Since I praised CNN in my last blog, I would like to point out an example of bad coverage, on their part, in regards to the 7 million dollar railroad bridge, near Thedford, Nebraska. The money is coming from the stimulus package.
They interviewed the residents of the town, which may have a 100 people, if that, who complained about not needing the railroad bridge and it being a waste of money. There are huge ranches in the area and true, not many people. No one asked the roads department, apparently, about the amount of traffic on the road, but they did say that the road department was in favor of the bridge for safety reasons. The locals said it didn’t do them any good because they only hired a couple of people part time, and otherwise, they hired 20 workers out of ,Colorado.
Years ago, I use to travel on that road, on my way to Wyoming from the South, and the amount of traffic on the highway is huge in the summer and winter months. Why CNN did not mention this, I’m not sure, but it was clearly slanted to appear to be a waste of tax payer money. Let me start with the truth on the local situation,and that is the ambulance for the entire County must travel that road to the hospital in North Platte on a regular basis.
That road also is used by people, from Colorado and West of there, and people from Illinois and Iowa and East of there, probably as much or more than by Nebraskans. It is almost impossible to get around the combines as they leave the pan handle of the State, to harvest wheat in the southern part of Nebraska and Kansas. Large numbers of people, traveling to the Dakotas and East from Colorado and Wyoming, and States East traveling west, use the road.
Nearby there is a man made National forest that attracks people from all over the United States, that again causes traffic on that road, from the inter-state, west. Also the smallest fastest running river in the United States, the Niobrara, draws a great number of canoers from the west using the road. Nebraskans from all over the State cross there to go skiing, As do people traveling through Nebraska from Illinois and Iowa and the East and from Dakota to go skiing.
If that is not enough, scientist have always taken an interest in the area near the Niobrara, because there is an area near there, where every plant from both the Northern and Southern hemisphere is indigenous to the area. They can only reach the area from the West by using the road. People use that road, as near,Valentine, there is a Casino that draws people from North Platte. It is in the, Sandhills, and the hills have always held an interest to the,public in general, as it was once known as “The Great American Desert”. Pioneers tell stories of pulling cockle burrs and sunflowers in groups of 80 men, women and children, that sowed the grass seed, by hand, that turned the area from desert to prairie. It is common to find prehistoric animals in the area and again people leave the inter-state, and use the road, often to reach a dig that has been reported.
Anyway, the point I’m making is just because there are very little people in the area, it doesn’t mean the road with the railroad crossing, over which the railroad bridge, is being built isn’t heavilly used.To be able to connect with the inter-state going West with the interstate going East headed to and from Denver and Cheyenne Wyoming, it is the only road anyone will use as one would have to travel miles toward Dakota or miles South to connect ,elsewhere. There is no interstate running East and West through Nebraska unless one travels about 5 hours South from the location of the Thedford road, and that only runs East and west through Omaha and Lincoln and then turns North and runs up through Kearney to North Platte and not remotely close to the area.
Just as people take a sharp turn off highway #2, no more than 35 feet, sits the crossing, where the bridge is being built. The real miracle is that more people; unfamiliar with the location, traveling at night, with approximatey 60 freight trains a day usually going at high speeds due to the lack of populace, using those tracks, (usually full of coal out of Wyoming) that there hasn’t been more accidents in the location. If it was any of our family members that got hurt, none of us would feel the expense to be too great. Unfortunately, none of this got reported. It is true that there are seasons when the road is less used than at other times.
During the Great Depression, Roosevelt, sent men from everywhere but the area, out to make the man-made Halsey National Forest in the area, (it is reported to be the largest man made forest in the United States) in order to put people to work. If it had not have been for Roosevelt’s work program, in that area, there would be no park or Forest. Since it is Federal dollars, does it matter to the tax payers, if the people, that would not be available or experienced are from the area?
The fact that the North east and North west part of the Nation uses that road and the bridge is being built to safeguard the travelers safety, seems to me, should justify building a railroad bridge. CNN did not report this except to say the local people were not in favor of it, and to hint at the ‘oracle of Omaha, Buffet’ having stock in the railroad. I’m sure he wasn’t tied to building the forest in the 1930′s, just 10 miles down the road,either
Nebraska, in it’s entire history has voted for a Democrat candidate for President once, and that was for Lyndon Baines Johnson. To get a fair report, one must first be familiar with the politics of the State and also at least get the number of traffic, history of traffic, and the fact that it sets so close to the corner, where people need to turn off a sharp turn, correct, Also the number of serious accidents reported there, might have been of interest. None of this was done or if it was, it was not reported.
Shame on you CNN, for claiming to tell the people that you are reporting the truth on the spending, about the stimulous dollars, and then not doing much, if any, investigation, out of the location itself. If we were talking about locals only, using the highway, your report may of had some merit in reporting. Such a sloppy job of reporting should be an embarrassment to the Station!
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