Clinton, Sanders Call for Michigan Governor to Resign at Debate

Hillary Clinton used Sunday’s Democratic debate to for the first time directly call on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to resign over the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Clinton and presidential rival Bernie Sanders debated in Flint two days before the state’s primary on Tuesday, and the city’s water crisis was the immediate focal point of the night.

Sanders repeated his call for the Republican governor’s to resign before Clinton spoke.

“Amen to that,” she said.

“I agree, the governor should resign or be recalled. We should support the efforts of citizens trying to achieve that. But that is not enough.

“We have to focus on what must be done to help the people of Flint,” Clinton continued. “I support 100 percent the efforts by your senators and members of Congress to get the money from the federal government in order to begin the work that must occur to fix the infrastructure. The state should also be sending money immediately to help this city.”

Sanders called for Snyder to resign in January, but Clinton had not joined him until the debate’s opening statement.

“It [is] beyond belief that children in Flint, Mich., in the United States of America in the year 2016 are being poisoned,” Sanders said. “That is clearly not what this country should be about.”

Sanders connected the issue to the “proliferation of millionaires and billionaires” while “middle-class people are struggling, towns and cities are struggling to provide basic services.”

The Flint debate had not originally been a part of the Democrats’ debate schedule but was added last month as part of a compromise to increase the number of debates. Clinton’s campaign had first floated the idea of a Flint debate, and she took credit Sunday for the debate’s location.

“I am very grateful that my request that we hold this debate to be held here [was accepted], so we can continue to shine a very bright spotlight on what has happened in this city.”

Clinton pushed back when Bryn Mickle, the editor of The Flint Journal, asked if the candidates were just “using this crisis for political points.”

“Throughout my public career, I have been evening the odds for people in every way that I could,” she said.

“When I heard about it, I immediately sent people here to find out what was going on. … I’m just determined to do whatever I can, so I have put together resources from the private and the philanthropic communities.”

Clinton pledged to “be with Flint all the way through this crisis in whatever capacity I am.”

Mickle asked Sanders the same question, noting that he only recently visited the city. Sanders argued that he had been in Detroit earlier to learn about the crisis and recently held a “nonpolitical” town meeting for people to share their stories.

“I think the fear, and legitimate fear, of the people of Flint is that at a certain point, the TV cameras and CNN is going to disappear and then people are going to be left struggling in order to live in a safe and healthy community,” he said.

“All I can say is if you check my record going back a long time, I have stood with those who are hurting, I have stood with those who have no money, and I have taken on virtually every powerful special interest in the United States of America.

By Ben Kamisar, The Hill

Penney’s Note:  Flint is a famous city. The Buick car bodies were made here. It was originally Durant Motors. Flint was the largest GM complex in the world. Second only to Ford’s River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

Google’s, Microsoft’s Move To Mobile Changes Future Of Mapping

Google began to quietly shutter Google Earth Enterprise in the U.S. along with some of the most important business features for Google Earth Pro such as data for parcels, demographics, and traffic counts. By the end of January it shutdown Parcel (APN) Search, sending those relying on the data for daily business requirements scrambling to find alternatives.

The decision, which Google would say was brought on by consumer behavior, continues to alter the future of a market segment.

Google isn’t alone. Microsoft killed MapPoint last year. As more consumers leave their desktop for mobile phones, both companies, along with Apple, have been building up their mobile mapping applications, changing the business model, and shuttering data services and tools for desktop.

Now some believe that Google and Microsoft have turned their attention away from business mapping technology and toward mapping services that generate advertising revenue.

Despite the vanishing act brought on by the move to mobile, these traditional desktop business mapping tools that provided the ability to search on assessor parcel numbers (APN) remain popular, especially among industries that require easy-to-use software sitting behind their firewall. The model continues to change, along with the range of options.

Google’s tools were affordable, flexible, powerful, and had tangible business benefits, according to Stewart Berry, director of product management for mapping software at Caliper, which develops geographic information systems (GIS) and transportation software. “These products have gone away,” he says. “All that’s left are APIs, with limited functionality, but at a higher cost.”

Parcel boundaries are viewable using the Google Maps API, which provides the ability to style the lines to make them more prominent. Along with the API came new tools, but these are for developers, not consumers of business analysts, per Berry. “When you kill a desktop product and don’t offer a comparable cloud product, you leave your customers high and dry.”

While Google points to alternatives for parcel data like the Google Maps API, Berry says users cannot search by the parcel ID. The alternatives are for developers and have costs per interaction.

Having the ability to search by parcel number remains a huge issue for some industries such as real estate and construction. “I see the frustration in the removal of the APN layers, so I will offer what my company uses,” writes Eric Maturino, an engineer offering advice in the Google Maps and Earth help form. Maturino works at a photovoltaic construction company running through permits and other services multiple times per week.

“At the price of $400 per county, this can be ridiculous, seeing at times we operate in six different counties a month,” Maturino explains, suggesting a Web-based service called Parcel Quest Navigator.

The $1,800 annual cost may be steep, but it avoids the hassle of repeatedly buying parcel information and navigating the search. It is a drop in the bucket, he writes. Parcels and addresses are searchable if you know the number.

Metro-North’s New Haven Line broke all-time ridership record in 2015

Last year, ridership on MTA Metro-North Railroad‘s New Haven Line surpassed 40.3 million trips, marking a new all-time record.

The figure is 2 percent higher than 2014’s total ridership of 39.6 million, according to a press release issued by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office.

The inner portion of the New Haven Line between New York City’s Grand Central Terminal and Stamford, Conn., had ridership growth of 3.6 percent. Ridership in the outer portion between Stamford and New Haven, Conn., nudged up 1.3 percent.

A New Haven Line train
Photo: State of Connecticut

The number of passengers on the Danbury and Waterbury branches rose 9.4 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, while the New Canaan Branch experienced a 1.7 percent decrease in ridership.

The growth demonstrates that Connecticut must continue to invest in the line, Malloy said in the release.

Over the past several years, Connecticut has made a number of investments to improve the line, including putting 405 new M-8 rail cars into service, along with building new maintenance facilities, bridges and overhead power lines.

Ridership on the entire Metro-North Railroad system last year reached a record 86 million, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced earlier this week.

Connecticut owns the New Haven Line, which is operated by Metro-North under a contract with the state’s transportation department.

Comets Sweep Weekend in Dramatic Fashion

Despite holding a 4-1 lead entering the third period, the Utica Comets needed Darren Archibald’s goal with 63 seconds left in the game to edge the league-leading Toronto Marlies by the score of 5-4 at the Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. With the win the Comets ended their season series with a 3-3-0-2 record, and eight out of a possible 16 points, against the Marlies.

Travis Ehrhardt (1-1-2), Jordan Subban (1-1-2), Darren Archibald (1-1-2), Brandon Prust (0-2-2), and Alexandre Grenier (1-1-2) posted multi-point games, while Joe Cannata turned aside 32 of the Marlies 36 shots for his second win of the weekend.

For the third time in as many days the Comets scored the game’s first goal, kind of. The goal-scorer was Josh Leivo, forward for the Toronto Marlies, but the goal went to the Comets. While short-handed, Andrey Pedan entered the Marlies zone and looked to connect on a cross-ice saucer pass with Carter Bancks. Leivo attempted to intercept the pass put ended up deflecting it over his own goaltender’s blocker. Brandon Prust picked up an assist on the Pedan goal. The short-handed goal was the team’s 12th of the season, good for second in the American Hockey League.

After the Comets killed off a penalty to start the second period, they got right to work extending their lead. Upon entering the Marlies zone, Alexandre Grenier sliced his way through two Marlies defenders before he slipped a pass to Jordan Subban. Subban spun his way off of a defender draped on his back and beat Bibeau with a wrist shot that screamed past the goaltender’s leg pad. Carter Bancks picked up the secondary assist.

Just three-and-a-half minutes later that very same line struck again. Prust, form the half wall, found Grenier with a pass as the forward cut to the slot. Grenier quickly sidestepped a defender and rifled a wrist shot past Bibeau’s blocker to stake the Comets to a 3-0 lead. Ehrhardt collected the secondary assist on the goal.

After 95 minutes and 28 seconds of keeping the Marlies off the board, Joe Cannata finally let a Marlies shot in. Seconds after forcing a turnover in the Comets zone, Sam Carrick walked in on Cannata before he wristed a shot that kissed off of the crossbar and into the net with 4:32 left in the second period.

As the second period wound down, the Comets got the goal back. With 9.5 seconds left on the clock, Travis Ehrhardt received a pass from Jordan Subban and then hammered home a slapshot from the point for a power-play goal.

With two goals in the first 6:11 of the third period, the Marlies mounted their comeback and cut the Comets lead to 4-3. Tobias Lindberg scored the first one on the power play, and Carrick scored his second of the night with a controversial goal of his own. The refs appeared to have whistled the play dead after Cannata covered the puck with his glove. The red light went on behind Cannata after Carrick jammed the puck through Cannata’s legs and into the net. After a brief video review, the referees determined it was a good goal.

The Marlies comeback was complete when they tied the game at 4-4 with 4:13 left in the game. Colin Smith squeezed a rebound past Cannata after Viktor Loov’s first two shots were turned aside.

Cue the dramatics.

With overtime appearing imminent, Darren Archibald cleaned up a rebound with 1:03 left in the game to win it. Cole Cassels assisted on the goal as he took the first shot on net that Bibeau turned aside.

With the win, the Comets record improves to 30-19-5-3.

The Comets four-game road trip continues as the boys in blue head to Rochester to take on the newly retooled Americans on Friday night. Puck drop from the Blue Cross Arena is scheduled for 7:05pm.