Metro mechanic wins reality TV modeling show

Metro bus mechanic Marilin Archie walks the runway on the final episode of TV Land's "She's Got the Look" modeling competition reality show. Photo courtesy of TV Land.

Metro bus mechanic Marilin Archie has won TV Land’s “She’s Got the Look” modeling reality show.

“I never thought I would make it this far,” she says in the show’s blog. The mother of two, whose career as a bus mechanic spans 20 years, said she gave modeling a shot early on and even made it all the way to Ford Models in New York.  “I took a lot of chances and made big sacrifices at a very young age to achieve my goal of becoming a model,” she said.  “I never stopped trying.”

The TV Land press release is below and here’s a previous post on Marilin:

38-year-old Bus Mechanic and Mother of Two To Receive  Contract with Wilhelmina Models, Inc., and Photo Spread in SELF Magazine

Los Angeles, CA September 30, 2010 – Marilin Archie was named the winner of season three of TV Land’s 35 and older modeling competition “She’s Got the Look.” Host Brooke Burke announced Marilin as the winner of the competition after she impressed the judges with her stand-out performance in the final runway challenge where she faced off against fellow finalists Julie Love-Templeton of Tuscaloosa, AL and Rachelle Love of Memphis, TN.

In last night’s season finale, the three finalists strutted their stuff on the catwalk at a fashion show in an airport hanger complete with a jetliner and moving runway.   Continue reading

Metro mechanic vies for modeling contract on national television show

Metro mechanic Marilin Archie featured on TV Land Channel's "She's Got the Look" modeling show.

The many looks of Metro Mechanic Marilin Archie: Clockwise, from top left, a makeover from celebrity stylist Laurent Dufourgty, cover shot, modeling jeans on the runway, in the mechanics' pit at Metro inspecting a CNG bus, on the runway in Hollywood. Photos courtesy of TV Land.

It’s not her regular gig, but Marilin Archie, a Metro mechanic who ordinarily overhauls CNG engines and checks brake systems on Metro buses, is busy competing for a modeling assignment on a national television show. Chosen as one of ten contestants from thousands who applied to “She’s Got the Look” show on the TV Land Channel, Archie has emerged as a strong contender for the show’s top prize: A contract with Wilhelmina Models agency and a photo spread in Self Magazine.

By way of background, Archie, 38, a married mother of two, is a former model and singer who joined Metro at the age of 18. Now a certified bus mechanic, the gregarious employee is active in community affairs and often volunteers to represent Metro at outreach events. Beauty and brains are all in the family, in this case. Archie follows in the footsteps of her mother, who retired from Metro in 2000 after 23 years of service and community outreach.

“She’s Got The Look” airs on the TV Land Channel in over 70 countries. Catch episode 2 this Wednesday at 9 p.m. (PST) when the nine remaining finalists receive makeovers from a celebrity stylist for a surprise photo shoot in an unlikely setting. Full episodes of the original shows are updated every week on tvland.com during the series run.

After the jump: the backstory, and a video, by Rich Morallo. Continue reading

Metro engineer appointed to cabinet post in Somaliland in eastern Africa

Engineer Hussein Farah departs Metro for cabinet post in Somaliland, his native country located on the eastern horn of Africa.

Engineer Hussein Farah departs Metro for cabinet post in Somaliland.

Hussein Farah, an engineer who’s been managing facilities contracts here at Metro, has been appointed to the cabinet of the newly elected president of Somaliland.

The Republic of Somaliland, where Hussein was born in 1957,  is is the size of Greece, bordering Somalia and Ethiopia with a coastline that stretches some 456 miles along the Red Sea.

Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silyano announced the appointment of Hussein as the Minister of Mining, Energy and Water Resources on July 28 from the country’s capital city of Hargeisa. Hussein holds dual citizenship in his native country and the U.S. He will serve in the cabinet under his official birth name of Hussein Abdi Dualeh.

Hussein joins three other expatriates in the 20-member cabinet, which includes two female cabinet members for the first time. “The composition of the cabinet, which brings a world view and women’s rights to the table, is seen as a progressive move by the new administration,” said Hussein. “This is an advance that is hailed by Somaliland citizens, women’s organizations and international observers.” Continue reading

Why I Ride: Jeff Boberg, Research Manager

Why I RideWhy I Ride‘ is a series where Metro employees share their transit routines – read more about the concept here.

Name: Jeff Boberg
Position: Research Manager

How often do you take transit?

At least 5 times a week and usually more.

I commute by transit, but I also take transit after work to Disney Hall, Mark Taper Forum, Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, the Hollywood Bowl, the Arclight Theater, Amoeba Music or just to dinner.

Also, I usually take rail anytime I go to downtown Los Angeles or Long Beach on the weekend.

What lines/routes?

I mostly take the Blue Line and the Red/Purple Line from Wardlow Station to Union Station.

You can find me on the 720 about once a month. I’ve also taken the 204 and the 16/316 several times for errands or shopping at the Grove/Farmer’s Market.

During the school year, about 1-2 times a week I try to pick up or drop off my three boys since their schools are near the Anaheim and 1st Street Blue Line Stations.

Are you car-free? If so, why? If not, why not?

I am not, but we are a one-car household. We do a lot of hiking, sports and visiting during the week and a car is necessary for most of those trips.

Do you use any other alternative transportation (bicycle, rideshare, etc)?

My wife and I share a bike locker at the Wardlow Station, but she usually rides and I usually drive there.

I ride my bike to most (non-Costco) destinations within 5 miles of my house, which is 90% of them.

The whole family always rides our bikes to one our favorite restaurants, Hole Mole, which is about a mile from our house.

Do you think being a regular Metro rider is important to your job?

I do.

As part of my job, I go out and monitor surveyors on all the bus lines – so I’ve ridden parts of most Metro bus lines.

I get to see and experience the good and the bad of taking transit. I know why customers never forget when a bus operator leaves the bus stop as you are hurrying from the connecting bus with several other passengers. I know, as a choice transit rider, it’s frustrating when there is a breakdown in the rail system and I don’t find out about it until I’m already on the platform (usually by asking someone next to me). I also know what it’s like to watch operators brighten people’s day by greeting every passenger, waiting for disabled riders to board, or making sure someone who is unfamiliar with the system gets to their correct stop.

Why do you love transit?

I love to read, and I miss that when I have to drive. I also find it the perfect transition from a hectic office to an even more hectic household. I think I am a more patient human being when I’m not fighting traffic on the way home. I feel that Americans use an unsustainable amount of non-renewable energy and blaming oil companies isn’t really a viable strategy.

Also, one thing I learned from having children is they tend to speak up if my actions don’t match my words.

Finally, I find that if I take the stairs instead of the escalators, I get a little bit of exercise each day without any extra effort.

Is there anything else you’d like to add (anecdote, advice, etc)?

My suggestion is for everyone to leave their car at home once a week.

For a lot of people in Los Angeles County, it’s hard to take transit every day, but most people can carpool, bicycle or take a bus/train to work once a week. Just doing that would cut the miles driven by 20% which would make a meaningful difference in our traffic congestion and energy consumption.

Why I Ride: Claudia Casasola, Senior Auditor

Why I Ride

Why I Ride‘ is a series where Metro employees share their transit routines – read more about the concept here.

Name: Claudia Casasola
Position: Senior Auditor

How often do you take transit?

Everyday to work, sometimes on weekends for leisure.

What lines/routes?

Metrolink San Bernardino Line and Metro Red Line.

Are you car-free? If so, why? If not, why not?

Not completely. I live in the suburbs, so very few places are at walking/biking distance.

Do you use any other alternative transportation (bicycle, rideshare, etc)?

Bicycle sometimes, walk most of the time.

Do you think being a regular Metro rider is important to your job?

Yes it is! You experience first hand what it means to ride public transportation and that way you can encourage friends and family to also give it a try.

Why do you love transit?

I get to read, study, listen to music, people watch, relax, catch some much needed zzzz’s and most importantly: I don’t have to deal with traffic, car expenses and the stress of driving.

Is there anything else you’d like to add (anecdote, advice, etc)?

My children also ride the bus to college. For them it’s great because it’s just a short walk to the bus stop. For me it’s great because besides helping the environment by not driving a car, we save on gas, parking fees and they get to exercise!

Why I Ride: Andres F. Di Zitti, Planning Intern

Why I Ride

Why I Ride‘ is a series where Metro employees share their transit routines – read more about the concept here.

Name: Andres F. Di Zitti
Position: Administrative Intern for the San Fernando Vally/North County Area Planning Team

How often do you take transit?

Five to six times a week.

What lines/routes?

My daily work commute takes place on the Orange Line from my home in the Western San Fernando Valley to the Red Line that leaves me just feet from Metro headquarters. When I’m in a hurry or don’t feel like sitting 1.5 hours I will take the Metrolink from the Chatsworth Station.

Are you car-free? If so, why? If not, why not?

I try to be as much as possible. The nearest bus stop from my house is about 1.5 miles away and to get to the Orange Line I’m about another 5 miles away, or 2 connecting buses. Currently my commute takes me an hour and a half each way to get to work so to spend more time out of my day isn’t desirable.

Do you use any other alternative transportation (bicycle, rideshare, etc)?

I have a bike but use is mostly for recreation. I also used to carpool to the Canoga Orange Line Station with another intern that used to work in our building but unfortunately he no longer does.

Do you think being a regular Metro rider is important to your job?

I think it is absolutely essential, especially for us planners. It’s easy to sit in a cubicle and draw lines on a map but the reality is that the best planners know what they are planning both inside and out. Does it make sense to have a vegetarian butcher or an illiterate teacher? Not so much – so why should our agency be any different? Especially when you consider that Metro headquarters at One Gateway Plaza is probably the most transit accessible building in L.A. County where nearly every line terminates.

Why do you love transit?

I love passing cars stuck in traffic on Victory Blvd while I’m on the Orange Line. I love riding the Gold Line over the stalled 101 freeway. I love making it from NoHo to downtown L.A. in about 25 minutes on the Red Line. And I love all of the great stories I get to tell my friends about my commute.

Is there anything else you’d like to add (anecdote, advice, etc)?

Using public transit isn’t as bad as people think. It’s just about kicking a “door-to-door car-habit”. All it takes is a bit of planning and patience to use mass transit efficiently.

Why I Ride: Joe Simpson, Webmaster

Why I Ride

Why I Ride‘ is a series where Metro employees share their transit routines – read more about the concept here.

Name: Joe Simpson
Position: Metro.net Webmaster

How often do you take transit?

Every weekday for the last 19 years I’ve worked for Metro.

What lines/routes?

I’ve used multiple modes to commute to work during my 19 years with Metro – local and limited bus, light rail and commuter rail service. In the beginning, I took Line 20 from mid-Wilshire, Line 439 from Culver City, Blue Line from Long Beach and for the past 15 years, Metrolink (Antelope Valley Line) everyday.

Are you car-free? If so, why? If not, why not?

My only current car time during the week is driving to the Newhall Metrolink station. I try to avoid using auto on weekends. My car is 14 years old and I’m trying my best not to purchase another vehicle if possible.

Do you use any other alternative transportation (bicycle, rideshare, etc)?

I frequently use the GREAT bike paths in the Santa Clarita Valley on weekends with my family.

Do you think being a regular Metro rider is important to your job?

Being with Metro (and originally for Michigan where traffic is far less problematic), I really see it as a quality of life issue. My life is much worse when I’m stuck in traffic – I’m unhappier, more stressed and stuck. On Metrolink, I’m connected to the office and make website updates or work projects in transit. I’m much more efficient. Los Angeles is such a great place – I hate seeing mountains covered in brown smog and there is limited space for more freeway lanes.

Why do you love transit?

Being able to draw or use my laptop. I’ve met so many GREAT folks on the train – from lawyers, world travelers, Laker parade-goers, even the Coroner for LA County or the gentleman responsible for plants along the freeway system. It has enriched my day-to-day.

Is there anything else you’d like to add (anecdote, advice, etc)?

One of my most vivid pictures of my commute is coming out of the AV tunnel (below the I-5/14 split), looking out the window on the left with the aqueduct as a backdrop but seeing tons of vehicles bumper to bumper in both directions. How can anyone do that EVERYDAY?