Feed Your Meter

I don’t know how many times I’ve been told, in the six years I’ve lived in Redding, that there’s no need to feed the downtown parking meters.

There’s no enforcement, people say, the police are too short-handed to worry about parking meters. Slam your car up to the curb like Joe Mannix and walk away with your hands in your pockets. La-dee-dah. Ain’t it grand, living here?

I’ve had complete strangers offer this unsolicited advice. They looked like they wanted to pound some sense into me when I put coins in the meter anyway. But I had my reasons: The city needs the money. Our parking meters are cheap compared to places like San Francisco, where I once paid 25 cents for four minutes. I hate parking tickets; what price peace of mind? And who do these complete strangers think they are anyway, so eager to tell me to save my dimes?

Well. Someone we shall not name recently was in a hurry downtown and didn’t bother with the meter because she’s a Redding veteran and knows the score. Later, she found a ticket under the windshield wiper. And she got to write a check to the city for $24.50.

Someone’s watching those parking meters, folks, no matter what the local lore says. Considering the city’s current financial woes, I wouldn’t be surprised if more tickets start appearing.

  • Parking laws are usually pretty cut-and-dried, but sometimes state and local laws get weird. In Fairbanks, Alaska, for instance, it’s against the law to get a moose drunk. In Texas, a law requires that you give your victim 24 hours’ notice before committing a crime. In Reno, brothels are allowed, but the sale of sex toys is illegal; apparently, they have something against do-it-yourselfers. These and other wacky laws are in this story sent in by an Alert Reader. Enjoy!
  • Aspiring ballerinas and fans of classical dance can meet a soloist with the Moscow Ballet this week at public TV station KIXE in downtown Redding. Svetlana Todinova, who also serves as the children’s ballet mistress, will greet folks from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday. Todinova and the Moscow Ballet return to Redding on Nov. 27 to perform “The Nutcracker” at the convention center.
  • Mark Your Calendar for 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, and the traditional mid-autumn Chinese Moon Festival and Lion Dance at the Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park. For more info, call 623-5284.

Tips appreciated: Send news tidbits to steveb.anewscafe@gmail.com.

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is the author of CUTTHROAT and 17 other books. Read more of his columns at http://stevebrewer.blogspot.com/, or follow him on Facebook.
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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Hal Johnson says:

    Hm. Unless enforcement has slacked off just as of late, I'm not inclined to risk a parking ticket. It seems like half the time I've forgotten to feed the meter outside my wife's office on Court Street, I get that little gift from the city.

    Some people need to get a life: Doesn't Alert Reader have anything better to do than comb the web looking for weird stories? I'll bet his wife would think so.

  2. Avatar Jon Lewis says:

    Steve,

    Thanks for mentioning the ballerina who will be at KIXE on Thursday. It should be a kick for ballet fans who have a few minutes and want to stop by between 3 and 5. I just wanted to add that KIXE's studio is located at 603 N. Market, across the street from the famous Lim's Cafe. Call 243-5493 if you have any questions.

    We'll be taping a couple of short commercials for "The Nutracker" so people can watch a little TV in the making. Not sure it gets more exciting than that!

    In unrelated news, finished "Lonely Street" last night. What a fun read; thanks for writing it. Now I'm curious to find out what other adventures Bubba gets into, and I'm looking forward to the movie.

    • Avatar Steve Brewer says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words about "Lonely Street," Mr. Lewis. Perhaps you should find a way to broadcast that message to the world via your TV station. In return, I won't point out that you typed "Nutracker" above. Har.

      • Avatar Jon Lewis says:

        Well, as 'we' say in the media: ooops. I'm blaming a rogue sugar plum fairy. I should know how to spell that show. Mine get cracked on a daily basis. Har.

  3. Avatar Hal Johnson says:

    I believe "Nutracker" is the title of an upcoming UFC event.

  4. Avatar Ann says:

    Check the facts, I am not sure brothels are legal IN Reno……

  5. Avatar J. Gibbs says:

    I've heard tales of a Texas Gulf Coast community with a lingering municipal code that bans people from tying or 'leashing' an alligator to a fire hydrant. Amazing what's still on the books. Never found out why that law came to be passed, but the possibilities boggle the mind.

  6. Avatar Damien Balderrama says:

    To comment on J. Gibbs reply, of why some crazy laws come to pass. Most crazy laws are passed, only after someone does the crazy act in question. Then our endless supply of tax dollars, are spent on prohibiting the rest of us from doing the same.

    The powers that be, know an untapped market when they see one. Especially, if it will add to their budget. Maybe we should requset them, to change the title of "LAWS" or "TAXES" to INCOME GENERATING PROPOSITIONS.

    This of course, is only my opinion. Whether I'm right, or wrong. We, may never know.

    To Steve Brewer. It was such a pleasure, to make your acquaintance. At the last meeting, of the Redding Writers Forum. After learning that you were speaking, on what you learned from writing a screenplay. I was quick on deciding, to attend my first meeting.

    I would like to take this opportunity. To thank you for the wealth of information, you were so generous to share with us. Your word's continue to be of great value, to an aspiring Writer such as myself.

    I know I have much to learn on my journey. As a new member of the Forum. I intend to gain as much insight into the world of word's, as I possibly can. I also look forward, to interacting with you in the future.

    Thanks again. Your hopeful mentoree,

    Damien Balderrama

    • Avatar Pamela Wallace says:

      Hello,

      I'm trying to find a "Damien" born in Sonoma in 1974. Are you the person I am looking for? Family members are looking to connect with the person I'm seeking. Please e-mail me at pwallace_ifsn@comcast.net.

      Thanks,

      Pam