Had quite a morning with so many commuters unable to take regularly scheduled trains to work.

Not because of the Amtrak repairs, but instead due to a shortage of crew members, specifically engineers to operate the trains.  The unofficial word was all about engineers not reporting to work.  Seems that there is some confusion over whether or not the engineers are being asked to work additional days and through weekends or are they simply protesting management.

The bottom line is that we had a caller who claimed to be an NJ Transit engineer who properly articulated the problem of a reduction in staff, difficulty hiring and retaining employees in NJ and the changes made after the Hoboken crash regarding engineers with Sleep Apnea. Of course I went on a bit of a rant about Apnea.  Who among regular commuters, cops, teachers, engineers, pilots, etc always gets a good night's sleep?

 Anyone with little kids and dogs during a thunderstorm knows exactly what it's like to have interrupted sleep and a less than restful night.  The singling out of sleep apnea sufferers as a way of painting a picture that they are less than qualified is absurd. Can you remember the last time you had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep?

I'd have to go back to my teens.  In the Marine Corps our drill instructors at Parris Island told us the USMC would allocate 2 hours to sleep.  Anything else would be a gift.  Yet somehow Marines are able to operate heavy equipment, firearms and make good decisions under fire.  Can we stop classifying everything as a a potential danger and get the engineers back to work?

How about we lower taxes to make NJ more affordable?  And while we're at it, maybe spend some of the money being borrowed for light rails and the State House reno project and hire more engineers.

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