Yeah, so I have been slacking on my posting recently. Sorry folks. I will have my 12 of 12 for March up later today. Until then, tell me what’s wrong with this image.
It’s amazing to look back and see what all happened in the 2000s. It’s already over!? Wow.
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A recent news story (here) announced that Stephen Banta will be named chief executive of Metro Light Rail. He comes to Phoenix via Portland, OR where he ran their TriMet system. He comes to the Valley at a good time. Metro is in a transition period where the light rail is moving from being the “new, cool toy” to something that needs to become more viable for the Phoenix Metro Area. Hopefully he can breathe some new life into Metro and bring the much needed improvements to the system (hello, I’d love to know how long it is before the next train arrives, especially when it’s summer and it’s 114 outside!).
When I was in Portland recently, one of the coolest features of their light rail system was the intigration with Google Maps that was present when searching for directions. Watching the mobile app on my iPhone, I could see exactly when a train left the station I wanted to board at and how long I had to wait for the next one to arrive. It was amazing. The MAX seems to be a pretty reliable source of transportation given the few experiences I had while in Portland.
We have a really awesome newspaper in Arizona called the Arizona Republic. They do such good reporting and they fact check everything before going to print.
A quick two second visit to Senate.gov and House.gov clearly shows that Congress is still in session. Not to mention that the Senate is set to vote on the Health Care bill on Friday and that it’s been all over the news. The fact is, Congress doesn’t go on break for Thanksgiving until 11/23. Finding that information took me all of five seconds. WTF is wrong with newspapers today?
Oh, and one last thing… Kudos to Sen. McCain for visiting Arizona when he should be in Washington doing the job he was elected to do! Holy crap the Arizona delegation in both chambers have been real winners lately.
This is a very interesting article in The Atlantic on the efficacy of the flu vaccine. Check it out.
The story linked below was on the front page of the Arizona Republic’s website this morning. First, I find it amusing that they don’t allow comments on that story. It think that they’ve had enough of the hate speech that usually accompanies these stories.
Anyway, for my opinion on this whole thing. It’s difficult to take a one sided position on a subject like this, at least for me. On one hand, you don’t want to reward bad behavior and the whole DREAM Act in Congress does just that. Some say it might even spur more illegal immigration, which is never a good idea. Obviously I don’t think it’s fair that these kids are being punished for a decision their parents made for them when they were very young, but what can I say?? It sucks, but that’s life sometimes.
How do we fix this problem? The US Government needs to readdress their immigration policy with Mexico. If so many Mexicans want to come to the United States to live and work, make it easier for them to do it legally. Why do there have to be so may hoops you have to jump through and years of waiting that needs to be done? Make it easier for people already living here illegally to go back to Mexico and reenter the country legally without having to wait years to do so. Instead of adding new policies to our already convoluted immigration system, let’s fix what we already have. I just don’t know why we can’t figure out how to fix what we already have vs. trying to create loopholes that will not solve anything and may even make things worse.
Okay, I’m done. Thoughts? The story is linked below.
Today it was announced that the City of Phoenix along with Valley Metro are looking to raise fares across all public transportation by 40% (at the minimum). The news story on AZCentral had over 15 pages of comments just a few hours after it was published. People are pissed and that’s understandable. Who wants to pay more to ride the bus or the light rail? Obviously, the rate increase will hurt those who have to use mass transit the most – the working poor and elderly.
This post isn’t really about how I agree or disagree with the rate increase as much as it is about how dumb the people are at the AZCentral site. They try to make the comparison between the new proposed fares and the fares of mass transit in other western states. The article focuses more on the one day pass being doubled in price along with mentioning that the one way ticket will go up by $.50 to $1.75. I have included an image of the proposed new rates for Valley Metro along with the comparisons they showed on AZCentral.com. Unfortunately, they don’t clarify what the comparison fare is and this, I’ve found, caused confusion among those who read the article and resulted in a lot of comments being posted on the story. So, let’s do a better job in giving some comparisons. Since the article focused both on one way tickets and daily passes, here’s what I’ve found while looking up the prices in other western cities.
- Denver – Bus and Light Rail Fares (2 zones) – One Way Ticket = $2 – All Day Pass = $6
- Dallas – Bus and Light Rail Fares (Dallas Only) – One Way Ticket = $1.50 – All Day Pass = $3
- Las Vegas – Bus Fares (Local Only) – One Way Ticket = $1.75 – All Day Pass = $4
- Los Angeles – Mass Trasit (No Metrolink) – One Way Ticket = $1.25 – All Day Pass = $5
So, as you can see, PHX has had pretty cheap mass transit fares compared to other cities on the west coast, especially when it comes to all day tickets. These mass transit systems are surviving and have decent ridership. I think people will be shocked by the changes initially but will get over it quickly. Do I think an increase in fares will make people choose to drive instead of ride? Possibly, but only by a small percentage. Some of the new riders that came on board because of the light rail may be turned off and might go back to driving. People that relied on the Red Line that was replaced with the Light Rail will continue to ride it. The increase in fare may also keep some occasional riders from using it as often as the currently do, depending on their reason for riding.
How will this rate increase change how I use the Light Rail? It won’t really have an impact. I use the rail to get downtown because parking is atrocious and PHX is upping the rate at the meters, extending metered time, and will start charging on Saturdays. I guess what will change is that I won’t be buying an all day pass when I want to take a round trip ride downtown. I’ll end up having to buy two single ride tickets. It’s not really that big of a deal if you think about it.
One of my pet peeves is people who don’t download pictures from their cameras to their computers. It’s most annoying when you have it sit there while they scan through hundreds of items before getting to the one photo they want to show you. Anyway, as I was combing the internet for interesting items to read, a story was posted about items lost by the passengers of that US Airways flight that crash landed in the Hudson a few weeks ago.
Like any doting father, Joshua Peltz captured every one of his firstborn’s “firsts” on film.
Adalind’s first steps. Adalind’s first New York City pizza. Adalind’s first kiss with Mom.
Now the 39-year-old Charlotte, NC, man fears the cherished footage – stored on his cellphone – is somewhere on the bottom of the Hudson River.
He had to leave the device behind during the scramble to escape miracle US Airways Flight 1549, which crash-landed in the icy Hudson River Jan. 15 after both engines lost power upon colliding with a flock of geese.
“I’m very upset, disappointed and frustrated,” said Peltz, who was never able to make backup copies of the 40 videos of his daughter, now 2.
Ummm, what?! You’ve had those pictures and videos on your CELL PHONE for over a year?! Talk about an unsafe location to save those precious memories. Who here hasn’t had a cell phone stolen, lost, or even just die on you? I get it, he’s upset because he’s lost those memories, but come on!
This link is why Twitter rocks!
Below is a screen shot taken of Google News. Really Reuters? An A380 is a “small plane”?
That’s how much the NYSE lost today in equity value. Jesus.