MONTCLARION NEWSPAPER – July 25, 2009
DON’T LOOK NOW, but we’ve hit the trifecta. Our city, state and federal governments are broke. Too bad we didn’t bet on it, and now we’re left holding the bag. What’s so interesting is the confusion over basic economic principles. Take Oakland for instance. Business revenue is down. Rather than make it more inviting to shop here, thus bolstering small business and increasing tax revenue, the city drives business away with its new parking policies.It would be different if people were dying to get into Oakland but please, there are too many shopping alternatives.
Here are some of this week’s e-mails on the topic:
“I’ve had nothing but frustration and non-replies fighting a parking ticket. At the parking machine, a couple ahead of me was having trouble with their credit card. By the time I obtained my ticket and returned to the car, a ticket was in the process of being written, and the parking official refused to discard the ticket.”
— John Castaldi
“Parking meters have been challenged in court many times, but are considered legal if the parking meters are used for purposes of parking regulation and not for revenue purposes. I haven’t looked at the Oakland Charter but I wonder if it’s legal to raise the parking meter rates in our ‘fair’ city.”
— Frank Zamacona
“The tickets for parking the wrong way on the street cite Oakland Municipal Code Sec. 10.28.040(B). Under that ordinance as currently written, those tickets are not valid. Repainting parking spots, providing clear signage and instructions for the pay kiosks, citing improper handicapped placard usage (especially downtown) and removing dangerous parking meter poles should be part of Oakland’s renewed vigilance, not writing tickets for laws not on the books.”— Nora Levine
Are Oakland’s aggressive new parking policies driving away business? Take my quick poll at www.ginnyprior.com and I’ll publish the results next week.
About Town: If you hang onto something long enough, will it come back in vogue? Oakland’s Claudia Ellinghaus is banking on it. She and her business partner, Lucy Bald, have just opened Everything Vintage Studio in the Glenview District (3506 Woodruff, off MacArthur) and are selling the treasures they’ve found at estate sales to the public. Vintage hats, jewelry and what they call “quirky collectibles” are all bringing buyers for the enterprising gals. The timing isn’t bad either. Most of us can’t afford anything new.
Trail Talk: Who knew a little stretch of walkway could have so many fans? More than 30 people have signed up for the newly formed Friends of the Montclair Railroad Trail group. Meeting for the first time last week, the volunteers want things such as better signage, smoother pavement, graffiti removal and stricter dog regulations. If you’d like to join before its next meeting this fall, contact Councilwoman Jean Quan’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Animal Tales: Oh, those little fingers that do things. Reader John White says he got the surprise of his life last week when he went out to throw the trash and found a fat, frightened raccoon in his garbage can. This is no easy feat, as the lid had a log on top of it. Still, the bandit broke in and ate his fill, then spent two more days trying to get out. When the lid was sprung, the critter lept to the roof, slid down the bark of a nearby Loquat tree and scurried off into the woods.