Event on 2017-01-11 20:00:00
at House of Blues – Dallas
2200 N Lamar St
Dallas, United States
Mayor Anthony Williams in 2004. Williams leads the the Federal City Council, which has a a proposal to fix Metro: Blow up its founding document and start over. (Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post) By Robert McCartney November 19 at 5:50 PM Follow @McCartneyWP
Almost everybody agrees Metro’s governance structure and finances are broken. But almost nobody agrees about the best way to fix them.
Metro Chairman Jack Evans favors a federal board to take over Metro. Other top officials said that would be hoisting a white flag of surrender.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) wants a regionwide sales tax to pay the bills. Maryland and Virginia say “wait” or “no way.”
Now the Federal City Council, an influential business and civic group led by former D.C. mayor Anthony A. Williams, has joined the debate with a plan to rally the region around a proposal to start all over again. The best way to fix the troubled transit agency is to blow it up, the council says.
In an opinion article for Sunday’s Washington Post, the council urges a rewriting of the Metro compact, or founding document. The amendments would shrink and professionalize Metro’s board of directors, weaken union protections and require area governments to provide a reliable stream of funds.
“Without making extreme changes, we will perpetuate the degradation of the system, its safety and its benefit to the region,” the article says. It was signed by two top area business executives, Robert J. Flanagan and W. Edward Walter. Flanagan is chairman of the Federal City Council, and Walter is its vice chairman.
The proposal, issued after more than a year of study, serves as a guide to the structural problems that have contributed to Metro’s troubles with safety, reliability, lack of maintenance and underinvestment.
Previous studies also have identified these shortcomings, such as a lack of a dedicated tax or other funding source, and a board of directors struggling with split loyalties to Metro and to the jurisdictions that appointed them to the board.
This reform effort may succeed where others have failed, because the council and Williams, its executive director, enjoy high regard throughout the region. Williams said in an interview that the council plans to solicit support from the region’s employers, nonprofit organizations, transit advocates and others.
“We’re out to build a coalition of the willing,” Williams said. “We hope and believe that by the time we finish, we’ll represent a consensus of the broad leadership across the DMV,” he said, using the initials for the District, Maryland and Virginia.
But the initiative risks running aground on the same political shoals that sank earlier reform efforts.
In particular, union-friendly politicians in the District and Maryland are likely to resist the council’s proposal to drop the requirement that disputes over labor contracts be settled through binding arbitration.
Such arbitration was put in the compact originally in exchange for unions’ promise not to stage strikes. Critics say it has effectively guaranteed that labor costs rise with each round of negotiations.
Separately, Republican state legislators in Virginia have vowed to oppose tax increases that might be needed to give Metro a dedicated source of revenue. Even Fairfax County’s top Democrat, Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, said the failure of this month’s referendum on levying a meals tax in Fairfax was a strong sign that county voters also would reject higher taxes to fund Metro.
Finally, there’s the perennial challenge of getting all four jurisdictions responsible for Metro — the District, Maryland, Virginia and the federal government — to agree on anything big. Divisions among their representatives on the Metro board have repeatedly stymied progress there.
The Federal City Council has an unusual idea for breaking that impasse. It says the federal government ought to threaten to take over Metro temporarily by some specified date, perhaps in 12 months, if the city and the two states do not make the necessary reforms on their own.
The prospect of a takeover serves as “a sword or a heavy hand to come in and take the corrective action that you otherwise can’t,” Williams said. “If you can’t come to a desired result, then you’ve got this kind of undesired alternative.”
But it isn’t clear that Congress or the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump would go along. Area officials said they have no idea what attitude Trump would have toward Metro, or whether Congress would be willing to get involved.
Trump has proposed a massive increase in spending on infrastructure, but much of the rest of the GOP would prefer to invest in roads rather than transit.
Spokesmen for Bowser, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said they had not seen the full proposal from the Federal City Council and could not comment. But Bowser’s office said the mayor would support revising the compact under certain conditions.
“Opening the compact is worth it as long as negotiations are focused on safety, reliability, adding the federal government as a financial partner, and securing a regional, dedicated funding source,” said Bowser’s chief of staff, John Falcicchio.
Evans, the Metro chairman, was enthusiastic that Williams, who usually prefers to work behind the scenes, was becoming publicly involved. He cited Williams’s experience in helping to rescue the District from its budget crisis in the 1990s.
“Tony is very well respected,” said Evans, who also is a Democratic member of the D.C. Council, representing Ward 2. “He was an architect of restructuring of the District’s finances and governance. He would be a good ally in redoing the governance structure and financial structure of Metro.”
The council echoed Evans’s desire, expressed earlier, to reduce the number of Metro directors from 16 to make it easier to reach consensus. It also endorsed his proposal to fill the board with individuals who have professional experience in transportation or management, and who do not have divided responsibilities.
“There is a clear conflict between the roles of representing the jurisdiction and representing the [transit] authority — it’s real,” said Emeka Moneme, the council’s deputy executive director. Moneme, a former District transportation director and Metro board member, oversees the council’s work on transit and infrastructure.
Another Metro board member, Jim Corcoran, who also heads the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, predicted that the proposal would get support from the region’s business leaders.
“With a clear-cut and balanced presentation, I think the business community could certainly support changing the compact,” Corcoran said.
A wary note was struck by Roger Berliner, chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. He has been helping to lead an effort to obtain regionwide agreement on a plan for dedicated funding to be submitted to the Maryland and Virginia legislatures in early 2018.
Berliner, who also is a Democratic member of the Montgomery County Council, representing Potomac-Bethesda, was concerned that a debate over the compact would distract attention from the push for reliable revenue.
“To the extent that other issues are put on the table, it makes obtaining dedicated funding dicier,” Berliner said.
Williams said it was necessary to correct Metro’s unwieldy governance structure to assure area jurisdictions that taxpayer funds would be well spent. Once the region agreed to commit more money, he said, the Republican-controlled Congress might be persuaded to contribute funds as well.
He said that the proposal to weaken labor protections would not lead to massive job reductions but that unions needed to make concessions.
“We’re not talking about firing a lot of people, but we do think that everybody’s got to contribute,” he said.
Asked why he thought the Federal City Council’s initiative could succeed where previous reform efforts have failed, Williams shrugged and said: “It’s a big, heavy lift, but we do heavy lift here. That’s what we do.”
Radiojar is a social music platform that allows anyone to create their own web radio station without spending loads of time finding the right software and hardware to get started. The Athens, Greece based start-up wants to add the human element to online music which we are currently lacking with services like Pandora, Slacker Radio and Spotify. Here is a interview I had last week with RadioJar’s co-Founder Stathis Koutsogeorgos about the his company’s creation, the future of web radio and the environment for start-ups with the instability in Greece’s economy.
What inspired the creation of Radiojar?
Our first idea was to build something that allowed online DJing among friends. Based on this concept in 2009, we begun researching what technology we could use to achieve it. We realized early in 2010 that there was a huge gap in the solutions available online for internet radio stations, and started to investigate this market further. We ended up developing a prototype for the server-side live stream mixing, and then continued focused on internet radio to come up with Radiojar in 2011.
Besides the lack of the human element, why do you think online radio is so stagnant?
People expect more interaction and control when they experience something online. The new, internet-only radio stations know this well and are adapting and we’re here to help them do it with a reduced cost. The terrestrial radio stations that simply broadcast the same stream online appear dated and non-interesting to an online audience: They are too corporate and standardised, and they are tightly regulated by playlists. We can help them get an internet strategy and expand on it.
I noticed that RadioJar is working on some pretty advanced technology. What has the development process been like?
We have been trying to find technological solutions that are as open as possible, trustworthy, reasonably priced, play well with others and allow us to scale. We’re implementing a complex platform, so we have to use many different technologies to achieve the result we’re aiming for and we’ve found the above guidelines have served us well in keeping things smooth and simple. We believe in open source software and we try to contribute as much as we can to the communities of the software solutions we’re using.
How has the start-up community been affected by the instability of the economy in Greece?
It is true that there is much pessimism and uncertainty for the future, but somehow networking forums and entrepreneurship events are blossoming. This caused a new wave of entrepreneurial activity in Greece and the future looks promising. We’re very optimistic. Things are tough, but there are always opportunities, even within a recession.
What do you think web radio will look like in the future?
We are witnessing a huge change in the web radio field. Numbers of internet radio listeners are growing every day (as opposed to terrestrial radio listeners), and this creates a need for quality, competitive online radio, strong enough to resist against other music related services. We believe that this, in conjunction with the new technology we’re bringing to the field, will lead to an increase in live, interactive shows that engage listeners in new and more meaningful ways.
What are some of the challenges you guys are currently facing?
We’re self-funded, so we’re in a constant battle to meet our targets while staying in budget. We are looking into securing some investments that will allow us to grow in the long term. As our project gets closer to launch, we’re facing the challenge of how to better reach our target market, offer a valuable service and stay relevant.
Kelland L. Drumgoole CEO of http://www.SoSoActive.com
Seasoned music industry veteran focusing on evangelizing music innovation and disruptive technologies within the digital music space.
2016 ProFamily Legislators Conference
Event on 2016-11-10 16:00:00
2016 ProFamily Legislators Conference Early – Legislator/Spouse/Teen – 9.00 Early-Leg. Staff/Public Policy Organization Leader – 9.00 Legislator/Spouse/Teen – 9 – 9.00 Leg. Staff/Public Policy Organization Leader -9 – 9.00
at Omni Dallas Hotel
555 S Lamar St
Dallas, United States
Bryce Milligan Book Launch
Event on 2016-10-27 19:00:00
Join us in celebrating the launch of Bryce Milligan’s Take to the Highway: Arabesques for Travelers, a collection of poems and prose poems. With readings from Bryce Milligan and W. Joe Hoppe, and music from Bryce.
“Bryce Milligan’s Take to the Highway is a book of big heart, big mind, and a big eight-cylinder engine, bringing poems—especially the stretched out prose poems—of distinction and evocative power.” —Jane Hirshfield, author of The Beauty and Ten Windows
“Take to the Highway is indeed about highways, but more crucially it’s about journeys, and about the intricate memory map of human consciousness. It’s a great pleasure to follow Bryce Milligan along side roads, detours, switchbacks, and eerily beckoning paths; and to encounter at the end a design, a destination, a questing mind at peace.” —Stephen Harrigan, author of The Gates of the Alamo
Bryce Milligan is an author working in numerous genres, from children’s books to novels for young adults, to adult poetry and criticism. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, PEN American Center, and the Texas Institute of Letters, his reviews and essays have appeared in many journals and newspapers, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, et al. The founding editor of Pax: A Journal for Peace through Culture (1983-1987) and (with Roberto Bonazzi) Vortex: A Critical Review (1986-1990), he directed the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s literature program and its San Antonio Inter-American Book Fair and Latina Letters conferences for several years. Milligan has been the publisher, editor and book designer of Wings Press since 1995. Milligan was the primary editor of Daughters of the Fifth Sun: A Collection of Latina Fiction and Poetry (Riverhead, 1995), which was the first all-Latina anthology to be published by a major American publishing house. He is the author of four historical novels and short story collections for young adults. He is also the author of six previous collections of poetry. His poetry and his song lyrics have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Southwest Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Cutthroat, Clover, and Texas Observer, among others. Once upon a time, he was a working luthier and a singer/songwriter (twice a semi-finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folks songwriting competition). He has taught English and creative writing at every level, including workshops from California to Prague. Milligan is a recipient of the Gemini Ink “Award for Literary Excellence” and the St. Mary’s University President’s Peace Commission’s “Art of Peace Award” for “creating work that enhances human understanding through the arts.”
W. Joe Hoppe’s poems have appeared in Analecta, Borderlands, Cider Press Review, Di*Verse*Cities, Nerve Cowboy, Utter, and The Blanton Museum of Art’s Poetry Project. His poems have been anthologized in Stand Up Poetry, How to be This Man, gumballpoetry.com, and Beatest State in the Union. Joe’s one-of-a-kind poetry video, “00 MSTA,” has been shown at the Dallas Video Festival, San Antonio Underground Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, and VideoEx in Zurich, Switzerland. His books include a collection of short stories, Harmon Place (1991) from Primal Press, a poetry collection, Galvanized (2007), from Dalton Publishing, and a second poetry collection, Diamond Plate (2012), from Obsolete Press. Hoppe is the Poet Lariat of Austin’s intellectual variety show The Dionysium. He has hosted numerous poetry events at Austin’s Malvern Books, including interviews of local poets, a reading and discussion of Emily Dickinson, a communal performance of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl celebrating its 60th anniversary, and an annual memorial reading for the late, great Austin poet Albert Huffstickler. He is currently finishing up a four-year effort to get a customized ’51 Plymouth Cranbrook roadworthy for a trip down Route 66 in the summer of 2017. Hoppe is an Associate Professor in English and Creative Writing at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas.
at Malvern Books
613 W 29th St
Austin, United States
Encountering The Supernatural 2016
Event on 2016-10-27 18:00:00
Become saturated in the Supernatural with Renny McLean Ministries. This four day event will increase your desire to worship and challenge your thinking. You will ascend into a new realm with the speakers we have lined up. See you soon! HOSTED BY Renny Mclean Ministries Dr. Renny McLean Dr. Marina McLean ACCOMODATIONS DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Dallas Near the Galleria 4099 Valley View Lane Dallas,Texas 75244 972-385-9000 Holiday Inn Express & Suites North Dallas at Preston 6055 LBJ Freeway Dallas, Texas 75240 United States (972)404-4500 Just call for Hotel Reservations Hotel Shuttle will take you to and from the Conference ***** LIMITED V.I.P. SEATING ***** More Info contact: Office (817)283-3537
at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dallas Near the Galleria
4099 Valley View Lane
Dallas, United States