Let's check out some political stories we found this week Below the Fold:

Grass Roots Politics

Norfolk, Virginia has threatened to fine Doug Nicoll $2,500 for the sin of trimming his hedges.

The local wetlands board says Nicoll's unauthorized gardening could kill the plants and inconvenience migratory birds. Nicolls argues that he has been pruning his shrubs for eight years and the plants have grown, not died.

What About Free Speech?

The Democratic Party of Oregon has adopted a resolution that could criminalize excessive broadcasting of Rush Limbaugh.

The resolution, passed last month, reads in part: "Whereas, extreme right-wing talk radio dominates nearly 90 percent of the talk-radio market, and democratic, environmental and labor issues are lambasted 24 hours a day without challenge… We call on Democrats throughout Oregon to: actively track talk radio hosts… and pressure radio station owners and advertisers to restore a balanced discourse to the public air waves.

Up in Arms

Ohio University has ordered Journalism Professor Patrick Washburn, incoming president of the American Journalism Historians Association, to remove a gun mounted to his office wall.

The administration cited the school's workplace violence policy, which aims at stemming "threats, violent behavior or acts of intimidation." Washburn notes the firearm is inoperable, has been touched only once since its original mounting 15 years ago and hasn't been fired in more than 100 years.

Washburn also wrote the school's brass requesting "that the cannons that are fired when Ohio University scores at football games not only never be fired again… but that they be removed from campus." The officials, needless to say, were not amused.