Vote for Voting

The Long March

Lipner was released four days later. "Mental illness is talking about things that are not reality," Lipner argues. "But if you're actually running for president, that's not mental illness."

Last Thursday morning, Lipner took his campaign to the sidewalk in front of the Broward County Courthouse, where he greeted prospective voters who formed a queue outside the metal detectors. The next time Tailpipe heard from him, he was phoning from the padded walls of Tamarac's University Pavilion.

"I thought that would be a perfect place to ask for votes," Lipner explains. Instead, he attracted the attention of cops. "The deputies came out and asked what I was doing. I said I was running for president — and they threw me in handcuffs. Do you see the problem I'm having here? Hillary and Barack run for president and everybody believes them, but the moment I try to run for president, they think I'm crazy."

Unfortunately, the incident made it impossible for Lipner and his running mate, Jules, a Siberian husky, to make a Tailpipe photo shoot scheduled for the next day, filling the candidate with regret. "We had her groomed and everything," he says.

It would have been a photo for the ages.

Hey! Stop That Yacht!

This is Bill Casey, a linebacker-sized 45-year-old construction worker and father of two from Pompano Beach. He was hanging out on a pier in the Hillsboro Inlet a few weeks ago when a runaway yacht slammed into the pier. In saving a preschool boy, Casey injured his hand. He's still trying to track down the owner of the luxury vessel, named Day Dreams.

"It happened so fast," Casey recounts. "I was standing there at the end of the pier, you know, talking to some guys fishing. Next thing I know, we see this yacht getting closer — like a four-story, 92-foot yacht. You know, there's a lot of boats in the inlet. Everybody fishing was screaming at the people on the boat. This kid was sittin' there, like within arm's reach of me. I said to him: 'Hey, that boat's gettin' awful close.'

"The boat — I guess the back end of the yacht — spun and hit the pier. I reached and grabbed the kid and pulled him back. And my hand got caught between a sign and the boat and the pier. Then I ran down the pier trying to holler at the guy in the boat. You know, 'You smashed my hand in between there, you idiot!' I said some more words than that, but I was mad. Fish and Wildlife officers had to track this guy down. They told the owner, 'Hey, this guy just wants his deductible paid.' Like a $750 deductible. Pay my deductible, and whatever, we'll call it even. They gave him my phone number... I never heard a word. I never sued nobody in my life. I just think he deserves to pay my deductible."

Watch out, Day Dreamer. You're about to be in another collision.

Bow-Effin'-Wow

You think the world's a scary place? What if you were just a pint-sized little pooch?

On a Saturday in February, 11-year-old Cheyenne Pino was walking in Hollywood with her grandmother and Gran's 24-pound Pomeranian, Kuahlia (pronounced Kahlua). A loose pit bull "came up and started looking at Kuahlia and suddenly just tackled him," Cheyenne remembers. What happened next could have been a scene from Cujo: the big dog a flash of teeth, the furry little victim spouting blood from its punctured neck. The attack stopped only when a passing off-duty firefighter twisted the pit's collar and choked it.

"I was scared for Kuahlia too," Cheyenne says, "but Gran was crying her eyes out, and it scared me to see her like that. I've never seen her cry before. Even now, she starts bursting out crying whenever she talks about it."

That's true. Gran — AKA 82-year-old Lena Yock — sounds choked up as she remembers: "Kuahlia laid on the grass, unconscious, with his little legs straight up in the air like he was dead." A vet performed emergency surgery, and a few days later, Gran received a bill for $1,260.

According to Gran, the pit bull's owners, Crystal Pointe and Nathan Thompson, said they would reimburse her for the costs. They handed over two payments totaling $360. Meanwhile, Gran filled out a "dangerous dog declaration" and went to a hearing about the case. Pointe and Thompson failed to show up. According to Gran, the judge said that the couple should continue their "good faith effort" to repay her. Not long after, though, Gran saw a moving van in front of their house. "These scumbag people left this past week," she says, and they left no contact information. "They moved so they didn't have to pay me." She was out $900, and her only recourse would be to file suit in civil court.

Gran thinks the law is too easy on rogue pet owners. While Hollywood's municipal code prevents dogs from drinking beer ("No animal shall be given an alcoholic beverage," it says), the fines she saw doled out in animal court were hardly deterrent, and admonitions to obtain animal licenses would probably never be enforced.

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