Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hope Floats

And So Do School Buses, Apparently

From the strange to the downright bizarre.

News12 Long Island reports that, thanks to a New York State grant of $250,000 (is this the infamous "member item" at work again?), the Syosset-based Pontiphian company, a division of Inspecto, Inc., will begin manufacturing a prototype of an amphibious school bus.

The bus will be able to go from land to water, and back again, much like the amphibious vehicles used by the military. Presumably, Long Island's school children will now be able to be transported from classroom to full scale assault on the north shore without stopping at a single boat crossing. [Click HERE for the News12 report and to see the video.]

The idea of a floating school bus was the brainchild of one Tony Caserta, a former Grumman employee, who is of the opinion that, in the event of an emergency or terror attack, residents could be transported to, say, Connecticut, on a fleet of pontoon buses. [Caserta hopes to one day replace all of Long Island's 7,000 school buses with his floating buses.]

Never mind being a "sitting duck" for terrorists in a yellow pontooned school bus. Just imagine being ferried off Long Island and into the churning waters of the sound during a natural disaster -- like a category 5 hurricane.

Preposterous, you say? Not to the folks in Albany, who have earmarked a cool quarter of a million in taxpayers' dollars for the Pontiphian company to build this banana boat, banking that this soggy venture will actually hold water.

In fact, State Legislators give these floating school buses such high water marks that, in addition to your money, they sent two representatives to be among the dignitaries at a ribbon-cutting ceremony recently held at the Syosset factory -- State Senator Caesar Trunzo (R-Brentwood), and Assemblyman Joeseph Saladino (R-Massapequa). Both Trunzo and Saladino praised the project.

Dumb idea and a terrible waste of scarce tax dollars? Not for Tony Caserta and the Pontiphian company!

Two questions:
(1) Who is Mr. Caserta related to or in bed with?
(2) Do you think Albany would toss any money our way for a prototype of a floating blog?

A floating blog. Call it a flog. Hmmm. Next legislative session, we "float" that proposal for a grant before our friends in Albany. Don't laugh, folks, given pressure in the proper quarters, and some $2 million in government subsidies, we could all end up being FLOGGED by the time next year's State budget rolls around!

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