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Annie's Angles

Annie’s Angles Volume 1

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Through my work at Weazel, I have written a variety of articles. However, most of my time in the city is spent exploring and gathering information. Unfortunately, most of these things are not long enough (and I’m not very good at waffling to make up word counts) to warrant their own articles.

This is a collation of the things I’ve seen, heard, and learned. I will try and make these fortnightly, but I’m also human, so they will be out when they’re out, and you’ll learn to prefer it that way. This first piece will have notes I’ve made on things going back a few weeks, as some of them are interesting, and I want to talk about them. 

The Scarlett Valkyries

Scarlett Valkyries posing together. (Photo Credit: Annie Wren-Laws)

If you were driving underneath the bridge to the North of Pillbox Medical on Saturday the 29th, in the afternoon, you might have encountered a group of people standing on the edge of the road.

Shouting compliments at people whizzing past, all I heard was a brief shout before I decided to turn around and see what was going on. The shout seemed to have come from a person named Gnash, who was covered in pumpkin and smelled slightly, albeit noticeably, of regret. After I pulled my bike to the side or the road and approached them,the group was friendly to me, and even invited me to stand on the wall alongside them.

A woman named Sadie informed me that they are a new club (having been around for roughly a month), trying to find their way in the city. They called themselves the Scarlett Valkyries and just wanted to be a positive influence on the community. While they do not claim any turf at the moment, she said they have been enjoying sitting under the bridge, yelling at passersby, and hoping to bring a spark of joy to their days. 

I asked them if I could take a picture, and they all seemed very excited by the prospect that they might be featured in the news. So, to you lovely bridge dwellers, thank you for giving me the opportunity to begin this series I have been thinking about for quite a while now! And Gnash, I hope you managed to clean all that pumpkin off of yourself. 

Aggravated Battery

After a recent court case, someone in the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department informed me about aggravated battery. They wanted me to let the public know that tackling a police officer does, in fact, count as aggravated battery.

I think this depends on the circumstances around the event, and in no way should this be taken as legal advice, as I am not a lawyer, have never practiced law, and have no real clue about the penal codes. Instead, I contacted a private investigator to find out! They then sent me the penal code so I could take a look.

Here is what I found in the penal codes under battery:

An intentional unpermitted act causing harmful or offensive contact with another (includes hitting a person or spitting on them).
This becomes a felony if an aggravating circumstance is met.

I didn’t really know what classes as an aggravating circumstance, either, but the penal code also tells us that!

Aggravated circumstances: (i) The victim was an on-duty LEO or a government official.

I’d recommend actually looking at the penal code sometime, as there were some things in there that I didn’t realize were illegal – did you know the age to legally drink in San Andreas is 21? I didn’t! Also, it turns out you cannot legally walk on a freeway – I’m not sure if running counts as an exception to this, but I’ve never been given a citation or infraction for it yet, so we will find out one day! There’s also something called castle doctrine, which I doubt means what I think it does, but it would be cool.

Anyway, I think (again, this is not legal advice, I am not a lawyer and do not actually know) that it only counts as an aggravated battery if you tackle a police officer while they are on duty, performing their job as a police officer. I hope this helps!

Chatting to Politicians

I like politics, and I enjoy a good, structured debate as much as the next weirdo. What I really like to do, however, is to talk to politicians without them knowing I work for Weazel News. It makes them a lot more honest, I tend to find. Here are some notes I took during a conversation I had with Billy Banter, who is running for State Representative. 

Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement or attack on any political candidate, merely a report of what was said.

It’s a popularity contest. Once the votes are in, you don’t hear anything else about it apart from when the next one comes up. As soon as they get in, they spend their time getting richer rather than doing what you voted for. If you want to change something, run for state rep, be that change, be the person that does that.

It’s about the people of the city and what they want. What I’m planning on doing is: take the government website that they put legislation on and stuff. Most people don’t have time to look at it and check it daily. As a state rep, I need to make them aware of what is going on behind closed doors. My job is to post that on Twitter and let them know of the legislation that is happening, and then [the public can] call me directly and give me their opinions, and I can take it back to the government. When the final legislation is opened, I’ll put it on Twitter and poll it that way.

Police the police – they’re getting worse and worse; they’re basically the biggest criminal network in the city. If you get stopped by somebody, they’ll pull you over, and you see their lip quiver a bit because they wanted a chase and haven’t been given one. 99% of the time, they won’t finish the citation because they have to go because they’d prefer to deal with a car chase leaving disarray after them. They’re here for the people, but they don’t give a fuck about the people; they just wanna play cops and robbers all day.

There are criminals in the city, but the cops are a bigger danger to the city than the criminals themselves. For example, if they see racers driving past, you’ll see 2-3 cops chasing after them at 100+ miles an hour, knocking down street lights, etc. How is that making the place safer for people? They’re a bigger danger to Los Santos than anything else. There needs to be legislation to make them uphold the rules. How can you respect somebody who doesn’t do their job?

Warm Spaces

Shelter under the Olympic Freeway overpass. (Photo Credit: Annie Wren-Laws)

I don’t know if you’ve been to the underpass near the Vanilla Unicorn recently (or ever, for that matter), but you may have noticed a small warm space has been set up in an alcove under the Olympic Freeway. This is related to a bill that was signed into law on March 30th by Governor Starr, intending to make the space a permanent feature of our city.

However, when it rains, the entire area floods. The cots inside are directly on the ground, and, as someone who primarily walks around without shoes, my tootsies got very wet. I was flung into something akin to anger (but I’ve never slept there, so I cannot really comment on what it is like) and phoned Richard Starr to come and talk to me.

He arrived in about ten minutes, flanked by a police officer (he stated he had never been asked to meet someone under a bridge before).

I took him inside the shelter, which he had never actually looked at, and asked him if this was the best the state could provide. He reiterated that the space had not been there before the cold front hit San Andreas and that, at least this time, there was a place people could go to that didn’t make them reliant on government aid.

I agree with him; sure, it’s good to have a place that people can go to without question, but is an alcove hastily put together under a bridge with some space heaters the best we, a relatively affluent state, can do? I like Richard; I think he genuinely tries to do his best, but comparing the Governor’s mansion to the warm space…? It’s no contest.

We spoke for about fifteen minutes, and he mentioned the budgetary issues the state representatives may face in building additions onto the area or even raising the floor level. But all I really come back to is: Is this the best San Andreas can give?

Book Release

Things I Wish I Knew (Book Cover Design: Annie Wren-Laws)

It seems as though releasing a book should be a much harder ordeal than it is, but the experience was actually relatively easy. The hard work was (probably rightly so) writing the book and working out how to actually lay the text out in a way that would make sure it was interesting, digestible, and not just a massive wall of text.

Karmen McKenzie’s new business venture, Brown Back Books, is a publishing company that provides authors with a way to get their books bound and in print. I have to admit, it’s a pretty good feeling to see something I’ve written in a physical form, as Weazel does not distribute newspapers (I think that could be wicked, though, personally). My friend Stella was talking to Erin (she’s one of my bosses, but also super nice) about putting Stella’s Scoops into a book, but it would be more of a tome than anything else.

If you see someone releasing a book, go down and see them. I was horrifically anxious throughout the release, not being a natural salesperson or someone who can count above ten. Karmen was by me the entire time, making sure I didn’t have to handle anything I didn’t feel comfortable doing. My friends came to see me. Dante (he’s a very famous musician, you should ask him to sign something or just shout ‘shirts off for Dante’ at him if you see him), Damien (he’s a state rep currently, and we’re new friends but he’s my official hype-man and I’m glad I met him), and Jason (Jason is one of my older friends, he wears cat ears and crop tops and I’m super happy he has found what’s comfortable for him) stood with me the whole time, too. Even Clayton (he’s like, the second person I spoke to in the city, and he’s super great) came down to support me!

Support your friends; it probably means more to them than you know. 

Miss San Andreas

List of the contestants and the areas they represent.

I sort of applied to this as a joke, and if you’ve seen me, you’ll attest that I’m not really beauty pageant material. It was hosted by a friend of mine, Jade Marshall-Tugelbend, and her husband, Sal, convinced me that I should apply (by convincing, I mean he told me I should do it, and I did). 

We had rehearsals on Thursday, where it was explained to us where we should walk, what we should do at certain points, and even the order we had to walk in. I’m not the best at working out my left and right as I am walking, so I remembered where the trees were in the background. 

On the night of the show, everyone’s nerves were running high. I’d spent the day with Dante, Remy, Nemo, and Ralphie, working out matching outfits, just in case I got through to the talent portion (they were all going to wear booty shorts with flip flops and show off the tattoos I’d done on them). We’d applied a stencil to Remy’s hand and had gotten everything that I’d need to tattoo him on the stage ready.

I was horrifically anxious the entire time, and my official hype man, Damien Key, had to phone me about ten minutes before the election debates started to call me a queen and tell me I could do it. Everyone at the pageant looked absolutely incredible; all of the women who were there deserved their local titles.

The winner was Martha Sullivan, Miss South Los Santos, and she looked absolutely stunning in the ball gown she wore for her final walk on the stage. Thank you to everyone involved for letting me be a part of it, and Jade, Susan, and Megan, you did an incredible job organizing it!

Some of the pageant contestants posing on the red carpet. (Photo Credit: Sally Nailburry)

New News Companies?

Will-o’-Wisp article pinned to a wall. (Photo Credit: Annie Wren-Laws)

Recently, more and more news companies seem to be cropping up. These range from the opinion-based Los Santos Diatribes to Useless News and Will-o’-Wisp. It’s good to see more people taking up the mantle of reporting on what happens in the city, especially when they cover different topics and provide opinions on what is happening.

Whoever writes for LSDiatribes is hilarious, and their reporting on the Shadowcade raid really emphasized what had gone down on that night. I was at the rave, so I had no clue it was even happening until I checked Twitter and saw Hudson turn up about an hour later.

I hope these new companies continue to report on things, as Weazel does occasionally misses stuff that happens – while we try to hit a 24-hour news cycle, it can be hard sometimes. And, if you ever want to write things that people will read, why not try for a job at any of these places? The worst they can do is say no!

Even after I finished writing this and the team edited it, Stella found another new newspaper!

RaSCaLZ Telegram.

The Tip Line

Weazel has had a tip line for a while now, but we don’t usually get much through it. If you see something weird, or if you have a story you want to tell, please drop a tip in there so we can actually report on it! I know it may seem like we should simply know everything, but we can’t, in fact, read minds (bar Maxine, I’ve seen her demon-summoning circles). Plus, I get bored, so send us all your random tips so we can start to follow up. It would help if you could add a contact number, but I’m not fussed. 

Weazel News tip line submission form.

No Shoes

To those people who only recognise me because I don’t wear shoes, and you can hear my tootsies slapping on the floor, I give you this:

Annie offering a trade with your shoes. (Photo Credit: Annie Wren-Laws)

To my friends, old and new, I appreciate you. To the friends I have yet to make: look for footprints. Have a great week!

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