Florida East Coast Railway and All Aboard Florida: The “DoomSayers” are Coming Out of the Closet

All Aboard Florida would create ‘unavoidable’ traffic delays through Treasure Coast says TC Palm

Traffic delays at Seaway Drive and the railroad tracks in Fort Pierce — for motorists headed east to the barrier island — would nearly triple if All Aboard Florida begins running passenger trains through the Treasure Coast, according to traffic experts and the Federal Railroad Administration.

All Aboard Florida request delayed by West Palm Beach commissioners

West Palm Beach commissioners will wait until October to discuss All Aboard Florida’s request to close a section of downtown to build a rail station for its upcoming express passenger train service.

West Palm Beach Station
West Palm Beach Station

City commissioners were expected to take up the request at a meeting Monday, but officials said Thursday the item has been delayed and will not appear on the commission’s agenda, according to The Palm Beach Post.

The alley is located between Datura and Evernia streets to the west of the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.

Bridge closures on the New River in Fort Lauderdale would more than double under All Aboard Florida’s proposed passenger service. But the length of each closure would be shorter.

It’s a similar story on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, where bridge closures would quadruple though the duration for each would be less.

A draft study on the impacts of the proposed rail line found:

The New River bridge would be closed 30 times a day for an average of 13 minutes vs. 10 times a day currently for an average of 19 minutes.

The Loxahatchee span would be closed 42 times a day for an average of 12 minutes vs. 10 times a day for an average of 19 minutes.

 

Drivers can expect crossings to be closed 54 times a day or three times an hour, compared to once an hour now.

And here’s how the study says the impacts, which it labeled “minimal,” will be mitigated:

Faster speeds for both freight and passenger trains, thanks to the construction of a second track.

Coordinated train schedules so passing trains cross at the same time, and increased efficiency in how the bridges are raised and lowered.

There will be a set schedule for bridge closures and countdown timers or signals at each span to indicate when bridges will close and how long before trains will arrive.

There will be a tender at the New River bridge. The span currently is raised and lowered remotely by a dispatcher in Jacksonville.

All Aboard Florida plans to run 32 passenger trains a day between Miami and Orlando on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks at speeds of 79 to 125 mph. The FEC now carries about 14 freight trains a day, but that’s expected to increase to 20 a day by 2016.

Together with All Aboard Florida’s trains, that would mean 52 trains a day traveling through downtowns from Miami to West Palm Beach.

Some boaters say the impacts are understated.

“It is difficult to believe than an additional 32 trains plus 20 freight trains crossing the New River would not have any impact even if they actually manage to synchronize the passenger train crossings,” said John Dotto, a boater who lives west of the bridge.

“How can this possibly be considered no impact?”

The New River is the lifeline for Broward’s marine industry, home to about a third of the county’s marinas with the largest concentration west of the railroad bridge. The Loxahatchee River represents slightly less than quarter of Palm Beach County‘s marine industry.

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida has said one of its main concerns is making sure the New River drawbridge is up and the river open to boat traffic at least 40 minutes an hour.

The closures would impact about 36 percent of the 215 boats that pass through the New River bridge on average daily, up from 23 percent currently.

On the Loxahatchee River, the closures would impact about 47 percent of the 121 boats that pass through the bridge on average every day, up from 16 percent currently.

Residents and many elected officials from northern Palm Beach County to the Treasure Coast oppose the project and have grown louder in their opposition. They say their communities will suffer blocked crossings and noise but not get any benefit because the only stops are planned in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport.

Passenger service in the three South Florida cities is expected to start in late 2016 with the northern leg to Orlando starting in 2017.

Florida East Coast Railway is preparing for completion of the Port of Miami’s harbor-deepening project in the fourth quarter of 2015 by purchasing new equipment and locomotives and offering expedited services to population centers in the Southeast.

South Atlantic ports anticipate increased container trade with Asia in early 2016 with the completion of an expansion project at the Panama Canal to allow vessels with capacities of up to 13,000 20-foot container units to transit the canal.

Ports such as Miami, Jacksonville, Savannah and Charleston are at various stages of deepening their harbors so they can accommodate the mega-ships on all-water services from Asia to the East Coast. Miami in late 2015 is scheduled to be the first South Atlantic port to complete a 50-foot dredging project.

When choosing a load center for their mega-ships, container lines look for ports with large local markets plus intermodal rail connections to population centers and cargo hubs outside of their immediate hinterlands.

Trans-Pacific carriers are showing increased interest in Miami as a gateway to both Florida, with its population of more than 19 million, and the entire Southeast via intermodal rail, Jim Hertwig, president and CEO of Florida East Coast Railway, said at a press briefing last week at the Intermodal Association of North America conference in Long Beach.

A deep harbor is only the price of entry into the competition for gateway status in this era of big ships and ocean carrier alliances. Load-center ports must also have excellent inland transportation infrastructure, intermodal rail connectors and highway access to cargo hubs in the interior.

FECR is South Florida’s intermodal connection to the Southeast region. Its 351-mile route connects the ports of Miami, Port Everglades and Palm Beach with Jacksonville, Florida, where it interlines with the Class I eastern railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern.

FECR will be ready in terms of equipment, locomotive power, on-dock rail capacity and expedited service to handle the additional intermodal volume that is anticipated from the Panama Canal and Port of Miami expansion projects, Hertwig said.

The rail carrier is increasing its intermodal capacity by acquiring 500 53-foot domestic containers, 100 chassis and 50 refrigerated trailers. The trailers and containers are equipped with GPS technology.

FECR is also acquiring 24 new locomotives designed to meet federal Environmental Protection Agency Tier 3 emissions requirements. The railroad is also considering the use of retrofit kits that would allow the locomotives to burn liquefied natural gas, Hertwig said. LNG offers increased mileage and lower emissions than diesel fuel.

The railroad has access to Miami’s on-dock rail transfer yard and Port Everglades’ near-dock rail transfer facility that offer reduced costs and enhanced time-to-market service for intermodal services.

FECR is improving its intermodal services to and from cargo hubs in the Southeast, with second-day services to Charlotte, Nashville and Atlanta, Hertwig said.

As carrier alliances expand their service offerings in the major east-west trades, the introduction of one or two weekly services with 10,000-TEU ships would be sufficient to make Miami a competitor for all-water services from Asia, he said.

Public meetings

The Federal Railroad Administration is holding a series of pubilc information meetings. In South Florida, meetings will be from 3:30-7 p.m. on:

Oct. 27 at Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, James K. Batten Room 2106, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami;

Oct. 28 at the Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale;

Oct. 29 at West Palm Beach Marriott, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.

PropaneFlorida

But anything to do FEC or AAF hits the news

The tank, which is about as large as a house, was “venting off,” said Nate Spera, district chief with the Fire District.

They’re designed that if the tank should heat up, it’ll let some gas escape and it’s supposed to close back off,” Spera said. “This one did not close back off, so when we got here it was about 55 percent full at the time.

 

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‘Big Ideas’ for transit: subway beacons, data stories, smart helmets

What if subway passengers agreed to let the M.T.A. know where they are in the system using their cell phones?

That was the premise of a futuristic—but not necessarily unrealistic—vision presented Tuesday night at an installment of the N.Y.U. Rudin Center’s “Transportation Innovation: Short Talks, Big Ideas” series.

The same week that the M.T.A. unveiled a $32 billion capital plan, which repeatedly mentions technology investments, many of the night’s presentations imagined an even more ambitious path forward for transit, transportation and technology.

Neysa Pranger, director of consulting at Control Group—the New York-based innovation strategy firm that runs the new information kiosks in subway stations and has also expressed interest in the city’s plan to reinvent payphones as WiFi hotspots—focused on the potential of beacon technology.

Until recently, Pranger noted, the M.T.A. mainly engaged in one-way communication with customers through maps, subway diversion notices, countdown clocks and advertisements and did not “ask riders to provide any information.” With new types of antenna technology that can detect cell phone locations, she described how the ability to “push back contextually relevant” information could improve the passenger experience.

If the M.T.A. could communicate with riders in transit, she said, it could transmit back information to their cell phones to offer subway seat-finder tools, personalized platform directions, travel alerts or wayfinding instructions for non-English speakers. She also suggested that it could allow the M.T.A. to offer more demand-responsive service by deploying an extra bus or train.

“Can this happen? We think people are ready,” she said, pointing to integration opportunities with the subway kiosks, subway station WiFi and frictionless payment systems.

Other presenters focused on how data analysis could help to understand pedestrian and commuter flows in neighborhoods and inform policy decisions.

“Our ability to collect and store data has outpaced our ability to comprehend it,” said Richard Dunks, a master’s student in the Applied Urban Science and Informatics program at N.Y.U.’s year-old Center for Urban Science and Progress, and a former intern with the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics. He presented a recent project to visualize and analyze information generated by urban data sources on Water Street in Lower Manhattan. The project was a submission to the city’s recent Big Apps software development competition with Jeff Ferzoco, owner of the mapping and design firm linepointpath.

 

Their visualization drew on data from Big Belly smart trash cans, Citi Bike dock data, wireless access point data and 311 data from  one day in July to illustrate the patterns of docks filling and emptying, trash cans filling up and being emptied, and WiFi usage spiking as workers enter the neighborhood. Those patterns can reveal “data stories,” he said.

“You can see people having lunch,” he said, pointing to the usage of trash cans near public seating areas. “You can see that people working in Lower Manhattan are commuting in on Citi Bikes.” Without such analysis, he said, the data “is wasted.”

Arlene Ducao, an adjunct professor at N.Y.U. Tisch’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, showcased her MindRider application, which maps data collected from a modified bicycle helmet using EEG sensors to track the mind’s state of relaxation and concentration. The project, which she first began at M.I.T. Media Lab, now has several beta testers who are transmitting data as they cycle around the city. Examining the maps of that data indicates riders’ spikes in concentration as they approach bridges, encounter tricky traffic or interact with other riders.

 

Now, Ducao and other members of her team have begun an effort to overlay and compare concentration spike hotspots from the MindRinder application with a map of traffic accident hotspots from NYPD crash data and explore possible patterns.

Two city agencies were represented at the event. Ryan Russo, assistant commissioner at the Department of Transportation, focused on Vision Zero, the Swedish traffic-safety plan that has been embraced by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Beyond past efforts to reegineer streets and the recent increase in speed cameras, Russo described how the department was using data and mapping to create pedestrian safety plans for all five boroughs. That effort involves heat-mapping priority areas that, for example, indicate the locations of 50 percent of the serious traffic accidents in Brooklyn.

In addition to hosting forums where New Yorkers can raise traffic concerns and show danger areas on maps in person, Russo noted that D.O.T.  had also collected over 12,000 inputs to its online interactive Vision Zero map aimed at crowdsourcing dangerous traffic spots, which highlighted that speeding was one of the top concerns.

Malinda Foy from M.T.A. Bridges and Tunnels spoke about open-road tolling using E-Z Pass.

Paul Salama, senior planner at WXY architecture + urban design, discussed the technological infrastructure necessary to promote green loading zones for zero-emission commercial vehicles in the city.

The final speaker, John Biggs, East Coast editor of Techcrunch, described how he “reduced all the problems from transit and traffic through magic” in his children’s bookMytro. And though his invisible train system is fiction, he suggested that such an idea was reflected in a number of new travel-related inventions, including telepresence robots, Google’s self-driving cars and the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Those innovations, he said, correspond to the transportation priorities of tech enthusiasts he speaks to: “Traveling without moving, constant contact and travel as a last resort.”

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Rebalancing Your Sourcing Strategy

Outsourcing and offshoring have been the rage for quite a while, but there are now more onshoring initiatives in both the manufacturing and service industries that possibly a major trend reversal is occurring. At the beginning of last year, we predicted that companies might start looking at the best way of sourcing instead of just saying “let’s outsource”. Then we pointed to a place it was happening successfully: General Electric’s Appliance Park (now Electrolux)
Are we jumping up and down saying: ONSHORE? Not until YOU look at the impact on the whole supply chain. Think about coordinating B2B and B2C. Think about an end-to-end supply chain. Think about good in-house systems before you go out and try to lead your supply chain. Think about your forecasting accuracy.

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I Cannot Believe the Utica Comets Community Spirit

UTICA, N.Y. — Artists and their helpers hit the streets of Utica as part of “Graffiti Busters,” an initiative to cover graffiti throughout the city.

Dozens spent Saturday painting the Burrstone Road underpass.

When completed the mural will say, “Welcome to Utica, Home of the Comets.”

The Graffiti Busters hope to tackle up to 75 sites this year, using a $25,000 grant from the city.

Organizers say getting the community involved in these types of projects is vital to their success.

“One of the things we found works is that when we get community volunteers together and paint a mural in an area like that, it helps to stop the recidivism of graffiti, so that’s kinda what we’re doing today, working on that,” said Gene Allen, City of Utica marketing director.

Gene, it is more than that too. Hope you realize you have a “tiger by the tail” with the Utica Comets. Never seen anything like it. All of us know Utica needs a boost and those Comets are bringing it!!!

  • Volunteers, Utica Comettes and Jr. Comet hockey players donated their time Saturday to help paint a mural along with the Utica Comets logo.

    Their day started at 9 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m.

    “I wanted to do my part and volunteer my skills,” said local artist Davide Elefante. He was in charge of painting the Comets’ logo section of the mural.

    The mural is the third and final installment that came from a $25,000 grant from the Cities of Service for Graffiti Busters. The aim of the grant is to cover or remove graffiti from 75 sites, and then to paint two murals in the city. The Comets’ mural was an extra one.

    Gene Allen, the community service officer for the Cities of Service, said the mural project “shows community pride; it brings notice to Utica and the Comets and hopefully reduces the amount of vandalism. The key word is ‘community’ on for this entire project.”

    Elefante said after helping out Saturday, he plans to the head to the Utica Auditorium at least a few times this hockey season.

    “I haven’t been to a Comets game,” he said.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140927/News/140929410#ixzz3EbUqmlZD

CometsMural

– See more at: http://binghamton.twcnews.com/content/news/772675/artists–helpers-take-part-in-an-initiative-to-cover-graffiti-in-utica/#sthash.HSQ9JCzz.dpuf

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Connecting The World

We know about visibility within the supply chain. The lack of visibility can lead to errors, missed deadlines, and other misshapes that lead to financial loss. But how far that visibility should go is still a topic for discussion. Should the supply chain be continuous from the worksheet that your buyers use to calculate quantities and discounts all the way through to your company’s Facebook page? And what information should be available at each point?

The question is a mixture of elements that include philosophical, security and privacy, competition, and practicality. But overriding all those issues is the issue of simply having the resources to get all the systems connected, and then keeping them functioning on an ongoing basis. This is likely to become even more of a challenge as you integrate more systems. In fact as complexity grows, supporting the demands put in place by exponentially more users can become a real burden. One that may not have been factored into your initial cost projections.

Integrations have become available for nearly every ERP system to connect with EDI/supply chain automation systems. In addition connections between Salesforce.com and even social media are cropping up. This hyper-connected environment can make a lot of sense in terms of being responsive to customers. But companies that are getting started on one of these projects should consider how they will determine an ROI for the effort.

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Comets Training Camp opens Monday. Lots of Cool Players From Vancouver

The Vancouver Canucks have assigned a half-dozen players to the Utica Comets, including New Hartford native, RPI grad,   Mike Zalewski.

Mike Zalewski
Mike Zalewski

Zalewski, fellow forwards Alex Grenier

Alex Grenier
Alex Grenier

,   Kellen Lain,

Kellan Lain
Kellan Lain

Alex Mallet

Alex Mallet
Alex Mallet

and  Dane Fox

Dane Fox
Dane Fox

, and defenseman Jeremie Blain

Jeremie Blain
Jeremie Blain

will be with the American Hockey League team when their training camp opens Monday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Zalewski signed with the Canucks after his season at RPI last spring, and played two games for the National Hockey League team, picking up an assist.

Grenier (17 goals, 22 assists, 39 points), Lain (7-2 – 19), Mallet (1-4 – 5), and Blain (6 games, no points), were with the Comets last year, with Lain spending a total of nine games with the Canucks and scoring a goal. Fox had 64 goals and 43 assists for the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League last season.

Two players the Canucks released also will be at the Comets’ camp. Defenseman Spencer Humphries played 17 games in the Kontinental Hockey League last season, and forward Curtis Valk, who scored 47 goals and had 45 assists for the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Western Hockey League.

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New York MTA proposes $32 billion in capital investments for safety, reliability and expansion

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) just published a proposed $32 billion, four-year capital program designed to invest in safety and reliability measures for its subways, commuter railroads, buses, bridges and tunnels.

Proposed for 2015 through 2019, the program would “renew, enhance and expand” the MTA network, which moves 8.7 million riders each day, authority officials said in a press release.

The program’s largest element is $22 billion allocated for safety and reliability projects, including buying new subway cars, Staten Island Railway cars, commuter cars and buses; improving track, signals, power supplies, stations and support structures; renewing and enhancing seven bridges and two tunnels; and installing positive train control on commuter railroads and communications-based train control on subways.

In addition, the program proposes $4.3 billion for new technology, communications systems and railroad infrastructure. Moreover, it would help expand the network with investments such as $1.5 billion to begin the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway from 96th Street to 125th Street; $2.8 billion to complete funding for the East Side Access project that will bring the Long Island Rail Road into Grand Central Terminal; and $743 million to begin the Penn Access project to bring Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line service into Penn Station and build four new stations in the Bronx.

Since 1982, MTA has allocated more than $100 billion for its capital program to rebuild the network, which led to record ridership and spurred growth throughout the region, authority officials said.

“The MTA capital program is our single most important effort to ensure we can keep the New York metropolitan region moving, so people can get where they need to go, businesses can thrive and the quality of life here can continue to improve,” said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast.

MTA staff identified $16.9 billion in funding sources for the program, including more than $6 billion in federal funding, $6 billion in bonding and $3 billion in funding from MTA sources. The MTA plans to work with its funding partners and other stakeholders to develop proposals to bridge a $15.2 billion funding gap.

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Florida Rail Is, As Always, Exciting

Florida East Coast Railway boosts intermodal capacity

Florida East Coast Railway will boost its intermodal capacity with new equipment that will help further its strategy to convert existing trailers to containers to provide double-stack transportation service.

The Class II railroad has acquired 500 new 53-foot containers and 100 chassis, as well as 50 refrigerated trailers to cater to customers in the perishables market. All of the units will be in service by mid-October.

The containers and reefer trailers are equipped with GPS technology, providing real-time tracking capabilities, and the reefer units are also equipped with systems that provide information about operational performance, including temperature levels.

“We continue to see positive growth in our intermodal business as customers from a variety of industry segments recognize the value we provide,” said James R. Hertwig, president and CEO, in a statement. “With the addition of these new units, we are well-positioned to meet the needs of the marketplace during the upcoming peak shipping season and beyond.”

Earlier this month, Florida East Coast Railway launched a 53-foot container service, giving North Carolina shippers a new option to ship goods to South Florida for domestic consumption or transloading for export.

Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) is expanding its services to include intermodal transportation between Charlotte, N.C., and a number of South Florida locations.The railroad’s Piedmont Express service is available five days a week using FECR assets. The seamless two-day service offers various pickup and delivery options, including door-to-door, ramp-to-door and ramp-to-ramp service.

Now, customers have another option to move their freight to the growing South Florida market more efficiently and effectively, FECR officials said in a press release.

“On average, for every four southbound shipments arriving in South Florida, there is only one northbound shipment. This imbalance can be challenging,” said FECR President and Chief Executive Officer James Hertwig. “However, Piedmont Express [service] in FECR’s containers provides a cost-effective option for customers in the Carolinas.”

Florida East Coast rail bridge in downtown Jacksonville now has limited open and close schedule following repairs

FloridaJacksonvilleBridge

The span adjacent to the Acosta Bridge in downtown had been closed to a significant amount of boat traffic since Sept. 8 after a pinion gear broke. It was operational again at 3:45 p.m., said Debra Phillips.

“There will be a limited opening schedule to be sure the repairs continue to function properly,” she said.

She said the schedule is being coordinated with the Coast Guard and it will remain in the upright position for Sunday’s Jaguars game, as has been done in the past.

The closing affected both commercial fishermen and recreational boaters who could not pass beneath the rail crossing when it was in the down position.

The railroad bridge was built in 1926 and has had a history of breakdowns.

All Aboard Florida’s northern route will have minimal impacts, federal study finds

FloridaEastCoastRouteMap

The Federal Railroad Administration has found the overall environmental impacts of the northern leg of All Aboard Florida’s passenger rail service will be minimal, according to a draft study released this afternoon

The 500-page study, known as an environmental impact statement, evaluates the impacts of the rail project between northern Palm Beach County and Orlando.

The much-anticipated study was originally expected to be released in April.

The Palm Beach Post is in the process of reading through the document, which was released at 2:20 p.m. Check back for updates.

Read the All Aboard environmental impact study.

 All Aboard Florida could impact man’s pet business in Vero Beach

VERO BEACH, Fla. – A local business owner worries All Aboard Florida could force him to close.  He recently received a letter from the company behind the project telling him they have rights to part of his property.

Douglas Moore owns Cindi’s Pet & Aquarium Center here in Vero Beach. He sells reptiles, fish, birds and puppies plus food and treats.

“My future is very uncertain at this time,” says Moore.

That’s because of All Aboard Florida. The project will run from Orlando to Miami. It will add 16 round trip high speed trains in his backyard.

“According to my vet the vibration alone of that many more trains will probably put me out of the animal business,” says Moore.

He told us the vet says the vibration will frighten the animals. Moore is also concerned about a letter from the Florida East Coast Railway. The letter tells him the company has a right of way to the back of his business. That includes several parking spots and storage space.

“Losing 5, 6 parking spots is gonna mean I lose 5 or 6 customers,” says Moore.

He’s the not the only one concerned. Next door is Royal Ballroom Dance Studio. The owners started their dancing business almost four years ago.

“People like it you know we don’t want to move,” says owner Oleg Dimidrov.

He and his wife Asya worry about the noise and if the project will impact their property just like their neighbor.

Moore says he has written to lawmakers including the governor asking for help. He also has an attorney.

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Top 5 Disaster Risks To Your Business

Before going into the list of biggest risks, here is a “preamble to risks”. You need to be familiar with emergency procedures. This means the entire Chain (purchasing, etc.). The Control Tower idea, when done correctly and in conjunction with other fixes can be very successful. Visibility is a prerequisite to supply chain agility, responsiveness and almost everything in the supply chain. Companies need to find the right people, provide continuous training and allow them to learn and develop by rotating their roles in the supply chain.

It’s not the first time the Bay Area has been rocked by an earthquake, yet events like a recent magnitude-6.0 earthquake never fail to serve as a wake up call to small businesses in California and beyond. Guess what? Earthquakes–though, often severe–aren’t the biggest ecological events owners need to be concerned by.

Weather-related storms like hurricanes, tornadoes and Nor’easters can wreak far more havoc.

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Scotland Freedom Vote. What is Next? California, Texas?

Interesting to watch all the hoop-a-la about Scottish Freedom. Frankly, I would want to get rid of the Queen. But then, that is why in the U.S., I’m a Democrat, not a Republican.

Scottish independence would have been “cataclysmic” for Europe, spurring separatism elsewhere and creating an “ungovernable” continent of rival nationalisms, a senior European Union official said on Friday.

In one of the first comments from a European commissioner following a referendum on which the EU executive had observed a scrupulously neutral stance in public, trade chief Karel De Gucht told Belgium’s VRT radio he had feared a Yes vote.

“If it had happened in Scotland, I think it would have been a political landslide on the scale of the break-up of the Soviet Union,” said De Gucht, a Belgian liberal who does not support demands from some of his fellow Flemings for their own state.

“It would have been cataclysmic for Europe. That was what I feared,” he added.

“A Europe driven by self-determination of peoples … is ungovernable because you’d have dozens of entities but areas of policy for which you need unanimity or a very large majority.

Moving to the United States:

The failed Scottish vote to pull out from the United Kingdom stirred secessionist hopes for some in the United States, where almost a quarter of people are open to their states leaving the union, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

Some 23.9 percent of Americans polled from Aug. 23 through Sept. 16 said they strongly supported or tended to support the idea of their state breaking away, while 53.3 percent of the 8,952 respondents strongly opposed or tended to oppose the notion.

The urge to sever ties with Washington cuts across party lines and regions, though Republicans and residents of rural Western states are generally warmer to the idea than Democrats and Northeasterners, according to the poll.

Anger with President Barack Obama’s handling of issues ranging from healthcare reform to the rise of Islamic State militants drives some of the feeling, with Republican respondents citing dissatisfaction with his administration as coloring their thinking.

But others said long-running Washington gridlock had prompted them to wonder if their states would be better off striking out on their own, a move no U.S. state has tried in the 150 years since the bloody Civil War that led to the end of slavery in the South.

“I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference anymore which political party is running things. Nothing gets done,” said Roy Gustafson, 61, of Camden, South Carolina, who lives on disability payments. “The state would be better off handling things on its own.”

Scottish unionists won by a wider-than-expected 10-percentage-point margin.

Falling public approval of the Obama administration, attention to the Scottish vote and the success of activists who accuse the U.S. government of overstepping its authority – such as the self-proclaimed militia members who flocked to Nevada’s Bundy ranch earlier this year during a standoff over grazing rights – is driving up interest in secession, experts said.

“It seems to have heated up, especially since the election of President Obama,” said Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, who has studied secessionist movements.

A lot of it is about STATES RIGHTS

The 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution was simple:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”

Everybody has their own “bug in the tail” about this one. Mine is education. The United States before Dwight Eisenhower did OK. The local communities took care of education: hired a teacher, built a school, etc. Some of the states got involved and built state-wide systems. New York built the best, Mississippi the worst. (No I won’t even argue, just substitute your own choices. I just picked two.) Some in-between did better than others. Even Connecticut (an affluent state, was teaching about the Soviet Union five years after it’s demise, because “we don’t have the money to update the textbooks”). First it was the Department of Health, Education & Welfare. Then it got elevated to the Department of Education. Now, New York and Mississippi are the same: BAD NEWS.

Of course, we have Texas who still wants to be independent.

But we have California who wants to split umteen ways

California-Five-States

CaliforniaSixCaliforniasmapsMultiState

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