Da Mayor's Debacle

The foul fowl crows over Scottsdale's vote-down of the anti-lap-dance prop, a major slap-down of Mayor Mary Manross

The Bird's been crowin' like a rooster after an all-nighter in the henhouse over the spanking Scottsdale voters gave the pro-Proposition 401 crowd on September 12. The absurd anti-lap-dance law bit the canvas like a bum boxer, with 52 percent of the electorate essentially telling Mayor Mary Manross and the Scottsdale City Council to shove their meddlesome bluenosed morality up their effin' tailpipes!

Talk about the triumph of democracy! Despite cheerleading from Catholic zealot and former marriage counselor Manross, recorded phone calls for the new ordinance by County Attorney Candy Thomas, and the cowardly support of pinto Dem Harry "Milquetoast" Mitchell, poll-goers defiantly put the kibosh on new regulations intended to drive Scottsdale's two (heaven help us, two!) strippeterias out of business.

Even a tight GOP gubernatorial primary with Taliban-wanna-be Len Munsil drawing social conservatives to voting stations like horseflies to pony poo didn't help the prop pass. And losin' ain't free, people. Ms. Manross' mess has cost taxpayers some $46K so far, according to Scottsdale's city clerk. The bill from Maricopa County for its services isn't in yet, but it's expected to be a doozy.

True, it was strip joints Babe's and Skin that collected enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. But they wouldn't have been forced to trot out a petition if Manross and her Council cohorts hadn't been hell-bent on an ordinance establishing a four-foot distance between semi-nude dancers and patrons, and making it verboten to tip G-string-clad honeys.

In the run-up to the referendum, morality maven Manross railed against the strip clubs' "negative secondary effects," but as this plumed pecker noted before the vote, these so-called secondary effects were less real than the Loch Ness Monster (see "Milquetoast Mitchell," August 31, 2006).

Scottsdale residents agreed with The Bird. Even little old ladies stopped by TV reporters at the polls croaked that the City Council and Manross needed to butt out.

But is Manross owning up for the bull she put her city through? Hell, no.

"This wasn't about me," she whined to The Bird via telly. "The entire council moved forward on this. We were trying to revise an old, outdated ordinance to protect neighborhoods."

Way to pass the buck, Mayor. But everyone knows you're a first-rate prude. Exhibit numero uno: Calling Pink Taco titan Peter Morton and asking that he change the name of his restaurant! That alone made Snottsdale a national laughingstock on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, talk radio and the 'Net. Manross' campaign against lapgrinders was simply more of the same.

Manross squawked that the Council had to change the old law for constitutional reasons. But news that porn queen Jenna Jameson had bought part of Babe's certainly put the item on the front burner. And if the old law required revision, why did it need to be stricter?

Let's get down to the nitty-gritty, Mayor; what's your prob with some pervy old penguin getting a lap dance? Um, don't answer that! The better question is, why do you care?

"I don't wanna talk about those things with you," sputtered Manross.

Too bad. After all, Manross seems sorta sexy in that repressed, middle-aged librarian kinda way. Y'all know the type: prudish in public, but wild behind closed doors. Kinda starts the Taloned One to fantasizing.

But there are fantasies, and there are out and out delusions, like Herroner's pipe dream that this won't affect her run for a third term in 2008. To burst that bubble, The Bird borrows a comment overheard at the open house for the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce's new digs September 14 with Manross in eye-shot: "Look, there goes DMW: Dead Mayor Walking."

9/11 Narcissism

This cynical songbird still garners hate mail by the truckload over its criticism of the Zona's 9/11 memorial, which it first tweeted about last month ("Monument Valley," August 3, 2006). Some folks accuse this eagle-eyed ink-slinger of a lack of patriotism and a heart as hard as its avian noggin. All because this The Bird had the temerity to point out that AZ's link to 9/11's tragic events was weaker than tea from a twice-used teabag.

See, other than the deaths of Tempe resident Gary Bird and a handful of others who had family in Sand Land, AZ's main connection to the 9/11 attacks was through watching events unfold on the boob tube. That is, if you don't count the fact AZ flight schools trained 9/11 pilot Hani Hanjour, the Islamo-fascist responsible for slamming American Airlines Flight 77 into the side of the Pentagon.

Interestingly, that's one of the salient facts not included in the design of the recently unveiled AZ memorial — christened "Moving Memories" with all the schmaltz of a Hallmark card. Dedicated September 11 at Wesley Bolin Plaza by Governor Janet "Anything to get my mug on the idiot box" Napolitano, the memorial features a timeline of sorts cut into this 40-foot metal Frisbee with a hole in the middle. Beneath the steel Frisbee is what looks like an ugly concrete ashtray. As the sun beats down on the Frisbee, that stenciled timeline of phrases and facts appears on the concrete below.

The timeline reads like a pathetic pat on the back, revealing the 9/11 memorial to be the ultimate act of self-serving narcissism. Mixed in with the dates and times of the 9/11 attacks are mawkish tidbits such as "12-year-old sold T-shirts to build memorial in Goodyear," "People of Yuma planted trees," "Remembrance garden planted in Winslow," and "Grace of Phoenix made kids giggle again."

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Some victims of the Cornwall sex abuse scandal are receiving large financial settlements after decades of allegations that a cover-up of a pedophile ring existed in the eastern Ontario city, CTV Ottawa has learned.

The sex abuse scandal was uncovered in the early 1990s. A public inquiry ended in December 2009 after four years. The inquiry found the Catholic Church, police, the Ontario government and the legal system all failed to protect children from sexual predators.

Now, Ontario’s attorney general has confirmed to CTV that several financial settlements have been reached with victims, and more lawsuits are outstanding.

Although confidentiality agreements could mean taxpayers will never learn the true cost of the settlements, a former MPP predicts the payouts will total tens of millions of dollars.

“I would look at somewhere between $70-100 million,” said Garry Guzzo, a former Conservative MPP who blew the whistle on the scandal and pushed for a public inquiry. The Courts in Cornwall are going to ask David Ostler to appear in court for his abuse of alter boys.

“It’s a lot of money coming from very few taxpayers, and the people of the Catholic Church are taxpayers.”


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