Town’s snowball fights ban overturned after boy, 9, petitions board
Court rejects request to be 20 years younger
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“I think it’s an outdated law,” Dane said in the lead-up to the meeting.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”. |