"Addressing parallel parking rumors; separating press from conferences" by: Mike Reddell

   I know people are tired of everything about COVID-19, yet it is life as we know it.
   At the Sentinel, we’re still covering the news, so I’ve collected a few of the things I’ve worked on recently.

  •     There were renewed rumors downtown last week that TxDOT was working on a parallel parking plan.

   Parallel parking easily upsets downtown merchants who see the prospect of fewer customer parking slots.
   Public Works Director Barry Calhoun said the only parking slot project he’s working on – or is aware of - is the striping and signage for compact cars on two parts of Avenue F/Texas 60.
   One is at the intersection of 6th Street and Avenue F, and the other is on F between 7th and 8th streets, Calhoun said.
   And the public works director said the city is working with TxDOT to help with funding the compact car parking project.

  •     The state-sponsored mobile COVID-19 testing drive-through site at the Bay City Civic Center last week posed some photographic challenges.

   Understandably, officials protect the privacy of those driving through for tests.
   So, I tried various angles of a National Guard member wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) items talking to a vehicle driver about the test.
   In a few shots, I shot through the windshield of the vehicle of the exchange between driver and guardsman thinking the sun’s reflection and the glass tinting would obscure the person’s face.
   Not so, closer examination with an official of the test site indicated you could see at least half of the face.
   The photo I went for this edition shows the guardsman talking through the driver’s side window but the vehicle’s frame blocks the driver’s face completely.

  •     There was a press conference called by Bay City police last Thursday about the recent spate of homicides in the city.

   When I arrived at the fire department at the appointed hour there was no press conference.
   As I prepared to call PD, I noticed I got a message – sent about an hour earlier – saying the conference was moved to the civic center. A phone call would have been better.
   I was reading this message precisely five minutes before the conference was to begin.
   So, I begged a ride from someone also at the fire department for the press conference to the civic center.
   As I arrived, I walked into the darkened main meeting room where a televised press conference with several officials lined up behind the speaker was being filmed.
   The press was there, but mainly as silent observers to the filming. We were able to ask Police Chief Robert Lister questions afterward.
   A press conference in the local lexicon means an event where officials are filmed giving remarks during an emergency – in this case, the pandemic – for later online streaming.
   In this case, the press is just another viewer.   

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