Sometimes in the news business, one doesn't have to search for news -- it comes to you. So it was on Wednesday when, on walking out the front door of this newspaper building, I found a very angry young man shouting at a District of Columbia parking enforcement agent and a D.C. tow truck operator hoisting his car for a trip to the city impoundment lot.
The car was towed despite his remonstration.
There were two violations, it developed: one routine, one serious. The car was parked in a space labeled "no parking at any time," enough for a ticket. But, beyond that, it bore Pennsylvania tags that had expired at the end of March.
Even without the ticket, the parking monitor said, if the car's owner had gotten into his car and driven off, he'd have been subject to a citation for driving without valid license tags. As it was, he had a $20 parking ticket, a $50 hauling fee and the need to go back to Pennsylvania to renew his registration before driving it off the D.C. impoundment lot. Wrong Date
Last Saturday's illustrated item that dealt with old interurban and modern subway trains serving Arlington National Cemetery brought a letter from T.A. Coons of Falls Church. Coons questioned my identifying a picture of a train stopped outside the cemetery as having been taken after 1927. It probably was taken, Coons said, when or soon after the trolley line opened in 1896. He's probably right.
The late Frank Ball, an Arlington lawyer whose family name is preserved in Arlington's Ballston community and Metro terminal, stated in a 1966 lecture to the Arlington Historical Society that the Arlington National Cemetery trolley line stopped running in 1921, and a map in The Washington Post in 1922 showed the line "out of service," Coons said.
Metro Scene's judgment of the picture's date was based on a reference book with incomplete data. It's interesting, though, that almost line for line, the Metro subway system parallels suburban trolleys that existed in the first decade of this century. Rail Honor
It isn't happening in Washington, but it's happening to a local boarder and it involves a cause close to Metro Scene's heart, the preservation of railroad passenger service.
Tomorrow, the Washington-based National Association of Railroad Passengers will present its annual Golden Spike Award to Sen. Mark Andrews (R-N.D.) at a ceremony outside the newly remodeled Amtrak station in Grand Forks, N.D. The station is the former Railway Express Agency building.
Andrews, as chairman of the Senate transportation appropriations subcommittee, has been instrumental in keeping Amtrak funds flowing, the association said, and he spurred Amtrak into restoring one of my own favorite trains of yore, the Chicago-to-Seattle Empire Builder, to a daily rather than a thrice-weekly schedule. The train stops at seven North Dakota stations.
It was snowing yesterday in North Dakota, the weather map indicated, but if it weren't for that, it'd be nice to join the awarding association's presenter, James Larson, at the ceremony at Grand Forks.