December 24 Open Thread
Apologies for the sparse postings this week – I’m in Southern California for the holidays, enjoying the warm sunshine (and feeling a bit of shock at the cool evening temperatures). A few items I’ve been following lately:
• Over at the California Majority Report Steven Maviglio raises good points about the San Jose Mercury News attack on the HSR jobs numbers, pointing out that “The project does indeed create tens of thousands of quality jobs and will spur the creation of tens of thousands more. Can any politician, even Republican Doug LaMalfa, suggest that our state doesn’t need that economic boost?” That’s really the key point here. We know – for a fact – that HSR will create a large number of jobs over its lifetime. We also know that California desperately needs those jobs. For either the Mercury News or a Republican legislator to suggest we don’t need those jobs is to do a disservice to the people of this state.
• KQED’s John Myers previews the HSR battles in 2012 and concludes HSR advocates’ “greatest weapon” is Governor Jerry Brown. I agree. I’ll have my own 2011 in review and 2012 preview up next week.
• Good post from John Rosenthal, an editor at National Geographic Traveler, about the economic boost of high speed rail, comparing it to the Erie Canal and even Rome’s Appian Way on its ability to promote development. This is a good reminder that HSR critics and opponents are people who oppose economic development and who either enjoy or directly benefit from the presently dire state of the economy.
• I really like this headline from Ben Goldman at Streetsblog: High Speed Rail in California is Worrying Itself to Death. It’s like FDR said nearly 80 years ago – the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. HSR advocates should not give in to worry and concern trolling and should instead plow ahead as before, working hard to maintain public support for this project.