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Criticism greets new high-speed rail CEO

Original post made on May 31, 2012

Jeff Morales, the newly hired CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, has been hailed as "exactly the right person to take the helm at this pivotal time." But some critics charge that Morales' work for Parsons Brinckerhoff, the firm that has been spearheading the beleaguered rail project, should disqualify him from the post.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 31, 2012, 8:10 PM

Comments (9)

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Posted by morris brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 31, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Outstanding article here by Gennady Sheyner. There are dozens of articles on this appointment, but only very vew have bothered to dig out some real facts about this "outrageous appointment".

This is just another indication of how corrupt the HSR project has become.

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2012 at 7:49 am

This says it well.

"The Rail Authority claims it conducted a nation-wide search just to end up with an executive from its biggest contractor?"

This happened locally.
Mike Nevin was on a 12 member search committee to find a Director for Service League of San Mateo County.....results he found himself.

This happens nationally.
Dick Cheney found himself when he was looking for the best person to be Vice President.

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Posted by I want some money off this train also!
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Jun 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

The Boston Big Dig was finished about 7 times over budget. So, take the "current" CAHSRA estimate of $68 billion, times it by 7, and this Train to Nowhere Boondoggle will end up costing about $500 billion if it doesn't implode from the fraud, corruption, greed, and investigations that will inevitably occur.

Just remember, the San Francisco Bay Bridge is not even completed yet and it's already 6-7 times over budget, meaning the "transportation experts" who estimated “originally” that it would cost only $1.2 to build, but so far the "experts" in California have already spent (not
hypothetical, actually spent) $7.2 billion already. By the time it is done, it is likely it will actually cost 10 times over

And, the $500 billion to construct the train by the CAHSR is only the bond costs to build. Bonds are paid back at $2 for every $1 borrowed, so borrowing $500 billion to build this stinker will actually cost - yes get this - cost $1 trillion dollars from California's General Fund to pay off the principal and interest on HSR bonds.

$1 trillion dollars, for a train that only uber rich 1%'ers will be able to afford to ride, and business people too lazy to take a $60 Southwest/Jetblue/Virgin plane ride from SFO to LAX! Why do blue collar workers keep subsidizing the uber rich 1%’ers?! How is that fair?!

I think it is fair to say that taking $1 trillion dollars from CA's already depleted General Fund will bankrupt California, so there won't even be money to pay California state worker's overbloated and unfunded (by about $500 billion) pensions, or the $12-15 billion that California spends every year to subsidize the illegal immigrants
staying in California. So, by then the illegal immigrants will probably move out since the nonprofits will have no more money to dole out anymore.

They should call this the "Money Train" or the "Gravy Train" because those are more fitting than the Train to Nowhere Except Bankruptcy nickname.

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 1, 2012 at 8:31 am

I got news for you, the "uber-rich" aren't going to be taking a train - fast or slow (and it's definitely a slow train now).

It'll be cheaper, faster and far more convenient to fly first class from Oakland, San Francisco or San Jose to Los Angeles, Burbank, Ontario, Long Beach, San Diego, Orange County, Palm Springs.

In case you didn't notice, very few people want to arrive in downtown Los Angeles at the train station.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm

why do blue collar workers keep supporting the 1%ers? Because they keep drinking the union Koolaid. The union tells them they MUST have these jobs or there will be none. It's nonsense, but hey, they have to believe the people they're paying their dues to, right?

This project and the fact it is still being pushed is due to the fact the unions have far too much influence over politicians. They have lots of money to throw at them and it buys them influence. If it didn't they wouldn't do it. The union leadership thinks they "need" these jobs, so the California taxpayer be damned. Mortgage our great, great, great grand childrens' future to build a train that won't do what it was advertised to do when it was sold to a gullible electorate. What do they care? They'll be dead and gone when the real impact of this boondoggle becomes clear.

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 4, 2012 at 8:27 am

A recent CBS News poll shows that 59% of California voters would now vote AGAINST high speed rail (or more appropriately termed "standard" speed rail).

The tide has turned... at least with the public.

Web Link

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 4, 2012 at 10:06 am


you think that will make any difference with our labor union, bought and sold legislators? You need to look no further than Rich Gordon for your answer.

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

We are making some slow progress.....59% opposed to HSR.

Web Link

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Posted by Bill Hough
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm

We need to kill high speed rail project, which numerous impartial observers like the state auditor, the LAO and UC Berkeley's ITS have faulted. At the very least it needs to go back to voters because CHSRA is pulling a blatant "bait and switch.' The California High Speed Rail Authority is mismanaged and in bed with the consultants and unions.

Money wasted on high speed rail could be better spent on deficit reduction. We should be given another chance to vote on high speed rail because the project now under discussion is not the project voters approved in 2008. Since HSR is not on the ballot, I plan to send a message of Governor Moonbeam by voting "NO" on his tax increases.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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