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News AAND Notes: Lots of Love Edition

'Til Death Do We Party; Cold, Hard Cash & Politics; The Best Best-Ofs; Marriage or Bust

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Just when you thought Fernandina Beach had zoning issues, Austin Chronicle got into the nitty gritty of a dispute between neighbors in and around Dripping Springs, aka the "Wedding Capital of Texas." Over the last several years, some properties in residential areas have been converted into wedding venues, much to the consternation of neighbors who moved there for peace and quiet and thought deed restrictions prohibited such activity.

Lawsuits, arguments and other hijinks ensued, including the usual legal actions, lobbying and petitions, as well as some not-so-usual tactics, like a next-door neighbor reportedly playing loud mariachi music during nuptials (¡ay caramba!), someone sprinkling roofing nails on a wedding venue driveway and, our personal favorite, placing what the property owner believes are voodoo hexes on an adjoining fence. Though some officials are sympathetic to the plight of residents of this fast-growing area, there's little to be done: Many of the venues are outside city limits, and thus out of their jurisdiction. So, for now, their only recourse may be gris gris.

COLD, HARD CASH & POLITICS

Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen is the hero of our sweetest dreams. Blueberry Vanilla Graham Greek FroYo. That is all. He's also a hell-bent activist at the forefront of a money-stamping effort to get corporate cash out of the political process, reports Boulder Weekly. Since 2013, Cohen and cohort have stamped U.S. currency with messages like "Stamp money out of politics," "Not to be used to buy elections," "Resist: 'Voter Fraud is a Fraud'" and "Corporations are not people."

Cohen and his comrades, who will soon be 100,000 strong, have two aims, BW adds: first, to overturn Citizens United, which legalized unlimited donations by corporations and businesses; and second, to strengthen "voting rights protections for historically marginalized communities."

"The root cause of [any issue regarding] most anything that anybody cares about, the environment, education, healthcare-it all comes down to money in politics," Cohen told BW. "And until we get rid of money in politics, we're never going to get the environmental laws, financial laws or healthcare laws we really need." Here, here.

THE BEST BEST-OFS

Face it, traditional media: Altweeklies OWN best-of lists in our cities. It's really cute that you try, but you'll never, ever be as witty, independent and coarse as the freebies are. Nor should you be. Someone has to cover the St. Aug Sewing Circle, and it ain't gonna be us. Nope, never. But we digress.

To prove the superiority of altweekly best-ofs, check out some of these clever categories our pals at Charleston City Paper dreamt up for their readers' poll, plus some local nominations of our very own: Person to Keep an Eye on at City Council Meetings (we nominate A.G. Gancarski), Frustrated Expert Explanations to City Council Members (St. Aug festival organizers during Francis Field drama), Signs of the Times ("NRA is a Terrorist Organization" billboard on I-295), Crime of the Scentury (Aaron Zahn's Haines City plant), Way to Equip Your Millennial Haven (anything at The Makery and Eco Relics), Place to Eat When Your Besties Are in Town (Salty Pelican is whassup) and, the category that makes us wanna dance, Excuse for a Party (The Jags, obvsly!).

MARRIAGE OR BUST

Palo Alto Weekly blogger Chandrama Anderson regaled her readers with an interesting dating strategy a young mother recently shared. She told her husband-to-be that the relationship was either going nowhere or down the aisle-on their first date. Rather than split before the kale salad arrived (why so much kale salad? WHYYYY?), he stayed and asked her for a second date, then another, and another, until eventually he asked for her hand.

Anderson is all for this strategy, as it involves being open, honest and direct about what you really want. Rather than play the often-exhausting game of guessing what the other person wants and concealing what you want for fear of rejection or tipping the applecart too soon, she believes people should just be true. "Being clear isn't the same as being uncaring, or riding over someone," she writes. "It's using 'I statements': 'I'm looking to get married; are you interested in heading toward marriage, too?'"

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