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point of view

Accidents, Middle Earth, Eli's, Sausalito and Philip Marlowe

John Van Horn

I have been asked why PT hasn't reported in detail on the construction accident that occurred last November at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. Four people were killed and 20 injured. We skipped it because it didn't relate to our industry.
The issue was one of construction problems and does not relate to parking, except that the accident involved a parking garage under construction. As of this writing, it seems that the construction company and the state were following the rules and that, in fact, an inspector was on the site and approved the pour in progress 40 minutes before the accident occurred. OSHA is investigating.
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I was updating the PT calendar on the Internet last month and discovered that a large number of meetings and events needed to be added. Currently, 22 events are scheduled internationally between Feb. 14 and the end of the year, with certainly more U.S. regional events to come.
I do note that this year the New Zealand and Australian Parking events fall with 10 days of each other. Wow, here's an opportunity to visit Middle Earth and Oz during their springtime, learn a bit about parking Down Under, and write the whole thing off. We could put together a little junket. Anyone interested?
We asked all the regional associations that are planning events for the upcoming year to send us info on their extravaganzas so we could give them a bit of promotion. As of this writing, only Dennis McAndrew of Ohio, Bobby Allen of the Mid South Parking Association, Betsy Shortell or the New England Parking Council and Colin Waite of New Zealand have responded. I have included their information in an article elsewhere in this month's PT.
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Recommendations: When in Chicago, drop by Eli's, the Place for Steaks, and have a drink at the piano bar with Hal Roach Coleman. He has entertained there for 36 years. Those exhibiting at the last Parking Industry Exhibition in Chicago will remember him as the entertainment at our Vendor/Exhibitor party. His blues and jazz define the Windy City.
However, a word of warning: Pass on dinner. Since founder Eli's death a number of years ago, this Chicago landmark has gone froufrou. Sure they serve steaks, but they have lost the clubby feel we knew so well. I also think the food has gone downhill. If you want steaks in Chicago, Gene and Georgetti, which is a holdover from the gangster days and treats you the same (but the steaks are good), or try Morton's. If you are staying at the airport, you can walk to its Rosemont location.
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Speaking of Chicago, plans are being finalized for the Parking Industry Exhibition and Conference on Parking Management and Technology scheduled for mid-April. This promises to be the place to go for information, networking and education on everything parking. There is a plethora of information elsewhere in this month's PT, plus up-to-the-minute scheduling on our Web site www.parkingtoday.com.
This year we have a fantastic venue at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare. It's recently renovated and a great location, just five minutes from the airport. No need to rent a car or deal with a limo or van. Just call the hotel and they will send a shuttle. Save money and attend the preeminent parking event in the country.
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I picked up a book by Raymond Chandler a couple of weeks ago. It's a wonderful hard-bitten detective story about his L.A. sleuth, Philip Marlowe, called "The Long Goodbye." I enjoy the genre and thought I might give it a try. I was infected by it.
Therefore, this month I begin a multipart serial, "Death by Parking," with apologies to the style of the late author. It will last as long as I can come up with ideas and as long as you can take it. The first installment begins on page 12.
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Parking Bills to be Sent Out Soon
An Excerpt from the City Manager of Sausalito, Ca Monthly report (from their web site):
...You have probably heard the old excuse of, "The dog ate my homework." Well here is a new one for you: "The Bulgarian programmers took forever to generate the billing information."
What I'm talking about is the billings to Sausalito residents for your excess parking charges while using your white "proximity card" in the City's parking lots.
... be prepared: our interim Parking Manager, Sergeant Doug Miller tells me that the bills for your excess parking charges over the past year will be going out soon.
Why the delay? This is where the Bulgarian programmers come in. The company that Sausalito purchased its parking equipment from uses data programmers in Bulgaria to make system changes. It has taken a year for us to get the programming changes done by the company....

-- Sigh -- I've reached my initials so it's time to stop. See you next month.

Article Abstract from February, 2004




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