They came out of nowhere, like crop circles or UFO landing pads.
Several mysterious green symbols appeared on downtown Tacoma sidewalks a few weeks ago.
Were they a guerilla street-art project done by geometry students at SOTA? A chalk body outline of a piano that fell to its death from a fourth-floor window?
We noticed the polygon inside the circle was shaped vaguely like New Hampshire. Was it gang graffiti left by a T-Town affiliate of the Granite State Crips?
Surely the city wouldn’t stand for these eyesores. Surely they’d get rid of them, as quickly as a feather sign or a rogue act of crosswalk painting.
Except this time, City Hall was the one that did the tagging.
Turns out the splotches were part of a $2,500 campaign to educate folks about revisions to 2010’s downtown parking rules – changes that look as complicated as Euclidean algorithms.
Next came thousands of dot-shaped fliers and window posters that tried to simplify things.
“Three years on the dot, we’re still saving you a parking spot!” they proclaimed.
Thank you, Dr. Seuss.
More dot comedy: The city described the changes as a “tweak.” Kind of like how Congress tweaked the federal government by shutting much of it down this week.
The upshot of the dottiness is that on-street parking time limits are now shorter, enforcement hours are longer, and cheap Saturday parking is over — all in pursuit of some magic threshold of “parking turnover.” (It has nothing to do with squeezing more revenue out of us, of course.)
That’s fine and dandy, as long as the gendarmes give tickets to everyone without fear or favor.
State Farm executives should get the same treatment as the great unwashed at the University of Washington Tacoma.
And let there be no immunity for legislators. The state Constitution may protect them from speeding tickets, but it’s no match for the big green dot.
What ever happened to Charlie?: Milligan, that is. For one thing, he’s now Charles. College academia will do that to a fella.
Milligan is the former Tacoma school superintendent who was here for a cup of coffee in 2006-07, got sacked, waltzed away with a $418,000 settlement and sued for more.
We stumbled on a research abstract he wrote last year at Middle Tennessee State University. He’s an assistant professor there in the Educational Leadership Department. Sharing everything he knows about, ahem, educational leadership.
Seems like a good fit for Chuck. Better the abstract research room than the real-world board room. And by all means, better Tennessee than Tacoma.
Bright side of the federal shutdown:
• With President Barack Obama not traveling on his plane, we don’t have to worry about another sonic boom over Tacoma.
• With the JBLM commissary closed, soldiers can shop where they don’t have to tip the baggers.
• With air safety inspectors sent home, Boeing can rest easy about more battery fire embarrassments coming to light.
• With Mount Rainier on furlough, she’s not authorized to release a lahar.
Wife of the party: Remember that what’s-his-face who couldn’t beat Gov. Whoozis in the state goober race a year ago?
Rob McKenna, like Bill Clinton, is aggressively promoting the candidacy of his rising-star wife.
But Marilyn McKenna, unlike Hillary Clinton, is not running for office. The Bellevue power couple have their eyes on a more influential prize.
“Marilyn’s at it again!” Rob wrote in an email to friends and political contacts. “Her ‘take no prisoners’ persona on Twitter has gotten her nominated for KING5 TV’s ‘Best of Western Washington’ in the ‘Best Online Social Media Personality’ category.”
Please vote for her, he pleads.
We admit, we recently started following @mckennamarilyn on Twitter. And let’s just say the sweet Donna Reed clone from last year’s election campaign is history.
We’re amused by her frenetic blend of weight-loss advice, expletive-laced rants, and proud accounts of alienating people and gesturing at them in traffic.
Could the political future of a moderate Republican be blown up by an immoderate Republican’s wife? God bless Rob, he doesn’t seem to care. But we get a kick watching the bomb go tick, tick, tick.
Personally, we’d love to see Marilyn McKenna as first lady. The governor’s mansion hasn’t had an occupant this blunt since Dixy.Have news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @thenosetribune