City Councilman Unearths Magical Zoning Amulet

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Vol 41 Issue 34

Bush Calls For Rock Revolution In Weekly Pirate-Radio Address

WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush called for an end to corporate rock, "wuss-metal," and sellout-punk in his weekly pirate-radio address Saturday, delivered from an unlicensed mobile transmitter in the back of his presidential limo. "You don't wanna be an American idiot!" said Bush over the opening strains of "Take The Power Back" by Rage Against The Machine. "Reject Clear Channel's spoonfed bullshit! Wake up, motherfuckers!" An estimated 2,000 listeners in the District of Columbia tune in weekly to Bush's notoriously low-fi, DIY show, The Revolution Will Not Be Podcast, broadcast Saturday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

German Luftwaffle Chain Offers Waffles, Overwhelming Air Superiority

MUNICH—An elite force of three dozen 24-hour Luftwaffle restaurants were unveiled across Germany Monday, with free waffles for blond-haired, blue-eyed customers, discounts on Cheese SwasSticks, and the incendiary bombardment of Luftwaffle's largest competitor, the city of London. "Soon, customers will fall under the sway of my lightning-quick, piping-hot Blintzkreig," said Hans Kreuzen, Luftwaffle's founder and oberstmanager-general. "All will know the sweet, buttery taste of fear and waffles from above." Luftwaffle restaurants are expected to face ruthless competition in Germany's already crowded martial-themed eatery business, which is led by such established chains as WehrKnochwurst and Der Marzipanzerkommand.

Missing Park Ranger Found In Better-Paying Job

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—Forest Service ranger Lawrence Anderson, missing from his fire-warning post in the Coconino National Forest since mid-July, was found alive and well-off in the manager's office of a Flagstaff Home Depot Sunday. "We announce with a sense of relief that Larry is safe and financially secure," said FBI agent Donald Grasso. Anderson described his years as a ranger as "an ordeal," recounting how he was sometimes forced to subsist on root beer and prepackaged bologna-and-cheese sandwiches from the park gift shop for weeks at a time.

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Lured away by tax breaks and other incentives, many producers have been shooting films outside of Hollywood. What do these alternate locations have to offer?

Entertainment Lawyer 'Fighting The Good Fight'

NEW YORK—Although he works long hours for less than seven figures a year, entertainment lawyer Jude Mortison said knowing that he is "one of the good guys" makes it all worth it. "I might not be one of those big fancy city-courthouse types, but I do my part," said Mortison, who tracks down song lyrics used in published works without proper permission and secures the requisite legal and penalty fees for music publishers. Mortison, who bills $800 an hour, added that the look of satisfaction on the face of Warner Brothers executives is all the additional payment he needs.

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Man Commits To New TV Show Just Hours After Getting Out Of 7-Season Series

UNION CITY, NJ—Recommending that he give himself the chance to pause and explore the other options out there, friends of local man Jonathan Gember expressed their concerns to reporters Wednesday that the 29-year-old is already committing to a new television show just hours after getting out of a seven-season-long series.

City Councilman Unearths Magical Zoning Amulet

ROCHESTER, NY—After years spent poring over mysterious and arcane plat sheets and deciphering long-forgotten building codes, city councilmember Mike LaMere unearthed the mysterious City Zoning Amulet Friday.

Mike LaMere, wearing the Ever-Evaluating Eye of Surr-Vey.

"Behold!" LaMere said, holding aloft the solid-gold amulet, which is emblazoned with the Ever-Evaluating Eye of Surr-Vey, Lord Of Demarcation, He Who Measures And Assesses. "With this sigil, the power of zoning comes. Through me, the power of zoning flows! All will behold my power, and I shall bow to no man when designating matter-of-right developments for major retail and office spaces to a maximum lot occupancy of 75 percent for residential use!"

LaMere held the glowing amulet aloft and transmuted a neighborhood of low-income apartments into a semi-wooded, single-family, residential district with an adjoining riverside park.

Though the amulet had long been dismissed as urban legend, a mythical ideal of zoning perfection handed down from city planner to city planner, LaMere became convinced that not only was it real, but that it had been used to lay out the cities of Ur, Atlantis, and Inver Grove Heights, MN.

LaMere credited the amulet with the overnight renovation of the Monroe County Public Library, and the recent redesignation of a Southern Rochester area from "commercial" to "single-family residential use for detached and semi-detached structures." Many Rochester citizens believe the amulet is responsible for the fully stocked ocean aquarium that materialized in the city center Sunday, and the gleaming new Friendly's restaurant that rose serenely over the banks of the Genesee River late Monday afternoon.

Although the Rochester City Zoning Board controls all decisions related to city planning, sources at City Hall say that, as long as LaMere's powerful zoning wizardry is performed for the good of the city, they "see no reason to deny him what seems to be his destiny."

LaMere unleashes the Eye of Surr-Vey's power, violently rezoning a residential area into a landfill.

"Two weeks ago, the biggest news in Rochester was our huge public garage sale," said William A. Johnson, Rochester's mayor. "Our city center was still a moribund tax burden with small businesses in big buildings and families moving to the suburbs in droves. Now, with a wave of his mighty amulet, Councilman LaMere can designate matter-of-right medium-density development, with limited offices for non-profit organizations, trade associations, and professionals permitted as a special exception requiring approval of the RCZA."

Despite the potential improvements to Rochester's civic landscape, some residents remain wary of LaMere's apparent bureaucratic invincibility.

"It's wonderful that someone's finally doing something to revitalize this town, even if it is someone who can commune with church gargoyles," said local baker Wendy Kittner, whose business was mystically placed on the National Register Of Historic Places last week despite being housed in a building erected in 1981. "He frightens me, and my concern is that if I defy him, I may be turned to stone."

City planning commissioner Errol Criclow, who was dismissed by LaMere at a Planning And Zoning Commission hearing last Thursday as "subhuman," said that he feared that LaMere's power would eventually corrupt him and his city. According to Criclow, during a private consultation with local community leaders, LaMere became infuriated with timid suggestions that his amulet be used to create more green spaces. In a blinding torrent of thunder and light, LaMere violently rezoned Rochester's west side with a maze of warehouses and parking garages. The act left LaMere himself dazed and shaken.

"For a minute there, he seemed his old self," said Criclow. "When he saw what he'd done, he looked remorseful. But then his hand found the amulet, and he threw back his head and laughed long and loud, like a man who has forgotten the difference between industrial and recreational—between right and wrong."

Added Criclow: "I don't think what he's doing is mere magic. I think it's darkest bureaucromancy."

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