Navy Bid to Recruit Unruly Youth Swims Against Animal-Rights Tide

It's a common story.

A boy reaches a certain age. His glands make him uncontrollable. His distraught parents don't know what to do.

He needs a challenge. He needs to get away from home. He needs discipline.

A decision is made: Put him in the Navy.

So it was with Rainbow, a bottlenose dolphin at the New England Aquarium in Boston. He's 11 years old and is having daily "dominance" fights with his fellow dolphins.

The aquarium arranged to enlist Rainbow in the underwater mammal program at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in San Diego. The Navy always needs a few good dolphins. NOSC took two other New England Aquarium dolphins in 1987.

This time, however, Citizens to End Animal Suffering and Exploitation (CEASE) went to court to block the aquarium from sending Rainbow to San Diego. A judge's decision is set for Friday.

"Dolphins are beautiful, loving creatures," CEASE spokeswoman Dee Dennis said. "Dolphins shouldn't be made to fight wars."

The Navy says Rainbow won't be in any danger. It says he'll only be involved in high-frequency hearing tests.

CEASE is not buying. "The Navy is too secretive," Dennis said.

The aquarium, unaccustomed to controversy, is reeling from the public furor.

A dolphin hot line was established. Visitors receive fact sheets. Appeals have been made to the press.

"Rainbow's health and well-being are our primary concerns," aquarium spokeswoman Vikki Corliss said. "We would never hurt him."

An anti-aquarium demonstration attracted more people than a demonstration held in downtown Boston to protest President Bush's decision to send troops to Saudi Arabia.

"We're fighting for peace one dolphin at a time," Dennis explained.

Sticking Together, Coming Unglued

Try one of these.

* Proof that accordion players stick together.

A Mexican migrant was accosted by a border thief, who shaved his head and swiped his accordion and $100 hidden inside.

Now a San Diego woman has contacted police, offering the migrant a replacement accordion.

* How divided is the San Diego City Council?

Mayor Maureen O'Connor withdrew her name from the ballot argument against Proposition M, the builders' growth plan, rather than have it appear beside that of Councilwoman Linda Bernhardt.

* After being slammed as ethnically insensitive, the state Department of Food and Agriculture no longer refers to Mexflies.

They're Mexican fruit flies. And don't you forget it.

* Very taxing.

One way the City Council stitched up the 1990-91 budget was a 3% surcharge on rental cars to raise $3 million.

Now the state Franchise Tax Board says the plan is illegal.

The surcharge has been put on hold, and City Hall is hustling to either find replacement money or target some "painless" cuts in city services.

Fairway Frolics

Par for the course.

A 28-year-old suspected car thief figured he had found a way to elude the Oceanside cops on his tail.

He jumped out of the 1969 Ford station wagon, hopped the fence of the Oceanside Center City Golf Course, and began running away.

He had a nice lead and was about to disappear into the hills.

Then he ran into a foursome that had other ideas: four off-duty Carlsbad cops out for a day of golf. The four caught him in the rough off the seventh fairway.

After a scuffle, he was subdued and hauled off. Now he's charged with auto theft and resisting arrest.

Were the Carlsbad cops annoyed at having their golf game interrupted? Not really.

"Afterward, we all noticed we were driving about 25 yards farther than we ever had," Officer Dean Spinos said. "It must have been the adrenaline."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World