Line One
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

ROSES go out to John Daniel Bumpus, son of OOIDA Member Jay James Bumpus of Hillsdale, MI.

Land Line Magazine profiled the Bumpus family back in 2005, showcasing Jay, his sons John and Jay II, and their love of antique trucks.

Well, the boys' mother Nancy sent us an update recently and it seems John achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in April of this year, following in the footsteps of his older brother. For his project, he planned and built a 10-foot-by-20-foot building for the Knights of Columbus.

Nancy says John plans to attend the University of Northwestern Ohio, where he plans to earn a degree in diesel technology and agriculture.

Congratulations to John and the rest of the Bumpus family. Good to hear from you again.

RAZZBERRIES to the state of Georgia for pulling a bait and switch on the GA 400 toll road in Atlanta. When the project was originally conceived, Georgia leaders promised that the tolls would be removed once the road was paid off. Well, it was paid off back in June, but guess what? Drivers are going to keep paying a toll for the next 10 years.

Then-Gov. Sonny Purdue, almost in the same breath, declared an end to the old toll as promised, then quickly turned around and declared that a "new toll" would begin immediately. He explained the workaround by saying that it's not the same toll, but rather a new one.

Call it what you want, it sounds like the same old song and dance to us.

ROSES to Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine for a letter she sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation earlier this summer demanding that something be done about the flood of potentially crippling regulations that are being heaped on the trucking industry.

Warning DOT Secretary Ray LaHood of a "perfect storm for small businesses engaged in interstate commerce," Snowe cited such regulations as hours of service, CSA, and redundant background checks as potentially costly ones for the trucking industry.

Snowe urged LaHood to consider the economic impact of these regulations on small businesses and to use the most up-to-date data when reviewing them.

We've given out a lot of ROSES to politicians in Washington, DC, lately – and rightfully so. After years of what felt like beating our collective heads against a wall, it's gratifying to know that some of those in power are finally listening.

Let's move on to some RAZZBERRIES here, and these go out to Independence Tow and Recovery, a tow truck company based out of Independence, MO.

The Missouri attorney general has banned this company from working in Joplin after getting several complaints of price gouging and deceptive business practices.

According to the attorney general, this company towed several trucks from the Flying J truck stop in Joplin after the tornado hit there back in May. One company gave the tower the okay to upright one of its trucks, but was shocked when it got a bill for $12,400. The towing company claims the trucking company refused to pay and the extra expense was for moving the truck to another location.

As if that wasn't enough, another company made arrangements with a towing company from Springfield, MO, to move one of its trucks, but Independence Tow and Recovery grabbed the truck first, hauled it to Kansas City, and billed the company for more than $12,000.

The towing company denies any wrongdoing, but admits charging one company more than $12,400, which at the very least seems excessive and exploitative to us.

Let's give out some fiscally irresponsible RAZZBERRIES to the state of Oklahoma for a budget plan that strips money from roads to be used elsewhere in the state.

The plan, which was signed into law earlier this summer, would take $102 million in fuel tax money away from state highways and bridges and use it to pay for other state budgetary needs.

We understand the need for funding is great right now and states are trying to get money any way they can, but let's face it, letting your roads, bridges and highways go to seed isn't going to help the state's economy one bit.

If anything, it could create a ripple effect that would make things go from bad to worse. And that, Oklahoma, is not OK. LL