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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 75,786

Journal Archives

Clinton was elected after the 1992 LA Riots....

..... when there was a recession not nearly as deep as this one and there was NO pandemic that was bollocksed up by the sitting president.

Perhaps the hand-wringing is a bit premature?

MA: The 'new normal' on MBTA buses, trains redefines what is considered 'crowded"

MA: The ‘new normal’ on MBTA buses, trains redefines what is considered ‘crowded’
Buses that once allowed up to 58 people to board before reaching its “crowding threshold” will now be considered crowded with only 20 passengers.

Tanner Stening
masslive.com (TNS)

The MBTA has implemented new temporary safety measures across the transit system that have drastically reduced the number of passengers allowed on buses and trains before they’re considered crowded.

For example, buses that once allowed up to 58 people to board before reaching its “crowding threshold” will now be considered crowded with only 20 passengers.

As public transportation ridership begins to rebound, and traffic patterns continue to change as a result of larger percentage of the Massachusetts workforce working from home, T officials have looked to balance new safety concerns against record low public transit use during the pandemic, the T’s general manager said on Wednesday.

“The new normal for the T will very much be dictated by crowding thresholds, and we will continue to monitor this data closely,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said. ..........(more)


New Orleans RTA to bring all transit operations in-house

New Orleans RTA to bring all transit operations in-house
This change builds on last year’s decision to transition executive oversight and management from Transdev to a contract focused on service operations and maintenance.

New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA)
May 29th, 2020

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is moving its transit operations and maintenance functions in-house so all staff will be directly employed by the RTA.

This change, effective Oct. 1, 2020, builds on last year’s decision to transition executive oversight and management from Transdev, a global operator of public transportation, to a contract focused on service operations and maintenance.

“We thank Transdev for its many contributions over the years. As we enter this new era for the RTA, I look forward to leading our staff through this change as we partner to build the world-class transit system this community deserves,” said Alex Wiggins, CEO of the RTA. “New Orleans has some of the best talent in the industry and I look forward to what we will achieve.”

Transdev has provided transportation management services to the RTA since 2009 and played a key role in restoring transit service in the years following Hurricane Katrina. In October 2019, the RTA assumed direct administrative and management oversight of all support functions, while continuing to outsource the day-to-day maintenance and operations functions to Transdev. As of October 2020, the RTA will fully manage all aspects of the administrative, operational, maintenance and policy functions of the agency. All employees will become employees of the RTA. Labmar Ferry Services will continue to serve as the RTA’s ferry operator. ..................(more)


Some wise words.....from Tim Wise:

“...After all, acknowledging unfairness then calls decent people forth to correct those injustices. And since most persons are at their core, decent folks, the need to ignore evidence of injustice is powerful: To do otherwise would force whites to either push for change (which they would perceive as against their interests) or live consciously as hypocrites who speak of freedom and opportunity but perpetuate a system of inequality.

The irony of American history is the tendency of good white Americans to presume racial innocence. Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege.

In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.”

Far-right 'boogaloo' militants have embedded themselves in the George Floyd protests

(Raw Story) Young, white men dressed in Hawaiian-style print shirts and body armor, and carrying high-powered rifles have been a notable feature at state capitols, lending an edgy and even sometimes insurrectionary tone to gatherings of conservatives angered by restrictions on businesses and church gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Just as many states are reopening their economies — and taking the wind out of the conservative protests — the boogaloo movement found a new galvanizing cause: the protests in Minneapolis against the police killing of George Floyd.

A new iteration of the militia movement, boogaloo was born out of internet forums for gun enthusiasts that repurposed the 1984 movie Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo as a code for a second civil war, and then modified it into phrases like “big luau” to create an insular community for those in on the joke, with Hawaiian-style shirts functioning as an in-real-life identifier. Boogaloo gained currency as an internet meme over the summer of 2019, when it was adopted by white supremacists in the accelerationist tendency. In January, the movement made the leap from the internet to the streets when a group boogaloo-ers showed up at the Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Va. ..............(more)


Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling with Covid-19

Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling with Covid-19
Wealthy corporations may use trade courts to keep public health measures from cutting into their profits.


(In These Times) The country was in freefall. Formerly middle class families were hawking their valuables on the street. After dark, the most desperate would search through garbage cans for food.

That was Argentina in 2002. In that dark hour, as Argentine officials scrambled to lessen the pain of a deep economic crisis on average citizens, the last thing they needed was a barrage of corporate lawsuits. But that’s what they got.

CMS Gas, for example, sued Argentina over a policy to freeze utility rates in local currency to protect consumers from runaway inflation. An international tribunal ordered the beleaguered government to pay the U.S. corporation $133 million. Other corporations settled for hundreds of millions more.

With countries scrambling to survive the global Covid-19 pandemic, many other countries could suffer Argentina’s fate. As economies falter, these policymakers now have to worry that their policy responses could make them the target of lawsuits. ..............(more)


Big Bankruptcies Sweep the U.S. in Fastest Pace Since May 2009

(Bloomberg) In the first few weeks of the pandemic, it was just a trickle: companies like Alaskan airline Ravn Air pushed into bankruptcy as travel came to a halt and markets collapsed. But the financial distress wrought by the shutdowns only deepened, producing what is now a wave of insolvencies washing through America’s corporations.

In May alone, some 27 companies reporting at least $50 million in liabilities sought court protection from creditors -- the highest number since the Great Recession. They range from well-known U.S. mainstays such as J.C. Penney Co. and J. Crew Group Inc. to air carriers Latam Airlines Group SA and Avianca Holdings, their business decimated as travelers stayed put.

In May 2009, 29 major companies filed for bankruptcy, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. And year-to-date, there have been 98 bankruptcies filed by companies with at least $50 million in liabilities -- also the highest since 2009, when 142 companies filed in the first four months. ............(more)


San Francisco's data-driven transportation recovery

SFMTA’s data-driven transportation recovery
Data will help SFMTA keep buses out of traffic and identify additional Slow Streets possibilities.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)
May 27th, 2020

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is using data to guide not only its reaction to the COVID-19 crisis but also how the agency will recover.

Transit’s recovery

When shelter-in-place began and the SFMTA was forced to reduce Muni service, it identified how to focus service reductions using data. The Muni Core Service Plan prioritized available resources based on locations of medical facilities, Muni’s Equity Strategy and data from shifting customer travel patterns observed during the first weeks of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order. The service plan kept all of San Francisco within one mile of an active Muni stop. As additional resources have become available, guided by the same data as well as additional information from operators, riders and city leaders, SFMTA has increased frequency and returned some additional routes to service.

As more people return to working in retail and manufacturing, there will be an increased demand for transit, even as physical distancing still limits Muni’s capacity. If SFMTA cannot get the thousands of employees who rely on Muni to work, San Francisco cannot recover economically, says the agency.

Preventing crowding and having everyone wear masks is key to recovery. Generally, as the activities allowed by the public health order expand, SFMTA is keeping the core service routes and increasing capacity and frequency. The increased frequency helps limit crowding and promote physical distancing. ..............(more)


A Square Mile of "Ready for Anything"

from YES! Magazine:

A Square Mile of “Ready for Anything”
“When you have humans and you have heart, you’re pretty much used to doing what you have to do to make things happen.”


When Seattle Public Schools announced it was suspending classes in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Lashanna Williams naturally thought about the children in her South Park neighborhood.

About 90% qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school. And while the district would provide students with sack lunches during the school closures, that still meant some would be missing that important first meal of the day.

So Williams came up with a plan to offer community breakfasts—scrambled eggs and pancakes, mostly. (She learned soon enough that nobody wanted oatmeal.) In her driveway she set up a tent, tables, hot plates, a griddle. When owners of the popular neighborhood coffee shop, Resistencia Coffee, learned what she was doing, they offered her their space, insisting when she demurred. Uncle Eddie’s sandwich shop, before it closed, gave Williams the meat from its freezer and more people than she could reasonably accommodate signed up to help set up, distribute food, and clean up afterward.

By the time Gov. Jay Inslee ordered residents to shelter in place less than two weeks later, Williams had already pivoted, organizing a network of food stands and sharing tables in neighbors’ driveways—some of them operating 24 hours a day—so people could get supplies anytime they needed them. Fresh produce. Non-perishables. Toys. Books. Toilet paper. Donations, she says, came in “Bernie Sanders-style”— small contributions of as little as $2—from across the country, but many from right there in the neighborhood.

In this gritty, square-mile pocket south of Seattle, residents created a GoFundMe account to help pay rent for neighbors who had lost their jobs when businesses closed following the coronavirus outbreak. They began communal grocery shopping in the neighborhood, where there are few fresh food markets, and a barter system has emerged for people to exchange what extras they have. .................(more)


Miami-Dade scrambling to repair damage from some of the worst floods in two decades

(Miami Herald) Multiple streetlights are down in Doral. Miami, Hialeah and Doral blocked off roads to deal with continued flooding. Cars now await their owners in tow yards. Employees were trapped overnight at the county’s animal shelter.

Hard and fast rain on Tuesday triggered some of the worst floods in Miami-Dade County since 2000, according to the mayors of Doral and Hialeah. Cities scrambled to repair the damage as flooding returned Wednesday afternoon after three days of intense rainfall.

In a press release, the American Red Cross said it had coordinated emergency aid for more than 60 families impacted by the flooding. Thirty-nine of those families were in a Miami mobile home community, where water entered some homes. ...............(more)


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