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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

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After 20 years of talk, Crenshaw/LAX rail line gets green light


from the LA Times:


By Laura J. Nelson
June 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.




After some last-minute fiscal reshuffling, transportation officials gave a green light to the proposed Crenshaw/LAX light-rail line on Thursday, capping years of controversy over the train's route through South Los Angeles.

The board of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority unanimously approved the Crenshaw Line's $2.06-billion budget, the largest in the agency's history, and awarded the joint project contract to Walsh Construction and J.F. Shea Co.

The 8.5-mile line will connect the Expo Line to the Green Line. It's partially funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax Los Angeles County voters passed in 2008. When major construction begins next year, the Crenshaw Line will be one of five significant rail projects simultaneously under construction in the county. It's expected to open in 2019.

"What you have here is a regional, rational and equitable transportation plan," Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. The line will reduce congestion and air pollution and increase jobs along Crenshaw Boulevard, he said. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-metro-rails-20130628,0,3659613.story



Chicago Launches Bike Share: A Divvy Day One Dispatch



[font size="1"]Seven-year-old Maurice Neuman checks out one of the new bikes in Chicago's bike sharing program, Divvy. (WBEZ / Robin Amer/flickr)[/font]


Chicago opened its bike sharing program Friday. By next spring, the city will have 400 stations and 4,000 bikes, making it one of the largest in the U.S.

Here are the basic facts for day one as reported by our friends at WBEZ:

Divvy kicked off with 65 solar-powered docking stations. The plan is to add hundreds more by next spring. With a fleet of 700 powder-blue bikes...

Most of the stations will stand within a couple miles of the lakefront, clustered mainly in the Loop and densely populated neighborhoods along transit lines...

Divvy’s startup financing include $22 million in federal funds and $5.5 million in local funds.

The day-to-day operations will be up to Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share, which also runs bike-share programs in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein once consulted for Alta and received criticism when Chicago chose the company for the city’s program. Klein said he recused himself from the selection process.
...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/transportation-nation/2013/jun/28/chicago-gets-bike-share-divvy-launch-day-dispatch/



Senate Panel Okays Funding for D.C. Transit





WAMU - Washington – The agency that runs D.C.'s subways is looking forward to federal money to replace outdated equipment and catch up on years of deferred maintenance. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority would receive another installment of federal funds to rebuild its aging rail system under an appropriations bills approved by a Senate panel on Thursday.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), approved $150 million for WMATA, the fifth installment in a 10-year, $1.5 billion dollar package to replace out-of-date equipment.

Mikulski said the recent anniversary of the 2009 Red Line crash in Fort Totten served as a reminder of the importance of fixing Metro.

"We want trains that are crash proof. We needed a tracking system that would function automatically to warn people so there wouldn't be those crashes,” she said. .............................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/transportation-nation/2013/jun/28/senate-panel-okays-funding-wmata/



David Sirota: America’s Newest Global War


from truthdig:


America’s Newest Global War

Posted on Jun 28, 2013
By David Sirota


Out of all the harrowing storylines in journalist Jeremy Scahill’s new film “Dirty Wars,” the one about Abdulelah Haider Shaye best spotlights the U.S. government’s new assault against press freedom.

Shaye is the Yemeni journalist who in 2009 exposed his government’s cover-up of a U.S. missile strike that, according to McClatchy’s newswire, ended up killing “dozens of civilians, including 14 women and 21 children.” McClatchy notes that for the supposed crime of committing journalism, Shaye was sentenced to 5 years in prison following a trial that “was widely condemned as a sham” by watchdog groups and experts who noted that the prosecution did not “offer any substantive evidence to support (its) charges.”

What, you might ask, does this have to do with the American government’s attitude toward press freedom? That’s where Scahill’s movie comes in. As the film shows, when international pressure moved the Yemeni government to finally consider pardoning Shaye, President Obama personally intervened, using a phone call with Yemen’s leader to halt the journalist’s release.

Had this been an isolated incident, it might be easy to write off. But the president’s move to criminalize the reporting of inconvenient facts is sadly emblematic of his administration’s larger war against journalism. And, mind you, the word “war” is no overstatement. ..........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/americas_newest_global_war_20130628/



David Sirota: America’s Newest Global War


from truthdig:


America’s Newest Global War

Posted on Jun 28, 2013
By David Sirota


Out of all the harrowing storylines in journalist Jeremy Scahill’s new film “Dirty Wars,” the one about Abdulelah Haider Shaye best spotlights the U.S. government’s new assault against press freedom.

Shaye is the Yemeni journalist who in 2009 exposed his government’s cover-up of a U.S. missile strike that, according to McClatchy’s newswire, ended up killing “dozens of civilians, including 14 women and 21 children.” McClatchy notes that for the supposed crime of committing journalism, Shaye was sentenced to 5 years in prison following a trial that “was widely condemned as a sham” by watchdog groups and experts who noted that the prosecution did not “offer any substantive evidence to support (its) charges.”

What, you might ask, does this have to do with the American government’s attitude toward press freedom? That’s where Scahill’s movie comes in. As the film shows, when international pressure moved the Yemeni government to finally consider pardoning Shaye, President Obama personally intervened, using a phone call with Yemen’s leader to halt the journalist’s release.

Had this been an isolated incident, it might be easy to write off. But the president’s move to criminalize the reporting of inconvenient facts is sadly emblematic of his administration’s larger war against journalism. And, mind you, the word “war” is no overstatement. ..........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/americas_newest_global_war_20130628/



Idiot Tweeter goes rogue on Marco Rubio


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) criticized Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) immigration reform efforts on Friday, making a biblical reference to Judas.

The comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the Senate 68-32 on Thursday.

President Barack Obama personally made phone calls from Africa to congratulate "the gang of eight," the bipartisan group of senators responsible for the bill, including Rubio. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/28/sarah-palin-marco-rubio_n_3519122.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037



Poll: Bike Sharing Widely Popular After First Month (NYC)


(WNYC) It's been one month since NYC launched Citi Bike, the new bike sharing program, and to mark the occasion the city issued some glowing user statistics. Meanwhile, a new poll of likely voters shows New York City's new bike sharing program is widely popular in the city.

Fifty percent of New Yorkers support the new program, with just 20 percent opposing bike share, according to The Quinnipiac University poll. "Every age, income, party, gender and educational group supports the bike program," the researchers wrote.

Voters over 65 years old are the only group that doesn't want bikes in their neighborhood, with 40 percent opposed and 37 percent in favor, according to the poll.

There was some differences by race though. More white voters have made up their mind, and more support Citi Bike: 57 percent in favor, 22 percent disapprove with just 20 percent saying they don't know enough. (Compare that to these figures: Black voters: 43 percent in favor, 18 percent against, 38 percent haven't heard enough; Hispanic voters: 47 percent approve, 17 percent disapprove, 33 percent haven't heard enough). .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/transportation-nation/2013/jun/27/evaluating-nycs-citi-bike-bike-sharing-program-poll-study/



NOW Toronto: Cure for King: Time for tough choices on car-congested streets


Cure for King
Time for tough choices on car-congested streets

By Adam Giambrone




Those new streetcars that will start showing up on downtown streets in the next few years won’t be worth the $5 million price tag if they end up stranded in a sea of car traffic.

And the place this is most likely to occur is King Street – unless the city begins to make some tough choices. Will it?

On Monday, June 24, the TTC Commission approved a study to look for options to improve service on King, TTC CEO Andy Byford suggesting a look at left-turn and parking restrictions, and TTC chair Karen Stintz appearing to push a consideration of transit-only lanes and a ban on cars. The idea was even floated of a pilot project restricting cars during the 2015 Pan Am Games, although after the meeting the timing of such a plan seemed less clear.

It’s good that the musing has begun, but to put things in perspective, this is the fourth or fifth effort in the last two decades to deal with increasing congestion on King and other downtown thoroughfares. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=193286



Michael Bloomberg, bullshit artist


Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out Friday morning at two bills recently passed by the New York City Council that aim to check the NYPD's controversial use of stop and frisk.

"The racial profiling bill is just so unworkable," he told host John Gambling during his weekly radio appearance, Capital New York reports. "Nobody racially profiles."

The bill to which Bloomberg was referring allows New Yorkers to sue if they felt they've been profiled based on religion, sexual orientation, or race.

"There is this business, there's one newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, 'Oh it's a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group,'" Bloomberg added. "That may be, but it's not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murder. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little." ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/28/bloomberg-racial-profiling-nypd_n_3516901.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037&ir=Politics



North Carolina Dropped From Federal Unemployment Program


RALEIGH, N.C. -- With changes to its unemployment law taking effect this weekend, North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless.

State officials adopted the package of benefit cuts and increased taxes for businesses in February, a plan designed to accelerate repayment of a $2.5 billion federal debt. Like many states, North Carolina had racked up the debt by borrowing from Washington after its unemployment fund was drained by jobless benefits during the Great Recession.

The changes go into effect Sunday for North Carolina, which has the country's fifth-worst jobless rate. The cuts on those who make unemployment claims on or after that day will disqualify the state from receiving federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation. That money kicks in after the state's period of unemployment compensation – now shortened from up to six months to no more than five – runs out. The EUC program is available to long-term jobless in all states. But keeping the money flowing includes a requirement that states can't cut average weekly benefits.

Because North Carolina leaders cut average weekly benefits for new claims, about 170,000 workers whose state benefits expire this year will lose more than $700 million in EUC payments, the U.S. Labor Department said. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/28/north-carolina-unemployment_n_3515448.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037



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