MB Local News Roundup

By Dave Fratello | July 26th, 2010
A few local developments seem to deserve a quick check-in:
  • First, many thanks and congrats to the local residents and other beachgoers who saved a life Sunday. An 11-year-old boy tried to dig a "tunnel" in the wet sand during an early-evening visit, but was trapped under the sand when a wave collapsed the tunnel while he was inside. This Daily Breeze story reports that a man nearby started the rescue:
That man, whose name was not available, immediately began digging for the boy. Other adults rushed to help. Before long, 20 people were scooping sand away.

Someone else called 911 and another person ran to a lifeguard tower to get help. Lifeguards joined the effort. 
The boy wasn't breathing when pulled out, but appears to be much better now at the hospital.
    The Olden Days on The Dune
  • On a different sand-related front, Sand Dune Park reservations are now open. As part of its split-the-baby solution to the controversies around Dune usage, the city now requires advance reservations. (For details see this Beach Reporter writeup.)
You need to go here online (right off the city's front page) to start the process by signing up for a user ID, then select a date for your visit and, finally, check off two consecutive 30-minute blocks of time for your 1-hour reservation. Yes, it's a bit clunky, but your blog author pulled it off.
To make a reservation, prospective park users must provide birth date, name, address, phone numbers (self and emergency) and any medical alert info. This is, er, somewhat more information than was required of park users previously.
After selecting a reservation time, you must also provide your valid ID # (driver's license, etc.) and vehicle license plate number.
At the appointed time of your visit, you bring the printout and a single cash dollar, along with your ID, and show that stuff to the attendant to be permitted to access The Dune. (Unless you're a kid 12 or under, and you can waltz in any time.)
Hurry! They're only allowing 20 people to reserve for each 1-hour block of time.
Oh, did we mention that the hours of park usage are also restricted? Weekdays, you can start at 8am, 9:30am, 11am, 3pm or 6pm. Saturdays, the last start time is 11am, and Sundays there are no reservations taken. (Kids only.) And this final note, courtesy of the Beach Reporter:
During their one hour on the dune, only walking will be allowed and people will not be allowed to do a “circuit” of walking down the dune, over to the stairs and back onto the dune.
Once you’re inside that fence, you’re not allowed out of there,” [Parks and Recreation Director Richard] Gill said.
First they didn't want you in, now you can't get out. Maybe the government is as confused as its citizens.
  • And finally, parking – the pain that makes local government go.
If you want to park downtown, there's a good news/bad news story. First, starting next week, forget that pre-9am freebie window if you're stopping for coffee, juice or bagels on the way out of town – meters downtown will start at 8am from Aug. 2 forward. 
And if you enjoyed the city's (costly) rate-drop to 75 cents an hour, that's gone, too – at least for Summer. We're back at $1.25/hr. in the center of town. 
Oh, and if you went to the cash key instead of keeping gobs of quarters in the car, well... more bad news. Downtown meters won't take those, either. (Happily you can use the cash keys almost everywhere else in town that isn't a downtown street meter.)
So where's the good news? You can use your debit or credit card at the downtown street meters now. 
The city calls these and other changes "exciting parking improvements." Which they may yet prove to be.

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