HD video test
Time: 9:52 PM
In order to watch the video in high definition, you need to press on the HD button on the lower right hand side of the YouTube control bar.
In case your wondering, I shot this video on Friday Jan 8 around 8:15 PM at the Danbury Fair Mall.
...this in only a test.
1. From what I see so far, the video take a little time caching in HD. This could be due to the fact that I just uploaded it to YouTube and the service is still rendering the file. Other than that, the video looks really good (and amazing in full screen).
2. Just as I thought, the reason for the lag last night was because YouTube takes a longer time rendering HD video. Everything seems fine now. Tested on PC (Duo COre 2.4 MHZ, 4 gig memory) and Mac (Duo Core 2.5 MHZ 4 gig memory) both on wires internet and WiFi. Going to get playing the file on slower machines today.
CT 04: Congressman Himes town hall meeting info
Time: 7:25 AM
During my appearance on the local access show Ideas at Work and Beyond, I promised people that I would post the information regarding Congressman Jim Himes town hall meeting in Ridgefield this Saturday.
Well, here it is!
NEW LOCATION FOR RIDGEFIELD TOWN HALL MEETING ON AFGHANISTAN:
Ridgefield Play House
80 East Ridge Street, Ridgefield
Saturday, January 9th at 11:30am
Pitfalls in boot program could lead to legal problems
Time: 1:50 PM
As the recent articles in the News-Times revealed (here and here), there are several pitfalls to the city's boot program. Although these problems might seem minor, as seen in other cities in Connecticut that also participate in the booting effort, these issues could result in litigation...and should be taken seriously.
One of the problem with the boot program doesn't stem from incompetence from VioAlert, but Danbury's ability to provide the boot company with an accurate database in a timely manner.
Another resident, Milagros Celis, said she was about to take her pregnant daughter to the doctor in November when she found a boot on her daughter's car.
"I was shocked," she said. "I had paid the taxes myself two months ago for my daughter, because she was on bed rest."
Celis said she spoke to City Hall officials, who apologized and had the boot removed within about half an hour.
When it comes to improperly booting a resident's car, in looking at other areas where the program is in effect, an apology doesn't always work.
VioAlert's beginnings can be traced back to New Haven...a city which was notorious with their lapses in their tax database as well as incidents where cars were unfairly towed.
New Haven Independent July 15 2008:
When Darrell Greene walked out the door to go work, he found out his SUV had been booted — for tickets he paid a month ago.
Greene woke up Tuesday morning at his home on Beaver Hill’s Diamond Street. He got ready to head to the Hospital of St. Raphael, where he works in the psych ward. When he stepped outside at a quarter to 6, he saw something slapped on the window of his Ford Expedition.
“I walk out the door, I see the big orange sticker with the boot,” he said. The city’s new VioAlert wheel immobilizer was clamped to his wheel. A note detailed the charges: $360 in unpaid parking tickets. With towing and booting fees added on, the fines totaled $465.
Greene fumed. He didn’t owe any tickets on his car. He had paid them a month ago, on June 17.
“I got pretty hot,” said Greene, standing outside his home Tuesday afternoon. “I had to call out” from work and miss a day’s pay, he said.
Mirroring Danbury resident Celis' problem, screw-ups with New Haven's tax database, which led to residents cars being illegally towed, were around long before VioAlert came to the area:
Tony and Tony had eight angry customers at their towing lot — innocent victims of a screw-up at the city tax office.
The customers were coming to get their cars after they were snatched in the middle of the night by the city Plate Hunter program. Prowling through the streets in the wee hours of June 18, the city’s license-plate-scanning device had identified their cars as belonging to tax scofflaws. Tony’s Long Wharf towing company, which was manning the Plate Hunter program on that shift, dutifully towed the cars.
Then Tony’s got a call from the city tax office saying there had been a screw-up: None of the eight people actually owed back taxes. Tony’s was asked to release the cars.
“Eight people got towed mistakenly,” explained the city’s tax collector, C.J. Cuticello, Friday. The tax data that the city downloaded into the Plate Hunter device was “corrupt,” he said. “How it got corrupt I don’t know.”
Jumping the gun by over a month, the city had downloaded the data of people who had open tax bills, meaning they hadn’t yet made tax payments that are due on July 1. Taxpayers are supposed to have until Aug. 1 to pay those taxes before they risk getting towed.
“There was a problem with the data that converted into misinformation,” said Cuticello. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”
The New Haven incidents should serve as a wake up call to Danbury officials as the city could face litigation.
The incident sparked an angry letter to City Hall from attorney Robert G. Oliver, on behalf of Vincent DiLauro (at right in photo), who heads the city’s towing association.
In the June 18 letter, Oliver wrote that he has been advised that his clients (members of the towing association) have been ordered to tow cars for taxes when in fact no back taxes were due.
“That would be a serious violation of state law and expose the city to civil liability, while forcing my clients, through no fault of their own, to return vehicles without charge when the owner appears,” Oliver wrote.
“I strongly urge that you put an end to this confusion.”
In short, there are many moving parts to the boot program and as the incidents in New Haven outline how a minor mishap could result in serious consequences.
...too be continued.
LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Progressive Soup 01.06.10 broadcast
Time: 12:57 PM
LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Community Forum 01.06.10 broadcast
Time: 11:07 AM
All about Dodd
Time: 5:12 PM
Click here to see my video footage of Senator Chris Dodd's retirement speech.
Anger over boot program continues
Time: 3:53 PM
"Nobody disrespects my mother like that," he said. "Is this really people over politics?"
-Remark from Resident David Solis regarding the treatment his mother received from an employee of VioAlert. The employee yelled and told Solis' mother to turn off her car so he could but a boot on the wheel.
As the News-Times noted in several reports (here, and here), residents are becoming increasingly upset over the the practices of the company responsible for the boot program (VioAlert).
I've also received numerous complaints from residents who had their cars "booted" which I will outline in a future post. I'm also still working on a post that will give people some background on the history of the booting program as their aggressive actions in Danbury are nothing new.
Back to full speed Monday
Time: 3:25 PM
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