GOODBYE PARKING METERS
NEW YORK (AP) -- No more worries about feeding the meter. At least not in New York. But that doesn't mean parking is free in the Big Apple. The New York Times reports the city is removing the last single-space parking meter in Manhattan today. The whole city is being converted to the Muni-Meter system. Drivers pay for parking at a solar-powered machine and put the receipts on their dash. The new parking payment system also takes credit cards. Some of the old parking meter poles are being converted to bike racks.
SHADE TREE LOVER
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) -- There's something shady about Bill Hutchinson. But the only thing he's suspected of is being a tree lover. He's retiring after nearly 50 years on the Public Shade Tree Committee in Amherst, Massachusetts. He hasn't always been successful in saving trees, but his fellow committee members say he'll be missed. Hutchinson tells a local paper (Daily Hampshire Gazette) he hopes his grandchildren will be able to enjoy the trees he's helped to plant.
COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) -- Private eyes Bob and Joyce Bonk had an easy choice when it came to their company's name. The sign out front says Bonk and Bonk Investigations. The husband-and-wife team had retired from other careers before becoming P-I's. Now, they conduct investigations for lawyers in the Coos Bay, Oregon, area. The Bonks tell a local paper (The World) they're still learning new skills. Bob says at age 78, he's finally learning how to type.
RACY TAXI ADS
NEW YORK (AP) -- It's taxi drivers versus taxi advertisers. The ad men and women are mad about some New York City cabbies who refuse sexy ads. The advertisers protested outside the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission yesterday. The commission had ruled that drivers who own their cabs can opt out of roof-top strip club ads. But advertisers say it's unfair that they paid to produce the ads and now they can't run them. They say it's a matter of free speech.
TEHACHAPI, Calif. (AP) -- These passengers are real jackasses. Ten dozen donkeys made the long flight from Hawaii to California over the weekend. Now, they're settling into their new home at Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue. Ranch manager Tracy Miller says the animals don't show signs of jet lag. They are descendants of donkeys brought to Hawaii's Big Island to work coffee plantations, then cast aside when they became obsolete. Recent drought conditions have brought hundreds of donkeys down from the mountains. But the donkeys have been blocking traffic and creating other problems, prompting the search for a new home.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- So, your mom said nothing good would come out of all those hours playing video games. Well, try telling that to researchers. For more than a decade, biochemists had been stumped by the structure of a key protein needed by viruses to multiply. The biochemists turned to gamers. University of Washington researchers developed a video game called Foldit to harness the brain power of puzzle-loving humans. Super computers couldn't even do the job. Biochemistry professor David Baker says it took just ten days for the winning team to crack the code. He tells The Oregonian newspaper the gamers' solution was nearly perfect.
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