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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sun pillar


As seen from a 48 heading to Hillsboro Transit Center last week.

TRIP IS OVER-THANK GOODNESS

Max and I had a fairly pleasant ride home, however it was pouring rain and people drove like idiots.

The worst drivers as usual were the ones driving the SUV’s.
We made pretty good time but just missed a red line so we had some coffee which distracted us so we had to run to catch the next red line. We made it by about 2 minutes.

It turned out that I had left my script sunglasses in the rental car so I drove back to the airport to get them.
Unfortunately the car rental place was not actually at the airport so somehow I got turned around and ended up on Marine Drive, heading to St John’s.  There is nothing on Marine Drive so after driving into the abyss for about 10 minutes I called someone who was able to direct me in the right direction. Finally found the highway and made it home.

It was a good trip, nice to see Chad, Dave and Adron again, and a couple of new people.

But the highlight of the Trip was getting to meet Jeff Welch, who highly underestimates his public appearance qualities.

Articulate and witty, this man really portrays the best of us bus drivers!

Thanks to the Seattle folks, and special thanks to Adron Hall who generously picked up the tab for the dinner!

"A DECENT GUY" 
LIBRARY OF TRIMET RELATED VIDEOS

PULLING SOME STRINGS

Mystery of the Universe


AMTRAK LEAVES US STRANDED IN SEATTLE!

Oregonian Article on the Save the American Dream Rally in Salem

Read it here!

Seattle Transit beer conference (clips are out of order)

Seattle-part 1
MAX EXPLAINS HIS TRANSIT APPLICATION
Seattle-part 3
Adron Hall
Seattle Part 4
Seatlle Part 5

Saturday, February 26, 2011

KEITH OLBERMANN'S NEW BLOG

FOKNEWSCHANNEL

Statesman Journal coverage of the Save the American Dream Rally in Salem

Read the story here!

KGW story on Save the American Dream Rally in Salem

Since when are ordinary working people considered "Protesters"?

Salem Oregon Solidarity Rally






Commute Joe is whining about MAX...but could give a shit about bus riders

Full story here...

So, how many TriMet employees does it take to send out a Twitter message about MAX melting down?

Probably just one. But the 16-ton bureaucracy of Oregon's largest transit agency can turn something as simple as sending out a 140-character message into roadkill.

In fact, many of the 5,000 commuters who follow TriMet's Twitter feed expecting timely service alerts will tell you that the agency's use of social media is a joke.


Of course, Commuter Joe has probably never ridden a bus to know what it's like to deal with when the bus doesn't show up...TriMet at least makes an effort with MAX disruptions. All those "Rider Guides" that get dispatched to help MAX riders - you'll never see them around a bus disruption. Transit Tracker signs...good luck finding one at a bus stop (outside of the Transit Mall or the few stops off, but adjacent to, the mall). And a lot of bus riders don't have cell phones...so Twitter is utterly useless to them.

February 25

Untitled from al m on Vimeo.

The unsinkable Mary Fetsch-photo by Robert Whitaker

http://i1118.photobucket.com/albums/k612/RoberWhitaker/Screenshot2011-02-26at122410AM.png

Friday, February 25, 2011

Remember this chart the next time John Charles of the Cascade Policy Institute attends our meetings




He receives funding from them.






Grevience hearing scheduled for 4:30 next Tuesday! This will b my first grevience since working at Trimet!

HELP CATCH THE DOG SHIT VANDAL!

http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2011/02/friday_commuting_roundup_trime.html

TRIMET NOT 'TRANSPARENT'

Another set of data that is not available on the state transparency website is the spending by Oregon’s “quasi public” agencies. Quasis are agencies that are not directly accountable to the voters or to legislators but were created by government to perform public services. They have the power to raise revenues, but outside of the normal budget process of state government, and they are run by appointed – not elected – boards. They include such agencies as TriMet, the Port of Portland, OHSU and the Portland Development Commission. I recently published a report about quasis, noting that while none of them have their budget data at the state transparency website, many of them have very little budget information on their own website, and none of them provide “checkbook-level” spending information.

http://www.blueoregon.com/2011/02/major-advances-oregon-transparency-and-many-challenges-too/ 

Watts, diversity leader, to retire from TriMet

Ohio State grad Steve!

http://www.topix.com/colleges/ohio-state-university/2011/02/watts-diversity-leader-to-retire-from-trimet

SNOWPOCALYPSE REALITY RADIO

(Members only viewing)

SNOWPOCALYPSE-PART 1
SNOWPOCALYPSE-PART 2
SNOWPOCALYPSE-PART 3
SNOWPOCALYPSE-PART 4
A BOARD OF DIRECTORS THAT IS NOT SOCK PUPPETS

BUS DRIVING ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS OCCUPATIONS IN AMERICA

Woman arrest after bus driver attack caught on tape

PHOENIX BUS DRIVERS SICK OUT!

STORY HERE!

HUGE CRASH IN TUNNEL

Chain-reaction Lincoln Tunnel bus crash critically injures motorcyclist, injures 52 others - NYPOST.com

VIDEO HERE

SUPPORT WISCONSIN

Dear Al,
The tens of thousands of people gathered at the Wisconsin statehouse have not gone home in nearly two weeks. We've watched them march, chant, sing, and camp out in the statehouse.
Now, what will you do to help them and defend the rights of American workers?
Join the nationwide day of solidarity rallies this Saturday, Feb. 26 at 12 Noon.  Rallies are planned in all 50 states and will bring thousands of people to every statehouse and major city to say NO to the assault on the middle-class.
We will be turning OR into Madison on Saturday as workers, community members, clergy and everyday Americans take a stand for justice.
Sign up for the rally in OR.
Hundreds of TWU members have already sent their messages of support and signed our petition.  If you haven't yet, send your message of solidarity.
Wisconsin is ground zero in the battle to protect the basic right of workers to have a union.  Americans must take a united stand against the anti-worker politicians in states like Ohio and Indiana that are proposing similar legislation that would take away collective bargaining for public workers and eventually all workers.
We might not have the billions of dollars that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's billionaire supporters have, such as the Koch brothers, but we do have people power and know how to mobilize for equality and justice.The voice of working people is starting to win. In Indiana, workers have pressured the state legislature to withdraw some of the most draconian anti-worker legislation and the Democratic State Senators in Wisconsin continue to stay away from the statehouse in order to block the bill.
Join in the movement. Get details on the rally in OR.

It appears the Commissioner Amanda Fritz actually read my letter against joining the Federal Task Force

Thank you for taking the time to send me your own reasoned thoughts in relation to this issue.  I received over 200 emails yesterday in response to the ACLU's Action Alert.  Almost all of them simply copy the same sentences with no added thoughts.  Yours is refreshing.  Thank you for caring enough to send me your own words rather than the 168th copy of the ACLU's.

See also:

 http://www.portlandonline.com/fritz/index.cfm?a=338830&c=49233

Thank you for participating in this discussion.

Sincerely,

Amanda


Amanda Fritz

Unbelievable!

All buses are starting service this morning without chains. MAX and WES are operating on regular schedules.

Operators are being poisoned by Trimet equipment!

 An  Operator was transported today at the Tigard Transit Center. She was poisoned by CO2. She is a Powell Operator. The mechanic found a one inch break in the 4" flex tube from the exhaust manifold to the stack. The poor Operator had a head splitting headache, burning eyes and threw up twice. It appears this is happening more and more with our Operators.
A 'spit' of snow, video of TriMet's auto chains in action, and why it was the easiest morning commute of 2011 | OregonLive.com

FINALLY...SOME REALLY IMPORTANT NEWS

DEFIANT LIBYANS REJOICE OVER JUSTIN BIEBER HAIRCUT

IT'S TIME FOR A TRIP TO MADISON MR. PRESIDENT

February Board of Sock Puppets Meeting

Trimet February Board Meeting from al m on Vimeo.

A 2LonleyGuys Production

Thursday, February 24, 2011

ODE TO TRIMET JUNKERS

Crazy Trimet notices-(67)

Guess who?

I'll be meeting with this gentleman next week

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0Adqr3lXyg

As is apparent, I am very disappointed with Trimet management over my latest warning letter.
Hopefully Hayden will see the errors that are so prominent and authorize the necessary changes.
It is my hope that fairness and facts will prevail!
(this is not my video!)
Light Rail Crashes!

Is this the future of bus service in Portland ?

Click here!

And here!

Where would we be without the union?

ANOTHER EXHAUST VICTIM

It has been reported that another Trimet driver was poisoned by toxic fumes from the bus last night at the Tigard Transit Center. Apparently some passengers were affected also.

The bus fleet is falling to pieces and makes a mockery of the safety initiative that Macfarlane keeps talking about!
Carolyn Young, big bucks executive

And here is why there is no money for anything, THE RICH HAVE IT ALL!

A REAL SNOWPOCALYPSE

Service Suspension of Rt15, with 7 trolleys stuck in 4 blocks
The patience of a TriMet driver 
(you see joe rose getting on the bus)
TriMet training supervisor David Reis

Meet Mr Safety

http://www.thoughts.com/HR202/harry-saporta

Seoul's colorful buses & logical route system

In South Korea, buses are color-coded to let travelers know what kind of bus it is (long distance, feeder route, express, circular). On top of that, they divided the city into 8 zones, and number the buses based on how they travel between zones with the bus's ID as the last digit. So for example, bus 048 travels from zone 0 to zone 4 and is ID# 8. Very simple system for people to get around, especially if they don't speak Korean.

Could TriMet do something like that here?

SNOWPOCALYPSE WITH SUNSET BOB

SNOWPOCALYPSE WITH SUNSET BOB-THE MOVIE from al m on Vimeo.

HERE'S WHAT'S GOING ON IN MONTANA

NUTJOBS EVERYWHERE
STREETCARS, BICYCLES AND LIGHT RAIL MAKE FOR A BETTER COUNTRY (i guess)

Hell Freezes Over-Fox Gnus host gets it right

Shep Smith: Wisconsin Fight Has Nothing Do With Budget, All About Busting Unions
On Wednesday's "Studio B," Shepard Smith said the battle over union rights in Wisconsin was all about busting unions and securing Republican political power, not about the state's budget deficit.
It was a take that placed Smith squarely in agreement with people such as Rachel Maddow, who has repeatedly argued essentially the same thing on her show.
Speaking to a mostly-in-agreement Juan Williams, Smith said the fight was "100 percent politics."
"There is no budget crisis in Wisconsin," he said, adding that the unions "[have] given concessions." The real point of the fight, Smith said, could be found in the list of the top ten donors to political campaigns. Seven out of the ten donated to Republicans; the other three were unions donating to Democrats.
"Bust the unions, and it's over," Smith said. He then brought up the Koch brothers, the billionaires who have bankrolled much of the anti-union pushback in Wisconsin. The fight, Smith said, "started" with the Kochs, who he said were trying to get a return on the money they donated to Walker's campaign.
"I'm not taking a side on this, I'm just telling you what's going on...to pretend this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey," Smith said.

ESTATE OF AUSTIN MILLER GETS $400,000 DUE TO LAW WHICH LIMITS LIABILITY

Will David Sale run into this problem? Trimet has made settlements in excess of the $200,000 limit before, so how and when this law applies is not clear.

http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A142393.htm

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

HARRY SAPORTA NEW SAFETY DIRECTOR

JEFF WELCH OF PUGET SOUND OPERATORS BLOG

NEIL MACFARLANE SAYS NO TO CONVERSATION ABOUT TYPE 4 CRASHES

WHY WON'T TRIMET UPHOLD IT'S RESPONSIBILITIES AND ALLOW THE PUBLIC TO SEE WHAT GOES ON?

It's pretty sad when a minor blogger like me has to provide the public with a way to watch the Trimet board proceedings. This is a responsibility of Trimet!

SEATTLE can do it, why can't Portland?

CAT COMMITTEE IS A WASTE

WHAT TO DO ABOUT DAVID SALE?

READERSHIP KEEPS GROWING!

                                                     This week Belize finds our blog!

IT'S ALL ABOUT BREAKING THE UNIONS

Some of the trickery going on here at Trimet capital projects

b) 1997 and 1998 Lease transactions
During fiscal years 1997 and 1998, the District entered into sale-leaseback transactions for 31 light rail vehicles with
a foreign investor. Additionally, in fiscal years 1997 and 1998, the District entered into a series of lease-leaseback
transactions with domestic investors for the same 31 light rail vehicles, plus an additional 41 light rail vehicles and
two rail maintenance facilities.
Equipment sales to the foreign investor resulted in original proceeds to the District of $80,600. The investor leased
all assets back to the District for a period of 18 years. The leases qualify for accounting treatment as operating
leases. Using the proceeds of the sales, the District fully funded payment agreements with American International
Group, Inc. (AIG) totaling $65,849. Under the payment agreements, AIG is obligated to make all required lease
payments. The prepayments by the District to AIG are recorded as prepaid lease expense in the accompanying
balance sheets and are expensed over the term of the lease. The payment agreements do not constitute legal
defeasance. Thus, if AIG fails to fulfill its contractual obligation to make future lease payments, the District will be
required to meet all financial obligations required under the lease transaction.
Under the foreign sale-leaseback agreement, the foreign investor has a put option which requires the District to buy
back the leased equipment if exercised. If the investor does not exercise the put option, the District may offer to
buy the equipment pursuant to the terms of the lease agreement and the lessor shall accept such offer. The District
also deposited $11,995 with AIG, which represents the present value of the options at the buy back dates. These
deposits earn interest at rates ranging from 5.3 percent to 5.9 percent and are recorded as long-term restricted
lease deposits on the District’s balance sheets. The interest earned on the restricted deposits is recorded as a
component of net leveraged lease expense on the statements of revenues, expenses and changes in net assets.
The arrangement discussed in this paragraph does not constitute legal defeasance. Thus, if AIG fails to fulfill its
contractual obligation to fund TriMet’s buy back of the vehicles, the District will be required to complete the buy
back with other funds.
In simultaneous transactions, the District leased its leasehold interest (the Head Leases) in the equipment to
domestic third party investors (the Leasehold Investors) under the 1998 and 1997 leasehold agreements for a
period of 36 and 30 years, respectively. The Head Leases qualify for accounting treatment as operating leases.
The Leasehold Investors prepaid all required lease payments totaling $175,849, which have been recorded as
unearned lease revenue on the accompanying balance sheets. The unearned revenue is recognized over the
terms of the leases.
The 1998 and 1997 Leasehold Investors sublet all assets back to the District for a period of 18 and 15 years,
respectively. The subleases also qualify as operating leases. TriMet used the proceeds of the lease transactions
to fully fund payment agreements with AIG totaling $130,562. Under the terms of the payment agreements, AIG is
required to make all sublease payments. The prepayments are recorded as prepaid lease expenses in the
accompanying balance sheets and are expensed over the terms of the leases.
In addition, the District deposited the present value of the Head Lease purchase options with AIG. The deposits
accrete interest at rates ranging from 5.8 percent to 7.1 percent and are recorded as restricted lease deposits on
the District’s balance sheets. The payment agreements and the funding of the purchase option price do not
constitute legal defeasance. Thus, if AIG fails to fulfill its contractual obligation to make future payments, the
District will be required to meet all financial obligations required under the lease transaction.
The operative documents of the 1997 and 1998 transactions were reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department
of Transportation acting through the Federal Transit Administration. In exchange for its participation in the
transactions discussed above, the District received net cash proceeds of $15,953, which were recorded as
unearned revenue and are amortized over the lease terms.
In the event AIG’s ratings are downgraded by Standard & Poors below “AA” or by Moody’s below “Aa3”, AIG is
required to pledge collateral equal to the present value of AIG’s future obligations under those agreements. In
September 2008, AIG was downgraded to A- by Standard & Poors and A2 by Moody’s, thus triggering the collateral
requirement. By November 2008, AIG had met all collateralization requirements. As of June 30, 2010 and 2009, a
third party custodian is holding securities with a market value of $40,278 and $37,411, respectively, in satisfaction
of AIG’s collateralization requirements. In addition, TriMet was required to replace three standby letters of credit
issued by AIG. In lieu of replacing the letters of credit, and with consent of the equity investors, TriMet pledged
supplemental collateral held by a third party totaling $600, which is recorded as a restricted investment on the
Balance Sheet.
As of June 30, 2010, TriMet is not aware of any default, event of default or event of loss under any of the operative
documents.
In February 2009, TriMet negotiated an early termination of four of the United States lease-leaseback transactions.
These early terminations resulted in liquidation of $20,691 in prepaid lease expenses, $32,114 in long term lease
deposits, and $58,732 in unearned lease revenue. Net of transaction expenses, the 2009 early terminations
created $5,374 in gains recorded as special items within the Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in
Net Assets.
Past Picket video

I would sure like to see the breakdown on this

About stimulus funds

TriMet was awarded $53.7 million in federal stimulus funds to be used to fix failing infrastructure, make the transit system more robust and put Oregonians to work. It’s estimated that federal stimulus dollars funded approximately 181,895 job hours with a payroll of $9.85 million as of January 31, 2011.

ANOTHER NON-EVENT

Light Rain Snow Fog/Mist
Wind : Northwest at 8.1 MPH (7 KT)
Humidity : 93 %
Pressure : 1012.3 mb
Weather Forecast
Wednesday, February 23rd- 4:30pm
So we are all playing the waiting game. Waiting for the cold air and snow to reach the valley floor. Most of the day has been a mix of rain, snow and sun breaks. Later tonight that will change as colder air arrives across the region. Once the cold air arrives the rain snow mix will turn to all snow.
I think the cold air arrives between 10pm and midnight. I have down graded the amount of snow we're going to be to between 1" to 2" on the valley floor and up to 3" in the higher elevations. Snow showers will decrease late Thursday.Even though the snow tapers off the cold air will be sticking around.This weekend overnight lows will plunge into the teens. New records can be expected Friday night and Saturday.
Tonight's low 32
Thursday's high 36

A BRAND NEW BUILDING...WOW...THAT WILL REALLY HELP THE DISABLED

JOE ROSE ARTICLE HERE

THE MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA COMES UP WITH A NEW LOGO!


(the snowflake!)
VIDEO OF RETIREE GARY NELSON ADDRESSING THE CONEHEADS (Last month)

Sam Gillespie addresses the sock puppets

MERLO'S EXCELLENT REPRESENTATIVE-JEFF ACKERSON

video

NO DISCOURAGING DAVID SALE OR DARLA STURDY


I think they should have made David Sale the new safety director!

AL THOMAS LECTURES THE FASCISTS

Indiana Deputy AG Fired Over Wisconsin Tweet

MEET THE 14 FIGHTERS FOR FREEDOM IN WISCONSIN

http://www.businessinsider.com/wisconsin-fleebaggers-union-protests-2011-2#tim-carpenter-1

Democracy in action

German federal election, March 1933

And the rest of the story is history.
The moral of the story-people can be easily fooled to vote against themselves.

 

MARCH IN SOLIDARITY FOR WISCONSIN WORKERS!

FASCIST GOVERNOR WALKER READY TO HURT PEOPLE

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR WALKER: "I've Got 5000-6000 Layoff Notices Ready"

ATU 757 PRESIDENT JON HUNT CONTINUES DOGGING THE DESPOTIC TRIMET BOARD OF DIRECTORS

VICE PRESIDENT SAM SWARZ ADDRESSES THE TRIMET BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DO NOT TRY TO RUN AFTER A MOVING BUS!
Bank-robbing bus driver gets 10 years in Maine
Boston transit officials fine woman for loosing her pet boa constrictor

Open response to an open letter

MAX FAQs

Portland police clock TriMet bus going 57 mph, say driver didn't have valid license

Joe Rose

ATU 757 PRESIDENT JON HUNT ADDRESSES THE TRIMET BOARD ON PROCEDURE PROBLEMS

I MISSED TODAY'S BOARD MEETING


I was planning on attending today’s board meeting and speaking myself but unfortunately I was not feeling very well.

 I also will be arranging a meeting with Trimet’s current Director of Transportation to discuss my disciplinary letter in an open and free atmosphere so I want to see how that turns out before I take any further action on this issue.

I’m hoping of course that I can convince Hayden of my arguments against the wording of the letter and have a change made to official policy before I am to be warned in cases such as this.

I have never said that management does not have the right to regulate my behavior, but I have to know the rules of the game and those rules have to  be clear and concise, not vague and broad.

TriMet Informational Picket


(video is not made by Al M)

THE BUFFALO BEAST BLOG CONS DESPOT SCOTT WALKER

REGARDING THAT WOMAN WHO HAS SOME MENTAL ISSUES AND WRITES A SLANDER BLOG ABOUT ME

From her Jim Stenger copy cat slander blog:

  
The names of those that signed his petition were given to him and he did retaliate against as many members as he could (including me) until he got caught.  All of the paperwork was at the Union meeting.   IT WAS ANNOUNCED THE DOCUMENTS WERE PRIVATE AND TO STAY IN THE MEETING.  Our co-worker (Ranting's) took everything home with him, published it on his site and then created and published fourteen (14) inflammatory, slanderous You Tubes about me because he saw my name on the re-call petition.   Cyber Bully/Stalker's try to CONTROL one's activities by acting out online.  

Most of that statement is bullshit of course, cause she writes and thinks bullshit. However, when I showed up at MY VERY FIRST UNION MEETING, it was in the case of Khris Alexander. I had never been to a union meeting before that time.
 
And when I reviewed the documents against Khris, to my shock
I found MY NAME ALL OVER THEM!

Nobody had bothered to tell me  before hand that my name was
in a prominent position in this case.

If I hadn't gone to the meeting then I would have never known
that my name and activites were a central part of Ellen's case
against Khris Alexander.

YOUR DAMN RIGHT I PUBLISHED THEM, AND WOULD DO IT AGAIN.

At the request of President Hunt, I removed them.

But to this day one of the main problems I have with our union is if
you don't go to the meeting you do not get to know anything that went on.

And that includes your own name being dragged through the mud!

Wisconsin and elswhere: Union busting as 'Seeds of Despotism'

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Matt Taibbi: "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" (Complete Interview)

Gov. Walker Informed That Bill Targeting Unions May Cost State $46 Million In Federal Funds

HUFFINGTON POST

Music takes calming influence to the MAX

http://www.theoutlookonline.com/news/story.php?story_id=129842665361834200

Bad morning knocks MAX service off track

http://portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=129839865170455700

Boring, TriMet find compromise difficult

http://www.sandypost.com/news/story.php?story_id=129842696051824900

Comments at US News and World Report seem to disagree with Portland as #1

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/02/08/10-best-cities-for-public-transportation/comments?PageNr=1

How TriMet Bus Riders Want to Fight Back


Another person attending the OPAL rally was 16-year-old Cameron Johnson. The teen-ager started volunteering with OPAL last summer after he spoke at several TriMet meetings last year. Johnson says his father recently lost his job and that the family couldn't afford to keep their car. Now everyone in his family takes the bus to the grocery store, to movies and to school. With the shorter transfer times, he says, they can't get to all of the stops they need without buying two tickets. And if that wasn't bad enough, when they miss their connection they must walk home with their groceries. Johnson says he's already collected over 700 signatures from bus riders and is excited to keep spreading the word. 


http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-26554-how_trimet_bus_riders_want_to_fight_back.html 

Ah the light rail has been performing so well lately!

http://www.kptv.com/news/26953074/detail.html

Investigation of bus driver?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41728664/ns/local_news-portland_or/from/toolbar
http://www.kptv.com/news/26960296/detail.html

San Francisco bus crashes into light pole

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_17269900?nclick_check=1

Interesting stuff

Teenager Joseph St Hilaire banned from Huddersfield Bus Station - Local West Yorkshire News - News - Huddersfield Examiner

PORTLAND SHOULD NOT JOIN THE FEDERAL TASK FORCE

Please show your support for civilian oversight and accountability

Getting the biggest bang for our transportation buck

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/02/getting_the_biggest_bang_for_o.html
5 C. Ore. transportation projects get $1.3M | oregonlive.com

GALLOP POLL SHOWS AMERICANS SUPPORT THE UNIONS!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/22/948475/-USA-Today-Gallup-poll:-Overwhelming-opposition-to-Walkers-union-busting-plan

HOW NOT TO DRIVE A BUS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET9iMAzxIJc

LIGHT RAIL DISASTERS

Authorities identify man killed by light-rail train | kare11.com
Union decries planned transit cuts

No ordure-nary shift: TriMet driver at Sunset Transit Center says, 'I take crap all day, I'm not going to sit on it'

JOE ROSE!

And even more LIGHT RAIL problems!

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/02/electrical_signal_troubles_cau.html

The beauty of light rail!

One person was taken to a hospital after an accident involving a MAX train in Hillsboro this morning.
TriMet officials say one person came into contact with the train. The person survived and was alert and talking when taken to a hospital, officials say.The incident happened near the Tuality Hospital and Southeast 8th Avenue Station.MAX blue line service was halted in the area to allow for an investigation. Shuttle buses carried riders between the Southeast 12th Avenue and the Hatfield Government Center stations.By 7 a.m., MAX blue line service resumed, but riders were told to expect delays as trains returned to regular schedules.

Woman injured by train 

Those Bad Unions

Those bad unions!

Published: Sunday, February 20, 2011, 8:33 PM Updated: Monday, February 21, 2011, 7:49 AM-in the Oregonian

By TM

I've read books (What's the Matter with Kansas?), articles, stories...trying to understand why people will vote for, and support, issues that work against their own self interest. Case in point. Public Employee Unions. Among them are Police, Firemen, and Teachers. You know, the people who protect us, fight our fires, save our lives, and we hold responsible for preparing our children to win the global intellectual wars to come.

Over the years, through collective bargaining, some have gained benefits richer than many in the private sector. That must be acknowledged by every thinking person. Equally fair, is to acknowledge that on average salaries for Public Employees are lower than their private sector counterparts. It is not uncommon for unions to negotiate wage concessions for benefit enhancements or ,when times are bad, just to maintain the benefits they had previously negotiated for.

The key word here being "negotiated." No one blackmailed anybody, held a gun to anyone's head. The wages and benefits and working conditions were NEGOTIATED. Both sides at the table. It is through negotiation that American workers today have sick leave, overtime laws, health insurance (the lucky ones), child labor laws, disability benefits, etc. In fact, you can thank the labor movement for just about anything having to do with improving the lot of the American worker. Not to mention growing the Middle Class.

But Republicans and the right-wing media would have us believe that we no longer need unions. That we have all the rules and regulations we will ever need. That businesses and corporations will always do the right thing. They will always pay fair salaries. They will always protect our jobs if we become sick, or need to care for a sick child or parent. They will always allow access to health insurance for us and our families, and they will always, always, put our safety above corporate profit.

Even more amazing than expecting us believe that bunch of malarkey, is the fact that...we are. Thanks to the right-wing media machine, a great number of us believe that Public Employee Union Members are greedy leeches sucking their tax dollars with free health care for them and their extended families including cousins and aunts and uncles, before enjoying cushy retirements in the Bahamas. Oh yeah, and Public Employees make 10 times more than their counterparts in the private sector. You know, all those rich policemen, firemen, and teachers. Lots of new BMWs and Mercedes in those employee parking lots, I'm sure.

But the head shaker is that people across this country, working people, believe unions are bad. That Public Employee Unions are particularly evil and a major cause of state budget deficits. Not the bankers who caused all the home foreclosures driving down property values and in turn state property tax revenue, or Wall St. that brought about a financial crisis that cost people their jobs and their retirement nest eggs. No, the problem is with Policemen, Firemen, Elementary School Teachers. People who protect the beauty of our national parks, and make sure our letters are delivered thousands of miles across the country, on time and to the right location, for 44 cents. Who says government doesn't do anything right.

Most of those who demonize unions have never experienced a union first hand. And for that they can thank Republicans. They have successfully demonized unions, made it harder for workers to unionize, so that now only about 8% of the private sector workforce is allowed to collectively bargain for wages, benefits, and working conditions. The other 92% has to shut up and take what they are handed.

Meanwhile, corporate bosses are making 300-400 times what their workers make. They are paying less taxes, sending jobs overseas, and doing quite well thank you. They can affording sending their children to the best private schools,giving them the best chance of success in a global market, while our public schools teach with outdated books in overcrowded classrooms. And school days have to be reduced just to make the budget.

What happened to the Eisenhower Republicans? Republicans that supported organized labor. That appreciated that unions helped grow the Middle Class. Helped to make workplaces safer, children not be abused, and workers not taken advantage of...not thrown under the bus of corporate greed.

And when might Republicans understanding that business needs customers. And customers need livable wages and good health. That in a world without unions, the American worker will be left depending upon their corporate bosses' benevolence.

Good luck with that.

© 2011 OregonLive.com. All rights reserved.

Union Busters


DOG CRAP ATTACK!

An open bus as Sunset Transit Center last night was raided by some teenagers who smeared dog feces all over the driver's seat!
Dispatch asked the driver to bring it back to the garage!
Obviously the driver objected!
A union rep had to be called in to negotiate the terms of bus retrieval!
Things are getting bad out here folks!
There are no buses, no replacement drivers, and conditions keep getting worse!

TRIMET...WACKENHUT...AND WISCONSIN GOVERNOR WALKER...ALL JOINED AT THE HIP

Rachel Maddow makes the connection between Governor Scott Walker and Wackenhut Security (TriMet's contracted security firm)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#41710135

Monday, February 21, 2011

His royal highness speaks

YouTube - Neil McFarlane, General Manager of Portland TriMet, talks about the Oregon Convention Center

Flasher Alert!

Forget Transit Tracker...

http://www.publicdataweb.com/PDW/Pro_Outdoor-Kiosks.html


  • The Bus Shelter kiosk unit can be fixed to the ends of most types of bus shelters.
  • An overhead roof extension shelters the public.
  • The usage on these types of units at Bus Stop locations is consistently higher than any other outdoor location.

I Love The Bus

I Love The Bus, another TriMet blog from a bus rider.

What is a "Good" bus stop?

A BRT success story in Seattle

http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/NewsCenter/NewsReleases/2011/February/nr020311_rapidride.aspx

King County’s RapidRide A Line tops expectations for ridership, customer satisfaction

New findings show A Line ridership up an estimated 25 percent

King County Metro Transit’s RapidRide A Line has become so popular in its first few months of operation that ridership along the 11-mile route serving Pacific Highway South/International Boulevard in South King County has surpassed expectations. Not only has ridership increased by about 25 percent, overall satisfaction with service on the corridor is at an all-time high with 84 percent of riders giving the A Line a thumbs-up.

“These new findings confirm that people will leave their cars and take the bus if they are assured of reliable, frequent, and improved bus services and stations,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Within a matter of months, the A Line has proven how effective bus rapid transit can be as Metro restructures service to increase efficiency and achieve greater customer satisfaction."

The new ridership data shows that during the first three months of operation, the RapidRide A Line delivered about 1,500 additional daily bus trips compared to the Route 174 it replaced. The 25 percent increase in passenger boardings means King County Metro is halfway toward achieving its five-year ridership goal of a 50 percent increase on the A Line.

And a recently conducted on-board survey of more than 500 A Line passengers reveals a variety of reasons why RapidRide has become a popular travel alternative. In addition to achieving an overall 84 percent satisfaction rating compared to a 52 percent satisfaction rating on the route it replaced, the A Line scored high with passengers in several other areas, such as:

* 81 percent overall satisfaction with how long their bus trip takes,
* 83 percent satisfaction with how often buses run during peak hours,
* 88- 90 percent satisfaction with Metro’s new hybrid-electric RapidRide coaches and on-board features, and
* 81 percent satisfied with the A Line getting them to their destination on time.

Suggestions noted in the survey for improving the A Line ranged from further reducing stops along the route to adding even more service, especially at night and on weekends.

“This success proves the A Line was a great choice to be Metro’s first bus rapid transit route”, said King County Councilmember Julia Patterson. “The steady increase in ridership shows RapidRide will continue to play an instrumental role in supporting the creation of good paying jobs while offering a good travel option for residents and students in South King County who are highly dependent on transit.”

“This feedback tells us that Metro customers already view the A Line as a quality product that is making their daily travel easier and more convenient,” said County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “These numbers suggest RapidRide will also be an important factor in supporting job-producing growth in South King County as our local economy improves.”

The RapidRide A Line combines the best features Metro has to offer by providing 10- to 15-minute service much of the day with additional improvements, such as new three-door hybrid coaches, station lighting, off-board ORCA card readers and WiFi on the buses.

Together, these RapidRide features have cut travel times by up to one-third along the busy line serving the cities of Federal Way, Des Moines, Kent, SeaTac, and Tukwila.

The high customer satisfaction expressed in the survey is expected to be a strong indicator of future ridership and customer satisfaction on future RapidRide lines.

“Given its strong start, we’re confident the A Line will be a great model for what riders can expect when additional RapidRide lines are added,” said Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond. “This fall, riders on the Eastside will be the next to experience the benefits of RapidRide when the B Line begins serving neighborhoods between Redmond and Bellevue.”
CHRIS DAYS RESPONSE TO ELLEN FOX HERE!

FORMER TRIMET PLANNING MANAGER FOR TRIMET BECOMES KITZHABER AIDE

http://community.statesmanjournal.com/blogs/capitolwatch/2011/02/21/clackamas-county-commissioner-named-kitzhaber-aide

BRITS WAKE UP TO CORPORATE CORRUPTION AND GREED

Oregon teachers attend education rally and show support for Wisconsin colleagues

PORTLAND NOT ON THIS LIST?

http://www.atu.org/content/atu_news/solidarity_rallies_planned_in_support_of_wisconsin_state_workers/

TRIMET'S VERSION OF WISCONSIN GOVERNOR WALKER AND HIS REPUBLICAN SENATE MEET WEDNESDAY

http://trimet.org/meetings/board/index.htm

STEVE FUNG GOES GOLFING (cameo by "that merlo guy")

STUFF THAT I CAN'T DO CAUSE I WORK AT TRIMET

Portland MAX Yellow Line train bound for Expo Center and friendly Train Operator
Portland Streetcar departing SW Park/ Market
Portland Streetcar arriving at SW 11th/ Taylor
Portland MAX Red Line bound for Portland International Airport Washington Park- Goose Hollow
Portland MAX Blue Line bound for Hillsboro going through The Robertson Tunnel
Portland MAX Blue Line bound for Hillsboro on SW 10th/ Galleria
Portland MAX Red Line bound for Beaverton TC at SW 10th/ Galleria
Portland Streetcar arriving at Cebtral Library and funny train operator
Portland MAX Red Line bound for Portland International Airport arriving at Library/ SW 9th Ave
Portland MAX Blue Line bound for Gresham arriving at Library/ SW 9th Ave

LIGHT RAIL DISASTERS

http://www.kare11.com/news/article/909072/396/Man-hit-killed-by-light-rail-train-in-south-Mpls

“I think (safety) really is a cultural thing,”

Beutler and Foster said in addition to holding monthly safety meetings and employing a full time safety committee, CVTD has created a work environment where employees can talk openly about safety concerns. “We want to hear from the workers, mechanics, operators who are out there and see the safety hazards that exist,” Foster said. “We’ve changed routes based on safety concerns from drivers.”

http://hardnewscafe.usu.edu/?p=3903 

Cable Car Smashes Into 30 Stockton Muni Bus, Two Injured

http://sfappeal.com/news/2011/02/cable-car-smashes-into-30-stockton-muni-bus-two-injured.php

BUS DRIVER SUSPENDED FOR THROWING COFFEE AT CAR

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/peabody/2011/02/mbta_bus_driver_suspended_for_2.html

HIRING HIRING HIRING AND MORE HIRING...

But you union employees must pay for you benefits so we can keep this hiring of bean counters going on
FOREVER!

Leader Of Wis. Law Enforcement Association 'Regrets' Endorsing Walker

http://www.channel3000.com/politics/26933675/detail.html

BRINGING BACK THE GOOD OLE DAYS

http://www.westlinntidings.com/news/story.php?story_id=129607960819390300

The Claim: A Fake Smile Can be Bad for Your Health







The Claim: A Fake Smile Can be Bad for Your Health
By ANAHAD O’CONNOR-New York Times
THE FACTS

When was the last time you flashed a fake smile at the office?

For some, it may be just another mundane aspect of work life — putting on a game face to hide your inner unhappiness. But new research suggests that it may have unexpected consequences: worsening your mood and causing you to withdraw from the tasks at hand.

In a study published this month in the Academy of Management Journal, scientists tracked a group of bus drivers for two weeks, focusing on them because their jobs require frequent, and generally courteous, interactions with many people.

The scientists examined what happened when the drivers engaged in fake smiling, known as “surface acting,” and its opposite, “deep acting,” where they generated authentic smiles through positive thoughts, said an author of the study, Brent Scott, an assistant professor of management at Michigan State University.

After following the drivers closely, the researchers found that on days when the smiles were forced, the subjects’ moods deteriorated and they tended to withdraw from work. Trying to suppress negative thoughts, it turns out, may have made those thoughts even more persistent.

But on days when the subjects tried to display smiles through deeper efforts — by actually cultivating pleasant thoughts and memories — their overall moods improved and their productivity increased.

Women were affected more than men. Dr. Scott suspected cultural norms might be at play: women are socialized to be more emotionally expressive, he said, so hiding emotions may create more strain.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Research suggests that an inauthentic smile to hide unhappiness can further worsen your mood.

HERE IS A NICE PORK BARREL JOB

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/trimet/default.cfm?action=viewJob&jobID=299510

Columbia River Crossing Fatcats Continue Assault on Citizens

HERE!

CHRIS DAY WRITES A POIGNANT RESPONSE TO ELLEN FOX



My Comment: The statement above is a never ending circle of he said, she said and she said, he said. The fact of the matter is no one has been able to sit the author and me together and get all the facts on the table. After four years of this I feel it is time to get the facts out and that is why I have filed the “Preferring of Charges”. This will give us all a chance to present our facts and allow a Trial Committee place judgment on us. The author of that statement is concerned about me having anger or interpersonal problems? OK I bite, what kind of help should I get?

GOING BACK TO TRUE UNION VALUES

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A tale of two new transit services

I find it interesting that in the last two years, there were two transit systems, seemingly so similar in scope, but so different in service - and so different in the outcome.

WES, billed as the nation's first "suburb to suburb" commuter rail line, between Beaverton and Wilsonville.

SWIFT, Washington State's first Bus Rapid transit line, connecting suburbs north of Seattle within Snohomish County.

Both routes are around 15 miles long - WES is 14.7 miles long; SWIFT is 16.7 miles long.

Both are suburb to suburb routes.

Both are new services opened in 2009.

Both expected to have 2,500 daily boarding rides at the end of the first year of operation.

That's where the similarities end.

WES cost over $160 million to build. It required the construction of four specially built "Diesel Multiple Unit" railcars from an unproven builder whose only experience was luxury coaches used up in Alaska.

SWIFT cost just $29 million. It used restyled New Flyer D60LFR buses - a proven workhorse in daily service throughout the Puget Sound region and throughout Canada and the United States.

WES required expensive, high level boarding platforms at each stop; transfers to buses are tedious and sometimes a good walking distance away. Ticket Vending Machines only accept debit or credit cards.

SWIFT uses platforms that integrate seemlessly with sidewalks in the neighborhood, and other bus routes can also use the exact same platforms. TVMs accept paper or coin currency, credit or debit card, or ORCA cards.

WES barely cracks 1300 rides after two years of service, and still fails its first-year ridership goal. WES is one of TriMet's most expensive services, costing nearly $18 per boarding ride (at one point it was as high as $30 per boarding ride.) WES does attain nearly 94 boarding rides per revenue hour, but loses its efficiency in wasting 36 minutes of each 90 minutes by sitting at either Beaverton or Wilsonville (resulting in a drop down to 56.25 boarding rides per operating hour), while many TriMet bus routes far exceed this kind of productivity.

SWIFT met its first-year goal within months, and had 3,300 daily riders at the end of its first year of operation. SWIFT has become Community Transit's most productive route with 21.5 boarding rides per hour - impressive, considering that Community Transit serves only Snohomish County, a suburban county, and not higher populated areas like Seattle proper (except by express route) nor does it generally serve Everett, Snohomish County's largest city.

WES provides just weekday rush hour service every 30 minutes - a total of eight trains in the morning, and eight in the afternoon (first train leaving Wilsonville at 5:21 AM and first afternoon train at 3:28 PM; last train arrives Wilsonville at 9:55 AM and in the afternoon at 8:02 PM.)

SWIFT provides weekday service starting at 5:00 AM and continuing every 10 minutes until 7:00 PM; then every 20 minutes until midnight. SWIFT also provides Saturday service every 20 minutes from 6:00 AM until midnght. (There used to be Sunday service, but due to budget cuts all Sunday service across the transit agency was slashed.)

Wisconsin Governor Walker Reacts to the 14 Democrat State Senators

Interesting bus concept from Kitsap Transit

Worker/Driver Program

The Worker/Driver Program offers yet another option for commuting. This unique program originated during WWII, with the need to transport thousands of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) employees to and from work. This was a time of fuel rationing and the use of buses proved to be most efficient. Kitsap Transit inherited 12 routes when it took over the transportation needs of Kitsap County residents in 1983. Today, the current program operates 28 routes; 27 travel to PSNS and Naval Station Bremerton and 1 to Sub Base Bangor.

Worker/Driver buses are driven by full time employees (“worker”) of the military facilities who are also part time employees of Kitsap Transit (“drivers”). Buses operate much like a large carpool. The driver boards their bus near their home in the morning and travels to work, picking up co-workers along the way. After work, they hop back in their bus with their co-workers and drop them off on their drive home.

Our ridership today is made up of both civilian and military personnel. We design and alter Worker/Driver routes to meet the needs of our passengers whenever feasible. Our current service area extends from Port Gamble to Burley in Kitsap County. (See the area map).

For more information, please see below links:


* Worker/Driver Routes & Schedules
* Worker/Driver Bus Fares

--------------------

I'm not sure where this would work within TriMet but it's an interesting concept, especially with the express routes and OHSU routes. Let's say, oh, the 94, as an example.

The 94 would overnight in Sherwood at a designated location. The Worker/Driver would go to the bus, and drive the bus on a run to Portland, leaving the bus at a designated location while he/she goes off to their regular job. (TriMet would then send a driver or hostler to the bus so that it can be taken to the garage for maintenance.) The worker/driver would then pick up the bus in the afternoon, drive it back home and park it.

The benefit is that it provides additional bus service at low cost to TriMet.

As for the impact to Union drivers, I of course would make sure that no jobs are eliminated - impacted drivers would be moved to other routes. The worker/drivers would only be permitted one morning and one afternoon trip, so TriMet couldn't try and squeeze work out of them. And of course if a driver had a day off or couldn't drive the route, the route would go to a regular TriMet employee driver so there would need to be several drivers who could get to the bus and drive the route.

Of course, these routes would get TriMet's oldest buses...