Later that same day: When the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland was handed $25,000 from MAC Cosmetics, it was hardly a surprise that the group chose to do a little something to show its appreciation. The token of thanks was a Voice Against the Silence Award, which the Taskforce gave out to MAC CEO John Demsey, and its superstar spokesperson, Mary J. Blige, who was in town for a couple of shows. Conspicuous by its absence, however, was a similar award for the other high-profile guest in attendance, Mayor White. Instead, the mayor accepted an award from the Taskforce "to the City of Cleveland," a little detail the credit-conscious White could not have failed to notice.
The First Amendment took it on the chin last week when state park police pulled the plug on a clean air press conference at the Gordon Lakefront State Park. About 15 people showed up, not counting cops, who appeared just as things were getting under way. Park spokesman Dave Frank said later that the clean air folks didn't get the required permit 28 days ahead of time. But, says Margaux Shields of the Public Interest Research Group, that's a rule the park has never enforced at her group's prior gatherings. "The police said they were concerned that whatever we said wouldn't agree with the state," says Shields. "So not only is the State of Ohio not willing to address air quality problems, it's not even willing to let other people talk about it."