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Belo May Now Have to Walk Those Damned Briefings to Your Doorstep

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It's been almost a year since the city first began mulling changes to its solicitation and anti-litter ordinance, which is a roundabout way of saying the City Council wants the Morning News to quit it with the damned Briefings, those free papers distributed to unwitting homeowners across the city.

Those papers, and the fines that might be levied for throwing them, were a primary focus of the council's initial discussion of the ordinance nine months ago, but that talk has quieted down. The City Council was briefed on proposed changes to the ordinance two weeks ago, but that was behind closed doors, ostensibly to address council members' legal questions.

The issue resurfaced publicly today at the council Quality of Life briefing, albeit very briefly. City Attorney Tom Perkins updated committee members on a tweak to the details of the proposed ordinance.

"You can no longer throw it on the lawn or throw it on the property," Perkins said. "You actually have to walk up and place it on or near the door." Also, it can't be attached with adhesive material.

"It" in this case is any piece of unwanted literature, save for educational or religious materials, that might be passed out, but it was clear that Perkins and council members were referring specifically to Belo and its Briefings.

"So the company that they hire will have to get out their cars?" Councilwoman Carolyn Davis asked.

Yep, and this way they won't be able to claim they didn't see the "no handbills" sign on the door, Perkins said.

That was about the extent of the discussion, which will now go to the full council for yet another briefing. And, someday, they might actually make a decision.

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