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April 27th, 2010
01:26 PM ET

Mayor: No thongs allowed

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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/27/t1.generic.beach.bikini.jpg width=300 height=169]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

If you plan on going to Kure Beach, in North Carolina, bring your sunscreen and shades, but please leave your thong behind.

The seaside community has adopted a zero tolerance policy on anyone wearing the 'barely-there bikini' by the shore.

“You can do what you want to in your own space,” said Mayor Dean Lambeth, “but for public decency keep it off the public beach.”

Mayor Lambeth told CNN he and the town supervisors last week unanimously approved the ordinance banning the skimpy bathing wear.

“Everything we do is family oriented. We like the small town atmosphere,” Lambeth said.

The decision to forbid thongs was triggered by a couple’s recent inquiry about spending their honeymoon in Kure Beach, Lambeth said. According to the mayor, the couple wanted to know if they could wear thongs. The man thought the town’s policy on the matter was ambiguous,” Lambeth said. After consulting with the police chief, he determined the ordinance should be amended to better address the issue.

Section 12-32 of the Code of the Town of Kure Beach, which was adopted on April 22, now reads as follows:

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gabe Ramirez
March 6th, 2009
12:45 PM ET

Juarez was fun – before it was dangerous

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/americas/03/06/mexico.troops/art.juarez.federales.afp.gi.jpg caption="Mexican federal police patrol in Ciudad Juarez earlier this week."]

Gabe Ramirez
CNN Photojournalist

If you drive into El Paso Texas on Interstate 10 from the west and look to your left, you will see a neat cluster of Tibetan inspired buildings that make up the University of Texas at El Paso. Look right and you will see a seemingly endless shantytown sitting on top of rugged desert hills, smoke plumes rising in the air. If you weren’t familiar with the area, you may not even know that you were driving between two countries and two cities. Two cities so far apart and so close together. El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States. Ciudad Juarez is now one of the most dangerous places on earth.

When I think of Juarez, I don’t think of an ultra violent city. I understand what it has become, that’s just not the way I remember it. I grew up in El Paso. My parents still live there. As a child, my father emigrated from a small town in the state of Chihuahua a few hours south of Juarez. My mother has relatives who live in the city. For generations, geography, economy and family have interlinked Juarez and El Paso.

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October 31st, 2008
07:56 AM ET

My daughter’s October surprise

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/31/art.gabe.ramirez.halloween.jpg]Gabe Ramirez
CNN Los Angeles photojournalist

The big question at my house in every early October is, “So what do you guys want to be for Halloween?” When my mom asked us this question way back in the late 70s-early 80s, my answer was always a variation of one of many Star Wars characters, Storm Trooper, Darth, Ben Kenobi, Jawa. It’s funny; my 8-year old son (Ben, sans Kenobi) has also been Darth, a Storm Trooper, a Jedi. My little sister was always some kind of medieval character, princess, fairy, troll… well maybe not a troll. One year she was a dragon. My mom made this really cool paper Mache dragonhead and sewed together a dragon body. Does anybody do that anymore?

But my 4-year old daughter Sophie didn’t need to wait until early October to decide what she was going to be. One Saturday in June, as decisive as a McCain strategist, she announced, “I think Belle again, or… maybe Jasmine. I like Ariel and Sleeping Beauty too. I’ll be one of those.” I thought, Hmm, which of those costumes does she already have? Answer: all of the above. Her enablers? My wife and my mom who love to see her dressed up.

My wife and kids really enjoy going to Disneyland, and because we live in Los Angeles, less than an hour north of the Magic Kingdom, we go – often. I too enjoy the park, especially because my kids always have a great time. But Sophie is a Disney addict. If we are in the car and a radio ad mentions Disney, she instantly straightens up and asks, “What did they say? What about Disneyland?” They must put something in the Pirate Punch at the Pirates of the Caribbean because, she like so many others her age, can’t get enough of the Disney princesses. In 2007, Newsweek estimated the Disney princess franchise to be worth $4 billion. I am sure the countries current economic situation has put a dent in that, but if my daughter and her schoolmates are an indicator, Disney will continue its roll.

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Filed under: 2008 Election • Gabe Ramirez • Halloween