Rivers of Green:
The new administration must
fix locks and dams
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Pittsburgh owes its existence to its rivers, which first served as roads through the wilderness. To this day, the city’s economic fortunes are still linked to river traffic — this is the second-largest inland port in the United States.
Those barges plying our three rivers require an efficient, reliable system of locks and dams, which, in the region’s best interest, should be kept in good repair. As it happens, this is also in the nation’s interest. As he sets his national agenda, it is vital that President-elect Barack Obama keep this in mind because the system is under severe strain.
“As the region’s federal engineer, it is my responsibility to report that the Lower Mon Project is facing a perfect storm. Inefficient funding; the insolvency of the IWTF; an aging and crumbling infrastructure; an increase in unscheduled, unexpected repairs; and a flat-lined operations and maintenance budget coupled with rising costs…threaten the reliability of the sytem.” – Colonel Michael P. Crall, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, July 3, 2008
Our new President and Congress need to act with urgency to address the critical state of this artery of the regional economy. Don’t watch the slow motion wreck. Take action to get the word out and up the chain to Washington! The US Army Corps of Engineers is not a lobbying organization. The people of western Pennsylvania must lobby for their share of any new funds allocated to infrastructure upgrading.
Click on this link gx-dam-jl-10-26 to view a map of the US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District facilities. See the location of the fourteen of twenty-three locks and dams that are rated at high risk of breakdown.
For more information read the US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District 2008 State of the Infrastructure report at this link corpsinfrastructure.
Click on this link comparetransport-modes to view a graphic comparison of river, rail, and ground transport efficiency.
Allegheny Lock and
Dam #6 on the Verge
of Catastrophic Failure
By Randy Shannon Progressive Democrats of America
The Ohio River and its tributaries, the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River are the artery of commerce to the Port of Pittsburgh, the second largest inland port of the United States. Due to years of negligence and underfunding of our infrastructure this navigation system is on the verge of catastrophic failure. The Army Corps of Engineers press release linked here
states in the calmest language possible that we face a potential social, economic, and ecological disaster due to the critical disrepair of the locks and dams that make the rivers navigable. A dam failure would flood thousands of acres, starve water and sanitation facilities, and halt navigation. Most economic activity in the region will shut down, including the Pittsburgh International Airport and steel and cement production. The region would experience shortages of gasoline and basic foodstuff. Twelve coal fired electric power plants would face shutdown due to the halt of coal shipments on the rivers. Continue reading Pittsburgh Infrastructure Emergency→
Please join me to urge the Democratic Party Senate leaders to strip Sen. Joe Lieberman, who campaigned for war and austerity with McCain, of all and any leadership positions with the majority Democratic caucus.
I just signed this petition to the members of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, who now determine Joe Lieberman’s fate as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Harry Reid has told Lieberman that he has to go, but Joe is now openly threatening the caucus. Please sign this petition and let them know that Lieberman must go, once and for all.
After you sign the petition please send your friends the link to this site.
There was a lot more to working the polls in this historic election than checking signatures and passing out palm cards.
It was glorious Fall day at the semi-rural fire-hall-turned-voting-center in Raccoon Township, Beaver County, Western PA. I arrived early, but the hall was packed. Most people were in good spirits. Long-time neighbors chatted, older folks marveled at the uncommon turnout among younger voters, and parents worried about fretful children. The main buzz was about one thing: whether they were for Obama or against him, everyone knew they were about to make history.
By Randy Shannon PA 4th CD Chapter,
Progressive Democrats of America
“Welcome! Welcome retired steelworkers! Welcome union activists! Welcome Obama volunteers! Welcome Minority Coalition and NAACP! Welcome Peace Links and NOW members! And welcome PDA members,” said Tina Shannon, Chairperson of the Pennsylvania 4th CD Chapter.
To growing applause, Shannon opened the dinner and screening of “Uncounted” before 166 progressive activists from Beaver and surrounding counties at the Polish National Alliance hall in Monaca, PA. Next to her on the podium were posters celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the New Deal in Pennsylvania.
She then recognized Dennis Rousseau, a leader of the Carpenter’s Union, and Democratic candidate for 14th District Legislator, Denise Cox, Vice-President of the Beaver-Lawrence Labor Council and candidate for Home Rule Study Commission, Jean Friday, the President of the Pennsylvania Association of Retired Americans, Marie Malagreca, former national director of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees, Nancy Werme, Beaver County Prothonotary, and Carol Fiorucci, Beaver County Register of Wills. Continue reading ‘Uncounted’ Event: Healthcare, Not Warfare! Secure Our Vote! Victory for Obama-Biden!→
Organized labor has set its sights on winning Western Pennsylvania for Barack Obama. They see a victory in this battleground “swing state” as critical to the national election, and are pulling out all stops to “Git ‘er done.”
AFL-CIO chief John Sweeny came to the IBEW Local 712 Hall in Vanport, Pa on October 25. He was joined by United Steelworker union top officials as well as members of Pittsburgh Steelers football team who were scheduled to be at the afternoon rally. In between, the unions deployed over 2200 rank-and-file union members to knock on the doors of some 31,000 union family homes across the state in a single afternoon, an effort that will become even more earnest in the next ten days. Continue reading ‘SteelBlitz For Barack’ Hits Beaver County→
Sham Republican Lawsuit
To Purge PA Working-Class
Voters Meets Quick Rebuttal
By Randy Shannon Progressive Democrats of America
PA 4th CD Chapter
They’re up to their old tricks again, only this time, we’ve got their number.
Saturday newspapers across Pennsylvania are carrying an Associated Press report on a lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania Republican Party against the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Here’s the link:
About twenty of us are gathering early Saturday morning at the IBEW Hall, ‘Labor Central,’ in Vanport, Beaver County, Western PA. Today it’s a team of electrical workers, steelworkers, SEIU service workers and a few activists with the 4th CD PDA, Progressive Democrats of America.
We’re walking streets, lanes and backwoods roads to hit every union household in the area. The goal today? Voter ID. Make sure every list is correct, find every registered union family voter, find out where they stand, and then, Voter ED, give them our pitch and materials on why Obama-Biden is their best shot to defend their interests in 2008-‘Green Jobs,’ ending the war, defending health care.
The press calls our turf a critical battleground for the hearts, mind and votes of ‘the white worker,’ which it is, with McCain-Palin sliding down, but still at 51 percent today. But you wouldn’t know Obama had a problem by looking at our team today. They’re a hard-muscled crew, ball caps and blue jeans, but ‘Vote Obama 2008’ emblazoned on T-shirts, hats and buttons galore. The rightwing’s bigotry is reaching a fever pitch, but these workers are making it very clear where they stand.
___________________________________________________________________ Continue reading ‘Time To Give the Black Guy a Chance’→
Oct 10, 2008 – About 200 people, almost entirely Obama supporters, gathered at the corner of 10th Street and Penn Avenue to protest GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who is Downtown for a fund-raiser this evening.