July 2011: Boobs on Bikes divided city

Porn king Steve Crow stirred up the proverbial hornet's nest when he confirmed that Boobs on Bikes would be bringing bare breasts to the good streets of Tauranga.

Moral indignation and outrage swiftly followed the announcement with community leaders branding the parade "shameless", "disgraceful" and "sad".

Mr Crow deftly side-stepped the bylaw which required parade organisers to seek council permission by arguing that the bikes would observe the road rules and stick to the flow of traffic.

Which was what would have happened if the hormones and curiosity which enabled humans to flourish on Earth had suddenly dried up.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

Instead the parade was a magnet to thousands of spectators, with a few hardline Christian activists providing some awkward moments for the heavy police presence.

Score: Mr Crow's promotion of his Erotic Expo 10, political rhetoric nil.

Where's the justice? Sadists who hacked off an 8-week-old puppy's ears using scissors avoided prosecution because witnesses refused to give evidence. In one of the cruellest acts seen by the SPCA in Tauranga, the puppy nicknamed Trooper was found at the Gate Pa shops with raw and sore stubs of his mutilated ears.

Although a man was charged with failing to provide veterinary treatment, several others who knew what happened stonewalled the SPCA's investigation, meaning the culprits were unlikely to be held accountable.

Tauranga's newest All Black, Jarrad Hoeata, was so nervous leading up to the announcement of the team that he went to the movies to get his mind on something else. "It turned out to be Kung Fu Panda that was the only movie going," his overjoyed father Selwyn Hoeata said from the family's Papamoa home.

Jarrad heard the news when his cellphone went mad during the movie and he never saw how it ended.

An idea to build a directional compass for tourists on top of Mauao failed to win support from the mountain's Maori owners. Mauao Trust chairman Shane Ashby said that what seemed like a very good idea to Mount Maunganui resident John Davies was not such a good idea from a Maori cultural perspective.

Mr Ashby said Mauao was an ancestor and was regarded as a tipuna, meaning the trust was very cautious about any structures. This cultural sensitivity was underlined a few days later when the trust announced that the Waitangi Day dawn service would shift from the summit of Mauao.

The Aussie dream was luring three Tauranga people every day across the Tasman, with Tradestaff's Bay area manager Geoff Campbell saying that people seldom returned home once they found trade-based jobs in Australia.

He said many tradesmen wanted to stay in New Zealand but had reached the point where, from a financial perspective, they could no longer make ends meet.

"I fear a serious trade skills shortage," Mr Campbell said.

A pregnant woman pretended she was being rushed to hospital to give birth when police eventually managed to pull over a car doing 146km/h over the Kaimais. With her feet spread out on the dashboard, it was a classic ruse.

Police called for an ambulance but she had no sooner arrived at Tauranga Hospital than she discharged herself, jumping into a waiting car that sped off through a red light.

A 68-year-old woman got more than she bargained for when she took her car to get a warrant of fitness at the 9th Ave testing station. When a vehicle inspector escorted her into the mechanic's pit area to show her a headlight fault, she lost her balance and fell backwards into the 1.8 metre-deep pit. She was unconscious when paramedics arrived but had recovered enough to be discharged from hospital later in the day, leaving her with a sore head and tailbone.

Rock'n Roll Hall-of-Famer Phil Rudd, whose day job is to keep the rhythm going for megagroup AC/DC, announced he was opening a restaurant to offer a top quality steak dining experience at the Tauranga Bridge Marina. Called Phil's Place, it replaced The Bridge Bistro and Bar which shut on July 23.

Mount senior citizen Alan Kappley's years of buzzing around on his little scooter ended tragically when he rear-ended a police car that had stopped in a routine pull-over. Mr Kappley, 83, died on July 6 when he hit the back of the patrol car parked on a yellow line at the intersection of Maunganui Rd and Tweed St.

A badly burned man was left fighting for his life and another injured when a massive fireball erupted out of a container of sawdust at the Mount industrial area.

They had been standing next to the sawdust extraction machine which linked to the 20-foot container when a spark was suspected to have ignited an explosion in the container.

A few blocks away and a couple of days later, a warehouse containing 8000 tonnes of palm kernel went up in flames on the corner of Totara St and Hull Rd.

The fire broke out in the 2500 sq m building owned by bulk haulage company J Swap, sending dense clouds of smoke billowing across parts of Mount Maunganui. It took more than 50 firefighters to extinguish the blaze in what turned out to be the biggest fire in the company's 70-year history.

Every parent's nightmare happened on July 19 when a toddler died in the backyard of a Waihi house.

The 17-month-old boy drowned in a half-full bucket left out in the rain while his mother had ducked inside to go to the toilet.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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