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Pumping the brakes on parking problems

Dear Annie: I hope this is not out of your area, but I have a parking-related question for you. We have a neighbor who always says, “Don’t park in front of my house.” This guy and his family are not very polite, and they will run outside and start arguments and create scenes if you try to park there. I avoid parking there at all costs so that I can avoid them and their hostility. However, when friends visit or relatives come by, they sometimes end up parking out front of their house — and these people become verbally abusive.

When it snows, he always ask for my assistance with my snowblower, and I give it, to be a good neighbor. But to be honest, I am fed up with his “I bought a house; I own the block” attitude. — Larry

Dear Larry: Who does this guy think he is? If I were of the eye-for-an-eye persuasion, I’d say that this next time he asks to borrow your snowblower, you should blow him a raspberry. But I digress.

You should check with your local DMV about the exact parking laws on your street, but the fact is that your neighbor most likely has no legal ground to stand on, unless your street has permit-only parking or motorists are disobeying other restrictions (such as parking for more than 72 consecutive hours in the same spot, which is off-limits in many cities). And in my opinion, he doesn’t have moral ground to stand on, either. Public streets are just that — public. If he and his family verbally harass you or your guests for parking legally on public property, I’d encourage you to contact law enforcement.

Dear Annie: In response to “Seeking Decorum,” who wrote about seeing someone not clean up after their dog in an airport terminal: I am an 80-year-old who takes my dog back and forth to and from my winter home annually, and flying is the only option. Although I am disabled and qualify for a permit for my dog to fly free, I choose to pay for his travel each time I travel. His fare is more than mine, and he is required to be in a container under the seat for the complete flight. It is up to the airline to check the credentials of service dogs and those that pay for their animals to travel should not be punished by having their companions (well-trained and well-behaved) treated without respect when their fares increase annually. I have never had a passenger express anything but compassion and total acceptance of my 15-pound companion. He is much better behaved than many human adults and children. — Love My Companion

Dear Love My Companion: Goodness knows I’ve met plenty of well-behaved dogs and poorly behaved people, so I won’t argue with you there. I appreciate hearing another perspective on this hairy issue.

A couple of months ago, your column included a letter from “Time Capsule in My Attic,” who asked what to do with a box of letters from an old high school boyfriend who had written to her during his first year of college. The archives of the college he attended might be interested in these letters. Letters written about the day-to-day experiences of a college freshman can be valuable resources for a variety of researchers including historians and authors. — Kathi Stanley, retired manuscripts and special collections librarian

Dear Kathi: Now there’s a great suggestion I’d never have thought of. Thank you for your expertise.

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