanish-speaking radio station. According to Toledo City Paper, Linda Parra, the founder of 96.5FM Nuestra Gentra, was disappointed with the lack of Latin voices on the radio when she moved to the area in 2000. Despite having no radio experience, she boldly took matters in her own hands, first starting a Spanish radio show and, later, the station.
The path to radio station owner had a few obstacles, however. TCP notes that due to financial difficulties and, of course, a snowstorm, Parra and co. nearly missed the deadline to launch their station before the permit expired. Then, with no radio in the building, they weren't even sure it was broadcasting, so Parra went to her car. "It was 2:59 p.m. [on Dec. 30, one day before the permit would expire]," Parra told TCP, "the music came on. We were on the air for the first time. I couldn't believe it." Felicitaciones, Toledo and Parra!
RIP HOUSING CRISIS
In recent weeks, Oregon's Willamette Week reported that Portland was planning something called a residential infill project, RIP for short, which would increase density in more than half the city's neighborhoods. The move is intended to ease the area's affordable housing crisis. Subsequently, WW published a variety of reader reactions to the piece. Proving, once again, that altweekly readers are the bestest, the thoughts shared were intelligent, thoughtful and reasonable. And one in particular rose to the top of the creamy pile:
Luke Robinett, via Facebook: "Homeowner here and my lid has not flipped after reading this. However, I'm skeptical that these new infill developments will be anything but more high-end condos for Bay Area hipster transplants. More housing units doesn't automatically mean more affordable housing units. I would hate to see more big steel-and-glass abominations going up in our classic Portland neighborhoods and still not having any positive effect on affordability. That's like a double whammy of suckage."
Somebody get that dude his own column.