Niagara Gazette

Columns

April 4, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Notes from the America's Car Show newsroom

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Subaru recall

Subaru has announced the recall of nearly 50,000 vehicles in the US due to an unusual electrical fault that could cause a car to start all on its own. The recall covers Legacy, Outback, Impreza and Crosstrek vehicles from the 2010-2013 model years. Subaru says the key fob that controls its Audiovox remote engine starter could malfunction if dropped, causing a vehicle to start without any human intervention. If the fault occurs, the vehicle may start and run for up to 15 minutes. Subaru says that loop will continue until either the key fob’s battery is drained or the vehicle runs out of gas. Although mostly a threat to a costly tank of fuel, the National Highway Traffic safety Administration warns that if the vehicle is parked in a closed area the exhaust fumes could cause asphyxiation. Subaru will remedy the problem by replacing the key fob for all 47,419 vehicles covered by the recall. Subaru expects to begin the recall by the end of next month.

Ohio judge calls speed cameras a “scam”

In what could prove to be a landmark case for drivers across the United States, an Ohio judge has ruled that speed cameras used in a Cincinnati-area village violated the state’s constitution. Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman put a stop to Elmwood Place’s speed camera “scam” that was generating $326,250 per month for the village of 2,200 people. Judge Ruehlman ruled that Elmwood Place’s speed camera enforcement didn’t provide drivers with the necessary due process afforded by state law. “Elmwood Place in engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-card Monty [sic],” Judge Ruehlman wrote.

Judge Ruehlman took issue with Elmwood Place’s oversight (or rather lack thereof) of the speed camera system. Rather of being controlled by the village’s police force, the entire speed camera operation, from ticketing to calibration, was handled by Maryland-based Optotraffic LLC. For its troubles, Optotraffic pocketed $42 or 40 percent of every $105 ticket its system doled out. Judge Ruehlman also took issue with process of contesting a camera-issued speeding ticket in Elmwood Place.

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Columns
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

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  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Verplank: Turn back the clock at the Porter Cup

    July 24, 2014

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Scheer, Mark mug CITY DESK: Hobel will be missed

    Lost in all the hoopla surrounding last week’s announced retirement of state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, was the loss of another well-known figure in local government and politics.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: More pastors, a new church and more of everything Before I go further back in time, I want to just go back to last week where I took my own advice and spent a couple of hours at the Como, where I enjoyed one of their traditional "parade of bowls and plates of great salads, pasta and meat dishes" and listened to longtime friends of Tom Darro roast him with humor, accolades and best wishes. And best of all no one who came to the microphone mentioned garbage totes or carts. It was a welcome relief.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Border Patrol chief examines deadly acts A former Buffalo police chief now has the formidable task of reviewing cases where border agents have used deadly force.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Nostalgia for nostalgia: Where will it end? Not only has there been a huge nostalgia boom in America, but we're now getting to the point where there's much nostalgia for nostalgia! Maybe signifying that nostalgia will wear itself out, or, as in the old adage, that it ain't what it used to be?

    July 20, 2014

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