"Under a proposed statewide video franchise law, the state would have sole power to regulate the pay-TV industry. On Thursday, language in the bill was ironed out by the Senate...."
"Cable companies have historically resisted such statewide agreements, largely out of fear of being put at a competitive disadvantage. However, one of the biggest opponents in the past of a cable TV expansion bill — St. Louis-based Charter Communications — has signed off on this year's version...."
"But some consumer advocates and Missouri municipalities say the opt-out provision of the bill could violate the state constitution and put cable service in low-income areas at risk.
"The fear is that 10 to 15 years from now, when (cable carriers) have to upgrade their equipment, they might turn around and say that it's not in their best interests to service certain areas," said Darin Cline, chief of governmental affairs for St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley...."
Violate state constitution? Cut off cable service to low-income areas?
Something doesn't sound right here. Even people living in the poorest trailer parks in the country somehow always get their premium channels. It's called satellite - Charter will acknowledge to you that satellite is their biggest competitor.
And of course, only in Missouri would having cable TV somehow be a constitutional right.
So the state has to come in and force the cable companies to go in and spend millions of dollars upgrading their equipment in every single neighbourhood in the state, charge a fixed rate that loses money, where in these cases it would be much cheaper to just install a satellite dish on every person's house in that area. Or, God forbid, there may be some people who don't want to watch TV in that neighbourhood, or maybe nobody lives in that neighbourhood at all - certainly you don't think that ever happens in parts of St. Louis.
And so to make up for the loss that cable companies have to take on by laying down infrastructure in parts of St. Louis where it's not worth doing, of course, they'll raise the cable rates - but for everyone, equally, of course. So, you and I will be paying for it. Unless you switch to satellite TV - which is what everyone is going to do if the local government keeps deciding to inflict random suboptimal regulations on your local cable company that provides jobs to many people who live here.
And you wonder why the number of jobs available in the area keeps going down.
Let's try to elect local officials who have some sense next time.
Sunday, 11th of February, 2007
The new interchange solves all this with a full, stack interchange. Locals may wonder where there is going to be room for this, but remember that there are currently 3 relatively tight cloverleaf ramps that take up some room, and they will all be eliminated and the space claimed. Here is what I see, based on the computer-generated video:
Saturday, 10th of February, 2007
Friday, 9th of February, 2007
I didn't get off to a good start because I've never gone on a rope pull lift before. I figured it would be easier if I wanted until the rope stopped, so I did, and then grabbed onto it waiting for it to start up again. When it started again it gave me a nice jerk, sending me clear into the air and landing flat on my bottom. My coccyx hurt like nothing else for the rest of the evening. So after messing around at the bottom of this rope pull I finally figured out you should not be afraid of rope burn since you have gloves, and operate the gloves like a clutch - get some friction going, but don't fully engage, and gradually get up to speed before engaging full pressure and going the full speed of the rope. I also learned the best way to get on this thing with a snowboard is to go up the hill with the left foot forward and grabbing the rope behind my back. Still never learned how to get off at the top without falling by 3:00 AM though. So I mess around on the Skid Row trail and lift for a while, and soon realize this trail is not fun at all, not necessarily because it was a bunny hill but because I didn't even have enough velocity on a snowboard to get down it without stopping on top of a mound.
So some friends came by and I joined them up one of the main chair lifts to the very top of the mountain for some blue trail fun. It wasn't until I got up there that someone had to explain to me how to snow board down a steep hill, rather than a shallow hill - and that you pretty much have to know how to balance yourself with the snowboard perpendicular to the hill. Owell, sink or swim at this point - I figured it out about halfway down the hill, which was much more than I can say about my learning experience on skis. Directional control was completely at the mercy of the contour of the hill, and I started out in Lauren's Lane and wound up somewhere in the middle of Missi's Wish before sliding back over some real hard snow into Lauren's Lane again.
So I got down the blue trail with some resemblance of control - I'm already better at snowboarding than skiing and I've still got more than half of the evening. I saw the rope-pulled Betty's Beat green slope on the way down and it looked much better than that Skid Row down at the bottom of the hill so I practiced a bunch there. Pretty much by the second try I could get down that hill without falling.
Time to see how much I've improved - went up to the top again with some friends and came down the Eureka slope. The first part of that slope had some really hard, icy sections - the snowboard sounded like it was scraping down some rocks, but I managed to get down and it was fun. It curved slightly to the left and I was able to handle that. Near the bottom, though, the slope naturally banks to the left and bit into a big drainage ditch, and that is where I learned I didn't know how to turn right. Multiple attempts had me pretty much falling into the ditch. So I figured if going down face-first had a left-turn bias, what if I tried going down with my face against the slope. Well, it actually worked, but I never practicing balancing myself going backwards. I hit a pretty nasty rut, and started to fall on my face, but I tried to save it and it was too late. I nearly summersaulted as I landed on my wrists and bottom. I had to lay there for a few minutes - the worst wipe-out of the evening.
The rest of the evening alternated between trying to learn how to turn right on a green slope and trying the Eureka trail again. The snow was definitely packed and much firmer than anything I saw up in Breckenridge. Falling hurt - and I think snowboard falls hurt more anyway. But considering that falling all day at Breckenridge didn't even remotely hurt, I think I still came out ahead.
I'm definitely not putting on a pair of skis for a while - I've discovered snowboarding and I like it a lot!