www.whyville.net Jan 23, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

New Year = New Laws

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Woo Hoo! 2008 is here and you know what the best part of it is? No it's not the parties, or the fireworks or anything like that, it's the new laws! Okay, so everyone hates that part of the New Year. This year, some new laws will change daily life for many people. It's not just adults that are affected by these laws, though. Quite a few of these new laws affect kids and teens, essentially anyone on Whyville will be affected by these. What are these laws, you ask? Let's take a look into the world of government and see how our lives will change.

Now, I'm not going to spell this out, er, legal like. I'm going to lay them out so they are more easily understandable.

Many of the new laws are about animals, more specifically pets. They are going to increase the penalties for endangering your pet. This means that if you put an animal in danger, by leaving it in a hot car, or neglecting/abusing it, you're in for it. If you leave Fido in the car, you just got fined-o for $500 and got six months in prison. (that was a horrible joke).

When a pet gets trapped in a hot car, people usually call animal control to come get it. Well, until this year, it was policy that the animal control officer had to call for police to open the car. That changes this year by allowing Animal Control to break into your vehicle by whatever necessary means to save the animal. So if you plan on leaving your dog in the car, plan on driving home without a windshield.

For those of you who work, you get a bonus! No, really. Minimum wage increases from $7.50 to $8.00 per hour. That's a pretty dramatic raise in comparison to others.

Those of you who work probably drive to work, right? Sorry for the downer, but you can't talk, text e-mail, or use an electronic device while driving if you are under 18 no matter the circumstances, whether it be hands-free or not, unless it's an emergency. For those over 18, you're not off the hook just yet. You CAN do all of those things, as long as they're done hands-free. (These don't apply to certain jobs, like trucking, law enforcement, etc.)

After making you all depressed because you can't talk and drive your hybrid at the same time, this should make it a little better. Own a hybrid? You qualify for a Clean-Air Vehicle sticker, which allows you to drive in the carpool lane alone. Beware, however, they are only giving out 10,000 and they are in high demand so turn in your application to the DMV pronto!

Those were the two big laws that apply to Whyvillians. The other big one was discounted prescription drugs, but that's more for parents of Whyvillians than Whyvillians themselves.

There were over 600 new pieces of legislature passed this new year. There were some others which were notable, even a little funny that I thought I would share like:

1) Firing a BB gun in a "grossly negligent manner" (aka: screwing around with a BB gun) will throw you into the slammer for up to one year with a misdemeanor. But what happens if you shoot your eye out?

2)Landlords must give a 60-day eviction notice instead of a 30-day notice if they are kicking you out for something other than violating your contract.

3) Kids going into school now have to have a dental exam as well.

4) In high school? Don't want to be hassled by a military recruiter? Well, now your parents can mark a box on your emergency card saying that the school cannot give your name to military recruiters.

5) Beer-makers can now give out samples in retail stores with a bunch of legal hassle like the recipients must be of legal age, they must have permits, the portion can't exceed 8oz. per customer per day, blah blah legal blah (I don't care to detail because this isn't really a law most Whyvillians are complying with)

Well, that's about all the info I collected. I though some were interesting, but many will hassle us. On the other hand, most could also save our lives, or Fido's, so what's a little sacrifice for the greater good, right? I don't know. Share your opinion in the BBS!

Signing Off, This is

Author's Note: Sources:

News Article from the San Francisco Chronicle

State of California Department of Motor Vehicles

Orange County Pet Information


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