Monday, September 24, 2012

Ride the bus ‘like a pro’

Rogue Valley Transportation District bus
Image source: Rogue Valley Transportation District on Facebook
If I was in Medford, Ore. today, I could learn to ride the bus “like a pro” courtesy of Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD). A bus commuter skills class takes place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Medford’s Santo Center.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cyclist Fiedler updates blog at libraries

Bicycle packed with camping gear
Derek Fiedler/Bike and Thrive Tour
One of the most intriguing columns in American Libraries magazine, published by the American Library Association, is How the World Sees Us. It features statements about libraries curated from a variety of sources.

These statements fascinate me for their insight into how people perceive libraries.

A recent feature by Record-Bee columnist Peyton Clarkson features such a public perception, as expressed by 23-year-old cyclist Derek Fiedler during his Bike and Thrive tour in August.

As related by Clarkson:
“Traveling from Portland, Ore. to Boulder, Colo. with nothing more than his steel-framed Bianchi bike and about 50 pounds of gear, Fiedler rode an average of 90 miles a day, sometimes as many as 120 miles, to complete his journey from Aug. 4 to 29.
“‘My ultimate goal was to find a way of traveling based on my own power with the perfect balance of enjoyment, suffering and exploring, also to find freedom. Unlike hitchhiking, you are not relying on other people or petroleum gas, just your own power. It felt completely liberating,’ Fiedler said.”
Fiedler documented his tour on his Tumblr account. “But maintaining an Internet presence in the middle of a national forest is not easy.”

The solution? Fiedler maintained his blog at libraries:
“‘I stopped at 20 to 25 libraries. They are really our society’s bastion of information. Like public transportation, public libraries are a great way to be self-sustaining,’ Fiedler said.”
This library volunteer thanks you, Fiedler and Clarkson, for highlighting the role of libraries in being able to communicate online.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Water on tap for presidential inauguration

According to Corporate Accountability International (CAI), U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has committed to ensuring that tap water will be served at the presidential inauguration.
“New York Sen. Charles Schumer said in a letter to Corporate Accountability International that just as Washington tap water is available in the Capitol every day, it will be available at inaugural ceremonies.”
Schumer heads the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

As reported by HuffPost: DC on Aug. 23,  Schumer announced in August that New York-based Saratoga Springs Water would supply water for the inauguration.

CAI credited public outcry and national media attention with Schumer’s changed stance.

In a letter, George S. Hawkins, general manager of the D.C. water authority, asked Schumer to serve tap water instead of bottled water. The letter said tap water costs 1 penny per gallon, while bottled water costs 100 times more.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lakeport needs more bus shelters

Lake Transit sign with yarnbombing tag
 Lake Transit stop near the Lakeport Library
(with a yarn bombing tag, but that's another story)
When a fellow bus commuter learned I was going to write about the need for waste containers at Lake Transit stops, she brought up what has been another concern: the absence of any benches and shelters at many Lakeport stops.

There were major bus stop improvements during 2011-12 as noted in the annual report on the Aug. 8 Lake Transit Authority agenda.

The report credits partnerships with Konocti Unified School District, Clearlake Rotary Club and Lake County Public Works for major improvements to several stops.

 I am profoundly grateful for the shelter from which I begin my commute to work. But I would like to suggest a target area for improvements in the coming year.