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From the Publisher – 5.24.2006

By Rick Racela

You just have to love democracy.  Don’t you just love living in a country where you can say anything about the government you want, to criticize it, berate it, praise it, and do so in the public media for the world to see…and all without a care of reprisal? 
…And it is a darn good thing too, because we have plenty to complain about and plenty to praise.  For example, take the Spout Off we just got from someone who’d received an automobile registration renewal for years, and this year didn’t. 
Well, he got stopped by a cop who wrote him a $130 ticket.  The policeman told him the DMV doesn’t always mail out renewal notices.  The Spouter said THE DMV’s failure to do its job cost HIM a bundle.
So I called the DMV.  They told me they ALWAYS send out renewal notices.  A few years ago the same thing happened to me, but the cop let me go because he said the same thing about the DMV-“they mail out the notices sometimes and sometimes they don’t.”
Where is truth? Who knows if they are really mailing them or not?  The thing is, if there is any truth in the accusation against them, over time with enough complaining, enough pressure will come against them that they’ll have to clean up their act or heads will roll. 
* * *
Or what about the crash of two minivans on the Garden State Parkway by the Somers Point toll plaza the other day?  Fortunately none of the nine people involved in that crash was seriously injured, but it could easily have been otherwise, given that some were pulled from the wreckage just before it burst into flames!
The parkway, however, was tied up for hours. 
Citizens Against Tolls has been saying for years, Let’s stop this nonsense of stopping masses of cars going at high speeds just to collect a little pocket change, there are plenty of better ways to pay for the road. But alas, the Parpokers (Parkway pocket pickers) aren’t going to easily give up their license to commit highway robbery.
Fortunately here again, the people have the final say; when we get mad enough, things change, just as they did in Connecticut when that state eliminated the tolls after
Seven people, all women and children, were fatally injured in a fiery crash of a tractor-trailer and four cars at the Stratford tollbooth on the Connecticut Turnpike.
Had those nine people in those minivans on our Parkway died, it would have been “Taps” for our Parpokers, but unfortunately a lot of people will have to be slaughtered before we can smoke them out.
* * *
And how encouraging was it to read that we won’t allow bears to roam the streets of our cities?  If you missed it, a 225-pound bear found roaming the streets of Trenton was killed by authorities under the Department of Environmental Protection’s no-tolerance rules. 
Under earlier DEP regulations, the bears were welcome anywhere they wanted to roam.  If people didn’t like it, I guess they were supposed to move. Well they didn’t move; they screamed instead. When people scream, our Legislature listens, and our agencies respond. 
Don’t you just love democracy?
Art Hall, publisher
 

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