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About 102IAHexpress

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  • Birthday 03/22/1981

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  1. Okay, yeah, i think we're talking about the same thing. I'm talking about a "401(k)" transit benefit. Or an employer sponsored health plan for transit. You pay for the transit benefit via your pre tax dollars, then your employer processes the payment with the transit agency, the benefit is then refilled to your transit card, or here a Metro Q Card.
  2. Okay. Yeah that sounds right. Cool, glad Metro offers that then. I vaguely remember that Metro STAR (those private/metro Van pools) can be paid on a pre-tax basis, but I didn't know Metro's regular bus/light rail was setup that way too.
  3. I agree, there's no reason to subside something a lot of private employers are already taking advantage of. Instead, the best government benefit to take advantage of, would be to take advantage of Section 132 of the IRS code regarding qualified transportation fringe benefits. Specifically, use pre-tax dollars to pay for a monthly Metro pass, which would lower the gross income of the taxpayer, and lower the payroll tax of the employer, and potentially boost ridership. In NYC, employers are required to offer the pre tax benefit to employees. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/about/commuter-benefits-FAQs.page Here, in Chicago there's no requirement, but a lot of employers, sign up voluntarily. https://www.ventrachicago.com/transitbenefits/ Unfortunately, for some reason Metro does not offer a similar system for employers (at least I'm unware of Metro offering one). Maybe someone can shed light on why? If there's something that prevents Metro from doing it in its Charter, then even more reason to scrap Metro and start from scratch.
  4. Do, 2-8-1'ers count as tourists? If so, then I complained about all the 2-8-1 tourists visiting Downtown when I lived at Rice.
  5. I'll defer to you on the highest revenue night for Downtown being Wednesday. But even if it is, wouldn't the same be true of downtown New York, San Francisco, Washington, etc.? Other than pure tourist cities like Las Vegas and Orlando, wouldn't all central business district hotels generate more revenue during the middle of the week as opposed to the weekend? Regarding weekend occupancy only and not revenue, then I agree Houston in general lags behind other cities.
  6. Houston already is a tourist destination. Keep in mind, the second largest inbound market to the US is Mexico (behind Canada). A large chunk of the Mexico tourist market goes to California, New York, and Houston. https://www.ustravel.org/system/files/media_root/document/Research_Country-Profile_Mexico.pdf Now, does Houston get a lot of European tourists, like New York, Chicago and San Francisco do? No. Does Houston get domestic tourists like, Orlando, New York and Las Vegas do? No. But Houston -does- get tourists from Central and South America. Admittedly, this group is a relatively small slice of the overall US tourist market. However, it is just factually wrong to suggest that Houston is not a tourist destination. I personally have met many Mexicans who have told me they were in town visiting Houston, just to go shopping at the Galleria. Don't get stuck trying to hammer a square into a round tourist hole. Tourism can take many forms and colors.
  7. Kind of off topic, but there is a brilliant/scathing essay in the WSJ today written by Professor Azra Raza of Columbia Med. School, very critical of America's (TMC's) current approach to cancer research. https://www.wsj.com/articles/cancer-is-still-beating-uswe-need-a-new-start-11570206319
  8. Cool, my wife is also in biomedical! I have no idea how it will be setup, very good question. I dare to say, although the design is very cool, it may be a design in search of a problem. My wife collaborates with labs all across the world, all the time. She did it a lot too, when she was at Methodist. She just picks up the phone or uses skype to move along the collaboration. Sometimes if there is very, very famous professor (literally a Nobel Laureate) that professor may have an "entourage" of post-docs and assistant professors that help coordinate things, and at -that- level it may help to meet those teams in person. But most collaborations can be achieved with technology.
  9. That's true. I'm also not sure about the impact, but probably can't hurt? But keep in mind Smithville is part of the MD Anderson system (I believe?) and it's just consolidating into the new facility. It's not really a true lateral move from an outside lab/professor.
  10. Cool design. I'll add my 2cents, since my wife is a professor of medicne, who left the TMC for more advanced research opportunities elsewhere. I hope the TMC3 design (whatever it ultimately becomes) is able to help retain/attract top professors/labs. That should be the main goal (I think). What we, non-researchers think, is besides the point. For all the talk about how big TMC is, which it is, the research is not that broad or advanced besides cancer and cardiovascular. There's a lot of similarities to the energy industry actually. Houston is -the- place to be for energy, but lags big time in other sectors. The TMC is one of the best places for cancer and cardiovascular (but not the best), but lags in pretty much every thing else. So, how will this design, via our tax dollars, make research better in Houston? I have no clue. I asked my wife and she has no idea either. As of right now, US News and World Report has -1- medical school in Houston in the top 50, only 2 in the top 100 (3 if you count UTMB Galveston). If the design gamble pays off, then great. But If top labs/professors around the country don't show interest, within the next two years, of relocating to the TMC, then I would rather scrap the design all together and use the tax dollars to setup a scholarship fund for McGovern, and UTMB Galveston and make their tuition free of charge. Much better return on investment for society as a whole.
  11. I was thinking that too. I took a quick pick. This is how it looks from my bedroom window. For lots of reasons, it is one of the most hated buildings in Chicago.
  12. As of now, Forever 21 in Downtown is NOT closings its doors, Forever 21 has not died. These are just facts. I have no idea why Luminare claimed otherwise? This may be better suited for another thread on declining societal norms, but for some reason people can’t admit when they are wrong anymore and instead engage in ad hominem attacks and get defensive. HAIF can do better.
  13. You literally did. It's like I'm talking to Trump. We can all read what you posted. Anyways, for those interested in -facts-, as of right now the downtown Forever 21 has been spared. Very good news for downtown. I would suggest we all try to limit our "knee jerk" reactions before facts are posted. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/10/01/forever-21-closings-list-these-178-stores-could-close/3833982002/
  14. Not really helpful, no. You stated: Just trying to understand where -you- got that from? Not from any of other threads, that I took a quick glace at. Seems like you just made it up? So far, there is no evidence that the Forever 21 in downtown is closing. It may close in the future, indeed I hope it does not (see my post above), but in any event it seems like -you- where the one making knee jerk reactions.
  15. Huh? Who said Forever 21 is closing its doors? Do you have a source? They filed for bankruptcy, true, but what does that have to do with closing? Do you know how bankruptcy works? I agree, enough with the knee jerk reactions.
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