OMG! It's Seattle Election Season Again!
Elections are important even though many pretend otherwise, and while it probably doesn't matter who is elected the new Seattle mayor, given that zero plus zero always equaling zero, Port of Seattle Commission Position Number 4 is of especial importance given Stienbrueck's vocal and written support for the downtrodden cabbies working Sea-Tac International Airport. Oppositely, his opponent, Toshiko Grace Hasegawa's chief policy agenda and focus is instead one of blame, pointing fingers at Steinbrueck and the entire sitting Port Commission for not anticipating container traffic flow issues, somehow forgetting that it is a problem shared by every shipping port worldwide since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. A vote for Hasegawa is a vote for an Upper-Middle Class theorist who, minus any real governing experience, knows she can do better than anyone else.
And why does she believe this? Because, in her mind, she is an anointed, special, superior "god-yes" appointed savior of everything in the world, the Port of Seattle just one more small step toward her predestined celestial seat upon Mount Olympus, shoving Hera aside and taking her rightful throne next to Zeus Almighty. If you don't support that, then vote for Peter Steinbrueck, negating Hasegawa's righteous thunderbolts crashing upon everyone's heads, divine punishment for the unworthy, and should I say it, the unwashed.
Mix and Match, Harrell and Gonzalez Both the Same---Two Stumblebums Minus a Moral Brain
Lewis Carroll would like this mayoral battle, hence the Alice reference, two Pin-the Tail-Upon-the Donkey candidates hoping to poke Seattle's collective buttock into believing that "I, not you, Me" can work new miracles upon Seattle's governmental fabric, weaving new magical garments for all its citizens, everyone flying away to a new Never-Never Land where junkies will never again break your car window and Seattle drivers will eternally foreswear never to road-rage again down local avenues and byways, everyone suddenly having a snug and safe home, Bruce Harrell doing his best Xi Jinping imitation while M. Lorena Gonzalez shouts, "Look at Me, I'm Hillary Rodham Clinton!"
If I did't know already, I know why I am now registered to vote way down in southwest New Mexico's Grant County where rattlesnakes bite only when confusing right from wrong, which isn't very often.
Would Someone Please Fly Across the Blue Pacific and Teach These Folks Their Taxi ABC's?
Look, I know the Cebu-based call-center is attempting, given their limited knowledge, to do their best dispatching a taxi fleet 8,000 miles away but it is clear they are not yet ready for graduation, prematurely issued their taxi diplomas. Taxi is a language and they don't speak it. Taxi is a science and they don't know how to boil water. Taxi is a skilled profession and dispatch is still leaning how to tie its shoes. Passengers call and ask, "how long will it be?" and Cebu guesses, "well , we really don't know, does 40 minutes sound okay to you?" And then the cab arrives in five minutes, it's "where did you come from?'
Twenty minutes to midnight last Sunday, three Zone 160 (Magnolia) fares suddenly popped up on the screen, no warning, no info, and what was it? it was a late docking Alaskan fishing vessel unloading a crew eager to get home. But dispatch didn't name the boat then floating dockside at Pier 91, not knowing you need to tell security where you are going, because most often there are 4-6 ships all simultaneously disembarking their crews. I went to Bremerton, which was wonderful, but not so wonderful is the never-ending amateur hour that is pretending to be a professional taxi dispatch call-center. That is why someone from Puget Sound Dispatch needs to travel to the Philippines and provide the necessary instruction required. Their lack of taxi literacy is needlessly punishing our passengers, diminishing customer service. And all I am saying and have been saying over the past weeks and months is true and accurate. And PSD knows it as well as I do, you can bet on it.
And as I keep telling all those City and County licensing officials, it is really all your fault, allowing the associations to do anything they want minus real accountability. As the silly saying goes, "when the cat is away, the mice will play," and this has been occurring for decades, long before Yellow dispatch was transferred overseas, also explaining why it was so easy for Uber to push taxi into the financial ditch back in 2014. We should require professionalism from everyone involved----dispatch, PSD administration, owner operators, City & County taxi licensing--- getting our taxi house in order before 2022 arrives. So don't get mad at me, your anger misplaced. Instead, facilitate change now, everyone, now! Let us be completely honest. Let us be real. Our customers deserve better. Can there be any argument?
NYC "Taxi King" Dead at Age 50
Gene Freidman (Evgeny Alender Freidman) died on Sunday, October 24th, 2021, from a heart attack, a former New York City taxi baron who ruled the taxi roost until the 2014 Uber revolution toppled taxi from atop the transportation monopoly that controlled most of NYC's then for-hire industry, medallion prices (valuations) falling by 80%. Before that, beginning in 1996, at age 26, Freidman took over his father's taxi garage handling 60 cabs, expanding that to 900 cabs, with him personally owning 250 medallions. What got him extremely rich was his 2006 scheme to manipulate medallions value by overpaying for 54 medallions offered by the City of New York that year, paying $477,666 for each of the 54 medallions, helping create an inflationary price escalation that eventually had the over 13, 587 taxi medallions worth a startling 1.3 million dollars each. Freidman's initial purchases was facilitated by the Progressive Credit Union, who was more than glad to assist in something that would make everyone involved extremely wealthy. At one point, Freidman held $525 million in assets, owning a 4000 square foot Park Avenue townhouse, a country estate in Bridgehampton, New York, two villas on the French Rivera while driving around NYC in a $400,000 Ferrari, no taxi cab for him.
A quote from the Tuesday, October 26th, 2021 NY Times obituary written by Sam Roberts says everything about about Mister Freidman, "I'd go to an auction, I'd run up the price of a medallion, then I'd run to my bankers and say, "Look how high the medallions priced! Let me borrow against my portfolio. And they let me do that!"
But Freidman wasn't content only doing that, in 2017 finding himself charged with first degree taxi fraud for his failure to forward the 50 cents surcharge required on each taxi trip that is allocated to the MTA, bilking that New York transit agency out of $5,000,000 dollars. He was granted probation after ratting on his famous medallion business partner, Michael Cohen, he of President Trump fame.
While saying he was a broken man, his continued privileged lifestyle said otherwise, Freidman accused of transferring over $60 million dollars in trust accounts located in Belize, Nevis and the Cook Islands. I am sure he will be buried beneath a nice tombstone, a grave perhaps to be visited by the many now impoverished cabbies who believed that a medallion was indeed worth over a million dollars, stomping upon the taxi thief's final resting place. At least I hope they do, pouring the brightest of bright red animal blood over his headstone, blood on his hands, blood forever now staining his head and soul.