We've been hearing in dribs and drabs, about major, essential things seriously deteriorating -- infrastructure that urgently needs fixing.
I read a scary article, then another, avoiding stuff I didn't understand -- my ability to tolerate bad news is at an all time low. But now -- January -- right now is the time to look at things clearly, toughly, and perceive what's ahead.
WASTE-- garbage, recycling -- what we're doing with it, what we need to do to fix the problem would cost $56 billion.
RAILROADS -- just to fix the rails between Boston and DC -- $10 billion. (No money numbers about fixing troubled rails between other major cities, but I dug up this list of the 50 major cities -- all have seriously deteriorating railroad connections.) Multiply by 10 -- give or take a couple of $bill. here and there -- $500 billion?
BRIDGES -- last time estimated was in 2010, when fixing deficient bridges was -- $106 billion.
ELECTRIC GRID -- to make us secure between now and 2025, the government needs to spend $934 billion.
ROADS -- fix, upgrade, maintain them the FHA (Federal Highway Administration) needs $170 billion.
... Billions -- what's happened? "Time Magazine" said in 1965, just for transportation and water, we used to spend 6 % of the national budget. Now we're spending maybe 2.7 %....
LEVEES -- designed to protect farmland, they're currently used to protect residential areas where the risk of flooding is a major concern -- fixing -- $100 billion.
DRINKING WATER-- 90% of the country depends on old public water systems that last 75 to 120 years. The EPA (Environment Protection Agency) estimated in 2011 that maintaining or replacing pipes, treatment plants, storage tanks and other assets over the next 20 years will cost $384 billion.
AIRPORTS-- mostly rely on a 1960s radar system. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has been rolling out a new air-traffic control system since 2007 -- fixing over the next 10 years will cost $32 billion.
Yowie-owie-wow -- add up the red money numbers, the time it's gonna take, the problems -- it's a billion, trillion, centillion big and little things to fix, change, update. Golly-gee -- I hope the guys who will be running the country, know how to hold back a Tsunami.
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HOW I GOT HERE
I'm a writer, writing things that haven't brought me fame, but continue to involve me, inspire me to find an audience.
I started out as a modern dancer, contemporary, but balletic. I didn't want to be a swan, or a barefoot dancer. I wanted to dance to the music that thrilled me as a child, and made me want to be a dancer.
I began writing in the truck my first husband, Mark Ryder and I bought, in order to carry our set, props, and costumes for a long one-night-stands tour -- eighty-eighty performances in eighty-eight cities.
We were performing "Romeo and Juliet" nightly, but our marriage was breaking up. Every day while our stage manager drove us two-hundred miles or so to the next booking, I'd type a detailed description of last night -- what we did well, what we argued about, and a travelogue about the town, and comments from the people at the nightly party.
Recovering from the trip and the divorce, I sent my "car book" to a friend who said -- "Em, it's great, but ..." And that became rewrites, and another book. Then, my marriage to actor John Cullum, and then a play that got produced, and another book, big hopes because a famous agent loved it. The title and concept changed five times -- now it's been published, finally, as "Somebody, Woman of the Century." You can buy it, or read about it and my other five novels on Emily Frankel.com