US Senate bill takes up cause to save Route 66

The U.S. Senate is getting involved in the fight to save Route 66, one of America’s most iconic roadways. Nicole James photo

From The Journal: A bipartisan bill that would designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail and provide more funding for preservation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

“By designating Route 66 as a National Historic Trail, this legislation would revitalize cities, small towns and rural communities along the Route 66 corridor in New Mexico and across the country, bolstering local economies and protecting vibrant historic sites,” Senate Bill 3609 sponsor U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said in a news release.

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Schumer, Gillibrand announce $16M in federal funding for repairs at New York State Pavilion

The New York State Pavilion is slated to receive more than $16 million in federal funding for repairs as a result of damage from Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Bill Parry

From the Times Ledger: The restoration effort of the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows Corona Park will receive more than $16 million in federal funding, according to U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

As announced on Nov. 26, the cash infusion will be used to repair and replace several electrical units at the World’s Fair Park and other areas which were severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“The World’s Fair Pavilion is an enduring icon and it should be preserved and promoted for current and future generations,” Schumer said. “Now the pavilion is being restored and these federal funds will be used to repair damaged caused by Superstorm Sandy and help yet another community asset recover after the storm.”

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The sobering history of the real ‘green book’ in Utah and the US

<Photo Courtesy Susan Rugh

From SALT LAKE CITY — There’s a chance you may have seen “Green Book” in theaters over the past couple of weeks. The movie, which was officially released on Nov. 16, has received mostly positive reviews and has had its name thrown around as a contender for several awards.

If you haven’t seen the movie, to sum it up, it’s an unlikely friendship between a black musician and a white, rather racist, New York City bouncer hired to drive the musician, Don Shirley, for a music tour through the deep South. In the movie, they travel from motel to motel with the help of “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” a travel guide for African Americans, often referred to as “The Green Book.”

Enough about the movie, though. This book has a fascinating story of its own. It’s a forgotten piece of history that really shows the racial segregation not only in the South from the 1930s until the 1960s, but across the country — even in Utah.

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‘This place is full of old stories’: Historical Maryland diner is slated to become a marijuana dispensary

The site where Tastee Diner sits along Washington Boulevard is slated to be sold to a marijuana dispensary company. Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

From the Washington Post: At the lunch counter of Laurel’s Tastee Diner, waitresses and cooks recognize the regulars taking a seat on the blue stools next to the gold-speckled countertop.

“George! Where you been?” waitress and cashier Donna Rock asked as she cleaned a booth. “Dead? Jail?”

Rock hadn’t seen the elderly, white-haired man — one of her most loyal customers — in a month. He quietly sipped coffee from a 1950s-style mug, then responded.

“Jail” he said, eliciting chuckles.

It’s that connection of humor and compassion, developed over four decades between customers and staff, that residents fear will be lost in a plan that would turn the diner into a medical marijuana dispensary. The diner’s longtime owner is selling the site to a Bethesda area company that will put pot on the menu.

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