Archive for April, 2006

Changeable Message Signs, the bane of my existence

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Last night on my way home the 91 East was shut down between Lemon and the 57, right where the changeable message sign is. It looked like a very bag accident, fire trucks and ambulances. I have no doubt that the changeable message sign was involved in it.

Going that way earlier in the day I know that the traffic was suddenly slowing down right there so people could read the sign. These signs always slow down the traffic, causing everybody to get on their breaks suddenly. I can imagine somebody reading the sign and not paying attention to the person in front of them slowing down to read the sign and then slamming into one another.

Not only do changeable message signs cause more traffic than they alleviate, they also are a traffic hazard in their own right. I understand the idea behind them, but they clearly don’t work and only make things worse. Sure, it’s nice to know how long it will take to get places, or that there is an unusual amount of traffic on an upcoming freeway, but they don’t help that much. When you include all of the times there is an Amber Alert or other wanted car displayed on the signs, or just a message that say, “Click it or ticket,” they cause much more traffic than they can ever hope to eliminate.

At the Sacramento Airport

Trying to live blog the convention proved to be a lot harder then I thought. I could only upload the post to my site when I had the time and had access.

So while I sit here on the FREE wi-fi (Yes, some cities believe in universal access) here is a quick highlight post from Mike’s Daily Lockup:

Friday: Angelides and Westly signs were everywhere. The delegates were sporting Angelidies colors, while a busloads of volunteers for the Westly campaign sported orange “Westly Wagon ’06” shirts. Just seeing the split between the volunteers and the delegates instantly showed the difference in the crowd and was a good precursor to the vote.

Saturday: I was comped into the Very Expensive Dinner and got to listen to Bill Richardson and Max Cleland. The vote prior to that was a little hectic and disorganized (I know, save it for the comments). Westly worked the delegates trying to drum up some more support but it wasn’t going to happen for him. During the Dinner, one of the Young Dems alerted me to the results and we left to go try and confirm them. Angelides won with 67.2% of the vote, I still didn’t get some of the numbers for the other races.

Sunday: Ghost Town, there was almost no one in the hall and the platform was simply adopted on an Aye vote. That was much more organized then the convention last year in LA.

Howdy From Sacramento

Just wanted to let everyone know that I didn’t forget about posting to the Metroblog about the Democratic Statewide Convention.

Since it’s two in the morning and I’ve been up for about 19 hours you can read my posts on my personal blog: Mike’s Daily Lockup.

There really isn’t a lot of policy coverage just more personal observations from me. If you want the policy stuff you can get that from Claudio over at O-Juice when he gets his posts up.

P.S. Grant, that’s the first time I have heard “DINK’s.” Next political event where the two of us happen to be at I’ll ask where she got the term -MCR

The rewards of returning to campus

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Wednesday night I had the opportunity to go to Fullerton College and talk to some students as part of a panel on transferring to a four year school. I had attended FJC for two years after high school, before transferring. While I was there I worked on the Measure X school bond campaign for the North Orange County Community College District. This week was the first time in over three years that I’ve been back on campus and I finally got to see the changes and additions to the campus that the bond money afforded.

As a recent student, I understand the trials of parking, so I was happy to see a nice new parking structure on campus. It’s not open yet, but looks to be almost complete and will definitely be open by the fall, if not for summer session. They are also tearing down the old library to build a new student center, it will be nice to come back again when that is done.

The really amazing addition was the new library. It is huge and gorgeous. It has kept the same style as the old WPA buildings on campus, which is much better than the other, boring buildings that have been built over the years.

It is nice to see that the money I worked hard to get the school is going to good uses that will serve the students well. The bond campaign was fun, and I got a lot out of it, but it is very rewarding to go back to campus years later and see what that money built.

Mayor Krom and the DINKs

This morning I attended the First Annual Urban Land Institute: Orange County Public Policy Forum. I attended for work, and I normally wouldn’t bring up something from work here, but Mayor Krom from Irvine said something funny that I wanted to share. In describing some of the people moving into the newer high-density housing in Orange County (meaning condos and mixed use properties such as Anaheim’s Platinum Triangle and the area near Jamboree and Campus in Irvine) she called them DINKs. DINK: Double Income, No Kids.

She then went on to make the comment that DINKs sometimes engage in the activities that create children, making the point that apartments and condos aren’t permanent solutions for these people. With housing prices as they are, being a DINK seems to be the only way any young couple can afford a house in the county unless they have the help of somebody else, such as a parent. Unless of course, the market softens enough, as some people are predicting.

Pre-Convention Post 1

With one day remaining until the California Democratic Party statewide convention in Sacramento, I’m sitting here catching up on missed shows on the TiVo and trying to plan out the few hours that I have in the morning to pack.

This weekend will be crazy, Westly and Angelidies are no doubt going to slug it out for the backing of the delegates (trust me on this, my phone has been ringing off the hook from both camps). I will probably have to ditch my cell phone as the whips try to make sure delegates vote their way and I’m going to have to find some Wi-Fi coverage in the Convention Center. Last time the Convention was in Los Angeles I could do a late night wrap-up on the home Wi-Fi, maybe I’ll have coverage at the Hotel.

The OC delegation and the OCYD’s will be meeting up, we have one of the largest delegations in attendance and I’m going to try and get a group picture.

Stay Tuned for more here and on Mike’s Daily Lockup

President Bush Visits Orange County

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When I was in fourth grade President Bush’s dad visited Orange County. I can remember being at Fashion Island with some friends and walking over to the Four Seasons to see if we could figure out which room had the bullet-proof windows. And I remember when the President’s motorcade drove by my house, after the president went for a jog at my school’s track. These are indelible memories from my childhood, and today a whole new group of kids in Orange County get to have memories like these.

As I type this, President Bush is in Irvine giving a speech on immigration reform to the Orange County Business Council. Orange County is a deeply divided community on the issue of immigration, and the President’s vision for immigration reform is at odds with the conservatives in Orange County. After this speech, we will see if our county will start to understand the need for immigrant laborers or if they will continue to deny the fact that immigrants make important contributions to our economy and society.

Ducks In the Playoffs

With our fellow bloggers to the north wondering what’s going on with the Kings, us Ducks fans down south are getting ready for the NHL playoffs at the pond.

Back in 2003, I got lucky and went to game two of the Stanley Cup at the Pond. For the year Anaheim was a sports Mecca, we had the World Series and the Stanly Cup and I checked off a couple “To Do” list items by attending Game One of the World Series and Game Two of the Stanley Cup. The buzz and the excitement is at least back on the other side of Katella.

On Wednesday morning, Kevin and Bean had Jean Sebastian Gugiure and Kevin ribbed Bean for being a King’s fan. I never though that would happen all of the time I have lived in Southern California. The Kings have the history with Gretzky and Robitaille. The Ducks had Paul Kariya, they brought back Teemu Selanne, united the Niedermayers, and have a new front office staff and owner who care about the city of Anaheim and have instilled a winning attitude in their players. This is no longer the “Mickey Mouse” operation that it used to be under Disney’s ownership. Gugiure even mentioned that the team may unveil a new logo and jersey colors in June. (Anyone know what they look like?)

Tomorrow the Ducks open the playoffs on the road at Calgary, which will no doubt be a tough road trip.

The “Mexican” OC

Whenever I’m at a loss as to what to post, my friend Angela comes through and lets me know about some great upcoming events, like this:

Breath of Fire Theater Company is pleased to announce the World Premiere of the ground breaking play, The Mexican OC, A California Story Fund Grant Project. This funny and poignant collection of stories seeks to entertain, educate, and eliminate the stereotypes of Orange County’s Mexican community. We meet two forces: pocha real estate agent, Debi Murillo, and chicana crossing guard, Yolanda Gomez, who are our guides through the intersections of untold Mexican American heritage.

There’s much more information at the “Mexican” OC website, including a press release and reviews. Even better is that the show is free!

New Features!

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Hey Metblog readers! There are some neat new things going on here that I thought you might want to know about. First, there are Orange County Events listed over off to the right there. If you, like me, think there is never anything going on in Orange County, you can just look over there and find out cool things to do. That will hopefully be useful to all of you as well as me.

The other, even more awesome thing, is that you, the reader, can now suggest a story for the site. Right under the search box on the right there is a link that says, “Suggest A Story,” where you can do just that. There is a simple form you can fill out, and then it will be sent to all of our authors for one of them to write about. This will get the news and events you know about onto the blog for everybody else to read. It sounds like a good deal to me, so I hope everybody takes advantage of it.

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