Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Honest, it's law enforcement, not revenue enhancement!

The Springfield City Council was split over whether or not to approve $114,000 project to install "tattletale" lights on the back of traffic lights. The lights which can be seen from safe distance allow officers to determine the state of the traffic light as the driver passes through the intersection.

“They allow law enforcement to more accurately, more objectively enforce the laws,” said Pishioneri, who is a Lane County Sheriff’s deputy. “Many traffic stops do not result in a ticket, but a conversation of safety. It’s not a ‘gotcha’ — it’s a ‘hello.’ ”
Photo courtesy of Lane Controls

The "tattletale" light is designed to indicate the red phase of the signal. It is attached normally to the back of the traffic light itself so that officers can see the status of the light from a safe distance.

“I don’t want officers sitting at the five or six intersections where we’re going to have tattletale lights,” Ralston said. “I’m all for public safety and making our roads safer. But some people might consider this revenue generation.”

Leiken along with Councilors Christine Lundberg, John Woodrow and Dave Ralston voted against the combined projects, stating that the city needs to be "very prudent right now."
“To me, these are almost luxury lights, for lack of a better word,” he said. These lights will be a good thing in the future ... but as we’re going through these budget issues right now, I don’t think its a prudent time to delve into this.” said Leiken

once again the city a Springfield makes me proud. While I will agree that this can be considered "revenue enhancement", at the majority of intersections, I would think this would be unnecessary. At most four way intersections, the traffic light in the opposite direction is normally synced together.
Photo courtesy of Lane Controls

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ted "tax and gouge me" Kulongoski just does not get it… Were broke!

the Oregonian

Robins Commentary

Well, the great governor of Oregon is at it again! It is bad enough that Oregon is suffering from massive layoffs, and until recently the high cost of fuel [which we're still recovering from], and the housing crisis, just to name a few, that sleepy Ted would actually have the nerve to suggest a tax increase.

The "excuse" for the increases is the one billion dollar road, bridge and rail project. The governor indicated that this project would create 2100 jobs a year for the first five years. The governor feels that since it worked for President Roosevelt during the great depression, that it would work in the 21st century for Oregon.

Oh yes, and there that the little issue that the Oregon falls $1.3 billion short of maintaining state highways according to state estimates.

Now for the nitty gritty… How to pay for such a project. The governor has suggested the following…

a 2¢ per gallon gas tax hike, which would increase the 24¢ per gallon tax to 26¢. The gas tax itself has not been raised since 1993. (there's a reason for that)

More than doubling the annual fees for car title and registration from $27.00 to $81.00 a year. "Oregon has among the lowest registration fees in the nation, [and their is something wrong with that?] and the increased fees would be the plans largest source of money."

Title fees would double to $110 dollars a year.

Increase in the tobacco tax by 2 1/2¢, and take $16,000,000 in lottery money.

[why not… We're all wealthy]

And the one that we should fight big time, one of the governor's pet project is putting a GPS tracking system in your car solely for the purpose of collecting taxes, based on the time and the miles that you drive. The tax would be collected at the pump during fill up. And if you think taxes are hard to get rid of now… Just wait until this variable tax becomes a reality.

In my opinion, now's the time to start cutting taxes, not raising them.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Springfield uses a cam to track traffic in roundabout


The city of Springfield a while back purchased a "handy-cam" to track traffic
for the city's new roundabout at the intersection of Harlow and Pioneer Parkway to record traffic patterns. [you'll notice a sign at the intersection stating such]
"So what we will do is we'll use the video to record the traffic and then in the office we will count the traffic usually just one person forward and back forward and back," says Brian Barnett with the city."

The camera according to Barnett, will save the city money by reducing the number of people required to count cars.

I hope that they will also count the number of finder benders, near misses and people like me that avoid that intersection at all costs because it feels like your taking your life in your hands just to get across the street.

And what about the EmX, is it going to add to the confusing at this intersection when the $40 million gateway project is completed?{funding}

Yes, I know that roundabouts work well in other countries, however when I talk to my friends that are from England where roundabouts are common, they tell me that they are much larger with much more room to maneuver and they even feel that this roundabout is dangerious.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Barack Obama: illegal immigration hits home

Robin's commentary:

Admittedly I have not been following all of the presidential election items as closely as I would've liked to, however, one thing that I have noticed listening to CNBC and other news services, including talk shows is the "hands-off" approach regarding immigration.

As you will recall, McCain along with Senator Kennedy years back tried to put into place an "amnesty bill", otherwise known as the immigration Reform Act of 2007 ( S. 1033) [Library of Congress]

April 3, 2006, Obama presented a statement to the Senate floor on endorsing a bill that would increase strong enforcement of our immigration laws. Citing as an example of his personal experience on immigration, he stated that fact that his father was from Kenya. Barack included in his statement on the Senate floor...
The American people are a welcoming and generous people. But those who enter our country illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of law. And because we live in an age where terrorists are challenging our borders, we simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, and unchecked. Americans are right to demand better border security and better enforcement of the immigration laws. [Barack]

The issue of immigration hits home for Barack Obama with the announcement last night that Obama's aunt Zeituni Onyango is in the country illegally from Kenya, and was also denied a request for asylum four years ago after a judge ordered her deportation. [AP news]

Obama denies any knowledge of his aunt's immigration status. [ABC news] The interesting thing that if Barack Obama had been aware of his aunt's immigration status, Obama could be guilty of harboring an illegal alien. By definition,
Harboring -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who -- knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation. [ US Department of Justice]

In either case, Barack's belief in abiding by the laws of the United States regarding immigration will be challenged. e.g. it is easy to make a statement regarding enforcing a law when it involves a stranger. However, that could be a different matter when it's family or personal.

In the wake of the announcement days before the presidential election[which I agree with], an unusual nationwide directive within the immigrations and customs enforcement (ICE) stated that any deportations prior to Tuesday's elections would be approved at the regional directors level.[Fox news]

While I am not advocating for or against voting for Obama, I think that you'll have to agree that things are going to be very interesting as the story unfolds.