Marlins' new park opens in 2012
The fight over a new stadium for the Rays has been in the news a lot lately, but we wondered what's going on with the Marlins trying to get a new stadium?
A new ballpark for Major League Baseball's Florida Marlins is more than 70 percent complete and is expected to be ready for opening day of the 2012 season.
The Marlins, who have played in Sun Life Stadium, formerly Dolphins Stadium, since their first game in 1993, had been pushing politicians for a new stadium for about 15 years.
In 2009, after several attempts and delays, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners approved a plan for a $515 million stadium on the site of the Orange Bowl in the Little Havana section of Miami. Ground was broken in July 2009. The stadium will have a retractable roof, natural grass and seat about 37,000, and the owners and county have agreed to a 35-year lease.
Miami-Dade County is paying the bulk of the cost: $347 million through the sale of bonds and county tourist tax revenues. Miami chipped in $13 million, the land and the cost of demolishing the Orange Bowl. The Marlins will provide $155 million and are responsible for cost overruns that are not caused by government actions. The team will also buy $100 million worth of spaces in the stadium's newly built parking garage, and is responsible for maintenance, repairs, operations and insurance.
Road surface reclaimed, reused
When paving crews remove old surface from the paved roads using a "turtle," what is done with the old road surface? Can it be recycled and used again on the roads?
Yes. The cost of oil, improved equipment and advancements in materials make recycling more cost-effective these days.
The roadway that is removed with a milling machine, which is called reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), can be crushed, recycled and sold to asphalt suppliers, then recycled into future asphalt mixes.
According to Kristen Carson of the local Florida Department of Transportation office, "About 40 percent of our mix is recycled asphalt."
By the way, the "turtle" you're referring to is the name of a company, Turtle Southeast Inc., that does a lot of roadwork and usually carries the name Turtle on its machines.
Social Security benefits
I've read many articles about the number of people who are added to Social Security each month. How many people are removed each month, due to death or other reasons?
In 2009, the latest figures available, more than 3.6 million Social Security benefits were terminated for various reasons, Social Security Administration spokeswoman Patti Patterson recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A monthly breakdown was not available.