Thursday, June 25, 2015

NNEPRA asks the Tooth Fairy for another chance….

We’re pretty sure that last year we reported on the failure of NNEPRA to win a TIGER Grant on their third swing at the ball.  Now it looks like they’ve appealed the called third strike, hoping it will be ruled a foul tip.  So they can have a do-over.


Pardon us if the circumstances remind us of a famous quip from decades ago.

You can find the details of their effort here:

(FWIW, this year’s funding available is $500 million, compared to $600 million last year, so the odds of succeeding this time, generally speaking, are lower than the last time.)


Or in a separate listing with all the attachments here:

One of which is this two year old effort from prior applications, generated by Parsons Brinckerhoff, noted participant in the “Big Dig” fiasco of some years back.

Not only that, but it appears that the “Letters of Support” (  are duplicates of those aged missives we debunked last year, one by one, in the various posts you can revisit with this link:

Frank Lee, we’re disgusted by the shabbiness and shameless propaganda contained in the submissions.  Even worse, we’re offended and embarrassed that such efforts carry the imprimatur of the State of Maine, and hence that of all of us who live and pay taxes here. 

Bravo Sierra salutes are warranted all around.  Did you know the proposed project is key to redevelopment of the former BNAS?

                                   Image result for broken record

We just don’t know how much longer we can keep our lid on in the face of such abject disregard for truth and reality.  Let us say this…the documents we refer to above demonstrate just how low standards (if any!) have become in intergovernmental matters and pursuit of Foppem and Soppem.

There ought to be fraud statutes that apply in such cases, including the funded efforts of noted consulting firms who traffic in such misrepresentations, and live off the public teat and the gullibility of all too many ‘officials.’

We’re speechless beyond that, which in itself is a sign of what a travesty of governmental responsibility and accountability the NNEPRA effort represents.

On the other hand, recent news emphasizes the level of incompetence common in those of high rank who oversee such grand enterprises as passenger rail operating as a government agency.  The feds set the bar pretty low for state agencies like NNEPRA,  as shown in this item:
June 22, 2015 2:23 pm
Timesheets for employees of Amtrak are riddled with abuse, according to a recent audit report, with cases of workers claiming over 40 hours of work in a single day.
The audit released by Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) Thursday found examples of abuse in the overtime system, which totaled nearly $200 million in overtime pay last year.
“[Calendar Year] CY 2014 timesheet data revealed trends and patterns that indicate potential fraud, waste, and abuse in the reporting of overtime and regular time,” the audit said. “Some of these trends and patterns may be justified because of the complexity of union agreement rules, the nature of jobs, and the functions employees perform.”  (emphasis ours)
“However, our prior investigative work has shown instances in which employees have fraudulently reported hours not worked,” the OIG said. “We believe that these trends and patterns merit further analysis and, if appropriate, action by management.”
One such trend was employees claiming the impossible feat of working 48 hours in a single day.
“Employees reported 1,357 days in which they worked more than 24 regular and overtime hours,” the OIG said. “Ten employees reported working at least 40 hours in a day.”
Of those 10 employees, a serving attendant in the Café Car, who earns an average of $23 an hour, recorded 47.95 hours in one day, 31.01 of which were recoded as overtime.
So if you thought the incompetence on display at the IRS and the VA were ‘anomalies,’ think again.
An anomaly in government terms is finding an agency that actually does what it is supposed to do, responsibly, effectively, and affordably.

       Image result for reagan there you go again

We work hard not to use the pages of this blog for partisan political posturing, but many of you will see this graphic and a few others as just that.

So be it.  When taking umbrage at incompetence in government and their hired toadies, and exposing it the best we can becomes partisan, it’s time to turn off the lights and say Good Night Mrs. Calabash, wherever she is.

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