Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16

Cameron on Transportation: Staying Safe on the Train

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“I’m afraid to get back on the train,” said the trembling woman, obviously shaken and possibly injured in the Hoboken terminal train crash of a NJ Transit train earlier this year. The shock of what she had seen was slowly sinking in and she was wondering how she was going to resume her life and its daily train commute after this horrific experience. Whether it’s a derailment, collision or act of terrorism, riding the train is proving potentially perilous. The Fairfield – Bridgeport collision and derailment in May of 2013 left 65 of the 250 passengers injured, Months later, the Spuyten Duyvil derailment was even worse, killing four and injuring 61. The recent Hoboken crash killed one and injured more than a hundred.

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16

Cameron on Transportation: The Billion Dollar Bridge

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Could it really cost $1 billion to replace the 562-foot Walk railroad bridge in South Norwalk? Or is there a cheaper alternative that CDOT is hiding from us. We all know the woes of this 120-year-old swing bridge that sometimes refuses to close, stranding thousands of Metro-North and Amtrak riders. But the plan to replace it (using $161 million in Federal Sandy relief money) has ballooned from $600 million to $1 billion thanks to added rail yards and such. Many in Norwalk are opposed because of the cost, others because they will lose their land by eminent domain.

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16

Cameron on Transportation: Politicians and Promises

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I don’t trust politicians. They tend to over-promise and sometimes just plain lie, telling you what you want to hear and then doing the opposite. I’m not talking about Clinton and Trump. I mean right here in Connecticut where our state representatives and state senators were all recently up for election. They’re all talking about “fixing transportation”, but I don’t trust them.

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16

Cameron on Transportation: Ferry Boats Are Not the Answer

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You’re crawling along I-95 or cruising on Metro-North and you look out your window to the south. There’s Long Island Sound, glistening in the sunlight. “Wow,” you think, “I sure wish I was commuting out there on the water.”

So why is it that we’ve never harnessed ferry boats for our commutation? There are many good reasons:

SLOWER SPEED: Fast ferries can make about 30 knots (35 mph) in open waters, half the speed of a train. But to reach downtown areas in major cities like New Haven, Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, they have to sail up rivers and inlets with 5 knot speed limits.

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16

Don’t Blame the Trucks for I-95 Congestion: Cameron on Transportation

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When it comes to our horrendous traffic, especially on I-95, everybody wants to find blame with someone other than themselves. “Who are these people and why are they driving now, on “my” road?” they ask. The easiest scapegoats are trucks: those behemoths that lumber along in the right and center lanes (because they are not allowed to drive in the left-hand lane). But I suggest that it’s not trucks that are responsible for our traffic. It’s the rest of us in our single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs).

Greg Ehlers THUMBNAIL 5-13-16

Commentary: Ehlers: ‘Bob Duff Doesn’t Stand Up for Education’

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By GREG EHLERS
Throughout my campaign for state senate, I have shared with Norwalk families the story of the two Senator Bob Duff’s when it comes to education. 

First, there is the “good old boy” Bob Duff that has allowed him to win state senate elections with overwhelming margins thanks to his being involved with Norwalk politics for almost his entire life.  This Bob Duff claps for your kids at school graduations, poses for pictures with your children’s teachers, and tells Norwalkers every two years that he “stand up” for Norwalk schools. In recent years, families have started to learn about a second Bob Duff that lives in Hartford.  This Bob Duff votes as a rank-and-file supporter of Gov. Dan Malloy’s and rose to become Senate Majority Leader of the state that is routinely ranked among the worst fiscally-managed states in the country.  This Bob Duff raises your taxes, does Governor Malloy’s bidding, and calls the countless jobs, capital, and people that leave Connecticut every year our “new economic reality.”
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— Greg Ehlers’ campaign website

— State Rep. Bob Duff’s official Web page

— Bob Duff’s campaign website

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Teachers, parents, and students in Norwalk and Darien were outraged to have also found out that this Bob Duff stood up for Governor Malloy and his quest to slash tens of millions of dollars of local education aid in the 2017 budget.  Senator Duff made a real and serious choice to sign off on these cuts in order to cover other Malloy spending priorities.  He was hoping voters in Norwalk would either not hear about it or not care about it, but Norwalkers have a right to know how poorly their representation has served them. First, the budget includes a $32.2 million cut to the Education Cost Sharing grant.  This means that if your son or daughter attends a public school in either Norwalk or Darien, their school will have significantly less funding than last year.  I’m willing to bet that if you are a parent, then your child has been directly and negatively affected by these cuts.  And keep in mind, this is our tax money that we’re talking about, you send this money to the state of Connecticut every year with the expectation that some of it will be spent on your children’s educations.  Senator Duff must answer to parents and teachers in the 25th district why he was on Governor Malloy’s side and not theirs. In addition to the massive cuts to Education Cost Sharing, the budget also slashes $23.3 million to transportation for school children.  Another notable and especially unfortunate Malloy/Duff cut is the elimination $4.3 million from Special Education programs.  This is particularly sad because these children are the most in need of professionals who can give them extra attention and help make their school experience as positive as possible. Folks, Senator Duff had every opportunity to stand up to Governor Malloy and say “enough is enough.”  He could have put politics aside and defiantly teamed up with Republican senators from neighboring towns like Sen. Toni Boucher or Sen. Tony Hwang in an effort to save Fairfield County from these draconian cuts to schools and special ed programs.  Unfortunately for Norwalk, the power-hungry, Malloy-supporting Duff was there and threw his district under the bus in order to help the Governor.

Murphy Noroton RR Station 1 Sept 2015

Commentary: Bob Duff on Improving Area Transportation

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By BOB DUFF

From ancient times, the major cities of the world were established along well-traveled trade routes. Even in the short history of Connecticut, cities like Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Norwalk were established on major waterways. As these cities grew they were connected by post roads, then railroads and finally highways. Each means of travel advanced communication and commerce, allowing Connecticut cities and their suburbs to flourish. Today, transportation, and in particular, an integrated transportation system, is more important than ever before.

Letter

More Letters to the Editor on the Klein/Wood Race for State Representative

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Darienite.com accepts letters to the editor about candidates running for office in the Nov. 8 election, but only up through the end of the day on Halloween, Oct. 31. Email your letter to dave@darienite.com. These letters about the election recently were sent regarding the election in the 141st state House of Representatives district:

Randy Klein Knows the Importance of Funding Transportation Infrastructure
To the editor:

Its easy to talk about fixing our transportation infrastructure.  While politicians are busy blaming each other for the problem, the rest of us are stuck in traffic, or waiting for a delayed train.

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Letters to the Editor on Wood vs Klein in Race for 141st State Rep District

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Darienite.com will accept letters to the editor about candidates running for office in the Nov. 8 election, but only up through the end of the day on Halloween, Oct. 31. Email your letter to dave@darienite.com. These letters about the election recently came in:
Trust the Republican, Wood, to Improve Connecticut, Not the Democrat, Klein
To the editor,

Many of Darien’s taxpayers know that in the years of my serving on the Darien Board of Finance, I repeatedly warned the town’s citizens that the time would come when the financial situation in Hartford was so abysmal that Darien would have to go it alone when it came to receiving any state grants or cost-sharing.

Letter

Letter: Randy Klein Understands the Education Aid Challenges Facing Darien

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To the Editor:

As a former teacher and guidance counselor at Darien High School, I’ve had the privilege of working with many Darien students. We are fortunate to live in a community that places a high value on the education of our children. 

Maintaining a successful public school system isn’t getting any easier, and we need solutions-oriented leadership to make sure Darien schools continue to succeed. Randy Klein’s piece on the recent CT Coalition for Justice v. Rell ruling shows that he understands both the present and future challenges facing our schools, and that is one of the many reasons why I will vote for him as our next state representative this November. Barbara L. Thorne

Barbara Thorne is a member of the Representative Town Meeting, former member of the Board of Selectman and wife of Marc Thorne, a former RTM member and currently a selectman.

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16

Talking Transportation: Bikes on the Train

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Days before the CDOT opens public hearings on proposed 5% fare increase on Metro-North, Governor Malloy held a media event to promote good news about “improved service” on our highest-fares-in-the-nation railroad. What? A return of the bar cars? More seats on crowded trains? No, nothing that monumental: just a new e-ticketing app and word that bike racks have been installed on our trains.

Market Green 6-22-16

Chamber of Commerce Supports Corbin/Post Road Redevelopment Proposal: Letter

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Dear Editor:

In the last ten plus years Darien has become more vibrant, and many exciting new merchants and restaurants have opened in downtown Darien. Grove Street Plaza, envisioned and built by Penny Glassmeyer, has become a wonderful center in town for concerts, arts fairs, and gatherings. 1020 Post is an elegant building built by David Genovese that is loved and frequented by so many Darien residents. Darien has a unique opportunity to redefine its downtown and compete with neighboring towns and cities by approving the Post Road/Corbin Drive project. The time is right, and the timing is NOW.

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16

Talking Transportation: Blame Legislature, Not Malloy, for Proposed Fare Hike

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Editor’s note: Darienite.com is now carrying Jim Cameron’s “Talking Transportation” column. Here’s our first one:

By JIM CAMERON

Sure, it was sleazy of Governor Malloy and the CDOT to release news of a proposed 5 percent fare hike on Metro-North on a Friday afternoon in July, hoping nobody would notice. But the more I dig into the proposal, the more I realize the Governor and CDOT are not to blame. It’s the Connecticut legislature that’s really responsible for this fare hike. Lawmakers this session left the Governor with a $192 million budget shortfall and every other branch of government has taken budget cuts and layoffs as a result. Now it’s transportation’s turn to feel the pinch.

Greg Ehlers THUMBNAIL 5-13-16

Letter: Ehlers Says Duff Helped Finance Study of Mileage Tax He Says He Doesn’t Want

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To the editor:

Sen, Bob Duff has become a politician with many opinions on the key issues affecting the families he claims to represent in Hartford. Nowhere is that more evident than with a new proposal that would slam all Connecticut drivers with a mileage tax. Anyone who follows Connecticut politics has heard a lot about this new tax from their elected officials.  Without the doublespeak from career politicians, the mileage tax is exactly what it sounds like — the state of Connecticut taxing you for every mile that you drive in your car, using your odometer and other information to track you. When I learned about this special Orwellian kind of desperate money-grub, I bet my reaction was similar to yours and other people who drive on Connecticut’s highways daily; with initial bewilderment, then shock, and outrage. We already have the highest gas tax per gallon in the country.  More people leave Connecticut than any other state in the union and this is how the Democrats in Hartford respond?!