In Car-Crazy L.A., Rail to the Beach Promises Stress Relief


Francis Aquino, whose company makes an app for meditation, has a most un-Zen commute: an eight-mile drive to Santa Monica that can take an hour and fifteen minutes each way in bumper-to-bumper Los Angeles traffic.

The 38-year-old office manager for Headspace Inc. is counting the days until he can instead ride a new $1.5 billion light rail line that opens May 20. It will connect Los Angeles with the ocean and adjacent parts of the city’s west side for the first time since trolley cars to the beach were discontinued in 1953.

The Downtown Santa Monica Metro Expo Line light rail station under construction.
The Downtown Santa Monica Metro Expo Line light rail station under construction.
Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

“You have so much free time and you’re not stressed out,” he said. “The one thing I’m really looking forward to is catching up on my reading.”

The new route could be a important step in turning car-obsessed Angelenos into bus and train…

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Court: Passenger-rail law grants unconstitutional regulatory powers to Amtrak


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday once again ruled that the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008 grants Amtrak unconstitutional regulatory authority because it requires the passenger railroad to develop performance metrics for its freight counterparts.

Under the law, Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration are required to craft performance metrics and standards as a way of enforcing Amtrak’s statutory priority over other trains. However, since Congress designated Amtrak as a private corporation, the development of these standards represents an “unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to a private entity,” Judge Janice Brown wrote in the court’s opinion.

“[Congress’] chartered entities may either compete, as market participants, or regulate, as official bodies,” she wrote. “To do both is an affront to ‘the very nature of things,’ especially due process.”

The D.C. court previously issued the same decision, but the U.S…

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The Blue Man, Part 2

Part 1 if you missed and would like to read:

Shortie the Bank Robber’s real name was Vincent Moscone. Shortie V., they called him; he was named just like his cousin….both were Vinny for short. He had taken at least ten showers in an attempt to wash off the blue dye. It didn’t work, it was like he was permanently blue. How could this be?

Shortie came all the way from New Jersey to rob the Arvest Bank of Colorado. He had done his research, and this bank was one of the most lax in security. Now he was a blue man going on the run, but not quite on the run yet. He had to handle this blue dye thing right, or he would get caught for sure. Those darn tellers, putting that dye in the money bag.

Now he was headed to the Mavis Public Library for…

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