Friday, January 29, 2010

Governor, Labor Secretary Solis Announce $400 Million from Recovery Act for Passenger Rail in Ohio

For Imediate Release:

Amanda Wurst (Gov’s Office)
614 644-0957 / 614 832-7512

Scott Varner (ODOT)
614 644-8640 / 614 202-3562

Governor, Labor Secretary Solis Announce $400 Million from Recovery Act for Passenger Rail in Ohio

State, Local Leaders and Rail Supporters from Across Ohio Join in Columbus to 
Celebrate at the Statehouse

Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Governor Ted Strickland joined U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, state and local officials, and rail supporters from across the state to announce today that Ohio has received $400 million in federal stimulus resources to invest in passenger rail. With the goal of launching service by 2012, the 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Corridor will connect Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati with daily train service for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The announcement comes as a result of months of far-reaching public and private support among Ohioans for intercity passenger rail. “With today’s historic announcement by President Obama, Ohio takes a major step toward modernizing our state’s transportation infrastructure,” said Governor Strickland. “The 3C Corridor will create economic development opportunities and serve as a model of environmental sustainability. Most importantly, it will put thousands of Ohioans to work over the next few years.” 

“I’d like to acknowledge all of the members of Ohio’s congressional delegation who had the courage to support the Recovery Act – the federal stimulus bill – without which this historic announcement would not have been possible,” Strickland added. “Today, we are seeing the beginning of a new way to travel, and this new way to travel has left the station and is bound for Ohio.” Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Plan has drawn unprecedented support from citizens and community leaders, business owners and organized labor, sports teams and universities. 

In October 2009, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) submitted a strong application seeking a share of $8 billion in federal passenger rail funds made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “Based on ridership, the 3C ‘Quick Start’ service would rank as the nation’s 12th largest generator of passenger rail traffic in its inaugural year,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. “At the same time, we will work with Amtrak to strengthen Ohio’s existing service connecting Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati with Chicago, Pittsburgh and the East Coast.”

The application detailed the state’s plans for investing, constructing, and operating a passenger rail service corridor that would serve an estimated 478,000 passengers in its first year of operation - based on projections by Amtrak, the nation’s largest passenger rail service provider. 

“Connecting Ohio’s largest cites through rail will create immediate jobs and set our state on a path towards long-term economic growth,” Senator Sherrod Brown said. “Rail is good for business and good for our cities. For too long, our government passed tax cuts for the rich and giveaways to special interests. An investment in rail infrastructure is an investment in Main Street.” 

Nearly six million Ohioans live within 15 miles of the 250-mile long 3C Corridor, a federally-designated high speed rail corridor and one of the most densely-populated corridors in the U.S. currently without passenger rail service. 

"The 3C Corridor will bring sustainable, quality jobs to Northeast Ohio and high speed connectivity throughout the state," said Rep. Marcia L. Fudge. “I was proud to vote for the Recovery Act, which funded this economic development and transportation project." Ohio’s initial application requested $564 million in federal stimulus funds – a figure from a fall 2009 Amtrak study that provided estimates for needed investments in infrastructure, station stops and equipment. Those costs included a 30 percent construction cost contingency. ODOT and ORDC will work with Amtrak and the state’s freight railroads to quantify final investments needed to maximize capacity for fluid freight and passenger operations, and safely provide passenger service at speeds of up to 79 miles per hour. 

“This Recovery Act funding is not only going to create jobs in Ohio, but it is a critical step in building the economy of America’s future. We know that putting resources into transportation, infrastructure and clean energy projects will help to move our nation forward, revitalize manufacturing and strengthen the middle class,” said Rep. Steve Driehaus. “This smart investment is going to help speed our recovery, and put Cincinnati and Ohio on the path toward future growth and prosperity.” In addition, the state will work with local communities on the costs and needs of eight station stops, including locations in downtown Cleveland, southwest Cleveland, downtown Columbus, downtown Dayton, the Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville, and Cincinnati, as well as in Springfield and near the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Riverside. “I was so proud to work with the Governor, administration and a bipartisan delegation to get the President on board with funding that is crucial for a stronger economy in Ohio,” Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy. “We are the best place in the country for rail service restoration, expansion, and high speed manufacturing, and have a labor force that is just right for these types of investments in our infrastructure.” 

Based on the same Amtrak study, ODOT estimates that annual revenue - including ticket sales - from the initial 3C “Quick Start” service will be approximately $12.2 million each year. The study then estimates that Ohio would need to identify approximately $17 million in additional annual state investment. ODOT is identifying non-gas-tax dollars for these operating funds, including existing federal grant dollars, revenues from advertising on the train, and innovative public-private partnerships. 

“Today’s announcement is welcome news. This important funding will strengthen Ohio’s rail system, create jobs, boost Ohio’s economy and create an additional mode of transportation for more than six million Ohioans,” said Rep. Betty Sutton. “This project will provide an alternative option for those who commute to other parts of the state for work, and will give Ohioans an opportunity to travel and visit other parts of Ohio. Over time, it will spur economic development, which will create additional jobs. The enhanced rail system will also reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve our environment.” 

“I welcome Secretary Solis and this new investment in Ohio. Our location and transportation infrastructure make Ohio one of the most competitive manufacturing centers in America, and this can only help. Joining our cities together is good for our economy, good for our environment and good for Ohio,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich. "This rail corridor is long overdue. I want to commend Governor Strickland for his tremendously bold leadership on this project,” said Rep. Tim Ryan. 

“Now is not the time for half-measures. This project will have a transformative effect for generations to come. I also look forward to the addition of a Cleveland-Mahoning Valley-Pittsburgh corridor as the next step in rail improvement.” The $400 million stimulus investment in the 3C “Quick Start” is expected to result in at least 255 immediate construction jobs over a two year period. According to job-creation formulas by the U.S. Department of Commerce, this investment in Ohio will generate at least 8,000 spin-off jobs and could add at least $1.2 billion to Ohio’s economy. 

More information about Ohio’s 3C “Quick Start” Passenger Rail Corridor can be found online at:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

$8 Billion for High-Speed Rail Projects across the Country Announced

Bring on the jobs, bring on the jobs...

DOT Press release:

DOT 18-10
Contact:  Olivia Alair
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Tel.:  (202) 366-4570

President Obama, Vice President Biden to Announce $8 Billion for High-Speed Rail Projects across the Country 

Projects Will Help Create Construction Jobs, Revitalize U.S. Manufacturing Sector

Tampa, FL – President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will today announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is awarding $8 billion to states across the country to develop America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service.  Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), these dollars represent an historic investment in the country’s transportation infrastructure, which will help create jobs and transform travel in America.  The announcement is one of a number of job initiatives the President will lay out in the coming weeks that follow up on the continued commitment to job creation he discussed in last night’s State of the Union Address.  A full list of the awards can be viewed HERE

“Through the Recovery Act, we are making the largest investment in infrastructure since the Interstate Highway System was created, putting Americans to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, and waterways for the future,” said President Obama. “That investment is how we can break ground across the country, putting people to work building high-speed rail lines, because there’s no reason why Europe or China should have the fastest trains when we can build them right here in America.”

“By investing in high speed rail, we’re doing so many good things for our country at the same time,” said Vice President Biden.  We’re creating good construction and manufacturing jobs in the near-term; we’re spurring economic development in the future; we’re making our communities more livable—and we’re doing it all while decreasing America’s environmental impact and increasing America’s ability to compete in the world.”
Today’s awards will serve as a down-payment on developing or laying the groundwork for 13 new, large-scale high-speed rail corridors across the country.  The major corridors are part of a total of 31 states receiving investments, including smaller projects and planning work that will help lay the groundwork for future high-speed intercity rail service.   The grants are not only expected to have an up-front job and economic impact, but help spur economic growth in communities across the country, provide faster and more energy-efficient means of travel, and establish a new industry in the U.S. that provides stable, well-paid jobs. 

This historic $8 billion investment is expected to create or save tens of thousands of jobs over time in areas like track-laying, manufacturing, planning and engineering, and rail maintenance and operations.  Over 30 rail manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, have agreed to establish or expand their base of operations in the United States if they are hired to build America’s next generation high-speed rail lines – a commitment the Administration secured to help ensure new jobs are created here at home.

“The President’s bold vision for high-speed rail is a game changer,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “It’s not only going to create good jobs and reinvigorate our manufacturing base, it’s also going to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and help create livable communities.  I have no doubt that building the next generation of rail service in this country will help change our society for the better.”

The majority of the dollars announced today will go toward developing new, large-scale high-speed rail programs.  This includes projects in Florida, which is receiving up to $1.25 billion to develop a new high-speed rail corridor between Tampa and Orlando with trains running up to 168 miles per hour, and in California, which is receiving up to $2.25 billion for its planned project to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco and points in between with trains running up to 220 miles per hour.

In April 2009, the Administration released a long-term plan for high speed rail in America. In addition to the $8 billion awarded today, the plan also included $1 billion a year for five years in the federal budget as a down payment to jump-start the program.  Applicants submitted over $55 billion in project proposals for the initial $8 billion in funds awarded today. 

Obama Administration officials are traveling across the country this week to announce funding for the high speed rail projects and discuss how this investment will create local jobs and rebuild the economy.  Today, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will travel to Durham, North Carolina, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis will visit Columbus, Ohio and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will hold an event in Washington, DC, Executive Director of the White House Council on Auto Communities and Workers Ed Montgomery will visit St. Louis, Missouri and Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo will be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  On Friday, a senior Department of Transportation official will travel to California and FRA Administrator Szabo will hold an event in Chicago, Illinois.   

For further details on the major corridor projects, click here:
Chicago-St. Louis-Kansas City
 Madison - Milwaukee – Chicago
Charlotte - Raleigh - Richmond - Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the story of the Recovery Act, visit  To follow Recovery Act dollars,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Commuter Rail Moves Another Step Closer to Reality

Good News via the Columbus Dispatch. 

Ohio getting $400 million in federal rail money
Obama will announce grants Thursday in Florida
Wednesday,  January 27, 2010 3:25 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 05:51 PM

Ohio's long-planned passenger rail corridor is about to get a $400 million federal boost.

President Obama is going to Florida on Thursday to reveal how his administration will divvy up $8 billion in high-speed rail funding, but the good news will whistle all the way up to the Buckeye State, say Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Columbus.

Ohio's plan for passenger rail service linking Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton is going to get a significant share of that funding, said Brown, though he said he didn't know precisely how much.
But a separate, well-placed federal source told The Dispatch this afternoon that the figure will be $400 million.

"This is some of the best news we have had in a long time," Brown said. "If I put my ear down to the rail I think I hear a train coming."

Ohio officials are banking on federal stimulus money for most or all of the estimated $517.6 million they say they need to improve existing freight rail to passenger standards and to buy trains.

Kilroy said that the Obama administration is rewarding Ohio for being "the best place in the country for rail service restoration, expansion, high speed manufacturing," and for being a state that "has a labor force that is just right for these types of investments in our infrastructure."

An Amtrak study last fall said about 478,000 passengers would ride medium-speed trains connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. The line would require about $17 million a year in subsides.
Ohio has not had passenger rail service linking its three largest cities since 1971.

Brown said he has lobbied the Obama administration for months to give a healthy share of the $8 billion -- part of the $787 billion stimulus package -- to Ohio. Over the past week Brown said he has personally spoken to Obama, Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. The president, Brown said, was "optimistic" that Ohio's rail corridor would get the funding it needs.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will make the rail money announcement in Tampa, a day after the president's State of the Union address.

If the Ohio lawmakers and sources are correct, Ohio would be one of 13 major projects expected to receive a share of the funding, with money going to projects in 31 states in all. Florida, site of the announcement, apparently will get a good-sized chunk of rail money, and California also is expected to land a major haul.

The Obama administration says the projects will help spur construction and other project-related jobs in the short run and prove a long-term boost to economic development efforts in those areas because of the improved transportation systems.

Critics have suggested that the ridership numbers probably are inflated since the trains would average only about 40 mph along the entire route, a time that includes stops.

Ultimately, state officials hope the medium-speed rail will spur interest in a faster line, averaging 71 mph, that would cost $1.53 billion. The faster trains would attract more than three times as many passengers, according to the Amtrak study.

Officials have said that if Ohio gets federal funding for its medium-speed rail project, the trains could be up and running by the middle of next year.

In applying for stimulus funding, state officials have suggested that Ohio should stand a good chance because it's among the most populated corridors in the country without passenger service. That is a point Brown said he made to federal officials.

Critics question whether the Ohio rail corridor would provide much of an economic development boost to the state, and Republicans have criticized the stimulus package as containing too much government spending and not enough of the tax cuts the GOP contends would be more effective in creating new jobs.

Brown contends the federal stimulus spending on rail is evidence that the Obama administration wants to spend more on the nation's infrastructure needs and less on "tax cuts for the rich and the war in Iraq."
"This has been a long time coming," Brown said. "We have been pushing hard on this."

Tow Path Trail Completion Likely Many Years from Reality - Down to 2/3 a of a Mile

Well written article regarding the Harshaw site. It looks as if the only thing that will expedite this process is if something posed a threat to homeland security. In actuality, constant pressure on congress and senate are the only likely things that will make this happen sooner,

Reposted from
Radioactive industrial site stands in way of completing Cleveland's Towpath Trail | Metro - -

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Radioactive industrial site stands in way of completing Cleveland's Towpath Trail

By Michael Scott

January 26, 2010, 9:00AM
harshaw.jpgJohn Kuntz, The Plain DealerRadioactive material signs are posted on the fence perimeter around the old Harshaw Chemical Plant that used to refine uranium during World War II. The Ohio Canal Corridor is trying to finish the last leg of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail routing it by the former chemical plant.CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Uranium-235 has a radioactive half-life of roughly 700 million years.
Tim Donovan is afraid it might take that long to find a way to get the Towpath Trail built through Cleveland.
But Donovan, the director of the Ohio Canal Corridor, is also now more desperate than ever to find a way across 55 acres along the Cuyahoga River to build one of the final legs of the long-anticipated hiking and biking trail.
There's only one thing standing in his way -- radioactive soil.
Worse, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a lengthy report Jan. 20 that the site will not host the Towpath Trail anytime soon.
That conclusion was made even though remaining uranium and other radioactive materials in the soil at the former Harshaw Chemical site just south of the Harvard-Denison bridge are not deemed too dangerous to prevent the land being used for passive recreation.
 Federal officials said last week they will follow a methodical, predetermined process that will likely mean another four or five years before the planning and cleanup of the property is complete.
26CGTOWPATH-large.jpgView full size

Workers at Harshaw had refined uranium for the production of atomic bombs during World War II -- part of the then-mysterious Manhattan Project -- leaving behind a microscopic-but-lethal legacy of their wartime work.
How long Cleveland's radioactive past will obstruct the hiking and bicycling path of its future might depend on whether Donovan and others can sway the federal agency to accelerate its work -- or if he can find another way around the site.
"If you look at the Towpath Trail as a whole, we've got 88 of 101 miles complete and open to the public," Donovan said. "But apparently it will still be a long, long march to the sea.
"This might end up the most difficult two-thirds of a mile of trail to be built in America."
donovan.jpgJohn Kuntz, The PDTim Donovan, director of the Ohio Canal Corridor, points out how a future leg of the Towpath Trail might run under the Harvard-Denison Bridge in Cleveland. Donovan is seeking a way to connect the trail from Harvard Avenue toward Steelyard Commons, but can't cross a property that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says still has radioactive contamination from the refining of uranium in World War II.Meanwhile, the remaining pieces of what will be the northernmost end of the trail are either under design or will be shortly, once land is purchased -- at a cost that could reach another $47 million, he said. The group will be seeking federal money under theGreat Lakes Restoration Initiativeto help pay for some of those costs.
The Ohio Canal Corridor group will hold a public hearing in March on the design for the segment from Steelyard Commons north to Literary Avenue and the group is about to buy 11 acres of land near Scranton Avenue that would host the final leg.
"If those things happen, we'll be cutting ribbon and using that portion of the trail," he said. "But what happens with the Harshaw piece will depend on how quickly we can get the Army Corps to move."
But moving quickly at a site where more than 1,500 workers once refined uranium for atomic bombs simply isn't likely, federal officials and contractors hired to investigate the site said this week.
From 1944 to 1959, the company was contracted by the Manhattan Engineering District and the Atomic Energy Commission to refine uranium, which was then shipped to Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The commission OK'd the site for "unrestricted use" a year later, but later reports showed that the company had discharged some 4,000 pounds of radioactive uranium-fluoride particles into the air each year and that that traces of uranium and other compounds remained in the buildings and soil on site, according to records.
Eventually, federal authorities placed Harshaw in the Superfund cleanup program and paid out more than $5.5 million to former workers who were contaminated and their families, a spokesman said.
harshaw 2003.jpgPlain Dealer fileFederal authorities and hired contractors have been working to clean up the former Harshaw Chemical site in Cleveland for more than a decade. Workers shown here in 2003 were conducting tests at the site and some contaminated materials were taken away as recently as 2008.The Army Corps released its first assessment of Harshaw in April 2001, a more detailed investigation in 2006 (which revealed the presence of another radioactive element, thorium) and finally a 1,000-page update in late 2009.
A summary of that report was shared with residents and public officials Jan. 20. A copy of the full document is on file at the Brooklyn branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, 4480 Ridge Road or online.
It ultimately concludes that there remains "no imminent threat to human health or the environment" at the site, which is now used only sparingly by two other industrial landowners.
"But that does not mean there aren't long-term health risks, depending on the land use," said Jeff DeVaughn of private contractor Science Applications International Corp. of Twinsburg, which has overseen the investigation and cleanup since 2001. "If the land were to be used for a resident or a farmer -- the most sensitive land use there is -- with little kids running around eating dirt, the standard for cleanup is much higher.
"But when you get into recreational, people don't spend as much time there, they move through quickly, so that lessens their exposure, which is why the level of risk changes."
And there lies any hope Donovan and others have for completing the trail from Harvard Avenue north to Steelyard Commons.
"That's what we need to get the Army Corps to understand -- that there is a public consensus that this land will be used for a recreational trail," Donovan said. "Otherwise, if they end up cleaning it up to an agricultural standard and fence it off five years from now, it may never get used for anything.
"I don't think anybody wants that."
History of the Towpath
 The current Towpath Trail -- even incomplete -- is a nod to Ohio's 19th century history.
The Ohio & Erie Canal, a network of waterways connecting the state to the big cities back East, enjoyed a relatively short, but mighty place in U.S. history -- opening in the early 1800s, but losing its value with the advent of the railroad in the 1860s.
steel tow.jpgPlain Dealer fileThe Towpath Trail, looking north behind the Steelyard Commons, borders a series of railroad tracks on the east side and loading docks of stores on the west side in Cleveland, just south of the Tremont neighborhood. Past the Steelyard Commons, the Towpath Trail runs uphill to West 14th Street past an exit ramp from the Jennings Freeway. Planners are trying to figure a way to connect the Steelyard segment to Harvard Avenue, but are being stalled at the former Harshaw Chemical site.
The remnants of that network are preserved in the Ohio and Erie Canal Historic District and theCuyahoga Valley National Parkstill operates one of the locks for visitors.
The Towpath Trail -- a planned 101-mile path following the historic Ohio & Erie Canal from New Philadelphia through the national park and into Cleveland to the lake -- is already complete except for a few urban or industrial fragments in Cleveland and short spans in Akron and Barberton.
The first segment, nearly 20 miles through the national park, opened in 1993. The national park now boasts of more than 2 million annual visitors on its scenic portion of the trail.
More than $85 million has since been spent by various government agencies, nonprofits and private landowners to buy land and build and maintain the trails, either paved or hard-packed stone often through the rural landscape in several counties.
Several new legs have been completed recently. Trail planners in August 2008 opened a new bridge over Ohio 59 in Akron, connecting that city north all the way to Harvard Avenue in Cleveland.
Akron also dedicated a unique floating section of the Towpath in 2009, a third-of-a-mile wooden pathway across wetlands near Summit Lake in south Akron.
In Cleveland, developer Mitchell Schneider spent $1 million to build the segment of the trail behind his Steelyard Commons.
Then, late in 2009, The Trust for Public Land said it had closed a $3.2 million deal to preserve 1.3 miles of abandoned rail bed on the west bank of the Flats for a future trail network -- a segment that would join with the Towpath Trail.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ingenuity Feedback Session

We want your ideas...
Ingenuity Talkback

Come hear what we're planning and be heard about what you'd like to see...
If you've come to Ingenuity in the past or you're just starting to get to know us, we'd like to hear more from you. There is a lot of excitement about Ingenuity 2010 with our move to the Veteran's Memorial Bridge and to the Fall (September 24 - 26), but we want ideas from the entire community.
When: Tuesday, February 2 @ 6 PM
Where: The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes (2600 South Park Boulevard in Shaker Heights)
Please come out and share your ideas!

We'll be presenting slides on success stories from the past and sharing our ideas for the future. If you're a big fan of Ingenuity, bring a friend. If you've never been to the Festival but want to hear more, come along! We're hoping for a spirited discussion and a chance to meet new friends.
Please RSVP by January 31, by clicking filling out the form here: Link
Or call 216-589-9444

Disaster Preparedness at Home - HUD

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Press Release

Disaster Preparedness at Home
Helen Savoye Minor
The disaster in Haiti has touched not only the nine million people living there, but the global community as well.  One of the largest relief efforts in history is moving forward in order to save lives and avert further catastrophe. At HUD, we are doing our part by getting information to employees on how to donate safely and by staging a blood drive.
HUD also does its part to help with disasters here at home.  HUD has partnered with other federal agencies to remove information silos and ensure transparency when it counts the most - after a disaster - with the creation of  This site consolidates disaster assistance information in one place. If you need assistance following a presidentially declared disaster— which has been designated for individual assistance— you can go to and apply online in one place for almost 60 forms of assistance from 17 government agencies.  You can:
• Determine the number and forms of assistance you may be eligible to receive by answering a brief series of questions
• Start the individual assistance registration process immediately
• Apply for FEMA assistance and be referred to the Small Business Administration for loans through online applications
• Choose to have your Social Security benefits directed to a new address
• Access your federal student loan account information
• Receive referral information on forms of assistance that do not yet have online applications
• Access a call center in the event you do not have Internet access to ensure you can still register for assistance
• Check the progress and status of your applications online.
• Identify resources and services for individuals, families and businesses needing disaster assistance during all phases of an emergency situation
• Identify resources to help locate family members and pets
• Access assistance from the Department of State if you are affected by a disaster while traveling abroad
There's also help so you can be ready before a disaster strikes.  An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparednessis available on the site and there are also resources for managers and emergency responders.
More than 800,000 individuals needed emergency assistance, such as housing, food and clothing, after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.  The lessons learned from that catastrophe not only helped us mobilize assistance faster for Haiti, but made us better prepared to help here at home as well.

West 83rd explosion house owned by predatory investor EZ Access - Callahan’s Cleveland Diary

Callahan’s Cleveland Diary » Blog Archive » West 83rd explosion house owned by predatory investor EZ Access

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Legislative Action: 10th District and State - 012510

In this MegaVote for Ohio's 10th Congressional District:

Recent Congressional Votes
  • Senate: Debt Limit Extension; Thune Amdt. to terminate TARP
Upcoming Congressional Bills
  • Senate: Debt Limit Extension
  • House: Idaho Wilderness Water Facilities Act
  • House: Castle Nugent National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2010

Recent Senate Votes
Debt Limit Extension; Thune Amdt. to terminate TARP - Vote Rejected (53-45, 2 Not Voting)

The Senate rejected this amendment to end the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The bill itself would raise the federal debt limit to $13.029 trillion. It is still being debated on the Senate floor.

Sen. George Voinovich voted YES......send e-mail or see bio
Sen. Sherrod Brown voted NO......send e-mail or see bio

Upcoming Votes
Debt Limit Extension - H.J.Res.45

The Senate will continue debate on this bill to raise the federal debt limit.

Idaho Wilderness Water Facilities Act - H.R.4474

The House is scheduled to vote on this bill that would authorize the continued use of water facilities located on National Forest System land in north central Idaho.

Castle Nugent National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2010 - H.R.3726

The House is also expected to vote on this bill that would establish the Castle Nugent national historic site in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Monday, January 25, 2010

West Shoreway project gets a boost from Ohio lawmakers -

West Shoreway project gets a boost from Ohio lawmakers | Metro - -

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By Aaron Marshall, The Plain Dealer

January 25, 2010, 6:00AM
west-shoreway.jpgThomas Ondrey, The Plain DealerChanges proposed for the West Shoreway would make it friendlier for pedestrians. Legislation that would drop the speed limit from 50 mph to 35 mph, a key part of the plan, passed the Ohio House last week. In this picture, westbound traffic heads toward Lakewood as a pedestrian hustles by.COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A long-awaited $60 million road project designed to transform the fast lanes of the West Shoreway into a tree-lined boulevard got a key assist from state lawmakers last week.
Rep. Michael Skindell, a Lakewood Democrat, got language slipped into an unrelated bill that would drop the speed limit on a stretch of the West Shoreway, from 50 mph to 35. The bill passed the Ohio House Wednesday and now moves to the Senate.
However, drivers aren't likely to see the speed limit drop until about 2013, no matter when state lawmakers end up getting the provision enacted.....
...... The project has been divided into two phases, with work to begin this summer on rebuilding a crumbling pedestrian tunnel running under the roadway to Edgewater Park. Construction of a bike trail linking with an existing trail in Edgewater Park to form a continuous path is also planned for the first phase of the project as well as the new West 73rd intersection.
The state has pledged federal money totaling almost $50 million for the project, which covers the first portion of construction, with about $10 million leftover for the second phase, which should cost about $20 million.
The second phase is the centerpiece of the project and involves ripping out the concrete dividers on the West Shoreway and replacing them with a tree-lined, landscaped median.
Councilman Zone said he's worried the city will struggle to find the $10 million or more needed to finish the project once the federal money is gone......
..... Skindell said he is looking for a vehicle to get a similar amendment placed in the Senate in case the measure passed by the House ends up bogging down. He said he expects the Senate's Republican leadership to get on board with the idea because the project is so strongly backed by ODOT and city officials.
To read the whole article, go here:

Cleveland's Landmarks Commission proposes 6 more Catholic churches for protection under historical designation -

Cleveland's Landmarks Commission proposes 6 more Catholic churches for protection under historical designation

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st-adalbert-historic-designation.JPGSt. Adalbert Catholic Church on East 83rd Street could be protected as a landmark in City Council legislation passes.CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland's Landmarks Commission is recommending that six more Catholic churches be designated as historical city landmarks, which would give them some protection against demolition or structural changes.

The Cleveland Catholic Diocese, which has been closing churches in an ongoing downsizing plan, opposes the designations that City Council will now consider adopting through legislation.
In letters sent to the commission and copied to council members sponsoring the designations, the diocese called the proposals "extremely offensive."
"We do not seek nor do we approve of landmark designation ..." said the letter written by diocese finance officer John Maimone....
...The six structures are St. Adalbert, on East 83rd Street, Immaculate Heart of Mary on Lansing Avenue, Sacred Heart of Jesus on Krakow Avenue, St. Lawrence on East 80th Street, St. Hyacinth on Francis Avenue and St. John Nepomucene on Independence Road....
Read the rest here: