The great Valentine's Day Massacre of 2007 took place in Echo Park on Wednesday as car after car from the Bureau of Parking & Punishment swept the neighborhood, meting out tickets and towing. Expired tags was a towing offense. One friend of mine parked near Delilah's Bakery and went inside to get a sweet something for his wife on this lover's holiday. He came out -- sweet things in hand -- to find that his car was gone. Another upstanding friend, who devotes a massive amount of time to public service, had her car towed for an expired tag. As with all things in our society, the less money you have the more expensive the punishment. Not everyone can afford to lose a shift at work, or to run down to the impound palace with cash in hand to ransom back his or her automobile. Word on the street: Dept of P & P had a quota.
Speaking of dogs, chickens and free speech...a provocative thread in the Echo Park Animal Alliance list serve throws down on freedom of expression in the buyer-sphere. The conversation started, I think, with Animal Control's Laura Weekes posting a challenge of sorts to dog folks. Weekes reported that Amazon had stood by its sale of dog-fight and cock-fight DVDs with a 1st Amendment shield. Weekes's retort was to cite the consumer's bill of rights: she was free not to spend her money on Amazon as long as they continued to sell animal porn. She asked EPAA-listers for their input, and there was plenty over many days.