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July 01, 2014


Bruce Dickinson

Grand Pooba or Grand Poopah? Sounds like the diapers are off and its time to flip-flop and poop on that which was once held on a pedestal. Yesterday's pedestal is today's toilet, but I would be remiss if I didn't say that I get it. Politicians, as Bruce Dickinson has said many a time, are pretty fickle and you never know what they really believe in, and this is yet another likely example.

I will note, though, as Joe mentioned that it is nice to see more officials and politicians get all aboard, or off-board, if you will, the HSR project, but how can they not, when it's all but dead, or de-Fanged, as it were, and with minimal public support as it stands today. Easy to be Captain Obvious, but where were the critics when things were not so obvious and it took some deep digging and critical thinking to point out flaws and go against what was popular? Related to this point, anyone ever think about the cost of a tramway from San Bruno to SFO? Probably would be cheaper than building a whole BART line.

Also, like with any politician, one has to literally parse the words of what he/she says with a word mincer. To wit, saying the "BART to SFO" line is profitable and earns a 15 per cent profit margin. Folks, think about it, what about those passengers who start their trip to SFO in Pittsburgh or Dublin/Pleansanton. Are those properly allocated among those lines? If you proportionally allocate the fare from the SF to SFO leg for a passenger that boards at the Pittsburgh BART station, that's not exactly fair (no pun intended), because they probably would not have boarded to begin with if there were no BART station in Pittsburgh. I guarantee you, the fares from other parts of the BART system are understated and the legs to SFO are over-stated in his statistics.

Also, a small bone to pick, but a "gaudy celebration" at a Peninsula Hotel? Bruce Dickinson can't really imagine any gaudy celebration at any peninsula hotel. That's like saying you have a wine cellar in a mobile home--it doesn't exist. Unless he's talking about the Four Seasons or Rosewood, it really can't be that gaudy, so really, I think he needs to tone down the hyperbole, because if such a detail is exaggerated, when what else is also exaggerated or worse, mis-represented?

Just another friendly reminder, guys, that you have to watch public officials like a hawk and really be careful as to what they're both saying and NOT saying and how they're saying it. Very little of what you see is what you actually get.


I'll add another bone worth picking, Bruce D. The bit about "The Burlingame City Council did not oppose such extension, just as it has opposed the California High-Speed Rail project." felt like a typo when I first read it since I recall Spinelli in particular not taking the BART bait. So check this out from the Comicle:

"The opponents, led by Burlingame Council Members Mike Spinelli and Marti Knight, said they will try for November but concede the difficulty. Spinelli acknowledged that part of the plan in circulating a petition is to show Congress, which holds the financial purse strings, that support is not universal for the long-planned extension from Colma to SFO.

"We want them to look at it more closely," Spinelli said. "Somebody has to stand up and say, 'Let's look at this thing before we throw all this money at it.' "

The initiative would require an independent analysis of the project's estimated cost, which opponents say is more than BART's estimate. A second vote, after the analysis is complete, would ask voters if they want the full extension, with stations in South San Francisco, San Bruno, SFO and Millbrae.

However, by the time the two votes could be completed, the project would probably be well under way and the results probably would not be binding, said county Supervisor Mike Nevin."

The full article is here: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-to-SFO-Foes-Likely-Have-Missed-the-Train-2975386.php

Gotta watch the poobahs like a hawk.....

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