By Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards | PUBLISHED: March 2, 2018 at 6:15 am | UPDATED: March 2, 2018 at 6:20 am If the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board don’t take action, hundreds of people are going to die on the runway of a U.S. airport. It’s just a matter of time before luck runs out. In a little more than a year, there have been five near-misses at San Francisco International Airport alone, one of which could have wiped out nearly 1,000 lives. The problem is getting worse. In congressional testimony Tuesday, a federal government auditor revealed that the annual number of runway “incursions” increased nearly 83 percent from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2017. Worse, the increase in incursions — incidents involving unauthorized aircraft, vehicles or people on a runway — comes despite a series of FAA initiatives starting in 2007 to reduce them. It isn’t working. The FAA, NTSB, … [Read more...] about Editorial: Act now to avoid hundreds of airline passenger fatalities
0 View Comments Scott Blackmun resigned his post this week as CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, while battling cancer amid a sex abuse scandal he did not cause. One cannot overemphasize the devastation caused by widespread sex abuse of American Olympic athletes, and Blackmun was the first to agonize that his organization had not done more to prevent and stop the crimes. All strong, upstanding leaders wish they could act with the benefit of hindsight."Could we do more? Always," Blackmun told The Gazette last year. "Should we have begun acting before 2010? I wish we had. But to suggest that the USOC is not diligently and effectively working to solve this problem is unfair to the USOC and misleading to the American public."Blackmun's concern went much deeper than words. If he was negligent for failing to see and act, Blackmun wanted the world to know. He initiated and commissioned an ongoing independent investigation designed to determine what he and other key figure in the USOC … [Read more...] about EDITORIAL: Blackmun’s leadership improved US Olympics
America is finally getting serious about reasonable gun restrictions.Hallelujah.Even President Donald Trump — who pledged his loyalty to the National Rifle Association at its national convention last year — said this week he favors several gun control measures that the NRA staunchly opposes. Another mass shooting, this time at a Florida high school, has led to strong and sustained calls for action.Facing voters this fall, Gov. Scott Walker is contemplating a package of proposals for Wisconsin. The Republican governor definitely should call a special session of the Legislature to bolster school safety.Gov. Walker didn’t indicate this week which ideas he’s considering. But several sensible fixes to existing law deserve broad support.Banning bump stocks, which essentially turn semiautomatic weapons into machine guns, should be a no-brainer. Bump stocks allowed a Las Vegas shooter last fall to rain down more than 1,100 bullets onto an outdoor music festival, killing … [Read more...] about Editorial: Call special session for school safety
A good motive lies behind the proposed six-month moratorium in Suffolk County on digital ride-hailing operations. But legislation that would take Uber and Lyft off the road is the wrong vehicle to achieve the goal. County legislator Bridget Fleming hopes a moratorium would force the state to give the county a share of the 4 percent surcharge on services like Uber and Lyft to create a revenue stream for Suffolk’s chronically underfunded bus system. Fleming is right about the buses which are essential transportation for many residents. But these app-based services have become a crucial transportation link since July after Albany gave its blessing. Uber says it has nearly 7,000 drivers in Suffolk who have given some 60,000 users hundreds of thousands of rides. Mothers Against Drunk Driving says alcohol-related crashes with fatalities in Suffolk fell from 35 in 2016 to 25 last year, a drop it attributed to ride-hailing, which was around for only six months. It makes no sense to ban … [Read more...] about Editorial: Don’t hit ride-hailing to fund buses
Most of the thousands of Long Island families who receive federal housing vouchers earn 30 percent or less of the region’s median household income. For a family of four, that’s $33,250 a year. But for Ben Carson, the man in charge of those vouchers, that’s just slightly more than the cost of a dining set. Taxpayers spent $31,651 on a custom mahogany table, sideboard, breakfront, and 10 chairs for Carson’s office in Washington, where he is secretary of Housing and Urban Development. That’s in addition to the $165,000 HUD will spend on “lounge furniture” for its headquarters. HUD’s absurd spending spree comes as the White House unveiled troubling plans to decimate the department’s budget, cutting it by $8.8 billion, or 18.3 percent, while slashing rental assistance and more. After coming under fire for the purchases, Carson said Thursday he wants to cancel the furniture order, but an adviser noted it may be too late. Either way, … [Read more...] about Editorial: Ben Carson furnishes criticism in D.C.