Try the place next door

Hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that cater to the general public are in a tough spot. Should they admit families with obstreperous children who may annoy other patrons ... or turn them away and risk a confrontation that leaves no one happy? Enter Roland Ballner of the Hotel Cortisen on Lake Wolfgang, a popular Austrian vacation spot. As of next May, no one under 12 will be welcome at his four-star inn. Why? Because the outcasts tend to run screaming around the building and deface walls and the furniture with felt-tip pens. Ballner insists he's not antichild and that he agonized almost three years before announcing the new policy. But the Austrian Hotel Association has called the decision "excessive" and one political leader is openly hoping vacationers will boycott the Cortisen. Ballner thinks he'll make money anyway and says his guests may still bring their ... dogs.

Oklahoma City's place in the history of innovation

This year is the 70th anniversary of the parking meter, a milestone that drivers with overdue tickets probably won't celebrate. Still, the device serves a useful purpose - just as Carl Magee, who is generally credited with inventing it, imagined it would. A member of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, he thought the coin-controlled meter would free up spaces for shoppers and visitors to downtown. It's one of many "firsts" that can be traced to localities around the US. Selected innovations, their cities of origin, and the dates for each:
Daily newspaper Philadelphia 1784
Railroad station Baltimore 1830
Skyscraper Chicago 1885
Subway Boston 1897
Movie theater Los Angeles 1902
Service station Pittsburgh 1913
Parking meter Oklahoma City 1935
Revolving restaurant Seattle 1961

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