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Today, August 7, 2004, this column offered hope:

I have heard that there is a laser beam that can be aimed at a speeding car to disable its electrical system and stop its motion. I wish this wonderful invention would be adopted into use by all law enforcement agencies to put an end to dangerous high-speed chases. —Jerry Lane

When you wish upon some candles
 
By JERRY LANE, BITS & PIECES

How many times during your lifetime have you been told to "blow out the candles and make a wish"? Well, today is my day to do just that, and since I don't believe that wishes told are wishes denied, I am going to tell you what I wished as I blew.

I wish that the lights on Foothill Boulevard would be synchronized to a uniform speed limit—maybe 35 or 40 mph—so that a driver could travel east or west over its entire length from the Foothill Boulevard exit of the 210 Freeway in La Ca-ada Flintridge to Sunland Boulevard without stopping. Isn't that a nice wish?

I wish a minimum speed limit of 55 mph would be enforced on all freeways to keep people who are afraid of freeway travel off these limited access roads. Scary, slow drivers are a danger to everyone who has to pass them to keep moving. They belong on the bus—not behind the wheel.

I wish that turning on your windshield wipers would activate your headlights and taillights and that they would stay lighted as long as the wipers were in use.

I wish there was mandated semi-annual headlight and brake inspection on all vehicles driving on California roads. This could be affected by roadside inspections, with stickers affixed to the windshields of all vehicles qualified to proceed safely. Others states have such inspections. Why don't we?

I wish food servers could be forced to pick up their orders from the cook's ready counter as soon as they appear there—to be served piping hot to the customers waiting for them.

I wish everyone arrested for driving under the influence be required to spend a week in the county morgue, cleaning and helping to move bodies of people who were killed by drinking drivers or who died in accidents they caused.

I wish people who have been caught using handicapped placards be required to volunteer a few weeks in a hospital for disabled children.

I wish we could stop high-school athletic coaches from recruiting students from other high schools to make up winning teams. It's the job of a high-school coach to develop the talents of his school's students as well as he can. Pulling in students from other schools denies in-house kids the opportunity to play and is certainly not in keeping with the spirit of high-school sports.

I wish vehicles being driven with expired license tags could be impounded and, if the licenses are delinquent by more than six months, could be sold or delivered to the crusher (I am really mean about this infraction).

I have heard that there is a laser beam that can be aimed at a speeding car to disable its electrical system and stop its motion. I wish this wonderful invention would be adopted into use by all law enforcement agencies to put an end to dangerous high-speed chases.

I wish all cable-television companies could be required to remove advertising from their music channels. And while I'm wishing, I wish that movie theaters could be forced to discontinue showing a long series of commercial advertisements to customers who have paid to see a movie. If they have to put up with commercials, they might as well wait until the movie comes on television.

I wish we could make companies we do business with mail us their monthly statements within three days of the close of the billing month—and not some 12 days later, giving you only seven days to get your payment to them—or they will add late charges to your bill. (Does that sound familiar, AT&T?)

I wish vehicles parked in clearly marked fire lanes could be towed away to some secure location where they could be redeemed only by paying a substantial fine.

I wish gas stations could install spike strips that would puncture the tires of people who insist on ignoring notices that there is one-way traffic through the pumping lanes. That would certainly cure the scofflaws who insist on having their own way, despite the inconvenience it causes everyone else.

I wish Amtrak would provide better service at reasonable fares. That might convince us that they are really interested in customer service.

I doubt that I am going to get any of my birthday wishes, but I am entitled to make them on this day, and make them I do. I'll be happy to allow you the same privilege when your day comes around.

JERRY LANE is a resident of La Crescenta and a regular contributor to Community Forum. He can be reached at jerry5733@aol.com.

 
 

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