Roses & Razzberries – October 2020
RAZZBERRIES to the Reason Foundation for the not-so-reasonable suggestion that states can lease toll roads to fund their infrastructure and pay off their debts. The Foundation made the claim in a study released earlier this year and, well, we just have four words for the researchers who came up with that study: The Indiana Toll Road.
For those with a short memory, back in 2006, then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a 75-year lease of the toll road that did give the state a lot of money – which it quickly went through in a matter of years. In 2014, the private company that had been running the toll road declared bankruptcy – in spite of multiple toll increases – and it was snatched up by another company. Meanwhile, the state hasn’t gotten a dime from the road in years. But that’s OK, the lease will run out in 2081. In other words, leasing toll roads will only bring states short-term gain and long-term headaches.
RAZZBERRIES to William Meek, the former chief operating officer of Celadon Group who was arrested and charged in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme last December. In the midst of his trial earlier this year, the man had the gall to request to travel to Mexico to celebrate his 40th birthday.
The court denied the request, calling it “not advisable.” Yeah, that’s putting it mildly.
A bad idea would be another way to put it. Completely insane would be a third way. Who does this guy think he is? Sorry, but when you’re on trial for costing the company you worked for millions of dollars and contributing to its ultimate bankruptcy, you don’t get to go to Mexico – 40th birthday or not. When your life is already in crisis, you don’t get time off for a midlife one.
RAZZBERRIES to the more than a dozen people who have been indicted (so far, as of press time) in a scheme involving staged crashes with trucks in New Orleans. These people would allegedly intentionally crash into trucks. Then one would flee the scene to either go stage another crash or return as a witness for the current one. Then they would turn around and sue the trucking and insurance companies for thousands of dollars. And this was done all at the behest of some as yet unnamed attorneys who were paying these folks money for each crash they staged. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s flat out stupid. Here’s hoping more indictments for the attorneys involved are coming soon. Good luck chasing ambulances from behind bars.
ROSES to all of the employees at the Petro location in Kingdom City, Mo. TA & Petro sang their praises on Twitter for rescuing a dog that had been thrown from a moving truck near their stop (and RAZZBERRIES aren’t enough for whoever did that, by the way). They named the dog Rosco, and he was cared for and pampered by store manager Charlene Hight and Fuel Associate Erin Penn. The store’s general manager, Robert Lay, was determined to find Rosco a good home, so he started asking around. Well, he didn’t have to look far. Jake Mecham from the Kingdom City Petro’s truck service department stepped up and offered Rosco a permanent home.
In a world that can sometimes seem cruel, it’s good to see folks like this step up and work together as a team to give a happy ending to a furry friend.
ROSES to all of the first responders, caregivers and life savers. Let’s face it, 2020 has been one disaster after another: the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, floods. You name it, we’ve seen it this year. And through it all, doctors, firefighters, nurses, EMTs, police and even truck drivers have stood tall and done what’s needed to be done to keep this country on its feet and moving forward. We’ve still got a couple months left in this year and who knows what it will bring. We’re almost afraid to ask. But whatever it brings, we know there will be people who will step up and handle it. Because that’s what they do. No questions asked. No reward. No glory. Just a job that needs to be done and more than a few good people who are willing to do it. This has been a rough year for everyone, but we couldn’t have made it through without those on the front lines. Thank you. LL