Tuesday, October 11, 2011

RE: Patt Morrison for Wednesday, October 12,2011


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1-3 p.m.


1:06 – 1:30 OPEN


1:30 – 1:58:30

Should hybrids be readmitted to the carpool lane?

Kicking hybrid cars out of the carpool lane has made traffic slower for everyone, according to researchers at UC Berkeley. Using six months of data from roadway sensors in the Bay Area, the researchers found that, after hybrids lost carpool lane privileges, the average speed of hybrids, drivers in regular lanes and drivers in the carpool lane were all slower. While it is certainly counterintuitive that the average speed in the carpool lane would go down with less cars, UC Berkeley researcher Kitae Jang explained, “As vehicles move out of the carpool lane and into a regular lane, they have to slow down to match the speed of the congested lane. Likewise, as cars from a slow-moving regular lane try to slip into a carpool lane, they can take time to pick up speed, which also slows down the carpool lane vehicles.” Even though, come January, 40,000 super-clean plug-in-hybrids and hydrogen-powered internal combustion cars will be allowed into the carpool lane, Jang and his colleagues argue that, on top of that, re-administering carpool privileges to the 85,000-some hybrids that lost access will improve traffic speeds further. Have you noticed slower or faster speeds—and improved or worsened safety—in all lanes since the coveted hybrid yellow sticker stopped granting carpool access? Do you think hybrids should be readmitted to the coveted carpool lanes of Los Angeles?




Michael Cassidy, professor in civil and environmental engineering, UC Berkeley



Brian Taylor, director of the UCLA Lewis Center and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs



2:06 – 2:30

What’s LAUSD’s responsibility when it comes to teen violence?

The murder of Cindi Santana, 17, at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Abraham Lopez, 18, on campus during a lunch break at South East High School sent shock waves through the community and the Los Angeles Unified School District.  It raised some serious questions about how much responsibility schools have in terms of confronting violence on campus. According to the Los Angeles Times, “one in three adolescent girls in the U.S. has been physically, emotionally or verbally abused by a dating partner, and one in 10 high school students has been hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.” In an effort to focus more attention on the problem of violence and teen dating, the Los Angeles Board of Education approved a proposal on Tuesday that would allow schools to train one staff member to help students who may be in abusive relations. If more funding becomes available, some schools may get a visit from Peace Over Violence--a nonprofit group focused on reducing violence in schools.  The group, which currently has programs operating in schools in the district, will help youth better understand what an abusive relationship is and how to get out of one.  Should LAUSD fund an anti-dating violence program in the midst of massive budget cuts? Do school officials have a responsibility to identify and stop violence from occurring on campus?



Patti Giggans, Executive Director, Peace over Violence



2:30 – 2:39

The pros and cons of staying with your bank—what you need to know

Do you want to leave your bank? Many people are talking about it, especially as some of the big players like Bank of America, Citigroup and SunTrust recently announced increased rates, new monthly debit-card fees and minimum checking account balance requirements. Many of those new, higher fees come as the Durbin Amendment took effect this month, cutting average fees that merchants pay banks for debit transactions from about 44 cents to 24 cents. To make up the difference, banks are looking to their customers. An August Bankrate.com survey of the largest banks found that just 45% of them still offer free noninterest-bearing checking accounts—down from 76% in 2009. There are some alternatives, such as prepaid cards, smaller banks and credit unions, but those all come with a set of pros and cons to weigh. Will prepaid cards charge you for deposits or withdrawals? If you switch to a credit union, will you still have convenient access to ATMs? If you’re getting ready to leave your bank, what do you need to know?




Karen Blumenthal, writer of The Wall Street Journal's Family Money column; she’s also author of The Wall Street Journal Guide to Starting Your Financial Life



2:41 – 2:58:30 OPEN






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