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Thursday, January 25, 2018


Beaverton Police & Court
Delinquent daughter got a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles last week telling her that her driving license was about to be suspended unless she took care of an unresolved court case. What unresolved court case? Some digging reveals that a speeding ticket was issued last fall. Since she doesn't remember getting stopped by the police, and you would remember something like that, we concluded that she was caught by an automatic speed camera, and since the ticket claims she was going 35 MPH in 20 MPH zone it was probably a school zone. The bill, if we are willing to simply pay it, is $525.

Well, no, we're not willing to pay it. Yes, she is liable for her own bills, but she is a student and I am financing her education, therefor we are not going to pay it if there is any way we can squirm out of it. So today we went down to the Municipal Court and looked at their evidence which were two grainy laser printed copies of photographs. One supposedly shows the driver. I couldn't even tell if there was a person behind the wheel but the delinquent claims she recognized her husband. The other photo shows the car's Florida license plate which explains why she hadn't heard about this ticket - they sent the notice to Florida.

Our only hope of getting out of paying the fine is to go to night court. We have a couple of hours to kill so we go over to the local Powell's Bookstore at Cedar Hills Crossing, the number 2 mall in the immediate area. I picked up a copy of Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon, one of my favorite authors. She started with science fiction and then wandered off into some other genres for a bit. I read most of her science fiction and some of her other stuff and she's great. For this one, she has returned to science fiction and it promises to be another swashbuckling space opera just like her others. I had a Powell's gift card so it didn't cost me any cash.

On our way out I took a stroll through the mall and was disappointed to see half a dozen empty store fronts. Not many people there either, but it was Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile the parking lot is being colonized by restaurants. The mall is still in good shape but these empty shops are making the future look gloomy. I'm kind of surprised since Beaverton has the worst traffic in the world. I avoid it if all possible.

Court was pretty straight forward. The delinquent told her tale and the judge forgave her the $200 surcharge for not dealing with it in time, and since she wasn't driving the car she could file a 'certificate of innocence' (pdf) that would relieve her of the obligation to pay the fine. Now if the police decide that it really does look like her in the photo, they can press the case, but given the image they have to work with I think that is unlikely. She did have to pay a $15 fee for the suspension letter from the DMV. So spending the afternoon in Beaverton saved us $500.

The judge was very young looking. I thought maybe 25, the delinquent thought he was in his late 30's. I suppose that's okay, I mean judges gotta start somewhere right? But then we do a little more checking and find out the he used to be a she. Shocked I am. I mean I hear all the noise made by the rainbow folks, but I pretty much ignore it. I've only run into a few gay people and they generally behave much like straight folks, but I think this was my first run in with a trans-gender person. Well first that I know of anyway. And I couldn't have told that from seeing them in court. It was only from Google that we learned this.

P.S. The speed trap was in front of Jesuit High School on Beaverton-Hilsdale Highway. Who puts a school next to a highway? Beaverton, that's who.

P.P.S. The book link goes to Amazon. Powell's only has the audio-book listed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Chuck,

Nothing to comment about this article specifically except that it's very interesting. I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog regularly and always enjoy your writing, even if I do not necessarily share your taste in literature. Thanks for making the effort.

Your pal,