Last summer, the Portland Bureau of Transportation raised its hourly parking rates from $1.25 to $1.60 and began charging on Sundays.

After those changes went into effect, WW ran a cover story ("It's Not My Fault," Sept. 9, 2009) documenting the explanations that people sent to the court seeking fine reductions.

Then, on Nov. 30, the Transportation Bureau raised fines from $24 to $34 for small offenses like an overtime meter.

So with the City of Portland and Multnomah County scrounging for cash this year, WW is checking back in with the courts and reviewing the latest batch of parking pleas.

Parking meter revenues generated $10 million in the 2009-10 fiscal year. The city gets about 35 percent of that money, while the county and the state court system split the rest.

We're planning to print the more intriguing parking meter pleas regularly in Murmurs. But we had so many to choose from we're printing the first batch this week in this longer look at Portland parking infractions and excuses.

(None of these people has yet heard back from the courts.)