I pulled into the library in my little, gutless 36-mpg car and found an SUV in one “fuel efficient” parking space and a 1970s-era pickup in another. Assuming that being at the library implies literacy and the ability to read signs, perhaps there’s some other reasoning here. What exactly did they have in mind as energy “efficient” when they, whomever they are, designated those spots? – Easily Peeved
Those primo parking spots helped the Durango Public Library win a coveted “gold” LEED certification, said Andy White, library director.
No, LEED does not stand for Libraries Encourage Environmental Degradation.
It’s the acronym for an internationally recognized green building certification system providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies to minimize impacts to the Earth.
Rewarding energy responsibility is part of the LEED strategy. But what constitutes “efficiency?”
“That’s a good question,” said Andy. “It’s really open to debate.”
“A case can be made that an older car has less impact because the driver is using it up, wearing it out and not creating pollution that results from auto manufacturing,” he said.
On the other hand, gas guzzlers are gas guzzlers, he pointed out.
The library does not discriminate based on the make and model of your vehicle. Parking spaces are on the honor system.
Perhaps that old truck had a tune-up and the tires are inflated properly, which will improve gas mileage an average of 7.3 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Perhaps that SUV was a mom driving all the neighborhood kids to story time.
The honor system works precisely for those and other unknowns.
“And certain people are more honorable than others,” Andy said with a laugh.
“The one thing we can probably agree upon is that a Hummer would not fit in the guidelines,” he added.
Nor would a Hummer fit in the parking space, for that matter.
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Last week’s column on the 9-R parking spot land grab stirred things up a bit, and, sadly, the almost-always infallible Action Line erred.
“I read your column Monday, and I believe you had most of your information right, except that these requested additional parking places were for the teachers at the Big Picture School that opened next to the administration building,” writes good sport Keith Owen, superintendent of Durango School District 9-R.
“These parking spots were not for administrators but school personnel. With this exception, we usually enjoy your column,” Keith writes, ending his e-mail kindly with a “smiley” emoticon.
Meanwhile, reader Susan Patchett Hamilton was upset that last week’s column contained a “biased” and “insulting political remark.”
She was referring to Action Line’s smart-alecky aside about the tea party being “an intolerant, insufferable bunch.”
Susan was “disappointed,” calling the comment “a cheap shot,” among other things.
Susan is not a tea party member, “although I identify with them,” she writes.
“Most are good, patriotic Americans. They are freedom-loving people who see our so-called leaders spending the country into oblivion and shredding the Constitution on a daily basis,” she writes.
“The Herald frequently demonstrates its political bias, but I thought we could enjoy at least your column without it. Apparently I was wrong,” concludes Susan.
Normally, Action Line refrains from getting in the last word, but ...
Doesn’t anyone see the irony when a political movement won’t tolerate being called intolerant?
C’mon, it’s a three-day weekend. Time to chill. Or maybe not.
Labor Day has to be especially difficult for the tea party faithful.
How can any true patriot enjoy a national holiday that celebrates the 19th century labor movement whose membership consisted mainly of legal and illegal immigrants who came to America to work jobs that no one else wanted?
Was that an intolerant political potshot? Oops.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you think the library should throw the book at parking scofflaws.