A few weeks back Brent Larkin wrote a very misinformed and highly whiny piece for the Plain Dealer rudely attacking Governor Strickland while praising John Kasich for giving away $400 Million in rail funding to other states along with the thousands jobs the money would have helped create.

Today they published a letter responding to the column by someone Ohio’s blog readers will certainly recognize.

Brent Larkin’s Jan. 3 column “A train that Ohioans were lucky to miss” displayed an alarming ignorance of facts about Ohio’s 3C rail project and a surprising animosity toward outgoing Gov. Ted Strickland.

When I originally moved from Dayton to Cleveland in order to attend Case Western Reserve University, I began a 10-year love-hate relationship with Ohio’s interstate corridors. With the advent of passenger rail, I, like many other young Ohioans, was ecstatic for increased travel options that would unlock Northeast Ohio to other regions of the state. Unfortunately, that opportunity seems momentarily to have passed.

Larkin’s jeers embellished the cost of operation for rail to be “overruns totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.” In fact, the biennial cost of operation would have amounted to about one-tenth of 1 percent of Ohio’s two-year budget (based on our current budget).
As our neighbors in Indiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania accept federal funding to launch regional rail, Ohio will be left behind and isolated. Larkin should remember that progress is neither cheap nor easy. Gov. Strickland should be applauded for his steadfast commitment to advancing Ohio’s transportation infrastructure, even up until the very end of his term.

Jerid Kurtz, Columbus