On Oct. 1, Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act, a compromise bill requiring many passenger and freight trains to be equipped with technology that can automatically stop wayward trains.
The legislation requires the so-called “positive train control” systems on most of the nation’s major rail lines and trains by 2015 — a compromise to the shorter 2012 time frame that Sen. Dianne Feinstein had called for in her original bill.
It also prohibits train crews from working more than 12 hours a day, and 276 hours per month, and bans the use of cellphones and other electronic devices in locomotive cabins.
The board of directors, when they meet in downtown Los Angeles Friday, are expected to discuss the impact of the latest federal regulations on existing policies.
Federal investigators have preliminarily determined that the crash occurred when Metrolink 111 blew through a red light signal and collided with a southbound Union Pacific freighter. Each train was traveling about 40 mph at the time of the impact, according to preliminary findings released from the National Transportation Safety Board.
Zarian to host senate hopeful on TV show
Former Assemblywoman Carol Liu is scheduled to appear live today on “The Larry Zarian Show” to discuss the current state economic crisis and how it is affecting her bid to replace Sen. Jack Scott, who is leaving his longtime seat due to term limits.
Zarian is expected to press Liu on how she would have handled the protracted state budget process and the current call from the governor’s office for federal help in freeing up access to credit to cover state payrolls.
Liu, who was termed out of the Legislature in 2006, will also discuss her interest in following Scott’s lead on education issues in the state Senate.
The show airs at 7 p.m. on Channel 280. The live call-in number is (818) 547-3668.
Escalante named endowment president
In a surprise announcement, School Board Clerk Chuck Sambar interrupted Tuesday’s board meeting to name District Supt. Michael Escalante the new president of the Glendale Scholarship Endowment.
The news followed Assistant Supt. Dick Sheehan’s report about a summer school program that had been sponsored by the endowment. The program ended up with a profit of $5,326, Sheehan said, before presenting the amount to Sambar in the form of a giant check.
Escalante replaces former News-Press Publisher Tom Johnson as president of the endowment.
He will oversee $300,000 in scholarships that the organization will award to students this year.