Line One
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton
Land Line Now senior correspondent


Some RAZZBERRIES go to the California Air Resources Board – and specifically its director Mary Nichols. If you need to ask why, then you haven’t been paying attention.

Not only is the board implementing a rule that could put many small business truckers out of business, but they did so using a report from a guy who lied about having a Ph.D.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nichols and others on the board knew about the guy’s lack of credentials for more than a year and kept it quiet. Nichols issued a halfhearted apology at the CARB board meeting in December 2009.

Nichols said that, by not telling the rest of the board, she made a mistake in judgment that was “honestly intended.”

In what world is withholding information and lying about it for more than a year considered honest? For someone whose job it is to clean up the air, she seems to be blowing a lot of smoke.

Land Line reader Janet Patterson would like to send out some ROSES to a mystery truck driver who helped Janet’s daughter and her grandson following a wreck recently.

A deer ran out in front of their car and Janet’s daughter lost control, sending the car into a telephone pole. She was able to get out but couldn’t get her 3-year-old son out because the door was damaged.

Enter our mystery trucker, who stopped and was able to pry the door open and get the little boy out. Thankfully nobody was hurt. Janet says the boy has since been referring to the trucker as his “hero.”

That just about says it all.

OOIDA Member Bob Stanton of Batavia, IL, sends out some ROSES to Chris Hirn, a security guard at the NewPage paper mill in Michigan.

Bob was at the mill to pick up a load and told Hirn when he checked in that he planned to shut down in a spot out back for his mandatory break. Hirn said the mill had changed its policy and was no longer allowing trucks to park there.

Bob told Hirn the story of Jason Rivenburg, and Hirn told him that the mill had changed its policy because of safety concerns.If they had to evacuate the mill, they might not be able to get to the truckers in time.

He then told Bob about two places just outside the mill where he could park.

Bob wanted to thank Hirn for taking the time to politely explain the situation and show him where to park. You have to wonder whether a situation like Jason Rivenburg’s might have turned out differently if someone there had done the same thing.

OOIDA Member Dwight Root of Columbus, OH, suggested some ROSES for a letter that appeared in a Dear Abby column a while back.

A woman wrote in to say that her daughter was traveling across country after visiting family and had a CB in the car. She had been chatting with several truck drivers and suddenly found herself being harassed by a carload of young men who were “tailgating, passing her dangerously close, then pulling

sharply in front of her and slowing down.”

When the young men would not leave her alone, the woman told the truck drivers she had been chatting with. Out of nowhere, three trucks appeared, formed a protective barrier around her car and stayed with her, chatting on the CB all the while, until the men in the car went away.

It seems chivalry isn’t dead after all. It’s alive and well on 18 wheels.

A leftover holiday bouquet of ROSES goes out to OOIDA Member Bob Ruckman of Leivasy, WV, for using his truck to haul a special load from Maryland to West Virginia this past December.

Andrea Ciniero began organizing donations to the Starting Points Family Resource Center in Crum, WV, more than 11 years ago. For the past nine years, she relied on UPS to help haul the goods collected from her community, which would often fill a 50-foot-trailer.

On her most recent trip, UPS said it could no longer help. A local paper ran the story and it was spotted by OOIDA, who contacted Bob because he lives nearby. Bob not only hauled the load, but told Andrea he would do it next year as well.

Some would call it a holiday miracle, but we say it’s just another trucker doing what truckers do best. LL


Terry Scruton may be reached at