You can tell it's spring at the Cuyahoga County administration building--tulips are popping, lunches are alfresco, and no less than three county agencies are running over budget. The numbers don't really count until the end of the fiscal year (December 31), but already two of the three are well-positioned to run up a sizeable deficit. According to warning letters sent out recently by the Office of Management & Budget, the County Coroner's office is running a projected $40,000 over budget; the Auditor's office, $334,000; and Juvenile Court a whopping $1.1 million. New offices and pay raises have hiked the Coroner's expenses, which should be relatively easy to tweak back into line. Juvenile Court poses a thornier problem. The Commissioners say outside lawyers are sucking up too much cash (no surprise there), but Court Administrator John Zachariah contends he needs extra help to handle the huge caseload. The real kick in the butt is the Auditor's office--if finicky Frank Russo can't balance his checkbook, who can? The problem, according to Russo, is that his office is computerizing all its records--essentially, so auditors can reappraise your property on a laptop. "For the few dollars extra it costs now, it will save a lot in the long run," claims Russo, who promises to have his budget in line by year's end, locking it in with a painful pun: "You can take it to the bank."
Let's have a big Cleveland welcome for porn star-turned-performance-artist Annie Sprinkle, who got a nasty taste of the North Coast during her Friday night Herstory of Porn performance at Cleveland Public Theatre. Showgoers were greeted by a lone protester pacing out front, a housewifey type who seemed oblivious to the ironic humor of her sign: "Our children are fucked up enough and you're here to learn about porn." But the most offensive action happened backstage, where, during the second act, some scumbag sneaked into Sprinkle's dressing room and lifted her wallet, which had $500 cash and all her credit cards. The pleasure queen's on quite a roll: A few weeks ago her houseboat home in California burned down, melting her telephone and killing her cats. No doubt the Convention & Visitors Bureau will be sending Sprinkle a condolence package (think Malley's) and rebuilding donation at P.O. Box 396, Sausalito, CA 94965.
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