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A Publication of Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales & Service
Vol. 12  No. 4         Fall 2006

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Man Arrested After Activating Cadillac's OnStar System


    Source: AP

     ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.  A man showing off his OnStar system in his Cadillac Escalade found out the system worked too well. Ralph A. Gomez, 38, was recently held on $15,000 bond on charges of possession of an illegal narcotic within 1,000 feet of a church and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Gomez was showing off his OnStar system to his girlfriend, but the volume was set so low that he couldn't hear the OnStar operator. OnStar comes on many new General Motors vehicles and allows a customer to contact an OnStar representative in an emergency or to get directions. If there is no response, OnStar contacts police. That's what happened with Gomez, said Tom Clements, a spokesman for the St. Augustine Police Department. When police located Gomez' car, they determined there was no problem. But Clements said cocaine was clearly visible on the car's center console. In addition to seizing $1,900 in the car, the Cadillac equipped with the OnStar system was also seized, Clements said. There was no information available from Clements or the jail on whether Gomez has a lawyer.

Technology You Can Live With

By: Sam Giammalvo

According to a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the technology known as “Electronic Stability Control” (ESC), could prevent nearly one-third of the ten thousand fatal automobile crashes each year. Electronic Stability Control, as its name applies, is technology that prevents automobiles from rolling over. According to the IIHS, ESC was able to reduce the risk of single-vehicle rollovers involving sport utility vehicles, (SUVs), by 80 percent while reducing the risk of the same in passenger cars by 77 percent. Electronic Stability Control involves the computerized application of braking at individual wheels, (typically braking the wheels diagonally opposite each other), when sensors detect that a vehicle’s front or rear axle “yaw” rate is such that the vehicle may spin around. It is proven technology that saves lives. Note: Some vehicle manufacturers also refer to this same system as Vehicle Stability Control, (VSC).

Pope's 1975 Ford Fetches $690,000


Source: AP

LAS VEGAS — A light-blue 1975 Ford Escort GL once owned by Pope John Paul II sold at auction here Saturday for $690,000 to a Houston multimillionaire who said he plans to put it in a museum he wants to build in his hometown. "To me, it's a piece of history," said John O'Quinn, 62, a personal injury lawyer who made a fortune in a multibillion-dollar settlement between Texas and tobacco companies in 1998. "What a great human being Pope John Paul was." O'Quinn, who said he has a collection of about 600 vehicles, acknowledged it was the story behind the car, and not the vehicle itself, that prompted him to outbid at least seven other would-be buyers.

Built 30 years ago at a Ford plant in Cologne, Germany, the car sold Saturday in what auctioneer Dean Kruse said was original papal condition — no hubcaps, no air conditioning, no radio, but with several nicks and dents. "The car will never be driven," said O'Quinn, who said that at least temporarily it would be warehoused with his other cars. "But hopefully, in my life, I'll be able to go back and touch this car and feel the pope's spirit." "I'm so glad it will be preserved and be in a major city in the U.S.,” he added.

The seller, Jim Rich, 41, of Sugar Grove, Ill., became emotional about giving up the car to pay bankruptcy debts to his father, Jerome Rich. "I've been smothered by greed and courts," he said. Jim Rich bought the car for $102,000 at an auction in the United States in 1996, and said he promised the pope when he received the keys at the Vatican that he would display the vehicle proudly at his Chicago West restaurant and never part with it. Standing with holes in his shoes and holding a buttonless blue blazer together at the front with his left hand, he pulled a food stamp card from his wallet and said he been using it for about nine months to buy groceries. "The pope would think this is something I should do under extraordinary circumstances," he said.

Bidding was as labored as an uphill climb for the modest car's little 1.1 liter engine. It began at $150,000 after Kruse failed repeatedly to get any of the 350 people at the Las Vegas Hilton auto auction to offer $1 million. It stalled several times while Kruse exhorted bidders to be generous. The car came with what Kruse said were several papal possessions: carved wooden rosary beads, a box of wooden matches, and a candy tin.

New Tire Age Concerns

Both tire and auto manufacturers are promoting new tire age warnings. A new tire age warning was recently released by tire giant Bridgestone Firestone, (BFS). Recently BFS issued a technical service bulletin to its dealers alerting them that tires that are 10 years old or older should not be used, regardless of the tread remaining. The BFS bulletin specifically recommends replacement of tires once they reach 10 years of age: “Even when tires appear to be usable from their external appearance or the tread depth may not have reached the minimum wear out depth."

Ford Motor Company recently stated on their web site that tires now should be considered to have a six-year lifespan. Ford has now added this recommendation to all its 2006 model year owners’ manuals. Their recommendation states: “Tires degrade over time, even when not being used. It is recommended that tires generally be replaced after 6 years of normal service. Heat caused by hot climates and frequent high loading conditions can accelerate the aging process.”

In addition, Chrysler added a more direct warning: “Tires and spare tires should be replaced after six years, regardless of the remaining tread...failure to follow this warning can result in sudden tire failure. You could lose control and have an accident resulting in serious injury or death.”

Fall Car Care Tips

While most people are gearing up for tailgate parties and bonfires, don’t forget to take some time to look under the hood, getting your vehicle prepared for the long New England winter ahead. Some items to consider checking are:

    * Batteries/Charging system: How old is your battery and did your engine crank slowly last winter or during the dog days of summer? Extremes in temperature, hot or Cold,  battery age, and cranking power are determinants in whether your car will start. And while you’re at it, have the alternator checked too, to help your battery maintain its charge when the temperature dips.

    * Tires: No tread equals no traction. If your tires are worn close to or at the wear bars, it’s time for a new set. It’s a good idea to do an under-car inspection including shocks and struts, and an alignment may be in order if that hasn’t been performed in the last year or so.

    * Thermostat: If the temperature gauge doesn’t get much above the C when driving in cold weather, it may be time for a new thermostat. A properly operating thermostat helps keep the engine at its ideal operating temperature, that in turn provides heat for the cabin.

    * Antifreeze: In extreme cold, weak antifreeze can freeze up in parts of your engine, and that can lead to costly repairs.

    * Belts: Make sure your belts are tightened properly and in good condition. Cracks are a sign that it’s time for replacement.

    * Wiper blades: Cracked, split or worn wiper blades can cause skipping or poor contact with the windshield. Replace them twice a year.

    * Fluids: Make sure the power steering, brake and transmission fluids are at their correct level and clean for proper operation.

In Passing.

(Obituaries Courtesy The Standard Times)
Note: Due to recent requests, we will be adding family survivors to our customer’s obituaries as space allows.

Alexander Galipeau Jr., 65, of Acushnet & Fairhaven, died Thursday, April 13, 2006, at St. Luke's Hospital after a long courageous battle with Melanoma. He was the husband of Joyce A. (Domingos) Galipeau, they have been together for 24 years. Son of the late Alexander & Yvonne (Opozda) Galipeau, he was born in New Bedford and lived his life in Acushnet & Fairhaven. He was a communicant of St. John Neumann Church, Freetown. He was formerly employed by Revere Copper & Brass for 30 years as a Metal Machinist until his retirement. He served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1958 to 1964. He was a member of the Little Rhody Beagle Club & former member of the Eagles. He enjoyed raising beagles & produced many AKC Champions; he also enjoyed traveling & reading, but most of all being with his family. 

Manuel Pedro, 88, of Dartmouth died April 22, 2006, at St. Luke's Hospital unexpectedly. He was the husband of Mary C. (Costa) Pedro. Born in New Bedford, son of the late Candido and Beatriz (Miquel) Pedro, he lived in Dartmouth most of his life. Mr. Pedro was a communicant of St. Julie Billiart Church. He was formerly employed as a maintenance man with the Town of Dartmouth School System for many years until his retirement. Prior to that, he was an overseer at Berkshire Hathaway. Mr. Pedro was a volunteer firefighter with the Dartmouth Fire Department, District 3 from 1961-1978. Survivors include his wife; a son, James Pedro, and his wife Caryn, of New Bedford; a sister, Yvonne Mello of New Bedford; 3 grandsons, Derek, Ryan and Kevin; several nieces and nephews.

Rev. Dr. Manuel Chavier, Sr., of Fairhaven died August 12, 2006 at St. Luke's Hospital after a brief illness. He was the husband of Elizabeth G. (McKenney) Chavier. Born in Lincoln, RI, the son of the late John and Mary (Monteiro) Chavier, he was raised in Lincoln and lived in New Bedford and Fairhaven for most of his life. Rev. Chavier was the founder of the International Church of the Nazarene in 1948 and was actively serving as the senior pastor of his church. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a master sergeant, participating in the battles and campaigns of the Rhineland and Central Europe, and was the recipient of the Bronze Star medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater campaign medal, the American Theater medal, the Good Conduct medal and the World War II Victory medal. Survivors include his wife; a son, Rev. Manuel "J.R." Chavier, Jr., and his wife Almeda, of New Bedford; a daughter, Ruth Gomes, and her husband Rev. Edmund Gomes, of Lynchburg, VA; 5 brothers and sisters, Jennie Chavier of Pawtucket, RI, Anthony Chavier, and his wife Patricia, of Cumberland, RI, John Chavier, and his wife Donna, of Fairhaven, Albert Gonsalves of Florida and Carlota T. Gonsalves of West Palm Beach, FL; and 4 grandchildren, Joshua Gomes, Priscilla Gomes, Jessica Chavier and Monica Chavier.

Albert "Al" Mello, age 78, of Henderson, Nevada, died unexpectedly at the home of his late brother, Robert R. Mello, who died June 11, 2006. He was the son of the late Albin and Germaine (Laliberte) Mello. Mr. Mello was born in New Bedford. He graduated from Holy Family High School and graduated from a pre-med course at Boston College in 1950 and went on to post-graduate work at McGill University in Montreal and the University of Pennsylvania and then on to the University of Lille in France. In 1954 he transferred to the University of Paris. Still longing for music, he began playing at the Club de Paris, a little bistro that attracted many Americans. Two or three months later, no longer interested in medicine, he returned to his home in New Bedford and then went on to New York. For years after that he conducted and directed the Chrysler Show - the yearly event where Chrysler dealers across the United States are introduced to the new model cars. He was considered one of the finest musical directors in the country, having coached many of the major performers and coordinated and conducted the music for many of the top stage and television shows. He was the musical director for "I Do, I Do," starring Carol Burnett and Rock Hudson; for twelve years musical conductor for Shari Lewis and conducted her Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth. He was the Musical Director for Gretchen Wyler on Broadway, Assistant Conductor for Stephen Douglass' Pajama Game, William Ross' Roberta, conducted for the McGuire Sisters and coached Phyllis McGuire for her single act, wrote the music and handled the dance arrangements for the Walt Disney picture "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," with Angela Lansbury. He had been music coordinator and composer for Mary Martin and Ethel Merman's Gala Benefit for the New York City Museum, Debbie Reynold's TV specials, Gower Champion's Oscar Award Show, the Carpenter's Christmas TV special, Edie Adam's Las Vegas act, the Cher Show, the Captain and Tennille's TV series and two years with the Hollywood Palace. He was the accompanist to Al Martino at the Hotel Flamingo, music coordinator at the Academy Awards and was mentioned in a "Walter Winchell on Broadway" column. He dedicated many years during his career and retirement, to the SHARE show, a charity affair presented by many stars and their spouses. He returned to live in Dartmouth for several years and was involved with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra during his stay.

Cecilia Mary (Butler) Ward, 79, of South Dartmouth, died early Monday morning June 19, 2006 in her home in Padanaram. She was the beloved wife of Dr. Richard J. Ward, former Dean of the School of Business at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and mother of four children, Timothy J. Ward, Esq., and his wife Judge Virginia (McIntyre) Ward, of Bridgewater, Richard J. Ward, Jr., and his wife Jane (Lothscheutz) Ward, of Chantilly, VA, Mary Elizabeth (Ward) Bencks and her husband Douglas Bencks, of Durham, NH, and Christopher Butler Ward, and his wife Patricia (Kelly) Ward, of Milford. Mrs. Ward leaves eight grandchildren: Ryan, Collin, Alison, Matthew and Stephen Ward, and Devin, Jarrett and Aaron Bencks. She is also survived by her sister, Elaine (Butler) DiCesare of Kennebunkport, Maine; and many loving nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late John Butler and Ruane (Butler) George. Born in Lewiston, Maine, Cecilia was a Blue Ribbon-winning equestrian and Valedictorian of her class at Lewiston High School, where her father had been Principal before his untimely death when Cecilia was 13 years old. She graduated from Trinity College in Washington in 1947 and began a career in radio that showcased her remarkable talent and passion for dramatic readings of poetry and stories. Cecilia also showed her flare for conversation at WLAM in Lewiston with on-air interviews of celebrities of the day, including legendary jazz drummer Gene Krupa, boxer Joe Louis, poet Robert Frost and Brigadier General McAuliffe (renowned for his response "Nuts!" to the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge). She also worked at WNEW, an ABC affiliate in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where her husband was completing his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, and where her two eldest children were born. Cecilia brought English-language literature to life for many in the diplomatic corps with her work at the Hashemite Broadcasting Company in Amman, Jordan, during her husband's two-year brief with the U.S. Foreign Aid Agency in the early 1960's. Dramatic renditions of poetry and prose were a lifelong passion for Cecilia, one she shared generously with friends and family, even after her loss of vision made memorization more difficult. As president of the U.S. Foreign Womens' Association, Cecilia met numerous dignitaries and potentates, including King Hussein of Jordan, with whom she danced at a state function in Jordan.

 Anthony W. Karalekas, 78, of Greenacres, FL, formerly of New Bedford, died June 26, 2006 at Hospice of Naples after a long illness. He was the husband of Florence "Honey" (Chace) Karalekas. Born in New Bedford, the son of the late William and Paraskevoula (Gisti) Karalekas, he lived in New Bedford all his life, summering in The Hemlocks, Lakeville and wintering in Greenacres. He was a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church. Mr. Karalekas was formerly employed as the president of State Fruit Company, Inc. in New Bedford until his retirement. He was a member of The Loyal Order of the Moose and a former member of DeMolay. He was a graduate of New Bedford High School and Bryant College. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

We appreciate your business.
Please drive carefully.
Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales, Inc.
1476 Purchase Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone: (508) 999-3213

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