Angels Notes: Byrd makes difference with hurricane relief

first_imgPaul Byrd never thought his home in Alpharetta, Ga., just outside of Atlanta, would become a Bed and Breakfast of sorts. Because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Angels pitcher and his wife, Kym, have opened up their home to dozens of Kym’s relatives who live in the New Orleans area. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! More weather: Mother Nature could play a role in the outcome of the series. Rain is forecast for both tonight and Saturday, and rain delays or a rainout would affect how both managers use their pitching rotations. “The only thing, and I know Mike Scioscia feels the same way, you certainly don’t want to start a pitcher and have one of these on and off games where you’re going to wind up losing a starter,” Torre said. “That would be probably the worst scenario for our ballclub at this point in time if we had one of those rain-stop-rain situations.” Angels pitcher Bartolo Colon would pitch a Game 5 if there were no rainouts, but Scioscia admitted he’d consider pitching Colon in Game 4 if it were pushed to Sunday. Juggling the lineup: With the left-hander Johnson pitching tonight for the Yankees, Scioscia will put center fielder Steve Finley on the bench, move Chone Figgins to center and play Robb Quinlan at third base. … Wednesday’s Game 2 victory was the Angels’ first postseason win since winning Game 7 of the World Series in 2002. … Angels 1B Darin Erstad has hit safely in 20 of 21 career postseason games. center_img Byrd said it was the least he could do. He even considered leaving the team when one of Kym’s relatives was missing. Six days after the hurricane the missing relative was found safe and sound. “A lot of family has rotated in and out, and just recently some of them have gone back to see what happened to their homes,” said Byrd, who starts opposite Randy Johnson tonight in Game 3. “We’ve tried to bridge the gap financially for some people. It’s important to help out and alleviate some stress. It’s a very tough time emotionally for everybody.” last_img read more

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Strobe lights tested on Orange Line buses in new safety attempt

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “We’re going to do everything we can to help make the riding public aware this bus is out there, and it’s a good thing,” Hunt said. Safety became a top issue just days after the Orange Line debuted, when a 78-year-old motorist, who might have been talking on a cell phone, ran a red light and her car collided with a bus. Fifteen passengers were treated for mostly minor injuries; the auto’s driver was also hurt. Three other crashes – all minor – have been reported. But motorists have repeatedly complained that the busway vehicles are difficult to see, even though they’re twice as long as a regular bus and weigh 30 tons. “If I hadn’t been paying attention, I could have run into it,” said Marcia Meyerstein of Chatsworth. “Sometimes you really need to see things. That thing goes pretty fast, and it should be able to stand out.” Experts are mixed on the role of vehicle color in a crash. A spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit funded by auto insurers, said any link between vehicle color and safety is “preposterous.” “Based on the research we have done, it sounds pretty far out,” said spokesman Russ Rader. “The overall assessment is that while color may give some effect, it can’t be very large.” But Stephen S. Solomon, a New York optometrist who co-authored a 1995 study that found that red or white firetrucks and emergency vehicles have a higher crash rate than those painted lime-yellow, said gray vehicles are difficult to see. “It blends into the background.” he said. “If there’s any fog or rain or bad weather, it blends into that. Orange won’t be much better.” He suggests that the buses be repainted yellow or yellow-green, with fluorescent, reflective trim around the sides. “The human eye is most sensitive to that particular color. It is a very easily detectable color in almost all the backgrounds.” The American Public Transportation Association, an advocacy group for the transit industry, does not have standards or recommendations for color, a spokeswoman said. Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky demonstrated a prototype bus with flashing strobe lights, and said he’s open to additional lighting or new paint to make the busway safer. “If it helps, we ought to do it. Obviously, safety is more important than aesthetics.” But he added that all the crashes so far have been caused by drivers making illegal turns or running red lights – not by their failure to see the buses. “That’s what I think we need to focus on, the red-light running,” he said. “Even if you have the most gaudy bus that can be seen from outer space, if you run the red light, it doesn’t matter. You can hit the gaudy bus.” In the 10 days since the Nov. 2 crash with the elderly motorist, county sheriff’s deputies have issued 480 citations to motorists, mostly for running red lights. Los Angeles police have issued dozens more. The MTA is also considering placing photo-enforcement cameras at key busway crossings. Hunt, the Valley transit official, said the $300 strobe lights will be tested for the next week. The MTA needs clearance from the California Highway Patrol to regularly outfit buses with the lights. He said the MTA’s safety task force is considering pavement markings or “Busway Ahead” signs, as well as railroad-style crossing gates. But officials fear that gates would jam cross traffic as they came down every five minutes for buses during rush hour. Bus drivers remain under orders to slow to 10 mph at intersections, but the white-gloved traffic officers posted at intersections immediately after the crash have been withdrawn. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who chairs the MTA, said he was pleased at the steps being taken to make the line safer. “These recommendations are putting us on the right track,” said Villaraigosa, who rode the Orange Line to and from a City Council meeting held Wednesday night in Van Nuys. Lisa Mascaro, (818) 713-3761 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Flashing white strobe lights were tested Thursday on a Metro Orange Line bus as MTA officials considered whether to repaint the 60-foot-long gray buses a brighter color to make them more visible and reduce collisions. The buses that initially drew raves for their sleek design – they’re meant to resemble a train – are getting a closer look after four crashes along the busway since it opened last month. “We hear very frequently that the gray color is hard to see,” said Richard Hunt, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s San Fernando Valley general manager. “It comes up at every meeting I’m at.” Dark orange is among the colors being considered, as is striping to help the bus stand out. last_img read more

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