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The Monthly Newsletter ~ January 2018

The newsletter is a monthly collection of stuff of interest to car hobbyists. If you wish to submit an article or photo please go to the Submissions Page for info.

From Fred
Take a look at this article on Governor-Elect Ralph Northam: WaPo Interview with Northam

The article states: A classic-car buff who restored a 1953 Oldsmobile with his brother and tinkers on a 1971 Corvette, Northam lit up when he said he’d like to invite car clubs to hold shows around the Executive Mansion and Capitol. Provided, he added, he can get permission from Susan Clarke Schaar, the longtime clerk of the Senate who keeps a tight rein on decorum.

“We’ve also had discussions with the Richmond Raceway to bring one of my cars out there and do like an exhibit,” he said. The point would be to show that he was able to do the restoration because he learned the skills in school, “and to really interest or excite children that there’s a future in those things,” he said.

After reading that I contacted the Governor-Elect office and got a phone call reply 24 hours later. I had sent an email stating that I would volunteer to help with a car show at the Capitol. I was told that if and when there is a car show I will be contacted. I did not realize that our next governor is a car hobbyist. This is good - the more car hobbyists we have in positions of leadership, the better.

The 2018 car season is going to be a BIG one. Already the calendar has lots of events. Be sure to get you event in soon. The first event sent for a date gets listed first. This is important as sometimes we have 10 - 12 events on the same day. Get the events in, keep warm and let's hope for a great 2018.

Now you know what those things are for!

1954 Ford

News You Can't Use ~ 100% True
Three teenagers from Rahway, New Jersey, who call themselves the Rahway Bushmen, have been discouraged from their signature prank: dressing up as bushes and popping up in Rahway River Park to say "Hi!" to unsuspecting passersby to scare them. reported in October that the Union County Police Department warned the Bushmen that they would be arrested if caught in action.

About two dozen car owners in the Nob Hill neighborhood of Snellville, Georgia, were perturbed in late October by what they thought was vandalism: Their cars' side mirrors were being shattered, even in broad daylight. Finally, according to WSB-TV, one resident caught the real perpetrator: a pileated woodpecker who apparently believes his reflection in the mirrors is a rival. Because pileated woodpeckers are a protected species, neighbors had to get creative with their solution. They are now placing plastic bags over their side mirrors while the cars are parked.

A Henrietta, New York, gifts and oddities store earned its name on October 24 when a garbage truck rolled between two gas pumps and across a road to crash into the 200-year-old building where the store had opened in June. Jeri Flack, owner of A Beautiful Mess, told WHAM-TV that her building is "wrecked in the front so bad that I can't open back up." Witnesses say the truck driver pulled into a spot at a Sunoco station across the street and got out to use the restroom. That's when the truck rolled away and barreled into the business

In Paris, a 21-year-old "train surfer" was killed on October 24 when he fell to the train tracks after hitting an overhead obstacle. His two friends, who were riding atop a train on Metro Line 6 with him, ran away from the scene, according to The Sun. The three had been attempting the stunt at the Bir-Hakeim Bridge during rush hour. The unnamed victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Amber L. Schmunk, 28, of Fredonia, Wisconsin, put all her resources to work in concocting a way to get a plastic kiddie pool from one house to another. Her solution: She had her 9-year-old son climb on top of her minivan and hold down the pool as she drove through Saukville. She must have had second thoughts, though, because according to the Ozaukee Press, she told police the boy was up there for only 20 to 30 seconds before she pulled over and wedged the pool into the back of the minivan. Schmunk said she thought it would be OK for her son to ride atop the car because her father had allowed her to do similar things when she was a child. But officers disagreed, charging her with second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Carburetor is on the way

Sean A. Sykes Jr., 24, of Kansas City, Missouri, has discovered one way to avoid the justice system. Sykes was detained in a September 1 traffic stop, but he denied any knowledge of the drugs and handguns found in the car, The Kansas City Star reported. As he was being questioned at the police station, the detective wrote in his report, Sykes was asked his address. In response, he "leaned to one side of his chair and released a loud fart before answering with the address. Mr. Sykes continued to be flatulent and I ended the interview," the detective wrote. Charges were not filed at that time, but Sykes was pulled over again on November 5 and was in possession of marijuana, crack cocaine and a stolen pistol. He was in custody awaiting a bond hearing.

Rondell Tony Chinuhuk, 32, of Anchorage, Alaska, had the pedal to the metal on November 7 when he stole a motorized shopping cart from a Safeway store in Fairbanks. But the battery-operated Mart Cart tops out at 1.9 miles per hour, so even after a 10-minute joyride, he had barely left the parking lot. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that Chinuhuk was charged with felony second-degree theft.

Douglas Aaron Shuttlesworth, 34, was simply trying to exercise his civic duty when he reported to an elementary school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to vote -- on Monday, Nov. 6, the day before Election Day. Susquehanna Township police arrested Shuttlesworth for DUI after he appeared at the school intoxicated and admitted he had driven there to vote. The Associated Press reported that Shuttlesworth's mother explained: Her son thought it was Tuesday.

Donna Byrne, 53, of Polk County, Florida, was charged with driving under the influence on November 2, but it was her mode of transportation that earned her an animal neglect charge. Byrne was riding her horse, Boduke, down a busy road in Lakeland in the middle of the afternoon. When officers reached Byrne, she was staggering and had red, watery eyes -- explained by her breath alcohol level, which was more than twice the legal limit, Polk County Sheriff's Office spokesman Brian Bruchey told the Orlando Sentinel. Boduke got a ride to the sheriff's Animal Control livestock facility, but Bruchey said he'd most likely be returned to Byrne, whose rap sheet includes cruelty to animals and drug possession.

A family of three were taken from their home and forced into a car on November 7 in Leduc County, Alberta, Canada, by five naked people. The man, who was placed in the trunk, quickly escaped, and his wife and baby also managed to get away, according to The Canadian Press. A passing truck driver picked up the three victims, but then the naked kidnappers' car rammed his truck from behind, sending it into a ditch. Royal Canadian Mounted Police caught up with the criminals; of the five, two were minors and were not charged. The adults faced charges of kidnapping and resisting arrest. The RCMP gave no explanation for why the five kidnappers were naked, but think that drugs or alcohol may have been involved.

1940 Ford coupe

1962 Corvette roadster

Monthly Rant ~ A Lesson From Our Latest Drive Through Third World America
By Andy Snyder, Founder Manward Digest

We knew we were in trouble the moment the light turned red.

That's when the young man stepped off the curb and headed our way.

We shook our head. He kept coming anyway, leading with a smug "I don't care" look.

As he sprayed our windshield and raised his squeegee, we joined his little game. We lifted our foot off the brake, allowing our 2,000-pound chunk of steel to slowly roll forward.

He went berserk as the frame of the windshield rolled his arm up and over his head.

Bam. Bam.

He slammed our door with his dirty squeegee - a squeegee that was almost certainly stolen from a nearby gas station.

As he did, our left hand instinctively opened the door and our fist began to clench. With a flash, we'd grab his wrist, twist it toward his body and use his now-inverted elbow to push his face to the ground.

We had no doubt our training would have stopped the threat and left us on top.

But then what? Stand on top of him preaching about his wrongs? Let him loose to harass the folks at the next light?

If we confronted him, surely we'd be the one with the most explaining to do as we stood with our boot atop a high school-aged kid.

So instead of giving in to the reptilian side of our brain, we calmly pulled the door shut, turned our head and ignored his vulgar comments.

The nasty words that flowed from his teenaged mouth would have cost most men their careers, but they seemed to be the vernacular of choice for his.

If vulgarity were his job... this guy would have been the CEO.

He threatened to shoot us just as the light turned green.

We pulled away, peering through our smudged windshield and wondering what we'd encounter next on our drive through Third World America... formerly known as Any Town, USA.

State-Sponsored Crime

When we got where we were going, we told a good friend about the incident.

"Ah, the squeegee boys," he said. "They're horrible."

"Why doesn't the city do something about them?" we pondered, clearly showing that things are a bit different where we hang our hat each night.

"Do something about them? This town? Oh no, this town loves them," he said as our heart sank. "They're the administration's way of displaying the oppressive sins of the city."


That's when we realized that it was no coincidence that these "entrepreneurs" (the mayor's term for them - certainly not ours) were posted on the main corridor leading out of one of the city's wealthiest sections.

The squeegee boys, it turns out, are virtually sanctioned by City Hall. The mayor even helped them set up "pop up" car washes.

We're in trouble.

Our friend was kind enough to hand us a recent editorial that ran in the city's paper. He dubbed it "infuriating."

After reading it, we understand why.

The piece was written by one of the hundreds of motorists who get harassed each day. But this writer made the heinous mistake of driving with his windows down.

As he stopped for a red light, one of the young "entrepreneurs" poked his head in the passenger window and demanded the french fries in the man's cupholder. When the driver refused, the kid grabbed the bag on the front seat and took off.

Did the driver call the cops?

Nope. Why?

Because, according to his essay, he's seen what the "system" does to boys like this.

The Blame Game

Are you seeing what I'm seeing, dear reader? There's a pattern emerging, and it's not pretty.

The blame game has a lot of contestants.

And they're all losers.

The mayor blames the city and its lack of opportunity. She blames the same city, by the way, that has bustling new high-rises, world-class colleges and one of the tightest job markets in history.

The people of the city, on the other hand, blame the cops. The boys in blue will only hurt these young kids, they say.

The cops, of course, blame the judges who wink at the kids and push their emboldened souls right back to the curb.

But nobody blames the damned kids.

"They're just trying to survive," the sympathizers cry. "We need to show empathy," they say.


Those are all worthless, feel-good excuses that keep us from taking the uphill path - the right path.

Teach 'Em a Lesson

Instead of giving these kids a handout or turning the other cheek on their illegal scheme, we must teach them what so many folks need to be taught today.

Some folks say we must teach accountability. Others say discipline. And more will say we must show these kids the effects of the decisions they make.

We don't disagree.

But we'll take a step in... and simplify the idea.

We say we must remind these kids - and all of America - that true success lies hidden within a simple and overused, but misunderstood, motto.

It's the idea at the core of this passion project of ours.

"Every man for himself."

On the surface, it sounds cruel, as if we're fans of anarchy.

No. It's just the opposite.

We're not saying do whatever you want. Far from it. Instead, we beg readers - nay, we beg the nation - to rely on nobody but themselves.

Don't expect the city to feed you.

Don't expect the cops to raise your kids.

And don't demand some stranger give you his money just because the mayor gave you the right to intimidate.

Nope. It's every man for himself.

Third World America was built on the idea of entitlement. Everybody wants something they don't deserve - your fries, your bag... your tax dollars.

Don't give in.

Success must be earned... not handed out on a street corner.

We'd say the way out of this mess is clear to see - but then again, our windshield is still smudged and dirty.

But we'll clean it ourselves.

We wouldn't want it any other way.

Be well,


Should you be worried about asbestos in cars?
by Kyle Smith of Hagerty
Australia is stepping up its enforcement of a ban on asbestos entering the country, causing significant headaches for classic car owners and buyers. The Australian Border force, which polices the ban that began in 2003, has already seized more than 50 classic vehicles this year. Ranging from Mustangs to Jaguars, a majority of the vehicles caught originated from the U.S.

According to the Border Force’s factsheet on asbestos, Australia is one of the few countries with a full ban on asbestos and asbestos-containing materials. Individuals importing goods can face more than $3000 per offence, but that’s cheap compared to other related penalties. If the Border Force suspects asbestos is present on a vehicle, the importer must pay for the testing of suspicious parts and their possible replacement prior to the vehicle clearing customs. With fees totaling more than $20,000 and months-long timeframe to clear all the hurdles, the issue should not be taken lightly.

Asbestos is mainly found in gaskets, brake pads, and linings, along with clutch materials for classic vehicles. Even some undercoating can contain this hazardous material.

These asbestos-containing parts are still available to U.S.-based enthusiasts, due to a more lax stance regarding the import and distribution of asbestos. Most reproduction parts for classic vehicles do not contain asbestos. Preservation cars or new old-stock parts, however, can be a cause for concern if not handled properly.

The main risk in handling asbestos is that the fibers can become airborne, and some types of asbestos are a known carcinogen in the lungs. Those working on classic vehicles should follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines on properly protecting themselves from the long-term effects of asbestos exposure.

While Australia has a renewed concern for public safety, American enthusiasts continue to have relatively easy access to asbestos-containing parts for the sake of affordability and correctness. It is up to us to ensure that we are maintaining a safe environment when we enjoy our classics, whether we’re working beneath them or driving them.

1968 Fairlane/Torino

Ford Bronco

Inspection Sticker Location to Change January 1st
From the State Police ~ Fred

December 1, 2017


TO: All Official Inspection Stations

FROM: Captain Ronald C. Maxey, Jr.

SUBJECT: Virginia State Inspection Sticker Placement

Recent innovations in the automotive industry have necessitated an evaluation of Sections 19VAC30-70-50 and 19VAC30-70-210 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual, which govern the current placement of Virginia’s safety inspection sticker, and any other authorized stickers, on vehicle windshields. Automobile manufacturers now offer crash avoidance technology in many of their vehicles. Many of these new features utilize the center of the windshield; therefore, the placement of items in this area, including stickers, may result in the crash avoidance systems not operating properly.

The purpose of the Virginia Safety Inspection Program is to promote highway safety and the crash avoidance technology is another tool provided by manufacturers to ensure vehicles operated on the roadways are safe at all times.

Therefore, after careful consideration, effective January 1, 2018, the Virginia state inspection sticker will be affixed to the windshield at the bottom left corner of the windshield, when viewed from the inside of the vehicle. The left edge of the sticker is to be approximately one (1) inch to the right of the left edge of the windshield and the top edge of the sticker is to be approximately four (4) inches from the bottom of the windshield, when viewed from the inside of the vehicle. (See Attachment – Page 2)

Please ensure you begin affixing the inspection sticker at the new location on the windshield beginning January 1, 2018. If you have any questions, please contact your local Safety Trooper or Safety Division Area Office.

This inspection bulletin serves as guidance concerning these specific circumstances and these changes will be reflected in the next official revision to the Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual.

RCM/MTP/Download a copy of the bulletin at this link: INSPECTION BULLETIN # 373

In addition to the State Police making this change there is a pre-filed bill in the General Assembly, HB 27 Vehicle inspection sticker; location on vehicle, which would change the law to allow the different placement of the inspection stickers. The bill's summary as introduced states: Vehicle inspection sticker; location on vehicle. Changes the display location of a vehicle inspection sticker from the windshield to the rear window in the lower corner on the driver's side of the vehicle. I am not sure if a change in the law is needed or if the State Police can make this change ~ Fred.

Chevy Pickup

2003 Mach 1

SEMA SAN Federal Update
From SEMA's Driving Force Newsletter
RPM Act: Support for the “Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act” continues to grow in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Over 175 members of Congress have now co-sponsored the bipartisan bill. The RPM Act clarifies that the Clean Air Act allows motor vehicles to be converted into dedicated race cars and that it is legal to produce, sell and install race parts for these vehicles. Passage of the RPM Act will protect sales beyond emissions-related parts, including racing tires, wheels, brakes, suspension equipment and roll cages. Customers won’t be buying and installing these products if a car or motorcycle cannot be converted into a dedicated race vehicle. The House Environment Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill in September and lawmakers are being urged to schedule additional action.

Replica Vehicle Law: A SAN-supported law enacted in 2015 will allow small auto manufacturers to sell completed replica cars. These are vehicles that resemble cars manufactured at least 25 years ago. The companies will be able to produce up to 325 turnkey replica vehicles (per company) in the United States and 5,000 worldwide under a simplified regulatory system. Until now, the federal government’s regulatory system did not differentiate between a company producing millions of vehicles and a business producing a few custom cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board are still working on regulations to implement the law, which was scheduled to take effect in 2017.

E15/Ethanol: A SAN-supported bill to cap the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10% and prohibit the sale of E15 (gasoline with 15% ethanol) has been introduced. The bill would eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) mandate that 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be blended into the U.S. fuel supply each year. While the RFS was intended to reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil, the 2007 law has translated into ever-increasing corn production so that the ethanol byproduct can be blended into gasoline. The EPA has turned to sales of E15 to achieve the law’s artificial mandate. Ethanol, especially in higher concentrations such as E15, can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers in automobiles produced before 2001 that were not constructed with ethanol-resistant materials. The SAN has joined with more than 50 other organizations to support the bill’s passage. Congress is not expected to pass legislation until the “blend wall” has been reached—the point at which no more ethanol can be blended without forcing higher blends such as E15 and above into the marketplace. The legislation is divided more on whether the politicians represent corn-growing regions rather than political party affiliation.

Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF): The salt flats have significantly decreased in size, strength and thickness over many decades as salt brine was channeled away from the area. The SAN, along with other organizations and companies comprising the Save the Salt Coalition, is working closely with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages the salt flats, in addition to federal and state lawmakers, on ways to restore the BSF and its 13-mile speedway. The Coalition has proposed a comprehensive plan, which includes increasing the amount of salt being pumped onto the salt flats during the winter. The Coalition is working with the adjoining potash mine owner on plans to dramatically increase the amount of salt being pumped onto the salt flats and with lawmakers to fund the program.

National Monuments: Last April, President Trump ordered the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) to review up to 40 national monument designations dating back to 1996 and recommend whether any should be rescinded, resized or modified. The DOI recommended that 10 national monuments be modified, including a size reduction for four monuments: Grand Staircase-Escalante (1.88 million acres), Bears Ear (1.35 million acres), both in Utah, Nevada’s Gold Butte (300,000 acres) and Washington’s Cascade-Siskiyou (87,000 acres). President Trump will now consider the recommendations. At issue is the 110-year-old Antiquities Act, a law that gives the president authority to preserve land with significant natural, cultural or scientific features. Hundreds of millions of acres have been set aside over the decades leading many to question whether the footprints are larger than necessary. The SAN supports the current review along with legislation in the U.S. Congress to curtail the President’s power to unilaterally designate national monuments by requiring their approval by Congress and the impacted state legislature(s). The issue is consequential since national monuments automatically prohibit new roads or trails for motorized vehicles and require a new land-management plan be drafted that could lead to more road closures.

California OHVs: The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that requires the BLM to reopen the 75,000-acre Clear Creek National Recreation Area (NRA) in California’s San Benito and Fresno Counties for recreational use, including OHV access. The bill would provide OHV access to more than 240 miles of public trails. Clear Creek NRA was closed in 2008 due to potential asbestos exposure concerns. However, an independent risk-assessment study requested by the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission concluded that management and operational strategies could be effectively employed to allow OHV use without exposing the public to unacceptable risks. The legislation has been referred to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Bumper Sticker of the Month

Written by Jimi Hendrix

I think she's had enough to drink

Kool Site of the Month
Woodie Club Nails Down 1st Ever National Meet In Dearborn - Click to see the covers

Video of the Month
Best Rat Rods: "Back to the Fifties"

Repair Mistakes & Blunders
From Rock Auto
When I was in college, I worked several summers for a well drilling company. One day the shop foreman ordered me to change the engine oil on one of the rigs. Now those were big trucks, and a Cummins diesel takes a lot of oil. I drained the old oil, pulled the filter, replaced it, and then hurried to the oil drums to fill a couple of jugs with oil to refill the crankcase. These big diesels took about 11 or 12 quarts as I recalled, so it would take a couple trips to the oil drum, plus climbing up to and down from that monster engine. I emptied the last jug of oil and checked the dipstick expecting to see some sign that I was reaching the full mark. Nothing. I went back to get another batch of oil. "Oh those things take a lot of oil," said one old-timer. "Just keep fillin' er up." I wonder now if he knew what was happening? So, I dutifully kept adding more and more oil. "Hey old-timer?" I asked, "just how much oil do these things actually take?" By that time I had put at least 22 quarts of oil in the machine. He just smiled.

I had a minor epiphany as my mind raced back to the procedure I had used. Sheepishly walking back to the truck, I looked underneath the engine. You guessed it. I forgot to reinstall the oil pan plug. All 22 quarts were glistening on the floor in an expanding mess. Several quarts of degreaser and a hose mitigated the evidence, but the crew did not leave me alone about that one until the following summer. I never made that mistake again.

Chester in Illinois

Model T coupe

Pontiac coupe

Red Light Ticket Turns into Free-Speech Rights
A traffic ticket dispute in Oregon turns into a bigger fight over free-speech rights from the LA Times via MSN
In 2013, Mats Jarlstrom's wife got a $260 ticket in the mail for running a red light.

It wasn't exactly the crime of the century. A camera caught her Volkswagen passing through a Beaverton, Ore., intersection 0.12 second after the light turned from yellow to red.

Other people might curse, pay the fine and forget about it.

But Jarlstrom, who earned a degree in electronic engineering in Sweden, got curious: How are yellow lights timed? He decided to investigate.

Little did he know that his quest would land him with an even bigger fine and morph into a battle over free speech rights.

Jarlstrom, a 57-year-old green card holder, moved to the U.S. in 1992 and says he now works as a consultant who helps companies repair electrical instruments. He doesn't have an engineering license, but he proudly calls himself "a Swedish engineer" who wants to improve his community.

"Instead of being interested in how to do something in a new way or understand that they're not doing something correctly, they wanted to shut me up," Jarlstrom said in an interview. "Traffic safety in Sweden is 250 percent better than the USA. It's not only that we are driving Volvos. It's that we have good engineers who are well educated and understand things.

"I just wanted to contribute," he said.

In Beaverton, the yellow lights were supposed to last exactly 3.5 seconds.

But using a stopwatch and two high-definition video cameras, Jarlstrom ran his own tests on the intersection where his wife was ticketed. He said his findings showed that the intersection's yellow lights ran on average 0.14 second, or 4 percent, shorter than advertised. He complained to the city.

"You might think this error is small but put into perspective a watch would add one full hour every day! (24 hours (ASTERISK) 4 percent equals 0.96 hours or 57.6 minutes)," Jarlstrom wrote in a memo to the City Council. "Not acceptable accuracy with today's technology - the ancient Greeks had better timing devices!"

City officials weren't convinced that anything was wrong - and neither was a judge, who looked at Jarlstrom's research before upholding his wife's ticket.

Jarlstrom also sued the city in federal court over its lights, but a judge ruled that the lawsuit lacked federal standing and threw it out.

But Jarlstrom started looking at the bigger picture: Was 3.5 seconds even the appropriate length for a yellow light?

Drivers have long faced the same problem as the light turns yellow: "Whether to stop too quickly (and perhaps come to rest partly within the intersection) or to chance going through the intersection, possibly during the red light phase," wrote the authors of a 1959 study who called the problem the "dilemma zone."

Taking into account traffic speed, driver reaction and other variables, the paper presented calculations to measure the dilemma zone that would eventually inspire formulas for yellow lights adopted by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, an international association that is influential in the arcane world of traffic technology.

Jarlstrom concluded that the formula did not sufficiently account for drivers slowing to make turns, making yellow lights too short for some drivers.

By then, his mission had morphed from fighting her ticket to changing public policy.

In messages sent to a national engineering association and to the CBS News show "60 Minutes" in 2014, Jarlstrom boasted that his formula "will have worldwide impact."

"I have actually invented and publicly released a new extended solution to the original problem with the amber signal light in traffic flow," he wrote a year later in an email to Patrick Garrett, the Washington County sheriff.

But some of the biggest interest came from the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying, which regulates engineers in Oregon. After the board received an email from Jarlstrom in 2015 presenting his idea, it launched an investigation - into Jarlstrom.

On Nov. 1, 2016, the board sent him a civil notice finding that he was practicing engineering without a license and fined him $500.

"By asserting to a public body in correspondence that he is an ('excellent') engineer, and asserting to the public media in correspondence that he is a ('Swedish') engineer, Jarlstrom held himself out as, and implied that he is, an engineer," the board wrote in its citation.

State licensing laws exist to prevent the public from being harmed by untrained people purporting to be experts. But Jarlstrom did not think he needed to be a licensed engineer to critique public policy.

He sued the state licensing board with the backing of the Institute of Justice, a libertarian organization, for allegedly violating his First Amendment free speech rights.

"Jarlstrom wants to write and speak publicly about a matter of local, state and nationwide concern: the safety and fairness of traffic lights and traffic-light cameras," the lawsuit said.

It also argued that state law created "a government-run monopoly on engineering concepts generally."

The board eventually backed down and agreed it had violated Jarlstrom's free speech rights by applying the state's engineering restrictions to Jarlstrom "in a noncommercial and nonprofessional setting."

However, the case remains unresolved, as Jarlstrom wants a broad ruling from a judge that will bar the state from challenging his standing as an engineer in the future, while the state still wants to regulate who can call themselves an engineer, citing public safety.

"Effectively they are trying to make this case go away while preserving as much as their rights as possible," said Jarlstrom's attorney, Sam Gedge.

The state board did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Nearly lost in the debate is whether Jarlstrom's ideas have scientific merit. The Institute of Transportation Engineers took them seriously enough to let him make a presentation of his work at its conference in Anaheim in August 2016.

But Jarlstrom said he was afraid to release more of his research on stoplights to the public without a ruling allowing him to call himself an engineer.

"In Sweden, you don't have those issues, and I feel completely violated that I can't say who I am," Jarlstrom said. "It's a human right, and I think it's an international right. Geneva Convention in wartime. You have a right to say who you are."

Visit the Los Angeles Times at

2004 Maserati Coupe' for sale - see story below

Beautiful Italian Paperweight!
From the best of CL:
Don't need a 16k Paperweight? Of course you don't! How about an Italian money toilet!

Some of you may recognize this as a 2004 Maserati Coupe' (also known as the 4200 GT). Don't let that gorgeous Italian body fool you though, this car is Satan's chariot to Hell (or bankruptcy).

I do not exaggerate when I say that this car has been in the shop HALF the time I have owned it. In the last 6 months, I have put ELEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS into it in parts and labor and the thing still isn't right.

I'm not rich. I'm just an average dude that always wanted a Maserati. Since I was a kid I lusted after those Italian curves and exhaust note. Now my own kids come to me and ask me why there's no food to eat and the electricity has been turned off and I have to tell them it's because Daddy's car is sick again.

This car has a new clutch, new clutch actuator, position sensor, F1 pump and relay, gear selector switch (a 2k SWITCH) new tie rods and new tires. It has the miraculous F1 transmission. As in if it works, it is a miracle. It is also seemingly inhabited by evil spirits.

The voodoo priests at the Maserati dealer insist it's fixed. But it's not. And I've seen their facility. There's no tools, just an altar to Alejandro DeTomaso where they place the still beating hearts and smoking wallets of Maserati owners and ask for a vision of what the @#$$ is wrong with their clients' cars.

Come take a look at it! It's Beautiful! It WILL let you down. You might think that since I poured so much money into it, that there must just be one more thing and then it will be perfect. You can drive it home and laugh at the poor slob that you bought it from who did all the work for you. Nope. Not gonna happen. This car will make you cry.

So why am I asking 16 grand for it? Good question. I'm taking a HUGE loss at that price and that's the lowest price I can let it go for and still be able to pay my mortgage. If that's too much, don't buy it. I don't blame you.

Come look at it! Bring a witch doctor and maybe, just maybe, if the stars are aligned just right you can drive it. DO NOT DRIVE IT. If you drive it, you will want it. It is fast. It is beautiful. It makes a sound like angels revving their angelmobiles.

I want this thing out of my sight. I'm tired of sitting in it at night drinking and making engine noises with my mouth while I pretend it is not a huge pile of disappointment and debt.

Do not offer me 5k for it. The Trident badge alone makes it worth more than that. I don't have to sell it. It can sit in my garage and I can continue to hate it. I don't HAVE to sell it. I WANT to. There's a difference.

The Brits know how to sell wheels

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