Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chairman Mal Resigns! (Satire)

LRBResignation of Chairman Mal Press Release

Attention Comrades!
It is with a sad heart and considerable heartburn, that I must announce the resignation of our Dear Leader, Chairman Mal, as Secretary General of the Austin Chapter of the Blind Panther Party.  The rumor that he was struck by an accessible Capital Metro bus while he attempted to cross Sixth Street to frequent a local bar called “The Chain Drive” is only partially true.
Chairman Mal has asked me to convey his profound regret for attempting to commandeer the Dillo trolley car on Friday, Oct. 13th.  He has apologized to Cap Metro officials for threatening to shoot the driver and several obese Republicans traveling to the bar that night.  Our Dear Leader does admit that he has a problem with alcohol and Suffers from a severe case of triskaidekaphobia.
Moreover, he is a gay man or a transgender male: It’s not entirely clear to us at this time.
He was not molested by any priest at any time while attending parochial schools in Mobile, Alabama.  However, he was gang raped by a herd of wild horses while on a spirit Walk with a Native American tribe somewhere in New Mexico on or about Friday the 13th circa 1969.
He did, as his final act before checking into Rehab. Cast his vote for the next Governor of the State of Texas, Kinky freedman, and voted against all obese republicans on the ballot.  This means he may have voted for one anorexic female Republican candidate in a gerrymandered district, only because he was confused by the talking voting machine which apparently announced his selections in Surround Sound Stereo, a result of an unexpected glitch with the electronic voting machine.
Respectfully submitted by, Drew L Spitz, Director of Very Public Affairs, ATC/BPP: POWER TO THE PEEPS!

*Note:  chairman Mal will recuperate at the “Last Resort Center for Character Development.  It is surrounded by verdant hills and grassy knolls in the Texas Hill Country.  Last Resort specializes in cognitive and financial restructuring, Addiction Studies, Tm, BM, and ATM.

PS:  Chairman Mal did not call the Interim director of Special Transit Services “a stupid little bitch,”   as reported.  His speech was slurred, however, and he was attempting to ask the Ralphster, “Will you be a cognitively challenged witch on Halloween this year.”

Friday, October 06, 2006

Howdy ComradesA Fume of Buses: Part One

Howdy Comrades!
Recently, Capital Metro has decided to go after “a lot of fraud” which they allege is being perpetrated by blind Special Transit users who have taxi vouchers here in Austin.  I’ve been involved with disability transportation issues since the late 1970’s, and I can’t understand why the management at Cap Metro is bloviating about voucher fraud within the blind community.  Their definition of what fraud means has changed over the years.  Nowadays, fraud means using a voucher to take taxi rides to or from a destination that hasn’t been preauthorized.  This is a big change.
In the past, blind STS riders   have been able to get vouchers for trips with the taxi companies to help defray costs associated with traveling to medical, work and grocery shopping appointments.  The transit authority saves up to thirty bucks per trip by using taxi service over sending one of their vehicles with union drivers.  Many blind passengers Qualified for permanent vouchers for these types of trips made on a routine basis.  Officials with Cap Metro told us that they had no problem when we needed to “edit” our vouchers; as long as the MtA was not charged more than the original voucher.  The voucher system worked very well for almost two decades, particularly for the blind people who were able to find reliable, honest drivers who became familiar with their transportation needs.
Of course, not all cab drivers are reliable or honest, and a few years ago, Cap Metro discovered that four drivers had been fabricating vouchers for trips they never made for passengers that didn’t even exist.  My sources have confirmed, and Cap metro officials will not deny, that the four drivers in question defrauded the taxpayers to the tune of about $15,000.00 each week.  The total fraud may exceed a quarter million dollars.  So, one might think these drivers are now serving jail terms and are repaying the monies they scammed in the name of serving blind passengers, right?  Well, not so much, as we say here in the Lone Star State.  The drivers were fired but have never been prosecuted.  How could this be the case?  Could there be some hanky panky within the MTA bureaucracy?  I smell more than a whiff of bullshit here.  
Now, in classic fashion, Cap metro has changed what fraud means, and blames the true victims of the fraud, the tax paying blind passengers themselves.  Metro officials seem more concerned with hiding what has happened from their Board and the media than finding methods to make the program work in a transparent and fiscally sound manner.  Stay tuned to the Little-Red-Book for further developments.  We will not allow Cap Metro to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Regards, Chairman Mal: Power to the Peeps!