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On The Light Side

August 30, 1986

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Casey the Fighting Kangaroo may be too cute for his own good.

Some students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City say the school mascot should be replaced by something more aggressive. Like a tiger, or a wolf.

″Kangaroos are magnificent animals that can deal with the outback, but what does that have to do with Missouri?″ asked Thomas Alexander, president of the Student Bar Association at the School of Law, who is lobbying to replace Casey.

″The kangaroo is not really associated with nobility in the animal world. It’s not associated with competition.″

Not everyone agrees that the mascot, created by Walt Disney, should go.

Bradley Herrin, another law student, this week began circulating a petition to save Casey.

″We like the kangaroo because it’s unique,″ he said. ″It’s cute, and if they don’t have any anything to replace it with, why mess around with it?″

″I can’t think of anything more appealing for a basketball team than a fighting kangaroo. It jumps real well, and everyone gets out of its way,″ Herrin said.

The kangaroo has been associated with the college for about 50 years, said Marilyn Burlingame, a university archive assistant. It was first proposed as a mascot for the school debate team in 1936, about the time the Kansas City Zoo acquired two baby kangaroos. A humor magazine called the Kangaroo appeared on the campus in 1937 and later merged with the yearbook, which has retained the name.

Then, Disney, a former Kansas City resident and by that time a popular cartoonist in California, agreed to design Casey, Mrs. Burlingame said.


SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) - Dorothy Cohen looked out the window one day last week to find that the street she had lived on for 19 years had disappeared.

In place of Cullen Street, her home since 1968, a new street sign read Hudson Street. Town officials said new street signs were being erected throughout the city, and records showed the legal name of the street was Hudson.

″They told me it was my problem to resolve,″ Mrs. Cohen said. ″And I told them, ’Over my dead body it is.″

She added, ″I’m going to the wall on this. I’ve lived at 1120 Cullen Avenue for 20 years and I bought it as such. ... I want it the way it’s always been.″

All her legal documents, including her deed, have always listed the Cullen Street address, she said.

City Councilman Vincent DiCerbo said the council would pass a law at its Sept. 8 meeting permanently designating the road as Cullen Street.

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