Feb 11

Chicago Metra considers selling naming rights for train lines, stations

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chicago’s Metra is currently considering the possibility of selling the naming rights to its train stations, rail lines, and even bridges to generate more revenue. 

The regional rail system for Chicago and its surrounding suburbs has been experiencing revenue shortfalls, along with other public transportation agencies such as the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace. They all rely on sales taxes and fares to fund their services, but the recent recession has reduced sales tax revenues, and unemployment has caused ridership to fall. Compared to 86.8 million trips in 2008, Metra reported that only 82.3 million trips were provided in 2009. As spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said, “We’re looking at any opportunity to increase non-fare revenue.”

A law approved by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in 2008 granted free rides to all seniors regardless of income, adding to the decreasing fare revenues as well. State lawmakers are trying to restrict the free rides to low-income seniors; Metra has not yet commented on the issue, however. 

New designs put on the agency’s website last September has attracted more traffic, and Metra is considering selling advertising space online. In addition, advertising space could be sold on the outside of train cars as well. As for the naming rights to stations and routes, Metra plans to hire a consultant that would figure out the details of such a proposal. Spokesperson Meg Reihle did not know how much money Metra could gain from the sale or which organizations would be interested in buying. 

According to Ms. Reihle, public transit agencies in other cities have sold naming rights as well, such as the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority in Cleveland and Long Island Rail Road in Long Island. TECO Energy sponsors a rail line in Tampa’s Hillsborough Area Regional Transit for US$1 million over ten years. 

Throughout its 26-year history, Metra has named several of its locomotives and renamed two stations: Ogilvie Transportation Center, which was previously named North Western Station, and Millennium Terminal, which was previously called Randolph Street. No transactions were made in renaming those two stations, however. There is also a Station named after the candy maker Mars, but that station was named before Metra took it over, and the company doesn’t pay Metra for any naming rights. 

I think the business community recognizes that transit is positive for their advertising benefit

Execuive Director Phil Pagano sees the proposal as a way for businesses to advertise themselves. “I think the business community recognizes that transit is positive for their advertising benefit,” said Mr. Pagano at a board meeting. In addition to businesses, hospitals located near the train stations could purchase naming rights as well. However, Mr. Pagano has also stated that “the agency would be selective about the type of businesses it partners with.”

Metra has said that it will be sensitive to the wishes of the communities near the stops, and town names will not be removed from station names. Rather, both the municipality and the sponsoring organization would share the naming rights, such as in renaming Naperville Station to “Naperville Boeing Station”. “I’m not sure whether [the old name] is first or second, but definitely it’s going to have to be there,” said Mr. Pagano.

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 11

Rachel Weisz wants Botox ban for actors

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

English actress Rachel Weisz thinks that Botox injections should be banned for all actors.

The 39-year-old actress, best known for her roles in the Mummy movie franchise and for her Academy Award-winning portrayal in The Constant Gardener, feels facial Botox injections leave actors less able to convey emotion and that it harms the acting industry as much as steroids harm athletes.

In an interview with UK’s Harper’s Bazaar, coming out next month, Weisz says, “It should be banned for actors, as steroids are for sportsmen,” she claims. “Acting is all about expression; why would you want to iron out a frown?”

HAVE YOUR SAY
Should Botox be banned for actors?
Add or view comments

Currently living in New York, she also mentions that English women are much less worried about their physical appearance than in the United States. “I love the way girls in London dress,” she claimed. “It’s so different to the American ‘blow-dry and immaculate grooming’ thing.”

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 10

Girl found dead in truck in Northamptonshire, England

Sunday, August 30, 2009

On Saturday 1400 BST, Northamptonshire Police were alerted by an HGV company that a Spar delivery vehicle had gone missing because it had not come back to base.

A search discovered the truck on the A605 near Warmington, England. The truck was found in a lorry park near a Jet filling station. The cab was unlocked and the curtains were drawn at the time.

When the police looked inside, they discovered a nine-year-old girl who had been strangled to death. A search by police officers then discovered a forty-year-old man’s body hanging from a tree close to the lorry park.

Detective Chief Inspector Tricia Kirk said: “I cannot begin to imagine what the family are going through, and we have family liaison officers with them trying to answer any questions that they may have. At the moment, we are treating it as a murder-suicide. We believe the little girl was murdered and the man then committed suicide.” She also said, “While we have not yet ruled out the involvement of a third party, the evidence strongly suggests that it is unlikely that anyone else was involved in the two deaths. This is a tragic incident for two families and we are working closely with them as part of our investigation.”

A police spokesman said, “Both bodies were taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary last night so that forensic post mortems could be carried out.”

The man and the girl cannot be named at this stage but the police have said that the man is the girl’s stepfather and that both came from the West Midlands. It is thought that the girl had regarded the trip as a “treat”.

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 10

Swiss reject single health insurance

Monday, March 12, 2007

24 of 26 Swiss Cantons rejected the proposal for a single health insurance system, in which premiums would be based on income and wealth. The vote on Sunday was the latest in a series of attempts to cut rising costs and ease the financial burden on citizens.

Around 71% of voters rejected the reform. Turnout was at about 46%, slightly above the Swiss average.

As expected, voters in the main German-speaking part of the country turned down the planned reform, which was supported by the centre-left but opposed by the centre-right as well as the business community, parliament and the government.

Opposition in the French and Italian speaking regions was less pronounced. The cantons Jura and Neuchâtel in the French speaking regions voted in favor of the proposed reforms.

Health insurance premiums are higher in southern and western Swiss cantons than in German-speaking areas.

The Swiss Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin said an important part of the Swiss Population appeared to be opposed to “a revolution” in health insurance but he said that he wanted current reforms currently under discussion in the Swiss Parliament to go ahead. He called on all sides, especially health insurers and the cantonal authorities, to make efforts to reduce spending on health insurance and aim for a greater cost efficiency. Currently Switzerland has 87 private insurers providing mandatory basic health care coverage for Swiss residents under a 1996 law. But costs have sky-rocketed. Over 100,000 people are not covered by health insurance due to non payment.

To win the battle of the cost of health care, everyone must place his or her private interests behind the interests of the general public. -Pascal Couchepin at a news conference

Opponents to the initiative argued that a single insurance system would lead to complacency and create a two-tier system, in which the wealthy would be the only ones available to afford to have additional private insurance coverage.

Supporters of the initiative said a single health insurer would increase the system’s efficiency and allow for annual savings of at least 300 million Swiss Francs (about $245 million) in administrative costs. Currently, the funding system is unbalanced, since many clients on low incomes use state subsidies to pay their premiums, according to the Green Party and the Social Democrats.

The initiative to unite all the insurance companies and introduce premiums based on wealth and income was the most recent in a series of attempts over the past ten years to reduce the public spending on health care. A proposal, similar to this recent proposal, to modify the funding system of the health insurance companies was rejected by 73% of voters in 2003.

Switzerland has the most expensive health system in Europe. Switzerland’s expenditure on health care was 11.6% in 2005, in front of Germany and France but behind the United States.

Learn more about Swiss Federal Council and Voting in Switzerland on Wikipedia.
Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 09

Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Sunday, December 13, 2015

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Macomb, New York Councilman Steve Burke took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Burke, an insurance adjuster and farmer, was elected councilman in Brookhaven, New York in 1979. He left the town after being accused and found not guilty of bribery in the 1980s. Since 1987 he has served as Macomb councilman off-and-on and currently holds the post. From 1993 to 1996 and 1999 to 2002 he worked as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County, New York. Among his many political campaigns, Burke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1992 and recently attempted to run for U.S. Congress in 2014 but too many of his ballot petition signatures were found invalid. Burke filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the 2016 election on September 18, 2015 and has qualified for the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn?, Burke discusses his political background, his 2016 presidential campaign, and his policy proposals.

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 08

Death toll from tsunami in Southeast Asia increases

 Correction — May 8, 2018 This headline incorrectly locates the tsunami in Southeast Asia; it was in the South Pacific, as stated in the lede. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A tsunami that was generated in the South Pacific by a powerful undersea earthquake has killed at least 110 people, according to authorities.

The majority of the fatalities occurred in Samoa, where rescue workers say at least 84 people were killed. Another 24 people are confirmed dead on American Samoa, while at least seven fatalities have been reported in nearby Tonga.

The US Geological Survey says an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck early Tuesday local time. It generated waves that devastated coastal areas, knocked down buildings and sent cars floating out to sea.

Strong aftershocks followed the initial earthquake, with at least one measuring a magnitude 5.6. Tsunami alerts were issued for the entire South Pacific region but were later canceled. Survivors fled to high ground and stayed there for hours.

Several villages were destroyed on the southern Samoan coast of Upolu, which is also home to many tourist resorts.

During a flight on from Auckland, New Zealand to Apia, Samoa, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told reporters he was shocked by the disaster. “So much has gone. So many people are gone. I’m so shocked, so saddened by all the loss.”

“The situation is very bad,” said Marie-Francoise Borel, a spokesperson for the International Red Cross, to the CTV News Channel by telephone. “This massive wave has swept across – it’s destroyed villages, it’s destroyed homes, people are in shock.”

The assistant chief executive of Samoa’s disaster management predicted that the death toll in the country could surpass one hundred, saying that searches for bodies in the region are still ongoing.

“They are still continuing the searches for any missing bodies in the area. Some areas have been flattened and the tsunami had brought a lot of sand onshore, so there have been reports the sand has covered some of the bodies. So we need specialised machines to search for bodies that are buried under the sand,” he said.

The communications head for the International Federation of the Red Cross, Jason Smith, told the Al Jazeera news agency that the Red Cross “[…] is working hard through five evacuation centres to provide people with safe places to stay and access to clean water,” estimating that up to 15,000 people in sixty villages were affected by the tsunami.

At the capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago, the tsunami measured 1.57 meters in height. The superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa Mike Reynolds reported four waves as high as six meters. People who experienced the quake said it was long, lasting from 90 seconds to three minutes.

We’re focused on bringing in the assistance for people that have been injured, and for the immediate needs of the tens of thousands of survivors down there.

Pago Pago city streets were strewn with overturned vehicles, cars, and debris. Some buildings located only slightly above sea level were completely destroyed by the waves, and power in some locations is not expected to be restored for up to a month. FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said that “we’re focused on bringing in the assistance for people that have been injured, and for the immediate needs of the tens of thousands of survivors down there.”

“The first federal team members are currently en route to American Samoa aboard a Coast Guard plane and will be providing on the ground assessments once they arrive on the island,” Fugate said. “FEMA, who has provisions pre-positioned in a distribution center in Hawaii, is also preparing to send supplies as needed to help meet the immediate needs of the survivors.”

Didi Afuafi, 28, who was riding on a bus in American Samoa when the tsunami struck, described her experiences. “I was scared. I was shocked. All the people on the bus were screaming, crying and trying to call their homes. We couldn’t get on cell phones. The phones just died on us. It was just crazy,” she said. “This is going to be talked about for generations.”

US President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in American Samoa, and has sent federal aid to support local recovery efforts in the US territory.

“My deepest sympathies are with the families who lost loved ones and many people who have been affected by the earthquake and the tsunami,” Obama said. He had earlier pledged in a written statement to give a “swift and aggressive” government response to the disaster.

“I am closely monitoring these tragic events, and have declared a major disaster for American Samoa, which will provide the tools necessary for a full, swift and aggressive response,” Obama said.

During a Wednesday appearance near Washington, D.C., the president said the US was ready to help its “friends” in neighboring Samoa and throughout the region.

In Tonga, seven people were confirmed dead and another three missing, after waves struck Niuatoputapu, a northern island.Acting prime minister Lord Tuita said in a statement that “according to information gathered from Niuatoputapu so far, seven people are confirmed dead, three missing and four with very serious injuries,” Lord Tuita, the acting prime minister, said in a statement. “It is reported that the tsunami did serious damage to the village of Hihifo, which is like the capital of the island.

“The hospital on the island is reported to have suffered major damage; telephone communication has been cut as a result of damage to equipment and facilities on the island; homes and government buildings have been destroyed,” he said.

An airplane was reportedly chartered by Tongan authorities to determine the amount of damage done to Niuatoputapu, but wasn’t able to land.

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 08

Report urges Kenya to ban plastic bags

Wednesday, March 9, 2005File:Plastic bag stock sized.jpg

They are cheap, useful, and very plentiful, and that is exactly the problem, according to researchers. A report issued on Feb. 23 by a cadre of environment and economics researchers suggested that Kenya should ban the common plastic bag that one gets at the checkout counter of grocery stores, and place a levy on other plastic bags, all to combat the country’s environmental problems stemming from the bags’ popularity.

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 08

Switch To Borri Ups; Save Money And Power

Switch to Borri ups; Save money and power

by

Noble Holl

UPS is the abbreviation for uninterruptible power supply, also known as uninterruptible power source. In a layman s language, ups refer to battery or flywheel backup. Goes by various names however, the UPS is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when input power source, typically the utility mains, fails.

A UPS must not be confused with or mistaken for an auxiliary or emergency power system or standby generator. UPS can be used as an alternative or a back-up for power supply till the power is being sourced from alternative sources of power system or standby generator.

YouTube Preview Image

Talking about ups manufacturers and suppliers, the first name that comes to mind is borri ups. One of the world s leaders in ups business is borri ups. One of the largest manufactures of ups systems, borri ups is headquartered in UK. Borri UPS is involved in the business of single phase and three-phase ups systems. At borri ups, no compromise is made on quality as quality is of very high standard. No wonder this company has a global presence. Borri ups have a manufacturing plant in Italy, a sales office in London and a distribution centre in Scotland. Apart from being involved in the manufacturing and distribution of ups systems, borri ups also undertakes maintenance of diesel generator.

The main aim of the company, borri ups is to make sure that their customers and the end-users end up saving money and power at the same time. Bori ups make sure that they design their products in such a way that their consumers stand to gain from them. Apart from the consumers being able to gain from the range of products, borri ups has also involved itself in the making of environment-friendly products. One such product of borri ups is Eco ups systems.

Apart from being the global manufacturer and distributor of ups systems, borri ups is also involved in the business of offering a wide range of installation of electrical appliances. Borri ups also undertake maintenance services. The services offered by borri ups are designed in such a way that they support consumers living environment.

Maintenance of ups, data cabling, isolation transformer, fuel polishing and computer room maintenance among other services are offered by borri ups. The company also undertakes free sight surveys, load bank testing and leases out ups. Borri ups support a lot of brands. Chloride, Powerware, MGE, Riello, APC, AEC, Gamatronic and Eaton are to name a few. Borri ups offer a three-year warranty with three-phase ups. So, the next time, when you are looking for the power to save power, think borri ups.

Borri UPS UK,

borri ups

site. Ltd Suppliers of UPS Systems Sheffield and other details, you are welcome to the

borri

site.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Feb 08

Thousands of trapped miners rescued in South Africa

Thursday, October 4, 2007

As many as 3,200 mine workers became trapped in the in Elandsrand mine, a gold mine in South Africa about 50 miles (80 km) west of Johannesburg in Carletonville, Gauteng, after an incident on October 3. All miners have been rescued, and none of them were injured. The mine is owned by Harmony Gold Mining Corporation.

The mining company says that a lift electrical cable broke on a basket that was carrying miners, trapping thousands at least 2,200 meters (1.3 miles) below the earth’s surface. Reports from MSNBC and the Guardian Unlimited say that the shaft may have collapsed when a water or air pipe burst. The rescue operation went well with no complications, with the rescue taking just under 24 hours to complete.

“They were underground when the accident happened and they were not able to surface because an electric feeder cable that is connected to the mine lift was severed,” said a spokeswoman for the mining company, Amelia Soares. The snap was caused by a “fatigued” air pipe which burst and fell down the shaft damaging the “steelwork and electrical feeder cords,” added Soares. “They are all in good condition.”

“They are all safe. There have been no injuries or deaths,” said CEO of Harmony mining, Graham Briggs who also said that the miners were previously contacted and were given “food and water.”

Earlier reports had stated that Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman with the National Union of Mineworkers, said that the miners have not been heard from for hours and that they could have been enduring temperatures as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

“This is a terrible situation. The only exit is blocked, probably by a fall of ground,” said Seshoka.

Rescue workers used a mine shaft that is next to the damaged one in an attempt to reach the trapped miners, and lifted them out, 75 at a time. There was no emergency exit in the shaft which is reported to have “not been maintained for ages,” added Seshoka.

“An escape route is the most important thing and they have failed miserably. They need to ensure that the shaft is maintained. This is why we have this disaster. Our main worry is for more than 3,000 people who are underground,” said National Union of Mineworkers for S. Africa chairman, Deon Boqwana.

Current reports say that “negligence” was the initial cause for the pipe burst and that there has been a history of negligence from the mine. “We suspect negligence. Because of continuous operations there is no time to make adequate checks,” said the President of the Miners union, Senzeni Zokwana to reporters during a news conference.

The Elsrand mine is currently under development and has been since February 2001 when Harmony bought the mine. Officials state that the mine will remain closed for a minimum of six weeks, while an investigation is performed, and the mine is deemed safe for miners to continue working in it.

The mine is located in the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa, which is said to be the location of the largest area of raw gold on the planet.

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 07

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Torbjorn Zetterlund, Willowdale

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Torbjorn Zetterlund is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Willowdale riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Posted in Uncategorized