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1855 - Sanford & Cyrus Lyon establish Lyon's Station (for stagecoaches) near today's Sierra Hwy & Newhall Ave [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Thursday, Oct 22, 2015

darrylmanzer0215I’ll never get those three hours back in my life, but I did take the time to watch the video of the California High Speed Rail Authority board meeting of Oct. 6, 2015. In doing so, I am now convinced beyond the shadow of any doubt that all those board members would fail a drug test. This is also true for folks who were making presentations to the board.

Just a few minutes into the video, there was a commercial that showed the prospective route between Los Angeles and San Francisco, “connecting every major city in between.” Of course, if all of those “major” cities are connected, I guess that means they will also have a CHSR station that would connect them. I’ll bet Merced, Tulare and Wasco are happy about that.

There is also the little part about how the CHSR is going to reduce commute times in our daily travels to work. At 200 mph, it will take many more cars off the roads. It is obvious that the folks making the commercials are also frequent patrons of their local medicinal pot shops. I would bet they visit them at least twice a day.

You see, I thought we voted on a high-speed rail system to speed our travel between the two most major cities in our state, and a few more get some stations along the way. Fewer stops mean higher speeds. Any one of us who has driven the length of Lyons Avenue in Newhall know that is true, because if the “traffic light gods” are especially benevolent and you can get from Railroad to I-5 in under 20 minutes, you know what fewer stops can do.

We here in the SCV cannot forget that while we might get tracks, we will not get a station. Guess we aren’t major enough.

But wait – the CHSR sales team has more for us to consider. Near the end of the meeting, there was a speaker who said, “Fresno is the gateway to several worldwide destination sites.” Just what I want to do is get off a plane in Los Angeles or San Francisco and grab my pack and climbing gear and head to Yosemite or Sequoia National Park by a mode of transportation not yet determined. Would it be a bus? Rental car? “Shanks Mare” or maybe by thumb? Because getting to Fresno on a high-speed train will only mean you’ve got more time to walk to those two places.

You know, drug testing would be a lot cheaper and save us all a lot of money. I suggest we start at the governor’s mansion and test the occupant there. It is his dream, so with such a test we might be able to find out what substance he has or is using.

We really are spending a lot of money on the attempts to sell us on this railroad. Maybe they should also concentrate on investors who are to assist in finding this boondoggle. To date, the number of private companies willing to invest in the venture number in the “less than one” category, like none at all. Without private investors, government funding from the feds will not happen.

But relax, folks. We’ve gotten some really neat studies and commercials out of all this so far. Wish that they had a little truth to them.

Going back in history to when the route for the first rails over the Sierras was being determined, it didn’t take but two or three people to find that route. Once found, the guy who did it headed to our nation’s capital and showed Congress.

Hell, I’ll bet there are as many people of the sales and advertising staff for the California High Speed Rail boondoggle as built the entire Pacific Railroad. Well, there aren’t, but I do know the money they are spending is crazy. Way back when, the Central Pacific Railroad was hardly making any money and those trips to talk to Congress were much criticized.

The folks who pushed those first rails over our mountains would also be appalled at the lack of common sense on the CHSRA board. But that is easily explained. We can prove it.

There are many companies that do drug tests. I think it is time we spent some money and had all of the CHSRA folks issued a little bottle.

What do all y’all think? Really. Our military has to take regular tests like that. Maybe this is just the right idea.

 

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. 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 Comment

  1. Carol says:

    Thank you for making me laugh Daryl! It has been a stressful week with the U.S. Forest Service comment period for the GI Sudy Permit coming to a close. I am so glad I am not the only one who thinks something is just not right with the CAHSRA folks. I love reading your commentary….

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