Super Bowl Champion Urges His State to Reject Right-to-Die Legislation

first_imgDaily Signal 11 March 2015The right-to-die debate is ramping up across the nation as a number of states consider passing legislation that would allow terminally ill adults to take their own life.Among them is Maryland, where lawmakers Tuesday heard emotional testimony from former Ravens linebacker O.J. Brigance, who said he’s enjoyed some of the most meaningful years of his life while terminally ill.“I did not create my life, so I have no right to negate my life,” Brigance stated in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Since being diagnosed, I have done a greater good for society in eight years, than in my 37 years on earth.”Brigance has been battling ALS—also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease—for eight years.Once a 2000 Super Bowl champion, Brigance is now confined to a wheelchair.He urged lawmakers to reject Maryland’s Richard E. Israel and Roger “Pip” Moyer Death With Dignity Act, introduced by Sen. Ron Young and Del. Shane Pendergrass, both Democrats.The legislation, he wrote, would “devalue the lives and possible future contributions of Marylanders.”Brigance’s story juxtaposes that of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer, who took her own life last November. read more

City aims to increase bicycle use

first_imgTo a commuter, Los Angeles may be a huge city with clogged freeways and constant bumper-to-bumper traffic. But to a cyclist, it’s a city of endless opportunity.The Los Angeles Department of Transportation is attempting to take advantage of the city’s flat surfaces and static climate to make it a bike-friendly city with its 2009 bicycle plan. The plan, which LADOT is publicizing through a number of workshops offering members of the public a chance to comment and make suggestions, could alter roads across the city, including a number of those around USC.Right lane · Jared Shier (right) and Eric Bruins, members of the USC Cycling Club, discuss LADOT’s proposed bicycle plan at an interactive public workshop Saturday. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanThe plan concentrates on making a citywide bicycle transportation system by building 696 miles of new bike lanes — the 5-foot line on the side of a regular street — and separate bike paths. It also plans to install and improve bike signage and parking, emphasize bike safety through education and regulation and increase efforts to fund the plan.“[The 2009 bicycle plan] is a complete revision of the 1996 and 2002 plans which were essentially the same plan,” said Michelle Mowery, senior project coordinator of bicycle planning and outreach of LADOT. “We took information [from previous plans] and figured out what was still feasible and merged it into the new plan … it’s a huge rebuild.”Although the plan is a long-term proposition, with LADOT expecting the process to take more than a decade, they are hoping to use the workshops to give the community a chance to add their input.Around USC, the plan proposes a bicycle lane on Adams Boulevard, a bicycle lane that goes along Exposition Boulevard until Vermont Avenue and encourages bikers to use more “bike-friendly” streets like 29th Street.Jefferson Boulevard, according to Mowery, is cited in the plan as a “potential” bicycle lane because LADOT would have to compromise by stripping the street of its side-street parking to gain the five feet needed for a bicycle lane.Some students might enjoy more bike lanes and routes around the campus, but several who attended one of LADOT’s interactive workshops at the Bethune Regional Library in Exposition Park on Saturday, were skeptical.Eric Bruins, a senior majoring in public policy, planning and development, and a member of the USC Cycling Club, said the plan is a good step for the community, but will need work for it to become a reality. Bruins said he was especially concerned about work along the proposed “Expo Line” route, which is frequently used by USC staff.“There was an engineering decision somewhere along the line that [a] bike path doesn’t fit, so they moved it to bike lanes, which is fine for [the cycling club] because we’re used to riding on the roads, but it’s going to be hard to convince [students],” Bruins said. “They lost a huge potential biking constituency when they made that decision, and I don’t think they realized that.”But potential changes would require official analysis into their environmental and traffic impact.According to Brett Hondorp, principal of Alta Planning and Design, the engineering company that works with LADOT to design the lanes, the city is very careful when making those decisions about possible bike lanes.For the plan to become a reality, it must go through several transportation, planning and subcommittees before reaching the City Council for approval.“The timeline is vague at this point,” Mowery said, “because the bike community is asking that the time is extended.”Some community members, such as former USC photography professor Lisa Auerbach, who attended the workshop, were skeptical that the plan will ever become a reality.“Words like ‘encourage,’ words like ‘should:’ They’re pretty hedging terms … It sounds good on paper, but when you actually get to the meat about what they are going to do, it’s not there,” Auerbach said.Bruins added that many of these obstacles are a result of bureaucracy.“It’s not a planning problem, it’s a political problem,” Bruins said. “There are so many steps along the way that are really [just] political opposition.”LADOT believes the plan is necessary to get people to think about bikes as a form of transportation rather than recreation, Mowery said. The city hopes to see 5 percent of Los Angeles commuters regularly use their bicycles by 2020, but achieving that will require work from all sides.“If we continue at the level of interest we have had for the last ten years, in twenty years this could happen,” said Mowery. “But we need to get everyone excited.”last_img read more

Paraguayan golfer wins Malaysian Open

first_imgSeamus Power is 3 under par with Padraig Harraington 3 over par.Jordan Speith leads the way on 17 under par. The Paraguayan finished 19 under par and one shot clear after a final round of 63.Ireland’s Niall Turner finished 4 over par.Meanwhile, Shane Lowry is 5 under par after round three at the AT&T Pebble Beach PRO-AM.last_img