SGA News Clips, 5/11/11

The Rejected Windfall
The New York Times, 5/9/11
“After Gov. Rick Scott of Florida thoughtlessly rejected $2.4 billion in federal aid for a high-speed rail line, he claimed last month that he was doing a huge favor for the national Treasury, which he expected would give away the money in tax cuts. That was nonsense, of course; Mr. Scott was really doing a favor for train passengers in the Northeast, Midwest and California, which were given $2 billion of his money on Monday for better service.”

Public transit group: Reports of declining gas prices may be premature
The Hill, 5/10/11
“Gas prices might — or might not — drop this summer, but savings from taking public transportation are being realized immediately, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) said Tuesday. Analysts have predicted that gas prices could decline by up to 50 cents per gallon, but APTA said Tuesday the average price nationwide for a gallon of regular-grade gas is still $3.95. Those who abandon their cars for buses or trains are already saving $853 a month and as much as $10,230 per year, the group said.”

More than 50 U.S. Cities Competing to Increase College Degree Earners, Win $1 Million
CEOs for Cities, 5/9/11
“More than 50 U.S. cities today officially entered the competition to increase the number of residents with a college degree and win $1 million. The Talent Dividend Prize will be awarded by CEOs for Cities to the metropolitan area that exhibits the greatest increase in the number of post-secondary degrees granted per capita over a three-year period.”

Rezoning of former Consol HQ sparks sprawl concerns
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/6/11
“A proposal to rezone the former Consol Energy headquarters in Upper St. Clair was delayed again on Thursday night, during a meeting where dozens of people spoke out against the traffic, sprawl and big-box development they feared such a decision could bring.”

Storefront for Community Design aims to make over Richmond communities
The Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/11/11
“The Storefront, which is being funded by the city along with individuals, companies and organizations, operates on the notion that the quality of a neighborhood is determined in part by its design. The center tries to help by matching prospective projects with professionals who can help navigate the city’s bureaucracy and shed light on possibilities.”

Union Station Can’t Get It Together
Washington City Paper, 5/10/11
“The transit world was abuzz yesterday with news of the Obama administration’s $2 billion worth of improvements for high-speed rail service in the Northeast Corridor, Midwest, and California. Guess who missed out? The District, of course. Specifically, Union Station, which hasn’t had major infrastructure improvements since the 1980s, and has only increased Metro station capacity by one escalator and one elevator since 1976.”