Monday March 17, 2008
Retirement age for US Border Patrol money-sniffing dogs? 9 years.
Monday March 10, 2008
Port of Miami, from Miami Beach.
Tuesday December 11, 2007
Something called, rather ominously, “Citizens for a Safer Miami” has produced this commercial in an effort to get the Miami City Commission to pitch in it’s $50 million contribution, which is something around 5% of the overall project’s budget. What is CfaSM? Who knows — a google returns exactly one result: the Herald’s article.
Tuesday July 24, 2007
Wednesday May 23, 2007
Giant Harlequin Beetle found on cargo ship. A few things about this. I understand that there’s a real threat if these insects establish a foothold here — it turns out they burrow into mango trees, killing them — but mainly it’s just sort of cool that a giant beetle is on the news. Also, why does it look like they sentenced him to death by hanging?
Thursday May 3, 2007
A state panel has selected four companies to build and operate the Port of Miami tunnel. Against all odds, this project seems to be moving forward. Oh, also, Grimshaw Architects will be doing the Science Museum in Bicentennial Park.
Tuesday March 6, 2007
Holy guacamole: it looks like they’re serious about building the Port of Miami tunnel. The contract may be awarded as soon as May;
the construction could take 35 years. Update: The construction will take an indeterminate amount of time. The company that builds the tunnel will run it and collect tolls for 35 years. Who sets the tolls? (dík, Honzo)
Tuesday January 9, 2007
Let’s just clear the decks on this one: the thing at the port. (here is the Herald link, but I’m a little fed up with the Herald as I sift through my archives and find all my links to their articles dead; at least Rick quotes the pertinent bit). Well, the internets exploded yesterday with jeers about the overreaction, the hysteria, whatnot. I don’t have the links, but trust me, there are 4,000 links on Technorati, windows were popping up faster then I could close them yesterday, and I don’t feel like digging them back up.
Here’s the thing: A guy pulls up to the port in an 18-wheeler. He doesn’t speak English. He doesn’t have a permit to enter. He says there’s nobody in the cab with him, but it turns out there are two other dudes, who also don’t speak English. And you guys think it’s overreacting to think that it could be a terrorist attack? I mean, OK, it’s a little silly, when you think about it logically, if there were explosives or whatever going through the port, they would come in on a ship and leave on a truck. But still — the guards have a job to do, and it seems like an overabundance of caution in this case was pretty advisable.
I direct your attention to Type I and Type II errors. An inperfect system can be optimized to tend to generate either false-positive or false-negative errors. If false-negative = successful terrorist attack, isn’t a false-positive once in awhile sort of acceptable?
Update: Subject to verification. If the driver in fact speaks perfectly good English (as Rick says in the comments) and it was the guard who had a language issue (as was claimed somewhere) then somebody should be hung out to dry.
Update: Channel 10 unfortunately doesn’t have the video Rick’s talking about, but here’s the story.
Amar Al-Hadad said he was “humiliated, disrespected (and) treated real badly just because my name is an Arabic name and I’m a Muslim.”
Well, there’s that, and there’s the fact that you were rolling into a freakin’ port without the proper permits, with two other dudes, one of whom didn’t even have ID. If he shed any light as to what the hell he was thinking, the article doesn’t quote that part. The police treat everyone like shit, and while it’s entirely possible that they’re racist and treat non-whites worse, I don’t see how this guy knows how he would have been treated were he, say, a Mormon from Minnesota.
Thursday August 3, 2006
Thursday November 3, 2005
The problem: Trucks coming from the Port of Miami need to drive through downtown to get to I-395, causing traffic congestion and problems regular drivers.
The solution: A $3.1 billion (we were tempted to round off the .1, until we realized it represents 100 million dollars) tunnel to connect the port directly to 395, bypassing surface streets.
The scoop: Actually, it’s not exactly like that. As this video [35meg .avi] explains, the tunnel actually connects the port to Watson Island (beautifully shown with all planned improvements in place), from where the bridge (widened by a lane in each direction) takes you to 395. The image above is from the video; the image is the tunnel openings, with Parrot Jungle on the left, the MacArthur causeway in the distance, and said development on the right.
We got exited when we saw this article, which says the tunnel may soon be a reality. But then we noticed this other article (same publication), from 2002, which also says the tunnel may soon be a reality. Turns out the tunnel has been “about to happen” since the 80’s. Larry Lebowitz pointed out that the construction in downtown is really going to make this a necessity (although . . . um, did the budget double since his column came out in July?), although Mr. Tunnel remains skeptical. On the other hand, FDOT seems very optimistic: they have a whole web site devoted to the project, including some very detailed plans.
Does democracy suck, or what? In China, they’d have built a dozen tunnels by now, while here in Miami, supposed crossroads of the world, hands are wrung over a single one (and only a mile long).