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Old July 4th, 2009, 06:24 AM   #1541
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Old July 4th, 2009, 08:44 AM   #1542
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The Portland-Seattle-Vancouver corridor is PERFECT for high speed rail. In the U.S. though, we only take tiny baby steps.

Let's start taking bigger steps.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 07:51 PM   #1543
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
The Portland-Seattle-Vancouver corridor is PERFECT for high speed rail. In the U.S. though, we only take tiny baby steps.

Let's start taking bigger steps.
The BIGGEST problem right now with the routes that cross the Canada-USA border is the border crossing - especially southbound. One big-time delay horror story after another after another. Streamline the border crossing/customs process (or set up a 'Schengen-style' Canada-USA customs union) and that route will flourish. Ditto NYC-Montreal and Chicago-Detroit-Toronto.

Mike
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Old July 4th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #1544
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I would have thought it more problematic going northbound considering that southbound there is no stops between Vancouver and Seattle and all Visas checks could be done at Vancouver station I would think.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 09:28 PM   #1545
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All customs and immigration Canadian and U.S. is done at Vancouver boarding and debarking the train.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #1546
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There is talk about possible to upgrade existing railroad between Vancouver BC to Portland and increase the speed a bit. It won't be so fast... Around 90 mph I think. It is still good start.

I still want high speed rail in Northwest region to become reality... Only way to make it possible by having to construct deep bored tunnel under downtown Seattle. That will make it easier for high speed rail to function without any hassles. The existing railroads in greater downtown Seattle is impossible to get high speed rail because almost all of them are on ground and not safe to operate it.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 08:48 AM   #1547
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The mid-range plan calls for 90 mph rail for the entire corridor. However, I think that goal should be upped to 110 mph and get BC on board with a line from the Fraser to Bellingham to reduce the travel time down to at least 3 1/2 hours. The route to Portland that currently goes through Winlock and Vader I think could be better routed along I-5 with a dedicated ROW minus all the curves. I wish some association would form for NW HSR.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #1548
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Amtrak unveils first passenger car restored with some of $1.3 billion in stimulus funds
13 July 2009

BEAR, Del. (AP) - Amtrak has wasted little time using its $1.3 billion slice of the federal stimulus package, unveiling the first of 81 passenger cars to be restored with the help of economic recovery funds.

Passenger car no. 25103, damaged a few years ago in a yard collision but now completely refurbished -- complete with that "new car" interior smell -- was shown off Monday at Amtrak's maintenance facility in Bear. More than 100 hard-hatted workers joined Amtrak president and CEO Joseph Boardman in celebrating completion of its restoration.

The car, refitted at a cost of about $687,000, will rejoin the Amtrak fleet next week and will be used on long-distance routes stretching from Toronto to Miami.

With ridership increasing by about 25 percent over the past three years, Amtrak is welcoming the additional seating capacity that will be provided by cars brought out of storage for repairs. Cars like the one displayed Monday can seat 60.

Members of Delaware's congressional delegation said that while past presidents seemed cool to the needs of mass transit, the Obama administration seems to truly believe in passenger rail.

"Our day has come," said Democratic Sen. Tom Carper.

Republican Rep. Michael Castle acknowledged that he was no fan of the $787 billion stimulus package, but said he wants to ensure that Amtrak remains a viable mode of transportation.

"I think we have an administration that cares, and I think the vice president has a lot to do with that," said Castle, referring to Vice President Joseph Biden, who rode the rails regularly during his long career in the Senate.

The funds allocated to Amtrak are part of the $9.3 billion set aside in the stimulus package for rail transportation. State governments, as well as Amtrak, are competing for a share of the other $8 billion available.

Some of the proposals being discussed include a Chicago-St. Louis high-speed line that could cut travel times to two hours from the current five, an 800-mile-long high-speed line stretching along the California coast, and a proposal by governors of New England states to improve and expand train service throughout that region.

Amtrak expects to spend about $90 million in stimulus money it's already been awarded to upgrade 81 passenger cars and 15 diesel locomotives -- part of the $845 million in stimulus funds allocated for railroad and station capital improvements. The agency will spend another $450 million in stimulus money for security upgrades at stations, bridges, tunnels and other locations.

Amtrak has added a third shift and hired 55 workers at its heavy maintenance facility in Delaware, which is responsible for the overhaul and wreck repair of passenger railcars, to help restore a total of 60 cars by February 2011 at a cost of $58 million. Amtrak's chief mechanical officer, Vince Nesci, described the undertaking as a "pretty ambitious and aggressive project."

Similar work is slated for Amtrak shops in Beech Grove, Ind., where 21 out-of-service passenger cars will be rebuilt.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 06:42 AM   #1549
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spongeg View Post
some good news for those in the Pacific NW

Second daily train between Seattle and Vancouver


Pilot project runs from August until after 2010

Katharine Kitts VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) | Friday, July 3rd, 2009 12:12 pm VANCOUVER

(NEWS1130) - Canada's Public Safety Minister has announced that the feds will participate in a pilot project that will see a second daily Amtrak train between Seattle and Vancouver.

It's estimated a second train could add as much as $14 million dollars a year to BC's economy. Stephen Pearce with Tourism Vancouver says he's very pleased to hear the idea will get a chance, "We currently get about 30,000 passengers that are coming up here. This gives us more flexibility in terms of being able to extend their length of stay. The people that will be coming up with the second train, the majority of them will be staying overnight. I think it gives us more flexibility in terms of who we market to and how we market and the kinds of itineraries that we can take into the Washington State area."

Pearce adds, "[Travellers] don't have to feel rushed to see the city all in one day and treat it as a day trip. It gives us more opportunity to actually give people another option to come up here, rather than having to worry about driving and the border."

The pilot project will run from August through to the end of the 2010 Games and will be evaluated after the Olympics to see if there's enough traffic to merit maintaining the run.

There's currently only one train a day between Seattle and Vancouver and Pearce is confident the second will increase traffic on both sides of the border.

Vancouver mayor Gregor Roberston says it's a start, "We need to take more steps beyond that to improve the rail service to Seattle and Portland."

http://www.news1130.com/news/local/m...03_152026_6036
good for them. Ive ridden cascades twice and its a very nice service for the NW
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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:44 PM   #1550
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More about replacing rolling stock

WISCONSIN JOINS WITH TALGO FOR CHICAGO-MILWAUKEE TRAINS


(The Associated Press circulated the following story by Todd Richmond on July 17, 2009.)

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin has agreed to a $47 million deal with Spanish train manufacturer Talgo for two 14-car passenger trains to run between Milwaukee and Chicago, Gov. Jim Doyle announced Friday.

The cars will replace aging cars on the existing Amtrak Hiawatha Service line between the two cities. The deal calls for Talgo to set up an assembly plant in Wisconsin that could serve as a hub as the company expands throughout the Midwest. It also includes an option for the state to buy two more Talgo trains.

Doyle, a Democrat, praised the agreement as the beginning of high-speed rail in the state.

"Today is the day where we're going to mark the beginning of a beautiful friendship," Doyle said at a news conference at the Dane County Regional Airport flanked by smiling Talgo executives.

Talgo's parent company, Patentes Talgo, builds high-speed trains used in countries across Europe, including Spain, Germany, Kazakhstan and Bosnia. Talgo runs five trains in the state of Washington with a headquarters and maintenance facility in Seattle. Doyle visited Spain in February to meet with company officials and rode their trains around the country.

Wisconsin and Illinois pay for the Amtrak line between Milwaukee and Chicago. Last year the two states paid about $7 million to run it, with Amtrak supplying the equipment and acting essentially as a contractor. More than 765,000 people rode the line last year, according to the governor's office.

State officials hope to replace the existing cars with Talgo cars by 2011. Money for the new cars will come from bonding authority included in the last three state budgets, Doyle said.

"We've planned for this," Doyle said.

Each train will seat 420 people, up from the current 350 per train capacity.

The trains wouldn't be high-speed; Amtrak engines would continue to pull the trains at the line's current speed of 79 mph. The state Department of Transportation hopes to upgrade to 110 mph sometime in the future, agency Secretary Frank Busalacchi said.

The parts for the train would be built in Spain but assembled in Wisconsin. Talgo officials have been scouting around south-central Wisconsin for a plant site. Doyle said the facility, which also will provide maintenance for the cars, could employ about 80 people.

Antonio Perez, CEO and president of Talgo's U.S. operations, said he visited the shuttered General Motors plant in Janesville and said the factory has "potential," but the company doesn't expect to make a decision for at least six to nine months. GM closed the plant in April, putting about 1,200 people out of work.

State Republican Party Executive Director Mark Jefferson issued a statement criticizing Doyle for putting the state another $47 million in debt "to create 80 jobs and posh seating on the train in Southeast Wisconsin."

"Eighty new jobs is a couple hours worth of damage control for Doyle's policies that have driven jobs out of the state," Jefferson said.

State figures released this week show the state has lost 123,000 jobs over the last year.

Doyle defended the agreement, saying the state was going to have to replace the Hiawatha cars anyway. Perez said the facility could serve as a regional assembly and maintenance hub as Talgo expands into other Midwestern states, creating more jobs.

Jose Maria Oriol, CEO and president of Patentes Talgo, called the Milwaukee-to-Chicago deal the first step toward that expansion.

"We have looked to the U.S. market as one of our main targets," he said. "Now we can say the dream in the Midwest has become a reality."

Doyle wants to eventually expand the Milwaukee-Chicago line to Madison and then on to St. Paul. The governor said if the state gets a large enough share of $8 billion in federal transportation recovery money work could begin on the Madison leg within four years. The state then would exercise its option for the two additional Talgo trains, he said.

Source: http://www.ble.org/pr/news/headline.asp?id=26918
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Old August 1st, 2009, 09:54 PM   #1551
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IBM, Amtrak link up in 5-year information technology support deal
31 July 2009

ARMONK, N.Y. (AP) - IBM Corp. said Friday it has inked a five-year deal to provide information technology support to government-run railroad Amtrak.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBM will provide data center services, including mainframe, security services, asset management and help desk and desktop support services for 10,000 Amtrak workstations nationwide.

IBM also will support the infrastructure for Amtrak's reservation system as well as the corporation's entire computing infrastructure from delivery centers in the United States.

The agreement continues a relationship between IBM and Amtrak that dates back to 1994.

Shares of IBM added 29 cents to $118.15 in afternoon trading.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 06:00 AM   #1552
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Awesome! IBM is doing a service to America.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 01:51 AM   #1553
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Amtrak unveils first passenger car restored with some of $1.3 billion in stimulus funds
13 July 2009

BEAR, Del. (AP) - Amtrak has wasted little time using its $1.3 billion slice of the federal stimulus package, unveiling the first of 81 passenger cars to be restored with the help of economic recovery funds.

Passenger car no. 25103, damaged a few years ago in a yard collision but now completely refurbished -- complete with that "new car" interior smell -- was shown off Monday at Amtrak's maintenance facility in Bear. More than 100 hard-hatted workers joined Amtrak president and CEO Joseph Boardman in celebrating completion of its restoration.
Why are there no pictures of this anywhere? If they had photos to go along with the story readers could look at it and see what that money bought them. There would be more of a connection. All this says is "Amtrak spent some money".

I did find this on Amtrak's website:
Amfleet II Coach Car #25103 Fact Sheet

History and Background

*
Amfleet II Coach Car #25103 is the first of 81 Amtrak passenger rail cars to be removed from storage, restored to good condition, and returned to service using funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
*
It is the first of 60 passenger cars being rehabilitated at the Amtrak facility in Bear, Delaware. The other 21 cars are being done at the Amtrak facility in Beech Grove, Indiana.
*
It was damaged in a yard incident in Hialeah, Fla. and has been in storage since April 2005.
*
When the car was placed in storage, it had traveled just over 4.1 million miles.
*
The repair and overhaul of the car began on April 17, 2009, was performed at the Amtrak maintenance facility in Bear, Delaware, and cost approximately $687,000.
*
The restored car has a useful life of 40 years.
*
Amfleet II Coach Cars have a seating capacity of 60 passengers.
*
Amfleet II Coach Car #25103 was built by the Budd Company in Philadelphia in 1982.

Car Repairs

*
The 2005 yard incident damaged the back corner post, stainless steel end sheeting, stainless steel fluted side sheeting and draft gear coupler pocket which were all replaced.
*
Wreck damage repair took 950 man hours over 24 calendar days at a cost of about $37,000.

Level 3 Overhaul

*
Following the repair of wreck damage, the car then received a Level 3 Overhaul to bring Amtrak equipment up-to-date in standard design, colors, amenities, and in full compliance with federal safety standards.
*
Level 3 Overhauls consist of a complete update of the car's interior, exterior, mechanical systems, electrical systems, trucks, wheel assemblies, airbrakes and restrooms.
*
During the overhaul, the following were replaced: carpets, drapes, cushions, windows, batteries, battery chargers, lamps, wheel slide units, door motors, diaphragms, decals, toilets, water heaters, couplers, and the 480-volt train line. The trucks, wheel assemblies, and air brake systems also were all overhauled.
*
Restrooms on the car were renovated to meet ADA requirements.
*
The overhaul took 3,966 man hours over 42 calendar days at a cost of about $650,000.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #1554
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Passenger Rail might be banned in Cincinnati

Cincinnati has minimal Amtrak service -- only 3 trains per week to Chicago and 3 trains per week to Washington, DC. This will not change. Some of you might know that Cincinnati was within inches of starting construction on a Portland-style modern streetcar system, then all this popped up.

The anti-streetcar charter amendment, due to its deceptive wording, will mean Cincinnati will be out of the Midwest HSR and 3C's rail corridors due to a charter amendment that will appear on November's ballot. This charter amendment will basically ban *all* passenger rail in the city, be it local transit or intercity. Sound insane? It is, and it's for real. If this passes the Indy>Chicago line and Columbus>Cleveland lines will either terminate outside city limits or not be built at all.

The guy behind this, attorney Chris Finney, is the same guy who got the anti-gay charter amendment passed in the 1990's, which brought tons of bad press to the city.

This current campaign is one intended to build local NAACP president Chris Smitherman's profile in order to get back on city council or more likely directly in the mayor's seat. Yes, there is another charter amendment from this group calling for the institution of mayor recalls, like California's governor recalls.

Smitherman and Finney will say anything -- Smitherman has been accusing the city waterworks of pumping syphillic water into black neighborhoods, and is stoking anti-gay sentiments amongst the city's large black population.
Smitherman also accused a current city councilman (a democrat) and a prominent local radio talk show host (a conservative) of having a homosexual relationship. The current mayor is black and gay and very much pro-rail, so they are working hard to associate passenger rail, subways, etc. with homosexual culture.

This is absolutely for real, and the local media has only recently caught on to the charter amendment's far-reaching implications.


'Poison Pill' amendment is about less, not 'more'
Editorial: Cincinnati Rail Proposal
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A funny thing happened to Cincinnati on the way to the streetcar - funny, but certainly not amusing.

A proposed city charter amendment on this November's ballot has not only altered the debate over the city's plan for a $185 million, riverfront-to-Uptown fixed-rail streetcar route, it has all but obliterated it. It has sucked the air out of any substantive discussion about such a system's actual merits.

Instead, public debate - no doubt as the amendment's creators, avowed streetcar foes, intended - has focused on an acrimonious disagreement about what its wording actually means and what its effect would be:

Is it about the streetcar?

Or is it about more than the streetcar?

Unfortunately, its proponents' rhetorical sleight of hand continues to divert attention from the real answer:

It is about less. Far less.

And Cincinnatians ought to recognize it for what it is.

It is about less because it is DECEPTIVE in its language and intent.

The Charter amendment, supported by forces headed by the Cincinnati NAACP and the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending & Taxes (COAST), is a classic example of lawyerly weasel-wording. It proposes to "prevent the expenditure of monies by the city for right-of-way acquisition or improvements for passenger-rail transportation (e.g., trolley or streetcar)" without a public vote.

Christopher Smitherman, Cincinnati NAACP president, says it's meant to target the streetcar, but was written broadly in case city leaders decide to give the project a different name, like "trolley" - or perhaps his personal, derisive favorite, "choo-choo train."

That's nonsense. Christopher Finney, co-founder of COAST, wrote the ballot language. He is an attorney. He knew what he was doing. He could have made it clear and specific to this proposed project.

Instead, he fuzzed it with an "e.g." and widened its scope to affect any city participation even peripherally related to the Eastern Corridor project, the Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland "3C" passenger-rail proposal, a regional commuter light-rail plan or any other such project in the foreseeable future.

The effect is to divert and distract, to sow confusion.

A "Yes" vote on the Charter amendment effectively means "No" on the streetcar, but its faux-populist "let the people vote" cachet might draw support from people who otherwise might favor a streetcar. A "No" on the amendment, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily translate into streetcar support.

More deception: Finney claims that virtually every other city that has built a streetcar has put it to a public vote. But that's apples and oranges. Most were votes on new taxes or bond issues to fund a system - not a vote on any "right-of-way acquisition or construction of improvements," which would leave Cincinnati hamstrung, in an unenviable class by itself.

And as Cincinnatians for Progress, a group formed to oppose the ballot language, points out, a number of other cities did build their streetcar systems without a public vote.

Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper is right: This amendment is a "poison pill," exactly as its proponents intend. In selling it to the public, they want to have it both ways. In fact, they want to have it three ways.

Smitherman says it's an anti-streetcar measure, and COAST's Web site urges residents to vote "Yes" to "Kill the streetcar!"

COAST's blog constantly refers to it as an "anti-boondoggle Charter amendment," citing a range of development projects it could or should have stopped.

And yet Finney told The Enquirer recently: "The only thing that we're having this November is a referendum on the power of the people vs. the power of the legislature."

So which is it? This deception doesn't even rise to the level of "smoke and mirrors." Mirrors would denote some sort of reflection. This is just smoke.

It is about less because it is DIVISIVE for our community.

The campaign in favor of this amendment is effectively tapping into deep-seated, long-standing resentments based on race, class and neighborhood.

Its proponents raise issues of trust - specifically, a lack of trust by people who feel city leaders have mishandled major projects, and have left their neighborhoods and communities out of the economic benefits. They cite, with some validity, a litany of projects - the Bengals stadium, the Transit Center under Second Street, the Banks project and more - as examples. Their concerns should not be minimized, but they shouldn't paralyze future actions either.

The jury's still out on the ultimate value of those projects, but they provide convenient flashpoints for the pro-amendment campaign - which, in turn, gives not only streetcar opponents, but anybody with a gripe against the city, a focal point for their displeasure.

Some of these concerns, particularly in the African-American community, have validity. In this struggling economy, people need jobs, and they need transportation to and from those jobs. They don't see an immediate payoff from a streetcar system. Smitherman implies that the project is taking resources that could be directed toward immediate job creation.

In reality, the streetcar project would use dedicated capital dollars that cannot be used in the general fund for regular city programs. And it wouldn't start at all unless the city receives at least $60 million in federal funds.

But it's hard for streetcar supporters to make those distinctions clear. Opponents aren't buying it. This is one reason why we advocated recently that the city put the streetcar project on the back burner.

The message on streetcars is not getting through, especially with all the problems the city faces - huge budget deficits, pending layoffs of city employees, problems with the pension system and other city programs.

City Council's penchant for public-relations gaffes - such as proposing to spend $3.2 million on recycling bins a day before announcing job layoffs - doesn't help ease divisions, either.

The city must get its act together. Cincinnati leaders must develop a smart plan, articulated well to the public, not only for a streetcar but other investments that will help residents now and later. But that's difficult in this environment, during a council/mayoral election year, amid all the rhetoric surrounding the charter amendment.

It doesn't help that Finney calls Cincinnati a "shrinking" city that needs to "get back to basics" - whatever that means.

Let's be clear: This amendment fits into what COAST proudly declares is its larger, long-term agenda to block any "additional spending and taxes," regardless of its economic worth. It is a formula that would ignore the city's pressing needs for more investment, resources, growth, development and long-term job creation.

Supporters of the anti-rail amendment, in effect, are trying to force the city into a rancorous discussion about how to divide the existing pie, rather than how to make the pie bigger for everybody.

It is about less because it is DANGEROUS to representative democracy.

The amendment would further us on an unwise path to a "government by referendum" that lessens the effectiveness of the representatives we elect.

We already see the effects growing in our area, on the state level and elsewhere in the country. Putting "everything" up to a general vote, as some proponents actually advocate, makes important public policies vulnerable to high-tech, high-decibel demagoguery, and makes a mockery of the system that the founders of this nation and state crafted.

We are a representative democracy, not a direct democracy. The initiative system exists to give the people a safety valve, a direct say where needed. But it can't extend to every possible issue of consequence.

That's what we elect representatives to do. We grant them the power and responsibility to study issues intensely, discuss them thoroughly, craft sound plans and forge reasonable compromises - not to simply execute the results of an up-or-down vote. If they fail, we vote them out.

City Councilman Chris Bortz, a leading streetcar advocate, says it best: "I think there's a real slippery slope here, a dangerous trend. And we only need to look to California to see what happens when you end up in a situation where you're voting by referendum and you're governing that way. When you hand it off to special interests, which is ultimately who ends up on either side of many of these ballot initiatives, then it becomes all about rhetoric, and it can lose the concrete facts that are underlying the decision-making."

Lawmakers become less responsive, less accountable to the people if every significant decision is taken from them.

The proposed charter amendment is fraught with economic peril as well. For example, the "3C" proposals are already rife with potential conflicts over the location of a terminal in the Cincinnati area, its effect on neighborhoods, the funding mechanisms, and more. The amendment's passage would only complicate all those issues.

Debate over the streetcar ought to focus on issues such as this: whether the anticipated economic development along the route, and increased tax revenues to the city from that development, would sufficiently outweigh the expenses of operating and perhaps subsidizing the system.

But, as worded, the amendment clearly would delay and confuse any move the city made, however small, regarding rail transit.

In an economic environment in which leaders need to act quickly and smartly on development to make sure our area isn't left behind in the dust, that's dangerous.

Deceptive. Divisive. Dangerous: Three "D"s that amount to an "F" in our book.

This proposed charter amendment is enabled by fears, fueled by resentments and driven by cynical agendas.

It deserves to fail - because Cincinnatians should not settle for less.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #1555
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WTF is wrong with Cincinnati?
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Old August 12th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #1556
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O_o wtf instead promoting public transport promoting private transport?
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Old August 12th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #1557
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>WTF is wrong with Cincinnati?

Nothing is wrong with the elected officials. The streetcar proposal has support of the mayor and 7 or 9 on council. It is supported by the city's Fortune 500 companies.

There is a provision in the city's charter that allows charter amendments to be placed on the ballot if a mere 6,000 signatures are gathered. This wasn't a problem until libertarian group COAST linked up with the NAACP and started petition drives for anything and everything.

Why is a white libertarian group linked up with the NAACP? Because the current NAACP head was kicked off city council because he's a clown and desperately wants back in.

His family has a long-standing family feud with the mayor's family, and Mayor Mallory is rumored to be aligned with ACORN, and so has a direct hotline to Obama. So the federal funds are a lock for this project. Meanwhile NAACP chief Chris Smitherman is from the Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson vein of black politics that has been shoved aside by Obama's and ACORN's rise.

The libertarian group has their own guys waiting in the wings, hoping to win office, and they're helping the NAACP, trying to win black support. The libertarian group has a long history of anti-gay activities, including the notorious mid-90's anti-gay rights ordinance. Smitherman is exploiting the anti-gay sentiments in the black population against the mayor, and is associating the streetcar with homosexuals.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 03:10 AM   #1558
enkay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg1 View Post
Smitherman is exploiting the anti-gay sentiments in the black population against the mayor, and is associating the streetcar with homosexuals.
That's seriously messed up.
Universal Health Care = Public Transit = Homosexuality = Socialism = Evil?
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Old August 13th, 2009, 03:18 AM   #1559
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i once tried to take amtrak from oakland, jack london square, ca to san luis obispo - prob. a dist of about 250-300 miles. when i got to the station, they told me the train was 9 hours late (the trip itself was about 5 hours). i told them, **** it, ill drive.
everytime after that, i took the amtrak BUS. travel time was cut by OVER AN HOUR, and in the half dozen times i made the trip, it was never late.

of course rail COULD work in the usa, even long distance lines. but it would require way way too much $$ to bring everything up to standards. cmon, guys, we got to spend our $ on more important things, like iraq.
Firstly, iraq isn't our concern, we should leave there & focus on our own country, we have not done so since the end of WW2.

Secondly, amtrak has 100% last priority after freight out west, because it does not own the tracks, it only has operating rights. That is why the trip is slow, not because of track conditions, and not because of the route the tracks take.

What really needs to happen is people in washington & state capitols need to grow a pair of gonads & build the damn HSR network, instead of giving backroom ****jobs to big oil, car companies, and corrupt to the core secondary players. Just do it all ready, i'm waiting.....

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Old August 13th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #1560
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Maybe it's because the trains are painted in homosexual-looking colours, and they look like a sex toy. If you look closely enough and imagine it to be so. Or something. Oh, and did you know Hitler shoved Jews onto trains? Public transportation is fascist and homosexual.
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