June 14, 2012
Re "Would rail project foul the air?," June 11 Where did America go? Where is the drive to build much needed infrastructure that creates jobs? It worked after the Great Depression. Regarding California's bullet train, you can continue to look for reasons not to build it, but that's not what made this country great. Once upon a time, California would not have thought twice about moving this project forward. Now you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who is trying to stall it. Yes, the environment will be affected slightly while the system is built.
November 6, 2011 |
So, the California High-Speed Rail Authority was wrong. The bullet trains from Anaheim and Los Angeles to San Francisco will not cost $34 billion as originally estimated, or $43 billion as the authority insisted just two years ago, but closer to $100 billion. Critics say the agency's new $98.5-billion estimate is low, and the authority admits it might go as high as $117.6 billion, but for sake of argument call the cost $100 billion. The authority is offering us less for more.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2013 |
SHANGHAI -- The focus of California Gov. Jerry Brown's trip to China on Thursday intersected with one of the most controversial issues of his governorship -- high-speed rail. Brown rode a bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai, walking the aisles, shaking hands with Chinese passengers, and marveling at the country's construction of more than 5,000 miles of high-speed railroad in less than a decade. Brown was joined by Dan Richard, the head of California's high-speed rail board, and representatives of the Chinese company that designed and built the train.
June 2, 2013
Re "How to defeat Alzheimer's," Opinion, May 28 I can hardly believe how poorly our priorities are set in this country. The first phase of California's bullet train is funded with $985 million, and the whole project will cost untold billions. Alzheimer's and dementia affect practically every family and will cost us trillions in the future to treat, and yet researchers have a hard time coming up with $25 million to conduct Phase I and Phase II drug testing. If we had thrown money at dementia research like we did the AIDS epidemic, many who are mentally incapacitated now could be reading this newspaper - along with the many HIV-positive Americans living today with low virus loads.
July 15, 2012
Re "Political process worked well," Column, July 12 George Skelton giving our state legislators high marks for "working together" to vote to fund initial bullet train construction reminds me of the little girl who got a large pile of manure for Christmas. She immediately went about shoveling through the pile and, when asked why, replied that with all this manure, there must be a horse in there somewhere. Skelton talks about a "functional" Legislature that votes for a rail system most Californians don't want, a system we can't possible pay for and that makes no logical sense, while cities are becoming insolvent and are beginning to fall like dominoes.
November 4, 2012
Re "How to save Prop. 30," Opinion, Nov. 2 I agree 100% with Dan Schnur's suggestion that Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature should immediately drop support for high-speed rail. Continued support of this project would be the biggest cause of a Proposition 30 defeat. With so many really important infrastructure projects that California desperately needs, to stubbornly cling to the rail project - especially by a governor who has substantially improved things in this state - is nothing short of suicidal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 2011 |
The funding plan for the California bullet train does not comply with key provisions of a ballot measure that voters approved to authorize the project and $9 billion in state bonds to help finance it, according to a report released Tuesday. The study — by the Legislative Analyst's Office, which periodically reviews the $98-billion construction proposal — concluded that the most recent funding plan does not meet important requirements of Proposition 1A because high-speed trains cannot operate on the first stretch of track to be built next year in the Central Valley.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - The bullet train boondoggle is looking more like a bullet bull's-eye. But one big question lingers: Where are the bucks? And even if the state can find the bucks, should it spend them on building a high-speed rail line, a cool choo-choo? Especially when higher education in California is such a train wreck? Education - kindergarten through college - should be our No. 1 priority, for both moral and economic reasons. Producing an educated, skilled workforce for the increasingly competitive global economy is even more important than creating temporary track-laying jobs.
April 16, 2013 |
There's a short piece of Bay Area freeway, Interstate 380, named for Quentin Kopp, which is ironic considering that he's beaten the drum for public transit - specifically bullet trains - for years. But then again, he's always been a contrarian, as a Superior Court judge, a San Francisco supervisor and a state senator. He also headed the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The man nicknamed the "Great Dissenter" is dissenting now over the course of his beloved bullet train, created on paper in 2008 with a bond measure, Proposition 1A. Its prospects have been slowed considerably by lawsuits, the latest from the state itself, a preemptive bring-it-on legal action called High-Speed Rail Authority vs. All Persons Interested.