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Bullets

OPINION
December 19, 2013
Re "A high-speed rail alternative," Opinion, Dec. 16 Stuart Flashman lays out a very reasonable plan for high-speed rail, one that, as he points out, was largely proposed by the California Intercity High-Speed Rail Commission in 1996. It is very important to discern that this previous route down Interstate 5 and through the Altamont Pass is a sensible and viable one as opposed to the slow, damaging and circuitous route created to satisfy political interests. Before destroying businesses, farms, homes and wildlife habitat along the currently proposed route, the California High-Speed Rail Authority should freeze spending and take Flashman's advice.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
The state's strategy of tapping $3.2 billion in federal money to begin construction of an ambitious bullet train project may be legally flawed and could put the state in financial jeopardy, key lawmakers say. After recent legal rulings that bar the use of state money for the project, legislators from both political parties say that even the use of federal funds is questionable and the entire project needs to be reassessed. U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), the chairman of the House rail subcommittee, and Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
In another key setback to the California bullet train project, federal regulators have rejected the state's request to exempt a large Central Valley segment of proposed track from a lengthy planning review. The action affects part of a 29-mile rail section to be built near Fresno, where state officials have already awarded a construction contract. The decision is likely to complicate, delay and substantially drive up the cost on that initial $1-billion package of work. The ruling marks the second time in nine days that the rail agency's planning process has been rejected by authorities.
OPINION
November 30, 2013
Re "Ruling puts bullet train at risk," Nov. 26 In terms of gubernatorial hubris, having a child with the housekeeper pales in comparison to Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to sue everyone in the state to try and preempt legal challenges to the deeply flawed high-speed rail plan. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny scored a legal bull's eye by ruling in favor of the defendants (the people of California) in the state's suit to disallow court challenges to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
In a major legal blow to the California bullet train, a Sacramento judge ruled that state officials cannot pursue their plan to tap billions of dollars in voter-approved bond funding for construction, a decision that could cause indefinite delays in the massive $68-billion project. Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny, ruling Monday in two closely watched cases, found the state officials made key errors and failed to comply with legal requirements as they moved the project toward a long-awaited groundbreaking.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian
In a major legal blow to the California bullet train, a Sacramento judge ruled Monday that the project cannot tap bonds that voters approved for construction, a decision that could cause indefinite future delays. Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny issued two decisions Monday, both of them based on findings that the state made key errors and failed to comply with voter-approved requirements as they moved the project toward a long-awaited groundbreaking. The decisions do not immediately stop the project, but they could sharply curtail the state's ability to pay for the high-speed rail system in the future.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Kate Mather
A Transportation Security Administration officer killed at Los Angeles International Airport during a rampage three weeks ago was shot 12 times, with bullets piercing organs, grazing his heart and severing a major artery, according to a final autopsy report released Friday. Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, died within two to five minutes of the attack inside Terminal 3. The gunman, identified by authorities as Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, targeted TSA agents during the Nov. 1 shooting, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said this week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian and Melanie Mason
California bullet train officials argued in a Sacramento courtroom Friday that they can legally tap federal money to start construction without relying on state funds now at issue in a lawsuit. Property owners and government officials in Kings County - where some of the first sections of track are to be placed - filed the suit, claiming that because rail officials don't know how they will pay for the entire $31-billion operating segment, they are violating restrictions established by voters in 2008.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Kate Mather
A cellphone charger in a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy's pocket saved her from serious injury during a struggle in Inglewood early Tuesday when a parolee opened fire and the bullet glanced off the device. Authorities called it "miraculous. " The suspect, described as a 49-year-old parolee, was shot and killed but not before he fired again, grazing the deputy's partner in the hand, officials said. Both deputies were treated at area hospitals and released later in the day. Sheriff Lee Baca said the deputy probably would have been seriously injured had the cellphone charger not deflected the bullet, sending it down her pant leg. It grazed her leg and went out her pants.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Kate Mather
A cellphone charger saved a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy from further injury early Tuesday after a parolee opened fire during a midnight struggle in Inglewood and the bullet glanced off the pocketed cord. It was a chance hit authorities called “miraculous.” The suspect - described only as a parolee in his 40s - was shot and killed, but not before he fired again, officials said, grazing the deputy's partner in the hand. Both officers were treated at area hospitals and released later in the day. Sheriff Lee Baca said the deputy would have likely been seriously injured had the cellphone charger not blocked the bullet, sending it down her pant leg. It grazed her leg and exited out her pants.
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