I had a firsthand experience today with Organizing for America, the Obama re-election/community organizing group out of the DNC. While pumping gas at a Circle K in Durham, a well dressed young woman of 18 or so walked up to me and asked if I’m registered to vote “at your correct address.” I said yes and asked her who she represents. She said Organizing for America. I then told her I do not support President Obama’s policies. That’s when she turned around and walked away, which is a shame. I wanted to ask her why she supports economic policies that will drown her in debt and sentence her to poor job prospects for years to come. To her credit, she was polite, but obviously misinformed about the burden her generation will bear. And that is quite sad.Read full article » No Comments »
For a couple of weeks I’ve seen on the message boards on I-40 that buses will soon be using the shoulders. I went to
Ottowa Ottawa once for my former newspaper to look at that city’s busways, lanes dedicated to buses, usually with Jersey barrier on each side. The Canadian busways, as I remember them, had the advantage, though, of uninterrupted travel. A shoulder on a U.S. interstate does not.
As I drove from Durham to Raleigh this morning I paid attention to the shoulders on I-40 East. The first thing one notices is that they are not continuous. Shoulders peter out, stop, start, disappear, and reappear with regularity. I don’t see any way that the right shoulders can be used safely. A bus driver would have to have every inch of the erratic nature of shoulders memorized, and I doubt it that’s going to be part of their training. Add to that the iffy nature of pulling out into rush-hour traffic when a shoulder’s terminus is looming and you have a very dangerous situation.
All shoulders run eventually into on or off ramps. What will the bus do when it reaches one of these and is blocked by heavy traffic on the left of the bus? Will the driver barrel across the entrance of an off ramp, disregarding vehicles in the actual lane of travel that might want to exit the highway? Will they do the same at on ramps, disregarding vehicles coming down from their right? Or will they slam on their brakes and wait for the on and off ramps to clear?
If buses continually move to the shoulder and then move back into the right lane when the shoulder disappears, it won’t be long before all other drivers learn not to get anywhere near the right lane, which sort of defeats the purpose of augmenting the travel lanes, doesn’t it.
Count me very skeptical of this latest experiment.Read full article » 2 Comments »
Stockton, California, a town of 300,000, is filing for bankruptcy. What pushed the city over the financial cliff? Irresponsible decisions and policies.
How Stockton found itself so mired in debt can be seen everywhere in the city’s core. There is a sparkling marina, high-rise hotel and promenade financed by credit in the mid-2000s, mere blocks from where mothers won’t let their children play in the yard because of violence.
During the economic boom, this working-class city with pockets of entrenched poverty tried to reinvent itself as a draw to Bay Area refugees and a popular site for conventions. It offered generous city employee pension plans and benefits.
There should be a lesson in the misery Stockton imposed on itself, but I doubt the warning about massive growth of government will be heeded. And that is what’s so alarming.Read full article » No Comments »
Cary’s red light ticketing program is now the subject of a big court case, now that a Wake County judge has granted class-action status to the case. If Cary loses the case — which hinges on what plaintiffs contend are tickets and penalties they didn’t deserve — the town could be on the hook for repaying penalties to thousands.
Ridgeway’s seven-page order gave no details about how the affected drivers would be identified, or whether they would be notified about the lawsuit. Ridgeway said it was not clear how many drivers were affected. He wrote that attorneys for both sides had provided estimates ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands, depending on how narrowly the judge defined the class of plaintiffs.
Ceccarelli said he figured the ruling would make tens of thousands of drivers eligible for refunds of their tickets, if the plaintiffs win the case. A Cary town spokeswoman pegged the number somewhere below 9,000. Ceccarelli said he expects the case to go to trial in January, unless the two sides agree on a settlement.
JLF’s Fergus Hodgson has written many times about the problems with red light cameras. You can find some of his analysis here.Read full article » No Comments »
During her news conference about the budget yesterday, Gov. Perdue employed the oldest line in the play book of those who wrongly believe that more money equates to higher educational achievement.
Saying she would never turn her back on North Carolina’s children, Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue urged GOP legislative leaders to find more money for education in the waning days of the 2012 short session.
“I’m calling on them to do more for the children,” Perdue said during a brief, hastily called news conference held on the Capitol’s east lawn. “The future of North Carolina is at stake.”
The governor could use some new speechwriters.
For those who want to know what really is and isn’t in the education portion of the new budget that is on the governor’s desk, the facts can be found here.Read full article » No Comments »