This morning the Port Authority held its first public meetings to discuss its proposed toll hikes and a few of them apparently got quite heated. Which is not really that surprising when you consider that these were public meetings at 8 a.m. about a very touchy topic. One Staten Islander reportedly moaned that the hike "is going to kill us, making life impossible on Staten Island. It's becoming virtually impossible to pursue happiness on Staten Island."

"We are going to have to swim off this island soon!" Joe Valentine, Vice President Tax payers of Staten Island reportedly screamed to a group of union workers (who may or may not have been locals) at the Staten Island meeting. "I want your hands out of my pockets!"

The scene wasn't much prettier across the water, where folks were unamused that their commutes were being used to essentially pay for the cleanup of 9/11. “Why are the people of northern New Jersey paying for the attacks that were against all of America?” one woman asked at the meeting in Jersey City wondered.

Many of the meetings were attended by union workers who support the hikes, as they in theory will fund more union work (one union worker tearfully told the room that “I’m at the mercy of this program being approved, I need this so bad.”). But that mattered little to folks who don't appreciate the work the PA has already done. “The Port Authority is making gobs of money from that sector, the bridges and tolls,” a commuter from Clifton, N.J. complained. “What I don’t understand is how every morning as I drive down to pay my $8, my fillings are getting rattled out and the shocks of my car are being beat to death.”

And the public theater isn't over yet! Another round of public hearings are scheduled for this evening at 6 p.m. in both states. A 2 p.m. online hearing turned out to mostly be a chance for the Port Authority to review its plans and take a few typed in questions from the people. The Port Authority board is scheduled to vote on the proposed hikes on Friday.