Dubai Real Estate Market Predictions For 2008

George Bernard Shaw once said “No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious”. The Real Estate Property Market in Dubai can be taken in the same situation. There are a lot of people who are still confused about buying property in Dubai. All seem to be anxious about the future of real estate market in Dubai as it is a tested fact that just as a market shoots up, it also shoots down. This makes people vary of investing their hard earned money in a new property venture.The continuous change in the Dubai market has played a vital role in changing the interests of investors. Experts have different predictions for the real estate market, however no one can actually tell what will happen. As of now, the property market of Dubai is going through a period of great prosperity and boom and if the predictions are rights, the year 2008 will also prove fruitful for property investors.Dubai Real Estate Market Most of the tourists who come to see Dubai look at the heavy construction and tower cranes; their minds go inconsistent with its reason, logic and bewilders their common sense. While some loved the mild weather and the safety of the place and want to buy a property, other look at the development going on here and wanted to earn a profit.Most of the people explore their future with combined experience and dream for potential opportunities for buying property in Dubai to live a secure life on their investments.The hard line professionals are continuously finding the opportunity for an idyllic place to establish their careers. Buyers are indulging in the real estate property market in Dubai as it is difficult to find a perfect, or at least an equally profitable property elsewhere.In a sentence, the real estate property market of Dubai is attracting buyers and developers as it is developing. The mounting property prices and rents in the year 2007 going on to 2008 has confirmed that there is still a scarcity of accommodation in different categories of real estate market dimensions and that there is still room for more construction and investment here.Enormous Economical Growth In 2007, United Arab Emirates was one of the fastest growing economies on the globe. Consequently, this huge economy involves a massive influx of people and everyone needs a place to live. It dramatically raised the property prices in the real estate market between 5- 10% following 2008.According to an estimate, there is a shortage of hotels and residential complexes to accommodate the large number of people coming here every year for tourism and settling down. As a result, it is predicted that property prices will reach unmatched heights in the second half of 2008 when the real estate market of Dubai faces its largest deficit ever in providing accommodation to all. Therefore, the scope of property now being developed in Dubai is truly opportune.Have you ever dreamt of being served a meal in the Giorgio Armani’s Hotel, Burj-al- Dubai? The world’s largest and the most beauteous place. Your fantasy can become a reality if you consider buying property in Dubai. If Dubai real estate predictions for 2008 are to be believed, people will continue to come here, the economy will continue to grow and investors would be having a field day with their handsome profits.

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How To Get The Best Life Insurance Deal If You’re Self Employed

There are many benefits to being self-employed. You get to be in charge. You’re the boss and making all the decisions. Plus you can work at your own pace. The work day belongs to you and that can be fun and inspiring. As fantastic as this is, being self-employed also comes with greater responsibilities.No one wants to think about a worst case scenario, but as a business owner, you need to consider what will happen to your family and dependents in the unfortunate event of your death. There are a variety of benefits packages offered worldwide, and a little bit of research on your part will show what coverage is required by law. One of the benefits, referred to as death-in-service, is life insurance. Many business owners feel that life insurance is optional. Since it isn’t required to be included in a benefits package by law, there’s a tendency to overlook it. However, as a self-employed person, life insurance is a necessary coverage on a personal level.As a sole proprietorship or small business owner, you alone bear the risks of being self-employed. You single-handedly are responsible for all profits, losses, financial obligations, and business assets. You have an unlimited liability which means that your business debts can be covered by your personal assets. In the event of your death, you will be leaving your family with all the debts of your business. This means that your personal assets will be collected to assuage your professional debts. Your spouse will be liable for this. In addition to grieving, they will be struggling to cope with your outstanding expenses, and you don’t want to leave them with this additional stress.Purchasing life insurance will help you avoid leaving your loved ones in a financial lurch in the event of your death. If you have life insurance, then you can be certain that your family will not be financially over-burdened. They will be able to satisfy your outstanding debts without assuming them and risking their own financial security. Plus, you will have the peace of mind that your family will be protected financially. To find the best life insurance policy for your needs, there are some things you should keep in mind.a. How much insurance is required and when?Generally speaking, the younger you are the more affordable and inexpensive an insurance policy is going to be. In other words, there’s no “optimal” age to begin life insurance. There is no government standard regarding how much life insurance you need either. When you talk to an agent, several things will determine how much coverage you need. Important factors are your business structure, your professional and personal goals and future plans, level of income, lifestyle and your attitude towards risk. It’s a good idea to have a general idea of the parameters of these items before you speak with an insurance agent.b. What should your life insurance cover?A general rule of thumb is that your policy should cover business expenses, funeral expenses, other debt obligations, any mortgage payments, credit cards, an amount of income that will help your family sustain their way of life, and the future education of any children.c. Which policy quote suits you best?A reputable insurance consultant or agent is the best way to explore different life insurance policies. Contact one for a detailed overview of the options and implications of various policies that you may be eligible for. The following factors will be important when obtaining quotes for different policies:1. Your level of income: Can you continually pay out premiums? How much can you afford to pay?2. Tax deductibility: Is the insurance policy tax deductible? What about death benefit?3. Types of benefits: What is being covered under this particular insurance and how?4. Duration and convertibility: If you’re opting for term life insurance because your long-term business planning is ten years or longer, can you eventually convert the policy into whole life insurance? Do you really need permanent insurance?5. Method of payment: Is your family going to get a lump sum or regular periodic payments?The right life insurance policy that best suits your business will mean peace of mind for you and your family. As you’re enjoying all the benefits of being self-employed and owning your own business, a good life insurance policy will ensure that regardless of all the ups and downs of business life, you’ll have the benefits to see you through safely and securely. You can be certain that your financial future will be secure, and your family will be thankful for the extra financial security too.

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Attractions on the Costa Del Sol

Costa del Sol is a must visit place in Spain. It is a popular destination for tourists and holiday makers. The city has so many major attractions, so we’ve taken a look at some of the best of what the area has to offer.The Aqualand, built on 70,000 square metres of land, is the most famous and largest theme park in the region. It contains a variety of water rides which include the Kamikazi, Niagara, Black hole and Twister. You can see water everywhere and hence a beautiful blue tinge always exists in the water theme park. There are areas called: Jacuzzi, Infant’s Park, Tropical Lagoon and Fast River. Throughout the whole park there are self-service restaurants, Pizzerias and hamburgerias. There is a mini golf course and gift shops to take back home memories. With such modest prices 21 euros for adults and 15 euros for children (at the time of writing), the whole theme park is one hell of a ride.For nature and safari lovers there is the Selwo Adventure Park. The park covers over 100 hectares of land and houses all the natural free roaming animals in their natural habitats, which has been specially recreated for the park. There are safari rides for a comfortable view of free roaming animals. You can see all kinds of birds of prey and most type of animals. There are a lot of shows with lots of prizes to be won. Camping is also available in the parks grounds. There is a modest entrance price for the Selwo Adventure Park where you will enjoy these activities. This area is particularly ‘a must see’ for all nature lovers.Crocodiles may not be a favourite for most people, but for those interested, the Crocodile Park in the Costa del Sol is a famous destination. One of the main reasons for this is that the Crocodile Park is home to prehistoric creatures that have survived 200 million years of evolution, which is a wonder in itself. Walking quietly through this area you will observe these creatures of prey, which have been evolving for a millions of years. The Crocodile Park houses 300 different species of crocodiles with one called the Big Daddy, which weighs 600 kilograms, 4.6 metres long and this is the largest crocodile in Europe. Again, crocodiles might not be on the list of one’s favourites but the Crocodile Park is a place that deserves a visit.Another beautiful place would be the Tivoli World Show & Amusement Park. Similar to the Aqualand, this is a theme park and is a world full of magic that can be enjoyed by one and all. The theme park consists of 40 huge rides and plenty of performances ranging from bird shows, magic shows, and dance displays. It also has a lot of restaurants, and food that will suit everyone. The park also has world-class performers, who perform music in front of huge live audiences. Enjoying the rides and shows during the day and having a nice quiet walk at night would be a great experience, especially at night when the park is beautifully lit up. All of this again for the very modest price of 6 Euros. At such a cheap cost with all that enjoyment, the decision becomes very easy.Another attraction for all animal and nature lovers is Fuengirola Zoo. One of the best things about this zoo is that animals are not kept in cages, but are kept in enclosures or inside high raised walls and so have the freedom and space to roam. The regulars such as tigers, chimpanzees, gorillas can be seen and even crocodile infested lakes. The zoo itself is quite small with 45 enclosures. There are two restaurants, one located at one of the entrances and the other near the orangutan enclosure. These are constructed in a way to blend in with the tropical ambiance. The restaurants offer a wide variety of popular snacks including pizzas, hamburgers, ice creams, buffet and fast foods. Beside the restaurant there is a 500 square meter children’s play area.We’ve only highlighted some of the many attractions on the Costa del Sol, this area should be on anyone’s list of must-visit holiday destinations.

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Expansion of the New York City Subway System

Brooklyn Rapid Transit and the Dual System:By all accounts, the IRT had achieved success-and monopoly-carrying 269 million passengers in 1910. Clearly, the demand existed, but the distance did not. Compared to the 66.1 route miles of elevated track, its own covered only 21.4, along with a paltry 3.8 more under the contract #2 extension to Brooklyn.More than transportation, the subway was seen as a tool–a solution toward population redistribution, particularly to the outer boroughs. But this minuscule Brooklyn line could hardly achieve that goal, and the initial two contracts were only considered the first of many that would eventually cover mostly farmland with tracks.Although the Rapid Transit Board (RTB) approved 19 succeeding routes by June of 1905 in hopes of creating competition between the companies that would operate them, future direction of the subway system, in more ways than one, was delayed, deferred, or derailed by obstructing and conflicting policies, as the pendulum swung in the opposite direction, toward further IRT monopoly, when it announced its acquisition of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company on December 22. Tightening its grip on the city’s rapid transportation system, it had no intention of relinquishing it to competing companies nor expanding the routes it already operated.Perhaps the first counter-strategy to this situation was the creation, two years later, of the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC). Unlike the Rapid Transit Board it replaced, it was empowered with the ability to oversee all existing elevated and subway lines, and advocated public regulation of private utilities.Although it was eager to negotiate with the IRT regarding the extension of its incubation line in Brooklyn, it also identified the need for a second company to provide the needed transportation coverage over and above that of the first. But the IRT only continued to hold a short-term, self-centered view. Astronomical construction costs of new routes, it felt, could not be compensated by the dearth of riders they would serve in areas still populated by farm animals, and this only resisted expansion beyond its original Manhattan coverage. Its passenger base here had doubled in the five-year period from 1905 to 1910, and its profits commensurately followed suit.Like Manhattan, Brooklyn had been blanketed by a disjointed, multiple-mode transportation network comprised of trolleys and both street and elevated railroads pieced together under the auspices of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company. But its link to mother Manhattan was tenuous and less than convenient.Traveling to it entailed a cable car ride from the Sands Street terminal, located at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, actual crossing of it to City Hall, and then a separate-fare transfer to one of three inter-city rail options-the Second Avenue el, the Third Avenue el, or the IRT subway. Alternatively, a person could cross the bridge to the Park Row terminal via elevated railway.What were needed were both a cross-river, Manhattan-Brooklyn link and an inter-Brooklyn subway network. Because of the IRT’s resounding success, it logically followed that it would extend its tracks.Outer borough links, at least based upon the many civic projects undertaken, provided no obstacles. The Brooklyn Bridge, for example, had already spanned to its namesaked destination in 1883, and the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges, built during the first decade of the 20thcentury, further connected the two areas. The Queensborough Bridge, as its name suggests, served the same purpose for its territory. What remained was the laying of tracks on them.August Belmont, naturally seeking to retain the IRT’s grip on the rapid transit market, proposed connecting South Ferry in Manhattan with Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn by means of an East River tunnel, as well as expanding inter-Manhattan trackage on the Lower West Side and laying a Lexington Avenue line from Grand Central Station.Yet its proposals were less than extensive. All were sections, add-ons, or piecemeal extensions of its existing lines and none of them provided the fundamental coverage the PSC considered unwritten obligations resulting from its Contract #2 award.The Hudson and Manhattan Railway Company suggested a New Jersey connection by building a new, Hudson River tube-plying subway line.A second, and countering, proposal submitted by Belmont advocated a new West Side route running from Times Square to the Battery and then crossing the East River to Brooklyn, as well as a second course from Grand Central Station to the Bronx by means of Lexington Avenue.It was apparent that the IRT did not consider Brooklyn its home territory and wanted little part in serving it. This view may well have been the first fray in its independent and monopolistic rail fabric.Part of the fray was its refusal to see the purpose it provided-or could have provided-within the overall rapid transit picture. Having already implemented a plan to relieve population congestion in the tenement-choked slums riddled with crime, disease, poverty, squalor, and dirt with planned development, Manhattan Borough President George McAneny believed its cornerstone was elevated and subterranean rail access to new neighborhoods, which, appendaged to Manhattan by tracks, would naturally rise, sparking the envisioned outer borough growth. This, in turn, was seen as fostering overall economic strength.The IRT, because of what it refused to see (beyond its own self-serving needs and revenues), could no longer be considered the only company to fulfill the city’s plan, and proposals for the so-called, but far more extensive Triborough System, also failed to satisfy it. What resulted was the Dual System of Rapid Transit.Threshold to this concept was the January 19, 1911 creation of a new transit committee, which was chaired by McAneny himself and conferred with the PSC for the purpose of re-examining New York’s rapid transit needs.Part of the solution was to discontinue the focus and fixation on the principle proposals concerning IRT track extension and the new Triborough System coverage as the only ones. The latter, particularly, was quickly deemed impractical. The solution was a third alternative, to be operated by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT), which already served its namesaked borough and submitted a proposal to convert its southern rail lines into rapid transit ones.Although this fell far short of the comprehensive coverage needed, one of the locks to the optimal solution was opened when it was concluded that the subway systems themselves, often acting in their own best interests, would henceforth no longer be empowered with determining future routes.McAneny himself stated that he “always held that the city should make its own transit plans, placing individual routes where they will do the most good and not necessarily with reference to their earning capacity alone… “In order to develop what he considered would be a practical, yet comprehensive rapid transit system that would deliver the maximum benefit to the city and its citizens, he selected the best features of both the IRT and the BRT proposals based upon routings, cost, population projections, ridership, and revenues, allowing both to proportionately operate-and share the costs for–the expanded systemThe resultant Dual System of Rapid Transit constituted the largest and most expensive municipal project ever undertaken by the city, its routes and tracks planned and laid out by PSC engineers, but its actual construction performed by private companies.Two general route types were expected: extensions and branches of existing tracks, which would be operated by the IRT, and new lines, which would be served by a new company, such as the BRT, but would still be integrated with the original ones.Dual system approval, by a vote of three to two, was granted by the PSC on March 4, 1913, and the signing of two-or dual-contracts, stipulating that each would share construction and operation costs, but lease their networks to the city for a 49-year period, occurred 15 days later, on March 19.Contract #3, awarded to the IRT, entailed ten new routes in Manhattan,, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn that opened between July 1, 1918 and January 21, 1928.The new system’s greatest improvement was the gap it plugged in its original north-south, inter-Manhattan, zigzag route coverage. West Side track laid south of 42ndStreet ran under Seventh Avenue to Lower Manhattan and then across the East River to Brooklyn, while an East Side counterpart, running below Lexington Avenue, extended north of 42ndStreet, creating an “H” configured network, which became the core for feeder lines to and from the Bronx and Brooklyn.Service to the former was expansive, but decidedly less so in the latter, since it had to cede routes to home turf competitor BRT, although a Flatbush Avenue routing, itself an extension of its existing track, terminated in Eastern Parkway and branch lines from Nostrand Avenue took its trains to East New York. All these lines fed its trunk, H-shaped Manhattan network.A Queens connection, facilitated by the converted Steinway Tunnel, linked 42ndStreet with a new transfer station at Queensborough Plaza from which two lines ran-one to Astoria and the other to Corona and Flushing.Unlike the Manhattan track, most serving the outer boroughs was elevated.Contract #4, between the PSC and the New York Municipal Railway Corporation (for the BRT), entailed 12 routes opened between August 4, 1913 and May 30, 1931, and enabled it to leave a significant imprint on Manhattan Island.Running from City Hall, via Broadway, to Times Square, and then following Seventh Avenue to 57thStreet, this trunk line was appendaged to its Brooklyn home by means of the Battery and an East River tunnel that took it to Dekalb Avenue. A second connection from the Broadway line entailed a branch track to Canal Street and across the Manhattan Bridge, once again terminating on Dekalb.Another Broadway line branch connected 59thand 60thstreets with Queensborough Plaza, and IRT track rights enabled the BRT to ply its rails to Astoria and Corona/Flushing.It wove a dense web of tracks across southern Brooklyn with the Fourth Avenue, Culver, West End, Sea Beach, and Brighton lines–Dekalb Avenue all along serving as the funneling point for interline transfers to and from Manhattan.Expansions and improvements undertaken as a result of both the IRT Contract #3 and BRT Contract #4 arrangements also entailed the elevated railways.Advantages of a dual-contract subway system were considered two-fold: 1). Passenger interchange would be provided between two significant rapid transit networks and 2). Vitally needed rail coverage to and within the BRT’s home territory, which had either been devoid of tracks or inefficiently and disjointedly served by its existing ones and their now-antiquated transportation vehicles.But a dual-contract system quickly proved that it was not equitable with “double” the previous single one, much less compatible. Indeed, “dual,” in this case, was more akin to “duality”-translated as “competitive rivalry.” Fares were separate. And there were precious few connections, interchanges, or even pedestrian passageways between their stations.More importantly, the two systems were, from the outset, divergent. Although their track gauges were identical, the BRT was not hampered by the narrower tunnels, lower clearances, and sharper curves characteristic of the IRT system that had mandated specific car dimensions and train lengths. Unburdened by these restrictions, the BRT was therefore free to specify different car designs and rolling stock interchange between the two, aside from all the other rivaling aspects, was precluded.Manufactured, like the IRT cars, by the American Car and Foundry Company, and retaining the features for which no patent payments were required, the BRT counterpart deviated in dimensions, with a 67-foot length and 9.8-foot width, and introduced steel body construction from the outset. Accommodating 250 standing and seated passengers, the latter in both longitudinal and transverse, mid-cad car seats in a three-two configuration, the 47-ton coach, powered by a 140-hp motor on each of two trucks, was accessed by three sets of electro-pneumatically operated doors and was internally unobstructed except for the motorman’s cab. They were devoid of end vestibules.Designated “A-Bs” or “Standards,” they were initially underpowered and therefore only able to attain 39-mph speeds.Deliveries of the first 100 ordered began in 1914 and 400 more followed during the proceeding four years.As had occurred with the IRT system, the BRT experienced unprecedented demand and one of the remedies was to introduce articulated, tri-car units, in 1925.Manufactured by the Pressed Steel Company and designated “D” cars, the three semi-permanently coupled coaches were equipped with four 200-hp motors and were mounted on four trucks that were “shared” by the middle car.Seating was similar to that of the “A-Bs,” but the transverse arrangement called for two passengers on either side.A three-car unit equaled the length of two conventional coaches, but offered greatly increased passenger capacity.After their initial trials had proven their application, 118 more units were ordered.In essence, dual-contract operations resulted in the following coverages. The IRT served Lexington Avenue above 42ndStreet; Seventh Avenue and Broadway below 42ndStreet; the 42ndStreet Shuttle; all lines north of 60thStreet in Manhattan and the Bronx, including those that were elevated; and the Second Avenue tunnel to Brooklyn, whose dual branches terminated on Flatbush Avenue and in East New York. The BRT, on the other hand, operated the Fourth Avenue subway; the Manhattan Bridge and the Montague Tunnel; the Broadway-60thStreet subway; the Nassau Street Loop and the 14thStreet Canarsie line; and the reconstructed and extended elevated lines in North Brooklyn and Queens. The Steinway Tunnel to Queens, Astoria, and Corona were jointly operated by both systems.Unlike the original IRT subway routes created by contracts 1 and 2, the dual system succeeded in sparking outer borough growth and transformed vegetation into population.With the strangely predictive designation of “Trains Meadow,” for instance, a 500-acre tract of land in north-central Queens between Woodside and Corona became the recipient of one of those transformations. Although its meadow reference was appropriate to this bucolic expanse of grass- and flower-covered fields and knolls interspersed with ponds and streams and dotted with farmhouses, it was not named after the trains that served it, but the fresh water that drained from it, although those trains would one day provide more literal meaning to the word.With a turn of the 20thcentury, count-on-one-hand population density of two per acre, it served as a country escape for city dwellers, offering bird-watching, fishing, and hunting, but with the encroaching, track-clacking subway cars, it soon turned into a breeding ground more appropriate for humans than waterfowl.After the Steinway Tunnel had been converted from its original, electric streetcar application and reopened on June 22, 1915 for IRT use, it provided the physical link to Manhattan rising on the horizon. People, needless to say, rode the trains that bored through it.Subway-appendaged, via the 82ndStreet station when the Queensborough line opened two years later, on April 21, it became a 22-minute link to Grand Central Station, and was developed by Edward Archibald MacDougall, who renamed it Jackson Heights and built a garden apartment community for upper middle class residents. Caught by the city’s clutches during the day, they were able to escape to its suburbs by night.Cord Meyer, another developer, transformed the southern portion of Trains Meadow into Elmhurst.Accessing areas like this, the greatly expanded rapid transit system turned the patchwork quilt of farms sprouting crops into grids defining houses and low-rise apartment buildings, which cultivated families and neighborhoods and served them with stores, schools, and sites of religious worship. They were considered “subway suburbs.” Tracks, facilitating daily commutes, were links to the heart of the city, with its employment, entertainment, and cultural venues.Their purpose was reflected by the exponentially increasing passenger statistics. In 1912, for example, the IRT transported almost 303 million. In 1930, this figure had escalated to 986 million. The corresponding BRT figures were 172 and 714 million.As a people mover, the expanded system provided short-term (daily) and long-term (residency shifting) effects between 1910 and 1940, resulting in a 90-percent population increase in the so-called subway suburbs, created by the very means to get to them.And once they had, their quality of life considerably improved. Compared to the tenement-defined slums from which families often moved, they provided larger and more modern dwellings in the suburbs for the same cost, yet with vastly improved facilities, such as rooms with windows, ventilation, and natural light; heat; running water; private, indoor bathrooms and kitchens; courtyards; and gardens.In short, subway mobility created social mobility, depositing people into population pockets that were considered middle class.Despite the dual subway system’s less than cooperative nature, it was successful in connecting Manhattan Island, like a nucleic core, with the rest of its atom, traversing the rivers that had hitherto created its insularity. As the world’s largest single subway network expansion, it entailed a route mileage increase from 119 to 233 miles with corresponding track mile increases of 296 and 621. Although there were several elements which divided it, collectively it united-albeit not itself, at least not yet.The only question that remained was: could there be a third system?The Independent:Dual-contract service, at least initially, was successful and all counts associated with it were on the rise, from the number of areas accessed to the number of stations, riders, and track and route miles. As a catalyst to population redistribution and decentralization, it provided incentive toward and accesses to outer borough development.But such an extensive system required, more than rails, revenue to run, and the nickel fare, restricted by the 1894 Rapid Transit Act, Contract #1, and ultimate dual contracts of 1913, was the one reversal to the rising aspect of the new operational concept. Because the very nature of the subway precluded the traditional revenue-to-distance ratio, passengers were able to ride further afield on the now extended network, yet did not commensurately pay for that privilege. Whether a person rode the subterranean rails to the next station or to the end of the line, he still only relinquished five cents, reducing, rather than increasing, the system’s revenue earning potential.Its balance statement, appearing more like a seesaw, was anything but, its profit side declining into deficits and its costs escalating toward the skyscrapers above its track.One of its two contract operators hardly emerged unscathed. A December 31, 1918 bankruptcy of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company questioned its continued viability until it re-emerged as the renamed Brooklyn-Manhattan Rapid Transit Company, or BMT, five years later, in 1923.To say that John F. Hylan, New York mayor, was less than enamored by the system run as much by politics as by electricity was an understatement, and in his 30-page “Mayor Hylan’s Plan for Real Rapid Transit” report, he wrote that subways should be “planned, built, and operated to accommodate the transportation needs of the people… and not solely for the financial advantage of the operating companies.”His vision, in essence, was to wage a war on wheels-or, more specifically, on rails-fought with a third specifically-designed and efficiently and independently operated system that would compete with the existing and monopolistic IRT and BMT, often paralleling their very enemy lines, but also filling in trackless gaps. It was intended, in his words, as “the people’s subway.”The tunnel toward his ideal came in the form of the Adler Bill. Although it ensured the New York State Transit Commission’s power to regulate the existing subway system, it equally established the New York City Board of Transportation, which was granted the authority to construct and operate its own subway network, as well as grant desperately needed fare increases, after a three-year period, to cover escalating operating costs.The new, or third, subway line’s nature was expressed by its very name-”Independent”-or “IND.” It had, at least according to combatant Hylan, four intended purposes.1). Compete with, but remain independent of, the incumbent IRT and BMT systems.2). Replace the antiquated elevated lines in Manhattan and the Bronx.3). Serve areas without existing train service, such as those along Queens Boulevard.4). Increase service to areas with inadequate transportation, such as Washington Heights and West Bronx.Seven fundamental routes were covered with 190 miles of track. For Hylan, duplication of competitors’ lines was the equivalent of retaliation and triumph. The IND’s Eighth Avenue route, for instance, was a mirror image of the IRT’s on the Seventh, although its reflection ceased at 59thStreet and Columbus Circle, where its tracks branched. One turned to the west, toward the Hudson River, and the other followed the Grand Concourse in the Bronx after crossing the Harlem River.Where the tracks paralleled the IRT’s-separated by an avenue-the IND vied for the same passengers. Perhaps the ultimate expression of audacity was made with its Sixth Avenue line: it operated directly below the elevated railway owned by the IRT!Route battles, however, were not restricted to those with Manhattan’s original system. The BMT also became a sparing partner when the IND laid tracks to Brooklyn through an East River tunnel, advancing its fortress along Fulton Street in the heart of the city and ceasing battle in East New York.As a competitor, the IND, from its inception, sought to offer superior service, with mezzanine provisioned stations, 60-foot platforms, and ten-car trains.The cars themselves, although dimensionally compatible to the BMT’s “A-B” types, eliminated certain features in order to avoid the otherwise mandatory royalty payments for them stipulated by their patents.Designed “R-1s” and built by the American Car and Foundry Company, the riveted, heavyweight steel coaches were powered by two 190-hp traction motors installed on the number two truck and were 60 feet long, ten feet wide, and 12 feet high-or nine feet longer than those of the IRT, but seven feet shorter than those of the BMT. Access was provided by four, 3.10-foot-wide double doors (one more than those initially installed on BMT cars), while end doors facilitated inter-car passage during motion.The olive green interior, in a mixed, longitudinal and transverse configuration sported rattan- or cane-covered seats and accommodated 58 seated and 282 standing, while other features included exposed light bulbs, paddle fans, strap handles, and a clerestory roof.Compared to those operated by the BMT, they offered increased speeds.The first section of the Independent system opened on September 10, 1932.Unification:As the third subway system went up (actually down), the elevated railroads it replaced fell like conquered, grid iron empires, the girders and stanchions that had stilted them severed and the sun, after decades, once again able to cast its light on the streets that had been shielded.The Fulton Street el in Brooklyn absorbed its last track clack in 1940. The Second and Ninth Avenue lines followed suit, reduced to defeated tangles of metal. And the famed Third Avenue el, subjected to much protest by those wishing to save it, relinquished its grip in 1955.Some two decades before this time, however, the rival to the other two subterranean rail networks had accepted defeat and become one with the other two.The impetus came from Fiorello La Guardia, who was elected New York mayor in 1934. Advocating unification of the three subway lines, he felt that the city would be more efficiently served, but many believed that his true motivation for the amalgamation could be read between those lines.His urge to merge, which was intended to drastically amend the system’s organization, ownership, and operation, manifested itself in a 1935 agreement in which the City of New York would expend a little over $430 million to acquire the IRT, the BMT, the Williamsburg powerplant, and what then remained of the elevated lines, and then lease them, along with the IND, to the Board of Transit Control to operate them.But the Transit Commission saw both his plan and the shadow behind it. It believed that it would have enabled La Guardia to provide sorely needed bail out funding to a subway system unable to remain afloat by the current nickel fare restriction at an excessive acquisition price, thus forcibly ceding ownership of it, in the end, to the bankers.Undaunted, La Guardia circumvented the resistance. Re-elected in 1937 and eliminating most of the Democratic Tammany opposition within the Transit Commission, he was able to implement his idealized plan, in effect acquiring more for less. The package included the two subway systems, the elevated lines, the street railways, and the buses for $326.5 million, an amount that represented more than a $100 million savings over the original proposal.Unified in June of 1940, this multiple-mode rapid transit system thus shifted into City of New York ownership and the Board of Transportation became its operator. Passed from private to public hands in what was heralded as the country’s largest railroad merger, it became the world’s largest rapid transit system, its hitherto three IRT, BMT, and IND designations discontinued and redesignated “A” and “B” divisions. The latter, referring to the BMT and IND, was subdivided into B1 and B2 divisions.Only its truly staggering statistics could define the size and scope of the resulting empire: 760 miles of subway and elevated railway tracks, 435 miles of street railroads, 80 miles of bus lines, and 2.3 billion passengers carried during its first full unified year alone.

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Special Education in Ireland’s Secondary Schools

This article is an introduction to special education in Irish secondary schools. The past then years have witnessed a sea change in special education provision in Ireland. The Department of Education and Science has issued numerous directives and guidelines in relation to policy, provision, structure and supports. Since 1998 there have been ten pieces of legislation passed through the Dail that relate, one way or another to children and special education needs The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has been established along with the Special Education Support Service (SESS). Both these organisations oversee and coordinate all special education initiatives nationwide. Ireland’s primary schools have pioneered these new directives. Special education provision at primary level is developing at a rapid pace and great strides are being made. The next horizon for improvement is secondary school.Ireland’s secondary schools are driven by an exam-oriented curriculum. Subject area specialists teach all of the curricular content. The supports available to children with special needs are not extensive or as tested as those at primary level. In what follows we will look at the needs and entitlements of children entering secondary school who have identified special education needs and those who are entering and later discovered to have a special education need.My child has been receiving extra help in primary school. What should I look for in a secondary school?You should look for a school with a special education teacher in place on a full-time basis to support all children with special needs in the school. It is important to also be sure the school has a commitment to supporting and educating children with special needs. The school should have on its staff teachers who have had some training in how to differentiate their methodology and curriculum for children with special needs. There should be an accepting attitude on the part of all staff. Remember, your child is entitled to enter fully into the life of the school and avail of all it has to offer. How do you find out these things? Talk to the school principal and ask questions about the topics listed above. Remember, your child may be eligible for special consideration at the time of Junior Cert and Leaving Cert but this will have to be determined about a year before these exams will be taken.What is s/he entitled to?A child who has been receiving special education resources or support in primary school is eligible for continued support at secondary level so long as they continue to have a special education need. It is possible that a primary school child, after receiving several years of support, could no longer be deemed to have a special education need but this is the exception not the rule.Your child will be entitled to the same general provision he or she received in primary school. Typically this takes the form of specialist teaching from a Learning Support or Special Education Resource teacher (both are now often being referred to simply as Special Education teachers. This support is to be determined based on need with the number of hours of support being determined by the Individual Education Plan (IEP) drawn up in the last year of primary school. In addition to the IEP there should have been a Transition Plan completed during the last year of primary school The Transition Plan will devise the structure of transition to secondary school and may alter the IEP for a short period of time. If this happens there should be a team meeting in about six months or less to write the secondary school IEP. In general students in secondary school are eligible for the same supports as in primary school. This may include a Special Needs Assistant (SNA).How do I go about making sure they get that?Generally speaking your child’s Individual Education Plan is the map which documents exactly what services your child will receive, when he or she will receive them and from whom. The IEP is your best protection against a child not receiving the services they need. IEP’s will eventually become legally binding documents on all parties and a school must provide the services outlined in the IEP. An IEP cannot be changed or implemented without your consent. Remember that upon entering secondary school a Transition Plan may be in place that slightly alters the previous IEP. This will have to be reviewed within a short span of time to be sure the child receives appropriate support services. Don’t be afraid to talk to the school principal because he or she is ultimately responsible to see to it that children receive the services they are entitled to receive.What are my options if we run into difficulties?Should problems arise you should first speak to the Year Head and address your concerns. The Special Needs Organiser (SENO) assigned to the school should be alerted as well as the appropriate special education teacher(s). A team meeting, of which you are entitled to be a member, can be convened within a reasonable time frame and your concerns will be discussed. If this meeting does not satisfy you or not result in the child receiving the services you may contact the National Council for Special Education for further information and support.It is important to take things one step at a time. Speak to your child’s special education teacher first and be clear about your concerns. Be assertive and not aggressive. Remember, generally speaking everyone is doing the best they can. Do have your child’s IEP in front of you when you are speaking to the teacher or other staff member. Be aware of your rights to appeal as outlined in the NCSE and SESS websites. Don’t rush to judgement, try and work things out amicably before you make threats to appeal. The next most important port of call will be the Special Needs Organiser assigned to the school.Hidden DisabilitiesNot all children who have special education needs come to the attention of parents or educators in primary school. The human brain is an organ that tries to meet the demands placed upon it at any given time. As anyone who has gone to school knows, the demands of the curriculum get greater and greater each year of schooling. In secondary school the curriculum subjects become incredibly complex each year. The fact that a student is being educated by many different teachers each year further complicates matters. There are students who have had no difficulty suggestive of a special education need at primary school who suddenly seem to have a lot of difficulties in secondary school. Unfortunately they are often perceived as “lazy” or “unmotivated” and sometimes as “difficult” students.If these labels stick and no thought or concern raised about a possible learning difficulty being present the student can become trapped in a cycle of failure and rejection by teachers. The result could be early school leaving, behaviour difficulties to hide the learning problem, lowered self-esteem, loss of self-confidence and trouble at home. It is important to recognise that some students, no matter how well they performed in primary school, may have a special education need that doesn’t appear until secondary school.What are the warning signs?It is not possible to list the many warning signs of a hidden disability but generally speaking one should be considered any time a student with a previously successfully record in primary school begins to exhibit difficulties in secondary school. There are a variety of causes to school failure at second level but a hidden disability can often be reasonably suspected when one or more of the following difficulties become noticeable:oMemory problems
oOrganisational difficulties
oRefusal to go to school
oProblems with written language expression
oDifficulty organising thoughts into speech
oInability to recall facts from yesterday’s lesson even if they seemed retained the night before
oUnusual spelling problems
oUnusual difficulty with more advanced mathematical problems
oPronounced difficulty in foreign language class
oBehavioural difficulties not present in primary school
oMood swings or sudden mood changes that last several hours
oReluctance to engage with parents about school difficultiesAlthough a partial list it is a good guide for parents and teachers to thoughtfully consider the presence of a hidden learning disability.I think my child may have a problem. Where do I go from here?First speak with your child’s teachers. Ask for the facts: what does teacher think the problem might be? How often is this occurring? When? Is it serious? Present your own perception to the teacher(s) clearly and succinctly. If you have done some Internet homework on your own be clear about it and raise it as a query needing to be resolved. Try and get some samples from homework you have seen and ask for some samples of the child’s work in class if it is appropriate to do so. Speak to the Year Head and ask him or her to get some information about your concerns from all teachers. See if you can spot a pattern that validates your concern.If you become more concerned then you have a right to ask for an assessment. Sometimes the special education teacher, with your permission, can perform some individually administered tests to discover if the child is seriously behind in reading or math achievement age. It is possible to discover if there are significant written language deficits in some cases. If this assessment leads to more significant concerns then you should request a psychological assessment. These can be provided free by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) but be mindful that a lengthy waiting list may be in place.The most important thing is to be persistent and to talk to the right people. Begin with teachers, speak to Year Head, go to Principal if necessary and don’t forget the Special Education Needs Organiser (SENO). If an assessment is carried out there will be a team meeting to discuss the results and to begin the process of writing an IEP.In the case of a diagnosis, where do we go from here?If your child is found to have a special education need an IEP should be written. This is, as stated previously, a road map to your child’s education plan. It should be reviewed annually but can be reviewed more frequently if it is decided to do so. The special education team, often referred to as a multidisciplinary team, will be responsible for writing the IEP. You are a member of that team. Your child is also entitled to be a member of the team and it is particularly important for secondary school students to participate in this stage of planning. This gives them a sense of ownership and control over their educational life.Be sure that the plan covers all the areas of concern that have been discovered in the assessment process. Plans for children with social and behavioural difficulties that address only academic issues are useless and doomed to fail. Special education planning is a thoughtful and time-consuming process when it is done correctly. Don’t feel rushed into accepting a plan you don’t think will work. Take it away and ask if you can return in a week to revise it with the team. This may not make you the most popular parent in the school but it is responsible parenting.Possible Panels:Autism/Asperger’s in Secondary SchoolThere are large numbers of children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder that are having considerable difficulty finding a secondary school to enrol them. The problem revolves around the lack of supports at second level and the lack of teacher training in this speciality area. Unfortunately there is little that can be done if a school refuses to enrol a child on the autistic spectrum. What is needed is the development of resource support. By that I mean resource rooms where these children can get services by a specialist teacher. Availability to the teachers of advanced training. Availability of print and video resources teachers can access to learn more about the spectrum. Along with this there should be a whole-school commitment to inclusion for children on the spectrum so they are not isolated from same-age peers.The education of children on the spectrum is not that difficult once educators get the knowledge about how to do it and have the proper attitude towards these children and their families. Of course they present us with challenges but the good news is that once we get it reasonably right for them we begin to improve the education of all children. There are considerable challenges in the future to our secondary schools in education these children and it is time to get it right. Those schools which stubbornly refuse to enrol children on the spectrum are in the stone age of education. There is a clear choice for secondary schools in relation to these children: be in the forefront of change and development or be left behind forever. Parents will not forgive or forget. It’s time to get it right once and for all.ADHDAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects about 5% of all children and adults. Unlike other special education conditions, children and adolescents with ADHD are frequently blamed for having the condition, perceived as hostile or unmotivated, lazy or cheeky. When ADHD goes untreated it becomes a serious condition affecting self-esteem, motivation, behaviour, self-confidence and relationships with adults and peers. ADHD is a high-stakes condition and it needs to be recognised that students who have it didn’t choose to be the way they are.ADHD is a condition that is caused by brain chemistry and activity. It is a neurobiological condition. People with ADHD often have difficulty paying attention and concentrating, especially on things that require sustained attention and concentration. The can have problems controlling their emotions and impulses, can rush to finish things or have considerable difficulty waiting their turn. They often ask questions without thinking them through and sometimes make unfortunate comments in front of others.ADHD is a life-long condition. One never grows out of it but the symptom picture changes over time. Often the impulsivity and high level of activity, if they were initially present, disappear in the teen years. The learning problems associated with ADHD do not go away easily and it is vitally important for them to be addressed in school. As in the case of children on the autistic spectrum, once educators and schools get it correct for children with ADHD they have improved the educational provision of all children.Understanding is critically important. Adolescents with significant ADHD do not chose to be in trouble with and in conflict with adults. Constant rejection and criticism, constant punishment, and in severe cases expulsion from school is not the answer. Corrective teaching is the answer and appropriate support from specialist teachers is vital.

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