July 11, 2006 - 15 Minutes of Free
For those of you no longer reading the News-Press, Edhat is now providing a local news brief:
Three teenagers (identified by police as gang members) stole a 1986 Ford Taurus and lead police on a 30-minute chase through Santa Barbara.
Jim Holm, a 31-year-old Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputy was arrested on suspicion of having sex with a 15-year-old girl. His wife, and mother of his 5 children (all boys) is standing by her man because, “He's a family man, dedicated to his children, and a church-going man. He's a Christian!" Barney Brantingham, News-Press columnist extraordinaire, went on record as saying he would never return to the paper, and that Arthur Von Wiesenberger is no longer his friend. Scientists reported that by the end of this century global warming could turn California sideways by making the State too hot for fine wine production. 88-year-old actress June Allyson died in Ojai.
Now today’s Edhat:
Last Thursday afternoon, the dedicated staff of edhat.com was on reconnaissance in De La Guerra Plaza.
Ed told us that Monday’s contest was to time how long cars remained parked in the green, 15-minute parking zones in downtown Santa Barbara. It was up to the dedicated staff to find the best location for gathering that information. De La Guerra Plaza was chosen as the place to time the green.
Around the Plaza, there are eleven green-zone parking spaces as close together as high density housing in a mixed-use development. Four of the spaces are on the roadway just outside City Hall. The other eleven are in front of the News-Press Building. On Thursday, everything seemed quiet and peaceful at the Plaza. We hadn’t heard the news that just a few hours earlier, the esteemed editor of the newspaper had been escorted out of the building, and that Barney Brantingham and five other editors had followed him.
In the past, Edhat has scooped such big stories as the over-reporting of horses in the Fiesta Parade and dogs in the Big Dogs Parade.
On Thursday, just by chance, we were in the right place to get this scoop as well. However, we spent our time sitting on the lawn sipping smoothies, taking action photos of green curbs, and observing of a group of teenagers camped out on the lawn smoking, hugging, and using the f-word a lot. So, we missed the story entirely. And, the Independent got the scoop instead.
On Monday we were back at De La Guerra Plaza to gather our data. This time the lawn was too wet to sit on, there were no teenagers swearing, and the drama at the News-Press had not yet passed on to being Yesterday’s News. In a big way, life at the Plaza had changed, but the green zone wasn’t affected at all. Just like any other day, cars came to park in available spots, and when they left, others came to replace them. Unless you were keeping track (like we were), you’d have never known there was any change at all.
Yesterday, not even Parking Enforcement was keeping track of how long cars were parking. We were there for an hour and a half and didn’t
see any chalk-mobiles marking tires or Ticketeers putting citations on windows - and there was money to be made. Not only did we find out that over half the cars that park in the green exceed their 15-minute allotment, but when we left, 4 of the 15 green spots were filled with cars that had been there for over an hour. In fact, one quarter of the cars we timed parked for over an hour.
One of the over-an-hour parkers was a guy who kept coming back every few minutes to check his tires for chalk marks.
The average time spent parked in the green zone was 24 minutes and 55 seconds. Stop the presses! One more item to add to our local Santa Barbara news report above - Cisco2000, with a guess of 25 minutes, wins an Edhat t-shirt!
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