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Newsmakers

Official's Loss Is Ethiopia's Gain

March 13, 1985|--JENNINGS PARROTT

--A Connecticut state legislator's New Year's resolution has turned into a plan to feed the hungry. For every pound the portly lawmaker loses, friends donate $500 to an Ethiopian famine relief fund. So far, Rep. Richard D. Tulisano of Rocky Hill has lost 16 of the 50 pounds he vowed to shed by April 1, down from his starting weight of 243 pounds, drawing $8,000 from supporters. "We just made a gimmick out of a serious thing," said attorney James F. Ripper, a longtime friend of Tulisano. Tulisano gets one poached egg in the morning, half a sandwich at lunch, small portions of pasta at night and "lots of diet soda." He claims that "what I eat on a diet is more than a lot of people in the world eat in a month."

--The proposal in the Colorado Legislature by Sen. Jana Mendez would establish Avian Awareness Day in the state as an annual celebration recognizing "birds and their value as a natural resource, as an economic resource, and as a barometer of Colorado's general environmental health." Whereupon Sen. Dave Wattenberg amended the bill during preliminary discussion to set the bird celebration day on Thanksgiving. Wattenberg told Mendez he was just "trying to help you get the bill off the ground." But the Senate as a whole, deciding that Wattenberg was being facetious to so honor the turkey on Avian Awareness Day, rejected his amendment.

--Archbishop John J. O'Connor says he will review Sunday's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in New York from the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral despite the selection of an Irish Republican Army supporter as its grand marshal. This year's choice is Nassau County Controller Peter King, a vocal IRA supporter. O'Connor said his choice should "in no way...be construed as support for violence."

--Mr. Rogers says there is plenty of room for adults as well as children in his "neighborhood." He says adults often approach him to express their appreciation for his work. Lauren Tewes, once a regular on "The Love Boat," said she was struggling with a cocaine habit when she turned on Fred Rogers' public television children's show and heard him singing his "Won't You Be My Friend" song and burst into tears. "Of all of the moments in her life to have turned on the television set at that particular time and at that particular channel (is special)," Rogers said. "That we could have been a vehicle of help at that time is something I'm very grateful for." He added: "TV can be used in wonderfully miraculous ways."

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