Six years ago, a city worker began to dress up those stick figure bicyclists that adorn bike lanes around town. He painted flowing blond hair on one of the bikers, while another carries a briefcase. One holds chopsticks. For years, those icons have been a quirky reminder that the city and its residents are proud of their individuality.
But now, City Commissioner Sam Adams, who oversees the transportation bureau, is saying that one of those cycling icons is offensive and has promised to paint over it.
Recently, city maintenance workers personalized several more of the bikers—in particular, they placed a martini glass in the hand of one of the icons along SW Broadway, a tip of the helmet to the swank downtown Benson Hotel nearby.
Adams has explained that representing drinking and biking is inappropriate and dangerous. There is no word whether Adams will push to remove other cycling icons which represent unsafe bicycling endeavors, like the biker who is talking on his cell phone, or the one near the golf course who is carrying a bag full of clubs. PB
BITING THE HAND
After 17 years of volunteer work, Ricky "Caesar" Casias was let go last month from Esther's Pantry, a food bank for people with HIV and AIDS. The reason? New management at the organization wanted Casias to commit to a weekly schedule—and he refused.
Ironically, says Casias, the reason he was unable to commit to a weekly schedule is because he can never predict when he'll get sick. Casias has AIDS, the very illness that Esther's Pantry is committed to alleviating. Instead of the new strict-schedule policy, Casias proposed to continue the routine he's had for almost two decades: coming in every week, but only when he's well enough.
According to Steven Couch at Metropolitan Community Church, the mostly gay and lesbian organization that runs Esther's Pantry, that loosey-goosey schedule didn't quite work for the management.
In response, Casias is claiming he was discriminated against because of his disease (yes, the complaint is that a food bank for people with HIV and AIDS discriminated against someone with AIDS) and is considering filing a lawsuit on those grounds. SM