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Dirt Lot 0'
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  1. So I watched the U.S. Senate debate between Sherrod Brown and Jim Renacci the other night. I tend to side with Brown on almost everything. However, one answer he gave disappointed me. One of the panelists asked about the candidates' positions on raising the federal gas tax to fund infrastructure projects with a focus on funding public transportation projects in Ohio (since we all know Ohio's funding of public transit is pathetic). I seem to recall the panelist pointing out that drivers were not paying their fair share to maintain roads. Apparently, the gas tax has not been raised since 1993. Brown's argument was that it was unfair to raise taxes that primarily affect working class people and did not seem willing to support raising the gas tax and instead focused more on revising the current tax code so that billionaires pay their fair share. Renacci seemed more open to the idea of raising the gas tax citing an approach that would raise the gas tax in line with the rate of inflation. I have to say, on its face, Renacci seems to have the better position on this, no? A lot of you are way more educated and experienced in public transit funding so I trust your opinion. Is Brown right on this? Is he just taking a politically "safe" stance? Can anyone justify his position to me or is he simply wrong on this one?
  2. This probably would have no affect on Presidential elections as information (and misinformation) is so widespread because the election is so widely covered by the media. However, I have often wondered what we could do to get more people more involved and more educated in the "smaller" (though perhaps almost nearly as important ) elections - U.S. Senate Races, House races, state rep. races, judges, city council persons, etc. Information about these races is much more difficult to find. I have a feeling that a.) many voters don't vote at all in these races because they know they don't have enough information b.) misinformed individuals just vote for the "D" or "R" on the ballot sheet, c.) some people vote just based on name recognition (hence why we have people with who were criminals getting re-elected to positions of prominence!!) In today's "electronic voting" era, I say we transform the voting experience. People should be able to click on a screen about a candidate and learn about that person's platform and background. What experience does this person have? What makes them a good candidate? What are there accomplishments? Perhaps there could be a video message from that candidate outlining the core principles of their campaign. There could be a list of endorsements (For me...did the NRA endorse this person?? What about the major pharmaceutical companies? Newspapers?). Perhaps there could be analysis from different media organizations - a few blurbs from CNN, FOXNews, New York Times, The Plain Dealer, etc. Same organizations for each candidate so that candidates can't crow about "unfair" and "fake news." In simple terms, a modern day voter can have the chance to educate themselves AT the voting booth. I do believe this would allow voters to - at least in some cases - make decisions more about the issues than the political party or name recognition while at the same time, encouraging people with very busy lives who don't have the time or the means to educate themselves to make a trip to the voting booth and make a more informed decision. I think it would surely help to increase voter turn-out in "off-year" elections. I don't see how it would be worse than what we have now. If you did this though, I think voting would have to change to a multi-day activity (which should happen anyway....) as I think, if done properly, people would spend a lot more time in the voting booth!
  3. This begs the question...how do universities grow to become an OSU or UC in size and prestige? How does CSU become a more academically elite university? I would imagine the answer involves numerous factors and hopefully CSU is heading in the right direction. It would be amazing for CSU to one day be one of the premiere state universities in Ohio, and right in the middle of our downtown core! Is that even possible?
  4. Yeah, I'll chime in say that there's certainly plenty to criticize the City of Cleveland and the RTA for. However, this situation was not one of them IMO. As a teacher in a far west suburb, I was up this morning at 5 AM shoveling snow knowing I would probably have school no matter what it was like where I live in Lakewood. I went to bed at 11:30 without a flake of snow to be seen. I watched the forecasts last night. No one predicted a lake effect squall like this hitting at the time it did on the West side no less. It had the absolute perfect timing and was much more intense than the predictions I saw. I shoveled at least 8 inches of snow out of my driveway in Lakewood. Show me a forecast that predicted that kind of snow. And even if they did...is ANY city or transportation organization around here equipped to handle that amount of snow falling in less than 6 hours (I don't know when it actually started) and peaking during the morning rush hour? I think any criticism here is a little overblown. Now if we had better rail transit to get us around this city...maybe we'd have a lot less to complain about. Are you listening state of Ohio???
  5. This is thinking an extra step ahead...but assuming this thing moves in the next decade, what do you see as the best use of land on the giant parcel that is currently occupied by the justice center? New office tower? Mixed-use development? Knowing how history has played out, is there any chance we end up with a "new" giant parking lot one block up from where the "old one" was, assuming the Weston Project sees its full build-out? Do you think re-development would be swift or is there a chance we'd be staring at another blank "hole" again for some time? I know this is trying to foresee the future because many factors could be at play here, but I'm just wondering if there is any insight by those of you that seem to have more expertise that would indicate one way or the other.
  6. Does anyone know when all the cars will be finished with their update? Took the rapid to the West Side Market this past weekend and also to an Indians game and I was hoping I'd get lucky and get on one of the new cars - no such luck! I certainly can't wait - that brown/orange interior can't die fast enough...
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