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Sacramento considers banning ‘loud, smelly people’ from local transit system

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Loud, smelly people could be asked to leave buses and light rail trains in Sacramento under new rules to be considered by transportation officials Monday night, the latest in a series of steps to make California’s capital city more transit-friendly.

The proposals come as Sacramento enjoys a downtown building boom that will eventually add a high-end basketball arena and a soccer stadium, amenities that officials hope will draw patrons to the area by light rail, bus or train.

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“If we can make it more attractive or make it more enjoyable to use the light rail or bus, then people are more apt to use it,” said Alane Masui, spokeswoman for the Sacramento Regional Transit District.

Like many American cities, Sacramento fans out toward its suburbs in a sprawling metropolitan grid built more for automobiles than transit in most areas, and has struggled to win middle-class riders to its bus and light rail system.

Complaints abound. Last year, nearly 7,000 customers contacted the transit system’s customer advocacy department, which mostly takes complaints, and transit officials also reported 318 crimes, according to Masui and transit system data.

The system, which serves the City and County of Sacramento, has about 98,000 boardings on weekdays.

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Under the ordinance set for discussion Monday night, passengers will no longer be allowed to get on a bus or train unless they are covered “above and below the waist” and wearing shoes.

They will also be banned from emitting a noxious odor unless the smell is related to a disability or medical condition. Passengers will not be allowed to play sound equipment that is audible to other passengers and will be banned from sleeping on a train that has reached the end of the line.

Those who refuse to comply could kicked off by authorities, the ordinance says.

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Masui said the rules grew out of complaints received by the agency, including gripes that people were bringing bags full of smelly recyclables on the bus.

But advocates for disadvantaged Sacramentans said the regulations were a swipe at homeless people, who have a right to ride buses and trains.

Pam Haney, advocacy coordinator for Wellspring Women’s Center in Sacramento, told the Sacramento Bee newspaper that the part of the rules dealing with odor appeared discriminatory. Haney told the newspaper that she doubted anyone would be kicked off the bus for wearing too much high-end perfume.

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(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump’s presidency is backfiring as the public grows more and more opposed to his views: report

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Watching clips from recent rallies in red states, it is obvious that President Donald Trump continues to be wildly popular among his hardcore far-right base. But that base is by no means representative of the United States on the whole. And journalist David A. Graham, in a report for The Atlantic, explains that not only is Trump failing to expand his base — he is, more and more, out of touch with public opinion.

“Recent polling shows that Donald Trump has managed to reshape American attitudes to a remarkable extent on a trio of his key issues: race, immigration and trade,” Graham observes. “There’s just one catch: the public is turning against Trump’s views.”

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George Conway erupts on Trump lackeys who are smearing Scaramucci: ‘These people work for a rapist!’

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Several anonymous Trump officials told the Washington Examiner this week that former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci regularly abused staff members in the 11 short days in which he was employed by the president.

George Conway, the husband of Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, lashed out on Tuesday at the Trump officials who anonymously attacked Scaramucci and accused them of overlooking President Donald Trump's own abusive behavior.

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‘Absolutely ludicrous’: Canadian election officials tell green groups that ads urging rescue of planet earth could be illegal

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"We would have to bury the scientific consensus around climate change when we should be ramping up our activities."

As environmentalists in the U.S. and around the world are urgently pressuring political leaders to make the existential threat of the climate crisis their top priority, Canadian election officials warned the nation's green groups that running advertisements that so much as acknowledge the reality of the planetary emergency could be illegal.

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