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Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

Maglev Comes to Birmingham

April 17th, 2009 3 comments

High Speed Rail MapMaglev high speed trains are coming to Birmingham.  In a proposal by the Obama Administration high speed trains will connect Atalanta, New Orleans, Houston, and Birmingham in the Gulf Coast Corridor.

According the Federal Railroad Administration the “vision is to transform the nation’s transportation system, by rebuilding existing rail infrastructure while launching new high speed passenger rail services in 100-600 mile corridors that connect U.S. communities. Similar to how interstate highways and U.S. aviation system were developed in 20th century: partnership between public sector and private industry, including strong Federal leadership that provided a national vision”.

The proposal was released yesterday (April 17, 2009) and by no means definite. Funds have been allocated to the tune of $8 Billion initially and $1 Billion annually over the next five years. These funds are considered a down payment on what is surely to require many more Billions of dollars from state and local governments. First round Federal Grants are expected to be awarded by the end of Summer 2009.

Obama’s administration is promising a transparent approach in development and outlines what appears to be a three phase plan to implement based on merit and benefits.

  • First round of applications will focus on projects that can be completed quickly and yield measurable, near-term job creation and other public benefits.
  • Next round to include proposals for comprehensive high-speed programs
    covering entire corridors or sections of corridors.
  • Additional funds will be available for planning to help jump-start corridors not yet ready for construction.

Ten Major Corridors have been Identified.

  • California Corridor (Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego)
  • Pacific Northwest Corridor (Eugene, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver BC)
  • South Central Corridor (Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Little Rock)
  • Gulf Coast Corridor (Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta)
  • Chicago Hub Network (Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleavland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville)
  • Florida Corridor (Orlando, Tampa, Miami)
  • Southeast Corridor (Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Macon, Columbia, Savannah, Jacksonville)
  • Keystone Corridor (Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh)
  • Empire Corridor (New York City, Albany, Buffalo)
  • Northern New England Corridor (Boston, Montreal, Portland, Springfield, New Haven, Albany)

Also, opportunities exist for the Northeast Corridor (Washington, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Newark, New York City, New Haven, Providence, Boston) to compete for funds for improvements to the nation’s only existing high-speed rail service, and for establishment and upgrades to passenger rail services in other parts of the country.

The proposed high speed rail system is intended for immediate economic relief creating new jobs, specifically in the construction and manufacturing sector.  Proposals have also been made that this system will be a green system.  A date for breaking ground on the project was not proposed in the announcement.  Planning and funding application time line goes through February of 2009.  So the immediate impact on Middle-class workers isn’t likely until years to come.

From the Federal Railroad Administration on the Gulf Coast Corridor:

Gulf Coast High Speed Train Corridor
Major Cities: Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Meridian, Birmingham, Atlanta

Overview: The designated Gulf Coast Corridor would use New Orleans as its hub, with three spokes reaching (1) Houston, (2) Mobile, and (3) Birmingham and Atlanta. At Atlanta, the Gulf Coast Corridor would connect with the Southeast Corridor to Charlotte, Richmond, Washington, and Northeast Corridor points. At present, no corridor-type intercity rail service operates in this corridor, although Louisiana has been working with Amtrak and the Kansas City Southern to initiate a commuter service between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The FRA has made study grants to the Southern High-Speed Rail Commission (SHSRC, formerly known as the Southern Rapid Rail Transit Commission), which comprises appointees of the three member states (Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama).

Status: Current activity includes a Baton Rouge to New Orleans conceptual engineering study and a New Orleans gateway rail improvement project.

For Further Reading on the High Speed Rail system from the Federal Railroad Administration:

Other News articles:

Buy American Buy Alabama

December 11th, 2008 No comments

Made in AmericaBirmingham SEO an Alabama Based Search Engine Company and ask me to put this on my blog.  So certainly I am happy to oblige as I feel this is an atrocity. Below is copied and pasted from a blog post at BHM SEO announcing their support of Buy Alabama.

On Wednesday night Birmingham News Source CBS 42 the 10:00 broadcast announced that a boycott of Alabama had been started. The boycott is calling to boycott Alabama made goods and not patron Alabama’s tourism. The website was basing this off the fact that Senator Richard Shelby has made comments that aren’t pro bailout. While we are unsure at this time of these statements we do know that this is an attack on the good hard working people of Alabama.

In response to this atrocious action from a group in Michigan we have launched a response ourselves that is currently in development to help promote the business of Alabama. We started the site Buy Alabama. This site will be used to develop a place where Alabama Business can feature their products. We also plan to in the future open up a store showcasing some of the products to be bought and sold direct from the site. The store is just an idea and no plans are being made. Birmingham SEO will be providing the Search Engine Marketing and Optimization plan for the website for free as a duty to promoting our state.

We also believe as a duty that we help promote the whole of the US and buy American Made. You can find out more on American Made products from Made In The USA. We do not wish to boycott any state and only encourage buying American but Buying Alabama is Buying American.

I am not going to give a link to the group that is calling for the boycott but lets just say it is one crazy nut that doesn’t like Senator Shelby.  Though I know Joe Babisiaz is trying to earn support for bailing out the Big Three.  Which as you know I am fan of.

Message to Joe:

Calling for a ban on Alabama is down right un-American and wrong.  You state on your website “this is not an attack on the hard working people of Alabama”. Then what do you call it an attack on our Senator? The Senator is a hard working Alabamian and the same as attacking the car maker in Alabama. That’s right you may envy we are making good cars in Alabama that aren’t going through Financial Trouble.  But here in Alabama we buy American Made cars. We even buy Detroit made cars.  I can proudly say that most people I know in Alabama want to see the jobs of millions of American’s secure.  We all want secure jobs.  So don’t boycott Alabama buy American and build something Americans can be proud of.

I know you are just a front line worker that is afraid you may loose your job.  Senator Shelby doesn’t want you to loose your job.  He wants to ensure things are in order and bad business mistakes are not rewarded.  The cars you make are of top quality in your job.  But the problem is the decision makers – the management.  If it were up to you – you would build the best and only car on the road I get that.  But build something every kid wants, every grandmother is safe driving in and, something that gets good fuel economy and lowers emissions. Something where the bumper doesn’t fall off.  That is all Senator Shelby is saying.  He isn’t trying to punish you he is trying to right the company.

Senator Shelby is trying to protect Alabama.  He doesn’t want the citizens of Alabama to have to pay for the mistakes of a few greedy managment level automakers.  If true measures are in place that will benefit the overall life of Alabama voters Senator Shelby will support it.  But if measures in place are not there to safeguard us he will not.

There is no reason to call for a boycott of Alabama.  I kindly ask that you end the boycott and your fellow Americans for help in supporting your effort instead of dividing the country.  Because like you said we are all American’s and plenty of Alabamians support the Bailout with oversight.  Without oversight it is just like giving a college kid money  experiments or lab time or Beer and food?  So if there is some oversight we might be able to get something from it.  Like a stable auto market full of good paying jobs.

What I am telling you is your strategy is wrong.  You should be trying to unite everyone to get behind you instead of isolating and picking fights.  We are your brothers and sisters.  Embrace us and we can help.

Larry Langford Arrested by FBI

December 1st, 2008 2 comments

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was arrested this morning on over 101 counts of Bribery, Fraud, Conspiracy, Filing False Tax Returns, in the 101 count indictment of Larry P Langford and Friends.

Langford’s indictment comes as no surprise with the waning hours of the US District Attorney’s office likely to undergo change in January.  The Indictment also includes Langford’s Friends William Blount and Al LaPierre.

Birmingham’s NBC 13 Broke the news story a few hours ago:

Breaking News: Langford, LaPierre, Blount face 101-count federal indictment

Breaking News: Langford, LaPierre, Blount face 101-count federal indictmentAndrea Lindenberg and Rod Carter
Published: December 1, 2008

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was arrested Monday and the 101-count indictment against him has been unsealed.

This morning, U.S. Attorney Alice Martin announced that Langford, along with friend Al LaPierre and businessman Bill Blount, face charges of conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Langford was taken into custody at his job at Birmingham Budweiser Distributing. LaPierre turned himself in. Blount was expected to do the same.

Martin said Langford, as president of the Jefferson County Commission, steered $7.1 million in business to Bill Blount’s investment banking firm Blount Parrish. Martin said that in exchange, Blount ensured Langford’s “crushing debt” to the tune of $235,000.

During the news conference Martin said Langford received bribes from Blount—through friend Al LaPierre—to buy clothes and jewelry from expensive New York boutiques and high-end stores in Birmingham as well.

Martin said that between 2003 and 2006, Blount paid for about $235,000 in clothing, jewelry and charge account bills for Langford.

The U.S. Attorney also said that Blount gave Langford a $11,000 Rolex watch.

Another accusation is that Bill Blount engineered a personal loan from Colonial Bank for Langford, who defaulted on the loan. Then, Martin said, Blount set up a loan for LaPierre at the same same bank to pay off Langford’s original loan.

Martin said it was all in return for steering Jefferson County bond business to Blount’s Montgomery firm, including the multi-billion dollar sewer bond business.

She said, “He (Langford) sold his public office to a friend.”

Reginald McDanial with the Internal Revenue Service said, it was a “textbook, tax fraud scheme.” He went on to say, “all money is taxable, even money from illegal activity is taxable.”

On Monday morning, Deborah Vance with the mayor’s office released a statement which said in part:

“This is certainly no surprise to us—we anticipated something happening soon especially knowing Alice Martin’s days in office are numbered with the swearing in of a new president in late January—just a little over a month from now.”

Langford was set to make a first appearance Monday morning at 10 a.m.

1 More Day

November 3rd, 2008 No comments

Tomorrow is the BIG day. ELECTION DAY For almost two years the airwaves have been crammed with banter, chatter, propaganda, and attack ads.  It will all  be over tomorrow night.  But in order for it to end and all of that time you spent watching and reading about the elections to be worth while you have to GO VOTE.

If you want to talk about politics or anything that is effecting your life in my book you have to vote.  It doesn’t matter so much who you vote for as long as you VOTE.  Every person in America has the right to vote don’t forget that as you enter the poll.  If you get to the poll and they can not find your name then request a provisional ballot.

I voted early or absentee as I will be out of state on election day.  To show you who I voted for in the Presidential election I voted like this:

Voted for Obama Biden

Notice I did not vote straight party ticket and I did vote in Favor of Alabama’s Rainy Day fund.  I would like to remind everyone in Alabama that tapping into the Alabama Education Fund Rainy Day program will save the Schools.  Many school districts fear that if they do not get funds soon that teachers payroll will be effected.  It is already hard to retain qualified teachers with extremely low salaries but if their checks bounce they will have to seek employment else where.  So Vote Yes on Proposition 1 on the Alabama Ballot to save the Schools.

MOST IMPORTANTLY

GO VOTE!