Town’s snow­ball fights ban over­turned af­ter boy, 9, pe­ti­tions board

Court re­jects re­quest to be 20 years younger

Saturday Star - - METRO -

A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy has con­vinced the lead­ers of a small north­ern Colorado town to over­turn a nearly cen­tury-old ban on snow­ball fights, and he al­ready knows who his first tar­get will be: his lit­tle brother.

Dane Best, who lives in the of­ten snow-swept town of Sev­er­ance, pre­sented his ar­gu­ments at a town board meet­ing Mon­day night, and mem­bers voted unan­i­mously to lift the ban.

“I think it’s an out­dated law,” Dane said in the lead-up to the meet­ing. “I want to be able to throw a snow­ball with­out get­ting in trou­ble.”

Dane’s mother, Brooke Best, told The Gree­ley Tri­bune her son had been talk­ing about snow­balls since he found out re­cently that it was il­le­gal to throw them within town lim­its. The last time it snowed, Dane said he and his friends looked around for po­lice and joked about break­ing the law.

Kyle Ri­etk­erk, as­sis­tant to the Sev­er­ance town ad­min­is­tra­tor, said the rule was part of a larger or­di­nance that made it il­le­gal to throw or shoot stones or mis­siles at peo­ple, an­i­mals, build­ings, trees, any other pub­lic or pri­vate prop­erty or ve­hi­cles. Snow­balls fell un­der the town’s def­i­ni­tion of “mis­siles”.

“All of the kids al­ways get blown away that it’s il­le­gal to have

snow­ball fights in Sev­er­ance,” Ri­etk­erk said be­fore the meet­ing. “So, what ends up hap­pen­ing is (town lead­ers) al­ways en­cour­age the kids with: ‘You have the power you can change the law.’ No one has.”

Then Dane took up the cause, writ­ing let­ters with his class­mates in sup­port of over­turn­ing the ban.

And af­ter Mon­day night’s suc­cess, his four-year-old brother Dax had bet­ter watch out. When board mem­bers asked Dane dur­ing a meet­ing in Novem­ber who he wants to hit, he pointed at his lit­tle brother. | AP DUTCH mo­ti­va­tional speaker Emile Ratel­band may feel like a 49-year-old but ac­cord­ing to Dutch law he is still 69.

A Dutch court on Mon­day re­jected Ratel­band’s re­quest to shave 20 years off his age in a case that drew world­wide at­ten­tion.

“Mr Ratel­band is at lib­erty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act ac­cord­ingly,” Arn­hem court said in a press state­ment.

“But amend­ing his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to van­ish from the reg­is­ter of births, deaths, mar­riages and reg­is­tered part­ner­ships. This would have a va­ri­ety of un­de­sir­able le­gal and so­ci­etal im­pli­ca­tions.”

Ratel­band went to court last month, ar­gu­ing that he didn’t feel 69 and say­ing his re­quest was consistent with other forms of per­sonal trans­for­ma­tion gain­ing ac­cep­tance in the Nether­lands and glob­ally, such as the abil­ity to change one’s name or gen­der.

The court re­jected that ar­gu­ment, say­ing un­like in the case of a name or gen­der, Dutch law as­signs rights and obli­ga­tions based on age “such as the right to vote and the duty to at­tend school”. |

Dane Best

Emile Ratel­band

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