Monthly Archives: April 2017

Doug Levitt, the man who ride on a bus to meet the overlooked in the society

When traveling, we are somehow completely oblivious of the happenings around us. Some of us will be busy scrolling on Twitter hashtags and grin while reading about celebrities causing storms in a teacup. Nobody cares about the other person seated next to them, and the journey will halt without them speaking a word to each other. Our politicians, on the other hand, will be popping a vein over irrelevant issues and will digress when the real disputes are raised. The media will also avoid the topics on national crisis because they are uninteresting, and their audience considers them banal.

We all overlook the rot and debaucheries surrounding us.We have abandoned compassion, a piece that highlights humanity itself. However, one man, Doug Levitt, resisted the path taken by many and decided to do something about the struggling Americans. He did not give hand-outs or use their suffering for public relations. Instead, he embarked on a seven years bus journey to bring attention to the real issue that forgotten American societies face. Born in D.C, Doug is the son of a former council member, Carol Schwartz. He attended D.C public schools where he developed an interest in sports and music.

Growing up in D.C exposed him to different strata of society and also exposed him to politics. It is during an election period that he developed an interest to know more about the overlooked in the society. He chose to travel by Greyhound buses because they reach more than 2000 tiny towns in America. He also settled on bus travel because it is the only place where one can interact with poverty, addiction, and mental illness. Throughout his travels, Doug has interacted with countless people, and shares their stories in the ‘Greyhound Diaries.’How does he make people share their experiences? Human beings want to know that you care, and Doug has proved that he intends to make the lives of forgotten societies better. For this reason, riders find it easy to entrust him with their stories. His website, images, videos, and songs have brought significant attention to the struggling of American societies and have elevated hopes towards a greater America.

CTRMA: Providing Traffic Solutions for Williamson County

Every year during the Williamson Growth Summit, the stakeholders meet to discuss the general issues that affect the people of Austin. However, in the 2016’s annual summit, the discussion was different. The principal shareholders met to discuss the traffic issue facing the county. The 19th annual summit was held at the Sheraton Georgetown hotel.

In attendance was Mike Heiligenstein, the Executive Director of CTRMA, Leandre Johns, Texas External Affairs Director of Uber Technologies, Joseph Kosper founder RideScoutt, and Jared Ficklin AgroDesign.

The experts discussed number issues that included:

The role of technology in the transport sector

While noting the significant changes done on technology, Mike commented that a lot has to be done to improve the traffic industry. Yes, the ridesharing apps and the driverless cars have radically improved the traffic. However, the changes will not be able to contain the growing population. Learn more about Mike Heiligenstein: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mike-heiligenstein/

Designing smarter and better roads is the only way to cater to the growing population.

According to Leandre, the ridesharing apps like Uber have made the transport system easier. He said that the Company was working with the residents of Williamson to create long-lasting solutions to the people off the public transit.

The growing population

The population in the city is growing rapidly, and soon the roads will not be able to support the people. That is why the need for modern infrastructure is great. Jared commented that the contractors need to utilize space especially when it comes to the parking garages. Parking garages need to be multilevel and five feet tall.

He also said that the building codes need to remain flexible.

About Mike Heiligenstein

Mike is the Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, founded in 2002. The agency is an independent government company that was formed offer innovative solutions to the Travis and Williamson Counties. The agency was created under the Texas Transportation Code Chapter 370.

According to Crunchbase, Mike Heiligenstein became the Executive Director of the agency in 2003. He was chosen among three finalists. Mike is one of the seven members of the board.

Mike has served the Williamson County for 23 years as a public official. For 15 years, he served as the Williamson County Commissioner and before that he was the Round City Council member for eight years.

In 2009, Mike became a member of the Texas Transportation Institute Advisory Council.

He holds Bachelor degree and two Master degrees from the University of Texas.

Securus Allows Prisoners To Convict Themselves With New Software

They call our criminal justice system an adversarial system. They say this because police aren’t necessarily on your side. They are not required to take the time to explain to you all of your rights.

 

For example, ICE Agents recently stood by the exit of a plane in an airport. They told everybody that they were going to check their documents in order to see if everybody on board was in the country legally. They thanked all the passengers for their cooperation before the document checking took place.

 

What they did not explain to the passengers is that they had a right to decline. The fourth amendment protected everybody leaving that plane that they, and unless the police officers had reason to believe they committed a crime, they did not have to show any documents.

 

I kind of like this adversarial system because it catches the idiots. Many criminals do not understand their rights and often get tripped up by adversarial law enforcement officers. But the best example of criminals tripping themselves up is over the phone lines through a telephone service called Securus.

 

Securus Technologies is a telecommunications company that only deals with prisons and jails. Apparently, they have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau in Dallas, Texas, but it is not the kind of company you want to get tangled up with only because it means you are in jail.

 

This telephone company records every single phone call made by every single inmate every single day. These inmates may be involved with crime inside or outside of the prison. They could be telling their guys on the outside to commit a crime, or they could be dealing with the flow contraband into the prison. These guys often trip themselves up by divulging their plans on recorded phone calls that law enforcement concerts using Securus Technologies software.

 

A Transparent Statement to the Issue of Squaw Valley

In 2016 there was a commotion happening at the Squaw Valley located in the state of California. Squaw Valley is a widely popular ski resort and has visitors at all times.

 

 

On November 8, 2016, there was a report against the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. The report was regarding the lack of quality of the drinking water. Allegedly, the drinking water was contaminated with E. coli and coliform bacteria. The contamination of the water was detected in the highest part of the upper mountain of Squaw Valley.

 

 

As a result of the report, immediate action was taken, and the Placer County Environmental Health began ongoing treatment of the drinking water. Within a few weeks, the water started showing signs of clearing. After some more cleaning, the test results of the water indicated that the E. coli was completely gone and the coliform bacteria was nearly gone as well.

 

 

In order to prevent any potential health problem, a ban was issued, and skiers were no longer allowed to drink any of the water; restaurants on the upper mountain of the resort were also closed down for the time being until it was completely safe to use the drinking water again.

 

 

Mrs Liesl Kenny is the Public Relations Director for the resort of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. She gracefully provided a public statement about the issue with the drinking water. The report explains how the water got contaminated. The recent downpours were too heavy for the water system to handle. Many of the local water systems were affected as well. The sludge water caused the contamination of the drinking water. Over the summer, there was a new addition to the water systems that have since ben removed because they were not good enough to avoid the bacteria and the E. coli. The statement also includes a promise that the contaminated drinking water was never even available to the visitors of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort. The public had been safe and protected from the contaminated water all along. In order to make up for the inconvenience, the resort supplies its visitors with bottled water that is completely free of charge. They also promise to keep being transparent about the issue.

 

 

Stephen Rotella’s Stone Castle acquires an insurance deposit sweep business

A few weeks ago, StoneCastle made the announcement that they were in the process of the acquisition of some business from Intermedium Financial LLC. They have successfully completed the acquisition of an insured deposit sweep from Intermedium. StoneCastle is one of the companies that form the larger StoneCastle Cash Management Company. They have been an insured deposit provider in the business for a long time and this newest acquisition solidifies that position. The business model that is followed by the company is getting all the means possible to access the broker dealer, financial advisors, the 401K sector and all other important players in the business.

The CEO of the company, Stephen Rotella gave a statement about the acquisition. He said that the plan of the company was to become a force to reckon with in the industry and to make this happen, they were investing in companies that were using technology to add value to their businesses. The great thing about this company is their proven track record when it comes to delivery of their deposit capacity. The companies that have been under the leadership of the group include registered advisors in investment, brokerage firms and many other types of financial intermediaries. They specialize in helping the companies that are in a tight spot access the help that they need to reorganize themselves and improve their services.

The Director of Intermedium LLC confided that the company was elated about getting the ideal partner in their quest to invest in the Fintech platform. He reiterated the fact that StoneCastle was one of the known and respected names in the business and was optimistic that the new business partnership would help them complement their operations. He announced that the company would be operating most of their sweep business under StoneCastle, but maintained that they were keen on maintaining their InterLink brand.

StoneCastle Management LLC

This is an investment advisory company that has been registered by the SEC. They provide sweep business for some of the largest business organizations around the globe. The company was established in 2003 and has been growing to the level of success that they are enjoying currently.