CARRBORO -- The town of Carrboro has issued a special bulletin alerting citizens to be on the lookout for light-colored passenger vehicle, a late model foreign import, probably a Honda or Toyota, which was spotted in the parking lot of the Harris-Teeter grocery store next to Carr Mill mall with a McCain-Palin bumpersticker affixed to its bumper.
Responding to an anonymous report, Carrboro police entered the parking lot at 2:14 pm on Tuesday but found no vehicle fitting that description. As a precaution, they sealed off the lot until 4:30 pm when they were confident that the vehicle was no longer on the premises.
The Chapel Hill Police Department and the University of North Carolina Police and Security have been notified of the sighting. A spokesperson for the UNC Police and Security said that they felt confident that the car did not belong to a student, faculty member or administrator from the University.
"We monitor our on-campus lots carefully, and we are certain that we have not seen any vehicle matching that description," said Sergeant Bob Mellman. The park-and-ride lots, however, are a "different story." Since many campus maintenance workers and secretarial staff live in Chatham, Alamance and northern Orange County, "we can't say with any certainty that it wasn't one of them," said Mellman.
Citizens within the Carrboro town limits are asked to call the town hall if they see a vehicle matching this description.
Carrboro officials say that they are hoping that this report is an event similar to the one last August when a Toyota Prius with a Huckabee for President bumpersticker was seen outside the Open Eye Cafe -- which turned out to be a misguided prank by the embarrassed owner's teenage son.
Work on Obama National Monument halted
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The work on the foundation for the Obama National Monument has been halted as the team of architects and designers debate anew how tall the monument should stand.
With siting issues resolved -- the Obama National Monument is being built over top of the current Washington Monument -- the new debate is over exactly how much taller than the Washington Monument the ONM should be.
The Obama National Monument Fund is an offshoot of the National Press Club with fund-raising efforts being coordinated with the National Association of Broadcasters, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the National Association of Newspaper Publishers.
Fed announces new U.S. currency
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The United States Federal Reserve Board announced today that effective immediately, it will no longer honor Federal Reserve notes except in exchange for the new U.S. currency. In an effort to counter the collapse of credit markets around the world and attendant falling currency values, the Fed has acted decisively to staunch the bleeding by declaring the NC Plenty to be the official U.S. currency.
Many currency exchange analysts expect the European Union to quickly follow suit.
Study shows fish do need bicycles
PALO ALTO -- A new study by Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station located in Pacific Grove, California and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California at San Diego shows that most members of most common fish species do need bicycles in order to traverse on land.
"The average fish out of water can only live 12 to 15 minutes unassisted. Rarely can they move more than several feet by flopping about. With a pedal-driven carbon-dioxide generator attached to their fin-adapted bicycles, however, not only can they live indefinitely out of water, but they can cross large expanses of dry terrain, perhaps as much as 100 miles -- which is incidentally the length of the bicycle portion of an Ironman competition," said Stanford's Dr. Pisca Studemeyer.
"The freedom that this creates allows any fish to act as what we call a Super Lungfish. It is then able to live a normal healthy life on terra firma, and not be confined to purely liquid environments such as oceans, lakes, rivers and streams," said Prof. Studemeyer.
Scripps is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for marine and earth science research, education, and public service in the world. Leland Stanford Junior University is an elite private multiversity located in Palo Alto, California.
Gary D. Gaddy owns a Prius without any bumperstickers at all and probably has 50 or more liquid-bound goldfish in his backyard goldfish pond.
A version of this column was published in the Chapel Hill Herald Thursday March 26, 2009.
Copyright 2009 Gary D. Gaddy