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Don't let your personal information fall into wrong hands

The recent holiday season was relatively quiet with no significant events. Most of the calls for service were of a minor nature.

For the year of 2012, the King City Police Department's total calls for service saw no appreciable increase over the number of calls for service for 2011.

Personal document disposal

Recently I received disturbing information that some residents were disposing of personal documents that contained information such as Social Security numbers, bank account information and other personal data in their recycling or garbage containers.

In this day of identity theft, it is essential that documents containing important personal or financial information are disposed of in a manner that prevents them from falling into the hands of less-than-honest individuals.

The police department recommends that residents shred any document containing personal or financial information if they no longer have a need for it. It is suggested that a resident either purchase a home-size shredding machine or take such documents to a business that may shred documents for a fee.

One place to take documents for shredding is McCann's Pharmacy & Gifts, 15685 S.W. 116th Ave., King City, which charges 59 cents per pound up to 10 pounds, 49 cents per pound for 10 to 20 pounds, and 29 cents per pound for more than 20 pounds. People should take documents to the post office, where employees accept them during regular post office hours and store them in locked bins until a shredding service comes to dispose of them; for more information, call 503-639-7377.

Another place to take documents to be shredded is Pride Disposal, 13910 S.W. Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Sherwood, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday; the phone number is 503-625-0725.

No matter what the situation, do not dispose of documents with personal information in your recycling or garbage containers.

Disabled parking permits

Recently there have been several citations issued for improper parking in designated handicapped spaces. Since theses spaces are limited in number and are to be used only by properly placarded drivers, I thought a republishing of a past primer might be helpful.

(Reprinted from March 2010)

There has been some confusion on the use of disabled parking permits and what the law actually allows. The issuance of permits is governed by state statute (and the law can be made into a local ordinance). Enforcement can be done by law enforcement officers or as in many cases by volunteers that are deputized by the sheriff to enforce the handicapped/disabled parking statute.

The following is a brief overview of the current rules, including five commonly issued disabled parking placards:

-- Disabled driver permit is good for eight years and is issued to a disabled person upon a certificate from a doctor;

-- Temporary disability permit is good for up to six months, and users must have a certificate from a doctor that says the person has had the disability for less than four years;

-- Program permit is good for eight years and is issued to programs that transport persons with disabilities;

-- Family permit is good for eight years and is issued to a family that has more than one disabled person within the family;

-- Wheelchair-user permit is issued to persons who use wheelchairs who must have a driver's license or ID card; the permit is good as long as the driver's license or ID card is good.

Legal and illegal uses

-- Disabled driver parking permits allow parking in spaces, public and private, that are marked or signed to indicate parking by permit only.

-- It is unlawful for non-permit holders to park in spaces reserved for people with disabilities.

-- It is unlawful to use a disability parking permit when the operator is not disabled or is not transporting a disabled person.

-- It is unlawful, with or without a proper permit, to park in aisles, as required by ORS 447.233, for disabled access.

-- It is unlawful for a non-wheelchair user, even a person with a disabled parking permit, to park in a wheelchair-user only space.

-- Both permitted and non-permitted vehicles may momentarily park in a disabled space to pick up or discharge a disable person.

Unless a violator is observed by police or by a person certified to cite disabled parking violators, the registered owner of a vehicle will be cited for unlawful parking; if the operator of the vehicle is not the holder of placard and is observed parking in a handicapped-designated space, the operator will be cited.

Vehicles that are unlawfully parked in a disabled space could be subject to tow, with the vehicle owner bearing the cost of the tow and any storage.

A violation of the state statute for unlawful parking in a disabled parking space is a Class A traffic violation with a minimum fine of $190 for the first offense and up to $450 for subsequent offenses.

A non-disabled person inappropriately using a disabled parking permit is subject to a Class A traffic violation with a minimum fine of $450.

Additional privileges

A person with a wheelchair-user permit is afforded extra privileges that include the ability to park in a metered parking space for the time allowed without payment of a fee and park in a time-restricted space without a penalty (exception is in a space designated for 30 minutes or less).

A city or county may extend the above privileges to holders of disabled-parking permits.

If you hold a disabled-parking permit and are in doubt of the parking privileges that may accompany your permit, contact either the King City Police Department or the Washington County Sheriff's Office for clarification on the use of your particular permit.

You be the judge (or you have to be kidding)

Recently a first-time bank robber entered a bank and proceeded to an available teller and gave the teller six $50 bills and requested that the bills be exchanged for hundred dollar bills. As the teller was completing the transaction, the would-be robber pulled a ski mask over his face and placed his hand in his pocket feigning a gun.

When the teller looked up and saw the masked person, the teller screamed and ducked behind the counter. The would-be robber was so startled by the scream that he ran out of the bank, leaving his original $300 behind. This would-be bank robber needs to consider a career change!

So until next time, be good, be neighborly and be safe.