Happy Chinese New Year!
Many countries in southeast Asia celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY) for the next 2 weeks. I haven’t been there for CNY, but from what I’ve read and heard it is their biggest holiday of the year. Many businesses close for a week, if not for the whole thing.. Chinese New Year is really the Spring Festival. The Spring Festival celebrates the Earth coming back to life and the beginning of plowing and planting. This year is the year of the Rat. Xin Nian Kuai Le!
So what do you think about the results of the primaries?
The only thing that is certain is that there is no clear cut winner/leader in the democratic race and in the republican race John McCain is definitely out pacing his other two opponents. There is still a number of weeks to travel and it would be foolhardy to pick who is going to get the nomination from either party. I’m hoping to get by the St. Charles County election authority and pick up a copy of the precinct-by-precinct breakdown of the votes. In precinct 1, there were 500 brave souls out of 1,150 registered voters that braved the foul weather to go out and vote that’s 44.34%. I know that at 3:15pm I was voter number 320.
There was a report prepared for and presented to the city council of St. Charles last year on implementing Streecars/Trolleys in St. Charles. The report specified railway right-of-ways, streets, and other land that could be utilized to put in an initial line. The report identified a little over 11 miles that could be serviced. Price tag for the build out was $35 million. Looking at other cities that have been building streetcar lines, this is a HUGE cost savings over what other cities are having to pay to create their streetcar lines. Other cities that have go forward with their plan (such as Little Rock) have spent $10 million dollars for just a 2.5 mile stretch of track. Unfortunately, $35 million is not chump change. However, there are some very good reasons that an investment in a streetcar line to move people around St. Charles is a very good thing. Besides saving gas money (by the way, gas prices shot up a quarter yesterday), but would encourage people to shop local businesses that are located on the route. Main Street would be the focal point of system. And there is the potential of encouraging growth along the North 94 area, which has been struggling for years. There is a lot more research that needs to be done before committing to the price tag, but it seems to me to be a wise investment in the future of downtown St. Charles.
Election Update: Mitt Romney has pulled out of the Presidential Race. And based on Kit Bond's assessment of Huckabee, I think that John McCain has pretty much tied up the republican nomination. Huckabee so far is saying he is staying in the race. And Romney is hanging onto his delegates, which will give him a huge power boost if Huckabee does well in the rest of the primaries, as Romney can use his delegates to get something out of the potential nominee.