Best New Bezerkeley Story 

Proposed Ban on Recycled Java Jackets

This is a tough category. After all, Berkeley politicos did vote for the harebrained plan that had residents carrying little orange flags while attempting to cross at the town's most perilous crosswalks. The notion that the flags would make them immune to speeding cars was disproved when a pedestrian was mowed down soon afterward, flag and all. (The flags also proved popular with thieves.) So much for that $30,000. Not content with one flag faux pas, the Council then banned the other kind of flag from city fire trucks following 9/11, making Berkeley once again the target of every yahoo west of Bangor, Maine. And just when you thought B-town couldn't get any more ridiculous, Mayor Shirley Dean goes and announces a potential crackdown on recycling -- OK, reuse -- of java jackets, those little paper sleeves that protect tender liberal flesh from scalding free-trade coffee. After reporting complaints, undoubtedly from some lone nutbag, that reused java jackets pose a public health hazard, Mayor Dean decided she'd make it a council issue. You'd think she'd have more pressing missions for the health department, given that the door handles at City Hall probably harbor more germs than all the secondhand java jackets in town combined. The issue seems to have died quietly, as well it should. But what's next, for heaven's sake? Soon they'll be telling us we can't reuse needles and condoms.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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