Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                                                                  By Tom Avenengo

                                                                                      Volume # 41




I sure hope every one had a Merry Christmas, and that Santa was able to get you what you wished for.  And that the New Year, 2011, will be much better for all of us!



Looks like it might be a rather short column this week, and maybe the same for the next few columns, what with the racing season closed down - to an extent.



I guess where I live – in Port Jervis, NY, we lucked out as far as the amount of snow that we received compared to others in this area.  I hope none of you were “snowbound”!



I’ve noticed a lot of car commercials on TV lately.  Have you?  That got me to thinking – if they cut out all those commercials, could they lower the price of the new cars?



I, like a good many people in this country, did most of my Christmas shopping at Walmart.  I only have a couple of small grand children and great grand ones to get for, as far as kids go.  My “famous” fudge took care of most of the gifts this Christmas.  It’s truly remarkable how so many of the toys in the toy department come from China.  And it isn’t only toys, either!  I’m talking about toys that have been around for years and years – not being made in this country anymore.  With our unemployment rate actually being over 10% (as far as I’m concerned), why must companies in this country out source to foreign lands?  Someone is getting awful rich at our expense, folks, and eventually it’s gonna bite us in the azz.



Going back, in time:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of December 17th to December 31st.




Paul Tracy*... Born... Paul competed in CART and the Champ Car World Series from 1991 to 2007 and later with the IRL


Sammy Sessions*... Died... Sessions was one of the most likable race drivers to come out of the state of Michigan and obtain national prominence. Born during the depression days of the middle thirties, Sam started racing outboard boats at the tender age of 14 and moved into stock cars in 1958 at the now defunct Hastings racetrack. Next on Sam's driving list were the supermodifieds in which he earned the point championship at the now defunct Grand Rapids Speedrome, along with winning a 200-lap national championship supermodified race at South Bend. In 1963 San won 100 lappers at Sandusky, Shangri-La and Delaware. 1964 brought victories in a 50 lapper at Toledo, 100 lapper at Sandusky, and a 150 lapper at the Grand Rapids Speedrome. Nicknamed, the "Little Tiger" Sammy was one of the many Michigan drivers that dominated the early supermodified days at Oswego. The fan popular Sessions drove Pete Webster's Bingo 151 super to three feature wins in a row early in 1964 before taking the car out of the ball-park in turn one in a spectacular crash. The following season Sessions began a USAC racing career that saw him successfully compete in Champ, Sprint and Midget divisions, the highlight being a top five finish in the '72 Indy 500. Continued in sprint cars for a number of years and also became a top snowmobile racer. He died when he suffered a heart-attack during a snowmobile racing accident in Alexandria, Minnesota in 1977 and subsequently crashed into a tree, dying instantly when a branch decapitated him. Real name was Allen Dale Sessions.


Note:  It was back on June 14, 1970, when a couple of my co-workers from the Suffern, NY Grand Union and I went to see the Indy Car race at the Langhorne Speedway, which was paved then.  Sam Sessions had a vicious accident that day, when he spun his rear engine car and hit, in what could be called the fourth turn area outside fence, early in the race.  With a full load of fuel (gas back then) there was quite a fire – with flames between the track and stands, down the track, towards the first turn area, where his car traveled after hitting the fence, and into the pit area where the remaining fuel from his car went.  With the front end of his car wedged under the steel guardrail that separated pit road from the track, itself, Sam was pinned in the car.  I forget just who it was that was televising the race for a future showing (Wide World of Sports – for the next week, I believe), but there was a camera on Sam, while he was pinned in his car, and Sam was pointing down to his feet in an attempt to tell those that were there to rescue him that his feet were stuck.  Meanwhile, one could see the cars windshield slowly melting down!



Ryan-Hunter Reay*... Born... He started driving in 2003 with CART , Champ Car World Series and later with IRL .




Bill Holland*... Born ... AAA driver from the 1930's 40's and 50's. He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1949.


Don Davis ... Born ... USAC driver from the late 1950's to the early 1960's. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1960-1962 seasons with 15 starts, including the 1961 and 1962 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 8 times, with his two best finishes in 3rd at Trenton and in 4th at Indianapolis, both in 1962. He died in a sprint car crash in New Bremen, OH.(8/7/62)


Henry Banks ... Died ... He was the son of an early European race-driver. Henry began competing in 1932, when he was 19-years-old, and became successful in the midget cars. He was the first driver to pass the qualifying "rookie test" at the Indianapolis 500 in 1936. He also drove as a relief driver in 1937, 1939, and 1940, with a 21st place finish in 1938. He won the 1941 American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) championship in the East. After a break during the war, when he worked at Ford's aero-engine division, Banks' career took off. In 1947 he won 30 midget car races. In 1950, he was the AAA National Champion and, in the same year, came second in the National Midget points. He later retired from racing and became USAC Director of Competitions.


Stan Fox ... Died ... The Wisconsin native was one of America's top midget pilots for more than 20 years. He won the 1979 Badger Midget Series title and went on to a successful USAC career that included 19 wins. Among his victories are the Belleville Nationals (twice), Turkey Night Grand Prix, 4-Crown Nationals and Copper World Classic (twice). Fox, who raced in eight Indianapolis 500s, was seriously injured during the 1995 Indy 500 and never raced competitively again. Fox is a member of the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Fox was killed in an automobile accident in New Zealand in 2000.


John LeVan died.  He, along with the late Lenny Calinoff ran a website that was www.openwheelracing.com.  After Lenny passed away, John took the website over.  Some problems arose and John came out with www.openwheelracers.com.  I was pretty close to John, and he did disclose some info to me about “his” website and I was amazed at just how popular it was.  John never had any problems getting credentials for his staff members for any racing event.  He was quite instrumental in getting me started in writing, I should add.



Ralph DePalma... Born ... AAA driver from 1909 to 1933. Ran the Indy 500 ten times and won in 1915.


Louis Schneider... Born ... AAA Midget and Indy Car driver from the 1920's and 30's. He won the 1931 Indy 500.


Patty Moise... Born ... A former NASCAR driver. She drove in five Winston Cup races from 1987 to 1989, and 133 Busch Series races from 1986 to 1998. She is the wife of former fellow NASCAR driver Elton Sawyer.




Scott Goodyear ... Born ... Racecar driver from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. Goodyear ran the IndyCar, IRL and Champ Car series during his career from 1987 to 2001.



Lorenzo Bandini... Born ... Formula One driver 1961 to 1967. He died of burns as a result of a crash in the Monaco Grand Prix, May 1967.


Rex Easton* ... Died ... Rex competed in some sprint cars, but was mainly a midget chauffeur who was always up front in competition. His career was evenly divided between the AAA and USAC years. In USAC competition, he won 21 features, which places him 21st in the all- time USAC feature wins ranking. Rex Easton won the 1954 Midwest Midget title and just missed taking the National Championship that year, losing out to Jack Turner in the last race of the season. Rex placed second in the 1957 and 1958 USAC National Midget Division points races and won the USAC Midwest Championship in 1958.




Bob Lazier... Born ... Lazier competed in many forms of motorsport in the 1970's including Formula 5000 and the SCCA Super V series. He raced in the CART series in 1981 completing all 11 events that year and was CART's Rookie of the Year for 1981. He finished 9th in points for Fletcher Racing Team and finished 4th two different times that year, the first at Watkins Glen then again two weeks later in Mexico. Lazier also competed in the 1981 Indianapolis 500 starting 13th and finishing 19th after a blown engine caused him to retire the Penske PC-7 after 154 laps. He is the father of both 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Lazier and Indy Racing League driver Jaques Lazier.




Jim Packard* ... Born ... Driver from 1956 to 1960. Ran IMCA Sprints, ARDC and USAC Midgets, USAC Sprints and Indy Cars.


Todd Gibson ... Born ... Supermodified, USAC Sprint and Indy Car driver from the 1960's to 1979.


Bob Cicconi* ... Born ... ARDC Midget, USAC Midget, Sprint, Mini-Indy Super Vee and Silver Crown driver from the 1970's to 1990's.




Wimpy Ervin*... Born ... A former midget and sprint car driver from Bloomfield, NJ. who raced in the 1940's, 50's and early 60's.


John Hubbard*... Born ... Johnstown, Pennsylvania driver who raced ARDC Midgets, USAC Sprints, Silver Crown and Indy Cars.


Eddie Leavitt... Born ... Sprint car driver from the 1970's & 80's. He was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2001 and was in the Knoxville Raceway Hall of Fame. He was a two-time National Sprint Car Champion.


Bobby Olivero... Born ... A former driver in the USAC Championship Car series. He raced in the 1976-1978 seasons, with 17 career starts, including the 1977 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 11 times, with his best finish in 5th position in 1977 at Ontario. In 1979, Olivero was the USAC Silver Crown Series champion. Earlier in his career, he won the 1975 CRA Sprint Car championship.


Johnny White... Died ... USAC sprint & Indy car driver from the 1960's. He was paralyzed from a Sprint Car accident at Terre Haute, IN., in 1964 just 2 weeks after being named the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year.



Louis Chevrolet... Born ... AAA driver 1905 to 1923. He was a co-founder (with William C. Durant) of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, which was acquired by General Motors and is their bestselling brand nationwide and in many cases synonymous with General Motors itself. Louis also competed in the Indianapolis 500 four times, with a best finish of 7th in 1919. Younger brother Gaston won there in 1920 in a car Louis built, and brother Arthur also competed twice.


Fred "Jiggs" Peters* ... Died ... Jiggs started racing Midgets in 1948, winning the ARDC championship in 1951. He then moved into Sprint Cars. In 1955 he unsuccesfully attempted to qualify for the Indy 500 in a Scopa-Offy. Equally at home on dirt or asphalt, he tried to qualify for Indy again in the Lee Glessner Offy in 1957. Short on speed on the first weekend, he was fast enough on the second to qualify but he chose to come home to NJ to run locally to make money as opposed to sitting in Indy for the whole month of May without an income. He was very good in long distance races and won numerous times at long tracks like Trenton, N.J. and Langhorne, Pa. He was injured at Bedford Speedway in 1969 in a URC Sprint Car race and retired after that. He continued to stay involved by running the pit gate at Grandview Speedway for promoter Ed Darrell. He also was very involved in numerous Old Timer Clubs until his passing.




Tex Keene* ... Born ... Driver who ran with the ARDC and several races with NASCAR in the early 1950's.


Budd Olson* ... Died ... New Jersey Stock Car driver from the 1940's, 50's and 60's. From local dirt tracks to NASCAR, Budd Olsen built a solid reputation, first as a driver and then as one of the leading racecar builders in the region.




Greg Leffler ... Born ... A former driver in the CART Championship Car series. He raced in the 1980-1983 seasons, with 13 career starts, including the 1980 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten twice, with his best finish in 6th position in 1982 at Riverside. In 1979, Leffler was the USAC Sprint Car Series Champion.




Ralph Mulford... Born ... AAA driver 1910 to 1926.


Stubby Stubblefield... Born ... AAA driver from the 1930's Ran the Indy 500 from 1931 to 1934. His best finish was 5th in 1933. He was killed in a practice crash for the 1935 Indianapolis 500.


Nelson Stacy... Born ... Stacy was ARCA Champion for three years 1958, 1959, 1960, prior to entering Winston Cup racing when he was over 40. An "Old Man" for a rookie by today's standards. He still managed to win the World 600 and two races at Darlington and Martinsville before his health caused him to slow down after only 3 years in NASCAR.


John LeVan was born.  John was involved in racing for most of his life, in various aspects, like “PR” for the URC, race reporting for various speedways and being a partner with Lenny Calinoff in a website devoted to motor sports, then having his own motor sports website after the passing of Lenny.




Tony Bonadies*... Born ... A very popular midget car driver, Tony Bonadies' career spanned over twenty-four years during which he competed in more than one thousand races. Although he never won the ARDC Midget Championship, he was ranked amongst the top six in seven out of his last eight seasons in the series' final classification table, and he was twice the title runner-up. He entered the Indy 500 three times, but failed to qualify in all attempts: in 1955 and the following year his times aboard a Kurtis 3000D - Offenhauser were simply not quick enough, and in 1957 he wrecked his Kurtis 500C - Offenhauser at the Turn 4 at the northwest end of the track during practice and had to withdraw from the race. Bonadies was taking place in an ARDC midget race at the Williams Grove Speedway on 05 July 1964 when, as he pitched his Frankenfield - Offenahuser into a slide at the entrance to Turn 1, the right rear axle of the car snapped. The vehicle barrel rolled several times and then got airborne. Tony was thrown to the ground and died instantly.


John Rostek ... Died ... A NASCAR driver from Fort Collins, CO. Despite racing in just six Nextel Cup Series events in his career, Rostek earned one victory, one pole and three top-tens. Five of his six races came in 1960, when Rostek debuted at Daytona, racing in the Daytona 500 qualifier. But a crash on the fifth lap would end his chances of a good finish and making the 500, finishing 39th. But his rebound was amazing. In his next race, Phoenix, Rostek took the lead midway through the event, led 58 laps and pulled away to a shocking victory. He proved it was no fluke later in the year, finishing 3rd at Hanford and 7th at Montgomery after leading seven laps and starting on the pole. Rostek's final race came in 1963, racing at Riverside. Starting 27th in the forty-four car field, Rostek seemed poised for another top-ten finish before a late crash sidelined him to 16th. He also raced with the USAC Stock Car Division from 1958 to 1964.


A.J. Fike* ... Born ... USAC & NASCAR driver.



Walt Brown* ... Born ... AAA driver from the 1940's and early 50's who ran in 3 Indy 500's with a best finish of 7th in 1947. He died in a race at the Williams Grove Speedway (PA) July 29, 1951.


Johnny Moorehouse... Died ... USAC driver from the 1950's




Dick Northam won the 50 lap USAC Midget race at the Freedom Hall (1/10c), Louisville,KY.


Johnny Herrera* won the Roger McCluskey Classic Sprint Car race over Charles Davis Jr, Jerry Coons Jr, Damion Gardner and Josh Pelkey at the United Sports Arizona USA, Tucson, AZ.


Jesse Hockett won the Roger McCluskey Classic preliminary Sprint Car race over Casey Shuman, Jerry Coons Jr, and Jon Stanbrough at the United Sports Arizona USA, Tucson, AZ.


* - I was fortunate to have seen all of those drivers race, in person.




The History of the Sport:

If you remember, some weeks ago, one of the members of the Yahoo! Race History Group sent out some links (35 of them, to be precise) to some auto racing articles that appeared in Time magazine, many years ago, via e-mail.  So, if you don’t mind, here are the next five links.  Hope you get some enjoyment out of reading them.

A “Ford” on the pole at Indy in 1964:


A little about Nuvolari:


A woman racing in the 500?:


A little about qualifying for the 1959 Indy 500


Racing on a twelve and a half mile circle:



More racin’ stuff:

One really has to wonder just what is going on with the WRG (World Racing Group) or DIRTcar, or whatever they are called, today.  Cory Reed has left the organization.  Just days before Christmas, their “PR” person, Tom Skibinski was relieved of his duties.  Now it looks like Tom and Cory are back together.  There’s still a lot of talk about the possible return to racing here in the Northeast for Glenn Donnelly – in 2012.  2011 should prove to be an interesting year.


No idea, as yet, as to who will be in the Petruska # 66 cars in 2011.


New clay reportedly put down on the Accord Speedway.  No ARDC midgets at Accord in 2011, but the CRSA 305 Sprint Cars will be there two times.


Not one word coming out of OCFS as of now, but might have some news when they have their banquet a little over a week from now.


It was rumored that “Suitcase” would be back at OCFS in 2011.


No idea if Ken Sands will be back or not, either.  He was supposed to be buying a racetrack down in Florida, but I’m not sure if that’s still on the burner, or not – from what I’ve heard.  If you can recall, last year I was told I would not get any info from OCFS, so I guess I’ll have to rely on the Internet for news.


Speaking of OCFS – they’ll have their banquet on Saturday, January 8th at the usual place – Kuhl’s Highland House in Middletown, N.Y.

The annual racecar show that’s been held in the arena at OC over the years, will not be held in the arena in 2011, but will be held down in Rockland County.  There will be more on this in later columns.

Note:  Well, let me say that there was NOT supposed to be a motor sports show at the arena on the OC property.  Suffice to say:  A “Little Bird” informs me that in March, there will be a motor sports show in the arena on the OC property.  This will be a different show than the one in Rockland County.


There’s quite an interesting thing being discussed on the ARDC’s message board about midget engines.  Yes, midgets are the only ones that have overhead cam and push rod engines competing against each other.  Most everything else – racing wise, is all push rod engines.  Back in the late 40’s, when the “Offy” engines were fairly reasonable, cost wise, some problems arose between those that had the Offy engines and those that had Ford or other stock type engines.  Might we’re be headed that way, again?

Check out the tread, and what’s being said, here:  http://ardcmidgets.com/ARDCForums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=765



Some Racin’ stuff from the AARN:

The AARN does not publish the last two weeks of the calendar year, so nothing really to report on this week.  Should be some interesting stuff in two weeks, I would suppose.



Additional Racin’ stuff:

Remember Mototown USA over in Connecticut?  It was an indoor dirt track that ran some races during the winter months a couple of years ago.  Well, it looks like it’s going to be re-opened, but with the track being on concrete now, rather than dirt, and it’s going to be used to race Go-Karts.  It’s being said that there is a “concrete slab” which is 300’ x 300’.  Do you realize how big that is?  A football field is 300’ from goal line to goal line.  Somehow, I can’t see it being that big, especially when I saw a photo of this proposed track.  300’ long, yes, but not that wide.  If you recall, one of the major problems with the place, when it ran previously was how cold it was inside, since there really wasn’t much in the way of heaters of any kind.  From what I’ve read, that problem will still exist.  I’m rather surprised that a couple of the businesses that were there a couple of years ago are still there – like Dunkin’ Donuts and a Blimpies.   I forget what’s been in there since the racetracks were closed up.  From what I understand, the pit area will be under the grandstand that’s at the end of where the dirt oval used to be.  I imagine you’ll have to unload outside – which was another problem from a couple of years ago, if I remember correctly.  That’s not too nice if “Mother Nature” acts up.


I recall it being quite a trip from where I live, and I just double-checked it.  From Port Jervis to Windsor CT is a tick over 142 miles and it would take 2 hours and 41 minutes to get there – give or take a few.  The one time we did go there we were lucky that “Mother Nature” was taking a break!


Here a couple of links for you to check out:









Other forums/message boards and websites:


You might find some interesting reading if you go to the links below.


Track Forum: - http://www.trackforum.com/forums/

Frontstretch.com:  http://www.frontstretch.com/

Jayski: - http://www.jayski.com/

Open Wheel Racers3:  http://www.openwheelracers3.com/

Race Pro Weekly:  http://raceproweekly.com/

Racing on TV - http://www.racefantv.com/USTV.htm

Syracuse forum:  http://www.syracuse.com/forums/motorsports/ (must register to post)

South Jersey Dirt Racing:  http://theboard.southjerseydirtracing.com/Msgboard.asp?ForumID=27&Return=Msgboard.asp&D83jsd=True

(must register to post)

Victory Speedway:  http://s2.excoboard.com/VictorySpeedwayForum (must register to post & no nonsense allowed)

Yahoo Race History Group:  http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/RacingHistory/ (when one posts something on an e-mail to the group, they do have what is called the “Len Sutton rule” – you put in your name and where you live.  And, yes, things are “policed” too.

New England Tractor:  http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/

Wheels of Speed:  http://www.wheelsofspeed.com/

The Caruso Racing Museum website:  http://www.carusomidgetracing.com/  A great website if you are interested in the history of legendary Mike Caruso, his cars and his drivers.


Note:  You might want to keep an eye on the “Racing on TV” link if you’re interested in watching the tape delay of the Chili Bowl.




Some of my thoughts – racing wise:

How I wish the Chili Bowl would be telecast LIVE!!

Chili Bowl on TV:  Portions of the 25th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals will be broadcast on SPEED TV on a tape-delayed basis.   As of Monday, December 27th, I found no date for this showing.  More than likely it will be some of the daily features then most of the 50 lap main feature.

Here’s a link to the Chili Bowl qualifying night schedules: 



Here is the entry list with over 250 names:  http://www.chilibowl.com/2011chilibowlentries.asp




Ain’t gonna happen department:

Found this over on Jayski’s website a couple of weeks ago:

New RPM owner wants to build race track in New York: Now that the president of Medallion Financial Corp., Taxi tycoon Andrew Murstein, has purchased NASCAR racing team Richard Petty Motorsports for less than $50 million, sources close to the situation tell us, Murstein intends to finally establish a track here [New York City area] and make New Yorkers fans of the supercharged sport. It's not a new idea. A company called International Speedway attempted to build a track on Staten Island earlier this decade, until opposition from nearby residents killed the project by 2007. The Medallion mogul's idea is to build the track to co-exist with horse racing at Aqueduct in Queens or at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. [New York Daily News] sources say he'll soon begin lobbying state and city officials. Even if local officials are receptive, Murstein could face a tough sell with the public. Though NASCAR is second only to NFL football in sports TV ratings, audiences have reportedly declined.(New York Daily News)(12-16-2010)”

Even more Racin’ stuff:

It would be interesting to see just what tracks this might benefit. 

From Jayski’s website on December 18th:

“Tax-cut legislation includes benefits for NASCAR Tracks:

A host of industries, from Caribbean distilleries to Hollywood producers, would gain billions in tax breaks and other subsidies under compromise tax-cut legislation now moving its way through Congress. The $858 billion package approved by the Senate is focused primarily on continuing the Bush administration tax cuts for two years, extending unemployment benefits and other large-scale expenditures. But buried inside the legislation are more than $55 billion in other giveaways and tax reductions for some of Washington's most influential industry groups. Owners of NASCAR tracks and other motor-sports facilities would benefit from two more years of a tax policy making it cheaper for them to fund capital projects. Estimated cost to taxpayers: $40 million. The motor-sports provision stems from an ongoing dispute between racetrack owners and the Internal Revenue Service, which concluded that racing facilities should be subject to longer depreciation schedules - thus decreasing tax benefits for owners. The motor-sports industry, including the popular NASCAR series, argues that a shorter, seven-year depreciation schedule used by amusement parks and similar facilities should apply instead. Congress has periodically approved the accelerated depreciation schedule since 2004; the tax-cuts bill would extend the provision again through 2011. The main beneficiaries of the provision would be large track owners such as International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports. But other racing organizations also support the change. "For us to be able to run our events at the track, you have to have quality facilities," said Ramsey Poston, managing director of corporate communications at NASCAR. "Being able to provide the track owners the opportunity to invest more in their tracks and make them better and safer is important for us and our fans."(in part from the Washingtom Post)(12-18-2010)”


Didja notice this part:  “Owners of NASCAR tracks and other motor-sports facilities would benefit from two more years of a tax policy making it cheaper for them to fund capital projects.”  I know a track real close to where I live that could use some improvements.  Hey, ya never know!


Video time:

Hey, if you’re not a fan of Country Music or of the late Luther Perkins, the guitarist that played for Johnny Cash, then you might want to skip over this “video”.  Luther was born on January 8, 1928.  That date will be passed by the time my next column is due out, so I thought I’d put this “Tribute to Luther Perkins” video on in this week’s column.  If you decide to watch it, please enjoy it!  Oh, most of the song titles are shown a little below the video.




Some of my thoughts – not racing related:

Well, it looks like this is the latest:  People (Politicians etc etc) in office, getting paid, and now also collecting their PENSIONS, too!  I can see this being a very big problem in the very near future.  It really sucks when a politician can come out and say “I’m not the only one doing it” or “If the people don’t like it they can change the law”!  Hello???  The idiot that said that was just re-elected to office and who is it that makes laws?  Not the citizens.  Oh and the idiot that said she wasn’t the only one – was also just re-elected, too.  Go figure!

I read that the Sheriff of Onondaga County, in New York, has also put in for his pension, even though he’s still on the job, and will be for a while.  What/who might be next – teachers?  Town/City/County workers?  Yup, you can see where it will all head to.  Yup, it’s gonna get UGLY, and fast, too, watch and see!


Oh, on that Sheriff – Kevin Walsh:  Syracuse, NY -- Six days after winning election to a record fifth term, Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh filed his retirement papers. He’s not really retiring. He’s taking advantage of a legal loophole that will allow him to collect an estimated $82,500 annual pension in addition to his $110,000 salary.”


“State law allows elected officials to “retire” from their posts, then continue to work those same jobs while collecting their public pensions. For those who started in their posts before July 26, 1995, and who are at least 65 years old, there is no limit to how much they can earn in salary and still collect their pensions.”



I read that one city – Prichard, Alabama has defaulted on paying out its pensions monies:

Alabama Town Defaults on Pensions, Breaks State Law; Renewed Calls For San Diego Bankruptcy; "Prichard is the Future"

In part:

“The dubious honor of being the first city in the nation to completely default on pension obligations goes to Prichard, Alabama. The city has sought bankruptcy protection twice and is flat broke. It faces a choice of paying to keep city services like police and garbage running or pay pensions. It selected the former.”

“Many cities and states are struggling to keep their pension plans adequately funded, with varying success. New York City plans to put $8.3 billion into its pension fund next year, twice what it paid five years ago. Maryland is considering a proposal to raise the retirement age to 62 for all public workers with fewer than five years of service.

Illinois keeps borrowing money to invest in its pension funds, gambling that the funds’ investments will earn enough to pay back the debt with interest. New Jersey simply decided not to pay the $3.1 billion that was due its pension plan this year.

Colorado, Minnesota and South Dakota have all taken the unusual step of reducing the benefits they pay their current retirees by cutting cost-of-living increases; retirees in all three states are suing.”


More interesting things/thoughts can be seen if you go here:





Non racing news:


Didja know that New York State is now state # 49 to have a law about getting over to the other side of the road when you’re passing an emergency vehicle that’s on the side of the road, with it’s lights flashing – like, say, a Police car?  Well, not quite yet – but it will be in effect as of January 1st.  Quite a hefty fine and maybe some points on your license, too, if you fail to do so.  Methinks the only state remaining now, without this law is Hawaii?



From December 18th:


Tax law won't help people who used up jobless aid


In part:

Unemployment benefits will be restored for millions of Americans under the tax-cut measure President Barack Obama signed into law Friday. Sylvia Kittrell of Orlando, Fla., isn't among them.

A social worker unemployed for more than two years, she's one of hundreds of thousands who will get no help from the new law because they've already used up all the benefits available to them.

"I have no money," Kittrell says. "Everything is gone."

“In California, 5,000 unemployed people use up their extended benefits each week. And 274,185 Californians will have exhausted 99 weeks of benefits by year's end.

In Florida, 105,011 people have run out of benefits; in Nevada, 27,325. In New York, 125,284 out-of-work people have stopped receiving unemployment checks because they've used up their aid.

The New Yorkers who've exhausted unemployment benefits tend to be older than those still receiving unemployment: Thirty percent are 55 or older, compared with less than 22 percent of those still receiving benefits.

And more than 48 percent of New Yorkers no longer receiving benefits are women. That compares with 43 percent of those receiving unemployment aid.”





Is this true?:

Sad to say it, but yes, it’s true!


Where are the jobs? For many companies, overseas

In part:

“Corporate profits are up. Stock prices are up. So why isn't anyone hiring?

Actually, many American companies are — just maybe not in your town. They're hiring overseas, where sales are surging and the pipeline of orders is fat.

More than half of the 15,000 people that Caterpillar Inc. has hired this year were outside the U.S. UPS is also hiring at a faster clip overseas. For both companies, sales in international markets are growing at least twice as fast as domestically.”

“But the jobs are going elsewhere. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist.”

“Take the example of DuPont, which wowed the world in 1938 with nylon stockings. Known as one of the most innovative American companies of the 20th century, DuPont now sells less than a third of its products in the U.S. In the first nine months of this year, sales to the Asia-Pacific region grew 50 percent, triple the U.S. rate. Its stock is up 47 percent this year.

DuPont's work force reflects the shift in its growth: In a presentation on emerging markets, the company said its number of employees in the U.S. shrank by 9 percent between January 2005 and October 2009. In the same period, its work force grew 54 percent in the Asia-Pacific countries.”

“Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria worries that the trend could be dangerous. In an article in the November issue of the Harvard Business Review, he says that if U.S. businesses keep prospering while Americans are struggling, business leaders will lose legitimacy in society. He exhorted business leaders to find a way to link growth with job creation at home.”


Note # 1:  Under this article, are some comments – 2078, as of 2:00 on Tuesday afternoon..  Here is one of them – might it work?

“Place tariffs on the products made by these companies and make it so expensive that it would than become cheaper for these companies to move their plant operations back here.”

Note # 2:  Years ago, I was a member of a Union.  Even got to be shop steward.  Later on, I was part of management – doing the exact same job, I should add.  But might the main problem be that’s causing all this “outsourcing” be the Unions?


A little quiz:

I’ve often wondered how many read my “Stuff”, and maybe I’ll get some kind of an idea if I put out a little quiz. 

So, besides New Jersey, what is the only other state where it is the “law” that you don’t/should not pump your own gas at a gas station?

Got the answer?  E-mail me with it.  My e-mail address is always at the end of my column!


Closing with this:


Smart Blonde



Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with that expensive double-pane energy efficient kind, and today, I got a call from the installation contractor, complaining that the work had been completed a whole year ago and I still hadn't paid for them.


Hellloooo,...........just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am automatically stupid.  So, I told him just what his fast talking sales guy had told me last year,  "In ONE YEAR these windows will pay for themselves!" 


Well helllooooo?  It's been a year!


There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just hung up.  He never called back.

I bet he felt like an idiot.




May “Guardian Angels” sit on the shoulders of all of our race drivers and race fans, and guide them safely around the tracks!

Drive safe! 

Remember – My next column will be back on January 13th.


As usual, you can reach me at:  ygordad@yahoo.com