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February 21
1923 - Newhall Chamber of Commerce organized; Albert Swall elected president [story]
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By Matthew Renda, Courthouse News

The cost of the first phase of California’s high-speed rail project through the state’s Central Valley has soared by 35 percent to $10.6 billion, officials disclosed Tuesday.

The California High Speed Rail Authority disclosed the $2.8 billion spike during its regular Tuesday meeting, citing unanticipated costs relating to right-of-way purchases, utility relocations, general increases in railway costs and lawsuits.

“We’ve got to enhance active management of this program,” said rail authority board chair Dan Richard during Tuesday’s meeting.

Rail authority staff said that no one problem loomed large, and instead noted a long list of costs less than $50 million that eventually added up to the significant price spike to build the 119-mile segment slated to run from San Jose to Bakersfield.

One of America’s largest infrastructure projects, California’s bid for high-speed rail has been plagued by cost overruns, schedule delays and changes in executive leadership since voters passed a $10 billion bond in 2008.

When voters approved Proposition 1A, the architects of high-speed rail in the state estimated the project’s overall price tag at $40 billion. That estimate to build rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles has risen sharply in the decade since, to $67 billion.

However, officials said they are optimistic the agency can later recover a portion of the spike announced Tuesday.

Optimism also prevailed regarding the agency’s hiring of a chief executive officer, a position that has been vacant since former CEO Jeff Morales stepped down last spring.

Brian Kelly, the first California State Transportation Agency Secretary, will lead the rail authority effective February 1.

“Brian has ably led the California State Transportation Agency since its inception and is uniquely qualified to move the nation’s first high-speed rail project forward,” said Gov. Jerry Brown in a statement on Tuesday.

Rail authority officials touted Kelly’s experience running an agency with thousands of employees and an $18 billion budget as cause for optimism that he can bring a steady hand to a project and agency that is in need of stability.

“Brian Kelly is a proven problem-solver and the leading expert on California’s transportation sector,” Richard said. “He has been a dynamic transportation secretary, leading strategic approaches to modernize the state’s passenger and freight rail systems, and effectively dealing with natural disaster impacts on roads, bridges and highways.”

Kelly comes on as German rail giant Deutsche Bahn’s American arm, called D&B Engineering, begins its work on the project. The firm won a competitive bidding process last year to be the rail provider while assisting in procurement decisions, design of stations and other aspects of the pre-operation and early-operation phase.

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26 Comments

  1. Like we even need this stupid train seriously!

  2. Jimmy Stewart says:

    Shazaam! Who would of ever thought it would be out of control spending on a project like this?

  3. Mike Duryea Mike Duryea says:

    Waste of time and money. Not to mention that it’s based on lies

  4. William Reel William Reel says:

    Democrats doing their thing…

  5. Imagine what $2.8 Billion could do to help public schools, poor people, housing for the homeless, food for the hungry…you know, stuff that left wing politicians claim to care about. Funny how nobody cares about that, but it’s what happens when people like the CA AG are off on a personal vendetta against Trump and subsequently neglecting their actual job duties.

  6. Thanks “Jer”. He needs a one way ticket on his train !

  7. California elected leaders won’t pay the price for fraud

  8. Neil Arnao Neil Arnao says:

    Duh. No surprise there.

  9. We’d be better off spending the funds on an irrigation system from Oregon to SoCal, effectively ending water shortages.

  10. Is anyone actually happy about this? I mean we have a huge homeless population all over the state but let’s build a bullet train than benefits exactly three people 😡

  11. WHO voted for this ? WHO voted for Brown?

  12. Jerry brown is an idiot.

  13. John Gilbert John Gilbert says:

    Another episode of California’s Bait ‘N Switch tax polices. So as Transportation Secretary, Brian Kelly supported SB-1 for pot hole free roads without taking the money from other services. But, now as Chief Executive of the California High Speed Rail Authority , The sharp increase in projected costs could require the California High Speed Rail Authority to return to the state Legislature for a supplemental appropriation from the bonds that voters approved in 2008. The repayment of the existing ($10 Billion) bonds will cost about $18 billion in principaland interest over the next 30 years, money that is coming out of the state highway improvement fund. They sold it as Roads and Bridges, just as they oversold us a High Speed Rail direct from LA to San Francisco going up the I-5 corridor that would eleviate the congested air traffic corridor by 2030………………………………. –1 Nov 2017 PE; A poll conducted in May by the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley found 58 percent opposed to SB 1, the gas tax & vehicle registration hike, with 39 percent strongly opposed. California Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly defended the higher gas tax as necessary if California wants pothole-free roads without taking money from education, health care or other services. https://www.pe.com/2017/10/30/californias-gas-tax-is-going-up-nov-1-even-if-you-dont-notice-right-away/ ) ………………………….. –1/16/18 LA Times; The California High Speed Rail Authority board also voted Tuesday to name Brian Kelly as its new chief executive. As secretary of the California Transportation Agency, he had been deeply involved in the project. Kelly said in an interview that high-speed rail remains crucial to the future transportation and economic needs of the state, but acknowledged that it is facing tough challenges that must be addressed.
    The sharp increase in projected costs could require the California High Speed Rail Authority to return to the state Legislature for a supplemental appropriation from the bonds that voters approved in 2008. The remaining bonds probably would cover the cost increases, but partly deplete funds for further construction beyond the Central Valley. Included in the projected $2.8-billion price increase is a $600-million contingency set aside to cover further unexpected problems. That contingency will be funded by unspecified cuts to future construction budgets. The challenges will apply to the next governor, though in the current campaign the leading candidates are doing their best to avoid talking about the project. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declined requests for an interview on the subject for more than two years, for example. The repayment of the existing ($8 Billion) bonds will cost about $18 billion in principaland interest over the next 30 years, money that is coming out of the state highway improvement fund. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-train-cost-overrun-20180116-story.html

  14. Oh thank so much for this gift. PLEASE FEDS COME COLLECT GOV. BROWN & COLLEGES!

  15. Proof that geriatric politicians should have their heads examined! They shouldn’t be allowed to hold office if they’re over 65!

  16. Democratic Party run amok. Vote Travis Allen to Take Our State Back.

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LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018
Officials: Arroyo Seco Threat Not ‘Credible’
Earlier today, Arroyo Seco Junior High School parents were alerted of a "concerning statement" made by a student. Law enforcement officials later determined the statement did not pose a credible threat.
Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018
SCV Home Sales off to Solid Start in New Year
The new year got off to a solid start for residential real estate in the Santa Clarita Valley with single-family homes sales up even as median prices of homes and condominiums sold during January posted higher than a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Monday.
Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018
Wilk Introduces Legislation to Create Global War on Terror Memorial
SACRAMENTO - Last week, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, introduced legislation - Senate Bill 1452 - in a move to bring a Global War on Terror Memorial to California.
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1923 - Newhall Chamber of Commerce organized; Albert Swall elected president [story]
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Earlier today, Arroyo Seco Junior High School parents were alerted of a "concerning statement" made by a student. Law enforcement officials later determined the statement did not pose a credible threat.
Officials: Arroyo Seco Threat Not ‘Credible’
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital will host the Santa Clarita Valley Concussion Seminar on Saturday, Feb. 24th from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Henry Mayo Center located at 23803 McBean Parkway in Valencia.
Feb. 24: Concussion Seminar at Henry Mayo
The High Plains Library District Board has appointed Dr. Matthew Hortt as the new Executive Director.
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The Santa Clarita Public Library’s fourth annual One Story One City program returns with free, themed events during the entire month of March. The One Story One City initiative encourages citywide discussions and promotes reading across all ages through one story.
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Learn what it takes to become a part of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Feb. 21: LA County Fire Department Recruitment Seminar at COC
Join the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce at its inaugural Current Affairs Forum, sponsored by Poole & Shaffery, featuring the President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, Allan Zaremberg.
Mar. 6: Chamber’s Inaugural Current Affairs Forum
SACRAMENTO - Last week, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, introduced legislation - Senate Bill 1452 - in a move to bring a Global War on Terror Memorial to California.
Wilk Introduces Legislation to Create Global War on Terror Memorial
WASHINGTON (CN) – Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas berated his colleagues Tuesday for rejecting a challenge by gun owners to California’s 10-day “cooling-off” period.
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NextSCV, newly rebranded from SCV Emerging Leaders, will host a behind-the-scenes tour of the Princess Cruises world headquarters in Valencia, followed by a mixer at The Dudes’ Brewery, on Wednesday, February 28.
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The Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation has added three new members to the board of directors -- Don Kimball, community president at FivePoint; Tracy Lawrence, MD, director of Emergency Services, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital; and Robert Stern, CPA, Stern, Kory, Morgan & Sreden.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation Adds 3 to Board
Hollywood Boulevard will be closed for the Oscars between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive from 10 p.m. on Sunday, February 25 to 6 a.m. on Wednesday, March 7.
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The Mustangs opened the second half of their 101-82 win at Westmont College on Saturday with a flurry of steals and blocks and buckets, which helped TMU claim at least a share of the first GSAC title in program history.
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College of the Canyons Outruns Chaffey College 12-9
The next Canyon Country Advisory Committee meeting at the Mint Canyon Moose Lodge includes a meet-and-greet with 25th District Congressional candidate Michael Masterman-Smith on Wednesday, February 21, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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"NCIS" producer-writer Scott Williams has been added to the lineup of speakers at the 2018 Economic Outlook Conference hosted by the SCV Economic Development Corporation and COC at TPC Valencia on March 8 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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The William S. Hart Union High School District's Career & College Readiness Department is celebrating Career Education Month in February by providing students a variety of pathways to success.
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1949 - Short-lived oil drilling operation on Newhall's Arcadia Street ends [story]
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Feb. 20: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Little, Brown Books recently published CalArts alum Vashti Harrison's (Film/Video MFA 14) debut illustrated book, "Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History."
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UCLA's Hammer Museum has announced the 32 artists including six CalArts alumni who will participate in "Made in L.A. 2018," the fourth edition of the museum's biennial exhibition, which runs June 3 to Sept. 2 at the Westwood museum.
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The Isaura String Quartet will present an evening of music by CalArtians at Human Resources LA in Downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, February 18 starting at 8 p.m.
Feb. 18: Isaura String Quartet to Perform at Human Resources LA