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Keyword: boondoggle

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  • The Men Who Walked Away

    12/06/2019 5:51:41 AM PST · by Rummyfan · 8 replies
    Steyn Online ^ | 5 Dec 2019 | Mark Steyn
    Friday December 6th marks the thirtieth anniversary of the "Montreal Massacre" - a grim day in 1989 when fourteen female students at the École Polytechnique were murdered by a man known to posterity as "Marc Lépine". Much followed from that terrible slaughter, including various useless "gun control" measures - and the formal annual commemorations that, three decades on, are attended by as many eminences as Remembrance Day or Dominion Day. The men present in that classroom are now in their mid-fifties; the women are not. I was far from home that December and was not back in Quebec until Christmas....
  • FRA Issues $24MM Maglev NOFO [i.e. Notice of Grant Funding Opportunity]

    10/30/2019 6:54:17 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    Railway Age ^ | October 30, 2019 | Andrew Corselli
    The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently published a Notice of Grant Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for a shade over $24 million for the Magnetic Levitation Technology Deployment Program (Maglev Grants Program). […] Published in the Federal Register, the NOFO notes that existing projects proposed for Pittsburgh, Baltimore-Washington and Atlanta-Chattanooga are the only ones eligible for the full $24.03 million. Applicants with otherwise eligible Maglev projects may apply only for the $10 million in 2019 Funds. …
  • Hiring begins for 250 construction workers at $250 million solar farm (Michigan)

    10/25/2019 5:10:12 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 16 replies
    WJRT-TV ^ | October 22, 2019 | Staff
    SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) (10/22/2019) - The construction contractor for a $250 million solar farm in Shiawassee County is ready to start hiring 250 workers to build the development. McCarthy Building Companies, which is the general contractor for Ranger Power's Assembly Solar project in Hazelton and Venice townships, is looking for pile drivers, forklift operators, layout crews and general laborers. The jobs all start at $15 an hour with higher wages possible based on experience. On the job training will be provided, along with health insurance, paid time off, retirement savings and seven paid holidays in 2020. Construction is expected to...
  • Ohio planners looking at a 30-year timeline for hyperloop project between Pittsburgh and Chicago

    10/18/2019 8:37:05 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 38 replies
    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | October 17, 2019 | Ed Blazina
    Ohio planners will move full speed ahead on a proposed hyperloop system that would carry passengers between Pittsburgh and Chicago in about 58 minutes for a one-way cost of about $93. But the full system, known as Mid-West Connect, probably wouldn’t be finished until about 2050. Thea Walsh, director of transportation and funding for the Columbus, Ohio-based Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, said this week the agency is putting the finishing touches on feasibility and environmental impact studies but has concluded it should pursue the hyperloop system. The system being developed by Virgin Hyperloop One would move passengers and freight in...
  • $2 million study looks at hyperloop – 700 mph transit – that would cross Pennsylvania

    10/13/2019 8:19:47 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 63 replies
    The Patriot-News ^ | September 26, 2019 | Jana Benscoter
    Will a hyperloop work in Pennsylvania? That’s the question officials from legislative and executive branches, statewide agencies, organizations and departments, as well as a handful of private business leaders are trying to answer. Fifty people, invited to a workshop at Dixon University in Harrisburg on Wednesday, met to talk about the possibility of building a hyperloop system in the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has until April 2020 to complete a $2 million state-legislative commissioned study on its viability. Media wasn’t permitted to attend the invitation-only meeting. According to the turnpike’s research, a hyperloop combines a magnetic levitation train and...
  • 50 World Mayors Fly to Denmark and Pledge to ‘Do Something About Climate

    10/14/2019 7:55:59 AM PDT · by ChicagoConservative27 · 69 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 10/14/2019 | Simon Kent
    Mayors from 50 world cities flew to Denmark last week to discuss ways to address the “global climate emergency,” pledging to “do something about it” before they headed homewards again on Sunday. Telling adults to eat less than 300 grams of red meat – about the equivalent of two fillet steaks – a week was one initiative they could agree on.
  • Police Robot on Patrol Completely Ignores Woman Trying to Summon The Police

    10/12/2019 9:04:46 AM PDT · by simpson96 · 19 replies
    ScienceAlert ^ | 10/10/2019 | Dan Robitzki
    Those Knightscope security robots may not be so great at their jobs. When a woman in a park near Los Angeles saw people fighting and tried to summon help via a police robot patrolling nearby, the robot merely told her to "step out of the way" and continued along its pre-determined route, according to NBC News. No help came until the spectators called 911 directly, raising the question of what, if any, function these robots are actually supposed to serve. It turns out that the robot, a K5 model named "HP RoboCop", patrols the park on behalf of the police...
  • The MAX Yellow Line: A Look Back After 15 Years

    09/28/2019 5:41:25 AM PDT · by Twotone · 6 replies
    Cascade Policy Institute ^ | September 12, 2019 | Rachel Dawson
    TriMet’s MAX Yellow Line first opened 15 years ago in May 2004. The Yellow Line’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) made a myriad of predictions for the year 2020, which makes now the perfect time to reflect on what officials promised and what taxpayers and transit riders have since received. Yellow Line History The Yellow Line originated in 1988 as a 21-mile project connecting Vancouver, Washington with Downtown Portland and Clackamas Town Center. This plan was scrapped after Clark County voters defeated a proposal to raise $236.5 million in 1995 and Oregon voters turned down a $475 million regional ballot...
  • Austin’s [TX] $2 Billion Biomass Boondoggle

    09/19/2019 11:14:50 AM PDT · by JeepersFreepers · 27 replies
    Texas Scorecard ^ | 5/30/19 | Jacob Asmussen
    Austin Mayor Steve Adler recently announced the city’s taxpayers will be paying a whopping $460 million to buy a biomass power plant in East Texas, a plant Austinites had already coughed up $128 million to build and were paying $54 million every year to operate. Even after all that cash over the span of six years, the plant produced energy for only two months. The story began in 2008, when Roger Duncan, then-Austin Energy’s general manager, sketched out a plan to help achieve Austin City Council’s renewable energy goals. He wanted local citizens to pony up the cash to build...
  • NASA's Mighty Moon Launcher Moves to Rocket Pad for Solo Testing

    07/08/2019 8:43:31 AM PDT · by Jagermonster · 14 replies ^ | July 8, 2019 | Elizabeth Howell
    NASA's lunar mobile launcher is one step closer to sending its first spacecraft to the moon. The launcher is now in final testing for Artemis 1 — an uncrewed test trip around the moon of the Orion spacecraft slated for 2020 or so — after making its last solo trip to the Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39B on June 27. The launcher will remain at the pad for two months before going inside the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to join the Orion capsule and its rocket, called the Space Launch System (SLS). One day, this same system could...
  • As NASA Aims For The Moon, An Aging Space Station Faces An Uncertain Future

    07/08/2019 8:37:01 AM PDT · by Jagermonster · 12 replies
    National Public Radio ^ | July 7, 2019 | Nell Greenfieldboyce
    When a rocket carrying the first module of the International Space Station blasted off from Kazakhstan in November of 1998, NASA officials said that the station would serve as an orbiting home for astronauts and cosmonauts for at least 15 years. It's now been over 18 years that the station has been continuously occupied by people. The place is impressive, with more living space than a six-bedroom house, two bathrooms and a large bay window for looking down at Earth. NASA and its international partners have spent decades and more than $100 billion to make the station a reality. The...
  • Joe Biden Wants to Bring High-speed Rail to California — Again

    06/13/2019 11:38:06 AM PDT · by detective · 39 replies
    Former vice president Joe Biden is proposing to restore California’s now-defunct high-speed rail project — just months after Gov. Gavin Newsom pulled the plug, and President Donald Trump pulled the funding. Biden formerly championed high-speed rail with President Barack Obama as part of the 2009 “stimulus” package. Joel Fox, commenting on California’s widely-read Fox & Hounds blog, noted the provision in Biden’s new plan to tackle climate change
  • High-speed rail route took land from farmers. The money they’re owed hasn’t arrived ( California)

    06/11/2019 4:29:27 AM PDT · by george76 · 45 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | JUN 10, 2019 | Ralph Vartabedian
    John Diepersloot squinted under a bright Central Valley sun, pointing to the damage to his fruit orchard that came with the California bullet train. He lost 70 acres of prime land. Rail contractors left mounds of rubble along his neat rows. Irrigation hoses are askew. A sophisticated canopy system for a kiwi field, supported by massive steel cables, was torn down. But what really irritates Diepersloot is the $250,000 that he paid out of his own pocket for relocating wells, removing trees, building a road and other expenses. “I am out a quarter-million bucks on infrastructure, and they haven’t paid...
  • Trump Administration Pulls $1B For California High-Speed Rail Project

    05/16/2019 2:11:38 PM PDT · by Jim Robinson · 63 replies
    SF CBS ^ | May 15, 2019 | ap
    SACRAMENTO (AP) — The Trump administration cancelled nearly $1 billion in federal money for California’s high-speed rail project Thursday, further throwing into question the future of the ambitious plan to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Federal Railroad Administration’s announcement it would not give California the money came several months after sniping between President Donald Trump and Gov. Gavin Newsom over the project. The administration will still try to force California to return another $2.5 billion that has already been spent. Trump had seized on Newsom’s remarks in February that the project as planned would cost too much and...
  • U.S. legislation aims to thwart China's electric vehicle dominance

    05/02/2019 7:52:39 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    Reuters ^ | May 2, 2019 | by Ernest Scheyder
    WASHINGTON - A U.S. senator plans to introduce legislation on Thursday to streamline regulation and permitting requirements for the development of mines for lithium, graphite and other electric-vehicle supply chain minerals, part of a plan to offset China’s dominance in the space. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, the Republican chair of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will introduce the Minerals Security Act alongside Senator Joe Manchin.
  • Lockheed Martin unveils lunar lander design to get humans to the Moon by 2024

    04/11/2019 12:41:18 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 72 replies
    The Verge ^ | Apr 10, 2019, 3:42pm EDT | Loren Grush
    Lockheed Martin is unveiling new designs for a human lunar lander concept that can take people to and from the lunar surface. And the company says it can be ready within the next five years.... The vehicle consists of two elements: a lander portion that can travel down to the ground, and an ascent vehicle that can lift astronauts off the Moon’s surface. The lander is meant to travel to and from a new space station that NASA wants to build around the Moon called the Gateway. If all of these elements are created, astronauts would travel to the Gateway...
  • Albuquerque’s Electric Bus Takes a Wrong Turn and Goes Nowhere

    03/30/2019 3:14:40 PM PDT · by JeepersFreepers · 37 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | March 29, 2019 | Stephen Ford
    Whether it’s the Washington, D.C., streetcar, California’s bullet train, or New York’s Second Avenue subway, public-transit projects are almost always disruptive, delayed, over budget or underused—if not all of the above. Add another example to the list: a dead-end bus line in Albuquerque, N.M. Today, more than 16 months after Mayor Berry hopped on ART’s first ride, the bus lanes are empty. In 2016 the city paid $23 million for a fleet of 18 all-electric buses from the Chinese company Build Your Dreams. The system for charging the buses’ batteries proved faulty, and city inspectors found problems with the air...
  • NASA says it's committed to Boeing-built rocket after considering alternatives

    03/26/2019 9:14:30 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    cnn ^ | 03/26/2019 | Jackie Wattles
    Now, government officials are dialing up the pressure on Boeing to speed up development of the long-overdue rocket, called Space Launch System or SLS. The space agency contracted Boeing in 2012 to build SLS's core components. Bridenstine's remarks came after US Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday at a National Space Council meeting in Alabama that news of more hangups with the SLS program were a "great disappointment," and the current timeline is "just not good enough." Boeing began building SLS's core stage, the backbone of the rocket, about seven years ago. Officials said at the time that SLS would...
  • Officials Break Ground On $5.5 Billion People Mover At LAX

    03/14/2019 11:51:28 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 38 replies
    cbs2la ^ | March 14, 2019 at 11:28 am
    The trains will stop at three stations inside the terminal loop and three outside that includes a Metro station, stitching public transit with air travel. Officials are hoping the new transportation system will reduce congestion in and around the airport, which was recently named the fourth busiest in the world. The project will cost $5.5 billion and will be paid for with both private and public funds. It’s also expected to bring 2,000 jobs to the area. The people mover is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
  • A College Chain Crumbles, and Millions in Student Loan Cash Disappears

    03/07/2019 8:22:47 PM PST · by Wally_Kalbacken · 17 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 3/7/2019 | Stacy Cowley and Erica L. Green
    When the Education Department approved a proposal by Dream Center, a Christian nonprofit with no experience in higher education, to buy a troubled chain of for-profit colleges, skeptics warned that the charity was unlikely to pull off the turnaround it promised. What they didn’t foresee was just how quickly and catastrophically it would fail. Barely a year after the takeover, dozens of Dream Center campuses are nearly out of money and may close as soon as Friday. More than a dozen others have been sold in the hope they can survive. The affected schools — Argosy University, South University and...