Hey, we’ve got a race for the mayor’s seat! Yippee!

As a public service, Happytown™ is here to introduce you to the candidates and gauge their chances of winning for you. You’re welcome.

Tim Adams: Twenty-four years after his first run for the brass ring (he ran in both the 1984 and 1988 races, losing both), Adams – who was elected to the Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District Board in 2004 – is sick of Dyer’s open pockets and good-ol’-boy back-scratching. In fact he’s probably sick of Buddy altogether, having lost to him in a state senate Democratic primary in 1992. And good on ’im. He wants to dispense with the ridiculous feeding ordinances, supports a public vote on the venues (though it’s too late for that), doesn’t think very highly of the Kuhn-Dyer boys club, and sees through the mayor’s previous Parramore promises. Definitely the one to watch.

The odds: 2-to-1 against, sadly.

Nick Egoroff: Head Paultard and the candidate most likely to don a wig in the midst of the campaign rush, Nick Egoroff does cut an interesting character. His history of selling satellite dishes – he’s a self-described “entrepreneur” – lends him little cachet, but his skills at networking the lunatic fringe out of the wooded shadows and ham-radio basements could give him a leg up. The only real fear (OK, not the only real fear) is that the Libertarian could cross purposes with an “A vote for me is a vote for Ron Paul!” stump, which would just be confusing.

The odds: Slim to none, but he’ll get the party started.

Ken Mulvaney: Mulvaney is still wearing the grudge chip on his shoulder following his loss in the 2004 race (not to mention having to stand on a stage with Billy Manes in 2005!), and is sticking to the vagueness of his “the mayor is taking the city in the wrong direction” schtick, without any real mention of the right one. The venues, while they should have gone for a vote, he says, are ultimately good for the city and ought to ride on or whatever. Regardless, he did actually sweat Dyer into jail a couple of years back, so he’s worth throwing a pint back with.

The odds: Best name recognition of the challengers, thanks to his perennial campaigning status; but no real vision, so he’ll lose again. Better luck next time, maybe.

Ever wonder about that rotten-egg smell wafting over the 408 near Curry Ford? Ever ponder how many rats and birds frequent the county dump, or what happens to your recycling after you intermingle glass bottles, cans and newspapers into a single recycling container and leave it on the curb?

Well, wonder no more. Your chance is finally here to spend an exciting day at the dump! Bring the kids, it’ll be fun!

Orange County Recycles Day is Nov. 10 at the county landfill, 12100 Young Pine Road, Orlando, and it promises a whole day of if-you’ve-got-nothing-else-to-do festivities.

In addition to tours of the landfill and demonstrations of the recycling process – from sorting to baling and loading – there will be a truck display and recycling vendors on hand. The county also promises food (hope it’s not recycled) and entertainment. No specifics on that last one, but how cool would it be to tell all your friends you saw an American Idol has-been perform on top of a mound of rotten tomatoes and dog carcasses?

Door prizes and children’s activities should cap off the fun-filled day put together to “promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of purchasing recycled products.” But then again, if you didn’t throw so much shit away you wouldn’t have to go see it all.

Remember that whole clumsy kerfuffle wherein the homeless and those who fed them were targeted at Lake Eola? Feed more than 25 and go to jail? Sure you do. We never shut up about it.

Well, on Nov. 1 we were thrown for a loop when we heard that Wendy’s would be spending four hours doling out free cheeseburgers to anybody whose bowels could handle them. They call it “The Great Taste Tour.” Naturally, we went down to investigate (but not to eat).

We found out a few things that weren’t very interesting. Like, for example, if you were to visit one of the computer kiosks, “you could win hot juicy burgers free for life.” We’d bet that if you won, your life would be nasty, brutish and short, but we digress.

A barker of sorts singled out participants and asked them ridiculous questions like, “Melvin, how often does Wendy’s freeze its ground beef?” (Answer: Who cares? Here’s a free T-shirt.)

At 1:05 p.m. we counted 42 people in the line, a large percentage of them appearing transient in nature. Hmm. A Wendy’s corporate fembot named Victoria looked suspiciously down at the word “homeless” scribbled on our pad and asked for our credentials. We were scared!

City spokeswoman Heather Allebaugh – who was hip to our line of questioning – let us know that Wendy’s did secure a Large Group Feeding Permit (which was free) but probably didn’t go for the big event 18A permit (also free) because there weren’t that many people. The lesson: Large corporations feeding the homeless are good. Hippies – who probably don’t eat ground beef anyway – doing the same thing are very bad.

This week’s report by Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes and Deanna Sheffield.

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