An Inclusive Litany


On June 27, 1991, a New Jersey appellate court ruled that a town could deny permission to build a subdivision even though a developer's application met all the town's standards, largely because the planning board felt that the development's layout was not the most attractive possible.


Some budget items from 1991:

  • $300,000 to the National Peanut Lab.
  • $550,000 for Monk seal research.
  • $800,000 for research on geese.
  • $94,000 for apple research.
  • $1.8 million for berry research.
  • $1.7 million for potato research, plus $250,000 to study North Dakota potatoes.
  • $1.3 million for sweet potato research.
  • $1.7 million for beef research.
  • $140,000 for research on swine.
  • $2.8 million for peach research, plus $192,000 to study South Carolina peaches.
  • $173,000 to study Malaysian family economics.
  • $293,000 to study Swedish twins.
  • $467,000 to study Asians.
  • $132,000 to study "facial reactions to stimuli."
  • $150,000 to study recyclable fishing nets.
  • $500,000 to study long distance communication in Kentucky.
  • $759,000 to the Rice Research Center.
  • $5 million for the "American Salmon Summit."
  • $1.5 million for the Center for Pacific Rim Studies.
  • $1.8 million (1991) and $1.5 million (1992) to the National Pig Research Facility.
  • $3 billion to build a rocket plant that NASA does not want.
  • $70,000 for HUD television studios that no one uses.
  • $3.5 million for a nuclear weapons contractor luxury fund.
  • $350,000 for the House beauty salon.
  • $20 million to beautify stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • $116 million to cut timber to be sold at a loss.
  • $2.5 million (1991) and $800,000 (1992) for Florida bike paths.
  • $800,000 for North Dakota highway beatification.
  • $10 million for a second monument to a dead president who requested that no monuments ever be erected in his honor.
  • $3.5 million for a second visitor center for the Lyndon B. Johnson Historic Park.
  • $2 million for two theater restorations in Savannah, Georgia.
  • $2 million for two marketplace restorations in Toledo, Ohio.
  • $3,000 reimbursed to the office of Joe Kennedy (D-MA) by the House Post Office even though the mail he sent out cost his office nothing.
  • $2 million to renovate the seating area for House members in the Congressional restaurant, where full dinners cost as little as $5.
  • $250,000 to study the best position for TV lighting in the senate meeting rooms.
  • $201,000 to refurbish 13 buildings at Fort Knox, Kentucky, that had already been slated for demolition.
  • $58,276 to supply Jamaican farmers with a machine that sorts red peas, which don't grow in Jamaica.
  • $127 million for grain silos and water-pumping stations in Egypt, where there is not enough electrical capacity to run them.
  • $15 million to Dartmouth College as part of a job-creation scheme. 39 jobs were "created" at a cost of $384,615 apiece.
  • $3 billion for the Community Development Block Program—the anti-poverty program through which 56 of the 60 wealthiest communities received taxpayer money, including Palm Springs, Newport Beach, and Palo Alto.
  • $1.1 million to Tyson Chicken to advertise overseas.
  • $5 million to Gallo Wines to advertise overseas.
  • $3 million to Pillsbury to advertise overseas.
  • $10 million to Sunkist to advertise overseas.
  • $3.1 million to advertise Kentucky bourbon overseas.
  • $394,000 to advertise American bull semen overseas.

New York magazine, July 29, 1991:
Joe Papp's upcoming production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which came under criticism when it was revealed that the play would be performed in Portuguese, is destined to cause more controversy: Some of the actors will appear nude.

Many of the female characters are topless, the men sometimes wear costumes that are little more than G-strings, and, in one scene, Titania wears nothing at all. It would mark the first time in the 30-year history of the Central Park's Delacorte Theater that Shakespeare was presented in the buff. The play, performed by the Brazilian theater company Teatro do Ornitorrinco, has its world premiere on July 30.

"The director conceived it with the idea that most people here do not understand Portuguese," says New York Shakespeare Festival spokesman Richard Kornberg. "With that in mind he has made the production shorter and highlighted the visual qualities. Even though the language might be a problem, nudity is international."

Washington D.C. district police ticketed a car at least once and perhaps as many as three times during a 15-hour period. That's not unusual; the car was in a no-parking zone. What was unusual is that the car's engine was idling and a corpse shot in the head was in the rear seat. Only after a passerby noticed the corpse and notified police did officers suspect anything was wrong.

In Massachusetts, the mother of a boy who died after crashing a car he stole is suing General Motors and Conrail. The suit claims that the defendants or their agents negligently left the keys in a car in an auto freight yard, and that they "knew or should have known" that people might trespass at the yard because six weeks before stealing the car involved in the crash, the boy had stolen another car from the same yard.

In Kewanee, Illinois, Michael Runyon escaped certain death when his lawn mower stalled on a railroad track and was hit by an oncoming freight train. Runyon, who had been using his five-horsepower riding mower since his license was suspended five years ago, has been charged with drunk driving. Runyon said that he had consumed enough beer to "loosen" himself up at the moment of impact, and thus avoided injury.