Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Quickie Sports Chowdah Update- The Butler Did It! Patriots Win 4th Super Bowl on Malcom Butler's Late Pick; Say Clay- Buchholz Hurls Gem in 2015 Season Opener

SUPER BOWL- I know I'm more than 2 months behind on this, but WOW.

All you need to know about Super Bowl XLIX took place in the second half. After the Patriots defense gave up an 11 yard TD pass from Russell Wilson to WR Chris Matthews in the closing seconds of the first half, Seattle and New England headed into the 3rd quarter tied at 14-14.

Glendale, AZ's University of Phoenix Stadium has been home to some cringe-worthy moment for Patriots fans in the past and in the 3rd quarter, it appeared to be happening again as the Seahawks took a 24-14 lead.

About 7 minutes into the 4th quarter, the Patriots cut Seattle's lead to 3 point thanks to a TD pass from Brady to Danny Amendola to make it 24-21. Just before the two minute warning, New England would take a 28-24 lead thanks to Brady connecting to Julian Edelman for a 4 yard TD pass.

However, Patriots fans had that sinking feeling when Seahawks QB Russel Wilson connecting with WR Jermaine Kearse for a 33 yard completion- it was bobbled and appeared to be incomplete as Kearse scooped it up, but a video review from the officials showed that the ball had never touched the ground, giving the Seahawks the ball on the Patriots 5 yard line with 1:06 to go in regulation. After a timeout, Wilson handed off the ball to RB Marshawn Lynch to put the ball on New England's 1-yard line and giving the Seahawks no fewer than three shots at the end zone as the clock ticked down.

For whatever reason, Pats head coach Bill Belichick declined to take a timeout as the clocked ticked down to less than 30 seconds. Instead of handing the ball off to Lynch, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll opted for a short pass with 20 seconds remaining in the game. It would not turn out well for Seattle.



Obscure and unheralded cornerback Malcom Butler singlehandedly sealed the win for New England thanks to his pick of Wilson's short pass attempt to give New England the ball back at a pivotal juncture in the game. The Patriots were flagged for excessive celebration and penalized half the distance to the end zone- basically putting the ball on the one foot line and giving the Seahawks a pretty good shot at a safety, but after a scrum between Bruce Irvin and Rob Gronkowski, the Seahawks were penalized fifteen yards, which gave New England some more wiggle room. After a kneeldown by Brady, the Patriots 28-24 win was official.

Tom Brady was named the Super Bowl MVP [the third time he garnered the award in the four Super Bowl titles New England has won in the Brady/Belicheck era- NANESB!]. After the game, Brady gifted Butler a brand new pickup truck from a Chevrolet dealership in Butler's Mississippi hometown.

Carroll- who was the Patriots head coach before his USC tenure- was questioned for his decision to go for a pass play after Marshawn Lynch had easily picked up four yards on the previous play. Some less-than-kind Patriots fans joked that at long last Carroll had followed through on winning a championship for New England some 15 years after he left.

While some sour grapes Seahawks fans wanted to use New England's championship to gripe about 'Deflategate', the Super Bowl XLIX shold be considered by many NFL fans to ba an 'instant classic'.


MLB OPENING DAY- The Red Sox got it done with the longball and a solid outing from Clay Buchholz in his first-ever opening day start as Boston opened up the 2015 MLB season on the road in Philadelphia.

The Red Sox got on the board early with a 362ft solo shot off the bat of Dustin Pedroia to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Outfielder Mookie Betts belted another solo homer to deep left field off of Phillies starter Cole Hammels in the top of the 3rd. Buchholz would go on to throw even complete shutout innings as the Red Sox added to their lead with solo homers from Pedroia and offseason acquisition Hanley Ramirez in the fifth inning.

Junichi Tazawa would come on and get all three of the Phillies batters he faced out in order in the 8th inning and Hanley Ramirez would belt a grand slam to give Boston an 8-0 lead and Tommy Layne closed things out in the bottom of the 9th.

Through his 7 innings of work, Buchholz allowed a total of three hits and struck out nine while walking one batter. Meanwhile, Hammels only lasted five innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits.

With Tuesday off, the Red Sox will put their undefeated record on the line against the Phillies on Wednesday. Offseason acquisition Rick Porcello will get the start for Boston against Philly's Aaron Harang. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 ET and the game will be televised on NESN and ESPN2.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

High Steaks- Missouri Lawmaker Calls for Pork Steak Rebellion After EPA Mulls Regulations For BBQ Grills



Not content with restricting what kind of woodstoves New Englanders can have in their homes, the EPA is setting their sights on what kind of outdoor grills that people can use during cookouts.

The agency awarded a $15,000 grant to the University of California-Riverside to look into technology for grills that is intended to "reduce air pollution as well as health hazards in Southern California, with potential for global application". This has led to some concerns that the EPA will introduce further restrictions on newly manufactured propane grills.

One Missouri state lawmaker has taken exception to the EPA's maneuvering and has called for a campaign of defiance and civil disobedience dubbed the 'Pork Steak Rebellion' to preemptively thwart any moves by the agency.

It's a sentiment shared by State Senator Eric Schmitt.

Although this is not a new law the agency pushing to get on the books, Senator Schmitt isn't taking any chances.

He introduced a resolution discouraging any regulations on the tradition of backyard barbecuing. The lawmaker has a lot of support from people who couldn't agree more.

Schmitt has also taken his campaign to twitter--#porksteakrebellion--encouraging people to barbeque in their backyards.

Meanwhile, in Texas, Austin's city council is mulling an ordinance that would require BBQ joints or mobile food vendors within 150 feet of a residence to install restaurant grade scrubbers. Some businesses have stated they would have to move of shut down altogether due to the high cost of compliance.
Several council members believe the smoke being emitted from these businesses are having an adverse affect on the health and quality of life of the people who live nearby. Renteria says he’s fielded calls from concerned constituents.

“Saying that if this keeps on, they were just going to have to sell their house and move out,” said Renteria. “The whole resolution is not to try and run anyone out of business it’s just we all want to be good neighbors.”

This requirement does not apply to locations that burn supplemental wood chips and chunks in stove-top box smokers using gas-powered stoves or grills.

“We would have to leave town most likely, or just close up because it’s just not an option to put scrubbers in for eight smoke stacks,” explained Aaron Franklin, founder of the popular Franklin BBQ on East 11th Street.

Franklin says a solution is out there but they just have to find one so Austinites can enjoy BBQ without living in smoke.

“This BBQ thing creates a ton of revenue here in town,” said Franklin, who understands that something needs to be done to help neighbors cope with the smoke, but he feels that scrubbers are not the answer.

As recently as last year, the Texas state environmental agency- the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality- had received complaints about smoke had visited multiple BBQ joints in Austin, but in those instances the TCEQ found no violations.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Escape Claws- Truckload of Lobsters Overturns on Interstate 95 in Maine

In what must have been the crustacean equivalent of that one scene from The Fugitive, a tractor-trailer carrying 30,000 lbs of lobster overturned on I-95 in Maine last week.

A tractor-trailer carrying 30,000 pounds of live lobsters from Nova Scotia overturned early Wednesday morning on Interstate 95 southbound during whiteout conditions, according to the driver and state police.

The driver, Horst Puff, 55, of Greenfield, Nova Scotia, and his dog, Banjo, 10, were not injured in the crash, which occurred around midnight Tuesday as Puff tried to avoid striking a vehicle that had spun out in front of him, both he and state police Trooper Joseph Chretien said at the scene later Wednesday.

“I’m OK,” Puff said, as he stood on I-95, his back against the wind. “There were dry roads from Bangor down to here. Everything was OK.”

He said then there was blowing snow, whiteout conditions and a car in front of him. “The car hit the brakes. I hit the brakes,” he said. “I saw nothing and came too far left and tipped over and Banjo went on top of me. He was on my chest.”

The car that was in front of the truck never stopped, and the driver’s identity is not known, police said.

The truck came to rest in the median about two miles north of exit 133 and near the Fairfield town line. There it stayed all day Wednesday, before it was finally removed around 7 p.m. The truck had to be righted with a crane, and the difficulty as well as the strong wind that blew all day delayed the move. Both southbound lanes were briefly closed for the removal.

Puff was driving the 2007 International truck owned by Gerhardt Trucking of Nova Scotia, taking the lobsters to wholesalers in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Rhode Island.

The lobsters, in 300 crates that weighed about 100 pounds each, survived the wreck and were being taken out of state following inspection by a state agriculture official, Chretien said.

Banjo, a ten year old Australian Shepherd-husky mix, survived the collision and is being cared for at nearby Boulet's Truck Service in Fairfield, ME. Gerhardt sent another truck and trailer down from Nova Scotia to bring the lobsters to their destination in New York. Investigators and the insurance company have said that the truck would most likely be written off as a total loss.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Today's Train Of Thought- Batten Down the Hatches! March 26th, 2015


With today's train of thought, we bid farewell to a particularly eventful and record-setting winter with this Christmas-card like scene in a quiet corner of upstate New York.

Interchanging with Pan-Am's former Boston & Maine Fitchburg Main at the tiny hamlet of Eagle Bridge, NY, the Batten Kill operates some 30 miles of track in rural Washington County on the ex-Delaware & Hudson 'Slatepicker' line between Eagle Bridge and Salem, NY [which used to run further north to Rutland, VT- NANESB!] as well as the former Greenwich & Johnsonville line between Greenwich and Greenwich Jct, NY.

The primary source of traffic for the Batten Kill is a feed mill around Greenwich Jct, but in recent years the line has also made some extra money storing freight cars on the seldom-used line to Salem during the economic downturn. Up until 10 years ago, the Batten Kill also offered passenger excursions and an intact-but-disused line to the eastern shore of the Hudson at Thomson from Greenwich once made it an attractive candidate for hauling unit trains of PCB contaminated sludge from the river as part of a multi-year dredging project undertaken by GE.

The railroad is best known among northeastern railfans for their historic all-ALCo roster, though. Technically the railroad owns three RS3 roadswitchers- the youngest of which is 62 years old. BKRR #605 started out life on the Lehigh and Hudson River before winding up in Vermont- first as part of the St Johnsbury and Lamoille County and then the Vermont Railway- before being sold to the Batten Kill upon its 1982 formation. The Batten Kill also inherited RS3 #4116 from predecessor Greenwich & Johnsonvlle and is still painted in the orange and black scheme. The third RS3 was also purchased secondhand from the Vermont railway and is kept as a parts supply behind the Greenwich enginehosue.

However, the Batten Kill has also been known to borrow motive power from the nearby Vermont Railway, Canadian Pacific or Pan Am if there are problems with the #605 and #4116 simultaneously or the enginehouse has been cut off from the rest of the line. Most recently, a burly Pan Am SD40-2 was brought in to help the two ALCo raodswitchers with removing more than 40 COFC spine cars that were in storage on the line in February 2015.

Here, Batten Kill #605 is seen with the tiny railroad's flanger at the Pan-Am interchange in Eagle Bridge, NY in the last rays of sunlight on Valentine's Day 2014. According to photographer Colin Buckoski, the #605 headed down with the flanger to clear the line and headed back to the feed mill in Greenwich Jct with five cars from Pan-Am later on that night.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Oregon's Governor Resigns Amid Ethics, "Green Energy" Scandal

Oregon's four term Democrat governor John Kitzhaber announced his resignation last week amid growing pressure from an ethics investigation and reports that his fiancée was involved in a 'Green Energy' pay-to-play scheme.

According to media reports, Kitzhaber's fiancée- Cylvia Hayes- acted in a rather dubious triple role, acting as Oregon's de-facto First Lady, the governor's 'green energy' adviser and a paid consultant for the 'green energy' industry. However, while serving as Kitzhaber's unpaid energy advisor, Hayes reportedly pocketed $118,000 in consulting fees from various green energy lobbying firms- including some tied to billionaire democrat donor Tom Steyer- that she failed to disclose on her ethics filings for the governor's office.

While serving as an unpaid policy adviser for the governor’s office, Ms. Hayes collected $118,000 in fellowship and consulting fees from the Clean Economy Development Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, for work on low-carbon fuel standard legislation in Oregon.

Ms. Hayes never disclosed the payments on her ethics filings for the governor’s office.

The Clean Economy Development Center went out of business after the IRS pulled its tax-exempt status. Before it did, the center received funding for Ms. Hayes‘ fellowship from another nonprofit, the Energy Foundation, which in 2012 received $200,000 in funding from Mr. Steyer’s “TomKat” Charitable Trust, according to the group’s latest 990 tax form.

The Energy Foundation hired Ms. Hayes directly in 2013 for communications work, giving her a contract of $50,000, according to documents and interviews.

The web of payments, the failure to disclose and questions about influence peddling have prompted the state’s attorney general to open an ethics investigation. Republican state lawmakers also have demanded a suspension of the new fuel legislation, which would keep Oregon’s low carbon fuel standards in place instead of expiring this year.

Hayes is also suing The Oregonian in a move designed to prevent the release of e-mails she sent while working as a consultant to the governor. Her lawyers argue that Hayes is technically not a public official, despite closing some e-mails with the initials FLO- First Lady of Oregon.

These wouldn't be the first shady dealings that Hayes was involved in. In 2002, Hayes reportedly accepted $5000 to take part in a sham marriage to an Ethiopian immigrant and in the 1990s she was accused of participating in a scheme to buy acreage in Washington state to grow marijuana on.

Meanwhile, the FBI and IRS are investigating Kitzhaber, Hayes, former staffers and state officials on possible charges of tax evasion and influence peddling while the Willamette Week released more of Hayes' emails that indicated she sought to leverage her position with the governor to land additional lucrative contracts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bay State Digging Out From Nearly 80 Inches of Accumulated Snow

Mark Garfinkel- Boston Herald.

After January's Winter Storm Juno largely failed to live up to the hype, Massachusetts has been walloped by a series of winter storms leaving much of the state under anywhere between 70 and 90 inches of snow, with two more storms expected to hit New England later on this week.

The earlier storms have hobbled MBTA service around Boston and already postponed the first round of the Beanpot College Hockey tournament. Now the city of Boston and other municipalities are running out of places to put the cleared snow. On Monday, Gov Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency as local officials contemplate dumping snow in Boston Harbor.

The big issue for us at this point is not just this storm but the cumulative impact of these three storms of the past two weeks, many places will now have had somewhere between 70 and 80 inches of snow having fallen in the past 14 days. On 'statewide roads that's probably manageable because they can push it off onto the shoulders," said Baker.

"But for municipal governments the big issue at this point is where to put it."

The state has 3,500 pieces of equipment currently working on roads and highways that Baker expects will go to aid cities and towns in the coming days.

Boston mayor Marty Walsh announced in a Tuesday press conference that the city has already spent double its annual budget for snow removal this month. So far, Boston has had a total of 77 inches this season. According to Gov. Baker, enough snow has been removed from state highways to fill up Gillette Stadium more than 90 times. Worcester seemed to bear the brunt of the most recent storms [apparently this one was named Marcus- NANESB!], earning the dubious honor of being the snowiest city in the USA (with a population of more than 100,000). Some estimates for accumulated snow in the central Massachusetts city put the total in excess of 90 inches. During the winter of 2012-2013, Worcester briefly held the honor of the snowiest city in America with a total of 108.9 inches before being surpassed by Syracuse, NY with more than 115 inches.

Bruce MacDonald- NeRailPhotos.net
The MBTA announced that they were resuming limited service starting Wednesday after crews worked to clear nearly 7 feet of snow from lines in and around Boston.

The commuter rail system will operate on a modified weekday schedule, making approximately 70 percent of the regularly scheduled trips. The trains will not serve Plymouth, TF Green or Wickford Junction stations on Wednesday. The Green and Blue lines will operate, but with fewer cars and less frequent service. Service will also be restored on the Red and Orange lines, but the level of service won't be determined until later on Tuesday. Buses will replace service on the Mattapan Trolley Line.

MBTA general manager Dr. Beverly Scott defended the agency from critics after the agency's shutdown, citing the agency's aging railroad an subway equipment and deferred maintenance as contributing factors to the recent service disruptions.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Quickie Super Bowl Weekend Sports Chowdah Update- Seahawks, Patriots set to Square off in Super Bowl; King-Sized- Bruins take on Defending Stanley Cup Champions at the Garden


NFL- Well....at least one of the Championship games was an instant classic.

Surprisingly the NFC title game on the West Coast got underway first, with the Green Bay Packers jumping out to an early 16-0 lead over the Seahawks up in Seattle in the first half thanks to three first half interceptions. However, Seattle's defense stiffened after those turnovers and more than once the Packers had to settle for a FG instead of getting 7 points.

In the seconds half, the Seahawks came roaring back and with just 1:25 to go in regulation they managed to take their first lead of the day on a 24 yard Marshawn Lynch TD run to put Seattle up 22-19 before the Packers managed to tie the contest up with 14 seconds to go on a 48 yard Mason Crosby field goal, forcing overtime.

After winning the coin toss, the Seahawks took the ball and won the game on a 35 yard TD pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse, sending the Seahawks to their second consecutive Superbowl.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- The late game on Championship Sunday wasn't quite as close.

For the first time since 2006 and the first time since Manning departed for Denver, the Patriots and the Colts faced off in the postseason. In what would be the start of a trend, LeGarette Blount put New England on the board early after Josh Cribbs fumbled a punt that was recovered by New England inside the Colts 30 yard line.

The Patriots would get out to a quick 14-0 lead before the Colts got on the board with about five minutes to go in the first half from a short TD run from Zurlon Tipton to make it 14-7. However, the Patriots would add to their lead thanks to a Gostkowski FG with 9 seconds left in the half.

The second half was all New England as they would go on to score 28 unanswered points in the second half, including two more TD runs from Legarette Blount. The Patriots go on to win by a 45-7 final and advance to face the Seahawks in the Superbowl.

However, in the weeks leading up to Superbowl 49, the talk amongst the media has been about how the footballs used in the AFC title game were examined by the NFL and found to be underinflated. This created a unusually protracted media firestorm dubbing the scandal 'deflate-gate'- as though slightly underinflated balls were somehow responsible for the Colts defense collapsing like a house of cards whenever LeGarette Blount was carrying the ball.

Anywhoo, I've pretty much been embargoing the media and their vapid fixation on deflated balls in the runup to Superbowl 49. What I do know is that the big game kicks off Sunday night at 6:30 and will be televised on NBC

NHL- From one defending national champion going up against a New England team to another. After stumbling out of the gate, the Boston Bruins are having a pretty good 2015 so far.



Coming off a 5-2 win on the road against the Islanders on Thursday, Saturday night saw the Bruins hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. It looked as though the Bruins got on the board early in the closing seconds of the first period, but that goal was waved off when officials determined the clock was at 00:00 before the puck was in the net.

Even with the goal waved off, the Bruins managed to get on the board thanks to a Brad Marchand goal in the closing minutes of the second period to give Boston the 1-0 lead. Seven minutes into the third, Jordan Nolan got Los Angeles on the board and tied the game with a goal. However, 90 seconds later Chris Kelly put the Bruins back on top with a goal to make it 2-1 Boston and as the Kings pulled goalie Jonathan Quick late in the 3rd for an extra attacker, Marchand would get an empty-netter, his second of the night to make it 3-1 in favor of Boston.

The Bruins go on to win by the final of 3-1 with Rask stopping 30 of the 31 shots he faced on Saturday night while Quick ended up turning aside 30 of 32.

Boston will get the next couple of days off, with play resuming on Thursday night when they take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Puck drops at 8:00 ET and the game will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New York's Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Arrested on Corruption Charges

The powerful and long-serving speaker of New York's state assembly was arrested by the FBI after turning himself in to authorities last week. Silver, who had been in the state Assembly representing Manhatta in 65th Assembly district since 1976, is also a practicing attorney and close political ally of New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio. Siver's income from the law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg had long been the subject of criticism. US Attorney Preet Bharara accused Silver of collecting more than $3 million in bribes and kickbacks that were disguised as referral fees.

In a criminal complaint, authorities said Silver abused his power and “obtained about $4 million in payments characterized as attorney referral fees solely through the corrupt use of his official position.”

The arrest sent shock waves through New York’s Capitol as a new legislative session began, and it came just a day after Silver shared the stage with Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his State of the State address.

As speaker of the Democrat-controlled Assembly, Silver is one of the most influential people in New York state government. Along with the Senate majority leader and the governor, he plays a major role in creating state budgets, laws and policies in a system long-criticized in Albany as “three men in a room.”

During a press conference, Bharara also hinted that more charges could be waiting in the wings against state officials.

In July 2013, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced the formation of the Moreland Commission to examine New York's weak campaign finance laws and investigate any wrongdoing or suspicious activities among state lawmakers. A few short months after the Commission released their preliminary findings, Cuomo abruptly announced that he was shutting down the Moreland Commission. Some observers believe that any further investigating by the Moreland Commission would've brought to light incriminating information against Cuomo's donors or political allies.

In July 2014, the New York Times published an article further alleging that Gov Cuomo was hindering the Moreland Commission's investigations. Assembly speaker Silver was among those who were subpoenaed by the investigative committee, but accused the Moreland Commission of being nothing more than a 'fishing expedition' and attempting to intimidate state lawmakers.

Although Cuomo shut down the Moreland Commission less than halfway into its stated 18-month lifespan, the US Attorney's office was requesting documents from them back in May 2014.

It wasn't until last month that Silver disclosed that he was earning money from a second law firm- something he withheld from the Moreland Commission.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Boko Haram Terror Group Seizes Northern Nigerian Towns

Two weeks after the northeastern Nigerian town of Baga was attacked and torched by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, the group launched simultaneous attacks on two municipalities near the border with Chad and Cameroon.

Monguno, a town of about 100,000 people in northeast Nigeria, is about a 135-kilometer (85-mile) drive from Maiduguri, a city of more than 600,000. Both cities are tucked into the corner of the country, near the borders with Chad and Cameroon.

Babagana Musa, a Monguno resident who fled to Maiduguri, said, "Several trucks carrying soldiers drove into Maiduguri. We learned the town (Monguno) has been taken over by Boko Haram."

Monguno, with its huge military barracks, has a strategic importance ‎in that it acts as a buffer to keep Boko Haram from advancing towards Maiduguri. Its fall means Boko Haram is in good position to advance on Maiduguri, which has been its goal for months.

Boko Haram had been confined to the fishing town of Baga since its fighters seized it January 3, hesitant to move south towards Maiduguri because of the military presence in Monguno.

The Islamists attacked the nearby village of Jintilo around 5 a.m. and were engaged in a gunbattle with troops stationed there. The village is about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the center of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

The fighting in Jintilo forced residents to evacuate their homes and flee into the city, while military authorities imposed a round-the-clock curfew to prevent infiltration by the militants.

"All the residents of neighborhoods near Jintilo have fled into the city due to the ongoing battle between troops and Boko Haram gunmen who want to enter the city," said Modu Zannari, who lives nearby.

"Boko Haram gunmen in their hundreds attacked Jintilo around 5 a.m., just before the morning prayers, but soldiers stationed there fought back," Zannari said

"Since 5 a.m. all we hear are cracking of guns and booming explosions coming from the direction of Jintilo," said Babakaka Said, a resident of another neighborhood near the scene of the fighting.

"There have been radio announcements of indefinite curfew in the city and we have all been asked to remain indoors," said Adam Kolo‎, who lives in the heart of the city.

Hundreds of troop reinforcements deployed in Jintilo and military jets carried out aerial bombardment of Boko Haram positions, said a member of a civilian vigilante group fighting Boko Haram alongside troops.


The attack came a day after President Goodluck Jonathan made a campaign stop in Maiduguri ahead of the February 14 presidential election. He has promised to end the Boko Haram insurgency if re-elected.

Boko Haram is also believed to be responsible for a cross-border raid into neighboring Cameroon where three were killed and as many as 80 people were abducted- many of them children.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Northeastern States Brace for First Major Blizzard of 2015


Winter storm warnings and travel advisories are in effect for much of the Northeast from West Virginia to Maine and Canadian Maritime Provinces as a massive winter storm [named Juno- how long have they been naming winter storms? Seems like a recent phenomenon- NANESB!] bears down on the region.

While cities like New York and Boston could get as much as 2 feet from winter storm Juno, outlying and mountainous areas could be getting as much as three feet overnight. Airlines and commuter agencies are suspending service ahead of Juno's arrival while state, municipal and county officials are prepping sand and salt trucks to deal with the snowfall.

The governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut have issued travel bans for their respective highways that will go into effect on Monday night. In Boston, Logan airport, the MBTA and state offices will be closed on Tuesday. Newly sworn-in governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts also cautioned that some areas could expect power outages because of the wet heavy snow.

Airports from New England to Washington DC cancelled more than 5000 flights on Monday, with most of the cancellations around the New York-area airports like Newark-Liberty, La Guardia and JFK. Amtrak announced there were no cancellations as of Monday, but would be re-evaluating throughout the day and running a modified schedule starting Tuesday.

Monday night is a pretty light sports schedule with no games scheduled in the NHL the night after the All-Star game in Columbus, OH on Sunday. There are 7 games scheduled in the NBA tonight, but two of them in New York- Portland vs Brooklyn and Sacramento vs the Knicks- have been postponed.