45. Understanding Perceptions of the Economic Stimulus (Dallas, TX & Houston, TX) - $193,956
If stimulus advocates aim to please the American voter, they should probably talk to the researchers at Rice University, Houston and the University of Texas, Dallas, where the National Science Foundation shelled out stimulus dollars to study people’s perceptions of the stimulus. Specifically, the study’s results are to be used to “estimate the impact of stimulus funds on the perceptions of citizens and the choices of local community decision makers." It would probably be a safe bet that if citizens knew that stimulus funds were being used to fund research on their perception on the stimulus, it would sway them in a negative direction.
52. Over Budget Perry Hill School Renovation Gets Stimulus Grant While Teachers Get Pink Slips (Shelton, CT) - $175,800
At least a few teachers in Shelton, Connecticut may wonder if they might still have a job if not for cost overruns on a local school renovation—or why stimulus money is being used to bail out the project, not save their jobs. Renovations of Perry Hill School in Shelton are $1.5 million over budget at the same time the school district is laying off dozens of employees, including 27 teachers, because of ongoing budget woes. To help make up for the overruns, the town was forced to transfer $750,000 from its general fund, including approximately $176,000 in stimulus funds from the Department of Energy, which will be used for a cooling system.
53. School In Need of New Roof And HVAC Instead Gets Concession Stand (Montross, VA) - $22,000
Washington and Lee High School in Montross, Virginia has a leaky roof and poorly functioning HVAC system, which is why the school was provided resources for . . . a new concession stand? That was the reaction of at least one local member of the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, Russ Culver, who noted that, “the concession stand is not a necessity as far as educating the county’s children.”
County officials received a $22,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the concession stand. Culver noted that the same county funds used to supplement the construction of a concession stand were needed to fix the high school’s roof and HVAC system. School board member, Rosemary Mahan, disputed this point and noted that, in addition to other problems, the concession stand is “an eyesore” and “the first thing that visitors see when they come to athletic events at the high school.”
Board of Supervisors Chairman Woody Hynson ultimately prevailed in approving the measure, however, offering his own rationale: “I think we all know that a new concession stand is necessary and that we need to find a way to get the price down. People like those french fries that we’re told are so bad for us, and nobody buys more hot dogs than I do at one time.”
62. Second Least Busy Train Stop in New York Given Twice What it Needs to Renovate Station (Rouses Point, NY) - $833,000
The train station at Rouses Point (pop. 2,277) in New York is undergoing a $670,000 renovation, leaving some taxpayers wondering why more than twice that amount was awarded to the project. While the train station is a registered historic landmark, it is making new history with this renovation. Plans to turn the station into a museum and waiting area to accompany the Amtrak stop were moved forward by an $833,000 transportation stimulus grant. In the past, the station also received a $95,000 earmark, providing a total of $926,500 now available to restore the old building. In addition to all of that, a $600,000 award from Amtrak was used to make the station’s platform compliant with the Americans with Disability Act, all amounting to around $1.5 million to renovate the train station. However, during 2009, Amtrak only made two stops a day here and only 1,046 people got off or on a train at this stop during the entire year, making it the second least busy station in New York.
65. DTV “Experts” Plug Boxes Into a Wall (Buffalo, NY) - $350,000
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) spent $350,000 to hire “experts” to help people hook up digital converter boxes made necessary by the federal government’s recent digital switch. Most of those jobs were short-term jobs, lasting only during the DTV transition. Most DTV converter boxes are no more difficult to hook up than connecting the “antenna-in” cable, the “TV-out” cable, and the power cord into an outlet, raising questions about the need for “experts.” The installation guide provided by the FCC is only four easy steps, including instructions to plug the power cords “into a power outlet.”
83. Bureaucracy Gives Low-Income Housing Luxury Costs (Rochester, NY) - $3.3 million
One of north Rochester’s poorest and most crime riddled neighborhoods is getting an expensive facelift, with 23 new homes built with stimulus money. In the El Camino Estates development along Conkey Avenue, the median value of existing houses are less than $50,000. The new stimulus funded neighboring houses will cost six times that to build. At an average cost of $300,000, the 23 new houses being built for rental to low-income families range from 1,200 to 1,700 square feet, a mere fraction of the space the same dollar amount would buy in some of Rochester’s wealthiest suburbs. Why the high cost for low-income rental properties in such a rough part of town? According to the developers and the non-profit community development corporation they are working with, it is the red tape that comes from the combination of tax credits, state and local money, federal stimulus dollars and a large bureaucratic mess.
Bumper Killer (Ron Carvalho) wrote:
I was just going to say that this sounds like another LHC type thing. Oh well, we're all gonna die, what else is new.
Cavaclysmic wrote:Um, other than the fact that they are both physics-based experimentation, I don't think you should consider them kin...
Not trying to sound like a doomsday nut, but the stuff they are working on is very real. Heres a wikipedia article explaining the NSLS II's big brother, the Large Hadron Collider