A woman who faced the prospect of 93 days in jail for refusing to stop growing vegetables in her front yard is sighing with relief after the Detroit suburb dropped all charges against her. All charges regarding her garden, that is. Now they have renewed charges against her for having two unlicensed dogs, even though she got her paperwork taken care of in June.
At Windy Ridge, a recently built starter-home development seven miles northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, 81 of the community’s 132 small, vinyl-sided houses were in foreclosure as of late last year. Vandals have kicked in doors and stripped the copper wire from vacant houses; drug users and homeless people have furtively moved in. In December, after a stray bullet blasted through her son’s bedroom and into her own, Laurie Talbot, who’d moved to Windy Ridge from New York in 2005, told The Charlotte Observer, “I thought I’d bought a home in Pleasantville. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that stuff like this would happen.”
NYC isn’t the only big city picking fights with fast food restaurants these days. Citing high obesity rates in her mostly working-class district, Los Angeles councilwoman Jan Perry has proposed a 2-year ban on new fast food restaurants in parts of South L.A., in the hope that it will make room for healthier restaurants to compete.