Got House?

Your Own Piece of Sunshine

The political spirit of Coral Ridge is best summed up in the words of O'Neal Dozier, a local preacher who told a Reclaiming Christ conference crowd two years ago: "I love that man; I love President Bush. Thank God for President Bush."

Is Coral Ridge Presbyterian under investigation by IRS? The 'Pipe left a message with Coral Ridge Church's executive pastor, Ronald Siegenthaler, asking the question, but he didn't return the call. If the 'Pipe were a betting auto part, he'd put his cash on "not."

Piscatory Playmate

There are those who have protested Wellington's bodaciously stacked mermaid statue, The Siren, which adorns the grounds of the village's community center, but the national media know better. Playboy is all over the buxom sea beauty and plans to include her in the January issue. The 'Pipe believes she's centerfold-worthy, not for top-heaviness alone but also for the kind of fascinating personality we've come to expect from Playboy pinups.

Bust: 52

Waist: 26

Hips: Slippery

Turn-ons: Mermen, the perfect storm, dorsal fin massages, Charlie the Tuna, global warming, dinghies, luring mariners to their deaths.

Turn-offs: Gill nets, Portuguese men-of-war, bras, community busybodies, Jacques Cousteau, John Ashcroft, roe deposits, sushi, Hemingway.

Ambitions: Swimway model, Olympic track-and-field competition.

Parks Are for Rabbits, Silly

When residents of Rock Island voted last year to become part of Fort Lauderdale, they figured they'd finally won. Instead of lonely, unincorporated status, they'd finally start to enjoy the amenities of big-city life. But then they learned their new daddy was a bit of a cheapskate: Fort Lauderdale said it hadn't taken into account the cost of running the athletic fields and community center of 30-acre Osswald Park, a verdant oasis in the midst of suburban sprawl. At the same time, Broward County announced it would sooner close the park than spend more money on it.

This was supposed to be an improvement? Shutting down a sea of much-needed green that's usually packed with schoolkids with time on their hands?

Well, the county backed down two weeks ago, coughing up $2 million to pay for the park's upkeep and allowing the annexation to go forward. But the clock runs out in four years. After that, Osswald manager Kris Sehlke says, who knows? "No one has talked to the staff here. The discussions don't come down to this level."

It ain't Central Park, but it's all the community has.

Mildred Jones-Fuce, an activist who has lived in Rock Island for more than 40 years, says that pressure from the community helped buy the temporary fix, allowing the annexation to proceed. "If we don't fight, who's going to do it for us?" she says. In the meantime, four more years of soccer games and afterschool tutoring for the area's children is better than none. "In four years, if I'm still alive and things are going downhill," she says, "we'll do it again."

— As told to Edmund Newton

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