Bravo to NYC "N Train" motorman,  Francis Lusk, whose quick reaction saved the life of a woman who had fallen off a subway platform(a).

Vae Viator6

Security ?
In addition to the filth, here is not much security at the LAXCBC. Sheriffs deputies show up once in a while but seem to have a “sleep and let sleep” attitude to these homeless habitués (above and below). 

Homeless 2
Yes, the LAXCBC is filthy (click on the photos –above and below for a better view). There is a simple solution, however. It is a two-part solution. Part one involves supervision of the “worker(s)” on a frequent basis, not just allowing them to do “the best that they can”.

The photo above shows the campsite of yet another of the homeless people who are attracted to the LAXCBC. It further depicts the trash which is always present here and the dumpster whose always-open enclosure doubles as a “facility” and a temporary storage for recyclables.   Mr. Leahy, a padlock, please!  The LACMTA know the drivers need a rest room but seems to think that the hundreds who transit the LAXCBC daily will make do and make do they will! 

La Vida en la Calle

Here we show, again, the two women who have been living along 96th street, forever, it seems. I have used this picture earlier, but it tells the story of the hardship endured by those who are forced into La Vida en la Calle.  No governmental agency, NGO or anybody else will put these ladies under a roof and the law enforcement agencies: LAPD, Airport Police, HSA and etc. could, it appears, care less.

Potemkin Access Control
Or its modern day equivalent has been implemented, here at the Mariposa Station on the Green Line, by the LACMTA. Well, it isn’t really access control because anyone can simply walk right in. Why is this? First of all the number of people with TAP cards is comparatively few, for the most part those with day passes or a few of us who volunteered to use TAP cards early. TAP cards are not so easy to obtain and each card costs the user an initial $2 fee. Yes, only the LACMTA could develop a plan which embeds the seeds of failure within it. LOTS and lots of money spent to purchase the access control system and lots more money spent to install the “toothless system”. The only significant taping going on is aboard the buses, NOT at the rail stations.

Further, as I have already pointed out, if and when the system goes into effect one can expect REAL problems as stations, think Green Line to Blue Line transfers, with too few gates will bottle neck, jamb up and cause potential rider on rider violence. Su Topo believes that the quickest transfer between the Green Line and Blue Line has only one third of the necessary rush hour entry/exit gates.

A turnstile jumper from NYC would be loling at the LACMTA's "implementation". 

What does Potemkin mean? It means things look OK but are really ineffective.

All I am, or can be, I owe to my angel mother.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-02-12 ~1865-04-15)

The Mole reads the papers and other things, so you don’t have to.
From the people who gave you their fire drill via newser(1), a bus that has cars under it, by design! (See: http://www.newser.com/story/97381/china-plans-enormous-car-straddling-bus.html )
The New York press reported that the “champion” hot dog eater was release from jail (the story is not that interesting so you will have to find t yourself –sorry).

This Mole likes food, but not racing the clock as part of eating. In the small amount of research performed for this section, he used a Bing.com search with a search argument of “deaths during eating contests”. Bing reported 11,100,000 results. Most of the page one returns had the word “death” and a variant of the verb “choke” in the citation. So su Topo is very much against these silly contests. And even more against exposing children to them because they may be encouraged to think that it’s “fun” and try it. La Taupe repeated the search, same argument, using www.google.com. Google said it found 394,000 references. The numerical truth is somewhere in between, however even one death is too many when it is self-inflected.

The press seems to love these kinds of “events”, but this Mole 
will NOT spin them in a positive direction.

Ms Heather Haddon writing in the online “paper”, amNY, covers the plight of the Manhattan pedestrian(2). Unfortunately no one, apparently, cares about the Los Angeles pedestrian. The crosswalk signal on the south side of the intersection of Sepulveda and Mariposa is being picked to pieces. Attempts to get it repaired by any and all legal means are ignored. The city of El Segundo, who I refer to as “the city without shame”, has ignored several reports.  Although, the covering plate which explains how to use the signal has been replaced, the unit is poorly affixed to the pole.  They must be using moonlighting LACMTA staff to perform this "work".

La Opinón’s CIUDAD section is critical(3) of the grade level crossings which are part of the Disaster Line, I mean Expo Line. Page 3A has a nice picture by Ciro Cesar of an equivalent crossing on the Gold Line (Extension) in front of the Méndez middle school. 

The piece ends with LACMTA speak by an executive with the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, telling us, in effect, how good the Expo Line will be.

And the winner is, Portugal. The contest? To use renewable energy. 

A New York Times piece(4) shows that Portugal is presently using 21.6% renewable energy while our own country’s usage, where the talk is talked, but the walk not walked,is 4.3%.

The NYT reports(5) on E-Book reads, well one of them anyway. It felt much like a product placement, especially since the article covers the reader from the book seller which is named after a river in South America. Comparing that device with a more general purpose computer which is company named after a fruit, which is often grown in Washington State.
Products like the one called Nook and cell phones got minuscule ink and the one named Kobo got none.

La Taupe’s take? I have reviewed them all, I have been leaning toward the Nook but it is still feature-short from my perspective and after two trips to the seller of the Kobo, have not been able to find an employee who will talk to me while I still retained the patience to talk.

I finally got around to a Los Angeles Times article(6) of months ago. We find that Metrolink will be using passenger cars that are built to absorb crash impact, by being crushed, and hopefully saving lives. They aren’t selling me! I quote just a portion of a single sentence from the story: “After another deadly collision in 2008 exposed lax safety practices, …”. The biggest contributor vis-à-vis laxness, was the former CEO, Solow. Now Solow has been demoted to “Head of safety” [Su Topo’s designation] and all I can say is; Solow, you are the weakest link! The reporter, Mr. Connell, does a professional job.

Finally, Glenn Greenwald writing at Salon.com, informs us that the militaristic adventures of our “empire” engender a need to reduce services and save money for more productive, ehhhh, so that we can keep fighting the, ahaaa, defeat the ummmm, well keep fighting. 

The LAPL has reduced hours, but Greenwald tells us that the library system in Camden, NJ is going completely dark by year-end. It is a sad report, sad but true.
Ear to the Rail
How about “Ear to the Ground”? This is a series of programs origination in Dublin, about how the Irish, always an adaptable people, deal with the recession. Here is a link to some details. (See: http://www.rte.ie/tv/eartotheground/s2p1.html ).
And if you have the right player to open an smil file use this link http://www.rte.ie/tv/valueformoney/video.html ).
Westerlund 1, discovered in 1961 by a Swedish astronomer, is a favoured observation site in stellar physics.
It is one of the biggest cluster of superstars in the Milky Way, comprising hundreds of very massive stars, some shining with a brilliance of almost a million Suns and some two thousand times the Sun's diameter.

I like “Mariachi Suite” by Los Lobos, if you listen perhaps you’ll like it too.
Please wait for the advertisment to show (it’s fast) and this beautiful song will play, courtesy of our friends at Grooveshark.com 
The Mole Rides Again, so you can avoid traveling with people who are both heavily medicated and tattooed.

2010-08-01: Aboard a 42 Line bus #6597 driven by driver #71918. He makes a fast turn across oncoming traffic, unsafe I think, although we do make it.

2010-08-02 8:00: A woman, on this Green Line train, speaks loudly and shares her conversation – “... it had little taste to it ..”, “... turn my house into a Holiday Inn ...”, “... I feel relieved ...”, “... I really cleaned it up ...”, “... that's what I'm sayin' ...” and on and on. 
2010-08-02 8:40: I am bound for Long Beach on the Blue Line. A shirtless man plays a too loud audio device with poor quality and dances in the front of the car. I give up reading.
I return on a 232 Line bus which transits Wilmington. This could be México: a Banco Popular; La Estrella; lots of restaurants.

On board I meet two ladies from Lyon, France. We discuss transportation and they point out that the TVG (High Speed Rail line) takes just under two hours on the Paris to Lyon run.

This is a Big Blue Bus, a regular 3, and the woman a few rows up and across the aisle is periodically leaving her seat and standing somewhat stooped over in the aisle so that she can give a more accurate street-by-street report of our progress. She is heavily tattooed and asks the person on the other end “… if you want to know my meds, I can write them down for you …” 
Your Mole escorted a young lady to Venice Beach. She really wanted to see it, and this Mole has not been there for quite a while, so off we went. Lots of Tattoo parlors, guys with snakes dangling around their necks and even a “Freak Show” (that can’t be PC?) with a six legged turtle along with hoards of people who wanted our money. I believe that she was disappointed and when I consider what other cities in the U.S. and the world offer their tourists, 

I was slightly ashamed. The same applies to Hollywood. In her home country the bus centers are staffed with change makers and ticket sellers so there is some level of security offered to riders.

Front of the New Torrance Transit Bus♪
I had a nice ride on one of the new Torrance Transit Buses, here is a front view.  The manufacturer is New Flyer, more next month.

Inside the New Torrance Transit Bus

The inside still had that ”new bus” smell. For me, it was comfortable. The driver indicated that they “took some getting used to”, apparently he was somewhat dissatisfied with the acceleration.
Rear View of the New Torrance Transit Bus♪
This Mole found the “Tail Signs” more informative, although not easily captured on film; or is it, in pixels? In the case of the Number 8 Line which serves the LAXCBC, the tail signs showed either “North” - when headed to LAX, or “South” when destined for Torrance. This is a big help for passengers waiting at stops which sever buses headed in both directions. 
2010-08-28: At the LAXCBC. An uniformed security guard, NOT associated with Metro, gives directions to people. The LACMTA provides NO SECURITY here as noted above. One of those who he assisted was another of those drivers can't understand the LACMTA signage and pulled his private vehicle right past the signs which say “Buses only”. Su Topo has covered this issue before and one unfortunate day, some driver will make a right turn out of the exit driveway and be struck by a large fast moving bus.  It WILL HAPPEN, because based upon my informal survey,there are likely a dozen incursions by private vehicles each day.  This Mole has already seen too many of those yellow sheets!

Mr. Leahy!  PLEASE, improve the signage, use black and yellow striping across the entries and exits and mark them as such using LARGE red letters.  Then place steel poles at each side of the entry and exit and hang a sign saying "NO ENTRY" on a chain between them, making an arch.  Don't worry, the bus drivers will a figure out that the "No Entry" doesn't apply to them.

2010-08-29: At the LAXCBC. A man clips his nails, judging by the  sound he has eleven fingers on each hand.  The clippings drop to the pavement at his feet.  He must have grown up without a mother.  There is lots of ambient smoke here.  Improved security could address all the problems which I have pointed out today and over time.

Dedicated to the Dulcinea of my dreams
'"Blessed be all Heaven for sending us an adventure that is good for
Searching further he found a little memorandum book richly bound; this
Don Quixote asked of him, telling him to take the money and keep it for
himself. Sancho kissed his hands for the favour, and cleared the valise
of its linen, which he stowed away in the provision sack. Considering the
whole matter, Don Quixote observed:
"It seems to me, Sancho--and it is impossible it can be otherwise-that
some strayed traveller must have crossed this sierra and been attacked
and slain by footpads, who brought him to this remote spot to bury him."
"That cannot be," answered Sancho, "because if they had been robbers they
would not have left this money."
"Thou art right," said Don Quixote, "and I cannot guess or explain what
this may mean; but stay; let us see if in this memorandum book there is
anything written by which we may be able to trace out or discover what we
want to know."
He opened it, and the first thing he found in it, written roughly but in
a very good hand, was a sonnet, and reading it aloud that Sancho might
hear it, he found that it ran as follows:
Or Love is lacking in intelligence,
Or to the height of cruelty attains,
Or else it is my doom to suffer pains
Beyond the measure due to my offence.
But if Love be a God, it follows thence
That he knows all, and certain it remains
No God loves cruelty; then who ordains
This penance that enthrals while it torments?
It were a falsehood, Chloe, thee to name;
Such evil with such goodness cannot live;
And against Heaven I dare not charge the blame,
I only know it is my fate to die.
To him who knows not whence his malady
A miracle alone a cure can give.
"There is nothing to be learned from that rhyme," said Sancho, "unless by
that clue there's in it, one may draw out the ball of the whole matter."
"What clue is there?" said Don Quixote.
"I thought your worship spoke of a clue in it," said Sancho.
"I only said Chloe," replied Don Quixote; "and that no doubt, is the name
of the lady of whom the author of the sonnet complains; and, faith, he
must be a tolerable poet, or I know little of the craft."
"Then your worship understands rhyming too?"
"And better than thou thinkest," replied Don Quixote, "as thou shalt see
when thou carriest a letter written in verse from beginning to end to my
lady Dulcinea del Toboso, for I would have thee know, Sancho, that all or
most of the knights-errant in days of yore were great troubadours and
great musicians, for both of these accomplishments, or more properly
speaking gifts, are the peculiar property of lovers-errant: true it is
that the verses of the knights of old have more spirit than neatness in

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616), Don Quixote (1605), Chapter XXIII

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame
I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: 6482;
Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation.
I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: None observed, but they are out there!;
Codes: (i) Extended conversation(s) with passenger(s) or (ii) cell phone call(s). Frequently, details can be found in the text above, (ii*) cell phone call(s) which are aggravated by some other action, (iii) Self-distracted. Codes (ii*) and (iii) will ALWAYS be explained in the posting.
I.D. Numbers of Buses Defaced by WhoIs stickers: 6370;
~UR or +UR = (+UR) whois sticker and the ugly residue left after passengers partly remove the sticker. (~UR) = Only the ugly residue left after passengers almost completely remove the sticker. +L = an old (legacy) sticker black letters on a plain white background –these are the original form of defacement.
* Another reason for displaying the operator's ID on the internal display and the headsign.

ID numbers of Buses whose Head and Tail signs disagree: n/a;
Format is Bus number followed by Headsign number/Tailsign number.

La Taupe's Abréviations
ADADO = Automatic Destination Announcement (on) Door Opening. This feature is installed on many buses and operates on extremely few. Another “money down the toilet” LACMTA investment. La Taupe that this is intended for the visually impaired because people who can see can read the “head signs”.
ASAS = Automatic Stop Announcement System the GPS (Global Positioning System) driven mechanism for generating audio for the upcoming stops. N.B. Because of the low power (read weak) processors used in the on-board stops may be too close to identify stops separately. This is know as a granularity problem. Then too, if the driver operates the bus at speed above the speed limit you will find the system “back announcing” stops which you have already passed. I find that this will NOT keep some drivers from complaining “that you didn’t signal (ring) in time. They don’t understand their relationship to the system and how, by driving faster than the GPS computer, they can bias it.
BBB = Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus
CC or CCMBL = Culver City (Municipal) Bus (Lines)
CCTC = Culver City Transportation Center this is the place formerly known as FHMTC = the Fox Hills Mall Transportation Center (Sepulveda & Slauson)
FFE = Full Fare Equivalent (presently $1.25)
LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.
Rapid Transit = does not compete for right of way, that is, it will not run at grade unless it has EXCLUSIVE DEDICATED USE of the right of way).
TT = Torrance Transit.
T1 = the normal type of driver/staff.
T2 = is the non-stop talker type of driver/staff, on the phone or to passengers,
T3 = the uncommunicative type of driver/staff, sometimes surly.
WLATC = the West Los Angeles Transportation Center (Fairfax & Apple)

Su Topo’s Disclaimer and apologia
Your Mole always attempts to write an easy-on-the-eyes page using text input. Blogger.com however, has other ideas and will often not stay with a single font type or point size, produces extraneous spacing and etc. I wish I had time to debug the HTML which they produce, it is NOT the straight text which I pasted into the form, but I don’t. Therefore, I apologize on behalf of Blogger.com for the changes which they make, of which I do not approve. Sometimes, what I see, thankfully you don’t, is 24 point type –it is giant and other times they swallow my text, although it still seems to be there. In fairness to them, things seem better, although this is partly because I do understand which of their “features” do the most damage to me and consequently do not use them. Communicating these problems to them, for me, is something like having teeth extracted without the benefit of anesthetic, actually it is less fun than that. By their design, there is no simple e-mailing them with "Please look at my say, posting of 2009-06-28, it is weird!” I am hoping that one of their developers will some day read this, copy my code and improve their text to HTML engine. Until then, lo siento.

Mole’s Copyright Statement
All photographs and original written materials are copyrighted © 2007~2009 by LAmetroMole. Clicking a photo will often* present you with an enlargement. *This feature is dependent upon the Internet browser which you use and possibly other factors.

This site contains or provides links to copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, sustainable development, environmental, community and worker health, public disclosure, corporate accountability, and etc. We have often included relatively brief quotes from articles and etc., sometimes in addition to a simple link, because we have found that links frequently go "bad" or change over time. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without fee or payment of any kind to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes and to those who access the site via any and all other channels. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Music or other recorded material on this site, or referred to by this site are copyrighted by their respective artists and are made available here for evaluation purposes only. Please support the artists you like by buying their commercial CDs, MP3s and downloads.

Your Mole’s Conflict of Interest Statement
This is to certify that I, the blogger who is known as the LAmetroMole, with respect to this blog, except as described below, am not now nor at any time during the past year have been, nor it my current intention to ever be:
1) A participant, directly or indirectly, in any arrangement, agreement, investment, or other activity with any vendor, supplier, or other party doing business with any of the entities about which I have written, which has resulted or could result in personal benefit to me.
2) A recipient, directly or indirectly, of any salary payments or loans or gifts of any kind or any free service or discounts or other fees from or on behalf of any person or organization engaged in any transaction with any of the entities about which I have written.
Any exceptions to 1 or 2 above are stated below with a full description of the transactions and of the interest, whether direct or indirect, which I have (or have had during the past year) in the persons or organizations having transactions with any of the entities about which I have written.
There are no exceptions.
Date: 2009-06-24 S/ LametroMole


  1. Newser.com – aggregator.

  1. Haddon, Heather. “Safety’s time is here” 17 Aug 2010:p03. amNY20100817.pdf www.amNY.com Last Accessed: 18 Aug 2010.

  1. Moreno, Rubén. “Tren pasará a nivel al lado de la Dorsey”. La Opinión. 10 Agosto 2010:3A.

  1. Rosenthal, Elisabeth. “Portugal Gives Itself a Clean-Energy Makeover”. The New York Times. 10 Aug 2010:A1.

  1. Stross, Randall. “E-Book Wars: The Specialist vs. the Multitasker”. New York Times. 8 Aug 2010:Business3.

  1. Connell, Rich. “Metrolink’s collapsible trains”. Los Angeles Times. 2 May 2010:A39.

  1. Greenwald, Glenn. “What collapsing empire looks like”.  Salon.com. 6 Aug. 2010. http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/06/collapse Last Accessed: 25 Aug. 2010.

    a. Donohue,Pete, Goldsmith, Samuel, Schapiro, Rich. "Woman nearly crushed by train after falling onto tracks, but motorman slams brakes just in time". New York Daily News. 29 Aug 2010. Last Accessed: 29 Aug. 2010.


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