Friday, April 30, 2010

A Block Too Far - Part 2

Last December I wrote about the ‘paratransit’ service roadblock in the Valley.

Yesterday I got an email from a public service organization I work with and respect that the Division of Motor Vehicles office in the Roanoke Valley is no longer accessible by public transportation. Until about a year ago, it was located in an old crumbling shopping center on the bus lines in Roanoke City; it moved to a shiny new building at Valley Pointe business park in Roanoke County.

Federal law says that paratransit services must transport disabled people to/from homes and locations within 3/4 mile of existing bus lines. Valley Pointe isn’t within that 3/4 mile distance, so RADAR/CORTRAN riders are out of luck if they need to go there.

Why is it important?  Even if disabled don’t drive, they need a ‘current’ picture ID.  In Virginia, the picture ID is issued by DMV. And the irony is that RADAR/CORTRAN require a ‘current’ ID for transportation. Gee, can't get to DMV to update my ID because RADAR/CORTRAN won't take me there; now can't ride it at all because my ID isn't current. Don'tcha just love the bureaucratic mentality?

The fix:  Roanoke County Board of Supervisors and Roanoke City Council simply need to amend their transportation agreements with Valley Metro (which has the contract to operate RADAR/CORTRAN) to include trips for their citizens to DMV; maybe they can talk DMV into subsidizing the trips by another dollar or two. And since Roanoke City Council happens to be the (hands-off?) Board of Directors for Valley Metro, maybe that would have some influence.

While they’re at it, they can fix that boundary silliness I commented on last December.

Friday, April 23, 2010

How to spoil a telephone soliciter's day

Some days I have too much time on my hands.  Below is a letter just faxed to the named culprit and which tells the story.   The next time they call I might get rude!

Liberty United Mortgage, L.L.C.
2030 Liberty Road; Suite 10            Facsimile ONLY to
Eldersburg, MD  21784                (410) 552-0570

    RE:     VIOLATION: Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 USC 227)

On July 6, 2003, my home telephone number (540-XXX-YYYY) was registered with the Do Not Call Registry maintained by the Federal Trade Commission

On April 22, 2010 at approximately 7:08 PM, I received a telephone call at my residence from an automated calling service.  The purpose of the call was to solicit a refinance of my home mortgage loan.

I was connected with an individual named “John” who, through his accent, confirmed that the call was computer generated. I asked “John” to call me back at my office the next day.  Upon the follow-up call today I was connected with a “Brad Kirk” who identified the company as Liberty United Mortgage, LLC with offices in several areas of the mid-Atlantic, one which used to be in Richmond VA.

The April 22 call is a violation of the TCPA and can carry up to a $1500 penalty.

I hereby demand payment of $500.00 in satisfaction of all claims I have for your violation, through your agent, of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. If this amount is not received in my office before 4 PM May 5, 2010, I will take appropriate action.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Founding Father

It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. JAMES MADISON , The Federalist, ed. Benjamin F. Wright, no. 62, pp. 41112

That rumbling you hear near Montpelier, Virginia, is our Fourth President rolling in his grave.