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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: He’ll take fine over punishment

Downtown worker Hank Greer fought the law and, well, you can decide for yourself who won.

“Several years ago I put $2 in a 10-hour meter on Riverside at 7:30 a.m. and went to work,” he wrote after The Slice asked for a show of hands from those who had challenged parking meter-violation tickets.

When he returned at the end of the workday, he had about 20 minutes of time still on the meter. But there on his windshield was a ticket for an expired meter.

“I was incensed. Because of the principle alone I checked the box stating I was contesting the $10 ticket. I received my notice, planned an hour of leave (How long can this take, right?), and went to court (Where they’ll be reasonable, right?).

“The commissioner explained how things were going to work. First, he would deal with cases where the parking enforcement officer had been subpoenaed. Then he would take cases involving mitigating circumstances, in which he could only discount the citation by 30 percent. Last of all he would take contested citations, and those were all or nothing.”

So the session began. “As the first hour passed and I saw how every excuse in the book was being used and abused I realized, right or wrong, what an incredible waste of time this was for me.”

So, to hurry things along, Greer declared himself a mitigating-circumstances case.

He explained the sequence of events leading to the ticket and acknowledged that, to be honest, he mostly wanted to go back to work.

“The commissioner gave me a pitiful welcome-to-my-life look and said, ‘$7.’ ”

Case closed. “I was grateful. More for my release than the $3 discount.”

Slice answer: There can be peace in the family if those who are not wild about bacon are tolerant of those who are, said Barbara Keene. One Thanksgiving, her extended family was served: 1. Bacon-wrapped stuffed turkey. 2. Applewood bacon in stuffing. 3. Pepper bacon (crumbled) in mashed potatoes. 4. Bacon in green beans. 5. Bacon grease in turkey gravy. 6. Bacon bits on cranberry spinach salad. 7. Brown sugar coated bacon bits on sweet potatoes. 8. Bacon bits sprinkled on deviled eggs.

Today’s Slice question: Are Spokane’s best years ahead of it?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email The Apollo 13 crew made it back to Earth on this date in 1970.

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