Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 20: Sniglets On Green Autos and BSO

By Sylvia Gurinsky

It's only 30 years late.

President Jimmy Carter wanted to mandate improved gas mileage on cars. Had he served two terms, he probably would have succeeded.

Instead, this country got Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and two Bushes and a rollback of strong mileage standards. That's why Americans have had to wait until now, when this planet is in peril, for President Barack Obama to put the mandate back - with 2016 as the goal.

Of course now, the complaints are that automakers can't build cars with high fuel economy and high safety standards.

That's baloney. Of course they can. They have to.

American automakers have no choice; they need to do it to survive. Automakers in other countries have had higher fuel standards since the 1970s, and while everyone's lost money in the bad economy, those companies seem to be in better shape.

The goal gives a chance for the revitalization of something that's been lost over the last 40 years or so: Good old American know-how.

Henry Ford used that know-how to build his Model T. Other car pioneers made innovations in safety and gas mileage. So what's the problem? Just a lack of guts, apparently.


One has to wonder whether the massive budget cuts planned for the Broward Sheriff's Office are one way in which Sheriff Al Lamberti is forced to clean up the mess Ken Jenne left behind.

Among the 300 employees who could lose their jobs are 40 BSO deputies. Valuable programs could be cut.

Instead, maybe Lamberti should have reversed Jenne's biggest mistake, outside of his ethics violations - all those deals with all those municipalities.

During Jenne's tenure as sheriff, BSO scooped up law enforcement for six municipalities - including Pompano Beach - incorporated before 2000, and went after others. How much money could the Sheriff's Office have saved if Jenne, who resigned in 2007 and went to jail on federal corruption and tax evasion charges, hadn't been so power-hungry?

Lamberti needs to review all of those agreements, and talk with the cities to figure out which ones can pick up police services and which ones can't. It's one thing to provide law enforcement for small communities. It's another entirely to provide those services simply for vanity.


I'll be away from this blog for the next week-and-a-half. See you in June.

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