Posted by David M, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm
By forcing the HSR project to defend themselves in court, this vocal and litigious minority is going to reduce the available funds for constructing, instead putting our tax dollars into the pockets of lawyers. This is unconscionable.
Posted by Tom H., a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2010 at 1:03 pm
Joanna,Where do you come up with this quote "It is very important to note that most of Menlo Park approves of HSR. The very vocal minority does not speak for the rest of Menlo Park. Just keep that in mind"
Well I have not met anyone in Menlo Park that wants the HSR lets say about 40 people. So Mr. brown and friends do speak for everyone I know and we are damn glad they are out spoken. This whole HSR is such a scam.
Posted by thank you Mike and Morris, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm
I applaud these brave men for putting their necks out on this one. They are doing our city a great service.
If MP voters had known that HSR meant trains zipping down the middle of the peninsula they would have defeated it. The only reason to run HSR through the peninsula is political, and the CHSRA doesn't mind spending tens of millions of our money on this boondoggle.
Posted by eugene sokol, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm
Why does the high speed rail need to go where the SP tracks are to reach
the San Francisco rail terminal? Why not elevate the tracks rom RT 156 (Pacheco Pass) along Highway 101 to San Francisco. It seems to me that all this consternation of property rights intrusion, noise, disruption of communities and other gradue would not be an issue. The current idea
Posted by Martin, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm
Everyone knew that trains were going down the peninsula. To say they didn't is ridiculous. And its not just the voters of Menlo Park that matter. This is a state bond and the majority of state voters want this project. A few rich NIMBYs are upset that the vote didn't go their way so they obstruct. This is why California can't get anything done anymore.
It's really sad that every other industrialized nation has high speed rail and we don't. The US once was first when it came to infrastructure and transportation. Now the only thing we lead in is lawsuits!
Posted by resident, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm
HSR is a scam and because of some vocal minority,people are begining to know that voters were misled by our LDRs.I am lucky that these very smart people are trying to save all of us from big distruction . .
Posted by Dan S., a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm
"it intends to begin construction on several segments at once, despite the fact that it doesn't have the money to complete even one of them"
"It may be appropriate for the federal government to reconsider the propriety of granting federal funding at all to the authority,"
Oh you goofs, didn't you know that we can see your all around NIMBY's, 100%. You just contradicted yourselves big time. Why don't you just file a lawsuit saying: We Don't Want It, We Don't Want It, We Don't Want It, Over and Over and see where that will get you. Who knows, you might waste the taxpayers money by keeping the HSRA in court and giving it to the lawyers.
Posted by martin, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Drive up 101. How many major overpasses do you come across? How many locations do not have a median that is large enough to support elevated rail? Property rights intrusions and cost would be much greater going up 101, that's a fact that really can't be debated.
We already have a rail ROW, and improving that ROW will be a good thing for all involved. No more deaths at rail crossings. No more train horns, quieter electrified tracks, the list goes on and on.
Posted by Neva Yarkin, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm
April 16, 2010
Dear Morris Brown and Mike Brady,
I have spent several hours today writing senators and representatives about my concerns regarding the financial aspects of the HSR. I think the HSR will cost probably 100 Billion dollars FINISHED. Every city in Calif. is broke so where will this money come from? Taxpayers will have to pay the rest. Who has that kind of money? Thank you for suing and taking a stand.
Posted by martin, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm
I can think of about a thousand things more wasteful than HSR. Yet you want to cut something that would not save a dime, but would rather shift the costs to expand our airports? Perhaps force CA to make Moffet Field a major airport? You think an electric train is disruptive, wait until the 747s are flying over Palo Alto every 10 minutes to land at Moffet!
Posted by Ben, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm
Posted by mara, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm
I just read the lawsuit. Brilliant. I wish the plaintiffs every success.
This project has always sounded better in theory than it is in practice. I have no doubt that many of the pro-HSR and NIMBY name-callers will ultimately thank Messers Brown and Brady for their actions.
Posted by Thetruth, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:29 pm
Thank Herr Brown???? MORE like BOO and throw eggs...Yes 2 70 year olds should be able to decide a transportaion system for the rest of us that will live here for the next 45 years...BTW prop1A PASSED even in MenloPark no matter what the negative types and NIMBY pass out as truth...
Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm
I thought Morris Brown was King of All NIMBYs but the Orange County people got the project delayed by eight months. I think Brown isn't all he's cracked up to be. You've got to hand it to Buena Park. They are really the Cinderella story of the year.
Posted by M. Brown v Brown Act, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm
Hey, maybe Mr. Brown could negotitate another personal and CONFIDENTIAL deal with the HSR folks just like he did to kill the Derry project. THe majority of MP residents voted in favor of HSR ... with full knowledge of the plan to use the Caltrain corridor. I wish the NIMBYs would stop wasting our tax money on lawsuits and instead work to ensure they use every last dollar to build the best possible system.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2010 at 9:34 pm
You pro HSR folks will be crying the blues when the state is coming to you for yet MORE tax money to support a system that will not have anywhere near the riders they claim and therefore nowhere near the income. This is a huge boondoggle and will cost the tax payers BIG TIME. Hear me now, believe me later.
Posted by Cam, a resident of another community, on Apr 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm
It seems like everyone who supports High Speed Rail envisions a very fast train somewhere in Europe. Well what peninsula residents are going to get is something more like the BERLIN WALL!!! What side are you on, East or West.
Posted by James, a resident of the Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm
I'm glad that our state has plenty of money to spend on this worthwhile project. LOL Much like other projects it will be delayed, changed multiple times, and way over budget -- that is if it ever gets built. If it ever does get built, it will still be cheaper to fly to LA and San Diego.
I'm so glad someone smart spend time thinking this one through.
BTW Joanna, what makes you believe that the majority of Menlo Park supports HSR; nobody I know does. They agree with Menlo Voter -- it's a boondoggle!
Posted by Perspective, a resident of another community, on Apr 17, 2010 at 7:58 am
If only these noble heroes had been active in the 1930's when a broke state and nation built boondoggles like the Bay Bridge and the Hoover Dam. Everyone knows what a disaster those were. Let China have all this fancy 'infrastructure', and we'll just stick to watching the HDTVs that we buy with the money China lends to us.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 17, 2010 at 8:41 am
HSR is not needed. It is not the most efficient way to move passengers between here and LA and it won't move freight. The ridership numbers were cooked to make it look like it will be self supporting. It won't. Which means we will end up subsidizing it just like every other passenger rail system in this country. To what end? It will still be cheaper to fly.
We are the bank that is funding this project. As the bank we need to demand fiscal responsibility and management. That is all these gentlemen are filing suit for. To make them abide by the terms of the loan.
Posted by aarond, a resident of another community, on Apr 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm
Sorry to burst your bubble but the majority of Californians approve of the HSR project because they VOTED FOR IT. In a democracy, that's how things work. The majority gets to decide things. If you don't like it, please move to communist China.
Posted by R.GORDON, a resident of another community, on Apr 17, 2010 at 3:24 pm R.GORDON is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
This is all such a farce.
The HSR is as good as built. China may just pick up the tab as it has for everything else.
The attorneys or the old THREE CABALLEROS or whatever they call themselves, along with their yellowing diplomas from Stanford,have probably never been anywhere but Menlo Park except during the World War II when they were all inolved with aviation.
We see the condition the world is in with ONE volcano eruption and stranded jetliners and passengers all over the world.
These silly men who are so bored in retirement has one of them as a preparation chef and probably won't even know when HSR is running; if they are still around. Give up and stop tampering with the future of California for your grandchildrens' sake.
Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of the Menlo Park: Park Forest neighborhood, on Apr 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm
To clear matters up, I'm not the Martin, or the Martin Eng, that has been appearing in these blogs.
Furthermore, anyone who has not yet read the lawsuit must clearly be an expert on the subject and therefore is entitled to make insightful comments, as we can all see.
However, not having read the lawsuit does not prevent anyone from making ad hominem arguments, and those who do have all the force of logic and reason behind them.
So, lets hear more from everyone who has not yet read the lawsuit but is more than willing to name-call anyone with whom they disagree.
It seems to me that whether one is a supporter of the high-speed train project or an opposer, we all do want to see it built honestly, and with public availability of ALL the information. We also want it to be supervised by professional experts in management and railroading. It is our money and we want it spent wisely. The purpose of lawsuits is nothing more than to ask the court to enforce the law.
Are you against law enforcement?
If you support the development of the high-speed rail and therefore voted for AB3034 and Proposition 1A, do you or don't you want those laws enforced?
Posted by Menl Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 17, 2010 at 4:18 pm
do you seriously think if we had HSR that people would stop flying? In addition, your mention of the grounding of flights due to the volcano is simply stupid. Europe has HSR, yet still people fly there. In addition, much of what is grounded now are international flights. How does HSR have any effect on that? Last time I checked no one was talking about building a rail bridge across the Atlantic. HSR is not and never will be a replacement for aviation. What it will be is just one of a long line of enourmous drains on our economy. Yes people of the state voted for it. They were sold a bill of goods. They were told it wouldn't have to be subsidized and would be self supporting. That is total nonsense and anyone with a calculator and a little math skill can figure that out.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm
I don't know that "law suits are only brought to enforce the law," but in this case that is exactly what it is about. What the voters voted for was for HSR to ONLY be built when they had enough money in pocket to create the particular segment they are starting. They are trying to start before they have all the money and therefor breaking the law, not to mention thumbing their noses at voters. The voters were told HSR would be constructed under certain parameters and they are trying to ignore those. If HSR is built it needs to be done under the conditions under which it was voted for. They are not doing that, hence the law suit. It's really not that complicated.
Posted by Kathy Hamilton, a resident of the Menlo Park: Park Forest neighborhood, on Apr 18, 2010 at 11:50 am
Thank you Morris and Mike for filing the suit. Whether you agree or disagree with the High Speed Rail project, we should all want the same thing and that is the lawful implementation of the project. California can not afford to waste their precious resources.
Unfortunately there is no other way except a lawsuit to enforce AB3034 because the Attorney General's office is representing the state agency and it would be a conflict for them. They told me personally to go to my legislative reps (which I've done) or to file a private lawsuit.
The people may have voted for this project but not at any cost. It is supposed to be profitable and executed in a very specific financial way. Morris, Mike and Martin are working in behalf of all of California, not just the peninsula. Thank you
Posted by Dan S., a resident of another community, on Apr 19, 2010 at 1:05 pm
Why are you people thanking these people for "protecting California". They are only protecting their pocket's at the rest of California's Citizen expense. They do not want this project built "properly", they don't want it built at all because they beleive they know whats best for California even at 70 while the rest of us in our 20's suffer the age of the auto, airplane, traffic, wasted time, wasted life sitting in traffic. Do us a favor sirs and retire from being retired because you are a roadblock. You will be dead by the time we have this anyway, why do you care??
Posted by Tom H., a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm
Since our state is broke, the schools are begging for money, social services are being cut, etc etc and the this HSR is taking our tax payers money NOW I have made the decission to vote NO on any bill I mean ANY BILL untill our elected officals get real. Which then really means I am now voting NO on any future bills.
Posted by R.GORDON, a resident of another community, on Apr 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm R.GORDON is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
Taxpayers won't put out a nickel.
500,000 jobs would be created.
Menlo park is about the size of Central Park and caters to a dying breed of opportunistic old Stanford "Redskins".....please!
The young man who says you will all be dead is correct, blunt and does not give a damn, like his peers, about what you egotistical and bored blowfish have to say about the future.
The last modern invention any one of you will learn to use is the computer on which you still can maintain a semblance of being alive.
HSR is about the only alternative California has to grow and lest we forget, the majority of the local population even in M.P. will be predominately darker skinned and the hoi poloi will not be able to get to their walkers fast enough and look for a train to get out of town.
Airline travel will be reserved for weekend visits to aging jailed bankers and investment brokers who are going to be busted by the IRS in the next couple of years.
Posted by Right on!!!, a resident of another community, on Apr 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm
CORRECT!!! they could give a damm about the next 40 years ..just what is outside the window right now..taking our "money" NO your taking it right now with the high SSI out of my check that I will never see
Posted by thank you mike and morris, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2010 at 5:53 pm
As the parent of a child who will be an M-A student in a few years, I seriously doubt that too many teens will want to take a train across the country. Not when they can drive or fly for a relatively modest amount. Any Ogilvy trolls on this board masquerading as angry young men?
It's pathetic that the collective wisdom of Mike, Morris, and some of the others who are fighting on behalf of our community and our state is being discounted because of their age. Guess what, 20-year-olds -- your perspective has very little credibility with most of us who live here and pay taxes. And given that you don't want to stay in Menlo Park anyway, why do you even care that we try to preserve our quality of life?
P.S. You are getting older too. If you're lucky, by the time you become "really old" (ie 50+), kids will respect the knowledge acquired by people who have spent years paying attention to ill-fated ventures and learning from their consequences. Of course, if you remain as narrow-minded and selfish as you seem to be now, you won't have acquired much wisdom!
Posted by Right on!!, a resident of another community, on Apr 19, 2010 at 6:05 pm
Reading the link article about these people makes it very clear about what they are and want...And no it will be Thousands of Pro-HSR marchers that will decend on MenloPark from all over the state if you think your going to stop this project because you deem it so!! AND you will hear loud and clear from young people that want this built!
Posted by Right on NOT, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2010 at 7:11 pm
Hey "Right on", please put some clothes on, come out from your parent's basement, and go find a job. Only then will we respect your ridiculous comments. It's admirable that you all want to ride public transit for some odd reason, which I highly doubt. However, the bottomline is the COST, the COST, the COST. If you want $100B going to fund this really nice looking, sleek, fast mode of transportation, and then increase your California college tuition fees by +30% every year, then by all means argue the heck out of this thing. However, you need a better math teacher, and we need more money, this has money pit written all over it.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm
you continue to insist that air travel is dead. Do you have anything to back that up or just more BS? Please respond, you haven't before. I suppose I shoudln't expect anything else from you other than "HSR good, anyone opposing HSR bad." Seems to be the level of your argument.
Posted by Todd Johnson, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm
I'm frustrated by the lack of civility in my own town of Menlo Park. Do people really have nothing better to do with their time than sit around an spew vitriol at one another anonymously? I wish the Almanac would require that people put their real names on posts. I think that would cut down on the farce. As far as I know, many of these posts are from people who don't even live in Menlo Park, or have adopted persona of "old" or "young" contrary to the reality of who they are.
For this reason, I'm inclined not to address any of the posters comments.
[The one exception is the "thank you mike and morris" post who says "20-year-olds -- your perspective has very little credibility with most of us who live here and pay taxes."
What a silly statement!
To: "thank you mike and morris" -- You've said you are a parent of someone who is about enter their 20's (i.e., someone who will soon be at M-A). Do you know any 20-somethings? Have you noticed that they are the ones graduating from Stanford, creating amazing companies in the area and providing an incredible tax base for our schools and increasing the value of our homes? As a 50-something, who has put two daughters through M-A, I must say that I am thankful for the many 20-somethings who have stayed here, created great value and contributed to our community. I only hope people like you don't start scaring them away.]
Having read the complaint, I must say, that the arguments advanced are specious, particularly given the fact that their strength seems to rely on a particular reading of some legislative intention that is not contained in the legislation or in the proposition that passed. In fact, the letter of the legislation has been met, as a financing plan has been provided. Yes, Mssers. Brown and Brady are correct that the financing plan does not provide specificity on where all the funding will come from for the completion of the projects, but the law doesn't require that and that is consistent with every major infrastructure project advanced in the United States for the past 75 years. Rarely, with an operating budget, can government provide capital improvements or other multi-year projects to be fully funded from one appropriation (speaking here about the federal contribution) -- but I assume that Mssers. Brown and Brady know that.
Rather, the real argument that many people on this board seem to be advancing is that this is a question of fiscal priorities -- where should government dollars be spent. Interestingly, this is one of those questions that does break down on chronological lines. Rarely do older voters want to invest government dollars in the future. They would rather see them spent now, when they can enjoy their fruits. As an illustration, the high speed rail, even with the most outrageous estimates posted by those who oppose it on this comment board, would only cost one year in Iraq. Think about which one will provide greater value for our children and their children.
I understand the neither Mssers. Brown or Morris wants the walls involved to complete a high speed rail so close to their homes. But isn't this the problem with so many projects designed for the public good? The analogy to their real concerns -- private property rights -- is the environmentalist who doesn't want solar panels errected in the Mojave Desert for fear that it will hurt lizards. Ultimately, a federalist republic(such as the one we live in) provides that occasionally, the rights of a few must give way for the benefit of the greater good. Mssers. Brown and Morris may take issue with the idea that a high speed rail is for the greater good, but actually, they lost that vote.
In reality, this lawsuit (and much of the venom displayed on this board on both sides) demonstrates self-interest at its worst. People are really saying, "If I don't get what I want in an election or vote, then I'll sue," or "If people want to voice their views and have an airing in court and I don't like it, then I'll call them names and make fun of their age."
What happened to the America that I once knew? What happened to the Menlo Park that I once knew? Have we really reduced everything to an "us" or "them" proposition, so that we cannot discuss civilly our differences?
It really is discouraging to read threads like this!
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm
I'm perfectly aware of what is going on in Europe with grounded flights. Again I say that argument is simply stupid as an argument that air travel is done for. There are times when flood waters rise over rail lines and they can't run. By your "logic" rail should be done for because of it.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm
you had a good argument going until you introduced the costs of Iraq into it, like we really had anything to say about it. I opposed the Iraq war. I also oppose HSR because I think the voters were sold a bill of goods. The voters didn't really have anything to say about Iraq, but they did on HSR. Unfortunately, they were fed lies (just like Congress got).
Not spending money on HSR, for me, has nothing to do with my proximity to the tracks. It has to do with the fact that it will be a giant drain on the California economy for no real gain. If it carried freight one might be able to argue some gain, but it doesn't.
As to the lack of civility here. This is just a small reflection of what has happened to politics in general in the last 20 years. It has become so polarized that there is no longer any middle ground. One is either right or wrong. There are no shades of gray. If one doens't agree, call them names and insult them. It's sad, but that is where politics is in this country. 24 hour news cycles and sound bites are largely to blame for our deterioration into this current state of affairs.
Posted by thank you mike and morris, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Apr 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm
>>>What a silly statement!<<<
Thank you for not "spewing vitriol," Todd. I guess mocking others is okay? By the way, my child is a preteen, not quite "about to enter his 20s." Students at M-A are teenagers!
Of course, since you're 50-something, you probably shouldn't expect the 20-year-olds on this board to have any respect for your opinion. But I would rather take the advice of someone who has been around the block a few times than base my assessments on the ravings of 20-somethings who say they're planning to leave town because they don't like it here!
Clearly you aren't familiar with the basis of the lawsuita or with the history of the CHSRA. The lawsuits focus on the fiscal irresponsibility, the inept management, and the waste. Morris and Mike are hardly alone in their perspectives; the state legislature has had similar concerns. And the snarky comment about 70-year-olds being unwilling to invest in infrastructure is both wild speculation and nastily stereotypical. (Also laughable given the advanced age of many CHRSA leaders.)
I know many 20-somethings, including quite a few Stanford graduates. Most of them, alas, are looking for jobs, trying to stay afloat rather than "creating great value." I guess I'm fortunate that the young adults I know seem to have a little more respect for the wisdom of their parents' generation than do the 20-something posters here). And they wouldn't qualify for the kinds of jobs that HSR would create anyway.
The fact that our government has chosen to spend absurd amounts of money (while wasting thousands of those 20-something lives) fighting a series of unwinnable wars does not justify sinking yet more money in a project as poorly conceived and managed as HSR.
I understand that many people in this state stand to benefit, either financially or politically, from HSR. Perhaps some of them are posting on this board. I once again thank Mike and Morris for trying to introduce some transparency and truth into this process.
Posted by Tim, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2010 at 9:15 am
Will this group also sue to stop the 101 widening project because it was not funded all the way to L.A.?
These people prefer the noisy, lumbering, smoky diesel (90 mph) Caltrain vs. a quiet, clean, electric HST. These people have sued to keep the teen suicides and car deaths that are unavoidable with today's tracks. Think about that as an environmental impact of today's trains.
Please remember when we cared about the greater good for our community and state. Please remember when California was about progress not stasis.