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the City of Boca Raton has decided that the above vehicle
is considered commercial and cannot be parked on city
streets at night. This of course is ridiculous as anyone
can plainly see that it is NOT a commercial vehicle in any
are e-mails & letters that we have received on the car.
the article in the Sun-Sentinel on
your electric vehicle. Boca is nut's. Your electric Sparrow is the
coolest thing in South Florida. It is certainly not a commercial
vehicle just because you put the web address of your fine
organization on it's sides. I have followed what you have done and
think more people should give as much to the community as you
have. Don't take the lettering off and tell Boca to go to hell.
I have seen your vehicle around town and wish I could get one.
There is NO way that any reasonable person would think that it's a
commercial vehicle. I hope you don't give up your fight with the
idiots at city hall. They should commend you instead of hassling
As usual, thank you for your very generous offer (to lend the
school a generator after the hurricane). Fortunately, the
power has been restored. Basically our trees and shrubbery
encountered most of the damage.
Just finished reading the article about your electric car.
I agree with you. It's hard to understand why the sign on
the car can create so much havoc.
Luck and thank you for always
thinking of us.
Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School
Saw the article in the Palm Beach Post about
the city of Boca harassing you about having your web site on the
car. Ask them about the myflorida.com on all the new license
Seems its okay for the state to advertise on your vehicle
without your permission.
Very truly yours,
I saw today's paper with the article about Rick Newman. While I
am not versed in the laws and regulations of the City of Boca
Raton, I can at least say that Rick Newman's personal commitment
to helping this Science Museum over the years has been
unwavering. He has brought artifacts of science and
technology for display here that we would not have obtained
elsewhere. Palm Beach County has benefited significantly
from his commitment to education.
South Florida Science Museum
|Dear Mayor Abrams,
I just learned
that Mr. Richard Newman's electric demonstration vehicle was cited
by the City as a commercial vehicle for having
"HighTechScience.org" on the door. I understand
the need for controlling the parking of commercial vehicles
overnight in the city, but I don't understand how his car could be
considered a commercial vehicle since HighTechScience.org is not a
business, and the car is not used for commercial purposes.
On the contrary, in these times of skyrocketing fuel prices, Mr.
Newman's electric car serves as a significant example of clean,
cheap, alternative transportation featuring a website on the door
for more information. He has no connection with the car
company, he is merely willing to share science and technological
information for free.
Mr. Newman's passion is science. My school, the
South Florida Science Museum, and several other schools have benefited
from Mr. Newman's generosity in the form of donated computerized
weather stations and extensive, priceless space exhibits for our
I hope that the city can find a way to make an
exception or provide a variance in this case, since Mr. Newman is
providing a free public service by generating interest in
West Boca Raton Community High School
the editors of the Sun-Sentinel Published
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board
A car in a driveway raises
hackles in Boca
When is a "commercial vehicle" not a
commercial vehicle? When it's not selling anything. So what's Boca
Raton's problem with Richard Newman's car?
Newman has run into a code compliance problem because
he has an electric car, described by the city as a commercial
vehicle, parked in his driveway. On the sides is the address for
the Web site of his nonprofit scientific organization. The city
wants him to remove or cover the lettering, or face a fine.
Newman could easily cover the address and make the
issue go away, of course. But the city should first have to
explain what linguistic perversion leads it to consider a
nonprofit informational Web site to be a commercial enterprise.
Better yet, it should simply drop the matter.
City of Boca Officials,
appears that he should be exempted from enforcement of the
ordinance. What do you think?
|Dear Mr. Mayor,
I'll save my
outrage for the people that are employed by the City of Boca Raton
re: the continued harassment of a fine man, a philanthropist, and
maintains that the car, owned by science philanthropist Richard
Newman, is a commercial vehicle because of a Web site address
displayed on both sides.
will not be the least bit surprised to see the Sun Sentinel chime
in on Mr. Newman's behalf.
As you can
clearly see from the above letter from the head of the
code department, the vehicle Does Not fit into Any of the
categories that Mr. Massalone has spelled out. The electric
motorcycle is obviously NOT a bus, truck, pickup, or
truck tractor. It also could NOT be considered an
agricultural or construction vehicle, there are no tools or
other equipment inside of it, nor does it carry any building
materials. It also does NOT advertise "a trade,
business, industry or other activity for profit, or a product,
commodity or service".
Please see if you can
find more suitable employment for the people on the tax
payers payroll who are wasting our time & money.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
| The City
of Boca Raton should find better things to do. I live in the
general vicinity of Mr. Newman's home and I can tell you I would
at his little electric motorcycle with the lettering on it than
eyesore and noise pollution of a large dual axle pick-up truck
with a loud
diesel engine parked in many of our neighbors driveways. These
pick-up trucks are obviously commercial vehicles, given the known
professions of the homeowners who park them there. Despite the
lack lettering, they are still out of place in a neighborhood of
the $500,000 to $1.5 million range and much more likely to hurt
values than Mr. Newman's vehicle. Just because a vehicle has
it does not make it a commercial vehicle, and vice-versa.
bureaucrats have declared their position publicly. Now they cannot
back down without a fight. They are wasting everyone's time and
money on a ridiculous issue. Your great donations to our youth
alone should make this a moot point. You have given so much to the
community and education that the City of Boca should be ashamed of
itself. My hat's off to you and please keep up the good work.
At a time when electric cars should be newest thing to have
because of the gas prices, you can see the hand of those who do
not want us to have electric cars reaches all the way to you.
I have been there. They would not pass me for emissions back
when that was an issue. I sold my Electric Minivan back
when gas was still less than $1.50 a gallon.
with your challenge to the city code boys.
Dear Mr. Massalone and the City of
There is no way that
any reasonable individual would think that the lettering on Mr.
Newman's vehicle (HighTechScience.org) is commercial. It ONLY
has the web address of an organization that has helped thousands
of kids. I have reviewed the site, and it does NOT sell any
items, services or products. If city code deems that this
is a commercial vehicle, then the code needs to be changed and
Boca should stop wasting tax payer's money on such utter
nonsense. Any code enforcement officer that thinks that his
vehicle is commercial should find a new carrier. Only an idiot
would believe that it's anything but a nonprofit organization
and they should STOP wasting everyone's time. In fact, I believe
that your starting to cross the line as far as constitutionality
is concerned. Everyone has the right to express their opinions
and speak freely, except (according to your silly code) in Boca.
Mr. Newman has donated
his time, money and energy to a great cause and the city should
be thanking him, not fining him. I'm even considering placing
similar lettering on all of my cars just to show support for him
and to let others know just how stupid & silly city hall can
be. This is NOT what I want my tax dollars to go to. Let the
issue go and move on to more important things.
The neighborhood stands behind
Mr. Newman and his endeavors 100%.
Very truly yours,
I read your article in the post a few weeks ago and
got furious. That just shows how stupid and power hungry those
code enforcement idiots are. I have been to special masters
meetings before and I can tell you that that dude is cut and dry.
About all he will ask you is how long you will need to be in
compliance with the code. The best advice I can give you is to
read the ordinance, law, or whatever thoroughly that he's nailing
you with. You may be able to find a hole in
it. For example; if any and all advertising on a vehicle makes it
a commercial vehicle then what about the car dealer emblems, or
bumper and window stickers
advertising radio stations, restaurants, rock bands, etc. And what
about political campaign stickers and signs on cars? Your best
chance is to show that your sticker is no different than any other
sticker that is currently on thousands of cars in the city.
If you want to know
some truth about politicians, they HATE electric cars and other
fuel efficient vehicles. If you remember years ago a Geo metro got
58 mpg and a Honda Civic got about 52 mpg. Now they get a lot less
like 35 or 38. The reason is, politicians were pushing for higher
fuel economy until they realized that if everybody had fuel
efficient cars, they would be collecting less and less in tax
money because the tax is based on each gallon of gas sold, not per
dollar spent like other sales tax is collected on all other items
we buy. So they probably told the EPA to cool it! Electric
vehicles present the worst of all problems to the politicians
because they would be collecting no tax at all from anybody that
drove one. I even heard of them wanting to install sensors in the
roads and in cars that would count how many miles you drove which
would tell how much tax you owed. As if they don't get enough
money from us already. Just imagine what kind of mileage Honda
Civics would be getting now if the politicians continued to push
for higher efficiency. Their greed stands in the way of progress
time and time again. My favorite saying is; "Yes God, you
were right. The love of money clearly was the root of all
Good Luck Richard,
| Dear Mr.
I read the
article on your Sparrow electric car and the problems it has
caused you because you park it in your driveway. First of, there
is NO WAY that it is a commercial vehicle. The city is
crazy. I would be proud to have you park it in my driveway. You
and your organization has done such terrific things that the city
should drop the issue and do more important things with the tax
I hope you continue your
fight with code enforcement and I support you 100%.
Best of luck.
The comment that you could be
"potentially" eroding their code is ridiculous.
cant make up a code that isn't there or apply one because it has
potential whatever in their infinite opinion. A court
would throw it all out. If you put "I love Lucy" on the
side, would that apply? What about "Indi 500 official
Barry P. - Science Teacher
I read the article in the Boca News about your
electric cars. It brought back a flood of memories of my own
experiences of building an electric hybrid about 22 years ago.
Best of luck to your battle to keep your web site on the side of
I see that you still
have your Sparrow parked by your establishment. Good for you.
Don't let the idiots in Boca tell you anything. It's a great
vehicle and NOT commercial in any way shape or form. More people
should own them and I hope that because of you, more people will.
It's great for the environment and cost way less then a
conventional car to operate.
Here are links to
newspaper stories written on the subject:
Beach Post Article Sun-Sentinel
would like to thank each and every person that has taken the
time to write us and/or city hall with regards to our
electric vehicle. We very much appreciate the support that
you have given.
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