Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, March 29, 2010

More Border Stories

More stories for you to consider


Interesting article in Toll Road News

  • "A peace plan for the war at the Detroit River crossings US-Canada"

Nice to see an "outsider" trying to bring some sanity to our insane border fight. The concept is similar to what I have proposed before, including my "kangaroo" article around three years ago :

  • "How A Kangaroo Can Save Canada's Economy"

Unfortunately, Mr. Samuel does not understand that logic plays no part in what the Governments, especially Canada, want to do. It is an ideological and political war against the Bridge Company not an economic one. That's why the serious lawsuits are starting with more to come from both sides I would bet.

Maybe a court can bring some sense to this.



The Canadian Government may be this desperate to beat Moroun, anywhere. He is their competitor to build a second bridge in Buffalo/Fort Erie too.

As you know, Pamela was born in Canada and is a spokesperson for PETA. Consider this story:

  • PETA Offers to Save Peace Bridge; If it Changes Name

    BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- PETA officials have made a 'meaty' offer to the NYSDOT.

    PETA has offered to help pay for the repairs needed to bring the span up to safey ratings if the name of the bridge is changed to "Peace on Your Plate Bridge".

    This offer follows reports saying that the Peace Bridge has such a low safety rating that it could be forced to close.

    In the letter, PETA makes the claim that world peace could be more readily attained if everyone adopted a non-violent vegan diet.

    "Changing the bridge's name to the 'Peace on Your Plate Bridge' is a win-win situation," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "The name change would help keep this vital link in Western New York's economy up and running, and people crossing the bridge would be reminded that we really can have world peace -- starting with one meal at a time."

Could it be that Canada would go along with this?

I would strongly suggest that the Bridge Company plan an information session with PETA and hopefully with Pamela in attendance. She does have a history with Detroit since she married Detroit's Kid Rock so that is their opening to meet her. Wouldn't it have been great, and would have put Windsor on the world's stage, if their vows could have been exchanged at the border crossing between Canada and the US on the Ambassador Bridge.

They need to be polite and not attack the PBA people as boobs. Rather, their job should be to meet PETA and Pamela to keep them them abreast of what is going on.


  • Infrastructure funds struggle to attract investors

    AMSTERDAM - Global infrastructure fundraising dropped by more than half in 2009 from the year before as investors moved to more liquid assets, according to data sent to Reuters by placement agent Probitas Partners.

    Just $US10.7 billion ($11.85 billion) was raised by infrastructure funds in 2009, 57 per cent less than the $US24.7 billion raised in 2008, according to figures compiled by Probitas.

    The contrast is even greater when compared to the $US34.3 billion raised in 2007.

    There are currently 119 funds on the road worldwide seeking an aggregate $US115 billion according to market research and consultancy firm Prequin, making this a very competitive environment for fundraising.

    Infrastructure assets such as roads, airports and power grids are notoriously illiquid, making them less appealing to investors during a liquidity crunch.

    This is exacerbated by the scarcity of debt to support projects, Probitas said


You recall the Butler garter's snakes that could stop the DRIC road until something is done since they are a species at risk.

In the Star, it was reported:

  • "Thousands of badly needed construction jobs associated with the enormous project could be delayed unless an agreement to protect the snake and several wildflowers also unique to the region can be reached.

    I don't think a delay is likely -- at least not for long. But some kind of deal to protect the so-called endangered species is going to have to be struck or the jobs could end up in legal limbo."

The story was reported in the Detroit media this way:

  • "The existence of the Butler's garter snake was identified a few years ago while the DRIC study team examined wildlife ... in the access corridor," Grondin said.

    "We have tracked the snake's movement and have been developing strategies to protect them."

    According to Grondin, the Canadian government is working on strategies to "protect, create and restore of habitat for species at risk "like the Butler's garter snake."

Years of study and no solution yet. And those strategies are "part of the province's planned preconstruction activities," which basically is government speak for "we plan to do something, we just don't know what."

In the end if DRIC can force out hundreds of families and businesses from Delray by the use of expropriation and telling them to go elsewhere, then I am sure they can force out the snakes too by offering them a new home.

Funniest quote in the Detroit story:

  • "What makes it unique?

    The Butler has a smaller head, a different scale arrangement and is known to thrash madly about when frightened by you and me.

    Since 2007, the serpent has been listed as threatened under Ontario's Endangered Species Act, which means it can't be harassed, captured, possessed, bought, sold or killed.

    To learn just what could or should be done about the "serpent de jarretière du Butler" I placed a call to Mark Butler (no relation), spokesman for Transport Canada."


Instead of using its money to build a DRIC Bridge, perhaps MDOT could fix up the bridges on I-94 instead:

  • "I-94 to reopen Monday after weekend repairs
    Additional supports to be added to overpass

    The Michigan Department of Transportation said today it expects to reopen all lanes on an I-94 overpass in Allen Park by Monday morning, days after the bridge was restricted because of safety concerns.

    Bridge inspectors shut two of three lanes on eastbound I-94 over Southfield Road Thursday afternoon, leading to lengthy traffic delays. An MDOT employee observed that pavement appeared to have dropped by as much as half an inch on the left side of the overpass, and follow-up inspections led the state to close the lanes.

    “We will begin a detailed investigation to identify all needs for a long-term repair. Due to our funding issues, it’s impossible to know exactly when that contract will be enacted"

Perhaps MDOT could call Matty about toll credits too!