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On the Light Side

October 30, 1989

PLUM, Pa. (AP) _ Animal rights activists figure they got the last laugh on nightclub operators who offered a full-length raccoon coat as a prize in an Elvira look- alike contest: A protester won the contest wearing a costume donated by the real Elvira.

″This is going to be one less fur on the street,″ said Aileen Linhard of Animal Care and Welfare, after fellow activist Jeanie Brown, 38, of Pittsburgh won the contest Saturday at Nikki’s, a club in this Pittsburgh suburb.

About 35 people protested outside while 350 watched the contest.

Cassandra Peterson - an animal rights activist who adopts the Elvira persona on late-night television in a low-cut black dress - donated the winning costume to a group called Mobilization for Animals.

At one point, an activist who infiltrated the audience at Nikki’s yelled, ″Elvira hates furs.″

Ms. Browne didn’t say what the fate of the coat would be.

Club manager Nick A. Veltri said he thought she entered the contest under false pretenses, but still planned to turn over the fur.

″Whatever she does with it is her business,″ he said.

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SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - One man’s garden can be another’s eyesore, especially when the landscaping is a 6-foot-tall, front-yard patch of wildflowers.

Some residents of this tony Cleveland suburb want Joseph Gyurgyik’s lawn returned to a more traditional decor, particularly now, as the once-colorful display is turning brown and wilting.

″I think it’s an absolute eyesore,″ said neighbor Carolyn Wallace.

The city’s Architectural Board of Review has declared the display in violation of a ban on inappropriate landscaping, but Gyurgyik said he will fight that ruling and any others.

The controversy has prompted city officials to try to tighten up the definition of what’s appropriate in matters floral.

″It’s like defining obscenity,″ said David Goss, a councilman and member of the city Board of Zoning Appeals. ″That’s a community standard, really.″

But Gyurgyik says he’s gotten many compliments on his tangle of 50 to 75 varieties of domestic and wild flowers, including poppies, cosmos, and black- eyed Susans. He says his neighbors are just being stuffy.

″They like to have everything under control,″ he said. ″If it moves, spray it.″

There’s also a practical side to the unusual garden, Gyurgyik admits: ″The last thing I want to do after working 12 hours, six days a week, is come home and cut a lawn.″

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