Today’s news:

IT’S ONLY MY OPINION - The carpool starts right here

Some of us may have already noticed subways and buses becoming a bit more crowded than usual. Sitting in traffic is becoming more unbearable – strike one. Parking fees, whether on parking lots or at meters, are costly – strike two. The cost of a gallon of gas…..Do I have to tell you how I feel? Strike three. You’re out. I am now learning all about mass transit in my area. I know that if I stay away from the crowds during rush hour, I will get a seat and be able to read a newspaper. According to USA Today, the number of riders on public transportation is up three percent nationwide. This is one of those “That’s good – that’s bad” things that we played as youngsters.

More of us on buses translate to fewer cars on highways, less fuel being consumed, and, of course, less air pollution. That’s good.

Three percent – that’s a decent start but not enough. The most recent statistics tell us that 76 percent of American commuters still drive to work – alone – by themselves - unaccompanied. SEVENTY-SIX PERCENT! That’s bad.

It’s time to start forming four and five passenger carpools. Anybody disagree?

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Lemme see, by a show of hands, how many of you remember the song “Who Takes Care Of The Caretaker’s Daughter While The Caretaker’s Busy Taking Care?”

I was reminded of the tune this week when I saw a piece about some embarrassing spelling errors – “Who Checks Spell-Check While Spell-Check’s Busy Checking Spelling Of …. …..whatever?”

For its annual yearbook, the high school in Middletown, Pennsylvania hired the Taylor Publishing Corporation, a printing company that utilizes the most current technology. The firm takes extra pride in making use of the most modern automatic computer program that mechanically corrects misspelled words. Someone obviously forgot to turn it off when it came to publishing the names of the graduates. Several students were christened with new, and sometimes unflattering, family names. Miss Kathy Carbaugh was renamed Kathy Airbag. Next to the photo of Max Zupanovic is the name Max Supernova. And if I was Alessandra Ippolito I would surely be ticked off by being renamed Alessandra Impolite.

Ed Patrick of Taylor Publishing said that his company would provide stickers to be placed over the errors. He made a point of saying that these labels will be given to the school at no charge. Hey – Thanks a lot, sport. I just wonder if Middletown High School will employ the same company next year.

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At more than four bucks a gallon for gas, it’s time we did something about it. We can start by telling our U.S. Senators that we no longer want to be dependent on foreign oil and that America should be drilling on its own turf. The number for Chuck’s New York City office is 212-486-4430. Hillary’s local number is 212-688-6262. If you’re shy about speaking on the telephone, you can email them. Go to WWW.SENATE.GOV and shout that it’s time to throw the caribou under the bus. If we flood our elected officials with enough correspondence, they just might get the message.

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Are you thinking about that pair of expensive designer sunglasses that you left on the beach in San Juan? Not so fast. There have been many thousands of complaints to the TSA about items missing from passenger’s luggage. Since the TSA was created in 2001, about 200 screeners have been fired for stealing laptops, jewelry, clothing, perfumes and other valuables from checked luggage. Hey, hang on, sloopy. Of the many thousands of complaints, there were only 200 dismissals in seven years? Something is wrong with this picture.

So now we know about the 200 dishonest TSA employees. I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net asking, how many do we not know about?

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