Mockingbird No Carrier Pigeon
--It took a mockingbird to accomplish what rain, hail and sleet could not: interrupt the mail. Mail delivery for some Houston residents has been sporadic for two weeks. The reason, the postal service says, is a mockingbird that “zooms down on the mail carriers.” A postal service safety inspection team last week visited the neighborhood and deemed it unsafe to deliver mail there, spokesman Mike West said. Jose Armendariz, a construction worker, said mail carriers seem to be the songbird’s only target. Out of frustration one day, carrier Earl Scurlock said, he carried a slingshot and attempted to hit the bird with pebbles. “I tried, but I didn’t hit him,” he said. The fine in Texas for killing a mockingbird, the state bird, is $25 to $200.
--An industrial development brochure featuring a picture of 5,000 residents of the southern Illinois town of Vandalia is getting the job done even before it goes to press. The publicity generated by the photo session is credited with bringing 50 new jobs. In April, townspeople jammed their main street to pose for a photo serving as the focal point of a brochure being distributed to potential employers. “What attracted me was the statement of the community’s desire to do it on their own--to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, rather than asking for help from Washington, D.C.,” Wayne Waggoner of Billings, Mont., said as he announced plans to locate a truck terminal in Vandalia. Harold Hartwick, chairman of the Vandalia Industrial Commission, said three other potential employers would provide up to 140 jobs.
--"Born in the U.S.A.” had an Irish accent as thousands of fans at Ireland’s Slane Castle roared in unison during the song’s chorus in the first concert of New Jersey-born Bruce Springsteen’s European tour. Police said 100,000 rock fans entered the grounds of the 13th-Century castle, 25 miles north of Dublin, for the concert. But promoters, who had expected only 60,000, promised there would be no replay of the violence that followed a Bob Dylan appearance in the same place last July. Guitarists Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend joined the 35-year-old Springsteen and his E-Street Band for the show. About 500 private security guards helped more than 1,000 police to guard the sellout concert. When Dylan gave a concert at the castle, more than 100 drunken youths went on a rampage. Eighteen persons were hurt before a relief force of 200 riot police arrived. Mindful of that incident, villagers first voted to go to court to stop Belfast promoter Jim Aiken when he announced plans for Springsteen’s concert at the castle. But Aiken allayed their fears, promising the large security contingent and a ban on alcohol sales and on overnight camping.