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Welcome, Ben Goldman!

Happy Holidays, everybody! We hope that you have wonderful and exciting plans to celebrate however you celebrate. Before this week is over we'll be posting our annual poll for the Streetsies, where you get to vote on the bests, the worsts, the most inspiring, and the most insipid of everything transportation in 2011. Once that's up and the voting has begun, we'll be signing off until the new year.

Meanwhile, I'd like to introduce you to Ben Goldman. You may have noticed his byline popping up over the past few weeks. Among his innumerable other achievements, Ben is allowing me to take off for a few months of baby time with the peace of mind that if big transportation news breaks, it'll be ably covered on Streetsblog Capitol Hill.

Ben just finished a graduate program in urban planning, with a focus on sustainable transportation, at the University of Pennsylvania. Rail transportation, in particular, is sort of his thing, having worked with OnTrackAmerica, Inc. and co-authored a set of recommendations to federal officials on how high-speed rail should be implemented on the Northeast Corridor.

If you have questions, comments, warm welcomes, tips, breaking news, or holiday gifts for Ben, you can reach him at bgoldman@streetsblog.org.

You might not be hearing a whole lot more from me for a while, so Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and have a great first few months of 2012! I wish you health, happiness, and robust performance measures in all federal transportation decisions.

- Tanya

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