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Friday, May 31, 2013

The 'misadventures' of Miss Super Samaritan
Good story thanks to Jack Roberts of Link to their site follows:
Driving is one of those rare activities in our society where collective participation, communal cooperation and individual judgment and ability all come together in ways that usually work well – but often leave us scratching our heads wondering just what in the hell is going on with the people we’re forced to share the roads with.
It’s a bit like team sports – only you’ve got a bunch of strangers on your “team” and you have no way of knowing what they’ll do at any given moment.
Professional drivers see more than their fair share of stupidity on the road (there’s no other word for it). And I’m sure most of you could write volumes about the stuff you’ve seen. But let me share an episode I saw this morning.
The main road in front of my subdivision used to be a quiet two-lane country road. Today, thanks to urban sprawl, twice a day during rush hour it’s a clogged, congested, crowded city road with way more traffic than it was ever built to handle.
I’m lucky: When I come up to the intersection with this road in the morning, I make a right turn to get to the office. I don’t have to fool with traffic coming from the right at all.
This morning, as I pulled up to the stop sign, there were three cars in front of me, all with their left-hand turn signals on.
Great, I thought. I’m stuck here while they wait for a break in both lanes.
At about this point, Miss Super Samaritan came cruising up from the left in her red Chevy Malibu. She takes stock of the situation at this intersection and decides that she’s going to help out.
So she comes to a full and complete stop in the middle of the road and begins waving at the cars in front of me, basically saying, Hi! I’m Miss Super Samaritan and I’ m here to help! Pull on out in the road and get on your way this fine morning!
Well, for starters, there was – at that moment – no traffic behind her. None whatsoever. And – as I’ve already noted – if you’re crossing a lane to turn onto a road, the traffic coming from the left is the least of your worries. Catching a break from traffic coming from the right is the bigger issue.
So really, Miss Super Samaritan could have just continued on her merry way down the road – like she’s supposed to ­– and it would not have hurt, or helped, the cars in front of me in the slightest one way or the other. In fact, as future events are about to show, it would have been far more helpful if she’d merely just gone on her way and let them deal with the traffic situation.
As it happened, the cars in front of me realized how ridiculous this situation was as well. So now they all start waving back at Miss Super Samaritan, saying, basically, Hey! Thanks! But we’ve got this! And you’re unnecessarily complicating what is already a stressful and intense situation! So – while we appreciate it – please continue on down the road and have a nice day!
But no. Miss Super Samaritan wasn’t’ having any of that. She started waving back even harder, signaling: Don’t be silly! I’m here to help! It’s no bother at all! Just pull on out in the road and get on with your day – and we can all bask in the glow of what a wonderful, thoughtful and helpful person I am!
The stupidity of all this was highlighted by that fact that there were still no cars behind her, while a seemingly endless line of traffic continued to whoosh by coming from the right. The cars in front of me were stuck, no matter how much waving Miss Super Samaritan did.
But all that was about to change: Because now, from behind Miss Super Samaritan, came a line of fast-moving traffic, rushing up the hill and around the curve she was blocking only to confront a car stopped dead in the middle of the road and a bunch of people all sitting there waving at each other like idiots.
From my vantage point farther back, I watched with my jaw in my lap as the drivers in this on-coming line stood on their brakes, nosed the front ends of their cars over and tried desperately to keep from running into one another, going out in the oncoming lane or smashing into the back end of Miss Super Samaritan – who was still sitting there blithely, waving at the cars in front of me saying, Don’t be shy! Come on out! I’m here to help! Really!
It was a close, close call. But nobody hit anybody else – although I’ll bet there was a lot of spilled coffee and jangled nerves amongst the new drivers who’d just joined the party.
Amazingly, Miss Super Samaritan was not deterred by the line of about six cars filled with totally pissed-off drivers that had just appeared out of nowhere behind her. She insisted on sitting there until two of the cars in front of me finally managed to pull out onto the road. The third car couldn’t make it. But then, even Miss Super Samaritan realized she couldn’t hold back the dam any longer. She gave the third guy a wave that said, I’m sorry! I did the best I could! But I’ve got to go now!
And finally – mercifully – she went on her way down the road while the rest of us mopped our brows and breathed a sigh of relief.
Now, I’m all for helping people out. We all need to do to so whenever we can – and we probably all ought to do it more often than we do now. But as Mr. Spock once said on Star Trek, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
I’m sure Miss Super Samaritan went on about her day with an imaginary halo glowing around her head, patting herself on the back and reveling in how great and wonderful a person she is.
And there’s no doubt she had good intentions.
But she created a far bigger mess than any good she did. In fact, you could argue she did no good at all: In any event, she “helped” two drivers out.
But in doing so, she came perilously close to causing a multi-car pileup that would have involved at least six vehicles. Injuries would’ve been a given. Deaths? Maybe. Damaged cars? A major road shut down for a couple of hours while the authorities tried to sort out and clean up the mess? The mind boggles at the sheer scale of the misery, chaos, disruption and frustration she almost caused this morning.
The morale of the story: By all means, help people out if you can. But make sure you’re not putting others at risk or creating a bigger problem by doing so.
Jack Roberts is executive editor for CCJ as well as trucks equipment editor for Randall-Reilly Publishing’s Trucking and Construction Media Groups and contributes stories to Overdrive, Truckers News, Truck Parts & Services, Successful Dealer, Equipment World, Total Landscape Care, Better Roads and Aggregate Manager. Roberts joined Randall-Reilly in 1995 as associate editor of Equipment World magazine and began covering both heavy-duty and light trucks in 1996. In 2006 he was the founding editor of Total Landscape Care before joining the staff of CCJ magazine in 2008. Roberts has won numerous editorial excellence awards, including two Jesse H. Neal awards and has been a Neal Award finalist once. He has also won three Robert F. Boger Awards given by the Construction Writers Association and several American Society of Business Publication Editors Awards. A native and resident of Northport, AL, Roberts holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama.
You can follow me on twitter at@JackRobertsCCJ


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Truck Safety Coalition tackles underride issue on Capitol Hill

Group pushing Congress to make trucks safer

Story thanks to Kara Kenney of RTV6 out of Indianapolis. Link provided below:

INDIANAPOLIS - Truck safety advocates are pushing for a national change following a Call 6 Investigation into a deadly danger on Indiana highways.
Underride guards, the metal bumpers required on the backs of most large trucks, are supposed to stop cars from sliding underneath the back of tractor-trailers and minimize injuries, but the Truck Safety Coalition argues the federal standards are not strong enough. 
The coalition, along with crash victims and their families, is on Capitol Hill this week pushing federal transportation officials and members of Congress to make the guards safer for drivers.
"I don't want to see other people killed the way my dad was killed," said Jennifer Tierney, who lost her father 30 years ago when he crashed into the side of a truck that was backing into a driveway.
"My dad came around the curve and went through the side of the trailer and he went all the way under it and came out 41 feet on the other side," said Tierney. "He died 20 minutes later of massive head injuries. It's an incredibly violent way to die."
Side impact guards are still not required in the United States, 30 years after Tierney's father's death.
"It's just so upsetting to think this is an issue our federal government has known about long before my dad was killed, and 30 years later, they still haven't solved the issue," said Tierney. "Other countries are finding solutions to this issue."
The Truck Safety Coalition argues hundreds of people are killed in the United States every year due to a lack of side guards and inadequate rear underride guards on trucks.
Roy Crawford lost his 16-year-old son in 1994.
"The truck he ran into had absolutely no underride guard at all, and he was almost decapitated," said Crawford.
Although rear underride guards are now required on the back of most large trucks, the Truck Safety Coalition argues federal rules don't make them strong enough to prevent deaths and serious injuries, even at low speeds.
"I'd like to see the underride guard standards improved," said Crawford. "They need to be energy absorbing; they need to be wider, lower and stronger."
Joan Claybrook, Chair of CRASH -- Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways -- hopes to catch the attention of the new U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary.
"When you hear the real life, on-the-road stories, you understand these things make a difference and these rules count," said Claybrook "(These rules) save lives and injuries."
The Truck Safety Coalition and crash victims' families are meeting with members of Congress in the hopes that a member will draft legislation aimed at underride guards.
A spokesperson with the American Trucking Associations told RTV6 in nearly three-quarters of crashes where a car hits the rear of a tractor-trailer, the car initiated the collision.
"We believe the best way to reduce these crashes is through continuing education about how to safely share the road with large trucks and by more vigilant enforcement of traffic laws on our highways," wrote Sean McNally, Press Secretary for ATA, in an email to RTV6. "We're encouraged by the results of the most recent IIHS study that showed tremendous improvement in the performance of the current generation of trailer underride guards. This equipment is an important safety feature, but ultimately, we believe the best underride guard is the one that's never put to the test on the highways."
"NHTSA has research underway that would raise the bar on safety for large trucks -- such as the potential use of crash avoidance technologies, new measures to improve the crash safety of truck cabs, among other efforts."
"NHTSA has research underway that would raise the bar on safety for large trucks -- such as the potential use of crash avoidance technologies, new measures to improve the crash safety of truck cabs, among other efforts."

Experts RTV6 spoke with said underride crashes aren't necessarily the result of distracted driving such as texting, eating or talking on the phone.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety told RTV6 that people hit the back of a truck for many reasons, including if a truck stops suddenly or if a driver is going over a hill and can't see that traffic is stopped.
"Almost all crashes involve a driver making a mistake, but their mistake shouldn't be a death sentence. We know there is a simple fix for preventing underride crashes, and that's basically to have stronger guards," the statement read.
NHTSA told the Call 6 Investigators earlier this month that more stringent regulations could be on the way.
NHTSA released a study that evaluated both side and rear underride crashes and plans to use that information when making changes to federal guidelines.
"Moving forward, results from the field analysis, IIHS's tests, international standards and other data will be leveraged by NHTSA and may inform potential changes to existing federal safety standards -- including more stringent rear-impact guard requirements -- based on what all the data show," David Strickland, NHTSA administrator, wrote in an email to the Call 6 Investigators.
 "NHTSA has research underway that would raise the bar on safety for large trucks -- such as the potential use of crash avoidance technologies, new measures to improve the crash safety of truck cabs, among other efforts."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Happiest Jobs In America
Story thanks to Jacquelyn Smith, Staff Link provided below:

CareerBliss compiled a list of the 20 happiest jobs based on analysis from more than 100,400 employee-generated reviews between February 2011 and January 2012. Employees were asked to rate 10 factors that affect workplace happiness, including one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work one does on a daily basis.
The employees valued each factor on a five-point scale, and also indicated how important it was to their overall happiness at work. The numbers were combined to find an average rating of overall employee happiness for each respondent, and then sorted by job title to find which occupations had the happiest workers. A minimum of 50 employee reviews was required to be considered for CareerBliss’ 20 Happiest Jobs in America, and executive level jobs, like chief executive, were excluded from the study.
“Since we tend to spend more waking hours working than doing anything else, our work happiness is a huge factor in our overall happiness,” says CareerBliss’ chief executive, Heidi Golledge. “Nearly every person has a desire to feel valued and content, and a workplace or a career that provides that for its employees is key to not only happiness for the employees but the long-term success of the business.”
The happiest job of all isn’t kindergarten teacher or dentist. It’s software quality assurance engineer. Professionals with this job title are typically involved in the entire software development process to ensure the quality of the final product. This can include processes such as requirements gathering and documentation, source code control, code review, change management, configuration management, release management, and the actual testing of the software, explains Matt Miller, chief technology officer at CareerBliss.
With an index score of 4.24, software quality assurance engineers said they are more than satisfied with the people they work with and the company they work for. They’re also fairly content with their daily tasks and bosses.
These professionals “typically make between $85,000 and $100,000 a year in salary and are the gatekeepers for releasing high quality software products,” Miller says. Organizations generally will not allow software to be released until it has been fully tested and approved by their software quality assurance group, he adds.
Golledge says, “In past studies, we have noted that the long hours and intense demands on software engineers’ time caused them to rank as less than happy.  However, we are happy to report that software quality assurance engineers feel rewarded at work, as they are typically the last stop before software goes live and correctly feel that they are an integral part of the job being done at the company.”
Tied for the second most blissful job is executive chef and property manager; both earned an index score of 4.15. Executive chefs, also known as chefs de cuisine or head cooks, do everything from menu creation and staff training to ordering and purchasing inventory. They cite the work that they do and the people they work with as the main drivers of their happiness.
Property managers plan, direct, or coordinate the selling, buying, leasing, or governance activities of real estate properties, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Workers in this profession are most satisfied with the people they work with and the work that they do.
“Many of the happiest jobs have some component with working with people,” Golledge says. “Folks who work with others tend to rate their happiness higher on our site.”
Bank teller and warehouse manager round out the top five happiest jobs in America, with index scores of 4.14 and 4.13, respectively.
“The roles that we did not expect to see were teller, accountant and financial analyst,” she says. “Even though all three of these positions ranked low on compensation, they all ranked very high on ‘the company you work for’ and ‘the people you work with.’ Clearly, working with likeminded folks who share a love for calculators and numbers drive their happiness.”
A few support roles, like customer service reps and administrative assistants, also made the list. Why? “Through our research we have seen that many people who take on these roles are typically happy supporting or servicing other people, and are therefore fulfilled in their jobs.”
Golledge adds, “We have also noticed that happiness definitely does not align with pay, and once someone’s basic needs are met, the additional money on the job is a nice perk but is not what drives employee happiness.”
CareerBliss also found that many people appreciate their jobs more in a down economy.  “As the job market is improving every day, we see that employees are looking to evaluate if they are happy in their current position and if their company is providing the type of culture they identify with,” Golledge says. “This year will be a very important year for employers as employees look at a possible career or job change to improve their satisfaction at work.”Click here for the complete list of the 20 happiest jobs in America.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Secretary's office punts speed limiters back to NHTSA
By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor. Link provided below:

The DOT’s Office of the Secretary has punted a notice of proposed rulemaking for speed limiters on heavy trucks back to the agency that submitted it.

Without a publicly stated reason, the OST returned the proposal to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on April 18, just over a month after the agency submitted it on behalf of two petitioning groups, the American Trucking Associations and Roadsafe America.

NHTSA plans to resubmit the proposal on or about July 26. 

The ATA and Roadsafe America filed petitions in November 2005, urging NHTSA to require speed limiters set at 68 mph on trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds.

Five years later, the agency granted the petition and developed a notice of proposed rulemaking in March 2011. A notice of proposed rulemaking, known as an NPRM, is a proposal and not a final rule.

Then, following 19 months of inactivity, NHTSA submitted its proposal to the Office of the Secretary on March 4. See related story here.

NHTSA believes the installation of speed limiters on heavy trucks would reduce fatalities in crashes involving CMVs on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or above.

OOIDA, whose members and leadership make highway safety a priority, opposes an industry-wide mandate for speed limiters. 

The Association supports uniform speeds on the highways and not the forced speed differential among vehicle classes that a speed-limiter mandate would create. Research presented by OOIDA in official comments shows that uniform speeds are the safest and that speed differentials increase vehicle interactions and lead to unsafe maneuvering.

OOIDA Life Member Gene Michaud, with backing from the Association, is challenging the constitutionality of mandatory speed limiters in the Canadian province of Ontario.

Michaud, who claims speed limiters harm his ability to conduct his trucking business safely, won his case in lower court, but the province is scheduled to present its appeal in September.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Rise of the 6x2

Meritor's SmarTandem  ""

It promises to cut weight and fuel use, and interest in it is growing.

Article thanks to Link provided below:

It's still an oddball spec in road tractors, but some believe the 6x2 — a single drive axle with two powered wheels among six total wheel positions — will someday become more common as truck operators look for ways to save fuel and cut tare weight.
Today, a number of progressive fleets are testing or embracing it, but it's been a long time coming.
When AB Volvo came to America from Sweden in 1981 and ‘82 to help resurrect the products of the bankrupt White Motor Corp., they were astonished to see tractors running up and down our highways with “live” tandems. This was a complicated and heavy way to do the job, the newcomers thought.
When told Americans preferred the 6x4 to get better traction, they insisted it wasn't necessary. The 6x2 tandem with a liftable dead axle worked as well, weighed less and cost less money. That type of 6x2 was common on the highways of Europe and still is.
A couple of years later, Volvo flew a group of truck writers to Sweden to show off their European products and explain how some of those designs were starting to transfer to their American-made trucks. At one point a couple of engineers demonstrated how a 6x2 truck could plow deep snow, letting the journalists drive it on a frozen lake to see and feel how it performed.
The truck, a municipally owned Volvo N10 dumper outfitted with a large V-plow in front and a wing plow on its right side, moved the snow easily, because its dead tag axle was raised and its chained drive tires carried about 22,000 pounds, giving it considerable traction.
Around the same time, a supplier sought fuel economy numbers with a simulated 6x2. Engineers disconnected the tandem's rear axle and locked the interaxle differential so power still went to the forward axle.
On several runs in east Texas, they saw a benefit of barely 1% — statistically meaningless, and something a fleet probably couldn't measure in day-to-day operations. However, recent testing by suppliers and fleets of true 6x2 tandems without the extra gears indicate 2% to 3% better economy, with some results as high as 5%.
In the 1990s, ‘80s and before, many tractors operated by less-than-truckload fleets were 6x2s. Some had lift axles and some did not. With a lift axle, traction was good.
Back then, a driver for Holland Motor Freight out of Michigan said how much he liked the arrangement on his Ford Louisville tractor: “When I run into snow and ice, I just raise that axle and it'll go through stuff that will stop a 6x4 dead.”
However, 6x2s whose non-powered axles always stayed on the pavement were cursed by their drivers in foul weather, because drive wheels spun from insufficient traction and they sometimes got stuck.
Another builder with European ownership didn't give up on the 6x2 idea. In the late ‘90s, Freightliner Trucks came out with its own 6x2.
It was dubbed the Airliner Plus, as it used the builder’s proprietary air-ride suspension. A tractor's ABS controls sensed wheel slip and immediately bled air from the dead axle's bags. This shifted some weight to the single drive axle, which bore down harder on its wheels and tires. Otherwise, weight was equalized between the live and dead axles.
However, Freightliner sold very few of the systems and eventually dropped it.

Fleet experiences

Sodrel Truck Lines, an Indiana-based mail hauler, was running 6x2s in the 1980s and still does today. Back then, its Mack R-model tractors had liftable pusher axles, and Mike Sodrel, the family-owned company's president at the time, said they helped saved fuel.
The fleet still runs the same configuration on more modern Mack day-cab models, of which it now has 230.
“If I can get all the wheels off the ground in a safe and legal manner — that may sound funny — but there's less drag, obviously,” says Vick Morgan, a former driver who's now vice president of safety and operations. “If I can raise the wheels, there's less wear on the tires, and tires are expensive, right?”
Sodrel's system is driver-controlled, based on weight, he explains. An air gauge on the dash tells drivers when they have to lower the pusher because of weight. “When they drop the axle, the thing levels out at a certain number. If the gauge is then above that number, we have to tell the customer that we would have to scale the load before we can take it. We can't be illegal.”
Nussbaum Transportation out of Normal, Ill., is one fleet that is converting to 6x2s today, according to Justin Donley, a former driver and now fleet maintenance manager.
It has retrofitted a Meritor system to 120 tractors. “The fuel mileage is doing real well,” he says. “The only issues are in the winter, when drivers get too heavy on the throttle and the wheels spin. We're training them to ease off on that.”
Driver-controlled dump valves have been added to some of those 120 tractors. Nussbaum has 140 Freightliner Cascadia tractors on order that will have the Meritor 6x2 with electronically controlled dump valves.

Weight reduction

In this era of diesel fuel at $4 a gallon and more, fleet executives are trying almost everything to cut fuel use, suppliers say. Tractors have also gotten heavier, primarily from exhaust aftertreatment gear that adds about 400 pounds per vehicle, so managers are trying to trim weight out of other components. Some are looking at the 6x2 to meet both goals.
Eliminating a 6x4 s interaxle differential, second axle diff, and the driveshaft and U-joints between them by going to the simpler 6x2 reduces weight by varying amounts. It can be 350 pounds to 450 pounds, says Steve Slesinski, director of global commercial product planning at Dana Holding Corp.
But heftier differential gears and axle shafts in that single drive axle are needed to take today's high horsepower and torque. That can quickly wear out tread on the drive axle's tires, so they might need blockier tread patterns, or tires need to be rotated often between live and dead axles to even out wear.
Overwhelming popularity of the 6x4 configuration has given it higher residual values. Over the past 10 years, 6x4s have averaged a 6% greater value than 6x2s, according to the Truck Blue Book. For late-model vehicles the difference is 11%, but for ‘06, a 6x4 is actually worth 4% less than a 6x2.
In any case, axle suppliers have come up with modern iterations of the 6x2.

6x2s today

On these modern 6x2s, the dead axle is a tag, placed behind the single drive axle. The tag does not fully raise off the pavement, but pressure in its air springs can be reduced so some of its weight is transferred to the drive axle. Its differential can be lockable, either manually, when a switch is thrown by the driver, or automatically, through electronic controls.
Last year Meritor brought out its FueLite 6x2 tandem and offered it with an electronically controlled air suspension, or ECAS, from Meritor Wabco.
ECAS piggybacks on the electronic controls of a tractor's antilock braking system and traction control to sense when wheel spin begins. The controls quickly dump some air from the dead axle's springs to transfer weight, and traction, to the single drive axle. If a locking differential is used, the system automatically engages it, then disengages above a certain road speed.
Meritor also developed a more advanced 6x2 system called SmarTandem. It comes standard with electronic controls that manage weight transfer to the drive axle and engagement of its locking differential. The diff uses a clutch, so it can be employed at higher speeds than the spline-action diff on the FueLite.
Bendix offers its eTrac automated air pressure transfer system for Bendix ABS-6 braking systems with automatic traction control for 6x2 Class 8 tractors. The system helps drivers of 6x2 vehicles overcome low-traction events by fully automating the air pressure transfer process.
When added to Bendix Smart ATC (automatic traction control), eTrac automatically engages and disengages the vehicle's air bag pressure transfer system during low-traction events. The system transfers pressure from the undriven axle to the driven axle without requiring manual input or driver action.
When the Bendix eTrac system engages, it automatically evacuates air bag pressure, dropping the nose of the trailer. The resulting extra forward weight on a 6x2 tractor helps compensate for the lack of a second drive axle to deliver traction control that is comparable to a 6x4 tractor.
Dana Spicer has a 6x2 tandem called EconoTrek that also uses a tag axle. It's available with a locking differential that's compatible with automatic weight-transfer systems, or the diff-locking and weight-transfer functions can be driver controlled.
Dana also has a “convertible” system that allows truck owners to change an existing 6x4 tandem into a 6x2, or convert a 6x2 into a 6x4 for greater resale value. There's some cost to a conversion, but it answers the 6x2's major financial drawback, that its oddball status hurts residual value.
Residual values are a reality that has helped keep the 6x4 popular. In the last 10 years, a 6x4's average value has been about $5,500 more than that of a 6x2, according to Jessica Carr, an associate analyst at Truck Blue Book. That more than exceeds any purchasing savings a 6x2 might have, and mostly offsets the fuel savings over four or five years of service.
Then again, a 6x2 believer can say that fuel savings pay for any loss in residual value. And there's still the weight advantage.
In sales, the 6x2 is still a minor thing. “It is now in only about 3% of Class 8 trucks,” says Matt Stevenson, general manager for Meritor's North American field operations and marketing. “In five years, that should grow to 18%,” which would be significant.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I get slammed by a Milwaukee mob relative
Milwaukee shirt tail Mob relative not happy with my posts.

His comments below and my response follows:
"Nice story but your talk of my shirt tail relatives only brings more mystery and imputed fear of nothing. Organized crime has been replaced by White Collar Crime namely banks, insurance companies, credit card companies and a host of conglomerates that have been effectively charged with strong-arm tactics, fraud, and prohibited practices over the last 10 years that amounts to 2 trillion dollars in losses to common people at a disadvantage to understand the ilk that has filtered into our business community like a festering pus filled infection. Their acts even include insurance companies who deny or delay coverage on operations and medical procedures knowing the person would die before they could appeal a ruling in court much less have the money to fight a conglomerate. When I read your story I have to chuckle that the misdeeds of a few gumbas should tarnish Carmen and Joes' good name. For your interest, Joe is the "tunnel king" one of the only people to have worked on both sides of the English Chunnel to France and engineered a lot of the equipment needed to build what is considered the 8th Wonder of the World. Just because a woman had difficulty with her marriage from an abusive relationship where the husband was most likely hiding or understating his assets as most wealthy men and their slimy attorneys do for them in divorce actions until the rules were changed doesn't mean she was bad.....if she was all mobbed up as you imply....then there would not have been any arguments under your theory....he would have never lived long enough to testify. I remember when I worked for Sally Papia who was also claimed to be a Mob Boss in Milwaukee, I had to laugh again. The Mob rules never allowed any woman to ever be in control of anything but the children. It was all a façade to divert the attention of the FBI who was constantly following her and wasting their differently than how our government has been found to be profiling and illegally investigating people who are members of the Tea Party exercising their constitutional rights. The biggest present day crooks and killers are the politicians and bureaucrats who sold us into slavery with the bubble bursting in the real estate markets and the bailouts of those crooks that followed....that's the New Mob.

When you talk of Frank and the stronghold he had on the vending business it is a pale joke to the monopoly that Microsoft, the local power utility, or your local water utility has over your life and pocket book when they have charged Milwaukee area residents over 2 billion for sewers since 1969 and we are still flooding the same homes today as we did 50 years ago. It's all a ruse by a bunch of bandits who have arranged for new laws to be enacted to take every last nickel of it before we die....that's the New Mob you fail to point out that thrives today...!

A long time ago a business associate bought Frank Balistreri's Cabin Cruiser and found a brief case loaded with money...most likely his getaway stash. He freaked out not knowing what to I called one of Frank's sons and made inquiries....they told my friend to donate the money to Children's Hospital and he did. For everything bad said about my relatives or implied there are ten thousand events by crooked politicians and power brokers that have killed more than a million people in the last ten years....and then you have the temerity to say my family was "the Mob." Mexican drug dealers and their drug war killed 38,000 people last year alone and Obama provided them with the who is the "New Mob"? You should know that the "Old Mob" no longer exists, it was just replaced by a bunch of educated thugs who actually portend to call themselves respectable even when the courts fine them billions for bilking the everyday public."
My response:

Gwedo, thank you for your input.

Your comments seem to be directed at three of my mob posts.

Referring to Married to the daughter of a mob boss You wrote:
When I read your story I have to chuckle that the misdeeds of a few gumbas should tarnish Carmen and Joes' good name. For your interest, Joe is the "tunnel king" one of the only people to have worked on both sides of the English Chunnel to France and engineered a lot of the equipment needed to build what is considered the 8th Wonder of the World. Just because a woman had difficulty with her marriage from an abusive relationship where the husband was most likely hiding or understating his assets as most wealthy men and their slimy attorneys do for them in divorce actions until the rules were changed doesn't mean she was bad.....if she was all mobbed up as you imply....then there would not have been any arguments under your theory....he would have never lived long enough to testify.

composite photo by pat migliaccio
I believe you are referring to Joseph and Carmen Vaccaro. Joe was our Milwaukee pediatrician in the 1950’s until well into the 1970’s, a doctor! What would he have been doing working on the English Chunnel? I only stated that Carmen’s father was a high ranking member of the Milwaukee mob. If you look at the picture of the dinner with Rocky Graziano, Pasquale and Joseph were shoulder to shoulder with mob connected people. Even the owner of the restaurant was connected. That wasn't my assertion, but the FBI’s and many others. Pasquale was smart enough to keep a very low profile and I could find no record of any arrest. I’m quite certain that if Pasquale wanted Dr. Vaccaro whacked, he could have easily arranged it. He punched him in the face in a court hallway! Who knows what Carmen (or Joseph for that matter) knew about her dad’s activities, I wasn't trying to trash her or Joe, but the very contentious divorce was all over the Milwaukee newspapers. Maybe, I should have stated, I was way too young to know Dr. Vaccaro and what kind of husband he may have been. What I was trying to do was tell an interesting story of my seeing a photo in a book of mob history and recognizing a familiar face that I hadn't seen in about 50 years!

I remember when I worked for Sally Papia who was also claimed to be a Mob Boss in Milwaukee, I had to laugh again. The Mob rules never allowed any woman to ever be in control of anything but the children. It was all a façade to divert the attention of the FBI who was constantly following her and wasting their time......
Nowhere was it stated in my post that Sally Papia was a mob boss in Milwaukee, however I do concede that the title of my post could lead to that assumption. Gary Magnesen, in his book "Straw Men" actually came up with that title for her. There are numerous accounts that Sally liked to portray herself as mob connected. She dated a Chicago Outfit mobster (“Big Frank” Buccieri) for many years and Frank Balistrieri himself was quoted saying he thought she was a “mobster wannabe in a friggen skirt”! She had two federal convictions and served time. A facade to divert attention? I would like to pose that question to the chef who almost had his hands crushed with baseball bats by a couple of Sally’s wannabe gangster employees! Sally and five of her employees went to prison for it!
You stated that you worked for Sally, I would be interested to know what your job was and the side of her that you saw.

When you talk of Frank and the stronghold he had on the vending business it is a pale joke to the monopoly that Microsoft..........Power Utility.........
A long time ago a business associate bought Frank Balistreri's Cabin Cruiser and found a briefcase loaded with money...most likely his getaway stash. He freaked out not knowing what to I called one of Frank's sons and made inquiries....they told my friend to donate the money to Children's Hospital and he did.
....and then you have the temerity to say my family was "the Mob."
frank "mad bomber" balistrieri
This last one caused me some consternation, as you seem to imply that the mob’s history of murder, brutality and preying upon people (many who were) of their own ethnicity should not be known? How about the mob buying rancid meat, treating it with formaldehyde and grinding it up into sausage and hamburgers, selling it to schools and hospitals? See The beef that didn't moo - Wisconsin ties to the New York mob!  Microsoft and the utilities, insurance & credit card companies are worse, is that what you are saying? You can’t justify bad behavior by pointing out other bad behavior.
Frank’s stronghold on the vending business was a “pale joke”? I would like to ask that of the wife and kids of the murdered Anthony Biernat, a Kenosha vending business owner found dead in a shallow grave! A small business owner that went to work every day to support his family and refused to “share” with Frankie. His murder was never solved, but the FBI believed that Steve DiSalvo, Frankie’s right hand man was the one that did the hit and that Frankie ordered it.
I've read a lot of transcripts of the FBI recorded tapes of Frank Balistrieri, he was a disgusting and vile man. FBI undercover agent Joe Pistone noted in his book that he was surprised at how arrogantly Frankie treated his sons and brother, talking down to them as if the was the great “don” and they were his slaves.

And I certainly did not mean to impugn that your entire family was "mobbed up". There are so many great Italian Americans that abhorred that kind of behavior, worked hard and had productive lives. There were some very good comments by a nephew of Joe Alioto in the Frank Balistrieri post. I had the pleasure of working for a great Italian American, Leo Frigo of Green Bay, WI.

I do appreciate your comments and will allow all thoughtful points of view to be seen here. Thank you for your contribution and I’d be happy to hear from you anytime.

Other of my links to related Mob posts:
"Mr. Fancy Pants" Balistrieri - Tracking Milwaulee's most dangerous mobster