Friday, June 18, 2004
A teacher's aide who forgot to put away her marshmallows and hot chocolate at Yellowstone National Park last year was taken from her cruise ship cabin in handcuffs and hauled before a judge Friday, accused of failing to pay the year-old fine.
Hope Clarke, 32, crying and in leg shackles, told the judge she was rousted at 6:30 a.m. by federal agents after the ship returned to Miami from Mexico. She insisted that she had been required to pay the $50 fine before she could leave Yellowstone, which has strict rules about food storage to prevent wildlife from eating human food.
Now, we at TigerHawk are the first to concede that marshmallow chomping, cocoa slurping, national parks attending teachers aides are, in fact, environmental criminals of the first order. But are we holding our breath that the liberal media will give John Ashcroft's Justice Department even a smidgeon of credit for cracking down on serious environmental offenses like the making of 'smores on federal land? On a cold day in hell, I assure you!
The chuckle here for just about everybody, with the certain exception of teacher Clarke, is that she seems to have already paid the fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Outerbridge conceded there were some "discrepancies," but suggested to the judge that Clarke appear in court again to clear up the warrant.
It's almost -- but only almost -- reason enough to wish Mr. Outerbridge would return to fighting the war on drugs, which we trust is his usual beat down there in Miami.