Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tuesday's Commute

It should be a lot shorter than yesterday:

"Balanced budgets and crumbling garages are a sign of the times at the T" by Adam Vaccaro Globe Staff  August 13, 2018

The MBTA is in rare health, disclosing Monday that it finished its most recent fiscal year with balanced books for the first time in a decade, but the MBTA is also falling apart in some places, the sudden closure of the crumbling Alewife garage over the weekend the most recent example of years of deferred maintenance coming home to roost.

These dueling images of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority emerged Monday, underscoring that the management reforms trumpeted by the Baker administration have not always delivered a more reliable system to frustrated commuters.....


Related(?)Baker is officially running for reelection

Globe is fact-checking him for any whiff of $candal (and not a word since, and how odd that his wife would end up dead).

The Globe then gets into contortions about the VA before I flip above the fold for these:

"What’s the craziest thing about a $16,000 college application boot camp: that it has a wait list, or its secret location?" by Beth Teitell Globe Staff  August 14, 2018

Are you doing enough to get your kid into college? Are you sure? Have you hired a former CIA operative to scrub your kid’s social media presence? Are Hollywood screenwriters helping zip the college essay? Do you have a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center interventional radiologist positioning your high schooler for the medical school track?

Wait until you see who is grading them.

Did your child just finish the four-day, $16,000 Application Boot Camp at a Boston-area hotel — a program so hot that cofounder Michele Hernandez Bayliss wants the location kept secret? “We’ve literally had reporters and competitors trying to stalk” us, she e-mailed the Globe.

Going to be an officer then?

When it comes to college consultants, nothing is too extreme. With applications at elite colleges rising — and acceptance rates plummeting as a result — so many wealthy parents are so desperate for any edge it’s as if satirist Sacha Baron Cohen is at work, trying to see what people will buy.

That leaves me out.

How about $5,000 or more for a summer expert to help your teenager “find his passion” and “architect a plan” that includes brand-building volunteer, educational, or work opportunities? The goal is to build a summer resume that will look good on the college application.

“Parents come to us and say, ‘What is the one program that is going to get my child into the college they dream of?’ ” said Jill Tipograph, the founder of Everything Summer & Beyond. “But there’s no ‘program.’ It’s about [a student’s] entire story.”

In the Boston area, the average consulting package — which includes a college list, essay and interview prep, and organizational tools and general advice — costs about $4,800, according to Mark Sklarow, CEO of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, a trade group, but it’s possible to spend $80,000 or more for star consultants.

That’s a lot of money. In some cases enough for an entire college education, when you consider that in the 2017-18 school year, the average published price for tuition and fees and room and board for in-state students at public four-year universities was $20,770, according to the College Board, which administers the SAT, but with parental panic mounting, the consultant business is booming.....

You know what? 

You fill it out. 


I did get trapped into reading half of this after being fully ensured on what was above

I'm sure Sessions will have something to say about that.


"In an unprecedented move, all West Virginia Supreme Court justices are impeached" by John Raby Associated Press  August 14, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia lawmakers completed the extraordinary move of impeaching all four state Supreme Court justices Monday night for spending issues, including a suspended justice facing a 23-count federal indictment.

The state House of Delegates voted to impeach Justice Allen Loughry on eight articles, setting the stage for a trial in the state Senate. Beth Walker became the final justice to be impeached when an article was approved stating all four justices abused their authority. It said they failed to control office expenses, including more than $1 million in renovations to their individual offices, and not maintaining policies over matters such as working lunches and the use of state vehicles and office computers at home.

Walker had dodged impeachment earlier Monday night when lawmakers decided to overlook her $131,000 in spending on office renovations. A short time later, another article was withdrawn against Chief Justice Margaret Workman, who spent $111,000 in renovations.

Yeah, if only women were in charge

All of a sudden the Globe's blatant agenda-pushing version of elite femini$m makes a lot of $en$e!

Justice Robin Davis was impeached for $500,000 in office renovations. And lawmakers approved articles against Loughry for spending $363,000 in renovations to his office; having a $42,000 antique desk and computers, all owned by the state, at his home; lying to the House Finance Committee about taking home the desk and a $32,000 suede leather couch; and for his personal use of state vehicles.

Meanwhile, West Virginians are toiling away in coal mines -- maybe -- or Walmarts and McDonalds. 

Hey, the judiciary is a per$onal fiefdom.

Loughry, Workman, and Davis also were impeached for their roles in allowing senior status judges to be paid higher than allowed wages. Lawmakers say the overpayments violated state law and stopped when they were challenged by the Internal Revenue Service.

Another impeachment article was withdrawn dealing with an accusation Loughry used state money to frame personal items at his office.

I haven't highlighted anything because the arrogant sense of entitlement to tax loot is not only astonishing, it's outrageous, and the way they toss around money like it's nothing.

F***in' country is broke upon the back of corruption, folks. Doesn't matter what letter is after your name.

Minority Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee that approved the articles last week had tried to speed up the impeachment process in the hopes of beating an Aug. 14 deadline for arranging a special election in November if any justice is removed from office or leaves office. Instead, the committee took its time, even conducting a tour of the state Supreme Court offices earlier this month.

Governor Jim Justice, a Republican, will be allowed to appoint new justices to replace any who were impeached — with no requirement that they be from the same party as the incumbent.

Democrats have accused Republicans of attempting to wrest the court away from voters, who elected the current justices in nonpartisan elections.

Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer of Monongalia County said Democrats agreed all along there was enough to recommend Loughry’s impeachment, but she said going after the other justices ‘‘was a power grab, was a takeover of the court, and using the impeachment process to take over another branch of government.’’

Why did Trump just enter my mind?

‘‘We’re taking away from the people,’’ she said.

Some legislators said they didn’t support impeaching any justice for wasteful spending, only for articles pertaining to lying, cheating or stealing, but John Shott, a Mercer County Republican who chaired the House Judiciary Committee hearings that drew up the impeachment articles, asked whether there is public confidence in the court, and if not, ‘‘we need to take action to try to rebuild that trust.’’

Then it's over for the court.


They should be thankful they aren't in Nebraska.

"Drenching rains close roads, prompt rescues in Penn." Associated Press  August 14, 2018

DARBY, Pa. — Overnight rains triggered flash flooding in parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania on Monday, closing a heavily traveled interstate and sending water into homes in the mountainous coal regions.

The National Weather Service said there were numerous reports of 6 inches of rain or more in Schuylkill and Columbia counties. In the Benton area north of Bloomsburg, Fishing Creek spilled from its banks Monday.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency said a helicopter rescue was planned for people on roofs in that part of northern Columbia County, but the weather needed to clear before a helicopter could take off. High water in Port Carbon prompted firefighters to launch rescue boats and rafts. Parts of Pottsville were inundated, and three shelters were set up.

Schuylkill County’s emergency management director, John Matz, said water levels were starting to fall by early afternoon Monday.....


They are giving ground in Florida, too.

Then there is poor Pierre Desir

Have they found the car yet?

RelatedMan fatally shot in Mattapan was a Boston city worker

Almost missed my flight:

"Theft of passenger plane spurs industrywide review of airport security" Associated Press  August 14, 2018

SEATTLE — The theft of a 76-seat plane from the Seattle airport by a ground crew employee is prompting an industrywide review of how to thwart such insider security threats.

See: Monday Morning Commute

Yeah, this lame and unbelievable piece pos story stunk from the very start.

Investigators are continuing to piece together how 3½-year Horizon Air employee Richard Russell stole the empty Bombardier Q400 turboprop Friday and took off on a roughly 75-minute flight, executing steep banks and even a barrel roll while being tailed by fighter jets.

He finally crashed into a forested island south of Seattle.

Russell was killed. No one else was hurt. In a conversation with an air-traffic controller, he described himself as ‘‘just a broken guy’’ but didn’t want to hurt anyone else. 

I don't know why.

Did you know the pay for piloting a plane like that "rose to almost $38,600 in January from $24,355 in 2014, a 58 percent increase?"

I mean, if you can learn how to fly off a video game like he did you just found yourself work.

Port of Seattle Commissioner Courtney Gregoire called the theft from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport ‘‘truly a one-in-a-million experience,’’ but added, ‘‘That doesn’t mean we can’t learn from it.’’

She said officials have been in touch with other airports and airlines to begin to assess procedures.

Sea-Tac has added guards in the cargo area where the plane was parked.


I was hoping this kind of shit was going to end with Trump. How naive was I.

The latest from the Globe is that the plane was hit by lightning from a flying saucer (I'm going to skip the workout today).


Prosecution rests in Manafort tax evasion and fraud trial

Nothing but a rehash of all the coverage so far.

Kansas GOP governor candidates dig in for long ballot fight

Let me know when the final results of the fix, 'er, result are in.


"Florida election officials said their voting system is safe despite reports that two 11-year-olds hacked a replica of the state election website. Multiple media outlets reported over the weekend that children at a hacking conference in Las Vegas were able to easily get into a version of the website that reports election results to the public. State officials contend there’s no way that the replica used by hackers is an actual representation of the state’s website. In a separate development....." 

They must be Russian agents then, right, and on their way to employment in the US government or software security industry.

UPDATE: Florida police officer shot in standoff drama


Time to say no to L’Italien

I guess she's not tough enough if the Globe is harboring doubts.


4 more State Police troopers are eyed in overtime fraud scandal

Below the B-section fold is the Bryon Hefner case and the plagiarism flap that ruined the Boston Book Festival. 


More war (for the environment this time). 


"The owner of a Boston home health care agency was sentenced on Friday to two to three years in state prison for stealing millions of dollars from MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. Elena Kurbatzky, 45, who owned Harmony Home Health Care LLC, was found to have billed MassHealth for in-home services to 38 patients, though most of the services were not provided or authorized, prosecutors said. She was convicted of three counts of Medicaid false claims, three counts of larceny over $250 by false pretenses, and one count of Medicaid member eligibility fraud, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office announced Monday. “The defendant stole millions from MassHealth and took advantage of patients and taxpayers,” Healey said in a statement. As a MassHealth member herself, Kurbatzky also failed to disclose that she was paid $2.6 million by Harmony over two years. This made her ineligible for the program, but she billed MassHealth for services she said she received from her own company. An audit in 2016 found that nine home care companies, not including Harmony, had defrauded the state of more than $20 million....."

So what happened to Natan

I don't even want to speculate on their choice of faith.

Meanwhile, look who $ecured funding!

It’s like watching his father’s death all over again

To be or not.

Judge rejects bid for certain evidence against Nathan Carman in N.H. lawsuit

I so often find myself saying who cares about more and more stories in the Globe these days.


Vineyard Wind has a big selling point for its power

Think that will get it pa$t the richers?

1,400 sheet metal workers end 12-day strike

So how is it going over at National Grid (they have been off it ever since)?


Fax machines may be vulnerable to hackers

According to a new report from Israel-based software company Check Point(!), and I gue$$ if anybody would know, they would!

Elon Musk says meetings with Saudis preceded tweet on taking Tesla private

He's moving manufacturing to where?


"Bayer’s stock slumped 10 percent Monday, three days after a California jury awarded $289 million to a former groundskeeper who said the popular weed killer Roundup gave him terminal cancer. The decline sent a cautionary signal to the German company that acquired Monsanto, the maker of the weed killer, in June for $63 billion. Monsanto is already facing hundreds of lawsuits claiming Roundup carries deadly heath hazards. At the time of a May 2017 CNN investigation, more than 800 patients were suing Monsanto and pointing to Roundup as the cause of their cancer. Since then, hundreds more have come forward with similar claims. The groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, was the first to have his case go to trial because doctors said he was close to death. Monsanto continues to maintain that its product doesn’t cause cancer. The company’s vice president, Scott Partridge, said in a statement that Monsanto would appeal the decision ‘‘and continue to vigorously defend this product.’’ Johnson’s attorneys said his client used Roundup 20 to 30 times per year while working for a school district outside San Francisco. Johnson, 46, testified that he had two accidents while he was working that left him soaked in the herbicide, the first of which happened in 2012. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma two years later. Lesions cover up to 80 percent of his body."

Looks like the CEO will have to step down.

I wouldn't be drinking any orange juice or smoking any marijuana if I were you.

A $3.5 billion idea: New Green Line trolley cars

Yeah, let the parking garage fall down.

New contractor hired to oversee the Ride after service issues

Ride-hailing company testing bus-booking services

Time for me to get outta here, like it or not (Facebook last year publicly admitted that consuming Facebook passively tends to put people in a worse mood, citing internal research as well as academic reports).