Suicidal Tendencies

The Free Clinic's Together Hotline dies

Hollow Man
Talk about suicidal tendencies. The last remaining volunteers at the Free Clinic's Together Hotline resigned Thursday, then held a memorial service for the 30-year-old crisis-intervention service, says volunteer River Smith. Bearing a coffin with a telephone inside, about 20 people, led by Rev. James Sutter, marched out of the building and mourned under the watchful eyes of six police officers. The wake was the latest chapter in the continuing contention between volunteers, staffers, and clinic management, which heated up in May after hotline supervisor Jane Loisdaughter was fired. In his eulogy, Sutter said, "The Together Hotline and the original spirit of the Free Clinic did not die -- they were murdered." But the recording on the hotline Monday was not so morose, informing callers that help is simply "unavailable until it can be properly staffed." Executive Director Martin Hiller expects to resuscitate the service this fall.

Two weeks ago, The Edge reported that Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Judge Robert Ferreri had wanted to "dispatch" court employee Rose Bennett, who works under him. Ferreri, however, claims there has never been any attempt to remove Bennett from her court position. "There never was, in any way, any movement to remove Rose," he said. Edge also reported that Ferreri had "offed" another employee, Jodie Mizisin, which apparently more than one reader took to mean she had been killed. Not so. After a July 7 memo in which Ferreri requested that she be reassigned, Mizisin was given another job, as a teacher for the Juvenile Day Treatment Program, effective July 24. The new position pays $3,344.38 less per year than her former gig.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a.k.a. The Singing Congressman, wowed 'em on national TV recently: a CNN Headline News anchor cracked up at a clip of Kucinich belting out a Campbell's Soup jingle at a press conference. The congressman is calling on Campbell's and Kellogg's to stop using genetically modified foods. Kucinich, who has introduced a bill that would require labels for bio-engineered food, has broken into song before: In April, he sang "This Little Light of Mine" to world trade protesters at a Washington rally. For more on Kucinich's congressionally unconventional humor, refer to the polka and bowling links on his website.

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