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News of the Weird

Wednesday June 26, 2002

It’s a Freaky Friday in Texas 


AUSTIN, Texas — An Aggie in the University of Texas president’s office? A Longhorn leading Texas A&M? 

It may sound like a cruel joke on the rival universities’ loyal fans, but it’s really going to happen: Larry Faulkner, UT’s leader, and Ray Bowen, president of A&M, will swap jobs on Friday. 

In a joint statement released Monday, the presidents said they want “to underscore that the two institutions, while competing fiercely in athletics, have much in common in their academic and related aspirations and face many of the same challenges, fiscal and otherwise.” 

Both presidents will start off the day with late-morning meetings with university executives and then have sessions with deans, other faculty members and student leaders. 

“We expect to have some fun while getting a taste of how the other guy lives,” the presidents said. 

Despite the good-natured bad blood between the schools, UT senior Stephanie Melton said Bowen should get a hospitable welcome when he becomes president for a day. 

“UT’s a friendly campus,” Melton said. 


Two-state candidate  

a longshot in one  


LAS VEGAS — Mike Schaefer, who is no longer allowed to practice law, is taking a stab at a career in politics — two stabs, in fact. 

The disbarred Nevada lawyer is simultaneously running for public administrator in Clark County, Nev., and for Congress in Arizona. 

While Nevada law blocks Schaefer from seeking two offices in this state, there’s no legal prohibition against being a two-state candidate. That’s because the Las Vegas Republican won a federal appeals court case stemming from a previous effort to run for Congress in California. 

The perennial candidate tried to run for the seat of the late Rep. Sonny Bono of Palm Springs but was rejected by filing officials because he lived in Nevada. He sued, and in June 2000 a court ruled that House candidates don’t have to live in the state they hope to represent — as long as they have a legal residence in that state once they’re elected. 

Schaefer said he’s a long shot in the congressional race, where he is one of seven Republicans hoping to replace retiring Rep. Bob Stump. But he considers himself a front-runner in the Clark County race. 


Oldest active logger  

praises the chain saw  

SEQUIM, Wash. — John Kirner has been logging so long that he has memories of the arrival of a revolutionary piece of equipment — the chain saw. 

“I was up in Sequim, and I heard a great, big noise behind this building,” he said. “The chain saws started to come in, and boy I was happy to see them.” 

Kirner, 97, began cutting trees 80 years ago, and he’s believed to be the oldest active logger on Washington state’s North Olympic Peninsula. 

Through the years, Kirner has watched the trade change from a backbreaking physical industry for only the strongest men to the less strenuous but still demanding work it is today. 

“The new loggers do a lot more in the way of accomplishment, but none of them worked harder than we did,” Kirner told the Peninsula Daily News. “You couldn’t just stand there and look at the logs, you had to get out there and work.” 

Before chain saws, Kirner used the crosscut saws, called “misery whips.” After hearing his first chain saw, Kirner knew he needed one and worked out a deal to buy it the same day.