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November 16, 2018



Jerry Brown is hoping his legacy will be an environmentally sensitive high speed train traversing the state. The reality is he will be known in the future as the Nero who fiddled while California burned. He could have allotted one-tenth of what has already been spent on high speed rail to existing and future firefighting technologies like more air tankers and drones. But no. Now the blood of dozens of Californians is on his hands. He can try to blame it on the electric lines or climate change but this disaster was totally foreseeable. How you ask? Because the same thing happened last year and the year before and two years before. His whole time in office has been one big wildfire and he has been too busy flying off to Paris and Washington DC to preach about climate change instead of doing the obvious things to mitigate damage in the state. He deserves to be the one facing hundreds of lawsuits. He is a disgrace. Nero. Caruso after the 1906 earthquake. He is our own version.


And now we've elected Jerry BrownJunior! (Aka Newsom) Don't see it getting any better.


Any fiddling with the environment that Brown has done to improve the quality of life in California has been undone for decades with these fires: loss of lives, massive pollution, loss of jobs, loss of tourism.

His PC statement that these fires, “...are the new normal or abnormal,” translates to a do-nothing attitude from which people can expect to be burned out of their homes as a matter of routine.

The fix is so common sense and the money to be found for cleaning up the kindling is by stopping HSR.


Up at the SF Comicle, Matier & Ross have the luxury of being untouchable--sort of like tenure at a university, so they can speak freely. Check this out:

Trump’s claim of poor California forest management rings true — to a degree

“A century of mismanaging Sierra Nevada forests has brought an unprecedented environmental catastrophe that impacts all Californians.” That’s not a tweet from President Trump, but the opening line of a February report by California’s Little Hoover Commission investigating fire danger in the state.

“The immediate crisis is visible to anyone who has traveled recently in the Sierra Nevada, especially in its southern range where mountainsides are brown with dying and dead forests,” Commission Chairman Pedro Nava wrote in the cover letter for “Fire on the Mountain,” an 82-page report on the tinderbox nature of the state’s forests.


 It Don't Come Easy

All of Brown's Carbon Tax clean air fantasies has been undone in 2 weeks with these wild fires. One clown after another is ruining this state.

Steve Kassel

Killing the $100,000,000,000+ boondoggle would do great things for the California economy and state budget.


And this is the EASY part of the build-out!!!!

At a modern courthouse in the quaint farming town of Hanford, Ross, 85, dons his black robes and hears land disputes involving the California bullet train where it slices through one of the richest agricultural belts in the nation.

The judiciary depends on the previously retired Manhattan Beach jurist since every Kings County Superior Court judge has refused to hear the cases.

The workload ¬ much like the commute ¬ seems to drag on.

“When I was asked to handle these railroad cases, I was told it may take a year,” Ross said during a recent hearing before a mostly empty courtroom. “Now I think it may take a lifetime. OK, no problem.”

Eight years ago, the California High-Speed Rail Authority estimated it would cost $332 million to acquire properties for the route spanning the Central Valley’s orchards, vineyards, dairies and cities. The process, however, has proven far more legally tedious, politically painful and expensive than initially thought. The 1,900 property takes in the Central Valley are now budgeted at $1.5 billion. Such complications are part of the reason the project is 13 years behind schedule and at $44 billion over budget.

There are fights about farm wells and trellises. Debates about the value of nut trees apart from the land where they grow. And tears shed over the loss of land held by families for more than a century.



Here is analysis from afar:

Fortunately, only $1.4 billion has already been thrown down the drain so far on California’s project. That means there’s still a chance to set things right. But just imagine what California could have done with that extra money.

More importantly, imagine what it could do with more than $100 billion that will be spent between building this boondoggle and subsidizing its operations when it inevitably proves unprofitable — that is, unless someone pulls the emergency brake now.


Jennifer Pfaff

...And from the Hamilton Report, thanks, Kathy, for keeping all of us in the loop:


Here's a great New Year's Resolution:

The Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail (CC-HSR) is looking forward to 2019! Governor Gavin Newsom, who will take office on January 7th, is going to review the state's poorly-managed High-Speed Rail project, and CC-HSR is quite confident that there will be some changes made.

With luck, our new Governor will promptly push the pause button on what started out as a visionary idea and has ended up as a massive and costly boondoggle, a project that is spending our money like it isn't costing us anything, and that (literally) is "going nowhere fast."

We can't count on "luck," though. Community involvement and community advocacy - with a shot of litigation when needed - is going to be absolutely essential!


Well, I guess if your plan is to run for Prez in the next year, you don't have to put much thought into what to do about high-cost rail in California:

The newly sworn-in governor of California, Gavin Newsom (D-CA), ran Facebook ads in Ohio, Florida, and other swing states from January 12 to 16 that were focused on list building, according to the progressive digital firm ACRONYM.

“And the big find from this week: Newly-elected California Governor @GavinNewsom was running hundreds of list-building ads in Ohio, Florida, and other swing states from Jan 12-16,” the ACRONYM Twitter account tweeted on Friday.

The top three states that this Facebook ad targeted were Ohio, Florida, and Michigan, which are pivotal swing states in the 2020 presidential election.


Jennifer Pfaff

'Latest from the Hamilton Report on HSR:
"It will be Unprofitable"

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