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The Connecticut Public Transportation Commission has released its 2012 Annual Report containing nine recommendations for improving public transportation services in Connecticut. In light of the importance of public transportation in allowing Connecticut’s residents, especially low-income residents, to reach employment sites, and noting that many of Connecticut’s public transportation systems have experienced substantial gains in ridership, the Commission’s first recommendation stresses the importance of maintaining adequate funding to support existing transit services. The Commission’s second recommendation advocates the relocation of the Windsor Locks railroad station from its current location south of town to the town-preferred location at or adjacent to the historic downtown train station.
The Commission also advocates more effective marketing and information concerning existing transit services to better inform the public of the transit options already available, thereby maximizing both ridership and the public benefit realized from the investment that has been made in transit service. The restoration of previously cut funding for the state matching grant program that supports municipally-funded dial-a-ride services was recommended by the Commission to help meet the mobility needs of elderly and disabled residents and to foster their ability to live independently. The Commission’s eighth recommendation acknowledged DOT’s assistance on the development of a new bus storage and maintenance facility for the Windham Region Transit District to replace the outdoor lot that the District currently uses to store its vehicles. Lastly, the Commission asks for DOT’s assistance in making upgrades to its website to allow the public to post questions and comments.
Four other topics noted in the Commission’s Annual Report as a result of public testimony at its meetings and hearings were the inconsistent enforcement of smoking bans at New Haven Line railroad stations, the need for better communication to inform train riders when an incoming train has been switched to an alternate track, the need for more rest room facilities at train stations and bus hubs, and that the availability or lack of public transportation in a given area carry a greater weight in the decision-making process when land use and development decisions are made for new facilities, especially where clients, customers, workers or patients are likely to rely on public transportation. Environmental Headlines gratefully acknowledges the continuing contribution of world-class haiku from Donna Fleischer. If you are a business with connections to the environment, let us show you how advertising on Environmental Headlines can work for your business and increase your traffic. Toy manufacturer Fisher Price announced Thursday that it has recalled about 10 millions toys because they are dangerous to children. Amtrak officials have unveiled their vision for true high-speed service along the Northeast Corridor, a $117 billion plan that includes service to Hartford. The proposed new high-speed service between Washington and Boston, with trains that could travel at 220 miles per hour, would require its own dedicated tracks and a new route north of New York away from the congested seacoast, said Amtrak president Joseph Boardman. This year, the federal health care reforms that ConnPIRG worked to win have started to pay off for young people.
Together, we can take our elections back from the Super PACs and mega-donors that are drowning out the voices of regular Americans. Most of us assume roads pay for themselves, but our research shows we are all paying, in surprising ways. Wall Street is spending $2 million a day to roll back crucial consumer financial protections. ADD YOUR VOICESupport Us Your donation supports ConnPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress. While Washington has a Metro stop with “Zoo” in its name, the Metro subway in Baltimore and its zoo appear to ignore each other.Underutilized open space between the Mondawmin Metro Station and the (Baltimore) Zoo entrance. The Commission, an advisory body comprised of gubernatorial and legislative appointees, submitted its Annual Report at year’s end to the Governor, the Transportation Committee of the General Assembly and the Commissioner of Transportation.
The downtown site would offer greatly enhanced opportunities for transit-oriented development and for non-motorized access from residential areas near that site. The Commission advocates the state’s close involvement in a 3-year federal study of infrastructure and service upgrades along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor to assure that Connecticut’s interests are included in the study. The Commission recommends that the plans for this facility add the capability to fuel vehicles onsite.

The Commission recommends that adequate funding levels for existing transit services be maintained. The Commission recommends that the new passenger railroad station for Windsor Locks, to be constructed as an element of enhanced passenger rail service on the Springfield line, be located in downtown Windsor Locks at the historic Windsor Locks train station rather than at the location of the current Windsor Locks station south of town.
The Commission reiterates its support for the restoration of funding to the 13b-38bb state municipal grant program for fy 2014. The Commission recognizes the importance of the very ambitious NEC future planning study that the federal railroad administration (FRA) is undertaking to assess and address capacity, speed and service needs on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC). The Commission continues to follow with great interest the proposal by the Housatonic railroad for the operation of unsubsidized passenger service over its 90 mile corridor from Danbury, Connecticut and Pittsfield, Mass. The Commission commends ConnDOT for sponsoring the bond request for funding to demolish the abandoned property at 333 Meadow Street at the Waterbury Train Station and related improvements at the station.
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To promote the new service and encourage trial use, no fare was charged for the first nine days of service. And that’s important because people choose to take transit because it takes them where they want to go,” Andreski said. The recommendations contained in its Annual Report are based on information from the five public hearings the Commission held across the state in 2012 and in its twelve monthly meetings. State cooperation with an on-going effort by the Housatonic Railroad to develop a privately-run, unsubsidized passenger rail service between Danbury and Pittsfield was recommended in the Annual Report’s sixth recommendation.
Ridership on rail and bus services is rebounding from lows after the severe economic downturn.    Maintenance of existing service is especially important for jobs access enhancements instituted beginning in the late 1990s that have helped provide a means to employment for thousands of Connecticut residents. Funding for the program, which supports dial-a-ride transportation of seniors and persons with disabilities statewide, was reduced during the budget process from $4 million to $3 million. This 38-month study will evaluate both improvements along the existing northeast corridor alignment, including its branches, to meet identified needs, and also a potential separate new alignment dedicated for high-speed rail service. Should this proposal ultimately appear to be operationally feasible and fiscally viable, the Commission recommends that ConnDOT provide appropriate assistance in its implementation. The products include tricycles that pose a risk of injury because of protruding key, toy car sets and infant toys with detachable small parts that pose choking hazards, and high chairs that pose a risk of laceration injury.
Mary’s College of Maryland and a Masters in Community Planning from the University of Maryland-College Park. 9:16 Kate Callahan has been a fixture of the Connecticut music scene for years -- and now she's got a title to prove it. The Commission’s 2012 public hearings were held in Waterbury, Bridgeport, Storrs, Winsted and Windsor.

The next recommendation thanked the Department of Transportation for sponsoring a successful bond request for funds to demolish the abandoned, State-owned ‘SNET’ building at the Waterbury train station. The majority of towns and cities in the state take advantage of this program and those in rural areas with the least service available were disproportionately affected by this funding cut.
The Commission commends FRA for undertaking this comprehensive, pro-active look at the needs of the corridor and hopes that, at a minimum, it signals increasing investment in the infrastructure needs of this heavily used rail lifeline.
Chamber of Commerce, collects hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign owned businesses, including companies owned by foreign governments.
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Earlier this year the singer-songwriter was named Connecticut’s 16th State Troubadour.  This hour, we sit down with Kate for the first time since she stepped into that role. The Chamber has already run more than 8,000 attack ads and according to the Washington Post, the U.S. Unlike in DC, where the National Zoo’s entrance is right on Connecticut Avenue, the Baltimore Zoo entrance isn’t at the edge of the park. Andreski said that recent trends show a boost in public transit ridership fueled by mobile technology and a younger, urban-centric generation of commuters.  “Folks are frankly tired of sitting in traffic. They don’t really to drive an hour to get to their job, and if they have a choice, a lot of people are choosing to live near transit,” Andreski said. GUEST: Kate Callahan - Singer-songwriter and Connecticut's 16th State Troubadour Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. The subway’s stations could use some fresh design, too.Better designed and safer pedestrian crossings would also help integrate the station, the Zoo, and Druid Hill Park. Auchentrolley Terrace is the size of an interstate and should shrink by multiple lanes.In Baltimore, lots of open space exists between the Mondawmin Station entrance (left) and the hidden (Baltimore) zoo entrance (right). One of the valid complaints about the subway is that it does not serve enough places that people want to go. For the subway to attract new ridership and development at its stations, it needs to build its brand. Linking the Baltimore subway with the zoo will not turn Auchentrolley Terrace into Connecticut Avenue overnight. But by integrating the zoo with the station and its neighborhood, there is more economic spin-off potential than with its current isolated location. Baltimore’s can also shore up the investment in its subway with a few strategic projects and destinations at its stations.
Cultivated varieties such as Catalogna Special are better than wild ones because they feature tall, easy-to-harvest leaves with less bitter flavor.
To remove some of the bitterness, harvest when leaves are young, grow them in part shade and eat them cooked instead of raw.

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