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Friday, September 12, 2014

WASHINGTON: Poor rail service threatens economy, shippers tell lawmakers | Economy | McClatchy DC

WASHINGTON: Poor rail service threatens economy, shippers tell lawmakers | Economy | McClatchy DC

Sunday, September 7, 2014

East Porterville Residents Without Water As Wells Go Dry During California Drought « CBS Sacramento

East Porterville Residents Without Water As Wells Go Dry During California Drought « CBS Sacramento

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wage growth in the U.S. is stuck in the '70s | Marketplace.org

Wage growth in the U.S. is stuck in the '70s | Marketplace.org: Wage growth in the U.S. is stuck in the '70s
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Jolie Myers/Marketplace
Jamaad Reed.

by Krissy Clark
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 14:21
STORY
When Jamaad Reed started his job as a cashier at a Wal-Mart near Cincinnati, he made $8.15 an hour. That was two years ago. Since then, he has seen a couple of raises, which have meant his wage has kept up with inflation — but just barely. As of March of this year, Reed was making $9.05 an hour.

“I'm stuck,” he said recently. “You know what I'm saying? I feel like I'm stuck in the same spot.”

"Stuck" is a pretty good word to describe wages for most American workers over the last few decades. Not just in the case of lower-wage workers like Reed, but along most of the income spectrum, except for those at the very, very top.

In fact, most American workers have seen little to no growth since the late 1970s, if you adjust for inflation, according to Elise Gould. She's an economist with the Economic Policy Institute and author of a new study that analyzes wage data from census surveys over the last several decades.

That's not to say that individual workers haven't seen gains. But, says Gould, “as productivity has continued to rise, typical workers’ wages simply have not.”�

That’s a very different economic picture from a half-century ago. In the first few decades after World War II, as the nation's productivity grew, so did wages. So what happened?

“This is one of the questions that people are arguing about right now,” says Linda Barrington, the executive director of the Institute of Compensation Studies at Cornell University.

Barrington says some economists point to a loss of worker bargaining power, meaning workers are less able to claim growing productivity gains in the way they could when labor unions were stronger.

Others blame a shift in business strategy over the years to one that focuses more on shareholder returns, “as opposed to sharing the returns and the gains to all of the employee base,” says Barrington.

Meanwhile, technological advances and globalization have meant there are fewer middle-wage jobs to be had in the U.S. Now, workers who in a previous era might have had relatively well-paying manufacturing or clerical jobs have to settle for lower-paying jobs in the service sector instead.

Even as economists debate the reasons behind American workers’ stagnating wages, one thing is certain. They don’t just affect individual wallets, but the economy as a whole.

As Barrington points out, “Every worker is also a consumer.” And consumers are what drive the modern American economy.

Featured in: Marketplace for Monday September 1, 2014

Frustrations, and desperate demands for more public transportation $$ on Staten Island as MTA shapes capital plan | SILive.com

If you want to learn something about Mass Transit, one must compare and contrast what others are doing with their transit systems in order to gain a much broader and more in-depth perspective of things over time. Once people know that you are highly knowledgeable about a given issue and related policies, they will give you the respect that you truly deserve, especially when you speak out in a public meetings able to use key words and phrases that many people will readily understand. People will like you even more if you are from their own community or you moved there and have stayed a long time and paid your dues so to speak. You will be taken far more seriously - besides the powers-that-be do not have a clue about how important a given issue is until you stand up for yourself and make them see things your way.      



Frustrations, and desperate demands for more public transportation $$ on Staten Island as MTA shapes capital plan | SILive.com

MBTA's 1st Rapid-Transit Station in 27 Years Opens | NECN

MBTA's 1st Rapid-Transit Station in 27 Years Opens | NECN: The MBTA's first new rapid-transit station in 27 years is open at Somerville's Assembly Square.
Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 • Updated at 8:29 AM EDT
The MBTA's first new rapid-transit station in 27 years is open at Somerville's Assembly Square.
Orange Line trains will now have a 10-minute ride from downtown Boston. The station is the capstone of Somerville's massive $1.5 billion Assembly Row development.
Assembly Row is not completed, though it's already home to dozens of retail outlets and restaurants, two new apartment complexes, a Legoland Discovery Center and a 12-screen movie theater.
While the station will open to passengers Tuesday, construction is expected to continue through November.
It's the first Orange Line station for Somerville and one of six new T stops slated to open there in the next decade.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Cities That Spend The Most On Bike Lanes Later Reap The Most Reward | Co.Exist | ideas impact

The Cities That Spend The Most On Bike Lanes Later Reap The Most Reward | Co.Exist | ideas impact: ""Investing in a network of fully separated bike lanes could save cities huge sums in the long-term. But too little investment in wimpy infrastructure could actually decrease enthusiasm for cycling.""


This is what some commenters had to say about the issue:


  • ONATHAN NORDLAND 
    The world is long on excuses and short on solutions. Do as I did, move closer to work. You make choices where you live and they shouldn't be dominated by how big the back yard is.
  •  
    Your point is well-taken. Our towns and cities have developed in a way that has increased distances between homes, and between homes and important places. It is why Walk Score was created, so people would have information on such distances when they decide to locate somewhere.
    We need to create better planning and zoning policies that bring mixed-use, compact development so you are never too far away.



Poverty and public transportation

Poverty and public transportation: “If you miss your bus,” Ferrell repeated, “well, there’s an hour out of your day at best. But what if that makes you an hour late to work, or causes you to miss a doctor’s appointment or a meeting? What if it costs you the opportunity for a job? Or what if you just miss your bus and have to sit in the hot sun or the freezing cold or the pouring rain and wait an hour for the next one?

“If you’re a person of low income, or limited income, and you depend on the bus, that’s the world you live in. That’s the real world.”

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Typical Day Riding On a MATA Bus: OMG - is it far worse than a public transit system in a third-world country?


This following can be a typical day while riding on a MATA bus for many others and me. Yesterday, I was at the bus stop to catch the 4 bus at Lauderdale and Mississippi at 7:55 AM. The bus came late at 8:15, should have been there by 8:10. The bus was late to the terminal and I also missed the transfer over to the 53 Summer/ Binghamton bus for 8:27 and the next 53 usually comes late or not at all or I have to catch the 19 Valentine out to where I wanted to go and then walk several blocks to my destination. The good, timely trip is four hours long including wait time. However, on my way back to the starting point at 10:15 AM, the 53-summer bus passed right by me and several other riders so fast that we could not even tell who was driving the bus. We had to wait another hour for the next bus, which was also late. I arrived at the terminal at Noon and we asked the driver to stop the 4 bus and they ignored us. The 4 took off without us and the next one did not come until 12:37. The 5 U of M bus came so I got on it. It got me close enough to home to walk two long blocks home by 1:10 PM --- this was a 6 hour day with MATA to go do one simple thing --- return a package of socks to Ross - Oh and to go to the Kroger since I was out that way. It is just as hard for many people finding a job or keeping one while depending on MATA’s system. Perhaps, we need to scrap MATA and privatize our transit system here in Memphis, TN. Now before you begin to think of me as a common vagabond walking around with a backpack like on that show Kung Fu trying to resolve all our problems, I am not like that person. What I am is a Car-Free Citizen. I have been for several years by choice. And yes, I do know it all - simply because - I actually live the lifestyle that so many of you are only talking about in various community meetings and so far, many of you do not have one clue about how to be Car-Free in Memphis, Tennessee, especially with systems in place that do not work very well. That is why I started this blog carfreememphis.blogspot.com, to provide many of you with valid support that matters the most. It will save you from having to attend a lot of needless community meetings. I mean, why have ongoing community meetings about bike lanes, when the law already allows bike riders to ride down any street without these lanes at all. The lanes are already there, at least in our own minds because it is also pointed out this way in our Tennessee Drivers Manual. So painting bike lanes on the street should not take an act of congress or even asking a community's permission. The law is already on the side of painting those bike lanes. By the way - a group of baboons is called a congress. Yes, that is true, and even funny! But, how long are people going to keep laughing at Memphians for acting just like those baboons. It has been 20 years since we first had the funding of the DOT to do all of this and the powers-that-be here in Memphis refused to do hardly anything for us pedestrians. Now, they want us to have more meetings and do more community outreach, when it has already been done to death. Now they want us to redo these meetings with our unsuspecting young adults - how sad. You, younger folks may also have to wait another 20 to 40 years for your city to work well for you. And of course, it never will work at the rate it is going now. That is, unless you learn from my wisdom. If you do not learn anything, then you will grow older while wearing depends undergarments and as you soil yourselves at bus stops wishing you had listened to me. Meanwhile, other cities around the world will look futuristic and beyond your wildest dreams and also behind gated walls, while Memphis becomes a third-world stench. Now the third- world is not all that bad necessarily, I was having a long discussion, on that very same day, at the MATA terminal, with several older men from South Africa, a third world country, with first world aspirations. These guys insisted that over there, the public transit system is far superior to that of Memphis, despite the third world problems. I decided to find that out for myself and came across the following document: 26th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 2007: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/5868There were other documents that I found, but this one seemed to be the most favorable, lacking having been there myself, and trusting these guys at their word, as they were complaining about MATA also, but still truly happy to be living in America. Once you begin reading up on such things, you will also begin to have a well researched opinion on local issues and develop a world view. 

Anyway - I love America! God bless America! God bless you!  





Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bike Light: Number One In The World" METEM TECHNOLOGY Heider Super Torch

METEM TECHNOLOGY Heider Super Torch

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Passenger pushed from MATA bus dies - The Commercial Appeal

Passenger pushed from MATA bus dies - The Commercial Appeal