Posts Tagged ‘energy’

My Top Ten Wish List for the U.S. in 2015

January 5, 2015

I wish that…

!.  The United States does not get into another war. 

2. The United  States Congress concentrates on working for what’s best for the country instead of what’s best for members of Congress.

3. The astronomical cost of healthcare stops rising.

4. The cost of education for physicians is greatly reduced, bringing the cost more in line with other countries, many of which provide free education for physicians.

5,  American universities put more emphasis on lowering the costs of education than adding administrators and new buildings.

6.  That we start valuing excellent educators more than football coaches.

7. American news media return to the days of responsible journalism, concentrating more on stories that affect people’s lives and less on sensationalism and that we produce more journalists like H. L. Mencken, Ida Tarbell,  David Halberstam, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite,  Ben Bradlee, and Woodward and Bernstein. 

8.  That our economy continues to improve.

9 .  That we continue the trend toward producing more renewable energy.

10.  That more of us follow Martin Luther King, Jr.’s admonition that we judge people “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

What do you wish most for in 2015?  

 

 

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Alice Pate and Josh McKoon on McCain’s Choice for VP

August 30, 2008

 Alice Pate, chair of the Muscogee County Democratic Party:

 There were no surprises in Sen. McCain’s pick for VP. Gov. Palin is a radical right wing candidate. She was energy adviser for Sen. McCain and she supports drilling in Alaska — a policy which will not solve our energy crisis.

 She opposes a woman’s right to choose and if she were to become president would nominate extremists who would overturn Roe vs. Wade.

She is a card carrying life long member of the National Rifle Association an organization which opposes limits to automatic weapons which endanger the lives of law enforcement officials and threaten the safety of all citizens.

Her selection is designed to attract the extreme right to support this ticket. With no experience in Washington, if McCain were elected, we would have a woman who is just a heart beat away from the presidency serving as vice president.

 She will not attract independents, moderates and progressives to the party. Gov. Palin is the traditional candidate. We want a ticket which offers a better future not just for our daughters and granddaughters but for our sons and grandsons and for all Americans. As Sen. Barack Obama stated in his historic acceptance speech from Denver, “This election is not about me – it’s about you.” The Promise of America will not be realized by the McCain-Palin ticket. Gov. Palin is the not the right woman. Obama-Biden is the ticket of change.

John McKoon, chair of Muscogee County Republican Party

  What a great day for America!  Gov. Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be President. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her administration and has seen approval ratings of over 80 percent.
 
·         She has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources.
 
·         She leads a state that matters to every one of us. Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent.
 
·         She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending.  And she put a stop to the bridge to nowhere that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.
 
·         In Alaska, she challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill.
 
·         As the head of Alaska’s National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Gov. Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops.
 
Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington.
 
In choosing Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain put Washington on notice that he is serious about shaking up the status quo.
 
What we’re seeing is a maverick who has shaken up Washington picking as his teammate a maverick governor who has shaken up her own state.
 
What it’s going to take to change Washington is a team of Mavericks who have a record of accomplishment in shaking up the status quo.

Metra Plans for The Future

July 17, 2008

 

  I did something I haven’t done since 1949; I rode a Columbus city bus on a regular route just to see what it is like now. (I have ridden on chartered city busses since then.)  I took the Uptown route because it is the shortest one. I was not comfortable. The wooden seats were hard, really close together, and sometimes I wondered if the bus had any shocks or springs on it, but that was because the Uptown route uses only “trolleys,” busses that look like trolleys.

 

Metra Trolley Bus, 2008

Metra Trolley Bus, 2008

 

 

 
  I think perhaps the real trolleys that Columbus had in the 1900’s rode better because they were on rails and rails don’t have bumps and potholes. The bus trolleys are quaint and perhaps add to the historic district atmosphere, but the people who ride those busses regularly would be better served with the regular, comfortable busses that travel the other eight routes in Columbus. Maybe the trolley buses could be used just for Historic District tours and special events, etc.   
 
 
 

 

 

 Columbus, GA Trolley on 10th Street in 1900

 Columbus, GA Trolley in 1900   Courtesy, Georgia Dept. of Archives and History

  

 The bus made a lot of stops, causing the short route that goes from the transfer station on Linwood Blvd on a loop through downtown Columbus and back to take almost an hour. That route did put the bus stops within two blocks of just about anywhere downtown. And it was definitely being used as people got on and off a lot. At least they didn’t suffer as much as I did on those hard seats because I rode the whole route.
 
 
 

 

 

Metra Trolley Bus Interior

Metra Trolley Bus Interior

  

  As Metra Director Saundra Hunter and I discussed the future of mass transit, we agreed It is a far more fuel efficient way of transporting masses of people than private cars. Also, it leaves a smaller carbon footprint. But, for it to increase ridership , the system has to become more convenient. 

 

  

 Miss a bus at a stop now and you have to wait an hour before another one will come along. She says the system hopes to go to a half-hour between arrivals.  That is going to mean adding 15 new busses to the 40 the system now has, and hiring additional drivers and mechanics.  However, that cost will be offset by an increase in riders.

  

 With the price of gasoline expected to stay high and perhaps get higher, public transportation will, of necessity, make a big comeback. The question isn’t “if” but “how soon?” It took $4 a gallon gas to make people finally switch from their gas guzzling SUV’s and monster trucks to smaller, more fuel efficient cars. It is understandably hard to give up with convenience of cars. I can remember how liberated I felt once I got my first one and didn’t have to walk across the street – we did indeed , at one time live across the street from a bus stop -.to a bus stop and sometimes have to wait up to 15 minutes to catch a bus.  15 whole minutes! I still prefer my car, but I’m willing to switch. It would be a lot cheaper for me to ride the bus downtown from north Columbus, but the nearest stop is two miles away. Guess I could drive to the stop, but I’d have to have a place to park. So Metra has some kinks to work out before it can handle a big switch to buses, but it knows that and already has plans to make the changes.