Wooten-Whitaker speaks out on Freedemian public restroom shortage, personal struggles

KNOX, GRAHAM CITY- In an interview with PWN on Monday, Diane Wooten-Whitaker, 2016 candidate for Graham Executive, talked for a while on a topic that was less of a campaign issue and more personal for her, the Freedemian restroom shortage.

“I have a very small and weak bladder, and I also have the misfortune of being dehydrated very easily. Together, that basically means I’m constantly drinking water to stay hydrated, but constantly having to search for a restroom because my bladder always needs to be emptied. The public restroom shortage in this country has greatly affected me personally. I’m sure everyone remembers that embarrassing moment I peed on myself in the middle of a live televised debate because I couldn’t find a public bathroom when I was campaigning earlier that day. Sometimes, I have to live with the constant fear that I’m not going to find a restroom in time. I’m not the only one with these kinds of problems. This is no small issue. Honestly, it’s kind of embarrassing to even be talking to you about this today, but it needs to be talked about.”

“Yet, it’s a difficult issue, because it’s not like you can just mandate a solution. There’s a literal shortage, and even making businesses allow public use of their bathrooms doesn’t fully solve it. I liked an idea I saw where residents could opt in to allowing public use of a household restroom too, it seemed like it could help even more. However, I do believe President Rosenthal’s RAWAA (a recently passed law requiring public places with restrooms to offer public restrooms) is a step in the right direction. It’s also nice to see initiatives to put more restrooms in parks and public squares and such.”

“But I want people to understand that this is a big issue. We live in one of the hottest countries in the world, and despite humidity it is extremely easy to become dehydrated. While easy access to water is hugely important, and should be prioritized, access to restrooms is almost as important. I’ve personally talked to people who say they won’t drink as much as they probably should because they don’t want to worry about finding a bathroom. Everyone needs water, and everyone needs access to restrooms. It’s highly unfair to tell our friends, family, our kids, that to stay hydrated they need to drink until they have to pee and then not give them a place to go pee.”

Wooten-Whitaker was honest in explaining that it took a lot of courage to speak openly on the issue, but that she hopes to continue championing the issue in coming years.

“I’m passionate about this issue because I’ve lived it. Something needs to be done.”

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MGTA announces plans to demolish condemned elevated subway lines, replace with BRT lanes

PRINCE, GRAHAM CITY- Several condemned elevated subway lines throughout Graham City will not be renovated or rebuilt, MGTA announced today in revealing the preliminary version of the city’s new transit plan. As a long term solution, the structures will be torn down and replaced by street running Bus Rapid Transit, an alternative cheaper to build and cheaper to operate. The system also announced routes for a frequent transit network, effective almost immediately, to restore transit to the entire city, especially until the BRT is at least partially complete.

MGTA Frequent Transit Network and restored bus service to all five boroughs

The plan released today consisted largely of short term plans and long term proposals. Realizing the need for immediate improvements, MGTA announced the restoration of local bus service to almost every major neighborhood in all five boroughs. The service has been made possible by renewed funding and a newly purchased fleet of no-frills buses. While many lines will be “underserved” in comparison to overall demand, in comparison to current service it will be a much needed improvement. Several major lines have also been chosen to be part of MGTA’s new frequent service network, largely serving lines that will be turned into BRT over the next three to four years.

Bus Rapid Transit to replace condemned elevated subway lines, service new major routes

MGTA made the announcement that only one abandoned subway line, the K in Creeklyn, would be restored to service, due to huge demand around the tracks and relatively good conditions. All other abandoned, condemned or demolished lines will be torn down (or used for non-subway purposes) and replaced with new street running BRT lines. Current proposals take six lane streets and make the middle two-to-four lanes (depending on the location) traffic lanes (and sometimes street side parking) and the outer two lanes into Local Bus and BRT lanes.

The BRT network will go beyond just demolished subway tracks, too. Routes will be modified to best serve the surrounding areas, and a couple other major corridors never serviced by rail will gain their own BRT routes. 

MGTA speculated that if twenty-five to thirty years from now Graham City was booming again and had made a full recovery and needed even stronger transit, that the BRT could be converted into a Light Rail system. However, the plan for now is to build the BRT. All BRT routes are expected to be minimally operating with ordinary buses by 2020, although some more expensive aspects (modern BRT stations instead of regular bus stop shelters, special buses for BRT, etc) likely won’t come until around 2025.

StepStone releases long awaited StoneTab, StoneBook, StepUp Console, StepUpPhone

TRENCHENT- Stores will have several long awaited StepStone products on the shelves on Monday, as several products announced earlier this year hit the shelves.

The new products include a new line of tablets and laptops, the StoneTab and StoneBook lines. While slightly thicker than the StepTab and StepBook lines, they boast a nearly indestructible built-in case, a new more modern sleek squarish metallic design, and more powerful processors than the other line, with the StoneTab having power closer to that of a current StepBook and the StoneBook having the power of a current StepBook Pro. The Stone line, emphasizing durability and power, will be sold alongside the StepTab and StepBook lines, which emphasize sleekness and convenience and are supposed to see their own updated models by the New Year’s shopping season.

Monday also marks the release of the long awaited StepUp Home Console, StepStone’s first video game console. While the system is mostly a plug into the television console, the controllers are wireless. As of now, StepStone is relying on popular PC games, as most of the popular video games this year are owned by competitor Megamer Games, who has made it clear their games will not be released for the StepUp. StepStone also released the StepUp DiscReadX, a disk reading device that connects to phones and tablets turning them into handheld StepUp Consoles, as well as special StepPhone models (currently called the StepUpPhone) that have built in buttons for gameplay and come with the DiscReadX. However, it does appear that the handheld options will not compete as well as StepStone hoped to compete with Megamer’s uber-popular GameOne SuperNova and GamePhone SuperNova.

These devices will be available in Freedemia Monday and internationally on June 6th.

Woolonian Cross-Party Alliance for Defense Against Traditionalist Terrorism (CADATT) formed

WOOLPORT- In light of recent events and an attack that killed leaders of several parties and attempted to kill the President, Woolonian parties and the federal government have created a coalition known as the Cross-Party Alliance for Defense Against Traditionalist Terrorism, or CADATT.

Several parties and government positions lost leaders in the attack, the worst attack by a traditionalist rebel since the end of the Woolonian Civil War. Under CADATT, the remaining party leaders will reach across party lines on the topic of traditionalist terrorism. Party leaders from all sides and President Ferdinand Sealy (from the Christian Shepherd Party) have agreed to put partisan politics and party platforms aside and focus entirely as one unit to defeat the Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels and other traditionalist terrorist organizations like Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, as well as to further the rebuilding and recovery of the nation as a whole.

CADATT is being compared by some to Freedemia’s Amendment 13, which banned political parties back in the 1950’s. However, CADATT is likely temporary, and will likely be repealed (or simply allowed to expire) after the terrorist threats are extinguished. Nonetheless, it shows a very good cross-partisan coalition in the face of a threat to national security. This could result in several party realignments in coming years.

Volkman-era highway interchanges being demolished across Lornesse

Winterlyn City (Angel News Channel, Sakura News Center) – As temperatures are getting warmer in the Winterlyn Mountain Range, the government of the state of Winterlyn launched a long-term highway interchange reconstruction project on all Interstate Highways and National Routes across the prefecture of Lornesse, signaling that the construction season has begun.

According to local news outlets in Winterlyn City, the Lornesse prefecture government and the Lornesse Department of Transportation (LORDOT) studied the traffic volume and roadway design involving Volkman-era highway interchanges between the Clear Heart and the current Moka periods, that in the current period, the Volkman-era interchanges are pushed to the limit, to the point the highway interchanges cannot handle anymore strain from increasing traffic volume. In a statement by LORDOT’s president, Nimi Hirochi, said “the Volkman-era highway interchanges are not just cannot handle a lot of traffic along interstate highways, the overpasses and the gray asphalt pavement are starting to deteriorate, even those that are retrofitted or rehabilitated, they became ‘structurally deficient’. We have concluded that the traffic volume on those Volkman-era interchanges keeps increasing, the highway interchanges will start failing.”

Hirochi also said that since the Moka period began, an overpass at exit 59 on Yusaka Toll Road collapsed during a 6.1 earthquake in March. In April, chunks of concrete fell from an overpass near the Benisaro Rest Area resulting in one person seriously injured and two cars were damaged along Interstate 72 (B 72) between Winterlyn City and Yusaka Toll Road. On May 12, asphalt pavement deterioration and formation of potholes appeared at exit 140 near Gasagi Road in Celiniel. In response to Lornesse’s roadway design problems, the Belphenia Department of Transportation designed new highway interchange designs including better roadway designs, pavement design, and stronger overpasses for LORDOT.

Construction projects on the highway interchanges started in early 2016 with the demolition of all Volkman-era highway interchanges in phases. The new highway interchange designs will replace the old interchanges along Lornesse highways and will come with new and improved roadway designs, wider on-and-off ramps, new overpasses, street lights, guardrails, reflective road signs, traffic cameras, and new pavement markings.

“We are urging people to obey posted speed limits, traffic signs, and pavement markings along highways in active work zones, avoid using cell phones or other distractions while driving, and expect delays when you are traveling to your destination. Speed limits will be set to 45 mph and are strictly enforced in active work zones, and will be photo enforced. We are enforcing the speed zones so motorists can get to their destination alive and safely upon arrival, and to increase safety among other drivers, passengers, construction workers, police, and everyone.” Yuki Hirojima of the Winterlyn State Police said.

Lornesse will be the 24th prefecture to demolish all Volkman-era interchanges along Interstate Highways. The construction projects on the new interchanges are expected to be completed sometime in 2017.

Andrew Carmichael, Diane Wooten-Whitaker, pass Graham Higher Education Act

GRAHAM CITY- Graham Executive Andrew Carmichael signed the Graham Higher Education Act of 2016 into law this morning, a concept proposed by Executive Candidate Diane Wooten-Whitaker to the Graham state legislature earlier this week. The act creates two new public technological universities in the state, Graham State Technical University (GSTU) and Graham Institute of Technology. (GiT) It also creates similar programs at the existing University of Graham State- Creeklyn (UGS-C).

In a statement released from Wooten-Whitaker shortly before the press release where Andrew Carmichael signed the bill, she made it very clear she had no intention of waiting until after the October Election to help the Graham City recovery process.

“I fully plan to take my ideas to the legislature of this state, and to allow them to do what needs to be done. Graham City can’t wait until October. I plan to do everything I can to help them now.”

The proposed Graham State Technical University would open first, using part of the existing Kenneth University campus in Knox (which will become part of GSTU upon reopening) and building a new campus across the street in what used to be an office park before all tenants left and the buildings were condemned. After renovations and Phase I of the new construction, GSTU is expected to open for a small first class in Fall 2018. Graham Institute of Technology will be a brand new campus at the current site of a now abandoned and soon to be demolished shopping mall in Prince, and is expected to open to a full first class in Fall 2021. Until then, new technology and engineering programs will be provided at the existing University of Graham State-Creeklyn, during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years. The program will continued to be offered at UGS-C beyond those years as well.

Much of the funding for these new schools and new programs will be paid for by SRAFRA, the federal fund reallocation act transferring military and election funds to education, transportation, and healthcare.

“These schools will make not only Graham State, but Graham City itself, a world leader in technological schools”, Carmichael said during the press conference. “In the coming weeks, presidents and boards for both new schools well be named, design for the campuses will begin, and we will begin to hire the best of the best nationwide and worldwide to fuel these programs.”

More steps taken to aid Graham City Recovery

GRAHAM CITY- Graham City has seen its share of people ignoring its problems. However, as the recovery process continues to progress, more steps are being taken by those outside the city to help.

QUARTA partnering with MGTA to help struggling transit system

The Quentinsburgh Urban Area Rapid Transit Authority, better known as QUARTA, announced today that it would be partnering with Graham City’s Metropolitan Graham Transit Authority (MGTA) to help revitalize and improve Graham City’s transit. Several planners will be  temporarily transferring to MGTA to assist in the rebuilding process. Planners are expected to look at temporary and long term solutions, such as a temporary frequent bus system to serve areas where train service has been suspended, and a long term BRT to serve areas where rebuilding demolished or condemned subway lines would be too costly. Both are very feasible solutions, since the reduced population (and the high percentage of impoverished individuals who do not own vehicles) means roads are not used as frequently and that converting traffic lanes into transit lanes would not be an inconvenience to drivers.

Starmobile, Starmobility, creating special discounted packages for new buses and new train cars for MGTA

Starmobility, Starmobile’s bus, train, and truck division, announced discounted packages especially for MGTA. The no-frills buses and subway cars will lack many features that other systems have, such as wi-fi, digital maps and digital signage. However, trains are modified versions of the newest models available, and discounted to extremely low prices. Starmobility plans to charge other transit systems more for the buses and trains with more amenities to help pay for the huge price cut given to MGTA.

Developer Franklin-Harris LLC moving main office to Graham City to help with rebuilding and to benefit from “coming boom”

The board of well known developer Franklin-Harris voted on Monday to move the main office to Graham City, while keeping the Quentinsburgh office open.

CEO Jonathan Franklin had first proposed the move, and believes that is a smart investment for the company. “Graham City has such potential, and I’m almost 100% sure that as it recovers, it will become a hotspot for new development. I believe this is a good investment, for now and for the long run.”