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July 06, 2012



I notice that the snakes always drop bad news late in the day on Fridays. If it's a Friday of a long weekend or a holiday week even better. This stinkbomb fits the pattern like a glove. Late Friday. Sneaking through by a vote or two. Bad for citizens but really good for the cronies they want to take care of. There was no happy hour this Friday.


No on any new taxes.


I heard a good one yesterday.

This is financial suicide, that's why they call it a "bullet" train.

pat giorni

My comment to the Senator on his FB page...
I watched the entire SB1029 debate and cheered your Ciceronian eloquence. That you were unable to convince a handful of Senators is understandable when one considers how education has suffered in this State to the point where a younger Mem...ber believes that Abraham Lincoln built the Transcontinental Railroad. What he failed to mention and probably does not know is that not a dime of federal money went into that endeavor...it was all private investment by a group of "barons" memorialized atop San Francisco's Nob Hill. O tempora; o mores.

pat giorni

What do you think of the state Senate's approval of billions in financing for high-speed rail?

If this poll is still open, take it....




As of 11:30pm, 50% say it's just plain terrible, 13% say it's a good idea but we can't afford it right now and 38% are clueless.


I'm so angry about this and feel no one is listening to "we, the people."
The courts are the only recourse at this point. HSR isn't aligned with what voters approved in 2008. The cost of building down the peninsula will be billions more than anyone has estimated. Jerry Hill turned his back on his constituents and sold himself to the unions and Nancy Pelosi. Disgusting.




Simitian reasoned.... "They're saying, 'Really? You made these cuts. We're threatened with more. And you want to build a high-speed train?' "

"No worries. California voters actually do have an opportunity to weigh in on the high-speed rail bonds. In November, they will approve or reject the governor's initiative to raise the sales-tax by 0.25 cent, as well as income taxes on high-income earners.

If Californians believe that Sacramento shouldn't take on a dubious high-ticket rail project when the state is so broke it has to raise taxes, they can vote no."

Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com



“No economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement applauding the legislative vote. “With highways between California cities congested and airspace at a premium, Californians desperately need an alternative.”

Anybody driven to LA lately on either I-5 or 101? Yes, they are both congested--within aboiut 10 miles of each city. The rest is clear sailing. Anyone had any problems buying an airline ticket to LA lately. Three airports, a dozen airlines. $75 to $125 each way. LaHood should actually come to visit once in awhile.

pat giorni

My favorite article of the day.......

Contra Costa Times editorial: HSR vote is just one more sign of tone deafness
In the years leading up to 1978 homeowners throughout California complained with increasing fervor about their property tax bills, which were soaring each year because of exploding local assessments. Many older homeowners feared they would lose their homes. They begged the governor -- none other than Jerry Brown -- and the Legislature for relief.

It would have been an easy fix, really. A veritable tack among the spikes and 8-inch nails used to construct the state budget. While relatively easy, the fix would have been a tad inconvenient for government, so the homeowners' pleas were, of course, ignored.

When no timely help came, the people acted.

They decided to drive that tack themselves -- with a sledgehammer. A 13-pound sledgehammer, to be exact, called Proposition 13. And, right or wrong, that decision has dramatically reshaped California's governmental operations and fiscal structure ever since.

It was last week's decision by the state Senate to approve bonds that will allow for the start of construction for an enormously expensive high-speed rail boondoggle that causes us to reflect on 1978.

While we are thankfully beyond the disco strains of the Bee Gees or Debby Boone lighting up our life, we unfortunately are not beyond a governor and Legislature demonstrating their collective tone deafness.

Ironically, Jerry Brown is again that governor and once again he is on the wrong side of the issue.

The Legislature's approval Friday of the high-speed rail bonds should be seen for what it is: disregard for changing public sentiment and a repudiation of fiscal responsibility.

Backers of the project argue that the voters approved the sale of $9.9 billion worth of bonds for the project back in 2008. True enough. But what the voters approved in 2008 is barely a nodding acquaintance to what the Legislature has now embarked upon.

Voters were promised a system from San Diego to Sacramento at a cost of $45 billion. Today, the project optimistically stands at $69 billion, but would link only San Francisco with Los Angeles. Ridership was supposed to be 55 million annually. That's slipped to projections of 20 million to 25 million. The opening date has been pushed back from 2020 to 2029.

Forecast ticket prices for the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles link have increased from $55 to $85. The private sector was supposed to be the primary funding source. Thus far, it has promised nothing. It's doubtful the system can meet the two-hour-and-40-minute mandated travel time from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Those are twists that no doubt would be appreciated by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson as the voters approved the fanciful and likable Dr. Henry Jekyll, but are getting the evil Mr. Edward Hyde.

As these facts have come to light and as the state's economy has slipped into the toilet, poll after poll has shown that voters want another crack at this issue.

But, just like in 1978, the Senate's vote Friday confirms that the desires of the pesky electorate aren't all that important.

Now, 34 years hence, we fear it may well be time for another sledgehammer. If that happens, Jerry Brown will have no one to blame but himself -- again.
November is not so far away...Bye, Bye Jerry and Rich, and Nancy, Diane, and Barbara. It's time to elect Monkeys with Tools; we'd be better served.


Even Quentin Kopp can't stomach this plan.

The Buzz: Former California High-Speed Rail Authority head says latest plan 'not what I fought for'
By Bee staff

By Bee staff
Last modified: 2012-07-12T06:51:15Z
Published: Thursday, Jul. 12, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3A
Copyright 2012 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Quentin Kopp led a 20-year fight for the bullet train, but he's no fan of the high-speed rail plan that the California Legislature approved last week.
The compromise crafted by Gov. Jerry Brown is a "mangled" version of the project that voters approved in 2008, the former California High-Speed Rail Authority chairman and state lawmaker said.
"They have distorted high-speed rail and twisted it into (providing) money for commuter rail services," Kopp said.
Meanwhile, opponents have filed yet another lawsuit to stop the project.
The suit, which the Kings County Board of Supervisors filed in Sacramento Superior Court, contends that the latest version of the project is so different from what voters authorized that it should not be allowed to proceed.
Kopp is not a party to the suit but said he was familiar with its assertions.
"It's not what I fought for," he said of the project. "It's a different system, and therein lies legal problems."
The authority's CEO, Jeff Morales, said in a statement that the latest plan – including expenditures on commuter rail in the Bay Area and Southern California – was "fully in compliance" with the 2008 ballot measure. He declined to comment on the lawsuit itself.
– California Watch

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/12/4625376/the-buzz-former-california-high.html#storylink=cpy

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