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No Cop-Outs for Woman Chief

January 24, 1986|JENNINGS PARROTT

--In the year since she took over as the first woman chief of a big-city police department, Penny Harrington has weathered "one crisis after another," from budget cuts to a civilian's death in police custody, but she says she is unconcerned about mixed reviews of her performance. "I wouldn't change any decisions I've made," said the 44-year-old chief who was promoted to the post last Jan. 24 after 22 years on the Portland, Ore., force. There were good moments during the year: A movie of her life is in the works, and Harrington, the woman who filed more than 40 complaints of sex discrimination during her police career, was named one of Ms. magazine's Women of the Year. She has also dealt with problems. Mayor Bud Clark describes her performance as "wonderful." But Stan Peters, president of the Portland Police Assn. and the chief's most vocal critic, characterizes her performance as "lousy." Harrington shrugs off the criticism. "The people who keep my morale up remind me that they (her officers) hated the chief before me, and they hated the chief before him."

--Buckingham Palace denied a London newspaper report that Princess Diana bought real blue fox tails for a made-to-order Davey Crockett-style hat. "The princess does not buy real furs and never has and never will," said palace spokeswoman Sarah Brennan.

--Passengers aboard a special Mississippi River luxury cruise this spring can enjoy a glittering masquerade ball, attend sunrise church services on the deck and have their coats brushed, bathed and de-fleaed. The passengers will be dogs and cats, none weighing more than 25 pounds and purebreds preferred, thank you. Humans will be allowed to accompany the four-legged travelers and pick up the $1,000 tab. Dallas travel agent Ed Lang is planning what he says is the first ever pet cruise to cater to Texas pet owners who have long growled about cruise line regulations prohibiting animal passengers in the cabins.

--Steve Papesh says it is hard to give away money. He stood at an Indianapolis corner trying to give 300 $1 bills to motorists at a stoplight. (He was trying to draw attention to the Market Place convenience store he opened last August.) "I took 20 (handbills with dollar bills attached) outside to the stoplight at the lunch hour. I was out there about a half hour and had 12 turndowns," Papesh told the Indianapolis News. By late afternoon, after 50 to 60 rejections, Papesh had given away only 82 dollar bills. Then he called it a day. "I almost got run over several times," he said. "If I'd worn a clown suit, they would have known I was serious."

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