Sunday, November 17, 2019

Greetings Once More From San Lorenzo, NM: A Tribute To Gill & Jim's Taxi Repair Shop & More Food For Thought For Regulating Seattle's Taxi Associations---Where Did That 5 Million Dollars Go?

Yes, back in New Mexico once again, this time with the one and only "she-who-can't-be-named," yes, that very same individual who urged me strongly nearly a decade ago to begin writing this blog; this same someone now refusing to read my words due to her deep-seated hatred of taxi, understanding too well the dire toll it takes upon me.  Ah yes, but what can one do except leave it behind as much as possible while doing everything I can in the next few months to exit taxi permanently?

Though right at this moment, here in tiny San Lorenzo, there is no outside noise whatsoever, cars passing an average of about one every two-three hours in a given 24 hour day.  Dogs bark but I like dogs, their vocalizing music to my ears.  When I was ten years old in 1964, I lived in a very far northern Woodland Cree community in Alberta, Canada, where the 2000 plus sled dogs out numbered the human inhabitants, barking and howling, serenading the frozen night.

Yes, provide me quiet sanity embracing the hours, forgetting about dumbbell politics and who is winning the  next football game, mattering instead---time to think and hike, like we did yesterday, to one of the largest juniper pine trees residing upon our planet, truly a wonderful sight to behold.  What is truly important?  Peace of mind, body and soul, everything else manufactured brunt offerings to the modern gods demanding all our precious time and money. Is it worth it?  My answer, simply, how could it be?
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But getting back to taxi, it is my pleasure to tell everyone about a car repair shop that is less about money and more about making sure your cab is operational and back upon the road, knowing a minute lost is meaningful to the forever fare hungry cabbie.  Gill's shop, located on the corner of South 120th Street/Gendale South and Des Moines Memorial Way South, is a tangle of dead cabs and numerous cars in various stages of repair.   One feels lucky, at least I do, when you find a parking place squeezed between that vehicle menagerie and the bays of the garage, again habitually occupied by a car undergoing day surgery.  Usually, it's Jim I first encounter, Gill being the owner, showing up later, with Joe, a somewhat wild man servitor, bouncing from project to project from opening to closing.  Normally Jim, a mechanic since age 16, makes the first diagnosis, with Gill usually the concurring physician. Combined together, Jim and Gill form a benevolent practice dealing with crazed, frantic, demanding patients wanting their mechanical maladies instantaneously healed, and sometimes they are obliged, and sometimes not.

Last Saturday, mere hours before I was setting off in my personal car, "Taco," a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, for Arcata, California, I first had to have 1092 ("Gabriel") attended to, as a noise was generating from somewhere in the rear axle.  Jim got right to it, fixing one issue but deciding a visit to the machine shop necessary come Monday or Tuesday.  Asking Gill how much I needed to  pay, he patted me on the back, saying "Pay me when you get back. Have a great trip."  What else can I say but "Thanks, guys, you are terrific! and you are the greatest mechanics on our entire planet earth! Man! do I appreciate such amazing (and unusual) empathy."

The City of Seattle and King County Sitting Upon their Regulatory Hands

Understand, it just isn't Seattle Yellow I fault, because every association I have been associated with---Farwest, Broadway, Greytop---had their obvious flaws and faults and serious blemishes, and if asked, could outline in full detail.  And Northend Cab, the now defunct "far north" company, was infamous for its mismanagement and corruption and in-general dishonest operating practices.

I say this only to point out that Seattle and KC taxi regulators have done nothing whatsoever the past 30 plus years to rein in egregious association behavior, allowing them to operate clearly mechanically dangerous cabs along with violating driver's legal and civil rights. What do the these local regulators do best?  Collect fees for City and County coffers. I challenge anyone to dispute that assessment without telling obvious fibs, history telling us the full, unadulterated story.

And its history going back four, five years is what I am alluding to, when the Port of Seattle discovered that Yellow Cab (BYG Co-op) allegedly under reported $5,000,000 in required fee collections.  I have written about this before but in shortened detail, what the Port of Seattle (Sea-Tac International Airport) believed occurred was Yellow inaccurately reporting long, fee required fares as short, non-fee required fares, thus saving millions of dollars potentially for themselves.

Due to poor Sea-Tac record keeping, the Port decided it wasn't totally possible to determine the real and actual damage, thus allowing Yellow to escape true legal scrutiny by paying an agreed to settlement of approximately $900.000.  I mention this because, for as far as I know, Seattle and King County regulators did little to nothing toward further investigating Yellow's alleged financial malfeasance.

If anyone asks why it should have been necessary, all one needs to know is that the Port of Seattle requires all cabs working the airport to have both City & County medallions, meaning of course Seattle and KC holding the regulatory authority overseeing all association behavior.  One might think that an alleged theft of over five million dollars in service fees would interest them, but since they have seemed disinterested both then and now, it says everything about what they were, and are doing or not, in terms of functional oversight.  Need I say more?  I don't think so.

1 comment:

  1. Joey ,
    As you know , and as you imply
    about the misdeeds at Yellow and
    their Sea - Tac accounting 'error ',
    someone should have been held personally responsible , but
    they weren't , why ?? I can
    only guess as to why, as if
    someone higher - up got a pay
    - off which magically made
    the possible felony charge
    disappear and it suddenly
    became a misdemeanor , and
    wiped - out completely with
    a fine paid !! See how that
    works ?? You scratch an itch
    and everything will be fine ,
    no matter the prognosis of
    the disease or ailment !!
    This is how it all works.
    I'm really surprised no
    one evers catches - on !!
    Bill ...