Gordon to hold high-speed-rail meeting in Palo Alto | November 11, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - November 11, 2011

Gordon to hold high-speed-rail meeting in Palo Alto

Assemblyman to lead Nov. 15 discussion of state Rail Authority's new business plan

by Gennady Sheyner

California's controversial and increasingly expensive high-speed-rail system will be the subject of a public hearing hosted by Assemblyman Rich Gordon in Palo Alto on Tuesday, Nov. 15, between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.).

This story contains 493 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@paweekly.com.


Posted by Gus L., a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Please stop trying to shove this rail project down our throats, WE DONT WANT IT!!
We dont need it, it costs WAYYY TOO much,
Just drop it..

Posted by Freida L., a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I agree. Please just walk away from this boondoggle!!

Posted by Rail Fan, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm

The 14,400 people in Merced who are projected to ride high speed rail every day need this project. Wait! That's more people than ride Amtrak from Penn Station In New York City. No, this is not a joke. Read the new business plan.

Posted by R, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm

My public input: I voted for this rail project during a moment of utopian stupidity and blindness. Put it up for a public vote again, so I can vote against this financially insane plan.

Posted by nick, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm

It seems apparent that the CA HSR Authority have deviated so far from the proposition that authorized them, that they should be disbanded. They have been beating CA communities over the head for years telling them that HSR is coming, and F--- off, we have the authority of the proposition bla bla bla.

Mr. Gordon, it's time to kill HSR before it kills CA. The funds to build it are no where to be seen. It will drain funds from a nearly bankrupt state treasury. The ridership estimates are completely made up, and the true cost to buy a ticket is likely multiples of their optimistic low-ball estimate. It will never make money, as promised in the proposition I believe, and will require massive ongoing subsidies to operate, again, something forbidden in the proposition. Stop this fleecing of the tax payers of this state before it's too late! The CA HSR Authority demonstrates every time they hold a meeting what a collection of completely ignorant, and supremely arrogant bafoons they are. Terminate the funding and terminate the authority for this terrible project.

Posted by cannot Stop now, a resident of Southgate
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I live close to Alma and I want this HSR. It is good for the economy and will be good for our city as well. The ones against are the old folks who benefit from prop 13 and already paid off their homes. Tell them they can move out of Palo Alto if they do not want this project. It is not going to stop because you don't want old man! Most of the youngster want HSR. It may be a generation Gap, so it be. Anyway, you folks against this project will probably not going to be alive when it is done! Just to prove I am right: I am asking any your person to come here and say that you are against this project. There aren't any!

Posted by JA3+, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 8, 2011 at 6:30 am

HSR is far, far too expensive; in the interest of fiscal prudence, it's high time we kill this outrageous proposal.

Posted by Robert, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

Gordon said in a statement that "the hearing will serve as a forum for the rail authority to 'present the business plan, receive public input, and identify key areas of concern that may require further analysis.'"

This is hilarious. Another charade/meeting for

1. the citizenry to provide input that will, of course, be neglected (as it has to date),
2. to present the warmed over ballooning cost estimate and business plan with the same ludicrous ridership estimates and utopian financing dreams, and
3. for the CHSRA to "identify" key areas of concern that "may require new analysis"!!!! As if those areas are not already clear and as if CHSRA hasn't had ample time to do those analyses to date!

This is a sick joke, Assemblyman Gordon. Please put the citizenry, the affected communities, and the state's grim fiscal condition first, not the dreams of Kopp, Diridon, the construction companies, consultants, and labor unions who are the only ones who stand to benefit from this project.

It is way past time to pull the plug on this Leviathan boondoggle.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

City Council:
Please do not spend any more money to (hire a consultant to) study this disaster. That money could be funding other services in Palo Alto that are actually needed. This project will fall apart of its own bloated weight, and there are lots of other people studying it (like Rich Gordon and his committee) who will come to the same conclusion. Why is the City of Palo Alto spending more money on it?

Posted by Jim h, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:43 am

To "can't stop now". Obviously, from reading your post, the state needs to put more money in to the education system and not HSR.

As an added tidbit, Prop 13 has nothing to do with paying off a mortgage. Every homeowner benefits from Prop 13. Whether that's good or bad is irrelevant to this discussion.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE: Robert of Stanford

You are being too hard on Assemblyman Gordon. In California (and the US), legislators have long been elected to represent special interests, not the people living in their districts. In both the primary and general elections, Gordon was quite open about his priorities and that his most important special interests included those who would benefit from a massive make-work construction project and that he thought they were "owed" this "opportunity".

By having this meeting locally, Gordon is doing far more than most CA legislators would do. Aside: several years ago, a town in New Jersey had to hire a connected lobbyist in order to get their own Congressman to listen to them.

Having unrealistic ideas about how the system works results in people wasting their time on ineffectual measures in fighting such stupidity (from the perspective of the general good, not the special interests).

Stupid our legislators do all the time -- to get them worried, things need to be seen as ridiculous:
1. CA HSR will operate at a profit if we ignore principal, interest and depreciation.
2. CA HSR ridership projections are based upon the assumption that people will be so fat that they will need to buy multiple seats for each trip -- 5-8 seats per person if one extrapolates from rail in the NE US.

Posted by Timothy Gray, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Does anyone know how much we have spent on this project to date?

Why does it feel like us taxpayers have a gun in our ribs, and the thieves are the transportation/rail consultants who see this as a gravy train for themselves and their friends.

They know they are wasting tax payer money, but their incentive is to keep a failed vision alive so they can keep the dollars flowing into their pockets.

Seeing this as anything else is self-deception or villainy in its lowest form. Restore reason and logic!

Tim Gray

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.

I honestly do not understand why Rich, Joe and Anna continue to "hold community hearings" around this matter.

I consider myself someone who has had exposure to how things operate in the public sector, as well as the private sector. They are different, and I really don't buy into the notion that government can work more like a business.

That said, I wish our local elected officials would cut to the chase the way our friendly VC's do along Sand Hill Road. This is not a good investment, or policy choice.

This time of year, turkey is a common topic. This HSR turkey does not deserve another Thanksgiving, or the stuffing that attends it.

Posted by Larry Cohn, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Yet another cycle of "community outreach" meetings. Didn't we go through this a year or two ago?

They can have "community outreach" meetings for the next 100 years as far as I'm concerned provided they don't build the silly thing.

Posted by Adam, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:45 pm

As someone who was conned into voting for the proposition, I now see (as should any thinking person) that the CAHSRA is a corrupt organization whose real purpose is to funnel billions to construction interests. An organization operating in good faith would not behave the way they have.

This is too bad as there probably is a place for a high speed rail link between San Jose and LA, but when the smell of big money draws in the greedy Hyenas with no honest oversight, it is impossible to make a project like this work.

Posted by galen, a resident of Ventura
on Nov 9, 2011 at 8:36 am

When you look at the combined intelligence, wisdom, and wit of the overwhelming number of commenters above who are against this travesty and compare it to the post of "can't STOP now", the lone HSR boondoggle cheerleader, you'll see very clearly the depths to which this charade has sunk.

The fact that the carbon break even point for this allegedly eco-friendly project is something like 77 years after its completion doesn't seem to phase the rocket scientists who delight in calling those of us who didn't flunk math or logic NIMBYers.

Laws were broken, our tax dollars are being drained away to line the pockets of politicos, consultants, and contractors and what does "can't STOP now" suggest? ...if you don't like it... move!


-- galen

Posted by Robert, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 9, 2011 at 10:56 am

@"Can't Stop Now"

Dear Sir or Madam:

Here is what you posted: "I live close to Alma and I want this HSR. It is good for the economy and will be good for our city as well. The ones against are the old folks who benefit from prop 13 and already paid off their homes. Tell them they can move out of Palo Alto if they do not want this project. It is not going to stop because you don't want old man! Most of the youngster want HSR. It may be a generation Gap, so it be. Anyway, you folks against this project will probably not going to be alive when it is done! Just to prove I am right: I am asking any your person to come here and say that you are against this project. There aren't any!"

With all due respect, please go back and read this message ALOUD. I challenge to do so.

The carelessness with which you expressed yourself is an apt symbol of the facile thought underlying your evidence-free position. In the future, kindly do the readers of this board the elementary courtesy of posting messages that you've thought through and carefully edited for coherence and clarity of expression.

Thank you.

P.S. I see several comments in this thread whose authors are not "old people." How could you make such a general, unqualified statement without knowing the authors' ages? I personally know many other people in Palo Alto who are against this particular HSR project and are in their 40s and 50s.

P.P.S. Your recycling of the incendiary argument from the argument over the Vietnam War -- "Love it or leave it!" -- is pathetic in the extreme.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 23 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $4 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.