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City Hall Sparring

A scrap between Councilman Joe Jones and Black Trades Council leader George Edwards will continue in civil court, says Edwards, who claims Jones viciously decked him last month. Edwards had confronted Jones about the lack of minority participation on construction projects in his ward when Jones allegedly "sucker-punched me in the jaw." Jones has denied the attack, and no other witnesses have come forward -- yet. "It's just wicked politics at its finest hour," Jones maintains. Perhaps, but hell hath no fury like an activist scorned. Edwards says he filed charges, but City Prosecutor Lauren Moore chose not to pursue them. That's why he's decided to take the matter to court himself. "I was attacked by a city councilman inside City Hall, and I won't let it be swept under the rug," promises the sore-jawed Edwards. There may be no room under City Hall's rug anyway.

Ralph Nader's grassroots presidential campaign was unceremoniously uprooted from Ohio City's Open-Air Market last weekend, one week after the bazaar yielded over 150 signatures for the Green Party leader's Ohio ballot bid. The collared Greens say they were in a public area, and petition drive coordinator Daryl Davis is talking about suing the nonprofit Ohio City Near West Development Corporation, which runs the market. Davis suspects political motivation, since the NWDC depends on Democrat-controlled City Council for funding. The NWDC's Laura Noble says her group's funding agreements prohibit it from supporting political activities and claims the Greens were allowed in to promote environmental awareness -- not Ralph Nader. Green Party fun fact: The same security guard who signed for a petitioner one Saturday booted him out the next.

It's no secret Councilman Joe Cimperman enjoys speculation that he will one day run for mayor, but things reached a new level when supporters recently began distributing fliers for a fund-raiser with the theme "See How Far Will He Run?" Cimperman, a marathon runner, claims the tag line was innocuous, if ungrammatical, with $50 donors recognized at the 10K level and $250 donors at the marathon level. But others took it as a clear sign the Tremont resident is weighing a mayoral run in 2001, and sources say Mayor Michael White was none too pleased by the theme.

A run to the border became a dash to the ER for Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, who found himself in a cast after an alleged attack at the Chapel Hill Plaza Taco Bell prior to the band's June 4 Blossom gig. Blink's New York publicist expounded on Internet reports that a bathroom break at the fast-food joint led to a fracas in the parking lot, where two men -- said to have indiscreetly wooed Barker's girlfriend as the couple entered -- jumped the skinsman on his way out. Barker was treated for a broken finger at Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital, and -- in typical rock-star style -- the show went on, albeit with stand-in drummer Damon Delapez of the band Fenix TX. Barker declined to press charges, and both Taco Bell management and Visconsi Development, the group that oversees Chapel Hill Plaza, were none the wiser. "We didn't know a thing until security called," said Taco Bell Manager Anna Perolis. Meanwhile, Barker is off the band's tour until August, enjoying his sick leave at home -- and, no doubt, seeking a Taco Bell that delivers.

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