11/26/2014 0 Comments
Guilty vs. Not Guilty
Back in August when we camped in the Redwood Forest....there was an incident that dampened the trip.
The kids played with the bow and arrow set that Adrian bought for them and left it by the redwood trees when they were done playing. When we came back from a hike, there was a note on the picnic table to stop by the Ranger Station to pick up the bow and arrow set. The note also listed 3 violation codes.
We expected a lecture on how a bow and arrow set is considered a "weapon" and that we should not leave it unattended.........oh hell no, the Ranger wrote Adrian a ticket (not a warning). A couple of days later, we received the citation in the mail....with a hefty fine of $489 for vandalism!!!!!! The bow and arrow set was only $20 and they played with it for a mere 30 minutes!!!
After consulting a neighbor who's an environmental lawyer and sister Thu who works at a big law firm in Houston....it was concluded that we didn't stand much of a chance, just pay the fine and consider it a big fat donation to the Redwood National Park. I was advised that I could write a letter to explain the situation, in hopes the court would reduce the fine.
I did just that....in the letter I wrote that we chose to visit the Redwoods to teach our kids the importance of preserving and respecting nature...the last thing we would do is to harm the very trees we drove almost 1000 miles to see....yada yada yada (more nature loving stuff)...and included a picture of the harmless weapon.
Then last week, we got a letter in the mail that the fine was reduced to $75! There was an additional $75 for court fees......but it worked! Writing the letter really worked!!!
Here's evidence of unintended vandalism:
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Frankie (bird heaven)