Written by Contributor
The sale of assault rifles to the general public must be banned.
My brother, James B. Evans, a Riverside, California Deputy Sheriff, was killed in action by bank robbers in Norco, California on May 9, 1980. The robbers were armed with assault weapons, including AR15s, and drove through Norco and the nearby mountains shooting everyone in sight, including children riding their bicycles. The facts below are taken from the website of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Association (www.rcdsa.org/norco robbery/story1.html ). The site contains a descriptive story, plus a three-part Youtube training video with actual footage of the event. The video is used across the country to train law enforcement officers.
Article by Shirlee Pigeon:
• 1 bank robbery
• 1 25-mile running gun battle from Norco to the San Bernardino foothills
• 33 patrol cars damaged or completely destroyed
• 1 sheriff’s helicopter shot down
• Numerous civilians shot at
• 2 robbers dead
• 3 robbers imprisoned, life without parole
• 8 wounded Deputies — Heroes all
• 1 dead Deputy — Hero
In addition, I was told by a Norco resident that over 60 people received gunshot injuries during this horrific event.
I miss my brother everyday and do not wish others to have to suffer through the same sudden and senseless death of a loved one. We are all in danger of being an innocent bystander when assault weapons are readily available by sale, theft, or transfer. Police are helpless to protect us against the powerful damage rendered by these weapons before they can arrive at an active scene to help.
Kay Evans Schecht
Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2013 12:09
Written by Contributor
Steve's stance is admirable. A couple of years ago I contacted the Lady in charge of language to discuss English immersion instead of bi-lingual education. She was adamantly opposed to any change because of "the culture."
I tried to explain that if Hispanics truly wanted their children to excel in a world of spoken English, it must begin at home. No longer could the father of the house order and speak to waiters in fluent English, and then revert to speaking Spanish at the table as soon as the waiter left. My take is that the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles must speak English in the presence of these children . . . if they are to excel . . . no . . . if they are to survive. She was incensed at my suggestion. As long as Hispanics maintain this attitude, Hispanic children don't have a chance!
Steve Jones is merely trying to speak the truth. What does he get for the effort? Censure. Shame on you board!!! Shame on you. Only if we had more men as courageous as Mr. Jones, to speak the truth, regardless of the consequences. Mr. Jones is my man. He is a man of tremendous character. Try as you may to destroy him, you will not succeed! Truth is difficult to defeat, and Steve is a man of truth. God bless him in this effort to rise above the trivial, the mean, the lie!
Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2013 12:08
Written by Phil Cerroni
Dear Mayor, Council Members and Citizens of Irving:
As the chairman and your representative on the DART Board of Directors, I am pleased to report to you the state of the agency, particularly as it relates to Irving.
If ever there were a watershed year in the DART-Irving relationship, 2012 was it. The arrival of the Orange Line in Irving culminated 12 years of land-use planning by DART, the city of Irving, the Las Colinas Association and the Dallas County Utilities Reclamation District.
The first two Orange Line segments opened on schedule: on July 30 to the University of Dallas, Las Colinas Urban Center and the Irving Convention Center; and on Dec. 3 to North Lake College and Belt Line Road. For thousands of employees who commute in and out of Irving daily, the Orange Line offers fresh alternatives to driving. But it connects to more than jobs – it’s Irving’s new link to educational institutions, medical services, entertainment venues and more.
When the much-anticipated third segment of the 14-mile, $1.3 billion line opens in December 2014, Irving will have a direct rail connection to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – and, by extension, to the world. DART will be one of the few transit properties in the nation with direct rail service to and from a major airport. That final piece of the Orange Line is being built as we speak.
Also on Dec. 3, DART opened a 4.5-mile extension of the Blue Line east to Rowlett. DART has built more than 40 miles of track in the last three years alone. At 85 miles, DART Rail now is the largest electric light rail system in the nation.
While the arrival of rail service is certainly a game-changer, buses have always been the backbone of our system. Currently, DART is undertaking a $248 million, full-scale fleet replacement. We have purchased 120 small, agile buses and placed an order for 542 larger buses, which already are beginning to arrive. All are environmentally friendly, powered by compressed natural gas.
DART also strove during 2012 to identify new revenue streams. In March, we implemented Fair Share Parking at two end-of-the-line stations, and at a new park-and-ride bus facility a few months later. We extended the program to Belt Line Station when it opened in December. In addition to regular parking, that station offers long-term parking for riders who are headed to the airport.
Also in Irving, DART is continuing to plan with the city to implement new bus shelters near the corner of Nursery Road and Irving Boulevard. These are not only state-of-the-art shelters featuring solar-powered heating and other amenities; they are a pilot project to explore the viability of advertising at DART’s bus facilities. If the program succeeds, we will roll it out throughout the service area.
Some other highlights of 2012 include:
In August, the Board selected Dallas attorney Scott Carlson as the agency’s new general counsel. Scott had been Dallas’ appointee to the DART Board since 2003. He served on a number of board committees and chaired the planning committee. He joins DART from the law firm of Cavazos, Hendricks, Poirot & Smitham, where he served as senior counsel.
In October, DART awarded a new paratransit services contract to MV Transportation, and adopted a new service delivery model in the same stroke. Paratransit now uses multiple vehicle types: MV Transportation’s own fleet, outsourced taxis, as well as leasing some of DART’s paratransit vans until MV’s fleet of larger vans are delivered. As a result, the service is more flexible. The agency expects to realize $90 million in savings over the course of the seven-year contract.
DART’s sales tax revenues were $432.5 million, 2.4 percent better than target, and total revenues reached $720.1 million. The agency’s total subsidy per passenger was 6.7 percent better than target, and sales tax allocated to operating expenses came in 3.5 percent better than target.
Fixed-route ridership is up: The DART Board set a target of 65.9 million passenger trips, and DART exceeded that goal by 2.7 million, or about 4 percent. That’s an 11 percent increase over FY11 reported ridership, and includes a change in light rail counting from manual counts to the use of more accurate, FTA-approved, automated passenger counters. While total system ridership was down by 6.2 percent from FY 2011 – clocking in at 104.9 million passenger trips – that decline is largely attributable to the closing of HOV lanes on LBJ Freeway early in the year.
DART has continued to look for innovative ways to address the demand for public transit beyond our service borders. In March, we began providing express bus service to Mesquite on a contract basis. The program is still under evaluation, but it could offer a template for similar services to other area cities.
To better leverage our resources as a region, DART, the Fort Worth T and the Denton County Transportation Authority have entered into a Tri-Party Passenger Rail Alliance. I believe that this alliance is potentially the next major step in a new era of passenger rail transit for the North Texas region – an area that extends across 16 counties. Our combined leverage could translate to increased purchasing power of vehicles and rights of way, the moxie to develop bigger projects than ever before, and the credibility that comes from presenting a united front in Austin.
With the three agencies joining forces, we can ensure that the process of getting passenger rail projects up and running is streamlined and backed by a strong advocacy coalition. Chief among these potential projects is the Cotton Belt corridor, which extends from DART’s Red Line in the Plano-Richardson area through North Dallas, Addison and downtown Carrollton, on to DFW Airport – and beyond to Fort Worth.
The Cotton Belt is not funded in DART’s 20-Year Financial Plan. But the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) of the North Central Texas Council of Governments is exploring innovative financing options – most likely a public-private partnership that would be the first of its kind in Texas. What role DART, The T and DCTA will play remains to be seen, but the Tri-Party Passenger Rail Alliance gives our agencies a strong, collective voice. The RTC’s findings and recommendations are expected in the coming months.
How we approach the Cotton Belt could set the stage for other similar initiatives in the future. I envision the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Line eventually being developed for passenger rail. It would extend from Irving’s Heritage Crossing to Downtown Carrollton – and ultimately, it could reach the bustling city of Frisco and even the Red River.
I believe that Irving is on the path to a new way of life. The DART System is rapidly maturing; in 2012, we celebrated our 250 millionth light rail passenger. The agency now turns its attention to operating one of the most robust multimodal transit systems in North America. Irving is deeply invested in the DART project, and we are poised to reap abundant dividends.
If you have questions or suggestions at any time, please feel free to contact me at 972.554.0500.
Yours Very Truly,
John C. Danish
Chairman, DART Board of Directors (Irving)
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 February 2013 15:46
Written by Phil Cerroni
I have lived in Irving for almost 37 years.
When TXU was my provider, I can count on one hand how many times the lights went out. Yes;...ONE HAND!
Since ONCOR took control; the lights go out a minimum of two times a month, sometimes even three times.
I have a CPAP machine, and when the electricity goes out at night, it is crucial for me.
I had my doctor send a form to ONCOR, and part of their response was “...Therefore it is your responsibility to prepare for possible power interruptions and to make arrangements for a backup supply or other alternatives in the event of loss of electric service as needed...”
My question is when my electricity is out from 5 minutes to 3 hours, and I can’t open my garage door to get my car out, and a generator is pointless since it can’t be used in the house, what next?
I have also given up on setting and resetting my clocks. I am tempted to buy old fashioned windup clocks.
I have called ONCOR numerous times about the line to my house being so tight because the pole is tilting away from my house. They have come here three times, and tried to release the tension, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. I had to laugh at the first time they came over. The service man said there was no way he would climb the pole, so he left. And the story goes on from there.
I also want to comment that one day I was grocery shopping and when I came home, I couldn’t open my garage door. I called TXU, and they said they couldn’t help, so they give me ONCOR’s number. ONCOR stated they couldn’t help either cause my cell phone number was not registered with them, and I needed to provide them with my account number. I would have, but I could not get in my house to give it to them. So they disconnected my call.
Just had to vocalize and wonder if anyone else in Irving is having this problem.
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 December 2012 22:13
Written by Phil Cerroni
Last week residents spoke up about poor living conditions and poor billing at Oak Villa Apartments.
The Mayor mentioned how she was not happy with the situation and was frankly "disgusted" with the situation and what residents were sharing about the conditions.
She boldly stately what could be done about this. Yesterday (10-29) all departments were assembled for 300 to 350 Oak Villa Residents in attendance to and presented to and listened to Oak Villa Residents. Code Enforcement and Police. There are concerns about drug dealing, safety, and crime.
Irving PD are on it thanks to Mayor being proactive. I have never seen so much willingness for the city departments to work with residents as I saw yesterday. And fellow folks active in being around city government have mentioned the same.
We give thanks to a Mayor willing to take the lead on this.
Emmanuel Lewis Jr
Last Updated on Sunday, 04 November 2012 21:18