The Flatform Sandal: The Most Polarizing Shoe of All Time?

Style Domination

Summer is nearing and I want new sandals.  I’m noticing that the flatform sandal trend refuses to die, and it looks like it’s grown on me.

With my husband on an overseas work assignment, a sister in Toronto and another sister who refuses to answer my texts (that’s you, Alice), I turned to my good pal Vanessa for an honest take on the Teva flatforms pictured below.  She hated them.  In fact, I could sense her utter disgust through my computer!

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THOSE FAMOUS LAST WORDS!

By the Mighty Mumford

THOSE FAMOUS LAST WORDS!

We say those “famous last words.”

Then get dumped-on by birds…

We think we are through

Then covered in poo,

Searching for suitable words.

One man says he’s “cured” of redheads,

Then another catches the eye and he’s dead…

To former resolve,

Old problems to solve,

If he’s spoken for already in bed.

Be careful how you say it,

You could end up replaying it…

Be cautious and wise

With what hits the eyes,

When least expected you’ll betray it.

–Jonathan Caswell

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Deteriorating Westport RR span needs to be replaced

Metro-North Railroad commuters know what to expect when the 118-year-old Walk Bridge in Norwalk fails to close after boats pass underneath — long hours stuck on a train waiting for repairs.

A federal Northeast Corridor advisory commission says the Walk Bridge, and three other 100-year-old rail spans in Westport, Greenwich and between Stratford and Milford, are seriously deteriorated and in need of replacement.

“These aging infrastructure assets are unreliable, technologically obsolete and increasingly prone to failures that create delays for riders,” the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission said in its first capital plan.

Established by Congress to develop recommendations for the rail corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston, the Northeast commission proposes spending billions of dollars over the next five years to replace bridges and improve the vital rail system.

All of the Connecticut bridges highlighted by the commission are beyond the definition of old. The Devon rail bridge, which spans the Housatonic River between Stratford and Milford, was completed in 1905 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Bridges built in the 1800s are, by definition, safety concerns,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, who, along with others, is calling on Congress to immediately allocate $555 million for rail safety projects.

“Many of these bridges can be labeled as structurally deficient,” Murphy said. “I think we have to show commuters we’re serious about putting money in safety upgrades. I worry accidents, in combination with Congressional inaction, is going to start chilling ridership.”

James Cameron, founder of the Commuter Action Group, said the bridges are a disaster waiting to happen.

“It’s not a matter of if those bridges will fail, but when,” Cameron said. “So their replacement shouldn’t be an issue for debate but funding immediately, if not a decade ago.”

Victorian-era bridges

The four largest rail bridges in Fairfield County — the Cos Cob Bridge in Greenwich, the Saugatuck River Bridge in Westport, the Norwalk Walk Bridge and the Devon Bridge over the Housatonic River — are remnants of another time.

Only the Walk Bridge, built in 1896, is now scheduled for replacement, at a cost of $465 million.

The Cos Cob Bridge over the Mianus River was completed in 1904, and is the busiest moveable bridge on the New Haven Line, which last year carried nearly 40 million passengers.

Estimates to replace the structure range up to $800 million.

“This bridge faces serious challenges caused by aging components and deferred maintenance,” the Northeast commission said in its report, noting there is no funding “available or programmed” for replacement over the next five years.

The commission said if $50 million was available now, Connecticut could begin designing a new bridge.

The Saugatuck River Bridge was completed in 1904 and carries a replacement price tag of $350 million.

“Age and deferred maintenance have caused deterioration affecting both its electrical and mechanical components,” the commission noted.

Connecticut plans to spend $20 million over the next five years for interim repairs on the bridge until a replacement can be funded.

The commission said the Devon Bridge, also known as the Housatonic River Rail Bridge, suffers from “serious deterioration” and requires $850 million to $1 billion to replace.

“Connecticut has initiated work on short-term repairs, but the entire structure needs to be replaced,” the Northeast commission said, noting the state has earmarked $45 million to design a replacement.

Connecticut owns the commuter rail infrastructure within the state, including bridges, and is responsible for maintenance and replacement.

The rail tracks are used by the Metro-North Railroad, for its commuter rail service, and Amtrak, for its regional service.

`New Deal’ for transit

A ROUGH FINAL LANDING

By the Mighty Mumford

A ROUGH FINAL LANDING

He could not really resist,

JUST ONE MORE BID…for this…

He’d hit ground

Before this round,

With funds that didn’t exist!.

He has his regular pay,

Extra moneys have flown away…

He’s going to plea

For poverty,

Though in faith the bid was made.

He’s hoping the other bidder

Is not in financial winter…

If the Seller decides

To set HIS aside,

Declaring the other the winner!

Sent messages–his fault–

Hasn’t had any answer–result…

He’s fearing that

There’s no escape flat,

Being caught in a final halt!.

–Jonathan Caswell

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Reflection

Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

memories longing forgiveness

when nothing could be done

to undo, relive past

why time and tide

ebbs, flows fast

leaving no moment

to reflect, adjust, adapt

errors of judgement,

random acts of subterfuge,

insensitive words deluge,

destroy what is near, dear

to the heart and soul

nothing remains untouched, whole

only too much time to reflect

your loneliness

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New York rail networks are bursting at the seams; investment is key

The subway and regional rail networks are the lifeblood of New York City. Like the veins and arteries of the human body, the trains keep people circulating freely and make life possible in the dense city. Unfortunately, a lack of investment and political will to expand the system means the rail networks are bursting at the seams each and every day.

While the subway system is a far cry from its dilapidated 1980s state, troubles that other subway systems around the world have managed to overcome impact it on a daily basis. The walls are stained with unidentifiable sludge, stairways crumble under the feet of passengers, and trains arrive only on their terms regardless of schedule. Technology that has become standard everywhere else, such as contactless payment and arrival countdown clocks, is still for the most part just a dream in New York.

On average, the New York City subway system transports more than five and a half million people every single weekday, totaling an astronomical 1.75 billion passengers in 2014, the highest ridership in more than 65 years. Operated and maintained by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a state entity, New York City itself only contributes pennies on the dollar to the system, with the de Blasio administration only recently upping the city contribution to just over $100 million of the multi-billion dollar budget.

As the outer boroughs of New York City continue to be rezoned and built up, the subway is not expanding and improving to meet the new needs to a growing city. On an average day, many riders find themselves unable to board several trains that arrive at their station as they are already full with not a square inch to spare.

With help from Penney Vanderbilt