Monday, August 01, 2005

Duly Noted

In today's episode of Dooley Noted, Mike gets a free license to sell you stuff you don't need.
As colleague Ryan Lengerich reported earlier this week, Woodburn’s on the verge of requiring all these sorts to obtain a license before they set out to do business within the city limits. Naturally, the license isn’t free. Neither is the penalty they’ll face if they’re nabbed without the required paperwork.

But before these fine folks on the eastern edge of Allen County set out to start rounding up peddling scofflaws and bringing them to justice, they should do just a bit more research. It turns out their intentions may be good, but their methods may be a bit over the line.

We say that because of a phone call we got from our old friend Tom Clayton after Lengerich’s article appeared. “Do you know about the law that says honorably discharged veterans don’t need those permits?” he asked.

We didn’t, so we pressed for more details. Sure enough, there’s an 1895 statute that says anyone who’s been honorably discharged from the armed services can go to the auditor’s office and get a license to “vend, hawk and peddle goods, wares, fruits and merchandise” in Allen County without obtaining a similar permit from cities or towns. The best part about the county license is it’s free.

Since we met the qualifications, we decided to see if the folks at the county auditor’s office were as up on the law as Clayton. So we got a copy of our discharge papers and wandered into the City-County Building on Wednesday, fully expecting to be met with blank stares and possibly even a snicker or two.

Our reception was entirely the opposite. Two extremely professional clerks who knew exactly what we were talking about had our information processed in minutes. In less time than we’ve ever spent in an Indiana auto license branch, we walked out with our official “License to Ex-Soldiers and Sailors to Vend, Hawk and Peddle Goods” in our hand. We’re there in that same book with the its [sic] first listing – Victor Beaty, a veteran of the Spanish American War, who got his license exactly 98 years to the day before we obtained ours.
And later in the column, Dooley has his own media note:
Local radio host Charly Butcher was telling listeners one day this week that thousands of Fort Wayne residents were left without power after a line of strong thunderstorms swept through the city.

“If your power is out,” Butcher said, “call us.”

Let’s see if we have this right. Most radios run off electrical power. If the storm left someone without electrical power, there’s a good chance their radios didn’t work. If their radios didn’t work, they probably didn’t hear Charly Butcher. If they didn’t hear Charly Butcher, they wouldn’t have … well, you get the idea.

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