June 29, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - El Salvador: Politics: Congress: Humor: Gilroy Dispatch: Mike Honda towed

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By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-245-37.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, July 02, 2005 - 2:38 pm: Edit Post

Mike Honda towed

Mike Honda towed

“I went out there with him and when he saw the sign, he said he was in the wrong,” Tapella said of the congressman, whose car he towed about two years ago. “But he was really nice about it.” Congressman Mike Honda of California served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador in the 1960's.

Mike Honda towed

Park at your own risk

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

By Serdar Tumgoren

Caption: The entrance and sign on the Martin Street side of the parking lot behind Gilroy Billards, across from OD’s Kitchen. Photo by: James M. Mohs/Chief Photographer

Gilroy - It happened to a policeman. Then a congressman. And now Maryalice Ritti. The Morgan Hill resident is the latest to learn the hard way that Bob Tapella, owner of Garlic City Billiards on Monterey Street, has a very strict definition of “customer.”

Last week, she joined the expanding list of people whose cars Tapella has had towed from the lot behind his pool hall. Ritti had dined at OD’s Kitchen, which according to signs posted in the lot, shares the parking area with the pool hall.

Ritti’s car was OK in the lot while she was eating at OD’s, but she ran afoul of Tapella’s unwritten and unforgiving parking regulations when she left her vehicle there beyond the diner’s 2pm closing. When she returned to the lot from some downtown shopping at about 3:30pm, her car was gone.

Tapella, who had arrived at 3pm to start preparing the pool hall for its 4pm daily opening, gave her a grace period before calling the tow truck company. She was perplexed and frustrated since her car had been the only one in the lot.

“Customer parking only means a patron of the business,” Tapella explained. “Once somebody leaves, they’re no longer a customer. I show up at 3pm, I want that lot cleaned out because I don’t know where these people are. I went over and knocked on (OD’s) door and asked ‘You got anybody in here?,’ and he said they’re closed. I went back over and waited another half hour and called (the tow truck company) at 3:30pm.”

Ritti calculated her lunch in downtown Gilroy cost more than $200 after the cost of towing.


Tapella doesn’t discriminate when it comes to violators. He has towed customers of area bars, the bowling alley, the new gym that has opened up a few doors down. He has towed a Gilroy police officer’s personal car and Congressman Mike Honda’s (D-San Jose) vehicle.

“I went out there with him and when he saw the sign, he said he was in the wrong,” Tapella said of the congressman, whose car he towed about two years ago. “But he was really nice about it.”

When this story was posted in June 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

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American Taboo: A Peace Corps Tragedy Date: June 20 2005 No: 661 American Taboo: A Peace Corps Tragedy
Returned Volunteers met with author Philip Weiss in Baltimore on June 18 to discuss the murder of Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner. Weiss was a member of a panel that included three psychiatrists and a criminal attorney. Meanwhile, the Seattle U.S. Attorney's office announced that Dennis Priven cannot be retried for the murder. "We do not believe this case can be prosecuted by anyone, not only us, but in any other jurisdiction in the United States." Read background on the case here.

June 16, 2005: Special Events Date: June 16 2005 No: 654 June 16, 2005: Special Events
Philip Weiss, PCV murder writer, speaks in Baltimore June 18
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NPCA to hold Virtual Leaders Forum on July 29
RPCV's "Taking the Early Bus" at Cal State until Aug 15
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RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

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After Uzbekistan, the Peace Corps has announced the suspension of a second program this month - this time in Haiti. Background: The suspension comes after a US Embassy warning, a request from Tom Lantos' office, and the program suspension last year. For the record: PCOL supports Peace Corps' decision to suspend the two programs and commends the agency for the efficient way PCVs were evacuated safely. Our only concern now is with the placement of evacuated PCVs and the support they receive after interrupted service.

June 6: PC suspends Uzbekistan program Date: June 7 2005 No: 640 June 6: PC suspends Uzbekistan program
Peace Corps has announced that it is suspending the Uzbekistan program after the visas of 52 Peace Corps volunteers who arrived in January were not renewed. The suspension comes after a State Department warning that terrorist groups may be planning attacks in Uzbekistan and after the killings in Andizhan earlier in May. Background: PCOL published a report on April 23 that Peace Corps volunteers who arrived in January were having visa difficulties and reported on safety and visa issues in Uzbekistan as they developed.

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Story Source: Gilroy Dispatch

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - El Salvador; Politics; Congress; Humor


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