The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 06, 1998, Page 3, Image 3

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    Gov. Nelson
plans visit
to Argentina
■ The Buenos Aires trip
will promote Nebraska
products in the country.
By Todd Anderson
Assignment Reporter
Gov. Ben Nelson will be
watching the Legislature from
afar next week as he leads a group
of state officials and business pro
fessionals to Buenos Aires.
Nelson announced Wednesday
plans for his second trip to the
Argentine capital to promote
Nebraska products in the country.
He will be accompanied by
Larry Sitzman, director of the
Department of Agriculture;
Maxine Moul, director of the
Department of Economic
Development; and eight Nebraska
business professionals.
i ne purpose or tne trade mis
sion is to open doors for Nebraska
businesses,” Nelson said.
He said his administration
would help strengthen current ties
by meeting face-to-face with min
isters of trade and finance.
According to a University of
Massachusetts study, Nelson said,
exports of Nebraska products to
Argentina quadrupled from 1995
to 1996.
Nelson said Nebraska was
“ahead of the game” and would
continue to lead the nation in pro
moting new trade opportunities
“If we continue to maintain
our efforts in the right direction,
(other states) will have to play
catch-up,” Nelson said.
Nelson will leave Wednesday
and will be joined by Sitzman,
who will have completed a similar
trip to Guadalajara, Mexico.
Nelson said he chose not to
travel to Mexico because he want
ed to keep an eye on the
Legislature, but he said he was not
surprised by current, heated dis
cussion of economic development
and tax reduction on the floor.
The legislative process was
working well, he said, and he is
not worried about what will hap
pen while he is gone.
“I’ve proven that you can be
out of the country during a snow
storm and still be involved,”
Nelson said. “I’m in the position
to know who’s been naughty and
who’s been nice.”
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Investigation shows
meter improvement
METERS from page 1
Also this year, three of the meters,
which are valued at $300, are missing,
and one had the glass dome on top
completely broken.
On the positive side, most of the
extreme time and money discrepan
cies found last year, such as meters
that registered only 10 minutes for a
quarter, have been eliminated.
The problems found along R
Street are not unique, Brage said.
“You could find this anywhere in
the city,” Brage said.
Some of the meter accuracy prob
lems result from the mechanical oper
ation of the devices.
The timing is regulated by a spring
timer with gears much like an analog
wristwatch, Brage said. When a coin
is deposited and the dial is turned, it
winds the spring.
Electronic meters, like those the
university uses, eliminate some of the
accuracy concerns, but they are costly
to install, Brage said.
“We’d like to switch to electronic
meters, but the city is tight on money
and it is not a priority,” Brage said.
So motorists will have to continue
to deal with mechanical meters.
And with 2,000 parking meters
and only one repairman, the city is
forced to rely on reports of broken
meters from citizens.
It is inevitable that meters will
have problems, Brage said, but engi
neers can’t act unless they know there
is a problem.
Broken meters are reported to the
Violations Bureau, which receives
five to 10 complaints a day, supervisor
Pat Waegli said.
The complaints are then forward
ed to the city’s serviceman the next
day, and a week later the bureau
receives a report on the condition of
the meter, Waegli said.
If the meter was found to be bro
ken when the serviceman evaluated it,
Waegli said, the $5 parking ticket
would be dismissed.
But many of the meters are broken
because of tampering, Lincoln Police
Capt. Joy Citta said.
The city serviceman finds bent
coins, plugs and even coins filed
down to fit into the wrong slot jam
ming the city’s meters, Brage said.
Sometimes the meters are just full.
“We have to recognize that some
of our citizens are not completely hon
est,” Brage said.
But working or not, the police
department’s Public Service Officers
will be out enforcing the meters’ rul
In January, PSOs wrote 5,012 cita
tions for $35,046 in fines. During the
month of February, 6,263 tickets were
written for $39,680 in fines.
Despite the money brought in
through fines and meter money, park
ing meters are not installed as a rev
enue source, Brage said.
Meters are used to manage the
limited number of parking spaces
downtown, Brage said.
“Meters are necessary to free up
spaces for customers,” Brage said.
And with so many meters, one
repairman and other uncontrollable
variables, Brage believes the meters
remain a good deal.
“You’re still getting a good buy for
your quarter.”
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Even the odds.
Theirs and Yours.
Join AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps. By tutoring kids,
restoring streams and parks, building playgrounds, helping
communities hit by disasters, serving in a health clinic, or
meeting other important needs, you'll help others succeed.
When you join AmeriCorps for one year, you get:
★ A living allowance and health care
★ Skills for your future
★ Deferral on qualified student loans
★ Almost $5,000 for education
★ An experience you'll never forget
Visit our booth at the “Spring Double Header”
Career Fair on Tuesday, March 10 in the
Centennial Room 2nd floor of the Nebraska
Unbn from 1pm to 6 pm. For more information
call Shannon Baxter at (312)353-8280.