Murphy Rides The Q

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy boarded the Q bus at Chapel Street and immediately encountered the “trifecta” of constituent challenges — employment, education, and housing.

Murphy encountered those issues while chatting with three passengers on city bus Monday afternoon. He got on the bus to connect with his constituents as part of a series of bus-rides he’s been taking in order to talk to people he might never otherwise meet.

On the bus Monday, Murphy met a man who’s been unemployed for a year, a woman worried about her son being bullied at school, and a woman who can’t find an affordable apartment of her own. He promised to try to help each of them.

“That’s basically your trifecta,” Murphy said, after getting off the bus at Walmart on Foxon Road. He said he’s found the most common topics people bring up with him on the bus are jobs, housing, and schools.

Murphy boarded the bus at about 4:30 p.m. at Chapel Street, near the corner of Orange. He moved to the back and struck up a conversation with Cyrus Hedge, a 48-year-old union laborer who said he’s been out of work for a year. Hedge said his unemployment benefits have expired.

“We can help you get on Medicaid,” Murphy told him.

Hedge said he can’t afford to pay his union dues any longer, which means he can’t get union work.

“So it’s a downward spiral,” Murphy said. “I’m pushing hard to get more money into building roads and railroads.”

The next seat up, Murphy met Maxine Wilson, who was riding to Walmart with three kids. Wilson told Murphy about her 12-year-old son’s problems with bullying at John Martinez school.

“It’s one thing after another,” she said. Her son has had his pants pulled down in class, and two girls beat him up recently, Wilson said. The 6th-grader doesn’t want to go to gym anymore because he’s picked on so badly.

Murphy said he would talk to the superintendent about discipline at the school. He said bullying needs to be stopped early, before it escalates.

In the next seat, Awilda Oliveras was headed home to the apartment on Eastern Street where she lives with her sister. The apartment is too small for her and her sister’s family, Oliveras said, but she can’t find an affordable place to live.

Oliveras, who’s disabled, said she’s applied to move into Bella Vista, but hasn’t been able to get in.

“Housing is tough,” Murphy said. “There’s not a lot of affordable housing.” He said it’s something he’s working on.

After disembarking at Walmart, Murphy said his bus trips give him an appreciation of the “Herculean efforts” people exert to stay employed. He spoke with a man, for example, who commutes every day by bus and bike from New Haven to a warehouse in Orange.

“I wish my Republican friends would get on the bus occasionally,” Murphy said. The stereotype of the “47 percent” of people who are “takers” and not working is “shattered” when you talk to people on the bus, he said.

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posted by: Don in New Haven on April 15, 2014  9:23am

Let me teach you one of the basics: Rents increase when taxes increase.
Now that we know you want to help, here are three simple things you can do:
1. ask Mayor Harp to lower our taxes.
2. ask Governor Malloy to lower our taxes.
3.And when you are back among your friends in DC, convince them to lower our taxes.
Isn’t that easy?

posted by: TheMadcap on April 15, 2014  10:45am

Taxes are not the main driver of rents(especially at the state level, what would the income tax have to do with rent, taxes made on apartments would be capital gains), property values are. Basically the mantra is to cut taxes so the people most in need of affordable housing can have services directed at them slashed while rents still continue to skyrocket across the city because of gentrification but it’s okay, cause the folks on East Shore will save $5,000.

posted by: Don in New Haven on April 15, 2014  11:38am

If you ever own a property that you want to rent, you will understand my comment about taxes and rents.

Please help me understand some of your other remarks.

As I understand “gentrification,” this word was first used in 1964 and now it means:

The process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.

Are you saying that this influx is causing rents to rise and poorer residents are being displaced?

Is “affordable housing” increasing or decreasing in New Haven? You imply that it is decreasing.

What does your $5,000 comment mean?

posted by: DavidK on April 15, 2014  12:28pm

Since Rep Murphy represents Connecticut he should remember he has conservative and liberal constituents. My greatest federal concern is to not gut Medicare Advantage and also I am concerned a weakened US military will encourage Russian adventurism in eastern Europe. I am of Polish ancestry and understand rep Murphy is as well. I wonder what his last name was originally?

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on April 15, 2014  1:56pm

To DavidK:  a quick glance at Wikipedia will answer your question:  “Murphy was born on August 3, 1973, in White Plains, New York, the son of Catherine A. (née Lewczyk) and Scott L. Murphy. He is of Irish and Polish descent.”

So Murphy’s original name was ... Murphy.  The Polish is on his mother’s side, and the Irish on his father’s.  And as most people still do, he goes by his father’s last name.

posted by: TheMadcap on April 16, 2014  8:33am

My comment means the people usually complaining about tax rises the most are the people most able to afford them. If taxes do go up 3 mills, I guarantee you those of us not bordering areas where property values are rising quickly will see our rents go up next year(if they go up) at the same average they always do. I can almost certainly guarantee too that if the mill rate suddenly dropped 7 points none of us would see a reduction in rent.

posted by: Don in New Haven on April 16, 2014  10:42am

Supply and Demand form the basis for rent. The intervening factor of tax causes a parallel increase in rent but you are correct in saying that decreasing tax may not cause a decline in rent.

Once the higher rent is set and tenants accept to pay, it is difficult for owners to believe that taxes will not again rise to even higher levels.

Larger but equal cases are Sikorsky leaving for Huntsville, Alabama and 3M leaving for Minnesota and Mexico. Costs of operations in CT are simply too high.

If the Mayor wants to attract new business to use Tweed (the money pit) to fly new jobs into New Haven, she and every unemployed person must strongly fight for lower taxes and I don’t mean bite-and-switch tax breaks. Tweed and the tax break incentives add more burden to the New Haven economy and push taxes higher.

posted by: steve on April 19, 2014  2:05pm

To Don in New Haven. You seem to blame Tweed for most of New Haven’s ills. If Tweed is upgraded it will be able to attract new service. Your comment from a past topic, “Tweed and John Wayne Airport, Orange, CA are physically very similar. Runway lengths are approximately the same.
It is not rational to attempt to extend the Runway Safety Areas of Tweed with a hill on one end and a swamp on the other end.
One major difference between the runways is the load bearing characteristics are very different and Tweed cannot support large heavily loaded aircraft.” is incorrect. The topic was closed and I could not reply.Tweeds runway has a higher weight bearing capacity than does the Westchester airport and the approach to the John Wayne airport is much different than Tweeds and has another 100 feet in length.
In the 90’s, United operated the Chicago flights with 737 aircraft for almost 5 years, so saying the runway cannot handle larger aircraft is wrong.
Over the years, the New Haven area lost out on new businesses locating here, Fed-Ex, an American airlines reservation center, and three other airlines who proposed servicing Tweed but the limited runway ended that.
One of the first things businesses look for when relocating is nearby air service to several hub airports and in its present state, Tweed cannot offer that.

posted by: Don in New Haven on April 22, 2014  1:27pm

I’m sorry for not responding earlier.

Thank you for agreeing with me: changing the runway at Tweed would not bring in new business.

Yes, in the 1990’s I flew on United flights to Chicago on my way to and from Paris, France. May seem like a long way to go but the price was cheaper than other routes.

None of the facilities at Tweed invite new business. To begin with, the land area available is too small to do any real expansion of buildings. The current expansion of parking is an expensive joke.

Addressing the physical problems for medium size air traffic, there are many significant problems that cannot be resolved. Please understand that Tweed sits in a basin formed by a creek and has 35 foot tall trees on one end of the runway and 54 foot tall trees on the other. Paving the RSA will not change this.

The land space is already developed and would permit little to no expansion with additional facilities.

How could 100-passenger flights be handled? Would the passengers walk across the tarmac in all weather conditions?

How could baggage for 100 arriving and those waiting 100 departing passengers be handled? Where would it be possible to accommodate the people waiting for arriving passengers and those accompanying departing passengers?

The access roads are too narrow for any level of expansion. To widen the roads would require confiscating countless houses on both sides of the roads.

Please be specific when you talk about expanding business at Tweed. How many flights per day do you want? Will you want 24/7 business and expect the surrounding residents to buy into your plan?

Tweed is a bad dream for those who want the impossible and should either be sold to Yale or the State. New Haven can only use Tweed for projects that corruptly pay for contracts to reward political support.

posted by: steve on April 22, 2014  10:44pm

Don, where did I say improving the runway will not attract new business? When United offered daily service to Chicago which I also used, the yearly boardings at Tweed were three times the present number. Also, when United flew to Tweed, the airport has a jet bridge so passengers can be shielded from the weather.
The Trees that for years have grown in the flight path have been cut down and utility poles lowered and rerouted.
Paving the overruns will allow departing aircraft to have a longer take off roll which in turn will allow the aircraft to clear the ends of the runway at a much higher altitude.
I believe Tweeds market can support 12 to 20 daily flights spread over a 14 to 15 hour period, so no traffic problems will occur and none happened when United had its 130 seat 737’s flying in and out of Tweed along with Usairways and Continental.No one is expecting Tweed to rival Bradley or other airports such as White Plains or Providence, but with service by 2 or 3 airlines to 3 or 4 hub airports, Tweed can cut down on the leakage of passengers to other out of state airports and increase its income and have a ripple effect on area businesses.
In your past posts you stated Tweed cannot handle larger aircraft but the facts show otherwise. You also said how could 100 passengers be handled but they were when United served the airport.
The fear of traffic problems never surfaced when United flights came and went.
Tweed can handle much more than it does now, 4 daily flights to Philly are hardly taxing the airport’s infrastructure and adding 8 to 16 daily flights over the course of a day is very doable with the present terminal.
When the overruns are paved, there will not be a sudden influx of new carriers and service but in time the airport will become what many residents are hoping for, a small regional airport with good connections by several airlines to hubs other than Philly.
As I tell other travelers, try Tweed, you’ll like it.

posted by: Don in New Haven on April 23, 2014  10:16am

Steve, The NH-CT economy we had in the early 90’s is gone. The airlines and other major companies left New Haven and CT as the economy worsened. You must first repair the economy and the airlines will return, no matter the condition of Tweed’s runway. The airlines did not leave because the runway became short.

Raising taxes does not improve economies.

Look around the City. Where have the manufacturers gone? Their buildings were razed or stand as ugly reminders of what happened. Why is every open area being paved or turned into housing? None of that builds economy and does not attract new airline activities.

You say the tree hazards are gone. Please contact FAA and Airnav and ask them to remove the tree warning comments from the Tweed webpage

There is a Formal Agreement between NH and EH concerning the runway. Did NH lie when the recent Agreement was signed? The EH Mayor is now investigating the legal basis for the current activities to pave the RSA. Is that Agreement meaningless?

Also, you may want to tell those who are planning to convert the RSA for Runway 20 into a community garden that they need FAA approval, first.

posted by: steve on April 23, 2014  1:31pm

Don, the economy in other New England states is also weak, yet N.E.other airports are growing, adding flights while Tweed is stuck with 1 airline to one destination.Check Tweeds web site to read how many trees have been cleared with only a few more to go.
United left because of weight restricted flights, one I recall had 40 passengers removed and airlines cannot make money running this type of operation.
Delta left for similar reasons.
For years the trees were never cut back and soon grew too far into the flight path which in turn reduced the useable runway length.
That issued is being resolved.
The New Haven metro population is quite large with both I-91 and I-95 in close proximity to Tweed.The area can most definitely support more service than what is now at Tweed.
Contrary to your comment, “You must first repair the economy and the airlines will return, no matter the condition of Tweed’s runway.” Not true.You don’t seem to know what the runway requirements are for regional airliners, airlines cannot commit to serving Tweed as it stands now.
The only service we have is Usairways with the Dash-8 to Philly. 4 Dash-8’s were retired last year and 2 more will be parked this year. Its easy to have a philosophical discussion about the economy,taxes and the like, but reality is the runway NEEDS to be upgraded.
The 2009 MOA was drafted in error. It allows for a yearly boarding of 180,000 passengers with a 30 daily flight limit, that translates into about 17 passengers per flight.
2 mayors and a Mr Pillsbury, who ever he is, 3 people with no airport or airline knowledge drafted a plan that can never work.
As far as paving the overruns, they will still remain as such with the runway markings still showing 5600 feet for runway 2 and 5250 feet for runway 20.
The only thing that stands in the way of Tweed adding flights is the runway, not the terminal,parking, traffic or anything else,it just the runway.