And in this corner ...
Professional jailer and Auburn City Councilor Ron Potvin has squared off with his colleague, the famed antagonist Councilor Dan Herrick. The loud, public scrap featured such magnificent lines as this one, uttered by Howling Herrick in defense of his past battles with other councilors besides Potvin: "I'm not one to keep that kind of thing to myself, but it never becomes a problem. Do you want to know why? Because they're men. ... They don't get upset about it because they're men."
Wham! Boom! Bam! It kind of reminds me of the theme song to "Two and a Half Men." But what a blow to Prowling Potvin, who, in an earlier round, referred to his opponent as "dead, dead, dead wrong" and then promptly filed a harassment complaint with police.
When the dust settled from the early barrage of complaints and accusations, Mike Farrell committed the offense of third-councilor-in by making note of Potvin's ambitious style of rhetorical warfare with the line: "It seems that every trail you walk on, there's a wildfire, Ron."
This is beautiful stuff, and you know what? It really irritates me. Back when I covered city council meetings, all the players droned on in those low, rolling voices designed by evolution to put reporters to sleep. There was no name-calling. There was no city council equivalent of hair-pulling or shin-kicking. I eventually shifted over to the crime beat, where you'd assume all the feisty stuff is going to happen. Instead, excellent municipal reporter Scott Taylor is witnessing more mayhem in City Hall than I am on Walnut Street and ... well, it just irritates the hell out me.
A kindly older woman named Lillian routinely calls to say nice things about me or offer up story suggestions. This week, she called to blister me for ruining summer.
It's all very scientific. By buying a motorcycle in the spring, I may have set about a chain of events that caused the skies to protest in the form of rain. I apologize to you and your family for this because I know you have been forced to spend time indoors together and now you can't stand one another. Says Lillian:
"It's all because of your bike — your scootery-type thing. You're like one of those people who puts in a pool and then it rains all summer. Thanks a lot, pal. Thanks a lot."
I take issue with the term "scootery-type thing" in reference to the tank-powerful Suzuki DR650, but otherwise, I take full responsibility. Tell you what: If someone wants to give me a snowmobile this winter, maybe we can make it stop snowing.
Clean up your act
Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert is encouraging locals to get involved in what is called the "Adopt-a-Trash-Can" program to help combat litter. This will be followed, no doubt, by similar efforts such as the Adopt-a-Fire-Hydrant, Adopt-an-Abandoned Shoe, and Adopt-a-Steaming-Mound-of-Dog-Poo initiatives.
Litter is a problem and I'm sure this is a great program. But by directing Lewiston police to focus on road trash, we pick up where Jim Bennett left off, implying that there is no crack problem here, no juvenile crime and no random violence. Me, I would rather have police tackling that teenage addict crawling through my window late at night rather than out there fingerprinting a crumpled beer can found at the side of the road. We've got a great police force here. Ordering them to spend their time sweeping the streets is like ordering Manny Ramirez to bunt.