Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5 - Lisa's Musings (on parking tickets) and Every Day Life

Today started out with such promise; planned as a multiple farm story day.

I met with three Lima Township farmers for a story.

And, I helped put out a fire.

Well, actually, I stood there and watched -- while one of the farmer's put out a fire in his tractor with a large jug of water I carry in my van for the dogs.

Ironically, it was after he'd explained to me that he paid a lot of taxes for his farmland in the township that didn't require fire or emergency services -- like people in houses do.

So I guess he was right. I provided the water to put out the fire.

He had a jug of coffee and tossed that on it first, but, it wasn't out, so my water did the trick.

I guess this means I get a fire extinguishing assist.

What had happened was a bird built a nest on the engine -- the tractor had been sitting around without being used for four days -- and when he drove it to the site where we were meeting, all those sticks and other nest-building stuff got hot and caught on fire.

I thought I smelled something while we were talking, but I thought it was diesel fuel.

You know, normal tractor stuff.

The smoke and flames proved otherwise.

But, the tractor was fine, except a little black soot on the side, and it started up later.

The nest, however, not so much. It's strewn on the ground.

So, that was pretty exciting.

After that, I headed to Ann Arbor to the Farmer's Market to interview more farmers.

Once there, I drove around and around and around -- trying to find a parking spot.

But there were none in my usual haunts, so I headed to the parking lot at Community High School.

Now, I saw the signs that said permit parking only during school hours, but I was hoping it was just on one side of the lot -- that on the other side, it was OK to park.

I saw other people parking there, heading to the market.

So like a lemming, I followed.

I fed the meter for two hours and took a chance.

At the end of my second interview and video, I mentioned to one of the vendors where my van was parked.

Then said jokingly, if you see them handing out tickets, let me know.

With that, I was on my way to my next interview.

But, before I headed to my third vendor, I couldn't help myself -- I stopped to buy two pretzels from Mill Pond Bread.

I LOVE those pretzels!

And while there, the vendor -- who coincidentally works as the mayor's administrative assistant -- tracked me down to tell me tickets were being written.

So, I zoomed to my van, hoping that I could get there before I got nabbed.

No such luck.

So, I acknowledged the nice 'metermen' and they nicely explained that those parking signs during school hours , eh, they apply to both sides of the parking lot.


So I asked if I could pay them the ticket, but they wouldn't take my money. But they nicely explained where I could pay it immediately.

Then the really, really bad part happened.

Despite already having my ticket, I had to move my van.

I pleaded my case -- saying, "Wait, I still have an hour on the meter and I've already gotten a ticket, why can't I just finish my interviews first?"

Nope. I had to move.

Right then.

So, I did.

I drove around for another 20 minutes to all of my usual parking lots and still couldn't find a parking spot.

So, I called it a day, decided to come back next week, and left downtown Ann Arbor.

Truth be told, I was more pissed about the minutes still left on the meter than the $25 ticket.

So, I figure it's my contribution to the city's coffers, along with all the other ticketed vehicles I saw in that lot.

Maybe it will help a policeman keep his job during these lean budget times. The city is talking about laying off 20 men in blue.

But, I did have my pretzels, so, despite a slight glitch, it was a pretty good morning.

And I learned an important parking lesson, which I pondered, while munching on a pretzel on the way home.

I think this is the first parking ticket I've ever gotten.

Except maybe once when I was a student at U-M.

Every student with a car on campus gets at least one ticket in four years. I think it's a rite of passage.

But that was so long ago, I don't remember.

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Blogger PammH said...

this is the reason I RARELY frequent downtown. Parking sucks, period & they are ticket Nazis!

May 5, 2010 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Lisa A said...

Yes, parking my pig -- the van -- is not fun in AA on a good day. I tend to go to the parking garages whenever I can but there isn't one that's very close to the farmer's market. Lesson learned. Ticket w/payment in mail today.

May 6, 2010 at 6:13 AM  
Anonymous dextermom1 said...

The craziness to me with our unemployment is that we then send the payment out of state to be processed. Couldn't we employ a few folks of our own like we used to?

May 6, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Edward Vielmetti said...

Lisa, the structure on Ashley isn't too far away from the market. There's also a bunch of relatively cheap 10 hour meters on Ashley near Community Dental Center and where Peter Allen wants to build Kingsley Lane.

May 6, 2010 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Lisa A said...

Thanks, Ed. I hadn't thought of heading that way. Look forward to crossing paths again at the market soon. Stay dry. It's pouring here.

May 7, 2010 at 5:38 AM  

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