CHSRA Board Approves Fresno to Bakersfield Route

May 7th, 2014 | Posted by

The California High Speed Rail Authority board voted unanimously today to approve the route from Fresno to Bakersfield, including an eastern bypass of Hanford. All the final documents can be found here.

The vote was yet another huge step forward for the project, four and a half years after voters approved in in 2008. With this action there is now an adopted final route from Madera to Bakersfield that can be constructed in the near future, especially if cap-and-trade funds are used to help fund it. There of course remains the legal challenges to the project brought by NIMBYs in Kings County. Once those are resolved, however, the path could be clear by the end of this year to have construction either under way or close to it throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

  1. Donk
    May 8th, 2014 at 00:52
    #1

    The headline from our friend Ralph at the LA Times is “Estimated cost of key bullet train segment rises $1 billion”

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bullet-train-costs-20140508-story.html

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Nice article. That sounds like something I would read in the Times in the 80’s–complex, obscure…etc. Absolutely useless though, for a Southern Californian to understand what is going on in Sacramento…

    morris brown Reply:

    The article is crystal clear in Northern California.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Northern Californians are far more politically attuned in general and also much more attuned to state politics than Surenos. In LA, it is all about local government and a smattering of national politics as well.

    Ralph should have started the article saying that URS continues to dispute costs with the Board and that it continues even though they approved the EIR. Because of the defense industry in Southern California, which used to be Ralph’s old beat by the way, it sounds like any other article saying how the military though this plane would cost X and now costs X times 2. The Birchers et al ate this stuff up but there aren’t many left reading the Times.

    What would have gotten more play on the NPR circuit is a story that focuses on the inability to know if the cost is different. The headline makes it a certainty that the State is lying or holding back. But it is not as taxpayers would want a contractor to rip off the government off either.

    The Northern California contingent on this blog have to to realize the rest of the country thinks Willie Brown played cornerback for the Raiders and that the State Budget is always two months late. If Ralph is trying to stir up controversy, it’s not working.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Astonishing myself, I agree with Ted, quite right.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    We actually probably agree on most things. Next time you are in Sac, let me know and we can grab a beer….

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Week after next…

    Ted Judah Reply:

    How should I contact you?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Everyone knows pdyson@railpac.org.
    (Here comes the fanmail)

    jonathan Reply:

    No, actually, I didn’t. Should i be ashamed? Have I conflated you with the other Paul from SoCal who posts here regularly?

    Paul Druce Reply:

    If so, you probably weren’t helped that both of us are Paul D.

    Donk Reply:

    Funny comment about Wille Brown. I am a sureno and until around 2008 I didn’t know the difference between Willie Brown and Jerry Brown. I also was much more familiar with the Raider Willie Brown.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Willie Brown is Gavin Newsom’s mentor. Willy favors BART historically and BART is no fan of hsr.

    joe Reply:

    Three things I learned.

    Concerned troll Ibbs:

    “A $1-billion cost increase at this point in the project is concerning, to put it mildly,” said William Ibbs, a UC Berkeley civil engineer who has consulted on high-speed-rail projects around the world.

    1 .If the HSR changes to accommodate local input and follow CEQA which requires mitigate of impacts, it’s a concern to Ibbs.

    2. CARRD wants the business plan and pricing updated along the entire alignment to reflect designs not in an completed let along approved EIR – would that mean they want a business plan with the cost of a full build in Palo Alto? They’d scream.

    Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) vehicle mileage tax proposal just tanked his national ambitions. You think his proposal to tax bicycles would have taught him a lesson in bad legislation.

    202_cyclist Reply:

    This is very easy to explain. With the 2011 Environmental Imoact Report, we were just emerging from the Great Recession. Mo than three years later with continued economic growth, it is entirely expected construction materials and labor would be more expensive. No scandal, just simple economics.

    202_cyclist Reply:

    *Impact

    202_cyclist Reply:

    This does show that construction delays add costs to infrastcture projects. The NIMBYs who have been fighting and litigating this for a half decade now have only themselves to blame for the cost increases.

  2. morris brown
    May 8th, 2014 at 05:37
    #2

    Letter from BSNF to CHSRA, STB and FRA, (May 6) shows Authority having plenty of problems with not only the UPRR but the BSNF.

    Also to be noted is BSNF complaining about not only Fresno South, but Merced to Fresno as well (last paragraph)

    http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/d6ef3e0bc7fe3c6085256fe1004f61cb/e45ce167906636c885257cd10074adc0/$FILE/236011.pdf

    joe Reply:

    Oh No.

    Do you think the RR will try to stop HSR or extract conce$$ion$? Let’s look:

    (7) BNSF understands that CHSRA may ask to purchase BNSF property that is not part of the right – of – way, but BNSF does not know which property CHSRA is considering for purchase. The FEIR/FEIS states that the “HST alternatives will require acquisition of existing freight rail property,” but it does not provide any details. FEIR/FEIS at 40 – 977. Nor does the FEIS/FEIR for either the Fresno – Bakersfield segment or the Merced – Fresno segment select a preferred alternative for the Heavy Maintenance Facility, even though CHSRA has stated that such a Facility will be located between Merced and Bakersfield. BNSF does not know how this may impact BNS F’s freight service or how CHSRA will access the Facility.

    (8) The FEIR/FEIS states that existing California Amtrak San Joaquin service could operate over the proposed high – speed rail line but does not state where the line would connect with BNSF’s line (over which the California Amtrak San Joaquin service operates) or what portion of such service may operate over the high – speed rail lines. Because BNSF does not know the impact to the San Joaquin service, it does not know how changes to such service would affect BNSF’s available capacity. The FEIR/FEIS does not address this issue.

    These are no objections.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    What should be noted and objected to is BNSF’s consistent use of the term “Freight Railroad”. BNSF is a common carrier. They are in the passenger business since they derive revenue from passenger operations including Amtrak fees and operating under contract commuter services in the Chicago area. Being a common carrier still carries with it legal obligations to accept business when tendered. While the great majority of their business and revenue is derived from freight operations they need to be reminded that they are not just a freight carrier.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Joe, you can interpret the BNSF letter in any way you wish. What concerns me is that here we are in 2014, not yet started on a “shovel ready” project, and it appears that key agreements with the owner of a major part of the proposed right of way are not yet in place. This is a failure of management of the project by any measure. It further reinforces my belief that work should start on the public owned rights of way first, bridging the gap in the existing state passenger rail map, while these access and land ownership issues are resolved. At least we’d end up with something usable and useful.

    Joe Reply:

    There are no unicorns. RR intentional withhold approval to extract concessions and maintain their rights. They are not partied to the Tos Lawsuit for a reason, they want the project and money. Just on as favorable terms as possible.

    Your construction advocacy is awesome. Assume the money is 100% fungible and do as you wish.
    It’s like playing SimCity in god mode. There are no chest codes in public construction or finance.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The key wording that appears in the BNSF letter is “joint” and “jointly”. Clearly the UP and BNSF are on the same page on dealing with JerryRail. We’ll find out how serious they are if the Judge highballs PBHSR and the rr’s have to move from passive opposition to war.

    @ Paul

    All due respect but the BNSF may have gravitated more towards profound disinterest in Amtrak what with their Empire Builder headaches on the northern tier. Buffett is ever older and presumably not at all happy with the criticism of BNSF performance.

    Finally I am waiting for official Cheerleader response on the Balfour Beatty decision to dump PB. This URS imbroglio brings up questions about PB’s competence and maybe BB has found their acquisition in the Colonies is not up to snuff.

    To wit, how much money has PB had to slip to the various and sundry politicians to guarantee they are and remain the putative California house engineering consultant?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Mano laivas su oro pagalve pilnas ungurių

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    BNSF, contrary to railfan belief, have no desire to run additional passenger trains unless very heavily compensated. In that respect they are just like UP. Over the years their PR has had a gentler touch, but the bottom line is the same.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But UP has been very responsive to railfans and historical preservation with its steam program. BNSF could improve its image by taking those two Santa Fe locomotives mouldering away in Sac back under its corporate wing.

    Eric Reply:

    Preserving old locomotives doesn’t interfere with current freight operations. Passenger trips often do.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Railroad passenger ops have been losing money for nearly a century, with the appearance of the automobile. Interurbans were already disappearing in the twenties.

    No freight lines like BART are on permanent taxpayer life support, big time.

    The only passenger transport segment that makes money in a quasi-serious way is air, and even that is extremely sensitive to fuel and labor costs.

    Now Boonies BART is an absolute money-pit. That fiasco aborning will cement and guarantee Jerry’s legacy as the Moonbeam in California history.

    Nathanael Reply:

    For reference, roads have been losing money even longer. The UK had to start bailing out its toll roads in the 1820s, if I remember correctly (I might be off by a decade or two). The US just started subsidizing roads with tax dollars from day one.

  3. Elizabeth
    May 8th, 2014 at 05:58
    #3

    Here is the progress report mentioned in article

    http://www.calhsr.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FB-URS-MPR-JAN-2014.pdf (see bottom page 2 for specific issue)

    It is clear from the docs we have received that costs went from 6 -> 7 bn (at a minimum) in this section, largely because of changes in alignment and other issues that have arisen over several years of planning work but that someone decided that the 2014 business plan should not rock the boat.

    Here is a breakdown of the other sections and cost changes between plans
    http://www.calhsr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CARRD-1.2-Change-in-CHSRA-costs-by-segment.pdf

    It should also be noted that the 5% unallocated contingency (http://www.calhsr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CARRD-1.2-Change-in-CHSRA-costs-by-segment.pdf) wasn’t really 5%.

    joe Reply:

    So following process is bad.

    They’ll continually update all plans including the business plan which will be revised in 2016. This EIR was adopted in May 2014. The 2014 Business plan was written, released and reviewed with commentary in early April 2014. How can they incorporate changes if changes were not approved?

    Apparently you want them to follow the law & process some of the time.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    I think the point is that when asked to provide information for the biz plan, URS did and the the AUthority/ PB told them they couldn’t really update it. The Authority make the selection of the preferred alternative last fall.

    It was serious enough that it appears whoever did the numbers at URS thought they were violated the state of California’s code for professional engineers which talks about cost estimates.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    See page 12 of the powerpoint http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2013/brdmtg_Item2_PPT_Consider_Staff_Recommend_Align_Fres_Baker_Project.pdf from the Novmber 2013 board meeting >> the $7.2 bn cost represents an apples – to – apples $1 bn increase from costs in 2012 plan.

    Joe Reply:

    Let’s go ahead and plan for a full building the peninsula. We do the formal approvals later.

    That way we can have a more realistic cost for the project.

    I think a PowerPoint slide should suffice for communicating the decision.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Methinks the Cheerleaders have gone all Don Quixote when it comes to the Peninsula.

    Remember PAMPA could buy the Tejon Ranch with chump change and the latter causes Jerry Brown to soil his pants at the very prospect of slightly displeasing Barry Zoeller. You think Moonbeam is going to eff with the Peninsula?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    CAARD’s sleuthing is undercut by the fact that their cost comparison is between 2011 and 2013 dollars. The total project cost increase is 3.5% which happens to equal exactly the change in the consumer price index for those years.

    In other words, there has been no actual increase in costs in constant year dollars. The net change is all because of inflation and nothing more. That goes a long way in explaining why the Authority cited “baseline” costs because in state budgeting, a “baseline” is the increase only attributable to caseload growth and inflation.

    Thus, when the new business plan is released, instead of getting trapped in the Year-of-Expenditure debate that caused the business plan costs to “mysteriously” double overnight, expect the Authority to STRESS the only cost increase is from inflation not from programmatic changes.

    This now leads me to suspect that Ralph’s barely scratched the surface on URS’s feud with PB and CHSRA….

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    CHSRA is damned if they do, damned if they don’t. CARRD’s preferred solution for the Peninsula would jack up the costs by several billion.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PBHSR should consider itself lucky that the Peninsula did not jump on board the Ring the Bay train. Then there would be no available ROW other than 101.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If there is one thing PAMPAdores like less than HSR, it’s Ring the Bay. An expensive, grade separated, dirty, Brutalist, rail system chock full of minorities…Elizabeth will move to France first, and perhaps take Morris with her…

    synonymouse Reply:

    You’d be surprised. There is a sizeable fifth column of BART fanboys on the Peninsula.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Notice I referred to PAMPA, not the Peninsula as a whole.

    In fact, I’m quite sure Ring the Bay is popular in some corners of San Mateo County.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Even in the nimbyest(allegedly)heart of PAMPA the BART octopus has its tentacles.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    But the people there don’t have the headgear, like you do, that blocks the mind rays that make them want BART.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Hey, Bechtel senior management has to live somewhere….

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    CARRD’s perferred solution is to turn the ROW into a bicycle and hiking path. That’s really cheap to do.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Well, actually, it’s not terribly cheap… if you surface it… I guess, cheap if you let it go to dirt and ruts.

    Maintaining rights of way is never ever cheap.

    Joe Reply:

    Also

    The page 12 of the ppt us “staff recommended preferred alternative” alignment which is not a decision by the authority to use the alignment.

    Complaining this preliminary staff recommendation be included in the business plan and costed CONTRADICTS years of CARRD lobbying and complaining that the authority prejudges and rubber stamps decisions.

    If it were staff recommended alignment for the peninsula they scream if it were put into the business plan without proper protocol and vetting.

  4. morris brown
    May 8th, 2014 at 08:31
    #4

    From the LA Times article:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bullet-train-costs-20140508-story.html

    Several capital staffers and officials who review the project said they were
    not aware of URS’ $1-billion estimated cost increase, including state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “I don’t know how anyone could trust their numbers,” he said.

    DeSaulnier is really good at saying it the way it truly is.

    Alan Reply:

    No, DeSaulnier is really good at saying things that fit your delusions.

    Joe Reply:

    For 2014 He’s proposed a Bike Tax and now a vehicle mileage tax.
    Man has a tin ear.

    JB in PA Reply:

    I thought the government should tax less or not tax things they want to encourage like raising children, education, and home ownership. Bike riding makes less pollution and increases fitness. The biggest problem with bikes is promoting safety. Riding in LA felt like a negative environmental impact by filtering smog through my lungs. Yuck!

    Any attempt to tax bikes will result in a Critical Mass protest twice as intense as we have seen.

    Eric Reply:

    bike and ped facilities (sidewalks, etc) are typically built using gas taxes though

    joe Reply:

    But the gasoline tax doesn’t even generate money enough to fund road maintenance.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Sidewalks, when they aren’t built by the people developing the land, are usually built by the municipality using property taxes.

    joe Reply:

    And I have to cough up some money to repair the sidewalk in front of the home. Trees are big and pushing up the walk.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You need plenty of taxation to pay for BART, an extraordinarily expensive system. Hope those plug doors work, with BART maintenance.

  5. Paul Druce
    May 8th, 2014 at 09:55
    #5

    Rather off-topic pair of questions for anyone who knows:
    1. Is that random 40mph section through San Clemente for pedestrian safety still 40mph or has it been raised in the previous few years?
    2. I’ve seen some references to raising the authorized speed between San Juan Capistrano and Santa Ana from 90mph to 110mph (for God knows what reason, none of the trains can accelerate fast enough to make it thanks to grades and stops), but finding mixed references on whether this was actually done.

    Heck, while I’m at it, has anyone seen an online copy of Metrolink’s employee timetable #8 from 2012 (the current one to my knowledge)?

    James M in Irvine, CA Reply:

    This is the newest Metrolink timetable, came out April 7, 2014. I haven’t seen many changes to it yet, still need to compare to my old TT.

    http://www.metrolinktrains.com/pdfs/Timetables/Metrolink_All_Lines_timetable.pdf

    And this one below is the PDF for all coast trains from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. This is my favorite, as it covers what I usually ride and photograph.

    http://www.octa.net/pdf/LOSSANTimetable_April2014.pdf

    Jim

    Mattie F. Reply:

    That is definitely the best LOSSAN timetable I’ve seen. It also illustrates what’s wrong with the corridor.

  6. Keith Saggers
    May 8th, 2014 at 11:44
    #6

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/russian-railways-takes-delivery-of-first-talgo.html

    Eric Reply:

    I changed planes in Moscow a few months back, and went into town and played tourist. It’s amazing how efficiently the Moscow subway, at least, is designed and run. Say what you want about Putin, he at least makes the trains run on time.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Of course the Moscow subway has been around 80 years. It ran very well in the 70s when I was there.

    Eric Reply:

    The NYC subway has been around even longer and is a total mess.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    I think it’s nothing special about Moscow or Putin. Virtually all European cities which have subway systems are that way — cheap, efficient, and often easy on the eye. Except London, but it isn’t entirely their fault; many old lines, unspeakably crowded.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yeah, the same can be said about Stalin. So what?

    Nathanael Reply:

    It just means we’re pathetic over here in the US. The US is like an underdeveloped country when it comes to infrastructure. Russia is like a developed country. Kind of embarassing.

  7. morris brown
    May 8th, 2014 at 14:53
    #7

    One minute excerpt from a talk Bent Flybjerg gave at Harvard in 2008.

    http://youtu.be/FsgDWcCMXIs

    Oct 2008 talk…

    Machiavelli’s Formula..

    Bent Flyvbjerg
    Professor of Planning, Aalborg University, Denmark
    “Follies of Infrastructure: Why the Worst Projects Get Built, and How to Avoid It”

    (underestimate costs)
    +(overestimate revenues)
    +(undervalue environmental impacts)
    +(overvalue development effects)

    = (funding)

    He might have added here for this project:

    +(overstated environmental benefits)

    Joe Reply:

    His recent paper recommends independent dent peer review of a mega project.
    CAHSR has this independent peer review and they report to the legislature. Awesome!

    He also cautious NIMBYs and curmudgeons that ALL projects from all nations private and public.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Has he released his data sources on this? Because at least the original papers were based on data sets from the 1980s; US forecasts have considerably improved since, and a large portion of his paper on ridership overestimates (as opposed to cost underestimates) was based on third-world subway projects that used overoptimistic assumptions on national economic growth. This also happened with South Korea and Taiwan’s HSR projections.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    “US forecasts have considerably improved since then”

    Explain the bay bridge given that statement.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The study I’m channeling looks at rail ridership and cost forecasts. Recall that Flyvbjerg specifically said cost overruns and ridership shortfalls are worse for urban rail than for other transportation projects, including roads.

    Eric Reply:

    If this is why bad projects are built, how can we explain why good projects are not built? Shouldn’t the same factors apply?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Some good projects collect powerful enemies.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Briefly: good projects tend to serve the kind of neighborhoods that don’t have political clout. For example, Boston doesn’t give a crap about Roxbury, so it sandbags the ridership estimates for Silver Line railstitution; it is interested in serving far-flung suburbs, so it spends $200,000 per rider on South Coast Rail.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The BART bully is like that when it steals all the littler transit ops lunch money.

    Eric Reply:

    The east side of Manhattan, or Geary in San Francisco, don’t have political clout?

    Eric Reply:

    You may be correct about Roxbury though – in addition to BRT fever, the fact that Roxbury is mostly black probably can’t help it politically.

    synonymouse Reply:

    In re Geary in SF the political clout resides with the merchants who don’t want any change, the City Hall insiders who want to sell off Presidio Yard, and BART plus developers who want IBG to the Beach and high-rise tenements as far as the eye can see.

    Stephen Smith Reply:

    The far east side of Manhattan is really not that wealthy. Yorkville (the eastern side of the Upper East Side) is, oddly enough, now one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Manhattan below Harlem (wasn’t true during the dark days of urban decline, but definitely true now). East Harlem is obviously very poor – along with Chinatown (also on the 2nd Ave. line’s route), it’s one of two ungentrifiable pockets of the island. Kips Bay and Murray Hill are wealthier, but nothing crazy for Manhattan. The eastern side of the Financial District no longer has any big politically connected developers hoping to erect towers, so they don’t matter much either, politically.

    Commercial developers at Hudson Yards (7 train extension) and those on Long Island (East Side Access) clearly have more clout, because those projects were funded ahead of further SAS segments despite much less need.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not all that wealthy compared to Fifth Avenue. They are wiping their asses with $100 bills compared to other places in the outer boroughs… there are big chunks of New York City that aren’t in Manhattan after all. East Side Access and the 7 extension got built partly because there weren’t 156 different neighborhood groups threatening to sue because it would encourage people, silly silly people, to use the sidewalk in front of their building, make the creamer in Starbucks curdle and make the chewing gum lose it’s flavor on the bedpost overnight.

    Stephen Smith Reply:

    Manhattanites, especially those on the east side, are hugely in favor of the 2nd Ave. subway…the reason the other phases aren’t being built have nothing to do with NIMBYism, and everything to do with a lack of money (MTA’s official line)/the obscene cost of NYC tunneling projects (the truth).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They can’t find the money because if they find the money 156 different neighborhood groups come out from under the woodwork and complain that it will encourage pedestrians to use the sidewalk! When they mitigate that another group comes along and whines that pedestrians will be using their sidewalk.
    Emperor Bloomberg decided that the 7 extension would be a good thing and it’s going to finished before anything is going to open on Second Avenue. They managed to find the money for that. They are disinclined to find the money because people on the Upper East Side are a lot more trouble than the people on the west side. The office owners in Midtown are a lot less trouble too. Or the trains over the stuff they are building across Sunnyside yard.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Don’t underestimate the effects of the slumlords, who have failed to maintain their buildings according to code, and then when they started falling down, promptly blamed the MTA and convinced the MTA to pay for the repairs which the slumlords should have done long ago.

    New York: city of grifters.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Future phases of SAS will be built the moment they find money; the East Side does actually have clout, and Sheldon Silver got the money for Phase 1. The neighborhoods of New York that have zero people batting for them are places like Crown Heights, Flatbush, and southeast Brooklyn (or at least the subset of southeast Brooklyn that uses transit – the drivers there are plenty connected). That said, the real estate developers never cared much for SAS to begin with – it’s already developed, so who cares about Second Avenue? – and that influenced city funding decisions. Silver could only shake money that Albany had.

    Geary does not serve a politically powerful neighborhood; Chinatown has a lot more clout than Japantown and the Richmond. The issue about Geary specifically is also that for some reason the planners only ever offered light rail and didn’t consider a subway, and the merchants opposed light rail because they care more about the parking.

  8. synonymouse
    May 8th, 2014 at 19:01
    #8

    Right up there with PalmdaleRail:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/08/chinese-experts-discussions-high-speed-beijing-american-railway

    Perhaps Balfour Beatty can peddle PB to the Chinese.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The reporter obviously took the bait on this: the Chinese are imitating the French as far as building lines across the continent. If you get distracted by the ridiculous China to US plan, you will miss the very plausible Beijing to Singapore line that would shape geopolitics for a long time. The London to Moscow line is also an eyebrow raiser.

    synonymouse Reply:

    All of the asian countries are extremely suspicious of each other and with good reason.

    Eric Reply:

    I don’t understand why any of these are plausible. None are remotely competitive with flight.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Neither is TehaVegaSkyRail.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ask the orderly to loosen the tinfoil a bit.

    Eric Reply:

    I’m very against Tehachapi, but even with it I’d much prefer a 3 hour rail trip to flying. Unless I lived near LAX or something.

  9. joe
    May 8th, 2014 at 19:02
    #9
  10. joe
    May 8th, 2014 at 19:10
    #10

    Ralph Vartabedian teen beat reporter’s article is chocked full of quotes. he identifies Ibbs as a world travelling expert on HSR.

    “A $1-billion cost increase at this point in the project is concerning, to put it mildly,” said William Ibbs, a UC Berkeley civil engineer who has consulted on high-speed-rail projects around the world.

    I can’t find one scholarly article about William Ibbs globe spanning consultancy. Not in scholar or his webpage.

    Ibbs is readily available to talk with media outlets about his opinions on a range of topics.
    http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/news/689?destination=node%2F689
    William Ibbs Interviewed re: Bay Bridge, High Speed Rail, and Hyperloop

    Yes Ibbs has been talking about HSR for a while as go-to guy for quotes and concerned trolling.
    What he’s done professionally (media interviews are not credentials) is to be determined.

    StevieB Reply:

    C. William Ibbs – Publications

    joe Reply:

    Thanks.

    I looked there prior to my post and didn’t see any relevant papers.

    Also searched scholar under c william ibbs & william ibbs.

    His expertise is in assessing impacts of project change and delay on labor efficiency. It seems for legal assessment of damages

    For example
    William Ibbs, Audrey Bascoul, and Long D. Nguyen, “Modified Total Cost Principles for Cumulative Impact Claims, Construction Lawyer. Winter 2012, 26-38.

    William Ibbs, “Construction Change: Likelihood, Severity and Impact on Productivity,” Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction. 4(3), August 2012, 67-73.

    joe Reply:

    and this
    http://theibbsconsultinggroup.com/About-Us.html

    jonathan Reply:

    So your point is.. Mr. Ibbs makes money, by doing the exact same kinds of assessments for court cases?? Exactly how does that impact the validity of his assessments?

    Another example of “Joe Science” at work….

    joe Reply:

    Did you mean to reply to SteveB or was this a failed attempt to reply to me?

    If Ibbs has consulted on HSR protects, it’s not evident from his peer reviewed work listed on his page, indexed by google scholar mentioned on his consultant page. Google search shows his only “consulting” is to comment on CA HSR in the media and when requested, by HSR critics.

    Here are NSF reviewer guidelines I’d apply to Ibbs.

    http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf13001/gpg_3.jsp#IIIA
    4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?

    For assessing CA’s HSR project management refer to the GAO’s assessment requested by HSR critics in Congress.
    http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653401.pdf

    What GAO Found
    The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) met some, but not all of the
    best practices in GAO’s Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide (Cost Guide) for
    producing cost estimates that are accurate, comprehensive, well documented,
    and credible. By not following all best practices, there is increased risk of such
    things as cost overruns, missed deadlines, and unmet performance targets. The
    Authority substantially met the criteria for the accurate characteristic by, for
    example, the cost estimate’s reflecting the current scope of the project. However,
    the Authority partially met the criteria for the other three characteristics since the
    operating costs were not sufficiently detailed (comprehensive), the development
    of some cost elements were not sufficiently explained (well documented), and
    because no systematic assessment of risk was performed (credible). The
    Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued limited guidance for preparing cost
    estimates, and this guidance did not reflect best practices in the Cost Guide. The
    Authority plans to improve its cost estimates.

  11. synonymouse
    May 9th, 2014 at 10:36
    #11

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101658791

    Come on PAMPAlonians, buy up the Tejon Ranch with your pocket change and turn it into parkland, carving out a tiny niche for HSR to crest the hill in, around and under Lebec.

    Yeah, Jerry is going to mess with Atherton and treat the Ranch with kid gloves.

    Donk Reply:

    I don’t understand why you keep talking about PAMPA buying Tejon Ranch. Yes they have money, but why would they have any interest in Tejon Ranch? They don’t like HSR and they are hundreds of miles away from Tejon. And they aren’t the hunting types, which is what people do at Tejon Ranch. Explain the frequently recurring joke to us please.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You shouldn’t, you don’t have a secret decoder ring.

  12. synonymouse
    May 9th, 2014 at 13:11
    #12

    Somehow, somewhere, sometime there has to be a way and means to break open and break out of the closed circle, the byzantine maze of the incomprehensible that is the PBHSR scheme.

    The total value of the Tejon Ranch Property is quite small in comparison to the many billions to be squandered on the DogLeg. The Tejon mountain crossing just cries out for the proper implementation of eminent domain – it is the unique transport chokepoint. But the State could purchase the whole thing for a fraction of the assessed value of PAMPA. And yet the zombied-out Cheerleaders continue jousting ad nauseam with PAMPA nimby windmills.

    How did the Tejon Ranch Co. manage to get Jerry Brown by the balls? In the process it is the State and the taxpayers getting screwed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Kī tōnu taku waka topaki i te tuna

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The issue with Tejon has everything to do with the engineering challenges associated with it and the lack of cooperation by Santa Clarita. People have been fantasizing about housing tracts at the base of the Grapevine for decades…see any being built?

    The water pooled beneath the ground in worth far more to the Kern Valley Water Bank than to local water district which can’t offer the type of rates Metropolitan Water can. You keep sidestepping the issues with rapid ascent and elevation that high spees rail in Europe and Asia have yet to conquer. Techachapi is slower and safer and will always be the bridesmaid choice for engineers. But at least you know you can thread a railroad track that way. With Tejon, you risk castrophe.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Clem already laid out a perfectly acceptable route, tho as he pointed out recently a well-funded professional evaluation could probably do even better.

    Tejon’s only substantive issue is strictly NIMBY on the part of the Tejon Ranch. If the Cheerleaders bestow a pass on the Tejon Mountain Village golf course then everybody less rich and connected on PB’s route also deserves a pass.

    There is no risk of catastrophe with DogLegRail. It is a certified, gahruunteed fiscal disaster.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you ignore that there are a half million Californians along the proposed route and there’s a place lots and lots of Californians like to go out there too.

    Joey Reply:

    A wye near Lebec would require basically zero tunneling. You could even add a peripheral Antelope Valley station as you pass through the completely flat Mojave desert.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Clem’s plan would require a seven-mile viaduct to limit the graded incline to 3% so it can cross the faults at grade. Forget Stilt-a-Rail, try Tren des Nubes…

    And then let’s not forget the paucity of data on HSR operations at high elevations. Techachapi, while a higher summit, descends favorably to the south while Tejon has much longer stretches at elevation above 2,000 feet.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Fret more about 160mph in the Valley in a duststorm at 115 degrees.

    joe Reply:

    Right, CV is unique. This type of weather never happens in Spain.

    Observer Reply:

    Note that Spain is building the Medina/Mecca HSR line in Saudi Arabia. As far I know that is the first real desert HSR project – or at least one the most important ones. It will be interesting to see at its completion.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    California is special

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The issue with heat has been addressed, sorta.

    Taiwan High Speed Rail modified N700s from Japan to have much larger and powerful HVAC units to ensure that passengers didn’t swelter in Taiwan’s usual humidity. Although it doesn’t seem like much of issue, you have to remember all this disrupts the weigh and voltage ratios of the off-the-shelf models used in other countries. In addition, Americans demand far greater creature comfort on things like air conditioning than Europeans or Asians.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I would think that 40 degrees and 100% humidity in Tokyo is just as bad as 40 degrees and 100% humidity in Taipei. Or Philadelphia. Fahrenheit or Celsius.

    Donk Reply:

    What about Schenectady, Naugatuck, and Wallingford? C’mon adirondacker, you are disappointing us by not also including obscure east coast cities that none of us on this blog have ever heard of.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’d tell you to go fuck yourself but you need a dick for that.

    Donk Reply:

    Oh come on. I thought that was a good one that you would appreciate.

    Michael Reply:

    So then, HSR would be a huge problem to build in Colorado, because a line through flat terrain between Fort Collins, Denver, and Colorado Springs would be around 5,000′ in elevation FOR ITS ENTIRETY?

    Observer Reply:

    Building HSR lines at high altitudes should be no problem in places like Colorado The Chinese have built rail lines running at 16,000 feet, and make it look easy.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They have not built high-speed lines that high. The Qinghai-Tibet railway is low-speed.

    Michael Reply:

    Can we all agree on an ascii emoticon for sarcasm? I’d probably end half of my posts with it.

    Donk Reply:

    They tried that in the 90s with “Not”. But it got really lame even before Wayne’s World II came out in theaters. It still clung on to life in remote parts of the midwest until the late 90s. Maybe you can bring it back.

    Donk Reply:

    …Not.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hard to get thru to the Cheerleaders, who have been chugging the PB Kool-Aid.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Sy, HSR has to go thru the high desert because Uncle Frank Zappa went to school up there

    A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”

    —Frank Zappa

    synonymouse Reply:

    The problem with an open mind is when you turn it upside down the brains fall out.

    The wide open mind of teenagers makes them an ideal recruiting target for jihadists. Happening a lot in France.

    Or similarly when a student is made to read Blaise Pascal and his “pari” it should be let known in advance that Pascal was given to wearing a spiked belt – with the spikes pointing inward.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so the Birchers recruited you back in the day?

    synonymouse Reply:

    In reality I was mostly a generic marxist in my younger iteration and I still think money dominates everything.

    But the dictatorship of the proletariat is not much different from the dictatorship of the plutocrat nor the dictatorship of the uniparty patronage machine. All thoroughly and progressively corrupt, as per Lord Acton.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    What should be a problem with HSR at higher altitudes???

    John Bacon Reply:

    From a TVGweb article ‘Under the Hood of a TGV’: “The TGV 24000 does not contain any particularly exotic components, and in principle shares many of its features with most modern electric (and even diesel-electric) locomotives”. Therefore either projected CHSR or diesel electric system traction motors would likely be composed of the same basic materials such as copper windings with their 60% higher heat and 36% higher current conductivities rather than the 7.5 times lower cost aluminum wire. Only the high temperature motor winding insulation (150 degrees C), a prodigious convection motor cooling system, and an exceptionally low current density at maximum speed is designed into freight train locomotive traction motors enable them to attenuate the effect of internal motor heat during long period climbing (85 minutes at Cajon Pass at 18 mph) compared to their maximum speed rating (72 mph).
    The most difficult for a railway, section of all CHSR’s considered routes, would be the climb up the north slope of Tejon Pass. A 27 kw/tonne CHSR train running along the same grade as I-5 would require running 7.57 minutes. Starting the climb at 220 mph a 27 kw per metric train’s speed would be forced down to 110 mph when crossing the top of the 6 % slope while scaling the North Tejon Pass slope. Adhering to the CHSR Authority’s 2.5% grade limit requirement will lengthen the route by 8.13 miles and increase climb running time by 1.96 minutes. Increasing traction power to 32.52 kw per metric tonne will reduce the climbing period to 7.03 minutes while limiting grades to 2.5% will increase climbing time by 1.76 minutes. The forced minimum speed using the highway grade because of the finite but higher power level (32.52 kw/mt) available would be 132 mph or 60% of 220 mph. The period required to traverse the shorter but steeper highway grade option distance at 220 mph would be 5.45 minutes.

  13. Joey
    May 9th, 2014 at 22:27
    #13

    O/T WordPress is whining at me that there’s a new version available. Robert?

  14. morris brown
    May 10th, 2014 at 12:57
    #14

    LA Times editorial, strongly urges that Cap and Trade funds, not be used to fund HSR

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-cap-and-trade-20140508-story.html

    Editorial How California should budget for climate change

    The Times has continued to support HSR despite all the problems and changes in the cost etc. since they first supported the Passage of Prop 1A in 2008.

    This editorial is much different and must make Robert cringe. The Times says no to using Cap and Trade for HSR or other long term projects.

    The key sidebar:

    It doesn’t make sense to tie up so much of the state’s cap-and-trade income in long-term projects when climate scientists insist we need to move quickly and decisively now.

    sums it up neatly. And a bit more:

    Both ideas have merit, though as this page has argued, the state should not commit significant sums of cap-and-trade money to high-speed rail until it is determined that the project is viable — legally, financially and otherwise. Both transit-oriented housing and the rail project, at least theoretically, should eventually reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled by Californians, an important step in reducing tailpipe emissions, and Steinberg’s smart-planning emphasis has the added benefit of providing more housing as well as creating walking-friendly cities and less-crowded streets.
    But it doesn’t make sense to tie up so much of the state’s cap-and-trade income in long-term projects when climate scientists insist that we need to move quickly and decisively. Already California is hard-pressed to meet its climate goals for the years beyond 2020. Not only would the benefits of high-speed rail not be felt for more than a decade, but there are legitimate questions about whether the project will ever get done and, if it does, how much it will contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

    Donk Reply:

    This is California. Lets just think small. Lets plow all of the Cap and Trade money into low income housing. Lets stop thinking about the future and stop taking risks. That is what California is all about.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ouch

    So the GOP is against it
    The Sierra Club is against it.
    Gavin Newsome is against it
    Now the LA times is against it.

    That’s quite a disparate group. I think CAHSR should be commended for managing to bring together these entities who would normally sit on opposite sides. Maybe we need to propose a HSR line through the Middle East so everyone can come together in opposition?

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Henny Penny, more commonly known as Chicken Little and sometimes as Chicken Licken, is a folk tale with a moral in the form of a cumulative tale about a chicken who believes the world is coming to an end. The phrase “The sky is falling!” features prominently in the story, and has passed into the English language as a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent. Versions of the story go back more than 25 centuries[citation needed], and it continues to be referenced in a variety of media

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    wikipedia

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Which has what to do with my post?

    My post was talking about how HSR (and specifically use of cap and trade for HSR) is now opposed by people representing the entire political spectrum.

    Joe Reply:

    The tribune company owns The LATimes and took over the editorial board recently.

    The Sierra club supports HSR. The leadership would be tossed if they opposed the project, anyone see them follow up on that god aweful commentary ? I haven’t.

    morris brown Reply:

    As usual, Joe spews garbage.

    1. Tribune company bought the LA Times in 2000; four year ago, not recently — to this date the LA Times editorial position is still advocating for HSR. What is different here is the editorial board says no to using Cap and Trade to fund the project, since in their opinion, these funds are needed elsewhere to fight global warming and meet CA’s 2020 goals in that regard.

    Kathryn Phillips (CA Sierra Club if you didn’t know) is strongly against the use of Cap and Trade funds for HSR…

    example: (from one of Robert’s favorite sources no less)

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/19/1270997/-Sunday-Train-California-Sierra-Club-Allies-with-Tea-Party-Against-High-Speed-Rail

    So, Joe get with the program…

    joe Reply:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fi-oshea21jan21-story.html

    2008
    The editor of the Los Angeles Times will leave the paper in a dispute over newsroom cuts, becoming the fourth senior executive in less than three years to depart after resisting budget reductions.
    The paper’s corporate parent, Tribune Co., was bought out last month in an $8.2-billion deal engineered by Chicago real estate baron Sam Zell.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    That was 2008…you said recent. It’s 2014 in case you did not know, 6 years is not recent and certainly the same board that has been supporting the project just wrote this editorial.

    It’s simple, they have soured on the project unless someone can convince them there is actual money. You see they don’t want a stranded investment, Lucky for the prop 1a has language to prevent such an occurrence and the courts have enforced it.

    No money, no train.

    joe Reply:

    You’re playing games with context here, there and everywhere.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Nope. No games at all. The LA times, and everyone else with a modicum of intelligence, has serious doubts about finding the money to build even the IOS. Even with Cap and Trade and winning the lawsuits you are still 10+ billon short if you want to hit 2020.

    Where is the money? It’s not coming from the Feds.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Just print it. If necessary, finance a state-owned bank and have the state-owned bank print the money. California has a proven ability to print money, since that’s exactly what it did (under another name) whenever it issued “vouchers”.

    joe Reply:

    Kathryn Phillips (CA Sierra Club if you didn’t know) is strongly against the use of Cap and Trade funds for HSR…

    Oh, is Kathryn Piillips making the rounds on TV or in the newspapers getting the word out that The Sierra Club Opposes HSR and cap and trade?

    I’ve not heard a peep since the dumd-ass off the cuff comment was made a few months back. I haven’t any doubt about her view – just that it’s not the rank and file view.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    She is speaking against it at government hearings still

    http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/03/21/transportation-priorities-jostle-for-cas-cap-and-trade-revenue/

    If it was not the official club position I would assume they would have stopped her or at least public ally stated they do not support her. But they have not. So what proof do you have that the rank and file support use of cap and trade for HSR?

    joe Reply:

    They’re not making a it a widespread stance or issuing mailings.

    But only a few speakers questioned why so much money was being given to high speed rail.

    and

    At that hearing, Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, testified that California is on track to meet the 2020 goals. But beyond 2020, “We must accelerate the pace of emission reductions needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” she said. “Emissions from 2020 to 2050 will have to decline several times faster than the current rate.”

    It’s a dumb-ass position and they’re not mainstream.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And PB is mainstream. Yeah, sure. They’re getting kicked to the curb by BB.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I get that you disagree, but how can you argue it is not the Sierra clubs position? She keeps dyong it over no over, That hearing was recent

    joe Reply:

    I believe their position is not well articulated to the rank and file membership and certainly the public and is going backfire on them. In fact the State authorities responsible for meeting 2020 targets say we can meet them but not the longer term targets. That’s 180 from the spokesperson’s position. In simple terms they are not aligned with public transit Millennial, their “save the whales” or the science based arguments. They are in line with the tea party , GOP and Koch Brothers. Win! Time for a raise.

    datacruncher Reply:

    The Sierra Club is listed as opposing the original version of AB-1639 which would prevent the use of Cap and Trade funds for HSR.

    Anyone know what their opposition to AB-1639 was based on?

    Zorro Reply:

    I’d never heard of AB1639 before now, of course it was written by Assembly Member Shannon Grove(CAD-34), a Republican, so naturally it’s anti-HSR and of course AB1639 stands no chance of anything beyond a Veto and there aren’t the votes for an override, what a shame. Here is the text of AB1639…

    Of course the bill died in Committee with the following votes:

    3 Ayes
    4 Noes
    2 NVRs(No Votes Recorded)

    So I’d say for awhile, I think at least a year, this bill is Dead.

    datacruncher Reply:

    But that does not answer the question. If the Sierra Club is against Cap and Trade being spent on HSR, what were they opposing in a bill that did just that?

    joe Reply:

    I can’t find any explanation. Just this.

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_1601-1650/ab_1639_cfa_20140425_130939_asm_comm.html

    1)HSR funding will be decided in the Budget Act . The question
    of whether the Legislature agrees with the Governor’s proposal
    to use the GHGRF to support the HSR project will be decided in
    June when the Budget Act is enacted. In the event this bill
    passed the Legislature and was signed by the Governor, it
    would be enacted next January. In future years, the bill
    could be overridden any time the Legislature decided to
    appropriate GHGRF moneys for HSR.

    REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION :

    Support

    None on file

    Opposition

    Sierra Club California (prior version)

    StevieB Reply:

    Morris Brown once again lies. The LA Times editorial board on January 14, 2014 favors using Cap and Trade funds to finance California High Speed Rail.

    But in fact the train, which would reduce dependence on car and airplane travel across the state, is a perfectly appropriate use of the state’s cap-and-trade proceeds. The program also aims for emissions reductions beyond 2020, and its investment plan released last year specifically cites high-speed rail as a project worthy of funding.

    The LA Times editorial board would like to see a stronger financing plan before using Cap and Trade funds.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They apparently changed their minds

    StevieB Reply:

    Where is your reference to a change?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Well…they wrote the article you quoted in Jan and the article Morris quoted in May. So unless I was taught the months wrong, they changed their minds from jan to May because the May article says that we should not spen cap and trade on HSR

    joe Reply:

    We are on pace to meet 2020 emission targets. longer term reductions will need longer term investments to change the infrastructure

    Professor Ibbs thinks we should invest HSR funds into roads.

    Ibbs testimony

    A key expert testifying was William Ibbs, a professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. A video of the testimony by itself is here. Among other qualifications, he has benchmarked more than 2,000 large-scale construction projects around the world.
    Ibbs suggested the state might “revisit the question of whether we should be devoting this much money to a high-speed rail system when we have pressing problems with our highways and airports.”
    He brought up the problem of recouping costs. “Most rail systems in the U.S. collect only about two-thirds of their operating cost from the fare box,” he said. “If we have that kind of experience on this project, it’s going to eat future generations alive, it’s going to eat our grandchildren’s wallets alive.”
    Proposition 1A, the 2008 initiative voters passed that green-lighted the project, forbids the state from subsidizing operational costs.
    “A lot more people will use highways than any railroad system,” Ibbs pointed out. “So I would urge you and your colleagues to look at transportation investment across the board and give us a world-class transportation system.”

    – See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2014/04/07/state-senate-hearing-casts-doubt-on-high-speed-rail/#sthash.ghBl3Qn6.dpuf

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Didn’t you say he was a hack with no credentials? Pick a narrative.

    Nathanael Reply:

    That’s quite consistent. Ibbs is a hack with no credentials, and as such he advocates wasting money on roads.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    What’s the amount of money roads make for the government? World class transportation systems use the appropriate solution for a problem, they don’t favor cars over everything else.

    joe Reply:

    CA has hundreds of billions in deferred road and bridge maintenance. We don’t need more.

    Ibbs wants to build more roads and airports – he’s not even pretending to care about reducing CO2 emissions.

    Ibbs is attributed to have vast (20,000 projects baselined) and global expertise YET he chooses to project HSR revenue with “Most rail systems in the U.S. collect only about two-thirds of their operating cost from the fare box,.”

    He’s one of the more annoying characters to flutter by the HSR project.

    morris brown Reply:

    @StevieB:

    I don’t appreciate being called a liar. You should have posted the rest of the LA Times editorial you cited:

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-high-speed-rail-cap-trade-20140114-story.html

    which reads:

    This page has steadfastly backed the idea of high-speed rail in California. And we still believe it can deliver extraordinary environmental, economic and transportation benefits. Yet the delays, the rising cost, the judge’s ruling and the waning public support should give pause to even the strongest advocates. Can the rail authority line up a financing plan? Is the project still viable? We hope the answer is yes. But the state shouldn’t spend a dime of cap-and-trade money on it until we know for sure.

    StevieB Reply:

    If not a willful liar then Morris Brown is incompetent when he said, “What is different here is the editorial board says no to using Cap and Trade to fund the project, since in their opinion, these funds are needed elsewhere to fight global warming and meet CA’s 2020 goals in that regard”.The LA Times said, “…the train, which would reduce dependence on car and airplane travel across the state, is a perfectly appropriate use of the state’s cap-and-trade proceeds“.

    The LA Times objection is to financing as I said and not to the use of cap and trade funds because they are “needed elsewhere to fight global warming and meet CA’s 2020 goals”.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    When they said “should not spend a dime”. In your universe what does that mean?

    StevieB Reply:

    It means your focus on one phrase in an article detracts from comprehension of the issues.

    Nathanael Reply:

    It means they want a guarantee that the project will have enough funding to be finished! Read the entire paragraph!

  15. Larry Scheib
    May 10th, 2014 at 13:16
    #15

    There are more alternative avenues to attain revenue for other CO2 reduction projects, but not so with HSR. Look at whats been done so far with electric car technology and solar/wind power plants and etc. Republicans are going to stifle any funds ever going to HSR, hence Brown has to seize this opportunity otherwise HSR will never get built. He can leverage the C&T money to qualify for rail loans which is his only option!

    Joe Reply:

    Exactly.

    And opponents lose their leverage when cap and trade is identified as the funding line to comply with prop1a.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The Dems have complete control. It’s all within their power…go for it.

    But they can’t seem to heard the cats

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    The California State Budget will be enacted in the summer, lawmakers are still horse trading

    joe Reply:

    They’ll pass a budget on time and probably without any cooperation from the minority party.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    But will it include cap and trade for HSR ?

    joe Reply:

    I think it will include funds for HSR – probably cap and trade. In fact I am more sure now that the Gov cut a deal on the ballot initiative for his rainy day fund. That move just reelected Brown and helped protect incumbent Dems who spend on the project and endorsed the Nov Ballot initiative.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maybe he should take over the medical maryjane business as a State monopoly and spend the proceeds on the DogLeg.

    Marrakech Express

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes all the pig, chicken and duck farmers in Mojave can haul their animals to market in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Though I don’t know what pigs were doing on a train in Morrocco. Pig isn’t halal.

  16. Trentbridge
    May 11th, 2014 at 10:39
    #16

    SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang today released his monthly report covering California’s cash balance, receipts and disbursements in April 2014. Revenues for the month totaled $13.9 billion, surpassing estimates in the 2014-15 Governor’s Budget by $303 million, or 2.2 percent. Year-to-date, revenues exceed expectations by $2.17 billion, or 2.8 percent.

    The drought is over! It’s raining money! Tesla is making cars in California – SpaceX is building rockets in California – Facebook and Apple are buying Mom and Pop tech companies! Jerry is the Governor!

    “Happy Days are Here Again” Ager/Yellen

    We don’t need no stinkin’ LA Times endorsement…

    synonymouse Reply:

    That just means sales taxes are too high. Repeal them.

    Mattie F. Reply:

    Not sure if you’re joking or just Simple.

    It’s sad, I use so much sarcasm, yet I cannot detect it in others.

    joe Reply:

    There is an ever increasing chance we’ll end the drought with a massive El Nino event. Maybe so large it will switch the PDO into the warm phase.

    For climate scientists, a major question is whether the coming event will be big enough to flip the world into the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), a 20- to 30-year climate cycle that is related to El Niño or La Niña conditions. For nearly the past 20 years—probably since 1997 to 1998—the PDO has been in a cool phase, and La Niña conditions have typically prevailed. There is tenuous evidence that a strong El Niño event could push the PDO back into a warm phase—one in which El Niño events would be more common. That could allow heat from the ocean to be released into the atmosphere—causing a jump in atmospheric global warming, Trenberth says: “This could be a very important year.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    After almost 50 years in California the one thing I have learned is to not try to predict the weather. It can change course on a dime.

    And if we had a really wet season like 1982-83 the flooding would be worse because of all the tracts and malls that have covered the ground in the interim. The water just shoots into the rivers and with high tide, well you get the idea.

    Remember Jerry has turned out a developer shill – his scheme is unlimited population growth and urbanization from border to border. The worst of LA and the worst of Manhattan.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s just awful the way the ghettos of rich people keep getting bigger and richer in Manhattan.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, the worst of Manhattan.

    SF along identical lines: superrichies and indigents.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s so bad it has some of the highest rents anywhere in the world. Just awful the way they can’t discourage rich people from living there.

  17. leroy
    May 11th, 2014 at 11:51
    #17
  18. morris brown
    May 11th, 2014 at 12:53
    #18

    Chris Reed on recent and earlier Authority events:

    http://calwatchdog.com/2014/05/09/63423/

    Attempted $1B cover-up can’t even crack Top 5 of bullet-train outrages

    joe Reply:

    Benghazi!

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AS-dCdYZbo

    joe Reply:

    Here’s CA Watchdog’s #1 outrage!

    1. Before the November 2008 vote on Prop. 1A, the rail authority — pleading a lack of time because of delays in passing the state budget — never produced a business plan for the project, breaking a state law that required the plan be released before the election.

    We fixed this problem with Prop25 – now a simple majority votes to pass a state budget and it’s passed on time and we have a surplus.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Shouldn’t the peons who write up the proposals work for free? Silly silly them wanting to get paid so they can eat….

    wdobner Reply:

    You really don’t have any right to get upset when others call you a liar if you’re going to link to the outright lies and falsehoods that site purveys.

  19. morris brown
    May 11th, 2014 at 20:11
    #19

    Election-year politics prompts deal on California rainy-day fund

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-cap-rainy-day-fund-20140512-column.html

    Deal precludes this fund ever being used for High Speed Rail.

    joe Reply:

    This deal approves a November ballot initiative to create the fund. It has no bearing on the 2015 budget due in June nor can the rainy day fund be named as a long term finding source for the project.

    The GOP won! It appeases the base and surely achieves nothing substantial.

    I’ll have to read the proposition but when general fund is short due to a recession and we draw money out of the fund to cover expenses, what it matter if the state cant spend the rainy day budget money on HSR if the rainy day fund covers Non-HSR shortfall expenses out of the state budget?

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