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Santa Clarita CA
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April 24
1962 - SCV residents vote to connect to State Water Project, creating CLWA [story]

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Thursday, Feb 12, 2015
darrylmanzer0215“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it the superficial appearance of being right.” – Thomas Paine


I’ve just finished reading a commentary in the Valley Sun a newspaper of La Canada written by Dan Richard, chairman of the California High Speed Rail Authority Board. He attempts to give a short history lesson about the Golden Gate Bridge and then chastises folks who don’t like the California High Speed Rail Boondoggle. He actually thinks folks jumped into the fight against the routing of the rails too soon. He wants us to sit around and wait for the final routing and then protest.

He did correctly tell about the protests surrounding the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. To compare the building of that bridge to the construction of the high-speed rail system is a travesty of logic in the highest degree.

I know the voters approved (partially) funding the high-speed rail system, but that was before we all found out about the real costs and the real disruptions it would cause. I was also before we began to hear all of the lies the HSR Authority started telling us.

Of course the chairman didn’t address the real issues that people are starting to raise. Little things like ticket prices. (Remember, no subsidies are being contemplated.)

They are also raising concerns about how land is being taken and worse yet, how property is being devalued just because there is a threat of the HSR running through it.

bullettrainhsrscottwilkFolks in Acton are very concerned that should they want to sell their property now, they’ll have to disclose that the HSR could come through it. This would make a lot of property valueless until the rail route is known. Just when the route will be known is still years away.

I also wrote of how the environmental concerns are being addressed. The gentleman is clueless. At present, the hundreds of miles of track being contemplated run through some of the best farming and ranch land in California. In many areas, it is in the migration flyway for millions of birds.

He didn’t address the historical sites that will be disturbed along the route, either. But he said the Golden Gate Bridge wouldn’t have been built if the folks who built it had listened to the people.

Yes, what I read was that he knows better about what the people of California need than we do. I’m convinced we don’t need a high-speed rail system.

I’m not convinced we have to emulate Japan and Europe in the high-speed rail category. It was a great idea at the time we voted, but now it is obviously less and less wanted. Just who is going to ride that darned thing, anyway?

In a few years, about 29 miles of track will be laid between a couple of places in the Central Valley. The train won’t be able to get up to full speed before it has to stop.

I’ve been to a number of the HSR community meetings now, and at each and every one, all I hear is a sales job from the authority representatives. They sound like a bunch of used-car sales folks.

I’m not buying into the HSR now as the truth comes to light. I don’t know why we need it. I don’t know why anyone would want to take more time to travel on it than the modes of transportation we now enjoy.

I don’t know how they can claim that the tickets will not be subsidized. I’m still trying to figure out how they expect to get from L.A. to Sand Francisco in three hours on a train. I still don’t know how the HSR is going to employ some 3 million people that it says it will.

I don’t know why they aren’t running it alongside the I-5 route or maybe following the 101 along the coast.

Will you ride it when it is built? By the projected completion date, I’ll be well into my 80s. Not sure I’ll want to get anywhere that fast by then.

So we wait. We wait for more condescending commentaries from unelected HSR officials who tell us we shouldn’t protest before the route is decided.

Sorry, Mr Chairman. Your words fall on ears that are not going to listen. You want our land. You want to dictate that we can’t protest. Take your sales job and shove it. How dare you tell us we can’t try and stop any part of the route?

How dare you tell us we don’t have the rights we have?

How dare you to compare a beautiful bridge with a really ugly blue and yellow train?

Come and look at our valleys. Then go home. Take your little train with you.

Don’t return.


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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  1. Abigail says:

    Another travesty this beautiful valley is being subjected too – CRAZY TRAIN.

    My heart goes out to the people in Acton and Agua Dulce for this insane destruction of land. My heart also goes out to the people of Val Verde, Hasley Hills, LiveOak, and the industrial park near the giant stink – Chiquita Canyon Landfill.

    Keep writing Darryl!

  2. Marc Deagon Marc Deagon says:

    Worst decision California ever made. A total waste of money.

  3. There are going to be so many NIMBIES protesting this, yes a big fat waste of money…

  4. There are going to be so many NIMBIES protesting this, yes a big fat waste of money…

  5. Marc Deagon Marc Deagon says:

    Not to mention the demise of the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox. There are roughly 3000 left in California.

  6. Marc Deagon Marc Deagon says:

    Not to mention the demise of the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox. There are roughly 3000 left in California.

  7. Marc Deagon Marc Deagon says:

    And last but not least. When they asked Moon Beam why they decided to build a 100 billion dollar low speed rail, his response was……..http://youtu.be/0ieicflBG_Y

  8. Marc Deagon Marc Deagon says:

    And last but not least. When they asked Moon Beam why they decided to build a 100 billion dollar low speed rail, his response was……..http://youtu.be/0ieicflBG_Y

  9. Senseless train and a waste of taxpayers money for sure and I believe being spent unlawfully but guess they found a way around that. Money is needed for our failing education system first.

  10. Senseless train and a waste of taxpayers money for sure and I believe being spent unlawfully but guess they found a way around that. Money is needed for our failing education system first.

  11. Senseless train and a waste of taxpayers money for sure and I believe being spent unlawfully but guess they found a way around that. Money is needed for our failing education system first.

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