Watergate, a New Arrival, And On the Road Again…

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Watergate, a New Arrival, And On the Road Again…

Isaiah Mouw, over at the IPI’s Parking Matters: The Blog, writes about the Watergate buildings in DC, and their relationship to our political history. He notes that the Washington Post reporters who brought down the Nixon administration met with their source, “Deep Throat,” in a garage – but not the one at Watergate, but across the river at an office building in Rosslyn, VA.
My memories of the Watergate’s garage are considerably different. A few years ago, I was invited to inspect work going on in the garage. Seems the fabled complex was built over garage space that was deteriorating badly. They couldn’t demo and replace the garage, because it was holding up some of the most expensive real estate in the country. So they removed the offending walls and floors, and replaced them in situ.
I was there because the construction company doing the job was a customer and wanted to show off how their hydro-cutting equipment could slice off the concrete from the rebar, leaving the rebar and supporting structure in place. They would then repour the floors and walls, and all was right with the world.
It was a noisy, messy job and could be done only in pieces because the politicos who worked and lived at the Watergate needed a place to park.
Some remember this facility for the break-in that eventually destroyed a president. I remember it for finely focused water that can cut through concrete like butter. Oh well …
We have had a new arrival here at Parking Today. Called parknews.biz, the website is completely devoted to current parking news. Editor Astrid Ambroziak (who has been running PT’s social media sites) selects about 20 articles a day from national (U.S.), international and company/organization news and posts the links on parknews.biz.
Take a moment to check it out. And maybe even go there daily to see what’s going on in parking. If you want your information posted there, as well as in PT, just send it to us and we will do the rest. No charge.
Rather than an automated “news feed,” we look at each article and determine its value to the industry. Not everyone needs to know about a broken water main in a garage in Blackrock, TX, but they might have an interest in the thinking behind the rate changes in East Matlock, KY. We clear out the clutter, leave you the solid info.
Check it out today, and every day at www.parknews.biz.
Last month, Parking Today was taken over by the Women In Parking (WIP) organization. I handed the editorial reins to the June 2014 issue to WIP Chairperson Colleen M. Niese, and what you saw in June was the result.
As Niese said in her Guest Editor’s Point of View, WIP is an organization that supports, mentors, and provides networking and educational opportunities for women in the parking industry. You don’t have to be missing a Y chromosome to be a member. These parking professionals look to networking and education from all aspects of the industry.
Parking has been male-dominated since the beginning. Men make cars, men race cars, men like cars, men park cars. As I wrote those words, I could see the changes that have happened in the last few decades.
A woman is CEO of General Motors, women are in abundance at car shows, and Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick have long put the lie to the racing phrase. And as for women liking cars, just who has the final say in your family as to the car to buy?
As for women parking cars, there is no question that at senior management levels of our industry, men outnumber women. A lot of testosterone flows through parking facilities, manufacturing operations and parking organizations.
However, one only has to look at the municipal, higher education and airport parking operations to see that women are making their mark. A woman runs the National Parking Association; another is Chair of the International Parking Institute. And more and more we see women in senior management positions among parking operators and manufacturers.
Here at Parking Today, we have six women on a staff of eight.
Women understand that not only have men begun to realize the value of the women in their organizations, but women also have begun to realize how the networks within organizations work – and are prepared to meet the challenges of a 21st century economy.
It’s a difficult task, changing a culture, but they are up to it.
Congratulations to women in parking – and to Women In Parking!
As I write this, I’m starting a monthlong journey that will take me to the IPI Conference & Expo in Dallas, Parkex 2014 in London and the World Parking Symposium (WPS) in Tel Aviv. The August issue of PT will be edited on the road, so to speak.
I am honored to be speaking at WPS IX, and will hold forth on public-private partnerships and their successes – and not so successes – in the U.S. The WPS doesn’t know what’s coming, with JVH at the lectern.
By the time you read this, it will be July, the fireworks will be history, and so will these three parking industry shows. I’ll report in the August issue, or you can check my PT blog, I’ll be posting as time allows.

 

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John Van Horn
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