Sunday Train: Is Cuomo Dragging His Feet on the Empire Rapid Rail Corridor?

It's been two and a half years since I started working full time for my University here in Beijing, and in that time, the frequency of the Sunday Train dropped from once a week a week with only the occasional missed week, to a few scattered runs during Semester breaks.

Back in January 2014, more than half a year before I started my job in Beijing, the Draft Tier I Environmental Impact Statement for the New York State Empire Corridor High Speed Rail study was signed off on by Joseph Szabo, then Administrator of the Federal Rail Authority. It was released with a comment period through to March 24, 2014.

So, let's catch up to the current state of play. As Albany's Times Union reported on 8 Oct, 2016:

Although the public comment period on the draft of the study ended April 30, 2014, the final environmental impact statement has yet to be released.

Now, the state Department of Transportation, which led the study, says it hopes to have the final document completed by the end of March, agency spokeswoman Jennifer Post said. The Federal Railroad Administration, at the state DOT's request, has extended the deadline to Sept. 30, 2017.

Well, then, haven't missed much. Join me for a look at what is up with the Empire Corrior, and why the NY DOT has been slow-walking the completion of this report, below the fold.

Topic: 

Column: 

3

South Dakota governor pledges veto

Yesterday, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard pledged to veto a discriminatory bill that would restrict transgender students from accessing locker rooms and facilities that match their gender identity.

SB 115 was introduced this week even though Daugaard vetoed a similar bill last spring.

The legislation does not address any pressing issue concerning the school districts of South Dakota.

I haven’t heard one instance of a problem in this area. Not one. But we have seen major problems in North Carolina when a bill like this was enacted.

--Daugaard

Topic: 

0

On his final day

On his last day as president (January 19) Barack Obama issued a memo to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) instructing that agency to allow transgender immigrants to request a change in gender on their official documents.

The change allows verification by foreign health care professionals of treatment undergone by legal immigrants in regard to their gender.

Topic: 

0

Two pro-LGBT bills move forward in Virginia Senate

The Virginia Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology moved two bills banning discrimination forward to the full Senate yesterday.

Senate Bill 783, put forward by Sen Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), would ban discrimination against state employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It passed by a vote of 12-3.

Topic: 

0

Philly hospital initiates gender confirmation program

Hahnemann University Hospital is a tertiary care center in Center City, Philadelphia and the Center City Philadelphia teaching hospital of Drexel University College of Medicine.

--wikipedia

The facility announced today that it is opening a new gender affirmation program for transgender patients.

Topic: 

0

Philly hospital initiates gender confirmation program

Hahnemann University Hospital is a tertiary care center in Center City, Philadelphia and the Center City Philadelphia teaching hospital of Drexel University College of Medicine.

--wikipedia

The facility announced today that it is opening a new gender affirmation program for transgender patients.

Topic: 

0

Sunday Train: An Ohio Universities Rail System, Part 1 (Southern & Central Ohio)

Well, the 2016 High Speed Rail unlock has been postponed to 2018 or 2020.

When transportation policy at the Federal level is grabbed with both hands by the Oil and Gas death lobby, we have to turn to the state level. Now, in Ohio, it might not look like that offers a prospect any better ... but unlike 2010 and 2014, in 2018 the Gubernatorial cycle will be in an election cycle with a President in the Republican party ... which leads to a predictable midterm backlash.

That midterm backlash tends to be strongest in the first midterm ... and it seems likely to be even stronger, given the character of the Republican who happens to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

And so bringing the focus of sustainable transportation policy from the Federal level to the State and Local level was in my head when I read: Oxford commits to funds, support for Amtrak stop. The City of Oxford, Ohio, the college town that hosts Miami University (not, of course, "the University of Miami") has committed $350,000 toward the construction of an Amtrak station for the Cardinal that runs through town three times a week to Chicago and DC/NYC. This matches the $350,000 committed by Miami University.

More about building up The Cardinal as a Knowledge Corridor, below the fold.

Topic: 

Column: 

0

Pages

Subscribe to Voices on the Square RSS