At least NH isn't like this.


Last night after busting out of the 6:00 PM NLH tournament at Sharkys Poker Room in Keene I had some time to think about policy that is going right in New Hampshire. I started northbound on I-91 in Brattleboro just as the sky is starting to take on a cranberry light color.  It was on both sides of the Connecticut River and an amazing, beautiful sight! By now I'm at 65 MPH and thinking briefly about the politics of where I had just come from. My thoughts quickly turned to the Second Congressional District and who the likely candidate will be from the Republican side. No sooner had I thought about Jennifer Horn, a political name surfaced who I think could win a decisive primary battle against Horn, former Congressman Charlie Bass. Its now dark and I'm now crossing over some aging bridges near Springfield, Vermont as an elegant looking  Volvo with Dartmouth and OBama stickers on the back glides past as if I'm not even there. Thrusting over an expansion joint on the wrought iron bridge, my shock absorbers recoiling I look to the right to the railroad tracks of the New England Central Railroad to possibly catch a glimpse of the northbound Amtrak Vermonter headed to White River Junction, but on this night like my low ball poker strategy at Sharky's there is no such luck. So I decide to make a stop in WRJ instead.

Several years ago the State of Vermont had big plans for White River Junction they had newly acquired the rail line from WRJ to Newport there was revitalization of the area including a new courthouse and going forward and as I understood it, White River Junction was to become an intermodal hub of transportation and economic development activity sitting at the nexus of three railroads, two interstate highways an intercity bus line and possibly the regional airport in Lebanon. But when I went there last night it doesn't look like any of this is happening. 

I've long been interested in transportation policy and design. Before serving in the NH House I was a member of the North County Council Transportation Committee which was then chaired by Executive Councilor Ray Burton. Our committee was more or less the policy advisor for the NH DOT on transportation projects north of Concord.  It was quite a committee. We did alot.

So last night I pull into the parking lot at the Amtrak station and with the exception of mercury vapor street lights everything is black the only real lights in an otherwise black horizon is the lights showing the prosperity of Lebanon right across the Connecticut River. I've said it before I think being in Vermont is like being in Poland before the wall came down as I'm staring into western Europe. I'm standing here in White River Junction and I'm saying to myself "at least NH isn't like this."

I don't know why the White River Junction redevelopment project isn't moving forward.  To me this would be a positive step forward in economic development and creating jobs on both sides of the Connecticut River. Perhaps the Vermont policymakers and officials don't want further development just like they don't seem to want Walmart and other retailers in their state. Perhaps Vermont views New Hampshire as the place for business and commercial development, if so, this is good for New Hampshire.