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September 25
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Friday, Jan 16, 2015

darrylmanzer_blacktieThere is going to be a fight. A really ugly, knock-down, drag-out, gutter-crawling fight. It is going to be between some of the folks in the lesser valley to our south, and us here in the SCV. This fight is going to be a doozy. Yep. You’ve got my word on it. Bare knuckles for as many rounds in the ring it is going to take.

You see, there are some folks in that other valley who don’t want the California High Speed Rail-Boondoggle to be routed away from the SCV and through their area. It is going to be every town and valley for itself.

Maybe it is time we all lawyered up and circled our collective wagons concerning this-here high-speed boondoggle rail thing. The idea of moving lots of people fast from Los Angeles to San Francisco has been around for a long time. Why, we even voted on it a few years back, and now the building has begun. A whole 29 miles will be constructed first. It’s going to connect two points called No-place and Nowhere.

The folks in the eastern San Fernando Valley are worried their horses are going to be spooked, their home values dropped, and many may have to move. Same goes for the folks in Acton, Agua Dulce and Santa Clarita’s Sand Canyon area.

Whoa Nelly, there, folks. Looks like a similar fight is going on in the Central Valley and the San Francisco Peninsula, too. Fewer and fewer people want to have the HSR-B and even among those who want it, they are playing the old NIMBY game (Not In My BackYard).

You’ve got to admit our governor got out his best snake-oil sales technique and sold us a train full of nothing.

As neighbor is pitted against neighbor in this huge brawl over the HSR-B, the real fun begins. It isn’t a pretty fight.

We’ve got a few problems with running high-speed trains through our formerly great state of California. Besides having to run the line through some densely populated areas like the stretch between Sand Francisco and Gilroy, we’ve also got concerns about the wide-open spaces the route may take. Step right up, folks, and watch when the Sierra Club is joined by cattle ranchers, hunters and folks who prefer tractor-pulling contests.

You might get to watch the most diverse collection of people who want to stop the train from being built, or at least delayed or rerouted or whatever. Tree huggers and oil company roustabouts standing side-by-side to stop the train. These folks don’t want to see what could very will happen if we can’t stop this insanity.

There were some of the same problems back when the first trains and railways were built in the 1870s connecting the two halves of this state. Where do we run the train? Getting it over the mountains ringing the Central Valley is the problem. Always has been.

Miners, ranchers and farmers didn’t like the train coming through then, and not much has changed. The rail trip between San Francisco and Los Angeles really started in Oakland and went inland then south. Same type of problems then as now. NIMBY.

We love the idea of the train between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Romance on the train. The whole notion of watching the landscape flash by your window at 200 mph.

The HSR-B has to overcome much about the image it has created for itself. It isn’t a good image at all. I still say it should.

But that is another story for another time.

Will it be built, and will it have space for all of your needs? I would say, “no.” But that is just me.

Maybe we should have another chance to complete what we really need.

There is another idea. How about we get some nice photographs of all that has gone viral that one can describe by words? All of the great actors need to hear this somehow. They’ll be saying they love it as they step aside for another company that will serve Los Angeles.

We had a great “local” station. The parking was easier. What more could one ask for?

So maybe we should all take another vote on the train.

“No On High-Speed Rail” or simply, “Repeal the Rail.”

All aboard!

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley, where he serves as executive director of the SCV Historical Society. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com. His older commentaries are archived at DManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

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5 Comments

  1. Abigail says:

    It will trash the east side of our valley. Next, the airlines will complain that this train took business away from them so they need to raise their prices again for flying.

    It is a CRAZY train. Now that everyone knows what it is, vote to stop it!

    Great article Darryl :-)

  2. Bill says:

    How about a train station just past Castaic, and run the run up the center of the 5 where there is large, flat open spaces.

    Oh, I forgot, that is too simple

  3. I thought you were hyping the Pacquiao / Mayweather fight for a minute …

  4. Robert says:

    They should build it along the Calif. Mexico boarder. And build the fence on the CA side. That way when the train comes wizzing by it could clean the fence of illegal entry.

  5. Dude! Change your picture!

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