The Hit List: Sriracha Smell Declared Public Nuisance

Sriracha Ordered By Department Of Public Health To Hold Shipments For 35 Days
Bottles of Sriracha hot chili sauce Scott Olson / Getty Images

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1. Sriracha Smell Declared Public Nuisance

We know some people who might disagree. The Irwindale City Council voted unanimously to declare the factory that produces the popular Sriracha hot sauce a public nuisance. That means hot sauce maker Huy Fong Foods has 90 days to find a way to stop the spicy odor. Otherwise, city officials may enter the factory and make changes. The not-so-subtle smell has been prompting complaints from residents who say it burns their eyes and throats. Sriracha lovers, there’s no need to panic or start hoarding. Even in a worst-case scenario, there’s always the D.I.Y. option.

2. About that BMW...

During a fire in East Boston Wednesday night, firefighters ran into a problem: someone had a parked a BMW in front of a nearby hydrant. The eight-alarm fire was threatening the entire neighborhood, and the firefighters controlling the blaze needed more water. So they punched out the windows and snaked a 4-inch hose from the hydrant, through the windows and back out to an engine pumping water to the firefighters. While “some people find humor in it,” said a Boston Fire Department official, “it’s really a serious situation.” To drive the point home, an officer then ticketed the vehicle with a $100 fine. This morning, the BMW is no longer there. And that’s why you never park in front of a fire hydrant.

3. "Living Hell"

Prison is a pretty bleak place, which is fitting -- after all, it’s meant to be a punishment. But for mentally ill prisoners, the lack of available treatment in prison can be a “living hell,” according to a new study. In 2012, state prisons housed 10 times more mentally ill people than state-run mental hospitals, rendering jails the “new asylums.” It’s a frightening public health issue, as many of those who enter prison with a mental issue leave even sicker than they were when they arrived.

4. The Whistleblower Speaks

Edward Snowden is not done with the NSA. In an interview with Vanity Fair, which will be published later this week, Snowden claims that he first tried to raise a red flag internally and legally about the NSA’s surveillance activities. Snowden says that he has email evidence of his attempts to raise concerns with NSA lawyers and has challenged the NSA directly to “deny that [he] contacted NSA oversight and compliance bodies.” Snowden says he “welcomes Congress” to request a response from the NSA. This should be interesting.

5. Billy Joel Surprises at Elementary School Concert

Students at an elementary school on Long Island got quite the shock during their spring concert. Deasy Elementary threw “A Billy Joel Tribute” show and invited the singer on a whim. Apparently, that’s like sending out Gotham’s bat signal. Five minutes before the show, the Piano Man rolled up on his motorcycle. He clapped and cheered after every song. Granted, kindergartners are probably not necessarily Joel’s demographic. Poor Rosita Mallo, the music teacher, got a big surprise when she looked at the audience and saw Joel listening. “It totally freaked me out. My nerves went sky-high,” she said.

6. Stephen Colbert Named Next Host of ‘Late Show’

The CBS Television Network has announced that Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy-winning “The Colbert Report,” will replace David Letterman as the host of “The Late Show.” Letterman announced just last week he was retiring in 2015 after a 33-year run on TV. Colbert will sign on for a five-year term as the new host, according to CBS. That’s all for now, and of course, our congratulations to Colbert on his new gig.