16 June 2011

If It's THURSDAY, It Must Be...
Lemme guess...the day before FRIDAY?
Nah, well...yeah, but it's also another day with some RAIN in it here in the Heartland (geez).
Nothing like getting into a SLUMP in Indiana, right?
Still, it could always be MUCH worse.
So let's remember those in Arizona, suffering the worst wildfires there in state history, as well as folks still cleaning up along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, as well as people a bit farther west having to deal with their own flood issues.
Plenty of people to pray for and donate to, that's for sure.
Meanwhile, two stories came to light that got me scratching the old noggin.
*** First up, this one:
(( Folks find bullet holes in home, cars - Police firing range takes responsibility
Updated: Wednesday, 15 Jun 2011, 10:48 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 15 Jun 2011, 7:52 PM EDT
ALLEN CO, Ind. (WANE) - Clutching a damaged bullet in his palm, Jimmy Caylor said he's never seen anything like it around his Cedar Wood Trails home.
"I get a little worried. You know, it's not Beirut," said Caylor.
He said about three weeks ago, his neighbor found a bullet hole on the side of his trailer and a bullet inside his bedroom. Soon after, Caylor found a bullet outside his home and a crack in his windshield.
"I looked up and I was like, 'Oh my goodness, there's a bullet hole in my windshield!'"
That's when Caylor started to get worried, especially since his three young children often play outside.
"What if a miscellaneous bullet comes across and doesn't hit my windshield? What if it hits one of my babies? You know? I'm kind of scared for my babies," he said.
It didn't take him long to blame the Public Safety Academy's firing range right next door.
It's shared by the Allen County Sheriff's Department and Fort Wayne Police. He said he called New Haven police to complain and filed a report.
"If there's a slight chance that the bullet did come from our range, we're gonna proceed as if it did," said Steve Stone, spokesperson for the sheriff's department.
Stone said the department visited the neighborhood. They're not sure if any officers are responsible, but they are taking ownership.
"As of right now all training has been suspended at the range," said Stone. The department is making changes to the range and the training. It's also promised to pay to fix Caylor's damaged windshield.
Man, if this isn't some sort of REPLAY of the situation that also CLOSED the outdoor police firing range up around Lima and the Allen County Fairgrounds way back in 2001.
Back then, one person living close to the range found a bullet on her lawn, and because of that, the place was shut down.
Perhaps it was a ploy to have the area rezoned for other (read more profitable) use, or maybe just someone with an axe to grind at the police.
Or maybe it was a stray that got loose from the range.
In any event, that facility (north) was closed, forcing all the FWPD and Allen County Sheriff officers to either retreat INDOORS or drive ALL the way up to AUBURN to practice shooting in an outdoor venue.
Now, we have a new facility (barely open all that long) that is getting the same treatment.
Granted, that ANY rounds that are going anywhere EXCEPT downrange at any facility IS cause for alarm.
Doing anything close to unsafe and stupid with LIVE ammo at any range WILL get you some severe punishment, and woe to the person that has the range master come DOWN on him/her in such a manner for irresponsible behavior.
But, it seems really weird to me that this could happen.
So much procedural safety is practiced at such facilities.
It just all doesn't add up to me.
Looking at the aerial maps doesn't do any good, either, because the facility doesn't appear to have anything close to a "formal range" on site. This could just be a lapse of updating the photos...I can't say.
And the proximity to housing is a bit on the "close" side for my liking, for an OUTDOOR range. If it were solely an INDOOR range, not a problem.
Now, I thought the range was supposed to be down along Adams Ctr. Rd and Paulding, on the lower SE side of town, so what's THIS range doing out along Moeller Rd? Didn't know we had TWO ranges in town these days.
I DO know the PATRIOT RANGE in the Public Safety Academy on the old Southtown mall site DOES have an INDOOR RANGE and can be used for pistols OR long guns...been there, saw that.
There does seem to be some sort of gun "store" (?) at 5402 Moeller Rd (GUNS ALL US IND,US), but I can't find any information about this place.
On the aerial map, it's just a bunch of semi trailers parked about...hardly what I would call a "shooting range".
I think, based on what I can find, that someone wants the ACSD to chase a few wild geese, and perhaps the bullets that struck the cars and houses came from individuals and not anyone with law-enforcement.
After all, when the sun goes down, this area would be a GREAT place to drive through and cap off some rounds for the hell of it (which is what a LOT of the locals around us apparently love to do, if you follow the FWPD blotter).
It's going to be interesting to see the outcome of the ACSD investigative findings, that's for sure.
*** The other story involves something old being made "new" again:
(( Published: June 14, 2011 3:00 a.m.
State trucks running on vapors - 600 switching to cash-saving propane, natural gas
Vivian Sade The Journal Gazette
A CNG-powered truck and a propane-fueled pickup are parked at an INDOT facility onU.S. 27.A fueling infrastructure and equipment plan under way at the Indiana Department of Transportation should save Indiana taxpayers about $1 million, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman
said Monday.
Skillman talked about the state’s new plan at the INDOT maintenance unit on U.S. 27 in Allen County, and she later drove one of INDOT’s newly converted Ranger pickup trucks.
More than 600 INDOT work trucks and cargo vans are being converted to run on domestic propane gas or compressed natural gas, called CNG.
The infrastructure for 115 fueling stations across Indiana is already in place, Skillman said, standing next to the new propane station at the INDOT location on U.S. 27.
Broken runway lights and a delayed landing caused Skillman to be late for Monday’s announcement, but it didn’t hamper her enthusiasm as she explained the new infrastructure.
"Indiana will have the nation’s largest statewide propane fueling network, with nearly all of its operations being within 30 miles of a fueling site," Skillman said.
About 90 percent of propane, a byproduct of natural gas processing and crude oil refining, comes from domestic sources.
It is the third most popular motor fuel behind gasoline and diesel but generates 75 percent to 90 percent less carbon monoxide, ozone and hydrocarbon emissions than gasoline and diesel. Propane costs about half the price of gasoline, Skillman said.
"CNG and propane are expected to replace 500,000 gallons of unleaded or diesel fuel each year," Skillman said.
Productive Concepts Inc. in Union City is converting the state-owned vehicles, Skillman said. Manchester Tank & Equipment Co., with offices in Bedford and Elkhart, will supply the tanks.
"This is a perfect fit for a frugal administration," Skillman said.
A $6.3 million federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant through the Indiana Office of Energy Development and Greater Indiana Clean Cities help funds the INDOT infrastructure and vehicle conversion.
"As fuel costs skyrocket, state government is protecting taxpayers by seeking out cleaner-burning domestic energy sources and technologies," INDOT Chief of Staff Robert Zier said.
Zier said propane or CNG will not create a polluted brownfield.
"If it’s spilled, it’s gone," Zier said. "It will not leach into the ground. A hundred years from now, there will be no tanks to dig up, nothing left to clean up."
The state will convert 645 vehicles this year, said Joe Rudolph, INDOT’s technical service director. Those vehicles include pickup trucks used for construction sites, double-cab pickups used to transport workers and tools, cargo vans used for survey crews and signal technicians, dump trucks and even lawn mowers.
It costs $5,500 to $7,200 to convert each vehicle, Rudolph said, but the department will easily recover those costs in gasoline savings over the life of the vehicle.
The majority of the converted vehicles will operate on propane, while 19 will be converted to use CNG as part of a pilot program, said INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield.
There are four service sites where vehicles can "gas up" in the Fort Wayne area in addition to one in New Haven, Wingfield said.
The vehicles use conventional gasoline when started, Wingfield said, but as soon as the vehicle warms up, it switches to propane or CNG. If a driver runs out of propane or CNG, the vehicle switches back to using gasoline.
Gee, and to think that WAY back in the 1970s, Philadelphia's very OWN utility company, PGW (Philadelphia Gas Works) already had ON THE STREET more than a few LNG vehicles, and added more to their fleets...
There are now about 110,000 vehicles in America that run on natural gas of some type, mostly buses, trash trucks, airport shuttles...that sort of thing.
Imagine if we took the initiative about FORTY YEARS AGO to change over, as opposed to playing "catch-up" today?
Seems that LNG or LPG, or methane, or whatever other GAS that can be used is a LOT more efficient than say...ETHANOL (or methanol).
And what are the car makers pushing?
HYBRIDS (as in E-85 which still gets ONLY aboutt 75% of the efficiency as GASOLINE, so you have to fill up MORE frequently).
Yeah, we CAN do alternative fuels, but we've been barking up the WRONG tree for the last several decades (woof).
And yes, it's time to reinvent the wheel yet AGAIN.
When the hell will we ever learn?
*** Lastly today...We find ourselves in a unique position in history; a time when tough choice need to be made...and rather sooner than later.
Each of us has the ability to affect our future, and not just our individual one, but everyone's future.
We can act in whatever way we can to affect the changes needed make America the leader she used to be.
We certainly don't need to top any list that includes nations in bankruptcy, largest illegal immigrant population, or highest level of indebtedness.
But we do need to remain the world power we SHOULD be, in order to keep the barbarians from not only OUR gates, but every gate that embraces such things as liberty...and freedom.
To be that shining light, the beacon on the hill is what America is all about, and always has been.
Maybe it's time we realized it again...and learned from our past, so that our future may be assured and secured.
Just something to ponder on...that's all.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


CWMartin said...

before Woodbridge, we lived in Cedarwood Trails... IMHO, if the cops aren't shooting at the residents in their homes now, they will be later at the liquor store , meth buy, or residential b&e.

Caught yer answers to 50 questions over at WFG. Funny on the strip bar question, just after I answer, " a few times", I see your answer...Ha!

Bob G. said...

I would imagine that both the demeanor AND the average I.Q. level of Cedar Woods Trail dropped MARKEDLY when you moved AWAY from there.
You can tell by the way the trailers are "parked" (there) that it's your "run-of-the-mill" place, and that's NO slight to you and yours.

Somehow, I'm guessing the guy who had his windshield shot at did NOT say "goodness" when he noticed it...just a hunch.
I'm thinkling more along the lines of the 4-letter variety of verbiage.

AH, the strip joint factor...yes, indeed.
I can't even recall the LAST time I was in one, though...weird how that works.
(must be a marriage things)

Hey, thanks for stopping on by and commenting today.
Much appreciated.

Stay safe up there.