Cities News Roundup
Pinball aficionados in Boston are crying "Tilt!" in the wake of a moratorium on "wrist-sport" licensing, primarily aimed at curbing the influx of coin-operated video games.
Bending to pressure from several parents' and educators' groups, Mayor Kevin H. White instructed his commissioner of consumer affairs and licensing, Joanne Prevost, to place an immediate moratorium on the licensing of such games while the city ponders a "comprehensive plan" to address the "unregulated proliferation of video games and pinball machines" in Boston. According to the commissioner's office, there are an estimated 4,000 licensed game machines in the city and several hundred illegal operations.
As part of an immediate 10-point plan, Ms. Prevost is investigating ways for parents to recover money spent by their children on video and pinball games without their consent. She is calling for increased enforcement of a state law labeling it a crime for children under 14 to be permitted in an amusement arcade during school hours and after 6 P.M.
In a separate matter, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of school supplies announced last week that it will introduce a new line of notebooks, pencil boxes, book covers, and other accessories bearing illustrations from the popular Pac-Man game. Spokesmen for Plymouth, Inc. of Bellmawr, N.J., say the school supplies will be distrubuted nationally beginning on June 1, under a license from a subsidiary of Bally Manufacturing Corp.
The federal judge presiding over school desegregation in metropolitan Indianapolis has amended his order regarding surplus teachers because it was proving disruptive to suburban schools.
U.S. District Judge S. Hugh Dillin had previously ordered that suburban districts hire teachers laid off by the Indianapolis public schools because of the desegregation order. But as the city system began hiring again, some teachers left their new positions in the suburban schools in midyear. The suburban districts complained that the city system's recall notices were disruptive.
In the amended order, issued late last month, Judge Dillin said that the Indianapolis district will not be permitted, until the end of the school term, to recall teachers who have been hired in the suburbs.