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Nevada Ramblings —
June 2005

Columnist — Carolyn Bishop

As gasoline prices meet an all-time high, politicians are rushing about blaming anyone and everyone. While the Democrats are busy blaming the Republicans and vice versa, you and I are dithering about wondering if we should trade in our gas guzzlers for a motor scooter.

As I write, Nevadans are lamenting rising fuel costs and it isn't only the private drivers who are unhappy. The high prices have led to more expensive cab rides to help cover fuel costs. This is the second time in a little over a year that the Taxicab Authority has approved a rate hike.

Carolyn Bishop Headshot

After restructuring the rates, what had previously been a 20-cent fuel surcharge has been permanently added to the $3 charge for boarding a cab. That's not all! A new rate of $2 per mile is in effect. Worse news is that this hefty hike doesn't preclude the Authority from further hikes during their annual review of rates.

The good news is that the Nevada Assembly Transportation and Homeland Security Committee Chairman John Oceguera recently announced that his panel will not pass a bill calling for a 10 cent per gallon increase in gasoline taxes.

Oceguera (D-Las Vegas) stated, "Nevada's gas taxes are already among the highest in the country. Adding to that burden is irresponsible at this point and will not happen on my watch."

Nevada residents already pay 52.2 cents per gallon in state, local and federal taxes. The bill had been requested by the Nevada Highway Users Alliance and ended up being assigned to Oceguera's committee. Oceguera says his committee will discuss the problem that prompted the request but the proposed gas tax will not be a part of the solution.

It's not too soon to sign up for the Pacific Oil Conference and Trade Show scheduled for September 20-22, 2005 at the Reno Hilton in Reno, Nevada. This year's theme is "Fueling America's Independence." For registration info call (916) 646-5985 or you can obtain registration forms on-line at:www.petroshow.com.

Las Vegas citizens have been celebrating their Centennial this summer. One old timer recalls that after serving in World War II, he returned to his old job and ended up operating Huntridge Union Oil for 19 years.

He recalls that in those days, "Nobody pumped their own gas. It was against the law to let you pump it yourself. When you drove up, we said, 'May I fill it with premium, sir?' We said that even if you looked like you didn't have 50 cents. So people came back when they did have 50 cents.

"We carried a whisk broom in our hip pocket to sweep out your floorboards and a rag to wipe the car if we saw something on it." He added that at his own station he kept a separate area available where a kid could fill his bike tires with air and he fixed flat bicycle tires for free.

The Western Petroleum Marketers Association featured two post-convention trips this year. The first was an Hawaiian cruise. The cruise began in Honolulu with all-day stopovers on all the major islands and was a relaxing way to visit each island and have a home base on shipboard. Gerry Tedrow was a genial host making sure we all enjoyed ourselves!

For the more adventurous, WPMA offered an exotic 10 night Galapagos Island cruise on board Celebrity Cruises Expedition. Twenty-nine people from WPMA attended. They stayed at the Marriott Hotel in Quito then cruised through the Galapagos Islands to see some of the rare and exotic animals including the "Blue-footed boobie." Not a few of them returned home with Blue Boobie T-shirts.

Originally published in the June 2005 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2005 by KAL Publications Inc.

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