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July 17, 2014

Comments

Jennifer

Thank you for posting this--

Shovels in HSR bound dirt, (whatever and wherever that dirt may be), has certainly been a priority for the governor. While it helps him show his resolve to finally get his absurd legacy project moving, I also hope it wakes up a mostly sleepy (if not apathetic) public that never believed the project would get this far in the first place.

Bobby

The theory is that once a large enough hole gets started, the California electorate will be compelled to complete this boondoggle

Dem-Wits!

Dumb Sac Dems!

pat giorni

I just sent this letter to Council, and urge the rest of you to do so. I think we'll have the votes this time around if only we get the discussion on the next Agenda....

Dear Mayor Brownrigg,

I want to bring to your and the Council's attention that the Fresno Board of Supervisors has passed a Resolution to withdraw its support of High Speed Rail; further, it will file an Amicus brief in the Tos/Fukuda/Kings County lawsuit. Many months ago, our City dropped the ball by not filing an Amicus in the case; but we are now being given a second chance, a reprieve to correct the mis-step.

I urge you to add a discussion item and move to action on the August 18, 2014 City Council Agenda in the matter of filing the Amicus brief. I also suggest that our City Attorney have a draft document available for discussion so that Council will not find itself pressed for time to craft and file the brief.

Thank you for your attention to this important undertaking.

Sincerely,
Pat Giorni
1445 Balboa Ave.

http://www.examiner.com/article/high-speed-rail-project-loses-fresno-as-supporter


Bruce Dickinson

5 Cowbell rings for Pat! Bruce Dickinson thinks its easy to talk the talk and bash high-speed rail without really doing anything, but a real resolution formally withdrawing support for high speed rail and a friend of the court brief will make our city's stance loud and clear.

Remember folks, ambiguity and flip-flopping are easy to do. When you put something in writing and sign your name to it, that means a lot more. The more cities and citizens do this, the clearer the message will be: this is unwanted and a big waste of taxpayer resources, not to mention, an illegal and unauthorized use of funds that anyone with any common sense would be able to parse out in 5 minutes.

Sounds like Bruce Dickinson needs to get on the horn and exercise my, shall we say, politely, as it were, "moral suasion".

pat giorni

So am I pissin' in the wind here??? I heartily appreciate the 5! Cowbell rings, but what I really need from all of you is to STOP discussing below market housing for illegal immigrant children for the 5 minutes it will take to email the Mayor and Council NOW to request that the HSR Amicus issue be put on the Aug. 18 Agenda. Mayor Mike ain't gonna to do it if only Pissant Pattie, a lonely voice in the wilderness, has asked.

Com'on, Folks. This is the Penultimate issue facing the future direction that will shape our city, because we can't do anything about the water crisis (the Ultimate issue that warrants discussion be saved for a rainy day). When HSR/Caltrain Electrification construct the same kind of barrier as does the 101 through our fair city, it will be tooooo late to cry about East Burlingame and West Burlingame.

I need to know you've done it because I'm prepared to bring in the case lawyer to speak....if it's on the agenda. Either reply here, or to me at hogorni@yahoo.com. to assuage my low self-esteemed temperament that I've still got friends in deed who've answered my need.

I pray Pogo was wrong.

Jennifer

Pat is absolutely correct in alerting the Council, read here for more information this brief.

FRESNO BEE, July 25th

An amicus brief (from the Latin legal term amicus curiae, or "friend of the court") "is a unique and cost-free opportunity for Fresno County to express its position in a consequential way beyond a symbolic resolution, without the financial obligation of becoming a direct party in litigation," Borgeas said Friday.

The lawsuit by Kings County farmer John Tos, Hanford resident Aaron Fukuda and the Kings County Board of Supervisors is a multi-pronged attack on the rail authority's business and operating plans. The suit alleges that the statewide rail project violates Proposition 1A, a $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond act approved by California voters in 2008.

"The high-speed rail project of 2014 far exceeds the 2008 authorization of Prop. 1A in every conceivable way: cost, funding and implementation," Borgeas said. "We believe the court should have every opportunity to consider our concerns."

Borgeas said a resolution to oppose high-speed rail "is highly symbolic," but added that "the future of this project is going to be decided by the courts."


Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/07/25/4040660/fresno-county-supervisors-revisit.html#storylink=cpy

And Here (from July 30th):
http://cchsra.org/cchsra-attorney-michael-j-brady-weigh-in-on-fresno-county-board-of-supervisors-decision-to-approve-resolution-file-amicus-brief/

Joe

Do not be fooled by the mistaken headline and write up in the news:

Big win for high-speed rail: Appellate court overturns rulings, allowing state to resume selling bonds to pay for it

SACRAMENTO — A state appellate court on Thursday overturned two lower court rulings that had stalled funding for California’s $68 billion bullet train, handing a big win to Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature project and allowing the state to resume selling bonds to pay for it.

as found here: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2014-08-01/big-win-for-high-speed-rail-appellate-court-overturns-rulings-allowing-state-to-resume-selling-bonds-to-pay-for-it/1776425127635.html

I have been informed by the legal team involved on the "good side" that this is not a green light to start selling bonds. The details are as follows if you want to get into it:

1. The court was dealing with what is called the INITIAL funding plan procedures of Proposition 1A; it seems to be saying that those requirements were meant to provide notice to the legislature only and not to provide a measure of protection to the voters themselves (we disagree with that);

2. We still have (and the court so indicated) an opportunity to challenge the legality of the Authority's actions when the Authority moves to the NEXT STEP and actually tries to access the monies in the bond fund; they have to apply for that money through a different section of the law-a section which is actually much tougher on the Authority with respect to what it has to prove;

3. For example, when the Authority applies under the 2d/updated funding plan, they have to make a stronger showing that they have enough money in the bank or firmly committed to be able to complete the usable segment that they picked-a segment costing, in today's dollars, about $35 billion. They only have $6 billion of that, or 20%; that will not suffice and they will not be allowed to access Proposition 1A for construction costs until they have the full $35 billion; that will be a heavy burden;

4. We also believe that the Authority when they apply for Proposition 1A bond funds will have o demonstrate that they have obtained all the environmental clearances for the entire 300 mile usable segment that THEY picked; they have at present nothing beyond Bakersfield , nothing through the Tehachapi's all the way to the Los Angeles Basin; those clearances will take years to obtain and they have delayed doing this for years; these are both heavy burdens; (end of quote)

So this thing ain't over yet!

Bruce Dickinson

Folks, just when I though that the most survivable thing in the world was the cockroach, who could live through nuclear war, Bruce Dickinson believes that this has now been replaced by High Speed Rail.

I am confounded, yes, truly at a loss, as to why this thing is not dead?!? As much as Bruce Dickinson loves to teach, I also like to learn. Can someone explain to me, preferably succinctly, as to why this monstrosity has 18 lives, as it were?

hillsider

It is the only thing Jerry Brownie can think of that is a greater legacy than dating Linda Ronstadt?

pat giorni


FROM: www.cc-hsr.org Community Coalition on High Speed Rail, a grassroots, non-profit corporation, working through public advocacy, litigation, and political action to make sure the proposed California High Speed Rail project doesn't adversely affect the economy, environment, or quality of life of California's existing communities:

Some "Good News" / "Bad News" On The Litigation Front

High-Speed Rail Gets A "Stay Of Execution"

About a week ago, CC-HSR reported on a decision by the Third District Court of Appeal, based in Sacramento. As we announced then, the court upheld CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, against a claim by the High-Speed Rail Authority that CEQA had been "preempted," and that CEQA did not apply to the state's proposed "high-speed" rail project. That decision, upholding CEQA against the Authority's claims of preemption, was definitely "good news!"

We also noted that other court decisions were expected, and that there would likely be both "ups and downs" as the courts issued decisions on pending litigation. Our prediction was correct!

On July 31st, the Third District Court of Appeal issued its decision in California High-Speed Rail Authority et al. v. Superior Court. You can click this link if you would like to read the full decision. This case was filed directly in the Appellate Court, by the State Attorney General, and was in the nature of an expedited appeal, seeking to overturn the trial court decision in Tos et al. v. California High-Speed Rail Authority.

In the Tos case, CC-HSR Board Member Mike Brady and attorney Stuart Flashman had successfully challenged the use of Proposition 1A bond funding for the high-speed rail project. The trial court in Tos agreed with high-speed rail opponents that the Authority has not proceeded in compliance with the mandatory provisions of Proposition 1A. In addition, in what was originally a separate "validation" action, the trial court also found that the Authority had not provided an adequate demonstration that it was appropriate for bonds to be sold, to finance construction of the proposed high-speed rail project.

The July 31st decision reversed the trial court on both of these issues. That was a "victory" for the Authority, and that was definitely a "bad news" result for those who believe that the state's high-speed rail project is badly managed and ill advised, and that the Authority is failing to do what the voters required. You may have read press coverage indicating that the recent Appellate Court decision vindicated the Authority and its proposed high-speed rail project.

Well ... don't jump to that conclusion too quickly!

One knowledgeable lawyer, who has followed the litigation closely, provides a much more accurate summary of what the recent Appellate Court decision actually means. He calls the July 31st decision a "Stay of Execution" for the proposed high-speed rail project.

In fact, that is actually what the court decision does do, and that is the "good news" report coming out of a decision that seems, on its face, to represent a setback for HSR critics.

What the Third District Court of Appeal actually said was:

The Authority does have to meet the requirements of Proposition 1A.
The Authority has not yet met those requirements.
The Authority cannot construct the project until it has met those requirements.
No bond funds can be used for construction until the requirements have been met.

The Authority must demonstrate that all the requirements in Proposition 1A that pertain to its funding plans are met by the time the Authority asks for approval of its final funding plan. This means that the Authority must show that there is adequate funding to complete the initial operating segment of the project before the Authority can begin constructing the project. And the funding that has to be demonstrated must be something definite, not just a vague hope that money will be forthcoming in the future. So far, no such funding source is visible. In addition, the Appellate Court made clear that the Authority must demonstrate that all required environmental reviews

have been completed (not just promised).

The Appellate Court called the requirements of Proposition 1A a "straightjacket," indicating how tough they are. AND (it bears repeating), the Appellate Court said that the Authority must comply with those tough requirements before starting construction.

The reason for the decision "in favor" of the Authority was the court's holding that the challenge to the Authority's action by the petitioners in Tos was essentially "premature," aimed at an initial funding plan that is now no longer correctable (because the Legislature has appropriated the money the Authority had asked for). In the future, high-speed rail opponents can come back to court, if the Authority actually tries to construct part of the project without showing it has the money to complete the entire first segment, and without showing it has complied with environmental review requirements for that entire first segment, too.

Those following this project closely know that the Authority is probably NOT going to be able to comply with these requirements, at least anytime soon, (and probably not by September 2017, which is the date by which federal funding must be spent(. This is why the recent Appellate Court decision is ultimately a "good news" decision for those who have been challenging an ill considered and mismanaged project, and why the recent decision does really represent a "stay of execution" for the state's proposed high-speed rail project.

Stay tuned! There are more litigation related decisions on the horizon. CC-HSR will definitely keep you posted.


laura

Pat, thanks so much for your summary! I appreciate you taking the time to explain it to us. I was thinking that the Authority won and it is good to know that it wasn't a victory at all for them. This project needs to be stopped and I for one appreciate all the time that you and others are spending fighting it.

High Speed Fail Won't Stop Until You Stop Voting for Democrats!

High Speed Fail is classic union scamming of the general public. And, the DemWits of Burlingame and the Bay Area just lap up the toilet water.

This NY Times article claims that CA HSR is the most likely to be built - God, I hope not.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/us/delays-persist-for-us-high-speed-rail.html?action=click&contentCollection=Technology&region=Footer&module=TopNews&pgtype=article

Electric cars are a much better use of money from both private and public sources.

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