Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Biden issues Executive Order on Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Sunday, November 21st, 2021

Executive Order on Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to effectively implement the historic infrastructure investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the Act), it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Background.  The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a once-in-a-generation investment in our Nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. It will help rebuild America’s roads, bridges, and rails; expand access to clean drinking water; work to ensure access to high-speed Internet throughout the Nation; tackle the climate crisis; advance environmental justice; and invest in communities that have too often been left behind.  It will accomplish all of this while driving the creation of good-paying union jobs and growing the economy sustainably and equitably for decades to come.

Critical to achieving these goals will be the effective implementation of the Act by my Administration, as well as by State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments.

President Biden signed the infrastructure bill during a ceremony on the back lawn of the White House surrounded by members of his cabinet, the House and Senate on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. Source: U.S. Speaker of the House website

Sec. 2.  Implementation Priorities.  In implementing the Act, all agencies (as described in section 3502(1) of title 44, United States Code, except for the agencies described in section 3502(5) of title 44), shall, as appropriate and to the extent consistent with law, prioritize:

(a)  investing public dollars efficiently, working to avoid waste, and focusing on measurable outcomes for the American people;

(b)  increasing the competitiveness of the United States economy, including through implementing the Act’s Made-in-America requirements and bolstering United States manufacturing and supply chains;

(c)  improving job opportunities for millions of Americans by focusing on high labor standards for these jobs, including prevailing wages and the free and fair chance to join a union;

(d)  investing public dollars equitably, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which is a Government-wide effort toward a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy flow to disadvantaged communities;

(e)  building infrastructure that is resilient and that helps combat the crisis of climate change; and

(f)  effectively coordinating with State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments in implementing these critical investments.

Sec. 3.  Infrastructure Implementation Task Force.  (a)  There is established within the Executive Office of the President the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force (Task Force).  The function of the Task Force is to coordinate effective implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other related significant infrastructure programs within the executive branch.

(b)  The Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council shall serve as Co‑Chair of the Task Force.

(c)  There is established within the Executive Office of the President the position of White House Infrastructure Coordinator, who shall serve as Co-Chair of the Task Force.

(d)  In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Task Force shall consist of the following members:

(i)     the Secretary of the Interior;

(ii)    the Secretary of Agriculture;

(iii)   the Secretary of Commerce;

(iv)    the Secretary of Labor;

(v)     the Secretary of Transportation;

(vi)    the Secretary of Energy;

(vii)   the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;

(viii)  the Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

(ix)    the Director of the Office of Personnel Management;

(x)     the Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council;

(xi)    the Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor; and

(xii)   the heads of such other executive departments, agencies, and offices as the Co-Chairs may from time to time invite to participate.

(e)  The Co-Chairs may coordinate subgroups consisting of Task Force members or their designees, as appropriate.

Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

THE WHITE HOUSE,

November 15, 2021.

 

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Four McNerney bills included in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Rep. Jerry McNerney

Signed by Biden on Monday

Washington, DC – In response to President Joe Biden signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) issued the following statement on Monday, Nov. 15:

“Today, I had the privilege of joining President Biden as he signed into law the largest federal infrastructure investment in nearly a century. Americans called on us for action, and we answered ‘yes’ to rebuilding our communities, ‘yes’ to good union wages, ‘yes’ to expanding opportunity, and ‘yes’ to doing it all while tackling the climate crisis.

“Building back better is no longer just a promise, but a reality that Americans will see throughout their communities and across our nation. I am extremely proud that four bills I authored were encompassed in this historic law. As part of the law’s $65 billion broadband investment, the Digital Equity Act will provide $2.75 billion to help close gaps in broadband adoption and increase digital literacy. Connectivity and digital skills are essential for opening gateways to economic opportunity, and this funding is crucial for lifting up communities across the country – including many in my district. Additionally, the Cyber Sense Act and the Enhancing Grid Security Through Public-Private Partnerships Act will help bolster the cybersecurity of our electric utilities to better secure our grid as we confront a growing number of cyber threats. Finally, the Grid Hardening Act will dedicate $3 billion to modernize the electric grid, including upgrades to increase resiliency against wildfires.”

“Through investments such as the $55 billion allotted to update our drinking water infrastructure and $17 billion marked for ports and waterway enhancements, we will create an average of 1.5 million jobs per year over the next 10 years. Our roads and bridges will be repaired and rebuilt with an emphasis on climate change mitigation, and our commitment to reducing greenhouse emissions will be honored with the largest investment in public transit in our nation’s history.”

Rep. Jerry McNerney represents California’s 9th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Represents that includes portions of Contra Costa – including parts of Antioch, San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties. For more information on the Congressman’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.

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Beat a cyberbully – here’s how parents can help

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

Victims of cyberbullying can feel helpless and may not know what to do. Free resources on jw.org help children, teens and parents successfully deal with bullying.

Antioch couple shares their approach

By Ezra Smith, Public Information Desk, Jehova’s Witnesses United States Branch

While remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic lowered reported instances of bullying, parents fear that, for some students, going back to school will mean going back to being bullied.

Adrian and his wife Nalana, who live in Antioch, understand the threat bullying may pose to their children.

“As parents, it can be a pretty big concern. It can be a big worry that if your child is on some social networking site, they can be targeted,” Nalana said.

Now 15 years after the inception of National Bullying Prevention Month in October, technology’s ever-greater presence in children’s lives has given bullying a new outlet. With just a click, cyberbullies can taunt, harass and threaten relentlessly, even reaching into the home via cellphone or computer. As a result, victims report feeling hopeless, isolated and even suicidal.

What can parents do to protect their kids? Taking an interest in their children’s online world can make a difference, says the National Parent Teacher Association.

This interest does not necessarily require parents to become tech experts. Instead, the federal stopbullying.gov site advises parents to watch for subtle clues that something is wrong, such as their child becoming withdrawn, hiding their screen when others are nearby or reacting emotionally to what is happening on their device.

For Adrian and Nalana, that means being keenly aware of what “normal” looks like for their two teenagers, ages 16 and 18.

“Watching for different body language or different characteristics in your children is important as parents,” Adrian said. “So, if we feel we see something, we’ll converse with one another. That way, we are able to head it off better if there is a problem.”

Talking with kids openly — and often — helps too. “The more you talk to your children about bullying, the more comfortable they will be telling you if they see or experience it,” UNICEF says in its online tips for parents.

As their two daughters enter their teens, Houston parents Thiago and Auboni have found that talking less and listening more works best. “We try to focus on being approachable and listening actively without reaction,” Thiago said.

Beyond talking, listening and observing their kids, parents should not be afraid to make and enforce rules for online activities, experts say.

Thiago and Auboni’s girls are allowed to play online games, but they are expected to turn off the live chat feature to limit interactions with strangers. “We reassure the girls that we trust them and respect their privacy, but they have to stay within the boundaries we’ve set,” Auboni said.

Adrian and Nalana take a similar approach. While they do have full access to their children’s devices, they do not feel the need to constantly monitor their children’s activity online. “The more trust they earn, the less reason we have to hover over them as much, because we see them living by our guidelines,” Adrian said.

Both families cited the tips and reminders they have considered together with their kids from free resources available on jw.org, the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Adrian and Nalana’s 16-year-old daughter especially recommends one of the site’s short animated videos, “Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists”.

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Glydways completes feasibility study with Eastern Contra Costa cities and Tri Delta Transit to advance micro transit system

Friday, April 9th, 2021

Glydways vehicles and station rendering. Source: Glydways

Could be feeder system to BART from downtowns

The Tri Delta Transit Board of Directors has unanimously approved a resolution to support feasibility study findings regarding a Dynamic Personal Micro Transit (DPMT) system in Eastern Contra Costa County.

As a strong community partner and forward-thinking transit agency, Tri Delta Transit’s decision sets the stage for multiple cities in Eastern Contra Costa County to partner with Glydways to bring an innovative 28-mile, personal micro transit solution to the region through a public-private partnership model.

The feasibility study was conducted by Advanced Mobility Group (AMG) at the request of the Cities of Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley, and Brentwood, as well as Contra Costa County and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.  Glydways Feasbility Study TDT BOD 032421

The study focused on a 28-mile DPMT system with 56 boarding locations planned between the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART Station and downtown Brentwood. The system is anticipated to complement existing transportation modes such as Tri Delta Transit bus service, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and the Amtrak San Joaquins train line, and could deliver connectivity to more than 7 million riders annually.

Draft Glydways Eastern Contra Costa County routing plan. Source: Glydways

With the feasibility study conclusions affirmed by Tri Delta Transit, the findings will also be presented to each city council for the above-mentioned cities in the coming months. The support of Tri Delta Transit’s board for a mobility option that complements existing transit service is significant, since it smooths the path for cities, partners, and stakeholders to consider entering into a project development agreement with Glydways to further plan and fund the potential system.

“We are looking forward to our collaboration with Glydways to deploy this new innovative mobility option in our community that we serve and increase public transportation options,” said Jeanne Krieg, CEO of Tri Delta Transit.

Founded by Mark Seeger in 2016, Glydways is a system of on-demand autonomous vehicles, right-sized to carry passengers to their personalized destinations, privately. These vehicles operate on dedicated roads that are closed off to all other forms of transport. These roads form an interconnected network optimized for mass-transit throughput. Passengers enjoy a direct-to-destination journey with a consistently premium experience.

“At Glydways, we believe that mobility is a basic human right. We believe that access to affordable housing, employment, education, commerce, and healthcare leads to social and economic prosperity—and that the key to the equitable distribution of this prosperity is access to low-cost and ubiquitous mobility for everyone, everywhere,” said Seeger, CEO of Glydways. “In a post-pandemic world where transit budgets and programs face hesitant ridership, mobility systems must be more efficient, passenger-focused, and resilient than ever. For riders, Glydways changes the concept of public transit to a premium passenger experience without the premium cost and frustration of traffic.”

Glydways is currently completing construction on its demonstration facility at GoMentum Station in Concord and anticipates being able to provide product demonstration in Spring 2021. GoMentum Station, in Contra Costa County, was chosen as the site for the first demonstration based on its reputation for advancing innovative mobility options. This initial demonstration will be the first to showcase the full potential of the Glydways system as a more sustainable and affordable mode of mass mobility for everyone.

Based in South San Francisco, Glydways has partnered with numerous Bay Area cities, transportation agencies, technology providers, employers, and experienced international infrastructure firms to bring mass micro transit into the 21st century and provide mobility that improves communities.

Those familiar with the CyberTran system, being developed in Richmond, will recall its leaders obtained unanimous support from the Cities of Oakley, Brentwood and Antioch in 2017 to pursue federal funding for a system from the Antioch-Hillcrest BART station to the Byron Airport. CyberTran is proposed to be the system of choice for the East County extension to BART and the Glydways system would serve as a connector, bringing passengers to the future BART stations. (See related article) (Note: The publisher of the Herald has a financial interest in CyberTran International, Inc.)

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Contra Costa Transportation Authority partners with Minnesota DOT to expand autonomous vehicle testing opportunities

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

Local Motors Shared Autonomous Vehicle preparing for a test run at GoMentum Station. Photo: CCTA

By Linsey Willis, Director of External Affairs, CCTA

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority proudly announces a new partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation– an agency dedicated to advancing transportation technology research – to share knowledge and testing facilities in an effort to advance safer, smarter, more efficient transportation networks that not only benefit both California and Minnesota, but can inform transportation technology implementation across the United States.

MnDOT’s Connected and Automated Vehicle team is actively working to advance research and deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems, Connected Vehicle applications and Autonomous Vehicle technologies with the help of MnROAD–the state’s cold weather pavement testing facility. MnROAD has over 50 unique test sections on several roadways, including two 3.5-mile, high-speed corridors on Interstate 94 and a 2.5-mile, low-speed, closed access road. MnDOT also partners with Camp Ripley, a military and civilian training facility operated by the Minnesota National Guard, which has a 4.3-mile emergency vehicle operations course. With some of the most extreme weather conditions in the nation, Minnesota offers testing simulations that cannot be replicated elsewhere, which provides unique opportunities to test the safety features of CV and AV technologies.

Through this partnership, CCTA will have access to MnROAD facilities and likewise, MnDOT will have access to GoMentum Station in Concord, California – one of the largest secure connected and automated vehicle proving grounds in the country. GoMentum Station augments MnDOT’s testing with varied terrain, and real-life infrastructure including roads, bridges, tunnels, intersections and parking lots provide the environment needed to accelerate testing of the first and last mile applications, and the ability to safely test technology to its limits. CCTA also has many long-standing research and manufacturing partnerships that offer coordination opportunities for MnDOT.
“With this new collaboration, we’ll be able to test in conditions that just can’t be replicated here in Contra Costa,” stated Randy Iwasaki, Executive Director of CCTA. “Our partnership with a state agency like MnDOT will open new doors to shared research opportunities for a small agency like ours, and it’s exciting to be partnering with an agency that has similar goals in the arena of connected and automated vehicle technology.”

“Minnesota is excited to partner with one of the nation’s leading institutions in this work as we explore innovations in smart mobility, connected and automated vehicles and how advancing technologies are impacting communities,” said Kristin White, MnDOT CAV-X Executive Director. “Through collaboration and information sharing, we’re committing to learning from CCTA, sharing best practices and together advancing research that supports our regions and national goals. We believe this partnership can be a model for other regions to advance smart mobility.”

About the Contra Costa Transportation Authority

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts. With a staff of twenty people managing a multi-billion-dollar suite of projects and programs, CCTA is responsible for planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs that connect our communities, foster a strong economy, increase sustainability, and safely and efficiently get people where they need to go. CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to keep traffic levels manageable. More information about CCTA is available at ccta.net.
Background on MnDOT CAV Program

MnDOT’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Office (CAV-X) was launched in 2018 and is now one of the nation’s leading tech startups and idea incubators within state government. Building off its strong history in Intelligent Transportation Systems research, CAV-X advances research, policy, planning and strategy to help the Midwest prepare for the changes that advancing technologies will bring. This multi-disciplinary team combines the fields of law, policy, engineering, planning, and communications to develop strategic partnerships that advance the state’s goals to build a safe, equitable, accessible, healthy, and sustainable transportation system. CAV-X oversees over 100 projects in research, deployment and development with more information found at mndot.gov/automated.

About GoMentum Station

GoMentum Station in Concord, California is owned and operated by AAA, and it is the autonomous vehicle testing facility where the Contra Costa Transportation Authority leads and facilitates collaborative partnerships among multiple automobile manufacturers; original equipment manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers; communications suppliers; technology companies; researchers and academia; public agencies and other partners. At GoMentum Station, technology, innovation and commercialization will converge to define the next generation of transportation network infrastructure. More information about GoMentum Station is available at gomentumstation.net.

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Tri Delta Transit launches on-demand shuttle service to BART stations, nearby destinations

Monday, June 17th, 2019

The new Tri MyRide will take riders to and from the Antioch and Pittsburg-Bay Point BART Stations or nearby destinations. Photo from TriMyRide.com

Only $2.00 per trip, much less than Uber or Lyft

Eastern Contra Costa County Transit Authority (Tri Delta Transit) is excited to announce the launch of Tri MyRide, a flexible and dynamic on-demand shuttle service operating in neighborhoods near the Antioch BART Station and Pittsburg Bay Point BART Station. This six-month pilot program shuttle service begins operation today, Monday June 17. Tri MyRide operates Monday thru Friday from 5am to 8pm.

Photo by TriDeltaTransit.

Similar to ride-hailing services, Tri MyRide uses a smartphone app for riders to schedule customized curb-to-curb trips. Tri MyRide allows riders to plan their customized trips anywhere in the Hillcrest/Antioch BART service area or San Marco/Pittsburg Bay Point BART service area to BART or to a designated point of interest located in the service area. The app, known as Microtransit by TransLoc, is connected to proprietary software that allows bus operators to pick-up and drop-off passengers in an efficient manner.

The service uses small, neighborhood-friendly shuttle buses that easily maneuver on residential streets. Tri MyRide operators undergo the same background screening as other Tri Delta Transit operators, and all vehicles are equipped with surveillance cameras to ensure safe transport. The shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible and accommodate people with disabilities.

The cost to ride is only $2.00 per trip. Payment may be made through the Microtransit app or with cash. The low-cost makes Tri Delta Transit’s Tri MyRide more affordable than traditional ride-hailing services, which could cost riders at least more than three times the amount for a similar trip.

“By partnering with technology companies, Tri Delta Transit is meeting the evolving needs of passengers in our community. Tri MyRide allows our agency to provide on-demand service from the convenience of a smart phone app.” said Chief Executive Officer Jeanne Krieg.

The service requires using the Microtransit app on your smartphone.

HOW IT WORKS

The six-month pilot program is being implemented in partnership with Tri Delta Transit and TransLoc, a Ford Smart Mobility Company. To use this new ride share program, passengers located within the service area first download the free Microtransit by TransLoc app to their smartphone and request a ride. Following a Tri MyRide request, the Microtransit app will provide passengers with an estimated pick-up time, track their bus in real-time, and alert them when the ride is about to arrive. Passengers are also notified when their ride is about to reach their destination.

Tri Delta Transit is one of the innovative transit agencies throughout the nation piloting microtransit technology. The new microtransit services are intended to complement existing public transportation services. By providing flexible, on-demand transportation services, transit agencies are bringing improved mobility and greater accessability to the communities they serve.

ABOUT TRI DELTA TRANSIT

Tri Delta Transit provides over 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of over 250,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They currently operate 15 local bus routes Monday – Friday, four local bus routes on weekends, door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, on-demand rideshare services and shuttle services to community events. To learn more, visit TriDeltaTransit.com.

ABOUT TRANSLOC

TransLoc is the maker of mission-critical transit operations solutions for flexible on-demand and fixed route systems for both public and private transit agencies, and university and business campus transit systems. TransLoc is the largest provider of agency-owned microtransit systems for municipal transit agencies in the U.S., with the company’s products used at more than 400 agencies. To learn more, visit TransLoc.com.

For additional information about Tri MyRide, please visit TriMyRide.com.

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City of Antioch launches new website

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Screenshot of the City of Antioch’s new website.

The City of Antioch is excited to announce the launch of its redesigned website and new domain name at www.antiochca.gov. The site has a fresh, contemporary look and will be easier for residents and customers to navigate through with an improved search engine to help users more easily find the information they need.  

The new site’s graphics, navigation, and content provide a clear window into City governance, operations, and services while making it easy for users to access information on activities and opportunities, request services, and interact with City staff.  The site takes City Services to our local community, businesses and beyond, furthering our commitment to accessible, and efficient local government.

Website improvements also include clarifying content and adding consistent navigation at each page header. In addition, the new format is compatible with smartphones and tablets by automatically reformatting to the device being used.

“We are excited to have a website that is easier to use and provides better engagement for our residents,” said Ron Bernal, Antioch City Manager. “The new site gives us the opportunity to provide more transparency about City business and also informs our community about important topics, projects and City happenings.”

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Rep. McNerney to host net neutrality town hall meeting in Antioch Sunday, March 4

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

From Congressman Jerry McNerney

As your representative in Congress, I take very seriously my responsibility to be your voice in Washington. So when you called, emailed and wrote letters by the thousands, expressing your concerns about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to eliminate net neutrality protections, I took action.

Prior to the FCC’s vote to repeal net neutrality, I submitted a formal request to address the full Commission. I wanted to make the case for maintaining a free and open internet, and to share some of the stories you’ve shared with me – stories of small business owners, veterans, students and so many more who rely on the internet for nearly every aspect of daily life. Unfortunately, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai denied my request.

Thankfully, there was someone on the Commission who wanted to ensure your voice and the voices of Americans across the country were heard. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who stood strong and voted against the repeal, submitted a written statement on my behalf and read her own compelling dissent in opposition to the repeal of these crucial protections.

Commissioner Clyburn will be joining me this Sunday, March 4th from 3:00-4:30 PM at the Antioch Community Center for a town hall on net neutrality. We’ll be discussing your concerns and talking about how we move forward in the fight for a free and open internet.

For more information or to RSVP please call (925) 754-0716 or email McNerneyRSVP@mail.house.gov.

I hope to see you there.

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