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Via the OC Register
ew bus service with an exclamation point in its name and fewer stops in its way will start shuttling passengers up and down Harbor Boulevard on Monday, with the first few days free.
The idea behind the new Bravo! bus service is simple: fewer stops means a quicker ride for the 13,000 riders who travel the main Harbor Boulevard route every day. The Bravo! buses will make the run between north Costa Mesa and Fullerton in about 45 minutes; the existing buses take about an hour, according to the Orange County Transportation Authority.
The Bravo! buses, painted with a splash of blue, will run only on weekdays, with departures every 10 minutes during peak times. They will be designated as Route 543, with 16 stops marked with a “B.” The existing Harbor Boulevard route, 43, is one of the busiest in Orange County and makes 52 stops; it will continue to operate alongside the Bravo! buses.
Rides on the Bravo! buses will be free from the first departure at 5 a.m. on Monday through Wednesday. After that, the fare will be the same $2 that it costs to ride other OCTA buses.
Go to octa.net or call 714-636-7433 for more information about the Bravo! service and its route.
The OCTA expects to roll out two other limited-stop bus lines in the next several months. The first of those is scheduled to start service on the 73 toll road, between Laguna Niguel and Costa Mesa, in October. The next will start service in February on the 22 freeway between Long Beach and Orange County; its final destination is still being worked out.
The Harbor Boulevard Bravo! buses will add about 30,000 service hours to Orange County’s bus system, at a cost of around $3 million, OCTA spokesman Joel Zlotnik said. That’s a small step toward recovering the 383,000 service hours that OCTA cut during the depths of the recession.”
For me, I personally do not care because I use the 47 and 57 most of the time to get down to Costa Mesa, but for some people, it will be faster to navigating one of the most busiest routes in Orange County.
It will save a lot of time for those who are trying to getting from Costa Mesa to Anaheim though.
Fox News reports about the vacancy of Frank Lautenberg’s seat
“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Tuesday for a special election later this year to decide who will fill the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, though he did not say whom he might appoint in the interim.
The Republican governor, during a press conference in Trenton, said he wants to make sure New Jersey voters have a “voice and a choice”
He set the primary for Aug. 13 and the general election for Oct. 16.
The announcement ended some — but not all — of the speculation about Christie’s handling of the open seat. Lautenberg, a Democrat and the oldest member of the U.S. Senate, died Monday after complications from viral pneumonia at age 89. While colleagues paid tribute to the legacy of the World War II veteran, political observers launched into heavy speculation on how the popular Republican governor would move to fill the position.
Christie faced conflicting state laws in deciding when to have the election. He could have waited until November 2014, or possibly this November. But Christie said Tuesday it was worth the expense to the state to hold a special election earlier”
If I were Chris Christie, I would try to select a Republican in the mold of Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, a moderate Republican that sometimes will vote with the Dems on certain major issues, but on other, vote with the Republicans to maintain fiscal conservatism It is important that a social moderate, pro-business friendly, and also pro-immigration reform Republican get elected to the Senate. These are the type of the candidates that the Republicans need to run to get elected. It does not that mean the Republicans have to give up being fiscal conservatives and business-friendly candidates. They just need candidates that are not obsessed with scandals like Benghazi or make gaffes that land them as fodder for Jon Stewart monologues.
Mr. Christie needs to be loyal to his party, but also he also should not try to allow tea party nutbags such as Ted Cruz elected.
I have always been a Magic Mountain myself. Personally, I love all of the roller-coasters at Magic Mountain and Magic Mountain is $44. $44 dollars. However, according to the AP, Disneyland is now $92. $92 bucks what a fricking ripoff.
$92 bucks and the idiots keeping on spending money on the Magic Kingdom. Personally, going to the Magic Kingdom does not give me any interest and I will never go now that tickets are $92.
I just do not see the appeal of the Magic Kingdom and why people want to spend $92 on the Disney experience. However, there is a bunch of Disney nuts that fess up $92 to go Disneyland so the park will keep rolling in the dough.
Back in the day, I remember that Cal State Fullerton was $2,000 a year. I graduated without any loans or student debt to worry about. My merger $9.00 hour job at Home Depot was able to foot the cost of my books However, the price of education has gotten progressive worse over the years.
Today, people are the prisoners of debt as discussed in NY Times blog today
Unless Congress can overcome its partisan differences, interest rates on federally guaranteed Stafford loans, an important means of paying for college, will double to 6.8 percent in July.
With the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, proposes to reduce this interest rate to the same level that large banks pay for loans from the Federal Reserve Bank — 0.75 percent — for at least one year, during which longer-term remedies could be explored.
The bill, one of many aimed at addressing the scheduled interest-rate increase, seems unlikely to win passage. But it highlights the double standard that puts the interests of banks and other businesses well ahead of those of students and ordinary people when it comes to debt relief.
As Robert Kuttner explains (both in The New York Review of Books and in his new book “Debtors’ Prison”), bailouts and bankruptcy proceedings both provide a means for businesses to get out from under bad debt. The obligations of a college loan, by contrast, “follow a borrower to the grave.”
The rolling thunder of accumulating student debt sounds a lot like the perfect storm of mortgage liabilities that threatened major financial institutions and precipitated the Great Recession in 2007″
It gets worse as illustrated by this blog post from Business Insider
At 44 years old, Nicole Jackson says she has bigger concerns than the six-figure student loan debt that has shadowed her for the last 20 years.
Jackson, a Miami, Fla.-based family law attorney, gave up on ever paying off her $186,000 federal student loan balance years ago. At $1,600 per month, her monthly loan payments eclipsed her $1,200/month mortgage and she and her husband are raising three teenage daughters.
“The way I see it, I’m already screwed,” Jackson told us. “I’d rather make sure my kids are OK. Unless I start making significantly more money [my situation] is not gonna change.”
With the nation struggling under a $1 trillion student debt crisis, stories like Jackson’s are nothing uncommon. For the first time ever, the national student loan default rate exceeds the credit card delinquency rate, and so long as student loans remain one of the few types of debt that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, chances are the situation won’t improve any time soon”
$144,000? That is ton of debt. No wonder why young people struggle to buy a house or other things. The cost of student loan prevents young families to buy new housing and therefore, is preventing a number of first-time homebuyers from buying into the market.
In addition, the storm of debt is another thing that bring the house of cards done. I do not know if it is going to drag down the entire economy, but another major financial crisies compounded with the student debt debacle would torpedo the country into a major depression.
Steps needed to be taken now to reduce student indebtness before the economy faces another major disaster. Such a economic disaster who reign hell on this economy and threaten to generate youth unemployment to the levels of Greece and Spain as I pointed out in my last post.
Currently, I am looking for a job in the finance/accounting field. Finding a job is that not easy especially when you do not have any direct experience as a financial accountant or financial analysis. There is a lot of jobs that I qualify for, but it will take a lot of time to find one. If all job hunting fails, at least, there is a lot of telemarketing jobs available just in case there is a lack of work out here.
So the job market is the US is rather lackluster, but is not as bad as Greece or Spain. The numbers in Greece, especially youth unemployment is especially horrifying as stated in this blog post
“The EU unemployment rate set a new all-time high of 12.2 percent, according to today’s estimates. But it’s the youth unemployment crisis that’s truly terrifying. In Spain, unemployment surged past 56 percent, and Greece now leads the rich world with an astonishing 62.5 percent of its youth workforce out of a job
My God, look at Greece’s trajectory. That thing isn’t slowing down. Since April 2012, Greek youth unemployment has grown by about one percentage point a month. At that rate, it would pass 70 percent in early 2014.
It is suddenly not insane to imagine a youth unemployment rate of 70 percent in the developed world. And that is insane.
It should be noted that some people consider youth unemployment figures a bit hyperbolic. They prefer measures like “youth unemployment ratio, which takes the share of young people who are looking for work but can’t find it and divides it by the entire population. Last year, the EU’s youth unemployment ratio was 9.7 percent , less than half the youth unemployment rate of 23 percent.
But even the ratio fails to account for the millions of young people who have all but given up in their awful economies. There are 26 million young people in rich countries who are as “NEETS” (Not Employed, or in Education, or Training), according to the OECD.”
That is entirely messed up. An entire generation will be lost to unemployment and that does not spell good news for Greece or Spain. This kind of stuff fuels popular revolutions that take down governments and force a dramatic shift to socialism, communism or worse, fascism..
This is the type of conditions that brought down the Romanav’s dynasty. It led to rise of Hitler. It is scary because internal unrest can get a lot more of worse. It should also warn US lawmakers that any budget-cutting beyond the sequester should not occur.
As bad as economic conditions are the US, we should be grateful that there are still jobs out there. There are companies looking for entry-level workers out there. The only problem in the US is that very experienced workers like me apply for the job with tons of experience and are willing to take the pay cuts.
However, we do not have the scary numbers that Greece or Spain does and that should keep America stable for years to come. I believe that as long we manage our debt level to a sustainable level and not engaging in massive austerity like the Europeans do, that we should be able to maintain some level of stable economic growth for the future.
Truly we should be grateful to live here, because other places, it is lot of worse than here.
Every day as I ride the bus through Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Costa Mesa, I see the masses plugging away at the Smartphones. It seems that we see people addicted to them. No longer do you find people reading a long novel on the bus. Rather, you just see looking at 4-inch screen and squinting their eyes at the screen. I have to confess that I am addicted to the social media and Smartphone craze. However, I am concerned that our addiction to the smartphones is entering into a full-blown addiction. As reported by CBS Washington,
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A new study finds that Americans spend nearly one hour looking at their smartphones each day.
According to data collected by Experian Marketing Services’ Simmons Connect, the average U.S. adult spends 58 minutes on their phones on a daily basis. On average, smartphone owners devote 26 percent of the time they spend on their phone talking and another 20 percent texting.
Social networking consumes 16 percent of smartphone time while browsing the mobile web accounts for 14 percent of time spent. Emails and gaming account for nearly 10 percent of daily smartphone use. Camera use and GPS tack on another 2 percent of phone time.
There are differences between use of the iPhone and Android.
Users of the iPhone spend more time on their devices a day (26 minutes more) but a smaller percentage of time talking and surfing the Web than their Android counterparts and more time texting and snapping photographs.”
An hour a day. That means that we spend an hour each day in front of our cell phones and people like me who don’t have cars have to spent longer on the cell phones.
What happened the good old days of reading a newspaper or a long novel. I believe that those days are over as we began to substitute our reading for pleasure for texting and tweeting. And of course, I am guilty as hell for this addiction.
Do we have to work the 12 step program to wean ourselves off our smartphones addiction and return to the days of reading glossy print novels? I am not concerned about myself because I read a lot of news everyday so I read a lot, but there are a lot of teenagers who losing the art of long attention span and ability to read long passages
I guess I am going to admit to my sponsor that I have a smartphone addiction and I need to work the steps to resolve this issue.
Today, a lot of our veterans found for a brave cause. They fought valor and bravery to defend democracy. However, I believe the war in Iraq puts stain on this day. It makes fighting a war to defend a country honor and national security a farce. It creates a stain on a day that we are supposed to celebrate heroic valor of those who fought in war.
The Iraq War was a bigger deception than the Vietnam War which slowly developed into large-scale geopolitical conflict between the US and China over control over the future of Indochina. That war was completely unnecessary, but that war escalated at a far slower pace than Iraq and was based on less deceit than the Iraq was.
Our solders found with valor and honor in Iraq. However, like Vietnam, the long-term consequences are not good. I think why this impact means me personally is that I read stories like this everyday
as reported in the AFP
“BAGHDAD — A feud between Iraqi Sunnis and the Shiite authorities they accuse of marginalising their community is driving a deadly spike in violence, but will stop short of all-out conflict for now, experts say.
Attacks including bombings that ripped through worshippers in mosques and cut down shoppers in markets killed over 430 people in Iraq so far in May, 461 in April and 220 or more every other month this year, according to AFP figures.
Crispin Hawes, the Middle East and North Africa director for the Eurasia Group consultancy, said policies of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that have politically isolated Iraqi Sunnis are the main factor behind the spike in violence.
The policies and resulting isolation have encouraged both “radicalisation” and passive tolerance of militants among Sunnis, he said.
“Pretty much since the last US soldier knocked the dust from his boots as he crossed the border (in late 2011), Maliki has gone after a succession of Sunni Arab politicians,” Hawes said.
Maliki made an unsuccessful call on MPs to remove Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlak, a Sunni who had said the premier was “worse than Saddam Hussein,” the day that the last US soldiers left.
A day later an arrest warrant was issued for then-vice president Tareq al-Hashemi, another Sunni.”
It is blight of a war that we fought under false premises that blights this day for me. Instead of building a stable democracy, we have created a ethnic war that creates a daily blood-bath on a daily basis. If Iraq was to remain stable, we would have to permanently maintain a troop level of 50,000 soliders to prop the current government.
Also, we have to deal with struggle of disabled veterans who had to deal with this struggle. Permanently maimed for the rest of their lives.
And they struggle with getting treatment as reported by MSNBC
“Service members who were disabled while on active duty are supposed to receive monetary assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). But an increasing number of veterans never receive their disability benefits, or receive them far too late. While the VA has struggled to process claims in a timely fashion for years, the backlog of unprocessed claims has ballooned.
As of May 20, the VA had 838,821 claims waiting to be processed. Two-thirds of those claims—559,186 of them—have been pending for over 125 days and have been classified as “backlogged.” An additional 249,604 claim appeals are pending, from veterans who believe the VA ruled incorrectly on their initial claims. The average wait time for a claim to be completed is 345 days, but appeals can take much longer.
“At some offices, the wait is disastrous. It’s unbelievably long,” said Paul Sullivan, a Gulf war veteran, former VA official, and the current managing director of public affairs for Bergmann & Moore, a law firm which helps veterans with claims appeals.”
It is sad tragedy of what we did for men and women in services . As much as I want to remember the honor and valor of our men and women in service, it is also a day to remember that the futility of war. Outside of the war in Korea and World War II, the wars of the 20th and 21st century were entirely preventable. Let’s this day be a reminder of the futility of war and let’s strive for peace.
The word of the Special Comment hold my opinion about Iraq. The words of Olbermann will always live on and be my memory of the Iraq War. Let’s hope that we never get into an unnecessary Iraq War or Vietnam War and that we do not have to waste our men or women service’s lives for causes do not achieve last-lasting peace and democracy in other countries.
If you are suspect of committing a crime that it is going to land you in life in prison without the possibility of parole, you would not do what this guy did as reported by as reported by Fox News.
“Authorities in South Florida say a man is charged with murder because he was overheard discussing the killing when his cellphone pocket-dialed 911.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office says 24-year-old Scott Simon is charged with first-degree murder in the May 5 shooting of 33-year-old Nicholas Walker. Walker was shot while driving his car onto an Interstate 95 on-ramp.
Authorities say Simon is heard on the 911 call telling someone he’s going to follow the victim home and kill him. But investigators say they believe Simon coordinated the killing and did not pull the trigger himself.
The shooting happened after Walker got into an argument with other men at a Waffle House restaurant. Authorities are still looking for two other suspects”
Unfortunately, for him, he did not have a chase to get away. His stupidity with using his phone cost him to spend the rest of his life in Florida prison. In conclusion, be careful of what happens when you pocket-dial somebody on your phone.
Conservative opinion writer has this to say about the Virginia Lt. Gov
The Virginia Republican Party was already taking a risk, dumping a gubernatorial primary election in favor of a convention, in order to assure the ideologically emphatic Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II the nomination. Then on Saturday, a small turnout of party die-hards picked a nominee for lieutenant governor who is nothing short of outrageous.
Republican nominee for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, right, at the state GOP convention with, from left, E. W. Jackson, his wife, Theadora, Attorney General candidate Mark Obenshain, and his wife, Suzanne, and Tiero Cuccinelli. (Steve Helber/Associated Press)
African American lawyer-turned preacher E.W. Jackson has called gays “perverted” and “very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.” He has said the president has “Muslim sensibilities.” He has compared Planned Parenthood to the KKK. He previously got less than 5 percent of the vote in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in 2012. He is by any definition an extremist, someone who could not muster even minimal support from GOP primary voters”
Where does the GOP dig up these people. I mean seriously. If the GOP wants to move from the Stone Age to 21st Century, then pick social moderates that actually have broad social appeal while also believe in pro-business fiscal conservative views that strive for innovation and smart regulation of business. In addition, one that views climate change as a strategic risk for business as long-term threat to profitability and therefore, will introduce market incentives to deal with climate change instead of heavy-handed government regulations.
Does that make it more sense than dig up some crazy nutbag that will get spoofed on the Daily Show by Jon Stewart than actually has a shot of winning. The GOP keeps kicking themselves in the behind because they refuse to elect social moderate, pro-business candidates in the vein of Jon Huntsman and Chris Christie. They should have easily won the senate, but instead they keep electing nutbags like this.