April 07, 2014

‘No Vans Land’ film, discussion is April 10

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A documentary that profiles the battles and success of a small businessman in New York City is set for screening this week at the SIU School of Law. 

“No Vans Land” is the story of Hector Ricketts, owner and president of Community Transportation Systems, Inc.  The program, which includes the documentary and a discussion with filmmaker Sean Malone and George Mocsary, an assistant professor of law, is from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 10, in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building Auditorium. 

Admission is free and the public is welcome, but reservations by email to Mocsary are appreciated.  The Charles Koch Foundation is sponsoring the event. 

Ricketts and his family arrived in the United States from Jamaica more than 30 years ago.  Ricketts, a former hospital director, started the commuter van service about 20 years ago after the hospital where he was director downsized.  The film profiles the struggles that the company faces from stringent government regulations and special interest groups in operating a “dollar van” service that helps commuters and health care workers travel to and from New York City’s outer boroughs.  

The Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm, represented Ricketts in a lawsuit against the state and city of New York in the mid-1990s.