Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

ROSES to Con-way Truckload for their support of Christina’s Smile, a program that travels across the country providing free dental care to underprivileged children. Con-way driver Stephanie Klang drove the truck around the country earlier this year and is herself a 3-million mile safe driver.

Christina’s Smile was started in 1990 by Dr. Richard Garza, a dentist from Austin, Texas, and has been helping children ever since. This isn’t the first time we’ve given ROSES to Con-way for their charitable ways and likely won’t be the last.

ROSES to the unknown truck driver who saved a woman from a bad situation back in January. It happened at a Pilot truck stop on Interstate 64 near Richmond, Va. The driver – whose name was not made public – saw a young woman looking out the window of an RV. She was then quickly and violently pulled away by someone inside the vehicle.

The trucker called police who arrived on the scene and found the woman inside the RV, where she appeared frightened and showed signs of malnutrition. According to local news reports, she told the officers she was being held against her will and had been sexually and physically abused. Police took Aldair Hodza and Laura Sorensen into custody and charged them with abduction with intent to defile. At press time, both were awaiting trial.

We don’t know the driver’s name, but we’re certainly glad he was at the truck stop that day.

RAZZBERRIES to the California Air Resources Board, whose overreaching regulations that have already hurt the trucking industry are now starting to hurt other groups – including churches.

New Hope Community Church in Sacramento may have to close down its Gift of Groceries food ministry. Why? Because CARB’s infamous Truck and Bus Rule has made the diesel box truck used by the ministry nearly illegal to drive in the state. To be fair, a CARB spokesperson told Land Line Magazine that they are trying to help through various exemptions and other options, but the fact that the church finds themselves in this position in the first place is flat out ridiculous. And they aren’t even the only church CARB has heard from.

What’s next, CARB? Better make sure that busload of orphans and puppies is running compliant.

ROSES to the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association for a column they published on their website detailing a so-called “lone wolf” enforcement officer they received a complaint about from one of their trucking members.

The officer was not a member of the ITEA and pulled over a trailer that didn’t have the correct license plate displayed. After the driver showed the officer the plate, the officer refused to let him mount it. What’s more, the officer said that particular plate wasn’t allowed in the state of Illinois which – according to the article – was not true. He fined the driver $700 and impounded the trailer for being overweight. The ITEA admits the officer had a legal reason to stop the truck, but goes on to condemn him for his actions that followed. The association even contacted the officer and his superior who “immediately became defensive” about the situation and even lied about what had actually happened.

Ultimately the officer was not punished, but the ITEA said the action was unfortunate because the image of law enforcement in the state is now “tarnished” and the officers seen as “revenue bullies.” It’s good to see there is at least one law enforcement group out there that gets it.

RAZZBERRIES to Washington state Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, who wants to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars on road signs – to let people know where they can get free coffee. Apparently volunteers hand out free coffee at certain rest areas to benefit various causes. There used to be signs, but they took them down a few years ago. Concerned that the nonprofits were losing out on those donations, Pearson filed legislation that would place 35 signs (plus two electronic ones) around the state letting people know about the coffee.

No doubt these people are working for good causes and no doubt we all appreciate free coffee. But at a time when state transportation budgets are stretched beyond their limits and the threat of losing federal money is already causing states to pull back on construction projects – maybe free coffee shouldn’t be a top priority. Whoever had the silly idea to take them down in the first place? It’s clear that person was – wait for it – full of beans. LL

 

Got an idea for a ROSE or a RAZZBERRY? Email it to terry_scruton@landlinemag.com. You can also check out the official Facebook page at facebook.com/rosesandrazzberries.