Watercooler Stories

By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  May 5, 2003 at 4:00 AM
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More than 700 residents of one Hawaiian neighborhood staged a solidarity march against drug sales in their area.

The Honolulu Advertiser says residents in Kahaluu held a multi-mile march -- waving signs and placards -- down a major thoroughfare, Kamehameha Highway, to show support for local law enforcement's attempts to stop drug use and trafficking.

As the crowd spread out, at one point people with signs could be seen over nearly 30 miles of highway. Many signs asked motorists to show support by honking their horns and the honking got so loud the marchers could not talk to each other.

The protest came about as the result of a meeting held a month ago by neighbors concerned with the increase in drug traffic and crime. The concept quickly spread throughout the area, mostly because of word of mouth.


A survivor of the terror attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, has told the Tennessee Legislature she wants better security for that state's driver licensing procedures.

April Gallop testified before a committee of that state's Transportation Department that more ID information should be taken from people who want to have legal driver status in the Volunteer State.

The Nashville Tennessean says lawmakers are mulling over a proposal that would require applicants to have either a Social Security card or proof from the federal government they are legal immigrants or citizens of this country.

Some law enforcement officials say illegal aliens behind the wheel are not the problem -- bad drivers are -- and they want more attention paid to teaching people to drive rather than beefing up the ID process.


Alaska, a state associated with endless miles of snow, is plagued by a major fire threat this year. Alaskan officials tell the Anchorage Daily News "red flags are flying" because of the threat of major brushfires in some areas of that state.

The National Weather Service has warned residents in the Anchorage area about the ongoing dry weather conditions. State forestry officials have banned burning in some areas, including the Kenai Peninsula, the Matanuska and Susitna Valleys and the Copper River Basin. The Fairbanks area is under a fire warning.

Low humidity levels have made the situation worse in much of southern Alaska in the past few weeks.

One complicating factor has been high winds the past few years that have blown through the region's major valleys, further drying the already dry foliage and brush.


Citizens in suburban New Orleans are giving mixed reviews to a plan to construct a new highway bridge -- the Florida Avenue Bridge project linking two areas of St. Bernard Parish.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune says while citizens of the Louisa-Piety area say they like the idea of another crossing at the edge of their neighborhood, many on the other side of the proposed span have voiced mixed feelings.

The bridge, planned to be high enough for marine traffic to pass safely underneath into the port of New Orleans, would be financed by proceeds from a new 4-cents per gallon transportation gasoline tax in that state.

One sticking point, though, is a concern that local jurisdictions might end up having to pay to maintain the roads that will have to be built to connect the span to existing streets on both ends.

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