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California High Speed Rail Authority

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 1999 | MARY CURTIUS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The state's High-Speed Rail Authority on Wednesday indicated it may bypass Orange County with a proposed bullet train that would snake up California and link San Diego and Sacramento. The rail authority voted in favor of routing the 680-mile rail system from downtown Los Angeles through Riverside County to San Diego, but did not completely dismiss an alternative route through Norwalk, Anaheim and Irvine.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
California bullet train officials have beenĀ granted an extra three months to come up with funding to start meeting their obligations under a grant for the project, federal officials said Friday. The deal was struck under a new state funding contribution plan in which the state would begin spending its own money starting July 1 rather than April 1. The additional time would presumably allow the Legislature to act on Gov. Jerry Brown's request for $250 million for the project, allocated from the state's fees on greenhouse gas emissions.
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OPINION
December 16, 2013 | By Stuart Flashman
Two court decisions have blocked the California High-Speed Rail Authority from issuing more than $8 billion in bonds and from using bond funds on construction until it fixes its funding plan. Now what? The authority says it will move forward using federal funds. But as one of the attorneys who successfully challenged the project, I can tell you that, on its present track, the future looks bleak. A series of shortsighted political decisions has left the state's high-speed rail system with an unworkable plan that's doomed to failure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
A California appeals court on Friday put on hold a potentially crippling legal order by a Superior Court judge against the California high-speed rail project and said it would hold a review of the matter. The lower court's decision had essentially prevented rail officials from issuing any bonds to pay for the project, forcing them to rely on federal grants just as they are preparing to start construction of a line that would eventually run from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The action by the 3rd District Court of Appeal does not reverse the lower court decision, but it could give rail officials some hope that they can escape a legal situation that could jeopardize the project.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2011 | By Rich Connell and Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
The leadership structure of the agency charged with building California's 800-mile high-speed rail system would be completely overhauled under legislation introduced Friday by a state senator. Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) wants to recast the make-up of the board at the quasi-independent California High-Speed Rail Authority and move the operation directly under the business branch of state government. Lowenthal, a former chairman of the Senate's Transportation Committee, has criticized what he sees as a lack of accountability at the agency, which has been the subject of several critical audits in recent years.
OPINION
April 16, 2013 | Patt Morrison
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2012 | By Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
A transportation expert hired by California bullet train officials to ensure the accuracy of critical ridership forecasts worked for the company that prepared the estimates and maintains a close relationship with one of the firm's top executives. The consultant, Frank S. Koppelman, a professor emeritus of civil engineering at Northwestern University, has chaired the California High-Speed Rail Authority's ridership review panel since December 2010, assessing the projections of Cambridge Systematics Inc., a Massachusetts-based research company.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2011 | By Rich Connell, Los Angeles Times
The state Fair Political Practices Commission has cleared members of the California High-Speed Rail Authority board after an investigation into a series of overseas trips and whether they were properly disclosed to the public. The Times reported in October that the rail agency was unable to document officials' trips to various countries, including France, Spain and Germany. The trips, which typically included visits with manufacturers, government officials and rail operators, as well as rides on high-speed systems, were paid for by foreign governments trying to help their homeland firms win large contracts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2011 | By Rich Connell and Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
In a surprising and controversial move, California bullet train planners on Thursday revived a long-discarded route option following Interstate 5 over the Grapevine that could save billions of dollars and eliminate a sweeping dogleg through Los Angeles County's high desert towns. The sudden reversal comes after years of planning focused on a circuitous path south of Bakersfield crossing the Tehachapi Mountains to serve Palmdale and Lancaster. Reopening what had been a settled issue highlights a critical tension in one of the nation's costliest transportation projects: As officials rush to start building, they still have not resolved an array of political, financing and engineering challenges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2010 | By Dan Weikel and Rich Connell
Transit executives from Los Angeles and Orange counties are pressing officials with the state's high-speed rail project to consider resurrecting a plan to share existing track between Anaheim and downtown L.A.'s Union Station. The idea was considered and discarded by the California High-Speed Rail Authority in 2008, but key local leaders now believe it could save up to $2 billion and avoid the need to condemn hundreds of homes and businesses. Bullet train officials have been pursuing the more costly and disruptive option of adding their own, exclusive tracks and widening sections of the 34-mile route through the region's dense industrial and residential core.
OPINION
February 13, 2014 | By Tom Zoellner
Who doesn't love a train? Who cannot fail to be seduced by the most appealing vehicle in human history - the rail-induced sensuality of "Brief Encounter," the desperate heroism of engineer Casey Jones, the creative muscle of the Big Four railroad barons, the plucky fortitude of Thomas the Tank Engine and the Little Engine That Could, all wrapped up in gleaming, rocking steel, punctuated by a high, lonesome whistle? And yet California voters have been expressing morning-after regrets since they voted for Proposition 1A, which promised them a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Construction costs and revenue estimates for the California bullet train are headed downward while operating costs and ridership for the proposed statewide system are expected to increase above earlier forecasts, according to the project's latest business plan unveiled Friday. The draft plan summarizes the work of the California High-Speed Rail Authority during the past two years, contains revisions of ridership and cost estimates made in the 2012 business plan and describes the project's future goals, including the possibility of attracting private sector partners.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court ordered an appeals court Wednesday to undertake a fast-track review of two rulings that could disrupt financing of the voter-approved bullet train. In a brief order signed by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the state high court transferred a challenge to the rulings by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to the intermediateĀ  Court of Appeal in Sacramento and ordered written arguments to be completed by Feb. 10. The California High-Speed Rail Authority asked the state Supreme Court late Friday to block the rulings by March 1, warning they could indefinitely delay construction of the rail project between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Jerry Brown's administration Friday asked the California Supreme Court to block two trial court rulings that could indefinitely delay construction of a high-speed rail line linking Los Angeles and San Francisco. The California High-Speed Rail Authority asked the state high court to block by March 1 two rulings by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny that would impede the state's ability to finance the bullet train in the near future. Unless the state Supreme Court intervenes, "the future of the rail system may effectively be determined by two Superior Court rulings untethered from the law approved by the Legislature and the voters to build it," lawyers for the state wrote.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown finally is showing us the money he hopes to parlay into paying for his bullet train. Basically, it's the cash from selling licenses to pollute. It's not called pollution licensing, of course. Officially, it's a cap-and-trade program, a polite government name for allowing industries to pollute for a fee. It's extremely complicated and somewhat controversial. More on that later. First, let's back up. Brown has been under pressure to specify how he's going to finance the $68-billion, 500-mile high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2000 | Mathis Winkler, (949) 764-4311
Already at the forefront in pushing for a countywide rail system, Irvine's leaders now hope to bring a statewide, high-speed railway to the county as well. In her joint roles as mayor and chairwoman of the Irvine Transportation Authority, Christina L. Shea is inviting California's High Speed Rail Authority to hold its Feb. 16 meeting at Irvine's City Hall.
OPINION
February 13, 2014 | By Tom Zoellner
Who doesn't love a train? Who cannot fail to be seduced by the most appealing vehicle in human history - the rail-induced sensuality of "Brief Encounter," the desperate heroism of engineer Casey Jones, the creative muscle of the Big Four railroad barons, the plucky fortitude of Thomas the Tank Engine and the Little Engine That Could, all wrapped up in gleaming, rocking steel, punctuated by a high, lonesome whistle? And yet California voters have been expressing morning-after regrets since they voted for Proposition 1A, which promised them a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
OPINION
December 16, 2013 | By Stuart Flashman
Two court decisions have blocked the California High-Speed Rail Authority from issuing more than $8 billion in bonds and from using bond funds on construction until it fixes its funding plan. Now what? The authority says it will move forward using federal funds. But as one of the attorneys who successfully challenged the project, I can tell you that, on its present track, the future looks bleak. A series of shortsighted political decisions has left the state's high-speed rail system with an unworkable plan that's doomed to failure.
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)
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