Monthly Archives: March 2007

When was gas last sold for whole cents?

The in basket: On New Year’s Day I asked if anyone out there in readerland recalled a time when gas prices didn’t end in 9/10ths of a cent.
The out basket: I got three replies, the first from 80-year-old Samuel Stout of Central Kitsap, who says he recalls buying gas for a whole number of cents when he was 12 years old in northern Indiana. He said he drove quite a bit at that age. It wasn’t legal but no one did much about it, he said.

Continue reading

What happened to free Narrows bridge idea?

The in basket: Two readers made reference a day apart in January to a company that supposedly agreed to build the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge at no cost to the state.
Tony Hayes of Bremerton said, “There was a company from Canada, British Columbia, I believe, that said they could build the new bridge for free down near the water and all they wanted was the rights to generate and sell electricity generated from the current. This idea was intriguing and I felt deserved some public conversation.

Continue reading

Millions and billions of license plates

The in basket: In 2005, Greg Salo had written that available state license plate numbers would run out soon, and Brad Benfield of the state Department of Licensing agreed, saying his department and Washington State Patrol were working on what numbering system to adopt when our present three-number, three letter system runs out by the end of the decade. 
That column brought the following from Jim Brophy of Tracyton:
“I beseech you, please do not follow the cumbersome California solution of adding a seventh character. Doing so brings the total possible combinations, less those which may be obscene, insulting or otherwise inappropriate, to 175,760,000. That should certainly be adequate way into the future, however, have you tried to quickly copy one of those ‘new’ numbers? 

Continue reading