Thursday, February 26, 2009

How I'm Voting for Transportation on March 3

Mayor: Craig X Rubin

Ok, everyone get your laughs that I'm going for the legalizing medical marijuana guy. Ok, are you done? Let's move on.

When it comes to a transportation platform, Rubin has the best one and for that reason he gets my vote. First, half the candidates fail the simple test of supporting the Subway to the Sea leaving us with just a handfull left: Villaraigosa, Craig X Rubin, Phil Jennerjahn, and Carlos Alvarez.

I couldn't find Alvarez's website. So we can cross him off the list. Villaraigosa has a poor record when it comes to cyclists both as Metro Board Chair and Mayor so we can cross him as well.

That leaves me with Jennerjahn and Rubin. A quick look at their plans reveals a superior one for Rubin who actually has a transportation plan. I think some of it won't pass muster, but because he mentions bike lanes he gets my vote. That's right, the transportation platforms of the candidates are so bad, that just mentioning building bike lanes gets a nod from me.

Comptroller: Wendy Greuel

I've had a couple conversations with Greuel over the past year about several transportation issues and always found her to be knowledgable and interested. Personally, I think she's a little to into speeding up traffic and increasing car capacity; but she's also shown a good grasp of bike issues and transit issues. Heck, she even has a whole page devoted to transit issues on her campaign website.

Where I am most hopeful is that she would build on her record of supporting car-sharing and Current Comptroller Laura Chick's reporting on the city's take-home car program to bring us a new way of provifing vehicles to city staff. At Streetsblog I've talked a lot about the "Philadelphia model" of car-sharing where the government drastically cuts its take-home vehicle program and replaces it by supporting a car sharing program.

If we want real car-share back in L.A., this is probably the only way we're going to see it.

City Council 5th District: Robert Schwartz

I like some of Schwartz's more creative ideas and some of the breath of knowledge he's shown on particular issues. For example, take this from his issues page:

Recent news that school districts are cutting back on bus service for students creates a host of new problems but also presents opportunities. Too many of our local schools can only be safely reached by school bus or car. We need to change this by improving intersections, bike routes, and sidewalks so that students do not need a motorized vehicle to get to class.

I think I would vote for any candidate that is willing to publicly state you don't need an engine to get to school.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Internet Skills Class - taught by Joe Linton and Damien Newton

Extra, Extra...

Upcoming Classes - All classes 7pm to 9pm:
Wednesdays February 18th and 25th 2009
Tuedays March 17th and 24th 2009
Additional Classes TBA

Classes take place at the Bresee Foundation: 184 Bimini Place, LA CA 90004 (one block east of Vermont Avenue at 2nd Street.)

$35 for early bird payment (up to one week before the class), and $40 late registration (space permitting.) We’re planning to set up a place where you can charge this on your credit card, but it’s not set up yet. For now, email us (linton.joe [at] gmail [dot] com) to check class status and arrange for payment.


Are you looking to promote and grow your cause, non-profit or business? Do you know there’s a lot more to the internet, but don’t know how to get started? If so, then we can help.

The course will cover easy-to-use internet tools that are free and can help your organization. The course will cover easy-to-use internet tools that are free to use and can help your organization. The only thing you need is an internet connection; no computer programming, special programs nor special hardware required. Tools help you reach constituents, promote events, and get your message out. Improve your web presence without breaking your bank. Subjects covered include: bookmarking, social networking, blogging and blog readers, email lists, alerts, photo/video/document sharing and wikis. Each subject will be explained and demonstrated, then attendees will engage in hands-on activities.


Prerequisites for the class include proficiency with:

 - email (any web-browser-accessible)
- web browser (firefox or explorer,) and
- basic internet searching (Google, Yahoo, etc.)Prior to the class, we will survey students to understand which subjects to emphasize. Course materials include handouts with listing of websites and basic instructions and recommendations.


Joe Linton is an artist and activist, living at Los Angeles Eco-Village in Koreatown, Los Angeles. He wrote and illustrated Down by the Los Angeles River: Friends of the Los Angeles River’s Official Guide, published by Wilderness Press in 2005. He blogs at

Damien Newton is the writer/editor of Los Angeles Streetsblog,, and lives in Los Angeles’ Fairfax District. He’s an experienced activist, fighting to defend fish and crosswalks. He holds degrees in political science from Johns Hopkins and communications from American University.


What topics does the course cover?
Here’s a list of what we cover. We’ll survey folks signed up for the class to understand what to emphasize and what not to. We’ll cover where to find these, how to use them, and how they can serve your organization.

 - Cloud Computing
- Social Bookmarking: examples - Delicious, Google Bookmarks
- Social Networking: examples - Facebook, Myspace, Linked-In, Twitter
- Meeting Scheduling: examples - Meeting Wizard
- Blogging: examples - Wordpress, Blogger/Blogspot, Typepad
- Blog RSS Readers: examples - Google Reader, Bloglines
- Alerts: examples - Google Alerts
- Message boards: examples - Proboards
- Email listserves: examples - Googlegroups, Yahoogroups
- Photo Sharing: examples - Flickr, Google, Photobucket, Picasa
- Video Sharing: examples - YouTube, Vimeo
- Document Sharing: examples - GoogleDocs
- Calendaring: examples - Google Calendar
- Wikis: examples - Wet Paint
- Task Lists: examples - Remember the Milk, Tiddlywikis

Who should attend the class?
Anyone interested in increasing their web presence by using easy free tools. Materials are appropriate for activists, environmentalists, non-profits, arts organizations, small businesses, churches, and others. The course is especially good for folks who would be potentially interested in blogging, but need some guidance on getting going.

Do I need high-tech hardware or expensive software for this?
No - all the material covered is available using a web browser (explorer, firefox.) No special hardware or software needed.

Questions about the class? - email linton.joe [at] gmail [dot] com