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Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Sep 6, 2015

darrylmanzer0215I don’t want to follow the rules, so please excuse me from doing so. But I do want the cash you have from folks who are following the rules. Pretty fair to me, don’t you know?

The folks at the California High Speed Rail Scam Authority have requested that taxes collected from carbon Cap-and-Trade requirements be used to build the rail system and … at the same time they have requested to be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act. So they want to take money from the taxes on Cap-and-Trade for a project that is exempt from proving it is not polluting the air of California.

Yes, they want the California Air Resources Board, or CARB, to exempt them from air quality requirements AND get money from those who are paying to keep in operation.

Oh, did you also know a bill has passed both the Assembly and Senate to ensure state agencies cannot split various boards and government regulators in to small groups of two in order to conduct business without having to have a public forum? It requires that all meetings be open. Opening meetings of state agencies and boards is another way to make sure things are transparent in our government.

I’m sure that if the High-Speed Rail Authority really had open meetings where they really listened, the whole outfit would have folded up its tents and gone away long ago. But they don’t hold these meetings to listen to the public. Nope … the meetings are held so we can listen to them expound the virtues of a rail system that is using technology from 40 years ago.

Sorry, folks. I don’t buy that, and most other folks don’t, either.

jerrybrown-strangelove-hsr_cropMany newspapers and other media are starting to call the whole thing, “Dead Train Walking.” The hoped-for private and federal funds have dried up. Investors are looking at the High-Speed Rail Authority like another Enron. A wonderful house of cards that will not only fall, but once it falls, it will burn, too.

This isn’t pretty, folks. There are various city and county governments suing the state over the rail scam. Groups of farmers and ranchers are doing the same. State agencies are reluctant to issue permits and even simple policy statements out of fear of a lawsuit.

All the time this is going on, the clock keeps ticking. The Proposition 1A that was passed has a time limit. Tick-tock-tick-tock…

Remember how we were told in a movie that was released in 2006 that the polar bear population will be affected because of global warming? Well, when the producer of that movie was born, it was estimated that maybe only 7,000 of those critters remained. Imagine the horror of knowing that today, only about 28,000 remain. Yes, you read that right.

Even the latest study by the United Nations had to admit humans can do little to affect the climate. Our good old planet is going to do just about whatever it wants to do, no matter what.

So here we are in the formerly great state of California, collecting money as a way to cap and trade carbon emissions to pay for something that can’t prove it will have the effect of slowing climate change.

Can we fix our freeways, roads and other forms of public infrastructure instead?

All of this doesn’t mean we can forget about where the High-Speed Rail Authority wants to route the damned train. We still have to fight to keep the tracks out of the Santa Clarita Valley. We cannot forget that. (Also don’t forget, regardless of what ultimately happens, the High-Speed Rail Authority will not allow the train to stop here.)

The folks at the High-Speed Rail Authority are indeed cunning and devious. They have to be. If they had a product to sell that we really wanted, they wouldn’t have a job. Instead they hold meetings in private, behind closed doors.

This is a very transparent way to run a state. It may be the most transparent government we’ve ever had. Jerry Brown said it, so it must be true.

We’ll see – because if he vetoes the bill that was passed with full backing of both political parties to open the meetings just to keep his railroad running, we’ll know.

Yes, the most transparent government ever – because at this point, what does it really matter?

It matters because our kids and grandkids are going to be left with a train we and they cannot afford.

Jerry Brown wants a legacy. We can give him one. He was building a train that will never run. He left, and it was stopped.

The end.

 

 

 

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 atDManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. Patricia Love says:

    Great one, best ever. Combine this with Boxes and we see the true character of too many.

  2. Kraut says:

    “The end” should be the articles written by this author. Total garbage!!

  3. Meanwhile LA is one of the only largest cities without a rail system to LAX. My school district doesn’t run free school busses either, 2000 families every morning creating emission chaos. I don’t get it.

    • While not direct… Metrolink > Union Station > MTA Blue Line > MTA Blue Line Willowbrook PAX > MTA Green Line > MTA Green Line Aviation / LAX PAX.

      It drops you off at Aviation Blvd & Imperial Hwy (end of runway) from there you can hop on the airport shuttle or take a taxi.

    • Still, I’ve lived in 3 metro cities, it’s kind of embarrassing LA doesn’t have direct service to LAX. I’ve been stuck waiting for a shuttle to the airport, and they were so busy in the early am, I had to get a taxi to pick me up !! I just think we need to take care of the small things that would make a huge difference before we take on a major rail project across the middle part of CA.

  4. Malcolm Dann says:

    The “Not so high speed rail” project is more about Brown and his cronies trying to tap into State and Federal tax dollars than it is about forcing a project on the public that neither needs nor wants. Once all the current funding is sucked into the right bank accounts, nobody will care that the project is ultimately not built. They should be building things the State really needs (like Desalination plants) and not a boondoggle that if ever built will be another loser the population will have to subsidize forever. There is simply insufficient ridership to support it.

  5. Yeah, just what we need! How about some water reservoirs!

  6. Hay you elected them!

  7. John Gilbert John Gilbert says:

    It’s funny that no one cares that Diane Fienstiens Hubby’s company based in Sylmar is one of the contractors. Pork barrel politics + cronyism + bait ‘n switching routes from the I-5 Corridor direct to SFO to becoming a Metrolink for the Central Valley isn’t what people voted for. The State could used existing UPRR tracks to do that, but, that wouldn’t cost taxpayers 100 Billon Dollars PLUS!

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