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2011 February 16 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Whatever Happened To Jobs?

The Orlando Sentinel reports on the latest stupid Tea Party gesture by Florida’s governor:

Florida’s congressional delegation, state officials and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer are pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott’s decision Wednesday to reject $2.4 billion in federal stimulus money to build a high-speed train between Orlando and Tampa.

“This is a century-type decision that needs to be vetted,” Dyer said. “I don’t think it was given a fair hearing.”

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood intends to meet either in person or by phone Friday with Florida elected officials, likely including Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Reps. John Mica, R-Winter Park, and Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, to discuss ways of keeping the project alive even as California, New York and Washington state offered to take some of the money.

Scott kept telling the peasants that he had the “proven track record for creating jobs” and so far he wants to eliminate about 7,500 state employees and this action wiped out thousands of construction jobs. With an official unemployment rate of over 12%, he is not moving in the right direction.

Another little problem is that this train has been in the works for years and the legislature has already appropriated money to cover some of the expenses. The Republican leaders in the Lege are not happy with little Scotty, who apparently doesn’t understand his job, or the separation of powers.

It has been rumored that “The Mouse” wanted the train. Messing with “The Mouse” is as bad as saying you hate orange juice or like Fidel Castro. This could get messy.

February 16, 2011   21 Comments

Yukon Quest 2011 – Day 12

Yukon Quest trail

Sled DogDallas managed to hang on and win by 33 minutes over Sab with Ken coming in third. Dallas is also the first “rookie” in, although he is a veteran of the Iditarod. The Official Finish time is 11:05PM AKST [2:05AM CST] for an elapsed time of 10 days 11 hours and 53 minutes and an average speed of 5.7 mph.

Ken came in with 7 dogs pulling and one in the sled because of a muscle cramp, but he picked up four ounces of gold as the first team to reach Dawson and finish the race. Hugh was the first into Dawson and Hans was second, but lost it when unable to finish.

Tamara Rose has a problem. She is down to 7 dogs, the minimum required to continue racing. If she loses another one, she will have to scratch. [Correction: you can technically continue with 6 dogs, but the question is: can you climb Eagle and Rosebud with 6?]

Hank DeBruin and his Siberian Huskies Johannes Rygh has the Red Lantern back at Circle.

Hank has the Red Lantern back, and Johannes Rygh has been withdrawn at Circle.

Kelley Griffin’s trip to the Finish was delayed for 30 minutes by a herd of caribou blocking the trail. Better caribou than moose.

The Quest has a lot of video up at Youtube of this year’s race. If you would like to see a really pretty dog team of purebred Siberian Huskies they have Mike Ellis and his huskies arrive in Mile 101 for a sunny rest.

That was “the thrill of victory”, but a day earlier in the same area, they have Sebastian Schnuelle climbs Eagle Summit. Note that he isn’t riding, he is pushing to get it up the hill. Also watch the dogs. They want to pull the sled. What happened to others was that the dogs wanted to turn their backs to the wind and dig into the snow, which is their natural survival instinct. Also note that it is Sab who needs the rest, not the dogs.


1 Dallas Seavey (3)I
2 Sebastian Schnuelle (11)
3 Ken Anderson (18)
4 Brent Sass (22)
5 Kelley Griffin (1)
6 Allen Moore (24)I

Beyond Mile 101

7 Jodi Bailey (17)R

At Mile 101

8 Mike Ellis (5)
9 David Dalton (23)

At Central

10 Tamara Rose (12)I
11 Jerry Joinson (21)R
12 Kyla Durham (14)R

Beyond Circle

13 Hank DeBruin (19)IΦ

The Mushers in bold are former winners of the Yukon Quest, the numbers in parentheses are their Bib numbers, the small “I” indicates a Quest rookie who has competed in the Iditarod, and the small “R” indicates a total rookie.

Note: This post will be updated during the day, and the map changed on all posts to reflect the current situation.

All posts on the Yukon Quest can be seen by selecting “Yukon Quest” from the Category box on the right sidebar.

February 16, 2011   5 Comments

Tropical Cyclone Carlos

Australia again: Cyclone Carlos batters Darwin and Top End

Tropical Cyclone Carlos is battering Darwin after a night of wild weather that left houses damaged and streets flooded.

In the Darwin suburb of Marrara, a record 435 millimetres of rain fell in 24 hours.

There are serious concerns about storm surge in the Rapid Creek, Millner and Nightcliff areas, with a high tide of 6.6 metres expected at 5.40pm CST, Northern Territory Police said.

Storm surge shelters at Casuarina Senior College and Nightcliff Middle School are now open to residents affected by flooding.

But cyclone shelters are not open at this stage.

At 12:30 am CST Tropical Cyclone Carlos was 15 kilometres south-east of Darwin and 125 kilometres south south-east of Snake Bay and moving northeast at 5 kilometres per hour.

Gales with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour are currently being experienced on the coast between Darwin and Point Stuart.

Gales with gusts to 120 kilometres per hour are expected to develop over the southern Tiwi Islands tonight, and may extend further south to Daly River Mouth during Thursday and as far as Port Keats on Friday.

Gales may also develop between Point Stuart and Goulburn Island, including Croker Island tonight, if the cyclone takes a more easterly track.

This is the equivalent of an Atlantic Tropical Storm, but it was just a low pressure system this morning. The sustained winds are in the 50 to 60 mph range.

Darwin is on the North Coast of Australia in the center, in the Northern Territory.

February 16, 2011   3 Comments