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Infrastructure

The Takeaway

The future of infrastructure

Friday, February 13, 2009

The $790 billion economic stimulus plan has money in it to change America’s infrastructure forever. As we consider the future of urban planning in this country, The Takeaway talks to Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia and urban strategist who draws on the 5,000-year history of his hometown for inspiration.

How is the stimulus going to develop infrastructure in your city? Follow the dollars online and tell us how the stimulus plan is playing out in your community. We're sharing your stories online and on air, and we'll continue the investigation with your help.

ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative outfit ProPublica, the morning news program The Takeaway and WNYC, New York's flagship public radio station. With investigative reporting, interactive features and help from you, we're tracking the stimulus bill dollars from Congress to your community.

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The Takeaway

Who loves high-speed rail? The $8-billion question

Thursday, February 12, 2009

When we went to bed last night, people who track transit spending were in agreement there would be $1 to $2 billion allocated for high-speed rail in the economic stimulus bill — and a document from the conference negotiations illustrates that. When we woke up, the wires were moving a story that said high-speed rail would get $8 billion. How is it possible that high-speed rail did so well, when everything else was getting cut? The answer goes about as high as you can go...
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The Takeaway

Will our listeners get their stimulus wishes?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

All week we've been asking you how you would like to see the money in the stimulus bill spent, and you've come up with some great suggestions. Now that we know where the money is going to go, Takeaway Correspondent Andrea Bernstein will tell some of our listeners if their stimulus dreams will come true.

ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative outfit ProPublica, the morning news program The Takeaway and WNYC, New York's flagship public radio station. With investigative reporting, interactive features and help from you, we're tracking the stimulus bill dollars from Congress to your community.

Follow the dollars online and tell us how the stimulus plan is playing out in your community. We're sharing your stories online and on air, and we'll continue the investigation with your help.

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WNYC News

The Morning News by the Numbers

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Seems every story these days is about numbers. Here are this morning's key digits:

$2B - How much more money in unemployment insurance Albany is releasing. New unemployment claims have doubled from a year ago to a weekly average ...

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The Takeaway

Republicans push for changes in stimulus bill, then don't support it

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Senate Democrats advanced the $800 billion plus stimulus bill yesterday, but just three Republicans voted for the bill in a procedural vote, and no additional Republican support is expected in the final vote today. Even though they don't support the bill, Republican Senators pushed for many changes in it. Takeaway Correspondent Andrea Bernstein and Susanna Capelouto, News Director of Georgia Public Broadcasting, join Todd and Katherine to talk through why that might be.

Follow the dollars online and tell us how the stimulus plan is playing out in your community. We're sharing your stories online and on air, and we'll continue the investigation with your help.

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The Takeaway

Your take on the stimulus package

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First the U.S. House of Representatives, then the U.S. Senate, now it is our listeners' turn to debate the stimulus package. What do our listeners want and expect from the economic stimulus plan? They are here to tell you.

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WNYC News

Decoding Decoupling

Monday, February 09, 2009

Last week we reported that environmentalists and consumer advocates are at odds over a clean-energy provision in the House stimulus bill. Basically, it would make billions of dollars of grants available only to those states which "decouple" their utilities.

Decoupling guarantees utilities a certain level of revenue, regardless of how much product they sell. Environmentalists like decoupling because it removes the incentive to sell more gas or electric (and pollute more). Or, as the Wall Street Journal puts it in today's paper, "Less Demand, Same Great Revenue" - which is exactly what consumer advocates don't like. Why should ratepayers pay (a little bit) more for fewer kilowatts?

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The Takeaway

The stimulus bill roller coaster: Transit amendments in doubt

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Earlier today, it looked like the stimulus bill was going down to defeat. Centrist Senators started putting together a package to cut $200 billion from the bill, in a Congress that is beginning to sour on the bill's price tag. Exhausted transit lobbyists watched as it looked like nearly $1 billion would be cut from Amtrak, and $5.5 billion in transit funding seemed poised to turn into highway funding... or disappear altogether. By midday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he had the 60 votes to avoid filibuster, but still in doubt was whether an amendment from Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to add $6.5 billion to transit would come to the floor, or whether a Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., amendment to add $50 billion to highways would contain any transit funds.

ShovelWatching: We're asking you, Takeaway listeners and readers, to help us report on the stimulus dollars as they travel from Washington, D.C., to your neighborhood. Tell us how the stimulus plan is playing out in your community and we'll share your stories online and on air, and we'll continue the investigation with your help.
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The Takeaway

ShovelWatch: Is the stimulus bill truly earmark free?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

There's no bridge to nowhere or teapot museum in the economic stimulus package, but that doesn't mean that it's free of earmarks, pet projects, or favors to special interests. As part of the ShovelWatch joint project of the non-profit investigative journalism organization ProPublica, The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, ProPublica's Michael Grabell and WNYC's Matthew Schuerman join us to take a look at some examples of stimulus funds that are being allocated according to local, not national, priorities.

ShovelWatching: We're asking you, Takeaway listeners and readers, to help us report on the stimulus dollars as they travel from Washington, D.C., to your neighborhood. Tell us how the stimulus plan is playing out in your community and we'll share your stories online and on air, and we'll continue the investigation with your help.

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WNYC News

The MTA Head and His Aging Doohickey

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Doohickey

MTA chief Lee Sander has a nifty little gimmick he employs whenever he speaks in public these days. It's a crusty, cylindrical device that he hefts up in the air whenever he needs to impress upon people just how decrepit our subway system is. Sander spoke at an event organized by the Greater New York Construction User Council.

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The Takeaway

Stimulus plan neglects public transportation in St. Louis

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The economic spending bill now being debated in the Senate would pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy. But it wouldn’t do anything to help the transit system in St. Louis, which is in a crisis so grave that it may be forced to sell off many of its buses. The Takeaway's Andrea Bernstein and Les Sterman, executive director of East-West Gateway Council of Governments, a regional transportation organization based in St. Louis, talk about the stimulus plan and the public transportation crisis.

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WNYC News

Talks to Continue on Hudson Rail Yards

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Contract negotiations over the development of the Hudson railyards will continue. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the developer, Related Companies, ...

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WNYC News

Rep. Nadler Say Stimulus Bill Good for NY

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rep. Jerrold Nadler says New York will do well under the stimulus bill passed by the House last night (with no Republican support).

He tells WNYC that money for medicaid, transit, and education will all help the economy. He managed to get support for $3B in additional spending on transit, ...

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WNYC News

$3 Billion More for Transit

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It came as a bright spot today when Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institution said, “We are trying to make sure the stimulus bill does no harm.” Harm, for transit advocates, means a bill that sets spending levels at rates that favor drivers over straphangers, or that give most of ...

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The Takeaway

Stimulus package may not help the states that need it the most

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How much good will President Obama’s stimulus plan do for the states that are hurting the most? An analysis by the investigative journalists at ProPublica has found that much of the transportation and infrastructure spending won’t go to areas with the highest unemployment rates. In fact, states with higher unemployment rates would get far less money per capita for than states with lower unemployment rates. ProPublica’s Michael Grabell and The Takeaway’s Andrea Bernstein are here to discuss the implications.

Track all of The Takeaway's coverage of the stimulus package

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WNYC News

Secretary of the Interior Visits Ellis Island

Friday, January 23, 2009

A window in one of dozens of unrestored Elis Island historic buildings

A window in one of dozens of unrestored Elis Island historic buildings

Deferred maintenance - a window into one of dozens of unrestored Ellis Island historic buildings. Just a handful of the 33 structures through which generations of immigrants passed have been preserved. The National Park site was visited by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Friday.

During his confirmation hearing he promised Senator Bob Menendez that he would come visit both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island which are both under the jurisdiction of Salazar's Department. Menendez, Congressman Albio Sires of Hudson County and Congressman Anthony Weiner of Brooklyn also lobbied Salazar to reopen the crown of the Statue of Liberty to tourists. It has been closed since 9/11 over public safety concerns.

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The Takeaway

Out in the Greenwash: Creating sustainability in America

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yesterday, the U.S. House Democrats unveiled a stimulus bill that would designate $54 billion to renewable energy. But the problem in creating a sustainable energy source may not lie in funding for green projects, but the manner in which they are implemented. In her latest piece for PBS’s Blueprint America Maria Hinojosa, a senior correspondent for NOW on PBS, explores the issues confronting implementing green energy in California, greenwashing everywhere, and how it may be a reflection for the future of eco-politics.

Don't forget to watch Maria Hinojosa's report "Blueprint America: Power Struggle" airing tonight on PBS's NOW.

Watch a PBS/NOVA report on "The Big Energy Gamble" in California.

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The Takeaway

The case of the shrinking infrastructure bill

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The amount allocated to transportation and infrastructure in President-elect Obama's proposed economic stimulus bill is being crowded out by tax cuts and other measures…much to the dismay of transportation advocates. Why are transportation and infrastructure disappearing? Since Encyclopedia Brown's not available, we turn to The Takeaway’s Andrea Bernstein who spent this week in Washington investigating at the annual conference of the Transportation Research Board.

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The Takeaway

Our listeners' takes on infrastructure

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Takeaway turns to its listeners for their ideas on where President-elect Obama should focus his infrastructure dollars.

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The Takeaway

A look ahead to travel in 2009

Friday, December 26, 2008

During the holidays, weather problems have stranded passengers throughout the nation. But what does future travel have in store for passengers? To tell us about what 2009 may bring is Barbara Peterson, the senior aviation correspondent for Conde Nast Traveller.

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