Friday, October 17, 2014

TrainRiders Northeast: Have they (he) lost their minds?


TrainRiders Northeast, the lobbying organization behind NNEPRA and the Amtrak Downeaster, held their gala annual banquet in Portland last night (16 October 2014).

The coverage of the event on their web page featured this breathless report:

TRNE banquet blurb oct 2014

Take careful note of that last paragraph, in which Jeff Reynolds, a Brunswick resident, is emphatically (!) identified as “of the Brunswick West Neighborhood Coalition (BWNC)!”

Integrity?  What’s that?  Reynolds is NOT, we repeat NOT a member of BWNC or even remotely simpatico with them, as anyone with a bare minimum of knowledge in this general subject area already knows.  Claiming that he belongs to BWNC is at the very least an attempt to appropriate the group’s imprimatur for TRNE purposes, and at the very worst, indicates utter ignorance of reality, and a lack of common sense.  Which  now that we think of it, is just what you would expect from this ‘non-profit’ organization.

Just to make sure their fraudulent assertion got the widest possible audience, TRNE also made the same claim on their Facebook page:


Anyone even remotely familiar with the public debate going on in recent years over NNEPRA’s plan to build a 60,000 sf Maintenance and Layover Facility in the Bouchard Drive neighborhood knows that Reynolds is a vociferous opponent and critic of the group.  He has continually demeaned, demonized, and pontificated against the organization and it’s members in every possible way.   He repeatedly calls them “NIMBYs” and accuses them of “hating trains.”


Associating him with the group is an assertion so far out on the imaginary axis as to be in another coordinate system.  You might even say Reynolds is a leader of the opposition SIITBY contingent: those who say, with nary a qualm, “Stick it in their back yards.”

Reynolds has railed against the group and its members and supporters in every possible way.  He’s spoken stridently at public town meetings and legislative committee hearings.  He’s had columns doing the same in both local and other in state newspapers, including one just recently where he railed against Sen. Stan Gerzofsky for his work with the BWNC.  He submitted numerous comments critical of them in response to the Environmental Assessment process conducted by NNEPRA for the Federal Railroad Administration.


He even wrote to the Brunswick Town Council to express his disgust with BWNC representatives, a memo which TRNE excitedly published on their web site.

Now he’s the star of a video presented at the TRNE annual banquet.  Let’s be clear; on the face of things, he couldn’t be more antithetical to BWNC membership and purpose.  Instead, he looks for all the world like a captive insider of TRNE leadership, at least by affinity, if not actual dues paying membership.

As shown in this series of posts - - Jeff went so far as to suggest that those who differ with him on the MLF subject live on a different planet than he does, which you can take any way you wish.

One of Jeff’s favorite ploys is to claim he is ‘one’ with BWNC when it comes to effects of the  proposed MLF project, since he ‘lives in the same neighborhood’ as those who are so strongly opposed.  He takes that position in the banquet video.  Let’s examine that claim.

Redwood Bouchard area

This is an aerial shot of the general neighborhood, with the existing track area clearly shown near the top, and the Bouchard Drive neighborhood adjacent to the site just below.  Further down you should see a marker labeled 36 Redwood Lane, which is where Reynolds resides.

The distance from the site of the proposed Maintenance Facility to Reynold’s home is approx. 1200 feet.  The distance from the facility to the closest Bouchard residences is on the order of 300 feet.  So Reynolds lives four times further away, and has three streets, five rows of residences, and untold numbers of trees and general vegetative barriers between his abode and the MLF.

These simple factors…both the distance and the intervening structures and vegetation…attenuate the noise, vibration, and other environmental consequences of the proposed project to a remarkable degree.

We’re checking on the specifics, but we believe the sound and vibration levels vary inversely with the square of the distance from the source, which mean that Reynolds would experience levels one-sixteenth of those experienced by the Bouchard Drive residents closest to the facility.

That, readers, is not one with the others in the area.  In fact, so far from it as to be an absurd claim.  Chez Reynolds simply is not vulnerable to the same detrimental consequences as BWNC members, and any claims that it is are bogus.

We could go on and on with the other falsehoods that Reynolds has pawned off on the general public, including claims that the diesel engines used on the Downeaster are not ‘older’ models, when the truth is that they do not meet present day EPA regulations.  But we have neither the time, the space, or the inclination to bore you with the details of the propaganda he has strewn across the rhetorical landscape.

Instead, we think a call for action is appropriate.

So what should TRNE do about publishing these misrepresentations about Jeff Reynolds and the BWNC?  First, they should renounce their claims, and correct the statements on their public pages, including Facebook.

Then they should apologize to the public, and in particular, the BWNC, for going so far overboard in an attempt to gain some sort of perverted advantage in the public relations domain.


The larger message here is that some people will do anything for a slice of birthday cake, won’t they.

Side?  We won’t even listen unless Frosty’s finest are in the offing.  But you knew that.

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