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Algernon Moncrieff

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Member since: Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:49 AM
Number of posts: 5,096

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Winter Storm Kayla starts in Iowa in Monday night

Most likely a non--issue east of Des Moines until Tuesday.

I have no real inkling how this impacts Dems. My guess is that it's bad news for Cruz and Carson on the GOP side, as they are depending on the more evangelical-heavy Western Iowa towns for support.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jan 30, 2016, 05:38 PM (20 replies)

A Cross-Bred Coyote - Poodle Hybrid Would Be Called What?

These are supposedly wolf-poodle hybrids

These are wolf-Labrador hybrids that looked cute so I'm posting them.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Jan 25, 2016, 05:53 PM (23 replies)

In your opinion, are DraftKings and FanDuel gambling?

ALBANY - The two giants of the daily fantasy sports industry will be able to remain open in New York as their appeal is heard in court.

The state Appellate Division in Manhattan granted a stay Monday for DraftKings and FanDuel, which will allow the two companies to keep taking entries from New York users as their appeal moves forward. The four-judge panel did not offer an explanation for its decision.

The stay gives the companies a temporary win in their ongoing court battle with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who claims the fantasy games offered by the two companies amount to illegal gambling. FanDuel and DraftKings' appeal is expected to be heard in May.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sun Jan 24, 2016, 07:36 PM (56 replies)

Standoff ends with arrest, death of OPD K9

Source: KETV

OMAHA, Neb. —A man who held law enforcement in a standoff that lasted 26-hours shot and killed an Omaha Police K9 before his arrest Saturday night.

The K9 named Kobus, had been with the department since 2008

Mark L'Heureux, 59 surrendered to law enforcement shortly before 7:00 p.m., after walking out of a house near 83rd and Keystone Drive.

Read more: http://www.ketv.com/news/standoff-in-omaha-neighborhood-lasts-for-several-hours/37588782

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sun Jan 24, 2016, 12:09 AM (24 replies)

David Brooks: Time for a conspiracy

Members of the Republican governing class are like cowering freshmen at halftime of a high school football game. Some are part of the Surrender Caucus, sitting sullenly on their stools resigned to the likelihood that their team is going to get crushed. Some are thinking of jumping ship to the Trump campaign with an alacrity that would make rats admire and applaud.

Rarely has a party so passively accepted its own self-destruction. Sure, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are now riding high in some meaningless head-to-head polls against Hillary Clinton, but the odds are the nomination of either would lead to a party-decimating general election.

The tea party, Ted Cruz’s natural vehicle, has 17 percent popular support, according to Gallup. The idea that most women, independents or mainstream order-craving suburbanites would back a guy who declares his admiration for Vladimir Putin is a mirage. The idea that the GOP can march into the 21st century intentionally alienating every person of color is borderline insane.

Worse is the prospect that one of them might somehow win. Very few presidents are so terrible that they genuinely endanger their own nation, but Trump and Cruz would go there and beyond.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article55664375.html#storylink=cpy
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jan 23, 2016, 03:24 AM (6 replies)

Kos: Republicans see black voters as key to Trump becoming president

Establishment Republicans may be trying to talk themselves into accepting that Donald Trump might be their party’s presidential nominee, a fascinating piece of stenography from Politico suggests, and lurid fantasy is one of their major tactics for convincing themselves, it appears. First off, black voters:

“If he were the Republican nominee he would get the highest percentage of black votes since Ronald Reagan in 1980,” said Republican messaging guru Frank Luntz, referring to the year Reagan won 14 percent of that bloc of voters. “They listen to him. They find him fascinating, and in all the groups I have done, I have found Obama voters, they could’ve voted for Obama twice, but if they’re African-American they would consider Trump.”


The rest of Trump’s path to general-election victory, as laid out to POLITICO by pollsters, his campaign and his former advisers, looks like this: After winning the nomination on the first ballot, Trump unifies the party he has fractured behind him and reinvents himself as a pragmatic businessman and family man at the Republican National Convention. News of small-scale terror plots on American soil, foiled or successful, keep voters in a state of anxiety. Trump minimizes his losses with Hispanics by running Spanish-language ads highlighting his support for a strong military and take-charge entrepreneurial attitude, especially in the Miami and Orlando media markets. He draws the starkest possible outsider-insider contrast with Hillary Clinton and successfully tars her with her husband’s sexual history.

LINK to full article
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Wed Jan 20, 2016, 06:40 PM (9 replies)

I'm at Woodrow Wilson Middle in Council Bluffs Iowa

Where we will shortly be listening to Bill Clinton!!!
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Jan 16, 2016, 01:30 PM (6 replies)

Better ways to have spent $280 M in taxpayer money

In 1995, the Edward Jones Dome was built for $280M. The main tenant, the St Louis Rams, just left the taxpayers on the hook until 2021 for $12M per year.

Riverfront Times has made an irreverent list of 25 things to do with the empty dome. My personal favorite, having grown up with the pop-a-matic games of the 70s, is:

10. Replace the roof with a clear plastic bubble and fill it with dice, like the old Trouble board game. All future decisions involving taxpayer money will be resolved by fiat of the giant dice popper.

This got me thinking along a more serious line: what are better ways that $280 could have been spent? I do get that a lot of money gets dropped at an NL game. 50-75000 people pay for tickets; pay to park; buy food and drinks and merchandise at the stadium; sometimes go out for a meal before or after the game; and sometimes purchase room nights at hotels. But so many families are priced out of this experience that I have never felt that stadium building for pro sports teams is/was a good investment. So I started thinking -- what could a city buy?

1) Free Wi-Fi

That's why I loved to read that New York City wants to build one of the largest public wifi networks. The request for proposals was announced on May 1, looking for the installation, operation, and maintenance of up to 10,000 hotspots. It will be ready in four years.

Wikipedia reports free wifi is available in some way across 150 cities in the world like: Bangkok (Thailand), Blackpool (UK), Helsingborg (Sweden), Toronto (Canada), Denver (USA), Guadalajara (Mexico)and Stellenbosch (SA). Business Insider report 9 cities with the best free Wifi among which Helsinki (Finland), Taipei (Taiwan) and Hong Kong (China).

In the Netherlands there is a start-up, planning to build free wifi-networks in 38 cities, costing € 10 million. It was launched last year in Tiel, a small city of 41.000 citizens. At the moment 16.000 unique visitors in Tiel use the free wifi 20.000 hours per week. Other cities like Leiden (115.000 citizens) and Zwolle (120.000 citizens) are offering free wifi in The Netherlands too. And more will follow soon.

2) A Construction Job Training Center

If you're looking for a job in construction or manufacturing, there's a new training center in Birmingham that will help you get the right certifications.

Wright Way Inc. opened its doors on Friday with a free training session for people interested in the construction field.

The company will work with job seekers who need soft training and skilled-trade training.

3) School Technology

Gates makes a strong case for making new technology part of our investment in education. He cites the example of the Christopher Columbus Middle School in Union City, New Jersey, where the local telephone company, Bell Atlantic, conducted an experiment in computerization and networking. The school was in trouble. Dropout rates were high and test scores were low. Bell Atlantic funded the installation of networked computers linking students' homes to classrooms, teachers, administrators, and the Net. Teachers, parents, students, and administrators were trained to use the computers. Two years later, “The dropout rate and absenteeism were both almost zero”

4) Sports fields - for Kids

The Fourth of July brings more than just fireworks and celebration to the mild summer climate and Rocky Mountain air of Denver, Colorado. It’s also a time where nearly 800 elite fastpitch-softball teams from across the country travel to for the annual Colorado Sparkler, Sparkler Juniors, and Fireworks.

While Colorado is not known as a true hotbed for softball talent, it becomes the center of the sport’s recruiting universe for one week where more than 600 college coaches attend to watch the best players compete in the country’s largest fastpitch event. This week (June 30-July 6) the three events, which are produced by Fort Collins-based Triple Crown Sports, will combine for more than 3,000 games played on 133 softball fields at 30 different sites; bringing in an estimated $30 million in economic impact to Denver, Aurora, Westminster, and communities in Northern Colorado.

5) House some homeless

Those who are homeless in Killeen will have a place to stay this winter after the city cut a ribbon for its first homeless shelter Thursday night.

Families In Crisis, a local nonprofit organization, will operate the $1.4 million facility that will house up to 74 people.

According to a compilation of surveys by the Central Texas Homeless Alliance conducted earlier this year, 532 people identified themselves as homeless in the Killeen-Temple metropolitan area.

Larry Moehnke, Families in Crisis board president, said the shelter, at 412 E. Sprott Ave., will operate 365 days a year and provide housing for people from 3 p.m. until the next morning.

6) Riverfront Times suggested 10 better ways to spend St. Louis taxpayer money than building the $1.1 billion dollar stadium designed to replace Edward Jones. One stuck out for me:

5. Gift four years of undergrad tuition to 5,813 students at Washington University

7) On the topic of the 1.1 Billion dollar St. Louis stadium that never emerged

Inside Tuesday night’s fan meeting, the room turned tense as Nadra, a critic of the stadium proposal, questioned why officials were committing public money to the project without funding “40 years of neglect on the north side”.

“This isn’t the stage for that,” one fan shouted. “What made you so important?” went another, as jeers rained down from across the room.

Nadra continued. “Is the NFL interested in doing anything to promote the racial justice that has been misaligned here?”

Whatever the answer from NFL senior vice-president of public policy Cynthia Hogan may have been, few likely heard it. A group in the back had begun to chant: “If we don’t get it, shut it down,” while unveiling a banner that read “Fund Schools, Not Football.”

8) We could build grocery stores

Adults living in neighborhoods with supermarkets or with supermarkets and grocery stores have the lowest rates of obesity (21 percent) and overweight(60–62 percent) and those living in neighborhoods with no supermarkets and access to only convenience stores, smaller grocery stores, or both had the highest rates (32–40 percent obesity; 73–78 percent overweight), according to a study of more than 10,000 adults.

The lack of supermarket access corresponds with higher rates of diet related death in Philadelphia.

In Los Angeles, a longer distance traveled to reach a grocery store was associated with higher BMI. Those who traveled more than 1.75 miles to a supermarket weighed 0.8 BMI units more (4.8 pounds for a 5’5” person).

A national study of more than 70,000 teens also found that increased availability of chain supermarkets was associated with lower rates of overweight.

9A) We could build bike lanes

1. It inspires more people to ride bicycles

If you build it, they will come. Time and time again, cycling studies have shown that adding bike lanes motivates more people to get out and bike. New Orleans saw a 57% increase just six months after bike lanes were marked. Los Angeles also saw a 52% jump in cyclists on their new lanes. Meanwhile, New York City found it was able to double the number of people commuting by bicycle in just a few years after introducing a few cycling initiatives including bike lanes. In a country plagued by obesity, the health benefits of a population that rides bicycles should not be mitigated.

2. It stimulates the local economy

That same increased use also results in a boost to commerce. While communities often fight bike lanes out of concern that it will discourage vehicular traffic from coming to the stores, recent studies have shown that bicycle lanes have the opposite effect on sales. In Manhattan, streets that had bike lanes put in saw their business increase by nearly 50%. A business boom, particularly one of that size, can probably be attributed to a number of factors, but surely an increase in people in the area plays a big role. Similar results were found for businesses by bike lanes in Portland.

3. It’s safer for cyclists

Accidents happen, but research illustrates that city streets with bike lanes reduce the rate of cyclist injury by 50%. For years, the conventional wisdom was that sharing the lane with vehicles made for safer cycling, but data supports that having a separate lanes significantly cuts down on the number of cyclist emergency room visits. In fact, protected bike lanes – those with barriers dividing cyclists from vehicles – cuts the injury rate by a whopping 90%.

9B)Fund a community bike project

Volunteers and community activists in the Gifford Park Neighborhood started the Open Shop program in 2007 as a neighborhood-based community involvement program that focuses on the transportation needs of neighbors. The Bike Project continues to work to improve access to bicycles for everyone through Open Shop, Earn-a-Bike, and maintenance classes. In addition to serving as a hub for sustainable and equitable transportation, the Bike Project also serves as a social learning space that promotes youth mentorship, community building, and mechanical intelligence.

10) Build Libraries

To measure the value of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the library's economic influence and its benefits for its users, which were measured with time value....To measure users' benefits, the study measured the time that 1300 users spent at ht library. The value of the time used by each individual was calculated by applying the intermediate value of male and female wages in the area. The total value of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library was $3 per $1 of library expenses, and varied according tot he possibility of changes in time value offered by the users of the library. The library created $6.14 per $1 of budget provided by the city government.


In the study of Florida public libraries, a total of 17 public libraries were analyzed to assess the benefits to adult users who were 18 years of age or older; this study also considered the economic impact on these users....The analysis showed that approximately $6.40 of the total value per $1 of the budget was created.

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Thu Jan 14, 2016, 01:34 AM (10 replies)

Every Mayor in America Should Look at What Just Happened in St. Louis

Link to article at Mother Jones

On Tuesday, the league's owners voted to let the St. Louis Rams move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season and to build what's supposed to be the NFL's biggest stadium on the site of a one-time racetrack. (The NFL also gave the San Diego Chargers a year to decide whether to join the Rams or work out a new stadium deal, and promised $100 million to the Chargers and Oakland Raiders if they stay put in their respective markets.) Los Angeles officials already have lauded the Rams' homecoming as an economic boost to the region; the state-of-the-art stadium in Inglewood, expected to open in 2019, could cost upwards of $3 billion, with the Rams likely playing in the Coliseum until then.

Meanwhile, the city and county of St. Louis will still pay at least $6 million apiece per year until 2021 to pay off bonds sold to construct and maintain the Edward Jones Dome, which opened in 1995. (The Rams paid a meager $500,000 per year to use the dome.) And then there's the more than $3 million in public funds used to develop a $1 billion riverfront stadium proposal to keep the Rams—a pitch NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell knocked as "inadequate" and "unsatisfactory."

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Wed Jan 13, 2016, 11:55 PM (8 replies)

Ontario's Nipigon River bridge fails, severing Trans-Canada Highway

Source: CBC News

A newly constructed bridge in northern Ontario has heaved apart, indefinitely closing the Trans-Canada highway — the only road connecting Eastern and Western Canada.

The Nipigon River Bridge has been closed for "an indefinite time due to mechanical issues," according to the Ontario Provincial Police. The bridge remains open to pedestrian traffic.

Steven Del Duca, minister of transportation for Ontario, said in a statement late Sunday the ministry "will do everything they can do to restore the bridge quickly, while also making sure that the safety of the travelling public remains of paramount importance."

The west side of the bridge has pulled away from the abutment connecting it to the river bank's edge, lifting up about 60 centimetres.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/nipigon-river-bridge-closed-transcanada-1.3397831

From what I understand, those travelling across Canada are being urged to detour south through the Northern US.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Jan 11, 2016, 12:23 AM (72 replies)
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