One year into a $12 million photo-enforcement program to catch Los Angeles motorists who run red lights, fewer than half of the cameras are in place and revenues from the program are falling short of city projections. Of 32 planned cameras, just 13 have been installed since last April because of engineering and other setbacks. And of $124,000 in photo-related fines collected last year, city government got less than half under a state law that gives some of the revenue to state and county coffers even though they contribute nothing to the expensive camera system. The city budgeted $2.2 million in camera citation revenues for fiscal 2007, but officials acknowledge they may not meet that, and the general fund could end up subsidizing the program. As an unofficial June deadline nears, officials have voiced concerns about the program, saying city staff and contractors have not provided fiscal and performance reports. “We’ve asked for timely reports, and we haven’t gotten them,” said City Councilman Dennis Zine, a retired Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who now sits on the Public Safety Committee. “We want (the cameras) up and operating to save lives. “They said this was the best system. … We really trusted the cameras would be in focus, that they would capture the front and back license plates. I’m very disturbed if this doesn’t measure up.” The issues are the latest in long-running efforts to establish a red-light photo-enforcement program at the city’s most dangerous intersections. The first attempt ended when a contract with ACS expired amid complaints that its technology wasn’t digital and did not photograph rear license plates. In late 2005, the City Council awarded a $12 million three-year contract — with two one-year extensions — to Nestor Traffic Systems. Glenn Ogura, principal engineer with the city’s Department of Transportation, said a push is on to try to meet the June 30 deadline. He said problems with the system and cameras have been minor, such as engineering issues that forced the department to substitute two intersections for two in the original plan. He said the problems haven’t been reported to the City Council because they were being resolved with the contractor. “You don’t want to tell council members you’re having problems with the program,” he said. “You’re supposed to work through them with the contractor so that you get them resolved.” Ogura acknowledged the council needs an update, and work still needs to be done with the contractor to improve the system. City Councilman Bernard Parks, who chairs the Finance and Budget Committee and serves on the Transportation Committee, said revenue is not a driving force behind the cameras. But he said updates are needed on the construction schedule, budget and performance to determine if the cameras are improving safety. “There needs to be a debate,” he said. “Is the system functioning as it should?” City officials said last week that Nestor Traffic Systems’ technology is better than a previous contractor’s, despite early problems in focusing the cameras and getting flashes to work properly. “We got off to a rough start, but it’s getting better,” said Nestor Traffic Systems project manager Jennifer Rehoreg. “We had to switch out a lot of cameras.” Officials said they hope to have the 19 remaining cameras in place by the end of June, although only three intersections currently are ready for installation. Ultimately, eight intersections in the San Fernando Valley will be equipped with the cameras. So far, the nearly dozen cameras in use citywide captured 5,822 violations during the last eight months of 2006, according to police records. Just 54 percent — or 3,150 — resulted in citations either for running a red light or not coming to a complete stop before turning right on red, records show. Sgt. Matthew MacWillie, who oversees four LAPD officers who review the cases, said the citation ratio is higher than the previous vendor’s 45 percent. He said officers review footage from the digital cameras, which lock onto fast-moving vehicles and take three to five seconds of video. Officers review the video to establish whether a vehicle was behind the crosswalk line when a light turned red — the criterion for a violation. The city gets $157 of every $381 fine for running a red light and $58 of every $159 fine for making an illegal rolling right turn on red. The LAPD’s MacWillie said the program is projected to become cost-neutral after all 32 intersections are activated. And even though the city may end up subsidizing the program in the short term, assistant City Administrative Officer Ellen Sandt said the effort was intended more to improve safety than generate revenue. “We have a $6 billion budget so $2 million out of $6 billion is not a big revenue stream,” Sandt said. “It’s designed to prevent traffic collisions at the intersections. … How do you value avoiding an accident?” MacWillie said collisions have declined 5 percent to 10 percent at intersections where the cameras are in use. “Basically it boils down to when people know there’s a photo red light in the neighborhood, it changes the behavior of people who travel to and from work. … It has an impact on the motoring public,” he said. Ogura said officials are planning to report on the system to the City Council as more cameras are installed. “We’ve told the council this program is not intended to be a revenue generator; it’s all about safety,” Ogura said. “We’re in it to save lives.” — Beth Barrett, (818) firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Ali Adams has vowed to end Audley Harrison’s boxing career when the pair meet in April.Their encounter will be much-maligned former Olympic champion Harrison’s first fight since he was beaten by David Haye in a one-sided world title clash in 2010.The Wembley heavyweight, 40, says he is determined to atone for that performance and put himself in the frame for another title shot.But the Iraq-born Adams, who lives in Chelsea, says he will knock Harrison out.He told West London Sport: “I hit hard – and when I hit Audley he’s going to the floor.“Audley is a joke and I’m going to end his career. I’m going to destroy him. There’s no way the fight will go the distance.“I’d rather die than lose to Harrison and let people down. Is he ready to face someone like me? I don’t think he can handle it.”Adams, nicknamed ‘The Tiger’, has lived in west London since he was 16 and was introduced to boxing by his father, who passed away last year.Winning the 14 April showdown with Harrison in Brentwood would put the 30-year-old in line for a British title challenge and he is keen to make the most of his chance.“It’s my time – a big opportunity for me and I’m going to take it,” he declared.“I’m going to do it for my dad and show people what Ali Adams is capable of.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Twitter
Roberto Martinez described his team’s 2-1 triumph at QPR as his most satisfying win since taking over as Everton manager.The Merseysiders, who went out of the Europa League against Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine on Thursday, were victorious at Loftus Road courtesy of Aaron Lennon’s 77th-minute goal.“It was probably our most satisying win since I’ve been at Everton for many reasons,” Martinez said.“The amount of emotions we shared on Thursday, we got back really late and this season we have found it difficult to get a win after European games.“We are adapting to being a team that is competing in Europe and in domestic competitions.“We had to cope with the goalscoring threat Queens Park Rangers are going to throw at you. It wasn’t a day for a technical performance – we had to be a strong group of players.”Martinez added that Everton striker Arouna Kone will be assessed after suffering what looked like a nasty knee injury, while Romelu Lukaku is nursing a hamstring strain.See also:Everton condemn QPR to another home lossFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Scientists continue to insert their particular methods and viewpoints into every aspect of life, but questions might be raised about the validity of their findings and the propriety of scientists acting as advisors on moral and political questions.Happiness science: Advice found online: “the best way to increase your happiness is to stop worrying about being happy and instead divert your energy to nurturing the social bonds you have with other people.” Did that come from a religious counselor or family member? No, it was on Science Daily, touting what “psychological science” has concluded. Live Science added material on “why were’re not happy” and “how to be happy” based on research by psychologists at the University of Denver.Gossip science: Live Science presumed to explain “Why we love juicy gossip mags”. While some might respond “Speak for yourself,” Joseph Brownstein entertained the antics of a primatologist from UC Davis, Eliza Bliss-Moreau, who speculated about why unobserved ancestors may have found gossip titillating. Whether experiments on human subjects presented with visual stimuli say anything about unobserved ancestors, the article was confident in its ignorance: “While the reasons negative gossip draws attention are still unknown, researchers noted that it matches up with evolutionary findings in people and in animals.” Medical Xpress then said that gossip can actually serve a useful purpose. According to Lisa Feldman Barrett of the Northeastern University, gossip helps us see potential threats: “The researchers said gossip gives people information about whether a person might be a friend or foe, and suggest that being able to spot the face of a person about whom they have heard negative stories could provide some social protection by focusing on people who could be a threat.” The article appeared to be completely mechanistic and amoral. It omitted discussing the downside of gossip that is untrue.Love science: A photo of a happy couple accompanies an article on Science Daily that announced, “Want Lasting Love? It’s Not More Commitment, but Equal Commitment That Matters.” But did they get their material from Focus on the Family or the Family Research Council? No – the article relied on the work of six researchers from academia, who “used the rich mine of data in the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation (MLSRA), coupled with a lab procedure, to look for the answers” of lasting relationships. Can science go beyond correlations and statistics to present advice? Abortion science: An article on Medical Xpress claims that Poland’s law making abortions illegal has reduced hospital abortions by 99% but led to a flourishing private abortion industry. While gathering statistics may be valid for researchers, the article stated, “Women have been the biggest losers during this push of abortion provision into the clandestine private sector,” tainting the findings with suggestions of policy advice throughout the article.Global politics: Ever heard of the Anthropocene Era? That is a name some scientists are giving to the period of earth history showing influence by humans. PhysOrg said that humans are giving the earth an “extreme makeover,” leading scientists to become geopolitical advisors. The Anthropocene concept “forces us to ponder whether humanity’s outsized impact on the planet could lead to undesired, possibly uncontrollable, outcomes, and what, if anything, humanity should do about it,” the article said. “That leaves scientists who may be more comfortable classifying rocks than rocking the boat in a tricky position.”IQ and criminal justice: New Scientist posted a story with unpleasant throwbacks to eugenics and impacts on criminal law. “Some people in the US may have been wrongly executed because of inaccuracies in the IQ tests used to assess them,” the article by Jessica Griggs began. “But the inaccuracies may also have seen some escape execution if they scored lower on the tests than their real IQ.” That reference to “real IQ” presumes that IQ is a valid concept that could, in principle be measured with accurate IQ tests (04/27/2011, bullet 1).These articles in the “science” media raise questions about whether researchers should just state their findings, and leave policy to the government and culture. Laws against drug abuse, for instance, contribute to many unsavory consequences in crime and drug trafficking, but is it the job of scientists or “researchers” to present legal advice? The same questions could be asked about laws regarding anything: monopolies, energy policy, vice and prostitution, alcoholism, and much more. Additionally, science appears to continue usurping roles traditionally given to counselors outside the science department. Whether that advice is more valid than those of non-scientists is bound to raise questions about the presumptive authority of scientists and the so-called scientific method, if there is such a thing.The word researcher sounds so authoritative. It’s much more satisfying that speculator or storyteller or divination artist. “I’m not making this up; I’m researching.” But research as a concept is so broad it could include anything. The reader of a gossip mag is “researching” whether Elvis really landed in a spaceship with the ultimate diet. Take off the re- prefix; it should be just searching. We should all be searching for the truth. Truth is not the sole domain of scientists. What are the standards for research, and is research limited to the science department? Don’t all academics do research, even theologians, historians and students writing term papers? The quality and validity of research are prime concerns for the claims above. Calling the proponents researchers or scientists (seekers of “knowledge”) assumes what they need to demonstrate. Critical analysis is needed, not regurgitation by toady reporters enraptured like groupies with the aura of science. Such criticism is sadly lacking in the science media. Science in its idealized state should stick to observations and seek to link causes to effects. Whether that is even possible is subject to much philosophical debate. But when scientists step out of observations and try to give advice, like telling us how to be happy, or that we need to be global citizens, they are out of line. Their opinions deserve only one man, one vote. They need to keep their greedy hands out of the humanities. You can help reduce the fallacy of scientism in our culture by taking a scientist to church. Let the researcher learn something about his or her fallibility. Let the scientist learn about the beginning of wisdom, the fear of God. But remind them it is only the beginning of wisdom. It takes years of research in the Operations Manual to achieve maturity. We all need to be wise, mature searchers and researchers. Here’s a better use of science: helping people. Read this Science Daily story and rejoice!(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rural business development in Ohio and West Virginia is getting a boost thanks to a $200,000 grant presented to the Ohio Cooperative Development Center, housed at The Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon.The funding is one of 29 grants awarded Oct. 3 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Rural Cooperative Development Grant program. The federal agency awards a total of $5.8 million to help rural cooperatives create jobs and support business expansion, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a written statement.“America’s rural communities have incredible potential to create jobs and expand economic opportunities,” Vilsack said in the statement. “Many rural businesses and organizations are succeeding under the cooperative business model, and with access to additional resources, they can boost job creation and create an environment where more products are made in rural America.”The grant will be used to help businesses and individuals in rural Ohio and West Virginia explore cooperative opportunities in several industries, including energy and wood products, according to Sam Rikkers, administrator of USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service, who announced the grant awardees during a visit to the centers in Piketon.The grant will provide the opportunity for groups exploring cooperatives and for emerging cooperatives to access one-on-one technical assistance throughout their development process, said Hannah Scott, program manager of the Ohio Cooperative Development Center.The center is part of Ohio State University Extension’s work to increase economic productivity and job and business development in the region. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.“The center’s mission revolves around rural economic development,” Scott said. “We provide assistance to businesses in order for them to become drivers of economic growth in their communities.“We’re appreciative of USDA’s support of this work this year and throughout our history. OCDC has been working in Ohio since 2000 and has recently expanded to offer services in West Virginia.”As a result of the funding, the development center will provide a seed grant program to develop and expand cooperatives, she said, with a goal to assist 20 businesses and eight startups.The grant will provide a beneficial boost to the region, Scott said.According to the Appalachian Regional Commission, residents in Appalachian Ohio and West Virginia experienced 8.9 and 7.2% unemployment, respectively, from 2011 through 2013, with a per-capita income in 2013 of $24,855 and $26,020 and a three-year poverty rate of 17.6 and 17.9%, respectively.During the past five years, the center has provided more than 2,900 hours of technical assistance and has assisted with the formation of 35 cooperatives and other business entities in a variety of industries, Scott said.That has resulted in an estimated 194 new jobs and 229 retained jobs. It has also resulted in the investment of $72,000 in seed grants, she said.Examples of work that the USDA grant can fund include conducting feasibility studies, developing business plans, providing leadership and operational improvement training, and facilitating strategic planning for individuals and businesses in rural areas, Scott said.For more information on the Ohio Cooperative Development Center and its programs, contact Scott at 740-289-2071, ext. 227, or email@example.com.
8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts dana oshiro Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#How To#start#startups Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… One of the best ways to become an industry influencer is to get involved in industry events. They’re a great way to surround yourself with respected colleagues and they offer your the opportunity to network with others who share your interests. If you’ve got the guts to go toe-to-toe with some of the industry’s top pundits, get yourself on stage and show the world what you’re made of. When you apply for speaking opportunities, here are some of the points to consider. Reach and Engagement: One of the most important things to remember is that event planners want to fill audience seats. If you can prove that you’re going to contribute to that, you’re more likely to be invited onto a panel. Event companies often use platforms like Strutta and Vator TV to encourage voting and early audience participation. The voting indicates whether or not you have a following. Meanwhile, competitions like the Enterprise 2.0 Launch Pad event gauge the interest on Twitter as startup fans retweet pitches to the first round of TechWeb judges. Relevancy and Expertise: In some cases expertise is pre-determined by the events you’ve already spoken at. If you’re trying to get into a mobile event, it makes sense to explain that you’ve already spoken at another mobile conference. If this event is your first one, you may want to include links to white papers, blog posts and testimonial from notable industry celebrities. One way to ensure that you’re pitching a timely idea is to poll your network via Google Moderator, Linkedin Question or Aardvark and find out what they want to hear from you. Sometimes it’s easiest to see your most engaging material when an outsider offers you feedback. Entertainment and Sound Bites:An event planner’s biggest fear is that you’re going to be forgettable. It’s actually better to completely self-destruct than it is to be forgettable because at least self-destruction gets talked and tweeted about. In order to draw people in, many speakers pitch personal anecdotes and place them within the context of our shared history as startup entrepreneurs. Listeners generally find stories about themselves fascinating and if you focus on collective learning rather than your company pitch, you’re more likely to produce an entertaining presentation. If you’ve got video of past speaking engagements or podcasts send those along with your application. Organizers are looking for panelists who are lively and sound bite-able so avoid using industry buzz words like “ramen profitable” or “minimum viable product”. If an organizer wanted wisdom from Paul Graham or Eric Ries he or she would invite Paul Graham or Eric Ries. This panel application should be about you sharing the lessons you’ve learned. Photo Credit: Tom Woodward under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license