Peace of Mind: Personal Safety, Security and Protection

EMERGENCY SERVICES ICON   WEATHER-PREDICTION   AIRCRAFT-MAINTENANCE   BABY-PRODUCTS   WATER QUALITY ICON   LEMON-LAWS-2


The High Return on Investment for Publicly Funded Research
Center for American Progress | Sean Pool and Jennifer Erickson
In order for the U.S. to maintain its role as an innovation-driven economy, “government must provide three key public-good inputs that allow innovation to blossom: investments in human capital, infrastructure, and research.” The authors cite and summarize the contributions of influential research funded by the U.S. Government through the Dept. of Energy Labs, The National Science Foundation, The Human Genome Project, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Apollo Space Program.


When Adding Bike Lanes Actually Reduces Traffic Delays
CityLab | September 5, 2014
“To see what we mean, let’s take a look at the bike lanes installed on Columbus Avenue from 96th to 77th streets in 2010-2011. As the diagram below shows, the avenue originally had five lanes—three for traffic, one for parking, and one parking-morning rush hybrid. By narrowing the lane widths, the city was able to maintain all five lanes while still squeezing in a protected bike lane and a buffer area.

Rather than increase delay for cars, the protected bike lanes on Columbus actually improved travel times in the corridor. According to city figures, the average car took about four-and-a-half minutes to go from 96th to 77th before the bike lanes were installed, and three minutes afterward—a 35 percent decrease in travel time. This was true even as total vehicle volume on the road remained pretty consistent. In simpler terms, everybody wins.”


Dr. Burke Healey | Department of Agriculture
Service to America Medals
“Halted the spread of the largest animal disease outbreak in U.S. history, an avian influenza virus that threatened human health, the poultry industry and the jobs of 1.8 million people.” 

Background: Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory | NPR


Thomas A. Mariani, Jr., Steven O’Rourke and Sarah Himmelhoch | Department of Justice
Service to America Medals
“Secured a record $20.8 billion legal settlement against BP for the devastating 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, providing funds to help a five-state region recover from massive environmental disaster.”

Background: U.S., BP Finalize $20.8 Billion Deepwater Oil Spill Settlement | WSJ


Joseph J. Mueller Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Service to America Medals
“Prevented the collapse of a major dam that threatened the lives and property of thousands of residents and business owners downstream, and could have disrupted New York City’s water supply.”

Background: Water Recedes and Anxiety Rises After Hole Opens Near Upstate New York Dam | NY Times


David A. Hindin |Environmental Protection Agency
Service to America Medals
“Spearheaded the EPA’s use of advanced pollution monitoring technology to increase compliance with federal environmental laws, provide more public transparency and reduce harmful pollutants in our air and waterways.”

Background: EPA adopts rules to limit oil refineries’ emissions into neighborhoods | LA Times


Kathleen B. Hogan | Department of Energy
Service to America Medals
“Developed and expanded a series of pivotal national energy efficiency initiatives that have greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions and saved American consumers and businesses billions of dollars.”

Background: Better Buildings Challenge Energy Savings Exceed $1.3B | Facility Executive


ATC privatization: a solution in search of a problem?
The Hill | September 30, 2016 
“A key question should be, what improvements would U.S. ATC privatization set out to achieve? Surprisingly, proponents have not articulated any metrics on what would be achieved through privatization. Perhaps that is because there is no proof that privatization would either save operators money (one of Delta’s arguments) or reduce flight time and delays (which place a drag on the U.S. economy).”


Don’t Privatize Air Traffic Control 
The New York Times – Editorial Board | February 15, 2016
“… there is no credible evidence that a privately operated system would be better than the current one, which is the busiest and safest in the world. And there is plenty of reason to believe it would be worse.”

“The privatization bill also gives short shrift to passengers’ interests. The new air traffic operator is to have a 13-member board of directors, with four of them representing airlines, three representing the owners and operators of private planes and one for aerospace manufacturers. Just two people would be appointed by the secretary of transportation to stand up for the public, with the other seats going to the chief executive and unions.”

“… Even more galling, the new company would not have to pay anything to acquire the towers, equipment and other assets of the existing system. The government has spent an estimated $53.5 billion on that system in just the last 20 years, with the money coming from passenger fees and tax revenue.”


Trump could privatize nation’s air traffic controllers
Reuters | December 8, 2016
“The chances that the federal government could hand off the U.S. air traffic control system to private management are increasing, say advocates who report they are getting supportive feedback from President-elect Donald Trump and his team.”