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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

Journal Archives

Frustrations of Air Travel Push Passengers to Amtrak

Long a punch line for harried Northeast travelers, Amtrak has come to dominate commercial travel in the corridor connecting Washington, New York and Boston, and this summer its trains are packed.

A decade ago, Delta and US Airways shuttles were the preferred mode of travel between the cities. But high fares, slow airport security and frequent flight delays — along with Amtrak’s high-speed Acela trains, online ticketing and workstation amenities — have eaten away at the airlines’ share of passengers.

Between New York and Washington, Amtrak said, 75 percent of travelers go by train, a huge share that has been building steadily since the Acela was introduced in 2000 and airport security was tightened after 2001. Before that, Amtrak had just over a third of the business between New York and Washington.

In the same period, Amtrak said, its market share between New York and Boston grew to 54 percent from 20 percent. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.cnbc.com/id/48690841

Chicago: CTA Responds Aisle-Facing Seats are Here to Stay

IL: CTA Responds Aisle-Facing Seats are Here to Stay

Jon Hilkevitch
Source: Chicago Tribune
Created: August 28, 2012

Aug. 28 -- CTA officials responded decisively Monday to commuters who intensely dislike the center-facing seating on the transit agency's $1.14 billion rail cars and want it changed.

The answer: You're stuck with it for the next 40 years.

Replacing the longitudinal aisle-facing seating arrangement on the new rail cars with a traverse style of both forward- and rear-facing seats that are the norm in Chicago would require redesigning the 5000 Series cars to anchor the seats to new beams added to the frame, according to CTA engineers and the manufacturer, Montreal-based Bombardier Transportation.

Such a move is out of the question because the changes would be very expensive and delay production of the 706 rail cars, CTA officials said. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/10770515/il-cta-responds-aisle-facing-seats-are-here-to-stay

Fundie nut Bryan Fischer: Gays Have ‘No Business’ Being Republican

American Family Association mouthpiece Bryan Fischer spewed his weekly doses of bigotry in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the GOP convention, saying gays have “no business” being Republicans.

Fischer particularly slammed groups like the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay right-wing group, arguing such organizations “undermine and subvert” the moral foundations of the Republican Party.

“They have no business being there. Our message to them is that your home is in the Democratic Party,” Fischer told the Post-Gazette. “These groups are actively working to undermine and subvert the Republican Party platform and the principles of the Republican Party.”

And he went on: “The Republican platform is very clean on the issues of marriage family and parenting, and these are people that are actively working against the principles of the party.” ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.southfloridagaynews.com/news/national-news/7002-afas-bryan-fischer-gays-have-no-business-being-republican.html

MSU student's mouth stapled, jaw broken in hate crime attack

A 19-year-old Michigan State University student is recovering at home in Oakland County today after surgery overnight for a broken jaw his family says stems from a brutal hate crime.

Two men at a party early Sunday asked Zachary Tennen, a journalism sophomore at MSU, if he was Jewish, his mother, Tina Tennen, said today.

They raised their arms in a Nazi salute, chanting “Heil Hitler” and then knocked Tennen unconscious.

While he was out, the men stapled his mouth, putting a staple into his gum while about 20 people watched. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/article/20120828/NEWS06/120828010/MSU-student-s-mouth-stapled-jaw-broken-in-hate-crime-attack?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

2nd Yosemite visitor dies of rodent-borne illness

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — A second person has died of a rare, rodent-borne disease after visiting one of the most popular parts of Yosemite National Park earlier this summer, and park officials were warning past visitors to be aware of some flu-like aches and symptoms and seek medical help immediately if they appear.

Health officials learned this weekend of the second hantavirus death, which killed a person who visited the park in June, spokesman Scott Gediman said in a statement.

There was one other confirmed case of the illness, and a fourth is being investigated.

Yosemite officials said the four visitors might have been exposed while vacationing at the park's Curry Village, and are warning those who stayed in the village's tent cabins from mid-June through the end of August to beware of any symptoms of hantavirus, which can include fever, aches, dizziness and chills. An outreach effort is under way to contact visitors from that period who stayed in "Signature Tent Cabins," which have more insulation and amenities than other tent cabins. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20120828/US.Yosemite.Rodent.Disease/?cid=hero_media

The one horror story that’s missing when Canadians talk about health care

August 27th, 2012 11:11 AM

The one horror story that’s missing when Canadians talk about health care
By Dr. Jen Gunter

I just spent a week in Canada. Most days were spent enjoying the glory that is a Manitoba summer on the sandy shores of lake Winnipeg, the kids playing in the water and building sandcastles while the parents chatted.

As often happens, when people find out that I’m a doctor, the conversation turns to medicine. I don’t think this is because I’m special somehow, but since everyone requires health care and almost always has a friend or family member struggling with some health issue it’s a common ground. People are eager for insider information. Unfortunately, most of the times people recount horror stories, although I suspect if I were a pilot conversation would veer to the travel industry and we’d all talk about the longest time we sat on the tarmac or the worst flight we ever endured.

I heard a story about a young woman, age 42, who felt she had to bully her doctor into an annual mammogram instead of every two years. She had no specific risk factors for breast cancer, but wanted a yearly screen. She was successful, and at her yearly mammogram a cancer was diagnosed (fortunately stage 1). Unfortunately, she was going to need chemo and radiation, but thankful it was caught and that she had advocated for herself. I have heard very similar stories south of the border as well.


I heard nothing about co-pays, nothing about fighting with an insurance company to get a drug or procedure approved, and nothing about limits to the allowed number of physical therapy visits a year.

Money was startlingly absent from every conversation about health care. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/one-horror-story-s-missing-when-canadians-talk-about-health-care

Retrofitting, From the Suburb On Out

from the Next American City blog:

Retrofitting, From the Suburb On Out

Toronto | 08/24/2012 8:26am |
Michaela Krauser | Next American City

[font size="1"]Mississauga’s high-rise-filled skyline is deceiving. Credit: markaci on Flickr[/font]

In Any Suburb, U.S.A., box stores usually line wide streets and empty parking lots frame strip malls. But as many residents begin to pack up and move to the city, suburbs are increasingly looking for ways to create distinctive, vibrant cores within the sprawl.

In Toronto, planners are resisting the traditional model of urban growth — from the urban core, outwards — in favor of a different strategy: Building mixed-used, walkable cores within the surrounding municipalities, according to the Globe and Mail.

Though the plan to build thriving mini-downtowns within the suburbs may rely on familiar tactics — street-level and transit-oriented development and tighter street networks — the strategy has not yet been used on such a large scale in North America. While the plan has its critics, some municipalities argue that building these developments is a necessity.

From a distance, Mississauga’s high-rise-dotted skyline evokes the appearance of a thriving downtown. In reality, wide gaps separate the Toronto suburb’s tall buildings, and big-box stores stud vacant sidewalks. With little land left to grow outward, Mississauga is looking to densify. In 2010, the suburb adopted a plan to concentrate development on a new main street, creating a pedestrian-oriented streetscape with street-level retail, smaller blocks and a new light-rail line to service the area. The renovated plaza in front of Mississauga’s city hall, complete with wading pool, stage and Jumbotrons, has received about a million visitors since it opened last summer. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://americancity.org/daily/entry/retrofitting-from-the-suburb-and-out

Classic Bill Maher ...... on false equivalency

Weekend at St. Ronnie's in Tampa

Published on Monday, August 27, 2012 by The Progressive
In Tampa, Newt Gingrich, Scott Walker Plug Supply-Side Economics

by Ruth Conniff

On Day One of the Republican Convention, Newt Gingrich hosted a special Newt University session in a Hyatt hotel near the convention center.

As the wind picked up outside, and delegates milled around waiting for the weather delay to end, inside the hotel ballroom, Newt and his guests preached a return to supply-side economics as the answer to the current recession.

Congressman Aaron Schock, the young Republican from Illinois, compared the Obama Administration's failure to cut Medicare to a government knowing about the attacks on 9/11 beforehand, and doing nothing to protect citizens.

"From a deficit standpoint, that's where we are as a country," he said. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/27-11

TSA orders retraining in wake of recent racial profiling in Newark airport and beyond

from the Star-Ledger:

In the wake of reports of racial profiling at airports in Newark, Honolulu and Boston, the Transportation Security Administration is ordering refresher training for behavior detection workers at 161 airports and reviewing training, data collection and other elements of the nationwide program.

"All behavior detection officers nationwide are receiving an online refresher course to reinforce that racial/ethnic profiling will not be tolerated," the TSA said in a statement Tuesday.

The TSA also said more intensive classroom training will be given to officers at Boston’s Logan International Airport, where reports of racial profiling surfaced this month after a TSA compliance officer substantiated a local screener’s complaint.

The TSA said the classroom training is also being given to behavior detection officers at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, where racial profiling has not been reported but where the same intensive program as the one in Boston is in place. ..........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/08/tsa_orders_retraining_in_wake.html

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