Steven J Connolly

Saturday
Jan262013

The Request: A Precis, Part II

So I’m having a phone conversation with Executive Councilor Ray Burton about the upcoming state contract vote for the $450 million dollar rail monstrosity.

The problem I’m having here is that Burton like a lot of teachers and those that are in this field is that they think conversation means they have to keep talking continuously, it doesn’t matter if the information they’re spewing is incorrect they just keep talking.

In this case, Councilor Ray is explaining how successful the Amtrak Doweaster is including the fact that Amtrak paid for a “passing track to be constructed in Dover, N.H.” There was no passing track constructed in Dover, NH it was at Rigby Yard in So. Portland, Maine so to not disrupt railroad freight operations in this yard.

So I’m attempting to break in, I’m not able to.

Instead Ray starts talking about Lying Mayor Lozeau and he makes a statement to the effect, “Well I’m sure Donnalee Lozeau will be able to produce some information in support of this request.” Burton stated.

That’s it.

“Let’s talk about Mayor Lozeau.” I state almost angrily.

“Mayor Lozeau walks into the LOB makes a statement that she hadn’t applied for the $450 million dollars, when facts show not only has she continuously asked for this money she even went down to U.S. DOT Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and asked for this money, and it was right after the last Executive Council vote to deny this state contract. “ I said.

Burton doesn’t respond to this.

So then I talk again “Mayor Lozeau has a serious credibility problem.” I state.

Lozeau does have a credibility problem this is polite way of saying she has trouble telling the truth.

She is a (expletive) liar!

Burton thanked me for contacting him about this issue.

Friday
Jan252013

PSNH Is Making The Moves 

I predicted right here on this very board that Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) would pull out the stops, call in its markers and do whatever is possible to get this Northern Pass deal done.

Think tall high voltage transmission towers marching across New Hampshire from the mountains to the sea.

I have some further speculation that leads me to believe this project is in fact moving forward. Right now I’m seeing a lot of pickup trucks and survey crews from the Peter Kiewit Company on or near the proposed right of way. This is significant because Kiewit is one of the most powerful general contractors in this country if not the world. And they only do projects that are major. Think Boston “Big Dig”, nuclear power plants, repairs to LA freeways after earthquakes and this capital list continues decisely on….

Kiewit isn’t in New Hampshire for some surveying chump change they’re here for a reason.

I’d also call to attention the opponent of the Northern Pass project and this is the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF). If you notice they’re haven’t been any press releases about their opposition to Northern Pass and how it’s going….

Meanwhile at the Statehouse,

Governor Hassan seems to enjoy talking about New Hampshire “innovation” and “moving the state forward.” This certainly plays well.

I wonder what the new governor thinks about the Northern Pass project.

I think it means New Hampshire is a vassal state for profiteers like PSNH and its Park Avenue investors. Billions of dollars of economic value will flow through the state in a nanosecond and New Hampshire will receive less than nothing in return. Less than nothing.

The feudal serfs didn’t have it this good.

Friday
Jan252013

My Last Stand. 

One if the disadvantages to being a NH Insider are exactly that.

If you stand by and do nothing you’re condoning it.

Inside knowledge can be a source of immense frustration, more frustration, rage and a sense of helplessness all at the same time. Literally to stand by see something happen, which is bad and not being able to do anything about it.

I’ve had it with this. This is why I’m stating that I’m now making a last stand on NH Insider.com and it goes exactly like this:

If the NH Executive Council votes next month to approve an expensive state contract relative to passenger rail service expected to cost in the vicinity of $450 million dollars on the rail line from Boston to Nashua and up to Manchester and Concord then I’m quitting NH politics, quitting NH Insider.com and likely quitting New Hampshire completely.

At first I thought this is the mark of a coward, I’m not a coward.

I’ve been interested in NH railroads and their operations since 1987 and including my time in elected office I’ve attempted to use what resources I have to explain and convince the policymakers what actions should be taken and exactly why passenger rail from Boston to Concord just isn’t a viable move and it isn’t.

My efforts are largely brushed aside.

That’s fine this is the nature of politics and I understand this. The Golden Rule: Those With The Gold Make The Rules.

By this understanding still doesn’t change how I feel. And I don’t want to feel like this anymore. If individuals like Lying Lozeau and Political Peter are so powerful that they can alter reality with a cocktail of fiction, deception, manipulation and half-truths and manage to pull a $450 million dollar bunny out of the hat then I don’t belong in NH anyway; the problems in this state are much greater than the words “business as usual.”

It’s going to be an interesting month.

I’ll continue to report on what I find out including applicable on-scene reports that I have with policymakers like the five members of the Executive Council.

I’m hoping that this turns out for the best.

Thanks for reading my blogs.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jan232013

Different Councilor. Different Time. 

So today I left a voicemail message for Executive Councilor Colin VanOstern, think I got his last name right.

Basically I asked him to vote no on the upcoming state contract to study the passenger rail from Boston to Nashua and later to Manchester to Concord. I kept my argument mostly financial citing a poor performance and return for massive taxpayer capital injection into this rail idea. I closed it out with the statement that both NH DOT and the Southern New Hampshire Regional Planning have also been studying this same issue for at least ten years possibly longer and their conclusions are the same: not a viable project.

I don’t know Councilor VanOstern or for that matter where he could possibly come down on an issue and vote like this. I don’t even know that he’ll even return my phone call.

When I was done talking I spent some time thinking about former Executive Councilor Peter Spaulding and if he were in this seat still would he have voted for this expensive state contract:

I came up with a RINO yes.

I haven’t decided whether I’ll call Executive Councilors Pappas and Pignatelli. Somehow I sense they’ll hand me a statement of prefabricated fluff and my arguments supported by facts and taxpayers won’t even be listened to.  My only experience here is that as a Senator Pignatelli often read off a script on her position(s), often deflected questions of substance instead favoring to change the direction and dynamic of the question itself.

An example as I recall: “How many people would actually ride these trains?”

Answer: It really depends on the frequency of the scheduling of the trains. Nashua School District could use the trains the children could be brought to and from school on the trains.

 

Tuesday
Jan222013

The Request. A Precis. 

This will be a short blog, likely not the most well organized as I just got off a tough shift in the salt mines.

Let’s get going.

So I got in touch with Executive Councilor Ray Burton and asked that he vote no on the upcoming state contract to study passenger rail from Boston up to Nashua and later Manchester and Concord.

“I’m leaning towards voting for this.” Burton said.

I tried to counter. And I’ll put it with no success. So I asked if this project is either viable or even affordable at some $450 million dollars against a backdrop of deficits and debt ceilings. He responded by talking about the Amtrak Downeaster and the process of how this train came to be including the substantial financial subsidies.

I then tried a different tactic. “How does this benefit District #1?” I asked. He answered that the ski areas might be able to send a bus to meet the train in Concord.

$450 Million Dollar Ski Trains.

I’ll share more of this conversation at a later time when I have more energy.

In the meantime please contact your Executive Councilor about this upcoming state contract vote.