Watercooler Stories

June 13, 2012 at 6:30 AM   |   0 comments

Ariz. council refuses to seat new mayor

QUARTZSITE, Ariz., June 13 (UPI) -- The town council in Quartzsite, Ariz., has refused to seat the winners of a mayoral election and a council race, saying they are ineligible to hold office.

Ed Foster, a former mayor of Quartzsite, won 56 percent of the vote last week, The Arizona Republic reported. But incumbents on the council say he owes the town money.

Mark Orgeron, who was elected to the council, is not a legal Quartzsite resident, the council majority said. Both Foster and Orgeron ran as opponents of the current majority.

Quartzsite, which straddles Interstate 10 about 20 miles east of the California border, has a recent history of volatile politics. Foster said he has been arrested several times, arrests he says were political.

In 2011, the town dismissed most of its police officers after they accused the police chief of abusing his authority. The town attorney quit because he said he was being asked to prosecute political cases.

Both Foster and Orgeron say they are taking legal action. Foster has asked La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman to enforce a little-known state law allowing usurpers to be removed from office.

Vederman said Monday he fears the situation in Quartzsite could explode into violence: "I just want everyone to remain calm."


Banned council candidate runs for VP

SOMERTON, Ariz., June 13 (UPI) -- A woman removed from a city council ballot in Arizona for not speaking English well enough said she is now seeking the U.S. vice presidency.

Alejandrina Cabrera, who was banned from running for San Luis City Council due to her poor English skills, was announced Friday as the running mate for Utopian Party presidential candidate Avery Ayers, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, reported Tuesday.

Ayers said in the announcement he feels Cabrera, whose first language is Spanish, was treated unfairly and he has no trouble understanding her speech.

"A lot of politicians speak one thing and don't deliver," said Ayers, who founded the Utopian Party in 2009. "At least with Ms. Cabrera, [people] can relate to the words that come out of her mouth."


Bamboo bike building takes trial and error

SPOKANE, Wash., June 13 (UPI) -- A Washington state man said it took him a lot of trial and error to build his own bike out of bamboo.

Paul Fish of Spokane, founder of retail and online outdoor-equipment company Mountain Gear, said he decided to build the bamboo bike on a whim and his initial attempts resulted in a lot of learning experiences, the Spokesman-Review, Spokane, reported Tuesday.

"Do you know what happens when you don't punch a hole in the nodes of a bamboo pole before applying the torch? The pole explodes," Fish said.

Fish said he received a lot of valuable advice from the Bikecad Web site, www.bikecad.ca, and local machinist and bike-frame builder Gary Selner of Hairy Gary Bicycles. He said he was able to complete his first successful bamboo bike last week.

"Don't get any ideas," Fish said. "I like my new bamboo bike, but I'm not going anywhere as a bike builder."


Sanders fired as anti-littering spokesman

PITTSBURGH, June 13 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders was fired as spokesman of a group's anti-littering campaign when his past littering offense came to light.

David Mazza, regional director for the Pennsylvania Resources Council, said Sanders was fired as spokesman of the anti-littering campaign, which is supported by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, after officials discovered Sanders had admitted to a littering offense in November 2010, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Tuesday.

"We would certainly not have used him as a spokesman for the campaign had we known," Mazza said.

Sanders and receiver Antonio Brown admitted to littering charges after they were found to have abandoned empty boxes near a trash container.

"We certainly want to hear his side of the story," Mazza said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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