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Morning Cup: Stimulus for Trail Mix

This is the latest roundup from our stimulus blog.

While much of the stimulus package points to the future with green energy and computerized health records, the plan contains some throwbacks to New Deal-era programs, such as the building and maintenance of hiking trails. A little while ago, Steve Coll of The New Yorker wrote about hiking on the Appalachian Trail and seeing the worn plaques for the Civilian Conservation Corps on shelters.

This weekend as I climbed the inclines of another trail that benefited from the New Deal, the Interior Department was announcing $260 million for the Western Colorado Youth Corps to maintain and build trails in Grand Junction, Colo. The project was part of $305 million in Bureau of Land Management funding detailed Saturday by the Interior Department. Other projects include the replacement of the Judith Landing boat ramp in Montana, a campground named after former New Mexico Rep. Joe Skeen and safety shelters along the Iditarod National Historic Trail.

Elsewhere, stimulus money will be used at Long Island's Brookhaven National Laboratory to dismantle nuclear reactors, which once leaked tritium into the groundwater, reports Newsday. And a decision by the housing authority in North Platte, Neb., to reject recovery funds continues to divide the railroad town, according to The Wall Street Journal.

How will you know if the stimulus is working? One way to judge will be how long you sit in traffic this summer. Transportation officials tell USA Today that the increase in road projects will lead to delays.

Proposal of the day: The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association is asking Gov. Deval Patrick for $24 million in stimulus money to eliminate high school sports fees.

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