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High Speed Rail

October 1, 2010 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times Community activists from Orange County sent complaints to the state attorney general this week, alleging that two prominent transportation leaders from Los Angeles and Anaheim have conflicts of interest because they sit on the board of the California high speed rail project while holding other public offices. Tony Bushala, a Fullerton businessman, and Denis Fitzgerald, a mayoral candidate in Anaheim, are seeking an investigation of Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, the chairman of the California High Speed Rail Authority board, and Richard Katz, a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member.
May 9, 2011 | By Richard Simon and Michael Muskal, Washington Bureau
California, Illinois and 13 other states, along with Amtrak, will share $2 billion in federal grants aimed at developing high-speed rail service, money that had been rejected by Florida, officials announced on Monday. The grants were announced by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement. The winners were chosen from among 100 applications by 24 states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak. "The investments we're making today will help states across the country create jobs, spur economic development and boost manufacturing in their communities," LaHood stated.
January 19, 2012
Ads, sand don't mix Re "Beach cities look for cash in the sand," Jan. 16 I object to Los Angeles County officials trying to sell advertising on our coastline to the highest bidders. The beaches of California are for the hardworking people of the state to enjoy; they are not a blank canvas for excessive, in-your-face advertising on every conceivable surface. This reminds me of the billboard companies that have, with the blessings of our public officials, made our landscape, roads and skylines one huge video advertisement What a sick situation.
November 17, 2010 | By Rich Connell, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles transportation official Richard Katz is stepping down from the state panel overseeing development of California's $43-billion high-speed rail system. Katz, who also serves on the boards of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Metrolink commuter rail system, said Tuesday that he submitted his resignation to the governor and will leave his state post Dec. 1. Katz and California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Curt Pringle have been the focus of a state attorney general's review to determine if the state and local positions they hold are legally "incompatible" because of the potentially overlapping interests on rights-of-way, station locations and other matters.
April 10, 2012 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
A congressional committee has launched a wide-ranging examination of the California high-speed rail project, including possible conflicts of interest and how the agency overseeing it plans to spend billions of dollars in federal assistance. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), notified the California High-Speed Authority about the review Monday and ordered the agency to preserve its documents and records of past communications.
March 3, 2010 | By Elihu Gevirtz
The Times' Feb. 28 article, "Some fear California's high-speed rail won't deliver on early promises," reports that the system's cost projections have been underestimated and the ridership projections overestimated. The plans for the state's high-speed trains are indeed on the wrong track, but for a far more fundamental reason: The planned system, which would connect the far-flung regions of Northern and Southern California, wouldn't serve our actual needs. This is precisely why the ridership would be low. To the contrary, high-speed trains are needed, and they will be successful in attracting high ridership, if the trains would serve urban areas, where millions of people live and work.
March 26, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The California bullet-train project has collided with farmers, political conservatives and wealthy suburbanites who would like to see the $68-billion system killed. Now it is facing tough criticism from an unlikely quarter: within the ranks of high-speed rail's true believers. Some longtime backers of the project are objecting to political compromises that they say undermine legal safeguards for the massive investment, notably a design that would move passengers between urban destinations faster than air travel, as well as requirements intended to prevent a half-built system.
September 9, 2011 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The fortunes of California's high-speed rail project, which would connect Southern California to the Bay Area with a 220-mph train, took a big financial hit Thursday afternoon when a congressional panel slashed the Federal Railroad Administration budget. The Obama administration had asked for $8 billion for fiscal 2012 for high-speed rail projects and other passenger rail programs around the country. But the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development cut the request by nearly $7 billion, leaving money only to operate Amtrak and some smaller programs.
October 9, 2008 | Eric Bailey
An economic study being released by backers of a 220-mph bullet train proposal on the November ballot says the high-speed rail line would boost economic growth in the region, reduce unemployment and pump up tax revenue. Research by Philip J. Romero, a dean and economics professor at Cal State L.A., found that the economy would grow up to 4%, with new jobs created to build, run and maintain the 800-mile rail network. Romero's study is one of half a dozen conducted in regions along the proposed route.
February 14, 2009 | Richard Simon
A proposed Anaheim-to-Las Vegas high-speed train became a hot topic as Congress prepared to pass an economic recovery bill. In reality, not a word about the train appears in the 1,000-plus page, $787-billion bill that Congress passed Friday night. However, the bill does provide $8 billion for unspecified high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects, more than three times as much as allocated in earlier versions of the legislation. "I guess they hit the jackpot," Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.
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