It was a great day for a party at LA County’s Burton Chace Park at the end Mindinao Way in Marina Del Rey, the brilliant sunshine shimmering off the water, the masts of luxury yachts point skywards.
Leslie Dutton’s Full Disclosure Network was celebrating its 19th anniversary of providing hard-hitting investigative reports on public access TV on the foibles and failures of local government and 150 or so people showed up to support her efforts and honor crusading attorney Richard Fine, who was recently released from jail after 18 months of coercive confinement for contempt of court..
As luck and Dutton’s keen eye for news would have it, the event produced its own investigative video report.
PARKING METERS ARE ROBBING CITIZENS IN PUBLIC PARKS — That is the headline on story of what the guests confronted as they arrived for the three-hour event.
The parking lot adjacent to the park was lined with meters that charged 25 cents for 10 minutes — 18 quarters to park legally from 9 a.m. to noon. A sign warned you would be ticketed even if the meter is broken, which many of them were.
My wife and I were early arrivals and confronted the problem of not carrying a role of quarters with us so we drove back down the road to a lot that took credit cards and charged $8 for the day, only $6 on weekdays.
It was very complicated trying to figure out how to use the machine but after several tries a ticket came out and I put on the dashboard and started to walk away when my wife noticed a sign that said it must be face up or you will be ticketed.
Needless to say with parking prices that high, the park was nearly empty, only two women with small children walking their dogs.
Apart from raising tons of money from people who want to use a public park, the county clearly wanted to discourage low-class riffraff, otherwise known as citizens, from trampling on the exclusive terrain of the Marina with its ostentatious displays of wealth.
At the end, windshields of several dozen party-goers were plastered with $60 tickets. The meter maids had struck.
With her passion for justice, Dutton went back and produced these videos of victims of the county’s price-gouging and of parking officials making fools of themselves trying to comply with the rules they created and enforce.