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The Hot Seat A Weekly Look At People And Issues In The News

Sun., July 30, 1995

Try painting the stumps, instead

Smokey! Here’s the answer to your troubles: It’s the U.S. Forest Service rock-painting squad. Once, it spent thousands making rocks appear weathered, so motorists wouldn’t take offense at the naked stone exposed by roadside blasting or landslides. But Congressman Jack Metcalf, a flinty-eyed conservative, stopped that rock painting. Buy some new paint, Smokey. Send the squad to all of those roadside clearcuts your agency approved. Paint trees on the stumps. Paint the muddy rivers blue. Paint salmon on the rapids … It’s public art that a conservative could love.

How about getting tough on junkets?

At last, we’ve found out why Stevie Hasson stood by the side of the road every election year, grinning like an idiot and waving at the passing cars. He was waving bye-bye. He wanted to go on a junket. Now, with the arrival of Phil Harris on the county commission, Hasson has a traveling companion. Just in time. It’s been so stressful for the poor dears, laying off longtime county workers, moaning about the county’s barren budget and giving raises to their pals. So Steve and Phil went on a taxpayer-funded break to North Carolina, to hear political speeches about (ta-da) getting tough on crime. How original. How incredibly innovative. Next time you want to leave town, boys, taxpayers would like to give you a free ride. On a pole, with some tar and feathers. Wave bye-bye, Steve and Phil.

Since when do unions control city policy?

What’s the mission of city government? Apparently it’s to guarantee secure jobs for its unions. Union leaders blew a gasket this summer when they found out jail inmates were doing maintenance work in Riverfront Park. Hastily, officials in City Hall explained the crooks weren’t taking over any union duties. To which the public would reply: Why the heck not?

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 3 Photos

MEMO: The Hot Seat is an irreverent look at controversial issues in the news. The views expressed are those of the writer. Today’s Hot Seat was written by John Webster.

The Hot Seat is an irreverent look at controversial issues in the news. The views expressed are those of the writer. Today’s Hot Seat was written by John Webster.



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