If there is anything that draws multiplied responses of "me too" to Metro Scene, it is reports of (1) cars parked excessively long, whether abandoned or junked, on city streets or (2) tickets wrongly or mindlessly issued for questionable violations. If we tried to respond to all who write and call, this would be a Johnny-one-note column.
In a few days, we'll report the responses of Frederic J. Caponiti, the D.C. Public Works parking czar, to some of the recently reported incidents and how such matters are handled. But even as we distill Caponiti's comments, reports of new episodes trickle in:
There's the case of Rick Dassance, of the 1100 block of Seventh Street NE, who complained that "since last fall, (a car) has been resting comfortably in front of my row house," and had not been moved as of last Saturday, despite several calls to the city. Meantime, he added, some friends got a ticket for parking within 40 feet of a corner.
Yesterday we talked of the case with Caponiti's towing chief, Richard L. Wood, who found a record of two complaints resulting in current tow-away orders, and who in my presence radioed to send a crane to the location. The radio came back: there was "no such car"; it either had been moved by its owner pursuant to a warning notice or towed off, with the word not yet relayed to headquarters. The system works!
A man whose identity is known to me, but who asks anonymity, and who often parks his Virginia-registered car overnight in the 300 block of Massachusetts Avenue NE, complained that he got a ticket at 8:58 a.m. Monday for parking in a zone restricted after 9 a.m. to permit street cleaning. He said he protested the overzealous ticketing to the traffic agent and sought her name to file a protest.
Next morning, he said, he arrived at his car only to find another ticket, this one with a $100 fine, for improperly displaying his license tag sticker -- which, he said, was a fraction of an inch off center.
It had a happy ending despite aggravation he considered needless. At the Bureau of Traffic Adjudication, he said, the hearing officer "dismissed both (tickets) within seconds." A Father Again
Items in this column about E. Brooke Lee Jr. seem to run in clumps, with the first item reporting some noteworthy event affecting Lee and the second, a day or so later, reporting that he has once again become a father. So here we are again, just after recounting his withdrawal from the Maryland U.S. Senate race: 67-year-old Lee's 27-year-old wife Deborah gave birth by cesarean section yesterday to the couple's second child, a daughter, Regina Blair Lee ("A great name if she ever goes into the federal government," the proud daddy said). Lee has six grown children by a prior marriage.