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Les Schwab shares some tips on keeping tires up to speed. See C8 inside

present

Spring 2013

Drive

WHATCOM Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What’s Inside...

The

A look at the Lynden Police Department's new Police Interceptors.................................................C3 A supplement of the

&

Vince Hill and Tyler Huartson share their work on a 1955 Kenworth truck..................C7


C2

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

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C3

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

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Police Interceptor designed specifically for law enforcement Homeland Security funding allows Lynden PD three new vehicles, and more are coming By Tim Newcomb tim@lyndentribune.com

LYNDEN — Car number 38 at the Lynden Police Department has a different look to it. And a completely different feel, full of little features that make police officers happy.    Car number 38 is the department’s first Ford Police Interceptor, a “sedan” built from the ground up specifically for law enforcement personnel. With the infamous Crown Victoria no longer made, Ford went a new route. It’s a direction the Lynden PD was eager to go.    Lynden recently cycled out its last Chevy Caprice and has mainly driven the traditional Crown Vic patrol car, even if it does have a Chevy Tahoe SUV still in rotation.    Sergeant Russ Martin, who takes the lead on maintaining Lynden’s fleet of patrol cars, said that with the variety of cars and SUVs on hand, the department was pleased to secure federal funding to purchase a Police Interceptor sedan and two SUVs during 2012.    With more federal funding on the way — Lynden qualifies for Operation Stonegarden money from Homeland Security because of its proximity to the Canadian border — Lynden hopes to add two more Police Interceptor sedans this year and possibly another in 2014.    And at about $45,000 each after all the police-needed upgrades, Lynden wouldn’t have any new Police Interceptors at all if it

The new Police Interceptor from Ford gives Lynden and other local law enforcement a completely new look for their patrol vehicles. (Tim Newcomb/Lynden Tribune) weren’t for the federal dollars, Martin said.    However, other than a sporty new look (the 1990s body of the Crown Vic hadn’t changed), what are local law enforcement agencies really getting with the new Interceptor?    Martin said that when Ford decided to

scrap the Crown Vic the automaker worked up an intense focus group with law enforcement folks across the country, allowing them to design in all sorts of needed additions to the vehicles. Chevy and Dodge haven’t yet done the same intense scoping.    “This is purpose-built with small chang-

es that make it easier for driveability and added safety features,” Martin said. “At first we didn’t know what the price was going to be, but they all (Dodge, Chevy and the Interceptor) all come out to about the same price.” See Interceptor on C4

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

C4

Interceptor: Handling is miles better than that of older models Continued from C3

Along with a completely revamped drive train and interior look, the steering wheel is mappable, allowing lights and sirens to be controlled without an officer's hands leaving the wheel. (Tim Newcomb/Lynden Tribune)

   The all-wheel-drive sedans offer a night and day difference in handling versus older vehicles, Martin said, and they provide a nice option in inclement weather.    Even the back seat has exciting tweaks, with plastic seats (easy for hosing down the myriad of body fluids that can spew from suspects) as a factory option and the back doors opening extra wide to make it easy to get people in.    Ford kept the center consoles the same size, allowing for agencies to simply pick up and move their equipment from a Crown Vic to a Police Interceptor. But the dashboard is different, with a cleaner look, digital readouts, a mappable steering wheel allowing officers to control lights and sirens from controls on the wheel, and wiring holes that make installation a breeze. Plus, a nifty little cutout offers a perfect spot to put the radar equipment, Martin said.    The Police Interceptor allows for “fleet keying.”    With a larger drive train and doubledisc brakes, the handling and ride of the car exceed all others in the fleet. “These things drive on rails and handle much bet-

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C5

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

DRIVE WHATCOM ter (than the Crown Vic),” Martin said. “You can feel the power switch on the wheels.”    In the trunk, a radio tray comes prewired and allows equipment to store easily. A shotgun rack attaches, keeping the crowded trunk even more organized.    The side of the trunk features a lockable evidence locker, great not only for busy crime scenes, but also in ensuring the integrity of evidence delivery.    Agencies can also save time and money on extra installations, as the cars can come pre-wired for lights and sirens, for example, straight from the factory.    Because of the Homeland Security funding, all Lynden officers finally have their own vehicle assigned to them, although they aren’t all fortunate enough to have the new Interceptor. No longer does the Lynden fleet work like a taxi system, with cars running 20-plus hours a day, racking up mileage and maintenance issues.    “Four of our cars have over 100,000 miles, which is quite a long time for a police car,” Martin said. “We try and cycle them out at 75,000 miles because it is more costeffective for maintenance.”    And now, with cars getting less wear and tear and officers actually taking better care of them because of their ownership, Martin said they’re seeing the hidden benefits of individually assigned vehicles.    Add in the benefits of the new model and given a little more time, Lynden’s streets will look plenty more modern.

A special equipment tray in the trunk keeps electronics up and out of the way and also gives officers a place to store their shotgun. (Tim Newcomb/Lynden Tribune)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

C6

Convertibles rolling out for summer weather Roger Jobs Motors stocks convertibles at multiple price points By Brent Lindquist reporter@lyndentribune.com

BELLINGHAM — With springtime just around the corner, Whatcom County drivers are no doubt already looking forward to the sunny weather often associated with the middle part of the year in Washington.    Roger Jobs Motors in Bellingham stocks a variety of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche convertibles, and one of the company’s most exciting offerings heading into the spring and summer happens to be convertible.    “They reintroduced the Beetle in 2012, and then in 2013 we got a Beetle convertible, Roger Jobs general manager Travis Graddon said. “Very, very soon, we have a convertible diesel Beetle coming in.”    The coupe, officially named the 2013

The redesigned Volkswagen Beetle recently debuted its convertible model, and a TDI Clean Diesel option is coming soon as well.

Roger Jobs Motors has the popular Audi A5 (pictured) and S5 cabriolet models on hand as well. (Courtesy photo/Audi)

Beetle Convertible TDI, combines the ultra-popular convertible version of Volkswagen’s classic Beetle with the highly sought-after fuel efficiency of the company’s TDI Clean Diesel engine.    The engine can give the driver a range of up to 594 miles on a single tank, along with turbocharged performance. The car can travel 0-60 miles per hour in 8.5 seconds, and gets an estimated 28 city miles per gallon and 41 highway miles per gallon. The TDI model features 140 horsepower and 236 pounds per foot of torque, according to Volkswagen's website.    “It’s the only car like it in America,” Graddon said. “They don’t make any other car like it that’s a diesel convertible. I don’t doubt that the diesel’s going to be a huge hit.”    The Audi A5 and S5 cabriolets on the

Roger Jobs lot will also no doubt prove popular in the summer months.    Strangely, most car companies produce their convertibles in the fall, Graddon said, but this also means that the cars are ready and waiting once the weather turns a little nicer after the wintertime.    “The nice thing is, we have our supply ready for as soon as the weather turns,” Graddon said.    On the higher end of the pricing spectrum, Roger Jobs will also have Porsche 911 and Audi R8 convertibles on hand as spring arrives. Movie fans will recognize the R8 as Tony Stark’s vehicle in the “Iron Man” movies and in the forthcoming “Iron Man 3,” due out in theaters on May 3.    Roger Jobs Motors is located at 2200 Iowa St. in Bellingham, and can be reached at 707-4765.

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C7

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

Rebuilding the past

Maple Leaf Auto Body partners Vince Hill and Tyler Huartson have been hard at work in the past week renovating a 1955 Kenworth semi truck, pictured above. The truck was recently stripped down to bare aluminum, but Hill and Huartson said they plan on working around the clock to make sure the final product is finished by May 1. (Courtesy photo/Vince Hill)

Lynden’s Vince Hill takes in 1955 Kenworth semi truck for complete renovation By Braulio Perez sports@lyndentribune.com

LYNDEN — Vince Hill still remembers the sunny summer afternoon in the late 1970s. It was his first day embarking on his first project of renovating a car. Just 14 years old, he stared at a beautiful 1953 Chevy that was in front of him. Hill, today’s owner of Maple Leaf Auto Body in Lynden, had no idea it would lead to a lifelong passion of working on cars.    But it did.    Fast forward across 30-plus years and Hill’s fervor for working with cars remains high. In fact, it has him working on a new project that truly excites him.    Hill and Maple Leaf partner Tyler Huartson are working on renovating a 1955 Kenworth semi truck for a truck show to be held in Yakima in early May.    Hill and Huartson were approached in early March by Guy Jansen, local owner of LTI, about taking in the Kenworth and rebuilding it for the car show. Hill said he jumped at the opportunity.    “Guy takes trucks around to different shows for Lynden Transfer and we

had done some work for them in the past,� Hill said. “We recently did a show wagon for them, so he came back and said he wanted us to do the semi. It’s pretty exciting for us and working on cars has been a lifetime of work for me. It’s a passion of mine since the ‘70s.�    Huartson, who started his work with automobiles when he was 15, is just as eager as Hill to work on the Kenworth.    “It’s a good opportunity for us and and I like it because I’ve never been able to work on a big semi like that,� Huartson said. “It will be fun and going through all the different stages is something I look forward to.    “I’ve been working with cars for about 12 years now. My family got me interested in them at a young age and I’ve always liked them.�    Although fun, making the Kenworth show-ready won’t be an easy task. The two began last week by removing all the glass, horns and chrome of the truck and stripping it completely down. Over the weekend, the truck frame was then blasted down to bare aluminum.    Next up, Hill and Huartson will rechrome the outside and go through the process of getting the body back to perfect shape before beginning the refinishing process.    “It’s body work, refinishing, then reassembling,� Hill said with a laugh. “The See Kenworth on C10

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C8

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

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Tire pressure not as simple as pounds per square inch Les Schwab manager sheds light on spring safety for vehicles By Mark Reimers news@ferndalerecord.com

FERNDALE — Northwest winters can take a toll on anyone — and even a car. That’s why Les Pilon, manager of the Ferndale Les Schwab tire dealership, is hoping local drivers know what to expect when the sun starts shining again.    Tire pressure:    It turns out that, tire pressure isn’t just boring stat someone checks with something from their shirt pocket. Knowing a few simple things can help drivers avoid trouble.    First, your car’s year can make a difference, Pilon said. Since 2000, the federal motor vehicle safety standards have mandated that new vehicles provide dashboard warnings of inflation. But in the last five years, those standards have tightened further.    Newer vehicles now must have a direct tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), a step up from the indirect methods of the past. Indirect systems used axle-mounted sensors that measured relative tire height, Pilon said. Direct systems put the sensor into the wheel itself, providing much more immediate data.    Wheel-mounted sensors mean people with newer vehicles can no longer use just any wheel when installing or uninstalling winter tires.    Pilon acknowledged that tire pressure and TPMS are dark areas for most drivers.    “A lot of newer vehicles have TPMS monitors,” Pilon said. “But people don’t know what that is until the light comes on.”    If a dashboard signal does warn of a pressure problem, Pilon said, it should be inspected and corrected immediately. The tire could get ruined if it goes flat.    Regardless, tire pressure should be checked every 30 days, Pilon said.    Drivers, Pilon said, should also remember that changing temperatures can also change tire pressure.    “If you have a second car that you don’t drive very often, and then you just start driving, you might run into trouble,” Pilon said.    By law, studded tires can be driven on Washington roads until April 1.   Alignment:    Even if you don’t go to a chiropractor for your own health, your vehicle’s alignment is still a simple and important part of safety.

   “All it takes is one good jolt from a pothole or railroad crossing,” Pilon said.    The consequences of poorly aligned tires are increased tire wear and also extra pull on the steering wheel. Pilon recommends checking alignment at least once per year, depending on what kind of roads you typically travel.   Rotations:    Like alignment, tire rotation is a big part of getting the most out of the tires on your vehicle. Pilon recommends rotating them at least every 5,000 miles.    Tire tread:    Most people who have been around a tire service technician know the critical eye toward tread health. Drivers might not understand, though, that adequate tread is critical to driving in the Northwest. That’s because rain and puddles are hard to navigate without a deep tread groove.    A tire tread must be one-sixteenth of an inch deep to be legal.    “That’s not much,” Pilon said, noting that there are easier ways of telling if your tread is enough.    “Stick a penny into the tread and if you can see Abe’s head, you are worn out,” Pilon said.   Batteries:    If a battery is going on seven years old, it’s only a matter of time before it leaves you high and dry. Consider getting them changed before that moment See Tires on C12

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C9

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

Get your vehicle trip-ready for spring    You may be dreaming about escaping on a vacation, but the high costs of flights and cruises can quickly make you rethink. If you’re looking to take a break without breaking the bank, a good oldfashioned road trip could be the way to escape.    Aside from packing snacks and preparing the perfect play-list, there are a few things you should consider before venturing out on the open road. These updates and precautions can save you the potential safety hazards of a long trip on your vehicle. Trip-worthy tires    Good tires are an integral aspect of vehicle safety, and it is extremely important to check your tires before heading out on a road trip.    According to the Car Care Council, thin tire treads create hazardous driving conditions, particularly on wet roadways. Thin or worn treads can cause tires to hydroplane and potentially lead to loss of control of the vehicle.    To ensure tires wear evenly and avoid dangerous situations, it is commonly recommended to have tires rotated every 7,000 miles. This simple routine

not only makes for a more dependable vehicle, but also saves money by extending the life of your tires.    Replacing worn tires before a trip is also a good idea to ensure you will have no problems while far from home — plus, you may even see better gas mileage. Brake check    Checking your brakes is an extremely important aspect of routine vehicle maintenance, and you should be sure your brakes are in prime condition before a long journey.    New brake pads and fluid may not be the most appealing travel expense, but will certainly save you the hassle and cost failed brakes can incur. Routine maintenance    Whether your trip is 100 miles or 1,000, checking your vehicle mechanics is important before heading out. This includes checking and changing your oil, coolant, brake and transmission fluids as needed.    In addition to those inner workings, make sure all outside components of your vehicle are in top shape and work-

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

C10

Kenworth: Hill, Huartson hoping to complete project by May 1 Continued from A1 stress about it all is really getting it done in time. There’s obviously a lot of work that goes into it and the total rebuild is right around $20,000.”    Hill and Huartson are hoping to complete the renovation by May 1, in order for Jansen and his team to have enough time to transport it to Yakima to prepare for the show. The next six weeks will certainly be hectic, but they both agreed the stress and frustration at times will all be worth it.    “It has its ups and downs, but the best thing is seeing that final product and the happy look on your customer’s face,” Hill said. “When they see how awesome their truck looks, it’s all worth it. The stress is in the middle, but once we reach the end, it’s all good.”    “It’s stressful and the hardest part is definitely getting it into paint,” Huartson added. “As soon as it’s done, though, and you get to see people happy with your hard work, it’s a really good feeling.”

Stripping down a 1955 Kenworth semi truck is not easy, nor is it cheap. Vince Hill estimates that the total cost of renovating the truck, featured above, is right around $20,000. (Courtesy photo/Vince Hill)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Ferndale Record

Tires: Les Schwab performs brake inspections for free Continued from C8 of frustration when you realize your car won’t start.    “A lot of times they just take us by surprise,” Pilon said. “You go out one morning and your pickup just won’t start.”     Brakes, and the rest:    If your brakes feel like they aren’t up to the task, Les Schwab will perform a free inspection. In fact, Pilon said, Les Schwab offers an entire pre-trip safety inspection for free. That includes brakes, tread, shocks, battery, visual alignment and wiper blades.    Pilon said he is confident that Les Schwab offers the best value in terms of total lifetime tire and mileage care. Purchase a tire there and the company will maintain it for as long as needed to keep it going.    Outside of Bellingham’s three shops, Whatcom County Les Schwab locations are:     • In Ferndale at 1731 LaBounty Dr. (380-4660).     • In Lynden at 210 Birch Bay-Lynden Rd. (354-1446).

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2013 Spring Drive Whatcom