January 28, 2014

Charles Oliver: Official proclamation: No time for ‘fans’

Charles Oliver

— • Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Steven Fulop was on hand to greet the Denver Broncos as they arrived at their hotel before the Super Bowl. The plan was for him to shake hands with John Elway, Denver’s executive vice president of football operations and a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Broncos, and read an official proclamation. But when he stepped forward to greet Elway, the team’s media director stepped between then and told Fulop that Elway didn’t have time to talk to fans — he had to meet the mayor.

• Santa Cruz, Calif., prosecutors have charged Brian Criswell with 16 counts of child molestation. Criswell allegedly molested two children he met while working as a court-appointed child welfare advocate.

• The European Union awarded Stilton cheese “protected geographical indication status,” which means anything called Stilton cheese must be prepared only in certain locations, namely Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, England. This means Stilton cheese made in the village of Stilton cannot be called Stilton cheese. That has the residents of Stilton cheesed off.

• Two years ago, against the wishes of teachers, officials at Auckland, New Zealand’s Swanson Primary School abolished almost all rules for recess. They thought that health and safety concerns had stopped children from being active. Well, they are certainly active now, climbing trees, playing tag and red rover, skateboarding, playing in a pit filled with pieces of wood, old tires and a fire hose. Officials admit it looks like chaos on the playground, but they say they are actually having to stop fewer disputes since they got rid of the rules. They also say that children are better behaved in the classroom and there are fewer reports of bullying.

• After her ex-husband killed their son and then himself, officials in Essex, Vt., had Christina Schumacher involuntarily committed to a mental institution for five weeks, allegedly for her own protection. Schumacher and her friends insist she was never a danger to herself, and the confinement was done without a judge’s order. After her attorney was finally able to get a judge to review the confinement order, she was freed. But the hospital is reportedly trying to bill her for her stay.

• In England, the Teignbridge Council has threatened to not renew Denise Said’s tax license if she doesn’t remove the English flag stickers from her cab. The council said the flags and the logo “local driver” on them violate equality laws because they could “disadvantage” anyone who is not English. No customers have complained to Said, but a rival taxi company alerted authorities to her stickers.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer at The Daily Citizen.