Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Welcome to the Peoples Republic of Royal Oak!

Perhaps some readers will remember my experience at the 2010 Woodward Dream Cruise.
I was given an unlawful ticket and fined by an incompetent magistrate — Ken Roy — who not only did not know the law but never the less created made-up offense plus a hefty fine for participating in a pre-Dream Cruise event.
The entire experience at the Royal Oak courthouse was like something out of “ Alice in Wonderland.”
But it seems that heavy handed police work was not confined to just the Woodward Dream Cruise.
The good folks who attended the Arts, Beat & Eats Festival in downtown Royal Oak this past summer also were treated to back-country hillybilly justice.
How’s that, you wonder?
Just ask one of the patrons who had the misfortune of parking within walking distance of the event.
The Royal Oak Police Department — in full costume many on motorbikes and sporting Jodfer paints and big boots, were on the hunt.
Any slight infraction of their perceived violation of newly issued parking laws would be dealt with by a hefty ticket and fine.
Go ahead, write the ticket and then put up the NO PARKING sign.  That’s the way to do it.
All the policing added up to a total of 1,900 tickets during the four-day event.
That’s a rich infusion of $71,565 to the corrupt court system’s treasure box.
At the 2010 Dream Cruise, the Royal Oak police chief said he had give orders to his little army to go easy on the cruisers for infractions such as displaying legal historic license plates.
Either the Chief, Chris Jahnke is a liar, or his numerous motorbike officers were thumbing their collective noses at him.  The Chief has since moved on.
What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Someone pinch me. Even Oakland County Emperor L. Brooks Patterson is outraged at the amount of tickets issued at the Arts, Beat & Eats Festival. He suggests that the event be relocated to a friendlier locale.
I have an idea: Return it to Pontiac where it all started and was very successful for everyone involved.
I do not recall any bullying by the Pontiac cops. No, you can’t park in front of a fire hydrant, but small infractions that caused no problems were overlooked as far as I can recall.
Personally, I would not participate in any event that is within the boundaries of the People’s Republic of Royal Oak . 
I have witnessed the harassment by Royal Oak cops of peaceful families gathered on private property watching the cruisers on the summer evenings before the weekend official event. 
Example: Move 50 feet to the north and sit in back of the sidewalk in Berkley or even the snooty Birmingham and you are safe from a Royal Cop pointing a nightstick at your family, commanding “Time to go home.”  Hey! this is America, I'll sit here all night if I choose to.
If you have not seen this or experienced this sort of action, I suggest you were not there for the evenings leading up to the Dream Cruise.
As Sylvester Stallone said in “Judge Dredd”: “I can’t break the law; I am the law.”
This would be the appropriate motto over the Royal Oak courthouse.
Hope to see you in Pontiac for the 2011 Woodward Dream Cruise.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This year’s Oakland Press “Spirit of Rodding” awards

Again this year The Oakland Press has selected two Spirit of Rodding winners.
As in the last 15 years we look for the person first and the car second.
The “spirit” comes first but you do need a decent “rod” at the biggest and best indoor show of the year “Autorama at Cobo Hall”.

Our judges spent almost an entire day before selecting the two worthy winners. They will receive a classy leather jacket and trophy.  Also, bragging rights.

This year for the first time a lady has been selected. She is Yvonne Pipia of St Clair Shores.  Her classic style 32 Ford coupe and beautiful lime green paint caught the judge’s attention. Yvonne finished her hot rod in just minutes before the show. A small block Chevy with old-time three carbs gets her going in style.

Also selected was Paul Peters from New Hudson. His Model A on a 32 frame and 32 grille make his roadster  an instant old school classic with A 1963 “camel-back” 409 Chevy V-8 and 3-2’s . It appears Paul drives his Rod, and that is something the judges look for.

As a matter of interest both of our winners were on display in the basement area. 

Congratulations to our winners of this years Spirit of Rodding award winners.
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Location: Oakland County, Michigan

Ed Noble has been a car enthusiast his entire life. From the 1950s' on Woodward Avenue to writing automotive reviews for The Oakland Press Wheels page, car cruising is a summertime event he looks forward to each year. Ed will write new vehicle reviews for The Oakland Press and also provide some cruise news and other related information.

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