An open discussion about LIMBA’s key concerns, with some local policy makers available to field questions. Please feel free to join us armed with your questions about Long Island’s future in education, energy, environment, government, housing, infrastructure, and transportation. Our local leaders will include John D. Cameron, Jr., Chairman of the Long Island Regional Planning Council, and Martin Cantor, Economist from the Long Island Center for Socio-Economic Policy.
Bob Yaro is President of the North Atlantic Rail Alliance, Inc., which is advancing plans for a proposed high-speed and high performance rail network serving the 7-state New England – Downstate New York region, including Long Island.
Bob is Professor of Practice Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught from 2012 to 2020. Before coming to Penn he taught at Harvard and the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. He is also President Emeritus of Regional Plan Association in New York, which he led for 25 years until 2014. He is also Chairman of the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, RI.
The topic is “Fly Over Country”. Think about that for a moment. What does that phrase mean? We are the United States of America, but there is a major portion of the country that we dismiss as fly-over. That term began to bother me lately. I wondered how I would feel if I lived in a small, but beautiful town where people worked, worshiped, and planned together.
Well, the truth is, I did have a relationship like that in a small village in Vermont near the Canadian border. I owned a 300-acre tree farm and in terms of northern Vermont 45 years ago that was not considered a big holding, but I was important, at least I thought I was.
The people I came to know in the village included the village lawyer, the other farmers, the shop keepers, the constable, the forest ranger, and they all thought they were important too. They were important. They had purpose and dignity.
I do not believe that those of us who have been born in, or who have migrated to, the financially richer sections oh the country’s coasts are snobs, but I do believe we have too little understanding of our brothers and sisters in the heartland. That fact may not have as big affect on them that I am presuming, but it may have a negative effect on those who do not live in America’s heartland.
Perhaps it is the rest of us who are missing out on the rich pockets of local color and culture that contribute to America’s greatness. My close friend Robert moved to a small town in Tennessee when he retired. Bob was an architect and a musician. After he had been living there a few years I asked him if there was enough to keep him busy and interested. He told me that so many people in his area played music that he could not have made a better decision.
On this wonderful celebration of the founding of the United States may I suggest that you plan a trip to rural Maine, or maybe Wyoming, Idaho, Georgia, or any other state. You will find charm in these less populated places and the greatest charm of all is how much they rely on themselves and each other.
Years ago, the Chevrolet division had a song that was sung by Dinah Shore, “See the USA in your Chevrolet, America is asking you to call”. Take her up on her offer, it is a great country.
Have joyous July 4th celebration