So guess how much Orlando spent prosecuting that Food Not Bombs kid who was arrested for feeding too many homeless people? No, really, guess, because the city’s not saying.

Last week a jury found Eric Montanez not guilty of violating the city’s dumb law about feeding more than 25 homeless people at a time without a permit in public parks. Seeing as how the arrest was in April, and this little soap opera dragged out into October, we wanted to know how much of your coin the city spent on this crusade. Doubly so when Orlando’s Favorite Anarchist, Ben Markeson, said the number was $65,000. That’s a lot of vegetarian stew.

The city says it wasn’t that much. The prosecutor, Kimberly Laskoff, only makes $72,654 a year, so she would have had to work on this and only this case for almost a year to make it worth 65 large. But we did want to get a more accurate number, which we could do by breaking down her salary into an hourly amount, and then multiplying that by the number of hours she worked on the case. (There’s nothing Happytown™ enjoys more than math!)

Unfortunately, the city doesn’t require its prosecutor to actually keep track of what she’s doing, or how many hours she spent trying to put Montanez in the pokey, so we’ll never know how many tax dollars were wasted in this failed pursuit. Let’s just say it was way too many and leave it at that.

On Oct. 10, city commissioner Patty Sheehan got an unwelcome present when she came home from the funeral for Alfred Gordon, the slain Orlando police officer: someone had placed a threatening note on her door. She turned the note over to OPD, which is investigating. Sheehan wouldn’t tell us what the note said, but she seemed pretty upset about it, so we bought her a drink. Happytown™ is a sympathetic sort, after all.

By the way, Sheehan is now uncontested in her reelection bid. Sam Odom has dropped out. That means all three incumbents running for reelection in 2008 have no opposition: Sheehan, District No. 6 commissioner Sam Ings and Mayor Buddy Dyer. The only contest is for District 2, which Commissioner Betty Wyman is abdicating. Meet the new bosses, same as the old bosses.

Do you feel the excitement in the air? That’s right, Mike Gravel is coming to Orlando! Mike Gravel, as in the crazy old man who’s sort of running for the Democratic presidential nomination, and polling just below Dennis Kucinich! Mike Gravel, who always lectures Hillary and Barack on what terrible people they are! Mike Gravel, who wants a constitutional amendment that allows voter-initiated federal legislation (that worked great in Florida; just ask the pregnant pigs)!

Gravel, a former Alaska senator, did some good stuff. He filibustered the renewal of the draft in 1973, and leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971. But that was like 40 years ago. Now he’s kind of a sad, grumpy punchline.

Whatever. He’s appearing at the Orange County Young Democrats luncheon Oct. 19 at The Beacon on South Eola Drive, and it’s only $25. We think you should go.

Hey everyone, Orlando might get a football team! No, not an NFL team; don’t be daft. It’s another team from another league that will fold in eight months. (XFL, anyone?) This new expedition is called the United Football League, and it will be debuting in August 2008. (Great strategy: Have your season overlap the NFL’s.)

Anyway, the UFL is considering 12 cities to host their teams, and Orlando is one of them. To secure our spot in this league, though, you have to open your wallet. Go to www.ticketreserve.com and pay at least $5 to reserve tickets for next season. The top eight cities will probably get teams, though the UFL says it will “also consider market research and other factors in determining the final team markets.”

Translation: No dough, no team. Sounds like extortion. This is gonna go over real well.

Just as we were going to press last week with our Whiggy coverage of the (Ron) Paultards, we got a call from head Paultard, Nick Egoroff, in regard to a late-breaking development: The county was serious when they told us they’d be enforcing that law prohibiting political signage on public property outside of the 90-day window. Egoroff received a certified letter dated Sept. 27 demanding removal of Ron Paul signs from one particular property by Oct. 12, but is under the impression that he’s being blamed for all of the signs in Orange County.

“I’m not capable of putting up all these signs, even if I wanted to,” he tells us.

Anyway, the county’s is threatening him with $1,000 a day fine for noncompliance in removing the “Google Ron Paul” and “Ron Paul for President” signs, a feat Egoroff says would require him hiring a staff. He’s consulting a lawyer.

There’s more to Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis than some sleazy dude who gets women to lift their shirts on camera, you know. Really, he’s a sensitive, pomo kind guy, who is just misunderstood,

Francis has been jailed for six months after refusing to settle with two Orlando women who were underage when they were filmed in a variety of sexual situations, and he hopes to persuade the masses of his innocence with his new site, www.meetjoefrancis.com. Francis, who’s built an empire on drunk college chicks flashing and grinding, says it’s not his fault the girls lied about their age. And he’s posted a long-winded bio and an account of his “gripping and deeply disturbing” saga complete with baby pictures, including one with his mom holding him as an infant, to prove it. Maybe she didn’t breast feed him.

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

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