"The Relay" Online Newsletter
March 2019 Issue
This is the monthly online newsletter for the car club council. All car hobbyist events are listed on this site under "Calendar." Just click on the link above to view the list of car shows and other activities.
Socialism and Electric Cars – what do they have in common? At the turn of the century and I mean the early 1900s, both socialism and electric cars were in vogue. Socialism over 100 years ago was called the cure for the ills of America which included child labor and poverty. Today socialism is being pushed as the cure all for what ails the country.
In the early 1900s we had electric cars. The gasoline cars beat them out for a number of reasons. But just like socialism we are bringing them back. I hear from a lot of people how electric cars are going to be the future. Even the General Assembly has passed a bill to allow state agencies to operate charging stations. And of course Tesla is building charging stations. Can you imagine a cross-country trip in an electric car? How long would it take if you have to stop for even one hour every 200 miles to charge the vehicle instead of a couple of minutes to fill up?
And why do people call electric cars zero emissions vehicles when they should be called “coal cars” because they really run on coal which means these vehicles do pollute and some have written that they actually produce more pollution than gas vehicles.
Both socialism and electric cars require a bunch of money or they fail. Today the federal government either gives money or loans it to the makers of electric cars. And both the federal and state governments give tax incentives to people who buy electric cars. Electric cars would fail – just like they did in the 1900s – if it were not for government money. Check out the used prices for electric cars and the fact that some are going out of production due to low sales.
Socialism also fails without a lot of money and money that keeps coming in. This is why those who want socialism are looking at not only “taxing the rich” but unique ways to get money such as taking it out of peoples’ bank and savings accounts - something that has never been done before in this country.
We have failed to learn our own history and that is why the mistakes of the past are repeated. Socialism and electric cars failed in the 20th century and we have resurrected them to fail again in the 21st century. But we hear people say that this time we will get it right. I think we will see failure for both again.
One last thing about America a hundred years ago – the country had an immigration problem just like we have one today. We haven’t learned anything. If we had we’d elect much better leaders – leaders that would not let the country repeat the mistakes of the past.
March 1957 and March 2019 calendars match
Our next meeting will be Monday, April 29th at 6:30 PM at a location to be posted in the April newsletter.
The Future of Emissions Testing
Emissions testing of passenger vehicles will end on December 31, 2019 in Washington state. It ends on April 1st in Ontario. Emissions testing was no longer required in 26 North Carolina counties starting December 1, 2018. British Colombia's "AirCare" passenger vehicle testing ended in 2014. Alaska ended emissions testing in 2012.
There are multiple uplifting stories here. Air quality has improved! Fewer vehicles fail emissions testing! Government programs that have outlived their usefulness are eliminated! Car manufacturers design and build great vehicles! Use the money you no longer have to spend on testing fees to buy your own OBD II scan tool and check for emissions and other trouble codes whenever you want, from the comfort of your own garage!
Since 1996, cars have been required to have OBD II computers with standardized access ports. That probably marked the beginning of the end for government mandated emissions testing. The number of jurisdictions that still require emissions tests will probably continue to drop over the coming years.
Many emissions testing stations gradually stopped using dynamometers and exhaust probes and simply began plugging scan tools into OBD II ports. Why buy and maintain a bunch of expensive tools to test declining numbers of pre-1996 cars? The potential impact of a relatively small number of old cars on air pollution was statistically insignificant. Many states gradually stopped testing pre-OBD II cars.
If there were OBD II trouble codes, the check engine light on the dash should have already informed the driver long before he/she rolled into an emissions testing station. Most drivers learned ignoring a check engine light for too long can increase repair costs or the risk of being stranded. Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and Minnesota actually ended their emissions testing programs in the late '90s, a few years after OBD II was required on new cars.
Some emission control systems of the '70s look a lot like parts clumsily tacked onto engines designed in the '60s. Those days are long gone. Over the years, it has become increasingly hard for parts manufacturers and RockAuto to classify Emissions parts separately from Fuel & Air parts, Ignition parts, Engine parts, Electrical parts or even performance parts. "Emissions" parts like Knock Sensors and Mass Air Flow Sensors help control emissions, but they also help optimize engine performance, fuel economy and durability. The Variable Valve Timing Sprocket (cam phaser) is definitely an engine part because the valve train will not work without it, but isn't it also an emissions part because it helps eliminate the need for an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve? Catalytic Converters are one of the few remaining distinct emissions parts, but they are also part of the exhaust system. ("Exhaust & Emission" is where to find them at RockAuto.com.)
Emission systems on vehicles built this century frequently are blended with other critical systems that have to work properly or the engine will not run at all. There is less need for emissions testing if a broken "emissions system" means the engine cannot even propel the car to a testing station. It is great news that better engine performance, fuel economy and emissions have frequently become complementary rather than competing vehicle design goals.
The owner of this truck contacted me and says he is going to the Chevy C-10 Nationals in Texas the first week of May.
If you are planning on going and would like to convoy with him email me and I will get his contact info to you.
Car Hobbyist News
Chesterfield County has updated the county code to prevent the assessment and taxation of vehicles registered as antiques. When we met with county officials I suggested to the Commissioner of Revenue that she leave off the vehicle personal property any antique vehicles. That hasn’t happened. In the past I got one paper with all vehicles on it. This year I got two separate letters – one with daily drivers and another with antiques. This doubles the paperwork, postage and the taxes required to send this out twice. I have emailed the Commissioner of the Revenue about this and as I write this I am waiting for a response. I will let you know when I hear from her.
There is a bill in Congress to make labeling for E-15 gasoline better. The EPA spent months working on labeling before E-15 gasoline was introduced. I know of two gas stations that have E-15 in my area. Both have the required EPA labels on the pump but not near the hose. The only way you can tell if the gasoline is E-10 regular or E-15 regular is by price. E-15 will be a little lower in cost. I’m hopeful that labeling will be improved because using E-15 in air cooled engines, boats, lawn equipment, motorcycles and older vehicles can cause engine damage.
General Assembly session - HB 2754, the bill that would have made Virginia the only state to require headlights on 24/7 has thankfully died. I have no clue why someone would come up with such a measure. The GA has created an Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund and it looks like the assembly has just about finished working it out. When they do it will be sent to the governor for his signature. The fund will study and address what needs to be done to make I-81 safer and better for travel. The bill to set a maximum initial towing and hookup fee has passed both houses. The fee is limited to no more than $150. A bill to increase inspection fees from a max of $16 to $20 has passed both houses. Again a bill to put seat belts on school buses has failed. Bills in both houses to remove the requirement that a salvage vehicle must be late model have died. The bill that would have banned 0perating a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any handheld personal communications device was killed at the last minute.
The bill that would have made it unlawful to throw grass on a road was killed along with a bill that would have required drivers stopped by police to turn on an interior light. Bills that would have made it unlawful to smoke in a vehicle with someone between 9 and 18 years of age and require rear seat passengers to wear seat belts were both killed. Bills to allow motorcycles to drive on the shoulder of a road when traffic is stopped and changing reckless from exceeding 80 to 85 were both killed.
These license plate bills have passed and have been signed by the governor: ROTECT SEA LIFE, supporters of Virginia State Parks, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, International Association of Fire Fighters and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. The MOVE OVER special license plate has passed and awaits the governor’s signature.
Yes, it is very good that most bills do not pass. It is also good that car hobbyists didn’t have any bills that would have affected the hobby in this year’s assembly. This November we will vote for all the members of the assembly. The republicans hold razor thin margins in both houses. A lawsuit that was filed a few years ago by citizens who thought the republicans fixed districts to insure GOP victories was decided by a judge. There are 11 districts that will be redrawn in time for the election and will certainly give democrats in those districts an advantage. Plus we don’t know what the troubles of the governor, lt. governor and attorney general will mean at election time. The election in November will be interesting. If the democrats do take control of the House and Senate then they would be in charge when the state is re-districted after the 2020 census.
Legislative Front Lines - From SEMA
New Mexico Introduces Bill to Require Front and Rear Plates on All Vehicles
UPDATE: Delaware Bill to Ease Street Rod Registration Passes House; Moves to Senate
West Virginia Introduces Bill to Allow Military Vehicle Titling
Maine Bills to Allow the Sale of Ethanol-free Gasoline Statewide Introduced
Connecticut Bill to Allow All-Terrain Vehicles on State Lands Introduced
Minnesota Bills to Aid the Registration of Decommissioned Military Vehicles Introduced
Legislation Creating West Virginia Motorsports Committee Introduced
Maryland Introduces Bill to Exempt Low Mileage Vehicles from Inspection Requirements
Hawaii Introduces Bill to Allow Military Vehicle Titling
New York Bills to Create an All-Terrain Vehicle Fund Introduced
West Virginia Introduces Bill to Create Collector License Plate
Connecticut Introduces Bill to Ease Towing Restrictions
Iowa Introduces Bill to Allow for Window Tinting
Washington Introduces Bill to Allow Military Vehicle Titling
West Virginia Bill to Create Additional Opportunities for Off-Road Recreation Introduced
Ron Tatum's truck at the 57th Annual Asphalt Angels Rod and Custom Show.
Photos from this show are at this link Album - opens to a new window
Lawsuit Alleging Jerry Seinfeld Sold a Fake Porsche for $1.5M is Light on Facts, Says Expert
Jerry Seinfeld is one of the world’s highest-profile car collectors, widely known for his vast fleet of vintage and modern Porsches. Naturally, it made big headlines in 2016 when he consigned a good chunk of his collection to a Gooding & Company auction at Amelia Island. Now, the buyer of Seinfeld’s 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster from that sale—Fica Frio Limited—has filed a lawsuit claiming Seinfeld negligently misrepresented the car’s authenticity. In addition to a full refund of the $1.54M sale price, the plaintiff is requesting further, as yet unspecified, damages.
Gooding & Company’s listing from the auction catalogue presented the 356 Speedster in question as one of 56 GS/ST models built with an aluminum body, and the only example with Auratium Green paint. Powering the car is an “extremely rare” Type 692/0 four-cam engine. Respected shop European Collectibles of Orange County, California, performed the restoration, and the Speedster received a Porsche certificate of authenticity verifying its status. (The Porsche certificate is a quick-and-dirty process based on matching numbers, rather than a fine-tooth-comb in-person analysis by experts like you’d get with a Ferrari Red Book certification.)
After the sale, Fica Frio took the car to a Porsche dealer in the UK called Maxted-Page Limited to have it inspected and evaluated for future sale. Maxted-Page declined to list the vehicle, citing the car’s “limited” vehicle history file and “lack of photographic evidence of restoration work,” According to the lawsuit, further investigation by the dealership “revealed that the vehicle is not authentic.”
The plaintiff further claims that when Fica Frio informed Seinfeld that the car was not the real deal, Seinfeld agreed to refund the money and all incurred costs in exchange for the car. Evidently that did not happen, and so here we are litigating.
Orin Snyder, Seinfeld’s lawyer, told TMZ that "Jerry has been working in good faith to get to the bottom of this matter. He has asked Fica Frio for evidence to substantiate the allegations. Fica Frio ignored Jerry and instead filed this frivolous lawsuit."
So that’s where things stand now. But the elephant in this room is that the lawsuit does not specify what evidence indicates the car’s inauthenticity. Which is to say: What did Maxted-Page find to so definitively prove the Speedster isn’t legitimate?
Furthermore, the claim of “negligent misrepresentation” at least suggests that Seinfeld didn’t do his due diligence to verify the car’s authenticity. Hagerty auction expert Colin Comer is extremely skeptical of that fact.
“Knowing how Jerry buys cars, and the team of experts and inspectors he employs to make sure a purchase is legit, it’s hard to imagine he intentionally misrepresented a car. He wants the best, and he can afford the best, so there is no reason for him to get a car that’s at all questionable,” Comer says.
The odds of a fake car also slipping through checks and balances at a respected 356 shop like European Collectibles, as well as Gooding & Company’s own processes and pre-purchase inspections performed by other prospective buyers, aren’t high, Comer says. Bradley Brownell weighed in on the subject over at Jalopnik, citing the extraordinary reputation of European Collectibles should be considered when evaluating the claims.
That the incident has even reached the point of legal action, Comer says, is unusual. “Typically an auction house will help smooth over with all parties any legitimate complaints over a misrepresented car,” he says. “But even though they’re responsible for the sale, they’re under no obligation to return any funds—especially if the claim is unfounded. If you ever read the terms and conditions for buying at an auction like this, if the car you buy turns into a pumpkin two days later, congratulations on your new pumpkin.”
Given Seinfeld’s extremely high profile in general, along with his expertise within the Porsche community, it seems unlikely he didn’t do his homework on this car. At the very least, one suspects that he would just keep the car were he to discover doubts about the provenance. Were the claim of inauthenticity to be proved, it would obviously be in his best interest to do the right thing, rather than have to deal with a lawsuit and a lot of bad press. Until we see the actual evidence for why Fica Frio is convinced the Speedster GS/ST is not the real deal, it’s hard to say how this will turn out.
Bill In Congress to Prevent E15 Misfueling
Legislation (H.R. 1024) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to help prevent ethanol misfueling. It would require a larger and more detailed warning label on gas pumps dispensing E15 (gasoline that’s 15% ethanol) than is currently required.
The “Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2019” is a bi-partisan bill to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise the current warning labeling within 180 days of the bill being enacted into law, making clear that it is illegal to fuel vehicles manufactured prior to 2001 with E15.
The bill states that labels must provide an adequate warning to consumers about the damage E15 can cause, including images and text on a label that’s 5 x 7 inches or larger, and highlighting that E15 is incompatible with certain engines and equipment.
Ethanol, especially in higher concentrations such as E15, can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers in automobiles that were not constructed with ethanol-resistant materials.
For info on how you can influence this legislation go to SEMA E15 Bill.
5 Things You Should Do Before You Start Your Next Project
Few things capture an auto enthusiast’s imagination quite like a project. Repairing, modifying, or restoring a car can be mentally, emotionally, and financially rewarding. But it also can be an inescapable trap. It’s easy to lose momentum or, worse, interest, or watch mission creep bog you down. You can avoid a stalled or snowballing project with these five simple tips all but guaranteed to make your next project go smoothly.
Clean and tidy everything before you start. Projects take less time and create fewer headaches when you aren’t rearranging the junk on your workbench to make space for parts or digging through a cluttered toolbox looking for a wrench.
Determine the scope of your project, learn exactly what it entails, and outline a plan to tackle it. This means preparing your mind just like you prepared your workshop. Search the forums, read shop manuals, talk to experts, watch tutorials—anything and everything you can think of. The more you know going in, the more likely you are to finish the project on time and within budget.
Beyond helping you know what you’re getting into, all that research will tell you what you need to do the job. Buy or borrow any tools you need now. Putting everything on hold to track down something essential robs you of momentum.
Budget and buy
Know before you start exactly what you want to accomplish, budget accordingly, and buy everything you need ahead of time. Sure, you might find something else needs attention once you’ve gotten started, but minimizing the time and money lost to shipping something or running to the parts store minimizes the risk of distractions, mission creep, and failure.
Thoroughly researching what’s needed to complete your project will allow you to budget your time. Whatever time you think you’ll need, add at least 25 to 50 percent more, and then schedule it. You figure replacing that radiator will take two hours? Budget three, and actually account for that stretch on your calendar. And whatever you do, make sure you aren’t starting a project you won’t have time enough to complete.
Repair Mistakes & Blunders
From Rock Auto
This happened quite a long time ago with my 68 Cougar XR7. I had driven home from California to Missouri on Christmas leave from the Marine Corps. One morning, I went to start my car. It cranked over a couple of times, backfired once, but refused to start.
I pushed it closer to the garage and grabbed my dwell meter, timing light and a few tools. I checked the points and condenser first. Everything under the distributor cap looked fine so I buttoned it back up. I hooked up the timing light and dwell meter and proceeded to loosen the distributor bolt so I could check and adjust the timing. I gave the distributor a small twist and it did not want to move, so I loosened the bolt some more. When I hit the remote starter button I had clipped to the starter solenoid, the engine cranked over a couple of turns, backfired again, and blew the distributor out of the engine block. If it was not for the spark plug wires it would have hit me in the face.
The problem turned out to be the timing chain. It had worn through the nylon outer portion and into the aluminum camshaft gear which let it jump a couple of teeth. That lesson taught me that you do not need to loosen the distributor bolt all that much.
I am just glad the timing chain did not fail until I got home and did not leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere during my cross-country drive.
Joseph in Missouri
Haynes Manual Creator John Haynes Dies at 80
Entrepreneur John Haynes, who founded the Haynes Publishing Group and created the iconic Haynes Manual guidebooks for repairing vehicles of every description, died February 8 due to illness. He was 80.
A lifelong auto aficionado, Haynes used his love of cars and publishing to create a vast library of repair manuals that countless mechanics have relied upon to keep their cars running. The manuals are so ubiquitous that their frequent instruction “installation is reverse of removal” is a common joke. You’d be hard pressed to find a mechanic who hasn’t had at least one dog-eared, grease-stained Haynes manual in the garage.
“John was a kind, generous, loving, and devoted husband, brother, father, and grandfather who will be missed enormously… also by the many people that use his manuals and benefit from his reassuring guiding hand as they repair and maintain their cars and motorbikes,” the company wrote on its website.
Haynes, born March 25, 1938 in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), developed a passion for cars early on. As a child he loved to join his father, who managed a tea plantation, for rides in the family’s Morris 8 saloon. The family moved to the UK when John was 12, and while attending boarding school with his brother, David, John convinced his house master to allow him to skip rugby so he could spend his time converting an Austin 7 into a lighter, sportier Austin 7 Special. Haynes eventually sold the car at a sizeable profit and used the money to produce a booklet showing other enthusiasts how to make the same Austin conversion. He printed 250 copies of Building A ‘750’ Special and sold them all within 10 days.
After graduating from boarding school, Haynes joined the Royal Air Force and worked in logistics, an experience that taught him valuable business management skills and enabled him to pursue his passions for motor racing and publishing. He developed and raced several cars, including the Elva Courier displayed in the Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, Somerset.
In 1965, Haynes helped an air force colleague rebuild an Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite and quickly realized that the factory manual was not at all intended to help the average car owner. So he bought a camera and documented the process of dismantling and rebuilding the engine, creating the first Haynes manual to provide step-by-step descriptions, photo sequences and diagrams to simplify the process. Haynes published his first manual in 1966; the initial run of 3000 sold out in less than three months. The company has since sold more than 200 million manuals covering everything from that little Sprite to the Red Bull RB 7 and even the Millenium Falcon.
Haynes’ publishing success financed a vast collection of cars, which allowed him to open the Haynes International Motor Museum in 1985. “The appreciation people felt for (John’s) contribution was most visible on an almost daily basis at the Museum’s Café 750,” the Haynes’ website says. “While enjoying lunch John was regularly approached by visitors, who would invariably be greeted with his infectious warmth and engaging, enthusiastic boyish smile. He was always happy to oblige fellow enthusiasts with photographs, engage in conversation, and share his passion for cars.”
Haynes is survived by his wife, Annette; his brother, David, and sister, Mary; his two sons, J. and Chris, and their wives; and five grandchildren.
Super sharp flathead engine
Scammers Get People to Buy Cars That Don't Exist
Scammers from Romania with help from people in the US sold cars that didn't exist to people, collected the money, converted it to Bitcoin and moved the money to Romania. The head of the operation is still at large as the US Department of Justice has gone after the scammers. They also sold cars that didn't exist on Craigslist and other online sales websites. Below is a story from the Next Web. But how to you protect yourself?
Go look at the vehicle - do not buy a car or truck unseen - If you buy something unseen be prepared to lose all that money. Always inspect a vehicle in person or pay a third party to inspect the car - a third party you pick, not the seller.
Before sending any money see the title and paperwork - Have the seller send you a photo of the front and back of the title and any paperwork. If the seller's name is not on the title find out why. Also have the seller send you a photo of the VIN on the vehicle and make sure it matches the title VIN.
Don't fall for a fake story - One of the top fake stories is a person in the military that needs to sell a car because they are going overseas. Cars that are located in strange places but the seller offers free shipping is another red flag along with a car whose price is too low to be true.
Check the Ebay buyer protection plan for vehicles - You can see the plan at this link pages.ebay.com/motors/buy/purchase-protection. Look over the plan carefully if you plan to buy a car off Ebay.
Here is the article from 12 Bitcoin scammers extradited to US for selling fake cars on eBay
An international cryptocurrency fraud cartel has been busted by a joint investigation between US and foreign authorities.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week that it has charged 20 people, including 16 foreigners for being part of an international organized crime syndicate that saw American citizens defrauded for millions of dollars.
“The defendants allegedly orchestrated a highly organized and sophisticated scheme to steal money from unsuspecting victims in America and then launder their funds using cryptocurrency,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski in the DOJ‘s statement.
According to the statement, the criminal conspiracy had defrauded Americans by listing products – usually cars – on online auction websites like eBay and Craigslist, only the item being sold didn’t exist.
To make this scam seem more believable, the fraudsters had help from people based in the US. After the victims were convinced to pay, money was sent to the US-based associates who then converted the money to cryptocurrency before sending it on to their predominantly Romanian-based counterparts.
The scammers often pretended to be US military personel who needed to sell the item quickly, as they were about to be deployed, to hoodwink their unfortunate victims.
“This prosecution stems from a multi-year investigation initiated in Kentucky led by the US Secret Service, in cooperation with several local, state, federal, and international law enforcement partners,” said U.S. Attorney Duncan in the DOJ‘s statement.
Of the non-US people charged, 12 have been extradited to the US and are currently awaiting trials which are scheduled to take place later this year.
Of course, cryptocurrency hasn’t necessarily enabled money laundering, but it has certainly created a fast and easy to use option for scammers. One that lets scammers send ‘dirty’ money all over the world, much quicker than traditional laundering methods would ever allow.
As Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles said, “[t]oday’s announcement demonstrates the success of the collaborative efforts of our worldwide network of law enforcement partners.”
“This is a shared win for law enforcement across the globe. I would like to thank the more than a dozen law enforcement agencies worldwide who helped us investigate this case, each played a vital role in its success,” they added.
Perhaps this is a sign of things to come. In a world of decentralized technologies it’s going to become increasingly easy for criminals to run international scams. If the authorities are going to catch these criminals, they’ll surely have to continue to work together.
One of the interesting displays
Ford began installing capless fuel tanks about ten years ago. All you do is shove the gas station's fuel pump nozzle through a spring-loaded door in the fuel tank filler neck. What vehicle manufacturers are installing capless fuel tanks now: Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Lincoln, RAM and perhaps others.
The San Diego City Council said the city will stop punishing people for living in their vehicles. It's a move toward more constructive policies on homelessness, advocates said. A recent survey found that almost half the people in California say they cannot afford to live there. House prices in California are higher than any other state.
Authorities are investigating how and why a man and woman managed to steal a Sacramento Metro Fire truck, leading cops on a two-hour chase through four counties.
A 7-Eleven in California is using classical music to dissuade all non-customers from hanging out outside of its storefront — and it’s working. The location in downtown Modesta has been blasting operatic melodies from outdoor speakers 24-hours a day, seven days a week since this past summer — ensuring that the sound is loud and clear for those considering the convenience store as their new place to panhandle, sleep or loiter, the Modesto Bee reported.
A motorist in New Canaan, Connecticut, called police on January 23 after spotting a woman stopped at an intersection in the driver's seat of her car with her eyes closed. When officers arrived, they found Stefanie Warner-Grise, 50, "unable to answer basic questions," according to the arrest report. They "detected an odor of vanilla coming from her breath (and) her speech was slurred. ... In addition, several bottles of pure vanilla extract were located inside the vehicle." The Hour reported Warner-Grise failed field sobriety tests and she was charged with driving under the influence of vanilla extract. The Food and Drug Administration requires that pure vanilla extract must be at least 35 percent alcohol, which makes it 70 proof.
Police in Austin, Texas, caught up with 19-year-old suspect Luca P. Mangiarano on January 24, a month after a bank robbery in large part because of his choice in getaway vehicles. According to police, Mangiarano stepped into the BBVA Compass bank on Dec. 18 and handed a note to a teller, reading: "This is a robbery, please give me all your 100's and 50's in a envelope and everything will be ok." The employee did as directed and the robber left the building, then hopped on a Jump electric scooter and took off down the sidewalk. He perhaps failed to consider that the scooters are linked to GPS tracking systems and online accounts with phone numbers, email addresses and credit card information, which, after police obtained them from Jump, led them to Mangiarano. Austin Detective Jason Chiappardi told The Washington Post: "We had never had a scooter involved in a robbery."
On January 29, the Chenoa (Illinois) Police Department put a call out for volunteers to help with a training session taking place that evening. "Officers are undergoing their annual Taser training tonight ... and are looking for members of the public who are willing to volunteer for the experience," announced WEEK-TV. Volunteers were required to sign an "exposure waiver" in order to participate, but it was unclear whether the Tasers would be live.
Employees of John J. Murphy Elementary School in Round Lake Park, Illinois, were surprised on January 9 when a car drove into the drop-off lane and an 11-year-old student exited the driver's seat. Witnesses alerted police, who issued an arrest warrant for the front-seat passenger, 31-year-old Khafilu M. Oshodi of Round Lake, for two counts of child endangerment; a 9-year-old was riding in the back seat. Police Chief George Filenko told the Lake County News-Sun the situation could have "resulted in any number of tragic scenarios." The children have been placed with other relatives, and police are still looking for Oshodi.
The rare super blood wolf moon of January 20 was so captivating to some skywatchers on Florida's Ponte Vedra Beach, that they didn't notice when the tide rolled in and waterlogged their Honda CRV. The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office told News4Jax the occupants were able to get out of the car and move to safety, although the vehicle itself wasn't recovered until the next day. A photo showed water up to the windshield on the front end.
Meanwhile, in West Palm Beach, Florida, two unnamed 24-year-olds chose to view the January 20 eclipse by lying prone in the middle of a dark road near the Apoxee Wilderness Trail. Which would have worked out fine, except around 11:30 p.m. a West Palm Beach police officer patrolling the area ran over the pair. Fortunately, reported the South Florida Sun Sentinel, he was cruising at just 5 mph, and the human speed bumps sustained only non-life-threatening injuries. The officer was put on paid administrative leave while the incident was investigated.
Crime Plummets After QuikTrip Stores Add Good Guys with Guns
QuikTrip convenience stores added good guys with guns in Wichita, Kansas, and the results were so good that they are expanding the program to stores in other areas.
The NRA noted, “After implementing the new strategy at its Wichita, Kansas locations and seeing success, QuikTrip, the massive gas station and convenience store chain said it would expand the policy to other stores.”
KWCH reports that the good guys with guns will be armed security, but QuikTrip also left the door open to armed clerks in situations where the clerks “have previous experience and necessary licenses.”
QuikTrip stores in Tulsa will soon get good guys with guns, as those stores are the targets of repeated crime.
KTUL spoke with QuikTrip’s Mike Thornbrugh about adding good with guns in the Tulsa area. He said, “The police and sheriff’s department has bent over backwards to help us, and we really appreciate it. But there’s simply not enough of them to make a dent. That’s where the armed employees come in.”
Thornbrugh stressed that QuikTrip will probably vet those who will carry guns: “They’re going to have all the proper certifications, credentials; we’re going to go through all the background checks. We’re probably going to do way above probably what’s required, because we want to do it the right way.”
Firearms instructor Mike Yoder noted that the success of QuikTrip’s initial trial with armed employees is easy to understand: “If I’m going to be a bad guy and go in to rob a place, I’m going to pick a place that is going to give me the least problems or threat to me as possible. And if there’s an armed guard there, I’m going to pick another place to go.
Support the RPM Act
Sign at this link: www.votervoice.net/SEMA/campaigns/45394/respond
2019 marks a new session of Congress. Bills that did not become law at the end of 2018 must be reintroduced for consideration.
UPDATE TO THE RPM ACT - click link below
South Carolina Vehicle Inspection
I had moved to South Carolina from New York, and at that time a vehicle inspection was required to register my car. I was nervous; my car was in rough shape. I thought of New York's rigorous inspections. Any number of problems might turn up that would be expensive to fix. I drove down a country road and found a garage that had an inspection sign.
When I told the mechanic what I needed, he circled the car, turned on the lights and honked the horn. Then he attached a new sticker and asked me for the three-dollar fee.
I was shocked. "Is that all you have to do?" I asked.
He answered, "Well, you drove it here, didn't you?"
Big Daddy's Big Caddy
Custom 61 Impala
Protect Your Right to Buy Ethanol Free Fuel
Below is a link to Fuel Testers - a website that is opposed to more ethanol in gasoline and would like to preserve our ability to purchase gasoline free of ethanol.
DMV Titling Information
As promised I have a document about titling antique vehicles posted below for download. This contains information from the DMV speakers at the August 2015 meeting and some other information that I hope you will find useful. If in doubt about anything email or call the DMV administrators in the document; I have their contact information listed. And for the millionth time be sure to check to see if the VIN matches the VIN on the vehicle before buying it. This can save you a lot of trouble - just ask anyone who has purchased a vehicle without a matching VIN. There is also valuable info on purchasing an older vehicle from a non-title state. If you are thinking about buying a vehicle from a non-title state be sure to read it. Link to the document: Antique Vehicle Titling and Registration. I also have a bill of sale for use in buying or selling an antique vehicle: Bill of Sale; and a bill of sale for use if the signatures need to be notarized: Bill of Sale.
You may also find these links useful. The following link goes to the National Insurance Crime Bureau where you can put in a VIN that will be checked for fraud and theft at no cost. The link is www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck. You should do some research on the vehicle you are thinking about buying, check the VIN to make sure it matches the vehicle and of course make sure the VIN on the vehicle and title match.
The next link goes to Stolen Car Reports, another free service. At this site you can register a stolen vehicle. You can also search a zip code, city or area for the vehicles that were stolen from that area. The link is www.stolencarreports.com/report/Search.
Antique Plate Info Flyer Online
The council delegates have approved the flyer with information on antique plates and a link to it is online here: flyer opens to a new window. Council members and antique owners may print the flyer for their own reference or distribute it to those who own or are considering registering a vehicle as an antique. It will remain on the site for an undetermined time. Council delegates will review the effectiveness of the flyer at a later date.
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