The Triangle

Springtime for Hitler in Raleigh?

Not quite. About 30 Nazi's came to Raleigh on Sunday to visit with their KKK pals. I'm proud that the opposition was led and populated largely by people from Orange County. The N & O put the ratio at about 20 protesters per Nazi.

The white supremacists marched onto the Capitol grounds to furious shouts from the protesters. Several wore brown uniforms reminiscent of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. Three others donned Ku Klux Klan robes.

About a half-dozen speakers cited a wide range of complaints including interracial marriage, the war in Iraq and what they said was Jewish control of the media.- Raleigh N&O, 2/22/04

I guess you can add OrangePolitics to the list of Jewish-run media. Look out, I'm taking over!

Locke Up the Trains

Yesterday, the John Locke Foundation sponsored a conference whose aim was apparently to trash rail plans for the Triangle. You can read about it in the Herald.

Some interesting excerpts:
The American dream is being challenged by "misguided planning policies" and doctrines "that call for greater government control over development, housing, transportation and consumer choice."

"mass-transit is a dollar-gulping failure"

"the cost of each passenger mile in an average car was 20 cents, compared to 60 cents for each mass-transit passenger mile. In most U.S. locations, each new rider could be provided with a leased car for his or her entire lifetime for the cost of building a mass-transit system,"

It sounds like this conference could just as well have been planned by the highway industry. The comments above reflect a glaring failure to understand federal and state transportation subsidies, the incredible success of transit in many major cities in the US and around the world, and American history.

She's Got a Ticket to Ride

Better late than never, TTA has developed a website, GoTriangle.org, that will help a user get from any spot to any other spot in the Triangle using the wide array of transit systems we have here.

I was skeptical it would work, but I entered my home address (on a street not served by transit), and it asked me a few more questions and was eventually able to figure out where I was. It even offered two routes, one with less transfers and the other presumably faster. It even tells you what the fare will be, which is useful with multiple systems.

The interface could be a bit smoother and the software is a bit buggy, but I'm quite impressed with the features. You can jump to an earlier or later itinerary, and save locations and connections. There's even a version for mobile handheld computers (how many transit riders have these?). I wonder how well it prints.

Teresa Chambers and Her Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

This is a national story, but I thought some folks around here might be interested in what was happening to former Durham Police Chief Teresa Chambers. It seems that Chambers is about to be fired from her job as the chief of the National Park Police because she went on the record with a Washington Post reporter describing very specifically how her agency was underfunded, and what that meant on the ground.

http://www.slate.com/id/2093330/

I commend her on her courage and forthrightness, but I hope I'm not the only one who's struck by the irony. In Durham, Chambers was not known as someone who was forthright with the press. Indeed, she did everything she could to manage the department's image, which in her mind meant choking off the local press's access to police officers and police documents. Her feud with the Herald-Sun was particularly nasty and personal.

Then she goes to Washington and suddenly she's a whistleblower and a friend of the press? Better late than never, I suppose.

Take Our Trash, Please

Orange County has been looking for a new landfill for many years. Our current space, just north of Chapel Hill city limits on Eubanks Road, is filling up. You won't be at all surprised to learn that none of our neighbors in this vast, friendly county have agreed to take a new landfill near their homes or their favorite recreational areas. There have been expansions near the current landfill, which to me seems to violate the County's 25-year-old agreement not to dump any more on the landfill neighbors (mostly black) on Rogers Road.

According to the News & Observer, we're now teaming up with other Triangle communities to seek some sucker, er I mean, some other helpful county to take our garbage and some money.

Will anyone go for this? Even so, it makes my skin crawl to think of selling our garbage to other communities who surely would rather get the money for their important government services, through nice property taxes or clean industry. Maybe they'd like a UNC satellite campus! We've got one to spare...

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