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Preview: Inquirer Columnist - Monica Yant Kinney

Inquirer Columnist - Monica Yant Kinney

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Published: Thu, 31 May 2012 02:30:02 GMT


Do you have three names? Not in New Jersey
Had Carole Goodman Bouchey not called to remind me that change in New Jersey happens at a glacial pace, I would have forgotten that when I renew my driver’s license next month, I still won’t have an ID that identifies me as me.It’s been nearly 10 years since I last wrote about the plight of drivers with three names, or just long names, folks who for decades were systematically mischaracterized by the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles. Since then, NJDMV rechristened itself NJMVC (New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission). But if your parents called you Christopher or Jacqueline, you still can’t be yourself on a license because it won’t recognize first names of more than nine letters. Back then, I lamented the Garden State’s inability (or unwillingness) to follow societal trends. So imagine my surprise to hear that Bouchey, a Mount Laurel retiree, was transformed into an illegal hyphenate by bureaucrats who didn’t know what else to do with her.

Cowed, handicapped gunman's ordeal may end
On a March morning in 2009, Tyree Bush fired a 9mm weapon at a man heading to a corner store in Overbrook to buy Pampers. The timid teenager was a lousy shot, striking the victim in the hand. Bush, a gentle loner with an IQ of 52, had no clue what he was doing except following orders from a menacing neighborhood drug dealer. For the next three years, state and local officials found themselves equally perplexed about how to punish, and release, an unlikely felon at a time of dwindling resources for the intellectually disabled.

Monica Yant Kinney: Catholic families chafe at schools mergers
So many parents and alumni of St. Denis Catholic School in Havertown supported merging with friendly CYO rival Annunciation B.V.M., the marriage should have gone off without a hitch. Instead, parishioners hoping to embrace the past and future in a name were told the regional school would honor the late Cardinal John Foley. The decision was, in their pastor’s words, “nonnegotiable.”

Hotel doorman lends city style a white-gloved hand
The dapper doorman did not set out to class up the city single-handedly with his blinding-white nylon gloves. But since he has, and since I asked, Leroy Mickens II shares that the key to that gleam is a nightly soak in Dawn detergent, a morning scrub (one gloved hand washing the other), and air drying. “I have eight pairs, so I always have a spare with me if they get dirty,” Mickens says between taking requests from guests at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel across from City Hall. Having been voted the “Neatest” and “Best Dressed” member of the Class of 1961 at Norwayne High in Goldsboro, N.C., Mickens adheres to a sartorial philosophy that defines a life spent serving others:

Giving landlords access to tenants’ bank accounts
To dwell in an apartment is to be free of snow shoveling but beholden to a company that raids your savings and invades your privacy.

A non-jock gets moving
“Did you win?” In the 18 months since I started running semi-seriously, that’s all my kids ask when I call (or crawl) home after a race.

Another Philadelphia casino? It’s a game for suckers
The Valley Forge Casino Resort is neither in Valley Forge Park nor, at a glance, a resort. It is, however, impressively busy on a Thursday at 3 p.m. Especially the $15 blackjack tables. I know this because, unlike politicians who tout gaming spoils as a public panacea, I actually hang around casinos observing the side effects of this so-called miracle drug.

Monica Yant Kinney: Hardware sold in the old-fashioned manner in Fern Rock
They come for the humblest of plumbing products, the brass shower stem. From New York, New Jersey, Delaware, or just around the corner, old home lovers and cost-conscious flippers program their GPS units for the intersection of Fifth Street and Champlost Avenue seeking an $11 or a $19 solution to a leaky faucet.

Monica Yant Kinney: Taking daughter to work isn't much excitement for the young one
The assignment was a killer: Show my daughter a typical day of work when there is no such thing, in a job where much of what I encounter is not age-appropriate.