Sunday, 7 March 2010

Welcome to Metro-Thinking

This past week...we folks of the DC Metro...the subway & bus empire of DC...have come to grasp our new fares (we were told they were temporary to cover a lack of funding.

We pay another dime on top of the regular fare ($1.25 was the old fee). Several other services went up as well.

Somewhere around the end of the week...there came this nifty article of Metro leadership meeting soon and discussing more new fees (permanent ones).

You can guess the trend coming by the end the fall.

There's a suggestion or two that if you run in the peak time of 0730 to 0900...there might be a $3 price tag on tickets. There are lots of statistics that the leadership can draw upon and hopefully gouge the right folks.

The problem with this review and end result...is that folks start to think long and hard about just driving to work...if the cost is such a burden. The real problem of living in DC or Arlington or Alexandria....is that traffic simply becomes an overwhelming problem.

The true problem here...is that this is simply the charge upgrade for 2011. You can't even imagine how much they might have to raise it in 2012 or 2013. So a guy might be sitting there and contemplating how to pay $5 for a simple one-way ticket on the Metro and live with it.

Long term life in the DC metropolitan area? I'm just an outsider here...for a number of months...and then I'll leave. Living around here for the next twenty years....would be hard to imagine.

The State's Employees

In my newly adopted state (Virginia)....we have a conflict of sorts that started this past week between the university system and the state attorney general....Ken Cuccinelli.

In most states...if you are the attorney general....people tend to know absolutely nothing about you and you might get mentioned twice a year...usually in murder cases or tax cases. Here in the state...Ken Cuccinelli has decided to take on the university leadership folks about their anti-gay discrimination rules.

Over the past couple of years...various universities in the state have reviewed requests by faculty and students...and written various rules on anti-discrimination situations.

Ken Cuccinelli came out...as you might expect....and kind of reminded the university leadership that only the state can make such rules. The state constitution is direct in the fact that legislative efforts are the method which rules this type of situation. So these added rules to benefit gays within the state university structure will likely be crossed out...but with a great deal of hostility in the background.

A lot of people have this idea that the university structure in every state...is independent and has no lines leading back to the state governor or the legislature. If you are a state-funded university.....then you take guidance from the state. Every single employee at a state university....is a state employee. Every rule written by the state legislature....is guidance directed at university employees...even if they disagree with it.

I sat and watched the DC news crowd cover this story last night. They acted in "amazement" at the attorney general's order. They sought out comments at the "commonwealth" and found most students they interviewed were against the directive by the attorney general. Course, if you had asked the DC news team who pays the bills for the "commonwealth" professors...they would have said the university...and not the state. This is one of the problems in today's society where people really don't know much about the big picture...even your news teams.

The bottom line here is that we all are stuck having to go along with our state's laws. If you want to change things...rather than run off to DC to converse with national media folks or national leadership...you might be better off running 100 miles down the road and doing changes with the state legislature. You might find it alot easier.

And if the majority of folks in your state don't agree with your complaints or agenda...either live with it...or leave.

The Hit and Run Victim


Around 6:05 yesterday morning in DC...a jogging crossed one street running and missed seeing traffic...and was killed. A hit and run. Cameras caught part of this...and the cops know it was a truck and trailer rig...but nothing else. They don't even know who the female jogger is. So the newspapers and TV news crews are putting out the word and waiting for someone to note their female friend is missing.

This was always the thing that got onto my mind when I was into this jogging business. In Tucson, I'd go out to the city park which was a circle of about three miles in length and run. I had a set of keys on me but nothing else....just like this gal who died on the streets of DC. If I had a heart attack...it'd be hours and hours before my identity was confirmed and folks notified.

In Germany, it got worse for me because I'd run on trails and be far out in the boonies. It might have been an entire day or two before folks found me....if I was dead or laying there from a heart attack.

The problem is that joggers don't typically think about scenarios like this.

I was out in DC...and walked a fair bit yesterday. From the news report....I realized I crossed the very same street as the jogger...just four hours later.

I'm guessing she was a government employee...probably lives alone...probably a small band of friends...and probably won't be missed until 9AM on Monday. Someone will call the apartment. No answer. And around 11PM...someone might go over to the apartment and knock on the door. The cops will get a call around 1PM...and figure out this was the victim from Saturday morning.

It is a sad way to go...dead and no one close knows it for 72 hours. It's another one of those funny things about metropolitan DC...you are simply one small tiny piece of a giant puzzle. Sometimes, it works in your favor...and sometimes....it doesn't.