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point of view

Tasmania, the Catskills, Mr. Sulu and Eating Crow

John Van Horn

I am writing this on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Awaiting the outcome of the election so I can see whether my dinner will be pheasant under glass, or crow.
In the meantime, take a look at the photo nearby. It was sent in by my opposite number, Mal Greenop, editor of the magazine that supports the Parking Association of Australia. The photo was taken in the Aussie state of Tasmania -- Mal's home, by the way. Seems the pay-by-bay meter got the best of the Mini, which was doing about 35 mph when it jumped the curb.
I'm told that after the car was removed, the stainless steel meter was reinstalled and was still operating. Now this is pretty good advertising for a company to get ink in "Point of View," so I won't give you its name. Suffice to say that it's similar to a large, horned beast from the deepest reaches of Africa.
This was travel month, and I was fortunate enough to attend the New York State Parking Association meet in the Catskill Mountains, about 75 miles from New York City. It was a beautiful location, right on a golf course. Unfortunately, I missed the tourney.
NYSPA President Michael Klein is a generous host and a true parking pro. Its training sessions were top rate. IPI Interim President Kim Jackson was on hand as keynote speaker and as trainer, holding forth on "how to do more with less."
Kim is really on the circuit, representing the IPI at virtually every conference across the country. I'm not sure she even sees her office. Thank heavens for cell phones and e-mail.
***
I returned 15 minutes ago from the annual California Public Parking Association Convention held in nearby Burbank, and frankly, it was another winner. The exhibition hall had 43 exhibitors and looked like a smaller version of PIE or the IPI. Conference Organizer Howard Finnecy told me that he anticipated nearly 250 attendees by the time the show closed. "We are in L.A., and there are a lot of attendees. We move back to San Francisco next year."
I was particularly impressed with the association's selection of a keynote speaker: Star Trek's Mr. Sulu, George Takai. Seems he was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley to the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, serving from 1973 to 1984. He was one of the driving forces behind the Arts in Transit program in which every Metro rail subway station is given its own distinctive look. He also served as a vice president of the American Public Transit Association. Wow!
I was ticked that I was a day late and didn't get his autograph. I would have put it on my wall right beside Kim's.
***
It's Wednesday, Nov. 3, and the election is over.
Well, looks like I won't be eating any crow this year. I quote from my September 2004 Point of View:
"We get all our news and information from the 50-milers. The folks in the middle are ignored. But watch out. This year, they will be heard. You read it here first. Whether you like him or not, Bush will be reelected by a minimum of 5 percentage points. Get used to it. Nuff of this. I will revisit this topic in December and either take my lumps or eat crow."
OK, it was only 3 percentage points, but that's not bad considering I made the projection in late August. I guess due to the error in points, I will settle for chicken rather than pheasant under glass.

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2005.

Article Abstract from December, 2004




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