Road Warrior Newsletter

August 21, 2009


Dear NJGCA Member:



Sometimes, rank has its privileges.  As Executive Director, I often get to see a lot of neat things and meet many interesting people.  Still, nothing can compare to the WOW factor of what I experienced last week.

I was invited to a NJ Business Leaders Energy Briefing at PSE&G’s Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in South Jersey.  The purpose of the briefing was to get insight into nuclear power and future energy production.

To say that the trip was an eye opening experience wouldn’t do it justice.

Anyone working in the energy industry (that includes YOU) knows the importance in making sure our energy problems are resolved. You understand all too clearly how these problems breed uncertainty and create massive volatility in the market.  This directly affects the commodity you sell and can potentially harm your small business.

For the last couple of years, Team NJGCA has tried to educate you on future alternatives that are being developed, including hydrogen and bio-fuels.  Many of you know me to be a strong proponent of ethanol, but I have always supported expansion of nuclear power.

After last week, if I was a supporter of nuclear power before, I am an outspoken advocate today – and you should be too!!

Everyone agrees that nuclear power is both efficient and environmentally friendly.  It produces no pollutants, or emissions to harm the environment.  What’s more, it produces very little ‘waste’ to worry about.  In fact, if all the nuclear ‘waste’ produced in the United States over the last 40 years were pooled together, it would amount to a single football field covered in barrels, stacked three-barrels high.  When compared to the waste produced by other industries and all human activities, that amount is insignificant.

However, thanks to powerful lobby groups and fear tactics, nuclear power has always gotten a bum-rap in the United States.  We are continually bombarded with negative imagery of nuclear power, with pundits pointing to past disasters at Chernobyl or endless fear-mongering of nuclear contamination as warnings of what will come if we truly embrace this form of energy.

This is absolute horse poop and only exacerbates the current energy crisis.

I may not be a nuclear physicist, but I’d like to share with you what I saw and learned last week:

Security: Its no secret that evil people want to do us harm and it’s for this reason that security is a top priority for all nuclear facilities.  I saw first hand how these professionals live and breathe it every day during my trip last week.  Our group took a bus from Trenton to the facility, but first we had to submit to a background check and clearance.  When we arrived, we were greeted by security personnel armed with machine guns who boarded the bus.  We were then processed, given badges, and allowed to enter only after enduring 3 different check points that included standing in a chamber to check for explosives, and a palm ID scan.  The entire plant was guarded and crawling with fully armed security personnel that looked like they came off the battlefields of Iraq.  I was never more than a few feet away from a machine gun ready to be fired. 

Trust me; security is something they take seriously.

Safety: Anyone with images of Chernobyl or spooky nuclear disaster films form the Cold War will find no such issues at modern, American nuclear power plants.  First off, there are a number of systems put in place that protect both the environment and the citizenry from the release of radiation.  Procedures exist to prevent both human error and mechanical failures through multiple-redundant systems.  In the highly unlikely scenario that there is a malfunction or threat, the core can be quickly shut down to avert any disasters.  All of this translates to a virtually fool-proof system which was unheard of in the past.

Working at a nuclear power plant is a very specialized field.  The people who work at these plants have all been working at the facilities for decades.  They would not put themselves at risk if the systems in place were not sound and secure.  This longevity alone is proof that the scare tactics of the anti-nuclear movement are unwarranted.

Waste: Many environmental zealots and eco-extremists applaud the ‘clean and green’ credentials of nuclear power, but ultimately deride the ‘waste’ that is produced by these plants.  Again, this is a misconception that needs to be corrected.  After a reactor has used its allotted fuel, the radioactive materials are removed, safely stored on the plant premises, and continually monitored.  They pose no threat and are not emitting any radiation to the environment.  However, one should also understand that this ‘waste’ could be further refined and reused again.  In fact, once nuclear ‘pellets’ are ‘used up’ they STILL contain 96% of their potential energy.  They could be reprocessed as plant-grade material, but current law prevents this from happening because of political concerns that it can then be used as nuclear weapons material.  That means if current laws were amended, a single batch of nuclear material could be used and reused over time, cutting back on any ‘waste’ produced.

Right now, nuclear ‘waste’ is kept at the plants where the fuel was used; this was certainly the case at Salem and Hope Creek plants.  However, since the early 1980s, there has been a movement to create a national nuclear waste repository to centrally monitor and guard all spent fuel.  The site chosen for this mission is the Yucca Mountains in Nevada.  Situated on a former atomic bomb testing ground, the mountain range is geologically stable and construction began in the late 1980s to fabricate a facility deep underground.  Unfortunately, thanks to political antics, the repository is still not open and pressure by anti-nuclear and pro-environmental groups has managed to halt construction of the facility. No one knows when or if the project will continue.

Once again, this all comes to politics and perception. Nuclear power is a truly green and reliable source of energy, yet many refuse to develop it further.  The fact that nations like France derive 85% of their electric energy needs safely from nuclear power goes unnoticed and is replaced by mass hysteria and fear mongering.  Meanwhile other nations like China and India have constructed dozens of nuclear power plants over the last two decades, with more to come.  If not for special interests, it’s very possible that nuclear power would be supplying us with most of electrical energy needs today.

So what does all of this mean for you?  How does this relate to your service station and small business?

It doesn’t take much to connect the dots.  Our over-reliance on fossil fuels makes the United States susceptible to volatile markets.  We derive most of our electrical power through coal, but natural gas and fuel oil also play a part in the equation.  If we are able to replace – or even greatly supplement – those resources with nuclear power, it will create far more stability in the market and reduce demand.  This will have a long-term affect in stabilizing the price and profitability of the gasoline and diesel products you sell.

But there is an even larger point as well: The industry is changing and evolving to embrace different kinds of vehicle propulsion.  Aside from hybrid vehicles which use far less gasoline; ethanol, hydrogen, and electric powered vehicles are all under development. That means you may eventually sell far less gasoline or diesel than you do today.  I have stated before that the service stations of the future may sell one or two or all of these forms of energy to serve tomorrow’s customers.  While I seriously doubt you’ll be dispensing uranium, chances are that you will be recharging an electric vehicle which may draw power (cleanly) from a nuclear power plant.

It’s not all that hard to imagine, but I need you to be part of the debate if we’re ever going to see it become a reality.

Did I accurately communicate how blown away I was by this trip?  I wish I could have taken you all with me – and may do so yet.  I was so impressed by what I saw, that I’d love to plan a similar trip for NJGCA members.  It is important to me that you are kept keenly aware and educated on how energy is changing.  Would you want to participate?

If you have an interest in participating in a similar excursion to the one I took part in, please let me know and I will seek to make arrangements.

Thanks for listening - See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


MBP BUSINESS SEMINAR: Affinity Employment Law Updates!
•Learn about important changes in business law at this informative seminar!

•Take your inspector Refresher Course with NJGCA!  Dates and times below!

BUSINESS TOOLS: Great Savings for NJGCA Members!
•Want to SAVE MORE money on your business expenses?  Take advantage of our MBPs!

•Get Computer Networking and Accounting Program Solutions at GREAT SAVINGS!

•Take advantage of this program and get recognized for your "green" credentials!

•Garden State’s jobless rate increases to 9.3%
•Moving to solar power just got easier
•Teleconference ‘town halls’ on healthcare
•Pilot program in Gloucester seeks to reduce government


Check out all of our MBPs and Programs designed to SAVE YOU MONEY!

Looking for something? Take a look at our list of useful links!

Find all our communications and search for old e-newsletters. Take a look!

Need to catch up on events?  Want to see what's going on?  Find out here!


Henry Darden: Territory Manager for Middlesex, Union, Part of Essex (Southern Half)
Cell: 908-247-2992

Jack Leli: Territory Manager for Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem
Cell: 732-995-1637

Bob Quirk: Territory Manager for Bergen, Hudson, Part of Essex (Northern Half)
Cell: 201-214-8836

Frank Stewart: Territory Manager for Morris, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic
Cell: 973-234-7403
Don Stohrer: Territory Manager for Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset

Cell: 732-539-2955

MBP BUSINESS SEMINAR: Affinity Employment Law Updates!

You and your colleagues are invited to attend Affinity's complimentary seminar!

2009 Employment Law Updates

•The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
•American's with Disabilities Act
Immigration and Labor Regulations
ERISA Litigation
•Employee Handbooks

Tuesday, September 22nd: Affinity Federal Credit Union Headquarters, 9:00 am - 11:30 am*

Mountain View Corporate Center
73 Mountain View Boulevard
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Click HERE for directions

*Continental Breakfast: 9:00-9:30

SEATING IS LIMITED!!  RSVP Required by September 17th.

Contact Robin Busch at 800-325-0808, ext. 3879, or

This seminar is pending approval for recertification credits through the Human Resource Certification Institute

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has recently sent out a VID message to all Private Inspection Stations in state. 

All currently licensed Inspectors must complete an Inspector refresher course and pass a general knowledge exam with a grade of 80% or better to remain in the program.  If any test-taker answers 11 questions wrong, they will automatically fail.  A hands-on test for licensed Inspectors will not be required.

Inspectors will have until December 31, 2009 to take and pass the test.

Current Licensed Emission Inspectors only need the “Re-Fresher Course” and the “Written Exam”.  New Emission Inspectors will be given a “Hands On” test separately at your place of employment by the State of New Jersey. 

NJGCA will be offering refresher courses at the following two locations.  Classes will take place over five evenings and one afternoon:

NJGCA Headquarters
66 Morris Ave.
Springfield, NJ 07081         
September: 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, and 24

Bob's Precision Auto Repair
1264 Hwy 35 South
Middletown, NJ 07748
October: 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, and 22

NJGCA Members Cost - $349.00  
Non-Members Cost - $489.00

Manuals are included in the prices above and payment is due upon registration.  All classes are 6:45 pm to 10:00 pm; the “Written Exam” will be given on the last day at 12:00pm at NJGCA Headquarters in Springfield, NJ.

If you are interested, please contact our office to enroll in a class.
Please contact Debbie Hill at 973-376-0066 with any questions.

BUSINESS TOOLS: Great Savings for NJGCA Members!

In a difficult economy, EVERYONE wants to SAVE as much as possible! 

Luckily NJGCA has just what you need to save you a bundle!!

Take a look at the list below for some of our MBP products and services – And start saving TODAY!
Garage Liability Insurance: Get great coverage and earn a dividend for qualified location.  Also offering your employees discounts insurance products (home, auto, etc).
Workmen's Compensation Coverage: Save 5-15% upfront AND year end dividends!
Blue Cross/Blue Shield: Get excellent health insurance coverage at Association rates! Customize your healthcare and save even more!
Credit Card Processing: Reduce your costs by 15-30% today!  And best of all, you probably don't have to move or change processors!

Commercial and Personal lending specialists
Equipment and Acquisition Financing
Collection Agency Services at discounted rates
Credit Restoration Services
Phone Service 20-30% lower than Verizon or AT&T
Computer and Office Supplies
Industry Specific Business Consulting
Environmental Remediation, Testing and Consulting
Pump and Tank Contractors to stay in state compliance
Service Station Supply Contractors, include Bulk Oil
Automotive Tools, Scanners, Shop Equipment, Lifts at great prices
Coin Operated Air/Vacuum Machines - Installed Completely Free


All Quotes are FREE - BUT ONLY NJGCA MEMBERS can partake in the Savings.

Call Phil Apruzzi at 973-376-0066 to get quotes on all these MBP services and start saving today!!

Computer Networking and Accounting Program Solutions

With experience since 1972 in the auto repair, gasoline, and convenience store industries, ABLE-TECH provides business owners specialized tools for better business management and control.

Our offerings include:

• Industry-specific business consulting with a special focus on theft analysis,
• Inventory Control, and sales Strategy,
• Computer Systems and Services,
• Bookkeeping software that integrates all profit centers, with interfaces for most electronic cash registers.
• Video surveillance systems that watch (and listen too) your business when you’re not there.

Don’t hesitate to call! NJGCA Members will be eligible for discounts.

Contact Dan Goff at (800) 231-9969, email: or Phil Apruzzi at 973-376-0066, email:


NJGCA is participating in the NJ Green Automotive Repair Council along with AAA-NJ, the NJ Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR), and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.  
The council's mission is to encourage NJ automotive repair facilities to adopt environmentally responsible business practices. 

Through a certification program for dealership and independent automotive repair facilities, the council will also establish “green” repair standards.  Those who are reviewed and qualify will receive certification.  Stickers will also be given to those facilities to illustrate their participation in the program.

If you would like to participate in the program and fill out an application, please contact Debbie Hill at 973-376-0066.  An application fee and annual review fee are applicable.  

More facts about the program are available


Garden State’s jobless rate increases to 9.3%
New Jersey’s unemployment rate in July has now increased one-tenth of a percent to 9.3%, a 32-year high.  During that time, the state added only 5,900 new jobs to the economy, with 150,000 jobs being lost since December 2007.

Moving to solar power just got easier
Thanks to revised regulations, adding solar panels to residential homes is slowly getting easier in many municipalities.  Rather than a complex and confusing bureaucracy, the new rules would streamline permitting and allow for panels to be installed on home rooftops.  Thanks to state rebates and federal tax credits, the number of residents utilizing solar energy is expected to climb.  New Jersey currently ranks second, behind only California, in solar panel installations.

Teleconference ‘town halls’ on healthcare
With the record number of individuals turning out to town hall meetings to voice their concerns over healthcare reform, a number of Congress members are adopting teleconferences as a means to reach more constituents.  These calls may reach 10,000 residents at a time, but critics claim that it allows their Representatives to dodge face-to-face interaction with voters.

Pilot program in Gloucester seeks to reduce government
On Tuesday, Governor Corzine signed into law a bill designed to reduce government in Gloucester County.  The legislation creates an experimental pilot program that will create a countywide property tax assessment system and could save the county’s 24 municipalities $1.5 million annually.  If the plan is successful, it may eventually spread to other counties statewide.


Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist