What can be difficult to deal with however are those that come to "help" you deal with it. When Dennis flooded our area no one showed up to help. Until after everybody had been retrieved from there homes and all that could be done had been done. Then of course they showed up, blocked the roads and started telling those who had done the work and survived what they could and could not do. Ah, but we were oh so safe.
Well today we been dealing with this little nuisance by the name of "Fay" that I can appreciate, if for no other reason than the fact that, in spite of all our technological advances, they ain't been able to get her right yet.
So anyway, have I said this little spot of Paradise has been known to Flood? Well, It does. And because it does and the area news media isnt aware of our existence, we kind of feel like we ought to check now and again and see what the river is doing.
Well o,k, then. This morning at high tide we take a ride down the street and yepper, waters over then banks. Figured it would be. Question always is, how much will it rise? So we head to the house and figure we will check back. Sounded reasonable to us anyway.
Few hours go by and I tell the ol lady, "hey, ol lady, I'm gonna go check on the river."
Now I get down there and the cops have showed up to help the St. Marks volunteer fire dept. watch the water come up. Now the St. Marks Fire Dept. did an outstanding job during "Dennis" and I kinda figure that they can probably do better than "state troopers" cause state trooper vehicles gonna drown before my Element does, much less the firetruck. Besides they, the fire dept, has done it before.
Well I park in a parking lot to turn around because I had accomplished my mission, yes the water had risen more, when this helpful officer of the law starts yelling at me. Now I don't know why, except maybe I don't hear so well due to motorcycle abuse, but I could have sworn he was hollerin, "Turn your lights off"?
Couldn't understand why he would holler that. But what the hell. So I check and they are off. So I figure o.k. were cool and start to head back to the house.
Whoops, bad move.
I look in my rear mirror and here he comes fast, lights a blazing. Thinking he couldn't possibly be after me I pull over like your supposed to and sure enough, so do he. Well while I'm thinking o.k. what have I done now, he's getting out of his car in a pretty yellow rain suit that does not hide the fact that his hand is on his gun, comes up to my window and wants to know why I didn,t
turn my lights on when he told me to.
Now this was wrong and I don't recommend it, but I started laughing. I was like, I thought you were hollerin turn them off. To which I get a lecture on how a grey vehichle on a rainy day is hard to see and the law says I'm supposed to have my lights on when it is like that.
Well I kinda knew that. By that I mean I'm not exactly sure how much like that it has to be before it is like that enough to turn on your lights. But I was to busy choking back two questions:
Officer did you think I was gonna bust past two cop cars and a fire struck, speed through flood waters till I ran through the Riverside Cafe commiting suicide by driving into the St.
Are you gonna shoot me for not having my lights on?
Neither of which fortunately , I had the opportunity to ask, because he then advised me you know that's $130+ fine and asked, "You don't want that do you?"
Well I had to think a bit. Like was this a rhetorical question? I finally chose discretion over valor and replied, "No", whilst yanking a bunch of hair out of my head trying to get to my glasses knowing I'm gonna have to sign something.
When he asked me if I lived here? I can only guess it was my gray Element on a gray day that hid the fact that I pulled out of a driveway a couple blocks up onto an otherwise deserted road that he didn't figure that one out.
In all fairness I must state that he gave me no ticket (thank God he didn't ask for registration) and was really nice. And not only will I take the Florida Dept of Highway Safety's admonishment to put erflective stickies all over my motorcycle I will add some to my Honda Element too.Add to Technorati Favorites
License Plate Readers To Be Used In D.C. Area
By Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 17, 2008; C01
Authorities plan to install about 200 automated license plate readers on police
vehicles and alongside roads in the Washington area to thwart potential terrorist attacks,
dramatically expanding the use of a high-tech tool previously aimed at parking scofflaws and car thieves.
And I know this is silly but how many terrorists use vehicles or tags registered in their name?
Why them scofflaws!
Top homeland security officials from Maryland, Virginia and the District agreed last week to spend $4.5 million
on the new system, officials said Friday. The funds will come from a $59.8 million federal homeland security
grant for the D.C. area announced last month. That grant also will be used to outfit police with radiation detectors,
improve hazmat and bomb squads and provide equipment to hospitals, officials decided.
License plate scanners, also known as tag readers, took off in Britain in the 1990s as a way to deter Irish
Republican Army attacks, and police here have started using the technology to identify stolen vehicles
and illegally parked cars. A handful of the devices are in use by law enforcement agencies in the Washington
region for such tasks.
The new project is much broader, installing cameras on about 160 police
vehicles and at 40 fixed sites, such as airports or highway entrances,
officials say. It appears to be one of the most extensive license
reading systems in the nation, according to privacy experts.
"Of course it is mych broader. Anytime they adopt a citizen surveillance project it always
becomes much larger doesn't it?"
"This is a vast expansion of the technology, and a vast change in the goal of the technology,"
said Melissa Ngo, publisher of http://www.privacylives.com, a site about privacy and civil liberties issues.
Ngo, a former journalist who has worked at The Washington Post and other publications, questioned the
outlay of so much money on a project described as an anti-terrorist tool.
"Does make one wonder doesn't it? Like would such a system have helped prevent 9/11"
"Do they have any proof that this works?" Ngo asked.
Arlington Police Capt. Kevin Reardon, who has worked on planning the new system, said the tag
readers have shown that they can boost police efficiency.
"There is a limit to POLICE EFFICIENCY you know?" German prison camps were
extremely efficient. Is that what we want ?
"The technology has reached the point where it's very good now. It puts a tool in the
hands of police officers out in the street to help fight terrorism," said Reardon, who works in his
department's homeland security unit.
The readers will scan the license plate of every vehicle that zooms by and run the numbers through
federal criminal databases and terrorist watch lists, Reardon said. Maryland, Virginia and
the District could plug in additional databases.
"And therin lies the rub. Bank databases? Credit card databases?
Who decides what and when? This is scary!"
When the machines get "hits," they instantly notify police or other law enforcement officials.
The devices can typically read hundreds of plates an hour.
Civil liberties advocates say the tag readers are the latest sign of how surveillance programs are
expanding in U.S. cities, driven by terrorism fears and rapidly developing technology. New York
officials said last week that they plan to scan the license plates of all cars and trucks
entering Manhattan as part of a new security system that also involves thousands of
"And so New York City becomes a fortress to keep the bad guys out. But
that also enables control over who is within. And who is next? Miami,
Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angles, Houston and on and on until America is a land
of fortresses controlled by their Police Departments. Are not Tallahassee,
Florida and Canton, Ohio prime examples of why we do not want that to happen?"
In the District, the government plans to use $10 million from another homeland security grant
to centralize monitoring of the city's growing network of closed-circuit cameras at schools, public
buildings and other places. Although city officials say the project is aimed at improving
emergency response, it has stirred fierce opposition from some D.C. Council members.
"Doesn't calling 911 provide the same service at less cost?"
Privacy advocates say they are concerned about what is done with the images picked
"What's going to happen to the data?" asked MarcRotenberg, executive director of the
Electronic Privacy Information Center, which monitors civil liberties issues. "The Department
of Homeland Security will now have an enormous amount of information about the
travel habits of Washington area residents."
Rotenberg questioned whether the terrorist databases connected to the readers would be any more
reliable than the much-criticized watch lists used at airports. (see our
post on the 9 y.o. who can't get off the terrorist watch list)
Authorities say many of the details of the new program are being worked out. But
Reardon said that at least in the short term, officials don't plan to store data on the scanned license
plates, except for those associated with terrorism or other crime. "
"at least in the short term",
hello, I hear an escape clause, I hear an escape clause. Also known as BUllshit!
"We'll have to carefully weigh all those [privacy] issues and make sure we do it the right way,"
said Andrew Lauland, the top homeland security official in Maryland.
Homeland Security is over FEMA who was over the debacle that resulted
from trying to "Help" Katrina victms. Keep in mind also that
"Blackwater U.S.A. forces were also the first "security" personnel into
New Orleans after the storm. Not thinking I trust Homeland Security!
But, he said, license plates are open to view by any passerby. "So there's nothing
intrusive about it," he said.
In some ways, the new system might be less invasive, Reardon said. Currently, police can
run the plate number of any vehicle, turning up the name of the owner, he said.
The new system pulls up information only on cars linked to crime or terrorism, he said.
"Or whatever database is plugged into it remember? Is this is whatis
known as government doublespeak"
If a vehicle has no such associations, "you're not even in the database," he said.
Lauland said the system could be useful in such incidents as the hijacking of a fuel
tanker in Baltimore last fall that raised fears of potential terrorism. The vehicle was
found in the District, and a terror connection was ruled out.
Another Tactic that would be useful would be looking for fuel tankers
as opposed to license tags. Oh wait a second? Are they now insinuating
that each tag will have installed on it a device allowing the tag to be read
and monitored? After all do you need a tag reader to say to yourself,
self, that's a fuel tanker?
In England, one of the suspects in last year's botched car bomb attacks in London and
Glasgow was arrested after his license plate was picked up by roadside cameras.
And he was a stupid terrorists if he tried to get away in a car bomb.
Reardon said, however, that there might be a time delay of up to several hours in getting
information on wanted cars into the license plate devices being installed in police
vehicles. He said the devices would be useful for more than just potentially stopping
terrorists. "It will help us identify other types of criminal activity" by detecting cars
used in offenses such as bank robberies, he said. Because we know all bank robbers
use cars registered in their own names and they drive these cars
hurs after they have robbed the bank just hoping an eyewitness ID's
them making them easier to catch. That is how it happens isn't it?
The tag readers are one of about two dozen projects in the Washington region that will
be funded with the homeland security grant, an annual award to urban areas at risk of
terrorist attack. Well if they leave out any convience stores, dunkin donuts,
starbucks coffee's or politician frequented escort services you do know it
is discrimination don't you?
Officials announced that they will also spend $4 million to equip police in the area
with radiation detectors; $5.6 million for training and gear for local bomb squads;
and about $18 million for equipment, planning and exercises to help the region's hospitals
and medical personnel cope with disasters.
And don't forget the cost of building effecient prisons for effecient police to fill
Robert Malson, president of the D.C. Hospital Association, said he was grateful that
state and local officials had devoted so much of the grant to the medical sector.
"Normally they focus most of the money on government agencies, but the hospitals
are a critical part of the response to any natural disaster or
terrorist attack," he said.
The $59.8 million urban area grant to the region was smaller than the $61.6 million it
received last year from the Department of Homeland Security. However, the D.C. area
also received a new homeland-security grant this year, of $11.5 million, to help it
prepare for such catastrophes as the detonation of a nuclear bomb.
Staff researcher Eddy Palanzo contributed to this report.
God I hate being cynicalAdd to Technorati Favorites
MAKING ROADS SAFE BY MAKING THEM ROUGH
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), since the 1970s annual highway fatalities in the United States have held steady at about 40,000 people. Over the last three decades, the total comes to roughly 1.2million fatalities, the equivalent of the population of San Diego, CA. Further, a March 2008 report by AAA, Crashes vs. Congestion: What’s the
Cost to Society?, finds that automobile crashes cost U.S. motorists more than $164
billion per year, or about $5 trillion over the past three decades, taking into account
property damage, lost earnings, medical costs, emergency services, legal costs,
and travel delays.
Transportation officials at every level continue to invest time, energy, and resources
into researching the causes of automobile crashes and developing measures to prevent
crashes from happening in the first place. Two common crash types receiving
considerable attention are run-off-the-road and wet-weather crashes. About 25 percent
of all crashes and 14 percent of all fatal crashes occur on wet pavement, according to
the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). In
2003, more than 25,000, or 59 percent, of the highway fatalities occurred when a
vehicle left its lane or ran off the road.
For sharp curves and wet pavement, a promising new approach is emerging. Engineers at
the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), State departments of transportation (DOTs),
and in the private sector are devising and refining high-friction surfacing systems.
These overlays consist of resins and polymers with a binder topped with small, hard
aggregate that helps vehicles stay on the road. The surfacing systems also are
especially resistant to wear and tear. Demonstration projects at locations across the
country over the last 10 years are beginning to show promising results for reducing
For more information, contact Frank Julian at 404–562–3689 or
email@example.com, or Steve Moler at 415–744–3103 or
For more information about FHWA’s Road Departure Safety program, contact
Mary L. McDonough at 202–366–2175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUNO administrator invents first motorcycle airbag safety system
August 18, 2008
A Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) administrator can lay claim to having invented the first motorcycle safety system, and has won the Louisiana Business and Technology Center Phase Zero award related to his invention. William Belisle, Ph.D., won the Phase Zero Award for Louisiana Small Business for his U.S Department of Transportation Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I Program proposal for his Motorcycle Airbag Protection System (MAPS). He received patent #6,017,076 for the invention in 2000.
Dr. Belisle says that the invention is best suited for law enforcement agencies, security entities, emergency first responders and the U.S. Department of Defense. The MAPS will also provide safety and protection for consumers, and Dr. Belisle is confident that the system will surpass the helmet as a primary safety device for motorcycles.http://ataque.net/" http://ataque.net/
see www.motorcycle.com/mo/mcbmw/c1.html, www.bmw.com, or
www.bmwworld.com/models/concepts/c1.htm for more information about the
BMW C-1. Note that 10,614 C-1s were sold on Cologne, Germany during the
initial year of sales, 2001.
TRB's National Cooperative Research Program (NCHRP) has issued a request for proposals
to identify factors contributing to serious injury and
fatal motorcycle collisions with traffic barriers.
ON VEHICLE MILES TRAVELED:
North American Travel Monitoring Conference and Exposition (NATMEC)
2008: Presentations Available
Select presentations are now available online from the North American Travel Monitoring
Conference and Exposition (NATMEC), which was held August 6-8, 2008, in Washington, D.C.
The conference explored the collection, management, and use of monitored traffic data
in all applications. The presentations can be accessed via links from the title
of the presentations beginning on page 7 of the online program.
PDF 32 pages:
Wednesday, August 6, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m., Shoreham, Palladian
Motorcycle Travel Data
Hamlin Williams, Virginia Department of Transportation, presiding In 2008, the Federal
Highway Administration began requiring states, the District of Columbia, and U.S.
Territories, which are required to submit Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS)
data, to collect and report motorcycle travel data. While reporting motorcycle travel
data was optional before 2008, all except six states reported them. Issues that have
been identified in collecting these data include: equipment accuracy, the Traffic
Monitoring Guide instructions on when to collect short-term traffic counts,
and how to factor these data. Presenters will discuss successes in collecting
motorcycle travel data.
Accuracy of Current Detectors in Detection of Motorcycles
Dan Middleton and Ryan Longmire, Texas Transportation Institute
PDF: 21 pages
Collecting and Submitting Motorcycle Data for Vehicle Miles Traveled
Harshad R. Desai, Federal Highway Administration
PDF 25 pages
Motorcycle Traffic Data Issues at the Montana Department of
Bill Cloud, Montana Department of Transportation
PDF 14 pages
Use of Exposure Data in Motorcycle Studies: What Is and Isn’t Available
Eric R. Teoh, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Complying with Motorcycle Reporting Requirements: Pennsylvania
Department of Transportation Perspective
Andrea Bahoric and Joni K Sharp, Pennsylvania Department of
PDF 23 pages
Thursday, August 7, 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m., Shoreham, Ambassador
Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) Reassessment—How Will State
Departments of Transportation Respond to New Requirements? What Are the
Potential Impacts? What Are the Additional Resources Needed?
William R. Cloud, Montana Department of Transportation, presiding
Recent authorization of the Safe, Accountable,
Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) and the changing business
needs of transportation caused the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to conduct a
reassessment of the HPMS. The reassessment has created the following additional
data-collection requirements for state departments of transportation (DOTs): Modify
volume groups to be consistent across rural and urban functional classes, expand
upper- and lower-volume groups, extend universe annual average daily traffic (AADT)
coverage through major collectors, better truck volume data to derive truck travel
estimates, mandatory reporting of motorcycle vehicle miles traveled (VMT) data in
collect information on ramps, and collect truck volumes (single and combination) for
entire national highway system. This session will
feature discussions on how state DOTs plan to achieve these new requirements.
Starting Over—Developing Motorcycle VMT, Illinois’ Plan
Rob E Robinson, Illinois Department of Transportation
2007 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment -- Highlights
The overall number of traffic fatalities in 2007 reached its lowest
since 1994. This Annual Assessment provides highlights of the 2007
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data.
PDF 2 pages:
An Analysis of Motorcycle Helmet Use in Fatal Crashes
This report examined motorcycle rider helmet use in fatal crashes during the period 1997
-2006. The following factors were most highly correlated with motorcycle rider helmet
use: the existence of a motorcycle helmet law in the State where the crash occurred,
the motorcycle rider's age and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the
crash, the engine size of the motorcycle, and whether the crash occurred at night
or during the day. The report used both exploratory data analysis and logistic
regression models to relate motorcycle rider helmet use to various crash factors.
PDF 46 pages:
Happy ReadingAdd to Technorati Favorites
I recently heard the Reichenbach told the persons in attendance at the past ABATE of Florida, Inc. meeting that ABATE of Florida, Inc., closed down the White Sands Chapter. How pathetic to try and lie after the fact.
Reichenbach nor his croonies called or attended any meeting in which "they" closed this chapter.
The truth of the matter is that our membership consisted of persons who know how to think for them selves and know a charlatan when they see one. It took a vote from the members to make the decision.
After years of paying a lobbyist more money than he's ever made in his life and getting no accountability for it as well as no results the members said they had enough after we were not allowed a voice in the state meeting. It must have been a tough lump for Reichenbach to swallow not being the one in control of a chapter closing.
Persons with brains can log onto this website as well as Bigbendbikersforfreedom.com, read the date of the letter written by me informing the motorcycling community of the reasons for our dissolution and figure out that we were one step ahead.
It is not hard to understand why a chapter that can not get on the agenda at a state meeting would want to tell the mothership to go to hell. After all how can anybody feel apart of something if they are not allowed a voice.
But then again the President of Abate of Florida knows that Whitesands Chapter has/had no problem confronting him on financial issues.
It is hard to understand why the President/lobbyist of ABATE of Florida would want to take responsibility for the loss of another chapter for no good reason.
Especially when Whitesands was one of the more active and respected chapters. Also because the loss of Whitesands leaves North Florida with little representation.
Further Evidence that the President/Lobbyist is more concerned about his own ass than he is about the organization.
What boggles the mind is how members who proclaim they are for "Rights" consistently fail to stand up for the rights of themselves and their own members.
Not only the failure to stand up for individual members and chapters, but the cheers that accompany by-laws violations, rules of order violations that violate chapter and individual rights indict ABATE of Florida as standing for Nothing other than raising enough money to keep a despot in power who will continue to allow the organization to stand for nothing.Add to Technorati Favorites