Channel 19 – March 2009

user-gravatar Headshot

A tiger tale wags on

The Tiger Truck Stop at Exit 139 on I-10 in Gross Tete, La., has been home for many years to a caged tiger named – quite unoriginally – Tony. Michael Sandlin, truck stop owner, began showing tigers 20 years ago to increase business. At least since 1993, however, he’s been in violation of an unenforced Iberville Parish ordinance prohibiting the practice. Activists and truck stop employees clashed at two recent public hearings. Until Sandlin’s injunction request is settled, the tiger remains. Visit or for information from each party.

Unholy smokes!

What emerges from diesel stacks in newer trucks bears little resemblance to the sooty, particulate-laden clouds of yesteryear’s trucks, but don’t tell that to those who’d rather hawk outrageous stereotypes. The latest guilty party is PBS’ News Hour With Jim Lehrer. In a Christmas Eve story about a producer of algae-based biodiesel and other fuels, an old jalopy of a cabover was pictured during a sort of montage about dirty technology, followed by a close-up of a smoke-belching stack. No word about Class 8 trucks, not to mention the hyper-scrubbed emissions of late-model engines.

Hey, elf, check your fuel math

Even as fuel prices were dropping in December, “lower fuel prices” topped our online trucker poll asking for favorite Christmas wishes. Clifford Lynch had his own lower-price wish a year ago, which was only partially fulfilled. In his yearly letter to Santa in DC Velocity magazine, for distribution center managers, he rebuked St. Nick. “It appears that someone in your workshop is mathematically challenged,” he wrote, noting a 14.8 percent drop in the price of oil (with gas following) from a year ago. In the same time period, Lynch scolded, diesel rose 16 percent. “Please tell whichever elf handles pricing that