Pity the younger people; they have no idea what it's like at night to put their heads on a pillowcase that spent the day on a clothesline. In fact, they probably have no idea what a clothesline is, rendered obsolete as they were by the luxury of dryers.
In many communities (mostly in the 'burbs) clotheslines are banned, presumably because neighbors didn't want to see the underwear of the people next door.
But as energy prices spike, the clothesline is making a comeback and the great silent clothesline lobby is making itself heard.
In New England, in fact, two states are considering "right to dry" legislation that would overturn bans on outdoor clotheslines. A third state, New Hampshire, killed the bill in committee. Go figure, the state whose motto is "Live Free or Die" draws the line at, umm, clotheslines.
There is significant opposition, according to the Boston Globe:
"If you imagine driving into a community where the yards have clothes hanging all over the place, I think the aesthetics, the curb appeal, and probably the home values would be affected by that, because you can't let one homeowner do it and say no to the next," said Frank Rathbun, a spokesman for the Community Associations Institute, a national group based in Virginia that represents thousands of homeowner and condominium associations, many of which restrict clotheslines.
In Hawaii, the issue is so hot that the Honolulu Star Bulletin posted an editorial supporting legislation there last Saturday.
The agency estimates that if just 20,000 households reduced tumble-drying by half, spending for oil at $90 a barrel would shrink by $1.7 million a year. Individual homeowners on Oahu could see annual savings of about $250 on their power bills, while neighbor island residents who pay more for electricity could see bigger savings.
$90 a barrel oil? Boy, those were the days.(12 Comments)
A Minnesota House committee approved "Emily's Law" this afternoon (HF699). Filed by Rep. Bud Nornes and Rep. Torrey Westrom, it's nicknamed after 2-year-old Emily Johnson of Fergus Falls, who died a day after she was sexually assaulted and then thrown against a wall by the 13-year-old son of the daycare provider.
Currently in Minnesota, persons as young as 14 can be charged as adults.
"Why is our daughter laying in the ground and this person is in a group home?" asked Lynn Johnson at the House Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee hearing this afternoon, shortly before the committee approved the bill on a 12-to-6 vote. She said the young man charged with manslaughter in the case, was just 19 days from his 14th birthday.
"In Kansas and Vermont, it's 10. In Missouri and Colorado, it's 12," said her husband, Travis, who rattled off a list of states with ages for being tried as an adult younger than Minnesota's requirement.
He disputed opponents of the bill, who said 13 year olds may not know the difference between right and wrong. "Why must the brain be fully developed before one is held accountable for his actions?" Travis Johnson said.
Doug Johnson, the Washington County Attorney, testified against the bill, saying if children were tried as adults, they could be released sooner than if they entered the juvenile justice system. He said the boy who assaulted the Johnson's toddler, "would be out of the system before he was 18" had he been tried as an adult.
"If you send a kid to prison as an adult, you're going to get nothing when he comes out other than a future criminal," he said.
Another opponent said juveniles in prison as adults are eight times more likely to be sexually assaulted as adults and are more likely to commit suicide.
A psychologist, Sue Foss, testified that until age 15, adolescents are "not able to pick up cues" that adults are, saying an adolescent is more likely to consider a crying child to be deliberately trying to annoy. "Thirteen year olds don't have the capacity of adults or modify their behavior to avoid future negative consequences," she said, adding that that doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable for their actions.
According to state public defender John Stuart, there are no 14 or 15 year olds currently in state prison.
Rep. Debra Hilstrom,DFL-Brooklyn Center, who served on a sexual offender task force, said "the goal for me at the end of the incarceration period is to make sure there isn't one more victim. Less than 25 percent of the people who are incarcerated as an adult get sex offender treatment even if they're ordered to by the court."
Hilstrom said she didn't get the information she needed to make sure that "these parents get what they're asking for."(39 Comments)
The apes. It always comes back to the apes. Discover Magazine has a story today, based on research involving primates, John Horgan explores this notion that we are somehow hardwired to engage in warfare.
He takes a look, oddly enough, at a group of baboons who fought their version of war from scraps at a garbage dump, until several of them died from tuberculosis.The remaining critters were far more sedate.
Conclusion? Once the cost of war reaches a certain level, it will no longer be waged. Conflict among monkeys eases, it says here, when they are assured of food and when they become interdependent.
Is this a concept that baboons get and humans don't?
Posted at 4:40 PM on March 13, 2008
by Bob Collins
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill into law today requiring hospitals to inform rape victims about the availability of and effectiveness of the "morning-after" pill.
According to the Journal-Sentinel, a couple of Republican legislators -- Terry Musser of Black River Falls and Jeff Wood of Chippewa Falls -- bucked party leaders by voting for the measure.
It's much like the situation in Minnesota with Republicans who voted for the gas tax. In Wisconsin a few years ago, Republicans advanced a bill to outlaw the "morning-after" pill, and Democrats have tried to get this bill passed since 2001.
During a round of applause for his buck-the-leadership position today, Musser quipped, "Don't remind my caucus," according to the Capital Times.
At last check, both Republicans still had their committee leadership positions.