Sunday, October 04, 2009

Short Sea Shipping, Long-term Outrage

Shamrock over at Fall River-tastic has just blogged that Fall River will not be in the running for federal stimulus money to develop a short sea shipping port.

Why?

Well according to the source of this information, the Providence Journal, it's because the Commonwealth chose between "two competing proposals". In other words, facing competing proposals from New Bedford and Fall River, they decided to submit just the New Bedford proposal. Massachusetts could have submitted both proposals. Rhode Island submitted two.

What did we miss out on? Well first off, the influx of federal money that would have provided immediate jobs to our region. More importantly the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of something that could have huge implications on our local economy. The potential for between 500-1000 long term jobs. With a deep water port, and easy highway access Fall River seems perfectly positioned for short sea shipping.

It seems that this is something Fall River should have been in the running for, so where's the outrage.

Proposals needed to be submitted by September 15, 2009. So how long has our local leadership known we were out of the running? When did they first become aware of this opportunity? Where was the effort to show that Fall River was worthy of Federal consideration?

Why wasn't this all in Herald News weeks ago? Where was the outrage from Senator Menard or Representatives Sullivan, Rodrigues, and Aguiar? Why wasn't Mayor Correia holding press conferences urging the state to submit BOTH proposals?

Here's the opportunity to provide good paying jobs, stimulate our local economy and develop our waterfront and instead of fighting for this our leadership is fighting over whether the Braga looks better in blue or green?

WTF!

How do you drop the ball on this? It's not like Fall River didn't consider this a worthy project, good ol' Kenny Fiola is quoted saying :

“It’s a shame,” says Kenneth Fiola Jr., executive vice president of the Fall River Office of Economic Development. “The state should have applied for both and let the feds pick and choose.”

"It's a shame" my ass, what's a shame is that none of our "leadership" fought to make sure Fall River was included!

Did our City Council know? If so where was the resolution urging the Governor to include the Fall River proposal? If not, why not!? If the City Council wasn't aware of something this important than FROED isn't doing their job.

Why is the first mention of this from the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL and 2 WEEKS TOO LATE to make a damn bit of difference?!

This could have been and should have been something for the community to rally behind. This could have been Bob Correia's chance to be the white knight and get the city behind him. This should have been our local delegations chance to show they can get something meaningful done for Fall River. Instead all we can do is discuss how great the bridge will look in blue and whether or not nude dancing is good for our economy. Is it any wonder we're not getting ahead?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks to CAV we have a parachute company with federal funding.

How about cav taking credit for a major economic development initiative like the fall river watefront?????????

Anonymous said...

Chuck Braga hired CAV to represent him in his bid for the contract. She did her JOB for his company because he PAID her. She didn't do this out of the kindness of her heart. She was looking out for herself not our city. She's a great saleswoman, but I'm not buying her bullshit.

BOB with BOOBS!!!!!!!!!!

Sick of Flannagan Supporters said...

For starters, Bob has boobs. Secondly, are you saying that CAV works to get good results in return for her pay? If so, AWESOME. How the hell is that a bad thing? Try again.

ScrewThisPlace said...

Pardon my language, but I'm starting to think this city really sucks. We are "led" by some of the most idea-less, self-serving, idiotic people I have ever met in my life. And what's even worse is that even dumber people vote for them (the few that vote, that is)! Nowhere is underachievement so much the norm. I would be ashamed and angry if I was an elected official and I represented such a shithole of an area. Where's the outrage? I think it's time for a one-way ticket outta here...I'll trade my residency with a section 8 newcomer lowlife. Any objections?

reality check said...

There is nothing wrong with getting paid for good results. It's when you mislead people and try to pass off what you do at work as a good deed in your government capacity.

Tom Paine said...

I just read this article...thank you and Shamrock for bringing this out.

It would be nice to see what the application looked like...was our delegation informed about this?

Anonymous said...

The local radio station can use its influence to convince its readers to call MA DOT to complain about the bridge color, but it won't use its influence to investigate why Fall River's proposal was rejected.

Anonymous said...

You can't have short sea shipping if you have so litle access to the water. And by that I mean some extensive docks beyond the small area we call the state peir which has so may restrictions on it due to the Bridge and fed control it is not feesible right now.

Once 79 is removed then the city may have a case, but until then there is no case for short sea shippping.

NB has a mile of dockable shoreline, we have a few hundred feet and very poor access. Just some observations from someone who has worked in NB

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:22,

I will not contest your argument that New Bedford is better suited for short sea shipping than Fall River.

The point is that if your assessment is correct that Fall River is not suited for Fall River, than it should be admitted and not be dragged around as a possible source of jobs when it is not going to happen.

If it is true that short sea shipping will only come to Fall River once Route 79 is re-routed, well, that will take probably another decade. By that point, any of the 3 current proposals will already be operational and there may not be a market for Fall River to explore short sea shipping.

Lefty said...

Tom,

Shamrock deserves all the credit. I routinely search for Fall River news but I missed this one.

Anon 11:22

You make a very good point on why New Bedford may be a better choice, but not only would I agree with Anon 1:29, I would add that we still forwarded a proposal (and like Tom I wish we could see it) and if it's the best proposal that Fall River can make well then our local leaders need to fight for it. We at least deserve the official explanation of why Fall River wasn't considered.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I think that there are some really good points about this topic. Lety, you should not apologize for missing it, you show grat ethics by posting it and not ignoring it, that is much worse.
1. NB has more viability
2.Without Route 79 removed, no real good access to rail
3. I beleive there is stimulus money for the train coming which may also include embarkation for short sea shipping
4. The river nees to be dredged for this to happen
5. If short sea happens no LNG can happen.
6. If LNG happens no short sea can happen
7. It would be relevant for the local apper to carry the story and find out for us why FR was denied.
8. The removal of Route 79 is moving forward as the local surveyors have confirmed and you can confirm yourslef by asking them why they are doing it.

My two bits

reality check said...

I believe Fall River has the second deepest port in the state, and though some dredging may be needed, they are already doing some shipping from the state pier. They also have train service that goes to the Borden Remington/Tilloston Complex which is next door. Don't know if it is adequate to handle larger scale shipping but it is there.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the point "2.Without Route 79 removed, no real good access to rail."

The lowering of Route 79 will not open up access to the rail. The rail access is at the State Pier.

Do the plans to bring commuter rail to Fall River take into consideration that the rails will be shared for short sea shipping?

The rail also travels behind the Quaker site on Ferry St. and that plot of land can hold a lot of containers. There would be an issue regarding water access though. Nothing a little eminent domain wouldn't solve.

Roger Williams said...

Here's an idea for Fall River - stop scrambling for ways to soak up state and federal stimulus (aka, handout) money, and think of ways to actually stimulate the private sector to encourage job creation. If taxpayer charity is the only thing keeping Fall River on life support, it might be far more charitable to pull the plug and start over.