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The Palm Beach Post i ouiuay, ututMbtK ff iyyz SECTION C VET'S SENTENCING A Port St. Lucie man could get up to 200 years in prison for :Collecting too many benefits. STORY, 4C STONES ROLL f: The Rolling Stones' 'Bridges 1 1 to Babylon' tour shows Britain's bad boys have still got it j! REVIEW, IOC T; Delray housing director rebuilds On . - riYIU lit. Dorothy Ellington, .Delray Beach $ ;Housing Authority's interim executive director, is planning ".'to put in some new '.sod for children to play on at Carver Estates and set up 'several outdoor security cameras to discourage crime in the 200-unit", housing project. The city's housing authority has improved under the interim director's leadership. By Matt Reed Palm Beach Post Staff Writer DELRAY BEACH For most of Oct. 16, 1996, publicity-shy Dorothy Ellington had a comfortable city hall job as a grants planner, with predictable hours and lots of paperwork. But at a meeting that night, she learned she had been drafted into one of the most Friday. "There was no time to think about ! it. I just opened my mouth and accepted it"i Ellington, 44, had been the city's liaison to the housing authority for several years,, and had experience working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develop- ment on block grants. Still, more than a year later, she acknowledges she's made sorne missteps. But the authority has made some; recent strides forward. It has erected an iron fence around Carver Estates to ward off drug dealers an ' Please see H0USING6C difficult jobs in local government: interim director of the Delray Beach Housing Authority. The authority was a shambles. Its 200-unit housing project, Carver Estates, was crumbling. Files and spending records were nonexistent. Minutes earlier, state law enforcement agents had escorted her predecessor from the meeting, the second straight director to face a criminal probe for embezzlement. It would be Ellington's job to fix the authority, board members told her. "It was pure pandemonium," she said BILL INGRAMStaff Photographer -It? He just got carried away , J Yyv' -i ' yy ;-yyC IANNIS VWTERSStaff Rwtoeapher WEST PALM BEACH - A mannequin from Bill's Tuxedo Rentals gets a owners Bill and Opal Suther move Saturday from Clematis Street lift from Maurice Costigan, co-owner of O'Shea's Pub, who helped shop their storefront for 48 years to one block north, 516 Banyan St. Museum teacher brings stars down to Earth Frank Cerabino My holiday toy theory: Stuff it, suckers will buy -, Don't ask me why, but there I was wandering the aisles of the Toys "R" Us in West Palm Beach, looking for a Sing & Snore ; Ernie doll. t "They're out of stock," says sales clerk ' Suzanne Malone, who I find near the stuffed toy aisle. Just then, a shopper stops her cart and looks anxiously at us. "Yes?" Malone says. "Where can I find Sing & Snore Ernie?" the woman asks the sales clerk, i This must be what people refer to as "the magic of Christmas." ! Every year, some toy magically surfaces as the prize, and then the hunt begins. It's the only kind of hunting most of us do anymore. Last year's magic toy, Tickle Me Elmo, isn't so magic anymore. "We've got gobs of them," Malone says, pointing me down the aisle, where boxes of the ;red furry Sesame Street character are lined on the shelves. . Nothing to laugh about this year, Elmo, I think, as I squeeze one, which emits a giggle that is somehow less infectious this year. It's Ernie, another Sesame Street character, who is this year's catch. Sing & Snore Ernie is dressed in striped pajamas. When you squeeze him, he sings Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, then snores. Allegedly. I can't say for sure, because I haven't actually seen one. At the Toys "R" Us in West Palm Beach, the workers don't even bother stocking them on the shelves. They just leave the pile of Ernies in the front of the store, where they are snatched up lickety-split. In Friday's newspaper, there were already a bunch of classified ads for the $25 toy, offering it for as much as $250. It got me thinking. I need to get started early and come up with next year's magical toy. Judging from the past two years, a stuffed toy that does something when you squeeze it Seems to be the formula for success. i And as long as the adults are doing all the tniying, why not debut an adult version of the popular child's toy? ' With that in mind, here are my entries for the next big thing: The 'Fly Me, Lawton' Doll This miniature Florida governor comes with his own rifle and camouflage gear. Squeeze him, and he bums a ride on your private jet for a hunting trip. The 'Bite Me, Tyson' Doll Squeeze him, and he lunges for your ear. The 'Wine & Dine Mac' Doll Palm Beach County's tourism development doll. Squeeze Warren "Mac" McLaughlin's Stomach, and he offers to take you out for dinner and cigars. The 'Spare Me, Donald' Doll j The Trump doll. When you squeeze him, he talks about himself. The Touch Me, Paula' Doll This fuzzy Bill Clinton doll is equipped with removable pants. When you squeeze him, he says, "Wanna see 'The Guv'na?' " The 'Pickle Me, Jack' Doll The Dr. Kevorkian model. When you squeeze him he tells you to drop dead. The 'Out of My Way, Nancy' Doll J Squeeze this miniature West Palm Beach mayor and suffer the consequences. The 'Bob & Weave Janet' Doll No matter how hard you squeeze this mini-fteno, she still won't call for a special prosecutor. The 'Pay Me, Bob' Doll The Bob Montgomery tobacco-fightin'-lawyer doll. After you get through playing with fjim, he computes his squeezable hours and sends you a bill. The 'Rant & Rave Rush' Doll t Squeeze his stomach, and this pixie Limbaugh blames it on Clinton. The 'Hose Me, Wayne' Doll I Before you get a chance to squeeze this Huizenga doll, he squeezes you and announces that he's losing too much money by staying with you. "i 11 hwrWiiiir n Landstrom's accustomed to mul-tifaceted jobs. Before coming to West Palm Beach, he was r Hill h - after grants, fund-raising and seeking good programs," Landstrom said. In fact, the South Florida Sci- ence Museum set records in aft tendance and membership th$ budget year. Through Septembef, -'; 188,382 visited the museum, near; j ly doubling the previous high in" 1996 of 98,335. i Membership increased from 1,498 families to 3,756. Much of ' the increase was because of the ' Please see SCIENCE UC By Tim 0'Meilia Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH The South Florida Science Museum's $200,000 computerized universe opens its twinkling stars to the public this month or next. The voice of God already is on salary. He was hired "out of cyberspace on the Internet. Celestial as all that seems, Erich Landstrom's work is more pedestrian these days. Dozens of times a day, he scuttles between the construction debris of the museum's Aldrin Planetarium and his office upstairs in the dome of the Gibson Observatory. "Sometimes I feel like I'm going up to the bell tower," he jokes in his booming baritone, hunching one Quasimodo-esque shoulder. Hired Oct. 15, Landstrom, 27, is the museum's new director of astronomy education for the planetarium and the observatory. And he's the voice of God, too. He'll need extra-large business cards. planetarium director at the Savannah (Ga.) Science Museum by day and a 911 dispatcher at night. He also wrote and performed a weekly 90-second radio spot. "Savannah and this museum were at the same point. Savannah closed, but this museum is going OMNIPRESENT: Erich Landstrom is the Science Museum's director of astronomy education - and the voice of God. T THEN: When Bonnie and Craig were sweethearts in 1969, Bonnie's father sent her sister along on their first few dates. Plan to switch vo-tech classes! brings jitters By Don Horine ; Palm Beach Post Staff Writer LAKE WORTH With the school I district planning to turn over its adult ' vocational classes to Palm Beach Com- ; munity College, confusion reigns at the three tech centers where the classes ' are presently taught. I Many students and teachers worry ' the plan will disrupt their lives and damage programs that have provided,' job training for thousands of people. - But most of the fear is unfounded; say officials from both the school diss; trict and the college. ' "There's an awful lot of misinforma'r ; 1 tion out there," said Jan Bussell, dean of ' vocational education at PBCC. A committee planning the switch;' headed by Schools Superintendent Joart ' Kowal and PBCC President Dennis ; Gallon, will meet Monday to work out a 1 schedule for the transition, which is expected to take three years. But deck ' sions on the details such as which," ! courses will actually be transferred, and Please see V0-TECH2C-' 'If I'd known he was divorced since '81, 1 would've tried to find him a couple of husbands ago. ' Bonnie and Craig finally get hitched By Marcia Gelbart Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Don't talk to Bonnie Vars about waiting. Twenty-eight years ago, she lost the man she loved and she had to survive four marriages, six children and nine grandchildren before finding him again. But all that waiting is behind her now. Donning a new white gown and a fresh bouquet of daffodils, Vars married her high school sweetheart, Craig Giese, Saturday at a friend's home near Jupiter. "If I'd known he was divorced since '81," Vars said of Giese, "I would've tried to find him a couple of husbands ago." Even so, "I just feel like we picked up where we left off," Vars said before the 5 p.m. ceremony. For the 45-year-old newlyweds, their second chance at love began in October 1996 after Vars' fourth divorce. Her high school girlfriends told her to "Find Craig. He's who you're trying to replace,' " she said. Vars and Giese had dated for three years as teenagers in Please see MARRIAGE6C ,i i no mi uil i pi mm " ' ' Y . xi I MARK MIRKOStaft Photographer NOW: After 28 years apart, Craig and Bonnie found each other and were married Saturday. They now live in Port St. Lucie and help raise their grandchildren.