In the fall of 1988, my wife, Paulette,rnearned some notoriety as the spokesmanrnfor the local Project Rescue, which wasrnengaging in some successful anti-abortionrnactivity. Bomb-sniffing dogs had torntour the house once two days beforernChristmas before we were allowed in, wernwere receiving bushels of unrequestedrnmagazines, books, and CDs every day,rnand the number of threatening phonerncalls increased. There were sudden disruptionsrnof our telephone service onrnthree consecutive anniversaries of Roe v.rnWade, which baffled repairmen. Andrnthen there was the mysterious terminationrnof a credit card when we were on vacationrnone year.rnAs “rescue” activity waned and lawsuitsrnagainst pro-lifers proliferated, onernof the most prominent attorneys forrnabortion providers was a Williamsvillernresident, Clenn Murray, who was also arnlegal advisor for the village. His associaternin village affairs was Tom Troy, the VillagernAttorney.rnTroy’s daughter and son-in-law, alsornresidents on our street, had recently soldrna portion of their property to psychiatristrnRupert Brook where he built a large contemporaryrnhome with unimaginative islandrnplantings which would be maintainedrnby a yard service crew. Clearly, itrnwas a structure out of character with thernneighborhood and for some time thernneighbors discussed how a permit couldrnhave been granted. After taking residencernthere. Brook usually ran the stoprnsign at our corner, seemingly in an angryrnrush on most days.rnIn June 1992 my wife was pullingrnweeds from the barberry hedge when,rnunbelievably, the mailman delivered arnletter issued by Deborah Habes, administratorrnof the Village of WilliamsvillernBuilding Department, stating that “a potentiallyrnhazardous situation exists at therncorner of your property that fronts onrnSouth Ellicott and Oakgrove. The bushesrnat that corner have been allowed torngrow high enough so as to impede visibilityrnfor motorists, bicyclists and pedestriansrnnegotiating that corner. This is a violationrnof Section 89-7 of the VillagernCode, which requires that shrubs be keptrnto a maximum of three (3) feet whenrnthey are located within fifteen (15) feetrnof a street. I am enclosing a copy of thernrelevant code for your review. Thesernbushes shall be trimmed to a height notrnexceeding three (3) feet by WednesdayrnJune 24, 1992, or it will be necessary forrnthe Village to take further action.”rnOn June 16, Paulette called Habesrnand said she would trim the bushes, butrnI was not going to comply. I called thernmayor, the building inspector, the managerrnof the streets department, one otherrnofficial, and together we took measurementsrnwhich definitively established thatrnour hedges were not in violation becausernthey were slightly more than 19 feet fromrnthe street. Moreover, our corner was notrna busy center of traffic.rnOne of the officials we communicatedrnwith attributed the incident to an anonymousrncomplaint, from a person who saidrn”he has had trouble with you before.”rnNot remembering any “trouble” withrnour neighbors, my wife trimmed thernhedge in a spirit of cooperation.rnNine months later, however, we receivedrnanother letter, dated March 29,rn1993, from David Sutton, Village BuildingrnInspector, informing us that “as a resultrnof a recent change in the Village’srnVehicle and Traffic Safety Code, thernbushes on the corner of your propertyrn… exceed the maximum height allowingrnwithin twenty (20) feet from a street linernin both directions. Section 103-20 (E)rn(2) prohibits any obstruction to visionrnbetween three and seven feet abovernstreet level at a corner intersection.rn… On March 15,1 conducted an inspectionrnof the site as a result of a complaintrnto this office. I verified that these partic-rnANNOUNCING THE 1997 PHILLIPS FOUNDATIONrnJOURNALISM FELLOWSHIPrn• WORKING JOURNALISTS ELIGIBLE FOR $50,000 •rnI f you are a working print journalist with less than five years of professional experience, a unique opportunityrnawaits – the chance to apply for a grant to complete a one-year project of your choosing, focusing on journalismrnsupportive of American culture and a free society. The Foundation offers one $50,000 fiill-time and two $25,000 parttimernfellowships.rnfounded in 1990, the Phillips Foundation is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to advance therncause of objective journalism. The Foundation’s fellowship program serves to provide support for journalists who sharernthe Foundation’s mission: to advance constitutional principles, a democratic society and a vibrant free enterprise system.rn/Applications are now being accepted for the 1997 Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellowships. Applicationsrnmust be postmarked by March 1,1997. The vnnners will be announced at an awards dinner in Washington in the Spring.rnThe fellowship wiU begin on September 1,1997. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.rnFor applications and more information, write:rnMr. John Farley THE PHILLIPS FOUNDATIONrn7811 Montrose Road, Potomac, Maryland 20854 • Telephone (301) 340-2100 E-mail: j[email protected]: March 1,1997rn42/CHRONICLESrnrnrn