Homeless New Jersey man Richard Kreimer said in February that he had settled, on undisclosed terms, part of his most recent lawsuit, against a transit company and two drivers, for having denied him rides because of his foul odor. Kreimer’s history includes a $150,000 settlement in 1991 with the public library in Morris County, which had tried to keep him out because of the odor, and, by his count, $80,000 in additional lawsuit-related income (though some went for legal expenses). Kreimer dropped another foul-odor lawsuit in February, against a transit company and a train station in Summit.
GOOD NEWS FOR COLLEGE KIDS
In January, history professor David Weale of Canada’s University of Prince Edward Island offered B-minus grades to any students in his overcrowded class if they would just go away, and 20 of the 95 accepted. But the administration found out, and Professor Weale, who had retired last year but returned to teach that one course, was forced into re-retirement.
In February, Bolivia’s foreign minister proposed to include coca leaves as part of school breakfast programs, noting that they contain many times more calcium than does milk (and unless processed as cocaine, are not mind-altering). And in November, the Coffee Industry Association of Brazil proposed to help fund a breakfast program for a million schoolchildren as young as age 6, provided that the meal includes coffee.
HOME, SWEET HOME
Developer Ryan Pedram was finally ordered to stop work on his new three-story home in the Bronx in New York City after he had begun building it flush with a disputed property line, including constructing one cinder-block wall to encompass the trunk of an oak tree that ostensibly belongs to his neighbor. (He had figured on winning the property dispute and removing the tree; his plan, in case of loss, was not reported.) Also, in Brooklyn, a judge recently allowed industrialist Simon Taub to install Sheetrock walls in several rooms in his home as a temporary solution in a pending divorce, to allow both husband and wife to share the house (reminiscent of the 1989 movie The War of the Roses).
When Sian Tiong Lim, 32, was recently jailed for four months in England for orchid smuggling, orchid expert Eric Hansen told United Press International, “There is a lunatic fringe to the orchid world, and a fine line between the average grower and the horticulturally insane.” And rare bird egg collector Gregory Wheal, 42, also was jailed recently for four months in England after a 30-year history of stealing from hundreds of nests. His lawyer told the judge that Wheal needs professional help.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
Police in Milford, Texas (just south of Dallas), arrested a man in February who had fled a traffic stop, and in the ensuing chase, saw him tear open and toss out bag after bag of a substance (but some blew back in the car). When finally stopped, said police chief Carlos Phoenix, the man was “literally covered in marijuana” from the blowback. And in January, in Anchorage, Alaska, a man who had painted his face Smurf-like blue robbed the Super 8 Motel, and police put out a description. A short time later, a caller reported a man with blue smudges behind his ears, and police soon arrested Daniel Peter Clark, 19. MTW