DC Water Prefers Green Infrastructure, Despite Uncertainties

Unknown-1By Thomas Hedges – Find his reports at Truthdig

George Hawkins faced a tough question when he became General Manager of the DC Water and Sewer Authority in 2009. Should DC Water stick to the 2005 federal consent decree, which requires it start building three new tunnels in 2015 to deal with combined sewer and storm water overflow as part of its Long-Term Control Plan (LTCP), or should it reopen discussions with the EPA in an effort to give green infrastructure, which is not as reliable as are tunnels, a bigger role in the project? 

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Cabbies Must Sign Major Contracts in Coming Days

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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Taxi-StandIn the coming days, an unknown number of D.C. cabbies will sign major contracts with Payment Service Providers (PSPs), as required by the taxi commission.

While PSPs have attorneys, most cabbies don’t and they may end up on the short end of these contracts, but that doesn’t appear to be a major concern of the commission’s. “I haven’t seen any of the contracts,” D.C. taxi chair Ron Linton told TheFightBack. “We’re letting them decide. They’re going to have to deal with those issues.”  Continue reading

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UberX “coming to DC!”, Taxi Chair Says Not So Fast

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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Screen_Shot_2013_07_25_at_5.04.13_PMd5c532.1b36fdd2b8088In the coming weeks, Uber, the smart phone app and luxury sedan service, will bring its uberX service to D.C., according to an email sent to a local cabbie from “The Uber DC Team.” “uberX is coming to DC!” declares the email’s subject line. But D.C. taxi chair Ron Linton says not so fast.  Continue reading

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Gaylord Hotel Broke Law, May Do It Again

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PG cabbies hold press conference at county offices

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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The week began with Prince George’s County cabbies, the AFL-CIO and the local chapter of the NAACP saying Gaylord National Resort had run afoul of county law on July 17. By week’s end, county officials were saying the same thing.

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Cabbie Safety in the Spotlight

Solomon Okoroh's casket. Photo courtesy of Russ Ptacek

Solomon Okoroh’s casket. Photo courtesy of Russ Ptacek

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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The movement for greater awareness surrounding violence against cab drivers recently received a boost from an unlikely source. In a series of sting operations, WUSA9 reporter Russ Ptacek has portrayed D.C. cabbies as discriminatory, without mentioning the dangers drivers face. But that changed last week with Ptacek’s report on the funeral service for Solomon Okoroh.

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Taxi Smart Meters May Face Uber Problems

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Yellow Cab general manager Roy Spooner discusses the Modern Taximeter System on ABC7

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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By Sept. 1, 42 days from now, all District cabs must install the Modern Taximeter System (MTS), which includes a credit card reader. But it was only Wednesday that the D.C. Taxicab Commission voted (yet again) on permanent rulemakings for MTS, leaving companies and cabbies with insufficient time to successfully make the switch, according to driver and company testimony at this week’s taxi commission meeting.

“You’ve written a regulation but you’re not looking at the facts on the street,” Yellow Cab general manager Roy Spooner told the commissioners. “I got the official go-ahead yesterday [to install MTS] and this morning I got a note that there was a bug with it.”  Continue reading

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Debating Cabbie Safety and Discrimination

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WUSA 9 reporter Russ Ptacek

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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Should a cab driver be forced to pick up a passenger even if he feels his safety is in jeopardy? The law, and WUSA 9′s Russ Ptacek, say this is a risk drivers are required to take.

“These are people who have chosen to do jobs where there are risks,” said Ptacek. “We can’t put ourselves in the role of choosing who we’re going to serve.”  Continue reading

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National Harbor’s Invisible Men

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photo by Tami Gragert

Nestled along the shores of the Potomac River, just over the D.C. line in Prince George’s County, is a privately-owned $3 billion resort and mini-city, that’s growing.

The Peterson Company likely couldn’t have built National Harbor without hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars invested in the harbor’s roads and other infrastructure needs.

The public investment was worth it, officials explained at the time, because it would bring jobs. But fast-forward five years and the promise of local jobs seems a distant one, at least when it comes to taxis.  Continue reading

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Change to Come, Says Taxi Chair

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A driver asks Linton a question at the town hall

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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At a standing-room-only town hall Wednesday, D.C. Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton told cab drivers that the commission will make changes in how it handles complaints against them. Drivers say the present system, which can result in large fines and even suspension or revocation of their licenses, lacks due process. “We’re going to tighten up the process,” Linton said.  Continue reading

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Taxi chair agrees to town hall

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Photo courtesy of foxbaltimore.com

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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D.C. taxi chair Ron Linton has agreed to do a town hall with The Taxi Link (details below). “I appreciate this opportunity,” Linton said. “I’m really looking forward to [it] and I hope there’s a good turnout.” Linton is attending Wednesday’s town hall despite concerns over The Taxi Link’s recent show focusing on the complaint process against drivers, an issue that’s sure to come up.  Continue reading

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