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Free Death Penalty Forum - worth $75???

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Free Death Penalty Forum - worth $75???

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
April 8, 2009

Hyundai Santa Fe

"They" say you shouldn't write when you're mad. Or hungry. Or after a glass (or two) of wine. Well, here goes.

Tonight I intended to go to the Death Penalty forum at MCC at 7:00PM. It was on my schedule, and I had made alternate arrangements for a family member to get home from eastern Crystal Lake so that I could attend.

So, at 6:00PM, there I am - following a car in Crystal Lake and, as is my habit, I check the reflection of my headlights from the rear bumper of the car ahead. Darn it! Another headlight out!

The dilemma: Do I go to the meeting, leave campus at 9-9:30PM and expect to get stopped in Woodstock and issued a $75.00 ticket for an equipment violation? Or do I go straight home and park before it gets dark?

As many readers know, in 2007 I had a headlight out at 5:40PM on a January night, when I was in Wonder Lake. I drove straight home; 10 miles; 15 minutes. Right in front of my house I get pulled over by a Woodstock officer. After a friendly greeting and a discussion, he tells me he must issue me a Warning. No problem. I'll get the headlight fixed in the morning.

While he is in his car to write the Warning (it was Cold! that night), another officer rolls up behind him. They talk, and the other officer leaves. Officer #1 comes back to my car and tells me he is going to issue me a ticket.

What changed his mind? Over the past two years I've thought a lot about that. I now have come to the conclusion that one of two things happened.

Either he was told that his name would be Mudd when he got back to the station, if he stopped me and didn't give me a ticket, or he was ordered (or remembered an order) to give me a ticket.

Admittedly, I have been a thorn in the side of the Woodstock Police Department. I have griped when an officer ran a red light "hot", hit a car and didn't get a ticket. I have griped when a deputy ran a stop sign, hit another car and didn't get a ticket. I have griped that the police department won't execute a Vehicular Control Agreement at the new Jewel-Osco, so that they would be able to ticket parking violators. (The Woodstock Agreement is four complicated pages that would scare off a Philadelphia lawyer, whereas Algonquin has a simple one-page agreement and 100% cooperation from merchants and property owners/managers in new shopping centers - both agreements drawn by the same firm of municipal lawyers!)

And so, since I believe I am being targeted for special attention in Woodstock, I chose to skip tonight's program and get my car off the street before dark. And save $75.00.

Does my car require frequent headlight replacement? You decide.

121,374 right headlight
122,537 left headlight
123,147 left headlight * Ticket in Woodstock
124,310 left headlight
128,820 right headlight
135,051 left headlight
140,220 right headlight
156,425 right headlight
162,857 right headlight
167,128 left headlight

That's ten (10) headlights in 46,000 miles! Every headlight has been replaced on the day I have noticed that it is out, unless the service garage has already closed for the day. Then I have gone the next day.

So tonight, I am just mad! Tomorrow I'll be at DeCraene's for yet one more new headlight.

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