Regular readers of this column know that I’ve never been shy about criticizing Governor Malloy for his transportation policies. But after hearing him and his Republican opponent, Tom Foley, discuss transportation in a recent forum, I am enthusiastically endorsing Malloy for re-election. In my view, Tom Foley is clueless. He doesn’t understand the issues, has no new ideas and often refuses to address specifics. If he is our next governor, mass transit in Connecticut is in serious trouble. Since early in the campaign Foley has said we spend too much on mass transit, often to the detriment of our roads. He also says it is not the state’s job to “purposefully push people out of their cars and onto mass transit”. Huh? Does Foley think that state troopers are blocking commuter access to I-95 and forcing them onto Metro-North? This is crazy-talk. Both Foley and Malloy agree that traffic congestion is bad. But Foley offers no solutions, aside from saying we need more highways. Malloy acknowledges the traffic mess but says that spending more on mass transit will give drivers alternatives, encouraging (not forcing) them off the highways. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
New 60,000 square foot wing opens at Platt
MERIDEN — Students and teachers were still trying to navigate the new wing of Platt High School Monday, hours after it opened for the first time. The new section, which includes 18 classrooms, a media center, and band and choral rooms, is prominent from both Coe Avenue and Oregon Road.
Though still missing new furniture, computers, and white boards; and with the band and choral rooms and media center not due to open for a couple weeks, students and teachers filled the classrooms in the 60,000-square-foot-wing. “This is so much easier for us, everything is right here,” freshman Wendy Solis said, standing in one of four new science classrooms. A majority of the classrooms are for freshmen, though a handful will be used by other grades. “I like how we’re the first ones who get to use it,” said Ariana Taylor, another freshman. “I’m still not used to it yet though, still finding my way around.” CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Centerplan trio's DoNo proposal steeped in urban revival
Robert A. Landino, the Connecticut developer intimately working to bring a ballpark and more redevelopment to downtown Hartford, is a man of many skills and ambitions. The youngest child of a '60s urban planner involved in remaking central New Haven, Landino earned his civil engineering degree at the University of Hartford in 1983. In the mid-80s, he and his ex-wife leveraged their engineering skills to form Meriden land-planning/design firm BL Companies in their Elm City apartment, widening its Atlantic seaboard market before selling it to their employees in 2004.
Years later, setting up his own realty development-engineering-construction enterprise under the Centerplan Cos. banner, Landino eventually became involved with his brother, Paul, doing the multi-million-dollar renovation of Connecticut's network of 23 highway service plazas. Another Bob Landino venture involves installing solar panels on Walmart rooftops. In between, Bob Landino served as an Old Saybrook selectman and a three-term state lawmaker. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Budget choices, fiscal maneuvers undermine transportation funding
A decade of questionable budget decision and fiscal maneuvers has taken the steam out of Connecticut's transportation improvement program. A growing list of long-desired projects is deemed unaffordable by transportation officials. In addition, billions of dollars in transportation financing has been approved in name only -- and not converted into actual dollars spent on highways, bridges and railroads.“Connecticut’s next governor has two choices: provide safe and efficient transportation, or allow our infrastructure to crumble,” said Don Shubert, transportation advocate and president of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association. “Maintaining the aging system of roads, bridges and rail lines in a state of good repair is critical for the safety and reliability of the system that the vast majority of the traveling public are using every day.” CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
State invests $2.6M in Middletown's waterfront redevelopment
MIDDLETOWN >> The state is giving the city $2.6 million to design a new boathouse and clean up the land around it. Gov. Dannel Malloy, Mayor Daniel Drew and the city’s legislative delegation circled up Monday at Harbor Park to announce Urban Act grant funding for the city through the Department of Economic and Community Development. The land in question – under the city’s current boathouse and at Columbus Point – had seen industrial use before the city took ownership. City Planner Michiel Wackers said there had been a coal power plant in the area, and the soil cap at Columbus Point is shallower than more recent standards. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE