In Maryland, the Purple Line will be a heavy influence on which candidate D.C. suburban voters cast their ballot for in the governor's race.
Republican former Gov. Bob Ehrlich wants the Purple Line to be rapid buses, saying it is cheaper and more likely to receive federal funding. Incumbent Democrat Gov. Martin O'Malley wants light rail, saying, among other reasons, it is more attractive to potential businesses looking to locate in the D.C. suburbs.
That stance helped O'Malley receive the endorsement of the Greater Washington Board of Trade.
"We're at capacity on certain lines already on Metrorail. When you look at buses, they fill up pretty quickly, they don't move as many people, and they don't move them as fast," says Jim Dinegar, the board's president.
A Maryland Transit Administration study also termed light rail better for the environment. But the World Resources Institute in D.C. did its own study, which says rapid buses are better. The institute's Greg Fuhs says they produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
"The primary reason being the energy source for light rail, the region covered by the Purple Line system, is heavily coal dependent," Fuhs says.
Fuhs adds many buses now run on cleaner fuels than gas and get better gas mileage.
Jennifer Holliday sprung to stardom in the 1980s for her Tony Award-winning performance in Dreamgirls, and went onto a recording career after Broadway. But her life wasn't always glamorous: she suffered from depression and obesity, and once attempted suicide. Holliday speaks with host Michel Martin about pushing through the low points of her life, and the message she's trying to send with her forthcoming album, The Song is You.
California health officials say bottles of the popular condiment shouldn't be shipped right away so that any micro-organisms inside can be controlled. The producer has also been told to partially shut down its factory to keep smells from irritating neighbors. Will this lead to a "srirachapocalypse?"
Ireland has made a concerted effort to grow its tech industry, through tax incentives and development programs. Officials credit the initiative with helping uplift the country's economy. But the country has also faces local and international criticism for its approach.
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