California Is Burning – $100 Billion North-South High Speed Rail

Source: The Fresno Bee

New high-speed rail Bakersfield route costs $200M less, impacts fewer homes, board said

BY TIM SHEEHAN • October 16, 2018

Four years ago, the California High-Speed Rail Authority was sued over its choice of a route from Fresno to Bakersfield that included a station in downtown Bakersfield and tracks entering the city from the west.

On Tuesday, the rail authority’s board voted to approve a new route developed in collaboration with Bakersfield city leaders that approaches the city from the north and establishes a station north of downtown.

The new route is the result of a legal settlement of the city of Bakersfield’s lawsuit over the original plan adopted in 2014. The city dropped its lawsuit in December 2014 after leveraging a commitment from the state to work jointly with the city on developing an alternate route to avoid several sensitive or historic resources west of downtown.

The action includes two separate 5-0 votes by the board – one to certify a supplemental environmental analysis of about 20 miles of the route from north of Shafter to 34th and L streets in Bakersfield, and a second vote that formally adopts the route.

The authority’s planning staff said Tuesday that the new route alternative will affect fewer homes, businesses, farm acres and parks than the original plan. Mark McLoughlin, the agency’s environmental services director, added that the route will also cost about $200 million less to build than the original option.

A new route for a segment of California’s proposed bullet-train line into Bakersfield was approved Tuesday, Oct. 16, by the California High-Speed Rail Authority board. It calls for entering the city from the north, depicted in red on the map. It replaces a route option adopted in 2014 that entered the city from the west, shown in blue. The yellow marker represents the new site chosen for a rail station, while the green marker was the site in downtown Bakersfield that was formerly preferred. California High-Speed Rail Authority

“Today’s decision by the board of directors reflects the successful partnership between the authority and our regional partners to find a path forward in bringing high-speed rail to Bakersfield,” said Dan Richard, the rail authority’s board chairman, in a statement issued after the votes.

Please go to The Fresno Bee to read the entire article.


Source: SOTN

Burned Out Areas of California Lines Up Perfectly With High Speed Railway Tracking Both North and South

November 18, 2018 by State of the Nation


A Revised Business Plan for California High-Speed Rail



Source: The New York Times

A $100 Billion Train: The Future of California or a Boondoggle?

In the face of sharp opposition and questions about how to pay for it, construction of California’s high-speed rail line is roaring ahead.

By Adam Nagourney • July 30, 2018

Proponents of the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco high-speed rail line hope that erecting part of the line now will make future governors less likely to abandon the project. A viaduct in Fresno, Calif., is intended to carry the line over a freeway. CreditCreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

FRESNO, Calif. — It is vigorously opposed by Republicans, including President Trump. It has been plagued by escalating costs and delays. Californians are mostly against it. And a central question — how is it going to be paid for — remains unresolved.

But here in the Central Valley, far from the debates in Washington and Sacramento, the $100 billion Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bullet train has moved off the drawing board and onto 21 construction sites spread across five Central California counties.

Work began two weeks ago on one of the more ambitious pieces of the project — an overpass that will carry trains over a major highway in Fresno — and ground will be broken on three more viaducts in the next few months. Nearly 2,000 workers are on the job, starting as early as 5 a.m. to avoid the 110-degree afternoon heat. “Simply put, dirt is flying in the Central Valley,” the High-Speed Rail Authority declared in a recent business plan.

Yet for all the cranes, crews in orange vests, beeping trucks and fresh concrete, it remains far from certain that this project will ever be completed. In addition to the lack of funding, it faces opposition from both Mr. Trump and Kevin McCarthy, the Bakersfield Republican who is the House majority leader.

The continued delays and rising costs have fueled criticism that California, perhaps the most prosperous state in the nation, is squandering money on a transportation project that critics describe as a prime example of big government waste in a state controlled by Democrats.

“This is going to be the most expensive and slowest form of fast rail imaginable,” said Jim Patterson, a former Fresno mayor who is now a Republican member of the Assembly and a critic of the project.

For all the construction, the project faces the ever-present threat that a future governor may decide that state resources would be better used dealing with, to name one example, the housing crisis. Gov. Jerry Brown, a big proponent, is leaving office at the end of the year.

Work on the $100 billion project is under way at 21 construction sites in five counties, even though not all the necessary financing is in place. Workers installed reinforcing steel for a bridge across the San Joaquin River. CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

“The project seems to make even less sense today,” said Joe Nation, a professor of public policy at Stanford University.

For advocates of high-speed rail, California under Mr. Brown has been a rare bright spot, while other ambitious government-funded bullet train proposals across the nation have struggled in the face of opposition from Republicans who are concerned about the costs and disruptions.

Please go to The New York Times to read the entire article.



Strong evidence Paradise was burned on purpose has surfaced

November 20-21, 2018

That evidence comes in the form of required state permission before people can return to their property. Citing “safety concerns” and that the fire “created a cancer hazard”, no one will be allowed to return to their property until the state approves. I KID YOU NOT. This ridiculous ruling stands as evidence that they wanted the city of Paradise, which was a conservative stronghold, wiped out – never to return. All they have to do to kill the city is to go slow with clearing properties and people will be forced to settle elsewhere. Once that happens, the city will be dead.

Here is a direct quote from the county:

“Dr. Andy Miller, Butte County Health Officer, has issued a hazard advisory strongly suggesting no habitation of destroyed property until property is declared clear of hazardous waste and structural ash and debris by Butte County Environmental Health. There is evidence from recent fires in California that homes and property destroyed by fire contain high and concerning levels of heavy metals, lead, mercury, dioxin, arsenic, and other carcinogens. Some property may have the presence of radio-active materials. Exposure to hazardous substances may lead to acute and chronic health effects, and may cause long-term public health and environmental impacts.

“As areas affected by the fire with destroyed homes and property are opened to residents, residents will have limited access to visit property to collect recognizable belongings and mementoes that may have survived the fire. Residents should review the Health and Safety Precaution for Re-entry packet, which will be distributed at controlled re-entry checkpoints.

“The County is working with State and Federal partners who will assess each property for hazardous waste and remove those materials from each property. This process will take time. There is no estimate as to how long it will take to assess and remove hazardous materials from each property at this time. After the property has been cleared of hazardous waste, the property owner can sign-up for a State debris removal program at no cost to the property owner.”

My response: The only source of radioactive material possible from a house fire is a burned smoke detector. The hazard from that is so small that it pegs this ruling as a total hoax specifically intended to stall people’s return for so long they give up, move on, and allow the city to die. The county has stated it will “take time” and that’s exactly what it takes to kill a city. I’d bet there will be absolutely no one from the county on site checking anything at all for months because the objective is perfectly obvious.


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