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June 19, 2009

Comments

joe

The Palo Alto Weekly ran a guest opinion by Yoriko Kishimoto and Menlo Park councilwoman Kelly Fergusson last month. I like the opening a lot:


"In November, Californians voted for Proposition 1A, high speed rail. Today, Peninsula communities are wrestling with the implications of this enormous project running through our downtowns and residential areas.

Yes, a majority voted for it. But no one gave up the right or responsiblity to plan and control our future."

They go on to describe the Authority's timeline: conceptual design of alternatives by this Fall, a draft report on them by January 2010 and a draft EIR by January 2011.

Russ

The latest issue regarding the rapid deployment of this project without oversight is that an Assembly Bill was recently passed that would exempt this project from complying with CEQA guidelines.

This is a significant development. What it means for those not familiar with CEQA,The California Environmental Quality Act, is that High Speed rail will not have to justify any negative implications nor would they have to mitigate any negative impacts of the project.

In other words, no restrictions. This is government at it's worst , in my opinion. Shame on our Assembly member, Jerry Hill for voting for this. This project will have a major impact on the quality of life in Burlingame and the passage of this bill by the Assembly will make these impacts even greater. HSR will not have to answer to anyone--local governments, local codes, state government-- for measures to make the impacts less negative.

Next step is for the Senate to pass this bill. Let your representative know NOW that HSR should be no different than any other development when it comes to adhering to CEQA which has been the norm for over 30 years.

Peter

Also- this from the WSJ today:

The GAO has noted that the 8 billion-dollar high-speed rail stimulus package lacks proper oversight.

Talk about a gravy train!

Lorne

Here's an interesting new online forum that the City of Palo Alto is using. You can see what residents there are saying about High Speed Rail, among other issues of local interest:

http://paloalto.opencityhall.com/

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