shaken & stirred

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i heart police logs

This article looks at Kevin Hoover's new The Police Log: True Crime & More from Arcata, California, by Kevin L. Hoover. He renders the police log in verse (examples are given). How'd he wind up doing this?

Arcata first hooked Hoover in 1986, when he read an item in National Lampoon's True Facts column. Among the selections from small-town police blotters was this, from the Arcata Union newspaper:

'Tiffany's ice cream parlor alerted police to a person defacing the statue of William McKinley on the Arcata Plaza. Police apprehended a suspect and released him with a warning not to stick cheese in McKinley's ears and nose anymore.'

A small-town square? President McKinley with a cheese-filled nose? Hoover rushed north and, after that visit, fled his going-nowhere job in San Francisco. By 1993, he was working at the Arcata Union, where he was asked -- call it serendipity -- to write the 'cop log.'

Praise from Chronicle columnist Herb Caen inspired Hoover's boss to grant him even more poetic license. When that paper folded, Hoover launched his own.

'I started the Arcata Eye so I could stay here and celebrate the town's seamy underbelly and other psychic microclimes,' Hoover says. In the process, he kept writing the cop log.

Here, we have a weekly called Snitch that strives to write the police log in a way that captures its heartbreak and stupidity.

worm "Mass Destruction," Faithless

namecheck Scott "Ares" Westerfeld


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