Friday, July 31, 2009
1-Continue to build the total transit system
2- Maximize the use of existing resources and make capital investments that enhance efficiency and prevent future problems
3- Increase ridership
4- Focus on service quality
5- Demonstrate environmental leadership
6- Integrate transportation and land-use goals
7-Increase agency diversity by attracting, training and retaining employees who reflect our community
8- Maintain strong fiscal controls
9-Respond to customer needs
I want to thank everyone in Operations for their hard work this week in the extreme weather. Many of you worked in locations where the heat was inescapable: monitoring the system in the field, repairing equipment, keeping our facilities running, operating vehicles and assisting customers.
While temperatures reached record highs outside, many don’t realize that sitting in the operator’s seat, reaching under a hood, and walking in the ballast places employees in even higher temperatures.
Most employees in Operations do not have the benefit of working in an office where they can escape from the heat. Many thanks to you all for continuing to come to work, for your patience with your customers, and for handling the heat with professionalism.
Members elected since 1984 are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Those elected prior to 1984 were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). In 1984 all members were given the option of remaining with CSRS or switching to FERS.
As it is for all other federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants' contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1.3 percent of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2 percent of their salary in Social Security taxes.
Members of Congress are not eligible for a pension until they reach the age of 50, but only if they've completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62. Please also note that Members of Congress have to serve at least 5 years to even receive a pension.
The amount of a congressperson's pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of his or her salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.
According to the Congressional Research Service, 413 retired Members of Congress were receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service as of Oct. 1, 2006. Of this number, 290 had retired under CSRS and were receiving an average annual pension of $60,972. A total of 123 Members had retired with service under both CSRS and FERS or with service under FERS only. Their average annual pension was $35,952 in 2006.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I am horrified to learn that TriMet is sending drivers out in buses without air conditioning on days when the outside temperature is in the neighborhood of 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Study: Teen Pregnancies, STDs Rose under Bush
New figures show teen pregnancies and certain sexually transmitted diseases saw a sharp rise during the administration of former President George W. Bush. According to the Centers for Disease Control, teenage pregnancies have risen in half the United States since 2005, reversing a long trend of decline. The number of teenage girls with syphilis also rose by nearly half. A two-decade decline in gonorrhea infections is now on the reverse. And the number of teenage males contracting AIDS has nearly doubled. The Bush administration pursued an evangelically driven policy on sex education that shunned contraception and instead promoted abstinence. Pregnancy and STDs were highest in Southern states, where abstinence education has been most widespread.
US Toll Passes 5,000 in Iraq, Afghanistan
Meanwhile, the official US death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan has surpassed the 5,000 mark. The Pentagon has recorded at least 5,002 military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The number doesn’t include the dozens of soldiers who have committed suicide in war-related incidents.
Top Banks Set Aside $74B for Bonuses
And new figures show some of the top beneficiaries of the Wall Street bailout are increasing their employee bonuses over a year ago. According to the Washington Post, the top six US banks have allotted $74 billion to pay their employees, up from $60 billion at the same point last year.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Thoughts, observations on N. Williams bike traffic
BikePortland.org - Portland,Oregon,USA
I WROTE THIS ABOUT 7 YEARS AGO:
I attempted to get a decent photo of the "swarm" before they entered
into attack phase, however I could not activate my camera phone in
As some of you know, these bicycle swarms attack buses using two
attack units, the "blockers" and the "confusers".
The bus generally comes upon one of these swarms at red lights. When
the light turns green the swarm breaks up into these two types of
attack units. The "blockers" pedal as fast as they can to get ahead
of the bus, their aim is to prevent the bus from ever getting ahead
of them, thereby "blocking" the bus. See my photo "blockers"
The "confusers" stay behind the bus, swarming to the left and right,
so the driver really never knows where they are or how far back they
are. This of course confuses the driver almost to a state of utter
Like the hyenas of the Serengeti, who relentlessly hound their prey
until they eventually just give up to exhaustion, the bicycle swarms
hope to break down the poor exhausted bus driver!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
RESPONSE TO THE LIES OF KATU AND JOHN CHARLES
FRIDAY JULY 17, 2009
SUNSET BOB FOR KOIN 6 ON THE HEALTH BENEFITS CONTROVERSY
DRIVERS DISCUSS THE MEDIA STORY ON BENEFITS
DRIVERS DISCUSS THE VARIOUS BENEFITS AT TRIMET
ATU 757 PRESIDENT JON HUNT RESPONDS TO THE HEALTH CARE CONTROVERSY
JEFF ACKERSON ON THE HEALTH PLAN UPROAR
WHERE IS ATU 757 IN ALL THIS MESS?
IS STEVE BANTA GUILTY AS CHARGED?
ONE OF TRIMET'S MORE ARTICULATE DRIVERS BLAMES MGMT FOR THE HEALTH STORIES
THE PATHETIC MARY FESTCH OFFERS NO DEFENSE OF OUR HEALTH PLAN
DRIVERS DISCUSS THE ATTEMPTS TO STRIP OUR HEALTH CARE!
SUNSET BOB HOSTS ROUND TABLE ON TRIMET HEALTH BENEFITS
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
I am sure that you have all heard about the recent news coverage taking aim at the health care costs of TriMet union employees. It is never pleasant to have your compensation discussed on the 11 o'clock news. I imagine that some of you may have received criticism from individuals who have heard these stories and are convinced that what you have is unfair.
I am disappointed that the story has been misleading to so many. Rather than go into details about how the story fails to look at the entire picture—and, in fact, it fails to ask the real question about the state of health care in America—I want to give you this message:
We are proud of our employees. We are proud that we have been able to provide them with good medical benefits. We will not bargain our contract with ATU through the news media. The process will happen as it should, at the table with the union and the District bargaining in good faith.
In the coming months, as negotiations begin in earnest, there may be those who will suggest that TriMet employees do not deserve a respectable health care plan. We disagree. We will work with the ATU to arrive at a contract that meets the needs of our employees, and that is responsible and achievable in today's financial climate.
I encourage you to remember that when someone accuses you of being undeserving of something, to carefully consider your response. Nothing will prove your value more than maintaining the respectful manner of a skilled professional. Thank you for your hard work and continued commitment to your customers.
The fascist John Charles (Bill Sizmore wannabe) is one of those guys!
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Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009