Thursday, May 19, 2005

So, what does a 1.5 million dollar bus stop look like?

That is what the city of Anchorage is trying to figure out. It seems that their hard-working Senator has managed to get the city 1.5 million dollars to build a new bus stop. Not a terminal. Just a stop.

Tom Wilson is faced with a problem many city administrators would envy: How to spend $1.5 million on a bus stop.

Wilson, Anchorage's director of public transportation, has all that money for a new and improved bus stop outside the Anchorage Museum of History and Art thanks to Republican Sen. Ted Stevens - fondly referred to by Alaskans as "Uncle Ted" for his prodigious ability to secure federal dollars for his home state.

Wilson is prepared to think big.

The bus stop there now is a simple steel-and-glass, three-sided enclosure. Wilson wants better lighting and seating. He also likes the idea of heated sidewalks that would remain free of snow and ice. And he thinks electronic signs would be nice.

"It is going to be a showpiece stop," Wilson said.

It’s so nice to see our hard-earned tax dollars going to towards such a noble cause that will help millions of Americans. What? You say it is a waste of money. Of course it is. This is what frustrates me about the government. This is why I have to pay so much in taxes? This is why we can’t afford to get rid of the death tax? This Senator should be ashamed of himself. And I know that he is not alone. This thinking among our Congressional leaders that the money they are given is theirs to spend freely has to stop.

So, what does Sen. Stevens think about calling this $1.5 million a waste of public money?

"Sen. Stevens does not believe the money that he is able to work diligently to secure at the federal level is pork," she said. "He considers it infrastructure development for a very young state. People seem to forget how young Alaska really is."

How silly of us to not realize that it costs so much more money in new states.